Showing posts with label Shooting in Arizona. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shooting in Arizona. Show all posts

Friday, January 14, 2011

Civility Pros and Cons

In all the hoopla about concern for the survival of Congreswoman Gabby Giffords, and consoling the survivors of the victims of the shooting, particuarly the parents of young Christina Green -- but really all of the victims -- and concern over those who are still fighting to recover in the hospital, we have neglected to remember the REAL victim of this tragedy: Sarah Palin.

Ms. Palin, who on the day of the solemn memorial to those who died, issued a self-serving video on Facebook reminds us that yes, there were people who died and people who were injured and people who became heroes that day, but we really need to remember that this was the day when the media unleashed "a bloodbath" against her and took advantage of the tragedy to unleash vitriole against the right.

It is no secret that I have never been a Sarah Palin admirer, but I have to admit that if Ms. Palin had come out with a sincere statement which showed concerned for the victims of the shooting, which asked for a return to civility in discourse, and which admitted that while she did not believe she had any part in the tragedy, she understood that maybe the language of violence should be toned down, I would have grudgingly respected her.

But Sarah Palin doesn't get it. She doesn't get that nobody feels she hired a hit man, but that acknowledgement that she has been a part of an atmosphere of violence would go a long way. She's not the only one. The right isn't the only side. Lots of people, left, right and middle, have made disturbing statements, but it's mostly the right that are putting their hands up and yelling "It wasn't me!" "You can't blame me!" "No fair!"

My friend, fellow journalist Jan Y and I agree on very little politically, but even she said that the president deserved praise for the tone he set in his speech at the memorial service. Heck, it seemed like every right wing news medium was heaping praise on the president for the way he dealt with the memorial service.

(Of course John Boehner was too busy to attend, since he had a cocktail party to go to...and someone interviewed on his staff justified it by saying that he hadn't been required to attend the memorial service. Gee no, Mr. Speaker. We just thought it might have been a kind thing to do, remembering all those dead people and all. But I'm sure a RNC fund raiser was much more important to attend.)

I wonder if the Tucson Tea Party president attended the memorial. He seemed to feel that it was Gifford's own fault that she and all those other people were shot. When interviewed, he said that the Arizona congresswoman shouldn't have attended an event "in full view of the public" if she had security concerns.

Obviously it's Gifford's fault that six people were murdered. How thoughtless of her.

Not sure where Limbaugh got this information...

"What Mr. Loughner knows is that he has the full support of a major political party in this country. He's sitting there in jail. He knows what's going on, he knows that...the Democrat party is attempting to find anybody but him to blame. He knows if he plays his cards right, he's just a victim. He's the latest in a never-ending parade of victims brought about by the unfairness of America...this guy clearly understands he's getting all the attention and he understands he's got a political party doing everything it can, plus a local sheriff doing everything that they can to make sure he's not convicted of murder - but something lesser."

...but at least his people did have the sensitivity to take down the billboard for his show, which has been up for several weeks.

billboard.jpg (49112 bytes)

This doesn't contribute at all to an atmosphere of Wild West justice, of course.

I don't know about you all, but I was so proud of our President yesterday. He honored all those killed or injured, he honored the heroes who prevented things from being worse, he didn't point fingers at anybody, he just asked us all to honor the victims by being kinder toward each other, by being civil to one another, by making our country a bit more of a good place in which to live. It was surely one of his finest hours. Heck, even Glenn Beck liked it.

Limbaugh's reaction to the speech? “They were slobbering over it for the predictable reasons. It was smart, it was articulate, it was oratorical. It was, it was all the things the educated, ruling class wants their members to be and sound like,” Mr. Limbaugh told his audience members. He wondered why President Obama waited a couple days to have the memorial. (Uh...was it up to Washington to plan a memorial in Arizona?) He theorized that Obama waited to act after receiving significant poll data on how to proceed, adding, “plus they needed time to print those T-shirts.”

Well, I guess not everybody is into civility.

Maybe, after reading over this, I'm not either.

Oh...and the sale of guns in Arizona has gone up 60% since the shooting. That should improve things I'm sure.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Media Blackout

I have not been coy about admitting that I am a TV addict and that the television is usually on all the time in this house.

I go in spurts, sometimes watching inane comedies, sometimes watching crime marathons, sometimes glued to the 24/7 news stations (usually MSNBC).

Today, however, someone on Facebook sent me a link to a site called Cruise Critic, where people can read about all things cruise and where, this woman told me, there has been a thread going since 2005 about Viking trips to China. I started reading the entries posted in about 2008 and forward and was just fascinated by the stuff I was learning and the photo albums I was able to check out. I am currently on page 167 of 198 pages and may soon actually get to entries posted in 2011, and maybe meet some folks who will be on our cruise.

It felt like I had spent my day in China. I have a better feel for how the trip will go (there was almost unanimous praise, over all those years, for how well Viking handled everything). I also have a better feel for how much walking it will involve (even though "leisurely" seems to be the accepted pace and someone in some message said that the median age of the travelers seemed to be about 75).

Someone named Peregrina651 has gorgeous photos, but this one had me a bit concerned.

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The circled thing is the steps we will have to walk from the ship to the buses. Slippery, she says, and no handrail, and we will be carrying luggage. (Our friend Suellyn from the Russia cruise has already warned me about the difficulty of getting onto the Great Wall.)

It inspired me to walk half a mile on the treadmill, hoping to do this several times a week and gradually build up distance and strength in my legs. While walking, I listened to my James Patterson audio book and, again, did not turn on the television. (This may have been the longest daytime television blackout since I first got a television, unless there was a power outage.)

I had heard about the shootings in Arizona in several shocked status updates on Faceboook, but had not listened to any news about it. I just knew that there had been a shooting, that several were wounded and 6 killed and that Congresswoman Giffords was in the hospital, having been shot in the head.

I was appalled, of course, but with all of this China stuff going on and no newscaster talking about it in the background, I kind of forgot about it until I heard from Char tonight, saying that she had sent several hours watching MSNBC newscasters. I tried finding news at midnight, but lots of luck with that on a Saturday night at this hour.

There are people pointing fingers at the likes of Sarah Palin as the root cause, along with others who have used incendiary language, and other people pointing fingers back and accusing the first group of taking advantage of the situation for political gain and that we have no idea what the shooter's motivation had been.

Well, OK. I'm all for not jumping to conclusions, but this Congresswoman's office was vandalized after she supported the health care bill, which was about when all those tea critters started lockin' and loadin' and talking about exerting our "2nd amendment rights."

I don't think anybody in his/her right mind would take that as a call to arms and an order to go out and shoot people you disagree with, but this was probably someone not in his right mind and who knows how little it takes to set someone like that off.

I don't want to say that Sarah Palin and her little chart of targets with crosshairs on them where all the objectionable people are (including Gifford) was to blame for this incident, but posting graphics like this and calling for a "2nd amendment solution" if things don't go the way we want them certainly doesn't help cool the emotions of people on the edge.

I wonder if Palin and anybody else who has stood in front of a television camera or an auditorium of people and, with a cute smile and a wink, has used veiled threats of violence against those in office with whom they disagree can look the mother of 9 year old Christina Taylor Green, who was murdered, in the eye and say their words had NO effect whatsoever on the mind of the shooter, and that they played no part, however small, in the slaughter.

From Marty Kaplan on Huffington Post: If you're worried that violent video games may make kids prone to bad behavior; if you think that misogynic and homophobic rap lyrics are dangerous to society; if you believe that a nipple in a Superbowl halftime show is a threat to our moral fabric - then surely you should also fear that the way public and media figures have framed political participation with shooting gallery imagery is just as potentially lethal.

Words have consequences. We may just have realized that in Arizona.