California Closing 70 State Parks: Do We Have Time for Peace and Nature Anyway?
Louis Sahagun writes in the LA Times about California closing down 70 state parks due to massive budget cuts. One of those parks is Mitchell Caverns. State officials assumed the parks would sit undisturbed while they were closed, and one day they’d be reopened (when the state can once again afford to fund state parks), but so far, that hasn’t been the case:
Workers hauled away the precious Native American artifacts and historical documents and locked the gates, assuming the area would sit undisturbed until the state could afford to reopen it.
But several times in the last four months, vandals traveled 16 desolate miles north from Interstate 40 to plunder and damage the park’s isolated structures. Their actions left advocates for the caverns angry at the state and have officials working to improve plans to protect as many as 70 other California parks scheduled to close in July because of budget cuts.
This is yet another disgusting aspect of a society that continually decides to wage unprovoked wars worth more than a trillion dollars, and arms state and local police departments with useless anti-terrorism weaponry worth hundreds of billions, and funnels even more into the Dept of Defense and Homeland Security. Our society then largely neglects the educational system by cutting teachers’ jobs, special needs programs, and health and nutrition programs for students.
California can’t even allow taxpaying citizens to enjoy its state parks set up for exploration and journeying. We are a society that doesn’t value being able to educate ourselves. The state park system is a lovely one, yet our priorities continuously aim at destroying others’ lifestyles, and other parks and communities and marketplaces in countries abroad.
The American people finally seem to be getting tired of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the military intervention in Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia. And what soon might be Iran. Americans are finally disgusted at handing over $2 billion a year to Pakistan while our country can’t even afford to keep a few good teachers employed.
Sadly, the only reason Americans are tired of this aggressive world warfare waged in their name by their illegitimately-elected top tier government officials is because now, with frighteningly high unemployment throughout the nation, and fiscal austerity measures soon to come, Americans finally feel it at home, and in their wallets.
We didn’t say no to invading countries on moral and ethical grounds. Now we’re paying the price of a society gone awry. A nation of peoples more interested in watching Baghdad blown up than roughing up the men in the White House and Washington responsible for setting it in motion.
If God ever did reign over this country, and bless this land with overabundance and joy — if that were ever the case — he’s long gone now. He’s fled for his own sanity. A society with no money for state parks, education, healthcare, a roof over everybody’s head, and the opportunity to foster the building of its citizenry’s character through art and fulfilling work, is no place for a higher power.
It’s a place for the lower, dirtier energies to thrive: greed, sloth, waste, despair. Slinging that shit onto the rest of the world has only brought it back to its source. And now, we’re busy arguing over if we should vote for Romney or Santorum, or Obama. We’re arguing over contraceptives and religious affiliations.
Maybe we don’t have time for state or federal parks, or for peace and nature, or for contemplation on beauty. Maybe we don’t need good educations, or any kind of sophistication.