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Friday, June 28, 2013

Unraveling the Cloak of Caring

Humane Aid in America

Why does empathy and emotional solidarity only seems to coalesce after major natural disasters and horrific communal trauma?

It seems hypocritical to praise the act of raising money in order aid and help victims in a knee jerk reaction when, in times of relative peace and harmony, the same people can't muster an iota of empathy. They are morally unequipped to benevolently care for the same people prior to them befalling a life altering disaster.

Why are most people, especially our elected political representatives, unable to foresee that assisting someone out of an economics or social quagmire, by passing legislation which supports them with subsidies during peacetime, is also commendable. Have we forgotten the horrendous state of disrepair of the levees and flood surge protection in pre-Katrina Louisiana?

According to US News and World Report;
“the American Society of Civil Engineers estimated that one-quarter of the 607,380 bridges across the United States were functionally obsolete or structurally deficient in 2012 – placing the cost of repairs at $76 billion. The sheer weight of the evidence shows that it's just a matter of time before the next bridge failure.”

The explosion in West Texas which claimed the lives of 15 and injured about 200, appears to be rife with institutional negligence, political obfuscation and corporate monetary gluttony. Ramit Plushnick-Masti of the Associated Press, who has investigated and covered the story intensely, said during NPR's Diane Rehm show, that the public grew up around and in proximity of the fertilizer plant over the past 30-50 years. Without even delving into the ISO certifications and the EPA stringencies, this is a classic scenario of zoning.

We don't know when if ever the blame will be laid on which governmental agency's failure but the fact that the zoning was distorted, ignored or rezoned is obvious. It seems to reflect the increasing prevalence of a revolving door system. A system of murky back room horse trading deals which ultimately leads to thinly veiled plutocratic control. The lobbying groups or thinks tanks function as half way houses for aspiring politicians and burgeoning captains of industry.

Recently, the Senators from the tornado ravished state of Oklahoma both voted earlier in the year to deny federal relief funding to the hurricane Sandy victimized areas of the NorthEast. However, when it was reported that some of the schools which were struck by the massive tornados were not equipped with adequate storm protection, they "evolved" their previous ideological dogma significantly.

It seems unfathomably disingenuous to proclaim oneself a magnanimous public official when one showers praise and merits on other public officials who they themselves only register empathy when it effects them directly.

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