The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It


If you read yesterday’s post, “Thoughts On This And That” and are reading this one, then you are obviously not one of those who was a victim of Black Friday bad behavior.

Last year I was able to report only one incident about a couple of people who were victims of pepper spraying as they were returning to their cars after grabbing bargains from the store shelves.  Although I never found the reason underlying this incident, I suspect that it was caused by a fellow shopper who had purchased the spray and wanted to check out the product’s efficacy before wrapping it as a gift for her six year old niece.

There is more to report this year …

Walmart is again in the limelight.  As the world’s largest retailer I suppose it is only natural that they are more likely to be the scene of incidents – just by the weight of the number of stores they own and operate.

One would think that with all the people (including a few Walmart employees) who are picketing the company for its “bad wages and benefits package”, that the more liberal of our friends who otherwise might shop there would avoid Walmart like the plague.  On the contrary, Walmart has released preliminary information that this was the best Black Friday in their history.

Was it Aesop who said, “Never let snagging a good bargain stand in the way of your principles?”

At a Covington, WA Walmart, two shoppers were run down by a 71 year-old female driver who is suspected of being intoxicated.  The driver had obviously gotten into the Holiday spirit and the Egg Nog.  The female victim is in serious condition and the male victim in good condition.  (No report has been issued regarding the condition of the offender – but by now she is probably sober).

In Tallahassee, FL at another Walmart, two people were shot (but fortunately not seriously wounded) as a scuffle ensued over a parking space.  I’m here to tell you that malls are the most dangerous place you can drive your vehicle.  Apparently the shooter decided that getting bargain electronics wasn’t worth the risk of apprehension by the police and escaped the scene of the crime.

So what can we take away from all of this?

As I’ve never held a handgun let alone fired one, it would be difficult to allege that I am speaking here for the NRA.  However, I respect their Constitutional position on the subject of firearms.  My friends who believe that guns are at the root of our problem of violence will, of course, disagree.

Unfortunately, they never consider the statistics that in cities with the most restrictive handgun laws like Chicago and New York, the number of deaths due to them is among the highest per capita in the nation.  It defies logic – but that is not an exercise in which a lot of people engage very often anyway.

Actually, the root of these problems is something far more basic.  All of it stems from self-centered behavior exhibited by people who believe that society is there to serve them.  They act in ways which they view as in their own best self-interest – while ignoring the rights of others if it is inconvenient to them in obtaining their goals.

In the end, it all comes down either to embracing the concept of taking responsibility for one’s actions – or finding an excuse why the rules we expect others to observe don’t apply to us because we’re a special case.  There is a lot of the latter going around.

Fortunately, using the illogic of “exception” I have found the real cause of the two incidents at the Walmart stores yesterday.  It is President Obama.

You may remember back a few short weeks when, during the debates, the President took credit for “saving the American auto industry.”  Now I’m going to ask you to really “suck it up” and believe that he was telling the truth (or at least thinks he is).

Well, if he hadn’t saved the auto industry, we wouldn’t be producing cars.  If we hadn’t been producing cars we would have had to rely on our old junkers for transportation and a lot of those would have broken down by now, removing them from the road and the Black Friday malls.  With fewer cars, there would have been more parking spaces available – not to mention considerably fewer greenhouse gas emissions.  Did I also mention that gas prices would be considerably less expensive since the fewer cars on the road would be using less of it?

Perhaps in his efforts to save the auto industry, the President didn’t consider the implications of his actions.  But then, I doubt that he and the missus shop at Walmart.

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