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Jack Rabbit

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Sacramento Valley, California
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 42,249

Journal Archives

Thirty years ago, I referred to President Reagan with the exact same epithet

"Snake oil salesman" was an often-used variant.

So, what does that make me? It can't make me a racist, since my ancestors and Mr. Reagan's came from pretty much the same places: north of the Alps and west of the Rhine, to include the British isles.

President Obama is not above criticism. I don't like the trade deals he's pushing one bit, I don't like NSA spying, I don't like drone strikes, I don't like the kid glove treatment his justice department has given to Wall Street criminals and I think his administration has been in some ways as opaque as his predecessor's, not what would be expected of one who campaigned on a platform of transparency and accountability.

I believe that the above is a fair statement, not at all like something out of the mouth of Darrell Issa, a partisan hack, or Steve King, a partisan hack who also really is a racist. Unlike some Tea Party congressman who can't speak for sixty seconds without impugning the President's religion, birth place, patriotism or without bringing up a manufactured scandal, I try to keep the criticism fair and free of personal references to Mr. Obama. Calling him a "used car salesman" (I didn't see that post and don't have any idea who wrote it) is pushing it and is something that really should be toned down. However, it isn't necessarily racist.

In addition to Democrats, this website also promotes democratic (with a small d) values. To that end, what should be unacceptable on this website is an attempt to close down open discussion with nonsense like a blanket charge of racism against those with an opposing point of view.

Criticism of the President's actions should be in context and directed at the specific policy, program or proposal. One should explain what is wrong with the what the President is doing, not with the President himself.


I have found the post, that being an OP from Will Pitt. Few DUers would ever suspect Will of being a racist. I have been on DU almost as long as Will, since 2001, so I speak with some authority. Perhaps ProSense knows something about Will that I don't, but I think this is nonsense.

This context of the post is a ruling Mr. and Mrs. Pitt (who suffers MS) got from their ACA provider rejecting coverage for medication under the ACA. I think I would be upset over that, too, and, furthermore, that I and most others would not be at all charitable toward those we hold responsible, rightly or wrongly, under similar circumstances. I suspect Will of being a grieved husband wondering what to do next, but not of being a racist. If the Pitts have no recourse, then I think we can all agree that this is something about the ACA that needs fixed. Given that, it would seem that the notion that Will is a racist who shouldn't be posting at DU is something more to be expected of a rank demagogue pushing an ideological agenda than a cool, rational poster at DU. It's just nonsense.

Obama will have have a better reputation to posterity if he fails at this

I don't mean just fast tracking this thing, either. It would be an act of treason to approve this deal. I certainly would not want to go down in history as the President who negotiated and signed away the government's ability to regulate commerce and assure product and occupational safety for the sake of a presumed right of corporations to profits.

Right now, President Obama's signature work is the Affordable Care Act, but under the TPP it would be possible for Health Insurance Companies to do an end run around the US Government and take the United States to a commission set up by this agreement to force the taxpayers to fork over to health insurance companies a fine to compensate for lost profits. Does this sound undemocratic? That's exactly what it is. There's a reason the TPP was negotiated in secret. Government of the people, for the people and by the people will parish from the earth.

Perhaps this is what corporate whores like Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan mean when the say that Obamacare will cost the taxpayer billions. The CBO can refute everything they say now, but the CBO isn't factoring in the consequences of approving the TPP and making CEOs as powerful in our time as the landed aristocracy was before the French Revolution and subsequent events up to the final collapse of empires in the twentieth century.

It's time to stand up for democracy and say no to corporatism. Grab you torches and pitchforks, everyone. This is the most serious threat to freedom and democracy since the failure of the French Revolution after Napoleon's coup d'etat in 1799 or the re-imposition by the reactionay Congress of Vienna of the Bourbon dynasty on the people of France after Waterloo. We must be resolved not to obey corporate tyranny. We must overthrow it before it takes root.

Amazing what happens when corporate whores are driven into splinter party status

We still remember energy deregulation here. Who was to blame? Corporate whores in the state legislature. Today, the GOP doesn't hold enough seats in either house the state legislature to sustain a gubernatorial veto by themselves. If corporate big shots come to Sacramento looking for whore in the state legislature, they have to buy a Democrat. The Koch brothers don't come to these parts looking for some too often.

The thought for the day is that capitalism really wasn't such a bad thing back in the days when it existed, before it was replaced by corporate fascism, something that goes hand-in-hand with that dreaded institutional disease, corporate elephantiasis. Today, it easier for corporations suffering from elephantiasis to strangle upstart competition in the crib than compete with it. Without competition, corporations do nothing that justifies their existence, like innovate and keep their prices reasonable. There was a time, before corporate elephantiasis became a pandemic, that corporations would have been tripping over each other to solve environmental problems. Now, they deny there is a problem ("climate change is a hoax, so is peak oil and America only needs to tap its own energy resources to become energy independent forever"). This followed a period where the problem was minimized. Remember when Donald Hodel, a corporate whore who became both Secretary of Energy and Secretary of the Interior in the eighties? He said the solution to global warming was more sunscreen and hats with broader brims. Remember that matinee idol who became a corporate whore who appointed Mr. Hodel Secretary of Energy in 1982 and Secretary of the Interior in 1985. Yeah, that's right, him. The Sally Stanford of corporate whores. Remember when, while successfully running for President in 1980, he said that trees cause more pollution than automobiles?

Now the elephantiasis sufferers' favorite corporate whore is Jim Inhofe. He says "Problem? What problem? Environmental pollution is a scientific impossibility." Of course, Inhofe not only disbelieves climate science, but he doesn't believe in evolution, either. He's got a better reason not to believe in evolution than most people who don't. After two or three million years of human evolution, Inhofe is still an ape.

Another favorite corporate whore is Mitch McConnell. Like Inhofe and many other corporate whores, he can be found in the House of the Senate. Unlike Inhofe, McConnell is a firm believer in evolution. He not only believes that man evolved from a more primitive animal that also became monkeys, chimpanzees and gorillas, but he thinks we're still evolving. He says that corporations are people. Not only are corporations people, but those that suffer from corporate elephantiasis are the highest form of human being yet evolved. A real Nietzschean ‹bermensch. They should have rights that we mere homo sapiens don't. Like the right to rule over the rest of us and the right to collect the wages on our labor for us, because they are wiser and would know better how to use our money than we do. McConnell is consulting the scientists at a Koch funded think tank to understand how, if corporations with elephantiasis are such smart people, how they crashed the world economy in 2008.

Cowan is full of baloney

If the last fifty years demonstrate anything, it is that the third way program is a failure. Deregulation, austerity and a government catering to the whims of the rich, to include tax cuts, brought on the world wide economic collapse of 2008, from which we are still suffering mainly because the trends of Reagan/Bush/Clintion/Frat Boy have not been adequately reversed.

First, we must revoke the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy. They don't need the extra cash and, after mismanaging the world economy, they certainly don't deserve it. Whoever said these people are rich because they're smarter than the rest of us must be one of their paid stooges. It is difficult to believe that if the common autoworker was asked to design a car that he would like to drive to work that it wouldn't look anything like an SUV. But that is what they auto executives foisted on the American consumer. Instead of Henry Ford's "America can have any color car it wants, as long as it's black," the auto executives of the late twentieth century proclaimed that America could have any kind of car it wanted, as long as it guzzled gas. Then they wondered why we fell in love with Japanese cars. It shouldn't have taken an Ivy League-educated scion of America's best families to figure out what was going on, but they were the only ones couldn't figure it out. We should get our money back. Tax 'em. Get the money out of their pockets and put it to better use, like building schools and roads like we used to do. That's better than bribing politicians or putting billions into public relations to convince Americans that climate change is a hoax.

Second, we need to phase out fossil fuels and replace them with renewable energy. Let the oil executives and the coal barons whine. They've had their way long enough, and all we have to show for it is dirty air and undrinkable water. Pretty soon, we'll have even more undrinkable water, right after the polar ice caps melt.

Third, we need to re-regulate industry and the financial markets. We've had decades of deregulation and the only thing it's proved is that there is no such thing self-policing markets. All the bankers and industrialists want is more freedom to steal our savings, cut our wages and pollute the environment. I don't know who they think is going to buy their useless, tacky products after they've reduced the human race to serfdom. Am I the only one who thinks there's something wrong with not paying workers adequate wages, getting them to go on public assistance to make ends meet and then electing politicians who will cut or eliminate that same public assistance, like Mr. Cowan suggests?

Let's look at some realities that Mr. Cowan doesn't see. We don't have too big to fail banks and industries; what we have is billionaires too big for their breeches. We don't have a problem with funding the social safety net, we have a problem subsidizing unsustainable businesses.

Finally, I see no reason to raise a white flag and meekly approve the TPP/TTIP. This is no time to give up on democracy. Why? Because the common man is one hell of a lot smarter than the common billionaire or a corporate shill like Mr. Cowan, that's why.

I don't mean this in a good way, but . . .

. . . Karl Rove is a real professional. Of course, his profession makes him an occupational liar. For lurking Freepers who think I'm just being partisan, so is James Carville. In addition to political campaign consultants, who are just a special class of public relations agents, prime examples of occupational liars are salesmen, lawyers and politicians (who, perhaps not coincidentally, usually start out as lawyers).

The point is that the Rover is an exceptionally good occupational liar, or EGOL. After all, he made Bush the Frat Boy into an attractive enough candidate to get him within stealing distance of two national elections. That was no easy task.

The first part of being an EGOL is to know what sells and what's an what doesn't. The Monica Lewinsky caper was never a good selling point in the first place. How many of us knew that President Clinton (another EGOL) was just asking for trouble when he said "I didn't have sex with that woman" instead of "On the advise of an attorney, I have nothing to say about that topic"? The problem with the matter of Mr. Clinton and she and his fellow consenting adult, Ms. Lewinsky, did together, was that nobody cared except ESAPPs (exceptionally stupid and partisan politicians). Fifteen years later, the only people who still care are ESAPPs like Senator Paul.

Another reason the Lewinsky caper doesn't sell is that there are better examples of politicians who don't level with the American people than Bill Clinton or even Chris Christie. For example, Richard ("I am not a crook") Nixon, George W. (Saddam has Weapons of Mass Destruction) Bush and his sidekick, former Vice Premier Cheney were much bigger liars than Clinton, and lied about matters of greater consequence than a tacky blow job.

What are the Republicans to do in 2016? One might think that they could point to President Obama. but they can't do that. It's not that President Obama hasn't lied to us. This is the same president who tells us that mass surveillance of American citizens saves lives and isn't a violation of the Fourth Amendment and that the TPP and TTIP will create jobs. Unfortunately, any Republican president will say the same thing and it won't be any more truthful than saying he threw a silver dollar across the Potomac River. All they can do is holler "Benghazi," but that is even less attractive as a selling point that what down in the Oval Office closet in the nineties. Well, no one ever accused Darrell Issa of being an EGOL. It's a rare man who can be both an EGOL and an ESAPP at the same time.

I don't think you are appreciating the dialectics of public opinion

I'm opposed to intervention in Syria for basically the reasons you are. Wars have never been fought because some king was so bad in bed that couldn't keep his wife satisfied and she ran off with somebody else and so he went to war to get her back. Modern archeology is uncovering evidence that there was a Trojan War, but it was fought over control of trade routes. The Mycenaeans simply thought the Trojans were an unnecessary middle man by extracting tolls from Mycenaean ships that strayed too close to Troy on their way to the Dardanelles.

What would you have said to Menelaus if you were a the ruler of another Mycenaean city if he came to you with a proposal to go to war over Helen's unfaithfulness? I don't know about you, but I would have said something like, "Get fucked, buddy. I don't care if you've got Agamemnon at your back, that fatheaded brother of yours is too big for his breaches, anyway. If you can't control your wife, that's your problem. If Agamemnon wants to make it his business, that's his choice. I'll keep my army here, thank you, in order to keep that thuggish brother of yours from meddling in my business."

I would have said the same thing to Menelaus if I were the King of Ithaca or a peasant living just outside of Sparta, where Menelaus was King. Poor Helen! She had such poor taste in men. She marries Menelaus and runs away with Paris. What is it about her that she was attracted to such losers?

Now, a typical American of the 21st century spends all day working for the Man, comes home dead on his feet and doesn't want to be bothered with what's being reported on the evening news. Even if it's a real news program that leaves him relatively informed instead of some video fish wrap that tells more than he needs to know about Paris Hilton's driving record or Kim Kardashian's latest whirlwind romance, he'd rather watch Dancing with the Stars or America's Got Talent. Still, he's vaguely informed about what's going on and knows that the CEO of the corporation for which he works is scheming to steal his retirement fund, Bush lied the country into a war against Iraq and that Obama has been less than candid about the NSA spying on us and can't seem to appoint anybody to his economic team who isn't a Wall Street crook (speaking of Wall Street crooks, such a deal they have for the CEO concerning high yield investments of the proceeds he will receive from stealing our hero's retirement fund).

In short, he knows enough not to trust his boss or the government. So, what do you suppose his initial reaction to being told we have to bomb Syria in order to protect Syrian civilians from being murdered by their brutal dictator? "I'm war weary," perhaps? Or maybe, "I'm tired of being lied to by one President or another"?

Don't be so dismissive of this fellow. He's aware his been screwed over again and again and is being screwed over yet again, right now. That's what's different. Like you, I'm old enough to remember the Tonkin Gulf "incident." It took almost four years for most of the population to figure out that the war against Vietnam was justified by a pack of lies and that the rosy reports of progress in winning the hearts and minds of Vietnamese peasants were a pack of lies. In the case of Iraq, this fellow may have been apprehensive about the idea of going to war against Saddam, but in the end he trusted the Man and only regretted trusting him later. This time, he's asking questions even before the Man takes action. That's a good thing, don't you think? The man might get his way and bomb Syria, but he won't be able to do any more. Our hero is waking up. He doesn't want to hear all the hooey about humanitarian intervention or credibility or honor, Most of all, he doesn't want to see his children or grandchildren to fight an imperialist war that will not benefit him or them, but will only benefit his CEO who wants to steal our hero's retirement fund and the Wall Street bankers waiting to swindle the CEO out of that.

Our hero is waking up. This time, it really is morning in America.

What Is to Be Done?

Let me remind people that Obama will not be on any ballot ever again, unless he tries to get his old Senate seat back in Illinois.

There are some in his administration I hope will never be employed by the government ever again. Larry Summers, for example, starting right now. I hope I will never have to vote for Diane Feinstein again. If she runs for re-election in 2018, at the age of 85, I can see myself doing what I did in 1980 -- standing in the voting booth, contemplating whether I should vote for Carter, who I thought had a disastrous record over four years in office, or for John Anderson, who didn't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning (You-Know-Who, the third-rate matinee idol, was out of the question).

OK, we couldn't depend on Obama to do what he at least implicitly and often explicitly promised. All we can do now is protest him in meek and abject ways. It's not much for me to say I won't buy his memoirs, since I haven't bought a book by any former president since The Vantage Point by Lyndon Johnson. I concluded the book was full of self-serving crap. Perusing over copies of other presidential memoirs after that, I came to the same conclusion about each one in succession.

Let's face it: there is no Republican in Congress, either house, who deserves re-election. There is no Republican governor elected in 2010 who deserves re-election in 2014. It would be ridiculous to believe the party of the Frat Boy and the Big Dick are going to protect our civil liberties because Obama didn't. After all, they're the bastards who violated them in the first place. The party of the Iraq War is not going to end drone strikes -- unless they can send in the Marines and torture any one in an invaded oil rich country who objects to US imperialism. Oh, and the economy? The architects of deregulation at least wouldn't consider Larry Summers for any responsible position, would they? No, but Phil Gramm will be Treasury Secretary again.

Beating the Republicans should be easy, if they didn't pass so many racist voter ID requirements. Apart from that, we also have a slough of Democrats who don't deserve re-election, either. Max Baucus (or is it Bought-kus?), who when the Senate Banking Committee held hearings prior to writing the Affordable Care Act didn't want to hear anything about a public option, certainly deserves no support for making it a weaker bill than it could have been or perhaps needed to be.

I voted for Obama in 2008 because I believed in him. I voted for Obama in 2012 because I wasn't feeling good about America's chances of surviving and knew that it wouldn't survive having a vulture capitalist in the White House. Right now, I am not optimistic that it will survive Obama.

Stop waiting for that man on the white horse to lead us to the promised land. There is no promised land and that man on the white horse is part of the problem. Give him power, and he'll just want more. For him, it's about how much power he can get and how he can keep it, even if he has to betray those who helped him to get it.

Presient Obama is not without his achievements. On the plus side: he ended the war against Iraq; will end the war in Afghanistan, although taking more time to do so than necessary; killed Osama bin Laden, the man responsible for the September 11 attacks; succeeded in getting Congress to pass the Affordable Care Act, although it is much weaker than it could have been; signed the Lilly Ledbetter Act into law; and he made a series of maneuvers that has resulted in giant steps toward the goal of equality for gay and lesbian Americans. While GuantŠnamo remains open, the President wants to close it and has been prevented from doing so by obstinate congressional Republicans who will be judged even more harshly by history than President Obama for what follows.

On the other hand, there is the minus side: Obama has aided and abetted the war criminals from the Bush junta in escaping justice; he has committed war crimes in his own right though the careless use of predator drones against suspected terrorists without regard to collateral damage (i.e., the deaths of noncombatants); he has continued the mass surveillance of private communications of American citizens begun under the Bush junta with only cosmetic "reforms"; he has signed into law a measure that allows him to abrogate any person's right to due process of law; he has punished individuals for exposing war crimes, acts of terror and torture while acting in the official capacity as agents of the United States, while taking no action against or even rewarding those whose crimes were exposed; he has aided and abetted the Wall Street criminals who crashed the world economy not only in escaping justice but in gaining greater power over the lives of common people whose trust they betrayed than they had before; he has sent negotiators to secret meetings aimed at agreeing on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that will end the national sovereignty of any nation foolish enough to sign it and set up a court to levy fines against any signatory nation that fails to bring its laws into compliance with TPP standards in matters concerning consumer safety, labor rights and environmental protection.

It remains to be seen whether the President will push Congress to approve the TPP or to approve himself the Keystone Pipeline, both of which would also count on the minus side.

Obama isn't the one one we were waiting for. We have to take up that mantle ourselves.

A few goals for a mass movement:
  • All American citizens shall have the right to vote once and only once in each election.
  • A corporation is a business created by the state, not a citizen or a human being with any human rights; references to corporate personhood are limited to matters of contract law, torts and the like, and in no way are to be used by any court to grant rights to businesses not explicitly spelled out in its charter or in business law.
  • Corporate proceeds belong to the stockholders and shall not be used to influence public policy or elections; owners of corporations are free to use their own personal money toward these ends.
  • The right of the people, through their elected representatives appointed executives, to regulate business and seize property used in manners deemed harmful to public health or contrary to the maintainace of a democratic form of government shall not be infringed.
  • Free trade agreements that restrict the right of the people to elect representatives for the purpose of legislating for public health, environmental health or workplace safety are null and void.
  • The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized (Alas, this bears repeating).

When it comes to domestic surveillance, I'm an abolishionist

Talking about reforming the surveillance state is simply absurd. The War on Terror was and continues to be as phoney as a three dollar bill. As many have observed, this kind of massive surveillance didn't save any lives in Boston this Spring. That is not what it is about. It is more effectively used as as early warning radar system against popular dissent, something that the government and its corporate masters will need in an era of "free" trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The threat to democracy and national sovereignty posed by the TPP must be accompanied by wide spread surveillance and control of the population or the "free" trade regime will fail under the weight of mass resistance.

It is in our best interests to make sure that we can resist a world wide corporate totalitarianism. Accordingly, mass surveillance cannot be reformed. These programs must be dismantled.

The big question in the Benghazi Scandal is now . . .

What did Darrell Issa know and when did he know it?

Or, perhaps we can substitute John Boehner for Issa's name.

In any case, Republicans have once again been caught constructing a false story, not to cover up an embarrassing event or criminal intent, but simply to create a false narrative in order to exaggerate the administration's culpability. This ranks up there with burglarizing the headquarters of the loyal opposition, selling arms to hostile nation behind the backs of Congress and the public and leading the nation to war based on a pack of lies as the worst incidents of government malfeasance I can recall.

For the benefit of lurking right wing morons, an incident where the President gets a blow job from an intern in the Oval Office is deliberately omitted. One may find it tacky or disgusting (after all, I did), but it doesn't rise to the level of government malfeasance.

The Cleveland Elementary School Shooting and the Persistance of Memory

I posted this on another thread about 11 pm last night, so I am re-posting it in the hopes more people will see it.

The Grover Cleveland School was new when I attended kindergarten there in 1956. My teacher as Miss Procter. The principal was Mr. Farrerra. I may be misspelling both of those names. I doubt either is with us any more. I had a friend named Ricky Winston. Even though he would be in his early sixties, I know he isn't with us any more, either. He died of a heart seizure when he was only 13. Children shouldn't die so young.

The following year I attended first grade at Cleveland, when my teacher was Mrs. Crawford, a plump, happy and gentle lady. About half way through the year, we moved to another neighborhood in Stockton. I then began attending the El Dorado School, but I'll leave that be today. I want to talk about my memories of Grover Cleveland.

I have a very vivid memory. I can remember having a strawberry cake on my birthday. I even remember being breast fed. I told my mother that once and she didn't believe. Then I told her that she fed me at the kitchen table. Well, that's where she usually fed me.

That kind of memory served me well in many ways. I could memorize whole lists. I could name the US presidents in order with the dates of their terms and the dates of their births and deaths when I was in second grade. That wasn't so hard in those days. I only had to go up to Eisenhower then. It was a cool way to fascinate my friends.

That kind of memory can also be a curse. There are things I remember that I would like to forget. I remember the kid across the street throwing a rock me and hitting a bull's eye, cutting my upper lip. I needed stitches. His name was Kevin Kelly. I can still see him throwing that rock. I can still see Dr. Winnick giving me stitches and how much it hurt and how terrified I was. Kevin Kelly isn't with us any more. He was killed in an auto accident when he was 21. I found out about that when the lady who lived next door to us in Stockton came to visit my parents one day when I was there. I was over thirty, so the news about Kevin was already about ten years old. The lady's name was Gertie. I only have good memories of Gertie and her husband, Freddy. They were always very nice to me.

I didn't like school. I can remember my first day of kindergarten at Grover Cleveland. I learned some new words that day: shrimp, midget, small fry and runt. They were directed at me, the smallest kid in the class. I can still see those kids calling me those names. They didn't mean it in a nice way. I never thought of myself as small until then. After that, it became the single trait that most identified me, and I didn't like it one bit.

I was fascinated with the tile on the floor at Grover Cleveland. It was a kind of marble design, with black and green and yellow playing with each other the way cigarette smoke floated in the air. I remember the playground, and the orchard that was on the other side of a chain link fence. On the east side of the playground was the cafeteria. At least I think it was east. I didn't learn to orient my sense of direction until I was older.

Years later, I was working as a computer programmer in San Francisco. I was 37 when I was walking to the bus stop down town one afternoon after work. I had graduated from San Francisco State University, sat out the recession I graduated into by joining the Army and got married to a young lady I met in Korea. We had two beautiful sons of mixed white and Asian ancestry. I caught the newspaper headline about some maniac shooting up an elementary school and killing a number of children. To my horror I saw that it took place in Stockton, the town were I was born. The school that was the scene of the tragedy was Cleveland Elementary. It took me about a minute to realize that was Grover Cleveland -- this was the first time I heard it called "Cleveland Elementary" -- the school I attended for about a year and a half.

The afternoon wore on and more details came to light. Apparently the gunman was in the orchard behind the school, shooting at children in the playground. I could see it. I wasn't there that day, but could see it. There was no film on television news taken at the school, but I could see it. I knew where everything was and needed to look at no pictures to see it. I could see children walking, or running in a panic on the floor with the black, green and yellow tile. I could see children running from the jungle gym and the monkey bars, which were less than ten feet from the chain link fence that separated the playground from the orchard.

For me, it added a dimension of horror that such a thing happened on ground with which I was familiar.

Days later, more information came to light. The gunman was a racist who was upset with Asian immigrants and thought he'd take it out on their children. When I attended Grover Cleveland, the only Asian Americans in the school were the children of the businessman who owned the Chinese gift shop on Pacific Avenue next door to my dad's photography studio. Now the school was predominately Asian.

That, too, brought a personal element to the story. Would this gunman had shot my sons, who were six and nine when this happened, if he had the opportunity?

In the years between growing up and that day, I had argued with many friends and acquaintances about gun rights and the right of everyone to be safe on the streets. To remember somebody I knew in the army who said that the right bear arms was important enough that such incidents were a price we pay for our freedom. At least I knew that man well enough to know that he would not be so crass as to make that argument to the grieving parents of dead schoolchildren.
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