Had another Bleat queued up and ready to roll, but it can wait. Events, you know. You want to skip this tiresome predictable reaction, go here to the happy fun stuff.


If I see a report of a school or University shooting, I assume the shooter is a young white male with mental health issues, narcisstic, unable to connect with other people, especially women. Possibly the situation could have been avoided if the person had been committed indefinitely to a mental health facility. Such a person usually has access to guns due to the inattention of authority figures.

If I see a report of a workplace shooting, I assume the shooter is an older white male with mental health issues - not full-blown delusional crazy, but someone disposed to marinate in personal injustices and grievances until his brain rewires sufficiently to give pride of place to latent megalomania and sociopathy. Possibly the situation could have been avoided if the person had been committed indefinitely to a mental health facility, but it's hard to do since the exterior symptoms aren't actionable. Such a person usually has access to guns because they're legal and the shooter hasn't done anything to bar his access to firearms.

If I see a report of a mass shooting with more than one bad actor, I assume a political agenda, and based on events of the last few years, I suspect that the most likely motivation is Islamic extremism. In the 70s it would have been leftist extremism, since the Red Brigade and the Baader-Mienhoff gang were grabbing all the headlines. Bombings? IRA or PLO. Now, small groups shooting up random places seems to be the marker of Islamists. Unless I missed the part where The Sons of Heston shot up a mall in Tangiers.

The third one seems to be problematic for some; the real issue, the issue to which they leap like a startled gazelle, is the existence of guns. The only way to solve that problem is to take them all away, which would require invasive searches of every house in the country. Even if that was done, they'd still miss a few dozen million. So it would take a few decades to shake them out of the system. Many more would come in from Mexico, of course, unless we built a heavily-fortified wall, which we won't.

Even the most radical thing possible, which involves amending or ignoring the Constitution, will not accomplish what they want. But something has to be done, so something will be banned, or a law will be passed. There's talk about forbidding anyone on the "watch list" from buying a gun. Sounds sensible - except you don't know how you get on the list, or how you can get off. If you can take away one Constitutional right without due process, then you can take any of them away. Should someone on the "watch list" be allowed First Amendment rights? They could say inciteful things.

It's not the idea of the government having a list of very bad worrisome people that bothers me; if it did, I would be opposed to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list. It's the bloat and uselessness of the list. The next time something big and bad happens, we'll learn two things: the person was on the list, and they didn't do anything about him, or he wasn't on the list, which means the list isn't quite the useful tool one might suspect.

So we can't have a Christian terror angle to this story, drat the luck; we don't want to have an Islamic terror angle, because it distracts from the Real Issues; the gun issue is irresolvable, which frustrates some who pine for a solution, and empowers those who gather attention and authority by pretending the problem can be solved with a specific set of legislative offerings. What, then, do we do to signfy our moral elevation over the lowing herd? Attack people who pray:

I'm sure the big swingin' woodslingers who came up with the head will say that they're not attacking prayer, just the platitudes of cowards who could truly do something. They also seem to misunderstand what prayer is for, and how those who offer them up are not asking for a big hand to come down out of the clouds and pluck guns from people's hands.

A noted comedian and television personality distinguished himself thus:

A list of who is allowed to offer prayers, including the specific situations where prayers will be permitted, would be welcome; I'm sure a mind as keen as his can supply one on demand.


Or this, from a "Lawyer/mediator/writer published in The Guardian, Alternet, HPost."

As he explains in his timeline, he's just asking a question. "I'm inviting a discussion of the ethics of killing to save life. Are we having that discussion? Good. That's all I wanted."

A tad disingenuous; leaving aside the fact that the Nazis didn't meet in in the Reichstag, the comparison is specious on its face. But this is what we must concentrate on now, until our fury swamps a Constitutional provision, and we cheer its abolition by extraordinary means. The Constitution is an impediment, and only the worst sort cling to its tattered skirts.

Later: I heard the name of the shooter, and the possibility of Islamist terrorism ticked up a few notches. Learned that the other person dead in the car was a woman, and the assumptions changed; there are jihadi groupies, but it seemed anomalous.

Got home, read the Daily Beast story about the guy, and again, it seemed just odd: government employee with a LinkedIn page. He was "a business taxes representative for the California State Board of Equalization, according to his LinkedIn profile. He is a 2003 graduate La Sierra High School, and most recently studied finance at California State University Fullerton until 2013." (Story updated around midnight to indicate that the initial reports were actually about the brother.)

Add the holiday party, and you could have a Workplace Violence Incident with wife participating as part of a folie a deux, albeit with some Bonnie-and-Clyde vibe going on. Then: news that his brother was involved, and assumptions shift over again. A Tsnarnaev situation? One brother radicalizing the other? Not enough to know, but more than enough to hang on the news, waiting for the next scrap.

It's ten o'clock now. To the left, a striking tweet from a local TV station. I've never seen something like this, and it makes you recall all the other pieces of news that did not elicit such a reaction.

It seems an unwise thing to tweet until the facts and motivations are clear; it certainly seems unlikely they would tweet this out after the Paris attacks, because one would ask Enough What, and the What would be clear. In that case, it would be a statement of martial resolve. In this case, what does it mean? Surely it can't be enough to say enough.

As I've said before, I'm not a gun guy. I grew up with guns hanging on the rec room wall, leaning in the corner in the closet. Everyone's dad had guns. They held no interest for me. Hunting culture left me indifferent. I'm just saying that whatever they do to the Second they can do to the First. There are times you think they're doing what they're doing to the First to make it easier to something about the Second. Or vice versa.

In any case, enough! Once your heart accepts enough as the primary truth, , the possibilities are endless. Breathtaking. Liberating.

Enough, now and then, turns into a justification for everything.


The old Mr. Peanut had a jaunty, upper-class Rockefeller aspect to him. The new version looks high,

Does anyone have any warm emotions for those open-mawed nutcrackers? And why would a shelled creature be regarding the object with such amusement? Perhaps because it is a voodoo doll he's using to exact pain on actual professional Nut-shattering Soldiers.

Those horrible dead eyes:

Warm roasting! Celebrate the season with Warm ROASTING!


Downtown's full of fixer-uppers. It's a handyman's dream:


Not the best introduction, I know. Fair or not is for you to decide. Let's pretend you didn't see that one, and start with a classic American view, complete with Martian walker in masquerade mode, waitinf for the activation signal.

What was Google's automatic blur function hoding on the truck? I've no idea why it does what it does, unless it's just a glitch. Anyway. Pretend you hitched a ride into town on that truck, swung off at a stop sign, waved goodbye, and moseyed into town.

The lonesome street. The lonesome grass. The lonesome air conditioner.

But new cement!

"Door's too big, Dan. Makes a man feel small, just walkin' in here. Tighten it up some."


"But we already spent the improvment money on the sidewalk!"

"I don't care. I want that door smaller now. And listen, 'for you go? Take note of the brick. I don't want it matchin', now. Now git."


Murphy's Grocery might not have the freshest produce in town.

The door is open. Rather, there is no door.

There's a story behind this, I'm sure. Can't possibly imagine what. From the rain spouts connected to no gutter, the awning that protects nothing from shade, the different colored brick between the awning and the covered-up dark part of the old garage door (there's a driveway; see it?) to the bricks vomited out -

I wish


Hot tars.


When the explorers discovered Pompeii, they dug until they found a wall, then followed it down. Unfortunately this ruined the frescos.

I don't know what I thought that; it's the opposite of this.

It was a civic structure, but the empty flagpole and the remnants of pried-off words tells you it's been decomissioned.

Practical place, isn't it.



From Rootsweb:

William B McNEW was born on 21 Feb 1831 in Grainger Co, TN. He was afarmer between 1850 and 1880 in Grainger Co, TN. He left Tennessee in Dec1887 and moved to Denton Co, TX in 1890. He lived several places inDenton and Wise Counties before settling in Dawson Co. He died on 5 Apr1914 in Lamesa, Dawson Co, TX. He was buried in the Lamesa Memorial ParkCemetery, Lamesa, Dawson Co, TX.

Another local's 1934 obit:

Isaac Nelson "Uncle Ike" McNew, 75, succumbed to injuries received Thursday when struck by a freight train. He died Saturday 6:10 a.m.
Uncle Ike was critically injured as he walked eastward down the Texas and Pacific tracks near the stockyards east of here. Apparently he did not hear the approaching train. The engine was brought to a rapid stop but struck him almost as it came to a halt. He was thrown clear of the engine, landing face down on the rock ballast of the next track.

The building remains.


It's the little "tower" that shows how people try to add something to the humblest structures.

The rest of it looks abandoned. There are blocks and blocks of this.

But then:

Do you think you've see Lamesa? Next week . . . you'll be surprised.



And there you have today's diversions. Hope they kept you interested. See you tomorrow. Two new restaurants, and yes I am doling them out more parsimoniously than usual. A limited supply this go-round.



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