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When words are weapons

Timothy Egan, in today's New York Times:

If it turns out that a poisonous variant of free speech is partially to blame for the shootings in Tucson, we will most certainly be struck by the fact that Gabrielle Giffords was seen last week in Congress, reading part of the Constitution that allows an American citizen to say just about anything.

But as Rep. Giffords herself also pointed out, in March when she was a target because of her vote on health care reform, free speech does have a cost.

“We’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list,” said Giffords. “Crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. When people do that, they’ve got to realize there’s consequences.”

Here's the complete column:
(Tombstone politics)

Palin map update: 4:40 p.m. Monday, and the map is still up on Palin's Facebook page.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 11th, 2011 04:12 pm (UTC)
Actually, that "Hit List" had register marks, not bullseyes as the left press would like you to believe. I am not shocked that they are trying to make political hay out of this as they always do. Since they decided to tie this tragedy to conservatives and had to backtrack when they found out the guy was a liberal makes me wonder why they don't apologize. They paint all conservatives with the same brush and I wonder if the shooter was named Mohamed if they would paint all Muslims like they are painting the Tea Partiers? Anyways, for equal balance, here's a link of the violence provoking the left does. These images are very disturbing and I wonder why the mainstream media hasn't ever picked up on them. The left is what incites violence, not the right. http://michellemalkin.com/2011/01/10/the-progressive-climate-of-hate-an-illustrated-primer-2000-2010/
Of course Malkin is a creature of the right , but that doesn't mean she's wrong. Even on the Daily Kos, they're calling for violence, but then again, the Daily Kos scrubs their site whenever anything happens that can cause them blow-back. The liberals even planted a Facebook page with his name and tried to make him sound like a right wing nutcase. Problem is that they spelled his name wrong. The left tends to do stuff like this, kind of like they infiltrated Tea Party rallies and made racial comments and did racial signs all hoping for a photo op and to tar and feather the Tea Party, with the media gladly obliging. I just don't know why they need to politicize this tragedy, but then again as Rahm Emanuel said that you can't waste a crisis and I guess that's what the left is doing....even though this is a creature of their own devices.
Jan. 11th, 2011 04:36 pm (UTC)
Jeff, I looked at the map, and they sure looked like rifle scope crosshairs to me. And your statement "the left is what incites violence, not the right" is a broad generalization that falls well short of the standards of your usually reasoned discourse. Same for "the liberals" trying to launch a bogus Facebook page. "The liberals." Really? All of them?

My blog reactions to this situation, though, have been far from blameless. I took part in the partisanship myself by singling out Palin. I would have made a better point by saying the shootings should give us all reason to pause and consider what we're saying about whom, and how we're saying it.

Sadly and predictably, though, the finger-pointing has begun—from both sides. Am I blaming political rhetoric for the shootings? No. As Zappa once observed, he wrote a popular song about dental floss, but it didn't result in less business for dentists.

Politicizing the shooter by calling him liberal or conservative is trying to impose reason on an irrational act committed by a person with a tenuous grip on reality. Calling him a member of the right or the left, or a liberal or conservative, is like trying to label the politics of a hyena.

Jan. 11th, 2011 05:38 pm (UTC)
FYI, Here's what a register mark looks like.
Here's a view from a rifle scope.
Have a nice day.
Jan. 11th, 2011 05:47 pm (UTC)
Jeff, I worked in the newspaper business for more than 20 years, and for most of that time, I either laid out pages by hand or supervised that process. I know what a register mark looks like and understand its use in printing. I suspect I was aware of that distinction well before you were. Nonetheless, I saw it as a gun sight.

In the context of Palin's Facebook page—when the short paragraph above it used words like "aim" and "salvo"—I suspect her context was not one of four-color offset printing. If she was, her use of that symbol was disingenuous at best.

I shall have a nice day, and I hope you're having one too.
Jan. 11th, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC)
I guess you must have missed that chapter. I like the censorship that you in the left are so fond of. It speaks volumes about character...or lack of.
Jan. 11th, 2011 07:27 pm (UTC)
Jeff, you have no idea what my politics are. All I will say is that over the years, at all levels of elected government, I have probably voted in equal numbers for Democrats and Republicans. I could go on, but I don't need to explain or justify my politics to anyone.

What I find most disheartening about your latest note is that you've descended to ad hominem by questioning my character ... or lack thereof. My character comprises many, things, not just my political views, and you are incapable of judging it.

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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