Pacific Tides
My name is Thomas Sturm and I'm a programmer, photographer and writer.

Now go outside and look at the sky.

A Broken Country

When a country loses its ability to take care of its people, when it loses the energy, the will and the means to help the needy and to take care of its infrastructure, then such a country is broken.

When it ceases to function as a system of community-sponsored support, then it becomes a burden on the people living in its borders. The United States, once the richest nation on this planet, has become such a country.

Several decades of neglect and disinterest by its politicians, boosted by six years of misguided, politically motivated under-financing have brought this country to the edge, and maybe already beyond.

This country has made the amazing jump from an industrialized first-world nation to a third-world cleptocracy where compassionless, corrupt politicians are only interested in lining their pockets and where poor people are told to go and die in a dark corner, preferably out of sight.

The signs are now everywhere and while an underinformed population has done their very best to ignore the state of the nation they are living in, the signs are now uncomfortably, glaringly bright.

Here are a few signs just from the last week of what is to come...

In the Bay Area, one of the richest corners of the country, primary schools are being closed.

In Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama more than 90,000 families are sitting in FEMA travel trailers - essentially a big aluminium can - two weeks before the 2006 hurricane season.

In Detroit, GM is announcing that layed off workers are now being replaced with temps who will work without pension plans or health insurance.

In New York, the 9/11 memorial is still non-existant nearly five years after the terror attack, but estimates for just the memorial have reached more then one billion dollars.

A study has shown that the newborn death rate in the US is at about the same level as Malta, Poland and Latvia.

The US government has annonced that they will build a wall along parts of the Mexican border and a majority of the Republican party seems to favor some sort of "solution" for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants. The far right wing has started to look for inspiration in the history of Nazi Germany for a "final solution".

Thousands of veterans of the Iraq war have come back home wounded and had to pay for lost equipment - and then they found themselves homeless on the streets of the United States.

Millions of seniors have not signed up for the new Medicare system. The deadline has now run out and the President said the there would be no deadline extension to teach these people a lesson.

A report on bird flu readyness has made it clear that the federal government will not offer any financial support to the states in case of an outbreak.

The levees in New Orleans have been repaired to the same level of readyness as just before they broke last year. This is supposed to be a good thing.

The Vice President is now officially implicated in the CIA spy scandal that has already brought an indictment for his assitant.

This is just a selection of the headlines from the last week or so, and there would be a lot more if I would have any energy left to write these things down...

So what can we do? I don't have solutions for all these problems, but I'd suggest that if this list sounds worrysome to you too, then maybe it's time to become politically active. Vote. Become a candidate. Support a candidate actively (but check their background first. Hell, just check their weight - if they look like they've been having dinner with lobbyists for the last year, chances are that they did.)

This autumn there is a chance to deliver both houses of Congress to the Democrats. Some of them are not much better than the Republicans they are about to replace, but this is not about who is better, this is about putting the fear of losing into both parties.

If they think they could lose everything, they will listen.

© 1998 - 2022 Thomas Sturm