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Your view on this matter is 100% solid. This is a kind of discussion we need to have more of as a country. What continues to sadden me is that a fellow can be that sick in the head and still be walking around and not be intervened on. I see a lot of people in my work that are allowed by our social service system to go untreated and uncared for at levels that almost beg for this kind of thing to occur. When a disaster hits, we all want action and a review of mental health practices. Of course, it costs tons of money. And by the time we are willing to spend it, well the incident is forgotten and its back to business as usual.
It is not that de-institutionalization is wrong in theory but it has to have back up services and community treatment centers. But the motivation is always cost saving, so these ill people don't get treated and are just dumped out on the street and the needed community centers and aftercare from acute incidents never happens. And we get what we get and act surprised.
Civilization costs money and that money comes mostly from taxes. "Cut, cut cut" programs is the cry out there. Until someone pulls the trigger yet again.
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I don't know how to respond to all this. Ever since the Presidential campaign, I have seen this hatred come more to the forefront. I do believe in open debate, freedom of speech, and the right to bear arms. Endless emails from my conservative friends have become more and more outrageous. More bigoted, hate filled. The tea party movement calling for a reckoning. More and more people tagging their emails with quotes from Thomas Jefferson.
"When Injustice Becomes Law -
Resistance Becomes Duty"
I guess I have to ask if this is what they are referring to, and looking for? I wonder if they are considering this, duty-full resistance. I really don't want to hear their answer, because as carried away, as many of these folks are, they may say yes.
Do they think this is what Thomas Jefferson meant? I also wonder what Thomas Jefferson would think of our country as it is now.
I would have to think he would be ashamed. We are a broken country, and we are a world that has lost its moral compass.
I am not blaming the conservatives here either. Heated debate can come from the liberal side of things also. I think our problems run much deeper than that.
What do you think Thomas Jefferson would do to fix it? Wave his side arm and throw out a 200 year old quote. I would like to think he would take a long hard look at where we are today, and after open debate, give us a sense of direction to get us back on track.
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In the interest of fairness, Sarah Palin has responded to recent critics that have tied the Arizona killings to politically charged rhetoric on the right. I disagree with her analysis that this rhetoric has no effect -- especially when tied to guns and patriotism. The following comes from yahoo:
Palin charges critics with 'blood libel'
Wed Jan 12, 7:13 am ET
Sarah Palin released a video statement Wednesday calling the rush to pin blame on conservatives for the Tucson shooting a “blood libel.”
“Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own,” she said. “They begin and end with the criminals who commit them.”
In the eight-minute video, Palin says, “…especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.”
Palin’s use of the charged phrase “blood libel” - which refers to the anti-Semitic accusation from the Middle Ages that Jews killed Christian children to use their blood to make matzoh for Passover - touched off an immediate backlash. (see: Full text of Sarah Palin's statement)
Sarah Palin: "America's Enduring Strength" from Sarah Palin on Vimeo.
“The blood libel is something anti-Semites have historically used in Europe as an excuse to murder Jews – the comparison is stupid. Jews and rational people will find it objectionable,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a New York-based Democratic political consultant and devout Jew. “This will forever link her to the events in Tucson. It deepens the hole she’s already dug for herself… It’s absolutely inappropriate.” (see: The Arena: Palin's 'blood libel' defense fair?)
Palin has faced criticism this week for images that look like gun crosshairs she used to identify the districts of Democrats who were vulnerable in the 2010 elections, including that of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was shot on Saturday. (see: Shooting presents 2012 test)
But in her first extended response to the shooting - released hours before President Obama is to visit Tucson - Palin said that “responsibility lies not collectively with all the citizens of a state, not with those who listen to talk radio, not with maps of swing districts used by both sides of the aisle, not with law-abiding citizens who respectfully exercise their First Amendment rights at campaign rallies, not with those who proudly voted in the last election.” (see:Obama hopes for healing in Arizona)
Though some “claim political debate has somehow gotten more heated just recently,” Palin said it has always been “heated.” (see: Pawlenty jabs Palin over 'crosshairs')
“…when was it less heated? Back in those ‘calm days’ when political figures literally settled their differences with dueling pistols?” she asked.
“In an ideal world all discourse would be civil and all disagreements cordial. But our Founding Fathers knew they weren’t designing a system for perfect men and women. If men and women were angels, there would be no need for government. Our Founders’ genius was to design a system that helped settle the inevitable conflicts caused by our imperfect passions in civil ways. So, we must condemn violence if our Republic is to endure.”
Palin said that “America must be stronger than the evil we saw displayed last week.” (see: Arizona to Obama: Rise above the 'vitriol')
“We are better than the mindless finger-pointing we endured in the wake of the tragedy,” she added. “We will come out of this stronger and more united in our desire to peacefully engage in the great debates of our time, to respectfully embrace our differences in a positive manner, and to unite in the knowledge that, though our ideas may be different, we must all strive for a better future for our country.”
Before posting the video, Palin had said little about the shooting. She released a brief message on Saturday afternoon expressing her condolences to the families of Giffords (who at the time was incorrectly reported to have died) and the other victims.
Her only other remarks were in a brief e-mail exchange with Fox New host Glenn Beck. “I hate violence. I hate war. Our children will not have peace if politicos just capitalize on this to succeed in portraying anyone as inciting terror and violence” she wrote to Beck, who read it on the air.
SarahPAC Treasurer Tim Crawford told POLITICO the Palin camp chose to release the video because Palin wanted to redirect media attention back to the tragedy and away from the raging political blame game. (see: House rolls out Gabrielle Giffords resolution)
“She is her best spokesperson by far,” said Crawford. “She had things she wanted to say.”
Palin warned against any efforts to limit free speech, saying, “…we will not be stopped from celebrating the greatness of our country and our foundational freedoms by those who mock its greatness by being intolerant of differing opinion and seeking to muzzle dissent with shrill cries of imagined insults.” (see: Beck, Limbaugh respond to shooting)
She noted in the video that less than a week after the shooting “another member of Congress announced that he would propose a law that would criminalize speech he found offensive.” (see: Tragedy marks turning point for Palin)
That was an apparent reference to Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who has hinted there might be a need for revised standards for talk shows on TV and radio.
“I came up in a time that the Fairness Doctrine did not allow media outlets to say things about a candidate or a person in public office without giving that person equal time to respond,” he told NPR on Monday. “And I really believe that everybody needs to take a look at where we are pushing things, and may need to take a serious step back and evaluate whats going on here.”
Meanwhile, former Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle is blasting those blaming her for inciting the Arizona shooting, saying the accused shooter went off the deep end long before the tea party movement started. (see: Angle defends herself, tea party)
In her first comments - coming three days after the shooting - Angle said in harshly worded statement that her critics were “dangerous and ignorant.”
“Expanding the context of the attack to blame and to infringe upon the people’s Constitutional liberties is both dangerous and ignorant,” she added. (see: War of words rages on)
“The irresponsible assignment of blame to me, Sarah Palin or the TEA Party movement by commentators and elected officials puts all who gather to redress grievances in danger.”
She added, “Finger-pointing towards political figures is an audience-rating game and contradicts the facts as they are known – that the shooter was obsessed with his twisted plans long before the TEA Party movement began.” (see: Loughner’s supremacists tie debunked)
Andy Barr contributed to this report.
Read More Stories from POLITICO
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The tragic killings of innocent people, including a child and Federal Judge, as well as critical wounding of Congresswoman Giffords raise some serious questions. The following is taken from the AP report on yahoo. I want to ask the Forum the question this article raises. Does the emotionally charged Tea Party behaviors and the hateful political talk of late fuel events of this kind in the unstable? If so, what are we to do to change it?
By TERRY TANG, AMANDA LEE MYERS and DAVID ESPO, Associated Press – 10 mins ago
TUCSON, Ariz. – Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot in the head Saturday by a gunman who opened fire outside a grocery store during a meeting with voters, killing a federal judge and five others in a rampage that rattled the country and left Americans questioning whether divisive politics had pushed the suspect over the edge.
Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said Giffords was the target of a gunman whom he described as mentally unstable and possibly acting along with an accomplice. He said Giffords was among 13 people wounded in the melee that killed six people, including Arizona's chief federal judge, a 9-year-old girl and an aide for the Democratic lawmaker. He said the rampage ended only after two people tackled the gunman.
The sheriff pointed to the vitriolic political rhetoric that has consumed the country as he denounced the shooting that claimed several of his friends as victims, including U.S. District Judge John Roll. The judge celebrated Mass on Saturday morning like he does every day before stopping by to say hello to his good friend Giffords.
"When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous," the sheriff said. "And unfortunately, Arizona I think has become the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry."
The reaction to the shooting rippled across the country as Americans were aghast at the sight of such a violent attack on a sitting member of Congress. The shooting cast a pall over the Capitol as politicians of all stripes denounced the shooting as a horrific and senseless act of violence. Capitol police asked members of Congress to be more vigilant about security in the wake of the shooting, and some politicians expressed hope that the killing spree serves as a wakeup call at a time when the political climate has become so emotionally charged. Link to story below:
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