How to end mass murders

THE HEADLINE was to draw you in. I learned that back during my newspaper “career.”

New ImageThere is no solution to mass shootings in the United States. None, zip, zilch, nada. It is an American cultural cancer without a cure. No radiation. No chemo.

Gun control certainly will not do it. Gun sales could be brought to an immediate, complete halt, and it would not solve the problem because America is floating in firearms already. It would be shutting the barn door after the horse has skedaddled.

Blaming Trump won’t do it either. Ain’t his fault anyway.

No one is to blame. It’s just something Americans do now and then. Mexicans don’t do it even though we have plenty of guns floating around down here too, which proves, by the way, the futility of gun control. We’re highly gun-controlled.

Bullet-riddled, bloody, gun-controlled Chicago proves the same point.

And the shooters span the political spectrum. The El Paso gunman was a right-wing nut. The Dayton killer was a lefty, a fan of Fauxcahontas and Antifa, which the media have tried to keep quiet. But not that of the El Paso gunman, of course. White supremacist!

And it was a Bernie bro’ who shot Rep. Steve Scalise in 2017.

Why were there no mass shootings above the border, say, a century ago? To a large degree, because there was no rapid communication, no internet. High tech has made it very easy for maniacs to get wild ideas about manifesting their fantasies and communicating them all over the place, which makes them feel so very good. And important.

Rapid communication, internet, social media exist in Mexico too, of course, so why don’t we do mass shootings? The culture is different.

I cannot imagine it would ever enter a Mexican’s mind in his wildest drunken dreams to go into a mall and start killing random strangers. It would be unfathomable.

Wipe out a rival narco gang? Well, sure, but that’s just business.

As for senseless, mass murder, better get used to it.

Above the border, that is.

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(Note: Here’s an interesting piece by a writer who thinks America has an “angry, young man” crisis. He’s correct and, again, it’s the culture.)

Hi! I’m Felipe, and I’m an addict

ALL TOGETHER NOW: Hi, Felipe!

Thank you. To cut straight to the chase, I’m an addict of YouTube. This is a relatively new addiction that only began in the last year. Before then, like so many others, I was a casual user, but now it’s affecting my life, a classic sign of addiction.

Before, I just smoked it. Now I inject it.

acastro_180403_1777_youtube_0001.0What makes YouTube so compelling is that it’s visual, and you can find virtually everything on the website. While the internet as a whole is the Library of the World, YouTube is the Library of the Visual World.

Want to watch last night’s Tucker Carlson show? Want to watch everyday people walking the streets of London in 1901? With original sound?

Want to watch Hermann Göring in full Nazi regalia, including a swagger stick, shortly after being captured and strolling a sidewalk on a sunny afternoon in Germany and chatting amiably with a U.S. Army officer?

A young Tom Cruise channeling Bob Seegar in Risky Business? Or the real answer to why there is no Palestinian state? Scientists explaining why there is no cause for climate alarmism? Jesse Pinkman’s first shot of heroin in Breaking Bad? (The best drug depiction I’ve ever seen.) Or Jax Teller’s death ride in Sons of Anarchy?

Concerts, travel, history, it’s all there to see in color or black & white.

I’m glued to my desk, which is why I’m here today. I need help! I suppose the first step is to find a sponsor. Who will hold my hand?

Sadly, YouTube is owned by Google, a thuggish arm of the political left. Dodging anything related to Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc., is an endless goal of mine on general principles. But my addiction has kept me hooked on YouTube. Addictions do that.

Ask Jesse Pinkman.

Let’s look at browsers. Google’s Chrome is the world’s most popular browser, and there is a reason for that. It is very, very good. But the principled among us know it should be avoided. Doing so can be darn difficult.

Over the past few years, I’ve tried scads of alternatives. Firefox (not much better if you want to dodge the thuggish left), Opera, Vivaldi, Edge (meh), Yandex, Maxthon, Comodo Dragon, Comodo IceDragon, SeaMonkey, Avant, Midori, Puffin, Pale Moon, even Dissenter.

They work to varying degrees. Sometimes they work fine, and then they don’t. None work as well as Chrome. However, recently I found this:

Brave: a better mousetrap

Brave was born in 2015, the brainchild of Brandon Eich, one of the founders of Mozilla (Firefox). In 2014, he was the CEO of Mozilla, and then he did something politically incorrect. He let it be known he opposes gay marriage.* Oh, dear!

Adiós, Eich! Don’t let the door smack you on your way out, you Nazi homophobe. And we don’t want to hear any of your mea culpas! Will people never learn apologizing to the left not only does not work, it is counterproductive? It digs your hole deeper.

New ImageFirefox’s loss was our gain. He co-founded Brave. I tried Brave a couple of years ago, and found it lame, not ready for prime time, and it wasn’t. I never returned till a few weeks ago, and what a surprise. It’s Chrome-like, and you can use Chrome extensions. It’s also easy to import Chrome bookmarks, etc.

It’s very much like Chrome, but better. Better than Firefox too.

So, at least in this, I have freed myself from Google. One small step for a Gringo, one giant leap, yada, yada. Brave rightly brags that it’s “safer, faster and ad-free.”

I remain hooked on YouTube, however. I need help! Sad.

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* So do I, by the way. Let’s stick to civil unions. All the legal rights but without the “marriage” word, which makes many people cringe. Just dodge the word.

Now I’m Instagraming

instagram-logo-9ON DISCOVERING my pal Bill O’Reilly is on Instagram, I decided to join.

You can find me under the user name of tzurumutarense.

Can you say tzurumutarense?

Perhaps I’ll become one of those “influencers” we hear about, people who get millions of followers and then try to get freebies at resorts and high-end stores in return for mentioning the name of the resort or store. No, wait, that’s YouTube.

O’Reilly is fond of posting photos of his dog, a Welsh corgi, the same breed favored by England’s Queen Elizabeth. But I have no dog.

I would like to be an influencer, however.

Perhaps I need to get a dog.

An incurable affliction

I’M AN OLD MAN, and I don’t like it one bit.

New ImageThis phenomenon sneaks up on you like a rat snake. First, you feel the energy level slipping. I initially noticed that about a decade ago when I was in my mid-60s.

That’s when I quit mowing the yard in summertime.

Then your body begins to jig and jag in various ways, nothing that puts you out of commission (yet), but it’s noticeable. Your balance becomes unreliable. You feel this most on standing from a chair or bed.

What separates the sickness of aging from other afflictions like a bad cold, the flu or injuries from a motorcycle accident is that you can recover from a bad cold or flu and, with luck, from accident injuries of every sort.

But there is no recovering from getting old. There is no pill to take. You will not take an aspirin and feel better in the morning. It’s a downhill skid.

This is rather disturbing, that there is no cure for the first time in your life. But I have been fortunate. I can say there is no cure for the first time in my life because — knock on wood — I’ve never had anything incurable befall me. Others are not so lucky.

I have no vices, and I’m skinny svelte. These things work in my favor. I used to have vices. Smoking, drinking. But I quit smoking about 30 years ago, and I quit drinking on a March evening in Houston, 1996.

I started smoking at age 19 when I was in the Air Force. I smoked pipes like David Niven, cigars like Fidel Castro and cigarettes like millions of people. Oddly, it was not very difficult to stop smoking. I tapered off. No cold turkey for this boy. I recommend that method.

I started drinking in my mid-20s when I was married to my first wife. It was moderate at first, and I favored Southern Comfort, which is ghastly now that I think back on it. Syrupy swill.

After the first divorce at 26, I got serious about drinking, switching to alcohol for adults, and I remained serious about 25 years. I wasn’t a falling-down drunk nor a nasty one. But I did drink daily, every single, solitary day. Then I quit. Life improved immensely.

Oddly again, quitting was easy, easier than stopping smoking.

And I was not always skinny svelte either. I weighed about 55 pounds more than I do now until I was in my early 30s. Heftiness is bad for your health, and you’re less likely to reach an advanced age if you’re a meatball.

I weigh now what I weighed at age 21.

So, no smoking, no drinking and skinny svelte, all positive things if you don’t want to die prematurely, and I will not die prematurely.

It’s too late for that. I can only die via the normal schedule.

I’m hanging in there, but I don’t like it. And there’s no good solution. There is only one cure. And you know what that is.