Saturday, December 5, 2015

Thoughts and Prayers, 5c

Everyone's heard it all before. Its comes out of the Insincere Politician and News Media Handbook of Cliches For Every Occassion under: Tragedy. "Our thoughts and prayers are with _______" It's  right above " our hearts go out to____" .
After Paris Obama said his thoughts and prayers were with the victims. So did every member of the news media as they interviewed survivors and family members. So did Hillary Clinton and every other politician.  As family or survivors were interviewed by CNN reporters they would invariably squeeze in "Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family".
After the shooting at the Colorado Planned Parenthood Clinic Obama, politicians and the news media all said their thoughts and prayers are with the victims.
And after the 14 were killed and 21 wounded in San Bernadino there were more thoughts and prayers offered from Obama and all of the Republican presidential candidates who would rather offer thoughts and prayers than offer legislation to cut down on the need for thoughts and prayers.
The entire Peanuts gang offering their thoughts and prayers would have more sincerity and carry more weight than all the politicians and members of the news media who patronizingly offer it combined.
The truth is -- and it is the truth --no one,  not one politician or any TV journalist who offered thoughts and prayers to the victims of another mass shooting ever  missed a meal over it despite their public hand wringing. And while they will  publicly wring their hands no one will lift  finger to actually do something about it.  

Hillary Clinton offered a tweet ( a tweet?) that said
" I refuse to accept this as normal".   Okay, thanks. This seems to follow her new found loyalty and support of  failed Obama policies who recently enlightened us with more of his electric deeply moving, insightful and meaningful  pronouncements  after the Colorado clinic shooting when he said, 
" This is not normal".
Everyone knows what offering thoughts and prayers are.  Offering thoughts and prayers is essentially an insincere political cliche designed to show that the offerer is a good person who cares. Which they do.   A little.  For a minute. What it really is at its most basic, is sympathy.
There is something better than sympathy.  Its called empathy. Empathy is before the fact, sympathy comes after the fact.  If you have empathy for human beings  if you can relate to others and their lives and there is enough of it among politicians  there wouldn't be a need for so much sympathy.
Sympathy  for the victims is the stock and trade of politicians and the news media. It's all they have to offer. Because it's the easiest  thing to do. It's a greeting card that disappears when the cameras do.  

The entire Peanuts gang offering their thoughts and prayers would also have more impact than all the politicians and news media types combined. At least you'd feel they understood. 

What's really needed is to actually do something that might help prevent one or two or three of these events.  Maybe like shaming Republicans who killed a bill that would ban people on a terrorist no fly list from buying guns.  Or a bill to limit magazines to 15 rounds. But as the NRA knows, you don't need an AR-15 to kill a bill. You just need enough Republicans. 
Democrats, weak and meek and tepid as usual
(there is a political axiom that a party takes on the characteristics of it's leader) didn't know how to turn that to their political advantage. The news media, weak and meek as usual who get tough when they think its safe and it won't offend any large demographic group,  plays the "they said, they said" game, bringing on both sides of the debate and giving equal weight to both because their idea of being fair has nothing to do with the truth but equal opportunity lying. 

Opponents of any legislation say it wouldn't have prevented the tragedy . How they know this isn't clear. Since the San Bernadino killers were on a time table a law limiting magazines to 15 rounds instead of 30 might've cut the casualties in half.  Or a law requiring extra registration for anyone wanting 30 round clips so they can be vetted.

By the way what didn't prevent the tragedy was the bulk meta data collection of all Americans phone records which ended Nov.29th thanks to Edward Snowden .  The phone records of the terrorist shooters for the last five years  along with Internet activity was available and stored somewhere along with everyone else's thanks to the abuses allowed by Obama in the name of national security and was worthless in preventing what happened.

Saying that new laws wouldn't have prevented the attack is worthless also. It's a good excuse for doing nothing.

Which means all the thoughts and prayers of all the politicians and news media in the country combined isn't worth 5c.  It's not even worth two.

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