Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
HOW DID ABORTION RIGHTS COME TO THIS?  — Carol Hanisch charts how the right to an abortion began to erode shortly after the Roe v. Wade decision; Uber vs. the Cabbies: Ben Terrall reports on the threats posed by private car services; Remembering August 1914: Binoy Kampmark on the enduring legacy of World War I; Medical Marijuana: a Personal Odyssey: Doug Valentine goes in search of medicinal pot and a good vaporizer; Nostalgia for Socialism: Lee Ballinger surveys the longing in eastern Europe for the material guarantees of socialism. PLUS: Paul Krassner on his Six Dumbest Decisions; Kristin Kolb on the Cancer Ward; Jeffrey St. Clair on the Making of the First Un-War; Chris Floyd on the Children of Lies and Mike Whitney on why the war on ISIS is really a war on Syria.
Fired Up!

Feeling Like a Big Shot

by MISSY BEATTIE

I’ve been lying in bed, temperature elevated, bones on fire, achy, and questioning the decision to reject Big Pharma’s flu vaccine.

Vowing to better prepare for the next germ wave, I hit  Google—to search symptoms, foods to bolster the immune system, tips. Along the way and detouring a bit, I discovered that others are readying, gearing up. But I digress.

Eat mustard and horseradish to clear nasal passages. Drink hot liquids. Shower with the door closed for steam inhalation. Hmm, a recipe for natural, homemade cough syrup.

Soon, I became distracted. Read an article about Obama’s gun control speech and the ensuing surge in gun purchases. (That’s the readying to which I referred.)

Then I was off again, looking at, yes, guns. Reading about, yes, guns.

Suddenly, I understood the power and the glory. If I affirmed my Second Amendment right to bear arms and bought one of the weapons pictured on the site, I’d be a rugged individualist.

I keyboarded “Bushmaster rifle.” Whoa, somebody’s loaded. Not just the weapons manufacturers, but also the buyers. Every rifle was sold out, including the most expensive with a price tag over $5000. Yes, that’s five grand.

I’ve never considered packing heat, but these images are way more than persuasive. Caressing a Bushmaster would make me feel like a big shot.

And then a glitch. Could I pass a background check? I’ve got a fierce mug shot—arrested in Manhattan, with Cindy Sheehan, Medea Benjamin, and Rev. Patti Ackerman, and later convicted of trespassing. But that was in 2006. The “action” occurred seven months after Cindy stood in a ditch outside George Bush’s ranch and asked, “For what noble cause did my son Casey die?” Remember, Cindy became the face of a peace movement with a detectible heartbeat. Unlike today, when “progressives” drool over the pulse of Obama’s language. Do they really believe the Commander in Chief is antiwar? Do they not fail to recognize the hypocrisy suffusing his inauguration speech? I mean, what were they thinking when he spoke ALL those words inconsonant with his domestic and foreign policy? Like these:

And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice –- not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity, human dignity and justice.

They know. They must. They’re neither stupid nor apathetic.

Still, I’ve come to a deeper understanding of the office of the presidency. It’s the scrolling through gun sites. I think I GET how Obama feels—the same way I would if I were mighty, if I had that AR-15: “Don’t mess with me. I’m in semiautomatic mode.”

Or as Alicia Keys sang at the inaugural ball, “He’s the president and he’s on fire … Obama’s on fire … Obama’s on fire.”

Back to that record. It’s probably nothing, since I recently received my second jury duty summons in just a little over two years.

And if I’m fit to serve, I’m primed to protect and/or attack if necessary. Reminds me of another web address, informing that private citizens use AR-15 rifles for hunting, recreation, competition, home defense and security.

What exactly is the recreational use of an AR-15?

Never mind. I just rolled the word “Glock” around in my mouth. Try it. Fantasize with me. About armaments.

Damn, my nose is running. This power trip’s coming to a dead end. No more munitions. Instead, I’m focusing on mucus.

I reach for a tissue, trying to prevent a sneeze or cough from spreading this virus-rich aerosol throughout any region here at home or farther away. Really, I am all about a policy of refrainment.

Missy Beattie (Worst over. MCB’s pleased she didn’t support Big Pharma.) Email: missybeat@gmail.com