Sad day for USA government. (1 Viewer)

The_Doc_Man

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I don't know how much of this was publicized in the UK, but here in the USA we are currently saddened by the action of a man who took out his hatred and frustration on members of the US Congress. They were practicing for a charity baseball game held once per year on the Friday before Father's Day. The perpetrator asked a spectator which team was on the field. Upon learning that it was the Republican team, he opened fire with a rifle.

Two of his targets where hit and critically wounded. A couple of other people were injured to a lesser degree. Steve Scalise, the "Majority Whip," was hit in the hip. A man named Aiken was also hit. I don't know Mr. Aiken but I do know Steve.

Two capitol police officers were present as a security detail for congressman Steve Scalise, who is the 3rd-ranking member of the Republicans in Congress. The security detail engaged the suspect with their sidearms and kept him from hurting others. One of those officers was hit in the ankle. Arlington (Virginia) police arriving on-scene with three minutes were able to keep the shooter busy until he went down from returned fire. By then he had fired an estimate 50 rounds. The shooter later died of his injuries.

The news people are getting a lot of feedback that includes explicit mention of their contribution in the growing divisiveness in this country. Too many news organization claim to be "Fair and Balanced" but then spew one-sided editorials that only serve to fan the flames. The rhetoric has grown so heated that normally rational people lose control of their tempers and violence occurs. That has to stop. The divisive attitude has to stop. We have to learn to work together.

One of the reasons I post this is that Steve is a friend - not necessarily close, but we worked in the same floor of the Navy Enterprise Data Center building for a while before he started his career towards politics as a Louisiana state senator. We talked now and then. He is a great guy.

As of this morning (6/15/17), he is in critical condition because the bullet that struck him in the hip went through the pelvis and into his abdomen, causing internal injuries. He is still listed in critical condition and the doctors report that he will need more surgeries to correct some of the lesser injuries.

What absolutely disgusts me is that the USA "Progressives" are sending out tweets saying things like "Got what he deserves" and "one down, 206 to go." They didn't know Steve at all. HE is (and I hope will continue to be) a warm, friendly guy who tries to work with people; to persuade them with kind words to see the other side of the issue. He takes his position seriously.

The voices for gun control will probably start up again. However, the part of this that is craziest is that the shooter was a Democrat, which is usually the side that wants MORE gun control. The irony will be lost on many people.

As a side note, Steve's position as "Majority Whip" means that he is the person who goes among the various senators to try to muster support for any new laws the Republicans want to pass. He is the conciliator, the persuader, the charmer who uses the force of personality and the force of reason to get the senators to vote for a particular new bill that might eventually become law. The position name derives from the guy who used a bullwhip on a cattle drive to keep the herd all moving in the same direction.
 

Steve R.

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The news people are getting a lot of feedback that includes explicit mention of their contribution in the growing divisiveness in this country. Too many news organization claim to be "Fair and Balanced" but then spew one-sided editorials that only serve to fan the flames. The rhetoric has grown so heated that normally rational people lose control of their tempers and violence occurs. That has to stop. The divisive attitude has to stop. We have to learn to work together.
The Democratic Party itself is to blame for fanning these baseless politically motivated assertions against Republicans.

What is interesting Hillary, herself (as she was expecting to win) claimed that not accepting the results of the election (which she believed Trump would do) was a "threat to democracy". Turns out that Hillary lost and has now claimed the moral responsibility to "resist" and obstruct the Republican agenda. The Democrats are proving to be the "threat to democracy".

The actions of Mr. Hodgkinson may have been an extreme response by an unstable individual of the Democrats publicly pushing "resistance". But, there is a deeper issue. The Democrats despite the lack of any reasonable evidence have been demanding investigation into possible collusion between the Republicans and Russians. Ok, if you want facts, you have to investigate. So these investigations can be considered appropriate.

But the actions of Mr. Hodgkinson demand an investigation of possible collusion between Mr. Hodgkinson and the Democrats. On the surface Mr. Hodgkinson worked as a volunteer for the Sanders campaign. Given that, there is a plausible nexus to justify an investigation. Since the Democrats have been looking for any nexus to investigate the Republicans, they should be more than willing to investigate the relationship of Mr. Hodgkinson and his ilk to the Democrats. After all corruption in the Democratic primary process has already been exposed and the Democrats are pushing "resistance". So shouldn't the facts be investigated to evaluate if there was an collusion?
 
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kevlray

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Violence against anybody is sad. A co-worker and myself trying to understand why there is so much violence in the world. There seems that a lot of violence because some people just seem to enjoy it (randomly hitting someone in the face).
 

Galaxiom

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But the actions of Mr. Hodgkinson demand an investigation of possible collusion between Mr. Hodgkinson and the Democrats. On the surface Mr. Hodgkinson worked as a volunteer for the Sanders campaign. Given that, there is a plausible nexus to justify an investigation. Since the Democrats have been looking for any nexus to investigate the Republicans, they should be more than willing to investigate the relationship of Mr. Hodgkinson and his ilk to the Democrats. After all corruption in the Democratic primary process has already been exposed and the Democrats are pushing "resistance". So shouldn't the facts be investigated to evaluate if there was an collusion?
There is a world of difference.

In the case of Hodgkinson there is no doubt that a crime has actually been committed. Those investigating the case (FBI) will routinely investigate all leads. If they lead into the Democratic Party then that will come out as part of the investigation.

The Trump & Russian collusion is an allegation that people (not just Democrats) want investigated to determine if a crime has been committed. Those who resist this step clearly are concerned that something might be found.

Trump is a loose cannon. There is every reason to consider he has broken laws and compromised national security. Several of his staff have already been dismissed because they have lied, some because of their connections to Russia.
 

The_Doc_Man

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So true, G.

Mr. Hodgkinson broke all sorts of laws, the biggest of which was Assault and Battery with a Deadly Weapon, but had he lived, his acts would have escalated to Attempted Murder. A "hit list" has been found in one of his pockets with the names of several seated members of the US Congress. He was out to eliminate the people who, in his mind, had become his enemies.

The allegations of intentional Russian collusion are not proved yet, though I think it is clear that some folks were at least careless in their dealings with Russian business agents. (Don't know if they were also Russian agents of the government kind.) Here, there is still some question as to what actually happened. An investigation is under way and probably is necessary given the potential for conflicts of interest.

It doesn't help that disgruntled Democrats are fomenting unrest by continuing to repeat as-yet unconfirmed rumors about what really happened with the Russians. That does no service to anyone - and fans the flames under folks like Mr. Hodgkinson.

And then there's dear old HRC, who has thrown so many people under the bus that its wheels don't touch the ground any more.
 

MarkK

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fomenting unrest
What I don't get about the American social conversation, if I can put it that way, is given how much power and wealth and ease Americans seem to have in life and in the world, that there is--between them--so much angst and bitterness and fear.

What I see in the American conversation on all sides is a disrespect for each other, a disrespect that I do not feel towards my own countrymen with whom I have political disagreements, and a disrespect I do not feel directed at me.

In my country I feel like we can have a debate or a social conversation, disagree, hammer out the options, and move ahead, and the issues have been heavy. One province of French speakers wanted to separate from Canada. There was internal terrorism on this issue. There was martial law.

It seems like a squandering of something to me, that given everything that is great about the United States that the people, from the outside, don't appear to have much general respect for each other, and don't appear to be having very much fun.
 

The_Doc_Man

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MarkK, that lack of respect is because the political parties have spent a lot of money (and therefore a lot of TV ads, magazine ads, and newspaper ads) on inducing a sense of polarization. I have commented on it before.

The rhetoric has reached the point of divisiveness. Everybody sees other people getting stuff at the expense of others, and we are acutely aware of limits on how much there is to be given. The recent and very public failure of the Greek government, forcing a severe austerity program, was just fuel to the fire.

Our government has always been a balancing act between centralized and distributed control over spending, and to give money to one takes away from the other. Which takes away SOMETHING from whichever side loses a particular debate. And the losers often feel that continually losing those battles reaches intolerable levels. Hence the growing animosity in the USA political arena.

I blame weak-spirited politicians who cannot tell their constituents "NO, we can't afford that" plus weak-minded citizens who can't see that their demands are unsupportable.
 

Steve R.

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I blame weak-spirited politicians who cannot tell their constituents "NO, we can't afford that" plus weak-minded citizens who can't see that their demands are unsupportable.
The Republican congress people have avoided proposing tough decisions that are in conformance with the Republican's desire for smaller and less intrusive government. Conversely the Democrats have been successful in "messaging" the public that any cuts, no matter how minuscule, will be draconian and that the government has a responsibly to solve everyone's problems.

----------------------------------------------------

As for my prior post, which may be considered too wordy, is that the fanatical quest for facts is one of those conceptual goals that can never be achieved. After all there is always another stone that can be turned over.

So I find it disingenuous that in situation "A" group "Z" can claim no need to investigate further. But then given situation "B" that very same group "Z" will fanatically demand with moral outrage that fact finding has to be relentlessly pursued to the bitter end to determine the truth. Fact finding has to be reasonable and must also acknowledge that at a certain point, the lack of facts demands that an investigation be curtailed.
 
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Rx_

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Its 1914 all over again?
No doubt, the US has witnessed much more violence in the name of political opinions than in years past.

The Trump & Russian collusion is an allegation that indicates our CIA, FBI, Homeland Security are clueless. How could they not have known?
President Obama had non-transparent deals with Russia under Executive Privilege. And President Bush before him too.

Russian Sanctions heat up tensions
Last week Congress voted to extend sanctions against Russia based on... the same things most US Allies or Trading Partners do.
Sanctions are usually a precursor to war.

Intolerance grows with ruling by authoritarians
State of Ohio Supreme Court denies 3rd Party ballot access.
Last election, a 3rd party got enough votes under state law to qualify for continued ballot status. The Supreme Court cited an older case to prevent this.
The State has an obligation to protect the voters from becoming confused by too many choices on a ballot. So, Ohio authoritarians ruled not allow a 3rd party.
This might sum up the general intolerance movement in the US.
 

Orthodox Dave

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Where are the voices of reason?

Human beings, through fear of acting alone and believing there is "safety in numbers" tend to clump together into tribes, sports teams, political parties etc. We can then blame "the Democrats", "the Republicans", "the Labour Party", "the Conservative Party", "Manchester United", or even "the Jews" for everything going wrong. This is why we get this appalling
things like "Got what he deserves" and "one down, 206 to go."
attitude.

When will we grow up and learn to think for ourselves?

People have political views, but that doesn't mean we can't be friends. I don't go along with "all politicians are liars only out for themselves". I know UK Labour and Conservative supporters who are equally sincere in their belief that their way is better, but that doesn't make them good or bad people.

Evelyn Beatrice Hall said:
"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"
We need more of that attitude these days.
 

The_Doc_Man

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FlashSpark036, it looks bad for the USA except that if anyone would dare look at some facts, it isn't so bad at all. But the news media is like a small child picking at a scab to see if it will bleed some more.

In the USA, unemployment is at a 49-year low, jobs are being created, and the GDP is increasing by significant amounts. All of these things are indicative of good things happening, but the Democrats CANNOT AFFORD to let people dwell on these facts. They ramp up the rhetoric to a fevered pitch because nobody wants to admit that the country is doing better overall.

I'll also report that this prosperity trickles down one level. The state of Louisiana has a yearly battle with its "revenue estimating committee" that is part of the budgeting process for the next fiscal year. For the first time in several years, we actually ended up with a net tax surplus at the end of the year (due to higher employment leading to higher tax revenues). So much so that we can use the surplus to pay down state debt service and direct some money towards non-recurring spending.

I am not saying that President Trump is right in everything he does. He absolutely isn't. But he has pushed the country in an overall direction of prosperity, which USUALLY benefits its people. I have learned to take a wait-and-see attitude with the shenanigans in Washington, and that was true LONG before DJT came into office.
 

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