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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Murder in Tucson; Politics as Usual

Murder in Tucson; Politics as Usual

By accident I turned on the television this past Saturday, just after the shooting incident in Tucson.  Kathi and I were shocked and stunned by the bloody massacre that took place in a Safeway grocery store parking lot.  The target, we now know, was Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a young, attractive, articulate “Blue Dog Democrat” member of the United States House of Representatives from the southern part of Arizona.  A deranged young man, Jared Lee Loughner, shot her at point blank range in the head.  It’s sickening to even think about.  Loughner fired his Glock 9mm handgun at other attendees killing six in all and wounding many more.  Our prayers go out for Congresswoman Giffords and all those who were injured, as well as for those who lost loved ones in the shooting.

Thanks in part to the heroic efforts of 74 year old military retiree, Bill Badger, who was himself wounded in the head, Loughner was wrestled to the ground before he could reload and kill more.  It was a day of infamy and sadness for the citizens of Tucson and America.  One of those dead at Loughner’s hand was a 9 year old girl who had recently been elected to her school’s student council and wanted to learn more about public service.  Another victim of Loughner’s insanity was a Federal Judge, John Roll, who just happened to stop by the Safeway after attending Mass. 

Sadly, before any facts were ascertained, an Arizona state senator, Linda Lopez, said on FOX News that the shooter was an Afghanistan war veteran.  What is it with liberals like Lopez?  Do they not have any respect for the truth or for those who were injured?  Is everything politics on the left?  Have they no compassion or humanity?  Lopez was wrong, but that has not silenced her.  No, on Sunday she insinuated that the “Tea Party” was to blame for the attack in Tucson.

“Bloodshed Puts New Focus on Vitriol in Politics” was the headline in the New York Times.  I don’t suppose the Times was referring to the “Brawler in Chief” who famously said in a 2008 speech in Philadelphia about the Republicans, “When they bring a knife to a fight, we bring a gun.”  Nor do I suppose they were referring to NPR’s Nina Totenberg who on air wished for the death of United States Senator Jesse Helms and his grandson!

Or how about our far left friends at Politico, the inside the Beltway website that quoted a “veteran Democratic operative” advising the White House “to deftly pin this on the tea partiers,” just as “the Clinton White House deftly pinned the Oklahoma City bombing on the militia and anti-government people” in 1995.
Sarah Palin was one of the first to be attacked by on-air leftwing commentators for “targeting” Congresswoman Giffords, but they were curiously silent about Representative Giffords being similarly “targeted” by a leftwing website for being a “Blue Dog” Democrat.

I am repulsed by politicians of any stripe who would stoop so low as to use the attempted murder of one of their colleagues for political gain.  You should be too.  They do not deserve our respect or our support.
What are the facts about Jared Lee Loughner?  The emerging picture is of a seriously ill person who had been previously sent home five times from the local community college for out of control behavior.  We now are aware of e-mails from and between students in a math class expressing their fear that they would be shot like the students at Virginia Tech.  Some purposely took a chair near the door so they could escape.  Loughner was a seriously disturbed individual.

While the news media continues to report him as someone who did not like government, we now know that at his website and apparently on Facebook he listed as some of his favorite books the Communist Manifesto and German National Socialist Party founder, Adolph Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf.  But don’t make the assumption from this that he was a leftist because he also listed a book by Objectivist Ayn Rand.  According to the Wall Street Journal, his main problem with government was that he believes it is trying to control American “grammar.”  We also know that he believes the United States government was behind the attacks of 9/11.

Clearly Jared Lee Loughner has no coherent political philosophy, left or right.  He is mentally ill.  He wasn’t influenced by anyone’s rhetoric, he was living on another planet, a very dangerous planet.  All the signs of his mental illness were evident to those around him.  But the hands of the community college and others were tied because, thanks to the American Civil Liberties Union, you can’t detain or incarcerate anyone until they do something.  In other words, you can’t do anything until it’s too late.  The same was true of the Virginia Tech shooter, Seung-Hui Cho.

I grew up in St. Joseph, Missouri, at that time the home to a very large state mental institution.  Number 2, as the home was referred to, housed thousands of mentally incompetent people, a small number who were criminally insane.  Today Number 2 is closed, as are almost all mental institutions of its type across America.  I’ve heard several tragic stories of families with sisters or brothers or fathers or mothers who are mentally ill, but they cannot receive institutional care.  Why?  As nonsensical as it sounds, successful American Civil Liberties Union lawsuits allow the mentally ill to make their own decisions about where and how they live.  We call them homeless and they live in desperately unsafe and filthy situations, thanks to the ACLU.
And today some of us live in terror of people like Seung-Hui Cho and Jared Lee Loughner because we are kept from helping them unless they agree to be helped or until after they do something like kill people.  I know it doesn’t make any sense, but that’s the law.

As far as the “politics above everything else” politicians and members of the news media are concerned, they deserve nothing short of our contempt for attempting to use a great tragedy for personal political gain.  They are part of the reason for the degradation of our society into a less than civil society.  Shame on them! 

Obama Chastises the Left, Will There Be An Apology?

Obama Chastises the Left, Will There Be An Apology?

President Obama ad-libbed a vague, but fairly clear chastisement of members of his own party and liberal commentators like Paul Krugman for their unfounded accusations that those on the right were responsible for creating an atmosphere of hate that caused the shooting of 19 innocent Americans in Tucson, Arizona on January 8, 2011.  The target of the shooter was apparently United States Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords.  Six were killed including Federal Judge John Roll and a nine year old girl.  Although the President devoted much of his speech on January 12th to a plea to tone down public debates and to the necessity of respecting other points of view, he said, “let us remember it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy -- it did not.”  While it’s not entirely clear why the President focused on uncivil debate if it did not in any way encourage the shooter, it was, nevertheless, a welcome word of sanity in a sea of vitriol that has spewed forth from the left since the tragic shootings.

Paul Krugman, who is a Nobel Prize winner in economics and an op-ed writer for The New York Times, is hailed as the guru of the left, but the hate and venom that came from his pen on January 9, 2011 bore no resemblance to rational thought.  It was unreasoned, undocumented, and clearly he was nearly unhinged.  He excused the often hysterical Keith Olbermann from any culpability whatsoever, blaming Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Michele Bachman, and even Bill O’Reilly for creating a climate of hate.  Mr. Krugman, look in the mirror, you and Olbermann are guilty of repeated character assassination.  You play fast and loose with the facts and go into a rage whenever your views take a beating in the marketplace of honest ideas.  Your rage obviously stems from having your ideas being rejected by the American people, not from any sense of concern for a free, civil, and open debate.  Krugman says…

 “Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right.”

Krugman himself is no model of civility having advised the “progressives” in the Democratic Party, i.e. liberals…

“By all means, hang Senator Joe Lieberman in effigy.”

With similar self-righteousness, recently defeated Pennsylvania Congressman Paul Kanjorski penned an op-ed column in The New York Times on January 11th in which he said, 

“We all lose an element of freedom when security considerations distance public officials from the people. Therefore, it is incumbent on all Americans to create an atmosphere of civility and respect in which political discourse can flow freely, without fear of violent confrontation.”

This is the same Congressman who on October 23, 2010 said of now Florida Governor, Rick Scott…

“That Scott down there that's running for Governor of Florida, instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him.”

When reminded of his incendiary remarks after the Tucson shooting, the ex-Congressman feebly pleaded that everyone knew he wasn’t serious.  

Sarah Palin, whose very name seems to drive liberals to the brink of insanity was one of the first to be blamed for causing the Tucson shooting.  Supposedly her PAC poster with a crosshairs over Gifford’s district was a contributing factor, although it’s doubtful that the shooter ever saw the poster.  Or perhaps he saw a similar poster from the Democratic left with a similar bull’s eye over Gifford’s district.

What an incredible double standard Krugman and Kanjorski and their multitude of misguided liberal friends in Congress and the news media have.  When the President said in Philadelphia during the presidential campaign that, “When they bring a knife, we bring a gun,” there were no calls for civility from the left.  When the President told a Hispanic crowd before the 2010 election to “punish your enemies,” there was no outrage.

And speaking of outrage, where is the outrage that Jared Loughner was not treated, jailed, or institutionalized after knowledge that he was a potentially violent and deranged person?   Loughner bears many similarities to the Virginia Tech shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, a very sick young man who also had exhibited signs of violent behavior.  Both Loughner and Cho were ignored by school authorities because their hands were tied by unrealistic laws and regulations that forbid restraining or institutionalizing them prior to actually becoming violent.  This is the real outrage of the Tucson shooting and the Virginia Tech shooting.  Where is the discussion of how to avoid these senseless murders in the future?  Where is Mr. Krugman?  Where are The Washington Post and The New York Times?
We now know that the shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, was not only living in a world detached from reality, but from his good friend we know that he was totally detached from politics—he didn’t listen to talk radio, he didn’t talk politics, he was not left or right.  Loughner was registered as an Independent and did not even vote in the last election.  In the face of these facts and the President’s admonishment, the left wing smear machine has quieted down.

But where is the apology?  After several days of almost unlimited attacks and slander of good and decent conservative men and women, where’s the apology?  Where’s the apology for even suggesting that legitimate political debate caused the shooting of the Congresswoman and 18 others?  Where’s the apology for dishonestly smearing good people just because you don’t agree with their political philosophy?  Silence is not an apology, it’s just a sign of unrepentant guilt.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Liberals and Cockroaches

Liberals and Cockroaches 

Wow, what an amazing reaction from the Democrats in Congress and “liberal” members of the mainstream media to the reading of the United States Constitution on the floor of Congress.  From the reaction, one would think that someone wanted to read Karl Marx on the floor of Congress, or perhaps some very raw pornography.  Well, maybe those on the left would not have objected to either of those.  After all, pornography, according to the ACLU, is just free speech.

Of course, the reaction is not only to the reading of the Constitution, but also to requiring members of Congress to provide evidence that any bill introduced into Congress is within the charter of the Constitution. 

The award for the most inane complaint goes to Juli Weiner at Vanity Fair Daily and her instant expert, Peter Keating.  The complaint is that the reading cost too much money!

“It would seem that in an era of Fiscal Responsibility, a performative rendition of the Constitution might have been one such eliminated endeavor.  For an estimate on just how much the Republicans would have saved if they had decided against the tedious exercise, VF Daily checked with Peter Keating, the co-author of “The Cost of No” and’s resident expert on Congressional wastefulness.”

“The amount I get is nearly $1.1 million. $1,071,872.87, to be exact, though of course this is more back-of-the-envelope than exact,” intoned “expert” Keating.

Others, like so-called “whiz kid” Ezra Klein of The Washington Post, complained that the Constitution is more than 100 years old, as if to say that anything that old can’t have any value.  He went on to imply that no one really knows what it means.  Gee, Ezra, I guess that goes for Shakespeare, the Gettysburg Address and the Ten Commandments, too.  Maybe Ezra isn’t the whiz kid they claim he is.  Perhaps remedial reading is in order.

The Gray Lady chimed in too with the lofty thought that reading the US Constitution might be considered racist since Article 1, Section 2 deals with the compromise reached by the states to limit Southern representation in Congress by counting slaves as only 3/5ths for voting purposes.  Democratic Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. said it would be hurtful to read this.

Does neither The New York Times nor Jesse Jackson, Jr. know the history of this compromise?  It was between the abolitionists and the slave holding states.  The slave holding states said that slaves were property, but they wanted the census to include slaves so that they would have a larger representation in Congress.  The abolitionists of the northern states said they should not have it both ways.  Either they should free the slaves and count them, or if they were property, they should not be counted.  The 3/5s compromise was a punishment exacted on the South to try to force them into freeing their slaves.  It was promulgated by the abolitionists, not the slave holders.

No less than the great abolitionist leader and former slave, Frederick Douglass, declared…

“…the Constitution of the United States, standing alone, and construed only in the light of its letter, without reference to the opinions of the men who framed and adopted it, or to the uniform, universal and undeviating practice of the nation under it, from the time of its adoption until now, is not a pro-slavery instrument.”

Frederick Douglass was a great advocate and defender of the Constitution of the United States.  That’s a lot more than you can say for most members of the news media and of Democratic Congressmen and Senators.

While saying the reading of the Constitution is racist may be laughable, other attacks were downright nasty.  Some said the Republicans have a “Constitution fetish.”  Some said they want to worship the Constitution.  One wag suggested that the “Tea Party” folks could learn from reading the Constitution about its guarantee of privacy.  Of course, privacy, separation of church and state, and other liberal shibboleths are nowhere to be found in the Constitution. 

And perhaps that’s really the point.  The liberals are truly scared of what the United States Constitution says.  Reading the Constitution is apparently for liberals like shining a light on cockroaches—they scatter in all directions.  Having it read in public, let alone the halls of Congress, apparently terrifies them.

Perhaps they know what the American people will find in the Constitution.  It is a document that limits the powers of government and gives powers first to the individual citizens of the United States.  The powers are carefully enumerated and defined. 

There had never before been a government in the history of the world that tried to limit its own power.  It was written by men who understood that human beings were frail and imperfect, living under the curse of sin.  They knew from world history that the fatal longing of man was to gain power over others, to be like God.  Sure there were plenty of rationalizations by those seeking power.  They claimed to be better on some level—divine right, more moral, noble, smarter, and wiser—or they simply came to power through physical force.  

Nothing has changed.  Liberals of today see themselves as a cut above everyone else.  They believe they are smarter than everyone else.  They even believe they are more moral than everyone else.  They believe they are more compassionate, kinder.  But, of course, none of it is true.

Reading the United States Constitution in public!  Reading the Constitution on the floor of Congress!  It’s outrageous, scary, racist, and dangerous according to the silly folks on the left.  Perhaps it is dangerous to them.  It threatens their existence as the Ruling Class. 

And requiring Constitutional authority for each and every piece of legislation threatens their overreaching power grab.  It threatens the very foundation of the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the Great Society.  It spells the death knell for Obamacare and every other leftwing scheme that reduces individual freedom and that undermines the very legitimate responsibility of government to protect the sovereignty of our nation.

Let’s continue to shine the light of the Constitution on the ignoble schemes of Pelosi, Reid and Obama until the American people wake up and throw them out of office.