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Friday, October 23, 2009


Written by: Rick Staggenborg, MD on Feb 14, 2010 11:01 AM PST

This chapter is dedicated to Ralph Nader, champion of the oppressed who ran for President in 2004. He is known to the general public as the tireless watchdog who wrote Unsafe at Any Speed to warn America of the dangers to the consumer of reckless pursuit of corporate profit as exemplified by the rollout to much fanfare of the Edsel, which proved as dangerous as a Toyota in its day. With Bush Junior driving America straight toward a cliff, he responded with characteristic energy by mounting a Presidential campaign to get a platform to warn America about the folly of blind patriotism and jingoism in an era where greed is worshiped and the hands of the government had been handed over to soulless corporate interests.

Nader is unfairly maligned to this day for “over-reaching” and costing Gore the election. The truth is that a detailed analysis of the results of the election demonstrated that he did not cost Gore a single electoral vote. We all know that the Presidency was handed to him by an activist Supreme Court that ignored the white collar riot in Florida engineered by the same corporate powers who put them in their life tenured positions of power. It is time to let go of the grudges of the past and work together to Take Back America for the People.

Last Sunday brought us the spectacle of the Super Bowl. Millions of Americans put aside their fears for the future for one afternoon, gathering with family and friends to pay homage to men who risk life and limb in the pursuit of glory and gold. Although most of these men have no allegiance to the adoring fans who pay their salaries, they are worshipped and envied for their good fortune and hard work by fans throughout the nation, most of whom do not know or care how many of them end up penniless and often demented by the blows to the head they incur in pursuit of a paycheck.

The brain injuries these Gods of the gridiron suffer from as a result of their blind pursuit of success mirrors the effects on the average American who struggles to gain ground on an increasingly unlevel playing field. Battered by the blows of a merciless opponent who has all the advantages of wealth that enable them to field the best Senate money can buy, they have little chance of success in a globalized economy, yet struggle valiantly on, the underdog in the game of survival of the middle class. Eventually, their dogged determination is typically rewarded by crushing defeat at the hands of a gloating enemy, the corporate Puppetmasters who hired the Senators who serve as their surrogates in the game. 

The occasional hero who emerges to represent these hard working Americans is unable to turn the tide to victory, being surrounded by fools and incompetents who do not understand how to win a rigged game. Only by assembling a team of rugged outlaws will common men and women gain the Longest Yard and find a clear field to the goal line and victory for democracy.

The greatest irony is that in seeking refuge for an afternoon in the meaningless pursuit of vicarious glory, the sports fan is pouring millions of dollars into the pockets of the very corporate CEOs and greedy, shortsighted investors who brought us to the point where we feel we have to drown our sorrows in beer and tears instead of getting up and cheering for the real heroes who struggle in the Senate in vain to convince their teammates to do the job they were hired for. The corporate media and their sponsors laugh their way to the bank on Monday while we trudge wearily back to our jobs, leaving no one at home to clean up the popcorn and beer cans left on the floors of our living rooms, because every family member has to work for the family to survive.

Maybe if so-called Christians spent their Sundays in real churches instead of the church of Sunday football, we would be reminded that there is a larger community who cares about us and is willing to spend its free time working for the benefit of the least fortunate among us, who will soon be us if we do not join them.  Perhaps then they would earn the salvation that they think they have earned just by believing that Jesus is going to save them from their sloth and willful ignorance.

Who knows, maybe the Saints will come marching in. They looked pretty strong this year.

Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be
Oh Monday morning, Monday morning couldn't guarantee
That Monday evening you would still be here with me.

Monday Monday, can't trust that day,
Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be.
Oh Monday Monday, how could you leave and not take me.

Every other day, every other day,
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
you can find me cryin' all of the time.

Monday Monday, so good to me.
Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be.
Oh Monday morning, Monday morning couldn't guarantee
that Monday evening you would still be here with me.

Every other day, every other day,
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah.
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin' all of the time

Monday Monday, ...

Rick Staggenborg, MD

Founder, Soldiers For Peace International

Coos Bay, OR

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