Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Boston, Sandy Hook, Economy, Cyprus

Below is a guest blog from a friend, Banner Conanan. I chose this guest blog than posting my own ideas as I have ambivalent opinion about the lockdown after the bombing of the Boston Marathon. I thought that the heavy police lockdown was eerie and Martial Law-like, but a Filipino friend in Boston suburb supported it even if she and her family were also affected by the police action.

This will be the second time that I feature Banner's ideas and quotes. The first was in Pol. Ideology 31: Quotes on Liberty and Government,May 29, 2012.


Boston, Sandy Hook, Economy, Cyprus and I Give Up

by Banner Conanan
23 April 2013

The same day of the Boston bombings (where 3 were killed), which had dominated the news of late in the US, over 55 people were killed in Iraq.   
For me, the tragedy is no less no matter who dies and where.
But I've viewed what I feel a mob mentality from the mainstream news which really dominates people's perspective.   It had been all the Boston event.
I find it very alarming.  You know, those same news outlets that said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, we had to invade Libya for some reason, and big banks and financials needed to be bailed because they are "too big to fail" on the dime of cirtizens despite the rise in umemployment. 
Well despite all that people still seem to follow these mainstream news outlets like puppies.
I get Boston is/was a huge event.  So were many things that have happened and since.
There's really a lot more I can say about the news and how it affects people, especially the big brands (Wall Street Journal, CNN, FOX, Yahoo News, New York times, etc.)
I sort of give up on that topic though.
More on Boston
I also was alarmed at the lockdown of the entire city of Boston and surrounding suburbs.  I can see some of the rationale don't get me wrong, but then again the entire city on lockdown?  That sounds like martial law to me.  There are people killed in every major city of the world every day.  Granted, not usually a bombing, but then again, the entire city and surrounding suburbs locked down?
It's like being in Baltimore County, but the bombing suspect is in Anne Arundel County.  Why would I have to stay home?  Why can't I conduct my business/work/errands/play?  That's far away.  Or even in Baltimore City for that matter.
After Sandy Hook, the top of the agenda became gun rights (particularly automatic weapons).  The sentiment of citizen's gun rights is strong enough still and has held on in most cases.  But it just seems interesting it became the top agenda.  We had series of shootings in the news preceding Sandy Hook that were big news items (Empire State Building shooting, the batman Colordado cinema shooting, the Sikh Temple shooting in Wisconsin)
After 9/11, more security.  In came Homeland Security and the TSA. 
So will there be another push for "safety measures" following this?  That would be my bet.  Or pehaps another tragedy happens first, then push forward with it. 
Just note, that any loss of civil liberties or if you like, increased security, would likely be permanent, not temporary.  Homeland Security seems here to stay.  I can bring a pen and pencil on a plane, but not toothpaste.  So if example, additional checkpoints in cities becomes the norm, so be it.  Incremental steps are still steps.  The steps are seldom removed.
The fact remains you are more likely by many many times to be in a car accident, die of cancer/heart disease, an infection, a building fire, or even struck by lightning 4 TIMES than from a terrorist attack. 
Indeed, you are more likely even to drown in your bathtub (1 in 800,000 vs. 1 in 2 million).
So you can be vigilant about terrorism, but I would respectfully include then that you should also be vigilant about civil liberties.  (if you and I disagree on what an individual has a right to, that's fine)
Because temporary measures put into place are easily made permanent.
All these also distract from the economy which fundamentally at its core is the worst it has ever been in the US and Europe (and no picnic for the rest of the globe either).  This affects far more people and livelhoods. 
It hasn't yet manifest fully.
The next 2008 (only magnified) is coming.
Not only did Cypriot banks freeze, limit, then steal from individual accounts (which really as a precedent and even of human decency should alarm EVERYONE and be much bigger news than it was), but it was the EU and IMF that determined the necessity of losses to individual depositors. 
I think about MF Global.
To me there seems in recent years a trend and general sentiment of expense transferred onto citizens and depositors. 
As long as you are unable to access your money 100% on your own without dealing with someone else or some other entity, than it really isn't completley yours.  Even an ATM limits how much you can withdraw of your own money daily.  You never know what new controls come into play.  The money in the bank is yours, no one else's. 
I have ideas on what action one might take, but I won't presume and everyone's situation is different.
The window is getting smaller I think.

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