Insanity in the Face of Truth

Last night I watched two important testimonies to government bodies. As I watched these I pondered, with tears in my eyes and rage in my heart why we, as a nation, continue to have these discussions. I also considered the enormous strength of the individuals speaking while thinking to myself, I wonder what will the media, both mainstream and social reactions to these testimonies be tomorrow. One final thought occurred to me, as I pondered the testimony of one … why the hell wasn’t he or any person from this great tragedy in Washington.

Can you guess the testimonies I am talking about? Can you guess the issue? I suspect you can, it is an issue I have spent time on in the past and one I am passionate about.

Gun Control, or as I like to think of it Gun Sanity.

One thing I thought as I watched the testimonies yesterday, why in the Hell was there not a single person from Newtown testifying in front of the US Senate, not a single solitary parent or first responder. No, instead they had this fool of a woman who made up stories from her vivid imagination and this million-dollar lobbyist for the death by bullet industry:

 Gayle Trotter, an ultra-conservative activist who before she took on the role of pro-gun fantasy weaver, she is also a card carrying member of the far right with not a single credential that would qualify her testimony. This is the same woman who in 2012 wrote on her website a scathing piece against VAWA. But you know, high capacity clips will solve the problem just shoot those thugs as they come through the door.

 Senate Judiciary Committee Hears From Prominent Voices On Both Sides Of Gun Control Debate

Wayne LaPierre, an ultra-conservative mouthpiece for the board membership of the NRA, he no longer even speaks for the majority of the paying membership. When listening to his Testimony one has to wonder, what the Hell he is doing there. Are these people sworn in? Do they swear to tell the truth or are they simply there reading from a script to provide their effing talking points. How does this man sleep at night?  article-lapierre-1221

By the way, they do swear to the truth, they are sworn in. I don’t understand how they are allowed to make up stories, fantasies out of their heads as part of their heads or asses as part of their testimony.

What brought me to my knees and then to my feet was to see Representative Gabrielle Giffords as she slowly walked to the front of the room. Each one of her words painfully spoken, challenging the room and her former peers to do something, to be brave for once to do the job they are elected to do. I thought to myself listening to her, who among us would be as brave as her, as strong as her? Who among us would survive what she has survived and stand before them and demand justice for a nation crying out for change. My tears of compassion for her and her husband flowed freely as I listened to her.

Her husband Mark Kelly testified directly after her testimony. He was fair, he was balanced. Both he and his wife are supporters of Gun Sanity and Gun Ownership. Mark Kelly spoke well, he didn’t make up stories. He was factual in his testimony. It is my suspicion his testimony will be given less weight than both Gayle Trotter and Wayne LaPierre.

Now to the one person who should have been heard but wasn’t invited. David Wheeler, the father of Ben Wheeler, a 6 year old child and one of the victims at Sandyhook Elementary. Mr. Wheeler testified at a public hearing held by the Connecticut legislature’s Bipartisan Task Force on Violence and Public Safety. I can only ask, why wasn’t he or any of the victim’s parents or first responders of Sandyhook invited to speak in Washington?

Here is his testimony.

I can only say this today, we must bring sanity to gun control. We must stop diverting our attention to what isn’t real and isn’t the truth. Wayne LaPierre wants us all to believe it is the “crazy” among us and so we should look over there, stop trying to control guns instead “control the ‘lunatics’”. This is simply a diversion tactic, the truth those with mental health issues are more likely to be victims of violence than to commit violence. Yes, we need to make certain we are providing help and support but this doesn’t address the core issue.

Mr. Wheeler made a profound statement and I want to paraphrase it here, the Declaration of Independence wasn’t accidental in its framing. The following is from that first of our documents, one those Gun Rights Advocates all too often forget:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

It seems we have perhaps in some of our wings gone too far today. There seems a belief the correct answer is armed insurrection rather than supporting our republic through debate and the democratic processes. It seems, based on the content of some of the testimony before the Senate Judiciary these small and frankly insane minorities and their nut job spokespeople now speak for all of us, their money and voice override ours.

I fear for us as a nation and a people when the loss of tens of thousands each year means nothing and our voice simply falters.

FTP 4 Ecstatic

Hips raised, swaying to a rhythm only she hears, she taps a beat on a floor polished by countless women before her. Fingers soundlessly smooth worn castanets. Her breath catches with the first strum of the guitar.

The light shines softly on the player as he fingers the melody. She picks it up with her heel and her quick fingers. The light moves, her head thrown back she is transported, ecstatic for the dance.

FlashinthePan

Flash in the Pan is brought to you by the amazing Red of M3 fame

This week’s word is Ecstatic. The word limit for January is 75 words. This one comes in precisely at 74.

Get thee Behind

I am confused. Really and truly confused, don’t get me wrong I have no issue with the church any church wanting to help their members, but I thought this was part of the deal. Isn’t this what you sign up for? Join the club and gain some benefit other than automatic bliss and life in the hereafter. No? Well I bet you don’t sign up to be scammed.

Do not mistake me, I am all for the idea of individuals seeking out and finding solace in personal faith. Whether that faith ends up being Christian or otherwise is frankly not my business and of little interest to me. My only interest is they are comforted and lifted up by their beliefs. Well admittedly, I have one other interest; those who find religion and faith keep their beliefs from infringing upon my personal right to freedom of and from religion. I am perfectly happy to celebrate with them their happiness in finding joy, just not in the public domain.

Back to my confusion though, in recent years there has seemed to be a plethora of new business models focused on the Christians among us. I wonder to myself every time I hear the advertisements for these businesses, what are the drivers and the justifications:

Christian Lending

Christian High Risk Lending

Christian Tax Preparation

Really? The above are just three of my favorites; these seem contrary to Biblical teaching.

Starting here on Lending:

“You shall not charge interest on loans to your brother, interest on money, interest on food, interest on anything that is lent for interest. You may charge a foreigner interest, but you may not charge your brother interest, that the Lord your God may bless you in all that you undertake in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.”  Deuteronomy 23:19-20

Now there arose a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their Jewish brothers. For there were those who said, “With our sons and our daughters, we are many. So let us get grain, that we may eat and keep alive.” There were also those who said, “We are mortgaging our fields, our vineyards, and our houses to get grain because of the famine.” And there were those who said, “We have borrowed money for the king’s tax on our fields and our vineyards. Now our flesh is as the flesh of our brothers, our children are as their children. Yet we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have already been enslaved, but it is not in our power to help it, for other men have our fields and our vineyards.”   Nehemiah 5:1-13

Then looking here on Tax payment and the authority of Government:

Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.  Romans 13:2

Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.  Romans 13:7

So I did a bit of investigating for myself, I thought well this is interesting do they lend based on some principle I don’t understand or file taxes based on rules different than the ones I follow. Do they only lend to professed Christians in good standing? File taxes for those of their own faith? How do they know, do they call a pastor at the church you attend? There are hundreds of Christian denominations, what if you don’t follow the same denomination what if you follow one distinctly different from the lender or lending officer; will this be a problem?

What I found is I couldn’t find anything, when I typed “Christian Lending” into Google Search this is what I found as the top three:

christianlending

Of these the first was a very pretty website, glossy and what you would expect I think. The site provides mortgage tools, testimonials and a contact page. What it doesn’t provide is links to Christian Lenders or any Lenders for that matter.

The next one is even more interesting, no matter which link you follow you go nowhere but another obscure page within the same site. The front page is a terrible yellow page with three links, all of which take you to this site. This site is nothing but articles, cross linked to more articles. Information you could find anywhere else on the web but with a few “Christian” quotes thrown in for good measure. If you scroll across the top tabs you find yourself mired in the selling machine for bonds, mutual funds, stocks and bad college options. Doesn’t sound terribly Christian to me, but then what do I know.

teananalyst

Finally, we come to my favorite, the last in the list a complete scam if I have ever seen one. Suck you in and without even a by your leave you get a blurb about what a ‘High Risk Lender’ does and then this.

ChristianNet

So what I ask you exactly is a Christian Lender? I certainly couldn’t tell by the top three Google searches.

Tax preparation, seems to follow the same line of thinking though not nearly as slick. At least these gentle souls promise to do your taxes with ‘integrity’. I am not certain what this means, all the top three tell you is they are Christian and will apply Christian ethics to your tax preparation. Does this mean they will ‘render unto Caesar’, or something else?

christiantaxhelp

I don’t mean to be snarky or ugly. Many of my best friends, favorite bloggers and closest family members are believers. Not just Sunday go to Meeting believers, but true walk in the footsteps of The Christ believers. I love them for their great faith and the wonderful example they set for others, myself included.

My problem is when I hear these advertisements on the radio or see them in the local newspapers and think of the people who are sucked in, believing they have found help. When what they have really found is just one more Shady Huckster willing to put on the mantle of holiness to strip others of their worldly goods at their time of greatest need.

All I can think, what the Hell is wrong with this world.

Red’s Birthday Blast

Today is a shout out, a bang up against Red’s door. If you don’t know my friend Red, you are missing an experience in erudite snark that should be part of everyone’s day, or at least the week.

I adore Red. If I tried, I could not begin to list the ways in which she has supported me over the course of our friendship. Made me laugh when I needed a bit of laughter, forced me to look into dark rooms and turn on lights, pushed me to value myself when I felt a bit low.

Red has a biting wit and a big heart, doesn’t suffer fools gladly or otherwise but opens her house to all comers. She has an astounding capacity for giving; she is seemingly tireless though I know differently.

Her talent, her brilliance and her humor constantly dumbfounds me; I don’t think I could pick one over the other if I tried. In her pursuit of excellence not only has she published her own books, she has stewarded others through the writing and edit process and published others in her new publishing company Redmund Productions, I have watched this process up close and personal and been constantly stunned. Want to see the results, a link to the REDMUNDPRO site and the books available for sale are to the right, that beautiful lady, open it up and browse the bookshelves.

These are Reds own books, written while she performed the edit for six other authors and the Link to Redmund Productions!

KUSsCover

Killing Us Softly

 ad200silver

Darkness Introduced

Darkness Introduced

My friend Red has a few favorite things…..

Bookshelves everywhere

Bookshelves everywhere

images (48)

Can you guess the location?

 img-thing
 acadian-village-lafayette

 InyoureyesByBelovedisis

 Christian_Louboutin_Button-Up_OTK_Red_Boots_original_img_13479331391988_48_f91426cd3bbb287f759865408f98eb24

Which fall into the favorite list? Can you guess? Do you think she will tell?

Happy Birthday Red! 

My guest host today sent along this poem for Red. Andro has been a longtime friend and foil of Red and often climbs through my own blog as well. I leave this Birthday wish for my friend Red with his lovely poem:

With boots of red and stilettos so high is it mischievous to envisage what is inside?

When we choose to look deeper we find strength of will and the determination to conquer more, she is never still.

Always on the move touching upon minds and our hearts, fashioning everything she touches until the light of day departs.

Working through the night candles burn through the witching hour while Red amazes everyone with her radiance and creative powers.

Books need editing, code written in style and always her children that wake up in the mornings to a tender and loving smile.

Her warm and caring ways are infinite but she is rather wicked too, as in her wardrobe is the evidence of a naughty bodice or two.

The nights are not just for writing, there are naughtier times planned, even down to the crack of a whip and a paddle of evilness in hand.

Red has many guises most fitting her depravity, indeed it is a knack, as those poor slaves will witness as she spreads them on the rack.

A tickle with a feather, a slap or an electrode zapping with glee Red chuckles with laughter as she works them to a thrilling degree.

With boots of red and stilettos so high, we wish you a very Happy Birthday with a wink of an eye.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

If you want in on the fun, feel free to leave a note or add your own post and link back here. I am more than happy to send your thoughts on to Red today!

FTP 3 Frightened

The glow of the mirror created a halo effect. Hair mussed, shades lighter than both brows and lashes, creating a strange dichotomy. She glares at her reflection carefully searching, starting at her widows peak just beginning to show her dark roots.

“I need an appointment, today!”

“I said TODAY, Dammit!”

Relieved, she presses End. Frightened by the view, she has made another appointment for more Botox injections to fill the evidence of age, at 35.

FlashinthePan

Flash in the Pan is brought to you by the amazing Red of M3 fame

This week’s word is Frightened. The word limit for January is 75 words. This one comes in precisely at 75.

Words Painful Lexicons

1203_words-FB-624x466Words have a terrible legacy and cause awful pain even where it is unintended. During the course of any relationship words are spoken, sometimes without thought or consideration of how those words might affect the other person. When we are deeply divided by experience, education, history and culture words become even more powerful. All too often, our lexicon is different, broader or narrower by our worldview and experience. When we add an unwillingness to learn the other person’s perception, concepts and values we judge and sometimes even punish.

It is a conundrum, sometimes unsolvable impossible to bridge without a willingness to listen, hear and speak our own truths in our own language.  If our relationships are long-term, whether friendship, love or even marriage we have to find ways to bridge the gaps in our understanding or we ultimately fail in our communication and our relationships. Fail to define the words you use they can be misconstrued and lead to horrible misunderstanding. Fail to balance your own cultural premise, personal history and even educational background with your audience you can be completely misunderstood.

Words have been a part of my life, all my life. Usually I think I am sensitive. Usually I think I understand my audience. Sometimes I am apparently dead wrong.

Dead wrong does not mean malicious.wordle

Dead wrong does not mean cruel.

Dead wrong does not mean foolish, stupid or ignorant.

What dead wrong means unaware the other person has not only taken your words and twisted them to their own truth but will refuse any definition but their own. There is no ‘Sorry’ for this, no bridge to walk across in remorse for words spoken without malicious intent. It is not possible to say anything other than, “I am sorry your feelings were hurt”, this disregards your own truth and fails to acknowledge you exist in the conversation.

Of course you are sorry the other person was hurt by what you have said, however, if what you said was not intended to hurt, was not malicious there is a ‘but’ behind it. The but is, you misunderstood what I said, the gap between your understanding and my intent needs to be discussed needs airing or it will continue to stand between us. The longer we ignore the unintentional hurt and the misunderstanding the wider the chasm and shakier the bridge we must cross to heal the hurt of both people.

What happens though when our unintentional words result in the other, perhaps our beloved or a best loved friend lashes out in anger? What happens when our unintentional words result in angry and hurtful words in response. How do we take those words into ourselves? Do we forgive without considering the source, even questioning whether thoughtless words spoken in anger do not hold a seed of the others truth.7757555-coarse-fabric-showing-warp-and-weft

Should we consider words spoken in anger as not relevant to the weft and warp of our weaving? How can we, when words form both the terrible flaws and the best strength of the fabric of our relationships.  Can we recover deep hurts when words flung in anger or retribution are deeply painful, deeply troubling.

These questions are on my mind, the question of words.

FTP 2 Paranoid

The breeze floated through windows, lifting gauze curtains. Waves crashed in the night against rocks and sand on the not so distant beach; gull cries mixed with other sounds creating the cacophony of nighttime she drifted to sleep.

Softly, hands smoothed across her skin softly. Half way between dreaming and wakefulness, she drifts. Silence, she awakens fully and alone, again alone but touched by hands not her own. She is not paranoid someone is here.

FlashinthePan

Flash in the Pan is brought to you by the amazing Red of M3 fame

This week’s word is Paranoid. The word limit for January is 75 words. This one comes in at 75.

Revocation

Dear Valentine (I love how they make it personal)

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Parole Division issued a pre-revocation warrant for the arrest of this offender due to violation of supervision.

Offender: ASSHAT THAT WIELDED A GUN TO SHOOT YOU ON A DARK NIGHT NEARLY 21 YEARS AGO

STATE ID: XXX                                    TDCJ ID: YYYY

Date Pre-Revocation Warrant Issued: 1/6/2013

For information contact FORT WORTH DPO 3 or call (XXX) XXX-XXXX.

If this offender is returned to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (meaning back to prison to serve the rest of his 35 years), you will be notified of further actions and given the opportunity to provide your input. To find out if the offender is in custody, you may contact Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) service at (XXX) XXXX or at their website.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

41510_prison-gatesThe above is part of the letter I received from Angela McCown, Director of Victim Services in Austin in reference to the status of one of the AssHat offenders who on February 7, 1992 kidnapped me, shot me three times and left me to die on a dark road alone. For his crime against me and another victim in a separate offense, equally heinous he received a sentence of 35 years.

In October, despite my active role in his parole hearing, in all his parole hearings over the past 20 years he was granted parole. He walked out of prison free but for supervision. So fine, not free supervised. Still more free than he had been, free to get a job. Free to see his family. Free to have sex with a woman. Free drive a car. Free dammit, free to breath air not filled with the smells of other men.

I asked time and again, why would you consider parole for a person so obviously not prepared for freedom. Why?

There never was an answer. Perhaps the answer was 20 years was enough. Well, now they have their answer. No, it effing was not enough. Some people simply do not appreciate the gift you give them. Some people are not sorry; some people are not capable of learning from their mistakes. Some people are never going to be ready for the world and the world should never be subjected to them.

This person is perhaps one of them. At seventeen years of age, this person picked up a gun and said I want to kill white people. With that in mind, this person recruited friends and set about on a rampage to do just that. The harm he caused to his victims and their families was life-long, we do not get parole from our injuries. He has never shown any remorse for his actions, not once not ever not in any of his parole hearings has he ever once made a statement that indicated he understood his actions or was remorseful.

They should never have granted his parole, ever. Now, not even six-months of freedom and a warrant is issued.

GOOD!

It is my hope they find him soon. Yes, I already checked. No, he is not in custody yet.

It is my fervent hope they return him to serve the remainder of his sentence. Perhaps in the remaining fifteen years, he will find his soul and discover his heart. Perhaps he will learn remorse and humanity.

In the meantime, it is fervent hope he has not harmed anyone during his taste of freedom.

Fascinating speech by Theodore Roosevelt, worth the read especially given the historical context. Thank you for bringing this to us!

BrabbleRabble

On October 12, 1914, Theodore Roosevelt was shot in the chest just before giving this speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The bullet was slowed by his glasses case and folded 50-page (!) speech placed in his breast pocket. The attempted murderer, John Schrank, was apprehended immediately after shooting the President. He spent the rest of his life in a mental institution. Roosevelt refused to cancel his speech to seek medical attention. He held aloft the bloody pages and had this to say:

Friends, I shall ask you to be as quiet as possible. I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose. But fortunately I had my manuscript, so you see I was going to make a long speech, and there is a bullet – there is where the bullet went through – and it probably saved…

View original post 3,876 more words

https://valentinelogar.com/2013/01/11/2591/

FTP 1 Listless

Resting on the headstone the woman waited at twilight, a glow from her cigarette the only light. The smoke a listless swirl joins the clouds. As darkness falls, the difference is indiscernible. Finally, the gate creaks, her husband strolls; flowers for his grave.

“I knew it, you bastard!”

She raises her shovel, crushes his head and buries him in the plot marked as his final resting place. You can’t kill a dead man.

FlashinthePan

Flash in the Pan is brought to you by the amazing Red of M3 fame. This week’s word is listless. The word limit is 75 words. This one comes in at 74.

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