Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"... after your death you were better have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you live."

Shakespeare -- Hamlet

The air has been thick with ill reports since last Saturday's murder spree in Tucson, most of them lazy and brainless slanders proffered as explanations for Grade-A insanity. I will make no attempt to behave like a news source, since others have done it better already [the usual kudos to clearing houses such as Instapundit and American Thinker], nor to catalogue the long list of journalists, pundits, and politicos who have gone so far beyond the borders of partisanship that the wonderful neo-verb "beclowning" is inadequate to the situation, and we must settle for the more mundane "disgraced" to describe what, in their foaming extremism, they have done to themselves.

As a minor bump on the cosmic log, I have enjoyed the luxury of waiting out a suitable period of time, to pluck some actual facts from out of the whirlwind of shrieking din, and have chosen to draw attention to this morning's interview with Zach Osler, an old friend of the accused [Jared Loughner], and a sweet-looking young man who has taken on an unnecessary and onerous burden of guilt for having failed to intervene where others, in genuine positions of responsibility, should have done the job.

The mad
rush from left field to score political points off the Tucson tragedy has manifested itself in safe generalities, making passing use of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords by name, but avoiding too much reference to the few other victims whose names have been released, most particularly the remarkable, beautiful 9-year-old symbol of all that it means to "choose life", the late and much lamented Christina Taylor Green -- born in the national shadow of September 11, 2001 -- died in the radiant morning of her little life, in the instant of one jerk on the trigger. [Video of a very moving but dignified interview with her father has been rolled up by ABC -- transcript of much of it is here.]

It took no time at all for the twisted perverts of the
Fred Phelps Westboro "Baptist Church" clan to seize this particular tragedy as an opportunity to crow their deranged message to the world, and quickly announce their utterly incomprehensible plan to picket the funeral of this lovely child -- an act so grotesque that even their jittery clots of synapses recoiled at it within a couple of days. [Or was it just the devil's bargain -- the offer of radio airtime in Phoenix and Toronto, if they called off the hounds and bitches at the Green funeral -- that caused them to relent??]

The creatures have now re-set their sites on the funeral of the other high-profile victim,
District Judge John Roll. It's not yet clear whether the Patriot Guard Riders will officially perform their usual intervention services, but rest assured there will be patriot riders who will guard the victim families from being "Phelpsed".

And may all the slain innocents, victims of their interest in the free exercise of rights among a free people, rest in the sleep of peace.


While all this mayhem was going down in Arizona, back in Pennsylvania, a soldier came home.

Another death -- a peaceful end to a long and ordinary life --
briefly interrupted by violent conflict, grueling hardships, and inexpressible courage

leader of the Band of Brothers

Dead at age 92

It's a good week to remember the nobility to which ordinary men can rise when called upon to be of service to their fellows. God welcome and bless Dick Winters a
s he strides into the heavenly reunion of Easy Company of the 101st Airborne, who drifted into and around Ste. Mere Eglise in Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944, and forever planted their boots in the history of man's humanity to man. And God bless writer Stephen Ambrose for reminding a wider world of what they did.

Read and salute,
here here here and even better here

If (and only if) you have reason to be there, Major Winters will be
memorialized on (appropriately) St. Joseph's Day, March 19, at his church in Hershey, PA. The public is invited, but, for God's sake, make a hole and leave room for his Band of Brothers.

Requiescat in pace.

I love a boy in uniform.