What am I going to write about?

“I read the news today oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well I just had to laugh”

“A Day in the Life” – Lennon/McCartney – from “Sgt. Peppers” – 1967

There is so much going on in the world today that it is hard to pick a topic.

The passing of Senator Byrd and the posthumous right wing attacks on him? (Expected.) The situation with North Korea and demands, after sixty years that we withdraw our troops. (Where have you been for the last six decades?) Panetta’s comments about Iran. (Let’s start another war!) McChrystal? (No, he doesn’t have “freedom of speech.”) Jobs? (No kidding, it’s bad, but “we messed up, so vote for us!” doesn’t seem like a real good idea.) Kagan? (Dang, just confirm her and STFU!) Congress? (Yeah, they suck, but they are all we have.) Biden calls someone a smartass? (Damn, who wudda thunk it?) World Cup Soccer? (Beat that one to death already.)

My allergies? (Pfffffft! Ah-choo!) Cookie? (Doing better, groomed her myself so she is a bit cooler, too.) Weird pets? (The tubes aren’t big enough to tell all the stories about my weird pets!)

The weather? (Like that is a story?) Kansas? (It’s red and kinda flat.)

The SCOTUS gun decision yesterday? (Nope, saw that one coming a mile away.) Brownback, Tiahrt, Moran, Hartman, et al? (We have the loons by the bushel and peck.) Wichita? (Shoot, we are doing just okay despite ourselves.)

So, what should I write about today?

There is definitely a great surplus of topics that are on my mind and the minds of many others today.  Our warp-speed communication systems put everything on the table before we can even recognize that there is a table to put it on.  Dang, if you are bored, you can watch a live stream of the oil gushing on the floor of the Gulf. There is even a link available to watch the entire Isner – Mahut Wimbledon match on video – all eleven hours and five minutes of it.

The world, as we know it all to well, is a crazy place. What’s on your mind today?


William Stephenson Clark

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39 Comments

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39 responses to “What am I going to write about?

  1. 6176746f6c6c65

    The Eagle beat me to it today. Over the weekend, I had realized that the proposed dates for River Festival were in conflict with several other “important” events in the community/area and was still trying to enumerate the most obvious when I opened today’s paper to read the article. Just more evidence of the need to move fast, accuracy and completeness be damned.

  2. Yesterday’s SCOTUS decision that federal law trumps state law seemed to be one of those, “Well, duh…” moments to me.

    Of course those who have a greater interest in guns are more interested in what this expected ruling may bring in the future. The Daily Beast has a piece they title, “The Most Armed States” which shows where those who may have that greater interest live with a list of 51 beginning with most armed (includes Wash DC).

    They begin by explaining how they arrived at their list, as follows:

    “There is no federal agency or clearinghouse that monitors the sale or ownership of guns.

    But based on background checks performed by the FBI, there were more than 14 million gun-purchasing transactions in 2009—10 percent more than in 2008. Of course, a person buying three guns in a single transaction is vetted by a single background check, so the volume of background checks does not illustrate the total number of guns purchased, or the total number of people who bought a gun. Still, the statistics on background checks provide the most accurate window into the localities where the firearm industry is flourishing.

    Those statistics show a country divided. If you want see how a state votes, it seems, just check out its gun ownership: All 10 of the most armed states voted for John McCain in 2008. All 10 of the least armed (including the District of Columbia) voted for Barack Obama.

    For our rankings, we considered state data from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System data for the last 18 months. We divided the number of background checks by each state’s population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2009 estimates.

    One stipulation: States are not completely consistent in reporting of NICS data. Some states use the system for background checks on purchases on the secondary market and others do not. As well, Kentucky implemented monthly NICS checks on concealed weapons, which has inflated its numbers.”

    And they provide the list here.

    • indypendent

      And these lists do not include all those gun sales ‘off the record’.

      I am not against people having guns – but what I would like to see is making people responsible for their guns.

      If Americans are selling their guns to the Mexicans druggies on the border and then the same Americans complain about the violence on the border – are they not a part of the problem?

      • Most of the comments to the article have to do with how silly it is to use background checks to get a list of where the guns are. Seems everyone thinks most guns are owned without paying any attention to that ‘small hurdle of inconvenience.’

      • GMC70

        Actually, fnord, I will buy a firearm from private individuals rather than from a dealer when possible for just that reason. No paper.

        And yes, it’s entirely legal. And no, it’s not a “gun show loophole;” same does not exist. That “loophole” is entirely the fantasy of the Brady Bunch and Bloomberg.

        There is no national gun registration, and one is barred by law, though some consider the NICS records a back-door registration. Moreover, aside from a few cities/states, there is no state registration of firearms in the vast majority of states.

        As it should be.

        Why would you or anyone else want to know “where the guns are?” I know exactly where mine are; the rest are not my business.

        The only thing startling by yesterday’s opinion (and I don’t know why I should be surprised) is that four justices ignored the language of the Constitution, the 14th Amendment, and history and precedent and held that American citizens’ right to self-defense (and ultimately their right to self-government) was subject to the whims of state and local governments. They should be ashamed.

  3. GMC70

    In a larger sense, there have been four landmark decisions in recent years which were directly about our liberties: Kelo, (property rights, which was wrongly decided IMHO); Heller, Citizens United, and now McDonald.

    In all four, the liberal wing was against liberty.

    I hear a lot about how liberals are about “freedom” and conservatives are “fascists” who seek to take away our liberties.

    It appears reality is just the opposite.

    • WSClark

      Ah, that is a rather broad brush you are painting with, GMC.

      • GMC70

        Yea it is, WS. But I don’t always have to be fair, do I?

        Berhaps a better dividing line (than “liberal/conservative) in many cases is “authoritarian-leaning” vs. “liberty leaning.” Personally, I think each action gov’t takes should be viewed in the context of a presumption of liberty; under what Constitutional authority is the action taken, and how does this action deal with a real problem in a way permitted by that constitution. The burden should not be on individuals to demonstrate an act to be unconstitutional (the current standard; actions by legislatures are presumed to be constitutional absent a showing otherwise), rather it should be on the State to show the action to be both constitutional and a needful infringment of liberty.

        But that’s just me.

        And fnord, I don’t know any “conservatives” who are the straw men you claim them to be. I know of few who claim to know who is “moral” or not. However, I know many liberals who claim exactly that.

        Finally – indy: if you can show me ANY evidence that gun control decreases “gun violence,” I’ll eat my hat. Evidence seems to suggest just the opposite; the gun control mecca of Chicago is now the nation’s murder capital. Moreover, we know that rights have costs. The cost of a 1st amendment is tolerating views we find intolerable. The cost of a 4th amendment is less efficient crime deterrence. The cost of a 5th amendment is that criminals sometimes “get off” due to failures of due process.

        The cost of a 2nd amendment (constantly reminding government that it is the people who govern, not the State, as gov’ts left to their own devices always trend toward tyrrany) may be some “gun violence.” The reality, of course, is that a gun is not violent at all – it is a tool, nothing more. It is inanimate. It is people who are violent, and they have been so from the beginning of time, with or without firearms. That will never change, this side of heaven.

      • WSClark

        Ah, a good debate, no doubt.

        As I have stated on that other blog, I view most control proposals with a wary eye, considering most to be perhaps well intentioned, but naive.

        I don’t reduce it to the bumper sticker “guns don’t kill people, yada, yada” but I find most legitimate gun owners to be responsible people. I consider myself to be one of them, at least when it comes to the gun I own.

        What frustrates me, and I have stated it before, the Constitution is not all inclusive and therefore is open to interpretation, and therein is the rub. It is not all black and white, open and shut.

        Some laws are clearly unconstitutional before the ink has even dried. Others can be debated for decades by legal scholars from many points of view.

        A State Senator in Arizona proposes to require the parents proof of citizenship for a baby born in the US to be considered an American citizen. The 14th Amendment clearly states just the opposite.

        A City Council in Chicago bans guns. In my view, clearly a violation of the 2nd Amendment.

        Both, it can be argued, are well intentioned.

        But both are unconstitutional.

      • GMC70

        Good points, WS.

        I am not a 2nd Am. absolutist. No right is absolute. And yes, the 2nd is going to have the equivalent of “time/place/manner” regulations.

        But consider this. I have little doubt that most if not all Americans believe in the abstract in the 1st amendment, even if we part company in its application to a particular set of facts. In other words, we agree in principle, but not always on just what are the limits of “time/place/manner.”

        Unfortunately, I cannot accept that same overwhelming support in principle for the 2nd Am. exists, at least among the governing class. Many mouth the words they “support” the 2nd am. while pursuing policies hostile to it (B. Obama comes to mind). Or they support a 2nd Am that is so watered down with regulations and limitations that is ceases to be a right, but a privilege to be granted by the governing class. A right one must beg for from his masters is not a right at all.

        Thus every proposed regulation, every proposed limitation will be met my myself, and many, with hostility. We DO NOT accept the good intentions of those doing the proposing. There are already more than enough regulations and limitations on the books. Few actions are as closely regulated as purchasing a firearm. Moreover, the governing class and their compliant media have for decades embarked on a campaign to treat firearms, and those who own them, as “dirty” or “bad.”

        An illustration: we have sex ed. in schools. Great. As we should. However, we live in a society with more firearms than people; for better or worse, most people will at some point in their lives come into the presence of firearms (many don’t even know it). Firearms are tools that, like many tools, if handled ignorantly can do great harm. Do we teach firearms safety? No. Instead we have ridiculous “zero tolerance” policies which have elementary kids expelled for gluing toy soldiers to their hats. Don’t kid yourselves – zero tolerance policies aren’t there for the safety of kids, they are there to teach that firearms are “bad” – SO bad we can’t even think about them! (And they provide cover for cowardly administrators).

        When that social context changes, when firearms and those who own them are treated as normal, when the hoplophobia and bigotry stops, and when the acceptance of the 2nd Am. and its underlying rationale becomes as widely accepted both among the population and the governing class as the 1st; THEN, perhaps, I will become a bit less hostile to even the hint of additional regulation and limitation.

        Because, to be blunt, at this point I don’t trust the motives of the regulators. I cannot accept that these regulations are “well-intentioned.”

        And make no mistake – we will not disarm. Ever.

        And WS – “the GUN I own?” Singular? That’s too bad. If you know how many you have, you don’t have enough! 😉

  4. indypendent

    I am not for any bans of any kind – because they simply do not work.

    But at the same time, our country does have a track record of gun violence.

    At what time does the country have the right to somehow decrease the gun violence and how exactly do those Conservatives who love their liberties so much think that gun violence should be decreased?

    • Let em have stockpiles of guns and even larger amounts of ammo! Don’t we need money moving around to help stimulate our economy!?

      I have a bunch of flowers and saw that the nearby Ace Hardware is having a half price off sale since it got so hot and difficult to take care of their parking lot plants. I see more flowers in my future! 😉

  5. indypendent

    While we are talking about taking liberties – just why do Conservatives think they have the right to amend the Constitution to institute their ban on gay marriage?

    But yet they still profess to be liberty-loving Americans?

    • Ya know, cause they’re so moral and they get to decide (judge) who is immoral and all that stuff. ::eye roll::

      • Freebird1971

        Anyone has the right to propose an amendment to the Constitution but getting one passed is not easy. I’m pleased that the designers had the foresight to make amending the Constitution a long and difficult process. An amendment banning gay marriage IMHO is doomed.

  6. indypendent

    Freebird – you’re right and I’m glad that amendment process is a difficult hurdle to jump.

    If was easy, then we would have all kinds of amendments to the Constitution simly based on the political whims of the ruling party at the time.

    But when Conservatives suggest that they, and only they, are the ones that are protecting our liberties – then that is when I question their motives – as to exactly whose liberties are they really fighting for – theirs or every American citizen?

    • Freebird1971

      Indy,
      There are times when I question the motives of both sides.

      • indypendent

        I question both parties also but as I’ve said before, at least the Democrats are not hypocrits when they lie – they outright lie. Republicans like to try to act like backsliding Christians – oops, I got caught.

  7. “And fnord, I don’t know any “conservatives” who are the straw men you claim them to be. I know of few who claim to know who is “moral” or not.”

    It’s really nice for you that you don’t know any of those people — they are real pain in the ass types and no one enjoys being around them.

    • indypendent

      I know alot of those pain in the ass conservatives. These are the people who are so concerned about everyone’s bedroom activities but are oblivious to their own leaders’ fidelity-challenged characteristics.

  8. indypendent

    Finally – indy: if you can show me ANY evidence that gun control decreases “gun violence,” I’ll eat my hat.

    And where did I say that gun control did decrease gun violence?

    All I did was ask the question about how the gun violence can be decreased. I hear the Conservatives get their panties all in a bunch because someone dares to think there are way too many guns in our country – but I NEVER hear one suggestion from Conservatives as to how to decrease the gun violence in our country.

    I was asking a question but if this debate cannot even be discussed without someone asking for proof of everything that was NOT said – then what’s the point of even discussing this issue?

    Conservatives have their side and the Gun Control people have their side – and as those two sides fight it out – our country is getting more and more violent.

    • indypendent

      BTW – if you will notice – I said I did NOT believe in bans of any kind – simply because they don’t work.

      So what part of that do you get where I am trying to prove gun control works to decrease gun violence?

  9. It’s pretty ridiculous that we can’t even talk about guns without being accused of being against them.

    President Obama has done nothing that could lead anyone to a belief that he intends to limit gun ownership. Oh, I’ve heard all the silly arguments about he said this and this and this., he wants to do this and this and this. No actions! Zero, zilch, nada! Same thing happened during the Clinton Administration. Bunch of baseless accusations and fear of what never happened and was never threatened.

    We hear everyday about the high taxes and taking away guns philosophy of the Democratic Party. And I’m sick of the baseless paranoia! Americans right now live in a country that is taxed less and has fewer restrictions on gun ownership than it did under George W. Bush. Those are facts and reality!

    Fear and hate are cheap and easy recruiting tools. The common goal should be long-term crime control, not perpetuating paranoid fantasies for short-term political gain. The reality is that fighting gun crime aggressively does not have to be inconsistent with the individual right to bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment. Even the National Rifle Association strongly supports increased mandatory sentencing for gun crimes. And New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg now acknowledges that licensed guns are rarely used by their owners to commit crimes. We can protect the right of legal gun owners while dramatically ramping up prosecution and penalties for illegal gun trafficking, possession and any crimes committed with a gun.

    We could do this more effectively if we could hold a conversation without exaggerations and the inability to agree on a common set of facts.

    • I think anyone who wants to spend money on guns that could instead be spent on flowers doesn’t share the same interests as me. And that’s about all I think of that person with regard to their guns. Pretty inane to attach anything critical to those thoughts, don’t you think?

    • GMC70

      I’ll just agree to disagree about Obama’s intentions, fnord. What prevents Obama from more restrictions is not “good intentions,” but political reality. He doesn’t have the votes, and every time Democrats go after gun it costs them at the polls.

      The reality is that fighting gun crime aggressively does not have to be inconsistent with the individual right to bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

      I agree. So why is the first answer out of the Democratic party so often additional restrictions on those who didn’t commit the crimes – lawful owners?

      I’ll agree as to each of the other suggestions, save one. I will not accept any sort of “licensing” or registration of firearms (excepting concealed carry). The only purpose is to create a database, and the only reason for such a database is to confiscate, at some point.

      Until the leaders of the governing class have some credibility on the issue of truly believing in the 2nd Am., we will accept no more regulations whatsoever. None.

      The fact of the matter is that most of the suggestions you offer (higher penalties for crimes committed with guns) now exist.

      And indy: I know plenty of those pain in the ass liberals, who believe they know what’s best for me, and are determined to decide for me how to live my life every day.

      “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
      – C.S. Lewis

      “The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”
      – H.L. Mencken

  10. itolduso

    “At what time does the country have the right to somehow decrease the gun violence and how exactly do those Conservatives who love their liberties so much think that gun violence should be decreased”

    Most violent actions are violations of state law, although there are circumstances that mandate federal authority. The best ways to reduce violence is to:

    1. Make punishment swift and sure.

    2. Help those with substance abuse issues to resolve those issues. (however, this must be conditioned on the substance abuser’s cooperation)

    3. Spend the funds to investigate and put a stop to those groups who use violence as a tool

    3. Make punishment swift and sure.

    • One of the most difficult conundrums for me — substance abusers are sick; helping substance abusers depends on their cooperation.

      As I sit here typing the above sentence I realize that if I change ‘substance abusers’ to cancer victims and know that treatments are available but the cancer victim must avail themselves of them it makes more sense.

      Sick people who need to cooperate in order to benefit from available treatments that may help them get well.

    • indypendent

      #2 – and exactly whose taxes are you going to raise to pay for this?

  11. indypendent

    And indy: I know plenty of those pain in the ass liberals, who believe they know what’s best for me, and are determined to decide for me how to live my life every day.

    And where did I say there were NOT any pain in the ass liberals? Again – you are trying to prove something that I never said.

    As for Obama’s intentions about taking guns away – that is your perception of the man.

    And your perception may or may not be the actual truth – that is why it is called perception.

    • indypendent

      If you want to go on perceptions of people – my perception of the Right-winger Conservative Republicans are nothing more than snake oil salesmen dressed up like Evangelical Christians who want to dictate all aspects of Americans’ lives.

      Does this make all Conservative Repblicans the same snake oil salesmen?

      But, I’ll take your advice and until I am proven wrong about their ‘intentions’, I will keep on thinking they are all snake oil salesmen dressed up like Evangelical Christians.

  12. indypendent

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”
    – H.L. Mencken

    Interesting choice of a quote to use. Let’s see – the urge to save humanity could be said about those Right-winger Conservative Republicans I was referencing above as being those Evangelical Christians out to ‘save everyone from Hell’.

    So from your quote – I am to conclude that these people want to rule?

  13. It is certainly no more stretch to voice all the ‘perceptions’ you list, Indy, than it is to continue with perpetuating paranoid fantasies of what President Obama might do with regard to guns for nothing more than short-term political gain and ratcheting up the fear and hate.

    Until there is the opportunity to communicate without these gross exaggerations there will be no compromise.

    • indypendent

      I always have to wonder if these same folks that believe Democrats are out to get their guns never realized that it was George W. Bush and fellow Republicans that were the ones changing just how deep into Americans’ lives the government could go.

      These gun supporters all scream about losing their freedom and liberties but yet it was a Republican president that pushed through the warrantless wiretapping and that Patriot Act.

      I wonder if these Republicans realized that GWB gave himself the power to order any American held indefinitely simply based on Bush declaring that person to be an enemy combatant.

      That is one scary thought – one person has that much power but yet these same Republicans that proudly supported GWB are against Obama on their perception of his ‘intentions’ to take their guns away.

      Bush told us outright that he would take our freedom away – so what good is a stockpile of guns if your butt is in jail indefinitely based on one man’s say-so?

      • My biggest complaint about President Obama is that he hasn’t reversed all that power! He said he would, he hasn’t and it makes me angry!

        The Republicans I’ve heard mention all these abuses of power either go straight to criticizing President Obama for not reversing those actions or excuse it away in some sort of ‘national security, strong military, make sure everyone is afraid’ way.

        If living in fear is necessary, I really am ready to check out. What an absolutely ludicrous way to live!

      • In fact, many of them criticize President Obama while praising bush for keeping us safe — same tools, they criticize one using them and praise the other.

  14. indypendent

    I’ll agree as to each of the other suggestions, save one. I will not accept any sort of “licensing” or registration of firearms (excepting concealed carry). The only purpose is to create a database, and the only reason for such a database is to confiscate, at some point

    But as we were talking yesterday – there are off-the record gun sales. So just go find yourself a gun sale off the record and buy as many guns as you desire.

    What’s stopping you?

  15. indypendent

    Obama did say he would reverse those executive powers and he has not done so – at least that I am aware of at this moment.

    You’re right about Republicans – they praised Bush for having those powers and criticize Obama for having them.

    But what did they think was going to happen? Once the genie is let out of the bottle, it ain’t ever gonna go back in.