In 2001, there was the NYC Twin Towers incident, and it seems like every day now, we have a gun shootout somewhere in the USA. Has our country gone to the dogs?
Maybe it should! Why? Dog owners must walk them several times a day to exercise them, bond with them, and socialize them. If owners didn't walk their dogs on a regular basis, their pets will build up pent-up energy, become neurotic, and violent. So if we as a society demonize certain dog breeds, owners are forced to keep them out of sight - essentially locking them up, then our ultimate fears become a self-fulfilling prophesy! When we encounter a dog face-to-face, dogs can smell and sense our current disposition, our fears, and sometimes even our illnesses! Dogs can tell if we don't like them. Perhaps BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) - a policy of demonizing specific dog breeds is simply a reflection of the dysfunction of our society - our fears are making us sick!
What is our country's mental disposition? Our wealth has made us arrogant people: we built gated communities, almost every home has a garage door opener, the US Postal Service started ripping out postal boxes from neighborhoods. Today, there is no need, or even the opportunity, to meet our neighbors anymore. In fact, our neighborhoods don't even have garden parks anymore, yet we call them communities. Neighborhoods reflect simply proximity, whereas communities are supposed to reflect relationships, yet we have no relationships - we live in an anti-social society (an oxymoron)! Today Homeland Security and TSA treat every human being like terrorists, while we are sending troops to terrorize the world in a global crusade - a Global War of Terror.
The greatest threat to our security is actually massive global destruction of the Earth, such as the 2010 BP Gulf of Mexico disaster. But is America doing anything to relinquish its dependence upon oil? Is America building an ecologically sustainable society? Hardly! Hospitals and government buildings have barricades like fortresses - they won't allow bike lanes because they fear lawsuits. Schools won't allow bicycle lanes near schools because they fear lawsuits. Despite the fact that automobiles are much more dangerous than bicycles, freeway department won't allow bicyclists and pedestrians near freeways because they fear lawsuits. Too unsafe to ride bicycles to school, too unsafe for kids to play in the street. We are afraid they may get kidnapped if we let them play in the forest. If children no longer have the opportunity to play in the mud, feel the soil, the leaves, the bugs, the water, and the earth, they no longer have a connection to the Earth. Then when they grow up, they enter a school, shopping center, etc... and blow everyone's brains out because they weren't properly socialized!
How can we re-connection with the Earth? First, let us admit to ourselves, "WE ARE NOT AT WAR!" There can be no war on terror, war on poverty, war on drugs, war on hunger, war on ___, IF WE CHOOSE NOT TO MAKE WAR! Let's abandon this "war" mentality! When all is said and done, if we disband our armies, tear down the fortress walls, let dogs be dogs, and kids be kids, nature will restore itself!
The greatest dream for the San Francisco Peninsula cities is called the Grand Boulevard Initiative, which is essentially to restore El Camino Real to a lively and livable multi-modal boulevard combining bikes, pedestrians, and other forms of transportation together. But this project is just a pipe-dream unless the residential neighborhoods can connect to this Grand Boulevard. The City/County Association of Governments estimates that San Mateo County will need approximately $300 million to connect all the bike trails together, but all funding has been combined under the One Bay Area Grant (OBAG), and total funding amounts to approximately $6.5 million over the next four years ($1.75 million per year). So it was no joke when SamTrans project manager Corrine Goodrich revealed in the SF Examiner 2012/12/20 that it will take at least 60 years (if ever) before the Grand Boulevard can be realized.
As it stands, about 90% of taxpayer funds is collected by the Federal Government, and the remaining 10% is collected by the States. The idea is that Congress is best to judge where our funds should best be directed. So their "grants" are not gifts at all, but funds belonging to the American taxpayers. Unfortunately, they are wasting the majority of our funds waging foreign wars. One "smart" bomb allegedly cost about $60 million, so the amount of funds to put a load of 6 bombs is enough to connect all the bike trails in San Mateo County. But US Government claims it is needed to rebuild Iraq or Afghanistan instead. If we don't even know how to build communities within the USA, how can we possibly rebuild cities in foreign countries?
US Government justifies all their military expenditures of the last decade on 9/11, claiming that Osama bin Laden attacked the USA. But who was Osama bin Laden? He was an individual that the US Government funded to fight the Russians in Afghanistan in the 1980's. Us Government claimed Saddam Hussein was also involved in 9/11, that he had WMD. But who was Saddam Hussein? He was in individual that the US Government installed in Iraq to counter Iran after Iranians stormed the US Embassy in Teheran in late 1970's. If these people were former US agents, did they turn on us, or did we turn on them? If US finally did kill Osama bin Laden, why are US troops still in Afghanistan? Perhaps it is because of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Pipeline!
Is it a coincidence that SF MTC and the taxi industry are abandoning battery powered vehicles SF Examiner 2013/02/13 after Obama rescinded his support for electric vehicles, claiming it is infeasible? Is it a coincidence that SF Public Utilities Commission has just announced that it is rescinding their support for solar SF Examiner 2013/02/24? Perhaps it is not a lack of technical ability, but simply a lack of political will!
When PG&E put Proposition 16 on the 2010 CA ballot to restrict the people's energy choices, we the people saw through their deception, and had to show them what we truly wanted! If the USA is a democratic country, we the people must again show our elected officials what quality of life we want, what kind of energy we use, and where we get it from. The question is not whether we value security versus liberty, but how can we maintaining liberty while building security? If we want oil and gas, we prefer the status quo - centralized power. If it is solar, we prefer decentralized power. Unfortunately, those who seek the most control are those who lack the most self-control.
Let us learn a lesson from wild animals. Cheetahs are naturally skittish creatures, but when one is raised with a dog, it learns to trust a dog. Once its canine companion senses something amiss, the cheetah vanishes. But if its canine companion relaxes, it too learns to relax. If we Americans learn to trust foreigners, and accept others as ourselves, like cheetahs learn to trust dogs, perhaps we will see that giving up control actually gives us more security. Only when we realize that will we finally find peace within ourselves!