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Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Weekend from Hell

Isn't that what it seems like in the world?  My old girlfriend/radio compadre Kelly K. first used the term Day from Hell, and we've all had plenty of those.

This one...whoa...

I have not blogged of late because I've been busy.  I mean it.  TrafficTalk is now ready to launch hopefully this Wednesday; my equipment appears to be ready to roll, and we are set to bring traffic reporting into a new dimension.

Go there.  That'll explain everything.

Now...a double shift on Saturday.  The WITF/KYW shift went well, lot of sports to watch/monitor and cover, but it was good.  Then it was off to 1460 the Ticket to produce the Hershey Bears-Manitoba Moose (AHL for you non-hockey fans).  John Walton was up in Winnipeg, and my colleague Matt helped me get the procedures up and running.

It actually went pretty well, and it was an exciting game.  I am now ready to fly solo, which still unnerves me, but I have come this far, I can make it happen.

I didn't get outta there til midnight, so a 14 hour day, kind of.  Then a run to Kaitryth's house to make sure things were looking okay, and they were.

Up early this morning for WITF/KYW yet again, then zoom back home, dump 80 pounds of ice melter on that hellacious driveway of mine so people could get here for Ahltyrra.

Now...on our Myspace page, and elsewhere you will learn essentially what I tell you now:  Ahltyrra has ended, and we are now known as the Dharma Fools.

The lineup is changed, and the musical direction we hope to follow has also done.  We will still play a number of those songs, and there will be more. 

The DF's was a side project, that played some of the A. songs, plus a few different pieces, and a few more covers.  It's time to go this way; Ahltyrra will always be for me an amazing experience, which tested my skills as a musician beyond anything I've ever done.

Four of us are back, and we've a new female singer, who blew us the fuck away on a Sara Bareilles (is that how you spell it?) song.  My God, Katie's good.

We are energized once again, to get back at it.  We are up for consideration by the May Day Faerie Festival, and we hope to get a slot.  We're gonna be working it, believe me.

I feel better than I have in so long; I was feeling pretty good that I was back in radio, doing my first real love, and had time to write, and keep on writing, and now this.  It's feeling good; 2011 is our year, for all of us.

Yet in all this, we have the terrible tragedy in Arizona.  I have tried hard to think how do I react to this?  I am shocked, saddened, but not totally surprised.

I knew this would happen.

Now, the trolls and apologists are out in force, decrying that this fellow Loughner or whatever his name is, is everything from a deranged loon acting alone, to a flaming liberal who went mad, or a Tea Party freak, a Republican wingnut, this, that and the other.

What is he?  Who is he?  Do any of us know, except for him and perhaps those in his circle?

We have no right to decide, based on second and third-hand information.  I can only surmise.

Based on what little I've read, and listened on, I've heard different things.

We know that this individual had some definite mental health issues.  Those who knew him say he was a person who was outspoken and had some pretty crazy views on things.

His Youtube videos state that he was disillusioned, and paranoid.  He believed the government was after him, he had become disillusioned by religion in general, and spouted views that our money was something he could not trust, beyond silver and gold.

There apparently is at least one other person of interest the authorities are looking for, an older man that has not been identified, who was in the vicinity when Congresswoman Giffords and several others were gunned down.

The saddest victim was a nine year old girl, who was interested in government and wanted to meet the Congresswoman at an open event at a supermarket.

Who could have imagined this would happen?  I don't think anyone could predict it, yet we have plenty of proof that the rhetoric that has been spouted by people who are extremist in their views, and also possibly not the brightest bulbs in the case, either.

Individuals like Loughner, who despite a drug arrest in 2007 (he completed some kind of program and the arrest was I think expunged), and who had serious issues was still able to buy a Glock with an expanded magazine, turn up a public event and kill.

It is clear from evidence found he targeted Giffords.  The Congresswoman apparently was a conservative, Blue Dog Democrat, but that doesn't mean much.

Democrat means the enemy to a lot of these freaks.  Giffords' local office was targeted by people who didn't like her votes on immigration and health care.  She was also one of the people whose face was targeted in a rifle crosshairs on Sarah Palin's website, and probably elsewhere too.

Now...I am NOT blaming the former Gov. of Alaska for Giffords' death.  I do also appreciate that the crosshairs were taken down, a day late and a dollar short.  She didn't, as rightwingers like to postulate, put that gun in Loughner's hands.  Certainly not.

She is however one example of conservative, rightwing lightning rods who have made it clear that resistance to anything Barack Obama, the Democrats, the liberals, the progressives, the whomevers is a must.

I don't want to say by any means necessary; that interpretation is a broad one, and Loughner decided to put it into action.

There has been a terribly vicious, hateful segment of the media (Fox News at the top), including a number of talk show hosts, so-called "religious leaders," and attention-whoring politicians who have pushed the weak-minded, the vulnerable, and those on the edge to actually believe all the crap that has been spewed.

I am sure that people who read this are going to either agree with me or disagree, and will do everything they can to apologize for, dissemble, and divert attention from where it belongs.

These people pushed buttons...lots of buttons, and they need to reap the whirlwind.

True, the instrument of action was Loughner.  He must, if he's proven mentally able to stand trial, do so.  Nothing he can do will bring back that child, nor make so many people feel any better.  He needs to be tried properly and face his due.  Anyone who helped him, they too must be brought to justice.

Do we agree so far?

I hope so.

I want to know what Loughner's contacts were; his book reading list has been picked apart.

He liked "The Communist Manifesto."  Rightwingers have seized upon this to prove he's a liberal.

But he also liked "Mein Kampf."  Hitler, a liberal?  Hardly.  A lot of righties seem to have a sick fascination and admiration for that man, and I don't know why.

One thing a friend of his did say:  apparently, Loughner suffered a case of alcoholic poisoning some years ago.  I wonder:  did that experience unhinge a mind already close to it?  I'm no doctor, but I wonder if it did.

I've heard (but I'm sorry to say I don't know how true this is) that Loughner had some kind of tie or was known to an organization in Arizona that was known to be anti-Semitic.  I'd like to know if this is so.

Arizona has been a hotbed of drugstore cowboys who are focused on illegal immigration to the point they took up arms and started patrolling the US/Mexico border.  We know about some of those folks; Lou Dobbs was masturbating with glee at the stuff they were doing.

We have turned into a banana republic, where one's idea of political discourse is to kill your opposition.  This is not Colombia, nor is it India or any other nation where this kind of violence is stock in trade.

Everyone needs to think about this.  My old college friend Jay pointed out recently that the hate speech, the hate-filled rhetoric, the emotional madness that has afflicted us is what needs to stop.

We again, everyone one of us, need to be mindful.  What we say, what we do, all of it.  I know I'm twisting in the wind on this, because most people will just toss this off and forget it. 

We have to grow up.

We have to stop finding boogeymen under every bed, around every corner, and stop believing that others are responsible for the problems we THINK we have.

I don't want to know what all those arrogant pundits are gonna say.  Some will be angry, some will circumspect (not many), and others will sniff their noses and blame anyone they don't like for it.

I don't give a fuck what you think.  You need to think for yourself.  All I know is, I feel horrid; I feel dirty, and I feel sad.

We can't do this anymore, folks.  If we want our nation to survive, the violence, and that also includes speech and rhetoric must end.  We must stop.

It starts with you and me.  Each one of us.

Despite what I think of the rightwing nuts, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and political loons like Sarah Palin, I HAVE NEVER WANTED THEM DEAD.  I do NOT wish violence to come to them or to their people.

They have a right to how they feel, as do their followers.  But with that comes responsibility.

I'd like to see that taken up by everyone. ray of hope in the human spirit is the Congresswoman's incredible will to live.  Despite a terrible wound, she was able to hear one of her interns speaking to her.  It's unlikely she'll ever have a normal life again, but who knows?  Amazing things have happened before.

I honestly hope the best for her, and all those hurt by this.

Another thought:  Loughner's family.  They must be thinking, "My God, we'll never live this down."  I don't blame them for what he did.

What a mess.  This world is seriously fucked up, and we have let it happen.  It's time to stop, step back, and realize that what we have in this nation is precious.  I'm not afraid of saying that, pithy though it may seem.

All I know is, if you agree or disagree, I don't really mind.  But think for yourself.  Let's see where it goes.

I've had enough.  Enough of all of this. 

Blessed Be.

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