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AdLib On January - 8 - 2011

Democratic Representative, Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot in the head today and approximately 24 others were shot and/or injured when an assailant opened fire outside a grocery store as the Democratic lawmaker met with constituents. Six people were killed including a judge, one of Giffords’ aides and a nine year old girl.

A doctor spoke on Giffords’ status, she is out of surgery and he expressed optimism that she could recover.

The assailant has been identified as Jared Loughner, a 22 year old white male.

As of this time we don’t have enough details to say categorically what many of us suspect may have driven this man to this shooting rampage.

He could just be insane and not influenced by the voices of hate on the right. He could have had a motivation that was not political. It is not wise to prematurely come to any conclusions no matter how likely they may seem.

However, in the environment of intolerance, hate, threats of gun violence and “2nd Amendment remedies” all coming from the Right, if this has contributed in any way to this tragedy, we must go after those who have been pushing people to violence as being accessories.

Add this event to this week’s mailing of firebombs to Janet Napalitano, the variety of domestic terrorist attacks and plots over the last two years, the endless death threats against Dem politicians including President Obama and the continuing obsession with proliferating guns throughout the U.S., promoting the legal right to carry them nearly anywhere.

It would be prudent to refrain from political declarations about this incident until the facts are known but if our fears are confirmed, this needs to be the moment we step up and say “Enough!”

Enough open hatred and racism, enough intolerance of those with opposing views, enough MSM exploitation of the most extreme and vicious views, enough demagoguery of Democrats as traitors, destroying this nation and being dangerous enemies of freedom and democracy. Enough preying on the fears and prejudices of Americans.

Enough of this cynical game being used by corporations and the wealthy to keep the population at each other’s throats so they can steal more of our nation’s wealth and democracy without a unified citizenry blocking their way.

Enough.

There are many Republicans I dislike but I do not hate any of them. I have never and would never advocate violence against them. I would much rather see them debated and exposed. I believe in the 1st Amendment, I don’t want them silenced but I do want their dishonesty and hypocrisy revealed when practiced.

The cold, mercenary strategy of the GOP and the Kochs and the banks and the corporations, etc., is instability for all except them. Destabilize our democracy, our standard of living, our economy and government itself. Then, there is no institutional challenge to their power and control.

If this turns out to be a case where a mentally unstable person was manipulated by the campaign of these people, we have a choice to either let this be the rallying cry against this deterioration of our society or else see more of these horrific acts of domestic terrorism multiply to the accompaniment of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Karl Rove, Fox News and the rest of this insidious chorus.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

607 Responses so far.

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  1. Questinia says:

    The GOP may have you, Sarah Palin, but we have Betty White and….

    [img][/img]

  2. bito says:

    That’s what I believe, in part because that’s what a child like Christina Taylor Green believed. Imagine: here was a young girl who was just becoming aware of our democracy; just beginning to understand the obligations of citizenship; just starting to glimpse the fact that someday she too might play a part in shaping her nation’s future. She had been elected to her student council; she saw public service as something exciting, something hopeful. She was off to meet her congresswoman, someone she was sure was good and important and might be a role model. She saw all this through the eyes of a child, undimmed by the cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often just take for granted.

    I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it. All of us -- we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.

  3. bito says:

    After all, that’s what most of us do when we lose someone in our family -- especially if the loss is unexpected. We’re shaken from our routines, and forced to look inward. We reflect on the past. Did we spend enough time with an aging parent, we wonder. Did we express our gratitude for all the sacrifices they made for us? Did we tell a spouse just how desperately we loved them, not just once in awhile but every single day?

    • Kalima says:

      I tried I think. I wrote a poem in my darkest hour after I lost my mother, it’s here somewhere, if I find it I’ll post it. It’s normal to think this way bito, to question ourselves if we did enough, often we did and this is just a normal step in our grief process.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Kalima, if I may, and I really hope you can find that poem, you inspired my to share the poem I wrote when my mother died. I hope you dont mind, please excuse me. (I haven’t looked at it since then.)

        Watching the Breath (4/25/98)

        She inhaled
        and exhaled laboriously
        slower, shallower
        with each breath laying there
        so still only her chest moving,
        eyes closed but
        for the last sixteenth of an inch.

        Slower, shallower, slower pause
        shallower pause shallower pause
        slow
        pause pause
        shallower. For 2 hours.

        Quiet ocean here at noon.
        Her brows knit gently
        for a second but
        I smooth them with a palm.

        Then she opened her eyes heavy
        eyelids floating up up like feathers and
        she stared up up for
        a moment her pupils
        black as infinity.

        (What? What? Mommy? Yes?)
        Lids now falling like silk closed but
        for that last dire sixteenth of an inch.

        Slower, slow I entrain my breath
        with hers shallower shallow!
        Watching the waves trying to see
        the breath come in go out.

        A little spittle of sea
        foam froths on the sand
        of her lips. This last bit
        of tide I wipe away
        with my shirt.

        Pause, pause pause then
        slow and shallow pause
        pause
        pause
        pause
        pause
        then shallow, then

        dry.

        • Kalima says:

          I did not believe him.

          The Messenger of Death danced through today
          Singing songs of emancipation
          I held my breath, just blinked an eye
          As he took you away from me,
          Silence.

          Hopes of finding something lost
          The sound of your voice
          The warmth of your laughter
          The hand to soothe my tears,
          Only silence now.

          Falling into obscurity, not you just I
          Entry into an uncertain space to fill
          But how?
          Only silence.

          Do the years really heal my friend
          There will never be enough years,
          Only silence.

          This shattering scream rings in my ears
          It is my own,
          Only silence.

          In these dreams you come so near
          And I’m afraid to make a sound in case
          My pounding heart should take you away again,.
          Silence

          And so, the Messenger of Death danced through today
          Singing songs of emancipation
          I did not believe him
          Now only my silence and I prevail.

          —-

          I feel as if I’m caught in one of those running naked in the street dreams. 😳

          • Chernynkaya says:

            Kalima-- I just re-read your poem and saw the edit you added at the end. If there was ever a safe place to put up our poems, this place is it! Besides-- and this I sincerely believe-- it is only the most personal that is the most universal.

            EDIT: Besides, it’s late and no one else is watching. 😉

            • Kalima says:

              I know exactly how you feel Cher, that was how much we loved, and it is a shattering experience equal to very few. Even the loss of my own child would have to be up there with the loss I felt with her gone.

              I had her headstone engraved with these words.

              “Her life a beautiful memory.

              Her absence a silent grief.”

              It seemed the simplest way to say it.

            • Chernynkaya says:

              That day is with me too, always. But looking at the poem again was well, it’s hard to describe. I am back there now. I can never express how shattering.

            • Kalima says:

              Oh I know it’s safe, it just surprised me that it could bring me back to the day of her funeral, which was when I wrote it. I had had no time to cry before that, my father was devastated, I had to organize the funeral and everything that went with it by myself. I was doing ok, a bit wobbly after her Mass, then when it came to the time to throw a handful of earth on her coffin, I almost jumped in, my sister caught me. After the guests had left our house, and my father was safely in bed, I held the cats, one mine, and wrote this at the kitchen table heaving just dry sobs. It wasn’t until I was back in Tokyo that I could finally cry. I cried everywhere, and suddenly, out of the blue. It was an oddly healing time for me to finally be able to cry.

          • Chernynkaya says:

            Kalima, so painful and beautiful. The “silence” was so loud, as I recall it. Actually roaring in my ears. The years haven’t healed for me.

            I think tonight is the appropriate night to remember our past pain as we face another pain.

            • Kalima says:

              Yes it is Cher, and “time heals” has somehow never really worked for me, my past memories are very vivid still.

              The “silence”is very deafening.

        • Kalima says:

          Cher I thanks you for sharing that very private moment. I am deeply touched and so very in tune with your intimate words your grief brought out of you. If you don’t mind I have copied this to keep with mine when I find it. Although we all have slightly different experiences at this, what we feel in our hearts is the same. Thank you.

          I’ve been hunting for it, when I find it, I’ll post it under your’s if you won’t mind, before the thread grows larger, and we will be forced to search endlessly.

          My house is a great mystery to me, I’ve been searching endlessly for things that i would never throw away for years now. This is now my project until I find them, I’ll let you know when I do.

      • Mightywoof says:

        When my Mum was alive we’d speak on the phone every week; before she died I got really tied up in something that now seems very unimportant but I kept telling myself ‘oh, I must remember to call Mum today’ -- but I didn’t and then she died suddenly and to this day it haunts me that I didn’t call because I was too busy. So, yeah, tell your loved ones how much you love them every single moment of every day for as long as you live before it’s too late to do so.

        • Kalima says:

          I’m sorry Mw, and yes it will haunt us, as it did with a friend of mine who died from complications from AIDs. I was supposed to call him in the hospital where he was battling pneumonia, I tried for hours to connect, and fell asleep with the phone still in my hand. In my early morning the phone woke me, it was his mother telling me that he had died just a few hours before. I didn’t get to say goodbye, it never leaves the back of my mind.

          • Mightywoof says:

            The sticks we find to beat oursaelves with, eh?? I’m sure your friend, like my Mum, knew how much you cared and loved him. They would forgive us -- if only we could forgive ourselves!

    • kesmarn says:

      [img]http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS4Whuy_omZb0Lr_-X1ToOezWyZMnlGam62Ps32OEXqKF4R-LDqHg[/img]

  4. AlphaBitch says:

    Obama’s tribute left me both humbled and proud. I will rise to the challenge of attempting to be a better, not bitter, person. And to sit with my Alpha Pup, the young man who has seen so much tragedy in his lifetime in a country that witnesses horrors like this and worse much more frequently than we see here, left me proud to be from this country, at this time, with this President.

    Like Bito, I have tears in my eyes. But I have a smile in my heart.

    Good night, lovely and good friends. Sleep peacefully. -- AB

  5. Chernynkaya says:

    I started tearing up when the orchestra Played Copeland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man.”

  6. bito says:

    Didn’t take long.
    Conservatives Criticize Free T-Shirts At Tucson Memorial Service
    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/conservatives-criticize-free-tshirts-at-tucson-service.php

    These people are as bad as Fred Phelps. It was a memorial for people who were murdered!! STFU for one day, one hour!!

  7. kesmarn says:

    “Widen the circle of our concern…” A phrase spoken by Obama in this speech and being analyzed by Rachel Maddow and Rev. Weldon Gaddy now.

    What a notion. Not circling the wagons and going into defensive, exclusive mode. Not fearing the “other,” and recognizing the needs of “me and mine” only. Widening the circle.

    Rev. Gaddy’s last word: “If Gabby opened her eyes today, maybe we can, too.”

    • Khirad says:

      It’s imagery is simple and profound. The circle I am told was also part of the Indian ceremony (I’m assuming to the four directions, I didn’t see it).

    • bito says:

      “At a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized — at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do — it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds,”

  8. bito says:

    “If Gabby opened her eyes, maybe we can too”

  9. bito says:

    A few years ago, Gabby’s spokesperson attempted to get everyone to use her full name, not use Gabby--didn’t work! 🙂

  10. bito says:

    I’m glad I watched this alone and not in public. It was a tearjerker for me.

    • Khirad says:

      It was just brilliant. I’m gonna have to read that transcript.

      …But they can’t stop once, the trolls. “Why the cheering at the university, is he holding a pep rally?, it’s not solemn… blah blah blah”. I just deleted them. I wasn’t having it. This was personal.

      I know you don’t care about trolls, I’m just giving you a hint of what to expect tomorrow from the hatepundits.

      Bottom line is this:

      Do you even remember Sarah’s fumbling attempt at acting presidential earlier after today that?

      This is what a true leader is.

      But I missed the Indian ceremony. What was that like? Were they local tribes?

  11. Kalima says:

    The only blogger I still read on HP.

    “Sarah Palin Fumbles and Flails Into an Otherwise Solemn Day”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-cesca/sarah-palin-fumbles-and-f_b_808336.html

    • kesmarn says:

      Wow, Kalima. Cesca was furious and it comes through loud and clear. Pull punches, he does not!

      Whenever she parades her white-trashy reality show attitude into public view, it’s an ongoing display of ridiculousness, unrivaled in decades. But today, she veered far from her usual flailing, and jutted her screechy yapper into the wrong news cycle — on a day when she would have been better served by exercising some self control. On a day when the victims of Tucson will be memorialized and the heroes of Tucson will be elevated to historical prominence, it’s no time for a cable TV doof to inject her brand of political masturbation.

      Ultimately, her nincompoopery and fumbly ignorance was completely eclipsed today by her reprehensible tastelessness, proved by the ill-considered timing of her video, and, even worse, by her unforgivable lack of deference to the men and women who have more than earned our attention for at least one uninterrupted day. We can only hope the embarrassment she’s enduring as a consequence of today’s gaffe-parade will dissuade her from doing it again.

      • Kalima says:

        He speaks the truth, and I respect the man for that. He might not be quite as refined as Tomasky, but still, he doesn’t mince his words either. I found it refreshing, will AH?

        • kesmarn says:

          The phrase “jutted her screechy yapper” was priceless, Kalima.

          I know our president just called upon us to take the high road, so I’ll try not to use that phrase in public. 😳 But its eloquence is undeniable.

  12. Chernynkaya says:

    Oh! just noticed-looks like I predicted it 2 days ago too (although it was obvious):

    I heard a discussion that rang true: It’s not even the actual rhetoric that is so destructive to our society, as much as the underlying white-hot heat. Old timers remembered heavy political rhetoric from the past but not the intense anger concurrent with it, and THAT’S what feels different now.

    These haters know it, know they are being condemned. That makes their fears more real: The government will take away our guns! They will stop our God-given free speech! They cannot silence us! So, for now, they feel justified in their sense of victimhood as cheated whites. Until their leaders step up to the plate and, over time, try to calm down their followers, these folk will be even angrier and feel more aggrieved.

    But in the end, these regressives won’t get what they want from the Repub Party, because corporations don’t care about the wedge issues they themselves stoked. They only care about less regulation, lower taxes and minuscule government. It might no longer serve corporate interests to have people so focused on their divisive methods, on their hate-flaming–they are slimy creatures who need the dark to operate effectively.

  13. Chernynkaya says:

    Mightywoof called it 2 days ago:

    01/10/2011 at 7:05 AM

    I’m glad I watched right through to the end Patsy – I was getting hotter and hotterer under the collar I’m not wearing 🙂

    I’ve been reading so much in the last couple of days about this massacre and I’m horrified that the call to cool the political rhetoric has served only to fan the flames – the rw is defensive but are getting their memes out there (one I’ve come across in several sites is ‘blood libel’ – whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean) and the lw is getting angry that the rw just doesn’t get it. In all this the tragedy of what happened has been forgotten and the fight goes on.

  14. Kalima says:

    In case you missed it on MB this morning.

    “Just jump on the bandwagon Trent before the real victims are even buried with any respect. Sickening, just how low on the chain will they go?”
    ————

    We’re Arizona shooting victims too, says Tea Party co-founder

    “Trent Humphries says killings fallout is evolving into conspiracy to destroy Tea Party and silence criticism of government”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/11/arizona-shootings-tea-party

    Arizona lawmakers seek to block funeral protests

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE70B0F420110112

    • Khirad says:

      I have some good links on blocking the funeral protests down at the same place.

      Oh, and one on Glock sales now up double in Phoenix and a new state legislator bringing her gun onto the Arizona House floor Monday. That’s right, Monday the 10th.

      Just in case y’all missed ’em.

      Wonderful state we have here. We’re totally learning all the right lessons. 🙄

      • Kalima says:

        Seems like everyone is missing the point there Khirad, and needs to remember the words of MLK when he said that “violence begets violence.”

        Stricter gun laws should be a starting point.

    • bito says:

      That seems to be their meme, Kalima. “Oh, we’re victims. of a left wing smear.”
      But weren’t you part of a group calling Mr. Obama a Nazi-Socialist-Muslim-Commie-America Hater?

      And this?

      In his own city, that attention has focused on Humphries, whose organisation threw its support behind Giffords’s opponent in November’s election, Jesse Kelly.

      Kelly, a former marine who served in Iraq, published a controversial campaign advert which included the lines: “Get on Target for Victory in November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.”

  15. Kalima says:

    If someone has posted this already, please excuse me, I’ve just crawled out of bed. Good afternoon.

    Giffords making “spontaneous movements,” doctor says

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE7071IA20110112?feedType=nl&feedName=ustopnewsearly

  16. Khirad says:

    [img][/img]

  17. Chernynkaya says:

    Beautiful essay at Common Dreams. Here’s an excerpt:

    The cultural ethos of competition, domination, consumption, and disposability pits us not only against one another, but against the life-giving properties of the habitat itself. As such, our wounds of trauma and tribulation are largely self-inflicted, not the products of the deranged among us but rather those of the perfectly sane.

    Thomas Merton reflected on this theme in the context of warfare, concluding that it is actually an overabundance of rationality more so than its lack that makes violence possible. When we suborn violence, either tacitly or overtly, as a mechanism for accomplishing everything from a good dinner to global dominion, we merely sanction its use by others as a tool for achieving whatever aim they may deem desirable. When we allow the structural violence of gross inequity and caste-based marginalization to pervade unchallenged, we thereby encourage others to divide and conquer as well. Rational beings will take heed as aggression is rewarded and cooperation denigrated, and duly note that success is measured by how much one possesses vis-a-vis others in the relentless zero-sum contest of modern life.

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/01/12-2

  18. bito says:

    From The Nation

    After Arizona Shooting, Obama Should Fight Fringe Extremism Like Clinton Did

    Last year the Southern Poverty Law Center found that “the number of extremist groups in the United States exploded in 2009 as militias and other groups steeped in wild, antigovernment conspiracy theories exploited populist anger across the country and infiltrated the mainstream.” So-called “Patriot” groups increased by a shocking 244 percent in 2009.[…]
    Four hundred and fifty thousand more guns were purchased in November 2008 than in November 2007, which not surprisingly contributed to an outpouring of violent incidents over the past two years. If you don‘t believe me, see this horrifying “insurrectionism timeline” compiled by the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Ari Berman has been bellowing for President Obama to BE the socialist that the Right accuses him of being. I like that article, but the author has little cred with me. Did you notice his other pieces right next to this one?

      “Rahm Redux: Top Banker for Obama Chief of Staff”

      “Is Obama Really the New Comeback Kid?”

      He’s losing his base but failing to bring independents back into the fold.

      Let’s hold off, please, from anointing Obama the comeback kid until we know what the full extent of that “comeback” actually entails.

      It’s not that I don’t wish we could elect a socialist in this country; I just feel that Berman will somehow use this to show how “weak” the President is on gun control.

    • Khirad says:

      That insurrection timeline has been making the rounds. Good to see it get out. At first I thought the final one might be a little incongruous, but following the link to the colon guy… not entirely anymore.

      • bito says:

        Khirad, did you look at his site? Pretty strange in my book. Wonder how many hits he has gotten this week? Better yet, how many could follow it?

  19. Chernynkaya says:

    “Explained: Jared Loughner’s Grammar Obsession:

    Based on Loughner’s online rantings, he was preoccupied with theories on a massive government fraud. Many of his seemingly random statements—on “grammar,” “the ratifications,” “the new currency,” and more—echo the teachings of the “sovereign citizen” movement, a right-wing school of thought alleging that Americans have been surreptitiously stripped of their God-given rights.

    He uses the precise talking points sovereign-citizen theorists teach via a thriving cottage industry of books, websites, bogus legal companies, and seminars; one popular theorist, David Wynn Miller, told the New York Times that Loughner has “probably been on my website.”

    Sovereign-citizen theories from his video:

    “The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar.” (3:34)

    “I can’t trust the current government because of the ratifications.” (3:34)

    “You don’t have to accept the federalist laws. Nonetheless, read the United States of America’s Constitution to apprehend all of the current treasonous laws.” (3:10)

    “No, I won’t pay debt with a currency that’s not backed by gold and silver!” (3:34)

    http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/01/sovereign-citizens-jared-lee-loughner

  20. Khirad says:

    9/11 flag to be displayed at girl’s funeral

    You’ll remember, of course, she was born on 9/11

    http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/01/11/20110111arizona-shooting-giffords-girl-killed-funeral-flag.html

    Oh, and Westboro Baptists have backed down from hers even though they shrugged it off as God’s plan to take her before.

    Well, do you believe in the hate you spew or not? Be consistent. Frauds.

  21. Chernynkaya says:

    Andrew Sullivan:

    Palin:

    Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them.

    Really? So why was it in any way relevant that Barack Obama was “palling around with terrorists”? If the acts of the radical left began and ended with them alone, why was Palin so insistent in the campaign on linking Obama to the Weather Underground -- even though he’d met them decades after their crimes?

    Then there is the usual shocking and inflammatory language. At a time when nerves are truly frayed, when blood lies on the ground, Palin offers us this:

    Especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn.

    Notice the paranoid and conspiratorial word: “manufacture.”

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/

  22. Khirad says:

    [img][/img]

    Note to Obamas: Despite tragedy, this is a good town
    http://azstarnet.com/news/opinion/editorial/article_23d59145-39c0-56c7-8396-2c8c11ef44c5.html

    AZ Leg passes funeral protection zone.

    http://www.azcentral.com/news/election/azelections/articles/2011/01/11/20110111arizona-shootings-funeral-bill-passes.html

    I love the angel’s wings.

    Local ‘Angels’ group, new AZ law seek to shelter funeral goers from protests
    http://azstarnet.com/news/local/crime/article_e5e8fc8a-1233-53d4-b40c-2cb7ac88b4bc.html

    Sales of guns, including Glocks, soar across US
    http://azstarnet.com/news/local/article_e810bf63-96e5-5f7f-a262-b4e4a66de14d.html

    And, an only in Arizona story.

    Lawmaker carries gun onto House floor
    http://www.azcentral.com/news/Blog/PoliticalInsider/113864

    By the way, in addition to the earlier details (I posted down below) coming out from Loughner’s family, apparently his dad had asked what he was doing with a big black bag, that he ran into the desert and his dad tried to follow him with his truck. Apparently the parents were doing their best to deal with him, and I can’t imagine the guilt they must feel right now. From what I know so far, I’m counting them as among the victims. How do you recover from that? Going over all the things you should have done raising him, or insisting on treatment more forcefully? Second guessing every little thing? Unless something new comes out to change my mind, my heart goes out to them. And, quite frankly, reading more details about the shooter, this kid really did need help, and before he started this descent into madness, his awkwardness and loneliness is kind of sad. Doesn’t excuse or mitigate the hatred I have for his act, but, I’m saying that this didn’t need to happen. -- How can we solve the shortcomings of getting help for the 100,000 some estimated more in Tucson who need mental health help, as well? Even the neighbors felt a pang of guilt -- though they needn’t to -- that the community had let him down. They’d all known something was ‘off’ about it too.

    Oh, and bad news. They mentioned he liked Zeitgeist. I don’t know if one can call that left anymore than one can call Alex Jones right, but it explains a whole lot. So get ready for it. I say let’s drop it all and cop to it that he was just into conspiracies of all sorts.

    Also, Charles Krauthammer, even though the rest of his defensive piece was junk, made one astute observation that I have to give him credit for: “conscious dreaming” may have been hallucinations. That’s how a person having them but unaware might describe them.

  23. bito says:

    I bring this up because of Kalima’s posting of a CBS poll on the question of did the rhetoric have anything to do with the shooting in Tucson?
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE70A3QA20110111?feedType=nl&feedName=ustopnewsearly

    This is a bit lengthy and I have not read the whole study but the question of does vitriol lead to violence? From the MonkeyCage.

    Political Vitriol and Political Violence

    Is there any evidence that vitriol leads to violence? Yes. See this paper (pdf) by Nathan Kalmoe, a doctoral student in political science at the University of Michigan:

    Does violent political rhetoric fuel support for political violence? Political leaders regularly infuse communication with metaphors of fighting and war. Building from theoretical foundations in media violence research, I field a nationally-representative survey experiment in which subjects are randomly assigned to different forms of the same political advertisements. I find that even mild violent language increases support for political violence among citizens with aggressive predispositions, especially among young adults.

    Beyond polls and studies, is this where most Americans want to see our country headed? Electing people to be the best name caller instead of best problem solver? “Let’s put the schoolyard into the Congress!”
    When I was a child and one of my older sisters picked on me (as they always did) and any of us said “he/she started it.” My mother’s reply was ” I don’t care who started it! (it was my sisters) Stop it!!” Is it time for us to say “STOP IT!”?

    • Kalima says:

      Thanks bito.

      For anyone who has seen mob aggression, either in protests about the government or as in many Mulsim countries about Danish cartoons and other things, you know that it only takes one person to throw the first punch before many join in. I feel that the hateful rhetoric of the last few years has emboldened those with already racist or violent tendencies, and the fact that no one from their own political party or church told them it was wrong, encouraged them even more. They display the mentality at a lynching or even the days of the guillotine in France’s public squares. It’s mob mentality, and dismissive biased polls, can’t change that.

      The Repubs in power two years ago were angry about a black man in the WH. They encouraged the screamers, the racists and the religious bigots to a point of pure fenzy during the 08′ presidential campaign, SP, Bachmann, Fox, the Lush, Beckie, Hannity played their part in stirring up the hate, and if someone has the nerve to suggest that it played no part in this latest act of violence, they are either deaf and blind, living in a fantasy or out and out liars.

      Unless they can get this crackpot to speak, there will always be doubt for some, but not here. The people we all know of as promoting hate speech, are as guilty as if they had pulled the trigger themselves.

      • bito says:

        Kalima, I am so glad you brought up turmoil in other countries and how very few voices can incite so many. For some reason we think we cannot be like other countries, by gawd, we’re ‘merkins!!
        Which brings me to the responsibility, or lack of, of the media in this country. The majority of people in America watch a station that is owned by a corporation that has one interest. Making money, not reporting news, but making money.
        I would be hard pressed to cite a time when Gabby was on a national broadcast, why, because she was a voice of moderation, not yelling about “government take-overs and failures. People like her, problem solvers, do not make the cable and Sunday gab-fests.

        Propose something outrageous and you can bet a spot on the “news” that night or it will be at least talked about. Propose solutions and programs on energy, like Gabby did on solar research and nothing but crickets.

        Back to the foreign countries and the media. What is one of the first things that the “rebels” or the “government” attempt to control? The media! Why? To control their message. Here in the States, what is the message “We need to make money.”
        Some scream about others not taking responsibility, but never question their own responsibilities. Some have no problem saying fact-free and outrageous things, but it will guarantee a spot on the tube, ya betcha

        • Kalima says:

          Well for those who still insist that America is No 1, I’d say open your eyes to the fact that America lags way behind in standards of education, pioneering ideas about new energy supplies, you have a crumbling infrastructure which until now no one has cared to go about fixing or even improving with high speed rail access, or even until recently, a given right to expect health care for all. These crazies shout about taxes when America is one of the lowest for taxes in the world. They scream about government involvement while claiming SS and benefiting from Medicare and Medicaid. They expect to use transportation, be protected by police, have the fire department put out their fires. Have their trash collected on time, and the list goes on and on, I think that the majority haven’t the faintest idea what they want or are shouting about.

          They complain about a “welfare state” call the unemployed lazy, and yet want a free ride on everything they do, because hell, who wants to pay any taxes, we are Americans. We pay much higher taxes here, still based on the amount of income, the way it should be, and guess what, our roads are fixed, our transportation system is stellar, we have health care at a very reasonable price, paying only 30% of the cost. All because we are not afraid to pay that little extra in tax every month. It isn’t rocket science, it the way it should be, and hey, it works.

          They think these things can’t happen in America that happen is so many other countries, well they should take a good look around, it’s already started with the silly TP protests.

  24. bito says:

    OMG!! I was waiting for this to come out of the mouth of an “excuser”.
    “Yeah but we used to have duels….”

    Edit: This may not mean much to many unless you are a reader of the Monkey Cage, but this is a wow!

    And fair warning to James and Zach and all future commenters: I will — for the first time in the history of this blog — actually delete comments in this thread if they engage in more bickering about which party or politician has used violent rhetoric. There are plenty of other websites for shouting matches. This post is, to the best of my ability, about social science, and that is what this comment thread will be about as well.

    Trolls on the MonkeyCage?

  25. PatsyT says:

    Sensitive much?

    Did someone shoot you?

    Tea Party Reactions to the Tucson Tragedy

    In the wake of the shooting, Tea Parties might have been gracious and acknowledged the tenacity and humanity of their erstwhile opponent. Instead, several leaders of national Tea Party groups have attempted to use the shooting to paint themselves as the victims and to lash out once again at those they deem their enemies.

    https://irehr.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=67%3Atea-party-reactions-to-the-tucson-tragedy&catid=19%3Anews&Itemid=29

    • bito says:

      Patsy, I couldn’t figure out your quote, I thought I read their statement the other day, but now I understand my confusion-from this in your link:

      Continuing to ramp up the confrontational rhetoric on the Monday after the shootings, Phillips sent out his ninth email to supporters on the subject:

      😆

  26. Kalima says:

    This is one of those times where a result from a few thousand people just doesn’t cut it. I wonder just how accurate polls really are, and how the questions for this one were phrased. In a nutshell, I don’t believe this. If it were true, I think I would want to give up blogging.

    Majority doesn’t blame rhetoric for Giffords shooting

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE70A3QA20110111?feedType=nl&feedName=ustopnewsearly

    • Chernynkaya says:

      I don’t know how accurate this poll is, the framing of the questions, etc. But…

      About an equal number of Americans don’t believe in the theory of evolution and that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11. So in terms of trying to have a clear-eyed view of this phenomenon, I wouldn’t put too much weight on these things.

      • Kalima says:

        You are right of course Cher, but it just made me mad enough to want to shake someone, especially your lazy and biased media.

        Many of my American friends have been trying to tell me about the dumbed down and ignorant in America, but not living there it’s hard to grasp that there are so many. Is it too late for reeducation for most of them?

    • bito says:

      Interesting that they did not give a link to the poll so that one could look at the questions asked or the breakdown of the answers.
      Why do I have a feeling that the breakdown may not be as clean as this story?

      • Kalima says:

        Absolutely bito, and good afternoon. This was one of the first emails I opened this morning, it elicited a huge shout from me, which brought hubby downstairs to see what was wrong.

        If you want to read something typical, read Tomasky’s piece in MB on a Republican senator who decided to speak out anonymously on this subject. Tomasky called him a coward, which he most certainly is. I don’t believe that the so called “majority” could have missed what has been going on for two years, it’s impossible, unless the so called “majority” are all as dumb as [email protected]

        MICHAELTOMASKY’SBLOG
        ————

        “Thoughts on Loughner”

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2011/jan/10/jared-lee-loughner-and-responsibility

        My advise to your lazy msm is look before you leap or stay quiet. Read what the foreign press has already pieced together even if you can’t, and feel ashamed to call yourselves journalists, when in reality, you are just nattering parrots.

        • bito says:

          Morning Kalima, this poll is quizzical and I’ll have to see if the number crunchers over at the Monkey Cage have anything on it.

          I did get that Tomasky post read, and as usual, MB leads me to many other articles and I haven’t gone back to read the other ones. His articles are so often spot-on.

          Edit: It may not be the majority view, and it may not effect the majority, but isn’t it the sliver of society that will have some effect on that commit the violent acts?
          Quick look at the Monkey Cage and I did find this
          Political Vitriol and Political Violence
          http://www.themonkeycage.org/2011/01/political_vitriol_and_politica.html

          • Kalima says:

            Yes, he is always ahead of the situation, and spot on.

            I’ll be interested to hear if you find anything, or if this is another mythical “made up” for gullible readers or viewers thingy. It has put me in a bad mood, the cats are scattering.

            Back to recycling for me, I’ll take it out on the trash.

  27. Haruko Haruhara says:

    Latest Limbaugh quote:

    What Mr. Loughner knows is that he has the full support of a major political party in this country. He’s sitting there in jail. He knows what’s going on, he knows that…the Democrat party is attempting to find anybody but him to blame. He knows if he plays his cards right, he’s just a victim. He’s the latest in a never-ending parade of victims brought about by the unfairness of America…this guy clearly understands he’s getting all the attention and he understands he’s got a political party doing everything it can, plus a local sheriff doing everything that they can to make sure he’s not convicted of murder -- but something lesser.

    • bito says:

      Some more from the “FACT-FREE ZONE”

      Yesterday on the right-wing Don Wade and Roma radio show,the hosts asked Gingrich to react to veteran Tucson Sheriff Clarence Dupnik’s condemnation of the role that “rhetoric about hatred, mistrust, paranoia of how government operates” played in Saturday’s shootings.
      WADE: I’m curious, from a political standpoint, what your view is. The shooting of the Congresswoman Gifford is being blamed by the Tucson sheriff on the last two years of right-wing rhetoric. What do you think of that?

      Mr. Wade, show me where Sheriff Dupnik blamed it on “right-wing rhetoric?
      Not only defensive and offensive but also not factual, HH.

      (this article was not on this, but this is what got my attention)
      H/T ThinkProgress

  28. bito says:

    Yeppers, my Arizona:

    Arizona shooting: Blame, gun politics in aftermath

    While her doctors sounded an optimistic tone on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ recovery, the political discourse is growing harsher.

    State Rep. Jack Harper, R-Surprise, partly blamed the shooting on Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who has himself blamed caustic political rhetoric and lax gun-control as contributing to the massacre.

    “If he would have done his job, maybe this doesn’t happen,” Harper told USA Today on Monday. “Sheriff Dupnik did not provide for the security of a U.S. congresswoman.”

    “When everyone is carrying a firearm, nobody is going to be a victim,” Harper continued. “The socialists of today are only one gun confiscation away from being the communists of tomorrow.

    H/T Yglesias


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