Mayhap a reincarnation of "Ermot" ?
Oh Terry B, if we must serve in any capacity as heads of "state" (and I hope I'm saying what both Ms. Mod and Pat would) we would prefer it to be a fictitious one. Still, shouldn't Uncle Stevie be the President of this "country"? :wink2:
Look, if you have a public forum, a "bully pulpit" or your own TV or radio show, you have a responsibility to keep a rein on your baser instincts. If you are in the public eye, your words might be used to justify anything. The past two years have seen some truly vile speech from leaders of one specific political party, both in the government and on the air. Do these people blithely think that phrases like "don't retreat, reload" or "I want (you) armed and dangerous" or "we will seek second amendment remedies" or "if we don't get our way with ballots we will turn to bullets" are just throw-aways? Do they really think that they are harmless? Because there are always nutjobs who do not understand metaphor, who are not capable of separating political rhetoric from reality. These are the people who act on those dog whistles. And make no mistake, they are indeed dog whistles for the base. And while most of the base just gets all frothy at the mouth, some of them will take it all very seriously. These people in the public eye, who are so careless with their words, now want to wave away any intimation that perhaps some of their rhetoric infected someone on the fringe. And no, there is no equivalency of "right" vs. "left". Anyone with half a brain can recall from which quarter the worst of this invective arose. And instead of dialing it back, toning it down... some are ramping it up. Really?? God/dess help us, they just don't get it.
Here's an interesting theory for you to mull over: Stochastic terrorism is the use of mass communications to stir up random lone wolves to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable. The stochastic terrorist is the person who uses mass media to broadcast memes that incite unstable people to commit violent acts. The stochastic terrorist then has plausible deniability: "Oh, it was just a lone nut, nobody could have predicted he would do that, and I'm not responsible for what people in my audience do." Further, the stochastic terrorist may be acting either negligently or deliberately, or may be in complete denial of their impact, just like a drunk driver who runs over a pedestrian without even realizing it. Finally, there is no conspiracy here: merely the twisted acts of individuals who are promoting extremism, who get access to national media in which to do it, and the rest follows naturally...
WORDS are powerful. And, if used as a weapon, they have CONSEQUENCES. These people - Palin, Beck, Bachman, Limbaugh and their ilk - love having the audience, the fame and fortune (especially fortune) but, when called to be responsible for what they say they demur and say "How could I know?" Cowards.
This guy, the shooter in Tucson, appears to be all over the map as far as ideology. But he hated the government - that is very clear. He had chosen Rep. Giffords as his target. Who knows why? At this point, we know that his elevator doesn't go to the top floor. We also know that, in Arizona, apparently insane people can easily buy guns and ammunition. That's something that needs to be talked about, too, but we all know where any suggestion that people don't need an assault weapon and 30-shot magazines will go. So let's just leave it at this:
Take responsibility for what you say.
Once again, a cartoon pegs it:
Now I know the term for what I'd been thinking might be going on about this guy -- stochastic terrorism. It still doesn't answer for me who might be loading the metaphorical gun, but that's a conspiracy theory for another thread. He did make the perfect ploy for that type of outcome and why IMO it is important to exercise freedom of speech responsibly. The outcry against broadcasting that encourages the us against them thinking isn't just about political correctness or "feeling good" as some like to decry and it isn't about suppressing first amendment rights. It's about realizing that manipulating public opinion by tapping into their fears does have consequences, and usually not to the better for the good of society as a whole. IMO
I usually try to avoid political discussions like the plague-because I'm a firm believer in not getting into a battle of wits as an unarmed man(in this case)...however, gun control or lack thereof is never going to stop randoms acts of insanity and death...guns are always going to be available to the those with evil hearts and rotted minds-the ones who suffer are the truly law abiding...and yes, I'm a gun owner and a concealed carry holder-but I'm not frothing at the mouth or waving the barrel about indiscriminately...I took schooling and have great respect and caution for what comes out of the barrel of any weapon, and I will vigorously defend my right to protect myself and my family-no matter what...
Corbin, we could argue 'til I'm blue about the face
Whether Sarah Palin is or isn't a disgrace.
I suspect we won't agree because we haven't yet
And the more I disagree, the angrier you get.
Free speech, by the Government, should never be curtailed.
But when we resort to threats, then somewhere something's failed.
All the hateful rhetoric's destructive to the State
Coming from the left or right. I don't discriminate.
No, we can't stop crazy but it's sometimes hard to tell
The crazies from the mainstream politicians when they yell.
And, although I've never claimed the left is always right
They do not appear to be the ones who want a fight.
I was hurt to be accused of "dancing" in some blood.
But I'm sorry if my rhyming strikes you as a dud.
I think maybe Ms. Mod's hit the nail upon the head;
How about we both employ civility instead?
Could it be Republican's majority's down two
Congressmen who weren't sworn in with all the other new
Representatives because they were not on the Floor
Taking Oaths of Office which the other Members swore?
These guys skipped the swearing in 'cause they were raising cash,
Schmoozing with their donors and they wouldn't leave the bash -
Even for their swearing in. They watched it on T.V.
Raised their hands and said that they would discharge faithfully
All their tasks and that they'd serve. But, now I'm not so sure
Who they plan on serving. Are their motivations pure?
You may disagree with me (I'm sure that Corbin will)
But I don't think either guy belongs up on the Hill.
Sometimes, because it fits their narrative, people want a story to be true so badly they run with it. Dan Rather got burned the same way. Let's get the facts and investigate the issue before we pass judgement.