Friday, October 28, 2011

Music PIck for All Hallows Eve

Hey! I know we're living in bizarre and tense times. However, with Halloween coming this MOnday, I wanted to clue you in on some spooky tuneage. So, here's our Halloween Holiday music pick.


I know this had been out since last year but there are a couple of reasons that I waited unti now to review it. First up is the usual excuse: my backlog pile takes time to get through and it would've been well about said day before I got to it. Then there's forgetting this CD when I temporarily moved to KC for a short term job so I couldn't get to it then. Add to this a rough as hell 2010 personally and you have an idea. However, since ALl Hallows Eve is this weekend (give or take a day), there's no better time to review this than the present.

The Destructors offer up a batch of stright for the throat punk and HC full of loud relatively fast power chords and a ton of attitude. However, while the band has experimented with horror and gore themes in the past, this time they aim squarely for it and embrace it. Songs about surviving in a horror film, monsters, zombies, the undead, et al make up this Halloween themed disc along with covers of the Ramones classic "Pinhead" and Dead Kennedys' "Halloween" thrown in for good measure. This is raw music that suits the darker themes while allowing some humor and a bit of tongue in cheek attitude to pop through (they have a song about wanting to dig up Elvis on here). It's rough but a fairly fun listen for this Holiday time.

The only down side to this (for us American fans at least) is the struggle to look for it, which for some means getting the download. However, this is well worth the cost and should help make for a veeerrrrrry scarrrrryyy Haloween weekend.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Today Wall Street, Tomorrow (insert locale here).

It seems one of the hardest things to do is write about history when it appears to be happening.

For the past two weeks protestors have occupied a park near Wall Street in order to protest our current financial system and its role in screwing up the nation right now. Starting with roughly 5,000 on September 17, 2011, numbers have varied (with estimates ranging from as low as 50 to several hundred or more), it was at first viewed as a novel one-off thing. However, most of the mainstream media covered the initial protest as a blip and then treated the protests as if they never happened. At one point, a protestor's video posted on You Tube even caught people in one building on Wall St drinking champagne in bemusement towards the protestors. People still maintained the occupation at Zuccotti park to varying degrees but the mainstream media refused to take notice. On the last Seturday of September, the NYPD arrested over 80 people in an attack that at one point saw a police deputy inspector pepper spraying people who were already behind a pen of sorts then doing the same to people walking away from him. That, for better or worse, brought Occupy Wall Street to the mainstream media's attention.

That's the basic extremely short version of Occupy Wall Street as a protest movement's evolution from something that was written off by many as a marginal thing to what appears to be a nationwide movement that's grown somehow on its own more via social networking than any established organizing. What's almost as surprising as its apparent sudden beginnings is how it's spread like wildfire nationwide in cities ranging from Boston to Chicago to Columbia, MO to Youngstown, Ohio. The fact that its grown like this actually is something I can guarantee nobody would've predicted a month or so ago.

Yes there are criticisms towards this movement. One of the big ones is that Occupy Wall Street and the similar movements that have pop up throughout America seem to be too amorphic; that there are no hard specific goals or talking points. Yes, there is some truth to this (especially since there's no one leading group for this). However, at the risk of blowback, one can also say that many of the Tea Party protests of the past couple of years were similarly off topic (especially since for every sign about health care reform, there appeared to be more signs that veered towards other topics ranging from somewhat related (I remember one pic of someone with a sign saying "Obamacare means Forced Drugging" [a concern I actually find somewhat legit]) to the Wall St. bailouts to birthers, and veiled threats of violence in regards to the Obama administration. Where they differed was the media narrative (hint: Fox News and talk radio) worked massively to spin this as organic (which, while some tea party movements were organic, others were products of organizations such as Freedomworks who were about as insider as you can get). In addition, the critique of Wall Street actually makes sense when taking into account how the housing bubble turning mortgages into derivatives as well as how bank deregulation led to a situation where the distribution of wealth got so lopsided that they were able to use the "too big to fail" card when called into question by Congress.

It's also true that open ended activism like this is easier to do when there are no work or other obligations. This explains the varying degrees of attendance over the past two weeks. While some people have managed to keep the area occupied, others do what they can in between their jobs, family life, and other things they have to get done in their lives. This is an issue almost every movement has to deal with, especially now when people can't automatically get off work to go to a protest or may have to take care of a sick family member or deal with something else at the moment.

The above concerns are somewhat legitimate. Other criticisms range from mere attempts to dismiss the protestors (such as NY Mayor Bloomberg calling them "misguided") to concern trolling (for example, one post suggesting protestors wear polos and khakis so as not to appear too "hippieish"). This is also to be expected as something every movement faces, especially in the starting phases.

What is interesting here is that while this has been a surprise, it shouldn't have been. The rise in protests in Wisconsin and Ohio against their state's attempts to bust unions is to some degree as much as flicker as the "Arab Spring" protests in middle eastern countries earlier this year (the latter is which has been seen as a reference point more in the media). Also interesting is that, while the media has tended to view this as a strictly left wing situation, there also appears to be reports that some Ron Paul supporters have been joining in. Is this is true, it appears that people are becoming aware that this is far less of a left-right issue as it is a top-bottom issue.

Will this lead to any change? At this point it's way too early to tell. Movements tend to have an ebb and flow that can be hard to predict. In addition, different factions could either unify or fall out depending on circumstances. As for police crackdowns, arrests in Boston and a possible raid in Chicago shows this will be a longer ride than people expect. As for NY, there are reports of the NYPD counter terrorism unit monitoring Occupy Wall Street. These scenarios as well as many others will have an effect on what goes down as the movement arises.

Regardless of the outcome we are witnessing a chapter in history that few, if any, saw coming in the U.S. In two weeks time what most people probably thought was a blip on the national radar has gotten to the point where uniformed airline pilots marched in solidarity with them and get the support of a large union. While proving that a wide swath of people are pissed off at the government (and are trying to resist nonviolently) it also shows that sometimes what you least expect can have the potential to become history in the making.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Brief Thoughts on The WI Recall Election

Well, it’s August 9th 2011. Within 24 hours we will learn the results of the Wisconsin general elections recalling six Republicans in the state legislature. It has been a strange year for that state as the newly elected Governor Scott Walker almost instantly began the path of stripping state workers of their collective bargaining rights with the help of a Republican in the state legislature. What wasn’t expected was the blowback as Democrats in the legislature fled the state and went into exile in order to delay the vote and people got pissed off over the sudden loss of hard earned rights for workers and the possible end to what job security they had. So, instead of quiet acquiescence to trying to implement the Shock Doctrine in the U.S. one state at a time, people occupied the state house in Madison, and protests of some form or another managed to maintain outrage to some degree as petitions to recall politicians were undertaken.

That leads to what WI faces today. Six Republicans in the state legislature have seats up for grabs in the recall election today. The Democrats only need three to shift the majority their way and hopefully (knock on wood) work towards reversing the shift backwards that the people are facing. However, while past moment may have seemed on their side it might not be as simple.

In the weeks leading towards today the Republicans in what some have referred to as “Fitzwal” have been busy trying to keep their hold on the state. From trying to redistrict in extremely quick fashion before today to billionaire funded endeavors such as ALEC, the right wing has been working just as hard to make sure their changes to our rights remain. As similar things happen in Ohio and several other states, some people see what’s ahead as an attack on the middle class and working people. Because of this many of the organizations supporting the recall are saying it’s currently too early to tell who will win.

Thus, we’re currently going to have to wait and see it unfold (as least those of us who don’t live in Wisconsin). Regardless of what happens, I have a feeling that we’re in for a long hard fight ahead.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Debt Ceiling Thoughts II: It’s Crunch Time

As I type this the Republican House has passed speaker of the house John Boehner’s proposal on the deficit by a 218-210 margin about an hour or so ago with no Democrats voting for it and a number of Republicans opposing it. While plans for a vote yesterday on a deal were halted due to lack of support from the tea party newcomers, Boehner had to offer a number of compromises to appease the “tea party” wing and get their votes, including a balanced budget amendment and other tea party favored positions in order to get it passed by the minimum of votes.

The plan, which only extends the debt ceiling for six months ended up being yet another form of political theater. The Senate quickly shot it down by a 59-41 vote (thus guaranteeing it wouldn’t reach President Obama). As the standoff continues, a reported refusal of Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell to negotiate at this point means the current polarization will continue as the August 2nd deadline gets closer (at this point: Tuesday)

As I said in the previous post, I think odds are the debt ceiling will get raised. It’s been passed 90 times since 1940 and in the past it used to be considered a must pass bill (thus, usually done at the last minute). However, while there may be a last minute situation, things are in scary mode. The Republicans are quickly learning that their new enemy might not be the Dems or any liberal boogeyman but the newbies that got elected in 2010. As recently as the end of last year Boehner referred to the debt ceiling vote as “the first really big adult moment for the new Republican majority.” However, the mainstream in the GOP are currently learning that the danger of using a possible bully pulpit to force people to cave can backfire if they decide you’re not worth listening to.

So what will happen now? Who knows. There’s a chance that the debt ceiling will get a last minute vote and tragedy may or may not happen. There’s also an equally good chance that the far right in the GOP will let the country fall, hoping in some form of twisted glee that everyone will blame Obama for it. As for the possibility of invoking the 14th amendment and having Obama do it that way, the White House said they wouldn’t do that but at this rate there’s a chance he might have no other choice).

Why do I have a feeling that the tea party faction might end up having at least one weekend meeting similar to a pivotal scene from the movie Network? In the fight leading up to now, GOP attempts to have financial experts explain to the tea party types hasn't worked, but both parties are beholden to Wall Street in a lot of ways. And I have a feeling the party leaders may realize that if everything defaults the financial types will throw more cash to Obama and company.

However, at this point, everything seems to be conjecture. Previously it was a matter of course that the debt ceiling would be raised at the last minute but when you have people who are hell bent on making sure the President fails by any means necessary, under guidance from non elected power brokers (seriously, I don’t recall anyone electing either Karl Rove or Grover Norquist), it’s hard to say what will happen. At this point it’s a 55-45 chance that the debt ceiling will get raised but how we get there, and more importantly what gets sacrificed along the way, could lead us down the path for a far crueler future than anybody would’ve thought possible a year ago.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Debt Ceiling Thoughts

As I type this President Obama and House Republicans are playing yet another round of the will they or won’t they make a deal talks in hopes of getting an agreement on raising the debt ceiling by the August 2nd deadline. In the past this has been one of those occasions where it passed without comment and most Americans had no clue whatsoever what a debt ceiling was. However, with the threat of both the tea party wing of the Republicans in the House to let the country default as well as credit rating firms like Fitch and Moody’s threatening to lower the U.S.A.’s AAA rating, the debate has become more known than anyone would want to admit.

Personally, I think it will have to be raised when all is said and done. Wall Street and the financial industry, as vicious as they are towards anyone not in the top one percent, realize that if the US defaults they may take a big hit and investors will lose money. In addition, these people have their tentacles in both sides of our one party state that pretends to be a two party state (not to say there aren’t differences between the GOP and the Democrats, especially these days – but that they often have the same backers). The party leaders get this, as well as the possibility that if they let this happen they bulk of the cash flow may head towards the Democrats (this hasn’t been covered at all but let’s get real, anyone who figures out how American politics works can likely se this writing on the wall).

As for Obama’s talks of cuts on the big three (Medicare, Social Security), this is either dangerous politics or delicious irony. The dangerous politics lies in possibly aiming for independent voters by possibly further throwing the base under the bus and starting from compromised positions. The ironic part may be that Obama finally gets that no matter how much he tries to offer the GOP what they want, they still refuse it. This refusal to support something they once advocated the moment Obama picks it up has been probably one of the more humorous (in a sick way) traits of the Republicans since he took office over two and a half years ago.

On the GOP’s end people like Boehner and McConnell are having to handle what happens when decades of appealing to the far right that has currently become their base mixes with the idea of permanent campaigning. While the tea party faction of the Republicans in Congress seem more and more hell bent on making sure nothing gets accomplished than on actually doing their jobs. Part of this is the differences between Democrats and Republicans in attitudes towards their base in that the Dems usually have a barely concealed hatred for their base that they almost blatantly show any time other than when they want money or votes while the GOP has grown to fear a base that has managed to increasingly drive moderate voices from the room. While the media push of the tea party types must’ve seemed like good politics to them up until the 2010 midterm elections, their increasingly bully pulpit is getting in the way.

So what’s up ahead? Some say the “gang of six” proposal is gaining steam and might be a good compromise. However, so far the House Republicans are worshipping a trinity of Reagan (while overlooking his tax increases), Grover Norquist (of Americans for Tax Reform) and the latest pundit of the moment. The idea that no taxes can be raised whatsoever is becoming a problem that could hinder us much more than anyone expects. Even with this proposal offering a three to one ratio in terms of cuts versus revenues isn’t making friends. Add to it the fact it might not be doable before August 2nd and its future seems uncertain.

But what about the latest GOP proposal of “Cut, cap, and balance” you may ask? It passed the House. However, the supermajority required in the Senate these days makes it unlikely to pass even before Obama vetoes it. It’s more of a middle finger to the President than anything else.

So what will happen here is anyone’s guess? I do think the debt ceiling will likely be raised (even if Obama has to go for broke and do some sort of executive order to do it). Since that is the worst case scenario, I have a feeling that somehow the GOP will have it explained to them what will go down if they don’t vote for it, since even the top one percent will feel some heat if the U.S. defaults). I wish I knew if it would be a clean vote (most of the time the damn bill is one sentence, for crying out loud) but at this point it’s hard to say what form it will take (though sacrificing Medicare and Social Security is the political equivalent of Russian Roulette in this country).

As for the reasons for why the GOP has been acting like some kid on a playground who always threatens to hold his breath until he turns blue unless he gets everything he wants, several posts can be written regarding that.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Statistics on Abortion

I know right now everybody's mind is on the death of Osama Bin Laden and what it may mean to the war on terror. I'm currently trying to work on a piece on it that will most likely be in the next print issue. However, the world doesn't revolve on one topic alone.

I was looking around online and came across this video from the Guttmacher Institute on the topic of abortion in the U.S. Rather than comment on it, I'll let the video make its own case.

I know this is a polarizing topic and, thus, will moderate comments if I feel it is necessary to do so.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Death of Osama Bin Laden

Late on Sunday May 1, 2011 President Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden was killed by the U.S. With this act, our reported reason for this country entering into war with Afghanistan has been realized. .

And now the question that I'm sure at lot of people, regardless of political views, are asking tonight. Does this mean that the troops can come home? Remember that the reason Obama's predecessor George W. Bush (a/k/a: Dubya, Shrub, etc) for the war on terror was to get Bin Laden, dead or alive. If Bin Laden is dead, this has been accomplished. However, the government has also shifted rationale for the numerous wars a number of times since 2001 as well as using fear as a selling point. So, while many of us would like this to be the point when the troops can come home, I have a sad feeling that we're going to get another answer to that question.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I watching reading Feministing today and I came across this video of Naomi Klein at the TEDWomen conference discussing the BP oil disaster one year later. After watchign the first couple minutes, I had to share it.

Hope you enjoy it.

It's Been Awhile

Hey! Sorry I haven't been on here for a while. I've been working a temp job that required temporary relocation. Trying to adjust and the hours et al have meant that I haven't been on here as often as I'd like. I'll try to get back on here more in the future.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Update on Egypt

So far the protests in Egypt have reached their 17th day, going on nearly three weeks in a country ruled for 30 years under emergency laws and fear. While on Monday Vice President Suleiman offered some concessions that seemed to meet the protesters demands, protesters rejected them in part sine it left Mubarak in power and probably more likely because a dictator can change their mind at anytime. Suleiman would also insist that protests must stop even though the regime would continue to rule with Mubarak until September when he claimed he would step down.

This was intended to divide the opponents to Mubarak and try to dilute the protests. Instead, the protests in Tahir Square actually grew with the largest crowd in two weeks taking part. In addition, the country went on strike as workers joined in the protests. Today we hear that the military may be asking Mubarak to step aside and assuming an administrative role.

The question here if Mubarak does step down is what will happen next? The protesters have already worked on some blueprint for a constitution post Mubarak. Whether the military is willing to cede control if they take it remains a question to be asked. Given reports that some in the military have tortured those who protested it's hard to say what will happen next. At this point it's up to the Egyptian people to create a new country after 30 years of a dictatorship. What happens at the protests tomorrow might be a sign of things to come here.

It will be interesting to see how things unfold.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

DN Special on Egypt

Today Democracy Now broadcast a special two hour show on the uprising/revolution in Egypt. Originally just a stream, it's finally become downloadable. We'll let the program speak for itself. Has a lot of insight here that should be heard.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Egypt, Unrest, Crackdowns, and Possible Blowback

Like many in the Western World I was surprised by the recent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. I say Western World mainly because I have a feeling people in those countries had been seeing the signs and the tension building for a long time now. However, given that international news events aren't often covered all that much in the U.S., for many people what has gone down in less than a month comes completely out of left field.

As I said things have likely been building up for a while so imagine the effect that one person vocalizing what a lot of people have felt can have when it goes viral, like this blog did.

Today pro Mubarak forces decided to attack the demonstrators who have been largely nonviolent for the past week since the demonstrations have happened. While there have been some interesting points made about the protestors such as the relatively secular nature of many of them and the increased role of women amongst them (at least before things got violent), the counter protesters and the attackers have had one thing amongst them: they seem to be connected to Mubarak's government in some form.

Sadly this shouldn't be surprising. It has been common in a lot of countries for people to either infiltrate protesters to push people towards violence (or at least have them painted as violent in the media) or act as goon squads to terrorize people into submission. In Egypt some of the arrested looters were found to have police ID cards on them, for example. Granted some people could say said police were simply trying to help themselves given their poverty. However, in a context like this, it's more likely they were intended to give the impression that the protesters were doing all the looting and that Mubarak needed to restore order. In addition, several of the people in today's attacks on the demonstrators were found to have Interior Ministry IDs on them.

At this point it's too early to tell what will happen to Egypt. The simmering unrest has now exploded. Mubarak unleashing force against the demonstrators has pretty much backfired in terms of world opinion. Tensions are high right now and its hard to see what will happen. Mubarak has claimed he intends to stay in power until the September elections but the backlash he faces as a result of the crackdown could possibly speed up the timetable for him to leave the country (even Sen. John McCain has said "Mubarak must go". What does seem apparent is that things have reached a breaking point as the Egyptian people, struggling with high poverty and years of repression, had finally had enough and want an actual role in election and choosing a government that actually represents their interests.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

In honor of Roe v Wade turning 38

In honor of the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade I post this pro choice anthem from grindcore pioneers Napalm Death. It just seems to fit the climate these days. Hope you like it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Blog For Choice 2011 Post

Recently there has been a bit of concern in some circles regarding the status of choice and reproductive freedom. The recent Republican takeover of the House of Representatives has vastly increased the number of anti choice voices in Congress while a number of state elections and ballot measures have set out to, if not completely overturn Roe v. Wade, then at least severely weaken it and make it so the right to a legal medical procedure de facto doesn’t exist.

I’m concerned about the state of choice as it applied to a woman’s right to reproductive freedom and reproductive justice this year. However, the concern has been ongoing for a long time. From ballot measures designed to define the fetus as a full human being to various state restrictions based on age or marital status, the war on choice has been going on for decades now. While odds are they might not get a Constitutional amendment overturning Roe, they know that if they chip away at the right of a woman to make decisions over her won body, said right might as well not exist.

The end result is the usual mix of rhetoric that seems to favor DNA over actual living human beings. The current attack of note implies that women aren’t smart enough to make their own decisions regarding what to do with an unplanned pregnancy, either by not really knowing they’re getting an abortion or getting one just out of selfishness. This approach, while claiming to favor life, is an insult to the women the pro forced childbirth contingent are supposedly out to “protect” in the first place. From that to the “crisis pregnancy center” that falsely claim to be abortion clinics to the targeting of abortion doctors, there is a lot to be concerned about regarding a woman’s right to choose what to do with a pregnancy whether it be birth or adoption or abortion.

In a truly just world, this would be a decision made in private between a woman and her doctor. However, we don’t live in a just world but in one where many people who claim to want less government intervention and cry out over a supposed lack of freedom seem to salivate over playing Big Brother on this issue, wanting a government response to this so large and interventionist the society in Orwell’s 1984 practically seems like a progressive utopia in comparison. I’d find it humorous if it wasn’t so scary that people’s lives were at risk as a result of such attacks. Add to this some politicians on the Democratic side of the aisle seeming more than willing to throw a woman’s right to choose under the bus for a few votes and there is much to be concerned about.

So what can be done to make sure a woman’s right to choose is protected? Mainly, those of us who support this issue have to be vigilant against those who want to take away this right either by legal means or by intimidation of some sort. One can’t automatically assume a politician will uphold the right to choose on principle. It will instead take constant putting the pressure on those in power to make sure reproductive freedom and reproductive justice remain safe and legal in this country. It’s far from a new idea and one that will require a lot of effort and work. However, given that the anti choice/pro forced childbirth contingent will continue to do whatever they think is necessary to get their goals across, those who support choice have to keep the pressure up and make sure they get heard.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's Not About LIttle Barricuda.

Like most people I've been trying to process the shootings that happened last weekend in Tucson, AZ that killed six and injured 14 including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. An event like this brings a number of emotions to light. Maybe it's the shock over something so extreme happening. Maybe it's that tragedies like this make one realize that things can change without warning. Regardless, there's something about things like this that shake us out of our usual routine and making us realize that some of the things we get so hung up about aren't all that important in the big picture.

Then there's the video that former Gov. of Alaska turned former vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin posted two days ago. Posted in response to criticism over a pre 2010 midterm election map from SarahPAC that posted gun targets on several Congressional districts (including the one Giffords represents) her response came hours before the Memorial to the victims in Tucson, AZ last night. Coming after days of silence and debate over how heated our political discourse had become it was posted without warning just in time for the morning news cycle.

While many from Keith Olbermann to Newscorp (parent company of Fox News) CEO Rupert Murdoch have urged for a toning down of the rhetoric, Palin took an opportunity to voice sorrow and get people to focus on what went down last weekend and instead cried victim, making it all about her.

IN this speech, Palin tried to play both sides. Claiming responsibility for the shooter was solely on the shooter, Plain said we should never let an event like this deter us from the right to "peacefully dissent" against the government. However, she also implies that those in the media who criticized the rhetoric used by Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the like were the ones that were provoking violence. This tactic of projecting her tactics onto those that disagree with her did little to examine how such a tragedy could go down and much to continue the path the American right has continued to find themselves on over the past couple of decades.

Palin has gained a justifiable amount of criticism for claiming those that disagreed with her were manufacturing a "blood libel" against her. It's hard to know whether she knew what a "blood libel" actually entailed. She did intend to paint herself as a victim of persecution.

I agree with Palin that such a tragedy shouldn't interfere with our right to peaceful dissent in our society. This is also a stance taken by Matthew Rothschild at the Progressive. In fact, many people who wish the right wing media would "tone it down a notch" actually don't want a law to censor anyone's speech. However, such nuance clashes with the cultural dissonance people like Palin, Beck, Limbaugh and the like have helped to ratchet up since Obama was inaugurated (and have been slowly pushing under the radar since the rise of the Christian right in the late 70s/early 80s).

So why the speech now? Mainly Palin is playing to her base; trying to keep her name in the media outside of her e-mail/text missives to Glenn Beck during the past few days before her video. However, the video also takes a horrific tragedy that shook up most people in this country and, instead of focusing on the big picture, painted herself as the real victim. It is this that is truly sickening about the whole incident.

As for her point about "Peaceful dissent," it becomes laughable given that her facebook page routinely deletes comments critical of Palin though leaving up a hateful comment regarding the killing of 9 year old Chritina-Taylor Green. In addition, her insinuation that those requesting that the rhetoric be toned down actually are cuasing violence is a cheap attempt to have it both ways, stating she can say whatever she and her allies want but those who oppose them shouldn't. So much for "peaceful dissent" in that context.

At this point in time we still don't truly have a whole picture of what led Arizona shooter Jared Lee Loughner to do what he did. However, at a time like this, the worst thing to do is take something like this and make it about yourself. Yes, Sarah Palin has the right to say whatever she wants about any issue she pleases. Making this about herself rather than honoring those who died or were injured in the shooting is extremely distasteful at best.

In other words the best response to this is this: Little Barricuda, it's not about you.

It's sad that she's the last person to realize this simple fact.

A NOTE ON READER COMMENTS: After careful deliberation, I've decided to allow comments on this post for the time being. However, they will be moderated and anything that I don't feel is constructive will be deleted. Given that many on the right routinely delete comments from those they disagree with or don't allow comments at all, I think this is fair.