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KevenSeven On January - 4 - 2010

PLAINS, Ga. — The U.S. Secret Service says it is investigating an effigy of President Barack Obama found hanging from a building in the hometown of former President Jimmy Carter.

As perfectly despicable and racist as this patently is, it does not look to me to be a crime, and certainly not treason, as some hyperventilating commenters have suggested.

Treason, btw, is the only crime defined in the Constitution. And one cannot commit it by being mean to the president. Treason is an act against the nation, not the president. The president is not the nation. I had enough of that tripe from BushCo.

Obviously the Secret Service is going to have a long and very serious conversation with the person responsible. I have met those guys. You don’t want to get them agitated. The guy that did this is going on a list from which he will never escape.

But the first amendment is pretty absolute. The govt shall make no law abridging speech. And the courts have interpreted that as protecting all sorts of things. Porn is protected. The only reason kiddie porn is not protected is that obviously a crime must be committed to produce it. Somebody is harmed.

Direct incitements to violence are not protected, but the burning of the flag is protected. I’m thinking that where you can burn the flag, you can hang the president in effigy.

Regardless of what it says about you as a person.

232 Responses so far.

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  1. escribacat says:

    OT — Speaking of hate, check out the main and picture at HP right now. “Democrats are Dropping Like Flies” with a giant picture of a dead fly.

  2. VegasBabe says:

    HEH! Not more than TWO friggin years ago whites all across this nation, educated and otherwise were denying and ignoring racism in this country often claiming, “that’s always the first thing blacks say”……and now it’s so much in your face you’d have to be on dope and dogfood to miss it.

    • AdLib says:

      Remember the MSM and right wing meme after Obama’s election, “This is a post-racial society now.”

      And if Sarah Palin had wheels she’d be a snowplow.

    • KQuark says:

      More than anything electing President Obama opened up the eyes of many people to how racist many in this nation still are. I still want to throw up any time I see stories like this because it shows how far we need to go. I’ve given this link many times but anytime anyone experiences racism in their area they should contact the SPLC.

      http://www.splcenter.org/

      You can’t legislate away intolerance and bigotry but you can fight it by bringing it to the light of day. Before it was much worse when the nation was in denial about it’s racist reality.

      • Khirad says:

        Sometimes I ask my Georgia-born dad about the more coded stuff, that they say “wasn’t really meant that way” -- since he remembers the “what are you talking about, we love our coloreds” days (I will edit that if it’s offensive to any of you). Whenever, giving them the benefit of the doubt, I’m not sure if I’m overreacting he says, oh no, that’s definitely racist with a knowing voice -- they know exactly what they are doing. It’s an honed art.

        I don’t need to tell you any of this, KQuark, but as part of the younger generation that helped elect Obama, and how much I intellectually know racism is still out there, it is indeed a visceral see-it-to-believe-it experience after his election. The uptick, that the SPLC itself has seen in the KKKK and neo-Nazi white supremacist groups.

        Speaking of, Pfffffffffotenhauer was just on with the same old talking points about Janet and the right wing extremism report dredged up from last year almost (wasn’t that like last Feb or March? how time flies…). Honestly, what is their problem? You need to get your eyes checked if you can’t see the fringes of the Invisible Empire are not-so-invisible lately.

        • KQuark says:

          If you don’t have a visceral reaction to racism there is something wrong with you.

          I get angry but when I see the pain on my wife’s face sometimes especially reading comments from assholes about the first lady it goes even deeper than anger. True racism is corrosive to your soul and that’s what most people that don’t experience it personally don’t understand.

      • escribacat says:

        Morris Dees is my hero!

      • abby4ever says:

        You are so right about that, KQ. You can’t legislate away intolerance and bigotry and racism any more than you can legislate morality. All you can do, as you say, is expose it with light…and turn on the light, on those who engage in it, so hard and so bright that they cringe and slither away.

        Or, better yet, reform.

      • AdLib says:

        As I’ve mentioned, my eyes were opened wide years ago when I started spending a lot of time in Louisiana.

        You get a very misguided picture of the way things are when it comes to race in this nation when you live in L.A. instead of LA.

        • KQuark says:

          I traveled a few times with a salesperson that said they were from LA. Lower Alabama.

          I could tell you dozens of stories about my Southern exposure.

          The biggest thing I learned is hate comes from all sides but if you live your life as an example of love like my wife and I do it changes people’s perceptions more than you can imagine.

        • escribacat says:

          Adlib, I had a similar experience when I moved from San Francisco back to Colorado. That was a shock! Even though I’m near ultra-liberal Boulder and Denver is pretty liberal too, the rest of Colorado has not progressed quite as well — to put it politely.

          • PepeLepew says:

            Sounds like Montana.

            Kalispell literally terrifies me.

          • jan4insight says:

            Durango is pretty hip. It’s the
            Colorado springs area you have to watch out for -- between the Air Force Academy and Focus on the Family …. well, it’s really right wingish, to say the least.

            Whenever I return home from Colo (or anywhere else, for that matter) I want to kiss the ground when I see that Welcome to New Mexico sign 😉

      • PepeLepew says:

        d’accord.

        I mean, I *knew* racism was still out there … but I learned a new appreciation for how rampant it still was.

  3. dannie22 says:

    I’d like to write a post about this post. That is if my last comment doesn’t get me banned. You have no idea how livid I am right now. None.

    • AdLib says:

      We don’t ban people and your outrage is totally understandable but misdirected.

      This is a community of people from all around the world who care strongly about what’s going on in this world.

      You’ve read articles here, you can get a feel for it. We don’t play the HuffPo Rage Game here and everyone, you too, deserves and is assured respect here to freely express themselves.

      And the only way to assure that is to require a minimum of respect that says, no personal attacks.

    • abby4ever says:

      Then cool off before you attempt to write it, that’s always a good idea. You may decide not to write it at all.

    • KQuark says:

      If you read through the comments you will see people like me disagreed with this post. I know you harped on one comment I made about nooses but I also said hanging the president in effigy went far beyond just free speech and was an implicit threat at the least. My personal feelings for the atrocity go far deeper than even that.

      I understand being hot about this post because I was hot too but each post comes down to one person’s opinion not everyone’s opinion on the site.

      If you want to know how I stand on hate crimes this post may give you a better indication.

      http://planetpov.com/2009/09/15/its-getting-ugly-out-there-folks/

  4. jan4insight says:

    This just in ~ man arrested & charged for death threat against Obama.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/04/john-turnpaugh-obama-deat_n_411172.html

    I see it as all part of the relentlessly hate-filled atmosphere that our political discourse has become.

    • AdLib says:

      He should be arrested and obviously is mentally ill but does he represent a concrete threat as HuffPo is whipping up?

      No.

      He called 911 to say that he wanted to kill the president. Why would anyone who was sane and capable call 911 to announce that?

      Is that the act of someone who wants to kill or someone who wants attention, likely for his mentally illness?

    • nellie says:

      Has anyone else noticed that HP is becoming the gussied up version of AP? Almost all the articles are AP articles now.

      Thanks for the link, jan. I don’t mean to change the subject. I’ve just been noticing this lately.

      • KQuark says:

        Yeah even their columnists like Stein and Grim are regurgitating AP stuff. I guess it’s a move up from constantly quoting the WSJ. The biggest thing I noticed is all the other blogs are scooping them, like the last bypass the conference committee story wrt healthcare because they are so concerned about pushing their memes instead of reporting the news.

        • nellie says:

          That bypassing the conference committee story was a major development. And I saw it here before I saw it anywhere else. HP was a full day behind. I think they downplayed it because they missed the boat.

      • jan4insight says:

        True (about HP), but it’s always been like that. I often get the same stories from my Yahoo news when I go there to check my e-mail.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Isn’t it weird that he called 911 to announce his plans? Did he want to be stopped or did he want the attention of being arrested?

      • jan4insight says:

        Yes, it is weird -- and I suspect he may have mixed motives, including both of the ones you suggested.

        I’m glad they caught this guy, but I’m really afraid of the ones who act WITHOUT calling 911!

        For those of you who pray, you might include the safety of our President and his family in your prayers.

  5. SueInCa says:

    I just finished reading A Doctor’s Story by Lucie Adelsberger who spent time in Auschwitz II/ Birkenau. She made a statement in that book, “these dead demand a different revenge: the truth about Auschwitz. The world has to know that one small spark of hate can kindle an overwhelming conflagration that soon gets out of control. Then no one can extinguish it…………”

    It is an undercurrent in our country right now and if it is not stopped, then I fear for our nation.

  6. SueInCa says:

    First of all, this is just ignorant on the part of the people who did this. But………….ignorance bred the KKK and I, for one, do not believe they are dead and gone. With all the threats that this president has gotten, I don’t think anyone can take this “effigy business” lightly. Funny, when someone in Hollywood did the same thing with Palin last year, the conservative/rethuglicans/tea partiers were all up in arms. And if I remember correctly, either Pelosi or Reid spoke up against it.

  7. KevenSeven says:

    Ad Lib makes a pretty good point on the question: is this a threat?

    He says that it depends on intent.

    The difficulty is that we don’t arrest people or imprison them for what they intend to do. Unless they conspire to commit a crime, of course.

    Who can know what was in this old bat’s mind? I certainly would not care to speculate.

    Give me the choice: squash “threats” to the president, or maintain free speech,; I’ll take the free speech.

    Even if it means tolerating racist assholes hanging the president in effigy. The president is just one man. Freedom of speech is more important than one man.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      What if the intent is to incite, and the effigy is successful at that? It doesn’t directly result in assassination, but what if it results in creating a climate of hatred that leads to other acts of violence? Free speech comes with responsibilities, and to paraphrase Brandeis, I know hate speech when I see it.

    • nellie says:

      Freedom of speech does not include threatening speech or inciting speech.

      There is a broad misunderstanding of what “freedom of speech” means. It pertains to law making and acts of congress. It does not mean we can say whatever we want whenever we want. Libel and slander laws illustrate that.

      • KevenSeven says:

        Yes, you are correct, that incitement and threats are not covered.

        Now, imagine you are a prosecutor. Can you make a case? I doubt it.

        And the reason that you cannot is because the govt cannot ban hateful speech. Is this simply an expression of hatred or is it an incitement?

        How can you prove to me that it is an incitement? How can any of us know?

        • nellie says:

          You mean intent? Intent is part of every criminal case. It is up to every prosecutor to prove intent.

          • KevenSeven says:

            I’m sorry, yes, intent.

            I grant you that it would be necessary to prove intent. And I don’t know that it could be done.

            And I guarantee you that the admin is not gonna want granny Hitler prosecuted. Who needs another martyr? As if there is not enough faux complaints from white folk being abused by political correctness. The sniveling turds.

    • AdLib says:

      This is why the SS needs to check out any such incident as a potential threat, to assess whether it is in fact a real threat.

      Choicelady below fills in a lot of blanks with her insights and raised a question in my mind.

      Would burning a cross be protected speech in any situation? Or would it always be seen as a threat towards black people?

      If so, then can the hanging in effigy of a public official (who’s also black) ever be seen as not expressing a threat?

      A threat doesn’t need action to be taken for it to be a crime. A person could even claim to be joking when they made a death threat but the action of having done so in itself is a crime.

      Also, think about bomb hoaxes. If one called somewhere to say there was a bomb planted there but never planted a bomb nor had any intention of doing so, never representing or intending an actual threat, they would still be guilty of a crime.

      I think there are some acts of expression in a free society that are by their nature, criminal whether or not actual harm is intended.

      So I would back off my intent threshold in some cases after reading Choicelady’s points.

      • nellie says:

        Any time a threat is made to a president — especially in a public manner — it deserves attention. This woman may be as harmless as a starling. But that does not mean she has free reign to make threats to our head of state.

        Or to anyone for that matter. Threats are not ok.

        • KevenSeven says:

          Oh, I have not seen anyone here saying that she should not experience the steely gaze of the Secret Service.

          And as I say, she deserves to be the public object of ridicule. Along with everybody who knows her. Point at the racists, call them out. I am with you.

          But let them speak. Let them make themselves obvious to the rest of us.

  8. choicelady says:

    Hi KevenSEven-

    I work with the FBI and other organizations to prevent hate crimes. This effigy does fill the bill. It is not protected speech if it conveys a true threat, and hanging effigies do that. That’s a national standard, so while I totally agree it’s not treason, it IS “hate speech” that carries penalties for its fearmongering.

    Now, lest someone say hate crimes punish thought, they do not. You can think and even say any damned thing you want. Hate crime laws punish ACTIONS. All crimes -- ALL -- go to motive. When the issue is sending a message designed to stop someone from acting as he or she would of their own free will, or to send fear through an entire group (e.g., Black people) then it carries the hate crimes enhancement.

    There are many instances of enhanced penalties for crimes that are “cause crimes” that target whole groups, so this is not just about Obama, it does not penalize thought and speech per se, it is around an action that is designed to be fearful. That’s why the witch doctor signes and other such nastiness are NOT hate crimes. They are not symbols of death. This is.

    And, to add one more dimension: there are no protected classes of people. NONE. There are protected characteristics we all have: race, religion, ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, etc. We all have them. White people can be and are protected against crimes directed against them by people of color -- just doesn’t happen often. So don’t get mad because you think certain groups get extra protection because they do NOT. The crimes directed against any characteristic can affect us all.

    Hope that clarifies?

    • KevenSeven says:

      Interesting points. How many of them have been tested in court?

      Bush was hung in effigy. Palin was hung in effigy.

      Was anyone charged? Or were those not threats?

      • choicelady says:

        Interesting point. I don’t know. I think there is an embedded issue of who did it. As complicated as it gets, if the effigy was hung by someone who is Black, it might have been. Hard to do a realistic assessment of racial bias of white-on-white crime, yes? The characteristics don’t extend to “being president”. They DO extend to “being Black” and being president is beside the fact, back to your point about its not being treason. Courts are very careful, so I imagine if the Bush and Palin (I don’t recall that -- Cheney, yes) effigies were linked to white people, then no, not a hate crime. Mean and nasty, yes. Not a hate crime.

    • KQuark says:

      There are laws sprouting up around the country just to ban hanging a noose. For me that may be a little too much unless you can prove intent.

      But to actually hang a representation of President Obama is a pretty explicit statement and I thought Adlib put it the best when he said it should be investigated as a “potential” threat. Actually in the intelligence world I doubt potential threats are treated much differently than known threats these days anyway.

      • dannie22 says:

        You don’t like laws banning hanging nooses? Unless there’s a dead n@@@@@r attached. Then it’s a crime. Otherwise. Why would you have a noose hanging in the first place?

        • KevenSeven says:

          You are prepared to assume intent. But that is not the same thing as proving intent.

          I agree with you that whoever is hanging a noose is nearly certainly a racist asshole. But I don’t want them to go to prison when it is necessary that we assume their intent.

          There is a reason that the first amendment is so absolute.

        • AdLib says:

          dannie22, you are welcome here but any comments with personal attacks are not so your reply with one towards KQuark was removed along with the replies to it. The primary rule here is simple, real freedom of expression but no personal attacks.

          This site is far different from sites like HuffPo that profit off of and are delighted by people dissing each other.

          This isn

        • KQuark says:

          I don’t like indiscriminate laws. Sure most of the time there is intent behind hanging the noose. Those people should be investigated and even prosecuted in some instances.

          I really don’t need the lecture though. I know what a racial act of hate is because my home’s been pelted by eggs because I just happened to fall in love with and marry an African American woman.

          • AdLib says:

            dannie22, you are welcome here.

            However, this site is far different from sites like HuffPo that profit off of and are delighted by people dissing each other.

            This isn’t a place for throwing rocks at other people’s heads when you don’t like what they say.

            Here, people disagree all the time but see each other as genuine human beings, not anonymous punching bags.

            It may be a bit of culture shock, coming from the hatefest that’s HuffPo but that’s what makes this place something better.

            If you reread his comment, you’ll see KQuark was not condoning the use of nooses. He was looking ahead and exploring the concept of people using valid reasons to create bad laws to go too far and take away freedoms.

            Here, people are free to explore concepts like the abuse of law under cover of protecting people.

            Do you blindly trust those who make laws to always do the right thing? What about The Patriot Act?

            Your outrage over the racism that was obvious in the hanging of Obama in effigy is totally legit.

            But going at a member here who clearly is not racist and is just as appalled by such things is not.

            The kneejerk reaction and warfare style of blogging is for right wingers and of course, HuffPo. You get to be a real human being here, deserving of respect. But you have to give it too.

            I hope that’s something you’re looking for, if so, I think you’ll find this site very satisfying.

          • KQuark says:

            I did not demean your opinion or attack you.

            I was rather upset when I read this post as well. If I had my way I would outlaw hanging a rebel flag since I know what hate they stand for but there has to be intent when something is made illegal.

            I don’t know why you have the need to attack me personally or feel you have the right to preach to me. Frankly you don’t fucking know me and therefore don’t have the right to attack me personally.

          • whatsthatsound says:

            Maybe “that is what people on blogs do”, but on PlanetPOV we do it with much greater civility and respect than you do in this post. I have never seen a more uncalled for response on this site, and I hope I never do again.

            • KQuark says:

              I appreciate the support. I’m a big boy and can take it. I as emotional as anyone when I see the hateful pictures and story about President Obama as you know. But this kind of behavior will not be tolerated for long.

            • bitohistory says:

              Got a thumbs down from me, WTS.

    • Emerald1943 says:

      Hey choicelady! Excellent comment! :-)

  9. Emerald1943 says:

    I’m not just trying to get people to read my stuff, but I just posted a new article that concerns breaking news that is extremely important IMO.

    I would ask you all to keep an eye on this situation…”Our Failed Intelligence” and I welcome your feedback and discussion.

  10. Chernynkaya says:

    OK, I’m about to lower the tone of this really good discussion, but I feel like being honest.

    I hate the people who hang effigies. I hate people who are racists and who write those signs. I hate hate. That is a contradiction, I know, but it is how I feel, and I admit I must work on this. But seriously, over the past eight years, there are deep wells of hatred in me that I never knew existed.

    At first, I merely disliked Bush/Cheney intensely. But I have grown to hate them and the smug way they destroyed this country, with the help of C Street and their ilk. I hate the hypocrisy of the religious Right. And I hate the people who practice that hypocrisy. And I hate most Republicans for their self-righteous bootstraps greedy ideology.

    So I guess I have some work to do. I am reminded of Ram Dass, who, after Bush was re-elected, put a photo of him on his prayer altar. He said that unless he could really pray for even Bush, he felt he hadn’t done his spiritual work. Well, I’ll never get to that level, but I realize that stories like this only incite me, and that makes me more like them than I care to be.

    • PepeLepew says:

      Cher, it’s OK.

      Anger is an energy.


    • AdLib says:

      I respect people such as Ram Dass even though that philosophy is so foreign to me.

      There are terrible people in the world who either directly or indirectly intend to harm others.

      Of course, the extreme example would be to ask if praying for Hitler would have done more to end WWII than D-Day.

      In large doses, hatred is indeed a cancer. But in moderate doses, anger and hostility can motivate one or a society to take constructive steps they might otherwise be too uncomfortable or afraid to take.

      My hostility towards Bush led me to pour myself into blogging and working to elect Obama.

      The hatred of Bush brought the whole Progressive movement together.

      In moderation, many things can have a constructive use.

      • Emerald1943 says:

        My own feelings about Bush/Cheney had the same effect on me. I had never blogged before and really thought I didn’t have much to say…Heh Heh! Oh boy! Little did I know at that point!

        To my way of thinking, I have some really “heavy” feelings towards them. I have to remind myself that the karma that they will reap is unavoidable!

        • AdLib says:

          Look at the “Connect the Dots”:

          I was outraged against Bush & Co. and driven to find a blog to join like-minded people to share in conversations and taking action in bringing his regime to an end.

          I joined HuffPo, learned the ropes of blogging and made many valuable friends and colleagues.

          After the election and I was fed up with the bullshit at HuffPo and eventually collaborated with three fellow bloggers and friends to create PlanetPOV.

          So, in a way, it was my hatred of the Bush Regime and what he had done to our people and nation that set everything in motion for a constructive website such as this to come to fruition.

          Very interesting indeed.

      • KQuark says:

        Negative feelings are about the biggest motivation for humans to change the status quo. It’s in our DNA.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Adlib, I believe there is no advantage to becoming “enlightened” if it means sitting on the mountaintop. The point is to act on it, as you have done. And the truth is, my feelings have motivated me to become an activist. I just feel my heart is too dark about this,to the point of….I don’t know. Something not good.

        • AdLib says:

          I totally understand, Cher. My reservoir of hatred topped out during the election while at HuffPo (don’t know which was the bigger source of it!).

          After the election, I was elated with Obama’s (and our) victory and the sour taste in my mouth from all that hatred drove a need to transcend it in a way.

          I quit HuffPo, I quit focusing on the hatred I felt for assholes like Cheney and Lieberman and giving them the power to affect me.

          Haters will be haters (and by haters, I mean those who hate the public and hate the idea of a better society for those who aren’t rich and powerful).

          Of course they will do everything they can to undermine and stop this president and the Dems in Congress. I’m not surprised by how awful they can be anymore, I take it for granted.

          As you know, that doesn’t stop me from paying close attention to them and fighting against their lies and agendas.

          I just don’t need to stew around in hate anymore towards them, I got all “hated out” and am more about purpose now.

          Look, if Christ came back today, The GOP would have him held in Guantanamo if they could for being a “socialist illegal alien” (he wouldn’t have a U.S. birth certificate). When you know people are that bad, it’s harder to become outraged.

          • Chernynkaya says:

            I definitely hear you. I think what I need to do is to limit the amount of time I give to those that evoke such visceral animus. I went to HP today to gather my Obama blogs and left real fast after glancing at a few comments-- felt the bile rising. I don’t need that-- in fact, I CAN’T be there. But will I watch Maddow, and read about the GOP-- I have to. I think I will just come in contact with the more toxic news in small doses until I am inoculated, but not immune.

    • KQuark says:

      I don’t see the contradiction. Now acting on that hatred is something else including prejudging people based on that hatred. Like if someone says they are a Republican I don’t automatically hate them. In fact most Republicans I meet I get alone fine and I have many Republican friends even though I do hate some things they believe in and don’t back down on my beliefs with them. Believe me I’ve taken my share of grief working in the career I did and living down South because most of the people I came in contact with were Republicans.

      Also repressing that hatred is not healthy for yourself more than anyone else.

      Fuck Dick Cheney!

    • bitohistory says:

      Cher, I found myself in the same thought process and I don’t like it. I t so shameful what BushCo has done…And be sooo Smug about it. It is difficult, very difficult, to not have a shadow on one’s heart. They may make me feel sadness and anger but I hpoe I will not allow them to darken my heart.

    • Emerald1943 says:

      Hating hatred is one of those cognitive dissonances that we sometimes have to battle.

      I’ve been Buddhist for over 20 years, and I know my spiritual development is still lacking. I am having much difficulty with people who torture and kill innocent victims. Soooo, Cheney does not get my prayers. That’s gonna’ take a lot of work!

    • KevenSeven says:

      Me? I think I was saying that we should not fear speech, even hateful speech.

      • nellie says:

        We should definitely fear speech — or if not fear, be alert to it. Hate speech is often the precursor to hateful actions. And we need to take it seriously. And in some cases, fear is a very intelligent response to hate speech.

        • KevenSeven says:

          Obviously we need not fear speech, but rather action. Certainly one must take hate speech seriously, but in many cases the best response is to scoff at the asshole making the speech.

          I think we have a perfect example in Plains. Point at her. Laugh at her. Laugh at her fellow residents. Shame the haters.

          • nellie says:

            Wrong. Speech is a precursor to action. And it needs to be respected. As someone who lives threatened by all kinds of hate speech, let me tell you, it is no joke. And when someone says something dangerous, an intelligent response is to be afraid and run away.

        • KQuark says:

          Good point add deceptive and manipulative speech to that as well. Speech is nothing but an extension of people’s though processes or feelings. It’s the smoke before the fire. Time and time again as soon as the hate speech is accepted into the mainstream hate action follows.

          I don’t think hate speech should be banned but it should be monitored and put into the proper perspective as a potential threat.

          If we do have a conversation on free speech we should try to get Mo on it because he’s got some great insight from another perspective.

          • nellie says:

            Agreed. I don’t think any kind of speech should be banned, unless it threatens children. It’s hard to argue with that paradigm.

            But speech is always in context, and we need to pay attention to context. Nothing is absolute one way or the other. Meaning is what matters.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        I wasn’t responding to your post, K7, as much as the images it evoked, and to the photo in one of the replies. But I do not fear it, in the sense that as Nat Hentoff once said, better to know what’s in people’s minds. It’s not exactly fear-- although I too think that in the unique circumstance of a AA President-- extra precautions must be taken. It’s loathing for the reasons behind the speech.

        • KevenSeven says:

          Oh, it is certainly loathsome. I have said that repeatedly: the racists have the right to expose themselves as assholes, and we have a right to call them out for being assholes.

    • kesmarn says:

      A very honest post, Cher! I’ve been there, too. It’s amazing how easily we can be pulled into the world of fear and anger that is the natural habitat of the Bush/Cheney types. And that’s just what they want. Misery does indeed love company.
      I actually did pray for the Bush creeps, although the words practically stuck in my throat to the point of emesis! Emotionally I didn’t “feel” the prayer at all, but I felt that if I didn’t, at the very least, wish that the “light” would come into their lives, I was going to end up in a very dark place mentally. I just couldn’t go there. It was almost a form of self-preservation for me to say no to the impulse to wish them ill. But, God, that impulse was there. I can’t deny it.

    • Khirad says:

      Just another reason I’d make a horrible Buddhist.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        One of the greatest Zen teachers — Suzuki I think-- was dying of cancer. His students watched his every move, every facial expression at the beginning of his announced illness. At some point he said to them, “I know you all want to learn how a Buddhist dies. So I’ll tell you now. When I die, I will probably be going,’No, ouch! This is horrible!Oooohh, damn!’ ”

        Hardly with the serenity they’d expected.

        So, what’s a ‘good” Buddhist, anyway?

  11. Khirad says:

    I think we have ourselves a good Vox Populi topic, given the debate on free speech below.

  12. KQuark says:

    K7, I’m sure it was a laugh riot during the funeral of Stephen Tyrone Johns because he was killed by 88 year old right winger von Brunn.

    So what age do we stop worrying that people are threats at 65, 70 or 80 years old?

    If woman threaten Obama I guess they should not be taken seriously as well.

    Fine you think it’s free speech and I think it’s a threat but why do you have to belittle someone’s opinion all the time?

    • kesmarn says:

      K7, with all due respect, I think you’re undecided as to whether you want to engage in debate using logic or emotion.

      E.g., You still find your “immidiate [sic] reaction” to “learning that this was an old woman” “funny.”
      Yet when KQ objects to finding humor in potential or actual violence committed by seniors, you dismiss it as a “strawman.” That’s not consistent. Then when logical inconsistencies are pointed out, your debating technique/application of logic is to say: “So fucking kill me.”

      However, when others react this way, they are “thin skinned.” In short: the ground rules change constantly.

      I’m not dismissing emotional expressions as a debating technique. Or logic. But both together is not very effective. It’s like trying to ride two bicycles simultaneously.

    • kesmarn says:

      Right, KQuark! Squeaky Fromme? 1975?

  13. KQuark says:

    FYI.

    I’m convinced there is no such thing as a reasonable Republican in today’s GOP.

    Allen Quist, a Republican who is seeking to defeat Rep. Tim Walz in southern Minnesota

  14. Khirad says:

    A tad OT, but speaking of hate, check the ever-constipated one out:

    http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201001030003

    FU, you sanctimonious ass.


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