Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik -- A Voice of Reason -- But The Dolphins Of Taiji Still Drive This Blog's Traffic

After Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head and number of others were wounded or killed in a shooting in Tucson, Ariz. on Saturday, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said that the state has "become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry."

Addressing the tragedy at a news conference, the sheriff said that law enforcement had reason to believe that Giffords was specifically targeted in the attack. He added that evidence suggests one suspect -- 22-year-old Jared Loughner, who is already in custody -- likely did not act alone.

"When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous," said the sheriff. "And unfortunately, Arizona I think has become sort of the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry."

When asked by a reporter if Giffords being shot could have been motivated by "prejudice and bigotry," Dupnik responded, "All I can tell you is that there's reason to believe is that this individual may have a mental issue. And I think that people who are unbalanced are especially susceptible to vitriol."

While speaking, the sheriff said that himself it included, "it's not unusual for all public officials to get threats." However, he said the sentiment doesn't come without consequences.

"And that's the sad thing of what's going on in America," he explained. "Pretty soon, we're not going to be able to find reasonable, decent people who are willing to subject themselves to serve in public office."

(Click HERE for the latest developments unfolding following the incident.)

The dead and wounded from yesterday's shooting in Tucson have all been identified, as well as the gunman, Jared Loughner, who according to reports, is not cooperating with police and has invoked his constitutional right to silence.

Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head and is in critical condition at Tucson's University Medical Center after undergoing surgery, after which it was reported that she was successfully following commands, leaving doctors to be "cautiously optimistic."

The following people lost their lives:

- U.S. District Judge John Roll, 63.

- Gabe Zimmerman, 30, Giffords' director of community outreach.

- Dorwin Stoddard, 76, a pastor at Mountain Ave. Church of Christ.

- Christina Greene, 9, a student at Mesa Verde Elementary.

- Dorthy Murray, 76.

- Phyllis Scheck, 79.

At least 18 people were shot, but I cannot find everyone's names, which I imagine is something they may appreciate.

I know you don't visit elle est belle la seine la seine elle est belle to bring yourself up-to-date on breaking news stories and it's probable that you don't share many of my opinions.  Right now, the number one search term bringing new readers to this site remains "Taiji," and that is often the result of an image search, not text. 

The waters roiling with the blood of massacred dolphins were captured in a powerful photo that I used to illustrate a post on that annual brutality.  I am glad that some of these searchers choose to remain dedicated readers -- I feel very humble and honored by such occurrences. 

If you are interested in a terrific presentation on the dolphin slaughter, consider renting The Cove, a superb documentary.

But in terms of the last 24 hours, there have been a good number of folks hanging out here in order to view the video of Congresswoman Giffords reading the First Amendment on the floor of the House last week.  I've no clue why anyone comes here to watch it, but who am I to decipher the intricacies of search? Anyway, we are thinking of trying to get people outside The Manor proper by showing the video on a continual loop out in the roomy boathouse, the only new facility we have as an outbuilding.  It is cold enough that most viewers will feel encouraged to head on home.  Abbot Truffatore has lent us a host of Cistercian monks from The-Monastery-Down-the-Road, these good brothers having been diverted from the protection detail over there that guards The Holy Foreskin, their best Holy Relic, and they are doing a masterful job of directing all the blog traffic.

So, while the Denizens of The Manor are bleary-eyed this morning from our night spent over at my brother TW's place -- sleeping in our magic tent -- or *not* sleeping, as is more likely -- ensconced in deep snow, overlooking the land around one of his beloved buttes -- we are gearing up to host visitors as proscribed by Haddock tradition.

Luckily, the flight from The Grand Canyon made excellent time getting us back to The Lone Alp Regional Airport, and our pilot even made the normally nauseating sudden-drop landing seem easy.

N.B.  Clearly, I am not a regular watcher of CNN or any predominantly news station, the constant iteration of the same information, and sometimes, like yesterday, the wrong information, causes my eyes to glaze over.  So can someone explain to me how (and when) Eliot Spitzer got his smarmy self rehabilitated?

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