Tuesday, June 19, 2018

History Begins to Repeat Itself!

This is what separating and detaining families looks like at the US southern border.  This is also what US officials look like when lying about what they are doing and why.  

This is Auschwitz,  another place where families were separated and detained.  And,  where officials also lied about what they were doing and why.  

Trump’s story that the Democrats forced his hand to do this has been thoroughly debunked.  He could stop this evil with a single word. 

What this is really all about is holding children hostage to extort the money from Democrats in Congress to build the border wall that we do not need.  That has been verified.

My fellow citizens,  rise up and put a stop to this evil!  Contact your senators and representatives,  and insist that they stop this. 

If they do not,  replace them at the earliest election,  or other recall opportunity,  with someone who will.   It really is that simple.

Update 6-24-18:  I have not seen one single thing in any of the governmental actions,  or in any of the commentary,  that would induce me to change my assessment of this problem.  It is indeed a manufactured crisis to gain a political end,  and it is a real,  verifiable human rights abuse,  motivated by a political propaganda message that is essentially Hitlerian Nazi in its fundamental character.  I have also seen not one ounce of the courage required in Congress to oppose this evil,  with very few individual exceptions.  Maybe a small single handful so far.

Update 7-3-18:  I have still seen nothing to change my assessment of this situation.  As of yesterday,  it was reported that family separations finally (!!!) stopped.  But the number of children actually reunited with their parents is still,  as of today,  a number less than 10 out of over 2000 so separated.  Border crossing arrests are also reported to be down,  so this does seem to work as a deterrent,  at least short term.  But I find the cost of this "deterrent" to be totally unacceptable from a moral and ethical standpoint.  It is a human rights violation.  It is far outside that behavior recommended by all the great religions.

Update 7-6-18 There is definitely a pattern to the delays correcting by court order this atrocity.

That pattern includes and encompasses the more recent story about immigrant recruits being discharged from the military.  They were promised a path to citizenship if they enlisted.  The government has just reneged on that promise.  Can you conceive of why?

It also encompasses the toleration of Nazis and KKK'ers marching in Charlottesville,  as if their ideologies were as valid as anyone else's,  although few yet make that particular connection.  Sound familiar?  It should!

That pattern is:  select a scapegoat population,  such as immigrants,  especially those of color.  Then demonize them.  Then abuse them.  Finally,  get rid of them.  Sound familiar?  It should!

Another piece is the "beloved-leader" cult of the strongman leader.  Followers support him rabidly,  no matter how much harm he does them. Logic and facts cannot dissuade them.  Sound familiar?  It should!

Consider the effects of the trade war on the heartland figures who are Trump's political base (and largely the extreme-right wing of the GOP's base,  these days).  Or the 1.5 trillion dollars added to the national debt to "finance" tax cuts that were 90+% for the super-rich,  not them.

We've seen this evil before,  and spent the best part of half a million lives and most of our treasure trying to eradicate it,  7.5 decades ago.  THAT is why I specifically picked the comparison to the Nazis.  The parallel between today's America and 1930's Germany is quite eerie,  at the very least!

Update 10-24-18:  I told you so!  I warned you!  The news today is filled with bombs and suspicious powders being sent to prominent Democrat figures,  a liberal donor,  and a news organization. 

Two former presidents (Bill Clinton and Barack Obama),  Hillary Clinton,  a former head of the Democratic party,  and the governor of new York are all prominent Democrats.  George Soros is the liberal donor.  The news organization is CNN.

The common thread here is that all of these have been repeatedly vilified by President Trump as “enemies of the people”.  If I was law enforcement,  I would connect those dots straight to a still-unidentified rabid Trump supporter trying to do what he thought Trump wanted.  

Trump didn’t do this.  But he inspired a follower to do it for him.  Hitler didn’t burn books or kill people,  either;  he just inspired his followers to do it for him.  Such inspiration is dangerous.

It’s already happened before:  a passenger was recently arrested for groping a woman on a Southwest Airlines flight from Houston to Albuquerque.  His defense was that President Trump said it was alright to do this.  No sane person would actually believe this,  but over-hyped politics really is insane.

Destroy “enemies of the people”:  use mailbombs to kill the most prominent figures of the opposition.  That’s method,  motive,  and opportunity.  We just need to identify the culprit now.

Destroy “enemies of the people”.  Win at any cost,  such as the voter-suppression going on in Georgia and elsewhere.  Sow division and chaos.  Tell any lie,  no matter how egregious,  to get what you want.  Turn a party into a personality cult.  Vilify a helpless group as the threat,  and then abuse them (refugees at the border).  

And just how is that any different from the Nazi playbook in 1920-1930’s Germany?  Or 1917 Russia?

The next step is to lock in a permanent one-party state by outlawing the opposition parties.  Then the dictatorship is complete. 

You still have a chance to break the one-party hold on America November 6.  Hopefully,  you still outnumber the Trump personality cult’s voters.   But only if you turn out and vote!

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Yet Still Another School Shooting

The following is a column I wrote for the Waco paper,  which they chose not to use.  I wrote it in the days immediately following the school shooting in Santa Fe,  Texas.  I,  too,  am tired of seeing our schools shot up.  Here is the real,  time-proven solution to that problem,  and more such venues besides. It's not what you think.  Unless you have read some unvarnished American history.


The mass shooting problem has been hyped and politicized into a pro-gun/anti-gun debate.  That does not address the problem.  It’s past time to point out that we need to recognize exactly what the problem really is!

Just about every single mass shooting for the last several years has been some public venue that was a sitting-duck target.  Sitting-duck targets are the real issue,  and what we should do to change that,  is the problem at hand. 

Both the crazies and the terrorists are inevitably drawn to sitting-duck targets,  because they are easy to attack.  It really is that simple.  They are sitting-duck targets precisely because they were undefended,  or at best inadequately-defended,  gun-free zones.

Why the Usual Gun Control Ideas Won’t Work

The guns are already out there in the society.  It is far,  far too late to try banning guns,  which would require major changes to the Constitution.  Fat chance of that!  But,  if you did ban guns,  all you would accomplish is making the entire country a sitting-duck target. 

Here is why the entire country becomes a sitting-duck target:  the guns already out there would tend to fall into the hands of criminals and terrorists,  and then get sold black-market to crazies.  Nothing really changes except the rate of such mass shootings vastly increases.  You made it worse with your gun ban.

This last incident in the Santa Fe,  Texas,  school,  wasn't even an "assault weapon" thing.  He had a simple shotgun and a simple revolver.  Didn’t make much difference,  did it?  So,  what then is the real point of an “assault weapons” ban?  Or a clip size limit?

The main gun control idea that I see as making any significant difference would be to revise the process of keeping guns out of the hands of crazies,  with some sort of “red flag” alert process.  But that doesn’t address terrorism,  which is on the rise.

The only other useful one would be to outlaw bump stocks and trigger cranks,  which violate the spirit of the machine gun ban,  which really has worked.

A Pertinent Lesson From American History

Now,  what's forgotten here is a lesson from the 19th century gun-free American frontier towns that actually worked,  and quite well.  There are actually very good reasons to have gun-free zones,  and in a variety of venues,  not just schools.  (But that’s another topic.)

What is totally forgotten today:  once you declare a gun-free zone,  you are obligated to defend it,  in order to prevent the sitting-duck target effect.   That really is the fundamental problem we as a nation so perversely refuse to face today.

The Santa Fe school apparently had one (and only one) campus cop who actually confronted the shooter in a timely fashion.  That cop was armed,  mostly likely only with a revolver.  The shooter got him before he could take out the shooter.  Which is proof that,  in this case,  the school’s defense was inadequate. 

One cop,  if taken out,  leaves no defense.  The 19th century town sheriffs and town marshals always had a significant number of deputies.  Nobody went alone to quell problems.  It worked then,  why not now? 

News reports indicate the school officials thought they were adequately hardened against shooter attack,  because they employed two armed guards.  But,  so very clearly,  only one of those guards made it to the initial confrontation,  and he got taken out before he do anything to stop the shooter early. 


You simply need more guards than shooters,  and your guards also need to outgun the shooters.  Period!  But there are also a couple more well-proven nuances to this prescription.

One critical 19th century rule-of-thumb was “60 seconds max” to the scene of the problem.  That limits casualties,  and well-proven it was,  too.  No police department today could possibly respond that fast!

The other facet of the 19th century solution was using real peace officers actually accountable to the people,  not just hiring some outlaw gunman for protection.  Any gun-free zone guard will inevitably serve in the capacity of a peace officer.  There is no way around that. 

Applying the Prescription

The hardest part of applying that today is the 60 second rule-of-thumb to limit casualties.  Most places no longer resemble small frontier towns only 2 to 4 city blocks in size.  Adapting to the 21st century,  it means if your gun-free venue is large,  you need more than one guardhouse. 

That inevitably costs more than it did in the 19th century,  but here is where my acid test for ethics in public officials comes to the fore:  what does your official value more?  Money?  Or lives?  Look at what is done,  not what is said.  Talk is cheap. 

The mistake I see so often made today is the concept of arming teachers,  and counting on them to be your defense.  That teachers already have way too much to do is beside the point here,  that’s another article at some other time. 

Armed teachers will only have some sort of handgun.  They will not generally outgun the shooters,  even if they do outnumber the shooters.  This fails the prescription outlined above,  so it probably won’t work well enough most of the time.  In the long run,  it just gets more people killed.

So,  just do it right!  You need multiple well-armed guards,  trained to be real peace officers,  as they will inevitably be called upon to serve that role.  You need them located in enough places so that two or more can respond anywhere in the venue within a minute.   Make sure they have better guns than any of the shooters we have seen.

Why does everyone make this so hard,  when it really is so stinking easy?  JUST LEARN FROM HISTORY !!!  Don't politicize this,  just do it!

Other articles on this site related to guns,  gun violence,  mass shootings,  and gun control:

Gun Articles as of 6-1-18 (this one highlighted):
6-1-18 Yet Still Another School Shooting
2-24-18 Yet another School Shooting
10-2-17 Machine Guns in Las Vegas?
6-21-16 What the Gun Violence Data Really Say 
10-7-15 Oregon Mass Shooting and Gun Control
5-31-14 On Calls for More Gun Control
10-1-13 Government Shutdown,  Default!  Again?  No!!!
9-20-13 More Gun Control?  No Way!
2-5-13 Real Problems with the Proposed Gun Control Legislation Items
12-20-12 On the Tragedy in Connecticut
12-14-12 School Shooting in Connecticut
8-9-12 Mass Murder Shooters and Gun Control
1-13-11 On the Shooting Rampage in Tucson