Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
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When we were in grade school it was obvious that we had little control over our circumstances. This is appropriate for children leaning to be part of a larger society. Still some of us questioned the system wondering where the teachers/parents/school officials got off being so threatening about some rules and regulations. Some of us used our own immature logic to question authority. Some of us even spoke up about what we considered to be abuse of our rights. Others quickly conformed to fit in and get the brownie points for behaving the way we had been instructed to behave. I was naturally part of the first group, those of us who felt oppressed unnecessarily by silly rules.
My nature was never very compliant without seeing the purpose of the rules. One such rule was my mother’s idea of fashion for little girls. I fought tooth and nail over cutting my bangs, putting permanent waves in my otherwise fabulous hair, and, most of all, the wearing of white ankle socks. The whole look was atrocious, but I was physically too small to fight off the stinky hair solutions or the bangs scissors. All I could do was take of the hideous white ankle socks once I had left home for school. It was my only available form of resisting authority that I saw as fascism. My parents were very strict, believed in beating children to a pulp with a belt, and fought back hard. I saw this was obvious sign of weakness, the need to physically bully a child into wearing white socks. If they had thought about what they were doing they might have made more reasonable rules and fought more reasonable battles, but they were out of their minds with power. They belonged to the Republican Party.
They voted for Barry Goldwater for president and loved war and police brutality. They were animated fans of the Viet Nam war, which was truly the last straw. They saw America as entitled bully, and I saw them as entitled bullies. Our political paths would never cross once I was old enough to vote. There was no discussion because my dad would blow his top so wildly that it was out of the question to question his opinions. I just wore a patch on the back of my jeans that said “War is not healthy for children and other living things” and they voted a straight Republican ticket. I have a letter my mother wrote to my father when Kennedy was elected bemoaning the fate of the world. They were truly nuts.
I now thank them for the training I had early in life to see that some authorities use power for evil (I still think permanents are evil and probably cause brian cancer). Some authorities are just ignorant, and must be opposed in order to save the world from fascism. The political scene we face today is clearly one of treacherous consequences. I thought most of the violent crazy people were already dead, but I was completely off course. This sentiment is alive and sick. It has never been more important to vote and become aware of the rights we still have in this country to shape our future. Please inform your self, gentle reader. Consider the possibilities very carefully, and then VOTE!!!
America has major authority issues. If we look at law enforcement as a human body with a single anatomy we see ailing, weak systems. Eric Holder is the lame duck head of the brain of the body. He will leave office without prosecuting bankers who drove the country over the financial edge with gambling and mendacity. The next US Attorney General will serve for a couple of years and then we presume another will be appointed by the next president. The brain function at a national level seems fuzzy if not corrupt. Balance is impaired as a result. The core strength seems very weak and lacking integrity. The voice is breaking as it speaks. We do not trust people in authority to tell the truth or follow a code of ethics. We rely on the institutions of law enforcement and justice, but do not believe they are functional. This is a highly unsustainable situation. I live in the state of Arizona, famous for making our own immigration laws. We are also famous for Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa County Sheriff who loves to defy the Feds. The Tucson sector of the US border, named for my home city, is responsible for a high volume of traffic in smuggling of drugs and people. This has been true traditionally for many reasons. The geography here favors the smuggler, and Mexico does not lack tunnel engineers or builders. Cartel power trumps Mexican law enforcement to the point that it is dangerous to expose or oppose the profitable business of smuggling on the other side. It would be crazy to believe that there is not some corruption in the US that smoothes the way for contraband to flow through Arizona. This is a very complex economy that existed long before the border wall or the concept known as “Homeland Security”. Economic security in Arizona had long depended on a whole lot of unreported income and undocumented workers to stay afloat. To reverse this trend is a very difficult task. How can we restore trust and build integrity within our law enforcement institutions now? I do not accept the idea that crime and injustice must continue to blight the nation. I believe all of us, in and out of authority positions, have been complacent and apathetic. If we view the crisis in law enforcement as a Missouri thing, with no impact on our daily lives, we will perpetuate our current problems. I am not optimistic about change, but feel strongly that we must attempt it. Do you trust the police where you live, gentle reader? Do you feel protected by the courts? Does America feel like the land of the free and the home of the brave to you?