What I’m Reading

I went in search of something to refresh my memory of, and to increase my understanding of, documents of importance to our country. It seems more important now than ever for citizens to be informed; otherwise, how can we hold our elected officials accountable?

I found this slim volume at Barnes and Nobel:

I like the way the book has side by side explanations of the documents. For example, pictured below is the first page of the Bill of Rights:

On the left are the unedited amendments, and on the right are simplified explanations. I think our current president might benefit from reading this book. Maybe I’ll buy him a copy. He might have to give up one round of golf to read it, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.

Peace, people.

Go Fourth!


Double down on democracy, speak your mind, and honestly. Support a free press, and denounce those who’d silence

The Fourth Estate. A patriot is neither left nor right, but one who upholds the Constitution. Refuse to succumb

To the treachery of bluster and lies. We know better! Some have had their eyes clouded, others feel dismay,

Yet we are Americans. We believe in liberty, in justice, for ALL, and we will not be led astray by this sham of a leader.

A Paranoid Congress and Guns

  
I am a gun owner who once again weeps in horror and disbelief at our Republican legislators’ most recent unconscionable actions.
From the New York Daily News, 12/04/15:

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans voted against barring suspected terrorists, felons and the mentally ill from getting guns on Thursday afternoon, parroting National Rifle Association arguments that doing so would strip some innocent people of their constitutional rights to gun access just a day after yet another massacre on U.S. soil.

A pair of Democratic measures – one to close background check loopholes to make it harder for felons and the mentally ill from buying guns, another to ban those on the terror watch list from buying guns – both went down in flames against near-unanimous GOP opposition.

Most of these same legislators offered up their fervent prayers for the victims of the tragic domestic terrorist attack in San Bernadino the day before they voted against measures that might help avoid similar tragedies. 

I couldn’t conceive the thinking behind their votes. After all, the GOP and its puppet masters the NRA assert again and again that,

 “Guns Don’t Kill People. People Kill People!”

Wouldn’t any sane and decent person then logically deny certain people, say those on the terrorist watch list, those with a history of mental illness, and those who have served time for felony convictions, the right to purchase and own guns?

Gosh, it seemed like a no-brainer to a little old country girl like me. So, why did our supposedly learned legislators vote in such a decidedly unlearned way?  

Carly Fiorina provided a clue in a recent televised appearance saying that a friend’s husband had been placed on the terror watch list in error and that she did not believe the list was accurate. I deemed that a small picture reaction to a big picture problem, until I looked at the Republican Party’s behavior over the past seven years.

Since the first term of President Barak Obama, the Republican Party has operated as an extreme oppositional force. On the night of President Obama’s first inauguration a group of powerful Republican Party members assembled in a not-so-secret meeting, led by Paul Ryan (who has just recently been elevated to Speaker of the House), and agreed to block the President in any way possible. Often this agreement has worked to the detriment of the nation as a whole. Common sense and the best interests of the country were tromped on in favor of making certain that the Obama presidency  failed. Treason, anyone? 

Instead of failing, President Obama was elected to a second term. Could Republicans and their NRA backers be concerned that depending on the outcome of future elections that some of them might end up on a no-fly, no-buy watch list? Has their paranoia gone to that extreme?

That could certainly help put their decidedly unlearned votes in a new light. Unless of course their favorite slogan is meaningless. Maybe it is the guns that kill people. Pick a side GOP. You can’t have it both ways.

Peace, and common sense, people.

Check out the Twitter feed of Igor Volsky @igorvolsky for information on the amount of money provided to congressmen by the NRA. Each time a congressman tweets out his or her thoughts and prayers Mr. Volsky supplies donation details. It’s a sick, slick business.

Paranoia is an unfounded or exaggerated distrust of others, sometimes reaching delusional proportions.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV), the diagnostic standard for mental health professionals in the United States, lists the following symptoms for paranoid personality disorder:

suspicious; unfounded suspicions; believes others are plotting against him/her

preoccupied with unsupported doubts about friends or associates

reluctant to confide in others due to a fear that information may be used against him/her

reads negative meanings into innocuous remarks

bears grudges

perceives attacks on his/her reputation that are not clear to others, and is quick to counterattack

Sources: 

Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

National Institute of Mental Health. Mental Health Public Inquiries, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 15C-05, Rockville, MD 20857. (888) 826-9438. http://www.nimh.nih.gov.


Stars and Gripes

it isn’t easy being red,
white, and blue
sometimes we’re a target
other times we’re ridiculed
and now that we are growing
outside of old constraints
many of our own folks are
lodging new complaints.

they say we’ve wandered,
become too secular
but our founding fathers
were quite particular
refusing even then to
name a national faith
knowing well the tyranny
that lay along that path.

for if we honor only
Christian ideals
on government buildings
and official seals
then how can we expect
those of other creeds
to be willing taxpayers
when we ignore their needs?

  
Peace, people!