Monday, March 5, 2018

Irish Butterfly Effect

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun,
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches,
Today, tomorrow and beyond.
-Irish blessing

When I was in elementary school - 5th grade art class, if memory serves - I created the painting shown in the above photo. Aside perhaps from any refrigerator art, it is the only true artistic piece I have ever painted in my life. Although never giving an official title, I have dubbed it over the years as, “Irish Butterfly Effect.” At various points of its existence, I have been indifferent toward it, shown contempt for it, and, eventually, fully appreciative and embracing of it. Again if I recall correctly, the green/orange color scheme was a random choice in honor of my Irish heritage…yet quite oblivious at the time of the historical association, and significance, of blue with Ireland! Moreover, I likewise did not know in my youth, and only until more recently, the importance of the butterfly in Irish (and Celtic) culture, history, and mythology.

Thus, I extend to you the blessing above, and defer to the links below.

Dealan-Dé: The Butterfly in Irish Mythology

The Wooing of Etain: An Irish Tale of Love, Loss, and Jealousy

©2018 Steve Sagarra

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Kirk Exposed, Starfleet Complicit

BREAKING NEWS: Captain James T. Kirk’s assertion that he received commendation for “original thinking” while attending Starfleet Academy is under renewed scrutiny. Reprimanded and facing expulsion, Kirk, who until only recently held the rank of admiral, is alleged to have exploited, and possibly acted in unison with as a member of, a false-flag incident in an attempt to expunge his record of academic cheating and disobedience as a cadet at the academy. Not wishing to face backlash in the aftermath of his supposed “heroics,” anonymous sources state that Kirk’s immediate superiors covered-up and falsified documentation on his behalf. Further, the same sources claim that on several occasions throughout his storied career, Kirk has collaborated, colluded and copulated with known foreign agents of numerous alien species.

Captain James T. Kirk, in an undated photo file courtesy of Starfleet Command

Allegations also have surfaced that Kirk used blackmail against a superior on at least one, possibly two, occasions while serving as an active-duty admiral, in order to yet again assume and secure a starship command. No witnesses have come forward to corroborate these accusations, and any attempts to reach the alleged victims have been futile. A former transporter chief, who wishes to remain anonymous because they are not authorized to comment on the matter, says that one such potential witness perished in a suspicious transporter accident prior to the dubious, and still classified, V’ger crisis. During that incident, Captain Will Decker, son of the late famed Commodore Matt Decker, and newly assigned navigator Lieutenant Ilia were declared missing in action under mysterious circumstances. Another transporter officer states, in a separate encounter, that a member of Kirk’s crew harassed and threatened him before the theft, and subsequent destruction, of the USS Enterprise.

As to the latter incident, previous investigations have uncovered numerous ill-advised decisions on the part of Kirk and his crew that allowed sensitive material to fall into the hands of and be used by enemy forces. The Klingon High Council repeatedly has denied involvement in any such operations, including charges of espionage and treaty violations. The material in question centered on the controversial Project Genesis, a shadowy bioengineering research project headed by none other than one of Kirk’s several former lovers, Dr. Carol Marcus, and their late son, David. Others involved in this operation allegedly included the dangerously fearsome 20th century ruler and tyrant, Khan Noonien Singh, whose life Kirk once spared despite his merciless seizure of the Enterprise on a previous mission. Further, there even is speculation that Singh inauspiciously, if not inexplicably, played a role in the aforementioned earlier false-flag incident; however, that cannot be confirmed at this time.

Request for comment from Kirk, members of his crew, Starfleet Command and the Vulcan embassy have gone unanswered. A statement from Ambassador Sarek’s press secretary, transmitted via Federation channels, did state it seemed logical for Kirk’s reinstatement to command of a starship.

©2018 Steve Sagarra

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Don't Give Evil Your Knee-Jerk Sanction

Gun control? Mental health? I do not know the solution or if there even is a comprehensive one - gun bans and mental health care can do only so much. Clearly, there is an underlying, and overlooked, societal issue(s) driving the uptick in mass shootings over the past few decades. This is especially concerning with teenage perpetrators. Unfortunately, this trend will not stop until it is properly addressed. But sometimes, evil simply just exists.

New Gun Policies Won’t Stop Mass Shootings, but People Can (National Review)

None of These Popular Gun Control Proposals Would Have Prevented the Parkland Shooting (Reason)

The Existing System is Broken: How Government Failures Helped Enable Four Recent Mass Shootings (Townhall) 

Whenever a mass shooting occurs, anti-gun activists and pundits turn to the same retreaded rhetoric that only ever addresses the means - the weapon used - rather than the root cause - the person who used it. Ostensibly, at the core, adult and teenage perpetrators alike increasingly are not all right - emotionally, mentally and/or socially. Why? Answer that question, find actionable solution(s) and, hopefully, lessen the violence.

An alcoholic or drug abuser does not stop being such just because a bottle or drug is taken away or access is restricted. In those instances, the root cause for the behavior must be addressed in order to stop the abuse. This is the very basis of and mandate for counseling, rehabilitation, etc. The same logic applies to perpetrators of violence. Address the root cause for it, and, hopefully, stop the violent behavior.

Or, maybe some people are just evil. In that instance, there is only one way to confront it - and it does not involve banning guns from the lawful and stable citizen who might do so.

©2018 Steve Sagarra