Gunshot victims deserve our empathy, even @SteveScalise

Gunshot victims suffer long after the shooting

gunshot victims

Gunshot Victims

I can’t speak personally about what it’s like to get shot. I have friends who are shooting victims. I know a few people who lost their lives in shooting incidents. I sincerely hope that me and mine avoid this experience.

One does not have to be a gunshot victim to realize it’s a horrible thing to happen. It sounds trite to say, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. While that’s the extreme side of the equation, I certainly wouldn’t wish that anyone in Metro New Orleans shot.

Congressman Steve Scalise

Steve Scalise is the Representative from Louisiana Congressional District 1. That makes him my CongressCracka. He’s an awful human being. The aura of his horrible beliefs is almost visible. I don’t know if he really is a racist, or he just plays one in politics. It doesn’t matter. He appeals and nurtures the worst in the white people of his district.

On June 14, 2017, a gunman shot four people, including #KlanSteve Scalise. While most of the news coverage focused on Scalise, it’s important to remember that he wasn’t the only victim that day. Analysis of the incident suggests that Scalise was a target of opportunity. Standing on second base on a baseball field offered the shooter a clear shot.

Serious injuries

The shooter’s bullet found Scalise’s hip. It traveled through his body, doing extensive damage. While the shooting was not a classic “gut shot,” the shot damaged organs and bone alike.

Getting gut shot is like when an automobile gets “t-boned.” There’s that saying that a car is never the same after a collision, and one car hitting another broadside severely damages the target. Insurance companies total out t-boned cars. They’re just not worth the money to repair.

We can’t total out someone who gets gut shot. If the victim survives, we take extraordinary measures to repair their damage. (Assuming the victim is insured, but that’s a different subject.) Physical and mental rehab, post-shooting, presents major challenges for the victim.

Even Steve Scalise.

Empathy

I have empathy for Steve Scalise, as well as the three others shot on 14-June-2017. As well as other gunshot victims. They don’t deserve to suffer through the recovery process. Many choose not to suffer. They take their own lives. Others are like those t-boned cars. No matter what you do in the way of repairs, they’re not the same.

Steve Scalise is an angry, bitter man. His position in the House of Representatives put him at the top. Had his party maintained control of the body, he would’ve had a legitimate claim at Speaker.

Still, I have empathy. He didn’t deserve to get shot. Putting a bullet in this man did not change the political landscape of Jefferson Parish. Had he retired, or worse, had he died from his injuries, the horrible majority of LA-01 would have replaced him with someone equally awful. The Red/Blue calculus would be unchanged.

We can do a lot of things to stand in opposition to horrible people. We don’t have to wish them the suffering of getting gut shot.

Profile: Louisiana House District 82

Louisiana House District 82 – Cameron Henry

Louisiana House District 82

Current rep: Cameron Henry

1539 Metairie Road
Suite A
Metairie, LA 70005 

Phone:  (504)838-5433 
Fax:       (504)838-5435
henryc@legis.la.gov 

Legislative Aide:  Myrna Schlesinger 

Representing Parishes:  Jefferson 

Corresponding Senate Districts:  5, 9, and 10

Population

Population: 44,939

Households: 20,644

Race and Ethnicity

79.2% White
8.8% Black
8.7% Hispanic
1.9% Asian

Election 2019 Profiling State/Parish Races in Jefferson Parish

Election 2019 Profiling

Election 2019 Profiling

Starting a new project for this election cycle. I’m going to research and profile each of the Louisiana House and Senate districts for Jefferson Parish. Here’s the list:

54Jerry “Truck” GislcairDist. 54 MAP
78Kirk TalbotDist. 78 MAP
79Julie Skinner StokesDist. 79 MAP
80Polly ThomasDist. 80 MAP
82J. Cameron HenryDist. 82 MAP
83Robert E. BilliotDist. 83 MAP
 84J. Patrick “Pat” ConnickDist. 84 MAP
85Joseph A. “Joe” Marino, IIIDist. 85 MAP
 87Rodney Lyons, Sr.Dist. 87 MAP
 92Joe StagniDist. 92 MAP
94Stephanie Hilferty
105J. Chris LeopoldDist. 105 MAP

Objectives

This project has two objectives: Recruiting and Running.

Recruiting – You’re in the car line at, say, St. Louis King of France. You regularly run into a progressive mom while you’re waiting for the kids. Encouraging her is easy for you, but encouraging her for what? Here’s the information.

Running – Candidates need data. They familiarize themselves with the neighborhoods outside of their subdivision and church parish. We give them that data in these profiles, they take it from there.

House districts present interesting opportunities for aspiring politicians. They contain neighborhood clusters. The district boundaries aren’t overly gerrymandered.

Data

Data for each district includes:

  • Geographic boundaries
  • Neighborhood/subdivision names
  • Public schools
  • Catholic church parishes
  • Other churches
  • Neighborhood asociations
  • Playgrounds
  • Shopping malls/strip malls
  • Popular restaurants (pizza places, donut shops, etc)
  • Supermarkets

Suggestions for more? Ping me at @yatpundit on Da Twittah, or in Metairie Indivisible on FB. Lists grow into spreadsheets. Spreadsheets grow into databases. Data is evergreen. We improve upon it for the next cycle and the next.

Senate and School Board

After profiling the House districts comes the School Board. Running for School Board requires less political experience than the legislature, but there’s a catch. While in the past, school board elections were “entry level” contests, voters demand more now. Candidates must have a more-direct connection to the school system than just, well, I live in the district.

Beyond House, School Board, Senate

Many more politicians stand for election in Jefferson Parish this November. From the Parish Council to the 24th Judicial District, to the District Attorney, there are many races for us to examine. We should determine which races make sense to run in.

Jefferson Parish Democratic Party

In addition to government positions, we choose the members of the Executive Committee of the party this November. We’ll examine these positions in detail as well.

Help!

I’d like to do this with other offices up in this cycle (November, 2019). That means I could use some help! If you’d like

Subtle anti-semitism of “Nice People” incites violence in America

Subtle anti-semitism of “Nice People” incites violence in America

Subtle antisemitism makes me sad.

subtle antisemitism

Protest against circumcision in Metairie, LA, 29-Oct-2018

Subtle antisemitism is problematic

There are a number of issues in our body politic that have origins in discrimination against Jews. While there are many reasons for ignorance on these, I’m still concerned. Therefore, it’s important to take a moment and talk about things that have their roots in hatred of Jews.

Circumcision

There was a protest against circumcision in my neighborhood (#themetrys) yesterday. I know a number of people who do not approve of circumcision. While their numbers are few, they make a solid case for not doing this to their infant sons. I respect that.

What I don’t respect is a group of men protesting this issue in public within days of a massacre of Jews. The Jewish people are the one single group in the world immediately connected to circumcision. Did those men standing on Clearview and Veterans in Metairie yesterday consider this when protesting this procedure? It’s unclear. It’s unclear because they did it in the wake of the massacre of Jews in Pittsburgh over the weekend.

Failure to recognize context

I saw the photos of this protest tweeted by a friend around mid-afternoon yesterday. My first reaction was, this is way too tone deaf. No legitimate group looking to promote an idea or issue could possibly be this unaware of the world around them. So, my process took the next step. Clearly these people were organized. They had to know what happened Saturday. They had to know those people in Pittsburgh were gunned down at a bris, of all events. Therefore, there was a good chance the protesters were antisemitic.

Reactions from social media

I said as much on Zuckerbook. Read the responses. A number of people know the group and its agenda. They claimed the protesters are not antisemitic. Commenters presented logical reasons for their beliefs.

My concern continued. These people have a website. They’re literally “on tour” with these protests. Zuckerfriends reported seeing them in Shreveport, Galveston, and Baton Rouge, before their appearance in Metairie. That level of commitment requires logistics. It requires communication.

So, now I’m even more skeptical. They’re not operating in a vacuum. A group concerned about the bigger issues would stand down, out of respect for others who disagree with them. This group didn’t. Are they ignorant, or do they have an an additional agenda?

Antisemitism has long roots

subtle antisemitism

Pogroms in Russia. Turned away from the United States. Hitler and Himmler. These are but examples of discrimination and hate focused on Jews.

Hitler served in the German Imperial Army in World War I. The Treaty of Versailles ended that war. That accord dealt harsh terms and conditions to Germany. Those terms included demands for reparations that were unreasonable. Like many at the time, Hitler was hurt and angry and defeated. He channeled that anger not towards the British or the French, but towards German Jews.

Hitler believed the Jews came out of World War I way too nicely, while Christian Germans suffered. This is a common theme going back millennia.  Shakespeare created “Shylock, a Jew”, as his bad guy for The Merchant of Venice. That didn’t happen in a vacuum.

Pogroms in Russia

The Tsars treated their serfs badly for centuries. To make Christian serfs feel better about their lot in life, the Tsars and the Church focused the anger of the serfs on the Jews. Blood libel and profiting from Christians were two examples of “crimes” of the Jews. The Tsars allowed Christians to carry out “pogroms” against Jews. Thousands of Jews were displaced, turned out of Russian cities. Jews were attacked, injured, and killed.

Have you ever watched Fiddler on the Roof? Go back, now that you know what a pogrom is.

“Mutilation” of Christian boys

One of the common tropes of the 20th and 21st centuries with respect to Jews relates to circumcision. Groups spreading hatred of Jews claim there is a conspiracy involving Jewish doctors to mutilate Christians. This goes back long before the Nazis. That regime used this accusation as one of many to deny Jews civil rights in Germany between the World Wars.

Lack of understanding

Read. Learn. Understand. Do you have Jewish friends? Ask them why they circumcise their children. Do you think they’re part of an international conspiracy? Do you believe they should be shot down in their places of worship? Take a step back. Look at the entire picture.

Dear Prudence – touchy feely relationships in a #metoo context

Dear Prudence – touchy feely relationships in a #metoo context

Dear Prudence tackles an interesting letter

dear prudence

Slate’s “Dear Prudence” pod, starring Daniel Mallory Ortberg.

Dear Prudence advises

The latest number of the “Dear Prudence” podcast presented an easy but thoughtful situation. A woman wrote, seeking advice on how to discuss playful/casual groping by her boyfriend. The boyfriend gives her the occasional caress on her butt, or boob-grab. She’s been OK with it. Until lately, that is. The whole #metoo thing triggered her. She’s less interested in in random touching. That boob-grab that was once fine now concerns her.

Unspoken triggers?

The letter-writer expressed problems with the groping and touching of late, but did not really offer a reason beyond #metoo, in her letter. That’s her privilege, of course. If a person wants more space, end of discussion. Many things trigger this sort of reaction. Cat-calls, a work colleague who doesn’t respect personal boundaries might be the issue. Maybe it’s just too much time on social media, listening to other womens’ stories.

So, let me re-iterate: Whatever her reasons, if she doesn’t want to be touched, that’s that.

What about the boyfriend?

The letter-writer seeks advice on how to explain this to the boyfriend. She factors in potential reactions from her partner. Daniel and his guest made it clear, this is about what she wants. While the hosts understood her concerns, they wanted to be clear, this is about HER. They understood. This is a relationship, therefore, a dramatic shift should be discussed. The writer wants an approach. The reply was simple: tell him how you feel!

That’s rarely bad relationship advice. So, hopefully the boyfriend will get it. Understanding and empathy are important.

What if he doesn’t?

Short letters allow Daniel and his guests opportunity for expansion. They moved from specifics to general observations. Boyfriend behavior in #metoo shouldn’t be a challenge. Still, defense mechanisms kick in when we tell someone they’re doing something unwelcome. The hosts explained that this presented an opportunity to the letter-writer. After presenting her thoughts on the boob-grabs, she receives the opportunity to observe. Will he understand? Will he freak out? This issue changes boundaries, even temporarily. Reactions tell both partners if they’re a good fit.

I wish we could see how this turns out.

#metoo means working on relationships

Guys often resist change. They resist challenges to their masculinity. A woman rejecting an advance, even in a consensual context like this relationship is problematic. What was once playful may now be triggering. Guys need to understand how that works and adjust.