Extra Security in Helena Today?

by jhwygirl

There’s some discussion going on about that today. Perhaps they legitimately need to consider it:

<D's new logo is actually a target. on Twitpic

Yeah…that’s a pic from Tim Fox, 2008 candidate for Montana Attorney General.

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  1. Craig Moore

    Is there ANY demonstrable instance connecting political rhetoric to violence in modern US politics? Why doesn’t the Left start with it’s own house first? See: http://www.verumserum.com/?p=13647

    Most people I know do not follow or give a wit about such political hyperbole but some are followers of pop culture violence embedded in movies, TV, literature including the classics, and music such as hip hop. A 22 year old like the Tucson shooter might just be influenced by such stuff. I would start there with any attempts to outlaw speech. After all, why should politicians be shielded from the rhetoric mere folks face everyday.

    • I didn’t mention party..I didn’t categorize party. I also didn’t say anything about outlawing speech either.

      Your right, though – both parties use it. Point of this post, though, was today’s discussion in the Capitol regarding security.

      Sarah Palin removed her posts similar to Mr. Fox’s. Kos took his down. Maybe he should consider doing the same. Just sayin’.

      • Craig Moore

        I think Jack Shafer nails it: http://www.slate.com/id/2280616/

        For as long as I’ve been alive, crosshairs and bull’s-eyes have been an accepted part of the graphical lexicon when it comes to political debates. Such “inflammatory” words as targeting, attacking, destroying, blasting, crushing, burying, knee-capping, and others have similarly guided political thought and action. Not once have the use of these images or words tempted me or anybody else I know to kill. I’ve listened to, read—and even written!—vicious attacks on government without reaching for my gun. I’ve even gotten angry, for goodness’ sake, without coming close to assassinating a politician or a judge.

        From what I can tell, I’m not an outlier. Only the tiniest handful of people—most of whom are already behind bars, in psychiatric institutions, or on psycho-meds—can be driven to kill by political whispers or shouts. Asking us to forever hold our tongues lest we awake their deeper demons infantilizes and neuters us and makes politicians no safer.

        Poisonous political rhetoric goes back to our early years. Adams and Jefferson threw some very pointed verbal darts at each other, and they were friends!

        A person bent on a showy, public, horrific act of slaughter doesn’t need a verbal tap on the knee to trigger the reflex. It builds over time from many experiences that mix together into a living nightmare. Jared Loughner is nothing more than Travis Bickle. Perhaps Loughner watched the movie.

        • lizard19

          i agree Craig.

          so maybe Republicans should reconsider trying to cut social services, like mental health services, because you never know when those deeper demons might awaken for them, and come gunning with a 30-shot clip.

          • Craig Moore

            Lizard, here is a similar whackadoodle from 1971: http://www-tech.mit.edu/archives/VOL_091/TECH_V091_S0417_P004.txt

            Drugs seem to be one of the deeper demons for both Jared Loughner and Larry Harmon.

            • lizard19

              drug use and mental health issues are often interwoven. young adults experiment with drugs around the same time mental health problems start emerging.

              the point i was trying to make is the social safety net that catches mentally unstable people is not adequate now, and will only get worse as social services get the crosshairs treatment from Republicans.

              • Pogo Possum

                “Extra Security In Helena”

                Maybe they were concerned Obama might visit the Capital, jhwyGirl.

                “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun”.

              • lizard19

                who down-starred me and why?

              • Pogo Possum

                Who up-starred you and why?

              • The Polish Wolf

                There is only one reason people up star or down star one another – they do or don’t agree with positions. It has little to do with an honest assessment of a person’s reasoning or their contribution.

  2. JayByrd

    There’s a hell of a difference between some anecdotal ill-chosen words by President Obama or some other member of the “Democrat Party” and the constant 24/7 bombardment of hate, fear and lies you get on AM radio and Fox News.
    The second is a foreign-financed information warfare operation going on right under our noses, designed to divide and destroy the United States of America.

    • Ingemar Johansson

      Right on Jay.

      After the O’Reilly Factor we’re going out back to the Skull Altar and burn some candles.

    • Pogo Possum

      “the constant 24/7 bombardment of hate, fear and lies you get on AM radio and Fox News.”

      Maybe you should try listening to and reading a few of the left leaning shows and blogs, JayByrd, to get a better perspective. Heck, you can even get a dose of “hate, fear and lies” from the left side of the aisle on 4&20blackbirds every once in a while dispite the occasional reprimands from some of the few “responsible adult” moderators.

      • this holier than thou rant of yours is getting a bit tiresome pp. show me where anyone here advocates violence.

        i can do it all day long on right wing blogs and you know it.

        • Pogo Possum

          Try to keep up PBear. I said “hate, fear and lies”. Insinuating that I said “anyone here advocates violence” is ……well…..a lie.

          Do we really need to re-live your hate and “slime devil” angry rants against payday lenders just to refresh your memory about the hate and fear you spew on this blog?

          As for various left leaning blogs competing with right wing blogs……..try reading them once in a while without your blinders.

          Do I really need to repeat the BS the left spews on a regular basis just to convince you. BOTH the left and the right shovel garbage on a regular basis. Both use often repeated inflamatory words. Heck, the same phrases are used on almost every sports team in this country by players, coaches, commentators and fans and I don’t see it leading to a mass of people shooting each other in the stands. Which brings us back to Jack Shafer’s common sense arguement stated above.

        • Pogo Possum

          And before I forget…….you are the last one to be criticizing any one for “holier than thou rants”.

        • The Polish Wolf

          Pogo’s ‘holier than thou’ ranting about how occasional posts on this blog are at least a incendiary as anything on the mainstream right (though admittedly not half so bad as the worst of the blogging right) is tiresome to you. Me continually giving the ‘whys and wherefores’ (read: facts) about topics is tiring you. What would keep you from getting tired? Ought your readers just agree with you, or spout off opinions without backing them up so they are easy to shoot down and further ‘prove’ your own points to yourself? I for one learn from this blog, but I certainly won’t be passively accepting it as truth.

          • “What would keep you from getting tired?”

            progress.

            isn’t that the internal directive of a pragmatic (not idealogue) progressive?

            the two party system doesn’t work anymore, except to serve the ends of corporate power and the wealthy elite. and anyone who supports the system no matter how good their argument, simply builds the foundation of that argument in quicksand.

            to support the american empire plutocracy as it exists now is regressive.

            i am pragmatic. if you aren’t part of the solution then you are either in the way or part of the problem. you can argue all you want about how correct our current policies are but your view is certainly in the minority these days.

            i am frustrated at the devil’s advocacy of fringe thinking and have no patience for it anymore. the people are tired of not being listened to by their government from tunisia to montana. and corporate power and the interests of the wealthy elite lie at the heart of this unrest. whether it is killing street vendors and innocent women and children or manufacturing higher profits by artificially driving up prices for fuel.

            to support our brothers and sisters and sons and daughters shedding blood in and around more than 700 bases around the world for corporate profit and the interests of the same wealthy elite who are looting us is insanity.

            • The Polish Wolf

              “to support the american empire plutocracy as it exists now is regressive.”

              Good thing I’ve never done that. When you decided to go off on me, I was clarifying the definition of fascism. More broadly, I have defended American imperialism as superior to absolute isolationism, and I have advocated for radical changes in American imperial procedures.

              You are a pragmatist, eh? In what way am I part of the problem, and you part of the solution? I don’t see your third party emerging anywhere. I call for supporting the lesser of two political evils while changing our culture to make them less relevant.

              Who would be part of this third party? Even if every Democrat abandoned the Democratic party to join your third party, it wouldn’t win elections. And if it wants to bring Republicans in, its going to have to field some very awkward positions on core domestic policy issues.

              What would this third party do? As long as Americans buy everything they possibly can, no matter how much money they make it will all end up back with whoever owns the means of production. That won’t change until we learn to save money, buy stocks to own a part of the means of production, and think about what we buy rather than just comparing prices.

              Until then, supporting Democrats pushes forward gay rights, reasonable drug policy, humane (if not coherent) immigration policy, in short, all those things that big corporations don’t particularly care about but that affect millions of lives every day. So if I support Democrats, its so that millions of gay men and women can get married, millions of immigrants can live decent lives, tens of thousands of non-violent drug users can stay out of jail. I’m not willing to abandon the only party that supports them in hopes that a third party is going to emerge after we’ve lived through however many more years of regressive policies before people ‘wake up’. That’s pragmatism.

              • the real people’s party will emerge at some point in time to challenge the corporatist/wealth plutocracy, pw. i would say that when the tea party realizes they were created by the power of the cartel, lied to by their repubican elected politicians and then cast aside as no longer necessary, it will dawn on many that supporting two parties who serve the interests of the privileged is no longer viable.

                thinking people can certainly no longer pretend that either party represents government of the people, by the people and for the people anymore. to say that democrats are slightly better than republicans just begs the question: are you for government of the people or just satisfied in taking whatever handout the plutocracy tosses you?

                freedom without love and mercy is just survival of the fittest. and while i would agree with you that democrats advertise and talk about mercy and love as good attributes to aspire to, our leaders tell us that we must continually wait to actually implement principles of love and mercy “when the political climate is right” i am becoming doubtful, especially when you beat on the drums of war.

              • while you call the real people’s party untenable, i say that the two party system is no longer tenable.

                for proof i offer that the two party system represents 5% of americans who are privileged and the international corporate power cartel, while the remaining 95% of americans are slowly waking up to the fact that they must rise up.

                the only thing that is missing to set it off is some inciting incident. i could easily envision a non-violent action by someone, perhaps a farmer about to lose his place or a small business owner driven out of business by government action to ignite a fire of anger accross this country that even the power of money can not dismiss anymore. it is only a matter of time…

                http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/15/world/africa/15tunis.html/?_r=1&src=mtwt&twt=mnytimes

                ….until 95% of americans will act to have their voices heard again in the chambers where freedom was born.

                government for the people is the only pragmatic solution to this entire mess

              • The Polish Wolf

                I should have known you would love that Tunisia story. What evidence is there that the majority of people wanted their leader gone? It may be so, but it may also just be the loudest people – ala Thailand.

                Lets not forget that Ben Ali’s administration saw the GDP double, life expectancy go up by nearly a decade, and literacy rise by nearly 20 points. Hopefully Tunisians can keep up this level of progress, and it does seem like it was Ben Ali’s time to go. But I would hesitate before celebrating every non-electoral overthrow of a government.

                If your party appears, you bet I’ll support it. But I fail to see how supporting Democrats in the meantime makes me part of the problem. Moreover, I’m not sure exactly what ‘government of the people’ would look like. What do the majority of Americans want that isn’t being delivered to them? I’ll take the third party idea more seriously if you give me specific government actions that you support, that the government hasn’t started to perform, and that polls show a clear majority of Americans favor and see as a high priority.

            • the real people’s party is not so much a party as the inevitable result of ignoring the will of the people.

              until that point of no return is reached and some incident sets off a universal rebellion against the plutocracy which has stolen our government away from us, we are all part of the problem.

              • The Polish Wolf

                As long as we are maintaining the highest standard of living ever realized by a nation our size while the rest of the world is by and large also seeing their standards of living improve rapidly, and as we slowly but surely liberalize our social views on homosexuality, drug policy, etc., could you not also say that most of us are part of the solution?

  3. Great post.

    Rhetoric like Beck’s “constitution hanging by a thread,” Nugent’s “suck on this” referring to the automatic weapon in his law-breaking grip, and Palin’s crosshair map are indicative of The Right’s commitment to the destruction of the Democratic Party.

    Loughner had a hundred rounds with him likely visualizing the white horse prophesy to which Glenn Beck refers in the LDS-based sermons to his minions that air in his parents’ household.

    It is with some synchronicity that ip detects a mounting romanticism for violence among those experiencing real or perceived political disenfranchisement.

  4. Without some kind of liberalism, countries descend into totalitarianism. Liberal laws aka good laws are nowhere present. There is no alternative advanced. So we descend into fascism. There is no left. And that is very bad for all of us.

    • The Polish Wolf

      “So we descend into fascism.” Again, just because Fascism sounds scary doesn’t mean that your enemies are engaging in it. Loughner for one showed himself to be highly anti-government, precisely the opposite of a Fascist (probably more like an objectivist or an anarchist). Even the political right has really abandoned the centralization of authority it pursued under Bush and, at least for now, is dedicated to making government useless.

      That’s not to say that we shouldn’t fear their agenda – indeed, in some ways being stripped of an effective government is as dangerous as having a too-powerful government, especially when taken to extremes. But lets keep the word ‘fascist’ for application to actual fascists or at least right wing authoritarian governments.

      • is there no gd end to the lecturing by you pw?
        i agree that sinking into nihilism is not useful but montanamaven makes a point when our leaders leave the field and abandon us for corporate handouts.

        all this knowledge you distribute about the whys and wherefores of everything political under the sun (i have had to listen to you bloviate about your tiny amount of foreign travels until i can take it no longer. i think you take a pinch of knowledge and make a pretty thin gruel of proof in your dissertations about foreign policy and i for one am sick of it. your lectures provide no answers to people who are left to defend reasonable goals that should have been achieved already while you cover the backs of our cowardly leaders who abandon the field.

        and then you have the nerve to come over here and lecture us on what is or isn’t worthy of being considered correct by you.

        • “i think you take a pinch of knowledge and make a pretty thin gruel of proof in your dissertations about foreign policy and i for one am sick of it.”

          I least I start with a pinch of knowledge (seasoned with more actual objective evidence and historical context than anyone here bothers to give), and not a handful of cliches, a dash of skepticism of data, an ounce of biased commentary and a pound of unfounded opinions. The difference is, my gruel is a little raw, whereas yours has been baked for some time in this echo chamber. (Ok, I took the cooking analogy a little far). Sure, people may challenge your opinions, but between you, Lizard, and Duganz, you keep your ‘logic’, such as it is, intact.

          That’s fine; a mature opinion is unlikely to change too much. The problem is that anyone who is tenacious enough to continue questioning that belief after you’ve presented what little evidence it takes to reassure YOU, you go attack personally.

          I’m sorry if I seem redundant. I believe I have discussed imperialism four times here. Once was me disagreeing with an isolationist poet. Another was Lizard arguing apparently that the repeal of DADT wasn’t a real accomplishment if the military keeps killing Muslims. The other two times were Lizard’s posts addressing me directly. If you’re looking for the reason it keeps coming up on this blog, I don’t think you can really blame me, unless you’re blaming me for not backing down.

          Pbear, I have never criticized you as a person, as a blogger, or as a holder of opinions, and yet you continue to attack me as all three. I frankly don’t think it takes much nerve for me to point out what fascism is and what it isn’t. If we actually believe words matter, we ought to be careful using them. If we aren’t, they lose their meaning – a fascist is an anarchist is a communist is a martian is the anti-Christ, and we’re left with things being bad, or as Orwell would put it, ungood. Imprecision in our use of language robs us of its specificity. I hope I didn’t offend Montanamaven, as I agree with the general point.

          Do you want answers? I’ll admit at the beginning I had few – I was here to discuss, not to proselytize. I wanted to know my song well before I started singing, as it Dylan would say. They are fairly well developed now, much better developed than when I started coming here. If you paid attention to my ‘lectures’, you might have gleaned my answers by now. Here they are in summary – maybe I’ll post them on intelligent discontent when I get a chance.

          1. Consume less. Convince others to consume less. If you do consume, consume used products. If you must consume new products, get them from small companies whose politics you agree with. If you can’t, at least buy American. If you must import, import from democratic countries with fair human rights.
          2. Free trade is here to stay. Back it up with free labor. Where labor must be restrained for security reasons or temporarily to compromise or to avoid undue societal disruption, there capital and products should be similarly constrained.
          3. America is an Empire and cannot be otherwise. That imperial power should be used to the benefit of America, not corporate powers. The greatest benefit to America comes from improving global opinion of us. This is best accomplished through protecting human rights as our primary foreign policy goal, when possible.
          4. If politically possible, effort needs to be taken to reverse the income inequality in the US. If that cannot happen, step 1 needs to be pursued all the more vigorously.

          • the main ingredient in your recipe which form the basis of your arguments is not recognized correctly and is therefore poisonous.

            the america which you obviously love and defend has for the past 30 years slowly turned from a democracy to a plutocracy dominated by corporate interests and the wealthy to serve the greedy.

            when you start with toad stools instead of mushrooms i don’t care how many condiments you throw into it. it is still not going to be touched by anyone sane.

            the past three years have pretty convincingly shown us all that it really doesn’t matter what the people want anymore. nothing we say or do changes the mind of the plutocracy. and yet you continue to defend it’s policies.

            it is the america of the people, by the people, for the people that i fight for. i don’t even recognize the america you defend.

            • The Polish Wolf

              Name one plutocratic policy I’ve defended. I have defended finishing the war in Afghanistan, that much is true. I have argued that because of what happened the last time we abandoned that country after using it to get what we want. As soon as I say I support an active American foreign policy cognizant of our status as an empire, I am immediately accused of supporting everything from Grenada to Iraq. I’m not defending America as it is but America as I wish it were. You don’t defend it because, like the America you support, it doesn’t currently exist.

              That’s not the same as what you Lizard see – I don’t support isolationism. I don’t support unconstitutional revolution because the plutocracy we find ourselves in is hardly an unprecedented crisis in American history – we can get through it within our constitution. Just because I support a different alternative than you do, an alternative that is less radical than yours, doesn’t mean I support the status quo.

              I have offered above methods to alleviate what I see as our greatest structural problems as a country – the concentration of wealth fueled by consumerism, uneven trade agreements, and government policies, and the decrease in our national prestige through the wasting of our national treasure and international esteem on fool’s errands while not helping the people who actually need help, thus failing to secure global goodwill. If you disagree with my opinions on Afghanistan or Yugoslavia or Rwanda or Darfur, go ahead. You may well be right. Point to me where you have posted your own positive vision for the improvement of American and I’ll read it. But to say I am defending a what America does currently is absurd, and merely makes it easier for you to attack my position.

              And seriously, my comment was only meant to clear up ‘fascism’ versus American right-wing militancy on a philosophical level. I didn’t mean it to set you off on a rant and I’m not sure why it did.

  5. Pogo Possum

    “The awesome stupidity of the calls to tamp down political speech in the wake of the Giffords shooting.”

    Good post on Jack Shafer’s observations, Craig. At least someone is using some common sense.

    • Is anyone really trying to ‘tamp down’ speech? Or is there no difference between asking people to honestly reflect on the unintended consequences of unnecessarily provocative (but apparently lucrative) conduct and suppressing speech?

      On reflection, you’re right. Asking a rightwinger, or especially a right wing entertainer, for honest self-reflection is basically asking for his/her head to explode.

      • Craig Moore

        Charley, instead of the pejorative gratuitous insults, how about dealing with the facts? Yes, there is an effort to introduce legislation to outlaw certain political speech. I trust you can find it.

        When it comes to reflection, why does the Left avoid the OBVIOUS influences in his life and latch onto the specious other than to score political points in the manner of Rahm Emmanuel’s advice to never let a crisis go to waste?

        Let’s start with what we do know. The shooter was 22 years old. Others observed that he was a drug and alcohol abuser. He scared the sh*t out of people so much that he was banned from his CC. Both he and his parents were loners. He liked to read. He was a registered independent and didn’t vote in 2010.

        Now, are young people who don’t vote more attuned to pop culture influences (violent video games, movies, hip hop lyrics, and literature) or political pundits and hyperbolic political speech?

        Deal with the matter at hand without going into orbit.

        • JC

          MAtter at hand: then why did he target a politician at a political event? It wasn’t a random act of violence.

          The matter at hand is as I read somewhere else:

          “‘Why worry about this political rhetoric stuff when you’d have to be crazy to believe it?, deadly’ Exactly!”

          Crazy people do crazy, dangerous things when they are incited by political leaders, pundits, or writers…

          I am not advocating legislation or anything to tamp down political speech. But I think we all need to demand of our political leaders that they lead (speak) by example. They need to be held accountable at the ballot box for the tone and content of their rhetoric.

          It’s as simple as that.

          • Craig Moore

            JC, the best explanation that I have read is here: http://electriccityweblog.com/?p=11885&cpage=1#comment-50975

            The shooter interacted with Rep. Gifford sometime in 2007. Apparently he ask her a question and she politely responded with an answer he did not care to here. He seemed obsessed after this inter-action. This was long before the Tea Party,Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck for that matter.

            Anyone who has ever been around somebody with a personality disorder of this nature knows these types tend to agitate easily. There wrath can be brutal and women, children and the weak are more often their victims because this type is very cowardly.

            Just look at the smile on his face on the mug shot. He was smiling in court. He’s having his moment of fame and is loving every minute of it. He could give a crap about politics.

            Anyone remember when the self acclaimed “Son of Sam” serial killer Burkowitz was arrested? He had the same smile.

            In the shooters mind this woman disrespected him and he did not forget. There’s a great book by Robert Hare called Without Conscience the Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Amongst Us. This guy will likely fit the bill.

            Other people with celebrity status have their own stalkers.

            • JC

              So what’s your point? That it’s ok that innocent people die, and politicians are assassinated?

              You think this thing should all just blow over, that it is ok that the U.S. leads the world in gun deaths?

              That politicians shouldn’t be accountable for their words?

              All I’ve been hearing from the right is a bunch of rationalizations supporting the status quo.

              I’m not down with that.

              • Craig Moore

                Nice cheap shot and insults, is that all you have to bring to the table?

                My point, separate the larger discussion about inhibiting free political speech from this tragedy since the most likely influences causing Laughner to go violent were not the BS being pushed by the Left.

                What were those influences? Go to the known facts:

                The shooter was 22 years old.

                Others observed that he was a drug and alcohol abuser.

                He scared the sh*t out of people so much that he was banned from his CC.

                Both he and his parents were loners.

                He liked to read.

                He was a registered independent and didn’t vote in 2010.

                As to being anti-government, one of his favorite books was the Communist Manifesto. Not exactly laudatory of non-socialist governments with the proletariat leading the revolution!

                Now CONNECT THE DOTS, are young people who don’t vote more attuned to pop culture influences (VIOLENT video games, movies, hip hop lyrics, and literature) or political pundits?

                Why does the Left avoid the OBVIOUS influences in Loughner’s life and latch onto the specious other than to score political points in the manner of Rahm Emmanuel’s advice to never let a crisis go to waste?

                Don’t use this tragedy to attack free speech from those you don’t like. That’s Jack Shafer’s argument.

              • JC

                I’m not attacking free speech.

                And all you are offering is rationalizations.

                So it’ll all blow over until the next time. IS that what you want?

        • CharleyCarp

          I’m not in orbit. I said rightwingers can’t/won’t engage in honest self-reflection. I don’t see a word you’ve written that contradicts me.

          • Craig Moore

            I can’t speak for others but being “honest” I point you to the most likely causes of this tragedy. Anything else is dishonest and tangential to the issue IMHO. Deal with the known reality.

            • it might be a little early in the investigation to declare what is honest and not honest.

              but setting this particular tragedy aside i find it to be very weak testimony that right wing blogs and right wing radio and television pundits who fan the flames are not contributing more than their fair share of violent incitement against politicians that they disagree with. there is no remedy for it and we should not ever contemplate any laws which infringe on free speech in this country.

              i am saying however that it is self-evident that fox, rush and others contribute to a language of hatred which alludes to violence toward anyone not christian, white and male that has been very successful in encroaching on a country’s psyche that once touted itself as a land of tolerance.

              i guess it would be asking too much of the far right to ask that their “entertainers” be voluntarily urged by their supporters to dial the rhetoric way back to verbs that do not suggest killing anyone.

              imnsho

        • “Yes, there is an effort to introduce legislation to outlaw certain political speech. I trust you can find it.”

          The existence of the effort doesn’t mean any of the authors of this blog support it. I encourage people not to buy from China. That doesn’t mean I think there should be a law against it. You can’t just plaster on a political ideology that exists on to a blog author and then accuse them of supporting it.

        • The Polish Wolf

          “Now, are young people who don’t vote more attuned to pop culture influences (violent video games, movies, hip hop lyrics, and literature) or political pundits and hyperbolic political speech?”

          I’m going to go with C: Inflammatory blogs, pamphlets, YouTube sites, and independently published books. All are independent of mainstream culture like Palin et al, but are also influenced by it and influence it.

      • Craig Moore

        BTW, as regarding self-reflection and heads exploding, the NYT has a Mea Culpa for jumping the shark: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/16/opinion/16pubed.html

  6. we club each other over the head with semantics while corporate aristocrats continue to buy our politicians, lay waste to our constitution by placing themselves above the people, and loot our treasury, all in the name of freedom.

    and the crippled two party system with dysfunctional puppets masquerading as leaders who lie for them supply the diversion that enables them to do it.

    that is what i call awesome stupidity.

  7. mr benson

    pb, we are just too fractured to trust. and with no trust, there can be no real decision making.

  8. My vision is unclouded pp. It is false equvalence to compare passionate politics to extolling violence as a method 0f eradicating opposing poliicians.

    I recall many such right wing threats against obama. My passion against bush included no allusions to lynching or visual aids with crosshairs.

  9. Turner

    Back to what started this stream, the logo that Fox used (on his website, maybe?) is despicable and possibly dangerous. How much of a stretch is it to imagine a mentally ill person taking a shot at Fox’s Democratic opponent? To such a person the logo might be interpreted as a directive.

    Attempts by right-wingers to deflect responsibility for the consequences of their violent fantasies are persuasive only to themselves.

    • Craig Moore

      Turner, I refer you again to Jack Shafer of Slate. He is no right winger: http://www.slate.com/id/2280616/

      • Turner

        Shafer is talking about extreme rhetoric and goes too far defending it, I think. But Fox’s logo isn’t just rhetoric. Visually, it plants the suggestion directly in the minds of some pretty unstable people that his opponents, and all Democrats, should be shot.

        It would take only one eager-to-please-Fox psychopath to bring an Tucson-type catastrophe home to Montana.

  10. Kevin K.

    Not a very tight group on that target.

    I’d be embarrassed to post such a thing.

  11. Craig Moore

    Actually, the picture reminds me more of stones on a curling rink. http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4149/5192584498_04364a8b47_z.jpg

  12. mr benson

    Why? The legislators are in less danger than the clerk at the Lucky Lil’s.

    • That may be true, Mr. B. But keep in mind that no one goes into a Lucky Lil’s with the express purpose and intent of ‘killen’ him a clerk’.

      • mr benson

        Over the last ten years, heck, make it twenty, how many convenience store clerks shot, and how many legislators at the capitol?

        My money’s on the convenience store clerks.

        • I agree. That still ignores motive. Try again.

          • mr benson

            Okay: http://www.globegazette.com/news/local/article_111e7734-150b-11e0-8ffd-001cc4c002e0.html

            think “crazy” really has “motive”? the two are mutually exclusive!

          • mr benson

            and “motive’s got nothin to do with it”.

            People shoot convenience store clerks at convenience stores. they don’t shoot legislators in state capitols.

            You think those clerks give a damn what the motive was?

            • they don’t shoot legislators in state capitols.

              WTF? What the hell happened this last weekend? Are you actually suggesting there was no motive? Are you seriously insinuating that Loughner’s actions don’t “really” happen?

              You think those clerks give a damn what the motive was?

              No. But it’s ridiculous that you suggest we shouldn’t. Jurisprudence. You might want to look it up.

              • mr benson

                No legislator got shot in a state capitol, Rob. Show me when that happened last weekend. One United States House of Representative got shot outside a shopping mall, and that’s the first such shooting since, well, Jonesville. I don’t see why we need “more security” at the state capitol because of that one incident in thirty plus years.

                Many, many more convenience store clerks have been shot dead since that time by criminals convicted of first degree murder, that is, intentional, planned, murder. It would make much more sense to call for more security for convenience store clerks.

                Them’s the facts.

              • JC

                And there’s probably a thousand convenience store clerks for every U.S.House Rep. And convenience store clerks have what hold-up artisitst want: booze, money and cigarettes. Things U.S. Reps aren’t standing behind a checkout selling (well, not literally, anyways).

                So your comparison really is weak.

                But as to your assertion about needing more security at state capitols, I tend to agree. The more distance and police state between the people and their electeds, the weaker the democracy.

  13. Pogo Possum

    “. . . the logo that Fox used (on his website, maybe?) is despicable and possibly dangerous.” Turner

    “Crazy people do crazy, dangerous things when they are incited by political leaders, pundits, or writers. . . ” JC

    Do you mean dangerous like the ‘Heartland Strategy’ the Democratic Leadership Committee proposed?

    http://www.dlc.org/ndol_ci.cfm?contentid=253055&kaid=127&subid=171

    “The heartland strategy begins by choosing likely targets for Democratic gains. Let’s go to the map:”

    Now prove to me where this Democratic map with its neatly drawn shooting targets or Palin’s map with it’s “crosshairs” incited anyone to pick up a gun and kill someone.

    • JC

      The kind of proof you are asking for happens in a court of law, in front of a jury. I’ll leave your demand for proof right there, lest i be lambasted for being judge, jury and hangman next.

  14. PW- your defense of progressive domestic efforts are laudable. I just find the defense of war mongering foreign policy somewhat Bush/cheneyesque. The vehemence of my opposition is probably less directed at you than your endorsement of their wrongheaded vision which wastes lives, fortunes and earns the US the enmity of people the world over.

    • The Polish Wolf

      I wouldn’t mind your opposition if you didn’t keep confusing it with ‘warmongering’. Yes, I support finishing the war in Afghanistan; I even may have been said to support finishing the war in Iraq, in that once we invaded I felt we had some obligation to the people who helped us there, rather than leaving them hanging.

      The majority of Afghans voted in their elections – that means most of them bought in some way into the system we instated. That never happened under the Taliban, and I think that a mission to make Afghanistan safe for that majority is a noble mission. If you trust any number that is available and has any basis behind it, life is better for Afghans now than it was before we entered. We may never eliminate the Taliban, but the government is now in a strong enough position that the Taliban can really never hope to regain control of the country – they will almost certainly have to come to an agreement with the current government.

      So, on the balance- in Afghanistan, what have we done? We have quintupled their GDP, added two years to the life expectancy, increased access to education, and set the country on a path to increase these gains without our assistance in the future. We vastly weakened an enemy of the United States and implemented a Democratic system without increasing war casualties in Afghanistan. Was it worth the hefty price tag? That’s a good question. THAT depends on where you stand on the initial invasion, on the value you place on an Afghan life vs. an American dollar, your beliefs about national sovereignty, etc.

      And I am not really in a position to argue that continued US troops in Afghanistan is the best way to support the government there – maybe they stir up more trouble than they cause. That’s a strategic decision, and I don’t have any real knowledge of counter-insurgency strategy. But to argue that the government there is not preferable to the Taliban, or to argue that who rules Afghanistan is none of our business (the same argument put forth when the US abandoned Afghanistan for the first time), is a foolish statement and I will continue to disagree with it.

      • lizard19

        you regurgitate the hubris of empire so seamlessly i think you should be getting paid for your tireless cheerleading efforts here. your persistence is impressive.

        so you support “finishing” the war if afghanistan. what does that mean? i thought the first cover story for starting this boondoggle was to vanquish al-qaeda, but by the military’s own admission there are less than 100 in country. now we’re there to drive out the Taliban. you think after a decade of war, this country will support invading Pakistan, our supposed ally and nuclear-armed nation? because that is what it will take to wipe out Taliban influence.

        then there’s your cheerleading for the government we’ve installed. well, according to corruption perceptions index Afghanistan is tied with Myanmar for the second most corrupt country in the world.

        but hey, their GDP is up, right? i guess that’s what happens when you unleash the poppy crop, so Afghanistan can reclaim its role providing the lion’s share of the world’s heroin. according to the report i linked to, opium now accounts for over half of GDP. i’m so glad soldiers are killing and dying so drug lords can profit from selling heroin.

        then there’s whether or not this entire war makes us more safe. it doesn’t. and why is that?

        well, our efforts make recruiting extremists easy. every unintended civilian death by drone strike or night time raid gone bad causes human devastation and creates more terrorists.

        do you have kids wolf? i do. imagine if your children were blown up in a drone strike, because insurgents were suspected of being in the area? if that happened to me, there’s no telling what i would do. if i had nothing left to live for because my children became “collateral damage” i would make someone pay. and the cycle continues.

        • JC

          I alway thought the prima facie for going into Afghanistan was to get bin Laden. Secondarily it was to tear down the Taliban so as to destroy the safe haven for al Qaeda.

          We know how the bin Laden adventure has gone. He is either long dead, or an insignificant recluse in a dank cave somewhere. In any case, his mug isn’t even resurrected anymore to justify the AfPak adventure. As to our attempts to “vanquish al-qaeda”, I always thought that as nebulous as the “war on terror.”

          In other words, as long as there are terrists, we can raise the specter of al Qaeda, and get away with doing whatever the powers-that-be want to do in that arena.

          At least until the people get restless…

          • lizard19

            yeah, getting the bad guy was the stated reason for invading and occupying a country known as the graveyard of empires.

            but what hardly ever gets looked at was how our government was in talks with the Taliban about giving up Osama several years before the 9-11 attacks.

            this piece provides some interesting context.

      • JC

        Define “finishing the war in Afghanistan.”

        And then tell us how we get from here to there.

        • The Polish Wolf

          “He is either long dead, or an insignificant recluse in a dank cave somewhere.”

          Then I would say that ‘adventure’ was a success, no? Now all that’s left is to give the Afghan people their due – leave them with a country better than the one they had before 2001.

          We finish the war in Afghanistan by continuing to support the government there until the Taliban agrees to stop killing civilians and take part in civil society (there are significant indications that that is a strong possibility). If that can be accomplished more quickly by taking a less active role, then so be it. I think neither you nor I have the faintest qualifications to make that call. Though it is an established precept of counter insurgency that the government cannot appear to be dependent on foreigners. Counter-insurgency theory has a mixed track record, but it may be right on this point. If our exit from Afghanistan is a prerequisite for a peace settlement, perfect.

  15. pw’s thinking re: foreign policy is the same deluded thinking that somehow managed to allow this country to be mired in two wars with no end….

    this type of hierarchical thinking dominates the bell jar known as washington dc wherein common sense is never granted entry but all manner of insane theory is allowed free access, as long as the theories require the purchase of billions of dollars worth of supplies and contractual services from the same corporations who have built the bell jar.




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