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January 10, 2011 - 8:51am

Today's Poll: Was the Giffords' alleged shooter motivated by politics or just crazy?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
Jack Dorf
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Bob Harker
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The left continues to amaze me. They cannot see the double standards they constantly call for. This tragedy is only the latest example. From the left winged sheriff (who should be apolitical but obviously is not and now holds the world record for the use of the word "vitriol" in one statement)to left winged "democratic leaders" calling for radio talk shows to be held accountable for this nutjob's actions. Limbagh, Hannity, and Becks' stated opinions caused this. Yet when a muslim extremist, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, shoots up Ft. Hood - killing 15 - these same voices were calling for the public nit to "jump to conclusions" that his ties to radical islam were involved in his motivation. For me, the scariest aspect of this blind bias is that those that encourage and support such rhetoric can't see the unjustifiable content and naivete of their words.
George Richardson
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The Sheriff spoke his true opinion based on seventy five years of living. There was nothing political about it, at all, and he is absolutely right. What the world needs now, is love sweet love, it's the only thing that there is just too little of. C'mon people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together try to love one another right now. Tin soldiers and Nixon coming, we're finally on our own. This summer I hear the drumming, four dead in Ohio. Comprende Amigo?
Howard B. Owens
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The Sheriff is covered by the same First Amendment that covers you and me.
Bea McManis
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Bob, so far the only poster to make this political is you. This event was a tragedy. A senseless shooting spree that left, among others, a nine year old girl dead. If this has any positive benefit, it may be the realization that demonizing public officials can trigger an unstable mind into acting out what he/she perceives as the 'right' thing to do. If you are a fan of Limbaugh, Beck, Palin or Hannity, then you probably don't find their rhetoric, vitriolic. From what I've read and heard, most of the media talking heads are taking a serious look at what they say and how they say it. If you didn't catch it, Keith Olbermann's apology for things he has said, and comments made by others, is well worth watching Olbermann: Violence and threats have no place in democracy http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40981503/ns/msnbc_tv-countdown_with_keith_ol...
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I think Arizona is full of crazy people, the sun's so hot it bakes their brains.
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I only heard one radio talk show host, Stephanie Miller (a lefty) on 1520 AM try to make this political. The others today, both on the left and right, are not. From what you see on the TV news, this guy is a nut. Interviews with past teachers and fellow students all seem to agree with that. It's like John Hinckley. He did not shoot President Ronald Reagan because he was a left wing nut, he shot him because he was a nut; period. Politics had nothing to do with it. There are just people like that.
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Jack Dorf
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John you should watch this. Some people on the left will take any opportunity they can to blame others for political reasons. Not for nothing Bea but Keith Olbermann is a clown. Yet before his "apology" he takes the opportunity to slam people on the right for most of his rant. http://www.thehopeforamerica.com/play.php?id=6588
George Richardson
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She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah. She loves you yeah, yeah, yeah. With a love like that you know it can't be bad. Don't reload, press reset on the love button.
Dave Olsen
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George Richardson
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I love this one too, Dave. True gutteral expression from a genius with a brain and a heart. People don't understand irony any longer.
Dave Olsen
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I love the bass line especially. David Byrne, King of Irony
Howard B. Owens
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True Story: early 1978, I had heard of but had not yet heard The Talking Heads (remember in the days of only commercial, tightly programmed radio, it was hard for a band like this to break through). I was on the punk rock/new wave train already by this time. A friend had free tickets to a show at a little college-campus club called The Backdoor. Real small venue. The headliner that night: The Talking Heads. Again, I knew nothing of their music, but thought it would be a good show to go to. The image of a sunken-eyed David Byrne singing "Psycho Killer" just 10 feet in front of me is as etched into my mind to this day as clearly as if you set a photograph in front of me. It was an awesome performance. That is the only thing I remember from that show. That was the first time I ever heard this song, now one of my all-time favorites.
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OUR public airwaves have become political opinion-shapers. Whether we agree or not, pundits who used to be buried on low-wattage AM stations, entertaining mostly insomniacs have evolved (for whatever reason- likely budget) into messianic experts leading sheep of varied ilk, possessing nothing more than gift of gab. I used to be amused by some of these loudmouths: the purveyors of pyramidology, alien abduction and the late Gene Scott, who never inspired me, but certainly married cigar, esoteric blather and performance as high art. I am not one for censorship, but the former regulation, mandating equal time seems to have been abandoned. The frequency-bands allocated to commercial interests are not owned by the broadcast company- they are public. Financial standing and an agenda should not be the sole qualifier for use of those bands. The FCC should interrupt focus on five words and start enforcing neutrality. We all pay for this BS- whether we agree or not.
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CM, I don't want the FCC to enforce what it thinks is "neutrality". Being a government agency, sooner or later the political party in office, who appoint who will run the FCC, will decide what is fair. Then you get hidden censorship. Some of us think the government has already picked sides by continuing to funding NPR. You have to stretch credibility to say they are neutral or in the center Right now the airwaves are governed by the market. Most people seem to like what they listen to. Around the Buffalo area, you can hear the right on 930 AM, you can hear the left on 1520 AM, and the "fair" NPR on 970 AM. Seems fair to me, I get to pick what I will listen to. The station that gives the public what they want gets the most advertising money. The losers will either get less money or drop the broadcasts. We don't need the government telling us what is fair or neutral, we can decide ourselves.
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Jack, If Olbermann is a clown, in your eyes, so be it. However, I'm not one to gorge on the pap that most of the talking heads feed the public. I'm not blaming either side. I do believe that the rhetoric needs to be toned down. The New York Times did a piece, yesterday, on the fact that this event will generate debate on the right and wrong of vitriolic rhetoric. There are people who feed on it. This shooter may not be one of them but what about the next?
George Richardson
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Hey Bea, I want to buy you a cupcake.
Dave Olsen
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Howard, I think that if i could time-travel, one of the first things for me would be the late 70's New York City, and catch the "New Wave" bands on the cusp of breaking out at CBGB. Must've been great. The sad part is, I graduated high school in 1977 and could've done that, but knew nothing about it. C'est la vie.
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Keith Olbermann is a clown in the eyes of just about every television viewer in America, as well as all of his former co-workers and previous employers. His apology is no more genuine than his vow to stop his obsession with all things Bill O'Reilly, end the "Worst Person in the World" segment, stop blogging on the Huffington Post, and cancel his Twitter account. A piece today in The National Review sums up his antics quite nicely - http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/256747/mr-civility-katrina-trinko
George Richardson
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C.M. to follow your thinking: You work hard, do your research, and invent an immensely popular widget. You prosper. I, on the other, bring to market an inferior product. Let's call it the anti-widget. Try as I might to sell my anti-widget, people just aren't interested, and I can't make enough money to keep marketing my product. In steps our friendly government. "It" believes that in spite of folks lack of interest in the anti-widget, because they are flocking in droves to your widget, they should be exposed to the anti-widget. They are not capable of making their own decisions as to what widget best suits their need. As simplistic as this analogy is, it pretty much sums up what I hear when the left calls for revisiting the "fairness" doctrine. Government knows best what it's SUBJECTS needs. I personally think Michael Savage is an idiot. I change the station. Capitalism at work.
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I gotta go with Bob and John on this C.M and Bea. Freedom of speech, freedom to be an ass and all that. Personally, I can't take it anymore and don't listen to or watch either side. I used to flip between radio stations when driving to get different points of view and watch different TV pundits for the same reason. No more, they all irritate me to no end and give me a headache because of the partisanship. I either listen to sports talk radio or NPR (when it's not a political story) and watch PBS for news. Mostly, though I have about 6 sites linked to my facebook and I read the articles which interest me and then surf around for more on the same subject.
George Richardson
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Kevin, my doctor told me that if watching that crap was causing me pain, then I should stop watching that crap. He is a smart man, even though I totally ignore him. Be a lover, not a fighter, and enjoy life like it was meant to be before the fuggin' internet. Thank you Al Gore, for being a visionary that made things possible for us assholes. Howard, what is so funny about peace love and understanding? I don't get it. You too, Billie.
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C. M. Barons
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I specifically decried censorship. I'm asserting that the airwaves are public domain. If John doesn't see the FCC as the proper agency for "balancing" the editorial output of commercial broadcasters- that has no bearing on my premise. The airwaves are public, and just because corporations have gobbled up the outlets, does not give them the right to mandate the editorial policy of those airwaves. I am only advocating for "balance;" something that used to be policy. How that balance is attained or who enforces it is nuts and bolts. Left, right or center, I don't begrudge anyone their opinion. Don't use my tax dollars to shovel it down my throat (ears).
Bea McManis
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"If a Detroit Muslim put a map on the web w/crosshairs on 20 pols, then 1 of them got shot, where would he be sitting right now? Just asking." - Michael Moore
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How does a nut job like this walk in to the gun store and walk out with a glock 19? Does anyone on this site believe that this psychopath should have had access to firearms? If he can't get back into school or get into the military how in the hell did he walk out of the store with a semi automatic weapon? Hate speech on both sides and especially gun metaphors (I said both sides, John) need to end in the political discourse. No more cross hairs, no more targets, no more "second amendment remedies". No more fund raisers at the rifle range with metaphorical implications.
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Oh Bea, Mike's a Socialist Commie, just like you and me. Just believe what you are told and then puke it up later. I love you girl, but what other choice do you have? Politics means money, I try, but I've never cheated anyone; so I constantly come up short. Love you Dudette. Howard, You da' MAN. Man, I mean Dude, dude. You know dude. I know you do. Cha cha cha.
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Thank you, Bea, for reminding me of something... The other night, driving home from work- around 1 AM, I had the opportunity to listen to some pundit (the FM station was around 92 on the dial) go on for twenty minutes in pigeon English, mimicking an Arab, voicing the most absurd stereotypical, over-the-top monologue. I wasn't angered. I wasn't sympathetic. I was embarrassed. I think Marconi, Hertz, Fessenden and Deforest, having heard what I heard, would have rescinded their inventions, likewise embarrassed by the utter misuse of their technologies. To imagine the dollars and instrumentation necessary to accomplish broadcasting- and understand the trite, self-serving garbage that typically drools out of speakers and display panels is pathetic.
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Lorie, The answer is that while we now know he is a "nut job", he had not been confined for mental illness in the past. And remember, mental health issues are off limits to many in our politically correct society. And most of the time, even if you know somebody needs help, you can force them to seek mental health treatment. And as you know, we can't profile a person. This came up with a shooting in Virgina, remember? He had no criminal history. He didn't get in the army because he failed the drug screening. But that is not a crime and is not reported. Based on his lack of criminal history and no reportable mental history, he could have gotten a gun even in NY. Let's just hope he doesn't get off easy like Hinkley did.
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CM, I agree with you, they should not use our tax dollars to shove anything down our throats (ears). That's why we should end giving our tax money to National Public Radio (NPR).
George Richardson
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Don't get me wrong Howard and Billie. I know y'all know about, and believe in, peace love and understanding. I just worry about the rest of the world. They scare me into sleepless nights too often. It really sucks.
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George- are you real? Or are you a pixelization of Vonnegut's Eliot Rosewater?
George Richardson
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.
George Richardson
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C.M.: I read that book once, but thank you for making me read it again. You are pretty damn cool yourself, although you deny it. I aint lyin', dude. You are a closet liberal and I'm telling everyone about you, bad boy.
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I'm a table-top liberal. My closets are dead-nuts; it's the horizontal surfaces that attract clutter.
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Bea quotes Michael Moore..."If a Detroit Muslim put a map on the web w/crosshairs on 20 pols, then 1 of them got shot, where would he be sitting right now? Just asking." The answer, home in his living room after it was determined he had nothing to do with it. What an idiotic question. The initial reaction to the shooting represented one of the lowest points in American media. The MSM was literally tripping over itself trying to blame Sarah Palin and the Tea Party for this guys actions just like they tried to do with the Kentucky census worker(murder linked to Tea party/Glenn Beck, turned out to be suicide/insurance scam), Alabama professer(blamed on Tea Party/right-wing racism, turned out to be about her tenure being denied and she was actually an Obama obsessed liberal), the IRS building plane crasher(first linked as Tea Party nut, turned out to be a delusional anti-capitalist), the Pentagon shooter(linked again to Tea Party right wing rage, turned out he was obsessive anti-Bush 9/11 truther), the Manhattan Muslim cabbie stabber(blamed on right-wing anti-Ground Zero mosque rhetoric, turns out the stabber actually worked for an organization that supported the mosque and the incident was a result of a drunken college kid who had a history of same). Rahm Emanual said ‘You never want a serious crisis to go to waste’ and the left as well as the MSM sure have lived up the that mantra.
George Richardson
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Yeah, told you. I live for clutter too. It's going to get better without a doubt. Attitude is awesome C.M. wait a few years and then tell me I'm wrong. Peace is peaceful and we all need it bad.
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George, Then you also agree that our tax money should not go to NPR?
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Well Said Jeff.
George Richardson
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.
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You are very funny, George. Why is the vitriol and violence primarily targeted at the Democrats? Just wonderin. The attacks from the right toward the Democrats started when the health care debate heated up and have continued at a fevered pitch. Our own neighboring congresswoman, Louise Slaughter's office, was vandalized as well as Monroe County Democratic HQ's. No representative should be afraid for their lives and their staff's lives. Gabby Giffords' own prophetic words.
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Lorie, Could it be that the party in power is usually the target, no matter which one? Back in 2004, the Democrat Leadership Council had a map of the US with bulls eyes on Republican districts that were up for grabs. Were Democrats hinting that they had to kill Republicans? No. Was Sara Palin saying kill Democrats, no. They both used similar imagery to make a point to go after perceived weak candidates. No more, no less.
Lorie Longhany
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John, the rhetoric needs to be ratcheted down on both sides. Won't you agree?
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Lorie, I don't remember anyone saying otherwise? But this guy was a nut and the "rhetoric" on the left and right does not seem to have played any part in the crime. It turns out he was a registered independent that did not even vote last year. This guy is no different than the two nuts who tried to kill Pres. Ford, the one who shot Reagan or the one that killed Kennedy. None of them were motivated by politics (well, maybe Oswald, we'll never really know with him).
Lorie Longhany
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Here's a large anonymous snip from a Republican Senator today in Politico. I'm sure he was concerned about the wrath of Limbaugh and other rabid talkers if he had gone on the record. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/47294.html A senior Republican senator, speaking anonymously in order to freely discuss the tragedy, told POLITICO that the Giffords shooting should be taken as a “cautionary tale” by Republicans. “There is a need for some reflection here - what is too far now?” said the senator. “What was too far when Oklahoma City happened is accepted now. There’s been a desensitizing. These town halls and cable TV and talk radio, everybody’s trying to outdo each other.” The vast majority of tea party activists, this senator said, ought not be impugned. “They’re talking about things most mainstream Americans are talking about, like spending and debt,” the Republican said, before adding that politicians of all stripes need to emphasize in the coming days that “tone matters.” “And the Republican Party in particular needs to reinforce that,” the senator said.
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If more of our elected representatives would spend more time on doing the job they are being over-paid for, instead of angling for re-election support or who can be beat in what district; there wouldn't be as much anger out here.
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I agree a lot with Dave. Vitriolic speech has been a part of the Republic since the beginning. But my basic answer is: If you want less partisan speech, stop being so partisan. That's not directed at anybody in particular (it's my usual rant), just saying: You get what you pay for. If you make party more important than governing, then that's how people are going to respond. We're never going to get rid of the vitriol until we get rid of the two-party system. Read the links I posted, too. This crime was, we now know, in no way connected to any political speech. It's just a nut job who wanted media attention.
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Lorie, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) literally shot a copy of a bill he did not like last year in a TV commercial, showing how he was taking "dead aim", at a bad law (which did not pass). Was Sen. Manchin, a democrat, inciting violence? He denied it today and I agree with him, I don't think he was. He was just making a dramatic statement that he would fight bills he thought were bad. He was not advocating shooting or killing the opposition.

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