Today would have been our daughter Molly’s 33rd birthday.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOLLY!
Of course, I love her and miss her. Daily.
I heard via the almighty Internet (on FB) that her best childhood friend is pregnant!
With a boy.
While I wish she and her husband well, part of me always wanted to be a grandfather. And, of course, that never happened.
And I’m a little jealous.
I’m certain Molly is happy for them.
In planning some changes to my blog, I inadvertently hit a wrong button, and it changed!
Of course, now I need to research where I made the error, and make corrections.
And, I’ve an appointment this morning (!) so, off I go!
Those of you who know me, or who have read this blog at any length, know I love TV, movies, etc. In spite of this, I’ve come late to the table on many popular shows (original Star Trek, Firefly/Serenity to name a couple) and am now dogged by the idea that anything I truly enjoy is doomed to be canceled.
Person-Of-Interest, for example.
Here is a show with interesting characters, good acting and an engaging theme with caught my interest a few years ago.
The government (and others) are spying on us ALL through public surveillance cameras, traffic cameras, ATMs, personal computers, security systems, cellular telephones ad infinitum, and crunching the data to use for their ‘purposes’ (propaganda, ‘nudging’, marketing, politics).
The lead actor (Jim Caviezel) who plays a spec-ops former CIA guy in the show, even took it upon himself to train with Navy Seals near his home to learn realistic weapon handling and unarmed combat techniques.
Sounds fantastic, right? (from the root word fantasy)
Now, approaching the delayed beginning of Season Five, we’ve been told this will be a truncated season (13 episodes) starting later this year, and probably the last.
I’ve never written a letter to a production company (as an adult – I remember writing Sky King when I was age 7 for an autograph! :-)) but I am considering writing one now.
But, a comment by another fan of the show on an entertainment website may have said it all:
Well, maybe it is not the rating but the subject matter this show speaks about – not so much science fiction at all anymore. Better shut up.
…and so do others of any color, and cops! – Guffaw
Then there’s THIS (from Kevin Baker):
As I’ve said here and on other fora, if you really want to do something about homicide by firearm then you need to pay attention to who’s doing the killing, who’s doing the dying, and where it is taking place. ProPublica has an article out, How the Gun Control Debate Ignores Black Lives, on this topic, and the title to this post is THE pullquote from it.
Some other choice selections:
In 2012, 90 people were killed in shootings like the ones in Newtown and Aurora, Colorado. That same year, nearly 6,000 black men were murdered with guns.
Mass shootings, unsurprisingly, drive the national debate on gun violence. But as horrific as these massacres are, by most counts they represent less than 1 percent of all gun homicides. America’s high rate of gun murders isn’t caused by events like Sandy Hook or the shootings this fall at a community college in Oregon. It’s fueled by a relentless drumbeat of deaths of black men.
Gun control advocates and politicians frequently cite the statistic that more than 30 Americans are murdered with guns every day. What’s rarely mentioned is that roughly 15 of the 30 are black men.
Avoiding that fact has consequences. Twenty years of government-funded research has shown there are several promising strategies to prevent murders of black men, including Ceasefire. They don’t require passing new gun laws, or an epic fight with the National Rifle Association. What they need — and often struggle to get — is political support and a bit of money.
Lost in the debate is that even in high-crime cities, the risk of gun violence is mostly concentrated among a small number of men. In Oakland, for instance, crime experts working with the police department a few years ago found that about 1,000 active members of a few dozen street groups drove most homicides. That’s .3 percent of Oakland’s population.
Two weeks after Obama unveiled his plan, (Pastor Michael) McBride and dozens of other clergy members, many of them from cities struggling with high rates of gun violence, met again with staffers from Vice President Biden’s task force.
The mood at the January 29 meeting was tense. Many of the attendees, including McBride, felt the president’s agenda had left out black Americans.
“The policy people working for Biden worked with the reality of Congress,” said Teny Gross, one of the original Boston Miracle outreach workers who now leads the Institute for Nonviolence Chicago. “What they were proposing to us was very limited and was not going to help the inner city.”
Gross said he “blew a gasket.” The clergy members in the room were pleading for help. “We bury hundreds of kids every year in the inner city,” Gross recalled them telling the administration representative. “Some of the solutions need to apply to us.”
A staffer said that the political will of the country was not focused on urban violence, several ministers who attended the meeting recalled.
“What was said to us by the White House was, there’s really no support nationally to address the issue of urban violence,” said the Rev. Charles Harrison, a pastor from Indianapolis. “The support was to address the issue of gun violence that affected suburban areas — schools where white kids were killed.”
The Rev. Jeff Brown, from Boston, was angered by the administration’s calculated approach. “When you say something like that and you represent the President of the United States, and the first African-American President of the United States, you know, that’s hugely disappointing,” he said.
It would seem that Obama’s a huge disappointment to a lot of people.
RTWT. And especially the comments.
Billy Shakespeare said that.
I’d a recent experience, wherein I left a blog post comment @ one of my blogfriend’s™ blogs. A few minutes later, it occurred to me that I’d addressed him by someone else’s name!
And there was no method in his blogging software by which I could make a correction.
(I did go back and make a second comment, apologizing.)
This reminded me of a year-or-so ago, when a kind soul sent me a few dollars on my sidebar Paypal link. (hint, hint). It was late, I was preparing to retire, and had taken my evening meds. (HALF of the medication I am prescribed has possible side effects of memory loss!)
And I thanked him profusely, using a wrong name!
Then, I sent him another email, apologizing. Hopefully, I got it right the second time(?) I’ve not heard from him ever again.
At least, in the few significant personal relationships I’ve had in my lifetime with the opposite sex, I’ve not uttered another woman’s name whilst in flagrante delicto!
I don’t think? I wasn’t on this kind of medication, then…
I don’t know…
…or rather, I wish I did!
A number of folks close to me have pre-deceased me. And with some (not all) it would be nice to have another 15 minutes.
Or a day.
My Mother, who passed when I was in the Second Grade. My maternal grandfather, Gramp, when I was 24. Of course my daughter Molly, when she was 12…
And a couple of others.
But, I’ve never had that kind of spiritual connection. And I’m a little envious of those who have!
My friend Bob – who saw a vision of his mother in the moment of her passing. Five miles away!
A girlfriend who saw ‘something’ resembling my deceased dog Ilsa wandering around my house.
My daughter had a childhood friend and neighbor who awakened one night to see a black cat outside on her closed window sill. My daughter loved cats. And the cat opened her mouth and laughed, sounding just like my daughter! Of course, this could have been a dream – except the girl’s mom ran into her room and exclaimed, “I heard her, too!” This was about one month after Molly’s passing.
But for me, bupkis.
I like to think I’m a spiritual guy. Perhaps I am, but just not in that way.
(aka our tax dollars at work!)
Shooters Quicker To Pull Trigger When Target Is Black, Study Finds
You racist gun nuts. What with your wanting to actually be able to see your target and stuff. (Say Uncle)
- Read the article at the above link. 2. Get physically ill (at your option).
The nice part is the ‘researchers’ who wrote the article are listed with their bonafides and email addresses published!
You might want to drop them a well-reasoned critique…
Sipsey Street Irregulars brought this clown to my attention…
Matt Sweetwood won a landmark victory for gun ownership rights from the New Jersey Supreme Court. So he’s against gun restrictions, right? Wrong. Here is his six point plan to help reduce gun violence.
There needs to be a Federal database of all guns and gun owners.
7-day waiting period before a gun is purchased and background checks on every purchase.
Elimination of unregulated gun selling / trading events. Every gun sold needs to be in the Federal registry.
There should be a set standard for gun ownership. Currently, it is left in the discretion of local authorities who sometimes error incorrectly either way. If you have committed an aggravated felony you can’t have a gun. If you have mental health issues you get a hearing to determine your status. If you don’t fall into those categories, you can’t be denied a gun.
Let’s do as the Israelis do. Currently, here in the USA, most sports arenas have searches on the way in. That needs to be effectuated on any public place where there are crowds. In Israel, you can’t enter a movie theater, bar, mall, etc., without bags being searched and wanded by a metal / bomb detector.
Most gun crimes are committed by repeat offenders. There needs to be mandatory minimum jail sentences for any crime committed with a gun. Sell drugs while carrying a gun and get 10 years in prison – do it again, get 20 years. We need to let the bad guys know, gun crime gets you real time.”Bill of Rights? We don’ need no Bill of Rights!”
Doesn’t it make you are gooey inside that someone for whom we stood up has such an individual-civil-rights-oriented view?
Yeah, makes me sick, too.
(Of course, he does live in NEW JERSEY!)
h/t The Good Men Project
I’m sitting here this morning (actually, a couple of days ago), doing my morning routine: shower, dress, morning rituals, medications, the all-important diet soda, the GiA blog, reading other blogs, news and emails…
Waiting for the stopping point. When my muscle pain and diabetic neuropathy kick in! Sometimes in an hour, sometimes more.
Pain in my extremities, feet, legs and even hindquarters. From SITTING for chrissake!
AND, I already took medications!
And I remember being young. Well, younger…
Lifting weights, walking long distances, jogging, karate – even with a fused hip! And the hot shower accompanied by perhaps a couple aspirin did the trick.
Well it did in my 30’s.
But alas, no more.
And I remember older people from my youth, whining and complaining about this pain or that ailment, and me having no understanding.
And even thinking it was funny.
Karma IS a heartless bitch!
And then I think of Bob, a recent 1/2 leg amputee currently braving throat cancer, and my attitude improves…
Gratitude, my friends, is the key!
I’m quietly resting on my laurels, thinking the ‘chores’ (a word from childhood I loathe!) are completed, when the lady of the house says to me,
“We have more plants to move in the back yard so the painters can access the walls.”
But, it must be done. After all, if we don’t move the stuff, the walls won’t get properly painted. And, I’m certain, the HOA would try to fine us for noncompliance with the bylaws. (Being a townhouse H.O.A. and all!)
So, it’s back out into the yard for us! Sigh.
Fortunately, we didn’t have THAT much to do. Mostly pry a large, overgrown yucca from it’s perch and move it about six feet away from the wall.
Using a shovel, hand truck and brute force.
(Note to self – Yucca are SHARP!)
BUT, we accomplished the task. Here is a picture of the side of the yard, showing about half the plants, tools, cacti and succulents we moved:
The offending yucca plant is left-of-center.
And, of course, once the painting, exterior maintenance and noise are completed, we will get to move everything BACK!
As my Dad used to say, no rest for the wicked!