After Saturday's tragic shooting in Tucson, some have pointed the finger at inflammatory political rhetoric.
Many singled out Sarah Palin's now-infamous "Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!" tweet and her 'Crosshairs' campaign map, which included Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' district, as a sign that some politicians have gone too far in stoking vitriol against their political opponents. (Since the shooting, Palin reportedly emphasized in an email that she "hates violence.") Others reject any connection between the shooter, who does not appear to espouse any coherent ideology, and our current political climate.
What are the ethical and moral implications of incendiary political language?
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'Delving into fantasy will get you nowhere." Here are some facts.'
Back at ya - What would one expect from an ultra-rightwing rag like Forbes? Free market mania run amuck....but Obama has critics on the left as well. Here's an article on Nobel winner and famous lefty Paul Krugman, who believes Obama is far too establishment old school.
The fact is, Obama is not nearly 'socialist' enough for lefties like Krugman, who favors the European socialist paradigm found in Western/Northern Europe. Krugman does give Obama a certain amount of limited praise toward the end of the article, and the fact is, economists that don't support the short term debt leveraging that we've been seeing for the last couple of years in order to save the economy are few and far between.
Only now is Ben Bernanke, the chief of the Fed, beginning to receive flak for Q2, the continuation of the massive bond buyout that is propping up the stock market and financial institutions.
Saving the economy from another Great Depression will come with a price down the road - at present, no one knows exactly what needs to be done in order to avoid the tax man..... least of all republicans.
January 21, 2011 9:33 AM | Report Offensive Comment
IN REPLY TO (IRT)
"THE COMMUNISTS SOCIALISTS”
Delving into fantasy will get you nowhere." Here are some facts.
How Obama Thinks
Obama engineered a plan to change America from Capitalism to Socialism by increasing government control and suppression over our economic and social way of life. He launched a spending spree that started with a bailout plan followed by a stimulus plan, followed by an auto recovery plan, followed by a national healthcare plan, an environmental plan, and a new financial plan to gain control of the financial institutions. He then began to work on government control of America’s energy.
Today, he is surreptitiously shutting down the coal industry, as he promised during his California campaign. He warned those invested in coal to get out of the coal market because he was going collapse it. Further, while giving Mexico a billion dollar loan for financing deep water drilling in the Gulf, he loaned Brazil a few billion to drill twice the depth BP did in the Gulf, while Obama shut down all off-shore deep well drilling.
Obama completely federalized the Student Loan program and now can engineer what majors the government will promote and finance. The Clintons tried something similar by attempting to prevent the graduations of doctors. They concluded that we needed more teachers.
In addition, Obama has begun a shutdown of our defense systems. It began when Obama placated Russia by stopping Bush's missile defense system in Europe, leaving Poland, and our other allies, who rebuked Putin, in a perplexing quandary. Subsequently, Obama appeased Russia by depleting our defense superiorities to be equalized with Russia's and China’s proliferating offenses.
Today, Obama has reached into nearly all the economic factors that control America’s strengths. His latest adventure to change America is his attempt to forge into our internet system by taxation and regulation.
"Marxism: the economic and political theory and practice originated by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels that holds that actions and human institutions are economically determined, that the class struggle is the basic agency of historical change, and that capitalism will ultimately be superseded by Communism." Socialism: "A theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole."
The strands of Marxism are woven in all the fabrics of Socialism, Fascism, and Communism. Only the facetious and politically blind cannot see where Obama is taking them. It's the same place where Hitler led the Germans, Mao Zedong led China, and Stalin led Russia, viz. to total social ruin.
January 21, 2011 7:54 AM | Report Offensive Comment
As a near life-long Tucson resident, I should have a unique view to share about the shooting... but that's not really the case. In our world we are more connected than ever and where one lives means less than what ideas through media one is exposed to.
That new connectedness is shallow, though.
Media programs us with information. We all are products of that input, some sought after and most not. The premise that "one side" or another contributed to the shooting is partially true, but another possible truth is that deeper thoughts and degrees of truth get lost in the soundbite time intervals given to explore all the issues of our time, in general.
Some blame the Fairness Doctrine's demise because it enabled points of view to be expressed that weren't held to any fact checking, contradictions or analysis and that's probably partially true.
Another factor might be the nearing extinction of newspapers and their ability to stay close to relative fact and explore information in some depth.
But the real state of affairs of our collective psyches is that we are, in general, unable to enter into deep, convoluted, meaningful mass conversations because news programs, blogs and discussion boards are either one-sided or frustratingly brief.
An individual has to really work at finding the information that is closest to a truth and more often gravitates to information that is closer to their preconceived dogmas.
We are too busy and preoccupied, in general, to actually engage and do the work, the hard work, of engagment and compromise to arrive at solutions and feed our need to connect.
This relates to our society in a broader sense.
Isolation is a common feeling despite easier access to each other through technology. That very technology coupled with our frenzied culture creates a barrier to our sense of connectedness.
I am not suggesting we spurn technology or grind our culture to a stop to form a community drum circle, but simply trying to prompt a discussion.
I feel this modern sense of alienation coupled with simplistic, fear driven philosphies are the root cause of this and other atrocities.
So, instead of writing a book I'll have to be more concise, kinda proving my point a bit.
It was the swirling maelstrom of noise and half-assed agendas coupled with a sense of being lost in an ocean of humanity that contributes to these misguided and cruel gestures toward chaos and recognition... in other words, a sense (however misguided) that something is wrong and should change.
Or it could be mis-firing nuerons. Or it could reside in the great unexplored grey areas between everything.
January 20, 2011 3:30 PM | Report Offensive Comment
'Is Barack Obama a Communist Marx Socialist? He’s admitted to it in his book, “The Dreams from My Father.” Obama has been proven to be an unequivocal Communist in two books, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage,” and in “Crimes Against Liberty.” Notwithstanding, He has surrounded himself with a multitude of Socialist Marxist czars.'
A sample of dire mental confusion verging on insanity, taken from the two part rant above - all of which was extracted directly from the bottomless pit of paranoid delusions.
Religious obsession has clearly failed to make you a better person, much less conferred a state of mental balance.
The hounds of hell are not more vicious than the pervasive hatefulness that fuels religious fanaticism.
January 20, 2011 9:10 AM | Report Offensive Comment
PUTTING OBAMA IN PERSPECTIVE:
I never thought I would ever see a pair of liars, who were America’s political leaders that were more prodigious than Hillary and Bill Clinton. I thought this before they even became our two Presidents, and the Clintons confirmed my premonitions. The Clintons are prolific pathological liars, but Obama is the most deliberate, cunning, and consummate prevaricator in America's recent Presidential history. His deceptiveness is not pathological but deliberately concealed, conceived, and premeditated; its destructiveness is unequaled, and the state of collapse he is taking America to proves it.
“When politicians are caught out in lies, their supporters often resort to the old cliché: all politicians lie. But that is itself a lie: most don’t. Even among those who do, there are enormous differences in the importance and frequency of the lies. And it is surely now clear that this nation has a far from routine problem in the scale and regularity of President Obama’s lying.
When politicians lie, they are usually trying to avoid political damage, or to make themselves look good. Bill Clinton lied (and got himself impeached) to save himself from embarrassment about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Hillary Clinton lied about being under fire in Bosnia to enhance her non-existent foreign affairs profile. Richard Nixon was forced from office because he lied to cover up his involvement in a political dirty trick. John Kerry lied about his Vietnam combat experience to blunt his anti-military reputation.
Barack Obama’s lies are far more corrosive and destructive, because they go the heart of legislation and governance, and so seriously undermine trust in government. His lies generally take a specific form: they attempt to persuade people to vote for him or his policies by categorically assuring them that they need not have the anxieties that they have been expressing. The lies say, essentially: trust me, support what I want and I promise that what you fear will never happen. But in every case it soon becomes clear either that he knew perfectly well that what the public feared would in fact happen, or that he was giving a firm assurance that he was in no position to give, or that he had no intention of following through on his promise.”
January 20, 2011 7:06 AM | Report Offensive Comment
POSTED JANUARY 17, 2011 8:58 AM
“THE ICONOCLAST AND FAIRYLAND"
“A lying (Obama is a Muslim), racist (vis a vis his posts about Blacks and abortion) anti-Semite (the Jews murdered Jesus), twistedthingamajig thinks he can hide behind his cherry-picked scriptures to conceal his intolerant right-wing Catholic bigotry like his Church still hides it's pervert priests.
Only a paranoid mind, in the Alternate World, could concoct such calumniatory false and malicious statements. But, that's what philistines do; they proffer pseudepigraphical aspersions and misrepresentations. They are a product of their quixotic fantasies. If it were not for three words, “hate,” “racist,” and “lying” their tool used to implement their libel traducements, the radical philistines would dry up like dirt and blow away like dust.
There are no pervert priests in hiding in the Church; you've proven that when you couldn't show any. It’s all in you hallucinating mind. Second, there was no post taken from this forum that defiles Jews, Jesus was a Jew, and so were his Apostles. That’s another of your delusions you've manufactured because of your frustrations. Third, did the Jews crucify and murder Jesus? You might consult your dictionary and find out what Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes are.
As to racism, are Jesse Jackson and Bill Cosby racist against Blacks? Jesse Jackson, before it was politically expedient not to defend Abortion, called Abortion Genocide. Cosby, in several instances on TV said that 70 percent of Black pregnancies occur out of wedlock, and some 55 percent end in abortion. To me, Abortion looks like genocide to me. Hiding the truth on exacerbates problems, it doesn't make them go away.
Is Barack Obama a Communist Marx Socialist? He’s admitted to it in his book, “The Dreams from My Father.” Obama has been proven to be an unequivocal Communist in two books, “The Roots of Obama’s Rage,” and in “Crimes Against Liberty.” Notwithstanding, He has surrounded himself with a multitude of Socialist Marxist czars.
He pulled Carol Browner out of a worldwide Socialist Organization bent on destroying American capitalism to be his Climate Czar. On U-Tube, Anita Dunn, Obama’s earlier Media Advisor, said Mao Zedong was whom she went to when she needed advice. Van Jones was a self-admitted Communist advisor working in the White House. On U-Tube Obama had an ornament with Mao's picture on it hanging on the Obama’s Christmas tree.
However, there is no proof that can be given to you, because your proof is”ignis-fatuus.” and is hermetically sealed in your mind set.
Consequently, giving you proof is like giving it to a jackass, because both are incapable of even seeing proof, much less understanding it. Nevertheless, here is a link for a list of the Obama Communist attaches, so that others may see your demagoguery and who is really a bigot.
January 20, 2011 6:07 AM | Report Offensive Comment
The Meaney critique:
'Is this who you are America?
Are these the kind of people you want having any effect on your lives, in any way?'
What a sniveling whiner - Bush and Cheney lied to America for 8 years, got us into an unnecessary war, and helped facilitate the greatest national crisis since the Great Depression. Are those your kind of people? Yep, I thought so.........
January 18, 2011 7:42 PM | Report Offensive Comment
"In other words, leftists are starting to act more and more like republicans all the time. Way late, as far as I'm concerned."
A leftists gets caught lying, then proves my point by demonstrating a lack of shame.
Congrats, you're a proud liar.
Is this who you are America?
Are these the kind of people you want having any effect on your lives, in any way?
January 18, 2011 7:01 PM | Report Offensive Comment
'That's just not true, and you know it.
This is exactly why I despise leftists.
They lie with absolutely no shame.
To be a leftist, is to be a liar and a fool'
In other words, leftists are starting to act more and more like republicans all the time. Way late, as far as I'm concerned. I'm all for fighting fire with fire, etc. Obama seems to understand this with his comment...
The problem for democrats is they tend to think for themselves more than is good for them, and seldom agree on anything for long - whereas republicans have no problem with groupthink and marching in lockstep.
Indeed, they get lots of practice in congress. Now if they'd only come up with a single, solitary idea amongst the lot of them that would benefit ordinary Americans, we'd have something to talk about.
Republican efforts at balancing the budget will surely bring considerably more pain to the man on the street, as though he hasn't endured enough for the last couple of years or so. A few million in the bank is always a welcome buffer at times like these.
Ben Bernanke, the chief of the Fed and the man with a plan, is the outstanding republican of the decade, and democrats in congress and elsewhere wouldn't dispute it.
Just imagine - an original idea by republicans in congress. Now that would really be something, wouldn't it??
January 18, 2011 2:37 PM | Report Offensive Comment
"For example: Obama said "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,".
He said this with regard to strategies for combatting terrorism. This is a far cry from implicitly recommending similar strategies to employ on the opposing political party....whether metaphorically speaking, or otherwise.
That's just not true, and you know it.
This is exactly why I despise leftists.
They lie with absolutely no shame.
To be a leftist, is to be a liar and a fool
January 18, 2011 1:42 PM | Report Offensive Comment
So TTWSYFAMDGGAHJMJ1 (aka Bill Donohue), please tell us again how "Obama is a Muslim", the Jews murdered Jesus, 55% of Black people have abortions and how the Catholic Church is hiding no pervert priests from civil prosecution.
Also, please give us substantiation for your Catholic League pontifications. In your own hateful words, "Put up or shut up"
January 18, 2011 8:40 AM | Report Offensive Comment
An interesting link on the state of gun control in the USA....
Here's an excerpt:
'On the other hand, opposition to gun control led by the National Rifle Association (NRA) remains fierce and passionate. These gun owners maintain that an unregulated right to bear arms is guaranteed to citizens by the 2nd amendment and this position received support in a Supreme Court decision issued in 2008 which disallowed a Washington D.C. complete ban on handguns.
Gun control opponents are generally law abiding citizens who put greater trust in individualism than in the government to protect their safety. They are concerned that each step toward greater gun control will lead to the eventual confiscation of all firearms. Gun control opponent groups spend far more than gun control supporters on campaign contributions.'
January 17, 2011 10:57 PM | Report Offensive Comment
'It seems like that is what you are suggesting. To me, that stuff you wrote is very similar to the kind of stuff religious people talk, when they want to pretend they can "condemn" somebody.'
I think you misapprehend me - everyone is welcome to their heros. If Palin is someone's idea of Whitehouse material(as she apparently was during McCain's run) then it's just one of those anomalous
political facts of life that we have to live with. I'm hopeful it's a passing phenomenon.
Palin is a Tea Party favorite, and she makes quite a show of aligning herself with their expressed political interests. Historically, the original Boston teapartiers allied themselves with the idea of overthrowing British taxation as a runup to the revolutionary war - and while today's palid teapartiers are merely ghosts of the distant past, the government no longer needs to be overthrown, and any such allusions are ideologically pretty juvenile, if not inflammatory, but that's just my opinion.
Palin also allied herself with very vocal and politically powerful pro-gun interests from day one, and therefore defined herself politically (and she's not the only one by a long shot). The NRA doesn't get it's clout by being short on support from either party in Washington. Tuscan will not make a dent in the proliferation of guns from coast to coast, and hand guns in particular.....a weapon designed for only one purpose. This is America's fate, and I rarely complain about facts that can't be changed.
But you're right about one thing - I don't like Palin in a political sense, and I don't much like what she seems to stand for either.....personally speaking, she's just another whining victim of whatever public image she's managed to fashion for herself media-wise, whether on purpose or by accident.
Both truth and fiction seem to adhere to media-crafted personae, so Sara is just now on the receiving end of that old adage, 'what goes around comes around'.
Religiously speaking, I suppose someone will no doubt misconstrue that as good old fashioned karma .......but not me ;^)
January 17, 2011 8:40 PM | Report Offensive Comment
Persiflage, you used to write pretty smart. But what is, "Palin has been stirring up political sentiments with similar audience pleasing gun slogeneering since the early pre-election days when her biggest fans were avid NRA sympathizers, disenfranchised pre-tea party folk, and other and various anarchists of note."?
It sounds like you don't like Palin. You could have said just that -- nothing wrong with disliking Palin -- I do, too. But what is "...and other various anarchists of note."
In fact, "...avid NRA sympathizers, disenfranchised pre-tea party folk, and other and various anarchists of note" might be legitimate citizens, on the other side from you. Does that make them bad? Will they be denied your Heaven? What?
And what/who makes a "disenfranchised..." You?
Certainly you may dislike them, you may not agree with one or more or all of their positions, but are they bad humans, for not being on your side, and not feeling/thinking like you?
It seems like that is what you are suggesting. To me, that stuff you wrote is very similar to the kind of stuff religious people talk, when they want to pretend they can "condemn" somebody.
January 17, 2011 7:31 PM | Report Offensive Comment
The media shares more of the blame than Ms Palin. Their reporting on this issue and Ms Quinn's work is text book definition of hypocrisy. The scrutiny of Ms Palin by the media elite is unprecedented. Ms Palin very well might not be an effective President, but to malign, insult, degrade, and mock her and her family makes the elites look petty and unprofessional. The media elite is abusing its position of trust, and is being unfair because they believe they know better. This is raw arrogance, and what unites all Americans is a distaste for arrogance. Lacking is root cause analysis, but those who are arrogant lack the capability of objective introspection. If you doubt the premise, study the declining readership/viewership numbers and read through comment section. Institutional rationalizations spans the spectrum but my favorite is the NPR claim that smarter people listen to NPR. The good news is that history will indeed address the role of the elite media, the bad news it will be unfavorable.
January 17, 2011 6:50 PM | Report Offensive Comment
For example: Obama said "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,".
He said this with regard to strategies for combatting terrorism. This is a far cry from implicitly recommending similar strategies to employ on the opposing political party....whether metaphorically speaking, or otherwise.
Palin has been stirring up political sentiments with similar audience pleasing gun slogeneering since the early pre-election days when her biggest fans were avid NRA sympathizers, disenfranchised pre-tea party folk, and other and various anarchists of note.
The irony of stalwart members of this motley crew eventually adopting the Tea Party nom de plume sounds like a classic piece of Rovian devilry - clever, but completely divorced from any remote association with the actual historical truth.
The power of words and their ability to convey many fictional 'truths' has not been lost on any politician since humans began talking and walking upright. That they can be incendiary and a call to action with the right audience has been proven too many times to count.
Nevertheless, giving a dimwit like Sara Palin this much free media publicity is really a travesty. It's doubtful she remembers what she says from one minute to the next.
All in all, she seems like a completely viable republican candidate for 2012.
January 17, 2011 4:39 PM | Report Offensive Comment
Sally Quinn might offer a teensy bit of credibility to her article if she included some left-wing rhetoric in the opening.
For example: Obama said "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,".
January 17, 2011 1:58 PM | Report Offensive Comment
My Theological specialties include the study of demonology. I'm well aware that probably less than tenth of one percent of the population even gives this a second thought. Let me assure you, that the movie"The Exorcist" had to do with shock and sensation. It is not how demonic influence operates.Space does not permit a detailed explanation here, but I must say that am a little amazed that no one seemed to notice the replica of a human skull in Jared Loughner's back yard. You cannot detect demonic influence in an individual at all. It lies dormant-chiefly the demon or demons in question, causing their own "ideas" to seem the "Host's own ideas". You see the subtle way they work here? Jesus gives us a lot of clues about this, one of which is "A tree is known by the fruit it bears"...whenever, and wherever you see a bloody murder, you can be reasonably sure demonic activity is at work. And, of course, we see this "work" every night on the news! The really important thing - to demons -is that no one really believe they exist. Regarding this, they have succeeded in spades. Sometime later on, we may find that this disturbed and dangerous man "toyed" with spiritism. Moreover,we may or may not discover that Jared played "blow their head off" video games.
January 17, 2011 12:10 PM | Report Offensive Comment
In Acts 13:15; 14:5; 16:19...in all these places, Paul's language/message was so incendiary that the crowds tried to kill Paul to stop his message. He apparently, either did not learn his lesson, or else he decided that speaking the truth was more important than keeping the peace. The New Testament model is that the truth is more important than keeping the peace.
January 17, 2011 11:44 AM | Report Offensive Comment
In the book of Acts chapter 7, we are told that Stephen, responding to accusations against him, used such incendiary language (eg. You stiff necked people...you always resist the Holy Spirit)that the crowd was furious, gnashed their teeth at him and stoned him to death. Again, the Christian example would seem to be that the truth should be said no matter how it inflames the crowds.
January 17, 2011 11:39 AM | Report Offensive Comment
In Luke 4 when all Nazareth spoke well of Jesus, he responded with a comment about Elijah that was so incendiary that we are told they drove Jesus to the cliff intending to throw him off. Jesus' example there is that the truth should be said no matter how it inflames the masses.
January 17, 2011 11:35 AM | Report Offensive Comment
For the folks who keep stating that toxic political language never killed anyone, I have some questions. Do you remember Maddox? Do you remember Wallace? Do you remember Faubus? All of the demagogues and their language both killed and physically injured others. Or has everyone here forgotten the Little Rock schools? Has everyone here forgotten Selma? Can anyone here say Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney? The three Stoogettes - Palin, Bachmann, and Angle - are nothing more than today's version of the above mentioned rabble rousers - sans suits; avec lipstick. Free speech is a wonderful freedom but it does entail responsibility on the part of those responsible.
January 17, 2011 11:24 AM | Report Offensive Comment
"Although the assassin was already pre-disposed to violence, Palin's efforts confirmed Gifford's "target status."
Missing from this chain is any evidence that Jared Loughner visited Sarah Palin's web site or any evidence that he cared about Sarah Palin one way or the other.
January 17, 2011 10:23 AM | Report Offensive Comment
Anti-Semitic hate speech is still live and well in the Catholic Church. This from a prolific Catholic right-wing poster who also says Obama is a Muslim:
However, God does exists, and Aristotle proved it from reason alone. Your problem is you incapable of knowing it, even though God became man, stayed on earth for 33 years, raised the dead, fed thousands with a few loaves and a few fish, made the lame walk, the blind see, cured the sick, the dying, and the lepers.
Further, the Jews murdered Him and He rose from the dead.
Posted by: TTWSYFAMDGGAHJMJ1 | January 17, 2011
January 17, 2011 9:29 AM | Report Offensive Comment
Vandalism to Giffords' office happened immediately after Palin's crosshairs posting, which identified her as a target for violence. Although the assassin was already pre-disposed to violence, Palin's efforts confirmed Gifford's "target status." If Palin has any sense of decency, she should feel mortified.
In this technological society, the rhetoric of violence may provoke violence. We need to find a way to reconcile this problem with our traditional freedom of speech. I believe that the proposal to extend to other public officials the protection we provide to the President is a good approach. Threatening violence to the President is illegal; the same should apply to Congress.
January 17, 2011 9:04 AM | Report Offensive Comment
Only give people what they need or want in a way that they need or want it.
January 17, 2011 5:10 AM | Report Offensive Comment
And, this article represents exactly the type of incendiary language that has caused the problem. Without mentioning Republicans it infers that Republicans caused the problems in Tucson without ever referring to the Democrat's maps with cross hairs, and Obama's incendiary speech. The writer totally ignores the fact that the WaPo has published more than 750 anti-Sarah Palin articles within the past 2 1/2 years and nearly 25 within the past two weeks. When it comes to incendiary speech and inuendos, the WoPo leads the pack.
January 17, 2011 12:31 AM | Report Offensive Comment
Lwhite3 informs, "People in a democracy are expected to vote their intelligent thought not to respond to terror overt or covert. Aren't there better ways of saying pursue your beliefs than "don't retreat, reload."
Darned right there are, LW. Ya just get a buddy, go on down to the voting place and stand there, holding tuncheons, and look as mean as you can. According to the USA's Department of Justice, that's fair.
Ya just can't find a greater nation, than one which allows that.
January 16, 2011 7:58 PM | Report Offensive Comment
Like many people I do not understand nor appreciate the need to mix guns in the center of politics in a democracy. One might expect that in a banana republic, but not in America. Taking guns to town hall meetings, using gun metaphors defeats the deepest notions of what a democracy is..freedom does not mean freedom to try to intimidate your neighbor or other voters. Again, I repeat the above idea..when you carry a gun to a public political meeting you are suggesting somehow that if you don't get your way there might be violence. Sharon Angle suggested that very clearly. People in a democracy are expected to vote their intelligent thought not to respond to terror overt or covert. Aren't there better ways of saying pursue your beliefs than "don't retreat, reload." In less than a minute in Tucson a dozen people were shot. The guns had no effect? How do you know..we cannot know one way or another with regard to the particular nutcase. But the rhetoric around voting in the last two years has been unnecessarily violent and debates too insulting and demonizing of normal people.
January 16, 2011 3:06 PM | Report Offensive Comment
I think the incivility comes from the fact that we're in an era of genuine conflict.
There are two diametrically opposed ideologies competing for broad acceptance from the people.
This isn't the typical moderate left-right shift that we've seen in the past.
We are reaching that line in the sand, where once we've crossed, we become something different from what we've been since our founding.
This is the only country where the difference between the left and the right comes down to individualism vs. the collective.
Self-governance is an American invention.
The Declaration of Independence plainly states that our rights come from our creator.
In a sense, we are governed by a sovereign
God. The framework of the constitution provides a defense of those rights from an encroaching government or individual, with repercussions to those who violate the rules.
If a significant percentage of the population calls for leaders to end those already diminished protections, because of their short-sighted position that they should be protected from things that offend, then we have a reason for incivility. In this case, incivility will and should be present.
January 16, 2011 1:55 PM | Report Offensive Comment
Numerous comentators (Mainly from the right)have stated that because the Arizona shooter does not espouse any coherent political views, he must not have been influenced by the vitriolic rhetoric of right wing politicians such as Sarah Palin and Sharon Angle. It is not necessary for the shooter to share political views to be influenced by such rhetoric. Talk of Second Ammendment remedies, reloading rather than retreating, and political maps showing crosshairs, promote an atmosphere in which guns and violence become (at least in the mind of the shooter) an acceptable response to whatever wrongs he perceives himself to have suffered. No one, at this point, can say what sent the Arizona shooter over the edge. However violent rhetoric certainly creates an atmosphere in which violent actions are more likely.
January 16, 2011 1:22 PM | Report Offensive Comment
Amos, Jeremiah, and John the Baptist were hardly politically correct. They would not pass the NY Times smell test.
January 16, 2011 1:08 PM | Report Offensive Comment
The cells in our body respond in yet undetermined manner to inflammatory processes. Hence, just the right amount of inflammation could lead to healing, where as too much can lead to diseases such as cancer, heart disease and many others.
Our brain appears to behave in similar fashion when confronted with inflammatory visual or auditory stimuli. These include political vitriol and the insidious morality expressed in entertainment media. Perhaps now, after the Arizona tragedy those who claim that irresponsible commentary on the radio or TV has a relationship with the violent behavior of predisposed individuals could also come to accept that much of the violent crime, including sex related, could also be linked to the sad state of our collective moral compass. ( In such minds there is very little difference between killing a 6 moth fetus and a newborn; only three months between a right and a wrong.
A slippery slope to domestic violence for sure, no more however, than war..)
Freedom to bear arms and free speech had their place in a budding republic fearful of ever falling into the hands of an
abusive government. But elections have worked; our Founding Fathers then had no idea they would. Two hundred and thirty years later there is a need to amend the Constitution so questions such as the regulation of these two rights will be out of the hands of a politically biased judiciary.-
January 16, 2011 12:22 PM | Report Offensive Comment
As I read these posts, I see some "demonizing" the writer rather than disagreeing with the writer. We have to ask ourselves to behave the way we are asking our politicians.
Also, we wave various flags like "free speech" "capitalism" etc. without noticing there are already limits imposed on free speech, capitalism etc. It is against the law to yell "Fire" in a public place with no fire. We have libel laws. We have agencies to monitor food purity rather than let the market determine what might kill us. We have laws that mandate car insurance. We must be careful of "purity" tests when pure doesn't exist. So claiming one has the right to say anything vitriolic or it violates freedom of speech laws is way too simple a determination. Democracy relies on us using self control, but where there isn't, we have set limits by law. Hopefully we will all learn to control the nasty violent imagery and have a decent non-violent discourse about areas where we disagree. MLK day tomorrow, let's think about what he taught us.
January 16, 2011 10:38 AM | Report Offensive Comment
The rise of the Christian Right in American politics over the last few decades has been a prime factor in the rise of vitriol in our national debate. After all, members of the Christian Right know:
1. They are on God's side and all others are not;
2. They know God's will and all others do not;
3. They intend to use the power of government to advance their understanding of God's kingdom;
4. Anyone who opposes their ends is anti-God;
5. Those who oppose God do not deserve respect, consideration or even basic courtesy. And you never make deals with the devil.
Demonize your opponents and curse them to H-ll. That's the contribution of the Christian Right to our national dialogue.
January 16, 2011 10:36 AM | Report Offensive Comment
Agree that we all have a personal responsibility for what we say and the words we use to say it.
That said, I don't blame Sarah Palin or the right-wing rhetoric for the recent tragedy---and personally, I do lean left and object to much of what is said on the right. But rather I would say that yes, such rhetoric certainly could cause violence---but this situation is not an example of it. To say so trivializes the real truth, that yes, language, tone, and imagery do matter.
January 16, 2011 10:33 AM | Report Offensive Comment
As a licensed mental health therapist and one who has taught in the ghettos and barrios, my considered opinion is that when there is severe neurosis and psychosis, which hits at least 10% of us at some time, it is the attitude of the society, or of the parts of society that are important to the mentally ill person that direct his behavior. It might be violent video games or inflammatory talk from the right or the left that pushes the person to violence. If the environment of the person fosters withdrawal, then that seems to be the way he will act out his illness. I recently read a free e-book that explains this in more detail. Book 6 of "In Search of Utopia" (http://andgulliverreturns.info) is the cite.
January 16, 2011 9:38 AM | Report Offensive Comment
Where's all the stories on the death penalty and this shooting and the debate in IL. This is why we need a death penalty in every state. Like it or not we will be seeing more of these mass shootings in the future...its inevitable with the internet...anyone think he doesnt DESERVE the death penalty? Who cares if its a deterent or NOT. Its a PUNISHMENT. And Now Nem Mexico is considering reversing its repeal...yet Governor Quinn of IL is now considering signing a repeal that just passed the ligislature...Please email call and write him ASAP and urge him to keep it on the books. Governor Pat Quinn
Office of the Governor 207 State House Springfield, IL 62706 Fax: 1 217 524 4049 OR 1 312 814 5512 Email via: http://www2.illinois.gov/gov/Pages/ContacttheGovernor.aspx Salutation: Dear Governor
January 16, 2011 9:34 AM | Report Offensive Comment
It would be a great first step towards decency if WAPO and other great newspapers ran their comments sections like their editorial sections in the paper. They don't print in the editorials column ALL the incendiary editorials they get. Why much we read 1150 comments and give so many ugly voices a stage? A representative sampling would be enough said.
January 16, 2011 8:17 AM | Report Offensive Comment
IN REPLY TO (IRT)
EEZMAMATA THE SWAMI
[... We had Marx and the Communist Revolution; Marxism typified a model of worldwide mayhem displayed in Fascism...]
“Marxism and Fascism are as far apart politically as any political philosophy could be. You are just about as stupid a moron as any ever encountered on the WAPO, thanks for the laughs!”
Instead of embarrassing yourself with your naiveté, viz. laughing at yourself, try learning to read and things won’t be so hilarious to you. How can you be such an expert on stupidity when it’s apparent that you are unable to understand what you read?
Duhh! Where is it said Fascism equals Marxism? The error is unmistakably yours. One you’re indubitably not an expert, and two, your predisposition exposes your problems for not being able to assimilate, bear, and endure the truth. Moreover, your vitriolic language betrays your adolescent character that belies your expertise.
Since you didn't get it, the point was that violence begets violence, and the eminent colossal cause of inhumanity is disrespect for the value of human life.
Marxism sets the tone for worldwide violence that is exemplified by its ubiquitous expressions of Terrorism, Socialism, Communism, Materialism, and Fascism. However, the basic differences in them all are, for the most part, semantical. All have their origins in Marx's theories of materialism. There are all kinds of theories by experts about what these ideologies are but there is no one particular definition for any of them.
However, all are either agnostic or atheistic; all are dictatorial, control the means of production, and all property is owned or controlled by the State. They all deny the dignity of man and prefer the “collective.” All are enormously similar, even though Fascists claim to be anti-Communist; in the end, there is little difference, irrespective of their rhetorical propaganda. You might trying the dictionary for starters.
“The Marxist theory of Fascism has its roots in a number of Marxist theories which predated the rise of Fascism. These include the idea, present in The Communist Manifesto, that ideologies should be seen as class ideologies.”
“Fascism is connected to the theories of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel [two Marxists]. This connection to Hegelianism is shared by Marxism, but Fascism focuses on the elements of Hegelianism that Karl Marx detracted.
Fascists believe that a nation is an organic community that requires strong leadership, singular "collective" identity, and the will and "ability to commit violence" and "wage war"[MAYHEM] in order to keep the nation strong (Ibid)[the mirror of Communism]—Wikipedia.”
It is said to be attributed to Lincoln that, “'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.” A word to the wise should be sufficient.”
January 16, 2011 7:56 AM | Report Offensive Comment
Citizens of US must note
1. The current salary (2010) for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $174,000 per year.
2. Sarah Palin has a multi million dollar contract with Fox network just to say whatever on Fox
3. Glenn Beck has contract with Fox network that is at least in 8 figures for saying whatever on Fox
---- Whereas the killer may have been deprived of even the minimum wage
Just how risky, Capitol Hill's powerful wonder, is a life spent shaking hands with strangers?
---- Shaking hands with Lobbyists and special interest groups is safe - we all know they are not strangers!
The irony of Tucson incident is that the ammunition was sourced from Walmart - Like all things Walmart, it would be safe to say those bullets were "Made in China"!
January 16, 2011 1:33 AM | Report Offensive Comment
MrMeaner Author Profile Page :
How about pre-emptive war in Iraq based on Cheney's lies of weapons of mass destruction that slaughtered over 100,000 Iraquis?
You mean that thing that happened as a result of legislation that passed in congress 297-133? I believe it was called "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002".
...based on Cheney's lies of weapons of mass destruction...
January 15, 2011 10:03 PM | Report Offensive Comment
Several columnists in writing for the Washington Post again attempt or claim to walk the high rode. However, as is typical they are apologist for those on the Left who seem to find some way always to attack the Right. They names names only on the Right. And yet it was Obama who called police behavior at Harvard regarding one of his friend stupid. Is it a coincidence that the murder of police are on the rise. Can we see a causal connection. Of course, just as the Harvard professor exampled bad behavior toward police trying to do their job.. By the way, I apologize for my little conspiracy theory. I dreamed it up - except for the facts's - in a couple minutes. Many columnists here have pet theories that likely took less time to compose.
The more likely conclusion we can draw from this incident in Tucson is that it is too early to conclude anything. We do know that mental illness likely played a huge role. We need to review and revisit how we attempt to prevent violence when we find people in this distress. By accounts of his closest friends we can surmise that the accused shooter had drifted in a very dark place as the result of media he watched and absorbed. The parenting was likely an issued. According to the same close friend, he was neither left nor right wing and really did not pay much attention to the news. But there are many variables here and any attempt to finger point in one or two directions only is a sign of immaturity at best and overt political partisanship at worst.
January 15, 2011 5:20 PM | Report Offensive Comment
How about pre-emptive war in Iraq based on Cheney's lies of weapons of mass destruction that slaughtered over 100,000 Iraquis?
I asked for one example, and you swing and miss on a whole war?
That was ugly
January 15, 2011 4:21 PM | Report Offensive Comment
Can anyone point to an example of violence from the right?
I have a list of violent acts from the left.
I'm not sure there's enough space on this page to list them all.
January 15, 2011 2:13 PM | Report Offensive Comment
I have a list of violent acts from the left.
I'm not sure there's enough space on this page to list them all.
January 15, 2011 11:45 AM | Report Offensive Comment
Oh wait. I know it's in Leviticus:
And God said, "That's why Dems want criminals to be able to vote."
What verse was that again?
It was a Republican in VA who wanted this.
As long as there are hateful theocons who believe and post such crap, there will be no civility.
January 15, 2011 9:02 AM | Report Offensive Comment
Dems are statistically much more likely than Republicans to commit violent acts against other people.
Most violent criminals vote for Dems.
And where did these "FACTS" come from?
RNC Fox News?
The Rasmussen Report?
January 15, 2011 8:46 AM | Report Offensive Comment
All the focus in the media on guns, Republicans and violence glosses over one Inconvenient Truth.
Dems are statistically much more likely than Republicans to commit violent acts against other people.
Most violent criminals vote for Dems. Comparing violent crime statistics by voting district confirms statistical correlation between Dem voters and violence. That's why Dems want criminals to be able to vote.
In light of these inconvenient truths, its strange that Dems and the media are hot to trot to link Republicans and conservatives to violence.
Let's see how non-violent and polite Dem voters are, if Sarah Palin or other conservatives hold campaign events in Dem stronghold districts. They better have a lot of police protection from the polite non-violent Dem voters.
Dems should clean up their own violence before attacking others on this issue. Continuing the debate about violence will only hurt Dems.
January 14, 2011 10:32 AM | Report Offensive Comment
"... we had Marx and the Communist Revolution; Marxism typified a model of worldwide mayhem displayed in Fascism.."
TWISTED! You really are as dumb as you sound, as you look, as you are!
Marxism and Fascism are as far apart politically as any political philosophy could be. They're just dirty words to you, but they had meaning to the fools who believe in them, who killed in their name, and died in their name.
Just like you, they were True Believers.
You are just about as stupid a moron as any ever encountered on the WAPO, thanks for the laughs!
January 13, 2011 9:46 PM | Report Offensive Comment
You have my sympathy for the personal troubles you expressed -- especially so, when it's in the immediate family.
January 13, 2011 9:27 PM | Report Offensive Comment
My family has struggled with mental illness. In this struggle, there is almost no help from anyone. Mental health care is profoundly dysfuncional; there is only A chance if the patient is cooperative, and if the family is filled with engery and unity to accomplish the treatment. That is rare. And the police could not possilby be more uncooperative. Their goal is to wait for a suicide or a murder, before they will often the assistance of even a shoulder to cry on.
If the mentally ill person in distress does not seem to be a threat, then nobody cares. But what about offering medical care for a suffering person, for its own sake, and not to prevent some horrible crime?
My own brother had a succession of guns throughout the years. I took one of the guns away from him, and sought to give it to the police, but they would not take it. Where is it now? It is still in my closet. Where is my brother now? Six feet under, in his grave.
I guess that solved the problem for society, but there is unending grief in my family.
January 13, 2011 7:38 PM | Report Offensive Comment
Guess it's ok for the Democrats to have a bulls-eye map indicating Republican DISTRICTS within an election...but when Republicans use the same imagery towards Democrat DISTRICTS all heck breaks loose.
Last I checked DISTRICTS and OFFICES within elections or anywhere else weren't the same as targeting fellow human beings for death. Merely voting those in the districts out of office.
If someone isn't willing to keep this all in context...not much can be said or done.
All this hypocrisy really needs to stop. It's a smear campaign against Palin who had nothing whatsoever to do with the shootings. But it has everything to do with liberal progressives and a major mass media who desire nothing but to tarnish a woman's name for being Christian, Pro-Life, Republican...ie: Not a Liberal Progressive Feminist. This discussion wouldn't even be in progress except for those who "jumped their own gun" and began laying blame without any facts or evidence to go by.
The shooter is responsible for his own actions. He alone is accountable.
We should be praying for the victims as well as their families.
January 13, 2011 4:45 PM | Report Offensive Comment
Some commenters below and on another couple of sub-boards have mentioned something I glossed over in my zeal to participate: the media would rather talk about Sarah Palin than mental illness, so that becomes the tone of the discussion. It's folly to expect that politicians are going to tone their rhetoric to our 300 millionth most unstable citizen, instead of the legions of prospective voters that need to be energized, through anger if necessary.
It's part of our social contract that politicians (and other activists) will make divisive statements, and that our citizens are still responsible for conducting ourselves civilly. People like Jared Loughner who can't live up to that contract, can't live freely among us with the normal rights of a citizen, like firearms.
John Derbyshire (sometime contributor to SecularRight.org) has a column up on Takimag in which he states that's its a premise of modern liberalism that everyone is redeemable if society just puts the right effort into it, and if society fails, that's its own fault and should suffer the consequences.
"Attempts to redeem the intractably irredeemable now seem to consume most of our national energies: rebuilding Haiti, bailing out General Motors, turning Afghanistan into a liberal democracy, Leaving No Child Behind."
The guy opened fire in front of a street full of witnesses, killing six and wounding another fourteen. In a sane republic under effective governmental and judicial authority he would be tried, convicted, sentenced, and executed—or institutionalized for life—in a week. We do not live in such a republic. The mix of infinite ambitions for human transformation with corrupt, decadent public institutions is profoundly toxic. "
January 13, 2011 7:27 AM | Report Offensive Comment
DitLD, I don't mind you taking a side and arguing it, but a thing like, "In addition to this, we have the Republican Party promoting guns for EVERYONE, for the most sick and diseased people." is a little over the top, to say the least. In fact, every piece of rhetoric you mention, every image, is documented as being used by both sides.
Politically, if you prefer Democrats in elective offices, I think it would bring reasonable glee to you for Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Sharon Angle, Glenn Beck, Carl Paladino, to be some kind of spokespersons, for the other side.
Me, I wish a pox on both sides -- a paraphrase of a time honored "hatespeak."
January 13, 2011 5:02 AM | Report Offensive Comment
Really sick of hearing about this story! It was news the first day, now it is just TMZ Central! I am getting pissed that every single news article is about this stuff. It's just making a psychotic person famous, and that is probably what they want anyway. Let's move on, I wish I knew what was really going on in the nation/world, rather than just keep hearing about his crap over and over again, and in 100 different forms in 100 different news articles on the same site. Just plain ridiculous.
January 12, 2011 11:49 PM | Report Offensive Comment
One more comment about this whole fiasco. I would like people to comment on this, if they know anything about it.
On Saturday morning, I turned on the TV and put it on CNN. They were reporting the story that Congresswoman Giffords had been shot in the head and was in very grave condition. Then, they reported that she had died. They even interviewed a close friend of hers who was weepy and full of grief because of the news that Giffords had died.
Just to make sure, I swithced to MSNBC, and they also were reporting that she was dead. Then I switched to Fox News, and they also were reporting that she was dead. Then I put on NPR, and they too were reporting that she was dead. So I stopped watching; it seemed too sad.
A couple of hours later, I was in my car, and the car radio said she was in surgery, fighting for her life. I thought that this tired old radio news hasn't even been updated with the news that she was dead.
But, lo and behold, after that, there were no more reports that she was dead. And she wasn't dead. It is a little wierd that all of the news services reported that she was dead, for a signifigant period of time, and now, no one has held them accountable, or asked how they could go on the air with such wrong informaion.
Am I the only one that has noticed this?
January 12, 2011 9:31 PM | Report Offensive Comment
I guess I am a little hyped up on this subject, if you will forgive me. After all the things you have said and told about yourself over the past few months, I feel that I understand you a little and I actually like you.
I do not say that your comments were necessarily wrong. However, we are both coming at this from different perspectives of understanding, and so there is a little conflict.
January 12, 2011 9:03 PM | Report Offensive Comment
America is a country where the mentally ill and their families are left to fend for themselves, and where guns are everywhere, waiting to be picked up and used, by one of these mentally ill people.
And the people who helped set up this monstrous system and who work to sustain it, exclaim in shock and horror, " ... how can there be such evil in the world ?"
THAT is what is crossing a liberal's mind.
Thank you very much!
January 12, 2011 8:49 PM | Report Offensive Comment
Alltheroadrunnin and Daniel12
I think that you both have a misunderstanding of what has been going one, at least the way that I see it.
I do not see "liberals" blaming Republicans for the shooting. If that is what you believe, then say why you believe it.
SOME extreme Republicans, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Sharon Angle, Glenn Beck, Carl Paladino have been making statements that are most assuredly designed to incite gun violence.
When they say that they want "to take someone out," they don't mean for a date, they mean in the mafia sense, "to kill."
When they put cross-hairs on a map or on a person's face, it is more than just a marker; it is intended to make you think of the scope on a rifle that is used to target the victims, who are to be shot.
When they talk about excercising their second amendment rights, they mean, carry your guns, and use them if you don't get your way.
If Sarah Palin does not think there is anything with her cross-hairs symbol on her website, then why has it been taken down? Because there IS something grotesquely wrong with it, and I would imagine that she was too embarrassed to keep it up, although she would never admit it.
In addition to this, we have the Republican Party promoting guns for EVERYONE, for the most sick and diseased people. I think the man who shot Congresswoman Giffords was one of these people, who expressed flamboyant and obvious schizophrenic symptoms, but nevertheless, went out, and bought a gun, just as easily as buying a loaf of bread, or a snickers candy bar.
Then this sick and demented person hears the promotion of gun violence by high and respected people in the Republican Party. Did this rhetoric prompt him to shoot? I do not know, but I believe that it is a very strong possibility.
The average person is not going to do what Sarah Palin and Sharon Angle or Michell Bachman tell them to do, to reload, to excercise their second amendment rights, and to take people out that they disagree with; the average person is not going to go out and start shooting just because silly people have told them to do so, but mentally ill people might, who have easy access to weapons, and who are also, simultaneoulsy obstructed from getting any kind of mental health care.
To Daniel 12, I was merely curious about your reference that " ... it never crosses a liberal's mind ... " I didn't like it because you have mischaracterized the criticism, then you have labelled the critics as "liberals," then you presume to see into their minds.
This is all moot anyway, for I feel sure that these people like Sarah Palin, Michell Bachman, Sharon Angle, and Glenn Beck will be moderated by the ostracism of their own admirers and followers, if they keep up this foolishness.
January 12, 2011 8:36 PM | Report Offensive Comment
Danielinthelionsden, that is the weakest response to a Daniel12 "article" I have seen, so far. Your words are not even able to address his points. Maybe you ought, from here on, leave it to Timmy2. His words are, at least, funny.
DitLD has gotten himself all bound up in "cryptic" and "code." Maybe he's a CIA guy.
Daniel, I enjoyed reading your well thought out opinion. You are becoming more fair, and more fair, than anyone else here. Certainly more thoughtful and reasonable, than any of Sally's panel, except for maybe the rabbi.
January 12, 2011 7:22 PM | Report Offensive Comment
Lion's Den, perhaps you should work on your own mental deficiencies. I post: "Plenty of liberals have made an instant connection from the killer to right wing ideology, emphasizing that right wing "hate speech" etc. is responsible. Apparently it never crosses liberal's minds to ask if "hate speech" is responsible then why is it the millions upon millions of other Americans subjected to the same speech are not out killing people."
You respond as if I am referring to you specifically, that some sort of cryptic remark is going on. Be careful, you sound like one of those people who thinks the television is talking to him specifically and not to the general public. At least you're not too far gone as you observe: "The reason why millions of people are not responding to this kind of speech by committing murder is because most people do not suffer from severe mental illness, and are not easily fooled or swayed."
That was exactly my point. Liberals are trying to blame Republican speech, but it was one person who did the killing. There are millions of Americans listening to the same Republican language and not killing people. Therefore as you admit the person must have been mentally ill and Republicans are not to blame. Apparently we agree on something.
January 12, 2011 7:12 PM | Report Offensive Comment
My point is NOT about "what counts." It's about the speech environment.
We have a forum here called "On Faith." African-Americans are 13% of the US population, and must be a larger fraction than that of the churchgoing population. Go through the entire On Faith question archive. Find a discussion question that in any way relates to having a critical examination of black churches or their role in black life.
Instead, every critical question is about white (broadly defined) churches, including Islam, Catholicism (which is now largely Hispanic) or Mormons like Glenn Beck. (Possibly when Jeremiah Wright was hot news, we had one once.)
African-Americans are the USA's staunchest churchgoers, and also have the highest rate of violent crime and non-marital pregnancy and childbirth, behaviors that religious participation are supposed to reduce. HOW COME WE NEVER DISCUSS THAT HERE?
I don't (contrary to what you might expect) have single pat answer to that, but those are important questions that won't get answered until an open, respectful environment for discussing them exists. And it's not going to be, in the current environment of fear.
January 12, 2011 5:53 PM | Report Offensive Comment
Yes, but in this case, the murderer was white. So what have your statistics about homocide got to do with this case?
I don't get your point; I never get your point; it is as though you always seem to say that every statistic about Americans that is not good would be a lot better, if we only count white people, but do not count non-white people. It is as though to say, this is a terrible crime, but don't forget that even though this murderer was white, most murders are committed by non-whites.
You think you are proving all kinds of important stuff. But you are not. You are not,because you are crptic and indirect, and your meaning is seldom clear.
Your meaning is seldom clear, because you know how bad it would make you look, if suddenly, you came right and said what is really on your mind.
January 12, 2011 5:40 PM | Report Offensive Comment
"Plenty of liberals have made an instant connection from the killer to right wing ideology, emphasizing that right wing "hate speech" etc. is responsible. Apparently it never crosses liberal's minds to ask if "hate speech" is responsible then why is it the millions upon millions of other Americans subjected to the same speech are not out killing people."
I do not know if you were referring to me or not when you say "liberal;" your references are so cryptic that I often have to guess what you mean.
I have never referred to "right wing hate-speech." The speech that I refer to, seeking to take people out, commanding ones followers to reload, incititing people to excercise their second amendment rights, this is not hate speech; it is code; such speech has the appearance of normalcy, "normativeness" as wmarkw would say, but it actually has hidden, purposeful meaning.
The reason why millions of people are not responding to this kind of speech by committing murder is because most people do not suffer from severe mental illness, and are not easily fooled or swayed.
You can make the point that you can say anything you want, and do anything you want, and that no one can tell you otherwise. That is fine.
But then, don't be shocked, upset, or bent out of shape, when things blow up in your face.
January 12, 2011 5:23 PM | Report Offensive Comment
The Tucson tragedy: What are the ethical and moral implications of incendiary political language?
First we should be clear about the Tucson shootings. Plenty of liberals have made an instant connection from the killer to right wing ideology, emphasizing that right wing "hate speech" etc. is responsible. Apparently it never crosses liberal's minds to ask if "hate speech" is responsible then why is it the millions upon millions of other Americans subjected to the same speech are not out killing people. But when someone involved in politics is killed we automatically assume it is politically motivated and just find greater opportunity to demonize the political opponent. We accept that a person is crazy and/or a criminal if harming a person not involved in politics, but when a political figure is killed the madness and criminality is not that of the killer solely but the entire other political party.
To this day liberals are responsible for the biggest conspiracy theory in American politics for at least the past hundred years: The killing of J.F.K. Liberals just cannot accept it was Oswald, with no ties at all to right wing ideology but rather left wing (Communism) who killed Kennedy. This is not to say Oswald was left wing but to say, like the Tucson killer, that some people are just mentally unstable and political figures are played up by all of us as the biggest public figures in society--thus the most tempting targets for madness. As for Republicans, they are really no different from liberals in this regard--they follow the exact same patterns of thinking. What if Hinckely (who of course attempted to assassinate Reagan) had not been so obviously obsessed with Jodie Foster? Imagine the demonization of liberals that would have occurred! Hell, Republicans often gripe about the harmful influence of Hollywood!
But we still have to ask why exactly is it people are so ready on all sides of politics to equate even the most mad and singular (stemming from just one person) action to the entire political party they dislike. My answer can only be that people are so fanatical about politics, that they feel it so important, that they can only feel the other side is at best stupid and at worst insane and evil. I do not see any particular political rhetoric responsible for extreme actions, but rather that the people themselves creating the politics are so close to extremism that they place themselves in the position of being blamed for actions really extreme and more often than not stemming from a lone person's mental illness. The answer is to somehow divorce politics from language of extremism, but this is extremely difficult because people, millions of them, are responsible for this conversation. As people have observed, madness in the individual is relatively uncommon compared to the madness of the opinionated and volatile crowd. Interesting how in the U.S. both political parties are ready to call the other--a crowd--crazy. Crowd calling crowd crazy.
I expect it to only get worse as left and right ideology gets pulverized by social criticism from both sides and by the march of especially the biological sciences. The left wing is making inroads into demolishing religious belief, which usually has its greatest numbers on the right, and is of course as well attacking the raw individualism for which America is famous with social programs, but there is a deep contradiction on the left which threatens to undo them as they themselves seek to remake America. The contradiction I mean is the advance of the biological sciences--the genetic view specifically--conflicting with the left wing view that people are essentially equal and just need to be educated, etc. (nurture over nature view). We can see this contradiction on the small scale in that left wingers talk nurture over nature but then turn about and recognize genetics in their attempts to remove firearms from the population, for people, after all, are not so easily weaned from firearms.
So just wait until genetic science starts ruthlessly getting at the differences between, say, blacks and Hispanics and whites and Asians. People already notice that the educational system in America is not broken--not all Americans are falling behind the students in the "other, higher performing" nations, but that rather blacks and Hispanics are underperforming. Whites and Asians fall within the top ten of nations educationally. But we still hear that the problem, if even recognized to this extent, is a problem which can be changed by left wing ideology, nurture over nature. That is we will hear that until the genetic sciences tell us the truth: The problem is genetics; blacks and Hispanics have never performed as well as whites and Asians anywhere. No racism from whites in Haiti but the place is an economic disaster. Left wing ideology might undo religion, might turn America more socialistic, but the genetic sciences threaten to undo that and to automatically resurrect conservatism, but a conservatism hard to determine, because it will be man for the first time with a really genetic view of existence dominating society.
Politicians on both sides should beware the coming decades. Looking ahead might stem some of the present and future extreme rhetoric. Not to do so will just turn today's tragedy into future happy memories of a benign past.
January 12, 2011 5:06 PM | Report Offensive Comment
culture of death.
^for so god loved the world he nailed his only son to the cross for the sin and sake of mankind^?
secularism says ,
$$$man is not free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest$$$?
the demagogues right of the people by the people and for the people delusional opium of the mass thing.
the above culture brought to the world delusional ideologies like ,secularism,marxism,pragmatism,darwinism,liberalism ,communism,capitalism,juchristiansecularism,
everything and any thing but following the pure divine revelation that came from allmighty creator god.
January 12, 2011 1:40 PM | Report Offensive Comment
The major cause of contrived violence by rational man is man's turning away from God and his denial of God’s existence and His Natural and Moral Laws (N&ML).
"More Christians have been killed for religious reasons in the last 50 years than in the church's first 300 years. "
Lunatics are not caused by Republicans or Sarah Palin; they were around before both had ever existed. For starters, there was the Pagan mayhem on the Jews, followed by Sodom & Gomorrah, followed by King Harod who murdered all the first-born Jews, followed by the Pharisee's crucifixion of Jesus. The Jew hierarchy crucified so many people that they had trouble getting the wood for their crosses.
In addition, there was the widespread brutal persecution of Christians by the Romans that outdid the Jews persecutions of Christians during early Christianity; Caligula & Nero might come to mind, and Palin wasn’t around at the time.
In contemporary times, we had Marx and the Communist Revolution; Marxism typified a model of worldwide mayhem displayed in Fascism, Communism, and Muslim Terrorism. Marx ideology evoked such ludicrous luminaries as Stalin, Mao, and Hitler who provoked the devastation of Europe and the Far East. They initiated the combined abhorrent slaughter of some 180 million people. I don’t think Palin or Conservative Radio caused these quintessential lunatics to exist either.
From the multiple variations of modern day Marxism, has developed a hedonism of violence manifested in the Quran’s invocation of the Jihad that in turn provoked Muslim terrorists who personified the transmogrification of an anti-God vitalization of Satan. Terrorism is a denunciation of the true God of Christianity and His N&ML.
Palin and the Republicans are not a part of this metamorphism of our moral foundation that rest on the recognition of our Christian Heritage. More indicatively, it's the Secularists, who by denying the providence of God, have promoted the present day violence that has metastasized and terrorized the world we know today that exists in an ambience of the culture of death.
January 12, 2011 11:43 AM | Report Offensive Comment
Missing from the counting coup on the political opposition is any evidence that political speech actually has any effect on the actions of a psychotic.
Don't let that stop you.
January 12, 2011 11:42 AM | Report Offensive Comment
DitLD "Even in this incident, which involves only white people, [wmarkw] mansage to slander black people, AGAIN."
Slander? The black homicide rate IS 6-7 times the white rate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States
But my other point is this: psychotic drug user who's never expressed any admiration for Palin, Beck or Limbaugh, goes on a shooting rampage and suddenly the issue becomes incendiary political rhetoric by conservatives.
Based on reasonable extrapolation from demographic breakdowns, conservatives commit a LOT fewer homicides than liberals.
January 12, 2011 10:22 AM | Report Offensive Comment
Typical wmarkw rhetoric.
On the white side again, most Americans disagree with you. (When I say "most," I include Americans who are not white).
Even in this incident, which involves only white people, the Republican Party's irresponsible rhetoric, a white Democratic victim, and a white man who managed to buy a gun, even though he was obviously and profoundly ill, even in all of this, you mangage to slander black people, AGAIN.
January 12, 2011 9:14 AM | Report Offensive Comment
And BTW, a jurisdiction near my home, Prince Georges County, MD, has had 12 homicides in as many days this year. This county is the home of numerous mega-churches that have been buying up the best land parcels because businesses don't locate there.
How come On Faith never discusses the fact that African-Americans have the highest church attendance of any large ethnic group, and a homicide rate six times that of the rest of the population?
January 12, 2011 7:41 AM | Report Offensive Comment
I think DitLD is shortchanging a legitimate conservative point. The language about reloading is related to the current Congress' push about Constitutionalism, in that large sections of Americans think the government is controlled by elites that aren't listening to the people.
The Arizona illegal immigration enforcement is a perfect example -- most Americans support it, but the Obama administration went to court to argue that it alone has the right to decide to non-enforce a federal law. Similarly, gay marriage universally failed 31 state referendums, so advocates are using courts to argue that the people's opinions are discriminatory and hence irrelevant.
Of course, the Republicans did it too. The subprime bust was marriage between liberal activists who argued home non-ownership was a barrier to minority advancement, that could be overcome with a more creative mortgage process. Pro-financial types were happy to design products to profit off them with high post-teaser rates. Middle Americans thought that if you can't get a 6% 30-year mortgage, you should get your financial affairs in order before buying a house.
Point is this firearms are a metaphor for living under the tyranny of a non-responsive government. The liberal version of the same accusation is that the government is under a white male corporate power structure. To an extent, they're both right.
January 12, 2011 7:24 AM | Report Offensive Comment
Typical DILD rhetoric.
On the wrong side again,most Americans disagree with you.
I always knew you were full of it, but not this bad.
January 11, 2011 11:51 PM | Report Offensive Comment
In all sincerity, I do not really believe that Sharon Angle, Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, Carl Palodin, or Glen Beck really want conservatives to get out their guns and kill liberals. I think, instead, that such people are childish, insensitive, and rude, and it is beyond their intellectual capacity to comprehend the true implications of their silly, shallow words. In other words, they are just plain stupid, and it reflects on the Republican Party and on Republicans that such stupid people are their heroes. If conservatism is to have any crediblity at all, it needs to dispense with these idiotic people and start to face the problems of America in a more serious and constructive way.
January 11, 2011 10:52 PM | Report Offensive Comment
Republicans support the right of everyone, including schizophrenic people, to have guns. Then it makes heros of those who incite gun violence against Democrats.
That is how I see it. But people like you should realize that liberals have second amendment rights too, if that is the way you think the game should be played.
January 11, 2011 8:42 PM | Report Offensive Comment
Arizona is a State that has extreme problems with Alien Immigration and the Drugs related to that Illegal Immigration. The entire Border is a source of Drugs, human trafficing, weapons sales and violations of th eConstitution that need a computer to keep track of but the same Legislators that refuse to stop the drugs which have caused great harm to many Americans are now the ones complaining when they are being gunned down. Strange how who is being shot down is the problem and not the fact that the entire population of the uSA is put as risk and neither Party, Our President , or Congress desires to stop the flow of drugs despite swearing to uphold our laws and protection from both foreign and domestic enemies. I live in Detroit, welcome to the drive by shootings of the Drug gangs...
January 11, 2011 7:09 PM | Report Offensive Comment
Allowing mentally unstable people to by powerful semi-automatic Glocks with 30 round clips and then inciting them with images of Congressmen targeted in gun-sights and vile rhetoric of "Second Amendment remedies" is a sad commentary on what people would like to believe is a "Christian Nation."
Poor old Jesus.
January 11, 2011 6:54 PM | Report Offensive Comment
KERT1, what did Sharron Angle mean when she said:
"...I hope that's not where we're going, but, you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I'll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out..."
What do you suppose she meant?
January 11, 2011 5:45 PM | Report Offensive Comment
I'm calling you out on this one. I have never heard of any current member of our government asking people to bring violence if things didn't go their way. If you have other proof, present it.
I'm sure people were encouraged to use their 2nd amendment rights because this is in the constitution. Clearly it is nothing like terrorism or actual violence.
Again you are trying to draw a connection between a lunatic an Republicans. Take an actual look at this guy and you will next to nothing that has to do with Republicans.
Please don't use this tragedy.
January 11, 2011 3:38 PM | Report Offensive Comment
The metaphor of physical violence is pretty easy when it comes to partisan wrangles and politicians across the spectrum have taken this easy rhetorical path. Since I am not psychotic, it is unclear to me how such metaphors affect such a mind.
One thing is clear. We need a more robust wall between the mentally ill and firearms purchase and everyone needs to come to terms with the loss of privacy attendant to creating such a public database.
January 11, 2011 1:39 PM | Report Offensive Comment
You knew what was coming because you knew that for a while now, Republicans have been overtly threatening gun violence in their political campaigns.
It would be easy to end this misunderstanding right now, in just a single moment; Republicans can just stop it; but I can see that they are not going to; Fox News is all over this, defending anyone and everyone's right to threaten violence, and pretending to see nothing wrong with it.
BUT, there IS something wrong with it.
January 11, 2011 1:16 PM | Report Offensive Comment
Sharon Angle who ran for Senator from Nevada, and Michelle Bachman, Representative from Minnesota, have implied many times, that if the elections do not go for their side, that voters should excercise their second amendment rights.
Carl Palodino who ran for governor of New York, used the phrase, "taking people out."
Sarah Palin has said that if you loose, don't give up, "reload."
All of these REPUBLICANS are implying, not so subtly, that it is ok to shoot and kill people whom you disagree with, presumabley, Democrats. If they say that was not now their intent, then what was their intent?
They are pretty direct in their real incitement of violence, and in their invocation of violence into political campaigns, a la Adolph Hitler. How else can anyone see it?
I would like some explanation from someone, anyone, on how I am wrong.
January 11, 2011 1:12 PM | Report Offensive Comment
The minute I heard about this tragedy I knew what was coming next. Within a couple hours there were people already out there blaming their opponents for being an accomplice to this lunatic. We still have very little understanding of what the exact motive was for this man’s actions, but it is about as clear as can be that this guy was an antisocial, mentally ill nutcase with very violent anti-government beliefs. I don’t see much of any difference between this and the tragedy at Virginia Tech a few years back. Yet, there has been no shortage of experts trying to push their agenda in the wake of this shooting.
Any person who tries to benefit from this tragedy has lost their humanity and does not deserve any time or respect!
Unfortunately these tragedies do happen, but trying to blame people for one man’s actions is beyond reasonable. There have been many assassination attempts in our history are they are generally by these type of deranged individuals. We should work to prevent these types of things, but not at the expense of our freedoms. They are tragic, but still very rare and we need to keep perspective. I am for a more civil discourse, but this would take a near unanimous consensus among American’s. An ugly discourse is much better than no discourse, and at least allows people to understand the issues and preserves our freedoms.
We would all do well to pray for the survivors that would make a full recovery.
January 11, 2011 12:45 PM | Report Offensive Comment
There is a fine line between criticizing someone and inciting violence upon them. In the wake of the Arizona shootings, this line is now being examined and explored. The fact is that those who call for violence can be just as guilty as those who commit the violence. They may not have pulled the trigger, but in a way they did load the gun. Words can be weapons too.
You can read the rest of my response to this topic:
I will be responding to every issue posted in the 'On Faith' section. If you would like to be notified when my new response is up, please subscribe.
January 11, 2011 12:06 PM | Report Offensive Comment
Forget incendiary political language.
Metaphors never killed anyone.
Remember in Summer 09 when Tea Partiers were taking guns to town hall meetings about health care reform. Or the rally about the federal budget in Virginia a year ago.
What was the point of bringing a firearm to a peaceful political event like those, except to noise the idea that one might use violence if the government does something they didn't like?
January 10, 2011 10:06 PM | Report Offensive Comment