As Obama pointed out on Friday, the news briefings on mass shooting are all too common, to the point of routine. The Oregon shooting seems to have had a religious connection in the shooter asking students to identify themselves as Christians—if they admitted this, he shot them in the head, if not, in the legs. Early reports indicate he had a thing against organized, institutionalized religion, a common feeling, but one usually acted on by just staying away from churches.
Obama indicated frustration, a sentiment that he has displayed many times on this issue. He knows he’s largely failed in making any progress on gun control, and with only a year to go, he will leave with little accomplished.
He asked reporters there to do homework on it: compile stats on Americans killed by terrorists, and compare that to ones killed by fellow Americans in mass shootings. A few news agencies have done that, and any form of graph shows the results are obvious. The main deaths from a terrorist activity occurred on 9-11, almost three thousand killed in the Twin Towers attack. There have been a few since that, such as at the Boston Marathon, but compared to home-grown gun deaths, any terrorist plotting stutters along the bottom line, while domestic gun violence soars at stratospheric levels above. Continue reading
I wasn’t surprised by the news this morning that the Grand Jury in Ferguson, Missouri decided not to charge the police officer who shot and killed teenager Michael Brown several weeks ago. In fact I don’t think anyone I know would have been surprised. It was expected.
Despite my writing what I thought was a pretty good article back in December of 2010 about the improvement in race relations in America, that nation and its racial issues still is a charged situation that is not through exploding.
I can see a number of reasons for ongoing trouble. Continue reading
Occasionally things you see or hear do a twist on your brain—too bizarre to fit into place in the view you have constructed.
So it was when I (wait for it . . .) first heard Vladimir Putin singing “Blueberry Hill”. I kid you not. Where do you fit that? The memories of Fats Domino with the original hit, of Richie Cunningham warbling his theme song, fade—or perhaps are driven from the mind. Continue reading
Pierre Trudeau once said, in reference to our American neighbours, “Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.”
Certainly, along with many other things, we share a financial bed. When the elephant rolls in a wakeful night, we will feel it.
The US heads toward an election this November, and the number one concern in the Obama-Romney choice for president is which man can solve their economic woes. Neither candidate seems to possess magical answers. There’s a reason for this: there are no magical answers. The US is in the most difficult financial situation in its history, one not likely to be repaired by just tweaking and tinkering. While Canada holds an enviable position in a shaky economic world, we are certainly not immune to the US plight, and we will feel the effects of their struggle more than we will feel that of the European community.
It’s hard for us to appreciate the US debt situation. No doubt the man on the street identifies economic trouble mainly by the loss of his job or that of his neighbour, or by the escalating cost of buying gas or groceries. Curiously, fingers point at Europe and its debt crises, and attention seems to be diverted from the US mess. Perhaps the world has developed such a belief in America as a “superpower” that they scrounge up faith that somehow, miraculously, Americans will easily find their way out of this jam. Continue reading
I have always been opposed to abortion, an issue that has now been put on the Canadian back-burner—we have no laws governing the practice since the Morgentaler decision in 1988, one of only a few countries in the world in that situation. There are no laws even governing when in the pregnancy an abortion can take place.
I could cite my influences as being things like our beautiful daughter, born to a young single mother who was quite likely advised by some to seek an abortion, or things like hearing of the lady in our community who aborted a child because she had to stand at a wedding in October and wanted to look good, but even long before that I was influenced by enough knowledge of biology to know that (reinforced now with our tremendous knowledge of DNA and genetic coding) that a fetus is a human being, unique in itself, from the very beginning. If you can only grasp potential, it has all the potential in the world, including the often stated possibility of being the first person to find a cure for cancer, had we not placed them in the garbage instead.
I know the world is over-populated, I know we don’t seem to take care of the people we have (though we could), but I don’t think the answer there lies in getting rid of some of us as we are just developing. Continue reading