Another Day, Another Hail of Bullets

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John Liming takes a look at the latest gun shooting to hit the news and writes on the importance of electing Democrats into office before sensible gun laws can ever be enacted.

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Is it just me or is this kind of thing becoming more and more commonplace in America?

So when we send our kids to school this morning is there a possibility they won’t come home tonight?

Is the kind of America we are becoming and is it the kind of America you want for yourself and your generations?

October 21, 2013 came and went in Sparks, Nevada and a shooter at a Middle School opened fire with a gun, killed a staff member who was trying to protect students and then turned the gun on himself and ended the tragedy.

The shooter was reported to have been a student at the school and so far I haven’t heard a word about what the motive for the shooting might have been.

There were apparently a lot of eyewitness reports on the local news out there in Nevada and all the usual talk about how sad everybody was about the “Horrific” event – – – but I will almost guarantee that there isn’t going to be all that much discussion about the tragedy in the Halls of Congress.

The reason I don’t believe there is going to be all that much noise raised in Congress about this particular horrible event is that I think some of the big gun interests have more or less caused all that to be tamped down now and Americans are supposed to accept all these gun-related tragedies as both “unpreventable” and part of the “new norm” – – – or some such crazy shit as that.

If the government that is supposed to protect its citizens can’t even agree on a budget or on government spending without shutting down completely until some wing nuts get their way about things, how in the Hell do you even imagine the government is going to be able to do anything about gun violence?

Republicans, wing nuts, radical righties and all the gun nuts are more than likely more than pleased this morning that there is damned little possibility the Fed or anybody else is going to get their two cents worth in about these kinds of senseless tragedies.

“Gotta Pertek Them Secund Mendmunt Rights” after all – – – right folks?

“Ain’t No Way To Prevent Them Gun-Shooting Tragedies” – – – right folks?

“The Best Way To Pertek Agin Guns Is To Have More Guns” – – – right folks?

“Big Gubmint” has been there and done that and all attempts to get gun violence control legislation have completely failed in The United States – – – for the time being!

You see folks – – – I think we are living in a time and place when “Guns” are far more important than the people who are killed because of them.  What other impression could anybody have than something like that seeing all the resistance the big money, the gun lobbies and the dumb assed radical righties have put up against getting anything done to prevent this kind of awful crap from happening?

Well – – no need to go on blathering about that subject, I guess!  What the hell good does it do to talk about it?  Let’s all just put our heads in the goddamned sand and maybe there won’t be any more of these dreadful events in the uncertain future.

I mean after all folks, we gotta perteck them there secund mendmunt rights at all costs, don’t we?  I don’t think these kinds of things even make an impression on wing nuts because I think if they did, the wing nuts would be doing something about them – – – unless it is as I have always suspected . . .the wing nuts don’t have a clue about how to govern.

And that raises another question in my mind – – – “If they don’t know how to govern, what the Hell are they doing sitting in cushy elected offices in Washington and in various state houses around the country?

I personally think America is better than that, deserves better than that and can do one helluva lot better than that!

The next chance to make improvements on our “Gubmint” comes in 2014 and 2016.  Mark your calendars!

 

- John Liming

 

John publishes American Liberal Times
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What Would Thomas Jefferson Say About Today’s Education System?

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John Liming takes on more conservative bullshit. Enjoy.

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A Rightie I ran into asked me this question, “How do you think Thomas Jefferson would have viewed our educational system as it is today?

In talking at some length with this “Conservative” it occurred to me that his thrust was going to be that old Tom would have disapproved of the way Public Education is run today.

The Rightie’s argument soon turned into the proposition that the Fed and the State should have no part in education at all but that it is something that should be done strictly by parents at home or by small independent school districts where anyone would be free to teach anything they wanted to teach – – regardless of whether it might be right or wrong – – religious or secular – – but hopefully religious!”

My immediate thought on hearing this from the rightie was, “Yeah . . let the dumb teach so that the kids can aspire to their level of inefficiency and insufficiency and rise to the level of whoever is doing the teaching.  Or – – yes, let the blind lead the blind. Privatize all education so that a million different ideas of how things are or are supposed to be – – most of them in conflict with one another – – can be the end result of such a disorganized and scatter-brained educational system.  Great f**king idea, there rightie!”

What do I think old Thomas Jefferson would think of our educational system as it is today?

I think old Thomas Jefferson would be so bewildered and confused by all the sights, scents and sounds of the modern world that he would be totally addle-brained in no time at all and would have nothing to say about it that makes any sense for the simple reason that I don’t think he would understand any of it.  Time has moved on since his era and the complexity of things has increased exponentially since he was a prominent figure – – He and his ideas about education would be totally archaic and out of touch.  That is what I think Thomas Jefferson would think of our education system – – he wouldn’t think about it because he wouldn’t know how to think about it.

He probably wouldn’t be able to operate a computer, drive a car or boil water on an electric stove either – – until he underwent a little post-graduate work of his own, I would suspect.  I think he might view the common telephone as demon-possessed and the flush toilet as noisy, inconvenient and possibly dangerous – –  for the first few months of his resurrection anyway.

My God!  I just realized that I have just now described quite a few Righties!

Oops!

It doesn’t matter anyway what he would have thought of it because I don’t think America is dumb enough to let the right-turds regress the educational system back to the stone ages for the sake of some neanderthalithic  prehistoric right-assed principle.

The right-wad asked; I answered.

 

-John Liming

 

(John publishes the American Liberal Times)
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Minimum Wage – Yes or No?

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Our good friend John Liming takes on the issue of minimum wage and the right’s mission to abolish it…or, short of that, to get it as ridiculously low as they possibly can.

Go get ‘em, John.

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Some of the Righties will tell you, “Raising the minimum wage will not help lift people out of poverty – it has never worked and it never will because we already live in a welfare state and the more you “give” to people the more they expect to be given.”

So I am assuming here that a lot of Righties – especially the obscenely rich ones who own businesses that -  employ – people are among that howling number opposing any raise in the so-called “minimum wage.”

Can you hear it now – “I don’t need no damned Gubmint telling me what I have to pay people to work for me!?”

Some Righties argue that raising the minimum wage will not do a thing to help people escape the bonds of poverty because they say that few minimum wage workers are actually – poor to begin with.

O.K. -  so now I am waiting for somebody to tell me how many minimum wage workers they know who are – rich!  If they are not poor then they either have to be rich or absolutely destitute – well below the description of “Poor.”  It has to be one or the other; it can’t be both!

So I do not know because I am not a mind reader – but I will assume that if Rightie thinks the minimum wage does not help the poor because most people who earn minimum wage are not poor to begin with – then the answer that Rightie must be thinking about is to make the minimum wage earners who are not poor to begin with actually become poor – and then the minimum wage might help them.  Is this the story here?

That makes some sense to me because I have always viewed the radical righties as being more than willing and capable of making people poor and poor people even poorer by passing laws to cut off their government benefit programs.  Yes – the line of reasoning does make some sense in what I consider to be a sort of – strange – way.

So if the right wing ideal of what a minimum wage should be is anywhere near close to being what I think it might be – then the resultant minimum wage under a Rightie set-up would be Zero Dollars per hour – how about doing a little bartering here employees?  Anyone interested in working 40 hours a week for some coupons to the local big box store?

For those who argue that minimum wage jobs are usually reserved for those who work at entry-level positions and that raises above the minimum wage are usually in the crystal ball for such workers, then the righties who argue this way might have made a point.  I can see a worker who has been making $7.50 an hour suddenly getting an increase from his or her more than generous Rightie boss to $7.53 an hour – can’t you?

When I worked for a Rightie boss who owned a small manufacturing plant a few years ago – my yearly union-negotiated yearly raises were about 3 cents an hour – and need I mention that as the years went by I was required to pay increasingly larger shares of my insurance plan until the 3 cent raises were soon eaten up and gone forever?

So here is the deal as far as I see it:

If Rightie gets his or her way  – and the minimum wage gets ultimately shit-canned – there is hope on the horizon:

The worker can always turn to food stamps – housing vouchers – low-income rental units – emergency room medical care – meals at city missions – earned income tax credits – and all kinds of goodies supposedly freely available from Uncle Gubmint.

People who spend long hours searching through garbage  often find things that have been discarded – things that can be cleaned up and sold at a flea market booth or something -  right?  Good old Right Wing self-sufficiency -  something that can be built with an individual’s own two hands -  without any help from anybody – especially “Gubmint.”

I have seen some pretty scrubby-looking dudes tooling around my neighborhoods in broken-down old trucks hauling away things people have placed at curbside for the regular garbage guys to come and get.  I have often thought to myself as I watched some of these apparently un-washed in their junk-yard-ready conveyances – “Gee!  Those must be loyal Righties exercising some of those good old conservative values of “doing it myself and getting it done!”

May I add here that even though I found the images I was observing interesting – I did not feel any pangs of envy.

I am predicting – without having the foggiest notion of what I am talking about – that sooner or later some right wad will find a way to get rid of the “Intrusive” legal requirement to pay a “minimum wage” and at that moment all the minimum wage workers in the world can take full advantage of those old reliable Right Wing values – Self Reliance and Self-Sufficiency” – and create for themselves new and inventive ways of dumpster diving.

Did I hear somebody say “Vote Democrat?”

-John Liming

 

John publishes American Liberal Times
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Cousin Margie’s Rant

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Three things John Liming wants you to know about Margie:

a) She is not happy with Republicans and their intrusion into women’s health issues.
b) She is a staunch conservative who votes Republican at every opportunity.
c) She’s his cousin.

After some of the laws being passed in places like Ohio and Texas – – by what I sometimes think of as the “Good Ole’ White Boy Crowd” – – - without any Public input whatsoever – – attached at the last minute to bills related to the state budgets or some other ruse – – - without a single woman in attendance participating in any manner at all at the signing of these bills – – – bills which obviously are meant to negatively impact women’s choices as to their health care or what they are or are not allowed to do with their own bodies – – -

You know what my Cousin Margie said about it on the telephone yesterday?

And when you read Cousin Margie’s remarks about all this Republican subterfuge keep in mind that she is – – has been – – and may always be – -  the strictest – – staunchest – – most Right Wing Christian – – Independent Baptist individual who ever lived – – or at least – – that I have ever known.

Margie told me, “If I was some of those ladies where some of this crap is going on – – - I would be cleaning out the dog house and putting a straw-filled mattress in it for Mr. “Big Wig” to sleep off his animosity toward the opposite sex – – – that’s what I’d do!”

Continuing – – – she ranted, “I don’t need no goddamned man to tell me what I can or cannot do with my own body and I am getting damned sick and tired of some of the crap some of them are trying to pull over on us women!  Do they think we are total idiots or that we don’t see through what they are trying to do?  I think I am a lot better than the old “Barefoot and Pregnant” servant of male chauvinism and I’m mad as Hell about all this stuff!”

Shocked at how vocal my normally sedate – prim – proper Cousin suddenly became over the issue of Women’s Rights – – all I could do when I heard her was to swallow hard in surprise and to retort, “Why Margie – what on earth do you mean?”

Not to be ignored, she shot back at me – – with a tinge of impatience in her voice – - “I would give new meaning to the old song and dance about squeezing an aspirin with my kneecaps – – – that’s what the Hell I mean – – do you get my drift now, John?”

I wasn’t about to press the issue any further with Margie.

I just had to bow my head – – shut my mouth – – and think silently to myself, “Yeah . . you always vote for the Right Wing S.O.Bs too don’t you?  You know damned well exactly how they are and you go ahead and vote for them anyway!  It’s no skin off my nose if you are going to sit still and keep your mouth shut and let them run all over you – – that is your business – – and you are welcome to it as far as I am concerned.”

I do feel bad for my Cousin and for all the women who find themselves in the same boat as she does but what is one to do?

The Republican Radicals are always bitching and moaning about the so-called “Tyranny” they are expecting President Obama to spring on all of us one of these days – – but my question is more on the order of, “What about the tyranny that the radical right wingers who have gotten themselves elected as leaders in this country are already in the process of cementing into place?”

I guess you would have to ask any woman who is aware of what is going on to get anywhere near an answer to that one!

My Cousin is a very opinionated soul – – – just like me.

I guess it runs in the family.

 

John Liming publishes American Liberal Times
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Source image is Sir Frank Dicksee‘s ‘The Mirror’.

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Where’s That Iraqi Oil?

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The NYT reports that…

Since the American-led invasion of 2003, Iraq has become one of the world’s top oil producers, and China is now its biggest customer.

John Liming wonders why it is that Americans shed the blood, but China reaps the benefits.

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I remember the signs that war protesters carried – signs that read things like, “No Blood For Oil.”

So America went looking for the WMDs that weren’t there and we lost a lot of brave American Lives in the process and American Taxpayers are still paying for the cost of the war – America did the fighting and paid the cost and now it is reported that someone else is reaping the benefits from Iraq’s huge oil reserves – not the United States – somebody else – China to be specific according to the reports I have read.

So my question is this:  ”Did America go to war in Iraq and lose more than 4,000 brave fighting men and women in the seemingly endless conflict just so that someone else could have a ready supply of energy and fuel?  Is that what it was all about and is that what really happened and is there anything that can be done about it – or is it too late – and what is the significance of it all?

It is reported that Michael Makovsky, a former Defense Department official who worked on Iraqi Oil Policy for The Bush Administration has said of the development over who gets the oil:

“We lost out. The Chinese had nothing to do with the war, but from an economic standpoint they are benefiting from it, and our Fifth Fleet and air forces are helping to assure their supply.”

My question?  ”What is “We lost out” supposed to mean?

Why have we “Lost Out” and how have we “Lost Out” and is America going to accept the fact that we “Lost Out?”

Is this going to be the end of this story?  Is there more?  Is there a happy ending for The United States in all this after all the sacrifices that were made by our brave Military Personnel in that dreadful conflict?

I think the questions are worth asking, don’t you?

Does this kind of news irritate anyone else except me?

In the words of the scrappy old geezer somewhere in his private jet high above the metropolitan areas of the East Coast – “Screw that!”

 

John Liming publishes American Liberal Times
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