Tennessee Church Gunman Driven By Hatred Of Liberals?

If you somehow missed the news over the weekend, a deranged gunman opened fire in a Tennessee church killing 2 churchgoers during a children’s performance. Today more news is being released on the accused gunman including his possible motive for targeting the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in the first place.

Besides the obvious of being totally deranged, Jim D. Adkisson appears to have chosen this particular church because of their liberal views which included being advocates of gay rights and progressive social work.

“It appears that what brought him to this horrible event was his lack of being able to obtain a job, his frustration over that and his stated hatred of the liberal movement,” Owen said at a news conference.

Crooks and Liars goes a bit further in their description of Adkisson:

We will most likely learn more details in time, but the picture that’s developing is one of a typical, uninformed Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Wiener-Savage fan — an angry white male who has been brainwashed into thinking that everything wrong in America and around the world is the fault of the evil liberals.

I am sure that the above is a very over-simplified view but it does get you thinking because I am sure that it describes more than a few people you know or have met at one time or another. It also shows what can, and often does happen when someone lets that intolerance and hatred get the better of them.

UPDATE 7/28: Crooks and Liars might not have been too far off with their assessment after all. Here is Adkisson’s reading list per the Knoxville News Sentinel

Inside the house, officers found “Liberalism is a Mental Health Disorder” by radio talk show host Michael Savage, “Let Freedom Ring” by talk show host Sean Hannity, and “The O’Reilly Factor,” by television talk show host Bill O’Reilly.

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Weekend Update

In between my Blognicing and being disappointed by a long awaited movie, a few items caught my eye in the past few days so in the best tradition of Saturday Night Live (ok not really but..), here they are.

How do I get this job? – The Bush administration released the salaries of White House staffers recently and one in particular stuck out. They actually pay $60,000 a year for a “director of fact checking”. Insert your own joke here.

Citizens arrest, citizens arrest! – While that line brings back memories of Gomer Pyle yelling at Barney Fife in one of the classic “Andy Griffith Show” episodes, it was something that four peace activists in Iowa attempted to perform on Karl “contempt of Congress” Rove while he was in Des Moines for a private fundraiser. Maybe we should put these folks in Congress as they seem to be the only ones with the backbone to pursue the Bush Puppeteer.

Liberal bias, bias? – If you read most right leaning blogs you might get the impression that Barack Obama is getting a pass from the media while just the opposite is true with John McCain. The Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University has another view, and it is that at least post primary, ABC, NBC and CBS were actually tougher on Obama than on Republican John McCain.

Finally from the department of once was too much – Those like me that are children of the late 60’s and early 70’s probably remember the hokey television series’ from Sid and Marty Kroft that included the classics H.R. Pufnstuf,” “Lidsville,” “Land of the Lost” and “Sigmund and the Sea Monsters.” Who could forget the rubber costumes, magic flute’s etc. that were popular Saturday morning kids fare?

It took me years but finally I was able to force those images from my head but for some reason Universal Pictures thinks that present day kids are ready for a return and who better to star in the remake of “Land of the Lost” than Will Ferrell…

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I Really Wanted To Believe

I mentioned last Friday that I was planning to see “The X-Files: I Want To Believe” over the weekend. I was really looking forward to seeing this as I have been a big fan of the Fox series from the beginning and I figured that the 6 years that has elapsed since the show went off the air would have given the shows creator, Chris Carter, plenty of time to come up with an X-File worthy of the big screen. I was wrong.

I knew almost right away that I was in for a long couple of hours when I saw that they cast Xzibit of “Pimp my Ride” fame as an FBI agent and Mulder dis-believer and the story went down hill from there.

Not wanting to spoil the story for those that still want to see this movie, suffice it to say that the plot, other than possibly the psychic child molesting priest, has no X-File type twists, no alien or government conspiracies, no smoking man type anti-heros and feels more like a 2 hour version of NCIS than an X-File feature film. The Scully sub-plot that involves her trying to cure a terminally ill child just adds more fluff and was almost painful to watch.

I am sure that Carter had plenty of left over ideas floating around in his head after the series ended in 2002, my only question is why did he pick this one?

Some TV show into movie projects should never have been made as they can spoil the memory of the original, Miami Vice comes to mind and this one isn’t much better. If you are an X-Files fan hoping to re-live some of the magic from the series, don’t waste your time and wait till the DVD comes out or better yet just tune into the Sci-Fi channel and watch re-runs of the original series.

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South Dakota Blognic

Updated below

Yesterday several members of the South Dakota blogosphere gathered at Lake Herman State Park for a little shindig and networking picnic. Along with the good food and good company we had some interesting talk about the future of the “cheetos media” and some ideas for getting our local communities involved.

Todd Epp Tells Us About the Benefits of Twitter

While the turnout was small it was nice to put some faces to the words from many of the blogs I read regularly like Cory from Madville Times (our gracious host), Todd Epp from South Dakota Watch, and Scott Ehrisman from South DaCola and a few new friends like Jackie from Sioux Falls Cartoonists and Rebecca from Flying Tomato  Farms.

Big thanks to Cory for the invite and to Rebecca and Cory for providing the kayaks. Not only did my daughters enjoy their first rides in a kayak, the now have a new request for Christmas.

P.S. I didn’t have my camera with me at the lake but hopefully Jackie will provide us with photos of Todd’s kayak ride which let’s just say was quite comical and ended up with him just a bit damp.

UPDATE 7/28:

As promised, here is Todd’s kayaking escapade with the pink kayak.

You should note that despite the spill, the hat from Todd’s mancrush Barack Obama didn’t leave his head.

Thanks to Jackie from Sioux Falls Cartoonists for the photos

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16 Months Later

Free Terrestrial Radio – A free service that allows you to listen to music, sports, and talk shows with the help of an electronic device that tunes in to a band of frequencies that correspond to different choices. Signal source emanates from local sources and is broadcast over the air using public airwaves.

Portable Music Device – An electronic device that allows someone to add their choice of songs, videos, and movies for portable use either in the house, in the car, or wherever else the user wishes to listen.

Satellite Radio – A pay service that allows you to listen to music, sports, and talk shows with
the help of an electronic device that tunes in to a band of frequencies
that correspond to different choices. Signal source emanates from a east coast location and is broadcast to subscribers nationwide via a satellite in geosynchronous orbit.

Call me cynical but the 3 above choices as well as others not mentioned sound like competition for my entertainment options. But for the past 16 months various lobbying groups, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) in particular, and government agencies that the groups lobby have tried to tell us that the merging of the only 2 companies operating satellite radio business would result in an illegal monopoly.

While monopolies are often not illegal unless they meet certain conditions (just ask the cable TV and telephone industries up until recently), I have a hard time seeing the case that the merging of XM and Sirius would in fact constitute one. And finally earlier this year the Justice Department agreed when they approved without conditions the legality of the merger by concluding that there were enough other choices available to dispel the monopoly contention.

So why did it take 16 months for us to get the the final 3-2 vote by the FCC on Friday that approved the merger? CNBC’s Jim Kramer gives us his insight taken from an interview earlier this year:

this merger has had more oversight than the Iraq war, that the members of Congress are in the hip pockets of terrestrial radio, that the DOJ has rubber stamped merger after merger, and that the fact that this merger has taken so long is a travesty and an injustice.

And there is the rub, what part did the NAB and the rest of the free radio broadcasting industry play in delaying and almost defeating this proposed merger through their lobbying efforts?

Well besides having members in Congress, whom happen to be receiving thousands of in contributions from the NAB, speak out against the merger, they delayed the process at every turn with petitions and requests that led directly to one of the longer merger negotiations in US history. Seems like a lot of effort to me from a group that contends that it isn’t a competitor with satellite radio doesn’t it? Add to all that the conditions that other lobbying groups requested in order for them to support the merger and you see a pattern forming.

The NAB and the free radio industry, not having any serious competition for most of their history, finally had competition (despite their monopoly contentions) and they called out their big guns to oppose it. Both XM and Sirius have been bleeding money for most of their history and without this merger, one if not both of these companies might have failed. The NAB knew this and if they couldn’t block the merger, they hoped that by delaying the merger, one if not both companies would have failed.

That didn’t happen and now, despite the best efforts from the NAB and democrats from the FCC including South Dakota’s Jonathan Adelstein, the merger is going through. So what does that mean?

For most of the 18 million or so subscribers, not much will change at least initially, and even with the combining of the 2 companies financial stability is still a ways away if it ever happens but soon there will be some welcome changes. Some of those include the best music programming from both services, both MLB and NFL games, Opie and Anthony, Howard Stern and ala-carte pricing options.

They say good things come to those who wait but hopefully we haven’t been forced to wait too long by shady dealings from lobbying groups whose only concern is preserving their bottom lines at our expense.

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80 Votes For It And One Prominent Vote Against

80 out of 100 U.S. Senators voted for cloture on a bill that would bring a little relief to some of the 100’s of thousands of homeowners facing foreclosure. So Senator Thune could you please explain to your constituents back here in South Dakota why you were one of 13 (7 didn’t vote) that felt that helping those in crisis wasn’t needed?

Your other cohorts in no particular order:

Kit Bond (R-MO), Jim Bunning (R-KY), Richard Burr (R-NC), Bob Corker (R-TN), Jim DeMint (R-SC), John Ensign (R-NV), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), John Barrasso (R-WY), Mike Enzi (R-WY), James Inhofe (R-OK), John Sununu (R-NH) and David Vitter (R-LA).

I guess bailouts are only OK for some when it is business, you know like Fannie Mae, IndyMac, etc. whose greed allowed this to happen in the first place.

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Quick Hits 7-25-2008

I do not foresee this becoming a trend but again I have other issues that will be taking up my time today so here are a few things that caught my eye during the morning RSS feed read.

Dr Doolittle? – House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) believes that the drilling in ANWR and the subsequent pipelines needed to transport the oil will not affect wildlife. He believes that like the caribou herds near Prudhoe Bay, they will just decide that the oil fields “aren’t the place to be” and will just go somewhere else. (Looks like Eddie Murphy has some competion for the next Dr Doolittle movie)

They are both wrong – Yesterday I mentioned a new debate site that had advisers from both Obama and McCain camps debating their bosses economic plans. Today comes word that both plans would put us further into debt with McCain’s plan adding $5 trillion and Obama’s adding almost $3 trillion. (As I said before, another election is upon us where voting for the lessor of 2 evils will prevail)

What kind of Hall Of Fame is this? – Conservative wingnut James Dobson was voted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Putting aside my astonishment over the fact that he was even nominated, the people that he beat out has to call into question the integrity of the HOF itself. You see, Dobson beat out Bob Costas and Howard Stern for the “honor”.

I Want to Believe – I am not much of a movie goer as I usually wait till the DVD arrives on Netflix, but I will be hitting the theaters this weekend as a movie opens that I have been waiting for since the series ended in 2002. I am sure “The X-Files – I Want to Believe” will not rise to the level of the new Batman movie but is a guilty pleasure for me just the same.

Spamming is bad for your mental health? – Prolific “spam king” who made millions filling our inbox with viagra and porn offers escapes from jail in Colorado and then kills his wife and daughter before turning gun on himself.

Obama Flip FlipsAnd a local one – I must admit I agree with Mr Blanchard’s conclusion as to why Barack Obama isn’t crushing John McCain given all the political realities. I would suggest though that he get out of the utopia that is South Dakota before making statements concerning the perceived economic situation.

The economy is a problem. OK, it’s not really all that bad, by historical standards. Unemployment isn’t that high, the mortgage crisis hasn’t really hurt that many voters. Gas prices look high, but in constant dollars they have been worse before.

While historically our woes might not be bad, just ask the 1 in 171 folks nationwide whom have been foreclosed or that are currently in danger of being foreclosed that the mortgage crisis isn’t affecting voters. Or maybe ask those that didn’t go through the gas shortages of the 70’s if $4/gal gas isn’t devastating to their budgets (I’d bet those that did might agree as well). That said though if it isn’t his flip-flops, why is Obama only up 6 points in many recent polls considering all of McCain’s issues?

UPDATE: Just came across this – Dennis Kucinich finally gets his day in court so to speak as the House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing on “Executive Power and Its Constitutional Limitations” (re:impeachment) that will allow Kuchinich to vent on his various impeachment resolutions. This will of course lead to nowhere considering the lack of backbone disease that afflicts most Democrats in Congress.

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The Berlin Speech

The Barack Obama speech from Berlin. That would be Berlin, Germany and not Berlin, Wisconsin for you McCain fans.

And on a related note, Senator McCain spent the day chiding Obama for speaking outside of the US.

“I would rather speak at a rally or a political gathering any place outside of the country after I am president of the United States,” McCain told O’Donnell. “But that’s a judgment that Sen. Obama and the American people will make.”

Apparently that little trip to Canada must have slipped McCain’s mind.

However, on June 20, McCain himself gave a speech in Canada — to the Economic Club of Canada — in which he applauded NAFTA’s successes.

Maybe McCain really meant to say that he would have rather spoken at a rally in North America? But of course he never misspeaks does he

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McCain To Vets: I Would Ration Your Heathcare

The self proclaimed pro-veteran candidate, John McCain, is again looking to stick it to the veterans he supposedly fights for. This time he wants to ration veteran heathcare by concentrating the VA’s efforts on those with combat injuries.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s call to “concentrate” veterans’ health care on those with combat injuries is raising questions about the Arizona senator’s commitment to funding the failing VA system.

Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., said a system that treats combat veterans and non-combat veterans differently is inherently unfair. “We can care for both combat veterans and non-combat veterans if we just decide it is an important thing to do,” Filner said Thursday, one day after McCain talked at a Dover, N.H., town hall meeting about the need to concentrate veterans’ health care on people with injuries that “are a direct result of combat.”

So McCain’s idea of being pro-vet is to further limit access to heathcare to veterans? Here’s an idea Senator McCain, instead of screwing over some veterans so that others can get the care they already deserve, why don’t you work to fix the system so that none of our veterans get left out?

Then again considering McCain’s voting record on veterans issues, this latest from him should come as no surprise.

UPDATE: Retired General Robert Gard poses a few questions for Senator McCain like which one of the “non combat related injuries” should we ignore? The thousands suffering from PTSD from repeated 15 month deployments in a combat zone? How about the 15% of women soldiers that have screened positive for military sexual trama?

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Quick Hits

I’ve been busy with the paying job lately plus have a few other things that I am working on so in the meantime I thought I would drop a few links to things that caught my eye during my morning RSS feed reading routine.

Desperation or just a pathetic attempt to grab headlines – As Barack Obama speaks in Berlin Germany, the RNC will be running ads for John McCain in Berlin as well to try and steal Obama’s thunder. (That would be Berlin, New Hampshire; Berlin, Pennsylvania; and Berlin, Wisconsin)

More excellent customer service from the cable company – Comcast takes 5 weeks, 3 visits, and 20 phone calls to figure out that the reason a customer wasn’t getting service was because they hadn’t run a line to his house. (and I thought GoldenWest was bad)

New online debate site – A newly minted online debate site called Opposing Views has campaign staffers from both the McCain and Obama camps discussing their bosses economic plans. (and no, Phil Gramm isn’t the McCain staffer)

Care for your pets after the Rapture – A Kansas City Atheist will care for your left behind pets after your soul leaves this world during the Rapture. (All for just a $50 deposit)

And finally a local one – As South Dakotans have no doubt heard, our lone rep in Congress, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin is pregnant and like clockwork less than 24 hours later, one of our local righty bloggers has already asked if this will affect her stance on abortion. (but i’ll bet you guessed wrong as to which one asked first)

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