FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Zombified America

by MICHAEL LEONARDI

My daughter is 4 and she goes to school in this country of the United States. My wife and I are seriously contemplating leaving for her safety, not only from the sporadic violence but from the toxicity of poisoned air and water and land and the incredible emotional burden it is putting on us. Is there anywhere left to go on this Earth, to escape the bloody grip of the militarization, violence and contamination of our global economy coupled with the broadening societal psychosis? These United States have a policy of killing children around the world, at least in many other parts of the world life is held to be far more sacred, where here it too often seems that we are reduced to numbers of dead and collateral damage.

Today I was dealing with the county welfare office where there are a good number of young people who entered the field of social work in hopes of helping people. Each case worker is responsible for 700 families and these young people that are trying their best to help people are reduced to dealing with damage control in a system that is an overburdened, underfunded nightmare. I have learned that to receive assistance in the state of Ohio you must work at least 35 hours a week and that this work is paid barely minimum wage that does not allow people enough to survive in one of the poorest cities in America — Toledo, Ohio. Here in Toledo about 60 people have been killed by guns this year — mostly young people.

In this city and its surrounding suburbs there are many that claim we are blessed by the likes of British Petroleum Corporation, First Energy Corporation, Chrysler Corporation, Detroit Edison Corporation, that provide under 3 percent of the regional population good paying jobs to poison our air and water. It is said by our politicians that nuclear power, refining oil, burning coal, and making cars are what makes our city strong.

When I was dealing with the welfare office today, I finally spoke to a young woman who was very helpful after waiting on hold for over half an hour — the average wait time when calling Jobs and Family Services. When I asked her name she explained that for security reasons they were not allowed to give out names on the phone because people have been tracked down on facebook and threatened. She was number 63. I don’t want my daughter to grow up to be a number in a society that does not value life, human life, or the rest of the natural world to which we should be so integrally linked.

In Italy recently there has been a major movement developing around this concept of respect for life. This movement is also happening in Japan and India and Egypt and Gaza and Canada and Pakistan and many other places where people have had enough. I know Italy because my daughter was born there. Workers have walked out the largest steel plant in Europe because they do not want to choose between a good paying job and the risk of their child developing early childhood leukemia and dying a miserable death as many children in the town surrounding this plant have been. The United States has a major military base nearby as they do in many areas of Italy. The bankers at the helm of the country are attempting to overrule the judges, the citizens and the workers that want this plant shut down. The United States military has been dumping radioactive waste around Italy, most recently near the northern city of Trieste.

In the United States of America there is such a movement but it is tiny as the society suffers from a myopic and sickly depression. Many are drugged into oblivion on antidepressants fed to them by criminal Pharmaceutical companies that part own our government along with the military and energy companies that keep everyone thinking that all is gonna be just fine again soon. In this country many children are drugged from a very early age. and the rest of the world thinks this is a sickening madness. Those that aren’t clinging to sick care seem content to pretend that nothing is seriously wrong, while still others feel powerless in the face of it all and do nothing. In this country many children are drugged from a very early age. The rest of the world thinks this is a sickening madness. You would be hard pressed to find any child on Ritalin in most countries. It is as if America has been zombified.

Shortly after the Columbine shootings president Clinton said that “we need to teach our children to resolve conflicts without violence.” Today Obama cried as many of us have. These presidents uphold a system of killing around the world. Bombs drop in Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, from our unmanned drones killing children regularly. These are some excerpts of Michael Moore’s film that hold many truths still today,

“At the U.S. Air Force Academy, south of Littleton, we see a shell of a B-52 bomber as a memorial to the North Vietnamese people it killed on Christmas Eve, 1972. Then Michael Moore’s voice-over continues, as we see images of Rocky Flats, where weapons-grade plutonium was manufactured—now a vast toxic waste dump. A few miles away is NORAD, buried in Cheyenne Mt., the center of all nuclear weapons control in case of a World War. Then Michael Moore notes that once a month Lockheed transports one of its completed missiles on the highways of Littleton—late in the night. Moore’s voice-over: “—passing nearby Columbine High School. The rockets are transported in the middle of the night, while the children of Columbine are asleep.

CHAPTER 10: COLUMBINE

16. Graphic on the screen: “April 20, 1999.” Shots of the bombing of Kosovo, completed by NATO. Graphic on screen: “Largest one day bombing by U.S. in Kosovo War”—a title that’s more than a little misleading. Then file footage of dead villagers killed when bombs were accidentally dropped on their village. Cut to Pres. Clinton, who says, “We are striking hard at Serbia’s machinery of repression.” Then we hear a foreign correspondent’s voice saying “on the hit list were a hospital and a local primary school.” Graphic on the screen: “One Hour Later.” We see President Clinton again. “We all know there has been a terrible shooting in a high school in Littleton, Colorado. I hope the American people will be praying for the students, and the parents, and the teachers.””

This country has a long way to go to healing and until the chains of slavery to a neoliberal police state are shaken, the process will not have even begun.

Michael Leonardi lives in Toledo, Ohio. 

Michael Leonardi lives in Toledo, Ohio and can be reached at mikeleonardi@hotmail.com

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
A Blow for Peace and Democracy: Why the British Said No to Europe
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
Jeffrey St. Clair
Lines Written on the Occasion of Bernie Sanders’ Announcement of His Intention to Vote for Hillary Clinton
Norman Pollack
Fissures in World Capitalism: the British Vote
Paul Bentley
Mercenary Logic: 12 Dead in Kabul
Binoy Kampmark
Parting Is Such Sweet Joy: Brexit Prevails!
Elliot Sperber
Show Me Your Papers: Supreme Court Legalizes Arbitrary Searches
Jan Oberg
The Brexit Shock: Now It’s All Up in the Air
Nauman Sadiq
Brexit: a Victory for Britain’s Working Class
Brian Cloughley
Murder by Drone: Killing Taxi Drivers in the Name of Freedom
Ramzy Baroud
How Israel Uses Water as a Weapon of War
Brad Evans – Henry Giroux
The Violence of Forgetting
Ben Debney
Homophobia and the Conservative Victim Complex
Margaret Kimberley
The Orlando Massacre and US Foreign Policy
David Rosen
Americans Work Too Long for Too Little
Murray Dobbin
Do We Really Want a War With Russia?
Kathy Kelly
What’s at Stake
Louis Yako
I Have Nothing “Newsworthy” to Report this Week
Pete Dolack
Killing Ourselves With Technology
David Krieger
The 10 Worst Acts of the Nuclear Age
Lamont Lilly
Movement for Black Lives Yields New Targets of the State
Martha Rosenberg
A Hated Industry Fights Back
Robert Fantina
Hillary, Gloria and Jill: a Brief Look at Alternatives
Chris Doyle
No Fireworks: Bicentennial Summer and the Decline of American Ideals
Michael Doliner
Beyond Dangerous: the Politics of Climate
Colin Todhunter
Modi, Monsanto, Bayer and Cargill: Doing Business or Corporate Imperialism?
Steve Church
Brexit: a Rush for the Exits!
Matthew Koehler
Mega Corporation Gobbles Up Slightly Less-Mega Corporation; Chops Jobs to Increase Profits; Blames Enviros. Film at 11.
David Green
Rape Culture, The Hunting Ground, and Amy Goodman: a Critical Perspective
Ed Kemmick
Truckin’: Pro Driver Dispenses Wisdom, Rules of the Road
Alessandro Bianchi
“China Will React if Provoked Again: You Risk the War”: Interview with Andre Vltchek
Christy Rodgers
Biophilia as Extreme Sport
Missy Comley Beattie
At Liberty
Ron Jacobs
Is Everything Permitted?
Cesar Chelala
The Sad Truth About Messi
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail