The Right to Peaceably Assemble

I grew up in the Sixties, era of assassinations. Even before the people’s choice of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was undone in 2011 by a madman’s bullet, I always respected the courage our politicians show when they make themselves available to their constituency.

Newly elected interim congressman Ron Barber is starting his service with a courageous stand for the constitutional right of the people peacefully to assemble. The citizens who came out to meet their representative were are saying ‘no’ to the culture of fear and pre-emptive violence that drives and divides us. This simple act of meeting freely in public is a powerful nonviolent testimony of faith in the American people and the democratic process. From the AZ Central…

TUCSON — Newly sworn-in congressman Rep. Ron Barber, who was injured in a mass shooting last year along with then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, held his first “Congress on Your Corner” event with southern Arizona constituents on Saturday.

Giffords conducted 21 of the informal meet-and-greet events during her more than four years in office, including one on the day of the shooting — Jan. 8, 2011. The rampage left six dead and 13 wounded, including Giffords and Barber, her then-district director.

Giffords relinquished the seat in January to concentrate on her recovery from a gunshot wound to the head. Barber, a Democrat, won a special election to replace her earlier this month. He was sworn in Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

About 300 people showed up at Saturday’s event outside a Tucson grocery store as temperatures topped 100 degrees, Barber spokesman Mark Kimble said. Visitors ranged from other survivors of the mass shooting and well-wishers to people who had concerns about their federal student loans or veteran’s benefits, he said.

The democratic process was violated by the murderous attack that took the lives of six innocent people and wounded thirteen. Ron Barber is showing physical and moral courage by refusing to let the gun rule our politics.

Laughing at the Reaper

I never heard of Roger Simon before today, and I honestly have no idea whether I would love or hate his politics. He must have politics because he is a columnist at Politico.com.

Anyway, Red, Blue, Striped or Plaid we all have a date with the Reaper. Roger Simon had to leave a down payment, but most of him is still above ground and he sends a report from the frontier…

Q: Where have you been? It’s been months.

A: I decided that while anyone can write about health care from the outside, it takes a real journalist to explore it from the inside.

Q: So?

A: So I had my legs cut off.

Q: That’s not funny!

A: You’re telling me. You want to know what’s funny about losing your legs?

Q: What?

A: They’re always in the last place you look.

Read the rest here.

Roger Simon, long may you wave. Gallantry is an archaic concept but you might just CPR it back into life. No matter how smart, wise or powerful we might get, mortality will win in the end. But you’re still working. I hope you end up as a curmudgeonly centenarian. Way to go, dude.