Creativity Magazine

Distress Signal

By Vickilane
Distress Signal
The  United States Flag Code, Title 4, Ch.1
8(a) The flag should never be displayed with the union down except as a symbol of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
To my elected representatives:

What is happening to our beloved country? Our President has as his closest adviser Steve Bannon, an anti-Semitic, xenophobic icon for white supremacists, a man who suggests that the media keep quiet. Our President has a special Minister of Propaganda, excuse me, Special Counselor who deals in ‘alternative facts.’ (N.B. There are facts and there are lies. There is no such thing as an alternative fact.) As a member of the loyal opposition, I feel the need to express that opposition. But where to begin? The President is signing those executive orders as if it’s Sweeps Week and he wants to make sure he’s got the most viewers. I can hardly keep up with listing the actions and omissions that concern me and that I wish would also concern my elected representatives. Let me start with the President’s refusal to release his taxes and his multiple conflicts of interest which, so far, seem to be ignored as well as the similar conflicts that pertain to his various appointees.  And the appointees themselves, in almost every case, are foxes set to guard a chicken house. Ms. DeVos, an advocate for charter schools with no experience with public schools seems poised to dismantle our educational system.  Mr. Tillerson’s business ties to Russia make him a dubious choice for dealing with this old adversary.  Rick Perry and Ben Carson appear to be singularly unprepared for the positions they are expected to fill. Mr. Mnuchin’s use of offshore tax havens, as well as his failure to disclose almost $ 100 million in assets, not to mention his previous status as a Goldman Sachs executive make him a particularly cynical choice for Secretary of the Treasury. Another cynical choice is Mr. Puzder for Secretary of Labor. As a fast food executive, Puzder has opposed the overtime rule, opposed a minimum wage, and underpaid his own workers. American workers won’t have him on their side – but their bosses will. Putting Mr. Pruitt, a close ally of the fossil fuel industry and longtime foe of the EPA, in charge of the EPA, our national safeguard against fouled water and air, is especially horrifying. Shall we look forward to air quality like China’s cities, rivers so polluted they burn, water that is undrinkable? Everyday seems to bring a new horror. A push to defund Planned Parenthood --- despite the fact that government money does not pay for any of the abortions performed there (a minuscule, but necessary part of their mission) and despite the demonstrably excellent work PP does in providing birth control, STD testing, cancer screening, and other services.  A gag rule on discussing abortion in overseas clinics that provide vital care to poor women. (The sight of that order being signed as a roomful of rich old white men nod approvingly makes me want to gag.) Then there’s that wall. The preposterous cost and dubious efficiency of such a barrier make it a foolish enterprise. That money would be better spent on our roads and bridges, schools and hospitals. Which brings me to the ACA. Yes, it’s flawed. But to repeal it without a replacement leaves far too many Americans without insurance. Stop calling it Obamacare and maybe you won’t hate it so much. Replace it with Medicare for all and name it after yourselves. The list is longer than I have time to write  – longer than you’d be likely to read, if indeed you’ve read this far. But I must add the most recent affront to what America stands for – the ban on Muslim refugees from certain war torn countries.  A ban which does not, by the way, include countries where the President does business, nor the country where the 9-11 terrorists originated. A ban which has left students and refugees stranded in airports, a ban which hit one Iraqi who had worked for American interests for years, who had his visa in hand, his business and belongings sold, and only to find he was being denied entry into the country for which he had risked everything. Was it a coincidence that this ban was signed on Holocaust Remembrance Day? Was this Steve Bannon’s middle finger to the world? But I digress.  I implore my representatives to halt this juggernaut of bad judgment that is destroying our country and turning a would-be shining city on a hill into a swamp of nepotism, cronyism, and egotism. For the love of all that truly makes America great, consider what you’re doing.

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