The Last Twenty Yards

Some people have a life philosophy of; “If it’s meant to be; it will be. Watching the Olympics reminded me of one of my Gran’s favorite maxims, “God helps those who help themselves.”

I grew up as a member of a swim team. From Junior High through college, I trained five days a week, and travelled to swim meets monthly. Those experiences, racing in a pool, or sometimes in a lake, formulated my life view.

It always seems to be the last twenty yards of a race that yield victory or defeat; when your arms and legs are screaming in pain, when you think you can’t push any harder, when you have nothing left. Winners manage to reach inside themselves and pull out that extra something from their very souls; normal folks get through it, and losers slow down.

In one important swim meet, I choked on water just after the turn. At first, I just put my head down and swam. Then I tried to cough out the water but I couldn’t breathe. It was a life changing moment for me. I just didn’t have it in me to finish that race. Years later, I wondered what I could have done differently.

People said, “It wasn’t meant to be,” and I wanted to choke them. Who the hell decides what is and is not meant to be in my life? That very statement, while meant to console me, flew in the face of my concept of free will. I was responsible and nobody else. I still remember the exact nanosecond when I breathed in instead of keeping my mouth shut. (I seem to have a talent for opening my mouth when a closed one would be more advantageous.)

A litany of examples in literature, the arts, the news and in the lives of others, have led me to the conclusion that believing in a cause point for my life that is outside of myself is an excuse for non-action. I cannot expect someone else to run my race.

The Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson, states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

It reads, “the Pursuit of Happiness,” an action, and not a state of being. Sitting on my duff wishing for, visualizing, or praying for happiness is merely a good start. I have to actually do something to make it real. 

As Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s newly chosen running mate, said this week, “We promise equal opportunity, not equal outcomes.” Meanwhile, our president wants, “A new vision of America in which prosperity is shared.”

If I work my butt off to be successful, am I supposed to share it with someone who sits on their butt waiting for the happiness of success to fall on their heads? On the flip side, if I want to be a couch potato and not work, can I get a government hand-out to go shopping? Hey, Wall Street investment banksters have been getting obscenely large government subsidies for years.

While politicians blather on about class warfare, trying to get us to believe that successful people paying more taxes will solve our economic problems, the real war on the economy has been a guarded secret. Only recently we discovered that the Federal Reserve Bank has spent $16 trillion bailing out U.S. and foreign banks.

Wall Street banksters concocted mortgage-backed securities which contained sub-standard home loans and sold them throughout the international investment community. When foreign institutions found out that their so-called AAA investments were a crock, they came after the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve Bank and Wall Street to get their money back.

Bank debt was bought by governments, thereby making it sovereign debt which is now drowning Europe. The U.S. Treasury has bought hundreds of billions in toxic mortgage-backed securities created by the banksters.

To get life back into their diseased balance sheets, by collecting insurance money on delinquent home loans; the banksters foreclosed any which way but loose on American homeowners. They manufactured false documents willy-nilly to achieve their ends. Found guilty, they were fined $25 billion collectively by the U.S. Attorney General. $25 billion collected to offset more than $16 trillion?

Money from smart investors, those guys and gals who are successful, is now flowing out of Europe by tens of billions a month. Like water sloshing against a levy in a hurricane, investment money is looking for an outlet. For now, it’s the U.S.A.

Some say there’s $200 trillion still at risk from the banksters mortgage fraud. How big is the cover-up, really? How much longer can the U.S. government exist in a form of undeclared bankruptcy?  How much more money can the U.S. Treasury rob from American taxpayers to keep this Ponzi scheme afloat?

Currently, all the swimmers in this race away from economic Armageddon are treading water. The last twenty yards to financial stability will have to be swum by the U.S. President, after the election. Will he have the soul to finish a winner?

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