The Pulse Night Club: A Sad & Horrific Day – Worst Shooting in U.S. History – June 12, 2016

Another Black Flag dayand it happened at the Pulse night club, in Orlando, Florida, America

49 happy people – no matter their race, gender or sexual preference – are gone now, possibly more over the following days. And all because one person disagrees with the lifestyle (possibly) and lack of Islamic faith (possibly) and decided to strike a blow in the name of ISIS (again, possibly) in the U.S. because of our western lifestyle. (UPDATE: June 13, 2015 – we definitely now know it was for ISIS/ISIL/IS)

We are all saddened and heartbroken that this happened.

What does this horrific event now mean for:

  • Americans,
  • Gays,
  • Non-gays,
  • The religious,
  • The non-religious,
  • The gun owners,
  • Non-gun owners,
  • Privacy (what’s left of it) and most of all
  • Freedom

Just because ‘you’ are against gays and the non-religious and women who wear scanty clothing and anyone of a different religion from yourself; none of these things gives anyone the right or justification to kill anyone else.

It is completely wrong and not up to you to make that kind of choice.

So, what will this mean for the people of America? Are more people from the small list above going to become targets…?

As the weeks progress, will it mean an immediate and much more intense crackdown on all known and wannabe ISIS sympathizers across the country? American citizen or not?

Will this tragic event mean that it is time to finally get down to brass tacks to create and implement a national registry for automatic weapons (and any automatic hand guns – i.e. machine pistols)? Will this registry be created, even if the gun lobby and the NRA are against this kind of tracking – even if dozens of people were killed with an automatic weapon…

Will it mean a further erosion of privacy for Americans? Let’s hope that it does not erode too much more of our privacy and freedom that we hold dearly.

 

Are people finally going to come together (as they always seem to in any tragic situation) but this time, forcefully and united, demand actual enforcement of current laws or implementation of tougher laws on automatic weapons, along with that national registry for law enforcement to use before another tragic situation occurs as it did in Orlando?

This should have taken place after the Sandy Hook shootings

 

What will transpire in the future after this shooting? Well, we – all of us – will need to come to grip with what will continue happening if nothing concrete is done about it NOW. And that could mean more mass shootings and maybe even robbing you of someone you know and love…

However, what could happen might be something meaningful. For example, having this automatic weapons’ registry means it could be cross indexed with anyone on a list such as the FBI’s list of ISIS sympathizers. We ‘will‘ need to collate as much data as possible in tracking down and stopping these individuals before they commit any kind of crime. This will mean even more usage of analytic tools such as Palantir, Analyst Notebook and the like to compile, analyze and spit out reports of likely candidates. It is clear that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies are overwhelmed with the number of suspects to track and figure out who might do damage to the people of this country. We could also enlist the aid of something like IBM’s Watson to process the huge quantity of data that should be collected, collated and analyzed.

Now if this list were put together in a decent manner, using strategy and forethought, the list should well include, wherever possible, known associates (sympathizers or not) who most likely would buy the weapons if the shooter him/herself were unable to purchase the weapons – because of that list…

Just don’t try to start going around arresting all Muslims – because they, as everyone should know by now, are not all the sameO.K.???

 

The gun lobby, the NRA, members of Congress and many of the people in the U.S. will have to realize that we will need something like this registry to aid in preventing future shootings, such as their own family members.

Otherwise America, if we cannot create some kind of system where correlations can be made, nationally – we will see more and larger body counts of the dead from shootings that could have been prevented, if we tried better.

 

And yes, there will be many who completely pooh-poohs the idea of any kind of national registry for automatic weapons so they can buy 4, 5 or a dozen of those themselves without anyone tracking that information.

On the other hand, there will be a lot more who actually want something like a registry so they can have peace of mind that law enforcement knows who has automatic weapons in case anyone plans to (social media) or goes on a killing spree. Again!

 

I hope the gist of what I am trying to say comes across because I vacillated all day whether to write anything because of my raw state of mind. The next shooter(s) may not be an ISIS sympathizer but could be an ordinary American such as Dylann Roof who shot up the church in Charleston or any other individual angry over something trivial…

Finally, and obviously, I did but I am still so wound up due to all the needless deaths, all because of one person disagreeing (likely) with the western lifestyle… Sad and Angry…

Putin – Russia and acts of a desperate man

Warning – Dangerous times ahead!

Okay, we do not know that for a fact yet but Putin is a somewhat unpredictable individual and I do not believe anyone can say with certainty that they “do” know what he will do next. The man is, or appears to be, a smart cookie – after all, he has been in a major position of power for a very long time since he left the KGB years ago. And if anyone believes Medvedev was in charge while being President of Russia, they should re-think that…

Putin may well be moving into a state of desperation what with the way the Ruble is falling, or maybe I should say it is falling more precipitously than oil at this time (Dec 16, 2014).

Not to cast aspersions on Japan of today but if anyone happens to recall – Japan became a desperate nation prior to World War II because of oil (one of the major reasons) and look at what happened on December 7, 1941.

I do not claim to know what the man, Putin, is doing, let alone thinking – no one can claim that but he is in a position where his country could very likely lash out at the world in no certain measures. To bring back Russian hegemony for that side of the world… or attempt to do so.

Here, look at what has happened in recent history, because of Putin:

Crimea – illegally taken because Putin believes Crimea belongs to Russia and Khrushchev had no authority over a half century ago, in 1954, to give up the country Putin primarily wants Crimea because of the naval base there and access to the ocean from that part of the world.

Ukraine – Russian troops in the eastern portion of Ukraine – there are a lot of natural resources located there that Russia could sorely use… and not actually looking out for any Russian citizens living in Ukraine

Military buildup – Putin is doing a great deal of military buildup, in troops, ships, planes, etc – why?  Is there something Russia is afraid of, like China invading Russia, in the 21st century – for sure no other country is going to nor has a desire to do so.

   Are we going back to an arms race again? (Look at China, their latest stealth fighter that was built from stolen U.S.A. R & D defense contractors – sorry, built solely from the creative and innovative minds of the Chinese engineers there – Bloomberg ran a story that states that the new Chinese jet can defeat the American F-35 in a fight.) Maybe China is going to invade Russia for its resources.

   Maybe China and Russia are going to team up and take over the world, no one knows the answers.

Gays – Putin, instead of helping all Russians, has let the super-conservative go out and beat up (and kill) gays living in Russia. A supposed super-power would want to allow their people to live their lives they desire, instead of being told who they can love or make love to… (maybe Putin is afraid of homosexuals?)

Censorship – Many Americans are just not aware of the massive invasion of privacy and snooping and censorship that occurs in mother Russia. People think the Great Firewall of China is something;  little do they know how pervasive Russia’s wiretapping is (all the forms of the Russian SORM laws).

Malaysia Airliner – Then there is the shoot down of the Malaysia air liner, for whom many point to Russia being party to that horrific incident (no rebel could obtain that kind of missile in Ukraine)

 

Russia has massive mineral resources in their own region to work with. The country could work much better with the international community with open arms and the will to be an open country. But no, Putin and some of the other leaders (many of them who are more corrupt than is expected – and again yes, we, in the U.S., also have corrupt leaders but not on the scale of Russia’s leaders) – they seem to want to continue to have a massively concentrated government that removes all personal liberties from the private citizen.

And the criminal element, we are not quite sure how bad it really is because from what we see, some of the Russian leadership (as far as we know and is alleged) are in bed with those criminal elements. And the government is going to put a positive spin on anything that goes over the air waves, until it is a story about the evil and untrustworthy U.S.

How does a Russian political figure become rich as they are (far richer than American political figures become while in and after leaving office). There is no way in Hades Russian political figures can get that rich on a government salary – surely not as many as has become wealthy over the past several decades.

But let’s ask Putin, a man who is reported to have up to $50 billion squirrelled away in some bank(s) somewhere…

So, with:

  • The Ruble crashing
  • Oil revenues eroding
  • Unrest growing amongst the Russian population
  • Being snubbed and having the 2014 G8 summit taking place outside of Russia that Putin was looking forward to having in his own country
  • International sanctions taking more and more of a bite out of Russia, all because of Mr. Putin

what does Putin do next?

What should we expect next out of this man who pictures himself as the greatest egomaniac, sorry, leader in Russian history?

This is someone who can get people killed, using Polonium, for just speaking up – ask Alexander Litvinenko (dead) and the journalist Yuri Petrovich Shchekochikhin (dead) and Viktor Yushchenko (who is still alive but suffered from TCDD poisoning).

 

No one wants to invade Russia. 

The civilized world only wants Russia to pick itself up by its boot straps and become the power they continually claim they are.

If Russia (Putin) wants Russia to be on the world stage, it should start acting like a leader, not a despot, and start the painful (and expensive) task of getting:

  • Its people a better education
  • Better health care
  • A better economy
  • Getting its act together on the business front and have better collaborative engagements with all other countries
  • Start leading as great leaders do – and yes, the U.S. does have its own share of leadership problems but at least the U.S. is acting on it in the open, as much as possible with as many cloak and dagger behind the scenes Machiavellian schemes being uncovered – there are no police or military crackdowns for people speaking their mind, as long as they do it peacefully that is.

Even China is starting to slowly come around to being better leaders, at least as far as we can see from what Xi JinPing is doing in China on their slow, laborious path (or multi-year plan) to root out corruption and bring China up to a better economic platform…

Many people of the civilized (as it is), democratic and developed world only want to see Russia give its people freedom of choice and freedom from invasion of privacy that people in other parts of the world enjoys…

 

What do we expect a rational leader to do in a desperate national situation? The key phrase there is a rational leader. The Russian people are not as aware as they believe they are of what is going in the rest of the world, let alone their own country – not when the national media is controlled by the national government editing and removing content (censorship).

We need to keep a very close eye on all the activities that Putin is undertaking, everything from: military actions (buildup’s and movements), political forays and crackdowns, economic indicators (ruble and oil slides and significant interest rate hikes), the rich moving money out of Russia, media content (the scrubbed and un-scrubbed, if we can get it), agricultural successes and failures across the country, rise in poor health due to failing medical system (due to lack of supplies), diplomatic overtures and on and on and on…

For one, I am frightened as to the next steps that Putin may engage in with the rest of the developed world (and the developing world for that matter) as he gropes for answers or power.

**** Remember, Putin ‘did’ remind the world, over the summer that they have nuclear weapons… ****  here is one link –> http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/31/putin-threatens-nuclear-war-over-ukraine.html

 

Freedom of Religion – LGBT, Atheists, Humanists, Equality & Commonsense

Hmmmm, it appears that some people in this country want freedom of religion so they can in turn be free to discriminate against others, believing they are just in their beliefs.  Somewhat odd wouldn’t you agree?

I had believed we were moving forward in our humanity to overcome short-sightedness and inequalities, was I wrong in my beliefs…?

For decades, being the ever eternal optimist that I am, I continually and truly believed we would leave our children and grand-children a much better legacy to grow up in. Misguided naiveté on my part…?

While I am not gay or bi-sexual, nor have any interest or curiosity in that area – I DO NOT discriminate against folks who are part of the LBGT lifestyle – they are people too and they deserve the respect and dignity that everyone else is entitled to receive!!! People really should be free to choose who they want to love, not be dictated as to who they should love because some others believe in a religious book.

On the other hand, people should be able to enjoy the religion they believe in, as long as it does not harm others.

Atheists/Humanists should respect those who follow religious beliefs. Religious individuals should respect the non-religious.  And yes, the non-gay should respect folks of the LGBT community. Everyone should attempt to have better levels of ethics and personal behavior.

Just because someone is gay, it doesn’t mean you don’t talk to and with them, or not associate with them as one would with everyone else. You shake hands with them, give the occasional hug at the appropriate time but DO NOT ignore the them, or push them away just because they are enjoying a different lifestyle. And make no mistake about it, this lifestyle IS NOTHING NEW!!! There has been homosexual liaisons for thousands of years, please do your own research. There have been various people of different cultures in the mid-east, Africa and Asia who partook in this lifestyle, it is not new.

What is wrong with people on our planet? We are supposed to be gaining new insights into life, supposedly leading the world in our march forward but at times it seems as if we are truculently marching backwards in spite of it all.

We, Americans, are supposed to be  one of the leaders of the free world and setting the example! Or are we starting to stick our heads in the sand, yet again… 

Religion, yes, people can enjoy their religion in their own skin, within their homes and within the group(s) of other like-minded individuals. But that does not give license to discriminate just because they do not like the lifestyle of others.

Who said that the lifestyle of LGBTs is wrong? A book that was written a couple of thousand years ago and constantly re-written since that time…

 

Jeezzz, while in high school, I did not think I would be writing on something like this later in life. The first 20 years of my life growing up in the south and in the north here in America, I was constantly bombarded with “the earth was created 6,000 years ago in 7 days.” As a child, I was forced to go to Sunday school and to church, to listen to church music and preaching’s every single morning, church on many Wednesday nights and to read the animated children’s version of the bible.

As a child, you have no say in the matter, you have to go – you have to do it and follow along because it is what the parents want you to do because it is what they believe.

 

The whole time though, it all seemed wrong to me, even as a child. And as I grew and started learning more things, like science (yes, that area that is supposedly not real according to some in politics) – I was constantly amazed at the dichotomy of what the various churches were teaching and spouting and what science and real life (what you see with your own eyeballs) actually showed and presented to anyone who took the time to think about it. If people use their own noggins and think about how everything takes place in life, they may come to a different and/or better conclusion.

You do not have to be an Atheist or Humanist to use your brain. You should be able to use your own brain to make your own best informed decisions after doing at least some minor research.

For instance, I remember as a child hearing about the earth only being 6,000 years old and then reading about how scientists performed carbon dating to discover the age of stones and metals dating back millions of years, MILLIONS of years. And then too, the dinosaurs (which oddly enough a few groups actually believe humans domesticated dinosaurs as beasts of burden) – dating back hundreds of million years ago… How do you reconcile that as a child, it is not like you can tell people in the church, who are deeply, deeply and devoutly embedded in their religion – that it does not make sense about this discrepancy of time frames.

One person, another adult friend of mine in the 80s, actually told me his answer for that. Wait for it… he told me that each of those 7 days were millions of years in a different time scale… That kind of had me scratching my head and I did give it some consideration out of respect but really….

 

As children, parents continue the ever self-inflicted cycle on their children of believing in deities (pick one, from Shiva, to Buddha to whomever else) and the religion surrounding that deity. So as a result children become brain washed through their formative years into believing what they are taught in and around the church because they see their parents talking about it.  And the parents learned it growing up because their own parents did it.  And those parents, well you get the gist of this. 

Yes, I use the term brain-washed because when one is force fed something, which is what is happening, then guess what – one does become brain washed, or rather – they have their realities adjusted to a different thought process.

(And sadly, this is also how some parents continue the everlasting cycle of racism, within the confines of their homes, saying that “that person of a different color is wrong and bad, so don’t associate with them…”)

This is akin to the madrasas in the mid-east and in parts of Africa (with some even here in the U.S.) where children – well, maybe the boys only since the girls are supposedly not worthy of learning to read, said tongue in cheek… – are forced to read via their Koran their version of religion.

Or maybe, I should say, some groups learning the perverted teachings of the Koran taught by zealots who want to impose Sharia law to curtail many things in their society – from women being completely controlled to what foods are allowed to be eaten. And attempt to impose that law on others, like us who are supposed infidels of the west and are evil and do not know the way.

And no, not all people who follow Sharia are looking to impose draconian measures on others around them in all parts of the world. Personally, I do not want to be part of any Sharia law, not in the U.S. at any rate…

I do not tell anyone of religion they are wrong. I do not tell people of religion that maybe they should re-think their religion and their version of science.

I let people come to their own conclusions while I continue to do the best job I can do to be the best moral and ethical person around – while trying to set the example by being a great role model in the hopes that some will want to emulate others like me, or even me. People should enjoy their own version of whatever religion they want to cherish and enjoy – that is up to those people.

 

Do we, as a society, want to continue going down the pig headed path of letting some people in some states have ‘freedom of religion’ to discriminate against others? That will be a slippery slope.

We went through this during the 1700s to the 1960s where many people in society thought it was okay to make people of a different color out as less than human – whether their skin was black, brown or yellow. Sadly, we still have some small minded people who think that way today, if not overtly, then covertly (which I can attest to due to a negative experience of my own).

Think back to the ‘good ole’ witch hunting days and the discrimination that ensued.

Then think back to all the various Christian Crusades (yep, there were multiple Crusades) where many people were killed because of the ahhh, ‘difference of opinion’ on religion (and politics).

 

Do we want some states  to take us and set us back hundreds of years?   (Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Alaska & several others that want to or wanted to pass freedom of religion laws –  http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/states-push-anti-gay-bills-will-they-pass/)

 Just because you, yourself, do not believe in the LGBT lifestyle does not mean it should not take place.

Just because your religion is opposed to that lifestyle does not mean it should not occur. 

Who are we to tell someone else who they can love and enjoy the company of…? 

Those who are Atheists or Humanists do not come out and say your religion is full of blind and deaf crackpots, do they?  If they do, they should not – they should let you enjoy your religion as you want – but you should not cast your religious beliefs on others who do not want to partake of it. 

But, if you run a business in America, it means you are open for business to all… 

Whatever happened to equality? And love? And kindness?

Are we losing our humanity and looking towards isolationism within our own borders, having separate communities where one might fear to tread?

Are we going to let the many deaths of those who fought for our various freedoms over the past few centuries have died for naught?