Tuesday Reads: The Anniversary of FDR’s Second Bill of Rights

Good Morning!!

History Reads

Ever so often, we need to be reminded of history.  I read a tweet yesterday by one of our long time news anchors down here in New Orleans.

normanrobinson1 norman robinson

Wondering if we as Americans really value what we have and whether we really care about leaving a future for the generations to follow.

This started me thinking about what future was left to me by the generations directly before me.    Of course, we’re living in a world mostly free of NAZIs and Fascists because of the greatest generation.  We’re living in a world where the Jim Crow Laws of Separate-But-Equal were torn down by the generation after that with the sacrifice of the heroic leaders of the civil rights movement.   I have the right to vote because of my grandmother’s generation and her mother’s generation and what they did for us.  I’ve also had consistent access to family planning and birth control because the first women of the baby boom generation and several generations of women before them worked hard for it.  Stonewall made a tremendous difference in the lives of GLBTs.  Then, there are programs like Social Security and institutions like the United Nations that came from the vision and leadership of  FDR and the people who served in his cabinets like Francis Perkins, Henry Wallace, Cordell Hull and many others.  They cared enough to build us quite a legacy.

Today is the 67th anniversary of a speech that was to convey that vision of a post-war America.  The Second Bill of Rights was part of a State of the Union speech.  I’m bringing this up for two reasons.  First, because it clearly provides a road map–even today–for “what Americans really value”. I say that because poll after poll shows that the majority of American’s agree with these values even though our government doesn’t seem to reflect that at the moment.   For that reason, I share with you today, the words of a leader with a vision and a gift for elocution.

From the FDR American Heritage Center Museum’s Website:

On January 11, 1944, in the midst of World War II, President Roosevelt spoke forcefully and eloquently about the greater meaning and higher purpose of American security in a post-war America. The principles and ideas conveyed by FDR’s words matter as much now as they did over sixty years ago, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt American Heritage Center is proud to reprint a selection of FDR’s vision for the security and economic liberty of the American people in war and peace.

The second reason I want to share this is that we’re coming close to President Obama’s third State of the Union Address. It is scheduled for January 25th.  My guess is that FDR’s Second Bill of Rights and the vision he elucidated will officially die on that day. I am not expecting any thing close to the utterance of ‘Necessitous men are not free men’ or “People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made”.

Despite the obvious parallels between right now and  the Great Depression–the high unemployment rates, the incredible number of foreclosures, and the breadth of necessitous men and women and children–I’m expectting many of the vestiges of FDR’s vision that prevent future calamities to be assaulted during Obama’s third State of the Union Address.  Look closely at the list I put up top because so much of what was handed us has been trickling away.

As Norman Robinson contemplated via tweet, do we really value what we have today? Will we witness the destruction of what was handed to us and hand our children and grandchildren broken infrastructure, no hope for upward mobility, and useless institutions drained of funds by the greedy?  Will any shell of what was envisioned for us in both the first bill of rights and the second remain? Frankly, I am expecting an ‘austerity’ speech that endorses the findings of the cat food commission. I also expect we will hear nothing of overreaching intrusion by the Patriot Act into our internet and cell phones. We are expected to diligently watch Football and bail out billionaires while everything else trickles up and away.

Finance/Econ Reads

Since I’ve already mentioned Reagan and Obama and dwindling prospects for the future, I may as well start by offering up this Raw Story interview with Reagan’s Budget Director David Stockman.  His eclectic economic and political viewpoints are still difficult to reconcile at times. Stockman  believes that we can no longer afford the occupations of Iraq and Iran and the huge military industrial complex that profit from them.

The Obama administration’s $78 billion cut to US defense spending is a mere “pin-prick” to a behemoth military-industrial complex that must drastically shrink for the good of the republic, a former Reagan administration budget director recently told Raw Story.

“It amounts to a failed opportunity to recognize that we are now at a historical inflection point at which the time has arrived for a classic post-war demobilization of the entire military establishment,” David Stockman said in an exclusive interview.

“The Cold War is long over,” he continued. “The wars of occupation are almost over and were complete failures — Afghanistan and Iraq. The American empire is done. There are no real seriously armed enemies left in the world that can possibly justify an $800 billion national defense and security establishment, including Homeland Security.”

Short of that, he suggested, the United States has “reached the point of no return” with its artificial creation of wealth, and will eventually face a sharp economic decline.

Stockman last fall criticized the extension of the Bush tax cuts while the federal government continued to borrow money abroad to pay for its public welfare and warfare programs. His solution to deficit spending — a huge across-the-board tax increase — is contrary to the current anti-tax ideology shared among tea party activists as well as fiscal conservatives in the Republican Party.

I’m sure the Republicans don’t want to claim him as their own any more.  Everything he’s argued in that article are things that I’ve said at one time or another.  I think most of us feel that we can’t afford to police the world.  He is clearly aware of the Neo-Con failures and costs.  It’s good to see some one clearly associated with Republicans say all of these things.  Unfortunately, the current brand of Republicans have no need for history, facts, or evidence.

Carlos Tavares who serves on the Committee of European Securities Regulators has an article up on VOXEU on possible policy to deal with short selling and OTC dervatives. These are some of the practices and instruments that brought about the international financial markets meltdown leading to global recession.  He argues that now is the time for regulators to create an environment that improves transparency and encourages effective asset pricing.  His argument is based on academic studies that shows securities markets entail systemic risk that makes efficient regulation imperative.

You’ll see in this article that “covered” short selling has been studied and found to improve market liquidity and efficiency for the most part.  Covered short selling can contribute price stability. This situation is generally true in bear markets or somewhat tame bull markets.   All of these attributes are good for functional financial markets.  “Naked” or uncovered short selling and abuse of covered short selling can be more problematic.  Even covered short selling can be a problem in a strong bull market.  Covered in this context means that you have the money to ‘cover’ your losses.  ‘Naked’ means you probably can’t cover any substantial losses when the terms of your purchase come due.  You’ve probably borrowed to set up the deal.  Short selling is basically the act of selling securities you actually don’t own in the future at an agreed upon price.  You’re betting the market will cause their price to go down.  That way you buy them cheap  in the future but sell them at the higher, prior agreed upon price.   That’s how a lot of hedge funds made billions during the crash. Every one was betting on an endless bull market but them.

Obviously, naked short selling is more risky and speculative although all short selling is speculative in nature. Speculators are important to financial markets because their bets provide the offsets to people that carry out the transactions for purposes related to risk management or insuring certain returns.  (Hedging is a term used in some cases for this activity).   This is how speculators provide ‘liquidity’ to the market.  Also, both demand and supply must be present to achieve a market price.  The more people in the market, usually the better the market achieves a realistic price or asset value.

Taveres goes on to talk about the potential problems as well as possible policy solutions.

In adverse market situations (bear markets), the overall effect is not entirely clear, however. While short selling restrictions may reduce high market volatility, the decrease in market liquidity due to the constraints may be very strong when bid-ask spreads are already wide.

Also according to the Committee for Economic and Market Analysis’ work mentioned above, the review of the academic literature shows that naked or uncovered short selling, in theory, is not fundamentally different from covered short selling and, in normal circumstances, is unlikely to have detrimental effects on capital markets. Nevertheless, naked short selling may increase price volatility relative to covered short selling and may have destabilising effects in markets as in theory the number of short sold shares may largely exceed the number of available shares. This is equivalent to artificially multiplying the number of shares in circulation.

A different issue is the misuse of short selling (naked or covered) to manipulate markets (for instance by combining short-selling with spreading of negative rumours or manipulative operations in the cash market). This has to be dealt with by regulators through the application of market abuse rules with proper investigation and sanctions.

It’s all very finance wonky but worth reading since it really is about preventing the next big financial crisis meltdown.  Many of the worst abuses that occurred prior to the melt down have not be solved by Dodd-Frank . I think it’s useful for you to try to slog through it. It’s important to know the omens that signal the next big one.  Believe me, it will come.

One other link you may want to check out today is Mark Thoma’s piece over at CBS’ money watch.  He explains right wing fascination with the Gold Standard and hatred of currency. His assignment was given in light of the Tucson shooting spree but with Rand Paul and Ron Paul around in Congress, it’s good to look at it from a general knowledge perspective.

The experience of the Great Depression shows that the inability to use monetary policy to fight recessions can be quite costly. In the 1930s, the countries that abandoned their commitment to the gold standard did much better than countries who honored their commitment to keep the value of their currency fixed in terms of gold. In addition, historical experience with the gold standard shows that both inflation and deflation can still occur due to variations in the supply and demand for gold which alters the price of gold relative to other commodities. In addition, since governments tend to abandon the gold standard and increase the money supply when the economy goes into a deep recession, a gold standard is no guarantee that government will avoid expansionary monetary policies.

Most free market economists–including monetarist like Milton Friedman–discourage the use of gold because of the impact on prices and how it fixes exchange rates.  Free market people prefer to let the market determine prices and exchange rates.  Oddly enough, libertarians usually like this idea even though it is really the granddaddy of all government controls.  The market price of any currency is just set to gold.  That adds a complication because the value of foods and services will reflect the amount of gold available in the world as well as their intrinsic value/usefulness.   It’s actually one of the reasons the Spanish Empire collapsed.  They were notorious gold hoarders. Also,  privateers had a habit of sinking reserve shipments.

Political Reads

Here in Louisiana, we’re chasing down bath salts for Governor Jindal.  Yes, you may remember that the Governor said it was just the absolute worst problem in our state. The Jefferson Parish sheriff’s office was in on the hunt. Wonder if Steven Seagal was in on the war against suspicious Bath SALTS!!!

Jindal announced the new law last week in a press conference in Mandeville, saying state poison control officials had received 165 calls during the past three months about people experiencing adverse effects after using the substance. Most of those calls came from emergency room physicians or first responders, Jindal’s office said.

Louisiana appeared to have a disproportionately high number of reports compared with other states, leading Jindal to ask the federal Drug Enforcement Agency to investigate.

Fortunato did not have details, but he said he is aware of incidents in Jefferson in which people using the bath salts overdosed. He cited one man who was hospitalized at West Jefferson Medical Center. He knew of no deaths associated with the substance in Jefferson Parish.

People using the bath salts as a narcotic have been treated for paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, agitation, hypertension, chest pain and headaches, according to the governor’s office. Some users reported suicidal thoughts.

It’s amazing what people will try to snort isn’t it?  Yup, it’s my tax dollars at work.  Jindals’ priorities are weird.

Jared Loughner appeared in Court yesterday. He did not challenge his detention.  The judge ruled him a “danger to the community”.   They found that out the hard way in Arizona. His mug shot’s been released.   It’s a truly frightening thing to behold.   There’s more things out about those images “targeting” Democratic Congressmen and women with rifle sites and possible links to real violence. I’ve seen several blog sites try to explain these away as innocuous survey sites. I’ve also seen the graphic compared to ‘targeted’ races map used by democrats that included little round multicolor buttons.  Sorry, folks not equivocal.

I feel like I’m caught in a game with kids whining, but he did it too!  Yeah.  They all do it too.  That’s the problem.

This is from Raw Story.

Two former Democratic representatives from Arizona reportedly received numerous threats during their time in office after being placed on Sarah Palin’s “crosshairs” map.

“I cannot tell you how much I wish a panty bomber would come in and just fucking blow your place up,” one constituent told former Arizona Congressman Harry Mitchell, a Democrat who lost his reelection bid last year.

Another former Arizona representative, Ann Kirkpatrick, received emails calling her a “whore” and had a sewer cap thrown through her office window, The Daily Best reported.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), who was shot in the head Saturday in Tucson, was among 20 other members of Congress who were on a “target list” published by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Six people were killed and at least 14 others were injured in the attack.

A map of the US, published on Palin’s Facebook page, featured targeting crosshairs over individual congressional districts Palin had urged supporters to focus on. While her note called for “pink slips,” she added that supporters should fire a “salvo” at those lawmakers.

It appears that more than just one person  took the call to “fire a salvo” seriously.  Now, do we have to play degrees of who is crazier or start equivocating body counts, building damage or just hurt feelings?  Can we just say something’s not right here?

A threat of similar violence has caused the Feds to arrest a person menacing Democratic Senator Bennet’s Office.  Whenever there’s something crazy that goes down, there’s invariably copy cats.

According to the FBI complaint, a man named John Troy Davis has been calling Bennet’s office in Denver, Colorado for some time, asking for a hearing regarding his Social Security benefits. During a call in December, Davis allegedly threatened a staff member “by stating that he might come down and shoot people.” On Jan. 6, Davis called again, and allegedly told a different staff member, “I’m a schizophrenic and I need help,” and later said, “I’m just going to come down there and shoot you all.”

During a second call on Jan. 6, Davis allegedly told a third staff member that he was upset about not having a hearing about his benefits. According to the complaint, the senator’s office had arranged a meeting in the past, but Davis had failed to show up. In the second Jan. 6 call, Davis allegedly said “I killed that woman. To get your attention, I will go down there and set fire to the perimeter.” He also allegedly said he “may go to terrorism.” When the staff member told Davis he was making threats to a senator’s office, Davis allegedly “screamed.”

One more quote on the topic from the Arizona Sheriff dealing with the aftermath of the shooting. The links from ABC and there’s a Jake Tapper video that includes this exchange.

“The kind of rhetoric that flows from people like Rush Limbaugh, in my judgment he is irresponsible, uses partial information, sometimes wrong information,” Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said today. “[Limbaugh] attacks people, angers them against government, angers them against elected officials and that kind of behavior in my opinion is not without consequences.”

Limbaugh today railed against the media and Dupnik for trying to draw a link between the heated political climate and the shooting rampage, calling the sheriff a “fool.”

There are never going to be straight lines of blame for the Tuscon massacre.  Every researcher knows that correlation is not causation.  We know that in situations like this there are usually both physiological and environmental factors that come together in a perfect storm to create a criminal, a mentally ill person, or a person with severe issues.  There’s no clear recipe.  Situations like these are never simple.

There are only three things that I would hope come out of this national screaming match which needs to turn into a conversation.  First, we don’t have the institutions, processes, and structures to deal with people that have mental health issues. That’s a problem.  Second, we have a culture that glorifies, profits from, and is fascinated by anger, violence, and guns.  That’s a problem too. You can see it in our movies, hear it in our music,  and feel it in the hyped-up crowds that feed on anger.  That’s not healthy.  Third, these acts are viewed through frames that we establish to protect ourselves from thinking that certain kinds of people committing acts of destruction can be framed differently then others.  This is problem too.  All mass murderers have left the sanity realm.  It doesn’t matter if they are sitting in cafes in Jerusalem with bombs on their backs or  they grab guns and shoot up shopping malls and their high school.

Bigger questions abound.  Does rap music, heavy metal, angry political rhetoric, hyperactive religious fervor, or hate group propaganda create cultural cues for people on the slippery slope to mental chaos?   Probably, possibly, yes. Depends on the cases.  We  obviously can’t take away all guns in this country. We can’t violate the first amendment rights of everyone by passing laws to shut  up rappers, head bangers, and angry bloviates.  We certainly cannot point a finger at any one person other than the person that did the deed and assign a certain probability of culpability.  But we should all agree that you have to own up to some level of personal responsibility when you enable a culture of hate, anger, and violence.  You can’t shut down political discourse and you shouldn’t, but can’t we get some semblance of agreement on what constitutes gratuitous anger mongering and ask those folks to please stop?

If there is no connection between angry, hateful imagery. and rhetoric and bad outcomes, why do we have hate crimes laws?  Why are there anti-defamation leagues?  Do things like lynchings just happen in a vacuum? Isn’t there a reason why we censor rap lyrics in some instances and control access to violent games and pornography?   Why do we speak out against bullying ?   Angry, hateful, vitriolic rhetoric can lead to suicide. Could there exist a similar relationship between bullying and murder/suicide?   Does the degree of mental illness really have to be measured precisely when the outcome is still loss of life?  Again, do you really need to compare tragedies with a body count ruler?

Common sense says this stuff has to matter some how.  We have too  many prohibitions surrounding angry, hateful, violent stuff.  We don’t need ONE poster child for the issue.  This isn’t about just one woman politician.  She’s a good example but she’s not the only one. There’s a slew of politicians, media figures, musicians and Hollywood stars who all play the themes of anger, bigotry, hatred and violence for personal gain.  That’s the deal here.  They all do it for personal gain with little regard to any side effects.  All of them contribute to the climate.  I guess I personally hold politicians to higher standards than rock or rap stars, but that’s just me.  I don’t think you need to inspire your side to be active by telling them to ‘reload’ any more than you should inspire your audience with a song loaded with the n word.  Why do all those movies and video games vividly glorify acts of destruction?  Is this really fun and creative?  Is it really necessary to hold a political rally blaring “I got 99 problems but …” and think you’re all ironic and clever?  Oh, I can point to more.  See they ALL do it.

They all do it.  That’s the problem.  Stuff like that builds.   They all  need to step back and cut it out; especially the politicians.  I can see from the media, reading my Facebook wall, and surfing my blog list that it’s not gonna happen right now.  I also know that it must be profitable and it must work on some level.  But, hey, we can always hope.  I am just really tired of all the apologia for any one guilty of an addition to a culture of hate and violence because of their biological equipment or their party affiliation.  Make up whatever excuse you want.  It’s still wrong.  I also don’t want to hear any more  grown adults use the childish argument of  “well, they do it too”.    Yeah, they all do it too.  That’s the damned problem people!

And, I’m sorry, MABlue.  I think I just made what should of been three separate threads into one very long Tuesday reads.   I guess I  just had a lot for Tuesday show and tell.

Anyway, what’s on your blogging and reading list today?  Gotta rant to add to mine?


125 Comments on “Tuesday Reads: The Anniversary of FDR’s Second Bill of Rights”

  1. Kat, I’m saving this to my reading list for later today when I can sit and digest more of it properly! From what I scanned (esp. with the spotlight on FDR’s Second Bill of Rights), I’m sure I’ll thoroughly enjoy this post.

    I didn’t see a science section in Kat’s post, so hopefully I’m not repeating a link:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/science/11esp.html

    In recent weeks, editors at a respected psychology journal have been taking heat from fellow scientists for deciding to accept a research report that claims to show the existence of extrasensory perception.

    The report, to be published this year in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, is not likely to change many minds. And the scientific critiques of the research methods and data analysis of its author, Daryl J. Bem (and the peer reviewers who urged that his paper be accepted), are not winning over many hearts.

    Yet the episode has inflamed one of the longest-running debates in science. For decades, some statisticians have argued that the standard technique used to analyze data in much of social science and medicine overstates many study findings — often by a lot. As a result, these experts say, the literature is littered with positive findings that do not pan out: “effective” therapies that are no better than a placebo; slight biases that do not affect behavior; brain-imaging correlations that are meaningless.

    By incorporating statistical techniques that are now widely used in other sciences — genetics, economic modeling, even wildlife monitoring — social scientists can correct for such problems, saving themselves (and, ahem, science reporters) time, effort and embarrassment.

    Not sure if BB already addressed this somewhere in a roundup or comment, but I’d love to hear her take sometime.

  2. zaladonis says:

    What a read.

    Hear, hear!

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    Wow! I am always blown away by the information evident on this site.

    At the same time I do question the values of this nation as we reward the rich by threatening to withhold from the poor. That alone kind of says it all.

    When a fire department can stand back and allow a home to burn to the ground because a family had yet to pay a $75.00 fee, then you can assume that we have wandered into territory that clearly states that we frankly just don’t give a damn.

    There are a myriad of other issues that quite nicely explains the values we dismiss as a nation but I think the point has been illustrated.

    We just don’t seem to care about one another very much. Says it all.

    • Fannie says:

      I was thinking the same thing after reading Gov. Brown’s budget cuts (which I expected) half the cuts will be the state welfare programs. The poor, elderly, and disabled, and further dropping the poor to acess to health care. I know you all have heard that bit of news. What you might not of heard was the line he stated yesterday,
      48 hours after Tuscon “Some people might say I am putting a GUN to thier heads.”………..shoot, nothing changes.

  4. ralphb says:

    David Stockman has some good ideas but I disagree with his views on our so-called “welfare state”. We hardly qualify in that regard.

    Let me add a complete agreement to this thought.

    We just don’t seem to care about one another very much.

    For thoughtful rhetoric, no one tops Dem tweeters…

    • dakinikat says:

      Yup. The hate just grows exponentially. So will the finger pointing. Terrible.

    • mablue2 says:

      These are certainly vile tweets.
      Only, I looked for Dems here but I couldn’t find them. Which one did I miss.

      Usually when we point to Right-wing violent rhetoric, we don’t look for obscure people, we get the best stuff from prominent figures: Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachman, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News on-air personalities, I could go on and on.

      When people talk about the equivalent on the Left, they usually go to some obscure figure or stuff posted on some blogs.

      • zaladonis says:

        Does it really matter?

        I read stuff like that regularly from Dems all over Facebook, and certainly in the past couple of days.

        And if you want to hear celebrity Dems blaming Palin, turn on MSNBC or CNN.

      • dakinikat says:

        The hypocrisy of Keith Olbermann is mind blowing on that account. This is the man that suggested some one take Hillary to a room where only one person came out. Remember? He’s part of the problem The only thing he needs to do is admit to it and offer up the same apology and pledge to quit that others should offer up.

      • zaladonis says:

        Can’t stand Olbermann!

        FWIW, I just clicked into facebook and the fourth post down is a friend’s (he’s a nice guy, really) status: “I hope Giffords sues Palin into bankruptcy.”

        Tame compared to some of the nasty stuff, but same sentiment just from a nicer person.

      • Well I really don’t like to have to defend Keith O, but if you watch Keith’s spittle comment on the shooting and violent rhetoric, he actually makes a point to apologize for what he said about Hillary and says that it was wrong, no matter how much he didn’t intent for it to sound violent. I still think he’s a smarmy asshat, but what he’s actually saying now is that everyone who really cares, including himself, needs to check their own comments and how they may be playing into violent undercurrents in our society. Disagreeing with him on that is one thing, but he’s actually not being a hypocrite here. He is being a little convenient in taking the distance of two years later to play demure little kitty who didn’t realize what he was saying was ugly then. But, not a hypocrite. He did point out his own mistake in saying it regardless of how he intended it.

        • dakinikat says:

          I’ll cheer him on if he continues to tone it down and apologize. The first step in recovery is recognizing you have a problem and admitting to it … but you’re right his big fat head is still an impediment to making him viewable.

      • mablue2 says:

        Zal,

        I have a post about this but I’m not sure I’ll finish it because I’m traveling soon.

        Nobody is drawing a direct line between Sarah Palin and the murder, but just keep this in mind: Sarah Palin put out a map, with a crosshair on Giffords’s district, along with her mind. Her offices were vandalized thereafter and she came on TV and had this to say:

        Community leaders, figures in our community need to say “look, we can’t stand for this.” This is a situation where — people don’t — they really need to realize that the rhetoric and firing people up and, you know, even things, for example, we’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list. But the thing is that the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. And when people do that, they’ve gotta realize there’s consequences to that action.

        Later on, Giffords is shot in the head.

        Let’s face it, the sequence of events and the whole imagery just terrible for Palin. Would you be sleeping sounds if you were Palin, I know I wouldn’t, especially because people protested that map and the language at the time (I can provide the links), but Palin chose to double down.

        Palin is not the victim here: The victims are either dead or fighting for their lives as we speak.

      • Palin is not the victim here: The victims are either dead or fighting for their lives as we speak.

        Exactly.

      • zaladonis says:

        My problem with that, Wonk, is he’s doing it when it’s easy. Hillary’s popular, Obama’s turned out to be a disappointment, and now it suits Olbermann’s pontification of the day to sound like a bigger man and apologize. I don’t trust Keith Olbermann. If he truly changes I’ll be surprised, people usually don’t, but if he does I’ll change my opinion of him.

        Did he really qualify his apology with “no matter how much he didn’t intent for it to sound violent”? Pooh.

      • zaladonis says:

        Let’s face it, the sequence of events and the whole imagery just terrible for Palin. Would you be sleeping sounds if you were Palin, I know I wouldn’t, especially because people protested that map and the language at the time (I can provide the links), but Palin chose to double down.
        Palin is not the victim here: The victims are either dead or fighting for their lives as we speak.

        Democrats who are linking Palin’s graphic design and her words to this shooting are either ignorant or disingenuous. There is absolutely no evidence that the shooter was motivated by Palin’s words or her graphic design, or even that he ever heard or saw it.

        I don’t like Palin or what she said or those graphics, I certainly wouldn’t use them so I have no idea if someone who did use them would be sleeping tonight. But I know fallacy when I see it, and it’s this kind of smarmy false conclusion that makes Democrats today as bad as Republicans. It’s dishonest and it’s disgusting to clearly imply a connection between Palin and these killings.

      • mablue2 says:

        I have to give Keith Olberman some credit for at least showing some introspection, and recognizing that he may also be part of the problem.
        Did you see Mr Tiller-The-Baby Killer Bill O’Reilly?

      • Zal @ 1:46

        Like I said, I think he’s being too convenient. Just pointing out that he didn’t omit his own sins and actually did address it, fwiw. Whether he addressed it sufficiently or he’s really changed–I really wouldn’t hazard a guess. I don’t find him any more credible than Bill O’Reilly.

        As for Keith’s qualification, I was paraphrasing. I’ll try to post the youtube in a minute so you can judge what he actually said for yourself.

      • mablue2 says:

        Zal,
        I don’t think anybody can responsibly link Palin’s activities to the shooting, all attempts to do so are tenuous at best. But whenever there’s something like this, I think we can not immediately decide to see it in a vacuum. It’s impossible.
        As Ta-Nehsi Coates put in so beautifully:

        1.) I would never put gun-sights on the districts of my political opponents. Should violence break out, I don’t even want to be in the conversation as a factor–contributing or causal. We may never know what caused Loughner to snap. But at night, I’d like the security of knowing that it could not have possibly been me.

        I’m all for pointing the finger when it’s warranted. I think just throwing up your arms sighting “both sides are equally bad” is a cop out.
        I see that too often, especially when there concrete accusations that can be levied at prominent Right-wing figures.

      • Here it is–Keith O spittle comment on AZ shooting and violent rhetoric. I have to say, even though the messenger is an opportunist and so that makes it hard to listen to him on anything, it’s one of his finer comments, content-wise.

      • zaladonis says:

        I’d actually forgotten how ridiculous and sanctimonious Keith Olbermann is. And that’s a great example.

        Apparently he believes he has earned the gravitas of an Edward R. Murrow. He has not.

        This is not the event Olbermann’s overzealous ambition would like it to be so he can pronounce from on high how everybody better behave, how everybody better speak from now on Or Else. This sad event is not the culmination of Palin’s and Beck’s political rhetoric, it’s the culmination of one obscure 22 year old’s untreated mental illness. There is absolutely no evidence that this killer even knew Sarah Palin or her stupid website even existed. He’s not even a Republican for crying out loud, he’s registered an Independent.

        That “comment” was a revolting partisan exploitation of an event that is a personal tragedy and heartbreaking to the people involved, to suit Keith Olbermann’s desire for another Moment. If he seriously thinks his pronouncements and threats will convince ANYbody on the right, or the left for that matter, to change the way they do business, he is delusional.

        Further, if Loughner “shot into our liberty,” how did he get that designation? How is it that all the other people who’ve shot victims that way the past ten years haven’t “shot into our liberty”? Maybe it’s because Sarah Palin’s graphic designers hadn’t yet put crosshair targets over certain states on a map before very similar events occurred. He is drawing a blatantly false conclusion and in the language and tone he uses he’s as bad as anybody he’s scolding.

        And I didn’t hear him apologize to Hillary Clinton.

        Ugh. I need a shower.

      • Well, I didn’t say he apologized to Hillary, just that he apologized for (“repudiated” in his words) what he said about Hillary or anyone else. I don’t doubt that it was a self-serving monologue on his part as are all of his commentaries really. It’s the entire reason I call it a spittle comment instead of a special comment. I think he’s slimy just like O’Reilly.

        However, I think the message–not the messengener–of taking an inventory of our own words and the points made to back up this message were pretty solid, albeit pompously delivered. It’s also better written than the dubious junk that Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck are e-mailing and leaking to the press about how they are such peaceniks and woe is them.

        I guess I just really don’t have much respect for any of these talking heads when it comes down to it. The ones I even agree with ideologically, however tenuously, are just as smarmy and opportunistic and fake as the ones I don’t agree with! So I am just trying to look at the message more than the messenger these days because none of them are very good messengers.

      • zaladonis says:

        MABLUE2 @ 2:15:

        I’m all for pointing the finger when it’s warranted.

        So am I.

        Over this event if you want to point a finger, point it at Loughner. Or maybe those who saw his insane behavior and facial affect and failed to even try to do anything about getting him to a professional.

      • Further, if Loughner “shot into our liberty,” how did he get that designation? How is it that all the other people who’ve shot victims that way the past ten years haven’t “shot into our liberty”

        I didn’t get that at all from that statement. I think the shot to liberty, as I see it anyway, is to our freedom to assemble peacefully since the shooting happened at a political event.

      • mablue2 says:

        Don’t you have to give KO at least some credit? Check his counterpart BOR. He went crazy and attacked anyone who dared mention the type of violent rhetoric he and his pal Glen Beck have been using.

        Republicans who like to play tough guys with guns are cowards. The only thing we get is stuff like this:

        A senior Republican senator, speaking anonymously in order to freely discuss the tragedy, told POLITICO that the Giffords shooting should be taken as a “cautionary tale” by Republicans.

        “There is a need for some reflection here – what is too far now?” said the senator. “What was too far when Oklahoma City happened is accepted now. There’s been a desensitizing. These town halls and cable TV and talk radio, everybody’s trying to outdo each other.”

        or this type of garbage from Dick Armey:

        In the final analysis, when we get the final answer, why did this fellow do this? The answer will come from psychology, not from sociology or political science. If we really want to understand deviance and danger in this country, we should apply the correct field of study, the correct disciplines and tools of understanding with rigor and responsibility, not just exercising pop sociology out of our hip pocket.

        What a doofus!!!

      • zaladonis says:

        Wonk @ 3:17 —

        I agree about the talking heads, right and left, also that Olbermann’s comment is better written than anything by Beck or Palin.

        I guess I’m just so sick of all the Historic Unprecedented pronouncements that sound epic and go nowhere. And this one stinks of exploiting a genuinely sad event for political opportunism; if it weren’t then Olbermann would attend to his own amped up rhetoric instead of pretending he’s the boss of everybody.

      • zaladonis says:

        MABLUE2 @ 3:39

        Is Bill O a jerk? Yep. Dick Armey? Horrible. But for me their smarminess doesn’t elevate Olbermann. Still, I’ll give you that when it comes to policy issues he’s on the side of good.

    • I had to stop halfway through around the “Should she be…” tweet. These aren’t Democrats these are idiocrats. To compare them to braindead people would be an insult to people suffering from brain death.

    • dakinikat says:

      I always think that it’s the right wing spoofing the left wing to so they can point and say ‘they are worse’. I wonder how many of these tweets are actually spoofed?
      In either case, it’s an escalation of rhetorical violence.

      • Branjor says:

        Considering what some of them had to say about Hillary Clinton, I wouldn’t be surprised if a good number of them were dimocrats.

      • zaladonis says:

        No, every day I read attacks against Palin from a few facebook friends and then multiplied many times over in their comment section from their other friends I don’t know. Have got into many arguments with those fools, they still give Obama a pass and still attack Palin, McCain, et al. I’m sure the same stuff is easily findable all over the Internet. ObamaDems are very much a part of the problem, and unless the solution is to cheer Obama they want no part of it.

    • mablue2 says:

      When we accuse people on the Right for using violent rhetoric, we talk about stuff like this:

      A Republican, Sharron Angle, during her heated, unsuccessful Senate battle with Harry Reid in Nevada, had raised the spectre of “domestic enemies” and “Second Amendment remedies” if Congress did not reform it ways. It is the second amendment in the Constitution that guarantees private gun ownership.

      Michele Bachmann, the outspoken representative from Minnesota who leads the Tea Party caucus in Congress, once said, “I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous” to block climate change legislation.

      Sarah Palin herself submitted an entry on her Twitter account that read: “Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!”

      We can’t add tons of stuff from Limbaugh O’Reilly, Beck, Gingrich,…

      If we went back to the Clinton years, we get similar stuff from the likes of Dan Burton, Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey, Rush Limbaugh and so on.

      We don’t have to go to the Free Republic or Michelle Malkin to find vile stuff. We just go to Congress and that’s the difference between the Right and Left.

      • zaladonis says:

        Play the game if it pleases you.

        I don’t like the “they’re worse than we are” nonsense when the truth is both sides are now in the gutter flinging dirt, just different kinds. Doesn’t matter if it’s in Congress or media or hoards of people posting on facebook or blogs, it’s all part of the fling-a-thon.

      • mablue2 says:

        Doesn’t matter if it’s in Congress or media or hoards of people posting on facebook or blogs

        It does matter. Some people are supposed to be more responsible than others. Don’t tell me it makes no difference if the irresponsible behavior comes from a prominent member of the US Congress or from some anonymous commenter on some godforsaken blog.

      • DJ says:

        Zal, I couldn’t agree with you more..hope this nests the way I want it to

      • dakinikat says:

        What the right points to mostly is stuff coming out of music studios and Hollywood. Didn’t they blame Columbine on Marilyn Manson? Yes, that’s part of the context too, but I don’t hold Marilyn Manson and Notorious B.I.G. or Quentin Tarrentino to the same standards I hold NBC anchors or definitely U.S. Senators.

        But, we’ve got parental control over that cultural stuff now because of the right wing. We don’t have much parental control over openly carrying Glocks to Tea Party Rallies.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        What the right points to mostly is stuff coming out of music studios and Hollywood. Didn’t they blame Columbine on Marilyn Manson? Yes, that’s part of the context too, but I don’t hold Marilyn Manson and Notorious B.I.G. or Quentin Tarrentino to the same standards I hold NBC anchors or definitely U.S. Senators.

        Yes, I don’t know if you saw the comment I made earlier where I embeded the Marilyn Manson interview from Bowling for Columbine…

        • dakinikat says:

          Was that on a previous thread? I haven’t seen that interview in ages.

          • Minkoff Minx says:

            Yeah, I thought it was this one…hear is the comment, I cut and paste it here:

            This reminds me of the interview that Marilyn Manson did with Michael Moore in Bowling for Columbine. The first video is the quote I wanted to bring to y’all. About listening…The second video is the entire clip of the interview from the movie.

  5. dakinikat says:

    A tweet to celebrate from WaPo:

    washingtonpost The Washington Post
    #Giffords now breathing on her own. Doctor: Given her injury “she has no right to look this good, and she does.” http://wapo.st/gX05yu

  6. dakinikat says:

    Another tweet worth mentioning from Jake Tapper of ABC:

    jaketapper Jake Tapper
    RT @StarNet: Christina-Taylor Green memorial fund announced http://tinyurl.com/4a9f35z Mobile: http://tinyurl.com/4zvylab

  7. Branjor says:

    Second, we have a culture that glorifies, profits from, and is fascinated by anger, violence, and guns.

    This culture glorifies and is fascinated by male anger, violence and guns. Female anger, violence and guns are still taboo, Sarah Palin notwithstanding. Can you imagine what it would be like if the shooter had been a woman? It would have been all about “women do it too” and “women and violence” and mental illness would have come in in second place.

    • dakinikat says:

      You haven’t seen Femme Nikita, Kill Bill or heard Jessie Jay’s sing “do it like a dude” or tons of others I could name, have you?

      • Branjor says:

        Those are movies and songs, no? I haven’t seen them. Popular culture and media are very fond of portraying women as villains and criminals, nothing new, I’ve been seeing it all my life. It doesn’t fuel a female crime wave so much as serve to justify seeing women as “no better than men”. A popular cultural narrative lately. The Jessie Jay song, is it sexualized? What is she “doing like a dude’? There’s an awful lot of female copycatting of “dudeness”. And if it’s just as female as male, why is it “doing it like a dude” (rather than, say, “like a chick”?)
        Female violence is punished very harshly, just look at the long prison sentences given to women who kill bfs/husbands in self defense, compared to the sentences given to men who kill gfs/wives. Look at the Scott sisters, the guys who actually did the robbery got out in a few years while the women who just lured the victims to the scene rotted in jail for 16 yrs, and their sentence is not over yet.
        I knew you would challenge me on that.

        • dakinikat says:

          Of course you deserved to be challenged on all of that because it’s based completely on your bias and not the reality. You pull out one or two anecdotes and explode them into a frame that’s better suited to the late 1970s. Frankly, I get tired of the comments that don’t come from a place of feminist perspective but an obvious hatred of men. It’s the same as the Islamophobes. The pull out one practice from one specific region of the world and imply that it’s a worldwide phenomenon. It’s comes from a place of bigotry.

      • Branjor says:

        Well, what did you pull out, a few movies and songs? At least my example of the Scott sisters was from real life, not fiction. I have to admit, I’ve been isolated for a very long time. I haven’t worked for years, just got a computer in 2002 and when I hooked up to the internet I was shocked to see what the world had become. The fact that you admit that my “frame” as you call it, was valid as late as the late 70s indicates that glorification of female anger, violence and guns is a very late comer on the scene and is recently historically accurate as of the time I was actually a part of the world, not a product of my “bias”, even if that has been changing in recent years.

        • dakinikat says:

          Because pulling out a few movies and songs at least puts something out to you to trump your few things using your argument at your level. If I wanted to seriously explore the issue I’d do it very differently. Right now, I’d just like to stop the bigoted frames. The Scott sisters was a race thing not a sex thing. They wouldn’t have even gone to jail if they were white women. Believe me. The problem is that when ever anything comes up, you put up a bigoted statement on men and boys. A lot of them are so bad that we don’t even let them through or if they find their way to the page, we delete them. I don’t want to spend my days dealing with bigoted statements here. There are a number of places that indulge in that. I don’t want bigotry to be a hallmark of Sky Dancing and I don’t think the others here want that either. It’s not a difference of opinion and it brings nothing to the conversation. You hi-jack threads. That’s got to stop.

      • Branjor says:

        I deeply disagree that the Scott sisters was a race thing and not a sex thing. The men who actually did the robbery, one of whom wielded the gun and got so much shorter a sentence were also black. It could not have been just a race thing.

      • B Kilpatrick says:

        Don’t forget class. Being from a “good” family in Mississippi covers over a multitude of sins.

      • B Kilpatrick says:

        Hell, Cory Maye’s death sentence had a lot to do with the fact that some of the churchy geezers that they packed onto his jury pool thought he had a “disrespectful attitude.”

        • dakinikat says:

          Any one who hasn’t spent time in Mississippi wouldn’t probably now how whacked their laws and criminal justice system can be although Mississippi Burning hinted at it.

      • B Kilpatrick says:

        Justice systems are whacked everywhere. The difference is that Mississippi doesn’t make much of an effort to hide it.

  8. B Kilpatrick says:

    Among many other things that we can thank Saints Roosevelt and Truman for are our permanent military empire, national security state, and a whole host of war crimes that were deeply controversial in their day. Among others, firebombing Tokyo and other Japanese cities, terror bombing of German civilian targets, the use of atomic weapons (for which Truman has probably wound up in one of the nastier regions of hell), Operation Keelhaul, and, more generally, active cooperation in the subjugation of Eastern Europe to the Soviet Union.

    One of the worst tragedies caused by Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, aside from the gigantic death toll, is that any politicians who causes less than a million or so deaths gets off easy. Roosevelt was an active participant in an effort to turn this precious world into a living hell. Because of him, hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians met their deaths in a hellish inferno, tens of thousands of Cossacks were turned over to the Russians for certain death, the hopes of tens of millions of eastern europeans were crushed under Soviet tyranny for half a century, etc. The only mention or memory that such a person deserves is condemnation, pure and simple, and if there is any semblance or scrap of justice in this universe, FDR has gone somewhere very unpleasant.

    Don’t forget the suffering he caused in praising his small achievements. Even Hitler built highways and kept unemployment down. Let’s not go ga-ga just because he started a pension program that pays out a pittance and seems likely to fall over any day now. Roosevelt was one of history’s great war criminals. Honestly, a humane person can only thank him (and Truman) in the same way that Bill Burroughs thanked mainstream American in his Thanksgiving poem – “thanks for the last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams.”

    • dakinikat says:

      Have to say, I saw that coming, you’re really quite predictable. My response on all the war mongering is that if they both were presidents the last 3 decades, I doubt they’d have done all that.

      Thanks for playing!!

      • B Kilpatrick says:

        Trivial point.

      • dakinikat says:

        On a trope resplendent libertarian canard … I don’t feel like I have to write a book exploring the war themes and destruction to appreciate the post war vision.

      • B Kilpatrick says:

        I do have to say that you’re wrong on whether it would occur now. Lust for power by the sort of botched little creature that succeeds in government and nothing else – a Truman, a Nixon, an FDR, a Wilson – is something that knows no bounds. The only difference is that in this day and age, they would have to find new targets, act a bit more subtly, and would possibly encounter resistance. I am grateful to whatever benevolent powers that there are in this universe that the sort of sheepish, unthinking collectivism that allowed a nation to unthinkingly approve of a caudillo like Roosevelt has now mostly vanished.

        Roosevelt died and met Wilson; who said, “I blundered into it
        Through honest error, and conscience cut me so deep that I died
        In the vain effort to prevent future wars. But you
        Blew on the coal-bed, and when it kindled you deliberately
        Sabotaged every fire-wall that even the men who denied
        My hope had built. You have too much murder on your hands. I will not
        Speak of the lies and connivings. I cannot understand the Mercy
        That permits us to meet in the same heaven.– Or is this my hell?

      • B Kilpatrick says:

        Playing the silly-dismissive-insult-game to avoid responding to someone who disagrees with you is terribly easy.

      • dakinikat says:

        I’m the first peace activist on the block to say that we get into mindless wars before looking. President George Bush is probable the icon for that statement. I just don’t feel it’s necessary to go into the complexities of a bunch of wars and our country’s overwhelming need to explore its manifest destiny to appreciate social security.

        We’ve got some peace threads in the works and we can talk about all the war mongering in one of those. I guess I just don’t feel the need to go through each war and list it’s justifications and/or sins. I’m leaving that to historians. Not my intent or interest in this post.

        I’m dismissing your points because I don’t want a thread hi-jacked on a some side issue.

        With that, I’m getting of this train of thought and not following it further down the line.

      • B Kilpatrick says:

        Oh, you’re no fun. :-p

        With all that, I just want to say that the growth of the state domestically and abroad is always linked, and that power is always eventually used to do nasty things to people in dark basement rooms or from airplanes cruising at 30,000 feet. To be consistently in favor of peace requires that one take a hard look at the power of the state. “War is the health of the state.”

  9. dakinikat says:

    The Economist has a great piece up on the Gulf oil-spill commission’s report:

    While the commission found the blame to sit with BP and its contractors Halliburton and Transocean, it also found that government oversight was badly compromised. The agency in charge of promoting the expansion of drilling was also in charge of keeping it safe. Its officials did not have the necessary experience or training for dealing with the ever deeper and more technologically challenging installations they had to oversee. And it had a budget that did not come close to keeping up with the expansion of what it was meant to be doing. Nor had there been adequate planning by companies or by government for what to do in the case of such a gigantic spill.

    • B Kilpatrick says:

      Well, that lack was hardly surprising. Deep-water wells like the one that blew are a new thing. Had they stuck to the API’s best-practices standards instead of the more permissive MMS standards, none of this crap would have ever happened.

      • dakinikat says:

        It looks like every one involved up and down the line avoided the best decision. There’s obviously some systematically bad management practices in these companies which is very disturbing. They all deserve a legal whack to the bottom line to encourage them to do the right thign.

      • B Kilpatrick says:

        A close family member works in middle management for one of these companies designing a lot of their projects. From what he has to deal with, I think that they make most of their decisions by keeping a rhesus monkey in a cage with a series of brightly colored buttons, giving it lots of acid, and then making decisions based on what buttons it pushes.

  10. mablue2 says:

    Rachel Slajda over at TPMMuckracker has a short history of the violent “Gun Rhetoric”, just in the 2010 Campaign: Before Shooting, A Campaign Season Rife With Gun Rhetoric
    Among the hits:
    – Target Practice
    – Cleaning My Guns
    – Our Nation Was Founded On Violence
    – Armed And Dangerous
    – Ballots & Bullets
    – Dead Aim

    • Dario says:

      It’s true that gun talk is used in politics, but people understand that it’s not to be taken literally. From what I know, people who act irrationally rarely act on what others say. Those who go in shooting sprees act on what their own voices say. That’s all they hear.

      • zaladonis says:

        From what I know, people who act irrationally rarely act on what others say. Those who go in shooting sprees act on what their own voices say. That’s all they hear.

        Exactly.

  11. mablue2 says:

    Oh boy!

    Glocks Are Flying Off The Shelves In Arizona After Saturday’s Massacre

    According to Bloomberg, one-day sales of pistols in Arizona leapt 60% on January 10 – the Monday after the shooting, compared to the previous week.

    Is there a comment to this other than we are a nation of crazy people.

    • Dario says:

      It’s sad.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      As they slither about in their own slimy rhetoric, I have yet to see one pundit or politician from the Right stand up and admit that possibly their inflamed speeches and false conspiracies may have played a role in this debacle.

      Instead they are pointing at the Left, the press, and sheriff of Tuscon for casting a not too glowing light on their habit of demonizing and encouraging the violence that seethes under the surface.

      As soon as one of those silver tongued oracles from Fox or from congress who owe their livlihoods by portraying the Left as vermin, I will pay attention.

      Until then, they can keep their bleating and fake victimization to themselves.

      • mablue2 says:

        Pat J,

        that was exactly my point above ( mablue2 @January 11, 2011 3:39 pm)

      • Dario says:

        I think, if they did, they would be admitting something that’s not true. I don’t like the labels like “war on poverty”, and “war on drugs”, but everyone knows that no guns are used to do either. It’s the way Americans talk. It’s violent, but that’s the symptom of our violence. The talk is the fever if you will, not the cause.

      • zaladonis says:

        Pat Johnson:

        Never respected them before and I don’t respect them now.

        I think the last time I thought they might rise to the occasion was after 9/11. When that didn’t do it I figured nothing would.

        The ones I’m disappointed in is Democrats; surprised I’m still a bit naive about them.

  12. Dario says:

    Until there’s some fact that says otherwise, I will continue to go with the most likely scenario: Loughner is mentally disturbed and lives in his world that he created, and heard only his own voices. If there’s fault, I will say we all are because we failed to help those who need mental help.

    What the Democrats and many in the media have done, blaming Sarah Palin for what happened in AZ, is just as incendiary and dangerous as what she’s been accused of doing.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      I am doing research for an upcoming post on violent crime committed by minors. I have found mass murders and suicides going back to 1780. I think many of you are right about all the gun rhetoric not being the direct cause of these crimes. I just think this kind of violent rhetoric does not help the situation at all. It needs to stop on both sides of the aisle. It really needs to stop!

      • dakinikat says:

        I’m really looking forward to that one!!

      • Dario says:

        American history is one big volume of recorded violence. It’s not the only thing, but it’s a big part. It’s how the territories were won, all of them except for a few, like Manhattan, LA and AK. To separate the violence from Americans would lead to a different outcome. Americans are martial individuals who take risks. It’s in their DNA, imo.

      • That definition leaves a whole lot of us Americans out. Violence is not in my DNA. Gandhi and MLK are.

    • Dario says:

      True, WTV. Not all American are martial, but I think the majority are. But just because they are martial, it doesn’t mean that they use that energy to fight with guns. But their talk, and their approach from making it in business to their car driving and games (football or the XBox) is a confrontation, a battle, a fight. That’s why I say it’s in the DNA. It’s inside and it comes out throughout the many aspects of American life.

      • Is all fighting inherently bad though? You list the destructive examples, and I agree, starting from our history with Native Americans, it was destructive. But, what about the fight for the 19th amendment? That was a bloodless battle, though Alice Paul and the rest went through hell fighting to get us that right. What about Mother Jones raising hell and her fight for workers? What about the civil rights movement? What about the anti-war protests? What about the fight for the repeal of DADT?

      • dakinikat says:

        My family’s been around for awhile. I have a slew of gggggreat grandfathers and gggggreat uncles that signed the Declaration of Independence and that signed the Constitution. They took up arms for all the wars from the Revolution down to Vietnam. They all sided with the Union as an fyi. They all got rid of the guns after the wars were done for the most part. I even come from the Chisholm of the Chisholm Trail. So, I’ve got wild west cowboys and a bit of Cherokee blood in me too. None of my relatives own guns, keep them in the house, or have any thing to do with them except during war services since probably my last Great Great Grandfather died on the ranch. Not my grandparents. Not my uncles and aunts or parents. Not any of my cousins. Certainly not me or my sister or my girls.

        I dunno about that assertion because my family history read like an American history novella and neither the dirt farmers from my dad’s side or the lawyers on my mom’s side fit that description.

      • Dario says:

        That’s what I’m trying to say. I guess I’m coming from an Eastern point of view that what we see everyday, mostly with good results can take a turn and show up as vitriolic talk in politics. It’s one energy expressed differently. To tell politicians not to talk in terms of a gun fight at the O.K. Corral would mean that we all become French or Swedes. I’m simply explaining how I see it; I’m not saying that vitriolic talk is great. It’s America.

  13. Dario says:

    Obama is going to give a speech in AZ about UNITY.

  14. dakinikat says:

    Examples provided of violence related to right wing rhetoric on TV mentioned by Scocca at Slate today.

    That said: regarding this crazy, evidence-free narrative about how right-wing media incited someone to violence? The one dictated to the leftist media by their bosses at the Democratic National Committee? Here’s what happened a little less than six months ago:

    A California man accused in a shootout with California Highway Patrol officers in Oakland early Sunday told officials that he traveled to San Francisco and planned to attack two nonprofit groups there “to start a revolution,” according to a probable cause statement released by police.

    Bryon Williams, 45, a convicted felon with two prior bank robbery convictions, targeted workers at the American Civil Liberties Union and the Tides Foundation, said Oakland police Sgt. Michael Weisenberg in court documents.

    And where did Williams get the idea that he should load up his mother’s pickup truck with guns and go try to assassinate members of liberal organizations?

    Williams watched the news on television and was upset by “the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items,” his mother said.

    (Maybe he was watching Rachel Maddow?)

    • Dario says:

      Byron, Byron, get a grip on reality. Those lefties will throw the book at you, not start a revolution.

      • dakinikat says:

        ever seen any one bring a Glock to a sit in?

        Frankly, the last real left wing violence in the country was from Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers and from what I heard from real lefties professors I had that were leftovers from the time, the lefty folks truly believed they were CIA plants. Its why they skated on charges.

      • Dario says:

        I never heard that, but I too would also be skeptical of their credentials. That group, including Obama have strange ties. But I wear a tinfoil hat.

    • B Kilpatrick says:

      Left-wing violence is actually significantly more common, so what political rhetoric inspired them? http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/terrorism-2002-2005/terror02_05

      I think a lot of the claims about right-wing rhetoric inspiring people is flawed in the same way that all of the nonsense about “astroturfing” was – just as the huge number of people who showed up at Congressional events weren’t organized by any group (not to say that some groups didn’t want to pretend like they were the organizers), so also the rhetoric isn’t causing people to do anything, but is rather a sign of how absolutely pissed off a lot of people are. I think they have every right to be pissed, but I think Rush Limbaugh and others are pretty much evil for directing it in Islamophobic and other directions.

      • dakinikat says:

        That’s actually during the Bush years … 2002-2005. You would think that Right wing terrorism would be down then and left wing might be up. Also included in that time period is some outlier events like world trade meetings or G-8 summits that you’d have to control for … You can’t draw that conclusion from that data base; too narrow. You’d have to check the statistics against periods say when Clinton was in office and then again, special causes in the Clinton years-the 1999 WTO meeting in Seattle–would have to be thrown out or controlled for in the correlation analysis. Same with election years. That’s not an argument to be made on that particular bit of data. There’s too much to control for to make that huge leap of a conclusion based on that small of a data size and it being limited to the right being in power … also it was during the build up in Iraq and Afghanistan. You’d expect anti war protests to happen then. Really, that’s a bad assumption based on that data set.

      • B Kilpatrick says:

        I should have mentioned that you have to scroll down a little more than halfway to the chronological summary of terror events, which covers 1980 to 2005. For Clinton, it’s split 45-45-10 for righties, lefties, and mid-east/puerto rican/other. The danger in arguing that remotely mainstream political violence is caused by political rhetoric is that short of a confession, it can never, ever move beyond a leap from correlation to causation, particularly since the extreme scarcity of political terrorist actions in relation to instances of inflammatory political rhetoric means there will always be lots of instances of rhetoric that will closely precede an act of terrorism.

        HOWEVER, most of the lefty violence has no political reflection, since it’s almost entirely ALF and ELF types.

        • dakinikat says:

          The U.S. doesn’t have the kinds of lefties the Europeans have the with exception of the environmental groups. I remember when we were in Germany and around there and I was a kid. Airports were bombed all the time by the Badder meinhof groups. Then they have the separatists in Spain from Castille. It’s a grab bag of them over here. Most of our extremists fall into sort’ve nazi/skin head types and the militia types. Not sure what that says. Probably a lot to do with the geography and then the history of slavery.

  15. Dario says:

    I keep reading all sort of information on the guy who did the shooting in AZ that might ruin the impartiality of a jury in AZ. The sheriff appears to be enjoying the limelight a little too much.

    • dakinikat says:

      They’ve moved it from any judge handling in AZ because of the judge’s death.

      • Dario says:

        I think whatever the guy wrote on some piece of paper, and a stupid altar he had with a skull didn’t need to be made public. I think that type of information can influence a jury pool, even if it’s not AZ. . And I think that sheriff is not very competent because he’s feeding information to the sensational media.

      • Someone says:

        I think he was either doing a bad job of worshipping Santa Muerte or a good one of poisoning any possible jury pool.

        • dakinikat says:

          Well, he certainly freaked the fundies out. Some one at FDL had screen shots of some of their websites. The jumped on it like a dog to a steak. Perfect bait.

  16. dakinikat says:

    Bill Clinton interviewed in Haiti by the BBC:

    Former President Bill Clinton has told the BBC the US political climate must change after the shooting of a US Congresswoman and others in Arizona.

    “No one intends to do anything that encourages this sort of behaviour,” he said. But political rhetoric “falls on the unhinged and the hinged alike”.

    There’s a video there.

    • Dario says:

      The problem I have with what BC says is his link of the political climate with the tragedy in AZ. That he would like the political climate to change is good, but connections cannot be made with faulty reasoning. . Most tragedies don’t involve anyone famous, hence they are mostly ignored. I think Gifford and Loughner living in the same area is more connected that the political climate.

      Wikipedia: School shootings

      A History Of Workplace Shootings Across The Country

      • dakinikat says:

        Well, the kids alive and if he has some garden variety mental illness they’ll dope him up and we’ll undoubtedly learn that sooner or later.

      • Dario says:

        I counted:
        School shootings
        2009 9
        2010 11 (eleven)
        Workplace shootings and other
        January 7, 2010, St. — 4 dead 5 wounded
        February 12 2010 — 3 dead 3 wounded
        March 31, 2010 — 4 dead 5 wounded
        August 3 2010, — 9 dead
        October 5 2010 — 2 dead 5 wounded.

        2009 had a particular bad shooting at the base with 13 dead and over 30 wounded.

        I think shootings in the U.S. are so common, that we’re not fazed by them. A politician got hit on Saturday and it gets lots of attention.

    • zaladonis says:

      Dario, I agree with you 100%.

      Ironically, the political rhetoric right now that’s heated is about political rhetoric being too heated.

      Fingerpointing from Olbermann and other Democrats is only inflaming their opponents. If the intent of Democrats like Olbermann were really to lead a change in political rhetoric, they might consider calmly and reasonably showing how it’s done, rather than delivering indignant accusations. But the truth is the Olbermanns and Matthews’ of the left, and there are millions of non-celebrity versions amping it up on the Internet, like I see TM is of course adding her disingenuous two cents, are as bad in their way as their rightwing counterparts.

      Like you, I agree with Bill Clinton about political rhetoric (I might add he’s been saying this for years, he isn’t just politicizing this event, and seems to try to keep it reasonable even though now and again he flashes anger) but implying this tragedy is a result of political rhetoric is not supported by the facts.

      One more thing: I think passionate engagement is good, and it may be relevant to remember that the way each of us expresses our opinion is rooted in our own temperament and personality and experience. Pointing a finger and scolding over the use of certain words and metaphors, in the absence of evidence it’s caused violence more than other words and metaphors have caused, only makes some people feel like they’re being told to shut up by people who are freely being passionate about expressing their own opinion.