Saturday, January 15, 2011

Light Blogging Yesterday

All I did yesterday was drive around and read magazines in doctors' offices in two states.

Tuesday evening, Mrs. G complained of a sore throat. She rarely gets colds or the flu and she took some ibus and Theraflu and forgot about it.

It wasn't any better on Wednesday so she sent me out for the ingredients for a couple of her favorite folk remedies, which I suspect are vaguely Celtic, maybe Boston Celtic, as she mentioned "holy stick" and some guy named "Homey O'Pathic". Anyway, I found out you have to ask for them at the health food store because they don't keep them out where you can see them, but you can get organic Eye Of Newt and Toe Of Frog. Other stuff too. She put on a funny hat and mumbled something while she mixed it up:

"Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing,--
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble."

Didn't smell very good either.

Didn't work either.

She suffered through Thursday. She was just plain fuckin' miserable, and Friday morning she had me call the doctor for her because her throat was all swollen up and she couldn't talk.

They got her right in on a walk-in basis and diagnosed a tonsil infection, which we had both considered but didn't want to think about. They called up an ear, nose, & throat guy in Reno for her, my ol' nurse buddy Air Force Molly shot her up with steroids and off we went.


Mrs. G just came in doing curls with 5lb weights. I'm not kidding. She says she'll kill me if I mention shrinkage of her...

Note: Nurse Molly did 20 in the Air Force. She says givin' shots to civilians ain't near as much fun as givin' AF weenies assloads of penicillin with the square needle for ailments nowhere near the tonsils. Heh.

We got a little concerned when the ENT's office in Reno was in the Surgery Center of Reno, but in for a dime, in for a dollar. I thought for sure she was gonna have to have 'em out and maybe spend a night in the hospital, but luck was with us.

The ear, nose, & throat guy turned out to be a 6ft. tall redhead with big shoulders and build to match whom I instantly dubbed "Xena, the Warrior Otorhinolaryngologist". Awesome!

The doc did a procedure on Mrs. G involving a laser, a length of hose, and a drain pan. Except for the laser it bore an incredible resemblance to draining a flooded sump on a motorcycle. I was spared the gory details because the medical personnel, all women, convinced me that no mere man could possibly survive what was about to happen and would certainly pass out and convinced me to leave the room.

I'm glad they did. Mrs. G told me it was fucking gross.

She walked outta there feeling a lot better. I dropped her and the dogs, who had been in the truck for about five hours without relief but never complained, off at home and sped to the pharmacy at Safeway. Well, I sped to Safeway. Getting to the pharmacy at the back of the store through a milling herd of Friday afternoon out-of-towners was something else. I put on my Marine face and assaulted toward the rear of the store. If I pissed anybody off, they didn't say anything. I was focused in and wouldn'ta heard 'em anyway. I don't remember actually runnin' over anything.

I got 170 bucks worth of antibiotic and painkiller for 20 bucks, thank you Part D/Medicare Advantage/whatever, picked up an enchilada plate at El Rinconcito and a vanilla shake at DQ for Mrs. G and headed home.

Did I mention that neither of us had anything to eat yesterday until 5PM? My whole day was fueled by ONE cup of coffee. Mrs. G didn't even have that, which actually worked to her advantage when it came to slicing her tonsils open.

She ate half her enchilada plate followed by her antibiotic and her painkiller and was out like a light. She just snored gently, kinda like an outboard idling at the dock, so I knew she was OK. She had had quite a day and I was glad she was getting some rest. I had to wake her up to get her to go to bed.

She woke up this morning as chipper as ever, all things considered, made breakfast*, and all's right with the world. She's quite sturdy of mind and body and will be fine soon. Thank you, Jesus.

*I did the cooking while she was under the weather. My cooking violates not only the Geneva Convention, but conventional morality in that I would expect other people than myself to actually eat the swill. I'm always glad when nobody dies.

And how was your day?

Newly Elected RNC Chair

Here. Why?

Note to Left Blogtopia: If we ain't callin' this guy "Rancid Prybar" we're blowin' it. Heh.



I am tickled by the observation, from esteemed Atriot Jeffraham Prestonian in the comments earlier, that removing the vowels from Reince Priebus leaves the utterly appropriate acronym "RNC PR BS."

Heh indeedy.

Heh indeedy!

Be Careful, BuzzFlash

Yer steppin' on my Marine role models. This is close to desecration!

New terms ...

This goes along with my last post:

Stochastic terrorism is the use of mass communications to stir up random lone wolves to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.

This is what occurs when Bin Laden releases a video that stirs random extremists halfway around the globe to commit a bombing or shooting.

This is also the term for what Beck, O'Reilly, Hannity, and others do. And this is what led directly and predictably to a number of cases of ideologically-motivated murder similar to the Tucson shootings.

All these "hate-talkers" are underwritten by corporate interests (whomever owns the network they appear on) not just for the profits from advertisers on these programs but also from perpetuating, and deepening, the ideological divide in this country to produce a stagnant, inefficient government only capable of controlling the masses. As I said below, a divided (and ignorant) republic only serves to keep our attention off the fact that the rich and the corporations are taking us (and by "us" I mean all of us, "red" or "blue", who used to be known as the middle-class) for all we're worth.

A look at reality ...

[A big welcome to Avedon's readers - F]

I think this is about as honest read on today's state of affairs as there could be.

We have reached a pivotal moment in government and politics, and it feels like the last, groaning spasms of New Deal liberalism. When the party of activist government, faced with an epic crisis, will not use government's extensive powers to reverse the economic disorders and heal deepening social deterioration, then it must be the end of the line for the governing ideology inherited from Roosevelt, Truman and Johnson.


I've been thinking for a while now that we're at a point where we need something different, that this two-party system we have is no longer operative in light of all the societal and economic changes occurring in the last 40 years. I don't consider myself smart enough to know what it is but it seems to me our current system resembles a carburetor in the age of fuel injection.


Reformers today face conditions similar to what the Populists and Progressives faced: monopoly capitalism, a labor movement suppressed with government's direct assistance, Wall Street's "money trust" on top, the corporate state feeding off government while ignoring immoral social conditions. The working class, meanwhile, is regaining its identity, as millions are being dispossessed of middle-class status while millions of others struggle at the bottom. Working people are poised to become the new center of a reinvigorated democracy, though it is not clear at this stage whether they will side with the left or the right. Understanding all these forces can lead to the new governing agenda society desperately needs.


I firmly believe the change some of us hoped might happen when Obama was elected will come, though at this point I believe things in this country will have to get a lot worse before anything affects the status quo.

The corporatists who co-opt both parties have taken a divide and conquer stance toward the American people. The deep partisan ideological chasm that exists today is no accident, coincidence, or natural evolution of society. My gut tells me that if the "blue/red" line wasn't so severe, if the acrimony weren't so violent and entrenched, both sides would see how we are being used by interests that transcend national borders; for whom borders are nothing but a speed bump in their quest to make government nothing more than a way to control the proles.

Make time to read this today.

Great thanks to A Tiny Revolution for the link.

This is what bugs me ...

About Obama. Greenwald:


I've heard a lot of twisted reasoning employed to defend the full-scale immunity which Obama has vested in Bush officials for their chronic lawbreaking. But I doubt even Robert Gibbs would be willing to stand up in public and call it "courageous." Obama's decision to protect Bush-era crimes from accountability earned him the praise of conservatives, the gratitude of leading Democratic officials (petrified that their own culpability would be exposed), and the virtually unanimous support of the entire establishment media class. Initiating investigations and prosecutions of Bush-era crimes would have required substantial political courage; by contrast, blocking all such accountability was the easiest, most cowardly route, as it's what all of official Washington was demanding. That's the path Obama took.


That's when I knew ("we must look forward, not backward") he was just another of those looking to keep the status quo. Not showing any accountability for our crimes during the Bush administration showed the true hypocrisy of "American values". As Bush did after September 11th, Obama squandered the opportunity to polish the American brand once he was elected. He talked a great line everywhere he went, but when it came time for action, when others watched to see if we'd admit any type of wrongdoing by investigating at the least, Obama did nothing.

We had the chance to show we believed in the phrases we bandy about so frequently, "Rule of Law" especially, but once again we showed what everyone has come to expect from a hollow, shallow, superficial society. We are no better than any other tin horn dictatorship. Nobody pays except the little guy.


What's most extraordinary about this, of course, is that this is exactly the form of elite immunity we were not supposed to have. In fact, this is what the Founders waged a war to emancipate themselves from. As Thomas Jefferson put it in an April 16, 1784, letter to George Washington, the foundation on which any constitution must rest is "the denial of every preeminence but that annexed to legal office." Even the executive-power-revering Hamilton in Federalist 71 argued: "the fundamental principles of good government" require that even the President "be subordinate to the laws." "Law" simply makes no sense, and has no good function, unless all are subordinate to its dictates. [em in orig]


Refusal to hold those accountable who committed crimes in our name (regardless of party affiliation) makes Obama not only culpable but an accessory.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

It's always good to hear this one.

Emmylou Harris ~ The Boxer

Thanks to masa777hokkaido, Japan.

Friday, January 14, 2011

He might be a loon ...

But he's undoubtedly a right wing loon:

What was going on in Jared Loughner's mind? Based on his online rantings, the man who allegedly emptied a 31-round clip into Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and dozens of bystanders Saturday was preoccupied with theories on a massive government fraud. Many of his seemingly random statements—on "grammar," "the ratifications," "the new currency," and more—echo the teachings of the "sovereign citizen" movement, a right-wing school of thought alleging that Americans have been surreptitiously stripped of their God-given rights.


The "sovereigns" have one thing right, we have been stripped of our rights, but it was done by an Act of Congress. Not a damn thing surreptitious about it.

Great thanks to Pensito Review for the MJ link.

A little more hypocrisy please ...

The Republicans can't manage their own money and they want to manage ours? The party of "fiscal responsibility"? Yeah, right:

Whoever wins the RNC chairmanship tomorrow will inherit a committee deeply in debt. According to Reid Wilson of The Hotline, the party faces more than $21.8 million in outstanding debt as of the end of 2010.

But in an ironic twist, the RNC basically raised its own debt ceiling. The committee was scheduled to make a $5 million payment on its debt by the end of February, but has been granted a significant reprieve.


Tomorrow you'll find out who the "fiscally responsible" replacement to Michael "Wut Up" Steele is.

Yeah, that"s about right ...


Now let me see if I have the twisted Teabagger mindset straight: In Teabag America, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh are victims because people say their rhetoric is unnecessarily inflammatory, but Gabrielle Giffords had it coming:


They Gave Us A Republic:


Conservatives live in like-minded communities -- either geographically or in those Fox Nation-like exclusive conservative communities on the radio and cable dial. These are places where everyone not only knows your name but also thinks exactly as you do. And so when everyone they know thinks of liberals and the President as being "American-hating traitors," then such beliefs aren't hatefulness or even "politics" at all. They are common sense and conventional wisdom.


They know they're right and nothing thinking people do can change their minds. There is no compromise with these people because they see compromise as giving in to subversives who want to upset "the way things have always been" and "destroy the nation". It's why I have little hope this country can overcome what ails us.



Update Zwei:

Dr. Attaturk (Podiatrist to the Stars).

And just a note to conservative Jews: The conservatives look at you like they do Michael Steele. You serve a purpose and the day you stop serving that purpose, you will be vilified as well.

Update Trois:

This doesn't help:


As to why it exists, well, I merely speculate, but from poking around their site, I think their gig is this. Suppose you have home-schooled your advanced blastocyst in the best evangelical wingnut way, to the age of 18. And suppose you recognize that no matter how much you would like to pray otherwise, your advanced blastocyst, age 18, is an absolute lettuce.

Dumb as a box of Bibles. A cretin by Sarah Palin standards. A doorstop. A rock.


Solution! The Rivendell Sanctuary offers for a fee a place to deposit wingnut lettuce-children so that they might be subject to some form of vegetable processing, as per for example what is done with freeze-dried potatoes. You think I'm kidding...

Exceptionalism ...

D-cap has an excellent post up looking at the state of our Union:


In just about ever[y] statistic that is measured, we are below average when compared to the rest of the world. The only place we come out as leaders of the pack are in military might and waging war - and even those two have not had a good ride as of late. Look at the state of education, health care, savings, tolerance, happiness, poverty, and manufacturing in this country - nothing we do anymore screams innovation or leadership. All it screams is how much money can it make for the investor class. The politicians can rile up the crowds with American exceptionalism all they want - all the facts prove they are wrong.



America in the 21st Century has become the land of delusional idiots.

Three Queens ...

No, it's not Gay Pride Day in NYC. Cunard Line's three Queens (Mary, Victoria, Elizabeth) met in New York yesterday and the city threw them a big send-off.

If you see fireworks over New York Harbor this evening, don’t be alarmed. The pyrotechnics display is for the Cunard Royal Rendezvous, a gathering of the cruise line’s three Queens—Victoria, Elizabeth, and Mary 2—at the Statue of Liberty...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Rep. Harper: "We Hunt Liberal, Tree-Hugging Democrats"

Political Correction

POLITICO: What in the world does the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus do?

HARPER: We hunt liberal, tree-hugging Democrats, although it does seem like a waste of good ammunition.

Bring it, Harpo. Hugging a tree makes for a damn steady sight picture.

Sometimes I feel more like a Marine than a kumbaya liberal. Somebody has to.

Dog Whistle for Prayer Warriors - Palin as Victim of Blood Libel

Interesting. Creepy. In two parts. Many links.

Talk To Action

Palin's use of the term "blood libel" has caused a furor for reasons described in Chip Berlet's article. Journalists have speculated whether use of the term was inadvertent, with one writer stating that because Palin is from Alaska, she is "oblivious to the sensitivities and political correctness" of the lower 48. Palin knows her base and its sensitivities. Some of her supporters believe themselves to be the most persecuted and oppressed minority in American history. Their media warns that Christian patriots are the new Jews, headed for a holocaust at the hands of a "dangerous Marxist/Leftist/Homosexual/Islamic coalition." In a video titled "Marxism in America," (Ret.) Lt. Gen. William Boykin warns that Obama and his brown shirts (planned in the healthcare bill) are leading to an authoritarian state. The video was promoted on numerous Tea Party websites prior to the election. Militant imagery has become commonplace, including "spiritual mapping" featuring marked targets showing the location of demons which must be eliminated from communities. (More on this in Part Two.)

The underlying and growing anti-Semitism in these narratives has been evident for years to anyone who bothers to look at the books and videos being marketed to millions in the prophecy/conspiracy genre. The message is often camouflaged in Christian Zionist "pro-Israel" sentiments and many Jewish leaders have decided to look the other way. In these prophecy narratives all other religions are brutally destroyed, but there is a particular fixation on the humiliation and destruction of Judaism. Those promoting these narratives do not see them as anti-Semitic since they are convinced that they will save many Jews from eternal damnation.

Shorter: they feel they have to burn the village in order to save it.

From Part Two:

In Alaska the New Apostolic Reformation or "apostolic and prophetic" movement and the organizing of prayer warriors was spearheaded by Apostle Mary Glazier. Glazier spoke at a national convention about Palin joining her group at the age of 24 and Glazier continued to meet with Palin through the 2008 election, as confirmed by Charisma magazine.

Apostles and prophets throughout the movement celebrated Palin as having been "anointed" by God. This included a prophecy disseminated internationally by Glazier which was supposedly a vision indicating that Palin would take on the mantle of leadership after a death, presumably John McCain's.

I think I mentioned somewhere some time back that McCain would have been dead or committed by now had he been elected.

In addition to mapping and prayer warfare, apostles will often anoint the location with oil or plant a bible in the ground. Most of the spiritual mapping that I've seen also targets other religions including Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic houses of worship. Tolerance of others, such as homosexuals and those of other religions, is not considered a virtue but a failure to fight evil. Palin's quote from today's speech "...we certainly must not be deterred by those who embrace evil and call it good" is a common refrain which attacks liberals as supporting evil in the guise of tolerance and acceptance.

Scary shit. I think I'd rather face a platoon of zombies armed only with a salt shaker than these zealots.

Headline of the Day

DeLay Blames Liberal Jury For Conviction (VIDEO)

Well of course he does, but he says it like it's a bad thing. Heh.

Cry me a river ...

The Bugman's whining "those nasty libruls did it".

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), who has long argued that his indictment on money laundering charges was politically motivated, said on the "Today Show" this morning that his conviction was political, too.

"I was tried in the most liberal county in the state of Texas and, indeed, in the United States," he said, referring to Travis County, the home of Austin. DeLay and his lawyers had tried to get his trial moved to a different, more conservative county, to no avail. [my em]


Shut up, crybaby. You new wife Bubba is waiting for you.

Asking for Decency from an Indecent People

The Rude Pundit on President Obama's Tucson speech:

We are not, though, a nation of the goodhearted people Obama presented us as. We have become a nation where there's so much noise that only the screams get heard. We fall into a couple of camps: in one, the vast majority of the country, the apathetic who have decided that it's all white noise and just want to be left alone while they try to get or keep a job, pay the bills, and live a life that doesn't suck; in the other, that small tincture bottle's worth of Americans who engage, who understand that democracy is a responsibility and not just a term that you might learn for a high school social studies test. And in that bottle, there's the drops of poison, the people who do not seek to better the nation at large, who see only individuals rather than a society, who, in essence, hate the concept of a more perfect union.

Those are the savages. Some of them are elected savages. Some of them are the media savages. Some of them are the kind of savages who anonymously post things on blog or website comment sections because seeing their vileness in print makes it appear like valid discourse. The savages will not be converted.

Too true.

Former Bush speech writer: Blame marijuana for shootings, not gun laws

Fixer, please edit this for me if you spot any mistakes or typos. My vision's a little blurry from bangin' my head on the table.

Raw Story

David Frum, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush who now works as editor of his own conservative political website, suggested in a recent opinion essay that last weekend's tragic events in Tucson, Arizona remind him of why the US must continue prosecuting the war on drugs -- and in particular, the war on America's marijuana users.

"After horrific shootings, we hear calls for stricter regulation of guns," he wrote. "The Tucson shooting should remind us why we regulate marijuana.

"Jared Lee Loughner, the man held as the Tucson shooter, has been described by those who know as a 'pot smoking loner.' He had two encounters with the law, one for possession of drug paraphernalia."

Smoking weed makes me want to shoot things - it makes me want to shoot Twinkies into my vein.

Note to Frummie: You're a fuckin' idiot.

And just a note ...

President Obama showed more leadership last night in Tucson than he has the last 2 years.

We are a nation ...

Of stupid motherfuckers. (H/T: Fez)

Listen ...

Much as we all hate the verbal diarrhea spewed by the dripping sphincters of the GOP/Conservative/Teabag crowd, this is still America. I'm sorry, I value the 1st Amendment as much or more than the conservatives worship the 2nd.

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pennsylvania, said he will introduce legislation making it a federal crime for a person to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a Member of Congress or federal official.


Like I said before: Just exactly who will be the arbiter of what's "threatening" or not? Just exactly what are we prepared to do about it?

This is "slippery slope" territory. Any attempts to curtail free speech just don't sit right with me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Quote of the Day

Cookie Jill:


sarah. you're not amongst the victims here.


Palin breaks silence, steps on own dick

This is pretty fresh. Salon's War Room:

This is why Palin '12 just won't work

Thank you, Lord.

It has been widely assumed that Sarah Palin's response to Gabrielle Giffords' shooting would be a pivotal moment for her viability as a 2012 presidential candidate. Now Palin has finally broken her silence*, with a seven-minute videotaped message released this morning -- one that, more than anything, will probably give Republicans yet another reason to look elsewhere for a '12 candidate.

*Click this one for lots of instant reactions to her statement. It probably should been my main link.

As is the case just about every time Palin sounds off on a major topic, the result has been instant and bitter polarization. Palin pretty much guaranteed this would be the case by employing the emotionally- and historically charged term "blood libel" and by claiming that journalists and pundits who focused on her inflamed rhetoric in the hours and days after the shooting are guilty of inciting "the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn."

Wow! Blaming the media by using an anti-semitic slur in the wake of the attempted assassination of a Jewish congresswoman! That woman is even dumber and less sensitive than we thought. Amazing.

This deal is spreading faster than the munchies at Fixer's parties!

Gotta go. Lotsa readin' up on this one to do.


Josh Marshall

Today has been set aside to honor the victims of the Tucson massacre. And Sarah Palin has apparently decided she's one of them.

Note to Sarah: Victim my big hairy white hind end. You did this to yourself. What went around came around, not as quickly as I would have liked but better late than never. Hear that dripping noise? That's my ass bleedin' for ya.

Update II:

National Jewish Democratic Council via YubaNet

Instead of dialing down the rhetoric at this difficult moment, Sarah Palin chose to accuse others trying to sort out the meaning of this tragedy of somehow engaging in a "blood libel" against her and others. This is of course a particularly heinous term for American Jews, given that the repeated fiction of blood libels are directly responsible for the murder of so many Jews across centuries -- and given that blood libels are so directly intertwined with deeply ingrained anti-Semitism around the globe, even today.

Perhaps Sarah Palin honestly does not know what a blood libel is, or does not know of their horrific history; that is perhaps the most charitable explanation we can arrive at in explaining her rhetoric today.

She knows now. Heh.

Update III:

I'm starting to hear conjecture that her use of 'blood libel' is a 'dog whistle' word for her fringie anti-semite supporters. I wouldn't put it past her, but personally I think she's was just being her usual ignorant self. I've been wrong before, however.

Where the American Dream went to die

I like Arizona for all the same reasons Will Bunch does plus a few of my own. This may be the best and saddest commentary on that state I've seen.

Is it any wonder that they call Arizona the Grand Canyon State? When news bulletins first flashed on Saturday that a congresswoman had been shot at a public event, it didn't take too much imagination to correctly surmise that it was Arizona, and that the victim was Gabrielle Giffords. Nor were you shocked, as some clearly were, when Pima County sheriff Clarence Dupnik declared his home state to have become "a mecca for prejudice and bigotry." The grim, blood-soaked crossover from death threats and broken windows to actual murder and mayhem seemed inevitable. But why here, in such a naturally blessed, sun-soaked corner of God's earth.

Why Arizona?

In 2011, the state is coming to represent a violent revolution of rising, and failed expectations. For much of the last generation, Arizona was held out as a promised land -- for retirees looking to write the closing chapters of life under heavenly skies, for immigrants who would meet the bottomless demand for hard work, for families looking to raise their kids into this thriving and up-and-coming economy, buoyed by boundless real estate and low taxes. It seemed too good to be true, and it was. By the time I got there in March 2010, it was clear that Arizona was the place that the American Dream went to die.

The real factors behind this Arizona Nightmare -- venal banks, too much borrowing, too much outsourcing of jobs that, unlike home construction, would have been permanent and stable -- were too abstract, especially for the toxic soup of talk radio. It is tragic how a state that once prided itself on Barry Goldwater-style can-do self-reliant libertarianism devolved into blaming The Other the minute that things went south here. Virulent anti-immigrant nativism -- occasionally sprinkled with things like neo-Nazism -- grew into the desert, as did fear of Muslims, to the point where an architecturally unusual new Christian church in Phoenix had to declare in a giant banner that it was not Islamic. Political heroes were now those like Arpaio who didn't just pursue reactionary policies but actually heaped humiliation and degradation on The Other, in sweltering outdoor prison camps. Ditto with members of Congress suddenly out of step with the new zeitgeist -- moderate Democrats like Harry Mitchell and Gabrielle Giffords were not just to be disagreed with but to be physically threatened with vandalism or worse. Meanwhile, guns became a statewide obsession, as lawmakers competed to see just how lax an environment they could create, where it was legal to bring concealed firearms just about anywhere.

In just the three days since semi-automatic gunfire shattered their world and ours, there has already been so much debate about whether Loughner and the shooting are products of our toxic environment or just the handiwork of "a lone nut," and whether that means the Pima sheriff was out of line with his pointed and powerful assault on prejudice and bigotry. But is it really necessary to tie Loughner into the broader body politic to prove what we as Americans should already know instinctively: That when eliminationists are targeting members of Congress with rocks and stray bullets and tar and feathers and a minister is praying for the death of the American president and when a state decides as an entity to profile and harass human beings because they have brown skin or because their religion is different, that things have already gone way, way off the tracks. We should have seen this long before 10 a.m. Mountain time, on the fateful morning of Jan. 8, 2011.

It's time for Arizona to turn off the radio and its cable TV sets, come out of its air-conditioned homes, and begin to see each other as human beings again -- to see leaders of an opposing political viewpoints as debate-club adversaries and not enemies on an apocalyptic battlefield. It is time for Arizona to re-dream the American Dream and maybe re-invent it in the process, to see that immigrants and retirees and everyone else in the polyglot that is the American Southwest just want bigger slices of a tamale pie that all can share, and not to fight each other over the crumbs. And when they come out of their homes to do this, Arizonans should also see what it's like to leave the handguns at home for a change.

All of us would give anything to go back in time, to undo Saturday's carnage, and to bring those six magnificent souls back to life. We can't do that, but maybe Arizona can dust itself off, gaze into the splendor of its big sky and see what an outsider sees, and remember what it was that brought them all to this scenic corner of America in the first place.

The promise of paradise.

Paradise is internal, not external. It's where you make it for yourself, at least on this earthly plane. Expectations that paradise will be thrust upon you by geographic or financial, and most certainly by political, circumstances will lead only to disenchantment and lashing out at "them" who denied you your dream.

If it's Wednesday... must be Morford. One guess what he's on about.

You know the answer. It's a bit like asking if violent video games really do desensitize children's minds, or if smoking too much pot every day will eventually make you a useless, slow-blinking dolt. It might not be the sole cause, but it's certainly a factor. How big a factor depends, in part, on the level of one's instability to begin with.

[...] But the fact is, Loughner's festering insanity also found easy, fertile ground indeed to flourish into violence. Almost right up until the moment Loughner pulled the trigger, the ever-paranoid, Tea Party-enraged portions of this country essentially cheered him on, sent him a brochure, welcomed him as one of their own.

Look, this is America: While you are halfheartedly allowed to be as optimistic, spiritually awake, book-learned, calm and reasonable as you wish, you are aggressively encouraged to be as suspicious, xenophobic, poorly informed, well-armed, God-fearing and insular as you possibly can. Let's be absolutely clear: When it comes to toxic rhetoric and the general spew of hate and fear, the GOP and its frothing media army outgun liberals by a factor of, oh, about a thousand to one.

On one level, Loughner is but another fractured mirror, held up to reveal our darkest cultural themes, obsessions, illnesses. We ask, "How can we minimize those factors that allow monsters like him to exist in the first place?" Most answers fail spectacularly.

Will the hate radio provocateurs do any soul-searching? They will not. Will we get stricter gun laws? Barely. Will treatment programs for mental illness improve? Hardly. Will the media, pop culture, our politicians, our society ever get past the vile veneration of the firearm, which results in 30,000 gun-related deaths a year, by far the worst rate in the civilized world? What are you, a communist?

No, and I'm not ready to try to try to sensibly discuss Guns In America either.

Nobody is, and it's a big part of the problem. It's very complicated and the NRA will not permit it.

The final questions emerge. Are you an agent of the calm and the open-hearted, or a pseudo-victim of the fear and the reactionary? Have you already made your choice?

Yes. I'm getting calmer and more hard-hearted against the fringe right all the time. When they both turn to ice, and it's close, Katy bar the door.

The Right-Wing Conspiracist Subculture

Talk To Action compares Loughner to an anti-abortionist killer and delves deeper.

Jared Lee Loughner, the alleged shooter of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others in Arizona shares an obsession with government currency and money manipulation plots with anti-abortion killer John C. Salvi 3d. Loughner wrote about a conspiracy of currency manipulation in text posted on YouTube. Salvi was found guilty in the Brookline, Massachusetts clinic shootings in late 1994 that left two women dead and several persons injured.

Although he was found competent to stand trial, there was substantial evidence that Salvi was mentally unbalanced and obsessed with conspiracy theories. [...]

It is still difficult for many people to see the political side of the Salvi case. There is still a widespread lack of knowledge about the beliefs of the right wing conspiracist subculture-and there is still an attitude of denial that groups promoting conspiratorial worldviews have growing influence in our political system.

[...] It is clear, though, that aggressive right-wing rhetoric targeting Democrats as treasonous encourages some unstable people to act out in aggression or violence. This was the warning of my report Toxic to Democracy: Conspiracy Theories, Demonization, and Scapegoating, published in June 2009.

As I wrote in Toxic to Democracy:

Right-wing pundits demonize scapegoated groups and individuals in our society, implying that it is urgent to stop them from wrecking the nation. Some angry people in the audience already believe conspiracy theories in which the same scapegoats are portrayed as subversive, destructive, or evil. Add in aggressive apocalyptic ideas that suggest time is running out and quick action mandatory and you have a perfect storm of mobilized resentment threatening to rain bigotry and violence across the United States.".

The right-wing demagogues are not legally culpable for the violence and assassinations, but they must share some moral culpability.

That last sentence is the crux of the biscuit. Go read the rest. This is scary shit.

A question ...

As mostly all of you know, I've had dogs all my life. Our last dog, Princess Shayna, had a lot of health problems from the time she was little and what we spent on medical care for her over 12 years was a fortune.

So now that we have the Dingo Sisters, I'm doing something I'm completely unfamiliar with; shopping for pet health insurance. Naturally, no insurance company would issue me a policy on Shayna (pet insurance didn't become "mainstream" until she was about 5 and by then she had too many "pre-existing conditions").

So my question(s) is(are): Anybody have any experience with pet insurance? Anything I have to keep in mind when comparing insurers?

The way it should work ...

Via Susie, a great editorial by Dylan Ratigan (he generally annoys me, more his manner than his substance) about how our economic system has been bastardized by those who can afford to buy our elected representatives:


As Americans, I believe we reject communism because it historically has allowed a tiny group of people to consolidate complete control over national resources (including people), in the process stifling competition, freedom and choice. It leaves its citizens stagnating under the perpetual broken systems with no natural motivation to innovate, improve services or reduce costs.


And to be fair, as we've seen, it ain't just the Republicans who've allowed this "socialism for the wealthy" to get so out of hand. We've come to understand quite well that our guy in the White House has no qualms about giving in to the wealthy and the corporations.


And yet today we find ourselves as a country in two distinctly different categories: those who are forced to compete tooth and nail each day to provide value to society in return for income for ourselves and our families and those who would instead use our lawmaking apparatus to help themselves to our tax money and/or to protect themselves from true competition.


They are the same people who wave the "free market" flag around when we demand a little regulation so we're not poisoned by our food, air, or water. The same people who created "too big to fail" and reached deeply into our pockets to subsidize their losses. The same people who nickel and dime us when we try to fly somewhere, yet are the first in line for government handouts when their business model is worth shit.


Unfortunately, they use our wealth and laws not only to benefit their outdated, failed companies, but also spend a small pittance of their ill-gotten gains lobbying and favor-trading with politicians so the government will continue to protect them from competition and their well-deserved failure.


I urge you to read the rest of the stuff between the quotes.

Thought ...

The modern Republican Party is the professional wrestling of politics.

Good luck in the primary ...

Our resident idiot here on Long Island (Rep. Peter King R - idiculous) came up with a somewhat common sense (for a Republican) piece of gun control legislation (limited as it is). I wonder when they'll take his GOP membership card away and run someone (a teabagger) against him in the primary.

Rep. Peter King, a Republican from New York, is planning to introduce legislation that would make it illegal to bring a gun within 1,000 feet of a government official, according to a person familiar with the congressman's intentions.


Hell, what good is being a teabagger when you can't carry a piece to a Dem campaign rally?

Great thanks to Mr. Amato for the link.

Shit ...

Another foot of snow overnight and it's supposed to continue until noon. It's 4 a.m. and I've already had to shovel out the back entry to get the Dingo Sisters out for their morning constitutional. I might as well move up to Gordon's neck of the woods* at this point. Heh ...

*If this keeps up all winter, by next winter I'm gonna have one of them Honda snow throwers that Gordon got this year. I've shoveled more this winter so far than I have in the last 10.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

AZ to do something right! Will wonders never cease?


Arizona's state legislature has announced a legislative effort to combat the infamous Westboro Baptist Church's plans to picket the funerals of the shooting victims in Tucson over the weekend.

May I suggest they simply not offer the WBC haters police protection?

Tweet of the Day

From 'Sarah Never Does Anything Wrong' at Juan Cole's Informed Comment:

Hey, Sarah Palin, how's that hatey, killy, reloadey, crosshairsy thing working out for ya?

Spin it like ya stole it!

I made the following comment over at Ornery Bastard in the wake of some furiously back-pedalling wingnuts trying to shift the blame:

Yes, the guy was a whackjob. A FAR RIGHT whackjob. Too bad he wasn't a Librul whackjob or a Muslim whackjob or somethin', huh?

My point, though I didn't make it very well, was that the wingnuts like to blame Libruls and/or Muslims for everything and would have been all over this like stink on shit had Loughner been either of those instead of what he is which is a stark raving right wing lunatic.

Well, they're doing it anyway:

Ever fond of blaming Muslims for anything, Gingrich immediately responded by shifting focus from the Arizona shootings to his Islamophobia campaign. Throwing in a few plugs for his anti-Muslim film “America At Risk,” Gingrich slammed liberals “who scream if you tell the truth about American Islamists” but “smear conservatives” for other, non-Muslim acts of violence:

Blaming “the left” is typical Gingrich behavior in the wake of national tragedies. After the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, Gingrich accused “the liberal academic elite, the liberal political elite” of “being afraid to talk about the mess you have made, and being afraid to take responsibility for things you have done.” When ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked if he saw the 2007 Virginia Tech tragedy the same way, Gingrich said “yes” because liberals have created “situation ethics” zone free of religion. He even blamed liberals for Susan Smith’s drowning of her two children in 1994, saying the only way to avoid future incidents was “to vote Republican.”

Nice try but no cigar, Neutie. The shoe's on the other foot this time like it has been in a zillion other recent right wing terrorist attacks.

The right is trying like crazy to dissociate the act of a crazy person from their 'kill the liberal commies' hate speech. They're good at this, but they're not going to get away with it this time.

Ah, shit, they probably will.

Headline of the Day

Woman Denied Transplant Funding May Leave AZ After Being Told Life-Saving Procedure Is Not ‘Cost-Effective’

Makes me wonder if there's some kind of test in AZ to see who's 'cost effective' when it comes to saving their lives and who's not. Democrats and Liberals need not apply.

Dear Gordon ...

Don't worry, bro, it ain't that easy to pardon the Bugman.



Thanks to Joe for the link.

If it's true ...

I'll put even money on the position that Fox won't cover the trial at all and the other networks will gloss over the details:

I just heard from a couple of sources that attorney Judy Clarke, who represented the Unabomber in a defense that helped educate the public into the vitriolic right wing mindset, is going to greatly highlight the responsibility of the rabid right, particularly Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and the Tea Party, of the violent atmosphere that led to her client's unfortunate crime ...

How come ...

We're running a "socialist program"* in Afghanistan when we can't afford to help poor Americans?

At the entrance to a military base in southern Afghanistan, US Army Staff Sergeant Andrew Cunningham hands out money to locals employed to help rebuild their villages devastated by war.


Men from the 101st Airborne are now taking steps to help the population rebuild villages and irrigation canals through a cash-for-work scheme, part of the counterinsurgency plan to keep locals from backing the Taliban rebels.


This is why there never should have been "American boots on the ground" in Afghanistan. The minute we declared we wanted to "win hearts and minds" (remember that?) obliged us to rebuild what we broke (somehow, we now own everything the Soviets broke too, go figure) and stop the drug lords (except for the Pals of Karzai). Being the only common understanding with them is "we have the cash and you want it", we'll be subsidizing Afghan society until my nieces and nephews have grandchildren.


Later on the military base, about 100 workers are left annoyed when Cunningham runs out of money to pay them.

They will have to wait for their pay until next week -- more frustration for a population which has faced years of it.

And next week they'll be Sarge's pal again. Tomorrow, they'll put a bullet in Sarge's head if a Taliban gives them $50. Once (if) we leave, the Taliban will kill Karzai (if he doesn't leave for Zurich with his bankbook before when we go) and go back to business as usual. That's how shit works over there.

*I'm being facetious.

"But ...

Everybody does it."

Yer ass. Read it and weep.

The Wrath Of Fools


To: Palin-lovers, Fox "News," the "mainstream" media, and the Far Right, et al.

From: William Rivers Pitt

Date: Monday 10 January 2011

Re: The blood on your hands

Dear “Patriots,”

Most Disrespectfully Yours,
William Rivers Pitt

Between those two quotes lies the best rant yet on the Tucson right-wing attack. He pulls no punches and his anger is apparent. Go.

DeLay Sentenced


Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) has been sentenced to three years in prison, the AP and the Austin-American Statesman are reporting.

The best part is he's now a convicted felon and prohibited from associating with known criminals, e.g. Texas Repuglicant politicians.

I will be surprised if he does six months and he is presently out on bail pending appeal.

The only question that remains is how long after his appeal is denied will Governor Goodhair wait to pardon him?

Monday, January 10, 2011

My two cents ...

Stays on top today - G

My cousin Tara brought up a parody (in comments on Gord's previous post) I wrote a few years back about the ease of buying guns in this country:

"Git this new Winchester repeatin' rahfle for only fahr-nanty-nan'. Git it today wit' Val-U-Pay, sev'nty two payments on yer credit card. And today only on the Gun Show Channel, no background check. By golly, y'all kin be Ted Bundy and we don't care, we'll even throw in fahve hunnert rounds of full metal jacketed, 150 grain, Manstoppers feh-ree if y'all order in the next ten minutes. Son, Ah don' care if you is in Meridian, Mississippi or Noo York, we'll ship this baby out to ya overnight and no extree charge."

As I said in reply, I don't have the problem with keeping and bearing arms for self-protection. Protecting one's home and family (considering the police response times around here) is something one should consider. With an education and training in the use of firearms, you could be the only thing standing between some asshole who wants your stuff and your family. I understand and support this.

What I don't support is the ease at which guns can be bought and sold, and the fact that in many places there is no control and oversight. I don't support groups like the NRA who "deify" or "fetishize" firearms and turn the call for any type of regulation into "big government (the black man in the White House) is trying to take away your guns". I doubt even the most Lefty politician would commit that political suicide.

The fact that guns don't stop crime was shown in full light this weekend in Arizona (a free carry state). Where were all these big Rambo-type guys when this idiot decided to start shooting? Where was the postulate that "if everybody had a gun, people would think twice about committing a crime"? This nut thought more than twice and has been planning it for a while. If the "guns for everybody" crowd were right, this would never have happened (nor would the guy who shot up the school board meeting in Florida). But you know what, I'll be charitable and give them that point.

Now, let me put myself in the crowd on Saturday replete with sidearm (Colt Model 1911 .45 cal auto preferably). At close range I don't doubt my ability to hit this guy in the "center of mass", probably feel comfortable taking a head shot. Let's look at the timeline, shall we?

1. I'm standing in the crowd, finger up my ass, waiting for my chance to meet the Congresswoman. The odds I'd spot this guy for what he was as he got out of the taxi are slim (I'm window shopping while I'm waiting, or wondering just what the Congresswoman looked like naked, or some shit) because nobody, including me, is expecting what is about to happen.

2. If I'm lucky, thanks to the military, I'd spot the telltale arm movement of someone drawing a weapon in my periphery. Again, odds are I won't.

3. Odds are better I'd spot him taking aim at the Congresswoman, better that I'd hear someone scream when they saw the shooter's weapon. At that point, I go for my sidearm, draw it, and flick the safety off (if I'm carrying for protection, you damn well bet I have a round in the chamber).

4. By the time my pistol is on its way up to a firing position, he's probably taken his first shot (adding: he would have to shoot quickly to be certain he would get his target). If I wasn't lucky enough to see him take aim, I would have gone for my sidearm when I heard the first shot. Either way, the Congresswoman is already down.

[Now shots have been (are still being) fired and everybody there is running around like headless chickens in panic. I'm getting jostled and knocked around (maybe even knocked down) by people trying to get out of there in a hurry. I could be jumped on by a couple idiots who wanted to be heroes, thinking I'm the shooter. In that light, we continue:]

5. Now my pistol is up and I'm looking to get a shot. Thoughts go through my mind rapid-fire: Clear shot? (can I hit him without shooting an innocent). Distance? (will my rounds go through him and kill innocents behind). Target? (can I get the "center of mass" or will I have to go for a secondary target) Secondary target? (Head, leg, arm; will I miss and who will I kill instead; will it make him stop shooting; see #6)

6. If I'm not lucky enough to get off a man-stopping shot, will he return fire at me (this was the case in Florida where the shooter continued to engage security, even when down), thus putting more people in danger? Will my action cause even more people to die? Thinking about it, I'd probably risk a few "collateral"* injuries to stop a massacre but I can never be certain.

You've noticed I use the word "luck" and its derivatives quite frequently. A lot of it would be needed to take this guy down before he killed somebody, let alone not make the situation worse.

The thing that keeps popping up in my mind as I write is that what if there was another guy like me in the crowd. If I spotted him drawing on the shooter, would I engage him not knowing his motives? Would he engage me and force me into a defensive position where more innocents would be put in danger? The carnage would have been astronomical then.

An observation, as I wrote in comments on Gord's post:

... I don't think being a combat vet would have helped either. In combat, generally, everybody downrage is the enemy. You shoot until they all go down. In this situation, picking one guy off in a crowd of friendlies, it would be equivalent of "destroying the town to save it".

Combat experience would only have made me aware of the situation faster than most and put me in the zone, allowing me to keep my head when all around me are panicking. Combat tactics (unless I was a trained sniper and even then, a pistol is a far cry from a long rifle and scope [and the time to set up for a shot] when it comes to accuracy) would not have been appropriate in this situation.

Looking at the whole situation in hindsight, someone untrained in the use of deadly force with a firearm probably would have made the situation worse instead of stopping it. Even an off-duty cop (cops are notoriously bad shots, probably a symptom of "unlimited ammo syndrome") or a combat vet would have probably exacerbated the casualty toll by a few.

In my humble opinion, unless this shooter was stopped before he got into the taxi to the event, there was no way anyone could have prevented it. Well, maybe those who got the crazies all fired up in the first place.


Just thinking about it some more. I doubt an armed protection detail for the Congresswoman could have prevented this (unless one of them alerted on the shooter when he approached, before he drew his pistol) in this type of all-access venue. They might have limited the casualties somewhat but I'm pretty sure, without metal detectors and a sealed area for the event, Rep. Giffords would still have been shot.

*Believe me, I don't use the word lightly.

Dear Right-Wingers: You Are All Muslims Now

The Rude Pundit reads the wingnuts the riot act over the Tucson terrorist attack. Do not miss this:

Oh, dear, sweet conservative Americans, how you must have shit yourself on Saturday when you heard that someone had shot up an event with a Democratic member of Congress in, of all goddamned places, Arizona. And, worse, a Representative who had voted in favor of health care reform, which you have demonized as nothing short of a resurrection of the Nazi Party. It must have been awful for so many conservatives, thinking, praying, "Please, please, please, don’t let it be some Tea Party dick who says he did it because Glenn Beck told him to. Don’t let it be someone who wants to fuck Sarah Palin and thinks that if he starts taking out her congressional crosshaired targets, he’ll get into her pants."

Now, ah, yes, now, lovely right-wingers, you could defend yourself. You could work yourselves into a huff about how unjustly you were accused of driving this obviously disturbed individual into an act of calculated, cold-blooded violence. But that's because you're sitting there in your shit-filled underpants, thinking, "I don't believe in violence. I don't approve this. I hope the government doesn't try to crack down on us."

So, welcome, assholes, because you are Muslim now.

How does it feel to stand in Muslim shoes today? Because, right now, yes, you are being treated like suspects. You are being treated like you are guilty of the crimes that are committed by the deranged in your number. Sure, you may think, you can spout all the blood-filled, gun-toting, war-flogging rhetoric you want against citizens of your own country. But those are just words, you know? You can’t, you know, be held accountable for the actions of a few. And, gosh, it’s just wrong to lump you all together, to stereotype you all as criminals in waiting. Like, you know, you have done with Muslims since September 11, 2001.

How will you live with yourselves in the future? Look, heated, vicious rhetoric is part of the political game. But, frankly, there’s a bit of difference between saying that you’re going to "target" an opponent and saying that there might have to be "Second Amendment solutions" to the nation’s problems. Let's not do the bullshit dance of false equivalence. While there was a period of time when the left was violent (which was met by officially-sanctioned violence by the government), in the last couple of decades, it hasn't been the left shooting shit up. It wasn't the left who let the assault weapons ban lapse. It wasn't the left that made access to guns as easy as a McDonald's drive-thru. It wasn't the left that cried "Fascism" to background checks for someone who wants to own a fucking machine gun. It wasn't the left that supported preemptive war and violence against individuals as solutions to our nation's problems. Time to welcome your chickens home, conservatives. Open your filthy arms.

But you know what, you ridiculous worms? At the end of the day, the Rude Pundit supports your right to say your stupid shit. And it's ironic that Giffords read the First Amendment during the House's big show last week of reading the Constitution. Free speech ain't a free pass. It never, ever comes without responsibility. You wanna spout crazy, violent shit? You wanna talk about end times and revolution, Glenn Beck? Then man up and know that some people will take you seriously, even if you are just a joke.

Glenn Beck? Any of 'em? Man up?! El Rude-o made a not-so-funny funny. The violence-spewing right wing nutbags are running away from this at high speed. They can run but they can't hide.

And just let me ask ...

Since all the talking heads are beating the phrase "tone down the rhetoric" to death. Who's going to be the arbiter of what's "toned down" and what ain't? And what are they prepared to do if it ain't?


BTW, we're having an IT problem here at Chez Fixer. As you know, the Mrs. works from home. Well this morning her company-issued laptop took a big-time shit. Kaput. Finis. I can't fix it. They're sending her a replacement overnight by FedEx. All good except she has to work today. She commandeered my office and I've been relegated to blogging on my laptop in the bar. Oh ... wait ...

Climate of Hate

A 'must read' by Paul Krugman.

When you heard the terrible news from Arizona, were you completely surprised? Or were you, at some level, expecting something like this atrocity to happen?

Put me in the latter category. I’ve had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach ever since the final stages of the 2008 campaign. I remembered the upsurge in political hatred after Bill Clinton’s election in 1992 — an upsurge that culminated in the Oklahoma City bombing. And you could see, just by watching the crowds at McCain-Palin rallies, that it was ready to happen again. The Department of Homeland Security reached the same conclusion: in April 2009 an internal report warned that right-wing extremism was on the rise, with a growing potential for violence.

Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right. It’s hard to imagine a Democratic member of Congress urging constituents to be “armed and dangerous” without being ostracized; but Representative Michele Bachmann, who did just that, is a rising star in the G.O.P.

And there’s a huge contrast in the media. Listen to Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann, and you’ll hear a lot of caustic remarks and mockery aimed at Republicans. But you won’t hear jokes about shooting government officials or beheading a journalist at The Washington Post. Listen to Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly, and you will.

Of course, the likes of Mr. Beck and Mr. O’Reilly are responding to popular demand. Citizens of other democracies may marvel at the American psyche, at the way efforts by mildly liberal presidents to expand health coverage are met with cries of tyranny and talk of armed resistance. Still, that’s what happens whenever a Democrat occupies the White House, and there’s a market for anyone willing to stoke that anger.

But even if hate is what many want to hear, that doesn’t excuse those who pander to that desire. They should be shunned by all decent people.

I have nothing to add. Please read this.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Lindsey Graham Suggests U.S. Keep Two Permanent Bases in Afghanistan
To protect small minority who want us to stay there from huge majority who want us to leave.

Obama to Deliver State of the Union Address on Jan. 25
Immediately following, GOP will deliver State of the Confederacy address.

Navy Relieves Captain of Duty for Performing in Raunchy Videos
Search begins to find replacement who has never performed in raunchy videos.

Study: Rich Unable to Accurately Identify Emotions in Others
But the help can do it for them.

Facebook Valued at $50 Billion
Still far less than Legbook, Assbook, Titbook.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Arizona sows the wind and reaps the whirlwind *

*Hosea 8:7. Shorter: Choices have consequences. Words and actions are choices.

Great rant at Tucson, "The View from Baja Arizona":

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said it best:

“The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous, and unfortunately Arizona has become sort of the capital,” Dupnik said Saturday January 8th at a press conference about the shooting of Congresswoman Gabriell Giffords and 18 others.

“We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry,” Dupnik added. “The fiery rhetoric that has taken hold in politics may be free speech, but it’s not without consequences.”

From top to bottom we have become a sick society filled with hatred and armed crazies.

In our political process the opposition is demonized to the point where media commentators such as Glenn Beck can suggest liberals ought to be killed.

Sheriff Dupnik made the point that where a climate of hatred and intolerance is created, that opens the door for armed nut cases to act out their craziness.

And this isn’t the first time a gunman has tried to kill those who serve our country and kill those who have political views opposed to theirs. They try to instill fear in anyone who is willing to step up to the plate for fairness and social justice.

America is known for killing its leaders….and are we any different than Pakistan right now?

The hate filled rhetoric being used to justify one side’s political agenda has to stop RIGHT NOW !

A nice thought, but wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which fills up first. Here's why:

The media who profit from allowing the Glenn Becks and others who spew hostility must stop exploiting promotion of hatred for their bottom line.

Those who profit from selling guns to crazy people must be stopped.

And we need to really do something effective about our mental health care system beyond cutting budgets because some folks don’t want to pay taxes.

A direct legacy, at least in California, from Reagan when he was Governor.

The message from the armed crazies is to try and frighten anyone away from public service if they don’t follow the orthodoxy of one particular political perspective or another.

Another false equivalence that makes it seem as if the left does this as well as the right. Tain't so. We haven't heard of lefties espousing the violent deaths of others since the '60s. Hoping Satan calls 'em home from the gallows after due process, or getting run over by a truck, or their smirking faces running into my fist, or just plain croaking NOW, yes, but THIS CALLING-FOR-VIOLENCE-AND-SHOOTING BULLSHIT IS ALL ON THE RIGHT.

A few thoughts

Sarah Palin famously said, "Don't retreat. RELOAD!"

While the Tucson shooter was reloading, a woman, herself wounded, attacked him and grabbed the magazine. Two men then jumped on him and it was over.

That woman and those men were brave citizens who saw what they needed to do and did it. Kudos to them. We would all like to think we would have done that and pray God we never get the chance to find out.

About getting shooters while they reload: Be careful. During WWII, Wehrmacht soldiers quickly learned to rise up and shoot when they heard the distinctive "ping" of an M-1 ejecting an empty clip. That worked until the GIs figured out to have a second man with a full clip ready to greet them.

One armed law-abiding citizen in that crowd could have nipped it in the bud and prevented most of this. Given Arizona's permissive carry laws, I'm a little surprised there wasn't one. There would have been at a Repug rally, but nobody would have been shooting at them.

Possibly the most adult person in this so far is Sheriff Dupnik of Pima County. He was the first to bring up the hateful rhetoric that led to it and condemn it. Kudos to him as well.

"the crazies are coming out in force"

Paul Krugman on the right wing terrorist atrocity in Tucson:

You know that Republicans will yell about the evils of partisanship whenever anyone tries to make a connection between the rhetoric of Beck, Limbaugh, etc. and the violence I fear we’re going to see in the months and years ahead. But violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate. And it’s long past time for the GOP’s leaders to take a stand against the hate-mongers.

Fat chance, white boy. They depend on hate and fear and ignorance for their very being.

Update: I see that Sarah Palin has called the shooting “tragic”. OK, a bit of history: right-wingers went wild over anyone who called 9/11 a tragedy, insisting that it wasn’t a tragedy, it was an atrocity.

Update: I’m going to take down comments on this one; they would need a lot of moderating, because the crazies are coming out in force, and it’s all too likely to turn into a flame war.

Flame war, shit, it's turning into a shooting war.

White Terrorism

Juan Cole

Jared Lee Loughner, the assassin of Federal judge John M. Roll and five others and attempted assassin of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), was clearly mentally unstable. But the political themes of his instability were those of the American far Right. Loughner was acting politically even if he is not all there. He is said to have called out the names of his victims, such as Roll and Gifford, as he fired. As usual, when white people do these things, the mass media doesn’t call it terrorism.

They barely stop short of saying IOKIYAR.

The man who had most to do with Loughner after his arrest, Pima County Sherriff Clarence W. Dupnik, was clearly angered by what he heard from the assassin: “When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government, the anger, the hatred, the bigotry … it is getting to be outrageous. And unfortunately, Arizona, I think, has become sort of the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”

The subtext of the angst over the shooting of Giffords is that in recent months Loughner was saying Tea-Party-like things about the Federal government. The violent language of “elimination,” “putting in the cross-hairs,” (as with Palin’s poster, above) “taking back,” “taking out,” to which members of that movement so often resort, has created a heated atmosphere that easily seeps into the unconscious of the mentally disturbed. That is Dupnik’s point.

There apparently is some indication that Loughner had an accomplice, and his arrest and identification will shed a great deal more light on the motivations behind this political massacre. Did Loughner have a Rasputin? (my link)

Mr. Cole's reference to Rasputin, I think, is that someone put Loughner up to this. Think of Rasputin as an early, even more deranged Karl Rove. Or, as a just as deranged Limbaugh or Beck or Palin or Bachmann or Angle or...I could go on and on ad nauseam.

Go read the rest. Give a skim of the comments too. Nobody's defending this nutjob of course, but they are already trying to dissociate him from the right wing. Ain't gonna work.


Or not. HuffPo:

Westboro Baptist Church To Picket Funerals Of Arizona Shooting Victims

In a flier posted on its web site, the controversial church writes, "THANK GOD FOR THE SHOOTER -- 6 DEAD!" The message continues:

God appointed this rod for your sins! God sent the shooter! This hateful nation unleashed violent veterans on the servants of God at WBC--hoping to silence our kind warning to obey God and flee the wrath to come.

The flier claims that the shooting of both a House member and a federal judge -- the latter of whom was killed -- is god's punishment for judicial and Congressional action against the WBC. "God sent the shooter to shoot you! And He's sitting in Heaven laughing at you!" the announcement reads.

I hope nobody shoots at these bastards, but I hope someone kicks the shit out of 'em.

You don't ...

Draw a mustache on the Mona Lisa.

I touched on this on my post about the "patriotizing" of the Nutcracker Suite. The Rude One.


But let's put literary analysis aside. How about this: don't fuck with works of art. Don't cover the tits or dicks on statues. Don't put out DVDs with the naughty bits cut out of a film. If you can't handle it or are offended by it, move on. The Rude Pundit can't abide intense violence against women in movies, so there's a few allegedly great flicks he's missed. But he wouldn't ask to see Irreversible with the notorious rape scene cut out.


More Word.


... No matter how this turns out, is it unreasonable to ask that we take a look at the kind of political rhetoric that talks about "Second Amendment remedies", and draws gun-sight targets on Congressional districts (Facebook link / other link) and tweets "Don't retreat, INSTEAD Reload!"? Yes, every shooting like this is the work of a nut. But most of these nuts have cited the eliminationist rhetoric spouted by Sarah Palin and Sharron Angle and Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and the rest of the Tea Party mouthpieces and deities. At what point do we get to draw an association, if not outright cast blame, with those who tap into the obsessions of the mentally ill and the paranoid? What are we really gaining as a nation that is faced with a probably unavoidable decline when this is the nature of the discourse?




We've been tolerating political rhetoric that is unspeakably violent since long before Sarah Palin started spewing her nonsense on Facebook. If she never spoke again, if she never said another word, we would still have a society in which it is totally okay to call some people expendable because they're unprivileged, evil because they're idealistic, and irredeemable because they have the gall to say that the way things are isn't the way things have to be.

Sarah Palin and her Facebook page are just a little cruder about expressing it, is all. And nobody really minded all that much until some lunatic started shooting.

But it's not terrorism ...

If a Right-wing whack job does it:

Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords miraculously survived a point-blank gunshot to the head as a lone gunman killed six people Saturday during a routine voter meet-and-greet.


A 9-year-old girl, a federal judge and a Giffords staffer were among those killed. Giffords and 12 others where wounded in a shooting that shook the nation.


I hope I'm wrong, but how much you wanna bet this asshole's TV watching habits include Fox, Beck, and O'Reilly?