The renewed and vociferous arguments from the gun-grabbers in the wake of the Arizona shootings for more restrictions on firearms and ammunition reminds me of an incident nearly a half-century ago, when I was in nursery school. For some reason, it stuck in my mind.
Since I was 5 years old at the time, I think it's apropos to recount the story in kindergarten language: "Every day we had a play time. We played Legos and made forts. In the toy box was a plastic bear. Everyone wanted the bear in their fort, so we grabbed for it. One day we started shouting and fighting over the bear. The teacher got mad and took the bear away. We never saw it again. Everyone was sad." Those who wish to abrogate the Second Amendment and curtail other freedoms are taking the teacher-in-a-nursery-school approach: "A few of you can't play nice and not cause trouble? Then no one should have those rights and freedoms."
Alexis de Tocqueville argued that "liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith." Benjamin Disraeli echoed nearly the same sentiments. Without religion there is no morality, without morality, society devolves to chaos no matter how many laws are erected and enforced. When we are moral however, laws are unneeded.
The problem isn't guns. The problem is a dysfunctional society that has programmed itself to create a disproportionate number of the deranged, like Jared Loughner. There is no fix for that other than a return to a religious -- and as a result, moral -- society.
A bah-humbug parody -- The U.S. government has no right to declare federal holidays -- it is not in the Constitution and contributes to the deficit, forcing employers to pay employees for not working. In fact none of the holidays should be forced on employers -- federal or not, this puts an unnecessary cost on employers -- just another form of discrimination.
None of the holidays are important in the modern world, holiday means holyday and this is an infringement on personal worship which has many variations in America and not giving equal respect.
Start with New Year's Day: that is not a holiday unless you're a pagan and it doesn't mark the winter solstice.
Christmas is closer and is a Catholic ritual changed to exchanging gifts, which few can afford and many are unwanted. Setting aside one day to give thanks is ridiculous. People should give thanks everyday and many times a day. Easter is certainly a holy day but is not historically beneficial since it is named after a pagan fertility goddess.
Presidents Day, come on now, most people cannot name them all -- so much for remembering their merits. All but a few were just pure politicians handing out taxpayer money to contributors not concerned about helping other Americans.
The Fourth of July is worth remembering but again not a holiday unless freedom is holy and maybe it is the most holy since it represents the God given freewill that most religious theocrats want to destroy making everyone their holy slaves.
Columbus Day is hated by some Native American tribal leaders and Martin Luther King Day is hated by those racists among us. There are so many worthy things and good people to remember that are not actually holy days such as Veterans Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day and on and on. Most of them are not really holidays -- unless the American dollar is your God.
On that final thought then: Labor Day is America's most reverent day to us. Pray that America can save its "Jobs for us all." But there are some politicians and corporate CEOs here that prefer the Chinese New Year rule over us.
(In response to "Into Thy Hands" in the Jan. 20-26 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly)
The Multi-Hazard mitigation plan has been one of the smartest things Tulsa has engaged in recent years. RD Flanangan did a candid, critical analysis and comprehensive job putting this plan together. I am glad to see some of these excellent recommendations are finally being put into action with the help of dedicated, no-nonsense, volunteers like Van Voorhis and others.
I hope our elected city leaders will see fit to review and implement other MHMP recommendations like the ones addressing deficiencies in the building code including, but not but not limited to, seismic and expansive soil issues, for instance.
The better we build and regulate our community to be disaster resistant, the more prepared and better able we will be to respond when disaster strikes.
Never in world history has an entire population been so duped by so few. The Tea Party/GOP retaking of the House of Representatives has presented exactly what I predicted. Emboldened by the House takeover, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Healthcare, with the help of the Chambers of Commerce have gone back to bilking the daylights out of the American people, especially the middle class working people and the poor.
America, don't you remember when Bush came into office, within 10 months, your health insurance premiums doubled, tripled and quadrupled? This is not supply and demand. It is a bilk. And now with Tea Party/GOP gains, we are again back to being bilked at the gas pump and our health plans. Remember what your paychecks looked like after that bilking. It has not stopped. It is here again and you better wake up, my dear America.
--Lawrence Hill, Emeritus
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