Everybody Look What’s Going Down

Wow, things are pretty crazy huh? Look at what’s going on. The Unites States is so close to going to war with Iraq, the first draft in thirty years is being proposed, there’s lots of talk in the government about nuclear weapons, international terrorism and a whole bunch of other scary things. How did things get this way? Life seems so complicated and I wonder, was it always like this? I’m not sure if when I was growing up things were this complicated. I definitely wasn’t as aware of what was going on, but were things this scary? Even if I think back just a few years towhen I was in high school, it was much easier to watch the news when I woke up in the morning. It was painless to hear about the dramatic scandal of President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, or the climactic chase and trial of OJ Simpson, rather than hearing about Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, and the start of World War III. So what is this war about anyway? Some people say it’s about the threat that Saddam Hussein poses on the world, others say it is about foreign oil and I am more inclined to believe the latter than the former. However, the thing that really gets my boots shakin’ is why we’re even trying to get oil anyway. If this planet was experiencing massive droughts and we were fighting for water, maybe it would make a little sense, but we don’t even need oil. There are so many other renewable resources we can use. A perfect example: hemp. Hemp can be used to used for fuel, paper, clothes, food and a lot of other useful products. The amount of paper produced with 40 acres of trees is the same as that which can be produced with 40 acres of hemp. The difference? Trees are essential to our life as they purify air and create habitat for wildlife. Unfortunately, they also take hundreds of years to grow. Hemp, however, is a weed, it takes nine months to grow and it is ILLEGAL to produce in the United States. Seems pretty silly, huh? We also have the technology to use many other things besides gasoline for fuel like vegetable oil, electricity, solar power, wind power, water power and even garbage. I guess what I’m trying to get across is it really seems like this country is being taken in the wrong direction. The biggest part of the government’s budget is being spent on weapons. Now, I don’t care if they want to call it a defense fund, but to me it just seems like the more weapons there are in the world, the more dangerous the world becomes. Meanwhile, while trillions of dollars are being spent on building weapons, public schools in our country have no money for supplies, thousands of Americans are living below the poverty line and are illiterate and not well-educated, many people do not have adequate healthcare coverage, on top of all this there are people in our own city that don’t have a warm home to go to and damn, Vermont is Cold! There are also a whole lot of problems around the rest of the world which I won’t go into, but just consider this fact: there are 21 “developed” countries in the world, the U.S. included. Besides the United States, the other 20 developed countries COMBINED have less money to spend on healthcare in a year than the United States spends on premium ice cream. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing on ice cream, I love ice cream, but that just puts things in a little more perspective. So much energy is being put on a war mentality, a violent mentality, one that revolves around money and greed and an economy where the abundance of one is interconnected to the impoverishment of another. Think about how much energy people daily put into thinking of the newest, most inexpensive, state of the art way to kill someone. Consider how much time and energy is put into trying to put life on a tangible map where you can pinpoint the coordinates and know exactly what everyone is going to do; not just your foreign enemies, but regular citizens of the United States. Now imagine if all that hard work, thought, time, money and energy was actually put into worthwhile things, like finding ways to improve education, healthcare, developing sustainable resources and creating new jobs and, as a bare minimum, making sure every person in the world has food to eat and a place to sleep. I really don’t know much about politics and I’m sorry if I’ve said anything I’ve been misinformed about. I just know war and violence are things the human race has been trying since it was potty-trained, and the only difference between now and then is that now we’re dealing with weapons that can destroy the entire east coast with a push of a button. Have we really ever given peace a chance? I really believe we have all the technology, resources and know-how to solve all the world’s problems. It’s just a matter of making it a reality. We can feed the entire world now; the food just needs to be distributed and it’s not being done because our economy does not support it. We are really all in this together and I truly believe that the happiness of one is directly related to the happiness of every other thing in the universe. We can make a change and not repeat our mistakes, don’t you think so? It’s time for a shift of consciousness and we need one now more than ever before. Whether it be going to protest the war, shutting off a light in your dorm’s laundry room when there is no one there, making sure you recycle everything you can or even just really listening to another person, there are lots of things to do to help each other out and make a difference. I know we can do it, and there’s no better time than now. The world is not separate from us; rather, it is us, so let’s make it beautiful. Forget hemp-with enough thought, I bet we can make a car that runs on love!