Top Ten Things I’m Worried About (Today)

I just have to take a moment here.

Been scanning the headlines all morning, looking for a blog topic. There’s so much to write about: the barbaric London bomb blasts, the ludicrous things Bush has already said at the start of G-8 (any European worried about the conditions at Guantánamo Bay should “buy an airplane ticket” and “take a look for yourself”); the conservative machine springing to life to block the Supreme Court nomination of torture-memo writer Alberto R. Gonzales because he’s too “liberal”; Judith Miller's jailing because she refused to reveal a source who trusted her. (Kudos, Judy; you make us all proud!!)

But I just have to stop for a second and acknowledge what’s going on. This is surreal. My stomach sours as I think about it all. There is so much that we as a nation have to worry about. Can it all really be happening at once?

I confess, I’m a worrier. Have been since I was little. When I was eight, my sister told me to make a list of all the things I was worried about. It helped. So here goes my list.

Top Ten Things I’m Worried About (Today):

1. Abortion being made illegal and women resorting to clothing hangers to end pregnancies, or the increase of unwanted children who are beaten and neglected
2. Having resources that could be used to help the poor in America go instead to a war we were misled into entering
3. Having American soldiers die daily in the name of an unjust war for an unknown period of time
4. Our country, the richest in the world, not agreeing to give as much aid to Africa as other, poorer countries
5. Our contribution to the erosion of the environment through scientifically unsound, pro-corporate policies
6. The ever-increasing role of fundamentalist Christianity in our supposedly secular state
7. Journalists being imprisoned for trying to protect people they gave their word to, while trying to uncover corruption in the system
8. Our sinful, heinous mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib (this is old news, but it still really gets to me)
9. The nomination of ultraconservative judges to the Supreme Court who will overturn laws giving Americans basic liberties that we have taken for granted for decades
10. Terrorists continuing to target innocent people in the name of their cause

These are really big issues, and in this case, a list only makes it more surreal. The only thing that really helps me is that I know people are trying to do something about it. I saw Patrice O’Neill’s excellent docu “The Fire Next Time” the other day, and a line in it really stuck with me: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing.” Well, many of you are “the good people who have refused to do nothing.” Thanks to you, I can sleep at night.

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