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Thursday 20th Jul 2017

I wish I felt compelled to write about the amazing Seahawks upset over the defending Super Bowl Champion Saints, and how much I love Wild Card weekend because, well, you just never know.

I had a lot of it mapped out in my head. How to frame the article, what to highlight, including the key play of the game.

But, in the interim I read the horifying news that both Federal Judge John Roll and Congresswoman Gabby Giffords were shot down, along with 17 others at a market where Giffords was holding a local event she liked to refer to as "Congress on the Corner."

As part of the holocaust Roll was killed (so far along with five others, including a nine-year old girl) and Giffords, shot in the face, remains in critical condition.

Roll, was appointed by George Bush the elder in 1991, while Giffords was a Democrat (I do not know the affiliation of Roll, and in a way it does not matter, for we are all Americans). And, Roll, from what I can understand in a limited time, was truly a jurist who sought justice, while also presiding often over the tough immigration issue. Ostensibly, Roll just stopped by the conclave to say hello to the Congresswoman.

Ms. Giffords had been embroiled in a tough re-election campaign this fall, winning against a Tea Party opponent. The Congresswoman's office was one of those vandalized by the right during the campaign. Furthermore, Sarah Palin's website identified Giffords as an enemy by targeting the Tuscon district Giffords represents with a gun crosshair.

I don't really want to go into the perpetrator of this horrible action--although truth is, one victim, 18, or one-hundred--the act is just as descipible. Aside from the fact that he apparently identified with those conspiracy theorists on the right who quote the Rush Limbaughs, Michelle Bachmans, and, well, Sarah Palins.

For it is those on the right who truly do not want to compromise, or discuss issues. For there is no grey area, as it all seems to be "right or wrong, my way or the highway."

If you doubt that, think of those on the right who hope for the failure of Barrack Obama and his administration. For they wanted Health Care to be his Waterloo, and Limbaugh has been loud in his hopes that the President fail.

So, odd, for it is indeed their country too.

I remember when George W. Bush was elected to the presidency, way back before 9/11, in the craziness of the 2000 election. At the time Bill Gilbert said to me that he knew I could not wait for Bush to fail.

My response to Bill was, "Why would I want that? He is the President and I am just a guy with an opinion. I would rather be wrong than to have my country suffer and fail."

Bill had no response to this. However, it is too bad people like Bill cannot embrace the same notion.

That we all live here. Together. As Americans. And that apparently freedom of speech is not exactly free after all. At least it certainly cost 19 people today.

In David Lean's marvelous--and anti-war film--The Bridge on the River Kwai, at the end, after the bridge has been blown up, and hundreds killed for no reason other than differences of opinion on how to run things, Major Clipton, the army physician played by James Donald, surveys the aftermath and utters the last words of the film: "Madness".

It was true then. It is true now. And, if we are not honest with ourselves, our anger, and our path forward, it will only get worse. 

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