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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/27/12

America, a Nation Whose Directional Compass is Badly Damaged

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What's a directional compass? It's that part of a nation that guides it in establishing specific objectives that will determine its future directions. Unfortunately, America's directional compass is badly damaged as evidenced by the fact that we have become a nation that seems to have lost its sense of purpose and meaning, and is drifting in many conflicting directions at the same time.


This apparent loss of purpose and direction is evidenced by the fact that all serious attempts to take this country in new directions through the advancement of major developmental programs are being obstructed by those who reap massive profits by maintaining the status quo. What we now have is a situation in this country whereby short term, shallow thinking is preventing long term planning and development; and that's why we seem to be going around in circles, not advancing but regressing.

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Wouldn't it be great to see a coalition of government and business initiate a massive program to develop new sources of energy that would make it the world leader? We have the resources, the skills and talent to do just that. That's a positive direction for the future that we should be actively pursuing but the massive energy companies and their captive servants in Congress, mainly Republicans but also some Democrats, will simply not let it happen. China and several European countries, with Germany in the lead, are making great strides in developing new energy sources. But America is completely failing to advantage of this opportunity that would lead to eventual energy independence.


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It would also be so great to see those Americans who so strongly want to preserve their 2d Amendment rights to own guns get together with their very concerned fellow citizens who want to establish reasonable, sensible controls? This may seem like an insurmountable task but it's certainly not an impossible one. If they put their minds to it and think of what is best for the people of America, the two sides could sit down together and, collectively, come up with fair, reasonable and innovative ways by which this could be accomplished.


This societal violence is rapidly growing in scope across this country and seems to be deeply embedded in this culture. There is no need to go into the details of the many atrocities that have happened, from the slaughter of innocents in Columbine, to Virginia Tech, to Northern Illinois University, to Aurora, Colorado, to the murders of children in Newtown, CT, as well as many others. What we are seeing is a terrible moral dilemma of our own making.


As America's schools and colleges come under increasing attack and students' and others lives are snuffed out, the debate and angry disagreement over the need for effective gun controls goes on and on with no sensible, rational conclusion in sight. And, as the violence and atrocities multiply, we see the states of America passing "concealed carry" legislation that allows citizens to carry handguns as they go about their daily lives.


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We are becoming the modern-day version of the Wild West except a thousand times more dangerous. What I find to be totally incomprehensible is the position taken by those misguided, shortsighted Americans who greatly fear a police state but who don't seem to comprehend that by their unceasing support of the rights of individuals to own any type of firearms, including assault weapons, they are largely responsible for creating it.


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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)

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