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Here's what I hate about this, even more than the senseless deaths in Isla Vista. As a society, we've accepted the following as fact -- fact, not opinion, not "liberal bullshit," fact:

  • It's worth the cost in human lives and trauma to have nearly-unlimited access to all kinds of guns and weaponry.
  • Corporate profits and edicts overrule democracy.
  • The police are not bound by the law, and can harass us, imprison, beat us and kill us at will.
  • Angry whites and angry males can and do impose their will on women and minorities, to the point where men rape and kill women with near-impunity, and whites can kill innocent black children and walk away while a black woman is sentenced to decades in prison for firing a warning shot over the head of her male abuser.
  • Corporate interests are free, on an ongoing basis, to perform catastrophic damage on the environment, to the point where the very existence of ours and other species not named "cockroach" is in serious question, and nothing of any real import is done or even considered (in any real sense) to curb it.
  • Two of our most sacred documents that should stand for secular, egalitarian law and moral, ethical righteousness -- the Constitution and the Bible -- are being misused as clubs to beat us down and oppress us. In a very real sense, they are being "unmade."
  • Bigotry trumps tolerance, and fear trumps freedom.

So here's my question(s):

When are we going to do something about it? What are we going to do about it?

And if you say "Vote!" as your only suggested recourse, consider yourself stooge-slapped. We don't transform a rigged game by making the next predictable move in that game.

I originally posted this on my Facebook wall after reading Michael Moore's status update. Here's his post, if you didn't see it already.

https://www.facebook.com/...

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Comment Preferences

  •  Not suggesting not to vote. (24+ / 0-)

    By all means, vote the sons of bitches out and replace them with slightly less reprehensible sons of bitches -- and in some instances, decent human beings like Schakowsky, Franken, Cummings and Sanders (among others) who actually stand up for human, civil and American rights.

    But until the "game" is transformed, voting alone changes little or nothing, not in any real or meaningful sense.

    •  I'm glad for the clarification. (6+ / 0-)

      And yes, "voting alone changes little or nothing." It's merely the hiring process.

      I've never worked for any employer who said, "Okay, you've got the job. I'll check with you in 2 (or 4 or 6) years. In the meantime, you're on your own."

      Moore says in the Facebook post to which you link, "Even when 90% of the American public calls for stronger gun laws, Congress refuses."

      The trouble is that "90% of the American public" didn't "call" for them. Groups of usually not much more than 1000, when asked, told pollsters that's what they wanted. Most others who agreed read those polls and expected them to do their work for them.

      Wanna know what polls tell our elected officials? Only what people will say they want when asked, but don't care enough about to tell them - the ones they hire to make it happen - directly.

      And while we're not telling them what we want, there are others who are telling them what they want. Sure, their money gets them access, but they use that access, getting in elected officials' faces every day, making demands. We, for the most part, don't.

      Not "90% of the American public;" not 90% even of voters, or 50% of them or 20% or even 10.

      Our access is automatic - telephone, email, letters, postcards - and our power is in numbers rather than dollars. Donors and lobbyists use their dollars, but we don't use our numbers.

      It doesn't take a math whiz to apply the above percentages to the roughly 150 million Americans registered to vote. And when an issue comes along that gets people fired up enough to actually tell officials what they want - like net neutrality - not much more than 2 million do so. And that's an unusually high number.

      But it's not even 10% of voters - or 5% - much less that of "the American public."

      Some cynics may jump all over me for naivete or idealism, telling me it's futile 'cause our reps are bought and paid for, but you know what? It's never been tried; not by any significant percentage of the huge majorities polls tell us favor "stronger gun laws" (or anything else)

      That's my proposal and answer to your second question.

      Only "the American public" can furnish the answer to the first.    

    •  As a white male I approve this message (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, LunarEclipse
  •  From what I've seen the killer's sense (17+ / 0-)

    of entitlement was central to his thinking. He posted the following comment (Post #13) on bodybuilding.com. [google cache].

    Women have control over which men get sex and which men don't, thus having control over which men breed and which men don't. Feminism gave women the power over the future of the human species. Feminism is evil.
    This sort of ownership claim over the lives of others is the common thread that runs through all of the social problems that you're describing.
  •  You forgot one (0+ / 0-)

    you left out somehow stereotyping Asians

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Sat May 24, 2014 at 07:58:04 PM PDT

  •  While I understand your anger (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob, Black Max, Pluto

    ...it's really misplaced in this case.  I could dissemble each of your bullet points, but it would be a needless expenditure of my time.

    In the wake of this tragedy, everyone will make a lot of noise about better, more timely, mental health care for those who need it.  It's always about the crazies.  I'm not going to get into all of the incidents in the recent past that end in the same conclusion.

    At the end of the day, nothing will be done to either destigmatize the issue or make access to such care easier or less personally branding.

    This from someone who's been through the system personally, and in a supporting role for others.

    •  I sympathize with your experiences (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis

      but I think this case is emblematic of quite a few things. (Obviously it has nothing to do with climate change, for example.) Do you think there will be gun restrictions enacted because of this? Stricter laws against stalking or menacing? Stricter penalties for rape? No, not hardly. We will wring our collective hands over it, hold candlelight vigils, argue on news shows, and move along with absolutely nothing changing.

      It certainly is about the mentally ill and the ridiculous dearth of care many of them grapple with, but that's only one aspect of the issue. I didn't focus on that issue in this particular diary.

      •  I'd like someone to empathize with the experience (0+ / 0-)

        If you haven't been there personally, or been spat upon by institutionalized loved ones going through it, you have no frame of reference.

        •  I live with a wonderful wife who has gone through (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          churchylafemme, Joy of Fishes

          more hell than most people can conceive of. I have worked with her to get through it for almost 14 years, and we're by no ways done yet. I do know that she is the strongest and most loving person I've ever met, and that most people, including myself, would have either crashed and burned, suicided, or been institutionalized after what she's survived. I do indeed have a frame of reference. I'd appreciate it if you would not pass judgment, or elevate your own suffering above someone else's.

          •  I don't think it's a matter of elevating anyone's (0+ / 0-)

            suffering above anyone else, but stigma actively interferes with the success of treatment of mental illness. So if the mentally ill are stigmatized by being perpetually associated with mass murderers, that interferes with the successful treatment of the mentally ill. The mentally ill are more likely to be victims of violent crime than to perpetrate it, but no one talks about that after a violent crime. People use "mentally ill" as a way to distance themselves from violent criminals, and it isn't right. All of us bear collective responsibility for being part of a society that so often values violence over people.

            Also, I think you should be careful about suggesting that institutionalization is a sign of weakness. Strong people end up in institutions, too. I'm glad you're wife was able to avoid them- they can be real hellholes- but there's no reason to assume that people that end up in them are any weaker than people who don't.

            I wish you both peace, and I thank you for your empathy. I'm so glad you were able to be there for someone who you obviously adore in her time of need. Not everyone gets that, sadly.

  •  I don't think I've ever seen so many people here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shifty18

    using such a wide brush before.

    Personally, I'm not guilty of any of your charges even though I am a white male devil.

    I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

    by Just Bob on Sat May 24, 2014 at 09:01:26 PM PDT

  •  And this guy was KNOWN to be this bent (4+ / 0-)

    as far back as the first week of May.
    Where's the followup?
    Where was the followup with the Tucson guy?
    Where was the followup with the Va Tech guy?

    Dropping the ball here is the fault of the authorities to whom these individuals' danger to themselves and the community got reported, only to have those reports blown off.

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Sat May 24, 2014 at 09:24:11 PM PDT

    •  Follow up. Heh. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      samanthab, blueoasis

      The single time I ever called a suicide hotline, I had the call terminated after 30 minutes.

      "Well, I have to go now."
      "What?"
      "I have to go, unless you're sure you're not suicidal at this very moment."
      They don't have the time, personnel, resources, or in some instances inclination to do anything the first time around, much less follow up on anything.
  •  We can take the low road. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kaliope, Pluto

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature. I scroll with my middle finger.

    by ZenTrainer on Sat May 24, 2014 at 09:59:59 PM PDT

  •  The Constitution is "our" sacred document (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, Urban Space Cowboy

    The Bible is not. It belongs to a portion of the population, and is used by some to beat up on a portion of the population.  And it has no relationship with another portion. Please don't assume its universality.

    Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you. Gabby Giffords.

    by Leftleaner on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:46:50 AM PDT

    •  Yeah. That was completely bizarre. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis

      It's a shocking thing that someone out there conflates the two.

      Otherwise, I think the Diary presents an interesting puzzle regarding voting and population size. In that, I think inside this puzzle is perhaps a great truth and revelation about the American people.

      When I first got here long ago, before I knew much about politics -- I think I understood things better than I do now. And was less troubled by them.

      On as issue like this, I would just wave my hand and dismiss it with, "Oh, the American people are completely broken. They've been broken since Vietnam."

      Now, as I look up from all the body-politic intricacies I've downloaded, through which I filter everything -- I suddenly realize I was right to begin with.

      Why did I spend so many years grinding over and over again that which is already powder?

      ::

      This too shall pass. There's nothing to see here.

      I just finished reading 141 pages of Roger's autobiography.

      1.  The young man was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome a long time ago. It is very severe. His biography will become a psychological classic in the field of mental health.

      2.  Guns are not going anywhere. They are, quite rightly, the Creation Myth of the American Culture. There would be no such thing as the United States and its bounty without guns and continent-wide genocide. Weapons are what we, as a nation, do to make a living in the world today.

      •  Oh, Michael Moore is a marvelous anthropologist. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        His statement on this indecent has a certain academic perfection about it. It's the kind of thing you can take to the bank.

        Michael Moore
        12 hrs ·
        With due respect to those who are asking me to comment on last night's tragic mass shooting at UCSB in Isla Vista, CA -- I no longer have anything to say about what is now part of normal American life. Everything I have to say about this, I said it 12 years ago: We are a people easily manipulated by fear which causes us to arm ourselves with a quarter BILLION guns in our homes that are often easily accessible to young people, burglars, the mentally ill and anyone who momentarily snaps. We are a nation founded in violence, grew our borders through violence, and allow men in power to use violence around the world to further our so-called American (corporate) "interests." The gun, not the eagle, is our true national symbol. While other countries have more violent pasts (Germany, Japan), more guns per capita in their homes (Canada [mostly hunting guns]), and the kids in most other countries watch the same violent movies and play the same violent video games that our kids play, no one even comes close to killing as many of its own citizens on a daily basis as we do -- and yet we don't seem to want to ask ourselves this simple question: "Why us? What is it about US?" Nearly all of our mass shootings are by angry or disturbed white males. None of them are committed by the majority gender, women. Hmmm, why is that? Even when 90% of the American public calls for stronger gun laws, Congress refuses -- and then we the people refuse to remove them from office. So the onus is on us, all of us. We won't pass the necessary laws, but more importantly we won't consider why this happens here all the time. When the NRA says, "Guns don't kill people -- people kill people," they've got it half-right. Except I would amend it to this: "Guns don't kill people -- Americans kill people." Enjoy the rest of your day, and rest assured this will all happen again very soon.

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