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Moonlight Graham
04-16-2005, 12:01 AM
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

Biff Mayhem
04-16-2005, 01:00 AM
I am tempted to move this to the Tigers forum but I think some folks over there may not appreciate the humor of some.

MotownRandy
04-19-2005, 06:44 PM
You don't want to know my answer Moonlight.:classic:

Oblong
04-19-2005, 08:21 PM
Originally posted by MotownRandy
You don't want to know my answer Moonlight.:classic:

http://www.suntimes.com/output/roeper/cst-nws-roep18.html



Even when it's a joke, Secret Service has to act

April 18, 2005

BY RICHARD ROEPER SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST




ASecret Service agent's work is never done. When an art exhibit at Columbia College's Glass Curtain Gallery included a sheet of phony USA stamps depicting a gun pointed at President Bush's head -- the Secret Service was on the case.



When a high school student in Washington state drew a picture of Bush's head on a stick for an art class project -- the Secret Service showed up to interview the boy.

When a group of students in Denver allegedly threatened the president during a rehearsal of Bob Dylan's "Masters of War" by ending the song with a call for Bush to die -- the Secret Service showed up to investigate.

When a blogger posted comments that sounded like a threat against the president -- the Secret Service interviewed the blogger's mom and other family members.

When a Utah man displayed a sticker threatening Bush -- the Secret Service talked to him.

When two high school students in Oakland allegedly made threatening comments about the president during a classroom discussion -- the teacher called the Secret Service, and agents showed up and had a serious talk with the boys.

When an editorial cartoon in the Los Angeles Times depicted a man pointing a gun at Bush's head -- the Secret Service conducted an inquiry.

That's how it works. If you create art showing the president of the United States in danger, if you make comments about ending his life, if you even joke in public about killing the president, there's a strong chance the Secret Service will want to talk to you about it.

Then we hear the inevitable references to "Big Brother" and the obligatory complaints about the government trampling all over the First Amendment. In commentaries and talk-show discussions about these stories, the Secret Service is often portrayed as an oppressive, humorless, comically bungling organization that has nothing better to do than harass and intimidate high school kids and artists who are exercising their right to free expression.

That categorization is unfair and inaccurate. When Secret Service agents investigate these incidents, they're not violating anyone's rights, and they're not squelching free speech.

They're doing what they're supposed to do.

The Not-So-Secret Service



The Secret Service isn't the Secret Police. They're not bursting into homes in the middle of the night and hauling away anyone who dares to criticize the president of the United States.

(Yes, I'm aware our government sometimes unfairly treats dissenters and abuses civil liberties, especially post-9/11. That's not what we're talking about here.)

You think the men and women of the Secret Service don't realize that in 99.9 percent of these cases, there's no credible threat? Still, what are they supposed to do -- just laugh it off when some attention-seeking artist or high school kid creates an image of the president in harm's way?

God forbid, but imagine the scenario: Some psycho assassinates the president, and we find out after the fact that the killer had been fond of drawing pictures of the president with a gun to his head, and that the Secret Service had been contacted about this, but had done nothing.

So the Secret Service plays it safe, by the book. They talk to the mom of the blogger who posts incendiary things. They show up at the art exhibit with the phony stamps showing Bush with a gun to his head. They talk to the kid who draws a picture of Bush's head on a stick. It's partly for show, partly to make sure there's smoke but no fire.

And then what?

Well, then they leave.

Free speech: Still breathing



When the Secret Service questioned that kid in Prosser, Wash., who drew Bush's head on a stick, a family friend of the kid's told the Associated Press, "If this 15-year-old kid in Prosser is perceived as a threat to the president, then we are living in '1984.' "

Right, because teenagers never actually shoot and kill anyone. Except that kid up in Red Lake, Minn., and the Columbine killers, and etc., etc., etc.

I'm not saying that the 15-year-old kid in Washington state was a threat. I'm saying the Secret Service has a right and a duty to make sure he isn't.

When a Secret Service agent visited the Los Angeles Times and asked to see the cartoonist who depicted Bush with a gun to his head, an attorney for the newspaper told the agent he could not speak to the cartoonist. The agent then left. It's not like they took away the guy's pen and paper.

When the Secret Service questioned the family of the blogger who acknowledged posting "some rather inflammatory things about George W. Bush," the interview lasted 10 minutes, according to the blogger. That was that.

And so it goes. The Secret Service doesn't yank the postage stamp art off the walls, nor do they cuff and detain the kid who creates the disturbing drawing.

They just check it out, that's all. Ignoring it is not an option.

MotownRandy
04-20-2005, 12:04 AM
Oblong, you should include this on your Christmas list:

http://www.cafepress.com/cp/browse/N-1540_pv-moviequoteshirt.19481536_Ne-25_bt-2

Oblong
04-20-2005, 12:14 AM
It was just a friendly warning. I read that column about 10 minutes before reading your post.

qsilvr2531
04-20-2005, 09:17 AM
It's usefull to note that almost every time the secret service visits with someone regarding one of these issues, the people they visit come away saying that the secret service was professional and polite. It's not like these guys go in and torture everyone that threatens the president, they just ask questions and make sure there isn't an actual safety issue for the president and his family. I'm basically repeating what the article said, but the secret service is pretty damn good at what they do and they should be comended for it, not ridiculed for looking into seemingly pointless cases.

billms
04-20-2005, 10:34 AM
It seems to me that there are a lot of cases where we all agree its silly for them to be investigated in the first place. People seem to be saying the cost of a mistake is so high that no filtering process is appropriate. I think that depends. If they get 10k of these 'obviously silly' cases (here I mean where literally nobody steps up to say they think it could possibly be a real threat) and none of them have historically ever panned out, it seems like a pointless waste of resources in an attempt to provide CYA.

I thought the article was pretty silly. Conclusion: the first amendment is still breathing. Thanks buddy. Gotcha. Did you check with all of those folx interviewed, every single one of them, and verify that their protected actions haven't changed because they were intimidated? Nope, of course not. Its easier to just make a sweeping statement. Maybe the SS is doing exactly what it needs to do. I don't really know. But its pretty simplistic to look around, see the statue of liberty is still standing, and so declare that there has been no negative effect.

Oblong
04-20-2005, 10:43 AM
or you could recognize that Richard Roeper is known as a movie critic and also writes a light hearted column on pop culture and things like that a few times a week.

qsilvr2531
04-20-2005, 11:26 AM
If they get 10k of these 'obviously silly' cases (here I mean where literally nobody steps up to say they think it could possibly be a real threat) and none of them have historically ever panned out, it seems like a pointless waste of resources in an attempt to provide CYA.

You can't really use this methodology, since assasinations almost never come from expected sources. Virtually every case falls under the umbrella you've mentioned. People who actively plan to kill the president don't generally post it on message boards ahead of time. There is a whole seperate set of stuff done to prevent them from pulling it off. Investigating the minor threats is an attempt to find that one in a billion case where no one sees it coming until its to late, and then everyone looks back and starts pointing out how they should have seen it coming.

zachcadillac
04-20-2005, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by Oblong
or you could recognize that Richard Roeper is known as a movie critic and also writes a light hearted column on pop culture and things like that a few times a week.

Roeper wrote garbage columns long before he was a movie critic.

Oblong
04-20-2005, 02:00 PM
I didn't say he didn't. I said "known" as a movie critic. I doubt anybody in Detroit knew who he was before he replaced Siskel.

Moonlight Graham
04-20-2005, 02:24 PM
Originally posted by Moonlight Graham
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

Originally posted by Oblong
Even when it's a joke, Secret Service has to act

Upon further review, I meant to say Hail Hail Hail Hail Hail Hail Hail but my "i" and "l" on my keyboard at home does'nt work. Stupid keyboard!!!

I apoligize if anyone mis-interpreted my original post.

MotownRandy
04-20-2005, 07:31 PM
I don't mind you posting the article Oblong. It just so happened that it was posted right after mine (and you explained that you had just finished reading it) and I wanted to make sure people didn't think I was suggesting "trimming the shrubbery." What I said could have meant many things and I recall a situation in which such conclusions were made on this board in the past.

cruzer1
04-21-2005, 05:48 AM
Originally posted by Oblong
I didn't say he didn't. I said "known" as a movie critic. I doubt anybody in Detroit knew who he was before he replaced Siskel. I didn't. They went through a bunch of loonies before they replaced him. I always like Ebert more, but I didn't realize how much I liked Gene Siskel until he died.

billms
04-21-2005, 11:46 AM
Does anybody know if Annthrax was visited by the SS when she suggested assinating a sitting president? I assume so, but haven't seen it discussed.