Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Take On Tucson...or Leave the Politics Alone

On January 8, 2011, Jared Lee Loughner - a mentally ill young man - went to a rally/meet-and-greet that United States Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was holding in the parking lot of a supermarket in Tucson, Arizona. 

He had bad intentions. 

He open fired with a semi-automatic weapon, wounding 14 people, including Congresswoman Giffords, who was shot at point-blank range in the head. 

He also killed 6 people...
Dorwin Stoddard, 76, who shielded his wife from the gunfire...she was wounded, but survived.

Gabriel Zimmerman, 30, one of Congresswoman Giffords' community outreach directors.

Dorothy Morris, 76.

Chief Justice of the Arizona District Court, Judge John Roll, 63.

Phyllis Schneck, 79.

Christina Taylor Green, 9 years old, born on 9/11/01, and one of the babies featured in the book Faces of Hope: Babies Born on 9/11.

A horrible, senseless act of violence from a deranged individual.

Yet the media started running stories of people blaming Sarah Palin.  Her rhetoric.  Her web page media.

She responds using the term "blood-libel".

For real, people?


As I stated - it was a senseless act of violence committed by one man who had more than his share of mental issues apparently.

One man, not Hell-bent on attacking the system, not Hell-bent on attacking a Democrat...just one sick and twisted man Hell-bent on hurting.  Killing.  Terrorizing.

President Obama gave the speech of his presidency in my opinion last night...and acknowledge that YES, there is a palatable discourse in the  American geo-political landscape...and using this tragedy as a political tool will only stoke those flames of anger, those flames of discontent, and those flames of war-drum rhetoric.

And wouldn't you know it, this past Tuesday (1/11/11), one Democrat threw a powder-keg on the fire...Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

This guy should be impeached...thrown out of office for his sickening indecency on trying to use the Tucson tragedy as a campaign tool.

Tuesday afternoon Senator Sanders sent out a mailer in order to drum up some fundraising for his campaign, hoping to raise money to "fight Republicans and other right-wing reactionaries responsible for the climate that led to the shooting".

Yes, indeed, that's a direct quote.

The Senator wrote:

Given the recent tragedy in Arizona, as well as the start of the new Congress, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few words with political friends in Vermont and throughout the country.  I also want to thank the very many supporters who have begun contributing online to my 2012 reelection campaign at  There is no question but that the Republican Party, big money corporate interests, and right-wing organizations will vigorously oppose me.  Your financial support now and in the future is much appreciated.

Senator Sanders went on to list several events that tied right-wing rhetoric to the tragedy is Tucson, and continued:

What should be understood is that the violence, and threats of violence against Democrats in Arizona, was not limited to Gabrielle Giffords.  Raul Grijalva, an old friend of mine and one of the most progressive members in the House, was forced to close his district office this summer when someone shot a bullet through his office window.  Another Democratic elected official in Arizona, recently defeated Congressman Harry Mitchell, suspended town meetings in his district because of the threatening phone calls that he received (Mitchell was also in the cross-hairs on the Palin map).  And Judge John Roll, who was shot to death at the Giffords event, had received numerous threatening calls and death threats in 2009.

In light of all of this violence – both actual and threatened – is Arizona a state in which people who are not Republicans are able to participate freely and fully in the democratic process?  Have right-wing reactionaries, through threats and acts of violence, intimidated people with different points of view from expressing their political positions?

Way to pray on emotions, Senator.  Way to exploit a tragedy.

You make me sick, and as an American, I am ashamed that you represent ANYONE in this country down in DC.

I'm sure some on the Right will do/have done the same.  I feel the same exact way about you.

And Governor Palin - "blood-libel"?  Seriously?  I know one person who won't get my vote in 2012.

Remove the politics.  Focus on the victims.  Their families.  The wounded.  Those heart-broken.

I quote the great writer J. R. R. Tolkien...
One character says, "I wish none of this had happened".
Another character responds, "So do all who live to see such times; but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us".

Stop playing the politics, guys - in the time WE have, the time that Dorwin Stoddard, Gabriel Zimmerman, Dorothy Morris, Judge John Roll, Phyllis Schneck, and Christina Taylor Green do NOT have - show compassion.  Do your part.  Listen.  Open your ears, your eyes, and your hearts.  Make that which seems so IMPOSSIBLE right now POSSIBLE.

Prayers for peace and hope go to the wounded, those no longer with us, and their friends and families...God Bless.

Until next time...

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