Saturday, March 17, 2018

War games and military patches

I think of the Strategic Air Command as a super-serious military enterprise.

The U.S. Army Air Forces established the Strategic Air Command (SAC) on March 21, 1946, for the specific purpose of executing “long-range offensive operations in any part of the world, either independently or in co-operation with land and naval forces,” writes Roger Launius in his blog.

But when you worked for the SAC, you got to wear this cute patch that looks like a comic book character--Superman?  Batman? 

Men and their war games and uniforms...

Monday, February 19, 2018

Never Again gains momentum

Firearm buy-back program in Australia after 1996 shooting
Australians said NEVER AGAIN, and they meant it.  No mass shootings have occurred there in the last 20 years, since Australia passed strong gun control laws.

Here's a report on upcoming gun control marches:

March 14

March 24 -- Washington D.C. and around the country

April 20

See also this earlier organization called Never Again:

The Facebook page for these students' activism against guns:

Marjory Stoneman Douglas--Hooray!

Marjory Stoneman at Wellesley College, 1912

Let's honor her--not the shooting on Feb. 14, not the high school named for her.

Remember Marjory Stoneman Douglas :

  • born 1890 in Minnesota

  • died 1998 - 108 years old

  • fighter for women's suffrage

  • age 30 when US women got the right to vote

  • supporter of Equal Rights Amendment

  • Quaker family ties to movement for abolition of slavery

  • graduate of Wellesley College, 1912

  • served with American Red Cross in WWI

  • journalist for The Miami Herald - Asst. Editor in the 1920s 

  • well-known in S. Florida as freelance writer and short story writer

  • author of The Everglades: River of Grass - 1947

  • at age 79, asked to help preserve the Everglades, not drain and build on it

  • awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1993 by Pres. Bill Clinton

  • ACLU member

  • supporter of migrant farm workers in Florida

Read this fascinating account of her life in Wikipedia:

Among other things, it describes her mother's mental health crises and death from breast cancer while Marjory was in college.  In 1915 she went to live with her father. Wikipedia says:  Her father, Frank Stoneman, was the first publisher of the paper that later became The Miami Herald.

A nugget from the Wikipedia bio:
She wrote a ballad in the 1920s lamenting the death of a 22-year-old vagrant who was beaten to death in a labor camp, titled "Martin Tabert of North Dakota is Walking Florida Now". It was printed in The Miami Herald, and read aloud during a session of the Florida Legislature, which passed a law banning convict leasing, in large part due to her writing.[23] "I think that's the single most important thing I was ever able to accomplish as a result of something I've written", she wrote in her autobiography.[30]

See her autobiography, published when she was 97 years old:
  • Marjory Stoneman Douglas: Voice of the River. with John Rothchild. Pineapple Press, Inc. 1987.

Biographical sketch in the NY Times:

Saturday, February 17, 2018

To the NRA: Your nose is in a hornets' nest.

Watch out, NRA.  The surviving students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are going to bring you down.  And they may bring you down, too, potus45.

The victims--photos:

The political energy of the survivors:

These survivors are angry.  As I tweeted earlier this morning:

The NRA better not fight common sense gun legislation... Marjory Stoneman Douglas is now a hornets' nest. These smart students have been attacked and will fight back for their fallen friends. Run and hide, supporters of AR-15s and AK-47s.

Thank you to for this report on the front page of today's New York Times.

They quote Delaney Tarr, one of the surviving students at Stoneman Douglas High:

“I’ve been told these protocols for years,” she said. “My sister is in middle school — she’s 12 — and in elementary school, she had to do code red drills.”
This is life for the children of the mass shooting generation. They were born into a world reshaped by the 1999 attack at Columbine High School in Colorado, and grew up practicing active shooter drills and huddling through lockdowns. 
These kids are going to shake up the gun-toting establishment, both the NRA and the Republican Party.  Their activism will cause more cracks in the shakey platform still holding up the dt presidency.

The new organization, No NRA Money, will knock some of these NRA supporters out of office.

See this column by Margaret Sullivan on the energetic student response in the Washington Post:

See also the commentary by Ron  Brownstein on CNN, "How Gun Control Advocates Could Break the NRA's Blockade" from last October:

Brownstein two days ago -

Take the pledge! No NRA money  --

Joy Reid quoting the Bible again

I loved hearing Joy Reid this morning on AM Joy. She quoted the Bible, specifically the first letter of John.

I think it was 1 John 3:17-18... "How does God's love abide in anyone who has the world's goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action."

Reid was supporting calls for action on gun control following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

"Thoughts and prayers" are not enough from Congress, she was saying. We need concrete action to make sure mentally ill persons cannot legally purchase AK-47s and AR-15s.

There's a new way to take action against the NRA, explained Nadine Smith, a guest on AM Joy, about a new national campaign called No NRA Money. It's so new that it doesn't have a website yet, but see

No NRA Money advocates that Congressmen/women, and the general public should make these two pledges:
1) A pledge by Congressmen that they will not take NRA money.
2) A pledge by voters that they will not vote for any person who takes any NRA money.

"This is the moment the time changes," said Burns.

She made an aside to Pastor Mark Burns, who last month supported dt's use of the word asshole to refer to certain nations. See the blog post by Sean Colarossi.

Colarossi concludes that dt supporters should stop defending dt "under the guise of religion. There is not a holy book on the face of the planet – certainly not the Bible – that can justify Trump’s words or deeds."

I started tweeting Reid's quote and comments on the need for gun control--but soon found out that Russian bots are sending out hundreds of tweets, drowning my few efforts.

Thus my efforts to respond to the school shooting led me back to the other major story of the week, the Mueller indictments against Russians and Russian-organized groups in the US.

Life is getting more complicated by the day.

Watch the whole AM Joy show today:
It's worth it!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Elizabeth Warren and Native Americans

Elizabeth Warren, official portrait, 114th Congress.jpg

When you're born and raised in Oklahoma, and your family has been there for a few generations, chances are you have some Native American blood.

Most Americans like to think the Indians were all killed and are gone forever, except in Old West films. 

People like dt can only name 2-3 Indians in American history and have no idea how complex the history is regarding native people and how some intermarried with settlers and many survived as still full-blooded Navajos, Lakota, Sioux, and other groups.  

Thank you to Elizabeth Warren for beginning a campaign to educate the public on her own mixed heritage and on US history.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Woman's life or unborn child?

Albert Wynn with Gloria Feldt

"No woman is required to build the world by destroying herself."  - Rabbi Moshe Sofer, chief rabbi of Pressburg (now Bratislava), who lived 1763-1839).

Gloria Feldt,president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America from 1996 to 2005, wrote  The War on Choice: The Right-Wing Fight on Women's Choice and How To Fight Back (Bantam, 2004).  

On p. 110 she discusses Rabbi Sofer's decision that the life of the woman takes precedence in cases where a woman in labor cannot deliver and will die unless the unborn child is somehow removed.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A happy new year... without Trump?

Richard Painter on MSNBC Jan. 3

"I think the game's up for Donald Trump."

Thus spoke my television the moment I turned it on this morning, January 3, 2008.

The voice was Richard Painter speaking on MSNBC about reports in The Fire and the Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff, not yet released but seen by The Guardian.

What a new year's present!  

Wolff quotes Steve Bannon speaking about the meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in Trump Tower in June, 2016:

 “Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.”

Bannon also speculated that Trump Jr had involved his father in the meeting. “The chance that Don Jr did not walk these jumos up to his father’s office on the twenty-sixth floor is zero.”

This year I'm not concerned to post on this blog every day about the latest impeachment-worthy words or deeds of dt.  I don't need to work hard to impeach him--he's doing the work himself.

The POTUS lies to cover-up the true nature of the meeting constitute obstruction of justice.  Trump will be impeached when the Mueller team release their report and charges.  Let's hope it all comes down in 2018.

Richard Painter is  the vice-chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
Painter was the chief White House ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administrationfrom 2005–2007. Since January 2017, he has been involved in the CREW lawsuit against President Donald Trump (CREW v. Trump). The suit alleges that Trump is in violation of the U.S. Constitution's emoluments clause, due to his refusal to sell assets and put others in a blind trust.   *Thank you, Wikipedia.