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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