Creating more gun free zones is not the answer…

I write this as I am listening to part of the listening session with President Trump and the students from Florida who survived the school shooting. I feel for the families. I feel for the parents. I feel for the teachers and other staff  who lived through that school shooting.  I cannot imagine their pain and sadness.

I am not a parent, but I am a Case Manager in Austin, TX who visits schools in Austin regularly. The security at these schools varies and is even inconsistent from visit to visit. Some schools buzz you in after asking the reason for your visit via intercom, others leave the main door open and you sign in at a desk if someone if sitting at the desk.  In the past two years, I have visited 15 different schools, Middle Schools and High Schools, in the greater Austin area and none of them have metal detectors. Some of the schools  have school district police officers on campus full-time,  but  the campuses are large and have several buildings, which might be hard for one or two officers to monitor or intervene in a crisis.

I am fully aware of the number of school shootings that have happened in the U.S. in the past 20 years. The best assessment of what would begin to fix the problems of youth, school violence, and society at large was written by a teacher. If you have not seen this posting, I would encourage you to read it. I would 100% agree with this teacher. Many active shooter situations happen in gun-free zones, obviously restricting guns doesn’t help or keep people safe. Look at the restrictive gun laws that Chicago has had for years, and continues to have, even after the city and the state of Illinois’ restrictive hand gun/concealed carry laws were deemed unconstitutional and were forcibly updated. BAD PEOPLE WILL DO BAD THINGS!!!

If we look at the violent means by which people are murdered throughout the world and in the U.S., should we ban box trucks? Because terrorists killed people with box trucks.  Should we ban knives? Because knives are used to massacre people in places where guns are banned. Should we ban cars because people kill other people by driving recklessly or while intoxicated? YOU CAN”T BAN EVIL. I understand that we all get desperate when something awful beyond all comprehension happens, but somethings are beyond our control. They are beyond law enforcement’s control. They are beyond politicians control.

I pray for the healing of those families in Florida, and I pray that rash decisions are not made by politicians or by President Trump to further restrict the rights and freedoms of good, decent, law abiding people because of sick and evil people who will do harm by any means they can find.

Image courtesy of pexels.com / gratisography
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Was he just kidding with the make America great again slogan?

So, I read the news over the weekend and I came across this article on Breitbart.com, among others.

I have supported Donald Trump on many things he has done so far, though I can acknowledge that he has not been perfect on everything. However, I can tell you that I am one of his supporters that voted based on wanting Trump to do three things:

  1. Lock her up! Yes, that means Hillary in prison
  2. Secure the border! Stop letting illegal aliens of all nationalities flow across the U.S. border and keep criminals/terrorists out.
  3. No amnesty! Rewarding people for breaking the laws of the United States solves none of our problems and, i believe, will kill any economic progress this country has made in the past year.

President Trump, Please don’t forget about the people who supported for you and put you into office. You promised family members of people killed by criminal illegals that they would see just. AMNESTY IS NOT JUSTICE FOR THESE FAMILIES. Some of the illegals (DACA kids or those who didn’t even file for it) may have been brought here by their parents, but they are responsible for their lives now, especially if they are adults.  Don’t turn your back on the American people!

 

If all these other places are so great…

why are people leaving certain countries in droves to come to the United States?

There is much ado about President Trump’s comments, though most of us were not there to hear the comments in the proper context, which smacks of propaganda and bias for the open borders, anti-American crowd of reporters and politicians.

As a former Chicagoan who worked in the inner city for seven years with mostly low-income, disenfranchised, and struggling minority families, many of them would tell you that their neighborhoods were shitholes. On more than one occasion, families told me that they lived in terrible conditions, that it was unsafe, that gang members made it hard for them to leave their homes and apartments to shop or to play, and that they would move if/as soon they were able.

These same feelings and concerns are why people are moving to the Unites States by overstaying visas or crossing the border(s) illegally. Everyone can figure that out, as it’s common sense. The problem is that when people come from places like this, likely they have limited education, limited skills, and they have trouble reading and writing in their own language much less in English. Other countries have much higher standards and more requirements for immigrants to move to their countries, including Canada, Mexico, Iceland, and Costa Rica, just to name a few that I have looked into the past.   The common thread is that al of these countries want immigrants to have money to support themselves, have skills that will help the immigrant contribute to their new country, and that there is a limit on how long you can stay legally in their countries. In fact, Mexico has a very harsh policy on illegal immigration, which is rarely mentioned.

Maybe the choice of words could have been better, but to acknowledge that people are leaving their home countries for poor living conditions, violence, and limited opportunities to come to a country with little or no skills, no way to support themselves, and with demands of what the new country owes them  needed to be said out loud. The other thing that needs to said is that people are leaving conditions because of these conditions and are then living again with these conditions. Just look at the MS-13 problems in many places around the United States, such as New York and Ohio.

Telling the truth is the only way to solve a problem, and sometimes telling the truth is ugly.

New Year’s Day, it’s time to set goals…

I am not much of a goal-setting person. I cringe twice a year when I have to discuss work-related/professional development goals with my supervisor. I don’t have a five-year plan, and I’m still not sure if I’m in the right career – it’s just the kind of work I have been doing for a long time, and  I chose it by default.

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Courtesy of pixabay.com/Wokandapix

The funny thing is that I was an athlete for many years. I successfully set goals for my tennis and my training a few times, which included an undefeated regular season during my junior year in college, beating my time 1 1/2 mile run my sophomore and junior years, winning the City Championship my high school senior year, and various strength goals I set at different times. Beyond that, I have reached savings goals at different times but I haven’t made goal-setting a  regular habit… but I’m going to try it this year, at least for a little while.

So…  here I go. First, I plan to post something a minimum of once a week. It may not be lengthy, but I want to get back in the habit of posting more regularly than I did for most of 2017.  Second, I will attend my weekly Yoga class that I joined through my employer’s Wellness program and I will work out at least one more time each week, not counting the two or three walks I take with Husband on the weekend in good weather. Thirdly, I plan to meditate for  5 minutes at least  three times a week.

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Courtesy of pixabay.com/pixel2013

Phew… that seems like a lot, but i have been thinking about each of these activities and done them somewhat inconsistently in recent weeks. I think that they are all doable, especially if I start to see and feel benefit from them.  Wish me luck!

 

Team iPhone

I was a Windows phone owner and fan for the last four years until about a month ago. I loved my first, second, and third Windows phone, although the second was my least favorite due to its slowness.

Courtesy of Pixabay.com/DennisBuntrock

My last Windows  was my favorite of the bunch – a little bigger screen, though a little too big for my pocket; simple, familiar, and convenient. I tend to buck trends and stick out a bit, so this was no different. I didn’t too much mind the limited apps because I used the Microsoft apps pre-installed on the phone and the few I wanted worked pretty well… Then there was the bad call reception in my house, loss of signal in the middle of calls, and the frustration of my husband having the same phone without these problems. I accidentally dropped the phone in water about two or three months and then tried to save it with a bag of rice overnight, which seemed to dry it up. While this incident could have made an already buggy phone worse, the phone problems existed prior and only got worse.

Calls to my family were even trickier due to dropped calls, lots of “can you hear me?” questions, and apologies for dropped calls. My phone dropped a call while I was speaking with my Dad during an already little tense conversation, making it look I hung up on him. I had not done so, at least not this time. Talking to my mother on her crappy flip phone didn’t help matters either. My brother after a few bad reception calls suggested that I might be one of the last 10 people walking around with a Windows phone, and he is probably right. Husband’s phone is still holding strong, and he’ll keep his until he needs to switch.

Courtesy of pexles.com/Pok Rie

After a month of use, I like that my phone easily fits in my pocket and my hand. I like that I can keep a lot of my Microsoft capabilities, such as sending pictures to my OneDrive, I can still use my OneNote, that some of the apps I did download before are definitely available on iPhone, and that apps that Windows stopped supporting are again available options for me. One of my favorite things about Windows/Microsoft, silly as it might be, is Bing and the daily, featured photo, and that is easily accessible via web or app. There are so many things/apps/functions on the iPhone that I am still exploring. However, the MSN weather app is better than the pre-loaded weather app on iPhone and I also liked the MSN sports and news apps better, but I have found fairly comparable apps on iPhone. A favorite of mine on the iPhone is the huge, though costly, memory I have on my new phone. The Windows phone had 8GB memory, with about 4-5 GB available for personal use and I underestimated the amount of GB I would need in an SD card, so I was close to running out. Thank you, Apple, for 128GB memory! I should never run out.

Overall, I feel that I made a good choice and, hopefully, the price I paid will be worth it for not having to replace my phone frequently for slowness or lack of updating.