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SoCalDem's Journal
SoCalDem's Journal
December 16, 2012

Parents "know".. especially Mothers

Even parents who are inexperienced (with children) before becoming parents get that "ache in the gut" when they realize that their child (or one of their children) is a bit "off".

For a parent with resources, it's not that hard to seek an evaluation, although I fear that too many pediatricians still fall into "they'll grow out of it" mentality to assuage the parents' worries.

Poor parents with little or no health care availability or resources, often just have to cross their fingers and hope the kid "changes".

To be fair, many/most kids do change as they grow up (into their own), but a LOT of them do not.

"Normal" is a wiggly word, but it's worrisome if parents go the que-sera-sera path and give up on getting the real intervention that their child might need.

Humans are naturally "social", so it's not normal for a kid to not have any friends.

How many times do we have to read about a "shooter" who was withdrawn, solitary, friendless, quiet, etc?

Many kids are shy..this is not shyness. This is different, and if the child is male (part of the profile) and there is a gun culture in action around the kid, someday those traits could turn to anger, resentment and bloodshed.

Every time there is a shooting incident, people come forward to relate all the odd things they saw during the formative years, and usually this kid has slipped through the cracks.

We cannot afford to have all these cracks, even if it means spending some real money on early assessment and real help for these kids and their families so they do not flip that switch from passive to aggressive.

Sadly, schools HAVE to be the front line for doing this. We cannot count on people pressing a pediatrician, since many kids only go to the doctor for physical illness or injury, but MOST kids have regular contact with schools.

Vast sums of money are aimed at testing for academics, but little or nothing is spent for psychologists (good ones..full time..) and comprehensive testing that might shine a light on some of these potentially dangerous kids who need an early intervention.

It's too late when they are teenagers.

December 16, 2012

The really sad thing about all of this, is that there is NO "solution"

It is just one more thread that is there for the pulling, but will never be pulled.

Violence is just another commodity to be exploited by media, the funeral business, the ribbon business ( I guess white ribbons are for this one), the balloon & candle business..and of course the ubiquitous "sad music libraries" of media everywhere.

Massacre-Porn sells, and of course media benefits, as does the commercial-buyer who just wants eyes on his/her product.

At the heart of this and almost all real problems this society has, is the ponderous lobby industry.

People are not taught about lobbies, and what they do and how they do it. Most people are naive about how lobbyist propaganda controls their lives and sometimes takes those lives.

Lobbyists, who have thwarted real medical care for all, have no doubt taken many lives over decades (indirectly maybe, but still they are dead).

Lobbyists have twisted our election process into the mind-numbingly chaotic mess we have

The mayhem created by lobbyists is responsible for most, if not all, of the truly bad legislation we see passed all over...and for the death of good legislation that we will never see enacted.

If it makes money for someone somewhere, there will be a lobbyist or twenty or fifty or one hundred who will miraculously appear, so that whatever "it" is, will be put into action.

Conversely, anything that is for the general good, even if it COSTS money, will be demonized and stomped to death before it ever gets a chance to happen.

The average person probably never even knows how these things "happen" or why they don't happen. The uneducated among us will blame the president for not doing what he (she, someday) promised, or they will call the president weak for not "ramming legislation through congress", but they also probably do not know that lobbyists and their organizations have bought and paid for the votes that make things happen.

Senators and congress-people (and state officials as well) always want their bread to land butter-side -up, so unelected lobbyists usually prevail, no matter what "the people" want. We can take all the polls we want, and those polls can say whatever they say, but in the end, the lobbyists always get what they pay for, or they buy a new elected official to replace the one they helped toss out, for not "going along".

Don't look for any meaningful change to come.

Gun lobbies and manufacturers are in business to sell guns..

It's nothing personal.. they want to sell more guns..they just want the money.

December 16, 2012

I worked with a woman whose son killed himself with a gun.

Hearing her tell us about it brought home how punishing that act can be.

We all hear about people who kill themselves so their families can get their insurance money, or people who do it because they are so sad, they cannot imagine being alive another second, or for terminally ill people who want dignity in death.....but

there is often an intense anger and a need to inflict pain on the ones left behind.

My former co-worker's son was that kind of suicide.

He was 19, and had dropped out of college..... He got decent grades, but was not interested in college and only went a semester or two before coming back home & getting a regular job.. I don't know where he worked, but he got a raise there and was not a troublemaker at work.

He was angry at his Mother & Dad because they wanted him to save some money and to get his own car, since he had a job & they were not charging rent. He thought they should buy him a car, or co-sign a loan.. That's what started it.

It's odd, because most families probably have fights all the time with almost-grown kids who act like kids, but want to be treated like adults.

Probably most of the time the kid gets mad enough to just move out, or may save & buy their own car.

My co-worker's son became resentful, angry and stole from them. They told him he had to move out. He said he would start looking, and said he would pay them back (He used his Mom's debit card)

A few weeks later, his mother came home from work and found him dead on the kitchen floor (they had recently re-done their kitchen, and he chose that spot because she loved her new kitchen.

He shot & killed his mother's elderly cat and put the body on the kitchen counter, so she would see the cat first as she came in from the garage.

He carefully placed the calendar on the table with a big X across that day's date. The notation was for dinner out that night at his favorite restaurant.. a date they had planned for a while.. It was his birthday. He left no note. he was their only child.

Their family had no divorce/alcohol/poverty/abuse/family violence. The kid did not take drugs, or have any apparent mental illness issues. He seemed like any other kid trying to find themselves. He had a few friends, and dated, but he got focused on his parent's refusal to provide him with a car, and their pressure on him to "grow up". There was no gun in the house & they don't know when or how he got the gun. It was a stolen gun, and no one claimed to have been the one to give it to him.

It was fortunate for the family that he did not also kill them, but he did kill their "family".

December 15, 2012

The ghoulish feeding frenzy of the media..

So eager are they (every one of them) for the "scoop"...the "talking point", that they glomb onto EVERY utterance, no matter how unsourced, inaccurate, or fantastical, that they turn almost every unfolding event into a gigantic misinformation-fest.

Somewhere, Walter Cronkite is spinning in his grave.

As incestuous as media has become, it surely would not be all that difficult to write (re-write) some sort of code-of-conduct that prohibits on-air/in-print reporting of UNVERIFIED information.

It's so totally irresponsible to rush to a camera and then proceed to spew non-facts (even if they are inclusive of the typical "sources say".."we are told"..."this is not confirmed but"..etc).

People tune in and out, and flip channels, and many people BELIEVE what they see/hear/read, and it's like the conundrum of "un-ringing the bell".

These same people will go forth and reiterate "what they heard", and mass confusion ensues.

What would be the harm of simply reporting that :

A. something happened
B. this is where it happened
C. there is little specific information yet
D. the families of the people involved have been informed

I know it's not going to engender prolonged network face-time, but it would surely be refreshing to know the details BEFORE going in front of cameras, and just vomiting up non-facts, innuendo & tall-tales.

Two weeks from now, not many people will be tuning in to find out the facts, and by then they will have probably had numerous opportunities to eagerly tell others "what they heard".

It would be so nice to have media as a source of information, instead of an endless game of "telephone", where paid experts on whatever the "drama-ju-jour" happens to be, are dusted off and trotted out to "explain" it to us all.

We careen from sketchy information, on to often ridiculous speculation, then to "debate/discussion/explanation" of the "experts", to more of the same...and then weeks later, someone states the facts, usually too late for any real impact, because "the next one" has happened again...and the media is off on a new frenzy before they have cleaned up their previous mess.

Since most of these events are accompanied by locals officials and law enforcement, perhaps that would be a place to start. Everyone tunes in to see them, and their coverage is usually live. Perhaps their spokesperson could start every press conference with a disclaimer:

"The breathless reporting on this event will be INACCURATE and totally speculative until the investigation is done, so do not necessarily believe ANYTHING you may hear as these reporters lay it all out for you."

December 15, 2012

Apparently Chevron has managed to "cure" AIDS..and BP has made "the Gulf" the best place on earth

I know this is horribly off-topic for today, but is anyone else sick to death of being subjected to all the ads from our oily-pals?

They apparently are majorly interested in educations...and health....and tourism..and BP is sooooooooooo "generous" with the USA USA USA...

It truly sickens me every time I see one of their fluffy ads.. all that's missing is cute little bunnies/kittens/ducklings (no sea birds..they're too reminiscent of the oiled birds we all remember)..

The have managed (along with our deadly-drug-pals), to create full employment for marimba players ..

December 14, 2012

My Christmas Wish

DU gets a "hide-by-keyword" function..

#1 on the list........ gun

Our current hide-thread is insufficient for days like this one

December 14, 2012

Passive tense is probably a part of our overarching problem

From "This tragedy that occurred", to "If anyone was offended. I regret my actions/words".

"Something" needs to be "done/said.

"Some people say"

As long as we only react with passivity and quasi-regret for "things" that "happen" or to words that are "said", we as a society never really hunker down and address whatever needs to be DONE.. Doing is a action word...It requires hard work and dedication.. Reacting passively to "something" that "just happened" is easy.. a photo-op, a few tears..some platitudes.

When we really want things to change, we ACT..

Tired of fording a fast-moving stream? People could just continue to kvetch about getting wet and cold or they could build a bridge.

Tired of a dictator punishing people? People could just hide out and watch what they say & do, so they don't irk him....or they could band together and toss the bum out.

Tired of seeing innocent people gunned down in broad daylight?..we can wring our hands & put out more teddy bears, candles & balloons...or we could maybe start DOING things that might start to end the slaughter.

December 14, 2012

Aren't we all just a little weary of Drama-Season?

I so wish that Pres. O had just said "There will be no more negotiations until the new congress is seated in January...the voters told us what they wanted... Bush set these up to expire..and expire they will"..

All the hand-wringing and angst is ridiculous.

republicans refuse to negotiate...they apparently don't know the meaning of the word.. so F-em..

December 14, 2012

We need to eliminate the "National Flood Insurance" program and in its place

start up a National Emergency/Disaster Insurance program..

Not just floods


EVERY homeowner/property owner (of rentals) would be required to pay in...EVEN IN RED STATES..

The money would be UNTOUCHABLE except for actual emergencies, and would of course be augmented by FEMA, and individual homeowners policies.

The old flood plain tables are no longer accurate, and with NFI being voluntary, there are always people who are not paying in, and who are devastated when the flood comes.

By having everyone IN, the cost per person would be significantly less for all, and everyone would be covered.

Almost every state (locality) has the potential for a disaster, and they should not have to wait, hat-in-hand for aid.

December 13, 2012

I am not surprised that Rice withdrew her name from consideration

What bothers me most is that McCain, Graham & the Gang were ever in a position to pile on.

The administration was undoubtedly sidetracked by the campaign, but there were others who should/could have been offered as spokesperson in the 9-11 Benghazi attacks.

The UN ambassador should never have been the point-person.

Hillary Clinton should have made the statement about it..and if she was not available, it should have been her deputy..(that's why SoS HAS a deputy)

And there is also a point to be made of the fact that it's rarely a good idea to talk too soon, and to say too much about developing events.

It's not being secretive to just have a spokesperson come to microphone and say " Things are still evolving, and we will have more to say as events become clearer..we are offering sympathy to the family members of those who lost their lives"..

and then say nothing more until the investigation is over.

Republicans are World Class Thread-Pullers, and if necessary they will create a thread, so they can start pulling it, until they have completely unraveled the "garment".. Susan was just a sparkly sweater they could all start pulling at until they unraveled her.

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