Saturday, December 15, 2012

Shot with their own guns

Theory: The hysterical people crying out for more guns are just as ill-equipped mentally and emotionally to handle owning guns as are the shooters.

Narcissistic/Delusional: Thinking that average citizens (them) will turn into Rambo and save people from a deranged killer while trained law enforcement officers can't.

  1. Thinking that owning a gun = freedom. That is classic insurrectionist thinking; a fallacy, an appeal to fear. Personally, I can't think of anything LESS free than what is going on right now: People walking around EVERYWHERE armed, and legally. That's living in FEAR, not living in freedom. And living in fear is the most restrictive, tyrannical, and option-less way to live. (A Paranoid Personality Disorder is "manifested by a pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others and a tendency to interpret the actions of others as malevolent or threatening.")
  2. (2) Thinking that any discussion about gun control = banning gun ownership entirely. That's a slippery slope fallacy, promoted by gun advocates like the terrorist organization the NRA. These kind of lies also lead to the next item on the list ...
Cognitive dissonance: Whipped to a frenzy by NRA poison, a lack of critical thinking and understanding of the Constitution in general and the Second Amendment specifically means there's so much noise in their heads when they hear the truth it makes them angry and defensive. ("In a state of dissonance, people may sometimes feel 'disequilibrium': frustration, hunger, dread, guilt, anger, embarrassment, anxiety, etc."; "cognitive dissonance has been called 'the mind controller's best friend'.")

The fact that opinions like the above are accepted as valid discussion points instead of being acknowledged as the symptoms of mental illness that they are is depressing and reflects the rampant lack of mental and emotional intelligence in our culture; the lack of leadershipand bravery in our legislators; and the lack of oversight and responsibility in our media. And it reflects a deplorable lack of compassion in our society, a feeling that we are all in this together and that taking care of each other is our primary duty as a species.

We are a nation that is increasingly being bullied by a minority of sociopaths who are more dangerous now because they feel threatened. And we had better address this before things get worse.


Not used above, but helpful:

Monday, May 21, 2007

20/20 hindsight, or people you meet while standing in line

I went out to brunch with my DH (dear husband) yesterday morning. I was still kind of foggy and my voice was croaking from talking so much--and doing my share of cheering--at the Convention yesterday. We were at our fave brunching hole, Mel's in Cochituate, standing on the inevitable line.

I was telling DH about the resolutions that were voted on Saturday, reading from my notes in my agenda, and the woman in front of us kept turning around and looking at us. Not with any particular expression. I lowered my voice a little in case that was the hint she was trying to deliver, but she kept turning around to look, or stare, at us as I segued from the Resolution to the Housing Crisis into the Impeach Cheney-amended-to-Impeach both Bush and Cheney.

So I smiled at her. She smiled back and looked away.

Then I told DH about the troop withdrawal resolution, and she commented, not quietly enough to act the "I'll pretend to be talking to myself" ruse, "I hope it doesn't pass."

I said, pleasantly, "What?" then added, "Polls show that the majority of Americans are in favor of ending the war."
Well that set her off in a tizzy: she doesn't believe in the polls; that they don't include the "silent majority" who support the war; that there are a lot of people who lost loved ones in 9/11 . . .

I interjected, still pleasantly, that there's no connection between 9/11 and Iraq.

She said, very emphatically and implying that she KNOWS everything, "Yes there is."

I paused, different possible replies flipping through my head like an old Viewmaster, and said, with a big smile, "Oh, you're one of the 25 percenters! It's a pleasure to meet you."

She smiled and said that it was a pleasure to meet me as well.

The line moved up and she crept inside. So I went back to talking to DH, who commented that that 25 percenter was nuts, which just proved a point I had made yesterday to the people I was carpooling with, that the 25 percent who still believe are actually one lightbulb shy of a full box.

So we finally get inside, and in order to not be in the uncomfortable position of standing at the door, which means constantly moving back and forth as people enter and exit, I had to move to a space in front of a banquette, where people on line were sitting. Including Ms. 25 percenter. I said to everyone that I wasn't cutting in line, I just wanted to get out of the way.

When Sam (name changed to protect the innocent) came down the line finding out how many people were in each party, Ms. 25 percenter got up and moved in front of us, giving us a smug look.

I said, "Don't worry, we weren't going to cut ahead of you."

She snapped back, "I will worry," and turned her back on us in a huff. A couple of minutes later she walked out of the line to go outside.

I wondered if she just couldn't bear being next to us. And the fact that she didn't trust that we wouldn't cut in front of her bothered me more than any other part of our exchange. In her world, were liberals not only unbelievers but lacking in common courtesy? And I had been so pleased with myself for keeping things polite.

She came back and placed herself in the big gap in the line we had left for her, with a smug smile on her face.

After we got back home I checked my e-mail. Someone had sent a suspiciously myth-y looking story about "Red Shirt Fridays." Being the irrevocable geek that I am, I thought it was going to be a funny story about the expendable ensigns. It was, instead, a heartwarming story about an airline passenger who sat across a first-class aisle from a Marine sergeant who was escorting the body of a fallen soldier home that segued into the story of "Red Shirt Fridays".
Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday . The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the "silent majority." We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers. We are not organized, boisterous or overbearing.
Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops. Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday -- and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that .... every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar, will wear something red.

I expect Ms. 25 percenter was also on the receiving end of that e-mail, which whipped her up into a fine frothing frenzy about all those war-opposers who (obviously) hate the troops and cut in front of people in lines. While I couldn't talk back to Ms. 25 percenter, I did write back to everyone on the e-mail list:
I'm not quite sure what is meant by those who "support our troops are the silent majority." Hmmm . . . according to every poll, the majority of Americans are against the war. So does this message indicate that those who oppose the war are against the troops? It seems to me that those in power who support the war are clearly not supporting the troops: the troops don't have enough safety equipment, their families don't get enough support, there's not enough medical care for vets, the administration doesn't want to add .5% to the paltry 3% raise that has been suggested as a soldier's pay raise, and our troops are being treated like robots--rotated constantly and deployed indefinitely.

No matter how hard we try, no matter how many times we tell the truth, no matter how many times we put action behind our visions, we'll always be the ones who can't be trusted to honor the unspoken rule of queues. How did we get to be the pickpockets of American democracy? I suppose I shouldn't think too much about this, since our experiment proved that the 25 percent believers are not living in the reality-based community. I just don't like to see that kind of hate and craziness seen as being mainstream.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sen. Russ Feingold, American Hero

Bravo to Sen. Russ Feingold for standing up and speaking truth to power! By introducing the Resolution relating to the censure of George W. Bush, Feingold has joined the ranks of Congressman John Conyers in trying to take permanent, legal action to hold Bush accountable for his despicable actions (obviously, neither censure nor impeachment would be as good as trials for war crimes and treason, but ya gotta start somewhere . . . ).

So I called our Massachusetts Senate Delegation. John Kerry's office says he wants to hold Bush accountable, but he hasn't decided whether or not to support the censure. My feeling is he won't decide until such time as a vote is taken.

As for the senior senator, Ted Kennedy's office said that he wants to make sure there is the correct judicial and legislative oversight taken. Huh? Again, someone who's not going to decide probably until a vote is taken. I say probably because Kennedy has nothing to lose by taking a stand, so it's not inconceivable he might support the resolution before a vote is taken. But I wouldn't hold my breath.

My gut feeling is that if there is a vote, Kennedy will vote yes and Kerry will either not vote or vote no.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Letter to the Boston Globe

I was glancing at right-wing anti-liberty Jeff Jacoby's column in the Boston Globe last Sunday, called Mass. Exodus, about the population shrinkage of the Bay State.

He listed the usual reasons--lack of jobs, high housing costs, the weather--then promptly dismissed them. The reason people are leaving in droves?
Maybe fewer and fewer people want to call Massachusetts home not because of its oppressive winters but because of its oppressive and demoralizing political culture. In the state that produced Michael S. Dukakis and Sen. Kerry, the concerns of ordinary citizens are so often met with disdain, while the political class lets nothing get in the way of its own appetites and priorities. A state legislature that stays in session year-round? A supreme court that turns same-sex marriage into a constitutional right? Public ''authorities" that answer to no one? In most of America, no way. In Massachusetts, no problem.
That annoyed me. I wrote a letter to the Globe, and who'd'a thunk it, they printed it today. Not exactly how I wrote it--they deleted some snarkiness--but message intact.
Court's ruling a vote for liberty

JEFF JACOBY dismisses real reasons people are leaving -- lack of well-paying jobs, obscenely high home prices -- and cites the state court's turning ''same-sex marriage into a constitutional right."

The truth, however, doesn't support his position. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court did not ''turn" same-sex marriage into a constitutional right. The question was whether it was constitutional for the Commonwealth to deny civil marriages to same-sex couples. The court found that limiting ''the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage to opposite-sex couples violates the basic premises of individual liberty and equality under law protected by the Massachusetts Constitution." In other words, the court found that it is unconstitutional to deny same-sex couples equal rights.
The Globe omitted my describing Jacoby's column as being full of "dishonest neocon talking points," and I ended with the following sentence: "Given Mr. Jacoby's prejudices, it's a mystery to any rational person why he persists in staying in Massachusetts."

There were quite a few letters in the same vein, but also a few letters by clueless idiots, who think the Supreme Judicial Court "abused its power," and one by a true wingnut who couldn't see the irony in being Massachusetts born and raised, "Boston stock, dating back to 1637" whose ancestors have fought in all "American" wars and are listed on monuments in Bunker Hill and Lexington; she's moving "because of the crazy left-wing political agenda"--moving south, where "the political climate is truly democratic." Yeah, democratic like Strom Thurmond, Lindsey Graham, and Bill Frist; with governors like Mike Huckabee, and Jeb Bush. Good democratic values there.

As a very eloquent woman wrote in another letter: "If indeed people are driven away because of the state's commitment to fairness, let them go. There are plenty of other places where they can enjoy the unearned privileges of discrimination."

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Democratic vision and leadership

While trying to sift for truth amidst the fool's gold that passes for news, I've become more and more worried that we will, in two words, um, screw up the mid-term elections. It seems we Democrats are more afraid of ourselves than we are of the Death Star that is the christo-fascist zombie brigade of the faux-Republican Administration. So for fun--if you can call exercises in futility fun--I wrote a sort of a wish list and sent it to the Democratic National Committee, to Howard Dean, to Harry Reid and several other Democratic leaders. It reads:
As a life-long Democrat, I am horrified to see the continuing slide towards Conservative mediocrity within this party. We are the party of FDR, of JFK. We are FOR the working person, the poor, the downtrodden. We are FOR protecting the minority from the tyranny of the majority. We are FOR civil rights for everyone.

I do not want a Democratic version of a Republican for president. I want someone who speaks clearly in favor of women's rights (someone who does NOT call the anti-choice movement "pro-life"), gay rights--including the right to marry, not the separate-but-not-equal "civil union", and the separation of church and state.

I want someone who will protect workers' rights, including the right to make a living wage under safe working conditions. Someone who will propose legislation to make companies put workers' pensions in accounts that cannot be touched for any reason other than pension payouts. Someone who will stop the outrageous growth in top management salaries at the expense of those at the bottom.

I want someone who will protect the environment against short-term capitalist greed.

I want someone who agrees that a good education is the key to a successful future--any future. That we need to spend more on education, particularly education that teaches children to THINK CRITICALLY and have an imagination, not just memorize facts.

I want the Fairness Doctrine reinstated, I want substantial campaign reform, I want the teaching of the meaning of the Constitution mandatory, I want the media to do their job, I want legislation to be about only one thing--not to be full of hidden riders and clauses.

I want to be able to believe in a candidate, to vote FOR someone rather than against someone else.

The mid-term elections, and the 2008 election, are ours to lose. And we will lose them if we don't have strong candidates that present a clear alternative to continued Republican lies, arrogance, and hypocrisy. Make no mistake, we will lose. If Hillary Clinton runs against John McCain, we will lose. Not because she is a woman (although that will certainly enter into it), but because she is just a moderate Republican dressed in Democrat clothes.

The regressive policies of this Administration call for nothing less than a return to progressive policies that could only be brought forth by a true Democratic candidate.
If anyone wants to add to this shopping list, please feel free.

Friday, December 23, 2005

What's your elf name?

Here's mine. Yes, too silly.

Your Elf Name Is...

Flakey Sticky Fingers

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Preview to Morning Sedition RIP

I just read Jonathan Larsen's posting on his blog Petty Larseny about the death of Air America's Morning Sedition. I still haven't been able to get my thoughts straight about this; I'm devastated and furious. But here's what I posted in response.
Thank you for telling us the sad, stupid truth. I cannot believe I will not be hearing Marc and Mark tomorrow morning. I, too, will be among the multitude downloading past episodes to play over again.

Danny Goldberg was a "suit" in the music business, riding on the talent of the artists, and is still a "suit," with no creativity, vision or, apparently, a sense of humor.

Morning Sedition was the future of progressive radio. The show talked about not only politics, but culture; its humor was not only intelligent but often silly and stupid. These guys had their fingers on the pulse of the liberal zeitgeist above and beyond politics.

I mourn its passing with not just sadness, but fury. How dare they keep the banal, insipid Jerry Springer?? How is he more worthy than Marc and Mark?

I urge all listeners to boycott AAR. Nothing against Rachel Maddow, but I want the ratings to plunge. That's the only way the suits in charge will realize their mistake.

Listen up, sheeple!!!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Letter to the FCC

Request: Please stop Bill O'Reilly from inciting hate, intolerance and violence

I would very much appreciate it if the FCC would put a halt to the spreading of hate speech by Fox Broadcasting Co. and Bill O’Reilly. The FCC already lets Fox get away with calling itself a “news” channel, even though its talking heads blatantly and repeatedly violate the First Amendment (by deliberately spreading lies about public officials and public figures with reckless disregard for the truth) and the FCC’s own regulations against personal attacks, noted below.* The lies this station spouts nearly 24/7 are well documented on such sites as MediaMatters,, and Newshounds, which all use transcripts and audio and video files to back up their research.

But to do nothing to stop Bill O’Reilly’s heinous, belligerent and callously vicious call for violent action against those he considers are waging a “war against Christmas” is just as good as condoning it. The FCC’s regulation against “Clear and Present Danger” allows the FCC to curtail such speech if it intends “to incite or produce dangerous activity.”

A typical quotation from one of O’Reilly’s rants clearly indicates such an intention:
“I am not going to let oppressive, totalitarian, anti-Christian forces in this country diminish and denigrate the holiday and the celebration. I am not going to let it happen. I'm gonna use all the power that I have on radio and television to bring horror into the world of people who are trying to do that.”

I am a firm believer in free speech and a card-carrying member of the ACLU, but as a non-Christian I feel threatened and frightened by O’Reilly’s escalatingly aggressive hatred toward anyone who does not share his warped view of Jesus’ philosophies, which were peaceful, loving, and tolerant. O’Reilly’s crusade would violate any non-Christian’s rights to equal protection under the law.

(*Personal Attacks. Personal attacks occur when, during the presentation of views on a controversial issue of public importance, someone attacks the honesty, character, integrity, or like personal qualities of an identified person or group. No more than a week after a personal attack, the station must transmit the following three things to the person or group attacked: (1) notification of the date, time, and identification of the broadcast; (2) a tape, script or accurate summary of the attack; and (3) an offer of a reasonable opportunity to respond on the air.)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Happy? Resentful?

OK, I know I should be happy that the American public is finally seeing the light, with Dubya's ratings lower than low, Dems winning back two gubernatorial seats, Ahnuld's four ballot measures resoundingly shot down. But part of me is really, really, really annoyed.

Really annoyed. As in:

WHERE the fuck have these people been LIVING for FIVE YEARS??!!??!!

The rampant cronyism, ignorant arrogance, stupid bloody-mindedness and rank fascistic tendencies of this administration were evident before Bushie was (s)elected. But he didn't win that election, so let's forward to 2004. By that time, the abyss of this regime's shortcomings was painfully obvious. And it was painful, painful, painful.

I'm still not convinced that Bushie won 2004, either, but the vote was certainly too close for comfort. But now people are finally on the bandwagon? I should embrace them and lead them happily into the light, but they've cost us. They've cost the United States. Their blinkered refusal to look reality in the eye has killed thousands of people, damaged--perhaps irreparably--the environment, and gutted the Constitution.

And now these people are unhappy. Well, D-UH!!!

Welcome to the bandwagon. You can start by cleaning up all the shit still remaining on your feet.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The "real" America

This about says it all, from the BeatBushGear Cafe Press store.

As the crypto-fascist NeoCon zombie brigade tries to circle their wagons, even Bush's trips to the Gulf to look concerned unravel to reveal the truth: nothing but callous blatant PR photo ops. The Salt Lake Tribune reported yesterday that the 1,400 firefighters gathered from around the country by FEMA, instead of using their firefighting, search-and-rescue, paramedic, or haz-mat skills, they were herded into a conference room in Atlanta, forced to sit through an eight-hour sensitivity training class, and told their were to be "community-relations officers for FEMA, shuffled throughout the Gulf Coast region to disseminate fliers and a phone number: 1-800-621-FEMA." This was on Monday, when their expertise might have been put to better use rescuing people and putting out fires.

To add insult to injury, a team of 50 of these firefighters were flown to Louisiana--so they could accompany Bush on his tour.
In addition, he apparently set up another photo op of the 17th Street levee being fixed, and yet another of an open air food distribution point. On top of that, rescue efforts had to be halted for hours while Bush was in the area, since the airways had to be kept clear.

Laura "It was an accident!" Bush did her part, as well. She commandeered the computer in Lafayette's Cajundome--the only room with phone and internet access for the evacuees--for eight hours, along with the food service rooms and the ladies showers, so she could manipulate a feel-good photo op "helping" seven evacuees.

The excellent Daily Kos blog expresses just the right eloquent outrage:
This is a clear signal of the depravity of this administration, were everything is political and nothing can be real. Nothing can be done simply because it's the right thing to do, or it's the best thing for America. There is a "real" America, and then there's Rove's America, where firemen serve the Republican Party and their leader, not people in distress. The Republican banner flies over the Stars and Stripes.
That the NeoCons are living in a different reality isn't such a surprise; it was admitted in an October 2004 New York Times Magazine article by Ron Suskind, where Suskind quotes a Bush aide:
The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

-- "Ozymandias," Percy Bysshe Shelley