Friday, April 25, 2008

Gimme Peace, or I'll Punch Your Kid

It's nowhere near November, and people are already losing it. As passions rise, those who believe strongly in one cause or another blindly lash out. Or at least, that's how it seems.

Out-of-Control Conservative!

" Following pattern in the media, CNN's King uncritically repeated McCain campaign's false attacks on Democrats"
Media Matters for America1 (Apr 3, 2008)


"Summary: On The Situation Room, John King uncritically reported that "[i]n a statement, a McCain spokesman took a shot at the other party, saying, 'Americans can't afford the Democrats' liberal agenda to raise taxes, nationalize health care, cut off trade, and crush the economy under big government.' " Following what has become a pattern in the media, King failed to note the significant falsehoods and misleading claims in McCain's statement and simply read it without challenge."

You see? Someone in the McCain campaign "took a shot at the other party," a description of a violent act if I ever heard one.

Peace Lover Tested Beyond The Limits of Human Endurance

Conservatives aren't the only ones getting testy, though. One peace-lover was driven over the brink at a literary event recently.

New York Post (April 23, 2008)


"A man heckling First Lady Laura Bush and daughter Jenna outside the 92nd Street Y was arrested after he punched a wheelchair-bound girl whose parents has told him to shut up, authorities said yesterday. German Talis, 22, was shouting obscenities at the Bushes, who were leaving the building Tuesday, when he crossed paths with Wendy and John Lovetro and their daughter Maureen, 18, who has cerebral palsy.

"They had been in the audience to hear the Bushes talk about their children's book, Read All About It.

" 'He began yelling about Iraq and Iran at Jenna Bush. She was waving at the crowd. I told the guy, "What are you doing? Shut up. This is about a child and books," ' said John Lovetro. 'He was unperturbed. I said, "Get out of here! You're being a moron!" ' "

That's when Mr. Tallis "allegedly" started punching Maureen (who "allegedly" has cerebral palsy). It can't have been too bad: Mr. Tallis only "allegedly" hit the girl's shoulder blades. Then thigh. The New York Sun didn't report which one.

Perhaps Maureen's father was "bullying" Mr. Tallis.

More seriously, I've been impressed with how violent peace-lovers can be. I've posted about this before: I combed the news media for an equivalent violent attack by a non-peace-lover. The closest I found was the McCain spokesman who "took a shot at the other party".

I'm relieved that the young lady who had gone to hear the Jenna and Mrs. Bush speak about "Read All About It" was "not seriously injured." On the other hand, I can't help but think that her day would have been more pleasant if she hadn't been "allegedly" assaulted by a crazed peace-lover.

I supposed that it's hard, being gripped by a violent passion for peace while believing that your world is threatened by something like the "vast right-wing conspiracy." 2

That isn't an excuse for attacking a cripple, though.
1 "Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media."

That's how they describe themselves, anyway.

2 "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" is a phrase that seems to have taken on a life of its own. I might not believe that a respected national leader would have made such a daft remark, except for two things.
  1. I heard and saw her say it, in a video taken while she was meeting with a number of her supporters
Hillary Clinton's used the term, "vast right-wing conspiracy," in two other rather well-documented interviews. One was with Barbara Walters on ABC, June 8, 2003. The other was in 1998 -

From "Urban Legends Reference Pages: Hillary Clinton Quotes" ( Quotes from an interview between Matt Lauer and Hillary Clinton, on NBC's "The Today Show," January 27, 1998.

Lauer: "I'm sure you like [Democratic political strategist James Carville], especially at this time. He has said that [the Monica Lewinsky scandal] is war between the president and Kenneth Starr. You have said, I understand, to some close friends, that this is the last great battle, and that one side or the other is going down here."

Clinton: "Well, I don't know if I've been that dramatic. That would sound like a good line from a movie. But I do believe that this is a battle. I mean, look at the very people who are involved in this, they have popped up in other settings. This is the great story here, for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it, is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president. A few journalists have kind of caught on to it and explained it, but it has not yet been fully revealed to the American public. ..." [emphasis mine]

Also See "Hillary Clinton: 'This Is A Battle' "
all politics CNN (January 27, 1998)


Anonymous said...

Absolutely disgusting... people who stand for "peace" and free speech only seem to do so when others blindly follow what they believe.

Brian H. Gill said...

the conservatorium,

Thank you for your comment.

"Disgusting" is an apt term: at least for someone with my views and approach to public discourse.

Although I am quite sure I know what you mean, I'll use this as an opportunity to clarify something.

I am all for peace.

But, I don't like the idea of letting whoever is willing to use violence do what they want. There have been, are, and will be, times when violent people either must be restrained by force, or be allowed to impose their will on others.

I want free speech.

Being rational, I realize that if I am free to speak my mind, others must be too.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.