What does “safety” mean?

To the homeless man, safety means he can sleep at night without worry of being shanked.

To the young, unemployed or underemployed mother- it means not having to depend on someone else to be able to feed her kids.

To the American soldier in Afghanistan- it means coming home in one piece to his family.

To the people of South Park- it means going out on patrol to make sure their homes and garages don’t get busted into.

To way too many Americans- it means not having to worry about having a job, being able to pay their mortgage, being able to afford to educate their kids, to have health insurance that won’t bankrupt them if they get a major illness, to know their life savings won’t be sucked up in a giant Ponzi scheme run by the FIRE- Finance, Insurance and Real Estate moneychangers of Wall Street.

Those moneychangers think they are safe because they have millions of dollars in the bank and believe they have great wealth and power, except when it all falls apart.

Money- gold, silver, diamonds won’t buy security when society falls apart. Unfortunately, the people who know this best are miscreants.  Criminals, terrorists, sociopaths. They understand that in the end, guns talk louder than money.

Ten years ago, a punk named Osama Bin Laden showed us that money wasn’t really all that important. He took down the towers of finance with weapons he didn’t even have to buy- just rent 20 seats and a few boxcutters (if the government’s account is to be believed). One man was able to change the world- for the worst. And why? Because money doesn’t mean a thing when order breaks down. Need proof- look to the LA riots- or New Orleans after Katrina. At some point, we’ll finally figure out that just like in war, there really are no true winners in Monopoly either- not when guns and nuclear weapons exist.

None of us are safe when there are people who have no other option than to steal to survive.

Mark Twain is quoted “Principles have no real force except when one is well-fed.” Our country is entering the most dangerous time of all- not because of 9/11 but because of our own negligence in letting society/civilization run amok. No CEO is worth $144 million in a year, especially when he’s running a “health insurance” company that is doing everything it can to NOT provide care for its clients.

No Wall Street Wizard should be able to pull $5 billion a year out of thin air- that money came from somewhere didn’t it? Your pension funds, mortgages that will never be repaid, company values that aren’t connected to performance.

Why do elections cost so much? Why are “public utilities” owned by private companies? Why can we afford to put people in prison that we couldn’t afford to teach to read?

Safety is not when we put more people in prison, safety is when we work together to build a society where we all have no fear.

When politicians talk about what the other guy would do to you- they aren’t working in your best interest. We need to change the conversation from us and them- to just us.

Because isn’t the US what we created back in 1776, where we realized that “all men are created equal” and we all had rights?

Safety will only come when we start thinking of US instead of them, of US instead of me, of US as a nation that leads the free world in basic rights- to sleep in safety, to be able to feed and educate ones children, to know that what we work for will still be of value tomorrow.

I don’t blame terrorists for our lack of safety, I blame US for not understanding what real safety means.


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David LauriDavid EsratiRobert VighJohn IseGary Recent comment authors
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On yet another level, real safety comes when we think “US” includes all human beings and not just U.S.

One of the things that disappoints me about the response to 9/11 is that the U.S. had good will from almost all nations.  Even Iran assisted in policing its eastern borders to inhibit Al Qaeda.  During the ’90s, international opinion of the USA was on the upswing.

But we spent all that good will like profligates, chose hasty invasions and mismanaged occupations rather than carefully planned target missions and intelligent diplomacy, and spent/deregulated ourselves into economic doldrums.

Glad I am that I’m at least employed and that I have the means to amuse myself. 


Blame 9/11 on the CIA and FBI for not getting along – this should be the primary lesson learned, because we were warned of the attacks on the Twin Towers (at least this is the message I have heard the most).  And it’s true, people like messing with each other, as I will be the first to admit – make fun of me and I’ll be coming after you!
Hey, isn’t that what Al Qaeda did?  Take a lesson from Star Trek, don’t bother the other cultures and their ways – even if Muslim men want to marry kid girls, leave them alone and mind our own business … But I’m afraid it’s to late, there will be no USA economy healing for decades I’m afraid … What we really need to do is come up with a way to rob back those whom have robbed us … somehow … some way.
(A prime example of our own terrorism is right here on this blog when commenters ridicule other commenters instead of teaching them the correct response – however, we are getting better and calmer, and nicer.)

John Ise
John Ise

Andrew Sullivan’s must-read Newsweek article on 911. Money quote:

We often talk about terror in terms of the terrorist. We do so less in terms of the terrorized. But it was how this act changed those of us who were bystanders that made this event more awful than a mere mass murder. It was mass murder as theater and as threat.

It took months for this initial trauma to ebb, years for my psyche to regain its equilibrium. And it took me close to a decade to realize just how slickly Osama bin Laden had done his evil work, how insidiously his despicable performance art had reached into my mind and altered it, how carefully he had set the trap and how guilelessly I—we—had walked right into it.

We need to understand that 9/11 worked. It worked as a tactic to induce American self-destruction, even if it failed spectacularly as a strategy to advance Al Qaeda—and its heretical message of suicidal warfare—across the globe.

Robert Vigh
Robert Vigh

Safety will only come when we start thinking of US instead of them, of US instead of me, of US as a nation that leads the free world in basic rights- to sleep in safety, to be able to feed and educate ones children, to know that what we work for will still be of value tomorrow.

David, I think you have some things confused about rights. Do you actually think socialism works? Or do you not think this sounds of socialism? I mean, when I have a right to food, do you mean I have a right to grow it, farm it or hunt it. Or I have a right to take it from someone else? Or are you talking on the Macro scale, where because someone else earned $$$, we will seize it from them to pay for everyones food and no effort is required to now be fed? Just wondering how you are defining your terms here.        

Robert Vigh
Robert Vigh

David, What are on earth are you talking about? I think you must have been in a rush, because you make no sense what so ever. For example, how often do I lightly engage in a topic and primarily use a scare word without defining terms. For all to have a right to food, means the public must own the means of production and the public then provides the right to food. This is not scary to everyone, but it does resemble socialism. *Note* you never actually answered the question. Lets follow the rest of your post: I don’t think the CEO who doesn’t have any of his own money in the company- has any right to pay himself millions while laying people off, or outsourcing to China etc. ** This is your usual anti-wealth rant without support or reason** I don’t think that our system of “health insurance” does anything different than the mob making business pay a “protection fee” to stay in business. **This is an illogical statement as much of the healthcare industry is artificially protected and propped up by the government. So what are you actually saying ** Civilization requires people to be civil- and raping the poor- isn’t. **In any way shape or form, how has our conversation turned to raping the poor? You seem to just throw out this random statement** Money only works- when there is trust- there is no trust when the gap between winners and losers gets ridiculous and the system breaks down. **Or it requires asset backing. Because we have a fed monopoly on money which the government in its history has made gold illegal, seized it from citizens, and many years later took the money off the gold asset backing. So, the fiat currency may only work via trust, but this is a whole other topic that you randomly seem to land on. ** You aren’t thinking straight if you don’t think that civilized society doesn’t require some rules. **What are you talking about? When did we shift to lawlessness and a no rules society. That was neither said by you or I.** There we have it. A… Read more »

David Lauri

Some fun links that are apropos to this discussion about what we in our society owe one another:
From a blog post entitled “CNN/Tea Party Debate Audience Cheers Letting Uninsured Comatose Man Die“:

PAUL:  That’s what freedom is all about, taking your own risks. This whole idea that you have to prepare and take care of everybody –

From a Newser story entitled “Ron Paul’s Ill Ex-Campaign Manager Died Uninsured“:

To the Tea Party, freedom may be just another word for dying without health insurance. But for Ron Paul, Wolf Blitzer’s debate question about whether a man without insurance should be allowed to die (to which audience members shouted “Yeah!) hit pretty close to home. Paul’s former campaign chairman, Kent Snyder, died of pneumonia in 2008 at the age of 49 without health insurance.

Robert Vigh
Robert Vigh

DE: again you assume lawlessness and that rights to products should be based on need. That on the basis of fear, I should give someone my food in order to not have them mug me for my food. Sometimes you make sense and other times I think you are in a mood and it just comes out as gibberish. 

I would also like to point at that when I use the word socialism in its actual meaning you proclaim it a scare word. Yet, you end gibberish arguments with statements like:    Watch how everything falls apart when the gap gets much bigger-   *Sounds scary*

Lets write this one off as you having a bad day. Your most recent article is more interesting anyway.

Robert Vigh
Robert Vigh

And you never answered my simple question.


Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church – In this book, the message is- we all have a moral and social responsibility to feed the poor and keep them safe: