17 people– a dozen of them kids– are dead in another school shooting.
No one has called it a Valentine’s Day Massacre yet, but it is.
Since the Columbine shooting (in 1999), 150,000 students have experienced a shooting at their school (according to @jaketapper @CNN.)
WE LET THAT HAPPEN BY ALLOWING @NRA TO HIJACK OUR DEMOCRACY AND BUY-OFF LAWMAKERS.
tweets Igor Volsky of @GunsDownAmerica and Thinking Cap Podcast.
I’m not here to politicize today’s event, as some Twits are already claiming online. This is a bipartisan issue, and needs a bipartisan solution. Shootings affect everyone. #AllShootingsMatter maybe that’s our tag.
We must get money out of politics. Stop making excuses and stop being so damn greedy! Corruption is rampant in Congress and Washington. Before Bernie (Senator Sanders) preached this, Dylan Ratigan was leading this charge on CNBC. He’s still preaching the gospel of decentralizing money (his current video and new endeavors.) The time is now. Not for more talking or praying, we need action. As honored, multiple-medal recipient former CIA agent Phil Mudd cried out on CNN this afternoon, “A child of God is dead. Can we acknowledge in this country that we cannot accept this?”
It’s so easy to call something we don’t like or understand “stupid.”
I find myself constantly calling our factually-challenged POTUS “stupid”, but it’s labeling and name-calling and gets us nowhere. Here’s why:
Like art, stupidity is in the eye of the beholder. I call sports stupid. To me the concussions and other injuries, make it “stupid” plus I find it a waste of time and money. Half the country (or more) would completely disagree and call me “stupid” for saying such a thing. It’s easy to see these divergent views in subjective matters, like art, sports, and games, but what about objective issues like facts? Are there any absolutes… in anything?
Before I completely dive off into the quantum realm, let me mention what prompted this estoteric analysis. Someone on twitter called the February 6 SpaceX launch of the #FalconHeavy cargo “stupid.” I’m not sure if the “twit” thought the overall concept of space exploration is “stupid” or just the idea of shooting a $100-thousand dollar Tesla Roadster into deep space (with a MILLION $ worth of mods 😉 ) It’s easy to argue that both are wasteful, when we have so many problems here on Earth. BUT, if this planet is indeed dying—as many claim—then we should thank our “stars”, pioneers like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Sir Richard Branson who are trying to find solutions, even if it means eventual relocation (to another planet.)
It may sound crazy (or stupid) at first, the idea that to survive humans may have to relocate, however as coastal areas continue to flood and Earth grows warmer (for whatever reason), people will move. At first, more people will move to “fly over” country. That is going to create some incredible tension. Rural gun-toters and “preppers” have been getting ready for this show down.
If the ocean truly has less than 30 years left—and scientists say when all the coral reefs die, other ocean life will quickly die, too—then humans are doomed. Those same experts say when the ocean is gone, human life cannot survive. Many, like my pal Al Gore, have understood all this for years.
Now here comes the finale: so who is stupid? The people who ignore climate facts, or the people trying to find solutions? Some deniers appear stupid, refusing to consider any of this. Many of them claim “End Times” are inevitable, predicted in the Bible (and other holy books), so why fight it? Just get ready.
Maybe that’s the only thing we can agree on– getting ready. Is that with a gun so you can “go out” killing everything and everyone who poses a threat? Billionaires are buying secret hide-aways where they can “hole up” if it comes to that. Buddhists and other pacifists are preparing mentally, with mind-training, and point out nothing is actually “solid” anyway. There are only molecules, planets and #space.
Kind of odd and creepy that I’ve been writing about Charlie. One of the main characters in my fiction (work in progress) is named Charlie. He’s a robot repair guy, not a journalist and not intentionally named after Mr. Rose. However, I’ve spent a lot of time with Rose over the past couple of years. He’s the first person I see every day (on CBS Morning) and I’ve watched his late-night PBS show for at least 20 years.
With current comparison’s to the Pandora’s Box myth, I feel compelled to say that the aBoP (listed on my pinned post, of books and projects) is a reference to that myth. I’ll post an excerpt of my intro that explains why, but first I want to say how #SAD I’m feeling to learn of this dark side of Charlie Rose.
We all wrestle with addictions and kleshas (Buddhist term for our habituated tendencies) but so tragic to see a lifetime career in shreds over uncontrolled behavior.
Rose has discussed turning to meditation (over the past year or so.) Let’s hope he continues and that it provides relief and insight. As I posted on twitter: “We are definitely at an inflection point. Constant focus on sex and power in movies, TV and social media needs serious analysis and contemplation.” We must also look at the intense violence that we constantly feed our youth. These issues are all inter-related and entwined. A society that favors explicit pornography, horrific violence and rarely focuses on positive values is doomed.
History does repeat, so take a look at the downfall of past great civilizations like Rome and Greece to see where we are headed.
With that, the Pandora story is very apropos so I will share how I explain it in the intro of my in-progress fiction:
“In the famous Greek myth, the god Zeus had a daughter named Pandora. When the time came for her to be wed, the king of fate and thunder gave his daughter, and her husband-to-be, a locked box (actually it was a large clay jar or pithos, but in translation it’s always been called a box.) The important part is the admonition that Zeus gave the couple: to assure your happiness, DO NOT OPEN! Pandora couldn’t believe that her father would give her a gift she could not enjoy. So sometime after the marriage, while her husband was away, curiosity got the best of Pandora and she opened the gift. The most horrid things came flying out. She had unleashed all the evils of the world.
There are many variations of the story known as Pandora’s Box. I like the one that implies Zeus had locked up all the world’s troubles and entrusted his daughter to keep humanity safe.
What are the consequences of our 21st Century society’s lust, greed, and endless obsession for more (of everything)? How far can we go before everything collapses? Can we change our fate by changing our attitude? and what if we don’t? Perhaps this story will prompt you to ponder these possibilities.
So, why did I choose to call my story “a Box of Pandoras”? One of our favorite New Mexico governors, Bruce King, once warned our state legislators, ‘If you pass that bill you’ll be opening up a whole box of Pandoras.’ It became one of his trademark sayings. Rest his soul, we still laugh about it. But he (and Zeus) were right to warn about unleashing the world’s troubles.” (c) 2015 – 2017
It’s actually pretty obvious what’s at the crux of our HUGE political divide. How the Right (and Alt-Right) and Progressive liberals (even moderate Dems) can look at the same 240 yr. old Constitution and come to entirely different conclusions. I just heard VP Pence conflate capitalism with liberty! How can the same founding documents be interpreted so differently? It’s one reason why the Supreme Court Justice picks are of critical importance. Current U.S. law is based on the 1976 High Court ruling that money is speech (plus 1979 amendments and other citations led to the 2010 “Citizens United” ruling. Details in the Amendment Gazette ) Everyone is shouting past the real issue– and each other– protesting, boasting or posting their own opinions, from the left, from the right. No one is listening! So if you want me to say it plainly, take a deep breath… exhale. Ready?
Under those rulings, money IS speech. Capitalism IS everything. We are living in Orwell’s 1984 and were even back then, under Reagan.
Progressives like myself, Independents and many Democrats believe MORALITY, not money, is our standard and right. Is it? or are we sadly mistaken?
If you think corporations and other polluters can buy the right to ruin our remaining protected, sacred lands, and ruin our health with toxic chemicals and unregulated poisons in our food, air and water, then you probably agree with the “Citizens United” view of America. Many of us view those actions as immoral and inhumane. We feel morality means true concern and compassion for ALL– regardless of stature or ability to pay. You know, “Liberty and Justice for All” as in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Politicians like Pence and Senator Jeff Sessions (R – Alabama) who is nominated to be our next U.S. Attorney General say plainly, they will uphold and enforce our laws. Currently, that means money is speech and corporations can use unlimited amounts to buy and bribe their way into every aspect of our lives. In other words, money talks (literally!)
At the controversial Prayer Breakfast (Feb 2) Donald Trump assured the religious leaders that their churches and organizations would have UNLIMITED ability to “support” (give money through super pacs and donations) religious freedom. My jaw dropped when I realized they will use their deep pockets to buy the best attorneys, analysts and yes judges to make sure those laws remain on the books. I don’t believe that is what most hardworking Midwesterners and “Evangelicals” voted for. They want jobs, but even when it requires dealing with the devil? (Writer David Brooks nailed it with his “Republican Fausts” opinion piece in the New York Times this past week.) Maybe Trump really is the #AntiChrist.
Trump and Co. say they won the election “fair and square” (despite their own claims of a “rigged system” and Russian involvement.) The Resistance claims the election was stolen using dirty tricks like voter suppression, diversion tactics, outright lies AND Russian collusion. Both sides are now claiming high ground and “moral authority.”
I vividly recall when the original alleged Moral Majority emerged. I was a young reporter in the 1970s. After Nixon’s impeachment, there was right-wing backlash to hippies, women’s “lib” and all the liberal politics of the time. Fundamentalist Churches began urging their members to support and vote for certain political candidates (often picked by their new leader Baptist preacher Jerry Falwell.) Midwest and Southern “evangelicals” (as they’ve come to be called) were pushing back against abortion, emerging gay groups and feminism in all forms. This is when they discovered the real power of the pulpit and the almighty dollar. They gerrymandered districts, suppressed the minority vote and bought themselves a judicial system. Somehow they’ve convinced themselves that is moral. Me and 70 million other voters disagree. That is why protests continue. We are the majority and we have a very different view of what is moral.
Regardless what our ridiculous Republican-concocted laws say, giant corporations and mega Churches are exactly what our Founders did not want running this country. They crossed the ocean in rickety ships to get away from such oppression. But with a billionaire baby in the Oval, Faustian Bannon in his ear, and unlimited amounts of cash pouring in, it will take some savvy detangling to get us out of this mess.