Another bad actor

Diplomacy- an art that got lost with the huge amounts of money required to run for office in America.

Now, we have people who believe politics are war- and superior firepower wins.

The sad part is that in this country- almost any idiot can acquire a gun, and create their own movie, starring themselves on the way to media stardom. Look at the pathetic Jared Lee Loughner- who with the simple act of shooting a congresswoman has propelled himself to a position of judge of  right and wrong in this country. He thinks that our financial system means nothing without gold or silver backing it up- yet is able to buy a gun with that “worthless currency” and become a topic of discussion across the world.

Sarah Palin "targets" Gabrielle Gffords

Intelligent discussion of the actual system we have in place is for the most part ignored. The fact that our current economy is heavily tilted toward the wealthy becoming more wealthy isn’t understood by so many Jared’s out there- they just listen to the latest venomous hate speech that passes for political discourse- and voila, there you have it.

Just look at the quotes about diplomacy: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/diplomacy.html

They run the gamut. A few favorites:

  • Diplomacy, n. is the art of letting somebody else have your way.  David Frost
  • To say nothing, especially when speaking, is half the art of diplomacy. Will Durant
  • All diplomacy is a continuation of war by other means.  Zhou Enlai

And then we have people like Lee Harvey Oswald, James Earl Ray, the 20 idiots who crashed 4 planes on 9/11, Joe Stack and Timothy McVeigh- who get their 15 minutes of fame and may or may not change the course of history.

We’ve even had a vice presidential candidate who defines the word mediocrity in almost everything she says and does- yet we see signs “We like her” and “Sarah”- who publishes a map with “targets” on democratic lawmakers.

Democracy requires diplomacy- and we seem to have forgotten it. The result- war, staged by bad actors, with cheap tools, and reckless actions that endanger us all on one end of the spectrum- and on the other, war staged by the military industrial complex with the most expensive tools on the planet- resulting in reckless action that makes our world a more dangerous place for all.

Diplomacy, debate, discussion need to be respected once again. If you’ve forgotten what debate is supposed to look like- watch the movie “The Great Debaters” starring Denzel Washington for a crash course. It should be mandatory viewing for our idiots in Congress- and for radio talk show hosts.

It’s time to end the rhetoric, the hate speech, the finger pointing and get back to diplomatic discussions of the issues. It’s time for debate to be based on facts and evaluated with logic- instead of grandstanding and hate mongering using fear and bullying- because as we’ve seen in Tuscon- it’s too easy for the bad actors to get top billing.

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13 Responses

  1. Stephen Lahanas January 9, 2011 / 2:20 pm

    I was in Arizona for much of 2009 – working in Gabrielle Gifford’s district. I used to shop at the Trader Joe’s on North Oracle – one block from where yesterday’s attack took place. For me this event is somewhat personal. I nearly relocated to that area and had we been living there we might have attended this event.
    Summer 2009 – when I was there was when the Health Care town hall meetings were happening. The rhetoric in SW Arizona was super-heated and bordered on mass hysteria. There were Tea Party rallies all over the area – anti-immigration vigilantes joined in and the military folks around Ft. Huachuca were all convinced that ObamaCare meant that the government was going to take away health care for active duty military personnel. It wasn’t just a handful of mentally insane people who were caught up in this frenzy.
    We need to decide as a people if we are going to continue to allow a handful of super-powerful interests to turn our system into an incoherent and violent mockery of Democracy by stoking up paranoia. The Health Insurance lobby helped to fund the insane dialog that led so many people to begin to lose their reason and abandon civil discourse and for what – to protect the business interests of people willing to pay for anti-government propaganda ? This has to stop.
    There was a time when it was considered unpatriotic to sponsor messages directly attacking the foundations of our government – now it’s considered normal or even Chic – we’ve let this go on for too long. It’s good to work to improve government – it’s not ok to condition people to hate their government under all circumstances. That is the definition of revolution.

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  2. Stephen Lahanas January 9, 2011 / 5:02 pm

    I forgot to mention – the poor deputy who was shot to death here in the Miami Valley last week was a killed by a man who had been locked up in a mental facility for three years after having been in a shoot-out with police. Why he was released is one question – more important though is how did he get a hold of a gun?
    Why have we made it so incredibly easy for every nutball and terrorist to buy weapons? Am I the only one here who is furious? Do we want this country to turn into Northern Mexico – is that why the Gun Lobby is so eager to arm us all. How is it that we’ve let their twisted agenda put all of our lives in danger?

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  3. John Ise January 10, 2011 / 9:13 am

    Unhinged political rehetoric leads to unhinged people doing unhinged (and tragic) actions.  This is an excerpt from Salon.com:

    When the GOP didn’t have the votes to stop healthcare reform from passing, their strategy — and it almost worked — was to scare Democratic elected officials. That was the point of telling everyone to shout themselves hoarse at the town halls: to terrify House members. Convince them that their constituents were incensed. If some LaRouchites or other unclassifiable political entities got into the mix, fine — more voices for the choir of rage. What was formerly a sort of uneasy tolerance of the extremists inched closer to open acceptance. Fox News’ Roger Ailes allows Glenn Beck to run amok spreading classic Bircher paranoia. Matt Drudge links to conspiracy-mad broadcaster Alex Jones. Everyone in the party had to pretend to be cool with idiot extremist Oath Keeper Sharron Angle, because the craziness the right-wing whipped up led their primary voters to select her over the safe party hack who would’ve handily defeated Harry Reid. There are connections — both direct and spiritual — between the far-right Patriot movements that flourished in the ’90s and some of the more out there elements of the Tea Parties.

    …and in fairness, the left was just as wrong to toss around terms like “fascists” during the  Bush/Cheney years.

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  4. Emily Weaver January 10, 2011 / 1:05 pm

    An AZ Sheriff with a political grudge (and yes a Dem) started this discussion.  He has since admitted that his “vitriol” statement was his “opinion and no [facts] support it”.  So let’s discuss the rhetoric from BOTH SIDES:
    There was no “outcry” when Obama said “If they bring a knife – we’ll bring a gun…” or when the Black Panther Party members stood outside a voting location with billy-clubs (pretty sure they were NOT “protecting” the Republican vote), or perhaps we should discuss how Anti-Prop 8 supporters staked out homes of individuals who donated money to the “other side”.  Maybe a polite discussion on how SEIU Union members surrounded a bank CEO’s home only to discover that he wasn’t home BUT his terrified teenage son was – alone.  Furthermore, the Daily Kos printed an article days ago about Giffords titled that “My Congresswoman voted against Nancy Pelosi and is now DEAD to me”.  However, the Daily Kos has since scrubbed that page.  What quaint ideas of civility and discourse?!  None of them from the Right.
    Look at the “Target Map” from the Democratic Leadership Council.  Big ol’ bull eyes all over it.  Don’t give me that bunk about Palin’s map.  No statement, writings, video has been produced that shows this mentally unstable man had ANY knowledge of the “Palin Map” at all.

     
    Politics has always used terms that invoke war, combat, and winning.  You can’t have a tie in a political race.  It’s that simple.  DE- You have run for office and for those who haven’t been involved in politics the way DE and I have – it truly is like preparing for battle.  Mentally (besieged with lying crappy negative ads), physically (have you ever walked with a candidate – exhausting!), and spiritually (praying at night that people are actually hearing your message).  Don’t tell me that “war” or “combat” isn’t analogous to politics.  Just because you want to call it another term doesn’t change its nature. 
    The Arizona shooter had a fixation on Rep. Giffords since 2007 – before the tea party had a presence.   He was and is (obviously) seriously mentally ill.  The saddest commentary is that he went un-reported until college for this mental illness (when he was in his late-teens and schizophrenia begins to fully reveal itself).  Not one friend, or either of his parents (he lived with them) said one word – it took a professor, too terrified to be in the same room with him.  Furthermore, that reporting came at great risk to the professor – god-forbid he is wrong and this mentally ill young man gets an attorney!
    BTW – too late DE, someone at Huffingtonpost.com already blamed Reagan for “making it too difficult to place someone in a mental ward”.

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  5. Ice Bandit January 10, 2011 / 5:38 pm

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  6. David Lauri January 10, 2011 / 9:54 pm

    Ice Bandit claims:

    Sarah Palin could roll out of bed, venture out in a wilderness that will see neither daylight nor temps above 25 below until April, shoot a mountain goat with her .50 caliber Barrett, haul it back to the house for a full skin and dress all before 6 am

     
    Nick Jans is one Alaskan who would disagree with the Bandit, saying last week in a column for USA Today that:

    Those of us who’ve actually lived off the land are less than impressed by Palin’s televised exploits and, more important, by what they tell us about her. Tentative, physically inept, and betraying an even more awkward unfamiliarity with the land and lifestyle that’s supposedly her birthright, Palin deconstructs her own myth before our eyes.

     
    On Sarah Palin’s Alaska, Palin shows that she was willing to go hunting without being familiar with the gun she was going to use.  She has to ask her dad whether the rifle she’s holding kicks.  An experienced hunter would have already been familiar with the rifle before going hunting with it. And it takes Palin 7 rounds (count ‘em: bang, missed, bang, missed, bang, missed, bang, missed, bang, missed, bang, missed, bang, finally got it) before she hits the caribou she’s aiming at.
     
    As for rolling out of bed to wander into the wilderness that is allegedly Palin’s back yard to restock the family freezer, well that ain’t what happened.  Palin flew from Wasilla to Deadhorse to Kavik to go hunting.  Her caribou hunting trip cost $42,400 or $141.33 per pound of caribou meat.  Would have been easier just to drive to the Wasilla Walmart.

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  7. Ice Bandit January 11, 2011 / 7:01 am

    Her caribou hunting trip cost $42,400 or $141.33 per pound of caribou meat.  Would have been easier just to drive to the Wasilla Walmart. (David Lauri)
     
    …of course, dear DL, if ease were the only consideration. The Old Bandito recently spent beaucoup bucks on a overpriced Ohio hunting license and shells in pursuit of wild turkey when there were thousands of Swift Butterballs waiting in the frozen food isle at Krogers. Not to mention the temporary Ontario fishing permit that province took from yours truly in pursuit of rainbow trout, when the same fish were available at several Dayton fish markets. Ain’t even gonna’ talk about the tens of thousands the Old Bandito spent in Oregon District saloons plying females with drinks praying for validity to that old axiom that after a few drinks, ugliness diminishes at closing time, when there is always professional female companionship walking down East Fifth Street. To paraphrase JFK, sometimes we do things because they are difficult. And when you are after the experience, cost be damned………

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  8. joe_mamma January 13, 2011 / 1:24 pm

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  9. David Lauri January 13, 2011 / 3:58 pm

    @Ice Bandit: You’re absolutely right that sometimes, “when you are after the experience, cost be damned.” Clearly Sarah Palin needs to get some more experience hunting, cause she’s no good at it yet.
     
    @joe_mamma: If you think I was trying to say that Sarah Palin shouldn’t spend her money however she wants, you missed my point, which was only that she’s no average Alaskan hunting in the backyard to feed the family.  Average Alaskans can’t afford $42,400 hunting trips.  It’s great that she can earn money in other ways to feed her family, by, for example, getting paid to pretend to be a hunter.

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  10. joe_mamma January 14, 2011 / 7:43 am

    “@joe_mamma: If you think I was trying to say that Sarah Palin shouldn’t spend her money however she wants, you missed my point, which was only that she’s no average Alaskan hunting in the backyard to feed the family.  Average Alaskans can’t afford $42,400 hunting trips.  It’s great that she can earn money in other ways to feed her family, by, for example, getting paid to pretend to be a hunter.” David Lauri
     
    No David I didn’t miss your point.  And you obviously got mine as well.  Nice to see you give a full throated support of a little unbridled capitalism for once.  By the well-heeled Palin’s making their $42,000 hunting trip some more Alaskans of more modest means will have a more in their pockets to allocate as they see fit. 

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  11. Ice Bandit January 15, 2011 / 11:08 am

    which was only that (Sarah Palin is) no average Alaskan hunting in the backyard to feed the family. (David Lauri)
     
    …and if you recall, dear DL, this whole diatribe started when David Esrati painted her hotness as “mediocre.” Thanks for confirming the Old Bandito’s point…….

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  12. David Lauri January 15, 2011 / 6:36 pm

    LOL @ Bandito!  Your point was what an excellent hunter Sarah Palin is, and I definitely did not confirm that.

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  13. Ice Bandit January 16, 2011 / 5:25 am

    …and it takes Palin seven rounds…before she hits the caribou she’s aiming at. (David Lauri)
     
    …but guns ain’t Sarah’s passion, dear DL. When the Palin clan gets to Jonesin’ for caribou steaks, Sarah’s preferred method of hunting is to leave the house armed only with a ginzu knife. Using the cloak of Alaska’s three month darkness for stealth, Sarah low-crawls into the bush to escape detection. Upon encountering a male of the species, Sarah confronts the beast eyeball to eyeball, grabs the antlers of said mammoth and, with a quick counter-clockwise motion, breaks the noble animals’ neck in a method that is as swift as it is humane. And she does this, dear DL, wearing only a tank-top and camo shorts because she’s so damn hot she melts the snow around her. Having slain the beast, she throws it over her shoulder and double-times back to Wasilla. Upon arriving home, Sarah jumps back in the rack and puts a toe-curling smile on Tod’s face. She then proceeds to fix breakfast for the kids (generally raw fish in the tradition of the Eskimo). do three 20 minute segments on various morning conservative talk shows, add $3 million or so to her campaign war chest, and gets David Esrati’s blood pressure elevated to such a degree he writes a post urging civility in discourse by being downright un-civil to Palin. And does all this before noon eastern standard and without ruffling her hair or breaking a fingernail. Whattagal……….

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