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Words That Don’t Heal

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Posted on Jan 12, 2011

By Ruth Marcus

Sarah Palin feels victimized by critics who accuse her of helping create an angry political climate that led to the Tucson shootings, and she has a point. She chose a truly unfortunate way to make it, using the phrase blood libel.

Here’s the context, from Palin’s eight-minute video statement on the shooting: “Especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence that they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.”

Blood libel is a term with a specific and terrible history. It refers to the scurrilous accusation that Jews kidnapped and murdered Christian children to use their blood to prepare Passover matzo. Charges of blood libel have spurred massacres of Jews throughout the centuries; the myth was revived by Hitler and persists today from Russia to the Arab world.

Using the phrase blood libel is akin to making a Holocaust analogy: It is almost always a bad idea. Very little compares to the murder of millions of Jews simply because of their religion.

In fairness to Palin, the Tucson shooting/blood libel connection did not originate with her. Writing in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, conservative blogger and law professor Glenn Reynolds expressed outrage that “as the usual talking heads begin their ‘have you no decency?’ routine aimed at talk radio and Republican politicians, perhaps we should turn the question around. Where is the decency in blood libel?”

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Excuse me, but where is the decency in comparing political critics, however overwrought or misguided, to mass murderers? Palin’s usage, denouncing the “manufacture of a blood libel,” adds an extra level of vitriol with the suggestion that those who criticize her rhetoric are intentionally fomenting scurrilous charges.

As it happens, I think the attempts to link Palin’s sometimes militaristic and violent rhetoric to the Tucson shooting are unfounded. Jared Loughner seems to have been propelled by the crazy voices inside his own head, not the crazy voices in the conservative blogosphere or talk radio. Palin put Gabrielle Giffords in her electoral cross hairs, but Loughner had already fixated on the congresswoman.

At the same time, the shooting offers a useful moment for reflection about the potentially dangerous consequences of incendiary political rhetoric. Both political extremes are guilty, but, at least recently, the anger seems more pervasive and more white-hot on the right. “Don’t retreat, instead—reload.” “Second Amendment remedies.” “Take our country back.”

But self-reflection is not a Palin instinct; lashing out at critics and presenting herself as aggrieved victim is. She took time to consider and craft her remarks. She could have used the opportunity to try to elevate the discourse. Instead, she further coarsened it. At a time the country is looking for words that heal, Palin chose to do what she does best: attack and provoke. 

Ruth Marcus’ e-mail address is marcusr(at symbol)washpost.com.

© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group


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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, January 22, 2011 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

Maani, January 22 at 9:48 pm,

Here is Glenn Beck’s “Shoot Them In The Head” video clip:

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/01/glenn-beck-told-viewers-june-shoot-dems-in-head/?utm_source=Raw+Story+Daily+Update&utm_campaign=522f3707de-1_21_111_21_2011&utm_medium=email

I can’t see how anyone could misconstrue the meaning; this type of crap should not be allowed on main stream television.

Here is another video, a documentary, that you may find interesting, that is the cause behind the Bushes, the Koch Brothers,  and Rupert Murdoch’s FOX News Network’s Hitleresque Glenn Beck and his ilk:  http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/263.html

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By Maani, January 22, 2011 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment

So much for civility.  More Beck mischief leads to more threats against someone he…targeted.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/22/business/media/22beck.html?sq=beck&st=cse&scp=2&pagewanted=print

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By PatrickHenry, January 16, 2011 at 10:09 pm Link to this comment

If Sarah Palin had a dick she sure stepped on it with the blood libel comment.

Her nexus of Israeli-American Jewish supporters are bound to be outraged at her comment and support is sure to dry up regardless of what pin she wears.

http://conservativetimes.org/?p=4493

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By zzonerr, January 16, 2011 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

Be prepared for the predictable tactics of the plutocrats and corporatists:  creation of false equivalents, denial of outright facts, hoaxes and lies, and miscellaneous activities that seem meaningless.  Even if the candidate opposing the right doesn’t offer a full array of progressive proposals, it’s still preferable.  Extremists must be prevented from infiltrating the mainstream.  As proven in congressional districts 7 & 8 in Arizona, the rightists can be blocked by using the electoral process, even when great forces try to intervene.

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By zzonerr, January 16, 2011 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

The districts included on Palin’s infamous map were identified by the R’s as low-hanging fruit.  In the 7th district, Giffords was able to obtain a plurality (49/47,) and in the neighboring 8th district, Grijalva also won (49/46.)  This is a remarkable result for several reasons.  1) The Tucson area, which includes a higher-than-average proportion of D’s compared to the surrounding areas, and which would normally be considered a “community of interest,” was divided between two gerrymandered districts.  Instead of diluting the concentration of D’s, and turning the 7th & 8th over to the R’s, the result is two blue districts which together cover almost a quarter of the state’s land area. 2) A ton of outside money was poured into the area. 3) 2010 was the year of the R sweep but these two districts, ground zero in the immigration debate, bucked the tide.  Yes the Rs succeeded in the state-wide races, mainly due to overall weakness of the party at the state level.  But the statewide races featuring McCain & Brewer focused entirely on these two districts and the voters in them rejected the local McCain & Brewer- backed candidates.

In Arizona, the pretense of the tea partiers and the larger organization of R’s, that they are somehow different than, or exclusive of, “skinheads and neo-nazis,” has been dropped.  McCain’s campaign ran a mailer that depicted Grijalva with a cartoonish and enormous ‘bandido’ moustache (which he does not possess in real life.)  There was a debate about whether Giffords’ opponent had neo-nazi ties.  Grijalva received a package in the mail containing white powder and swastikas.  By their rhetoric, mainstream rightist political figures placed themselves in an alliance with these extremists, who also profess the use of arms in politics.  Unlike hapless mainstream Muslims, and hapless (I suppose) mainstream Christians, mainstream R’s do bear responsibility for events that ultimately occurred because they loudly and actively urge the execution of terrorist attacks.  If you don’t agree that this is an indicator of terrorism, you should try getting through the TSA checkpoint at Phoenix Sky Harbor, and casually drop a remark or two about using guns.  Besides the TSA, the nearby passengers, who overhear, may also have a problem with it.

The real question is how were the R candidates able to accumulate as many voters as they did.  A ton of money was poured into the 7th & 8th districts.  There seems to be no limit on the amount that plutocrats are willing spend to achieve their agenda.  We know what we’re up against.  They’re running out of tricks.  The plutocrats and corporate interests have nothing to propose but increasing hysteria, demanding complete obedience from the political class to their agenda.  Faith in the market, demanded by the high priests of capital, is imposed as the one true faith, as if it was written into the Constitution. 

We must be loud and clear in getting our message out.  When Palin talks about the blood libel, her words are going into a dog whistle.  For her intended audience, what comes out of the whistle is, “Look what the Jews in the media have done to me.”  For neo-nazis, this is incendiary.  Rather than encourage the extremists who are already quite stirred up, the Rs need to put them back under the rock where they found them.  We need to call out dog whistle language every time it happens.  Anyone can learn investigative techniques, i.e. listening skills, that help you identify language that should be questioned.

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By zzonerr, January 16, 2011 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment

All who reject the use of violence in our political process have common ground.  Inflammatory rhetoric that has been used in political campaigns advocating violence against an opponent is the topic at hand.  Sometimes I find common ground with my friends to the right who agree that America must not replace the ballot box with weapons.  I’m encouraged. 

Sometimes I find no common ground with rightists.  Instead they introduce examples of behavior on the
Left where they want equal condemnation.  This tactic stifles further conversation when the examples cited have little or nothing to do with the topic at hand, which is whether guns should be used when the ballot box doesn’t produce a satisfactory result.  First I wonder whether my friend on the right has the mental capacity to remain focused on the issue.  Usually he does and then I have to wonder whether he’s deliberately leading the conversation to different topics because he knows his position on this one is just plain wrong. 

In Arizona we don’t need media to tell us what’s going on.  In our common experience, we know “that guy” who was at the barbecue and blurted out, after a couple of beers, that the day was coming when people would come down our streets with guns and ask us whether we’re Christians and conservatives.  We worry about his kids who are home schooled so they’re minds won’t be polluted by what they teach in public school.  We take note of their behavior and make every attempt to include them in group activities.

In Arizona we don’t need the media to tell us what to think about the economy.  All around us we see the evidence of a failed system.  For decades, the real estate market provided supplemental income to the locals who invested repeatedly and heavily.  For many it was their only source of income.  This came about because of the unique growth pattern in the state which made properties seem like a sure bet.  In 2006 it blew up in their faces and people lost everything.  The economic displacement was exacerbated by the more general economic collapse of 2008.  There was an attempt by the right to funnel the resulting social unrest towards immigrants (and Mexicans in general) and away from the true culprits who caused these woes.  This was accomplished fairly easily because of the esoteric nature of the details on the economy and ingrained, but sometimes dormant, nationalist tendencies.  A majority was able to see through the rightist agenda because the immigrants had nothing to do with the economic collapse.

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By ThomasG, January 16, 2011 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

Spooky-43, January 16 at 11:48 am,

“Blood libel” was practiced to accuse, condemn, denounce and put the Left in the cross hairs by the Conservative Right-Wing Republican EXTREMISTS largely without contention from the time of Nixon through Goldwater, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II.  It is inappropriate for the Conservative Right and Sarah Palin to be complaining about “blood libel” after having engaged in “blood libel” against the Left from the time of Nixon through Goldwater, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II.

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By Spooky-43, January 16, 2011 at 6:48 am Link to this comment

A person who is threatened by someone saying “snipers wanted” is not required to make a video expressing their concern about their or their families safety.  And I am not required to produce any video.
 
I am merely showing that alleged hate speech is not uniquely right wing.  The left does more than their share, given they are in the minority.

Citing the acts of skinheads and neo-nazis in this discussion is meaningless.  Extremist groups of both ends of the spectrum are responsible for much death and destruction and there is no accounting for the making of a radical extremist who murders or destroys in the name of ideology.

Are the mainstream Muslims responsible for the acts of the extreme Muslim terrorists? No. Are the mainstream Christians responsible for the Westboro Baptist Church?  No. 

The subject here is, can, more or less, mainstream dialogue, such as targeting a congressional district and placing a target on it, be responsible for the acts of a lunatic? 

In my world, the poles of the political spectrum are freedom on one side and slavery on the other.  I was endowed by my creator, not by the social structure.

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By zzonerr, January 16, 2011 at 2:02 am Link to this comment

Let’s Compare Lists:

—July 2008: A gunman named Jim David Adkisson, agitated at how “liberals” are “destroying America,” walks into a Unitarian Church and opens fire, killing two churchgoers and wounding four others.

—October 2008: Two neo-Nazis are arrested in Tennessee in a plot to murder dozens of African-Americans, culminating in the assassination of President Obama.

—December 2008: A pair of “Patriot” movement radicals—the father-son team of Bruce and Joshua Turnidge, who wanted “to attack the political infrastructure”—threaten a bank in Woodburn, Oregon, with a bomb in the hopes of extorting money that would end their financial difficulties, for which they blamed the government. Instead, the bomb goes off and kills two police officers. The men eventually are convicted and sentenced to death for the crime.

—December 2008: In Belfast, Maine, police discover the makings of a nuclear “dirty bomb” in the basement of a white supremacist shot dead by his wife. The man, who was independently wealthy, reportedly was agitated about the election of President Obama and was crafting a plan to set off the bomb.

—January 2009: A white supremacist named Keith Luke embarks on a killing rampage in Brockton, Mass., raping and wounding a black woman and killing her sister, then killing a homeless man before being captured by police as he is en route to a Jewish community center.

—February 2009: A Marine named Kody Brittingham is arrested and charged with plotting to assassinate President Obama. Brittingham also collected white-supremacist material.

—April 2009: A white supremacist named Richard Poplawski opens fire on three Pittsburgh police officers who come to his house on a domestic-violence call and kills all three, because he believed President Obama intended to take away the guns of white citizens like himself. Poplawski is currently awaiting trial.

—April 2009: Another gunman in Okaloosa County, Florida, similarly fearful of Obama’s purported gun-grabbing plans, kills two deputies when they come to arrest him in a domestic-violence matter, then is killed himself in a shootout with police.

—May 2009: A “sovereign citizen” named Scott Roeder walks into a church in Wichita, Kansas, and assassinates abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.

—June 2009: A Holocaust denier and right-wing tax protester named James Von Brunn opens fire at the Holocaust Museum, killing a security guard.

—February 2010: A software engineer furious with the Internal Revenue Service launched a suicide attack on the agency by crashing his small plane into an office building containing nearly 200 IRS employees, setting off a raging fire, killing two.  The suicide note stated, “Violence is not only the answer, it is the only answer…”

And lastly there’s Ashley Todd.  Foreshadowing Sarah Palin she inflicted harm on herself and then claimed to be the victim.  She notoriously carved a backward letter B on her cheek and claimed that it had been done by a pro-Obama attacker who assaulted her because she had a McCain bumper sticker on her car.

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By zzonerr, January 16, 2011 at 1:57 am Link to this comment

Part 1:
Hello Sparky, If you really wanted to be able to say that the shoe was on the other foot with that list, you’d have to come up with actual video of the intended target expressing concern about the risk to their safety from the threats that were made. 
There can never be equivalency on this topic because progressives naturally have the majority.  They don’t need violence to prevail.  But the right wing is made up of a tiny group of plutocrats, already stressed from having to administer a dying economic system.  They do have tremendous wealth, but their agenda so clearly favors the few at the expense of the many, that they have to resort to propaganda and disinformation to reach a plurality. They’ve added violence to their tactics as well and have already implemented it on numerous occasions.

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By Spooky-43, January 16, 2011 at 1:56 am Link to this comment

HATE SPEECH BY PROMINENT LEFTISTS:  (I have hundreds more, if you want them)

Progressive leftists of the Daily Kos are guilty for the assasination attempt on Congresswoman Giffords. 

In June of 2008, the Daily Kos identified “local congress critters” who were “one of the bad apples”.  The Kos issued a “target list”  of “bad apples” who “sold out” and were to be “targeted” for primaries in 2010. 

Blue Dogs were printed in bold type for added emphasis. 

Giffords, Gabrielle (AZ-08) was on the list of over 50 “bad apples” “targeted” for challenges by the left. 

The Kos stated, “Not all of these people will get or even deserve primaries, but this vote certainly puts a bulls eye on their district”.
 
Here is the link:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/6/25/1204/74882/511/541568

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By Spooky-43, January 16, 2011 at 12:07 am Link to this comment

JUST A FEW EXAMPLES OF HATE SPEECH BY PROMINENT LEFTISTS:  (I have hundreds more, if you want them)

•National Public Radio legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg: 

If there is retributive justice Sen. Jesse Helms will get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it.

•USA Today syndicated columnist Julianne Malveaux, on Clarence Thomas:

I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease.

•Washington Post syndicated columnist Richard Cohen:

For hypocrisy, for sheer gall, Newt Gingrich should be hanged.

•Comedian and talk show host Craig Kilborn [Caption under footage of George W. Bush]:

Snipers Wanted

•Members of the St. Petersburg Democratic Club:

And then there’s Rumsfeld who said of Iraq “We have our good days and our bad days.” We should put this S.O.B. up against a wall and say “This is one of our bad days” and pull the trigger.

•Actor Alec Baldwin on Conan O’Brien:

If we were in other countries, we would all right now, all of us together, all of us together would go down to Washington and we would stone Henry Hyde to death! We would stone him to death! [crowd cheers] Wait! Shut up! Shut up! No shut up! I’m not finished. We would stone Henry Hyde to death and we would go to their homes and we’d kill their wives and their children. We would kill their families.

•Director Spike Lee on Charlton Heston:

Shoot him with a .44 caliber Bulldog.

•James Carville on Ken Starr:

He’s one more mistake away from not having any kneecaps.

•Columnist, author, media pundit, journalist, and newspaper editor Dan Savage:

My plan? Get close enough to Bauer to give him the flu, which, if I am successful, will lay him flat just before the New Hampshire primary. I’ll go to Bauer’s campaign office and cough on everything. Phones and pens. Staplers and staffers. I even hatch a plan to infect the candidate himself; I’ll keep a pen in my mouth until Bauer drops by his offices to rally the troops. And when he does, I’ll approach him and ask for his autograph, handing him the pen from my flu-virus-incubating mouth.

That column also appeared on Salon.com. It was a little more than hate “speech” — the guy actually did try to give Gary Bauer the flu.

•Democrat Senator Robert Byrd:

There are white niggers. I’ve seen a lot of white niggers in my time. I’m going to use that word.

•Democrat presidential candidate Jesse Jackson on Jews:

Hymies

and on New York City:

Hymietown


?Louis Farrakhan on Pope John Paul II:

no good cracker

?Farrakhan on white people:

White people are potential humans – they haven’t evolved yet.

Murder and lying comes easy for white people.

British pundit Charlie Brooker, during the presidency of George W. Bush:

John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. — where are you now that we need you?

•Democrat Representative Pete Stark, speaking to a Republican:

You think you are big enough to make me, you little wimp? Come on. Come over here and make me, I dare you. You little fruitcake.

•Alabama Democratic congressional incumbent Earl Hilliard, on challenger, Artur Davis:

Davis and the Jews, No Good for the Black Belt

•Markos Moulitsas Zuniga crowed over the death of American contractors in Iraq:

I feel nothing over the death of merceneries [sic]. They aren’t in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them.

•Duncan “Atrios” Black discussing ABC’s The Note:

A bunch of mindless jerks who will be first up against the wall when the revolution comes.

•Huffington Post blogger Tony Hendra wished for Dick Cheney to die:

O Lord, give Dick Cheney’s Heart, Our Sacred Secret Weapon, the strength to try one more time! For greater love hath no heart than that it lay down its life to rid the planet of its Number One Human Tumor.

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By Maani, January 15, 2011 at 10:12 pm Link to this comment

Spooky-43:

Were those comment made by “known” people, i.e., politicians, pundits and talk-show hosts?  Or were they simply posted on chatrooms and forums like this one?  Please provide attributions for those comments.

Thanks.

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By MarthaA, January 15, 2011 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

Spooky-43, January 15 at 9:18 am,

The small amount of violent talk coming from the American Populace on YouTube is nothing compared to the constant barrage of hateful and inciteful, violent talk coming from Corporate Media EXTREMIST pundits and Christian EXTREMISTS on television and radio against unions, liberals, socialists and race 24/7 for the past 40 years, and Palin has acquired leadership of the EXTREMIST’S inciteful and violent talk with her “blood libel” accusation, as if “blood libel” isn’t what she has done and is doing with the help of her “blood libel” corporate benefactors.

When the United States allows the Right-Wing to spew a constant barrage of hateful, violent and inciteful talk on the public airwaves, it can not be a surprise when violence happens; it is the purpose and expectation of violent, inciteful propaganda and sophistry to the public.

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By MarthaA, January 15, 2011 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

Spooky-43, January 15 at 9:18 am,

The small amount of violent talk coming from the American Populace is nothing compared to the constant barrage of hateful and inciteful, violent talk coming from Corporate Media EXTREMIST pundits and Christian EXTREMISTS on television and radio against unions, liberals, socialists and race 24/7 for the past 40 years, and Palin has acquired leadership of the EXTREMIST’S inciteful and violent talk with her “blood libel” accusation, as if “blood libel” isn’t what she has done and is doing with the help of her “blood libel” corporate benefactors.

When the United States allows the Right-Wing to spew a constant barrage of hateful, violent and inciteful talk on their airways, it can not be a surprise when violence happens; it is the purpose and expectation of violent, inciteful propaganda and sophistry.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, January 15, 2011 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

Maani, January 15 at 1:44 am,

Correction to my MarthaA, January 15 at 2:51 am post, 2nd para:  216 Million people in the American Populace that need to unify their class and culture, instead of 219 Million.

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By zzonerr, January 15, 2011 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

To Spooky-43:
Personally I wouldn’t advocate violence against Sarah Palin. I believe that would make me a hypocrite. But are you serious when you ask, “What could she possibly have done to generate that much hatred?”  By her words, she places herself in an alliance with extremists who also advocate the use of violence in politics. She and others (Angle, Bachman, Beck) are giving a wink and a nod to dangerous extremists who seek a bloodbath in America till they’ve eliminated all those who don’t meet with their approval. It was George Bush who said “either you’re with us or against us” when he spoke about terrorism.  With Sarah, you just can’t be sure who, exactly, she’s with because she’s constantly using the dog whistle.

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By zzonerr, January 15, 2011 at 6:27 am Link to this comment

” . . . a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence that they purport to condemn.”
So, according to Sarah, the words of journalists and pundits (or pundints, as she says) can incite violence, but her own words? Nahhh.  Does anyone see an inconsistency there?  Like most of the right’s arguments, this one makes no sense, and is pretty easy to see through.
Giffords’ opponent, the Palin-backed Jesse Kelly, was endorsed by ALIPAC during the 2010 campaign. That sparked a debate about whether they are neo-Nazi. Check out the videos that are posted on their youtube channel and decide for yourself what they’re about. 
When Sarah used the ” blood libel” term, the only thing she left out was the wink.

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By Spooky-43, January 15, 2011 at 4:18 am Link to this comment

By Maani, January 13 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

“And spewing hatred, while certainly questionable if not condemnable, is not the same as using both coded and non-coded language and symbols suggesting killing.  Anti-Bush comments on the left were certainly condemnable and harsh, but only in a very rare instance were they “inciteful” of violence.  The same is true with the left’s invective against Palin: it was certainly harsh, but I can find no suggestion in any comment that she be “taken out” or “eliminated.”

Examples of comments to the contrary from the montage posted recently on YouTube:

“Why couldn’t Sarah Palin get shot instead?”

“I hope Sarah Palin dies an ugly death and takes her moronic hate with her.”

“Can somebody please shoot Sarah Palin?”

“I hope Sarah Palin gets cancer and dies in the next two years.”

“Sarah Palin should be shot for her encouragement of fanaticism against Democrats.”

“Join us in praying to God that Sarah Palin contracts cancer and dies.”

“Sarah Palin is the single most dangerous threat to the future of the human race. Somebody bloody shoot her.”

These comments are typical of what is posted daily against Sarah Palin.  If hate speech kills, Palin will be dead in a couple of weeks at the most. 

What is the purpose of that much hatred against a former governor, woman, wife and mother?
What could she possibly have done to generate that much hatred?  I am not a supporter, but I personally don’t see a reason for the over reaction by the left.

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By MarthaA, January 14, 2011 at 9:51 pm Link to this comment

Maani, January 15 at 1:44 am,

Of course, unions mean the working people of the American Populace get more of the benefit from their labor and corporations bottom line is to NOT allow working people the benefit of their labor, but only pay working people an amount necessary to barely keep them alive, sleeping in card board boxes and working for slave labor because they are insignificant to the profit of the corporation—if they break, throw them away and get another.

The American Populace must reject this philosophy, reject the divided middle class of individuals and unify as a 219 Million people strong powerful class and culture against being used and abused by monied corporate power of the Rupert Murdoch s, Koch Brothers and the like against liberals.

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By Maani, January 14, 2011 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA:

Excellent posts.  Let me add the following:

From Lawrence Britt’s “14 Characteristics of Fascism”:

#3 - Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause

#6 - Controlled Mass Media

#9 - Corporate Power is Protected

#10 - Labor Power is Suppressed

Re #10, only fairly recently (and, of course, almost entirely as the result of right-wing lies about the economy), unions have come under fire not only from business (which is expected), but also from the public:


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/04/business/04labor.html?sq=unions&st=cse&scp=3&pagewanted=print

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/02/business/02showdown.html?sq=unions&st=cse&scp=5&pagewanted=print

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/08/nyregion/08save.html?sq=unions&st=cse&scp=1&pagewanted=print

Peace.

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By HaightAshton, January 14, 2011 at 8:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When are we going to stop pretending that those in power (politicians, etc) know exactly what they are doing and who to whom it is being done. There are no accidents at that level, even by dangerous buffoons like Sarah “don’t retreat, reload” Palin. The real smoke screen is the ever mounting double-speak used by people like Bush and Palin—who, yes, of course, are deeply stupid in a book smart way, but are wily in a reality TV sort of way. There are those well-educated soulless drones in backrooms who pull all the strings for these dummies but who must remain forever behind the curtain because Americans hate the so-called elite. If those cross-hairs, ahem, I mean surveyors marks, had been on a Republican candidate, we would be having and entirely different conversation. This country is in deep shit.

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By MarthaA, January 14, 2011 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

dailyplanet, January 14 at 10:46 pm,

The Wall Street Journal IS Rupert Murdoch along with his FOX News Propaganda Network; certainly he will try to scapegoat some smaller individual, but he and the Koch Brothers are the money bank rolling the Hitleresque “confidence without merit” Tea Party Palin and the Republican Right-Wing Conservative EXTREME.

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By MarthaA, January 14, 2011 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

Maani, January 13 at 6:30 pm,

Maani said:  “There are plenty of words or phrases that Palin could have used to describe the current situation or her current personal predicament.  To use the ONLY one that has EXTREMELY historically sensitive connotations was either ignorant in the extreme, or blatantly divisive and inflammatory.” —Maani, January 13 at 6:30 pm Truthdig Forum, ‘Words That Don’t Heal’

MarthaA’s Answer: I agree with you.  Don’t forget that Rupert Murdoch pays Sarah Palin’s salary to do what she does, instead of the Lord, Rupert Murdoch’s money is the wind behind Sarah Palin, along with the Koch Brothers. No real Christian would come up with “blood libel” as a combination of words in defense of oneself in any way, shape, form, or fashion, because Jesus was a Jewish Rabbi.

I agree that Palin is ignorant, but I do not agree that the one(s) who pays her salary is ignorant.  The EXTREME, blatantly divisive and inflammatory “blood libel” words were told to Palin and she, being ignorant, just spilled them out in all their divisiviness, which gives intelligent people a clue as to what this Hitleresque Tea Party is planning for our nation, which is to destroy the Jewish, the liberals, unions, community, socialists, socialism, races and mixed races that aren’t white, deformed and homosexual individuals; this is what Hitler did, and it is the Rupert Murdoch and Koch Brothers plan as well.

There needs to be a thorough government investigation into why Rupert Murdoch, Palin’s employer, chose the EXTREME “blood libel” blatantly divisive and inflammatory words to be used, because that let the “cat out of the bag” so to speak, worse than when one of the foolish Republicans said their plan of running government is “confidence without merit”, and because of the connotation of the usage of these words, a government investigation is in order to investigate why these words were used, because both Jared Loughner and Gabriel Giffords are Jewish and “blood libel” can only mean a Hitler type regime is being pushed by these monied individuals.

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By dailyplanet, January 14, 2011 at 5:46 pm Link to this comment

This might be extraneous to the central issue, here, the ages-old “blood libel”
condemnations of Jews…but…what does it say about the intellect of the man
who inserted it in his article? He can condemn others for having no “decency!”

The Wall Street Journal gave Glenn Reynolds a forum to demonstrate his
profoundly deficient intellect. THIS man is a law professor??? No one could
make a claim that the bar exam should gauge the prospective fitness of an
individual’s moral compass, but shouldn’t someone in the legal profession have
some rudimentary concept of the theory if not the practice of justice? This man
has no historical perspective, which allows him to throw out inflammatory catch
phrases and apply them in inappropriate contexts. What a moron!

Obviously, Reynolds felt a gut identification with a like-minded dummy: Sarah
Palin.

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By TequilaKid, January 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sarah Palin, affectionately known as the Blessed
Vermin, is, all appearances to the contrary, a very
complex individual. She looks like a chimpanzee, but
she has the brain of a warthog.

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By Devon J. Noll, MPA, January 14, 2011 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I believe that Jared Loughner is a very sick young man, perhaps the diagnosis will run along the lines of schizophrenia.  However, what Sarah Palin and others on the right, and apparently Ms. Marcus, fail to grasp is that underlying his illness, Mr. Loughner also had been fed a fairly steady dose of far right-wing rhetoric based on his readings, his Internet contacts, and his comments to others.  In his sick mind, which was, yes, already fixated on Rep. Giffords, this gave justification to his actions and his belief that he was dying for a cause if the police had killed him.  They created the environment in which such an action was, in Loughner’s mind, acceptable.  The response by several Tea Party leaders, right wing groups, and pundits show that he was right.

Ms. Marcus is quite right in the comments about the phrase “blood libel” in this context.  But this is not just a phrase with a political and religious connotation.  It is one that has been used by the modern day American Nazis, the White Supremacy movement, and the KKK in this country, as well as religious fanatics and people like Hitler throughout history.  To invoke it in this kind of situation is inappropriate, not because it is innocuous, but because it is not innocuous to these groups.  For them it is a call to act to protect what they feel is their right to kill those with whom they disagree.  It is not a way of pointing fingers, it is gasoline on an otherwise isolated fire. 

I have been the target of hate mail from Neo-Nazis in Arizona, and I can tell you that this phrase would give them the justification to come for me with the intent of killing me as a race traitor.  The words may seem inappropriate to some people, but trust me, to these kinds of people, they are anything but innocent.  They continue to target those with whom the speaker does not agree, and who are seen as enemies of these hate groups.  It puts a target on their backs, no matter how innocent the claim of Sarah Palin and the right would have us believe these words to be.

Ms. Marcus, I am surprised as someone whom they would come for, that you do not see the danger in such words in such an environment.  But, I guess, sadly you do not.

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By MarthaA, January 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment

In all honesty, did anyone on this blog think about “blood libel” before it was waltzed out in Alaska by Rupert Murdoch’s propagandist on YouTube? 

This is my point; only people who are in the process of doing something they deem to be “blood libel” would even think about such words, as one can only think about what is in one’s own mind.

I had never heard of “libel” and the two words “blood” and “libel” were not noted together in my vocabulary.  I doubt if these words were noted together in few others vocabularies, with the exception of Rupert Murdoch and his paid propagandist, as he tries to take over the world and destroy anything liberal or socialist that will benefit the populace; of course socialism is alright to use for corporatist and business benefit against the populace, just not for any benefit of the populace.

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By Maani, January 14, 2011 at 11:43 am Link to this comment

It is, of course, a moot (or at least speculative) point.  But I wonder how Sarah Palin would have reacted had SHE been the one targeted in crosshairs, by a Democratic politician…I would bet she would have been screaming about how insensitive and dangerous it was, and castigating that politician no end.

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By Maani, January 14, 2011 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

tropicgirl:

“So, your message is: No one but the Jews(?) can mention a horrendous event that may have happened to them? And if anyone else mentions it, albeit mentioning it correctly, and in the proper context, with the proper analogy intact, they are racist, anti-whatevers?...You are just mad that Sarah Palin fits in the role of the Jews in this unfortunate situation, with the accusers in the role of ‘you know who.’

All I can say is, you obviously like the taste of shoe leather, since you simply continue to put your foot deeper and deeper down your throat.

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By tedmurphy41, January 14, 2011 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

Sarah Palin thrives on publicity, both good and bad.
What would destroy her is no publicity.
The more that people react to her rants and inane discourses, the more she will continue to get what she craves; stop acknowledging her and start the process of completely ignoring her and she will certainly disappear from the political arena, just as rapidly as she appeared.
She really has nothing to say and no sound policies upon which to base her views apart from promoting shock and awe; now where have I heard that expression before?

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, January 14, 2011 at 12:08 am Link to this comment

Blood libel is what the Republican Right Wing EXTREMISTS are doing, or that word would never have come to mind.

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By tropicgirl, January 13, 2011 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

So, your message is: No one but the Jews(?) can mention a horrendous event that may have happened to them? And if anyone else mentions it, albeit mentioning it correctly, and in the proper context, with the proper analogy intact, they are racist, anti-whatevers?

Are you serious? Snap out of it for gods sake.

You are just mad that Sarah Palin fits in the role of the Jews in this unfortunate situation, with the accusers in the role of “you know who”.

Dolt. Do we have to discuss the proper use of analogy and satire again? Which is being crucified by the fake press. (Its ok, I’m Catholic, I can use the word).

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By Maani, January 13, 2011 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

tropicgirl:

“Wow, Ruth, I never thought I would see the day when Sarah Palin correctly uses an analogy, that you distort and fail to understand, like a schoolgirl learning from her teacher.  Blood libel was a terrible thing. People were accused of things that they could not possibly defend themselves against, merely by the horrendous nature of the accusation. See now? Do you get it?”

Methinks it is YOU who doesn’t get it.  There are plenty of words or phrases that Palin could have used to describe the current situation or her current personal predicament.  To use the ONLY one that has EXTREMELY historically sensitive connotations was either ignorant in the extreme, or blatantly divisive and inflammatory.

As well, why do you say, “People were accused of this…?”  Can’t you just say “Jews?”  Because it was ONLY Jews who were “accused of” the “things” associated with blood libel.

Peace.

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By rollzone, January 13, 2011 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

hello. i cringed after many words from last night
which do not heal. one was “bequeath”, and my heart
strained for those survivors still fighting to
recover. the words of the moment describe an
atmosphere, but they are not the cause. the swamp in
Congress being slowly drained by the Tea Party is
constantly assaulted by holders’-on, awaiting
business as usual, for special interest pampering and
lobbyist courtships- oblivious of the public welfare:
catering to corporate interests and Wall Street. the
devaluing of the dollar as the global reserve, and
the defeat of the real ‘adult’ American Dream of home
ownership, through an atmosphere manufactured by
politicians to promote an axis of fear- creates an
environment of not feeling safe about the future. to
honestly describe this predicament does not cultivate
reality, but only reflects the obvious. words of
deceit, denial, and bold lies of distraction
emanating from any source, are the words of violence
and hurt. pointing out what should be obvious could
be painful to acknowledge the transgressions, but it
is in a spirit of chastisement at times needing
corrective solutions. Tea Party- keep draining the
swamp. use the words of truth.

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By tropicgirl, January 13, 2011 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

Wow, Ruth, I never thought I would see the day when Sarah Palin correctly uses an analogy, that you distort and fail to understand, like a schoolgirl learning from her teacher.

Blood libel was a terrible thing. People were accused of things that they could not possibly defend themselves against, merely by the horrendous nature of the accusation.

See now? Do you get it? Let me spell it our even further: When you falsely accuse people of being responsible for the murder and attempted murder of people and children, who had nothing to do with it, it makes it almost impossible for people to defend themselves, based upon the nature of the accusations? Its unfair in the worst way, intentionally so. Sarah Palin was accused point blank, immediately. She did not initiate anything. That’s just what happened.

I don’t know about you, but I see this blood libel stuff in politics more and more, lately it seems, mostly from your side.

But, the end result may be unintended by the manipulators, and that would be the growing unity of those real conservatives and real liberals, to protect our freedom of speech.

Nice going, keep it up.

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By AnnaCatherine, January 13, 2011 at 11:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’d love to turn on my computer some morning (soon) and not see Sarah Palin’s face. She doesn’t do anything newsworthy. Yet, everyday without fail, there she is. In everybody’s face. I can’t figure out why.

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By Maani, January 13, 2011 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

Aaron:

“Once again, people like the author seem to pretend they weren’t spewing hatred at Bush for 8 years. Stop feeding the hatred by pretending to condemn it, it’s hypocrisy!”

Not so.  And spewing hatred, while certainly questionable if not condemnable, is not the same as using both coded and non-coded language and symbols suggesting killing.  Anti-Bush comments on the left were certainly condemnable and harsh, but only in a very rare instance were they “inciteful” of violence.  The same is true with the left’s invective against Palin: it was certainly harsh, but I can find no suggestion in any comment that she be “taken out” or “eliminated.”  As well, as noted, any comments re Bush, Palin et al that WERE as bad as those on the right were few and far between.

On the other hand, the right - Palin, Beck, Limbaugh et al - not only spew their demonizing, incendiary rhetoric virtually 24/7/365, but they very often (and deliberately) use the language of the gun culture: “Don’t retreat: reload!,” “2nd Amendment remedies,” sniper-soght crosshairs, etc.

There is no hypocrisy here.  It is a difference of both quantity and context.

Blackspeare:

“The Jews believe they own the word ‘Holocaust.’  Now, they own the words ‘Blood Libel?’  Gee whiz gimme a break.”

As I noted in another thread, you are obviously ignorant of history.  If anything, the Jews “own” the phrase “blood libel” even MORE than the word “holocaust.”  Yes, when initial capped, “Holocaust” refers to a specific period of time.  But we use the word “holocaust” to describe many historical incidents.  “Blood libel” on the other hand has always and only referred to one thing, which has to do with a particularly insidious accusation against the Jews.

Peace.

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godistwaddle's avatar

By godistwaddle, January 13, 2011 at 7:33 am Link to this comment

Isn’t using “blood libel” anywhere near the shooting of
Jewish congresswoman just plain bizarre?  I don’t seem
to be able to comprehend the complexities.  Is Palin
claiming to be somehow Jewish? Or like the Jews in
their terrible trials?  or what?

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By skimohawk, January 13, 2011 at 4:14 am Link to this comment

Another molehill aspiring to be a mountain.

She had no clue what “blood libel” meant.
This whole deal with “offending the Jewish community” is just more smokescreen and obfuscation and in the end will mean nothing.

The problem is that Sarah Palin suffers from terminal diarrhea of the mouth.

Anyone who believes she is qualified to be President needs their head examined.

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By Robespierre115, January 13, 2011 at 12:31 am Link to this comment

This is why politics in America are a joke and “liberals” are such a laughing stock in our current culture. Instead of having a serious discussion “liberal” commentators obsess over what the term “blood libel” means, as if Palin knows. Meanwhile a hack like Marcus has nothing to say about the president’s own insane murder spree in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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By James Harbour, January 12, 2011 at 11:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Blood Libel has not been a technique solely used against Jews, but that is one of the most obvious moments in history.  Much of the rumors that constituted the “evidence” and accusations for witch trials constitute the same kinds of charges that were thrown against Jews.

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By Marc Schlee, January 12, 2011 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When retardation is outlawed only outlaws will be retarded.

FREE AMERICA

REVOLUTIONARY (D*I*R*E*C*T) DEMOCRACY

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By Blackspeare, January 12, 2011 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

The Jews believe they own the word, “Holocaust”.  Now, they own the words, “Blood Libel”?  Gee whiz gimme a break.

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By Aaron Ortiz, January 12, 2011 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

I’d like to balance my last comment by saying I’m not happy about Palin’s words
nor do I defend them. It’s the hypocrisy on both sides that angers me.

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By Aaron Ortiz, January 12, 2011 at 8:52 pm Link to this comment

Once again, people like the author seem to pretend they weren’t spewing hatred at
Bush for 8 years.

Stop feeding the hatred by pretending to condemn it, it’s hypocrisy!

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By NadePaulKuciGravMcKi, January 12, 2011 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

1.7% of the US population
American Holocaust
controlled media
Blood Libel

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By gerard, January 12, 2011 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment

Palin is an ambitious woman who apparently lacks knowledge and subtlety.  Unfortunately, she is not alone, but fortunately, she unwittingly reveals herself from time to time.  Others who are cleverer are more devious.

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