Violence IS the Last refuge of the Incompetent

29 Oct

Image: SC Police Officer Slams Black Student to the Ground, Video Sparks Outrage  (follow this link for the short 15 second video)

The girl in the above video was arrested for “disturbing school” and later released to her family.

A 2015 report from the African American Policy Forum found black girls, like black boys, faced harsher discipline than their white counterparts in a review of New York and Boston school discipline data.

adjective: incompetent: not having or showing the necessary skills to do something successfully. inept, unskilled, unprofessional, leaving much to be desired.

I am still amazed at how often people in authority seem to feel that violence or aggression goes hand in hand with their authority and is the logical go to option whenever they are confronted by people who do not readily submit to their orders.
In education, where I spent 33 years as a high school teacher, and 16 years before that as a student, the first lesson always taught to children (and to first year teachers I might add) is that fighting or aggressive physical behavior, is never the answer to anything.
But, ironically,  out in the adult world, it always seems to be the answer to everything…as in: More military! More guns! More threatening aggressive tactics will teach our enemies that we mean business! Fighting back is manly. Seeking peaceful solutions? That’s for weak minded sissies…
“Judge not”, “Turn the other cheek”, “Love your enemies”, “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you”, “Love your neighbor as yourself”. We always seem to treat these maxims which we say are from God as being that which will apply to us when we are all dead and in Heaven…that most wondrous of invisible lands where we are all destined to live in peace and love.
But here on earth we fight…forever and always, and can’t ever seem to figure out why, except that we’re pretty well sure that it’s the other guys fault…almost always. What we need is a religion for the living here on Earth. Something that sticks with us and that we can apply when we feel disrespected and scorned and out of sorts with the world. Something that overrides our urge to always want to choose violence as the way to show others who’s the boss.
We’ve been around as practicing humans for thousands of years now and we still haven’t gotten the hang of it. Or maybe the trouble is that we have….but honestly, I fail to see the intelligent design in all that. Maybe we’re just all disaffected students of life who can’t seem to focus long enough to grasp the lesson…
Love is the answer.
Any questions?

A Fools Logic

27 Oct

Guns don’t kill people.


Only people kill people.


If we outlaw guns.

Only outlaws will have guns.


If all people have guns,


People won’t kill people any more.

Ergo: (if we continue this logic)

When all nations have nuclear weapons, all nations will be safe.

American Tragedy of Greek Proportions?

20 Oct

Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 14th, 2012 over 80,000 people in the US have been shot dead. There have been more than 140 school shootings over that span of time, and more mass shootings this year (298) than there have been days on the calendar (293).

There have been 1,516,863 gun-related deaths since 1968, compared to 1,396,733 cumulative war deaths since the American Revolution. That’s 120,130 more U.S. gun deaths than U.S. war deaths. And that’s including the use of the most generous estimate of Civil War deaths, the largest contributor to American war deaths.

And even though homicides represent a minority of all gun related deaths, with suicides comprising the biggest share, that’s still a lot of people shot and killed with guns. According to CDC data, 63 percent of gun-related deaths were from suicides, 33 percent were from homicides, and roughly 1 percent each were from accidents, legal interventions and undetermined causes.

But still folks here in America are mostly unfazed when hearing about another mass shooting by a crazed and insane gunman…or just about anyone for that matter. Perhaps it’s because we are so used to the violence? Whether real or imagined, athletic or fantasized (as on TV and in movies), sharing in violence is a very big part of what it means to be a U.S. citizen.

This is what some of the residents of Roseburg, Oregon, where the Umpqua Community College shooting killing 9 people, occurred, had to say in the days following that horrible tragedy:

“This is hunting territory,”

“firearms: That’s not the issue,”

“Gun control is NOT the answer to preventing heinous crimes like school shootings,”

“What I fear most is that we’re going to create criminals … out of some of our most ordinary, normal, law-abiding citizens.”

“In Oregon we protect everybody’s Second Amendment rights; that’s what we do.”

Still, many Americans feel the inherent tragedy of such events like the Umpqua College shooting. Here is how the dictionary defines the word: Tragedy: Noun, plural: Tragedies

  1. a lamentable, dreadful, or fatal event or affair; calamity; disaster: stunned by the tragedy of so many deaths.

     2. a dramatic composition, often in verse, dealing with a serious or somber theme, typically involving a great person destined to experience downfall or utter destruction, as through a character flaw or conflict with some overpowering force, fate or an unyielding society.

It appears as though we here in the United States are the living embodiment of the 2nd definition of tragedy, also know as a Greek Tragedy, in which everyone knows what’s coming (sadness, despair and downfall) but no one can do anything about it. It’s sad and somber and senseless…no doubt…but we just can’t help ourselves or each other. We don’t have the resolve, the will or the power to act in our own defense. We leave it up to what we call fate or destiny and We wait and watch for the next, inevitable occurrence… and perhaps even take some perverse delight in its happening, just as the audiences in the ancient Greek theaters did.

But thankfully, we don’t have to worry because we are the greatest most powerful country on Earth, founded upon the greatest document ever written, by the greatest men who ever founded a nation, schooled in the works and words of God!

And that’s called hubris…and that hubris is a real killer…just ask the ancient Greeks.

Why Do We Always Elect Rich People?

16 Oct

Why do we always put rich people in charge of everything?

Have you ever spoken to a person who was richer than you about problems you might have, only to receive that thousand yard stare in return that says, “What in gods name are you talking about?” And their response to just about anything is always, “I just pay the guy!” Need health care? Pay the guy! Need a new car? Pay the guy! Home needs repair? Pay the guy! Need drugs? Pay the guy! Trouble with the law? Pay the guy! Looking for sex? Pay the guy! Accidentally chopped up the wife and her boyfriend in a fit of rage??? Pay the guy!

How can we possibly expect these folks to fix our problems when they really can’t even comprehend what our problems are and when they don’t live under the same conditions that average Americans live under (namely that we don’t have enough money to pay all the guys!)

And the irony is that when we put these rich folks in charge they always look out at their constituents and invariable say, “Well, I’ll tell you one thing. You can’t throw money at the problem!” WHAT?! WHAT?! WHAAAAAT?! That’s what they do isn’t it? They throw money at everything! And it works pretty well for them too doesn’t it? And like idiots we always look back at them and agree. “Yep, Can’t throw money at problems…and the reason that is, is because folks without money wouldn’t throw their money at their problems because they don’t have any money, and if they did, they certainly wouldn’t throw it anywhere. They’d keep it!

And besides…folks with money only throw it at their problems. Why would they throw it at you and your problems? Then you’d have the money for crying out loud…and they wouldn’t. How would that make any sense? And why in the name of all that is holy are we giving rich people, who already have jobs and money, another job that comes with more money that they obviously don’t need in the first place and which will only make them less likely to want to help us in the second place?! I’m getting tired how about you?

So, the only answer is…Senior Citizens!

Because here’s how we put an end to that trickle down theory once and for all and solve our political woes in America and cut government spending and costs to the bone, and save education and our infrastructure. Just two words: Senior Citizens!

Why do we always elect people who already have jobs like attorney and lawyer and barrister and attorney etc…, and who are already rich and then pay them more money to do another job which is that of running our government when at the same time our towns and cities are filling with an ever growing population of retired senior citizens, from all walks of life? We have retired engineers and accountants and astronauts and retired you name its. (Even retired lawyers if that’s something you just can’t get enough of) If somebody once worked at it then you can bet there’s somebody who’s retired at it too.

And what do all of these retired citizens have in common? They’re all bored and looking for something to do to keep then busy, and they’re getting paid already! Some with good pensions and everyone with good old homegrown, American Social Security benefits! And they just love to volunteer for things!

What better way to utilize this growing population of bored, lonely, experienced government paid citizens, who are looking for something to keep them busy, than as politicians!! They’re already on the public payroll! They’ve been there, done that. They’re eager. They’re experienced! They’re bored. And did I mention that they already get paid?! Besides, most would work for nothing anyway, and since they are old and have already “been there and done that” and are retired, they have no need for greed and power and excess. They’ve had a 30 -40 year career. They most likely know what it means to work hard and get ahead, pay bills, raise a family, And even if they do succumb to greed, they’ll most likely die soon anyway and we can replace them in no time flat!

Then we can tell those rich, fat cat, Senators, Congressman, comptrollers, state senators, governors…those “I had to be rich to be a politician in the first place” double dippers who are just getting richer and who can never seem to solve our problems and who are (Let’s face it) the REALLY EXPENSIVE government employees…”You’re FIRED!”

Now watch us save money! Did you ever try to borrow money from a retired person?

So let’s amend the constitution which, if you’ve read it, was meant to be a living document and amended on a regular basis, to say:

“To run for political office one must be an American Senior Citizen who is retired, and having already proved their competency in the workplace and who is already on the government payroll, can receive no other remuneration for their service to America!

They Say it Can’t Be Done!

8 Oct

Whenever I get comments from folks who disagree with my view on guns or whenever I listen to Republicans speak about guns, I am always told the same thing. There is no way to keep guns away from bad people and lunatics. First they point out that It can’t be done because laws do not work. If you pass a law on gun control then all you do is control the guns of good people because bad people don’t follow laws.

That’s why we don’t have any laws in this country. Simply put, laws don’t work. Ask any lawyer or lawmaker I guess, and that’s what they’ll tell you. And of course that is why we all live here in the United States…also known as the land of reckless chaos and mayhem. Just ask anyone who tries to cross the border to get here.

Secondly they will point out that there is no sense in trying to keep guns away from the mentally ill because they are very crafty and know how to hide their illness until… WHAM BAM! They’re shooting you upside the head. So background checks can never work because the mentally ill are not just crazy…they’re crazy smart and are able to move about among us undetected. That’s why almost everyone you work with is bat shit crazy and yet somehow still manages to keep their job while you end up doing all of their work.

So in conclusion. Here in the United States, the land of the free, brave, criminal and crazy, there is absolutely nothing that we can do to stem the rising tide of gun violence in our communities. And I mean nothing! Not even prayer works because churches are targeted by gun nuts (the bad kind) just as often as schools (secular and non) are.

So the only way to stop gun violence is? More guns of course! Because once all of the good guys have guns then all of the bad guys will be too scared to start any trouble. And if they do then WHAM BAM! Upside their head…thank you very much. Now as for the mentally ill, well, they’ll still be bat shit crazy and crafty and smart so they will probably continue to commit horrendous acts of violence but their victims will be avenged post haste by those who would have otherwise been soon to be victims, because all students, mothers, teachers, shopkeepers etc. will all be carrying weapons.

And we all know this will work because that’s how the west was won back in the old days! The new sheriff would come to the lawless town where all of the bad guys had guns and he would immediately proceed to hand out guns to all of the towns people. Once all of the towns people were armed they called out the bad guys and if they didn’t all run away the townsfolk shot them! Then the townspeople returned to their homes and their shops and lived, played and slept soundly with their guns by their sides never to be bothered by violence again.Then the sheriff bid farewell and moved on to another town to hand out more guns and save more people from the violent ways of bad people and crazy folks….

Except there was that one town in Kansas,  I think it was, where all of the people were so happy to get their guns that they all celebrated at once by shooting into the air with a loud whoop and a holler…and then sadly all fell dead when the bullets came back down to earth…but on the bright side, the violence did end that very same day.

So yes! The answer is guns and lots of em! We have 300 million guns at large here in the United States and it’s just not enough. And once we have a gun in the hands of every citizen and all of the “gun free” zones disappear there will be peace and quiet throughout the land. It is the only way. Laws and good intentions never work! Everyone knows that. And as the Constitution says, A Well armed people are a happy people.

So Annie and Andy, get your guns! And while you’re at it think up a way to distinguish yourself as a good guy and not a bad one so that when the shooting starts and police show up to see what all the noise is about, they’ll know who to shoot at too. They are a jumpy lot and tend to get scared a lot too (their words not mine) and once they get to shootin’ they don’t usually stop until they’re out of bullets. Happy and safe avenging everyone!

This plan should also help us with our immigration troubles and keep us from having to spend money on that giant wall and don’t forget the money we’ll save on healthcare! We won’t need that anymore…except for treating gunshot wounds (good guys only of course) Because guns don’t kill people. People kill people! And if you outlaw guns then only outlaws will have guns. But if all people have guns then people won’t kill people anymore!…except for some criminals, crazies and avenging angels! (people also, not really angels)

So who says it can’t be done? It can! That’s how the great, legendary lawmen did it in the wild west. Just look it up! Go ahead pardner…I dare ya…

It’s Not trhe Guns!

6 Oct

Attention America! It’s not the guns! it’s the people…the Sick people! We need to do something about the sick people!

This seems to be the general consensus among the Republican candidates running for the Presidency of the United States, in the aftermath of the tragedy that occurred at an Oregon Community College this week.

Guns are great! Guns are safe! It’s just that when you put them in the hands of sick people good guns are used for bad purposes and not for what guns are really intended to be used for. Which is of course…uh…well…um…killing other people. But let’s forget about that and move on.

Anyway, that’s why all of the Republican candidates agree on one important thing! As soon as any one of them is elected, and on the first day they enter the White House to begin their new job as President of the United States, they will begin to combat the rising tide of the mentally ill in these United States by…

Eliminating the Affordable Health Care Act and thereby eliminating affordable health care for millions of Americans who can now afford it…Yep, that oughta do it…

Would it be Worth the Life of One Child?

6 Oct

I remember years ago, when I used to be a reporter for a very local newspaper. I was attending a  township council meeting and the council’s discussion was focused around the proposed purchase of a new fire engine for the township’s firehouse. At that time the price for said engine was around 250,000 dollars and one of the councilmen remarked that the purchase of a new fire engine might be too expensive for the township at that time.

That’s when the mayor spoke up and said that if the purchase of a new fire engine saved the life of even one township child then it would be money well spent no matter the cost. After that the proposal passed unanimously, including the eager vote of the one frugal councilman who had brought up the idea of the purchase being too expensive in the first place.

Today I have been reading about the recent tragedy in Oregon involving another horrendous school shooting by a lone gunman and about how local school districts around the country have been partnering with local law enforcement agencies to help prepare schools and school personnel for situations similar to the one that occurred in Oregon and elsewhere around the country.

Some states even now require local law enforcement agencies to stage real time drills in which they mock invade local schools in attempts to prepare teaching staffs and students for the real thing. Many have called the mock raids frightening and hard to determine whether they are drills or the real thing and wonder why they are being staged or conducted at all.

School administrators and law enforcement personnel have answered critics by saying that if it helps to save even one child’s life then no matter how real or frightening they may be, they are indeed well worth it.

And of course almost everyday these days one can see or hear someone in government demanding that Planned Parenthood be de-funded and that perhaps the United States government should even be shut down because if it means saving the life of even one unborn child then it would be well worth the effort and the cost.

So can’t we have some stricter background checks for gun ownership and maybe tougher registration procedures to ensure safer ownership and perhaps even new gun laws that are more in tune with laws that we already have for the safe owning and operating of motor vehicles and for the regulation and use of drugs and narcotics? I mean even if they save the life of even one child wouldn’t it be worth it?

Nope! Definitely not. It wouldn’t be worth the life of any number of children or adults. Even if it didn’t cost anything… and even if everyone still got to keep all the guns they wanted. Now way. No how. Uh-uh…


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