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12/17/2012

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Oliver

Hear hear Dave! Anyone with an ounce of empathy will back your words one hundred per cent.

I would just add the following.

In the expected absence of Obama acting on his "sincerity", I'm guessing that like the last time there was a mass killing, and the time before that, and before that ad nauseum, nothing will interfere with the God-given (!) right of US primitives to retain the weaponry to blast anyone to death because of a minor irritation, petty dispute or little problem regarding lack of empathy.

Obama's crocodile tears were unconvincing to me. This is the man who has codified the extra-judicial murder of anyone deemed to be an enemy of the state, without due process of law. The unrestrained use of assassination by drone has killed many times more kids aged 5-10 than any cowardly basket case carrying Mommie's three guns.

J.K.

Good article Dave, but someone wrote that speech for him. I do believe he and any other President, sane person is totally appalled and sympathetic to the loved ones of the killed. I feel like I want to vomit when you really scrutinize this. We haven't seen anything yet. You wait until the economy gets worse. My friend lived thru the disintegration of Yugoslavia into its respective states. Doesn't make a difference whether Christian or Muslim, he said people become savages. He's here in America and came as a refugee. With a suitcase, him and his wife work for my family (his wife has a private job now) and has 3 rental houses and kid's in college. This idea that poor whites, blacks, etc. can't exist without Govt. help is a crock. I'm sorry, I've seen too many people that have made it with no American education and off the boat. My parents for example. Back to my buddy. He says this current system cannot exist. We were talking about this country and he mentioned what will be worse than Yugoslavia will be when people break into groups by color (white, asian, black, etc.) besides religion. He would like to see this country do well, but he (like I) believe the corruption is too deep in this country. Also, the debt/deficits/military involvements are going to break us and the country. I remember some old Hopi Indian guy who made a prediction that this country will have another civil war and that many people will die. I sure hope he was wrong, but unlike the typical whack jobs out there making these predictions, his visions seemed believable. The longer I stay here, I see it happening. Again, I hope he's wrong and the country rises above.

Dave Cohen

@J.K.

Well, I would be among the first to acknowledge that nothing good can happen, but Obama's Newtown speech seemed to open a door which had previously been closed.

So I walked right through it.

If all I accomplished (once again, sigh) was to show that the Emperor is buck naked, then so be it.

-- Dave

James

My guess is that it will just be to leverage something like the Assault Weapons Ban back into place so the Dems can crow about how things are safer and the Repubs repeat that the govt is trying to take yer guns and really nothing much changed. HSBC, BoA,, etc keep pilfering billions, world govts keep propping up failed crony systems, drones keep blowing people up, etc.

JohnWDB

Correct, James. People will continue to believe the narratives they have already swallowed. Obama is tough on crime, tough on wall street, tough on climate change, and tough on the military industrial complex, because that's what liberals stand for (regardless of 4 years of exclusively opposite evidence) It seems no matter what happens, the respective news agents translate it into conservative or "progressive" speak so people can nod their heads and say "see, i told you so" on either side. It's frankly nauseating.

Aboc Zed

Comment prompted by JWDB:

Prof. Preobragensky of Dog's Heart used to say "If you read Soviet newspapers the news will make you sick". It was true for Soviet Russia on 1920ties it is certainly true for the world in 21st century. Mass media exist as extention of "free-enterprise to make as much money as one can and spend it the way one likes as long as it legal". The default human condition is simply institutionalized ignorance. If one wants to keep his brain healthy one should avoid spending much time listening to MSM and engage in very little interaction with an "average man from the street".

The virtual circles like this blog are places for people to learn things and share there emotions but they are not going to bring about any change simply because they are so rare.

I think we should either accept this and "enjoy life as it is" or we can try to create our own , separate from mainstream circle of communication and action which we would expect not go mainstream for very long time.

LCarey

"Hear hear Dave! Anyone with an ounce of empathy will back your words one hundred per cent."

Unfortunately, what we are lacking in the country is exactly that - empathy. What's the main characteric connecting sociopaths, Tea Baggers and investment bankers? Ungodly levels of complete NON-empathy. Dave could be much more eloquent on this point than I, but we live in an "I could care less about you" society where anything can be bought for money (and anything that can't be bought is deemed worthless). (P.S. I understand that the President wrote most of that speech himself - and it does sound like him from back in the day when he actually spoke about stuff that mattered.)

Eric Thurston

There is so much of the self-fulfilling prophecy with respect to attitudes toward guns and our lack of responsibility to the common good. Like you, Dave, I believe the battle has already been lost. The corporate and financial powers-that-be are likely all in favor of arming every pseudo-militia and every hot-headed kid and nervous granny on the street. This keeps the great unwashed preoccupied with their asinine gun toting theater, while the real malign powers continue looting the country blind. Yeah, the government is a threat, but only insofar as it is a wholly owned henchman of the corporate elite.

Ben

@Oliver

The children killed via drone strike are not "our children". They're not children of The Empire. Why should the Imperial President care for their lives?

Chris in Chicago

I have to agree with everyone else here. I dont believe Obama will do anything. The man has a kill list after all.

Just like him telling Assad he cant use chemical weapons on his people, but its been okay to kill them with bombs and guns. Spliting hairs dont you think.

Oliver

@ Ben

Exactement, mon ami.

The choices of the mind

While I agree with the sentiment that this event is tragic and anger-inducing, it is certainly not a sign that the U.S. or world has become any more or less terrible.

As other commentators noted, through the President's kill list, innocent children continue to be killed by predator drones as collateral damage.

Through our invasion of Iraq, premised on known false intelligence, our country was responsible for over 100,000 civilian deaths. Through the use of chemical warfare in the Vietnam war, we decimated our own "allies;" countless thousands of innocent children died at our hands. Go back through U.S. history; through our civil rights struggles, women's rights, WWII, child labor laws, WWI, slavery, etc. When was the U.S. the magical place we may have thought it was as a child?

The answer is simple - it never was. The idyllic America that we mythologize in our speeches, our minds, and our revisionist histories has never existed.

When events like this happen, it is easy to state: America is going to hell! What is this!?

However, rather that ignoring history, or bemoaning our present state of affairs, the only logical question is - how can we do it better? How can our systems be improved to create the mythologies of our mind?

Any time spent pointing out all of the terribleness of the world is time wasted. It is easy, it is wasteful, and it is fruitless mental masturbation yielding only depressive thoughts.

The only constant is change, and if one is not actively fighting against the tide, seeking to change to flow, taking distinct actions to fight its current, to change its guideposts, then you are a lost soul, simply waiting to be swept out to sea.

John D

I have to agree with you Dave. I was quite moved by Obama's talk Sunday night, whether or not it was written by someone else. Let's hope he gets a wakeup call and starts doing what we elected him to do.

Ezra

Hello Dave, I have been reading your stuff for a few months. I actually read your prescient Sept. 29, 2011 post about the meaning of Occupy Wall Street at a performance event I held on election night called "Jill Stein Goes Down." I just started a new blog recently, and I've been trying to talk about some of the issues that you bring forward. The main difference is that you are much smarter than I. I've been going through Christopher Lasch's book on Progress, and analyzing contemporary debates through that lens.

Anyway, here is my take on Obama's speech. I appear to be even more cynical than you are:

http://corporatehair.wordpress.com/2012/12/17/adam-lanza-obamas-address-and-the-culture-of-collateral-damage/

Thanks so much,
Ezra

Ezra

In case you don't feel like clicking over, here's the intro:

My lord, the chutzpah of our President is something to behold! Obama’s Newtown speech is now being hailed as his “Gettysburg Address” by Washington Post Associate Editor David Maraniss. The accolades are gushing in at gale-force speeds. Our President-Philosophe is reaching the very zenith of his charismatic powers, and the ever-predictable stable of progressive pundits are no doubt beginning to sense the old, hoary thrill creeping further and further up their inner thighs.

You know, I was planning on writing something today about the very real sympathy that I feel for Obama. The man has been dumped into nearly impossible circumstances: an epochal depression, the looming ecological collapse of our civilization, a utopian, revolutionary, Right-wing movement hell-bent on destroying the middle class and the earth, a pathetic and confused Left, a corrupt intelligentsia, a bought-and-paid for congress, a fascist Supreme Court, bloody revolutions abroad, resource depletion, et cetera, et cetera.

But I will save my Obama apologia for tomorrow. This Newtown speech is one absurdity too far. In order to illustrate why the President’s latest address and the surrounding media hoopla is a surreal and bizarre affair, I want to draw your attention to the fate of two Pakistani children. I know this will be difficult, but bear with me.

Tony

It's really too bad that so many people are blind to the fact that America has always been a very violent society. So they seek to control the tools used to perpetrate violence rather than the root causes of violence. Gun control as an issue is a wild goose chase. (Anyone notice the Chinese man who cut up a bunch of kids the same day or day after the CT tragedy?). Fact is we are surrounded by guns, and we always will be.

If we'd all just open our eyes and look at our culture instead. The country was formed through revolution! Prior to that, settlers violently took or defended their land. Slavery, the Civil War, the Wild West, the Indian Wars, the atrocities are innumerable (not to mention the violence Dave described in our government and financial industry that nothing is being done about). Our culture is one of violence. It is perpetuated in our sports, our movies, and our video games. Guns didn't kill those people, a whack-job product of our culture did. Forget about gun control, ammo taxes, and all that. There are laws on the books right now that actually make it easier for a whacko to commit atrocities in soft-target places like schools and theaters. The law-abiding populace is forbidden to possess weapons in those places. The whack-nuts don't follow our laws.
Our country is morally bankrupt. Unless we improve what it means to be an American, unless we improve on our humanity, we cannot legislate these atrocities away.

Barring improvements in our countries moral fiber (which won't happen until our "leaders" actually lead the way, the next best defense is to identify volunteer defenders of our people and arm them so that we can maintain a constant vigilance to mitigate the symptoms of our own evil. More guns I'm afraid, in the hands of more people.

Tony

Serendipitous - I found someone much more skilled than I to explain it all: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-12-17/hey-you

Dan

Read his speech over again. It's a strong, albeit unintentional, argument for repealing Roe vs. Wade.

Here's a sample:
"And by that measure, can we truly say, as a nation, that we are meeting our obligations? Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children — all of them — safe from harm? Can we claim, as a nation, that we’re all together there, letting them know that they are loved, and teaching them to love in return? Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?

The answer, Mr. President, is no - not while abortion remains legal

Escrava Isaura

Dan, I am sorry to say, but you're part of the problem!

Gale

Dear Dan, how right you are.

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