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In news that we should all be concerned with, on a level that runs much deeper than our obsession with politics, it has been revealed on Youtube that any day now is the beginning of the “End of Days”. You’ve got to skip past all of the trailers for Arnold’s movie of the same name, but eventually if you keep scrolling you’ll get down to where the prophets are doing business.
According to some religious seers, the Antichrist will be unveiled today, or maybe tomorrow, or certainly by the end of next week, and with that revelation, Armageddon is just around the corner. While I do mental gymnastics with all of the possibilities of the Rapture, I wonder how the Antichrist will be revealed. For those unfamiliar with the scripture, I will defer to the secular humanists at Wikipedia to define the phenomenon .
“In Christian eschatology, the Antichrist or anti-Christ refers to people prophesied by the Bible to oppose Jesus Christ and substitute themselves in Christ’s place before the Second Coming. The Antichrist is announced as the one ‘who denies the Father and the Son.’ Jesus alerts his disciples not to be deceived by the false prophets, who will claim themselves as being Christ, performing ‘great signs and wonders.'”
According to “Christian eschatology” and Wikipedia, there’s millions and millions of people who are awaiting the return of Jesus Christ. Some are convinced that the second coming has arrived in the form of one Donald J. Trump. These people are so convinced that they’ve even erected a billboard declaring their belief to one and all that the Donald is truly the anointed one.
Never the one to let a quality scam get past the rubes, the Donald just smiles benevolently and accepts their adoration. Maybe in some corner of his Swiss cheese like brain, there is a neuron firing, “You are Jesus, you are Jesus.” That would certainly explain his miraculous escape from being held accountable for any of the multitude of sins he has committed.
I’ve often wondered how the faithful have ignored the Donald’s complete ignorance of anything regarding religion. In this video the Donald is being asked what his favorite part of the Bible is, his favorite verse. As you can see, the Donald won’t be pinned down, “he likes it all.” It might have been easier if the interviewer had asked the Donald if he could recite John 3:16. Any child that has ever darkened the door of any church knows the answer to that one. It’s a shame he’ll never get asked.
No, the Donald just likes the Bible, “all of it”. So much so that he felt compelled to carry a copy across the street from the White House to proudly display it upside down in the churchyard. Now there are those among us that see the symbology of upside down Bibles and crosses and such as signs of the Devil. I’m not saying the Donald is the Devil, but maybe he’s Devil adjacent. Or maybe he is the one prophesied, the one who parades as Jesus but is really the false prophet.
In news that you’ll never be allowed to see in the main stream media, the Donald’s normal stylist has replaced by someone who has been forewarned to cut around the two prominent horns emanating from the Donald’s frontal lobes. The paired hollow sheaths of keratin are currently hidden by the Donald’s coiffure. Those “Make America Great Again” hats aren’t just for advertising, you know.
I could be wrong, but I prophesize that at some point a really strong wind or perhaps a fall will unsettle the coif. Once confronted with the evidence, will the MAGATS believe the evidence of the Donald’s duplicity or continue to follow him to his just reward? Stay tuned. “But about that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”
What more do I have to say than it’s the thirtieth-sixth anniversary of the release of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”? The instant classic was released to the world on June 11, 1986 to critical and popular acclaim. Who knew so many of us would identify with a Chicago rich kid slacker? John Hughes did.
Starting with Pretty in Pink in 1984 and continuing through Some Kind of Wonderful in 1987, Hughes spun tales of teenage angst into box office gold. Ferris Bueller earned 70 million at the box office placing it at number nine for the year. Top spot went to Top Gun. I guess most of America was more aligned with watching a farcical dogfight with World War III implications than watch Matthew Broderick pose as Abe Froman the sausage king of Chicago. To each his own I guess. I thought Ferris’s impersonation was spot on.
It wasn’t the impersonation that made Ferris a legend, however. It was clear from the tone of Ben Stein’s “Beuller, Beuller, Bueller, Bueller,” and the immediate response of one of his classmates that Ferris’s panache had earned him a degree of notoriety. The response of the classmate sounded more like an urban legend than an accurate accounting of Ferris’s absence. The explanation was delivered by Simone, the prettiest girl in the class, with such relish that it cemented in the viewers mind that Ferris Bueller was “the dude”.
Only “the dude” could convince his hypochondriac best friend Cameron to play hooky with him. Not only play hooky, but to do it in style. The boys steal Cameron’s dad’s most precious possession, the “thing that he loves the most”, his Ferrari, to squire the group on their adventure. After checking out Ferris’s girlfriend from school, the trio embark on their odyssey of fun for the afternoon that culminates in Ferris leading a parade through Chicago. Just a typical day for any American high schooler.
The great thing about movies is the total suspension of reality for a couple of hours. Teenage viewers from all stripes were transported to a reality that less than the top five percent of the world could experience. The first clue that the Buellers were not an average middle class family was the thousands of dollars of electronic equipment Ferris used to carry out his ruse of being sick. The second clue was the private bathroom. This is not an average American middle class family, but we identify with them just the same.
Through John Hughes’ writing and directing we find a way to embrace a smug, self-centered rich kid slacker as a role model. Somebody we’d love to give us a call the next time he’s going to boost a priceless car and act out. We accept the idea that destroying the Ferrari was actually a good thing for Cameron’s psyche. We ignore the fact that the dad had built an exhibition room to display the “thing that he loved the most” and that it too was destroyed. Just another day of hijinks in the cool kid’s club.
Not to rain too much on the parade, I do have to admit to loving all of John Hughes movies. I’m particularly fond of “Pretty in Pink” and “Some Kind of Wonderful” for their more modest settings and characters. Not that we all wouldn’t love to live in Ferris’s neighborhood. The neighborhood where there are no consequences for actions. Where even the least studious philosopher can counsel, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Welcome to middle age, Ferris.
There are a great many things that are different in small towns from big cities. The topic for today is policing.
I grew up watching Andy Griffin of Mayberry fame. While his character is based on a true life character, most people believe a policeman with strong ties to the community is a fiction. Not true. Sheriffs in small towns are elected, and, as a result, are known by the community they serve. More importantly, they know the members of their community. I believe that knowing the people in the communities that the police serve has more to do with how criminals are handled in the smaller communities than they are in the cities.
When was the last time you heard of a small town sheriff rolling up to a report of a kid playing with a toy gun and opening fire in three seconds? Never. In a small town, the sheriff would have likely rolled up, told the kid to quit acting a fool or he’d tell his Momma. The sheriff would probably mention the kid’s Momma’s name, just to drive home his point.
I get it, we don’t all live in small towns where everybody knows everybody’s name. That said, I feel a national effort to humanize suspects is in order. Kind of a “Black Lives Matter”, with a subset of, “don’t dehumanize any of us”. The dynamics of policing change when you view a “perp”, or my favorite, “un-sub”, as a daddy, mommy, son or daughter. The preservation of life should be the absolute first order of business for the police, even if it means that occasionally they’ll get their uniform a little dirty. A life should have a higher value than a cleaning bill, right?
The police are so over-equipped with gadgetry that is designed to disable suspects, I think they feel cheated if don’t get to use their toys. It has been reported that there have been over 1,000 deaths due to tasering in the United States. What do all of these dead subjects have in common? They were all unarmed and most of them were people of color.
Are there other methods available to police that are possibly less lethal to use? Of course. Most countries use the baton as the method of choice. The baton allows the officer to apply a proportional amount of force to a situation while not running the risk of killing a suspect who might be endangered by other methods, such as pepper spray. Since 1990, there have been 60 in-custody deaths in which pepper spray was a contributing factor. In-custody deaths. Pepper spray is not just an irritant to an asthmatic, it’s a death sentence.
To what can we attribute the over use of force in America by the police? I believe the police are scared to death. I’m not ready to cynically say that they all are a bunch of neo-Nazis. I think they’re scared, and out of that fear, overreact. Do they have reason to overreact? In my opinion, and a study done by the CDC, no.
According to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FBI, “In America, more preschoolers are shot dead each year (82 in 2013) than police officers are in the line of duty (27 in 2013) ” Let that one soak in for a while. You are three times more likely to be killed by gunfire, if you are a preschooler than if you are a policeman.
President Biden recently pointed out that since the year 2000 more school children have died due to gun violence than the total of military and police killed combined. Something is clearly out of whack here, and the answer is not that we need to up armor the kids.
To me, the answer is the sense of community the police officer needs to have, the training in non-lethal methods, and strong robust gun control measures to be enacted. It’s not sexy, and it doesn’t move billions of dollars worth of military weapons to the police, but it could work. It works everywhere else. Don’t spare the rod, and save the child.
“Something is happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear”; what prophetic words from the Buffalo Springfield back in 1966. The song, “For What It’s Worth” was covered by Tupac under the title, “I Wonder if Heaven Got a Ghetto” in 1997. Tupac’s cover reinforced to one and all that things hadn’t really changed that much in the thirty years separating the releases. There was still “a man over there with a gun, telling me I got to be beware.”
Now, nearly sixty years later, we continue to question why is that man over there with a gun, and why should I have to beware? Why can’t I just live my life peacefully, raise my kids and spoil my grand-kids without having to worry if that “man over there” isn’t one of the “good guys with guns” but one of the monsters that prey on the unsuspecting?
There can’t be a more unsuspecting portion of the population than our children, and there shouldn’t be. Kids should be free to dream their dreams, worry about math tests and if Susie or Johnny really likes them. Children shouldn’t have to worry if this is the day that society’s failures catches up with them and ends their dreams. Most importantly children shouldn’t have to be charged with protecting themselves from something that in most societies plain doesn’t exist.
Demonstrations are being held all over the country protesting the latest killings of innocents. While the protests go on, more and more innocents are led to the slaughter because the people that take an oath to “preserve and protect” abdicate their responsibility. Elected officials at all levels know that what’s going on is wrong, that the killing of innocents is indefensible. Still, they offer their pablum excuses, and hide behind a law that was enacted when the most skilled riflemen could only fire four bullets a minute. They continue to cower to appease the NRA and gun lobby in spite of the overwhelming disapproval of the public to the current state.
The AR-15 like the one used at Uvalde can fire up to 400 rounds a minute if equipped with a bump stock. The police found 142 spent cartridges inside the school at Uvalde and 173 live rounds. The police found over 1650 rounds of ammunition at the school in various locations indicating that the shooter was well prepared for maximum mayhem. It also indicates that a gun dealer never asked, “What kind of deer are you going after that you need over 1,600 rounds to stop?” Would the gun shop owner have questioned the purchase if the shooter had revealed that he was hunting “dears” not deers? Probably not.
The rate of fire of the assault weapons that our legislators can’t keep out of the hands of harmful people is important, but so is the response time of those charged to protect us. You know, the “good guys with a gun.” Some of the innocents were calling 911 and pleading with police to help them. Telling police that some of them were still alive, the children described the horrors they were confronting. Meanwhile, the “good guys with a gun” cowered in the hallway waiting for reinforcements. An executive decision had been made that an infinite number of children were not worth the life of just one police officer.
We are at a point now that even the stupid get it. If the police are this afraid of the population, then the population should not have guns. That’s how I’ve lived my life for lo these many years. Don’t own a gun, don’t need one. I shouldn’t have to worry about being shot at a routine traffic stop any more than the police should have to worry about stopping me. It’s time to deescalate our society and let the police just worry about the “bad guys” not all of us. If we disarm, maybe the police can too. Think Barney Fife.
Doubt I’ll still be here in another thirty years, but if so, I’m going to be mighty disappointed if “there’s a man with a gun over there.”