Blood Libel

Mr. Green had the TV on, or I would not have seen an unusually subdued Sarah Palin urging us all to tone down the rhetoric.

She referred to some of the political accusations as ‘blood libel’, a Biblical sounding phrase that resonates.

She should show leadership by turning back from her use of phrases like ‘death panels’, which is blood libel if any words can be.

It’s a libel on all of us who work in the medical profession. It’s a libel on all the people who claim the right to decide what they do not want done to themselves, and in what situation. It’s a libel on all who stand by their loved ones, and do their best to speak for them. It’s a libel on everyone who thinks that a good death is not one in the code room at the ER when there is no reasonable hope of recovery.

It’s a slur on our emergency system, still the most intact and fair part of our whole medical system– able to save people as gravely wounded as Gabrielle Giffords, and at risk of collapsing under the burden of non-emergency patients who have no where else to go.

It’s a blood libel that throws rage into a tough discussion we need to have. Resources are finite. What is the most fair and compassionate way for a great nation to provide for its citizens?

Ms. Palin, I’ll look to you to lead the way. Walk it back from fantasies of the death panel condemning your son Trig. Recognize and take a moment to thank all the good people who care for his health and welfare. Thank the state and federal government that provide a safety net for children and adults with Down Syndrome. If your personal fortune runs out, he will not be destitute as long as we continue to believe in our responsibility for one another.

That’s a Christian idea. You’ve enjoyed enormous fame and used strong words.

Be strong enough to be a peacemaker now. You have yourself used blood libel, and it will take strong words to undo it.

If you believe that politicians use odd turns of phrase and obscure references randomly, then don’t bother to read this. But if you believe that they like to send a wink, and a nod, and a wave to their base, discreetly and without alarming the mainstream, then click on Talk to Action on prayer warriors.

15 thoughts on “Blood Libel

  1. Since Sarah Palin is a public figure,the accusations against her cannot be pursued as slander or libel(verbal vs.written),but inessence she’s right.An aggressive symbolism used in an election campaign has been used to shift blame from the probably deranged shooter to her and other conservatives.
    I’m not a Sarah Palin supporter because I see her as a lot of talk with little walk-I detest quitters-she just walked away from her elected position and wasn’t even under criminal charges or something similar which would’ve made it understandable.
    That said,I was watching Leno because “Headlines” is funny,and then Bill maher came on and he launched into an attack on gun owners and the NRA so “vitiolic”that the normally glib Leno was speechless-it was a tense couple of minutes.who the hell are the leftists to talk about hate speech?Ed Schultz,Alan Grayson,Daily Kos,Huffington Post,Keith Olbermann,et al sound very hateful to me.It’s like they were waiting for an excuse to unload and it didn’t matter a damn if the facts supported their rage or not.
    Chris Matthews was more responsible-he was upset that people were showing up at political events displaying firearms.I actually agree with that-I don’t think guns are appropriate everywhere.Politicl events can be venues for debates,not shootouts.
    Anyway,end of life planning is sensible,but it shouldn’t be mandatory.I have done it,and my parents did,and I had to make that end of life decision for my father.My knows that I don’t want to be resuscitated under certain circumstances and vice versa.What I really don’t need is some bureaucrat telling how and when I have to do this.
    The term blood libel actually refers to the “reason” for pogroms against Jews in the past over the lie that Jews killed Christian children to use their blood to make matzos.A lot of Jews were murdered behind that ,particularly in Russia and Germany.
    My father’s side of the family was from the Russian Empire,but fortunately my great grandfather was in the Russian Army for 25 years so his family was never subjected to the pogroms.

  2. I meant to say my wife knows and has the final decisionmaking authority for me.
    BTW matzos contain flour,water,and salt.No blood.

    1. thanks for the history on that.
      Back when I was working in nursing homes, my mother who listens to talk radio told me that it’s a fact that the elderly are being euthanized. This was frustrating to hear, when I worked exhausting shifts keeping the patients alive and in as good health as possible. When medical workers are accountable that no one dies due to error or omission– that’s serious pressure.
      People should just go visit a nursing home and see firsthand.

      1. I don’t know about nursing homes,but in the past many retarded people were passively euthanized(treatment witheld)in some of our institutions-Geraldo Rivera(when he was actually a journalist)exposed horrendous conditions at Willowbrook in NYC in the early 70’s.I toured willowbrook with my abnormal psych class at John Jay College(mostly cops and firemen,not typical college students)after it had been cleaned up and still it was a sobering experience for us,and most of us had seen some bad stuff.Made one glad not to have those problems.
        There is never an excuse to neglect the retarded.

  3. Very very well written.

    One of my blogging friends thinks there is a “War On Sarah Palin”. That’s the title of one of his posts.

    I tried to “like” this with the feature offered, but have a password problem.

    I am going to be contacting as many RI bloggers as I can find (not today ~ snow is distracting…) and encouraging us creating some Blogging Awards that people can nominate and vote for…with the goal being bringing more light and readership to all of our little sites….

    1. It strains credulity to think that Ms. Palin and her media team did not know the origin of the term “blood libel” and deploy it consciously in an deft repositioning of herself as a victim. Talk about the Big Lie.

      Also, Nomi, great idea. Happy to help put wheels on this.

      1. John, feel free to put more than wheels on the idea. !

        I recommend Bernard Malamud’s novel, The Fixer, on the subject of Blood Libel.

        Not usually a conspiracy theorist, and this is not a defense of S.P., but I wonder if there isn’t an element of sabotage in her writing team.

  4. I saw the movie, Hotel Rwanda, which was very good and very rough to watch. At the beginning of the movie the people are trying to carry on with their normal lives as the radio pours out an incessant stream of racial and political hatred.
    The history of Jewish people in Europe has a lot to teach us about the consequences of hate speech.
    Can we come together for the good of our country, and establish some customs of civility?

    1. Most of the rabid antisemitism today comes from the left under ther guise of anti-zionism.There are Jews so desperate for acceptance into left wing circles thaat they bow down to it.
      I don’t give a damn about the whole Arab-Israeli business and wish we’d gat out of there and let them fight it out or negotiate it-we’ve been there long enough with no results.
      Nancy-we aren’t coming together,count on it.The divide started in the 60’s and never went away.Attitudes are pretty much set in stone.
      We can come together on one thing-we shouldn’t be killing each other over it.
      Turns out now this shooter didn’t even listen to talk radio or watch tv.He was angry over being unemployed and rejected by women,plus being nuts.
      I guess he didn’t exactly attract women with his bizarre personality.

      1. Everything new coming out about him reinforces that he was mentally ill. He should have been in treatment, as he fit the criteria of a person who threatens harm to himself or others and has the means to carry it out.

  5. The sheriff was aware of his threatening behavior and maybe should’ve acted to have him committed for observation.
    In any event,from what I’ve seen,I would think those who didn’t die of their wounds were “lucky” in one respect(getting shot at all isn’t lucky)in that he probably used non-expanding jacketed rounds because almost everyone except Rep.Giffords is doing very well.
    If he had used hollowpoints,she in particular would have never survived.
    9mm full metal jacket rounds are notoriously ineffective-a guy on my job shot an assailant 14 times and it didn’t slow him down-this happened on a bus-the agent,out of ammo,had to jump off the bus to get away.His partner dumped the guy(who was a psychotic with a knife)with one 45 round in the head.
    If this shooter had been using hollowpoints,I think there would have been at leat 12 or more deaths.If it turns out he did,I’d be extremely surprised.
    The Fort Hood shooter used a rather uncommon round called an FN 5-7 which is light and fast and tumbles on impact,causing a lot of damage.

  6. It turns out that the Malamud novel I recommended above was based on a true story , and a descendant of M. Beilis, the innocent man accused of killing a boy, posted fascinating links as part of his comments.
    I am rescinding my recommendation of The Fixer.
    I will post the link to the original post and all the comments later.

    1. Alan dershowitz,whom i cannot imagine is a Palin fan,has stated that this term has passed into common usage and therefore wasn’t really offensive when used by Palin.
      Fortunately,except for such abominations as the Conferece on racism in Durban,the original blood libel isn’t shopped around much anymore.
      Lots of leftist American “peace activists”attended there and like good little accomplices to Hitler promoted this garbage.

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