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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

Mass murder in Tucson and the Left's base opportunism.

The Chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley sent out a campus-wide email reflecting on the mass-murder and attempted assassination in Tucson, AZ. In this note, he states, “I believe that it is not a coincidence that this calamity has occurred in a state which has legislated discrimination against undocumented persons.” There is of course not a scrap of evidence to support this asseveration. It is bare and unrepentant calumny.

The black irony is that the Chancellor’s bigotry extends to the victim herself. For Rep. Giffords did, in fact, support the Arizona immigration law.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, said her constituents were “sick and tired” of the federal government failing to protect the border. The current situation is “completely unacceptable,” she said.

Giffords defended the Arizona law. She acknowledged the concerns about the bill's constitutionality but said it is a “clear calling that the federal government needs to do a better job” securing the border.

Meanwhile, we have prominent liberal commentators continuing to push the “right-wing vitriol” slander right in the teeth of all the actual evidence we have. My friend Pejman Yousefzadeh has been collating the dreadful facts of this smear.

We know now that the shooter betrayed a deranged obsession with Rep. Giffords as far back as 2007, before anyone knew who Sarah Palin was and before most people even knew who Barack Obama was. We know that he had erected an occult shrine in his backyard, and spoke neurotically to friends about his fixation with dreams and his lunatic notions of controlling reality through dreams. We know that his derangement was evident to classmates and acquaintances, to the extent that several went on record to various authorities with concerns of violence. We have suggestions that the Pima County Sheriff’s Office was well aware of the young man’s instability before the shooting.

What we don’t have is a shred of evidence linking this wicked man to right-wing vitriol. The Pima County Sheriff’s irresponsibility in propagating this lie — which he began with his very first major presser, long before he had the facts in hand — should in all justice cost him his job and his reputation. Yesterday on television he made a half-apology, saying that he had been very emotional, which (it is supposed) explains his slanders of his countrymen. Similarly, no one will ever again persuade me to trust Paul Krugman to marshal facts honestly. If he will go on lying about this, of course he will not scruple to manipulate economic data.

Basically what happened here is that a young man sunk in depravity played out his lunacy in front of a grocery store, showing his bravery by targeting old folks, women and children; and in response to this outrage, parts of the Left went in for the most base opportunism, leveling wild accusations, passing on groundless insinuations, and for the better part of a weekend giving themselves over to bigotry, hatred and malice.

UPDATE below the fold.

Well isn’t this interesting? It turns out Arizona has a very flexible mental illness statute:

Jared Loughner could have been involuntarily admitted for evaluation under Arizona's progressive mental health laws long before he allegedly showed up at a Tucson grocery store parking lot with a semi-automatic pistol, mental health professionals say. [. . .] Arizona allows for family, friends or even acquaintances to petition a local court for a mental evaluation, said Suzanne Hodges, chief compliant officer at the Community Partnership of Southern Arizona, the group that provides mental health treatment for Pima County, where the shooting occurred. The court would have then sent someone to interview Loughner and determine if he needed treatment — even if he was not an imminent danger to himself or others, as most other state require. Being in such treatment would have prevented him from purchasing a handgun, according to Arizona's gun laws.

Then there is this:

The police were sent to the home where Jared L. Loughner lived with his family on more than one occasion before the attack here on Saturday that left a congresswoman fighting for her life and six others dead, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department said on Tuesday. [. . .]

A friend of Mr. Loughner’s also said in an interview on Tuesday that Mr. Loughner, 22, was skilled with a gun — as early as high school — and had talked about a philosophy of fostering chaos.

The news of police involvement with the Loughners suggests that county sheriff’s deputies were at least familiar with the family, even if the reason for their visits was unclear as of Tuesday night.

The account by Mr. Loughner’s friend, a rare extended interview with someone close to Mr. Loughner in recent years, added some details to the emerging portrait of the suspect and his family.

“He was a nihilist and loves causing chaos, and that is probably why he did the shooting, along with the fact he was sick in the head,” said Zane Gutierrez, 21, who was living in a trailer outside Tucson and met Mr. Loughner sometimes to shoot at cans for target practice. [. . .]

The new details from Mr. Gutierrez about Mr. Loughner — including his philosophy of anarchy and his expertise with a handgun, suggest that the earliest signs of behavior that may have ultimately led to the attacks started several years ago.

Mr. Gutierrez said his friend had become obsessed with the meaning of dreams and their importance. He talked about reading Friedrich Nietzsche’s book “The Will To Power” and embraced ideas about the corrosive, destructive effects of nihilism — a belief in nothing. And every day, his friend said, Mr. Loughner would get up and write in his dream journal, recording the world he experienced in sleep and its possible meanings.

I repeat what I said above: The Pima County Sheriff’s irresponsibility should in all justice cost him his job and his reputation.

Comments (112)

"Similarly, no one will ever again persuade me to trust Paul Krugman to marshal facts honestly. If he will go on lying about this, of course he will not scruple to manipulate economic data."

This is both lazy and convenient. It is quite reasonable to opine that there is a pattern in American politics: The right gets all hot and bothered, militia activity goes up, threats and petty violence against public officials go up, then there is some serious violence. Its happened enough to allow that point to be made.

Tthe economic data Krugman uses is public and he uses it in the context of a public debate with other economists, some who agree, entirety or in part, and others who don't. The problem with Paul's formula is that Krugman isn't alone. Suppose Mike Konczal takes some data and uses it to make a point on his blog. Krugman likes it and uses it for a column. Does that automatically make Mike wrong?

then there is some serious violence

...by communists, left-wingers, nuts who idolize communist loons, conspiracy theorists (truther, anyone?), deranged environmentalist nuts, etc.

Gee, maybe the political dialog is too harsh-- the left should tone down the rhetoric that makes folks start thinking "how do I defend myself from these guys who want to 'help' me", and stop shoving things down the electorate's throat to make them reject the left and swing right, again.

Perhaps rational people respond to what the left is doing and swing right, while some fraction of the mentally ill take up the banner and charge.

Oh, wait, that wouldn't be a handy hammer on those you disagree with; let's ignore it, so much easier to shriek and point at the same folks as usual... no matter how many times it's wrong....

This is both lazy and convenient.

As is your response-- the formula "this person is clearly willing to ignore facts and reason to promote his views in X way, therefore he is likely to do it in Y way" is far more rational than "I am going to attack your reasoning because it's too easy, then I'll build a strawman!"
You make an entire irrational response on something not even said.

All Paul is saying is that he disagrees with Krugman's opinion on one thing so everything he writes must be wrong. That is irrational.

No al, your abounding love for Krugman has blinded you to exactly why Paul can't accept any of his assertions.

The man is an unethical slime. If he is willing to pass on lies as he did, when he did, just to satisfy the lefty narrative of mean right-wingers, he cannot be trusted to present anything reliable. You may as well forget to ever use Krugman as a reference, as it doesn't carry any weight.

What I'm saying is that men who so blatantly perpetrate calumny, first in the complete absence of facts and then right in the teeth of the available facts, vitiate their trustworthiness on all matters where facts and judgment are concerned. This is not a question of opinion.

All Paul is saying is that he disagrees with Krugman's opinion on one thing so everything he writes must be wrong

What he actually said: If he will go on lying about this, of course he will not scruple to manipulate economic data.
Not "he's wrong," not "he's mistaken" and not "I disagree"-- Krugman is accused of lying and continuing that lie in the face of facts; you can either try to defend him, or try to argue that intellectual dishonest in one area should never be used as reason to doubt intellectual dishonesty in another similar situation.

Notably, you just claim something that was never said.

Perhaps reform in health and gun ownership laws is overdue if the mentally ill go untreated and can have legal access to weapons.

Oh, yah, more gun control is always the answer. Please. This has nothing to do with adding more laws to restrict the activities of normal people. This guy could have been stopped. He had previously made death threats. This is a pretty clear case of a failure to apply the legal remedies on the books. Short version: Somebody in enforcement dropped the ball, big-time, and left this loony at large and armed.

Correct. No need for new laws -- just consistently enforce the ones already on the books.

Lying is asserting something one knows not to be true. Some of you are confusing disagreeing with conclusions with lying as to facts.

"...first in the complete absence of facts and then right in the teeth of the available facts"

Now this isn't true as the facts of the general climate swirling around our political discourse were well known and enough was known about the shooting to make Krugman's case when he wrote the column.

What you seem to want is a link to this or that which is irrelevant to the type of argument Krugman is making.

This is opinion,

"It’s true that the shooter in Arizona appears to have been mentally troubled. But that doesn’t mean that his act can or should be treated as an isolated event, having nothing to do with the national climate."

and this is opinion,

"And it’s the saturation of our political discourse — and especially our airwaves — with eliminationist rhetoric that lies behind the rising tide of violence."

These opinions are reasonable given the facts. It is. of course, also reasonable to disagree.

It would also be reasonable to ban large capacity magazines.

It would also be reasonable to ban large capacity magazines.

It would be most reasonable to re-institutionalize paranoid schizophrenics, against their will if need be, so that they cannot move freely amongst the general public.

The Left's tendency to blame conservatives whenever something like this occurs is exceeded only by their inability to recognize both the failure of their own policies, which greatly contributes to public dissatisfaction with government, and their own hate-filled rhetoric. Daily Kos, anyone? Move On? Huffington Post?

Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right. It’s hard to imagine a Democratic member of Congress urging constituents to be “armed and dangerous” without being ostracized; but Representative Michele Bachmann, who did just that, is a rising star in the G.O.P.

This is a lie because in context you can see she meant armed and dangerous with the facts. I guess the NYT doesn't pay Krugman to check his facts.

Y'know, al - you *could* have earned yourself some serious brownie points, here, as a righeous lefty, if only you could have brought yourself to admit the bloody obvious:

(1) These shootings had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Republican or conservative or "Tea-party" or any other sort of "right-wing" rhetoric.

(2) Those, like Paul Krugman, and the equally vile Sheriff Dupnik, who asserted otherwise before even trying to discover the truth, are guilty of the very hate-mongering that they pretend to condemn, and should be laughed, immediately & permanently, out of public life.

But no. You just didn't have it in you, do you?

It's your nature, I guess.

Rob G

Was some irregularity established in the way the suspect acquired or was allowed to hold on to a weapon? Is it clear yet who the intended victims were? As for rhetoric, it seems to elude some people here (hi Lydia!) that Rambo-style can be worse than useless.

"Was some irregularity established in the way the suspect acquired or was allowed to hold on to a weapon?"

No idea. I'm willing to bet, however, that somewhere in the process the ball was dropped. If it turns out that all the laws and procedures were followed by all concerned, and this guy still got the gun, I'll gladly recant.

I still stand by my point: new laws in and of themselves don't solve anything. It's enforcement that matters.

Overseas is still at it, I see. Maybe _I'm_ responsible for the massacre perpetrated by this nutcase because I used the phrase "Rambo style" to describe Sarah Palin's oeuvre.

The failure of enforcement was in a failure to put a person under restraint who was known to the police to be making death threats. That is legal and is part of the responsibility of the police and the authorities.

the facts of the general climate swirling around our political discourse were well known and enough was known about the shooting to make Krugman's case when he wrote the column.

The gesture toward "general climate" is a meaningless distraction, since our shooter at this occasion of bloodlust and butchery, did not partake of any general climate but rather a warped and bitter climate of nihilism and narcissism and cowardice.

So ignore that and consider the almost comical imposition that Al presents to our intellects: "Enough was known." It is an insult to any thinking man.

Enough was not known. Emphatically and beyond all possible dispute, enough was not known. Krugman's column appeared in the Jan 9th papers. He wrote on late Saturday night, early Sunday morning EST. He could not have known squat, because no one did. Not even the authorities; and what facts they probably did know were, it turns out, not ones they were about to divulge with great pomp and self-righteousness.

Andrew E.'s remark is spot-on. And let us note that the Left of the 50s and 60s agitated strenuously against institutionalizing crazies, believing the great majority of them to be oppressed good souls. The hippie literature glorified in the outcast, the half-lunatic with an edge. I suspect Al is old enough to remember those halcyon days; to me it has a touch of really antique folly to it. I love Dylan's magnificent "Chimes of Freedom" as much as the next guy; but you gotta be an aging hippie to think it anything other than idiotic to free the mental patients like some grand revolution, to set loose all the "countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones and worse."

In any case that is beside the point so obvious I must question the reason of a man who cannot acknowledge it: namely that the accusations from Leftists that immediately followed upon word of a Congresswomen nearly assassinated, and six more slaughtered remorseless, were a tissue of lies and dishonorable insinuations, whose pretense of factual basis was refuted by virtually every actual fact that subsequently came out.

Yes; question the reason. If a man cannot acknowledge this train of reason, I must sadly assume that his capacity for reason at all is radically defective; and go on in discourse with him only with the unfortunate proviso of that remarked suspicion that he is even capable of reasoned discourse.

(By the way, I have no principled opposition to tinkering with gun regulations. If someone seriously would like to argue that banning certain magazine configurations will reduce the chance of depraved lunatics acting out their demonic fantasies, I will hear him out. All of which is another discussion entirely. Wait for a gun control thread to air it and spare us the threadjack. Right now I am concerned to observe what reasoning men we actually have among us.)

'It's enforcement that matters.'

Sure. I didn't mean to press you; just to get the facts right.


'Maybe _I'm_ responsible for the massacre perpetrated by this nutcase because I used the phrase "Rambo style" to describe Sarah Palin's oeuvre.'

Not unless there's backward causation! I was just struck you seemed oblivious to possible broader implications of a belligerent style.

I would just put in here: Jihad Watch has been reporting recently on a man who sent a nine-page letter to a local mosque. They've been unable to get the text of it, but evidently the authorities are more or less admitting that it contained no overt threats but that the "overall context" was enough to make a "reasonable man" believe that the person in question was a threat. Obviously, we can't judge this for ourselves unless the text of the letter is published. But here's the punchline: He's been locked up involuntarily in a mental institution as a result and is being prosecuted for harassment and intimidation.

Now we know that Loughner had *made death threats* (not just something that a reasonable person could consider threatening given overall context, etc., but outright death threats), and he was not locked up. Whatever happened in the 60's, it is still possible to lock up _death-threatening lunatics_. That this didn't happen to Loughner means that somebody in enforcement dropped the ball and now has a lot, consequentially, to answer for. That explanation, I guess, is just too simple for the left.

No, actually, Overseas, I think all that about "broader implications of a belligerent style" is baloney, to use a polite word. Calling in so many words for someone's death (as, by the way, commentators on leftist blogs actually do w.r.t. Sarah Palin), yes, plausibly so. A generally rambunctious and liberal-offending style, even the use of a term like "Rambo" or whatever, no. It isn't going to make one whit of difference causally to the probability that someone is going to go on a massacre rampage.

I'm sorry if you felt threadjacked because of the comment I made; I thought it was relevant to the discussion whether some shortcoming in implementation or the legal framework had been identified. But if the 'reasoning men' are intent on having a war at all costs, I'll leave them to it!

Apologies again, Paul, but if Lydia can pass for an honourary man I guess so can I: Sarah Palin doesn't seem to have been the intended victim in this incident. We don't know who was the intended victim or why yet. So I'm not in a hurry to engage in speculation. But the tone of political debate on either side is not irrelevant: Does Obama's speech ooze more 'bigotry, hatred and malice' than Palin's? You described Palin spot on, except your problem was she doesn't use her 'style' to push your favourite agenda.

I bet bloggers who call for anyone's death can be identified; I don't know if or where you'll lock them up, but do get those guns off their hands first.

OS--

The gun control question is a threadjack when the main argument presented in both my post and subsequent comments is ignored.

What do you think about the main point, Overseas? Or do you claim that you should be allowed to leave off commenting on it, and slide instead into gun control arguments?

I'd also be interested in your reasoned arguments on the matters surrounding institutionalization. How about, given the suspicion here, we agree to one step of gun control concomitant with one step for wiser institutionalization laws? Would that, abstractly, be a worthy deal? So you can't buy a 19-round magazine but neither can you expect to show up to class, disrupt with fantasy ideology your fellows, and then also expect the police not to lock your ass up? Deal?

Lydia's comparison is also valid Can we bring Islam under so strict a law as our dear Lefties contemplate?

For of course the great staggering irony here is that our Liberals are also our Inquisitors. They examine every scrap of news of ruin and despair according to their strict rule of propriety. A Congresswomen has died! ASSASSINATED! Well in any case what horror! Doom and vengeance! Let us blame the American Right before the final round has even sounded! (Wait, she might live.) No matter, mission accomplished, America!

This is the image the Left gave us on January 8-9, 2011, when its members reflected upon that little fragment of hell in Tucson.

Al, any thoughts you'd like to share on the progressive "climate of hate" documented here?

http://michellemalkin.com/2011/01/10/the-progressive-climate-of-hate-an-illustrated-primer-2000-2010/

Thanks for reading.

Oh, and don't forget to read Paul's links. Then tell us more about how the political climate in this country incites violence.

Some of you are confusing disagreeing with conclusions with lying as to facts.

No, you are confusing disagreement (with you) with being incorrect, and you can't even rationally defend your claims-- let alone make the claims match up with the simple facts that are here.

"Y'know, al - you *could* have earned yourself some serious brownie points, here, as a righeous lefty, if only you could have brought yourself to admit the bloody obvious:"

Steve, your point would carry more weight if it wasn't for the folks who showed up at the various rallies carrying guns and "blood of patriots" signs and remarks like Susan Angle's "Second Amendment solutions" - which remark, unlike Bachmann's, is totally unambiguous.

Still and all, I'm not a fan of the "climate" angle as it causes everyone to circle their respective wagons and even more silliness occurs. As long as partisans on your side insist on using wildly inflammatory rhetoric (socalist, etc.) and outright lying (death panels, etc.) then I'll cut partisans on my side some slack.

Steve, if I missed your outraged post on the death panel lies I apologize, otherwise your outrage is somewhat selective..

"Right now I am concerned to observe what reasoning men we actually have among us."

This seems to imply that there is a "correct" answer. Alas, this is one of those matters that are ready made for the sort of nonsense that both sides are generating. We are never going to get into that guys head so we will never know if the "climate" had anything to do with it.

We shouldn't forget that there is a history here. Folks (like Krugman) aren't going to forget Dallas and Oklahoma City as well as the violence around the "county movement" some years back (my favorite is the "free man" who managed to turn a minor building code violation into a capital crime.

My reaction was to Paul's unreasonable notion that, based on a reasonable disagreement with PK on a non-technical column with no serious fact issues, he could automatically draw conclusions about PK's writing in his area of expertise.

Yet Paul seems to see him and raise him with this assertion, "...did not partake of any general climate but rather a warped and bitter climate of nihilism and narcissism and cowardice," which, unless he has spoken to the shooter (and has psychiatric training) assumes knowledge that I don't see how he could have. (I assume from the context that Paul is contrasting "general" with individual and internal. If he means the climate on the right which is quite nihilistic, narcissistic, and cowardly, as opposed to the general climate, then he is making PK's case.)

“I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us, having a revolution every now and then is a good thing, and the people — we the people — are going to have to fight back hard if we’re not going to lose our country. And I think this has the potential of changing the dynamic of freedom forever in the United States.”

I take Rob's point and if we didn't have comments like Angle's and all the "blood of tyrants", etc. his case would be stronger. Note too that the Bachmann quote is a whole paragraph, not a sentence fragment and the preceding sentence (with a long pause in between) only sort of qualifies what follows. Your case would be stronger but Michelle had to go and drag Jefferson in.

"And let us note that the Left of the 50s and 60s agitated strenuously against institutionalizing crazies, believing the great majority of them to be oppressed good souls. The hippie literature glorified in the outcast, the half-lunatic with an edge. I suspect Al is old enough to remember those halcyon days; to me it has a touch of really antique folly to it."

One of the advantages of having lived history is being able to note when it is being distorted. You might want to read, "Psychiatry's Threat to Civil Liberties. National Review (12th March, 1963), 191-193, which is just one of many articles Thomas Szasz wrote for that "hippie rag" of Bill Buckley's.

The American Mercury right also had problems with mental health issues back then. Earl Long's case figures into the narrative.

The reality is that changing the way in which we dealt with mentally ill folks was supported across the political spectrum. The state mental hospitals here in California were closed under Reagan. They were supposed to be replaced with local out-patient facilities but that never happened. It was around that time when we started seeing an increase in the homeless wandering the streets. The new health care law has provisions for improving local mental health clinics.

Lydia, I can't find your referenced story on JW. Could I have a link? Thanx.

The occasion of the argument (PK being the one to put it on the pages of the Times on Sunday) on "rhetorical climate" was this Tucson man's villainy.

Again, what we have here is manifestly ridiculous obfuscation from Al.

"reasonable disagreement with PK"

We are, to repeat, not talking about differences as to opinions, but simple acknowledgment of facts. Does right-wing radio, political hackery, commentariat, etc. actually relate to this mass-murder? Not according to any reasonable assessment of the facts as we have them.

So, we have a question which admits of some factual resolution, and so far you maintain extreme reticence to address it, reticence to say whether empirical facts matter to you.

Which is why I cannot interpret your equivocation I anything but uncertainty on the principle. Which throws into question your capacity for empirical reasoning.

As for Krugman: he has shown his colors. He had me nearly ready to listen to him on some matters, then he threw it all away.

Paul

Will it surprise you if I say I think you're right? That's why I threw my comment in there, because if you could point at some procedural deficiency in rule implementation e.g., that would have taken the wind out of your targets' sails.

We don't even know who was the intended victim yet; I've read reports that a judge appointed by a Republican president was among the victims. We may all be in for a surprise, or for nothing at all, if the suspect is mentally ill. But I understand he's a student and I'm not sure if he's covered by health insurance or not. Perhaps he wasn't treated because he couldn't afford it. No, I don't think institutionalisation is a substitute for health service cover that isn't there; and the cautionary tale Lydia mentions should temper enthusiasm. But I certainly don't think disruptive students should be locked up! I haven't met any who carry guns, mind you, but it should be sufficient to make licence revocation easier. I don't know how much you can do about your gun laws; you seem quite fond of guns over there! I have no idea how it works, if a licence is a one-off thing, but I guess there could be a requirement for periodic renewals subject to certain conditions being met. I expect Muslims are subject to the 'law of the land'; why would anyone want them exempt?

It seems to me that this incident served as a peg for people to hang on their complaints against 'right-wing rhetoric' in the US. You're right to point out the non-sequitur but I think they've been given ample grounds to nurture a complaint.

When George Bush was in office, the left went crazy with anger and vitriol. He, and his party, were demonized incessantly. At that time though, it was said to be "democratic" and "patriotic" to express outrage with the political leadership of the country. "Dissidence = Patriotism", that was the rallying cry. But now that the political leaders are liberal and the dissidents are conservative, any expression of dissatisfaction with the direction of government in this country is labeled "hatred" by the very people who said all of the above.

What a bunch of hypocrites!

If we were to use the left's rationale, we could blame 9/11 on the "hate-speech" being thrown about by the left after Al Gore lost the 2000 election! The connection between the 9/11 hijackers and the left's political discourse at the time is just as tenuous as the connection between Loughner and the right's discourse is today.

but I think they've been given ample grounds to nurture a complaint.

Who has ample grounds to nurture a complaint? http://michellemalkin.com/2011/01/10/the-progressive-climate-of-hate-an-illustrated-primer-2000-2010/

Here's the JW link:

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/01/tulsa-man-charged-with-threatening-local-mosque-denies-charge-held-against-his-will-in-mental-health.html

I want to make something clear: I am not necessarily saying that this man has been wrongly treated, because I have not seen the letter. I brought up the example to show that the law still permits involuntary commitment of people on the grounds that they are both mentally ill and dangerous. IIRC, this was all done by a series of court rulings, so laws aren't really the issue. I believe that SCOTUS ruled somewhere along the line that you can't be involuntarily committed unless you are both crazy and also a danger to yourself or others.

That would still, as far as I can tell, have allowed Loughner to be locked up, and presumably Arizona has a legal structure for doing so. If this is correct, we don't need new laws but wise enforcement of the laws we have.

The speed with which this guy in Tulsa was locked up and the fact that Loughner wasn't may, however, indicate special solicitude for protecting mosques and a more laissez faire attitude about protecting non-Muslims. Of course, they are different venues, so that's merely conjectural; it's not like the same sheriffs were involved.

In any event, if we assume a similar legal structure in Tulsa and in Arizona, then the fact that the Tulsa man has been locked up and charged means that Loughner could have been locked up and charged on the basis of his death threats.

In which case, Overseas, he wouldn't have had access to his guns, among other things. He wouldn't even have had access to the streets of the city.

"When George Bush was in office, the left went crazy with anger and vitriol. He, and his party, were demonized incessantly. At that time though, it was said to be "democratic" and "patriotic" to express outrage with the political leadership of the country. "Dissidence = Patriotism", that was the rallying cry. But now that the political leaders are liberal and the dissidents are conservative, any expression of dissatisfaction with the direction of government in this country is labeled "hatred" by the very people who said all of the above.

What a bunch of hypocrites!"

I remember those days, Chucky. The Hitler mustaches, the Bush/chimp pictures, it was awful. Still, let's not draw false equivalences:

"The Boston Globe reports that a new internal Congressional Research Service report and government sources say there are an unprecedented number of death threats against President Obama ...
In total, the Secret Service regularly protects 32 people and arranges security for high-profile events. But the election of Barack Obama has increased threats against the president's life by 400 percent from his predecessor, according to "In the President's Secret Service," Ronald Kessler's account of presidential security."

You can read the rest of the story here:
http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/10/new-report-find-secret-service-overwhelmed-by-increased-threats.php

Berkeley dude says this:
“I believe that it is not a coincidence that this calamity has occurred in a state which has legislated discrimination against undocumented persons.”

Easily changed by non-Berkeley dude:
“I believe that it is not a coincidence that this calamity has occurred in a state targeted by the federal government for the `crime' of trying to enforce the law. When the federal government encourages lawlessness, what do you expect?"

Once the will is considered prior to reason, then "I believe" becomes a legitimate substitute for "I conclude."

What absolute arrogance for the Berkeley chancellor to think that his asserting "I believe" is no different in kind than Mr. Loughren's "I believe." He too believed in imaginary connections. Perhaps after prison there is a provost's position open at Berkeley. I know that's far fetched, but "I believe" it and I am Thomas Aquinas.

Al, you are a slanderer. Here's what you stupidly said:

"The right gets all hot and bothered, militia activity goes up, threats and petty violence against public officials go up, then there is some serious violence. Its happened enough to allow that point to be made."

Prove it. You can't. Here's why. ""The Right," "Hot and bothered," "militia activity goes up," threats," "petty violence against public officials go up," and "then there is some serious violence" are all hopelessly vague phrases. Who counts as "the right"? The Democrats who once populated the KKK? THe editorial board of National Review? You literally do not know how to define these things in a way precise enough to provide real knowledge. Thus, you slander. You are no different than the racist pigs who said "n-----s did it." You want us to be your n------s. You are vile human being. You actually believe that political disagreement with you is equivalent to causing murder. In that case, why don't you just lock us all up, since by doing so murder will go down.

Shame on you, sir.

Can we get someone to clean up Thomas Aquinas' remarks? I thought there were standards around here.

Will it surprise you if I say I think you're right?

No, because I have formed an impression of you as a generally reasonable commenter; I am now encouraged to have that confirmed, especially when contrasted with the intransigent obscurantism of other commenters.

But, Overseas, with respect, I think you are somewhat poorly informed about the facts of this crime. We do have very solid evidence about the intended victim, including a note or letter written by Loughner indicating that he planned the assassination of Rep. Giffords. We now have numerous of his friends or acquaintances affirming that he was obsessed with her as far back as 2007, when she failed at a public event to answer one of his insane questions. We also know that, according to multiple sources, the federal judge who was gunned down was only there by happenstance (he was nearby, saw the Congresswoman's banner and decided to stop by to say hi to her).

Furthermore, when I refer to Loughner's "disruptions" in class, I assure that I'm not talking about normal clownish antics. These disruptions were sufficient to induce several documented concerns to the authorities about possible violence. Please read these emails to better inform yourself: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2011/01/jared-loughners-behavior-recor.html

You're right to point out the non-sequitur but I think they've been given ample grounds to nurture a complaint.

As long as it is acknowledged up front that said complaint does not in any factual way connect to this horrible crime and that to imply otherwise is vicious calumny, I'm fine with that statement. The question of strident political rhetoric is one worth exploring. There are genuine causes for concern about the political dialogue in this country. But for a man (from a perch at the New York Times) to begin a lecture on civility with a tissue of baseless invective and slander is, I hope we can all agree, not a productive form of dialogue. Only an idiot or tendentious demagogue could possibly think to argue for civility by unleashing a fuselage of insults and imprecations.

Finally, I want to note a particularly egregious sophistry advanced by Al in a previous comment that had escaped my notice:

We are never going to get into that guys head so we will never know if the "climate" had anything to do with it ... [any such assertions by someone] unless he has spoken to the shooter (and has psychiatric training) assumes knowledge that I don't see how he could have.

You got a lot of nerve urging caution about speculations on motive. You'll defend the columnist who more or less accused the entire American Right of being accomplices to mass-murder, but when someone says "actually this shooter was a madman absorbed in his own fantasy world," you answer "whoa, whoa, let's not go off in wild conjectures"? Seriously?

Useful article at Politico about the incredible sloppiness of Fox in reporting as a "memo from DHS" what was actually some kind of baseless speculation by some completely different organization. (HT VFR for the link.)

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/47438.html

Lying is asserting something one knows not to be true.

Which can include asserting that a connection definitely exists when one knows that no connection has been established. In other words, asserting something as true when one knows that said truth has not been established, and that insufficient information exists to so establish it.

Besides, the rhetoric on the left is far more violent than the right, so if anyone has created a climate that contributed to this in any way, it would be the left.

Part of the increased antagonism towards Obama as opposed to his predecessor might be due to the fact that he is quite unpopular not only among those on the Right, but among those on the far Left, who believe they've been betrayed by him in that he is not Leftist enough in his governance, esp. as touching foreign policy and the wars.

"Part of the increased antagonism towards Obama as opposed to his predecessor might be due to the fact that he is quite unpopular not only among those on the Right, but among those on the far Left, who believe they've been betrayed by him in that he is not Leftist enough in his governance, esp. as touching foreign policy and the wars."

Hmmmm... So, it's a 400% increase in death threats against Obama because the left is pissed that there was some foot dragging on DADT and we didn't get our government option? Or do you think Cindy Sheehan and Code Pink are wrapping fishes in newspaper and leaving them in front of the White House? Probably the pacifists, right, they're the ones making the death threats. Damn liberal Quakers.

[By the way, a sincere thanks to the editors for reigning in the language above.]

No, which is why I specifically said "PART of the increased antagonism..."

While I do think Obama is a species of Marxist, and I mos def want him to be a one-term president, I'm no fan of Dubya or his administration, and I don't like to hear threats and vitriol from either side. And while I can appreciate the anger, given what our society's become over the past couple or three decades, I'm firmly convinced that conservatives can win the war of ideas without having to sink to the level of our opponents.

""PART of the increased antagonism...""

Significant part? You think if we take all the threats to the President from the left there would be a 399.999999% uptick? 300% uptick? 200%? Wouldn't 100% increase still be shocking? I'm guessing you don't think that if we subtract all the threats from ELF and PETA members, there would still be a dramatic increase on threats on the President.

You think his Marxism might have to do with his Kenyan birth or are you part of that school that thinks "Marxism" means governatin' I don't like?

Clayton-
the four times increase was dismissed by the director of the Secret Service, who says the number of threats is "about the same" as against Bush and Clinton.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-5879268-503544.html?tag=contentMain;contentBody

The director of the Secret Service today disputed widely-reported claims that President Obama is receiving more death threats than previous presidents.

At a congressional hearing into the White House security breach that took place last week, when Tareq and Michaele Salahi "crashed" the White House state dinner, Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan said the current threat level against the president is normal.

"The threats right now ... is the same level as it has been for the previous two presidents at this point in their administrations," Sullivan said.

Sullivan was the only requested witness who agreed to testify today before the House Homeland Security Committee, and he said the Secret Service takes responsibility for allowing the Salahis to enter the state dinner uninvited. Three Secret Service officers are currently under suspension because of the incident, he said.

Since news of the security breach broke, members of Congress have commented that the incident was particularly troubling in light of the number of threats against the first African-American president.

"It is well known, it's been in the press over and over again, that this president has received far more death threats than any president in the history of the United States," Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the congressional delegate for the District of Columbia, said at today's hearing.

The Boston Globe report last month noting that the threats against Mr. Obama have fallen back to typical levels, Mark Hosenball of Newsweek writes that the reports of a 400 percent increase in threats can be traced back to a book about the Secret Service published earlier this year by author Ronald Kessler.

Sullivan said today that the president was not at risk the night of the state dinner.

FWIW, I have heard Obama utterly eviscerated from the left on the radio talk going through Portland-- they don't like how "weak" his initial healthcare attempt was, and even less like the "pathetic" end result.

That was the HOST, by the way.

~~You think his Marxism might have to do with his Kenyan birth or are you part of that school that thinks "Marxism" means governatin' I don't like?~~

Neither, clown. -- mostly his long association with and education by radical Leftists. Read Paul Gottfried on cultural Marxism, or what he calls "post-Marxism." The Dear Leader pretty much fits the bill.

Steve, your point would carry more weight if it wasn't for the folks who showed up at the various rallies carrying guns and "blood of patriots" signs and remarks like Susan Angle's "Second Amendment solutions" - which remark, unlike Bachmann's, is totally unambiguous.

Dear Al. I would not be surprised to learn you were a memebr of The SDS or a participant in The Days of Rage in Chicago.

I do know you have jack to say about your boy, The Bamster, being best friends with Commie Terrorists, Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.

The fact of the matter is your pals have successfully completed their long march through the Institutions and they rhetorically attack those they see as opponents of the revolution every single chance they get.

Ayers and Dohrn are cop-killers who got away with murder and The Bamster launched his initial political campaign from Ayers' house.

Those two fetid fanatics not only attacked the govt of The US but after one of their War Councils they broke into a Catholic Church for some group fornicating.

They are disgusting reprehensible vile monsters. And they are friends of The Bamster.

http://pajamasmedia.com/ronradosh/2008/11/06/shame-on-the-new-yorker/

Perhaps reform in health and gun ownership laws is overdue if the mentally ill go untreated and can have legal access to weapons.

Got news for you, sparky, we already have laws in every state that prohibit the ownership of firearms by people who are criminally insane. In fact, that is why a lot of people are so upset about this. How did this guy pass the mandatory background check when he purchased his gun?

These opinions are reasonable given the facts. It is. of course, also reasonable to disagree.

Yes, it is perfectly reasonable to argue that a mentally sound individual would "just happen to" fit the same profile of behavior and thought process as the shooter...

It would also be reasonable to ban large capacity magazines.

Moron. Even if you cut the legal size down to 7 rounds per magazine, there is nothing stopping him from buying a pump action shotgun, sawing off the barrel and hiding it under a jacket.

If you think a handgun with 2 mags did damage, imagine what a shotgun would have done at that range.

Foxfier,

Thanks, that's reassuring. Did some poking around, and found the transcript of the director's testimony here:

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0912/03/cnr.07.html

al: there are countless political controversies that I ignore. The whole "death panels" thing was one of those. You seem to be obsessed with it. I'm not. It sends me straight to sleep. Sorry.

But what that has to do with the present issue is, precisely, nothing. Like Krugman Dupnik, et al, you want to use this atrocity as an occasion to give all your favorite hobby-horses another run around the track - and you'll be damned before you'll let any sense of shame or decency slow you down.

btw - I think it's pretty hilarious that you call the word "soc[i]alist" an example of "wildly inflammatory rhetoric" - here on a site where at least one of the contributors quite explicitly sympathizes with socialism (of the European Christian variety).

‘The question of strident political rhetoric is one worth exploring. There are genuine causes for concern about the political dialogue in this country.’

I’m now encouraged too, Paul! I’d be really interested in your thoughts.


‘I think you are somewhat poorly informed about the facts of this crime.’

I’m certainly not familiar with the regulatory framework, and the interesting question seems to be whether negligence has or can be established on anyone’s part; if any of the evidence that now emerges has or ought to have been put before the authorities, or ought to have triggered a review of the suspect’s gun licence.

Clayton-
thats not a transcript of his testimony, that's a transcript of CNN's talking heads and some video clips from his testimony. Clearly not even a large portion of his testimony, since it lacks the quote that the story I cut-and-pasted mentioned, and would be incredibly fragmented as well.

You might try looking for hearings records, instead of a page with a title including "Tiger's Tangle" and some other general news-clip-chatter type fodder.

Here is a link, and in case our wonderful tax dollars at work mean it won't function correctly, look for this:


THE UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE AND PRESIDENTIAL PROTECTION: AN
EXAMINATION OF A SYSTEM FAILURE
PART I and II

=======================================================================

HEARING

before the

COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED ELEVENTH CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION

__________

DECEMBER 3, 2009 and JANUARY 20, 2010

__________

Serial No. 111-46

__________

Printed for the use of the Committee on Homeland Security

From Foxifier's link:

Ms. Norton. Let me tell you what my concern is, Mr. Sullivan. It is
well known, it has been in the press over and over again that
this President has received far more death threats than any
President in the history of the United States, an alarming
number of death threats. I am not going to ask you for the
details on that. But here we had the first State Dinner, not of
just any old President, but of the first African-American
President. Was there any attempt to increase security, given
all you know, which is much more than we know, about threats to
this President of the United States?

Mr. Sullivan. Ma'am, no matter who the President is----

Ms. Norton. I am asking about this President, and my
question is very specific. Given death threats to this
President, was there any attempt to increase the security at
this event? Yes or no?

Mr. Sullivan. I cannot talk about that.
No. 1, I will address the threats. I have heard a number
out there that the threat is up by 400 percent. I am not sure
where that number----

Ms. Norton. Is it up at all? We are not asking for the----

Mr. Sullivan. I think I can answer you, ma'am. It is not at
400 percent. I am not sure where that number came from.

Chairman Thompson. Just a minute. We can't hear the
gentleman.

Ms. Norton. Please don't assign to me a number in my
question. I just asked you if the threats were up. Are the
threats up?

Mr. Sullivan. They are not. The threats right now, in the
inappropriate interest that we are seeing, is the same level as
it has been for the previous two Presidents at this point----

Ms. Norton. This is very comforting news.

Like Krugman Dupnik, et al, you want to use this atrocity as an occasion to give all your favorite hobby-horses another run around the track - and you'll be damned before you'll let any sense of shame or decency slow you down.

Excellent post Steve; is the double entendre intentional? It is an apt, sobering thought regardless. Momento Mori.

Paul

I expect you’ve become aware of Mrs Palin’s recent statements on the subject. I’d like to make one observation: The implication seems to be that rhetoric about the efficacy of rhetoric can be causally efficacious while rhetoric is causally inert, really. Perhaps this is what Lydia meant by ‘a generally rambunctious and liberal-offending style’, the putting forward of arguments that seem to affirm what they seek to deny; except it’s not just liberals who may be offended by ad hoc suggestions that we live in a magical universe!

Of course I may be prejudiced and blind to the charitable interpretation; so what do you think?

Overseas, maybe it's because it's so early, but I must confess that I'm not clear on your precise question.

I read the Anti-Defamation League's statement on Palin's use of the term "blood libel." It must have been among the most mild and carefully qualified critical statements in that organization's history. It made efforts to acknowledge that Palin "has every right to defend herself against these kinds of attacks," and only lamented the choice of a phrase "so fraught with pain in Jewish history." The statement also used the blunt phrase "being an accessory to murder" to characterize the attacks on Palin and others.

If I may summarize, the ADL emphatically agrees that Palin had been libeled, and that she has "every right to defend herself"; but it objects to the idea that she has been blood libeled in the anti-Semitic sense.

I agree with the Anti-Defamation League.

I'll also note that following the President's speech last night (which I thought was a pretty good speech, for my part*) we had the peculiar spectacle of a host of liberals and Leftists cheering lustily the delivery of admonitions against slander and baseless accusations, which admonitions they themselves spent entire previous weekend brazenly violating.

______________________
* I also thought President Obama's speech after the Ft. Hood Massacre was quite good. In both cases the President deserves credit for decisively breaking with the strident ignorance of the Left.

Were the POTUS a real man,a man of real principles and conviction, he should have taken advantage of that putative solemn occasion to apologise for the intemperate political rhetoric he has used in the past instead of saying what he did which left the impression he was above doing that sort of thing.

But when he slipped into his John Edwards-before-a-Jury mode and began speaking for that poor young girl who was murdered, that took the cake.

I am happy I only read about his words this morning and did not hear them. Frankly, I can not even stand to watch and listen to the man.

He is beneath contempt. He was there to keep the political pot roiling and to take from the situation whatever political advantage might accrue to him.

From the Denver Post
Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of Israel antagonists at "J Street" (an outfit that USA Today accidentally referred to as "a political organization for Jews and supporters of Israel") spoke for hundreds when he claimed that the 'blood libel' "brings back painful echoes of a very dark time in our communal history when Jews were falsely accused of committing heinous deeds" and demanded that Palin retract her comment, apologize and make a "less inflammatory choice of words."
Really? Memory? Inflammatory? Painful echoes?
Jews well, we can be offended like its 1257.
If blood libel is really a distasteful parallel, it is only because we have intimately familiarized ourselves with the idea through a History Channel documentary about the Crusades. And if our institutional memories make us so thin-skinned there are far more tangible reminders of genocide when we hop into our fancy German cars (which we do a lot, because we're in charge of everything). Or it is certainly as offensive as the heinous deeds of Sarah Palin, which include, among many other transgressions, talking.

Stolen from http://littlemissattila.com

Vermont Crank,

Ah, how do I put this lightly....

President Obama is not my favorite person, nor in my opinion a man worthy of his office, even within the subset of leftwing Democrats. I will, however, give him due credit for his speech. He did not place the millstone of calumny about his neck, though all his team's pundits have done so. We must not sink so far into politics, itself a close occasion for sin for many, that we lose perspective.

P.S. Mind you, my baseline for what passes for a Democrat honoring the dead is the Paul Wellstone Memorial, so I'm more forgiving of his grazing the edge of "campaign speech" territory.

Dear Patrick. I posted my immediate reaction before reading some of my favorite sites, including Mr. Auster's, View from the Right.

I see that today, when it comes to Obama and his speech, he and I are simpatico, even though that is not always the case.

http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/018409.html

OK Paul, I'll clarify. I’m more interested in the structure of the argument and wouldn't wish to get side-tracked by ‘blood libel’, so I suggest we stick to plain ‘libel’. We’re agreed that allegations about ‘right-wing’ rhetoric and the Arizona incident were opportunistic, so I guess it’s fair enough for Mrs Palin to describe these allegations as ‘libel’.

However, she goes on to claim that the libel ‘serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn.’ So, while she justifiably rejects any connection between rhetoric and this particular incident, Palin clearly thinks that rhetoric can in principle incite hatred and violence.

She then goes on to defend the current state of political debate on the grounds - if I got that right - that nobody’s perfect and that the alternative would be to challenge opponents to a duel with pistols, which is getting a bit surreal for me. But it seems that according to Palin speech coming from her own political quarters must be just vigorous and spirited and only speech coming from opponents or critics has this deleterious property of inciting hatred and violence. So either she's never uttered a 'reprehensible' opportunistic statement herself, or we live in a magical universe.

Palin’s statement was made in response to an opportunistic claim, but it sounds no less opportunistic to me - and a lot worse besides! But being no fan of Mrs Palin, I may have missed some more charitable reconstruction of what she meant.

PS It’s refreshing to see that so many people here can appreciate a good speech when they hear one, even if it’s written by (the speechwriter to) a person they’re not particularly fond of!

Reality check:
which side is constantly accusing the other of inciting murder, lies when facts come out, and in the spare time accuses the other side of every form of hate they can think of? Which side thinks it's funny for a rich 50 year old woman to announce she'll be publicly targeting a middle class teen old girl for ridicule? Which side is dehumanizing (literally-- enough to make one wish for a ban on the word 'monkey') the other? Which side burns the other in effigy, uses slurs on the females, makes sexist and racist jokes, calls the other Nazi to the point of boredom?

Thank God the left doesn't usually like guns, or we would have a lot of dead pols due to a climate of hate. And they'd be conservative. Hope the Palins have body guards and a good gun collection, and that folks are watching for the kids.

"Jews well, we can be offended like its 1257."

Or 1938? The problem with the use of the term is the ignorance its use demonstrates. What is most troubling is that the statement wasn't likely written by her which means she picks staff who are dumber than she is. Smart, competent folks seek out smart, competent staff. Stupid folks fear and avoid them.

Thanks for the link Lydia. It seems he committed himself which likely changed the dynamic - who wants to be the guy who signed off on releasing the person who immediately went out and became "Tulsa mosque shooter"? Medical files are protected so we may never know what was in the letter and what the docs observed during the voluntary part of his commitment that led to the involuntary part. Reading between the lines of the story would seem to indicate a bit of instability.

There are lots of mentally ill folks, most of whom never harm anyone except themselves. We don't have the resources to deal with everyone who is like Loughner and, if we did, we would no loner be a free society.

"Reality check:
which side is constantly accusing the other of inciting murder, lies when facts come out, and in the spare time accuses the other side of every form of hate they can think of?"

And the shark is jumped.

We don't have the resources to deal with everyone who is like Loughner

You don't think actual death threats make a difference, Al?

Thought experiment: A guy who is like Loughner, diagnosably medically ill, starts sending death threats to you and your family. Make them as explicit as you like. You think it would threaten our free society if that person were apprehended, charged with the death threats, and locked up, either committed or just locked up as punishment for the threats?

This all might be explained very simply...

Jared Loughner's mother worked for the County Board of Supervisors...

His mother called in favors to keep her son's record clean...

When the state did a background check on him, lo and behold, no string of arrests as long as his arm...

Wow, at the risk of being out of step with others here, I can't help but want to stand up and cheer at this quotation from a columnist I otherwise know nothing about, Paul Hair. (Can someone really be named "Paul Hair"?)

The failure to admit that the left is irrational and beyond debate has been a disaster and it will become even worse if the right doesn't wake up now. So perhaps the right should follow the president's advice and come together following Loughner's horrible crime. And if conservatives do come together, let them do so with the goal of eliminating leftism (legally and non-violently, of course)--a vile ideology that has plagued this nation for far too long. Now is no time for the right to "dial down the rhetoric." No, instead it is time to dial it up. The left must be confronted and its war to destroy its enemies defeated. It's the only way to stop the Party of Hate.

http://dailycaller.com/2011/01/12/time-to-dial-up-the-rhetoric/

HT VFR

"Jared Loughner's mother worked for the County Board of Supervisors..."

I saw a reference that stated that she was a $25.70/hr. park supervisor for the rec. dept. which hardly seems like a position of great influence. The only arrest i saw a reference to was a minor matter by the Miranda PD which isn't a county agency.

"Make them as explicit as you like."

Which I can easily do but which would be a waste of time. This is an actual case. What he really said is all that counts. I googled loughner death threats and got a whole bunch of hits from a bunch of blogs and Fox but nothing of substance,

I went to az central where I found this, "Loughner was isolating himself. He couldn't keep a job. His Internet postings grew more ominous, such as this one on his MySpace page Dec. 13: "I don't feel good; I'm ready to kill a police officer! I can say it."

and a campus police report in which he is alleged to have stated,

"...said things about abortion, wars, killing people, and 'why don't we just strap bombs to babies'..."

If you have more, let me know but what I've seen isn't sufficient to sustain a commitment. This was in a NewsWeek article,

"But while Arizona makes it easier than any other state to forcibly commit a mentally ill person, experts are highly skeptical that Loughner would have qualified. “Bizarre behavior isn’t enough,” says Appelbaum. “Lots of people exhibit bizarre behavior and never harm a fly.” Loughner’s reported penchant for laughing inappropriately in class, keeping his head down when neighbors greeted him on the street, wearing a hoodie in summer, making incoherent comments in class, laughing to himself, going on antigovernment rants about U.S. currency—as The Daily Beast reported—almost certainly would not have sufficed. “The students even said they were afraid that he’d bring a gun to class,” adds Appelbaum. “But in a gun-friendly state like Arizona, that wouldn’t have been nearly enough.”

"After a horror like the Tucson massacre, hindsight bias leads acquaintances to recall all sorts of warning signs, says Pitt. “But I promise you that’s only a fraction of the behavioral information that will come out” about Loughner, he says. “Do I think it’s more likely than not that this was a troubled individual? Absolutely. But whether he should have been involuntarily committed, we just don’t know.” “Should have” and “would have” are two very different beasts, however, and even in Arizona—where it’s easier to do so than in any other state—it’s unlikely that courts would have committed Loughner."

"And given the state of mental-health care in the country, it is unlikely Loughner would have stayed behind locked doors for long. Typically, hospitals and other facilities stabilize a patient, give him medications, watch him for a couple of days and, if he seems functional and non-delusional, send him on his way. According to several psychotherapists interviewed at the annual meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Assocation in New York, Loughner—who was functional enough a few months ago to fill out court papers expunging an old arrest record and to buy a Glock—would likely have been out in no more than two days."

http://www.newsweek.com/2011/01/12/could-jared-loughner-have-been-committed.html

Recall also my previous mention of the death panel that Arizona's governor has formed. Besides sending physically ill folks to their deaths, they have also devastated the state's mental health programs.

Or 1938? The problem with the use of the term is the ignorance its use demonstrates.

...Speaking of ignorance....

First off, the Blood Libel wasn't one of the accusations before The Holocaust. Secondly, 'blood libel' is in very common use in modern writing, including by those who have attacked Mrs. Palin over her use of it.

I'm so glad we have al here to lecture multiple Jewish writers on how the up-to-now common use of the term 'blood libel'-- just as the phrase 'crucified' and 'holocaust,' one must suppose-- is horrible and insensitive because Sarah Said It! (tm)

I googled loughner death threats and got a whole bunch of hits from a bunch of blogs and Fox but nothing of substance

How about that obscure rag, the Wall Street Journal, quoting the sheriff involved? Oh, wait, the investigating officer-- clearly that's nothing of substance.

"Reality check:
which side is constantly accusing the other of inciting murder, lies when facts come out, and in the spare time accuses the other side of every form of hate they can think of?"

And the shark is jumped

I can see how using things like "facts" you happen to dislike would be incredibly strange to you, but it's hardly on the level of The Fonz.

Rabbis, historians, regular Jews... it's amazing how many folks are demonstrating their ignorance by disagreeing with al about blood libel!

Anybody still pretending to be outraged by Palin's thoroughly appropriate use of the phrase "blood libel" really, seriously, needs a good swift kick in the butt.

All,

Sort of related to Lydia's link, I saw this piece and thought it was worth passing along:

http://spectator.org/archives/2011/01/14/defending-toxic-rhetoric

Also, Michelle Malkin does a yeoman's job of cataloging the use of all the right wing--oops!--I meant left wing vitriol this country has put up with over the past 10 years or so:

http://michellemalkin.com/2011/01/10/the-progressive-climate-of-hate-an-illustrated-primer-2000-2010/

The left has really embarrassed itself on this one. Gallup indicates Americans aren't buying it. http://www.gallup.com/poll/145556/Doubt-Political-Rhetoric-Major-Factor-Ariz-Shootings.aspx It was hilariously stupid at first, then became unnerving since people seemed to be buying it, then comes the blood libel thing to push it all the way back to hilarious again. I believe that is officially the smell of desperation in the air. Even Obama has deserted his comrades on this one.

Come on lefties, keep bringing us the lols.

‘What is most troubling is that the statement wasn't likely written by her which means she picks staff who are dumber than she is.’

Spot on.

Good for you, Steve Burton.

Thanks William for pointing me to Steve's comment, which I somehow missed:

Steve, I’m intrigued how you find the ‘blood libel’ reference so ‘thoroughly’ appropriate; it must be in some sense that eludes both our host and the Anti-Defamation League. The reference might not be as tragically ironic if the intended victim wasn’t herself Jewish, but as things stand it's either Orwellian or plain stupid; and this is Palin at her best. This was no impromptu statement: If more care went into folding the flag and choosing the shade of lipstick it’s because a façade is all it’s about, and what’s behind is nonsense. Where ‘reload’ means ‘respectfully cast your vote’ is somewhere out of Lewis Carroll.

As long as we're acknowledging forthrightly that Palin was libeled (along with many others on the Right) by about every third Left-wing partisan in the country, and that people who are libeled as accessories to mass-murder may possibly be excused for evidencing a touch of indignation, I'm happy to allow that blood libel in the anti-Semitic sense is inappropriate. However, since both Al and Overseas appear to believe Palin is too ignorant to recognize the anti-Semitic ancestry of that phrase, they are bound by logic to judge her innocent of that particular instance of excessive rhetoric.

If you have nothing else to say, if you have worn out the deranged notion that Sarah Palin caused someone who shows no knowledge of her to shoot people. If only for the briefest moment, though you are a liberal, you have doubts as to your idiotic notion, what else to do but blather about the use of the phrase "blood libel"?
Change the subject, salvage the hate.

From those who are professionally offended, here's the hard-hitting attack on Palin's use of the term:
While the term "blood-libel" has become part of the English parlance to refer to someone being falsely accused, we wish that Palin had used another phrase, instead of one so fraught with pain in Jewish history.
http://www.adl.org/PresRele/Mise_00/5962_00.htm
This, after two paragraphs that boil down to "we totally agree with what she was going for, she was right to respond, it's unacceptable how people were acting."

But hey! Let's ignore actual Jews and historians on the topic, and act like the ADL really slammed her on it, rather than that they basically complained that she used a common English phrase they don't like.

Since trying to pin the attacks on her didn't work so well, there's got to be something to be savaged...er, salvaged.

al, I'm not going to waste any more time with you, you are beyond a normal person's allocations, but your mention of Arizona's health services caught my attention, something I thought was well over with.
Remember, you and I did the NY State thing, the reduction in coverage to children of NY State employee's, something about Obamacare, recall ? A tip of the iceberg moment you could say, and all for nothing.
Keep up those multi-links al.

Overseas: to insist that the phrase "blood libel" can only be invoked in cases where *jews* are falsely accused of responsibility for murder strikes me as eye-rollingly dumb.

There are, of course, highly ethno-centric jews out there who get all bitchy if, say, you use the word "holocaust" in reference to the Holodomor. But they are silly people.

Don't be a silly person.

Paul

‘As long as we're acknowledging forthrightly that Palin was libeled’

I expect you noticed I acknowledged up front that would be ‘fair enough’, did I not? That was making allowances for ‘excessive rhetoric’, since a milder term like ‘opportunism’ would have sufficed. I have no idea if Palin was aware of the anti-Semitic ancestry of the phrase. Perhaps she and her entourage were merely unaware of the victim’s ancestry. So I’m not ‘bound by logic’ to anything. The interesting question is whether she ought to and could have done or commissioned some more research in preparing a statement about the incident. Palin isn’t Jewish herself, anyway, and her choice of rhetoric in the circumstances is an instance of tragic irony because the victim is Jewish.

But you’ll recall that I went out of my way to avoid getting tangled up with that metaphor at all. I did my best to understand under what conditions Mrs Palin thinks that rhetoric can incite hatred and violence, since she clearly thinks it can! Nobody here has taken more trouble than I have to unpack the argument; I explicitly admitted to possible bias on my part, but nobody’s proposed an alternative reconstruction yet.

Thanks Steve! I’ll take that on board.

"...they are bound by logic to judge her innocent of that particular instance of excessive rhetoric."

Ignorance, innocence - whatever. The point with Palin is that she read a statement, most likely written by someone on her staff, without understanding that the term didn't really apply to the circumstances. The story here is ignorance hiring stupidity. She isn't stupid, herself, but mean-girl street smarts and incompetent hiring practices certainly don't qualify her for any public office.

Shmuley Boteach - really, ROTFL.

What is amazing is all the folks who are willing to tweak definitions to try and save her on this one. The "target" meme was dumb but we shouldn't forget that anyone who considers the former half-term governor of a small state with a healthy cash flow a suitable candidate for the top job in a nuclear power with cash flow problems has disqualified themselves as a serious person.

Al, the story here is the appalling libels hurled by the Left beginning almost exactly seven days ago, centering on Sarah Palin; which libels you have either defended or maintained a fastidious silence on.

No one at this website (to my knowledge) has recommended Palin for any political office at all, though one or two of us might have pointed out that her executive experience exceeds that of the current occupant of the White House when he was elected.

Foxfier the WSJ wasn't quoting the sheriff. John Fund's op-ed was quoting Reuters quoting the sheriff. You need to understand the difference between a reported story and an opinion piece. Had you done your due diligence you would have discovered that things have somewhat changed since Reuters first story on Jan. 8. Here is the quote Fund used,

"But Reuters reports that Sheriff Dupnik acknowledged that 'there had been earlier contact between Loughner and law enforcement after he had made death threats, although they had not been against [Rep. Gabrielle] Giffords.'"

Here is Reuters,

"Sheriff Clarence Dupnik of Pima County, where the shooting happened, told reporters the suspect had a troubled past. "All I can tell you is that this person may have a mental issue," Dupnik said."

"Dupnik said there had been earlier contact between Loughner and law enforcement after he had made death threats, although they had not been against Giffords. He said the authorities believe he may not have been working alone."

So at this point we have a certain fog. Now recall that the only threats I was able to find were vague and non-specific. They don't seem to be actionable in a county the size of Pima. had you checked in with Reuters to make sure Fund was behaving you would have found this story from Jan. 12,

"The Pima County Sheriff's Department, the lead local agency investigating the shooting spree, also said various unspecified threats Jared Lee Loughner was alleged to have made prior to his deadly rampage came to the department's attention only after the attack."

"The threats were general in nature, none of which were directed at any specific person, and none were reported to the Pima County Sheriff's Department," the agency said in a statement issued late on Tuesday."

Now it seems the information came in after the shooting.

Fund then goes completely off the rails with this statement,

"The real debate in the aftermath of the Arizona shootings should be why a troubled individual was able to compile such a record without attracting more attention from Sheriff Dupnik and his fellow law enforcement professionals. Perhaps if Loughner had been convicted of making death threats, he wouldn't have been able to clear the federal background check he needed to purchase a firearm last November."

What record? He had a couple of infractions. It seems law enforcement were unaware of the threats prior to the shooting and, based on current information, had they been aware of them they weren't crimes. Pima County has a lot of folks living therein and quite a few of them are way more scary then Loughner. Lots of Capt. Hindsights here.

Now, Foxfier, the last sentence is of particular interest to inquiring minds. If we go to the FBI site we find out that the Brady law prohibits folks who are under indictment for or have been convicted of a felony or who have been adjudged to be mentally ill from purchasing a firearm. Based on what information available on January 8 was Fund justified in making that statement? Two points here,

1. As the NewsWeek article points out, it is doubtful that, had Loughner encountered the state mental health system, he would have actually been judged mentally ill. Most likely he would have been observed for a couple of days and set loose.

2. Had he actually had a judge declare him mentally ill, it turns out that the State of Arizona is way behind in reporting those cases to the FBI.

I clearly need to clarify myself, I see. I used "Fox" as a sort of shorthand. The WSJ clearly isn't an "obscure rag", it is however, like Fox, a News Corp. venue. The increased use of the Financial Times is due to the NC purchase of the WSJ. While the opinion section of the WSJ has been a joke for longer then most of the folks reading this have been living, the straight news sections used to be pretty good. Not so much now. Fund wrote an op-ed piece so knowledgeable folks would simply ignore it.

A good general rule is to ignore news venues owned by Australian billionaires and Korean messiahs. Hope that helps.

Overseas, al: the subtext of your continued whining about Palin's use of the phrase "blood libel" seems to be that it is wrong and insensitive for any gentile ever to appropriate words or phrases customarily associated with the victimization of Jews - Jewish victimization being, of course, unique and incomparable, everywhere and always.

Is that the idea? Have I got that more or less right?

If not, then can either of you please try to explain your problem in terms simple enough for me to understand?

Hey, al, we're not letting you change the subject by trying to wiggle out of the statement made by the sheriff that the guy had made death threats.

You said:
Which I can easily do but which would be a waste of time. This is an actual case. What he really said is all that counts. I googled loughner death threats and got a whole bunch of hits from a bunch of blogs and Fox but nothing of substance,

Thus, you clearly did not even bother looking for the evidence you didn't want.

Frankly, I don't care what your biases are, since they also hold that a Jewish Rabbi is less of an authority than your tastes when it comes to the use of the phrase 'blood libel.' The simple fact is that you were wrong, again, and all your flailing about how you don't like this or that news source is just pathetic.

I don't understand why Al doesn't think that the question of whether one can use "blood libel" for non-Jewish groups who have been libelously accused of fomenting murder is one of those matters of _opinion_ that we can _disagree about_. Maybe Sarah Palin just disagreed with Al on that matter. This doesn't mean she was stupid and didn't know where the phrase came from. And Al thinks so many things are opinions that reasonable people can disagree about, so...

Steve

I mentioned the Anti-Defamation League because Paul couched his own position in terms of agreeing with the League, not because I acknowledge some particular authority in the use of metaphor. Paul went on to describe the use of ‘blood libel’ as ‘inappropriate’; I’d have settled for ‘unfortunate’ myself, were it not the case that the victim is Jewish while Palin isn’t. Can you spot the irony there? The ‘blood libel’ was the only thing people seemed to agree wasn’t right about the statement, and I’d miserably failed to find much else that was! I’d probably run out of patience by the time I spotted your ‘thoroughly appropriate’ comment, so here’s an article from today’s ‘Observer’ to make amends; I don’t know how to embed links and hope Paul won’t mind if I quote:

'On the Couch
Dr Gerry Mander: the therapist the stars trust

Dear Dr Mander

It is a sad indictment of my political enemies that they exploit a moment of national tragedy to score partisan political points. But what else do you expect from liberals? It has been said that the actions of Jared Lee Loughner are somehow influenced by the fiery rhetoric of political warrior-patriots like me. I find that offensive. So we talk about raising an army to take back our country from the forces of darkness. But we actually mean influencing the direction of policy through reasonable democratic discourse. And, yes, sometimes we use blood-curdling military imagery in our calls for the armed elimination of the enemy. But by "armed", we mean equipped with the best arguments. Duh! For people to smear me this way – it's worse than a lie, it's truthicide, it's a truthocaust. Anyhow, Jared? Sounds a bit like "Jihad" and a bit like "Red", which makes you wonder who was really behind these killings.

S Palin

Dear Ms Palin

You obviously feel wounded, but just in terms of political decorum, you might want keep your own sense of personal injury to yourself. Your feelings were hurt, but not gunned down in cold blood. Meanwhile, you need to move the argument away from yourself, ideally on to something even more controversial – gun laws are the obvious terrain. Clearly, you can't call for tighter controls, so maybe go the other way. If more people in Tucson had guns to hand, could Loughner have been stopped? There's a constitutional right to bear arms, but there's no constitutional right to refuse to bear arms. From the 14th century, Englishmen were obliged by law to keep longbows. Arguably, without that law, the country would later have been defeated by freedom-hating France. Take this as your inspiration. A policy of compulsory civilian armament – you know it makes sense.’

Paul J. said:
If I may summarize, the ADL emphatically agrees that Palin had been libeled, and that she has "every right to defend herself"; but it objects to the idea that she has been blood libeled in the anti-Semitic sense.

I agree with the Anti-Defamation League

.

Seeing as how nobody is claiming she's a secret Jew making bread with blood, and it was clearly a metaphor, even I agree that she wasn't libeled in the anti-Semitic sense.

He also pointed out that they appreciate she was accused of being an accessory to murder-- guess they jumped the shark in al's world, too-- but somehow, he didn't say that using the term was inappropriate; he said:

As long as we're acknowledging forthrightly that Palin was libeled (along with many others on the Right) by about every third Left-wing partisan in the country, and that people who are libeled as accessories to mass-murder may possibly be excused for evidencing a touch of indignation, I'm happy to allow that blood libel in the anti-Semitic sense is inappropriate. However, since both Al and Overseas appear to believe Palin is too ignorant to recognize the anti-Semitic ancestry of that phrase, they are bound by logic to judge her innocent of that particular instance of excessive rhetoric.

Now, he might think use of the phrase in any sense but the anti-Semitic sense is inappropriate, or overwrought, but thus far he hasn't said as much. Rather wish he would, although I doubt it would have any effect. Inconvenient facts don't seem to have much traction with Overseas and al.

Amazing, Overseas, how you're trying to have your cake and eat it too by never flatly saying "yes, Palin was accused of being an accessory to murder, and that is an untrue attack"-- yet very willing to use a carefully qualified support of the ADL's specific, mild release like it's a great indictment.

(Anyone else notice how the "answer" is always to force everyone to do this or that? It's never 'enforce the current laws' or 'remove some restrictions'-- it's always to bind people tighter and trusts in the power of government to make it all good.)

Overseas, you might want to get your word out to J Eric Fuller.
In the meantime there is only one condition where a citizen is compelled to bear arms, the military draft. You are not required to "keep" arms, not even crossbows. So even as irony it fails.
As to decorum, I assume this is a highly personal usage on your part. After your side heaps vile filth on a woman for days and for something she had nothing to do with, after assigning responsibility to her in expressions that reek of dementia & that turn out to be utterly pointless and irrelevant, that given the shooters mental state has more in common with the left, brothers under the skin you might say,that mindlessly[ what else] ignore that Sheriff Dubnik had more to do with the shooter then Palin did, but amazingly has no responsibility whatsoever, and that all in all inevitably fall flat on their face after being recognized by millions of normal people for the vile, unbalanced garbage that it is, you are left with what?

You are left with "blood libel", and of course snideness. Have to hang your hat on something, can't give up the hate?
No one owns the above phrase, language in case you haven't noticed is fungible, transferable, it is absorbed,grows and is used by others. There is not a trademark on it, no patent, no exclusive rights are assigned by no authority, there is not a fixed boundary across which none may pass. Meanings, usage, conventions change, there are no gatekeepers, not even bitter, twisted little liberals stripped of the meat of their false,perverse accusations and left to wallow in their pettiness, in the remnants of a ludicrous & unbalanced binge of bile.
A straw to cling to, "blood libel".

If I may, odd it is that the cognoscenti may proffer all types of criticism, both aggressive and scurrilous, against the Catholic Church, but woe and opprobrium to him who dares use a phrase with a seemingly or wished for restricted ownership.
It don't work that way gang.

johnt has inspired me to coin a new political term - bittermost. Thanks johnt!

This is rich: A man wounded in the shooting muttered "you're dead" (while taking a picture) at a fellow townhall attender who expressed (gasp) support for gun ownership.

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/01/15/20110115gabrielle-giffords-arizona-shooting-tucson-forum.html

So much for civility, blah, blah.

"Thus, you clearly did not even bother looking for the evidence you didn't want."

Foxfier, this is a total non sequitur. Lydia asked me to do a

"Thought experiment: A guy who is like Loughner, diagnosably medically ill, starts sending death threats to you and your family. Make them as explicit as you like."

I replied,

"Which I can easily do but which would be a waste of time. This is an actual case. What he really said is all that counts. I googled loughner death threats and got a whole bunch of hits from a bunch of blogs and Fox but nothing of substance,"

I saw no point in making up death threats as most anyone can come up with examples that would quickly get ones abode surrounded by the local SWAT team. The relevant matter here is the exact nature of the threats that Loughner made prior to the shooting.

I checked quite a few of the hits and they all were some version of the first Reuters story and the two general threats that I related. How you got from that your accusation is beyond me.

In response to your link to Fund's op-ed, I checked out Reuters and found the later story. Your response to which is simply weird.

"Hey, al, we're not letting you change the subject by trying to wiggle out of the statement made by the sheriff that the guy had made death threats."

On what evidence are you claiming that the first story is dispositive while the second story should be dismissed?

No one is denying that Loughner made death threats prior to the shooting. What is not in evidence are any threats that would be legally actionable and we now have a statement by the sheriff's dept. that even those threats were unknown to their office until after the shooting.

Recall that the the first reports had the Congresswoman dead. First reports are often (and understandably) muddled. Pima County has about one million residents and covers over 9,000 square miles. There are several police jurisdictions. The Sheriff's Dept. has about 1,400 employees. In a department that size the Sheriff is going to function solely as an executive. There is no way that his statement could have reflected first hand knowledge of encounters with Loughner and no reasonable person is going to expect information from anyone to be definitive when it is hard on the actual incident.

So I'm not changing the subject, I'm merely pointing out that we don't have the full story yet. You could have checked out Reuters yourself and updated your information but you chose to rely on an op-ed and shoot from the hip.


step2, time for you to grow up, infantilism is cute, but only in real infants, not the ones who don't wish to mature.
A decent woman, who you disagree with politically is slandered viciously, in a manner that befits pure irrationality. It subsides when your media controllers realize it's backfiring, that normal people aren't buying the slime, that possibly the murderer is responsible for the murders, not someone exercising the now hated free speech, once so valuable, say up to early 2009. Loons, unable to back off, sink their yellowed fangs into "blood libel", seemingly a copyrighted phrase, permission to use required.
You're fine with this.
In any case step2, and thanks for reminding me what you are, the bitter thing is worn out, and does not represent argument, only your nervous system, in need of rest and repair.
Think of it as free speech, and I didn't even call anyone a murderer, much less a long distance, telepathic one.

You're fine with this.

I never said I was fine with this. I think both sides are overreacting. Are you going to retract your slanderous accusation or keep on conjecturing?

al's new angle:

I knew about the Ruter's story, I just wasn't what I was looking for and never mentioned it, even in the follow-up where I tried to play gotcha, and hey look over here the guy clearly just made up multiple death threats out of the blue, because he couldn't possibly know about it first-hand....

Hi Foxfier!

You don’t have to read everything I write, of course, but it may help keep your amazement levels in check if you read before commenting. Because you may find that I’m in agreement with Paul that the charges were opportunistic and were justifiably rejected by Mrs Palin. I don’t see how, in addition, I’m under some obligation to explicitly state every baseless allegation made in connection with this incident and then affirm its falsity; how absurd!

You're also making a rather fine point: Are you suggesting that Paul or the ADL have privileged access to Mrs Palin’s mind? And that this fact is inconvenient for me? If anyone here is aware in what sense Mrs Palin meant what she said, I’ve been waiting for days for them to speak up! You must have taken what I wrote out of context.

Hi johnt!

I think you’d better get your word out to Rafael Behr, chief leader writer for the ‘Observer’; he takes notes dictated by Dr Mander and I wouldn't want to be charged with plagiarism. I guess the title ‘Dr Gerry Mander: the therapist the stars trust’ wasn’t a sufficient clue this is a satirical column; but not even ‘truthicide’ and ‘truthocaust’? I wanted to put a smile on Steve’s and Paul’s faces, because I’d come out stronger than usual in a previous post. You seem like a person with literary interests; where did you leave your sense of humour? When we can’t tell parody from real life it’s probably time for all of us to get worried.

Overseas -
I did read what you said; rather than simply saying 'yes,' you hemmed and haa'ed and used a phrase that means "I understand the basis of your view."

Are you suggesting that Paul or the ADL have privileged access to Mrs Palin’s mind?

Why, yes, that's exactly what "Now, he might think use of the phrase in any sense but the anti-Semitic sense is inappropriate, or overwrought, but thus far he hasn't said as much." when pointing out that someone said something very specific-- twice-- is a claim that there are mind-reading powers for a third person.
Precisely!
It can't possibly mean "Hey, Paul J said blood libel in the anti-Semitic sense was not fitting. And said he agreed with a quote that very clearly said it is part of the 'English parlance to refer to someone being falsely accused'."

You must have taken what I wrote out of context.

Or your reading comprehension is just that bad.

‘I did read what you said;’

OK, then you know that (i) it was I who brought up the question of Mrs Palin’s statement here, (ii) I focused on Mrs Palin’s views on the power of rhetoric in general rather than the ‘blood libel’ question specifically, and (iii) complained that no one had offered an interpretation alternative to mine so far.

I won’t ask why it’s taken you so long to respond, or why we should read Paul’s mind through yours! Go right ahead and spell out why Mrs Palin (a) considers only her critics’ rhetoric capable of inciting hatred and violence while her own rhetoric is just part of a cherished tradition, and (b) chose to refer to ‘blood libel’ in particular when plain ‘libel’ is clearly sufficient ‘to refer to someone being falsely accused’.

I promise I’ll read carefully what you have to say before I respond, if you want to play ball. If you don’t, then I suggest you don’t bother because I won’t. I admit it’s not encouraging if you seriously expected me to ‘simply’ say ‘yes’ when you claimed I was trying to have my cake and eat it too . You hadn’t asked if I’d subscribe or not to some particular statement about Mrs Palin: You faulted me for having ‘never flatly’ made it; and I found that absurd. This may seem like a subtle point, Foxfire, but subtle points aren’t beyond you.

Now I must wonder if you even did more than scan what I said, each time....

I won’t ask why it’s taken you so long to respond, or why we should read Paul’s mind through yours!

It is suddenly my job to point out that you are misreading something, in spite of your inability to understand when it is explained twice over? Taking a specific statement, and spreading it to the general? No, thank you, I already have a child-- and she's much better behaved than you, not to mention less mindlessly demanding.

I promise I’ll read carefully what you have to say before I respond, if you want to play ball

You have already broken that promise. You are not worth the time.

Step2, now you're worried about slander? Too little, too late.
Next time try whole paragraphs instead of repeating the old refrain.
Can't waste any more time on you kid.

Overseas, it would help if you could read, note "even as irony it fails", at least a clue that, and as a fact, I took it for what it was.
But your reading skill has already been called into question, so why beat a dead horse, or dead brain.
You really must pick it up Overseas, there are a flood of points I raised in my response to you, and in other posts. Why be dishonest and avoid them & then play the smartass? Unlike you, and though you don't deserve it, I fully address your fixation with the term "blood libel", nothing, cowardice maybe? Have your tutor help you on it. I carefully point out that now it is all the left has. I do note your reticence in faulting the ascription of murder to Palin, perhaps you're too busy working on a tome attacking our president for his hateful, & plentiful, rhetoric.
Let me not stop you.
You did have the opportunity to read about Mr Fuller I trust.
I think you have enough there between Obama & Fuller to keep you out of childish mischief.
Feel free to come back with some more evasive and/or minor points. Bye.

Can't waste any more time on you kid.

You keep saying that but you just can't help yourself. Next time try to see if you can refrain from lies and smears while complaining about...lies and smears. Personally, I doubt you can live up to your own standards.

‘and as a fact, I took it for what it was.’

So you were not amused, johnt. I’m not sure what you expect me to do with that ‘flood of points’: There’s certainly a good deal of fair ones, which were well made in your last paragraph. Homing in on the intended ‘vehicle’ when we read metaphors is a matter of conjecture. But that the lady with the hole in her head is Jewish and the maligned lady isn’t is no conjecture; so the options are closed off de facto, and rebound. Best wishes to you too.

"Blame Righty: A Condensed History"

In general, I'm not a Malkin fan and I seldom read her. But she nails it in this one: "For the past two years, Democratic officials, liberal activists and journalists have jumped to libelous conclusions about individual shooting sprees committed by mentally unstable loners with incoherent delusions all over the ideological map."

Here's her list:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/uc/20110114/cm_uc_crmmax/op_1916652;_ylt=AgglbqeU_hCEK9kVoOXKpEN0fNdF

"Overseas, al: the subtext of your continued whining about Palin's use of the phrase "blood libel" seems to be that it is wrong and insensitive for any gentile ever to appropriate words or phrases customarily associated with the victimization of Jews - Jewish victimization being, of course, unique and incomparable, everywhere and always."

"Insensitive" isn't really part of my vocabulary; in fact i believe this is the first time I have ever written the word. "wrong" in the context of any term is likely to be debatable.

No, and your phrasing is, shall we say. interesting.

"Is that the idea? Have I got that more or less right?"

Not really.

"If not, then can either of you please try to explain your problem in terms simple enough for me to understand?"

Speaking for myself, of course, when I am deciding on the choice of a particular word or phrase to describe something i usually play some version of "which of these is not like the others," I have the old fashioned (and conservative?) notion that words should be something more than ideological and partisan playthings.

In this case we have a phrase that was historically used to incite Antisemitism (often violent) based on the false accusation that the Jews were using the blood of Christian children in their religious practices.

Steve, of course, conflates several matters with his loaded question. In a sense no one "owns" a word or phrase but if a given word or phrase describes a historical reality on which serious reflection would profit us, one has a moral and intellectual obligation to use the term in a serious manner.

As I see it there is no way that the use of the term is justified. Given the history of the term, applying it to an individual falsely accused of fomenting murder with out an underlying religious/ethnic context isn't justified and can only trivialize the historical context. (I bypass, for the moment, the possibility that the underlying false accusation itself has a shaky basis. Using the term "blood libel" conveniently bypasses the need to establish that mere "libel" is an apt term.)

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