Profiteering: Pirates and False Patriots

Perchance you were wondering where I was last night during President Obama’s SOTU address?  I was sound asleep, having toastily tucked myself in at 8:30 P.M.  Do I regret my decision to forego the hoopla of the evening?  Not one bit.  I got my eight (more like ten) and am raring to go today.

No matter how idealistic President Obama’s plans are, I just do not see the value of investing ourselves with much hope if our other laws, i.e. gun ownership, are at odds with our general well-being.  What is the sense of bettering our education system, of repairing our infrastructure, of cleaning up our environment, of providing decent and affordable health care (need I go on?) if we allow violent  gun power to arbitrarily maim and murder?  Is it merely a numbers game, meaning we still have to face the needs of our citizens because there are many more Americans still alive than have been shot down?  Go tell someone who has lost a family member, a child perhaps, a friend or someone who was much admired, that their tragedy is not that meaningful because we have so many living Americans for whom we have to provide.  I guarantee that the numbers game argument for forging ahead with relevant policies does not hold much water for those who have been victims or known victims of random, destructive gunfire.

Until we truly protect our citizens from our distorted, unregulated and unenforced second amendment rights, why bother with the facade of legislating for their benefit?  What amazes me is that the group of Americans who are against the liberal gun laws and obvious loopholes do not rise up as vociferously as the supporters of gun proponents.  As Americans, we are entitled to safety and protection.  If that right is ignored, no other right matters.  Why should I worry what gun-toting lunatic escaped a background check and was able to purchase a semi-automatic weapon in order to slaughter tens of people at a time?  What about my rights to live in a country that actually protects me instead of making me a target?

So that is why I was sound asleep by 8:30 last night.  My doldrums surely may be an overreaction to recent events, but in all reality, we need to rethink our personal and professional standards for safe and sane policies.

Today, I have reviewed the video and read the text of the President’s speech.  His words lived up to all I believe to be the essence of Obama and the overview of the medicine this country needs to regain its foothold in leadership.  What good is a “Sputnik moment” if we walk in fear every day of being gunned down?  Unfortunately, for me, his ideas are all pie-in-the-sky until and unless each and every American faces up to the crux of the problem and that is, plain and simple, profiteering.  This piracy occurs on either or all of economic, governmental and personal levels.

Tell me that our almost total collapse of our economy could have been avoided by responsible and accountable business practices, and that those unregulated behaviors are not in effect today.  Can’t do it, can you?  Tell me that our publicly elected officials are on the up-and-up about serving their electorate first and foremost and are not in the public servant business to profit for themselves.  Can’t do it, can you?  And please, do tell me how upstanding and stellar our leaders’ private behaviors are, i.e. homophobes condemning equality for gay people, stalwarts of family values sleeping around and making babies out-of-wedlock and right-to-lifers condemning abortions yet in the same breath, demanding as liberal as possible gun laws so that we can kill those lives that were saved through their anti-abortion policies.  What?  You say “Not that stellar?”

The court of public opinion is the only hope of saving us from ourselves.  All the grand and glorious political solutions are useless unless it is built on a foundation of morality and altruism.  Any other formula is hypocrisy and profiteering.  To label people who live and work for the greater good as not patriotic is the epitome of self-serving behavior.  The name-callers are truly the false patriots.  Don’t allow these pirates to fool you.

So before I can get excited about President Obama’s agenda, I need to see a lot more work done on an individual level.  Having politicians from opposite sides of the aisle sit next to each other doesn’t do it for me.  Did it work for you?  Our pirates in Congress, in our corporate halls and in our daily lives, are counting on the symbols working for them and being accepted by us.  Symbols can be beautiful things, but in this case, they are excuses for doing the real hard work.  Put the guns away (wouldn’t it be grand and maybe even effective to substitute Viagra —- even for women—- for guns?) first and then we can talk about the substance needed for the nation to progress.  Until such time when we protect our non-gun carrying public as well as we protect the armed, why bother with bettering our lives when the loopholes and  laws on the books can snatch away those lives in a heartbeat?

RELEVANT READING:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/18/opinion/18herbert.html?_r=1&hp

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/matt-taibbi-the-crying-shame-of-john-boehner-20110105


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2 Responses to “Profiteering: Pirates and False Patriots”

  1. NatalieR Says:

    Well I see your point YoMama and you know I agree TOTALLY with you about guns. It does not seem that our culture of violence which William Rivers Pitt talks about at Truthout.org will change any time soon. To wait around until it does one could turn blue if one held their breath.

    Our culture of violence MUST MUST come to an end or our nation will cease to exist as it always has giving comfort and opportunity for the besieged.

    We must do all we can do put pressure on those who advertise with networks that encourage this violence to let them know we are NON VIOLENTLY vigilant of those personalities like Glen Beck whose job is to encourage fear and a explosive reaction. This time it is against progressives. Who will it be next time?

    Our nation, it is no secret, is on a smoldering powder keg. Our horrible eternal war policies instill in so many of our population a macho hostility which knows no morality and serves our nation’s utterly violent foreign wars very very well. Watch PBS’s Frontline: “The Wounded Platoon” about Charlie Company and what happened to them in Iraq, and what happened when they came home. It says a great deal.

    At the end of our president’s speech he said who would want to change places with anyone on the planet. Meaning no nation is a good to live in as this country. I thought, well gee I don’t know, how about Canada, Finland, Norway, Sweden or ANYWHERE sane social policies are not looked at with scorn and health care is for all who make that nation home. How about nations which are NOT fighting immoral and unnecessary war, killing thousands of innocents every day making young men into killing machines that kill people and think nothing of it.

    Sure this is a great country BUT it’s resources are being squandered because this country chooses ignorance over education, sky gods instead of sound science, and war instead of peace. It gets us in trouble on MANY fronts.

    Guns and all the acculturation that goes with them are part and parcel of a nation built on a culture of fear and its offshoot violence. When will it end? When enough of us want it to. So far we are voices crying in the wilderness and I for one do not see it changing anytime soon.

    • yomamaforobama Says:

      Thank you for your comment.

      One thing I will attest to: I have traveled far and wide, and I agree with President Obama that the U.S. is the best place to live. As much as I complain, when I was in foreign countries, many in Europe and considered progressive, I never felt the liberty that I felt in my own country. There is definitely something about our nation that fosters freedom, in both philosophy and actual rights. I never got that feeling anywhere else in the world.

      That said, imagine what an even greater country we would be if we dealt with our shortcomings, if we protected our citizenry as much as we protect our gun laws, our corrupt financial policies and our disinclination to spend for better education, a cleaner environment and decent health care. Imagine what a place the U.S. could be if we channeled our fears into policies that helps all Americans.

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