A relative sent us an email today. It’s one of those well-traveled internet memes of unconfirmed origin seeking to engage us, albeit briefly, and illicit enough emotional response to prompt forwarding. Compelling at first, the newspaper clipping is supposed to have been saved “in a bible” by someone’s mother for many years. Mom, it said, was a teacher and “believed in prophesy” (sic) so “she always kept up on issues”, evidently by tucking them away in the good book.
“Did you really think we want those laws observed? said Dr. Ferris. We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”
(Ayn Rand, from ‘Atlas Shrugged’ 1957) Continue reading
The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut has cast a pall on our area. We are only about 40 miles from there. Folks working in nearby Ridgefield, CT lost their children. It is a nightmare, only made worse by the time of year.
I’ve said it before. I am a gun owner. I shoot sporting clays. I follow all the rules and jump through every hoop there is so I can own my firearms safely and enjoy my sport. Myself and my fellow shooters have remained quiet in this week following the shooting out of respect for the gravity of the situation. On my Facebook timeline, I have watched as friends have posted memorial messages and photos from the funerals. Most have been so very respectful, as is expected.
But, among my friends, a few have started to publish very harsh posts aimed at gun owners. We’re being equated with the perpetrator or we’re being patronized as they implore us to “turn in your guns” as if we were all gang members waiting to go on a rampage. I stayed quiet for as long as I could, but I finally decided that being quiet simply was not something I could continue to do. I did reply to one friend’s questioning of why the NRA has no fund for victims of gun violence with a short, simple response.
Then came “S”. She is one of my friends from town. Every day she has posted heartfelt posts about the shooting. They have been constant however the tone has now changed substantially. I couldn’t sit by any more and so I added a comment. I’m no expert on any one subject. For better or for worse, here’s the convo. I am C, she is S, her husband is Ste. The others are just some of her friends. I’ve hidden the names to protect the…whatever. Continue reading
Thankfully, the Presidential election is over. Being what is usually defined as a libertarian, and not having a horse in the race (at least not a horse worth a damn), I had truly grown tired of the endless robo-calls, requests for my money, and political phone polls. While Hurricane Sandy dealt a terrible blow to our area, the silver lining was that all forms of electronic communication ceased from the 29th of October until November 6th. And I did not miss any of it.
So, life goes on. I knew it would. Sure, my guy didn’t win. But that’s only because my guy doesn’t seem to exist. I’m not thrilled with some of the direction this country is headed in. And I was all primed to get torqued up about it before the storm hit. For some strange reason, now, I’ve entered a sort of “Zen Zone”. I’m calmer. I’m ready to move on. It may just be that I simply don’t have the strength to bitch and convulse about the state of the union any more.
I have never been a huge fan of stories that depict dystopic, future representations of society. I’ve certainly read some of the iconic novels, but I haven’t enjoyed them for more than the appreciation of the skill of their respective writers. Now, I will admit to reading a romance novel or two in my day as well, but even those written in anything but our contemporary slice of the space-time continuum bother me. So I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I don’t like the period pieces because I can’t relate personally to them, or if I just can’t stand the idea of all of humankind going to hell in a hand basket.
Once again, I am confused. This does occur periodically and I find it highly frustrating, but it does make good fodder for a blog post, so I’ll appreciate it for the silver lining it offers and just go with it.
Let me first point out the impetus for this diatribe, which is this article about a judge ordering a school district (and a band director, mind you) to apologize to an agnostic family about some words both misspoken and posted online. The comments involved parties to a complaint by the agnostic family regarding prayers at a high school commencement ceremony, primarily. I’m not familiar with the case and there seems to be more to it than that. But that’s not where I’m headed with this.