I apologize for not having written in awhile, but I've been out of the country for a job interview and orientation in Bangkok, plus I have to get all the shit in my house ready to move out. ABWF asked me to write something about the experience so here it goes. They say that spending time in far off lands gets you some perspective on your home country, and that was certainly evident in my recent escapades. I'm going to work for an NGO that promotes economic development in rural areas in Thailand and Cambodia later this year. They took me to some villages in the Isan (Northeastern) area of Thailand, which is characterized as the most economically depressed and depending mostly on agriculture. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it wasn't similar to wandering into a bamboo hut village in the middle of the jungle like in old Vietnam movies and it was anything but pathetic.
Everywhere you look people were loading up trucks full of rice bound for the markets in the city. Children were busying themselves going to and from schools on scooters. And, vendors were attempting to sell us coconuts with the tops chopped off for 10-20 baht a piece. In short, these people were working diligently to improve their situation and not waiting on the revolving door government in Bangkok to come give them a handout.
If you compare this reality with what's happening in America, it's downright frightening to experience how quickly our own country is declining due to our lack of gumption. The massive government giveaway program was passed by the President while I was away and our deficit is expected to approach WWII-era levels, which is no small chunk of change. It comes as no surprise that the stock market continues to tank as there is little hope for prosperity in the future under such a crushing amount of debt as politicians continue to buy voting blocs off with tax dollars. Instead of pulling ourselves up by the proverbial bootstraps, most Americans just seem to be looking for more handouts to continue funding living beyond our own means. The well-deserved rant of CNBC's Santelli against using taxpayer dollars to pay for people's irresponsible investment in the real estate market was met with scorn by the White House Press Secretary. I didn't know that it was the White House's job to attack critical media, but I guess Gibbs is taking notes from the Hugo Chavez playbook. These rubes received extensive tax breaks to build their little shrines to their own egos out in the burbs, and now we have to bail out these assholes? Fuck that. And look how these sheisters are repaying us using the Puget Sound area as an example.
The traffic from Seattle to suburban Bellevue is a complete clusterfuck and in serious need of better mass transit options to alleviate congestion and uphold Washington state's green image. But skeezy homeowners are already mounting opposition. From the Seattle Times:
But that convenience would unleash construction, congestion and noise upon the area, and some neighborhood residents are determined to keep light rail away from their streets.What the hell. It's like people want to live in their own little enclaves with all the benefits of civilizations minus all the inconveniences. Hemingway was certainly correct when he opined years ago on the suburbs as having "Wide Lawns and Narrow Minds". Because of attitudes like this, I have great pessimism about the future of America. This, of course, kills me to say, because I want America to be the best and brightest and spent 6.5 years in her service. But, looking at modern trends and our sad attempt to live in a Ponzi economy, it just seems like we are going to wither away. Our best bet is going to be to make sauces and trinkets for Asian tourists who come visit our country to see what a fallen giant looks like. They say that the children are our future, but looking at how they are perceiving our current fundamentals, they aren't inspiring confidence either.
"I believe when we bought into this neighborhood we bought into the single-family lifestyle," said Renay Bennett, president of the Bellecrest Neighborhood Association. "We like the 'burbs."