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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Communication is a two way street


I posted a blog in our local forum hoping to get a discussion going about the events or reasons that led to the Saturday morning massacre in Tucson, Arizona. I did get some answers but for the most part the blog became a battleground for past issues.

I quickly found out that I was not the right person to call for civility because my reputation precedes me. I wish I knew how to police my blogs. Throughout the years, I have received many emails from posters telling me that they stayed off my blog because it was a hangout for the crazies. I wish, I had the leadership skills of the best boss I have ever worked for. He would correct us behind a large dumpster where we would not be in the sight of others. He defused conflicts in the workplace by calling a safety meeting,so we could air out our differences. He would act as a referee and  his reputation was such, that everyone accepted his judgment. He didn’t partake in our political discussion, make or laugh at off-color jokes, and would treat everyone alike. It's too late for me 'cause I've posted too many blogs and have made too many statements. I've always thought that it was the nature of political blogs to be confrontational. Now when I want a civil discussion, some take it like they do when the government says “trust me.”

My last blog got off with a few lighthearted comments by Rebecca but then,woofwoof, posted “Obama went to Fort Hood a few days late, did a 'shout out' to his buddies, and did not offer much in any manner of speaking. That was a heinous crime on a military installation. The jihadist shooter and subsequent disposition of that crime has fallen off the lame stream media radar.” It went pretty much downhill from there; posters were going out of their way to separate the hostile environment of today from the comments of right wing media. They used the old “free speech” to deflect any criticisms. I made three separate admissions that as of today, no one knows what set off Jared Lounghner but a couple of posters thought I was just trying to find creative ways to blame the right wing media.

I was led astray by a few commentators calling for more laws to protect our political leaders. Legions357, set me straight when he stated “I think that the organizers of any event, or owner of any property, should be able to decide for themselves whether firearms are allowed by the general public or not, but like other things the general public is allowed or not to do, it seems a law has to be passed to take the decision away from the individual owner or organizer and let the government decide." On my other question concerning a discussion about banning or restricting the use of ammo clip extenders,Legion357 said “Even though I support gun ownership, of course some types of arms should not be available to the general public .”I can live with that.

I wish I could remember the joke Bill Maher used last night about the fantasy statement waywardwind and other gun enthusiasts use “If there had been a citizen at the Arizona rally with a handgun and the training to use it in an emergency, much like the jogger in Florida, lives could have been saved and injuries prevented. Sadly, that wasn't the case." It doesn't do any good to discuss that logic but I thought countx’s post disproved that, by saying “Some of you need to read the story of Joe Zamudio, one of the heroes who subdued the shooter, but first was ready to shoot the wrong man. He ran out with his gun, safety off, ready to shoot if necessary and saw a man with a gun, only that man was the one who had already disarmed the gunman. Zamudio said he didn't draw his own weapon because he didn't want to be targeted as a second shooter.” You just can't prove a negative and I can’t make the point about wanting him alive to answers questions to see if others are involved. That’s why I don’t like vigilante justice.

Another poster, Pythagoras, suggested reading a book titled "On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society" by LTC (RET) Dave Grossman. Then Pythagoras, offered this stated which I agree with “

The answer is:

Education and training, values that support your roles, fewer lawyers, fewer politicians and more real leadership, turning off the media. Apply liberally in moderation over infected area. If infection persist immediately pay too much to see a Doctor or bug the Government until they pay.

There is truth in most levity.


The best was saved for one of the last comments.


Edith Ann said...

Like a whole lot of other folks, I have really been really pondering upon the events of last Saturday and the accompanying discussion that seems to be taking place since.

I think it is clear--at least it is to me--that there are two issues working simultaneously. First there is the issue of the quality and the quantity of mental health care in this country. Second, there is the issue of the strong political rhetoric that is everywhere. Let me start there, and work back.

There are those who want to believe that this is strictly a case of mental illness. There are those who want to believe this is the result of hateful political speaech. There are those, like me who belive it is a combination of both.

Do I think it is an even 50/50 split? Of course not. But I think the hate speech plays into the situation. Anytime you have folks who have distortions in their thinking (paranoia, delusions, etc.) their filters for incoming messages are not all that good. If they were better, they'd be a little less distorted in their thinking.

With that said, I am now 56 years old, and I really cannot recall a time when I remember this much strong language being used in regard to political issues. It is well documented, and frankly they wear it like a badge of honor, but Limbaugh, Palin and Beck have been some of the most vocal, as well as the most prominent folks using inflamatory verbage.

On one of your other blogs I asked for examples of Democrats who have reached the level of 'discord' as Limbaugh, Palin and Beck, and I haven't seen a response. I am a firm believer that folks need to own their own behavior, and it needs to start with those who are at the highest level; those who set the tone for the adherants. It's like anything else, it trickles down. When the leader speaks, generally the others will follow.

The mental health issue? It is up to each community to set the standard and to what they demand. The local chapter of NAMI does quite a bit of advocacy, but Gulf Bend is only going to do so much. And remember--we have folks who are promoting our university as a destination university, and we have incoming freshmen on campus, and nary a a mental health program in place.

We have a sizeable county owned hospital, complete with at new parking garage, several office buildings, a healthplex, a state of the art sidewalk, and a heliport for PCI medical copters, but we don't have emergency mental health services.

What's wrong with this picture?

Edith Ann said...

Did you delete my comment?

I had posted a rather long comment that I had composed in the comment box instead of over in Word. I checked and saw it posted. Came back to check something and it is now nowhere to be found!

Glitches like that really hack me off!

Edith Ann said...

Go look in your spam box, please. Sometimes other's long posts will land in spam. Maybe that is where it went!


Mike said...

Edith Ann
I will never delete your post... I checked the spam box it wasn't there...Please, resubmit whenever you have a chance.


Mike said...

Sorry EA,thanks to you I found out I had a spam inbox....I have only been using this for 2 months but now I know I have a spam inbox.

I agree but I will add 2 more issues....denial and conjecture.

Edith Ann said...

Finally! Someone has learned something from Edith Ann! I learned the hard way that long posts sometimes get derailed.

**happy dance**

As to your additions, certainly. But I think we could add definers forever. At least folks are now talking.

I am encouraged by the evening news and the Sunday news shows. They are all saying the rhetoric needs to be toned down.

If you didn't catch FOX News Sunday, try to catch the last 20 minutes when they have the Roundtable. Not surprisingly, Britt Hume and Bill Krystol think everyone has misunderstood Sarah Palin's video production. Maura Eliason was great. She called it like it is. Juan Williams was 50/50 on his position. The funniest comment was from Britt Hume--he said he now realizes that Sarah Palin really does intend to run in 2012! I'm not sure what planet he's been vacationing on for the past 2 years...

One last thing--One of the most interesting things I have discovered is that many of the folks who are wanting to deny any culpability to the hateful rhetoric, are some of the same folks who are completely insistent that the jihadists and those kind of folks are listening to the wrong folks.

Can we have it both ways?