Monday, January 31, 2011

They're On To Me...

Or, that was my first thought on reading this headline at GrassrootsPA:


Why a stuffed groundhog? Perhaps they're afraid someone's got an axe to grind with Phil. Maybe they're putting him in a protection program. You remember Phil, right?

Phil's the fat, furry bastard who's still on my list from this time last year. After shovelling my way back to the world, I was ready to do Ol' Phil some serious harm. I even went so far as to look up groundhog recipes. (And they exist. Who knew?)

Anyway... once again this year, my spouse has been trying to convince me to head up to Punxsutawney for the... uh... festivities. It's one hell of a sore spot. I'm willing to drive there, on the condition that when the rat does his thing, I be asleep and warm in the hotel -- no standing outside at the butt crack of dawn for me. (Especially in Pennsylvania. In February. Brrrr.) At least, not without a little "antifreeze" in my veins, if ya catch my drift. BUT, since it's a family event, and requires a drive home immediately after, getting tanked is not an option. Plus, alcohol would only serve to encourage my violent feelings towards Phil.

Long story a little shorter: It's a misleading headline. The link actually goes to this story, about different rodent in a different town. (And might I ask, exactly how many goddamn weather predicting rats does one state need?!)

Heh. And I thought maybe they'd gotten wind of my nefarious plot.

On a side note, we're waiting for a storm that's supposed to bring snow... then half an inch of ice... then more snow. Ol' Phil's due to do his thing in a coupla days... He'd better get it right this time.

Very loosely related: Hey You Dang groundhog!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sarah Palin: Masturbation Material?


(Puts on flame proof suit.)

I saw some stories today about Tracy Morgan. Rather, I saw the headlines of a few stories I didn't bother to read. Why? Well, I'm not a big fan, for starters. Plus, I figured it couldn't hurt to miss one more Hollywood dipstick knocking Sarah Palin. Seen one, seen 'em all, right?

Hmmmph. Well, now I've read the stories, and watched the TNT video at The Other McCain. I gotta ask:

That's it?! That's what all the uproar is about?!

Good grief.

Some folks are becoming waaaayyyy too sensitive where Ms. Sarah is concerned. I mean, what did he say? He agreed that she's an attractive woman. Then he went a tad bit farther.

This hardly qualifies as Palin Derangement Syndrome. Sexist? A bit. Harmful, or insulting? Not so much. Political? Oh, please.

Sarah Palin is an attractive woman. I can't say that I've ever personally drawn on her for "material", but I can see it. She's kinda got that whole sexy librarian thing going. So, since when it is a bad thing to be recognized as sexy - especially if you are?

In fact, my only real objection would be that I don't think they should discuss masturbation during sports because kids watch sports. Of course, with the very explicit ED commercials, even masturbation talk is tame in comparison.

Still, I think some of you need to get over this one. It's minor, and was intended (I believe) as a half-assed compliment.

(If ya'll aren't careful, you're going to find yourself on the same side of the argument as feminists. Heh. Palin Derangement Derangement Syndrome.)

So to everyone hyperventilating over this non-story:

Lighten up, Francis.

(Suit off. Let 'er rip.)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Guilty of felony for attempted abortion?!

A New York woman pleaded guilty to a felony after a failed attempt at abortion.

But... but... abortion is legal in America! What happened?!

Well, you see, the fetus clump of cells didn't belong to her.

Kisha Jones, unhappy that another woman was pregnant with her husband's baby, decided to terminate the inconvenient pregnancy... by tricking the other woman into taking an abortion pill.

The victim hesitant patient was around 27 weeks at the time of the assault procedure. Instead of the intended abortion, the victim patient precipitated. The baby was premature but healthy.


What I'd like to know is, where are the feminists?

Seriously... why aren't they rallying around this woman in defense and support? Where are the signs, and the cute wire hanger art? After all, they've been known to opine that a fetus clump of cells isn't a person until it's actually been pushed out into the world. (For example, check out this post by femininny Amanda Marcotte on "Personhood Silliness".)

I'd love to see the feminists spin this one. Is it an attempted murder? Or is it now acceptable to just abort whatever fetus clump of cells you feel is inconvenient?

Faux Fax?

I just saw this at Memeorandum...

According to ThinkProgress (a bastion of truth if there ever was one, right?) California Democrat Leland Yee has received a death threat by fax.

I call bullshit.

A few points:

1. Have you looked at this thing? It's a caricature. Pickup truck with a flag on the side, dragging a noose? Now answer honestly... which side believes that's an accurate representation of the right and Limbaugh fans?

2. It's not a death threat. Unless, of course, Lee is an admitted Marxist. The specific threat to Lee is an ass-kicking. Not exactly "new tone", but not a death threat either.

3. This is a fax. Which means that, although it doesn't appear in the image linked, there is information as to origin on that sucker somewhere. Who sent it?

I think this is a scam, sent by a liberal trying to stir the pot.

I admit... I could be wrong. And threats to Congress (or anyone else, they aren't special) should be treated seriously if they are serious threats. But it would take a real dumbass to send this, if the sender actually meant it.

If this turns out to be some righty, I'll admit I'm wrong and apologize.

Somehow I don't think that will happen. Keep your eyes on this one, folks. I predict it'll only get weirder.

The New Civility In Action

Yesterday, the PA House decided to reflect the new tone of civility in politics... by channeling the Taiwanese parliament.

OK. So it wasn't really quite as bad as this:

But it was bad. And, to be blunt, I think both parties behaved shamefully. Check 'em out (fireworks start about 4 minutes in):

You can't even pick up the most colorful remarks in that video, but you get the gist.

So, what the hell is going on? Here's the deal...

The Republicans have seven reform bills they're trying to push. These bills were, for the most part, approved in the last session and not sent to the Governor.

The Democrats added 43 amendments to bills they'd already agreed upon. The Republicans viewed the numerous amendments as obstructionism, and decided to change House rules.

Majority Leader Mike Turzai said, “We’re not going to be having people doing this nuclear stuff. So if that’s how it’s going to be done, we’re going to make the needed changes..."

What changes? Well, for starters, the ability to table amendments without debate and without tabling the entire bill. Not too bad so far.

But the Republicans didn't stop there. They also want to change committee memberships, by reducing the number of Democrats on each committee.

Democrats reacted... well... loudly.

Reactions ranged from shouts of "Kangaroo court!" to "Welcome to the gulag!" to the ultra-blunt "This is bullshit!"

Basically, we have the Democrats apparently embracing the same kind of obstructionist, waste-of-time shenanigans that Republicans have been (rightly) accused of.

AND, we have Republicans trying to further reduce representation by the party already in the minority, the kind of arrogant power grab and "we won" attitude they complained of when the Democrats were doing it.

Mix it together and you get the kind of shouting and name calling usually found in cranky kindergartners.

If I may direct my remarks to the elected representatives of Pennsylvania.... Ahem:

What the hell is wrong with you idiots?! You're an embarrassment. ALL of you! If it was wrong when the other party did it (and it was wrong) don't you do it now that the situation has reversed! And fer the luvva gawd, can you learn to comport yourselves with some kind of dignity? Grow up!

One clear head, Republican Glen Grell, worried that "We're off to a very bad start, if this is the way its going to be."

Buddy, you said a mouthful.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Won't Have Rahm Emanuel to Kick Around Anymore...

The man who would be mayor of Chicago... WON'T be! Bwahahaha!

This is all over the web, but I'm linking Allah because he has the best title. "Rahm: I will kill any @#$!*% man who stands in my way".

LinkSo, why am I gloating? (And make no mistake, I am gloating.)

Because I have never been a fan. At one point, I advocated firing him. For what reason? Oh, any old thing would have done.

First of all, right or wrong, I'd like to see Rahm Emanuel fired for any legitimate reason we can come up with. Anything. The man repulses me on an almost primal level, on par with the liver-fluke man from the X-Files.

(Poor guy... Still not as creepy as Rahm.)

In retrospect, that's inaccurate. I'd have been just fine firing him for reasons... well... less than legitimate. For example, I'd have been perfectly cool firing him if some tabloid had run a story saying he fathered this thing:

(Also not as creepy as Rahm.)

Alas, it was not to be. I had to wait for his political ambitions to move him along. (Plus there's the fact that he alienated Obama's base and had to go. Hey, whatever works.)

I reminded readers that Emanuel had his creepy little lips at the President's ear. And that's not the only place he had those creepy lips.

(Now SHE'S every bit as creepy as Rahm.)

Ugh. There's a weight-loss aid if I've ever seen one. If your New Year's resolution was to drop a stone or two, just paste that sucker to the fridge... oughtta do the trick.

Anyway, I doubt it's over. Liberals have learned when they don't like election rules or election results, just sue. But for now, I am a happy camper.

Rahm's been denied something he felt he was entitled to. And (hopefully) he'll be out of politics for a minute.

Personally, I'd like to see him just go back where he came from.

(Come on, Rahm... You remember which one it was. Now just crawl back under there and let us get on with our business.)
ACK! Celebrated too soon! I see via Memeorandum, he's still on the ballot while they sort this out! So we're supposed to believe if he wins the election and then loses his appeal they'll boot him?! Noooooooooooo!


Last week, I posted my first (and probably last) drunk blog...

Which I stuffed down the memory hole first thing the next morning.

OK... I admit it. That was cowardly. Unlike some of my friends, who have the guts to let 'er rip and leave it stand, I caved. I took a good, long look at what I'd written, and decided in this day and age (and considering my typical luck) I wasn't willing to take a chance with how I was received.

What was so bad?

Well... heh.

I was getting frustrated with the various narratives on Jared Loughner. See, to my mind, he's crazy. Period. The only question of interest to me was "Which brand of crazy is he?" Schizophrenic (which to my mind, at least, means genuinely ill and not accountable)? Psychopathic (sane but evil, and therefore culpable)? I was insulted by both the rush from the left to blame Palin et al, and the delayed rush from the right to blame anything from atheism to conspiracy theories. To my mind, asking "Why?" of a crazy person is... well... crazy.

Anyway, I was trying to make a statement about jumping to conclusions about Loughner's motivations. So I did my little inebriated post, drawing parallels between Loughner and myself. I pointed out that (like Loughner) I'm an independent, I'm an atheist, I have a taste for music that could would be construed as violent, I distrust the government... I may or may not have thrown in a little something about marijuana. (It was in my mind, and in a draft I started on the subject another time... not sure if I included that part, and can't check now. Heh.) You get the gist.

And I included an invitation for DHS to come on over and pick me up for a chat.

Yeah. Smart move, that. Which was my entire motivation for stuffing that sucker down the pipes. I thought, in the days of a government that would dream up, should I even joke about sending the goon squad to my house?! Nope. Fluuuuussssshhhh! Away with that post.

Right after, that same morning, I read a frightening story about a blogger who was being harassed by the government. Travis Corcoran (TJIC from his blog Dispatches from TJICistan, now down the memory hole like my post) was actually more than harassed. Based on little more than a joke of questionable taste (“One down, 534 to go.”), he had his weapons, ammo and gun license taken away. And, let's be real, only the most naive among us don't realize he's also made at least some form of watch list.

And my reaction?

Whew! Glad I offloaded that sucker! Coulda been me making headlines instead of snarking about them!

Bad response. Selfish, stupid, gutless, enabling response.

Thankfully, other bloggers have done better. The Classic Liberal has a roundup of those who had the appropriate - and necessary - reaction: I AM TJIC. Check out Eternity Road, Coordinated Illumination and Borepatch for perfect examples of the correct response.

And while I may be late to the party, I'm here. And I picked up my guts on the way.

Because when I saw a blogger getting a dose of exactly what I'd been worried about, I shouldn't have felt relief that I changed my own post. I should have felt anger that we've come to this point. I should have felt the disgust that such blatant trampling of the Constitution deserves. I should have felt solidarity.

And I should have put the damn post right back on the blog, goon squad be damned.

I didn't do any of that... I blew it. But I'm not only an imperfect creature. I am also one that learns.

I am TJIC.

And whether you blog or not, you'd better be, too. Otherwise, we'll all be stifled.

(Sincere thanks to those listed above for getting it right, and for showing the way.)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Feminist stooge blames anti-abortion movement for Gosnell atrocities

Last week, I set aside my misgivings and read the Grand Jury report on abortionist Kermit Gosnell.

Like many, I was sickened and horrified by the facts presented. I didn't post on it... I went and held my kids instead, a little bit of love therapy to hold against the heartbreak of what I'd seen. I remember thinking that no one -- not even the most staunch supporters of abortion -- could defend this monster.

Well, I was right... And wrong.

I forgot about the feminists.

They're all over this. I'm not going to get into each example (RSM has a great roundup). I learned the hard way that feminism is an echo chamber, where they aren't interested in hearing any side but their own. You simply can't have an argument, a debate, or even an exchange of ideas with someone who has their fingers in their ears going "Neener neener! I can't hear you!" But, never the less, they are jumping on the topic like fleas on a dog.

Amanda Marcotte, feminist ninny, has a piece up today about it. Actually, she's got a few posts on it around the innerwebs, but I'm referring specifically to this one: Philly Illegal Abortionist Exposes Anti-Choice Irresponsibility.

She's offering up a typical feminist bit of nonsense to explain what happened. You see, the dead mothers and babies aren't Gosnell's fault. Oh, noes! Perish the thought!

Responsibility for the women killed, sterilized, infected with VD or otherwise injured rests with the conservative anti-abortion movement. (Which, being a feminist, Marcotte cutely refers to as "anti-choice".) In a stunning example of intellectual dishonesty, she writes that when the report was released:

"The initial anti-choice reaction was elation."

That's nothing more than a disgusting lie.

I was afraid to read the damn Grand Jury report based solely on responses I'd read at conservative blogs. While the pieces I read around the web each urged me to "read the whole thing", it took me a day or so past the original stories to force myself to actually take their advice. (I'm both glad and sorry that I did. Sorry because those murdered babies will remain in my thoughts... Glad because I've long been ambivalent on the topic, falling into the "legal, safe and rare" trap that so many of us wish were the reality.)

What I can say is that, despite reading posts on many conservative sites, I did not see a single instance of elation. I saw pain, horror, folks who admitted being moved to tears, and prayers for the lost.

I defy Ms. Marcotte to provide a single example of elation. I challenge this woman - who purports to stand for the rights of other women - to prove her claim.

She won't. She can't. Nobody celebrated the discovery of a monster as a means to further their cause.

But that's to be expected from someone who has raised disingenuous statements to an art form. Try this one on for size:

"The politically mature response to this is to accept responsibility."

Now stop a minute. Make sure you've truly absorbed that little dab of feminist double-think.

For the conservative anti-abortion movement, it would be mature to accept responsibility.

Frankly, I'm astounded that Marcotte is familiar with the term "responsibility". It's certainly not something she generally supports or promotes as part of her feminist agenda.

Indeed, like most feminists, Marcotte is known for denying outright the concept of personal responsibility. Whether it be the responsibility to not get pregnant in the first place, or the responsibility of women to think before they get into a potentially dangerous situation, feminists absolve women entirely.

Pregnant with your fourth child (second to be aborted)? It's the responsibility of the state to provide you a little fetal-removal service. Victim of an avoidable assault because you used no common sense whatsoever before allowing a stranger into your locked apartment? It's the responsibility of a societal "rape culture", and your actions must never be questioned. Never mind that the next woman may learn something from your mistake and keep herself safer.

How about... wrote a scathing column about a rape that wasn't (Ahem... DUKE LACROSSE)? Insulted innocent men and everyone who defended them? Faced with a woman who demonstrably lied to authorities? Took a side based on genitalia, only to be proven wrong, wrong, wrong? Personal responsibility nuthin'. Ms. Marcotte was once assaulted and responded strangely, not only taking time to decide whether she wanted the "baggage" of reporting it but admitting that if she'd been confronted with her attacker's presence she "probably would have acted normally". Therefore, it's reasonable to extrapolate that other women behaving strangely after a purported rape should be believed without question.

It's stomach turning that Marcotte would attempt to use this Little Abortion Shop of Horrors as a stick with which to beat the anti-abortion crowd. Her blatant lie that there was elation at the news tells you everything you need to know about a person who is, at base, dishonest and more than willing to twist the narrative.

I stand by what I said before...

Feminists -- and Marcotte is just one of the loudest and snarkiest -- are a grave danger to women.

Go ahead. Push the idea that conservatives should remember responsibility. (Ironic, since conservatives are the group generally advocating personal responsibility for all Americans...) But absolve women of any responsibility whatsoever.

Pregnant (again) when you can't afford it? Not your fault. Choose to stay and be treated in a clinic full of moaning, doped patients with cat boxes in the corners and blood on the floors? Not your fault. Wait until your baby has every chance of surviving birth to get your procedure? Not your fault.

But the conservative anti-abortion folks?! Y'all better get some by-gawd responsibility going over there! Cuz it doesn't matter that abortion is legal despite your best efforts. This is your fault! And it doesn't matter that Gosnell broke every rule that other clinics manage to follow. This is your fault! And it's surely irrelevant that rules in PA were specifically set up to coddle abortion providers, which allowed someone like Gosnell to slip through the cracks. This is your fault!

(Heh. Oh wait. That's actually the fault of people just like Marcotte, who feel that too much oversight might make women feel icky about going into an abortion clinic.)

As long as the Gosnells among us have people like Marcotte to deflect their guilt, such atrocities will continue.

She can try to pin the responsibility on conservatism all she likes. Thankfully, most women aren't as weak and stupid as the feminists would have us believe. They know the monster in this story is Gosnell.

Marcotte is an accomplice.

And a liar.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Physician - Heal Thyself!

So I saw a news story today speculating that Obama's rapid weight loss might be due to parasites.

The real reason behind PRESIDENT OBAMA's shocking weight loss - he's secretly battling stomach parasites, say sources.

OK... "news story" might be a bit of a stretch. It was in The Enquirer. But hey -- they broke the truth about Edwards before the real media got around to taking off the blinders, right?

(Wait a minute... Maybe it is news. It made Memeorandum and Althouse! Now if I can just get some linky-love off the deal...)

Anyway, my first reaction was, for me, predictable. The first thing I think of every time I see or hear the word parasite is this guy:

Wait. My bad. I thought I'd gotten over that. Heh.

I meant THIS guy:

Remember him? Poor fella was the star of the blog for a minute there.

Anyway, I read that Obama has parasites, and I had a flashback to our creepy old pal. That's reaction number one.

Reaction number two is more succinct: I call bullshit.

While defending President Obama is never easy, I can't let this go by. As a fellow member of the tribe of scrawny folk, I'd like to point out that Obama is - and always has been, near as I can tell - a textbook "ectomorph". When he was younger, he was slim to skinny. As a Senator, he looked nearly emaciated. And as President... well, you get the idea. And as to weight loss... I don't remember him gaining any to lose.

Maybe a headline like "Why Is Obama So Scary Skinny?" gets mileage because he is a minority. I'm not referencing his melanin levels. I'm saying that in the fattest country on the planet, the Ichabod Cranes among us stand out.

But I'm no doctor. Heck, my most intimate knowledge of parasites comes from an X-Files episode. And the Enquirer article did say there had been health warnings to Hawaiians about this dreaded parasite. So, I did a little googling. Not only did I find a health article about parasites in Hawaii from the time Obama may have been infected... I may have stumbled upon the solution to his woes!

Fecal transplantation.

Yes, you read that right. And it means exactly what you think it means.

A non-infected person brings in a fresh stool sample (mmmm-MMM! Always better fresh, right?). The doctor liquifies the stool, and then drips it into the colon of the infected person. And people pay for this. Ain't America great?

Anyway, the one drawback might be the risks.

Brandt insists on a list of tests to make sure the donor doesn't have diseases such as hepatitis or HIV, or intestinal parasites.

Regardless of how I feel about Obama's policies, he's our President. We can't expose him to diseases or infection with another parasite, right? And while the article states that the donor is usually a close relative or somesuch, we just can't take chances with a sitting President. We need to get our hands on some stool (heh) that can't possibly have any disease or microorganisms that are foreign to Obama's body.

Fortunately for us - not to mention Obama - we have a safe, ready, apparently endless supply of liquified shit:

His head.

Hell, he has a chance to be a hero here. After carefully observing him for the last coupla years, I believe he's got enough of a stockpile to cure everyone on the planet of this dreaded infection. He could personally eradicate this epidemic, and earn another Nobel Prize!

I'll get the turkey baster. You grab him by the ears.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

He who is without sin... Or something

Yesterday on Memeorandum, I saw this link to a Media Matters piece.

They link Erick Erickson, claiming he is trying top propose a link between atheism and Jared Loughner's actions. Or something. Now, I'm not a big fan of MMFA, but I read the post and followed the link back to Erick Erickson at Red State, thinking that (considering the source) it couldn't be as bad as it seemed.

Well, I've now read the Erickson piece half a dozen times between last night and today, and I gotta ask...

How is this not insulting?

Erickson writes:

Political rhetoric did not make Jared Loughner do what he did. His embrace of evil led him down a road down which we should be in constant prayer no others dare travel.

It's apparently part of a larger point he's trying to make. I guess his point is:

In all the discussions we’re having, let’s not forget that bad things have happened throughout history, but we are seeing more and more a pattern of violence from those who reject Christ and we are seeing the most extreme rhetoric from those who reject the only real truth while embracing every other historic fad and nonsense as variations of truth.

How is this helpful to the discussion? How on earth does a belief or disbelief in Jesus have anything whatsoever to do with the Giffords shooting?

I'm not a believer. Call me agnostic. Call me an atheist. Actually, if you want to be accurate, call me an apatheist. (Yes, I'm aware I just made that word up. If Sarah Palin can do it, so can I.) But apatheist would be closest to the truth. I don't know if there's a God, and - while I tend toward disbelief - I'm not much interested in debating the issue. I'm not looking for proof one way or the other. I'll find out one of these days, same as the rest of you.

But I have a great respect for the faith of others. I am tolerant and respectful. The times I've been told someone is praying for me, my response is "Thank you." I'm also the first to point out the ugliness that atheists can get up to when it comes to their intolerance of believers.

And I can't help but feel like I'm somehow being lumped in with a psychotic loner asshole murderer.

A lack of faith didn't cause Loughner to do what he did. He's insane. And for Erickson to decry the 'handwringing over the “tone” in the country and the “extremist rhetoric”' while happily setting up his own strawman strikes me as rank hypocrisy.

He went further, on Twitter:

Atheists are upset with me. But God is upset with them.

And how the hell do you know that, Erick? Got the direct line, do ya? Has God let you know whether he's pissed at me for my half-assed religious state of "meh"? Lemme know.

He tweeted again:

@fmaidment No clue. And yes, I did just compare Media Matters to the Westboro Baptist Church.

That's almost funny... Why? Because the first thing I thought of when I read Erick's piece is Fred Phelps and his band of hateful loonies. I can picture EE with a little sign that says "God Hates Atheists!"

I posted yesterday that clamping down on our freedom of speech isn't the answer. It wouldn't have prevented this shooting (which was motivated by teh crazy, not ideology), and it won't prevent the next.

Neither will proselytizing, or condemning someone who doesn't share your belief system.

So, Erick... while I respect your faith -- indeed, would defend it on your behalf -- please stuff your judgemental horseshit where the sun don't shine. It has nothing to do with the topic at hand, it will do nothing to stop the next (probably) schizophrenic whackjob, and it divides us in a way that's completely unnecessary. You are, in my own opinion, no better than the fools who would point their finger at Sarah Palin.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Blame Game

I was in the car for just 10 minutes, and Hannity was on.

(Now, I'm not a fan of Hannity... but I didn't change it because - as everywhere - the discussion was about Jared Loughner.)

I was not in the car long enough to catch his guests' names, other than Peter and Bob. And I don't really care who Peter and Bob are, to be honest. It's cold out there. Regardless.

They were looking for a place to put the blame for Loughner's actions. Unlike many, they were not talking about political speech, but about the all too clear fact that someone dropped the ball where this kid was concerned.

One of them wants to place blame on the sheriff, for not having a deputy on scene. Both seem to believe the college is at fault, since there was a clear record of outbursts by a deranged individual and the college did nothing to have him committed.

Do we need to play the blame game here? Do we need to pin someone (or something, in the case of the school) with responsibility for protecting the public from a very sick young man? Do we?

Then here's my question:

What about his freakin' parents?!

And don't give me any crap about it not being their responsibility. He lived with them. If anyone was aware of Loughner's issues, it was the people who raised him and who should have been paying attention.

I have kids. A bunch of them. And I know them. Therefore, I would be the very first to know if one of them jumped the rails. I would consider it my duty to get them whatever help was available.

And if they couldn't be helped, it would be my duty to have them put somewhere they could not hurt themselves or others.

Barring that, I would see it as my responsibility -- if I brought a monster into this world -- to remove that monster of my making.

So while everyone is looking around for someone to blame, let's not forget the prime suspects.

Their pain be damned. I could care less. They didn't do their job.

Fightin' Words

Wow. I just watched former Senator Gary Hart make one of the stupidest statements I've ever heard.

Yes, even more stupid than "Follow me around. I don't care. I'm serious. If anybody wants to put a tail on me, go ahead. They'll be very bored." heh.

Hart blogged at HuffPo about violent rhetoric. In an interview about the piece, he says "There is no use whatsoever for these military and violence related metaphors to be used in political discourse." (He's hardly the only one beating this drum. The shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and others has made this the internet topic right now.) On the blog, he wrote:

Candidates are "targeted". An opponent is "in the crosshairs". Liberals have to be "eliminated". Opponents are "enemies".

Here's the thing, Senator Follow Me... That's just how we talk.

Think about it. We use military and violence related metaphors for everything:

Killer headache. Backstabber. Shoot yourself in the foot. Thow 'em to the wolves (or under the bus). Having a blast. Blonde bombshell. Double-edged sword. In the trenches. On the front lines. Battle of the bulge. I got bombed/blasted. Under the gun. Bring out the big guns. ad infinitum.

I'm not even gonna get into sports. I don't have all week.

Even the government does it: War on Drugs. War on Terror. War on Hunger. Surely they don't mean they'll go randomly shooting or bombing to solve hunger. (Although if the tactics used in the War on Drugs are any indication...)


I (along with a majority of Americans polled) don't buy for a minute that Jared Loughner was incited by -- gasp -- VIOLENT VITRIOL!!!1!1!

Why? Because every aspect of our dialogue is filled with violent and war-related metaphors. If the only place such a thing occurred were politcal speech, there might be an argument for scaling back. Maybe.

PA's own Rep. Robert Brady (D-rama Queen) thinks it may be appropriate to make it a federal crime to "use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence" toward Congress or federal officials.

Could be perceived by whom? Hooboy. Waaaay too subjective, that.

No, our culture is steeped in violent language. And that's okay. Really, it is.

Despite the current hysteria and fingerpointing, and despite our violent language, the mentally ill are not just snapping willy-nilly and shooting people. Now, I'm not trying to downplay what happened to the victims in Arizona. But the reality is that last year only 15,241 people were murdered in America. (Yes, I realize that "only" and "murdered" don't go well together in a sentence. Bear with me, I have a point.)

The US Census population clock shows 311,874,613 of us, as of this writing. Last year, a little over fifteen thousand people were murdered. That includes those who were killed by family members or someone else they knew. When you discount for domestic violence, shooting during the commission of another crime, etc, there are actually very few "random" murders committed each year. Like a few thousand out of over 300 million people.

Meaning the odds are actually much against your (or my... OR a federal official) being murdered period, let alone being murdered over mere words.

So, yes... the Arizona shootings are a tragic crime. And, yes.. the mentally ill live among us. But the odds of an unhinged loner killing someone are actually incredibly low. Any given person stands a better chance of falling to their death than being murdered. You stand a greater chance of being attacked by your neighbor's dog.

Instead of panicking or regulating speech or legislating to the looniest common denomiator, let's all just take one step back - and one deep breath - and relax.

Because I, for one, am not going to start watching my every word. Nor should you.

And the odds are, no one will kill us for it.