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Palin, guns, massacre, Tucson, Ed, Chris, guests, et al . . .

Palin, guns, massacre, Ed, Chris, guests, et al . . .

Okay, let’s see if I have this right:

Immediately following the recent Saturday massacre at a Safeway outlet in Tucson, liberals skewered Sarah Palin for using symbols related to guns and gun use, symbols such as cross-hairs pointing to Democrat incumbents that should be targeted for the recent congressional elections, and for using such terms as don’t retreat, reload and similar gun-related expressions. Radio and television communication airways and publications continued discussing violent  rhetoric around the clock for several days, speculating that it had contributed to the massacre and. They called our attention to the fact that the one-time Alaska governor was “strangely quiet,” and intimated that her silence was an obvious sign that she realized her actions had contributed to the massacre, and that she had no ammunition available to fire back at the attack  being made on her by far left commentators and their guests. Note the italized gun-related terms such as cross-hairs, ammunition and fire back—our language is replete with such terms, and any attempt to relate that to the massacre is not only preposterous—it’s also utterly stupid.

After several days of silence Palin returned fire—see, there I go again with the gun-related terms. She posted an eight-minute video on Facebook, and that effort to explain her position brought a broadside of criticism from the left, a veritable fusilade of bullets fired by left-wing proponents on television, both main stream and cable. Again, note the gun-related terms—they are inherent in our use of the English language—without them we would be stifled in our efforts to communicate, and yet Sarah Palin is pilloried for her use of such terms.

As an aside, I want to point out to MSNBC that its worst commentator—and I mean that term worst in all its definitions—has a section of his nightly presentation called Rapid-Fire. Would you like to explain that reference to gun use, Ed? Would you consider changing that title, Ed? No, I didn’t think so, Ed.

As told by those on the left in political circles, the governor’s biggest mistake in her video was her reference to the term blood libel. Here is what she said on Facebook:

“Journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that only incites the violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.”

I humbly submit that this was the brightest light in her presentation—I consider that a teachable moment, one capable of enlightening our nation’s entire population with a term that has hounded and preyed on the Jewish people for centuries. The term was completely unknown to me, and I am convinced that it was completely unknown to the other 308 million people in the United States—except, of course, by many religious scholars and by the Jewish population in the United States, a group estimated to be somewhere between five million and seven million souls. I’m willing to bet as much as half-a-barrel of pickled anuses that most of the people in that group are quite familiar with the phrase blood libel. Click here for an explanation and history of the term blood libel.

I consider myself to be at least partially educated. In addition to the life experiences I have accumulated during a relatively long life, a life that includes 22 years of military service covering two wars, both of which we lost, and 26 years of service as a federal law enforcement officer. I have been awarded two college diplomas, a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Science degree, each from accredited four-year universities, one in Texas and the other in Nebraska, and each conferred the degree to recognize four full years of study. Much of that study was concentrated on religious thought and history, including Judaism, but the term blood libel was never discussed. I never read it in textbooks and never heard it spoken in classroom discussions, probably because the text books had been purged of the term or the term had never been included.

A certain African-American member of the United States House of Representatives appeared on The Ed Show recently. When the host, Big Ed, asked for his take on Palin’s reference to blood libel, the congressman said this: I have heard it before but I have since studied up on it, undoubtedly in order to better understand it for his appearance on MSNBC. Click here for Ed’s show dated Thursday, January 13, 2011 and the video discussing blood libel. That part begins around the 10-minute marker of the video, so you won’t have to suffer through the first 10 minutes—unless you are an Ed fan and want to suffer through it.

I have serious doubts that the congressman had ever heard of the term until Sarah Palin provided him with a teachable moment, just as she provided one to me. He probably claimed to have known about it in order to save face, just as I would have done had I been asked about it, whether in public or in private—see, I’m honest about  it—I’m never reluctant to say, Hey, that’s a new one on me! I thrive on teachable moments, both receiving and giving.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 

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Progress in North Central San Antonio

I awoke this morning at 2:56, a time not unusual for me. Normally when I awaken I am fully alert and ready to arise, and this morning was no exception. Immediately after awakening I heard six loud “pops,” the sound of gunfire. No, I did not confuse the sound of firecrackers with gunfire (today is April 6, not July 4), nor did I confuse the sound of auto exhaust backfire with gunfire.

It was gunfire. I am very familiar with the sound, a familiarity developed during 22 years of military service including combat tours in the Korean “Conflict” (1950-1952) and the Viet Nam War (1969-1970), and another 26 years of service as a federal law-enforcement officer.

This morning at 2:56 I heard five “pops” in quick succession, then a pause and then a final “pop.” The sounds came from behind me and to my left, placing their origin in the western portion of the up-scale apartment complex behind my home.

My first thoughts were, “Five quick ones to down the target, then a final one to administer the “coup de grace” (I know what you’re thinking—you’re thinking that I’ve been watching too many gangster movies). Possibly—but I’ll be watching for the report in our local newspaper and on our local “blood and guts” television news channel, and I’ll “get back to you later with more details.”

The gunfire was not followed by a motor being gunned and the sound of screeching tires, so it wasn’t one of San Antonio’s frequent drive-by shootings. Drive-by incidents in apartment complexes are unusual (I don’t recall any in San Antonio) primarily because of the difficulty in executing the numerous high-speed turns required to successfully exit the complex with its crowded and crooked thorough-fares.

Yep, progress has come to North Central San Antonio. Night-time gunfire is common in many neighborhoods in other sections of the city, especially on the near south-side, near east-side and near west-side—sometimes the gunfire comes from private-party goers over-celebrating, or from disputes between individuals but many, perhaps most, incidents are the result of drive-by shootings. Some families in such areas refrain from sleeping in rooms which front the street, and some even refrain from spending too much time in such rooms at other times, even during daylight hours.

Yep, progress has come to the North Central section of San Antonio. At the risk of being politically incorrect and fully realizing that censure may follow, I attribute this particular “progress,” at least partially, to such factors as Hurricane Katrina (people displaced by the disaster and relocated to San Antonio) and to the migration of persons from the inner city to outer sections of the city. Cities grow in concentric circles—newcomers initially are drawn to the inner city, then expand outward as economic conditions permit.

FYI, a civics professor taught me the “concentric circle theory of city growth” in a course I took while attending  the Municipal University of Omaha. I was somewhere in the middle of the last class to graduate (1968) before the city college became UNO (University of Nebraska at Omaha).

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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