On Grieving, Bush, and Clinton:
On Monday, on a shitty reservation in a winter gray, desolate, depressing area of Minnesota, Jeff Weise, who despised the rural ghettos in which he and many Indians live, shot and killed his grandfather and a woman at his grandfather's house, five classmates, a teacher, and a guard at his school, and himself.

On Monday morning, George W. Bush was in Arizona with John McCain, hawking his Social Security wares to the gathered rubes. In the afternoon, after Weise went rampaging, Bush was in Colorado, pushin' that snake oil like it's elixir from the gods. Bush promises wealthier days under privatization, prosperity for all.

On Tuesday, Bush continued his Holy Week pilgrimage to the promised land of dismantling the New Deal, now in New Mexico. He also met with a bunch of senior citizens there.

On Wednesday, Bush met with Vincente Fox and Paul Martin in Waco, Texas, and the North American leaders made brief statements, took a couple of questions, and lunched at Bush's ranch in Crawford. They issued a statement on the security and prosperity of the three nations. It's linked, you know, by borders and shit.

On Thursday, Bush issued an Easter message, wherein he talked about the resurrection of Christ and said, "[W]e thank God for His blessings and ask for His wisdom and guidance. We also keep in our thoughts and prayers the men and women of our Armed Forces -- especially those far from home, separated from family and friends by the call of duty." He remembered the soldiers. He always remembers the soldiers. They are ever present.

In each of these statements and events, Bush did not ask for anyone to remember the Indians of Red Lake, Minnesota. Bush did not ask for us to pray for them. Bush did not send his regrets. Bush made no appearance to mourn. Bush is silent. He has planned to go to Europe, but has no plans to helicopter into the reservation.

Not to belabor the point, but when the shootings in Columbine occurred on April 20, 1999, President Clinton was offering words of comfort the next day. He cancelled a trip to Texas because of the massacre and said, "I think it is important on this day that we continue to offer the people of Colorado, the people of Littleton, the families involved, the sure knowledge that all of America cares for them and is praying for them." He talked about a teacher who was killed, calling her by her name.

On April 22, Clinton went to a high school near D.C. to talk to the students there about what had happened. The students were confrontational. Clinton "looked helpless," but you know what? He sat with those students and searched for answers, even if they all failed.

Compassion, it seems, is so pre-9/11.

Meanwhile, in Red Lake, where drug gangs war for the petty money available, the Ojibwa will hold a traditional funeral for the tribe only. We outside the reservation and the state have not been asked to join their mourning.

Update: Well, at least Bush figured out the least he could do.