Rainy days and Mondays, especially today, get me down

Karen Carpenter sang “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.” This weekend was a yet another sad chapter in America’s history. Plus, we learned 31 people died in a ferry capsizing in the Philippines. In California, an eroding cliff collapsed next to the shore killing three. And, Russia and China are coming down hard on protestors. These are signals.

In America, we have decided we cannot do anything to stop mass gun shootings. We have decided the politics are too hard to do the needed things that would help. We could start by acknowledging that we average 100+ gun deaths a day even without the mass shootings. Many of those deaths are suicides. Some of them are accidental shootings of kids who find a gun in the house. And, some of the homicides are due to mental health issues, lack of civil discourse, hate crimes, or drug crimes. The common thread is access to a weapon without better governance.

Yes, we must act on these signals. We must call hate speech on the carpet, especially if it comes from someone who is in a position of leadership. Dog whistle racism and xenophobia are fuel to a fire for some extreme thinkers. The ones who want status quo in gun laws will say “now is not the time” for change to gun governance. Apparently, “never is the time.” The ones who want status quo will say “that change would not solve this instance.” Yet, doing nothing at all is not solving much.

There are things we can do that, in sum, will help make a difference. If it saves a few lives, that is good. I want politicians to get in a room and I want them to check their politics. I do not care who wins and loses a political game, but it is obvious the dead people and their families are losing. It amazes me how little we did after Sandy Hook. We even had a conservative shock jock say for years Sandy Hook was not real. He is on trial for his hateful rhetoric for the damage he has caused to Sandy Hook families and should be.

The Philippines tragedy is terrible, but not getting much play here. It seems we don’t pay attention like we should when the weather sends us signals. Overloading ferries can be OK in calm waters, but it is a disaster when waters are rough, especially after two earlier ferries had issues. I think failing to heed signals causes far too many deaths. Here in the US, we are whistling past the graveyard in preface to the next infrastructure collapse. Around the world, we have signals telling us to plan ahead on eroding seashores, increasing floods with stalled and repetitive storm systems, increasing droughts in other areas and elongated and bigger forest fires. We need to act on these signals.

In Russia and China, the signals are telling us that we must not be like that. Civil protest is more than fine, yet we must emphasize the word civil. Yet, a regime that crushes the spirit of those who question things, is one that is sowing more seeds of discord, not fewer. A regime that squelches and controls the media is not one that wants to hear the truth. I am watching the mini-series called “The Loudest Voice,” about Roger Ailes and his creation of Fox News. He purposefully controlled what and how things were said, that he started believing his own BS.

Truth matters. Facts matter. Diligent preparation in the face of those facts matter. When people ignore problems, white-wash or deny the truth, and squash those who are trying to tell you those things, the future is hamstrung. As I say often, I do not care what people’s politics are, as usually they are a mixed bag like me, conservative on some things, progressive on others. What I do care about is when people ignore or massage the facts to make their tribe win. I a more concerned about the people who die, who struggle, who become infirmed, who are jailed inappropriately, etc. That is what our leaders should be concerned about and not spreading fear, hate and division to win an election.

 

14 thoughts on “Rainy days and Mondays, especially today, get me down

  1. Hello David. Did you see that Republican state Sen. John McCollister from Nebraska has called out the racism and white supremacy his party is enabling. So the cracks are forming as people are reaching their breaking point. I hope more follow his lead, but I fear he will be drummed out of the party. Hugs

    • Scottie, that is good news in this dark cloud. I saw where Ted Cruz denounced white supremacy. We need more of that. This is beyond political party – it is about the kind of people we want to be as a nation. Keith

  2. Good thoughts here, my friend. These are sad and frightening times, both here and around the globe. It’s time for some changes in the “politics as usual”, for we need leaders who care more about unifying their nations rather than following divisive policies and spewing bigotry that furthers the hatred that is already simmering just beneath the surface. Thank you for always being the voice of reason in these troubled times.

    • Thanks. Unifying is the missing link. What is interesting, Trump has pitted people against each other his whole career. He feels that creating competitive chaos is a productive. What happens in business and his White House, people try to sabatoge each other. So, a rule with Trump is be the last person to talk with him, per Bob Woodward’s book “Fear.” Keith

  3. We could make big changes in a short time period if all of the leaders pulled on the same string. It is important that the individual acts as a role model in their world. The more we are the more politicians have to accept that they need to change something globally. We all know that we need to work together. If not everybody cooperates, it won’t work out.

    • Erika, agreed. People need to tell politicians doing nothing is unacceptable. I would love to see a march like the Women’s March devoted to gun governance or denouncing hate speech. Keith

      • It should be done like Mother Theresa said and like Gandhi did it. Peaceful and for something not against something. Because that way the view is already on the solution.

      • Erika, that is so true. I think a march for civility and civil discourse would be appropriate. Hate speech could be denounced, though, along with fear mongering. We need our leaders to be our better angels, but right now they are subtracting not adding to our ideals. We need to show that kindness is not a weakness. Keith

  4. Note to Readers: Three comments:
    – I hope the person in the White House listened to what he said;
    – If more guns is the answer, we should be the safest country in the world with 400 million guns with around 300 million plus prople;
    – If mental health is the main issue, why is the ACA with its mental health benefits under attack, why has Medicaid not expanded in 15 states and why did a GOP led Congress put mentally disabled Social Security recipients back on the buy list?

    Let’s use facts to address this issue.

  5. And the tragedies go on and on.
    The irony, the darkly comical irony here is that Trump’s speech contains a number of suggestions which would sit well in an authoritarian socialist state’s manifesto. He is getting in a tangle isn’t he? Quite out of his depth.
    Still he will have his newly ‘left’ leaning supporters to rely on.
    Oh the irony…..
    And the tragedy

    • Roger, we all have character flaws, but choosing one of the president’s is hard. One that I have mentioned before is the “lack of accountability.”

      Have you ever worked with or known anyone who causes trouble and then backs away from the role he or she played when the “you-know-what” hits the fan? That is Donald Trump. If he has owned up to a failure, I do not recall it. His biographers note of the influence of Roy Cohn, an attorney who also advised Senator Joe McCarthy of the communist witch hunt fame. Cohn told Trump to never apologize for anything and sue everyone, both of which he has done.

      I wrote recently about the character in the movie “The Caine Mutiny,” who instigated the mutiny, but when he got on the stand at the trial, denied knowing or doing anything. That is Donald Trump.

      Keith

  6. Note to Readers: Businesswoman and former GOP Presidential candidate Carly Fiorona said on BBC News today that she feels the president lacks character and his words and actions have revealed such. Per Fiorina, Trump’s words are “divisive and racist.”

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