Monday, December 17, 2012

An Infamy Shared...

By her own account, Nancy Lanza was the mother of a disturbed boy, a painfully shy misfit, an odd piece in the puzzle that is our society.  Did she help him to overcome this?  Did she make every effort to support him in his efforts to find a place for himself among us?  To teach him that ‘different’ is really just another word for ‘special’ or ‘exceptional’?  That he too was somebody who counted?  Did she honestly believe that taking such a boy out of school, isolating him even more, and introducing him to guns and rifles was a reasonable or logical alternative?  A viable means of socialization?  Or was it just another activity a mother and her emotionally unstable son could share?  We may never know what she was thinking.  We may even find out that she did try to get Adam help, did do her utmost to teach him how to cope but there is no denying that, by putting a gun in his hand, Nancy took the grenade that was Adam and pulled out the pin.  He could do nothing other than explode and explode he did.  

There are probably a great many grenades among us and, too often, we don’t even know it.  But Nancy knew!  She knew damn well!  I do not excuse or defend Adam, but it must be acknowledged that it was likely his mother’s actions which were instrumental in flipping the switch.  She aimed the lightning bolt directly at her son and breathed another kind of soul into him.  Carnage ensued.  So who is to blame for it?  The monster or Dr. Frankenstein? Or both?

There are those who advocate that we should have more, not less guns, that arming ourselves to the teeth is the way to go.  Nancy did just that.  She armed herself with the result that Adam, who heretofore had done nothing remotely violent in his life, was handed the ideal tools to become one of the most infamous criminals we have ever known.  

A.J. Aston

Friday, December 14, 2012

Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill Blah, Blah, Bullshit!

True, guns don’t kill people.  Angry, deranged, disturbed, people do.  People with a grudge, people with something to prove, people wanting notoriety, people with an agenda.  But all those madmen (of the 43 mass shootings in this country in the last twenty or so years, only one was committed by a woman) would not have had the capacity to be as deadly if they had been unable to get their hands on guns and rifles and AK-47’s.

In light of what has happened in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, all other issues, concerns and arguments, everything which, till today, has occupied and/or divided us, pales into insignificance by comparison.  It is why I have removed the petition on higher taxes for the rich from my blog.  I can’t see that it matters, not just now.  I was, for a brief moment, tempted to replace it with one calling for stricter control of firearms, but this is not the time.  This is the time to think of the twenty children and six adults who lost their lives to bullets, shot out of guns in the hands of a person who should have never, ever had access to them in the first place!

My heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, their friends and colleagues, to the residents of Newtown, and indeed, to this nation.

A.J. Aston

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

To The Pledge or to The People?

Correct me if I’m wrong but I was under the impression that in these here United States of America, politicians owed their jobs to the electorate, namely all of us, not just some of us.  In return for such employment, said politicians are charged with the duty of carrying the voices of the people to Washington, there to speak on our behalf, rich and poor alike.  

For months now, the debate has raged on the subject of the effective tax rate the super rich pay in comparison to the rest of us lesser mortals.  The President and Democrats are for leveling out the playing field, while the Republicans and John Boehner are against.  

The most compelling reason for a tax hike on the wealthiest among us is, to my mind, a very basic one and that is the issue of equity.  Present tax rates are just not fair!  

An argument against, and spoken least often about, is one which I find quite baffling, not to say highly questionable. It is, (insert ominous music here) The Pledge.  You know, the one which was signed by ALL but 16 of the incoming Republican members of the House of Representatives and ALL but 12 of the Republicans currently in Congress?  Signed at the behest of Grover Norquist of the ‘(Not all) Americans for Tax Reform’?  The one where the signatories promise never, ever, ever to raise taxes, particularly not on the top one percent of earners in this country?  The pledge which Grover maintains is as solemn, if not more so, than, say, wedding vows?  (Actually, he may be right on that score, judging by some of the scandals coming out of Washington, but I digress….)  

Yeah, that’s it, that’s the one!  Keeping in mind that some of these pledges, as you may know, were signed as long as twenty years ago, or a fifth of a century, a generation, a bloody long time ago, I feel compelled to ask:

  How did the people who signed this pledge THEN, know what the people who elect them into office might want TODAY?

Before you answer this question, let me remind you of the oath which all members of Congress must say, out loud, for all to hear, right hand over left heart:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

I don’t know about you but I don’t see anything in there about supporting and defending the pledge to Grover Norquist above and before the Constitution, that little, not insignificant piece of paper which is the framework of this country, the principals on which all else was and is built, the basic premise of all government and it’s elected members, you know, the ones elected by the People, for the People? It don’t say nothin’ ‘bout no Grover….

So, then, ah, who are these Republicans really working for ‘cause damned if I know….

I think they need to be reminded, I think they need to hear from their actual employers, from us!  One way to do that is to sign the petition, the one at the top there, in the upper right hand corner of this blog?  Yeah, that’s the one!

Please sign, won’t you?
Thank you muchly!
A. J. Aston