Notes from around the Human Experience…
OUR COUNTRY IS DYING: Usually after the latest mass shooting we trot out our suitably witless remark about cutting and pasting the previous mass shooting column, changing only the location and the number of people killed.
This time, though, the interval between Las Vegas and San Antonio, about five weeks, was so short we can’t even do that. We’re numb. For a while now we’ve said in this space how a mass shooting isn’t really news anymore because they happen so frequently and now we’re at the point where we don’t even drop what we are doing to find out details. The fact there was another mass shooting is enough. In due course, we’ll find out where and how many if whether or not the gunman survived.
Gaylon For Congress…Vote Early, Vote Often: We’ve said on the campaign trail that we are not going to have a peaceful world without a peaceful America. We are also not going to have a peaceful America without a peaceful America. Our country has been at war for most of its existence and continuously since 1989. War is virtually all we know.
Violence has become the go-to reaction for America’s government. It should be no surprise it has become the go-to reaction for America’s citizens.
Not only is our government violent, but so are our movies and television shows, our music and video games.
The only dividend violence produces is more violence!
If you disagree with that ask yourself this: are our nation’s prisons crammed with people who grew up in quiet, loving homes? Of course they aren’t. Most violent adults had violent childhoods.
And violent citizens have violent governments.
Dry, Technical Matter: If America had been at peace every day since 1989 instead of at war, it is reasonable to believe mass shootings would be rare occurrences. They’d still happen because there will always be misfits hell-bent on causing mayhem and tragedy, but they would be rare.
Well, That’s Refreshing: This isn’t going to stop, either. We can say this about regulating weapons designed to kill large numbers of people and we can say that, but as long as a violent American government produces violent American citizens, we will be dealing with the slaughter of large numbers of innocent people on a regular basis.
The Bottom Line: If we had a peaceful American government we would have an America at peace with the world and itself.
More Bottom Line: We are not going to have an America at peace until we start demanding it at the ballot box on Election Day. As long we keep reelecting the status quo the status quo is all we are going to get. We will have no one to blame but ourselves.
ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE: Abraham Lincoln is elected the 16th president of the United States on this date in 1860. Lincoln received 180 electoral votes, easily outdistancing John C Breckinridge, John Bell and his old nemesis Stephen Douglas.
FunFact: Lincoln was the first Republican elected president.
It Is Finished: Douglas, like some others over the years, had long had his sights on the White House, and after his loss it became apparent he would never get there without a dinner invitation. Douglas said screw it, retired to Chicago and died of pneumonia eight months later at the age of 48.
Hut, Hut, Hike: The first college football game is played when Rutgers defeats Princeton – then known as the College of New Jersey – 6-4 on this date in 1869.
Dry, Technical Matter: Exactly why those that decide these things insist this was a football game has never been clear because the game more resembled soccer, and to a lesser extent rugby, than the football we know now. Teams could not carry the ball nor pass it and the only way to score was by kicking the ball over the opponent’s goal line. Each side had 25 players.
Rivalry Week: The two teams met a week later at Princeton, with Princeton winning 8-0.
The More Things Change…: A third game was scheduled but not played due to school administrators concerns that more emphasis was being placed on football than on academics.
Lights, Camera, Action: After two years on the Mutual Radio Network, Meet The Press debuts on NBC on this date in 1947. The first episode was hosted by its creator Martha Rountree and the first guest was Postmaster General James Farley. Meet The Press is still on the air, the longest-running show in television history.
Quotebook: Lethargy [is] the forerunner of death to the public liberty. – Thomas Jefferson
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Harvard University is the oldest university in the United States, founded in 1636.
Today’s Stumper: When was the first college football game that involved running the ball, eleven men on a side and a play ending with the tackling of the ball carrier played? – Answer next time!