Jane Velez Mitchell: “Our Toxic, Toxic Culture (Dec 17)

CNN’s Jane Velez Mitchell:

“We need to change our “toxic, toxic Culture”

Opinion by Amanda Chen and Rob Roman

toxic

CNN’s Jane Velez Mitchell, a self-described recovering addict, had something to say tonight about our American Culture. Velez-Mitchell stated that “There is something wrong in our culture”. There is a sickness, a toxic, toxic situation in our country”. Jane likened it to an addiction.jane velez mitchell

She says we must acknowledge that there is a problem with our culture before we can deal with it. Jane, as an anchor on CNN’s Headline News, has a front row seat to the pressing crises in America. She sees it, reports on it, and works with it every day, and her conclusion is that we have a serious cultural problem.

prisonSpecifically, Jane referenced our prison system which houses 25% of the world’s prison population, while the United States represents just 5% of the world’s population. Instead of treating addicts, we lock them away in our prisons. Instead of rehabilitating non-violent and first time offenders, we choose as a society to lock them up for decades, throwing their lives away.

People who work in the field of addiction know very well that a drug or alcohol problem is an effect, not a cause. imagesCA3ODVJVThe addict must acknowledge, confront, and begin to address the addiction before they can get real help for the underlying cause. This underlying cause can be childhood sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, or a host of other traumas. In the same way, our violent culture (deficits in civil conflict resolution, impulsive anger, gun violence, a callous view towards and a low value placed on life, numerous addictions, disregard for others, competition to destruction, and a distorted view of reality) are really effects with an underlying, contagious cause.

131213185313-13-arapahoe-denver-post-restricted-horizontal-galleryWe don’t put resources into the front end, carefully nurturing our children and bringing up people with a positive, hopeful, and productive attitude, who help each other and cooperate with one another. Instead, the idea of the supremacy of the individual is embedded in our children in many ways from an early age, and we produce adults who see few opportunities and become hardened to life, giving the lives of others little value.

Instead, we put more resources into the back end, locking away the products of our diseased culture, and cleaning up the messes they make. In this one way, the serial killer Charles Manson was right. The behavior of people is a product of our culture just as much as our culture is the product of our behaviors.

healthcare yesOur Congress, our politics, our media, our schools, and our justice system all share responsibility for how our toxic culture is developed and perpetuated.

Our Lawmakers set a terrible example of gridlock, vitriol, and shutdown in the one place where civility, cooperation, and the general welfare should be paramount. Our politics are caustic, divisive, and dominated by personal attacks.

Our media tells us what to think about and how to think about it instead of just delivering the objective information. healthcare no

Our schools teach to the test and practice “zero tolerance” instead of concentrating on developing informed, curious, and concerned citizens.

Our justice system uses the same “zero tolerance” with mandatory minimums and barbaric sentencing laws to lock people away for decades for very minor offenses.

healthcareWith more people like Jane Velez Mitchell speaking out in our media, perhaps we can finally acknowledge that we, the people of the United States of America have a serious cultural problem. We can realize that what we are witnessing on the news is, in reality, the effects of a larger, deeply ingrained cause. It’s a disease of poorly evolved values and priorities.

cycle of changeA Cultural Evolution is the cure, and it must be reflected from all of the above sources. It must also come from the private sector as well as from individual parents, children and citizens, all over this great nation.

We see it in a President, who strives to bring affordable healthcare to everyone in our society.

We see it such figures as Nelson Mandela, who brought two warring sides of a country together, to the consternation of many and for the betterment of all. We see it in the countries of the world, who are organizing together to address world problems.

imagesCAFTGVF3

We see it in a new kind of religious leader, who endeavors to heal a broken church and set a proper example for its members. We see it in our grass roots activists, who organize to address grievances and restore personal liberties and personal responsibility.

We need to see more of these structural changes and new initiatives. Evolution of our shared culture revolves around choices, it comes from each of us and it affects all of us.

nelson mandela

The cure can be as infectious as the disease.

biohazardLike Jane said, we need to look at the shameful effects, acknowledge the cause, and begin to heal the wounds and work on the cure.

Instead of sitting in a big chair and idlelly grousing about much more accomplished people and such abstract concepts as “Communism” and “Socialism”, let’s apply our thinking within the framework of a dynamic, sustainable and just Capitalism which can challenge and elevate us all.

imagesCAADVFEX

What’s your opinion?

All comments are welcome.

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20 Not Very Merry Gun arguments from the far right

 

20 Not Very Merry Gun arguments from the far right

Fact-Based Reporting by Rob Roman

merry christmas

Gun-grab, gun-free zones, murder magnet,  good guy with a gun, Constitutional right, right from God, tyrannical  government, first step to gun grab, laws on books not enforced, arm the teachers, everyone get a gun, AR-15 for home defense, inanimate object, mental health only, armed militia, cars kill more, not a gun problem, not a problem, not my problem

1) The Government just wants to grab my guns. Pry my gun out of my cold, dead hand, etc. (1)

The Gun – Grabber argument is no argument at all. The 2nd Amendment is here to stay. It has been recognized by the Supreme Court as an individual right, not attached to any militia. This is a government of the people and a government of laws. No one is coming to take your guns away.

imagesCAE7ZPQJThis would require a repeal of the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. This requires the votes of 2/3rds of both the House and Senate. Then it must be ratified by 3/4ths of state legislatures. Another way is for 2/3rds of the States to call a convention and then 3/4ths of all State legislatures must approve it.

Can you imagine 67 Senators and 290 Representatives voting to repeal the 2nd Amendment? Can you imagine 34 state legislatures then calling for a Constitutional Convention and then 38 States approving a repeal? It’s never going to happen, so relax. And if it did happen in the future, it would be the will of the people.

2)  A ban or more controls on certain types of semi-automatic military-style rifles and high capacity magazines would just be the beginning. This is an assault on law abiding gun owners. (2)

magThere is no need for these weapons class to be available to the general public. If you want one, you should be willing and able to qualify to have one and use and keep it safely.

3)   Guns are just a tool. They are inanimate objects. People are responsible for misusing guns. Don’t blame the gun.

Guns are a special kind of tool or inanimate object. They are an inanimate object designed to kill. When animated, they can easily cause instant death from both a physical and emotional distance. Not all gun owners are responsible or reasonable. So, we need to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally unstable and other unqualified people.

4)  Knives, forks, cars, and bathtubs are just as dangerous as guns. (4)

The controlling idea here is that it is the person, not the “inanimate object” which wounds and kills. Knives, forks, cars, and bathtubs are not designed specifically to kill. A person armed with a fork or a knife would have a real difficult time killing 26 people in 5 minutes.

An accidental death by car or bathtub is not the same as an intentional killing with a gun. Cars are heavily regulated and insured. The problem is the combination of an impulsive, irresponsible, or mentally disturbed person with an instrument which is designed to kill many people quickly and easily.

5)  An “assault weapon” is fully automatic”. A semi-automatic military style rifle with high capacity magazines is not an “assault weapon”. (5)

rap 4There’s no need for semantic games. The AR-15 is the civilian version of the M-16 military assault rifle. The main reason this weapon was developed was to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible.

Guess what? The AR-15 can be easily converted to fully automatic, and many owners know this very well.

6mmThe .223 caliber hollow point round, used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School, was preferred over higher caliber rounds in combat because you can carry more of the smaller rounds and because the round Yaws through the air at 880 meters per second (963 yards per second) .

It then explodes on impact causing baseball sized holes in the flesh. Seth1Internally the bullet causes a massive baseball sized explosion. The bullet then fragments into multiple shards which spin, ricochet off bones, and rip through vital organs.

Emergency Room Doctors will tell you that they don’t see injuries from this weapon very often because most victims never even make it to the hospital and usually bleed to death. (6)

(5.56 mm / .223 gunshot wound)_

6)   I need my semi-automatic military style rifle and high capacity magazines to protect my home and my family.

Is your name Tony Montana? Are you expecting a coordinated assault on your home? No one needs this kind of weapon for home defense.

7)   A ban or further regulation of military style rifles and high capacity magazines will not help save the 500 plus victims killed by handguns each year in Chicago.

This is a classic. There are two separate issues here.

Hadiya Pendleton was shot  to death in Harsh Park in Chicago only 1 week after performing in the 2013 Presidential inauguration (click to enlarge)
Hadiya Pendleton was shot to death in Harsh Park in Chicago only 1 week after performing in the 2013 Presidential inauguration. (click to enlarge)

The first is an effort to reduce the rate and lethality of mass shootings. The second is general gun violence.

Irresponsible gun owners try to tie the two together. Then they say that further regulations on certain rifles and magazines won’t stop general gun violence. This is obvious, it’s not meant to do that.

8)   Gun free zones are “murder magnets”. We can’t reduce the rate and fatalities of mass shootings unless we get rid of “gun-free zones” and allow concealed or open carry in all schools and other public places.

This argument assumes that if more “good guys” have guns in schools and other public places, then the “good guys” can stop the “bad guy(s)”.

great-no-guns-signFirst of all, there have been mass shootings where there was a good guy with a gun. Columbine and Arapahoe High Schools both had armed Resource Officers who were ineffective. This argument doesn’t take into account the chaos, the unknown, and the overwhelming fear coming from a shooter with heavy firepower who is ready to kill and to die.

In Sparks, Nevada, what if the math teacher had a gun? At that point in time, only one student was wounded in the shoulder. Do you think this teacher would then be emotionally ready to shoot a 12 year old to death?

Would he then be sued? What about mistakes? Innocent people will be shot in the confusion and people will get caught in the cross-fire.

good guys This is not an episode of Bonanza where the good guy rushes in and fixes everything, bang bang, lickity split.

Even armed police at a shooting enter the fray slowly and carefully. By that time, people have already died. The killing usually happens in a matter of a few minutes, and the shooter always has the element of surprise.

The shooter will change tactics to address the presence of armed staff in a school. The “good guy” with a gun might have a spouse and children, and only very few would heroically charge into a firefight with a mentally disturbed killer armed with superior firepower.

9)   An FBI background check did not stop the Boston Bombers. More people were killed by drones authorized by President Obama than were killed in mass shootings in the USA during the Obama years.

What? These are entirely separate and unrelated issues.

10)   My 2nd Amendment rights come straight from God almighty and are meant to establish an armed militia against a tyrannical government.

wayne 1Some people are always citing the Constitution but at the same time they say that their right to keep and bear arms is a right over and above the Constitution.

This is a nation of laws. If government tried to act in defiance of the 2nd Amendment, it would be stopped by the courts. We have three branches of government, the Legislative branch, the Executive branch, and the Judicial branch. (I find it amazing that a great number of Americans actually don’t know that).

Note the misleading information and the veiled threats, a trademark of far right gun rights advocates.

The Constitution assures that these branches are co-equal and balance each other out. Two of these branches are elected directly by the people. So what are you talking about?

11)   Gun homicides, suicides and gun accidents have declined dramatically since 1994.

Gun homicides were at an alarming rate and peeked in 1994, which spurred the passing of the assault weapons ban and other legislation. imagesCA3U1TQYThe crack epidemic led to a great deal of this violence and Tech-Nines were in use all over.

The rate of gun homicides, suicides, and accidents has remained rather constant since the late 90’s. They are poised to escalate, as many new gun owners have appeared on the scene due to fear and hysteria raised by the far right and gun lobbies trying to convince people that their gun rights will be taken away or severely reduced by the government.

Domestic violence gun homicides and suicides have remained quite constant over the last few decades.

12)  If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

Guns are not going to be outlawed. Please come up with a newer or more convincing argument.

Michael Dunn, gun enthusiast, allegedly fired 9 rounds into a car full of teens, allegedly killing a high school student.

Way too many unarmed people are being shot to death by citizens who used to be law-abiding gun owners right up to the point where they lost their common sense or control and killed an unarmed person with their gun. (Please see “The Law-Abiding Gun Owner)

13)  Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

Right you are, so we will need some sensible gun safety legislation, to make gun use safer, and to keep guns and especially the most dangerous guns away from people who should not have them.

14)  Laws won’t help because criminals don’t obey the laws. We have enough laws on the books but they are not enforced.

Then why have any laws at all? E21DD88D-D9AB-4244-8BAE-A58899921B07_mw1024_n_sSmart legislation does work to keep everyone safer and to make it more difficult for unqualified people to get hold of guns.

The laws on the books are not fully enforced because law enforcement has a limited amount of resources and must make difficult decisions about priorities.

If you are talking about going after people who fail the background checks we do have, you cannot go after, arrest and jail people for failing a background check.

The people who make these arguments are the same people who don’t want to help fund the enforcement because it’s “against their core values”.

15)  Chicago has the most gun laws and the most gun deaths, so there!

imagesCAVAW0BSChicago has the most gun laws precisely because they have the most gun deaths. Local legislation is overwhelmed by lax laws in other cities and states, which make guns available to “bad guys” via straw purchasers, the lack of background checks at gun shows and numerous other outlets.

The Chicago gun homicides are mostly related to gangs and drug crimes. Would you like to help attack this problem by spending more money to apply more Federal resources for more prevention and enforcement projects in Chicago?

16)   We don’t need gun control, we need a mental health solution. A mental health only solution is the answer to mass shootings.

Mental health is definitely a component of mass shootings, but if you want to have more mental health services available, are you willing to help fund them?

A mental health only solution is not the answer to reduce the rate and lethality of mass shootings without a gun safety component. The problem at Sandy Hook was not that a mentally disturbed man came to the elementary school and exposed himself or threw crayons at the students.

Crime Scene Evidence (Click to enlarge)
Sandy Hook Crime Scene Evidence (Click to enlarge)

He came armed with two semi-automatic pistols, an AR-15 semi-automatic military-style rifle and ten 30-round high capacity magazines plus 10 magazines for the 9mm Glock and 10mm Sig Sauer. Before this, he shot his mother 4 times in the head with a .22-caliber Savage MK II-F bolt action rifle.

So the problem is not only mentally disturbed people. It is mentally unstable people who can too easily get their hands on highly lethal firearms.

A mental health solution and gun safety are inextricably entwined when it comes to preventing or lowering the rate and lethality of mass shootings.

17)  Mass shooters are mostly liberals and most general gun violence is caused by liberals.

Actor Jeff Bridges star in "The Dude"
Actor Jeff Bridges stars in “The Dude”

This is an over-simplification and an attempt to avoid the issues. Many mass shooters are in their teens and twenties, and the majority of young people start out as liberals.

So, this may be true about mass shooters, but many of them were rebelling against their conservative parents who had introduced them to firearms. Also more conservatives are usually more reluctant to seek psychiatric help for their children.

18)  Millions of AR-15s are in circulation and are being safely owned and operated by law abiding gun owners as we speak.

That’s true, but more and more it has become a sort of conservative right of passage to own and carry weapons. Owning an AR-15, like Nancy Lanza did and like George Zimmerman does is the crowning achievement which gives you street cred. among far-right conservatives. It means you are in the club and you belong.

imagesCAMOBLO0Ownership of this type of firearm is becoming more main stream. Instead of avid hunters, sports shooters, and veterans owning the majority of these weapons, more and more rash, hot-headed, impulsive, irresponsible and unstable people have them or have access to them and more people are not as qualified in their safe keeping and operation.

So that’s a good reason why there should be more controls on this particularly dangerous weapon class.

19)  The Universal background check is not good, fair, necessary because ….. because ….. uh … please see reasons 1 through 18.

There is no valid legitimate reason for not passing a Universal background check for all weapons purchases and transfers. The Gun Industry, the gun lobby and irresponsible gun worshippers cloaked in the American flag and constantly citing our Constitution, just don’t want any further regulations or controls on these weapons, no matter what.

We have a serious societal problem which directly affects gun owners, and some feel absolutely no responsibility to help to do anything about it (even initiatives not involving firearms). Their answer is we should do nothing and their attitude is they don’t care. Isn’t it?

friendsThese are the people who want us to eliminate gun free zones. They expect us to  count on them to pull their pistol and go rushing towards a chaotic situation with a highly disturbed shooter armed with a high powered rifle and high capacity magazines. The good guy with a gun will save the day. It ain’t never gonna happen.

Mass Shooters will ALWAYS seek out schools, malls, theaters, and other public places to make their statements, no matter what. By the time the shooter is in the school or other public place with the element of surprise, it’s already too late no matter how many good guys are legally carrying concealed weapons.

The person you depend on to save you is the same person who watched 20 six and seven year-olds and six educators get shot to pieces and basically said “ I don’t care”, “It’s not my problem”, and “it’s not the gun”.

20)  In this country, and especially in certain parts of this country, we are the most vocal, we are the vocal minority and we will never compromise and nothing about gun safety will ever be done.

Gun-RightsI think responsible gun owners, many NRA members, mothers and other concerned citizens who are not gun owners will all get together to pass sensible gun safety legislation such as the Universal background check and mental health legislation with a gun safety component.

This will only strengthen the 2nd Amendment and make gun ownership more acceptable and responsible to the community.

fight-for-your-rightsYou are the loudest right now, but the will of the people will prevail and you will still have access to all kinds of firearms. (The Constitution, the American flag, and our system of government belong to all of us).

All comments are welcome and appreciated

all rights reserved

(1) “A new amendment repealing the amendment in question. It must be done exactly the same way, because the repeal itself is an amendment. To begin, a proposed amendment must be voted approved by a 2/3 majority of both legislative bodies of the US Congress. The Proposed Amendment must then be sent to every individual State’s legislature for consideration. Each state follows its own parliamentary process to arrive at a yea or nay on the Proposed Amendment.

For the Proposed Amendment to become a Constitutional Amendment, 3/4 of the individual American States must vote a final yea. With the current body of States numbering 50, the required number of State ratifications to adopt the new amendment is 38. Upon the confirmation of the 38th yea, the Amendment becomes part of the Constitution, amending, or changing, whatever the subject of the amendment covers–whether it be a new cause, or eliminating an old Amendment.”

https://www.quora.com/What-does-it-take-to-remove-an-amendment-from-the-U-S-Constitution

(2) “United States Supreme Court DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ET AL. v. HELLER, (2008)

No. 07-290 Argued: March 18, 2008    Decided: June 26, 2008

Held: 

1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

2. “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose:  For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.””

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/554/570.html

3. The distinction of the fact that the primary purpose of a gun is to kill people is relevant because as a society, we tend to regulate physical items themselves based on a combination of a few things, including 1) their primary purpose (i.e., benefit) and 2) their lethality. Guns and other weapons are different from other items because their primary purpose/benefit and their lethality are one and the same.

Another common comparison gun advocates make is “well, heart disease kills way more people a year—600,000–why don’t people focus on regulating cheeseburgers?” or “cars kill 30,000 people a year too–why don’t we get rid of all cars?” The answer is that we do regulate cars and cheeseburgers and try to prevent their related deaths, but we do it with a logical relationship to their primary purpose and their immediate lethality. I assert that as Americans, we regulate guns in an illogical manner as compared to everything else we regulate.

http://www.allgeneralizationsarefalse.com/why-guns-are-not-like-spoons/

4. “When you get in your car and turn it on, the goal in mind is to get from wherever you are currently to wherever you are wanting to be. A successful drive of a car involves you and your passengers if applicable arriving at your destination, all involved are unharmed. Vehicular injuries or deaths generally arise as a result of some form misuse (either negligence or carelessness), badly designed road or badly designed vehicle. If you attempt to use a vehicle for its intended purpose and nothing goes wrong, nobody gets harmed.

On the other hand with guns, when you pick up a gun and pull the trigger, the idea is the thing its pointed at gets maimed or killed- i.e. that is its designed purpose. If you point a gun at something and pull the trigger, and the thing its pointed at isn’t injured or killed, either you didn’t use it well (i.e. you missed) or it isn’t a very good/well designed gun.

When we’re talking about vehicular deaths, they are referred to as “accidents,” whereas when someone gets killed by a gun its referred to as a “shooting.” In the firearm scenario, the “shooter” has successfully carried out a “shooting,” where as in the vehicle scenario the “driver” has had “an accident.”

Considering the Lame Argument That Asserts Cars Kill More People Than Guns

The argument under consideration clarifies that, when it comes to murders, people are the ultimate cause and guns are merely proximate causes—the end of a causal chain that started with a person deciding to murder. But nothing follows from these facts about whether or not guns should be regulated. Such facts are true for all criminal activity, and even noncriminal activity that harms others: The ultimate cause is found in some decision that a person made; the event, activity, or object that most directly did the harming was only a proximate cause. But this tells us nothing about whether or not the proximate cause in question should be regulated or made illegal. 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/logical-take/201302/guns-don-t-kill-people-people-do

5) “Because of their deadly design, assault weapons amplify the carnage of public shootings. A review of mass shootings between 2009 and 2015 by Everytown for Gun Safety found that incidents where assault weapons or large capacity ammunition magazines were used resulted in 155% more people shot and 47% more people killed compared to other incidents. When access to assault weapons is restricted, deaths due to mass shootings decrease. A 2014 study found that “both state and federal assault weapons bans have statistically significant and negative effects on mass shooting fatalities.”

lawcenter.giffords.org/gun-laws/policy-areas/hardware…/assault-weapons/

6)  “But the worst is a wound from an AR-15 or AK-47 — high-muzzle velocity weapons, which impart a tremendous amount of kinetic energy into the body. Those are much more destructive. You’re looking at a wound that, externally, is two, three, four times bigger than any handgun wound.And that is reflective of the damage that happens on the inside. When a bullet from a high-muzzle velocity weapon hits the intestines, it’s like an explosion, whereas a low-muzzle velocity can be very similar to a knife going through the intestines; there’s bleeding, but it doesn’t destroy the whole area. A high-muzzle bullet, however, destroys whole areas of body. With a bone that’s been shot with a standard-issue caliber handgun, you’ll see a break, a hole in the bone, and maybe some displacement. But a high-muzzle weapon shatters that bone into hundreds of microscopic pieces, in a way that cannot be repaired.”

https://www.thetrace.org/2015/09/bullet-injuries-wounds-trauma-surgery/

Furthermore, AR-15 bullets don’t just affect the skin and the tissue immediately under it. In addition to turning a bone to dust or liver into jello, the high energy would also cause damage around the entry and exit wounds.

When a high-velocity bullet pierces the body, human tissue can ripple just like water does when you throw an object in it. But it all happens at increased velocity. The bullet and its ensuing fragments might miss a critical artery, but the cavitation effect could tear through blood vessels.

Rhee also said that a handgun would require only one surgery, but an AR-15 bullet wound needs three to ten.

Because it’s designed so well, the AR-15 fires almost without recoil, meaning that a shooter can inflict more damage with multiple bullets accurately hitting the same target. “The gun barely moves. You can sit there boom boom boom and reel off shots as fast as you can move your finger,” Denver Health trauma surgeon and Journal of Trauma and Acute Surgery editor Ernest Moore told Wired.

What happens when AR-15 rifle bullets tear through the human body

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The God Factor

The God Factor

Sistine-Chapel

By Rob Roman

America is a melting pot of religious persuasions. People who are agnostic (the question of God is not relevant to living a moral life) and people who are atheists (do not believe in God) have been around throughout the existence of the United States.

Let’s look at the official definition of God. From the Merriam Webster dictionary:

1 capitalized:  the supreme or ultimate reality: as 

a   :  the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe

 

b   Christian Science   :  the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit :  infinite Mind 

2:  a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically:  one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality

3:  a person or thing of supreme value

4:  a powerful ruler

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/god

god 6More and more, agnostics and atheists are asserting their rights and feel excluded by the government as God appears in our pledge of allegiance, on our money, and in many other places. They invoke the “separation of church and state” and our notion of equal rights to try to persuade the government to remove all references to God.

People who are against this cite the fact that our nation was founded mainly by deeply religious people who fled Europe due to religious persecution. They cite our strong history of a Judeo– Christian ethic and structure of laws. They will say that America is by and large a Christian Nation, and has always been so.

god 2We hear the perennial argument that it’s not inclusive of everyone to say “Merry Christmas” or to suggest that Christmas is only a Christian celebration. People point out that there are many other holidays around this time of year, including Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

Being inclusive does not mean that others should give up their rights or that we should neglect our history. How does having the word “God” stricken from everything serve the public interest? Isn’t it just as divisive to exclude the word “God” as it is to embrace it?

god 1Then what is “God”? How many people use the same definition? Many Christians see God as an all powerful creator in the same image as man. But divinity students may not agree, and they talk about a trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Muslims speak of “Allah”. This is their word for God, but is it the same as the God the Christians believe in? Buddhist are thought not to believe in a separate, personal God, but in the “Buddha Dharma”, which permeates everything, including all space and time. All three of these interpretations of God are creative and sustaining forces.

god 4Atheists say they don’t believe in God. Then what do they believe in?  What is most important to them? What is their driving force? What do they base their lives on and put their trust in? Many would say they put their trust in Humanity.

Being atheist or agnostic has moral implications. That doesn’t mean that they are amoral or immoral. True agnostics and atheists must have some sort of moral code.

Then we have the science vs. God argument. The truth is they are not mutually exclusive and can’t be. Some people believe that science is imperfect and attempts to deny the existence of God. Many people believe in both God and science and some trust neither.

Some people say they do not believe in God, but they say they do believe in a “higher power”, even if this comes from within themselves.

evil 2What would be a more universal interpretation of God? Maybe it’s a higher power, a higher consciousness, or a higher responsibility. Maybe everyone, including agnostics and atheists, can agree to at least one of these three interpretations.

humanity 2

There are three things we all want to do, if we are caring sentient beings. We all want to move in a direction. We want to move away form the darkness of ignorance and towards the light of understanding. We want to moves away from hatred and depression, and towards love and joy. We want to move away from selfishness and towards generosity.

god 5Within the idea of a higher power, a higher consciousness, or a higher responsibility, I think we all can agree that we all adhere to at least one of these as a driving force. Within the three directions, I think we can all agree that we embrace at least one of these.

So, instead of believing we need to remove the word God from everything, maybe everyone can define it for themselves within the parameters of these three interpretations and these three directions? This would be more inclusive than shutting out so many of our citizens and so much of our Nation’s history.

Now, this way, even Agnostics and Atheists (and Buddhists) can comfortably say “In God we trust” and “God bless America”.

What is your Opinion? We would like to know! All comments are welcome.

Our Universe

Always under construction  –  Constantly evolving!

A Meditation

By Rob Roman and Amanda Chen

space 1 lg

This is what we’re riding on. The Milky Way Galaxy. It’s only one of so many systems.

Whatever you believe in, God, a Higher Power, Science and Evolution, The Buddha Dharma, or Nothing at all, there is never an apple tree with only one apple, or a flower with only one petal.  If self-consciousness is the goal, there must be others out there.

There is a God for everyone, you just may define it differently than I do, or someone else does. We all came from the same origin, and we are all on the same path, universally speaking.

space 3 lg

We have some powerful telescopes out there, and this is out there. Some kind of plasma. Who needs the dry scientific explanation. Intuitively we can know what it is, it’s made out of the same basic stuff that we are.

space 4 lg

Even if it’s not interpreted in colors, there is energy and mass and movement here. A really tremendous amount of energy.  Our minds are powerful enough to tap that energy. All space and time can meet at the intersection of the human mind, no matter how distressed we are with finite and minute circumstances.

space 5 lg

Here we are all one, and here, there is no separation, as we are removed further and further away form the particulars of our space and our time, and move into the infinity of all space and all time.

Only the human mind can grasp both the minute particulars of the here and now, and  the vast generalization of infinity. We coalesce the infinite within the finite and timelessness within time.

space 6 lg

Is this time-lapse photography? I don’t want to spoil it by looking up what this is. Then I will be restricted by logical and studied interpretations. We can use our intuition to know what this is better than any scientist. We have a direct connection and we are directly related to this phenomenon.

space 7 lg

My guess is that this is reading infrared or ultraviolet light. So we are seeing heat, movement, and direction. We are seeing concentrations of light and energy, cooling into mass and becoming distinct, separate, and relative.

space 8 lg

The latest theory is that a failed planet or a mass of asteroids formed into a sphere and veered into the orbit of earth colliding and deforming earth, coming together again and forming the moon. Is life even possible without the moon? I never bothered to look that up.

They say the real cycle of the moon is 28 days, so our calendar should have 13 months x 28 days = 364 days. Starfish. Instead, we have different lengths of months with 28, 29, 30, and 31 days, leap years etc. Maybe 13 is not so unlucky a number. It’s a lucky number, though misunderstood.

Neil Armstrong said that when he went to the moon, what he really discovered was the earth.

space 9 lg

The big blue marble. it’s a living organism, truth be told. When people first saw this photo, they were awestruck. It opened up a higher consciousness, and for some a higher responsibility. Is it just a human control fantasy to think we can control the earth? Maybe , if we need it to sustain human life.

space 10 lg

Is this real? I don’t even know and I don’t recognize it. It’s just navigation on an ocean of space. Reality belongs to the perceiver, and the elements of perception. Cruising through the giant mind which is outer-space, the Universe is completely endless. No foundation, no edges, and no confines.

From a distance You look like my friend Even though we are at war

From a distance I just cannot comprehend What all this fighting is for

space 11From a distance There is HARMONY And it echoes through the land

And it’s the hope of hopes

It’s the love of loves

It’s the heart of every man

                    It’s the hope of hopes

                      It’s the love of loves

                      This is the song of every man.

God is watching us

                God is watching us

                           God is watching us

                                                      ………From a distance

-Bette Midler

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fky1dfANPiI

The “Law – Abiding Gun Owner”

Fact-Based Reporting

by Amanda Chen and Rob Roman

"Have you seen the like? Their walls are built of Cannonballs. Their motto is 'Don't Tread On Me'"
“Have you seen the like? Their walls are built of Cannonballs. Their motto is ‘Don’t Tread On Me'”

NO OFFENSE TO ACTUAL LAW-ABIDNG GUN OWNERS

  • What would you do if a teen was playing music too loud or your brother was upset with you?
  • What would you do if an 8 year old neighbor was too rambunctious, your spouse wore shoes you didn’t like, or your tenant was late on the rent and parked in the wrong place?
  •  How about if you spotted a young teen trying to get into your home or if your friends stopped talking to you?
  • What would you do if a stranger knocks at your door or rolls up your driveway?

Well, if you were a “law abiding gun owner”, perhaps you would shoot them to death.

They started it, anyways.

These are all recent stories about people who became emotional, upset, impulsive or foolish and a firearm was used before they used their objective reasoning and their common sense. Many of these people enjoyed shooting firearms and they wanted to have a sense of freedom and protection.

We enjoy the right of our 2nd Amendment which allows us to keep and bear arms for self-defense and the defense of our families. But too many “law abiding gun owners” turn to their guns as a first resort, rather than a last resort, in the midst of everyday conflicts and stressful situations.

gun showkids with guns 3

Gun ownership is becoming more main stream and more and more people are buying weapons, going to firing ranges, and demanding to bring their guns with them everywhere they go. Even NRA board member Ted Nugent echoes the idea that “An armed society is a polite (civil) society”.

But a lack of skills in conflict resolution and a stubborn inability to see things from an objective point of view, coupled with a pervasive feeling that one is under attack and disrespected, too often leads to tragic and fatal consequences. Too many unarmed and often unsuspecting citizens are being shot to death by “law abiding gun owners”.

Allegedly will not be "Dunn" thinking about a better way to handle disputes for another 20 to 30 years
Allegedly will not be “Dunn” thinking about a better way to handle disputes for another 20 to 30 years

November 2012

Jordan Davis, deceased
Jordan Davis, deceased

Perhaps the best example of this is Brevard County Florida’s Michael Dunn, who is a life long gun enthusiast, gun collector and a frequenter of shooting ranges. Michael Dunn on the day after Thanksgiving, 2012, allegedly attended a wedding where he allegedly drank too much while allegedly grousing over the re-election of President Barak Obama with friends.

He proceeded to a gas station where he encountered three black teens playing loud music at the pumps. He ordered them to turn the music down and they allegedly had an argument. Mr. Dunn then allegedly pulled a weapon and fired 9 shots into the car full of teens, killing 17 year old high school student Jordan Davis. He then sped away and proceeded to allegedly enjoy a nice pizza dinner. Mr. Dunn’s trial is scheduled for February. He will claim that he was forced to defend himself from teens sitting in their car.

Here are some more recent events involving more or less stressful conflicts or negligence with an armed response and a tragic resolution.

The Victim Ronald Westbrook
The Victim Ronald Westbrook

November 2013

A Georgia man shot and killed a 72 year-old wandering Alzheimer’s patient who knocked on his door. The couple in the home had already called police, but the husband, Joe Hendrix, went out the back door with a gun and shot the man, Ronald Westbrook 4 times. No charges were filed.

The "suspect" Carrender will not need a calendar for some time....except for a court calendar
The “suspect” Carrender will not need a Calendar for some time….unless it’s a Court Calendar

October 2013

“Authorities have arrested an Indiana man who fatally shot his teenage son in front of his pregnant girlfriend in their Martinsville, Ind. home.

After arguing over whether or not to return home from the restaurant / bar where they were watching football games, David Carrender, 49, retrieved his handgun and shot Wyatt Carrender, 19, possibly six times, according to police”.

What could have been a better solution? Drive home during half-time. Okay, so it must have been in the 3rd or 4th quarter. Father knows best!

Many women have joined the rolls of law abiding gun owners, contributing to a “more polite society”. Now women have the freedom of security in their own homes and the liberty of being able to go unescorted where they want to go. They can carry a concealed power “equalizer” and no longer have to fear being mauled, attacked, robbed or raped by a strong, aggressive and opportunistic bad guy. But, is that all these ladies have to fear when packing the heat that affords them their new found freedom and liberty?

Adele_Bing

November 2013

A Florida woman, who had just had a heated argument with her boyfriend who had stormed out of her house, fired apparently through the door moments later when someone approached her home and started knocking loudly. That person happened to be her own daughter, Ruby, with her 4 month-old baby in her arms. Adele Bing shot her daughter, Ruby, dead by mistake.

Child safety advocate Ringhardt
Child safety advocate Ringhardt

October 2013

Melissa Ringhardt, 19, of Texas was babysitting a five year- old boy and his 6- month old sibling. She pulled her .40 caliber handgun out of her handbag and left it on the coffee table before taking a nap on the couch. She awoke to a gunshot and the 5 year-old was dead on the living room floor.

Women and children are safer, now that “inanimate objects” or “simple tools” are involved.

So, at least we have a polite society where spouses or lovers are nicer to each other and emotionally charged arguments are avoided because both partners own weapons. This causes them to be better communicators and ultimately more adept at peaceful and cooperative conflict resolution, right?

Problem solved. Domestic Tranquility.
Problem solved. Domestic Tranquility.

November 2013

A Tennessee man shot his wife after an argument over the husband wearing his wife’s deceased father’s shoes. James Cothran and his wife, Patricia, began arguing for over 30 minutes when after Thanksgiving dinner, Patricia asked James to take off her father’s shoes. He claims she then grabbed a knife and was “fixing coming at me, so I shot her”. James shot her dead with a .22 caliber handgun and he’s claiming self-defense.

I suppose in that 30 minutes of arguing, she never noticed that he had a gun on him. Alright then, Happy Thanksgiving!

Pretty in Pink?, No, Orange.
Pretty in Pink?, No, Orange.

November 2013

A Pennsylvania man was watching sports with his father and his brother when the two brothers got into a heated argument. Robert Bauduin,46, then blasted his brother Richard, 48, with a shotgun, killing him instantly.

Blame it on football and general sports violence inviting audience participation. What was the argument about again? They probably don’t remember.

And here’s an old headline from an old and true story about two brothers I worked with at a Stop & Shop Supermarket “Brother charged in shooting kin in theft of fifty cents”.

These two very large brothers both worked at the Supermarket for years and were always at each other’s throats. Then one day they had an argument at home and one brother blasted the other with a shotgun.

Since guns are just a simple tool, they also have an infinite variety of miscellaneous uses too. They are for much more than just making routine domestic arguments into fatal tragedies. An augmentation and enforcement mechanism for bible study seems to be one such use. Child discipline, animal control, and neighborhood protection are just a few more of the manifold uses of firearms.

Dispute Resolved. Peace restored to the neighborhood.
Dispute Resolved. Peace restored to the neighborhood.

September 2013

A white Texas man shot his neighbor, an 8 year old black boy, for being too rambunctious. The boy had just gone in his home to get a toy, and upon coming back outside, 46 year-old Brian Cloninger shot him in the face. “Maiden’s mother, Latamarin Locklin, recalled the aftermath of the shooting to KTVT on Thursday.

“When he ran in I just screamed,” she said. “His mouth was just hanging off and it was just a big hole… I just threw him on the couch and laid him in my arms and put pressure on his mouth with a towel.” When asked what happened, Cloninger was leaning against his truck and just said, “yes, I shot that kid”.

Maiden was bleeding profusely, but he was rushed to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery. He survived but was in critical condition.

Confronted by the dangers of 3 teens a car and a Remington rifle, the snake prevailed.
Confronted by the dangers of 3 teens a car and a Remington rifle, the snake prevailed.

September 2013

A Florida teen and his friends got out of his car and attempted to shoot a snake. Jared Hemphill, 18, shot his friend, Christopher Rape, also 18, in the leg instead. Upon recounting the story, the teen said they had to stop the car, get out and shoot the snake with a Remington semi-automatic rifle, as the snake in the road was a danger and a threat. Jared claimed self-defense. No charges were filed. The snake could not be reached for comment.

Dumas or Dumbass?
Dumas or Dumbass?

October 2013

A Tennessee mom was shocked when a man who was a friend of the family for three years, suddenly showed up and shot her son and daughter in their driveway. Angelique White, 29, and Christopher White, 23, were in the driveway when Aaron Dumas approached and pulled out a bible and started arguing with the siblings. While the mother was inside calling 911, she heard two gunshots. The siblings were hospitalized but survived.

You Talkin' to Me?
You Talkin’ to Me?

June 2013

New Orleans A man shot and killed a teen for attempting to rob his home. “A 14-year-old New Orleans boy was shot in the head early Friday morning after a homeowner said the unarmed teen was trying to break into his house.

Homeowner Merritt Landry, 33, who lives in Marigny, allegedly shot Marshall Coulter after fearing for his safety, and told friends and family he thought the teen had a gun.” Despite New Orleans’ “castle doctrine” laws, similar to Florida’s “stand your ground” laws, Landry was arrested and charged with 2nd degree murder.

Guns have been successfully used in law enforcement for centuries. When law enforcement falls short, the individual can reign supreme. Firearms also help business owners and home owners to “stand their ground” against people who are ‘fixing to violate the rules’ and ‘do trespassing and such’.

Obey the rules
Obey the rules

November 2013

A Tennessee bar owner shot and killed a patron for refusing to extinguish his cigarette “A downtown bar owner told police he fatally shot a country music singer in self-defense after the two got into an argument over the musician smoking a cigarette in a no-smoking area, authorities said.”

Pit and Barrel owner Chris Ferrell shot Wayne Mills, 44, around 5 a.m. Saturday, after the bar had closed, The Tennessean reported. Mills died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Either he didn’t like the music or else I suspect there was a woman involved.

Let Freedom Ring
Let Freedom Ring

January 2013

A Georgia man shot and killed a young man who mistakenly pulled into his driveway because of a GPS error.

“Lilburn, Ga. – A 69 year-old suburban Atlanta man faces a murder charge after authorities say he shot and killed a 22-year-old man who had mistakenly driven into his driveway.

An arrest warrant states that Rodrigo Abad Diaz of Duluth, Ga., was fatally shot in the head Saturday as he tried to drive away from Phillip Sailors’ home in Lilburn, northeast of Atlanta.”

Sailors may have thought “the Guvmint was fixing to grab muh gunz”. After all, the far-right news media and talk shows had been barking this idiotic lie 24/7.

Here’s my personal favorite. In this situation, there was a discussion. The discussion turned into an argument whereupon the police were called. The police left thinking the dispute was settled. Then the homeowner / landlord got a firearm and charged in to do his own brand of law enforcement.

Pak was packing a lot of angry heat, but not much common sense.
Pak was packing a lot of angry heat, but not much common sense.

December 2012

The Deceased: Derrick Thompson and Alivia  Welch
The Deceased: Derrick Thompson and Alivia Welch

James Pak, 74, of Maine, shot and killed a young man and his girlfriend in the presence of the girl’s mother and 7 year-old son, after a dispute over late rent and not moving their car for the snowplow. Maine State Police identified the victims as Derrick Thompson, 19, and his girlfriend, Alivia Welch, 18. Thompson’s mother, Susan Johnson, 44, was treated for a gunshot wound at Maine Medical Center in Portland, where she was in stable condition early Sunday. Johnson’s 7-year-old son, Brayden, was not hurt. Problem solved. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The point here, of course, is not that gun ownership is intrinsically bad or that the 2nd Amendment should be repealed. Gun ownership is an important part of our American history and culture. We should just remember that not every gun owner is thoughtful and deliberates carefully before they point and shoot. They will claim self-defense, apply the castle doctrine miles away from home, and continue to say “I was just cleaning my gun”.

The 2nd Amendment “no infringements” activists also are not always reasonable. They will claim that since it’s possible that ten people could invade the home of a law abiding citizen, there should be no limitations to the type of firearms that are available to individuals. They will claim that more people are killed by other means than firearms, so nothing should be done about gun safety until those other problems are fixed first.

They will claim that forks, knives and cars, things that everyone uses every day and multiple times per day, are just as dangerous as guns. They point to other related safety and control problems such as psychotropic drugs and mental health and claim that this is the problem, while guns are the innocent and “inanimate” bystander.

gun“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. Yes, so guns should not be regulated, but people like these folks should be regulated with respect to gun ownership and gun safety. Who is allowed to have or not have firearms and under what circumstances is always a legitimate subject to discuss.

US-CRIME-SHOOTING-POLITICSGun rights activists will claim that since the mass shooting tragedy called “Sandy Hook” and the subsequent gun safety and sensible gun control initiatives, gun sales have skyrocketed. That’s all the more reason why we need safety and control legislation. Protecting the public safety is one of the highest charges of government.

People are people and too many do not employ common sense, use appropriate cautions, and they try to resolve conflicts with deadly force as the very first resort. People are pulling out their lethal trump cards on impulse before exhausting every other option to resolve disputes.

kids with gunsThis is why all our children need lessons in how to behave in a civil society. For their own safety, they should have courses about how to resolve disputes and handle emotionally charged conflicts. They should know how and where to get help.

Gun safety training and continuing education courses should be mandatory for gun owners. Would institutions such as the NRA care to be involved in this endeavor?  They want to offer gun safety courses as a matter of individual choice, but just look at the deadly individual choices made in these examples.

Let’s have some courses on civil behavior and conflict resolution and some mandatory courses on gun safety. Can we do that?

Maybe gun rights activists will say our real problem is that not enough of us own and carry weapons. If everyone owned and carried weapons, then people would know everyone else is armed and people wouldn’t tangle with each other so much we could finally have a polite and civil society where there are no “knockout games”, no assaults, no mob violence, no beatings and rapes and very little random violence.

Firearms_SS-43461934We’re about half way there already, by the looks of theses news articles. Twelve dead and six wounded is a small price to pay for individual law and guideline enforcement, keeping animals in line, child safety, and domestic tranquility,

None of the victims in these stories were armed.

The snake, of course, has no arms.

What’s your opinion?

All comments are welcome and appreciated

All Rights Reserved

Sources:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/gps-mistake-allegedly-leads-deadly-driveway-shooting/story?id=18346144

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/11/27/florida-man-charged-with-killing-teen-over-loud-music/

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/david/white-dallas-man-shoots-8-year-old-black-boy

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/11/28/ga-man-kills-wandering-alzheimer-patient-who-knocked-on-door-police-say-charges/

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/11/30/police-eldersville-man-shoots-kills-brother-with-shotgun/

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/teen-shot-head-man-thought-burglar-police-article-1.1410613#ixzz2mfpxenPk

http://www.pressherald.com/news/Biddeford-man-.html?pagenum=full

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/man-tried-to-shoot-snake-shot-friend-seminole-county-deputies-say/-/1637132/22156434/-/lboyt5/-/index.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Horn_shooting_controversy

http://www.wmctv.com/story/23689973/mother-upset-after-both-her-children-were-shot

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/27/adele-bing-killed-daughter_n_4350449.html

http://www.ibtimes.com/melissa-ringhardt-texas-babysitter-arrested-after-5-year-old-boy-accidentally-shoots-himself-gun

http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2013/12/01/man-shoots-wounds-alberton-child-for-playing-music-too-loud

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/11/29/tennessee-man-shoots-and-kills-wife-after-argument-over-dead-mans-shoes/

A word about the “Sandy Hook Hoaxers” (December 4)

Fact based reporting

by Kenneth Jameson, Amanda Chen and Rob Roman

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Attention: All Sandy Hook Hoaxers to the Office Please!

On the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre and one year after the victims were laid to rest, can we also bury these hateful conspiracy theories and hoax accusations that are still being broadcasted as recently as today?

9146424_origAlthough I do sympathize with people who buy into these theories because of the over- zealous efforts to maintain privacy, that’s as far as my sympathies go.

We have viewed all the most popular of these YouTube videos and internet articles talking conspiracy with such titles as “Sandy Hoax School”, “Sandy Hook Line and Sinker” and “Unraveled in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Dimensions.

Please be advised, we have had enough of this nonsense, already. You are now under detention.

Here are some of the most citied reasons for thinking that what happened on December 14th, 2012, didn’t really happen:

SANDY-HOOK-ELEMENTARY-VICTIMS-730x365

Posts and Reports Before the Attack

1) Face book posts, tweets, etc. predate the tragedy. Time zones and the way these social media sites archive information and update previous articles and posts are the reason why there are these time differences. This is whypeople seemed to be discussing the tragedy “before it happened”, etc.

Adam Lanza’s death certificate reads December 13th. There is a lot of red tape to correct such an error. If this was a carefully designed hoax, this mistake would have never been made.

No Visibly Injured Victims

2) Only 3 injured were rushed to the hospital, the 26 dead were not. This speaks for itself.

Out of sensitivity to the victim’s families and the town, the victims were taken out under the cover of darkness after the crime scene had been processed.

 

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The Empty Triage Area

3) There were no injured victims in the triage area. The 26 were dead and there were no injured victims to triage.

An Emergency Room MD, who was teaching a class to other medical personnel on gunshot wounds, told the class that the ER doesn’t see too many patients with wounds from  .223 hollow point rounds fired from high powered rifles. The reason? The Doctor said that most people never make it to the Hospital with these wounds.

Nothing Happening at the Scene

4) Nothing is happening outside the school during the tragedy. The footage you see is one or more hours AFTER the shooting and authorities blocked the driveway to keep hysterical parents away from the school.

adam-lanza-elite-dailydownload (1) left

“Adam” is really Ryan

5) Adam Lanza is really Ryan Lanza. Actually, his features are similar maybe because they are brothers.

Connecticut_School_Sh_John_22_t607

The Parents Were “Crisis Actors”

6) All the Sandy Hook parents are actors and musicians and are older than most parents of 6 year-olds.

In real reality, some of the 20 parents have acting and musical talent. This has always been true of Newtown and is truer today. Many people living in Newtown work and perform in Manhattan and other, nearby musical and acting venues.

Most of the parents of the victims stayed out of the limelight. Naturally, the parents with acting and performing experience were more comfortable with public speaking and therefore volunteered to be the spokespeople. The more mature parents were willing to came forward and speak to the media.

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Memorial Christmas Trees Stored at Firehouse Before the Tragedy

7)  We had a good laugh at this one. The Christmas trees decorated and placed as memorials to the victims were seen on video in a pile behind the firehouse before it was known what had happened. In real reality, many firehouses hold Christmas tree sales as a fund-raiser and this firehouse has done so for decades. The December 14th date means these trees may have been leftovers.

Medical Examiner Acted Strangely

8) The Medical Examiner, whose name is ironically “Carver”, acted oddly. In real life, unlike on TV shows, people span the full range of personality types. Think about the fact that this man had just performed autopsies on many of the tiny 6 year-olds with unspeakable wounds. In light of this, there is little strange in anything he said or did.

Adam Lanza Not Known or Seen

9) No one had heard of or talked to Adam Lanza in 3 years. I can’t think of a rational explanation for that except that, just maybe, he was living in a self-imposed isolation.

Manipulated Victim Photos

10) The photos of the victims with their families appear photo shopped. You can look at almost any photo and claim it is photo shopped for one reason or another.

Manipulated Shooter Photos

11) There are no photos of brothers Adam and Ryan Lanza together. There are no photos of these brothers together that were RELEASED TO THE MEDIA, for obvious reasons.

There are no recent photos of the brothers together, also for obvious reasons. One more thing – Adam did not like to have his photo taken, and he’s not the only one who’s like that.

Victims Parents Were New to Newtown

12) Some of the parents moved to Newtown a few years before the tragedy. I can’t really answer that one except that just maybe, many parents buy a home and move to a town around the start of their children’s schooling.

Student Made Reference to a “Drill”

13) A Sandy Hook Student recalling the tragedy days later spoke of a “drill”. Yes, the school had a lock down drill 2 weeks before the shooting and the student was drawing comparisons saying his experiences were similar to the drill.

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Complacent and Smiling Parents

14)  The parents were really “crisis actors” and were smiling and even laughing days after they lost their children. If they were good crisis actors, they would not have laughed and smiled at all, would they? Real people actually laugh and smile at times, even in the midst of a tragedy. Most people feel the whole range of emotions at such a time.

Pray that you do not have to bear a horrendous and inexplicable tragedy in your life for you to know how the victim’s families really felt and behaved.

The Shooter and his Mother were Autopsied Last

15) The autopsies of the children and other victims were done before the shooter and his mother. Why were these autopsies done last if they are the most important from a forensic viewpoint? Because they were the most important from a forensic viewpoint is precisely the reason they were autopsied last rather than first.

Second Shooter and Other Suspects

16) There were other suspects outside the school. The new report makes clear that there were in fact individuals outside the school, a parent who heard the report on the radio and came to the school, an off duty policeman spotted by other police in the woods, a looky-loo who heard the news and came to see what he could see, and two reporters.  Some were detained and brought to the police station because the police were not going to take any chances.

Amusingly, the new report reveals that some police dropped shotgun rounds on the ground both inside and outside the school. These were photographed and became evidence in the case.

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The “Firehouse Circle”

17) People  were reported to be walking around aimlessly in circles outside the firehouse. Concerned parents coming to the firehouse were arriving and being told to go to another entrance. Also, people who had been sitting inside for so long came out to stretch their legs.

The “conspiracy” footage we saw shows the same two cars repeatedly cruising down the same short stretch of road in the background, similar to what you see in the background of a Flintstone’s episode. It was obviously doctored. Thank-You, we had some more laughs.

There was also a claim that the 26 stars on top of the firehouse were placed there before the tragedy. Alright, then. We believe you, we surely do.

st_rose_of_lima_school

Video of police Entering a Different School

18) There is footage of heavily armed and helmeted police teams rushing to a nearby Catholic school, called the Saint Rose (of Lima) School. Maybe, just maybe the police secured nearby schools, and all schools in the surrounding area and towns were locked down as part of the response protocol. More than maybe, it’s a certainty. Sorry, hoaxers.

FEMA Response Drill Nearby

19) A FEMA “active shooter drill” was held 14 miles away in nearby Bridgeport on the same day as the Sandy Hook shootings. These kinds of drills are held all around the country, especially since 9-11, and between the holidays is a slow time when many of these events are held.

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The Good Samaritan Ploy

20) The good Samaritan and retired psychologist, Gene Rosen, who was so kind to help the scared and confused children who ran out of Ms. Soto’s classroom (when Adam Lanza was re-loading), out the front door and down the driveway, was vilified as a “screen-actors” guild member (not true), and a part of the conspiracy.

To top it off, Gene Rosen owned the same model and color car as Adam Lanza drove to the school. Of course, the government uses only a certain model and color car for this special children massacre “drill”. Poor Mr. Rosen was hounded for months by the conspiracy theorists. This only goes to prove the theory that no kind act ever goes unpunished.

We need many more people as kind and understanding as Gene Rosen.

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All the Black and Silver Cars

There was also much made of the fact that many of the Sandy Hook cars were silver or black. White, silver and black cars are the most popular and have the highest resale value. Many leased cars are one of these colors.

I have a black car. Before that, I had a silver car. My father has a silver car. Before that he had a white car and my mom had a black car. My brother has a silver car. And his son has a black car. We all must be part of this vast car conspiracy.

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There truly is a Sandy Hook Conspiracy: All these Hoax reports are the conspiracy. A few gun rights activists want nothing more than to believe that these attacks never happened at all, happened with only handguns, or  that these attacks are only about mental health issues and have nothing to do with the weaponry used. So, these videos and articles have a large audience.

SHS_ArtLike the Aurora Theater Shooting. There is a severe lack of information and evidence which is publicly available. Unlike the Aurora Theater Shooting, the Sandy Hook shooting is a closed case. There will be no prosecutions and there will be no trial.

It’s time to reveal more information.

The latest “New Report”, first promised in June, but released in late November, 2013, is not representative in any way of what the investigation has uncovered. There was way more information discovered than what was reported. We, the public, do not need to know every detail of an investigation. But this is not enough by any standard.

It is not a “Reader’s Digest condensed version or even a “Cliff’s Notes” Version. It’s more like a “cheat sheet version”.

download (3)Cleverly designed to appear to be revealing lots of information while revealing almost nothing, the authorities have gone too far in withholding basic information. The public has a right to know. This paltry report took 11 months to release?

No one expects identifying photos of the victims, but a video screen shot of the shooter or some concrete representation of the attack is needed. A photo of a broken window and some glass shards are not enough. Perhaps the state of Connecticut is waiting until after the Anniversary of the attack and the holidays before revealing more information. But I suspect this is nearly all we will see, and that is grossly inadequate.

People need a little more information so we fully realize the gravity of this horrendous act. This way, we can finally get together and make sure we find ways to reduce the number and the lethality of mass shootings and the possibility of this happening again.

images (1)The Sandy Hook shooting is thought by many to be a vast conspiracy aimed at providing a catalyst to spur gun control legislation. No, the ability of mentally disturbed people to easily get hold of weapons, many of these weapons owned by law-abiding gun owners, is the catalyst for mental health AND gun safety legislation.

The simple fact is that guns make impulsive behavior into deadly behavior, because of the ease of operation, and the shooter can do this from both an emotional and physical distance. So we need to find a way to keep them away from unstable people.

You cannot address mental health issues in the context of mentally disturbed people who use military style weapons and large capacity magazines to commit mass shootings without including gun safety measures.

hsuHey You!

-Hoaxers and conspiracy theorists! I hope it’s only because you enjoy the detective work and the hobby of engaging in speculation and creating slick videos. I truly hope you do not believe all this hooey. Besides, it’s kind of hateful and disrespectful.

I would like to give you a proper response, but I am trying to evolve and be more civil!

All Comments Are Welcome And Appreciated

All Rights Reserved

American Culture Must Evolve

America Needs a Cultural Evolution

Government Shutdowns – Healthcare – Activism – Laws – Education

Prisons                                                                             Technology

Innovation                                                                               Religion

Medicine                                                                                         Bullying

Human Rights – Resource Allocation – War – Personal Responsibility

美国需要一个文化的演变

Los Estados Unidos necesita una evolución cultural

アメリカ合衆国は、文化的に進化する必要があります

Les Etats-Unis a besoin d’une évolution culturelle

لولايات المتحدة الأمريكية يحتاج إلى التطور الثقافي

Die Vereinigten Staaten benötigt eine kulturelle Evolution

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The late, great author Kurt Vonnegut             AR-15 rifle, pink & white w/ Hello,                                                                                           Kitty

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Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre

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Growing up in America

As a child in America, my room was decorated in red, white, and blue. My goal was to go to the NavalAcademy, to serve my beloved country as an officer in the U.S. Navy. I truly believed we were the greatest nation on earth. I believed our proud history and I believed in American Exceptionalism.

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Overseas Cultures

When I was travelling overseas for the first time, I happened to find myself on a bus with a group of expatriate Americans. They were complaining about the U.S.A. and I became very angry. I wanted to fight them all, but I remained silent and just observed. For so many people overseas, visiting, pursuing an education in, and living in America is a cherished dream.

Cooperative Cultures

I was fortunate to meet some of the nicest and kindest people I have ever met in my life. They were from such nations as Iran, China, and Egypt. I was exposed to authoritarian states where people were afraid of the police and distrustful of their governments, yet they lived in a beautiful culture of cooperation, honesty, caring, friendliness and trust. I experienced cultures where people who argue, fight and behave with aggression are scorned and shunned as poorly educated and primitive.

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American Culture

Then I returned to America to week after week of sensationalized murders, political intransigence, gun violence,  sports heroes setting really bad examples, gun worship, the glorification of mean adults and the suicides of children due to bullying by their peers.

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Cold War and Terrorism

I thought back to my own childhood in the United States, when the world seemed to be divided into two camps. I was scared to death that the cold war would heat up and quickly go nuclear before people came to their senses. This fear was replaced by a new fear of terrorism, where innocent people are randomly targeted by a small group of desperate religious heretics. Now, a new fear is emerging, the fear that we will destroy ourselves from within, and do it freely, willingly, and with a healthy dose of patriotism and pride.

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I believed then and I still believe that America needs a Cultural Evolution. The American people desperately need to let the wisdom and the culture of other nations like China seep in and permeate our dealings with each other in our everyday life.

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American Exceptionalism

There had been some controversy about people from the United States of America claiming “American Exceptionalism”.  Exactly what makes America exceptional, other than our ever – growing list of millionaires and billionaires and our severe dysfunctions? Now, if you are from another country, you probably will heartily agree with this statement.

ProudAmericanEagleSm[1]If you’re an American, you may be as upset and offended by that remark as I was on that bus with the expatriates. What is exceptional about America is that our citizens come from every other country in the world. Our culture is a mix of most of the cultures of the world. We Americans hope to lead the way in legal, political and social reforms throughout the world.

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Cultural Evolution and Medicine

To take on the tremendous responsibility of this ideal, and truly be that “shining city on a hill”, we need some serious constructive criticism form within and from other nations. We need this constructive criticism from people who hope to visit, be educated, or live in America. We need this constructive criticism from people who want no part of America. We need constructive criticism from people who live in and love America, too.

We need cultural education and reform. We need to take the medicine. We need to evolve.

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A famous Zen Buddhist monk once said that “sickness cures the medicine”. We are used to seeing things from one perspective, so we would say “no, you are wrong. Medicine cures the sickness”. The statement of the monk was not meant to contradict this usual, reasoned statement, it was meant to inform it.

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Who we are

We call on all persons of good will, inside and outside the United States to contribute and share some medicinal constructive criticism. Let’s shame America into realizing the desperate need for a cultural evolution and fulfill its noble promise to one day become truly exceptional in the eyes of the world.

We are not on the left (liberal) and not on the right (conservative). We are from the political center and we love America. We will criticize the left and the right and we look for solutions from both sides.

Please join us and contribute information

We welcome your contributions to this goal. Please feel free to write or contribute an article for this blog, make any comments about this blog, and provide any relevant links to other blogs or information on the worldwide web which can assist in our shared goal of a U.S.A. Cultural Evolution.

feather-penThe pen is mightier than the sword

Welcome to USA Cultural Evolution

We hope you enjoy the content

Amanda Chen – People’s Republic of China china flag

Rob Roman – United States of Americausa flag

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