Congress has been hijacked by corporate America and its enforcers, the imperial military machine. - Gore Vidal 2003
Congress has been hijacked by corporate America and its enforcers, the imperial military machine. – Gore Vidal 2003

We’ve been living in the Continental United States for nearly 7 months now and are still in shock. It is really hard for us to be here and see how the quality of life has eroded. The problems and their solutions seem so obvious and so simple, yet the majority of people seem oblivious to them.

Most people work longer hours, spend more time in their cars and have poorer health care. They are over-fed, undernourished, over-medicated and overly fearful. The burden of four years of war and unprecedented national debt hangs heavily around their shoulders.

I see kids playing outside in helmets and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Conventional wisdom has shifted from common sense to irrational fear. Where have all the free thinkers gone? Why have so many come to believe that the world is scary and unsafe and that for every threat, some nice company has created the perfect product or service?

There are health clubs for the lazy, cell phones for the harried, drugs for the stressed, insurance for the worried and fast food for all those times when meals must be eaten on the fly.

People drive with their lights on all day as if this were going to make them safer when in reality, it is only another way the automobile manufacturers have found to burn more fossil fuel. The roads are full of frustrated drivers, strapped in, trying to squeeze in conversations on their cell phones and occasionally sipping their designer lattes from single use cups or “safe” water from plastic (petroleum again) bottles.

What happened to make people fear their own tap water? To put it bluntly, they have been brainwashed by the media. The American consciousness has been re-shaped by the six huge corporations that control 90% of the media market.

If I had a magic wand, I would make the following changes:

  • Enact corporate reform
  • Implement election reform
  • End militarism as a way of life
  • Install single payer health care
  • Raise the minimum wage to a fair living wage
  • Lower the cost of higher education
  • Create a multi-use trail system between towns

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.