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  • What does it mean to have free elections, when money mires the outcome, when politicians kowtow to lobbyists, when the menu of candidates is always junk soda, Coke or Diet Coke, never what you really crave, a glass of fresh spring water from an alpine mountain?

    What does it mean to have free speech, when the newspapers, the television stations, the radios, are all owned by corporate conglomerates, subsidized by advertisers, who traffic in titillation and misinformation, propaganda, and pathological patriotism?

    What does it mean to have freedom, when my friend hobbles without health insurance, his knees lacerating in pain, unemployed, too poor to see a doctor, he must endure the serrated sawing against his tendons?

    What does it mean to have democracy, when around the corner from where I live, a former schoolteacher sleeps on flattened cardboard boxes with her Persian cat, pleading for spare change, in rain, and trembling fog?

    What does it mean to have justice, when five bandits in raven robes can crown the president of the United States in a sham election?

    What does it mean to have equality, when there are more black males imprisoned today in the United States than enslaved in 1850?

    What does it mean to believe in human rights, when an American soldier slaughters seventeen Afghan civilians including nine children with his M-4 rifle?

    What does it mean for our future, for our nation, for the world, if these beautiful words continue to be massacred?

    Spring beckons. Change will come. I can feel it in the marrows of my bones, my dreams are porous with hope, the soot of fear, the ashes of avarice, they will be swept away, by a fresh whirlwind of love, love. Love. Call me Cassandra's forgotten twin. The perpetual optimist.
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