Thursday, April 12, 2018

High Anxiety

Last couple of months I've been getting anxious - feeling that something's wrong, occasional dizziness, tension, and other sensations I can't come up with words to describe. It hasn't occurred often, but when it does it's debilitating for the relatively short period of time it's happening

Having had no prior experience with this, I'm not sure how to deal with it. When I'm in the middle of the situation, the intensity is scary, like I need to go to the hospital or something to get help. Then it's gone. Like now. Twenty minutes ago I was in the middle of one of these events and gave serious consideration to a trip to the ER.

That's a cruddy way to live. I have a new appreciation for folks who suffer from this ... malady? condition? I have no idea what to call it ... on a regular basis. I hope not to become a member of that group, but then I may not have a choice.

Things I'm gonna do to attempt to mitigate the situation:

Meditate every day, increase my exercise regimen and yoga, and whatever else I can figure out to calm my mind.

Side note: Carol - busy making dinner and watching PBS Evening News - put flour in the sifter then saw it was in the bowl upside down. Combine that with Elvis, my primary cat, asleep on my lap, and life is good.
Elvis is on the Right - Zorro on the Left

Stay safe people. And love your neighbor, even when it's hard sometimes.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Means and Opportunity

Two things that are necessary in order to commit a crime, be it shoplifting or mass murder.  Means and opportunity. Of course intent factors into the equation, as perhaps do other things, but the key items are means and opportunity.
Bailey Holt 15 Years old, killed January 23, 2018 in Benton KY school shooting

When it comes to killing school children and teachers, the opportunity seems to be all too easy to manage. What can we do about that? Turn our schools into fortresses guarded by armed and trained personnel? Possibly, but how does that help learning? Is there a better way? I don't know a good, rational answer in today's environment.

However, we can do something about the means part of the equation. We can make access to the type of weapon most often used in these crimes extremely difficult, maybe even impossible. Let's first agree on a few things: regardless of your right to own one, a semi-automatic assault weapon has no use as a hunting weapon; the adrenaline rush of blowing holes in concrete blocks or silhouette targets just doesn't last; and no person that is not in a military or police uniform, and on duty, has any business with one in his or her hands outside a firing range.

Ah, the SECOND AMENDMENT says we can. Sigh... and so it does, if you're part of A well regulated militia.

"But, I only use it at the shooting range." Awesome! How about this then?  Let's have all shooting ranges that are safely capable of dealing with that kind of fire power, include lockers in which the weapon can be securely stored until you are next ready to use them at the range. Since it's no good for hunting, if you're a true hunter, you don't need one for any other purpose.
The Second Amendment as Ratified:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Let's look at the part that precedes the comma, especially the phrase I highlighted earlier - A well regulated militia. The logical way to accomplish that regulatory requirement would be to assure that anyone owning a weapon had been properly trained in its use and safety, and was mentally capable of handling it without injury to oneself or others. Much like an automobile owner is required to have a license to drive the vehicle,registration and insurance that identifies the vehicle and provides protection in the event of an accident, so should any gun owner be required to have a license that indicates what weapons the person is qualified to handle, and registration and insurance on each weapon to cover any liability incurred in the use of the weapon. 

Among the absurdities promoted by the NRA, such as arming teachers, is the following from Dana Loesch:

The NRA's front person stated in an interview, obviously trying to divert the interviewer from the point of the weapon's capability to the mental health of the user, said, "The weapon didn't walk into the school by itself." No, but if it wasn't available to the perpetrator, it wouldn't have walked into the school at all.

We must, as a rational society, understand that the above amendment has two parts, and that the United States Constitution is more than just one amendment. 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Good Morning 2018

Goodbye 2017

The brutal cold of the last week
of a brutal year is still with us
though the year has gone
the way of all years.

The naked maples in our woods
still carry the powder
of the last snow on their
windward trunks.

We sit in our many-windowed
sunroom, cats and computers
in our laps.  A typical morning,
no different from so many others.

Each of us living our morning
routine, no resolutions announced
to begin this even-numbered year,
some differences apparent though,

this icy morning, a private resolve?
A secret promise to change something
in ourselves, unannounced because
we may, likely will, fail?

And so we begin the new year with
small unremarkable changes
in our unremarkable lives.