Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Senseless Violence

We've long believed that it's best to avoid making decisions in the heat of anger. If you make a decision while you're angry, you run a larger than normal risk of your decision being a poor one. Unfortunately, like so many other axioms on anger and violence, this one is ignored far too often.

Most of the attention in the media today - including ours - will be focused on three incredibly heinous acts of violence that took place Tuesday. Sadly, we expect that few of our colleagues, if any, will make the same connections we're making today.

There was the random act of violence yesterday at the Clackamas Town Center mall in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area on Tuesday evening. Three people - including the shooter - died when the gunman ran into a mall with a semi-automatic rifle and opened fire. We can guarantee that most of the media outlets that choose to talk about this incident today will be talking about it exclusively in terms of gun violence. No history of the shooter, no discussion of mental illness, or poverty, or any other factors that lead to this latest disaster will likely be the core focus.

No, the majority of these debates will turn into little more than screaming matches that serve little purpose other than raising our blood pressure. This is the sixth time this year we've faced the topic of gun violence in this digital space. There's little more that we can say about the topic that we haven't already said again, and again, and again, and again, and again.

The second major incident that caught our attention was the premeditated act of violence against the rights of millions of workers in Michigan by that state's duplicitous Governor, Rick Snyder. Even in the midst of over ten thousand of angry Michiganders flooding the Michigan state capitol on Tuesday - and his own comments earlier this year that now prove he's a liar - Gov. Snyder signed a bill striking a massive blow against workers in his state.

As we noted in our Tuesday edition, extremist Republicans have awakened an angry lion by their actions in Michigan. Between GOP extremists attempting to incite violence at the protests, and the Teamsters president James P. Hoffa literally predicting civil war in Michigan, we have no doubt that the only thing that will be passed by Gov. Snyder and his cronies in Michigan the next two years will be gas. If the job of a governor is to govern, Snyder has effectively castrated himself politically. We doubt Snyder's concerned with that, however. Like Jim DeMint, it's likely Snyder has a cushy position waiting for him with Koch Industries once he’s thrown out of office.

It's too bad Snyder and extremist Republicans preferred to satisfy their senseless visceral urges instead of doing the job they were hired to do, of governing.

The third act of violence we noticed Tuesday was a surprise act of violence, as North Korea fired a long-range missile in the general direction of its neighbor South Korea. The missile ended up being a satellite launch - which is effectively an intercontinental ballistic missile - albeit one that North Korea didn't tell any of it's neighbors it was firing. The insanity of the action speaks for itself.

All three acts of violence - along with the continued and ever-escalating insistence by Republicans that they're going to blow up the U.S. economy unless the President and Congressional Democrats give in to their infantile tantrums - have one thing in common.

Denial runs through them all.

If Americans actually cared about reducing preventable deaths from random gun violence, we would enact sensible gun control. If Snyder and the extremist Republicans in Michigan cared about their citizens, they wouldn't have violently steamrolled through their anti-worker legislation. If the North Korean regime cared about its people, they'd stop their insane nuclear weapons program. If Congressional Republicans cared about governing responsibly, they'd realize trying to tank the U.S. and world economies will only end in their demise as a political party.

There are some days that make us just want to pull the covers back over our collective heads, and go back to sleep until all the insane people are gone.

Yesterday was one of those. Let's hope today is better.

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