Who the bleep is the NRA?

December 22, 2012

Who the bleep is the NRA?

And other social media DOHs.

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

I find myself unable to express illuminating feelings and thoughts about the evil that has happened at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Or the loss and grief of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, family, friends and neighbors.

But worse than this, I fear that the evil is not finished. It stretches out from Newtown to all of the world.

The full horror and impact of this evil remains to be seen.

I fear that we cannot yet see how broken our world was broke by those terrible shots.

Evil, too, is difficult to speak about. It does not parse easily – regardless of the abounding interpreters, compilers and commentators. Perhaps, this is why evil always takes us by surprise.

Evil, itself, seems intangible and fictitious. Yet it is real as you. And me.

It has dreadful impact – even if a particular instance of evil has no real or apparent causalities.

And, evil, it ever lurks in all of our hearts, minds and spirit.

Beyond this fact, I do not understand much more about evil.

The National Rifle Association

What does all this have to do with the NRA?

Writes Gary Fields, Stephanie Blanchero and Colleen McCain Nelson in the Wall Street Journal:

WASHINGTON—The nation’s biggest gun-rights lobby called Friday for placing an armed security guard at every school, as it for the first time entered the re-energized public debate over gun laws in the aftermath of last week’s school shooting in Connecticut.

In fact, the NRA has pledged to immediately invest significant resources (money, know how, and people) in support of the creation of a national school safety and security program.

Who else has pledged themselves to today’s task of protecting American children?

CNN?  The Wall Street Journal? The New York Times?

None.

Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers, decried the NRA proposal to be “irresponsible and dangerous.”

Irresponsible and dangerous as a bank, a government building, an airport, an embassy, etc.?

“Schools must be safe sanctuaries, not armed fortresses,” added Weingarten as he clicked his ruby heels.

There’s no place like home.

The NRA (a.k.a. The National Rifle Association) is a non-profit organization that represents the specific and express interests of millions of U.S. citizens. Those interests can be characterized as an interest in preserving a Constitutional right to own and bear arms for the purpose of defense – mostly against (but not limited to) tyranny. In 2008 and 2010, The United States Supreme Court expanded our understanding of the Second Amendment in District of Columbia v. Heller to include the individual’s right to possess and use a firearm in the lawful exercise of personal self-defense.

The NRA, in other words, represents the interests and beliefs of some Americans who especially hold dear the promises and guarantees of the Second Amendment, the Bill of Rights, and the U.S. Constitution.

There are other Americans, however, that want you to think that the NRA is something else – the them. That the NRA does not speak on behalf of Americans who believe (rightly or wrongly) in the wisdom of the Law of the land, of the founding fathers, and the cornerstones of the Republic.

It is this kind of divisive propaganda (the us and them mentality) which we must all resist – a word-craft that reminds me of the past and terrible argument that ignored the imperative of the American Declaration of Independence and set brother against brother.

That all men are created equal in human dignity and providence.

What would Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, have said of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his Dream?

Americans may be divided in opinion about the relevance of the U.S. Constitution to the 21st Century. Or the relevance of the Bill of Rights and/or specific Amendments. A great and passionate debate may, in fact, be in the stirring. But let us not forget that we are all Americans in this debate – where ever you are.

It’s not about us or them. Or just about crazy Americans. The questions and debate belongs to us (the human species) and we must individually wrestle with them in the face of fear, pain, loss, and wisdom.

It is, yes, all about we. We the people (of the world) must seek good answers and truer questions – together.

Scapegoats, however, speak to none of our intimate questions about the meaning of life, liberty and our happiness. Scapegoats only fuel contempt, misunderstanding, ignorance, brutality, terror, loss, and hate. The Israel and Palestine problem is an illuminating example.

Yes, Virginia. Evil will grow greater – if and only if – you believe or act otherwise.

Stan Faryna
21 December 2012
Fairfax, Virginia

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Cowardice will speak loudly. And other social media DOHs.

December 13, 2012

Cowardice will speak loudly.

And other social media DOHs.

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Reporters and journalists filmed, photographed, and reported on the murder of 24-year-old Biswajit Das as he was beaten and stabbed to death in a political youth rally in Bangladesh. You can read the story at Global Voices.

Some have spoken out against the cowardice of media agents who did nothing to save the young man’s life.

Others have spoken out in defense of the media agents inaction and so-called professional neutrality.

African Child stalked by a Vulture-Sudan

You may (or may not) remember Kevin Carter’s Pulitizer Prize winning photograph of the helpless, starving Sudanese child and the nearby vulture waiting to feed. Carter was much criticized for his admitted failure to assist the child. Carter was also compared to the vulture.

Some years later, Carter would commit suicide.

Here’s my take on the journalists that watched Biswajit Das being murdered :

Cowardice will speak loudly. And cowards will vehemently defend cowardice – even if it is the failure and, ultimately, self-defeat of another coward.

Self-defeat gathers company just like a flame will draw moths.

The dignity and worth of the human person is an apriori and necessary proposition of our existential, social and political condition. One’s duty as an employee, professional, artist, etc. is secondary to our profound obligation to help the other who faces immediate, great danger.

Any confusion of this represents a cultural problematic of considerable scandal. Such confusion also signals that human happiness, freedom and life as the cornerstones of political community are not in high regard.

Today, I also suppose that enlightenment (of either the philosophical or spiritual kind) shall not be found in Bangladesh. Nor among the company of journalists.

I am deeply saddened to register this unfortunate data point.

Stan Faryna
13 December 2012
Bucharest, Romania


What’s Love Got To Do With It?

December 13, 2012

A science fiction story about the end of the world, the future, hope, disease, zombies, strippers, and everything else.

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Episode One: The heart of a hero

Episodes and/or related writing are published on this blog – some Mondays or Wednesdays. Please subscribe to this blog to get a reminder when the next episode is published.

Subscriptions are free.

Author’s Note:

I’m in the middle of the big move so it may be some weeks before I am free to write again.

Justin Timberlake, Sexy Back

John Martin's The Fall of Babylon

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The Book of Carrot

Book One: Principal Virtues

Chapter Two: Abandon all to hope

Episode Fourteen: What’s Love Got To Do With It? Part One

Audience: Adult

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……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Read the rest of this entry »


What the bleep can you do with a G+ Community?

December 11, 2012

What the bleep do you do with a G+ Community?

And other social media DOHs.

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Annie Lennox, Why

What’s missing in the new G+ Community?

Below is my short list:

1. Documents and Document Management

2. Gallery and Image Management

3. Pinned Posts

4. Drop Down Linked List of Recent Uploaded/Modified Documents (left column)

5. Drop Down Linked List of Recent Uploaded/Modified Images (left column)

6. Drop Down Linked List of Most Commented on Posts (left column)

7. Drop Down Linked List of Most Liked Posts (left column)

What’s your short list?

Stan Faryna
11 December 2012
Bucharest, Romania


You ain’t got jack and you know it. #MondayBlogs #MonkeyMind

December 3, 2012

You ain’t got jack and you know it.

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Ben E. King, Stand By Me

This post is an exercise in monkeying around. You can read about the whys and hows here:

http://www.thejackb.com/2012/11/25/the-write-words-for-weekend-writing

Below: Johnny at his Seventh Birthday – trying to catch the hovering UFO and about to step off the sofa. Blur courtesy of iPhone.

John Thomas Faryna Age 7 Birthday Read the rest of this entry »