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Archive for the ‘Disaster’ Category

There are quite a few lists out there, and most of them are useful.

What I want to say here is that the decision to act, to be present, is important. The decision to remain active is just as important.

To stand up and be accountable is a daily activity, but it does not mean that the level of activity will always be the same.  Self worthy persons, and, we all have worth, choose every day, even in all their small actions, how to live, in the groceries they buy,  or not, the fripperies of societal needs, the media they absorb and allow to remain unchallenged, whether they can make it to the town halls, support their libraries, write to and support their local paper.

This might mean that the economic and convenience cost of our actions are greater than it would otherwise be, as in the decision to buy or not from a big box store, or to cut the cable cord if it does not provide balanced news. Daily decisions, such as those of noted above, are best served with notice of accountability to that establishment. Tell them why you have chosen to disassociate with them.

We have been at a bipartisan war, that we could have declared officially, with other countries since 2011. We pretended that the war was a military action and never acknowledged the blood and treasure it took from our country. We never acknowledged that more than half the oil we are perpetually fighting over goes to our military. We never saw the caskets, and just barely heard the low moaning of the families of the dead.  When Michelle Obama started the White House garden, we saw the value of feeding our children fresh veggies, but not that we actually all needed victory gardens, or that we were killing our planet with excess brought to us on petroleum wheels.

This election signaled what will be a long war for the future of our country. We are already past the rhetoric and into the actions of a militant dictator. We have witnessed a five year old child handcuffed behind his back because the cuffs were too big for his wrists in the airport. We know that children are being followed by strangers in order to ascertain the homes of their mothers. We have witnessed harassment, killing and bomb threats to minorities and institutions for women. This week brought both the shut down of the NoDAPL site with most of the neutral cameras off,  and the revelation of Immigration tearing a woman out her hospital while she was waiting for a brain tumor operation and being sent to the Alvarado Detention Center, where she was handcuffed and strapped down.

Do not assume these are abarrations.

Bannon, in his address to CPAC, this week, made it quite clear that these are not, but rather the beginning of his new world order. This will not stop unless we stop it.

Which leads me to my point. I was gratified to here that there are elite geometry mathematicians working on the problem of “compactness” in gerrymandered districts, which cause us to perpetuate Republican, mostly, representatives. We desperately need a better districting formula. Folks are being trained as expert witnesses to discuss, in court, the ramifications of these findings. However, redistricting is also performed on the basis of our ten year census. The next one won’t occur until 2021. So, unless the courts find a way to invalidate the current districts now, its very probable that the same political landscape will be present in 2020; the same one that elected Trump this time. It’s more than likely that it will still be in place in 2018.

Trunp is known for rewarding the loyalists. He is also very good at knowing how to “chum” the waters. He will spend infrastructure money on those states he needs. He has already promised road money to Florida. Unless things change dramatically before 2018, expect the same states to be in play.

So, if you don’t do another thing, stand up and be accountable by voting. Around  fifty percent of you didn’t last time. Start planning how you will do it now. I know it’s very hard for some of us in our disctricts get there, or to even stay on the rolls. Some of us are harassed and suffer indignities that we we shouldn’t have to suffer. Indigenous peoples shouldn’t have to drive hundreds of miles in winter, because a Nevadan official decides she doesn’t want to provide a polling place. I don’t know what it will take, volunteer lawyers standing beside you, a new group of Red Berets, or Acorn, or  better taxi service. Maybe that includes volunteering and doing the work for your home to be a polling place.

Whatever it is that will get your vote counted; do it.

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Politico has provided below the text of the speech that was given to the CIA week. I urge you strongly to read it. It isn’t the word salad, I don’t think, of a dementia sufferer, but it is definitely unusual. Pence, on the other hand…a caregiver/enabler. The three points that I could tease out of this, aside from his media hatred, were: he wants a fully operational CIA secret service with few if any restrictions, he thinks we should be able to take over another country’s oil/assets,  because we wouldn’t have ISIS if we had done that in Iraq, and he is really focused on eradicating ISIS. Read it and make up your own mind. To me, this speech was really ominous.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/full-text-trump-pence-remarks-cia-headquarters-233978

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Read it well, these themes of his have endured, so we must expect to see their iteration. Always believe a person who tells who they are, especially when his actions speak so loudly. Here it is, from WAPO:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/01/20/donald-trumps-full-inauguration-speech-transcript-annotated/?utm_term=.610b7225f7b1

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Grieve, get you and yours safe and start. Now.

 

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Facebook is really screwed for me tonight; it won’t let me stay logged in. Maybe it’s just as well. Polls are screwed, the DOW is screwed, NATO has 300,000 on alert, we are screwed. If this goes the way it appears it might, Liberals are going to have to buy guns. Canada won’t let us all in. You all want it, the future of hate, poverty, death and destruction are here. We are the life of Mad Max come real. Goodby Medicare, Social Security, womens  health, ACA, the Supreme Court, National and State parks, child care, home care workers support, student loans, federal minimum wages, public jobs, the environment, clean water, the UN, Estonia. The nature of Trump….the nature of all that is unholy in the Republican party, and the loss of the Fourth Estate; we have left only the shards of ethics, fairness and inclusivity.

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So, I would like to talk about guns. I know very little about them. I have shot a few, I know folks who have them and I am in proximity to a couple of them. Here is what I know. There is a virulently strong ethic about owning them. The people that I know are enmeshed in their ownership. They clean them, they fondle them, sometimes they shoot them and a few prefer to keep them in the original collectors box.

Because there are so many varieties and ages of guns it takes a great deal of time and energy to understand the nuances of their different capabilities, requirements and maintenance. It also takes a big time investment to understand the various accessories and in particular the ammunition that is required. I know, for example that the AR-15 was designed for civilians, it comes in two different flavors, one that is able to shoot .223 and one that can shoot either .223 Remington or 5.56 mm NATO ammo. The velocity of the bullets coming out of this gun is such that it will penetrate easily the highest rated Kevlar jacket.

I know that the ammo is steel cored and brass covered, and that when first tested by the military the ammo was disliked because it inflicted “ice pick” type wounds rather than expanding in the body. This meant that too many of the enemy would be able to continue wounded rather than succumbing at once. I suspect that is partly why Mateen, even though he hit over a 100 people, only killed 49 and had to keep going back to make sure his victims were dead.

In any event, I also know that there are an estimated 318.9 million people in the US and I know that President Obama has stated that there are currently enough guns in the US for every man, woman and child to own one. Clearly, not everyone owns a gun and there is a heck of a lot of hoarding going on, for those that do. There are a lot of fearful people out there.

In searching the Internet the most common constellation of ideas I find around this fear phenomenon, is the need for self-protection, the sense that our government will not protect us, or worse, that we will have to protect ourselves FROM the government.

Here is what I postulate. It’s about money. Not the NRA’s or the manufacturers directly. First, and foremost, it’s about our money, and the lack of it. I searched the net today to find gun prices; they have gone up since I last looked. The cheapest I could find ran for around $200, naked, with no accessories or ammo. Many were selling for $1500 or more. I’m sure a real gun aficionado could find a better deal, but I thought the average of prices was around $500-600. Add the extras and ammo, and you might get to $1000.

So, $1000 x $318.9 million is $318,900,000,000, or $318.9 BILLION, lying around in peoples homes.

Guns represent more than anything that collectible that you can sell or trade in an emergency. It’s assumed that they will always go up in value, even though we clearly have a glut on the market. Their sale isn’t always easily traced and isn’t usually counted as income by the owners. The gun market has benefited enormously from the collectibles rage. They are things that can be accumulated, and represent, especially to men, valuation of their life’s accomplishments, even when other methods of counting coup have failed. They are fairly portable, they can be hidden, don’t have to be fed, won’t be subject to eminent domain or the banks’ predations. They are the modern version of the gold coin with more cache.

This market is gonna crash. It doesn’t matter how many times guns sales get pumped up by the NRA, gun manufacturers, Republicans or catastrophes. Guns just aren’t worth as much as we are paying, there is too much of a glut. We just don’t need 2 guns for every baby; one was too much.

So, when we discuss possible ways to reduce the number of gun deaths, like requiring liability insurance everywhere and apply the basis of human threat in the tables, additional across the board taxation of gun sales in order to fund the CDC in gun death reporting, and yearly licensing, the cost to own that gun becomes a lot higher and reduces the value. If I were a savvy gun owner, I’d be thinking how to get out while the getting is good. Change is coming. As soon as we decide it’s no longer cool to own one, and I believe that will happen, guns are going to become doorstops.

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Howell/Mateen

Screen Capture

One Florida security guard drove 2 hours to a place with 300 inside and few to stop him. He murdered 50, injured 53 and more may die. Another security guard from Indiana and actually reputed to be bisexual, attempted the same at the LA Pride Parade, failed, but only just. What the hell, people? It really doesn’t matter in what form or ethnicity, deranged men express their fears, it all comes out as abuse, bullying and ammosexuality. The pattern is always there.  Did you hear that AR-15 go off? Did you hear the adrenaline, the excitement, until he was spent? What kind of security companies hired these two? They actually got to work jobs that fed their imagination.

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