Three schools have been hit by deadly attacks in the past week.
--Townhall.com, Oct. 2
Congress, voters of America, politicians all: Are you awake yet?
Are your hearts broken enough, your anguish over murdered and murdering children deep enough to take your minds off an opposing politician's indiscretion, an opinion you don't agree with or results of the latest poll?
You're worried about an election when you have little to show for what you were elected to do last time, except take pot shots at each other each time a new idea comes up for discussion or a vote, or an issue that looks ripe for exploiting rears its delicious head?
Some mentor you are to our youth; some role model for those who haven't yet learned to manage their anger.
Maybe I need a course in anger management, too. But first I need to let off a little more steam on a subject that's been roiling in my pressure cooker far too long.
After watching minimal coverage of the Pennsylvania shootings during the day, I sat down to watch the evening news, hoping to hear some explanation for this latest round of violence I could live with. And what did I hear?
No commentary, no discussion, and no concern at all about the shootings, beyond a sentence or two during opening headlines. After that it was just Foley, Foley, Republican Rep. Foley, political fallout from instant-message Foley, "will this hurt the Republicans' chances for holding Congress" Foley, on every program, until I couldn't stand the trivial pursuit any longer and went to bed.
With newspaper, talk radio and more news programs the next morning, surely there would be some attention given to the school shootings, not just to report what happened, but to put the subject on someone's front burner.
Alas, "someone" found more instant messages from Foley to his former page, and House Minority Leader Pelosi wanted to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Speaker Dennis Hastert for a Foley cover-up.
Maybe I'll have more success on the Internet.
First site, following stories about union bosses, more problems for the GOP, "Hastert denies knowing about Foley instant messages" and the ACLU's latest complaint against religion in America, this brief headline: "Fourth Amish girl dies in Pennsylvania."
The second site offered: Afghanistan, Foley, economic news, Foley, UN credibility, Foley, Bob Woodward's new book, Foley, and private property rights, but not a word about the school shootings in 20 listed columns and reports.
Oh, wait, off to the right, halfway down a list of fine print sub-headlines: "National School Violence Conference Set."
The Bush administration will host a conference next week on the recent string of school violence across the country. Participants will include Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, National PTA leaders, school principals and representatives from teachers' unions and the FBI.
Sub-headline, half-way down the list, not worth the attention of 50 Foley's or a dozen conjectures about the mid-term elections so surviving incumbents and a new crop of political combatants can hurl insults at each other again.
Foley's gone, but not forgotten, and others on both sides of "the aisle" will likely be gone by then, too. But the sniping, the trivial pursuit and, I fear, the continued violence on our streets and in our schools will continue.
Nero, the Roman Emperor who mixed murder, mayhem and madness during his brief reign, is said to have "fiddled while Rome burned" nearly 2,000 years ago, and "reveled in the sight." Some say he set the fire himself; he blamed it on "the Christians." I just checked the "fiddler's" record again, wondering how America compares with First Century Rome.
We're not there yet, not even close. But I don't like the direction we're traveling, and I'm terrified at the momentum.
Barbara Seaborn is a local freelance writer. E-mail comments to seabara at aol.com.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.