We all have thoughts, most of us have opinions. These are just two of the ways we are all alike. Most division among people is intentional. If thought is the vehicle of opinion and if we choose what to and what not to think about, how reliable can most opinions be?

If you’re anything like me and I know that you are, one of the things you like the least is being lied to. There is plenty of information available across the entire spectrum of the press and electronic media to indicate that ‘a whole lot of lyen’s going on.’

We hear that Afghanistan is secure and stable with only sporadic violence from isolated pockets of the former Talaban and Al Quita elements. When in truth there is daily violence and Afghani civilians and American troops and internationals are still being killed regularly. We hear the good things the Afghani government is doing, when in reality the current government does not and has never controlled any more than thirty- five per cent of the country of Afghanistan.

In Iraq we hear that the ‘liberal press’ never highlights the progress and positive developments that are occurring. The fact is that on the tally sheet of Iraq we are actually hearing a disproportionate amount of good and positive news.

We hear that if the United States were to pull out, the country could devolve into civil war, when in fact the country is and has been in a state of civil war for at least a year and a half. The amount of area the much touted ‘democratically elected’ government controls, even when taking into account that held by the one hundred and forty to sixty thousand United States troops stationed there, is not any greater than the government in Afghanistan controls, if in deed as much.

The democracies that we hear about in Iraq and Afghanistan are hardly democracies. They do resemble the apparent neocon model for democracy here in America. A democracy in which you have civil liberties until you need them, have the ability for judicial review unless the government or it’s surrogates are your antagonists. A democracy in which the legislature, judiciary and executive don’t find it at all necessary to regard the will of the people, as anything more than amusing.

We are told that for the past ten months the United States economy has grown at a consistent four percent rate, what portion of that growth can you draw out of your savings account?

A comprehensive Medicare drug care plan was passed and is currently being implemented. If you are old enough to be eligible, have one automobile, one house and less than ten thousand dollars in other assets, you can participate. You can’t get the pharmaceuticals you probably need and you can’t change your selection package in a timely or responsive manner, but you can participate.

We are told that the United States military is the finest in the world. Military spending is framed as Defense spending. We all want to see America defended. Why hasn’t it been? The United States military is the most expensive in the world. The United States spends more on our military than the rest of the world put together. Just think how much better we could have been defended had SEVEN HUNDRED MILLION dollars not been stiffened off and given to the Wilkes Corporation by agents of Tom Delay and remember, you may have heard of him, Randy ‘Duke’ Cunningham. Apparently a substantial portion of that SEVEN HUNDRED MILLION dollars was reinvested in the election campaigns of such notable Republicans as Kathleen Harris of Florida and other recognizable and moral Republican leaders. Apparently, just as what’s good for GM is good for America, what’s good for the Department of Defense is good for the moral leaders of America, the Republican party.

It may well be that the underlying causes for our current state of flux is that Americans are so used to lying themselves, in their daily lives, that some subconscious sense of justice compels them to accept government and media lies as nothing out of the ordinary.

When the goals and agenda of the moral majority become so important that gaining those goals and end results is the focus, rather than how they are gained, one has to ask, what exactly is moral about that?

When you talk to a soldier just home from Iraq and he says unequivocally that we are doing good, and making progress, one has to ask, what else could he be expected to say. The major transition from civilian to soldier requires that you not only believe in what you are doing and what you are told but that you do a good job of it. If you’ve ever been in a life and death situation you may remember the profound effect the situation had upon you. Now put yourself in that life and death situation twenty-four hours a day seven days a week, with no chance of avoiding it and conduct yourself exactly as instructed and you will no doubt believe in what you’re doing.

The true American or rather human heroes are those who perform their duty and after the fact, when no longer constrained by its’ demands, speak to and on the subject realistically and with candor. They don’t maintain the official line simply because what they’ve seen and heard and experienced is too painful to think about, let alone talk about. This is what bravery really is. The true hero does his duty and then can recalls and recites it. He or she tells the truth, at least to themselves.

Every day the sun comes up we Americans have the opportunity to be an ascending society or a declining one. It’s a moral decision that has nothing to do with the amount of faith-based initiative money you can get for your parishioners from the tax payer dole. The decision has nothing to do with how much money you can raise to pay for the media blitz that keeps your party in office and thus power. It has everything to do with whether you’re a liar or not. It is a fact of human nature that people who are dishonest will accept a liar as a friend, clergyman, or political leader. I wish it were not so, but it is. So don’t complain about the liars in your life. You chose and continue to permit them to control you, your church, your country. I guess that’s an optimistic criticism, liars don’t necessarily complain, they lie.

Long live America and may God bless you.