Sunday, April 15, 2012

Still Crazy...

Let's start with the announcement I promised a couple of weeks ago. I'm starting a new blog entitled "People in Scripture". It will be aimed at people who want a better understanding of why the ancient (and even the modern day) prophets, kings and their contemporaries may have thought and acted the way they did. I stress that this is undertaken without the approval, aid or endorsement of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I take full responsibility for this blog, and urge anyone with an interest in the Church to make contacts with local members or contact, where inquiries are welcome and treated with respect. I expect the new blog to be available this week, and will announce the event on this space. And, just so you'll know, I plan no changes in this blog, and hope to continue weekly entries.

Now, to more typical matters. I don't know how such things come about, but in the last election, a black Republican, Allan West, was elected to the House of Representatives from Florida. He's either a genius at getting people to know his name, or just a crazy guy destined for little more than his allotted fifteen minutes of fame. Right now the jury's still out.
Mr. West has a reputation of standing politically with the more far-removed from the mainstream of the Republican Party, which, gosh knows, means you have to say some pretty weird things. He was somewhere in the Sunshine State last week attending a town meeting when someone blurted out a question regarding the number of "card-carrying communists" in the US Congress. Some of the audience chuckled or groaned. West should have said that while being a communist is not against any law, and that members of Congress are not required to be members of any party, there are, in fact, NO members of Congress who identify themselves as communists.
But that would have been truthful, but a little boring for West, and so, with a straight face, he said that there are "between 78 and 81" communists in Congress. When asked for a name or two, West said that the Pinkos were easily identified, simply by their membership in the House Progressive Caucus, one of the largest of the subsets of congressional membership. Still dropping not a single name, a West staffer confirmed the statement the following day.
So there we are. No names, but a very specific number, and a ticket to temporary fame, exactly like Joe McCarthy did it back in the 1950's. Did any of this year's remaining GOP presidential candidates say West was over-the-top looney to make such an accusation (How could you run for office without lots of good ole capitalist cash ?)? That would be "NO", since GOP candidates this year are hard-pressed to keep up with the stuff coming soon to a megaphone near you courtesy of a Super-pac with WAY more cash than ethics. Remember, we still have six months plus to go to Election Day.    

And the NRA had their annual convention last week in St. Louis. One of the lobby's bigshots, Wayne LaPierre, who's not exactly French, gripped a huge lectern and took sides. There was never any doubt that the big guy would land on the GOP side of  the election, but the way he dragged out the gloom and doom scare words to describe what a second Obama administration would be like made me wonder if the two of us lived in the same country. All this vitriol aimed at someone who hadn't made a single legislative proposal to limit gun ownership or use. I couldn't see what the audience looked like, but would have guessed that the non-white faces were few, with lots of large weapons casually pointed their way. La Pierre didn't sink to race talk, but if he felt compelled to pump up Mitt Romney, who, as governor of Massachusetts backed more than one gun control proposal, then you have to wonder just how frightened by our president some folks are.
I don't know why the NRA chose St. Louis as the site of this gathering, but it's a city with a large violence problem, much of it involving guns. I'm guessing that not a single person at the conference addressed the question: Can the price of our "gun freedom" be TOO high? And no, I don't think anyone there thought about it, either.   


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