Friday, May 27, 2022

fucking cowards and progress on my projects


The details are coming out about the Uvalde murders and they aren't pretty. The shooter entered through an unlocked door after engaging in gunfire outside for about 12 minutes. Initial reports said that he was confronted by a security officer outside but that turned out to be false. The Uvalde police department arrived the same time he entered the school but did not enter themselves until 4 minutes later when 7 officers went in and were driven out by gunfire. And then they sat on their thumbs for over an hour waiting for a Border Patrol tactical team to arrive even though the Uvalde police department has its own SWAT unit. Instead they accosted parents who were either trying to get in to get their kids or yelling at the police to do something. A mother was handcuffed, a father thrown to the ground and pepper sprayed. The mother was released by officers she personally knew and then she jumped the fence, ran into the school, and came out with her two children. Rumor is that some police officers, while refusing to let parents get their kids out, went in and got their own kids out. Why did the Uvalde police, whose job it is to serve and protect, to bring down criminals, wait for over an hour for another team to arrive? According to a Texas DPS official interviewed on TV last night, they did not engage the shooter because “they could’ve been shot, they could’ve been killed” so instead they let a gunman kill 19 kids and the two adults trying to protect them and wound 22 others. I guess our police are only brave when they can shoot an unarmed person.

So how have our political leaders reacted? Texas governor Greg Abbott said tougher gun laws are not a solution* and it could have been worse. What is worse than parents having to give DNA samples in order to identify the mangled bodies of their children? At a press conference yesterday Beto O'Rourke, who is running against Abbott for governor confronted him, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Texas senator Ted Cruz (who thinks limiting the number of doors in schools is a solution), and the Uvalde mayor blaming Abbott (who last year signed 7 new laws making it easier for people to buy a gun) for this mess, “this is on you and until you do something it will continue to happen”. They called Beto an SOB and escorted him out.

*Which is bullshit because country after country that instituted strict gun laws after a similar mass shooting, stopped having mass shootings!

Democratic leaders in the House passed the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act after the Buffalo shootings. Yesterday the Republicans in the Senate filibustered it because they see nothing wrong with allowing an 18 year old teenager whose brain won't be fully matured until his late twenties to buy assault style rifles when he won't be able to buy a handgun til he's 21.

This nation, so filled with hate and violent rhetoric and guns, doesn't even have the moral conviction to protect its children. We love our guns more than we love our children and the very people who prevent any restrictions on acquiring guns and gun ownership will stand up and claim that this is the best country in the world. The best country in the world asked parents for DNA samples in order to identify their dead children.

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Well, I didn't mean to go off on another screed this post. If you missed the previous one you can read it here.

I have progress on two art projects to share. I've made progress on the box but I determined that making and fitting the coral inlay for the front is going to be too difficult and way to time consuming to get the finished cast piece to fit because of all the small tight curves. I could probably do it but the hours involved would put the price way too high so now I'm mulling over a simpler profile for the inlay. I think what I have in mind will work. So, constructing the box:


pouring the slabs


trimming them down


three sides


three sides and a bottom


four sides and a bottom

And I've made some progress on the watercolor. I've got the unopened flower and the leaf done. I'm going to need at least a two hour block of time for the big flower.






21 comments:

  1. It's astonishing that the local cops did what the did (or didn't do) and thought no one would notice. It's on the front page of the Washington Post with video and witness statements. You can't hide anything anymore. It's heart breaking, especially the husband of one of the murdered teachers who then died from a fatal heart attack.

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  2. ---"So much for being known as “The Great State of Texas.”

    According to a study conducted by CNBC, Texas is among the top 10 worst states in America to live in -- and it ranks high.

    Texas came in second on the list of America’s worst places to live in 2021.

    The study found that Texas’ weaknesses include inclusiveness, health, voting rights, and public health funding.

    “For all its strength as a place to do business, Texas keeps trying to outdo itself when it comes to laws and policies that are seen as exclusionary. It is one of the only states with no public accommodation law to protect against discrimination,” CNBC reports.

    Furthermore, the Lone Star State was given an F letter grade after earning only 104 out of 375 points in the 2021 Life, Health and Inclusion score.----"

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    1. Your comment could just as well have been left on the blog of someone who thinks that the ready acceptance of mass murder is the "price of freedom," so I'm wondering if you read Ellen's recent posts or if you responded as you did simply because she lives in Texas, and this makes her, in your mind, an irresistible target on which to unload your hatred of Texas. After 36-years in the right-wing state of Mississippi, I moved to a very liberal area thinking that my liberal views would insure my welcome. What I sometimes found, however, was that I was considered guilty by association, the mere fact that I had a white Southern accent being enough to convince some people that I was the very embodiment of evil. Just the inflection of their words when they asked, "Where are YOU from?" told me that I was about to be dumped on, and nothing I could say would exonerate me from their belief that they knew more about what my values were better than I did. Maybe my own past hurts are causing me to read too much into your comment, but the fact is that you're not discussing the views that Ellen so capably put forward, you're instead expressing your hatred of the state in which she lives. What is your point; what would you like her to say?

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    2. Snowbrush, I do appreciate your willingness to stand up for me and for that I thank you. But the fact is, what Anonymous wrote is true and surely contributes to the mindset that allowed and will continue to allow this to happen here. Unfortunately, these attacks aren't limited to Texas, witness the Buffalo massacre just a week previous. Texas is not the only state consumed with hatred of those not straight white christian conservatives though our governor is a particularly evil and corrupt man and he and his cronies have ruined Texas and made it what it is today IMO following on the heels of Bush and Perry.

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    3. "But the fact is, what Anonymous wrote is true..."

      Ellen, I need to clarify that I wasn't challenging his (I'll use the masculine) facts but rather his insensitivity, condescension, presumption, and snarkiness, in relaying to you, of all people, easily guessable and widely disseminated information regarding a few of the numerous problems that portray Texas as moving in the direction of being as backward and oppressive as Saudi Arabia. I can best present my reaction with a comparison. Upon learning that I'm from Mississippi, people sometimes comment as did the following woman who boasted that she didn't have a prejudiced bone in her body, "Mississippi, eh? White people from your part of the country are prejudiced against black people."

      I have various problems with this. (1) I don't consider it obvious that racism in Mississippi is morally or intellectually worse than racism in Oregon (it's hard to know because 38% of Mississippians are black compared to 2% of Oregonians). (2) By implication, her statement included me, yet we had just met. (3) Her belief in her personal and regional superiority was largely based upon her appalling ignorance of her own state's past and current racism.

      My initial reaction to such people was to agree with them because, like Anonymous, they were often in the right. However, agreement got old because it became clear to me that upstream from the little trickle of information they dispensed was a Niagara Falls of hatefulness and ignorance. I was the first Mississippian that many had met, yet they showed no interest in my knowledge and perspective because they had convinced themselves that they knew all there was to know. Also, it eventually dawned on me that they didn't regard me as a escapee from Mississippi who was seeking solace and healing within the boundaries of an enlightened populace but rather as the walking embodiment of a people they hated and felt morally and intellectually superior to (i.e. they held my background against me because as one said, "The fruit never falls far from the tree.") My awareness of how thinly such people operate led me to see them in the person who commented on your blog.

      Ellen, on the off chance that you don't already know, I'll include a link to this year's Freedom from Religion Foundation national convention in San Antonio:https://ffrf.org/outreach/convention

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  3. The fallout of this mass murder continues to grow... Dear God... Why have a police force if they won't stand their ground in the face of a lunatic kid with a gun? There wasn't another way for them to get into the school BEHIND the shooter and take him down?? They couldn't have sent tear gas or a shock grenade into the hallway where the kid was and disable him?? Bizarre...

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  4. Wild thought here -- can the parents/spouses of those killed in the Uvalde mass killing file a class action lawsuit against the governor, senators and congressmen of Texas for wrongful death? Their action (or lack thereof) contributed to the deaths of their loved ones. For that matter, the police who sat by and allowed the shooter to continue to kill kids should be fired.

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  5. I just read the previous comments here and really liked Tehachap's idea of a class action lawsuit of wrongful death against those who have made these kinds of horrific murders possible. It's long past time to fight back hard and stop this bloodshed. I will march and I will vote, and I will support those who plan to kick some serious butt on this matter. ENOUGH!

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  6. I am at a loss for words about the school shooting.
    But I am getting very excited about this box.

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  7. So many unanswered questions and painful realities and more to come.
    Good to see the progress with your art work.

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  8. What more to say? It is truly sickening, and the stench around the actions of the police just gets worse. I wonder by what rational standards the people who spout off about "the greatest country in the world" measure that? Even the most cursory examination of reality belies that claim. I absolutely fail to understand how people like Ted Cruz and Greg Abbott can get elected, but don't bet on them not being re-elected.

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  9. Those cops were derelict of duty...and should be. Beto is RIGHT and CRUZ is an idiot!

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  10. Ellen, your two Uvalde-inspired posts were excellent. I know that there's a cost to oneself that comes from addressing painful subjects, and I thank you for your willingness to pay it.

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  11. Yes, they are excellent posts---and again, I hope you don't mind but I have to borrow your words again because you so succintly and concisely set these thoughts out. Thank you for sharing with us.

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  12. The action (or lack thereof) of the police is mind numbing. And getting their own children out. My fingers cannot say more.

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  13. The more information that is revealed about that Massacre, the more it reflects a total cluster fuck the Authorities made it and how many lives were lost due to their inaction and inappropriate actions, well, hopefully there will be serious consequences that the Community will demand! It is difficult to address these topics openly, it's all so Emotionally Raw and oddly... some people will align with those who will do nothing and justify doing nothing and being incompetent at doing the Job they are paid to do or elected to do. The way the Police handled this is beyond sketchy and one has to wonder all the reasons of why? The way the Politicians who are a disgrace are spinning it, is mind numbing and yet, not at all surprising given who they are at their very cores. Clearly the 'Value' of the Lives Lost that day is marginalized and since all News reports say this is a predominantly Hispanic Community, one has to assume that if this had happened in an affluent White Community, the reaction of the Politicians and Police would have been drastically different. The reason I'm saying this is that for over Two Decades we lived in a predominantly Hispanic Community and getting the Police to respond to any Crime in that Community/Area in an appropriate time frame, regardless of how horrific a Crime was playing out, was ridiculous... IF they bothered to show up at all!

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  14. I just read a New Yorker article about how a child in the room with the gunman was calling the police to come and they were right outside the door. For over an hour. Abbott is supposedly "livid". Nothing I can say is going to help anyone so at this point I'll just keep my mouth shut but I will say that the list of sins the United States of America (what an oxymoron) is growing longer and longer and we will never, ever redeem ourselves. The list starts with the eliminating of the indigenous people who lived here when the first white explorers showed up, goes through the enslavement of humans to build the country and now includes our unwillingness to do what it takes to protect our young. There. That's enough for now.

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  15. The American obsession with guns is truly a mystery. I've never understood it, especially having lived and traveled elsewhere in the world where that single-minded obsession just doesn't exist. I think we're so caught up in our own mythology, our creation by armed revolution, that we can't see modern reality clearly. (I say "we" meaning Americans though obviously many of us don't feel that way.)

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  16. Ted Cruz makes my hackles rise. Our southern relatives are big on owning guns and vocal about it. I may have offended them lately. The platitude of "guns don't kill people, it is the person who pulls the trigger" makes me question the simpleminded people who believe this. If they didn't have a gun, they couldn't pull the trigger!

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    1. You wouldn't think that would be a hard concept to understand.

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  17. As you know I'm in COMPLETE agreement with you.

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I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.