I understand that things are a bit wonky over there in the GOP-led House of Representatives. And by “wonky” I mean “ungovernable.”
So I figured I’d offer the GOP a suggestion:
Whaddaya think? Am I on to something?
As I often do, I’m snagging something else from my bloggin’ buddy, Father Kane over at The Last of the Millenniums. Because, really, I haven’t seen such a good summary of why folks have guns in a while (Not Safe For Work).
I give you Australian comedian Jim Jefferies:
I have a pretty good track record in choosing Presidents. Sometimes, I’m way ahead of the game. I decided in 2004 that I wanted Obama for President.
Sadly, I didn’t notice him on the ballot for a while.
This time around, I haven’t been able to decide. Hillary? Bernie? There are things to recommend each of them. So what is a good citizen to do?
Well, today I have my answer. I know who I’m going to vote for. I know who I will work for. I know who will solve one of the major problems the world faces today.
Please join me in supporting the candidacy of Donald Trump:
Because Donald Trump stated the following:
WINTERSET, Ia. – Donald Trump says if he gets elected president, he would have to change his hair style because he wouldn’t have time to maintain it, as he would be working his butt off in the White House.…[Emphasis added]
The world will be a far, far better place.
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I found this, along with a zillion other brilliant pictures at The Last of the Millenniums. He’s got a gift for finding the really fun stuff.
Like many of us, I’ve been wondering what I should say since I woke up Thursday morning to the news of the latest gun massacre, this time, in Charleston, South Carolina.
I often feel like I’m beating a dead horse here at FiftyFourAndAHalf. Do you really need me to go off on another rant about sensible gun laws? I didn’t think so.
There is plenty of outrage on so many levels with this latest shooter. The deed itself. The fact that he sat in church with his victims for an hour and then killed them. The after-the-fact suspicions of his friends that he had been planning this for a while and nobody spoke up.
There is plenty of outrage with the idiotic reactions on the part of just about every member of the GOP, particularly their presidential candidates. They stammer. They point the blame on other things — Rick Santorum says it’s a “War on Christians” (huh?); Rick Perry says it was the fault of Big Pharma (huh?). Jeb! says he just doesn’t know if racism played a part — in spite of the words of the shooter that he wanted to start a race war.
But I save my greatest outrage for Senator Lindsay Graham. He hemmed and hawed at first. And then he said it.
“The Confederate Flag,” Senator Graham said, “is who we are.”
And you know what? Lindsay Graham is nothing if not consistent. Worse, he speaks for a whole swath of folks who still believe in the principles of the Confederacy. Who believe in the symbol of the Confederacy, the Stars and Bars. The symbol of slavery, of racism, of bigotry. The symbol of resistance to integration. The symbol of hate.
Senator Graham speaks for folks who didn’t get the news:
These folks have clung to their racist beliefs. Their strong belief held fast in the 150 years since the Confederacy lost, in the mistaken idea that African-Americans, blacks, Negros, colored folks (depending on the era we’re talking about) weren’t “created equal.”
With all I’ve read in the last two days, one article, The Confederacy is Not Our Heritage, really struck home with me.
First, Mr. Sumner put to rest the lie that the states seceded over “States’ Rights”:
The Confederacy was launched not on a platform of slavery, but on a foundation of racism. That it maintained slavery as an institution was a feature. That it upheld racism was the design. Read the words of Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens, speaking at the Athenaeum in Savannah, Georgia:
The new Constitution has put at rest forever all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institutions—African slavery as it exists among us—the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson, in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the “rock upon which the old Union would split.” He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old Constitution were, that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with; but the general opinion of the men of that day was, that, somehow or other, in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. … Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the idea of a Government built upon it—when the “storm came and the wind blew, it fell.”Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition.
. . . look with confidence to the ultimate universal acknowledgement of the truths upon which our system rests? It is the first government ever instituted upon the principles in strict conformity to nature, and the ordination of Providence, in furnishing the materials of human society. Many governments have been founded upon the principle of the subordination and serfdom of certain classes of the same race; such were and are in violation of the laws of nature. Our system commits no such violation of nature’s laws.
So much for States’ Rights. That, like the Glory of the South (and proclamation that “The South Shall Rise Again!”) is a myth, belied by these words.
The author grew up in Kentucky surrounded by the vestiges of the Civil War. Here in my adopted state of Virginia, they surround me as well. But they are not the vestiges of a defeat and the lessons that should have been learned from it. No, they proclaim the heroism of the Generals, the glory of the battles, the fierceness of the Rebel yell. Here in Virginia, there is a state holiday in January — Lee-Jackson Day. A couple hours south of here is the Stonewall Jackson Shrine. All proclaim the glory of the Civil War, as if it, and the reasons behind it, were — and still are — worth fighting for.
If you don’t know the history of who won and who lost, well, you’re not going to find it in the South.
As Mr. Sumner says:
The Confederacy is not my heritage. It’s not anyone’s heritage. The Confederacy is our shame.
Is it part of our history? Yes, it is, to our everlasting shame. It’s a part of our history the same way that the apartheid state is a part of South African history. It’s a part of our history the same way that the Nazi Reich is a part of German history. It’s a part of our history that should embarrass us.
It’s the part of our history in which traitors who not only didn’t believe in the American union, but also didn’t believe in the basic ideals of America, formed a state whose core was nothing less than pure racism.
It should be no more acceptable to wave a Confederate flag in the United States than it is to fly a swastika. No more acceptable to proclaim yourself sympathetic to the Confederate cause than to proclaim yourself a supporter of ISIS. There is no moral difference. None. These are the banners of the enemies of our nation and of our ideals—enemies whose existence is based on inequality and subjugation.
President Obama is right. It’s time to put the Stars and Bars in a museum. It’s time to end the hate.
On May 29, 2011, I was fifty-four and a half years old. And I was seriously irritated at the GOP in Congress. You see, they had announced that they were going to take away Medicare from those then under 55 years old. And that meant me. I spouted off about it to anyone who would listen.
They’re gonna take Medicare from ME! I’m 54-1/2! That’s where they’re gonna start!
After the first 528 times I mentioned this fact to each and every person I could corner, I still felt unsated. I wanted to tell more people of my irritation. Whether or not I knew them.
And so I heard a voice inside my head (something I rarely admit to):
Go forth, it said, and start a blog.
Oh and give it a stupid name to keep yourself humble.
And so I did. Both of those things. FiftyFourAndAHalf was born with this post.
Blogging has been a completely different experience than I expected.
My original plan was to do a political/humor blog. But in spite of a never-ending source of fodder, I found that I wanted to write about other things, too. That part didn’t really surprise me.
What surprised me was that blogging, and Word Press, became a place where I met new friends, discussed topics important to me. Where I laughed and cried along with folks I will probably never meet.
Thanks, everybody. And while I’ve been writing less than usual and reading less than usual, I love the special place that is the ‘sphere. So, yeah, thanks for being out there, for reading, and for giving me stuff to read too.
Today, April 22, is Earth Day! It’s the 45th Anniversary of the very first Earth Day. Here is Walter Cronkite’s report on the first Earth Day, 1970:
It would also be my late sister Judy’s 63rd birthday.
Whoever made the decision to turn Judy’s birthday into Earth Day chose wisely. Judy was a born environmentalist and recycler.
On the first Earth Day, Judy was a new, very young mother who believed in saving the planet. She was the first “environmentalist” I ever knew personally, and well, I thought she was nuts. There was a recycling bin in her kitchen for as long as I can remember. And this was back when recycling took effort. She believed in gardens, not garbage, and she made life bloom wherever she was.
“I’ve got kids,” she’d say. “It’s their planet too!”
But years later, Judy took recycling to a whole different level when she helped people recycle themselves. In the 1990s, Jude, who was then living in Florida, began working with the Homeless, assisting at shelters. Then she actively began trying to help homeless vets find food, shelter and work — to enable them to jump-start their lives.
When she died in early 2000, the American Legion awarded her honorary membership for her services to homeless vets. A homeless shelter was named in her honor. So she’s still doing good works, my sister is. That would make her wildly happy.
Jude also gave me the Beatles. So it is very appropriate that they wrote a song for her.
You see, the night the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan, it was MY turn to choose what we were going to watch. And we were going to watch the second part of The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh starring Patrick McGoohan on the Wonderful Wide World of Disney. My four (all older and MUCH cooler) siblings were furious with me. But I was quite insistent. You might even say that I threw a Class I temper tantrum over it, but I wouldn’t admit to that. But hey, I was seven. And it was my turn to choose. Fair is fair, especially in a big family with only one TV.
Somehow, Judy talked me out of my turn. She was always very persuasive. Thanks Jude.
Hey Jude, Happy Earth Day-Birthday.
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If this looks/sounds familiar, it’s because I recycled this post from last year. Because you should never use fresh when you can reuse something already written. And you can never get enough of “Hey Jude.”
You will be surprised to learn that I didn’t plan on posting about this.
I figured that anybody who has ever read my blog knows precisely where I stand on this issue. So I left it in that barren wasteland where all unused posts go — DRAFTS.
But then tonight I read a blog post that broke my heart.
Most of you know my bloggin’ buddy, TwinDaddy of Finding Twindaddy. He has a new job doing tech-ie stuff at a school, and he wrote about ALICE at his school in a post called “A Sad State of Affairs.”
Alice? Who’s ALICE?
Alice is an acronym that stands for: Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. The drills that students, teachers and administrators of our American — Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition — schools must perform periodically so that everybody is ready in the event that an active shooter comes to their school.
High School Students, Teachers and Administrators
Junior High School Students, Teachers and Administrators
Elementary School Students, Teachers and Administrators
Somehow, I don’t think this has gone down to the nursery school level. Give it time.
Anyway, deleted what I had drafted because it was lame. But after reading Twin Daddy’s post, I thought I’d show you the algorithm that one school in Michigan came up with. It’s quite creative.
Because, you see, not only do they (and folks in other states) have to worry about some nutcase coming through the door blasting, but they have to worry about other nutcases. Yup, folks in many states need to figure out how to deal with potential crisis situations because of the folks who have been dubbed “ammosexuals.” Ammosexuals are those particular nutcases who believe that their right to openly carry any fucking gun they please, and to waive it around, proclaiming their god-given/NRAsponsored right to bear arms, trumps your kids’ rights to, well, you know, breathe.
Because, of course, in states where it is legal to “open carry” guns, how can you tell the “good guys” from the “bad guys.” So they had to come up with a decision tree:
(Click to Enlarge)
Of course, by the time any school administrator could figure out that, well, that’s a bad guy, they’re probably dead. Not a whole lot of help, then, is it? Oh well, what’s a few more gun deaths in America? It’s what we’re becoming famous for worldwide. Once folks thought our streets were paved with gold — now they are paved with blood and bullet casings.
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We really need to figure out, as a society, how to get a handle back on our brains, so that we can protect, at a minimum, our kids.
Oh and as an aside, I passed through Newtown a few months ago. I saw a pickup truck with this bumper sticker:
This is the ammosexuals’ response to the message that sane people in Sandy Hook put forth after the massacre:
And it made me realize just how important gun control laws are. Because I wanted to shoot the asshole driving that truck.
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