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Member since: Wed Sep 22, 2010, 08:34 PM
Number of posts: 225

Journal Archives

Starry nights...

Blair: 2003 invasion not to blame for Iraq crisis

Source: Miami Herald

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair says the West's failure to intervene in Syria is to blame for the violent insurgency in neighboring Iraq not the 2003 invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

In an essay issued Sunday, Blair called for Western countries to intervene in Syria, though he did not specify how. He wrote that extremists "have to be countered hard" wherever they are fighting.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/06/15/4179646/blair-2003-invasion-not-to-blame.html#storylink=cpy

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/06/15/4179646/blair-2003-invasion-not-to-blame.html

Blair finally hits rock bottom or lower...

This needs to be talked about


Every time, the people with whom I share this experience express shock. It is always, always, a surprise that a woman who does public advocacy is subjected to this sort of abuse.

And it shouldn't be. Because every single woman I know who does public advocacy is subjected to it.

That's not a criticism of the people who don't know. They don't know, because we don't talk about it. I don't just mean we, the women who are targets, but we, the people. The readers who consume the content produced by those women. The media who refuse to have a loud and ongoing conversation about it. The law enforcement who ignore it. The lawmakers who have refused to create legal avenues of recourse for us. Our ostensible allies, who stay out of it, lest the sights gets trained on them. The harassers who silence us via more harassment.

Open carriers...

The "Strange Fruit" was often female


In May, 1918, a white plantation owner in Brooks County, Georgia, got into a quarrel with one of his colored tenants and the tenant killed him. A mob sought to avenge his death but could not find the suspected man. They therefore lynched another colored man named Hayes Turner.

His wife, Mary Turner, threatened to have members of the mob arrested. The mob therefore started after her. She fled from home and was found there the next morning. She was in the eighth month of pregnancy but the mob of several hundred took her to a small stream, tied her ankles together and hung her on a tree head downwards. Gasoline was thrown on her clothes and she was set on fire.

One of the members of the mob took a knife and split her abdomen open so that the unborn child fell from her womb to the ground and the child's head was crushed under the heel of another member of the mob; Mary Turner's body was finally riddled with bullets.

Strange Fruit

The Tea Baggers come for a visit

Is the Washington Naval Yard shooting still "really big news" or have you already dismissed it?

I'm tired of hearing the line "They're coming to take our guns away" every time a another gun tragedy occurs. The Constitution has been in effect for 224 years and that hasn't happened yet, has it?

Maybe gun owners should be more concerned with reality than with fantasy. The reality is that guns are weapons, not tools, which are meant do kill and they do their job very well.

No one ever designed a car, a hammer or a kitchen knife and said to themselves, "If I do this it will be more dangerous, if I do this it will make it more accurate, if I do this it will kill better".

However, perhaps every gun maker tries to realize these points: guns should be more powerful, more accurate and more dangerous. And all too often they try to make their guns more appealing, easier to use and easier to conceal.

This is the nature of tools: we try to make tools safer and we add warnings glued on their handles and printed on their packaging; we have guarantees and regulations because, over the years, people have found imaginative ways to use their tools and in these ways have managed to kill and injure themselves.

So, whenever I hear a comparison, such as the use of guns verses the cars of drunk drivers my heart sinks. What a stretch. Think a little: who gets into their car, goes out for a night on the town thinking what carnage their car can do, if they decide to use it; who plans a drunk driving accident?

Who says "I'm in a bad mood and I'm going to get drunk and wreck my car and maybe kill a bunch of people"?

Who says "I'm going to drive down to the elementary school and run over as many children as I can?"

A certain percent, luckily a small percent, of gun owners actually do this. We know this because we can read it in the news all too often. "I hate my life" or "I hate my wife" or "I hate my job" and they lash out in the deadliest way they can.

Another point of the false analogy of gun incidents and drunk driving accidents is this: a person convicted of drunk driving does lose the privilege of driving, there are many laws on the books concerning drunk driving and many penalties.

The authorities can put them in prison and can take their licenses away and insurance companies can deny them insurance or, if their driving rights are reinstated, can charge them obscene rates.

This cannot and will never prevent drunk driving but it can curtail it and creates a known set of rules and regulations that can be held against the driver. We know the penalties.

Pure human stupidity cannot be controlled. If you are a gun owner as well as a driver this should give you pause: that stupid idiot who just cut you off or who is texting and driving or who is doing whatever it is to make you angry enough to want to kill him, he may also be a gun owner. Scary thought, isn't it?

So, gun owners, what is it to be? 30,000 various gun deaths a year or an effort to reduce that, for example, the way we've reduced vehicular deaths over the past 50 years.

What will it be? A little responsibility to go along with your "Constitutional right"?

How about some common sense rules and regulations to make all of us safer; owners, their families and those of us who absorb the "secondary" bullets?

How about background checks. Prove you are who you say you are and that you're of a sound mind. Prove you're not a felon. Sort of like some people want to do with the right to vote (I don't hear the NRA complaining about violating those rights by the recent making of new rules and regulations in many states).

How about limits on types of weapons. Does the hunter need a semi-automatic to hunt rabbits and ducks? (Elmer Fudd never did, he made do with a shotgun). Let's have some common sense gun rules.

How about limited magazines? Who need 20, 40 or 100 bullets in a gun outside of a soldier on active duty? (However, to tell the truth, Elmer Fudd never needed to reload unless it enhanced the comedic content of the scene.)

How about gun licensing, training and relicensing and maintaining training. Do you want a blind Alzheimer's sufferer wandering around with a gun? (Not unlike Elmer.)

How about mental and physical testing for all gun owners? Makes sense, doesn't it?

How about liability insurance for all gun owners, you know, just in case. You could even opt for comprehensive just in case you or a family member is involved in a shooting accident (I'll bet Elmer Fudd has some, considering all the times he's shot himself in the face).

Yes, yes, I know. It's in the Constitution. But, as I constantly point out, you're not a member of a "well regulated militia", are you?

I know, I know, that part doesn't count. (And why is that? Because it might be inconvenient?)

And hasn't the Constitution been reinterpreted many times over the past 200 plus years? Not to mention amended 27 times and counting (including the precious 2nd). Are all of those amendments sacred to you? How many can you name without looking it up?

I don't care if you own a gun or two. I only care that you are a responsible owner who wants to accept and share that responsibility.

You have no right to shoot me for scaring you a little bit or even a lot.

You have no right to shoot me in the heat of an argument.

You have no right to shoot me because I angered or insulted you.

You have no right to shoot me because "it was an accident".

And on and on.

A gun does not make you safer, statistics prove it puts you in greater danger, including accidents and suicides.

For the same reason a gun does not make your family safer. No child in a gun free house ever shot themselves, their siblings or their parents by accident. (They'd need a gun to do that.)

Gun owners, grow up. Guns are not toys to collect and play with.

They are not magic shields against evil and fear.

They are not insurance that guarantees your safety.

Guns are not cute, beautiful or fun. If you think like this you are a danger to yourself, your loved ones and all those around you.

The key

I found an unknown key
to an unknown lock
in a drawer I was sorting through

What should I do with it
throw it away or
put it back in the drawer or
put it in the little box

With all the other keys I once needed
but no longer need
locks left unlocked
or locked away forever

Dying slowly
the invasion of moisture
the advance of rust
the slow clenching

Alone and useless
a life that has been passed by
never again to feel
the welcome penetration of the key

Never again to release
the pressure of the tumblers
the action summed up
in a final click

The unknown key stares mute
its face and teeth
set in the grimace
of final acceptance.

I close my hand over the key
wondering of the lost lock
and set about
trying to decide.

Songs for guns

I Bought a Gun

One day I bought a shotgun
and I looked at my shotgun
and its shells
and I said quietly to myself: "Courage".
But for some reason my heart still shrank
and my hands still trembled
and I felt alone and small
as I watched the others stride around me;
and I said quietly to myself: "I need more".

So, one day, I bought a rifle
and I looked at my rifle
and its cartridges
and I said aloud: "Courage".
But somehow courage eluded me
and my eyes darted about
and I felt at ill at ease
as I watched the others stride around me;
and I said aloud: "I need more".

So, I one day, I bought a revolver
and I looked at my revolver
and its bullets
and I said in a clear, firm voice: "Courage".
But why was my heart still so small
and why was I nervous
and feeling uncomfortable
as I watched the others stride around me;
and I said in my clear, firm voice: "I need more".

So, one day, I bought an automatic
and I looked at my automatic
and its magazine
and I said in a loud voice: "Courage".
But where was the courage I wanted
and I found myself shying away
and why did I feel so alone
as I watched the others stride around me;
and I said in my loud voice: "I need more".

So, one day, I bought a semi-automatic rifle
and I looked at my semi-automatic rifle
and its extended magazine
and I screamed: "Courage".
But I didn't find my courage in my guns
and I didn't find it in myself
and I felt too much to bear
as I watched the others stride around me;
and I screamed my scream: "I need more".

So, one day, I took my guns with me
and I looked at my guns
and all their ammunition
and I softly said to myself: "Courage".
But for some reason my heart shrank
and my hands still trembled
and I felt alone and small
as I watched the others stride around me:
and I softly said to myself: "Maybe tomorrow..."
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