You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 04, 2016, 10:27:14 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords  (Read 6337 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #50 on: January 09, 2011, 11:26:22 PM »
Let's just hope people will step back and think before they say anything about their political opponents. Not saying that had anything to do with it but at least it can't be suspected.

+1

(slaps down inner cynic)

Online VekseidTopic starter

Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #51 on: January 09, 2011, 11:40:28 PM »
Well when you're loud and rowdy, the media pays attention to you. I got a lot of democrat friends in the south who feel
ignored because they are rural farmers and average workers. A lot of the discontent I heard at my last school reunion was the democratic supporters I knew in high school felt that they were being ignored and taken for granted while the party chased special interests.

It's not something restricted to one side of the party line.

More conservatives openly getting behind - or with - David Frum would go a long way towards helping correct the situation.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/01/09/gergen.pointing.fingers/index.html?hpt=C1

I agree with most of what David Gergen says in this linked article. Nevertheless, the first paragraph strikes me as nonsensical.

There is no question who bears responsibility for the massacre.

It's the perpetrator himself.

Wrong.

Watch his videos. He is not capable of thinking logically or rationally.

He very likely has no capacity of having responsibility for his own actions.

This would have been impossible forty years ago. Forty years ago, this man would have been found, and placed into a mental asylum where he belonged.

It is the people who tore down that support network, and support networks like it, who own the blame. It is the people who seek to prevent those support networks from being built, who own the blame. It is those who spread lies, who own the blame. It is the people who mock such efforts.

Like calling them 'Nanny state'.

Who own the blame.


Quote
No one else. Period.

Wrong. Period.

The legal system even has a mechanism for recognizing this possibility.

Period.

Quote
It's not Sarah Palin's fault,

As a demagogue, Sarah Palin shares some of the blame.

Quote
nor Glenn Beck,

As a liar and a demagogue, Glenn Beck shares some of the blame. Perhaps most of it, given the nature of the videos.

Quote
or Rush Limbaugh

As a demagogue, Rush Limbaugh shares some of the blame.

Quote
or any other person.

Everyone who opposes programs that would make sure people like the assassin are off the streets shares some of the blame.

Quote
Just like the people who flew the planes into the Twin Towers, and the Pentagon.

Then why did we go after Al-Qaeda? No one who survived flew those planes.

And why was there an investigation - and action - into intelligence failures, since we should have been able to prevent that attack?

It's the brainwashing of the brainwashable that was responsible. It is the lack of good security policy that was responsible.

Something like 2% of the population is naturally immune to authoritarian leanings.

Roughly 10% of the population is exceedingly susceptible to authoritarianism.

Most of the people in this world have a natural inclination to follow. Fortunately, in modern society, we have laws, and people follow those laws.

There are those who insist on seeing to the breakdown of government and turning this country into 'every man for himself'.

If they get their wish, there will be a lot more of this.

Quote
It's no one else fault but the person or people who committed the crime.

Again, you are demonstrably wrong.

Quote
I don't for a minute buy into this baloney that so-called pundits who offer an opposing view some how inspire those unbalanced, and by that extension are somehow culpable.

Look up Radio Rwanda.

Eight hundred thousand people murdered by incisive rhetoric.

All it takes for that bloodshed to begin is a lack of respect for civil order.

Quote
Think for just a nanosecond what that line of thinking will lead us to.

Civilized, honest discourse, and avoiding the bloodshed that the anti-intellectualism that these demagogues preach so often leads to.

Quote
I am responsible for my own actions. No one else.

Your claims about yourself are irrelevant to this discussion.

If I wrote a computer program that did damage, who is responsible? Just the computer program?

Offline Aeval

Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #52 on: January 10, 2011, 12:04:02 AM »
Hitler incited thousands of Germany's young to join him...The young of poorer nations are incited to take up arms for their country because they will be rewarded (not monetarily). Didn't Al Queda promise all those who died as suicide bombers that 70 vestal virgins awaited them when they died..and people say that mere 'words' have no power?????!!!! Those who are mentally ill by the very nature of their illness have difficulty differentiating between reality and the unreal. The power of suggestion becomes not suggestion but TRUTH which must be acted upon. How many deaths does it  take before public figures realize how their words affect others? How their covert 'suggestions' are interpreted as reqests for action by those in the population that do not have the best tools to decipher what is meant.

Online Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #53 on: January 10, 2011, 12:04:27 AM »
I do hope that when he is tried (assuming that he's found competent, which is likely to be a hurdle), that the jury realizes that 'not guilty by reason of insanity' does not mean that he goes out the front door.  This seems to be a common misconception, and the reality is that he would then go into a institution where he could get help - and most likely never get out, considering the severity of his issues.

I'm going to be interested to see how the guys at In Session cover this tomorrow.

Online VekseidTopic starter

Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #54 on: January 10, 2011, 12:31:52 AM »
Insanity decrees usually refer people to psychiatric wards rather than prison. He won't be out free, for sure.

Insanity is also a different defense than being clearly mentally ill - it's a legal term, not a medical one, which is best summed up as 'not responsible for one's own actions' - that is, if he is ruled insane, the perpetrator is not responsible for the crime even though he is clearly unfit to function in society.

Offline rick957

Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #55 on: January 10, 2011, 01:19:34 AM »
The developments in Arizona trouble me deeply, as well, but (with all due respect, Vekseid,) there appear to be somewhat reckless statements being made here -- claims that certain acts are morally equivalent, when they really aren't. 

Saying that someone should be killed is not the same as doing the killing.  Harmful public speech has moral consequences and entails certain blame, but even incitement to murder does not entail identical blame as the act of murder itself.

If person #1 tells person #2 to murder person #3 ...

and if person #2 then murders person #3 ...

person #1 is still not responsible for murdering person #3; not in a legal sense or a moral sense. 

Person #1 is not responsible for the murder even if person #1 is a politician, religious leader, artist, musician, journalist, media personality, parent, best friend, or any other highly-influential figure.

Furthermore, person #1 is not responsible for the murder even if person #3 is physically or mentally incapable of being responsible for his or her own actions.

Only person #2 is responsible for murdering person #3.

As Zamdrist (I think) was saying, each person is responsible for his or her own actions. 

Person #1 is responsible for his or her actions, but his or her action in this case was only speech -- not murder. 

The speech caused harm, and the harm caused was the incitement of person #3 to commit murder.  But inciting someone else to commit murder is not the same as committing the murder yourself; not in a legal or moral sense.

Just thought that should be pointed out.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2011, 01:22:58 AM by rick957 »

Online Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #56 on: January 10, 2011, 01:45:42 AM »
Insanity decrees usually refer people to psychiatric wards rather than prison. He won't be out free, for sure.

Insanity is also a different defense than being clearly mentally ill - it's a legal term, not a medical one, which is best summed up as 'not responsible for one's own actions' - that is, if he is ruled insane, the perpetrator is not responsible for the crime even though he is clearly unfit to function in society.

This is true, but one of the reasons that the insanity defense fails (for those curious as to the difference, most states have an insanity definition that requires that the defendant be unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of their actions, or is unable to conform their behavior to the law) is the difficulty that jurors - John and Jane Average - have in declaring someone who clearly committed the action 'not guilty', even with the qualifier.  It took a retrial for Andrea Yates to be properly deemed legally insane.

The developments in Arizona trouble me deeply, as well, but (with all due respect, Vekseid,) there appear to be somewhat reckless statements being made here -- claims that certain acts are morally equivalent, when they really aren't. 

Saying that someone should be killed is not the same as doing the killing.  Harmful public speech has moral consequences and entails certain blame, but even incitement to murder does not entail identical blame as the act of murder itself.

If person #1 tells person #2 to murder person #3 ...

and if person #2 then murders person #3 ...

person #1 is still not responsible for murdering person #3; not in a legal sense or a moral sense. 

Ah - then why is it that when someone is either involved in a conspiracy to commit murder (where no money changes hands), or hires a hit man (essentially the same thing, only with money involved), they are also able to be convicted and sentenced for the murder? 

Online VekseidTopic starter

Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #57 on: January 10, 2011, 02:16:08 AM »
The developments in Arizona trouble me deeply, as well, but (with all due respect, Vekseid,) there appear to be somewhat reckless statements being made here -- claims that certain acts are morally equivalent, when they really aren't. 

Saying that someone should be killed is not the same as doing the killing.  Harmful public speech has moral consequences and entails certain blame, but even incitement to murder does not entail identical blame as the act of murder itself.

If person #1 tells person #2 to murder person #3 ...

It's not person #1 telling person #2 though.

It's person #1 telling a whole gaggle of people, of whom person #2 happens to be one.

That's why we expect people who speak to millions to act responsibly.

Quote
and if person #2 then murders person #3 ...

person #1 is still not responsible for murdering person #3; not in a legal sense or a moral sense. 

You are quite wrong. Both legally and morally.

Why do people claim Hitler killed six million jews? Did he, personally, even slay a single one?

We hold Hilter morally culpable for the behavior he engendered in others.

People who incite others to violence can in fact be legally held accountable for it. Even in personal situations, 'Fighting words' as a legal defense, for example. If you berate and belittle someone until they snap at you, you may in fact be held accountable for the resulting violence.

Quote
Person #1 is not responsible for the murder even if person #1 is a politician, religious leader, artist, musician, journalist, media personality, parent, best friend, or any other highly-influential figure.

Wrong in all cases.

Quote
Furthermore, person #1 is not responsible for the murder even if person #3 is physically or mentally incapable of being responsible for his or her own actions.

No, the potential for someone to be incapable of rational judgment is exactly why you are wrong from a legal and moral standpoint.

You are responsible for the behavior you draw out from others.

We call this behavior, on forums, trolling. We're quite familiar with it. See this one, for example. He enraged a lot of people.

Who is responsible for the rage? Themselves?

If someone refuses to engage in civil discourse, and does nothing but harass or incite, then they are, in fact, guilty of the behaviors they endeavor to cause.

This swings both ways, of course. When someone is positively inspiring, does the inspiree give no credit whatsoever to the one who inspired them?

Quote
Only person #2 is responsible for murdering person #3.

Wrong, as demonstrated.

Quote
As Zamdrist (I think) was saying, each person is responsible for his or her own actions. 

This country is suffering from a dreadful lack of a sense of responsibility. Arguments like yours and Zamdrist's have, at best, no merit whatsoever.

Quote
Person #1 is responsible for his or her actions, but his or her action in this case was only speech -- not murder. 

The speech caused harm, and the harm caused was the incitement of person #3 to commit murder.  But inciting someone else to commit murder is not the same as committing the murder yourself; not in a legal or moral sense.

Again, then why are the biggest murderers assigned legal and moral culpability for those they drove to murder?

Even when no authority is involved, such as Radio Rwanda's slaughter.

Quote
Just thought that should be pointed out.

And I think it deserves to be smacked down like the sociopathic bullshit that it is.

No one is an island. No one's ideas or decisions form in a vacuum. They are shaped by the people and conditions around them, as well as their own physical state. Things like this are why fraud is a crime. Things like this are why we have statutory rape laws. Things like this are why only doctors can give medical advice, and only lawyers can give legal advice.

Things like this are why the Rwandan genocide is attributed to Radio Rwanda.

Things like this are why incitement to violence is, in fact, illegal.

In short, if you hold a position such that you are in a position to instruct another, you have a responsibility for the quality and nature of that instruction.

This means that yes, you do have responsibility for your own words and statements.



Is the blood of every death on your hands? No. Of course not. There will of course be cases where incitement may occur where it cannot be reasonably be predicted.

This, however, was in fact predicted. By the victim herself, even.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2011, 02:18:14 AM by Vekseid »

Offline rick957

Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #58 on: January 10, 2011, 03:14:26 AM »
Oniya and Vekseid:  You're both free to disagree with my points, and I appreciate the explanations of your positions.  I still disagree with certain things each of you said or suggested, and I'll be back to explain how and why when I have time to put together a detailed, thoughtful response.

Vekseid:  as to statements like this --

Quote
And I think it deserves to be smacked down like the sociopathic bullshit that it is.

Resorting to such language is both personally offensive and inappropriate in a civil public discussion, no matter how strongly you feel about these issues.  And frankly, the smugness and self-righteousness in your overall tone offends me.  I was not defending murder or immoral behavior of any kind, nor was I defending speech that incites others to immoral acts.  I was making a philosophical point about what kind of moral weight ought to be assigned to different kinds of behavior.

You come across as upset about the situation in Arizona.  Okay, that's understandable.  I am too.  But if you think everyone who disagrees with you about the moral/ethical/philosophical issues involved deserves to be lumped in with the murderers and lunatics and denounced from on high, well ... that's no way to behave, in my opinion, if you want to persuade others of the rightness of your positions, or if you want to simply participate in civil discussion or debate.

Online VekseidTopic starter

Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #59 on: January 10, 2011, 03:57:48 AM »
Normally I apologize in such instances when I cross a line, but let's examine the situation for a moment.

A nine year old girl was murdered.
A federal judge - appointed by George H.W. Bush, was murdered.
Four elderly people, were murdered.
A sitting congresswoman is likely to have permanent brain damage.

This sitting congresswoman:
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Talks Palin Cross Hairs

Anyone who says that this event was not anticipated, is demonstrably lying.

If an event can be anticipated, measures can occasionally be taken to alleviate or prevent it. Avoiding those measures, actively preventing them, or worse, aggravating them carries moral culpability.

Sarah Palin did not remove her takebackthe20 dot com material until after the assassination attempt.

Rush Limbaugh publicly ridiculed calls to tone down the rhetoric.

Glenn Beck proudly says one thing and heavily implies another. And flip flops like crazy.

They could have, instead, pointed out the results of violence. This is the worst thing that could have happened to the right wing in America - a nine year old girl is dead.

Her face and her death are going to be a symbol for the result of right wing, libertarian, gun-nut hysteria for a long time.

Are they the only ones to blame? Certainly not.

We used to have a mechanism for catching and holding these people, preventing them from harming larger society. The breakdown of that mechanism is partly to blame as well. As is working to ensure that it doesn't get put back into place - but those same demagogues fight that.



Those same demagogues, in other nations, for other causes, under other guises - but using the same methods - are held as responsible for the deaths of millions of people.

The Rwanda genocides were instigated by invective radio personalities speaking and acting much as Glenn Beck does.

This isn't about 'strong feelings'.

This is about lines of behavior that lead to mass slaughter.

Demanding that I - or anyone - respect it, is only going to get the same respect I would give to any genocidal maniac.

It has no logical grounding.

It has no legal grounding.

It has no moral grounding.

It is reprehensible to absolve those who use invective, anti-intellectual or false speech of moral or legal culpability from the result.

Take a look at your very post. I am expected to hold some responsibility for what I say on this site. To take responsibility in one form or another when I am in the wrong, in a different manner than anyone else on this site, because I have the authority here. I get some perks, but my behavior is also expected to be more limited.

America's tolerance of demagoguery has a great deal to do with the sad state this nation is in.

It has a great deal to do with why people fear America is slipping into a fascist state.

And if we refuse to hold demagogues accountable for what they communicate to others, that fear is all the more realized.


Offline Brandon

Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #60 on: January 10, 2011, 04:46:03 AM »
More conservatives openly getting behind - or with - David Frum would go a long way towards helping correct the situation.

Wrong.

Watch his videos. He is not capable of thinking logically or rationally.

He very likely has no capacity of having responsibility for his own actions.

This would have been impossible forty years ago. Forty years ago, this man would have been found, and placed into a mental asylum where he belonged.

It is the people who tore down that support network, and support networks like it, who own the blame. It is the people who seek to prevent those support networks from being built, who own the blame. It is those who spread lies, who own the blame. It is the people who mock such efforts.

Like calling them 'Nanny state'.

Who own the blame.


Wrong. Period.

The legal system even has a mechanism for recognizing this possibility.

Period.

As a demagogue, Sarah Palin shares some of the blame.

As a liar and a demagogue, Glenn Beck shares some of the blame. Perhaps most of it, given the nature of the videos.

As a demagogue, Rush Limbaugh shares some of the blame.

Everyone who opposes programs that would make sure people like the assassin are off the streets shares some of the blame.

Then why did we go after Al-Qaeda? No one who survived flew those planes.

And why was there an investigation - and action - into intelligence failures, since we should have been able to prevent that attack?

It's the brainwashing of the brainwashable that was responsible. It is the lack of good security policy that was responsible.

Something like 2% of the population is naturally immune to authoritarian leanings.

Roughly 10% of the population is exceedingly susceptible to authoritarianism.

Most of the people in this world have a natural inclination to follow. Fortunately, in modern society, we have laws, and people follow those laws.

There are those who insist on seeing to the breakdown of government and turning this country into 'every man for himself'.

If they get their wish, there will be a lot more of this.

Again, you are demonstrably wrong.

Look up Radio Rwanda.

Eight hundred thousand people murdered by incisive rhetoric.

All it takes for that bloodshed to begin is a lack of respect for civil order.

Civilized, honest discourse, and avoiding the bloodshed that the anti-intellectualism that these demagogues preach so often leads to.

Your claims about yourself are irrelevant to this discussion.

If I wrote a computer program that did damage, who is responsible? Just the computer program?

Veksied I would like to see your sources on all of that. Information about the kid has been fragmented at best. After reading various news organizations since the event happened Ive found a large variety of information that contradicts other news organizations (not a big surprise in this day and age of spun news). As I understand his situation (as I said much of the info is contrary to other sources) JLL was largely mistrustful of the government, he was not democratic, republican, a tea party member of anything of the sort. If anything he despised any kind of party and party affiliation and genuinely believe that the government was trying to form some major world order in an attempt to control every aspect of all of humanity. That said, how can you come to the conclusion that Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, or any of the usual suspects in your lists are at any fault? I have not seen 1 piece of evidence that says he watched or listend to anything affiliated with those people. Due to his mistrust of government it would have been impossible for anyone to be a demagogue to him.

So from my point of view it sounds like your demonizing those people, again. In the interest of fair representation for indivduals and organizations as well as the truth I ask that you post your sources or withdraw those comments as conjecture

Online VekseidTopic starter

Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #61 on: January 10, 2011, 06:05:07 AM »
Veksied I would like to see your sources on all of that.

Would be more complete if you asked each individual point for the source where one is needed. "All of that" is just asking for me to miss something.

* Insanity Defense
Quote
Put simply, the insanity defense asserts that the criminal DEFENDANT  is not guilty by reason of insanity. The theory behind the defense is persons who are insane cannot have the intent required to perform a criminal act because they either do not know that act is wrong or cannot control their actions even when they understand the act is wrong. But this theory is controversial because insanity itself is difficult to define, and the circumstances in which insanity can be used to excuse criminal responsibility are difficult to define.

* Radio Rwanda and Genocide... I'd quote a bit but really, the entire thing, it's just sick.

* Deinstitutionalization and its deadly results.

* Authoritarianism - The pdf of the book is directly linked and you can read it for free. It gives a good deal of information about what authoritarianism is, how it works, and the various mental traits thereof. In particular, it describes how easy it is to get someone killed if you convince people that it is the correct course of action.

It focuses on 'right wing authoritarians' but I've found the authoritarian streaks in militant atheism, militant feminism, militant communism, etc (as has the author). Religion is not at fault on its own, but ideologies can be. It's important to focus on the data the study does provide.

Quote
Information about the kid has been fragmented at best.

You don't need to trust anyone's word on the guy's mental state.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Classitup10

Look through his uploaded videos.

Even ignoring the blatant displays of schizophrenia (him talking about the bird on his shoulder...)

Note his inability to form a coherent syllogism - even though he makes many attempts at forming syllogisms. They are all horrifically ill-formed, even ignoring faulty premises.

He is not capable of rational thought.

Quote
After reading various news organizations since the event happened Ive found a large variety of information that contradicts other news organizations (not a big surprise in this day and age of spun news). As I understand his situation (as I said much of the info is contrary to other sources) JLL was largely mistrustful of the government, he was not democratic, republican, a tea party member of anything of the sort.

In the videos, the only other political belief he held was the creation of independent, gold-silver-material backed currencies. This is a libertarian viewpoint, but you would be correct in stating that libertarianism has nothing whatsoever to do with his craziness.

I only point out Glenn Beck because Glenn Beck has been rampantly promoting gold coinage. That's the only current link (and a tenuous one), unless he reveals more about his motives at trial.

More serious, however, is that the general accusation is valid.

This is not the first incident where people have died.

Quote
If anything he despised any kind of party and party affiliation and genuinely believe that the government was trying to form some major world order in an attempt to control every aspect of all of humanity. That said, how can you come to the conclusion that Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, or any of the usual suspects in your lists are at any fault? I have not seen 1 piece of evidence that says he watched or listend to anything affiliated with those people. Due to his mistrust of government it would have been impossible for anyone to be a demagogue to him.

It would not matter in the slightest if he didn't. All it takes is one person he trusts to plant the wrong idea. It could have been someone Beck listened to. It could have been someone her opponent listened to. It could have been anyone else. It could have been any of thousands of nutjobs. All of them driving each other, a narrative driven by hate, lies, and intolerance.

All it takes is one person who is crazy enough to act on those words.

Quote
So from my point of view it sounds like your demonizing those people, again. In the interest of fair representation for indivduals and organizations as well as the truth I ask that you post your sources or withdraw those comments as conjecture

They deserve every bit of demonization they get.

EXCLUSIVE AUDIO: Bill O'Reilly Suggests CIA Should Kidnap Pelosi And Reid, Waterboard Pelosi

Do you think that's funny?

Do you think that's appropriate?

They play on people's fear, desperation, and uncertainty. They demonize rational and civil discourse, attacking honest, well-meaning people and portraying them as villains.

Their vitriol and methods are responsible for the worst crimes in all of human history. Name one mass murder in the past century that was not driven by anti-intellectualism or demagoguery. Find me one.

Those are, of course, very broad sins. But it is very clear what sort of behavior we should be steering clear of. Glenn Beck has not been. Sarah Palin has not been.

We own our words.

Offline rick957

Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #62 on: January 10, 2011, 06:53:23 AM »
I'm not going to respond line by line or point by point to everything that's been said, due to simple time constraints.  Also because I don't have any illusions about being as skilled with debate, or as generally knowledgable or as articulate, as lots of other people on this site, Vekseid included. 

One thing I am good at, though, is being careful with language, and deliberate in the things I say.  Vekseid, in your last post before my first post, you were careful to qualify many of your statements in the following way, though I failed to acknowledge this before (emphases are added in all these quotes by me):

Quote
As a demagogue, Sarah Palin shares some of the blame. ... As a demagogue, Rush Limbaugh shares some of the blame. ... Everyone who opposes programs that would make sure people like the assassin are off the streets shares some of the blame.

This is another way of saying what I was trying to say in my post:

Quote
Harmful public speech ... entails certain blame, but ... does not entail identical blame as ... murder itself.

I was responding not to the more sensible and qualified statements above, which I essentially agree with, but to certain non-qualified, immoderate statements like these:

Quote
It is the people who tore down that support network, and support networks like it, who own the blame. It is the people who seek to prevent those support networks from being built, who own the blame. It is those who spread lies, who own the blame. It is the people who mock such efforts.

Like calling them 'Nanny state'.

Who own the blame.

Those are the kinds of statements I was referring to as "somewhat reckless."  Here and in other places you seem to be suggesting that certain politicians -- perhaps Republicans, or Tea Party-aligned ones, or ones who supported cutbacks to publically-funded mental health institutions -- bear the same responsibility for the Arizona killings as the murderer himself. 

In my opinion, such a suggestion is both inflammatory and insupportable.  What you are doing there is lumping together law-abiding public servants with murderers, painting them all with the same brush.

Last time I personally ran across such unfortunate recklessness was in a Politics and Religion thread about the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, where someone posted this poorly-phrased remark:

Quote
As Colin Powell pointed out in his autobiography, the US military (oddly enough, with its thoroughly conformist culture that is required of its participants) tends to be at the forefront when it comes to social change. Look at where Powell got to by the end of the 20th century. These things take time. The Christiano-theocratic-fascist movement will also need to take time to admit defeat.

The bold part was later snipped out and replaced with the following:

Quote
These things take time. *snip*

Watch your words, and use them wisely. Thank you. ~Staff

Asked (by me) for some public explanation of this seemingly unilateral and anonymous act of censorship, staffperson Trieste gracefully replied with the following:

Quote
There are more mature ways to express a point than resorting to namecalling, and that's all I'm going to say on the subject. If you have questions, PM them to staff please.

So it seems the labelling of Christians and/or DADT-policy supporters as "fascist" was crossing a line that merited censorship, at least in that case.

Here's the same person (sorry Trieste, it's nothing personal) referring in this thread to a group of law-abiding, peaceful protesters, specifically the Westborough Baptist bunch, who at least claim themselves to be Christians:

Quote
*tears out hair*

The more attention you give those fuckers, the more they'll do the shit they do. That includes reading/linking/commenting on news stories that give them coverage. If it becomes more trouble than it's worth for news agencies to cover the WBC, then they'll stop doing it.

So stop feeding the fire, please.

Stop feeding the fire, indeed.

Starting with Vekseid's very first post in this thread, we've seen Republicans referred to repeatedly here as liars, demagogues, and fascists.  We've seen law-abiding Americans of different political persuasions equated with genocidal maniacs, perpetrators of "mass slaughter," held responsible for "the worst crimes in all of human history."

Brandon has a post above that aptly refers to this as "demonizing."  It seems to me that in a roundabout way, it's the same kind of hurtful scapegoating and extremism that inspires certain politicians on the Right to pepper their rhetoric with references to gunplay.

I wish I had a fraction of the learning and wisdom necessary to craft a convincing argument against such well-intentioned folly.  It galls me far more when it comes from those on the Left, or from Independents, because I agree far more frequently with the substance of their views, if not with all their approaches.  Bill Maher and Jon Stewart remind of nothing so much as backwoods Southerner Fundamentalist Baptists, and I'd like to slap sense into all of them. 

But as I said at the beginning of this post, I'm not all that well-educated or persuasive, so I'm going to finish with what is perhaps a cowardly move:  by linking to a text by someone a lot smarter than me, a famous person named Diderot, whose words express my inner sentiments far better than I ever could.  (In case you're wondering, no, I don't know jack about this guy -- barely even know his name -- and I found the text by serendipitous accident, though I really do feel that it captures what I wanted to say -- at least the parts I understood.)  If you read it, just mentally replace all the references to Christians and Christianity with whatever other religious, political, or social group you identify with most closely (assuming it isn't Christians, that is; then just read it).

For those like me who are usually too lazy to bother with links to long text pieces, I'll close with some excerpts that struck me as particularly relevant.  Thanks for reading, anyone who got this far.

Quote
...

Education, persuasion, and prayer, these are the only legitimate means of spreading the faith.

Any means that provoke hate, indignation, and scorn are impious.

Any means that stir the passions and foster self-interest are impious.

...

Any means that tend to incite men to rebel, bring nations to arms, and drench the earth with blood are impious.

It is impious to seek to coerce conscience, the universal determinant of behavior. Conscience must be enlightened, not constrained.

Men who err in good faith are to be pitied, never punished.

Neither men of good faith nor men of bad faith should be harassed, but rather left for God's judgement.

If we cease relations with those we call impious, we will cease contact with those we call miserly, indecent, ambitious, irascible, or depraved. We will advise the same for others and three or four intolerant people will suffice to tear society apart.

If we can tear out one hair from those whose opinions differ from ours, we can take the whole head, as there is no limit to injustice. ...

He [Saint Paul] further wrote: do not treat as an enemy those who do not have the same opinions as you, but warn them as a brother. ...

...

There are circumstances in which we are equally persuaded of error as of truth. Only someone who has never pursued error in good faith can disagree with this.

If your truth outlaws me, my error, which I take to be the truth, will outlaw you.

...

[Here Diderot gives quotations from others.]

Salvianus: "These men are in error without knowing it. They are wrong according to us but not according to themselves. They consider themselves such good Catholics that they call us heretics. What they are to us, we are to them; they err, but in good faith. What will be their future lot? Only the great judge can know. He tolerates them in the meantime."

...

Online Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #63 on: January 10, 2011, 08:01:04 AM »
Oniya and Vekseid:  You're both free to disagree with my points, and I appreciate the explanations of your positions.  I still disagree with certain things each of you said or suggested, and I'll be back to explain how and why when I have time to put together a detailed, thoughtful response.

Actually, I may be able to clarify a few things further.  I'm actually disagreeing with Veks a bit here as well and going strictly with the legal precedent.  Going with your generic persons #1, #2, and #3, there have been several cases where a person who had no direct involvement in the act of killing was deemed legally responsible.  In NC. v. James Sullivan, a man hired someone to pose as a flower delivery man and shoot his wife to avoid a divorce.  Maryland politician Ruthann Aron eventually pleaded 'no contest' to trying to hire a hit man to kill her husband and two other attorneys.  Charles Manson has been in jail since 1971 for the Tate/LaBianca murders, despite not being anywhere near the scene.

Where I disagree with Veks is that in all these cases, the person found guilty of inciting the murder (and at the risk of skirting Godwin's Law, I'll throw in Hitler and Radio Rwanda as well), had intent.  For all the vitriol slung far and wide during the recent political elections, I have trouble believing that any of the current demagogues had the intent that their words be taken as a call for violence.

Online VekseidTopic starter

Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #64 on: January 10, 2011, 08:07:47 AM »
And I rather suspect that they do.

Glenn Beck Mocking Nancy Pelosi For Tearing Up!

Limbaugh mocked her too.

I'm not going to respond line by line or point by point to everything that's been said, due to simple time constraints.  Also because I don't have any illusions about being as skilled with debate, or as generally knowledgable or as articulate, as lots of other people on this site, Vekseid included. 

One thing I am good at, though, is being careful with language, and deliberate in the things I say.  Vekseid, in your last post before my first post, you were careful to qualify many of your statements in the following way, though I failed to acknowledge this before (emphases are added in all these quotes by me):

This is another way of saying what I was trying to say in my post:

I think, perhaps, I ought to point out, the six who died on Saturday are not the only ones dead. George Tiller is dead. Three police officers are dead.

And so on.

If this were an isolated incident, if this were the only case of violence or attempted violence in recent history, then obviously this discussion wouldn't even be happening. It would be some horror we wondered at the causes of.

It's just that, a young white girl is dead now, and an important person has suffered a grievous injury.

This mattered before. It matters no less now. The question is, how many more people are going to die before the blame is justly assigned to where it belongs.

It's very difficult to determine 'blame share' in these cases, and I don't think it's appropriate to simply dismiss Glenn Beck's vitriol as being less than murder.

Quote
I was responding not to the more sensible and qualified statements above, which I essentially agree with, but to certain non-qualified, immoderate statements like these:

Those are the kinds of statements I was referring to as "somewhat reckless."  Here and in other places you seem to be suggesting that certain politicians -- perhaps Republicans, or Tea Party-aligned ones, or ones who supported cutbacks to publically-funded mental health institutions -- bear the same responsibility for the Arizona killings as the murderer himself. 

Yes.

If someone is incapable of controlling or moderating their own actions, it is incumbent upon society as a whole to make sure, through one mechanism or another, that that person does not cause harm.

If someone impedes those activities, they share culpability - with each other, not the murderer - for the murder.

If someone actively takes advantage of their lapsed mental state by giving them ideas, they share the burden of responsibility - again, with each other, and not the murderer.

Maybe the murderer needs to be put down. That's irrelevant, however.

The issue is, there are millions of people with various mental illnesses, conditions, and situations that impair their judgment. If it's not one person, it's another.

Again, this was predicted. The specific name and identity of the murderer was not known - just the generic event itself. That someone would attempt an assassination.

Quote
In my opinion, such a suggestion is both inflammatory and insupportable.  What you are doing there is lumping together law-abiding public servants with murderers, painting them all with the same brush.

Most of them are not public servants. Most of them are pretty despicable as people, actually. Have you seen some of the stuff Bill O'Reilly has said about Nancy Pelosi?

And honestly, if right wingers were comfortable with my conclusions in this thread, there would be something seriously wrong with me.

This nation has a lot of soul searching to do. Whether it will happen now or after however many more tragedies is an open question.

Quote
Asked (by me) for some public explanation of this seemingly unilateral and anonymous act of censorship, staffperson Trieste gracefully replied with the following:

I believe I only attacked the argument itself, though when I said 'sociopathic bullshit' I meant Zamdrist's argument more than yours.

I still don't give your argument weight, because this is, pardon, fucking serious. And it needs to be taken, pardon, fucking seriously.

Quote
So it seems the labelling of Christians and/or DADT-policy supporters as "fascist" was crossing a line that merited censorship, at least in that case.

Unqualified statements with no supporting evidence should be.

I am quite happily and perfectly willing to defend my claim that much of the right wing in this country is a fascist movement.

This does not mean that Christians are. It does not mean that Republicans are.

It does mean that the leaders of the right wing in this country - such as Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Fox - make use of fear and misinformation to distort the dialogue, which is the definition of demagoguery. Their discussion and allusions to violence in their rhetoric are a fundamental component of fascism - power by any means necessary. Their mockery of intellectuals and the educated - anti-intellectualism - is a vital component of fascism.

And it deserves to be called out for what it is.

Quote
Here's the same person (sorry Trieste, it's nothing personal) referring in this thread to a group of law-abiding, peaceful protesters, specifically the Westborough Baptist bunch, who at least claim themselves to be Christians:

She's referring to paying attention to the Phelps clan. They make their money by inciting people to attack them, but play their legal book very carefully.

So the best solution is to simply ignore them, or resort to anonymous violence.

Quote
Starting with Vekseid's very first post in this thread, we've seen Republicans referred to repeatedly here as liars, demagogues, and fascists.  We've seen law-abiding Americans of different political persuasions equated with genocidal maniacs, perpetrators of "mass slaughter," held responsible for "the worst crimes in all of human history."

Where did I accuse republicans in my first post?

I made very specific accusations, more specific than party affiliation. There are valid reasons for wanting to oppose social programs, or being fiscally conservative, etc. Or otherwise opposing the democrats.

My accusations are about a very select group of people, each of whom have a wide audience, who have abused the privileges that having such an audience has given them.

And people are dead.

Again, not just the six who died Saturday.

Quote
Brandon has a post above that aptly refers to this as "demonizing."  It seems to me that in a roundabout way, it's the same kind of hurtful scapegoating and extremism that inspires certain politicians on the Right to pepper their rhetoric with references to gunplay.

No, they resort to references to gunplay, 'exterminate all liberals', 'progressives should be rounded up', etc. Because it plays to the fearful and cowed. It's also a distinctly fascist action - stating that if legal means can't get them where they need to, violence can.

Quote
I wish I had a fraction of the learning and wisdom necessary to craft a convincing argument against such well-intentioned folly.  It galls me far more when it comes from those on the Left, or from Independents, because I agree far more frequently with the substance of their views, if not with all their approaches.  Bill Maher and Jon Stewart remind of nothing so much as backwoods Southerner Fundamentalist Baptists, and I'd like to slap sense into all of them. 

Bill Maher and Stewart?

The only major liberals that I know of who are using deceptive rhetoric are Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann. And none of them have even remotely begun to stoop to the level Glenn Beck has.

Quote
But as I said at the beginning of this post, I'm not all that well-educated or persuasive, so I'm going to finish with what is perhaps a cowardly move:  by linking to a text by someone a lot smarter than me, a famous person named Diderot, whose words express my inner sentiments far better than I ever could.  (In case you're wondering, no, I don't know jack about this guy -- barely even know his name -- and I found the text by serendipitous accident, though I really do feel that it captures what I wanted to say -- at least the parts I understood.)  If you read it, just mentally replace all the references to Christians and Christianity with whatever other religious, political, or social group you identify with most closely (assuming it isn't Christians, that is; then just read it).

For those like me who are usually too lazy to bother with links to long text pieces, I'll close with some excerpts that struck me as particularly relevant.  Thanks for reading, anyone who got this far.

Nothing cowardly about linking as long as you don't make a habit of letting them argue for you.

Diderot's words are extremely relevant when addressing strangers individually or in small groups.

98% of the population consists of well-meaning, good and decent people. The overwhelming majority of them will have some degree of authoritarian leaning - that is, they'll trust one authority perhaps a bit more than is logically appropriate. This can lead to drastic problems (plenty of examples with that one), but for the most part, it saves genuine time and effort - no human is capable of being a repository for all knowledge.

There are really only two ways to crack solid, incorrect authoritarian beliefs.

One is if they're in a crisis situation, to take advantage of them. This is often unpredictable, but it is fast.

The other is to become familiar with them, and fundamentally show them - not just tell, but show - that what they believe is fundamentally wrong. This is slow, difficult, and can take a lot of heartache, but it is actually rather successful.

Should I practice what I preach (with that) more? Possibly. I don't feel that taking that viewpoint means rolling over in every battle, or being too nice to call a spade a spade on each and every occasion.




Offline Brandon

Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #65 on: January 10, 2011, 08:08:40 AM »
Would be more complete if you asked each individual point for the source where one is needed. "All of that" is just asking for me to miss something.

I was specifically reffering to any evidence that showed an actual connection to your usual suspects list

You don't need to trust anyone's word on the guy's mental state.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Classitup10

Look through his uploaded videos.

Even ignoring the blatant displays of schizophrenia (him talking about the bird on his shoulder...)

Note his inability to form a coherent syllogism - even though he makes many attempts at forming syllogisms. They are all horrifically ill-formed, even ignoring faulty premises.

He is not capable of rational thought.

Clearly he suffers from several mental health issues. I have not yet earned my bachelors degree in Psycology but I agree Schizophrenia is one of the more likely mental illnesses he suffers from. I would also include depression, paranoia, and possibly bipolar disorder as well, but thats conjecture based around testimony from classmates and friends (or people claiming to be them). I would have to actually sit down and talk to him to be sure

Theres no doubt that he needs help and I hope he gets it but what I do find most interesting were some of the subjects he was supposably interested in: Namely Philosophy and logic

In the videos, the only other political belief he held was the creation of independent, gold-silver-material backed currencies. This is a libertarian viewpoint, but you would be correct in stating that libertarianism has nothing whatsoever to do with his craziness.

I only point out Glenn Beck because Glenn Beck has been rampantly promoting gold coinage. That's the only current link (and a tenuous one), unless he reveals more about his motives at trial.

More serious, however, is that the general accusation is valid.

This is not the first incident where people have died.

I dont really see how you immediately (and logically) came up with GLenn Beck as the starting point. Historically, when economic troubles came up precious metals like gold and silver have always been worth more and considered more reliable then our standard currency. I remember learning that in high school when we went over the great depression, its fairly common knowledge

Dont get me wrong, it is possible (but I would consider it unlikely due to his paranoia) that Glenn Becks gold promotions helped him come to that conclusion but I think its stretching it to jump to him as a cause first

It would not matter in the slightest if he didn't. All it takes is one person he trusts to plant the wrong idea. It could have been someone Beck listened to. It could have been someone her opponent listened to. It could have been anyone else. It could have been any of thousands of nutjobs. All of them driving each other, a narrative driven by hate, lies, and intolerance.

All it takes is one person who is crazy enough to act on those words.

I have to admit the cynic in me just wondered if from your point of view you believe they can do no right. Normally you are a rational minded person but its clear that rationale and logic arent being used here. There is no evidence I know of and none that you have posted to show any kind of connection (vague or otherwise) between JLL and Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and/or Glenn beck. However you seem to be very clear that you still want to hold them responsible for the tradgedy, at least in some small way

They deserve every bit of demonization they get.

I have to cut you off here. "They deserve it" is a very slippery slope. Some of the worst atrocities in history were caused because "They deserved it". Frankly you're better then that.

EXCLUSIVE AUDIO: Bill O'Reilly Suggests CIA Should Kidnap Pelosi And Reid, Waterboard Pelosi

Do you think that's funny?

Do you think that's appropriate?

They play on people's fear, desperation, and uncertainty. They demonize rational and civil discourse, attacking honest, well-meaning people and portraying them as villains.

Their vitriol and methods are responsible for the worst crimes in all of human history. Name one mass murder in the past century that was not driven by anti-intellectualism or demagoguery. Find me one.

Those are, of course, very broad sins. But it is very clear what sort of behavior we should be steering clear of. Glenn Beck has not been. Sarah Palin has not been.

We own our words.

If you dont mind I would like to quote Mel Brookes here when he was explaining the difference between "dark comedy" and regular comedy

Quote
"Tradgedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into a sewer and die"

What he meant here is when you look at things from the outside they tend to more funny especially when they are more serious(i.e. when you see one of your friends do something and hurt themselves). When you are part of the situation it seems far less funny because theres an attachment rather then detachment.

I hope that makes sense so far

Now to be completely honest, yes I did chuckle because I have no attachment to either Reid or Pelosi in any tangental sense (read: Detachment). While you will have a hard time seeing it as funny because your attachment (your hatred of torture and belief that its use should be treason) is an all important issue to you. Our perspectives are different and thus so are our reactions.

Whether one finds it funny or not its clear that it was meant as a joke (even you believe that). Was it appropriate? Well yes for the context of the conversation I believe it was. The reason I believe it was was because the point of the discussion was getting "the nuts" out of the white house, the whole kidnap and dont hurt them or waterboard them "well except maybe pelosi" was symbolic of getting them out of office.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #66 on: January 10, 2011, 08:21:09 AM »
On Brandon's point about dark comedy; I think some people point to it as vitriol when it conveniently fits their narrative, and other times brush it off as just comedy when it doesn't. Either it's wrong 99.99% of the time, regardless of the person issuing it, or it is not. These people, O'Reilly, Palin, Beck, etc. are not leaders with lawful responsibilities. Comparing them to say Hitler and how he incited people to commit genocide is wrong headed in my opinion.

Offline mystictiger

Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #67 on: January 10, 2011, 08:30:32 AM »
Coming into this thread a little late.

Firstly, having worked on the appeal in the so-called Media Case at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, this is nothing compared to what was going on there.

Secondly, one thing I don't understand is how people can still advocate gun ownership. As far as I'm aware there has never been an example where a lawfully held gun has stopped a massacre, a shooting, or an attack.

Thirdly, diagnosis by remote is dangerous an absurd. This is why the specialists actually go and visit patients, rather than trying to do it over the phone. Hell, in this country, diagnosis-by-phone gets you struck off for gross medical misconduct.

Online Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #68 on: January 10, 2011, 08:52:24 AM »

Secondly, one thing I don't understand is how people can still advocate gun ownership. As far as I'm aware there has never been an example where a lawfully held gun has stopped a massacre, a shooting, or an attack.

http://www.wbaltv.com/r/26400594/detail.html  A woman in Baltimore successfully drove off a home-invader by shooting at him.  He also fired at her, but missed.  It isn't clear if her bullets killed him or if he killed himself.

This was one of several news stories that came up when I googled 'Intruder shot by homeowner'. 

Online VekseidTopic starter

Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #69 on: January 10, 2011, 09:07:51 AM »
Off the debate, it seems the guy posted on abovetopsecret.com as 'Erad3'

Some more threads on display for his mental state.

Questioning Time
Space Travel is Impossibul
Mars Rovers Faked
Infinite Source of Currency!

There's also a suggestion that he was involved in a white supremacist group called American Renaissance (amren dot com), but I haven't found any real evidence of that yet.

This news article has more details. Doesn't seem to be anything in the way of serious political leaning outside of 'conspiracy nutcase'.

Online Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #70 on: January 10, 2011, 09:20:01 AM »
There's also a suggestion that he was involved in a white supremacist group called American Renaissance (amren dot com), but I haven't found any real evidence of that yet.

This news article has more details. Doesn't seem to be anything in the way of serious political leaning outside of 'conspiracy nutcase'.

Mentioned that here, and I agree.  It seems to be more 'he sounds like one of these guys' rather than 'we found him posting all over their message boards'.  Apparently he's appearing in court in Phoenix today to be officially charged, and his public defender is the same one that represented Ted Kaczynski, Zacharias Moussaoui, and Susan Smith.

Offline alxnjsh

Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #71 on: January 10, 2011, 09:31:25 AM »
I believe that the rhetoric in the polity has become a bit overzealous. The left (me) demonizes the right. The right sees the left as "targets". As we've shown, this type of rhetoric appears to be one of the factors for what's happening. Being a scientist at heart I obviously can't link a cause and effect relationship between Palin's rhetoric and actions of others, but I can't help think that there is a correlation.

I do agree that people need to be held accountable for their actions, but without the ability to incontrovertibly connect Beck/Limbaugh/Palin/other rhetoric to actions, it will be unlikely. What we're experiencing is both a new and old phenomenon. Old in that this type of rhetoric is historical in our nation's founding. Whether it's anti-Catholic, anti-suffragists, anti-desegregationists, anti-progressive...it's always been there and just as strong (recall images of lynchings, brutality, etc.). What's new is the medium and the speed at which we receive information. It seems there is some desensitization as we are bombarded with images from around the world. Do those images make us savage or were we savage all along?

I grieve for Congresswoman Giffords and her supporters that were affected by this tragedy.

This just all 'round sux.

Offline rick957

Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #72 on: January 10, 2011, 09:33:24 AM »
Vekseid -- again, I appreciate the thoughtfulness and detail of your comments, and it's evident to me that you're far better informed than I about many of the things you're talking about.  I suppose if I had comparable knowledge on the same topics, I might agree with more of what you say.  Based on what little I know, I still respectfully disagree with several of your statements.  It's too bad, because I would guess that you and I also have strong agreements about many things.

I'm eager to move on and leave further discussion to others, but your last post contained a few things that I feel a need to remark upon first.

I'm afraid you made one statement that, once again, offended me personally.  This:

Quote
I still don't give your argument weight, because this is, pardon, fucking serious. And it needs to be taken, pardon, fucking seriously.

It doesn't offend me that you don't give my argument weight, or that you decided to use an expletive here.  What offends me about this statement is its obvious implication that I'm being less than serious in my comments on these issues.  If that's what you meant, well, that's a presumptuous, inappropriate, and offensive thing to suggest.  I may lack your level of education or knowledge, but I'm confident that I approach these topics with at least as much seriousness as you or most others do.  If that's not what you meant to imply, well, please say so.

Quote
She's referring to paying attention to the Phelps clan. They make their money by inciting people to attack them, but play their legal book very carefully.

So the best solution is to simply ignore them, or resort to anonymous violence.

Here, it sounds like you might be advocating the use of anonymous violence against certain non-violent public protesters.  I assume that's not what you meant, but I don't know you well enough to say that for certain, so I'd appreciate clarification.  Personally I have no affection for the "Phelps clan" but do not advocate violence against them either; if you do, I'd like to hear you talk about the justifications.

Quote
If someone is incapable of controlling or moderating their own actions, it is incumbent upon society as a whole to make sure, through one mechanism or another, that that person does not cause harm.

If someone impedes those activities, they share culpability - with each other, not the murderer - for the murder.

If someone actively takes advantage of their lapsed mental state by giving them ideas, they share the burden of responsibility - again, with each other, and not the murderer.

Maybe the murderer needs to be put down. That's irrelevant, however.

The issue is, there are millions of people with various mental illnesses, conditions, and situations that impair their judgment. If it's not one person, it's another.

(Emphasis added.)  Here, it sounds like you might be advocating the euthanization of certain people with mental illnesses.  Granted, you move on quickly from that point, but the point was still made.  Again, I assume that's not at all what you really meant, but I don't know for certain, so I'd appreciate clarification.

Finally, and least pleasantly, this statement has implications that I'm nearly certain you could not possibly have intended:

Quote
If this were an isolated incident, if this were the only case of violence or attempted violence in recent history, then obviously this discussion wouldn't even be happening. It would be some horror we wondered at the causes of.

It's just that, a young white girl is dead now, and an important person has suffered a grievous injury.

This mattered before. It matters no less now. The question is, how many more people are going to die before the blame is justly assigned to where it belongs.

(Emphasis added.)  I don't believe I'm being knee-jerk politically correct or over-sensitive about this.  By making such a statement in a public forum and leaving that remark without further explanation, you've left open the possibility that you were making a racist suggestion -- specifically, saying that the girl's race/skin color made her death somehow more horrific or more tragic.  I don't know you personally, and neither do many who will read that statement, so please say something to make such a misinterpretation impossible.  Thanks.

Offline kylie

  • Bratty Princess of Twisty, Creeping Secrets. Frilly | Fussy | Framed | Dreamy | Glam | Risky | Sporty | Rapt | Tease | Ironic | Shadowed | Struggling | Whispery | Bespelled
  • Liege
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: Somewhere in the future.
  • Darkly sweet femme for rich & insidious scenarios.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #73 on: January 10, 2011, 09:35:59 AM »
Quote from: Zam
On Brandon's point about dark comedy; I think some people point to it as vitriol when it conveniently fits their narrative, and other times brush it off as just comedy when it doesn't. Either it's wrong 99.99% of the time, regardless of the person issuing it, or it is not. These people, O'Reilly, Palin, Beck, etc. are not leaders with lawful responsibilities. Comparing them to say Hitler and how he incited people to commit genocide is wrong headed in my opinion.
          I don't watch Fox or Beck or O'Reilly -- except when under the pressing need to use a food court right now and darn it, there they are again.  I disdain to watch them because I don't believe they are functioning as detached commentators nor good entertainers per se.  It's true that they share a certain "kick the bastards out" refrain which you could often enough find in Bill Maher during the W. Bush years.  However,I find Maher engaging not only because I agree with him generally speaking, but because his style of rhetoric appeals to me as one that encourages people to think about if they are going to agree (and sometimes I just don't agree that it's funny, or even correct). 

         Beck and O'Reilly tend more to shout and fast-talk as if they were on a firebrand pulpit and will brook no whispers from the peanut gallery whatsoever.  Their atmospherics, bluster and all, are posed as oh so serious in tone.  That plays well to a political wing where people are more often seeking security and closure at the expense of free association of issues and creative reframing of problems.  ( I don't think that part is really news if you look at say, conservative platforms and ethnographic reports on sex and gender -- but here's one aging abstract: http://ips.sagepub.com/content/11/4/461.abstract )   I really feel O'Reilly and Beck are well into the atmospherics of fear, intimidation, anger and obfuscation -- unless maybe, one is so into "macho" that nothing less blustering will even warrant a hearing. 

         It's easy to say, well of course I would find someone funny if they feed into my prior leanings and find the others scary.  However, there is research indicating that people actually judge the intent of comedy differently depending on political beliefs.  LeMarre at al (2009) found that although they may laugh, conservatives tend to assume that Colbert is "only pretending" to joke when he presents claims that they prefer to agree with.  Colbert's position is presumably more ambiguous than that of the right-wing "news entertainment" crowd above (that's a term that media researchers have used for them)...  Still -- We might better study whether even if say Palin were joking with her crosshairs, viewers might both claim to "know" that and still be prone to eat up the claims as if they were all serious arguments.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2011, 09:41:47 AM by kylie »

Offline Noelle

Re: The assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords
« Reply #74 on: January 10, 2011, 09:49:43 AM »
You don't need a guy like this to have Glenn Beck's face tattooed on his ass to start seeing where he would start drawing on these ideas. You don't need him to cite a bibliography with the Tea Party or Palin or whoever specficially listed as a source to see that the insane tangents he goes on have quite a bit in common with common rhetoric in media that is readily accessible to millions of people. Even if these people weren't his direct sources of inspiration to go on some insane shooting spree like this, you can still examine their rhetoric and the choices they make when using their words and condemn it for what it is and what it has the potential to do. Bringing guns to a political rally is horrifying -- since when have we needed objects to rally around rather than words and ideas? Why can't we appeal to the public with intelligence rather than coming together because we all own something that shoots bullets and looks cool? I'm not electing someone based on whether or not they own a gun, I'm electing them on their ideas. I can't wait for the next super-liberal meeting where everyone drives their hybrid car and just sits around revving their engines and saving the planet. I wonder what the likelihood it is that something like that eventually turns into a deadly spree of some nutjob running down conservatives in their Prius until they're taken down after a high-speed chase. (Okay, I admit, I laughed at the idea of this, but don't get me wrong, this issue of a man gunning people down is decidedly not funny.)

If you're waiting on direct evidence of a correlation between them all before you're willing to speak out against their obvious crude and often violent political speech, you've already set up a straw man, Brandon. You're probably not going to get it. This man probably doesn't have tapes of Glenn Beck or Limbaugh or the like as masturbatory material under his bed. But ideas are very rarely brand-new and you know as well as I do that this man had access to the media that likely only fueled his opinion. It would be very ignorant of current media trend to say that Tea Bagger nutjobs haven't taken over our nation's attention and that conservative rhetoric has become more prominent (especially because A) a lot of liberals are total wimps, and B) MSNBC is still the saner camp when you compare their slant to Fox News'). While I don't agree with holding them responsible on the same level as a murderer because there isn't any way to get direct evidence in a case like this, it is well past time to demand for a saner, more intelligent level of dialogue in the political arena, and those people tend to be the worst offenders hands down. If you can't agree that people with power and influence and a nation-wide platform have a responsibility for the things they say, then I guess I'm at a loss.