Monday, November 10, 2008

Toleration of Veiled Threats Against the Life of the President-Elect?

Never Again!

I have had a crush on Sarah Palin. It developed as a result of watching too many You-Tubes of her campaigning when my computer's sound system was inexplicably dysfunctional. I thought she was so cute, fresh, titillating, and foxy. I was forewarned when I read that she sent shivers up Rich Lowrey's legs. As soon as I recovered my sound and heard what she was saying, my fascination was over.

I don't think Saracuda represents a danger to our democracy. That's because I think her 15 days of fame infamy are over. Only in the best, most fortuitous of circumstances will she head the GOP presidential ticket in 2012. In all likelihood she'll prefer the state house in Juneau. She's a backcountry folksy girl challenged with a large family that is not in synch with maintaining a second Senatorial home in D.C.

I'm much more concerned with the influence she has unleashed in her once in-a-lifetime cameo appearance as an attack dog appendage to the McCain campaign. By repeatedly conjuring up sinister myths about our President-Elect's past (palling around with terrorists), the incendiary residue of Palinism will be with us for some time. According to the London Telegraph, it's already been reported that,
The Secret Service warned the Obama family in mid October that they had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, coinciding with Mrs Palin's attacks.

Michelle Obama, the future First Lady, was so upset that she turned to her friend and campaign adviser Valerie Jarrett and said: "Why would they try to make people hate us?"
Forgive me, but I've been around the block for a few decades in this country. Loose lips yakking about presidents and presidential candidates fellow-travelling with America's sworn enemies can wake up sleeping mad and rabid dogs. It's not too long ago for my feeble mind to recall the rage of the American Reich wing against John F. Kennedy. In those days, it was the neo-McCarthyist John Birch Society's campaign to pillory JFK for signing the Test Ban Treaty negotiated with Nikita Khrushchev. Long before his fateful trip to Texas in November 45 years ago, the highways and byways in Texas were festooned with JFK=Treason signs. On the day of JFK's visit in Dallas, the city was flooded with these handbills. The atmosphere was incendiary. It was so pronounced, that before JFK's assassin was identified, 90% of Americans were sure the right wing was responsible.

Political assassination saps the resources of political leadership in a Democracy. Exhibit the decimation of the Progressive movement occasioned by the assassinations of Rev Martin Luther King, Jr., and Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

All talk of assassination of any American political leader gets zero tolerance from me. It's the equivalent of shouting "FIRE" in a crowded theater.

Thus, this morning when I saw this advertisement at CaféPress,

I was outraged. I cannot describe my feelings tonight when I see that the ad is still posted.

22 comments:

  1. Doesn't sound like this is protected speech to me.

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  2. That is messed up. If decent Christian snipers tolerate this, they should be held accountable for harboring terrorists.

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  3. Vig, I can't find the direct link to the cup. As soon as I do, I'm writing a letter of protest. Maybe someone beat me to it already and protested to Cafe Press: they're pretty good about deleting this type of material off their site.

    Adynaton, I agree with yellow dog: anyone who advocates this kind of behavior are terrorists.

    There's nothing veiled about this threat: this tripe falls under the heading of hate speech.

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  4. Of course I agree with you, vigilante completely.

    However, I would be remiss not to point out that for the last four years there has been literally thousands of similar and nearly identical attacks and similar veiled (and not so veiled) threats against President Bush. And many were much more mainstream than just roadside posters or coffee cups.

    There is much to worry about with this rapid deterioration of respect, honesty, honor and decency. There must be thrity or more stories just today about fights, assaults, death threats, voter fraud, harrassment (including harrassment by teachers and in the workplace) all over the election. And it seems to be equally coming from both McCain supporters and Obama supporters.

    These are very dangerous times.

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  5. Not to put too fine a line on it, but I think my favorite Finn and linguist, Adynaton, might agree that he's stretching the meaning of 'terrorist'. Terrorism is a violent crime directed at striking fear of citizens for their personal safety. I did not feel fear for myself during the assassinations of JFK, MLK, and RFK. I felt my Republic was endangered. I was right. Assassination of political leaders is a blow to the heart of a democracy. Stella is right-on. This is unadulterated hate speech. Wizard, as Stella is my witness, I have commented on Swiftspeech a prayerful concern for the safety of George Bush. What I have said above goes for all political leaders. Nothing short of our republic is threatened by thoughtlessness such as these godamned cups.

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  6. What Wizard said........and everyone else:-)

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  7. Adynaton, might agree that he's stretching the meaning of 'terrorist'.

    The thought with which I started was the view that moderates in religions provide safety for radical nuts, something put forth in the recent flurry of atheist books. One could draw an analogy from there with terrorism and harboring terrorism, but the mug is too confusing. A novelty mug for the club of would-be Christian sharpshooter presidential assassins?

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  8. Vigilante: I had black people, especially black women, say to me during the democratic primary that they didn't want Obama to win, because they thought he would be assassinated. And black friend of mine has brought up this concern. I know these are troubled times, but I think there should be some kind of rule about the kind of hate speech carried out by Gov. Palin against Obama. It feeds hate to people who live off it.

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  9. Absolutely, macdaddy. I felt the same way about the Killa t-shirts, which was also hate speech. We never saw so much hatred in the campaign as in the Palin rallies and in the crowds at McCain's concession speech. The Obama supporters cheered McCain. Perspectives must change.

    Wizard, As concerns Bush, his administration's policies almost destroyed the country and our standing in the world. No one engendered deterioration of respect, honesty, honor and decency more than them. If people were distrustful of the federal government for the last eight years, they had good reason.

    Nevertheless, hate breeds hate which breeds dangerous times. We must find a way to work together. I am thinking of the bipartisan Feingold-McCain Bill in 2006. Clearly, it's going to be an uphill battle.

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  10. I hope I run into somebody holding one of those cups.

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  11. Wizard, can you find a coffee mug with George Bush's likeness on it and a superimposed crosshairs? I doubt it.

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  12. Looks like Cafe Press to the mug off their site. At least when people complain, they listen.

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  13. That's (the 2nd one) an alarming picture, Stella. Where did you find it?

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  14. BTW:

    Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated 13 years ago. The scar and hurt is still felt in Israel. Just last Saturday, 100,000 rallied in Tel Aviv to commemorate Rabin's contribution to peace and to call for national unity and a less violent society.

    Kadima leader Tzipi Livni told the crowd,

    I didn't vote for Rabin but he was my prime minister, too …. We paid a heavy price for past hatreds, but I came here today to say that I believe that we can do things differently, and we must make Israel a place where no political dispute ends in violence and shooting…

    President Shimon Peres delivered a similar message in behalf of healing:

    We are facing a crisis. There is no point in trying to hide it. The disputes between us have worsened and they damage the wondrous human fabric that is called the State of Israel. People ask themselves how they can personally benefit from things rather than asking themselves what all of us can gain from them? Instead of lending a hand, they pull their hand back. If we won't pull ourselves together, shake hands and make the effort, our future will be difficult.

    I ask to also see next year here in … the part of the nation that doesn't see itself a part and a partner in this memory - an entire sector that didn't pull the trigger, a sector that wants to be part of this national day, so that an entire nation will condemn the violence.


    Labor chairman Ehud Barak spoke about the internal threats to the nation's security.

    Thirteen years have passed and still violence endangers us all …. We used to call them bad seeds, but now they are tumors with secondary growths. This is no longer a warning sign, it's a threat to democracy, the IDF, the police and on all the authorities of a normal society…

    And finally, Former deputy defense minister Dalia Rabin, the late prime minister's daughter, thanked the crowd for coming:

    We all came here to tell you, father, clearly and loudly, that we guard your spark and we will never stop doing it. One hundred forty years after the American nation murdered in cold blood its president, Abraham Lincoln, for his attempts to eliminate slavery and discrimination against the blacks, the greatest democracy in the world has elected a young Afro-American, brilliant and educated, to be its 44th president. We don't have 140 years [to discover] a leadership that will uproot the hatred and will be wise enough to give hope and prosperity to the silent majority."

    Source

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  15. I feel very personal about this. Since you didn't supply it, I will provide a bottom line:

    There is a special place reserved in hell for political assassination in a democracy. It should be accepted practice that all assassins, whether successful or unsuccessful, ought to be locked away in solitary confinement for the rest of their miserable fucking lives so that when they die, no one remembers their names.

    And as for the buyers/owners of any these provocative cups which treat the subject of shooting presidents as a matter of humor and amusement?

    Vigilante justice.

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  16. Without identifying him, I'll just say Yitzhak Rabin's assassin, was awarded his first interviews since the 1995 killing last Saturday, November 1, 2008. It sparked a widespread outrage, and the perp was sent back to solitary confinement in the same prison where he is serving a life sentence.

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  17. Hah! When I saw her at her RNC nomination acceptance, I too thought same of her, i.e., "cute, fresh, titillating, and foxy."

    The instant fascination wore off relatively quickly and the Couric interview sealed it. I thought "What a Republican disaster this Alaska woman is! Absolutely unfit for the VP post, let alone for the prez post."

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  18. Vig, I checked and found the link associated with the University of Bremen on a personal site of Aljoscha Heppner.

    The last post was November 2003. The site has little on it, but is disturbing.

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  19. Looks to me like a German nazi futbol site. Very disconcerting. But, it has been updated since 2003. Good research!

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