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What Has Happened To Us


#1

What Has Happened To Us

Mazel tov, America. Today you beat your own grotesque record: Two school shootings, not the routine tepid one, in a day! And two barely-thwarted shootings! And, this week, nine dead in Oregon - with gun-toting nutjobs protesting Obama paying his respects - a Home Depot vigilante shooting, an 8-year-old shot dead by an 11-year-old, and what would have been John Lennon's 75th birthday. Imagine. Elizabeth Warren: "Time to make a choice."


#2

"Mazel tov, America."

Abby, do you have any understanding the percentage of "Americans" (more correctly, USAns) know what "Mazel Tov" means? Probably even fewer than know what the flag I'm waving in my "avatar" signifies. I only know what it means after you used it a couple years ago and I "googled" it.

But I await more of this "we need our guns so the evil government will fear us" nonsense.


#3

Guns just the tip of the unseen .USA has an empathy deficit. Capitalism will destroy yah .From the outside it appears
on the surface sort of OK. Don't look any closer or you will get that sinking feeling that there in the shadows exists
a distorted belief of the light on hill, except there is no light only the darkest of futures . AS Putin asked "what have you done" Is there any redemption? Here comes that sinking feeling again.


#4

For this ignorant gentile I assumed it meant 'congratulations.' Upon Goodling it, I see it can also mean 'good luck.' BTW I also googled your red and black flag and learned it is the symbol of the anarcho-syndicalist.

I remember in 1970 gun control was one of my topics for speech class, so it has been an issue for quite a long time and not has changed. There seems to be 3 groups, pro gun, anti gun, and don't care one or the other. Growing up in the Midwest in a culture that hunted, and the result was many a dinner on the table, I can appreciate the gun as a means for providing sustenance. I can also appreciate the male bonding and camaraderie during hunting season. It is part of man's nature, it's what we've done since we came out of the trees.

One of the unintended results of the anti gun movement is every time they begin to make noise about restricting ownership is that every pro gun person runs out and buys more guns, assault rifles, large clips, and enough ammo for 20 lifetimes, further saturating our society with guns.

Personally I see no reason for handguns, or semi-automatic rifles. Bolt action rifles holding 3 rounds are sufficient for large game, and pump action shot guns holding 6 rounds are sufficient for fowl. I feel most rational minded hunters would agree with something similar.

I don't know how we are going to get gun enthusiasts to give up their arsenals. But we could take some baby steps and restrict the production of the highly lethal weapons. While at the same time banning the production and export of bombs, missiles and other destructive devices. To be against one and not the other seems somewhat hypocritical to me.

My hunch is that the war on guns will be about as successful as the war drugs. Usually things die out when there is no longer a market for them due to a lack of necessity and interest. So perhaps the 'I don't care one way or the other crowd' will eventually carry the day, and people will just lose interest. For the record I no longer hunt or own a gun.


#5

Brava to Abby, great article. She's expressing all the rage, disgust and disbelief that I am feeling after all these horrible gun deaths and gun slaughters. But what's even worse, is the reaction of this country to all this gun-related killing; nothing, just a shrug of the shoulders and let's move on until the next massacre so we can do nothing the next time around. And then there are all the jackasses who think guns are just peachy keen, no problem, we need more guns. F*** them. I don't need a gun to hunt down a tomato, arugula, spinach, chick peas or carrots, etc.


#6

Turn on your TV and you will see what happened to us. All human beings learn how they should be according to their culture. We teach our children how they should be when they grow up. Well we used to. Now we rely on TV to teach our children how to be human.

Gone are the heroes in white hats who protect the innocent (not dismiss them as collateral damage). Gone are the days when the bad guys tortured and acted brutally (oh but we have a reason to torture and if the person dies from the torture it accidentally went too far and that wasn't supposed to happen).

We teach our children to expect a Big Finale of explosions, bloody mayhem and utter violence all set to a rousing musical theme. We make them feel small, that they are losers because they aren't popular, because they don't have a fancy car and a yacht. We teach them that crime does pay (guess who has the cars and yachts), that being a good guy - a decent loving human being - means that you are weak and as always a loser.

We teach the kids to want to make a cinematic big splash - to be remembered whether in a good way or bad - to go out in style and showing the world that even if it takes killing other human beings for no reason that you mattered as a human being - that someone had no choice but to see you as powerful even if only for a few minutes... that you had a BIG FINALE - just like you had been taught all your life by that universal elder of our tribe - the TV. Sam Peckinpah was our babysitter!

If we teach mayhem, dehumanization of others and manic bloodshed then it is a guarantee that there will be some susceptible individuals who are psychologically on the edge of a break down and influence them negatively.

We teach violence. That is what happened to us. We teach ourselves violence.


#7

Unforunately Joe,

This headline even after the tragedy when the families have not yet buried their dead explains the power of the NRA. Are there really any sensible, responsible gun owners anywhere?

"Obama, visiting Roseburg families, is confronted by angry gun rights advocates"

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-obama-visits-roseburg-oregon-20151009-story.html


#8

It's always worthwhile to think about who's saying what, and why.

The LATimes, for example, sacked Ted Rall because of the way he picks on cops.

The LA cops, of course, are above reproach as the many episodes of gratuitous killings, organised framings, and other illegal activities have demonstrated for decades.

Even though Rall demonstrated that the audio tape supplied to the LAT as "evidence" was fraudulent, the paper's management refuses to reinstate him, refuses to allow public comments, and in general just stonewalls, which of course is how all honest organisations behave when caught out.

Maybe what they claim shouldn't be taken seriously?


#9

Want to get rid of the problem, Abby? Beat the drum for re-opening the asylums and providing high-quality residential care, plus processes for getting people who need residential care into it while keeping out those who do not need it.

That's the only realistic way to make the killings stop. Nothing that focuses on tools rather than need/intent will have any effect, as the 18th c. jurist Cesar Bonesana, the Marquis of Beccaria, explained:


#10

Surely Mairead, you can find something other than the article which echoed the news of yesterday in a variety of media, than my choice of the LA Times.


#11

Do the children shooting other children have mental health problems? Some do and some don't. Or is it just the fact that the adults left unsecured guns around for curious children to find? But wait, I thought that all gun owners were responsible, wonderful people. Just by owning a gun, supposedly bestows infinite wisdom, foresight and super abilities. Blaming it all on crazy people is a deflection and an excuse to do nothing about an inanimate object that is designed to kill and maim. Most mentally ill people are not violent and have no desire to shoot a gun. However, a high percentage of the shooters are mentally ill. The proliferation of guns and easy access to guns are a huge problem. An atom bomb is an inanimate object, no problem, nothing to worry about, just move along.


#12

Nice shot Yunzer.

I have been using the descriptor "USAins" and "USAns" interchangeably and for years at every chance I find to distinguish these exceptional, clueless, egocentric, prodigal, racist, theaving, ill informed, intellectually lazy, self-indulgent, amoral middle class (ever diminishing) and wealthy corporate and professional upper classes (ever growing) from the inhabitants of the rest of America - the Peruvians, Mexicans, Hondurans, Brazilians, Venezuelans, Cubans, Canadians, et al. It's gotten so bad that even Europeans from all walks of life are doing it - referring to the people of United States, a nation of the North American part of the Continents of the Americas as "Americans".

Keep doing it and some people at least might catch on that it's a misnomer.


#13

Rkt9, who posted above, seems like a rational gun owner-even if he now describes himself as a 'forme'r gun owner. The kind of gun ownership he's talking about was common when I was young, and makes perfectly good sense in a rural context.I suspect that there are still quite a few NRA members who would sign onto something like what he's talking about. Unfortunately, their voices have been silenced by the evil gas bags and by the politicians who shill for them.


#14

And also if you travel to Latin America, they get quite miffed (more than they will politely let on) at the way visiting "Estadounidese" (literally "Unitedstatesian") will call themselves "Américano". At a minimum they will correct you with a "Queres decir "Norteaméricano?" (Mexico and Canada notwithstanding, "Northamerican" is also typically used to mean someone from the US). Even the Argentine Pope obliquely brought this up in his speech to the US Congress.

Also, you won't spend much time in any South American country before you hear the quip about the USA being "el pais sin nombre" (The country without an name) becasue there are a number of other countries whose full name is "United States of xxx" For example "Los Estados Unidos de "México". And no, "The United States of America" does not fix this, becasue "America' refers to a whole hemisphere.

For USAns who continue to be confused with this, I ask: "What if one day Germany declared that it will henceforth be called "Bundesrepublik Europa" ("Federal Republic of Europe, instead of Federal Republic of Germany) and everyone else will be called "French", "Belgian", "Italian", etc...Don't you think its neighbors would be pissed off?

I like "Estadounidese" but "Unitedstatesian" is awkward in English so I prefer "USAn", which I propose pronouncing "yoosan"


#15

Yeah, growing up as a kid in Fairfax, Vriginia, there were just three Jews in our whole 1200 student high school. And I thought we Catholics were a small minority! One of the kids back in elementary school brought some various Jewish "trinkets" for show-and-tell (drehdels, yarmulke's, "geld" (chocolate candy coins) I don't recall them trying to teach us any Yiddish or Hebrew. It amazed me to hear accounts of Jews in New York (and even some neighborhoods here in Pittsburgh) who grew in this cloistered world where they don't even know any gentiles until they are grown adults. Sure, my old-fashioned Phlly-Irish-Catholic parents gently encouraged us to not pal around (and later not go out on dates) with Protestant kids if we could avoid it, but nothing like that.


#16

Curiously, the cloistered Jewish world you refer to still exists, here and there, though it is becoming more exceptional. I recall going to a Jewish wedding in Albany N.Y. which took place in a very large almost entirely Jewish neighborhood. I was the token WASP (sort of-I was brought up that way), and my wife is Jewish. Her comment was along the lines of WTF, is this the ghetto redux?" She grew up in a Jewish home in Norfolk Va., and quite a few of her friends were not Jewish. That was her "Normal". It was perfectly okay for her to marry me-although her family would probably have preferred that she marry a Jewish guy. Her dad told her (about me) "I don't care if he's a cossack, as long as he treats you well". Upper crust WASPS were as 'cloistered' as some Jews when I was young-maybe not so much any more. That was dynastic, as well as racist and entitled.


#17

As an expat from the U.S. living in South America, I can tell you that your comment is exactly correct. Because of this, many of my Latino friends and neighbors here consider most people from the U.S. as arrogant, disrespectful, and ignorant ... especially regarding the history of the Americas.

The city I live in was founded in 1557, 239 years longer than the U.S. has been a country. By the way, some of the buildings from that time are still functioning today with family businesses on the first and second floors and apartments on the third floor and higher.

The city I live in has the largest number of gringos (5,000+) in the country. Personally, I wish most of them would go back home to the U.S. I get tired of their constant negative attitude and arrogance. The locals have a name for those people ... feo americanos (ugly Americans).


#18

You're correct Flatman IMHO. I'm a child of the 1930s. Depression time and my dad hunted for food. Taught me to shoot, but used a 22 with short caused they killed what we needed and were cheap. I live in a senior complex where i suspect all my neighbors are not only armed, but paranoid about burglars. Never a firearm in my home. Scares me to think of one of my semi-senile, paranoid neighbors firing randomly at some imagined intruders and accidentally killing other neighbors or me. Too many guns with their single purpose: to kill and other than a few like my dad, no need for anyone to have them.

It was nice when I lived in England, decades ago, the Bobbies, if they required a gun had to check one out, but even that is different now.

Here in Sacramento the County Deputies worse than the city cops, shoot first and ask later. Even more so than my neighbors this ancient woman fears being shot by a cop.

Roseburg, OR used to be our lunch stop at a great coffee shop when traveling north. Beautiful little town then. Pleasant people, but even they
are infected as per the incident yesterday with Obama, by the NRA. I
seriously doubt the armed gang that met him are all hunters.


#19

Yeah. The old TV comedy series "Seinfeld" where everyone everywhere was Jewish would always give me this slightly creepy "fear of a Jewish Planet" feeling between the laugh lines... (with a credit to Public Enemy...like all white USAns the "fear of a Black Planet" resides, unexorcised, in dark corners of my psyche too)


#20

Thanks for your comment. I worked in the oil field in Venezuela back in the 1980s - but haven't been back in Latin America since.