An Annapolis Shooting Follow-Up

I don’t normally repost “press statements” but one came across my desk just now that I’d appreciate your taking the time to read.

Fellow Columnists:

The National Society of Newspaper Columnists wishes to express its heartfelt sympathies and condolences to all those touched by yesterday’s tragic events in Annapolis. We continue to recognize the uncommon bravery exhibited by columnists and all journalists who regularly place their names on articles, columns, and mastheads for all to see. The tragic death of Rob Hiaasen is particularly painful because he was one of us, a columnist, and his brother Carl Hiaasen received the NSNC Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.

Most Sincerely,
Chris Carosa
NSNC President

I’ve written a good bit lately about how we’re descending into an new kind of American Webolution.  A gentle (if not delusional) way of saying “We’re falling part.

When people take up guns, warning of coming outage on social medias websites – giving up the option of civil discourse – our future dissolves before us.  They are declaring open season on the rest of us.  A threat on social is a threat to all.

We each have a choice of conscience to make:  To become the “partisans” and “take it to the street” which will surely bring on a digital dark age.

Or, we can ratchet it down.  Turn of the shrill news pandering to extremes. Talk to people about matters of heart and spirit instead of issues of the street.  Talk not test, phone not post.  I beg you, consider the less inflammatory path.

It’s a free country, of course.  Ya’ll are welcome to carry on the social media-based webolution,  Do note however: Thursday’s tragedy in Annapolis – like others – had its roots in social media.  Yeah – from whence springs webolutionary violence.

I hope, like me, you are not about division but about Unity.  Isn’t it time to dial-back social and return to our national senses?

End the Webolution! – the one marketing hate.  Hate Trump, hate authority, hating work, hating traditional money, hating “all that is nott-me.”  On a signpost up ahead: “Megalomania is afoot and the new Hitlers live for Likes.”

There may come a time when the Constitutional Government will have to “unplug” social media to save the country as digital partisanship spreads..

An absurdity?  No.

When no one listens, we will ALL hear bullets. Though at first, they will sound like clicks….

George Ure, Member, National Association of Newspaper Columnists

17 thoughts on “An Annapolis Shooting Follow-Up”

  1. I may sound heartless, but the intention of ignoring violence as well as all partisan nonsense is to limit the damage by not repeating that info which might encourage copycats. By refusing to take such things to heart, I can focus on things that are actually worthy of our time. Yes, I realize that some entities in the USA have been pushing toward acceptance of a Pol Pot charismatic youth movement/genocide. Remaining aware and refusing to acknowledge such ideas and people is one step toward emotionally disarming them(I hope).

    • Mike.. I think to many of us get caught up in our own world of work a day lifestyles.. we hear about the violence or college kids making a quarter mill a year having to sleep in abandoned cars.. people trying to escape reality by injecting poisons into their blood stream in the way of street drugs.
      back in the day we had organizations like the PTA the Lions club.. the Mason’s etc.. they taught us civic responsibility.. unfortunately to many are not paying attention.. I don’t know what the answers could possibly be.. in the past though self esteem and self respect played a major goal. Limited violence on television and more adult presence.. people that cared about the cities they love. Instead our society I think has moved on to the ME generation.. everyone is working multiple jobs trying to survive and the cost of living has outpaced our sources of incomes..
      1. More than half of families in the United States earn $60,000 or less per year.
      2. Nearly half of families in the United States live below 250 percent of the federal poverty level.
      3. Struggling lower-middle-class families are almost equally headed by single parents and married couples.
      4. Nearly one out of two families in the struggling lower-middle class is headed by an adult who has attended college.
      5. Nearly one-third of struggling lower-middle-class families rely on income support from a government program.
      6. Roughly 40 percent of children in the struggling lower-middle class experience food insecurity or obesity, or both.
      7. More than one in five children faces food insecurity in thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia.
      8. Nearly 90 percent of Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients live in a household with at least one child, one disabled individual, or one elderly individual.
      9. America’s tax and transfer system expands the middle class.
      10. Struggling lower-middle-class families depend on an array of tax and transfer benefits.
      11. A low-income, single parent can face a marginal tax rate as high as 95 percent.
      12. The highest marginal tax rates tend to fall on the struggling lower-middle class.

      I think Trump is right on instead of ignoring the facts till it affects us personally, we need to address them head on. .. we need to bring pride back to the american work force, limit the violence presented to our children,and make sure there is an adult presence for the child to reflect on rather than a computer game or television show.
      My faith teaches that all families should have a family night.. we call it family home evening.. each month or week we pick out a day and we spend it together either discussing or doing projects together.. this summer we are trying to save a pool for the neighborhood kids.. but the figure is quite daunting none the less we are working on it and a clean safe park with decent play equipment.
      here is another group I absolutely adore..
      and let the kids pick.. which they want to do.. a milk goat or chickens.. cheap enough.. but it addresses an global issue..
      BYU engineering developed a water well drilling rig to be used in remote area’s.. I call it the wagon wheel drill.. the only thing they didn’t use with it is a dedicated mud pit..
      I think if everyone paid it forward a little bit.. like SF bay area.. where there are groups building tiny homes for the vast amount of homeless laborers there.. kids making a living yet unable to survive in a city that should be considered a national treasure. get school kids youth groups and neighborhood pride groups to pick an neighborhood paint over the graffiti.. this would bring down the violence and if you involved the neighborhood gangs.. my how far could it actually go..

  2. It’s too far gone to stop or reverse it, because nobody wants to be the bad one to take a stand and insists on the right action. Violence, it seems to me, is always acted out in the wrong places. Namaste!

  3. Very sobering George. My mother always taught me not to use the word “hate” in any of my conversations about another person. In fact she would discipline me if I did. For her, it was impossible to “hate” someone. We could disagree but never hate.

    You are so right about social media as a catalyst for what is happening. Before social media, we had to express our feelings face to face and perhaps it was conscience or pride that kept us from boiling over and openly looking the part of a fool. Now, you can hide behind the wall and spit out venom randomly at anyone who doesn’t share your thinking.

    Sometimes I read Donald Trump’s tweets, not for the content of his tweet but to see how deep is the hostility of those that respond. It is very scary.

    As a Canadian, I would like to tell you that we are better but we aren’t. I see the same thing here. When I corrected my 12 year old granddaughter recently after she said she hated someone, she just shrugged and said she knew that they hated her; they had said so several times on social media. The main difference I see here is that we don’t have as many guns as you do and our hate does not get expressed in the same fashion.

    As you celebrate the glorious 4th and we celebrate the Queen’s birthday here in Canada over the next few days, I hope that we can all reflect on our good fortune and “dial it down.” If we don’t, I think this story has a very unhappy ending.

    • The police in Mexico do the journalists killing right on main street and broad day light. This is also common in most of the world.

  4. Hey George if you get that feeling down in your good sewing that you want to fly well you can always get one of those programs computer and if you want to be into the future you can hit that hyperdrive thing and it’ll just take you to one continent to another real real fast so I mean I know

  5. page 2 DEADLINE USA with bogart great newspaper movie not available on dvd only you tube AND FINALLY I CAN GET DVD HOSS AND THE LITTLE PEOLE BONANZA EPISODE THERE IS STILL HOPE

  6. “I hope, like me, you are not about division but about Unity. Isn’t it time to dial-back social and return to our national senses?”

    AMEN…George.. well said..

    • And who creates the division the politican’s of course,all you have to do is listen to them,Putin’s another Hitler according to Clinton in her speech’s and the right wing/neocons are no better,we have spent trillions on endless wars so the 1% can get richer while we lack even a decent health care system,education sucks as they dumb it down so that even the dummies can pass, and Trump runs around putting tariffs on this or that but yet never touches the product’s made by thousands of American companies or corporations who are doing business in China, or the third world countries.We instigated the Arab Spring and now we whine and cry because we are looking at the same in this country,as they say you reap what you sow and the crop is ripe and ready to be cut…

  7. Time to grow up, Boys! (and girls)

    IF – By Rudyard Kipling

    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

    If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

  8. All good thoughts, but before we overreact, it appears that the shooter in this case had a personal grudge against the paper. But I can understand why journos are upset.

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