Sunday, January 9, 2011

Some Reflections on the Arizona Shootings

By any stretch, the killing of six people, including a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl, along with the severe wounding of Rep. Gabby Giffords, is an outrage. Unfortunately, the pundits of the media, not to mention some irresponsible and opportunistic people in Congress, have no respect either for the dead or the living.

As I see it, we live in a society that is so hopelessly politicized that whenever something like this happens, intelligent discourse is almost impossible. For example, Paul Krugman, Jane Fonda, and Keith Olbermann have blamed Sarah Palin. Why? Because last year Palin had a blog which had target marks on states where she believed Democratic members of Congress were vulnerable.

Don't you get it? She had a "target," which then drove the shooter to do what he did. Well, given the fact that Jared Lee Loughner, the shooter, was known to be a person of the Left, and he tended to lean toward "luminaries" like Marx and Hitler, I find it a stretch to believe that all along with was Sarah Palin directing his murderous rampage.

Yet, a Nobel Prize winner like Paul Krugman has no problem. Is he engaging in logic that is shaped like a pretzel? Yes, but that's Krugman: always trying to get his hateful, incendiary rhetoric out there while accusing others of engaging in hateful, incendiary rhetoric.

Meanwhile, Radley Balko tries to make sense of the whole thing, but he keeps running into people who seek political advantage. One member of Congress claims that the shootings are proof that he and other lawmakers should not have to go through the same TSA lines that regular travelers must endure.

Balko also notes that governments at all levels in this country kill and abuse innocent people on a regular basis. Those who followed Tonya Craft's trial on this blog know all about how governments abuse innocent people -- and no one in government is held to account for the abuse.

Unfortunately, we are going to have to endure the incendiary rhetoric for a while. That is the price one pays for living in a country that is hopelessly politicized.


Anonymous said...

Politizing everything is the hallmark of the "baby boom generation." One of their favorite slogans is "the personal is the political."

A feature of Third World countries (which the United Staes is becoming) is that everything is political. For example, people are prosecuted on that basis. Durham, North Carolina, anyone?

Dan A. said...

Well put, William. Speaking of political hackery...

Check out this bit of intellectual dishonesty by economist Dean Baker:

"How many economists does it take to see an $8tn housing bubble? The answer to that question has to be many more economists than we have in the United States. Very few economists saw or understood the growth of the $8tn housing bubble. . ."

Fair enough, right? But how many of those "very few economists" does he cite? Zero. (This, from a guy who openly supports Ron Paul's efforts to audit the Fed.)

But not all is lost. Ironically, if unintentionally, he concedes that Keynesians et al. are incompetent:

"[I]t should have been easy for any competent to economist to recognise the housing bubble."


Anonymous said...

I am not sure how I feel about it. I think the political dialogue and the attitude toward each other has reached dimensions that are dangerous. When I hear Glen Beck talk about killing Michael Moore, etc. there is something seriously wrong with how we view people who are different or have different opinions. That rhetoric opens the door for nutcases like the shooter in Arizona. Whereas the shooter may not have any particular affiliation (from what we have heard), there definitely are things that should not be acceptable. Violence is never a solution!

KC Sprayberry said...

I actually had to look up who Olberman and Krugman were as I don't get into talking heads. Jane Fonda is still shooting off her mouth without engaging her brain but there is a good reason. All of these people follow the current administration's lead when it comes to blaming someone else, anyone at all, but a politically hated foe first and foremost for any kind of horrible tragedy that strikes this country. Honestly, with all the politicians attacking Sarah Palin I wonder just what about her scares them so much? And I don't mean the concerns coming out of their mouths. Why do they feel they have to 'educate' the American people about how awful Sarah Palin is. Are they afraid we'll figure out she's not the devil incarnate and actually put her in a position of power where she can do a better job than them?
Well, ladies and gentlemen who engage mouths before brains, far too many Americans have discovered your trick and we're not listening anymore, even those socially correctly trained 18-30 year olds you so count on to continue the spend, spend, spend mindset you've eschewed the last few years.
On the same note, America spoke on CNN's latest poll this morning. Of 81,965 people who participated, an overwhelming 74% don't want memebers of Congress protected at public events with taxpayer-funded security. So, if you're reading this, do you get the message?

Trish said...

No one is too blame for this except for a very mentally disturbed young man!! While political hatred that is spewed on all levels could have contributed, to blame what he did on Sarah Palin or anyone in particular is just as insane, as he is!!

I wonder though, how many violent video games he may have played growing up (he is only 22)? I do think kids are exposed to way too much violence and killing and they have become desensitized to it. It is just a game, it isn't real!! After all, you can reset the game and they are all alive again, so you can kill them again!!

Anonymous said...

Tonight, Olberman said that politics is everything and that includes the Arizona shootings.

Q.A. said...

"a Nobel Prize winner like Paul Krugman has no problem. Is he engaging in logic that is shaped like a pretzel?"

I like comparing the logic of Krugman et al. to a Möbius strip.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone say "when I hear Glen Beck talk about killing Michael Moore..? Prove that statement! You don't listen to Glen Beck or you would know that simply could not be true. You have heard someone say that and like a pathetic sheep you follow and repeat the lie. Educate yourself...before you embarrass yourself further.

Kerwyn said...


Beck has made similar statements as have many others. Hate speech, as I call it, has become a high pay industry. I use Ann Coulter as an example to this phenomenon. Her is a woman who has zero to say, usually has her facts completely wrong, engages is outrageous hate-filled speech and yet make millions doing it.

To everyone else.. I have been seeing many comments along the lines of "if he was mentally ill, why didn't someone get him help." The sad truth is this; with health care as it is now, 99% of our mental health facilities have closed. They are the first ward a hospital gets rid of. Why? because most insurance policies are either very limited in how much they will pay or do not offer it at all. This is a business decision, period. When we have obviously mentally ill folks come into the ER, we scramble to find somewhere, anywhere we can place them. Usually that placement is limited to 3 days. Yes, 3 days.

Another issue is personal liberty. Until and unless a physician or court deems someone a danger to themselves or others, we legally cannot incarcerate them (yes a locked ward is incarceration). We cannot force them to be treated nor to take medications we do hand out. Most of the public nursing jobs that used to make home calls on these folks are gone.
Many of our homeless are mentally ill but with no way to hold a job, no way in many cases to even cook for themselves. 50 years ago, they would have been placed in a state hospital but that is no longer true.

Of course the latter part of the above comes from the horrors of early mental health when a person could be committed by a family member just because. Mental hospitals were truly places of horror with 80%+ death rates.

Add to all of the above, if you have not been diagnosed as mentally ill, you can buy a gun. Of course you can't get diagnosed if you don't have the insurance to see someone since there is NO PUBLIC OPTION.......

Without very expensive private insurance, the mentally ill have exactly one choice... no treatment.