Friday, January 28, 2011

What ails America?

In Egypt the people are taking to the streets demanding democratic freedoms and American leaders are backing the dictator.

Wasn’t there a time when Americans believed in the right of the People to rule themselves? Wasn’t there a time in America when freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and equal protection under the law meant something more than two gold coins rubbed together?

Has dollar worship polluted our spirit?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

MLK Quote

One of my favorite Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes is:

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

My all-time favorite is:

"We have guided missiles and misguided men"

Both of these quotes make you realize that there is something structurally wrong with the way we have organized our society. We give up too much happiness to inflict too much pain, and that is a fool's bargain.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What nobody is saying

Isn't it time for the National Rifle Association to back a bill that will keep guns out of the hands of lunatics?

I support gun ownership, but that doesn't mean I think criminals and insane people need unhindered access to automatic weapons.

There is a do not fly list, how about a do not allow this person to buy a gun list?

There can be clear-cut rules for getting people on and off the list, with an appeals process.

We have to start repairing some of the damage to our society and that means reasonable approaches to solving problems. I have heard the tired old canard that if guns are illegal only criminals will have guns. Well, I'd like to see a system where criminals didn't have guns but law abiding people did. That means some type of list.

Hunting is a way of life for many people and we should be able to encourage that without making it easy for lunatics bearing grudges to gun down children.

A good place to start with the list is to look at the recent rampage in Arizona and ask, "What would have stopped this guy?"

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

William Butler Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Easy to see, hard to stop

For a very brief time the use of incendiary political rhetoric will be tut-tutted. Immediately after that period such rhetoric will become headline-grabbing, and attention-obsessed people like Sarah Palin will step into that “opportunity”.

No patience

After a nine year old girl has been murdered I’ve no patience with people that identify as Repulicans and who defend Sarah Palin or listen to Glenn Beck.

At best Sarah Palin is a careless, ignorant woman, obsessed with self-promotion at any cost. She condones  violent behavior by using violent speech, using violent imagery, and tolerating violent behavior in her supporters.

Glenn Beck would be laughable if not for the size of his audience. He might be a jackass braying in a field, but he influences a sizeable crowd that stops to bray back.

This is the time for the “moderate” GOP members to put up or shut up. Either you get control of your party, or your party will get control of you.

Foot Quotes

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

Charles Darwin