Posted in Things that make you say "hmm..."

Known Just to California?

Today I bought a squeegee window cleaner at an auto store.  On the back of the packaging I just happened to see this notice:

I live in Massachusetts, which is where this squeegee was purchased.

Per this statement it contains chemicals, known to the state of California, to be harmful to humans.  My question is:  are the chemicals this product contains known to the other 49 states to be harmful to humans as well?  Because if California has found the chemicals to be dangerous, shouldn’t the other states also find them to be dangerous?

Another question:  if this product is so dangerous because of what it’s made with, why is it being sold?  I guess that answer lies at the bottom of a cigarette butt.

By the way, I did wash my hands after using it.

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Posted in Things that make you say "hmm...", writing

Sometimes all it takes is a little understanding

Considering the kind of day I had with my Aspie daughter, I wanted to share this post from five years ago.  It’s an early #ThrowbackThursday post but will always remain relevant.

 

I just finished perusing CNN.com and read an article that struck a cord with me. It was about the waitress at Chili’s, the autistic girl and the “broken” cheeseburger.

For those who didn’t read the article, you can see it here:

http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2013/03/26/the-waitress-the-autistic-girl-and-the-broken-hamburger/?hpt=hp_bn11

The reason why it struck a cord with me is that I know what it’s like to go out to eat (or go anywhere for that matter) with an autistic person. I’ve known what it’s like for the past 28 years. My sister Peggy is autistic. When I read about how this little autistic girl got upset over her burger being cut in two (to her it was “broken”–so cute!), I shook my head knowingly. Although I doubt Peggy would have an issue with her burger being “broken”, she probably would pick the burger apart, eating only the burger, or maybe the cheese too, leaving any pickle behind, along with the bun. And there can’t be any condiments on the burger. A meal at Subway is a cold cut sandwich without the bread. And two bags of chips and a soda. Of course we can’t just ask them for a bunch of meat and cheese. So she picks apart the sub and someone else eats the bread. Big deal. But this is what it’s like dining with an autistic person in tow. You deal with it.

As for the ignorant ones commenting after the article, I have a few choice statements for them. First of all, although autism is usually associated with young children, those children do grow up to become autistic adults. Like my sister Peggy. Autism has been around for longer than we know. The only difference is that autism didn’t have the attention it does now, children were labeled as “retarded” and tossed into institutions. Thank goodness we have learned so much and realize those affected with autism, in any form, can lead productive lives.

For many with autism it’s the simple things in life that make them happy. For my sister it’s clocks. She collects clocks. Mainly these fancy neon blue clocks that Walmart sells for $20.00. If we ever need a clock we know where to go. But none of her clocks actually run. She requires no batteries for her clocks. All the clocks need to say is 3:55 or 11:15 (we have to set one hand on the 11; the other has to be on the 3) and she is happy. We know it’s always 3:55 or 11:15 somewhere!

Some other simple things that make Peggy’s life complete: the numbers 4, 3 and 8. She used to really be into the number 11 also but has gotten away from that one for some reason. Basketballs and soccer balls, sometimes other kinds of balls. Mainly basketballs. And sunglasses. She really used to love calculators but has gotten away from them as well.

My sister will never drive a car or hold down a job. She will never marry or have children. But she’s the happiest person I know.

We could all learn a lot from autistic people. They don’t need cell phones, Ipads, tablets or any other fancy technical thingy to make them happy. They don’t need expensive gas guzzling cars and exotic trips to lands unknown to fulfill their lives. Simple really is better. If we all chose to live more simpler, less chaotic lives, the world would be a better place. All you really need in life to be happy is a good clock and a yummy cheeseburger.

Posted in Things that make you say "hmm...", Things that piss me off

Much More Than Words

I can see how owning a gun can make some people feel safe.  I mean, it is a device used to kill.  Sure some people just like to show off their guns.  They never use them.  They store them in their locked closets (if they’re responsible) or leave them in their night table drawer (if they’re irresponsible).  They may take them out on occasion to shine them up, maybe show them off to their friends.  Maybe play Russian Roulette with it.  Maybe try to impress their kid and their kid’s friends with it.  Maybe one day the kid will find it and shoot themselves.  And I know there are some who actually do use guns for hunting or sporting.

The recent Parkland school shooting and constant calls for gun reform/control got me thinking about the Second Amendment and what it means.  I figured since so many gun enthusiasts live and die by this very statement, maybe it should be analyzed to better understand it.  So that’s what I did.

The Second Amendment reads:

“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”.

I may be missing it, but I don’t see anywhere in these 27 words where it says it’s okay for individuals to own assault rifles and use them to kill innocent people.

These 27 words were written long before our time.  Many people have taken it upon themselves to interpret these 27 words to mean whatever they want them to mean or feel they should mean.

So, what do these 27 words really mean?

In turning to my handy-dandy Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word “regulated” can mean:

  • to govern or direct according to rule
  • to bring under the control of law or constituted authority
  • to make regulations for or concerning
  • to bring order, method, or uniformity to
  • to fix or adjust the time, amount, degree, or rate of

Using the word “well” before “regulated” could mean that the regulation would be carefully considered and formed.

The “regulated” that they are referring to is a “Militia”, which is, by definition:

  • a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency
  • a body of citizens organized for military service
  • the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service

I’d like to point out that in all those definitions, “militia” has something to do with the “military”.

“being necessary”:  basically, absolutely necessary

“to the security”:  basically, to the freedom from fear, freedom from fear or anxiety

“of a free State”:  this could mean one of many things:

  • a mode or condition of being (being in a free state);
  • a body of persons constituting a special class in a society; a politically organized body of people usually occupying a definite territory; especially : one that is sovereign
  • the political organization of such a body of people
  • the operations or concerns of the government of a country
  • one of the constituent units of a nation having a federal government
  • The United States of America
  • a government or politically organized society having a particular character

Next up:

“the right of the people” – “right”:

  •  being in accordance with what is just, good, or proper
  • conforming to facts or truth

“people” – this one word, I think, is what is most interpreted or misinterpreted.  When the Second Amendment was written and they used the word “people”, who, exactly, were they referring to?  If we go by definition, “people” means:  human beings making up a group or assembly or linked by a common interest.  Were they actually referring to “the militia” when saying “people”? Interpretation could’ve changed so much if, instead of “people” they simply wrote in “the militia” again.

“keep”

  •  to retain in one’s possession or power
  •  to refrain from granting, giving, or allowing
  •  to have in control

“bear” – usually a brown, furry animal; for this statement:  to carry

“arms”  – those appendages hanging from your shoulders; for this statement:  weapons and ammunition

“infringed” – to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another

Considering the Second Amendment was written in 1791, not too long after America fought for independence, I can understand the statement “a well regulated militia”.  They were very used to militias at this time.  The militia, or military, was, after all, formed for protection.  That’s why they wrote the next phrase “being necessary to the security of a free State”.  But this is referring back to “the militia”.  I really think they (the militia) are “the people” being referred to in this statement.  If it was meant to refer to “everyone” why not use the word “individuals”?  After all, “people” can mean men, women and children.  Would the Founding Fathers have given guns to babies?

The word “infringed” intrigues me:  “…to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.  Yes, the right to own and carry a gun shall not be infringed.  The definition of “infringed” mentions violating the law or the rights of another.  To “not be infringed”, as defined by the Second Amendment, wouldn’t that mean to not violate the law or the rights of another?  Especially the rights of another, since not everybody obeys the law?

It’s time that America gets their heads out of their asses.  If other civilized countries can, why can’t we?  Because we’re money hungry and in bed with the NRA?  For many of us, more than likely.

With each new mass shooting, whether it be at a school, church, concert, nightclub, etc., we must ask ourselves:  what’s it going to take to say enough is enough?  It may take a “militia” to storm Capitol Hill, breaking their security system and gun down Congress to make them wake up.

Even then I’m not sure that would work.