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The second amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

I do not on a regular basis ever offer my opinion on any right in this country, that being the United States of America, but I do have to speak out now. Why? Because just about everyday on the news I hear about senseless shootings and deaths. Yesterday, locally, two deputies were shot and killed, and a third person, who was trying to keep his vehicle from being carjacked, was shot in the head and is in critical condition. Also yesterday, a teenager at a school in Washington State killed one person and injured four others before turning the gun on himself.

So, let us look at the second amendment shall we? Yes, let us look at this amendment. The reason why you will see in this post.

“A well regulated Militia:” This refers to: “A military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency.”

“being necessary to the security of a free State,” I believe the meaning of this is that at the time when this country was formed because at that time we needed to do what needed to be done to ensure that this country was not under the control of anyone else other than ourselves.

“the right of the people to keep and bear Arms…” To me this means that the people of this country had the right at that time to defend themselves as a well regulated Militia…

“shall not be infringed.” And that to protect this new country, this right shall not be infringed upon so that they could defend this new country.

OK – Now let us put together my translation: The United States Armed Forces, shall secure for our country, the right to keep our country safe and under our own control by giving the the right of those same Armed Forces the right to bear arms to keep our country secure.

Now let me ask this question: Is this country abiding by this amendment? I kindly ask that you, a citizen or not, answer this question. Here are recent events in the United States of America that might help you make this decision whether or not the founders of this great country had these circumstances in mind.

April 20, 1999 – Columbine High School – 13 dead. 12 students and one teacher. 24 injured.

January 11, 2011 – Gabrielle Giffords is shot outside of a grocery store in Arizona, 6 are killed and 13 others are wounded.

December 14, 2012 – Sandy Hook Elementary School – 154 rounds of ammunition were fired. 24 people, both children and adults are shot. 20 were children. They were between the ages of 6 – 7 years old. These 20 are dead. This is the deadliest mass shooting ever in the country, and the second deadliest mass shooting at a school by a single person in US history. The weapon was a Bushmaster .223 assault weapon.

Did you know that since 2010 there have been 95 shootings at schools around the U.S.? Of this there were 98 deaths and 111 injured.

I just gave you some examples of gun use and death to citizens in this great country. Do any of these shooters appear to you to be a “regulated Militia?”

Now the National Rifle Association (NRA) will tell you that everyone is entitled to possess a gun in this country. They tell you it is not the guns that kill or injure people, it is people killing or injuring people. If people do not have guns then they wouldn’t be able to kill or injure anyone, would they?

Pew Research recently did a poll which indicated that the country is split over gun ownership, however 90% of those polled want there to be background checks on everyone purchasing a gun. The NRA threw all kinds of money to oppose background checks. Hmm…Why would they oppose background checks? Because gun manufacturers are behind the NRA and they are more concerned with their bottom line. Ka-ching! Yes, it is all about money!

Smart gun technology is out there but the NRA, who has lots of money for lobbying politicians, opposes this too, as well as those same gun manufacturers and gun retailers. Smart Gun technology that would only allow the purchaser of the gun to use the gun, by way of fingerprint recognition, is out there. There is ongoing debate that has to do with a law passed in New Jersey in 2002 that states that once the technology is proven reliable, the law to require this technology will go into place within 3 years of that determination. The law has not yet gone into place. The reason the NRA opposes this is they believe it weakens the 2nd amendment.

I propose a solution: Do not sell bullets! If it was more difficult to obtain bullets we have less senseless death.

I know that I will most likely hear from those who support the NRA’s view, which is fine. I am just exercising my first amendment right: Freedom of speech!

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A Congressional Hearing for the Birds - Photo by The Reclining Gentleman

A Congressional Hearing for the Birds – Photo by The Reclining Gentleman


“How wide is that island out there in the bay?” asked the Congressman. “I am thinking that it might be 20 feet long and 6 feet wide. Would that be correct Admiral?”

“Congressman, I do not have the exact information right now, but I can get it for you,” replied the Admiral.

“And what is the bird population on this island?”

“I think that it might be about 150.”

“Now you want to add how many birds to the island?”

“We want to add 6 birds sir.”

“My fear is that if you add 6 birds to this island it will become overly populated, capsize, and tip over.”

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I wrote this story based upon on an actual event. A friend of mine sent me a video link in an email. Not believing that what I was seeing was true, I did a check of Snopes.com. The story is true!

The true story has to do with adding U.S. troops to the Island of Guam. I hope that you watch the video below. I found it unbelievable and maybe you will too. As much as I would like to spout off here, I will not. I just ask that you watch this video, and then ask yourself about who you are voting for, no matter where you are in this world.

Now for the video:

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Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers, and to the Reclining Gentleman who brought to mind the story of a video sent to me by a certain friend! Aloha!

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I certainly hope that you took the time to watch the video…be well!

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Last night my husband and I were sharing cocktails on our front deck and I went in to feed the dog. When I came back out there was a noticeable difference in the colors outside. Last year when this happened there was a fire and we were seeing evidence of a fire again yesterday. Today I wanted to share photos that I took from our area. We are approximately 17 air miles north of this fire.

Here is a photo taken when we first saw smoke.

Seeing smoke

Seeing smoke

Here is another shot from a different angle.

Smoke rising

Smoke rising

As we watch the smoke thickens.

The smoke thickens

The smoke thickens

Heading inside we turn on the news. KCRA 3 in Sacramento did a fine job of covering the fire for all of us. The next series of photos is from their news broadcast.

From the air

From the air

A house starts to burn. One thing to notice about this place is that they did not create defensible space around their home, which is one of the reasons this went up so fast. The trees are too close to this house.

A house starts to burn

A house starts to burn

A few minutes later, here is the same house.

The house a few minutes later

The house a few minutes later

Here is a property with the fire approaching a fruit orchard. These folks prepared and have defensible space.

Defensible space

Defensible space

One more shot from KCRA 3. This is of one of the airplanes dropping retardant on the fire. The shot is from their helicopter.

Plane dropping retardant

Plane dropping retardant

Heading back outside and looking up, what you see are not clouds but smoke.

Smoke not clouds

Smoke not clouds

Here is a shot as the sun sets…

As the sun sets

As the sun sets

As I sat outside, I thought I should take a photo that shows ash fall. It was coming down in our area like a very light snow. The first shot is when I first sat down; the second is only a few minutes later.

My pants

My pants

My pants 3 minutes later

My pants 3 minutes later

This fire went from 30 acres to 1300 in no time. It is only, as I write, 20% contained. So far this morning we do not see any smoke as the wind is blowing from east to west. We have not yet been told about the cause of this fire.

Where ever you are, we hope that you are safe. And, as Smokey says, “Only you can prevent forest fires!”

Thank you for dropping in and be well!

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In the words of our Dutch relatives regarding MH17:

“Can you imagine a whole country mourning? Yes of course you can, we came in October 2001, just weeks after 9/11, to visit and saw a whole country in shock.

Today the first 40 victims arrived by plane and were transported the last 60 miles in a convoy of 40 hearses. This was shown live on television and a lot of people gathered on the route. Very impressive and emotional, one of the victims is a women of nearly 50 years who was a member of our fraternity/sorority (we were mixed, boys and girls). She was flying with her husband and son.

The whole day there were no commercial breaks on television (a first for the Netherlands I believe).

The Sad Final Journey Home – Mail Online News

One can only hope that the people who did this will see the mourning and understand the grief they caused.

No hate in the world is as strong as the love we have for each other…That is what the parents wrote whose children died.

So, love to you both!”
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To our Dutch Family: Love to you all!

Nothing can take the pain away from the families of all the victims. Nothing can replace those lives lost. Nothing can eliminate the shock and horror that people around the world felt on hearing the news of what happened to those on flight MH17.

We can only hope that those who committed this atrocity will be brought to justice and made to pay for this crime against all of us!

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As you may know, I am going through chemo and cancer and have had similar troubles collecting from the State of Ca money that I paid in on each paycheck…Every dollar was hard earned. This is an excellent example of government bureaucracy at best! No wonder CA is having financial troubles!

I also find that there are other posts on this blogger’s site that were informative and I live the daily affirmations, when she can post! Please take a moment to visit and look too!

IAmLivingWithSLL

Today I will be doing two posts. One that is a rant and the other will be The Daily Affirmation. For now, I have a lot to get off my chest about the bureaucratic BS that was exposed to me today. The parties involved: The State of California Employment Development Department – the EDD – (more likely just the State government) and Bank of America!

Yesterday, Ron at the EDD told me that I would have access to my disability money today. He gave me the telephone number for Bank of America (hereafter BofA) so that I could call them and have them move my money from their bank directly to my bank. Let’s look at the politics of this briefly, if I can be brief…

See the State of CA turns my disability money over to BofA as they have a “contract” to handle the money. This means that…

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Yesterday, driving home, something caught my eye, and I just had to stop, get out of the car and go check it out. What I saw was a rock covered in tears! I could not believe my eyes! It was the light glinting off the tears that caught my eye!

Without further ado, the crying rock:

What caught my eye

What caught my eye

Why so sad little rock? What caused you to cry so many tears?

What caused you to cry little rock?

What caused you to cry little rock?

Look at all those tears!

The tears up close

The tears up close

This was an odd sight indeed! Why do you think this rock is crying? I would love to hear your answer!

Thank you for stopping by today, and have a terrific Tuesday!

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Yesterday was a morning like any other. We sat on the back deck with our coffee, figured out what we were going to do for the day, and then I came in to write my blog. I had just finished when my husband remarked, “Do you smell smoke?”

We are ever vigilant here, particularly in the summer months when fire danger is high. Running out onto the back deck we scanned the horizon, and sure enough, right down the road there was smoke. My husband jumped into the car to investigate. He came back two minutes later running into the house yelling, “Call 911!”

I grabbed the phone and relayed the information to the operator, giving them the address, which was two houses down and across the street from us. There was a camper on fire and it was traveling out into the brush. They got on this right away, and we soon heard sirens.

I grabbed my camera and went out on our back deck where I snapped this photo.

From our back deck

From our back deck

My heart was pounding and I felt very shaky. I went up the driveway and looked down the street. This shot shows you how close this was to us. The distance is about 900 feet, or to really give you perspective, about the length of three football fields.

From our driveway

From our driveway

Our neighbors down the street were hosing down their front yards. No one was home at the property on fire. Two of the neighbors went over there and removed the horses and brought them to a neighbors house behind the fire. The fellow there and his neighbor were busy hosing down their properties. Our volunteer group cordoned off the street to divert traffic in front and to the sides of fire. The sirens kept coming.

I went down the street a bit and took this photos from in front of our neighbors house.

Smoke

Smoke

The sound of the fire was loud. I could hear it crackling as brush went up in flames. The smoke coming up thickened.

The smoke thickens

The smoke thickens

I watched as the flames shot up a digger pine. Then we started hearing explosions, seven in all.

We hear explosions and the color of the smoke changes

We hear explosions and the color of the smoke changes

At this point we went and got everything ready in case we had to evacuate our home. This involved getting the dog’s ramp so we could get him into the car, and finding the two cat carriers. We also had to gather together important papers. I headed back outside and up to the street. This time I brought the video camera. Here is a short film of this event. The sound on the film is that of the fire.

The fire was put out in about an hour and a half. A nerve wracking hour and a half mind you! Later in the day after the fire fighters left, I went down the street and took the following photos of the devastation. You might see these photos and the details better if you click on the photo to isolate it and then click on it again to enlarge it. I did not go on to the property but took these photos from the street.

The charred remains of the camper

The charred remains of the camper

Up close to the charred remains

Up close to the charred remains

Another charred area

Another charred area

Here is the same tree which I saw go up in flames. It is amazing to me that only half of the tree burned.

Half of this tree is burnt

Half of this tree is burnt

Hoses were left behind in case this flared up again.

Hoses left behind

Hoses left behind

We were lucky this time. Lucky in the fact that there was no wind. Lucky to have such a quick response by our fire department. Lucky that two other fire stations came to help. And, lucky that we smelled the smoke and reported it. Lucky that another neighbor driving by called this in as well.

What started this fire? The camper had an electrical cord running to it and there was propane in the unit. Conjecture is that there was a short in the cord and leakage on the propane, which is an explosive combination. We will find out later, more likely next week when the community is holding an emergency evacuation meeting.

Again, our thanks go out to Mosquito Station 75 and their crew as well as to those volunteers who coordinated quickly enough to keep us all safe!

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