"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Perspective from the Girl of the Day

Claire Berlinski has a great article up about the Tucson shootings and the relative importance of another assassination -- the assassination of a Pakistani governor by a jihadist in the Pakistani Army.  On the Tucson shooting, Berlinski makes a great point about the mainstream (left) media's attempt to pin the shootings on right-wing rhetoric and, particularly, on Sarah Palin's rhetoric:
If you show me a well-constructed, longitudinal study of young schizophrenics, half of whom have been exposed to the Sarah Palin's crosshair-chart and half of whom have not, and mutatis mutandis, a statistically significant number of the second group go on to commit an act of political violence, maybe it might be worth talking about. But absent that, this is pure hysteria. 
But Berlinski is even better in pointing out that sane Americans ought to have bigger fish to fry:

Before his court appearances, the lawyers showered rose petals over the confessed killer, Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, a member of an elite police group who had been assigned to guard the governor, but who instead turned his gun on him. They have now enthusiastically taken up his defense.

That's a nuclear power. Which one of these events is really worth talking about this much? 
Berlinski is also sort of attractive for a politics wonk, so I'll kill two birds with one stone and make her my Girl of the Day too.

P.S.   Speaking of killing two birds with one stone, for somewhat personal reasons, this quote from Berlinski's article struck a nerve with me:

Surely no one doubts that the metaphors of the military--and shooting and boxing, for that matter--are part of the normal fabric of the English language, used by everyone, and that sane people know the difference between the literal and the metaphorical?
Berlinski's latest book is an essay on Margaret Thatcher called There is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters.

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