Tired

I’m tired, my friends, and I imagine you are too.

  • I’m tired of being told that more than 3,200 deaths by guns, including 44 mass shootings in less than 28 days is simply the ‘price of freedom’. Freedom to … WHAT?  Get shot to death at the grocery store?  To have our children killed in school?  If that’s the price of freedom, you can keep the damned freedom!
  • I’m tired of the altogether too frequent killing of people by the police … the very people we are supposed to be able to trust to protect life. The relatively few police who take the lives of primarily Black people who have done little or no wrong, have given police officers everywhere a bad name and frankly, if I see a cop in a store, I turn the other way, hoping he doesn’t even notice me.  If I see one behind me at a traffic light, my heart stops and I try so hard to look innocent that I probably look guilty!
  • I’m tired of being called a ‘Marxist’ because I believe in human rights, believe that nobody should amass huge amounts of wealth while others go to bed hungry at night, or live on the streets in cardboard boxes.
  • I’m tired of spending more than half of my monthly Social Security stipend on medications that are essential to keep me from dying, while seeing the profits of the pharma companies that manufacture those drugs skyrocket.
  • I’m tired of listening to Republican politicians threatening to cut that very same Social Security that a) I paid into all my life, and b) is not enough to support me if I lived on my own! This is a threat against the very survival of those of us over a certain age, so apparently those politicians have decided that our lives no longer add value to the world.
  • I’m tired of conspiracy theories, especially those lies told by politicians who know the truth, but find it more expeditious to their own ends to push the lies.  And I’m tired of the ignorance in the general public that allows so many everyday people to believe those lies.
  • I’m tired of companies that raise their prices for one of a variety of excuses – supply chain issues, staffing shortages, increased production costs – and then at the end of the year show a huge increase in their profits.
  • I’m tired of the bigotry that is on the rise in this country. Anti-LGBTQ sentiment, racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, misogyny … all are increasing at significant levels, thanks in part to religious ‘leaders’ who have zero tolerance for any that don’t fit their pat little images, and in part due to politicians like Ron DeSantis and others who promote the idea that ‘other’ is bad, ‘other’ is to be shunned.
  • I’m tired of a free press that keeps shoving the former guy down our throats. By now, he should have faded into obscurity to the point that if we saw a picture of him, we’d say, “Oh yeah … I remember that fat slob … what was his name again?”  But no, we have to see his picture and read every word that comes out of his lying mouth on a daily basis.
  • I’m tired, most of all, of Republican politicians in Congress who are bastards. Sorry, Keith, but that fits them to a ‘T’.  They take our hard-earned tax dollars to the tune of $174,000 and more every year, and then fail miserably to do the job for which we paid them.  They don’t legislate, they retaliate.  They don’t build, they destroy.  They don’t govern, they campaign.  Before the current 118th Congress was even seated, they were already plotting their next election campaigns.  I’m tired of our government being so divided by party that ‘party’ is the only thing that matters, not people.
  • I’m tired of feeling helpless to change any of the things I’m tired of. I’m tired of being ashamed of this country I’ve lived in for almost 72 years now, tired of wishing I were almost anywhere but here.  My vote is my voice, but it is a very small voice, made even smaller with such tactics as gerrymandering that dilute my voice.

I could probably think of more, but … I’m tired of writing for tonight, so I think I’ll go read for a while now.

A Few Thoughts

Just a few of my thoughts on this Saturday afternoon …


I think the people of District 3 in New York should have the opportunity to recall George Santos and force a special election.  The man they thought they were voting for, after all, does not exist.  Mr. Santos, or whatever his name actually is, built his reputation on a tower of lies … a very high tower, as it were.  And now, that tower is crumbling and should by any logical thought, be brought down before it does significant damage.  However, by the terms set forth in the U.S. Constitution, a member of the House can only be removed by a 2/3 majority vote in the House … or death.  With the current panic by Republicans over losing so much as one seat of their paper-thin majority, that is beyond unlikely.  Remember when the former guy said he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and not suffer any repercussions?  Well, apparently that also applies to George Santos and any other House Republicans.


Apparently, the committee name “House Intelligence Committee” is a misnomer, for Republican House Leader McCarthy has ejected the only two members who actually had any … intelligence, that is.  Yep, the arsehole refused to allow two very intelligent and qualified Democrats, Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff, to serve on the ‘Intelligence’ Committee.  Both have previously served on the committee, and Adam Schiff, notably, has led the Intelligence Committee for the past four years!

McCarthy did not diss Schiff and Swalwell because they weren’t qualified – he dissed them in retaliation for the times that some of his choices were not chosen for various committees, such as when Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t allow the two Jims – Jordan and Banks – to serve on the January 6th investigative committee because both had played a role in the insurrection.  Or the time that the Democratic-led House stripped Marge Greene and Paul Gosar, two radical conspiracy theorists, from their committee assignments.  Or perhaps, as Adam Schiff says …

“His objection seems to be that I was the lead impeachment manager in Donald Trump’s first impeachment, and that we held him accountable for withholding hundreds of millions of dollars of military aid from Ukraine. So he is now, I think, carrying the dirty water for the former president in trying to remove me from the intel committee.”

Whatever the reason, he is denying two of the House members with the most experience a seat on an important committee, one that is crucial to the security of the nation, for reasons that make no sense to a rational mind.


Remember, folks, it’s not about good governance, it’s not about what’s best for the nation and its people, it’s not about justice or truth, it’s only about power and wealth for the few.  Full stop.  Let us hope that in November 2024, people will vote more conscientiously, will actually put thought into their vote rather than simply voting along party lines or for the loudest voice.

And now, let’s lighten the mood with a few ‘toons, shall we?

More Questions Than Answers

This man, Tyre Nichols …

… is dead.  He died at the hands of police officers who used excessive force at a routine traffic stop on January 7th.

All five of the officers were charged on seven counts yesterday:  one count of second-degree murder, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of official misconduct, one count of official oppression and one count of aggravated assault while acting in concert.

My initial thought was that here we go again, white cops killing an unarmed Black man.  And then … I saw the picture of the five officers and … my jaw dropped.

Clockwise from top left: Officers Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Justin Smith, and Desmond Mills Jr.Credit…Memphis Police Department, via Associated Press

I’m not proud of the fact that I automatically jumped to a conclusion about the colour of the officers’ skin … what does that say about my own prejudices?  A topic I shall need to ponder on in a bit.

Meanwhile, I don’t know much about the incident, but I have questions.  Why were five officers involved in a single traffic stop?  I’ve been stopped before, but never by more than one or two officers.  It is said that they pulled him over in suspicion of reckless driving, there was a skirmish, the police used pepper spray, and Mr. Nichols left the vehicle and ran.  The officers caught up with him and beat him so severely that he died three days later.  What caused five supposedly well-trained police officers to severely beat a man … any man? There is video … presumably body-cam footage … that will be released sometime after 6:00 p.m. tonight.

Why the delay, you ask?  Because of the near certainty that once the public sees what has been said to be horrifying, shocking video, protests are expected, so the timing is critical … Friday night, when most people have left work and are home, safe & sound for the weekend.  Not only Memphis, but the entire nation seems to be braced for a huge public backlash.  Officials are telling people that it’s fine to exercise their right to protest, but to please do so peacefully.  Everyone from Nichols’ own mother to President Biden is calling for peaceful protest …

“As Americans grieve, the Department of Justice conducts its investigation, and state authorities continue their work, I join Tyre’s family in calling for peaceful protest. Outrage is understandable, but violence is never acceptable.  Violence is destructive and against the law.  It has no place in peaceful protests seeking justice.”

In the coming weeks, questions will be answered in this most puzzling, tragic case.  Meanwhile, I hope that protests are peaceful, but I won’t be surprised if they are not.  People seem not to have learned that you cannot fight violence with violence.  I hope people will remember what Dr. Martin Luther King said …

“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars … Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

A Republic — If You Can Keep It

Legend has it a woman asked Benjamin Franklin a question as he exited Independence Hall after the Constitutional Convention in 1787. “Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?” Franklin supposedly replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

As I’ve expressed before, I keep looking around at what’s happening in this country, both in our government and among our society, and I’m not liking what I see in either place.  I see a nation divided, one in which half the population is increasingly bigoted, intolerant of those who either don’t look, act, or think in the same manner as they do.  I see a nation in which violence is becoming an accepted norm.  I see a situation that is untenable, that must either be resolved by peaceful means, by acceptance and mutual cooperation, else will be resolved by violent means.  With the Big Lie that began even before the 2020 election results were finalized, and the resultant attempted and failed coup on January 6th, 2021, I see red lights flashing, warning that this is anything but “business as usual.”

There are many ways in which an authoritarian government can gradually take over a nation whereby people don’t even realize what is happening until it’s too late.  The first and most obvious, of course, is “divide and conquer.”  Tell people lies long enough and loud enough, and ultimately they will believe the lies.  Another, more subtle one, is to ‘dummy down’ the populace, keep them from learning true history or the role of government, keep them from learning how to think for themselves, and educate only the children of the wealthiest and most powerful.  But it is the people in a nation who have the most power over whether a democracy can remain so, or whether it will transform into an autocracy.

In their 2018 book, How Democracies Die, authors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt write about about how elected leaders can gradually subvert the democratic process to increase their power.  The book warns against the breakdown of “mutual toleration” and respect for the political legitimacy of the opposition. This tolerance involves accepting the results of a free and fair election where the opposition has won, in contrast with advocacy for overthrow or spurious complaints about the election mechanism.  Sound familiar?

The authors also assert the importance of respecting the opinions of those who come to legitimately different political opinions, in contrast to attacking the patriotism of any who disagree, or warning that if they come to power, they will destroy the country.  Other threats to democratic stability cited by the authors include economic inequality and segregation of the political parties by race, religion, and geography.  Sound familiar?

Published during Trump’s second year in office, the authors dedicate a number of chapters to the study of the United States, Trump, and the 2016 presidential election, and end with predictions for three potential scenarios for the post-Trump United States.

Levitsky and Ziblatt, both Harvard professors, have spent 20 years studying the breakdown of democracies in Europe and Latin America, and they believe that democracy no longer ends with a bang—in a revolution or military coup—but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms.  Again, sound familiar?

I bought and skimmed this book shortly after it first came out, but I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t give it much credence at the time.  Back then, I thought Donald Trump was simply a stupid, arrogant buffoon who, while I despised him and his every move, I didn’t think he posed a serious, enduring threat.  I’m still not sure that he, in and of himself, poses a threat, but the movement that he started, the “maga” cult he created, has permeated the halls of Congress, the Supreme Court, and even state governor’s mansions and legislatures.  Not only that, but it has riled a large portion of this nation, largely those with less education, less ability to understand the real issues the nation faces.  So yes, now I see that as a very real threat.  Levitsky and Ziblatt were prescient and saw the threat long before I did.

This week, I plan to read, not just skim, How Democracies Die, with a sharper eye, for I believe the authors are on to something here.  I’ll let you know my conclusions, may even write a review of the book, when I am done.

Awakening To Tragedy … Again

Courtesy of Dan Rather …

Again.

Morning headlines of mourning.

A night of violence and loss.

A dawn that brings no comfort.

Our national map of tragedy has a new place in which we stick a pin of pain.

We see once more what happens when instruments of mass death are untethered from any semblance of logical restrictions.

As always, there are new names to learn of people who will never hear their names again.

All that life snuffed out in an instant.

The press will publish old pictures of smiling faces eulogized.

Motives? As if any will be justified or bring peace to the families now torn apart in bloodshed.

We repeat and repeat and repeat these tragedies, as if we are powerless to address them.

But there are answers and ideas that go unheeded.

Our politics don’t allow progress.

Mass shootings are part of our American identity.

Meanwhile, a lesser volume of death simmers unremarkably below the surface.

Lives cut short in tallies of one or two; often the victims know the killers.

And often the violence is self-inflicted, a permanent end to mental anguish.

Once again, we await more information.

There will be press conferences, maybe an arrest and even a trial.

We also know that there will be another such story that will crest upon the headlines.

Only to disappear except for those who have no choice but to live its consequences daily.

Again, and again, and again.

Fifty Years …

On this day in 1973, exactly 50 years ago, the United States Supreme Court decided in the case of Roe v Wade to decriminalize abortion and give women the right to make decisions about their own bodies.  The vote was 7-2 with only Justices Rehnquist and White voting against it. Until seven months ago, June 24, 2022, we thought we would be celebrating the 50th anniversary of this momentous decision, but instead we are once again fighting to be treated fairly, fighting in many cases for our very lives.

Members of the Supreme Court on April 20, 1972. Front row, from left: Justices Potter Stewart and William O. Douglas; Chief Justice Warren E. Burger; Justices William J. Brennan Jr. and Byron R. White. Back row, from left: Justices Lewis F. Powell Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Harry A. Blackmun and William H. Rehnquist. (John Rous/AP)

Above is the Supreme Court of 1973.  It would be another eight years until the first woman justice, Sandra Day O’Connor, would take her seat on the Court in 1981.  In June 2022, when the decision in the case of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization was handed down, there were three women on the Court, and yet women’s rights were slashed.  Six days after the Dobbs decision, a fourth woman, Ketanji Brown Jackson, would take her seat, bringing the number of women on the court to a historic four.

Formal group photograph of the Supreme Court as it was been comprised on June 30, 2022 after Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson joined the Court. Seated from left are Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Samuel A. Alito and Elena Kagan. Standing from left are Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh, and Ketanji Brown Jackson. Credit: Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

Even prior to Roe v Wade, in most states a woman could have an abortion if the pregnancy threatened her life, but since the decision in the Dobbs case, many states have even taken that right away.  The woman is left to die, else forced to travel to a friendlier state where her life is deemed to have some value.

Since the founding of this nation, when it was written in the Declaration of Independence, signed on August 2nd, 1776, that “… all men are created equal,” leaving women out altogether, we have been fighting to be included in that ‘equality’.  Women have had to fight for the right to own property, to divorce their husband, to receive equal pay for equal work, and perhaps most importantly, to vote.  To this day, the nation has failed to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, that would codify equal rights for all citizens, regardless of gender.  The Equal Rights Amendment was first proposed in December 1923, nearly 100 years ago, and still has not managed to pass.  Its history is long and convoluted, albeit interesting.  If you’re interested, check out this article in History.com.

Now, I could make a damn good argument for why I think the Supreme Court made a huge mistake in their ruling on Dobbs, but you likely already know the argument.  Instead, I’d like to pose a question, one that has bothered me ever since I was old enough to ponder such things:

Why are women considered somehow lesser beings than men to begin with?

Is it because of that religious myth that man was created first, and woman was an afterthought created from a rib bone of a man?  Is it because we are typically smaller?  Is it because our voices aren’t as deep?  Is it because we don’t have that all-important extra appendage (I’m trying to keep it family-friendly here so as not to offend)?  Seriously, I have never understood why we are still, after all these thousands of years, considered somehow … substandard.

Women have proven themselves in every field – law, medicine, education, politics, science, business – and yet we are deprived of our rights simply because we are women.  We still struggle against that ‘glass ceiling’ in the corporate world, though we’ve come a long way.  Look at the demographics of the U.S. Congress … the most recently elected House of Representatives has 29% women, and in the Senate, 25% … though women comprise some 50.47% of the population. And this is a 59% increase from a decade ago!  You can probably guess which political party has the highest percentage of women … and it isn’t the Republican Party.

Talk is cheap.  Saying that women have equal rights, but denying them the right to even make decisions regarding their own health choices, is hypocrisy.  A man can walk into a doctor’s office and walk out 15 minutes later with a prescription for Viagra that will enable him to engage in sex all night long if he chooses, but a woman is denied the right to even birth control in many states.  A woman who is raped and becomes pregnant cannot get an abortion in many states today, but must be forced to live with the results of a crime for the rest of her life, while the child’s sire sits in a bar bragging about yet another ‘conquest’.

I don’t understand it, will never understand it, but I know it’s wrong.  Today, we should be celebrating 50 years of Roe v Wade, 50 years of women’s rights, of respect for women.  Instead, we are back to square one … no wait … we are actually at square minus one, because birth control is harder for us to get now, and even in cases where a woman’s life is at risk, abortion is illegal in many states.  We were actually better off 50 years ago.  All thanks to Justices Alito, Thomas, Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, Barrett, and Chief Justice Roberts.  I hope that someday, somehow, it comes back to haunt each and every one of them.

A Letter, A Letter! I Wrote A Letter!

Mr. Kevin McCarthy

2468 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C.  20515

Dear Mr. McCarthy,

I am writing to you today to make a few suggestions, since you and your party seem a bit lost at the moment.  You have appointed people to committees they know nothing about and have set up investigations into … nothing that that should be considered to be any business of the U.S. House of Representatives.  So, I have a few suggestions for things you guys can investigate or do, so at the end of your short two-year tenure, at least you’ll have something to show for your time in office.

  • In 2021, Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of the former guy, received a check from Saudi Arabia in the amount of $2 billion. We the People would like to know what under-the-table deal led to this mega payment.
  • We the People would also like to see you continue the excellent work that was done by the House January 6th They did a great job, but their work was cut short when a new House of Representatives took over, and there is still much to be learned about who, precisely, played a role in the multiple efforts to rob We the People of our voices, our votes.
  • While I realize you have a very slim majority and need every vote you can score, I think you would earn a bit of respect if you did the right thing and removed George Santos from your number. Yes, he will likely be replaced by a Democrat, but you will know that you did the right thing.  You will have a clear conscience, at least on this one issue.  I fully believe that Mr. Santos has a serious mental health problem, and while I empathise with that, the United States Congress is no place for a pathological liar.
  • We the People would like to see you and your ‘team’ extend an olive branch across the aisle. In theory, at least, you all work for the same employer … WE THE PEOPLE!  All this idle chatter about shutting down the Internal Revenue Service and replacing the income tax with a “consumption tax” of 30% on every single thing we purchase is bullshit, and you know that all too well.  You’re supposed to be looking out for our interests, not stabbing us in the back!
  • The debt ceiling is not a weapon for you to use to get publicity … it is important that we stay on top of our financial obligations, both foreign and domestic.  Fully half of your party do not even understand the difference between the debt ceiling, the budget, the national debt, and the deficit.  I sometime wonder if you understand the difference?  At any rate, if you cannot work together with your Democratic partners to avoid a catastrophe, then … you really aren’t any sort of a leader at all, are you?
  • I really think you need to re-think some of the committee appointments you have made. For example … Marge Greene on the Homeland Security Committee???  What were you thinking?  She is a supporter of domestic terrorism!!!  15 of the 21 Republicans you placed on the Oversight Committee voted to overturn the election results and 14 of 18 Republicans you placed on the Judiciary Committee, including Jim Jordan himself, also voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election.  These people voted to put duct tape across the mouths of more than 81 million people, including myself!  They voted, basically, to replace democracy with autocracy, to take away our Constitutional right to have a voice in our government!  And YOU put them on some of the most important committees in the House?
  • And last, but not least, forget about Hunter Biden’s laptop … A) It isn’t a matter for Congress. Hunter Biden is a private citizen.  B) Nobody cares.  And speaking of such things … I understand you’re planning to ‘investigate’ the leak in the Supreme Court of the Dobbs decision.  Don’t bother.  A) It was likely Justice Samuel Alito, B) Nobody cares, and C) We the People had every right to know how the Court would be voting on Dobbs, for it was a decision that took away the rights of fully 50% of the population of this nation, including mine!

Overall, Mr. McCarthy, I really think you need to go off on your own this weekend, to a cabin somewhere in the woods, no television, no cell phone, no laptop, and take a long hard look inside yourself, have a nice long chat with your conscience, if you still have one.  You are not working in the best interests of this nation and its people, and I honestly believe you are smart enough to know that.  I hope you can find your conscience and listen to the voices telling you, reminding you, that you work for the people of this nation, that you owe US, not the Republican Party, not the extremists, not the racists, but the 330 million people who live in this country.

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison, citizen, taxpayer, voter

The Difference Between Good And Evil

Two stories in yesterday’s news caught my eye and the juxtaposition was jaw-dropping.  One is about a good person, a truly inspirational leader, stepping down, and the other is about a young, grossly ignorant punk being treated like royalty.


A good person stepping down

I was saddened to see that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand is stepping down.  I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Ms. Ardern, who has been Prime Minister and leader of the Labour Party since October 2017.  She first came to my attention on March 15th, 2019, when 51 people were fatally shot and 49 injured in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, by a gunman espousing anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant hatred.  Ms. Ardern stepped up to the plate in a very difficult time, saying …

“We represent diversity, kindness, compassion. A home for those who share our values. Refuge for those who need it.”

Ardern spearheaded legislation to ban military-style semiautomatic weapons and assault rifles just six days after the attack.  She also acted quickly to close the country’s borders early during the Covid pandemic, and imposed strict quarantine requirements that went a long way toward keeping New Zealand’s Covid mortality rate far below most other countries.

While she is still popular, however, time and circumstances take a toll.  In announcing her decision yesterday to step down ahead of elections later this year (October), she said …

“I’m not leaving because I believe we can’t win the election, but because I believe Labour can and will win it. We need a fresh set of shoulders for the challenges of both this year and the next three. I have given my absolute all. I know what this job takes, and I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It’s that simple.”

I wish her the best and I hope that New Zealand can elect another with her passion and compassion, her humanity.


A rotten person rising up

There is something wrong with this country, my friends.  A young man, a high-school dropout who was not even old enough by law to have a gun in his possession, borrows a gun, crosses state lines, shoots three people, killing two, and just two years later he is being hailed as a hero???????

Yes, you know who I’m talking about … Kyle Rittenhouse.  On August 25th, 2020, he shot three people at a protest against the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  He was 17 years old at the time, not old enough to own a gun, but he borrowed one, an AR-15 military-style assault rifle, and had his mother drive him from his home in Illinois to the event in Wisconsin.  At his criminal trial in 2021 he claimed self-defense and the jury bought his bullshit, refusing to convict him.  Perhaps it was the crocodile tears he cried while on the stand that swayed them.

Today, Rittenhouse seems to be the darling of the revised Republican Party … you know, the Republican Party that welcomes insurrectionists into their ranks in Congress and supports liars, conmen, and cheats.  Tucker Carlson of Fox “News” introduced Rittenhouse on his show as “bright, decent, sincere, dutiful, and hardworking… exactly the kind of person you would want many more of in your country.”  Makes me want to throw up.  No, Tuck, I don’t want more like him in any country!  Rittenhouse has been welcomed at Donald Trump’s residence, has held ‘events’ at Turning Point USA, a video game called Acquitted was developed featuring Rittenhouse, and he has even received internship offers from Republican members of Congress!

This week, he got a bit of a slap in the face when an event promoting Rittenhouse at a venue in Las Vegas was cancelled, the owners saying that “this event did not align with our property’s core event guidelines.”  At least somebody’s got a bit of good sense – obviously the Republican Party doesn’t and for sure this young arsehole doesn’t!

If You Give A Kid A Gun …

Guns in the hands of so-called ‘adults’ are bad enough, but guns in the hands of children is unconscionable!  It is a recipe for disaster!  The very same crowd that would deny a woman the right to have an abortion, would happily put a gun into her child’s hand!

I imagine most of you have seen the video clip that went viral a couple of days ago about a child in a diaper running around the hallway of an apartment building waving a loaded pistol.  The child pulled the trigger at least twice, but luckily, although the gun was loaded, there was no bullet in the chamber.  He pointed the gun at a woman and her daughter, who immediately went into her apartment and called the police, probably averting a catastrophe.  The child’s father denied owning a gun, but the child led police to the desk where the gun was stashed and the father was promptly arrested.

And this came just a week after a six-year-old child shot his teacher!

So, with those two things fresh in my mind, can you imagine my horror upon reading of a gun trade show being held in Las Vegas this week that will feature a JR-15 .22-caliber long rifle meant for kids?  WTF???  Whoever thought this was a good idea needs to have a lobotomy right away!  According to the trade show’s website …

“The JR-15 is the first in a line of shooting platforms that will assist families in safely passing on the proud American tradition of responsible gun ownership to the next generation of recreational shooting and hunting enthusiasts.”

Every state has laws that prohibit a child from having a gun, yet the gun manufacturers are making guns specifically for children … where’s the sense???  Oh wait … sense, human lives, logic, compassion, and all that take a backseat to the big P … PROFIT!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

The good news, if any can come of this, is that even young people are up in arms (no pun intended) over this, and on Tuesday a group of student protesters, including at least one who is the survivor of a school shooting, demonstrated outside the trade show’s venue, the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

One of the students, Ade Osadolor-Hernandez, a member of Students Demand Action, had this to say …

“I really am just afraid to walk at night, to go to class, and obviously with the school violence epidemic and school shootings, I was even scared to participate in class. I was always looking for the nearest exit.”

Isn’t that a damn shame?  We send our children to school to learn history, science, literature, to become well-rounded, knowledgeable, thinking adults, but instead of focusing on the lessons of the teachers and textbooks, they are focused on watching every movement around them and remembering where the hiding places and exits are.

Last weekend at a mall in Columbus, Ohio, 40-50 youths were involved in a fight that caused police to evacuate the mall.  Loaded guns were found on at least two of the youths that we know of.  But perhaps this statement by a patron of the mall identifies the real problem …

“We’re numb to it now, because we hear it so many times. It’s not like it’s something that happens and it’s a huge big deal, because tomorrow we’re probably going to hear it again somewhere else.”

Chew on that one for a while, my friends.

Meanwhile, Clay Jones has an excellent post on the topic of kids ‘n guns … check it out.

No delusions – poor governance in action

The U.S. House of Representatives is supposed to be “the people’s” branch of Congress, but today it is anything but. The goals of about half the members of the House do not align with the goal of a government that is “… of the people, by the people, for the people.” Check out what our friend Keith has to say about the House and responsible governance.

musingsofanoldfart

In case you had any delusions that the new majority in the US House would offer up good governance, please note:

– Returning Congress representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar have been seated on Committees by Speaker Kevin McCarthy, after being removed in the last Congress for their inflammatory and inane remarks. When I think of Greene and Gosar, the words reasonable and collaborative are not top of mind.

– New Congressman George Santos, the one with the highly fabricated resume, will be seated on two Committees by Speaker McCarthy. Instead of advocating for his being censured or even removed, Santos gets two Committee assignments. I guess the Speaker holds lying in higher regard than most people. Either that or he needed his vote to remain Speaker and will put up with anything.

– Numerous bills have been proposed to restrict voting. As an independent voter, the greater problem…

View original post 235 more words