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Ignorance is bliss until reality lands on your doorstep
By Kathy Hare

My but it’s a strange world. Data is bouncing through the airwaves; you can tweet from here to China, but if you really want to know what’s going on in the world – start digging baby! Know the source, check the facts, read opposing views, and keep an open mind, because you still only know what you’ve been told.

Internet “news” can be edited, photo-shopped, or may be merely an invention of someone’s fertile mind. And every newspaper, except this one of course, comes with its own political agenda. Major television networks deliver a daily dish of pabulum; each broadcast comes complete with a crisis, followed by enemy identification and vilification. Then it’s on to those human-interest segments that leave me feeling so warm and fuzzy. Mostly fuzzy - yes, sometimes I’m downright confused. Didn’t anything happen in Europe, Asia or Africa today? Well it might have, but it’s not the network’s job to keep people informed. In fact, I have the sneaky suspicion their goal is to keep us misinformed. Ignorance is bliss after all.

So George Bush became “Public Enemy No.1” after Katrina, and Tony Hayward starred as the devil incarnate for the BP disaster. Yes, these men made themselves easy targets. But identifying an evildoer only directs the masses’ anger at an individual. Once that anger is spent, people stop worrying about the true underlying cause of these events. New Orleans was built below sea-level; so expect it to be flooded again and again until it’s finally consumed by the Gulf. Oil spills will continue to be an environmental hazard until we find an alternative energy source. These are simple straightforward facts that demand thoughtful solutions. But the “Blame Game” allows us to even ignore the laws of nature.

Now the latest bad guys are those nasty racists in Arizona. Numerous columnists and media pundits love to vilify their “Immigration Law.” While I’ve always tried to steer clear of conspiracy theories, I’m beginning to smell a rat. Because Arizona’s law, right or wrong, was a giant cry for help from a state forced to carry a burden placed on its inhabitants by the federal government.

Washington does little to stem the tide of illegals flooding the border. But the federal government demands that all states pay for the hospital visits and education of each and every individual that enters this country illegally. No matter how many apply for these services! Furthermore, when Mexico’s drug cartel battles started spilling over the border, causing murder and kidnapping rates to soar in Arizona and Texas - Washington yawned!

As for the major networks, they did warn parents that Biff and Buffy should not stray from the secure tourist areas when on Spring Break in Mexico. However, I didn’t hear a peep about the home invasions, kidnappings, or bullets flying in Arizona parking lots, until months after my relatives living in the state made me aware of the situation. And then the story received 30 seconds of airtime.

So I found myself wondering, could the hue and cry of “racists!” directed toward Arizonians be nothing more than a convenient smoke screen to hide what’s actually occurring along the border? Indeed, once the media attaches the racist label to individuals, organizations, or states, it becomes a “free-pass” to disregard their plight. And it’s ever so much easier than discussing the actual issues.

Yes, ignorance is bliss, but Mexico is exploding! People living in Arizona are all too aware of that, and have stopped waiting for help from the feds.

Given the bad economy, and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the powers-that-be probably think it’s best to keep citizens in the dark. Besides, only 18,000 people were murdered in Mexico over the last two years so we could enjoy a steady flow of recreational drugs here. The U.S. supplied 90 percent of the weapons used in those murders, and in return we received 99.5 percent of the illegal drugs produced. And while many Mexicans must look north for jobs, drug cartels pay a handsome “$100 million a month” in bribes to Mexican police and government officials to ensure our enjoyment. So what if people who live in small towns in northern Mexico are forced out of their homes so drug lords can operate closer to the source of their wealth?

During prohibition, cities such as Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia experienced most of the corruption and violence associated with the ban on any substance. Major crime syndicates and small moonshiners raked-in the cash, killed those who got in their way, and paid bribes to cops on the beat, until the ban on alcohol was lifted. However, another section of the prohibition law remained intact. Why? Some publications claim the prohibition against drugs was left in place because marijuana was the drug of choice in minority communities. Hum, now that sounds like racial discrimination to me!

Today, Mexico’s illegal drug business is the United States’ most successful “off-shore industry.” And former Mexican President Vicente Fox thinks it’s time for that to end. On Aug. 7, he wrote a blog clearly outlining what he sees as the only solution for ending the drug violence – in his country. He called for the legalization of all drugs in order to cut the drug lords off at the knees. “Legalizing in this sense does not mean that drugs are good or will not harm those who consume them…rather we must see it as a strategy to strike and break the economic structure that allows them to generate huge mafia trade gains, which in turn serve to corrupt and increase their boundaries of power,” he said.

Fox is correct, that is Mexico’s only option. It will also accomplish something else; it will ship the problem back to its source – the United States.

“Dreams From My Father,” by Barack Obama, contains the following passage; “I blew a few smoke rings, remembering those years.  Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow (cocaine) when you could afford it.”

That didn’t stop him from becoming the President of the United States. So it’s evident the drug war was lost long ago. Now only the hypocrisy, corruption and violence remains. Mexican parents buried 159 children in the last two years, all innocent victims of the drug war. They’ve paid the ultimate price for our antiquated prohibition law. These are the issues we should be discussing, but they hardly leave you feeling warm and fuzzy.

Right now there’s a “Guess the next War” game occurring on the internet. Some say it will be in North Korea, Pakistan looks like a good bet too, but Iran is the current top pick. However, I think America’s 80 year-old drug war, come home to roost, will certainly grab our attention in the near future.

Ah, but ignorance is bliss until reality lands on your doorstep.

First published in The New Falcon Herald
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