Long &Tiresome Liberal Rant of the Month

Image by Eric Fischer, subject to a creative commons license.

If  you’re just looking for a racy photo, scroll to the end of the post…  

It hurts to face the truth that VISIONS is just a third or fourth rate sex blog surviving by ripping off other people’s erotic  photos on Flickr. We’re so desperate here at VISIONS we might even resort to that utterly bankrupt Internet posting ploy, a slideshow (ten weirdist tits!).

But today we aspire to raise our tone. Today we wish to polish our prose. Today we shall pontificate, bloviate, hector, decry, condemn, and point with alarm and dismay.

 Warning: if you don’t share my rather mindless, lefty leaning, bleeding heart, fabianist, pacifist, suspiciously un-American views (I even believe Barack Hussein Obama was born in America) you might want to skip to the nude at thebottom of the page.

We all applauded the demise of the Soviet Union. For those of us who were children during the duck and cover days, the disappearance of the threat of near instant nuclear apocalypse was exhilarating. The stunning collapse of the iron curtain and the subsequent spread of freedom across eastern Europe seemed a near miracle. Its now difficult to believe that for anyone under the age of thirty or so the cold war and the Soviet menace is just another boring section in   history books, no different than the rise of the Roman Empire or the fall of the Third Republic.

Now, twenty-five years late the other cold war superpower, America, teeters on the precipice of economic and political catastrophe. Our political system has become sclerotic and been thoroughly captured by the corporate elite’s unending cascade of campaign cash; what’s good for General Motors, Google, is no longer what’s good for the country. Corporations are no longer national but global. The Republican party, always a cozy partner with business, has grown schizophrenic in its embrace of both the Tea Party and big business;  and the Democratic party has become equally complicit in corporate governance and has forgotten its prior proud championing of the working class and poor.

For quite awhile it puzzled me that no actor on the American political stage seemed genuinely concerned that the engine of America’s economy, the middle class, was declining in both wealth and numbers.  Both parties accept the high rate of unemployment and offer little or nothing to alleviate the accompanying human misery. There has been scant effort to stop or reverse the hollowing out of domestic manufacturing, and the resultant stagnation in wages and the decline in the blue collar middle class.  Now I have realized the dramatic rise of emerging markets in Asia and elsewhere  (think China and India) is quickly rendering domestic consumption less and less important.  With booming markets overseas, corporations save more by moving production offshore than they lose in domestic sales. They have also mastered the move of their profits out of the reach of the IRS, significantly reducing federal revenues.

And of course there are the endless wars. Iraq. Afghanistan. Libya. Maybe Iran. Maybe Somalia. Al-Qaeda & Global Terrorism. It is astonishing that in their insane rush to decimate federal spending neither party proposes any meaningful cuts in defense spending. We are willing to weaken medicare and social security, decimate spending on infrastructure, slash funds for the poor and children, but insist on holding the line on what we spend on fighter jets, aircraft carriers and tanks (all so useful in the War on Terror).  We sharpen the point of the spear and allow the staff to whither away. Despite its vast military might the Soviet Union rotted away from within. We are flirting with the same fate.

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away”.

………………………………..  Percy Bysshe Shelley 

Photo by Nick Sushkevich, subject to a creative commons license.

Flickr Group: Made in the Soviet Union

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