Archive: December, 2012
“That a country so attached to its civil liberties is able to come together and accept significant restrictions to its individual rights to fight against terrorism in the wake of September 11th but is unable to limit the availability of firearms that kill their own children, that’s properly impossible to understand for Europeans.”
One of our more interesting side trips this year was across the pond to Bahrain, where Philly's ex-top cop John Timoney is there to promote truth, justice and the American way. How's that working out?
Going out on the streets, carrying nothing but a flag and calling for democracy could cost you your life here. Chanting “down with the dictator” could lead to your being subjected to electric shocks. Giving a speech about human rights and democracy can lead to life imprisonment. Infants have died after suffocating from toxic gases used by riot police. And teenage protesters have been shot and killed.
I regret to inform you I'm not going anywhere. See you Wednesday to begin the heart-pounding conclusion of 2012.
So I crawled out of my undisclosed location long enough this weekend to finally see the movie "Lincoln" -- a movie about the 16th president and also about bipartisanship," which in a modern context makes the film about as fantastical as "Harry Potter." If you've seen it or read about it, you know that Daniel Day-Lewis IS Lincoln in a slam-dunk Oscar performance, but the most interesting supporting character in the film is the Radical Republican (heh) congressman Thaddeus Stevens, portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones, a volitile and fiery fighter for racial equality.
And, a Pennsylvanian.
This is tpp tragic for words -- senseless, random gun violence has claimed the lives of two firefighters in upstate New York.
This is amazing: "All in the Family" and Archie Bunker predicted Wayne LaPierre and the NRA roughly 40 years ago -- just watch. The best part is the way the audience laughed uproariously at the ideas that LaPierre proposed in deadpan seriousness last Friday. Maybe future NRA news conferences should come with a laugh track.
This is a story you just knew was coming eventually:
According to internal documents newly released by the FBI, the agency spearheaded a nationwide law enforcement effort to investigate and monitor the Occupy Wall Street movement. In certain documents, divisions of the FBI refer to the Occupy Wall Street protests as a "criminal activity" or even "domestic terrorism."
You could make the case that -- echoing the infamous 1987 case of Pennsylvania Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer -- the NRA called a press conference Friday to commit (political) suicide in front of a television audience. Just look at the reaction from New York City's not-at-all-liberal tabloids. LBJ said famously that if he'd lost Walter Cronkite (over Vietnam), he'd lost America. What does it say when the NRA loses Rupert Murdoch's conservative New York Post.
In a way, Wayne LaPierre's insane and inane rant to keep schools safe by flooding them with guns was a good thing. Moderate America needed to see -- in the words of a movie that aired this weekend -- that it should pay no attention to man behind the curtain.