Posts Tagged liberals

The NRA Blames Everyone But Guns: Sandy Hook Press Conference

National Rifle Association Holds News Conference In Wake Of Newtown School Shooting

The NRA’s response to the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary – and any other mass shooting in the country for that matter – has been one of massive scapegoating: women, teachers, video games, the entertainment industry, hurricanes, terrorists, the doorman at the school, and the mentally ill. Everyone and everything but guns, gun owners and gun lobbyists who have spent years easing gun regulationsmor across the country making it possible to obtain guns easier than a car — were responsible.

More specifically, The National Rifle Association, which is the nation’s largest gun advocates lobby, attributed the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, to “school free zones,” arguing that “genuine monsters” (other than the proponents of gun ownership galore that is) are attracted to schools because its administrators and teachers are not armed.

The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” NRA low life and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said.  He urged Congress to “act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation.” La Pierre shoveled out blame far and wide, going after reporters for glorifying killers like Adam Lanza, violent movies, video games, and music videos. He tore into gun safety advocates for exploiting the tragedy for “political gain,” targeted President Obama for underfunding police initiatives in schools, and said that the media demonized “local gun owners” and spread “misinformation and dishonest thinking that only delay meaningful action and all but guarantee that the next violence is a new cycle away.” “Add another hurricane, terrorist attack, or some other natural of man-made disaster, and you’ve got a recipe for a national nightmare of violence and victimization,” he said.

Now it is the fault of law abiding citizens who don’t sleep with assault rifles under their pillows that this happened?  Clearly, according  to the NRA,  they asked for it since not owning a gun is an invitation to being gunned down and shot in places you ought to feel safe. This is the same garbage rhetoric used in rape culture where the victims become the  accused and are told that having behaved or dressed in certain ways provoked and justified,  or at the least made it “understandable”,  why they were assaulted and raped. That is a very disconcerting position to take as it is incredibly manipulative, twisting the victim/perpetrator position around, thus indirectly assign blame to victims for the atrocities committed against them rather than trying to find ways to minimize such atrocities and violence and thus really change anything about the status quo.

Scapegoat and Round up the Mentally Ill While We’re At It 

La Pierre also called for the nation to create an “active national database of the mentally ill”, a brilliant idea that not only will not violate any privacy laws (HIPAA), it will also most definitely not lead to further stigmatization and marginalization of  people with psychological disabilities  – whom he apparently lumps in together with violent criminals – and discourage care-seeking, diagnosis, and treatment.

I don’t even know where to begin. Twenty families are burying their children in this holiday season, children who will never experience life and all its wonders, not to mention the psychological trauma the parents and families of those children will experience for the rest of their lives because of the actions of a criminal with easy access to weapons of mass murder, and all the NRA can come up with is basically blaming the victims and their parents for the outcome? Citing hurricanes and  the media and Hollywood and the lack of tools of murder?

La Pierre and his supporters are nothing but disgusting, contemptible, frightened, small-minded fear mongers who are placing the alleged rights of a bunch of people to own tools of murder and mass murder above the life and safety of people.

There is just something indescribably vile about a proponent of unregulated access to guns. This was an opportunity for the NRA to grow, to advocate responsbile gun ownership and regulations like, for example, creating a national database of gun owners and requiring gun registration and other institutional controls similar to car ownership and operation. Instead, all they could come up with was shameless scapegoating, deflecting of responsibility and advocating the discrimination of vulnerable populations, such as the mentally ill, who are, frankly, more likely to be victimized by violence than to perpetrate it.

Mental Illness Does NOT Equal Violent Behavior

The final straw, of course, was calling for a national database of the mentally ill. Not a national database of gun owners, but of the mentally ill.

Ok Heinrich Himmler.

What will be next? Round them all up into so called sanctuary districts, for their own protection of course, or make them wear some kind of a plaque on their garments so they can be easily identified?

What is outrageous is that not only mental illness is being equated with violent, criminal behavior but that all people with mental illnesses – which covers a broad spectrum of disabilities, most of which are not violent – are being lumped together as this one entity society must be aware and scared of.  The reality is that there are millions of people suffering from mental illness who would never engage in such a vile, inhumane act of mass murdering children.

Someone who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, after, hmmm.., let’s say having been a victim of violence with guns, or a school shooting, is technically considered as suffering from a mental illness. Someone suffering from depression and anxiety taking medication is considered an individual suffering from a mental disability; a person suffering from severe anxiety is considered mentally ill. To lump these people together with violent criminals – who may or may not be mentally ill, – becasue remember, not all people with mental illness are dangerous, and not all killers are mentally ill, meeting standards of psychiatric diagnosis – is as low as it can get and the height of irresponsibility and inhumanity.

NRA poll

La Pierre played quite expertedly into the irrational fears and scapegoating mentality of the minuscule minded gun wielding,  Jesus and cross hugging citizens of this nation by making references to those evil “killers, robbers, rapists, gang members” who have  “spread like cancer in every community across our nation” and from whom we need to protect ourselves by owning an arsenal of assault weapons and other tools for mass murder.  

The truth, of course, is that the only cancer having spread through society is the policies the likes of La Pierre and his organization of unregulated gun ownership advocates and the mindless tools that follow them advocate, believing that the answer to the problems of crime – or any problem for that matter in society – is arming every man, woman and child with all sorts of weaponry and sending them off into the world, as if guns – instruments aimed to kill – make us safer.

Imagine the principal of Sandy Hook had been armed with an assault rifle and after the first shot was fired and people were running around in panic  she had jetted out of her office with an AR 15 shooting into a crowd of children running in panic. According to the NRA, that would have been the solution, which, of course, is another comforting lie.

Living in a society with ordinary citizens armed to the teeth like guerrilla fighters, taking justice into their own hands, like George Zimmerman, and shooting into a crowd with moving targets, does not make us safer. This Dirty Harry and John Wayne mentality is only good for when the zombie apocalypse or another end-of-world scenario – mostly to be found in science fiction – is upon us. It is not the route rational people in a civilized society held together by the rule of law and the Constitution they allegedly trust in,  ought to embark on. We do not want to send our kids to school with the likes of George Zimmerman prowling the halls.

NRA’s Response to the Carnage at Sandy Hook At a Glance: 

1) Create a police state – TSA style security at every corner. A George Zimmerman in every neighborhood. I mean, we are all totally grateful that he protected us from the evils of a 17 year old child holding candy and we clearly need more of that.

2) Arm every man, woman and child with assault rifles like they were Snake Plissken. The more guns and tools of mass murder lie around, the safer we all will be since human beings are totally not prone to irrationality and rage over something like someone cutting them off on the freeway or giving them the wrong look at the grocery store etc.

3) Scapegoat everyone and everything for this: Women, pacifists, the mentally ill, video games and movies, entertainment industry, the doorman at the school…everyone but gun owners and the gun – a tool solely designed to take lives, nothing else. Apparently the gun is a very misunderstood tool for murder.

Great America. Moving towards a plutocratic police state one gun wielding,  Jesus chest-thumping, fear mongering, bigoted patriot at a time.

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Why Keith Olberman Got Fired Again

Keith Olbermann, former host of MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, from where he was eventually fired, faced the same music again yesterday when Current TV decided to let him go as well, stating that their values of “respect, openness, collegiality, and loyalty to [their] viewers” were  “no longer reflected in [their] relationship with Keith Olbermann.” They did not make any mention of any specifics or what might have precipitated their decision to can Olberman who will be replaced by former New York governor and CNN host Eliot Spitzer.

I must say I was shocked and saddened when they fired him so unexpectedly last year. I always knew that he was quite an opinionated person who did not shy away from saying it like it is, but he never crossed the line or divulged in tasteless banter or in any other way comprise the integrity of his show and the viewers. Yes he was outspoken and passionate – and I hate having to say that in this apologetic tone as if it was a liability – but he was never rude or unreasonable.  I especially loved his insight and willingness to swing a heavy hammer to the privileged and demand they cough up their fair share. So needless to say that it was really strange to me that they fired him so promptly. He wasn’t even given the opportunity to say goodbye, he was just booted.

Olbermann’s firing from Current yesterday leaves much of the same bitter aftertaste in my mouth. His position at Current was supposed to be his triumphant return to television in tatters. After his bitter departure from MSNBC, Current sought to make him the centerpiece of its rebranding as a progressive news network.

It was not long, though, before the tensions between Olbermann and his superiors exploded into the open. In January, his sudden absence from Current’s coverage of the Iowa caucuses led to open warfare between the two sides. Olbermann fired off a statement saying that he was “not given a legitimate opportunity to host under acceptable conditions,” adding, “They know it and we know it. Telling half the story is wrong.”

There were also reports that Olbermann was incensed by repeated technical problems with his show, and miffed that he was not being given a greater say in deciding which shows were going to precede and follow his.

All this of course just seems to be nothing but a ruse to get rid of Olberman whose direct approach on a lot of liberal causes don’t stomach too well with Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, the founders of the network.

A few things have been swirling around that could have given us all a clue as to the fat of Olberman on Current:

1.) Comcast became a partial owner of Current
2.) Keith’s background during taping kept going black, lights kept fading out on him, and audio would be sketchy at his “new” desk
3.) Keith did not host the NH primaries for Current
4.) Jennifer Gandholm, former Governer of Michigan, was lauded and courted by Al Gore, on Chenk’s program. Jennifer, looked and acted as if she swallowed a cheshire cat, and her behavior of overt aggressiveness with the two men, made me think she was going to have a big role in Current soon.
5.) Jennifer has her own heavily promoted show, non-stop ads, huge new layout, all the cameras, big TV screens, etc…and Jennifer covers the NH primary; surprise!
6.) Keith, once again is forced to table “Worst Persons” and his absences are growing.
7.) Rumors are surfacing about Keith being in dispute with Current, but Keith has a nasty cold and bronchial cough and had to take time off; he was still sick upon his return

Why Keith Olberman was Really Fired

The problem, if one can call it that, is that Olberman wants to rake his opponents over the coals,  which he is very good at, and which, frankly, his opponents largely deserve. Al Gore, on the other hand, wants to play  “nice” with his opponents, which is most definitely not Olberman’s (or mine for that matter) style, not to mention detrimental.

Wanting to “play nice”, however, is precisely what the problem is with the Democrats in Congress (and the White House), and why little has gotten done in the past four years to benefit the middle class: Obama wants to play nice with Republicans.  Over the past four year, more often than not, he has continuously been giving in to the credence of their cut throat policies that only benefit the 1% at the expense of everyone and everything else; he has been pushing for  bipartisan politics in a Congress that mostly loathes him and where they have so little respect for him as a person and the office of the Presidency that he occupies that they yell “you lie” while he is addressing Congress. In fact Obama took playing nice so far that the Republicans conned him into extending the much loathed tax cut for the wealthy – the one thing he had vowed during his campaign he was not going to do. It was so bad they even got him to apologize to the UK for having criticized BP for the devastating oil spill it was responsible for and which since has left the Gulf in shambles.

Yes, BP was responsbile for the spill and Obama ended up apologizing to the UK for saying that BP was responsbile for the spill. The fuckery went so far that even US legislators, such as Rep. Joe Barton from Texas, ended up apologizing on Obama’s behalf for the $20 billion escrow account that his administration asked BP to create for paying out damages in the case.

These are just a few examples of the kind of nice play folks like Al Gore and Obama have been engaging in during some futile attempt to somehow do what exactly….gain the sympathy of conservatives, make them understand? To reason with them? To show that they are reasonable?

The truth is, however, that you can’t ‘reason’ with conservatives who – out of principle – say that up is down when Obama says so; just as you can’t reason with irrational people.  Al Gore, of all people, should already know this from the way he was treated for his global warming documentary.

Yet here we got Keith Olberman who – official reasons for his dismissal aside – is being basically fired because he has been refusing to play along when conservatives once again stepped forward to take a long shit on the majority of the American people and their causes to enrich the pockets of banks, corporations, oil companies and millionaires.

I like Keith Olberman. He stands up for the truth and justice; he wants things investigated, explained and straightened out to better humanity. He champions the cause of those who otherwise may not have a voice.  He is their advocate. And he says those things with conviction and valor.

One cannot deny his passion in this regard. In a way he might be feeling the anger of those people whom he defends so definatly for. He is very unapologetic and quite relentless about it but he is also fair.

He is also not afraid to continue standing by the things he said and believed to be the truth even if it means he is not being popular or liked. That is a rare quality. We have entirely too many sheep in this world who think it is just really cool and classy to be giving credence to everyone’s outlandish, often ignorant views that are detrimental to society and human kind.

Current prides itself in being a progressive news outlet, but they are not really progressive if they are letting Olberman go for essentially being too progressive and liberal. The fact that he got canned twice now tells me he probably refused to cave in  and is a really awesome guy who wont relinquish his beliefs to be polite to people with destructive and sinister notions.

My take on this is that if the Establishment approves of you and likes you, you know you are doing something wrong. As Mark Twain once said, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” 

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