Well friends, it is time for a mid-late summer update. July slid by with two delicious visits to my beloved California coast and some significant garden upgrades at Casa Bookcharmer that have me tending my yard with even more glee and appreciation for mulch. In May, my feelings for summer were feelings of dread. Would there be more terrible days of orange skies and heat? We have been blessed on the peninsula of the Bay Area this summer, but for the people fighting/enduring the Dixie Fire please know that every morning I see a clear blue sky I am grateful and I pray for the firefighters and first responders working to put out this blaze.
I'm still trying to adjust to being on a Tuesday-Saturday work schedule, after bouncing from my usual Sunday-Thursday to the Covid Monday-Friday. Mondays are a weird day have as a second week-end day as other people I know who I might lure into goofing off with me have to work, and the week-end feeling that might motivate me towards household activities is, well, absent. So a blog update it is.
Things I've been thinking about:
What does public transportation have to do with gun control? The Bay Area continues to struggle mightily with not only the theory but the practice of affordable public transportation. You would not know that a great deal of the wealth of California came from railroads based on how we can't seem to organize ourselves now to implement them. Beyond the mishmash of jurisdictions and systems and the wretched "disruptors" trying to bankrupt drivers with the pricing policies of cars on demand, a key part of what was happening with public transportation was shattered in late May of this year by a massacre at the Valley Transportation Authority. The SJ Spotlight has a run down on this ghastly tragedy here: https://sanjosespotlight.com/vta-further-delays-return-of-san-jose-light-rail/
This shooting has all the now way to familiar landmarks of a mass gun tragedy in America: disgruntled white man with access to weapons he should not have had, unleashing his rage and hate on people he worked with.
What will it take to turn the tide, can this American sickness, this view of weapons of personal destruction as a constitutional right, can we ever leave it and the waves of tragedy and grief behind? Don't think for a minute I have forgotten the Charleston Nine of the Mother Emanuel AME Church, this shooting that extinguished 9 bright stars. And sadly, there have been so many other shootings, that honestly I am sure I have forgotten some of them, or not read about them because I can't bear the news of any more. Can you remember how many there have been in the United States in the past ten years? Think of a number. Now check your memory against the data gathered by Everytown for Gun Safety. https://everytownresearch.org/maps/mass-shootings-in-america-2009-2019/
To bring the point back to where I started, VTA announced today it is unable to bring back the light rail service yet so to compensate, buses will run along the light rail routes. While it is possible that the freedom loving gun advocates are also possibly not enamored of public transportation, why is it fair for them to disable this resource for people who might need or prefer this resource?
Let's expand that argument: how does the 2nd amendment support "freedom" if it allows for the destruction of school populations, churches, and businesses?
I'm thinking about this as the dissonance between Back to School advertisements are surfacing among reports of fears from parents and schoolworkers about returning to schools with an enormous amount of unvaccinated children on site. At present, kids 12 and up can get the C19 vaccine, but that leaves of a lot of young'uns still not yet eligible to receive it.
If we must still patch together a network of support for parents, students, and schoolworkers, let's do the best we can. I return to the Donors Choose site and I see that teachers are requesting items ranging from books to soccer balls to cleaning supplies.
Pick a classroom by going here: https://www.donorschoose.org/donors/search.html
and know that every little bit helps. Let's get better in the small ways so we can build the foundation for the big ways.