MEMORIAL DAY COMMEMORATING ALWAYS .....
THOSE WHO SACRIFICED FOR OUR FREEDOMS.
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"May Gray" has greeted us many mornings with an overcast sky here in SoCal but one morning this past week the world darkened with the loss of children's innocent lives once again -- this time in Texas.
School shootings -- 27 this year -- NPR reports HERE. That's right, shootings in schools 27 times so far ... with seven more months left in the year! You've all heard and read by now about this "unspeakable tragedy" in Uvalde, Texas.
We hear all the same platitudes we've heard with every one of these indefensible human tragedies since 2012. Prayer isn't enough.
Weapons of war do not belong in the hands of civilians, those mentally ill, perhaps not even with teens whose judgement has not yet matured until well into their twenties as summarized by NPR HERE.
Our U.S. Senate has done nothing to correct the gun problem despite the fact the vast majority of the American people have called for reform for years.
"Australia, Britain, Canada, and other countries have enacted reforms ..." How they did it described in John Cassidy's New Yorker article "HOW TO PREVENT GUN MASSACRES? LOOK AROUND THE WORLD" you can read HERE.
In the Senate, legislative bills to address the issue passed by the House of Representatives, forwarded to the Senate, are not even allowed to come up for a vote. Aren't these legislators supposed to reflect the will of the people? Or is it only a few minority views that take precedence?
Those who misinterpret our constitution as to gun ownership rights to politicize the issue serve only to mislead our citizens that all guns will be taken from them. This falsehood couldn't be further from the truth.
I hope when election time rolls around that all those politicians stonewalling firearm ownership reform ... they certainly aren't leaders ... are voted out of office.
Jimmy Kimmel on Elementary School Shooting in Uvalde, Texas
Ten years ago Ronni Bennett wrote about the Connecticut Sandy Hook atrocity on "Time Goes By" HERE. Just substitute Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas for her words which apply to this recent massacre. This time 21 people -- 19 children killed -- an 18-year-old shooter.
Here's a taste of what Ronni wrote:
"No matter the gazillion words that have and will continue to pour forth the bottom line is that this is a gun crime. Got that? A person who was barely an adult himself shot 27 people with a lot of guns."
"...we must do something ... yeah, yeah, yeah ...
"... the NRA, its lobbyists and Congress members who readily accept that organization's campaign contributions will continue to make it easier to buy and own guns."
"...there will be a lot of calls for more armed guards in schools and no useful changes to gun laws."
Ronni hoped she would be wrong a decade ago when she wrote those words as I do now.
Law enforcement, school guard, with all their guns did not protect those children and 2 teachers from being murdered in Texas. The husband of one teacher died with a heart attack a few days later.
How many more slaughters over how many more decades must pass before we reform gun laws?
Maybe this time no one will allow this assault to fade out of consciousness, moving on to the next story. Instead, holding all those legislators feet to the fire until they act to resolve this.
Maybe this time the people will keep the pressure on all those spewing the same ol' rhetoric so we can begin to end these horrors ...
"June Gloom", not just in the weather sense, has regrettably arrived early in a most unwelcome form.
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Eaglet Spirit was to be the focus of this blog post and then there was the unexpected tragedy above.
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I had to take a break once again from all that's happened here and elsewhere in our world to retain my sanity, so I visited the birds -- the Bald Eagle birds and their eaglet. I hope you take similar breaks for whatever gives you pleasure for your own mental health.
I don't forget what's happening, but viewing these eagles, especially any eaglets, or listening to music, and instances prompting lots of laughter offer positive health stimulation and healing to offset incessant brooding and worrying violence-laden events can trigger.
I will keep the pressure on for meaningful change in every way I can, however limited, but certainly by how I vote for all federal government offices -- legislators especially. Focus on local offices, also -- school boards, sheriffs, city councils, mayors, board of supervisors, state offices, and judges at all levels of government. I hope you and others will too.
Big Bear Bald Eagle couple, Jackie and Shadow, live in a nearby Southern California picturesque popular mountain resort area in a large twig and limb-filled nest 145 feet high up in a Jeffrey Pine tree. Their nest overlooking a scenic fish-filled lake of bluish water at lowered level now due to our drought is where they've raised their family each season. Their daily lives have been of ongoing interest on this blog for a number of years.
There's a live camera focused 24/7 directly on their nest, and a second wide angle camera focused on the tree area to cover eagle flights from a distance. This year only one of two eggs hatched an eaglet thought to be a female that local area school children named Spirit.
I checked in on the bald eagle family earlier one night this past week, heard coyotes howling in the distance. Then I saw Spirit awaken, to sit and scratch her baby fluff away from new adult feathers growing in while Mother Jackie continued her watch close by perched on the nest's edge.
Spirit is on fledge watch, could make her first flight from the nest any time now. She periodically jumps up and down, twists and turns, hops about from her nest's front porch to back porch, spreads and rapidly flaps those massive wings at an increasing rate to strengthen all her muscles, but just hasn't risked leaving the nest yet to soar in the sky. If you want to check in on Spirit, the link is HERE.
One afternoon mother Jackie and father Shadow were both at the nest with daughter Spirit. After eating the fish delivered and partially fed to Spirit she demonstrated all her flight preparation moves flitting from the front porch to the back porch. She bombarded her parents with lots of vocal "squees" communicating who knows what which they seem to understand but gave no sound response.
I peeked in on the nest later that night. Shadow had departed, probably to a nearby tree where he positioned himself as a security monitor. Jackie remained on the front porch with Spirit close by. A couple times mother with intense gazes joined her responding daughter as their bodies appeared to press close to each other.
I was startled twice when Jackie after glaring at something out of camera range suddenly leapt forward with slapping wing flaps in attack mode. It may have been the notorious flying squirrel, Fiona, or cohort Fast Freddy as these strictly nocturnal creatures attempt to invade the nest disturbing everyone's sleep.
Big Bear Eagles Fiona Proves That She is Indeed A FLYING Squirrel
(Thanks to Cali Condor and Friends of Big Bear Valley for this 2021-04-06 video)
"Upon seeing spread eagle Shadow, Fiona launches ... into the air .... Hopefully the landing was successful"... since "Flying Squirrels can't really fly".