To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Observercast

Scattershots: Both Barrels

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Scattershooting [remembering Blackie Sherrod and Archer Fullingim] while wondering if Republicans will ever repudiate the fascists who have usurped their party. Do they truly want to send more armed thugs to Washington to overthrow the republic? …

I saw a news blurb indicating that a California utility was being charged with manslaughter for a wildfire that resulted in four deaths. Corporate unaccountability – legislated irresponsibility – means that no one will likely be held personally responsible. Yes, yes, yes. I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one …

The Name, Image and Licensing program that allows outsiders to pay college athletes for “services” shows the depth of NCAA greed. Instead of choosing a way to pay athletes their shares of the profits that their hard work generates – with institutional oversight – the colleges decided to keep all that revenue for themselves and let boosters pay their players. Because nothing can possibly go wrong there …

What is the endgame for our GOPQ racists? Their agenda is to limit voting to like-minded white people, gerrymander their electoral dominance long after they’ve become a voting minority and sic hooligans [and, in Oklahoma, vehicles] onto those who object to their policies. But what next? Forced DNA tests to establish who gets which rights – and who is automatically wrong? Jim Crow drinking fountains? Bloody reprisals anytime dissenters object to their marginalization? Israeli-styled apartheid and concentration camps? …

Two gunmen, dressed as lawyers, opened fire recently in a courtroom in India to murder a rival gang leader. That conjures instant images of the guys in fancy suits with briefcases big enough to contain a machine pistol getting waved on past the security checkpoint at the local courthouse while I am taking off my belt …

Those who harp about long, boring baseball games ignore the continuing lengthening of football contests. I think a lot of this has to do with instant replay. But, three different views of a tackle’s illegal motion is not really action. When a cowardly pitcher just holds the ball, the game is actually in play. Ninety-minute soccer matches are slotted into two-hour time slots on TV. Sixty-minute football games get three-and-a-half hours and often run longer …

Starting with the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937 and with several amendments since, there is an 11% excise tax on sporting arms and ammunition, bows, arrows and their accessories and crossbows, plus a 10 percent tax on pistols and revolvers. The proceeds go to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for federal aid to states for wildlife management and restoration efforts and hunter safety programs.

The management of human wildlife has not been as successful. Perhaps this measure should get an amendment to double the tax in order to fund the funerals of those who die by gun violence due to all governments’ refusal to address reasonable gun restrictions.

Too many times we hear of somebody getting gunned down, and the family trying to organize a go-fund-me funeral while coping with crushing grief. Since the governments have failed a primary function of protecting us, they should pay for the results of their failure. A base of $7,500 per funeral would be a fair starting point in Oklahoma; other state minimums might vary.

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Gary Edmondson
Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democrats. He lives in Duncan, following a sporadic career as a small-town journalist, mostly in Texas, and as an editor of educational audio-visual materials. Some days he's a philosopher/poet, others a poet/philosopher.