You Have Got To Be Kidding!!!

Ever have one of those days where you start scanning the news and find yourself saying, multiple times, “You have got to be kidding me!”?  Have you noticed that they seem to come more often these days?  There is just so much utter … nutsiness, for lack of a better word … that I shake my head until marbles begin to rattle around in there.  Here are a couple of the latest ones …


Damn those subversive Girl Scouts, anyway …

I had never heard of Jane Chastain, but apparently she made history in 1974 when she became the first woman to call an NFL game.  Now, I might have found that exciting, might even admire her and give her a high five for breaking that glass ceiling, were it not for what she has done since.  Somewhere along the line, she lost her admirability, lost her good sense … lost her marbles it would seem.

Chastain writes a column for the right-wing media outlet, WorldNetDaily, commonly known as WND.  But her latest … well, you be the judge …

“It is no small coincidence that the Girl Scouts are out in force this month selling cookies on street corners, in front of grocery stores and other places of business. For many years, I would buy at least one box from every girl I met, even if I had a dozen or more boxes at home.

The Girl Scouts were an important part of my formative years, and I sold hundreds of boxes of these cookies myself, so I considered it payback, paying it forward so to speak. Not anymore.

In fact, the Girl Scouts are celebrating the victory won by their alums in the 2018 midterms on its website, beginning with their star, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, who attributes much of her success to what she learned as part of this organization.

Now Girl Scout alums make up 72 percent of female senators and 60 percent of the women in the 116th Congress. Although the website tries to strike a bipartisan tone, it is no accident that, among this year’s freshmen, Carol Miller is the only Republican, and she is much older, 68, than the rest. Her training in scouting was well before the feminist takeover that occurred in 1970.

So before you decide to embrace an International Women’s Day celebration or buy the cookies, ask yourself, ‘Will the country be better off with more representatives like the young socialist Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez?’”

girl-scouts

Faces of Evil?

You’ve got to be kidding!  I’m not sure what offends her more … that the girl scouts are celebrating the election of one of their alumni, or that most of the members of Congress who are former girl scouts are democrats!  This woman has lost her marbles!


Get paid extra for carrying a gun?

You likely remember that after the tragic school shooting in Parkland Florida last year, Trump and the NRA bluntly suggested that the way to end school shootings was to arm teachers.  The rest of us held our heads, rolled our eyes, and groaned a deep, anguished “nooooooooooooo …”.  Well, it seems there are some who still think this is just a peachy idea.

teacher-with-gunThree North Carolina republican legislators filed a bill last Wednesday to give up to 3,000 teachers a 5% salary raise if they become teacher resource officers who receive specialized police training to carry firearms at work.  One of the three, North Carolina State Senator Jerry Tillman, says this bill, which is a copy of one that failed to pass last year, will succeed.

“This is an idea whose time has come. With the heightened awareness of the legislature, I believe this bill will see success. It’s a big deterrent to somebody going to shoot up a school. You need to stop them any way you can.”

You’ve got to be kidding!

Mark Jewell, President of the North Carolina Association of Educators, on the other hand, is not thrilled.

“It is a disaster waiting to happen. We continue to be opposed to arming our teachers with firearms. Arm us with the resources we need to teach our kids to be safe.”

I agree 110% with Mr. Jewell.  Want your kids to be safe in school?  Then vote for legislation that takes guns off the streets and out of the hands of people not qualified to use them.  Let us hope the North Carolina legislature has better sense than Mr. Tillman.


How she dresses means she is … what???

I would love to know how people with a law degree can be so utterly stupid?  Think about Kellyanne Conway and Ann Coulter … bimbos, they are, yet they hold law degrees.  Add to that list Jeanine Pirro, who not only holds a law degree, but is a former judge, prosecutor, and politician from New York.  Currently Pirro is host of Fox News Channel’s Justice with Judge Jeanine, where she spouts right-wing conspiracy theories and other lunacy.jeanine-pirroHer latest is a claim that Muslim women who wear a hijab are against the U.S. Constitution.  More specifically, freshman congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who wears a hijab, is against the Constitution.

“Omar wears a hijab, which, according to the Quran 33:59, tells women to cover so they won’t get molested. Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?”

You’ve got to be kidding!  This woman needs to go back to school and study the history of this nation, how religious freedom was one of the tenets of the founding of this country.  Interestingly, and surprisingly, Fox News apologized for Pirro’s abhorrent comments, saying …

“We strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro’s comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar. They do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly.”

For once, Fox did the right thing and I applaud them for it.  But wait … along comes former Trump associate Sebastian Gorka …

“She’s absolutely right. The hijab is a requirement of the religion of Islam. It is part of Sharia law. Sharia law does not comport with the U.S. Constitution. Judge Jeanine, we have your back. Hold the line. You are speaking the truth.”


Where are all these fools coming from?  Would somebody please shut the damn gate?

Until next time, dear friends …

Your Tax Dollars To Buy Guns …

I think that most of us with reasonably sound minds agreed some time ago that arming teachers, having guns in schools, was just a bad … really bad … idea. Those of us, that is, who believe the purpose of schools is to educate.  Those of us who do not believe the NRA mantra that “a good guy with a gun …”. Those of us who have not fallen prey to the horseshit that has been spewed by the NRA that more guns make for a safer society.

We The People also realize that our current education system is falling into disrepair, that not enough money is allocated to do the job our schools need to do, and since Betsy DeVos became Secretary of Education, money has been diverted away from public schools and into her own pet projects, mainly charter schools that serve very few.

gun-pointingSo, what next, you may ask?  Ms. DeVos is proposing to take more money away from schools and use it to buy guns to arm teachers and staff in schools.  After the Parkland school shooting, students and activists urged the government to implement gun regulations, to make guns harder to get, but instead, Donald Trump who is a boot-licker to the NRA, called for more guns in schools!  A child could tell you this makes no sense.

“I want a hardened school. I would like to see true people with great talent at guns, being adept at guns, of which there is only a percentage of people. You can’t hire enough security guards.”

Oh for Pete’s Sake …

Research has shown that arming teachers or increasing the number of armed guards in schools will not keep students safer and may actually lead to more shooting deaths.

  • Armed personnel would have little chance of stopping a shooter
  • The more guns in schools, the higher the chances of deadly accidents or unintended casualties

In March, a month after the Parkland shooting, the House of Representatives passed the “Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act of 2018” that would have authorized grants to train students, law enforcement and teachers to identify the signs of school violence before it occurs.  Sensible legislation, especially given that in the case of the Parkland shooting, there were warning signs that were overlooked or misunderstood.  Such training might have saved the lives of those 17 students and teachers who died that day.  But the bill died in the Senate.

The Department of Education currently controls $1 billion that is set aside for Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grants.  The grants are intended for academic and enrichment opportunities in the country’s poorest schools, and can be used for three specific purposes:

  • Promoting a well-rounded education
  • Improving school conditions
  • Ensuring the effective use of technology

None of these would cover the purchase of guns in my book, but in the mind of Ms. DeVos and her fellow fools, they believe that it would be classified as ‘improving school conditions’.  Oh yes, by all means, more guns floating around in lockers, teachers’ desks, and untrained hands will almost certainly lead to improved school conditions.

I no longer have children in school, but as a taxpayer, parent and a grandparent, I have knowledge and am entitled to my opinion.  Frankly, if I did have a child in a public school that was either arming teachers or hiring armed guards, I would remove my child from that school immediately.

The purpose of schools is to provide education, not to become a firing range.  Money allocated to schools should be spent wisely on hiring excellent teachers, purchasing textbooks, renewing and upgrading equipment, providing materials so that teachers do not have to spend their own money to do so.

For once, Congress was spurred to action and yesterday morning (Thursday), Senator Chris Murphy introduced an amendment to a massive funding bill up for a final vote as soon as Thursday afternoon that would block the Department of Education from allowing school districts using federal funds to purchase firearms.

“I’m introducing legislation today to block the arming of teachers, and I do so knowing that earlier this year, Democrats and Republicans in Congress came together to pass a bill that expressly opposed putting guns in the hands of teachers. Congress doesn’t think this is a good idea. Parents don’t think this is a good idea. Teachers don’t think this is a good idea.”

A voice with some common sense, but Senator Murphy is a democrat.  Will this proposal fly with the republicans in Congress?  I suppose it depends on how strong the link between them and the NRA still is.  The ranking Democrat on the House Education Committee, Representative Robert C. Scott of Virginia, said granting state requests to use federal funds for firearms would be “openly violating the spirit of the law as well as common sense about gun safety.”

“Redirecting that money to arm teachers and school staff will recklessly endanger the safety of both students and educators, while robbing underserved students of the support and opportunity they deserve.”

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said …

“We knew Betsy DeVos would try to do the bidding of the National Rifle Association and the gun manufacturers, but to even consider diverting resources used to support poor kids to flood schools with more guns is beyond the recklessness we believed she was willing to pursue.”

There was a time that this notion would have been laughed off the table and DeVos would have been quickly replaced for even suggesting such a thing.  But then, that was a time when DeVos would never have been given the position she is in.  That was a time when we had a legitimate government that remembered to whom they answered.

ONLY Good Guys With Guns? (Excellent Washington Post Article Link)

We haven’t heard much about gun issues lately … Oh wait! School’s out for the summer break, so there haven’t been any school shootings, and no other mass shootings of late, so the gun issue just rather dropped out of sight in lieu of so many abominations taking place in Washington. Last night, though, I stumbled across a post that I found to be an excellent response to the NRA’s “good guy with a gun” rhetoric, and I wanted to share it with you. We will likely never completely abolish the 2nd Amendment, but we must not lose sight of the battle for much stricter gun laws and for putting the lives of people before the greed of the NRA. Please take a few minutes to read this excellent post by On The Fence Voters. Thank you, Greg, for permission to share!

On The Fence Voters

Link to The Washington Post article, ‘There Were Three Shooters”

The Washington Post recently published an outstanding article about the National Rifle Association’s assertion that ‘The only  thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.’  It details an actual situation in Oklahoma which ended in  the death of an active shooter at the hands of two ‘good guys with guns’, but goes on to explore the many factors which may have led to a very different and tragic ending.  I’ve linked the article at the top of this page and I hope you read it because it’s very eye-opening.

I’ve always had my own thoughts on this subject.

Ever since the Sandy Hook mass school shooting in December of 2012, the ‘mantra’ of the National Rifle Association has been ‘The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a…

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Active Shooter

Last week, I wrote a post in which I mentioned a soon-to-be-released video game, Active Shooter, that was based on the spate of recent school shootings. The premise of the game greatly offended my sensibilities and I was, needless to say, appalled. The post elicited some comments and discussion about whether such games are a partial cause of the recent violent tendencies we are seeing in some young people today, such as the shooters at Parkland and Santa Fe. Our dear friend Hugh has taken up the gauntlet and written an excellent, thoughtful and thought-provoking post that opens the door to even more discussion! Please take a few moments to read and ponder Hugh’s post. Thank you, dear Hugh!

hughcurtler

My good friend Jill recently posted a comment about the release of a new video game called “Active Shooter” in which the player is armed and enters a school to see how many “cops and ‘civs'” he or she can shoot. The “civs” are civilians — presumably including children? I don’t know because I haven’t seen it. No do I want to. But her summary and description of the game caused me to burst forth with a comment in which I insisted that we must finally face the fact that violent games cause violence in children. Scottie, a fellow blogger, then politely took me to task on the grounds that he was (and is) a game-player and also in the armed forces later in his adult life and he has no desire whatever to enter a school and shoot children. Point taken. I would like to respond to his comment…

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Jimmy Kimmel Speaks …

It says something when a comedian shows more intelligence, more compassion, and more humanity, than the men and women we elected to administer and oversee our government.  Jimmy Kimmel is a comedian, not a politician.  He makes his money cracking jokes, making people laugh.  But on a number of occasions, he has used his platform, his voice, to send a message to our elected officials, and also to We The People.  Last night was one of those occasions, when he spoke briefly, yet eloquently of yesterday’s school shooting in Texas.

“Hi. Before we get to our guests—and the jokes tonight—I want to take a moment because, as you know, we had another school shooting today. This time in Santa Fe, Texas. At least ten people were killed, ten are wounded. Mostly high school kids. 

And, once again, our leaders are sending their thoughts and prayers. President Trump said he is with the people of Santa Fe in this tragic hour and will be with them forever—except for when it comes time to do something. Then he will not be with them. And neither will any of the congresspeople—or governors—who don’t ever do anything because they are fearful that it will hurt them politically. They know the truth. They know this has gone too far. But they’re too cowardly to do the right thing. They care more about the support of the NRA than they do about children.

So they sit there, with their hands in their pockets, pockets that are full of gun money, and do nothing. They just wait for the outrage to pass, because it didn’t happen to their children. There’s only one way to look at this: How would you feel and what would you do if these were your children who were killed today? The truth about our democracy is that the people don’t make laws, we vote for those who do. So… the least you can do is register to vote right now. I mean the only way we can make any meaningful impact on this epidemic is to make sure we vote for politicians who will do something.”

I give a standing ovation to this man for having more sense and being a better person than those who are sitting in the Capitol or the Oval Office today.

 

And This Is Why …

It was the story I had not seen that raised my hackles late last night.  It was buried somewhere among stories of the PA18 election, Rex Tillerson’s firing, Stormy Daniels, Devin Nunes and of course, the ringleader Trump.  It was reported by NBC News and ABC News, but there were no ‘Breaking News’ alerts.  I found it on my friend Scottie’s blog post, then went in search of.  The story?

Gun-Trained Teacher Accidentally Discharges Firearm in Calif. Classroom, Injuring Student

Even that was wrong … THREE students were reportedly injured.  By a teacher.  A ‘gun-trained’ teacher.  A ‘reserve police officer’.  And as if there weren’t already enough irony there, the class in which this happened was “Administration of Justice”.  Still want to put guns in teacher’s hands, Wayne LaPierre, Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump?  Still think it’s the best way to ‘protect’ our children?  Think again!!!! Now, the facts of the matter …

Dennis Alexander

  • Dennis Alexander, a reserve police officer, was pointing the gun at the ceiling Tuesday to make sure it was not loaded when it discharged inside his classroom at Seaside High School in the coastal community of Seaside, California. Alexander was not authorized to have a gun on campus.
  • Alexander was teaching a gun safety lesson in an administration of justice class and was about to show the students how to disarm someone when the gun fired.
  • While none of the three children sustained serious injuries, one student did have bullet fragments in his neck, as authorities believe the bullet ricocheted off the ceiling.
  • The class proceeded until the bell rang signaling the end of class. Nobody called for a nurse or paramedics.

Fermin Gonzales, age 17, was one of the three injured students.  His parents were not notified of the incident by the school, but only found out when Fermin, at the end of class, left school and called his mother from a relative’s house.  His parents took him to the hospital where he was treated and released.

Details of the other two injured students are not available at this time … I’ve searched all over. Even now, 24 hours after the fact, there is very little in the media about this incident.  WHY? Police arrived at the school three hours later, and then only after Ms. Gonzales had contacted them.  The school, apparently, had no plans to launch an investigation.  Alexander was placed on administrative leave from his teaching job and he was also placed on administrative leave at the Sand City Police Department, according to both school and police officials.

The school district sent a letter to parents saying its human resources department, the high school administrators and the Seaside Police Department “immediately [emphasis added] began investigating the incident, including interviewing students in the class.” It said counseling was made available to students and that it could not release any other details “due to the nature of this personnel incident.”

It is fortunate that there were no serious injuries.  This time.  What about next time?  And the time after that?  And Alexander was trained in the use and safety of firearms!!!  What about Ms. Jones, who never in her life held a gun in her hand until the school district told her she must.  What about Mr. Peacock who has a terrible temper and now has a gun in his pocket?  Wake up, NRA!!!  Wake up America!!!  Teachers packing heat will eventually lead to student deaths.  There is no other possible outcome!

And it doesn’t stop there.**  There was another incident yesterday, even less reported than the one above, for I have found very few references to it.  In Alexandria, Virginia, a school resource officer — a five-year veteran of the Alexandria Police Department — accidentally discharged his weapon while inside George Washington Middle School. No one, including the officer, was injured.  Presumably the old media adage “if it bleeds, it leads” applies here, and since nobody bled, the media doesn’t find it that interesting.

Two days prior, Trump tweeted:

“Highly trained expert teachers will be allowed to conceal carry, subject to State Law. Armed guards OK, deterrent!…….”

Both of the shooters above were “highly trained experts”, and look what happened. I really do not care about 2nd Amendment rights … I care about lives, especially the lives of our children.  If the U.S. Congress has a single shred of humanity, if they care one whit about our children, they will pass strict gun regulations, not take the coward’s way out and put the onus on the teachers.  Nope, Donald Trump and Congress … this monkey is on your backs.  Do something right for a change!

** Additional information

The Stupidest Idea Ever

I have heard some stupid ideas in my lifetime.  I have actually perpetrated some stupid ideas in my lifetime.  But never, in all my 66 years, have I heard an idea as stupid as the one being put forth by the current administration, along with a number of others, in response to the calls for better regulations on gun ownership and access.

Donald Trump has decided that the way to end school shootings is to make every teacher and coach carry a loaded gun.  Close your eyes for just a minute, dear friends, and imagine all the possibilities, not a one of them good.

The Armed American TeacherSince there is little likelihood that any teacher would consent to carrying a loaded pistola on their person at all times while in the classroom or on break, that loaded gun will sometimes be in the teacher’s desk drawer, open to any student who, either out of anger or just a lark, decides to get the gun and start shooting.  And then, there are the teachers themselves.  Did you read about Karen Smith, the teacher in Boulder, Colorado, who grabbed a boy by his collar and physically dragged him out of the classroom and down the hallway?  His crime?  He remained seated during the pledge of allegiance.  What if Ms. Smith had a gun in her pocket or waistband … was she angry enough that she might have used the gun instead of her hands as a weapon?

The president of the 1.7 million-member American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, called arming teachers “one of the worst ideas I have heard in a series of really, really, really bad ideas.”

toon-arming teachersRepublican Representative from Alabama, Will Ainsworth, proposed a bill to arm teachers, saying, “Our students do not need to be sitting ducks. Our teachers do not need to be defending themselves with a No. 2 pencil.”  No, Mr. Ainsworth, they need to be assured that our government is properly seeing to their safety by regulating peoples’ access to guns!

A poll released this week by ABC News/Washington post says 42 percent of Americans believe teachers with guns could have prevented the Florida shooting.  If you ever wondered what percentage of the U.S. population is utterly mindless, now you know … 42%.  Strange, isn’t it, that that number is very close to the number of the aggregate polls of Trump’s approval rating.  Something to think about.

NRA more gunsThe NRA, of course, is salivating over this idea or arming teachers, for it would mean many more guns sold, more revenue for the gun manufacturers, and more money and perks for the NRA.

Trump met with survivors and others affected by last week’s shooting in Parkland Florida, and it was there that he proposed arming teachers.  The students were not impressed and remained angry, rightfully so, that Trump and the republicans in Congress absolutely refuse to consider the calls for stronger gun regulations …

“I turned 18 the day after. Woke up to the news that my best friend was gone. I don’t understand why I can still go in a store and buy a weapon of war, an AR. I was reading today that a person 20 years old walked into a store and bought an AR-15 in five minutes with an expired ID. How is it that easy to buy this type of weapon? How are we not stopping this after Columbine, after Sandy Hook, sitting with a mother that lost her son? It’s still happening.” – 18-year-old Sam Zeif, a Parkland student.


“We’re here because my daughter has no voice – she was murdered last week, shot nine times. How many schools, how many children have to get shot? It stops here, with this administration and me. It should have been one school shooting, and we should have fixed it, and I’m pissed because my daughter, I’m not going to see again.” – Andrew Pollack, father of 18-year-old Meadow, who was killed last week.


“It’s not personally something that I support. Rather than arming them with a firearm, I would rather arm them with the knowledge of how to prevent these acts from happening in the first place.” – Nicole Hockley, whose six-year-old son Dylan died at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

Our elected leadership reminds me of a husband who is intently watching football on a Sunday afternoon when his wife is trying to tell him something of importance, such as that she is pregnant, or that the house is on fire, or their youngest child just ran away from home.  He is not listening, could care less what she is saying.  It is only once she finally pulls the plug on the television and smacks him upside the head that he may listen.  It is time for us to pull the plug on our elected leader’s distractions, and smack them upside the head with our votes in November.   Arming teachers is not the solution to the problem, but will only exacerbate the problem.  Taking guns  out of the hands of fools and idiots is the answer to the problem.

woman man rollingpin

A Tribute to the Victims …

Wednesday’s tragic mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has left a dark cloud over this nation.  While I will have more to say about how avoidable this could have been, and how sad that we, as a nation, place the value of our steel toys above the lives of our children, for today I find it more appropriate to honour the victims.  I cannot possibly do any better job than ThinkProgress has done with their tribute that includes pictures of 14 of the 17 victims, as well as a brief bio and some comments from friends.  And so with that, I ask you to please click the link below to learn a little bit about each victim in order to make this senseless tragedy a bit more personal, a bit more real.  And please keep the community and the families of these victims, many of them children, in your hearts and thoughts.

The Victims of the Parkland Shooting

Parkland 2