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TODAY'S QUESTION: How much did confrontational politics play a role in the Arizona shooting?

Monday, January 10, 2011 | 4:50 p.m. CST; updated 5:40 p.m. CST, Monday, January 10, 2011

The shooting rampage in Arizona seems to have created a moment of reflection about confrontational politics.

In the last two days, the media and members of Congress have reflected on the repercussions of the overheated rhetoric traded on the airwaves and on the campaign trail.

Members of both parties called this weekend for civility over belligerence. Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik has gotten both praise and criticism for his words in the aftermath of the tragedy.

"When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous," the sheriff said. "And unfortunately, Arizona, I think, has become sort of the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry."

Dupnik's critics argue that Jared Loughner, the suspected shooter, is a "madman" and that politics had nothing to do with the shooting.

In your opinion, how much did confrontational politics play a role in the Arizona shooting?


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Comments

Michael Williams January 10, 2011 | 5:25 p.m.

How much did confrontational politics play a role in the Arizona shooting?
_________________________

I'd say about as much as the assassinations (or attempts) of both Kennedys, Reagan, John Lennon, Gerald Ford, Rep. Leo Ryan, and a host of others.

Dear reader, sordid world and national political confrontations/history did not start happening the day you were born.

(Report Comment)
hank ottinger January 10, 2011 | 5:43 p.m.

Did Limbaugh-Hannity-Beck-Palin-Bachmann, et.al. pull the trigger on that Glock that killed six people and wounded others, including a Congressional representative? Of course not.

Did they help create an environment of political polarization, hatred of opposing views, "targeting" of opponents? Did they provide fertile ground for a deranged young man to plan an assassination? Definitely.

And while we're at it, many of these same folk will fight forever to assure that the Loughners in our society have a legitimate right to pack around semi-automatic pistols--with three clips. As has been said elsewhere, that battle is lost. We simply pay for it, every now and then, with massacres of our innocent fellow Americans.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks January 10, 2011 | 5:58 p.m.

@hank: You left out about a dozen other name on your list. Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews for example. When you have to President of the US threatening violence to tea parties and bringing a gun to a knife fight that does nothing but set up arguments on both sides.

I am not saying you are wrong I am just saying to stop being so one sided.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 10, 2011 | 6:17 p.m.

Corey says, "I am not saying you are wrong I am just saying to stop being so one sided."
______________________________

Good luck with that..........
I've never known a lib to admit wrong when it comes to stuff like this. Maybe I'll live long enuf.

But, I doubt it.

(Report Comment)
hank ottinger January 10, 2011 | 7:16 p.m.

Mike & Corey:

Quote to me comments, word for word, in which Olbermann or Matthews or Maddox state or even imply that their listener-lackeys should ponder picking up a weapon--or resort to violence--to see their political ends realized.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 10, 2011 | 7:28 p.m.

hank: Nice of you to limit the conversation to a threat of violence.

As if Olbermann or Matthews or Maddox don't spew hate. Do you really...REALLY?....deny that???????

Hateful rhetoric is hateful rhetoric when it provokes anger and violence of ANY type in ANY person.

When various species of flies corrupt a carcass, it's impossible to pick one maggot from the other. And you know that.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 10, 2011 | 7:35 p.m.

oh, and hank:

http://my.firedoglake.com/kgosztola/2011...
______________________________

“Violence, or the threat of violence, has no place in our Democracy, and I apologize for and repudiate any act or any thing in my past that may have even inadvertently encouraged violence. Because for whatever else each of us may be, we all are Americans.”

Olbermann took responsibility for saying something that could have led to violence in the same way that Palin’s rhetoric could have played a role in escalating the climate of violence in Arizona. He apologized to Hillary Clinton for uttering such a remark.
_____________________________

Wonder what he apologized to Clinton for?

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson January 10, 2011 | 7:44 p.m.

Two good columns on Saturday's atrocity:

James Taranto:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424...

Glenn Reynolds:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424...

Oh, and one more, from that rabid right-wing apologist...Howard Kurtz:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-s...

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 10, 2011 | 8:19 p.m.

hank wants word-for-word "resort to violence" from Olbermann....from a lackey, which I guess means me:

OK. Glad to oblige:
____________________________

"It was during an interview with Howard Fineman. Fineman said that, all the delegate math aside, ultimately it was going to take "some adults somewhere in the Democratic party to step in and stop this thing, like a referee in a fight that could go on for thirty rounds. Those are the super, super, super delegates who are going to have to decide this."

Said Olbermann: "Right. Somebody who can take her into a room and only he comes out."
___________________________________

Gee, I guess he meant "tiddlywinks".

Anything else I can help with, Hank?

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 10, 2011 | 8:49 p.m.

H. Ottinger - "Did they help create an environment of political polarization, hatred of opposing views, "targeting" of opponents? Did they provide fertile ground for a deranged young man to plan an assassination? Definitely."

Brit Hume, tonight, told of Okla City bombing,B. Clinton's interest in the loss of the victims to their families, the country,etc., then in coming weeks did his best to blame it on "right wing Republicans". We saw the D' Leadership Council's map targeting area with "bulls eyes" and the D' Rep in the woods with a deer rifle, "taking aim" at Obamacare. Your concern is for a "deranged young man" to have a gun. Why not a demand for action requiring mental health authorities to seek hospitalization for those known with SMI, as Loughner and the VA Tech shooter had shown on repeated occasions? Not the liberal agenda, is it?

As Hume said, It didn't work for Bill Clinton, and Hank, I don't think it's going to work for you.

(Report Comment)
Ted Cazinski January 11, 2011 | 9:07 a.m.
This comment has been removed.
Chip Leaver January 11, 2011 | 10:08 a.m.

I see talk of killing Democrats and liberals all over the web. It is of course insinuated and sometimes outright spoken on certain television programs and talk radio. It is a cancer that is going to eat this country up from it's very core if not stopped.
There are some on certain sites that have for a long time predicted a civil war, between the conservatives and progressives. I have seen a few that called this shooting, the "first shot fired in the revolution".
Below you will see an example of the mindset that seems to prevail in certain segments of society. Usually only as a joke, but every once in awhile, there are people that don't think it is a joke. I feel that the right wing spin machine knows this. I am sure that if they didn't know it before, they knew it after O'Reilly aired Dr. Tiller's identity and raged on about him no less than 28 times, stating that someone should stop him and they did, when they executed him at point blank range in his own church.

Jim David Adkisson, who walked into a Unitarian Church in 2008 and killed two people and wounded six others during a children’s musical, and who was an ardent fan of talk radio, put it like this:

Liberals are a pest like termites. Millions of them. Each little bite contribdutes to the downfall of this great Nation. The only way we can rid ourselves of this evil is Kill them in the streets. Kill them where they gather.

I’d like to encourage other like minded people to do what I’ve done. If life aint worth living anymore don’t just Kill yourself, do something for your country before you go. Go Kill Liberals.

*

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 11, 2011 | 10:49 a.m.

I wonder how many of our liberal commenters, much like Keith Olberman and Rachel Maddow, have elegantly sneered at their right-wing opponents and casually called them teabaggers? Yep, the left is so cultured and civilized when it comes to politics...

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 11, 2011 | 10:59 a.m.

Chip Leaver - "I see talk of killing Democrats and liberals all over the web." Wow! And you can only quote a convicted shooter from more than a year ago? Keep milking it, Chip, someone out there may believe you.

"There are some on certain sites that have for a long time predicted a civil war, between the conservatives and progressives. I have seen a few that called this shooting, the "first shot fired in the revolution". I watch, listen to all the condemned programs mentioned in the crap coming out of this disaster and have never heard a word of the "civil war" or, revolution you refer to. Do you see this talk all over the web, or do you as most, I have found, monitor the liberal sites that list every quote to their advantage, in context or not and spew it to the willing, if lazy readers to repeat as the truth?

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 11, 2011 | 11:27 a.m.

John Schultz says...

"I wonder how many of our liberal commenters, much like Keith Olberman and Rachel Maddow, have elegantly sneered at their right-wing opponents and casually called them teabaggers? Yep, the left is so cultured and civilized when it comes to politics..."

Yeah John, if I was a tea bagger I wouldn't want to admit it either.

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 11, 2011 | 11:48 a.m.

About quoting a convicted killer from "more than a year ago" Frank, how is it that you are opposed to that time frame? It applies and that's what you oppose.
Oh and Frank, quit monitoring the liberal websites, if what you are looking for is the most hateful of rhetoric, but do look on the conservative sites.
John, the Tea Party first called themselves teabaggers. Maddow and Olberman did of course have a blast with it, but that is still not diminishing the Tea Party, or the entire right wing to vermin that need to be exterminated.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 11, 2011 | 11:58 a.m.

If the Politicians are guilty of "confrontational politics", then most of the people on this board are even worse than they are; from watching your posts... LOL.

To be clear, I see nothing wrong with being confrontational; sometimes that is the most sincere form of honesty that I know of. But I do find it a bit hypocritical for a person that is confrontational to condemn someone else for being confrontational. Which is a lot of what I am seeing here...

I think the thing to remember is at the end of the day, the "confrontational politics" had nothing to do with the shooting at all. This was the work of someone that has mental issues, and there was just not a lot that could have been done about it. Jared Loughner would have found a "reason" (in his disturbed mind) to do what he did, no matter what...

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 11, 2011 | 12:10 p.m.

I see nothing at all wrong with confrontational politics either.........but when you drum into the heads of the masses, 24/7 on talk radio and Fox about how the people who make up half of the country are anti-American, traitors that deserve death, how your government is out to kill you and grandma, your President is a socialist, marxist, Muslim, out to sell the entire country out and that type of rhetoric, sooner or later, you are gonna light up some weirdo.
It is the very same style of rhetoric that they used in Nazi Germany, and it is no acccident. There are people who study exactly how to do this type of thing. Read up on Edward Bernays and what he was able to do. I would imagine that the techniques have moved ahead light years since then.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 11, 2011 | 12:11 p.m.

John Schultz:

Ah, yes. Teabaggers. That party may indeed have used it at first, but only because they didn't know what it meant in slang terms. But, the liberals did. So, the word turned into a giggly epithet from a buncha adolescents.

And then they wonder (yea, wonder...right) why it makes folks mad? All innocent, like.

I got newz for y'all. If you don't understand that the "T" word creates violence just like the "N" word, then don't ask me for a tissue when someone mashes your nose.

Yeah, liberals are verbal virgins...my rear end.

(Report Comment)
Robert Kimsey January 11, 2011 | 12:31 p.m.

As a sane commentator on CNN noted this morning (a psychiatrist, talking about this shooter's mental problems), there is absolutely no evidence that political comments on either the left or the right played any role at all in this shooting, and it is highly unlikely that they did.

People stampeding toward political gain on the backs of the people who were killed Saturday are sick, in my opinion.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 11, 2011 | 12:32 p.m.

Chip,

You probably have a point. But at the end of the day it is important to remember that it is the "weirdo" that not only got excited but took a course of action that was completely irrational and violent.

It is easy to put the violence off on the words that people use. That is the easy way out and it provides an excuse for the "weirdo" that takes an irrational and violent course of action.

It is kind of funny that some people will say that we are responsible for our actions, and then when someone does something completely irrational and violent based on a "political motivation", they will condone it in the name of "bad politics" which usually equals "politics that they don't like". Words do not incite violence, contrary to popular belief. The choice to do violence is ours and sometimes the choice is justified, but in cases like these it is not. How we react to those words is all that matters here.

If I ever say something that someone else does not like, and they "mash my nose" over it, I'll ask for a tissue for them after I mash their face!

Thats what should have happened to Jared Loughner, as soon as he pulled a firearm someone should have pulled out a bigger firearm and shot his testicles off!

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 11, 2011 | 12:37 p.m.

Robert Kimsey says, "People stampeding toward political gain on the backs of the people who were killed Saturday are sick, in my opinion.
____________________________

I sure agree with that!

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 11, 2011 | 12:44 p.m.

I feel that words do have consequences. Why else would so many people be whining about being called teabaggers?

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 11, 2011 | 1:00 p.m.

Nothing wrong with "whining" about being called a "Teabagger"; Chip. But if I called you a "Teabagger" and you decided to show up at my house with a shotgun, then that would be wrong on your part. And the word "Teabagger" (or any other word for that matter) would not cause a rational person to do anything of the like. And it would cause you to be greeted with a shotgun at my house... Ergo you would be the one solely responsible for the outcome; not any words that I uttered.

I am not willing to give you an excuse for showing up at my house with a shotgun by saying that "well he should have done that because I said something he did not like"..

The words alone are harmless. The deranged people that react to them violently are what is dangerous. That is why we have freedom of speech, our forefathers felt that our words and expressions should be protected. To use how a deranged person would react to those words as an excuse to limit that freedom takes freedom away from what is supposed to be a free society. And the more inflammatory they words, the more protection they deserve. Because it is not the speech that everyone can agree with that needs protecting; it is the speech that is controversial and confrontational that needs protecting.

Words have the power over us that we ALLOW them to have.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Dan Dothage January 11, 2011 | 1:27 p.m.

I think the linked article says quite a bit.

http://townhall.com/columnists/CalThomas...

In the linked article, the author states that liberals weren't to blame for Lee Harvey Oswald's actions nor were talk radio and cable TV to blame for the assassinations of McKinley, Garfield, or Lincoln. Bad people do bad things and will use whatever excuse to justify their actions.

So, to answer the Columbia Missourian Staff's question...I don't think confrontational politics played much of a part in the shootings in Arizona; pure evil was the cause.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 11, 2011 | 1:34 p.m.

Dan,

Your post pretty well sums up what I have been posting about. Good job!

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 11, 2011 | 2:46 p.m.

Ricky, I think what you have mentioned brings us to the real topic at hand, which is of course, freedom of speech. Are we are responsible for what we say? Are there limits to what we can can and cannot say? If so, why?
If there are no limits and the most inflammatory rhetoric is what should be protected the most then why do we all call it the "N" word instead of just saying the word? Do you suppose it is because it would offend some people or perhaps incite them to violence?
Why are certain sets of hate speech not allowed and in fact a federal crime?
Granted, it is a slippery slope, but since they did away with the Fairness Doctrine in the late 80's, things have really gotten out of hand, and I personally feel that a lot of what we hear on talk radio and certain channels is indeed hate speech that is very similar to shouting fire in a crowded building.
In fact, I am quite torn because I consider myself an advocate of free speech, but at the same time, I think that those who utilize our public airwaves do have some responsibility for inciting fear and hatred in the masses.

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 11, 2011 | 3:03 p.m.

Oh and Dan, about the link you provided, like Sarah Palin would say, thanks but no thanks! It is from a far right leaning author, with a right wing bias.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 11, 2011 | 3:23 p.m.

Chip,

There ARE limits to what we can say; this is best illustrated in a U.S. Supreme Court Ruling that cited the example of "shouting fire in a crowded theater". You can start research on that case here: http://bit.ly/cEi4N3

Also there was a ruling where a plaintiff was allowed to go forth and sue Paladin Press for printing a book named "Hit Man"; which was basically a manual on how to kill a person. The printing of this book resulted in a family being murdered; you can start research on that case here: http://bit.ly/4g4rZy

I think that it is important to understand the dynamics of these types of cases. In the two cases that I mentioned I believe that the examples demonstrate one going beyond their right to free speech and actually making a effort to cause harm to others by what they are saying or printing, thus creating a "clear and present danger" for others (whether it be due to carelessness or just plain meanness).

I believe that the difference can be seen through the intent behind the speech. There is a vast difference in expressing your opinion because it is how you honestly feel and you want others to know, and the utterance of words for the express intent of causing harm to others. If I say that you are "ignorant" or even "stupid", the words are not harmful in and of their self. How you react to them can be harmful, but you are responsible for how you react if you react unreasonably. But, if you are in a crowded theater and I shout "fire", there is no fire, and you get trampled to death; then certainly that is my fault because your reaction would be reasonable under those circumstances and the harmful intent can be attributed to me because my speech caused others to be placed in a "clear and present danger". If I publish a book that instructs on how to kill someone, and that actually happens; then the question to me is "Mr. Gurley, what did you expect as a result of publishing that book"? Whether it was just plain carelessness or not does not matter, I still caused damage to people by publishing the book; and I could be held civilly liable for doing so.

I hope that gives you some "food for thought" on your questions.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking January 11, 2011 | 3:25 p.m.

Chip Leaver wrote:

"Are there limits to what we can can and cannot say? If so, why?"

It would be useful to distinguish between freedom of speech, profanity, and "political correctness" here.

There are several words that cannot be used on public irwaves, and are disapproved of in polite conversation. We've chosen to disapprove of them because there are other ways to directly say the same thing that don't cause unnecessary offense.

Other words, of which the "N-word" is one, are disparaging of a particular ethnic group, race, or religion. Again, there are more proper and less offensive ways to denote these groups of people, and people prefer those.

When you start condemning people for "hateful" ideas or speeches, that becomes a different subject entirely. Whether an idea is hateful or not is something few people are going to agree on. It all depends on your politics and ideals, and is in fact why we have political debates. It becomes a real "slippery slope" for anyone to determine where the line of "hate" is crosaed.

I don't listen or read enough really right wing material (or left for that matter) to have an opinion on a lot of what has been mentioned in these threads. But I'd much rather be able to hear whatever anyone wants to say, and make up my own mind about it. Instances of nutbars using guns and explosives are really rare enough that I don;'t want to see people's freedom to forcefully express ideas limited. Plus, who limits them (an even slipperier slope)?

DK

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 11, 2011 | 3:37 p.m.

Chip says, "....would say, thanks but no thanks! It is from a far right leaning author, with a right wing bias."
_______________________________

You just gotta be kiddin' right?
You didn't even look at it...because it's the author that is the problem, not the ideas?

Hell, even I gander at the DailyKos!

We're doomed!

(But thanks for supporting the relationship between liberals and KoolAid.)

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 11, 2011 | 3:39 p.m.

This guy pretty much sums up how I feel about the whole situation. It is a good read. Yes it is obvious that neither the Tea Party or any other right wing entity sent this nut job out to whack the Congreswoman, but:

"Consider that Conservatives constantly harp the message of "responsibility", then the Tea Party leadership and their members are guilty of failing that most basic ethical standard. Because they knew they had the crazy of the craziest in their ranks, and they failed to do anything about it.

If a few whackos show up at a Rally armed and sporting a passive-aggressive message about assassination, then hell, he's more than welcome to be up front! If a candidate froths at the mouth at a rally about a "Second Amendment Solution" then HELL YES we cheer her on! And if we rally at the Capitol and cheer elected officials who declare we have to storm the Capitol to save America, then that's what being in the Tea Party is all about!

If this is what you do, in front of the cameras, in front of your country, in front of you God, then you own this. This is your message, your passion, and your promise to the rest of the nation who was (and still is) watching."

http://www.coloradopols.com/diary/14839/...

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 11, 2011 | 3:52 p.m.

Michael, I actually did read the article, but seriously am not into being told what is and isn't evil. I don't view insanity as evil and feel that evil is a word we use to describe bad things that we don't understand, much like "miracle" is used to describe good things that we don't understand.

While not being a mind reader, I am sure that I will not ever understand why this young man chose to do what he did, but from just looking at his mug shot with that grin on his face, and hearing what people who knew him said about him, I would venture to guess that he slipped a cog, or his cheese slid all the way off of what little cracker the boy had.
From his writings, I noted that he was very distrustful of the government and while I truly believe that we should keep a very close eye on our government and don't really trust it much either, I know, that unless he lived under a rock, was deaf, dumb and blind, that he had to have heard some of this anti governmental drum that the right has been pounding ever since we elected this black President, who btw, is, according to those same talking heads, a socialist, marxist, Muslim, born in Kenya, planning to kill everyone's grandma, out to destroy this country and our very way of life.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 11, 2011 | 3:58 p.m.

chip leaver - "About quoting a convicted killer from "more than a year ago" Frank, how is it that you are opposed to that time frame? It applies and that's what you oppose." I would think that a person sincere in their accusations of danger in programs from the right would come back a list of offenders that would take our breath away. Didn't happen with you. I told you which programs I watch and that none of them, in my presence, have ever broadcast the crap that you have attached to them and you now proclaim they do it "24/7". My experience with Think Progress, Media Matters etc. has been limited to referrals by liberals. I have said "I'm batting 1000" because so far no complaint I have heard about a "right wing" program has ever come from one who heard or saw it, but from something they read at another site writing about the accused. In my opinion, yours from above seems to fit. ".but when you drum into the heads of the masses, 24/7 on talk radio and Fox about how the people who make up half of the country are anti-American, traitors that deserve death, how your government is out to kill you and grandma, your President is a socialist, marxist, Muslim, out to sell the entire country out and that type of rhetoric, sooner or later, you are gonna light up some weirdo. (re-reading it, I have to tell you, I would be ashamed if I had posted this trash.)

I'm sure, efforts to Pass a Fairness Doctrine were dropped in the 80's because most don't want it. Obama is trying to go around Congress with his FCC to impose it anyway.

When you get our country the way you want it, hope you can enjoy it as you are now.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 11, 2011 | 4:10 p.m.

Chip,

I am not so sure that I am being as specific to this topic as I should be. My posts encompass free speech in general and reasonable limitations put on free speech.

But the gist of my posts is to say this:

Let's say that some well respected, well publicized political speaker said tomorrow that the only way we can save America was to storm the White House with shotguns. And you showed up with 99 people in Washington DC at the White House with your shotgun. And you and those 99 other people did storm the White House with your shotguns. You can't blame the guy that said you should do that. You knew it was illegal, didn't you? You knew the Secret Service would intervene, didn't you? As a rational and reasonable person, you do understand that this act is completely irrational and unreasonable, don't you? So, how could you possibly blame anyone that said that you should do this?

If we want to change something in our government, we have many effective methods for doing this without ever resorting to such unreasonable and irrational actions. Write letters, meet your state representative and talk with him or her, hire a Lawyer to advocate for you, if you have been damaged in some way hire a Lawyer to file a civil suit for you, hire a Lobbyist, peacefully protest, write up a petition and get signatures. Our government has put these options in place so that we do have an effective course of action to try to make changes.

There is no excuse for violent action due to political speech, whether it is confrontational, controversial, or whatever. Anyone that would even attempt to use such violent action as a platform to criticize another person's politics is just as deranged as the person that would perpetrate such violent action. As a matter of fact; if you ever wanted to limit confrontational speech, start with the speech from the "NITWITS" that would condone violence in the name of what they believe to be "bad politics"; for they are the ones that are encouraging such violent acts.

In a civilized society, words are just words. In a civilized and free society, words can be uttered without the fear of ramifications from our government or anyone else because they may not like what we say or how we feel. We don't hold the person speaking responsible for the violent reactions that some deranged lunatic does. That just excuses the lunatics behavior. And as Mark basically said, the harm to limiting speech because of these reactions is greater than the harm of worrying about intermittent incidents that occur because we have a few lunatics running around in our free and civilized society....

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 11, 2011 | 4:14 p.m.

I see that fairness doctrine Was a policy of FCC, dropped in 1987. Obama is trying re-institue it with his FCC.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 11, 2011 | 4:25 p.m.

Is it rational to think conservatives are influenced by right-leaning extremists, but liberals are not influenced by left-leaning extremists?

No.

It also seems irrational for folks to gripe about the Patriot Act because "We can't give up our freedoms and succumb to fear!", and then in the next breath say, "Monitor hate speech! Let me define it! Take away all guns!" just because of fear for the RARE home-grown variety.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 11, 2011 | 5:09 p.m.

Chip, I haven't been called a teagbagger by a liberal, but as part of my political interest, I monitor the various political blogs based in Missouri. Show Me Progress loves throwing around the teabagger epithet, then falling back on the "they said they were going to send Obama teabags" defense. I'm sorry, but if they or any in the so-called progressive community want open communication (and this goes for the right-wing and others), you have to start with civil communication.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 11, 2011 | 5:11 p.m.

Frank, where's your proof of Obama trying to reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine? I haven't heard anything regarding it for quite some time.

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 11, 2011 | 5:19 p.m.

Frank, where did you get that information? Please provide a link that confirms what you are saying about Obama trying to implement the Fairness Doctrine.

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 11, 2011 | 5:28 p.m.

Well John, unlike some, I do try to maintain a level of civility. I do care about how my words affect you, and that is why I refrain, for the most part, and to the best of my ability, from name calling. If you took offense to my using that terminology, just know that it was not directed towards you and that I sincerely apologize if I offended you.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 11, 2011 | 5:50 p.m.

Chip: I read your link of 3:39pm...you know, the one where you said, "This guy pretty much sums up how I feel about the whole situation. It is a good read":

Then I suppose you also supported the not-so-thinly veiled statements that TeaPartiers were nothing but a bunch of Nascar-loving, backcountry-living, uneducated hillbillies?

Yeah, in case you didn't read it all the way through, here's what he said:

"Heh - them lib'ruls are skeered about my 9-mil....ain't it funny?

"Obama's gonna getcher guns"
____________________________________

Now, I don't know about the rest of the conservatives on this forum, but I certainly don't think of myself in that way. Most of my conservative friends aren't that way either, although I do confess I think we identify with those true hillbilly folks a whole lot closer than we do elitist snobs who wouldn't know their asset from a hole in the ground.

As for me, I'm a graduate-level chemist, but not the hillbilly stereotype you think of that runs shine.

And you folks ACTUALLY believe your words should by-no-means make other folks mad. "Why, dey are jus' TOO sensitive, poor thangs!"

You are wrong. Especially after many years of it.

Limbaugh isn't the main problem. We don't need him...we figured this stuff out years ago. You and your policies and words and sneers are the problem....for which you will not acknowledge your own participation. Which leads me back full circle to the reason I started posting on this topic in the first place....the fact that liberals consider themselves blameless rhetorical virgins.

Balderdash!

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 11, 2011 | 5:58 p.m.

I didn't find one on the fairness doctrine, but this should scare the bejesus outa ya.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/fcc-...
____________________________

Never forget: Today's advantage...never...ever...lasts. It'll turn against you, someday, somewhere, somehow. And then you, a former supporter, will scream bloody murder at the unfairness of it all. After all, it's not a matter of IF we have a conservative FCC commissioner. It's a matter of WHEN.

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 11, 2011 | 5:59 p.m.

Ricky, I read both links and have to say that I totally disagree with the first one where the guy was sent to prison for 10 years for making an anti war statement. Making it illegal to protest an action by the government is, in my opinion, very much against everything that this country stands for.

I was a bit less sure about the hit man book, but then I am looking at it from a totally different perspective in a totally different era, a time where we have become desensitized to such things due to our vast access of information. I think that there are any number of ways to read about how to kill someone, and much like your argument that the rhetoric is not the cause of the action, I do agree with you in this instance. I believe that the person had to have the intent to go out and buy the book to do the deed.

The difference that I am seeing is that our public airwaves are hard to avoid in this day and age. Almost everyone watches television and or listens to the radio at some point. In fact, we are inundated with the blaring noise of it almost all of the time and if it is filled with things that incite fear, loathing, hate, and violence by using terminology such as, "if ballots don't work, bullets will", I see that as much more damaging than a guy stating: that, while the “master classes” caused the war, the “subject classes” would have to fight it.

I actually see it as inciting violence such as what happened in Arizona and a list of other incidents recently.

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 11, 2011 | 6:09 p.m.

Thanks Michael for supplying us with a link to a piece over a year old, but what I asked for was something to prove your statement that the Obama administration is lobbying to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.

Thing is that I know why you couldn't provide it. It doesn't exist. The only place that declares that the Obama administration is going to reinstate it is on right wing sites because for some reason, they fear it. I believe they fear it because abolishing it, is what allowed Fox and the right wing talking heads to flourish.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 11, 2011 | 6:17 p.m.

Chip: And you don't think bloody movies, racy or emasculating sitcoms, dramas, porn, violent video games and the like have a cumulative, desensitizing, influencing effect?

Or is "right wing" propaganda the ONLY effective influencing agent in today's world? Now I call THAT....power!

(PS: What say you? Do THOSE types of programs listed above have a violent influence, too, and should THEY be regulated in the same way you want conservative speech regulated? In other words, are you an equal-opportunity bemoaner?).

Or do you just pick and choose for your own agenda?

The whole world wonders.)

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 11, 2011 | 6:17 p.m.

Michael, you have heard of hyperbole, haven't you? I believe that is what the author intended in this writing, but me, I am a little more serious about some of the actions that I have seen taking place at these Tea parties.

Look it up and then go and view some of the videos of the Tea Party participants. If you identify with them, that's your decision. I know several who are Tea Party folks but I only know one extremely active Tea Party participant. She thinks that God told her to quit her job, spend her inheritance and even go into debt to the tune of $50,000 on her line of credit, to go be an activist for the Tea Party, because, she is against abortion. Whatever floats her boat.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 11, 2011 | 6:22 p.m.

For my own edification, I took a look at the claim for veracity purposes. I didn't find any verification; I only found the thing I posted. I am not the one that made the claim.

But, sheesh, a year old???????

It was dated December 3, 2010.

I guess 1.5 months ago is ancient history for some. I'm sorry I couldn't be even more current. I'll try harder next time.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 11, 2011 | 6:28 p.m.

Hey Chip:

You say "hyperbole", I say "anecdotal".

Nice backpedaling, tho....translating a frequently voiced "sneer" into an innocent hyperbole.

Like I said....verbal virgins!

(PS: Backpedaling is NOT a useful defensive or offensive strategy. It only shows the shakiness of the original belief system when you have to go back and change it).

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 11, 2011 | 6:43 p.m.

Chip,

I am not sure that I agree with the first ruling either. But try to understand two salient points here:

(1) That case is over 70 years old.

(2) My point was NOT to defend or agree with the case; it was to give you some material as to where the legal argument of how "Shouting Fire in a Crowded Theater" is an example of some of the limits put on Free Speech.

Furthermore, I think that case is an excellent example of why it is so hard to prosecute Julian Assange for the material he posted on WikiLeaks. Times and technology have changed since that case. I think that in current times most of our Justices find their self in the position of having to disagree with Oliver Wendell Holmes reasoning in that particular case, just as you disagree with his reasoning in that case.

Now again, at the end of the day we are responsible for our own actions. I certainly would not try to advocate that because "Young Johnny" watched too much Miami Vice reruns, we should give him a free pass on the murder he committed last month. Nor would I try to say that because "Mike I Live In My Mother's Basement" played too much "Call of Duty" that he should be given a free pass for shooting up a school bus full of children. And anyone that would is a "NITWIT"!

Blaming those types of actions on the media, confrontational politics, video games, etc., etc. is the sign of a person that is looking for excuses for these types of actions. And there are some things that people do that they have no excuse for.

As is in most cases, it all seems to come down to knowing the basics of right from wrong. At the end of the day, if we CHOOSE to do something wrong, then we have to suffer the consequences for it. No reasonable person is going to blame Michael Mann (The Producer of Miami Vice) for someone dressing up in a linen sports jacket and killing a drug dealer. No more than a reasonable person is going to blame the people that coded "Call of Duty" for a Columbine Styled shooting. And certainly no reasonable person can blame confrontational politics for the actions of Jared Loughner....

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 11, 2011 | 6:50 p.m.

Actually Michael, I do find the emasculating sitcoms to be offensive. Sex in the City being one of the worst. I do think that there is far too much violence on television, but realize that they need a certain amount for the drama value. You realize that there is only one Disney movie that one or the other parents isn't killed in the movie or dead already don't you?

I also find the reality shows very hard to stomach. And there are so many of them. I detest the Law and Order Special Victims Unit, as their theme is about totally gruesome sexual crimes. A real treat for sexual perves.

CMT is nothing but soft porn for old men. BET is totally offensive to me. I'm too damned old to care about MTV and I believe that they are the station with the new hit program about teenaged mothers which I feel glamorizes having babies out of wedlock, which I think is a bad message.
Last but not least are the programs like Jerry Springer, that seem to have Americans geared up to tell every little personal detail of their lives to anyone who will listen. Has me thinking TMI, TMI........arghhh!

I could go on but I am just out of time and television has definitely inspired some pretty weird stuff, and is certainly a reflection of some weird stuff, but that's not the current issue is it?

The current issue is that after a heated political season, after electing a black President, who btw had so many hoping, right out in the open that he would fail, after hateful rhetoric that just never seems to stop, coming from many sources, people are getting killed. If you can't see it, I'm sorry. The old Pima county sheriff and I can see it. We've both been around long enough to see the changes in the rhetoric and the effects of it and none of them are good.
Micheal, how old were you in 1987? How much news did you listen to prior to that? What do you have to compare then and now too? How much do you know about the changes in the news reporting from that time until this?

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 11, 2011 | 7:14 p.m.

Ricky, we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. If it did not have the tell tale signs of a growing trend of fascism to promote a Plutocracy, by instilling fear in the duly elected candidates at the end of the barrel of a gun to vote in the desired way by those promoting it, then we could probably come to some sort of understanding. But since I see it, and I'm not just talking about the Arizona incident, as an attempted takeover of our Democracy, by brute force, I just cannot go along with it.

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson January 11, 2011 | 7:23 p.m.

More Taranto today, on the NYTimes & former Enron advisor Paul Krugman, on the Tuscon shootings:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424...

It is interesting to note the Times' cautioning against rushing to judgment after Ft Hood, and their own dragstrip-fast sprint to judgment after Tuscon.

Perhaps they could benefit from some counseling from Juan Williams' psychiatrist. Maybe Ellen Weiss has the phone number.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 11, 2011 | 7:31 p.m.

Chip,

I can understand your opinion, as long as you can understand that what you are referring to as an "attempted takeover of our Democracy" is simply the raction to a certain type of speech by a deranged lunatic. It's not a conspiracy by any stretch of the imagination. Which is the crux of my point. Jared Loughner's actions were his and his alone. He owns them, not the media.

There is a disconnect between the so called "confrontational politics" that are played out by the media and Jared Loughner's actions.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 11, 2011 | 8:24 p.m.

You know Ricky, it would be different had it just been one lunatic, or two, or maybe even a half a dozen, but there have been 18 right wing lunatic events in the last two years, before this last AZ deal.

Just regular people, trying to do good for their country by killing or plotting to kill the ole evil liberals off, to save this country. And yes you are right, each of these people should have been more in their right friggen mind, but apparently, there is a vast wealth of these types that plot to do the country some good by killing them some Democrats.
Now maybe they did think all of this up themselves, but again, maybe they didn't. There's a little thing called brainwashing, and some I guess are just more easily influenced, especially when they are given a purpose, like superman, saving the world.
Listen to one show of Rush, Beck or even Hannity and count how many times they tell you how liberals/Democrats are out to destroy this country. You see, if you denigrate any segment of society long enough, making them into treasonous traitors in the minds of those with little mind, it is easier to kill them.

You do realize that Dr. Tiller "the baby killer" as named by O'Reilly was featured on O'Reilly's show no less than 28 times, with O'Reilly ranting on about how someone should stop him. How he would stop him himself if he could. There was no 29th time, because Dennis Roeder went to the church that the Dr. attended and executed him. Interestingly enough, I believe Mr. Roeder to have been sane and nothing like this last weak minded guy in Arizona.

Now granted O'Reilly didn't pull the trigger, but then again, Charlie Manson didn't kill anyone either.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 11, 2011 | 8:45 p.m.

Chip:

I'm 61. And if you've read my prior posts, you know I hold a deep grudge against my own generation's vile behaviors in the 60s and 70s, and what they've done since. I saw the same "hate" and behavior from them as you say you see in conservatives now.

Contrary to you and others here, I see angry rhetoric from BOTH sides, some of it in words and some in graphic targets...., each of which is deemed offensive by the other. It angers me that the blame is unilateral. Liberals will not accept that their rhetoric and actions cause the same harm as they claim they get from conservatives.

I see the slur of "teabagger" and "moron" and assaults on my Constitution. You see targets on a voting map and militaristic language.

I say both are fighting words. But people like you don't. You claim virginal innocence, and that's just plain crap.

My conclusion is that my generation's flower children has never, and will never, accept any blame. It's always someone else. I saw no apologies for their behavior in the 60s/70s...nothing but righteousness and blame towards others rather than themselves. Exactly what I see from them now, including their spawn.

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson January 11, 2011 | 8:52 p.m.

Just curious, Chip: I rarely catch the radio programming of the Unholy Trinity you mention - Rush, Beck, or Hannity. Probably not even as much as you do, it seems. I do, however, enjoy reading Mark Steyn, and he sits in for Rush on occasion. His spots on Hugh Hewitt are pretty golden, also.

Question: should I go back and peruse "Broadway Babies Say Goodnight", for any subliminal messages (or overt ones, for that matter) urging me to commit mass murder?

Thanks in advance for your response/advice.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 11, 2011 | 9:00 p.m.

By the way, Chip....you neglected violent video games and movies.

You want something PROVEN to have an adverse effect on so many? Well, there ya go. Think of the numbers of youngsters adversely affected by them. What is the score for the murders in these two situations?

100000 to 5??????????

And you are more concerned about the FIVE and some hypothetical Limbaugh/Palin connection that likely doesn't exist for the simple reason this guy was a certified nutjob? Since when does "being a certified nutjob" have to have political prerequisites? Can't you just BE one??????

PS: People are horrible risk assessors. Absolutely horrible. They worry about 1% of the problem 99% of the time instead of worrying about 99% of the problem 1% of the time.

(PSS: When using the dead for political agendas, worrying about the 1% for 99% of the time is permissible (sarcasm button off).)

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 11, 2011 | 9:03 p.m.

Tony R says, "...subliminal messages (or overt ones, for that matter) urging me to commit mass murder?"
____________________

No, but I had this Beatles record once.
When played backwards, it made me chop down a tree.

I swear.

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance January 11, 2011 | 9:11 p.m.

Love the spin from the right wing. Name a mainstream liberal that has called for a second amendment remedy. And please keep your strawmen in your closets.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 11, 2011 | 9:13 p.m.

John S. - You test my memory to its limit, mainly, I think because yours appears to be worse, unless you have abandoned the other venue. Obama's FCC, Al Sharpton, BO's new chairman, who has now paved the way for Fed regulation of the internet were discussed there. Sharpton claimed on MSNBC Ed Show,in Dec, that his meetings with FCC has induced them to call Rush Limbaugh to hearings to show why he should not be considered racist, sometime this month.

It has, also been widely discussed, conservative circles,that BO is to use another vague FCC policy, "localism" to achieve "Fairness in Broadcasting". Below is the best I could do to quickly prove it.

"In a speech at the Columbia University School of Journalism, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps put it clearly when he said: "If a station passes the Public Value Test, it of course keeps the license it has earned to use the people’s airwaves," Copps said. "If not, it goes on probation for a year, renewable for an additional year if it demonstrates measurable progress. If the station fails again, give the license to someone who will use it to serve the public interest." Would any of you put money into broadcast when gov't could shut you down because it is decided that you don't "serve the public interest"? I'll provide more.

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson January 11, 2011 | 9:23 p.m.

@Tim Dance: Was that Jan Brewer, AZ Gov, who said that? Or was it the lady running against Harry Reid last year for Senate? Whomever it was, that is over the top, off the charts, ignorant.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 11, 2011 | 9:24 p.m.

Chip,

First, your Charles Manson example is a bad example. Charles Manson conspired with Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, Tex Watson and others to murder, he provided the weapons to do it with, he orchestrated the murders, and he attempted to cover up the evidence after the fact. He was in fact just as guilty as anyone that pulled the trigger and thrust the knife.

If your contention was correct, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme and Tex Watson would not have been convicted of murder. I mean, if they were "brainwashed", then they were not responsible for their actions, right? So, then why were they convicted of murder? Let me tell you why; because at the end of the day, when you clear all of the B.S. about the sex and drugs, and Rock & Roll, the cult lifestyle, and the long winded rant sessions from Charles Manson that the "Manson Family were exposed to which you call "brainwashing"; they were still responsible for their actions.

It's not the video games, that is complete B.S.! It's not the television shows; that is complete B.S.! It is simply a lack of understanding or a disregard for right and wrong. That is the determining factor.

Prosecutors overcome these B.S. notions that people that do these things are "brainwashed" all of the time. With a simple line of questioning. If your assertion is correct, then why doesn't everyone that plays video games commit murder? Why doesn't everyone that watches horror movies about serial killers become a serial killer? Why doesn't everyone that watches and listens to these shows that tout "confrontational politics" go out and kill their self a Politician?

And the answer is obvious; because it is not television, radio, or video games. It is not "confrontational politics", gory movies, and bloody video games; it is "bad people" doing "bad things". If we never had video games, television, and politics, the excuse would be that these people doing "bad things" were not breast fed. But it would still come back to one simple thing, a personal choice to do wrong.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle January 11, 2011 | 9:26 p.m.

I think by now we've uncovered enough "ugly" from all sides to determine that, yes, ugly most definitely exists. There's plenty to go around.

Next, we should determine if this is an actual problem, and to what extent. Rational people understand the rhetoric. The question is whether it influences weak minds, or gives nutjobs some licence to justify socially unacceptable acts. I say yes, because I've seen my own words and actions influence the behavior of others; for both better and worse.

If you say no, that could be the end of the conversation.

But we still have the stark reality that people commit acts like the recent Arizona tragedy. Whether or not the collective emotional climate has any influence on the perp, there's still the question of the "price of freedom."

I realize that I'm far more (as in almost infinitely more) likely to die in an automobile accident, even though I don't drive that much, than I am to die from one of these nutjobs boiling over. Being more afraid of another Loughner (or an airline flight) than of getting in your car means the terrorists have won.

Do we pay for freedom by living with the occasional Loughner or McVeigh, or do we pay for freedom with muzzles, checkpoints, and strictly enforced codes of conduct?

I will be the first to call for a "toning down" of the rhetoric, because even if it doesn't actually send unstable people over the edge, anger and hate is rarely good for anyone. Being angry actually causes health problems, and we all want our health care costs to go down, right? The yelling and screaming is good entertainment, but I don't think it really solves any problems. It just creates more problems.

I think we've already got plenty of muzzles and more than enough overly strict, and overzealously enforced, codes of conduct. So while I call for that "toning down," I'm not gonna try to force a muzzle on anyone else.

More rationality is in order. From all sides.

the h4x354x0r

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 12, 2011 | 12:33 a.m.

Ricky, you keep on arguing as if I am somehow excusing this shooter for his actions. I never said that the shooter is not responsible for his actions. He had a choice. He made that choice, and so you don't have to keep on with your point that I am trying to excuse his conduct.

Charles Manson did orchestrate the murders, so even had he not done anything else, he would be just as quilty right? So if I told someone, over and over again to go and put a stop to someone, and they did exactly that, would I be guilty of orchestrating that murder?

I know a woman doing life with no parole in Louisianna for exactly that. She told her lover how mean her husband was to her, kept on suggesting that he had to be stopped, how much better her life would be if he wasn't around, etc., and sure enough, the lover went and killed him.

So what is the difference between Charles Manson ranting on and on inciting his listeners to commit murder and O'Reilly doing the very same thing? Is it because you cannot believe that O'Reilly meant it? Why is that? Because he is on tv? Because you don't recognize that by the use of our public airwaves that he has the opportunity for a bigger cult than what Manson could have ever had with his one on one method?

Do you think it impossible to inspire someone of weak mind to commit murder in person? It happens quite often and yes they are responsible for their own actions, but legally, you are just as culpable if you continually are urging them on. So why wouldn't O'Reilly be as culpable for giving out this man's name, showing his picture, ranting 28 times about the man running a baby killing mill, having blood on his hands and fantasizing on air about killing him himself?

Oh and Michael, I'm sorry that you hate your entire generation. That must be eating you up. Frankly I find that to be somewhat strange, but hey, it's your time and energy.
I did find this to be an interesting and very telling statement......Michael said: "I see the slur of "teabagger" and "moron" and assaults on my Constitution. You see targets on a voting map and militaristic language."
------------------------------------------------------
So you feel really insulted by that, but you cannot see how I might feel insulted by continual death to Democrats rhetoric? Boy you really are one way aren't you?

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 12, 2011 | 5:55 a.m.

Chip,

As far as your Manson-O'Reilly Argument goers, you need to try to understand one simple word: Conspiracy...

Charles Manson conspired with Tex Watson, Lynete "Squeaky" Fromme and others to kill the Tates and Lobiancas. Charles Manson conspired before the fact to commit those murders, and he aided and abetted before and after the fact by providing the "tools" for the murders to be committed with, and he aided and abetted after the fact by attempting to cover up evidence

O'Reilly is not conspiring with anyone to kill anyone else; unless I have missed the news lately?

But you did not answer my questions, Chip; did you? I'll try again:

(1) "If your contention is correct, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme and Tex Watson would not have been convicted of murder. I mean, if they were "brainwashed", then they were not responsible for their actions, right? So, then why were they convicted of murder?"

(2) "If your assertion is correct, then why doesn't everyone that plays video games commit murder?"

(3) "Why doesn't everyone that watches horror movies about serial killers become a serial killer?"

(4) "Why doesn't everyone that watches and listens to these shows that tout "confrontational politics" go out and kill their self a Politician?"

I am waiting for your answers to these questions.....

I don't think you understand the road that your line of thought puts us on; even though Mark Foecking explained it to you very intelligently.

Let me summarize it for you. I am not willing to limit or alter even one of a free society's Constitutional rights because there are a few "Nut Bars" running around in our society with as you call it ,"weak minds". The damage that would cause to our society is too great. "Nut Bars" don't win here, reasonable and rational minded people do. I am not going to tell O'Reilly that he can't say certain things because some "Nut Bar" might take it our of context. That is where your line of reasoning leads us. And if that were a correct line of reasoning, Jared Loughner would not be facing life in prison, we'd be coddling him and singing Kumbaya for him right now. Instead we are doing the right thing and holding him personally accountable and responsible for his actions. We are not holding anyone else responsible that might have said something that he took out of context.
ANd tha tis where it ends, as well it should..

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 12, 2011 | 8:08 a.m.

John S., Chip - I'm sure you've found, by now, all you want of BO's plans to make broadcasting "fair". If not type fcc, localism and read it all. You know he's serious when he brings John Podesta of Center for American Progress into the act.

(Report Comment)
Mark Flakne January 12, 2011 | 8:39 a.m.

As long as we have a government that initiates violence against non-violent people who pose no threat to others, we will have a violent society. Violent rhetoric among government officials doesn't hold a candle to actual violence perpetrated by government officials when it comes to influencing the public in general, especially the mentally unstable. Violence begets violence.

Fixing the rhetoric can't hurt, but the real problem is the real violence.

http://reason.com/blog/2011/01/09/violen...

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 12, 2011 | 8:50 a.m.

Chip says, "So you feel really insulted by that, but you cannot see how I might feel insulted by continual death to Democrats rhetoric? Boy you really are one way aren't you?"
_________________________

Ah, geez Chip. You missed my whole point.

And your last post illustrates it.

I said that both sides are provoking anger.
You agreed that only one side is provoking anger.
In other words, you are blind in one eye. You just can't see your own role and that it, too, is quite damaging. In your mind, liberal hands are clean.

And THAT'S my point.

(PS: Nah, it ain't eating me up. I don't think about my generation's performance except when thinking about the economy, the Constitution, social security, liberal politicians, your family's future fate, and little stuff like that......)

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 12, 2011 | 9:57 a.m.

Chip - Fox Business, this morning, told of CBS poll showing 57% Americans believe tone of politics had nothing to do with AZ shooting. 32% believe it did.

biggovernment.com/.../cbs-poll-american-public-not-buying-democrat-media-spin-on-arizona-shooting/

You can get the three way, R', D', I', breakdown. Interestingly, CBS results of its own poll only stated "45% believe tone of politics caused shooting. My guess is, if D. Rather was still around, they would not have even aired it. Maybe if you got your nose out of your monitor once in a while, you could find what is going in your country.

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 12, 2011 | 10:07 a.m.

So as I understand it, the majority of you here do not think that it is wrong to consistantly incite violence against our elected officials, or people that we do not agree with and are totally happy with the way things are. You see no problem whatsoever, except for the left wing media of course.

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 12, 2011 | 10:52 a.m.

I believe the original question here was about what we thought that the "confontational politics" had to do with the shooting in Arizona. Now I think the more appropriate question would be more about what effects the shooting and the confrontational politics will have on our future political process.
--------------------------------------------------------
Fearing tea party violence, four Arizona Republicans resign

District Republican chairman: 'I don't want to take a bullet for anyone'

Fearing violence from tea party activists, Arizona Legislative District 20 Republican Chairman Anthony Miller and several others tendered their resignation this week following mass shootings that left six dead and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) in critical condition.

Miller, a 43-year-old former campaign worker for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), said that verbal attacks and blog posts from members of the tea party had him fearing for the safety of his family, according to a report in The Arizona Republic.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/01/feari...

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking January 12, 2011 | 11:28 a.m.

Chip Leaver (from rawstory.com link) wrote:

"Fearing tea party violence, four Arizona Republicans resign"

Well, this says less about confrontational politics and more about their inability to assess risk. I'll bet all of them drove home, too.

Unfortunately, being a legislator brings a small risk that someone will try to do something like this. Most legislators accept it and carry on. This hardly ever happens, no matter how many people blow off steam on their blogs.

DK

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 12, 2011 | 11:54 a.m.

Oh I think that each person should be allowed to assess their own risk factor since they, after all, are the ones who are being threatened.

What does driving home have to do with it? Not every government official has a security detail or even a driver.... so yeah, unless they walked, took a cab, or bus, I'll bet you are right.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 12, 2011 | 12:15 p.m.

Chip,

What Mark is saying is that each of these people that resigned for ear of being shot and killed by some deranged lunatic is about one hundred times more likely to be killed in an automobile accident when they are driving home. That is why these "NITWITS" that resigned are "NITWITS"!

And, while you are putting words in our mouths:

"So as I understand it, the majority of you here do not think that it is wrong to consistantly incite violence against our elected officials, or people that we do not agree with and are totally happy with the way things are. You see no problem whatsoever, except for the left wing media of course."

Why don't you also at least try to be just a little fair and post that most of us don't think that these people are intentionally trying to incite violence; instead we feel that they are expressing their opinions which is their right! That we value those Constitutional rights of ours more than we value coddling psychopaths and making excuses for them?

And are you going to continue to avoid my questions? Or are they just too hard for you to answer?

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 12, 2011 | 1:07 p.m.

Ricky, you seem to be stuck on coddling the shooter. What's with that?

Oh and btw, back in August 2009, Congresswoman Gifford was holding one of those town hall meetings, you know, the ones where everyone had the opportunity to exercise their free speech rights by yelling and disrupting the meeting. One fellow who was shouting out some rather unpleasant things at the Congresswoman dropped his gun, that he had every right to carry, on the floor and so the police were called.
This did not scare her. The threats did not scare her. She is a pretty brave soul for sure........but I guess these other people that have seen what all is going on up close and getting the threats, aren't quite as brave, or are now taking the threats more seriously

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 12, 2011 | 1:23 p.m.

Still avoiding my questions, Chip? Really? I mean it is getting more and more obvious that you seem to think of those questions as a "poisonous pill" to your argument..... LOL.

Lets try it again:

(1) "If your contention that Charles Manson "brainwashed" Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme and Tex Watson to commit murder is correct, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme and Tex Watson would not have been convicted of murder. I mean, if they were "brainwashed", then they were not responsible for their actions, right? So, then why were they convicted of murder?"

(2) "If your assertion is correct, then why doesn't everyone that plays video games commit murder?"

(3) "Why doesn't everyone that watches horror movies about serial killers become a serial killer?"

(4) "Why doesn't everyone that watches and listens to these shows that tout "confrontational politics" go out and kill their self a Politician?"

C'mon Chip, at least give it a try. Tell ya what, if you at least try to answer those questions and you wind up looking like a "NITWIT"; I'll still give you an "A" for effort. How's that? LOL.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 12, 2011 | 1:50 p.m.

Chip - Appears Mr.Miller while fearing for his safty from Teaparty will be running for AZ state GOP chair. It appears that all four of the resigned did so for political reasons. I can't get the url to post, but this came from Red State AZ. You can read his resignation letter there, no mention of shooting, only the opposition to him within R' party.

"McCain staffer resigns as LD 20 Chair due to district PC opposition
January 10, 2011

Anthony Miller, the Chairman of GOP Legislative District 20, while simultaneously serving as a paid McCain staffer, has tendered his resignation as District Chairman — effective immediately. His action comes in the wake of the conservative sweep at the Maricopa County Statutory Meeting on Saturday and opposition to his leadership within his own district."

Also didn't see it, but understand Good Morning America had the shooter's good friend on the show. Seems he stated, Loughner didn't listen to radio, didn't watch TV, was neither "right nor left". Was just a loner. (paraphrase). This is quite a Left wing campaign you are participating in, is it not?

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking January 12, 2011 | 2:05 p.m.

frank christian wrote:

"Also didn't see it, but understand Good Morning America had the shooter's good friend on the show."

Here's a link for it:

http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/jare...

It's easy to make something like this a partisan issue, even when it doesn't seem to be in this case. Some in this thread have made assumptions they shouldn't have. Nutbars come from everywhere, or even nowhere.

DK

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 12, 2011 | 2:22 p.m.

I have never stated that the shooter, or any other criminal that you have listed should not be held accountable for their actions, but I believe I have stated that before, yet you still persist.

I have no idea why everybody doesn't go out and kill their politicians when incited to do so, or go on a killing spree after playing World of Warcraft, or watching the Texas Chainsaw massacre, other than for the fact that they are mentally stable, but I do know that there are mentally unstable people who can be induced to do such things, and if you look at history, you will see that those people have always been around, and have always been easily manipulated, as well as some who could be considered to be mentally stable.

Look at some of the weird stuff that people have been brainwashed into doing in the past. Do you think that Hitler did not use the public airwaves in order to dehumanize the Jews to the point that the ordinary German citizen thought that it was in the country's best interest to rid themselves of what was deemed to be an "inferior" race?
More recently the Rwandan genocide was the 1994 mass murder of around 800,000 people was one where the most essential tool used was hate speech in print media and on their two radio stations, along with passing out leaflets picturing a machete and asking "What shall we do to complete the social revolution of 1959?", a former revolution, and also kept on describing their enemy as nothing more than cockroaches, which I suppose is the key to a lot of this. Dehumanizing the "enemy" makes it easier to kill them from what I understand.

Quit concentrating on this one demented gunman and recognize what is going on around you in this country. This particular shooting is over folks, but the repercussions are going to go on for a very long time.

One of the common themes though seems to be all about patriotism and nationalism. A lot of people want to "save" the country from one thing or another. Recently it is homosexuals, abortion, athiests, Muslims, liberals, Socialists, Marxists, and a President who according to many is the anti Christ who was really born in Kenya.

What I object to mostly in this entire affair is the use of the public airwaves to slander, lie, incite violence and stir civil unrest to the point that it becomes political terrorism and phrases like "If ballots don't work, bullets will" for one example.

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 12, 2011 | 2:35 p.m.

Frank, Mr. Millers statement was:
"I wasn't going to resign but decided to quit after what happened Saturday," Miller said. "I love the Republican Party but I don't want to take a bullet for anyone." Here is a link. If you have one that will work showing that he or any one of the four are running for another office, then by all means, please provide us with that.

And this is not about partisan politics at this point. It seems that the Tea Party has turned on the GOP as well. Look @ the second link at what happened in Texas. More threats to the Republicans.

http://www.azcentral.com/community/ahwat...

Read more: http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/kera/n...

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 12, 2011 | 2:37 p.m.

Chip,

So you want us to "walk on egshells" because of a few mentally unstable people?

Or do you just want the government to limit our Consitutional rights over a few mentally unstable people?

What's your solution, Chip?

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 12, 2011 | 2:44 p.m.

Chip says, "...the majority of you here do not think that it is wrong to consistantly [sic] incite violence against our elected officials, or people that we do not agree with and are totally happy with the way things are. You see no problem whatsoever, except for the left wing media of course.
___________________________

Look, if you are going to have a two-way conversation here, at least read the posts that are directed at your comments. How in the world you can make the above statement after reading my 8:50 am post (today) to you is...well...beyond my comprehension. It is not productive for us to respond to your comments when you neither read them nor respond to them "on task".

Otherwise, why should any of us respond to you? You'll just be posting into the gale with no one to hear you.

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 12, 2011 | 2:53 p.m.

You know Ricky, I don't have the answer. Like you, I truly am a proponent of free speech, but I feel that some of the things that are going on in the name of free speech, might just take our free elections away from us and at that point free speech will be gone for good. It is a very slippery slope for sure, but I think it is time that we need to be thinking seriously about it.

You know me and you know too that I am a big advocate for gun rights, but if this stuff keeps up, the government will find a way to make it more difficult for the ordinary citizen to acquire guns. And by this stuff, I am referring not to just the gunman who did the shooting, although he will be the excuse.
I am talking about people taking their guns to political rallies with signs stating that it is time to water the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants. I am talking about the guy who took his gun into Congresswoman Gifford's town hall meeting back in August of 09 and dropped it on the floor while he was shouting at her.

It's all perfectly legal, but is it really a proper use of our legal rights or is it stepping over the line to the point that some of our legal rights will be inhibited?

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 12, 2011 | 3:06 p.m.

Michael, if I have not paid enough attention to your posts, I do apologize, but I didn't see where you asked me a question on the post you mentioned. You made a statement, and whatever it was, I let it stand as I am not going to take issue with every single thing that is posted, only the things that I want to take issue with or feel that are worthy of a response.
I reserve the right to choose what I post to and how I will use my time. Furthermore, I am not used to this format, cannot quote posts and in case you haven't noticed, I am the only one here posting to all of you, with an opposing point of view. So, you get whatever you get. I know you're dying for my next gem of wisdom, but you will just have to wait your turn.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 12, 2011 | 3:19 p.m.

Chip,

Right: "An abstract idea of that which is due to a person or governmental body by law or tradition or nature."

A right is something that we own. It is due to us. It is ours, and ours to with as we please.

Only in the rarest of circumstances will the courts allow a limitation to our Constitutional rights.

It is dangerous to try to dictate what the proper use of those rights are; and our courts know that. You start to broach that "slippery slope" when you believe you know how everyone else should be "properly using those rights".

I know what the solution is, Chip. Here is the solution: When you break the law and cause harm to others by doing so with the intent of causing harm to others, you get punished for it. The solution is to hold each person accountbale for their actions. We know we can't PREVENT a person from breaking the law if they are intent on doing so, we know we can't PREVENT a person from maliciously causing harm to others if they are intent on doing so. But we also know that we can make them pay for breaking the law and maliciously causing harm to others and that may make more people less intent on doing so. We also know that this will be enough to make most people not break the law and maliciously cause harm to others, and we know it is the best we can do to keeping some order in a free society. There will still be victims, but without this solution there would be A LOT more victims.

The solution is not perfect, but nobody knows of a perfect solution. And as you seem to have demonstrated, some people don't even have a solution at all.

This solution is not new. As a matter of fact we have been making it work for over 200 years...

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 12, 2011 | 3:27 p.m.

Chip: You prefaced your 10:07 am post with "So as I understand it...."

Well, I guess that qualifier at the front of your post made it true for you, but the fact is that your conclusions are untrue.

That means you are not understanding what others are saying. Your conclusions were untrue.

The fact is we DON'T think it is OK to incite violence against elected or unelected officials, or anyone else for that matter without good cause.

You've consistently missed the point I'm making, to wit: Mean rhetoric is coming from both sides. Militaristic rhetoric is coming from both sides. I don't like Limbaugh doing it, and I don't like Olbermann doing it, and I don't like the verbal not-so-innocent smears from liberals.

Problem is....I don't hear the same thing from you.

(PS: I did like the "I'm the only one standing tall and holding the fort," martyr idea, tho. Maybe you'll get 77 virgins.)

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 12, 2011 | 4:12 p.m.

Chip - http://seeingredaz.wordpress.com/categor.... Check red "here" to read resignation letter.

http://patriothq.com/2010/09/13/mcrc-ant....

Yours, "It seems that the Tea Party has turned on the GOP as well."

Of course! Reagans first fight was with Congressional R's. There are at least two brands of R's. Conservative R and Moderate R. My definition of a moderate Republican: a Liberal who lacks the guts to become a Democrat. These need to be cleaned (gently, non-violently, of course)out of our Congress (and all other gov'ts) along with the D' Progressives that borough there.

(Report Comment)
Gerald Shelnutt January 12, 2011 | 4:24 p.m.

Not one iota.

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 12, 2011 | 5:51 p.m.

I was going to sit here and type out yet another post and continue on with the debate, but on second thought, I can see that you are all of like mind and that your minds are made up, so really there is no further need for discussion on my part. I consider it to be a lost cause and a waste of my time, as I cannot battle the things that you wrongly assign to me and every right wing website that you go to for information as I am just one person and the majority of those sites are funded by the likes of the Koch brothers with many contributors.
But Frank, I will tell you that your wish to get every "RINO" or Democrat out of office is very telling, considering that half of the population here in this country usually vote Democrat. It appears that you feel that you and what you want are important enough to leave half of the nation without representation. To that end, you seem to be willing to go along with whatever means is necessary.
I am not your or the state's enemy, nor is every Democrat or moderate Republican, but that is what I have derived from what you have said. Upon that note, I will leave you guys to this thread and wish you the best of luck.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley January 12, 2011 | 6:09 p.m.

And you'll find that most of the nation agrees with us, Chip.......

We'll holler atcha!

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Chip Leaver January 12, 2011 | 6:46 p.m.

And most of the nation was against equal rigts for women and blacks.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams January 12, 2011 | 9:20 p.m.

Chip says, "I consider it to be a lost cause......."
____________________________

You are right.

The basic outlines for differences of thought were well established in this and related threads.

I reckon we just carry on.......

(Report Comment)
frank christian January 13, 2011 | 6:42 p.m.

Chip - Honestly, I usually promote the removal of progressive D's from the Majorities in our governments. It must have been the confrontational tone of your posts that made me forget that. I'm sorry.

(Report Comment)

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