Obstructing the Obvious

Am I just a simpleton, an intellectual featherweight, who looks for patterns and explanations, reasonable justifications, for truly ridiculous situations?  Or perhaps, I am able to see what is so obvious that it takes my breath away to observe how the powers that be and the general population cannot see the forest from the trees?  Is the obvious so damn obvious that people just ignore it?

Let us examine some specific examples of this delusion.  The Redskins, Washington, D.C.’s football team, has been a losing, floundering proposition ever since Dan Snyder bought that franchise in 1999.  The team has gone through so many different GM’s, coaches and players, still and yet with a losing record.  The only consistency during the last decade has been the ownership.  Could that ownership be the cause of the Redskins’ lethargy?  Seems like the most logical assumption to me.  Despite having had on board many talented players and truly experienced coaches (mind you, coaches who previously and subsequently to their Redskin tenure have been the top leaders in the NFL, e.g. Joe Gibbs, Marty Schottenheimer and Norv Turner), the Redskins are a pathetic excuse for a football team.

Dan Snyder’s objectives throughout his ownership seems to be for fulfillment of his ego first, his pocketbook second,  his win/loss record third and obligation to the fans dead last.  Eventually, the fans who make Snyder’s personal take from the team possible, will pull out their support and Snyder will either sell the team or make some overdue changes.  It is a repeat of the survival of the fittest: when the franchise can no longer reap the rewards of overpriced tickets due to their dreary, losing record, the owner will be forced to exit.  This is a form of natural selection, and I daresay that Snyder will be selectively ousted.  The only Redskin constants over the last ten years have been a losing record and Snyder’s ownership.  Is this as obvious as I think it is?

Another example of the “Duh! Phenomenon” involves the recent refusal of a judge in Louisiana to marry an interracial couple.  Justice of the Peace Keith Bardwell, an elected Republican servant, denied a marriage license to the couple in question based solely on racial concerns.  What century is the judge living in?  Is he not aware of the Supreme Court ruling of 1967,  Loving v. Virginia, that outlawed, MADE UNCONSTITUTIONAL, the obstruction or failure to carry out interracial marriage?  Judge Bardwell is not a legal entity unto himself; he was elected to rule based on our Constitution.  Any refusal to do so can be seen as a violation of our law and he should have been put off the court and released of his duties as soon as he decided to editorialize and act upon his own law.  Isn’t that as obvious as the nose on your face?  Why is he still holding on to his job?

Thirdly, and of the highest importance, is the current state of our financial industry and it’s effects on other legislation, i.e. health care reform.  I must note that, just like Dan Snyder who is a private entrepreneur in a private business who can do whatever he wants with his assets, the private banks are somewhat different.  They have a responsibility to their shareholders.  Furthermore, once these banks accepted federal bailout funds, they also must answer to each and every one of us taxpayers and the government.  How come the government does not see this obligation?  Why are the financial companies still paying out huge bonuses on the backs of our taxpayers?  And why in all of heaven and earth, is the government permitting that?  The United States Treasury gave out hundreds of billions of dollars to this industry that is continuing exactly those practices that almost brought them to their knees one year ago.  Why?

I just love the fallacy of protecting these financial behemoths with the excuse that “They are too big to be allowed to fail.”  Once again, it is absolutely clear to me (and any moron) that if these companies are too big to fail, they most certainly are too big to exist.  DUH!

I might have an answer.  For the government to completely take over the financial industry would be cause for many to scream “Socialism”.  Here is my interpretation.  We will get something of a public option in health care reform to OFFSET the greed and corruption of the financial industry.  The lead article in the Washington Post today (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/19/AR2009101902451.html?nav=hcmodule), sure enough, cites the increased demand for a public option.  Basically, we are going to make the private insurance industry be the sacrificial lamb in return for the lack of regulation and oversight of our financial sector.  Since the American people have an attention span of about three seconds (thank you Roselie) plus the fact that our legislators will not put their reputations and elective powers on the line to change our economic structure, the greed and corruption of the financial industry will live on.  However, seeing the negative reaction of Americans to this outrage, our lawmakers will, to some degree, be willing to cut off the insurance companies by passing a weak public option.  Having been the victims of a near financial collapse, our citizens have undergone major economic losses, one result being that they can no longer afford health insurance.  Thus, by forcing real competition on the private insurers, our lawmakers are “punishing” one greedy sector of our economy for the sins of another.  Since the financial industry was a major CAUSE of our hardships, the private insurers are going to have to pay so that the EFFECTS of that corruption can be somewhat cleaned up.  The ongoing feeding frenzy of the financial industry is going to have to be paid for by the insurance industry.  Obvious?   Displacement behavior?  Sure.  Fake retribution?  Definitely.  It sure beats taking the time and effort to solve the problem structurally.  In this way, we are not resolving the problems in our financial industry nor are we offering a strong enough public option.  It is a lose/lose proposition.

In the United States, we are all experts at obstructing the obvious, whether it be sports, law, finance or government.  Things are complicated enough, sure.  So why, when we are presented with a clear and defined issue, do we not jump on it and correct it?  Do you think it could be that the more confusion we reap, the more personal gain might be in it?  That couldn’t possibly be: it is too obvious.

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One Response to “Obstructing the Obvious”

  1. Natalie R Says:

    I, a Boston Red Sox fan from birth, watched the Yankee/Angels championship games off and on growling every time those damn Yankees made a great play or hit in the clutch. I watched as Johnny Damon stood in left field, made great outfield plays and know he can be counted on for his solid hitting. I know this because once Damon was a part of the Red Sox miracle 2004 World Series win when children visited their parents’ graves to tell their dearly departed that the Red Sox FINALLY won the World Series! My father waited all of his life for it but to no avail.

    I notice Johnny Damon’s former Red Sox long locks are shorn into a Steinbrenner fascist like cut. Could this be the same Johnny Damon who was part of the self proclaimed “Idiots” who miraculously broke the Babe Ruth curse, won the greatest play off game ever against the hated Yankees by impossibly sweeping the last four games and miraculously went on to win the 2004 World Series? Was this the same Johnny Damon who hit two home runs (including a grand slam), to lead the Red Sox to that victory over the Yankees? In the World Series he also hit a home run as Boston swept the St. Louis Cardinals. No it cannot be he can it? With his compadres Varitek, Nixon, Millar and others they made up the band of “idiots” whom Red Sox Nation adored … NO worshiped. On December 20, 2005, Damon signed a 4 year, $52 million contract with the New York Yankees as the Red Sox refused to compete with the all-about-the-money pinstripes.

    So what’s my point? The nation here in Boston was furious at Damon. How could he betray us? We LOVED him so and could not understand why love did not trump all. We as humans yearn for things to be not ALWAYS about the money. Alas, I am afraid money is what it is all about. It’s true in sports, finance, health care and politics. It’s true in nearly everything. It’s almost never about love or the little guy who makes the big guy run. Money is the bottom line and I suspect we who help them make that money wish so often it were sometimes just about us!

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