The new Source of All Evil
Posted by aogMonday, 10 January 2011 at 11:01 TrackBack Ping URL

A few years back, then President Bush was the Source of All Evil — anything that went wrong was through some causal chain his fault. SInce he’s left office, however, a new source was needed and so apparently Sarah Palin has risen to that position. For a second banana on a failed Presidential bid, it’s impressive that she remains the root cause of American politics.

One of the more disgusting and hysterical examples of this is the reaction to the shooting in Arizone at an event for Representative Gabrielle Gifford. As with all things Palin related by the MAL it is the blinding speed of the reflex that most astonishes. Apparently the point is that since Palin’s obviously responsible, one need only do enough searching to find a connection (however tenuous and non-specific) and it’s all done. Never mind previous misfires in the same vein — this time, for sure, it’ll connect up.

Naturally, any such push back against The Narrative will be take as support for “violent”, “hateful” political speech. But as anyone who pays attention to history knows, in reality any such restraint will be applied only against conservatives / the GOP / the Tea Parties, and not against anything vile from the MAL. One need not even look at a long term pattern to see this how reticence about motives is selectively applied by Old Media. Even in for those on the Left not willing to simply make things up, there’s always the implication by denial technique, because the key thing is

One veteran Democratic operative, who blames overheated rhetoric for the shooting, said President Barack Obama should carefully but forcefully do what his predecessor did. “They need to deftly pin this on the tea partiers,” said the Democrat. “Just like the Clinton White House deftly pinned the Oklahoma City bombing on the militia and anti-government people.”

Yeah, that will elevate our political discourse.

Via Tim Blair we have this tidbit concerning the Australian Broadcast Company —

On ABC News Breakfast yesterday the co-presenters Mary Gearin and Waleed Aly made it clear early in the program that they saw the hostility to Barack Obama’s program – as exemplified in the Tea Party and Palin – as providing a spark which could ignite a murderous rage against the likes of Giffords.

There’s the key — set things up so any hostility to Obama’s policies is the equivalent of killing people in a spray of gunfire. That’s the heart of all of this. Allahu Palin is an excellent earlier post by Blair.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
Harry Eagar Monday, 10 January 2011 at 14:56

Hmmm. So why did she take down her shootin’ list? If it’s all so darned innocent?

erp Monday, 10 January 2011 at 16:11

I don’t know that there was any shooting list to take down. Do you have a link?

Here’s a link that’s quite educational. Be sure to scroll down to the targets at the very end.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 10 January 2011 at 16:19

Attractive nuisance. My uncle had a fish pond in has back yard he had to fill in for that reason. Just too risky, even though it was completely innocent, due to the lack of personal restraint and responsibility of others.

Of course, it might not have been Palin’s fault. It could be “reading the Constitution” (Representative Jim Clyburn, D-SC) or “health care legislation” (former Senator Bob Kerrey).

I take these just as seriously as I do the Palin accusations. I think you should too.

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 11 January 2011 at 09:57

Let us also note that Palin is not the only one who is scrubbing Gifford related material. But as usual, it’s highly suspicious when Palin does it and completely understandable for everyone else who’s not a conservative.

Harry Eagar Tuesday, 11 January 2011 at 11:10

We don’t know (so far as I have heard) whether the shooter saw Palin’s target list, but we do know that Giffords did, and objected to it. Presciently, it now appears.

Loughner appears to be the poster boy, so to speak, for whom the list would be expected to resonate: obsessed with the badness of government, unstable and dysfunctional but not quite obnoxious enough to have either ended up in prison or even to have been refused a deadly weapon.

Ideas sometimes have consequences.

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 11 January 2011 at 11:37

We don’t know (so far as I have heard) whether the shooter saw Palin’s target list, but we do know that Giffords did, and objected to it. Presciently, it now appears.

It doesn’t appear that way at all. If the shooter didn’t see it, Gifford’s objection was not at all prescient.

Loughner appears to be the poster boy, so to speak, for whom the list would be expected to resonate

Not at all. It seems much more that he was a leftish pothead, which means that the Daily Kos “dead to me” was far more likely to resonate with him based on current information.

Out of all the noise and heavy rhetoric you single out Palin’s for absolutely no reason other than it’s Palin. Don’t you find that sort of petty viciousness in response to a tragedy the least bit embarrassing?

P.S. Mark Halperin says that the real problem here is Palin and other conservatives fighting back against baseless smears. The actual smearing is apparently not excessive rhetoric, it’s conservatives responding with facts to lies that’s the problem. Oh, and as Instapundit reminds me, it was Halperin who presciently called out almost exactly this scenario and how to use it for political gain.

P.P.S. More violent rhetoric (scroll down). How exactly does anything Palin has ever done stand out from this general background?

P.P.P.S Some Loughner backstory, with links. It seems unlikely that a Palin fan would have the Communist Manifesto as a favorite book.

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 11 January 2011 at 16:43

Now, if it was possible to shame the MAL with examples of blatant hypocrisy, we’d have a much elevated political climate, but I still am compelled to ask — can compare the people who mocked the concept of music albums making kids commit suicide or acts of violence with those who think a single campaign flyer from Sarah Palin can create a massacre?

Harry Eagar Tuesday, 11 January 2011 at 19:10

As Arnold Kling (no lefty) notes, few people read the ur-documents, but they absorb the zeitgeist. Palin gets zeitgeist props for being, by far, the best known and most obsessively active propagandist for violent political rhetoric. Advice to ‘reload’ resonates, and you cannot have it both ways.

She is either a/the leader of the Tea Party wing of the economic illiterates, or she is a minor figure from the political fringe. She doesn’t get to be both simultaneously. In any event, she is not a ‘victim.’ We should save that for people who get shot in the head.

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 11 January 2011 at 21:14

Palin was running the zeigeist while she was still Mayor of Wassilia, when much of the things I cited above happened? You are truly a dedicated supportor of that senior Democratic Party operative.

That’s ignoring that fact that as far as I can tell, Palin doesn’t traffic in “violent political rhetoric”. Burning Palin in effigy, that is violent political rhetoric. “Reload” is simply vernacular.

Your dichotomy on Palin’s position is also false, as in general the Tea Parties don’t have leaders.

In any event, she is not a ‘victim.’ We should save that for people who get shot in the head.

Hmmm. Perhaps you should explain that to the person who wrote this, as he uses “victim” to describe people who weren’t shot in the head.

Beyond that, where exactly did I label Palin a victim?

erp Wednesday, 12 January 2011 at 11:19

I didn’t need to read past this sentence in the link to Harry’s piece, “They are all working for good farms now,” to know it would be drumbeat on his favorite subject, unions.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 12 January 2011 at 11:43

A good post by Matt Welch in which he asks where this Narrative was when James Jay Lee took hostages at the Discovery Channel and issued bizarre ecological demands.

Harry Eagar Wednesday, 12 January 2011 at 11:46

It reminds me of the free marketeers after they engineered the collapse of the financial markets — Who, us?

Now we have the gun nuts and purveyors of violent rhetoric asking, who, us?

Yeah, you.

In fact, ‘reload’ was not just vernacular, whatever that means. It was a link in a zeitgeist that celebrates guns, antigummint claptrap, individualistic ‘solutions’ and nonsense.

So far as I can see, though I’ve glanced only at a few items posted at VC and his lame video, Loughner probably didn’t have any coherent political ideas. It is neither necessary nor fair to tag him as a conservative. But he did sign on, all the way, to the gunslinger emblemology of the antigummint jawflap. People didn’t pry Loughner’s gun from his cold dead hands, but neither did the gun-totin’ citizens of Arizona pull their John Roscoes and gun down the killer.

A lot of fantasy got exposed as fantasy. As usual, some will resist.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 12 January 2011 at 12:35

What’s fantasy is the claim that using the term “reload” is “violent rhetoric” but burning and hanging someone in effigy is normal political discourse1 not worth mentioning.

Still, you’re quite correct that such things are definitely being exposed for once instead of becoming the zeitgeist.

P.S. I am sure Tipper Gore is happy to see you’ve come around to her point of view.


1 Or open calls for rioting and revolution. Or even actual rioting over politics.

Hey Skipper Wednesday, 12 January 2011 at 14:43

Over the last several days, Taranto has covered this ground brilliantly (here and here and here).

I finally got a look at that Palin target graphic, notorious for using gun sights.

Obviously, I was expecting to see, well, gunsights.

Not printer registration marks.

Because of global warm … er, change … er, disrupt … er, challenges, I had to drive from central Florida to Charleston.

So I had plenty of time to listen to NPR on this.

We can’t stop the taxpayer subsidy of that pack of idiots fast enough.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 12 January 2011 at 15:03

Skipper;

One point I keep forgetting to make is that even if the accusations about Palin’s rhetoric were true, it wouldn’t matter. The idea that one single person can exert such control over the zeitgeist is ludicrous, and beyond that it is the shooter who is responsible for shooting, not people writing and speaking. Short of explicit calls for violence, that is properly protected speech.

I also find it morbidly ironic that, given the claims of “gunslinger emblemology of the antigummint jawflap” the vast majority of gun related crime is in the Democratic Party dominated cities.

Harry Eagar Wednesday, 12 January 2011 at 15:18

You guys really are floundering, not nearly up to your usual standards. Something’s cutting too close to the bone maybe.

So I use the word ‘victim’ in one context, and that forbids me from making a distinction between being shot in the head and being targeted by a cabal alleging a ‘blood libel’ (Palin really is completely tone-deaf, isn’t she?).

Skipper, I guarantee you, nobody did or was expected to look at that map and see printer registration marks. Prove me wrong. When Giffords objected, find me a contemporary response that said, Oh, you are mistaken, those are printer registration marks.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 12 January 2011 at 15:42

So I use the word ‘victim’ in one context, and that forbids me from making a distinction between being shot in the head and being targeted by a cabal alleging a ‘blood libel’

Not at all. The point is it is a demonstration of you floundering, as exemplified by your use of hyperbole like “In any event, she is not a ‘victim.’ We should save that for people who get shot in the head”. Generally, people making calm, fact based statements (as I have) are not floundering — it is the the people flinging out over the top statements like that or “gunslinger emblemology of the antigummint jawflap”.

Yet you continue to search for the mote in Palin’s eye amidst the forests of modern American politics. The irony is compounded because that’s precisely the sort of over heated, personal attack rhetoric you claim to find objectionable. That shows my point, which is that you only object to such language by your political opponents.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 12 January 2011 at 17:03

I was wondering where that “victim” complaint came from, since it didn’t seem to have any relation to this post or comments. Now I know. How dare Palin inject herself into this tragic event!

P.S. Ace writes

Their [MAL] new argument is that right-wing invective can have an unbalancing effect on non -right-wingers — left-wingers, even — who don’t hear it.

That’s how insidious this all is. That’s how dangerous this all is. Right wing chatter can now drive left-wingers who don’t even hear it to kill people.

The problem for the MAL is this rabid, violent right wing rhetoric is becoming increasingly legitimate on the American Street. That, above all, must be stopped.

Hey Skipper Thursday, 13 January 2011 at 11:06
You guys really are floundering, not nearly up to your usual standards. Something’s cutting too close to the bone maybe.

Bollocks. Absolute bollocks.

In the four or so hours I was listening to National People’s Radio, there was no end of blather blaming Limbaugh, Beck, Palin et al for creating a incendiary climate of hate. Given the amount of air time they get, you would think it a simple matter to do some, you know, REPORTING, and provide examples of eliminationist hate speech.

Actual examples provided: Palin’s graphic targeting congressional districts. And every time that graphic was trotted out for audio examination, they used the word “gunsights”. Having never seen the thing myself, and I bet I’m far from alone in that regard, I took them at their word that she actually used gunsights (which, even if true still set new records for irrelevance). Imagine my surprise when I discovered they were nothing of the kind, leaving me with only two options: either the NPR nomenclatura are collectively pig-ignorant of what a gunsight looks like, or they are pandering liars.

Given any instance of human behavior, idiocy is far more likely to provide explanatory power than is malice. However, a compare and contrast with the Hasan shooting greatly diminishes the idiocy option’s attractiveness.

And that is long before getting to the left’s track record. Which includes, in a seemingly infinite list, an actual gunsight on an actual congressman in Florida, and at least several stated wishes to be able to assassinate the Republican opponent.

Krugman embodies this whole sorry episode: a full throttled leap to stupendous, libelous, conclusions, followed by not one syllable of contrition when faced with a squadron of facts rushing the other direction.

Today Sarah Palin is taking heat from the MAL for using the term “blood libel.”

Can the MAL be so blinded by their ideology that they cannot see how that term applies precisely to their conduct?

(BTW, I couldn’t help but notice at Restating the Obvious you ridicule Arizona’s gun laws in the complete absence of the central fact required to mount that ridicule. I hope you are better at retractions than Krugman.)

Harry Eagar Thursday, 13 January 2011 at 12:18

Hmmm. I believe what I said was that the fantasies of the gun nuts were, once again, unfulfilled. It isn’t often that a deranged citizen with way more firepower than any reasonable person might think he needs starts shooting in a crowded place, but when it happens, the armed citizens, like the cops, is seldom there when you need him.

So the argument for widespread carrying of firearms is vitiated. Arizona is a concealed carry state, but — unsurprisingly — a mentally confused person was not deterred by the likelihood (small as it turned out) that he would be gunned down by some member of the NRA.

None of this is after-the-fact. Giffords objected to Palin’s graphic before she was shot. Palin is not alone, but she is working hard to make herself the most prominent of the guntoters. She, at least, should not have objected that she succeeded.

erp Thursday, 13 January 2011 at 13:06

Harry, why would you be surprised that there weren’t people who carry concealed weapons at a rally for a Democrat — even a pro-gun one?

It’s too bad Republicans didn’t shoot down their metaphorical target because if Giffords were no longer a congresswoman, she and all the others probably wouldn’t have been at a rally where they were real easy targets for real bullets.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 13 January 2011 at 14:05

So the argument for widespread carrying of firearms is vitiated.

No more so than the argument for police is vitiated. Did you argue that the Secret Service should be disbanded when a President was shot?

One notes that the shooter was stopped from further shooting by private citizens. One might further note that at least some of those citizens were willing and able to act decisively because of their familiarity with firearms.

Of course, this is the standard Eagar technique of taking that statement “X improves Y” to mean “X is a perfect solution in all cases and all times for Y”. It’s a mendacious technique, indicative of someone who knows he doesn’t have any actual facts to support his case.

She [Palin], at least, should not have objected that she succeeded.

I am not aware of any instance in which Palin objected to being armed citizen #1. Her objections have been about being falsely accused of murder and accessory to murder as a political ploy by the Democratic Party and MALists.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 13 January 2011 at 21:01

Here we have people making public death threats against Palin on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Is this “violent rhetoric”?
  • Is it more violent that the Palin advertisement in question?
  • Should the Secret Service be talking to these people? If not, what would that take?
AVeryRoughRoadAhead Thursday, 13 January 2011 at 23:43

Actual examples provided: Palin’s graphic targeting congressional districts. … I took them at their word that she actually used gunsights … Imagine my surprise when I discovered they were nothing of the kind…

On March 23rd, in a statement accompanying the infamous Facebook SARAHPAC map, Sarah Barracuda wrote: “We’ll aim for these races and many others. This is just the first salvo…” On Nov. 4th, she referred to the graphic as a “bullseye”. Clearly it was intended to be a martial icon, not “surveyor’s symbols” or “printer registration marks”.

Whether or not it passes muster as a gunsight seems immaterial.

Harry Eagar Friday, 14 January 2011 at 12:12

erp, in Arizona people go armed everywhere, including to the grocery store. You don’t need an occasion.

Ir isn’t the case that X improves Y. It’s just the case that when more people go armed, more people get shot.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 14 January 2011 at 12:47

Mr. Eagar;

Ir isn’t the case that X improves Y. It’s just the case that when more people go armed, more people get shot.

You’ve moved the goalposts once again. Your original claim here is that this single incident, by itself, discredits the idea that more armed citizens in any way provides civil protection. Now you’ve shifted to a far more general claim, while at the same time giving up on providing any actual evidence, which at least your first claim had.

Beyond that, it is in fact that the “gunt nuts’ fantasies” are that more armed citizens improves civil order. That’s the fact in question. It’s hardly valid to declare to not be because your purely personal opinion is otherwise.

And, as it turns out, crime statistics show that the more law abiding citizens go armed, there’s less crime, North Carolina being one example. In general the evidence from multiple states is clear, and your claim is simply not supported by the historical record.

Hey Skipper Friday, 14 January 2011 at 16:03
Clearly [the symbols were] intended to be a martial icon, not “surveyor’s symbols” or “printer registration marks”.

When making the statement X is Y, X bloody well ought to be Y. To say something is, as a matter of fact, a gunsight when it is very much not, then the speaker is either abysmally ignorant, or cares not a damn about the factual statement, because it has been made in support of the narrative.

Which is it?

I’ll go with the “narrative” option, although that is no help to the MAL, because their fingers are far dirtier than the spots to which they point. Apparently having completely lost grasp of metaphors, they continually harped on Sarah Palin, all the while uttering not one syllable of criticism regarding literal gunsights in real people, when those metaphors came from the MAL.

Why is that?

Left similarly completely unremarked, all the while begging for at least some notice, is the difference in treatment between the Hasan and Loughner shootings. The MAL has gotten to the point where it cannot find the voice to state the obvious about the motivations of an Islamist killer, while resorting to full throated hue and cry when Sarah resorts to nothing more than commonly used metaphor.

Why is that?

The honest, honorable, point would have been to note that alleging political metaphors had anything to do with this tragedy is to journey deep into the bowels of non-sequitor. Most people get that; the MAL does not.

Hmmm. I believe what I said was that the fantasies of the gun nuts were, once again, unfulfilled. It isn’t often that a deranged citizen with way more firepower than any reasonable person might think he needs starts shooting in a crowded place, but when it happens, the armed citizens, like the cops, is seldom there when you need him.

The “fantasies of gun nuts” involve the anticipated actions of an armed citizen when faced with a violent crime. That there weren’t any there — you neglected to say one way or the other — means this shooting was either completely irrelevant, a total nullity, to this “fantasy”, or a powerful argument for more people to carry guns. Arguing that the consequences of the absence of something is proof that there shouldn’t be more of that thing is, to say the least, unique.

Also, you failed to report that someone who had a gun was nearby, and rushed to the scene of the shooting. Unfortunately, nearby wasn’t close enough, but his actions went some significant distance to shifting “fantasy” to reality.

Arizona is a concealed carry state, but — unsurprisingly — a mentally confused person was not deterred by the likelihood (small as it turned out) that he would be gunned down by some member of the NRA.

As if the only reason to carry a gun is deterrence. This leaves me wondering — the natural consequence when faced with your utter silence in the face of that possibility — what you recommend the rest of us do in the face of someone who is undeterrable. Well?

None of this is after-the-fact. Giffords objected to Palin’s graphic before she was shot.

So Giffords objected to an opponents campaign tactics in such a way as to appeal to her supporters. I am shocked beyond measure.

erp Friday, 14 January 2011 at 16:27

Harry, I know gun toters tote them everywhere, but Democrats being anti-gun, wouldn’t be expected to have a gun in their purse and wasn’t it a shame because if one of the compassionates at the rally would have had a gun, they might have stopped the killer before he was able to kill an innocent.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Friday, 14 January 2011 at 17:42

When making the statement X is Y, X bloody well ought to be Y. To say something is, as a matter of fact, a … when it is very much not, then the speaker is either abysmally ignorant, or cares not a damn about the factual statement, because it has been made in support of the narrative.

But, don’t you see, that statement also applies to you. When, upthread, you absurdly referred to the graphic as “printer registration marks”, you did so because that fits your narrative, not because it was a rational and defensible interpretation, which it clearly isn’t.

I don’t have much of a stake in this whole Palin/shooting teapot-tempest, but I do think that we ought to leave the dissembling and preposterous explanations for the weak-minded; adults square up to reality.

Hey Skipper Friday, 14 January 2011 at 21:55
When, upthread, you absurdly referred to the graphic as “printer registration marks” …

Compare what is on that infamous graphic to this.

The absurdity is the leap from a metaphor for a verb to factual assertion as a noun.

Which makes it stupid times two.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Saturday, 15 January 2011 at 03:33

As may be. The fact remains that the very person who commissioned the images over which you’re arguing has refuted your interpretation of them.

Given that, a rational person would re-evaluate their position. It takes an abysmally ignorant person, or one who cares not a damn about facts, to continue to cling to a falsified narrative. That’s stupid cubed.

erp Saturday, 15 January 2011 at 07:59

Darn, but these lefties can’t seem to discuss an issue without name-calling. It’s really tedious.

Harry Eagar Saturday, 15 January 2011 at 13:39

Why is that?

Uh, because nobody so far has shot even one Tea Partier, let alone 19 at a time?

Skipper, I don’t make the arguments, I just read them. Deterrence is the only reason I’ve seen that I should have to worry about gun nuts at the Safeway. If you have better reasons, I’d like to hear them.

Me, I go to the Safeway once a week or so, and thus far have never thought, ‘Gee, I wish I’d brought my gun.’ Nor have I ever thought, ‘I hope that guy over there is carryin’, because I’m not and who knows what bad stuff is about to happen?’

erp, it wasn’t an invitation-only Democratic rally. It was a Safeway parking lot, open to all, including at least one gun nut who thought he needed to go armed to buy food. He was no help at all, but at least he didn’t shoot anybody. That’s something, I guess.

erp Saturday, 15 January 2011 at 16:57

Ya just can’t make up this stuff.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Saturday, 15 January 2011 at 19:42

Darn, but these lefties can’t seem to discuss an issue without name-calling. It’s really tedious.

Don’t be so hard on Skipper, erp. He tries, and that counts for a lot. We can ignore the name-calling, I think; it’s just his salty way.

erp Sunday, 16 January 2011 at 11:34

Rough, Skipper not only tries, he hits the mark.

Harry, thanks for clarifying the location of Rep. Giffords rally. However, it is safe to say, the people surrounding her were mostly Democrats.

Harry Eagar Monday, 17 January 2011 at 00:07

I seem to recall that Guy was bent out of shape (more than once) when Obama warned that opposition could lead to “pitchforks.” Now, it seems pretty clear than “pitchforks” was metaphorical, since a small fraction of socialists own pitchforks.

But he seems not nearly so concerned when Tea Partiers warn about ‘Second Amendment remedies,’ and ‘reloading’ and printing targets on politicians, although, given the expressed opinions of Tea Partiers and rightwingers in general, there is nothing at all metaphorical about ‘Second Amendment rights.’

There is a huge, multimillion-member organization devoted to Second Amendment rights, many of whose members freely offer that they are ready to use them against the government.

I dunno, looks like partisanship rather than careful assessment of a situation to me.

Hey Skipper Monday, 17 January 2011 at 18:23
The fact remains that the very person who commissioned the images over which you’re arguing has refuted your interpretation of them.

My interpretation is that what the MAL purported to be gunsights* are, as a matter of fact, not. Further, that graphic was clearly a visual metaphor depicting congressional contests which looked like rewarding focused effort.

This has served as case study for how the MAL and the formerly primary news outlets have confined themselves to an echo chamber. (It is worth noting that, SFAIK, Democratic politicians who are not the Tucson sheriff have conducted themselves honorably.) The lesson of the case study is that the left’s first reflex is to suppress disagreeable — to them — viewpoints. The well from which campus speech codes have been drawn is the same one that led the MAL to appeal to the heckler’s veto.

In stark, raving, contrast to the Hasan shootings.

As far as the person who commissioned them, she has an astonishing talent for causing the MAL to go Winchester shooting themselves in the foot.

Oh gosh, there I’ve gone and done it. The next time someone posing with a Glock and a G-string shoots a bunch of people, it is my fault.

——

Deterrence is the only reason I’ve seen that I should have to worry about gun nuts at the Safeway. If you have better reasons, I’d like to hear them.

I must confess to at least some surprise that the rest of us are liable for arguments you haven’t heard.

The other reason can be distilled into three words: Deterrence sometimes fails.

—- *As opposed, to, say, an actual telescopic gunsight superimposed on an actual person, which a Democrat did with respect to his opponent in Florida, but somehow went without notice by the NYT, NPR, et al.

Harry Eagar Tuesday, 18 January 2011 at 13:50

0 for 2, then. no deterrence, and no after-the-fact protection.

Plenty of fantasy, though.

Hey Skipper Tuesday, 18 January 2011 at 14:28

You don’t remember that church shooting in Utah, do you?

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Wednesday, 19 January 2011 at 03:31

My interpretation is that what the MAL purported to be gunsights are, as a matter of fact, not. Further, that graphic was clearly a visual metaphor…

Yes, but a metaphor for what?

Palin says they’re “bulls-eyes”, and in regard to the races spoke of “aiming”, “salvos”, and “re-loading”. These are all weapons-related verbiage. Further, the marks themselves - cross-hairs inside of a circle - strongly lend themselves to being seen as the view through a rifle scope, which is culturally a long-established way of depicting targets for weapons: Check out any movie in which someone is under an assassin’s gun.

Finally, the Palin camp didn’t deny that the icons were weapons-related, despite protest about the symbology, until after the shooting.

So what’s pellucid is that Sarah Barracuda, herself a shooter, liked and wanted a martial theme. Therefore, an objection that the icons aren’t “actual telescopic gunsights” is both factually correct and inconsequential - those what posted the icons told us what they’re intended to be. It would be like objecting that the Douglas Aircraft logo isn’t really a globe, airplane, and missile, simply because they’re stylized and not “actual, photo-realistic” images:

What’s most interesting to me is that you keep dancing around the obvious. What negative consequence do you think that there would be to agreeing with Sarah Palin about what the SARAHPAC icons represented?

NOTICE ANY SIMILARITIES???:

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 19 January 2011 at 07:31

Mr. Eagar;

I seem to recall that Guy was bent out of shape (more than once) when Obama warned that opposition could lead to “pitchforks.” Now, it seems pretty clear than “pitchforks” was metaphorical, since a small fraction of socialists own pitchforks.

A rather faulty point to start with, as any remarks by an officer of law enforcement, much less the most senior such officer, put far more weight behind such remarks. It is quite reasonable to be far more concerned about the local sheriff talking about pitchforks, even metaphorically, than some city council member.

But more significantly this once again demonstrates that you should look at actual sources, rather than your Narrative driven memory. The posts in question are here and here. Now it seems clear that the remark was taken metaphorically as indicative of Obama’s lack of respect for the rule of law, based on other specific actions he had done in that regard.

One might wonder just how metaphorical that comment remains, given actual pitchforks at a rally, union mobs showing up at private homes, and the beating of political opposition, all by political allies of the person with overall responsibility for holding them to legal account.

erp Wednesday, 19 January 2011 at 09:11

Just a point of clarification. Congressional districts were targeted, not people.

Hey Skipper Wednesday, 19 January 2011 at 15:13
What negative consequence do you think that there would be to agreeing with Sarah Palin about what the SARAHPAC icons represented?

The entire problem is encapsulated in your question “Yes, but a metaphor for what?”

Of course the symbols are supposed to suggest targeting something, as a metaphor for focusing effort and resources on specific congressional districts: the visual metaphor is meant to communicate the need for various actions, not one of which even remotely involves guns or bullets. Continually referring to those symbols as gun sights imposes a meaning that is not there, particularly when, as erp noted, they are superimposed over congressional districts, not people. So, no, I do not notice any similarity between your two images, because the literal action obvious in one has not the first thing to do with the metaphorical message of the other.

Compounding that error, the MAL (see James Taranto for all the details), while going into near hysterics over Sarah, not once noted similar behavior from the left. (Where “similar” is used in its lesser known meaning: “not nearly as vicious as”.)

As with all things, metaphors exist across a spectrum from benign to sinister. IMHO, Sarah’s infamous graphic is a wholly benign visual metaphor urging supporters to focus their efforts and resources where they are most likely to produce results.

That’s it. Quoting from that notorious conservative, Glenn Reynolds,

To be clear, if you’re using this event to criticize the “rhetoric” of Mrs. Palin or others with whom you disagree, then you’re either: (a) asserting a connection between the “rhetoric” and the shooting, which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie; or (b) you’re not, in which case you’re just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible… Those who purport to care about the health of our political community demonstrate precious little actual concern for America’s political well-being when they seize on any pretext, however flimsy, to call their political opponents accomplices to murder.

BTW, the Douglas logo is emblematic, not metaphorical. Your use of it here illustrates the perils of argument by analogy.

—-

Had I been Sarah Palin, my response would have gone something like this: “To miss the obvious meaning of that ad by as far as the MAL has requires them to be even dumber than they think I am.”

Harry Eagar Wednesday, 19 January 2011 at 16:26

Well, if you’re going to try to create a national discussion, and all you have to say is that government is illegitimate if not actually illegal; and frame it in terms of guns, if somebody uses guns in (apparently) a form of protest against illegitimate government, I think you get to claim a piece of the action.

Most Palin supporters are not going to take up arms (and if they did, they would likely be ineffective since, as a lady shooter of my acquaintance says, Palin doesn’t appear to be a real expert with firearms); it the narginal nuts you have to worry about, A nut with a gun is as dangrrous as a committed revolutionary with a gun.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 19 January 2011 at 16:40

Mr. Eagar;

Well, if you’re going to try to create a national discussion, and all you have to say is that government is illegitimate if not actually illegal; […]

Quite so. However, that does not describe Palin nor the Tea Parties. They have far more to say than that, and certainly have never claimed that “government is illegitimate if not actually illegal” (which is obviously incompatible with the Constitutional Worship).

Could you tell us who it is that you think matches this description? I think you’re letting your Narrative override the facts on the ground once again.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 19 January 2011 at 18:11

Ah, that violent hateful rhetoric, like this legislation means killing people and my opponents are Nazis. Wait a minute — those people weren’t Palinites, they were members of the Democratic Party caucus in the House of Representatives. Nothing they say ever contributes to political incivility or the politics of demonization.

Harry Eagar Thursday, 20 January 2011 at 19:46

He didn’t call anybody a Nazi. He said somebody was using the big lie technique (a truth) and that we know how effective that can be, famously so in the aphorism of Goebbels.

Sure it describes the Tea Party (and some of the religious bigot Republicans like the new governor of Alabama. What are those ‘don’t tread on me’ flags supposed to indicate?

I kee4p up with the gun nuts through a college buddy’s Facebook postings. Now he wants the gummint to register non-owners of guns, seeing as how they are unconstitutionally not prepared to be in the militia.

The illegitimacy, you see, comes from the delusional view that the Constitution means what they want it to mean, and not what it says it means; or what generations of constitutional thinkers have agreed it to mean.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 20 January 2011 at 20:54

Ah, yes, comparing people to a famous Nazi and saying they’re just like him isn’t calling those people Nazis. But Palin using targets is effectively a death threat. Fascinating.

I kee4p up with the gun nuts through a college buddy’s Facebook postings.

Oooh, now there is an unimpeachable yet comprehensive source. Well, I have a college buddy who is a gun nut and does Facebook postings. Will you accept my hearsay of his postings as authoritatively as you expect me to take yours?

Of course, that leaves open the question of why you need to use that source instead of, say, actual leaders, other than the fact that no one else can fact check your assertions.

The illegitimacy, you see, comes from the delusional view that the Constitution means what they want it to mean, and not what it says it means; or what generations of constitutional thinkers have agreed it to mean.

Yes, you’ve finally realized what the MAL has a core belief, what they mean by a “living Constitution”. After all, it’s a very old document that’s hard to understand and has no binding power according the a leading light of the MAL.

Woops, sorry discount that — after all, he’s not a college buddy making posts on Facebook.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 21 January 2011 at 00:19

Here’s a couple more examples of calm and peaceful political expression that stands in such contrast to Palin’s Map Of Killing.

Harry Eagar Friday, 21 January 2011 at 19:52

He’s not just any old college buddy. He’s one of the leading gun nuts in the country, an instructor of junior gun nuts.

I imagine the proposal will get more attention as its loopiness deserves. When it does, remember, you read it here first.

I’m pretty sure the Second Amendment doesn’t require the gummint to register every citizen without a serviceable militia weapon (in part because I know something about the complaints from that era about the arms that militia showed up with, or didn’t, on training day).

We needn’t debate whether anybody called a Republican a Nazi. The segment is available on the innertubes and speaks for itself.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 21 January 2011 at 20:42

I am not sure who you are aiming your Constitutional analysis at, as I can’t imagine anyone here is going to defend that plan on either Constitutional or practical grounds.

As for Cohen’s remarks, I am fine with people viewing the clip making their own judgment. Care to address any of the other links?

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 06:48

If it does turn out that this story has legs, about Todd Palin being intimately associated with a woman of ill repute, does that harm or help Sarah?

At Forbes:

Sexual scandals are never positive press for candidates and politicians.

And then:

If this is true, will Palin crawl back to Alaska with her tail between her legs? Will we have seen the last of the clan in Washington?

One can hope.

But then:

[Therefore,] Todd Palin’s affair might be just the ticket Sarah needs to be the first single mother in the Oval Office.

Incidentally, it appears that the consequences for getting caught running an illegal brothel in Alaska are a $500 fine and 80 hours of community service at a day-care center - rather less than a slap on the wrist.

Skipper:

I do not notice any similarity between your two images…

I think that we’ve just identified the crux of your difficulties, and of why you’re angry at NPR. (This time.)

By the way, Mr. Eagar’s query still stands:

Skipper, I guarantee you, nobody did or was expected to look at that map and see printer registration marks. Prove me wrong. When Giffords objected, find me a contemporary response that said, Oh, you are mistaken, those are printer registration marks.

If those icons are so obviously not gunsights (No! Never!), (and you may have formed an incorrect mental image upon hearing the term, drawing on your highly technical experiences flying for the [Marines?], forgetting or ignoring that rifle scopes and even the ol’ post-and-notch are also “gun sights”), then why did the Palin team accept their critics’ labeling of the symbols as such in the many months before the shooting?

And how could people such as yourself be so unsure of what they purportedly actually are that MULTIPLE explanations are offered in defense? Surely the it-en’t-a-gunsight crowd ought to be able to agree on what the icons are, yes?

Yeah, dis mousy dame wouldn’t stick a gunsight on her website, no way. LOL

erp Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 08:33

Todd Palin was busted by a prostitute and should demand his own cable talk show too.

Anyone else notice the name of the alleger, Tripp, is the Palin’s grandson’s name and the name of the woman who busted Clinton.

Can this be a spoof/setup?

Nah.

All those news organizations mentioned in the articles couldn’t have been duped — could they?

… and Rough — it was districts that were in those sights (call them what you wish), not people. Don’t you get it?

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 09:31

AVRRA, erp;

It’s yet another made up scandal, like Palin’s hairdresser in Haiti who turned out to be … Bristol Palin. Read the articles carefully — as explained here it’s complete weasel wording, the only fact being that a prostitute was arrested. Everything else is “swirling Web rumors”. If you track it down, the entire connection with Todd Palin is a couple of anti-Palin anonymous bloggers. AVRRA, seriously, why are you contributing to that sort of thing? As to erp, I don’t think it’s a hoax or spoof, I think it’s a couple of losers who purposely and happily fling baseless rumours at the Palins. The real problem is enablers like Forbes.

erp Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 10:46

aog, again my apologies for not ending my comment with s/off.

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 11:39

erp;

I caught that, but I don’t think any of them were duped. I think they know it’s a bogus story with no valid sources and simply do not care. It certainly makes a mockery of those calls for “civility”.

erp Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 12:45

aog. Totally agree that the Palin bashing is getting more unabashingly lunatic every day. It’s almost as if there’s a concerted effort to interject it into every media, blog post and comment string no matter the subject. I thought the visceral hatred of Bush was nuts, but this goes far past that.

I haven’t followed Palin’s utterances and can’t say whether I would support her or even agree with anything she says, but I absolutely condemn the hateful way she and her family, especially her kids, are being trashed 24/7 by lefties all over the world. It wouldn’t have surprised me if the Chi/Com dictator had included some snarks about her in his speech — and Hu can say he didn’t. :-}

Why she scares the compassionates so much beats me.

Harry Eagar Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 21:15

I doubt it’s a fact that Palin’s childr4n are being bashed 24/7 for being her kids. The teen mom is getting as much attention as she can generate, but I would hardly call a report of her real estate purchases ‘bashing.’

As for The Sarah, she would rapidly fade from consciousness, but everytime it starts to happen she revives interest by tweeting something really dumb.

Annoying Old Guy Sunday, 23 January 2011 at 08:46

erp;

What compassionate? The people suffering from Palinoia frequently claim to be compassionate, but their actions show otherwise.

Mr. Eagar;

What report of real estate transactions?

As for The Sarah, she would rapidly fade from consciousness, but everytime it starts to happen she revives interest by tweeting something really dumb.

Have you forgotten the original point of this post already? The Sarahcuda didn’t post, write, or tweet anything before the MAL plastered her name all over this incident. Or the Todd Palin story AVRRA mentioned — what did Sarahcuda tweet that brought that in to play?

You’re really floundering, and not up to your usual standards.

erp Sunday, 23 January 2011 at 09:46

aog, I call them the Compassionates sarcastically because of the falsity of their alleged caring for the downtrodden — it’s for the children, etc.

Harry, perhaps you can’t read anything about Palin and others you disdain with any comprehension. The reports about Bristol Palin’s purchase of a very modest home with money she earned herself were snide and you’re right, it wasn’t newsworthy, but then the fact that Bush’s underage daughters bought drinks in a college bar was also considered newsworthy and was widely reported, while reports of Clinton’s daughter falling down drunk came only from the UK media. Oh and BTW now that Chelsea is married, why haven’t we heard what kind of digs the happy couple have purchased? I’m guessing their new digs weren’t so modest. Gee, they sure fell off the radar.

It’s called media bias — you may have heard about it — it’s been around for years and years.

Here’s something I just noticed. The cover of something called “Entertainment” in among the sections of today’s local liberal rag features an upcoming performance of the “Capital Steps.”

It’s remarkable how Palin could insinuate herself into a leftoid “comedy” group’s repertoire and arrange to have herself portrayed wearing a Che style bandolier like this?

Her publicist must be one smart dude.

Harry Eagar Sunday, 23 January 2011 at 15:38

Guy, Bristol purchased a tract house in Arizona. The AP included it 2 or 3 times in its daily roundup of celebrities getting stars in Hollywood, adopting babies and whatnot. erp is confabulating that the reportage was snide. It was straightforward: young woman well-known for nothing buys house for cash.

I tend to think that hurt her mom with working voters, not that Palin seems interested in them anyway.

Annoying Old Guy Sunday, 23 January 2011 at 16:44

young woman well-known for nothing buys house for cash.

Hmmm. If she’s well known for nothing, doesn’t that make erp’s point that she’s reported on only because she’s Sarah Palin’s daughter?

erp Sunday, 23 January 2011 at 17:28

Actually Bristol Palin is well known because Harry’s buddies in the media have followed her and the rest of her family around, camped out next to their home, gone through their trash, hacked into their email, reported on their activities and made them all celebrities.

That’s why she was on the dance show where she earned the cash to buy a modestly priced house. BTW — Google comes up with 177,000 results for “bristol palin buys a house for cash.”

You might want to give it up Harry. This battle has been lost.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Monday, 24 January 2011 at 08:54

Skipper:

To put it another way, I’m interested in the contradiction between the following of your statements:

When making the statement X is Y, X bloody well ought to be Y.

And:

So, no, I do not notice any similarity between your two images, because the literal action obvious in one has not the first thing to do with the metaphorical message of the other.

The former calls for literalism; the latter champions the non-literal, calling for an interpretation of the literal, i.e. “well, X really is Y, if you look at it from this angle.”

You are claiming that, although a kindergartner can see that the icons resemble gunsights, we shouldn’t consider them as such, instead looking to the intent of those doing the posting. That’s in DIRECT contradiction to where you began your protest, which was a complaint about NPR misreporting the appearance of the symbols (although as it turns out, they didn’t).

Which is why I wrote “don’t you see, that statement also applies to you.” AOG’s words also seem to fit: “That shows my point, which is that you only object to such language by your political opponents.”

Actually Bristol Palin is well known because Harry’s buddies in the media have followed her and the rest of her family around, camped out next to their home, gone through their trash, hacked into their email, reported on their activities and made them all celebrities.

Which makes Sarah very happy, on the whole. Ask, for instance, Mike Huckabee if he’d like to be hounded by the press.

… and Rough — it was districts that were in those sights (call them what you wish), not people. Don’t you get it?

Yes, I do. But Skipper and I aren’t arguing over who or what was targeted.

erp Monday, 24 January 2011 at 09:54

Rough, you seem to think that you can discern how other people think and feel by some gauge of your own invention. You were wrong in your divination of my “real” intentions and the “real” meaning of my words and I don’t doubt that you’re wrong in divining what makes Sarah Palin happy — likewise Huckabee’s lust for being hounded by the press.

Your argument with Skipper about gun sights versus surveyor’s marks makes no sense outside the context of one marking people for shooting and the other merely marking boundaries.

Sarah Palin is an invention of the attack media and she’s responding to it brilliantly. She’s doing what Bush was criticized by many on the right for not doing, responding quickly and forthrightly to their lies and smears.

As I said to Harry, this argument is lost. It might be prudent of you to give it up and find another pet peeve.

Harry Eagar Monday, 24 January 2011 at 11:40

‘If she’s well known for nothing, doesn’t that make erp’s point that she’s reported on only because she’s Sarah Palin’s daughter?’

Only if Khloe Kardashian is also Sarah Palin’s daughter.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Monday, 24 January 2011 at 12:21

I don’t doubt that you’re wrong in divining what makes Sarah Palin happy — likewise Huckabee’s lust for being hounded by the press.

You DO realize that you’re claiming that Sarah Palin is made UNHAPPY by being the center of attention, and that Mike Huckabee, 2008 and presumptive 2012 Presidential candidate, is HAPPY being ignored??????

That’s… Impressively obtuse.

erp Monday, 24 January 2011 at 13:43

Rough, I’m claiming no such thing. I’m not a soothsayer. I saying categorically that you have no way of knowing what makes either of those two people happy.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Monday, 24 January 2011 at 15:15

You’re right, it’s presumptuous of me to assume that career politicians like publicity, especially ones who, like Sarah Palin, have a bajillion followers for their frequently-updated Facebook (2.6MM) and Twitter (390K) accounts, or who engage in national speaking tours in support of their best-selling solipsistic books, as have both Palin and Huckabee.

You’re just being silly, erp. You may wish to consider smoking less crack before posting.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Monday, 24 January 2011 at 15:48

To expand, if you’d written that “you have no way of knowing everything that makes either of those two people happy,” then I’d have to agree. But it doesn’t take a genius to know a few things about what makes anybody happy - just look at what they consistently do and say.

For instance, these things make Huckabee happy, without question:

  • His religion
  • Losing weight

And Palin’s happy about:

  • Her kids
  • Winning. She’s intensely competitive - Sarah Barracuda, right?
  • Being in the spotlight. Beauty pageant contestant, newscaster, politician… See a trend?

Again, “no way of knowing what makes either of those two people happy” is just plain wrong. Anyone can know some things that make those two, or anyone else, happy - if attention is paid.

Hey Skipper Monday, 24 January 2011 at 16:04

AVRRA:

Skipper:
I do not notice any similarity between your two images…
I think that we’ve just identified the crux of your difficulties, and of why you’re angry at NPR. (This time.)
Having already demonstrated the hazards of argument by analogy, you now add abuse of the ellipses. Here is the entire quote:
So, no, I do not notice any similarity between your two images, because the literal action obvious in one has not the first thing to do with the metaphorical message of the other.
Emphasis added, despite being already clear enough.
By the way, Mr. Eagar’s query still stands:
Skipper, I guarantee you, nobody did or was expected to look at that map and see printer registration marks. Prove me wrong. When Giffords objected, find me a contemporary response that said, Oh, you are mistaken, those are printer registration marks.
If those icons are so obviously not gunsights (No! Never!), (and you may have formed an incorrect mental image upon hearing the term, drawing on your highly technical experiences flying for the [Marines?]
How can I prove Mr. Eagar’s hyperventilating misapprehensions wrong? Why must I accept his guarantee? Here is something I can guarantee, though. Put together a photo lineup including all manner of cross hair devices: gunsights, oscilloscopes, printer registration marks, etc. Then survey passersby to ascertain which among your assortment most resembles the one on that infamous graphic. How much you want to bet that not one person with anything remotely approaching normal visual acuity chooses a gunsight? Not only was NPR’s interpretation tendentious, it was flagrantly irresponsible. Radio listeners are, by definition, unable to judge for themselves how plausible that description is.
If those icons are so obviously not gunsights (No! Never!), (and you may have formed an incorrect mental image upon hearing the term, drawing on your highly technical experiences flying for the [Marines?],
Most attitude indicators have crosshairs whose intersection shows target pitch and roll. When the aircraft reference point is at that intersection, then aircraft attitude is “on target”. That flight director is very reminiscent of the crosshairs in that campaign ad, and would fool no one, no matter how determined, into confusing a flight director with a gunsight.
… why did the Palin team accept their critics’ labeling of the symbols as such in the many months before the shooting?
I think by “accept” you mean “did not dispute”. I’m surprised you don’t know that one of the best ways to draw attention to a scurrilous charge is to argue the point.
As for The Sarah, she would rapidly fade from consciousness, but everytime it starts to happen she revives interest by tweeting something really dumb.
A few weeks ago, during a layover I happened to channel surf my way into back-to-back episodes of Sarah Palin’s Alaska. (elk hunting, Gosselins go camping) Which wasn’t nearly as bad as I assumed it would be. They did make clear Sarah’s unsurpassed talent for giving SDR sufferers (the set of which are apparently a union with the MAL set) endless opportunities to ready, fire, aim and blow their feet off at the hip. [The preceding sentence, by the way, was metaphorical. A caution which, no doubt, will be soon be appended to legal disclaimers across the land.] erp:
Actually Bristol Palin is well known because Harry’s buddies in the media have followed her and the rest of her family around, camped out next to their home moved in next door …
Fixed that for you. What was already bad enough is, in fact, worse. AVRRA:
Skipper: To put it another way, I’m interested in the contradiction between the following of your statements:
I take some small amount of pride in writing clear, direct, declarative sentences leaving little room for misunderstanding. Perhaps I unduly flatter myself.

Maybe I can do better this time.

Now maybe I have my priorities all messed up, but when engaged in reporting, or indeed description of any kind, accuracy should be prioritized rather highly.

Particularly on the radio, referring to a simple registration mark (which it is) as a gunsight (which it is not) lards meaning onto something which it does not contain. If presented with an image of a registration mark, a “gunsight” and a gunsight, any kindergartner not irrevocably assigned to the short bus will pick the flight director and “gunsight” as most similar every time. The art of invidious comparison requires adulthood.

Palin’s PAC was obviously using a visual metaphor as shorthand for a variety of actions with the intent of achieving a specific goal in certain congressional districts: none of those actions involved violence of any kind, and the only goal was electoral defeat.

NPR’s (and the NYT’s) misrepresenting the fact of those symbols makes a hash of any pretensions of accuracy. Standing up for willfully inaccurate (using here an alternative meaning for “inaccurate”: baselessly accusatory) reporting is an odd position to take. But, just as conflating the literal and metaphorical, your taking it does not impose upon me any contradiction.

What I find most ironic about this whole thing is the narrative driven fact-free assertion of cause and effect. Put in another milieu, warmenism, say, RtO would rake such “reasoning” over the coals for the nonsense it is.

The primary fact you and Harry ignore is that, to all appearances, Loughner, profoundly mentally ill, was completely unaware of anything Sarah’s PAC produced, or anything conservative talk radio said. Which means the MAL, in addition to its other accomplishments, has raised the art of the non sequitor to a whole new level.

Something which most people outside the echo chamber have long since taken on board.

Harry Eagar Monday, 24 January 2011 at 16:23

‘The primary fact you and Harry ignore is that, to all appearances, Loughner, profoundly mentally ill, was completely unaware of anything Sarah’s PAC produced, or anything conservative talk radio said.’

Probably not accurate, but anyway, as I said way up there, Loughner didn’t have to subscribe to Palin’s Twitter feed to imbibe the whole anti-gummint, illegitimate gummint, grab-yer-shootin’-arns-to-defend-the-right zeitgeist. Assuming he had any coherent thoughts at all, they probably were of the take-the-gummint-back variety. If not take-it-back, then take-it-down.

It’s a tricky proposition, undermining the gummint to save it.

What’s the difference between the Beck commenter who said he had 5,000 ‘roundas’ to take care of Professor Piven and Loughner? Loughner had real rounds.

erp Monday, 24 January 2011 at 19:51

The difference is that Loughner actually acted out his madness.

Hey Skipper Monday, 24 January 2011 at 19:52
Probably not accurate, but anyway, as I said way up there, Loughner didn’t have to subscribe to Palin’s Twitter feed to imbibe the whole anti-gummint, illegitimate gummint, grab-yer-shootin’-arns-to-defend-the-right zeitgeist. Assuming he had any coherent thoughts at all, they probably were of the take-the-gummint-back variety. If not take-it-back, then take-it-down.

The preceding is a fact-void example of confirmation bias.

Oddly, you ridicule such a thing when warmenists do it.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 24 January 2011 at 20:36
If she’s well known for nothing, doesn’t that make erp’s point that she’s reported on only because she’s Sarah Palin’s daughter?’
Only if Khloe Kardashian is also Sarah Palin’s daughter.

Uh, why? I worked at it for a bit but couldn’t extract any logical connection.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 24 January 2011 at 20:38

AVRRA;

You DO realize that you’re claiming that Sarah Palin is made UNHAPPY by being the center of attention

I doubt it, since that’s not at all what erp wrote. You’re pulling a sleight of hand by equating the specific actions erp listed with attention in general. By that logic, every celebrity should enjoy being stalked, no matter how creep the stalker. It’s attention, after all.

Harry Eagar Tuesday, 25 January 2011 at 12:02

Guy, possibly you haven’t heard it, but there’s an old jibe about the definition of a celebrity as being a person who is well-known because of his well-knownness. The idea that a young woman of no accomplishments could become an intense subject of celebrity-following only because she is the daughter of Sarah Palin is disproved by, among dozens if not hundreds of other examples, Khloe Kardashian.

There, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 25 January 2011 at 12:27

It still doesn’t make sense to me. I had never previously heard of Khloé Kardashian but as far as I can tell from her Wikipedia article she became famous for starring in a reality TV show and has starred in at least a couple since then, which is hardly parallel to Bristol Palin.

What I see is that for people who are generally just known for being known, they get started because they’re related to someone with real celebrity and, absent that, would have never made a public splash. Which seems to be erp’s point.

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 25 January 2011 at 15:38

Assuming he had any coherent thoughts at all, they probably were of the take-the-gummint-back variety.

A rather bold, yet totally fact free assertion. Your entire point hinges on this yet what evidence exists would seem to show Loughner was simply personally upset with Giffords because of a (perceived) slight. Based on his interests, I would say he was for more likely to have been influenced by the “Bush stole the election” rhetoric and WTO riot style anarchism.

P.S. Are you also seriously suggesting that only the right/conservatives talk about “taking back the government”?

Harry Eagar Wednesday, 26 January 2011 at 11:46

I am suggesting that it’s been a topic of alleged right leaders.

I am not concerned about barbershop talk. When people who can carry precincts say things, I pay more attention.

I think the reason you’ve never heard of Khloe Kardashian that, indeed, she is not and never has been a person of real accomplishment. I am not a kardashian expert, but it was another sister who made the first splash, I chose Khloe because she was, as you say, related to someone of existing (if not very real) accomplishment.

Annoying Old Guy Wednesday, 26 January 2011 at 12:17

I am suggesting that it’s been a topic of alleged right leaders.

I am not concerned about barbershop talk. When people who can carry precincts say things, I pay more attention.

You quote random commenters on a weblog as evidence and then claim you’re not concerned about barber shop talk? I would also note Glen Beck currently has no precincts he has carried. Contrariwise you don’t seem to be concerned about an elected leader who is friends with an unrepentant domestic terrorist and says things about bring guns to knife fights, pitchforks, hitting back twice as hard, calling political opponents “enemies”.

I will also note this is completely unresponsive to my question, which was whether it’s only the right/conservative who do this. That tells me that you know the answer and since it doesn’t fit your Narrative, you won’t write it.

As for Khloé I would say it make erp’s point even more strongly, as she’s an example of someone who’s tracked by the paparazzi only because she’s a close relative of someone already famous, just like Bristol Palin. Is your view that those situations are not comparable unless Khloé is also related to Sarah Palin?

erp Thursday, 27 January 2011 at 09:54

Harry and Rough - How does this fit into your narrative!

Harry Eagar Thursday, 27 January 2011 at 11:36

I think you got erp’s point backward, Guy.

I believe RtO somewhere noted that Beck’s audience is very small, and so I don’t pay attention to him, other than as an example of a tool being used by manipulators a league higher than him. That’s diagnostic, as the rabbis point out this week, but he is not significant of anything in himself.

Among other reasons, he isn’t any more coherent in his ramblings than Loughner.

erp Thursday, 27 January 2011 at 16:11

Harry, I long to learn what I really mean and while I’m waiting, you might let us know what you think of this case of wishful thinking gone awry.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Thursday, 27 January 2011 at 18:05

Skipper:

A very thoughtful post.

But it also reinforces what I’ve been saying, which is that you’re disputing the obvious and reasonable solely because it doesn’t fit your preferred worldview - exactly as you accuse NPR of being: “Blinded by their ideology,” narrative über alles.

For instance, you reiterate that:

So, no, I do not notice any similarity between your two images, because the literal action obvious in one has not the first thing to do with the metaphorical message of the other.

And you continue:

…when engaged in reporting, or indeed description of any kind, accuracy should be prioritized rather highly.

Particularly on the radio… Radio listeners are, by definition, unable to judge for themselves how plausible that description is.

So what was your original claim?

Having never seen the thing myself, and I bet I’m far from alone in that regard, I took [NPR] at their word that [Sarah Palin] actually used gunsights (which, even if true still set new records for irrelevance). Imagine my surprise when I discovered they were nothing of the kind…

But why are they “nothing of the kind”? Is it because no reasonable person could “plausibly” interpret the marks as gunsights? Well, no, as is definitively demonstrated here - the marks are dead ringers for gunsights. The only way that one could fault NPR’s reporting accuracy is if one ignores the literal, and insists that everyone should replace plain reality with an abstract explanation of reality.

Valuing a nonobjective virtual reality over the real thing is the mark of true believers everywhere, and as such I’m astounded that you’ve written in the past about your difficulties in understanding religious people. Just look in a mirror. What you’re insisting upon is EXACTLY how religious people think: “Don’t read the [religious text] literally, instead accept this interpretive explanation, and then you’ll see how it all makes sense…”

I mean, when making the statement that X is Y, X bloody well ought to be Y, not a metaphor for Y, wouldn’t you agree?

You write:

NPR’s (and the NYT’s) misrepresenting the fact of those symbols makes a hash of any pretensions of accuracy.

What you’re expending a great deal of effort willfully ignoring is that the fact that the SARAHPAC symbols are visual metaphors does not mean that they’re not gunsights - after all, what’s a better symbol “to suggest targeting something, as a metaphor for focusing effort and resources,” than a gunsight?

And again, if the icons aren’t gunsights, then why can’t the it-en’t-a-gunsight folks agree on what they are? Suggestions include printer registration marks, surveyor’s marks, oscilloscopes, aircraft attitude indicators… Ever hear of Ockham’s razor?

The art of invidious comparison requires adulthood.

And adulthood requires putting away dissembling and preposterous explanations, along with other childish things; adults square up to reality.

How can I prove Mr. Eagar’s hyperventilating misapprehensions wrong?

Trivially easy. Find a contemporary response to Giffords’s objections that said “Oh, you are mistaken, those are printer registration marks.”

… why did the Palin team accept their critics’ labeling of the symbols as such in the many months before the shooting?
I think by “accept” you mean “did not dispute”. I’m surprised you don’t know that one of the best ways to draw attention to a scurrilous charge is to argue the point.

Sure, but it’s hardly scurrilous if it’s credible, and the icons clearly resemble gunsights. Therefore, by not offering an alternative explanation for what the symbols are, the Palin camp allowed their opponents to frame the debate. And then the unexpected happened, and the Palin camp’s failure to effectively manage their own image resulted in a PR fiasco for their principal.

And that’s if the Palin team was incompetent. If we assume that they’re reasonably competent, then it’s plain that the reason that they didn’t object to the gunsight characterization is because the icons were meant to be gunsights.

How much you want to bet that not one person with anything remotely approaching normal visual acuity chooses a gunsight?

All that I’ve ever earned, along with all that I will ever earn - times two.

Bottom line, L - R: Gunsight, printer registration mark, attitude indicator, oscilloscope

I’m certain that all of the first three would get some votes, which supports my main point: It’s absolutely reasonable to see the symbols as gunsights, and the Palin camp did not dispute that they were indeed such when specific objections were raised about the map. Therefore, to report that the symbols were gunsights is entirely defensible as accurate, and to claim that such reporting is solely narrative-driven, the product of “abysmally pig-ignorant, not-damn-caring about fact pandering liars” is not reasonable.

Indeed, apparently even you would have difficulty matching the best gunsight-alternative graphic to the map, as you’ve written that “any kindergartner … will pick the flight director and [SARAHPAC icon] as most similar every time,” which is, I think, inaccurate.

…that’s not at all what erp wrote. You’re pulling a sleight of hand by equating the specific actions erp listed with attention in general. By that logic, every celebrity should enjoy being stalked…

“Not at all,” eh?

Among the specific actions that erp listed are: “Harry’s buddies in the media have … reported on their activities and made them all celebrities.” How is that not “attention in general”??? Nor are those actions explicitly negative or creepy - in fact, they’re cherished dreams for tens of millions of people.

As for celeb’s being stalked, my (unoriginal and uncontroversial) contention is that if you asked people who fit the definition of “a person who is known for his well-knownness”, such as most reality-TV personalities, or people whose continued success depends on being well-known, such as politicians, whether they’d rather be the fixation of creepy stalkers and be celebrities, or be ignored by all including creepy stalkers, that they’d choose the former every time.

Good golly, people run for POTUS knowing that doing so, especially if elected, makes them a favorite target of deranged assassins. That makes having your garbage analyzed seem a bit tame.

Rough - How does this fit into your narrative!

Well, it supports Mr. Guy’s “Sarah Palin is the MAL’s designated Source of All Evil” meme. It also supports my trite observation that people tend to chase after celebrity despite any negative consequences: Bristol must be aware that she’s only being invited because of who is her mother - indeed, the event’s organizers STATE as much. Yet Bristol, should she accept the engagement as is expected, appears to be willing to stay in the spotlight despite the certainty that she’ll be followed around and picketed, and possibly have her trash picked through, etc.

This seems reasonable:

“We thought a big name like Bristol’s would help to start a dialogue,” Student Health Advisory Committee President Scott Elman told StudLife. “We also wanted to target abstinence because SHAC and Sex Week have been criticized for being too liberal and too one-dimensional, and that the abstinence conversation hasn’t been brought up.”

Having said that, if I were a Washington University student I’d be irritated if Palin were being remunerated beyond reimbursement for expenses, as her only expertise is in serving as a negative example of sexual responsibility, which is hardly a rare attribute.

Annoying Old Guy Thursday, 27 January 2011 at 18:23

AVRRA;

It also supports my trite observation that people tend to chase after celebrity despite any negative consequences

Yes, but that’s not how you originally responded. Erp’s is that the stalking part is viewed as a cost and if any of those people could have the attention without that, they would. You shifted from that to “not liking attention”. If you want us to all agree that such stalking is just a cost of doing celebrity business, that’s fine, as long as we’re clear that it’ an undesirable side effect.

Harry Eagar Thursday, 27 January 2011 at 19:07

Sigh.

Bristol Palin = Khloe Kardashian.

Unless there’s some sort of political bias driving the attention paid to Kardashian, you cannot say there is any political motive in the attention paid to Bristol Palin.

I suppose it was leftists who drove the attention paid to Billy Carter?

erp Thursday, 27 January 2011 at 19:44

Rough, I noticed you didn’t include the Democrats 2004 target map with real gun sights above.

Bristol Palin was invited to participate in the conference so they could get free publicity because they knew the media would be sure to whoop it up and they were right.

Harry, I’ve never done drugs, but I’m guessing it gives one the same sort of disassociative confused reaction, not to mention a splitting headache, as trying to follow one of your comments.

erp Thursday, 27 January 2011 at 20:48

Rough, before you get your Irish up, the targets above aren’t gun sights, they’re for target shooting.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Thursday, 27 January 2011 at 20:52

Yes, but that’s not how you originally responded. Erp’s is that the stalking part is viewed as a cost and if any of those people could have the attention without that, they would.

Original response:

Which makes Sarah very happy, on the whole. Ask, for instance, Mike Huckabee if he’d like to be hounded by the press.

Given the emphasized parts of my response, it’s no stretch to see it as substantially the same as “people tend to chase after celebrity despite any negative consequences.” The acknowledgement that it’s not an unmitigated positive benefit is there.

After all, you’ve ascribed a lengthy point to erp’s post without relying upon any specific contextual content, instead apparently being inspired by the mere tone of her message.

Which is not to say that I disagree with your interpretation of her writings; I’m merely saying that you could be as generous when reading me.

Bristol Palin was invited to participate in the conference so they could get free publicity because they knew the media would be sure to whoop it up and they were right.

And therefore? Or, this shows that… ?

Rough, I noticed you didn’t include the Democrats 2004 target map with real gun sights above.

How would that be relevant to whether Palin’s map did or did not have gunsights?

But, here ya go:

Is this to what you’re referring? ‘Cause those en’t gunsights, they’re bullseyes - targets. Perhaps you should have, oh, I don’t know, looked at the image before commenting?

Just a suggestion.

AVeryRoughRoadAhead Thursday, 27 January 2011 at 20:53

Roger that erp, we cross-posted.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 28 January 2011 at 08:37

Mr. Eagar;

you cannot say there is any political motive in the attention paid to Bristol Palin.

Who said there was? The claim was the attention was because Bristol is Sarah Palin’s daughter.

AVRRA;

I provided context here. My mistake on claiming that as your original response. It’s this I objected to —

You DO realize that you’re claiming that Sarah Palin is made UNHAPPY by being the center of attention

erp Friday, 28 January 2011 at 08:43

Rough replied:

And therefore? Or, this shows that… ? to this comment of mine: Bristol Palin was invited to participate in the conference so they could get free publicity because they knew the media would be sure to whoop it up and they were right.

Gosh. I don’t know how to make that statement any clearer!

It “shows that” they wanted free publicity aka drumming up interest in/for their event and they got it. Should Bristol Palin be “above it all” and not make a buck out of her celebrity status? Not being in her shoes, I won’t judge her. So far as I know she has done no harm and tried to make the best of a very difficult situation. The media will never leave her alone.

She’ll have to live with their bashing all her life and a hundred years from now, even if she cures cancer and baldness and is solely responsible for bringing about world peace, her obituary will lead off with a sentence identifying her as Sarah Palin’s unwed daughter who got pregnant and willfully didn’t abort it, etc.

Re: The 2004 Democratic bull’s eye target map

I’m guessing the media didn’t attempt to assign blame for all the violence in the world since 2004 like the various Moslem bombers, the guy who killed a bunch of people at Fort Hood, the guy in Times Sq., etc., to the designers and publishers of this map because it would have been ridiculous to try to establish cause and effect between the disconnected events, yet the that was exactly what they did with Palin’s similar, but less graphic map identifying election districts.

That’s an excellent example of what we on the right like to call media bias.

Harry Eagar Friday, 28 January 2011 at 11:56

‘The claim was the attention was because Bristol is Sarah Palin’s daughter’ made against the background of the overarching claim of a liberal smear campaign directed against Sarah Palin and all connected to her.

Nobody at TM has been grinding teeth at the horrible leftist media campaign against the Kardashians.

It’s sorta like the rabbis who suspect Beck of antisemitism. Sure, 1 out of 9 of his select list of criminals was NOT a Jew. You COULD argue that that proves he’s an equal-opportunity hater, but what are the odds?

Hey Skipper Friday, 28 January 2011 at 13:19
But why are they “nothing of the kind”? Is it because no reasonable person could “plausibly” interpret the marks as gunsights? Well, no, as is definitively demonstrated here - the marks are dead ringers for gunsights.

You are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts.

They do not merely resemble registration marks, they are dead ringers for registration marks because they are, in fact, registration marks.

How do I know?

Once upon a previous life, I laid out printed circuit boards from schematics. Because the boards had two sides, there were two sheets of mylar that had to register exactly when doing the photo reduction. To do that required four registration marks per sheet. They came on rolls, and looked, except for being black, not kinda like, or mostly like, but exactly like the symbols used here.

Second, a close friend of mine’s family owns a printing plant, which I have visited, and did a little work for. They use registration marks there that are, except for being completely black when the registration is correct, not kinda like, or mostly like, but exactly like the symbols used here.

Although it is hard for me to imagine, perhaps you haven’t ever seen, or noticed one. If you had, though, you must surely have taken on board that the Wikipedia image is not the only kind; most that I have seen, like here, or here, do not include the CMYK quadrants.

Now that you know, show us a gunsight — any kind — the Sarah PAC graphic, and the registration marks I pointed you to.

When making the statement that a registration mark is a gunsight, a registration make bloody well ought to be a gunsight.

It isn’t, and no amount of eye-squinting or equivocating will change that fact.

And again, if the icons aren’t gunsights, then why can’t the it-en’t-a-gunsight folks agree on what they are? Suggestions include printer registration marks, surveyor’s marks, oscilloscopes, aircraft attitude indicators… Ever hear of Ockham’s razor?

Ever hear of reading what I wrote?

To reiterate: we use crosshairs for all sorts of things, most of which do not involve shooting, even when they use the term “target”.

For the NYT and NPR to impose the factually incorrect term “gunsight” on registration marks is to invoke a meaning that never came close to existing. They did do because they are unable to distinguish their narrative from reality

Is this to what you’re referring? ‘Cause those en’t gunsights, they’re bullseyes - targets. Perhaps you should have, oh, I don’t know, looked at the image before commenting?

I am certain she did, and just as certain that she noted that targets are, well, something you shoot at.

And, going out on a limb here, I’m equally certain erp noticed the caption, which starts with “Behind Enemy Lines:

IMHO, equating either of these visual metaphors to violent intent, or even effect, of any kind requires unremitting commitment to a pre-existing narrative, and a deep disregard for, or puzzling ignorance of, facts.

Well, it supports Mr. Guy’s “Sarah Palin is the MAL’s designated Source of All Evil” meme. It also supports my trite observation that people tend to chase after celebrity despite any negative consequences …

Your observation is not so much trite as it is a frequent mis-characterization. No doubt, some people chase celebrity for its own sake. Far more often, though, people who are particularly gifted at something, or have a drive utterly independent of achieving celebrity, become famous as a consequence.

The MAL wallows, unrelenting, and unrepentant, in violent, disgusting images, worse statements, and wildly baseless accusations, insists that no conclusions be lept to at Ft Hood, and spins fantasies about Tucson.

I’m working hard on finding a charitable explanation. So far without success.

As for Bristol: $$$

If she can turn her moments of notoriety into a mortgage burning party, and can stomach the ranting vituperation along the way, more power to her.

Annoying Old Guy Friday, 28 January 2011 at 13:22

Mr. Eagar;

‘The claim was the attention was because Bristol is Sarah Palin’s daughter’ made against the background of the overarching claim of a liberal smear campaign directed against Sarah Palin and all connected to her.

Yes, and therefore … what?

Nobody at TM has been grinding teeth at the horrible leftist media campaign against the Kardashians.

Because

  1. There isn’t one.
  2. If there were, we wouldn’t know about it, because we have no idea who Khloé is.

And you said you didn’t pay attention to Glen Beck… But I still can’t make sense of your analogy.

My point is that Bristol’s mom is famous because of the smear campaign, and that fame is why Bristol is stalked, therefore it is the case that Bristol is stalked only because of who her mother is. Your claim, as best I can decipher it, is either

  1. Bristol would be stalked even if she wasn’t Sarahcuda’s daughter — or —
  2. Sarahcuda is just another entertainment figure, with no political significance, just like the Kardashian sisters.

Could you clarify which of these it is?

P.S. It may be that you have the causality backwards — there is no claim that because Bristol is stalked, there is a smear campaign against Sarahcuda. The claimed causality is the opposite — we observe a smear campaign against Sarahcuda, which explains the stalking of Bristol.

erp Friday, 28 January 2011 at 13:37

Probably because nobody ever heard of the K’s.

I suspect 100% of the rabbi’s who spent $100,000 of somebody’s (Soros?) on that ridiculous ad are far left Kool-aid drinkers, ignorant dupes or both.

Harry, seeing the world through the prism of class, sex, race and ethnicity is a model way past its sell-by date. Don’t you understand? A half white and half black person was elected president, so now we’re free, dear God, we’re freeeeeeeeeee.

Name calling doesn’t work anymore.

erp Friday, 28 January 2011 at 15:10

I hadn’t seen this excellent, fact-filled article before I made the comment above which needs to be corrected. 400 rabbis signed the letter.

Harry Eagar Saturday, 29 January 2011 at 14:15

Uh, I believe Sarah Palin is famous because she was the second woman ever picked to be a major party candidate for vice president, and — unlike Ferraro — inspired a cult following. (Nobody, to my knowledge, went out and bought shoes just like Geraldine Ferraro’s.)

She then resigned public office for no reason —a rarish event in American politics unless one is about to be indicted — but announced an intention to stand on the national stage and declaim. Most of what I read about her is adoring mush about mamma grizzlies etc.

The idea that only a leftist cabal (to what purpose?) kept her in the public eye is typical delusion of the right.

Guy, I pay no attention to Beck in the sense that I attach no significance to his ignorant ramblings. I don’t listen to him or the radio or watch him on the TV except when visiting my son-in-law, who listens while supplying ribald commentary. (It would be interesting to know what proportion of Beck’s audience tunes in to sneer.)

I got a strong whiff of Jew-hatred from Beck from the start, which was why I kept up a desultory interest. I expected he would eventually reveal himself as a common or garden variety Jew-hater. I was not wrong.

No need to check in on him any more.

erp Saturday, 29 January 2011 at 15:23

Harry,

People want to imitate Palin’s style because she’s a good looker, not because she’s a female vice-presidential candidate. Nobody wants to imitate Ferrara because she looks like a hausfrau.

Palin went into some detail about why she resigned as governor of Alaska. If you don’t already know, you could look it up, but you apparently know her motivation better than she does herself. No doubt got a whiff of it in the same way you were you able to get a whiff of Beck’s non-existent anti-Semitism and which Democrats are really Republicans …

Bret Saturday, 29 January 2011 at 18:20

aog wrote: “My point is that Bristol’s mom is famous because of the smear campaign…

I have to agree with Harry here.

Bristol’s mom (Palin) is famous because she was a vice-presidential candidate (not to mention governor of Alaska) and was quite outspoken in those roles with some fairly well known slogans (like “Drill, baby, drill”) even before she hit the national scene. The smear campaign may have made her somewhat more famous on the Left and very slightly more famous on the right, but is quite secondary.

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 29 January 2011 at 20:40

erp;

Note that Eagar can’t just disagree with Palin’s reasons for resigning — he has to pretend they don’t exist. Interesting kind of reality denial for an alleged journalist.

On the other hand there is this —

The idea that only a leftist cabal (to what purpose?) kept her in the public eye is typical delusion of the right.

Well, I think this sentence has a lot of wrongness wrapped up in it, but I can’t properly fisk it because I typoed my previous comment. I should have written

Bristol’s mom is famous and the target of a the smear campaign …

Totally muffed it. I actually wrote a far more scathing reply but then, not being a journalist, I went back to check my quotes and realized I had sawed off my limb. Sigh.

Annoying Old Guy Sunday, 20 February 2011 at 12:16

Instapundit on those accusations of anti-Semitism against Glenn Beck from the rabbis — looks like another false flag operation. As usual, once you look beyond the surface you find there’s no substance.

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