The Press and Priorities – What’s Really Important

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Well, there they go again. The press is honing in on the big media event of the day – the Kennedy traffic accident. I don’t care about his accident. I am happy that he was not injured but his personal problems are none of my business. Voyeurism is not my thing. I don’t care about Laura Bush’s traffic accident either. I don’t care about Cheney’s daughter’s sex life. I don’t care about Michael Jackson, or Madonna, or the private life of any celebrity. I don’t care about much that is on TV. I have never watched that TV show about those neurotic, self-absorbed housewives. (I assume that they are neurotic and self-absorbed.)

I do care about a lot of other things though. I care about the 18,000 US citizens who will die this year because they have no access to health care. That is like having a 9/11 every 60 days, only worse because these are deaths that we are imposing on our fellow citizens.

I care about the countless numbers of immigrants who are struggling to cross the border only to find that they are then in a racist and hostile environment. I care about all of the migrant farm workers who have been contributing their labor for years. Anyone remember that old documentary, Harvest of Shame?

I care about all of the kids in US schools who will never learn the true facts of USA history. They will never learn that their country is responsible for invasions, occupations, covert actions, and deaths all around the world. They will never learn about The School of the Assassins at Fort Benning, Georgia or what really happened at No Gun Ri. When they become adults they will probably wind up as talk show hosts on FOX or CNN and then pass on their misinformation to a whole new generation.

I care about global warming. I care about the PCB’s in the Hudson River. I care about the safety of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant.

I care about the fact that it is very difficult to find organic vegetables in many locations in the US. I care about the fact that corporations have more rights than farmers do. I care about the farmers who are victims of Monsanto and other corporations who profiteer with the food supply.

I care about the thimerasol in the vaccines that we inject into newborns. I care about the fact that pharmaceutical companies have more lobbying power than we do.

I care about my friend who left the USA and relocated to Costa Rica because she needed medical/dental care.

I care about the sex-saturated culture which is increasingly hostile to children. I care about the mothers who want to care for their children but are forced to place them in day care centers instead.

I care about the homeless who are being turned away from the homeless shelter because there is no room for them.

I care about those who are unjustly imprisoned because of a judicial system that is not capable of providing justice.

I care about the former inhabitants of Diego Garcia. They were forced onto boats and "relocated" so that the USA could build a military base there. We used to call that genocide.

I care about the unknown number of, perhaps 5000, innocent civilians who were killed by the USA bombing in Panama. I care about the 500,000 children who died painful deaths because of the sanctions on Iraq.

I care about all of the victims of US military aggression and CIA covert actions. I care about all of those who are yet to die because of USA land mines and DU contamination. I care about the people in Iraq who are now living under the Occupation of a foreign power.

I care about the fact that there is no opposition party in the US because the Democrats and Republicans have such a tight hold on the legal system that they have been able to keep third parties out of the Presidential Debates.

I care about the unfair distribution of wealth because we don’t have an effective livable wage campaign. I care about the fact that we don’t have a maximum wage which would be helpful in controlling excessive consumption.

I care about a lot of things. I especially care about David, my 2 year-old grandson, and all of the others in his generation.

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Rosemarie Jackowski is an advocacy journalist living in Vermont. She was arrested, tried, and convicted for her participation in a peaceful protest of the war. The conviction was appealed and overturned in the State Supreme Court. The government then announced plans to retry the case. Finally, after years of legal proceedings, all charges were dropped. She contributed this article to Media Monitors Network (MMN) from the US.

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