Friday, July 18, 2014

Out of Control

I have a sickening and frightening feeling that most everything is out of control and apparently no one has the power or authority to bring things under control, or, if they do, they are refusing to act. As a first relatively simple, example, consider Darrell Issa. Mr. Issa seems to suffer from some form of subpoena disease or compulsion. During his tenure as head of an investigating committee he has issued 99 suboenas, far more than his three predecessors combined, and shows no signs of stopping this torrent of highly questionable subpoenas, his latest being issued for no apparent reason at all (except for his dubious contention that one does not need any particular reason for issuing one). This has been going on for several years. No one seems able to stop him. Speaker of the House, John Boehner, probably has the authority to stop him but as he fears reprisals from the Tea Party, does not. In this particular case you might say that realistically he does not actually possess sufficient authority.

A more serious example is Israel. Israel is out of control and has been virtually since its inception. The Israelis have built illegal settlements on Palestinian land one after another, they have stolen Palestinian water, destroyed Palestinian orchards and homes, and herded more than a million into the Gaza strip where they slowly and systematically are trying to exterminate them but so far have failed to do so. You might recall a famous line spoken by actor Paul Henreid in the movie Casablanca, “Even Nazis can’t kill that fast,” a line ironically not entirely inappropriate with respect to the Gaza situation. Israel has ignored international law, the United Nations, and the entire international community as it has gone about its racist, colonial activities and no one has been able to control them. President Obama is possibly uniquely able to stop them but, as in the case of Boehner, Congress would surely not allow him to do so.

The Congress of the United States, especially the House of Representatives, is out of control and has been throughout all of Obama’s tenure in office. They simply refuse to help govern and have said a resounding “no” to everything Obama has tried to do. No one, not even public opinion, has been able to get them to act. Even the possibility they are committing political suicide doesn’t faze them in their mean-spirited attempt to destroy Obama. The Senate, too, is virtually out of control, using their Republican minority to block Obama appointees and anything else they don’t like. Harry Reid has the power to stop them by a simple changing of the rules but does not do so even though the current rules are crippling our nation.

The Presidency itself is out of control as our more recent  Presidents have unilaterally gone to war without Congressional approval and, under the tutelage of the chief torturer/murderer, Vice President Cheney, have increasingly usurped more and more power. Presumably Congress could put an end to the Chief Executives’ power grab but do not. The State Department, too, is out of control as the recent coup in Kiev makes clear. The idea that somehow they will cause a regime change in Russia through their Ukraine activities seems particularly stupid, and linking up with surviving neo-Nazis to bring this about is even more stupid and out of control.

The situation in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Iraq, are clearly out of control with so many different groups involved it is hard to know which is which or what is actually happening. And of course parts of Africa are out of control, what with Boko Haram kidnapping and slaughtering at will. There appears to be no overriding authority anywhere that can actually control human affairs. This seems to be especially true in so-called democracies where things can be out of control for long periods of time before some election might (or might not) actually bring about necessary changes.

In a very broad perspective you might argue that human affairs have been basically out of control ever since humans stopped living in small bands and in harmony with nature and their environment. You might also argue that this represents a collective and massive failure of human leadership at all levels for centuries. How else does one explain the incredible mess we have made of things?

Where there is no vision, the people perish. Proverbs 29:18

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