Saturday, June 13, 2009

Uncle Academic on Jon Voight's recent speech before the GOP in DC!

One of the latest example of the kind of rhetoric that excites unbalanced minds to do the work of the Lord comes from actor John Voigt, who tells the attendees at the June 8 Republican fund raiser in DC that "Obama really thinks he is a soft-spoken Julius Caesar [who] thinks he's going to conquer the world with his soft-spoken sweet talk," that "[w]e and we alone are the right frame of mind to free this nation from this Obama oppression," and these right-thinking souls should "give thanks to all the great people [Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Glen Beck and Karl Rove being but five] for not giving up and staying the course to bring an end to this false prophet, Obama."

On one level, this is just whipping up the troops for the 2010 and 2012 elections. But it also expresses an angry death wish: Julius Caesar was for the patriot Brutus and his band of assassins an all-too-effective politician who was scheming to replace the centuries-old Roman Republic with dictatorship (personal in his case, Marxist in the present instance), and the punishment for a "false prophet, or dreamer of dreams" according to Deuteronomy 1-5 is death. It's OK for Voigt and his audience to harbor an angry death wish for the president. But a Hollywood professional -- especially in the era of the blogosphere and YouTube -- is hardly unaware that his words are going to reach far wider than big-pocket Republicans (and, earlier in the day, the Republican congressional caucus, before which he delivered a longer version of the same speech). You be the judge as to whether Voigt's address is one more in a list of double entendre incitments, some of which have already found ugly fulfillment.
Here is one of the YouTube postings of Mr. Voigt's speech. The clip is a little over 10 minutes long. You can set the window to the times specified below to sample some of the key passages.
  • 4:15: [Referring to the Democrats' strategies for using the web and other media to mobilize voters:] "All their strategies should be carefully looked at to see if we might mimic them in a positive legal way" (the stress on "legal" is his, implying that there was something illegal in the way in which the Obama campaign succeeded).
  • 4:30: "My most pressing concern at this hour is the safety of Israel." This introduces a strikingly one-sided description of the conflict between Palestinians and Israel. [Voigt's opposition to exchanging land for peace is featured in a clip from He believes "God gave this land to the Jewish people."] Of the Palestinians he goes on to say, "As far as I am concerned, their only agenda is to wipe Israel off the face of the earth." Obama is both arrogant and naive to insist that the Israelis end expansion of settlements in the occupied territory.
  • 6:34: "I tell you why this really scares the Hell out of me -- because everything Obama has recommended has turned out to be disastrous."
  • 7:51: "We can blame Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Chris Dodds [and some others] for the downfall of this country."
  • 8:13: "It saddens me greatly to think we were the great power for good in the world. We as Americans knew America to be strong. And we were the liberators of the entire world. We are becoming a weak nation."
  • 18:30: "Obama really thinks he is a soft-spoken Julius Caesar...."
  • 18:46: "We and we alone are the right frame of mind to free this nation from the Obama oppression."
  • 9:06: "Let's give thanks to all the great people ... to bring an end to this false prophet Obama."
Some will recall the Sarah Palin rallies during October 2008 (in Clearwater, FL and in Scranton, PA) in which someone in the hate-addled crowd was moved to call out, concerning Obama, "Kill him!"

On the DHS report ...

The report has been leaked and published on several sites. (See, for example, here and at the site of the American Federation of Scientists.) It has become the subject of spirited controversy.

People for the American Way (among other organizations) has called for official publication of the April DHS Report.

Libertarian groups (e.g., the Liberty Papers) have strongly condemned the report as an index that the Administration is resolved to use Homeland Security to intimidate the free speech and association of conservative and libertarian opponents.

(See also here. The comments by Drew, Price and others point out that the circumstances of the report are more complicated. Here for instance is the remark by Howard Lauther (2 June 09): "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment was created by the Bush Administration on January 23, 2007, long before most people had even heard of Barrack Obama.

Since then, it’s been constantly updated with data which is being continually developed by the use of warrantless wiretaps and other tools via in the Patriot Act, which is unconstitutional. The Bush administration also created a leftwing watch list entitled, Leftwing Extremists Likely to Increase Use of Cyber Attacks over the Coming Decade."

Here's an article from today's Los Angeles Times that's worth considering. The comment by the spokesman for the Washington DC office of the ACLU gets to a key point.

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