Sunday, January 9, 2011

Saradise Lost - Book 5 - Chapter 16: Time to Retreat, Sarah Palin

Sen. Lamar Alexander doesn't seem to get it:

At Ben Smith's blog, former Pennsylvania Rep. Chris Carney, who was one of those "targeted" by Palin in her hate-laced money-begging scam, has been quoted:

Former Pennsylvania Rep. Chris Carney, who was -- like Gabrielle Giffords -- targeted by Sarah Palin in a campaign whose graphic put a gunsight on their districts

"I'm not sure if 'blame' is the right word for Ms. Palin, but I think it wasn't helpful, obviously," Carney told the Scranton Times-Tribune of the map. "It would be very useful if she came out and, if not apologize, say that she was wrong in putting that sort of logo on peoples' districts."

"[A] lot of folks were concerned that something would happen sooner rather than later" after she released the map, he said. "You would think it shouldn't have to take something like this to be a lesson, but I think it's an indication of how far we've sunk."

The "discourse in this country has deteriorated tremendously."

Indeed it has. Looking over the news this morning, some in Europe seem to take away something more profoundly disturbing from Saturday's mass shooting than have most Americans. Here are a couple of comments at an article on this at The Guardian:

Jesus, half of the pundits in America "display signs of mental illness." Fox News is designed to appeal to the demented. Most of the new Chairs of House Committees display all manner of symptoms of commuting from another solar system. If this guy was "mentally ill" then his malady took the exceedingly routine form of shooting people he disagreed with.

Pass the Apple Pie, Mom.

The truth is that the United States is a nation whose leaders glory in the use of assassination as a answer to political criticism. They have done so, quietly, for many years, but in recent years they have begun to be quite open about it: Every day 'drones' assassinate "suspects' in Pakistan, and a kill rate of twenty co-lateral casualties to one 'militant' is regarded as perfectly acceptable.

What is the argument here? That it is OK to do this kind of thing in Gaza, Waziristan, or the Yemen but it is lunacy to do it in Arizona?

This is a terrible tragedy, all too predictable though in a culture in which bullying with guns, threats of murder and insouciant attitudes towards every kind of violence, from torturing prisoners to bombing wedding parties, is routine.

This young man is an American: he was made in America. And now, the guy will be killed, ritualistically, after he has been tortured and abused to amuse the "sane" citizenry of the State of Arizona.


I've been to America twice in the last 10 years. I've also spent time in the middle east. To draw a parallel between the wretched nature of political discourse in America and Pakistan is not stretching it at all, and in fact may be doing Pakistan a disservice.

I can also say with some confidence that although there will be Americans of every political colour deeply shocked and saddened by this shooting, there are undoubtedly a lot of tea party nutjobs and their representatives - Beck, O'Reilly et al - wryly smiling that she got what she deserved.

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