Archive for Sunday, June 22, 2008

Americans feel everything seemingly spinning out of control

June 22, 2008


— Is everything spinning out of control?

Midwestern levees are bursting. Polar bears are adrift. Gas prices are skyrocketing. Home values are abysmal. Air fares, college tuition and health care border on unaffordable. Wars without end rage in Iraq, Afghanistan and against terrorism.

Horatio Alger, twist in your grave.

The can-do, bootstrap approach embedded in the American psyche is under assault. Eroding it is a dour powerlessness that is chipping away at the country's sturdy conviction that destiny can be commanded with sheer courage and perseverance.

The sense of helplessness is even reflected in this year's presidential election. Each contender offers a sense of order - and hope. Republican John McCain promises an experienced hand in a frightening time. Democrat Barack Obama promises bright and shiny change, and his large crowds believe his exhortation, "Yes, we can."

Even so, a battered public seems discouraged by the onslaught of dispiriting things. An Associated Press-Ipsos poll says a barrel-scraping 17 percent of people surveyed believe the country is moving in the right direction. That is the lowest reading since the survey began in 2003.

An ABC News-Washington Post survey put that figure at 14 percent, tying the low in more than three decades of taking soundings on the national mood.

"It is pretty scary," said Charles Truxal, 64, a retired corporate manager in Rochester, Minn. "People are thinking things are going to get better, and they haven't been. And then you go hide in your basement because tornadoes are coming through. If you think about things, you have very little power to make it change."

Recent natural disasters around the world dwarf anything afflicting the U.S. Consider that more than 69,000 people died in the China earthquake, and that 78,000 were killed and 56,000 missing from the Myanmar cyclone.

Floods engulf Midwestern river towns. Is it global warming, the gradual degradation of a planet's weather that man seems powerless to stop or just a freakish late-spring deluge?

Food is becoming scarcer and more expensive on a worldwide scale, due to increased consumption in growing countries such as China and India and rising fuel costs. That can-do solution to energy needs - turning corn into fuel - is sapping fields of plenty once devoted to crops that people need to eat. Shortages have sparked riots. In the U.S., rice prices tripled and some stores rationed the staple.

It's not the first time Americans have felt a loss of control.

American University historian Allan J. Lichtman notes that the U.S. has endured comparable periods and worse, including the economic stagflation (stagnant growth combined with inflation) and Iran hostage crisis of 1980; the dawn of the Cold War, the Korean War and the hysterical hunts for domestic Communists in the late 1940s and early 1950s; and the Depression of the 1930s.

"All those periods were followed by much more optimistic periods in which the American people had their confidence restored," he said. "Of course, that doesn't mean it will happen again."

Each period also was followed by a change in the party controlling the White House.

This period has seen intense interest in the presidential primaries, especially the Democrats' five-month duel between Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Records were shattered by voters showing up at polling places, yearning for a voice in who will next guide the country as it confronts the uncontrollable.


bondmen 9 years, 10 months ago

Sorry folks but the voters have been sold a pig in a poke by our politicians. We too often elect those who make promises they don't intend to or can't afford to keep. On the one hand they've convinced many of us there is a free lunch; but it's the lunch they take away from another American with the other hand. Every time we vote we must choose between the lesser of the evils. In the end we get the elected officials the majority deserves, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.Does anyone care to speculate on what the message is that the 50% of us who do not vote are sending the establishment? Financial stability will eventually come when folks quit spending money on worthless trinkets and instead pay down their debt and eventually begin to save again.Spiritual stability comes when one meets the Creator and reads and studies His Word. Relational and family stability soon follows.

bondmen 9 years, 10 months ago

Religion is man reaching up to god and trying to please him.Christianity is God reaching out to mankind, seeking a relationship with His creation through His Son Jesus.

RedwoodCoast 9 years, 10 months ago

Mighty preachy there Bondmen. I get along just fine without the 'Word.' Wouldn't it be neat if all it took to fix the situation was religious fervor... oh wait, isn't that what's causing a lot of our global problems?

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 10 months ago

Electing leaders for eight years who make dumb decisions and now Americans are spinning?There are consequences to your actions, and the chickens are coming home to roost.

bondmen 9 years, 10 months ago

Beatrice, since Barack Hussein Obama has not yet told us what he intends to do and since it does appear you have figured it out; do you care to tell the rest of us? All I can come up with is 'change' in one pocket and 'hope' in the other.

beatrice 9 years, 10 months ago

bond: "Does anyone care to speculate on what the message is that the 50% of us who do not vote are sending the establishment?"Sure, I'll try. I speculate that the message is that there are many, many people willing to sit back, take what is given, and not do anything themselves to make a difference. Since you are running with the Christian theme, I guess "sheep" would be an appropriate one-word response. John McCain fully supports Bush's war in Iraq, wants to continue it for 100 years if necessary, and backs Bush's plans to continue tax cuts for the wealthiest of the wealthy in a time of war and spiraling debt. Unlike bondmen, I intend to vote against someone with those plans for our future. The message I intend to send is simple: Obama for President. Not all of us are willing to give up on the future.

beatrice 9 years, 10 months ago

bond, you fabulous Christian you, would you please take a moment to explain to us the reason behind your use of Obama's middle name. How often do you do this when discussing people? Do you do the same with McCain? Or is it because he has a "scary" name that invokes fear in people. If this is the reason, then your motives are racist and you are going to burn in the firey pits of hell for all eternity for your hate-filled, holier than thou existence. Or, as the apple said to Adam, "Bite me!"

poop2scoop 9 years, 10 months ago

Bondmen, If your "god of christianity" is omnipotent, all seeing and all knowing, then that god could prevent all the world's problems. Instead, that god perpetuates the world's problems and allows pain, suffering, sickness, starvation, and disasters throughout the world. Plus, that god puts his only son through severe abuse and torture.Your god of christianity is cruel, sadistic and hateful beyond measure. What does that say about people that worship that god?

ASBESTOS 9 years, 10 months ago

I put this down as the "momentary collapse of the American Culture". How do I come to this? Politicians in either party are patent liars, plain and simple. They will screw us in a minute to line their own pockets. Both parties are corrupt. Look at the current lineup for President, a triangulator with no experience, and a slick and intellectually stimulating delivery of campaign message (Obama) and McCain is not supported by most of the Conservatives, infact most of the "Conservatives "aren't", and most of the liberals "aren't" either.This is due to 2 facets we have lost as Americans. Those two facets are:The Apollo Doctorine andThe Asbestos MetaphorThese are 2 very good examples of how America has gone wrong in recent years. In the Apollo Doctorine it was a "we can and we must" type of proposition. Remember "Failure is not an option"? Failure is all to common of an option, infact the last administrations depended on it for seperation and wedge issue coampaigning. In the "Apollo years" we built infrastrucutre, today we build developments and strip malls. Todays "greater good" is a punchline with a new Walmart with crap imported from China, instead of bridges, infrastructure and science and exploration.In the Apollo years, we citizens decided to go to the moon, and funded it during a war, and still "went for it". Today we cannot even keep our eye on the ball with soldiers in the field. IN the Apollo years we went to the moon with computers less sophisticates that a calculator, today we can't find Osama Bin Ladin with satilites, but we sure as hell will give him "constitutional protections"!

ASBESTOS 9 years, 10 months ago

With the "Asbestos Metaphor", it shows in the 1970s we decided that workers were not expendable, and that the environment was also not expendable. we started OSHA and EPA, funded them and those that worked at EPA and OSHA enforced the laws, and states and their porgrams got in line or lost their money, simple as that. Today, Kansas basically ignores the asbestos problem, with a host of other issues, and the long term issue has largely been ignored as an inconvienent regulation to be ignored. Quite bluntly we cannot get EPA and OSHA to even go out to jobs and sites these days, to look at any jobsite for any regulation, they whine about not having enough money. They are simply broken agencies, and all agencies follow this pattern, and are broken too, as we the taxpayers fund them with the largest amount of money in history. Our Civil Servants in agencies are not the ones of the past committed to their job and mandate. They are now more concerned about how much "they can get" while in our employ, while trying to get out of as much work as possible.The BOrder patrol: "we cannot secure the border, we cannot deport those illegal aliens". The CPSC: "We cannot inspect every crate coming into the United States, and we cannot test all the toys." The MSHA: "We cannot inspect all the mines". OSHA: "We do not have enough money to do the worksite survelliance." The FDA: "We cannot inspect every farm, nor can we inspect farms in Mexico, nor can we find the origin of the Salmonalla ourbreak." CPSC: "We can't test every toy that comes into the United States". The INS: "We cannot process that many Passport applications".You see what I am talking about? IF you think either McCain or Obama will clean all that upm you are insane.I believe a revolution is in order against "Republicans and Democrats".

bondmen 9 years, 10 months ago

The God of the Bible gave Adam and Eve (and their descendants) free will so they could willingly love Him. What good is a love forced or required and thus not freely given? Our problems result largely from our poor choices and wrong decisions; from our focus on self rather than on the needs of those around us (aka sin). Apparently poop2scoop, what you desire is heaven, a place where all the problems and troubles you listed above no longer exist. Heaven was on earth in the beginning before sin entered the world. His creation was perfect and He called it very good. God walked and talked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. There was only one tree from which eating its fruit was forbidden and Eve then Adam ate of it. They changed everything and death, pain, suffering and toil then entered the world.God's Son Jesus was both fully human and fully God. His perfect life and death on the cross was the sacrifice foreshadowed countless times in the Old Testament, a sacrifice necessary to cover the sins (past, present and future) of all mankind. It was these sins of mankind which killed Jesus, but death couldn't hold Him and He rose on the 3rd day. Only a loving God would come into this world through the womb of a woman, live 33 years with us, then die on the cross the way He did. Even today God provides great loving kindness which I dare say goes largely unnoticed. Things are much worse for life on all the other planets in our solar system and in the rest of the universe. Mankind is able to heal most wounds and sickness today too. Where people are starving I would say look at their governments for blame. Many groups would gladly help if permitted. Some see the glass half full and some half empty. God knows it's full, if only we'd take measure of those things we cannot see. HIS story in a nutshell is: creation, corruption, catastrophe, confusion, Christ, cross and yet to come, consummation.

poop2scoop 9 years, 10 months ago

Bondmen,You admit that the god of christianity required tortuous, ritualistic human sacrifice of his son..."a sacrifice necessary to cover the sins (past, present and future) of all mankind". What kind of god requires human sacrificial killing?And what about the god of christianity luring and bating his two perfect creations to not eat the fruit from one particular tree; what kind of god would bait and entrap innocent people?

Moonbat 9 years, 10 months ago

I must agree, things do seem to be pretty crazy right now. Just in the past months, my stress level has risen just by watching the news. I like to be informed of world events, but there's been nothing but bad news lately.On a side note, I started reading the responses to this post, thinking there would be some interesting comments, and almost right away, Bondmen posts a comment and throws in some religious mumbo jumbo crap at the end. Now it appears this forum has been hijacked. I read these posts every day, and sometimes I see posters complain about christian bashing, and I actually thought this was true (I'm not a religious person). But to be honest, some of you deserve it! Bondmen, I enjoy reading your posts on evolution and abortion (although I don't agree with them in the least), and admire your incredible faith, but you have definitely gone off the deep end with this one. Seriously, could we leave the Jesus Christ, God the Savior, Holy Ghost stuff out of the forums that have absolutely nothing to do with religion?

bisky1 9 years, 10 months ago

do ya ever wonder where the truth is?

bondmen 9 years, 10 months ago

That's easy. God suffered and died - He did the work Himself. Far be it from me to criticize anything He did for you and me.Would you prefer he did not give Adam and Eve free will poop2scoop? There were many, many trees from which to eat. It was not fair that he warned them in advance of the consequences from eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? It was fair warning the way I see it.

bondmen 9 years, 10 months ago

Talking about molecule to man evolution aren't you bozo.

bondmen 9 years, 10 months ago

"Americans feel everything seemingly spinning out of control" has nothing to do with religion? If we use definition 4. from Merriam-Webster online we get: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith. Isn't America that cause, principle or system of beleifs in the sense asked by the article's author? Isn't the question now a realization on the part of some of the people that there's a weakening of faith and a diminishing of ardor in the idea or ideal of America? Most religions man creates do not have anything to do with God. Most religions have to do with man, his strivings, his ideals, his good (or bad) works and his perceived and expected rewards.

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