Citizen Wausau

A Site About Life in Wausau, Wisconsin

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Thoughts on a Crime Spree

by on October 10th, 2007

This is not a crime spree or a crime wave, but a crime tide that shows little sign of receding. I watched the Greenspan interviews. Did you? He’s the last rat off of that ship – everyone else aboard the Bush Titanic will be dragged down in the undertow. That includes local politicians too. Do you know when the price of gas will come down? Never, the dollar has devalued too significantly relative to other world currencies. Result? Inflation on all basic goods. Ready yourself for it. I still hear the politician spouting no-tax pledges. And this passes for prudent social guardianship? Unfortunately friend, the piece of paper in your pocket with George Washington on it isn’t the same today as it was yesterday.

Wisconsinites are guilty of an unmistakable insensate passivity. That’s why we are in it so deep. Example – we faced the largest layoff of manufacturing jobs in history and what antidote is offered for the poison? Do we support the laid-off workers with retraining? No, we pulled investment out of higher education. Tuitions rose and financial aid declined. The effect has been predictable – GDP tanked and unemployment along with it poverty are climbing.

And you wonder why there is palpable fear in Wausau? Just a noontide ago you left your door open? But today, you fasten the deadbolt. More cops? No, this will exacerbate the harm already present. This is not an issue that can be solved with Orwellian force. Emerson’s words from his essay on Compensation seem relevant:

All infractions of love and equity in our social relations are speedily punished. They are punished by Fear…All the old abuses in society, the great and universal and the petty and particular, all unjust accumulations of property and power, are avenged in the same manner. Fear is an instructor of great sagacity, and the herald of all revolutions. One thing he always teaches, that there is rottenness where he appears. He is a carrion crow, and though you see not well what he hovers for, there is death somewhere… He indicates great wrongs, which must be revised.

Yes, grave inequality. As a community, we have abrogated our right to safety and it is rightfully so. It could not be otherwise. That malodorous stench is none other than the homegrown rot resulting from an inability to love self and other. Your townsfolk go without enough to eat, sleep without shelter, and your sick are daily refused healing for want of coin. I see carrion circling even now.

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