My Podcast: Doty Land ‘Is On The Air’

Here is is the inaugural podcast!

In the near future, there will be more directories where the podcast can be found and linked to–but I was eager to get this on ‘on-air’ and so publish it this way.  You can find Doty Land on the Apple podcast site and also at Spotify. Please subscribe if you think it worthy of your time.  Thanks.

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My Podcast, Doty Land, Goes Live Monday, Dec. 16th, Details To Follow On This Site

Podcast Photo Doty Land

Another Needless Gun Shooting Death In Madison

Madison police officers were called to the 1000 block of Spruce Street Saturday afternoon after reports of gunshots were called in by neighbors.

Police said when they arrived at the scene, one victim was found and transported to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. The victim was pronounced dead Saturday evening as a result of the injuries.

Gun violence is a continuing daily assault on our society. It is a costly one to our communities not only in terms of victims killed and injured but the financial cost to all of us from law enforcement to the justice system and prisons. Simply put, should not the NRA pick up some of the costs to taxpayers, since they are the ones making it impossible to enact meaningful gun control laws in our legislative bodies?

I am not here to say that every gun shooting death can be eliminated with the passage of gun control laws.  But we all know that gun control laws will work to narrow the numbers killed and injured.  The fact is our nation is so littered with all sorts of guns and untold amounts of ammunition that no one can expect miracles from gun control laws.  But we know we must start, and they will have a positive impact.

I recall in the past year or so the American College of Physicians released a report about the reasons the nations need to reduce gun violence.  They, after all, get to see all the hell and horror associated with a nation that is drowning in weapons and the blood it creates.  The NRA, in their usual manner of stopping common-sense conversations in the nation about guns, told doctors to basically shut-up.

Many years ago a friend was a triage nurse in Cook County.  I was working in state government at the time and while there was some gun legislation pending in the assembly I was hearing his first-hand accounts as he worked with and watched a doctor cut open a chest in an attempt to save a victim of gun violence.  The disconnect between the politically oriented legislators wanting to make it easier to own guns versus the ones on the front lines working to save lives from too many guns on the streets has always remained in my memory.

This weekend in Madison another senseless random act of gun violence played out with the death of the one shot.  And we are reading the news reports and knowing that our taxes go to pay for the process of investigations, court proceedings, and the housing of the criminal who used a gun for a very long time in our prison system.

Meanwhile, the NRA works without moral qualms to make sure that more guns are manufactured and sold, the process to obtain one is not limited, and that the political interests that allow them to operate this way for decades are not stymied.

In my view of life and politics that is the tail wagging the dog of society.  We are fools for not speaking up with more verve and demanding that this (fill in your own word) from the NRA comes to an end.  The gun violence that plays out every day, and everywhere can be reduced.  We know that it can.  We must find our way to demand that it does.

The least the NRA could do is send a card of condolences to the local units of governments expressing their regrets taxpayers need to keep funding the costs of gun violence.  We know the NRA sure can send letters to elected officials when they vote for the gun lobby interests!

One Missing Parent In Madison

So….I am at Barnes and Noble this evening (at the mall) when a group of early teenage boys comes into the store. One of them shoves aside a pile of books on a table and sits upon it. I was scanning the new paperbacks for sale and noticed he had a charge card in his mouth and was sucking on it.  (Yeah.)  As I round the books on my table he either spits out or drops the card.

“Pick that up for me.”

(I would love to pick up your spit-laced card.)

“No, I will not.”

“Why not?”

“First, because you had it in your mouth….” and then I went back to looking at books.

“Hey!”

“Hey, nothing.” And with a look that I assume, he does not often get from adults in his life, meant an ending to that wonderful mall experience.

I can only imagine what teachers go through every day in our schools. Parents need to again be parents!

This one was a prime example as to why I make that plea.

7 Years Ago Today 20 Elementary Students Shot Dead, Six Adults

 

ELwSJX5WoAEyIeV7 years ago today, a 20-year-old with a history of mental health problems killed his mother with her own gun then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, and fatally shot 20 students and 6 adults before killing himself.

That people around the nation are continually shocked over gun violence is always the strangest part of these news reports. ‘We did not think it could happen here.’

Really?  Are you serious?

Why would it not be inevitable that in a nation that has a congress and many state legislatures bought by the NRA that a domestic terrorist could get his hands on deadly weapons and mountains of ammunition?   We have seen, time and again, people of all backgrounds able to amass even larger arsenals for their killing sprees than what occurred in Connecticut.

No, there can no longer be any shock to this kind of news story as we have brought this madness on to ourselves and are now suffering as a result of allowing the NRA to call the shots.

How often have many of us asked for and demanded reform with gun laws?  Even asking for simple proposals such as laws to keep deadly weapons, particularly rapid-fire guns, out of the hands of disturbed individuals and those with ill intent and it all runs into a total wall of opposition from the NRA and the three-thumb crowd who lick their boots.

After the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that left 26 people dead, and 20 of those were children with nothing being done to curtail gun deaths, one now has to ask a real question. In the context of our nation’s gun culture after 20 small children were buried what is the big deal about the deaths of folks on a naval base? Or police officers?  It is just another news story of gun violence, after all.

Mass shootings of this type happen with regularity and no one seems to care enough to make a large enough stink to alert congress this crazy gun culture has to come to an end.

Ron’s Restaurant Story In Waushara Argus

My thoughts and memories about Ron’s Restaurant which burned down last Saturday were published this week above the fold and with a byline in the Waushara Argus.

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Impeachment Vote: Political Tribalism Attacks Our Republic

What transpired today was historic, newsworthy, and mighty sad.

The House Judiciary Committee took the constitutional process of impeaching Donald Trump the next needed step but had to do so along party lines. The serious charges of Trump’s abuse of power and his obstruction of Congress did not receive a single vote from the Republican side of the aisle.

Americans have witnessed while watching the proceedings at home or listening to them on their car radio that the past two days have been as if the political parties are living in two separate worlds.   The dysfunction of our political system, the tribalism that has beset the land, the growing lack of honor, the rise of false narratives, the collapse of virtue among those who serve in high office all were exposed in hour-after-hour coverage.  It was at times almost painful to watch.

The uproar from Republicans that the final vote on the articles was taken in the light of day–shortly after 10 A.M. Friday–was way out of bounds.  The proper way for the committee to proceed–especially from folks who care about making sure the process is as open to as many as possible–meant that instead of voting in the late-night hours the task that the nation needed to watch occur when most were able to witness it.

In each article, the Republicans failed to offer a single vote.  Each article passed on a party-line vote, a margin of 23 to 17.    That lack of responsibility, seriousness, and placing the nation over partisanship from the Republicans was the most glaring example of how far adrift we are as a republic.

The facts presented to congressional committees clearly proved many month efforts where Trump used the power of his office to get political advantage from a foreign power, and then clearly undermined and obstructed Congress from investigating the deeds.

For weeks we have witnessed Trump and the key members of his Administration such as Barr, Pompeo, and Pence ignore the checks and balances that are supposed to be inherent in our Constitution.  Citizens have every reason to ask that if this abuse of power is allowed to stand what does that portend for how future presidents may act and seek to work outside of the law so to do what they desire?

What is being allowed to take place as a result of feckless Republicans is far more than a story about the next election where they fear being faced with a primary.  What is playing out in dramatic fashion now will have long-lasting consequences for the nation in generations to come.   Too few of the short-sighted and over-heated Republicans in this Congress grasp that fact.

When a  political party becomes nothing more than blind apologists for the worst president in history means that the republic is in serious trouble.  The GOP members were able to turn aside serious consideration of this fact as stated in the second article.

In the history of the Republic, no President has ever ordered the complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and impede so comprehensively the ability of the House of Representatives to investigate ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors.’

The Republican members of the committee could not even realize the undermining of the legislative branch of government–which they are elected to– was enough reason to stop their bending over to Trump.  They have lost all common sense and any attempt to present themselves as honorable or have us see them as credible in any degree.  It was stunningly embarrassing.

Those who look at the tea leaves and try to predict the political consequences of the events over the past weeks may try to claim that newly elected moderate Democrats who cast a vote for impeachment will suffer in the next cycle.  But that is the most shallow way to view where we are now in this country.  This can not and must not be looked at for how it will play in the coming elections.  Whether the need to impeach Trump hinders or helps at the election box is of no matter. First and foremost comes the needs of the republic and how law and order are preserved.  

I find it odd that some of my conservative friends seek more police to uphold laws and secure the peace on a local level, but when given a chance to make a statement about the need to curtail abuse of law in the Oval Office they remain silent.  This, too, is just another symptom of political tribalism attacking the republic.

Instead of my feeling relief that this country is turning a corner in trying to hold Trump accountable, I am left today feeling deep concern about our future.  I wish Republicans could ponder the same.

Hey, Melania, There Is Bullying Taking Place In Your Own Home!

The low moments in the Donald Trump term of office just keep coming.  The one today is simply beyond embarrassing.

Donald Trump mocked teen climate activist Greta Thunberg on Twitter following her being named as Time magazine’s Person of the Year. 

He labeled her international placement on the cover as “ridiculous” and suggested she take anger management classes.  “So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!”

A most sickening display from someone who continues to degrade the nation and himself.  Attacking a teenage girl is never a good idea.  And attacking someone with Asperger’s syndrome is doubly wrong.  She was asked to speak on climate change in front of several high-profile entities, such as the United Nations and Congress.  And Trump can only seek to smear and defame her talents.

This is just too rich given that last week the White House was speaking out about a congressional witness who brought up Trump’s son, Barron.  The Press Secretary called that matter a “classless move” and Melania stated the person “should be ashamed”.

Today crickets are heard from the Third Wife.

Time magazine chose Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, known for holding world leaders accountable for their role in the climate crisis, as the youngest individual to receive this recognition.  Simply wonderful news as it aids in spreading the message about climate change. 

Melaina, who from time to time weighs into the public debate, wishes to be known for speaking out against bullying.  She seems not able to handle the issue in her own home so opining about it in public forums is nothing more than a joke.  It seems that she only cares about adults bullying children when it’s her own children.

And so it goes.

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