Bits of This, That, and The Other

Today, I promise no posts about January 6 or the former guy.

Yesterday I let out a “WHOOP” when the wheels of justice, after turning very slowly, finally picked up momentum and rendered three sentences that were fair and well-deserved.  The three killers of Ahmaud Arbery were all sentenced to life in prison, with no possibility of parole for father and son Greg and Travis McMichael.  Good riddance to bad rubbish.  The other, William “Roddie” Bryan, will be eligible for parole after 30 years because he did cooperate with police and according to his lawyer, showed remorse for his actions on that fateful day.

Some will say this is justice, and it is right and just for the killers, and it is justice in one sense for Arbery’s family but make no mistake … this is still not justice for Ahmaud Arbery.  Mr. Arbery is still dead, so there can be no justice for him.

The good news …

I noted in a prior post that no matter what happens, the media cannot seem to give President Biden credit for anything, however they are fighting in line to blame him for almost everything.  Today is another example of that.

The facts:

Over the past year (2021), 6.4 million jobs were created, a new record, and the unemployment rate dropped from 6.2% to 3.9%.  This was the greatest jobs growth year in modern U.S. history, and it’s not even close.

The headlines:

  • Hiring falters in December as payrolls rise only 199,000 (CNBC)
  • US hiring cools in December as economy adds just 199,000 new jobs (Fox Business)
  • Jobs disappoint in December, but unemployment falls to 3.9% (CNN)
  • U.S. gains scant 199,000 jobs in December as businesses confront labor shortage (MarketWatch)
  • U.S. hiring slowed in December as employers struggled to find workers (New York Times)

Nearly 200,000 jobs added in December, despite the surge in Covid cases, and it’s referred to as “only” or “scant” 199,000, despite the good news overall in the jobs and unemployment numbers at the close of the year.  I wonder just what President Biden must do to earn a positive headline?  Whatever it is, you can rest assured that Congress will keep him from being able to do it.

Granted, the President doesn’t control the economy and doesn’t deserve credit nor blame in its entirety, however he or she (hopefully someday) does play a role with their policies and rhetoric, and throughout history, the press has assigned either blame or praise.  Unfortunately, today’s press seems to be under the spell of the former guy and is steadfastly refusing to give President Biden so much as an inch.

The not-so-good news …

The year 2020 saw the highest number of gun deaths in the U.S. in history.  Ever.  45,222 people died of gunshot wounds — a 14 percent jump from 2019 and the largest year-over-year rise on record.  This record is certainly nothing to be proud of and in my book, it’s well past time to place very restrictive constraints on gun ownership in this nation.

In the past, I have called for “sensible gun legislation”, thinking that the best way would be one step at a time, thus not antagonizing those who believe the 2nd Amendment is the only one that matters.  However, given the current level of violence in this nation, and the fact that there are 120.5 guns for every 100 people in the U.S., or about 400 million guns for a nation with a population of 330 million people, it is time for much more aggressive action.  Do I believe it will happen?  No, certainly not in my lifetime, for the gun nuts care more about their guns than they do about their own families and have fought tooth-and-nail against even background checks or assault rifle bans.

School shootings, mass shootings at malls, religious places, grocery stores, restaurants, etc., have risen over the years and today it is not at all unusual for at least one person to be ‘packing heat’ in your local Kroger store or Applebee’s.  Those who worship their guns won’t step forward to protect our voting rights, our way of life, or system of government, but they will fight to the death for their ‘right’ to own as many guns as their garage can hold.  SIGH.

25 thoughts on “Bits of This, That, and The Other

  1. This gun mentalityis hard to eradicate. We did it here after a massacre with bi partisan support but Australian culture is not as gun focused. If someone was packing heat in the grocery store, it would be very unusual and alarming.
    The press media of today is even more alarming for the monopoly means they is no co.parative viewpoint so it is really propaganda. If the media barons don’t like a politician or a government they have the power to say opinion. Independent news sources are aware of this but can do little unless we support them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed, you Australians … in fact people in most every country besides the U.S. — have better sense than we have! I absolutely hate the gun culture here, and I have written before about parents who, given the choice of keeping their own children or keeping their guns, chose the guns over their kids! It is sheer lunacy!

      I fully agree about the media. They are, by necessity, driven by profit, and profits have diminished for the mainstream media due to the creation of so many social media ‘news’ sites and the diminishing print publications. They are no longer unbiased, even the major news sources, and play to their audience instead of focusing on facts.

      Thanks for dropping by … I just briefly checked out your blog and l liked what I saw, so I will check it out more thoroughly soon!


      • A parent chooses a gun over a child. What sort of horror is that?
        Well made point about the contraction of funds/ increase patronage of social sites for print media leading to an concentration of ownership》narrowed opinions. Social media has a significant amount to answer for. Whilst it does have benefits, it certainly doesn’t entirely enhance society.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, after a child found the parents’ gun in a drawer and accidentally shot his brother, Children’s Protective Services took the children from the home and told the parents that they would be returned when and if they were a gun-free household, but the mother refused to give up the guns and last I heard, the children were still in foster care.

          I agree re social media. It has many advantages, such as keeping in touch with family & friends instantaneously and for free, but the downside almost makes me wish it had never been invented. So many conspiracy theories have found their home on Facebook, Twitter and other sites, and yet any attempt to constrain these is called interfering with freedom of the press!


          • What a sad tale. Those poor kids with parents who didn’t value them.
            As for social media, ever so slowly folks are becoming aware of the barbs of the social media sword. Although there are still many blind followers.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I’ve seen and heard so much in the past ten years that I’m beginning to think people should have to pass a qualifying exam in order to earn the privilege of becoming parents!

              You’re right … some progress has been made, but there will always be those who follow blindly, too lazy or too uneducated to ask questions, to do their own research. And then there are those who live for controversy, who thrive on violence. Sigh.

              Liked by 1 person

    • It is madness and something that, I think, would have been inconceivable in this country 20 years ago. Sadly, I think things will get even worse before they get better here. Sigh.


  2. Not to ignore the this and that but I am going to focus my comment on ‘the not-so-good-news’, which in actuality is horrendous news. It must be noted that on this day, January 8th, in 2011 a gunman armed with a 9mm pistol with a 33-round magazine attempted to assassinate Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords. This took place in Arizona during Gabby’s “Congress on Your Corner” with her constituents. After shooting Gabby in the head, he then shot 18 other people, killing 6. Her recovery is nothing short of astounding and is the result of determination and hard work. Along with her husband, former astronaut and now Senator Mark Kelly, an organization that is now known as Giffords was launched in 2013 soon after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. According to Gabby their aim was “to prove that it’s possible to stand up for the Second Amendment while also standing up for stronger gun laws that keep us safe.” Presently the goal of Giffords is a campaign to pass universal background checks, elect a gun safety Congress, and hold the gun lobby accountable for encouraging and enabling violence in our communities. “In the absence of a Congress ready to act to reduce gun violence, we will keep working to create a different Congress.”- Gabby Giffords. I am a proud supporter of Giffords. WHAK!! Thank-you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I well remember that event, but did not remember the date, so thank you so much for the reminder! It doesn’t feel like it’s been 11 years since that happened. Ms. Gifford’s recovery was indeed remarkable, for I don’t think anybody thought she could overcome that! I sincerely hope that Gifford’s goals can be met, for it’s no secret that this country NEEDS serious gun legislation and, as you say, accountability on the part of the gun manufacturers and lobbyists. If there were one single thing I could change about the Constitution, it would be to remove the 2nd Amendment altogether. WHAK!!!


  3. Jill, good post. I like your points about Ahmaud Arbery. This should not be happening in America anymore, but it is still too frequent. We also should not be surprised when justice is served, as some of us were. It is good to see this verdict, in my view. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Keith! You’re right … after the 1960s, I thought we had made so much progress that something like Arbery’s murder would be unlikely to ever happen here again, but obviously I was wearing rose-tinted glasses. Racism is on the rise in the U.S., though I will never understand why anybody thinks skin colour is a basis for judging a person. I was very surprised by the Arbery verdict, but pleased! I was also pleased last year by the Derek Chauvin verdict. Perhaps these will deter others from taking the same actions as the McMichaels took.


  4. Pingback: BITS OF THIS, THAT, AND THE OTHER. | Ramblings of an Occupy Liberal


    Liked by 1 person

    • You make a good point, one that I failed to consider as I was writing this. The majority of gun owners DO favour sensible gun legislation, but it’s the very vociferous minority who fight tooth-and-nail against it. The NRA has a large role in convincing those people that the government is planning to take all their guns away (which would be just fine with me!) The NRA is without a doubt the worst organization in this nation, and they have a lot of competition. I hope that the midterms do result in a Democratic majority in both House and Senate, but the odds are against it. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.