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IT's Not The Economy Stupid


J. D. Pendry


Have you forgotten how it felt that day
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away?
Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
We had neighbors still inside
Going through a living hell
And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout Bin Laden
Have you forgotten? Ė From the song, Have You Forgotten by Darryl Worley


I should be happy.Fall is about to.The Thundering Herd just pounded the sixth ranked team in the nation.Itís practically October and the Cubs are still in it.I have a decent home, great battle buddy, an OK job, good health, plenty to eat, lots of firewood and a self-supporting son.But I ainít happy.


I promised myself I wouldn't write about IT this year.  Every time I think about IT, I experience too many emotions.


As I approach senior citizenship, I don't need emotional roller-coaster rides.Iím supposed to be mellow now and concerned about the flowers in the back yard, not about the state of world affairs.Terror hasnít found itís way into my back yard here in Wild Wonderful.So, like most Americans at this stage, Iím concerned about the crab grass, the clover invasion and deer eating the Impatiens then crapping in the back yard.I want you all to just leave me alone here on my peaceful hillside.But, you wonít.Inevitably, one of you brings IT up.Then it happens.


First, thereís anger and rage conjured up by the images of smoking, crumbling towers, a smoldering Pentagon and a nation of people in shock.Sadness follows the anger and rage.Sadness for those I didn't know who were and still are personally touched by IT and more so for those I did and do know.  Those I do know, I've told to have faith and time will heal their hurt.  But, if it still bothers me as much, I can only guess how it must still affect them.  Time is not healing fast enough and in this case, maybe it shouldnít.I still remember. With that thought, follows depression.  It lasted a couple of days this time.  My work dropped off a little and my mind wandered.After depression came the frustration.It carried over from that initial feeling that I was helpless to do anything about IT.  Now the frustration comes from the thought that much of America has forgotten about IT.Weíre out tending flowers in the back yard.  We're more focused on how long the French kiss lasted between Madonna and Britney, whether or not Kobe really did it, the three ring circus in California and Weird Howard and the nine dwarfs telling us what a miserable President we have while insisting that our real problem is the economy.That causes the anger to kick in.


Itís the chair kicking, breaking stuff, spit flying kind of anger.Itís the unhealthy kind of anger that makes weak hearts explode.The kind of anger that makes me want to get them all in a giant, painful suffocating headlock and yell in their collective ears.DID YOU FORGET ABOUT IT!?DID YOU FORGET THAT WE ARE AT WAR!?DID YOU!?Then I withdraw some and try to collect my emotions.I sit on the back porch listening to the cicadas and sipping warm wine. Thatís when I become analytical and philosophical which usually results in you either reading about it or deleting it from your e-mail.


There was an interesting lesson in my Sunday School class this morning.In case youíre wondering, my wife and I are the youngest members of our class.Our class consists mostly of the WWII and Korean War generation.Theirs was Pearl Harbor many years ago and they still havenít forgotten.It should be an example for the rest of us.But, back to the lesson.If youíre so inclined, you may read about it in the book of James, chapter 3 versus 1 through 18.Iíll give you my very condensed and paraphrased version of the lesson.We can lead a horse around by placing a tiny bit in its mouth, a large ship is steered by a tiny rudder and men are steered by their tongue or more exactly their inability to control it.With that thought, the first thing that popped into my mind were 24/7 talking heads on cable news and our politicians - the collective tongue thatís either helping Americans forget about IT, or helping them replace thoughts of IT with many things of much less significance.


Weíre in trouble here in America.Since IT happened, there have been no attacks inside our borders.Being typical, secure and safe Americans, weíve allowed thoughts of IT to be displaced by other things - our favorite sports team.We are more concerned about why Ben and Jen broke up than we are that somewhere in this world right now there are people plotting to kill us, all of us Ė just for being us.


America prevailed in World War II because of the focused effort of an entire nation.We are in a World War now.If we want the next generation of Americans, our children and grandchildren, to be free and safe within our own borders, we must all focus our thoughts and energy on IT.


Have you forgotten all the people killed?
Yes, some went down like heroes in that Pennsylvania field
Have you forgotten about our Pentagon?
All the loved ones that we lost
And those left to carry on
Don't you tell me not to worry 'bout Bin Laden
Have you forgotten?

Have you forgotten?
Have you forgotten?
Ė From the song, Have You Forgotten, by Darryl Worley


Copyright © 2003, JD Pendry, All Rights Reserved