Maybe we’ll just send all future “invading” illegal aliens into space in an “empty barrel” provided by our new “Space Force”………
(On the other hand, then who’ll clean all our fancy homes and hotels, tend our gardens, pick and process our food, work in our favorite fancy restaurant kitchens, watch our children, and clean our rear ends in ritzy nursing homes?)
As I watched the March for our Lives coverage, I couldn’t stop crying………………
As a former adolescent mental health counselor and researcher/writer with a focus on youth, I was so deeply moved by the impressive courage, conviction, commitment and amazingly articulate expression of these young people, which filled me with desperately needed and renewed hope.
So today I spent a little time perusing the web for related content and came across this item. (Note that this poll was taken well before the Parkland murders.)
Pew survey 8/2016: “Opinion on Gun Control among Americans by Race”
• Asian: Control gun ownership 71%/protect gun ownership 17%
• Black: Control gun ownership 73%/protect gun ownership 25%
• Hispanic: Control gun ownership 69%/protect gun ownership28%
• White: Control gun ownership 42%/protect gun ownership 55%
Clearly these figures indicate the latter group is riddled with fear that their precious supremacy in this country is “endangered”. It also explains – yet again – why Trump “won” the presidency (though he really didn’t, by more than 3 million votes – just to remind) largely through fear-mongering. This being a common tactic of those who have little or nothing else to offer, and an audience already primed to buy into their message.
Humans all over the world obviously remain intensely tribal despite thousands of years of civilization. Fear of the “other” is still rooted in our primitive brains. Especially, it seems, in the brains of folk who have generally enjoyed some more privilege and advantage…..the idea of giving any of that up apparently triggers the altruistic part of the brain to shut down, and the lizard brain to fully activate.
BUT the diversity of the March yesterday, and the warm, embracing inclusion of people from communities quite different from Parkland, also give me hope that this too may change.
As much as I sometimes rail against the “evils” of social media, all of this is the undeniably positive side of its existence. This new generation is global, multi-racial, diverse in so many other ways and they are going to tear down any walls, whether physical or conjured. They are going to fearlessly demand justice and sane policies.
They are going to VOTE for those who represent these values.
So knock yourselves out Trump and the NRA, just try to build your stupid wall and sell a gun to every human being in this country who wants one. Then get ready to crawl back into your dens of darkness before the bright light of these young people blinds you!
The NRA, in my opinion, is guilty of aiding domestic terrorism and wanton murder. Their gun-ridden hands are covered in blood. They and other such organizations should no longer be allowed to make political contributions – having horribly and persistently abused their right to “free speech”.
We are obviously such an immature country that we can’t manage to work out reasonable limits to such freedoms, especially the “right to bear arms” which is absurdly inappropriate for these times and extremely, dangerously, misinterpreted. It’s illegal to yell “fire” in a public gathering, drive without a license, not pay taxes (unless of course you are wealthy) etc. Seriously??
I do my best to support worthy causes, though I have not recently joined a march. However, the latest wanton slaughter and brave, out-spokenly honest mobilization of survivors from the high school in Florida, may just be what gets me to put on my best walking shoes (despite no shiny buckles). At any rate, I will at least be making a monetary contribution to their movement, despite doubts that it can make a lasting difference on the national scale. (Although quite impressively, they were able to move the sycophantic governor of Florida to enact some changes to their state gun laws.
If I’ve learned anything from the current political situation, it’s that our system of gov’t is not always the shining and effective model “we” have always claimed it to be. Our founders could never have imagined these irresponsible abuses of rights and power. They assumed persons elected to any highest office would (in general) be mature, responsible, thoughtful, logical, minimally corrupted, and actually capable of responding appropriately and readily to such crises. They also thought they had built in proper and effective safeguards for abuses of power that might occasionally arise. Oops……..
(Might also be time to cease claiming we’re “the best country in the world” – which is highly offensive to the rest of the world at any time, and downright embarrassing now.)
I sign every possible petition that I can, while daily keeping appraised of events. And now I want to express my extreme concern about the direction in which our country appears to be moving.
It seems that everyone is so overwhelmed by the baffling, ill-informed, and destructive actions taken (or threatened) by this president almost daily, that we can only deal with one at a time. The grave danger in this is that we are not seeing the big picture: a pattern of behavior heading toward not only a constitutional crisis, and the real possibility of precipitating new wars, but most disturbingly, a gradual takeover of our government by tyranny and militarization. It’s very clear that this president deeply admires the “strong men” of this world – tyrants and dictators who wantonly repress and even murder anyone who gets in their way. And every day he makes choices that reinforce his desire to become just like them.
We must not be so “politically correct” that we hesitate to raise the alarm! In particular Congress, which was created in order to maintain the balance of powers, must not shirk its responsibility to do so, out of misplaced fear of appearing overly reactive, or alarming the populace. Even a cursory review of history shows that we will do so at our peril, and the idea that this “could never happen in America” must be rejected out of hand, because serious vulnerabilities in the balance of power have now been revealed.
Supporting the gravity of this situation, a book has now been published compiling the opinions of 27 psychiatrists and psychologists (gleaned from hundreds according to the author.) Their conclusion was that they had to speak, out of a duty to warn, because Donald Trump is dangerously mentally ill and he presents a clear and present danger to the nation and our own mental health.
There is only so much we citizens can do on our own. So I have written to my Congresswoman, asking her and her colleagues to seriously confront this crisis. I hope you will write to your own representatives as well!
If our so-called “representatives of the American people” don’t do something REAL about the yearly slaughter of tens of thousands of individuals in this country they are nothing but barbarians and killers themselves.
The causes and motives of these killings that everyone on TV obsesses about are irrelevant and become just a distraction and an excuse to do nothing. Because let’s face it, no one is truly capable of doing much about the causes.
What IS relevant is the AVAILABILITY of any kind of GUN to virtually ANYONE who wishes to buy them. Background checks may sometimes help, but history shows that most of our mass killings are committed by people who DO NOT SHOW UP ON BACKGROUND CHECKS!
And all the so-called “constitutionalists” apparently don’t know how to read, because the Second Amendment specifically stipulates “A WELL REGULATED MILITIA”.
This persistent refusal to address a matter of such monstrous proportion and impact, is a gross dereliction of duty by these people in Washington who WORK FOR US, yet demonstrably do not feel any true sense of responsibility for our welfare. It’s apparent their only concerns are their irrational fear of the NRA and not getting re-elected.
It’s also apparent that the only thing that could change any of this is a massive citizen-based movement which no one will be able to ignore – and that’s what the folks in Washington should really fear!
In my early 20’s I was a member of a local Socialist organization in San Francisco for a few years. Though I’ve since identified consistently as a Democrat I still believe in the fundamentally compassionate principles of Socialism.
It’s very frustrating that associated groups/people are so stupidly and broadly vilified here in the US. They get a bad rap because, I believe, the essential principles of Socialism and Communism were deeply compromised due to being instituted in places that were not sufficiently developed to support the system, and became corrupt and severe to compensate.
As Marx wisely pointed out: a society must be sufficiently developed for Socialist ideals to be fully realized. And though admittedly, the leaders of these social movements ignored his warning and really screwed up, no political system is ever perfect. So, in developed countries which understand all this, Socialist principles are embraced but modified to suit the realities of their particular societies. They consistently rate as the best places to live, and the happiest people in the world. Go figure.
In the US the Dems are the closest we get to a viable social(ist)- oriented party. At our core, unlike the Republicans, most Dems believe the principle role of government is not to protect our sovereignty and position of power at all cost, but to provide (social) services and overall support for our citizens. And the idea of building walls to keep out “unworthy aliens” is anathema.
Unfortunately all political principles are at risk here because of our ridiculous, long and expensive electoral process, blind devotion to the promises of capitalism, and pervasive lobbying! Faced with these challenges, most US politicians of all stripes seem to forget what their job is and who they actually work for. They are continually in campaign mode, trying to appeal to everyone they can in order to be re-elected. So rather than being the norm, solidly principled politicians are rare beings to be celebrated.
But sadly, like Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, these individuals are more often labeled as “weak” because they aren’t blustering blow-hards with itchy trigger-fingers, and a propensity to ignore or minimize the history, norms, achievements, and perspectives of other nations. God-forbid we should ever try to learn anything from societies that have been gaining experience for thousands of years! No, we have to reinvent the wheel every time we’re confronted with a new challenge, because we think “we know better” than everyone else. But in reality we’re quite unsophisticated politically and socially. Seriously, we can’t even handle more than two parties, let alone a woman for president. “Sad”
I honestly consider “blogging” (in broad terms) to be a nasty business and generally a huge waste of time. But I may have it conflated with tweeting and all that nonsense which, I’m convinced, contribute massively to an alarming increase in self-absorbed narcissism and dumbing-down of our culture. (Witness the daily discharges of DJT.)
I do love that these new venues for self-expression, accessible to virtually anyone, are very democratic, and that the availability and dissemination of information has so vastly expanded (if also dangerously fraught with inaccuracies, slander and falsehoods.)
There’s now so much free-for-all “sharing” out there that it’s overwhelming, and I feel quite lost in all of it. However, as I don’t want to depart this earth having left nothing behind, this is part of an effort to ensure that may not happen. So I shall persist, at least for awhile, until lack of inspiration, appreciation, or response overcome me……………then again, I must have some hope or I wouldn’t bother at all, and I am quite stubborn and tenacious – as anyone who knows me will gladly attest to. So there’s at least a chance I won’t just turn to dust without leaving any other trace behind.
On a personal level in trying to create or affirm a strong sense of who we are, we often try to distance ourselves from the confusing or painful elements of our past. Sometimes we reject all of it – even those elements which could positively impact the forging of our “unique” identities. The baby/bathwater syndrome…….
Similarly, on a societal level, in the process of re-creating or affirming a national identity in our modern world, many make the mistake of rejecting their ethnic origins as being tied to the suffering of the past: poverty, oppression, persecution, lack of education, equality, opportunity. Others, in order to feel a heightened sense of importance, legitimacy, power, etc. reject cultures they know little about, or those which are very different from their own. Thus it isn’t hard to imagine that a day will come when all unique cultural elements will be reduced to a few curious artifacts entombed in the glass cases of museums.
In truth, our diverse ethnicities are as deeply entwined as threads in the vast and rich tapestry of our humanity, which is replete with commonalities despite our best efforts to deny them. In truth we all came from the same origins, the same original pair (whether called Adam & Eve or something else). And we all came from the same place, whether we choose to believe it or not: Africa. Our “motherland” which for eons we’ve ironically and tragically ignored, neglected, forgotten, exploited. This is a black thread which is woven throughout our multi-colored human tapestry.
So I wish we could turn the world inside out for a while. You know, everything would be reversed:
– white would be black or brown, yellow, red and vice versa – the rich would be poor and poor nations wealthy and rich with resources – persecutors would be persecuted – hunters would be hunted – Muslims would be Christians, Hindus would be Muslims, Catholics would be Protestants etc. Better yet, everyone would be Buddhists, because they are (usually) accepting of everyone (except the Rohingyas of Myanmar) – “conservatives” would be “liberals” (omg) – slums would be mansions and estates – deserts would become jungles or oceans – the thin would be fat – the hungry would be well-fed and the gluttonous would be starved – etc.
What’s the point? Well, if I were an optimist I’d hope people would thus become more compassionate and understanding of each other. They’d realize first-hand what’s going on in other parts of our country and our small world, what it’s like to live like the “others”. Things might change, become more balanced, thoughtful, equal, fair, shared, peaceful.
Another option would be a visit by aliens from another planet. That would be a great unifying distraction from us fighting one another here on earth. No longer would we be focused on our so-called differences – rather we’d join together in solidarity to deal with this new “other”. Ideally they’d be evolved, benevolent, gentle, nonthreatening, so we’d have no excuse to project our antipathy onto them, and maybe we’d learn a helpful thing or two!
Occasionally I occupy myself by viewing this earth-world of ours as if it were one cell in a vast humming universe of cells. All are more or less different and serve various functions but all are subtly, yet strongly connected. From this perspective it appears our own particular cell is quite bent on self-destruction with all its tiny internal parts battling each other in fierce and pointless duels. This cell obviously hasn’t the sense to realize its survival depends completely on the cooperation and mutual support of its countless parts, rather than the “victory” of one over the other.
It baffles me that after billions of years at this game of adapting, developing, and sustaining life, this cell with supposedly intelligent elements within it hasn’t yet developed better sense (the survival of the fittest stategy now being rather obsolete and all). Rather it seems profoundly dumb – not much better than an amoeba. And shockingly, in a way dumber because amoebas and most other basic organisms have parts that actually work together cooperatively to sustain their life and growth. They don’t senselessly destroy themselves!
Humans seem therefore, to be more like a virus which has taken over our cell, gobbling its parts up and everything else around it, absolutely heedless of the very real and devastating consequences including, ultimately, the complete demise of the very thing which sustains it. What could be the vaccine for us “humanaids” who have run amok? Why have all suggested cures thus far failed? Why has the larger global entity of the cell itself not realized what’s happening? Can it not sense its illness? Why did it not long-ago recognize and stop this plague which has caused its dysfunction and contamination?
It’s incredible to me that each of us, though so much smaller than an atom in this scheme, believes that our own personal existence has such great significance, and that even our smallest actions are of great “importance” – yet we typically lack a corresponding sense of responsibility to the whole organism, without which we simply cannot exist.
If we were more sensitive and attentive to our surroundings, wouldn’t more of us realize something is very wrong and getting dangerously wronger? Wouldn’t we understand that we’re fouling our own nest and even killing our own kind? Why are we so bloody obtuse? Isn’t it our role (as the “most intelligent” elements of our cell) to be conscious custodians? We arrogantly think of ourselves as in charge of it all, but every day each of us inadvertently does some thing or, even more ignorantly, many things to help destroy our life support system.
What is being worked out here? Is this just a small faulty cell in the vast universe that will, and must, eventually destroy itself? (So far it has been amazingly resilient – surviving so many brutal forms of internal assault. But really, how long can this last?)
Or has something else gone just terribly wrong with an experiment called human life, and it’s doomed to fail? Is this also happening elsewhere in other cells in the universe, so no big deal – it’s just the normal cycle of life and death being repeated? On the other hand, as with all other living things (like those amoebas), will the instinctive drive toward survival ultimately produce a viable new adaptation or mutation which will lead us, and the cell in which we dwell, in a more sustainable direction?
Obviously we’re still just at the beginning stages of the slow evolution of these mysteriously endowed and largely unused brains of ours. My worry is that in the meantime, our stupidity combined with our destructive power will put an unfortunate and premature end to it all, taking everything else down with us. But maybe that’s okay too, being as we’re not as “precious” as we seem to think we are. Other forms of life would arise and perhaps do a better job. That I’d like to see………..