Mom is Forgetful, School Slaughters and a Definitive Response From ‘Kids’ Shouldn’t Be Glossed Over

Every day since we brought my mother back from the hospital last Wednesday, she has expressed sorrow whenever she reads or sees mention of the 17 students killed at Marjay Stoneman Douglas HS in Pageland, FL. Mom turns 84 on March 1, and while she often asks the same question several times in a single conversation, such forgetfulness is a LOT less acceptable from so many Americans taking a similar “Oh, that’s a terrible thing to hear (again)!” route regarding such carnage, forgetting the last time and thinking this just happened.

God’s honest truth, that there’s an on-going slaughter of people of all ages in places like Chicago or Detroit, including fact that so many of them are black lives lost, isn’t lost on ‘them’. That many in this country beat their breasts over the agony of 17 dead teenagers killed in this school shooting is shown repeatedly on TV, but almost zippo is heard about *constant* death elsewhere isn’t ‘fair’, but I’ll stay with the basics on this.

Paper wraps rock, scissors cut paper,

GUN ends argument.

This problem is pretty much an American deal, because we have TONS of guns, and lots of people who are willing to settle a situation without further ado who will reach for them. Point to that situation in Sweden (years ago) where a gunman killed like 80 kids on an island because he was ONLY one with guns, well, it happened. That cases like England and Australia, where it only took ONE major slaughter to get guns banned effectively enough that it hasn’t happened again, and you wonder what could stop U.S., even with that gnarly deal about ‘well maintained militia…keep and bear arms shall not be abridged.”

SOMEONE has to make a difference, and if kids from the latest massacre want to take up the grail, and others pour in along the way, I’m kind of thinking that’s how both VIETNAM and getting Big Tobacco under control happened. You know what? Throw in *environmental concerns* and civil rights, and you can understand that while its not EASY, concentrated actions by such groups brings results. The first anti-war protesters were labeled cowards, and even when it was obvious the war was just churning out young American corpses at incredible cost of material for an unwinnable situation, it tore families apart, because it was your JOB to support what your country was doing…

The only line where that works now is *politicians* MUST defend guns and the NRA that supplies a high financial incentive to them—pols are reminded that campaign contribution $$ can go to someone else who will watch out for their (NRA) interests more carefully. If Marco Rubio, Republican Senator from Florida, got upset that a 16 year old who lost friends in that school last week braced him with, “Will you say right now that you won’t accept contributions from NRA?” that’s a legitimate question for every one of our representatives in Congress.

Those who (and how ‘bout those bots, getting ‘re-tasked’) smear articulate youths, and declare that the situation has been hijacked by LIBERALS to further anti-gun programs, I declare bs! I’ve worked with HOBY program for years, and the 15-16 yr. old rising juniors ARE that good, and they LISTEN to good counsel. Try to deny them or use stupid arguments your co-workers won’t put up with either, they tune you out and walk away. Stopping guns in schools any way possible is a worthwhile agenda, and they WILL get help from professionals who recognize high schoolers can’t craft legalese enough to get it on anyone’s legislative agenda. That’s not co-opted, that’s *smart*.

It won’t be easy by any stretch, but trying for the Biggest Difference they can imagine counts. Don’t denigrate their efforts, HELP THEM.

Politics? Ehhh–Hanging with Mom at Hospital Takes Most of the Caring I Have


It’s not easy to admit, but politically I’m starting to lose some control of whats been a pretty solid Caring function because its been used up on my Mom. One of the ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ (Covey) is don’t worry about things you can’t affect, and while I haven’t pulled that book off the shelf in a while, I know 90% of the stuff many/most of us worry about will happen no matter what. That’s why ‘effective’ means dealing with things you CAN control, like taking an hour away from TV watching and putting some effort into a novel, or sticking to diet goals by not eating (another) frosted doughnut just because it looks lonely in the box.

Time with Mom in her hospital room hasn’t exactly been productive, but politics, geeez! it seems to come up hourly, in an almost relentlessly negative way. Even Rachel Maddow takes a few moments now and then to mention she knows it sounds a bit repetitive. I’ve busted on CNN because Wolfe and the crew show the same 4-5 clips and repeat the story heard 20 minutes ago because they have LOTS of time to fill, and if you watch more than one of the political shows –with a snarky ‘versus the puppet shows on FOX’– yeah, there’s lots of same old, same old. The Mueller Russia investigation grinds on, and while its good poker playing to not show your cards (HE sure doesn’t), this waiting for Godot feeling ain’t cutting it on the Whoopie! Scale.

It seems like I’m shirking my duty as an American who cares about right and wrong to just shrug

The problem is, it seems like I’m shirking my duty as an American who cares about right and wrong to just shrug about a TON of bizarre stuff out of D.C., especially the exceptionally stupid enabling/stonewalling/stick up for the Prez while cramming a mess of brutal negatives (example A-1 being that $1.5 trillion ‘tax break’) down our– well, the non-1% anyway– collective gullets. Yeah, I know some people got extra $$ in their paychecks from that, but along with rolling back civil rights people *died for* 50 years ago, crushing of environmental regulations that truly made a difference, and hey, more than a whiff of misogyny from guys at the top, how can numbly “letting him do the job he was elected to do” be legitimate, liars and Russian bots be extra damned?

Bottom line, what *possible reason* could there be for not wanting to get to the bottom of what is clearly a blatant, documented interference in our election process?

Is there an alternative? Olympics watching maybe, but what about at work? I’m not generally a whiner, but a couple blowhards/apologists/cretin-y Trump-eteers, or even a Demo-centric ‘did you hear?’ conversation just rrrrrs! me. Offer it up for Lent? Sounds whack, doesn’t it? I haven’t done that suffering bit in quite a while, but hey, stop my beer drinking is not a *real* option. A lot of information to be gained from watching triple headers on multiple channels to prepare for upcoming March Madness, y’know, and water with all those chips (but no politics) just doesn’t seem right. I’m doing some volunteer work for Reading Buddies, but that won’t affect politics, nor will getting back to bicycle riding with my new knee, because there is plenty of time to think about things beyond shifting gears on 10-12 mile rides.

Curling up in a ball and just taking it? Naah, that’s useless to the max.

So, my decision is to focus on writing, working on a fantasy world and events I *can* control. I knocked out 50,000 words for annual NaNoRiMo event on November mornings  while working crazy graveyard shift hours, and getting three chapters edited and sent to a couple publishers by the end of the month is legit. I KNOW my heroine (Marlena the Magnificent) will pull her fiancee’s bacon out of the fire in time, because while his getting kidnapped sort of messed up the week before their marriage, I have an exciting and righteous path already laid out.

America, good luck to the rest of you about having things work out as necessary– I’ve got Mom and Edgar Allan ‘Poe’ Starkes to think about.