Friday, September 30, 2005

Life In These United States

A family cries because the million-dollar house they built in dry grasslands just burned up in the annual wildfires. This just happened in California.

A man complains because the photos he left in an office 15 feet below the water level were destroyed in a flood. This just happened in New Orleans.

A woman breaks down over the loss of her mobile home in the annual hurricanes of southern Florida. This happens every year.

Friends mourn the loss of a friend who chain-smoked for decades. Their friend died of lung cancer. This happens every day in every city.

What keeps these people from thinking? What is it that prohibits otherwise educated humans from pondering the obvious? All of these losses involve causes that are very, very easy to spot. The events that brought about each loss were as easy to spot as an adult elephant standing in the middle of a small room.

Is there an adult living in California unaware of the annual fire hazards in the hills?

Who does not know that hurricanes regularly strike Florida?

What person living next to a wall of water really does not expect a flood some day?

When an earthquake crumbles a city in California who can honestly say they were surprised that it happened?

When another hurricane rips into a wooden home in the southern U.S. will that be a total surprise to anyone living there?

When tornados come ripping up the land in Kansas, or anywhere in the Midwest, is that really a shocker, a totally unexpected event?

It is apparent that many people live their lives ignoring the plain truth about where and how they live. This ignorance seems to be as infectious as a virus and many times more deadly. When people living in hazardous places are asked why, they respond, "I do not want to live anywhere else." When people who smoke cigarettes are asked why they choose to slowly kill themselves they respond, "It feels good to smoke, I like it!" or "I tried to stop but I cannot."

The Puerto Ricans build steel-reinforced homes strong enough to withstand hurricanes. Some people in the Midwest build tornado shelters. The Japanese build only earthquake-resistant buildings. The Dutch build real defenses against the most severe floods. Every day some people do quit smoking. There are ways to use our intelligence to reduce the risks we face in life.

Given all the talk about freedom it is amazing how many free people in the United States choose to live dangerously. It seems that people would rather stand unprotected in the face of deadly events every year instead of having more years to spend with their precious families. "To hell with the children's future, let's live on an earthquake fault line." "Give me a cigarette, I have no desire to know my grandchildren someday." "Old age is not worth living for. I want to live where the floods are sure to get me soon, the thought of drowning is really quite pleasant."

Nevertheless, when the earthquakes shudder, the floods come, the winds pick up or the cancer strikes; some people do run. When faced with imminent death most people suddenly wise up, get in their cars, and go sit in a traffic jam. The smokers with cancer go cry before a doctor, pleading for a quick cure. The flood victims demand help from everyone, they feel they deserve it. After all, they chose to live in a place 100% guaranteed to flood, everyone must remain ready to help them rebuild in that flood zone. The government gave them flood or fire insurance when no sensible company would insure that kind of risk. The taxpayers, the stupid taxpayers, must pay up, even if it means borrowing more money from China.

Do not blame the leaders of this nation for any of this. They need your votes and the cash contributions from the tobacco and insurance companies. They are elected to start wars and waste tax money. Politicians are not elected to solve problems. It is the job of leaders to create bigger problems and push more people into poverty. That is why more than half the citizens do not even bother to vote in elections. We are too free to be bothered to go vote for leaders that might help us with our problems.

All the people living in poverty are simply glad to have a huge discount store built in their town. It is wonderful to have a new business that does not pay employees a living wage. It sure is fun to work for peanuts, plus they offer health insurance nobody can afford to buy. What a deal! Why vote to change this wonderful life?

The way so many people choose to their lives in this nation makes no sense if you stop to think about it. Everywhere you look you see people showing signs of total insanity, with no indication of any desire to elect leaders that might make their lives better.

What would be really great is to chain-smoke, work at a discount store and live in a trailer in southern Florida. If the cigarettes do not kill you the hurricanes or the job just might do the trick. The crooked politicians make certain no problems get solved. It is so great to live the free life in America, who would want to live anywhere else like Norway?

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