Friday, December 28, 2012

Creating Heaven On Earth

So, the single problem with most religions is that the devil is in the details. Two nights ago I was watching a PBS program, Globe Trekker Holy Lands: Jerusalem & The West Bank. One segment focused on the different Jewish sects at the Wailing Wall in the Jewish Quarter of The Old City. These various sects were distinguished by their dress. Many things they have in common but some core beliefs are so different that there have been violet encounters between groups. Nothing new here, Protestant faiths have experienced similar confrontations. The other thing that I noticed was the similarities in ritual between Christian, Jewish and Islam practices within The Old City.

Here is another commonality among most religions, and cultures ... empathy. Christians call it the Golden Rule. It's a very simple and uncomplicated rule and it appears to be universal. There is no devil in the details here, just the will and the courage to practice it in all aspects of our lives. Then we will create heaven on earth.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

An Acceptable Level Of Dead People

I just heard that the guy who killed two firemen and wounded two others used the same type of rifle that killed the children and adults at Newtown. Oh, and he had previously served 17 years for manslaughter.

I was thinking why not simplify the discussion of gun violence to an acceptable number of people killed annually by guns in this nation? The people involved in such a discussion should be limited to those organizations that oppose any changes to the Second Amendment. They can't be members of fringe groups, but rational spokesmen for recognized organizations such as the NRA, etc. The topic should be limited to an absolute number. No other topics or nuances. No suggestions to stop the killing, just a number of corpses that are tolerable.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Advocating Overthrow of Government

No, I am not advocating the overthrow of the government.

Just listened to NRA chief Wayne LaPierre and everyone for or against gun control won't address the fundemental reason for the resistance to limitations on the Second Amendment.

It's not about hunting Bambi or even about protecting lives and property. It's about protecting ourselves against our own government. "Wacko", you say. Well, that's because only the wacko's have the guts to say it. When you watch people in Egypt and for many months in Syria throw rocks at armed soldiers and tanks some people in this country entrench themselves deeper into the Second Amendment.

I challenge any TV news, radio or newspaper to discuss this topic with Mr. LaPierre and any other rational individual on this sole topic. It's a dangerous topic of discussion and advocates expose themselves to USC 2009 Title 18 Section 2384 and Section 2385. But, in my opinion, it's is the real  reason behind vociferous resistance to Second Amendment.

Monday, December 17, 2012


The President wants to do something to protect children from gun violence. The NRA wants the same thing. So there is the starting point for some movement.

"Robert A. Levy, chairman of the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute and one of the organizers behind a Supreme Court case that in 2008 enshrined a Second Amendment right for individuals to own guns, said Sunday that with more than 250 million guns already in circulation in the United States, restrictions on new weapons would make little difference. He said by e-mail that tough gun laws did not stop a mass shooting in Norway or regular violence in places like the District of Columbia.

“I’m skeptical about the efficacy of gun regulations imposed across the board — almost exclusively on persons who are not part of the problem,” he said. “To reduce the risk of multivictim violence, we would be better advised to focus on early detection and treatment of mental illness. An early detection regime might indeed be the basis for selective gun access restrictions that even the N.R.A. would support.”['These Tragedies Must End,' Obama Says, by Mark Landler and Peter Baker, New York Times, 12-16-12.]

Nothing will be done politically, without support of the NRA, and Mr. Levy states they will support selective access to guns and detection and treatment of the mentally ill. Now we get into privacy laws and another amendment in the Bill of Rights, the Fourth Amendment. Just as intransigent as the NRA and Mr. Levy are regarding the Second Amendment so to is the ACLU towards the Fourth Amendment. These are not trivial issues and at first blush any common sense solutions to killing children should be obvious. Stop the mentally ill from access to guns. But what is mental illness? What is violent mental illness? Who has access to your medical records … the police, politicians, bureaucrats? At what stage is a determination made to restrict your right under the Second Amendment? At what point is your Fourth Amendment rights less protected than mine?

Another issue is the doctor protected from violating the doctor/patient privilege if he determines a patient is a danger to himself or others?  But he must have access to the person to determine this. We have read numerous antidotal accounts of the difficulty families [I Am Adam Lanza's Mother] have gaining access to competent mental health professionals. It's expensive and states simply have no money to fund mental health resources. Furthermore, at this time, intervention is reactive rather than proactive. A proactive approach can cast a wide net that includes malicious finger pointing by irate spouses, etc.

I know I am getting into the weeds on this but I have seen too many common sense solutions get derailed by vested interest.

I guess we need to determined if preventing the killing of our children is in the national interest. We need to determine if killing our children is a clear and present danger to the nation. If that is agreed upon than  protecting them is easier. And I also believe that we initially must keep our focus narrowed on schools. Keeping it simple and focused will build an alliance of disparate interests. Then maybe, just maybe we can stop killing some of our children.

In Town At Ease With Firearms, Tightening Gun Rules Was Resisted

Thursday, December 13, 2012

How I'm Supposed To Get Any Ridin' Done?

These two were rejected for slaughter because of toxic drugs in their system.

American horse meat slaughtered in Canada and Mexico is being rejected by European buyers because the meat is deemed too toxic for consumption. 

These two collapsed and died together while walking around the parade ring.

Source: NYT, Racetrack Drugs Put Europe Off U.S. Horse Meat, by Joe Drape, 12/08/12