John and Friend
John is an Emeritus Professor in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Studies from California State University, Northridge, and a retired Lecturer from Cal Poly. For thirty-four years he has taught classes in Commercial Recreation, Tourism Planning, Management and Leadership, and Wilderness Survival. He earned his Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University in Organizational Development and Curriculum Design in Higher Education.
John also served as Lead Evaluator for the SLO Sheriff's Search & Rescue division. He is a current member of the Atascadero Writer's Club and can be contacted by calling 805-440-9529 or by email.
Visit John's Blog at John B's Take
Good Luck Fellow Americans
by John Bullaro, Ph.D
Yes, the Central Coast of San Luis Obispo County is paradise. And we live here, too often removed psychically from the turmoil of the rest of the world. However, the national and international news recently has been appalling and, at best, disheartening.
This recent news took my breath away. I watched grown men and women in Washington act like pre-schoolers and calling each other names, all while a doomsday clock is ticking and the ship of state is about to be scuttled. I'm said to myself, this can't be my country. Then I realized it is and these are our leaders—ego maniacs playing Russian roulette with the citizens of this country and the rest of the world.
These elected people play "Let's make the president look his worst." The aim of the game is to hang the country over an economic abyss, then shout in unison, "It's Obama's fault. " With just hours left, they passed a bill to raise the debt ceiling bill—a bill everyone hated. The next day the financial markets went nuts, down 600 points on Monday, up 400 points of Tuesday. But they have their ammunition to kill off the president's campaign in 2012 and pack both houses with Tea Party picks.
The world watches and everyone scratches their heads.
To add spice to this economic poison, a recent editorial in our local paper portrayed our largest corporations as flush with money but refusing to hire more people. These structural giants claimed they are not hiring because times are uncertain. The uncertain times, we learned months ago, came about by corporate greed and corruption, especially from banks and investment houses. These corporate behemoths enjoy massive tax avoidance loop holes and tax subsidies granted by their people in government, while their opposition shakes their heads and wonder—what happened?
On the other side of the globe, China dances the square dance as a tribute to our incompetence.
I read of an idea that might put this game away: throw out the entire crop of politicians in Washington in 2012. Then, to insure we'll never face this debacle again, stagger the terms of these people so that they serve only six years, then they are out---completely out of politics for six years before they can run for any office, includingthat of dog catcher. They should also be barred from acting as lobbyists during that period.
Yet the game goes on. In Sunday's Tribune's editorial section, Leonard Pitts makes the case that Republican politicians have only one agenda item—to make President Obama a one term president. Some of these political hacks know, as evidenced by the debt ceiling legislation, that their plan to kill his chances for a second term may mean destroying the economy and disenfranchising the elderly, the poor, and the infirm.
Republican presidential candidate Michelle Bachman proclaimed in Iowa (and I paraphrase) to destroy America may be the only way to save it. I see a future for this woman, but not in politics. Perhaps she and Sarah Palin can perform on some Alaska vaudeville stage in a comedy act: The Two Momma Bears Tango.
Killing off the presidency of Obama by any means possible is a school yard bully's game. We should remember this game next November 12, 2012.
Yet, as if this drama wasn't enough, underlying this economic/financial drama is another dark cloud.
In Lester Brown's book, Plan B, Chapter 8, Restoring the Earth, opens with these words:
"The health of an economy cannot be separated from that of its natural support systems. More than half the world's people depend directly on croplands, rangelands, forests, and fisheries for their livelihoods." Certainly jobs are important to a healthy economy, but jobs depend on a livable environment.
We are a crossroad; one way leads to a collapse of our economy and way of life, the other leads to the rescue of a country that is the envy of the world. We all must make our choice, and soon.