Sunday, January 9, 2011

Some Karmic Lessons In Arizona, And Some Incredible Lies

As of yesterday, Palin's office is claiming these were just 'surveyors symbols'.  Yea riggghhhhht.  Rep. Giffords is number four on this list of surveyor symbols.

I wrote the following words Friday, for a post I didn't publish. It was a post about Arizona.  I didn't publish it because I felt I shouldn't.  That maybe I had posted too much on Arizona and perhaps this post was too negative.  The post was to be in reference to Arizona's ban on ethnic studies classes.  Here's how I started the post:

There must be something in the desert water down in Arizona which is ramping up the fears of white conservatives.  It seems to have effected the neural functioning of Senator John McCain, Governor Jan Brewer, Maricopa County Sheriff Jo Arpaio, and lest I forget, Bishop Olmstead.

Then on Saturday, as I was writing yesterday's post, came the tragic news of the shooting in Tuscon.  It was allegedly the work of a young white male with mental issues and  strong beliefs in rightwing conspiracy theories.  Huffington Post reports he had an active interest in at least one white supremacy group--a type of ethnic study group which is seemingly not banned in Arizona. My initial reaction was not shock that such an event happened, but that it didn't happen before now--especially in Arizona.

Here are the words of Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik about yesterday's tragedy:

After Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head and a number of others were wounded or killed in a shooting in Tucson, Ariz. on Saturday, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said that the state has "become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry.....

....."When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous," said the sheriff. "And unfortunately, Arizona I think has become sort of the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry."

......."it's not unusual for all public officials to get threats." However, he said the sentiment doesn't come without consequences.
"And that's the sad thing of what's going on in America," he explained. "Pretty soon, we're not going to be able to find reasonable, decent people who are willing to subject themselves to serve in public office."

When I heard these words from Sheriff Dubnik during his press conference last night, I was actually shocked he said them and then just as shocked at my own reaction.  I guess I had gone past the point of expecting to hear truth from anyone in governance of any sort in Arizona.  I was expecting to hear the kind of stuff that is now coming out of Sarah Palin's headquarters.  In reference to the map posted above, her Aides are now saying those aren't cross hairs from gun sights, those are 'surveyors symbols'.  This in spite of the fact Sarah was telling her fan base to 'take aim' at those office holders of all those 'targeted' congressional districts--one of whom was Representative Giffords.

I dont' know precisely why Arizona has gone off the deep end, but I do know it was Arizona's own John McCain that legitimized the above mentioned Sarah Palin and it was that same John McCain who first attacked Palin for costing him the presidency and then crawled on his suddenly slimy knees to beg Palin to campaign for him so he could keep his Arizona Senate seat.

Maybe there's a sort of karmic balance thing going on in Arizona.  In any event Americans are being given a real opportunity to take a long look at how our democracy is actually working and to determine if this is how we want it to look and sound in the future.  The Sara Palin/Glen Beck/Tea Party/Fox News legacy may just be the end of our access to our elected representatives, and as Sheriff Dubnik points out "pretty soon we aren't going to be able to find reasonable, decent people who are willing to subject themselves to serve in public office."  For sure, who would want one of Palin's 'survey symbols' on their forehead.

20 comments:

  1. Unfortunately, some of the people most responsible for creating the mindset that led to this tragedy will run as far as possible from accepting responsibility for it, just like they did after Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols bombed the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. Sarah's apologists are already working overtime to distance her from the Arizona shooting.

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  2. You have my condolences.

    Speaker Boehner was correct in pointing out that an attack on any member of the legislature is an attack on all and the institution itself.

    Where was he a few months ago? Certainly not asking the candidates to raise the tone of their rhetoric. Didn't seem to mind Palin or Bachmann or Jesse Kelly's antics then. Gabby Giffords opponent held events to "Shoot an M16" to "Get on Target" and "Remove Gabrielle..." from office. Words matter. They should all be hanging their heads in shame. Disgraceful. Pro-life? Where was the pro-life crowd? Is there any evidence they attempted to encourage more civil behavior?

    The phrase I'd like to hear from all these so called "second amendment solution" politicians and other sore losers is; Ballots, not bullets

    and it can't come too soon.

    p2p

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  3. Sarah Palin has really no reason to call herself a Christian, in my opinion. She should be ashamed and those who "like" her should be ashamed too. I agree with P2P - it is "disgraceful."

    Colleen, I too was surprised by the comment from the Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. His honesty was truly breathtaking about Arizona being "the mecca for prejudice and bigotry..."

    Yea, where is the pro-life crowd as Catholics are gunned down, including a 9 year old girl who just received her First Holy Communion, who was born on 9/11/2001 and a judge who just came from Mass!

    Unfortunately, the wacko's on the right will never take accountability for their words that cause such disgraceful and murderous actions! Very sad!

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  4. More to rant about: the young man who who killed these people has also lost his life, so those accountable by their words for spewing so much hatred for Democrats into his head have also killed him too!

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  5. @ Butterfly,

    Yesterday I was attending some family business and did not really get the entire story until today.

    Some were calling Sheriff Dupnik a hero. I thought he might have been among the first responders and had wrestled the man to the ground.

    He is a hero, of sorts, to speak truth to power. And I see he's being criticized for making some of the best analytical observations on the tragedy.

    Kudos Sheriff Dupnik!

    Thanks for providing the background information on Judge John Roll and Christina Taylor Green. May they rest in peace.

    p2p

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  6. p2p, what I find in this story is almost like the death of democracy itself. Who will want to run for office with nut cases allowed to buy guns legally? Who thinks that nut cases should have a right to bear arms?

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  7. @ Butterfly,

    Indeed.

    I'm so very sorry for the Congresswoman, and all who were killed and injured. Democracy lies bleeding too.

    In the past half hour or so I have been reading about the bravery of 61 year old Patricia Maisch who grabbed the gunman's arm preventing him from reloading allowing four other men to tackle him.

    Ordinary people are capable of extraordinary things.

    I told Colleen I was not going to mention the verification word anymore because it seemed to distract from the conversation. I am going to make an exception.

    "pense"="think" in Frence ( as in "je pense" or "I think" )

    p2p

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  8. I don't know what politics the accused assassin followed - if indeed he can be said to follow any. What I find troubling though is that he attacked a political centrist. Not a radical left or radical right proponent but a Bluedog Democrat.

    The devil is at work here to polarize this country further than it already is. And that is very frightening.

    I don't give a gosh darn about who calls for what moderation in rhetoric. What I want to see are more politicians willing to make compromises and stick by same. Rather than making it so clear that this is 'the best deal they can get' and they will 'continue to work on legislation' that is 'more in accordance with their own principles'. As if their principles are the only ones that count and the opposition has none. I'd like to see some true journalism again, one that asks the hard questions and presents the facts. Rather than rewarding the talking heads for their commentary and so-called analysis. One that rewards more for investigating the story rather than merely parroting out the press releases. And one that focuses on facts and not the feelings of those people devastated by tragedy.

    I can dream and pray...
    Veronica

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  10. As I read about this news over the weekend, I was filled with an incredible sense of sadness. You on this board have expressed the reasons for my feelings.

    I also read a story about David Stockman, Ronald Reagan's Budget Director and to sum it up his central point was, "It (current Washington’s inability to understand our crisis as a civilization) amounts to a failed opportunity to recognize that we are now at a historical inflection point at which the time has arrived for a classic post-war demobilization of the entire military establishment," He is saying that America has reached a point of no return. This seems very true to me as the crash of the Soviet Union was caused by their failure to recognize how their militarism had in so many ways bankrupted the country. Also economics completely aside, Violence sewn abroad can only lead to violence here. dennis

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  11. Great comments from one and all. If the object of the rhetoric is to destroy the nation's trust in it's governing system, then the actions of our 'loners' can serve as a sort of canary in the mine.

    My biggest fear is that people will spin Loughner as an untreated paranoid schizophrenic and ignore the fact the surrounding psychic environment can have a huge effect on a schizophrenic's paranoid and delusional system of thought. In this sense Loughner, the expression of Loughner's delusions would have certainly been influenced by Arizona's prevailing psychological mindset.

    I strongly suspect the next great crusade will be targeting the mentally ill. This is one topic that might just cross all political lines and be far more effective for the 'law and social order' crowd than the failed gay crusade.

    For all of us his truth to power telling, yesterday Sherrif Dubpik ended his press conference with an observation that in his early days in law enforcement the mentally ill were in jail where they belonged and now they are out on our streets.

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  12. Colleen, that is a scary notion, that the idea that the mentally ill might wind up the scapegoats for this tragedy.

    The mentally ill are very much influenced by the talk and the walk of those around them, for better or worse. This young man did not act alone. He was led, as if on a leash, to go on a shooting spree, with a specific target in mind.

    I'm real sorry to hear that Sheriff Dupnik believes the mentally ill should be in jail. That indicates he has no understanding of the mentally ill and how they can lead productive lives that are a threat to no one.

    A call for more jails is not the answer.

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  13. Pat Robertson and Mike Huckabee, two stallwarts of the Christain right, have already called for removing non violent drug offenders from the prison system. Huckabee as a cost cutting measure, and Robertson because it turns harmless potheads into hardened criminals.

    Should this happen, there will be plenty of room in our jails for the mentally ill.

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  14. I wouldn't be so sure, Colleen. They currently treat drug offenders as both criminal and mentally ill. As criminals, those people are jailed. As mentally ill, they get 'court-ordered treatment'.
    Veronica

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  15. In my opinion, it is mentally ill to treat the mentally ill in such a manner as incarceration in jail. It is like jailing someone for having a disease instead of treating it. That does not get to the core of the illness to begin any kind of healing process. Neither does it address the underlying social sickness of ignorance of mental disorders and how to successfully treat illnesses.

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  16. Back in the old days, the insane were put in places called asylums. Often they were snake pits. But the word means "safe place". That's what they should have been. It was Reagan who shut down the "safe places" and sent the insane back to their communities. Where they were not safe at all.
    I have a mentally ill relative with a history of violence. I'm worried that this business in Arizona might set him off. As far as I know he's not political, but he can access firearms. The time he has spent in jail has done him no good at all and a lot of harm.
    That being said, I have to admit that I respect Sheriff Dupnik. He had the courage to speak the truth about the phenomenon of hate radio and the corrosive effect it has had on our culture. Twenty years ago, I had to seek a divorce because my husband became obsessed with hate radio. I'll mention no names but his favorite host was the fat one. The fat one made the atmosphere in our home so poisonous I could no longer live in it. I left, never looked back, no regrets. But for all of my years of freedom, I have seen Arizona tragedy coming. And I'm just sick about it.

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  17. Our current treatment for mentally ill persons is a subject worthy of it's own blog. It is a complicated subject with a number of different perameters.

    Perhaps this incident will precipitate a legitimate discussion about these issues. There probably aren't too many families in the US which don't have at least one relative with a mental illness or addiction problem and too frequently both. If this should become the case, then Sheriff Dubnik has used his fifteen minutes of fame to shine some light on some very important issues.

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  18. @Translynx,

    It really isn't my area but my mother was a healthcare professional who said the same thing: Reagan emptied the healthcare facilities for the mentally ill only to criminalize them. She was on to him in the 1980's.

    Psychiatry Online said in 2006:

    Acccording to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, up to 40 percent of adults with mental illness will come into contact with law enforcement. And nationally, 16 percent of the jail population is incarcerated for offenses related to mental illness, mental retardation, or substance abuse. Of these, 60 percent to 75 percent were jailed for nonviolent offenses.

    Harris County Texas reported 37% of jail inmates have mental illness. Of course the disease treatments are inadequate in jail and have caused a crisis.

    p2p

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  20. p2p,

    You are so right as we got rid of the funny farms, their inhabitants ended up in jails where it is over twice as expensive to take care of them. Asylums were know as funny farms because they actually functioned as farms and much work was done. In La all the Institutional food used for schools, jails etc, was once raised on the Norwalk "funny farm."
    dennis

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