Gunfight

Attempting to grasp the legalese in America’s new “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act gun safety bill” made my head hurt.  So, as usual, I retreated to Google.  According to an Associated Press June 25 report, the bill includes:

“Expanded background checks: state and local juvenile and mental health records of gun purchasers will be part of federal background checks for buyers 18 to 20.  Three-day maximum for gathering records will be extended to 10 days to search juvenile data.  If 10 days lapse without a resolution, the sale will go through.”

In Oregon, I assume in most states, an eighteen-year-old must be licensed to catch a fish.  He or she may not purchase cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, or patronize businesses which primarily serve alcohol.  For license to driver a motor vehicle, he or she must have 15 hours behind-the-wheel experience, fork out upwards of $400 for driver’s education, and pass a Department of Motor Vehicles driving test.

To purchase an AR-15 assault rifle, designed and intended for the soul purpose of killing human beings, that same American teenager must wait 10 days.  No training.  No experience.  No license!  That’s it!

Why‽

In Firefight, My Battle Against the Industry that Radicalized America,

“A former firearms executive pulls back the curtain on America’s multibillion-dollar gun industry, exposing how it fostered extremism and racism, radicalizing the nation and bringing cultural division to a breaking point.”

That executive, Ryan Busse, details how, by hijacking and using the National Rifle Association as its mouthpiece, the Firearms Industry dictates America’s gun policy.

Crafted for the Firearms Industry/NRA‘s stamp of approval, America’s Bipartisan Safer Communities Act gun safety bill is cosmetic, a sham.  Make no mistake, so long as boys, whose brains have not yet developed the capacity to appreciate the significance and consequences of their actions, can purchase military grade assault weapons, Columbine, Sandy Hook, Parkland, and Robb Elementary type massacres will repeat. 

Check It Out!

Someone I love and respect was told doctors get $30,000 for every COVOD-19 patient who dies!  Even in today’s insane world, this seemed outlandish.  So, I checked it out.

Like a virus, unchecked misunderstanding and lies spread exponentially.  It is always prudent to think and investigate rumor and hearsay, especially from “social media!” 

The closest I can find to a source for allegation doctors’ profit from COVID-19 deaths is a Fox, Laura Ingram interview of with Minnesota Senator, Dr. Scott Jensen.  The good doctor stated, “Right now, Medicare is determining that if you have a COVID-19 admission to the hospital you get $13,000.  If that COVID-19 patient is on a ventilator you get $39,000, three time as much.  Nobody can tell me, after 35 years in the world of medicine, that sometimes those kinds of things impact what we do.”

In a FactCheck.org, phone interview, Dr. Jensen “walked back” a seeming implication doctors cheat, “Do I think people are misclassifying?  No.”

FactCheck.org cites a Kaiser Foundation analysis finding the “average Medicare payment for respiratory infections and inflammations with major comorbidities or complications in 2017 .  .  .  was $13,297.  For more server hospitalizations, we use the average Medicare payment for a respiratory system diagnosis with ventilator support for greater than 96 hours, which was $42,218.”  It seems important to note, “respiratory infections and inflammations” include influenza, pneumonia, Legionares’ disease, tuberculosis, COVID-19, and others respiratory ailments.

According to FactCheck.org , “Robert Berenson, an institute fellow at the Urban Institute, said the notion that hospitals are profiting on the pandemic—as some of the social media post may imply—isn’t borne out by facts, either.”  Berenson and others point out, “’upcoding,’  .  .  .  can result in civil and criminal liabilities.”

Before we pass it on, check it out!

Desperate Times

In America’s most recent presidential elections, 2 Republicans, George W.H. Bush and George W. Bush, and 7 Democrats,  Bill Clinton (2), Al Gore, Barak Obama (2), Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden won the popular vote!  If, arguably, G.W.H. rode Ronald Reagan’s coattails to one term, and, unarguably, the Supreme Court gifted G.W. one term, it seems clear the majority of American voters favor Democrat over Republican platforms and presidential candidates.    

Seeing they can’t win popular votes, Republicans concoct “stolen” elections, cajole Georgia’s  Secretary of State for 11,780 bogus votes, mount a seditious assault on our Capitol, Congress, and Constitution, gerrymander, enact regulations designed to limit ethnically non-white and lower income voter turnout, and empower state legislatures to overrule majority popular votes.

Desperate time for the Grand Old Party.

Which Country?

The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump quotes an American woman, “I want my country back!”  Her yearning echoes many middle-age and older citizens and reaches back decades.

On the heels of the Great Depression and WWII, Americans had a bellyful of pain and poverty.  It was time for peace and plenty.  Nineteen forty-five promised a bungalow for every family, a Ford or Chevy in every garage, a good job for Dad, an electric stove and refrigerator for Mom, and “Boomer” kids in lily-white school.  The miracle of television brought “Father Knows Best,” “The Adventures of Ozzy and Harriet,” “Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.”, and “Leave it to Beaver” into American homes.

Then, the picture went out-of-focus.  It turned out Father didn’t always know best, Ozzy and Harriet weren’t the “Nelsons,” and Gomer was gay.  After six-seasons, “The Beaver,” Gerald “Jerry” Patrick Mathers, graduated high school and abandoned the airwaves for the Air Force.  “The Graduate” introduced younger Americans to “plastic” and hypocrisy. Then the Beatniks—Remember?—Hippies, Viet Nam, and Civil Rights!

As our lady pining for her lost “country” suggests, many Americans trace today’s craziness, mass shootings, burgeoning murder rates, violence in video games and social and mass media, to breakdown of  “traditional,” male and female, two-parent America’s family.  But, like it or not, we can’t roll back the calendar.  “Ay, there’s the rub.”

Nostalgia notwithstanding, the cliché is true: The only constant is change.  A technocratic, solar-powered, speed-of-light Twenty-First Century leaves most Americans over age fifty bewildered and sometimes frightened.  A mechanized, gasoline-powered, speed-of-sound Twentieth Century left our parents bewildered and sometimes frightened.  So it’s been, generation after generation, century after century.   

Does our wistful lady long for laundry on a scrubbing board, travel by wagon or horseback, scurrying to a two-hole outhouse?  Does anyone pine for a clutch and gear shift, hand-push lawn mower, rotary phone, party line, “long distance,” “rabbit ears” on a two-channel, sometimes fuzzy, black-and-white TV?

In our grandparents’ era, the leading causes of death were disease, accidents, and childbirth.  Twenty-first century living conditions, public safety, and medicine have gifted Americans with far less suffering and far more material goods than in any time or culture of world history!

Despite today’s headaches and heartaches, do we really yearn for return to “Mayberry R.F.D.”?  Do we really want our country back?

Which country?

Counsel for Insurrectionists

Attorney John Eastman authored a 6-step plan to hijack America’s 2019 presidential election and keep Donald J. Trump in power.

Having learned of this scheme, in a call from Eastman Trump White House Lawyer Erik Herschmann exclaimed, “Are you out of your effing mind?” Herschmann terminated their chat with, “I am going to give you the best free legal advice you’re ever getting in your life.  Get a great effing criminal defense lawyer.  You’re going to need it”    

All who orchestrated and attempted to implemented Eastman’s seditious conspiracy would do well to heed lawyer Herschmann’s counsel.

My Bike Ride

About 2 years and 10 months ago, on my Stamina stationary bike I departed Oregon City.  Around a years later, I peddled into New York City and turned north into Canada.  May 23, 2022, at 3:55 p.m., nineteen miles short of Dufesne, Manitoba, I logged 4,000 miles!

If I and my trusty Stamina hold out, I will continue across Canada and south to home.   

I would be remiss not to thank my faithful navigator, Karen, for logging and marking the miles on maps. 

Seditious Conspricy

For me, the House January 6 Committee’s hearings consolidated what was obvious in the moment and more so since the attempted coup: President Donald Trump and a Right-Wing Cabal orchestrated and implemented a “seditious conspiracy” “to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States.” (18 U.S.C. § 2384

What maddens me is the contortions and machinations thousand-dollar-an-hour lawyers will concoct attempting to confound an obviously slam-dunk case!