March For Our Lives


marching to Wyalusing Park
Marching to Wyalusing Park to protest too many guns being available.

As of Sunday the 12th, the Senate has a tentative framework of an agreement to do something about too many guns being too widely available to too many people!

The deal includes enhanced background checks for buyers under the age of 21, funding for the expansion of mental health services and school security, and state grants to implement so-called “red flag” laws championed by Republicans that permit law enforcement to seek temporary removal of firearms from those who pose threats to themselves or others.

Still leaves a lot to be desired of course, but after the killings in the Uvalde elementary school in Texas (and unfortunaely, a very badly bungled police response), plus a few other killings in the same time period, the Senate felt serious pressure to get something done! The real problem was that the whole idea of "hardening" schools and other targets against a shooter proved to be an utter and disastrous failure. The Robb Elementary School in Uvalde was hardened, there was a prompt police response and the shooter killed 19 students and two teachers anyway. And yes, of course, there are plenty of reasons to be dissatisfied and cautious with the proposed bill.

assembling at Lancaster Ave
We had a good, mixed crowd of Black and white people gathering at Lancaster Avenue.

The utterly useless group of Texas lawmakers, from Governor Abbott to Senator Cruz, were all embarrassed by gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke, who confronted the large group up on stage by himself. According to O'Rourke, Abbott is stil useless on gun reform.

Last February, Texas suffered an extreme cold problem as very cold weather hit and at the same time, their power grid failed. 249 people died. Many others lost limbs due to frostbite. Senator Cruz was of no use to Texans, he was caught jetting off to Cancun without having even tried to do anything useful for his fellow Texans. So he's now hit upon the idea of blaming President Biden for the power failure! But the deep freeze wasn't a regional problem, it was a purely Texas problem because that state's power grid is independant of the rest of the country. So blaming Biden is simply a lie.


Buddy of mine sent me a link to a YouTube about Russia and Ukraine. People in the video tried to make it sound as though no one was aware of Russia's attempt to use the holding back of grain supplies to blackmail nations into supporting them and not Ukraine. Actually, President Zelenskyy warned the Davos World Economic Forum of that problem on 23 May, so this was hardly in the "Breaking News" category. The real problem, I thought, was that they discussed a possible peace deal as though that were something that could be quickly and easily worked out. Y'know, sit around the campfire, sing a few rounds of "Kumbaya" and boom! There's a peace deal!

Russian State Duma Deputy Defense Committee Chairman Vladimir Shamanov talks about long-range plans for Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested in mid-May that he'd like to annex the Ukrainian terrtories he'd already captured.

Key Takeaway: 
Russian President Vladimir Putin likely intends to annex occupied southern and eastern Ukraine directly into the Russian Federation in the coming months. 
The secretary of United Russia, Putin’s political party, visited Kherson on May 6 and announced that “Russia is here forever.”

Putin also compared himself to Peter the Great (1672-1725) and compared his war with Ukraine with Peter's war with Sweden.

"Peter the Great waged the Great Northern War for 21 years. It would seem that he was at war with Sweden, he took something from them," [Putin] said, according to a translation from Reuters. "He did not take anything from them, he returned [them]."

According to Putin, he is simply acting to re-take territory that historically belongs to Russia. Ukraine, of course, does not agree and considers itself an independant nation.

Russia appears to be digging in for the long haul:

The ruble is now an official currency in the southern Kherson region, alongside the Ukrainian hryvnia. Residents there and in Russian-controlled parts of the Zaporizhzhia region are being offered Russian passports. The Kremlin-installed administrations in both regions have discussed plans to become part of Russia.

The march to, and arrival at the park.

How do Ukrainians feel about the way the war is going?

Ukrainian commander about young soldiers:

“New guys arrived, I ask who fought in 2014? One said: commander, I'm only 18.

He was 10 in 2014; now has to fight because we couldn't finish it then. We should finish it now and not leave it to our kids.”

No question, President Zelenskyy is absolutely determined that all of Ukrainian teritory will be Ukrainian again.

36 experts agree with Professor Michael McFaul that Ukraine must "stay the course"

C'mon! How can you observe spirits like this and say that Ukraine will collapse?

So no, I don't see eiher side strugging for limited objectives. They're both determined to stay the course and to prevail. Neither one is going to give up anytime soon.

Two good observations and yes, I note that the second observation applied to North Vietnam/Viet Cong back in the day.

The first is that while the Russian military is supposed to be capable of conducting combined arms maneuver warfare at scale and in the open, what we’ve learned over the past 108 days is that they can’t actually do it. Their material and equipment is either poorly maintained or really old. Their personnel just aren’t capable of doing what they’re supposed to have been able to do. Unfortunately the Russians have more artillery and air assets, as well as longer range ones, which they’re using to just bombard everything they can reach in Ukraine into dust. They also have more personnel, even if a lot of those personnel aren’t properly trained and don’t really want to fight.

The second is that the Ukrainians are very smart. They’re also determined. And they’re defending their homes. If they lose they don’t just lose and then pack their stuff up and go home. If they lose they lose their home. Which is why President Zelenskyy and everyone else involved in leading Ukraine’s military and diplomatic efforts, as well as a very large amount of Ukrainians in general, are constantly delineating what they need and that they needed it back in November!


The January 6th hearings began last Thursday. Good stuff! As a TV commenter said, even if they achieve nothing else, it's good to have all the evidence collected in one place, one spot where people can look it up and walk away with a good understanding of just what happened. I lived through (when I was 12 to 14), and eventually felt I understood Watergate, but very frequently heard in the decades after "What was that all about?"

A few hours after the hearing, I had an online discussion with someone who insisted that the actions of the mob were spontaneous and disorganized and without any sort of plan. The Committee made it clear that it was no such thing, that the mob acted with organization and purpose, that its actions were directed with clear goals in mind. One of the main problems in establishing legal guilt is not just showing that certain actions were taken, but that the purpose of those actions were understood at the time by the perpetrator to have been criminal. That's what the committe intends to prove.

shirts around the park
T-shirts were hung on racks all around the small park. Each and every t-shirt had the name(s) of shooting victim(s) and the date they were killed.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is terribly upset over what the Supreme Court is going through lately. A draft opinion that would essentially strike down Roe vs Wade, thereby not only ending the legal right to an abortion, but would also form the basis for striking down same-sex and interracial marriages and other non-traditional activities. Thomas doesn't appear to be aware that he's a big part of the problem.

A troubling doctrine that the Supreme Court may uphold is the State Secrets Privilege, first developed in 1953, This is a truly terrible legal doctrine that has done far more harm than good over its life.