Friday, January 14, 2011

Catch-22

Conversations kill.
The Big Empty - Stone Temple Pilots

Everyone gets that talk of 2nd amendment solutions and cross hairs didn’t cause a Tucson lunatic to go postal. The guy who pulled the trigger would probably associate the name "Sarah" with a cheesecake.

Instead of tying a specific instance of violence to political rhetoric, a more accurate interpretation of the national response is that a giant alarm blasted a signal many could hear, awakening them to what has been around since Obama's election, “Holy shit! We’ve got national leaders pasting gun sights over elected officials! We’ve got people talking about bullets replacing ballots! Republicans think Obama’s an extra-terrestrial!”

Caught with their claws elbow deep in the vitriol jar, the hate mongers are pleading for everyone to stop pointing fingers, “We didn’t do it! We hate violence! Not our fault!”

The crime is the act of the criminal and the criminal alone. Sarah said so on Wednesday so it must be true. No one else is responsible. We’re not connected. Our words and images don't influence each other. Doctored photos showing our president as a witch doctor, a Nazi, a butcher, a demon, a clown, a monster are harmless. No worries about those Palin rallies where crowds were whipped into shouts of "Kill him!" regarding the black monster who "pals around with terrorists seeking to kill Americans."

It's all good fun in politics.

Say this blog had an audience as large as Beck's or Limbaugh's or Palin's. Is it fine if I publish provocative images with moving paragraphs about the victims and strong assertions about who has blood on her keyboard? Would it be responsible for me to note that it’s less than $500 to fly into Anchorage? Take the Glenn Highway north out of Anchorage about 40 miles into Wasilla. Make a left at Lucas Road and another left onto Nevada. 1140 W. Parks Hwy is right there.

A motivated criminal can locate this information in seconds, and crimes are committed by criminals alone. There's no issue with my conveniently packaging it for an audience of millions and any particular kook who might be among those millions. It isn't dangerous at all.

Now Sarah's getting death threats, and I guess it's not fun anymore. Palin staffer Rebecca Mansour asserts, "When you start to accuse people of having the blood of innocent people on their hands, it incites violence."

Huh? What about that criminal acting alone stuff? You mean I shouldn't have posted the above? Which is it? What about the accusation that someone pals around with terrorists seeking to kill Americans? What does that incite? Weenie roasts at parks?

So Sarah can dish out buckets of venom at will, and the death threats and / or violence her targets experience are the result of criminals having nothing to do with her rhetoric. That's free speech. If someone flings as much as a teaspoon of sentiment that her activities may be culpable in people getting hurt, that's blood libel.

8 Comments:

Anonymous chuck freitas said...

Have you forgotten the "target" map used by the DNC in 2004, or is your issue with only conservatives??

1/14/2011 6:13 AM  
Anonymous Observer said...

Wasn’t the DNC map already addressed? I don’t recall talk in 2004 of reloading and shooting automatic weapons and second amendment solutions and taking people out and …. I also don't recall the DNC map being Facebooked and Twittered and email blasted to the ten of millions of seething masses, and we sure as hell didn’t have the recent level of hate speech back then.

Since you may not have noticed, this blog is for thinkers and constantly progresses. Note he doesn’t post often. He THINKS. Did you read the title of the post? Did you read the post, or just scan it?

Sarah Palin is receiving a massive surge in death threats, and x4mr just gave “everyone” explicit directions to her home including a picture, and you are asking about a DNC map from 2004?

I’ll ask you something that comes from actually reading this post. Does the criminal act alone, as Sarah Palin asserts in her video, or not, as she contradicts herself minutes later in the same video? If someone reads x4mr and flies to Alaska and massacres the Palin family, did x4mr play a role? What if he knew he had an audience of 30 million?

Engage the brain.

I’ll comment with my thoughts later.

1/14/2011 7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin isn't the only one finding herself on the other side of some cross hairs.

Tucson tea party chair Trent Humphries, who has commented at this blog for years (as Framer), has received phone messages in quantity and severity such that he had to change his phone number. Apparently police have told him to avoid public gatherings.

He once ran for office, and for awhile there it looked like his tea fame might make another run a sure thing. Well, he can forget about running for anything in this town.

1/14/2011 9:21 AM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

I had the same reaction to Chuck as Observer did. Aren't we finished with the map itself?

The details contain fuzzy boundaries, but of course we're connected and Palin's behavior, as is Limbaugh's, is horribly irresponsible. It's illegal to shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater and we know why.

Palin is a self-serving opportunist who saw that she could make a fortune telling morons what they want to hear. People don't listen to Palin or Limbaugh or Fox for news. They want to hear what they want to hear, and they know where to get it.

If somehow the country turned against hate speech and vitriol, Palin and Limbaugh would see their $40 M annual cash cows shrink.

Sadly, I think things will return to sick state of affairs soon enough. Almost by definition, the mob served by Palin and Limbaugh neither think nor learn. They just hate.

I like the Catch-22 title.

1/14/2011 1:26 PM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

I am now able to say a little more about x4mr's 3/25/2010 post. The following occurred as a result of thousands of google searches after Giffords was shot.

Sustainability, Equity, Development: Retreating, Reloading, and Aiming
Thursday, March 25, 2010 ... Ann Kirkpatrick, Harry Mitchell, and Gabrielle Giffords are clearly identified in the first column. ... glass window with a bullet proof one now that she is in Sarah Palin's crosshairs. 3/25/2010 8:38 PM ...
x4mr.blogspot.com/2010/03/retreating-reloading-and-aiming.html - Cached

I'm not sure how this stuff works, but I'll point out that the final words about the glass window and Sarah Palin's cross hairs were not those of x4mr. They were part of a comment that Liza made at that post.

It is entirely possible that Liza's comment played as big a role as x4mr's original words in that post getting the attention that it got.

Those who comment should know that their remarks are appended to the blog entry and included in the google search machinery.

1/14/2011 9:59 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Nav,
I'm curious about where you're getting this, but okay. Blogs are probably getting back to the normal flow.

Though I didn't see what you posted per se, I could tell many of the searches were image searches.

What really itched were the Facebook links here that I could not see. Who did it? What did they say? I will never know.

Regarding Giffords, I am still hurting quite a bit. I just can't believe it, still. It has shaken the foundation of a lot of the ways I see the world. At work this week I was utterly pathetic. I just can't believe this happened TO HER, and reading about her heroic fight for her life is just killing me.

1/15/2011 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:21 - so why did Trent Humphryes attend the ABC town hall?

1/17/2011 7:33 PM  
Blogger Sirocco said...

"Tucson tea party chair Trent Humphries, who has commented at this blog for years (as Framer), has received phone messages in quantity and severity such that he had to change his phone number. Apparently police have told him to avoid public gatherings."

If this is true, it's really very sad.



Coming back to x4mr's questions in his post, yes, I think if someone did fly up to Alaska and fire shots as Ms. Palin, then x4mr become partially complicit. The same logic applies to him as applies to the reverse case. The degree of his complicity is ameliorated to some extent by the relative paucity of regular readers he has compared to Palin.

This complicity would increase by a huge amount if it was found the shooter had visited this blog prior to making his excursion to Alaska.

1/24/2011 9:21 AM  

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