Saturday, February 24, 2018

Guns - Political Cartoons

Arm Teachers in American Schools?

A majority of Americans, according to a nation-wide poll, want to ban the sale of assault-style pistols and rifles to the general public.  Assault-type weapons are not needed for hunting game, nuisance creatures (such as coyotes or wolves, according to some folks), or for any normal situation.  I can easily see SWAT team members and soldiers having a use for an assault weapon.  I can easily agree that a few ex-soldiers, such as marksmen and snipers, could get a special permit to own and fire such a weapon.  BUT a normal, everyday American has no use, or need for, an assault weapon.
   The person in the Oval Office of the White House is in complete disagreement with me.  He thinks having more guns available to more people will make an end to these horrific killing rampages.  His Secretary of Education stated that we need more armed teachers to defend students from the attacks of grizzly bears inside classrooms.  The latest killings, at a high school in Florida, have sent young people into marches and protests.  It's sad to realize that the Columbine High School shootings took place almost 20 years ago, and this country is still gun crazy.  Mass shootings at schools, universities, clubs, cinemas, and music venues have become a sickening stream.
   Having been a teacher, at multiple grade levels, I can honestly say that I would never want to be carrying a weapon at a school, in a class room, or even have one locked in a "safe" in my room.  Too many things can simply go wrong.  There are too many distractions in a class room with 25 to 35 students.  And students these days know how to pick a key lock; they can easily record (on a ubiquitous phone) the opening of a safe and learn the combination; and what if a person with an assault rifle attacks?  What kind of weapon is the teacher supposed to have?  A simple pistol versus an assault rifle?  If the teacher doesn't accidentally kill a student and gets a shot off at the assailant, the teacher is dead meat in a second or so, thanks to the fire power and automatic firing of the assailant's weapon.  I simply do not believe that arming teachers is any answer at all.
   We need to ban the sale of all assault weapons to the general public.  We need to ban bump stocks.  People should not be able to buy any gun at a gun show.  We need to have a very tight and strict background check set up nationally.  The background check should include a mental health examination, and a look at any/all previous complaints against the person made to any law enforcement agencies.  If a person has a record of spousal abuse, endangerment of children or family members, threats against other people for perceived or real reasons, or any conviction for physical or mental abuse, that person should be denied the purchase of any type of weapon.
   Maybe my viewpoint is a bit strong....  But I stand behind it.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Bits and Pieces - Photos

An AR-15, America's favorite assault rifle

Skull showing entrance wound and bone breakage due to a normal rifle bullet

Wilbur Ross & Trump want to make the moon into a gas station

Recreation (using DNA and the man's skull) of Cheddar Man, who died
a violent death in Cheddar Gorge, England 10,000 years ago

Stonehenge was built by Neolithic farmers like Cheddar Man

Then came the Bell Beaker people, about 4,500 years ago - within  
five generations, people in England had 90% Bell Beaker DNA

The spreading of the Bell Beaker people in Europe

Ava, the recreation of a Bronze Age woman, using DNA and her skull.
She lived about 3,700 years ago.

Bits and Pieces of This and That

First and foremost - the mass shootings in America.  There is no need for an ordinary citizen living inside the United States to own and carry any assault weapon.  I feel they were developed for, and should only be used by, a SWAT Team, or by military personnel in a combat situation.  Yes, those people need to be trained in the use of their weapons.  The general American public does not.
   45 seems to be fond of wanting to make assault weapons available at the age of 21, and not 18.  He also wants a deeper mental health screening.  The age of 21 does not confer instant wisdom; and if a sociopath has managed to get along in society until the age of 21, that person can, most probably, pass a simple mental health screening.
   I am disgusted by the fact that 45 had to have "a cue card" on hand to remind him of points to make while listening to people who have lost loved ones at a meeting in the White House.  He only cares about dollar signs - not real human beings.
   Then there are the cretins who claim that students from Parkland, Florida are paid political actors... They make me ill.
   Some Republicans are now stating that the majority of all mass shooters were registered Democrats - and that's an outright lie, also.
   And I am proud of the students across America for taking a stand against politicians, the National Rifle Association, and local, state, and the national governments, with their "Never Again" stance.  Good for you, young people!  I hope that you can make a difference, where parents and an older generation have been unable to.  Unfortunately, the NRA's money speaks louder than words.  We need to do something about that.   -  Enough.

     Did you see that Wilbur Ross wants 45 to claim the moon as US territory, and use it for refueling space ships in the future?  While planning to cut NASA's budget to the bones? I guess they are planning on immigrant Elon Musk to do all the dirty work for our country, at no charge.

    Have you seen the physical representation of the Cheddar Man?  Using DNA and modeling from the skull of the man, he had blue eyes, black curly hair and a very dark skin.  Another study that was recently published show that Bell Beaker people came originally from the eastern Steppes of Europe.  Their culture spread in waves across Europe, and, between 4,00 and 4,500 years ago, they appear to have traveled from Holland to Britain.  Within five generations, probably due to disease, their DNA was 90% of the total of British inhabitants.  Like the Native Americans, the British Neolithic farmers (who built Stonehenge) had no resistance to new diseases brought by, and spread, by new-comers to their land.  The British today look like the Beaker peoples....

    And, taking a step back to my Danish and Swedish heritage - Happy Thor's Day!!!



Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Snow, Glorious Snow - Photos

Colorado Winter Is Here

We've been very dry.   A few inches of snow a few times since mid-autumn.  I've always followed the weather and precipitation trends, since both of my parents were always interested in the weather.   Between being a granddaughter of a farmer and a fisherman, and with Dad being in charge of road crews, watching weather and talking about how it affects people has been normal in my house.  Knowing how the weather affects the water table, which affects agriculture - both farming and livestock raising - and fire danger levels, has been a big part of my life.  The only time we had to "be quiet" during any news cycle (as kids) was during the weather segments.
   Real Colorado winter weather finally reached us Sunday night.  It was 63 degrees (F), sunny and breezy Sunday afternoon.  The wind stayed through most of the night, bringing with it a North Pacific blast of snow and cold.  Early Monday we had freezing rain, which turned to snow.  The snow fell for over 24 hours, followed by small flurries for another 24.  Total snow fall was 10 inches.  But it was the temperatures that were the "killer," for me.  It was 10 degrees Monday morning, and we had a high of 12.  Monday night/Tuesday morning, the low was negative 5; we had a high yesterday of 18.  It was minus 2 degrees at 7:30 this morning, when I returned from walking the dogs.  Brrrrrrr!  The sun is shining, however, and it was 24 at noon.  Steam is rising from the pavement and roadways.
   The snow melt will freeze again tonight in single digit weather.  More snow is forecast for tomorrow and Friday - and sunshine with no precipitation is forecast Saturday through Tuesday.  We'll see what happens.
    So, here I am, sitting in a west facing window, wearing jeans and a T-shirt.  But I have on two pairs of wool socks and house slippers on.  My feet are cold and my legs are chilly.  Dirty snow is covering much of the parking lots to both my left and right.  The fir trees to my left are decorated with snow, and the roof of all the building I see are still covered.  Each time I return from being out in the snow, I kick the sides of my boots, and the toes, along the concrete block garage wall; then I scrape the bottoms on the stair steps, and then wipe them off on the mat outside.  Still cleaning up magnesium water spots from the floor....
  And, according to my NWS/NOAA weather site - it's 80 degrees in Vero Beach; 85 degrees in Gainesville, Florida; and 77 at Chincoteague Island.  Unfair!  My toes want to be uncovered - and warm!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Photos - Vernon County, Missouri

Vernon County, Missouri

Centennial Celebration, Nevada, MO in 1876

Boat Landing in Vernon County

Residents of Vernon County for 50 years (circa 1905)

William Quantrill led his Raiders across Vernon County many times;
later, the James brothers had hide-outs in the county

The 1906 Vernon County Courthouse

James Harkrader and his family were well known for their excellent horses  (1910)

Moore's Opera House (at left) in Nevada

Looking east on Cherry Street in Nevada; my great-grandfather had his 
cabinetry shop on Cherry Street.  The family lived above the shop,
and had a large vegetable garden on the side...