Because obviously nothing is more important than guns. Certainly not people. Especially if they disagree with you.
In January 1998 John, Jacob and I visited the town of Canterbury, home to Canterbury Cathedral.
It is a a beautiful cathedral. But part of the fascination with it is it’s history — the fact that it was the site of the assassination of Archbishop Thomas Beckett at the behest of King Henry II. Sort of.
Reportedly, the King was famously infuriated with his former friend, the Archbishop for a number of transgressions, including excommunicating a bunch of English nobles. He famously uttered:
“Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?”
Being the King, folks took it as a command. Wikipedia names the four knights, Reginald fitzUrse, Hugh de Morville, William de Tracy and Richard le Breton, either carried out the king’s command, or misinterpreted the king’s intention. Either way, they assassinated Archbishop Thomas Beckett on the altar of Canterbury Cathedral.
In case you are hiding under your bed trying to get away from news about the election, Trump opened his trap again today, and once again said something that should disqualify him for the presidency.
Today’s vomit from Trump can be heard here:
Yeah, I know you didn’t click on the link.
“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”
Now let’s see. Did Donald Trump just call for the assassination of Hillary Clinton? Or will one of his followers, you know, one of the disgruntled, racist, misogynistic white guys get out his gun(s) and do Donald’s bidding.
“Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?”/
“Who will rid me of this troublesome girl?”
Especially since, in spite of the fact that Trump’s campaign is tanking and he is hemorrhaging in the polls, and he’s claiming that the election, if he loses, will be rigged.
What could possibly go wrong.
This election depends on me.
But it also depends on you.
My most important job this year is to vote. Yours too.
Will you be able to? Are you registered to vote? Or will you feel as foolish as Donald Trump’s kids who weren’t registered to vote in the primaries
I’m registered. I just double checked, because a lot of monkey business has been going on. I wanted to be sure.
You can do this from your living room. Your office. Your phone while waiting in line at the grocery store.
Don’t let Donald Trump sit in the Oval Office.
If this isn’t a metaphor for today’s GOP, I don’t know what is.
Balls are not allowed at next week’s GOP convention where the politicians who haven’t had the balls to stand up to Little Fingers Don until now will nominate him to be their candidate for President of the FUCKING UNITED STATES!
Of course, in another expected metaphor, these same folks responded to the latest mass shooting of police officers in Dallas by adding language stating opposition to restricting magazine capacity & banning AR-15 rifles. There was no debate.
Here. I’ll help you pack. Other things that you can’t bring to the GOP convention (since I know you’re going) include: knives of all sorts, lumber, coolers and cots. Num chucks have to be left in the hotel room, as do your fireworks.
I did not notice rotten tomatoes on the list, so stock up! There will be a run on them in Cleveland, I’m sure.
But because Ohio is an “open-carry” state, you can bring guns.
What could possibly go wrong?
Maybe I’ve mentioned once or twice that my brother, Fred, was a wonderful big brother. I really don’t exaggerate. If you could have made up the perfect big brother, it would have been Fred. But you probably would have given him a better name.
Fred is 3 years older than me. And he played with me all the time. He didn’t beat me up. He wasn’t mean. He let me tag along wherever he went.
He actually seemed to enjoy my company, too. Or at least, it never occurred to me that he might not be enjoying it. Perhaps I was late in picking up some social clues. Anyway, I can honestly not remember Fred ever hurting me, or setting me up to fail, or doing any mean big brother things to me.
He was my hero. When we tucked towels into our jammies and jumped off the back of the couch, I was not just pretending Fred was Superman. He was Superman. Of course I also thought that our dog, Tip, was SuperDog when we called him “Kripto,” tucked a dishtowel into his collar and pushed him off the back of the couch.
It was during the late 1950s and early 60s; we saw Westerns on TV and in the movies — The Lone Ranger, Branded, How the West Was Won, and more. There were a lot of shoot outs at our house, too, because that’s what we played most of the time. Fred invented great games for us. Cowboys and Indians, gun fights, sheriff and posse.
Fred was always the hero. Me?
I was the bad guy who got outgunned and had to keel over and die.
I was the outlaw brought to justice by the handsome sheriff.
I was the squaw who had to skin and cook the deer.
I always lost.
I felt good that at least I had a better part than Tip. Tip was the deer, and Fred and I would chase him around pretending to shoot him with arrows. Fred and his friends once caught Tip and tied him onto our broom and carried him Indian-style, to roast over our pretend fire. Tip escaped and didn’t want to play Indian for a week or so. We did not eat him.
Losing wasn’t a condition for Fred to play with me, but it was reality. Fred always won. He was always first, fastest, bravest. He was always the hero.
Fred’s pretend horse, Thunder, was faster than my horse, Lightning, even after Fred discovered that in real life lightning comes first. Fred showed me pictures of lightning in “the big dictionary” – a huge reference book we loved to look at. It had the coolest pictures and lots of words we couldn’t read. If something was in the big dictionary, it was fact. Period. “In real life,” Fred said, pointing to a picture of a scary bolt in a stormy sky, “Lightning is faster than thunder. But not with horses.”
I really didn’t mind. If Fred’s horse was slightly faster than mine, that was OK. We were a team.
But one day when Fred wanted to play Cowboys and Indians, I’d had enough of losing. Maybe I was growing up.
“I wanna be the cowboy,” I insisted. “You always get to be the cowboy. I always get shot.”
“OK,” Fred said. He didn’t argue or try to convince me to be the Indian. I should have been suspicious. But I’ve always trusted Fred completely. I knew he would never be mean to me.
“OK,” said Fred, again, thinking up a new game. “You can be a General! I’ll be an Indian, ummmm, I’ll be called Crazy Horse.”
“OK!” I said, excitedly. A General! I wasn’t just cowboy. I was gonna be a general!
I blew my bugle, called my troops to arms. My imaginary troops and I rode off on our stallions to fight the Injuns.
I blew my bugle again and my (pretend) troops surrounded me. We heard Indian war whoops from Fred and his Indian braves. Fred/Crazy Horse and his braves came at me, surrounding me and my men on all sides. But I wasn’t worried. I was a general. And even at that age, I knew that the cowboys always win.
And then Fred shot me.
I did not flinch. I did not fall. I did not succumb to my wounds. I screamed bloody murder:
Fred calmed me down and took me by the hand over to the big dictionary. He turned the pages and showed me a picture of a general in a cowboy hat with blond curls. He looked just like me. Except for the mustache (mine grew in many years later).
George Armstrong Custer.
“That’s General Custer,” Fred said. “Crazy Horse killed him. Or Sitting Bull did. Some Indian killed him at the battle of Little Bighorn. The Sioux Indians surrounded General Custer and his men and killed them.”
If it was in a book, in the big dictionary, well then, I had to die. It was right there in black and white with a color picture. It was my fate.
We went back over to the battlefield (the front hall) and started the battle again. Again, I blew my bugle and rallied my troops into a circle around me. Again, the Indians pressed forward, surrounded us.
Again, General Custer got shot. And this time he/I was brave. I clutched my heart, tossed my curls and fell dead.
* * *
I owe my devotion to the underdog and my tendency to look everything up to my big brother, who is still wonderful. Today, I will be visiting my big brother/hero, coincidentally, so I decided to re-run this post.
Because today, June 25th is the 140th Anniversary of the Battle of Little Bighorn.
And speaking once more as General Custer, I deserved exactly what I got.
I have written many posts about my heros. Political heroes like Adlai Stevenson and RFK. People who have spoken up and made a difference. But my current, live version of a hero is Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusets.
Run Donald run. And I don’t mean for office. I mean head for the hills. I imagine there is some real estate for sale somewhere they allow misogynous white has-beens.
You’ve no doubt heard the news from last night.
The GOP voted down four different measures designed to protect you and me. Designed to keep folks on the terror watch list from getting assault weapons. They did this in spite of the fact that:
A new poll from CNN shows 92 percent of Americans support expanded background checks and 85 percent support preventing those on terror watch lists from buying guns. As we’ll explain in the post below, though, none of the below proposals aimed at these things are likely to pass. (Washington Post — https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/06/20/the-senate-will-vote-on-4-gun-control-proposals-monday-heres-everything-you-need-to-know/) Emphasis added.
Senator Chris Murphy, who I am proud to say represents my home state of Connecticut in the Senate said the following:
“We’ve got to make this clear, constant case that Republicans have decided to sell weapons to ISIS,” [Senator Chris] Murphy said, using an alternative term for the Islamic State militant group. “That’s what they’ve decided to do. ISIS has decided that the assault weapon is the new airplane, and Republicans, in refusing to close the terror gap, refusing to pass bans on assault weapons, are allowing these weapons to get in the hands of potential lone-wolf attackers. We’ve got to make this connection and make it in very stark terms.” (Daily Kos — http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/6/21/1540914/–ISIS-has-decided-that-the-assault-weapon-is-the-new-airplane).
Senator Murphy made clear that he will look to November, to make sure that those opposed to gun sanity don’t return to the Senate. That’s just what I’m going to do. So here’s where to start:
All Democrats favored the Democratic version of a bill to restrict assault weapons from folks on the no fly list except the following: Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Jon Tester of Montana, and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. ALL Republicans voted against sensible gun laws except Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) who backed it; he voted with Democrats on all four measures.
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