In the run-up to the fall elections I have been thinking a lot about the way things are these last few years. In short, it's been agony.

Our nation was attacked, and we were not protected, it appears, by a competent government. So we started two wars and mangled both. Thousands of foreign civilians are dead because of our worldview. Our soldiers are wounded, dead and dying daily. Our "values" are despised. We are more at risk from "terror" than before the Iraq War started. We went from a budget surplus to a massive debt. Taxes were cut nicely for the very rich and barely at all for the huge majority of Americans. Hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost to offshore workplaces, never to return. Health care costs cripple all but the very rich. We spy freely on our citizens and neighbors with no oversight. We are in the process of legalizing torture - and how appalling is that? Lobbying reform is a joke. Legislators are still for sale, and this same government pays journalists to propagandize it's own citizens. Congress is trying to abandon Social Security and Medicare as we know it and our voting machines were hacked. And then there's Katrina.

It is so sad. The wonderful exercise in democracy and human rights that is the United States of America is nearly gone. These last short years illustrate how we have lost our way. We are corrupted and corrupt. We are torturers.

We have to wake up. We have to be attentive to what is being done in our nation's name and what is being done to our own citizens. We need to be a moral and upright member of planet Earth. We need to change our path. We need to do the right thing. And we all know what that is: love thy neighbor as thyself and act accordingly.

Anna Kneeland

Wallowa

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