Whoo-hoo! Go, Hawaii!

Hawaii lost both of its senators in the last couple of months.  Senator Akaka is retiring and Senator Inouye, who was a senator when I was living there as a child, recently died at the age of 88.  He spent something like 5 decades in the senate.  Amazing.

But do you know what is even more amazing?  In January 2013, Hawaii may be sending not one but *two* women to replace these two senators.  Mazie Hirono is already scheduled to replace Akaka.  And Colleen Hanabusa was Senator Inouye’s preferred replacement for his seat.  She has yet to be appointed by Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii’s Democratic governor but we shall see.

Stop me if this is old news.  I don’t watch cable TV and news of Inouye’s replacement has been scarce.

So that would take us up to how many women in the senate?  Have we cracked 20 yet?

It’s progress.  I’ll take what I can get.

One other note.  Of the Congressional delegation from Hawaii, both Hirono and Hanabusa are Buddhists, first and possibly second ever in the Senate, and the new representative from the second district, Tulsi Gabbard, is a Hindu.

Wayne LaPierre is not crazy.

He says we can call him crazy but I don’t think that’s his problem.

He was on Meet the Press and here’s some of what he had to say:

“If I’m a mom or a dad and I’m dropping my child off at school I’d feel a whole lot safer” if there were trained armed security guards or police protecting the school from people such as Lanza, LaPierre said, although he conceded that “nothing is perfect” as a deterrent against crime.

LaPierre also said, “We have a mental health system in this country that has completely and totally collapsed. We have no national database of these lunatics” and complained that de-institutionalization of the mentally ill had put too many dangerous people on the streets of America. “We have a completely cracked mentally ill system that’s got these monsters walking the streets,” LaPierre said.

LaPierre goes on to suggest that we spend $2 billion on training armed school security guards.  Ahhh, but that could be a problem.  We don’t pay non-teacher school personnel too terribly well and these days, they’re all on contract without bennies.  You’re going to have to find a lot of very altruistic people for that kind of job.  And if they’re altruistic, aren’t they also likely to not see guns as an answer?  Besides, the vast majority of armed school security guards will never see action in their entire careers, if you can call that kind of job a career.  What will they do with their time besides frisking the odd MILF who drops off cupcakes at the office but forgets to bring her driver’s license?

It’s a problem when people are this tense, but one which LaPierre promotes anyway.  Before 9-11, parents were not terribly worried about dropping their kids off at school.  But as soon as everyone started to see an elementary school as a soft target of terrorism, the electronic doors and intercoms went up, the security cameras are mounted on every corner and no one feels safe.  It doesn’t help that the local news and Fox is broadcasting a steady diet of molestation and kidnapping in numbers disproportional to the actual statistics.

But all that security comes with a price and the price will continue to rise as long as there are people roaming the streets with guns.  In LaPierre’s world, the people with the most liberty and freedom are the lunatics with the guns.  The rest of us have to live behind barricades.

As for the databases to check the mentally ill, doesn’t LaPierre know that the Republican party sees maintenance of such databases as “discretionary spending”?  If we left it up to the Tea Partiers and Libertarians, the government would consist of a military and not much else.  Besides, I believe it was the NRA that fought tooth and nail against background checks.  But whatever.

The mentally ill are not all violent and I’d be pissed off if I had autism or aspbergers and suddenly started to be treated like a loose cannon.  Same goes for convicted felons.  Not all of them are dangerous.  Some felons go to prison for securities fraud or embezzlement or for possession of drugs.  And I’ve never met a video game that has killed anyone.

What makes people dangerous is not a video game or paranoid schizophrenia or a felony record.  It’s the ready access to a gun.

The solution seems like a no-brainer, which is why I think LaPierre is not crazy.  He just has no brain.

Rogers and Astaire. Verdon and Fosse. Temple and Robinson. Miller and Flanagan?

Something lighthearted and fun this morning.  This is 10 year old Autumn Miller working on a combo with her Hip-Hop dance instructor Todd Flanagan.

There are a couple of other Miller-Flanagan combinations on youtube.  Here’s another to Nicki Minaj’s The Boys.

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