America ‘State of the Union 2016’ – what was that all about? [UPDATED]

  • Statue_of_Liberty_7 State_of_the_Union_Address_webm americaguns

Anyone this side of the pond who as interested observers waited-up into the early hours of the morning last week to listen to President Barrack Obama’s 7th and final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress (and guests), probably wishes that they hadn’t bothered, eh?

It didn’t take long for Obama’s self-congratulatory meaningless disappointing egoistical rubbish to become soporifically boring (if not degrading of him?), and make it obvious that it was all going nowhere – that’s when the radio was switched-off and standard sleep beckoned, eh? One might despair about it all as a performance, since it can’t even be personal electioneering, when Obama isn’t of course allowed to stand for ‘re-election’ to a third term, is he?

Oh yes, about just over half of home Americans themselves apparently were positive about the President’s annual report to the nation speech, but the Yanks love patting themselves on the head and boasting endlessly about their perceived achievements (like them winning every significant Allied action in the War), don’t they? However, those statistical headlines of smug satisfaction with the President’s performance, misses the equal point that the other side of the coin is that nearly half of Americans did NOT approve of the address, doesn’t it?

Towards the end, Obama’s comments culminated in a déjà vu groundhog day with Obama ending-up where he started off in his 2008 presidential campaign, using then the saying about difficult things to be done “Yes we can” (when all the evidence of his double Presidency is that the answer should have been “No we can’t”). While ‘Yes we can’, may be the most memorable ever tagline Presidential slogan, perhaps, and it certainly ended up capturing the ambitions of voters, who had become tired of Washington’s cynical politicians, didn’t it? However, such an answer to rhetorical questions created unrealistic voter expectations that Obama was never going to be able to live up to, and when that resulted, the outfall was the abject failure of his presidency [so he can forget the legacy & vision pontifications of his latest speech, cant he?) – Hence Obama will go down as a crap ineffectual Leader, won’t he?

The President in his address remarks returned to a theme of great optimism and anti-cynicism (countering the current normal pessimistic cynical tone of political debate), which seems unfortunately to be completely misplaced and unjustified, don’t you think? If his now rephrased equivalent of the ‘yes we can’ message succeeds in the same manner, then he will have created another bubble of excessive, unwarranted, unachievable, expectations that will ultimately be burst, won’t it? He said “It’s easier to be cynical; to accept that change isn’t possible, and politics is hopeless, and to believe that our voices and actions don’t matter” – which can be rejected out-of-hand.

He always talks a good fight or course but achieves zero action, although that in reality, is not all his fault though, as Congress (both the ‘House of Representatives’ and ‘Senate’) have clipped his wings, time and time again, didn’t they? You see, Obama was an inexperienced single term serving Democratic senator, from the wrong side of the tracks when it came to the self-delusional political establishment hierarchies, but also someone who didn’t have the knowledge or balls to deal with the vile lobby driven, big-bucks donation reliant, high income dependant, wealth accumulating, principle-less and personal self interest, incumbents inherent in Washington’s dirty partisan politics, did he?

Some criticism he brought upon himself it would seem? One of the President’s most long-running effectiveness disappointments involves his abject failure to introduce any significant reform of gun control in the USA whatsoever – despite his regular tearful briefings on the latest mass shooting murders by mentally disturbed individuals armed with multiple firearms including assault rifles. It may surprise people to know that Obama has actually signed two major laws that deal with gun carrying in America, and both actually expanded the rights of gun owners, eh?

Obama has to claim (and avoid a lynching?) to believe in the 1791 ‘Second Amendment’, which guarantees the right to bear arms. Indeed even in today’s modern society, American civilians own some three hundred million firearms and some forty percent of households in the country have at least one gun for goodness sake, so is it any wonder then that the number of Americans killed by gun violence in the last fifteen years now runs to the tens of thousands (which compares with terrorism murdering under a hundred)? There have been some thousand mass shootings in the past three years alone. He attempted to get modest but important changes to the gun trade three years ago with proposals for new laws to be passed, but zilch happened because he got short shrift from Congress, didn’t he? The supposedly most powerful man in the World hands are tied, his authority is quite legally limited, and he is in fact sadly impotent when it comes to US gun trade control – the Senators wouldn’t even allow the re-banning of assault weapons and large capacity gun magazines would they? [Bill defeated by 60 votes to 40].

It is difficult to believe that any other President of modern times would have been so weak and so unable to wreak revenge, that they couldn’t get any joy whatsoever out of the two chambers of government on the devastating impact on the American people caused by too lax gun laws, inappropriate to the twenty-first century. Loopholes exist that even mean millions of guns can be sold without background checks on the buyers.

Suddenly though, just a few days after New Year, Obama announced the introduction of new Executive Actions to narrow a so-called gun-show loophole which exempts most small sellers from keeping formal sales records and involving background checks for buyers. The measure clarifies that individuals in the business of selling firearms have to register as licensed gun dealers, with firearms purchase checks and tightened enforcement. He is of course trying to sidestep a gridlocked Congress on a longstanding politically divisive issue (with Democrats and Republicans squaring-up to each other, but both sides running-scared of the power and money of the National Rifle Association, aren’t they?). Why though didn’t he introduce those additional, all be it limited, regulations and measures that will clarify existing laws, before now? [Criminal penalties already exist for violating those laws].

The American Constitution’s ‘Second Amendment’ may have been enacted a quarter of a century ago to ingrain the right to bear arms, but in modern times it has been totally hijacked by the likes of the American Rifle Association, the arms manufactures and the gun peddlers, hasn’t it? That dreadful situation has been reached with the connivance of the political right-wing’s utter resistance to meaningful gun control, and the disgraceful inaction of the entire government, involving the betrayal by the Executive (ie the Presidents and their cabinets), the Judiciary (ie the Courts & the judges), and the Legislature (ie Congress – the house of representatives, and the senators), it is now used to justify selling millions of high-powered assault weapons used by kids to kill kids. The American population remains ignorant and mislead by what the legislation was originally all about, don’t they? It is time is was repealed, surely? It was put in to allow States (it was originally going to be Country) to raise militias from individuals to suppress uprisings. Who was most feared of causing such insurrections then? Slaves of course. So it was mainly all about keeping a lid on slavery, through preserving the citizen slave patrol militias in the southern states (that was why the word was swapped to states). An example – the Georgia statutes required patrols, under the direction of commissioned militia officers, to examine every plantation each month and authorized them to search ‘all Negro Houses for offensive Weapons and Ammunition’ and to apprehend and give twenty lashes to any slave found outside plantation grounds. Half the South’s population in the mid 1800s were slaves, and the largest slave owners had some thousand slaves, eh? So, the Second Amendment was nothing whatsoever to do with each & every American nutter having as many guns and ammunition as they could lay their hands on to murder all and sundry, was it?

[Below just some ‘multiple’ & ‘mass’ shootings by armed civilians in America in the past 5 years alone:      161 dead    195 wounded

Dec. 2, 2015       14 dead, 21 wounded Inland Regional Center San Bernardino, California

Nov. 29, 2015    3 dead; 9 wounded Planned Parenthood clinic Colorado Springs, Colorado

Oct. 22, 2015     1 dead; 3 wounded State university Nashville, Tennessee

Oct. 9, 2015        1 dead; 3 wounded State university Flagstaff, Arizona

Oct. 1, 2015        10 dead; 9 wounded State university Roseburg, Oragon

July 16, 2015      5 dead, 3 wounded two military centers Chattanooga, Tennessee

June 18, 2015     9 dead Methodist Episcopal Church Charleston, S.C.

May 24, 2015     7wounded Academy Flint, Michigan

Nov 20, 2014      1 dead, 4 wounded State university Tallahassee, Florida

Oct 24, 2014       5 dead, 1 wounded high school Marysville, Washington

Jun 10, 2014       2 dead, 1 wounded high school Troutdale, Oregan

Jun 5, 2014         1 dead, 3 wounded high school Seattle, Washington

May 23, 2014     6 dead, 7 wounded Isla Vista community Isla Vista, California

April 2, 2014       3 killed 16 wounded: military base Ft. Hood, Texas

Aug. 23, 2013    1 killed, 2 wounded high school Sardis, Mississippi

Oct. 21, 2013     2 killed, 2 wounded middle school Sparks, Nevada

Sept. 16, 2013    12 killed, 3 wounded Navy Yard Washington, D.C.

June 7, 2013       6 killed 4 wounded home and College Santa Monica, California

Jan 15, 2013       3 killed College Hazard Kentucky

Dec. 14, 2012     28 killed, 2 wounded Sandy Hook Elementary School Newtown, Connecticut

Oct. 31, 2012     0 dead, 4 wounded university campus Los Angeles, California

Oct. 21, 2012     3 dead, 4 wounded Azana Salon and Spa Brookfield, Wisconsin

Sept. 28, 2012    6 killed, 2 wounded small company office Minneapolis, Minnesota

July 20, 2012      12 killed, 58 wounded movie theater Aurora, Colorado

April 2, 2012       7 killed, 3 wounded Olkos University Oakland, California

Feb 27 2012       3 killed, 3 wounded high school Chardon

Oct. 12, 2011     8 killed, 1 wounded hair salon Seal Beach, California

Mar. 31, 2011    1 killed, 5 wounded high school Houston, Texas

Jan. 8, 2011        6 killed, 11 wounded University campus Tucson, Arizona

Jan 5, 2011          2 killed, 2 wounded high school Omaha, Nebraska

 

More than half of the 30 above were at schools & colleges with young perpetrators resulting in 74 killed, 60 wounded]

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