It was my day to wake up with the kids (little bastards got up around 7) and as I enjoyed my coffee, I decided to catch up on the news.
Not a good idea.
Whenever I make myself fully aware of what's going on in our country, I want to move to Canada. Or maybe Australia, Canada is cold.
(disclaimer to anyone who hates when Ashley gets political...you might want to skip this one)
Now before anyone gets in a huff about patriotism, let me tell you that I love my country. I love "America" and the history and constitution upon which she was founded. I love the idea. I love the freedoms it affords me (such as this very post!).
I get misty eyed every time I hear the National Anthem and can't NOT belt out "Proud to be an American", hokey as it is, at every given opportunity. The evening of September 11, 2001, I used shoe polish to paint "United We Stand" on the back window of my VW Beetle.
I love the American flag and everything it symbolizes.
But frankly, it would be unpatriotic for me not to be concerned about the state of things. We really ARE the checks and balances system here and if we turn a blind eye in the name of "Everything we do is right because we are the best", then we are doing our country a great disservice.
I think this is my biggest concern. It seems like everything I'm seeing in the news lately is indicative of a general "dumbing down" of America. As if it's pretty much assumed that we're all powerless sheep who are too busy noticing Miley's bare back to notice what's really going on. As if we really believe that we can put a man on the moon but not provide fuel for less than $3.70 a gallon, or drugs to sustain life that cost less than a Coach handbag.
These are some of the articles that fueled my fire this morning, and if they don't bother you, I would like to know why not:
Capitalism & Medicine Don't Mix Well duh. I was actually thinking about the price of medication this morning. I was thinking of how my Effexor is $100 a month and a lot of times that seems like the easiest place to cut the budget, but money really can buy you happiness, and I always come back around to realizing that it's worth it. But what about the REALLY crazy people? What if they can't even afford their meds?
Both of my bestfriends' fathers are battling cancer right now. Doctors didn't give a crap about LK's father, who had no insurance or savings, until he got hooked up with some private foundation that pays the bills. Friends are holding benefits and forming a booster club to help Catfish's family with the expense.
Can I point out that the last thing any family going through a debilitating illness needs is financial stress on top of it? And yeah I know, these things cost money. But how much profit is too much when people's lives are on the line?
Also, why are drug companies even involved in politics? In theory, their job (supposedly to create medication to help sick people) should run pretty much the same regardless of who is in charge. Right? Right.
Speaking of who is in charge...well you all know what I think. But, the truth is, we are being lied to. All of the time.
This whole thing that came out about the military analysts we see on the news basically being paid Pentagon puppets? That's really disturbing. Why isn't this a much bigger deal than it is being made out to be? This is blatant propaganda, being spoon fed to us as objective journalism. It is an outrage.
And we don't really believe that the DC Madam decided to kill herself by packing her things, moving to her elderly mother's house, and hanging herself in her mom's tool shed...after publicly declaring many times that she would never kill herself and if it ever happens to be suspicious? Because I have a hard time believing it, especially after she hinted that her client list includes D.C.'s upper echelon, maybe even Dick Cheney himself. I guess taking her hunting would've been too obvious...
I also read that we're already having problems with the ballot machines again? Come on. Once again: space travel = possible, accurate counting = impossible. I don't know, call me skeptical.
And I know that I'm a little paranoid, especially when it comes to government and privacy, but the new "federally approved" newborn screening which hands over newborn DNA to the government makes me NERVOUS. Wow. It just seems like something you should have some control over, your kid's DNA being nationally banked. Or you should at least be thoroughly informed about.
Plus, we know that I'm not organized, but how on earth did the White House lose 5 million emails? That's insane. I've got 18223 emails in just one of my inboxes alone right now. They're really pretty easy not to lose. They just sort of stay there. I'm sure the White House could've even come up with a better system than the one I have of just not deleting things, but maybe not. It's a gigantic indicator of either ineptitude or deceit.
And you know I'm going there...
The war? Where the hell is Osama Bin Laden? Best hider ever. How long do we have to be in Iraq before we just adopt it as a state?
I just finished A Thousand Splendid Suns, loved it, gained a greater understanding of Afghanistan political history and the Taliban, terrible stuff. Truly.
However, there is genocide occurring in some countries. There are many politically oppressed, war torn countries. Are they next? Is our new policy "Be a democracy, or we'll kill you?" How do we determine what is invasion worthy?
September 11th was awful. 2752 Americans died. As a (direct or indirect) result, 4066 Americans have died in Iraq.
4066 people is a lot, and that's just the "good guys". Think of all of the leftover, heartbroken, affected people they all left behind.
And what about their "good guys", surely some innocent people have died over there, right? Some of the oppressed?
I started thinking about those people a lot when I accidentally came across a photograph of an Iraqi mother mourning her child. This is one of those things that I don't want to link to because it will break your heart and probably ruin your day (if not longer) to see it, but it is a powerful image, and a reminder that real people are dying over this insanity.
Ugh, I just think the whole "our people will kill your people until you submit" way of doing things is wrong.
This did manage to get an amused snort of laughter out of me:
The gas price situation really is getting a little scary, especially in light of the economy.
I'm also tired of all of the election talk. I really think my idea of a reality show is just as practical. Personally, if it came down to something as drastic as "guy that tortures puppies" vs. "war-prone Republican"...I think I'd vote for the guy that tortures puppies. That's my own offensive opinion on the election, and pretty much sums up my voting strategy.
Okay, do we all agree that I shouldn't have to wake up early anymore? Or read the news? It's a beautiful Sunday and I've just made a valiant effort to depress or offend all of us. Sorry 'bout that. That's what I get for catching up on the world.
If it makes you feel any better, it made me feel better to put it all together and get it all out.
We're going to the beach for a family get together with our playgroup this evening. Girl Crush and another friend that I love AND even the original Girl Crush, for all of you way-backers, will all be there, so that should be fun, and I promise I will manage to be socially acceptable and not wacky, anti-government, conspiracy theorist Ashley.
Well, I will probably be a little wacky, but I think that's okay. Especially if there's drinking involved. And isn't there always drinking involved at the beach?