Monday, March 07, 2005

Killing US Senators

Q: "You have one bullet. Who do you use it on: bin Laden, or Ted Kennedy?" Conservative answer: "Ted Kennedy." The following is a log taken from a conversation observed on #politics on Undernet. Yes, it's IRC. Yes, they are blowhards. But it is another bit of evidence showing the effects of the hate mongering that is preached by conservatives 24/7. I do not think that behavior like this is isolated to the right end of the political spectrum (I think it is isolated to the zealous end of the political spectrum), but it is telling nonetheless.

spazmo: So which is worse: bin Laden, or Ted kennedy?
Zeke^: depends, spazmo ... i'm sure Mary Jo would think Teddy is the very worst
spazmo: Zeke^: Right. but you have one bullet, and they're both standing in front of you. Who do you shoot?
tygher5: spazmo: ..heheheh - and she styles hair too!
Zeke^: Mary Jo might choose to save her life .......
spazmo: Zeke^: yeah, ok. So, which one do you shoot?
tygher5: spazmo: ..uhh, are we talking about the same thing?
Zeke^: spazmo .. i'm not a homicidal maniac like you
spazmo: Zeke^: it's a theoretical question.
spazmo: Zeke^: Why don't you want to answer it?
Zeke^: fine, spazmo .. you are a theoretical homicidal maniac ...
spazmo: Zeke^: Ok, I'm a theoretical homicidal maniac.
spazmo: Zeke^: Who do you shoot?
* Zeke^ shoots spazmo's computer
spazmo: ???
Zeke^: hi ya, ^Roxie^
spazmo: what's so tought about that question?
KenBz: zeke - if this is the same 'spazmo' from some time ago (and I sort of assume it is, given the quality of his/her posts) you're right. A third rate troll
greek^: hi
^Roxie^: hey zeke. shoot those damm telemarketers while your at too
spazmo: Zeke^: Ok, so why don't you want to answer?
Zeke^: good thought, ^Roxie^
spazmo: Zeke^: Unless... you'd shoot Ted Kenney before you'd shoot bin Laden..
Zeke^: cause i don't like you, spazmo...
SpellNpix: spazmo, I know I would
spazmo: SpellNpix: Now we're making progress.
VoxPopuli: spazmo: The answer is obvious. Bin Laden gets whacked, I collect the $50 million reward and donate it to the Republican party.
Zeke^: good point, VoxPopuli
Phyllo: all 50 million?
SpellNpix: Bin Laden isn't nearly as dangerous to the US, nor in as good a position to do damage to the US, as Kennedy
VoxPopuli: ALL 50
geiger-: you shoot kennedy and kick bin laden to death.... :)
Phyllo: naa...keep 2 for yourself
tygher5: spazmo: ....?
spazmo: SpellNpix: So between bin Laden -- who has murdered thousands of Americans -- and Ted Kennedy, a sitting US Senator elected by the people of Massachusetts, you'd kill the Senator?
SpellNpix: in a heartbeat
Zeke^: flub-dub
SpellNpix: done
spazmo: SpellNpix: I see. So you advocate terrorism against Americans.
^Roxie^: vox:50 mil is chump change to the repubs they would laugh at you. send the money to me I won't laugh at you
SpellNpix: spazmo, no, just killing a danger to the US
jsn: By the way, if Kennedy someday becomes President Pro Tempore of the Senate, death threats to him will result in a Secret Service visit.
Phyllo: spazmo:so all killing is terrorism?not just murder?
SpellNpix: jsn not a chance
geiger-: actually though, kennedy has become such a joke, he is helping the gop.
VoxPopuli: ^Roxie^: lol You think they would NOT accept it?
Phyllo: so then Kennedy is a terrorist himself then
spazmo: Phyllo: When it's done for political reasons, yeah.
Phyllo: using your logic
KenBz: kennedy builds the GOP base every time he opens his mouth.
spazmo: SpellNpix: Wow, so you hate America, by your own admittance.
spazmo: SpellNpix: that's pretty bold
SpellNpix: spazmo nope
jsn: SpellNpix, actually, he's very close to the most Senior Democrat in the Senate already.
KenBz: revision - make that 50% of the time. The other 50% he apparently is drinking, and can't help anyone, not even himself
SpellNpix: jsn, Senior Democrat is still a minority functionary
spazmo: SpellNpix: you just said you'd kill a US Senator. If that doesn't make you anti-American, I don't know what does.
Phyllo: Kennedy represents the Dimocratic party
geiger-: lol spazmo.
Phyllo: and everything else wrong with the country
* Zeke^ watches spazmo sticking labels on everything . .... a sound bite troll
SpellNpix: spazmo, like you said....... you don't know
Phyllo: damn few things wrong too
Zeke^: bye
spazmo: Wonder if the FBI monitors this stuff
spazmo: SpellNpix: You tell that to the FBI if they come a'knockin?
Phyllo: the effa bee eye?
KenBz: who helps Republicans more than people like kennedy, dean, pelosi, and harry the corpse reid?
KenBz: Of course there's also Bill clinton, the gift that just keeps on giving......
^Roxie^: not sure if I would chuckle too hard. last year they picked up a guy who said in jest he wanted to kill the prez in a chat room
twisty^: hehehe
Phyllo: KenBz:john kerry,hillary kkklinton,sheets Byrd
twisty^: Roxie I bet I know which room too
spazmo: Phyllo: I thought you people were supposed to say "Hitlery"
jsn: ^Roxie^, the Secret Service has a list of people to protect. The President, family, former Presidents, and everyone on the list of people in the line of sucession.
KenBz: Clinton is the greatest politician of my lifetime. The problem with this for Democrats, however, is that the ONLY person he ever benefits is him and hillary, who he has to help because she saved his political life
SpellNpix: spazmo *yawn*
VoxPopuli: spazmo: How quaint of you to ask a "theoretical question", get a theoretical answer and claim "he said he would do it." You're SUCH an easy chump. lol
spazmo: SpellNpix: Yeah man, murdering US Senators is boring.
twisty^: KenBz yeah and cuz she knows too much
SpellNpix: ok, anybody else tired of the spazmo nonsense hour?
***: spazmo has left the channel (I know I am)
Log file closed at: 3/4/05 3:44:34 PM

Conditioned to Silence

Tom Watson questions why America as a nation seems to have such difficulty with mourning, and concludes that it is largely due to a lack of the slightest compassion in our leadership: "What we don't have to accept is the national silence that greets the dead from an administration that doesn't want photographs taken of the coffins arriving Stateside. Why don't we mourn as a nation? The reason is simple and shocking and damning: because our leaders don't care."

A part of this is also that for Americans anything other than an attitude of rah-rah happy-happy jingoism towards the military is deeply taboo. Deaths caused or suffered by the military lead to cognitive dissonance raising its ugly head. "How can we wear the white hat if our nation is at times indisciminately killing innocents?" The easiest way to deal with that dissonance is, of course, to simply ignore the charges, which manifests itself as a silence that is deafening to those who notice.

I don't blame the any particular group for this, except perhaps the Pentagon's PR department. But it is pervasive to the point of being a "fish in water" phenomenon: so prevalent that it is hardly noticed. Many (almost certainly most) Americans hate to even consider the notion that the military may at times use tactics that are morally indefensible. Americans judge how patriotic a person is by how much they love the military. Those who question the official Pentagon line are immediately and energetically labelled as traitors, hated "fifth columnists", and etc. Any reporter who asserts military criminality is zealously vilified by all "good" Americans, for such a notion is to be neither discussed nor can it even be remotely accurate.

I fully agree with Tom that the leadership does not care about the deaths of the troops or innocent civilians, and in fact they take active steps to decrease the visibility of wartime horrors. Anything that lessens American bloodlust is to be actively eschewed, and the administration certainly has its allies to help it in that wicked task. But this has been true since World War II, when the "military industrial complex" that Eisenhower so presciently warned us about came into ascendancy. But the American people, after years of conditioning, are culpable in their own right. The causes of this silence are debatable, the silence itself is not.