It’s been a bit of a long day here …

yawn2It seems JJ’s having some issues with word press so I thought I’d just provide a few links to discuss since I really have a good case of blurry brain today.  Something intense and wonky is beyond me this evening.

I don’t know if any of you watch Richard Engle on NBC.  He’s one of the better foreign correspondents around.  He’s missing in Syria right now.  He hasn’t been in touch with NBC since Thursday. Syria’s a serious war zone right now with a mad dictator in charge of some fairly scary weapons so this is concerning.

NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel has gone missing in Syria, according to Turkish news reports. The reports also say that Aziz Akyavaş, a Turkish journalist working with Engel, is unaccounted for. NBC News has been successfully keeping Engel’s status subject to a news blackout—one to which Gawker agreed until now—for at least the past 24 hours.

Turkish newspaper Hurriyet is reporting that Engel and Akyavaş were last known to be in Syria and haven’t been in contact with NBC News since Thursday morning. The news has been reported widely in the Turkish press over the past 24 hours, including by Turkish news channel NTV, which presents itself as an international partner of MSNBC. It’s also been widely distributed on Twitter.

A lot of the worst nuts are keeping their mouths shut about the Sandy Hook massacre.  However, there’s alway Dr. Dobson to bring on the theocratic fascism.

James Dobson dedicated his radio program this morning to discussing Friday’s tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut, which he attributed to the fact that God has “allowed judgment to fall upon us” because the nation has turned its back on him by accepting things like abortion and gay marriage:

Our country really does seem in complete disarray. I’m not talking politically, I’m not talking about the result of the November sixth election;  I am saying that something has gone wrong in America and that we have turned our back on God.

I mean millions of people have decided that God doesn’t exist, or he’s irrelevant to me and we have killed fifty-four million babies and the institution of marriage is right on the verge of a complete redefinition.  Believe me, that is going to have consequences too. 

And a lot of these things are happening around us, and somebody is going to get mad at me for saying what I am about to say right now, but I am going to give you my honest opinion: I think we have turned our back on the Scripture and on God Almighty and I think he has allowed judgment to fall upon us.  I think that’s what’s going on.

I’ve really thought a lot of the gun nuts represent an insurrectionist attitude and that many of them are still what I would chararterize as neoconfederates or confederacy hold outs.  Larry Pratt proved that royally on HardBall today.  Frankly, I hope the FBI keeps a really good eye or twenty on him.

Pratt believes gun ownership is necessary to scare office holders and to remind them that we can take them out.  I have no idea what to say to a man that is so obsessed with stolen elections that he suggests assassination as a way to correct things.

During the interview on Hardball, Pratt argued that guns are necessary to “control the government.” When Matthews asked for an example, Pratt pointed to 1946, in Athens, Tenn., when townsmen took up arms against corrupt government officials.

David Chipman, a former special agent at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, who now works with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, told Matthews that Pratt’s argument was bogus.

“Law enforcement is here as a force of good and we’re the good guys, and that’s what we saw in Newtown. When we get rhetoric like I’m hearing right now, I think this is extremely fringe, I believe most Americans believe otherwise.”

Pratt scoffed at Chipman as a tool of the government.  I really think that people like Pratt–read Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachmann, Allen West, etc.–need to be outed for the insane extremists they are.

Even worse is the suggestion by Megan McCardle which has got to be the dumbest idea on the planet.  This is written by Jonathan Chait at The Nation.

In what can only be seen as a malicious plot by Newsweek’s editors [Update: this is a long blog post, not a magazine piece] to ensure Megan McArdle’s reputation does not outlive Newsweek, the Daily Beast has published a 4,000 word essay by its new hire on how to stop massacres like last Friday’s. McArdle begins her essay with a prescient harbinger (“There just aren’t good words to talk about Newtown.”) but recovers to churn out a fairly standard libertarian argument about why various government remedies won’t work. And it’s true, to some extent, that various regulatory solutions all have complications.

The problem comes at the end when, having dismissed the standard liberal regulatory measures as unworkable, she has to propose her own solution. This is what McArdle comes up with:

I’d also like us to encourage people to gang rush shooters, rather than following their instincts to hide; if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once. 

Are you kidding me? You think gun control is impractical, so your plan is to turn the entire national population, including young children, into a standby suicide squad? Through private initiative, of course. It’s way more feasible than gun control!

Yes, if only those first graders had learned to tackle a shooter with 2 semiautomatic weapons in hand and a chicken-fried brain.  What a morooonnnnnn!!!!

T.@TPPratt

@AngryBlackLady The larger children can throw smaller children at shooter. #MeganMcArdleDefenseTips

There is one major headline today worth mentioning.  That is the death of Hawaiian former Senator and World War 2 Hero Daniel Inouye.

Democrat Daniel Inouye, the U.S. Senate’s most senior member and a Medal of Honor recipient for his bravery during World War II, has died. He was 88.

He died of respiratory complications and had been at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center since earlier this month. His office said his last word was “Aloha,” the traditional Hawaiian word for “hello” and “goodbye.”

President Obama praised Inouye, saying the nation has “lost a true American hero.”

“In Washington, he worked to strengthen our military, forge bipartisan consensus, and hold those of us in government accountable to the people we were elected to serve,” Obama said in a statement. “But it was his incredible bravery during World War II — including one heroic effort that cost him his arm but earned him the Medal of Honor — that made Danny not just a colleague and a mentor, but someone revered by all of us lucky enough to know him.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced the news of Inouye’s death on the Senate floor, sparking a round of tributes for the man Reid called “a giant of the Senate.” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., hailed Inouye’s service and his reserve as a mark of “men who lead by example and expect nothing in return.”

Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes appear to part way on gun fetishes.

While Ailes’s network said it wasn’t the right time to talk about legislation, Murdoch had no hesitation. Within hours of the attack, he took to Twitter to call for an automatic-weapons ban. “Terrible news today. When will politicians find courage to ban automatic weapons? As in Oz after similar tragedy,” he wrote, referring to Australia’s move to ban assault weapons in 1996 after a man used two semiautomatic rifles to kill 35 people and wound 21. That massacre came six weeks after the horrific mass school shooting in Dunblane, Scotland, in which sixteen children and one adult were murdered. (Despite Murdoch’s plea, automatic weapons are already illegal in the United States; Adam Lanza used semiautomatics.)

As a global media mogul, Murdoch’s newspapers and television networks have the power to shape public opinion. Already there are signs that parts of Murdoch’s empire are adopting the boss’s position. Today’s New York Post cover, fronting a photo of Obama, declared, “ENOUGH!” In London, where gun culture is decidedly outre, the cover of the Sun screamed, “END THE LUNACY.” Murdoch “is obviously very affected by what’s gone on,” News Corp. executive vice-president Joel Klein told me. “I think most rational people would think there’s no place for assault weapons. I don’t think it’s complicated.” He said that Murdoch will continue to advocate for gun-control policies.

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12 Comments on “It’s been a bit of a long day here …”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    I hope Richard Engel and Aziz Akyavaş are OK. I hadn’t heard they were missing in Syria. That’s very scary.

  2. dakinikat says:

    Have You Noticed That White Dudes Keep Mass Murdering People?

    http://jezebel.com/5969023/have-you-noticed-that-white-dudes-keep-mass-murdering-people

    This is hardly the first time we’ve questioned what makes white middle-class dudes more prone to shooting up public spaces; last summer, after the Aurora movie theater massacre, Hugo Schwyzer wrote that “the fact that these white male mass murderers felt so confident choosing public spaces to commit their crimes reflects a powerful truth about the culture in which they were raised.”

  3. HT says:

    McArdle is an ass who is shilling garbage to make money. Dobson is truly an evil person. JMO of course. Thanks to all the front pagers who have kept me sane these last few days. I haven’t commented – depression is a helluva thing – but you and the commenters have let me know I’m not alone in the pits.

  4. RalphB says:

    Aloha Sen Inouye, RIP.

  5. RalphB says:

    Remember, it was less than six months after hiring McMegan away from the Atlantic that Tina Brown had to announce that she was shuttering Newsweek.

    Coincidence … I think not. h/t tbogg

  6. ecocatwoman says:

    There were 2 stories worth listening to on NPR yesterday, IMHO. One from Morning Edition about the difference between dread & fear: http://www.npr.org/2012/12/17/167427990/why-tragedies-alter-risk-perception

    So we fear cancer and heart disease and traffic crashes, but psychopaths and, you know, serial killers and airplane crashes are things that we dread. So when a danger seems like it’s inexplicable, when we have absolutely no control over it, when suddenly, out of the blue, it causes mass casualties, you know, this causes not fear, but dread. And when it comes to dread, that’s when we tend to overestimate the risks.

    And then this one from a former military man & assistant chief of the ATF about the Bushmaster AR-15, the weapon Lanza used. He expects sales of these guns to soar because of the talk of banning them. My reaction – once they are banned, what about the tens of thousands sitting in someone’s home? http://www.npr.org/2012/12/17/167479065/one-gun-used-in-conn-attack-has-rambo-effect

    MALCOLM BRADY: It probably is the best-selling weapon and it’s probably because it’s a very well-made weapon. They can fashion that weapon to pretty much be whatever you want it. You know, it can come in different colors. It can come with different magazines. It can come with different stocks. And it carries a very popular round that’s easy to buy and it’s not that expensive. The weapon has a, shall we say, a Rambo effect, just cool to carry.

  7. ecocatwoman says:

    One more interesting link, especially the single comment: http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/12/16/elephant-in-room-why-is-gunman-always-male

    BB, I’d be interested in your take on the effect of patriarchy/male privilege on men/boys with mental illness especially when their primary caregiver (controller) is female.