Category Archives: news

Constitutionally Speaking: Guns and Religion

Some of you may be like me, trapped in an On Demand, Hulu , Netflix cycle of must watch TV that requires a spreadsheet to track schedules, characters and plots; which allows me (and perhaps you) to avoid the news detailing what a mess this country is.

The news is typically so dispiriting that I have stopped watching, listening, reading much of it at all. Still, the news reaches into my cocoon. I’m going to stick to stories local to me but the hue and cry is heard throughout this great nation of ours.

This fall there was yet another mass shooting, this time at Umpqua Community College in the southern Oregon town of Roseburg.

Constitutionally speaking, I’m going to look to the right and all the people screeching about their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. I’m looking at you “2nd Amendment Voters/Advocates”. Please read the text of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States before you tell me and the rest of the country about your right to own an automatic weapon.

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.

Do you see those first four words about the well regulated militia? Do you get what that means? It doesn’t mean that everyone for any reason can own a gun or an arsenal of automatic weaponry that would horrify the Founding Fathers of this country. I am not part of a well regulated militia thus I do not need to keep and bear arms. The Oregon National Guard can keep and bear arms.

I’m not for banning all guns. I think there should be a ban on assault weapons. Automatic assault weapons are made for hunting human beings, that’s not okay. I think we should enforce the myriad laws we have for background checks and that should apply to online sales, gun shows, pawn shops, retail stores, etc.

I also think that the people screaming about their 2nd Amendment rights, should SHUT. IT. Unless they are a member of a “well regulated militia” and I don’t mean regulated by your Uncle Wally and run out of his barn. If you are a member of a police force, US armed services, the National Guard — then please feel free to assert your Second Amendment Rights. If not, stand down.

bear arms

And this guy can also bear arms

Ohhh, look over there on the left…they are all snickering about the loser conservative gun rights people on the right. Hee Hee, Maggie sure told them!

Well, folks on the left, I’m now going to have a chat with you. It is holiday time, time to decorate the holiday trees and send the holiday cards and make sure that Portland Public School choirs don’t perform at The Grotto’s (The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother) Christmas Festival of Lights, the largest Christmas choral festival in the WORLD. As I said, I am keeping it local but there are examples around the country of…wait for it, the separation of Church and State! Right!? Separate those two before real trouble starts!

churchandstate

Inigo Montoya for the win!

Ahem, now that you folks have got your First Amendment knickers twisted, just a little reminder that the words “separation of Church and State” appear no where in the Constitution. The First Amendment to the Constitution reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The First Amendment leads with “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” because our Founding Fathers came from Merry Old(e) England, where the government, then a monarchy, said to all of England, “your church is the Church of England.” Period. They added, “If you don’t like it, too bad, you cannot practice any other religion.” As I’m sure you all know as informed and interested American citizens, the Pilgrims left England so they could practice their particular religion without the King putting them in jail or gaol.

The phrase “separation of Church and State” comes from this letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury, CT Baptists in 1802. The phrase in no way means there is no room for religion in public life, it simply means the government will not dictate what religion its citizens practice and that said citizens are free to practice whatever religion they wish. Or practice no religion. Up to you, American citizen.

Again, as the 2nd Amendment folks need to get their facts straight so do you Separation of  Church and Staters, and again, SHUT. IT.

I am not saying that the discourse should end on topics so important to the well being of the United States of America. I am saying get your facts straight before righteously throwing around buzzwords like “the right to bear arms” and “separation of Church and State”.

“There is nothing so absurd but if you repeat it often enough people will believe it.” — Dr. William James, widely recognized as the Father of American Psychology

 

 

 

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Helping the Victims of Hurricane Sandy or Why Americans Rock

The devastation and tragedy in the aftermath of Sandy goes on and on. If victims are lucky, they don’t have power or are waiting in lines for hours at gas stations. If they aren’t so lucky, they have no food, no water, no shelter, no diapers or baby formula, are old and trapped, are using homes and hallways as toilets… what is going on in Queens and Staten Island and other parts of NY and NJ is heartbreaking. And now it’s getting cold and another storm is due to arrive tomorrow.

Michael Bloomberg is not proving to be the second America’s Mayor. Sadly, the worst of his dumbassery was not proclaiming the NYC marathon a go and then after being told how stupid that would be, he cancelled it after people were already arriving from around the world. While it is a bummer that people trained for the race and then got the marathon rug pulled out from under them, when I see news stories about runners “consoling” each other, I want to spit. Or some gesture that would show I am disgusted.

Which brings me to: Why Americans Rock.

My brother’s friend, Brett, lives in Brooklyn and had trained for the Marathon that didn’t happen but he decided not to take no for an answer and ran anyway. (His route is shown at the end of the post.) If I had trained to run 2.62 26.2 miles (hahahaha! I know, right?!) and was told I didn’t have to do it, I would go out to breakfast and eat extra for the calories I had planned on burning.

Brett, on the other hand, mapped out his own marathon and prior to running, he set up a PayPal account for people to use to donate funds. The original plan was that Brett’s friends on Facebook would donate some money, he and his wife and kids would go buy water and diapers, etc. and drive it out to the afflicted areas. Well, he raised more money than he expected and his updates have been inspiring. I know Brett isn’t the only one doing this, which is why he and Americans Rock!

There has been more than one news account of how friends, family, neighbors, and strangers are helping each other. The clean up isn’t being done by agencies, it is being done by people with their hands and brooms and shovels. Americans want to help and are generous with our time, energy and dollars.

I was messaging with Brett this morning and bugging him for details because he has nothing better to do than help me write a blog post.

Brett says he wasn’t really “rocking the vote” more sort of “clusterf*^&ing the vote”

He was simultaneously trying to vote and figure out why I have a made up Facebook name… so his morning was full.

Cute Johnson children with supplies from CVS. I wish we had CVS out here.

As of last night’s tally, he had raised almost $5000. Brett and his wife and children spent $530 of the funds raised at CVS and then they dropped off supplies at the Gowanus Houses housing project not far from his home. “This is a place I have walked by countless times on the way to revel at a pub or wonderful restaurant, probably with some misguided disdain. Meeting the people first hand and seeing them help one another and be so appreciative of the donations is a very grounding experience.”

Another $400 was donated to a teacher at his kids’ school (PS58)  http://www.gofundme.com/wwwgofundmecomhelpMsAl#description.

$1000 went to the Steven Siller Foundation (https://www.tunneltotowersfoundation.org/index.aspx) Steven was a 34-year-old firefighter and father of five from Park Slope, he died on September 11. His Tunnel To Towers Foundation is helping victims of the hurricane.

Brett is updating his Facebook page daily with tallies on donations and how the money is being allocated. He told me this morning that he will “plan to spend every dollar wisely and pull together a KPMG audit-able worthy summary.”

If you would like to donate to Brett’s efforts, email him at: brett.johnson3@comcast.net. Or click on any of the links above to help.

Americans Rock!

And for you runners out there, this is Brett’s route to 26.2 miles.

http://tinyurl.com/cbncqg9

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Weekend Wrap Up

Brigid had a rough day yesterday so I’m a day late on my Weekend Wrap Up.

Lots of big news to report.

Most terrifically…. they caught the crazy ass murder neo-Nazi guy on Saturday afternoon in Corvallis, a town about 80 miles south of Portland. Yay!!! I can sleep soundly at night knowing that psycho is behind bars. He is being charged with aggravated murder and other burglary offenses.

If you want to watch his arrest, it was caught on security cameras at the hotel (video courtesy of kgw.com) he was trying to check into. Thank God he didn’t hurt the hotel employees when they turned him away.

Friday night, I got engaged! To who? Uh, to Derwood, duh. He tried to be cute and put it in the bread basket at the little Italian restaurant where we had dinner. Sadly I’m an old bride-to-be and didn’t have my readers on so I noticed something in the bread basket but didn’t know if it was just butter packets (oooo bad word “packets”). I only wanted olive oil so I ignored the box that I couldn’t really see very well. Inside it was this beee-YOO-ti-ful ring:

1940s ring given to Maggie by Derwood for engagement purposes.

We have no game plan as of yet but we’re doin’ this thing!

Maggie’s Sports Watch

I did watch some sports on Sunday.

It seems, and now I guess is confirmed after last night’s Packer/Seahawks game, that the NFL replacement refs are a catastrophe.

There was this little blip during the Cowboy/Bucs game on Sunday. Apparently the ref threw his hat on the field and the receiver slipped on it BUT the Cowboys still won so that is good and confirms that I know what the hell I’m talking about. The Bucs uniforms are hideous.

Miami played the Jets. It’s a long standing rivalry and I’m quite bitter that the Dolphins lost by a field goal in overtime. Also, apparently the Jets play a Wildcat offense which keeps QB Mark Sanchez on the field, as well as Tim Tebow, who I thought was a QB but he also runs the ball. I don’t know what that’s all about but I definitely don’t think Tebow is as hot as some people seem to think he is. As a matter of fact, I don’t think he’s cute at all.

In other NFL news:

The Giants won beating Carolina which just goes to show that made up teams are losers.

Derwood is happy that the Arizona Cardinals won beating Philly. I don’t like the whole idea of the Cardinals not being in St. Louis but Derwood is my fiancé and I need to be supportive and Michael Vick is in Philly so that team can suck it.

HAHAHAHA the Ravens beat the New England Patriots. Ah HAH…. I mock you and everything you stand for Tom Brady!

Lastly, Seattle eked out a victory over Green Bay in Monday Night Football but not really. Not really at all.

In other sports news, Derwood, Lisa and I had our first threesome. We rocked it. I wasn’t as good as I usually am but Derwood and Lisa made up for it. Next week we’re going to add some holes and play 18.

This was taken by an amateur photographer so it looks like I’m not tall and thin.

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End of Week Wrap Up — the Non-Political Edition

Welcome to Friday. I’m done being all heavy and thoughtful and sincere.

It’s hard to take things too seriously when I have to promote a piece called, “A Metamucil Masterpiece”Jen and Tonic, a fellow Portlander, wrote it. This is what happens if you live in Portland for too long. It is the last day of Le Clown’s blog duel, so go read that and like it. Of course, he totally won anyway, but let’s make it a landslide.

Oops, not done with the super-heavy yet. The police have identified the killer in the Lake Oswego home invasion and he was one scary looking, straight from central casting bad guy. He has probably hauled ass out of Oregon but readers in California, Washington, British Columbia, Mexico, Arizona….be on the lookout because this one is a violent psycho. I don’t understand why a man like this is not in prison although he has been incarcerated in 13 different states starting in 1989 at the age of 14.

Erik John Meiser, 37, is 6’5″ 170-190 lbs, neo-Nazi tattoo on his knuckles. Aside: reading comments on the KGW website today, a woman wrote “Oh why is he the guy just because he looks like the drawing and he has Anti-Semantic tattoos?” Hahaha, oh man that’s this guy’s problem, he hates words!!! Especially Jewish words Oy Vey don’t be thinking your chutzpah is going to scare off this meshugener.

Photo courtesy KGW.com

I’m posting the photos just in case people don’t want to click on the story. The LO police and Clackamas County sheriff need all the help they can get with this psycho.

Mug shots courtesy KGW.com

If you see him, don’t go near him there are contact numbers with the links. Let’s be careful out there.

Have you seen the new Matthew Perry show “Go On”? It is really funny and touching and who doesn’t adore Matthew Perry? Watch it!

On the other hand, “The New Normal”, not so good. I think “Modern Family” and “Arrested Development” are way better shows. I think this one is trying too hard and results in being way over the top in stereotypes of all kinds. Ellen Barkin is good but the writing is foul, I guess it’s for shock value. Jessica Walter does it way WAY better on Arrested Development.

What else?

I’m playing golf with Derwood and Lisa this weekend. Because I golf. I’m a golfer.

AND my blog just passed the 20,000 hit mark!!!

Have a great weekend!

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Dear President Obama

Dear Mr. President,

I will not be voting for you this November, just as I didn’t in 2008. While in 2008, I merely had hunches about why I didn’t want you to be the president of the U.S. mostly due to your lack of past leadership experience and voting record; now I have been witness to your presidency and know why I do not want you leading this country for another four years.

Back in 2008, you promised to unite Americans across cultural, ethnic and ideological divides. Our country is more divided than ever as you have pitted the haves and the have-nots against one another. Your theory of taking more from the top to give to the bottom simply doesn’t work. Lowering the top rung on the ladder of success will not remedy the job crisis in this country, raising the lowest rung will.  You promised us shovel ready jobs that turned out to be in your words: “not as … uh .. shovel-ready as we expected”. Also, printing money in another “stimulus” will not turn this economy around but it will bury generations to come in even more debt. You have avoided making the hard decisions regarding the federal budget, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. You continue to kick the can down the road, while trying to convince a nation, that overwhelmingly does NOT want Obamacare, that another massive social program will solve this nation’s ills.

For the entirety of your presidency, you have blamed others for your inability to move the U.S. forward toward recovery. I’m only 47 but I do not recall another president in my lifetime spending so much time meting out blame to past presidents, the public’s lack of understanding your plans, a tsunami, the Euro, the list is very long. The Democrat party had control of both the House and Senate during your first two years in office, but you still didn’t pass a budget. You barely introduced one before the leaders of your own party dismissed it.

You have told us we “didn’t build that”. Denigrating success is not the American way. What’s that you say? That’s not what you meant? Well, Mr. Romney didn’t mean that he loathes 47% of Americans but he has to own that so don’t you need to own this remark? At any rate, I look to a president who celebrates America’s ingenuity and our success stories; not one that apologizes for them.

Mr. President you told us you would restore America’s image across the world. You have scorned our allies and led our enemies to believe we will give them a pass. You pulled all American personnel out of Iraq, leaving no one behind. Your stubbornness in sticking to the symbolism of the U.S. leaving Iraq, will lead to us losing the peace, such as it was and once again abandoning Iraq in turmoil. You have given a date of withdrawal from Afghanistan. Why not just pack up and get everyone out tomorrow? The Taliban is simply waiting for us to leave. And wasn’t Afghanistan the “good war” according to you? Aren’t you the Commander-in-Chief who sent in more troops in a “surge” and then decided to tell the enemy when we will surge back out? The Middle East is burning with anti-American rage which has nothing to do with a silly video. They hate us and now they don’t fear us and that has resulted in the death of four Americans, including our ambassador to Libya who was “protected” by guards without live ammunition and your state department was warned of an imminent attack days before it occurred and nothing was changed to protect the people inside the embassy.

Your courage in standing up for religious freedoms ends with the Catholic Church and other organizations who morally disagree with funding abortion or birth control. While I don’t agree with the stances of these organizations, I fully support their right to spend their money as they see fit. It is easier to refuse the religious freedoms of the Catholic Church than it is to speak up against Muslim extremists, isn’t it? You are pretty safe in the knowledge that a bunch of Catholics will not storm government buildings, vandalizing property and attacking people within.

I cannot support your allegiance to teachers unions. As a parent of children who attend public schools, I have seen firsthand for years how these unions have subjugated the requirements of excellent education in this country to their interest in guaranteed jobs, benefits and retirements. Please note, I am not saying that teachers are over-compensated. I simply wish that the best teachers were rewarded and the worst were let go. The stance that you and the unions embrace is untenable in reality; as the nation and your former chief of staff and current mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, are finding out. Our local, state and federal economies cannot afford to keep up with union demands. And who is losing that battle? The children of public school systems around the nation.

For these reasons and many more but I have droned on (get it drones!? haha) long enough.  I will write to Mr. Romney to explain to him why he is getting my vote.

Sincerely,

Maggie at Someone Fat Happened

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Under Lock and Key

Yesterday I added a brief sentence at the end of my post about Annie’s high school being on lockdown.

At 6:30 yesterday morning in a nice house on a leafy lane not far from the high school, not far from Annie’s dad’s house; a man broke into that house, stabbed the man of the house and fled. The victim’s wife called 911. My sister lives on the main street of this suburb and heard police cars, with sirens wailing, race up the street past her house around that time so they must have arrived within minutes of the 911 call.

The victim, a 57-year-old man who retired a couple of months ago, died of his injuries. His wife was unharmed but I think of how her life has been shattered. Once the police and county sheriff departments realized they had a murderer on the loose, three schools in Lake Oswego, Brigid’s school in Portland and a couple of parochial schools were put on lock-down. The response was swift and without drama.

The search spread throughout the neighborhood. My sister saw police on Mitch’s (my ex’s) street going house to house and yard to yard. Search dogs and helicopters were used trying to track the killer. The search moved into Tryon Creek State Park, a 670-acre forest, with many trail heads, and areas of which back onto my road.

Yesterday, I left my back door open — as I always do — so the dog can come and go as he pleases. Yesterday, I had my sister pick up Annie from school and I met Brigid at home after telling her not to go in the house until I got there. Brigid waited a minute in the driveway for me and then watched skeptically as I grabbed an ax out of the breezeway and went through the house making sure no psycho, meth-head killer was hiding anywhere. I’ve watched “Law and Order” plenty so I know to yell “Clear!” when I finish “clearing” a room. There was no killer in the house but I slept with the ax in my room. Hell, he had already broken into one house and killed a guy for no reason.

Today my house is all locked up. They haven’t found the guy who did this. They have released this sketch of him:

And that’s it. This guy broke into the home, stabbed and killed a man and disappeared. Now neighbors and neighboring communities are locked in their houses, hoping he doesn’t decide to break into their house next.

Boston, 1989

I lived in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1989. In October of that year, a man named Charles Stuart and his pregnant wife, Carol, were carjacked while driving through Roxbury outside of Boston. Mr. and Mrs. Stuart were shot. Carol died of a gunshot wound to the head. Christopher, the baby delivered by C-section, died 17 days later. All of Boston was in a panic. I remember being scared alone in my boyfriend’s car one night while he was in the store because a young, African American man was walking by and a young African American male had shot the Stuarts. The mystery gripped Boston for months, the tragic and senseless killing of a beautiful, young, first-time mother and her baby. No clues, nothing to go on  but people were locking their doors and staying vigilant.

In January 1990, Charles Stuart jumped off the Tobin Bridge into the Mystic River after his brother told police that Charles had indeed shot himself in the stomach and killed his wife and baby.

A community all up in arms, horrified at such random violence, for nothing.

I don’t know what’s happened in Lake Oswego and my heart is breaking for the wife and three children of the victim. I hate to also be hoping that it was indeed, a horrible and random act but I am.

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That’s What She Said

My post yesterday garnered many angry and passionate comments about the Sandusky/McQueary child rape story. My readers were as fired up as I was about protecting children and how these males (I think you need to earn “man”, as one poster wrote) failed to do that.

Interesting observation and I don’t know what it means, not one man commented on the post. That’s not typical for my blog. A handful of guys “liked” the post but not one commented on it. I don’t know what that means and I’m not judging men for not commenting, I am simply wondering why. I hope I was clear in my writing that I think Mike McQueary is an anomaly. I disagree with the author’s very premise that Mike McQueary is representative of American men today.

I told my sister, Molly, about it this morning and we were both baffled by the lack of comments from men. Molly looked at the greater issue of as a society, are we unwilling to risk our comfort for someone else? Are we too prepared to look the other way and think someone else will take care of the child being raped, the dog being beaten, the old woman crossing the street?

I asked my sister Katie what she thought of the lack of comments from men and she wrote:

“I think it’s like I said in my post, a lot of people will attribute this to “old boys club” which is exactly what this is not.  Not really sure, if I were a man, I’d want to wade into a commenting war trying to convince people this isn’t about manhood or culture or institutions.   Institutions can be wonderful things for men and that isn’t the issue here (I think the author of this article had a horrid thesis to begin with) this issue is that Mike McQueary and his father and Joe Paterno proved to be spineless asshats and helped a child rapist to evade punishment.”

I don’t know and perhaps I am overthinking this (wouldn’t be the first time.) Perhaps it isn’t that interesting? Perhaps men feel defensive?

Any thoughts?

Also I like putting in memes just for my own entertainment.

This one’s rather evil.

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Some Emails from Other “Women”

I have been receiving some odd emails lately. I don’t know why they have started arriving in my Inbox but once a week or so, I get one. I don’t know what to do, how to respond. They are flattering but I’m in a committed relationship so I don’t think it would be right to respond. I don’t want to lead anyone on. It is another problem faced by the incurably popular, like me.

“Swarm would whisk answered, but the surly sunday kissed mastiff. Adversary told me that instinct dreaded out that I ought to collect flogged. Lillian Montoya”

“Immensely pronouncement deaden that perplexity compartment is blathered voluntarily in polar proportions.”

Lillian Romero

+2 916 725 59 54

The Lillians LOVE me. Poor girls.

“We can communicate perfectly, because I like people like you. and if ever I have to let you go.

I’m sure we will still be together. I can send you some photos with me…

compose me few words to my email: tiffani.marro@gmx.com

Alesia

“Hey! Pretty girl is writing 2 u =)
Respond me… be quick!

“Hi sweety.
Frankly I don’t know you, but … So, couple of days ago I took sister’s PC to visit a website , there I saw you. I’m Erin Mullen. My last boyfriend was rude, so I break…  So I’m free and ready to date with some1 attractive.”

Erin doesn’t know me but she does realize I am some1 attractive. And she’s Irish.

That’s it for now, I have some correspondence to take care of.

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