Opinion/Editorial
CONFLAGRATION

The world outside of Lake Geneva, and the rest of Wisconsin, is not at all like the world inside Lake Geneva and the rest of Wisconsin. Out there, beyond the borders of Lake Geneva, police forces carry on their duties in military attire, with masks, no name tags, automatic weapons every ready and an attitude wherein ‘protect and serve’ disappeared in the rubble of the twin towers. Beyond the borders of Wisconsin and the United States, the largest armadas of doom and destruction ply the seas and inhabit military bases around the world, now too numerous to count. The United States, and much of the world, is armed beyond all reason, and without regard to what their status was just over a hundred years ago. Since 9/11 there has been only war, and the threat of war, brought to everyone’s attention when there was no other more pressing news. Elections have come and gone, but nothing has changed out there, except for the addition of ever more armament and budgetary increases.

There is no vast amassing of resources to go out into space and explore the solar system, and discover the worlds and stars beyond. There is no great program to explore the depths of the oceans, or even to dig deeper into scientific discoveries of great worth. Cancer is as cancer always has been, and there’s been no new pain medication invented since opiates came on the scene. Prison budgets now outstrip education budgets, and public schools (where nearly all American children used to attend) are being shut down in favor of private charter schools, where the children of the wealthy are favored. And while these changes in priorities are building and expanding, trillions of dollars are being spent to increase our ability to kill other people, and to keep them from killing us.

Nothing has really changed at home, and the one thing that’s truly remained the same, no matter what the names of the ‘party affiliation’ is, is the nature of the social forces competing with one another over resources. The resources are better termed “money”. In general, those with money have gathered together, calling themselves republican, while those who don’t have as much money call themselves democrats. As the years have gone by, only the party names have changed. The people who have the money don’t want those who don’t have it to get it. And the people who don’t have the money want to get it, badly. This single force, two movements disguised as belief systems, operate in bifurcated opposition with respect to almost everything.

The United States is at war with some forces (the names change) in the Middle East, as it has been since 2001. It is at war with some geographic parts of the Middle East (again they change), and that has also been ongoing since 9/11. The old Cold War with the Russians went away, and the military industrial complex had to replace its funding with something, or risk being minimized to an ancillary defense force akin to the Coast Guard. This complex came back in spades. Their response being the single most brilliant and effective disinformation and propaganda effort ever undertaken by man. The result has been the continued rise of spending on military toys and people continuously, at a time when the need for these things should have tailed off and gone the other way. The United States alone has spent more money on retired nuclear missile-firing submarines (that have never fired a shot) then it has on all of the nation’s elementary schools’ funding. It pays out more money every year for foreign bases and aircraft carrier fleets, then it pays for building and repairing freeways, highways, bridges, trains and airports combined. The current administration, with its newly promised increase in military funding, will spend more on the United States military than the entire rest of the world combined. But it won’t be enough. It will never be enough, until those who have money (the owners of this military industrial complex) can be brought under control.

In Lake Geneva, life is idyllic. There are no terrorists, except maybe those drunken citizens coming out of Thumbs Up or Champs at two in the morning on Saturday nights to go to The Sugar Shack. There is almost no crime. There is no protesting in the streets, or any other places. There is no police brutality and the fire department has no end of volunteers to staff it.

The state of Wisconsin itself had a democratic governor who didn’t do much while he was governor and now the republicans have a governor who does even less. No harm no foul. Lake Geneva.

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