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Greer McVay

Greer McVay
California, United States
December 31
Relatively Speaking
Greer McVay is an emerging humorist, essayist, Blogger and prophet, clearly sent to earth to share opinions and wax poetic on myriad subjects. During the course of a 25 year career in communications, Greer has worked in the health care and oil & gas industries as well as for a number of non-profits. Opinions come from experience. You can talk. You can do. Or you can do both. I choose the latter. Stay tuned...

JANUARY 8, 2011 9:58PM

Blood on Their Hands: Political Contributions to Mass Murder

Rate: 19 Flag

Greer McVay’s Web Log (BLOG)

Volume 2, Issue 19

January 8, 2011 

It is not a good idea to “reload” instead of retreating. “Second Amendment” remedies do not work. This morning’s shooting at a community event in Tucson, Arizona that claimed the life of an aide to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and six others, including a nine year old child; and left in critical condition the Representative and as many as nine others, is likely a testament to the utter stupidity of provoking people who cannot distinguish between a metaphor and a command. Sarah Palin and Sharron Angle and Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck and their ilk have all contributed to this tragedy and all have blood on their hands. Their repeated cries for people to harm those who would disagree with them haven’t been tacit; it has been insultingly blatant. As Americans we all have a responsibility to stand up and demand that all such encouragement of abhorrent and violent behavior immediately cease or be met with social outrage and derision.

Dog whistle politics have been building pressure for the last two years. When the Department of Homeland Security published a report in 2010 that indicated homegrown, “Lone Wolf” extremism was growing and required focused eradication, the loudest voices of the Republican Party and political Right denounced the report as part of a socialist plot to unfairly target outspoken patriotic Americans. Instead of quashing the extremists from both, any, either or no political party, Republicans refused to step back from their partisan dogma. They refused to insist that radical followers use calm and clear thinking when dealing with issues to which they were opposed.  The rhetoric has been ratcheted up month after month and today’s outcome should have been expected. As a matter of fact, Democrats requested that their Republican counterparts limit the incitement, but were dismissed as playing party politics. How unfortunate for the victims today that those pleas went unheard.  How unfortunate for America.

With every single opportunity Sarah Palin finds, she blurts or Tweets a new version of the term, “Don’t retreat, Reload.” This statement, repeated ad nauseum to a nut with a gun becomes a programmed directive. When Sharron Angle indicated that an out-of-control Congress could be brought down with “2nd Amendment remedies,” she was threatening honest candidates with the consequences we saw today.  Bill “Tiller the Baby Killer” O’Reilly pounded the notion into the heads of his legions of followers that George Tiller, was a murderer and not worthy of the life that God had bestowed upon him. Glenn Beck sounds the alarm with each daily broadcast that encourages Tea Partiers and other right wing protesters to go to extreme measures to do the dirty work he knows he would never do. What prompts the attempted mass murder of an elected official? A misdirected notion of national honor and glory or perhaps, sheer insanity.

The simple truth that any half-observant person could see is that all of us have sat back and allowed the right wing to incite violence in every form imaginable. Perhaps we did so in the name of freedom of speech or because we simply find some of their actions so laughable. However, now, after the inevitable, we want to feign shock and outrage as if any other outcome was ever a possibility. We must decide here, today, to stand behind our words of prayer and sympathy.  John McCain, Sarah Palin, Mitch McConnell and others expressed condolences to the families directly impacted by this tragedy. The question I ask is what actions will they take in the coming days, weeks, months and years, to show that they really are saddened by this event?

Does Sarah Palin’s expunging her own website of the grotesque map targeting legislators she wanted “taken out,” one of whom was Ms. Giffords, mean that she has finally become as appalled with herself as 80% of Americans have been since she hit the national stage? Or is she just making a cursory effort to “CYA,” intending to fool us into thinking that she genuinely cares about anything other than her own self-interests? I will believe she is sincere if her actions shift from name-calling her enemies to finding more productive ways of working with those with whom she disagrees in an effort to bring the change America voted for in 2008.

Jared Lee Loughner, the person being held as a suspect in this mass murder allegedly posted on his website dissatisfaction about the government, healthcare reform, etc. The House of Representative Republican majority is poised to vote on repealing the new healthcare law as early as next week. They know that 1) their bill will never pass the Senate; 2) President Obama would never sign it into law; and most importantly, 3) this healthcare reform is exactly what the nation needs and deserves. The only beneficiaries of repeal would be healthcare providers and some corrupt Legislators who benefit financially from the largess of the healthcare lobby. If they really were sincere they would stop pandering to their red-meat-seeking base and their corporate benefactors and take care of the people’s business in a way that helps the many rather than the few.

Today is the saddest day I can recall in two years. My sadness is not caused simply by knowledge that at least six people lost their lives senselessly, but because I fear this is not the end. My concern is that as we came together immediately following 9/11, we gradually went back to our old ways and we will do so with this tragedy. However, I pray everyone will stop looking at their fellow man as the enemy and use their collective common sense to understand that big corporate interests are holding the strings that ultimately infringe upon our ability to pursue happiness. The enemy is not, contrary to the incessant rants of Fox enthusiasts, any of our 'socialist, marxist, communist, fascist, liberal, Lame-stream elites.' Those are the people struggling to solve the problems in spite of constant opposition from those who sell their votes to the highest bidders.

I call on every elected official, political pundit, political celebrity and person with a microphone or blog to use your voice to encourage healthy debate and civil discourse. Eliminating the propaganda and campaigns to misinform is necessary to truly find middle ground and facilitate the cooperative living of 300,000,000 people sharing the United States of America. Otherwise, there will be continued consequences for our inaction.


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I feel sick to my stomach about this whole day. And I am afraid as well.
I have not stopped shaking. Angry and so upset how people can hate so much.
rated with hugs
Well said. I feel exactly the same way. I am certainly not shocked, and my outrage has been spent 1000 times over. I am just very sad. Is it enough to make the politcal hate-mongers and violence-inciters stop? I sincerely doubt it.
Be Careful With Accusations

America is in such a state of anger that now Liberals and Conservatives are going to be blaming each other. A fever pitch of accusations is flying around, about all subjects involved. The country is about to enter the realm of the idiots in Europe with their violence. Violence does beget violence. The second amendment rights will be attacked along with Conservative political organizations. Everyone will be out on a witch hunt.

This is all because of an evil soul that decided to take lives for his own personal cause. These same evil souls are on both sides of the political spectrum, as well as the religious spectrum, such as the Muslim in Fort Hood who also killed a pregnant woman and her unborn child.

Conservatives and Liberals have always been targets of assassinations. Now it seems outrage fires up when it is one of their own. Giffords happens to be a blue dog Dem who stayed central. Neither Conservatives nor Liberals had anything to gain and everything to lose by trying to hurt such a person. She voted both left and right. If this evil soul was out to make a political statement, he could not have picked a worse person. Giffords stood for both sides of the political agendas and is pro gun rights. Only an evil soul trying to stir up trouble between two different ideologies would have done this.

Guns do not kill people, people kill people. Trying to take guns away from honest American citizens will allow only the criminals to have illegal arms. Liberals will have accomplished an even more dangerous society at the mercy of armed hoodlums, without the ability to protect themselves. That would be an anarchist’s dream. Hmmmm, could this be an anarchist trying to cause violence to erupt between two different party ideologies.

Bill Ayers was bombing buildings and hurting people in the sixties and yet, he is now a hero to Liberals. Liberal union leaders are threatening violence, such as Andy Stern. Andy Stern said, "If we can’t use the power of persuasion, we will use the persuasion of power”. Reagan had an assassination attempt, to which Liberals were applauding. Liberals were defending the Fort Hood Muslim, Nidal Malik Hasan, incessantly. How soon we forget. The point is, neither Liberals nor Conservatives can blame this event on a political party.

This man, by choosing Giffords, is proof he is just an evil soul and not an armed political assassin. Get a grip, because violence can get out of hand very quickly, especially in the heightened anger of America today.
I have gotten consistently low numbers of readers and have had my comments completely ignored after repeatedly warning that this was going to happen.

"They refused to insist that radical followers use calm and clear thinking when dealing with issues to which they were opposed. The rhetoric has been ratcheted up month after month and today’s outcome should have been expected."

This is why Loughner should be considered as quite mentally capable. His actions took enormous preparation and a collected mind.

Well done and Zumapick!
Nicely done! A Zumapick is no easy achievement.

This incident is an object lesson in the weakness of democracy. Democracy requires the participation of the public. The public favors emotion over reason at roughly a 3 to 1 ratio. Emotional arguments like Tommy T's state one thing in the comments he expressed above, and another in his October post about global warming, George Soros, and President Obama. Simple stated, guns violence as we witnessed yesterday is merely the act of one "evil mind", but George Soros is leading America to "war" by discussing climate. Democracy has no adequate substitute, and I do not mean to suggest otherwise, but it also has no test for honesty or the ability to reason in order to participate. Stark raving lunatics like Tommy T are free to participate in spite of his stark, raving lunacy. It is incumbent upon the reasonable to point out that crosshairs in political rhetoric is more dangerous than discussions of climate. They wont acknowledge this. They do not value reason or truth. And they still must be allowed to contribute. But see it for what it is. George Soros placed crosshairs on no one. Sarah Palin did.
Among other lies in his stupid comment, tea-bagger Tommy T says "Reagan had an assassination attempt, to which Liberals were applauding."

That's a lie, and and there's no record anywhere of any liberal applauding the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan.

So Tommy T...

Take your filthy NRA propaganda...

"Guns do not kill people, people kill people."

...and the rest of your lies, and shove it up your ass.

The Teabag Party is a terrorist organization, and its leaders like Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and Haley Barbour should be in prison.
Although I find it easy to assign blame where blame is due, I also recognize the need for civil discourse. Once this sort of thing gets this out of hand, it is up to our leaders to walk it back, and that includes those in the media who perpetuate such events. Will that happen? It may for a little while, but how long? We really need to get hold of ourself as a Nation or these tragedies will become far too common. BTW, I absolutely love your writing. I only wish the subject matter where more sunny.
well said, very informative, and yet downright chilling.....this incident I feel will encourage other like minded folks to take similar action...
The Repub/TP rhetoric has been duplicitous as you point out Greer. In the coming days we'll have a clearer picture of what's behind the shootings, especially if the rumored accomplice is caught.

But IF it turns out the this shooting spree has links to the far right, you know that the becks, Palins, Angles etc. will claim that "of course" they don't and have never advocated assassinations. Not their fault that the unbalanced segment of their audience reads between the lines.
They do have blood on their hands. This kind of rhetoric and imagery is protected by free speech but people need to consider consequences too. Great post.
Of all the warnings that came from the so called LEFT, about what would happen if the hateful rhetoric continued, they said that this kind of hate speech would trigger a "crazy" to actually pull the trigger! So why does it matter if he was sane or not? Distraction from reality! That's what 24 hour news does.

It's obvious to any rational critical thinker that there is a huge difference between speech on the right and speech on the left. In the United States I'm not even sure a real Left exists. What I do know from looking out of the two eyes in my head, is that the people who espouse the lies and the hatred seem to be standing on one side more than the other.

Then, when I think of the number of incidents in my own lifetime, that fit into the category of this event, the victims seem to be people who espouse peace, cooperation, compassion, anti-violence and advocate for the poor and disadvantaged.

So if that seems to some like I'm pointing a finger, then so be it. But I am a reasonable man. If you want me to bring my finger down, then offer something tangible, not corporate media sound bites!

I offer this example of my own Congresswoman from 2009! When she made this statement, the crazies called her a cry baby woman. WOW! What do we call the new Speaker then?
@Bill Beck
As usual, you are as stupid and deluded as ever. If you think Soros is innocent of any blood, you have a deluded mind. Look around in Salon and who is in the majority calling for retribution. You guys need to stop before you set a nuclear reaction in motion.

The Liberals have as much blood on their hands as anyone else. They just refuse to accept accountability for it. As usual, you show true Liberal hypocrisy or very short Liberal memory for all of the threats and attacks, both physical and mental, by Liberal progressive organizations and people.

Liberals need to grow up one day and accept accountability for their actions. There are Liberals in here calling for the death of Palin and other Conservatives. That is the most moronic and stupid call of action, on the part of Liberals, that could have possibly been taken. Where are your self righteous statements now after the call for death to Conservatives?

Your moronic pea brains, the same ones that allowed you to become controlled by the Progressive party, are now bringing America to the cusp of internal war because of an evil person who is probably an Anarchist. Now the Anarchist has been able to manipulate the Liberal brain to cause trouble and the Anarchist is drooling over war between Liberal and Conservative ideology.

This was sloppy, especially with the killing of an innocent little girl and the killing of a politician who was Conservative and Liberal, a Blue Dog Dem. This was done by someone wanting America to explode into violence.

Liberals, as usual, are allowing themselves to be manipulated by first Progressives and now Anarchists.

You people are inciting unprecedented violence and calling for assassinations and murder of conservatives. You are pathetic as they come. I guess Liberals are not as peaceful as they try to lead America to believe.
Never in all my years of participating in the internet have I ever personally attacked another poster. The proof is in the pudding.
The protestations of innocence by the Rabid Right are as empty as their souls. It's really quite simple to "refudiate" their claims, for their denials are based on the absurd notion that words and images have no power. Of course they do.

Words and images incite violence in exactly the same way words and images convince consumers to buy products they don't need and can't afford, even convince them to buy products like cigarettes that kill them.

Political zealots buy into apocalyptic political rhetoric just as religious zealots buy into apocalyptic rhetoric offered up by disgraced preachers like Jimmy Swaggert and Jim Bakker even after they have been exposed as charlatans.
but not one word as to how this young man was armed with a weapon of mass destruction, rather than being "forced" to violence only with his fists, or stones , or maybe a kitchen knife.....
Good points. There is a meanness and a rottenness on the right I haven't seen in a long, long while. About 65 years...
As I believe in looking at all sides of an issue, I surfed around a great deal for comment, primary sources (Loughner's MySpace and YouTube uploads have been captured) and reports.

As it turns out, there is an equally vicious circle of accusations by "righty" blogs that claim Loughner was a "lefty".

The evidence? He had a "favorite books list" on his page and listed the Communist Manifesto (lefty)as a fave (he also listed "We The Living" by Ayn Rand (righty) and "Through the Looking Glass". Of course the rightys assert that another of his favorite books, "Mein Kampf" was lefty too...check out this assertion here:

Here's more "lefty" v. "righty" stuff: He hated the Fed and non-gold backed currency (righty) but burned the U.S. flag in a You Tube video (lefty).

Also, perhaps you are not aware of it, but Giffords is a Blue Dog who voted against Pelosi, but FOR the Dream act, against immigration reform and FOR tightening the border patrols.

Daily Kos ALSO scrubbed it's blog of a 2008 "target" graphic listing Congressional candidates that needed to be defeated. They used "bullseyes" to mark candidates to defeat. Gabrielle Giffords was one. I found that link through Huffington Post.

While I agree that I have seen more violent rhetoric from the right, the left is NOT innocent. How many people remember THIS movie: called "Death of a President, and released in was about the assassination of George Bush.

All I'm saying is that he really wasn't a product of either left or right the way McVeigh was. He seems to have suffered alcohol poisoning and certainly seemed dissociative in his mental state.

Please can we check our own side too...I really do fear violent rhetoric. I know it seems to come more from the right. Guns do create more violence. Check out the stats from any nation that outlaws them (that has a stable infrastructure and government...we're not allowed to consider Somalia here). I just feel sick all the way round.

As Tolstoy said, "What then must we do..."?
Excellent, excellent work here, my new friend. You wrote this with precision and didn't even cuss! Simple Sarah Palin got a taste of the spotlight and could never go home to her Alaskan meth town again after getting such attention. It is fitting that McCain, a gigantic fraud himself, would team up with another fake like Palin. She- like most of her followers- have no idea of the scorn and disdain the Neo-Cons feel for her. They are the elite and think only they have the ability and knowledge to lead us. Yeah, lead us all into chaos, continual conflict and a living hell.
Here are a couple of follow up thoughts:

If I am to believe that Daily Kos scrubbed its site, removing some provocative content, I'd have to ask when did they do so? Was it after a mass murder was committed that targeted at least one person on their "hit list?" If not, then there is no equivalence.
And speaking of false equivalencies, I have seen a boatload of comments out on the ether today that seem to suggest that both sides of the aisle hold their fair share of blame for adding to the toxic environment that precipitated this tragedy. Wrong, wrong, wrong. There are no current examples of left-leaning loose cannons gunning down innocent bystanders because Democratic officials encouraged them to do so. None.

Hearing the pundits today suggesting that a one-off comment by Michelle Obama or some other Democrat is in any way comparable to Sarah Palin’s incessant battle cry about Obama not being like “the rest of us,” or Rush Limbaugh talking about the demise of our country is ludicrous. All the fear being peddled that America is in its final days is nonsense and should cease immediately.
But my ultimate argument is not that the Democrats are good and the Republicans are bad. Instead, I am advocating a truce in which we all just stop. Yes, I believe that Republicans, Tea Partiers and the political right are guiltier of inciting violence and preying upon their vulnerable followers, however, I am not obsessed with that distinction. At this point I am just eager for us all to agree that the game has gotten out of control and people are now dying.

Regardless of the history, the guilty party, or the agendas, I do not want to see the death of another person; nor do I want to see any other [possibly] schizophrenic, delusional, bipolar (or any other ailment) person driven to a murderous rampage. I guess my point is this: if lone wolf zealots are going to snap and kill people let them do it on their own without any provocation from the Right or the Left. I am amazed that those on the Right cannot get behind that concept. Why must they spin this to justify their bad acts? Stop doing things that do not benefit the human race. Even if a correlation cannot be drawn between the rhetoric and the murders there is nothing that justifies putting crosshairs over the face of an elected official, especially by another elected official—or a half-term governor.

If you have a microphone you have a responsibility to use it responsibly.
Hi Greer...I agree that all the gun metaphors and violent rhetoric need to stop. I did put in my post above, the date (2008) and the fact that Gabrielle Giffords was on the targeted list on Daily Kos. They called their graphic a "bullseye" rather than "crosshairs" however. And yes, the site scrubbed this reference just Sunday. After this very shooting. Here is a screen capture:

I abhor violence and am a peace activist. I am a teacher in Colorado who was teaching at a school 5 miles from Columbine when the shootings occurred there and watched with horror as that tragedy occurred. I still teach in the same district as Columbine.

I also agree with you and SpiritManSF that the vitriol seems to be more present on the right. And I do feel that blame goes to that quarter not just for rhetoric, but for legislation that continues to allow disturbed individuals and criminals to easily obtain and carry weapons. Guns DO kill people obviously. I am flummoxed by their ignorance to read the FIRST clause of the 2nd Amendment, which states: "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a Free State,..." and focus only on the second clause: "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

I'd say that a well-armed militia is the National Guard, and the ignoring of this intent is reprehensible.
Not only is the loss of life and injury suffered in this tragedy sad but I'm equally troubled by the negative signals esteemed politicians and media personalities send to our youth. Unfortunately, crime statistics support the fact that American youth are quick to use violence to settle mild disputes.
I'm late...and will give you your first Zumapick! Well done.

You did a good job of illustrating how people allow the virulent rhetoric to get out of control, then walk away from it all as soon as the actors are labeled as "mentally ill".

All that it would take is a team of "crazy killers" to tear this country up.

It makes me mad that the talking heads are naming specific mental illnesses when he hasn't even been evaluated by a forensic psychiatrist yet.

There have been discussions of autism, schizophrenia and all sorts of guesses, and I wonder if he is setting up for an insanity defense.