Ava and C.I. know Gabrielle Giffords. They don't look at the frenzy as reporting. They see what happened as a tragedy and thinks the family needs some privacy. It's not something that I would have ever thought of. But it makes sense when you think about the economic strata Ava, C.I. and Elaine grew up in. I mention all of that because after speaking to Rebecca, as I read through a lot of the coverage "tacky" was a word I kept applying to writers. I'm sure I'm tacky to many as well. But I acknowledge the victims and don't try to use them to couch my political arguments in.
Ava and C.I. did that (far better than I do) in "The Hysteria Beat (Ava and C.I.)."
And tacky? "Live blogging" a memorial service as The Confluence plans to do tomorrow? That is so disgusting and tasteless.
That is so disrespectful.
Okay, Riverdaughter. I'm glad to see my recent posts have led her to attempt a little research. Maybe she can get a tutor next? She writes this today:
In fact, it’s worse than that. My heart stopped when she used the words “blood libel”. You know as well as I do, myiq, that blood libel is a term that Christians foisted on Jews as collective guilt for the death of Jesus. It gave Christians an excuse to ghettoize Jews in the medieval centuries and lead to pogroms and persecution. So, in essence, she is equating criticism of right wing political speech as going on a pogrom against conservatives and not just any conservatives. Way to go.
If I was going to attack her use of a term, I'd try to get the term right. "You know as well as I do, myiq, that blood libel is a term that Christians foisted on Jews as . . ."
No, idiot. Christians did not scream, "Blood libel!" at Jews. That's what "foisted" the term "on Jews" would mean Christians did.
What the idiot is trying to say is that Christians, centuries ago, painted the Jews as "Christ killers." (Mel Gibson tried to do the same with his Jesus movie.) The modern-day term for what was done is "blood libel." It probably wasn't the Jewish term back in the long ago day centuries ago. They probably had a Hebrew term for being libeled in that manner.
So, Riverdaughter, learn the language or get a tutor.
Now she insists that we all know what blood libel means. Uh, yeah, we all do. We just all have different definitions. That's why there's been an effort to repeatedly state: "It means this" (an effort since Politico allowed a Jewish Democrat to attack Palin claiming she'd insulted all Jewish people).
I asked Ruth and C.I. about the term. C.I. gave me a number of things to search online to "document that it long ago left an 'exclusive' use." She noted that radical writing in the sixties -- sociology and political -- would turn up the use of the term in relation to lies the US government told about the Vietnamese supposedly doing this or that. She listed off a number of public figures and noted which were Jewish who used the term in that form back then. She stated the term is now used to describe a written accusation dripping with blood -- generally the bloodied are the accused. She noted that when the Christian Science Monitor did an editorial and repeated the lie that peace activists spat on Vietnam veterans, she wrote an entry calling that a "blood libel." (She and Elaine also called in favors and got the paper to retract that false claim. She didn't bring that up but I do to give her and Elaine credit for moving mountains. Within 12 hours of the paper offering that, there was a retraction. FAIR wishes it had that kind of reaction.)
Ruth told me that it is not exclusively used for Jews or by Jews. "It's the English language. If Sarah Palin had said 'blood slander,' she would be wrong because she was referring to the written term. Blood can be put in front of libel by anyone and has been. Do you know how common that was in the sixties in the antiwar movement?" I told her C.I. had told me about that too. Ruth said, "Remember I am a Jew. It is not offensive and my phone rang all day with people -- my family and friends who are Jewish -- laughing at the uproar."
This is Rabbi Shmuley Boteach:
We Jews know what it's like to be slandered in this way. It's called a blood libel, and it's history goes back more than a thousand years to when the Jews were first accused of slaughtering innocent Christian children for ritual purposes. One can only imagine the horror of Jews who were striving to lead outstanding moral and ethical lives, devoted to a strict religious code, suddenly being accused of the most unspeakable atrocities. The charge, understandably, enraged the Jews. They wondered what they could possibly have done to deserve such malicious accusations. But living under tyrannical regimes, they were powerless to stop it, and they had no choice but to suffer under the terrible consequences of being branded baby-killers.He's condemning Sarah Palin, right? Wrong. It's from September 3, 2004 to an article entitled "John Kerry's blood libel." The "blood libel"? The Rabbi says it was Kerry calling Vietnam veterans "murderers."
What's that? A Rabbi would use the term like that? Yeah. (Thanks to C.I. who suggested if I was net surfing to type in Kerry and "blood libel" because "the right hurled it at those of us on the left and we hurled it at them -- we were discussing the war on Vietnam, not the any thing about Biblical times."
C.I. said she used the term and noted her entry. She said she wouldn't condemn Palin for using it "for obvious reasons including that English is a living language and only fools can't grasp that." She "guesses" Palin could be familiar with the term via overheard conversations but she said to check Kerry's 2004 run and Vietnam and see if the term didn't pop back up on the right. And, as I have demonstrated, it did.
The Jawa Report (conservative site) called a journalist's statements about a US shooting in Iraq "a blood libel" April 13, 2005.
So I think I've established the conservatives have used it this decade. Now to WordIQ:
Many different groups have been accused, including Canaanites, Jews, Christians, Cathars, Knights Templar, Witches, Christian heretics, Roman Catholics, Roma, Wiccans, Druids, neopagans, Satanic cultists, and evangelical Protestant missionaries.
A famous example of blood libel is the allegation that Jews kill Christian and Muslim children and use their blood to make Passover matzohs. Variants of this story have been circulating since at least the 1st century.Which brings up a point C.I. made, "Old Religion would point out that they suffered from blood libel long before the Jews and would point out the group that spread it." Old Religion? Called that because its believers considered it the oldest religion, also known as Wicca or Pagan. They were driven out, read your Bible, and could be seen as the first persecuted. (There biggest modern day contribution would be the birth in the manger story, only it was a birth in a cave in Old Religion. His name was Mithra and he predates Jesus by over a thousand years.)
This is from Religious Tolerance:
Blood Libel is the accusation by "religious group A" that "religious group B" is committing unbelievably despicable acts of ritual murder. Typically, the story contains a number of riveting details:
|a victim is kidnapped by members of "religious group B."|
|the victim is usually an innocent person. An infant, young child or a blond blue-eyed teenage virgin girl are typical.|
|the victim may be abused or tortured. They are ritually killed in order to meet the requirements of the perpetrator's religion.|
|in an act of cannibalism, the victim's body is eaten and/or the blood is consumed.|
|obscene sexual orgies (sometimes involving incest) are held during or after the ritual.|
The contrast between the innocence of the victim and the evil nature of the ritual killers makes a blood libel myth striking in its intensity.
Needless to say, "religious group B," the victims of the myth, are typically a small faith group. Their persecutors are usually the dominant religion.
Sometimes the effect of one of these myths is rather amusing. Consider the teenage, blond, virgin women who dyed their hair black on Thursday the 12th so that they would not be kidnapped, mutilated and killed by non-existent Satanic cultists on Friday the 13th. But other times it has led to the trial and imprisonment of innocent people - thrown in jail for crimes that never even happened. And it has also resulted in past mass exterminations of followers of minority religions.
This basic fable has been flourishing over the past 2 millennia. In each era and each country where it surfaces, details are often added to or subtracted from the basic story line. Sometimes the myth will disappear for decades and even centuries, only to reappear later in another part of the world.And they also have a chart detailing various groups using blood libel against other groups. No, Riverdaughter, you loon, the word is not copyrighted to the Jewish people anymore than the term "genocide" is.
So sorry that you're knowledge of religion is as small and tiny as your brain, Riverdaughter.
I could offer Frank Rich's uses of the term and much, much more. Frank Rich's term in the New York Times -- applying it to the notion that gays were pedophiles. Which resulted in no angry letters published by the paper in 2006 nor a frantic post from Riverdaughter pretending to know that which she doesn't.
C.I. gets the last word, "This is a win for Sarah Palin and why the left needs to stop focusing on her. She's taken the conversation away from her alleged guilt -- I'm not calling her guilty, I have never said that she was or wasn't -- to splitting hairs over a term which has been used by millions of us to refer to something other than lies about Jewish people. That's reality. And you're not going to find a lot of people in that group who are going to rush forward and say, 'Attack her!' Instead, the way it now looks is she was accused and when the facts proved the original attacks were, at best, weak, the same group of attackers began picking apart her word use. You're never going to win with the public on word use unless it's something as basic as 'potato.' We could laugh at Dan Quayle because most adults can spell the word -- or think they can. Whereas, you're talking about a word with an evolving meaning that's been used in a manner similar to the way Palin did and it looks like elitism. Potato? We can all sahre. Common word. Used everyday. Blood libel? Not the same thing, not at all. It makes Palin sympathetic beyond her supporters and it makes some elements on the left look extremely petty."
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"