Washingtonpost.com:

Several Republican presidential candidates on Sunday condemned the attack on a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs but stopped short of agreeing with liberal critics who say that fiery antiabortion rhetoric contributed to the shooting.

“It’s obviously a tragedy. Nothing justifies this,” former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Any protesters should always be peaceful. Whether it’s Black Lives Matter or pro-life protesters.”

Calls to defund Planned Parenthood through congressional action have escalated in recent months amid a protracted national debate about the ethics of collecting fetal tissue for research.

 

That dialogue was cast in a grim light after reports that the suspected Colorado gunman is said to have used the phrase “no more baby parts’’ while discussing his motives for the attack, as reported by The Washington Post on Saturday. Liberal critics of antiabortion activism have linked escalating rhetoric on the right with Friday’s attack, including Vicki Cowart, president of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, and Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

“We’ve seen an alarming increase in hateful rhetoric and smear campaigns against abortion providers and patients over the last few months,” Cowart said in a statement. “That environment breeds acts of violence.”

Perhaps I am foolish to even suggest that this discussion belongs on this blog.  Wolve and I have been tap dancing around it since yesterday evening, I believe our discussion was/is respectful.  I think its time that we discuss incendiary rhetoric in the context of setting off the nut cases.

Certainly incendiary speech isn’t limited to just the abortion debate.  We have done this same dance around the use of speech leading to violence in the 2nd amendment debates also.  Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent immediately leap into the foreground in my mind.   Anti-civil rights talk also has been linked to violence in the past.  We see that same tone being used to drum up feelings regarding those participating in BLM.

I certainly wouldn’t be on the side of closing down discussion.  I would be on the side of reminding people that when fiery rhetoric is used to champion an issue, there is no telling who out there is listening.  We always need to be mindful of the audience.  Yes, unstable people can be stirred up to do others harm.  The SS and the KK were full of people on  what was seen in their minds as a glorious mission.

Let’s just not fuel the fire.  You can peacefully  think and state that abortion is wrong, even morally wrong, without setting off some lunatic who is going to pick up a personal crusade to go burn down every clinic in Colorado.   It’s all in how you say it.  In modern times with instant communication that goes around the world,  its even more necessary to weigh our words and our tone.  Stirring up a lunatic to become the avenger and kill innocent lives, like what just happened in Colorado Springs is just not worth the political cost.

I believe there is a link from Mr. Dear to the  “videos” that were released for a political purpose of discrediting Planned Parenthood. How strong of a link, only Mr. Dear knows.

Further reading:  How does Planned Parenthood use federal funds.

 

 

45 Thoughts to “Fiery Rhetoric: The 800 pound gorilla in the room”

  1. Steve Thomas

    I understand your point, in that just because we have a 1st Amendment right, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be mindful of what we say, especially now that social media has given everyone with an opinion a stump from which to speak. But I have to ask; When have we not had “fiery rhetoric” in this country? Our nation was born from it, as the pamphleteers stoked anger against the King. Fiery rhetoric inspired John Brown to act, the South to succeed, and both sides to action in the preservation of the union, and an end to slavery. Fiery rhetoric united our country to defeat totalitarianism. Fiery rhetoric figured in the civil rights movement, and in ending the Vietnam war.

    With rights come responsibility, it is true. Perhaps this the location of this incident just rubs a bit more raw for some. I do have trouble believing that some kook living off-grid was particularly inspired by fiery rhetoric, but who knows?

    1. Who knows what he had in his basement. I think politicians with fiery rhetoric are more dangerous because they reach more people. Also, we live in an instant world with FB, Twitter, email and other instant communication.

      We also don’t know much about him yet other than surface stuff. One thing is, I don’t think he comes from a church community. Definitely sounds like a lone wolf.

      I just don’t want the politicians to stoke the flames.

  2. Pat.Herve

    It was all great fun to have doctored the videos and blast all kinds of taken out of context quotes. Legislatures and Governors grand stranded about defunding Planned Parenthood – the givers of legal services. Where are they all now? Not one of them wants to stand up and lead us to a solution. Shame.

  3. Pat.Herve

    @Steve Thomas
    Steve – I have looked at the Coryn bill – at your suggestion. Seems like there are sensible proposals in it and bipartisan support. I cannot figure out why it goes nowhere – he introduced it in August – and yet, nothing. Our Congress is failing us.

  4. Lyssa

    Our nation was formed with fiery rhetoric with a common cause. The latter now being lacking. Or at least the commn cause then was a bit broader.

  5. Ed Myers

    Fiery rhetoric without a ready gun is at worse a bar room brawl. Add guns to the mix and innocent people who were never part of the conversation end up in the body count.

    The prevalence of guns in our culture chills the ability to express controversial ideas in public. Fortunately we have the internet.

  6. Cargosquid

    @Ed Myers
    Wow, you are paranoid.

    This doesn’t happen, no matter how much the left tries to push the narrative.

    1. Cargo, you just really validated what he said…immediately throwing “the left” into the conversation. Use of left and right, the way you just used it, is extremely divisive and immediately throws up barriers so no common ground is within reach.

      Ed has made a point–a point you might not agree with. The killing spree in Colorado Springs bears out what he is saying. Fortunately it isn’t common. I can’t tell you how many people have told me how brave I am to be publically pro choice. Let me also tell you that I have been physically attacked on 3 different occasions for either being vocal or public about my beliefs regarding reproductive rights. I have a couple of injuries that cause chronic pain and are quite debilitating. I would also like to add that they did not involve guns.

      But no, I don’t think Ed is paranoid on this score, I just think he speaks of an occurrence like it is the norm rather than the exception.

  7. Steve Thomas

    Pat.Herve :
    @Steve Thomas
    Steve – I have looked at the Coryn bill – at your suggestion. Seems like there are sensible proposals in it and bipartisan support. I cannot figure out why it goes nowhere – he introduced it in August – and yet, nothing. Our Congress is failing us.

    I don’t know either. Isn’t this the “common ground” we’re supposed to be seeking? It addresses the broad issue of the mentally ill within the community, and the more narrow issue of guns. A universal background check won’t address the issue, if the data reporting is incomplete. A ban on certain semi-auto rifles won’t address the issue, if the mentally-ill can still pass a check, and purchase a non-banned weapon. Furthermore, the mentally-ill retain rights, and due – process must be respected. This bill is the only proposal I’ve seen which addresses the issue, and if NAMI and the NRA support the bill, why the opposition in Congress? Why isn’t the President using what remains of his bully pulpit to push this? I think it is because actually doing something would weaken a campaign plank for both parties.

  8. Ed Myers

    The congress is in the hands of the Republicans. If Obama pushed it would be the kiss of death for the proposal. Obama should come out in fierce opposition and then when it passes to spite him then he could sign it.

  9. Steve Thomas

    Ed Myers :
    Fiery rhetoric without a ready gun is at worse a bar room brawl. Add guns to the mix and innocent people who were never part of the conversation end up in the body count.
    The prevalence of guns in our culture chills the ability to express controversial ideas in public. Fortunately we have the internet.

    There were plenty of guns in Stalin’s Soviet utopia. There were plenty in Hitler’s Reich. A bunch more in Mao’s cultural revolution, and Pol Pot’s worker’s paradise. There was lots of fiery rhetoric too. The problem was only those who had the guns were allowed to speak, and those who didn’t have them paid with their lives. 80 million or so.

  10. Ed Myers

    When open carry owners get the same verbal abuse as smokers, then I’ll agree that carrying a gun doesn’t chill speech.

    1. People don’t give them verbal abuse because they don'[t want to get shot. Walking around on a city street with a long gun would not be legal in Virginia I don’t think. I think it would be considered brandishing if the long gun was not in transport mode.

      I have mixed feelings about smokers. I am a former long term smoker. Trust me when I say it isn’t good for you. As long as selling cigarettes is legal, then what people do in their own homes and in their own yard is no one’s business. If I want to allow smoking on my deck, that’s my choice. (and I do)

      After going to the casino in Charles Town recently, I discovered for the first time how brutal those smoke-filled rooms are on my breathing. I had been to casinos since I stopped smoking (8 years free) but I just had not noticed how dreadful and debilitating it is for me.

      Not sure how I feel about restaurants now. I guess I still think its the owner’s choice and my choice whether to frequent the establishment.
      It would all depend on the ventilation system.

  11. Steve Thomas

    Ed Myers :
    The congress is in the hands of the Republicans. If Obama pushed it would be the kiss of death for the proposal. Obama should come out in fierce opposition and then when it passes to spite him then he could sign it.

    What you wrote makes no sense. NAMI and the NRA support the current bill. If Obama supported it as currently written, the NRA and NAMI wouldn’t be able to pull their support. All Obama would have to say is “this bill moves the ball forward. Pass it as written and I’ll sign it”. The thing that gets me is no one is talking about the bill. The only reason I knew of it, was I read about it in the NRA monthly magazine, and did a bit of research on it. When I learned that NAMI also supports it, that really got my attention. I’ve already called, emailed and actually wrote letters both Kaine and Warner, asking them to support the bill. I would encourage those of you who would actually want to see positive action on this to do the same.

    1. Even if it isn’t all you want to see happen, it’s a place to start.

      What provisions are there for people who already own weapons and who go off the track at a later time?

  12. Starryflights

    Carly Fiorina owes an apology to these victims’ families.

  13. Steve Thomas

    @Moon-howler
    “Walking around on a city street with a long gun would not be legal in Virginia I don’t think. I think it would be considered brandishing if the long gun was not in transport mode.”

    You can if you are a VA CHP holder:

    “Open carry is generally allowed without a permit for people 18 years of age and older. The following cities and counties have exceptions that disallow the open carry of “assault weapons” (any firearm that is equipped with a magazine that will hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition or is designed by the manufacturer to accommodate a silencer or equipped with a folding stock) or shotguns equipped with a magazine that holds more than 7 rounds: the Cities of Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fairfax, Falls Church, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, and Virginia Beach and in the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Henrico, Loudoun, and Prince William. These restrictions do not apply to valid concealed carry permit holders. Stated differently, you may open carry an assault weapon/shotgun with more than 7 rounds with a permit in the aforementioned locations, but do not need a permit to do so in any other locality in Virginia.”

    1. I really think it is wrong to do that unless the long gun is in transport mode. I would call the police if I saw someone doing that in this area. Now, if I was down in the Northern Neck and it was hunting season, I might not even notice.

      It’s all relative.

  14. Pat.Herve

    Were there any ‘Good Guys’ with a gun in Colorado?

  15. Cargosquid

    @Moon-howler
    “Cargo, you just really validated what he said…immediately throwing “the left” into the conversation. Use of left and right, the way you just used it, is extremely divisive and immediately throws up barriers so no common ground is within reach.

    Ed has made a point–a point you might not agree with. The killing spree in Colorado Springs bears out what he is saying. ”

    No…I didn’t. Use of “left” is completely accurate. What he said is false. His lies are what drives separation. The killing spree in Colorado has yet to be explained, so no….. what he said is NOT accurate.

    1. I didn’t say you were inaccurate. I said it was divisive. Your use of labels sets me wild. It keeps us from really discussing points, content, and issues. Once something has a label on it, half the communication is shut down.

      As for the Colorado Springs killing spree…now what do you think it is? I know what I have read. There is going to be denial all over the place. It is what it is.

  16. Cargosquid

    Ed Myers :
    When open carry owners get the same verbal abuse as smokers, then I’ll agree that carrying a gun doesn’t chill speech.

    Straw argument.
    When a 6’5″ smoker gets abuse….. now what? No gun. Chill speech? Abusing someone is speech now?

    Furthermore, where are you seeing smokers being publicly abused? You live in a weird area if you are seeing that. Are you coming to their defense? Why not?

    1. Of course smokers are verbally abused and have been for years. Where have you been?

  17. Cargosquid

    @Moon-howler

    As he said..you can carry a long gun and if it is carrying less than 20 rounds….ie, a 10/15 round mag….. you’re fine, even in those cities.

    However, if you carry it at port arms, you will definitely get noticed.
    People have open carried long arms to Lobby Day, to make a point.

    1. I don’t understand what you just said.

  18. Steve Thomas

    @Pat.Herve
    Is planned parenthood a “gun free zone”?

  19. Jackson Bills

    Can someone tell me exactly constitutes “fiery rhetoric” and provide a few examples? I think before we can have an honest discussion on the topic of “fiery rhetoric” it has to first be defined.

  20. Starryflights

    Falsely Accusing people of murdering babies to sell their body parts is an example of fiery rhetoric.

  21. Starryflights

    all politicians who participated in the lies around the planned
    parenthood videos should have their accounts and funds frozen until
    investigations show that they are not funding/inspiring terrorism.

    we need to take terrorism seriously in all its forms. if these were
    muslims making videos like this joshua guy, or muslim politicians
    lying about evil deeds that their enemies engaged in, we would be
    locking them up.

  22. Jackson Bills

    Starryflights :
    all politicians who participated in the lies around the planned
    parenthood videos should have their accounts and funds frozen until
    investigations show that they are not funding/inspiring terrorism.
    we need to take terrorism seriously in all its forms. if these were
    muslims making videos like this joshua guy, or muslim politicians
    lying about evil deeds that their enemies engaged in, we would be
    locking them up.

    This probably the oddest post I have ever read.

    1. Why do you feel his post is odd?? It’s simply a statement suggesting that if Muslims did exactly what a few Americans have done, they would be jailed.

      I thought it provided food for thought.

      You do know that part of those videos involving dead fetuses were contrived? Don’t you?

  23. Jackson Bills

    Starryflights :
    Falsely Accusing people of murdering babies to sell their body parts is an example of fiery rhetoric.

    That ‘example’ has to be broken down into its core elements:

    1.) Accusing people of murdering babies…
    I think that a majority consider a fetus that would be viable outside of the womb to be a ‘baby’. So your example of “falsely accusing people of murdering babies” is not 100% accurate. These ‘babies’, or viable fetuses, are killed. Abortion providers do not hide this fact, they may use different language but the end result it the same. What is false about that?

    2.) Selling baby body parts….
    Planned Parenthood president Cecil Richards freely admits that they harvest and sell viable fetus body parts and openly defends the practice. There is nothing false about that. As a matter of fact because of these videos Planned Parenthood president Cecil Richards publicly announced that they would no longer accept money for body parts/tissue.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/14/us/planned-parenthood-to-forgo-payment-for-fetal-tissue-programs.html?_r=0

    1. I have to call you out and tell you that you are wrong on both counts. If you are going to quote Cecile Richards, quote her correctly. Planned Parenthood does not sell body parts. Period. Some of the facilities have had agreements with fetal tissue research labs. There is a handling fee. Period. No sale of parts. They no longer will be involved with any of the fetal tissue initiatives.

      The majority of people do not think fetuses are babies, in particular when over 90% of abortions are performed. There are very few abortions performed in the late 2nd or third trimester. That is the time when MOST people think of fetuses as babies. The viable fetus you saw in the video had nothing to do with Planned Parenthood. It was a still born.

      Our Vietnam War troops were called “baby killers” during that war. Physicians who perform first trimester only abortions are called “baby killers” by anti-abortion extremists. Fiery rhetoric in all cases.

      Just as an aside…the term “baby” is inaccurate from a medical point of view. If a pregnancy is welcomed, most expectant mothers do think “baby” even at the embryonic state of gestation. Unwanted pregnancy–not so much. We are speaking of emotional bonding really. Emotional words shouldn’t replace medical accuracy because of political advantage.

  24. Jackson Bills

    @Moon-howler
    I think that it is odd because of a few reasons…

    1.) Starry is suggesting that we freeze the accounts of politicians who addressed or spoke out on the issue of PP selling fetal tissue…. which PP president Cecil Richards not only openly admits to but defends.
    If that is the case then no politician would ever get a paycheck. A short while ago President Obama equated all Republicans to ‘death-to-America’ Iranians over the nuclear deal, freeze his accounts and investigate him! Vice President Biden told an African American group during a speech that Republicans want to make them all slaves again, freeze his account and investigate him!

    2.) Starry is equating speaking out on an issue like this to terrorism. That is odd to me.

    You asked if I know that part of the videos was contrived…. yes, from my understanding one of the videos was of an interview with someone who worked as a harvester at a PP clinic. As she retold her story scenes were spliced in that were not from the actual event that she was describing. That is it, just that one. Do you know of more?

    1. All of the videos were filmed and spliced together to make PP appear to be in the body parts business.

      I think Starry is not serious…he is being sarcastic to make a point.

      My eyes glazed over about the Anti Obama rhetoric. Surely by now you all know I don’t bother even reading that.

  25. Jackson Bills

    @Moon-howler
    I think it depends on who you ask… the one that I know of is the one where there are cutaways during an interview where the video shown is not of the event being talked about. I agree with you that that video is misleading.

    However, not ALL of the videos were spliced together or edited. It is hard to make that argument when there are hours of unedited tapes of meetings with PP doctors and pretend harvesters where the PP doctors are trying to come to an agreement on a price for tissue.

    I don’t really want to rehash this whole PP video argument because my original question was for someone to provide me with an example of “fiery rhetoric”. I think that it can be subjective depending on who is saying it and what is being said.

    What anti-Obama rhetoric are you talking about?

    President Obama – 8/5/15 – ” It’s those hardliners chanting “death to America” who’ve been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican Caucus”

    1. I am not going to get into the Obama rhetoric. It goes on and on. If I bit, I would never get anything else done.

      Back to Planned Parenthood. All the videos were spliced and edited. that’s how video is done. You are aware that you can patch video and ask questions to get the answers you want?

      They weren’t selling baby parts. Period. The girl who was doing so much talking wasn’t a PP employee even. She worked for one of those labs. Who the hell knows.

      I would like to see Planned Parenthood leave the stem cell research business to the private abortion centers. Why? Because stem cell is controversial and it jeopardizes PP’s mission. Please don’t read that to mean I disapprove of stem cell research. I don’t at all. Just let private practices do it. Planned Parenthood is too much of a target.

      I also believe Cecile Richards. She has an excellent reputation in the field of reproductive rights non-profit. Until shown otherwise, I will believe her.

  26. Jackson Bills

    Moon-howler :
    I am not going to get into the Obama rhetoric. It goes on and on. If I bit, I would never get anything else done.

    I suppose that is my main argument when it comes to the 800 pound gorilla in the room of “fiery rhetoric”. It is only an 800 pound gorilla to one side of the argument. Its fine to point out what you refer to as fiery rhetoric and attempt to attribute it to some action taken by someone with little-to-no evidence, and in some cases I may agree with you. However, to completely ignore fiery rhetoric coming from the ‘other’ side is unfortunate.
    Democrats from the President on down have engaged in their fair share of fiery rhetoric. Having it at least recognized would be a step in the right direction.

    1. I haven’t ignored “fiery rhetoric” coming from the other side. In fact, there was just one article about fiery rhetoric.

      Now be honest with yourself….have you read a word I have said about BLM, the movement? Do you think I am supportive of them, or do you think I think they are over the top and incendiary?

      At least be aware of what is going on here before I am accused of protecting the “other side.”

  27. Cargosquid

    @Moon-howler
    If you carry a long arm in your arms, as though hunting, instead of having a slung arm…you will get noticed and questioned. Open carry does NOT prevent cops from checking you out.

  28. Cargosquid

    Starryflights :
    Falsely Accusing people of murdering babies to sell their body parts is an example of fiery rhetoric.

    Starryflights :
    all politicians who participated in the lies around the planned
    parenthood videos should have their accounts and funds frozen until
    investigations show that they are not funding/inspiring terrorism.
    we need to take terrorism seriously in all its forms. if these were
    muslims making videos like this joshua guy, or muslim politicians
    lying about evil deeds that their enemies engaged in, we would be
    locking them up.

    That is quite some fiery rhetoric you have there, Sparky.

  29. Cargosquid

    Moon-howler :
    Of course smokers are verbally abused and have been for years. Where have you been?

    Around smokes. I’ve not seen a single person be abused. Perhaps those around me are just more civil. If I saw a stranger say something abusive, I’m not shy. I’d call them out.

    “Emotional words shouldn’t replace medical accuracy because of political advantage.”
    Okay. Here’s a medically accurate term: Human life.

    1. I have seen nasty things said to people, especially in restaurants and the work place, including telling people that they stink.

      I have no problem with the term human life. It really doesn’t narrow down the subject much.

      Some people place fertilized ovum, 9 months gestation and grown women all on the same level. I do not.

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