Current Events Featured Reflections

El Paso Shooting (and Dayton too)

Thankfully, we did not have any family or friends involved at the recent El Paso shooting, but far too many people are not able to say the same thing today. One family member was there no more than two hours before the shooting and there is no reason why she was spared while others were not.

I am glad and hopeful that President Trump called this senseless act of hatred what it is: racism and white supremacy.

The President, though, needs to do far more to make me believe that he meant it. He needs to do far more to make those who choose hate and for those that choose violence to believe him.

According to researching at the University of North Texas, counties where then-candidate Trump held campaign rallies in 2016 had a 226-percent increase of hate crimes compared to those that did not host a rally.

The President has consistently referred to the issues at our southern border “an invasion”. The cornerstone of his campaign has been to create fear of “the other”. His Twitter account is full of racially-charged derogatory nicknames. He laughs off when someone at a rally yelled that they should shoot people.

I hope that this is the time that enough is enough and that he will change his behavior—for our country but for his own soul—but I’m not going to hold my breath. Until that happens, I can only assume something from a teleprompter is what his aides thinks he should say and his Twitter account is what he actually wants to say.

Guns are complicated, to a degree. As a society, though, do we need weapons with the disruptive power freely available? The Dayton gunman had an 100-round drum—legal. He killed nine and injured 14 within 30 seconds when shooting on a street. Imagine if he started within the crowded bar he was walking toward? He didn’t have priors, though there were warning signs he had issues a decade ago, nothing that made into a system.

Even treating the 2nd Amendment like a Golden Calf, there are better ways to control guns.

I’ve read on Facebook people say that guns are only tools and we need to dig deeper to the root causes. I don’t disagree with that either—we can still look at the tools while going deeper. As a country, we have plenty of problems, but as long as President Trump uses the amazing power he has to stoke fear and excite those with extreme xenophobic and racist views, we’re going to continue to see more and more weekends like last weekend.

Current Events Microblog

Rangers at Astros

Rangers would be a solid team if we could pitch better than a tee-ball team.

Current Events Microblog

Former Rep’s Opines on ACA Appeal

If the American Health Care Act is signed into law, people with preexisting conditions such as me might not be able to get the care we need.

Source: Opinion | To my colleagues in Congress: I have MS. Don’t make my insurance unaffordable.

Current Events Microblog

Senate Health Bill Reels as C.B.O. Predicts 22 Million More Uninsured

The figure released by the Congressional Budget Office is only slightly lower than the 23 million more uninsured under the House version of the legislation.

Source: Senate Health Bill Reels as C.B.O. Predicts 22 Million More Uninsured

I intentionally waited for the CBO report before contacting my senators. I’m okay with changing the system, but this doesn’t work.

Current Events Politics

NPR Interviews George W. Bush

Bush has dedicated billions to combat AIDS in Africa and recently traveled to the continent. If nothing had been done about the pandemic during his time in office, he said, “I would’ve been ashamed.”

Source: George W. Bush Calls Foreign Aid A Moral And Security Imperative

I was not a huge fan of President Bush while he was in office. I think his Iraq policy was extremely problematic and one we will be dealing with for sometime. The Patriot Act and his post-9/11 war against terrorism as an abstract created a dynamic of how we view and interact with authority that we will be realizing the negative effects of for some time (hello, United, using police to remove passengers from a plane).

All that said, I like him post-presidency and it is striking his interview with NPR compared to the current administration​ so far.

Worth the read and per Morning Edition on air this morning, there will be more on other topics discussed during the interview dropping during the day.

Current Events Reflections

Two Explosions Kill at Egyptian Coptic Churches on Palm Sunday

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombings, but they came weeks before Pope Francis is to visit the country.

Source: Two Explosions Kill at Least 31 at Egyptian Coptic Churches on Palm Sunday

As we pile into the car to head to Palm Sunday Mass ourselves, the absolute senselessness of violence, and even more so against families, is unfathomable. Between the horrible attacks in Syria and now this, peace feels so far away. Let’s hope, pray, and work to find it however we can.