Three members of LSU’s Cotton Bowl champion team will suit up for the South squad later this month in the 2011 Under Armour Senior Bowl as linebacker Kelvin Sheppard, defensive tackle Drake Nevis and kicker Josh Jasper have all be invited to take part in the all-star game in Mobile.
Kickoff for the 62nd Senior Bowl is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT on Jan. 29 from Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The game will be televised by NFL Network.
Summary: The Loughner Killings is not about politics but about mental health.
Are there political lessons to be learned from Saturday’s tragic shootings in Tucson? The talk show pundits on both the left and right would have us believe that the other side’s hyper-partisanship has been the catalyst for a growing vehemence and hatred that led to the terrible violence by one deranged killer. Are there underlying causes to explain this shocking event that can be directed towards either side of the political spectrum? Many talk show hosts would have you believe so. But killings tragically happen, and birds fall from the sky. And often, the cause is not political.
Two tragedies took place last week. A highly unstable punk kid did have some political misgivings. But they were not influenced nor directed from viewpoints on the left or the right. On the Internet, he ranted about government thought control, and how the country should return to the gold standard – hardly partisan issues. Few of us trust the government’s involvement in our personal lives, but almost none of us reacts with violence. No, the cause of this tragedy in Tucson appears to be exclusively the shooter’s internal demons.
The news media that claim neutrality had no problem inflaming the debate all this week by assuming there was a political angle to the shooter’s actions. What part of the political spectrum was Jared Lee Loughner coming from? He just had to have an agenda we were continually told.
Some said the attack was linked to the bull’s eye directed at some twenty democratic congressmen including last week’s victim, Rep. Gabriele Giffords. The popular political website, The Daily Kos wrote: “Mission Accomplished, Sarah Palin.” How unfair and offensive were both the comments and the bull’s eye. It was tasteless on both sides. News commentary has become segmented by political philosophy and as such it has become shamelessly irresponsible.
Conservative columnist David Brooks pointed out, these “were vicious charges made by people who claimed to be criticizing viciousness. We have a news media market in which the rewards go to anybody who can stroke the audience’s pleasure buttons.”
There is a great deal of anger in the country now. I hear it each week on my national radio show as callers vent from coast to coast across the political spectrum. And they vent with justification. A recent survey by the Pew research Center found there is “a perfect storm of conditions associated with distrust in government — a dismal economy, an unhappy public, bitter partisan-based backlash, and epic discontent with Congress and elected officials.”
Members of Congress are the most accessible branch of our national government and like it or not, they represent symbolically what many voters see as an out-of-control and out-of-touch federal government. Most constituents are just plain angry. But in the mix, there are a few who are deranged, and in them, the anger that most of us keep under control, explodes in violence.
In our democracy, any nut case can walk into a town hall meeting and confront their representative or senator face to face – and Congresswoman Giffords was always having small meetings in grocery stores and other retail establishments and this made her vulnerable to the walking time bomb, Jared Loughner.
Despite what pundits on both the left and the right continue to pontificate, Jared Loughner had no political agenda. Jared Loughner’s actions were driven by the psychotic delusions of his mental illness. He could not protect himself from his demons inside, and our society could not protect those slaughtered last week from his deadly outbursts.
There can be a link between derangement and politics. Jared Loughner lives in the epicenter of hatred, resentment — all distorted by what seems to be an extreme mental illness. He is not alone in this country. In a book by research psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey called “The Insanity Offense,” he concludes that some one per cent of seriously mentally ill in this country, some 40,000 people, are violent. Fuller says they account for about half the rampage murders in the United States.
Yet a number of states, including my home state of Louisiana, are proposing deep cuts in mental health treatments. Of particular concern are disturbed inmates who are soon to be released, but who have been given little treatment for their unstable condition. There is a low priority in this country for aggressively providing treatment to the mentally ill who are becoming increasingly disruptive. How do you stop such individuals from owning guns? What are the standards for involuntary treatment? Many tough questions need to be addressed.
Jared Loughner posted his favorite books on his YouTube page. Their general and similar themes centered on government stripping an individual of their own free thinking. “Animal Farm,” “Brave New World, “Mein Kampf,” and “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” to name a few. But the book on Loughner’s list that summed him up best was Harper Lee’s, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
“He was out of his mind,” said Atticus. “Don’t like to contradict you, Mr. Finch-wasn’t crazy, mean as hell. Low-down skunk with enough liquor in him to make him brave enough to kill children.” I don’t know about the liquor. But Harper Lee got it right in regard to Jared Loughner. He has to be both crazy and mean as hell. The polarizing ideology here is not on the left or right. It’s in the jumbled mix of a ground up dysfunctional character and conscience in the psychotic mind of Jared Loughner.
A larger question is what will happen after all the political hysteria dies down? Can we as a country do more to prepare for another day when one of our communities is thrust into a confrontation of disorder, cruelty and horror? The answer is that there is a way. Whether or not there is a will; that is the question.
Peace and Justice
Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers and websites throughout the South. You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at www.jimbrownusa.com. You can also hear Jim’s nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9 am till 11:00 am, central time, on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at http://www.jimbrownusa.com. The show is televised at http://www.justin.tv/jimbrownusa.
The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI), a statewide business organization, held its election of officers on January 12, 2011 during its 36th annual membership meeting in Baton Rouge. LABI is an association of 3,500 member companies representing approximately 6,600 business women and men across the state. About 80 percent of LABI’s members own or operate small businesses with 50 or fewer employees.
Louisiana Sports: Stories about the New Orleans Saints, Reggie Bush, Gregg Williams, LSU and Les Miles.
The Saints want to structure a deal to knock Reggie Bush's salary cap figure down dramatically for 2011.
Louisiana Business For today-- A bio-tech annual luncheon, Louisiana freezing medicaid, New Orleans music, Nicholls St. directory, Louisiana Community and Technical College
Louisiana is one of the richest states in the union when one takes into account it vast reserves of natural resources and other tangible economic assets. Throughout history, however, it has never been able to marshal this wealth for the betterment of the population.
Corruption, ineptness, or just simple stupidity comes into play denying citizens the quality of life they need and deserve. Consider the current economic situation and one particular mindless decision that contributed to our present crisis.
Washington, DC (January 11, 2011) – The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling is releasing its final report today, calling for a national commitment to restoring America’s Gulf Coast. The report also warns an oil disaster “may well recur” absent extensive reform of drilling practices and regulation.
Below is a column by former US Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao, from New Orleans , who has written about the "Safety, Security, and Welfare of Communities and the Political Process in the aftermath of the Events in Arizona".
LSU coach Les Miles is staying.
"I am pleased to announce that Les Miles will remain the head coach at LSU," said Tigers athletic director Joe Alleva. "Les has led this program to many great successes on the field and his players represent LSU well off the field. We look forward to many great years of LSU football under his leadership."
At Wednesday’s Jefferson Parish Council meeting, Councilwoman Cynthia Lee-Sheng will continue her efforts to remake Fat City by proposing a new Fat City Advisory Board and denying the renewal of several Alcohol Beverage Permits for Fat City Businesses and other alcohol beverage establishments in her District.
The Councilwoman, along with Sheriff Newell Normand, has waged a battle with current Fat City Business and Land Owners in an attempt to radically reshape Fat City. The Councilwoman and Sheriff have maintained that crime emanating from alcohol beverage establishments is the primary reason that the Fat City area has fallen into decay. This despite crime statistics that do not support their claims that reducing the hours that alcohol is served will result in reduced crime.