SILVA: Does speech lead to violence?

SILVA: Does speech lead to violence?

There are 202 comments on the The Paradise Post story from Feb 1, 2011, titled SILVA: Does speech lead to violence?. In it, The Paradise Post reports that:

The drumbeat continues from the political left in this country. It's been a steady one over the years.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Paradise Post.

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jamesolney

Karaikudi, India

#1 Feb 1, 2011
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Scholar

Sacramento, CA

#2 Feb 1, 2011
Some good examples there, Silva. But those are just a smattering of what we've heard from the left in recent years.

The volume of violent speech, violent imagery, and open threats against Bush and Cheney in the form of "Kill Bush" t-shirts, feigned website executions, and crosshair photos of the two was unprecedented. I didn't hear Hillary's reaction to the "Kill Bush" movie, but that's probably because the media at the time were complicit in all the violence.

But NOW, the previously silent media - Chris Matthews and his little lap doggie Jaime O'Neill among them - are getting apoplectic over figuratively-used Republican utterances like "reload" and blaming them for the isolated wacko who doesn't know red from blue.

I don't think I've ever seen such political desperation on the left.
Jaime

Chico, CA

#3 Feb 1, 2011
C'mon, Rick, try to keep within the bounds of reality. It's easy to convince people who can't make distinctions about loopy stuff, but you know as well as I do that the "drumbeat from the left" has not been saying "conservatives endorse murder." No one I've heard has said any such thing, or anything like it.
Some people have said, however, that when people who once were serious candidates for the second highest office in the land are making irresponsible talk, or candidates for one of two major political parties are talking about "2nd Amendment solutions" that's different than some yahoo showing up wearing a "Kill Bush" t-shirt, or someone making a speculative movie. Both may be objectionable, but when leaders (or wannabe leaders) are fomenting such talk, it's a different order of magnitude (or calibre) than when someone in the streets is doing it, or when a filmmaker who made a movie no one saw is trying to be provocative.
But no one anywhere is saying that "conservatives endorse murder." Did you ever take a logic class? Propaganda 101 teaches the technique known as "straw man." With that ploy, you set up a counter argument you can readily knock down...like the one you lead with in today's column. "Lefties think that conserveratives endorse murder." Your reply: No we don't. And then you go on about examples from the left you think are equivalent to that irresponsible right wing hate speech and incendiary rhetoric. The point from the left is that some of this repellent gun talk might help create an environment that might give encouragement or support to the unstable. And the point is we all should be a little more circumspect, not that "conservatives support murder." How you can come to such a conclusion astounds me, but it does make your argument easier to promote.
Allan

United States

#4 Feb 1, 2011
Jaime wrote:
C'mon, Rick, try to keep within the bounds of reality. It's easy to convince people who can't make distinctions about loopy stuff, but you know as well as I do that the "drumbeat from the left" has not been saying "conservatives endorse murder." No one I've heard has said any such thing, or anything like it.
Some people have said, however, that when people who once were serious candidates for the second highest office in the land are making irresponsible talk, or candidates for one of two major political parties are talking about "2nd Amendment solutions" that's different than some yahoo showing up wearing a "Kill Bush" t-shirt, or someone making a speculative movie. Both may be objectionable, but when leaders (or wannabe leaders) are fomenting such talk, it's a different order of magnitude (or calibre) than when someone in the streets is doing it, or when a filmmaker who made a movie no one saw is trying to be provocative.
But no one anywhere is saying that "conservatives endorse murder." Did you ever take a logic class? Propaganda 101 teaches the technique known as "straw man." With that ploy, you set up a counter argument you can readily knock down...like the one you lead with in today's column. "Lefties think that conserveratives endorse murder." Your reply: No we don't. And then you go on about examples from the left you think are equivalent to that irresponsible right wing hate speech and incendiary rhetoric. The point from the left is that some of this repellent gun talk might help create an environment that might give encouragement or support to the unstable. And the point is we all should be a little more circumspect, not that "conservatives support murder." How you can come to such a conclusion astounds me, but it does make your argument easier to promote.
Jaime,

I agree with you. But I'm a bit more hopeful that this long and contentious dialogue has born a bit of fruit (and I'm thankful to the Pardise Post for sticking with the issue for as long as they have).

It gives me hope that Silva wrote:

"Wouldn't it be better for individuals on each side of a debate to be responsible for what they say?- And for individuals on each side of a debate to hold their own team more accountable than to spend time criticizing people they don't agree with?"

"It didn't get much play from the media, but then-Sen. Hillary Clinton said, about the 2006 film "Death of a President": "I think it's despicable. I think it's absolutely outrageous. That anyone would even attempt to profit on such a horrible scenario makes me sick."

"To me, Clinton's response would have had more impact on that filmmaker than the usual Republican "outrage" response would have."

Finally, a bit of progress.

Each side should hold their own side accountable. Is Silva willing to do that regarding Palin, Bachmann and Angle? That congressman he quotes (Steve Cohen) about the Goebbels thing was all over the airwaves apologizing for his comments. Will we see such a "mea culpa" from Beck? From Limbaugh? Larson? Palin? Bachmann? Angle? Thus far, the answer is no. If they aren't willing to do it, will some of their followers have the wit to reflect and let that disturbance which rattles us inside when we know we are wrong, to have the decency to ask for a bit of civility? And if they aren't civil, to look for getting their information elsewhere (loss of ratings and favorability is the most effective intervention)?

All of us don't want to put an end to debate. We just want the more uglier aspects of it to stop.
Jaime

Chico, CA

#5 Feb 1, 2011
I don't disagree with anything you say here, Allan, but I stand by my point that no one I know on the left has ever said or implied t;hat "conservatives endorse murder," and I'm not sure it gets us anywhere to constantly have to argue assertions that are so absurd.
Brian Jones

West Tehama County, CA

#7 Feb 1, 2011
1 -5 of 1,050,000

That was so easy to prove you a liar jaime!
Dode Penrod

Lakewood, CA

#8 Feb 1, 2011
I found the headline on Silva's column to be very misleading. It asks , "Does speech lead to violence?" And his first sentence reads, "The drumbeat continues from the political left in this country. It's been a steady one over the years."

Silva is obviously more interested in naming the "side" contributing the most inflammable rhetoric to today's political discourse than in suggesting how to resolve a problem. He wanders all over the editorial landscape in a taunting "my-dad-is-smarter-than-y our-dad" mode one might find in a schoolyard wrangle, giving us many "is too, is not, is too, is not" examples.

Not until the third from last paragraph does Silva hint at an answer to the question in the headline when he wrote, "Wouldn't it be better for individuals on each side of a debate to be responsible for what they say?- And for individuals on each side of a debate to hold their own team more accountable than to spend time criticizing people they don't agree with?

Well, yeah! A good start might come from the managing editor of a small-town, thrice-weekly newspaper who stopped insulting half of the readers of his paper.
Scholar

Sacramento, CA

#9 Feb 1, 2011
Jaime wrote:
Some people have said, however, that when people who once were serious candidates for the second highest office in the land are making irresponsible talk, or candidates for one of two major political parties are talking about "2nd Amendment solutions" that's different than some yahoo showing up wearing a "Kill Bush" t-shirt, or someone making a speculative movie. Both may be objectionable, but when leaders (or wannabe leaders) are fomenting such talk, it's a different order of magnitude (or calibre) than when someone in the streets is doing it, or when a filmmaker who made a movie no one saw is trying to be provocative.
One might ask Jaime the same insulting question he asks. Has he ever taken a logic course?

This "violent-mouthed leader" vs. "violent-mouthed citizen" distinction of his is one he can't even stick with himself. Jaime rails against Palin, then in the same breath drags in the sensationalist non-leaders like Rush, Glenn Beck, and the other media people on the right when it's convenient. But the media people on the left who speculate on assassinating the president while he's in office are some benign force. Chris Matthews, who openly advocated assassinating Rush Limbaugh in very literal terms, is totally ignored by Jaime. Right. No logical contradiction there!

And if it's "violent-mouthed leaders" that so concern him, what is so logical about Jaime's complete refusal to address Obama's stated interest in bringing a gun to a (political) knife fight? It's only Sarah Palin's "reload" that catches his attention.

Please, Jaime. Keep your hypocritical, illogical thoughts about Silva and your other fellow journalists to yourself. Make yourself look smarter by writing smarter, not by smearing those you don't agree with. You are NOT contributing to the civil discourse you believe you are promoting.
Jaime

Chico, CA

#10 Feb 1, 2011
Scholar wrote:
<quoted text>
One might ask Jaime the same insulting question he asks. Has he ever taken a logic course?
This "violent-mouthed leader" vs. "violent-mouthed citizen" distinction of his is one he can't even stick with himself. Jaime rails against Palin, then in the same breath drags in the sensationalist non-leaders like Rush, Glenn Beck, and the other media people on the right when it's convenient. But the media people on the left who speculate on assassinating the president while he's in office are some benign force. Chris Matthews, who openly advocated assassinating Rush Limbaugh in very literal terms, is totally ignored by Jaime. Right. No logical contradiction there!
And if it's "violent-mouthed leaders" that so concern him, what is so logical about Jaime's complete refusal to address Obama's stated interest in bringing a gun to a (political) knife fight? It's only Sarah Palin's "reload" that catches his attention.
Please, Jaime. Keep your hypocritical, illogical thoughts about Silva and your other fellow journalists to yourself. Make yourself look smarter by writing smarter, not by smearing those you don't agree with. You are NOT contributing to the civil discourse you believe you are promoting.
As usual, you miss the point. I'm not "promoting" civil discourse. I was merely making the point that no one I know of says that "conservatives support murder." Kinda simple, Scholar. I'm all for discourse, even passionate disagreement. I'm not for political leaders OR talk show hosts of any stripe advocating, or appearing to advocate, violence.
And I don't address that "knife to a gun fight" remark because it's such an utterly inane manufactured talk show talking point, entirely irrelevant to the discussion about
"2nd Amendment remedies" and "if ballots don't work, bullets will." Even someone as dim as you are, Scholar, ought to be able to tell why. Do you really and honestly believe that Obama's rhetoric has promoted a violent climate in this nation? Yeah, you'll say you do, so it's pointless to try to reason with you. Thinking seems beyond your reach.
Scholar

Sacramento, CA

#11 Feb 1, 2011
Jaime wrote:
<quoted text>
As usual, you miss the point. I'm not "promoting" civil discourse. I was merely making the point that no one I know of says that "conservatives support murder." Kinda simple, Scholar. I'm all for discourse, even passionate disagreement. I'm not for political leaders OR talk show hosts of any stripe advocating, or appearing to advocate, violence.
And I don't address that "knife to a gun fight" remark because it's such an utterly inane manufactured talk show talking point, entirely irrelevant to the discussion about
"2nd Amendment remedies" and "if ballots don't work, bullets will." Even someone as dim as you are, Scholar, ought to be able to tell why. Do you really and honestly believe that Obama's rhetoric has promoted a violent climate in this nation? Yeah, you'll say you do, so it's pointless to try to reason with you. Thinking seems beyond your reach.
My comments were directed at the entirety of the nonsense you've written on this topic in the last 10 days or so. The discussion isn't only about Angle's comments, who in another thread I said was over the top. She's ONE person. You condemned "THE RIGHT". Where's your evidence that the serious, LITERAL inspiration to violence is mainly on the right? You are completely hypocritical and refuse to defend the "distinctions" you make when you refuse to analyze the actual evidence in Obama's OWN WORDS, when you ignore Chris Matthews, the main inspiration for your columns, apparently, since his myopia appears so routinely, unaltered, in your column. Your "bad leader" condemnation of Palin makes NO SENSE if you can't/won't be fair. You are dodging and backpedaling. You offer only ad hominem crap that calls me "dim". You are an unspeakable intellectual loser, Jaime.
Jaime

Chico, CA

#12 Feb 1, 2011
Scholar wrote:
<quoted text>
My comments were directed at the entirety of the nonsense you've written on this topic in the last 10 days or so. The discussion isn't only about Angle's comments, who in another thread I said was over the top. She's ONE person. You condemned "THE RIGHT". Where's your evidence that the serious, LITERAL inspiration to violence is mainly on the right? You are completely hypocritical and refuse to defend the "distinctions" you make when you refuse to analyze the actual evidence in Obama's OWN WORDS, when you ignore Chris Matthews, the main inspiration for your columns, apparently, since his myopia appears so routinely, unaltered, in your column. Your "bad leader" condemnation of Palin makes NO SENSE if you can't/won't be fair. You are dodging and backpedaling. You offer only ad hominem crap that calls me "dim". You are an unspeakable intellectual loser, Jaime.
Re-read the column from week before last, Scholar, then don't blame me for thinking you're "dim" when you fail to understand rather directly stated points and simple distinctions. And you skirted the question about whether you honestly thought Obama's rhetoric was responsible for creating a climate of hate and violence, didn't you? Also, I must not be "unspeakable," Scholar, since you can't seem to stop speaking about me. Someone who calls himself a "Scholar" while holding up people like Palin and Bachmann as his champions is an absurd figure, I'm afraid. Not my fault. Just how it is. You and Brian Jones, justa coupla scholars and deep thinkers.
Brian Jones

West Tehama County, CA

#13 Feb 1, 2011
Jaime wrote:
<quoted text>
Re-read the column from week before last, Scholar, then don't blame me for thinking you're "dim" when you fail to understand rather directly stated points and simple distinctions. And you skirted the question about whether you honestly thought Obama's rhetoric was responsible for creating a climate of hate and violence, didn't you? Also, I must not be "unspeakable," Scholar, since you can't seem to stop speaking about me. Someone who calls himself a "Scholar" while holding up people like Palin and Bachmann as his champions is an absurd figure, I'm afraid. Not my fault. Just how it is. You and Brian Jones, justa coupla scholars and deep thinkers.
Your malevolent personal attacks only prove everything that we've posted.
Are you able to do anything besides personal attacks toward those that you disagree with?
No because you have nothing but your opinion!
YouÂ’re no more than a twaddler jaime??? LMAO!!!
Scholar

Sacramento, CA

#14 Feb 1, 2011
Jaime wrote:
<quoted text>
And you skirted the question about whether you honestly thought Obama's rhetoric was responsible for creating a climate of hate and violence, didn't you?
SKIRTED? It's an absurd question. I never claimed Obama's words were over the top. They're in fact figurative speech, quite benign, EXACTLY LIKE PALIN'S, which is exactly what I said in previous posts (better thump on that noggin of yours to jog your short memory.) So who can fault such utterances? Only you - if it's Palin, that is.
Jaime wrote:
<quoted text>Also, I must not be "unspeakable," Scholar, since you can't seem to stop speaking about me. Someone who calls himself a "Scholar" while holding up people like Palin and Bachmann as his champions is an absurd figure, I'm afraid. Not my fault. Just how it is. You and Brian Jones, justa coupla scholars and deep thinkers.
So after your ad hominem response, your final strategy in lieu of thoughtful analysis of what Obama and Palin have said is your worn-out "company-that-you-keep " indictment (yea, me and Brian, we're twins!!" :) College freshmen are taught to avoid such intellectually embarrassing rhetoric, yet you proudly blather. Were you listening, or were you pleasuring yourself during 1A?? Nothing about Obama, nothing about Matthews?

You are indeed an unworthy opponent.
Dode Penrod

Lakewood, CA

#15 Feb 1, 2011
So far I haven't learned anything from Scholar or Jaime that would answer the question posed in the headline of Silva's column -- "Does speech lead to violence?" -- but I learned something from Brian!!! I looked up the word "twaddler" in Wiktionary and learned that a twaddler is one who twaddles. Way to go, Brian!
What the

United States

#16 Feb 1, 2011
Jaime - "And you skirted the question about whether you honestly thought Obama's rhetoric was responsible for creating a climate of hate and violence, didn't you?"

He'll have to skip a lot faster if he hopes to catch up to you!
Mean Guy

United States

#17 Feb 1, 2011
Silva-you are a dumb@!s for giving a platform for the very nonsense you are screaming about. It is garbage and isn't supported by one bit of fact or logic-but you print Jaime O'Stupid and others anyway. You are just as bad. Climate of violence? HAHAHHA-climate of stupidity is more like it.
Agitator

Broken Arrow, OK

#18 Feb 1, 2011
WTF Palin creates a violent environment where ever she goes. She is a trouble maker.
Stephen

United States

#19 Feb 2, 2011
I'm afraid this whole discussion is too inane to get into with much depth or enthusiasm. Of course rhetoric influences people, that is why talking is called "communicating." And the higher the source of the rhetoric, like people in positions of authority and power, the more influence the rhetoric has. Why wouldn't it?

Sure, there has been irresponsible language from all sides, human beings tend to be mouthy, but even more than that, many people tend to be self-serving, greedy and uncaring about the consequences of their mouths. I've heard stupid things come out of the mouths of liberals, but I have to admit I have not seen an organized and scripted set of irresponsible rhetoric like I have seen from the right. Anyone not knowing by now that the talking points of the day are passed out in the morning, and trickle down to all facets of the right wing media machine and talking heads during the day, is not paying attention. This is not random, it is extremely well planned out and purposeful.

Sorry, but I've not seen this kind of "organized" chatter coming from the left. The fact that many on the left observe the same "facts," and then point them out, does not make them talking points, like so many on the right seem to believe. I've noticed many on the right are quite proficient at projecting. They automatically believe that others think and act as they do, so they project onto everyone else, what they themselves do constantly, namely, using hate speech in a game of follow the leader -- starting from the mouths of a few of their leaders and trickling down through the radio and TV.

What's the difference between a talking point and facts? Talking points are often political cliches, labels and unverified ramblings repeated over and over again, until the dull and uninformed believe they are truthful, only because they've heard them more than two or three times. I hear this consistently from the right, because much of the rhetoric has no basis in fact, and often consists of out right lies. Sorry, but I don't hear this kind of talk from the left, and I listen quite ardently to what both sides are saying.

Sure, there will be an outrage from the right here, and I'll be accused of only hearing what I want to hear, but oh well! I pay careful attention to what is said out there, and how often, and who it's aimed at. And this is the conclusion I've reached, like it or not. The chronic and habitual use of target symbolism, and gun and Second Amendment rights, remedies and rhetoric is coming from the right, not the left. If there are a few random instances of this behavior from some on the left, so what? That is not the same as the "organized and purposeful" use of same which has been institutionalized on the right.

And to believe those who are unstable, confused, and psychologically frustrated and unbalanced, don't listen to the people they consider to be leaders, and in extreme cases, act on it, are just plain dumb or in terminal denial. People listen to rhetoric, that is the purpose of speech, and if they are frustrated to the point of wanting to do more than just listen to stuff, they find ways to act it out. That is human nature; just as it is human nature for those wanting to manipulate and control others to know which rhetoric to toss out there, and how often.

My opinion will go nowhere of course, with those who think anything coming from a "leftie" has no credibility. This is expected from a group that has bought more lies than are conceivable. The biggest puzzle to those on the left is how so many on the right have allowed themselves to consistently be spoon fed so much misinformation, misleading statements, and downright manipulating swill, from politicians, corporations and organizations like the NRA , US Chamber of Commerce, and Koch brothers financed Tea Party. The same people that believe Beck and Bachmann know ANYTHING about history or the Constitution.

Being right, is not the same as being correct -- ask the ego.
Stephen

United States

#20 Feb 2, 2011
Just as an additional point of reference. If rhetoric does not have consequences, how come when the NRA and its minions started propagandizing that because Obama won the election and we had a Democratic Administration in the White House and the Second Amendment would be attacked, how come so many people went out and started stock piling guns and ammo at record levels?

Note: the Obama Administration has paid no attention to the Second Amendment and in no way attacked it, or the right of people to own guns.
Scholar

Sacramento, CA

#21 Feb 2, 2011
Your opinion goes nowhere, Stephen, because it's based on unmeasured, unsubstantiated "facts". You believe that ideas from the left are not talking points because you believe that happens mostly on the right. You believe the right is relatively uninformed because you believe the left is so much better informed.

Have you really not noticed Jaime parroting Chris Matthews at every turn? Rehashed talking points with no analysis. He ain't alone, either.

And you must admit that the major media outlets are NOT neutral but predominantly left leaning; they control what information you get, what's "important", and how it's presented. Some of your "facts" will inevitably be missing, and their absence will sway your generalizations on this topic and others.

Like they say, opinions are like arse holes. Everyone has one. It's a free country that allows you to believe as you wish, but you shouldn't pretend it's reality-based belief. What you have is a political religion based on belief, Stephen.

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