A sermon for the choir

Listen up you godless, spineless, irrational, sushi-eating, America-blaming, terrorist-coddling, morally superior, Hollywood-humping, liberal, defeatocrat, progressive, elitist, Marxist, business-bashing, whining, pinko, tree-hugging, vegan-exalting, crackpot, sanctimonious, stem-cell-sucking, tofu-chomping, out-of-touch, pantywaist, tax-hiking, Obamaton snobs*. This is a defining moment. A tipping point. A chance such as we have never had before. A chance that we, the world, will never have again.perfect_storm

This is the moment. It will define the future of our children and generations to come. Forever. This is a planet-changing moment. Life and death serious. We have a narrow window and it will close. I fear we are going to blow it. Grab a beer and watch it on TV. Cheat this chance to make our brief moments here matter. I fear, we are going to damn ourselves to an eventual, perhaps, inevitable oblivion and take everyone with us.

You know the litany. The talking points. Stop. Think about them. This is real. A storm more perfect than facts know or fiction dreamed.  We should be in the streets.

Say these things out loud:

  • Rapid climate change is occurring; the ice caps are melting; the oceans are rising, our planet is warming.
  • The world is in a great recession – a world where more than 80% already live on less than $10 a day.
  • People are starving all over the planet.
  • More than a billion people don’t have clean drinking water; almost as many can’t read or write.
  • We have a global pandemic.
  • Iran, Pakistan and North Korea have nuclear weapons.
  • Fundamentalism, ethnic sovereignty and terrorism have made many of the world’s governments unstable.
  • Recipes for bio-weapons are on the internet.
  • Even per capita, there are more guns in the world than ever before.
  • Pollution and over-fishing have 80% of our fish stocks in danger of collapse.
  • Industrial pollution, the overuse of pesticides, antibiotics and fertilizer runoff have all species at risk.
  • Global drilling and mining cartels, most controlled by dictators, hold the world’s economy hostage – while our natural resources dwindle.
  • In the US:
    • We are in two wars – weapons spending continues to increase.
    • Our deficit will be almost $2 trillion this year and will get worse.
    • Medical care gobbles one of every five dollars and will eat more – 1 out of 3 have no health insurance.
    • Most lost half the value of their retirement and investments last year.
    • Half of us have an unemployed family member who won’t find a job this year – it is getting worse.
    • We have record numbers of bankruptcies, mortgage foreclosures and people in prison.
    • Lobbyists and campaign funds continue to control our government.
    • Our farm subsidies have destroyed small farms around the world.
    • 39 states cut 2009 spending for Medicaid, schools and other services for families (12 Southern states out of 16) – more cuts will come for years to come.
    • Our government now insures most mortgages, business and investments around the world.
    • We bailed out Wall Street.

Yet, we have the audacity of hope. A new, smart, charismatic and popular president with a majority in both houses.  Will we have the dramatic change he promised and the world needs? No reason to think so.

More troops are on their way to Afghanistan with no talk of an exit strategy.

  • CIA-guided bombings and other incursions into Pakistan are now routine.
  • Record lobby spending has regulation for Wall Street languishing as Goldman Sachs reports billions of profits on high risk investments.
  • The stimulus bill passed, but is just a band-aid to state budgets, builds too many roads we don’t need, extends some unsustainable benefits for too small a percentage of the unemployed and suffering, does little to create consumption or re-start business, and will rollout so slowly, most of us won’t notice.
  • The energy bill that passed the House and is in the Senate is an insult to all of us who wish to breath and have hope for our future – the Senate is sure to make it worse.
  • The heath care bill has been introduced in the House, but don’t expect much or soon – something is likely to pass this year, but it surely will be a another Congressional camel that sustains all that is bad (private insurance, for instance) while helping some, but not nearly enough.


It isn’t too late, but our leaders don’t think we care. They don’t believe many of us are paying attention to what they do, only to what talk TV and talk radio say about what they do. They also know our attention span is greater for Michael Jackson than for debate on Capital Hill. They know we won’t hold them accountable in the next election. They know we aren’t organized. That we are too busy worrying about having a place to live, feeding our families, updating our Facebook and ducking calls from credit card companies. They know the generation who took to the streets in the 60’s are in their 60’s. The rest of us are too busy, too lazy, too fearful, too preoccupied.

Bully Pulpit

Brother and sisters, I come before you today a shaken man. I fear our dream will turn into a nightmare. I fear the sinners on Wall Street and K Street will not repent. That the sick and suffering among us will be turned away. That the little children will continue to gather in the refugee camps to pick through the garbage. That the best and brightest will continue to die in service alongside the powerless and innocent collateral damage. I fear the new President will accept the lukewarm bills in Congress – neither hot nor cold, and not spit them out. I fear that sound from the corporate boardrooms, from the sheiks and dictators, from the oil wells to the new car show rooms, will be, “Hallelujah, we did it to them again. Praise greed almighty.”

I have seen the promised land and it is only on TV. Can I please not get an “amen”?

* Apologies for borrowing “liberally” from the Liberal Insult Generator

13 thoughts on “A sermon for the choir

  1. Dallas

    You negative SOB! You destroyed all my hope, aspiration, desperation, even.

    By the way, want to meet for lunch as usual at Manuel’s next week?

  2. Kitty

    Good heavens, I felt the walls in my room shake as I read this. I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep for a week. Even one at a time our problems seem nearly insurmountable. Condensed, as you have done here, have them teetering on the precipice of the impossible. I hope there are enough of us raising our voices in whatever forum we make for ourselves, to make your vision of Armageddon only that, a vision.

  3. Lee Leslie Post author

    These are big problems. In some form, most were here before us and most will out last us. However, I believe this (right now, this session of Congress) is the chance for us (U.S.) to shape solutions before the problems reshape us beyond recognition. I no longer wish to trust incrementalism as the method to fix what is so badly broken. Nor do I trust the benevolence of the puppeteers who control K street who control our government to solve any important issue that doesn’t first protect their interest. History teaches that the disparity between the rich and the poor (increasing here around the world) will lead to totalitarianism or revolution. The tiny safety net our society provides to some maybe all that is preventing it now. People are suffering. More people than yesterday, last month or last year. Unemployment will keep getting worse for another year. Whatever happens on peace, health care, wall street re-regulation, and the environment will take years before they have good effect. We (the world) cannot afford to watch it on TV. Get involved. Write, call and go see your government leaders. Maybe we should all go see them together.

  4. Debbie Robinson

    Amen! I like the idea of us 60’s kids taking to the streets, not for our future this time but for our grands!

  5. C Smith

    I can’t wait untill we get to vote against the incumbents of congress next year if we can hold them off that long. By the way tell Glenn Beck hello for me.

  6. Lee

    Can’t help with Glenn Beck and would never recommend Fox. Afraid my sarcasm betrayed me. I’m advocating those among us who care for our future to rise up and make or leaders seize this moment for change.

  7. Michael

    I think we’ve simply been condemned to live in ‘interesting times’ as the old Chinese adage goes. But if it gets any more interesting, I’m opting out
    Lee, I wouldn’t know what to do if you didn’t throw a sarcastic barb in the mix! I nominate you to coordinate the street demonstrations, hopefully with the appropriate amount of beer and food for accomodation.

  8. kimdegualle

    I’m always misunderstood because of my sarcasm……

    AMEN….sing it to the heavens. As I write I’m in the middle of a hornet’s nest trying to help some good people see the light….a corporate demon is corrupting their minds in this “right to work” state. They’re running for the hills as I suggest collective bargaining over crumbs from the top. Time to *&^%$(# riot, indeed.

  9. intown reader

    Amen. Tell me when and where, and I will show up. Where Freedom Parkway dead ends into Freedom Park is high visibility, with a sign and everything, and a neighborhood that probably won’t throw things at us.


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