Principles Are Forever

I have stated many times that in my politics I have formulated my principles and I have never wavered from them….until too many that ‘go with the flow’…..I am antiwar, I think we all deserve health care, and adequate education…on and on….

This is a open letter from Roger Waters that says it so well….

Roger Waters?

Pink Floyd you barbarians!

Today, we are standing on the edge of a precipice, staring into the abyss. The end of all life on earth is a very real possibility. The reins of power have been purchased by the oligarchs and ideologues and they are hell bent on the end of times. Make no mistake. This is not a drill.

Some say the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 is the closest we have come to a nuclear catastrophe, but at least then, JFK and Nikita Khrushchev were in communication. In our current crisis, our leaders are not even talking to each other. We human beings must communicate with each other if we are to survive. We here in the West are drowning in a sea of pro-war propaganda and presumably the Russians are too. How are we the people to make sense in this maelstrom of misinformation? SUPPORT ANTIWAR.COM!!!!!!

“The Powers That Be,” our “Masters,” the self appointed “Ruling Class” want to keep us squabbling, at each other’s throats, to be used us as cannon fodder or slave labor. When a great journalist and truth-teller like Julian Assange is imprisoned for sharing vital information, the time has come to man the barricades, to stand shoulder to shoulder with all our brothers and sisters all over the world in defense of our beautiful planet home.

As I told the audience on every night of my recent tour of the United States and Canada and Mexico we will never sell out. We, and here I include my brothers and sisters at ANTIWAR.COM, will keep speaking Truth to Power.

Roger Waters

No matter how much one hates the idea of diplomacy….there needs to be more concern for crap than the wars we start and we seem to start a new one every year.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


Should Veterans Choose To Act?

Veterans have a history of activism….from the Bonus Army to the antiwar protesters of the 60s and 70s…..should they choose to return to the forefront of activism?

I was one of those ‘pinko’ protesters in the 70s….I can think of no better way for a veteran serve its country.

Then I say yes they need to once again become the leaders they should be.

This is veterans that have chosen the ‘path of dissent’……

One of my heroes, Major General Smedley Butler, said “We Americans who will protect our flag should have a voice in where it is flown.” The two-time Medal of Honor recipient and author of War is a Racket exemplifies the model of a dissident soldier. 

Voices of today’s soldiers, all veterans of the Global War on Terror, have been collected in a new anthology, Paths of Dissent: Soldiers Speak Out Against America’s Misguided Wars, edited by (Ret.) Maj. Danny Sjursen and (Ret.) Col. Andrew Bacevich, President of the Quincy Institute.

The book shares fifteen individual stories of how soldiers — in some ways big, in some ways small — dissented from what their high command, their government, and in many ways society expected of them as they advocated to bring our troops home.

Their perspective should come as no surprise. “War dissent is committed by those with a deep love for the country and its soldiers, for honesty, justice, humanity, and the rule of law. They bring light to situations clouded by secrecy, lies, and propaganda,” relates contributor Kevin Tillman, whose family is intimately familiar with the government’s secrecy, lies, and propaganda.

For several years, polls have demonstrated that veterans support military withdrawals from the Middle East at higher percentages than the civilian population. We witnessed firsthand the failures of nation-building, the ineffectiveness of raw military power to solve political problems, and the lack of coherent strategy or victory conditions.

As contributor Matthew Hoh discloses, “The entire U.S. government, including our military, intelligence, and diplomatic corps, was — and is — full of people who don’t believe in America’s endless wars, don’t believe in our supposed reasons for fighting them, and don’t believe that the sacrifices and costs are worthwhile.”

Meet the veterans who chose ‘paths of dissent’

Since marches and massive protests for the good of the country and its people is not as big thing these days our vets can serve and protect the democracy we all say we love.

With the mid-terms just a mere 2 months away…..vets can get involved.

Vets can begin by becoming volunteers for their local elections….

Our nation faces a critical shortfall of volunteers to administer our elections.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a real dent in election poll volunteerism — especially among Americans 60 years of age and older who have traditionally served as poll workers. In fact, nearly two-thirds of all election poll workers are older than 61 years of age. The pandemic, combined with news reports of election-related political violence and threats to election officials, has made it difficult for many county election boards to find enough people to run election polling sites.

Why should you care? Simply put, American democracy runs on elections, and elections run on volunteers — just like our military and our national defense rely on volunteers.

Since our republic runs on a decentralized and federalized election system, it’s up to the individual states and counties to run elections, maintain voter records, count ballots, and report results.

When secretaries of state and county boards of elections can’t find enough volunteers to serve as election officials, it results in fewer polling stations, longer lines, fewer early voting days, and ultimately, less of an opportunity for you and your fellow citizens to enjoy the rights we all served in uniform to defend — primarily our right to vote. When there aren’t enough election workers, we have less democracy.

So what can you do about it? The solution is simple: Volunteer to serve your country and community again as an election poll worker.

I’ll give you 10 good reasons why you should:

Why helping others vote is a patriotic duty that appeals to US military veterans

Time for our vets to honor the oath they took when they entered the service of their country…..and volunteering to help with elections is an excellent start.

The only problem I can see is that many of our veterans have drank the vile poison of Trump-ism….so would they be good shepherds of our democracy?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Gun Debate Op-Ed #8

I believe that this will be the last of my re-posting of op-eds on the gun debate…..I was hoping that these would generate some interest in the debate and how it could be moved forward especially this year with all the shooting deaths that have made the news……but I was mistaken.

So to conclude this series I would like to post on the gun myths that seem to always pop up during times of conversation following mass shooting ( a never ending cycle)……..

Following gun violence tragedies, familiar myths get recycled and recirculated—myths that distract from effective solutions and create smoke screens around the essential problem: We’re more interested in protecting sellers and buyers of guns than in protecting the public, says Daniel Webster, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions.

Below, read about some of the myths surrounding the issue of gun violence in America and what can be done to reduce it.

Myth: Urban homicides falsely inflate U.S. gun death statistics.

“The common trope is that places like Baltimore or Detroit or Chicago are the reason we have so many in this country,” said Cassandra Crifasi, the center’s director of research and policy, in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. “And yes, those places … have unacceptable rates of gun homicides. But the places with the highest rates of death are not Maryland, Michigan, and Illinois. They are Mississippi, Louisiana, Wyoming, Missouri, and Alabama.”

The fact is, Crifasi says, the places with weak gun laws have higher rates of death.

“More people died from guns in Texas than Illinois, when suicide and accidental shootings are included,” she added.

Myth: Mass shootings like the ones in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, are the result of mental health issues.

While motives in the Uvalde massacre are still unknown, “increasingly, we are seeing people who are frustrated, angry, and hateful and using firearms take that out on a particular group,” Crifasi told MarketWatch.

But there’s a distinction between this and a diagnosable issue. It’s also dangerous and irresponsible to link gun violence and mental health, Crifasi warns. For one thing, are far more common than : More than 50% of people will be diagnosed with a or disorder at some point in their lives, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fixating on motives and the mental health of those who perpetuate violence distracts from more actionable approaches to reducing gun violence, Crifasi said.

Not to worry my friend….there are more….

Sadly this debate will never end….with lies, accusations and misinformation it is destined to keep any solution from every being really considered.

Maybe the next generation will find common ground for a true conversation…..

I will not hold my breath!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Gun Debate Op-Ed #5

I apologize for I had a massive brain fart on Friday and posted an article out of sequence….my bad…..

A continuation of my series on op-eds around the nation on the subject of gun violence……please keep in mind that these are op-eds not my thoughts I may add my feelings but the main body belongs to others.

These posts are about the prevention of gun deaths…..but first a little background….

The massacre at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, resurfaced many troubling facts about America’s exceptional propensity for gun violence. But perhaps one of the most disturbing is that firearms are now the leading cause of death among Americans ages 24 years and under.

While guns have long been a fixture of American life, the emergence of firearms as the leading killer of young people is a relatively new phenomenon.

For years, cars held that distinction. But over the past two decades, motor vehicular deaths involving Americans between the ages of 1 and 24 plummeted, cutting the rate by nearly half. And sometime in the late 2010s, those two lines — deaths by car and by firearm — crossed paths on the graph of leading causes of death for young people.

In 2020, the most recent year for which data was available, firearms killed 10,186 young people, the highest number in two decades.

To me that is a very disturbing stat…..

But is there an easy solution?

The horror in Uvalde, Texas, last week was horrifyingly familiar to Mary Ellen O’Toole. Part of a small group of academics, law-enforcement professionals and psychologists who published some of the first research on mass shootings in schools more than 20 years ago, O’Toole knows the patterns these events and perpetrators all follow — and the opportunities for prevention that seem to just keep being missed. 

I first spoke to her in 2018, after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, but she has been studying school shootings for more than 27 years. In that time, she and other experts say little has changed. The risk factors they identified two decades ago still apply. The recommendations they made are still valid. And every time another batch of Americans die in this way, researchers like O’Toole are forced to watch in horror, thinking about what could have been prevented and why it wasn’t.

“Honestly, I … I feel very, very angry,” O’Toole said to me last week. There is always another new example of mass gun violence in America. But mass gun violence in America is no longer new — and neither are efforts to stop it.

We’ve Known How To Prevent A School Shooting for More Than 20 Years

Then there are those that believe that jobs and such could save lives…..

Americans are once again looking for answers after the deaths of at least 19 children and two adults in last week’s mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Beyond questions around the police response and whether the massacre will lead to meaningful gun control, a big, fundamental concern looms: Why are guns such a problem in the United States, and what needs to happen for the situation to change?

Mass shootings are a distinctly American horror. What’s perhaps even more horrific is that, while each one is devastating, mass shootings cause only a small fraction of the gun deaths in America. The US has an unusually high rate of gun homicides among developed countries — for children 14 and under, almost eight times the rate of the next country in the ranking — and total gun deaths have only been increasing over recent years.

Legal restrictions on gun ownership, including mandatory waiting periods on handgun purchases and laws against children and youth carrying guns, could result in fewer deaths. But passing such legislation is a heavy political lift. In the absence of federal action, can anything move the needle on firearm deaths?

There is growing evidence that non-gun-control measures — including interventions to support at-risk youth and programs to improve access to mental health care — can and have been very effective, says Jennifer Doleac, associate professor of economics at Texas A&M University and the director of the Justice Tech Lab.

My thoughts on this is that these ideas looking for more band-aids…..

Please let your thoughts be known.

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Gun Debate Op-Ed #6

I have stated on many occasions that the debate about guns will never go anywhere until there is honesty among the participants….all we have now is recriminations, accusations, lies and misinformation……

I recently came across an op-ed that asks some interesting questions and thoughts….it was published in a law journal…..

I’m an equal-opportunity offender. Allow me to offend everyone, by offering a few thoughts (on both sides of the issue) on gun control:

First, shouldn’t we require the microstamping of all gun cartridges nationwide? We should require manufacturers to place a microscopic engraving on cartridge cases identifying the gun from which the cartridge case was expelled. I understand that folks want to possess guns, but I don’t understand why anyone should have the right to fire a gun anonymously. Police should be able to immediately trace a cartridge to a specific gun.

Does anyone disagree in good faith?

(I don’t want to hear that requiring microstamping would increase the price of guns or ammunition. It probably would. The Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms, but it doesn’t impose any price controls.)

Second, those who oppose gun control are missing a trick: Although you hear this argument all the time, the truth is that almost no one ever fires a gun in self-defense. (I know that the pro-gun folks always insist that “a good guy with a gun” could have stopped a crime, and we see occasional anecdotal reports of this having happened once in a blue moon. But the average gun owner will never in his or her life fire a gun in self-defense.)

Some people, however, probably make a “defensive display” of a gun without discharging it. For example, a john is about to assault or rob a prostitute. The pimp enters the room and displays a handgun. The john leaves peacefully; no one is hurt. This defensive display of a gun served a useful purpose, but I’d bet dollars to doughnuts incidents such as this are not reported to the police (and thus are not counted in the statistics).

Anything to add?

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Gun Debate Op-Ed #4

Part 4 of my limited series on the gun debate… I have stated I will present both sides of the dialog as I do not wish to influence one’s thinking only to inform for a better understanding.

This op-ed is about the Second Amendment……

Gun-control advocates in the United States are experiencing quite a bit of Canada envy, after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced this week that he will be banning import, sales, and transfers of handguns. He also announced legislation to require citizens to turn over their “military-style assault weapons” in a mandatory buy-back program. As of now, there is no legal definition of “military-style assault weapon,” so Canadians with guns will presumably be alerted when they become criminals on a TBD basis.

This is in addition to the banning of 1,500 rifle models in the wake of a 2020 mass shooting in Nova Scotia, were 22 people were killed. It’s part of an “ever-expanding” list of prohibited models maintained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The proposed legislation also includes tighter red-flag restrictions, provisions for confiscation and disabling of banned guns, and a blanket restriction of magazines to only five rounds.

Why can’t we enact Canada’s wish list of restrictions in the U.S.?—our gun control activists wonder.


Well, it’s not the gun lobby. The National Rifle Association (NRA) has been seriously weakened, is floundering in corruption accusations, and has filed for bankruptcy in the past two years. But it was also never the primary strength of gun-owners’ side of the argument. That strength lies in the Second Amendment, which whatever you think of its protections of Americans’ right to a firearm, is a hard fact with which activists must contend.

If the goal is to significantly curtail the number of guns—or even slow its growth, which is the purported goal of many activists—they must deal with the Constitution. No matter how “commonsense” you might consider some gun regulations, they have to pass constitutional muster to become a reality.

Now I know somewhere someone has a rebuttal to this proposal…..

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Gun Debate Op-Ed #3

Part 3 of my limited series on the debate and op-eds being written about the gun violence and the possible solutions.

These op-eds are pro and con on the need for more and better gun laws……I do NOT necessarily agree or disagree with these thoughts….they are only an exercise for FYI to help my readers try to understand the debate as it is today.

The news is that with just about every mass shooting gun sales go higher….as if more guns will solve the problems….

But first a stat for you to consider….there are about 393 million guns in private ownership in the US….how many are there in Ukraine or say Syria?

Guns, guns, guns, we will never have enough guns.  

I’m a 79-year-old American male, so of course I’m interested in guns. I grew up in the ’40’s and ’50s watching movies and TV shows while the good guys and the bad guys shot it out. 

In elementary school I attended a “well-regulated militia,” a military academy, and every day we practiced close order drills with 1903 Springfield rifles.  

During that time America, Russia and other countries began developing and stockpiling bigger and better nuclear weapons as “deterrents” to war. Obviously, we hoard weapons so we can feel safe.  

As a 12-year-old, I got my first gun when I joined the Boy Scouts of America, not quite a “well-regulated militia,” but close enough; we wore uniforms. We got to practice shooting at targets. 

Then along came the Vietnam war.

Like my father and my uncles and millions of other Americans before me, I got my chance to serve in an actual “well-regulated militia.” I joined the Army. 

The Army issued me a M-16. It’s like an AR-15, but better. With the flip of a selector switch, it can be fired like a machine gun and empty a 20-round magazine of high velocity bullets in less than two seconds.

Please once again I need to remind the reader that this is a re-post of an op-ed, not mine, but someone with an opinion and with good reason…..I do not agree or disagree…..just posted as a service.

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Gun Debate Op-Ed #2

This is part 2 of more limited series on the op-eds being published about the problems of mass shootings……

This is an FYI exercise to let my readers know the extent of the debate and the positions taken by those writers……

Yes I am a Progressive and yes I also read The American Conservative (go figure)……

Every time there is a mass shooting, the same political scene unfolds. Voices on the left begin calling for “sensible public policy” on firearms. The hosts of The View lose their minds because evil Republicans won’t fix the problem. Democratic politicians haul in money while decrying Republicans’ failure to “prevent gun violence and save lives.” The president makes a speech insisting he respects lawful gun owners, before asking when the carnage will stop and demanding a host of “common sense” gun-control measures. Yes, the left wants background checks, red-flag laws, etc. But the reform they really seem to salivate over is banning supposed “assault weapons,” like the AR-15. The issue inevitably gets debated back and forth in the media. Nothing happens at the federal level. Then, after a few weeks, the issue fades.

Why this action-less cycle? Certain voices on the left claim that America suffers from a “disproportionate influence of small states,” caused by the equal representation in the Senate and the existence of the filibuster. This argument has been used in a variety of political situations over the years when the pesky middle of the country gets in the way of what the Blue Coasts want to impose. When liberals are honest, they know that this nation was never created to be a democracy. This “problem,” then, is not a problem at all; it is an intentional check on the majority’s ability to impose its will on the nation in all matters. Also, perhaps the constant failure to pass these elusive “sensible gun-control measures” is not simply a matter of unsuccessful, stymied legislative efforts. Perhaps the existence of the Second Amendment, and a United States Supreme Court willing to uphold it, are the real issues for the left.

The Left Wants to Repeal the Second Amendment

Please keep in mind that I do NOT necessarily agree with any of the op-eds I re-post…..they are as I have stated FYI……

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Gun Debate Op-Ed #1

We all have our opinions on the necessity for some sort of actual solution to our ever growing gun violence problem.

I have mine of which few will probably agree….but that is your problem….I wanted to help my readers understand what others are saying beyond the chatter from the ‘reliable sources’…..

I will re-post various op-eds from around the country to let my readers know what others are thinking…..

Do you have the right to a gun? Yes. A constitutional right? No.

Fealty to the American myth of unrestricted gun ownership has run its course. Too many children have died. Try a lawyer’s perspective instead. You have the right to own a gun, but it’s not a constitutional right. Politicians beholden to the National Rifle Association bloviating about the liberal elite coming to take our guns in violation of our “Second Amendment constitutional rights” are nauseating. Shut up, Sen. Ted Cruz. No one believes that.

Why not first read the Second Amendment? It says, “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.”

Please keep in mind that these are NOT my thoughts….I may or may not agree, this is just an FYI exercise…..hopefully all will see as such and not go off on some rant filled rant that will serve no purpose at all.

Any thoughts?

On a closing note:  Today we celebrate the 78th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Fortress Europe.

Please take a few minutes to thank our Greatest Generation for all their sacrifice.

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

What Does Kyiv Think?

We all know what the MSM thinks of the armed conflict in Ukraine by “Vlad the Invader’……and your major news source influences your opinions on this orgy of death and destruction…..but what does the Ukrainian op-eds think of the West’s response to the conflict?

This is an article written in the Kyiv Post……

The world is now reeling in shock, witnessing widespread evidence of massive atrocities committed by Russian forces in Ukraine. In the recently liberated town of Bucha near Kyiv, the advancing Ukrainian army discovered mass graves, the bodies of female rape victims run over by tanks, cellars containing caches of cut-off children’s ears, and streets filled with dead civilians, arms bound and shot in the back of the head.