You are browsing the archive for Uncategorized.

Over Easy – A Fond Farewell

7:55 am in Uncategorized by KrisAinTX

Goodbye...Tell Your Friends...Good morning firedogs, and happy Tuesday!

My post this morning will be rather short, I’m afraid, and I will  be around in comments only sporadically. Work has gotten very hectic of late, and I’ve got my kiddos home from school for the summer. Alas, life has gotten in the way of my blogging in what seems to be an irreconcilable way.

This morning’s post will be my last regular Tuesday post. I want to thank each and every reader and commentor for their contributions. Special thanks for tolerating my gun control saga.

A hearty thank you and a huge hug to the other daily authors: Box Turtle, Crane-Station, Ruth Calvo, and msmolly. I think Richard would be proud of us.

If anybody would like to take over the regular Tuesday duties, please let us know in the comments.

Well, this is Over Easy. As always, off topic is the topic. I’ll be around in the comments as much as I can, and will continue to be a regular visitor. I’m not disappearing, just stepping back from captaining the ship every Tuesday.

See you in the comments!

Read the rest of this entry →

Over Easy

7:55 am in Uncategorized by KrisAinTX

Good morning firedogs, and happy Tuesday. I hope everyone had an awesome three day weekend!

I completely forgot to write a post for this morning. I’ve had a very busy last few days, and have a very busy couple of weeks ahead. If anyone wants to guest host next Tuesday, June 4th, please let me know in the comments. I’ll also need a guest host on June 25th.

So how was your Memorial Day? Let’s talk about it in the comments. See you there!

Over Easy – Moore, OK

7:55 am in Uncategorized by KrisAinTX

 photo MooreRelief_zpsce024b61.jpgGood morning firedogs. It’s a somber Tuesday.

At the time of this writing, 8:30pm Central time Monday evening, there are 51 confirmed fatalities in Moore, OK. There are hundreds still unaccounted for, including dozens of children who sheltered in place at an elementary school. The school has been completely destroyed. Hundreds of other structures are gone as well.

I won’t rehash all the details here. I’m sure everyone has kept pace with the story, at least to some degree.

What I would like to do is provide direct information on sources for those inclined to help.

As always, you can donate through the Red Cross here. You can also text ‘REDCROSS’ to 90999, which will donate $10 that will be added on to your next cell phone bill.

The link to the Red Cross above can provide you with locations of donation stations. It will surely be needed.

There are three Goodwill stores in Moore. Their addresses are here. I would advise anyone wanting to send donations of clothing to do so by contacting these local Goodwill stores in the coming week.

The first Red Cross shelter up and running is at St. Andrews  United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City. Their website is here, and includes contact information. I’m sure they would appreciate any help that folks are willing to offer.

Community Midwifery Services, LLC in Norman, OK is accepting donations. Their website and contact details are here. (H/T marym in IL)

The Community Action Agency is also accepting donations via their Norman, OK location. Contact information is here. (H/T marym in IL)

Also, see the photo at the top for another local source, News 9 in Oklahoma City. They are accepting direct donations of goods and services, as well as text donations of $10. (H/T marym in IL)

If anyone has any other sources, please feel free to post them in the links.

For anyone sending items, everything is needed. Food, clothing, hygiene supplies. Anything used in daily life will be of help.

I’m going to take a break from this now. My heart hurts. I’ll see you all in the comments when I get up in the AM.

MyFDL Editor’s Note: Community activists, as well as members of Occupy, Anonymous and Tar Sands Blockade are creating community-driven relief efforts. Please check the hashtag #OpOK for info.


Over Easy – Chattanooga Choo Choo Chorale

7:55 am in Uncategorized by KrisAinTX

GeoffreyDummer

Hi! I'm Geoffrey Dummer. I'm smarter than you.

Good morning firedogs, and happy Tuesday.

It’s time for another exciting installment of This Day in History!

On This Day in History…

The dome of the Hagia Sophia collapses in Constantinople (558). Justinian I orders it rebuilt. The reconstruction takes 4 years.

The English siege of Orleans is broken by Joan of Arc (1429, possibly May 8th. Citations differ. The link provided gives the best history I found outside Wikipedia, but gives May 8th as the date of the event.)

The city of New Orleans is founded by Jean-Baptiste le Moyne de Bienville (1718).

Beethoven’s 9th Symphony “Chorale” premiers in Vienna (1824).

The Great Natchez Tornado, the second worst tornado in US history, leaves 317 dead in Natchez, Mississippi (1840).

Alexander Stepanovich Popov demonstrates his invention to the Russian Physical and Chemical Society in Saint Petersburg. It is the world’s first radio receiver (1895). The anniversary of this date is now a holiday celebrated in Russia, called Radio Day.

A German submarine sinks the Lusitania (1915). 1198 lives are lost.

The world’s largest pearl is found at Palawan, Phillipines (1934. Scroll down at link).

Glenn Miller and his orchestra record Chattanooga Choo Choo for RCA(1941).

Geoffrey W. A. Dummer first proposes the integrated circuit, leading to the technology behind computers (1952).

King Herod the Great’s tomb is discovered (2007).

What an interesting day!

See you in the comments.

Read the rest of this entry →

Over Easy – The Brave Engineer and the Say Hey Kid

7:55 am in Uncategorized by KrisAinTX

P071409PS-0556

The Say Hey Kid and Barack Obama in 2009

Good morning firedogs, and happy Tuesday!

It’s time for another fascinating installment of This Day in History.

On this day in history -

The Roman Emperor Galerius legalized the practice of Christianity throughout the empire (311 or 313, dates differ).

According to orbital calculations, Pluto moved inside Neptune’s orbit, where it remained until July 23rd, 1503 (1483).

Columbus was given a royal commission to equip his fleet (1492).

Jean Ribault claimed Florida for France (1562).

George Washington is inaugurated as the 1st President of the United States of America (1789).

The United States doubled in size with the signing of the Louisiana Purchase (1803).

The Camp Grant Massacre leaves at least 118 Arivaipa Apache dead (1871).

Casey Jones‘s passenger train, the Cannonball Express, collides with a freight train  in Vaughan, Mississippi. Casey died. (1900).

The 1st televised FA Cup Final, between Huddersfield Town and Preston North End, was broadcast (1938).

The USS Peto, the 1st submarine built on the Great Lakes, was launched (1942).

The Boulder Dam was officially renamed the Hoover Dam  by Congress (1947).

San Francisco Giant, and all-around spectacular human being, Willie Mays hit 4 home runs in a game (1961). I’ve had the pleasure of shaking Willie’s hand. Great guy.

Big Ben stopped at 12:11pm for 54 minutes (1997, no citation).

See you in the comments!

Read the rest of this entry →

Over Easy – This is What Failure Looks Like

8:23 am in Uncategorized by KrisAinTX

Good morning firedogs, and happy Tuesday.

I’ve got to be honest with you pups. I completely forgot about this morning’s posting and hosting responsibilities. I have nothing prepared.

Please accept this apology, and know that the doors are open and off topic will be the topic today.

I’ll see you in the comments.

Over Easy – Sir Isaac and the Stamps…

7:55 am in Uncategorized by KrisAinTX

Quimby, Harriet

Harriet Quimby

… should be a band name.

Good morning firedogs, and happy Tuesday!

Time for another riveting installment of This Day in History!

On This Day in History -

The Jewish Fortress of Masada fell to Romans after a months-long siege, marking the end of the Jewish Revolt (73).

Bari fell to Robert Guiscard, effectively bringing an end to Byzantine rule of Italy (1071).

Queen Anne of England knighted Isaac Newton at Trinity College (1705).

President Lincoln outlawed business and trade with Confederate States (1861{no link, sorry}).

Bat Masterson fought his last documented gunfight, possibly shooting and wounding Al Updegraff. (1881).

The United States Postal Service issued the first book of US Postal stamps (1900).

Harriet Quimby became the first female pilot to cross the English Channel (1912).

The St. Nedelya Church assault in Bulgaria left 150 dead, 500 wounded (1925).

Dr. Albert Hofmann first discovered the psychotropic properties of LSD (1943).

The worst industrial accident in American history, the Texas City Explosion, occurred. The explosion and subsequent fire left 522 dead (1947).

Walter Cronkite began anchoring the CBS Evening News (1962).

Lastly, the Virginia Tech Massacre occurred, the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people, wounding 23 others, before taking his own life.

I’ll see you in the comments.

Oh, and here’s a song, even though it’s Tuesday.
Read the rest of this entry →

Over Easy – Ticket to Ride

7:55 am in Uncategorized by KrisAinTX

Mae West LATGood morning firedogs, and happy Tuesday! Time for another stirring installment of This Day in History.

On this day in history -

Pope Constantine died (715).

Henry V, of the House of Lancaster, was crowned King of England (1413).

The Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in France held what is thought to be the first public art exhibition (1667).

The Peterborough, New Hampshire town library was founded (1833). This was the first public library supported through taxation.

General Robert E Lee and 26,765 Confederate troops surrendered to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant in Appomattox, Virginia (1865).

The very first game at Fenway Park, an exhibition between the Red Sox and Harvard College, was played (1912).

Sacco and Vanzetti were sentenced to death (1927).

Mae West made her New York City debut in the play Diamond Lil (1928).

Bob Hope made his first television appearance (1950).

NASA announced the names of the first ever astronauts, 7 in all, for Project Mercury (1959).

And finally, the Beatles’ Ticket to Ride was released in the UK (1965).

See you in the comments!

Over Easy – What I Learned From Richard de Berry, or Part 6 – the Conclusion

7:55 am in Uncategorized by KrisAinTX

This is the 6th and final post in an ongoing series on gun violence. Click the hyperlinks for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.

 photo Sky_zps2cc5442f.jpg

From my back porch.

Good morning firedogs, and happy Tuesday.

We have now explored many aspects of the gun control and gun violence conversation in America. We’ve seen how our peer nations address gun control. We’ve seen how easy it is to acquire a gun in the US. We’ve seen how self-defense weapons greatly increase your risk of death by firearms. We took a good look at the NRA and the mental health crisis in America.

We’ve had an extensive conversation, to be sure. 1,036 comments thus far in this series. I thank you all for your participation. What I had hoped to do when starting this series, my initial concept, was to start an ongoing and extensive conversation among the great minds here about the gun problem. I feel I’ve accomplished that. I also hoped to develop and solidify my own firm set of beliefs around the issue, and I’ve accomplished that as well.

I believed in those early days (just 8 weeks ago!) that the only concrete solution to the gun problem in America was a ban on firearm ownership, similar to the laws in Australia or England that we took a look at in Part 3. I don’t believe that this ban would need to include seizures of guns currently owned, as happened in Australia. I think many American gun owners would fight, and many would die. This is not a viable solution. I do think a ban could succeed long term if it were enacted now (or soon) and manufacture and sale of firearms ceased. 100 years from now, with guns cast aside, rusted out, and broken, the supply of firearms in America would be greatly depleted, and we would be a much safer nation. Our great grandchildren, and their children, would not have to witness the yearly Sandy Hook or Columbine massacres that seem so common now.

Alas, this ban will not happen. America’s government is far too beholden to monied interests to boldly erase a giant economic sector like weapons manufacturing.

Given that the best solution is not politically feasible, what are we left with? For me, the answer to that question is simple. A better ideal.

Much of what maligns our society can be addressed without touching anybody’s guns. There are many loosely related problems today that, if corrected, could reduce the number of violent homicides in America.

How? you might ask. Richard de Berry showed me the way.

Here at last, firedogs and dear readers, is my conclusion, and my hope for a better future.

When we last saw Richard, or SouthernDragon, he was treating some of us to another serving of Marx in the Morning, his recurring series on the teachings of Professor Richard Wolff. Richard died shortly thereafter, losing his final battle to cancer.

Before leaving us, Richard opened my eyes to an entirely new perspective. Marxism was alien to me, and his Marx in the Morning posts taught me that I could look at the world in a different way. I had been focusing on the wrong things for so long, never really seeing the true core of any particular issue.

What Richard taught me, through the works of Marx and Professor Wolff, was that people are the core of any societal issue, be the issue economic, political, or any other. If we seek to understand our fellows, we can better serve them and address their ills.

I was left then, when pondering how best to wrap up this series, with a gnawing question. Why do we kill each other so much? There are a handful of answers, and I believe they are the basic problems that we need to fix if we ever hope to reduce violence in America. These are large national issues, but I believe their solutions stem from us working at a local or individual level. There is something all of us can do to reduce violence.

Our mental health system is sorely lacking.

How can we fix that? There are other areas of this site that address the political fixes. Corporate ownership of our healthcare system severely inhibits positive change. We can, however, love our neighbors and friends. We can pay more attention to what they’re saying, how they’re feeling, or what they’re going through. We can be more aware of their ups and downs, and reach out more often. We can listen when someone wants to talk. Simple acts of kindness among us can go a long way to making our society more mentally healthy as a whole. I’m not suggesting that we can take the place of mental health professionals, or prevent a massacre like Sandy Hook or Aurora, but how many suicides do you think could be prevented this way? My guess is a lot.

Poverty breeds crime

Read the rest of this entry →

Over Easy – Mental Illness in America, or Part 5

7:55 am in Uncategorized by KrisAinTX

AUSTIN TEXAS, Charles Whitman: America's First College Mass Murderer

I never could quite make it. These thoughts are too much for me.

This is the 5th post in an ongoing series. Click for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

Good morning firedogs, and happy Tuesday. Apologies for missing last week. I had some personal matters to attend to. Huge thanks to chicago dyke for filling in.

We’ve considered many different aspects of the gun problem in America. We now turn our attention to mental health.

Much of the gun violence in America goes unnoticed. Individual victims receive a brief mention on the evening news, and a small story on the bottom fold of the local rag’s front page, unless they’re in a major metropolitan area. Then the victim is lucky to get a mention on page 2 of the local section. Many times these victims are young and poor, and often they are African-American or Hispanic. Our media doesn’t care about these folks, and the world moves on, never having known who or what its lost.

The stories we do hear about, the images plastered all over the national news, are the spree killings and massacres. Sandy Hook. Aurora. Virgina Tech. Columbine. These are all part of the American Tapestry. Stories woven into the hearts and minds of all of us. Pictures and interviews with family members of the victims are plastered all over the print media and airwaves. Creepy photographs of the shooters are blown up for all to gaze at in terror and awe, and printed on every website and magazine. We hear about this shooter‘s autism* and possible personality disorder. We hear about these shooters‘ depression and suicidal thoughts. Or this young man‘s mental illness.

As a nation, our attention is always held by these spree killings and massacres. Most Americans seem to find some macabre pleasure in hearing every last detail. This woman gave her life to shield a child, that man tackled the shooter, this perpetrator got rejected by the Army. Every detail, no matter how minute, or how gory, is water cooler conversationr fodder. All our friends and coworkers have heard the latest news. Everyone is following the aftermath of the school shooting du jour. The average individual craves information when these shootings occur. We want to know. We want to understand. Because we fear. Somewhere, within 6 – 8 hours of the initial eports of the shooting, the same question is on most tongues: How did this happen?

The answer to that particular question is always complicated, and never revealed in full, in my humble opinion. There are many factors, and each perpetrator’s or suspect’s case is unique. One thing, however, is certain; most of these spree killers have been treated for, or have been suspected of having, a mental illness.This information very rapidly comes to light after a spree shooting or massacre.

The topic for the media, within 2 to 3 days of the shooting, must then pivot to blame. Why wasn’t the shooter stopped? Why wasn’t he caught in time? Why wasn’t his mental illness treated more vigorously? Why did that crazy kid have those guns? Why didn’t we spot the warning signs and do something.

These questions are asked angrily by pundits, with much flourish and pounding of fists. They are asked breathlessly, as if a prayer or a plea, by morning show hosts and evening newscasters. These questions are always asked. Rarely answered.

The answer is simple, my dear firedogs, and has only two parts!

Part one – mental illness is heavily stigmatized in our country.

The stigmatization of mental illness in America has been discussed elsewhere by my betters.

Unfortunately, the media is responsible for many of the misconceptions which persist about people with mental illnesses.  Newspapers, in particular, often stress a history of mental illness in the backgrounds of people who commit crimes of violence.

The stigma surrounding mental illness keeps many from seeking treatment. This same keeps others from reporting suspicious or potentially dangerous behavior, for fear that their friend or family member may be labeled ‘crazy’ or put away in an institution.

The reasons are myriad, but the bottom line is clear – mental illness often goes untreated in America simply because people are afraid of mental illness. This is something that needs to be addressed and corrected if we are ever to move forward with a safer future.

Part two – our healthcare system is a for-profit industry.

In the last post in this series I talked about the National Rifle Association, and the 180 degree shift in the aims of that organization when corporate money started rolling in. Our health insurance industry is much the same. What used to be rightly called health care can now not be called such.

Make no mistake, firedogs – what we have in this country is not a healthcare system. Or health and well-being are a complex budget variable, only factoring into the discussions of the industry when they’re deciding how much to raise our rates or charge for services.

The health insurance industry in this country is not interested in treating men like Adam Lanza. The health insurance industry is only interested in profit. Unless the patient can be medicated, and continues to pay a premium and a copay on a recurring basis, the health insurance industry is not interested in the patient.

We all have our stories with regard to the health insurance industry in America. We’ve all had personal experiences where our rates jumped or our prescription coverages changed drastically. The insurance product itself has changed significantly in the last 10 years. Just 6 years ago, my health plan covered everything. All I had to do was pay my monthly premium and my copay. Now, my insurance covers nothing until I pay my premiums and spend $4,000 out of pocket. The insurance product has degraded, rotted away to almost nothing. We are no longer insured, but held in a position (by an abominable law…) where we are forced to profit the insurer and the provider while getting almost nothing of value in return.

I realize I’m rambling here, and have wandered far from topic. It’s 11:34PM and I’m too tired to go back and rewrite :) Call me lazy in the comments.

The point I’m driving at here, dear reader, is that our health insurance system is no longer in place for our benefit. Many of us are no longer receiving much-needed treatment because we either can’t afford it, or our insurers won’t allow it. Which kind of amounts to the same thing, dunnit?

Young men like Adam Lanza, Jared Laughner, and others who have recently committed massacres, now live in a country where their problems are a stigma, and the possible solutions to those stigmatized problems are priced beyond their reach. It’s a two-fold problem that breaks the backs of many, spree killer or not.

The greed-run-rampant in our health insurance industry is keeping people in desperate need from getting help. Maybe, just maybe, if we stopped making mentally ill people feel like outsiders, and if we stopped insurers from pricing help beyond the reach of those in need, we would have fewer killings.

Alas and alack! Word count, mumble mumble, *rubs eyes*. Next up, the conclusion. I’ve gone as far as I can with this topic, folks. It’s been huge and awkward, and I thank you for following me here. Next Tuesday I’ll wrap this up, and after that you can have your regular Over Easy Tuesday posts back. I promise.

This is Over Easy. As always, off topic is safe and welcome.

I’ll see you in the comments.

*Fuck everyone in the media who talked about Adam Lanza’s autism or Asperger Syndrome as if this were a mental illness. Seriously. Assholes.

Photo at top by ATOMIC hot links via Flickr.