George Graham

Those Whom the Gods Would Destroy They First Make Mad

As Euripides is supposed to have said but didn’t, when the gods wish to destroy you they first make you crazy. If the ancient saying is right, the gods must be planning to destroy us all – or the vast majority of us anyway. Consider the evidence:

Man-made pollution is precipitating climate change that is about to wreak havoc on the face of the earth and the world’s leaders are bickering over band-aid “solutions” that appear to lack the support even they would need to get implemented.dubai

The world’s financial system teeters on the brink of collapse – again. This time it’s because Dubai (photo at right) can’t pay its massive debt on time.

America is awash in red ink, health care reform has foundered, nearly 50 million Americans are hungry and uninsured, a voracious elite is hogging more and more of the country’s resources, wiping out the middle class and swelling the ranks of the jobless, and a few big institutions are making obscene profits while dozens of community banks go under.

Home foreclosures have hit a record high in the U.S. and experts estimate that next year will be even worse. As bankruptcies surge across the board, several U.S. states, including California, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Wisconsin, are on the edge of economic disaster.

Homelessness is rising at an unprecedented rate in America, and families with children are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. A recent government study predicts that half of all U.S. children will need food stamps at some time in their lives.

The U.S. gun  industry cannot meet the demand for weapons and ammunition as militia groups proliferate and an increasing number of citizens arm themselves in preparation for anticipated civil unrest.tiger

And what is the burning question of the day?

Did golf legend Tiger Woods have a fight with his wife over that nightclub hostess before driving into a fire hydrant (and tree) the other night?

I am not joking.

As AlterNet.com’s David DeGraw writes in a disconcerting review of the state of the nation, “American society is coming apart at the seams.” He sums up the situation this way:

You have a population of 50 million people who are in desperate need of money, they most likely have no health insurance and can’t afford to get health care or help of any kind. Part of this population probably also has loved ones who can’t get life sustaining medical treatments, or loved ones who have already died due to lack of costly medical treatment. The clock is ticking loud for these people and they are running out of options fast, and time delayed is time closer to death.

While the richest 1 percent have never had it so good, a significant percentage of the U.S. population now has firsthand experience in this. Millions upon millions of Americans are poor, broke, struggling, starving, desperate… and armed.

We are sitting on a powder keg!

Meanwhile, the U.S. President so many of us put our faith in seems to be deserting us. He is about to commit thousands more troops to a ruinous adventure in Afghanistan and has apparently bought the argument that what’s good for Wall Street is good for America. In an article for Truthout, Jeff Cohen predicts an alliance between President Obama and the Republicans. Cohen observes that:

As he (Obama) glides from retreats on civil liberties to health reform that appeases corporate interests to his Bush-like pledge this week to “finish the job” in Afghanistan, an Obama reliance on Congressional Republicans to fund his troop escalation could be the final straw in disorienting and demobilizing the progressive activists who elected him a year ago.

So as the U.S. – and the world – hurtle toward catastrophe, what hope is there for change? What comfort is there in reality? It’s no wonder so many of us are abandoning sanity to focus on the charivari presented in an increasingly tabloid media.

So tell me, what was it that made Tiger jump in his car at 2 a.m. and plow into that hydrant?

About the author

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com