OMG. The Mormons want women to vote

Why women shouldn’t be “burdened” with the vote: 1915
[Via Boing Boing]

This 1915 Boston Journal ad warning against the dangers of women’s suffrage lays all manner of dangers at the feet of “burdening” women with the vote, including increased taxes and divorce. It warns that extending the vote to women is a joint plot of the anarchist Industrial Workers of the World, socialists, and Mormons. Good to know that we’ve come so far in our political rhetoric.


So, women’s suffrage was a socialist plot. And the anarchists and feminists were too. All on the left.

Then the Mormons? They used to be favorite boogeymen for people on the right.

Some things have really changed.

Read this and see real human determination

Sen. Gillibrand, Rep. Wasserman Schultz Describe Giffords Opening Her Eyes

She did more than just open her eyers. She responded to verbal command to touch things. She gave her husband a hug.

To be in the room, with their friend, when that happened. Even the doctors recognized how important having her friends and family were:

And we went out, Dr. Lemole, who is the one that’s been on TV and has been so good about explaining everything, he literally said to us, you know, I’ve discounted — on TV, I’ve discounted emotion being — and friendship and family — really, I’ve sort of discounted that as meaningless out loud. He said, I just witnessed the impact of friendship and what you guys — he said, you did this here today.

Another important symbolic gesture for the State of the Union

Instead of sitting on opposite sides of the House chamber, Mark Udall suggests that during the State of the Union speech , Republicans and Democrats sit together, thus demonstrating the collegiality and civility that should be present, even when disagreements exist..

This would be pretty classy and, like reading the Constitution, a reminder of our common interests and goals. Udall states:

On the night of the State of the Union address, we are asking others to join us – House and Senate members from both parties – to cross the aisle and sit together. We hope that as the nation watches, Democrats and Republicans will reflect the interspersed character of America itself. Perhaps by sitting with each other for one night we will begin to rekindle that common spark that brought us here from 50 different states and widely diverging backgrounds to serve the public good.

I hope the political leadership of both parties initiates this as I think it would be very healing.

Posted in Government, Politics. Tags: , . Comments Off

Not only does blood libel ratchet up the explosive rhetoric, but her logic is internally inconsistent

argument by Jules Minus

The Caucus: Palin Calls Criticism ‘Blood Libel’
[Via NYT > Home]

Sarah Palin used an emotionally laden phrase in a video denunciation of journalists and pundits who blamed political rhetoric for the shootings.


:Let’s start off with this, a comment by Palin that tries to support the proposition that there is no connection between violence and hatred and the works of pundit, journalists or politicians:

Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them, not collectively with all the citizens of a state, not with those who listen to talk radio, not with maps of swing districts used by both sides of the aisle, not with law-abiding citizens who respectfully exercise their First Amendment rights at campaign rallies, not with those who proudly voted in the last election.

That proposition may be true but her rhetoric is quite wrong. Of course, the vast majority of what has been written by journalists, pundits and leaders has been for leaders to tone down the rhetoric because words can have consequences. When specific people are mentioned, it has been the talk show hosts, the pundits and the political leaders who are examined. Not all the citizens of the state, the people who listen to talk radio,, not the people who vote or any of the other examples she discusses. This is a classic straw man argument. It misrepresents an opponent’s position. Classic logical fallacy.

But, here is the inconsistent part . She first states that the incident bears no connection to the heated vitriol heard daily. That its actions stand on their own and that what is talked about has no effect on creating hatred and violence. She then makes a statement that completely contradicts this proposition.

The quote that is getting all the attention, which was its purpose of course, is:

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.

Now most are concentrating on the atrocious use of blood libel, a historically loaded word with explosive ramifications when a Jew was almost assassinated. She is appropriating a phrase with very specific meaning and applying it in a way that completely twists it in ways to make people angry. That is reprehensible.

But it is the second part of the sentence I want to focus on. She states that the pundits on the other side who manufactured this libel are inciting violence and hatred by what THEY write. That they are only pretending to condemn the violence while actually working to incite it.

So, conservative hate radio – just free speech. Liberal pundits commenting about hate radio – inciting hatred and violence.

My side – no connection between vitriolic speech and violence. Their side – direct connection between rhetoric and violence.

My speech – independent of violence. Criticism of my speech – incites violence.

Using the term ‘blood libel’ – civil speech. Telling politicians to be more civil in their speech – inciting hatred.

As she rails against liberals for falsely saying that political speech can cause violence, she accuses them of using political speech to cause violence. Situational ethics is not something I find appealing in a politician.

I guess her argument is smart politics but it is disturbingly dumb rhetoric. I really dislike dumb rhetoric.

Jon Stewart on shootings

Stewart gave a very heartfelt monologue on Monday about what happened this weekend. I think we would be a better country if more people, particularly those in positions of power, heard and acted on his words.

How do we regain civility in our discousre?

To Regain Civility in American Politics, We Need to Rethink Media, Education, and How We Participate
[Via Big Think]

Whether it is climate change, immigration, or income inequality, America seems incapable of making progress on solving complex problems. In fact, it seems that the country is locked in a downward cycle of incivility and polarization. In an interview I did last year with Big Think, I discussed three specific areas where institutional changes can occur that could increase active public participation on what seem to be eternally gridlocked issues.


Well worth watching. Better idea dissemination, doing a better job with education and better participatory processes would go a long way.

Of course, perhaps higher employment levels would do so also.

Makes me wonder about Facebook

Iceland Officials Ask US To Explain Why It’s Trying To Get Lawmaker’s Twitter Info
[Via Techdirt]

On Friday, we noted that US officials had sent a court order (not a subpoena, apparently) to Twitter, asking for info from a few accounts that had some association with Wikileaks, including that of Icelandic lawmaker Birgitta Jonsdottir. Apparently, Icelandic officials are not too happy about this. They’ve asked the US ambassador to Iceland to explain the reasoning for this:

“(It is) very serious that a foreign state, the United States, demands such personal information of an Icelandic person, an elected official,” Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson told Icelandic broadcaster RUV.

“This is even more serious when put (in) perspective and concerns freedom of speech and people’s freedom in general,” he added.

Of course, we might not find out what was said until Wikileaks (or some other operation) leaks a new batch of State Department cables a few years down the road…


We only know about this because Twitter pushed back against the court order and publicized it. I wonder if Facebook received such an order and just followed it without letting its users know?


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