In Aurora #theatershooting tragedy, heroic acts remind us chivalry still exists

Most of us are fortunate enough to have never found ourselves in a desperate domestic situation where, through an act of moral cowardice on the part of evildoers, our lives and the lives of those of us around us are at risk. We’ve seen despicable acts of this nature all too often in our lifetimes – from the Columbine killing rampage, to 9-11, to the deadly Virginia Tech shooting spree which left 32 dead. In all of those horrific tragedies, our sense of grief, anger, and moral outrage envelops us and in the days and months after they occur, it is hard to see what “good” – if any – came out of such senseless brutality.  But over time, stories emerge of bold courage and selfless heroism & sacrifice which provide some small measure of comfort in the long aftermath of unthinkable tragedies.

With Columbine, it was business teacher Dave Sanders who ran into the line of fire in an attempt to urge high school students to safety from two deranged teen madmen and in the process was killed on April 20, 1999.  On 9-11-01, you had firefighters who ran up flight after flight of stairs in both WTC towers, not knowing if they’d ever make it out. Some did. Some did not.  Same same with reports of numerous civilians who were in the towers who either helped rush their colleagues to safety or died trying to save them.   And then there were the heroes of United Airlines Flight 93.  In the case of Virginia Tech, one such example was Holocaust survivor and VT engineering science and mechanics professor Liviu Librescu, who blocked the doorway of his classroom with his body so his students could escape a killer’s rage through a window.  All but one of his students successfully escaped on that spring day April 16, 2007.  He did not.

In the Aurora mass murders that happened last week, the slow wheels of justice are turning as the killer faced his first day in court this week.  But rather than focus on him, I’d like to focus on the victims – who, tragically, are no longer around to speak for themselves.   Last Friday, I wrote about 24 year-old aspiring sportscaster Jessica Ghawi, who narrowly escaped the Eaton Center shootings in Toronto just last month, only to be fatally shot down in a movie theater in Aurora, CO while excitedly watching a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.”  11 others died that night, including four young men who sacrificed their lives to shield their girlfriends from the gunman’s random but methodical shooting.  ABC News reports:

Of the 12 people killed in the Aurora theater shooting, four of them were men who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect their girlfriends. Now, each of these women are struggling to come to terms with both their grief and their gratitude.

Alexander Teves, 24, attended the midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” with his girlfriend Amanda Lindgren , 24, and another friend.

When suspected gunman James Holmes opened fire in the sold out theater, Teves immediately lunged to block Lindgren from the gunfire.

“I was really, really confused at first about what was going on, so confused,” Lindgren told ABC News. “But, it’s like Alex didn’t even hesitate. Because I sat there for a minute, not knowing what was going on, and he held me down and he covered my head and he said, ‘Shh. Stay down. It’s ok. Shh just stay down.’ So I did.”

Teves blocked the bullets from Lindgren but he was shot and killed. She was not hit.


Elsewhere in theater nine, John Larimer and his girlfriend Julia Vojtsek went through a similar situation.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class John Larimer, 26, and his girlfriend Julia Vojtsek, 23, were sitting in the middle of the theater when the shooting began.

“John immediately and instinctively covered me and brought me to the ground in order to protect me from any danger,” Vojtsek wrote in a statement. “Moments later, John knowingly shielded me from a spray of gunshots. It was then I believe John was hit with a bullet that would have very possibly struck me. I feel very strongly that I was saved by John and his ultimate kindness.”


In addition to these two couples, Matthew McQuinn, 27, and Jon Blunk, 26, died saving their girlfriends in similar ways. Their girlfriends Samantha Yowler, 26, and Jansen Young, 21, did not respond to requests for comment.

For those of you wondering if the age of chivalry is lost, don’t.  In spite of the numerous stories we so often read about people who stand by and do nothing while fights break out in front of them, and the like, there are many, many more heroes like the selfless gentlemen mentioned above.  Same same for women, too.  It doesn’t always involve giving your life – sometimes it’s a simple act of courtesy and respect. Thankfully, most of them will never be called on to make the ultimate sacrifice stateside (although any who are in the military already have been asked or will in the future, naturally, but in the role of a United States soldier abroad) but if they ever are, eventually we’ll read their stories while in the midst of demanding justice for their killers.

I’ve often wondered how I would react if I were in a similar situation. If given the opportunity to save others even at great risk to myself, would I? Hopefully I’ll never  have to find out, but if I do, I pray I will be able to instinctively feel God’s guiding hand on me no matter what happens.

“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” – General George S. Patton

So now global warming can reach through time?

**Posted by Phineas

I can’t wait to see how the Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming rationalizes this:

Polar bears split from ancient bears more than 4 million years ago, suggests ancient DNA and the gene maps of multiple bears.

The polar bear genome finding reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal contradicts earlier gene studies finding much more recent times for the ancestral split, within 600,000 years, between polar bears and grizzly bears, which can still mate and produce viable offspring.

What’s more, the report suggests that polar bear numbers have been on the decline for at least 500,000 years, driven by climate fluctuations.

Y’see, all that CO2 we’ve been dumping into the atmosphere is so powerful that it can cross time and space to induce climate change before it even existed!!!

You laugh, but I half-expect some cultist to seriously offer that explanation.

My take on the article is that natural, probably cyclic, climate change has expanded and contracted the polar bears’ range, sometimes reducing it considerably. In those times, more polar bears were forced to live on land and wound up mating with brown bears, a related species from which they split about 4-5 million years ago, but can still breed with. Hence, as we are in a gradual warming from the last ice age (and from the Little Ice Age that ended around 1850), their range is shrinking again, and there is some risk of them inter-breeding out of existence.

Perhaps, but, for now, their numbers seem to be rising.

Meanwhile the climate alarmists may need to get a new poster-animal.

via Jeff Emanuel

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Goat Man of Utah identified?

**Posted by Phineas

An end to the mystery that has captivated America?

State wildlife officials have identified the man who has been spotted dressed in a goat suit among a herd of wild goats in the mountains of northern Utah.

Phil Douglass of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said Monday the mystery man is a 57-year-old hunter from Southern California.

Douglass told the Standard-Examiner that the hunter called officials and provided enough information to put their curiosity to rest. Douglass says he didn’t ask for a name.

The man told Douglass he was preparing for an archery hunt of mountain goats next year and testing a goat suit.

Uh-huh, sure. Just what are they really hiding up there? Goats? I didn’t watch all those 70s horror movies for nothing, y’know!

And, naturally, he’s from California…

via Vermontaigne

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

“Blame Bush” card played out

**Posted by Phineas

It took longer than I thought, but Obama and the Democrats’ ability to avoid responsibility for the nation’s economic woes by blaming George W. Bush has finally worn out:

Two-thirds of likely voters say the weak economy is Washington’s fault, and more blame President Obama than anybody else, according to a new poll for The Hill.

It found that 66 percent believe paltry job growth and slow economic recovery is the result of bad policy. Thirty-four percent say Obama is the most to blame, followed by 23 percent who say Congress is the culprit. Twenty percent point the finger at Wall Street, and 18 percent cite former President George W. Bush.

The results highlight the reelection challenge Obama faces amid dissatisfaction with his first-term performance on the economy.

These are numbers that should terrify Democrats. The result of “bad policy?” Well, gee, who was the author of those policies? Couldn’t have been George W. Bush; he’s been out of office since 2009, and was really in no position to make long-term policy after the election in 2008. So, who could it have been? Hmmm…

Oh, yeah. That guy.

I’ll willingly grant that Obama came into office facing a terrible mess, and that President Bush had made serious mistakes in dealing with the financial crisis that began in late summer of 2008. But Obama became president in January, 2009, and and enjoyed a nearly unbeatable majority in Congress. At that moment, the responsibility became his and theirs alone. And what a record they’ve accumulated:

  • Unemployment at over 8% for over 40 months, the longest stretch since the Great Depression. Remember, in return for borrowing nearly a trillion dollars for Obama’s centerpiece stimulus program in 2009, we were assured unemployment would be below 5% by now. How did that work out?
  • And speaking of borrowing, our current national debt is almost $16 trillion dollars. It was about $10 trillion when Obama took office. Bad enough, but he has done nothing to even slow its growth, let alone bring it under control or reduce it.

The public’s patience with excuses has run out. No more blaming “headwinds from Europe,” or natural disasters in Japan, or obstructionist Republicans… or even the demon “Bush.”

American voters have started holding President Obama and the Democrats accountable, and that account will be settled in November.

via Moe Lane

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Feinstein: Some intel leaks came from the White House

The GOP has long asserted similarly but now the top Democrat Senator on the Senate Intelligence Committee appears to be in agreement:

A prominent Democrat is giving the White House heartburn over national security leaks.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, told a World Affairs Council forum
yesterday, “I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from their ranks.”

Feinstein absolved Obama himself — “I don’t believe for a moment that he goes out and talks about it” — but not any (unnamed) aides.

Congressional Republicans are calling for a special prosecutor to investigate the source of news leaks divulging sensitive national security secrets.

The leaks have included news that the U.S. has launched cyberattacks against Iran’s nuclear program and details of an investigation into an al-Qaeda bombing plot.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is expected to pick up on Feinstein’s comments in a speech to the VFW convention in Reno, reports our OnPolitics blog.

“Whoever provided classified information to the media, seeking political advantage for the administration, must be exposed, dismissed, and punished,” Romney plans to say, according to excerpts released from his campaign. “The time for stonewalling is over.”

Bryan Preston has more excerpts from Romney’s speech (hat tip).

Can’t wait to hear about the sputtering & spinning WH Spox Jay Carney will be doing at today’s WH press briefing. Should be epic.