Is Wolf Blitzer demented?
(P.S. for those who want to paint me as a “radical right wing”. I’m not. I’ve got a rant boiling about Bush and No Child Left Behind, but that is for another day. I’m staunchly “Heart of the Eagle”. It’s just that, being out of power, the Republicans have been a bit short on material for the last couple of years… So at some point I’ll be going off about a “Radical Right Wing” loon, too. Just not today. Today is Loony Lefty day.)
I’ve sat on this for a couple of days, hoping the feeling would just go away, but it won’t. As you have undoubtedly heard, we had a US Congresswoman shot in Tucson, Arizona. Oddly, she was at a Safeway just a ways off of the main freeway ( I-10 ). On my trip to Florida to watch the shuttle her husband is going to drive “not launch”, I stopped in Tucson. At a Safeway. Bought a bunch of lunch fixings and just hung out a bit bored for a while as ‘bench butt” wore off. If there had been a congress critter giving a speech, I’d have wandered over just for the entertainment value. But the Safeway I stopped at is about 6 miles due south of the one she stopped at and I passed trough a couple of months early. Still, it’s a bit “unnerving” to be watching the news and have “Safeway”… “Tucson”… sink in… To be that close in time and space to both her, and her husband. Odd connection, that.
But back at Blitzed Blizer….
So I’m watching Fox, and they go to commercials. I swap over to CNN just to see how they are covering this tragic event. A crazy guy shoots a wonderful, intelligent, and beautiful accomplished woman. Several innocent bystanders killed. So many ways you could run with it. Why was this guy crazy? Did he have some life experience or incapacity that made him a nut job? Had Giffords advocated something that a vocal fringe group in Tucson didn’t like? Who were the innocent dead? What sorts them from us, or are we more alike than different? Loads of substance available to work with.
So what is Blitzder ranting about? Sarah Palin.
OK, sometimes I’m not the fastest at catching on to how propaganda works. Sometimes it takes me a while to see what kind of bogus tenuous connection is being played. But in this case it was a complete blank. Sarah? She’s up in Alaska. Yes, she, too, is a politician. Yes, she too is very good looking. And yes, she too is a smart woman (though the loony left likes to think she isn’t). After that the comparisons start to leave me going nowhere.
So it’s somehow Sarah’s fault that a nut job in Arizona goes off the deep end? Ok…
(The short form is that the left didn’t like the ‘country’ rhetoric Sarah used on an advert and seems to think it was marching orders to folks ‘clinging to their guns’… just crazy talk. More on that below.)
OK, so Mr. Blitzed then launches into a tirade about how we don’t know the political leanings of the shooter and since he listed both Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto as favorite readings we didn’t know if he was a left wing nut job or a Nazi Right Wing Nut Job. At that moment, Mr. Blitzer has let his bigotry shine through in spectacular fashion.
Dear Wolf Blitzer: Nazi is a short form of National SOCIALIST Party. That is NOT an American right wing ideal. The American “Right Wing” has nothing to do with the Euro-socialist folks from either their Right Wing nor their Left Wing, and in fact the “wings” do not apply to America at all. A better fit here is the Libertarian Ideal (as presently being typified by the Tea Party). So you have managed to mangle two errors together into one incredible bit of bigotry, and shove it into the face of your audience right when you ought to be asking “Who was this fine woman? What did she stand for? What is her future likely to be now? Is she likely to recover? Who were the innocents killed by this nut? Who was this nutcase, and why did he have these broken behaviours? Why did he have problems with both the police and the military (who rejected him) yet was left un-tended by his family, friends, and eventually the greater society? Where did this event come from, and where is it headed now?”
No, none of that.
Instead we get an attempt to conflate the Republicans with “right wing” and Nazi. Then a mud ball tossed at Sarah Palin ( I guess Wolf felt it appropriate to gratuitously attack a woman who is better than him on a news show about someone gratuitously attacking a woman better than him.) Frankly, I think he ought to be fired for such a blatant show of stupidity, bigotry, insensitivity, and, frankly, lousy journalism. But it was OK propaganda, and I guess that’s what CNN wants to be. The “Peoples Propaganda Network”. PPN.
CNN ( and I briefly stopped at MSNBC who were also rabidly trying to drag Sarah Palin into this, somehow. The Left does have it’s “Talking Points Machine” well oiled, even if it is inept.) continued to display truly terrible taste and continued to try to make this into a political propaganda show and anti-Republican. I couldn’t stand it and just went back to Fox. It’s pretty bad when I can’t stand something. After all, I watch Al Jazeera on Link TV, and Link is about as Lefty as you can get.
OK, back at Sarah. The “accusation” comes down to two tag lines on some political pages that nobody ever heard of before now. One said, roughly, that when things get bad and you lose, conservatives “don’t quit, we reload”. Well guess what: Politics and our culture are just chock full of references to military effort and the focus and courage that goes into them. If the Loony Left wants to slam Sarah for that, then they need also never say “Lock, Stock, and barrel” as that is reference to a gun “lock” mechanism that makes it go, the gun stock that holds the parts together, and the barrel ought to be pretty clear. Also they need to drop “go off half cocked” as that’s a reference to that “lock” being in the “safe” or “half cocked” position and the gun won’t fire. Oh, and no more taxes “targeted” at the rich, and no more “targeted” middle class tax cuts either. They get to also police “short fuse” and “flash in the pan” (when a flint lock rifle has a misfire) along with a few hundred others. I note that in the picture above Ms. Giffords seems quite comfortable with military context.
The other thing that got Blitzer’s panties in a bunch was that someone had put up a web page ( I think on Sarah’s site) that said the Republicans ought to “target” certain congressional districts (that included the one of Ms. Gifford). There was an outline of a scope site on an image of the district. Somehow this is supposed to be inciting nut jobs to go kill people? Honest, they said they thought this would induce folks to start shooting!
I’ve worked on a Psyche Ward. I’ve dealt with crazy people. If you want to start banning anything that might cause THEM to do crazy things, then everything is “causal”.
Once, before I ever worked on the ward, long before then, I got to help talk down a guy who was sure he was going to be shot by folks who had just arrived “in that car across the street”. He was in a flat out cold sweat and completely panic stricken. He was a black guy, so it seemed reasonable to me that someone might be out to get him. I resolved to keep him alive and figure out how to cool everything out. First, I called the cops (over his protests that the cops were not to be trusted either, but I knew the local cops…) Long story short, that car had been parked there for about a week, there were no people, and the guy was just rabidly paranoid. It did take a while to figure this out, however.
The point? Crazy people are just crazy. They see things that are not there. They hear voices. They think God is telling them to do things. An innocent parked car becomes proof of attack. Do you really want to let THEM decide what you do and do not get to say? How you may think and speak? They are prone to thinking parked cars are reason to start running away, or start shooting. They are prone to thinking that “Hello” means “I want to kill you” and that “I’ll call for some help” means “I’m one of them too and I’m going to help capture you”. Yes, it really is that bad some times. If your standard of discourse is “it can not cause a crazy person to act irrationally” then we can all just stop saying anything at any time to anyone. Ever.
So just toss in the trash this notion that what might set off a wacko is speech to be abandoned. It’s “crazy talk”, and we know where that leads… someone might want to get a gun and protect themself from it… (see the problem?).
OK, one more reminder on NAZI:
Their leader was a vegetarian.
They advocated (and passed and implemented) gun “control” and confiscation.
They had a ‘green movement’ and held the sun in high regard (the swastika is a religious sun symbol).
They had a public fitness movement that pushed fitness and exercise.
They believed in a strong central control of the society, not a messy world of individual freedoms.
They advocated for a public health care system (and got it).
Public education was mandatory and driven for the creation of a ‘better citizen’…
Sound familiar? That’s not a Republican agenda… It is almost the antithesis of a Libertarian agenda. Take a laundry list of USA Socialist Agenda Items and put it side by side with the Nazi Government programs and you get a very stong match. So, Mr. Blitzkrieg, take your Democratic Party agenda, write it down side by side with the Republican Party agenda, and see which one has a closer match to the Nazi Party agenda. Hope you don’t mind some anguish…
CNN will not be visited by me for a long time. It’s not even useful as a ‘view on the other side’ anymore. It’s just agitprop, and of the worst kind. Maybe I’ll check back in a few years, or maybe not.
Wolf Blitzer on my screen is now an immediate dive for the “jump” button. If I see more than 5 seconds of his face, someone else had the remote and I had to take it from them.
Frankly, the attempt to smear Sarah as a sidebar to this event makes my stomach turn and it, alone, assures I can never vote for any left wing democrat ever again. I don’t care what the alternative is, I’m taking it instead. Call it “zero tolerance” for abusing women.
I’m very heartened to learn that the gunman was very unlucky when it comes to Ms. Giffords. The bullet entered her temple and exited her forehead. This will have sent some bone fragments into the brain (and the news did report that some fragments were surgically removed) but only into the pre-frontal area. There are sinuses at that part of the skull. With luck, she will have some sinus problems and otherwise make a full recovery. This path dodges all the structures of the ear, the optic nerves, and the bullet does not blow through chunks of the brain. It’s about as optimistic a result as you can get. If the bone fragments are small and shallow enough, you get little damage and good healing. That the bullet left with much of the energy intact, means that energy did not do damage to Ms. Giffords. I wish her well and all the best. IMHO, it is highly likely she can return to her duties in Congress in a modest amount of time.
The prefrontal area is involved in things that DO matter, especially to politicians. Concern about the future. Planing with long lead times. Some involvement with motivation and visioning. But the fact is that many folks can take some damage there with little ill effect and occasional benefits as irrational worry can be reduced. Also, as far as I know, there is no right / left asymmetry so if one side is intact the ability ought to be intact. But more importantly, all the major areas of function: things like speech, hearing, vision, memory; and all the important bits of who we are, personality, along with motor control… those are all untouched.
Who she is will be changed by the nature of this event, but “not too much” and not from tissue damage to the brain. Again, all IMHO.
So, God willing, Ms. Giffords can be back at her desk in some months and the evil of this assassin can be thwarted.
Mr. Blitzer: THAT is what you ought to have been reporting.
Sidebar to NASA: It would be a very good and humane gesture to delay the shuttle launch. To put a different pilot in charge is to double traumatized the good man married to Ms. Giffords. To launch with him on the original schedule will give him a conflict of professionalism vs personal family duty – to be with his wife in her time of need. It would be a great kindness to a family that needs a little TLC right now to “let it slide”… just a bit… America will understand.