Freedom In the Crosshairs

It’s bad enough when someone is shot.

Make the victim a political figure, and the chatterati and the self-righteous get bent completely out of shape, and start to consider how depriving some people of their rights is a good thing.

I think it is horrible that a pathetic loser nutjob decided to reach out and touch fame by going to a Tuscon Safeway where Representative Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords was meeting with constituents.

I think it is reprehensible that a partisan eagerness to assign blame started before she entered surgery.

The Palin-Derangment Syndrome sufferers couldn’t wait to lay this at her doorstep, recalling her Facebook page on which she had “picked her targets” in the last campaign, of which Representative Giffords was one.  The denouncements rang out loud and numerous, connecting the two.  And then reminders that Sarah Palin, a Republican wasn’t the only one to use such a practice, but then, some reminders that the Democratic Leadership Committee had used the practice in 2004, and that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, under the leadership of Chris Van Holland had posted a similar map earlier in the same year as Palin’s map.  And the denunciatory tweets slowed.

Then, we found out about the shooter’s channel on youtube, on which he posted rambling, incoherent texts about “conscious dreaming” general hatred of the government, and lists among his favorite books Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto.  Now the usual suspects started to get quiet.  Maybe it was because it was hard to denounce the eeeeevvvvviillll Reich Wingers for their hate-filled vitriolic speech when you’re busy scrubbing your website and pushing things down the memory hole that are so obviously hypocritical that even your regular readers would have a hard time not seeing how foolish you look.  And the wave of snarky tweets slowed, and the raised hands pointing fingers were slowly and quietly lowered.

But the slow rumble continued.  Discussion of “motives” and “filters” and “vitriolic speech” continued.

And when Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik finally held his presser later in the day, it was a public relations consultant’s nightmare.  He was rambling, repetitive, and dismissive of those who shared the podium with him, but despite it being an ongoing investigation, one in which he claims the shooter did not act alone, the Sheriff chose not to miss an opportunity to wave the bloody shirt, and vilify those who say things he doesn’t like:

In case you missed it, here is the money shot:

“But again I’d just like to say that when you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain people’s mouths about tearing down the government, the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. And, unfortunately, Arizona I believe has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”

Never let a friend’s tragedy go to waste.  Politicize everything.

Not surprisingly, the Sheriff is…wait for it…a Democrat.   And not just any Democrat, he is one who announced that he would not enforce a law duly passed by his state’s legislature.  When those charged with enforcing the law announce that they will not, the result is lawlessness.  I’m not surprised he’s upset about anger toward the government.  His determination that his judgement superseded that of the legislature is exactly the kind of usurpation that many Americans are fed up with.  But his tactless and ill-timed rant only joins a larger chorus repeated by the chatterati and the sanctimonious hand-wringing self-appointed cognoscenti about how speech that opposes certain government policies and those who advance them is “hate speech“, and the speakers must be held accountable for what those who hear them might do.

The problem is that these people don’t stop in illustrating what they don’t like.  They frequently skip past a meaningful analysis, and happily skip into the fields of their ownhate, which they frequently turn around and heap in great piles at the feet of the objects of their own scorn and derision.  And in succumbing to their impulses to point fingers and delude themselves about their own innate goodness, they forget very important things.

Speech is an expression of thought.  It can be saintly and inspiring.  It can be venomous and painful.  It can comfort.  It can edify.  It can cause laughter.  It can educate.  It can repulse.  But unfortunately, our society continues to grow in the belief that among our many blessed freedoms is a freedom not to be offended, and like most pernicious lies that make some of us feel better, we not only believe in this freedom not to be offended, we believe that it trumps other freedoms.

This freedom to not be offended has been the starting point for state-sanctioned discrimination against those who exercise their freedom to perform actions consistent with their Christian faith.   But the progressives, who want to believe that they really can make everyone else conform to what they believe is “better behavior” have not been happy with this application of a non-existent right.  And that’s why attacking speech they don’t like is so important.  They have to paint it as “hate speech”, usually in hateful terms of their own.  They have to portray it as pejoratively as possible, and do their own fear mongering about the potential ill-effects, creating the mental image of grisly murders of government officials at the hands of stooge-like listeners to talk radio and viewers of FOX news, because if some weak-willed person was programmed by these “hate merchants” and did just that, then it would only highlight the need step forward, and shut down these voices of dissent, if only for the preservation of the republic.  This is of course, antithetical to the very concept of personal responsibility, another concept that they dislike, and attack on many fronts with specious arguments, and meddling certainty and entitlement.  But in working so hard to create at “nightmare scenario” that hasn’t yet happened, they overlook something very fundamental:

We were intended to have the right to criticize government.  We were intended to have the right express discontent, anger, and yes, even rage at those who ran afoul of us while serving in our names.  This right is fundamental to a free society, because a society that would criminalize speech would criminalize thought in the same act.  And criminalizing thought that opposes the current government, its officials, or its policy is to kill the genius of America, because all freedoms would be forfeit to whomever was strong enough, or powerful enough to determine what thoughts and what words are criminal.  Progressives cannot make better men through the enacting of laws that determine what speech, and by inevitable extension, what thoughts are correct, no more than such laws will make people more “civil”.  You might force these things to be the only expression allowed, but to do so will be to foment resentment, and only lead to a boiling ugliness seeking an outlet.

People’s thoughts are the only things that they will ever be able to truly call their own.  You may not like them when they are expressed in words, but they aren’t yours to restrain, chain, squelch, or suppress.  If they have merit, then they will find an audience that values them.  If they do not, then their value to society will be low, and they will be treated accordingly.

Tragedies often move people to action.  Remember that you are dealing with people who never let a crisis go to waste and who are sensitive to all hate but their own.  There is no reason to surrender freedom for security when it comes to speech, especially since one will not lead to the other.  There are valid reasons why people are “anti-government’, or more accurately “anti-the-current-government” these days, and your birthright and the sanctity of your thoughts are not subject to their tender sensitivities.

 

 UPDATE:  Another voice of reason from an unexpected quarter…if they keep this up, then there might be hope for the American Left yet…Richard Roper helps with some sorely needed perspective:

http://www.suntimes.com/3229156-417/palin-christina-hope-responsible-rhetoric.html

UPDATE the SECOND:  Congress Critter Proposes Law Curtailing Freedom of Speech He Doesn’t Like:

http://threesurethingsoflife.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/and-so-it-begins/

Previously:

The Tucson Shooting and The Political Aftermath

The Tucson Shooting and The Political Aftermath

 

Photo of Jared Lee Loughner  via Smoking Gun.

It was first reported that AZ Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and five others had been shot, and that she hadn’t survived, but now it looks like she will pull through. Tragically, a federal judge and a nine year old girl are among the dead. See Michelle Malkin for complete rundown.

Before anything about the shooter was known, lefties were spreading the meme that he was a tea party wacko inspired by Sarah Palin’s “infamous” target map from last Spring. (I had made fun of the anti-Palin hysteria at the time, by suggesting  less terrifying maps).

markos (Markos Moulitsas) tweeted,  Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin, http://is.gd/knNgl , *then proceeded to disappear an embarrassing and incriminating post from his own site.

When the name of the shooter became available, “the violent teabagger inspired by Sarah Palin” narrative took a major hit. Videos posted on Jared Lee Loughner’s YouTube channel paint a picture of a confused, lone wacko, an atheist, and flag-hater with anarchistic tendencies.

You can see the videos, and read Ed Morrissey’s analysis at Hot Air.

A young women on Twitter, @caitieparker was retweeting the Sarah Palin meme until the identity of the mass murderer became known:

Saying Jared Laughner was the gunman. Really hoping that’s not the same guy I went to HS with, really good friend. Freaking out right now!!!

Official I went to high school & college, & was in a band w/ the gunman. I can’t even fathom this right now.

I went to high school, college, & was in a band with the gunman. This tragedy has just turned to horrific.

he was a pot head & into rock like Hendrix,The Doors, Anti-Flag. I haven’t seen him in person since ’07 in a sign language class

He was a political radical & met Giffords once before in ’07, asked her a question & he told me she was “stupid & unintelligent”

As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy.

he had a lot of friends until he got alcohol poisoning in ’06, & dropped out of school. Mainly loner very philosophical.

I haven’t seen him since ’07. Then, he was left wing.

it’s loughner just checked my year book.

This is a circus. Good Morning America just called me.

Daily Caller reports: YouTube page of alleged Giffords event shooter lists Mein Kampf, Communist Manifesto among favorite books

They’ll never learn.

UPDATE:

The number is up to 18 people injured in the shooting:

Rich Kastigar, of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, said the suspect, 22-year-old Jared Laughner, had had run-ins with law enforcement, but mostly minor incidents. He used a pistol with an extended magazine, Kastigar said, injuring 18 people. Kastigar said that did not necessarily mean he shot 18 rounds.

Six confirmed dead.

See also:

Yesterday, when I’d said the package-bomber (or package ignitng-devicer) was probably white, a commenter (sorry, forget who) agreed, noting his writing pattern (“Total bullshit”) seemed to indicate a 20-something white loser college-dropout wannabe-profound sort of guy.

And it turns out that Jared Laughner is a white loser college-dropout wannabe-profound sort of guy.

Hillbuzz: Be on the lookout for Caitie Parker’s appearances on Good Morning America, The Today Show, and ABC Radio regarding Jared Lee Loughner

We’re curious to see if the media allows Parker to note how Leftist Jared Lee Loughner is.  She’s crystal clear in her tweets about that…but the Leftist media edits out what they don’t want to discuss in interviews.

Let’s see if they don’t allow Parker to talk about Jared Lee Loughner being the Leftist that he is.

I predict that the MFM uses a “no labels” template going forward.

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I was meaning to do this -

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We’ve seen this movie, before:

As Jarod Lee Loughner’s political bent emerges, we see the same, predictable story playing out:

  1. A horrific crime takes place.
  2. Leftist bloggers like Markos Moulitsas blame conservatives.
  3. CNN, New York Times, Washinton Post, etc., repeat the libelous allegations.
  4. Fact emerge proving Markos, CNN, etc., a bunch of cowardly liars.
  5. Liberals erase their libelous stories.
See Bill Hennessy for recent examples.
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Amazing. Both@ericboehlert & @markos were tweeting fast and furiously until the identity of the left-wing assassin came out. Now they’ve both clammed up –  their last tweets are over seven hours old.
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Not surprisingly, lefty drones, incapable of independent thought, are continuing the charade on Twitter.
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Check out this idiocy that was retweeted by several others:
Sarah Palin Facebook page still has graphic w image of rifle sight pointed at Ariz. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords http://on.fb.me/c8QRtt
Eh…click on link and you see it’s just the  map with the “crosshairs” targeting Dem districts in 2010.  Not a rifle pointing at Giffords. Insanity.
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Jack Cashill: More Tea Party Violence?

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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Big Government: I am Stunned by the Shooting of Rep. Giffords

My tears are flowing, and I am stunned and angered that Gabby Giffords was savagely gunned down while performing her congressional duties.

Boehner: ‘An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve’

Correction:

Kos is bleating on twitter that the ‘random diarist’ deleted the post. Under no pressure for anyone, I’m sure.

Uh huh.


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Newsweek’s Evan Thomas: “The Health Care Bill Is A Disaster”

I hate to say, “We told you so”, but we certainly didover and over and over again.

The Daily Caller reports that Newsweek columnist Evan Thomas made the surprising admission on Friday’s “Inside Washington”.   You may remember Thomas as the guy who once said that “Obama is a sort of God”.

“It ain’t because of Congress,” Thomas said. “The unemployment will go down a little bit but the game in Washington will still be this unreal game. Health care though – I got to say, is one place where I think where Republicans are right.”

Back in November 2009, Thomas admitted the health care reform bill had flaws, but still voiced his support for it. Now he has proclaimed it a failure.

“The health care bill is a disaster,” Thomas continued. “We’re sort of slowly learning – it’s not working. It’s interesting – they’re implementing it and it’s not working out at all as people anticipated. There’s all sorts of wildly wrong projections. As it’s being practiced – it’s failed.”

Watch the video at The Caller.

More ObamaCare News:

The roll call on the repeal vote, which passed in the House, yesterday, by a vote of 236 to 181, here.

Via Phillip Klein of The American Spectator:

The four Democrats voting for it were: Larry Kissell, Dan Boren, Mike McIntyre and Mike Ross. The two Republicans whose vote was recorded as “present” were Mike Fitzpatrick and Pete Sessions, which was the result of their bungled swearing in.

Also, without having to factor in the Dems’ shady accounting tricks, CBO Says Repealing ObamaCare Would Reduce Net Spending by $540 Billion.

Gateway Pundit: WSJ: If You Believe Obamacare Will Saves Money, You’ll Believe Anything

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Three words: Yes. we. can!
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