Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mike Proctor: Special New Year's Commentary

Mike Proctor was an Obama activist in Washington state during 2008. He responded to my invitation to contribute this op-ed:
As 2009 comes to a close, I have a few observations that I wanted to share. As someone who for years has argued in favor of full body scanners; I find it curious that so many are now suddenly proponents.
The painful truth is that the politicians who were wildly more concerned about keeping their campaign wallets filled by their Health Insurance masters are the same folks who were against having full body scanners at US airports and allowing countries from using it on inbound American flights. By creating the conditions that allowed the "underwear bomber" to board the Detroit flight that nearly took the lives of 300 civilians, regardless of whether they intended for harm to happen or not, our laws would define them as being accomplices!

And to those who recently changed their minds about the use of full body scanners, you would be wise to view this as an opportunity to reflect over other issues that made headlines in 2009. After all, when tragedy strikes, the victims are never identified as being conservative, liberal or somewhere in between; in our country anyway, they will be known only as Americans. Last summer President Obama reminded us that we are our brother’s & sister’s keeper, and that it is the embodiment of this value that makes our nation worth fighting for. To add to this, I believe that in order be good citizens, we must approach our democracy with compassion and courage; to ask tough questions, to research facts, to bring our open minds and calm voices together, to make decisions that serve the most good with the least waste, and to move swiftly to implement real solutions.

This is how I’d hoped 2009, with all its great promise, had unfolded. Maybe the near miss on Christmas morning will serve as a catalyst for real progress in 2010. Na├»ve, perhaps, but that is my hope anyway. Think about it! If more folks had imagined how their lives would be impacted had they lost their health insurance, then 2010 would have been the year of Universal Healthcare. If more had understood the facts of Afghanistan, then I believe that the President would not felt pressured to prove that he is tough on terror and wrongly send more troops into harm’s way. And it goes on and on…
It is my hope for the new year that some will set aside party affiliation and visualize the danger of preventing reason from interrogating the words of our leaders, and to begin anew, getting down to the serious business of making our nation and the bigger world in which we live a safer and more compassionate place for ourselves and future generations.
Howie P.S.: If I read Mike correctly, he's saying we need more body scanners and less troops and drone bombers in the five Muslim countries where we currently have them. They are:
1. Iraq
2. Afghanistan
3. Somalia
4. Yemen

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