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Posts Tagged ‘Gun Violence’

As unpleasant as it is to inject political history into a discussion surrounding the tragedy that is becoming known as the Tea Party Massacre (the term itself is, of course, a political injection,) I think that is is something that we should do. Something we MUST do.

As you might have guessed by the graphic, I lay a great deal of the blame at the feet of none other than Saint Ronnie. Saint Ronnie, by beginning his campaign in Philadalphia, Mississippi, blew a silent dog whistle that many people on the fringes of our society listened, and responded, to. The “militia” movement of today began in earnest in the Saint Ronnie era, and almost all of those people were either loosely, or tightly, bound around the notion of “White Pride.” The Aryan Nations, The Order, and hundreds of little imitators suddenly felt a whole lot better about themselves, and what they stood for, because of the guy in the White House, who famously used to talk about the “strapping young buck” buying his steak with food stamps. The “Welfare Queen,” which is a racist figment of the right wing imagination, was born in the era of Saint Ronnie. While there is no evidence that Jared Loughner was ever a member of one or another of these groups, they are as numerous as cacti in Arizona, and Loughner definitely knew, and repeated, a lot of their jargon.

Anyways…. let’s continue…

The juxtaposition of events that occurred in the Saint Ronnie era, in my opinion, led us right to where we are today.

-Saint Ronnie convinced people that they should have it all-roads, schools, police, fire departments-but that they should PAY for NONE of it. Two lingering results have come from the Gipper’s dishonesty regarding taxes and services; (1.) is that no politician who wishes to prevail can dare to even BEGIN to talk about raising revenues, and (2.) our borrowing has finally constrained us to the point where we cannot even begin to address the deterioration in our educational system, or our highways, or our schools. If EVER we needed to have an honest discussion about what we want, and what we are willing to pay for, the time has come. It is time to put this right wing demonization of GUBMINT and taxes to bed once and for all, and I’ll give you just one example of why.

Arizona, loaded down with “Tea Party” type Republicans, is starved to death for revenue. As a direct result of being starved to death for revenue, spending for mental health services has dropped dramatically (a trend that also began in the Saint Ronnie era, when state mental health systems broke down from lack of funding and thousands of mentally ill people were dumped on the streets.) As a result of that drop in spending, these days you have to do something pretty dramatic to get the attention of mental health authorities in Arizona.

You know what I mean-something like Jared Loughner did.

-The second thing that Saint Ronnie popularized was this notion that any American ought to be able to buy whatever gun he or she fancied. As a result, for 30 years now fringe, lunatic elements in our society have been able to get their hands on ever-stronger and more effective firepower. Any politician who dares to talk about controlling the lethality of weapons in this country can expect to be drowned in a sea of NRA money, in spite of the fact that gun violence-towards individuals, and Police Officers, and Government officials-is disturbingly high, and in the case of Police and other officials, definitely on the rise. The idiots who insist that the Second Amendment to the Constitution gives us all the right to pack heat that can turn a guy into hamburger always ignore the words “A WELL REGULATED MILITIA.” The Founders, who put that Amendment in, were dealing with a country that faced hostile frontiers on all sides of it-and had smooth-bore hog rifles that were cumbersome to reload, and dangerous for a distance of about 50 feet. As far as the malarkey about “they wanted us armed ‘cuz they wanted to keep the GUBMINT scared,” history has shown us that from the days of the Whiskey Rebellion on, the Federal Government has not hesitated to use lethal force to enforce its mandates any time it judged the situation to warrant it. Far too many American lives have been either lost or horribly altered from what is obviously a perverted reading of the intent of the Second Amendment, and it is high time that we got together and decided on a reasonable system of regulation of firepower.

I don’t know about you, but I am sick to death of a bunch of deaf-eared right-wing fossils preventing me from even having a DEBATE on what is to be done. If they don’t want to talk about it, then they need to get out of the way. Their twisted paranoia has caused this country enough misery, death, and decline. It’s time for the reasonable and the rational to be heard.

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Following Sarah Palin’s videotaped statement today, let there be no doubt about her total lack of seriousness — a character trait, in fact, that’s utterly dwarfed by her chronic inability to construct prepared, teleprompter-presented remarks without virtually choking on her own tongue.

Sarah Palin could have used her time to be a leader — to take the high road and talk about the heroes and the victims of this terrorist attack. She could have used the time to discuss responsible gun ownership. She could have taken the time to address her people and mitigate the anger and political hatred that’s bubbled up around this tragedy. Instead, she diminished the tragedy by conflating it with the attacks against her and her record of inflammatory statements.

And, along the same line, arguably the biggest gaffe of today’s narcissistic word salad was her use of the phrase “blood libel.” So not only did she opt to whine about her critics on a day when real heroes and real victims will be memorialized, but she also compared the criticism and stress she’s endured throughout the last four days to thousands of years of anti-Semitic religious persecution endured by Jews.

Can you imagine how she’ll react in a crisis should everyone go insane and elevate her to the White House? “Rachel Maddow is committing a holocaust against me. Wah! Feel sorry for me! Oh, and by the way, we’re invading Mexico. God Bless America. And my life is as tragic as a German Jew in 1943, also. Good night!”

The histrionics are staggering, especially for someone who wants to be taken seriously as a potential candidate for national office. Though, in her defense, it’s very likely she didn’t write this speech. So whoever included “blood libel” in the text had to have understood the meaning — even if she didn’t. After all, it’s not a phrase that pops up in normal conversation or within the average political address.

She’s clearly been taking seriously the e-mail Glenn Beck sent to her following the shootings, in which he implied that she’s the victim in all of this, and how she ought to hire his personal security firm, because if she’s ever taken out, it could mean “the end of the republic.”

At no other point in her address were Beck’s phony-baloney, maudlin dramatics more apparent than when she accused the press of inciting violence against her: “Especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn.”

(more…)

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