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14 January 2011


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Right on the issue. Snarky in tone. Not worthy of you.


We overuse the word 'tragedy' to the extent it hardly means anything any more. Paraphrasing George Will on the orgy following the death of Princess Diana: if this is a tragedy, what word do you use to describe a children's oncology ward? Or the death of hundreds of thousands even tho they are far away and of whom we know little.
Grief used to be a private matter, no public hand- wringing and beating on bared chests. Nice speech by the president but he could done that in DC.

John Minnerath

This nationalized mass grief is bizarre.
It reminds me of the orchestrated mass displays we see from places like the DPRK.


The flag was connected with her death and brought to the poor child's birthday because she was born on 9/11.

steven gandy

I assume the only rationale
is the fact she was born on that exact date.


I imagine that the president of Brazil will make an appearance, and I also suspect the tragedy will become politicized in terms of adequate building/zoning laws, the govt's emergency response, the efforts at rebuilding, etc., etc.

But I doubt if there will be any sort of national glorification of the victims. Sadness, and grief at the inexplicable nature of life and fate, sure.

Having said that, I agree with your take on the Tucson tragedy. Tucson was not a natural, nor national, disaster.



I'm guessing the flag was brought to cash in on the fact that she was born on 9/11/01. Far be it from me to impute base political motives to anyone involved, of course.

William R. Cumming

The MSM which is dedicated to its own corporate bottom line has high interest in appealing to "shock" and blood and gore. They really can no longer do reporting. And no one wants them to do it except a very limited section of the population. The sales of the National Inquirer go up each year and each issue more expensive. It certainly does not look good for the future of a country created on the premised that we can govern ourselves and have the information to do so. With over 200,000 people with the highest level CIA clearances,meaning access to raw INTEL, what is to be made of this largely secret government that continues to enjoy over $80B in annual funding to gather secrets that no else has and to guard it based on "need-to-know"! The traffic in corporations and personnel with security clearances should be separatel graphed so the American people can see that the value of a TS in today's world is probably $250k to the corporation where the person is housed.

And of course Congressional oversight is a joke. Once again most Senators and Congresspersons are only serving time until they can make some real money as lobbyists against the public interest. Not a pretty sight.


Col. Lang,

The little girl was born on Sept. 11, 2001 and was one of the children featured in a book about babies born on that day. That is probably the reasoning behind the flag.

Patrick Lang


You must be new here. Only I say what is above or below me. Some of you momma's boys and girls amuse with your determination to be NICE. pl

Clifford Kiracofe

What concerns me is the manipulation of the media etal to produce a climate of fear and hysteria in the general population.

From this generalized climate of fear and hysteria, those who wish to impose more authoritarian laws, rules, regulations, procedures which restrict our liberties will have an easier job of it.

Mass communication faciliates easier mass manipulation something learned by authoritarian regimes early in the 20th century with the rise of the mass press and radio. With television it becomes easier still.

Television, radio, Hollywood, Nashville...the climate of fear and hysteria easily created through modern electronic means prior to the Iraq War comes to mind. Such a condition and national mental state facilitated the Congress to go off the deep end and authorize the war.

The American national psychology is evidently being altered slowly and systematically as if the population is in a test tube with additives routinely put into the mix.

Fearful, hysterical, jumpy, maudlin. Failure of nerve, lack of calm...infantile, jingo... the list could go on.


Of course, the flag was meant to politicize (more) this tragedy. But the distributed t-shirts were weirdest of all. If you received one, would you wear a Tucson Memorial t-shirt? If so why? As a grieving/coping mechanism? Keep it as a momento?

As much as the issue of guns/madmen are to blame, so is lack of mental care. Bad things happen when there is no care for mentally disaffected. This is a public health issue.

Those closest to this killer - teachers, parents, neighbors, employers, friends alienated him out of fear, but did any seek care for him? Anyone? Any care? Pyschotropic meds?(i thought public schools routinely made recommendations re child behavioral drugs and such?) Therapy? No? Then how would he have been assessed him as a "madman?"

As for memorial services --Tucson was decidedly more political than Ft. Bragg and Columbine memorials, but about the same as Okla Bombing memorial.

Katrina Flood Memorial? Terrible to say I can't remember it! That's the saddest part.


No! No! No!

None of you get it do you?

This was a story!

It is a self aggrandising story for the beltway class! This is theatre!

A saintly Congress critter is performing the Democratic equivalent to the Catholic Mass - consulting in person with those that elected her, when she is struck down by an assassins bullet!

A pure young and innocent person is also killed, as is a diligent public servant, and other paragons of everything America wishes it still stands for.

The President appears from on high and delivers a stirring feel good homily about American values, that is hypocrisy from start to finish.

"I believe we can be better. Those who died here, those who saved lives here - they help me believe. We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us. I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us."

Sadly for the beltway, it appears that the alleged perpetrator is all too obviously mentally deranged, and they cannot quite make him into a modern day liberal/socialist version of Marinus van der Lubbe.

Days later a heroic Congress vows to defiantly continue its saintly duties, perhaps after voting itself more power. The only problem is that it doesn't specify exactly who it is being "defiant" at.


But wait! There is more!

The next act: "Gabby speaks! Gabby walks!"

The final act: "Gabby returns to the floor of Congress!"

Meanwhile in North Waziristan, a Nine year old girl is blown to bits in a predator drone attack ordered by the mealy mouthed President Obama.


And in his solitary confinement in a Marine Brig, Brad Mannings torture to deprive him of his sanity continues.


In my opinion, only Joseph Heller could do justice to this nauseating outpouring of hypocritical, manufactured, saccharine public grief.

Mike C

Right now the banner headline on Huffington Post reads "DEFIANT - House Members Continue Meet-and-Greets In Wake Of Arizona Shooting."

Um, who are they "defying" exactly? Seems pretty clear there's no organized movement afoot to blow away Congress members. I know, that was just the most appropriately "headliney sounding" thing that whoever could barf out in the ten minutes they had to decide.

And that is the most irksome thing to me about this. The dunderpates in the media have dragged the "national discussion" off in about four different directions that have little or nothing to do with the event, because they won't take a couple days or weeks to get the full picture. I could keep going, but if I don't post this soon the headline over at Huffpo will have changed, and my point such as it is will lose some punch, so, here ya go. Have a good one.



Corporate media is schizophrenic. They love weather stories and disasters to hype their ratings but never ever report the background. A third of Brisbane flooded. Was it because the Aussies built a city on a 100 year flood plain or is it due to a millennium weather event associated with climate change?

The Tucson Story fits this pattern. In addition, the media constructed an artificial American community to try to keep a lid on bubbling social pressures below. Yes, the tragedy is due to all those around the shooter who did nothing to get a mad man off the street; but, it is also due to a collapsing safety net. Pima County has seen more than 45 percent of its mental health services recipients forced off the public rolls in 2010. The Shooter couldn’t keep a job. He’d never get a good job.

A civil society costs money. Taxes pay for it.

The girl’s father gave a truly sad eulogy on NBC News that I remember as: “She was born on a day of tragedy, 9 - 11, and she died in a day of tragedy. Tragedy bookends her life. But, in between, we had nine wonderful years”.


We likewise displayed a national outpouring of grief, outrage, and media coverage when al-Qaeda murdered one American journalist on video. It's not about the numbers, thousands of people quietly die on American highways every year because we all accept that as part of the price we pay to travel by car. We do not, however, accept the murder of politicians (and bystanders) by gunfire as part of the job description, any more than we accept the beheading of journalists on video or crashing airliners as part of the CODB. When that kind of stuff happens, we react -- it's natural to mourn and to try to make sense of tragedy.

Unfortunately, making sense of this particular tragedy by including discussion of the fact that a certain type of weapon was employed is mostly pointless because (i) the NRA is such a powerful lobby and (ii) our current activist Supreme Court has had no trouble overturning 200 years of precedent.


Got it in one Col PL.

Barak Obama's speech showed how much rhetoric is reality in the US media

Patrick Lang


"No! No! No! None of you get it do you?" This kind of rhetorical assumption on your part is one of your less attractive features. pl


When I think of this individual, if it is proven that he has done it, I think this is the way I would approach it. First, if proven guilty, I would sentence him to life, without the possibility of parole. He would serve his time in one of the “Supermax Prisons”. I would next require that he's head being shaven on a regular basis. Then I would require a tattoo on his for head, stating what he had done, including the death of a nine year old girl. Then, he should be required to stay with the general population of the prison. Even convicts have their own “code of honor”. If they followed this guideline, I'm relatively sure that this individual's position on many things would change. This change would be from standing up, to bent over. Now, I think that would be “NICE”.

Phil Giraldi

I do not mind the grief for the little girl, who is truly an innocent, but I do despise the political theater of the Obama descent on the funeral. Apart from the t-shirts, I understand there were also minders with prompters telling the audience when to applaud to provide a good television version of mourning American style.


Col. Lang, I stand corrected.



"When I think of this individual, if it is proven that he has done it, I think this is the way I would approach it. First, if proven guilty, I would sentence him to life, without the possibility of parole. He would serve his time in one of the “Supermax Prisons”. I would next require that he's head being shaven on a regular basis. Then..... "

With respect Grump, a person is supposed to be punished by being sent to jail, not to be punished in jail. This distinction seems to be lost on people...and unfortunately some prison administrators.


I thought the idea of bringing a flag from ground zero as "reverent" was incredibly weird and a bit ghoulish. I highly doubt that a nine year goes around talking about 9/11, nor do I think as Obama does that she would want him to "make an excellent democracy", whatever the fuck that means.

I can understand parading Captain Danjou's wooden hand on Cameron Day, but trying to tie a flag from the World Trade to this makes me wonder where all the adults are in the US today.

Probably the same place State shoved all the Arabists.



I think deprivation of liberty for life is the appropriate punishment. Nothing more, nothing less. But that does not involve institutionalized rape, nor inmate murder.

I should add, that I don't address the death penalty since I oppose it.


This whole thing has become a media and political circus.
It's nauseating.

Not for me to say what other grief stricken parents should do, but in similar circumstances no way would I allow my child's death to be the subjected to such inappropiate displays and be used by politics and media.

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