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Stop the gun crazies!

gun kidsOK, I have tried to be reasonable, but I’m not getting anything even approaching reason from the pro-gun crowd.

Why can’t any of you even admit that there are places and circumstances where it’s not right to carry a gun?

Why can’t you admit that you don’t need to own high-powered assault rifles?

Why must you just repeat the craziness of the National Rifle Association and not think for yourselves?

These two children are from Texas. Their parents gave them these rifles to carry around a shopping district where guns are not allowed.

This is wrong on so many levels I hardly know where to start.

But let’s start with the “responsible gun ownership” argument. I agree that responsible gun ownership is OK, but this is not responsible. Children shouldn’t be walking around in public with guns any more than they should be allowed to drive a semi or a city bus. They are not mature enough to understand the ramifications of handling guns (or a huge truck).

Even an adult walking around a public shopping area with a loaded weapon is irresponsible.

I know, I know, you’re going to bring up the Second Amendment. Do you know what it says? It says, and I quote: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Do you belong to a well regulated militia? Do you understand the history of this amendment and how its meaning has been twisted?

Are you not moved one tiny bit by the deaths in schools, theaters and houses of worship?

I know, now you’re going to bring up the kid with the knives who went slashing through his school last week. No one died in that attack, though, and I hate to think of the carnage that would have resulted if he’d had access to a gun.

The NRA has bought our government and has convinced sportsmen and women that owning a gun is a more precious right than the vote. The resulting carnage means nothing to them. They are the mouthpiece of gun manufacturers who are only looking to make more profit, no matter how many people die as a result.

You’ve been hoodwinked, and you’re no safer as a result. More people are killed with their own guns that actually stop an intruder or attacker.

I have shot guns at targets and it’s fun, but I could have just as much fun with a BB gun. I don’t need to handle something that can kill just to have a good time.

My father owned a gun and he used it to hunt deer (although I don’t remember him ever getting one).

I’m not saying everyone should lose their guns, even though I don’t on one and likely never will, but I would like to see the pro-gun crowd budge just a little. Background checks would be nice. Banning guns from most public places also would be appropriate.

You can’t be a responsible person if you are unwilling to give an inch on anything.

 

Happy Equal Pay Day

equal pay

Equal pay for equal work. Is that really too much to ask?

Today is Equal Pay Day, the day women’s earnings since Jan. 1, 2013, catch up with men’s earnings for 2013.

I fought this back in the early 1980s, when I discovered a man with the same experience I had, who was doing the same job I was, made 30 percent more than I did. He lived at home with his mom and I was raising two kids.

I went to the publisher to complain about the inequity, and he gave me a raise to equal what my male colleague was making. Then he called my male colleague into his office and gave him a raise, too. I wasn’t supposed to know about it, but I decided to be happy with my raise and not risk getting fired because I needed the job.

Once, when I interviewed for a job, I was told I wouldn’t be hired because I had children and this boss wanted to be my top priority. Again, I could have pressed it, but I didn’t want to work for someone like that.

When I was a child, a woman still could be fired for getting married or for having a baby. Women were passed over for promotions because they might get pregnant or because they had children, plus everyone knew they would be useless at least one or two days a month because of “female problems.”

Women could be bank tellers but not bank presidents; we could be nurses but not doctors; secretaries but not lawyers. If we chose to pursue a career, it was understood that we would sacrifice having children.

It took a lot of fighting to get past that crap, and we still haven’t achieved equality. We earn, on average, 77 cents for every dollar a man earns.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren calls that not an accident, but discrimination, and she’s right.

I have a bumper sticker on my car that says, “I can’t believe I’m still protesting this crap!” People often snap pictures of it in parking lots.

But I have been protesting for women’s equality since the 1960s. As early as 1958, I was thinking I was as smart as any of the boys in my class — and smarter than most of them, but I was being told my possibilities were limited. I find it appalling that it’s still true on so many levels.

My granddaughters are coming of age in a time when women are still paid only about three-quarters of what men make; I can only hope my great-granddaughter’s reality is a little better.

 

The very definition of insanity

The very definition of insanity, personified in Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas

The very definition of insanity, personified in Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas

A definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again, each time expecting a different result.

Well, House Republicans have voted 41 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and the law is still in place.

In desperation, the GOP shut down government, trying to de-fund the law and make it impossible to implement.

That didn’t work either, although it did cost us $24 billion, according to a Standard & Poor estimate.

So now, what’s the plan?

Well, Ted Cruz, the freshman senator from Texas, says he wants to shut down the government again.

And here at home in NC Congressional District 11, our representative, Mark Meadows, has been called the architect of the shutdown because, back in August, he reportedly wrote the letter calling for the shutdown unless “Obamacare” was de-funded.

Economist Steve Morse of Western Carolina University said the shutdown cost people in this district about $1 million a day in lost tourism revenues.

October is the busiest time of year here because of the changing leaves and mild climate, and the shutdown cost people in the tourism industry half their October business.

Meadows has backpedaled on his insistence that the Affordable Care Act be de-funded, probably because people in this district were so angry at the closing of the national park and at his role in bringing about the shutdown (which he now denies, by the way).

So, perhaps Meadows now sees the folly in his obsessive hatred of the Affordable Care Act. His constituents don’t want to lose their businesses over it; they don’t want another government shutdown — hell, they didn’t want the first shutdown.

Cruz was elected because he claimed he could bring government to its knees, which he did, briefly.

Now he claims he wants to be president. Well, let him run and see how far he gets. The American people overwhelmingly disagree with his far-right stands and we are not amused by his antics.

Cruz could still cause trouble, but it’s doubtful he can orchestrate another shutdown and it’s even more doubtful he could take the White House.

Cruz has shown his hand and it’s a loser.

 

A class in genocide

Muslim women break the fast of Ramadan. US soldiers have been taught by the military that civilian populations of Muslims are fair game for attack.

Future leaders in the United States armed services have been taught by the military that Muslims must be wiped out through “total war” before the terrorist threat to America is erased. In classes, they were told that the US needs to use “Hiroshima tactics,” killing not just soldiers, but entire cities and that civilian populations were fair game. It’s true that there are Muslims who hate us; it’s also true that there are Christians who hate all Muslims. Neither religion can boast the love for humanity that both faiths call for, but neither should be condemned as being all evil, either. The Pentagon has cancelled the classes, which were held at held at the Defense Department’s Joint Forces Staff College, but hundreds of young officers have been told that the official position of the US military is that Muslims are all terrorists, and that does real damage to our position in the world. If you want to turn more Muslims into terrorists, then treat all of them as terrorists. The problem here is that millions and millions of Muslims are peace-loving people who have no interest in killing Americans. The ones who hate us are led by hate-filled people, not by God. The same is true of Christians. If you are a Muslim child in a predominately Muslim country with no Christians among your circle of friends and family, you’re not likely to understand that most Christians don’t want to make war on you. We can be painted as villains because we are the unknown. Here in the United States, Muslims are in the minority. After 9/11, we tended to blame all Muslims for the actions of a violent minority and we punished those we knew to be followers of the teachings of the Prophet, Muhammad. But how many of us have spent time with people of the Islam faith? Until I covered religion for a newspaper in New York, I knew little about the faith, just what I could recall from a course in world religions I took many years ago. In 1993, I spent a day of Ramadan with the people of a small mosque in Chestnut Ridge, NY, and it turned out to be one of the most profoundly spiritual experiences of my life. I rose before dawn to eat breakfast and fasted all day, then broke the fast with my new friends at the mosque. The food was fabulous and the company even more so. After dinner, I spent the evening with the women, talking about faith and family, and it was there I learned the real meaning of sisterhood. The experience shattered my feminist delusion that women and men are really the same. We are different, but equal. Our two faiths are more alike than I had ever dreamed. We talked about God’s mercy and grace; we talked about our children and our hopes and dreams. We had much in common. As I rose to leave, one of the women called out to me. “I just want to tell you something,” she said. “The word Muslim means lover of God, and you, my sister, are Muslim.” I have never been paid a higher compliment. A few days later, as the story was about to go to press, a group of fanatic Muslims tried to blow up the World Trade Center. My editor asked me to call my Muslim friends and ask them about the truck bomb. “OK,” I said. “As long as someone calls a Christian and asks about David Koresh and the mayhem in Waco for the Easter story.” He didn’t think the two were the same. After all, Muslims are known to be violent. I pointed out the Crusades, the Inquisition and other well known examples of Christian violence, and he agreed to talk about how we might cover this without offending people. “We need to educate our readers that most Muslims are appalled by this,” he said. The solution was for me to call the Imam and talk to him about the violence in the city and allow him to condemn it, apart from the story on Ramadan. “These are not people who are inspired by Allah,” he said. “These are people who are inspired by earthly power.” The military officers who gave this class in genocide need to meet some of the Muslims I know, and the Christians who condone this hatred need to look into their own hearts to see the reflection of what they’re saying about their Muslim brothers and sisters.

Welcome back, Keith

For those, like me, who don’t get Current T.V. …. a snippet and the link.

Boston Tea Party was a Corporate tax break protest

The real story of the Boston tea party from an original Boston Tea party member, George Robert Twelves Hewes.

Check out this fascinating video hosted by Thom Hartman featuring the first hand account of the Boston Tea party from an original Tea Partier. It’s worth a look.

 

Michael Moore does Wisconsin

Michael Moore brings it to wanker in his own backyard.

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