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I began to draft this as a comment in response to the recommended diary by Meteor Blades. As it expanded in length, I turned it into a diary instead.  Do with it what you will

Urges to or implications of action by someone viewed - not necessarily by you or me - as a respectable voice, can have serious consequences.  Thomas a Becket died because of such urging by a king.  Henry II's voice reached far fewer voices than are reached - unfortunately - by the likes of Beck, Limbaugh, and Norris.  Their rhetoric legitimizes - in the minds, unfortunately, of some - taking action in the supposed cause of patriotism.

If we have any doubt of something like this, we need to remember the likes of an Eric Rudolph - Olympic Park and abortion clinic bombings;  the likes of James Kopp - assassinated abortion provider "doctor who provided abortions" rephrased at suggestion of Earicle) Bernard Slepian; Byron de la Beckwith - killer of Medgar Evers;  . . .

We have a history replete with those who are unbalanced, or merely full of hate and venom, who do not need much encouragement to take violent action.  There are too many who will take action because one is of color, or the wrong faith, or even the wrong politics.  Combine two or three of these factors, as it clearly the case with our current president, and the warped mind easily justifies the violent action.

It would ironic that some would now hide behind a defense of "just words" when the same voices were critical of a then presidential candidate's eloquence using the same phrase.  Words have consequences, and need to be confronted for what they are.  Those who make their living with words - politicians and commentators in particular - need to be especially mindful.  

I do not seek to silence unpopular speech.  I do not believe in the hecklers' veto.  

I do believe that those who give air to the rantings of a Coulter or who defer to the hatefilled rhetoric of a Limbaugh or a Beck - especially if they thereby profit greatly (which after all is the point of giving them a microphone) - should be aware that there are possible legal consequences (financial and otherwise) of continuing to support such hatred.  

But before we get to legal consequences, there should be moral consequences.  They should be denounced, and those who defend such rhetoric should similar be told it is not within acceptable behavior to urge violence, especially in a nation whose history is replete with the damage that has flowed from such violence, of names famous and not so famous, of people of the right and people of the left.

We have lost 4 presidents to assassins -  Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy.

We have had other presidents with serious attempts on their lives - Ford, Reagan,Truman and FDR (as president-elect, an attempt that killed Tony Cermak, mayor of Chicago).

Those who sought the presidency have been subject to violent attacks, with Bobby Kennedy killed by Sirhan Sirhan, George Wallace crippled by Arthur Bremer.

We recently have had Supreme Court justices whose lives were considered sufficiently threatened to provide them with armed security - Ginsburg and O'Connor

We have had notable figures in entertainment who have been subject to attacks -  Jackie Wilson, Marvin Gaye, Alan Berg, Sharon Tate, John Lennon -  just scratch the surface of this list, and if we include deranged stalkers, even David Letterman has lived at some risk.

Despite our history of violence, we do not have the world's highest murder rate  -  we are only 24th, with the most violent having a rate more than ten times that of the U. S.  Our highest number of murders, at almost 25,000, was back in 1991.  The adding of substantial law enforcement sources during the Clinton administration helped lower that.

Since November 4 we have seen a major increase in hate crimes, although so far most of the additional incidents have not yet risen to the level of violence.  But intimidation and abuse can too easily escalate, and if the situation is not addressed forcefully can lead to fear, or the kinds of actions Meteor Blades felt he had to take to defend himself and his family.  

We should reject such rhetoric, regardless of against whom it is offered.  That includes similar rhetoric offered by those with whom we agree politically against those whom we oppose.  If we are to condemn and demand appropriate action against the Coulters and Limbaughs and Becks, our own hands must be clean - we should not be accepting of those who offer violent rhetoric against even the most obnoxious of our opponents.  If rhetoric escalates, too often the actions that follow are reflective of that rhetoric.

Perhaps it is a President we admire, young, changing things in society.  In 1963 we were shocked when a young president died.  Now I worry that we have become so inured to violence that the level we tolerate - of deed and of word - has escalated to a point where great tragedy is again possible.

All in positions of leadership or seeking same should be challenged to assent to a simple proposition - that they reject such language, such sentiments, such dangerous words, whether they be by those on the left or those on the right, whether the targets be elected public officials or people who are members of groups that are despised - gay, transgendered, racially - ethnically- religiously - politically different.  Those unwilling to reject such hate-filled language should be told forcefully that they are unworthy of positions of leadership:  they should be forcefully condemned, perhaps even shunned?  

The restrictions on free speech are always troublesome, but there is no doubt that incitement to riot clearly is not protected, that it fulfils the clear and present danger test established by Holmes in Schenck v U. S. 249 U.S. 47 (1919), where Holmes famously wrote

The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic. It does not even protect a man from an injunction against uttering words that may have all the effect of force.

I thank Meteor Blades, and all others, who have shared their experiences.  I ask that all reflect on the effect of violence, whether fueled by rhetoric or merely the product of warped and/or immature minds, to consider this simple proposition:  knowing we are a society with a tendency towards violence, knowing the ready access to the means of violence within this society, knowing the unhealed wounds of race and gender and religion and sexual orientation and - yes - of political division, do we not ALL have a responsibility to ensure that we do not further fuel a tendency among some to rationalize violent rhetoric that may well incite violent action.

"Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?"  Four knights, besotted and believing they were doing the will of the sovereign, took action, and Thomas a Becket became a martyr.

Too many martyrs already.  We do not need more.

Words have consequences.

We are all responsible.

Peace.  

Originally posted to teacherken on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 03:41 AM PDT.

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    for those so inclined.   DWTWYW = do with this what you will

    peace.

    do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

    by teacherken on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 03:42:10 AM PDT

  •  Difficult issues raised by all these diarists (33+ / 0-)

    including you.  

    I am not usually a big fan of Chomsky but he nailed it when he said

    If we don't believe in freedom of speech for peoplewe despise,  we don't believe in it at all

    but there must be limits.  Advocating the overthrow of the USA is treason.  Shouting fire in a crowded theater is not protected.  What about incitement to violence?  How specific must a threat be?

    I  don't know.

    •  I am for very expansive protection of rights (32+ / 0-)

      but rights are never absolute, and encouraging/advocating violent actions has always been within the range of what can be prohibited/limited

      implying violent action against the president is a crime, and has been since the assassination in Dallas, at which time the accused assassin could only be charged under Texas law.

      People should feel free to criticize Obama. Since his election I have offered criticism.

      People should not be free to roil people to the point of violence.

      peace.

      do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

      by teacherken on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 04:07:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (8+ / 0-)

        The question is where the line gets drawn.

        And I am not sure how to answer that question.

        I'm guessing that you and I would draw it in about the same place, but I am hard-pressed to define, for the law, exactly where that place is.  

        •  People cited Brandenberg above (3+ / 0-)

          Which I think actually is instructive for deciding this point. The standard set there in was government can only ban inflammatory speech that is "directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action."

          I have a particular view of where Beck et al's comments actually fall into this standard, but it is the law of the land and this is what at least lower courts will have to judge any attempt to prosecute these asshats.

          I don't even begin to know whether the current SCOTUS would uphold, overturn or modify Brandenburg.

      •  Incorrect. (11+ / 0-)

        Abstract advocacy of violent acts is protected. Brandenburg.



        This is a Test of the Emergency Free Speech System. This is only a Test. In an actual Free Speech Emergency, I'll be locked up.

        by ben masel on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 04:31:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Michael Reagan's offering to buy the bullet (18+ / 0-)

          used in an assassination on-air with people listening nationwide is not abstract.

          Bullets are concrete.

          Paying for them is concrete.

          Advocating the targeting of a specific group of people as defined by the speaker is not abstract, either. He defined who he would pay for to be killed.

          Not abstract, that.

          Oh, yes. And then a listener went into a church and did exactly that.

          Those dead people, their surviving friends and family, and the trauma experienced by the congregation who witnessed it, none of those are abstract.

          It has already happened. Why are you defending it? (In the abstract...)

          Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking. -J.M. Keynes

          by elropsych on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 05:07:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  A difference between abstract advocacy (12+ / 0-)

          and going beyond.  And while Brandenburg has been the principal precedent, it is has not been reexamined in light of the reach of speech in terms of technology, and what might now violae Brennan's  "imminent lawless action" language.  I have talked with several first Amendment lawyers who believe the current SCOTUS might well look at language used in speech in light of the existence of the current atmosphere of violent acts that might be related.

          And while it might not necessarily be prohibited by prior restraint, that is punished without a followup action, there seems to be some evidence that the Court would accept liability for suits of civil torts when the action that causes the damage can be shown to have a direct connection to the speech that provoked.  

          Look, like you I tend to be a maximalist on First (and other Bill of Rights) amendment protections afforded individual liberty.  It is not yet clear what the shape of the law would be.  In an atmosphere, rightly or wrongly, colored by our reactions to 9-11, I do not believe we can assume any prior precedent is necessarily sacrosanct.

          And at a minimum, speech that potentially is moving to action may well warrant investigations to ensure that it is NOT leading to violent action.   That is not necessarily restrictive of the speeh itself.

          My primary path is to urge that people of all political stripes recognize the inherent danger of such speech, and not acquiesce in how wide spread it has become, and certainly not in any way validate it, as unfortunately we have seen across the political spectrum.

          do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

          by teacherken on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 05:17:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're right that the present court (5+ / 0-)

            may very well retreat from Brandenburg, given the chance, and I doubt that any of the incumbent Justices would join Douglas' concurrence, nor any likely appointee from Obama. But I'll not celebrate if and when such a ruling goes down. In the meantime, Brandenburg is the law.



            This is a Test of the Emergency Free Speech System. This is only a Test. In an actual Free Speech Emergency, I'll be locked up.

            by ben masel on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 05:26:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  yes and no - (7+ / 0-)

              as far as it being the law, because one can argue that the set of facts in which Brandenburg was decided are sufficiently different from the current environment that one does not know if Brandenburg is applicable.  And while I am not a lawyer, I believe there is enough other jurisprudence already that reads Brandenburg in a more limited fashion than you are propounding.  

              Since I am not a lawyer, and am merely reflecting what I have been told by some who deal with the issues professionally, this will be the last time I comment on this particularly matter on this thread.

              Again, let me reiterate -  I prefer maximal protection of individual rights.  But the most basic individual right is life.  In conflicts of rights one may find something otherwise protected is not.  

              And again, I start not with legal restrictions, which I hope should not be necessary, but with responsibility, to warn those who use that rhetoric that it is dangerous, to societal disapproval, moral suasion, wherever possible.  But I also do not want to see us reverting to a situation where someone like MB feels he must carry a firearm for basic protection.   Are their conflicts?  Yes, and that is part of the problem.  

              Peace.

              do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

              by teacherken on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 05:33:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  thanks for discussing this so well (8+ / 0-)

                In my diary back on the Adkisson manifesto, we had a similar conversation in the comments, without coming to much useful conclusion.  This is precisely the conundrum we find ourselves in.

                1. For the most part, most of us on DKos value the first amendment and hold it sacred.
                1. For the most part, we abhor violence.
                1. We also feel directly threatened by the amping up of right wing hate speech.

                So the question is, how do we do something about 3 without violating our commitment to 1?  There aren't any good public venues to doing this.  Boycott is one.  Denouncement is another.  Both haven't proved wildly successful so far in this case.  Censorship would seem to offer a kind of solution, but at the violation of principles and the threat of actually legitimizing the right wing persecution fantasy.

                Thorny.  Thorny.  Thorny.

                Because for Zen surrealism, you can't beat living in the Bible Belt...

                by salvador dalai llama on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 07:49:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  An old legal standard is... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                subtropolis, seefleur, mamamarti

                My rights end where yours begin.

                Obama, his family, and others have a sacrosanct right not to have their lives abridged by violence.  So the right to advocate violence against them, or others, ends right at the point where someone might be encouraged to violate their right to life.

                Defining that point may be difficult, but that's what we have investigators for, and why the FBI and Secret Service are at this very time running themelves ragged trying to weed real threats from blowing off steam.

                But the more the steam builds, the more likely it is to blow the top off the pressure cooker for someone somewhere.

                And we as citizens become complicit in acts of violence if we ignore the threat of them when even to our untutored eyes they seem somewhat stronger than blowing off steam.

                Palin never discouraged those shouts.  Had a crime been committed by someone who attended her rallies, I personally would have considered her complicit, even if she was never charged.

                Like you I want maximal protection of our rights.  But when people offer to buy bullets or start buying guns, or start discussing such things in a way that approaches plotting or planning.... good bye.

                The austerity you see around you covers the richness of life like a veil -- Anonymous

                by winterbanyan on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 08:29:42 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  "Where someone MIGHT" is not the standard. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Aquagranny911

                  Rather, per Brandenburg, "likely to" and "imminent." Two-pronged test. Teacherken correctly suggests upthread that the imminence test is likely to see refinement reflecting speech in the digital age.



                  This is a Test of the Emergency Free Speech System. This is only a Test. In an actual Free Speech Emergency, I'll be locked up.

                  by ben masel on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 12:44:22 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Where have Norris or beck "gone beyond" in this (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Justanothernyer, Aquagranny911, gblix

            case? This whole discussion started with diaries claiming that Norris has called for the violent overthrow of the Obama Administration, and that the "We Are Surrounded" stunt is organizing armed revolution. The words "sedition", "treason" and "unamerican" have been thrown around, along with RICO and Secret Service.

            Please quote speech by Norris or Beck, in the context of the discussion about "We Surround You", that rises even to the level of warranting FBI investigation - let alone government censorship.

            And let's be clear here - you didn't just call for economic sanctions, use repeatedly refer to legal sanctions.

            Can you offer a quote of actual speech  by either of them during this whole brouhaha that warrants legal sanctions and should be prohibited?

            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

            by RandomActsOfReason on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 12:22:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I was curious as to the exact words he used. (0+ / 0-)

              Here is his quote verbatim (emphasis mine):

              For those losing hope, and others wanting to rekindle the patriotic fires of early America, I encourage you to join Fox News' Glenn Beck, me and millions of people across the country in the live telecast, "We Surround Them," on Friday afternoon (March 13 at 5 p.m. ET, 4 p.m. CT and 2 p.m. PST). Thousands of cell groups will be united around the country in solidarity over the concerns for our nation. You can host or attend a viewing party by going to Glenn's website. My wife Gena and I will be hosting one from our Texas ranch, in which we've invited many family members, friends and law enforcement to join us. It's our way of saying "We're united, we're tired of the corruption, and we're not going to take it anymore!"

              This is from his commentary at World Net Daily (a media outlet whose agenda I will not evaluate here - leave that for another time).

              It is not clear (to me anyway) to which 'cell groups' Mr. Norris refers.  I will leave that open to the kind readers of this forum, whose judgment I respect.

              I think for the most part, that people should be free do whatever they want as long as they're not hurting anybody else and I don't have to pay for it.

              by gblix on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 01:54:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Solidarity over concerns (4+ / 0-)

                is not illegal. Lawful assembly is not illegal. Being "tired of corruption" is not illegal. Hosting a viewing party is not illegal.

                Calling gathering "cell groups" is also not illegal.

                Where is there, in ANY of what Norris says, a threat to the president or a call for "armed insurrection", "violent overthrow of the government", "recruitment of military and law enforcement" to attack the government, or anything of the sort?

                It's not there. You don't need to leave it to anyone, you can read the words for yourself.

                Offensive speech is not illegal.

                This sounds more and more like exactly what the Bushies did post 9/11.

                Except we're doing it in anticipation of possible future violence.

                That is not a basis to violate the 1st Amendment.

                One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                by RandomActsOfReason on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 02:37:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I would agree with you that he is doing (0+ / 0-)

                  nothing illegal.  From your comment, I thought you were looking for evidence of Norris' complicity (or lack thereof), and my intent was to offer some facts while trying to avoid interjecting any personal opinion or judgment.  Sorry if I fell short of that.  I honestly don't think my opinions matter that much so I generall try not to interject those too often (admittedly sometimes easier than others).

                  If one were to ask my opinion, I think Norris is referring to those folks who have indicated they agree with Beck's '9 principles,' and not any citizen militias.  So now that I've given my thoughts, which cell groups do you think he is talking about?  

                  I think for the most part, that people should be free do whatever they want as long as they're not hurting anybody else and I don't have to pay for it.

                  by gblix on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 04:04:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  They're using intimidating revolutionary rhetoric (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    gblix

                    it is nothing new on the Right. Grover Norquist used to refer to "cells" of activists, explicitly modeled on the Bolshevik Communist revolution. He had a portrait of Lenin on his wall.  

                    The Cato institute has long championed a "Leninist strategy" for privatizing Social Security and other government programs.

                    Many ultra-right wingers seek to emulate the revolutionary successes of the Russian Communists. Based on results over the past 8 years, I'd say they've been hell bent on emulating their failures once in power, as well.

                    There are a lot of militaristic and violent revolutionary metaphors used in politics - on both ends of the spectrum, despite protestations toe the contrary here recently.

                    My take on this is Norris and Beck are laughing all the way to the bank on this one - and that the hysteria on the Left just tripled their turnout (which will still be pathetic).

                    One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                    by RandomActsOfReason on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 04:59:11 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Tuned into Beck for about 10 minutes tonight (0+ / 0-)

                      it's like theater.  He's such a caricature of I don't know what. I can't take the guy seriously.  So staged.

                      I think for the most part, that people should be free do whatever they want as long as they're not hurting anybody else and I don't have to pay for it.

                      by gblix on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 05:50:54 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  That quote is protected speech (3+ / 0-)

                He doesn't even advocate violence, not in that quote. What he advocates is that those who think as he does:

                be united [...] in solidarity over the concerns for our nation

                This is simple political advocacy and is protected first amendment speech.

            •  So I guess we'll just have to wait (0+ / 0-)

              till the body count piles up on Friday, if they go through with this.

              "The party of Lincoln is now the Party of Limbaugh" -- Paul Begala

              by Cali Scribe on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 01:56:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I agree. (0+ / 0-)

            Civil action might be the best way to go after these hate mongers.

        •  Sure, but separate from a protection (0+ / 0-)

          from criminal prosecutions, is there a different standard for potential civil liability?

      •  Where is the responsibility? (5+ / 0-)

        I was taught that no right comes without an attendant responsibility and that failure to uphold that responsibility could result in the revocation of the right. As a child, that was enforced by the parental units...who enforces it as an adult? Government? Peer pressure? I don't know, but somebody's not doing their job!

        On a side note; if it is still unacceptable to utter certain words on television, why can't it be a simple FCC violation (with fines!) to call for violence or suggest the desirability of someone's demise? If they can still say the words (free speech), but are limited as to what can be broadcast (rules and regs), would that help? Having entire phrases "bleeped" might make them that tiny bit more ridiculous and less appealing.

      •  I invite you to file a complaint with the FBI (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Justanothernyer, Aquagranny911

        against Norris and Beck, claiming that they violated the laws in ways you describe.

        Forget that - I invite you to quote anything either of them said in the course of this "We Surround You" stunt - which is nothing but a promotional gimmick for Norris' martial arts show - that rises anywhere near the level of speech you claim there has "legal" consequences.

        I'm sorry, but invoking past acts of terror is exactly what the Bushies did - and the fact that you throw in a little "of course, I'm not advocating censorship" in the midst of all the calls to do exactly that, does not change the fact.

        There are already laws on the books, as you point out, making it unlawful to threaten the president with explicit violence. Show me where this has been done by either Beck or Norris in the course of this promotional stunt.

        I have not seen it, and, over several days, not a single person has responded to my challenges to offer examples such prohibited speech.

        We have to be very, very careful. We just went through 8 years of seeing the consequences of invoking terror as justification for eroding rights. To ignore that in your comments is irresponsible.

        One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

        by RandomActsOfReason on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 12:18:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Advocating the overthrow of the USA is protected. (12+ / 0-)

      read Brandenburg v Ohio.



      This is a Test of the Emergency Free Speech System. This is only a Test. In an actual Free Speech Emergency, I'll be locked up.

      by ben masel on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 04:30:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is, however, a difference between (10+ / 0-)

      speech and access to a megaphone or other forms of electronic transmission and enhancement.

      Someone's right to say something stupid does not entitle him to access to the airwaves.

      One of the primary reasons, IMHO, the right to speak needs to be scrupulously protected is because, since we hear even when we are asleep, people are particularly keen to cut off the disruption of their peace and quiet at its source.  This practical reality has been somewhat ignored as a result of the emphasis on the content or meaning of speech (stretched to incorporate all kinds of expression), rather than the act of speaking itself.

      That said, since there seems to be a significant population that is, in fact, other-directed--i.e. their behavior responds primarily to suggestions from others--rather than being directed by personal interests, moral standards and specific goals, the misdirection of this population is a serious problem.  Some people simply lack the capacity to mediate their emotional responses.

      How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

      by hannah on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 04:38:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is a blog a form of electronic transmission? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Justanothernyer, Mayken

        Oh wait, it is. A pretty damn big megaphone too.

        Someone's right to say something stupid does not entitle him to access to the airwaves Internet.

        Fixed that for you. I'm looking forward to your opinion on how the next GOP admin. would exercise these powers you are so in favor of.

        •  Again, there's a difference between (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          salvador dalai llama, stargaze

          the written and the spoken word.  A blog is, for the most part, written.  The significance lies neither in the content, nor in the transmission.  Rather, it depends on the relationship between the medium and the recipient.  Except for the deaf, the spoken word is virtually impossible to shut out if the receiver is within range.  The printed word, along with images, is easy to shut out.  The intended recipient of the information can simply shut his eye-lids or look away.  Nobody can force you to look at something you don't want to.  Sound, on the other hand, can be made inescapable.  That's why it was used to torture detainees.  Not to mention that an infusion of sound makes it hard for a person to think and destroys their self-consciousness.

          I'm not sure why the distinction between speech and the content or intent of a communication is so hard to perceive.  Perhaps it's because actual speech is discouraged in our consumer/media culture.  We don't encourage production of any kind.  Even reproduction, as in memorized poetry or elocutionary exercises would be an improvement.  

          I contend, for example, that one reason recent immigrants have an advantage in our schools is because most come from verbal communities where speech is the norm.  And, since everybody is supposed to demonstrate english language skills, newcomers are encouraged to show off.

          How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

          by hannah on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 07:42:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But speech is always speech (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mayken

            Actually, I'm unsure what you are saying. I thought I knew but now I'm not so sure.

            Someone's right to say something stupid does not entitle him to access to the airwaves.

            So you are ok with the next GOP administration deciding what "something stupid" means and which "forms of electronic transmission" are protected?

      •  I think we call people like this "stupid." (0+ / 0-)

        Or, to use a nonce euphemism, "low-information voters."  I particularly love that one.  

        Anybody can misunderstand, or not know, the facts.  But it takes real stupidity to have a passionately held opinion based on the misunderstood or unknown facts.  At this juncture of history, this description appears to cover about nine tenths of the Republican Party.  You're right -- dealing with them is going to be a challenge, especially since people like this seem always to cleave naturally to the Right.

    •  You misquote "Shouting fire in a crowded theater" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sargoth, Mayken, stargaze

      Shouting fire in a crowded theater

      "Shouting fire in a crowded theater" is a frequent misquoting of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.'s opinion in the United States Supreme Court case Schenck v. United States in 1919. The misquote fails to mention falsely shouting fire to highlight that speech which is merely dangerous and false which can be distinguished from truthful but also dangerous. The quote is used as an example of speech which serves no conceivable useful purpose and is extremely and imminently dangerous so that resort to the courts or administrative procedures is not practical and expresses the permissible limitations on free speech consistent with the terms of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

      "Shouting fire in a crowded theater" was used to suppress legitimate speech. Anti-war protesters around the time of WWI were standing on street corners handing out anti-war flyers. They were jailed, their speech suppressed and the justification used was:

      "The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic. [...] The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent."

      So... according to you it would be illegal for me to distribute anti-war leaflets, or to publish an anti-war blog, and that in citing Schenck the State would be in it's rights to suppress my speech?

      Are you really sure you want to give the next Republican administration the power to suppress those who speak out against their actions?

      I don't believe you've really thought this through.

      •  That always squicks me about the "fire" meme-- (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sargoth, Mayken

        That is was a good point used to obscure a horrid act: stifling dissent.

        I'm for single payer universal health care

        by stargaze on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 07:20:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  but I have it correct in diary n/t (0+ / 0-)

        do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

        by teacherken on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 07:21:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is a reply to plf515 (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          salvador dalai llama, Mayken

          Not to you.

          However the question seems to me to be a good one. Would you then support the next GOP administration shutting down antiwar blogs? Because I'm pretty sure they would consider them to be "Shouting fire in a crowded theater".

          It's a mistake to assume your political enemies have the same priorities you do.

          •  if they advocated violent actions w/be a problem (5+ / 0-)

            and in our violent society, that is an issue with which I wrestle.  I would prefer as much as possible to try to delegitimize such language.  I think I make that clear.

            I worry about responses of more and more individuals believing they have to arm themselves in order to feel safe, and what that might mean for the safety of others.

            I want a full and open discussion.  I want those who want to be or purport to be leaders to speak out, making clear such language and the actions implied are not an acceptable form of discourse.

            I want us aware that when we use inflammatory language of our own we contribute to inflammatory language by others, some of whom might agree with us, others oppose us.

            Peace.

            do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

            by teacherken on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 07:43:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What makes you think you get to decide? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ms Citizen, Mayken

              What makes you think you get to decide what constitutes advocating violent actions?

              I want those who want to be or purport to be leaders to speak out, making clear such language and the actions implied are not an acceptable form of discourse.

              Sorry, in this world you don't get what you want. What you get instead are other people advocating for what they want. I mean it's a valid sentiment and all but it isn't the basis for law. So yes, we should all urge others to speak out for those things we feel are important, to discourage speech we feel is unacceptable.

              The problem is that other people have different ideas of what is important and what is or is not acceptable. One day they will be back in power. They will reach different conclusions about liberal blogs speaking in ways they feel are "advocating violence" in a time of war.

              Be careful what you wish for.

    •  Advocating govt overthrow is free speech (0+ / 0-)

      As far as I know, there is absolutely no crime, and certainly not treason, in declaring that our government is so unsuitable/unworkable/unworthy/whatever that it should be abolished and another instituted. No violence is necessarily implied or advocated in such a statement, only extreme dissatisfaction --- the voicing of which is and should be protected political speech.  

      Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. (U.S. CONST., ART. III)

      And calling for the assassination of the President, a Supreme Court justice, activist judges, and other political figure is not treason, as far as I know, unless you can be proven to be acting on behalf of an enemy of the United States. However, it is and should be against the law because it undermines the necessary notion of the loyal opposition.

  •  what ever happened to the loyal opposition? (16+ / 0-)

    To some extent Obama's "team of rivals" has been scuppered simply because the rivals simply won't play for his team.

    At what point does the other side hold its politicians accountable for failing to participate in the process of governing?

    "If kerosene works/Why not gasoline?" -- The Bottle Rockets

    by Shocko from Seattle on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 03:58:48 AM PDT

  •  Tipped and Rec'd, Ken. (8+ / 0-)

    I used the exact same quote and reference on a similar topic here just the other day:

    Inappropriate Political Discourse: The Blood of Patriots and Tyrants

    I think it really speaks to a lot of what's going on.

    Some other recent and related items:

    Neither Conservative Nor Christian Be They

    and

    Open Thread -- Rugby Rules, xkcd Edition

    ClammyC has written quite a few diaries on this disturbing trend, too, as has noweasels and a few others.  One particularly disturbing diary was recently laubed into the collective consciousness by Inky99: Slain right-winger was making "dirty bomb"

    It's getting to be very disturbing.

    I read a comment in yesterday's Midday Open Thread by LordMike that referenced an MSNBC poll, and one of the replies to it referenced a similar AOL-based poll; the reich-wingers were all over 'em both, marking down Obama's performance and spewing all the same disproven lies and rhetoric from the campaign, combined with a lot of hate speech, threats of violence and dire predictions based on frivolous, inaccurate information and outright hate-mongering lies.

    The partisanship, divisiveness, hate-and-fear mongering are all void of fact and reason; they appeal to a base defect in the human soul that apparently dominates almost 30% of our population.1 That's a percentage that is far too large, imo, and portion of the populace that is far too out of touch with reality to be allowed to play with sharp objects (alone or in public).

    I hope that the more people in the thinking world of reality call attention to this, the more chances we have to avoid or avert catastrophe.

    Thanks for the diary.

    A corrupted government. Patriots branded as renegades. This is how we roll.

    by GreyHawk on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 04:04:30 AM PDT

    •  That's the instinct-driven population. (4+ / 0-)

      I'm not sure that people whose behavior is directed by their emotions actually possess a soul.  It seems telling that the seven deadly sins

      pride
      sloth
      envy
      greed
      wrath
      lust
      gluttony

      seem to survive the deterioration of cognitive functions in the aging.  This suggests they are located in the brain stem, the ancient brain, and require mediation by the conscious brain to maintain control.
      Also telling is that deception, a conscious falsification of reality, is not on the list.  Of course, that raises the question whether the behaviors, albeit base, can be defined as sins.

      How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

      by hannah on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 04:48:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good words and well pronouced... (7+ / 0-)

    Onward with eternal vigilance.

    "The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and Stupidity" Harlan Ellison

    by TheRagingCelt on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 04:07:51 AM PDT

  •  Please...Bernard Slepian was a DOCTOR. (37+ / 0-)

    He was not an ABORTION PROVIDER. Please, teacherken, by calling him such, we use the language of those who feel justified in having murdered him.

    He was a doctor. An obstetrician and gynecologist. A man who delivered thousands of babies during his career and cared for the medical needs of thousands of women. Among the many services he provided these women, in the course of taking care of their medical needs, was abortion: a legal and necessary medical service.

    The man who murdered him lived briefly in Vermont. So the story received lots of local coverage. Every time--and I mean every time--the local newscast referred to Dr. Slepian as an "abortion doctor" or an "abortion provider," I picked up the phone and called the newsroom in the middle of the newscast to correct them. They eventually stopped.

    I will do the same here. He was a doctor. Words matter.

    Thank you.

    Sweet are the uses of adversity...Find tongues in the trees, books in the brooks, and good in everything. -Shakespeare, As You Like It.

    by earicicle on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 04:13:52 AM PDT

    •  sorry - I recognize that he was a doctor (8+ / 0-)

      but I refuse to step away from the fact that he was providing access to a constitutionally protected right, for which he was murdered.  Just as Matthew Shepard was killed because he was gay.  It is wrong to shy away from allowing someone who is performing a constitutionally protected act, as was Slepian, to be protected for that very act.  It was not because he was a doctor that his killer would have attempted to justify his action.  And we have to reject any justification used by those who oppose a legal act, it does not justify violence.

      do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

      by teacherken on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 05:21:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We cannot buy into the right wing language. (11+ / 0-)

        "A doctor who provided abortions" is acceptable. "An abortion provider" or "an abortion doctor" is not. There is no such profession.

        I'm sorry...I am adamant about this. And I'm running out the door for the day, so don't have time to engage in a longer, more thoughtful response to your comment.

        Sweet are the uses of adversity...Find tongues in the trees, books in the brooks, and good in everything. -Shakespeare, As You Like It.

        by earicicle on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 05:25:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't see that such is a matter (6+ / 0-)

          but I am willing to change to the words in quotes -   the fact that Slepian did abortions is key

          I also do not think using accurate language, which I did, should be avoided merely because the language has been misused by others.  Better to reclaim the language.  

          But I will accept your suggestion in this comment.

          Peace.

          do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

          by teacherken on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 05:36:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I understand what each of you is saying, (8+ / 0-)

            but, in referring to Dr. Slepian as an "abortion provider", Ken, you are inferring that abortion care was the main portion of his practice, which it wasn't. I have to say that I agree with earicle on this. I also get a bit frustrated when people refer to the New Woman, All Women Clinic that was bombed by Eric Rudolph as an "abortion clinic," as if that was the only thing they did. While I realize that the fact that both Dr. Slepian and the women's clinic provided abortion care is the reason they were targeted, I think that it is undermining the entirety of their work to label them as such.

            "Truth never damages a cause that is just."~~~Mohandas K. Gandhi -9.38/-6.26

            by LynneK on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 06:00:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  the issue is not the main part of his practice (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              raincrow, jkshaw, LynneK, mamamarti, earicicle

              it was the part of the practice that engendered a violent action against someone doing a perfectly legal act.  I refuse to ignore that in my phrasing.  

              And please note, in the comment to which you responded I agreed to change the language to "doctor who provided abortions"  as was suggested in the comment to which I responded.

              do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

              by teacherken on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 06:13:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  teacherken... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LynneK

                I just got home from a long day, so my apologies for this late comment reply.

                I appreciate your edit (although, NB: ear + icicle = earicicle...I know, it's a long story!). But please see and consider my reply to LynneK's comment in this thread. We must firmly reject how the anti-abortion extremists took control of the language of choice. Terms like "pro-life" and "abortion doctor" are abhorrent to me.

                As a writer, I wrestle with and pick over nuances of language all day, every day. So I don't mean to fuss at you over this! I just find this particular issue to be extremely important. We have to take back the language as part of taking back the issue.

                Thanks for listening! ;-)

                Sweet are the uses of adversity...Find tongues in the trees, books in the brooks, and good in everything. -Shakespeare, As You Like It.

                by earicicle on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 03:51:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you, LynneK. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LynneK, Ms Citizen

              Even "doctor who provided abortions" makes me a bit uncomfortable, frankly. He was also a "doctor who provided Pap smears" and a "doctor who performed breast examinations" and a "doctor who delivered babies." He was not murdered for these aspects of his practice, as teacherken rightly points out. But Kopp murdered a MAN and a PHYSICIAN, not a PROCEDURE that he opposed.

              The label "abortion clinic" is equally abhorrent. My gynecologist's practice is in the basement of the local Planned Parenthood clinic. And there are frequently a few protestors standing across the street. The elevator has security cameras, and the receptionist has to buzz you in a the office door.

              It greatly undermines the entirety of Dr. Slepian's life--and the work of women's health centers--to buy into the right wing language and label them only as "abortion providers" and "abortion clinics."

              Sweet are the uses of adversity...Find tongues in the trees, books in the brooks, and good in everything. -Shakespeare, As You Like It.

              by earicicle on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 03:47:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  If you're going to cite Schenck (9+ / 0-)

    I've got to counter with Brandenburg, which, while not overturning Schenck, clarified the limits on iyt's application.

    Neither the indictment nor the trial judge's instructions refined the statute's definition of the crime in terms of mere advocacy not distinguished from incitement to imminent lawless action. Held: Since the statute, by its words and as applied, purports to punish mere advocacy and to forbid, on pain of criminal punishment, assembly with others merely to advocate the described type of action, it falls within the condemnation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Freedoms of speech and press do not permit a State to forbid advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.

    I'd go further, agreeing with Justice Douglas' concurrence in Brandenburg that

    Those, then, were the World War I cases that put the gloss of "clear and present danger" on the First Amendment. Whether the war power - the greatest leveler of them all - is adequate to sustain that doctrine is debatable.  The dissents in Abrams, Schaefer, and Pierce show how easily "clear and present danger" is manipulated to crush what Brandeis called "[t]he fundamental right of free men to strive for better conditions through new legislation and new institutions" by argument and discourse (Pierce v. United States, supra, at 273) even in time of war. Though I doubt if the "clear and present danger" test is congenial to the First Amendment in time of a declared war, I am certain it is not reconcilable with the First Amendment in days of peace.



    This is a Test of the Emergency Free Speech System. This is only a Test. In an actual Free Speech Emergency, I'll be locked up.

    by ben masel on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 04:18:37 AM PDT

    •  Schenck locked up for advocating Draft resistance (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shadan7, stevemb, grada3784, raincrow, Marja E

      Do you really approve of that ruling?



      This is a Test of the Emergency Free Speech System. This is only a Test. In an actual Free Speech Emergency, I'll be locked up.

      by ben masel on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 04:34:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  you have now made the point multiple times (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grada3784, LynneK, Ms Citizen

      and I and others have offered rejoinders.   I cite Schenck because it established that speech is not absolutely protected.  Where a clear and present danger is found has changed over time, as subsequent decisions even before Brandenburg made clear.  And your final portion in bold attains to the issue of - whether or not fully in war (which I do not argue we are) - at what time speech that might otherwise be protected is now subject to limitation.  In a situation where violence is already occurring, something that otherwise might be construed as a theoretical expression can be suppressed.  

      Look, I know you have a great deal of experience in dealing personally with attempts to limit individual rights.  And I do not claim to be a lawyer.  But I also notethat, despite a trend of expanding protection of individual rights, there has also been something of a role back, and the Courts have often been sensitive to the temper of the times, not just in states of declared war.  

      do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

      by teacherken on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 05:26:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think you've thought this through (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ben masel, raincrow, Mayken, Marja E

        Here is your key mistake:

        In a situation where violence is already occurring, something that otherwise might be construed as a theoretical expression can be suppressed.  

        You are assuming that you will get to decide when and what that is, you won't. In the past eight years opponents of the Bush administration were constantly accused of being traitors, of giving aid to the enemy, of causing direct harm to the troops. As far as the GOP was concerned, sites like the DailyKos and other opposition were inciting violence. O'Reilly would still say that today.

        Reverting to Schenck would be absolute disaster.

  •  Any chance of an investigation ? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, grada3784

    What if Scum Limbaugh, or Glen Beck were to go on another rampage speech, and in so many words scream out what could be easily considered  insidious language, creating the environment for possibly emotionally disturbed people to take criminal action upon the person or persons being verbally attacked by the radio personality ?    I wonder what would happen if one of our bureaus  were to get flooded with letters from concerned citizens?  Could a flood of concerned letters create not only some investigation, but more importantly lay the foundation for criminal prosecution, if at some time were necessary ?

    I believe in President Obama, and The Beatles

    by bookkillrr on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 04:35:36 AM PDT

  •  Interesting - twas food for thought! (6+ / 0-)

    But before we get to legal consequences, there should be moral consequences.

    How can we have moral consequences when we don't have morals?

    Too many folks who wouldn't know a moral if it tickled their toes. That kind of thing is just for church, right? Not for real life!

    They don't think in terms of right and wrong - ANY right and wrong. I suspect that many of them couldn't care less about what they do and who they hurt - as long as they get what they want, and get it right now. It's not an issue of right/wrong; it's an issue of me/not me (and "me" always wins).

    No, this is not a gripe about the morals of the current generation, get off my lawn, etc. I'm trying to point out that many folks are amoral - not good morals, not bad morals, but no consideration of morals at all. To them, freedom of speech is no more than the right to say whatever they want, whenever they want, about whomever and whatever they want, wherever they want.

    It starts with "Kill the bastard (on TV)!", proceeds through "Kill the quarterback," and takes a long stop at "Kill the (video game bad guys)." It meanders through killer apps, killer movies, and comedians who kill the audience. It wanders by an execution or two (kill the perp). It generalises to "kill anybody who tries to stop me or gets in my way" and comes to rest at "kill anybody I don't like." That's next door to "kill anybody who's not like me."

    None of these killings have any personal pain attached to them, so the freedom of speech degenerates to freedom of yapping.

    Yapping is no big deal, so what's this freedom of speech thing? Perhaps the thought process of the amoral (from Limbaugh to Coulter to their listeners) goes like this: Why can't I talk about (n-word)s and why can't I badmouth people if I feel like it? Why can't I make noises about killing the (n-word, Muslim, librul) President? Why can't I just make stuff up about the guy? Why can't I spread these fictions around? I have freedom of speech, right? It's not my fault if someone actually does what I've yapped about, right? It's really all about me, right?

    And so it goes.

    The electricity's still a bit spotty here. I'll be on until it goes out aga

    by SciMathGuy on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 04:38:39 AM PDT

  •  That was a fine essay, Ken... (6+ / 0-)

    Nice fluid arc, thoughtful, informative, poignant.

    I know the special interests and lobbyists are gearing up for a fight as we speak.
    My message to them is this: So am I -- President Barack Obama

    by Jimdotz on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 04:53:24 AM PDT

  •  It's Anti America, Anti American speech. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shadan7, grada3784, mofembot, elropsych

    Just saying.  

    Norris and Beck have every right to look to split up the country and nation that secured their freedom, wealth and welfare with blood and treasure into rump little states.  

    Norris and Beck have every right to look to put the USA into the same category as the USSR or the Hapsburg Empire or other countries in the dustbin of history.

    But they aren't Americans any more if that's what they want.  They are against America as a country and a hope.

  •  Already picking up their guns (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, mofembot, elropsych

    This rhetoric is already leading people to pick up their guns.  Not only are our leaders in danger, but innocents are in danger.  We've had several shootings in the last few months:

    The church in Illinois
    Samson Alabama
    Knoxville Tennessee
    Ohio

    Any others?

    www.tapestryofbronze.com and www.haikudiary.com

    by chloris creator on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 05:44:59 AM PDT

    •  Depersonalization + permission from an accepted (5+ / 0-)

      authority figure = bang.

      The rightwing radio/tv megaphone has been working the first part expertly for years. Just recently have Beck, Reagan, Boortz, Limbaugh, and gang started "pulling the trigger" so to speak on permission.

      Some of them have entered the realm of outright advocacy.

      This is no longer an abstract off-in-the-distance issue for me. These are real terrorists advocating real action by surrogate terrorists right here.

      And they have convinced themselves they are the Real Americans.

      Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thoughts on the unthinking. -J.M. Keynes

      by elropsych on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 05:50:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bob 1963 (10+ / 0-)

    A bullet from the back of a bush took Medgar Evers' blood.
    A finger fired the trigger to his name.
    A handle hid out in the dark
    A hand set the spark
    Two eyes took the aim
    Behind a man's brain
    But he can't be blamed
    He's only a pawn in their game.

    A South politician preaches to the poor white man,
    "You got more than the blacks, don't complain.
    You're better than them, you been born with white skin," they explain.
    And the Negro's name
    Is used it is plain
    For the politician's gain
    As he rises to fame
    And the poor white remains
    On the caboose of the train
    But it ain't him to blame
    He's only a pawn in their game.

    The deputy sheriffs, the soldiers, the governors get paid,
    And the marshals and cops get the same,
    But the poor white man's used in the hands of them all like a tool.
    He's taught in his school
    From the start by the rule
    That the laws are with him
    To protect his white skin
    To keep up his hate
    So he never thinks straight
    'Bout the shape that he's in
    But it ain't him to blame
    He's only a pawn in their game.

    From the poverty shacks, he looks from the cracks to the tracks,
    And the hoof beats pound in his brain.
    And he's taught how to walk in a pack
    Shoot in the back
    With his fist in a clinch
    To hang and to lynch
    To hide 'neath the hood
    To kill with no pain
    Like a dog on a chain
    He ain't got no name
    But it ain't him to blame
    He's only a pawn in their game.

    Today, Medgar Evers was buried from the bullet he caught.
    They lowered him down as a king.
    But when the shadowy sun sets on the one
    That fired the gun
    He'll see by his grave
    On the stone that remains
    Carved next to his name
    His epitaph plain:
    Only a pawn in their game.

    Copyright ©1963; renewed 1991 Special Rider Music

    The reason people don't learn from the past, is because the past was a repetitious lie to begin with. Mike Hastie U.S. Army Medic Vietnam 1970-71

    by BOHICA on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 05:57:24 AM PDT

    •  as it happens,in Jan. did diary related (3+ / 0-)

      to this song, upon the death of William Zantintger (note the correct spelling) entitled William Zanzinger killed poor Hattie Carroll

      Peace.

      do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

      by teacherken on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 06:17:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Try Phil Ochs (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raincrow, Subo03, Aquagranny911

      Especially when the diary says "Too Many Martyrs" at the end.

      Too Many Martyrs - Phil Ochs

      In the state of Mississippi many years ago
      A boy of 14 years got a taste of southern law
      He saw his friend a hanging and his color was his crime
      And the blood upon his jacket left a brand upon his mind

      CHORUS:
      Too many martyrs and too many dead
      Too many lies too many empty words were said
      Too many times for too many angry men
      Oh let it never be again

      His name was Medgar Evers and he walked his road alone
      Like Emmett Till and thousands more whose names we'll never know
      They tried to burn his home and they beat him to the ground
      But deep inside they both knew what it took to bring him down

      Chorus

      The killer waited by his home hidden by the night
      As Evers stepped out from his car into the rifle sight
      he slowly squeezed the trigger, the bullet left his side
      It struck the heart of every man when Evers fell and died.

      Chorus

      And they laid him in his grave while the bugle sounded clear
      laid him in his grave when the victory was near
      While we waited for the future for freedom through the land (*)
      The country gained a killer and the country lost a man

      Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. Marx.

      by Childofexpats on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 09:20:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have written about Phil Ochs before (0+ / 0-)

        having written a diary which used his song "William Worthy"    -  that led to a commission to write a piece about Phil Ochs for "No Depression", which as you can see is ceasing publication.  I have been assured that my piece, which appears in the final issue, is not the reason :-)  

        I greatly admired Ochs, who never got the recognition of some of his contemporaries, although many covered his songs.

        do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

        by teacherken on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 09:52:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "I may not agree with what you say but I will (6+ / 0-)

    defend to the death your right to say it."

    This has always been my motto.  It was my motto when I stood in a two year battle over free speech on the internet 16 years ago.

    I have never supported violence against the speakers of speech that I abhor recognizing that this is one of the hallmarks we have here.  A right that others, including many in my husband's country have at one time or another, not had.

    When we decide that violence or advocating violence against a speaker, a judge, a political figure, a president we descend to the chaos that has inflicted Latin America, parts of the Middle East and Africa.

    And we must ask ourselves "is this really the trek we want to be on?"

    BTW I remember where I was and what I was doing the night the news broadcasted that Alan Berg had been murdered.  I never liked Berg, especially for a hit piece he did on my school and an incident that I was a witness of - more than a decade before.

    But while I didn't agree with him, I would defend his right to say it.

    "A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    by Clytemnestra on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 06:00:41 AM PDT

  •  A critically important diary (6+ / 0-)

    ....done with eloquence as only teacherken can do.  

    Thank you.  

    And it is time for the Democrats in power to speak up.  They have said nothing.  Can you imagine if there had been anything remotely similar said day after day by a paid TV host about Bush and his policies?  Every Republican would be screaming from the rafters.  

    What scares me is that the only people listening to this are the people who can do damage.  I wonder if the vast majority of Americans even know this is happening, until God forbid, some act of violence is committed.  

    It is up to Democrats in power to make the distinctions made by teacherken in this diary.  The fomenting of violence because a couple of rich guys don't want to pay taxes or want health care for all and -- let's be honest -- don't like the black guy as president -- has to be called out for the danger that it is.  

    It's up to every elected Democratic official to speak up.  If they don't and something awful happens, they were part of the problem.  

  •  minor edit (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, mofembot, FarWestGirl

    "Four knight, besotted and believing they were doing the will of the sovereign, took action, and Thomas a Becket became a martyr."

      teacherken, I'd like to buy a consonant.

    I'm an Emersonian Transcendentalist. What's your excuse?

    by Stranded Wind on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 06:18:27 AM PDT

  •  April 19 (3+ / 0-)

    does not come to my mind without thinking of that terrible Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. I visited the site about a year later, before any such monument had been consecrated. I remember the chain link fence strung solidly with artwork, teddy bears, photos, mementoes. Adjacent buildings still pockmarked with the flying debris from the Murrah Building. My visit came five years before my son was born, seven years before my daughter was born, yet in my soldierly youth I still felt like falling into a fetal position and crying for the death and sadness that Timothy McVeigh (and several others) unleashed on that day.

    Four years to that day, in 1999, two sadly disturbed kids shot up the school in Columbine, Colorado.

    These events, not to mention the fire in the Branch Davidian compound in Waco in 1993, blot out an otherwise warm celebration and reflection of, I guess you'd call it "good" violence, that of the fights of Lexington and Concord in 1775.

    "Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never vote for President. One hopes it is the same half." - Gore Vidal

    by sapper on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 06:33:31 AM PDT

    •  for those on right, April 19 has other meanings (5+ / 0-)

      It was the end of the Branch Davidian siege in Waco.   It is also the date of Lexington and Concord, and in the minds of people like Timothy McVeigh they were conflated to justify the attack he did on the Federal government by blowing up the Alfred P. Murrah Building.

      do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

      by teacherken on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 06:42:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you think about it, (0+ / 0-)

        there really is little difference between bands of minutemen firing at will upon marching redcoats and bands of insurgents planting roadside bombs to disrupt American patrols around any given Iraqi city. It's all in how you lionize the events.

        Not to degrade our Revolution in this way. I think of our revolution less in terms of gross martial and partisan violence, especially played out in my state of South Carolina, and more in terms of the ideas brought forward in letters, newspapers and the Declaration of Independence that were based on hundreds of years of philosophy leading up to 1776.

        The wacko right seems to have confused our history with that of Iraq's. That's in no way criminal, but it is a little naive. All right. It's a lot naive, and ignorant of a civilization that had existed for thousands of years.

        "Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never vote for President. One hopes it is the same half." - Gore Vidal

        by sapper on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 07:04:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  1776 (8+ / 0-)

          The American Revolution is peculiar in that it taught other colonies that they didn't have to put up with colonial rule.  Colonization hasn't been the same since.  And you're correct - it was all about ideas.  I hate that so many history books run with the "taxation without representation" angle - SO much more to it than that.  Things like quartering soldiers in private homes - imagine that you come home from work one day and find that your kids' bedrooms are now housing soldiers, and that you have to feed them.  And that they won't be leaving anytime soon.  

          I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper. - President Barack Obama

          by ThirstyGator on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 07:11:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Dang right ThirstyGator (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ThirstyGator, raincrow

            So much talked about taxing. The British were occupiers! An even more violative concept.

            I thought my whole, naive life up to 2001 that the United States was innoculated from the foolish notion of occupying another nation. True, we messed up Vietnam, and we had a very messy occupational phase of the Philippines from 1898 until around 1914, and we've stayed in Panama for a gratuitous while, and then there's Guantanamo, Okinawa, and other places. But we didn't outright take over a nation, not even when we marched into Mexico. We signed the papers to end that foolish war and got the hell out. Blew Spain out of the water without so much as setting a foot in that country.

            Occupation? Hell, we knew better. I thought. I hope we know better now. Crossing my fingers that we get the hell out of Afghanistan in due time.

            "Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never vote for President. One hopes it is the same half." - Gore Vidal

            by sapper on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 07:24:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Just like in Gaza nt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            raincrow

            You gotta give 'em hope. - Harvey Milk

            by abrauer on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 08:13:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Historical list (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ThirstyGator, mofembot, FarWestGirl

    In addition to your list of Presidents targeted by assassins -- don't forget Theodore Roosevelt, who was actually shot, but went ahead and delivered his scheduled speech before seeking medical attention.

    •  true - was not trying to be exhaustive (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mofembot, FarWestGirl

      but he at that point was an ex president, running in 1912 as the Bull Moose candidate.  So not quite sure in which category I should place him, so I left him out.

      do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

      by teacherken on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 06:44:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  March 18, 2008 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, SoCalJayhawk, raincrow

    Nearly one year ago democratic nomination candidate Barack Obama was called upon to respond to his own meddlesome priest, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose damning of America illicited moral outrage from democrats and republicans alike.  
    Where is the moral outrage when Rush Limbaugh condemns America and Americans with "I hope he fails"?  When the Republican caucus condemns American and Americans with a "just say no" obstructionism?  These are the moral equivalents of "God Damn America."  

    •  Where is my MEH rating.. (0+ / 0-)

      Rush is someone paid to be outrageous and is technically billed as a comedian not a moral counselor.  There's no real comparison.  

      I can't stand the guy but it's not the same at all.

      We're all one heartbeat away from Forever. kasandra.us

      by KS Rose on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 07:57:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It always strikes me as strange that when (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, Catte Nappe

    anyone posting here promuglates violence on any of our elected officials, they are HR'd out of existence and often auto-banned, but right-wing blogs incite this hateful stuff and right-wing commentators the same.  I have read that genetics play a role in who is liberal and who is conservative and it must be true because as much as we despised bushco and wanted them gone, I never read here or any other liberal blogs the call for assassination.

    Indict, convict, imprison. "Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana

    by incognita on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 07:43:43 AM PDT

    •  But, the language the diary talks about is (0+ / 0-)

      not a direct call for violence but more of an incitement of wackos.  Lets take all the calls for bushsco's trail and execution on here.  Yet nothing is done.  Do you think that would inspire a left wacko to take matters into their own hands to right such a terrible wrong the world is not correcting?  It cuts both ways.

      You can't cheat an honest man.

      by thestructureguy on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 08:17:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I assume you meant to type "trial". (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ms Citizen

        Yes, all of us, I daresay, wish him to go to trial, but I have never read a comment calling for his execution.  Imprisonment, yes!  Maybe I was not here that day.
        The calls for his trial are a legal and just way to punish him and his cohorts for their crimes.
        No, I don't believe it cuts both ways because the liberal/progressive community is reality-based.
        I have never come across a left-wing wacko, but that's just me.

        Indict, convict, imprison. "Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana

        by incognita on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 09:04:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, let's. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe

        Lets take all the calls for bushsco's ... execution on here.

        If you would be so kind as to provide names and/or links, we can get started.  

        Just one will do.

        There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who know binary and those who don't.

        by JBL55 on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 09:34:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's a silly comparison (0+ / 0-)

        Trials followed by the consequences of law are not the same as assassination.

        Also, how would a "left wacko" set up a federal or international court?

        Comparing that to a right-wing wacko buying guns and bombs doesn't make sense.

        Member, The Angry Left.

        by nosleep4u on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 02:06:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A very deep diary! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, Ms Citizen, Rachel Q

    I've read heavily about the period and about Henry, and your analogy is potent. I've also tried to think charitably about Sarah Palin, but her tolerance of the hateful energy in her fall audiences will never be forgotten.

    Limbaugh and Co. hold heavy responsibility for the undercurrent of violence that is all around us in the fringe folks. They have been "disenfranchised" in the sense that they are no longer in charge simply because they are white and European.

    I hope readers think deeply about the attitude that led to Becket's death (not that Becket was right, BTW--he was protecting criminals from state consequences under the guise of the Church. Henry was a good administrator.)

  •  The Schenck ruling was sick and evil (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, Mayken

    It allows for the use of violence against us for condemning violence, for refusing to participate in it, and for calling on others to refuse to participate in it.

    Remember Duanna Johnson. Tortured by the Memphis PD for being black and trans. Killed by the Memphis PD for speaking up.

    by Marja E on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 08:04:00 AM PDT

  •  I always thought that Limbaugh, Hannity (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, raincrow

    should face consequences for raising the hatred level towards violence. Of course, they should be free to speak. But they also must be held accountable for the actions their speech incites. This was so apparent during the election, with crazy crowds screaming, "Kill him," about Obama.

    My new bumper sticker: Palin-Satan '12

    by adigal on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 08:04:45 AM PDT

  •  Chuck Norris and Bill Ayers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow

    compare and contrast

    My heroes have the heart to live the life I want to live.

    by JLFinch on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 08:08:22 AM PDT

  •  I agree. Calling for the execution of Bush (0+ / 0-)

    could lead to some left wing wacko, yes we have them, taking matters in to his/her own hands.  

    You can't cheat an honest man.

    by thestructureguy on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 08:10:51 AM PDT

  •  for decades before 911, it was illegal to say the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, Ms Citizen, The Creator

    word "hijack" at an airport.

    Many stupid people learned the hard way that it was a serious law.

    This is the same as those kids who say they are going to use violence against schoolmates, and try to pass it off as a harmless prank.

    Kids who talk about harming others, or bring a weapon to school are now considered a  viable risk  and treated as such.

    Just when our reputation in the world started to improve, we have Americans saying things publicly that bring shame on our reputation, once again.

    These people are terrorists, they have much of America terrorized that they will harm Our President and/or others.

    I am more worried about an outbreak from violent, mentally deranged people than I am of an  attack by anyone from another country.

    Publicly Threatening to harm others may be free speech, but it is also an admission of intent to harm others.

    NOW is time to uphold the Constitution and protect it from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

    by Mulkum on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 08:14:58 AM PDT

  •  Steven D at Booman has been all over this issue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, The Creator

    already, posting about the dirty bomber last month.  He's got some more scary stuff today.  http://www.boomantribune.com/...

    Steven D should cross post that diary here since the issue has the Kossacks attention.

  •  Gun-rights extremists may be most scary. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, The Creator

    They're armed and ready to start an insurgency if they feel their rights are threatened.

    An Iowa National Guard Unit planned to conduct urban training in preparation for deployment to the Middle East in the small Iowa town of Arcadia. They planned to practice cordon-and-search operations searching for and apprehending a suspected weapons dealer, using only the homes of those who agreed to participate.

    Texas talk radio wingnut Alex Jones picked up the story, and claimed that this was part of a conspiracy to train the military to confiscate weapons in the U.S. Jones' followers responded with a flood of phone calls and emails. Some of the protesters sent emails "saying they'd show up at Arcadia with weapons to defend homes against the Guardsmen or even set booby traps to injure the soldiers." Another called the Mayor and promised to bring 5,500 "minutemen" from North Dakota to challenge the Guardsmen.

    The Guard called off the training in response to the protests.

    For the full story, see: "National Guard Unit Scales Back Plans"

    (I previously posted this comment Feb 27.)

    •  Glad SOMEBODY called off that little exercise (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquagranny911

      ...however grieved I am that it was not moderates and leftists, who have otherwise called loudly for the restoration of our rights after the Bush43 surveillance era.

      F*ck going along quietly and allowing the military to use my house as a training ground for such operations. To me, this is as irresponsible as people who acquiesced to the extremes of the Un-Patriot Act, saying, "Why do you care if you don't have anything to hide?"

      Full disclosure: I'm a leftist gun-rights not-entirely-extremist, and I do NOT trust my government as far as I can throw an elephant OR donkey.

  •  Nice Diary, Teacherken. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    subtropolis, Ms Citizen, The Creator

    I think there's a socio-psychological dynamic that makes this mentality more intense in its hatreds as the logic of the world moves away from it. So it is that while there is now an African American President, duly elected and with high approval ratings, those who have racist views feel ever more threatened and their subconscious logic makes them even more prone to violence than when they are allowed the luxury of feeling that everyone has their values.

    Despite the social progress we've seen, I think conservatives and their innumerable rants about government hold considerable responsibility for the actions of people like McVeigh. I think the rhetoric from people like Limbaugh and Coulter legitimizes views held by the likes of McVeigh.

    The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

    by Pacifist on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 08:45:30 AM PDT

  •  I also feel that a more insidious danger is (3+ / 0-)

    the fear induced by not wanting to get involved in events that occur in our neighbourhood's. I call it the Kitty Genovese syndrome.  For those who are too young to remember she was the Queens woman who was brutually slain at night as she screamed for help and people just drew their curtains tighter and turned up their televisions and shut their ears and their hearts.

    Many of us live in areas where their is drug activity, alcohol related vandalism and many of us draw the curtains and say it's not my job to police the neighbourhood,.

    We must learn to to be afraid and take personal responsibility for collectively providing our own security. There is a subtle line between collective responsibility and vigilantism.

    We must learn to err on the side of 'I am my brother's/sister's keeper' and minding our own business. We need to help keep our our own nests clean and clear of hate and violence.

  •  Ask Tom Bradley. After the "King" trial (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nina

    As a very upset mayor, he wanted us to go out into the streets and 'voice' our outrage.
    While he meant and fully intended for that voicing to be peaceful, it turned into the LA riots.

    Bradley did not want there to be riots, and he did not cause, them, but he did lend verbal support to people who were leaning that way.

    That of course led to some of the most honest words spoken in public in the last 30 years, "Can't we all get along?" - Rodney King.   Those words have been mocked and derided by the right ever since they were uttered.

    "I'm stuck with a valuable friend. I'm happy hope you're happy too." - D. Bowie - on the housing crisis.

    by mungley on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 08:54:36 AM PDT

  •  I realise the debate today is about the dangers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    empresskara, Aquagranny911

    of verbal violence turning to physical danger. I also feel we need to try and understand and contribute to the positive actions that are being taken under the influence of a more thoughful and inclusive attitude brought about by the recent election.

    Fear of the 'Other' is basically at the heart of this hostility and all of us can assist in alleviating that atmosphere of hate and fear and paranoia.

    http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.c...

    Nowhere is that as obvious as America's attitude toward immigrants and how we can help incorporate young newcomers into our society and instill our values and help them assimilate into a new society.

    It is this hatred of 'outsiders' and those who are perceived as different that is at the root of much of this hatred that spills over into violent action.

    •  Fear of the "other" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      soccergrandmom

      Also plagues this discussion on our end.

      One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

      by RandomActsOfReason on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 12:28:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Uh, no. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not "afraid" of rightwing nutjobs.

        In 1993, NO Republicans voted for the most successful economic program in history. NOT ONE. Wrong then, wrong now.

        by The Creator on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 01:40:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There is plenty of fear here (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          soccergrandmom, Ms Citizen

          calls for imprisoning, using RICO statues, trying for "sedition" and "treason" against folks exercising their 1st Amendment rights in lawful ways that happen to contain content we object to.

          Demonizing statements such as "Democrats Complain, Republicans Shoot".

          Calls to "string 'em up" and calls for liberals to go out and buy guns are applauded

          Comments calling Norris comments "seditious" and "treasonous" have gotten well over one hundred recommends each, as have calls to invoke the Smith Act.

          The Smith Act!

          If you haven't seen them, you haven't been paying attention. And if you insist on pretending that my comment was directed personally again you, whoever you are, then you are being ridiculous.

          One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

          by RandomActsOfReason on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 02:24:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Threats against leaders (4+ / 0-)
    This is a sore subject with me. True story - happened just recently. I live out in a rural, somewhat red neck area, but we DO have a substantial sprinkling of progressives/lieverals. When Obama got elected (11/4/08), my very best friend (and HER hubby) got an email from a neighbor of HERS. This man farms next to them, and also has a very well paid technical job with a major utility company in the Midwest. He is not without mental horsepower, but a Rush Limaugh/racist through and through. I was a peripheral friend of him and his wife, but no more.

    He used his COMPANY email system to circulate a threatening email, saying, "get your guns out now and kill Obama".  She was really - supposedly - offended.

    OMG! When my friend told me this I was absolutely aghast. I told her to report it and they refused, saying, "We have to live in the neighborhood". She was on an email list and I told her they would never know WHO reported him, and yet, they still would not do so. Since I did not receive the email, I could not come forward and report it. Get this - the neighbor's wife talked to my friend, and was really nervous, asking, "did you get an email from my husband?".

    I told my girlfriend that if she didn't report it and Obama had an "accident" she would never forgive herself. Although, given her actions, I now doubt that she was that offended, quite honestly.  

    I was raised differently, I guess. I have stepped up and voiced my concern when I saw wrongdoing, and not gotten anything other than grief, at times, but it was wrong to be silent. Needless to say, my opinion and judgement of my "best friend" has changed greatly, and I have told her that I will not associate with those people from now on.

  •  You nailed it teacheken. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, cocinero, The Creator

    That's exactly what's going on here.  These peoople are making an actual request-and they are hoping that someone will take them up on it. Horrifying.

    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction." --Blaise Pascal

    by lyvwyr101 on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 10:14:43 AM PDT

  •  Let me just rhetorically ask -- if it is true (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, revgerry

    that violent movies/games/music lead young men and women to behave badly at best and to become violent at worst;

    then how can a mouthpiece who declares such things from their pulpit turn around and insist on being held harmless should a listener take seriously a host's continual, repeditive, urgent calls to "stop Obama". It takes about two (very disturbing) minutes at any right-wing blog or mssg board to understand what those calls to "stop Obama" mean to a certain swath of Rush/Hannity/Coulter/Malkin followers.

    If you don't know history, you don't know anything. You're a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree. ~Michael Crichton, Timeline

    by Leslie H on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 10:18:31 AM PDT

    •  I would say yes, but only if they had (0+ / 0-)

      no other stimulus, if they had no interaction with others to show them that is just fantasy. But physically and verbally abusive parents have a much greater effect. It's one thing for a child to watch TV and see someone getting beaten. It's entirely different when they are getting beaten.

      "You know what's more refreshing than having a President who speaks in complete sentences? A President who behaves like a responsible adult."

      by londubh on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 11:49:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We don't oulaw violent movies games or music. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquagranny911

      One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

      by RandomActsOfReason on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 12:26:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, it's not true (0+ / 0-)

      There is no evidence linking violent movies or song lyrics or video games and real violence.

      "then how can a mouthpiece who declares such things from their pulpit turn around and insist on being held harmless..."

      That is a fundamentally unamerican, undemocratic sentiment. We have this thing here called "free speech". It means that you get to say almost anything you want. You can in fact advocate the violent overthrow of the US. What you can't do is to make specific, direct calls for someone's murder.

      •  actually you don't get to say almost anything (0+ / 0-)

        there are limits such as fighting words, defamation.   There are many restrictions.

        The greatest protection is given to two kinds of speech as far as i can tell - political and religious.  The latter is covered by the free exercise clause as well.

        But again, the principle is well established that rights may be limited.  And a court ruling in one setting may not be applicable in another.  

        do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

        by teacherken on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 04:45:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Think y'all have misunderstood me or I was not (0+ / 0-)

        very clear.

        The hypocrisy of Conservative media is my point.

        Right-Wing mouthpieces will bloviate all day on the "truthiness" of THEIR belief that violent lyrics = violent youth. They would love to stifle artistic free speech on grounds that it's mearly offensive to sheltered ears.

        Then those same mouthpieces turn around and advocate a no-quarter bully attitude towards "liberals" (at the LEAST) and violence (at the worst) to "STOP OBAMA" before it's too late.

        AND... they declare, "Oh, no, my speech is not inciting anyone to do anything. I am not doing anything wrong. I am just a teevee/radio host. I am just an entertainer."

        If you don't know history, you don't know anything. You're a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree. ~Michael Crichton, Timeline

        by Leslie H on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 09:04:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You didn't even mention Dr. Martin Luther King. (4+ / 0-)

    And of course, it's unlikely we'll ever really know the extent to which the official story of some of these assassinations is a fabrication and/or coverup.

    The Dutch children's chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the children of the world a happy holiday season!

    by lotlizard on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 10:26:44 AM PDT

    •  I did not mention lots of people (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotlizard

      one could do a diary that was just a list of those in politics and advocacy who have suffered violence.   I could have added Vernon Jordan, for example.  I did not pretend that my list was exhaustive.

      do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

      by teacherken on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 01:13:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Marvin Gaye? (3+ / 0-)

    We have had notable figures in entertainment who have been subject to attacks -  Jackie Wilson, Marvin Gaye,

     Marvin Gaye was killed by his father.

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 10:29:28 AM PDT

  •  Violent torturers (0+ / 0-)

    killers, and non believers in civil or human rights, have ruled this country for 8 years. They made coalitions with these folks called them real Americans called their government terrorists acts patriotism and necessary for preserving our 'way of life'. The media became a propaganda arm for state violence, and cheered it on, called it the culture war.

    Were now left with the hard core violent and ignorant all riled up and their leaders out of power. Hard to put the genie of hate back in the bottle when for years we've been feed daily doses of violence and hate defined as values. Fear of other has pored through the airwaves be it terrorists or liberals, these people believed it voted for it and now are left saying,"But he's an Arab". Maybe if we did not feel as a nation that killing and torturing your precieved enemy was a good thing and kept you safe we wouldn't tolerate these sicko's  

    The corporate media still pumps violence via entertainment and co called pundits and news. Perhaps we should turn our attention to redefining what is obscene and hold the corporations who broadcast and legitimize these slimeballs responsible. This free speech pays them well so don't support them or their sponsors.. I also feel that the public airways should return to the fairness doctrine and that media consolidation adds to this.      

    "And if my thought-dreams could be seen They'd probably put my head in a guillotine" Bob Dylan

    by shaharazade on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 10:38:12 AM PDT

  •  Getting Tired of Same Thing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RandomActsOfReason

    Getting tired of this same theme in diary after diary.  

    Let's stop free speech if we don't like what is being said.  Rush says stuff but who knows who it will or will not set off.  Can't tell what will or will not incite.

  •  Democrats complain; Republicans shoot (0+ / 0-)

    I might be wrong but it seems to me that republicans/conservatives succumb more easily to violent acts when they don't like a policy or a political or even religious position of a person. Somehow they are the bigger nut jobs (thinking they are being patriotic) that feel entitled to assassinate whoever does not agree with them.

    Only power used to empower is everlasting. Prof. Scott Bartchy www.nurseconscience.blogspot.com

    by ludlow on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 12:03:25 PM PDT

    •  How is that any different (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raincrow, Aquagranny911

      than criticisms by the Right against the Left?

      Saying, "Republicans shoot" is hatemongering and using tales of terror to instill fear, which justifies curbs on civil rights. The overwhelming majority of Republicans engage in the same type of lawful dissent that we do. Which, incidentally, is all Beck and Norris have called for in the "We Surround You" event. Lawful assembly called for with lawful speech.

      One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

      by RandomActsOfReason on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 12:25:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As much as we despised Bush's policies (0+ / 0-)

        no one was using such incendiary rhetoric against him. Or do you have examples? As patriots we tried to change things through the system. Obama's life has been in jeopardy ever since he started running.

        Only power used to empower is everlasting. Prof. Scott Bartchy www.nurseconscience.blogspot.com

        by ludlow on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 02:10:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Please provide examples (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ms Citizen

          of Norris or Beck, in this whole "We Surround You" stunt, calling for specific violent acts against the President or expressing any form of illegal speech.

          Otherwise, you are being disingenuous.

          incendiary rhetoric is condemnable, but not illegal.

          And certainly not "seditious" or "treasonous" nor warranting invocation of the Smith Act, explicit calls to imprison Beck and Norris, or calls for liberals to arm themselves.

          Comments to that effect have received triple-digit recommends in these diaries in the past 72 hours.

          Do you have an actual quote of an illegal threat to the president?

          If you did, I doubt you'd be spending your time debating on Daily Kos, you'd be calling the FBI.

          Hateful speech is not prohibited speech.

          One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

          by RandomActsOfReason on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 02:31:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  All politicians lives are sometimes "in danger" (0+ / 0-)

          This is why we have the Secret Service who I am sure are paying lots of attention to hate mongering.

    •  Remember the Viet Nam era... (0+ / 0-)

      ...when it was a few humorless, disaffected nutballs on the extreme left doing the threatening and bombing and armored car heists and whatnot. (And I admit I was not always unsympathetic to their ends, even if I disapproved of their means.)

      The shoe changes feet every few generations.

  •  Great points (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc, ludlow, The Creator

    I do believe that those who give air to the rantings of a Coulter or who defer to the hatefilled rhetoric of a Limbaugh or a Beck - especially if they thereby profit greatly (which after all is the point of giving them a microphone) - should be aware that there are possible legal consequences (financial and otherwise) of continuing to support such hatred.  

    This is exactly the problem. The inciters are quite sure they will be protected, that they can incite to murder and suffer no consequences.

    Murders have been incited by the on-air rantings of these maniacs. There needs to be some legal recourse.

    Member, The Angry Left.

    by nosleep4u on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 12:54:50 PM PDT

  •  This diary, the extensive comments, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc, Ms Citizen, Purple Priestess

    and the links provided have been an exceptional experience for me. An ability to sit here and listen to thoughtful people expound on a very real problem in our society is a privilege indeed. I am, and have been, especially fearful for our president, a man I have been waiting for for many decades, someone to measure up to FDR, my own president and special hero as I was growing up. Heaven -- and the SS and all protective services -- look out for him and keep him safe.

    •  The Secret Service does a yeoperson's job (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ms Citizen, Purple Priestess

      in protecting the President and his family -- witness the fact that we haven't had even an attempted assassination in over 25 years. Who knows what plots they've uncovered out of the light of media coverage.

      It's the innocent bystanders I worry about -- like the man in Tennessee who brought a gun into a Unitarian Church during a kid's musical because he wanted to kill liberals.

      "The party of Lincoln is now the Party of Limbaugh" -- Paul Begala

      by Cali Scribe on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 01:36:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The hardcore cultist wing of the GOP (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Purple Priestess

    is essentially, and with little exception, a repository for sociopaths.

    SOCIOPATHS.

    Understand what you are dealing with.

    In 1993, NO Republicans voted for the most successful economic program in history. NOT ONE. Wrong then, wrong now.

    by The Creator on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 01:33:09 PM PDT

  •  A pertinent remark from a former neo-Nazi (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, Purple Priestess

    Sorry I can't remember the name or the book.  He was on the talk show circuit over ten years ago.  One turning point for him was when, at a rally, he had a moment of dim awareness.  Turning to his neighbor he asked, "What will we do if we kill all the n*****s?"  His fellow racist grinned and responded unapologetically, "We'll hate brown-haired people."  To paraphrase Marshall McLuhan, The hate is the message.

    We have to face the frustrating fact that reform cannot avoid hurting a lot of people and a lot of powerful interests... John Gatto

    by geomoo on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 01:43:39 PM PDT

  •  Freedom of Speech (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Purple Priestess, MnplsLiberal

    means that even the vilest of speech is protected. Neo-nazi's get to shout their slogans and so do the Ann Coulter's and Rush Limbaugh's of the country. I'll defend their right to spew hatred even while being disgusted by it and virulently opposed to it.

    But there is no reason in the world why any of these hate and violence filled voices should be given a microphone. They can voice whatever hate fills their fetid hearts but there is no reason for responsible corporations to broadcast it.

    They don't broadcast David Duke or Stormfront. They don't play those Prussian Blue little girls on the radio. Why do these other hate mongers get air time, book deals, news and talk show spots?

    Let them stew in their own juices of hatred in their own little mud pits of the world. No need to make the rest of us suffer through their vileness.

    Peace,

    Andrew

  •  What about Jim Atkisson and Tim D Johnson (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Purple Priestess

    Jim David Adkisson shot six and killed four and left a manifesto that mentioned specifically that he was after "liberals". Just so happens he was an admirer of Savage, Hannity, and O'Reilly.

    Timothy D. Johnson, the man who shot Arkansas Democratic party chairman Bill Gwatney did not live long enough to confess his motives, although his target seemed to be indicative enough.

    You don't have to reach back to Tim McVeigh to see evidence where words have actions.

    George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

    by snafubar on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 01:58:39 PM PDT

    •  it is complicated - (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snafubar, Ms Citizen

      someone like Savage can argue that he has millions of listeners, and because one nut job took literally something everyone else understood figuratively is not his problem.  It could be a viable defense.

      The problem if you will is what represents a call to action that reaches the level where it is actionable either by criminal charges or by civil actio?  The line has moved around over the past 90 years since Schenck.  And I suspect that it would take only one serious violent incident stemming from what was taken as a call to action to result in an overreaction that would also trouble me.

      I am, as I have said numerous times on this thread, troubled by the idea of someone like MB feeling he had to carry a gun.  That raises the question for me of where and how we should draw lines, what kind of moral suasion can be applied, what demands we should make upon political leaders to denounce such inflammatory words.

      I don't know the answer.  I wrote a reaction after reading MB, and I wanted to hear the discussion.   Again, as I have also said multiple times, I expected pushback, and welcomed it.  Some of my thinking has been modified in the process of the dialog, and I suspect others have had the experience as well, as we explore all of the dimensions.

      In my teaching of high school students, I do not claim to have the answers.  I can point them at opinions that conflict among SCOTUS justices, and we can explore the implications of the arguments each makes.  I acknowledge that they may have better perceptions and ideas than do I, or even than do the SCOTUS justices.  I want people to think, to examine, to listen to one another.  I expect vigor and force in political expression.  I also think that even though we cannot define a hard line, there are points where we should recognize that perhaps we go too far.  And that is important, that self examination, because without it we lack credibility when we challenge expressions of those we oppose that we experience as going to far.

      I hope that makes some sense.

      do we still have a Republic and a Constitution if our elected officials will not stand up for them on our behalf?

      by teacherken on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 04:54:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have no problem at all with your standing on (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        teacherken, Ms Citizen

        this issue, I have a degree of reverence for your level tones and intellectual chops because I'm a little (ok, a lot) unhinged myself at times.

        I think where my blood starts to run cold is when I follow this whole "us vs. them" mentality to it's ultimate trigger-pulling inevitability:

        We are being told that the calls for violence from the right are merely in defense of the country - Rush says he wants to take it "back" - and I have to ask - "Back from where?"

        This country was designed to be whatever it chooses to be; and it was designed so that it maintains itself by mutual respect for the process of choosing whatever direction it takes.

        It's the respect for the process that's breaking down. Republicans arguably stole two elections, and we didn't riot or shoot anyone; now they claim this one was stolen and therefore it's a call to arms.

        That's where it starts looking like a real disaster to me.

        What I'm saying is that one can argue that in the minds of some on the Right, as illustrated by the actions of Atkisson and Johnson the idea of "discourse" has already been exchanged for "action".  

        We were told to stand behind our Commander in Chief and respect two disputed elections out of respect for the sanctity of our Constitution. Then the same people who supported Bush et al denied the same sacred Constitution was obviously betrayed and skirted, and still we were told that we must all stand together behind our leader and our flag in time of war.

        Now, the people on the right who told us we were at war and told us that respect for the presidency was paramount and that patriotism required we stand as one, are now amassing people to say that the only patriotic thing to do is stand up to/shoot down the president we have because he's not the one they wanted.

        Now on an ideological and intellectual level, what I've just laid out makes them all hypocrites and liars - they should stand for their country first before they stand for one leader in particular.

        But they obviously don't see the duplicity.

        It's like I have tried to say, but never get much publicity when i do, "if our founders intended for this to be a religious country, or if they intended the Republican party's ideals of conservatism to be the one and only ideology that should rightfully hold sway and therefore uphold their own ideals, why didn't they just write it down?

        Our founders had the quill pen in hand, the parchment stretched out on the table before them, if we were meant to be a party of Protestant Republicans (a party that did not exist until 1854) with conservative ideology to the exclusion of any other, then surely they could have put that in ink and not given us the freedom to choose to be anything else.

        And we've reached a point in the political discourse where the Republican party is now claiming that to be anything but what they are is to betray the country, and that is the beginning of insurrection. They're gunning (to use a 'loaded' word) for a fight, and it's going beyond mere ideological and political discourse when people start getting shot.

        So what I'm asking for is that we, as Democrats and independents and even "undecideds" recognize that there is a segment of this country that is considering taking up arms, and in that spirit, some misguided but surely convinced individual may in fact do just that, as seemed to be the case with Atkisson and Johnson.

        Although Savage can still claim a rightful defense, that doesn't bring back the dead, and it's to the point where the family and loved ones of those who are dead have a right to demand people be held responsible for the words that do have consequences;

        If Savage got shot, do you think he'd just accept being paralyzed or buried and ask his heirs to raise a flag in the spirit of free speech?

        I don't.

        So our call to arms must be an intellectual one (I know Republicans are hostile to any "pointy headed" intellectuals. ahem) to make sure that the rules apply in both directions with equal objectivity. If words have consequences, then let's see them; if we're going to say they don't...

        ...well then, we're in for one mother of a horrible ride.

        George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

        by snafubar on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 05:50:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Words have Clear and Present Consequences (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow

    There was even a movie made about such things.
    Clear and Present Danger
    Based on Tom Clancy's fine novel of the same name. Also ... Hollywood's adaptation of the Iran-Contra affair!

    Anyone out there remember?

    1. Iran-Contra
    1. Poindexter
    1. William Casey
    1. Pappy Bush

    No more gooper LITE!

    by krwada on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 02:16:41 PM PDT

  •  LaserDisc (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow

    ummm... I just noticed this... Does anyone remember LaserDisc???

    Now ... I am feeling ye Olde!

    No more gooper LITE!

    by krwada on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 02:19:03 PM PDT

  •  Good diary but... (0+ / 0-)

    Marvin Gaye was killed by his father in a domestic dispute over money.  How is that related to hate-speech inspired violence?

    "The truth is only an excuse for a poor imagination"

    by las casas on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 02:33:02 PM PDT

  •  its all about plausible deniability. (0+ / 0-)

    the inciters mean to incite.

    we'll stand him up against a wall and pop goes the weasel /rufus t. firefly

    by 2nd balcony on Wed Mar 11, 2009 at 02:34:14 PM PDT

  •  One way is to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ms Citizen, kaolin

    argue the issues with our RW friends/family, but be able to say, "How 'bout dem Steelers?" and change the subject.  I have found this to be effective.  We move on to other subjects,  avoid a screaming match, and discuss food, kids, the weather... whatever.  It maintains contact while no one wins the political fight, and no one loses.

    I have been a hothead in the past, and am not without sin wrt violent rhetoric, but hopefully I have grown.

    I learned these moves and motives right here at Dkos, from teachers like TK, MB, and countless other thoughtful people.  And I have become more even-tempered and patient.  

    A frequent political adversary and I recently had a discussion of evolution/religion where we had essentially come to the same conclusion!  It was an awakening.  I was surprised she had considered the issue so deeply, and I'm sure she was equally surprised, (though I had primed her previously wrt her assumption that I hated religion & church b/c I'm a librul, lol!)

    A brick to the forehead never changed a mind, IMO, (it never changed mine).  

    Maybe we should start calling in to Rush & Hannity an saying, "How 'bout dem Steelers?"  

    They're inciting people in the manner of spectator sports and not taking responsibility for the wreakage they incur.  

    Maybe we can change the subject long enough to meet their listeners on more common ground.

  •  Thank you for writing this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ms Citizen

    Excellent teachable points.

N in Seattle, Kimberley, C S McCrum, Superskepticalman, Mimikatz, From the choir, Aeolus, hannah, Odysseus, lowkell, Buckeye BattleCry, ogre, Rayne, Mountain Don, Nina Katarina, alisonk, Powered Grace, nicolemm, whataboutbob, ScientistMom in NY, BigOkie, newjeffct, jethropalerobber, TechBob, dengre, krwada, Conshieguy, Wintermute, Andrew C White, mlharges, Jim W, Hope Despite All, ThatTallGuy, rhubarb, celdd, ThirstyGator, willyr, x, freelunch, frisco, marjo, zeroooo, mataliandy, bostonjay, Heart of the Rockies, RubDMC, opinionated, bronte17, susans, EricS, Dazy, cskendrick, brillig, wonkydonkey, nyceve, understandinglife, SecondComing, SoCalJayhawk, Ian S, KMc, Cool Blue Reason, mkfarkus, LickBush, SAQuestor, samddobermann, sngmama, ornerydad, oceanview, Jesterfox, wader, DustyMathom, NMRed, JimDev, tomephil, nancelot, danthrax, TexDem, oldjohnbrown, KevinEarlLynch, MA Liberal, grannyhelen, Samer, ssundstoel, johanus, Nina, texasmom, Chirons apprentice, defluxion10, annetteboardman, 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