05 October 2015

Update no.720

Update from the Heartland
28.9.15 – 4.10.15
To all,

            The follow-up news items:
-- Well, now we know.  The Russians have begun combat operations in Syria [718].  They claimed they attacked ISIL positions.  The Allies believed the Russian struck a rebel group under their support against the Assad regime.  The Russians continued to attack friendly rebel positions, almost taunting the Allies to defend their people on the ground.  This singular event represents the potential for Russian and Allied aircraft engaging in direct combat with each other.  I suspect the situation in Syria is going to get much worse before we will see any improvement.  I want to be wrong.

            Tis the silly season after all.  After the sliver of hope earlier this year, I thought Congress might actually accomplish one of their primary tasks properly. Alas, not so fast o’ na├»ve one.  They have fallen back to their old ways.  Well, we can at least show a little gratitude they did not shutdown the government.  On the last day of the fiscal year, Congress passed the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2016 [PL 114-053; H.R.719; House: 277-151-0-6(1); Senate: 78-20-0-2(0); 129 Stat. xxx] – another temporary appropriations bill, extending current funding levels only to the middle of December.  The President signed the bill the same day it was presented to him.  We are not out of the woods just yet.

            President Obama admonished American society for our resistance to “responsible gun control laws” in this Grand Republic after the Umpqua Community College incident in Roseburg, Oregon.  I have long argued that the issue is NOT an inanimate mechanical device we commonly call a pistol, or rifle, or firearm, or gun.  The issue is and has always been the disturbed mind of anyone who chooses or decides to kill other innocent people.  I have also contended for quite some time that we need mental health screening, triage and treatment to identify and treat disturbed individuals before they act.  With that said, I will take the President’s challenge and say, stop talking and propose whatever regulation anyone thinks will keep weapons – all weapons including firearms – out of the hands of mentally ill individuals and others who may be prone to violence.  How do you propose we do this?  So, while we try to transform our outrage into something meaningful, I want to challenge all of us to look at ourselves, our contributions to these events.  Yes, that is exactly what I intended to say.  These mad men are NOT invisible.  Communities must get involved, must help police.  What have the people around them done to help identify them as potentially violent individuals – anti-social, psychopathic, mentally ill, whatever threshold is rational and supportable.  To this end, we must separate the intelligence (data collection) process from law enforcement.  We must find the balance.  Is the privacy of a mentally ill person more important than the right of a citizen to have firearms?  At the bottom line, we must focus our attention on the root cause and not be seduced by the appearance of change represented by a band-aid on a gaping, open wound.  This problem is far bigger than gun control.  That said, I could support effective controls on disturbed or violent individuals obtaining (or even possessing) firearms, but that means collecting data on individuals and making that data accessible to those who can intercede or preempt violent action.  Let us not be seduced.

            We new it would come to this:
“Gay couple takes legal action over son's birth certificate”
The Associated Press
Kansas City Star
Published: OCTOBER 1, 2015
A married, same gender couple has sued the state to have both their names on their child’s birth certificate.  I certainly understand the objective in this instance (and other related relationships).  However, there is a physical, biological reason for recording the sources of the material that created the child.  I laud the efforts of the parents to ensure they are represented on their child’s birth certificate.  We must not lose sight of the reality that recording the genetic source of the ovum and the sperm that produced the child is an important state function.  State forms and processes must change, but we must not abandon proper state public interests.

            News from the economic front:
-- The Labor Department reported nonfarm payrolls increased a seasonally adjusted 142,000 in September – far below the trend over the past 18 months. The unemployment rate remained at 5.1% last month, after ticking down in August.  The data suggest global economic turmoil is sapping momentum from the U.S. economic expansion.

            No comments or contributions from Update no.719.

            My very best wishes to all.  Take care of yourselves and each other.
Cap                        :-)