Tucson

The Amazing Recovery Of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords!

One of the most pleasant developments of recent times is the publication today of the first photographs of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona since the attempted assassination in Tucson in early January by a crazed gunman, Jared Loughner.

The fact that Giffords has even survived being shot in the head is astounding in itself, and while there is much therapy still needed, it is clear that Giffords is successfully recovering from the grievous wounds she suffered.

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the head of the Democratic National Committee, and a close personal friend, reported today that Giffords is able to speak in full sentences and have real conversations.

Considering what she has been through, her recovery is a miracle, and she looks extremely attractive, much as she did before her unfortunate confrontation with a near death experience!

We can all unite in saluting her recovery as one of those rare bright moments to be celebrated by all Americans, no matter their political persuasion!

Are Muslim Citizens Threats To Homeland Security? The Peter King Committee Hearings And The Real Threat To The Nation!

New York Republican Congressman Peter King, a member of the House since 1993, is the new Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and is about to conduct hearings on what he calls the Islamic threat to America presented by disloyal Muslims in American society.

King can certainly give several examples of Muslims in America who have been proved to be engaged in terrorist activities, fortunately stopped by excellent intelligence activities by cooperation between federal and state government officials. With the tragic exception of the Fort Hood massacre by a Muslim soldier, all of the attempts have been prevented.

But are we to say, for instance, that all community college students should be considered dangerous and worthy of investigation by the Homeland Security Committee, because of Jared Lee Loughner shooting Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona, which led to six deaths and thirteen wounded?

Are we to say that all white Christians who had been in the military should be investigated because of Timothy McVeigh blowing up the Oklahoma City Federal Building in 1995, killing 168 people and wounding nearly a thousand people?

We cannot allow the Islamic haters in this country, many of them Christian fundamentalists, to anger and provoke good, law abiding Muslims, several million among us and growing, into hating the nation they willingly migrated to or have grown up in as citizens, to feel they are being persecuted or scapegoated, particularly when Muslim soldiers are fighting for us, and in many cases, have helped report and crack plots by the miniscule number of Muslims who have conspired against us!

What Peter King is doing is really the new McCarthyism, loose labeling people as Communists, and now substituting Muslims for Communists!

It is also important to point out that Peter King has a “skeleton” in his closet, his strong advocacy for the terrorist Irish Republican Army in its long war against British control of Northern Ireland. Can a person who supported terrorism actions against America’s strongest ally, Great Britain, be taken seriously when he claims to be fighting terrorism by promoting insecurity among law abiding Muslims, who are certainly over 99 percent of all Muslims?

And it should be pointed out that IF King really wishes to investigate terrorism threats, look to the hundreds of such groups listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, including neo-Nazis, white nationalists, neo-Confederates, racist skinheads, and Ku Klux Klansmen!

The number of such groups are at an all time high of 1,002, with many of them so called “Patriot” groups that have grown dramatically since Barack Obama became President, and believing that the federal government is the “enemy”!

And if one counts groups that go beyond just hate groups and Patriot groups to include nativist extremist groups which are a threat to ethnic, racial, religious and sexual orientation minorities, then the total is 2,145, a 40 percent increase from 2008-2009 and a 22 percent rise in 2009-2010!

Also realize that many Republican politicians and talk show hosts on radio and television use loose rhetoric, and are encouraging the paranoia and hate by their loose use of language!

So only when Peter King is willing to investigate and publicize the far greater threat from right wing hate groups would his committee be seen as doing something worthy of our support!

The Insanity Of Weapons On College Campuses: How Does It Promote Safety And Security?

Texas and Arizona are leading the charge in promoting the idea of allowing guns on college campuses to prevent against threats to students and professors, as most infamous in the Virginia Tech massacre of 2006, but also present in other circumstances and incidents over the years.

Anyone over the age of 21 could carry a gun on campus under the Arizona proposal. How would one enforce this, when one considers that the majority of college students are under 21? And how does this save professors and students from a crazed gunman?

Does it not in fact promote the danger of any student unhappy with a grade, or angry at his girlfriend because of a dispute, or just anyone depressed and stressed, from opening up on fellow students and professors?

Would not the extreme rarity of a Virginia Tech event be worsened by exchanges of gunfire within a classroom or in a student lounge, as crossfire could lead to more people being harmed than otherwise? Are we not overreacting to a occasional tragic event, which could better be prevented by having strict gun control laws to prevent unstable people from having the ability to purchase a gun at a Walmart or other place similar, as Jared Loughner did in Tucson, Arizona before shooting Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killing six victims and wounding twelve people?

By this logic being promoted, then all high school students and teachers and administrators should have weapons on their person so as to prevent another high school massacre as at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado!

Utah is the only state to allow guns on all college campuses, but with the likelihood of Texas and Arizona joining them, the reality is that there will be more tragic shootings and deaths, not fewer.

But this is the gun lobby at its most extreme, and the nation is moving toward more violence, not less, in a country already with the highest death rate from guns in the world!

Gun Rights Gone Mad: Are There Any Limits? :(

Just three weeks after the tragic shootings in Tucson, Arizona, the gun rights movement is in full swing, reacting to the tragedy by trying to promote gun rights EVERYWHERE without limit! πŸ™

Even former Vice President Dick Cheney has expressed the need for some gun control, after never believing in it in the past, and President Obama has stated he will address the issue, after totally ignoring it in his State of the Union address earlier this week.

But meanwhile, many state legislatures are going off the deep end to prevent any restrictions and promote gun rights in every possible location! πŸ™

In Florida, a legislator is suggesting that medical doctors should be punished with felony charges just simply by asking a patient about their ownership or use of guns! The punishment for a doctor would be prison time or up to $5 million in fines–absolutely insane! πŸ™

In Michigan, a legislator wants someone, anyone, to be able to carry weapons on their person EVERYWHERE–including day care centers, stadiums, schools, churches, bars and hospitals! This is advocated despite the fact of gun incidents reported in hospitals, bars, churches and schools already around the country, but now even where large crowds and young children are found is being promoted–absolutely loony! πŸ™

In Minnesota, a bill is being pushed which would no longer allow police to conduct background checks on people who apply for gun permits–again, absolutely nutty! πŸ™

Wyoming is considering legislation which would allow it to join three other states–Alaska, Arizona, and Vermont–which do not require a state permit for a concealed weapon–extremely scary! πŸ™

Finally, Nebraska has a bill pending to allow school employees to carry guns for protection, and Indiana has legislation being considered to allow employees of any company in the state to carry guns in their cars in the parking lots of the places of employment “in order to defend their lives”–both proposed laws which indicate an element of paranoia in the sponsors! πŸ™

Anyone who thinks that such legislation as above will stem gun violence, and cut down the number of deaths and injuries, is living in a dream world of illusion and fantasy! πŸ™

A Time Of True Leadership Versus Demagoguery! Obama Versus Ryan And Bachmann!

President Obama last night delivered one of his greatest speeches as he gave us the State of the Union, not easy for a man known for great oratory.

He appealed to our better nature, speaking up for the DREAM Act, for commitment to modernization of technology, commitment to education, research and development, and to bipartisanship as we face the challenges of dealing with the deficit and national debt.

The only disappointments in the author’s view were his failure to face the reality of the Afghanistan War, and his decision not to use the Tucson tragedy to call for new regulations on assault weapons, magazines, and the need to have new controls on who is able to buy weapons legally.

Meanwhile, the GOP response was, predictably, disappointing. Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, chair of the Budget Committee, came across as an appealing person who really introduced himself for the first time to a national audience, and accomplished the goal of making us realize that not all Republicans are loony and lacking in credibility!

But his ten minute response to the State of the Union Address was broad and vague, and he hid from us the horrific details of his plan to cut taxes for the wealthy and, despite what he claimed, destroy the safety net of the New Deal and the Great Society. What he believes in is seen as radical by most observers, and an attempt to negate 75 years of social and economic reform, and therefore, totally unacceptable, and really dead on arrival in practical terms!

Meanwhile, Michele Bachmann, Congresswoman from Minnesota, could only write her own version of history, a warped view, to say the least, although in her five minute Tea Party Movement sponsored address, she avoided the outrageous historical fantasies that she had enunciated earlier in the day. This was probably a reaction to the bitter attacks and condemnations of observers to her ridiculous and ignorant assertions about slavery in American history a few hours earlier. But she did her cause and that of the Tea Party no favors, because she is a horrible representative for her party and the movement, and the thought of her likely being on the campaign trail for the Presidency is enough to engender a massive headache! πŸ™

The Gun Holocaust Going On In America: Some Sort Of Control Of Assault Weapons Essential!

America is in the midst of a holocaust, caused by gun violence!

Not only have we witnessed the horrors of the attempted assassination of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the wounding of 13 people, and the murder of six victims, including a nine year old girl.

We have also seen the growing violence against police officers, with just about a dozen attacked and a few killed across the country just in the past 24 hours!

We have seen the heated rhetoric, particularly of talk show host Glenn Beck, who is ratcheting up the talk of gun violence, promoting images of shooting people in the head constantly in recent days, as he condemns those who he sees as trying to threaten Americans’ rights to the Second Amendment! πŸ™

Also, the statistic that on the average, 34 Americans are killed by gun violence in each 24 hour period, makes it clear that we are in the midst of a gun holocaust!

Cannot something be done to crack down on assault weapons, magazines that allow multiple bullets in the dozens in a short time, the ability to prevent mentally ill people from gaining the ability to purchase weapons, and other tactics to lower the gun violence without taking away a person’s right to hunt or to protect oneself with a hand gun?

If we cannot do something to control and limit gun violence, then everyone of us is in constant danger, and why would anyone wish to be a police officer when the threats are so great against their longevity?

It is essential that President Obama call for some reasonable controls on guns, while not taking away the rights of law abiding Americans. If he does not do so in some form tomorrow night, then we face more tragedies like Tucson, and more police victims, and all of us are in a growing dangerous position as we go about living our lives! πŸ™

Sarah Palin And Polls: All Time High Unfavorability!

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has reached an all time high unfavorable rating in the USA Today and CNN polls, after her disastrous reaction to the Tucson shootings and her use of the term “blood libel”, which has outraged the Jewish community and intelligent people everywhere.

The USA Today poll puts her negative ratings at 53 percent, and the CNN poll at 56 percent.

Sarah made clear on the Sean Hannity show on Fox News Channel that she would “not sit down and shut up”, and certainly there is no way to make that happen, and no one wants to take away her freedom of speech.

But, effectively, the American public is saying precisely that: Please sit down and shut up!

Since she will just do exactly the opposite, she is a gift that keeps on giving to the Democrats and President Obama, and is a burden on the GOP and the Presidential race!

Celebration Of Two Years Of Barack Obama: Public Opinion Ratings Soar! :)

Today marks two years of the Obama Presidency, and an NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll shows his rating with the public has soared from 45 to 53 percent in the past month, the highest it has been since July 2009! πŸ™‚

Why has this happened? Apparently, his handling of the Lame Duck Session, demonstrating willingness to work with the opposition Republicans, is a major factor.

Also, his handling of the Tucson tragedy was overwhelmingly popular, as he showed empathy and ability to speak to the country in a soothing manner in the midst of a major crisis and depressing moment for the nation.

Also, there is growing optimism long term and short term about the economy, and Obama comes across as a reasonable person, rather than as an extremist, as so many Republicans present themselves.

The pressure is not on the President, as many thought after the midterm losses in Congress, but rather with the Republicans to show reasonableness and desire to work with the President for the good of the country.

But don’t hold your breath on such cooperation, as every evidence is just the opposite.

Speaker John Boehner failed to attend the State Dinner for the Chinese President, something totally inappropriate, considering that Boehner is second in line for the Presidency, and yet has no interest in interacting with the leader of the second largest economy.

Almost no Republicans attended the State Dinner, with the major exception of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who seemed somewhat embarrassed, when asked about it, that he was the rare Republican to be at the banquet.

The Republican party, with the battle beginning among probably more than a dozen individuals to be the GOP nominee for President in 2012, and with their ties to the Right Wing talk show hosts, including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity, among others, gives the advantage clearly to the camp of Barack Obama! πŸ™‚

Congratulations, President Obama, on an outstanding first two years of your administration, and the growing likelihood that you will have the great advantage for a second term as President, because of your accomplishments and principles, and the growing image of the GOP as out of step with the American people, as evidenced by the Health Care repeal vote yesterday in the House of Representatives!

Arizona The Capital Of Anger, Hate And Bigotry: Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik

It is a telling factor that the Sheriff of Pima Country, Arizona, Clarence Dupnik, with Tucson as its major city, has declared that the state of Arizona has become the capital of anger, hate and bigotry in America. This was his reaction to the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords!,

As the author stated just shortly before this tragedy, Arizona has become the new Mississippi or Alabama of the the second decade of the 21st century, with its promotion of right wing views on illegal immigration and health care legislation and its advocacy of insane gun freedoms without controls! πŸ™

Can any Arizonian be proud of the racist, discriminatory legislation, which victimizes Latino immigrants, many of them Mexican-American? Can anyone be supportive of banning Mexican American studies in Tucson, as the state Attorney General has done, while permitting ethnic studies programs for Asian American, African American, and Native American groups?

Can anyone be supportive of gun laws that put basically no limits on gun ownership and carrying of weapons, and the push to allow such weapons on school and college campuses?

Can anyone be other than embarrassed at the failure to cover poor people who need transplants of all kinds of organs, putting the lives of 96 patients at risk, all over $1.2 million, a paltry amount of money that could easily be covered if state officials cared about poor, mostly minority patients?

Arizona’s state government should hold their collective head in shame! πŸ™

Governor Jan Brewer and other state officials should be roundly condemned and be held accountable for the loss of any of those 96 lives of transplant patients and the two who have already passed away! πŸ™

Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl should be censured for their total lack of concern for the racism, discrimination, and denial of medical care to needy patients, and their support of gun laws which will only raise the level of violence that occurred yesterday, leading to the tragic circumstances we now are reeling from! πŸ™

If Arizona wishes to regain its respectability, it needs to change its course on these various issues, and start acting in a civilized manner!