The Lookout
  • How might Tucson shootings change America?

    Giffords 2It's been five days since a barrage of gunfire at a public event in Tucson, Ariz., left six people dead and injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) as well as 13 others.

    Since then, there has been argument over what caused the violence and how a repeat might be avoided. Do we need stricter gun control? More help for the mentally ill? Better security for lawmakers? A less heated political debate? All or none of the above?

    We've also seen plenty discussion of the political impact. Will Sarah Palin be hurt by the fallout? How, if at all, will President Obama's standing be affected?

    In short: How might the Tucson shootings change America?

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  • dv115004A Minnesota astronomer confirms what many have suspected: Your horoscope is quite possibly wrong.

    Earth's shifts on its axis over the past 3,000 years have changed the 12 zodiac signs. For example, think your sign is Aquarius? You may be a Pisces. (There's also a 13th sign, Ophiuchus, that's based on a constellation the ancient Babylonians threw out for symmetry thousands of years ago.)

    So who's to blame for this scam on zodiac devotees?

    The ancient Babylonians based the zodiac on which constellation the sun appeared to be in when a person was born. Since then, the moon's has exerted a gravitation pull on Earth, causing a "wobble" on its axis that has shifted the stars' alignment by about a month, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.

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  • jfk assassinationThe assassination of President Kennedy took place nearly half a century ago. But this week, people on both sides of the debate over the causes of Saturday's deadly shootings in Tucson, Ariz., have revisited the trauma of  John F. Kennedy's assassination -- and those on each side claim, not surprisingly, that it bolsters their interpretation of events.

    Some commentators -- mostly on the left -- argue that the atmosphere of Dallas in 1963, one of intense right-wing hatred toward the president, may have seeped into the mind-set of his killer. And so, they suggest, today's climate of political vitriol may indirectly have played a role in the Tucson shootings.

    But others -- mostly on the right -- draw the opposite conclusion from the Kennedy murder. They note that Lee Harvey Oswald wasn't a conservative, he was a pro-Castro leftist -- so Dallas's climate of right-wing hostility to Kennedy ultimately wasn't relevant. Jared Loughner, the suspect in the Tucson shootings, also isn't a right-winger in any conventional sense, they say, so it's wrong to blame the attack on extreme right-wing political rhetoric.

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