NEW!

HOPE !?

As I watched the March for our Lives coverage yesterday, 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!

Monuments

Last night I had a dream and this is its story:

I lived on a stunning green and blue planet named Earth, one of eight (more or less) that spun around a great fiery star called the Sun; contained within a swirling great galaxy of many other suns and planets, floating in a vast and boundless universe. (Certainly this, so far, is a scene anyone can relate to – the setting of a dream based on things we know.)

But as my dream unfolded and its details emerged I became aware of things startlingly different from our familiar world. Endowed with the omnivision of a dream I was able to see many places at once. And one detail soon became obvious: each country’s capital was marked by a huge and very unusual construction. These were all quite similar in their dark colors and overall angular characteristics, but their sizes and exact shapes differed. The presence of these structures everywhere made it obvious there was something very important about them.

So, using another special talent bestowed to humans only in dreams, I swooped down like a bird for a closer look. I circumnavigated one, then another and another of these massive shapes, traveling supersonically from one country to the next, searching for an answer.

Initially it seemed these were just massive blackish blobs of metal, though in fact angular, rather than blobular. But I knew there must be a significance to them, so I searched for details that might provide some clues. Closer scrutiny of one, revealed surfaces that were not smooth but irregular and marked with a great variety of small protrusions and depressions. One such shape jumped out in relief at me, but it took several seconds to register what it was – a partially melted gun. Thus informed, I scanned the rest of the sculpture and identified many more parts of guns, rifles, automatic weapons, grenades, missiles, weapons of all kinds. In our own nation’s capitol the sculpture was, of course, quite massive – created from many thousands of guns.

Then, with the speed and ease of a character in an Ann Rice novel, I revisited the sites of the other constructions scattered in capitals all over the world. Armed with my new insight it was now easy to identify the same shapes of weapons melted together in these huge metal piles. Intrigued, in one location I asked passers-by about the significance of this. (Of course they all could understand me perfectly.) They explained that citizens in each country had somehow been persuaded to turn in all their weapons so they could be melted down to create these monuments symbolizing a world-wide commitment to non-violence.

Then I woke up to the real world of the USA.

Covered in blood

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.)
globe_anim

Regarding an “unpresidented” administration

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! Anna

Slaughter by denial

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!