Musings and Mirth

Gun Culture Needs a Wakeup Call

We live in a country where they regulate cars more than they do guns. We live in a country that defends the rights of a mother to own semi-automatic rifles — to be happily part of a gun community and lecture “liberal sheep” on why “responsible gun owners” keep people safer. But when the son of that woman shoots her in the face with a gun she taught him how to safely fire, then goes on a rampage that leaves heroic teachers and too many helpless children dead those same “responsible gun owners” again trot out all of their bullshit reasons why the 2nd amendment and blah blah blah Zzzzz. When the founding fathers wrote that amendment it took fifteen seconds to load a single bullet. This son of a “responsible gun owner” within minutes fired between 3 and ten bullets into six and seven year olds.

The day after the shooting, gun rights defenders could nothing but crow about their freedom. I heard everything from “why don’t we ban forks to prevent obesity!” And people will still break laws even if they’re in place! And that’s true. But Jim Holmes was able to legally purchase rounds and rounds of ammo over a period of a month and no one knew about it. We have a war against terror – why don’t we have a war against murder, mass murder in our country? We all know why. We all know that we live in a “gun culture” and we always have.

Well-intentioned, believing that if she taught her children how to use guns responsibly it would protect them. But she didn’t know her children very well, did she. And that’s the thing. Guns might be, what one man called, the “innocent victims” here (my hand to God, he said that) but we also have a country full of misfit loners who are ready to take themselves out and untold amounts of innocents victims with him. 15,000 people die in the US every year because of gun violence that isn’t even defines as mass murder.

But 2012 is a record high for mass murders. It’s time for gun owners to admit there is a problem and to help solve that problem. It’s time for them to stop with their nonsense because no one needs a whole bunch of semi-automatic weapons to protect themselves. They just don’t. They need to get over themselves and stop trusting in “responsible gun owners” to always be in the right and realize how dangerous simply having a gun around can be. They spread false information that if you teach kids how to use guns early on they won’t misuse them. Maybe that is sometimes true but in ever instance in these recent shootings these are boys who either had guns in the home or were practiced at shooting. “Responsible gun owners” can also mean – they’re practicing and preparing to kill a lot of people. So it’s time for the NRA and the “gun community” to help law enforcement, not be so quick to side with guns over people, to be on the lookout for potential loose canons, work WITH us instead of against us.

One woman said she has a semi-auto at home with her four children and how it makes her feel safer. She asked me, “what are you doing to protect people?” But she’s not protecting anyone. She’s only making sure there’s one more gun out there that can fire 50 rounds in under a minute, there for the taking for anyone who might have an itch one day to do themselves in and become famous by taking a whole bunch of other people with him. Enough is enough. A change is coming. Either get out of the way or get on the right side of that change.

Obama taught me how to stand up to bullies

October is Bullying Awareness month and no better time to look at the state of American politics. The country is divided sharply in half. It seems that nothing now is off limited when it comes to hurling insults and hatred from both sides. Twitter has made it all too easy to form a mob of bullies and go on the attack using whatever meme has captivated the chatter cycle that day. Democrats attacked Jim Lehrer after the first debate. Republicans turned their venom on Candy Crowley after the second debate. The owner of a soup kitchen was suddenly caught in the middle of our vicious partisan divide. Democrats wanted him to expose how Paul Ryan had showed up unannounced for a photo op but once he complied with their wishes, Republicans made harassing phone calls. Next thing you know, donors were withdrawing their funding. For a soup kitchen! When will enough be enough?

Through all of the haze, however, I did learn something about standing up to bullies watching President Obama defend himself during the second debate. His first four years in office have been nervous-making for liberals who’ve had to watch the still very racist country lose their minds over this president – he’s a Muslim! He’s a radical! He’s a socialist! He’s a communist! He’s not an American! We’ve watched as the southern led Republican senators vowed to strip him of his power in his first term and then, when Obama still dominated the polls, Romney’s team – funded by the richest men in the country – pulled out any wounding dart they could. When the birth certificate thing didn’t work they moved on to his Kenyan father. When that didn’t work they went after the terrorist attack in Benghazi, focusing on the timing (two mere weeks!) when the president said it was the video. The more calm and responsible administration waited until the facts were in but Romney’s team was running out of time. There had to be something there to make the easily manipulated public thing President Obama was irresponsible.

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What is the Point of Maureen Dowd?

The New York Times has many great columnists. I used to think Maureen Dowd was one of them. But being a good writer, a good opinion writer, is all about your point of view.  Dowd, it seems, is really just a troll.  She writes well. She’s certainly talented at being a well spoken troll but she remains a troll nonetheless. What does a troll do but contribute less than they criticize? A troll is the one ready to take you down as you’re crossing the bridge. Dowd’s off base attacks on President Obama seem to have little substance to them. She isn’t making any particular point that has any basis in reality. Her latest is Fox News territory. It’s a few well chosen adjectives above Ann Coulter. She’s the right wing’s only well spoken member at this rate. Most of the good ones have long since gone into hiding, afraid of having to be blunt about the empty suit they have as their presidential candidate. But they can rely on Dowd to say what they’d like to say. Dowd isn’t a Republican. She’s an old school liberal who has held a grudge against Obama since the time he dissed her on some kind of press event.  And that diss has morphed into one butt-hurt column after another. She can’t say anything good about the boy who wouldn’t approach her at the dance so she has to work carefully at taking him down, bit by bit.

She hits back at Romney and Ryan equally hard. At least if she backed them there would be some logical justification for her constant tirades against the president. I guess I don’t get what the point of all of it is. It seems to me a waste of great New York Times real estate. She isn’t funny, nor insightful because her point of view has been blurred by a false sense of reality. The Obama she writes about only exists inside her head and in neocon chatter circles.

It’s a damn shame. I have decided not to read her anymore, which is great since I’ve stopped watching Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom long ago. Perhaps Dowd could go be the columnist in Aaron Sorkin’s mythic world of great white men and the both of them could leave Obama, and the American people who are trying to support him, alone.

Joe Biden Beat Down Paul Ryan in Every Way That Counts

I have to admit that I was a bit impressed with Paul Ryan’s ability to hold his own against Joe Biden. It was quite impressive. There was no excuse, however, for the mewling chorus of crybabies on the right who couldn’t accept that Biden had won. Liberals were even being cautious, saying Biden laughing throughout was a bad strategy because Ryan’s sincerity was being mocked. But how else do you deal with entire party’s platform being based on lies? The notion that Obama has failed was constructed by Republican senators.

Look at these two assclowns:

These are just a couple of the guys who are thwarting our President’s ability to enact his agenda. Obama is a very smart man. He’s surrounded with a very smart team. The Republicans are the pit bulls constantly nipping at his heels to keep him from crossing the yard. Actually, on second thought, pit bulls are far too great of creatures to be compared to assclowns so let’s leave them out of it. How can Ryan and Romney DARE to throw around claims like Obama can’t run on his record. Oh, he most certainly can. The Republicans are offering us nothing more than a giant step backwards.

Healthcare – they will repeal the only health care legislation ever put forward in the US government. We are supposedly the greatest country in the world and yet our citizens go without health insurance — and thus, without care. We might as well be a third world given how our citizens have been bullied and controlled by insurance companies. Enough is enough. Are the GOP going to help with that? Nope.

Women’s Rights – take a good long look at those signs. Those proportions are correct. Paul Ryan said in the debate last night that he and Romney are opposed to abortion — and would thus enact laws (ie – put in place conservative supreme court justices who would then overturn Roe V Wade) that undo all of the hard fought years for women’s rights regarding their decision to do with their body what is best for them and their family and their future. It’s a horrifying glimpse into a much more radically conservative administration than we’ve seen many decades.

The economy – listen carefully to what Ryan is saying. He’s talking about “private sector” and “small business” creating jobs. Romney’s the guy who says the dishwasher at a restaurant hopes for more customers to make that guy’s business better. Dude, the dishwasher don’t give a good goddamned. The dishwasher wants health care for his family. Give me a fucking break. Listen to the key differences between Obama and Romney, Biden and Ryan – one side is looking out for the very poor and the middle class, of which there are way too many in this country. The other side is looking out for corporations, big business and billionaires. Do you think Karl Rove, Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers would spend that much money on a campaign if it didn’t serve their own interests? Enough is enough.

Do you want to see what a lynch mob looks like in modern day America? Well, here it is:

We are at a moment of crisis. This is not your usual swap one guy out for another guy and it makes no difference. It makes a huge difference this year. Don’t let Romney and Ryan undo what we’ve built, what Obama has helped to build, what he has managed to do even if the most resistant house any President has seen in my lifetime.

I’ve set up a donation page here. If you want to donate to the Obama ticket, here you go. I am intolerant these days of low information voters. There is no excuse anymore to be out of touch. The internet has brought the news to our laps. Get involved. Get educated. We are a government for the people, by the people. Let’s start acting like it.

Some key moments from last night’s debate:

Stephen Colbert on Fire

The debates delivered onto the Colbert show its best episode yet. Every minute of it a winner.

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About Me

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