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Archive for January, 2016

Ozzywood

Lack of Diversity of Ozzie Nominations in 2016 on the YBR.
People are seeing green, and it’s not envy!

A reflective essay by the Scarecrow

rustybucket

The Ozzie Award asking the question, is the Ozzie bucket half empty or half filled?

When it comes to the 2016 Academy Rewards it’s like the late Yogi Bear said, “it’s de ja vu all over again.” For two years in a row, Ozzywood has failed to recognize the contribution of Munchkin actors in this year’s race for top acting honors. Instead the acting and directing categories are filled with well known Emeralds, who have taken home more than the lion’s share of Ozzies.  That’s not to take anything away from the fine work turned in by Emeralds. It just leaves me wondering, not just “why?” but also “how come?”

(Want the full essay? Follow the yellow brick link)

There’s Trouble in Ozzyland

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second amendment

January 5, 2016:Moments after President Obama announced his executive initiative regarding stricter gun control legislation, US House Speaker, Paul Ryan, went on the offensive by letting the president know he could not mess with the second amendment.  Oy! Here we go again.

Unless I missed something, there were no guns in either L. Frank Baum’s Oz book or in the classic movie, but that does not mean the concept of individual rights was missing from the not-so-always-merry-land of Oz.

Until Dorothy dropped in and subsequently watered down the leadership, the people of Oz had no rights. Their freedom was not without challenges. The rights of the people had to be enumerated.

The same scenario challenged the “Founding Fathers.” (I can’t help but wonder what direction the new nation might have taken has there been a few Founding Mothers, but that’s the subject of a future blog.) So back to the FFs.

Having failed to impress the power brokers with the Articles of Confederation, it was back to the drawing board where the Constitution of the United States was eventually ratified and became the law of the land.

As amazing as the document was, it was really nothing more than operating instructions.  It lacked heart and was missing any soul.

Enter the Bill of Rights. Now we were talking. Those initial ten amendments to the Constitution made all the difference.

And while I am not a Constitutional expert, I do find myself scratching my head when trying to understand the amendments, especially the Second Amendment: 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.

The amendment did make (some) sense 200 years ago when it was inserted into  the Bill of Rights. Americans did not invent the idea of giving “the people” the right to protect themselves from “the government.” It had been part of the 1689 English Bill of Rights that essentially gave the people the right to bear arms for self defense.

In the young American Republic the memory of living through the period of English domination made them wary of ANY form of centralized government. Because the people were so insistent on maintaining their own identities as individual states, it was imperative that they retained their right to bear arms to defend themselves from a federal forces.

Again it made sense…two hundred years ago.  But does the spirit of the amendment, or I might add, does the letter of the law defending the right to bear arms, make sense today?

Do the people of Nebraska live in fear that the US Army will take over the state by military force? Or is the issue today that people want to have the right to defend themselves from a criminal element (house invasion, terrorists, etc.)?

I believe it is the individual’s right of self defense that is the real issue. I don’t believe this was the motivation for the Second Amendment when it was written, especially since no one questioned the right of an individual to have a rifle. (We need to keep in mind that personal firearms were necessary for hunting and protection from predators…as well as armed individuals  who represented a threat.)

For argument’s sake, let’s say that Americans do have a right to own firearms. I have no problem with that. I can even…to some extent…understand the argument that if you limit the ability for the good citizen to protect him/herself from the bad guys who have no problem getting guns…illegally.

However, there needs to be some limits. Weapons that are common on the battleground should not be on par with arms for hunting or for self defense.

Passing legislation that could put limits on some “weapons” and could put potential gun owners to a vigilant background check would not necessarily violate the Second Amendment.

Unfortunately we are a nation “breastfed” on violence.  How many movies feature the obscene use of guns/weapons? How many television shows reek of gun violence?

The YBR that runs from sea to shining sea in America is paved with the blood of innocent individuals who were victims of gun violence. Saying those people would have been better off if they had been armed is like putting a band-aid a burst artery.

Democrats (or people on the left) have to considered the fear people have by being defenseless and Republicans (or people on the right) have to consider that parading out the Second Amendment without admitting  our gun laws are antiquated is not helping anyone.

 

 

 

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