The disdain with which most of us are viewed by Republican corporate socialists, their corporate overlords and their spin-doctors was epitomized following the March for Our Lives weekend featuring young people across the country advocating sensible gun laws in the wake of yet another mass school shooting. It comes from former GOP Sen. Rick Santorum, now a CNN talking head. The compassionate conservative from Pennsylvania suggested that, instead of trying to effect political change, student survivors of school carnage and their supporters should learn CPR. It didn’t take long for other pundits to point out that you need a MASH triage unit – or several – following a mass terrorist attack, not CPR training or maybe the Heimlich maneuver.

But, the Second Amendment is safe – though I warned you earlier about law-and-order Republicans confiscating firearms while ignoring due process.

The issue today is the callous disregard expressed by Santorum – who later crawfished his genuine sentiments – toward slain sons and daughters, classmates and friends. They are incidental to gun industry profits which, along with foreign donors, fuel the National Rifle Association which fuels (mainly) GOP campaigns.

We are all expendable, mere collateral damage to the needs of the greedy, the corporate banditti whose coffers rest on coffins of those they marginalize to enhance profit margins. Black lung disease deaths and debilitations were unnecessary evils that made coal mining more profitable. The environmental degradation was ignored for years – and Republicans still fight for polluted profits.

The entire anti-science, anti-truth, deliberately ignorant focus of Trumpistas such as EPA saboteur Scott Pruitt is to leave a smoking ruin of a planet to succeeding generations in the name of immediate greed – and preferred greedheads. We’ve known since his Oklahoma days that Pruitt was in the pocket of the petroleum industry. Now we find out he’s staying in their digs for the about the cost of the Dodge City Motel 6. But, he’s paying them big dividencs.

Exxon (pre-Mobil) knew about human-caused climate change and its health ramifications as early as 1977; Shell, a little slower, by 1991. Profits over people. What are future generations when weekly profit numbers need to be met?

Wyoming GOP Rep. Liz Cheney introduced a bill last year to give states greater control of the petroleum industry on federal lands – the damage inflicted on folks downwind or downstream of no concern. If the name sounds familiar, she is the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, whose legacy will always be his role of lying the U.S. into the invasion of Iraq. The complete obliteration of the Iraqi infrastructure, a half-million Iraqi deaths, more than 4,400 U.S. soldiers killed and another 38,000 wounded in an interminable war are small prices for others to pay for more than $138 billion shoveled to our Masters of War since the lie-advised invasion.

And, it’s not just death and destruction that suited goons wreak upon the rest of us.

Oklahoma’s GOP-dominated state government has been putting profiteers above the populace for the past eight years. Whoever spiked the legislators’ coffee last week to make them 75 percent responsible for a change deserves our thanks. (Of course, the OKligarchs are screaming about having to pay even a small portion of their share of the cost of government.)

The Lost Ogle recently reported the wholesale firing of most “experienced” (read, “higher paid”) employees at the Lawton Constitution as a new owner came aboard promising its deep commitment to its new community. A Houston friend reported the same attrition after Amazon bought Whole Foods. People she had been dealing with for 30 years were – just gone.

And, as expected, China has returned Trump’s trade war tariff lobs on metals by imposing tariffs on American farm products, making American farmers Trump’s expendable pawns to corporate greed.

Any conscientious business owner already knows and abides by the ideas propagated by John Dewey when he wrote, “From the moral standpoint, the test of an industry is whether it serves the community as a whole, satisfying its needs effectively and fairly, while also providing the means of livelihood and personal development to the individuals who carry it on.”

I’m not sure what euphemism was employed against the Lawton journalists or the Whole Foods grocers. Here in Duncan, we found out recently that even more longtime and loyal Halliburton workers were being “restructured” into unemployment. “Restructured?” Yeah, if that’s what you call getting the props knocked out from you, your life and, in Duncan’s case, the entire community. And, those of you not on the local scene might not realize that Lyin’ Dick Cheney was once the head of Halliburton, founded in Duncan, OK, USA, and which received a huge chunk of Iraqi war contracts.

No wonder Santorum bloviates that it is the individual’s responsibility to stand alone against the corporate welfare state.

What if the victims ever got organized?

(Gary Edmondson is Stephens County Democratic Party Chair.)

We are the expendables

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