Let’s face it; the past few months have been bad for conservatives and Republicans. After a fairly good shellacking in the Presidential and Senatorial elections last November, which many pundits didn’t even see coming, Republicans have good reason to be retrospective. The recent election postmortem by the Republican National Committee underscores the sober reality that the Republican band is damaged from excessively rounding “an ideological cul-de-sac.” This has led the GOP’s to lose influence among many, including minorities, women, young adults, and the gay community (while still doing well in the “old white guy” demographic). … [Read more]
On any given day I could write a tome on the ways that we infantilize rather than elevate teachers. Little respect for their expertise. Forcing them to teach subjects they weren’t trained to teach. Micromanaging their professional day. Over time, like water wearing away stone, we lose sight that teachers are professionals – not children – and deserve to be included in decisions that impact their lives, as any professionals should be.… [Read more]
Bill Schmalfeldt was otherwise occupied this week having his foot surgically removed from the descending colon of a wingnut lawbreaker. So this week, his space is occupied by a guest columnist.
by Lester Smelgerson Public Affairs Spokesman Howard County, Maryland, Tea Party Splinter Group That Splintered from Real Tea Party Upon Learning Actual Tea Party is a Tool of the Left Being Used to Make People Hate Conservatives
Our worst nightmares are coming true.… [Read more]
“Dirty” Harry Callahan had his .44 Magnum while James Bond preferred the sleeker Walther PPK. John Rambo and Tony Montana preferred larger automatics—the M60 E3 and M16 respectively. Omar Little and Ash Williams touted shotguns. And countless other action icons wield some type of Glock as their go-to firearm.
For decades now, possessing the bigger and badder gun has been a sign of toughness in American culture, most often associated with “manliness.” Real men not only own guns, they own the biggest, most effective ones; they master their uses; they fetishize them.… [Read more]
If you’ve never read Superman comics or watched “Seinfeld,” let me tell you a little about Bizarro World.
In Bizarro World, up is down, black is white, ugly is beautiful. Listening to the Google+ “Fireside Hangout” on Thursday afternoon with Vice President Joe Biden got me thinking about this inverted universe, where everything is the opposite of the real world.… [Read more]
by Shiloh Marie Schmalfeldt German Shepherd, Age 6
Daddy too busy write column. Shiloh write column. Daddy watch football, do podcast. Daddy nice.
Why for people not nice? Why for people mean to each other? Why need guns? Guns scare Shiloh. Guns scare Raven, too. She my big sister, border collie, 8 years old. She pretend brave, but Shiloh know better.… [Read more]
In ancient Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman. And, like Eve, the first woman in the much more recently written Judeo-Christian mythos, Pandora was responsible for changing the world.
Eve ate her apple, having been prompted by a serpent, and Pandora opened her pithos, a large, ancient Greek earthenware storage vessel, having been prompted by her own curiosity.… [Read more]
Dear Mrs. Vera,
What do you think of the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) characterization of the brand new gun control legislation in New York State as “draconian?”
Dr. Dudley Damocles, Des Moines
Dear Dr. Doomoines,
Thank you for your etymologically adjectivalicious inquiry. I am assuming that this legislation refers to neither flame-throwers and fire breathing dragons, nor to Ann Coulter and whatever local Moat Builder’s Permits, Regulations and Statutes that may apply.… [Read more]
Times and nations change. It’s 2013, not 1776. We don’t have bands of ‘angry Indians’ cresting the hill with feathers, war paint, and bows and arrows, wanting their land back. We broke our treaties and screwed them a couple of centuries back. The South will not “rise again” to get America back for the so-called “War of Northern Aggression.” We’re still free.… [Read more]
This week, the White House dashed the hopes of millions of Americans when it rejected a request for Texas to sever its ties with the U.S. Bad news for the more than 125,000 people who signed the online petition for Texas to secede. Far worse news for the rest of us!
My issue with the Lone Star state, aside from the fact that it keeps launching the careers of politicians named Bush, is that Texas is a colossal embarrassment to our country.… [Read more]
“The Second Amendment was designed to allow states to defend themselves against a possible tyrannical national government. Now that the federal government has stealth bombers and nuclear weapons, it is hard to imagine what people would need to keep in the garage to serve that purpose.” ~ Judge Robert Bork
I have been listening to the pro gun supporters and all their feeble reasons as to why they think the United States government does not have the right to infringe on an individual’s right to bear arms.… [Read more]
Gun ownership is the only thing that stands between us innocent citizens and a government with the potential to turn tyrannical at any moment—or so the gun lobby would have you believe.
As the argument usually goes, the citizenry needs access to semi-automatic and automatic weapons in order to protect itself if the government decides to violently subjugate its own people.… [Read more]
Today would have been the eighty-fourth birthday of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., PhD. Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee at the age of thirty-nine. He was killed by a man with a rifle using ammunition designed to kill big game.
Dr. King was no stranger to guns, having armed himself as many other leaders had at the start of the Civil Rights movement.… [Read more]
This week’s “Say it in Song” selection is “Tennessee,” by Arrested Development. Tennessee has been in the news this week because one of its residents, a firearms dealer, thought that he should teach a lesson about freedom and the Second Amendment by issuing a statement in which he said … [Read more]
The debate over gun control is nothing new. The persistence of the Second Amendment, from back before there were real cowboys and indians, affirms the excessive ideological Viagra-Oxycontin titration in the national politic. Governed from the extremes, reasonable firearms control seems to defy finding compromise that works. We’ve become a global bad joke.
The maternal adage of “It’s all fun until someone gets hurt” outlived my mother, and will outlast yours, if you are fortunate to still have her around. … [Read more]
Teachers all across America have been asked to be more than teachers to their students for many, many years. After school programs, sports and other activities are all run by dedicated teachers and, in many cases, those teachers become closer and know more about the lives of the students they coach, mentor or supervise than the students own parents.… [Read more]
The unthinkable tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School left us all horrified with an uneasy feeling of vulnerability. Predictably, as we wrestle with questions about why and how something so gruesome and incomprehensible could happen, some reactions have been strong and swift: more gun control, better access to mental health services. Some have been feeble: curtailing violent movies and video games.… [Read more]