Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Mass Shootings



Image result for mass shootings
 https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/san-bernardino-shooting/staggering-stats-there-have-been-more-mass-shootings-days-year-n473436


The answer to "why" is often elusive and dependent upon one's moral, political,  religious, social and racial background. Some blame mass shootings on immigrants and terrorists and others focus upon mental health as the leading cause. A recent study claims that 54% or mass shootings in the US are related to domestic violence. Other causes often cited include, being fired from a job, being on the receiving end of a restraining order, divorce, being cheated on, sexual frustration, or some other reason stemming from being aggrieved. Further, the ease of access to firearms is also cited as a factor especially if one is available close to the time that the person was aggrieved. You know, you cheated on me and I have a gun in the dresser type thing. And, of course, there are those who love to blame those who are different for any and every ill in their life. "I lost my job, those damn Muslims are to blame, think I'll grab my rifle and get rid of some of them." Many also effectively argue that the mentally ill cause very few mass shootings and others will point to racism as a major cause of this social aberation. Clearly, killing people while in church, at a concert, or killing any place is not a sane act in the moment.

A question that needs to be addressed is, Why is mass shooting becoming so prevalent in the US? I think we have to go beyond the why's in any given case and look to see if there is an underlying cause. I think we have to look at the American Culture of Violence. Our history is quite violent and we have often resorted to the gun to solve the problem. We are a gunslinger culture. Kill what gets in your way. Native Americans, kill'em. Wildlife, kill'em. Competitors, kill'em. From the lore of the wild west to the allure of the mobster, Americans love to see the enemy get their due at the end of a barrel. Okay, we have become more "civilized," and we generally don't shoot someone every time things don't go right, but that doesn't mean that the desire is not harbored deep within. Afterall, the most popular movies and games are those that have high degrees of violence. So much so that many have become anesthetized to the killing.

Any plan to take guns away is doomed to failure. Certainly, under a more liberalized political system, changes can be made to rules and regulations that will reduce the likelihood of a mass shooting. Certainly, better screening, vetting, can be done on those who seek firearms. Certainly, there can be better coordination among agencies that keep track of potential shooters or disorders that may lead to shootings and to prevent access to firearms. But here's the thing, when the leader of a nation or any idealogue awakens and supports the gunsliger mentality, bad things, very bad things, are more likely to happen. When a leader mimmicks the shooting of a rifle to kill someone, that action enables the gunslinger mentality. When movies, games and TV shows resolve most situations by killing, the culture of violence is nourished. When religious leaders or rather religious radicals promote attacks on "them," contribute to hate speech, and condone bigotry, then the culture of violence is enabled to rear it's ugly head.

Until and unless we end the fixation on violence to solve problems, all the laws, rules, regulations, and prayers will be for naught.  


Where Are We Going? | Exodus From The Cloud

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Under the cover of disaster, DJT




Image result for Trump, Arpaio

 (ABC NEWS photo)

Under the cover of disaster unfolding in Texas, DJT pardonned Joe Arpaio.
This action clearly demonstrates that the President has no respect for our constitution and the rule of law, the very foundation of our democracy.
What Arpaio did was to ignore and violate a  Federal Court order. For DJT to excuse a blatant violation of the power of the court is a slap in the face of our system of government. Law enforcement officers are meant to do just that, enforce the law. When a judge issues a ruling, it is the responsibilty of officers to enforce, not ignore the ruling. The presidential pardon basically says that it's okay to ignore our judicial system and by inference, the very structure of checks and balances and separation of powers.
Is this a trial run by DJT to see what he can get away with? Is this a foreshadow of future pardons for those implicated in the Russian probe, including himself?
The actions of DJT are deplorable and inexcusable. If the members of congress do not act to curb such reckless actions, our entire system of government will be subject to collapse, spiralling into chaos and decay.
If actions are not taken immediately, there may be no time left for action for the system will have fallen. We cannot accept racism, bigotry, and abuse of our legal system as SOP.
Inaction is not an option.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The end of a chapter

We all know how the book ends ... we die.

We know how it begins ... we're born.

Given that the beginning an end are the same for everyone, what becomes important are the chapters. The chapters are the plot, filled with twists and turns, sub-plots, climaxes and anti-climaxes, parallel plots, rising and falling action, characters human and otherwise, and the full array of human emotion.

On 7/13 a chapter is ending. It's a last page I don't want to read, but the book can't go on unless I do. It was a long chapter whose end comes too quickly. It was filled with fun, excitement, love, physical and emotional pain, sadness, promise and betrayal. If I could, I'd skip the last page, but the universe won't allow that. Sucks how that works. Many things will change after the page is read. The last words will bring great sorrow and pain. There will be a time of mourning. But the book is not yet over, hopefully it has many pages left to read, but there will be a mental and emotional pause before I begin the chapter.

I will not "rage against this night" as all things have their turn, all things have their season. To do so is the rage against life and what's the point in raging against something of which we have so little understanding?

I suspect that while the stories are all different, we have each read such chapters. And now it's time to turn the page.

Fiat Lux

Thursday, June 1, 2017

How NOT to Make America Great

Being great does not mean withdrawing into a shell, only concerned about yourself, all the while putting down others and trampling on their rights.
Being great means taking the lead, being a part of the whole while preserving the rights of the one. The needs of the one and the many are the same.
Being great is justice for all, freedom for all, and caring for the needs of all.
Being great is the willingness to do what's right, ignore the odds, and take chances.

How can anyone believe that shutting down, ignoring friends, lying, deceiving, colluding, berating, and encouraging hatred and abuse is being great?

We have temporarily lost America. And, if history is any guide, once lost, it is almost impossible to get it back. While the fiddle is being played, the world is moving on, leaving us in their dust, laughing at the once great nation that now wallows in its own ignorance and demise.


Solar Flares, MoonWater, Storm Alerts | S0 News June.1.2017