Atlantis Alumni

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Blue Beauties

Our Heavenly Blue morning glorys have started to bloom. What an early surprise!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I Had The Scruff Before It Became Popular

Dan took this photo of me and a new friend while we were in Oslo on vacation in 1985.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Police Executions Must Stop

What was the crime that cost 32 year old Philando Castille his life? Was it the broken tail light on his automobile that prompted the police to stop him? Why would an officer fire his weapon repeatedly at a man in a car sitting next to his girl friend with her 4 year old daughter in the back seat? One can only assume that because Castille was black, he was murdered. What kind of training did this police officer get on how to handle traffic stops without having it escalate to such a horrible conclusion? This killing, the second by police of a black man in as many days, is not an isolated incident. Rather, it's just the latest in a series of killings of black men by police caught on cameras in recent years. As one commentator noted, the police violence against black Americans is not new, the cameras are. This outrageous police violence must stop. It is a systemic problem with police culture. As Al Sharpton writes, we must have a ststemic solution:
the problem is not isolated; it’s not a Louisiana problem; it’s not a Minnesota problem; it’s not a Staten Island problem — it’s a national problem that requires national reform of police culture and the criminal justice system itself. Nothing short of that will turn this calamity around. We must have independent investigations and prosecutions so that police are held accountable by an objective neutral entity, and the community is assured that there isn’t even an appearance of a conflict of interest. Officers cannot be investigated by those that they interact with on a daily or regular basis — that is common sense. Secondly, there must be extensive training and residency requirements that police live in the cities that they serve. That is the only way that they will respect and treat that community fairly.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Orlando, Guns And Friends

Photo: candlelight vigil held on the dock in Cherry Grove in remembrance of the Orlando shooting victims

After the Orlando shootings one of my friends, a man who is also a toy train hobbyist, began posting a series of comments on Facebook defending gun ownership including the right to purchase assault style weapons. He is a Libertarian. Libertarians tend to be tolerant on social issues but conservative on economic issues. I knew of his Libertarian views including his gun rights advocacy, but our friendship continued as we focused largely on our toy train hobby. But his recent Facebook posts on gun rights immediately after Orlando were insensitive at best, and they were the last straw for me. I don't want people with those views in my life. I oppose virtually all private gun ownership. The Second Amendment is an anachronism and should be repealed. I unfriended this person on Facebook and I wrote him to tell him why I could no longer continue being close friends with him:

In the face of so much death and suffering I do not have the luxury of agreeing to disagree about guns. Each of us must determine whom we want in our lives. Shared values are a major factor for me in making that determination. Libertarianism, Randian or otherwise, Republican "light," is an ethically bankrupt, debunked fringe ideology of which unfettered gun rights is just one unacceptable tenet. I regret that I cannot in good conscience acquiesce to your personal libertarian values. I am very disappointed that our ideological differences make it impossible for us to continue as good friends. But I cannot and will not paper over such important deeply held views.