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Just Stop It
January 11, 2011 - Mike Frank
I had planned to start with a discussion of matters NFL, but events in Arizona are a little more worthy of the lead.
The shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a moderate Democrat, during a "Congress on Your Corner" event Saturday morning and many others is a deplorable act of violence.
I'm not going into a full recap, but the further ironies that one of the victims was born on Sept. 11, 2001, that Rep. Giffords had been chosen to read the First Amendment during the reading of the U.S. Constitutionn the floor of the House last week, and the federal judge that was killed was Republican who had just stopped by were points that stood out to me.
I watched Fox News Sunday and Meet The Press Sunday morning (both for the first time in quite a while). MTP had a panel of Gifford's House colleagues, some from Arizona (both Democrats and Republicans), one from Florida who is a good friend, and one from Idaho, who was supported by Tea Party folks in his campaign. Consensus: Gifford's a very nice, non-controversial person and all denounced the shooting.
There were the inevitable questions of "Should Congress have more security?" and "Does this have anything to do with the rhetoric (a nice way of asking if this is the Tea Party's fault).
Second question first: I watched a bit of Glenn Beck's show on Fox Monday. He pointed out that after the Army doctor shot up Ft. Hood, officials cautioned against jumping to conclusions because he was a Muslim. After this incident, you had the Pima County sheriff talking about "the rhetoric about hatred, about mistrust of government, about paranoia of how government operates." on Sunday. This editorial, (Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/2011/01/11/20110111tue1-11.html#ixzz1AmbZaXfh) says it well: "It is well past time for the sheriff of Pima County to get a grip on his emotions and remember his duty."
Let's not overthink on this, folks. Yes, Jared Loughner made a few vaguely anti-government remarks on MySpace and YouTube. But this has ZERO to do with using crosshairs on a map about "targeted" districts. This is about one deranged little crackpot who focused in on his federal representative. I don't know who he was trying to impress (a la John Hinckley with Jodie Foster by going after Reagan), if anyone. Long story short, toss him in jail until he comes out in a pine box (natural causes, not death penalty.) And I mean jail, not a mental institution.
As far as "more security", incidents like this are pretty few and far between. I'm sure there have been no shortage of threats against members of Congress, but for actual attacks with a weapon, you have the anthrax attacks after 9/11, but then you have to go back to Huey Long in 1935 (If you know of others, feel free to comment).
All righty, on to lighter fare. How about them Seahawks? I never got around to writing a picks column for the NFL wild card round, but trust me, I was very pleased with the NFC results.
When Seattle won the division at 7-9, the national chorus of "not fair" was a little silly. You win the division, you host a game. If New Orleans wanted to advance, they should have played better. As for the other game, the Packers sent Mikey Vick packing and that's just fine with me. Karma's a bear, huh?
In the AFC, I was hoping the Chiefs could pull the upset on Baltimore. Not to be. Still a good achievement for a young team. The Jets-Colts game was pretty low key compared to Seahawks/Saints before it, but still entertaining. I have NO IDEA why Indy called timeout during the Jets' final drive.
Quick Picks: Atlanta over Green Bay and Pittsburgh over Baltimore. More details on that, and decisions on Jets-Pats and Bears-Seahawks at the end of the week.
Keep SPEAKING FRANKLY! Aloha!
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