My responsibility was to go out to another country, observe what I could, and process my experiences into useful lessons. I needed to learn. Some of what I learned relates only to Ireland. Some relates to the differences between Ireland and the United states. Some relates only to the united states.

I do not think I want to live in the United states longer than I have to. It is not a good country. several times in my trip people I had just met took it upon themselves to list out the United States war crimes and atrocities. The funny part was that I already knew about them. I had heard about what we did in Vietnam and Iraq and Afghanistan but the reality had stayed in the back of my mind. they told me about the US funding the troubles in Ireland and supplying guns to terrorist groups and dictators all over the world. Hearing about these crimes from the mouth of another, telling me about it because I am american, made me see all this evil as my responsibility. If I was not actively involved, my inaction still makes me culpable.

Coming back to America I saw the country in a different light. The lines at border security weren’t making us any safer. the TSA lets in 80% of weapons during security tests. The lines were to make us accustomed to a military state. The pictures of the president on the wall reminded me of North Korea and their pictures of their “great leader”. When I got back home I watched the Guy’s choice awards by Spike TV. The awards ceremony was filled with soldiers. It reminded me of the awards ceremonies the Nazi’s used to have.

I’m not sure what can be done for my country. mainstream media broadcasts a view point I’m not sure I agree with, spouting platitudes like support the troops or god bless america. Politicians are bought and sold by corporate interests. Democracy and free thought are dying. our schools are under performing. our prisons are overcrowded. racism and prejudice are stronger than ever. We poison our beautiful country to support an unsustainable energy infrastructure to enrich the select few. We oppress the rest of the world to manufacture cheap trinkets that suppress our spiritual decay for just a few moments.

I don’t know what can be done.