Richard Thornton | Aug 9, 2017 | 5
Do you feel like a stranger in your own country, because you are sane?
When progressive film-maker Michael Moore and conservative pundit, Glenn Beck, agree 100% on NBC’s Meet the Press, you know that there is a problem!
TV screens and internet monitors are filled daily with obsessions about the lives of ultra-rich entertainment celebrities, emotional freaks, a former Olympic star, who at age 63 decided that he wanted to be a glamorous woman or . . . just yesterday, a talentless rock starlet, who showed off the hickey on her neck before the national media to celebrate her 19th birthday. Meanwhile, as both Moore and Beck agree, our society in the United States is becoming dangerously self-destructive and is about to unravel.
Recently, in an amazing feat of professional journalism, NBC put Glenn Beck and Michael Moore together on the same telecast. One would have expected an angry, one hour long, shouting match. What instead occurred was an astonishing concurrence by both outspoken men that the politicians of both parties and the national media are completely out of touch with the concerns of Middle Class Americans. In fact, there was nothing that Moore and Beck disagreed on in the entire program.
Both men stated that they felt like outsiders in a country, increasingly characterized by extreme behaviors, senseless violence and dysfunctional government. Both men stated that the presidential debates were disgusting, because all presidential and vice presidential candidates focused on personal attacks rather that addressing specific ideas to solve problems facing the majority of Americans. Both men stated that the nation has never recovered from the Mega-recession and that the majority of Americans are far worse off now than in 2000. The sick condition of the national economy has been concealed by a gargantuan increase in the national debt and artificially high stock values on Wall Street.
The two men stated, what I have been saying for some time, that the direction of our society is being steered by people who are self-centered, obsessed with power and in truth, mentally sick. These pseudo-leaders think that their lies, plus the trappings of power and money will conceal their basically insane thoughts and actions. In essence, we live in a society, gone mad.
Among the 90 percent of Americans, who have been robbed by the shift of wealth to a chosen few, the feeling of powerlessness manifests itself with senseless violence and mindless meanness to others, just for the sake of making other people suffer or seem less well-off than the perpetrators. Shooting people has become an increasingly “normal” behavior, whether the perpetrator is a criminal or a cop. Just a few days ago a robber shot down a couple, coming out of a suburban Atlanta restaurant, just to steal a five dollar necklace. Far too many local law enforcement officers have come to believe that they have the right to kill someone just because the unarmed person did not do what they told them to do.
The ability to deceive and manipulate others has become the measure of intelligence in the United States.
I think back to the summer of 2012. Some federal pseudo-law enforcement agency . . . probably within the US Forest Service, because it is notoriously filled with rightwing extremists . . . was monitoring all my movements because I had written a book about the evidence of Maya refugees coming to the Southeast. While I was interviewing a lady about her family-owned apple farm for an Examiner article, a federal law enforcement officer called her on her cellular phone and told her that he was watching us. (from a satellite?) He told her that I was crazy and to not to listen to what I said about the Mayas. The lady was visibly shaken and afterward asked me what Mayas were.
Tell me that’s not crazy?
How this situation relates to Native Americans
The socioeconomic condition of Southeastern Native Americans is more or less parallel to that of their Caucasian neighbors. The majority are somewhat worse off than they were in the year 2000 . . . but after 16 years of being the proverbial frogs slowing boiled in a kettle, they have forgotten how much better their lives were back then. What I often see is a general sense of malaise and hopelessness among Southeastern Creeks. They feel, as Glenn Beck said, that no one is listening to them.
On the other hand, west of the Mississippi River and especially on the reservations, things are going downhill fast. Many of the western reservations have become living hells, in which those who are trapped, find it almost impossible to escape. For example, the 40,000+ residents of the Pine Ridge Lakota Reservation consume over 40 million cans of beer a year. Over ¾ of the girls, 16 and older, in the Pine Ridge High School are pregnant or have children. Over 80% of the adults have diabetes, primarily because of their diets. Almost as many adults are alcoholics. Western Native Americans have the highest teenager suicide rate in the world and it is increasing. Meanwhile, the Pine Ridge Reservation has not a single bank, no major private sector employers and about a 90% unemployment rate among adult males.
The Native Americans in Eastern Oklahoma no longer live on reservations, but their situation is also deteriorating. You won’t hear this from most tribal leaders in public, because it is bad politics. The truth is that alcoholism, meth and excessive consumption of marijuana are rampant among the so-called Five Civilized Tribes. Organized crime loves it! Because like all other Sunbelt states, Oklahoma heavily criminalized substance abuse during the War on Drugs, these “growth sectors” in the significantly Native American counties of Oklahoma are cash cows for organized crime. The profits are then invested into controlling politicians, corrupting tribal governments and buying-out conventional businesses.
Meanwhile, what gets the attention of the media, politicians and celebrity activists? . . .the protracted demonstrations against the expansion of a petroleum pipe line that comes within one half mile of a Native American reservation. Maybe this pipeline is an environmental threat, maybe not. However, compared to the damage done to American society and Native American lives by endemic suicides, inadequate education, lack of employment opportunities, alcoholism, toxic diets, a pantheon of life-destroying drugs, endemic teenybopper mothers and widespread spousal abuse . . . it is nothing.
Tell me that’s not crazy.
Below is an excerpt from the Meet the Press Program that featured Michael Moore and Glenn Beck. This is Glenn Beck’s perspective on the program, so that you will know that he was not “tricked by the liberal media.”
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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history.Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.
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