Political Discourse and the Tucson Shootings

Is this a teachable moment?

Should the tragedy in Tucson, Arizona, where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was gravely wounded in a shooting spree that left 14 injured and six dead, become a "teachable moment" about hate and polarization in American political discourse?  Yes—not because of the shooting but because of its aftermath.

First there was the blame game on the left, with New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and others jumping with indecent haste to pin the shootings on right-wing and Tea Party rhetoric. In fact, the gunman, Jared Lee Loughner, turned out to be a severely disturbed man whose delusions weren't even on the outer edge of mainstream politics, left or right. The Krugman spin? Just because Loughner is psychotic does not mean he wasn't influenced by the hateful political climate—despite the lack of any evidence that he was. In other words: Don't confuse me with the facts.

Then came the countercharge from the right, with Sarah Palin accusing the media of concocting a "blood libel" against conservatives. Her use of the controversial term, which historically refers to the anti-Semitic myth of Jewish ritual murder of Christian children, may or may not be offensive; but surely there is something tacky about Palin and her supporters claiming the mantle of victimhood when so many are dead, injured, and grieving. Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh charges that Loughner "has the full support" of "the Democrat Party."  

This is, indeed, a toxic climate. But there are several problems with the calls for a "national conversation" about it after Tucson.  

First, it seems clear that the shootings were not politically motivated. Second, some of the rhetoric denounced as extreme—Palin's "Don't retreat, reload" exhortation, or her map with crosshairs on contested congressional districts—is not all that extreme or offensive. These are fairly standard metaphors.

Third, the linkage between vitriol and violence is flimsy at best. Krugman touts a Politico story from last May reporting a spike in threats to members of Congress early in 2010. But a more recent story on the site shows that according to multi-year FBI data, such threats have "plummeted" since 2001.  Moreover, they remain rare and hardly ever rise to actual violent intent.

Fourth, the laments about hateful political rhetoric focus almost exclusively on the right: to look for comparable left-wing vitriol, says Krugman, is "a false pretense of balance."

Never mind the once-trendy Bush assassination fantasies, such as the Air America radio skit in which an angry retiree responded to Bush's Social Security reform proposals with gunshots, or the misogynistic anti-Palin rants in leftist publications. Or the smears against opponents of racial preferences in the public sector—accused of racism if they are white, self-loathing if black. Or the posting of a map with the home addresses of donors to the campaign for California's same-sex marriage ban, surely more intimidating than crosshairs on congressional districts. Never mind political violence on the left, from the rampage by protesters at the 2008 Republican National Convention to assaults on conservative speakers on college campuses.

The right is equally prone to seeing the speck in the other's eye and not the log in its own. Defenders of Palin's martial metaphors have called Obama a "thug" over mildly pugilistic comments—for instance, that Republican victory in the congressional elections would mean "hand-to-hand combat" on Capitol Hill. In a column ostensibly urging reconciliation after the Tucson shootings, American Spectator editor Quint Hillyer couldn't resist an aside about how it's really the left that is hateful: liberal journalists on a private email list snickered at a fantasy about Rush Limbaugh dying of a heart attack. (Never mind Ann Coulter's homicide humor, or Michael Savage's radio tirade wishing death on hunger strikers protesting immigration restrictions.)

Should we curb the nasty talk? Any attempt to legislate against it would be both dumb and unconstitutional. But some scoff at voluntary restraint, too. According to Slate columnist Jack Shafer, "Our spirited political discourse, complete with name-calling, vilification—and, yes, violent imagery—is a good thing. Better that angry people unload their fury in public than let it fester and turn septic in private." But that's not necessarily true: as psychologists will tell you, venting anger can also ratchet it up.

It is likely that, as Shafer argues, "thuggish" political language does not raise the risk of violence. But is that all? Should we be content with a political culture in which engaging in debate feels like wading through a sewer, fellow Americans with different views are branded traitors or bigots, and the other side's ideas are automatically rejected? Conservatives warn that talk of improving the tone of public discourse is really an attempt to muzzle the right, and they are correct about the double standards. But do they think anyone will be the poorer if calling the president of the United States a new Hitler, a foreign-born usurper, or a communist is deemed beyond the pale of acceptable speech?

Shafer quotes a 1995 essay by Jonathan Rauch criticizing attempts to ban "the vocabulary of hate." Yet Rauch was rejecting the criminalization of race- or gender-based hate speech; the right response to haters, he wrote, was to "marginalize them, ignore them [and] ridicule them." As a culture, we have largely done that. Perhaps political hate speech—not robust polemics or even incivility, but rhetoric that demonizes domestic political opponents as the enemy—should be treated the same way.

Cathy Young is a columnist at RealClearPolitics and a contributing editor at Reason magazine. This article originally appeared at RealClearPolitics.

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  • Um||

    Should the tragedy in Tucson, Arizona...

    First of all, the event itself was a "crime." The effect on the human lives there was and is a "tragedy." Let's keep the two separate. Discuss.

  • No||

    The event was a tragedy. The actions were a crime.

  • Um, revised for the picky||

    The shooter's actions were a crime. The results were a tragedy for the innocent people effected. Happy now?

  • ||

    You'll have to excuse anonypussy; it's in the manic phase of its bipolar disorder and is extremely hyper. Take your meds, buddy!

  • ||

    Although some features of narcissistic personality disorder may seem like having confidence or strong self-esteem, it's not the same. Narcissistic personality disorder crosses the border of healthy confidence and self-esteem into thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself on a pedestal. In contrast, people who have healthy confidence and self-esteem don't value themselves more than they value others.

  • ||

    Underneath all this behavior often lies a fragile self-esteem. You have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have a sense of secret shame and humiliation. And in order to make yourself feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and efforts to belittle the other person to make yourself appear better.

  • ||

    If you notice any of these problems in your life, consider reaching out to a trusted health care provider or mental health provider. Getting the right treatment can help make your life more rewarding and enjoyable.

  • Warty||

    I hate to validate anonopussy, but

    people who have healthy confidence and self-esteem don't value themselves more than they value others.

    is a remarkably stupid thing to say, even for a psychologist.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Armchair psychoanalysts. Gotta hate 'em.

  • jacob||

    +100

  • Dick Fuckface, grammarian||

    No, the word is affected.

  • ||

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    Thanks for sharing http://www.horoskopskiznaci.com .

  • Max||

    No, you dumb fuck. The shooter was mentally ill, not a criminal. His illness is as much a tragedy as the actions.

  • ||

    Stop stalking me, Anonypussy!

  • Max||

    The real tragedy is the lack of liberturds in the crowd.

  • ||

    "His illness is as much a tragedy as the actions."

    I'm pretty sure the tragedy of one person acquiring mental illness is less of a tragedy than 19 shot; 6 dead. But, you know, I'm open to the presentation of your arguments and evidence to the contrary.

    For now I will assume that your false consensus is that you think people would rather be shot 19 times and killed 6 than get a mental illness. Kill me seven times, and okay--I'll take the illness.

    Talk about a stigma on mental health disorders.

  • Ventifact||

    Possibly Max meant it as in Mars is as much a planet as Jupiter. They are both unequivocally planets, even though there's more of one than the other.

  • Christina||

    What mental illness? Have you read a full diagnosis of him anywhere? Are you counting psychopathy as a mental illness we should feel sorry about?

  • Pelosi||

    It was an accident.

  • Suki||

    Don't miss the Pima County gun show this weekend! Unless you work for HuffPo.

  • BeltwayLurker||

    Where the hell do you find pix like that? Are you a porn/gun photographer?

  • Mike Laursen||

    If we're going to get all pedantic, it wasn't a tragedy. To be a tragedy, the victims would have had to have brought problems on themselves because of their own hubris and character flaws.

  • TheCheeseStandsAlone||

    The airplane hijackers (on 911)
    have never been considered by the
    American public as being
    "mentally ill"...

  • Reason.com||

    They planned and organized
    the attack...

    They weren't insane?

  • Warty||

    This seems more appropriate here. Shut the fuck up, Mother Jones.

  • ||

    I think this is very much a bridge too far.

    I can understand a little finger pointing by the parties and their allies after a politically motivated attack like 9/11, but here, it's not only illogical and irrelevant, it's positively evil. No evidence? Let's just manufacture some.

  • Bingo||

    Argh, it's magazine not clip.

  • Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc||

    Mother Jones is a magazine...
    ...frequently cited by Jesse Walker.

  • Joe M||

    Those fuckers are still trying to pin him to the gold bugs? Give it a rest!

  • ||

    Gold down $25 today after a fall yesterday, btw.

    Any goldbug who feeds on Ron Paul's bullshit CT concerning the Federal Reserve needs to get out soon.

    I predict $800 by Xmas Day.

  • Joe M||

    You will be wrong.

  • Amakudari||

    Gold's 10-year chart (GLD ETF)

    It's still up relative to last November, and over ten years it's tripled in price.

    I'm not a goldbug. However, unlike shrike, I'm also not retarded about it.

  • ||

    Its a symbol of a dying ideology - I consider them contemporary 49er Gold Rush believers.

    Alchemy is the past - software, biotech, and low-footprint energy are the future.

    I'm weird like that - looking ahead. Which is why I am not a conservative.

    Superstition and religion are the last refuges of the reactionary right.

  • El Duderino||

    Gold is needed to print the boards that run your software.

    Low footprint energy, is more often than not also low output energy like wind and solar, but if you think these things are important than just know that rare earth metals are an important aspect of these technologies and while gold may not be important to the technology, the mining technology used to mine gold is available to mine these rare earth metals and I doubt there would be many mining companies out there willing to spend capital on the technology to mine something that may not yield a return on investment. In other words, because gold mining is so prosperous it makes the mining technologies and skilled labor force available for a price that is compatible with the risk of mining for these rare earth metals.

  • sr7||

    In other words, he picked the absolute worst time in human history to be an anti-gold bug, and if he really was the big shot Wall Street mover and shaker he has claimed on this board in the past to be, he would already know what you so eloquently pointed out.

  • ||

    As opposed to the superstition that one can spend oneself out of debt, or the religions of "scientific social planning" or "global climate change".

    A good douche will remove a lot of that sand from your vagina.

  • sr7||

    Shrike is such a ignorant husk of dipshittery he believes the Fed's asset purchases don't account against their balance sheets, nor sees how they spark inflation, nor how the distortions created by ad hoc policy effect all market players making accurate predication that much more difficult.

    He literally believes in a consequence proof Federal Reserve methodology! That is the only way to make any sense out of what he says.

  • Mike M.||

    and if he really was the big shot Wall Street mover and shaker he has claimed on this board in the past to be, he would already know what you so eloquently pointed out.

    ROFL. My guess is Shrike the schmuck is unemployed and barely has two nickels to rub together.

  • ||

    The 10 year chart conveniently leaves out the last time when gold took a big giant shit.

  • ||

    Which it will again soon.

    The GLD/gold hype is based on the false notion that the Fed is printing vast amounts of extraneous currency.

    The fact is the Fed is credit easing far more than quantitative easing - they are buying assets like MBS and Treasuries which is not the same as a helicopter drop at all.

    Add to that - the Hedge Fund weekly lunch crowd in NYC has a whistle blower - Soros, who said that he is buying gold (all of 2010) to blow the bubble up and no one knows how to capitalize on a market dislocation like Soros does.

  • sr7||

    Good God, you are stupid. Even your word choices are those of the retrobanality of a by gone era. Like you read a few articles in Life magazine written in 1959 that make up your entire education in economics, and then you slipped in a coma for fifty years. You are obviously looking for a way back, so you should be pleased to know Obama is lifting travel restrictions to Cuba. There is Belarus too.

  • sr7||

    That was aimed at Sorosfluffer.

  • ||

    Life Mag from 59, Cuba, blah, blah. blah.

    You can't address the topic with a cogent response so go back to Free Republica and suck off the Bush-Fags who still populate that 1996 pre-HTML hell-hole.

    I don't suffer idiots like yourself. You have nothing - nada.

    Read some Chris Hitchens to develop your mind. Do something!

  • sr7||

    Exactly what I expected from you, idiot. If a finance minister from Paraguay explained to you how Keynesian IMF policy ruined their economy in the 70's you would point at him and yell, 'Limbaugh Redneck!'

    You are so pathetically parochial you don't know how to frame anything outside of a few measly talking points.

    A complete waste of your daddy's sperm. It could have went to the formation of a sweet little downs syndrome kid instead of a fool like you.

    Hitchens! Lol! Sure if you want to know what Hitchen's personal peeves and idols are, but for anything substantive, I think not.

  • sr7||

    Hitchens! Lol! 'We called Trotsky, the old man' as if he were a character in a Le Carré novel talking about George Smiley. Trotsky got the ice pick before you were even born, you dumb fuck!

  • Shrike||

    Need to stop typing now so I can go suck Paul Krugman's cock. ARRGHH! SLURP! SLURP!

  • JoshINHB||

    The GLD/gold hype is based on

    1) the false notion that the Fed is printing vast amounts of extraneous currency.

    2) The fact is the Fed is credit easing far more than quantitative easing - they are buying assets like MBS and Treasuries which is not the same as a helicopter drop at all.

    I'm not fluent in shriking, but point 1 directly contradicts point 2.

    WTF are you trying to say?

  • Amakudari||

    It was as far back it would go, and was actually around 6 years. More importantly, gold fell about as quickly as it had risen in 1980, so it's not like long-term holders of the stuff got ruined.

    Gold now has been rising very steadily, so I assume that at each point down there are real buyers (not just hot money pushing it up). Additionally, we've had a good bit of inflation since 1980, so in real terms the price isn't at its peak.

    Again, I'm not a goldbug, but the people who've been calling it a bubble since late 2007 will be wrong. It might be overpriced, but it won't crash. And personally, until we know how the developed world gets back to pre-crash deficit levels I don't see much downside. (Not because of the intrinsic value of gold, but because others buy it to reflect their belief in uncertainty about the future value of currency.)

  • sr7||

    Did you see the Bernanke 60 Minutes interview? Assuring us that the Fed knows exactly what it is doing, and is nothing short of a finely tuned instrument of economic control. He'll know exactly what to do when inflation hits, he'll arrange a sell off of those assets. One foot on the break, one foot on the pedal. He knows how to drive it.

    It took three and a half years and two recessions for Volker, a much more competent economist than Bernanke though with his own quirks, to reverse the damage of previous policies, and Bernanke was calmly reassuring everyone he knows exactly what to do.

    Ignore the history. Trust the man who learned nothing from it.

    To be honest, shrike doesn't sound like any leftist economist of which I'm familiar (besides Krugnuts, maybe, but who is still listening to him?), as they seem to understand these points. He sounds like he is borrowing from the right winger ultra pannationalist David Frum's amateur hour punditry of love notes to the unfailing and always right establishment.

  • ||

    You finally composed a decent sentence.

    However so I ask you - how much has the money supply expanded since 2007 (the begin of the crisis)?

    Seriously. I will check back Saturday.

  • sr7||

    I'll ask you a much better question because your fixation once more displayed in the question you ask shows that you are confused about the fundamentals here: What is the Fed balance sheet?

  • hmm||

    What model are we calculating money supply with? Because there's a few theories out there and as with any theory each has a wide range of assumptions and omissions that make it work.

  • hmm||

    Oh and the fed publishes money supply as they calculate it. So it's not really a mystery.

  • hmm||

    Here's a nice little chart of the high-power money.

  • hmm||

  • sr7||

    It occurred to me that shrike is still hammering that point because he did not get the news. The Fed seriously miscalculated the demand for money while implementing policy thus giving us that little head scratcher shrike finds infatuating.

    Here is Bernanke:

    Among the most notable results to emerge from the recent revision of the U.S. national income data is that, in recent quarters, household saving has been higher than we thought--averaging near 6 percent of disposable income rather than 4 percent, as the earlier data showed.

    Now we know, so shrike, adjust your rhetoric accordingly.

  • Bucky||

    is that a "kite" at the end of the string?

  • hmm||

    Are ya okay buddy Shrike, you were supposed to return to school us all on economic theory and money supply/base. I've been waiting all day.

  • ||

    Yeah, boo! Where's my lesson?

  • ||

    http://research.stlouisfed.org.....SE?cid=124

    See for yourself. I would tell you, but why spoil the surprise.

    I agree that Gold will not always go up in price. I don't quite get how being pro-metallic standard has anything to do with the actual price of gold on the market today. The benefits of a currency based on metals is that the supply of actual metal remains relatively stable for monetary uses. The fact that we are even having this discussion proves that you don't know what you are talking about. When the Fed prints more currency, the price of gold shoots up relative to the currency being printed. When the Fed ceases to print money, the price of gold will fall. How is this a reason to rebuke the idea of a gold standard? I'm not sure that you even understand what a gold or metallic standard even means.

    "The fact is the Fed is credit easing far more than quantitative easing - they are buying assets like MBS and Treasuries which is not the same as a helicopter drop at all."

    What a fancy way of saying that the Fed is dropping the new currency into banks vaults to be sat upon rather than pumping money into the actual economy.

    However, you are ignoring the fact that as long as all of that excess money is floating around, the potential for a flood of new currency to hit the market at any given time is quite high. Therefore, even if the money just sits in bank vaults, that still creates a speculative demand for gold.

    "Alchemy is the past - software, biotech, and low-footprint energy are the future."

    What the fucking fuck? What does that have to do with the discussion of free banking vs fiat currency? I don't advocate a metallic standard because gold is magical! I advocate a metallic standard, because it actually stops the Fed from doing what it does to our money. Whether gold, silver, or palladium is used is unimportant. The natural market just tends to choose gold and silver as currency.

    There is no evidence, scientific or otherwise, that even comes close to "proving" that the Fed has contributed anything to economic well being. When you put the economic data in an actual context, the Federal Reserve has nothing that they can point to justify their existence.

    US
    1950 to 2009
    1830 to 1900
    Consumer Price Index 3.78% -0.13%
    Unskilled Wage 4.63% 1.06%
    Real GDP per capita 1.97% 1.69%
    Population (millions) 1.20% 2.57%

    Since 1950, the unskilled wage has grown more slowly than it did in the 1800's. The per capita income has gone up slightly faster. Who knows why? Could be a number of factors.

    Yes, the period from the end of WW2 to 1972 was fairly stable thanks to the Bretton Woods Gold exchange standard, but that system was unsustainable, and as soon as foreigners started to redeem their dollars for actual gold, the whole thing fell apart. Since 1972, we've experienced stagflation, the dot com bubble, and the current housing crisis all within a period of 40 years. In addition, inflation has eaten up the wage increases of the workers. The only reason that the 80's were even as stable as they were was because the interest rates were actually kicked up to a high, real level in order to end the stagflation.

  • Bucky||

    the Fed...
    sounds so warm and fuzzy

  • hmm||

    super annoying linkage fail.

  • Bucky||

    a teachable moment = gold and the Fed
    ?

  • ||

    damn, just google "st louis fed monetary base"

  • ||

    damn, just google "st louis fed monetary base"

  • ||

    that was the squirrels!

  • ||

    Also, I was clicking around on measuring worth the other day, and I realized something interesting. Per capita GDP growth from 1913 to 1939, and per capita GDP growth from 1943 to 2009, isn't any higher than per capita GDP growth from 1830 to 1900, which is a little higher with much higher population growth. The only high growth years of the Federal Reserve era were the few years between 1939 and 1943. IN fact, after 1943, even as borrowing levels accelerated, GDP growth slowed way down. The vast majority of the WW2 GDP growth occurred from just before the war to the midpoint and then slowed dramatically. I'm not sure what this says about the impact of deficit spending. Maybe the anticipation of war and wartime spending is what pushed up GDP number, and not the wartime spending itself? Between 1940 and 1946 the GDP doubled, and the national debt as a percentage of GDP doubled, so technically the increase in GDP was a fraction of the actual money borrowed.

    The data is definitely not conclusive that the Federal Reserve has added anything to the economy. The only years between 1913 and 2009 that noticeably exceeded the growth from 1830 to 1900 were the years between 1939 and 1943. The growth rates of all other years in the post fed era have been equal to or lower than 1800's growth rates even though the population grew nearly twice as fast in the 1800's.

  • Chad||

    Amakudari:

    Only a fool buys something as an investment that is currently selling at three times is marginal cost of production.

  • Al Chemist||

    Gold can not be produced in a significant quanity. it is mined and refined!

  • Realist||

    As long as we have a sack of shit with big ears for President Au will do fine.

  • Aritcle 1, Section 10||

    "No State shall make any Thing but gold and silver coin legal tender in payment of debts."

    Translation - fuck off

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Indeed, Warty. Mother Jones-fucking is most certainly a good idea.

  • ||

    Some defend the speech because they believe it's protected under the 1st amendment. Some defend the speech because it's an important tool in their political arsenal.

    Who jumps to defend the FCC's censoring of words will shed light on the latter.

  • ||

    I'm surprised a serious challenge to the FCC's legal authority to regulate content at all hasn't been made recently. Given the old limited resources reasoning is totally dead, there's really no constitutional support for content regulation on the airwaves.

  • ||

    When did the FCC regulate content?

    Don't fall for redneck AM radio bullshit ala' the Beckerhead - the FCC merely restricted packet stuffing.

  • ||

    Are you kidding? It does it like crazy on "offensive" speech.

    I'm not suggesting that the FCC currently overtly regulates based on political views or anything like that. Not today.

  • ||

    Are you talking about the Super Bowl tit flash and the FCC fine?

    Yeah - that is ridiculous.

    But the FCC is insuring us Net asshole types get to post stuff like The Rude Pundit (shameless plug) does with their packet protection ruling.

  • ||

    Not specifically, but that sort of content regulation has been going on for a long time. Don't forget Carlin's seven dirty words!

    I object to other aspects of FCC regulation, but that's not as much on First Amendment grounds.

  • hmm||

    The FCC clearly regulates content. To say they haven't is fucking retarded. Local stations have to write up DRs for every infraction and if deemed bad enough or there is no DR and proof of an infraction they are fined. Sound level is regulated, white balance is regulated, hell everything is fucking regulated when it comes to content.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Ever hear of the Fairness Doctrine, shriek?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    shrike, if you believe the FCC wouldn't like to gt its filthy mitts on political speech... you're as fucking retarded as we all know you are.

  • LarryA||

    Nitpick:

    Some defend the speech because they believe it's protected under the 1st amendment. Some defend the speech because it's an important tool in their political arsenal.

    Some defend freedom of speech because it’s an essential characteristic of a free society, protected under the 1st Amendment, and they know that if they want to keep this important tool in their own political arsenal they have to protect everybody else’s right to keep it in their arsenals.

  • B.P.||

    Ah, day six of the War on Metaphors. My favorite part is how phony and manufactured the outrage is. "Poster with crosshairs... blood libel... ah! Where's my fainting couch!" (As an aside, am I now barred from using the phrase 'poisoning the well,' since it owes some of its origins to Medieval pogroms?)

    Now we're on to the National Conversation phase. "Shut up" doesn't strike me as much of a conversation. (Oops, sorry dear readers, "strike" may conjure violent imagery)

  • ¢||

    Hey, squirrels.

    The link at the bottom of the page here that says "More Articles by Cathy Young" goes to the exact same article with different names and phrases from the preceding week's current events search-and-replaced into it.

    I think you got hacked.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Kaboom.

  • Old Mexican||

    Fourth, the laments about hateful political rhetoric focus almost exclusively on the right: to look for comparable left-wing vitriol, says Krugman, is "a false pretense of balance."




    "Pay no attention to the deranged man behind the curtain! Look over here!"

    Should we curb the nasty talk?[...] [S]ome scoff at voluntary restraint, too. According to Slate columnist Jack Shafer, "Our spirited political discourse, complete with name-calling, vilification—and, yes, violent imagery—is a good thing. Better that angry people unload their fury in public than let it fester and turn septic in private."




    People who make calls for "self restrain" are dubious in their sincerity, as they are like school kids who say "Peace!" after letting the first strike lose.

    But that's not necessarily true: as psychologists will tell you, venting anger can also ratchet it up.




    You mean the same psychologists who are unable to clearly define what is "mental illness"?

    http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/12/ff_dsmv/

  • FUCKING BORED||

    Why does EVERY SINGLE WRITER at Reason have to write about this shit saying exactly the same thing? For fuck's sake.

  • ||

    Well, not one of them has said, "Fuck the politician." That's something, isn't it?

  • The Other Kevin||

    Look on the bright side. We only had ONE 4Loco story today.

  • ||

    Good point...

  • Bucky||

    and no one said BDI.

  • ||

    Thank Science Reason has finally written an article about this! I was wondering how long they were going to continue to ignore it.

  • ||

    Can't we all make the brave choice to support MY call to rise above hateful, combative fearmongering?

  • Tony||

    but surely there is something tacky about Palin and her supporters claiming the mantle of victimhood when so many are dead, injured, and grieving.

    Did I write this?

  • ||

    She is done. Her bid on Intrade is a penny.

    Looks like the GOP will grace us with the Huckster or Willard Romney - both hated by "true" conservatives.

  • Tony||

    I'm just curious to see if her narcissism extends to actually thinking she could/should be president, or if she figures the money is too good and the work too easy just staying a pundit.

  • ||

    Wtf, it worked for Barry.

    The narcissism I mean.

  • ||

    I am the one I've been waiting for...

  • Realist||

    Currently we have a smug, sack of shit with big ears for President. This country can elect anything!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    If the GOP were smart, shrike, they'd get behind Herman Cain or Gary Johnson.

    If they don't... fuck 'em. The GOP, that is.

  • ||

    Cathy, I have to say that even-handedness ("Oh, the left and the right are equally culpable in trying to use this for political points") is misplaced here.

    Your examples of righties-gone-wrong are Sarah Palin's use of the term "blood libel", which is perfectly consistent with the way this term has been used by lots of others on all sides of the spectrum, and falling for Rush Limbaugh's "tweaks" of the mainstream media.

    I would say being even-handed on this one is akin to saying an armed homeowner and an armed home invader are equally culpable for the shootout that occurs after the criminal breaks in. And I say that as someone who has no problem with "a pox on both their houses."

    Sometimes, even-handedness is called for. Other times, its a copout.

  • SIV||

    Exactly

    This is not a "the right does it too" moment.

  • ||

    What do you want? This is Cathy Young's column. And I even like her writing. In general.

  • JohnD||

    Young is a freaking idiot. To critisize Palin for defending herself from libelous assholes like Krugman says all I need to know about that twit.

  • ||

    Very apt analogy. We had a case here a few years ago where a perp forced his way into a man's home, chased him to a bedroom, then battered down the bedroom door, and despite being warned several times, advanced on the now armed homeowner, who shot him (not fatally). Amazing to me were the letters to the local editorial page in sympathy to the "victim" of the shooting, with no apparent thought that the victim was in fact the perpetrator.

  • Realist||

    "(not fatally)." That is a sad story indeed.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    To some people, a home invader has the right to be there, and the actual home owner should just lie back and take the fucking - virtually or otherwise.

  • Realist||

    That wouldn't workout so well here!

  • ||

    I agree. How do you demonstrate the hypocricy of those wrapping themselves in the mantle of civility without citing evidence to the contrary? If this qualifies one as an equal-opportunity offender, count me out of the Knee-jerk Contrarian Club.

  • The Other Kevin||

    I disagree with the premise that rhetoric is getting worse.

    In 2004, while I was on a plane, a guy sat next to me and immediately said, "Just so you know, I hate Bush." So he hated Bush so much, that those were the first words out of his mouth when he met a stranger. But there were a lot of people like that in 2004.

    I honestly don't see the same visceral hate for Obama. We may call him a communist, or talk about death panels, or whatever. But I don't really hear people actually wishing harm on him like they did with GWB. No talk of waterboarding or assassination, or wishing that bad things happen to his daughters.

    We're going through some really bad shit in this country, and people have very strong opinions. So naturally our speech is going to reflect that. So if some people think the rhetoric is getting too hot, they should lead by example and STFU first.

  • ||

    You're shut off from the nutcase evangelical community then who pimp a Psalms verse and put it on bumperstickers.

    Psalms 109:8 reads, "May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership."

    "May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes. May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor. May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children. May his descendants be cut off, their names blotted out from the next generation."

  • SIV||

    For libertarians Psalm 109:8 applies to all of 'em.

  • hmm||

    Evangelical like the biblical readings at the Obama rally this week?

  • ||

    Evangelicals using the NIV translation? I don't think so.

    16 Because that he remembered not to show mercy,
    but persecuted the poor and needy man,
    that he might even slay the broken in heart.
    17 As he loved cursing,
    so let it come unto him:
    as he delighted not in blessing,
    so let it be far from him.
    18 As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment,
    so let it come into his bowels like water,
    and like oil into his bones.
  • hmm||

    I don't know if that was to me or not, but I'm far from a biblical scholar. So, ya...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    WE GET IT, shrike. You hate religion. Shit, find another subject to hate for a change.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    In fairness, shrike absolutely adores the verse that says "render unto Caesar."

  • Southerner||

    He just hates that whole "and to God what is God's" part.

    Plenty of global warming where you're going, Shrike.

  • ||

    Now we're on to the National Conversation phase.

    Always puke-inducing. Remember:

    The fact that you have sand in your panties is not a reason for me to shut up.

  • ||

    Also puke-inducing: "Teachable Moment".

  • ||

    The national conversation -

    You did it!
    So what? You do it too!
    You started it!
    Did not! Besides, you do it more!
    No! You do it more.
    ad infinitum

    Aren't you glad the alleged adults in politics and punditry had this thoughtful conversation about something that has not a fucking thing to do with what happened in Arizona?

  • ||

    It's actually quite amazing how stupid people who think they are political and intellectual elites are. This whole business is moronic.

  • ||

    It gies beyond moronic, edging right up to delusional.

    I defy anyone to name a free society, anytime, anywhere, that eschewed uncivil political discourse.

  • Intrepid Demise||

    What do you consider a "free society"? Not sure there have been many of those...not for long, at least.

  • ||

    Please don't end your sentence in a preposition.

  • ||

    Or a verb?

  • Attorney||

    Those little words. They're so confusing.

  • ||

    Interjections? Articles?

  • BakedPenguin||

    Interjections? Fuck!

    Anyway, the whole "don't end your sentence on a preposition" rule is a holdover from Latin grammar. This is America, we speak English, and we should be able to end our damn sentences wherever we want to end them at.

  • Yeah ||

    I realized I screwed up after I hit enter...why can't the government protect me??

  • Cop posing as a hooker||

    Please end your sentence with a proposition.

  • Rock Action ||

    Fuck you, you standabout.

  • Charles||

    That sounds British.

  • Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc||

    Then came the countercharge from the right, with Sarah Palin accusing the media of concocting a "blood libel" against conservatives. Her use of the controversial term, which historically refers to the anti-Semitic myth of Jewish ritual murder of Christian children, may or may not be offensive; but surely there is something tacky about Palin and her supporters claiming the mantle of victimhood when so many are dead, injured, and grieving.

    Cathy Young, like the leftists, thinks Palin should have just accepted being falsely charged with accessory to mass murder including a 9 year old girl. It was blood libel. There was a full campaign to pin responsibility for the crime on Palin, "teabaggers", constitutionalists and libertarians.

    The more "on message" attacks didn't refer, or specuifically exempted, the GOP.

  • Tony||

    Obama didn't have to respond when Palin called him best friends with a terrorist. She would serve herself well by shutting up more often.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    So Bill Ayers wasn't a terrorist?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Slut Bunwalla,

    So Bill Ayers wasn't a terrorist?

    "Freedom fighter", SB; "Freedom fighter". Remember your course in double-speak, SB, required to argue with Tony.

  • Amakudari||

    He was, it's just that Obama wasn't his bestest friend. More like a regular friend.

  • Tony||

    No, he's a bogeyman for idiots. If you took the time to become acquainted with the facts and came back and said palin's accusation, the one that came directly from her mouth, was more acceptable and less inflammatory than these phantom accusations against her, then your line between ok and unacceptable would seem awfully thin, and more than a little crooked.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Oh, you mean the facts that Obama was friends with Ayers, a terrorist; and that there is no evidence whatsoever indicating that Loughner was in any way influenced by Palin?

  • ||

    Ayers is a college prof - you ignorant hick. Unless you think 7-yr old Obama was Weather Underground.

    Hannity and Beck will rot your goddamn feeble mind. Shut them off and learn something.

  • ||

    And in what way does being a college professor remove the fact that he committed acts of terrorism as a younger man? Yes, Mandela is a terrorist also.

  • hmm||

    Ya Ayers is clearly repentant for his actions. He's never said he wish he did more. And he never preaches or espouses views similar to the views he once held. Now this of course doesn't mean Obama is some retarded lefty terrorist, but I do know that if I hang out with pot heads I'll probably be thought of as a pot head.

  • Fatty Bolger||

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "Ayers is a college prof - you ignorant hick. Unless you think 7-yr old Obama was Weather Underground."

    We're not talking about Obama at the age of seven.

    Oh, and shove an ignorant hick up your ass, you pompous elitist stain.

  • Southerner||

    Ayers is a terrorist and a traitor, and we already know better than to take any advice from brainless hate-mongers such as Olbermann, Krugman, Tony, Chad, or yourself.

  • ||

    So, shrike, Osama Bin Laden hasn't done much of late. So, I guess if George W. Bush were hanging out with him, eating nachos, that would be just honkey dorey in your book, right?

  • Obama||

    Bill Ayers is not my best friend, he is my honky butt boy!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Ayers doesn't count, Slut, because Dems always look the other way when one of their own does something of questionableness - recall the non-uproar from NOW over Bill Clinton fucking chubby broads like Monica Lewinsky.

  • Feministingista||

    Burn in hell, misogynist asshole.

  • JohnD||

    You never disappoint, Tony. Your stupidity is legion.

  • Spur||

    How about not using 'blood libel' or 'eliminationist' in standard American political rhetoric until the pogroms and holocaust starts?

  • Realist||

    I will use any words I iike. No phrases or words are owned by a group.

  • Tony||

    Good, balanced column. Not as good as the original (President Obama's speech), but definitely welcome.

    Now let the Sarah Palin cheerleaders descend.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Kiss-a death, Cath.

  • Tony||

    Hello, why is everyone ignoring my straw man? Defend Palin please! I need some ammo against libertarians to impress my prog friends.

  • Tom||

    Nice Tony impersonation.

  • ||

    I've no use for Palin. I think she's dumb as the proverbial box of rocks, and would be an utter disaster if she were somehow to be elected President.

    But it was just plain fucking retarded for the left to drag her into this thing. She had nothing to do with it. But you fuckers have to follow the Rahm rule, don't you? Just gotta take advantage of this golden opportunity, don't you?

  • hmm||

    So has everyone weighed in? Obviously some have weighted in more than others, suderman? Okay so now the squirrels and the janitor need to write about the Massacrebating and we should be done.

  • steve||

    Does every article on this douchebag have to include his pyscho mug shot? It's enough to incite me to go on a rampage.

  • Debbie's Daughter||

    Your comments are hurtful.

  • Joe M||

    You said it. I already complained about this a few days ago. Reason: STOP POSTING THIS FREAKING FREAK'S FREAKY FREAK FACE.

  • ||

    He's watching you.

  • for real,||

    this little pricks Backpfeifengesicht is getting on my nerves

  • for real,||

    this little pricks Backpfeifengesicht is getting on my nerves

  • Jimbo||

    You can say that again!

  • Butt-head||

    He's smiling at you, Beavis.

  • CalebT||

    It's been very Orwellian with how the Chris Matthews, Olbermanns, and Maddows of the world are trying to act like they didn't claim the Tea Party/Sarah Palin was responsible, while they accuse Palin for going overboard in her response video. Hell-to-the-fuck-WHAT?!

  • Rachel and Keith||

    First of all, we're not lovers. But to your point: We called out Sarah for hiding in Alaska and not being presidential by not responding. And when the idiot finally did respond, we called her out for being a useful idiot of the right. Yes, we are nefarious. And no, we are not lovers. Not that we don't respect each other. Keith thinks my boobs are too small and my hands are too big, and I think Keith is a prissy momma's boy. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

  • CalebT||

    Chris, are you there?

  • Chris||

    Yes, I am here. I just had a thrill thinking about those two having the same genitalia, but Rachel's is much larger!

  • ||

    Keith O. used to fuck far-right wide out Laura Ingraham before the Great Divide.

    Some psych major should write a book on that odd coupling.

  • ||

    I'd rather hear my parents give vivid details of the night I was conceived.

  • JoshINHB||

    I hear Rachel's the pitcher and Olby the catcher.

  • JohnD||

    No, your real problem Racheal is that your brain is too small.

  • Tony||

    They never actually did say she was responsible. They may have pointed out all of the militia rhetoric that's been going on in mainstream Republican circles for two years and wondered if there was a connection. Maybe that was unfair and too knee-jerk, though it's a little precious how they're all playing innocent as if they haven't been using the language of armed revolution the entire time Obama's been in office. The blood libel thing was, as Cathy put it, tacky. There were plenty of victims of this massacre, and Sarah Palin was not among them. The Jew thing was just icing on the cake of her narcissism, though in fairness she's probably just too stupid to know the history of the phrase.

    That's not Matthews's opinion, incidentally--he noted that she purposefully uses inflammatory code words meant to appeal to her queendom of gun fanatics and ultraconservatives all the time. I don't think it's a strategy, I just think she lives in a bubble and gets all her information from Newsmax, where that sort of talk is common.

  • CalebT||

    So, just mindlessly ponder on your cable news program about any possible connections between the gunman and Sarah Palin, so when it comes time to defend yourself against libeling Palin, you can play the semantics game? Is that how it works?

  • Tony||

    I agree with Cathy. Both sides have been naughty.

    It just really, really pisses me off that Palin, who has spent her entire national career slandering the president, thinks it's time to stop using hyperbole and inflammatory language when it's directed at her. Is this supposed to be presidential behavior? Constant neverending hypocrisy and victimhood?

  • CalebT||

    Everyone's acting like an asshole. The problem is that we actually have lawmakers who are using the debate that people like Olbermann and Maddow have started on the issues ranging from freedom of speech, guns, and the due process rights of those accused of being mentally disturbed/dangerous as a means of introducing legislation that would limit said freedoms. That's scarier than anything a madman with a gun in Arizona could ever be.

  • Tony||

    That's a good point--the real thing we have to look out for is bad knee-jerk policy coming on the heels of events like this.

    I do think it might be a good opportunity to look at gun regulation. When you realize that a psychopath can get his hands on a machine whose sole purpose is to kill 30 people before you have to stop to reload, maybe that's a proper motivation to start thinking about policy.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    I still don't understand why he was able to get a gun after he made the threats he did. If there is no policy that revokes the gun rights of someone who makes death threats, there should be.

  • Intrepid Demise||

    Because if you revoke his gun rights, he won't be able to get a gun. Right? You can't be serious.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    A crazy person should have a harder time illegaly getting a gun than a sane person with a criminal record. I think it would help.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    His friends, for instance, don't sound like they would have helped him get one.

  • JohnD||

    Ask Sheriff Dupnik why this nutbag was never arrested or committed.

  • Chad||

    Fiscal Meth: Unless you are convicted of an actual crime, it is pretty hard to lose your right to buy a gun.

  • Knutsack||

    That's a gun's sole purpose? I thought its sole purpose is to kill innocent people.

    Machines or tools can be made to do a lot of things they aren't intended to do. What's policy should we be thinking about next? Knives? Bats? Axes?

  • Apogee||

    on a machine whose sole purpose is to kill 30 people before you have to stop to reload

    Obviously we should start by disarming the cops.

    The anti-gun nuts can't help but broadcast their stupidity.

  • ||

    ...on a machine whose sole purpose is to kill 30 people before you have to stop to reload, maybe that's a proper motivation to start thinking about policy.

    Come on, Tony. I own three Glocks, and I haven't killed 30 people yet. Glocks are probably the most popular sidearms amongst the police, and they seem to mostly just kill dogs and the occasional grandmother, and to paraphrase Al Gore, "the policy is settled" the second amendment is clear.

  • Tom||

    "Palin...thinks it's time to stop using hyperbole and inflammatory language when it's directed at her"

    'Hyperbole' and 'inflammatory language' are inappropriate euphemisms for 'lies'.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Thank goodness Obama never blames anybody else for his problems.

  • Realist ||

    How could you slander a sack of shit with big ears???

  • Hate Potion Number Nine||

    These days? Very likely...

  • CalebT||

    For the record, if they actually never said she was responsible (though, I think many of the actually did), then there's not much we can take issue with. But I also believe Olbermann and Maddow (definitely, not Matthews) are WAY too smart to not know the perceived subtext of what they were saying.

  • CalebT||

    So, now we are analyzing and attacking the rhetoric of the lefty pundits. None of this really matters. I don't care what they say. Just don't use this tragedy to force a freedom-limiting bill through passage.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Christina's Law (no guns or speech for you).

    It's coming.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Not certain whether the pundits literally said Palin was to blame (though I am certain many of them stopped just shy of actually doing so while winkingly implying it), but I know I saw a lot of facebook, Twitter, and Reddit posts saying things like "Palin has blood on her hands now".

  • Tony||

    When you're talking about blog posters and like 18-year-old protesters, realize the inflammatory stuff coming from the right is all mainstream. Palin is one of the worst offenders--her entire strategy depends on pissing off the liberals. Why is it ok for her but not anyone talking about her?

    There arent many people out there defending palin, she's generally considered to have flubbed an opportunity to look like an adult. Why do you want to be on the side of the true palin believer hacks?

  • SIV||

    In this case Palin was the proxy for "anti-government" so it kinda hits close to home.

  • Knutsack||

    Probably not as mainstream as the President telling people to bring a gun to the fight.

  • ||

    You get the same bang from dancing around it. The implication: why would we talk about this until it was of primary import to the event? And no fingerprints (and they can claim the picture/transparent nature of the dance is a photoshop/your mind playing tricks on you).

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    They never actually did say she was responsible.




    They merely implied it...

    They may have pointed out all of the militia rhetoric that's been going on in mainstream Republican circles for two years and wondered if there was a connection.




    Militia rhetoric? Like "going back to the Constitution" and "repeal Obamacare"? That "militia" rhetoric?

    The derangement runs deep with this one, Obi Wan.

    [...]though it's a little precious how they're all playing innocent as if they haven't been using the language of armed revolution the entire time Obama's been in office.




    Yes, for instance: "lock, stock and barrel" gives people an awful image of companions falling under the fire of the red coats... very inflamatory.

  • ||

    "and wondered if there was a connection."

    Kinda like we sometimes wonder out loud if you blow goats...

  • ||

    Let the spinning commence!

    *Face palm*

  • Hugh Akston||

    Caleb, for your own good, stop watching those idiotic cable news-jabber shows.

  • ||

    If I were king, I would have anyone who used the term "teachable moment" sent to work in the salt mines.

  • Rachel and Keith||

    And if you were Queen?

  • SIV||

    I'd order them to be blindfolded, flown out over the ocean, and thrown out of the plane.

  • hmm||

    That kinda sounds like fun.

  • SOSWBE||

    What's the blind fold for?

  • hmm||

    suspense?

  • ||

    And if you were Queen?

    If I were Queen, I'd walk differently. More like Tony.

  • Intrepid Demise||

    I lol'd.

  • ||

    But do they think anyone will be the poorer if calling the president of the United States a new Hitler, a foreign-born usurper, or a communist is deemed beyond the pale of acceptable speech?

    I will.

    Fight, monkeys!

    Fight!

  • DLM||

    ..."blood libel" against conservatives. Her use of the controversial term, which historically refers to the anti-Semitic myth of Jewish ritual murder of Christian children, may or may not be offensive; but surely there is something tacky about Palin and her supporters claiming the mantle of victimhood when so many are dead, injured, and grieving.

    1. Why would the term "blood libel" be offensive? It's the response *to* that myth you mention. Perhaps it's offensive to you for Jews to defend themselves from it when 'so many are dead, injured, or grieving'. I guess they'll have to take a timeout.

    2. It's 6 people. Many more than that have died violently without the need to deny people the right to defend themselves from verbal attacks from others.

  • Tony||

    It's offensive because Palin is comparing the great offense against her to a historical example of lies meant to justify pogroms against Jews. To me, it's the culmination of truly absurd victim-playing on the part of Sarah Palin, one of history's most successful recipients of affirmative action. Even if she's too dumb to know the context of the phrase, seriously, in light of a mass shooting, using "blood" as a modifier when "slander" would have worked just fine? She obviously chose it deliberately. She probably didn't mean to offend Jews, but it certainly is offensive to people with some perspective on who the actual victims here are.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    It's offensive because Palin is comparing the great offense against her to a historical example of lies meant to justify pogroms against Jews.

    It's offensive to you because you don't happen to like Sarah Palin, even though the tactic used by her detractors is exactly the same, thus making the reference appropriate.

    To me, it's the culmination of truly absurd victim-playing on the part of Sarah Palin, one of history's most successful recipients of affirmative action.

    "Affirmative action is only for dumb people."

    Old Statist proverb.

    She probably didn't mean to offend [the] Jews[...]

    The dishonesty runs deep with this one, Obi Wan.

    Gratuitous innuendo - read: Tony.

  • Barack Obama||

    "Affirmative action is only for dumb people."

    Now, hold on there....

  • Barack Obama||

    I'll have you know I'm not a dumb people, I'm a fucking idiot!

  • Tony||

    Why do you bother? You really don't merit the smugness this totally substanceless post displays. You are after all defending someone who is a partisan hack by occupation. And republicans always make their own case against affirmative action by promoting token candidates who actually are seriously unqualified or incompetent.

  • Obama||

    ixnay on that last last bit, fella before anybody notices.

  • ||

    It wasn't offensive to Tony when the left engaged in slander.

    But hey. Whoa! Let's move the goal post, Petie!

  • ||

    I really don't think Palin knew what the term "blood libel" meant. She's been trying for a long time to come across as profound and wise (failing mizzerbly, of course) in her talk.

    I'm sure she uses "for all intensive purposes" and "irregardless" without a second thought too.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Mongo,

    I really don't think Palin knew what the term "blood libel" meant.




    She does, and it was appropriate - she was not talking about attacks against her only, but against all conservatives.

  • Tony||

    Man palin could say "poopiedoopiedoo!" and you would try to defend it as entirely appropriate.

  • Obama||

    Speaking of poopiedoopiedoo, Tony, take care of this business for me, I don't feel like wiping.

  • Tony||

    Can I use my tongue again?

  • Barack Obama||

    I would expect nothing less.

  • dhex||

    I really don't think Palin knew what the term "blood libel" meant.

    maybe her speechwriter(s) were having some fun at her expense?

  • Ted S.||

    Palin could say 2+2=4, and you'd have people on the left rushing to criticize her.

  • Sarah Palin||

    "What does 2+2 equal?" is a gotcha question!

  • ||

    There are 11 kinds of people in the world: those who know what 2+2 is, those who understand base 3, those who don't, and those who only think they do.

  • JohnD||

    don't confuse Mondo. He is trying so hard to be like Tony.

  • hmm||

    Not sure that turd is gonna fly.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/blo.....libel.aspx

    Sorry, I had to use that reference to the defense.

  • ||

    Everyone uses 'blood libel' to mean "false accusation of murder" these days.

    Who gives a fuck if 100 years ago it meant false accusations of Jews murdering children?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    The left-wing chimpout over Palin using "blood libel" is really grotesque.

    "BLOOD LIBEL IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE YOU BIGOTED HATER!!!"

  • ||

    Palin, who has spent her entire national career slandering the president

    Thus sayeth the four star general in the War on Hyperbole.

  • ||

    What's odd about all of this is that no one sane is arguing that people don't use inflammatory rhetoric in politics. A lot of people do, on any side of the political spectrum you want to name. But blaming any of that for violence, even indirectly, is nuts.

    Call me when we have some armed insurrection. Until then, STFU.

  • ||

    Of course Palin has spent her entire national career slandering Obama - since she was plucked out of obscurity by the McCainiac in Sep 09.

    She failed in that too.

    Palin is a complete hack with no discernible qualities at all.

  • sr7||

    So, which one becomes self aware first, Watson or shrike?

  • ||

    Didn't Hilary make some comments of her own?

  • Hillary||

    The only comment I made was "what the fuck" when I fell down on that plane.

  • Realist||

    Obama is a complete hack with no discernible qualities at all.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So... either Palin and Obama should be immune from criticism, or they shouldn't be.

    Which is it, shrike?

  • Southerner||

    It's not slander if it's true.

    Not that you would understand this "truth" thing we right-wingers keep mentioning for some reason.

  • ||

    I don't know if this goes to Cathy Young or a Hit & Run intern, but can we please stop using that goddamned photo of the shooter already?

  • Amakudari||

    I advocate replacing it with either Taxi Driver Robert De Niro, Uncle Fester or Billy Corgan. Then we know whom it's about but it conjures better memories.

  • Amakudari||

    Also, you can be thankful they aren't photos of him posing with his gun in a G-string.

  • Jackie Coogan||

    ...or me!

  • ||

    can we please stop using that goddamned photo of the shooter already?

    C'mon, show a little backbone, willya?

  • CalebT||

    Oh, crap, the Republicans are starting to call the guy a "leftist." We live in a nation-wide South Park.

  • SIV||

    At least one of Loughner's friends identified him as a leftist,back when he was semi-coherent at least. I've yet to hear anyone say progressives and statists are collectively responsible for his violent acts.

  • ||

    With the insane level of hate being directed at Sarah Palin, I wonder what these people will say if she gets shot by some psycho who actually is influenced by their words?

  • ||

    1. Sarah Palin has begotten this climate of hatred.
    2. Thus, she totally deserved it.
    3. The world is a better place without her.

  • ||

    4. Pass the spinach.

  • SIV||

    "She thinks she is the real victim here"

  • ||

    Probably.

  • James||

    Here's my unresearched and wildly over-generalized theory. The nastiest rhetoric coming from the left seems to be more unhinged and emotional, and I don't necessarily mean that in a "liberals are emotional and irrational" way—it's just what's to be expected at the extremes of any group that isn't collectively being careful to rein it in.

    Meanwhile, the right has (perhaps justifiably) become so self-conscious about how the media holds them to a double standard, they've gotten pretty good at going right up to the line without crossing it. Commentators like, for example, Rush Limbaugh, know they're going to want to say things like "they accuse us of inciting violence, but what's coming from them is so much worse" every so often, so they're careful not to speak in terms of physical violence, or say anything else that would turn them into hypocrites. But hyperbole and claims of vast liberal conspiracies generally don't quite rise to that level, so they can use that kind of rhetoric all they want.

    Does that make any sense?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Remember the good old days when "regime change begins at home?" Back when the President was W and the US overthrew the Iraqi government with guns and stuff?

    Plausible deniability. Chickenshit stuff, but useful.

  • shrike and Tony||

    It's okay when OUR side does it!

  • the real shrike||

    Shut the fuck up, you Christfag sockpuppet.

  • ||

    They lost the electorate and are still pouting over the unfairness of it all. Like any adult would.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    It makes a lot of sense, and is largely correct, I think.

    If you've ever seen unfiltered photos of some of the left leaning demonstrations, you would notice a large number of vitriolic, communism supporting, and flat out bat-shit crazy signs being waved around - but the demonstrators knew they would be largely ignored when the events were covered, so nobody made any effort to minimize them. On the flip side, tea party attendees knew that reporters would actively seek out and report on any inflammatory signs, so they were a lot more careful to keep them to a minimum.

  • ||

    i>I do think it might be a good opportunity to look at gun regulation.

    That took me completely by surprise. Did not see it coming.

  • ||

    The only discourse that I really only get into has ad hominem attacks; throat-slashing gestures; shouts of "You lie!"; witch-denying; flop sweat; eyes-rolling-up-in-the-back-of-the-head-and-then-actually-dying; pies-in-the-face; butchering the King's English; UFO & retard references; gang signs; and microphone-wrasslin'. Anything else and I turn to a different fuckin' TV channel.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Mongo,

    shouts of "You lie!"[...]




    Well... He DID lie.

  • Obama||

    Hey weren't you in "Blazing Saddles"?

  • mike||

    There was also a large amount of bashing (from the right) of the Sheriff with all types of conjectures of his duplicity and failure with no evidence. Yet since the release of campus police reports and other school inforation those accusations have died down.

    Both the left and right acted in their usual manner - as spoiled children.

  • ||

    Just to double check, I can still quote from 'Conan the Barbarian' when discussing politics?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

  • ||

    [Yet since the release of campus police reports and other school inforation those accusations have died down.]

    Because it's tedious to state the obvious?

  • hmm||

    Eve Conant at TDB is all upset McStain isn't exploiting the Tucson shootings. No really that's basically what she says.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/b.....mainpromo2

  • XM||

    A while ago John Stossel made the argument that the civil rights act should be repealed, arguing that private businesses should be able free to "discriminate". Some conservatives agreed, others didn't (NRO's Rich Lowry). But I recall no one prominent on the right accusing Stossel of being a racist tool of corporate interests. Guess who did?

    The left movement is perennially obsessed with some ready made "establishment" boogeyman - something white, something coproate, someting military industrial complex, something racist. That the Tea party is mostly white instantly registers in their mind as default exclusion of minorities, and their cries against big government is heard as a racist outcry and violent rhetoric. This kind of mindest is evident their reaction to the shooting.

    Conservatives will at least lend their ears to (controversial) libertarian arguments, and not dismiss it whole as racist or selling out to corporate America, precisely because the left has done that to them for years. Both sides engage a game of "guilty by association" and fruitless rhetorics, but it drives the left more, and enjoy more powers to advance their false accusations and derive bad legislation from them. (Michael Savage was banned in Britain for his alleged violent rhetoric)

    Reason writers often strain too hard to play the role of "non partisan equal opportunity haters of both left and right". Sometimes it takes courage to stand up for one side and denounce the other. The inelegant objections from some conservatives doesn't take away form the fact that the left is mostly responsible for the ugly "aftermath".

  • ||

    Right, your TEAM is "better" than the other TEAM. You do understand how many times a day we hear this, right? And how it's bullshit every time? But thanks for trying to piss down our backs and tell us it's raining.

  • ||

    Classic Episiarch.

    Now that I realize you hate everyone I suddenly kind of like you.

  • ||

    Let's be best fucking friends!

  • Tony||

    The two of you should adopt a kid together.

  • ||

    Stop stalking me, Anonypussy!

  • Tony||

    You jealous shrike has eyes on your, uhm, infatuation?

  • Max||

    A liberturd threesome, maybe one of you will be able to find a hole.

  • ||

    Learn to count. Now that you are here, Max, it's not a threesome, it's an orgy. Good news too cause you are such a big asshole it will be impossible not to hit it.

  • Bingo||

    I would reckon that more than 9 out of 10 people that post on this site are, for the most part, against the policies of both parties. That includes people like MNG and John (and possibly Tony), even though they often get a bad rap as being BLUE or RED promoters. It's baffling that it has taken you this long to recognize the fact that you can hate on Democrats without being a Republican apologist.

  • sr7||

    I absolutely despise the Republicans, but our GOPfellators tend to be much more mild mannered than the left nut trolls. I really only react to what is served in front of me. And what I see coming from shrike, Tony, Max and the like is a lot of condescending bullshit. Whereas, SIV is more, 'please don't hate me.'

  • sr7||

    . I really only react to what is served in front of me.

    To that, I don't recall any post from the editors about the bill from Republican terrorist Peter King designed to make congressmen walking principalities of 2nd Amendment nullification. I would love to tear into his murderous IRA ass with some obscene vitriolic rhetoric.

  • ||

    Your post reminds me why I tend to support the party of the Right to Privacy. I do not wish to debate whether Madison or Jefferson intended it to be there - I just despise the type of statists that would deny me such.

  • Tony||

    I don't think Stossel is a racist or corporate tool. He's just an idealistic idiot like all libertarians.

    The right doesn't have its bogeymen? I seem to recall poor minorities being responsible for the financial crisis. And poor minorities leeching off the welfare state causing budget crises. And poor minorities destroying employment through illegal immigration. And poor minorities causing crime.

  • jacob||

    And poor minorities destroying employment through illegal immigration.

    Nobody that regularly posts here thinks this, and Stossel doesn't either.

  • Realist||

    Hey you're starting to wise up!

  • Tony||

    I know, Stossel is an idiot huh?

  • ||

    Palin is a complete hack with no discernible qualities at all.

    That must be why you find her so easy to ignore.

  • ||

    So you have been sucked into that void?

    I've seen quite a few of your posts but did not know you were this base.

  • hmm||

    Or he's just pointing out how fucking retarded it is to constantly bitch and whine about how unimportant and someone is and how they should be ignored.

  • sr7||

    Oh, if GWB ran for Kay Baily Hutchinson's seat, and Palin ran for prez, just imagine what the forums would look like around here and every where else. The saturation point of jizm-swung-in-anger on the walls would collapse teh internets.

  • ||

    She's flawed in any number of ways, but she's not awful at politics. She just plays to a lower-class audience. Which, one would think, would appeal to egalitarians.

  • ||

    I think it's more like the ol' "Kerry would be worse!" card.

    The last couple of times the presidency has changed parties, it's been about how much worse the other guy was. And, quite frankly, if Palin were up against Obama? I'd consider voting for her even if she is as dumb as a rock.

    I'm not sure how long it will take to undo the damage Obama's done the first two years! Add another four to the next two he's gonna get anyway?! Why?

    Honestly, even if she were as dumb as a doornail, I'd rather have an idiot whose biases skewed toward capitalism than Barack Obama--whose instincts are so fucking stupid, he can't even recognize his own stupidity.

    I mean, what is the knock on Palin anyway? ...and why, after all the buffoonery Obama has inflicted on us, would anyone who believes in the primacy of individual rights and capitalism prefer Obama to Palin?

    Obama is just like Bush--except in all the ways that he's worse! I'll probably stick to my principled non-voting--but I'd be tempted to vote for Palin if she were up against Obama.

    If I had to vote? I'd vote for a dead skunk on the side of the road if it were running against Barack Obama. I used to say Bush Jr. was the worst President since Johnson, but Obama stole that title a long time ago.

  • ||

    "I mean, what is the knock on Palin anyway?"

    She's a relatively attractive female who is not a Progressive.

  • ||

    Well then she must be stopped!

    I really think it is just a repudiation of the Tea Party. People hate the Tea Party, so they take it out on Sarah Palin.

    Oh, and just for the record? Palin Hate reeks of misogyny. I'm not saying that applies to all the haters, but that shoe definitely fits a lot of people's feet.

    And the dumbest conspiracy theories I've heard lately? Aren't comin' from the Truthers or the Birthers. The dumbest by far are the people who claim Palin's retarded kid isn't really hers--the kid's just an elaborate ploy to endear Palin to the voters.

  • DesigNate||

    I've noticed that there aren't a lot of attractive women on the left, whereas women on the right tend to be hot in that naughty older librarian kinda way. Maybe all the anger and vitriol stems from their feelings of inadequacy in our increasingly appearance oriented society.

  • El Duderino||

    I'm so sick of "teachable moments". People can get mad as hell without killing other people. If somebody gets mad and kills or harms somebody else, it is not because of words, it is because they are too fucking stupid or insane to deal with other human beings with any degree of rational discourse. And when I say "rational discourse" I do not necessarily mean civil discourse. If you are mad as hell, it probably will not help your argument to say something in anger, but it is not impossible to make a rational fucking argument without utilizing invective and "heated rhetoric". The next fucking person who says that the rhetoric is too fucking hot is just saying they are too fucking stupid to defend their own point of view.

  • El Duderino||

    CORRECTION:

    but it is not impossible to make a rational fucking argument without utilizing invective and "heated rhetoric".

    should read:

    but it is not impossible to make a rational fucking argument while utilizing invective and "heated rhetoric".

  • Bingo||

    Cannot agree with this more.

  • marlok||

    I gag when I hear or see the phrase "teachable moment." It makes me even sicker that there are people out there (mostly pundit-types) who don't find these special little "teachable moments" extremely condescending and insulting. The last person I want to put on his teacher hat and deliver some half-baked lecture is a politician who stopped doing an honest day's work as soon as he decided to hop into politics.

  • El Duderino||

    Exactly.

  • ||

    I appreciate Palin for her entertainment value. I like seeing people like you run in circles howling and biting their own tails just thinking about her, Shriek.

    Just for the record, I think her chances for a national elected office went down the toilet when she walked off the job as governor.

  • El Duderino||

    I dont blame her for walking off the job. I thought it was a ballzy move and she had a point about her political rivals creating a distraction from her governance. Unfortunately, I think almost all of our "politicians" in the federal government are just as distracted by their political opponents, some unnecessarily so. I think they should just do what their mommies told them to do when a bully picks on them: Ignore them.

  • ||

    I bet Palin visits some commenters in dreamland each night.

    I'd like to see Palin go on TV and say something like "I know some of you don't like me and that I haunt your dreams each night, I have to tell you that those aren't dreams, those are real experiences, and I really am coming to eat your flesh and steal your kids. Am I coming tonight? You betcha!"

  • ||

    Well in that case I am quite sure I have fucked her - then splattered a nut on her yapping maw hole thus shutting the slaggish attention whore up for a few minutes.

    Hey - its dreamland, right?

  • sr7||

    Because he's a daaaaay trader! One way ticket to nowhere. Yeah! Yeah!

  • Almanian||

    I think Palin would just bite your dick off and spit it in your face. Cause I'm pretty sure she's more of a man than your are, shriek.

    Ayez un bonne weekend!

  • vousy zuřivosti||

    Rex Murphy on the Arizona Shooting Rampage
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v....._embedded#!

  • Marian Kechlibar||

    Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition - or a Czech nickname on Reason, for that purpose.

  • KPres||

    Who the hell is Kathy Young and why the fuck is she writing for Reason instead of the NY Times? You people just don't fucking get it. The whole reason the Left is focusing on this BULLSHIT about the political climate is because they're losing the ideological war. Of course they want you to tone it down. Then they're screaming will sound that much louder.

    These people are fucking maggots. They don't give a shit about the political climate. They give a shit about communism, and every time some fake-ass libertarian like Cathy Young writes an article about their fake-ass narrative, they win. It doesn't matter if you're writing that you disagree with their conclusions. That's immaterial. Just by acknowledging the issue as THEY framed it, you imply that it has validity, which it has none.

    Fuck them. The real story here, the only story, is how despicable the left has exposed themselves to be. Not twenty minutes after this story broke, they were already trying to pin this on the Tea Party, even though Jared Laughner was a radical leftist, who no doubt got enraged by the communist garbage he read on the Huffington Post.

    Know this, everything they do is a calculated strategy. They don't give a flying fuck about guns, Gabrielle Giffords, or the political climate. It's all a strategy to advance socialism. If you're too stupid to understand that, then read a fucking book. Read their books. See how they think. Then you'll understand. They're a fucking despicable subhuman species. They have no principles whatsoever.

    Tone it down? Fuck off lefties. When you're ideology is dead i'll tone it down. Until then, I hope you scum-fucks rot in hell.

  • SIV||

    Dead on, with this glaring exception:

    even though Jared Laughner was a radical leftist, who no doubt got enraged by the communist garbage he read on the Huffington Post.

    You were doing so well up to that point.

    I can't really disagree with the rest of it although:
    They're a fucking despicable subhuman species. wasn't entirely apparent until this latest incident.

  • KPres||

    Agreed. Before this I thought there was a limit to sleazy political gamesmanship. Now I know better. This has been the most despicable thing I ever witnessed, even in the political arena. From this point forward, they're subhuman to me.

    Anybody, go to HuffPo or the Daily Kos and see if the rhetoric is "toned down." No, it's as hateful as it ever was, which exposes exactly who they are. Despicable hypocrites.

  • ||

    I wonder what's next?

    The unhinged charge didn't work at all. Too many oldsters, too many folks that looked like 'them' aka middle class cracker solidarity. Then there was racist. That's a substantial charge and affirmative action support (and the support of the 90% of the black community) ensured it wouldn't boomerang. But it's a hard charge to prove, even with a pliant media putting on the pom poms. That didn't work either (though it did get some short term benefit when O needed it). So now it's accessory to murder and due to the backlash this is the biggest failure yet. Even a fair amount on the left (maybe, maybe not the President) aren't buying.

    So what's next? At every setback we've seen escalation. The question is, what will it look like? Where do you go after an accessory to murder charge (implied simply by making it a story, though not explicit) to silence the opposition?

    Though to be fair, it's really sad that the murderer was not the murderer the left was waiting for. If this had been a tea party murderer it might have been a game changer. There's always tomorrow though so buck up, Democrats. Lots of guns. Lots of crazy people. Rush has 5 million listeners. Surely these three overlap to a fair extent?

  • ||

    Then there was racist. That's a substantial charge

    Would you care to detail the substance behind this charge?

  • ||

    I think a better word would have been considerable, but I got his point.

    In this case, something can be substantial without being substantiated. MSNBC has been making a (modest) living making substantial yet unsubstantiated claims against the right for some time now.

  • moob||

    I don't think he was a radical leftist; his friends reported he was into the Zeitgeist conspiracies, which is a mixture of right and left crackpotism. I've met others though who are Zeigeistians and they're as harmless as puddy.

  • buddy||

    I think you missed a turn awhile back. Lewrockwell.com was next to the gas station with the one pump.

  • jacob||

    LOL
    I think he's more of a Neal Boortz or Townhall guy

  • ||

    "Who the hell is Kathy Young and why the fuck is she writing for Reason instead of the NY Times?"

    Just for the record, I believe she still writes for the Boston Globe.

    ...and being libertarian isn't about pulling the Republican party line and whatever they're doing.

    Actually, I wish we had more libertarians writing for publications like the New York Times.

    Actually, as much as I despise Barack Obama and the Democrats, I'm kinda lookin' forward to the Republicans getting the White House again, so I start blasting away at them again too. If and when Palin gets elected, I'm turning on her like an abuse pit bull.

  • Tony||

    daddy?

  • KPres||

    Eat a dick.

  • Tony||

    Oh, Daddy! It IS you!

  • ||

    Well, the one thing we all know for sure is that politicians are idiots.

    being-anon.it.tc

  • Ska||

    Bring back Jay Beano.

  • Almanian||

    Did someone shoot someone or something this week?

    And how come there's no news about how the Republicans have reduced federal spending? Oh - that's happening in the future? No? Not even then?

    OK...back to teh pron...

  • vousy zuřivosti||

    we finally have an insight into shrike's brain:
    http://boingboing.net/rob/nightmares.html

  • Binky||

    That's actually pretty good. Thanks, vousy.

  • Boss Tweed||

    Having a hard time figuring out who sounds more retarded: Left, Right, or the people posting on this thread.

    Opinions?

  • sr7||

    Twenty of the most useless words ever assembled. I hope you are proud of yourself. Good to you, sir

  • DanD||

    Let's see--you collectively imply that a whole group of people with distinct stated opinions are retards. You provide absolutely no evidence, and thus you're clearly here to troll.

    D- Try harder next time, numbnuts.

  • TheOtherSomeGuy||

    The opposite of the GOP and the not-so-Democratic Parties being at each other's throats is the GOP and not-so Democratic Parties compromising on new ways to spend trillions of dollars we don't have.

    Given the two options?

    Ladies and gentlemen, let's getttttt rrrreeeaaddddyyyyy ttttoooooooo rrrrruuuuummmmmmbbbbbbllllleeeee.

  • ||

    So when the left wants to "fundamentally" change America, they don't expect to fight back? They would prefer people to just accept that govt knows what is best. Let' keep America free!!

  • Progressives||

    It's for your own good, assholes! Stop fighting us!

    Why can't you understand what's in your own best interests, like we can?

  • Neu Mejican||

    For every word written trying to directly pin blame for this on the rhetoric from one side or the other there has been 100 words written about the discourse.

    Most meta-tragedy in memory.

  • ||

    The facts as we currently know them:

    A mentally ill man with no political leanings whatever killed a bunch of innocent people and severely injured a congresswoman.

    As surely as night follows day, this is the work of conservatives, George Bush most prominent amongst them, and Sarah Palin. Why is that so hard to understand?

  • Neu Mejican||

    A mentally ill man with no political leanings whatever a political agenda that is orthogonal to the political mainstream killed a bunch of innocent people and severely injured a congresswoman.

  • ||

    by orthogonal you mean 90 degrees out from either the Dems and Repubs? He had an "agenda", how do youn know that? Would you describe Libertarians as having an orthogonal political agenda? As usual, NM, you are inscrutable.

    How do you square your assessment with the statements of those who knew him?

  • hmm||

    Soon we will be hearing that red g-string = evil right winger.

  • wef||

    "No justice, no peace." - Jared Lolita Lebron Loughner

  • Neu Mejican||

  • SIV||

    Not bad Neu!

  • moob||

    a good article, at least until they get to the part of the need for a "comprehensive plan." How about this for a comprehensive plan: reduce the use of governmental violence and coercion on nonviolent adults in their consensual interactions.

  • SIV||

    I appreciated the quotation marks around "mental illness". Not surprisingly though, to anyone wielding a public health hammer individuals all look like nails.

  • ||

    I swear, it was CRAZY how lefties when on the offensive. No sooner than it happened my nutty liberal sister who sends me several terrible Huffington articles a day chimed in with a: "See, I told you Palin and the teabaggers are crazy!"

    It's like they had a prepackaged excuse and explanation. No facts, rhyme or reason.

    I just shut down my computer and went for a long walk.

    It was so sad on so many levels.

  • SIV||

    If the Atlanta Falcons fall behind the Packers by 3 touchdowns I'm changing channels to the Miss America Pageant.

  • SIV||

    Some Blonde hottie is singing "Papa Was A Rolling Stone". I would happily volunteer to have sex with one or multiples of these Miss America contestants.

    All my posts related to the leftwing moonbat threatening a Tea Party guy with death on ABC TV have been removed.
    Squirrels? Or the NWO/Illuminati/Bilderberger sqwerls?

  • SIV||

    No, I'm on the wrong thread.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Robert Stacy McCain has some interesting things to say about Loughner's fascination with the Zeitgeist group and how his Youtube rantings eerily echo the group's disjointed, confused missives. They seem to be a diseased mix of Jim Jones, L. Ron Hubbard, Pol Pot and Isaac Asimov. The big bee in their bonnet is capitalism and the cure is something call "The Venus Project":

    The Venus Project proposes a social system in which automation and technology would be intelligently integrated into an overall social design where the primary function would be to maximize the quality of life rather than profits. This project also introduces a set of workable and practical values.

    Anything short of overall social design would be inappropriate and far less effective. Our proposals will be submitted to the general public and all educational institutions, and we invite their participation. If enough people find the proposals acceptable and choose to join with us in this new advocacy, this could help to form the nucleus of an organization to further the aims of The Venus Project.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Oh, here's the LINK

    Possibly non-SF'ed version: http://www.thezeitgeistmovemen.....mid=100091

    And you'll be relieved to know that, "The Venus Project is neither Utopian, nor Orwellian, nor does it reflect the dreams of impractical idealists."

  • ||

    Isn't profit just the numerical representation of increased "quality of life"?

    The only real difference between liberal and conservative is that liberals think profit should be provided, conservatives think it should be earned.

  • moob||

    But how would the Taurons feel about this? Have they been consulted? Or anyone else in the 12 worlds?

  • Ravinder Singh||

    It's a shame that a website that proclaims the use of reason should not have this same sentiment reflected in the ensuing message boards, where I see comments reflecting the same knee-jerk partisanship that I have come to readily expect on boards like The Wall Street Journal, or Crooks and Liars.

    Notable examples like Paul Kanjorski (D-PN), who explicitly stated violence against his opponent during last year's campaign season, or the perpetually pissed off Mike Malloy, show that there is heated rhetoric on the left (in the case of Kanjorski, explicit violence).

    Yet calling out exceptions on the left under the pretense of balance for the sake of balance, made by "the neutered" in saying that both sides evenly engage in violent (and ultimately childish) political rhetoric misses the very real point, choosing instead to side with an audience-pleasing result, rather than choosing the chance to make a meaningful contribution (hence the term "neutered"): the far right engages in this a show more often than not. That is to say, there is a very good reason why everyone, even those on the right, made this connection, and why the far right is tellingly defensive.

    The standard meme is this: there is no direct evidence connecting J.L. Loughner and right-wing political rhetoric to the shooting, so any charges made are made out of a shameless political effort by the left to insidiously capitalize out of the death of a nine-year-old girl. People like Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, David Brooks (unfortunately), Michelle Malkin, have made this point etc: you pick your poison.

    This is a complete cop-out, and provides those who strive to use reason and facts a clear delineation between how easy it is for some people to make a living based on childish thinking. It really is that easy.

    Soon after the shooting, where news of a Democratic congresswoman being shot in Arizona at a public rally occurred, what were your first thoughts? The brain is designed to look for patterns, it's in-grained in us. What was the unconscious, tacit, assumption made by one's own mind, divorced from politics, soon after the shooting?

    By giving every reader the benefit of the doubt, I would venture to say that their own brain made a tacit assumption, uninfluenced by "the left", but rather, influenced by a sense of history: that this was a right-wing shooter. Consider the very real history:

    - A report by the Homeland Environment Threat Analysis, co-ordinated with the FBI, states that they have "no specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment." April, 2009. The release of this report is then summarily attacked by the right-wing, with people like John Boehner wanting the Department of Homeland Security to "apologize". (http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/rightwing.pdf)

    - Jim Adkisson's shooting at a progressive church in Knoxville, TN. He "“wanted to kill…every Democrat in the Senate & House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book," July, 2008 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/28/usa)

    - Warren "Gator" Taylor taking hostages at a post office in Virginia, stating later that he was angry about the federal taxes and the infringement on his second-amendment rights. December, 2009 (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/26/us/26hostage.html)

    - Byron Williams, arrested after a shootout in I-580 in California. Williams, 43, stated that he was going to kill employees of the ACLU and Tide Foundation. Williams credited Glenn Beck with the way he "exposed things" July, 2010 (http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2010/1016/Did-Glenn-Beck-s-rhetoric-inspire-violence)

    - Soon after her voting on the health care bill, Rep. Gabrielle Gifford's (D-AZ) office was vandalized, during the same time period as the shooting out of Raul Grijalva's (D-AZ) window at his office in Yuma. March/July, 2010. (http://azstarnet.com/news/local/crime/article_eb24e4fe-35dc-11df-ad88-001cc4c03286.html), (http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/local/report/072910_grijalva_yuma)

    - District Chairman Anthony Miller, a black Republican who once worked for John McCain, resigned due to threats, a few racial, he says were directed at him from Tea Party opposition. January, 2011(http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/01/rep_giffords_shooting_prompts_gop_resignations_in_arizona.html)

    And so on.

    There is no even-blame, no equal-distribution of guilt: the fair and balanced point is that the far right has a very real problem, with odds against them worse than a tourist in a Las Vegas casino.

    Lest we forget, an advertisement for Rush Limbaugh, just this week. (http://www.wisepolitics.com/rush-limbaugh-tucson-straight-shooter-billboard-taken-down-3074.html)

  • SIV||

    DRINK!

  • SIV||

    It's a shame that a website that proclaims the use of reason

  • ||

    Drink!

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Soon after the shooting, where news of a Democratic congresswoman being shot in Arizona at a public rally occurred, what were your first thoughts?

    My very first thought was that every lefty asshole like yourself would immediately try to pin the murders on Sarah Palin & the tea party movement.

    And I was right.

  • Ravinder Singh||

    "My very first thought was that every lefty asshole like yourself..."

    Nice try

  • Fatty Bolger||

    So you're not an asshole?

  • Ravinder Singh||

    "And I was right."

    Additionally, if you read between your own lines, you inadvertently proved my point.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    If your point was that lefties have been fantasizing so much about some outburst of violence from the right that they could point to and take advantage of and use to distract from their current unpopularity that it was inevitable and obvious that they would get so turned on when it looked like something like that might have happened that they wouldn't even wait for any of the facts to come out before pointing fingers at Sarah Palin and the tea party movement, and are still so enamored of the concept that they continue to try to make the case of violence from the right (that's your part, bub) in the face of contradictory evidence because they really, really, REALLY want it to be true, well then yes, I guess I proved your point.

  • Ravinder Singh||

    "If your point was that lefties have been fantasizing so much about some outburst of violence-"

    No, it wasn't. You missed it, because you're looking at me from the wrong perspective.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    OK, let's take you out of the equation. You're not right, you're not left, and if you're a libertarian you're doing a good job of pretending otherwise. Maybe you're a modern day Tom Sawyer, always hopeful but discontent, knowing changes aren't permanent, and deep as the skies are wide. It changes nothing.

    I knew that lefties would be creaming themselves over this because they've wanted it for a very long time, and they've done it many times before. It doesn't seem to matter how many times it fails, it's irresistable, and I doubt that even this debacle will stop it from happening again.

  • Ravinder Singh||

    You shouldn't bother responding to my posts: since the beginning, you've resorted to a personalization towards me that I don't care to deal with. That's what shrinks are for.

    Goodnight.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Night.

    (Tosses Ravinder a throw pillow)

  • Amakudari||

    What did you think when you heard he nearly killed a Democratic Congresswoman, but did kill a Republican judge, a nine-year-old girl, three senior citizen and another bystander, and shot 11 others? And then when you read his internet ramblings? If you thought Tea Party, you're an idiot. Period.

    Moreover, whatever belief system did influence him -- my money's on Zeitgeist -- is irrelevant. It's a symptom, not a cause. His paranoia and violence fed his search for such an ideology, not the other way around (and Zeitgeist is pacifist, for what it's worth).

    Secondly, name some right-wing political assassins or wanna-bes in the US. I'll start you off in the other direction: Lee Harvey Oswald, Sirhan Sirhan, Sara Jane Moore, Samuel Byck, Oscar Collazo, Griselio Torresola, Giuseppe Zangara, Leon Czolgosz.

    See, the difference is I don't think those are to blame on the left, which is by and large non-violent. Likewise, I don't think the Tea Party should be culpable for an assassin with mere ties to the Tea Party unless those actions were explicitly advocated. I'm not talking about crosshairs on a map, I'm talking about "those who support [xyz] should be killed." But no, the movement consists of non-violent protests, however much it might pain you to admit such.

    And then, I sure as fuck don't think the Tea Party should be held responsible for the actions of someone with absolutely no connection whatsoever to them.

  • moob||

    Ravinder,
    I did make this first assumption when I heard the most prominent person shot was a Democratic congressman (but I don't presume to know what everyone else's first assumption was, as my schema is not theirs). But this is precisely why reason and analysis are needed in such episodes, as clearly a person's first intuitive reactions to something cannot always be trusted. The notion that we should just trust our first reptilian (or mammalian) brain's reaction to what happened, shutting the cerebral cortex down to use later merely in the service of cherry picking to confirm this first reaction is precisely the opposite of what a magazine (or any honest adult) named Reason should do. Drink!

  • Ravinder Singh||

    moobs, I entirely agree, but that wasn't my point (this seems to be a pattern here, people should just read the entire post).

    I never said that it was correct to follow one's first assumption, just that the first assumption was indicative of a very real history of behavior from the far right (drink), and not the result of an overall conspiracy to blame the far right with the events of this shooting. There is a recent history here...

    My ultimate goal is to not interact in a political climate where you can call for the explicit shooting of your political opponent (as Paul Kanjorski, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, did last year), or where you can inadvertently call this President a Muslim insurgent, and be taken seriously. This doesn't mean that Legislation X will lead to a further attempt at socialism taking over your right to flush your toilet with more water than your neighbor, or using environmental alarmism to pass legislation enforcing the inefficient production of ethanol. Enough.

    I agree with your aspirations, though, and am trying to use reason as it should be used. This doesn't mean having a bland "everybody-is-guilty-so-nothing-really-changes" approach. That's a cop-out, and I refuse. Left or right, it's time to hold their feet to the fire.

  • Karma W||

    "By giving every reader the benefit of the doubt, I would venture to say that their own brain made a tacit assumption, uninfluenced by "the left", but rather, influenced by a sense of history: that this was a right-wing shooter."

    Well, I didn't assume anything after the shooting. Nothing. I didn't assume anything because I didn't know anything about the shooter, or if it was even a lone shooter, and therefore self evaluated myself as incapable of making an informed decision. I decided to wait and get some facts before making a decision. That is exactly what the media should have done. And unlike you I know that spree killers come in all shapes and sizes, and from all political (or lack thereof), religious, and social backgrounds--so history for me has been pretty good at teaching me to refrain from jumping to moronic conclusions.


    And what the hell kind of

  • Ravinder Singh||

    News breaks out that a governor in Pakistan was assassinated by his guard.

    You heard the news "Karma W", and you don't think of a Muslim extremist? Congrats, then, your mind didn't make that evolutionarily-backed leap, evidence or no.

    In one case, the thinking was wrong, in the other case, the thinking was right. In both cases, the mind did what it always has done. In one case, your mind didn't.

    As blatant as it sounds, I'm saying that you lied.

  • SIV ||

    You're insane. It's like an epidemic this past week. Did you shoot your TV when Bristol Palin kept winning that dancing contest?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I think he's more of a foam brick type of guy. Then he cried into his throw pillow until the pain went away.

  • Amakudari||

    Seriously insane.

    Let me spell this out for you:

    1. Democratic Congresswoman, shot once and non-fatally - most likely a far-leftist (given the history I noted above), possibly a rightist
    2. Republican judge, killed - uh, unemployed guy angry about immigration?
    3. Congressional aide, killed - wait, what?
    4-6. Senior citizens, killed - what?
    7. Nine-year-old girl, killed - psycho
    8-18. Senior citizens, retired veterans and other bystanders, wounded - fucking psycho

    vs.

    1. Pakistani governor, shot 26 times - politically motivated, duh

    Likewise, if a Republican Member of Congress had been killed (let's say in 2006), I would have first thought of a leftist. And I wouldn't have blamed the kind of people who burn Bush in effigy or hold up the Bushitler signs or use war rhetoric as part of their anti-war protests. Because they didn't give him the gun or marching orders or anything else. Incitement to violence is already a crime, and if they aren't guilty of that -- if it's not real domestic terrorism -- I'm not getting involved in this massacrebating.

    Also, note that I was right with both of them, unlike you. Frankly, you would have been wrong for many assassinations in US history, because the reasoned truth usually lies beyond some petty stereotype.

    But really, let me know if you need more help with these issues?

  • Ravinder Singh||

    "What did you think when you heard he nearly killed a Democratic Congresswoman, but did kill a Republican judge, a nine-year-old girl, three senior citizen and another bystander, and shot 11 others?"

    Murder-suicide, by a right-winger. That was my honest, initial thought.

    Amakudari, your reasoning was, ultimately, off: you made a misread of my original post, thinking that I considered there being a direct connection between Jared Lee Loughner, and elements of the far right. You then go on to talk about his belief system, past historical assassins, etc, with a previous assumption you thought I made, that never was made initially. You misread the intent of my post, and that led to an incorrect conclusion (It's very revealing you made the point to mention the "Tea Party" consistently in your posts, whereas I explicitly said "far right". I felt that there are valid concerns within the Tea Party towards smaller government, and was hesitant to single them out entirely, being happier with the term "far right". But your inadvertent conflation of the two, based upon your petty stereotype, furthers my case).

    I provided recent (that is to say, relevant) historical evidence, to show that there are very valid reasons to have made that, although ultimately false, initial assumption between the Tea Party (your term), and the shooting that occurred. Yes, ultimately, there was no connection. Jared Lee Loughner was a moonwalker.

    But that doesn't negate the point: that the recent history of heated rhetoric, confrontation, threats, and very near massacres has come, more often than not, from the far right (drink). Yes, there are leftist extremists, and leftist demagogues, as I mentioned in my previous post. However, I gave a very explicit timeline, going to show a strong correlation between today's political climate, and the recent spates of violence, made more prescient by the government report given by the Homeland Environment Threat Analysis report, the same report that Speaker Boehner wanted an apology for, at the time.

    If this had occurred under opposite circumstances, using your same example from 2006, then I say that it would have been a very understandable assumption that the shooter would have been a left-wing extremist, and I would gladly say that the heated and incendiary political rhetoric of the left at that time (Bush=Hitler, violent confrontations, etc) would have contributed to the less than civil outcome. In both cases, the political rhetoric was unacceptable, and counter to reasonable debate.

    Maybe this will help you understand: I am not a leftist, and I am not a rightist. I am striving to use reason, and I am disgusted that the pretense of being "fair" means not laying blame responsibly. Otherwise, there is no real progress, as the same people will show up again and again and again, and the same innocence towards government that died with Christina Taylor Green, along with others, was undeserved. I refuse to accept a political climate with false equivalencies, and will do what I can, taking the lessons from that shooting, to hold the demagogues feet to the fire, when I can. Any aisle. Enough.

    Recently, an advertisement for that stunted-slime Rush Limbaugh read "Rush Limbaugh: Straight-Shooter", with bullet-holes painted on them. It was taken down by ClearChannel, with the same level of excuse-making that would make Sarah Palin proud.

    My question is: why take it down?

    Following that, why was it inappropriate?

    Finally, what does that say about where we are?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Does the color yellow make you sad? Do you cry when you see world like "straight shooter?"

  • SIV ||

    very near massacres

    is that like almost raped ?

  • SIV ||

  • Ravinder Singh||

    No, that's like stopping a heavily armed man, on his way to the Tides Foundation, and the ACLU, to carry out Glenn Beck's twisted view of the world.

  • SIV ||

    Nobody stopped left wing extremist Obama supporter Amy Bishopbefore she massacred those professors, particularly the Democrat DA and police who knew she was already guilty of murder and got her off because of family connections in local government (sound familiar?).

    The "right"'s response was that individuals are responsible for their own actions not their choice of politics. Who is "reality based"?

  • Ravinder Singh||

    I'm sorry, unless you have evidence that Amy Bishop got off because of what you say, then please don't make that lazy jump. Also, your link didn't work. Additionally, if you have sufficient evidence, then take it to court and win.

    The right's response is irrelevant: this isn't about partisan poiltics.

    Stop assuming I'm trying to score political points for the left. Blame lies where it lies, regardless of affiliation. My original point still stands.

  • SIV||

    The point is if someone commits a violent act wearing a Sarah Palin T-shirt, listening to Rush Limbaugh on earphones, hiding the weapon in a Glenn Beck book, none of them are in any way responsible for his actions. The only thing is nothing like that has happened. The right doesn't hold "the left" collectively responsible for their "fellow-travelers" acts of violence. If you don't know who Amy Bishop is you are very selective in your survey of so-called"political" violence in very recent American history.

  • Ravinder Singh||

    "As I started by saying, the people who really curl my lip are the ones who willingly accept such supporters for the sake of a Republican victory, and then try to write them off as not all that important, or not all that extreme, or not all that insane in wanting to repeal several amendments to a Constitution that they also think is unalterable because it’s divine! It may be true that the Tea Party’s role in November’s vote was less than some people feared, and it’s certainly true that several of the movement’s elected representatives will very soon learn the arts of compromise and the pork barrel. But then what happens at the next downturn? A large, volatile constituency has been created that believes darkly in betrayal and conspiracy. A mass “literature” has been disseminated, to push the mad ideas of exploded crackpots and bigots. It would be no surprise if those who now adore Beck and his acolytes were to call them sellouts and traitors a few years from now. But, alas, they would not be the only victims of the poisonous propaganda that’s been uncorked. Some of the gun brandishing next time might be for real. There was no need for this offense to come, but woe all the same to those by whom it came, and woe above all to those who whitewashed and rationalized it." (Chrisopher Hitchens, writing weeks before the shooting in Tuscon)


    This is a very real fear, Siv, and it's not because of some left-wing conspiracy. Just tonight, there was a gun pointed at an Illinois legistator. The perpetrator could be a left-wing extremist, or a right-wing extremist. But wouldn't you agree that the time for "second amendment remedies" to political solutions are over?

  • Amakudari||

    The perpetrator could be a left-wing extremist, or a right-wing extremist.

    Or someone else. It's in the Third World country section of Chicago.

    But wouldn't you agree that the time for "second amendment remedies" to political solutions are over?

    It never started, and shouldn't ever given our numerous democratic rights. The issue here is to what extent rhetoric causes violence. Not whether they're coincident or share a common cause or cause crazy people to blame government of their employers or friends, but whether speech creates violence.

  • Amakudari||

    * "shouldn't" as in "has no moral justification for starting"

    * government instead of

  • SIV ||

    Al Gore made him do it!
    and of course, the squirrels...

    Notice how even "Faux News" doesn't hold greenies collectively responsible?

  • Amakudari||

    Oh please. I'm not going to hide behind semantics. Replace "Tea Party" with far right and litter my post with "indirect" and the point doesn't change.

    For what it's worth, the IRS kamikaze derided capitalism and quoted Marx favorably. Republican HQs were vandalized in Murfreesboro, TN, Albemarle, NC, and Marion, OH, among other places. Eric Cantor's office was shot at, and some pro-lifers received death threats for their early opposition to the health care bill. As a denizen of San Francisco at the time, I remember this. "Kill Bush. Bomb His Fuckin House."

    And the point I was making about historical, political assassination attempts is that they just don't come from "the far right." But perhaps another one could be that real political violence has been minimal for a long time. We certainly haven't had a Civil War, and a President hasn't been assassinated in nearly 50 years or shot for nearly 30. Moreover, many of the recent attempted murders with some relation to politics are not from rightists, but distressed individuals who seek someone to blame, and those who for whatever reason fixate on the government will look to the political opposition by definition. It happened in the Bush years.

    The one, real far-right act of violence was the Oklahoma City bombing. But even that wasn't set off by rhetoric, but the incidents in Waco and Ruby Ridge. We just don't have that climate, and again, like many acts I think the issue has more to do with a violent crazy person than the existence of impassioned debate. The people who suddenly need fainting couches are ignorant an enormous amount of inflammatory rhetoric that hasn't culminated in violence.

    Politics has a large presence in our society, and some violent individuals will seize on it to justify violence. But I don't see any evidence that more vanilla debate will redirect those energies to productive uses. More likely, crazy folk will just do other crazy things. As another poster put it, looking for reason in someone whose error is in the BIOS rather than the choice of OS (Windows/Mac, i.e. Team Red/Team Blue) will get you nowhere. Understanding the inner workings of a violent, deranged mind in the context of sound-byte politics does nothing. Blaming people who have used "heated" rhetoric but have repeatedly denounced violence -- as our politicians, for all their flaws, usually do -- is irresponsible.

    thinking that I considered there being a direct connection between Jared Lee Loughner, and elements of the far right.

    No, I never insinuated that. I'm aware you hedged. But you've followed a familiar thought process. Your first thought was that a far rightist did it, and because that didn't pan out, you retreated to the far right causing it. When that didn't pan out, you retreated to the far right creating an atmosphere that has all these indirect effects that make the unhinged kill politicians. Again, that doesn't work, so you retreat to a handful of unconnected events with only a to-be-sure admission that things have sometimes gone the other way and posit that, well, if nothing else, far rightist rhetoric should be causing violence. Skip the middle steps if you must, but I disagree with that thought process and your assumption that a mass-shooter who turns his gun on the crowd is political. It's heinous enough to accept a little girl and the elderly as acceptable collateral damage, but beyond the pale to actually target them after you've committed your grand political act.

    But that doesn't negate the point: that the recent history of heated rhetoric, confrontation, threats, and very near massacres has come, more often than not, from the far right (drink)

    I don't have any problem with rhetoric, confrontation or threats that don't cross the legal line in the sand (e.g. incitement). And it's come mostly from Republicans, and the most visible of them are very much mainstream and center right.

  • Ravinder Singh||

    My challenge is to succinctly and effectively reply to your attempt to argue against common sense, without writing a book in the process. Here we go

    "No, I never insinuated that. I'm aware you hedged. But you've followed a familiar thought process. Your first thought was that a far rightist did it, and because that didn't pan out, you retreated to the far right causing it. When that-"


    You just blatantly admitted otherwise, within the emphasis.

    "Oh please. I'm not going to hide behind semantics. Replace "Tea Party" with far right and litter my post with "indirect" and the point doesn't change."


    Your Freudian slip inadvertently laid bare an association which you unconsciously made for a reason, undermining the historical context you provided, because even given your experiential knowledge from your demonstrated history, you still made a conflation between the Tea Party and the far right. I think why you did deserves a more honest explanation.

    "The issue here is to what extent rhetoric causes violence."


    Let's give you the benefit of the doubt. Even if you replaced the terms "Tea Party" with "far right", "direct" with "indirect", the issue here is to what extent reasonable human beings can be made capable of violence, through rhetoric. Let's forget Nazism, religious extremism, racism, homophobism, nationalism...

    You posit that there will always otherwise be crazy people who will always find a reason to follow through with their violence. I agree. That wasn't my point. My point was that the tacit assumption that people like myself made, that commentators like Christopher Hitchens to David Brooks have alluded to, is born out of a very real history that are not simply just unconnected events (the arrogance), that there is a very real correlation between recent levels of confrontation, and political rhetoric employed. Political rhetoric that is becoming magnified in influence due to our economic troubles.

    You remain remarkably and embarrassingly oblivious to situations where otherwise reasonable people are incited to follow through with violence, given the proper context, and you may have also inadvertently admitted to have never being stuck in traffic before. If you did, then you would known of the phenomenon of road rage, of the violence that can ensue within this pressurized environments. In the political realm, then you have inadvertently admitted to never having seen or heard of political riots before. Were this people are crazy, or brought to a fever pitch? Otherwise reasonable people, given the right environment, can turn to violence. What is needed is a match. I mean, the Southern Poverty Law Center, with a history of fighting political violence, has evidence you can always look at. But they must be part of the conspiracy, I suppose...


    Within our environment of economic/political/demographic uncertainty, rhetoric aimed at enflaming public opinion against common sense and readily-available facts to the contrary, combined with the presence of technology like the Internet and mobile, allows for the decimation of, at times, uncorroborated information to a susceptible public. The existence of these current factors makes your previous timeline outdated. Tradition is coming more at odds with modernity, and this is being exploited against reason.

    That there exists, within the body of a major political party, representatives who can openly talk of "second amendment remedies", an "armed and dangerous" constituency, that believe simultaneously in Barack Obama being a Muslim sympathizer while also being a member of an Anti-American Christian Church, mainstream media figures who can talk of poisoning elected representatives, figures that have to stress to their listeners not to take their words to violent extremes (all Glenn Beck, a popular figure of the far right. But that raises an interesting point: why go through the trouble of denouncing it in the first place, if rhetoric is not that much of a connection?), and still be considered viable to members of that party...speaks to a great disconnect between the attitudes of the mainstream, and that subset. Paul Kanjorski, who explicitly called for the shooting of his opponent, was defeated. Alan Grayson, defeated. You talk of the far right as holding rhetoric that does not cross the line of incitement, but you are knowingly deceptive to not only that rhetoric, but also why that rhetoric is not punished by the political base. You can think of why yourself, and take it from there.

    Ultimately, because you never got the point: the reason why people like myself made the assumption that the perpetrator was a right-wing extremist was not because of a partisan desire to score points. It is because of a very real, and forewarned, history of noted incidents within recent history, and the correlated use of rhetorical devices being cynically employed by politicians on both the left, or the right, to a economically-agitated and, thus, susceptible, public. The weight of the matter lies more with the far right, than with the far left. For added measure, I am not linking Jared Loughner, with the far right.

    Regardless, the end result I want, should be the same one you want: to be able to debate the merits of Legislation X, without resorting to conspiracy theories. I just don't believe in equal, and ultimately, toothless blame: there is one side being more defensive for a reason, and it's not because of a left-wing conspiracy to blame them for what happened in Tuscon.

    Why did ClearChannel take down an advertisement for Rush Limbaugh that said "Straight Shooter"? Why was that inappropriate? What does that say about our political rhetoric?

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  • ||

    the reverend jim jones was about as far left as you can get. he had numerous ties to the san fran political machine, as has been extensively documented. he hobnobbed with the san fran democrats and many of them were close friends. some of them strongly advocated for him.

    i don't recall that when he went apeshit, and organized a mass suicide/homicide (clearly some people didn't know what they were drinking), that people said

    "the leftwing is to blame". or some such.

    he was about as committed a leftist ideologue as you could get.

    loughner just a psycho, who didn't even friggen VOTE in the 2010 election, was registered independent, bla bla bla

  • GrilledCS||

    Every time I read something by Cathy Young, I have the strange experience of feeling like I've read something extremely reasonable. But it's just a feeling, because I often find myself shaking my head and realize I sometimes don't agree with Ms. Young at all.

    I think this is because Ms. Young tends to believe that the middle-of-the-road position is the same thing as the reasonable and/or correct position. The truth can often, or perhaps even usually, be found somewhere in the middle. But hardly always.

    For instance:

    "...but surely there is something tacky about Palin and her supporters claiming the mantle of victimhood when so many are dead, injured, and grieving."

    This is something akin to saying "I know you've been falsely implicated for being an accessory to murder, but perhaps you should keep your mouth shut to be sensitive to the victims."

    As for the term "blood libel"; I would look on the internet to find a pre-Tuscon definition, but I'm probably right to assume that the Wikipedia page has undergone the necessary PC modifications in the meantime. Beyond that, I don't really have the time for a blowing-in-the-wind news item.

    Before Palin issued her reply, my co-worker was blaming Palin and her "crosshairs" map. When I asked her, "Why?" She said that she saw on the Today Show that Loughner had it on his computer. She didn't see that reported on the Today Show, and Loughner didn't have it on his computer.

    So, how did she walk away with that misinformed perception? Should Palin have said nothing? She waited four days, and issued that statement earlier in the day before Obama's (impressive, IMHO) speech. What if she hadn't? Would Obama's speech have been full of his usual buts and howevers, followed by politely phrased accusations against "some of those" or "some folks"?

    Krugman, et al, were so eager to wrap their arms around something politically expedient that they embraced stupid crap. The appropriate response is to call it stupid crap, and tell those who embraced it, "You have behaved like an ASSFACE!"

    "Assface" is an entirely apolitical term, and sometimes it's perfectly reasonable to use it. Forgive me, but I believe that one political side somehow has a tremendous advantage when it comes to making people feel safe to use such derogatory terms. Which side do I think has that advantage? Take a wild guess.

  • PLR||

    There has to be a Government legislation or else people will be using guns as candies, wherever and whenever they want. We need to stop this kind of massacre immediately to uphold world peace

  • PLR||

    There has to be a Government legislation or else people will be using guns as candies, wherever and whenever they want. We need to stop this kind of massacre immediately to uphold world peace

  • ||

    So is Reason allowing the shootings using Political means?

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  • tory burch||

    So,maybe it's ture.But don't stand in a view of things.

  • Matthew Kirez||

    tory, it is definitely truth. An interesting article.

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    It was an amazing sight seeing Gabrielle Giffords walking and talking again. She is a strong woman.

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