CDC Funding for Research on Gun Violence as Public Health Threat Denied for Decades

I have mentioned elsewhere that the CDC was forbidden to conduct research on gun violence as a public health crisis.  It is not quite that, but in the ’90s there was legislation (the 1996 Dickey Amendment) prohibiting CDC from promoting gun control, thus Congress defunded gun violence research by CDC, which the legislation did NOT require.  In other words, the gun lobby got Congress to abuse that legislation as an excuse for defunding research on gun violence as a public health matter.  This is changing lately, but in relatively meager amounts of funding (it has been called “a drop in the bucket” by public health people).  In 2012, Congressman Jay Woodson Dickey, Jr. said that he regretted the outcome of his amendment in blocking CDC funding of gun violence research.

How do you define gun control promotion?  Research showing that lack of gun control is a public health threat?  Does that count as promoting gun control?  To a member of the Autocracy Party?  Whatever Dickey’s conscience may have attained, to a member of today’s Autocracy Party, of course anything showing that guns are a public health threat is deemed gun control promotion.  No wonder a leading Autocracy Party senator was vociferously booed by his own people the other day when he promoted meager new (and useless) measures of gun control in the wake of the Uvalde school shootings.  If you try to do anything to improve gun safety, you are anti-gun-owner, in the minds of the power-addicted party faithful.  That’s not just political power they are addicted to.  It’s their adolescent sensation of phallic power in firing a gun, along with loud exhaust pipes and burning rubber.  “Look at me, I’m powerful.”  Bang bang dipshit.

Content of the NIH article The Dickey Amendment on Federal Funding for Research on Gun Violence: A Legal Dissection (2018 July), Allen Rostron, JD …
 

Continue reading

Oak Tree Trilogy Part 3 – Buddy’s Oak and Dad’s Question

A Balsamean of the bug tribe

A Balsamean of the bug tribe

Trees get so much attention in this drifting journal, The Balsamean, because they are easier to write about than people are, and trees often make better friends than most people do, and the tree fairies would sprout leaves green with envy in the middle of winter if I gave as much time to humanity as to them.

This is another long post, about 3,000 words, but it has lots of pictures, one of my favorite poems (a famous classic), and a piece of original art by The Balsamean.

It took a year to write this.  It’s not that I took a year to start it.  I worked on it dozens of times beginning last September.  The earlier versions were close to 6,000 words, and told too many stories that deserve articles of their own.

If not for too many long sentences, this would be an easy read.  But my readers are sharp.  And it’s especially readable if you just take a seat, slow down and act like the world moves at the speed it should, not the one it does.

Don’t read it in a hurry.  It took a year to get here.
Continue reading

Oak Tree Trilogy Part 2 – Defiant Oak

Front Yard Oak 00 20131009

Defiant Oak’s happy autumn leaves, October 2013.

Oaks against the sky,
Ramparts of leaves high-hurled,
Staunch to stand and defy
All the winds of the world;
Stalwart and proud and free,
Firing the man in me
To try and again to try –
Oaks against the sky.

– Excerpt from Trees Against The Sky,
Poem by Robert William Service

It’s not a good idea to fall in love with a guy whose favorite book is the dictionary.  This thought occurred to me today when I perused my 1995 10th Edition of Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, which I would prefer over using the Internet to look up words, but my eyes can’t take it.

I felt something like comedic irony when I saw her inscription to me in this dictionary, my Good Book, a gift on the third anniversary of our first date.

That relationship brought me to the brink of swearing off women forever.  After dalliances since then, I’m now so selective, it’s as good as having sworn off them.  I won’t deny the possibility of someone coming along to inspire a romance that makes people dismissive of Tristan and Isolde, or that inspires me to write an eternally classic novel about civil war, bells tolling, and earth-moving sex.  (Hemingway, you delightful madman.)  Still, she won’t lure me away from Balsamea, or get me to abandon my little Defiant Oak tree.

Continue reading