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Glenn Reynolds has a line that he uses regularly, about global warming. When, for example, Prince Charles or Al Gore flies in a private jet to some conference to lecture us all on the need to cut back for the sake of Gaia, Reynolds says, "I'll believe it's a problem when the people telling me it's a problem start acting like it's a problem."

A similar standard might be applied to the problem of overheated rhetoric. Do the left and their media allies think it's really a problem, or are they just using the Tucson incident to silence their critics?

If they honestly think it's a problem that they wish to address, the Republic will clamp down on Benson, the Star will quietly hand Fitz a pink slip, and the NYT will ask Krugman to tone it down a bit.

Do you think I should hold my breath while waiting for these things to happen?

I can still remember one of his cartoons back in the early or mid-90s. A family I was fairly close to had moved to Gilbert. They had a lot of kids, and two of them were good friends and close to me in age. Tragedy struck their family one summer as their new baby was left in the family van and eventually died. Benson responded with a heartless drawing of a van with "BYU" and "We love our family" bumper stickers and a screaming baby banging on the window trying to get out. Yes, the family is LDS.

Whatever your opinion may have been with regard to the family, Benson showed he is a vile and disgusting human being. It's probably not even the worst of his cartoons.

So there's a minority opinion out there that the name J---- L------- should be stricken from all discourse. Voluntarily, of course. Personally, I think there's value in that.

The same could be said of this entire yapping gaggle of small-minded attention-grabbers who are constantly urinating on our public square (so to speak). I think they only do it to distract us, and they're very successful at it.

They're not worth the time or the energy. Really, shouldn't we all just stop paying attention and turn our thoughts to things that matter?

I recently heard an explanation on left-wing radio AM 1480 on why the left's usage of targets (ie. Harry Mitchell on JD Hayworth in ad) is different than the right's usage. Stephanie Miller and her crew basically claim that unlike folks on the right, there are no folks on the left who are wired for violence or respond to the "call to arms" as the crazy Second Amendment Tea Party folks are.
I'm sure there are many examples of left wing violent loons (ie. Unibomber). In fact, here is an interesting one that I don't remember the media looking to place blame on the left for, even though the individual specifically cited it as a reason for his actions. His name was James J. Lee. He was the guy who armed with bombs and a gun took folks in the Washington DC Discovery Channel building hostage. Now, I admit he didn't kill anyone because the police were able to kill him first. But check out this quote from the MSNBC story on this (link provided as well):
"Lee said at the time that he experienced an ‘‘awakening” when he watched former Vice President Al Gore’s environmental documentary ‘‘An Inconvenient Truth.”
Where is the call to silence Al Gore and his supporters of the Earth's demise at the hands of humans?
www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38957020/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/

Benson was the reason I quit taking the Repugnant over a decade ago.

I like the idea of Bunson and Fatz being left to twist in the wind, as they become more and more of an eyesore to the general public.

But lets face it, these are guys who are attention whores, and have an axe to grind.

Memo to Bunson: dude you don't really see that bottom center round due to the trigger gaurd, they have pics of these devices on the web.

RgP- I know that family. They are good people, and were vilified in the press.
That just proves that discourse in general has never been civil; if you disagree with some people, they consider you non-human, and therefore not worth the common dignity afforded another human being.
In my opinion, once Benson let it be known that he believes in nothing, his art has suffered.

Yeah, where the heck was the Star publisher at the Civility Press Conference? Where were the teachers unions who brainwash innocent children with their politics.

There were several people who needed to be included in this "civility pledge".

People are pretty smart. I think the grand majority are not buying the "Sarah made me do it" explanation of last Saturday's tragedy. Most of society...including several network anchors....have flat out said that Dupnik has NOTHING to back up his claims.

When Fitz apologizes for one boorish comment, after a career of them, you know that the papers know that they are in big, big, big trouble from a credibility and influence standpoint.

So every comment on here is castigating others for their words, using words that are nearly as hostile or as hostile as the ones they criticize. It's like rhetorical mutually assured discussion. Don't look for others to change. Change yourself. Once we all follow that credo, the only ones left out there will be marginalized and not worthy of our attention.

What will happen to Espresso Pundit if everyone embraces civility?

All this talk of civility was just to exploit a tragedy and use it to shut up critics of the Obama administration.

A day didn't go by when Bush and Cheney weren't called fascists and war criminals, so excuse me if I call bullsh!t on this new call for civility.

It didn't work when Liberals tried to silence all critics of Obama as racists, and it's not going to work when a crazed left-winger shoots a Congresswoman.

Americans know when rhetoric is over the top, and they also know it has nothing to do with the violence that occurred in Tucson.

Whoa there, Bradly K, you need to tone down the hostile rhetoric...
:-P

It was pointless criticism then and it is pointless criticism now, Bradly. Calling people names does nothing to inform or educate. Informing does not require one to insult or destroy the opposing point of view or their advocates. On the contrary.

Islamic fascists use insults from centuries ago to justify heinous acts today. Is that the example we want to follow. For me, the answer is easy. Find your own path.

Well, Bradley proves my point.

Jack, Gentle Reader,

Allow me to rephrase.

Dupnik not only spread misinformation, he put people in danger. Trent Humphries for one, a Tucson talk radio host for another--both received death threats--while it's been obvious that the shooter was not influenced by talk radio or the Tea Party.

I don't see how this could be anything other than gross irresponsibility on the part of an elected official. Generally, elected leaders diffuse lynch mobs but Dupnik incited one.

On top of that, he continued Raul Grijalva's theme of "Hate your state" with the "Mecca of prejudice and bigotry" line.

I hope that was civil enough of a tone for you. I don't see how you can interpret Dupnik's actions the day of the shooting and the days immediately following any other way.

Jack,
You are continuing to prove Bradly's point by suggesting that he's being uncivil and needs to stop.

Stewie,
So long as you disagree with them, you're being uncivil.

This civility police nonsense is what needs to stop. Oh wait, was the word "nonsense" a bit over-the-top?

Jesus referred to those in the Sanhedrin--Scribes, Pharisees--[the leading politicos of the day] as "hypocrites" [KJV Luke 11:44]. Was He a "hatemonger." Sometimes names are descriptive, useful, and appropriate. Is it surprising that the Left now calls for "civility?" Two points: (1) those on the left are the worst culprits in namecalling, and (2) it's the Left's attempt to silence their critics while they continue the vitriol.
Using Jesus' approach: "Mainstream media, Democrats, hypocrites!"

Nope. I don't care how uncivil Bradly and Stewie choose to be. Their choice. Not mine. I was simply offering that the logic of using offensive remarks by others to justify your own is a pointless circle that neither informs or educates, in my opinion. So I choose not to engage in it.

AND I WANNA BELIEVE YOU.....ANYTHING WILL BE OK....

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