Tag Archives: United States

My daily fight with myself

Whenever I approach a writing project, it goes like this:

This is Susie Salmon.

This is Susie Salmon.

  1. Pitch my ability to do the job.
  2. Get the job.
  3. Start work on the job.
  4. Stress process begins — I can’t do this job, why did I think I could do this? I am never going to get this right. Maybe I should call and quit.
  5. Do the job.

The only thing I really know anything about is politics. The only thing I know I do well is write (I am also good at event planning and media relations but writing is really my thing).

I am posting these photos because one is of Saoirse Ronan at 13 looks a little like me at 13.

A photo I found of myself from my youth.  See?  I wasn't always a thousand years old.

A photo I found of myself from my youth. See? I wasn’t always a thousand years old.

When will we reach a tipping point?

I don’t know if we are living in a period of more or less violence than the times before or what will happen sad catin the future.  I do know that we are living in a country (if you are in the United States, any way) where approximately 2.6 people are killed each day by the police.  In tennis, we are currently in the “Open Era.”  In life, we should refer to this as the “Mass Shooting Era.”

According to the Washington Post, during the first 204 days of 2015, we have averaged one mass shooting a day.  Let that sink in.  One. Goddam. Mass. Shooting. A. Day.  Seriously, if I were a leader of ISIS, I wouldn’t worry about killing Americans on American soil, I’d stop planning that and remind my followers, “We don’t need to kill Americans, they’re killing themselves.”  If this were a biological model, I would say Americans have exceeded their carrying capacity.

Yet, gun control remains the holy grail of progressive politics.  President Obama has said that not getting anything done for this is the biggest failure of his presidency. Today, I heard part of a heated debate on having guns in movie theatres where the gun rights supporter said things like, “you know you can fire guns in the dark.”  Wow, thanks, Captain Obvious.  His point was, I think, that we should allow everyone to have guns in movie theatres because then a fellow citizen cold have taken the gunman out.  This led to the conversation about what about cops who aren’t in uniform or what if the police burst in just as someone in regular clothes went to “take out” the gunman and didn’t know who the bad guy was. My head went to some movie about the wild west where everyone had guns and the whole place got shot up.

That’s the America I want to live in.  It’s Rick Perry’s America, too.  What is wrong with us?

Some people have said they are concerned about going to the movies now.  What happens when people stop going to other businesses?  When the DC sniper was active, it shut most of the area down.  People cancelled plans to visit the area.  And that was two people in a car, shooting random people at gas stations and outside malls.  The area economy took a huge hit.

When will mass shootings do the same thing?  When will people stop spending money at stores?  When will businesses tell the NRA, “Look, we appreciate your views stem from an opinion of gun rights that was formed when the army used muskets but we’re losing business because modern people are scared of being killed by a crazy person with an assault weapon.  So please stop opposing reasonable measures to prevent mass shootings.”

When will that exchange occur?



Avoid squirrels

Watchu talking about, Willis?

Watchu talking about, Willis?

I have been curating news for an app/website — www.inside.com/science.  You can find the app on iTunes (please do, and recommend it, it’s great for news junkies).

Basically, I read articles and listen to podcasts about science and write about the pieces.  I end up reading a lot about, well, science stuff and learn something every time.  This is what I learned today…

Avoid squirrels.  They get a certain kind of boravirus that attacks the brain and causes it to swell.  They can now pass it to people.  Three died last week in Germany.  They’re cute but will kill you.

Avoid the University of Colorado at Boulder.  Apparently tranquilized bears are just falling out of the trees there.

Want to go to Mexico, Chile or Indonesia?  Don’t.  Massive volcanoes are erupting there.

Thinking about visiting Long Island?  You probably should avoid that place, too.  Not only are the beaches teeming with Portuguese Man-O’-Wars but dead whales keep washing ashore.

And if you think you can remember a hundred things at a time, you’re wrong.  You can blame your parents for your anxiety, it’s inherited.

If you think something is wrong with you because you can’t feel as much empathy as you’d like when you read about thousands of people dying, don’t be so hard on yourself.  It’s your biology. But if you are mean, be careful, you might be evil.

On the bright side, if you want to drop acid, a study in the medical journal, the Lancet, says that’s pretty safe so have at it.

And that’s some of what I learned today.

Random thoughts

I’ve been thinking about some things lately.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) says, “it’s time for a new president.”  Does he NOT know that no matter who wins in 2016, we will have a new president?  That’s not a reason to vote for him, that’s just the 22nd amendment in action.  This is what happens when we have politicians who didn’t get a BA.  Yes, Scott Walker, I’m looking at you.

Why do we keep talking about the nuclear deal with Iran and the way Congress reacts as being good or bad “for Obama“?  The last time I checked, we all benefit from not having a nuclear war anywhere on earth.  I’m no military or science expert but having fewer nuclear weapons on the planet seems like a good idea.

We were not the only nation negotiating with Iran.  We think we are the center of the universe; we’re not.  The US Senate can totally reject the deal but that doesn’t mean it will die.  Seriously, other countries have a say here.

Why do journalists refuse to use verbs?  When you add “ing” to a verb, it becomes a noun (the gerund).  Stop it!  Use a damn verb.  And to think, you people are supposed to be good with language.

Note to Rolling StoneYou need to apologize to every woman who reports a rape and is called a liar.  Your story did more to damage their credibility than you can possibly know. Your failure to fact check hurt so many people, your reporter’s failure to do her job and her non-apology makes me think she really doesn’t understand the extent of her misdeeds, she needs to be fired.  Oh and to Sabrina Rubin Erdely, if you think anything you ever write again will be taken seriously, you are either insane or on crack.  Sickening.

Anyway.  And please, please, please check out The Random Journal.



In managing The Random Journal, I read a lot of news.  This morning, I was looking for things to write about but also posting a new piece I put up by writer, Andrew Hall, about President Obama resigning.  I thought it would make a good “breaking news” story and posted it to the site and then a bunch of conservative Facebook groups, Facebook is the best driver of traffic I have found.

I thought I had heard of most of the crazy rumors about our president.  He’s a Kenyan muslim hell bent on America’s destruction, yeah, tell me something I don’t know.  Then I learned he’s also a “crack smoking, homosexual liar.”  Now, that’s new, I told myself.  His wedding ring, some say, has an inscription “There’s no God but Allah.”  Snopes has disproved that one, which means little to the true believers because they see the rumor busters as being “liberal hacks and Obama apologists.”

This all got me thinking.  When my side loses an election, I may be sad about it (see my reaction to the 2000 presidential) and maybe mad but I know there’s another election coming and in politics, sometimes you lose.  In 2000, I was incredibly upset about the outcome but what made me feel better is my genuine belief in our system of government.  If people preferred George W. Bush to Al Gore, well, then he was the person who should be in the White House.  A few years later when my wounds were healed a bit I started thinking that Gore should have fought more for Florida but my brain never went to a conspiracy place.  I never saw the W admin as Illegitimate.

Fast forward to 2009.  President Obama has been inaugurated.  Not only do people I know on the right dislike this, they see it as a sign that we have entered the Biblical “end of days.”  The United States, some say, no longer exists and we are now part of a “North American Union” consisting of Mexico, us and Canada.  Soon our currency will be made invalid.

To many, Barack Obama was not just the wrong choice to be POTUS, he was born in Kenya (see my post  on my time at the McLaughlin Group).  He’s a muslim with a heart of darkness and sincere desire to destroy America and end all freedoms as we know them.

What?  Isn’t it enough to just disagree with someone?  Look, I don’t think Mitt Romney would have been a good president. I think he thinks he is wealthy because he is just a better person (never mind the legions of really good people who will never be wealthy because they chose to be firefighters, teachers, cops, nurses, the list could go on) and I just don’t agree with his politics.  That doesn’t make him evil or horrible.  He seems like a decent man who just shouldn’t be president.

Maybe someone can explain to me why some people feel it is not enough to disagree with someone but you have to make them into the most evil person.  Why is that?

Here’s an interview with a woman who claims to have been a friend of Obama’s back in Hawaii, you know, during his gay, crack smoking years.

(And please check out the Random Journal).