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The 'good old days'

MIKE GREEN

Every generation looks back and reminisces about, “the good old days”

The looking back is often prompted by the notion that things aren’t as good today as they once were With even a cursory glance, Americans can look around and see within our society just how bad things are getting Still, no matter how bad things get here, we always feel like we’re in a better place than anyone else on earth

We constantly tell ourselves how much better off we are than “those people over there” The places at which we look down our noses could be most anywhere, depending upon which American is providing his or her perspective on how great it is here compared to “over there” We’ve become so accustomed to our own ways that when we look around the globe, especially through the prism of political perspectives, inevitably we come to the same conclusion: Americans are simply better people than any other society on the planet

It’s hard to argue with such a premise

After all, we give more money away than any other country We come to the rescue of other nations while risking the lives of our brave men and women of the armed forces in order to overcome the forces of evil that threaten our friends Americans have the freedom to speak whatever is on our minds without fear of the government monitoring every word We have the ability to worship as we desire, without being forced to conform to any religious faith And Americans also have one of the highest standards of living in the world We are a wonderful, civilized society that moves ever closer toward equality for all with each passing day

For all intents and purposes, the great American experiment has succeeded This is what we think in order to contradict the evidence that speaks to the reality of life in America

Yet, like a spoiled rich kid who has everything and perceives himself better than everyone else, by measure of his wealth and stature, Americans also measure our nation by the same standard Because when measured by the foundations of character, America finds itself severely lacking, and yearns for days gone by presumably for a time our nation once held a higher moral standard than today

Those were the “good old days”

Well, those mythical days may be considered “good” if you deliberately ignore the glaring beacon of truth that lights the deeply pockmarked pathway along which this nation has traveled

The truth is tough to disguise It can be hidden for a while; but then it leaves a glowing trail for all to see, if we should only turn and look back at where our footsteps have fallen The direction of those prints also provide us with a global positioning of where we are today within a spectrum that spans the length from evil to good

And we quickly discern from our past that we, as a nation, have barely progressed at all

We were evil back then and we’re still evil today

Oh, sure, if we determine the parameters to be solely what we wish them to be, and then compare ourselves to specific nations that we deem to be less worthy than America, it appears we are a righteous people, blessed by God Almighty

But the truth reveals a slightly less lofty perch

A history lesson may be a bit boring for those of us who cannot contain ourselves for a few minutes to be bothered with such trivialities as past events which cannot be changed However, history opens a doorway of understanding and allows the light of truth to reveal hidden secrets And we don’t have to travel too far back in American history to find a place where we can begin moving back to the future

1865 the aftermath of the Civil War

I imagine not many Americans would consider the several hundred years of slavery, rapes, torture and deaths of innocent peoples a part of what we would consider, “the good old days” Certainly there were good things occurring within that time period prior to the Civil War that helped to bring it to an end, but it most surely could not, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered “good” overall by the many generations of tortured peoples who lived and died under the cruelty of savage oppression within that era

I would not imagine Native Americans could find much to wax eloquent about in that time frame of American history either Mexicans who found their land overrun by illegal immigrants from the US, and eventually lost Texas altogether, might also wonder what was so “good” about that period in American history prior to the Civil War

So, perhaps we should move forward in time and look at the 100 years that followed in order to determine where the mythical “good old days” may have actually taken place in American history

In the aftermath of slavery, the country was in political, social and even economic turmoil But worst of all, it had begun a process of cutting itself off from the one root that helped breathe life into this dying nation The age of Darwinism combined with Margaret Sanger’s desire for “No God’s, No Masters,” as she would write in her newsletter aptly titled, to direct us along a godless path, secure in our secular religion that the elite among us alone knew what was best for all of us Between the two, American women began to revolt against the religious boundaries that proffered a specific sequence in which women could engage in sexual intercourse

Sex outside of marriage began to lose its societal taboo The subsequent consequences of casual sex became the new focus and priority of the women’s movement, led by Sanger

God was ushered out of the schools by the courts Morality became a personal belief, as did truth Absolutes were demolished along with the God that was believed to have created them The behavior of children, as well as adults, was determined by legal boundaries and personal choices Moral boundaries were relegated to those who were considered backward, old-fashioned and hate-filled

Progress meant leaving the moral boundaries that had forced this nation to face its demons in the past In the new days ahead, America would slip out of the petticoat and into a mini-skirt and high heels She would push life a bit quicker along the highway and live it in the fast lane

Meanwhile, science pushed aside the necessity for moral living and adhering to rules devised by an unknown entity in the sky Darwin’s theories told America that there was no God And if there was no God, there was no moral law And without moral laws, there was no reason to punish oneself by abstaining from a natural desire to engage in sex according to one’s desires And so we let ourselves plunge headlong into an age of “free love” coupled with a newly emerging drug culture that encouraged indulgence, especially in sex, to the max

The natural consequences of sexual promiscuity rendered the spread of disease Instead of America turning away from such behavior, she turned to science to reduce the problem and heal the sick, while providing her children in government schools methods of lowering their risks while engaging in the forbidden conduct

The result: families suffered

America’s “good old days” in the 20th century were not so good She suffered from rampant drug and alcohol abuse, high out-of-wedlock birth rates, widespread sexual disease, dissolution of families, soaring rates of domestic violence, and murdered bodies covered the streets of her inner cities Husbands beat their wives, sons turned against their fathers, mothers killed their own children and families fought to the death

Through it all, blacks, Asians, Native Americans, Hispanics and other darker skin races were lumped together in a catch-all category — minorities They were to be feared for one reason or another The “American Dream,” was a nightmare for many born in America as a minority But, despite the legalized and institutionalized racism and discrimination across the land — for which a Civil Rights war was fought — and the lynching and deliberate targeting of minorities throughout many decades of the 20th century, we were constantly told how much better off we were in America than anyplace else in the world

Certainly that time period could not have been considered the “good old days” for many Americans born with brown or black skin

Once again, America wasn’t attempting to rise to the potential contained within, and seeking to reach that place envisioned by those who wrote her constitution But rather she was content to compare herself to those nations that had become the scourge of the world Indeed, America herself had become a whore, prostituting her people and her land in exchange for wealth and power around the globe

America’s leaders laid down with the worst dictators in history, choosing to overthrow another fledgling democracy in the Middle East in order to install the son of an ally of Hitler upon a contrived throne of power She even sashayed next to Stalin and brokered deals with the Soviet Union and not-so-Great Britain

America sent her youth to war, ensuring them that the Stars and Stripes was a flag under which they would receive honor Those young men returned from war in the 50s, 60s and 70s traumatized by what they had seen and done only to be met by a government that scorned and abandoned them in time of need; and to this very day has long forgotten the enormous sacrifices these men paid in duty to a bunch of revolving door leaders that have lost the ability to read a moral compass

So just where are those “good old days” when America was battling evil from the side of good? How should we go about “reuniting America” when such a premise that promotes a once united America is entirely false?

Today, history repeats itself

America is involved in a dirty war in a faraway place that American citizens fear is a new threat The public is ignorant of the long-standing illicit relationship our government leaders have held with the very same people against which we wage war As long as America got her way, even the most brutal of dictators was our friend But in a moment in time, our friends became our enemies That moment for most Americans was 9/11 But the reality is that our government and its military had been engaged in war in Iraq for more than 10 years prior to 9/11 On that day the eyes of the public were opened and instantly closed again with the notion that this nation had endured an unprovoked attack upon the American people

That was a lie to provide us with a target for our grief and aggression, and provide our government with greater powers

Nothing has changed over the years Americans are still ignorant and quite trusting of our government Our leaders provide propaganda and send American children off to die, while the ignorant among us wave flags and watch our kids become dead “heroes” for a cause they cannot articulate

And today we find our military deployed in 135 of the 192 recognized nations of the world Meanwhile, our government continues to tell us that we ought to be afraid of poor, powerless people who fight from the darkness of caves and the shadows within urban communities It fuels our fears by telling us that we must kill those people “over there” or someday they might come over here

Instead of reviewing the illuminated path of history to determine the truth, we accept what our government tells us And we send more children to be sacrificed due to our ignorance and refusal to hear the truth

Today, our government says it favors torture, kidnapping, secret prisons, indefinite “detaining,” raids upon civilians in various towns and communities and acceptance of what it callously considers “collateral damage” It exerts its authority even over the American citizenry through clandestine operations perpetrated upon a trusting populace The supporters of such tyranny are largely those who consider themselves to be Christians These supporters refuse to even discuss the possibility that their gods in the government are liars Ironically, it is Christians who have the combined power to change the government that attacks its own citizens and sacrifices its own sons and daughters in illicit, illegal and immoral wars But millions of Christians have abandoned the truth and refuse to hear it

So where is America’s truth today?

It is in the CIA’s alliance with British intelligence that launched a coordinated attack to overthrow the democratic Muslim nation of Iran in 1953 in an effort to take control of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company

It is in the alliance with Saddam Hussein in 1979 in order to conduct an all-out invasion of Iran the following year, upon orders given by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning president Jimmy Carter, who told the world that the entire Middle East represented “vital interest” of the US due to two-thirds of the world’s oil being within its desert soil And, according to Carter, in order to control the flow of oil in the Middle East the US would “by any means necessary, including military force” do whatever it took

America’s truth is in the betrayal of Saddam Hussein when our government, along with Israel, provided military hardware and technology to Iran at the same time the US was allied with Iraq in an eight-year war that killed over one million Muslims It was viewed as a deliberate escalation of the war not unlike the escalation of hostilities in Iraq today that did not occur prior to US machinations in the region

The truth is in America’s pleading with Saddam to strengthen our friendship in 1990, even after his use of chemical weapons of mass destruction, which were provided to him by America herself — and even after the many atrocities Saddam committed against humanity over the course of a decade of American support

America’s truth is in the reality of sending more than a half-million US troops into the Middle East just 6 months after pleading with Saddam to be his friend, only to use the pretext of liberating Kuwait as an excuse to invade Iraq

The truth is revealed in secret alliances and secret decisions, like the one made on October 30, 1990 that gave the order to invade Iraq even before a coalition had formed, or the UN had been notified, or the American public had a clue about why we would soon be sending our kids to die in the deserts of the Middle East

America’s truth is that she is not under threat by Iran, which has never invaded another country, despite any and all rhetoric and is not a threat to the American people

America’s truth is that even while we claim that North Korea, like every other tiny country on the planet we hate, is a threat to the US, the fact is that the Korean War has never ended America still has more than 35,000 troops along the N Korean border And while our government spreads the fear of instant death among the American populace, it has helped N Korea build nuclear power plants even as we conduct powerful military exercises off N Korea’s coast every year Our government paints N Korea with the color of evil while it brokers secret deals and engages in secret wars Today, America is currently engaged in a covert war with both N Korea and Iran, even as it pretends to be open to diplomacy

The truth is that America continues to advance its military technology while casting a critical eye upon any other nation that attempts to follow suit America is the 800lb gorilla on the planet while pretending to be a damsel in distress and under constant duress It is this same tactic that has worked to easily manipulate the only people on the planet our government needs to convince of anything the American people

And the truth is that with our permission, our government has used the economic and military power of the American people to literally take over so much of the planet that Rome in its heyday couldn’t hold a candle to the American Dream of controlling the world

Today, the truth is that most Americans are slaves to the lies and the propaganda that has them under a spell of lethargic indifference And the god of government has replaced the God of Abraham and Jesus As a nation of varying peoples, the facts bear out that we don’t love one another, and we certainly do not love any people our government claims are our enemies We refuse to even take the time to give a courteous ear to hear the complaints of those at whom our government points an accusing finger To this very day, Americans refuse to even read the letter written by the Iranian president

Imagine that! An important head of state writes an appealing letter to the most powerful man in the world, challenging him on the false accusations made toward Iran, and the people of the United States refuse to even take 10 minutes of our time to pay attention to what is being discussed and debated We don’t ask, “Is this true?” And the reason we don’t endeavor to ask is because we don’t care about the answer As far as we’re concerned, only our leaders are capable of convincing us of anything Anything anyone else says is irrelevant

Truth does not exist outside of this country for many Americans

Still despite evidence to the contrary, today we hold tight to the notion that there had to be “good old days,” when nowhere in our past does such an era of time exist for this nation as a whole

Perhaps for those of us who lived in ignorant bliss, we may recall a time of wonderment, peace and tranquility a time when life was simpler

But the truth is, during the times when citizens were enthralled with the way things were, the government was exploiting and expanding its power, while creating and implementing new secret agencies within its executive branch that operated with impunity and a license to kill worldwide

Today, few Americans know and understand the true power of our government Few Americans are aware of the numerous secret departments of our government structure and the power over life and death they each hold

And given the numerous distractions in marketing, music, fashions, Hollywood etc, the ultimate truth is that most Americans today truly do not care to know the truth For many of us, this time right now is considered “the good old days”

To respond to this column send email to mgreen@dailytidingscom Only those responses containing the writer's name, city and phone number (for verification purposes only) will appear on our site Mike Green is an award-winning columnist and author of, "The WHOLE truth about the US War — on Terror: answers to every question you never knew to ask

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