Archive for tragedy

Rep. Senslessbrenner Against Flying Flags At Half Mast For Non-Americans

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flag at half mast

Respect is paid to people in many ways. Sometimes it's a thank you, or a tip of the hat. And in exceptional cases, those that have earned the greatest respect, there's even a traditional flying of the U.S. flag at half-mast. It might mark the passing of a single person, or in the case of a tragedy like 9-11 or Sandy Hook, the loss of many. The general rule is that this tradition is reserved for the highest degree of reverence. The ultimate acknowledgement.

Recently, with the passing of Nelson Mandela, President Obama ordered the flags on federal buildings to be lowered in recognition of the South African's passing. This Nobel Peace Prize winner, this international diplomat and civil rights crusader was being honored for the impact he had across the world. Not just in his nation. His footprint exceeded South Africa's borders. He was a citizen of the world, so to speak.

Yet this is not good enough for the Republican party here in the states. Now, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) has made it clear that he feels  the U.S. should only lower flags to honor American citizens, and not foreign dignitaries like civil rights leader and former South African President Nelson Mandela.

Sadly Sensenbrenner is not alone. It was reported today in Talking Points Memo

Sensenbrenner's assertion was received with "cheers" at the event, which was organized by the Republican Party of Waukesha County, according to Brookfield Now.

Does respect now based on a person's nationality? Is a man or woman deserving of our recognition only if he/she was an American? According to the Wisconsin representative and his GOP party, it does. I don't agree.

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Three Bullets, Three Leaders, Three Deaths -- In One Day

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calendar 1963

November 22, 1963. If you were around back then, you certainly know the significance of that day. Or do you?

We all know that our 35th president was assassinated in Dallas. It's an event that haunts us even today -- nearly fifty years to the moment. It's indelibly imprinted on we survivors -- where we were and how we heard the news.

Yet two other greats died that same day. Within hours of the president. Their loss is hardly mourned, certainly nearly forgotten that it occurred at the same time.

But virtually no one on 22 November 1963 realized—and relatively few realize even now—that that day also saw the departure of the two other major figures, who were also world-shapers in their very different ways.

The two greats that were lost were as far from politics as you can imagine. These two, both men, were visionaries perhaps greater than JFK. Their words were read and their books sold thousands more copies than anything Kennedy wrote, Profiles in Courage included. Their literary works still are great sellers today.

These authors who's passing was glanced over at best, were totally ignored in the big picture despite the fact that they would have made front pages if they had died a day earlier. What is it they say, "Timing is everything?"

The two "ghosts" were C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape LettersThe Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy) and Aldous Huxley (Brave New World).

Philosophically and sociologically, they were titans. Their passing deserved a bit of recognition but sadly, a more instantly shocking sense of despair overtook this country. The presidents murder understandably overshadowed the more peaceful and orderly passing of these two pillars of future thought.

The Daily Beast:

Death had moved remorselessly westward to claim his scalps. Lewis died first, in his brother’s arms, a few minutes after tumbling with a crash from his bed at the foot of the stairs at the Kilns, his house outside Oxford, at 5.30pm. He was just a week shy of 65. One hour later—12.30pm in Texas—the 46-year-old President was shot. At the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles, Huxley’s second wife Laura, leaving his bedside with his request for an LSD injection, found the doctor and nurses in shock watching the news of the assassination; Huxley died, aged 69, at 5.20pm local time, just under eight hours after Lewis.

So perhaps in a few weeks, after we've tired of all of the Kennedy conspiracy specials and commemorations, we'll take a moment and hearken back to two of life's most interesting writers. As this post began, things in life (and death) seem to happen in three's. So here's three quotes from the other two missing greats.

C.S. Lewis C.S. Lewis:

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less.

The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.

There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, 'All right, then, have it your way.'

Aldous HuxleyAldous Huxley:

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.

Maybe this world is another planet's hell.

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

Wise men of wordsmiths. Come November 22nd, I'll remember their 50th anniversary of passing. Join me?

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Showing Some Heart

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Showing some heart

Some things speak for themselves.  This video has heart, is about heart and shows heart. It's nice to feel good, and this clip will surely make you feel that. When you see how people can overcome loss, grief and their own impending fatality, you know that whatever is greeting you today, could be worse. So enjoy living better.

A choice to donate your organs when your time comes can be a beautiful thing, allowing you to live on in others. Being on a waiting list myself for a vital organ, I can tell you how wonderful it is when you see someone become a recipient. Life is good. Share it.

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Proof That Chris Christie Has Been Bought By The NRA

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.50 caliber rifle

Gov. Chris Christie is a hypocrite. He speaks about about the need for gun safety, then he vetoes a bill that would have put some sane, common sense into his states laws. Paige Lavendar on HuffPo, reports on the veto.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) vetoed legislation on Friday that would have banned .50-caliber rifles from the state, despite backing the same proposal just months ago.

This sounds like another case of 'I was for it before I was against it.' But this time,you need to look at the governor's rationale. If it's sound, then why criticize? But if it's faulty, he's got to be called on it. So try this whopper Christie fashioned in his defense of his veto:

"Tellingly, the legislature points to no instance of this class of firearms being used by even a single criminal in New Jersey," he said. "The wide scope of this total ban, therefore, will not further public safety, but only interfere with lawful recreational pastimes."

Really Governor Mushmouth, no instance of this class of firearm being used by even a single criminal in New Jersey?" What part of your ass did you pull that out from?  I Googled "uses for .50 caliber rifles" and look what came up first:  VPC - the Violence Policy Center's article on criminal activity with the .50 caliber sniper rifle.

The first line of the article is a quote:

"The simple fact is that .50-calibers have not been used in crimes,"
NRA spokesman Andrew Arulandam, Associated Press, August 18, 2004

Sound familiar? Now we know where you're getting your talking points. The NRA. Are you in their hip pocket?

The article on .50 caliber sniper crimes goes on to list many crimes and murders committed using this very classification of weapon. Read it. You'll learn something, Governor Head-Up-Your-A**.

And as for your defense of your veto, you refer to lawful recreational pastimes. How interesting that few of the articles talk or indicate a recreational use. They all describe the weapon's in terms military or sniper purposes. So what kind of lawful uses are you thinking this weapon has?

Why did you this spring, recommend the banning of this killing machine? Again, from Lavendar's article:

In April 2013, Christie recommended banning the sale of Barrett .50-caliber semi-automatic sniper rifles as part of a group of proposals to curb gun violence. On Friday, Christie said the ban wouldn't make the Garden State any more safe, according to Reuters.

So what happened between April and now? How much money did the NRA promise you? What did you promise them in return -- this veto? This is mighty suspicious because you're not just vetoing a bill, you're vetoing a bill you recommended on your own. There was no .50 caliber sniper's rifle pointed at your head when you went public with your thoughts.

You, like Rickie Ricardo, have some 'splainin' to do.

Take a look at the size of these bullets. In case you didn't know, the largest one here is the .50 caliber. On the other end is the .22.

.50 caliber bullets

You're either a idiot which I don't believe, or you're on the take. And I do believe that. Whether it's cash or the NRA's backing you're getting, you're hurting New Jersey and everyone nationwide who believes in you. Your credibility is going down the toilet.

The only part of Sandy Hook that touches you is the 'Sandy' part -- Hurricane Sandy. Money. I'm calling you out: Betrayer!

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The Rule of Threes

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Gary David Goldberg   Richard matheson  resized James Gandolfini

Last night, Hollywood breathed a morbid sense of relief.  To understand it better, you must realize that the entertainment industry is very superstitious.  One of their axioms is "omne trium perfectum" (everything that comes in threes is perfect).

Think about it: blind mice, the R's: (Reading, 'Riting, 'Rithmetic), the Musketeers, the Power Puff Girls, The Dixie Chicks, coins in a fountain, little piggies, biblical wise Men, The Stooges, The Chipmunks, contents in a can of tennis balls, members of Cream,  Three Dog Night, Rings in a binder, the Holy Trinity, the Amigos, Donald Duck's nephews(Huey, Louie and Dewey), My Three Sons and emus' toes.

There’s one that Hollywood fears the most: celebrity deaths.  And as of last night, Hollywood breathed a morbid sigh of relief as it lost Gary David Goldberg. Make no mistake. His loss will be greatly felt.  But his is Hollywood. The home of schadenfreude.  He, along with the late Richard Matheson and James Gandolfini completed the latest trio of tragic losses in Tinseltown.

We all remember Gandolfini as Tony Soprano. Richard Matheson was the iconic sci-fi writer. And now they are joined in memorial by Gary David Goldberg. He was one of the most celebrated and influential comedy writers of his generation – responsible for Family Ties, Spin City and Brooklyn Bridge. Among his awards were two Emmy’s and four WGA awards…  As a television comedy writer, his loss effects me personally and greatly.  He was a writer/producer who I admired and wished I could have worked with more.  His effect on TV sitcoms was immeasurable.  He was a giant -- a gentle giant at that.

Dark suits, memorial services, and Forest Lawn/Hillside Memorial are going to be packed this week.  But for those entertainment industry survivors, there will be a feeling that they have dodged a bullet, for now.  Yes, this sounds unsympathetic.  But this is Hollywood.

For a quick video by Gary David Goldberg about Gary David Goldberg, here you go:

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Sad Days: Special Comment by my 75-year-old friend

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congress senate vote against gun background checks

My impassioned “72-year-old”  friend (who is now 75, but who’s counting?), who goes by the Twitter name @42bkdodgr, would like to share his feelings about how many of our most pathetic Congress members have handled this country's tragic events. I am more than happy to oblige.

But first, a personal note from 42bkdodgr:

Many of you may wonder why I chose to use the “72 year old friend” as the introduction to my Special Comments. I selected the moniker so readers could see that from my age and life experiences I give a different perspective to the issues of today.

Now for his Special Comment:

Sad Days

In my life time I have experienced many sad days for our country, some of these are, but not all are:

  • Assassination of President John F.Kennedy
  • Assassination of Martin Luther King
  • Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy
  • Tragedy of 9/11
  • Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy
  • Mass Shootings: Long Island Railroad (1993), Columbine High School (1999), Fort Hood (2009), Tucson, Arizona (2011), Aurora Movie Theatre (2012), Sikh Temple (2012), Newtown School (2012)
  • Boston Marathon (2013)
  • West, Texas Explosion (2013)

All of the above events resulted to death and injury of many Americans and non-Americans, that have affected and changed the lives of many people and our country.

I know, the way our government operates has changed over the years, with the growth of lobbyists and the amount of money in our political system; but yesterday I saw the death of my country that I was brought up to know and love.

Yesterday was another sad day for me and America. When over 90% of Americans favored a bill that would expand gun background checks of gun sales, made at gun shows and over the Internet, was defeated by a group of Senators who had more loyalty to the NRA and gun manufacturers than to the American people.

That group of Senators showed that the revered words of their most famous Republican, President Abraham Lincoln-- that we are a "government of, by and for the people"-- no longer has any meaning to them. To them we are now a government of, by and for the 1% and the big corporations.

To Rand Paul I say, the only props used in the gun legislation debate where you and the other Senators who voted against the wishes of your constituents to support the gun manufacturers.

We need to get back to the type of government that was expressed by President Lincoln. That can only be done by voting out members of Congress who don't represent their constituents and reverse the Citizens United decision. I have faith that this can be done and then enact sane and sensible gun laws, without taking away the 2nd amendment rights of Americans.

Many thanks again for another thorough, relevant piece, @42bkdodgr. You often say what many of us are thinking and feeling, and we thank you for your unique perspective.

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Video- Birther Rep Louis Gohmert Solves the Problem!: Arm Teachers with Assault Rifles

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I really want to kick this shit for brains right in his brain area. Via TP.

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