Saturday, January 29, 2011

Egypt: The Revolution Will Be Televised

Created by Tamer Shaaban. 

Violent clashes between police and demonstrators as over ten thousand gather on the streets of Cairo. The Egyptian population has endured a tyrants rule for far too long, millions struggle each day to find where their next meal is coming from. January 25th, 2011 marks the day when the people rise and take back what's rightfully there's. This isn't the end, but hopefully the beginning to a long awaited regime change! Send to everyone and let them know.

Song: "Into the Fire" - Thirteen Senses

Thanks to the following news sources for their footage
Daily News Egypt
The Guardian
New York Times
Al Masry Al Youm

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

BREAKING: Google to create massive new campus in Venice Beach

Google Inc., the ever-expanding Internet search giant, is establishing a beachhead in Venice.

In a rare bright spot for the region's sluggish economy, Google is leasing more than 100,000 square feet of office space in three buildings, including the famed Binoculars Building designed by Frank Gehry. Sitting in front of the building is a huge binocular sculpture created by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, perhaps befitting of the company's search theme.

The move is part of a major expansion by Google in Southern California and could set up a new center of operation in the region.

Google representatives confirmed Tuesday night that the company had signed a lease for the properties, saying its employees would begin moving into the offices this year. Google's new complex of buildings will have more square footage than its current facilities in Santa Monica, where the largest of the three buildings has 45,000 square feet and houses 300 employees.

"Los Angeles is a world-class city with a talented workforce, and we're thrilled to expand our presence as we enter our biggest hiring year in company's history," said Thomas Williams, a senior director of engineering at Google.

Opening a Venice campus is part of an ambitious hiring plan for the Mountain View, Calif., company, which earlier Tuesday announced it would add more than 6,000 workers this year.

The hiring spree comes as Google fights for top talent against upstart rivals including Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. — so a marquee location in Los Angeles could help the company score points with potential hires. In its recruiting efforts, Google has bragged that its Santa Monica offices "are strategically located just a few short blocks from sunny beaches" and benefit from "over 300 days of sunshine."

Although Google would not comment on the precise number of new employees the move would bring to the city, the new space is likely to become a de facto Los Angeles campus, consolidating employees at other nearby locations, according to real estate sources.

The landmark building at 340 Main St., which was completed in 1991, was Gehry's last major project in Los Angeles before the Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2003. First to occupy the building was another friend of Gehry's, ad man Jay Chiat, who headquartered his powerhouse Chiat/Day ad agency in the building. Chiat died in 2002.

Los Angeles city officials welcomed the news.

"I am ecstatic that Google will be opening offices in Venice," said Councilman Bill Rosendahl, whose district includes the properties, in a statement. "I am particularly happy that its large number of employees will be contributing to our local economy. This should be a huge boon to the restaurants and shops on Main Street, Rose Avenue and Abbot Kinney Boulevard."

President Obama to call for budget-wide spending freeze, including military spending

Well, this should be interesting.

Pursuing a path of deficit reduction and government reform, President Obama will tonight in his State of the Union address call for a ban on earmarks and he will propose an overall budget freeze, ABC News has learned.

The proposals come as the president prepares to tackle the deficit and debt and as he faces a House of Representatives in Republican hands, many of whose members include those affiliated with the Tea Party who may be willing to embrace both moves.

The president will propose some new spending in certain areas that address the speech’s theme of “How We Win the Future”: innovation, education and infrastructure. But those increases will be proposed as part of an overall budget freeze, which given the annual rate of growth is often seen in Washington, DC, budgeting as a cut.

The FY 2011 budget was $3.8 trillion. Last year President Obama proposed a three-year hard freeze on non-security discretionary spending, to save $250 billion over the next decade; this would be much broader.

As for earmarks, President Obama has long been critical of the process in which members of Congress insert their pet projects into legislation without having them first go through the normal appropriations process, but Congress has continued to put billions of dollars of such projects in bills that arrive at the president’s desk.

After the midterm elections, which President Obama called a “shellacking,” he cited earmarks as a reason why some voters may have gone for the GOP.

“I’m a strong believer that the earmarking process in Congress isn’t what the American people really want to see when it comes to making tough decisions about how taxpayer dollars are spent,” the president said. “And I, in the rush to get things done, had to sign a bunch of bills that had earmarks in them, which was contrary to what I had talked about. And I think folks look at that and they said, ‘Gosh, this feels like the same partisan squabbling, this seems like the same ways of doing business as happened before.’”

The president said it was his understanding than House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., was pushing a moratorium on earmarks and “that’s something I think we can work on together.”

Presumably, this means a spending freeze for that most sacred of Republican cows, the military.

The reactions to watch for tonight are the Establishment Republicans vs. Tea Party Republicans. Unlike their elite cousins, Tea Party Republicans aren't at all squeamish about freezing - or even cutting - military spending.

Back home, tea partiers clamoring for the debt-ridden government to slash spending say nothing should be off limits. Tea party-backed lawmakers echo that argument, and they're not exempting the military's multibillion-dollar budget in a time of war.
Mark Meckler, JennyBeth Martin
click image to enlarge

Tea Party Patriots co-founders Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin hold a news conference in Washington on Nov. 3, 2010. Tea party groups say if the government is going to cut spending, the military budget needs to be part of the mix.

That demand is creating hard choices for the newest members of Congress, especially Republicans who owe their elections and solid House majority to the influential grass-roots movement. Cutting defense and canceling weapons could mean deep spending reductions and high marks from tea partiers as the nation wrestles with a $1.3 trillion deficit.

Yet it also could jeopardize thousands of jobs when unemployment is running high. Proponents of the cuts also could face criticism that they're trying to weaken national security in a post-Sept. 11 world.

House Republican leaders specifically exempted defense, homeland security and veterans' programs from spending cuts in their party's "Pledge to America" campaign manifesto last fall. But the House's new majority leader, Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., has said defense programs could join others on the cutting board.

The defense budget is about $700 billion annually. Few in Congress have been willing to make cuts as U.S. troops fight in Afghanistan and finish the operation in Iraq.
Popcorn anyone?

Friday, January 21, 2011

BREAKING: Keith Olbermann, "This is the Last Edition of Countdown (w/video)

Tonight, MSNBC announced that they and Olbermann "have ended their contract," and that Friday's "Countdown" show would be the last.

This announcement comes two days after the final approval of a controversial merger between NBC Universal, MSNBC's parent company and Comcast. Details about the cause of the split are not yet know.


From the NY Times:

9:43 p.m. | Updated Keith Olbermann, the highest-rated host on MSNBC, announced abruptly on the air Friday night that he is leaving “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” immediately.

The host, who has had a stormy relationship with the management of the network for some time, especially since he was suspended for two days last November, came to an agreement with NBC’s corporate management late this week to settle his contract and step down.

In a closing statement on his show, Mr. Olbermann said simply that it would be the last edition of the program. He offered no explanation other than on occasion, the show had become too much for him.

Mr. Olbermann thanked his viewers for their enthusiastic support of a show that had “gradually established its position as anti-establishment.”

In a statement, MSNBC said : “MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. The last broadcast of ‘Countdown with Keith Olbermann’ will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC’s success and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”

MSNBC announced that “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” would replace “Countdown” at 8 p.m., with “The Ed Show” with Ed Schultz taking Mr. O’Donnell’s slot at 10 p.m. Mr. Olbermann did not discuss any future plans, but NBC executives said one term of his settlement will keep him from moving to another network for an extended period of time.

NBC executives said the move had nothing to do with the impending takeover of NBC Universal by Comcast.

Mr. Olbermann had signed a four-year contract extension in 2008 for an estimated $30 million. He hosted “Countdown” at 8 p.m. since 2003 and it became the foundation of the channel’s surge to status as the second-ranked news channel on cable television, after Fox News, surpassing the one-time leader CNN.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

America, The Beautiful.

"Real America" isn't the fever-dream of gun-toting, government-hating, community-despising white-washed Christian suburbia conjured up by Sarah Palin and other right wing extremists, it's this:

"This is America, where a white Catholic male Republican judge was murdered on his way to greet a Democratic Jewish woman member of Congress, who was his friend. Her life was saved initially by a 20-year old Mexican-American gay college student, and eventually by a Korean-American combat surgeon, all eulogized by our African American President." 

-Mark Shields, PBS

Sarah Palin/Battle Hymn of the Republic Remixed

Too much fun not to share.

Monday, January 17, 2011

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness."

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction ... The chain reaction of evil -- hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars -- must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation."

Martin Luther King - 1963

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sarah Palin To Speak At Gun Event

I'm relived Sarah Palin has learned........well, exactly nothing.

Sarah Palin will be the keynote speaker at a huge convention of hunters later this month, organizers announced on Friday.

The former vice presidential candidate and possible 2012 presidential hopeful is headed to Safari Club International’s convention later this month in Reno, Nev. - one of the key early presidential primary states.

Organizers made the announcement that Palin would be appearing at the gun-related gathering less than a week after the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords that badly injured her and left six dead.

Palin is scheduled to keynote the pro-hunting group’s huge annual meeting on Jan. 29 - 20,000 are expected from around the world - with a speech on “her past hunting experiences and how politics affect the current state of hunting and fishing,” according to a Safari Club website. Tickets for the event are already sold out.

Since the shooting in Tucson, Palin has been tangled in controversy for her pro-gun rhetoric and use of gun crosshairs to identify Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’s (D-Ariz.) district on a map of pro-health reform House members.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"If there are rain puddles in heaven, Christina is jumping in them today."

President Obama's speech to the friends, family collegues of Gabrielle Giffords:

To the families of those we’ve lost; to all who called them friends; to the students of this university, the public servants gathered tonight, and the people of Tucson and Arizona: I have come here tonight as an American who, like all Americans, kneels to pray with you today, and will stand by you tomorrow.
There is nothing I can say that will fill the sudden hole torn in your hearts. But know this: the hopes of a nation are here tonight. We mourn with you for the fallen. We join you in your grief. And we add our faith to yours that Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the other living victims of this tragedy pull through.
As Scripture tells us:
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
On Saturday morning, Gabby, her staff, and many of her constituents gathered outside a supermarket to exercise their right to peaceful assembly and free speech. They were fulfilling a central tenet of the democracy envisioned by our founders – representatives of the people answering to their constituents, so as to carry their concerns to our nation’s capital. Gabby called it “Congress on Your Corner” – just an updated version of government of and by and for the people.
That is the quintessentially American scene that was shattered by a gunman’s bullets. And the six people who lost their lives on Saturday – they too represented what is best in America.
Judge John Roll served our legal system for nearly 40 years. A graduate of this university and its law school, Judge Roll was recommended for the federal bench by John McCain twenty years ago, appointed by President George H.W. Bush, and rose to become Arizona’s chief federal judge. His colleagues described him as the hardest-working judge within the Ninth Circuit. He was on his way back from attending Mass, as he did every day, when he decided to stop by and say hi to his Representative. John is survived by his loving wife, Maureen, his three sons, and his five grandchildren.
George and Dorothy Morris – “Dot” to her friends – were high school sweethearts who got married and had two daughters. They did everything together, traveling the open road in their RV, enjoying what their friends called a 50-year honeymoon. Saturday morning, they went by the Safeway to hear what their Congresswoman had to say. When gunfire rang out, George, a former Marine, instinctively tried to shield his wife. Both were shot. Dot passed away.
A New Jersey native, Phyllis Schneck retired to Tucson to beat the snow. But in the summer, she would return East, where her world revolved around her 3 children, 7 grandchildren, and 2 year-old great-granddaughter. A gifted quilter, she’d often work under her favorite tree, or sometimes sew aprons with the logos of the Jets and the Giants to give out at the church where she volunteered. A Republican, she took a liking to Gabby, and wanted to get to know her better.
Dorwan and Mavy Stoddard grew up in Tucson together – about seventy years ago. They moved apart and started their own respective families, but after both were widowed they found their way back here, to, as one of Mavy’s daughters put it, “be boyfriend and girlfriend again.” When they weren’t out on the road in their motor home, you could find them just up the road, helping folks in need at the Mountain Avenue Church of Christ. A retired construction worker, Dorwan spent his spare time fixing up the church along with their dog, Tux. His final act of selflessness was to dive on top of his wife, sacrificing his life for hers.
Everything Gabe Zimmerman did, he did with passion – but his true passion was people. As Gabby’s outreach director, he made the cares of thousands of her constituents his own, seeing to it that seniors got the Medicare benefits they had earned, that veterans got the medals and care they deserved, that government was working for ordinary folks. He died doing what he loved – talking with people and seeing how he could help. Gabe is survived by his parents, Ross and Emily, his brother, Ben, and his fiancée, Kelly, who he planned to marry next year.
And then there is nine year-old Christina Taylor Green. Christina was an A student, a dancer, a gymnast, and a swimmer. She often proclaimed that she wanted to be the first woman to play in the major leagues, and as the only girl on her Little League team, no one put it past her. She showed an appreciation for life uncommon for a girl her age, and would remind her mother, “We are so blessed. We have the best life.” And she’d pay those blessings back by participating in a charity that helped children who were less fortunate.
Our hearts are broken by their sudden passing. Our hearts are broken – and yet, our hearts also have reason for fullness.
Our hearts are full of hope and thanks for the 13 Americans who survived the shooting, including the congresswoman many of them went to see on Saturday. I have just come from the University Medical Center, just a mile from here, where our friend Gabby courageously fights to recover even as we speak. And I can tell you this – she knows we’re here and she knows we love her and she knows that we will be rooting for her throughout what will be a difficult journey.
Maisch, who wrestled away the killer’s ammunition, undoubtedly saving some lives. And we are grateful for the doctors and nurses and emergency medics who worked wonders to heal those who’d been hurt.
These men and women remind us that heroism is found not only on the fields of battle. They remind us that heroism does not require special training or physical strength. Heroism is here, all around us, in the hearts of so many of our fellow citizens, just waiting to be summoned – as it was on Saturday morning.
Their actions, their selflessness, also pose a challenge to each of us. It raises the question of what, beyond the prayers and expressions of concern, is required of us going forward. How can we honor the fallen? How can we be true to their memory?
You see, when a tragedy like this strikes, it is part of our nature to demand explanations – to try to impose some order on the chaos, and make sense out of that which seems senseless. Already we’ve seen a national conversation commence, not only about the motivations behind these killings, but about everything from the merits of gun safety laws to the adequacy of our mental health systems. Much of this process, of debating what might be done to prevent such tragedies in the future, is an essential ingredient in our exercise of self-government.
But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized – at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do – it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.
Scripture tells us that there is evil in the world, and that terrible things happen for reasons that defy human understanding. In the words of Job, “when I looked for light, then came darkness.” Bad things happen, and we must guard against simple explanations in the aftermath.
For the truth is that none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack. None of us can know with any certainty what might have stopped those shots from being fired, or what thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of a violent man’s mind.
So yes, we must examine all the facts behind this tragedy. We cannot and will not be passive in the face of such violence. We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of violence in the future.
But what we can’t do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another. As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.
After all, that’s what most of us do when we lose someone in our family – especially if the loss is unexpected. We’re shaken from our routines, and forced to look inward. We reflect on the past. Did we spend enough time with an aging parent, we wonder. Did we express our gratitude for all the sacrifices they made for us? Did we tell a spouse just how desperately we loved them, not just once in awhile but every single day?
So sudden loss causes us to look backward – but it also forces us to look forward, to reflect on the present and the future, on the manner in which we live our lives and nurture our relationships with those who are still with us. We may ask ourselves if we’ve shown enough kindness and generosity and compassion to the people in our lives. Perhaps we question whether we are doing right by our children, or our community, and whether our priorities are in order. We recognize our own mortality, and are reminded that in the fleeting time we have on this earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame – but rather, how well we have loved, and what small part we have played in bettering the lives of others.
That process of reflection, of making sure we align our values with our actions – that, I believe, is what a tragedy like this requires. For those who were harmed, those who were killed – they are part of our family, an American family 300 million strong. We may not have known them personally, but we surely see ourselves in them. In George and Dot, in Dorwan and Mavy, we sense the abiding love we have for our own husbands, our own wives, our own life partners. Phyllis – she’s our mom or grandma; Gabe our brother or son. In Judge Roll, we recognize not only a man who prized his family and doing his job well, but also a man who embodied America’s fidelity to the law. In Gabby, we see a reflection of our public spiritedness, that desire to participate in that sometimes frustrating, sometimes contentious, but always necessary and never-ending process to form a more perfect union.
And in Christina…in Christina we see all of our children. So curious, so trusting, so energetic and full of magic.
So deserving of our love.
And so deserving of our good example. If this tragedy prompts reflection and debate, as it should, let’s make sure it’s worthy of those we have lost. Let’s make sure it’s not on the usual plane of politics and point scoring and pettiness that drifts away with the next news cycle.
The loss of these wonderful people should make every one of us strive to be better in our private lives – to be better friends and neighbors, co-workers and parents. And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let’s remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy, but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud. It should be because we want to live up to the example of public servants like John Roll and Gabby Giffords, who knew first and foremost that we are all Americans, and that we can question each other’s ideas without questioning each other’s love of country, and that our task, working together, is to constantly widen the circle of our concern so that we bequeath the American dream to future generations.
I believe we can be better. Those who died here, those who saved lives here – they help me believe. We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us. I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us.
That’s what I believe, in part because that’s what a child like Christina Taylor Green believed. Imagine: here was a young girl who was just becoming aware of our democracy; just beginning to understand the obligations of citizenship; just starting to glimpse the fact that someday she too might play a part in shaping her nation’s future. She had been elected to her student council; she saw public service as something exciting, something hopeful. She was off to meet her congresswoman, someone she was sure was good and important and might be a role model. She saw all this through the eyes of a child, undimmed by the cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often just take for granted.
I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it. All of us – we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.
Christina was given to us on September 11th, 2001, one of 50 babies born that day to be pictured in a book called “Faces of Hope.” On either side of her photo in that book were simple wishes for a child’s life. “I hope you help those in need,” read one. “I hope you know all of the words to the National Anthem and sing it with your hand over your heart. I hope you jump in rain puddles.”
If there are rain puddles in heaven, Christina is jumping in them today. And here on Earth, we place our hands over our hearts, and commit ourselves as Americans to forging a country that is forever worthy of her gentle, happy spirit.
May God bless and keep those we’ve lost in restful and eternal peace. May He love and watch over the survivors. And may He bless the United States of America.

"Blood Libel Is The Perfect Term For What The Left Is Doing"

It's not often I get email from readers - frankly I don't blog enough to get the attention. But this morning I received an email from "Jason", a Palin supporter who believes the term "blood libel" is the perfect metaphor to describe the Left's persecution of Sarah Palin.

Blood libel is the perfect term for what the Left is doing to the people of this country. You are implying, if not openly stating, that your political opponents somehow have blood on their hands for the events in Arizona. This is bizarre thinking, which is almost as bad as that exhibited by the madman in Tuscon.

Of course, you Leftists are using this as a cynical ploy to denigrate non-Leftists for quite some time. It is a way to shut down speech you don't like to hear - and no not "hate speech" but speech that is critical of the Left.

Take time to examine your own heart and stop spewing hatred for people you don't even know.

First of all, thanks to Jason for taking the time to reach out to me. I'll see if I can do his email justice with a coherent reply.

As I posted earlier, "blood libel" is exactly the wrong term for Sarah Palin to use, regardless of how you feel about the merits of her position. "Blood libel" historically refers to a false accusation that religious minorities, almost always Jews, murder children to use their blood in certain aspects of their religious rituals and holidays.

The libels typically allege that Jews require human blood for the baking of matzos for Passover. The accusations often assert that the blood of Christian children is especially coveted, and historically blood libel claims have often been made to account for otherwise unexplained deaths of children.

Blood Libel is one of the reasons I can't trace my family tree on my father's side any farther than the late 1800's in the Ukraine, because after that, those who couldn't escape were all murdered in pogroms.

So Jason, unless Sarah Palin literally believes the Left is accusing her of using the blood of Christian children for Passover matzoh, she might want to rethink her strategy here.

As to your next assertion that "Leftists" are using the Giffords' shooting as a cynical ploy to denigrate "non-Leftists",  I would challenge you to find any Democratic lawmaker or media type who has said Sarah Palin is directly responsible for her shooting. Instead, what is being discussed here, and rightly so I believe, is the vitriolic atmosphere that has grown up around our elected officials in the last couple of years, and how this creates a toxic atmosphere where the least-hinged amongst us might feel empowered to act.

Sarah Palin had the great misfortune to create a campaign that literally targeted her opponents, including Giffords, with gun crosshairs. Giffords' Republican opponent in the 2010 election, Jesse Kelly,  invited supporters to attend an event at a gun range where they could "remove" Gabrielle Giffords from office by shooting a fully automatic M16.

Do I believe either Palin and Kelly actually wanted Giffords dead or hoped to encourage others to kill her? No. But they denigrated and dehumanized her to the point where she stopped being just a political opponent with different views and became something "other", something evil, something to eliminated and destroyed.

While harsh words may be said on both side of the isle, only the Right has a body count. Only assassins on the Right have flown planes into IRS buildings, killed abortion doctors, opened fire on churches and killed parishioners because they couldn't kill "every Democrat in the Senate and House", or shot up a street because they thought Obama was going to take their guns away.

But it's not just the Left who have been the victims of this toxic atmosphere. Yesterday, three members of the Arizona state Republican party resigned because of constant harrassment from Arizona Tea Party members. After the Giffords shooting, they felt fearful for their lives. One of the officials is quoted as saying, 

"I wasn't going to resign but decided to quit after what happened Saturday. I love the Republican Party but I don't want to take a bullet for anyone."

Jason, Sarah Palin didn't chose to be connected to Gabrielle Giffords shooting, but she's chosen to paint herself as its victim, even as the real victims are being buried today and memorialized by President Obama.

If anyone needs to examine their heart, it's Sarah Palin.

God willing, she won't do it on Facebook.

Sarah Palin Accuses Critics Of "Blood Libel"

From Wikipedia:

Blood libel (also blood accusation) refers to a false accusation or claimthat religious minorities, almost always Jews, murder children to use their blood in certain aspects of their religious rituals and holidays. Historically, these claims have–alongside those ofwell poisoning and host desecration–been a major theme in European persecution of Jews.[4]

The libels typically allege that Jews require human blood for the baking of matzos for Passover. The accusations often assert that the blood of Christian children is especially coveted, and historically blood libel claims have often been made to account for otherwise unexplained deaths of children. 

This morning, Sarah Palin released an extensive statement on video and and on Facebook, "refudiating" her critics. At one point in the video she claims,

....within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn.

Palin is being too clever by half. She's deliberately using a short pithy phrase supporters and the mainstream media can latch onto, and repeat ad nauseum. But what she's done is misappropriated a term that has haunted Jews for centuries and made our own blood run cold.

That she, and they, don't even understand what "blood libel" really means is just grotesque. In fact, the use of "blood libel" against the Jews in Eastern Europe was a precursor to the Holocaust, and cost hundreds of thousands their lives in the late 1800's.

"Blood libel" is the reason I can't trace my family tree on my father's side back farther than the late 1800's in Disna Vilna, Ukraine.

That Palin would use it when one of the real victims in this tragedy, Gabrielle Giffords, is Jewish is beyond belief.

Here are but a few examples.

  • 1840 Damascus affair: In February, at Damascus, a Catholic monk named Father Thomas and his servant were murdered. The accusation of ritual murder was brought against members of the Jewish community of Damascus
  • 1840 Rhodes blood libel: The Jews of Rhodes, during the Ottoman Empire, were accused of murdering a Greek Christian boy. The libel was supported by the local governor and the European consuls posted to Rhodes. Several Jews were arrested and tortured, and the entire Jewish quarter was blockaded for twelve days. An investigation carried out by the central Ottoman government found the Jews to be innocent.
  • In March 1879, ten Jewish men from a mountain village were brought to Kutaisi, Georgia to stand trial for the alleged kidnapping and murder of a Christian girl. The case attracted a great deal of attention in Russia (of which Georgia was then a part): "While periodicals as diverse in tendency as Herald of Europe and Saint Petersburg Notices expressed their amazement that medieval prejudice should have found a place in the modern judiciary of a civilized state, New Times hinted darkly of strange Jewish sects with unknown practices."The trial ended in acquittal, and the orientalist Daniel Chwolson published a refutation of the blood libel.
  • 1882 Tiszaeszlár blood libel: The Jews of the village TiszaeszlárHungary were accused with the ritual murder of a fourteen-year-old Christian girl, Eszter Solymosi. The case was one of the main causes of the rise of antisemitism in the country. The accused persons were eventually acquitted.
  • In the 1899 Hilsner Affair, Leopold Hilsner, a Jewish vagabond, was accused of murdering a nineteen-year-old Christian woman, Anežka Hrůzová, with a slash to the throat. Despite the absurdity of the charge and the relatively progressive nature of society in Austri-Hungary, Hilsner was convicted and sentenced to death. He was later convicted of an additional unsolved murder, also involving a Christian woman. In 1901, the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Tomáš Masaryk, a prominent Austro-Czech philosophy professor and future president of Czechoslovakia, spearheaded Hilsner's defense. He was later blamed by Czech media because of this. In March 1918, Hilsner was pardoned by Austrian emperor Charles I. He was never exonerated, and the true guilty parties were never found.
  • The 1903 Kishinev pogrom, an anti-Jewish revolt, started when an anti-Semitic newspaper wrote that a Christian Russian boy, Mikhail Rybachenko, was found murdered in the town of Dubossary, alleging that the Jews killed him in order to use the blood in preparation of matzo. Around 49 Jews were killed and hundreds were wounded, with over 700 houses being looted and destroyed.
  • In the 1910 Shiraz blood libel, the Jews of ShirazIran, were falsely accused of murdering a Muslim girl. The entire Jewish quarter was pillaged; the pogrom left 12 Jews dead and about 50 injured.

Antisemitic flier in Kiev, 1910: "Christians, take care of your children!!! It will be Jewish Passover on March 17."
  • In Kiev, a Jewish factory manager, Menahem Mendel Beilis, was accused of murdering a Christian child and using his blood in matzos. He was acquitted by an all-Christian jury after a sensational trial in 1913.
  • The 1946 Kielce pogrom against Holocaust survivors in Poland was sparked by an accusation of blood libel.
  • King Faisal of Saudi Arabia (r. 1964–1975) made accusations against Parisian Jews which took the nature of a blood libel.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"I love the Republican Party but I don't want to take a bullet for anyone."

Becking, its seems, can happen to anyone, even Republicans.

A nasty battle between factions of Legislative District 20 Republicans and fears that it could turn violent in the wake of what happened in Tucson on Saturday prompted District Chairman Anthony Miller and several others to resign.
Miller, a 43-year-old Ahwatukee Foothills resident and former campaign worker for U.S. Sen. John McCain, was re-elected to a second one-year term last month. He said constant verbal attacks after that election and Internet blog posts by some local members with Tea Party ties made him worry about his family's safety.
In an e-mail sent a few hours after Saturday's massacre in Tucson that killed six and injured 13, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Miller told state Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen he was quitting: "Today my wife of 20 yrs ask (sic) me do I think that my PCs (Precinct Committee members) will shoot at our home? So with this being said I am stepping down from LD20GOP."

Miller's resignation wasn't an isolated incident. Two other committee members quit on the same day.

The newly-elected Dist. 20 Republican secretary, Sophia Johnson of Ahwatukee, first vice chairman Roger Dickinson of Tempe and Jeff Kolb, the former district spokesman from Ahwatukee, also quit. "This singular focus on 'getting' Anthony (Miller) was one of the main reasons I chose to resign," Kolb said in an e-mail to another party activist. 

Miller, who is African American, was not a stranger to heated political battles. But this year things were different. After their candidate, J.D. Hayworth, lost a contentious Senate primary against McCain, Tea Party organizers focused their energy into taking over the Arizona state Republican party.

Kolb said the Tea Party and associated conservative groups ran their slate of candidates for seven Dist. 20 leadership positions, winning three -- the treasurer's post and two vice-chairmanships. However, Miller beat challenger Thomas Morrissey for the top post after Sheriff Joe Arpaio made a personal appearance for Morrissey.....
Miller said when he was a member of McCain's campaign staff last year has been criticized by the more conservative party members who supported Republican opponent J.D. Hayworth. The first and only African-American to hold the party's precinct chairmanship, Miller said he has been called "McCain's boy," and during the campaign saw a critic form his hand in the shape of a gun and point it at him.
"I wasn't going to resign but decided to quit after what happened Saturday," Miller said. "I love the Republican Party but I don't want to take a bullet for anyone."

Harvey Milk and Gabrielle Giffords

"I think it's important for all leaders... not just leaders of the Republican Party or the Democratic Party... to say, look, we can't stand for this...we're on Sarah Palin's targeted list, but the thing is that the way that she has it depicted has the cross-hairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they've got to realize there's consequences to that action."

-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, March 25, 2010

We're all still reeling from the tragic events in Arizona over the weekend. For Cleve Jones, it meant reliving that horrible night in 1978 when his friend Harvey Milk was gunned down in San Fransisco, a victim of a hate-filled political assassin.

Cleve sent the message below to Courage Campaign members condemning this violence and the dangerous rhetoric in our political discourse today.

He and the Courage Campaign are calling on Chairman Darrell Issa to use his new power as Chairman of the House Oversight And Government Reform Committee to convene hearings into how this rhetoric may contribute to such violence.

Please join them in this call.

I know something about senseless violence.

I have never met Congresswoman Giffords, nor Judge Roll, nor any of the other victims of the shocking massacre that occurred Saturday in Tucson. But I recall as though it were yesterday the assassinations in 1978 of my friend and mentor Harvey Milk along with San Francisco Mayor Moscone. As if that were not enough, only seven years later, I was stabbed by a group of skinheads screaming "faggot." For me, political violence has never been hypothetical.

Harvey received so many death threats that he stopped looking at them. He almost assumed he would be killed, because of the hate speech and incendiary language that foes of equality hurled with impunity.

On Saturday, it happened again. While no one knows for sure what drove Jared Loughner to commit this heinous act, we do know that the toxic political discourse in this country today- candidates talking about "second amendment remedies", news networks featuring anti-government conspiracy theorists, and national political figures like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin describing themselves as "progressive hunters" and urging followers to "reload"- lays the groundwork for this kind of violence (1, 2, 3, 4). We shouldn't stand for it.

It has to stop. That's why today the Courage Campaign calls on Rep. Darrell Issa, the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to investigate the ties between violence and increasing calls for it in our national political dialogue.

Mr. Issa has promised to hold a hearing every day on various Obama administration programs and legislation. What about hearings on what led to this attack? How about an investigation into increasing calls for violence from national political figures, organizations, and the media? It's time for him to call hearings now on the environment that led to the deaths.

We know that law enforcement and the judiciary will bring the perpetrators to justice. But that's only this time. What about next time? We will never end this violence until we have an honest national dialogue about who and what is feeding it, and determine the steps that can be taken to prevent more violence.

Will you join me in calling on Chairman Issa to investigate how overheated political rhetoric can contribute to such violence?

Let us do more than bring the shooter to justice. Let us put the spotlight on those who are teaching the next shooter that violence is the answer.


Cleve Jones

"Did we pick someone to blame yet?"

From the Colbert Report:

Before we start, I'd just like to say that all of us are shocked and saddened by the senseless attack in Tucson this weekend, which killed six people and wounded fourteen others, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. While I've never met Representative Giffords, we have tussled in the media, and her husband Mark is the astronaut that taught me how to land the Space Shuttle. To the Congresswoman, her husband, and the families and friends of all the victims of this horrible attack, we at the Report send our thoughts and prayers. We may never know what motivated this clearly unbalanced individual, but what we do know is that now is not the time to lay blame or politicize this tragedy.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Pundits Lay Blame for Senseless Arizona Attack
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Monday, January 10, 2011

Deep Thought Of The Day

"Remove Gabrielle Giffords From Office, Shoot A Fully Automatic M16"

Jess Kelly, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' Republican opponent in the 2010 election, liked to tout his experience as a Marine combat veteran, and often used images of himself handling guns in campaign literature and on his website. Those images are no longer available on his campaign website because Kelly scrubbed most of the site right after the Giffords shooting.

But thanks to the magic of the interwebs, most of those images have been preserved. Have a look, remember these when you hear some nice, reasonable Republican pundit on radio or TV claiming that it was rhetoric "on both sides" that led to Congresswoman Giffords' shooting.

Last time I checked, only one side asked their supporters to metaphorically "remove" their opponent from office with the help of a fully automatic M16

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The "Becking" Of America: How Right-Wing Media and Politicians Incite Violence

"Becking" (verb)To use violent metaphors or make thinly-veiled suggestions of violence against opponents, while maintaining plausible deniability against charges of incitement"

The Coalition To Stop Gun Violence has built an "insurrectionism timeline".  It lists hundreds of incidents of right-wing speech and of acts of violence clearly incited by such speech.

The timeline pre-dates the election of President Barack Obama, beginning after June 26, 2008, when the U.S. Supreme Court embraced the National Rifle Association's contention that the Second Amendment provides individuals with the right to take violent action against our government should it become "tyrannical."

The timeline also unintentionally chronicles the "Becking" of America, in which right-wing media personalities and lawmaker employ violent metaphors or thinly-veiled suggestions of violence to demonize their opponents.

The Giffords' shooting brought this phenomena home when reports surfaced that Sarah Palin - who had quite literally targeted Gabrielle Giffords with her "Take Back The 20" campaign - was quietly scrubbing a map with Giffords' district marked with gun sight crosshairs from her PAC website.

Yet Palin's defenders, and some in the mainstream media, have tried to claim Democratic lawmakers and media personalities are equally to blame for the toxic political environment because a diarist on the liberal website, Daily Kos, posted that Giffords was "dead to him" after she cast a vote against Pelosi as House Minority Leader (the diarist later apologized for the wording and took the post down).

Palin defenders have also quoted Obama as saying, "Don't bring a knife to a gunfight." during the 2008 campaign, and although I can find this quote plenty using Google, I can't it attributed directly to Obama.

Compare this to the dozens of incidents of right-wing "Becking" CTSGV has documented from the last two years, and which I've highlighted below (and it's by no means an exhaustive list), then look at the violence that's resulted.

Our country is, in a word, well and truly "Becked".


July 27, 2008—Jim Adkisson shoots and kills two people at a progressive church in Knoxville, Tennessee, wounding two. Adkisson calls it “a symbolic killing” because he really “wanted to kill…every Democrat in the Senate & House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book,” but was unable to gain access to them.

September 22, 2008—The National Rifle Association launches its GunBanObama website, which predicts that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, “if elected…would be the most anti-gun president in American history.” The website is part of a $15 million NRA campaign to discredit Obama.

February 5, 2009—FOX commentator Glenn Beck hosts an hour-long special on Fox called “We Surround Them, a “grassroots effort to wake up our Nation's leaders and let them know what many, if not most, Americans truly believe in and stand for.”

February 20, 2009—FOX commentator Glenn Beck hosts a program that games a 2014 civil war scenario called “The Bubba Effect.” It involves citizen militias in the South and West taking up arms against the U.S. government.

March 3, 2009— FOX commentator Glenn Beck interviews NRA celebrity spokesman Chuck Norris. During the interview, Beck states that, “Somebody asked me this morning, they said, ‘you really believe that there's going to be trouble in the future?’ And I said, ‘if this country starts to spiral out of control and, you know, and Mexico melts down or whatever, if it really starts to spiral out of control, before America allows a country to become a totalitarian country … Americans will, they just, they won't stand for it. There will be parts of the country that will rise up.’ And they said, ‘where's that going to come from?’ And I said, ‘Texas, it's going to come from Texas.’”

March 9, 2009—NRA celebrity spokesman Chuck Norris writes in an editorial published at WorldNetDaily: “How much more will Americans take? When will enough be enough? And, when that time comes, will our leaders finally listen or will history need to record a second American Revolution?”

March 21-22, 2009—Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
states that she wants residents of her state to be “armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us ‘having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,’ and the people—we the people—are going to have to fight back hard if we’re not going to lose our country.”

April 4, 2009—Neo-Nazi Richard Poplawski shoots and kills three police officers responding to a 911 call to his home in Pittsburgh. His friend Edward Perkovic tells reporters that Poplawski feared “the Obama gun ban that’s on its way” and “didn’t like our rights being infringed upon.” Perkovic also commented that Poplawski carried out the shooting because “if anyone tried to take his firearms, he was gonna’ stand by what his forefathers told him to do.”

April 7, 2009—The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis releases an assessment of right wing extremism in the United States. The Department notes that “the economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.”

Recalling the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh, the Department speculates, “The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.”

May 31, 2009—Scott P. Roeder shoots and kills Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider, in the foyer of Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas. The FBI lists Roeder as a member of the Montana Freemen, a radical anti-government group. 

Between January 6 and May 15, Politifact found 8 instances where conservative talk show host, Bill O'Reilly called George Tiller a "baby killer". Other reports show O'Reilly had labeled Dr. Tiller "Tiller, the baby killer" as far back as 2006.

June 3, 2009—Hal Turner, a New Jersey resident and white supremacist blogger/radio host, is arrested on charges of inciting injury after calling for the deaths of two Connecticut state legislators on his blog because they sponsored a bill that would have transferred financial power in Roman Catholic parishes from priests and bishops to lay members. “While filing a lawsuit is quaint and the 'decent' way to handle things,” he wrote, “we at TRN (Turner Radio Network) believe that being decent to a group of tyrannical scumbags is the wrong approach. It's too soft. Thankfully, the Founding Fathers gave us the tools necessary to resolve tyranny: The Second Amendment. .”

June 10, 2009—James W. von Brunn, a convicted felon and a “hardcore Neo-Nazi,” walks into the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. and shoots and kills a security guard. Von Brunn believed that Western civilization was going to be replaced with a “ONE WORLD ILLUMINATI GOVERNMENT” that would “confiscate private weapons” in order to accomplish its goals.

July 15, 2009—Katherine Crabill, a Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates in the state’s 99th District makes headlines by calling on Americans to resist the course President Obama has set for the country. Appearing at a “Tea Party” rally, Crabill quotes a 1775 speech by Patrick Henry and then states, “We have a chance to fight this battle at the ballot box before we have to resort to the bullet box. But that's the beauty of our Second Amendment right. I am glad for all of us who enjoy the use of firearms for hunting. But make no mistake. That was not the intent of the Founding Fathers. Our Second Amendment right was to guard against tyranny.”

July 31, 2009—On WWJB-AM in Hernando County, Florida, talk radio host Bob Haa takes a call from a listener who mentions ammunition, target practice, and Barack Obama. Haa tells him not to waste his ammunition on targets, to save it for the administration. Haa is later visited by an agent for the Secret Service.

August 11, 2009—William Kostric is filmed openly carrying a handgun outside of President Obama's health care reform town hall meeting in New Hampshire. Kostric holds a sign that reads, "IT IS TIME TO WATER THE TREE OF LIBERTY!" a reference to the following Thomas Jefferson quote: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

August 17, 2009—Chris Broughton openly carries a handgun and AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifle to a health care rally in Phoenix, Arizona. Simultaneously, President Obama addresses a VFW Convention across the street. In a video recorded that day, Broughton states, “What do you think we did in the revolution, in the American Revolution? The British weren't stealing money from us for health care. They weren't taxing us the way they are now back then. And what did we do? We forcefully kicked them out of our country."

August 26, 2009—At a secessionist rally on the state capitol steps in Austin, Texas, gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina states that, "We are aware that stepping off into secession may in fact be a bloody war. We are aware. We understand that the tree of freedom is occasionally watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.”

September 28, 2009—Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), the Chairman of the Second Amendment Task Force in the U.S. House of Representatives, calls House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a “domestic enemy of the Constitution” at a health care reform town hall meeting.

September 29, 2009—An editorial at the Newsmax website calls for a military coup to oust President Obama.

October 18-19, 2009—Reports emerge that the Secret Service has received an unprecedented number of death threats against President Obama. Ronald Kessler's account of presidential security, In the President's Secret Service, states that there has been a 400% increase in such threats in comparison with Obama’s predecessor. Another source of these reports is an August 5, 2009 study by the Congressional Research Service which finds: “The [Secret] Service’s protection mission has increased and become more ‘urgent’ due to the increase in terrorist threats and the expanded arsenal of weapons that terrorists could use in an assassination attempt or attacks on facilities.”

November 2009— A billboard is erected on I-70 in Lafayette County, Missouri, that promotes "a citizens guide to REVOLUTION." It urges Missourians to "LIVE FREE OR DIE" and "PREPARE FOR WAR" with a corrupt government. The billboard is highlighted at the Lafayette County Republicans website.

February 13, 2010—An unidentified speaker at an event organized by the Lewis and Clark Tea Party Patriots in Asotin County, Washington, tells the audience, "How many of you have watched the movie "Lonesome Dove"? What happened to Jake when he ran with the wrong crowd? He got hung. And that's what I want to do with [Democratic U.S. Senator] Patty Murray."

February 18, 2010—Joseph Stack of Austin, Texas, flies a single-engine plane into an office building containing nearly 200 IRS employees, killing one and wounding 13. In a suicide note,  Stack lays out his grievances with the federal tax agency, stating, "... Violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer."

March 2010—The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) announces that 2009 saw a dramatic increase in the number of new anti-government "Patriot" groups in the United States. Specifically, the number of Patriot groups jumped from 149 (including 42 militias) to 512 (127 of them militias) in 2009—a 244% jump.

March 2, 2010—FOX News commentator Bill O'Reilly, speaking about the McDonald v. Chicago case before the Supreme Court, declares that plaintiff Otis McDonald's inability to own a handgun in Chicago amounts to "tyranny." Predicting that four justices on the Court will side with the city of Chicago, O'Reilly states, "It's interesting that in America today the far Left that wants the government to call the shots, not the folks. In the past, Right-Wing extremists like Hitler and Mussolini were in the forefront of state control. But with the exception of Burma, today's totalitarians are primarily on the Left."

March 4, 2010—John Patrick Bedell, a California resident, travels to Arlington, Virginia, and opens fire on police officers at the entrance to the Pentagon. Bedell is armed with two semiautomatic firearms and "many [ammunition] magazines." Bedell injures two officers before he is killed by return fire. Reports reveals Bedell to be a Truther who believed that the U.S. government had been taken over by a criminal organization in a 1963 coup. In an Internet posting, he writes, "This organization, like so many murderous governments throughout history, would see the sacrifice of thousands of its citizens, in an event such as the September 11 attacks, as a small cost in order to perpetuate its barbaric control."

March 19-22, 2010—During consideration of health care reform legislation by the U.S. House of Representatives, vandals attack Democratic offices in Pleasant Ridge, Ohio; Wichita, Kansas; Tuscon, Arizona; Niagra Falls, New York; and Rochester, New York. Mike Vanderboegh, the former leader of f the Alabama Constitutional Militia, takes credit for the violence after posting a blog on March 19 that states, "If we break the windows of hundreds, thousands, of Democratic party headquarters across this country, we might just make up enough of them to make defending ourselves at the muzzle of a rifle unnecessary."

Several Democratic members receive death threats, including Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), who is told snipers will "kill the children of the members who voted YES"; Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), who receives a message saying, "You're dead; we know where you live; we'll get you"; and Rep. Betsy Markey (D-CO), whose staffer is told by a caller, "Better hope I don't run into you in a dark alley with a knife, a club or a gun." 

House Minority Leader John Boehner, speaking about Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-OH), says he "may be a dead man."

March 21, 2010—As the U.S. House of Representatives enters a final round of debate over a controversial health care reform bill, Conservative blogger Solomon "Solly" Forrell calls for the assassination of President Barack Obama on his Twitter account. In two separate postings, Forrel writes, "ASSASSINATION! America, we survived the #Assassinations of #Lincoln & #Kennedy. We'll surely get over a bullet 2 #BarackObama's head! ... The next #American with a #Clear #Shot should drop #Obama like a bad habit."

March 23, 2010—Sarah Palin announces her "Take Back The 20" campaign (which called on Americans to vote out of office Democrats from conservative districts who had voted for health care reform) on her Facebook page. The page includes an image of a map with targeted districts marked with crosshairs.

That same day, Palin tweets to her supporters a note about the Facebook message, writing, "Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: 'Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!' Pls see my Facebook page."

One of the targeted districts was Garielle Giffords'.

March 24, 2010—After voting for health care reform legislation, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) receive faxes with drawings of nooses.

March 25, 2010—Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), who voted for health care reform legislation, receives a package containing white powder and an angry letter telling him to "drop dead ."

March 26, 2010—Rep. Vic Snyder (D-AR), who voted for health care reform legislation, receives a letter stating, "It is apparent that it will take a few assassinations to stop Obamacare. Militia central has selected you for assassination. If we cannot stalk and find you in Washington, D.C., we will get you in Little Rock."

That same day, NRA Board Member Ted Nugent makes the following comment on FOX News' "Your World" program: “I’m the expert on the health care bill because I kill pigs and a just shot a monster big pig here in Texas and seeing as how this is a pig bill created by pig bureaucrats to help out American pigs … We gotta’ kill the pig.”

April 1, 2010—CNN commentator Erick Erickson, questioning the legality of the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), makes the following comment on WMAC-AM radio: “We have become, or are becoming, enslaved by the government ... I dare ‘em to try to come throw me in jail. I dare ‘em to. [I’ll] pull out my wife’s shotgun and see how that little ACS twerp likes being scared at the door. They’re not going on my property.”

April 7, 2010—Gregory Lee Giusti, 48, of San Francisco, California, is arrested for making threatening phone calls to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Giusti allegedly called Pelosi dozens of times, recited her home address, and told her that if she wanted to see it again, she should drop her support for health care reform legislation. Giusti had a "history of mental health problems" and his mother indicated he was influenced by "Fox News and all of those that are really radical."

April 13, 2010—Reports surface that state Sen. Randy Brogdon (R-OK) and Rep. Charles Key (R-OK) have met with Oklahoma Tea Party groups to discuss the formation of a new "volunteer militia" to defend against what they see as improprer federal infringements on state sovereignty. 

One Tea Party leader involved in these meetings, J.W. Berry of the Tulsa-based OKforTea group, has called for the Militia to "launch a thousand guerrilla attacks on the plans that these people have to ruin us and our country."

April 19, 2010—Pro-gun activists conduct two rallies in the Washington, D.C. area to demonstrate their opposition to an "oppressive, totalitarian government." The choice of date is significant, as April 19 marks the anniversary of the first shots being fired in the American Revolution at the Battle of Lexington/Concord, the fiery conclusion to the 1993 siege at Waco, and the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh.

May 15, 2010—Referring to a controversial new anti-immigration law in Arizona, FOX News personality Glenn Beck tells the 2010 NRA Convention, "Let's talk a minute about a 'well-regulated militia' and why you might need one because the government isn't doing their job. Let's meet people in Texas, Arizona and California."

May 27, 2010—The Washington Times publishes an editorial claiming that a United Nations treaty seeking to curb the international, illicit trade in smalls arms "would necessarily lead to confication of personal firearms" in the United States. The editorial goes on to say, "Not all insurgencies are bad. As U.S. history shows, one way to get rid of a despotic regime is to rise up against it... Governments are a bigger threat to most people than their neighbors."

May 30, 2010—Sharron Angle, a candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senator in Nevada, tells the Reno Gazette-Journal that a recent increase in gun sales nationwide "tells me that the nation is arming. What are they arming for if it isn't that they are so distrustful of government? They're afraid they'll have to fight for their liberty in more Second Amendment kinds of ways." These comments echo ones made by Angle in January, when she told conservative radio show talk host Lars Larson, "You know, our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason....if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around?

June 9, 2010—Addressing the Obama administration and the Democratic-controlled Congress, FOX commentator Glenn Beck says, "Shoot me in the head if you try to change our government—I will stand against you. And so will millions of others."  Beck also compares American Progressives to Osama bin Laden and claims "they want to overthrow our entire system of government."

June 12, 2010 - Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' Republican opponent, Jesse Kelly, hosted a gun event , inviting supporters to "Get on Target for Victory in November Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M15 with Jesse Kelly."

Kelly, who also touted his experience as a Marine combat veteran, often used images of himself handling guns in campaign literature and on his website. Those images are no longer available on his campaign website because Kelly scrubbed most of the site right after the Giffords shooting.

July 11, 2010—Supporters of Tea Party candidate Joe Miller openly carry assault rifles and handguns during a community parade in Eagle River and Chugiak, Alaska, while young children march alongside them. Miller, who is running against Senator Lisa Murkowski in the Republican primary, was endorsed by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, who described him as a “true Commonsense Constitutional Conservative.”

July 18, 2010—California Highway Patrol officers arrest Byron Williams, 45, after a shootout on I-580 in which more than 60 rounds are fired. Officers had pulled Williams over in his pick-up for speeding and weaving in and out of traffic when he opened fire on them with a handgun and a long gun. Williams, a convicted felon, is shot several times, but survives because he is wearing body armor. Williams, a convicted felon, reveals that he was on his way to San Francisco to "start a revolution" by killing employees of the ACLU and Tides Foundation. Williams' mother says her son was angry at "Left-wing politicians" and upset by "the way Congress was railroading through all these Left-wing agenda items."

September 16, 2010—Patricia Stoneking, the President of the Kansas State Rifle Association, tells Fox News, "People need to arm themselves, We have the right to put limits on our government, and that's what [the Second Amendment] does." Explaining why America's Founding Fathers drafted the amendment, she says, "They knew government could become tyrannical. We have the right to defend ourselves from a rogue government."

October 15, 2010—Conservative radio show host Glenn Beck lays out a hypothetical scenario on the air where the government is considering taking his children because he refused to have them receive a mandatory flu vaccine. Beck tells his audience that his response to the government would be "Meet Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson."

November 4, 2010—On his radio show, conservative host Glenn Beck fantasizes about President Obama being decapitated during a trip to India, saying, "If anybody thinks he was a Muslim over here, well God forbid, they think he was a Muslim over there because he left his religion for Christianity, death sentence, behead him.” Beck then tells his listeners that "God forbid" this should happen, as there would be a "New World Order" overnight in the United States.

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly fantasizes about killing a Washington Post reporter while on the air, saying, "Does sharia law say we can behead Dana Milbank?" O'Reilly also tells co-host Megyn Kelly, "I think you and I should go and beat him up."

Sarah Palin brags on twitter, "Remember months ago "bullseye" icon used 2 target the 20 Obamacare-lovin' incumbent seats? We won 18 out of 20) 90% success rate:T'aint bad".

One district unsuccessfully targeted was Gabrielle Giffords', the representative gunned down in Tuscon on January 8th, 2011

November 9, 2010—U.S. Representative-Elect Allen West of Florida's 22nd Congressional District hires conservative radio talk show host Joyce Kaufman as his Chief of Staff. On July 3, Kaufman told a crowd of Tea Party supporters, “I am convinced that the most important thing the Founding Fathers did to ensure me my First Amendments rights was they gave me a Second Amendment. And if ballots don’t work, bullets will."

The next day, public schools in Broward County, Florida, go into lockdown after an email threat is received by WFTL 850 AM. The email is sent to conservative radio host Joyce Kaufman in response to remarks she made the day before. The email expresses support for her view of the Second Amendment and says that to further "their cause...something big will happen at a government building in Broward County, maybe a post office maybe even a school." A phone call is then received at the station, allegedly from the emailer's wife, warning that he is preparing to go to a Pembroke Pines school and open fire.

November 29, 2010—U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), the ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, circulates a PowerPoint presentation to his colleagues in which he compares the Obama administration to the Nazi regime in Germany and likens himself to Gen. George Patton, bragging, "Put anything in my scope and I will shoot it."

January 8, 2011—U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) is shot in the head by Jared Lee Loughner, with reported ties to an anti-Semetic, anti-immigration hate group, American Renaissance. 13 others were also injured, and 6 were killed, including a 9 year-old girl born on September 11, 2001.