Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Sometimes, I am so overcome with the idea and feeling of how much I love the people I love. I cannot breathe and see. Darn it, I am not being dramatic. It is what it is. I love my family. I love my friends. That makes me absolutely very happy. When I think of my life and what I do, I think in terms of  how much I can do to make them happy and help them achieve their dreams. I know this does not sound very fashionable among the progressives and feminists who want women to break every glass ceiling and  knock off the pedestals, to be out there, to do things for themselves and follow their dreams. These days, all I do, I do because I want to honor those I love. That gives me tremendous satisfaction. Thinking of myself, what I need and getting it does not make me that happy when I do it for that purpose alone. Maybe I am just a simple person and my desires are quite ordinary or maybe I am just blessed with having people near me who make me happy to love. Someday when I die, I want to be remembered not for the things I have done to which I have affixed my signature, those too I made sure I did right and well, but I want those I love to feel the love I had for them, like my sister Leah does to me, like my parents do to me. I suppose that is the nature of love. It does not die with the passing of life. Sometimes I have become my mother, although if I am half the woman she was, that would be quite a lot. Incidentally I also love this country. This is my home and the home of some of those I love. I pray that those who want to do it harm will fail, miserably.

Today I pray for those who were murdered by the terrorists in Algeria. I pray for the victims' families. Terrorism and terrorists are real. Contrary to some boastful and untrue pre-election pronunciations they are not on the run. They murdered our ambassador in Libya with impunity. Today, they murdered many citizens from different countries including the USA and the Philippines. The terrorists have not been disarmed. We are sending over $1 billion to Egypt where our embassy was burned and whose leader calls the Israelis descendants of pigs and apes. Instead we are campaigning to disarm law-abiding citizens of this country.

Our hearts may be in the right place but we are are not thinking things through. We are emotionally reacting using children as props, advancing political agenda instead of weighing sensible solutions for what will truly make our children and our communities safe. It is like some people I know who request rule programs because something bad happened but failed to address how to prevent the next bad thing from happening again. No meaningful dialogue will come out of any campaign where anyone with an opposing view is demonized. I have lived in this country since 1982 and I have never seen such divide. Meaningful civilized discourse is almost impossible. People operate on four percent of the truth that will advance their position. One party thinks the other of being evil and the other party thinks the other is just plain wrong. People hide in anonymity in the public forums and blogs as they spew vitriol against each other. True journalism is dead. In its place is sensationalism. Instead of reporting, reporters are the news.

Earlier today, I spoke to a friend who recently got divorced from her husband. She lives alone with her eight year old son and sixteen year old daughter. Her neighbor's dog went to her yard and made a mess. She politely talked to her neighbor. That night, the neighbor knocked on her door, obviously intoxicated, he yelled at her and threatened to harm her. She closed the door on him and called the police. Consumed by fear, it took three hours for the police to show up. My friend went out to buy a gun, learned gun safety and had target shooting practice. She hopes and prays she will never have to use the gun. Any gun control measure should include sensible dialogue to prevent people like my friend from becoming victims.

On a lighter note, my niece is a candidate for graduation from her nursing college. Congratulations W! My neighbor J came from Portugal and brought me a can of sardines. Heheheh. I received my Sugru pack and salvaged my MacBook charger by reinforcing the weakened cable connections. I hope it will stay. I saw the little girl next door who I used to carry in my arms when she was a baby. She is now ten years old. She told me that she framed the photograph of me holding her when she was a baby. Her mother informed me that she idolizes me. I had no idea. I have not spoken to her in years. When I come home from work I am so tired and just want to go inside, close the door and relax. I should really wave to that little girl and say hello now and then. Excuse me, Frank is serenading me...

Oh, I almost forgot, I permanently deleted my Facebook art page but I reactivated my personal Facebook page. I started missing some friends' updates.  This was my personal update this morning:

"I know my friends and I may be preaching to the choir with this status update but here's something we can all share. It's an idea that may be difficult to live by in today's narcissistic, selfish and self-centered world. On Martin Luther King Day remember what he once said: "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'""

Have a wonderful week!



Steve E said...

I was thinking...Ces, your messages have become the "inside look" which so many desire. That look into the mind of Ces...absoutely compelling, to note your wisdom, truth, talents, grAttitude, love--all bound together. You--an amaing woman. Probably everyone knows that but...YOU!

When I write to you, "I love your art", it is imagining myself when Peeps say, "You music brought me such pleasure, memories, meditative moments, etc." It makes me happy to know that somehow, God's gifts are still availale for my use.

The same with you, I suppose...it is not simply knowing "what you have done--are doing--painting, squiggling, writing, working, raising family. Rather it is how you have been blessed, called upon, to spread HIS message of life, love, peace on earth. And, unlike so many who "sit on their talent", hide their light under a shade?...you DO it, Babeeee!

And I am blessed to know you in this way God has made available. And now--I'm going to F/B and see if you will again surprise me by consenting to be a "friend"....

Ces said...

Aw, thank you Steve. You leave me speechless...

Bella Sinclair said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Both the tree and you. And oooh, little Daisy, hehehehe. So adorable.

I, too, would love to see civil discourse rather than demonizing on both sides. But I would also argue that calls for gun control are not an emotional knee-jerk reaction. This has been long in coming. Sandy Hook was the humongous needle that not just broke but killed the camel. Emotional knee-jerk reaction is rushing out to buy semi-automatic weapons just because they may be soon banned. Emotional knee-jerk reaction is the spreading of propaganda and irrational fear that the government will soon take away all guns. For what, more votes? The slope is not slippery. If it were, I would have to start worrying that they will soon allow machine guns again. Or how about personal bazookas? Personal nuclear weapons? It fills me with sadness and disgust that people are selfish, to hell with common sense and the greater good.

Ces said...

Here's an idea. Of the 27 executive orders that were issued to prevent the next massacre, there was no mention of the violence propagated by the entertainment industry. A bunch of hypocrites aren't they? They issue this plea for gun control among law-abiding citizens, yet produce movies and video games that desensitize young people. We all know what being online and creating a virtual world does to the brain. People create their own reality. Their reasoning is that would constitute censorship and free speech is guaranteed in the constitution. Well well, there you go. Their Firs Amendment trumps Second Amendment. End of sensible discussion. Oh here's another idea...What about tougher penalties for crime involving guns???!!! No mention of that. However, in State senator Barack Obama voted "Present" when legislation was passed to ensure tougher penalties for school shootings. Why not impose automatic death penalty for any crime involving guns where the victims are killed? No, because death penalty is barbaric, as opposed to killing somebody? Okay then how about life imprisonment? Well, that becomes a socio-cultural and racial issue. Case in point, CHICAGO! In 2012 there were 513 deaths in Chicago caused by gun violence mostly from gang related homicides. Most of the victims were young people, school age children and young adults. All the mayor (Emmanuel) could say was "Leave the children and the elderly alone." What about hauling the criminals to jail? There have been please from citizens and even the NRA to impose stiffer penalties for gun-related crimes. No one was listening because well, that is Chicago, mostly young black people and gangs and rather "expected". That is despicable. Deaths among blacks are the same as deaths among cute kindergartners. There were 513. 513 deaths!!! In one city! Higher than the casualty in Afghanistan where there is a was going on. Most people will not go out and buy bazookas and machine guns. First of all they are very expensive!!! Only the gun nuts (sorry) will amass machine guns and Kalashnikovs and claim it is for protection from burglars.

Ces said...

Then there is this major hypocrisy with the president's stand on providing armed guards in school. Do you know why anti-gun liberal David Gregory, Al Hunt and Obama do not worry about the safety of their children when they are at school? Their children attend Sidwell friends. Aside from the Uzi-carrying secret servicemen surrounding the president's children, Sidwell Friends has 11, yes eleven armed school guards in campus. How many armed guards do our children schools have? If you answer not enough, then it is a good start. If you answer no, then there lies trouble. No sensible homeowner will post a sign in front of his/her home this sign "This is a gun-free zone." but we post it in schools. Hello?!!!

I was a trauma nurse caring for a victim of a gun-shot wound in the trauma room. He was the groom in a wedding. He survived but the gunmen (gang members) followed him to the hospital and started shooting. I would not be here today posting had there not been armed guards, deputies and police officers. There was a shoot-out in the parking lot of the hospital but not for long because the gunmen were outnumbered.

That is what deters criminals. Law enforcers and law abiding citizens with guns.

I do think we have many guns in this country. We have many criminals but let us not nitpick statistics to advance gun control agenda. Guns are unlawful and in Mexico. A person caught carrying a firearm will automatically get a life sentence. Remember that marine carrying a memorabilia gun of his grandfather during his visit? We had to negotiate diplomatically to release him. Yet in Mexico where guns are unlawful and strictly controlled, there were 36,000 detahs from gun violence last year. 36,000!!! Mostly innocent civilians killed by criminals. Brazil, Asia, Central America, Asia... no mention. Gun control advocates only mention countries with pleasant statistics like Singapore (Heck! you spit in Singapore, you get fined $200.00; you carry a durian fruit in the train - $200.00, chewing gum - $200.00, spray painting cars, you get flogged) Japan - Japan is such a homogenous country, even half-Japanese borne, even Japanese born outside of Japan are not considered Japanese. It is very easy to enforce laws among people who think similarly, collectively.

Ces said...

Let us start with stiffer penalties for criminals and enforcement of current criminal laws. No gun control will prevent another massacre. There are crazy people out there who have easy access to guns. Many Americans are on anti-depressants, ADHD medications, anti-psychotic mendications and some of the side effects of these medications are suicidal and homicidal ideation but we have a strong drug companies lobby.

I agree, we have too many guns!!! People are so short tempered. Guns were drawn in a queue for the new Michael Jordan shoe release. What is wrong with America?!!!!???!!!

Bella Sinclair said...

You know, right now I would much rather live in Singapore or Japan.

Of the 23 executive orders, #13 states, "Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime." It is not automatic life sentence (problematic in its own right), but it's a step in the right direction.

#14 states, "Issue a presidential memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence." I believe the task force assigned to deal with gun violence is well aware of the effects of violence in movies and video games. The only way Hollywood and software developers will stop glorifying gun violence is if they can be convinced that it is irresponsible and if consumers believe it is harmful. And the most effective way to do that is with research and education. There needs to be a campaign, as there is with smoking. Many years ago, the CDC conducted research on gun-related deaths. The NRA did not like the findings and did everything they could to stifle it and succeeded.

And I do not believe the president is being hypocritical about armed guards at schools. Several of the executive orders encourage incentives for school resource officers and special training for school officials. Yes, Sidwell has armed guards, but don't you think that the children of politicians and diplomats and lawmakers have a higher likelihood of being targeted for abduction and harm from extremists? I do. There's no hypocrisy there, as the NRA would have us believe.

I have been affected by guns, too. On my commute home, gunmen boarded the train to rob people and fired shots into the car as they left. How many armed guards do we need to feel safe? Do we need to post them at every house of worship and theater and workplace and Chuck E Cheese's? I'm not sure if seeing armed guards everywhere would make me feel safer or depressed that I live in a nation at war with itself.

The executive orders were a good start. I believe they touched all the major factors responsible for gun violence. More needs to be done, obviously. But any step in the right direction, no matter how small, is a good one. Registering would be nice. Did you know that when the govt hiked sales tax and required automatic weapons to be registered, sales dropped sharply? Law abiding citizens should not be afraid to register their weapons anyway. Sadly, a lot of the massacres were conducted by supposedly law abiding citizens. You are right, no measure of gun control will prevent another massacre. But there's no reason we should make it easy for them either. I believe we should do everything in our power to at least try rather than sit back in resignation.

Ces said...

Whether the purpose of the guards is to prevent abductions which by the way happens a lot among regular folks with custody issues, the armed guards will stifle and prevent a madman's massacre.

I believe the safest country as far as gun control laws are concerned is North Korea. Only the military own guns. I doubt very much they will let us in and do we want to go? All the laws there are passed by a dictator or the military tribunal. The last I read, we are a free republic and executive orders smacks of tyranny and dictatorship. That reminds me so much of the time under the Marcos dictatorship. Yes, there were few deaths from guns because he disarmed the country and automatically imprisoned anyone in possession of a gun, except his cronies and his family. The murders and deaths were caused by the military killing squads and moslem terrorists in the south. And there was this little problem about freedom. We were not free.

Listen, I agree we have too many guns but I think we are going about it the wrong way. This is a complicated issue and it seems to me we are going for the easiest option - disarm law-abiding citizens rather than really look at this deeply. How about reevaluating our mental health care and the effects of behavior-altering-drugs? So that is why it will be difficult to support executive ordinances because it alienates the people. Right now the NRA is viewed more favorably than Obama. Wait a minute, I thought that was an evil organization. Why are Americans supporting it? Executive fiat will not solve problems. Al Franken the most liberal of all liberal senators would not answer when asked if he will support a gun-control law if introduced in the senate. I doubt very much if he fears the NRA nor was elected with its support but his constituents are a different matter. We shall see, Minnesota is a blue state, maybe the citizens will storm the state capitol and demand gun control. I think honey, the way the government is going about it right now is disaffecting many law-abiding citizens who are not even members of the NRA nor even desiring to own a firearm. They are just sick of the Obama going over Congress focusing on issues that attract the most sympathy yet overlooking the most important issues that affect our country. This year, the White House already notified Congress it will not submit a budget in time, the fourth year in a rowI. There is no check and balance of power and more than anything we have cowardly politicians who are more concerned about their survival rather than what is really good for the country.

Why not try this: pass a budget, tackle the deficit and stop errant government spending. They are not directly related to gun control but I guarantee if we are serious, the president and Congress need to show the people that they have the concern of this country at heart. Gun violence prevention, immigration and health care will follow. For too long we have become so partisan that the sensible people have been turned off, apathy reigned. They we outraged with Aurora but that was soon forgotten after sensational reporting. We never really looked at the gun and crime laws because it was not politically expedient. It took the slaughter of little innocent children to awaken those who for too long have lived in denial or ignored what was happening in this country.

Ces said...

Sigh, that's what liberals want to do - tax everyone to death. Motor vehicle accidents cause mire deaths than guns. Want higher taxes for cars then? What about deaths from bats, clubs and hammers? The FBI reported that there were more deaths from these objects compared to guns. We do not need more rules and laws. We need to enforce our criminal laws and stop codling criminals. Perhaps law abiding citizens will have more faith in government..

Bella Sinclair said...

I disagree. I do not think he is going about it the wrong way. If every single decision had to be put to a vote in Congress, nothing would ever get done. Executive orders are sometimes necessary and the ones he signed are not major changes. The most important changes will be put to a vote, and I'll be furious if it never even gets called because of partisanship and lobbying. All presidents have signed executive orders, not just Obama.

Where would the funds come from to hire armed guards for every school? Will the NRA provide? And motor vehicles, hammers, bats, and clubs and even knives do not kill scores of people in mere minutes. Unless it's a bus that goes over the rails, that is. You tell me how many people protected their families and homes because they shot an intruder with a semi-automatic rifle.

But I completely agree with you that other things need to be reevaluated, including mental health and psychiatric drugs and the economy. However, fixing the economy will take too long to wait. There will be several more massacres before the economy gets fixed, guaranteed. This cannot wait. No more waiting. All those people will not have died in vain. I want this country to become a safer place to live for my children.

Ces said...

Here's what is going to happen. The Republicans will vote against gun control because they really believe in the second amendment. The Democrats will not vote for it because they are afraid they will lose elections! There!!! No meaningful compromise. In the meantime people get killed everyday. Do you know how many people died in Chicago since Sandy Hook? Shameful!

"The nation averages 87 gun deaths each day as a function of gun violence, with an average of 183 injured, according to the University of Chicago Crime Lab and the Centers for Disease Control. The crime lab’s research estimates the annual cost of gun violence to society at $100 billion. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/07/24/87-gun-deaths-a-day-why-the-colorado-shooting-is-tragically-unsurprising.html

Our country will be more dangerous if our economy tanks and our deficit goes unchecked. We will become Greece, an entitlement country. Obama abuses executive orders using it for important and far reaching effects such as granting legal status to illegal aliens as a path to citizenship, removing work requirements for unemployment benefits. Name three executive orders you can remember from Bush and Clinton. Will the liberal media welcome executive orders when a Republican president issues them? I doubt it.

Actually, in Texas most public schools in our district have armed guards. I don't know, maybe we can use the funds we send to Egypt whose leader calls the Israelis descendants of pigs and apes and use the money to fund school security? Might be difficult though, with the school districts heavily unionized the funds will go to administrative bureaucracy rather than security, much like current funds go to administration expense rather than actual teaching.

I want to know what a gun control advocate want because Connecticut had one of the strictest gun control law and yet Sandy Hook happened.

No one ever focuses on the fact that this killer had mental and psychological issues and he murdered his mother.

If history is our teacher we shall remember that Stalin's era had strict gun control, Mao Tse Tung had strict gun control, North Korea has strict gun control, Marcos had strict gun control. These tyrannical government and leaders declared that they were/are champions of the people. They had have millions of their citizens murdered. What exactly do you want to happen. Disarm law-abiding citizens? Ban guns?

Ban semi-automatic weapons? Ban revolvers? A gun is a gun. Is killing one more acceptable than fifteen?

I want answers. I want solutions that we can enforce and still maintain a semblance of freedom. Are we willing to give up our liberty for a little sense of security? What will they take away next? These is what gun advocates are concerned about.

I want solutions we can enforce.

Steve E said...

Ces, you wrote:
"No one ever focuses on the fact that this killer had mental and psychological issues and he murdered his mother."
Correct, in all this fact-and-number debate, I had forgotten completely about that. Not ONE of the "Executive Orders" could have stopped Sandy Hook episode.

This is a lively debate, Ces which you are having with Bella. Hey, I did not realize Bella is a Liberal--OMG--and she always seemed like such a nice person. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Hey, I love you both, and wish PEACE for us all.
I'll be back in morning to see what else you all have been writing...SO interesting. SO good!

I am really shocked though, to see that Bella is one of those 51% who were completely duped by O'Bama--and voted for him a second time. MANY of them now, are seeing the light--too late! But Bella?
Ohhhh! (sigh!) WHAT a disappointment.
TSUP and TSUP for Ces and Bella

Ces said...

Steve, you know, I did not know who Bella voted for during the last election?! I never asked and I was so afraid to assume for fear that I may be not be right :) I think in the end she and I agree on the goal of making this country a better home for our children. This problem with mass shootings is a problem we need to prevent although the executive orders would have not prevented the killer from doing it - tougher background checks - the guns were not purchased by the killer. It was purchased by his mother who passed background checks and who was murdered by her own guns and her own son. Everyone seems to ignore this glaring fact. I want something good to come out of all these grandstanding, executive orders, arguments, debates and every other act focused on this issue because we are neglecting so many major issues that will slowly choke us to death.

Ces said...

Oh and just to clarify, by the way,Bella is part of the 1% of 1% of friends I love, and disappointment is never an emotion I have felt with our friendship. :)