Sunday, June 12, 2016

Where Was The Good Guy?

I woke up this morning to the news of yet another mass shooting in the U.S., in Orlando, Florida.  50 people this time.  And the death toll will increase because another 53 were injured.  And, as usual, the product that produced this carnage - performing exactly as it was meant to - was an AR-15.  

There was a time when the Congress recognized that this was not a hunting rifle meant to go out and hunt Bambi, and they sensibly banned it.  The following quote is from a Wikipedia article on the Assault Weapon Ban of 1994.  (The reviewing court held that it was "entirely rational for Congress ... to choose to ban those weapons commonly used for criminal purposes and to exempt those weapons commonly used for recreational purposes."[18]:10[22] It also found that each characteristic served to make the weapon "potentially more dangerous," and were not "commonly used on weapons designed solely for hunting."[18]:10–11[23])  Any product designed to kill as many humans as possible in as short a period of time as possible is meant for warfare, not hunting, and not for personal protection.  Unless you really believe the zombies are coming.

Now the NRA says the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.  In the nightclub last night, I guess there were no good guys with guns.  Most normal people don't want to walk around carrying a weapon that could more likely cause harm to themselves or a member of their family than protect them from some madman.  I cannot envision myself killing someone else.  Can you?  Honestly, can you?  

Where are the good guys with laws?

Sunday, June 05, 2016

I'm Ignoring Trump

When it all began, we thought it was humorous.  The idea of the larger-than-life reality showman running for any political office, let alone the Presidency.  The only thing anyone knew about him was that he was rich and like to fire people.  As time went on, the joke became less funny.  And, finally, when it looked as though he would definitely be the Republican candidate, it got scary.

The major news folks - from CNN to the Twitterverse - have given Trump millions of dollars of free coverage.  Every word he utters seems to be news.  Why?  I'm damned if I know.  We have a sitting President, and his activities and speeches are not covered as much as the lies and exaggerations of Mr. Trump.  

Everyone seems to be concerned about the image he's giving our country.  It's not just on Facebook that people are saying they will move to Canada.  I said it last night.  Mitch McConnell tries to reassure us that the structure of our government will protect us from Trump's unconstitutional and racist ideas.  But we have had presidents in the past who were willing to break the law to have their way.  Certainly, I can imagine Trump ignoring our laws because he thinks he knows better.

The one sure thing that would straighten things out a bit is if the media just ignored him.  Let him make his speeches, criticize whomever he wants, threaten each and every minority, and make promises he cannot keep - just don't cover the story.  That's what Megan Kelly did.  We've heard enough to form an opinion.  Months more of it won't change our minds much.  Let's see the news reports of heroism in the face of floods in Texas, document the newest breakthroughs in the treatment of cancer, show us the refugees who are settling in to their new lives.  Just, please, no more Trump.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

More than Beautiful

So-and-so updated her Profile photo, and all the comments say, "You are so beautiful,"  "Great photo," "Such a good-looking couple," etc.  Why do we only acknowledge a woman's looks, not her achievements?  

Just once, I would love to see the profile photo of a 40-something with three kids and a husband and a business, at the end of a marathon.  Now that should garner some meaningful comments.

And now, at graduation season, let's see some photos of Moms and grandmothers in their caps and gowns, having finally earned a degree after they ensured the education of their children.

Let's see the woman who, at 2 a.m., is working on the taxes for their business, preparing for a meeting with the tax accountant.  She's taking advantage of the quiet of the house after the health-care workers have gone home, the phone has stopped ringing, and her cancer-stricken husband in a hospital bed in the living room has finally gone to sleep for the night.  Now that's a beautiful woman!

Think about it the next time you see that one of your Facebook friends has updated their profile.  Try not to comment on her appearance - speak to her achievements.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Advice I Never Got

Why didn't anyone ever tell me that money, and managing money, is such an important part of living a full and rewarding life?  No one ever told me that one day I would be 74 and arguing with my 76 year old husband about whether we could attend his nephew's funeral because we have no money.

That's not actually true.  We each have our Social Security checks coming in each month.  That's a total of $1925.  Our expenses are $65.00 more than that each month.  And, believe me, we do not live lavishly.  He makes redwood Adirondack chairs which sell for $100 each, when they sell, and I have an Etsy shop which brings in an average of $200 per month.  I also do some baby-sitting and dog-sitting for extra money.  We have some savings, but according to the Social Security folks, it's got to last us another 20 years.  

I just wish my parents had seen fit to educate me about investing money when I was 17, that they had shown me the numbers.  But it's my experience that kids don't really understand the numbers until they start buying diapers and paying for pediatrician visits.  I don't know what I was thinking back then, or even when I had three kids and was working full-time to pay the bills.  I argued then that there simply was no money left over to save, but, of course, there was.  I just didn't choose to do it.

Here's what I am going to do for my grandson: make a picture book showing (a) the car you can have if you have money, and (b) the car you have if you don't; the trips you can take if you save money, and (b) the road trip to Wally World if you don't; (a) the house you can give your family with a college degree, and (b) the low-rent apartment you'll have with a GED.  You get the idea, right?  Maybe that will work better than talking numbers.  

But how do you tell them that the working years go by so fast and in a blink, you're 74 and arguing about money.