The Beer: A new batch of Liberty Ale and my first attempt at Bad Santa for next Christmas are happily fermenting away. The Bad Santa might be a little too happy.
The Bicycle: The Mountain Bike project is complete and I've (finally) started my winter routine. That first nice 40-or-so-degree day can't come soon enough.
The VRWC: The tragic shootings in Tuscon yesterday has most of us in a bit of a state of shock. After all, this doesn't happen in the United States. But apparently, the Associated Press has it all figured out. It is the "toxic political tone" caused by Sarah Palin and the TEA Party movement. Why, our side has been so hateful and dangerous that this was bound to happen. Never mind that the kid's favorite books included The Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf. Never mind that this kid fits the profile of a troubled loner who is trying to get the attention of the world, who never mentions Sarah Palin or the TEA Party movement by name or inference. Never mind that the evidence indicates he has a tendency toward anarchistic beliefs. Since none of that fits the media template, it matters not.
The current "toxic political tone" in this country has been around for about 30 years. But politics has been literally bare knuckles for the entire history of the United States. Hamilton/Burr anyone? But the tone does ebb and flow.
In 1980, Ronald Reagan was elected and the Progs went wild. Reagan was characterized as a stupid, senile old man. He was crazy and had his "finger on the button". He would lead us into nuclear war. Of course, none of this was true. During the 1988 Democrat National Convention, Ann Richards mocked George HW Bush with "Where's George" and "silver foot in his mouth". The media was more than happy to follow along by reporting every little mis-step in his life, none of which had anything to do with his presidency. During Clinton's presidency, the media became strangely silent. Despite reports of wrongdoing prior to taking office, despite numerous women coming forward claiming affairs and worse, all one could hear from the media was the proverbial crickets. His affair with an intern and subsequent purjury "didn't rise to the level of impeachment" (of course, multiple Republican officials had been [rightly] run out of office for similar misconduct, but never mind that, right?).
The disputed election of George W. Bush really got things going. I am not going to review recent history, I think anyone reading this recalls the excoriation, hate and ridicule directed at President Bush. Horrible things wee said, including direct calls for his assassination by the Left. And not just a few. Hollywood even produced a movie about assassinating him.
The point here is that according to the media, the "toxic political tone" is only a couple years old and was started by Sarah Palin and the TEA Party movement. Clearly, that is false. Clearly Jared Loughner is not motivated by the Right. He is a sick young man. As sick as those who are trying to make "political hay" out of this incident.