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American Angst

The Boston Marathon bombing has troubled the perceptions of many. Though there's been a sane discussion on the sitehere, the news of that day was filled with false reports and ridiculous speculation. CNN decided they had the scoop; "a man with dark skin was arrested."  Though retracted, for part of the day the thought that was implanted in white America's head was once again be afraid of the dark skinned human. While commentators backed off the "arrest," they still left us thinking for hours that yes, another possible terrorist attack had occurred.

Though know one knows the why yet, endless speculation produces useless distraction for people with nothing better to do. Get a life.

Glenn Beck's faithful are waiting for Monday, when their favorite clown will once again delve into conspiracy nonsense. Useless, except as an example of how simple minds don't work, Beck explains how the injured Saudi student is part of the Muslim Brotherhood who is working in cahoots with the Saudi government and secret Muslim Barack Obama. Time to try impeaching the president once again.

Though foolhardy, this man makes money by deceiving the public. Rhetoric like this should be compared to the old example of yelling "fire!" in a crowded theater. We all know that a small percentage of Americans will believe anything, and more than likely they own a few firearms and know how to use them. This type of nonsense endangers all of us.

Beck wasn't the only one of course. Initial responses from Red State, Pamela Gellar and the New York Post, all blamed Muslims for the attack. Possibly the worst was FOX pretend news commentator Erik Rush tweeting about Muslims;  "Yes, they're evil. Let's kill them all." 

Basically all the current media fools jumped on the bandwagon with horribly inaccurate comments.

Gun Groupies

Even thought slightly buried by the bombing in Boston news, the failed bill to make background checks necessary before one can purchase a gun should remain firmly in the public eye. There have been many responses to the failed legislature, but once again the comedy channel has the only shows that make you realize how inane the debate is.

Stewart and Colbert in recent weeks have brought up the following thoughts. When it comes to magazine size, a conservative, (paraphrased), response was "why ten, why not nine or eleven?" Insinuating that any limits would seem to be haphazard at best. The response from the Comedy Central titans was something to the effect of "Yeah, why set a speed limit at seventy, why not sixty or eighty?" Why? Because you guys were all elected to make laws and that is what laws do, set limits. If you don't want to make laws, why are you in the legislature?

Even better, Stewart's response to the argument that "stopping legal citizens from purchasing guns won't stop criminals from getting them." What an odd response by conservatives. The thought that any type of even minor gun laws being passed is "criminals will still get guns why law abiding citizens cannot." Well, criminals steal, kill, etc., and we have laws for that. Maybe anarchy is what they are promoting. No laws on anything? Back to the speed limit analogy, screw that 70 mile an hour speed limit, criminals don't obey it. Press the pedal to the metal and drive spectacularly!

No matter. No laws protecting the populace will have any support from our elected Representatives. Senators and Congressmen who only take orders from people with deep pockets, and only pretend to listen to you when they need a vote.

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I have been thinking that some positive progress was made on the gun laws. It appears to me from this post that I have deluded myself to think your conservative legislators were about to employ their brains to some good use!

Glad to see The Planet back up, Neal, and great job as usual.

I have a confession to make: I was inclined to think the Boston marathon bombing were the work of a Timothy McVeigh type, a right-wing nut with an anti-government attitude. I'm glad it wasn't, because in a way that would have been scarier than the fact that we have no idea why two Chechen immigrants, already citizens, arrived as children or very young, and totally integrated in American society, reasonably successful, would do anything so horrific. Of course the fact that Chechens are Muslims will give fuel to the commentators ready t pin every evil on Islam. It is a good distraction to avoid discussing many important issues. I came back from the gym, and as I watched TV on the treadmill, I saw that they are reporting that there is no connection between organized terrorist Chechen groups and these guys. This could be another case of mental illness coupled to a sense of entitlement or grievance, loosely politically or religiously motivated.

On the non-passage of even minimal gun control laws, such as universal background checks, I have nothing but profound contempt for those legislators, that instead of responding to their constituents, they are totally bought by the gun lobby.

A particular brand of spoken American Terrorism always involves Guns
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Discussion: The Moderate Voice

You write: "Rhetoric like this should be compared to the old example of yelling 'fire!' in a crowded theater."  The example is not so old; if I recall it was in a dissenting opinion last century by Oliver Wendell Holmes.  The case concerned Communist (or at least Marxist) protesters, who should have been heard, he argued, so that their ideology might be welcomed or shouted down in the public "marketplace of ideas."  The sentence you quote is misquoted, however.  It is not illegal or a constitutional problem to shout "Fire!" in a crowded theatre.  If this really were illegal, many performances of stage plays would be closed. No, it is only by "falsely shouting 'Fire!' in a crowded theatre" that is speech that can (and should) be censored if not punished, in Holmes's view.  If there were a fire, shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theatre would be seen as a heroic act, particularly if accompanied by selfless acts in attempts to stop the ensuing panic from hurting others.  The distinction is a small but important one, at least for legal purposes.

Thanks James. I wasn't making a legal or constitutional statement, I was trying to allude to the possibility of people being harmed. Falsely yelling fire in a crowded theater causing a stampede that may injure an unsuspecting audience is no worse than promoting outlandish conspiracies that may trigger someone into an action that could hurt others. That was the thought I was trying to convey.

Blame Jo, she usually proofreads and clarifies. =)  

Shame, shame, Jo. It's all your fault.  You have SINNED!  Get right with JEE-SUS!

And I'm well lubed, so if I start spouting nonsense, it happens. =)

Oh, well.  Better a drunken rationalist than a sober Christian.

If I could feature a comment, that would get it!!

Must be time to start a comment of the week/month archive. =)



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