Friday, 30 September 2011

The state of America

I have concerns about that large piece of land across the Atlantic known as America. I know it’s hailed as the most powerful country in the world but….jeez...what a state its citizens are in!
America’s problems are by no means uncommon but how can a society be considered powerful when it has : the death penalty, an out of control gun culture, meagre state funded health care,  super-size portions and morbid obesity!
America is known as the land of the free so who put it in chains?
You've made your bed now lie in it!
Why does America keep its felons on Death Row for up to twenty years or more before they carry out  execution by lethal injection?
Vengeance is a dirty word  and executions are paraded as judicial revenge where sanctimonious satisfaction is afforded to the victim’s family. They get to witness the person - who took the life of their loved one (whilst in a state of derangement)- have their life taken away within the cold confines of the state penitentiary – a great way to spend family time!!

Added to which some of the crimes of inmates on Death Row are: stealing a pizza, getting stoned on drugs or to have been framed by circumstantial evidence. Where I live these are misdemeanours and gross errors of judgement – not criminal behavior to warrant being locked up on Death Row.
Hey lady...clean up your act
The gun culture is America’s bug bear. Everyone’s gotta carry one to protect themselves – from the unseen enemy. If you can’t see the enemy how can you shoot at it??
Guns harm people. They are detrimental to life and the people who mistakenly feel safer carrying them are living in a fool's paradise!When the police are armed that’s when you have something to worry about…the number of innocent civilians who wind up getting shot whilst the criminals go on the run.

Thankfully I live in a place where most police officers, on ordinary duty, are not armed. They are generally polite and call you “Sir” or “Madam”. In my humble opinion, America needs to bite its own bullets, give up the guns and then everyone will feel really safe.
Healthcare – let’s not even go there! Michael Moore (all American hero) said it all in his docu-film “Sicko”. Why can’t there be free health care in the most powerful country in the world? Why, oh why? Other smaller countries, like the one I live in, have managed it and, though it’s not a perfect system, we are confident of receiving good medical care.
Kindness - priceless medicine
Let me present the logical argument on health care. If you’re not going to provide free health care for all your citizens and expect everyone to have private health cover then don’t serve super size meals!?? This only gives rise to obesity and obese people…get…sick.
Ok, so that’s the big, gloomy picture but here’s the smaller, not-so-bright-picture:
In America, if you can’t pay your utility bills you get a red tag slapped on to your door so that the entire neighborhood knows your plight. Overdue bills come in yellow and pink envelopes – another public announcement to the postman and anyone who might see that you are in financial difficulties.  Your car can get towed away in the night and bill collectors are downright nasty people.

Debt with dignity? Yes we can!

Where I live that none of these practices for overdue/unpaid bills are in force and I speak from personal experience. I’ve been in an impoverished situation following a lengthy divorce. I was knee deep in debts – the largest being $60,000 – and yet, at no time during my negotiations with creditors, was I made to feel ashamed. In fact, I was treated with compassion and dignity.
I remain ever thankful to the companies who have given me fair repayment terms. I will be in debt for a long time but I walk with my head held high.
I feel incredibly lucky…. so where in the world do I live?
London, England is where I’m proud to call home. The British are a civilized and decent bunch.
There’s no such thing as financial certainity…our lives flow in peaks and troughs and so does our money. There’s no guarantee of life-long employment or good health. Hard times can befall anyone of us since life is a fragile thing. The State has to be aware of its obligations to safeguard human welfare. Dignity is a human right that must not be allowed to fall into a state of disrepair.
Being hard up is not a crime
America, I urge you to promote, protect and progress the charter of universal human rights -  now that's a healthy state to be in!

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