For anyone who thought the tiresome Kevin Potvin self-inflicted debacle were over, guess again.
Mr Potvin has found a new way to pout about his plight. In the most recent issue of his Republic of East Vancouver, Potvin's most recent editorial once again blames his troubles on the journalists who had the utter nerve to cover the story of the controversy surrounding his 9/11 comments -- this time, he blames them for the death threats he recieved.
Dedicating the article to his detractors, Potvin quotes the various death threats he recieved during his self-inflicted ordeal.
Here are some exerpts, as provided by Kevin Potvin.
"One four meter-on-a-side 2,000 kilogram plate plummeting down from a height of five meters to land squarely on your wretched carcass would indeed be a thing of beauty. The thin gruel ejecta that was you squishing out from all sides would leave a splatter that would be breathtaking in its beauty. I'd settle for a gas truck though. That way you'd get to taste your own bile before your essence drains away, forever making the world a better place by your absence. Disgusting filth.”
Certainly, this is a little much. It hardly qualifies as a death threat, though. Interestingly, this individual would feel the same way about Kevin Potvin's death as he felt about 9/11 (which, as everyone knows, involved the deaths of thousands).
“You share a common fate with the terrorist slime you liberal gutter swill. Heading for a late term abortion, are you?”
A person would have to wonder what this person thinks to be Potvin's greater offense: writing what he wrote about 9/11, or being a liberal? All the same, as far as hateful vitriol goes, this is a real gem.
“You said it bro, and someone will kill you for it, you stupid inconsiderate prick. How can you be so dumb? Oh well, you will get what you deserve asshole.”
Once again, there doesn't really seem to be much of a death threat here. Not so much of a "[I'm going to kill you] you stupid inconsiderate prick", as a "someone will kill you for it".
“It would be terribly sad if a fringe nut like you was in any way associated with the Green Party. I hope an airplane slams into you and your family ;)”
While it's certainly disturbing that this could be typed by another human being, this doesn't constitute a death threat. Merely a hope that what was suffered by the thousands who died on 9/11 may in turn be suffered by mr Potvin. An expressed that it would be beautiful, if you will.
“You are a despicable human being . . . I wish you were in the towers.”
Fair enough. A lot of people share the opinion that Kevin Potvin is a despicable human being. And he probably wouldn't have minded being in the towers, either. 9/11 was Beautiful, you see.
“What comes around goes around and you my friend will end up in Hell.”
Apparent belief in Karma aside, only god can decide if mr Potvin "will end up in hell".
“You are a revolting slime-ball for publishing this trash Kevin. Hopefully you and your ilk will never make it anywhere near Parliament.”
Once again, a lot of people share the opinion that Potvin is a revolting slime ball. Also, most Canadians share the hope that Kevin and his ilk will never make it anywhere near Parliament.
“I hope Mr Potvin dies the same way the Great Americans did in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. What a slap in the face, but what can you expect from idiot liberals.
Once again, the hostility toward liberals in general is a little disturbing. Aside from that, there isn't much of a death threat hear. Merely a hope that mr Potvin will share the "symbolic" deaths of the victims of the attacks he thought were "beautiful".
“God Bless America and we’ll defeat the Muslim bastards in the name of Jesus Christ. If I were you I would not come to the USA, a big building might fall on you. Eat shit and Die.”
Here a disturbing general hostility toward liberals is swapped for a disturbing general hostility toward Muslims. Also, that isn't a death threat, it's more of an instruction to die, and advice on how.
“I will not say ‘you should be ashamed’ because clearly you were brought up by hyenas in the desert and you don't know this.”
Mr Potvin wrote an article about how 9/11 was "beautiful", then tried to claim he was being "symbolic". Shame must be a foreign concept to him.
“I'm an American. I'm way older than you are. If I ever come face to face with you, I will administer the whupping your Mama would have given you if she'd had opposable thumbs.”
That is actually a threat. Notice the subtle nuance? The "I will" substituted for variations on "someone should" or "I hope"? That's a threat, any day of the week, and quite unacceptable.
“A special place in hell awaits you. You claim to want peace, yet your heart is so callous you cheer the death of thousands whose only crime was they went to work on time that day.”
It requires a certain callous nature to cheer the 9/11 attacks. Callousness of that degree is anathema to a true desire for peace. Yet, "a special place in hell"? No human is the judge of that.
“I could wish some terrible event on you, but I think continuing to live as the twisted soul you are is probably punishment enough.”
Either that, or constantly denying him his smug self-assured sense of entitlement to spew hateful nonsense.
“I was born and raised in Canada. You are a sub-human and I only wish I would have had the opportunity to have you in my military unit. We would have taught you in no uncertain terms to be a MAN, a CANADIAN!!! No doubt about it. You would have cowered in a corner and pissed your pants like the freak you are.”
Clearly, a message like that had to have been written at that point where rage overwhelms logic. It may be fair to say that the author of those comments had a tenuous grasp on that point to begin with.
“You're a selfish freeloader who leaves it to others to pay the freight. You are an irresponsible sub-human scum.”
Irresponsible? Perhaps. Sub-human? That's either a bit extreme, or right on the money and just not politically correct. The reader may be the judge.
“I hope to see the day you are tried for treason and convicted. Yes, you are a pathetic Canadian and not subject to US treason laws. But you could just as easily be tried and convicted up there in your little skanky county. It is in you to be a traitor as your words and deeds have encouraged the likes of Bin Laden and others to fight on and kill more Americans and infidels (infidels like you, by the way), and I am sure those same terrorists are up there in your hell hole just waiting to kill a few Canadians too. I would love to see you held accountable for your treasonous actions and held to the full extent of the law. It would be very nice if that included hanging. It was good enough for Saddam, it would be good enough for you.” —Retired, USAF
Nothing mr Potvin wrote actually qualifies as treason. Stupid? Yes. Irresponsible? Absolutely. But treasonous? No.
“I suggest that you stay out of the US, particularly to not ever come to NYC. There are a few million people here who would be happy to kick your ass before running your face through the dirt at the WTC site. PS - Thanks for confirming the link between enviro-fascists and the jihadi sand-nazis.”
After writing what he took it upon himself to write, staying out of New York City would actually seem to be very sound advice for mr Potvin.
“You are a sociopath as well as a sick, vile individual. You are not controversial, sir. You are damaged, as are any individuals who agree with you. In the body politic, you are a cancer that any competent doctor would recommend be excised immediately in order to preserve the greater health.”
Potvin is both damaged and controversial (well, he was, for the duration of his 15 minutes of fame). He can do both. (Boy, can he ever.)
“You are a very sick and disturbed individual. You are obviously an Islamic Terrorist Sympathizer. Stay in Canada and enjoy your hate.”
He did cheer "go, Osama go!", and hope for him to avoid capture by Americans. That's not an unfair description of a sympathizer.
“What you do not seem to understand is that the same Terrorist that you applaud will just as happily cut off your head unless you are prepared to convert to Islam (maybe you have). Enjoy your sick and demented life.”
Once again, there's really no threat here. Frankly, there's a sound message for Potvin: he's as likely a target for terrorist as anyone else -- both figuratively, and statistically.
“Keep your opinions about 9-11 to yourself, and may you rot in hell for them.”
An interesting point is brought up: if Potvin had conjured the sense to keep his inflammatory 9/11 opinions to himself, he wouldn't be in the position he is now. While that hardly excuses some of the more seemingly psychotic readers who chose to write to him, it isn't as if he couldn't have avoided it.
“You sir, are a sick, evil man, filled with psychopathic rationalizations that would have made you a useful tool for the Nazis at Auchwitz while feeding Jews into the gas chambers. You have a date with destiny; for that which one wishes upon others, is that which one has condemned oneself to experience."
That one in particular must have hurt. This reader should have kept in mind that Potvin's applause of 9/11 was founded in political beliefs that, at least at the base level, would have precluded him taking part in the senseless slaughter that occurred during the Holocaust.
“I'd have to say you're in the same category as the animals that blow up other human beings on a daily basis. No conscience, morals, or decency. You have a mouth that regurgitates crap. I'd have to sum up by calling you despicable. Enjoy your sick life.”
Potvin's belief he can defend his article as "symbolic" clearly demonstrates he has no conscience. His morals? It's probably pretty safe to assume that an individual who cheers an event that resulted in the deaths of thousands doesn't really have any.
“It's too bad you weren't trapped on one of the twin towers. Pieces of shit like you wouldn't be around if evolution were true.”
Using Potvin to disprove evolution is a stretch (the evolution motif resurfaces later).
“Sadly, you seem to have avoided being prosecuted under the Hate Laws of Canada. Perhaps someone in authority will realize the effect of your words and change that. I sincerely hope so. I presume both your parents are deceased. If not, I'm sure they wish they were.”
If Potvin's article was meant to incite hatred against anything, it was against (in his own words) militarism and corporatism. Canada's hate crime laws don't protect abstract concepts.
“Fuck you. The only reason you can spout your commi poison and remain warm and cozy is my country protects yours. So kiss my yanky ass you walking talking piece of shit.”
This individual clearly yearns for the days of "Tailgunner Joe" McCarthy. Good night and good luck, mr Potvin!
“You must be a sick fucking pig, to rejoice in any horrific global event. It's one thing to be desensitized, but it's another to rejoice about deliberate global terror, asshole. Looks like from your picture you're a cocksucker.”
It is pretty sick to rejoice in a horrific global event. It's especially sick to publish an article about that joy, actually expecting others to share in it. Does that make mr Potvin gay? Probably not.
“Your words will haunt you and be remembered by many people, to the end of your days. Wait and see! I'll be watching your career with interest to see how it unfolds.”
This is a prediction that has proven to be spot-on. Mr Potvin's words have haunted him (rightfully so), and have been remembered by many people (unsurprisingly).
“I just want you to know, you disgusting piece of shit, that if I ever see you face to face it will be my distinct pleasure to punch you right in the mouth.”
That could be interpreted as a threat. Not as a death threat, but a threat.
“Here's one more death threat. Yeah! It would be beautiful if your head were smashed with a sledge-hammer. You're a professional cockroach.”
That one's actually a little odd. The writer promised a death threat, then merely opined that it would be "beautiful" if Potvin's head "were smashed with a sledge-hammer". That doesn't really count as a threat.
“You’re human garbage! Hopefully the next attack by your buddies will be on your home and family, preferably your family one by one before your very eyes! You make me vomit.”
“Boy Kevin, it would be a terrible shame if a high caliber rifle were to put a gaping hole through the head of your lovely wife, or maybe your kids, or perhaps even you. Please do whatever you can to keep such a travesty from happening.”
Writing in these tones about the killing of a man's wife or children is more than a little bit disturbing. Potvin's comments aside, those are absolutely disgusting comments.
Finally, to the point: Potvin isn't wrong to react to the messages he recieved the way he has. It's natural to react fearfully, or angrily to such messages, and few of them say good things about the individuals who wrote them.
But Potvin is wrong to blame Michael Smyth, Peter O'Neil, Colby Cosh, Brian (not Bruce) Hutchinson, Lorne Gunter, Bill Tieleman, Ian King, Dean Broughton, Harold Munroe, Roz Guggi or Patricia Graham for his plight. To date, he has already accused them of libel (demonstrably untrue), censorship (an absurd accusation) and turtling (a desperate allegation). Now, he's accusing them of provoking the hate mail and death threats directed against him.
Potvin tells these reporters, "these are your people." Of course, this is untrue. They're Kevin's people.
Potvin has no one to blame for any of this but himself. The funny thing about it is that in blaming everyone who he can think of for his "victimization". He's cast the blame and the responsibility everywhere but in the one place where it truly lies: with himself.
Many people would think that somewhere in all of this is a lesson to be learned: if not for Kevin Potvin (apparently, he'll never learn it) then for others.
That lesson is fairly simple: liberal democracies give their citizens freedom of speech, and freedom of expression. These are powerful concepts. An idea expressed in the right way can change the world. As such, freedom of speech and expression comes with a great deal of responsibility. We can say what we want, but we have to take responsibility for what we say.
Kevin Potvin has exerted a lot of effort trying to avoid responsibility for his 9/11 comments. It's not terribly surprising. No reasonable individual would want to accept responsibility for such comments. That's why few reasonable individuals consider them, and no reasonable individual publishes them.
With his irrational denials of responsibility, Potvin has proven that is is not a rational person. Yet, there is a lesson in his tribulations to be learned for anyone willing to learn it.
Say what you want. But in the end, the responsibility will be yours to bear. Potvin, on the other hand, would seemingly like nothing better than to actually make reporters responsible for the consequences of reporting people's comments, while excusing the people themselves (in this case, himself) from responsibility on their own.
It hasn't worked. Kevin Potvin's example proves that no amount of whining can excuse anyone from that responsibility.