Terry Cummins

Terry Cummins

We’ve got troubles, my friends, big troubles in every river city, on all the fruited plains and up every bulldozed purple mountaintop. We’ve got economic, religious and political troubles. Throw in the war, the weather and the obesity problem and it all seems insurmountable. But don’t throw in the towel, because there is hope and yes we can. The three presidential candidates have promised change, big change with rivers flowing with hope, purple mountains returned to green and equal justice on the every plain.

Yes we can, if getting our systems to work. Look at the democratic system and, specifically, the political party system. It’s broke, but that’s nothing new. The Democratic Party is caught up in too many caucuses on too many Super Tuesdays with too many super delegates as the Republican Party relies on Super John.

The economic system is also shot. We’re deeply in debt, on the verge of stagflation and the dollar is weak. But don’t move to Zimbabwe where it takes 25 million of their dollars to buy a single U.S. dollar. Theirs is now worth $.000000004. Ours is worth about $.0004. It’s enough to make you worry, but don’t get nervous. It makes the stock market nervous causing it to drop like 20 percent from its recent high.

The price of oil, corn and gold are at record highs. The lowest cost of any yellow substance comes from the sun. But its shine is spotty. Although burning so much oil, which supposedly causing global warming, the mean world temperature this year has been the coldest in 26 years, but the Scandinavian countries have had the warmest winter on record. And New York recently had a heat wave. The governor had to pay a professional over $4,000 for an hour’s service, and her job is about the only one where you can make a killing. The governor’s system didn’t work and our housing system is about as bad.

You can’t sell a house, heat it or eat it, and the foreclosure rate is the highest in history. If you have a job, keep it. But if they decide to let you go, demand a severance like the $750,000 paid to the Indiana basketball coach. One way to stop him from lying and cheating. Another government worker in Indiana wasn’t so lucky. He was fired for an ethics violation when he accepted cookies from a bakery owner instead of cash for copies of a divorce decree.

The healthcare system is a shambles. It’s gotten to the point where sufferers are switching to placebos. A recent MIT study found that “a $2.50 dummy pill reduces pain much more effectively than the exact same pill when patients believe it costs just 10 cents.” Always try to get your money’s worth.

The cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are now running $12 billion a month, but we don’t seem to mind sending resources abroad. Ford Motor has spent the last 30 years moving its factories out of the country, because it couldn’t pay American wages. Ford lost $9 billion last quarter. Toyota has built 12 plants in the US during the past 30 years and had a $4 billion profit during the same quarter. We export tech jobs overseas, but import workers to mow and roof. We send soldiers overseas to keep terrorists away, but use a fence to secure the south.

Congress and the president don’t agree on any system. The president wants to have the option to waterboard prisoners. Since when has a terrorist told the truth? Our prison system is working though, if locking up one of every hundred citizens is considered a success.

There’s also an ongoing political fight over the federal eave-dropping system. Currently, the National Security Agency can legally search for “patterns” in case you’re plotting something. They can intercept your e-mails and search the sites visited on the Internet. They can track your phone calls and collect information about your bank accounts, wire transfers and credit card use. If you fly, NSA knows where.

We’ve got troubles, and I’ll have trouble voting for any of the presidential candidates. How can we trust anyone, who promises to get us out of the messes we’re in?

On second thought, I’ll vote. I’ll mix government with my religion. Can’t buy into bin Laden’s claim that, “We love death. The U.S. loves life. That’s the big difference between us.” Our systems seldom work, but they’re better than all the rest.

Terry Cummins once had a system. Contact at TLCTLC@AOL.com

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