Patterico's Pontifications


More on the Human Cost of Today’s Shooting; UPDATE: Lunatic Fred Phelps Plans to Picket Dead Child’s Funeral

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:25 pm

I would like to take a moment and focus on the human cost of today’s shooting.

A nine-year-old girl was killed. More details on her here. Her name was Christina Greene, and this is her picture:

Per Ben Smith, here she was as a younger child:

Here is a video of Congresswoman Giffords yesterday on Fox News, calling for a pay cut for members of Congress:

I earlier linked a Facebook video of the Congresswoman reading the First Amendment on Thursday. Here is a YouTube version for non-Facebook users:

There are people who care nothing for these victims, other than to use them as cheap pawns in a tawdry and disgusting political attack on people like Sarah Palin.

The names of these ghouls include names like Tom Boggioni (TBogg) and Markos Moulitsas (Kos). If there is a hell, they are going there.

UPDATE: Speaking of hell, Fred Phelps is going straight to the lowest circle:

He praises the shootings and plans to picket the funeral of the child whose picture you see in front of you.

And that marks the end of my involvement with the human race. Later.

Markos Blames Palin for Giffords Shooting — But There’s Just One Problem: Kos Put a Bulls Eye on Giffords

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:53 pm

Markos Moulitsas, doing the “Right Wingers Are Responsible for This Violent Act!” dance that we all knew these scumbags would do regarding the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords:

The link is to bottom-feeder TBogg, who predictably drags out the map Sarah Palin had put out targeting certain lawmakers, including Giffords, for political purposes.

But via daleyrocks, it appears that Markos himself also put a bulls eye on Giffords:

Well, well, well.

Naturally, putting a bulls eye on someone isn’t actually violent rhetoric. Stuff like this is just invoked by soulless ghouls to make a cheap political point. If you want actual violent rhetoric, you’d have to to go . . . well, Kos himself:

That said, I feel nothing over the death of merceneries. [sic] They aren’t in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them.

Now that’s violent rhetoric!

UPDATE: Let me be triply clear in case you somehow missed the point: the post does not actually blame Kos for encouraging the shooting. The post blames Kos for being a smear-artist douchebag for blaming Palin for the shooting.

It’s not a subtle distinction . . .

UPDATE x2: Paul Krugman joins the army of scumbags who blame this on Palin while ignoring the identical behavior from Kos.

Typical douchebaggery.

UPDATE: For the benefit of the terminally stupid, the bulls eye graphic did not appear on Kos’s original post, as should be self-evident to a) any sentient being who examines the image, or b) any person who bothers to follow my link to the original Kos post. Kos “put the bulls eye” on Giffords and others with written rhetoric. I think you all knew that already, but Tommy Christopher insists that my credibility demands that I explain this to you as if you were all five year-olds.

UPDATE x3: Thanks to Hot Air for the link. More leftist hypocrisy and cynical exploitation of the shooting (and maps of Democrats “targeting” Republicans!) exposed here.

An “I am Spartacus” Christmas: Muslims Stand with Coptic Christians In Egypt

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 2:26 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

EricPWJohnson told me this was going to happen a two days ago and it went off as promised, a real palate cleanser after the sad news of today.  Recently the Coptic Christians of Egypt have come under terror attack for nothing more than practicing their religion.  But many good Muslims of the region have stepped up in the best way possible to address this threat:

Egypt’s Muslims attend Coptic Christmas mass, serving as “human shields”

Egypt’s majority Muslim population stuck to its word Thursday night. What had been a promise of solidarity to the weary Coptic community, was honoured, when thousands of Muslims showed up at Coptic Christmas eve mass services in churches around the country and at candle light vigils held outside.

(Apparently the Coptics celebrate their Christmas on a different date.)

From the well-known to the unknown, Muslims had offered their bodies as “human shields” for last night’s mass, making a pledge to collectively fight the threat of Islamic militants and towards an Egypt free from sectarian strife.

“We either live together, or we die together,” was the sloganeering genius of Mohamed El-Sawy, a Muslim arts tycoon whose cultural centre distributed flyers at churches in Cairo Thursday night, and who has been credited with first floating the “human shield” idea.

As they say, read the whole thing.  It is really uplifting stuff.

As almost everyone here knows, when terrorists threatened the creators of South Park, I was a participant in the Everyone Draw Mohammed protest.  From early on, a popular metaphor for this protest was this key scene in the movie Spartacus:

As Bagoh20 wrote toward the beginning:

“I am Spart[a]cus” is the perfect analogy to what this is. The South Park guys are the real one[s] being threatened and the only response that will defeat that is if millions stand up and say: [“]You will not confiscate our pens.”

So I salute every single person who has put their lives on the line to protect freedom of speech and religion.  That includes the over 700 people who drew cartoons at the site I created, the 100K+ people who participated at facebook before being shut down by a jihadist hacker, and those Muslims who sat with their Coptic brothers and sisters this Christmas.  Those Muslims are Good Samaritans in the truest sense.

Of course it is fair to note that the Everyone Draw Mohamed protest had the effect of offending many good Muslims, especially because those cartoons were often insulting beyond a mere depiction of Mohammed (pedophilia be upon him).  I acknowledged as much right at the beginning of the controversy:

But Ann Althouse, and James Taranto (who gives a nice backgrounder) reply (in paraphrase), “but you will offend moderate Muslims.”  Indeed we will and I want to be very clear.  If I could think of any other way to do this, I would do it.  I berated Althouse on her blog over and over, “what is the alternative?”  No one has offered anything.

But they are correct that there is a cost to this approach.  We will be posting messages that are dang near guaranteed to offend good Muslims who both respect their Prophet and the First Amendment.  To them I say your sensibilities are collateral damage in the fight for freedom.  To them I say it is a necessary evil.

I would have preferred to see our Federal Government show a more vigorous response to this, or just to see a stronger mainstream media response.  Imagine if during the Danish cartoon controversy every paper in the U.S. decided to reprint the cartoons or simply to create their own.  Instead, we were treated to pathetic display of Cnn showing pieces of paper showing the Mohammed cartoons, with Mohammed blurred out, reducing them to blurry piece of paper.  And Comedy Central not only censored images of Mohammed, but even a speech talking about the need to be courageous, while announcing that they would “courageously” mock Jesus Christ in a weekly TV show. Regular people, Glenn Reynolds’ Army of Davids, stepped up because no one else was doing it.  As I said over and over again, if someone had a better idea, I would welcome it.

But still this story should be filed away and recalled when someone says that all Muslims are bad or intolerant.  Muslims are capable of being positively heroic in defense of freedom, as this story attests.  And that is cause for optimism as we struggle against our common enemy in the terrorist movement.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Breaking: U.S. Representative Among 12 Shot in Tucson; Representative Read First Amendment During Reading of Constitution; UPDATE: Source Reports She Is Alive and In Surgery; Update: Cnn Confirms She is in Surgery; Update: AJC Says Federal Judge John Roll Dead (Update: Wounded!); UPDATE: Shooter Identified?; UPDATE: Obama Confirms Judge Roll Killed

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:10 am

Breaking news as we get word that U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others have been shot:

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was among as many as 12 people wounded in a shooting at a Tucson, Ariz., grocery store where she was holding a campaign event.

ABC affiliate KGUN-TV in Tucson reported that as many as 12 people had been shot, including Giffords. A law enforcement source told KGUN that the shooter was in custody.

Early reports are that she was shot in the head. No word on her condition.

Giffords is a moderate Blue Dog Democrat and is widely liked on both sides of the aisle. One interesting sidelight: she read the First Amendment during the House’s reading of the Constitution on Thursday, and was very excited about it:

“I just read the First Amendment!” Representative Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, said gleefully as she exited the floor.

“I wanted to be here, I think it’s important,” Ms. Giffords said. “Reflecting on the Constitution in a bipartisan way is a good way to start the year.”

Facebook users can watch a video of it here.

And Aaron Worthing found this picture of Giffords with Speaker of the House John Boehner at her swearing in:

Caution and restraint are the watchwords of the day. Let’s hope she is OK.

UPDATE 11:11 a.m.: NPR says she and 6 others have died. Breaking news stories are sometimes wrong; let’s hope and pray this one is.

Oddly, aphrael points out that the story itself, under a headline saying she had been killed, claims her condition “was not immediately known.”

UPDATE 11:24 a.m.: Now NPR has removed the line about her condition not being known, and leaves the headline that she has died. I think we need to be cautious and wait for further reports.

UPDATE 11:26 a.m.: aphrael says CNN is also reporting that she has died.

UPDATE 11:30 a.m.: DCSCA says multiple sources are reporting the same thing.

Truly horrible. Luckily, we have Matt Yglesias to tell us that, even though we don’t know a thing about the shooter or his/her motives, it must have something to do with overheated political rhetoric.

Why don’t you just shut your trap and wait for the facts to come in, Matt? Most of us are still in shock and you’re already busy implying it was a political hit. Appalling.

UPDATE 11:49 a.m.: A local station denies the reports that she is dead:

LATE BREAKING: UMC officials confirm Rep. Giffords is in surgery. She has not been declared dead. **Please RT**

Again, this is why you always have to take early reports with a grain of salt.

Update by Aaron Worthing: As per Patterico’s admonition I won’t try to follow, Ping-Pong style, every update, but this seems pretty definitive that rumors of her demise were greatly exaggerated.  From Cnn:

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is currently undergoing surgery for a gunshot wound to the head, a spokeswoman for the University Medical Center in Tucson said.

Nine patients were brought to the hospital, including a child. All of them are in either serious or critcial condition and are undergoing surgery, spokeswoman Darci Slaten said.

And this is new:

A federal judge was also among those shot, a law enforcement official said. It is not clear whether he was among those taken to the hospital.

Of course today is an object lesson on why breaking news stories are often wrong, so take that with a grain of salt, too.  By the way, why is Cnn keeping these people anonymous?  At least an explanation for why they are doing it should be given.

Update by Aaron Worthing: Take all of this with a grain of salt, but I figured this AJC blog was worth citing because it was the first to identify the federal judge allegedly shot, United States District Court John Roll, and the same article says he is dead.  So let’s say it is at least true that he was shot.  Which official then, is the target, and which was caught in the crossfire?  We can only speculate, which is why making political hay out of it is doubly stupid.

Update by Aaron Worthing: The AJC blog above has walked it back.  The judge isn’t dead, but seriously wounded.  Good news.

UPDATE BY PATTERICO 1:50 p.m. There are news reports identifying the suspect as Jared Loughner. A lot of interesting possible information regarding him is emerging, including an odd YouTube video:

Based upon the unusual name and location in Tucson, this appears to be a picture of the guy:

And he had a MySpace page, which has been taken down, but not before someone got a screenshot (link via Gabriel Malor’s twitter account):

All of this is highly speculative at this point, of course. Much more unfolding in real time in the comments. You should definitely look at this video, though. Very odd.

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: From Loughner’s MySpace page:

Name: Jared Lee Loughner
Channel Views: 271
Joined: October 25, 2010
About Me: My name is Jared Lee Loughner!

Hometown: Tucson
Country: United States
Schools: I attended school: Thornydale elementary,Tortolita Middle School, Mountain View Highschool, Northwest Aztec Middle College, and Pima Community College.
Interests: My favorite interest was reading, and I studied grammar. Conscience dreams were a great study in college!
Movies: (*My idiom: I could coin the moment!*)
Music: Pass me the strings!
Books: I had favorite books: Animal Farm, Brave New World, The Wizard Of OZ, Aesop Fables, The Odyssey, Alice Adventures Into Wonderland, Fahrenheit 451, Peter Pan, To Kill A Mockingbird, We The Living, Phantom Toll Booth, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Pulp,Through The Looking Glass, The Communist Manifesto, Siddhartha, The Old Man And The Sea, Gulliver’s Travels, Mein Kampf, The Republic, and Meno.

And another video on his YouTube channel (not by him, but he apparently liked it) of a desert flag-burning by a guy in a Grim Reaper mask, as music blares “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor!”

Clearly this shooting is not the work of a crazed nutcase with a bizarre set of oddball beliefs. It has to be Sarah Palin’s fault!

UPDATE: The President has confirmed that Judge Roll was killed.

UPDATE: Seeing numerous reports that Rep. Giffords is conscious and can recognize her husband.

I have read that she was shot in the temple, with the shot exiting the forehead. This won’t be an easy recovery. But this is a wonderful report.

I have more on the human cost of today’s shootings here.

Repealing Obamacare: Good Tactics Even Though It Can’t Happen Now

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:10 am

The first Republican bill in the new House will be to repeal Obamacare. Good idea? I think it is.

Krauthammer says you don’t try kill the king unless you know you can succeed. In other words, ObamaCare must die, but the current Republican tactics for doing so are counterproductive, and will end up hurting the long-term effort to repeal it.

Another faction, populated largely by types who gain their real-world experience by surfing the Internet from the comfort of their homes, says tactics don’t matter. Principles demand that Republicans try to repeal ObamaCare at every available opportunity, regardless of tactical wisdom.*

I think both camps are wrong. Tactics matter. PRINCIPLES!!! don’t require you to ignore tactical concerns. But, contrary to Krauthammer, I think that trying to repeal ObamaCare now makes for good tactics.

No, it’s not going to actually happen while Obama is president. But as a wise correspondent wrote to me:

Democrats call it political theatre since we won’t see this in the Senate and Obama would obviously veto it. But I suspect there will be adverse appropriations consequences for ObamaCare. In addition, think about what this will mean in national Senate races in 2 years. Every Senator and Senate candidate will be asked for their position on repeal and replace, and the Tea Party/GOP will be able to make that a litmus test for candidates.

This is a really smart move by the GOP.

I agree. My correspondent sends, as Exhibit A, the case of Claire McCaskill. Gateway Pundit quotes a site we’re boycotting here:

Speaking on MSNBC Wednesday morning, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill suggested that Democrats should ditch the individual mandate required in President Obama’s health reform law.

It’s a proposed amendment to legislation she supported that’s deeply unpopular in Missouri just as she ramps up for a challenging reelection bid.

“There’s other ways we can get people into the pool — I hope — other than a mandate, and we need to look at that,” McCaskill said Wednesday morning on MSNBC.

It’s good tactics to get people on the record about how they feel about ObamaCare. Because the PRINCIPLES!!!! crowd might be short on experience and long on self-righteous blowhard spokesmen, but they are right about one thing. The question of what happens to ObamaCare is critical to the type of country we are going to have: one based on the concept of Government as Catering to All Your Needs . . . or one based on individualism and freedom.

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