We all know that most of the media is owned by a handful of people or corporations (e.g., General Electric owns NBC and Rupert Murdoch, FOX), and that nearly all media are run by ideological right-wing Republicans; and we all know further that the last thing right-wing Republicans offer the public is impartiality of news and commentary. (Fox News is its own best witness to this shameful fact.) But Google-owned Yahoo—solidly in the right-wing camp as any perusal of its on-line news reporting and commentary can verify—shamelessly left out 50% of the recent Santa Barbara shooting story.

A father of one of the students who was murdered spoke to the press about the pain and grief of his son’s death, and of his anger at the politicians who refused to pass gun restriction laws after the killings at Sandy Hook, CT.  Yahoo left out, conspicuously, the father’s loud and very emotional condemnation of the NRA for its role in facilitating gun violence .Because his “whole body and soul” anger at the NRA was so visceral, visibly shaking every fiber in his grief-torn body, it is all the more surprising that this was edited out of the story so that not one mention was made of the NRA! Yahoo’s reporter, Dana Feldman, is either completely incompetent as a journalist or else (more likely) was instructed by her superiors to edit the father’s speech so as not to blame the NRA.

Is there anywhere in the US where the NRA’s influence does NOT extend? The Right has complained about Big Government’s influence in our everyday life. But government’s influence is nothing compared to the NRA’s. Ironically, the Tea Party folk—NRA advocates one and all—support a movement that is profoundly un-democratic! It is their patrons—the wealthiest 1%–who now rule undemocratically. But they are too blind to see it—or they approve of it.

The anguish of Mr. Martinez, the dead boy’s father, could have turned even hearts of stone to wax—except of course those of the NRA, with its many psychopathological gun enthusiasts.          These people suffer from a combination of several severe psychological disorders. They evidence an utter lack of emotional maturity and self-confident masculinity; they possess a grossly underdeveloped intellect, and with no ability to reason logically; they have no capability to empathize with others; and, additionally, they suffer from paranoia and grandiose narcissism.

As Jesus knew only too well, it is all too easy to bring violence and hate into the world; but the kingdom of heaven is reserved for peacemakers.  It’s peopled only by  those who bring love and mercy,  goodness and truth,  to our harsh and broken world. Of that unimaginably beautiful world, God’s kingdom, where reason and love rule high and low, the NRA and its proselytes can have no part, for they fundamentally oppose His  message of a kingdom of Peace, Non-violence, and Love. Heaven is for those who have practiced God’s love in this life through endless trials: hell, for those who have rejected God’s love for lust of violence and hate.

The NRA, through its lobbying, exercises almost absolute power in Congress and across America. Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, just vetoed a modest gun proposal that would have limited the number of shells in a gun clip. Not even that (token) gun measure gets passed due to the power of the NRA. No doubt Gov. Christie heard the “clink, clink, clink” of campaign cash contributions as he signed his name, vetoing the bill. “You scratch my back, I scratch yours.” And if this further imperils our nation’s children—well, so much the worse for our children!

Len Sive Jr.


“This is what separated us from you; we made demands. You were satisfied to serve the power of your nation and we dreamed of giving ours her truth.”  

Albert Camus

Today, Rep. Michael Grimm (R., NY), a former Marine and FBI agent, threatened to kill Michael Scotto, a news reporter for NY1, for his choice of questions during an on-camera interview. Scotto brought up the on-going federal investigation into the financial contributions of Grimm’s 2010 political campaign. This so angered Rep. Grimm that he threatened to break Scotto in two and throw him over the balcony (in the Capitol dome, where the interview was taking place). Although a popular member of the house, at bottom it turns out that Grimm is nothing but a thug. (Interestingly, he also opened a restaurant with a known associate of the Gambino mafia family.)

This isn’t the first time Grimm has “lost it”, either. While in the FBI, he had an altercation with a patron at a night club. He lied about being attacked by the patron, called in the FBI and NYPD, and waving his pistol wildly in the air, shouted out to those in the club that “All the white people could leave” (so he could deal with the patron and his friends).  We can now add racism to Grimm’s rap sheet. And he is a “representative” of the people?

Then we have New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie, whose staff gets involved in “dirty political tricks” and intimidation—with Christie’s personal involvement here all but a certainty, though of course he denies all knowledge of any wrongdoing. But the Hoboken, N.J., mayor whom he tried to intimidate makes a very believable, and therefore formidable, witness against him. And his high school friend and former appointee to the Port Authority, David Wilderstein, one of several taking the blame for the bridge closing, after he was fired said that he has proof that Christie knew all along about the bridge closings, despite his denials to the contrary. That Christie’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Bridget Kelly, was a player in all this, reveals another side of Christie—whom he befriends and picks to be his closest political associates.

This all has a rancid “Nixon odor” about it, as when HL Hunt and Gordon Liddy (among many others) did Nixon’s bidding at the Watergate break-in (one among many “dirty tricks”), but who were also goons associated with the CIA (as Grimm was with the FBI). If nothing else, we catch a glimpse of the kinds of people hired, then under Nixon and now, by two of the most powerful government agencies in Washington. Clearly, a lack of moral character appears to be no handicap in finding employment with either the CIA or the FBI.

Then we have Republican intimidation on a grand scale—THE SHUTDOWN, engineered by Republican Congressman Ted Cruz, with the full support of his fellow house members, which caused several billion dollars worth of damage to an already fragile economy, hurt millions of Americans in the process, all in trying to kill Obamacare—already the law of the land—whose chief purpose is to provide affordable healthcare to every American. In other word, it’s one more battle in the on-going war of the super-rich against the faded middle-class and burgeoning lower class. We have nothing less than class warfare being waged. Republicans have their anti-liberal agenda which they are going to implement “come hell or high water” and the 50% of Americans who disagree with their “Everything for the rich and nothing for the poor” ideology can “just go to hell”. In their greed, inflexibility, class warfare, and hubris, Republicans remind me of the kind of intransigence and bitter enmity the senatorial class displayed which led to the downfall of the Roman Republic through two civil wars.

This on-going struggle against the middle- and lower-classes also mirrors, in a history closer to home, the ideological Ante-Bellum (pre-Civil War) mindset, of white versus black.  Today’s ideological Republicans fail, collectively and individually, to understand that the sick, the poor, the immigrant, and the elderly are an important part of our nation—not just the rich who are the face of the Republican Party. These ideological Republicans divide our one nation into two adversarial parts, Them and Us. And for our “One nation under God, indivisible” that spells death to our Republic—and a farewell to our sacred Founding and history.

The Republican Party is not only the party of the rich (whose one goal is to acquire absolute power in all three branches of government, both on the state and federal level, to enable them to become even richer), it is the party of dissolution and disillusion. But in the end such becomes merely nihilism. And then you can only attract to your party thugs like the Grimms, the Christies, and the Cruzes, among many others.

As it says in Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no prophetic vision, the people cast off restraint.” The Republican Party has cast off all restraint, as we can see by how its members act and who they care about. For they have no prophetic vision…They are blind, stumbling in the dark. Their one god is wealth and the power wealth confers. But spiritually, inwardly, they are dead.

Len Sive Jr.