Making Sense by Michael ReaganPresident Donald Trump said a bunch of crazy things this week.Nothing new there.I’m not referring to the global trade war he may have started on Thursday with his announcement that steep protective tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum could be coming as early as next week.I’m referring to the tougher gun control laws the president publicly floated on Wednesday during an unscripted discussion with bipartisan lawmakers in the White House.Sounding more like Nancy Pelosi than a lifelong friend of the National Rifle Association, the president suggested three steps he thinks would help to prevent future mass school shootings like the one in Parkland, Fla.He proposed raising the age limit to buy assault-type weapons like the AR-15 to 21, making background checks tougher on, 9all, 9gun buyers and taking guns away from people with mental problems.In the real world, where there are more than 300 million guns floating around the United States, Trump’s first two actions will do nothing but burden law-abiding gun owners.The president’s third idea – taking someone’s guns away for mental-health reasons and making them go to court to get them back – is especially outrageous.Forget the serious constitutional concerns about taking law-abiding citizens’ guns and doing the due process, 9,9later.Does Mr. Trump have any clue,9 how impossible it would be to determine who was truly crazy and dangerous and needed to have his or her guns seized?Does he realize the dangerous road his idea would send us down?“Hello 911? The guy next store is cutting his lawn sideways. He’s really crazy. You better come and take his guns away.”And my Congresswoman Maxine Waters thinks the president is mentally ill.Do you say, “I’m sorry, Mr. Trump, someone says you’re crazy? You have to give us your guns.”Trump’s gun control ideas are not worth the breath he spent on them.The most obvious reason the Parkland school tragedy happened was that the FBI and the local police screwed up – despite multiple warnings.A less obvious reason the shooter was not stopped before he could take 17 innocent lives was the “parental” failure of his mother and the family he lived with after she died last year.Those adults knew he was mentally ill, angry and dangerous, yet they did little to get him the help he needed.Few parents agree to have their kids treated for being mentally ill because it reflects poorly on them. Fewer still will turn their own kids into the police.But talk about bad parenting skills.The couple the teenage killer was living with at the time of the shooting knew he had a bunch of guns and did nothing to get them out of their house.They locked his weapons in a safe, but the shooter easily made a spare key for himself. Apparently, th,9e couple,9 never met a teenager before.Parkdale was a tragedy that could have been averted with, 9the, 9common sense that all parents should employ.A good friend of mine, a hunter who owns several, 9guns, was having trouble with one of his kids and had to put him on Ritalin.After the boy had an out-of-control moment, the father took every one of his guns out of the house and gave them to a friend to keep for him.If you have a kid you think is mentally ill, and you have guns in your house, you shouldn’t look to the government to solve the problem.You should, 9solve it, 9yourself. Remove the guns from, 9the, 9house. Don’t put them in a safe. Get them out.If we are not going to take responsibility for being good parents when it comes to guns, don’t be surprised when Donald Trump or the government takes that responsibility away from us.FOOTNOTE: Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. The CCO posted this article without opinion, bias or editing.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
Gavel GamutBy Jim Redwinewww.jamesmredwine.com(Week 2 January 2017)INTELLIGENCE FARM♪Does (everybody) really know what time it is? ♪Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton accused Russia of attempting to influence the election via hacking into unflattering emails. She, John McCain, CNN and virtually everyone on the planet but former presidential candidate Donald Trump cited the conclusions of seventeen intelligence agencies to support the accusations.Seventeen! They are: Air Force Intelligence Agency, Army Intelligence Agency, Navy Intelligence Agency, Marine Corps Intelligence Agency, Coast Guard Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, and my personal favorite, The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. These sixteen all fall under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.The Air Force Intelligence Agency alone deploys 50,000 military and civilian intelligence personnel. I was one of those at one time when I served in Air Force Intelligence. You who know me can make your own judgments or trite jokes.Each of these agencies has subdivisions. For example, the Army Intelligence Agency contains five more “major” military disciplines within its overall functions: Imagery Intelligence; Signal Intelligence; Human Intelligence (yeah, I wondered too); Measurement and Signature Intelligence; and Counterintelligence and Security.I will leave it up to you, Gentle Reader, to analyze the meaning behind President-Elect Trump’s rejection of the “intelligence” of the groups that gave us “Weapons of Mass Destruction”. As for me, I am transfixed by the notion that America has all these agencies containing hundreds of thousands of people whose job it is to spy on someone. My concern is who? There are only a few folks such as Russia, China and, an assortment of enemies our intelligence agencies created for us by surreptitiously toppling their governments, who might actually need watching.What about the other 5 billion people on the planet, especially the 330 million Americans? All those thousands of spies have to either spy on somebody or get jobs, judging maybe. I fear our firewall against foreign enemies might turn inward out of boredom or partisanship. But after years of having our country insert itself in places such as Cuba, Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, etc., etc., my real fear is eventually our intelligence manipulators will get us into a hole even the most powerful country in history cannot claw its way out of.Usually Peg is the only one who reads these articles. However, I feel as if someone will be peering over her shoulder this time. Oh well, it will probably be some of the same disingenuous spooks who have tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully (so far) to get us to bomb Iran; so there is probably no need for us to worry.For more Gavel Gamut articles go to:www.jamesmredwine.comFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
The Frenchman, who will turn 64 next month, has been in charge of the Gunners for 17 years but has not been able to deliver a trophy since 2005. Nevertheless, Kroenke insists Wenger – who was linked with a move to Paris St Germain in the summer – remains the man for the job as the north London club embark on what they hope will be a new chapter backed by increased financial resources, which helped secure the record £43million signing of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid. Press Association “I am very honoured to have the support of Stan Kroenke. That he thinks I can help the club is a huge confidence vote. That is something for me that is very positive,” said Wenger, who takes his side to Swansea for Saturday afternoon’s late kick-off. Following the disappointment of an opening-day 3-1 home defeat by Aston Villa, Wenger has since guided his side safely into the group stages of the Champions League, to the top of the Barclays Premier League table and on Wednesday night saw the next generation come through a penalty shoot-out in the Capital One Cup at West Brom. Wenger remains relaxed about his own long-term future, but made it clear he would have no issue with signing on again for the Gunners. “What is important is that you feel you can do your job where you are and I am very grateful to this club because during the 17 years we had ups and downs, they have always shown a big faith in me and they always let me do the job like I thought it had to be done,” he added. “If I am still here today it is because I got that consistent support from inside the club.” Wenger continued: “The good thing with me, if I have one quality, (it is that) you don’t need a lot of talks to extend the contract I have. “I want to focus on the quality of our season. I don’t believe that anybody can question my commitment to this club. “I want to feel that I do well and then the question of me staying will be secondary after that.” Manager Arsene Wenger has welcomed the vote of confidence from Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke and says he is ready to sign a new deal sooner rather than later. However, the Arsenal manager remains relaxed about the continuing negotiations. He said: “(We will do it) when we find time. I don’t think that is the most important problem at the moment.” The arrival of the relatively unheralded former Monaco and Nagoya Grampus Eight coach was met by headlines of “Arsene Who?” when he succeeded Bruce Rioch in September 1996. Wenger, though, has no intentions of revelling in a bit of nostalgia. “It is a long time and a short time. I don’t know where the 17 years have gone,” he said. “Our job has a good advantage – you just look forward to the next game. “You never look back. I believe as well that is the most important. What is for me the most interesting is Saturday’s game.” Wenger added: “I always said that our job is ‘work like you are here forever and know that it can end every day’. That is how I do (my job).” Arsenal head to Swansea looking to stay top of the table after four straight league wins. Former Cardiff midfielder Aaron Ramsey is set to have a fitness test on a thigh problem, as is Mathieu Flamini (shoulder). Ramsey has scored seven goals so far this season. Wenger said: “You know Aaron Ramsey is a tough boy. He has a test and I think he will get through. “He is going back to Wales, certainly, for him it is always special, but no (I wouldn’t want to take a risk on him).” England forward Theo Walcott, meanwhile, is set for more than a month of rehabilitation after a minor procedure on an abdominal problem. “It (surgery) went as well as it could go. There were no complications,” Wenger said. “You know sometimes you open and you find an unexpected problem. It was very simple. “Optimistically, (it will be) three weeks. Realistic? Five.”
THE resurgent Dinesh Chandimal’s unbeaten half-century frustrated Bangladesh in their 100th Test after Sri Lanka made a poor start in Colombo yesterday.Needing a victory in their landmark Test to draw the two-match series, the Tigers took four wickets in the morning session at the P Sara Oval before Sri Lanka recovered to 238-7 when bad light stopped play late in the day.Chandimal showed great resolve and was still there on 86 off 210 balls at the close, scoring just four boundaries as the Bangladesh bowlers applied the pressure after Rangana Herath won the toss and elected to bat first.Mustafizur Rahman (2-32) and Mehedi Hasan (2-58) claimed two wickets apiece on a promising opening day for the tourists, but they were unable to dismiss Chandimal – back in form after losing his one-day international spot in South Africa last month.Mehedi took a fine catch at gully to send Dimuth Karunaratne (7) on his way after the opener was tempted to drive a Mustafizur delivery and the spinner struck a big blow when he had first-Test centurion Kusal Mendis stumped for only five.Sri Lanka were 35-3 after teenager Mehedi got rid of Upul Tharanga (11) on a track that offered seam and turn and Subashis Roy (1-47) trapped Asela Gunaratne (13) leg-before in a fruitful first session for the Tigers – who handed a debut to Mosaddek Hossain after Liton Das was ruled out.Chandimal was successful with a review on 38 after he was given out when Shakib Al Hasan struck him on the pad and brought up his 12th Test half-century after lunch – having also made one in the second innings of the first Test.The recalled Dhananjaya de Silva (34) offered support for the gritty Chandimal before Niroshan Dickwella also added 34 at almost a run a ball, but Sri Lanka were struggling on 195-7 when Mustafizur removed Dilruwan Perera (9).There were no further inroads for the Tigers bowlers, though, as Dinesh and veteran stand-in captain Herath dug in on a testing track for the batsmen. (Omisport)SRI LANKA 1st inningsD. Karunaratne c M. Hasan b M. Rahman 7U. Tharanga c Sarkar b M. Hasan 11K. Mendis stp. Rahim b M. Hasan 5D. Chandimal not out 86A. Gunaratne lbw b Roy 13D. de Silva b T. Islam 34N. Dickwella b Al Hasan 34D. Perera c Sarkar b M. Rahman 9R. Herath not out 18Extras: (b-1, lb-12, nb-2, w-6) 21Total : (for 7 wickets, 83.1 overs) 238Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-24, 3-35, 4-70, 5-136, 6-180, 7-195.Bowling: M. Rahman 15-5-32-2 (w-1), S. Roy 15-2-47-1 (nb-2, w-1), M. Hasan 15-2-58-2, T. Islam 14-2-34-1, S. Al Hasan 20.1-3-43-1, Mosa. Hossain 4-0-11-0.