ConservativeHQ Statement on Giffords Shooting Tragedy

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RichardViguerie_(125x140).jpgThe following is a statement by Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, regarding the shooting in Tucson, Arizona of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords:

“I was with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords on a panel just last week at Renaissance Weekend in Charleston, South Carolina. Gabby is a warm, upbeat, and cheerful woman who I’ve been blessed to know.
“Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the family of Representative Giffords, as well as all the families of the wounded and deceased in the wake of this truly traumatic event.
“Regardless of political party, Americans are drawn together at this time of tragedy, and our prayers go out to the families of all the victims of this shocking act of violence.
“We are all Americans, and there’re no Democrats, Republicans, conservatives, or liberals at times like these. When the violent acts of an individual aim to tear our society apart, they instead cause Americans to come together and unite stronger than ever.
“We pray for the lives lost, and for the full and speedy recovery of all who were wounded.”

Sarah Palin’s “comment writers” would be wise to learn something from Viguerie’s operation.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

252 comments on “ConservativeHQ Statement on Giffords Shooting Tragedy

  1. Kathleen says:

    After the horrendous murders and injuries in Tucson we are hearing a critically important discussion and debate about gun laws, numbers of magazine (odd way to phrase bullet capacity) clips, the ability of an individual carrying a firearm to a Congressperson, the killers mental health falling through the cracks, whether hate language has an effect. All important issues to examine and have a national discussion about. There has also rightfully been a great deal of focus on the inflammatory and violent language by Sarah Palin and others.
    The other day Sarah Palin came out and said

    Reply

  2. Kathleen says:

    “Posted by Steve Clemons, Jan 09 2011, 11:58AM – Link
    POA — Maddow and Olberman don’t have executive producers and owners ordering them to frame an issue a certain way. They are progressive but engage other sides of a debate. Bill Sammon and Roger Ailes run Fox in the form of a political organization. best, steve”
    Maddow, Olberman, Matthews, Ed, Dylan Ratigan have not even whispered about the Goldstone Report. Not a whisper. Silent about the the UN report about the massacre on the Mavi Marmara. SILENCE. Maddow will report endlessly about gay rights issues even in other countries. But Palestinian human rights, deaths, non violent protesters imprisonment not a whisper. Maddow is not a very selective progressive. All MSNBCer’s seem to be PEP’s (Progressive except for Palestine) Or their paychecks get in the way of truth.
    Have heard Maddow several times repeat the I lobbies “Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map” hooey numerous times. She will cover protesters in Iran but not Palestinian protesters. HMMMMM real progressive (choke)

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  3. questions says:

    nadine, first, not sure how you became the national carboretor deciding the correct mix of somberness and joy in a public gathering that both memorializes the dead and celebrates their lives and the lives of the survivors, but I guess you (and Malkin) can have the job…..
    At any rate, the disproportion between the occasional Facebook group or poster or kos poster and what Republican leaders and tv personalities come up with is notable.
    Further, the left is doing a fair amount of soul searching which I don’t see so much of on the right.
    Further, I barely remember the death of a pres movie, but I’ll watch it and let you know.
    Seriously, though, it’s an ugly world we’ve created and we probably all should uncreate and recreate — kind of what Obama said — a world worthy of Christina Taylor Green’s hopes. Lots of baseball (Dallas Green’s granddaughter), lots of dance, and lots realizing that we don’t need as much grievance as we all seem to claim, left and right.

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  4. Neo Controll says:

    I know I’m being picky, but how about something you haven’t posted before, and by someone with actual blood in their veins? Malkin?
    Never mind, it’s too tedious. You’ve made your point. You can out gross about anyone. No surprise.

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  5. nadine says:

    “As is “it’s all the responsibility of the shooter” in Tuscon. But at Ft. Hood? No way, “collective guilt” is just fine then.” (Neo Controll)
    What a pure example of the Left’s racial ideology: tell me what race you are, so I can know what to think about you.
    Nobody on the Right cared what race the Ft. Hood shooter was. They cared he was an Islamist who killed infidels for the sake of Allah shouting “Allahu Akhbar”. If he had been a white convert to Islam, the reaction on the right would have been identical. This is about ideology, not race.

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  6. nadine says:

    Here is a long compendium of comparisons from the left.
    http://michellemalkin.com/2011/01/10/the-progressive-climate-of-hate-an-illustrated-primer-2000-2010/
    Here is some more, including a Facebook page titled “I hate it when I wake up and Sarah Palin is still alive”
    http://legalinsurrection.blogspot.com/
    Ask yourself honestly how you would react to a remake of the movie “Death of a President” starring Barack Obama and his assassination?
    The Left is deep into the attitude “whatever WE do is justified, but whatever YOU do is crime against humanity.”
    I also wonder why the Tuscon memorial had the atmosphere of a pep rally. The president was stopped by applause 50 times. This was not respectful of the grief of the families. You didn’t see anything like that when Clinton spoke about Oklahoma City or Bush spoke about 9/11.

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  7. Neo Controll says:

    “Don’t you know that DISSENT IS PATRIOTIC???!!!!”” nadine shouts.
    How about dyslexia, or serial hypocriticalia???
    As is “it’s all the responsibility of the shooter” in Tuscon. But at Ft. Hood? No way, “collective guilt” is just fine then.
    In sistah sarah’s own words:
    http://firedoglake.com/2011/01/12/sarah-palin-criticism-of-my-sniper-imagery-and-gun-lingo-is-irresponsible-reprehensible/
    Or stuff as blatantly violence-tending as this:
    http://www.openleft.com/diary/21374/its-just-their-nature
    Now find some legit comparison from the “left”, not just your propaganda stash, and then come back.

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  8. questions says:

    drew,
    Toss in a copy/paste, a link or two, a paper title or 10 and I’ll be happy to read during spare time…..
    But the cryptic “I have read and I know but I’m not tellin’ ya what or why” isn’t very helpful.

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  9. nadine says:

    Yes, questions, the consensus seems to be that Obama gave a good speech last night.
    Of course, since you’re big on context, you may have noticed that Obama has called for ‘Marquis of Queensbury Rules’ after the Democrats used this incident to get in their unprovoked drive-by attack on Sarah Palin, talk radio, etc.
    When Bush was president and there was a Democratic Congress, then it was “How DARE you tell me to watch what I say?!! Don’t you know that DISSENT IS PATRIOTIC???!!!!”
    But now Obama is president and there is a Republican House, so dissent is not patriotic anymore. Now dissent is responsible for anything bad that happens. Even the rampages of lunatics. Just ask the new arbiters of political civility.

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  10. Neo Controll says:

    Nadine mouths “Stuff and nonsense, Paul. You make it sound like Sarah Palin has been calling for mass murder against Democrats. She has done nothing but use the most commonplace metaphors in her campaign literature – at the time, nobody noticed a thing amiss with the wording or graphics – and now she has been accused of fomenting a lunatic’s murderous rampage, based on no evidence whatsoever.”
    Probably the only word she writes here that is not a lie is “Paul”. But when you’re used to lying, and believe your own lies it comes real easy.
    “Nobody noticed a thing amiss” ROTFLMAO Yeah, except all those who called attention to it at the time. Probably never made it through teabagger consciousness. Of course that was “before”, when inciting at least images of violence was considered what real Americans do.Now it’s “after” and she never really meant it and she’s being persecuted.
    Shorter Sara, and Nadine:
    Whaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

    Reply

  11. drew says:

    questions, I’ve read the paper, as well as the academic literature
    that blows it up. You have not. If you want to reference this NAS
    political document in your arguments, that’s great! For credibility,
    it’s right up there with people at East Anglia saying that Britons
    would never experience snow again. Scientific “studies” that begin
    with a conclusion to be imposed on the “research” tend to be
    embarrassing, in the end.

    Reply

  12. questions says:

    drew, 6:57 a.m.
    copy/paste from the link I posted:
    “June 29, 2010
    5th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper ”
    Ok, so the abstract I posted is from a late June 2010 paper at a conference in late June 2010.
    The abstract suggests that their data analysis debunks a connection between a drop in gun violence and countywide conceal/carry laws.
    I have no idea why any other date would be an issue. This particular paper seems to have been written in 2010.
    But I’m sure you don’t want to deal with it as it contradicts your preferred version of the universe. And since you won’t provide any links to educate me further, I’ll stick with this one for now.
    Maybe the NYT will put in a few links that prove more conclusively that the wide availability of concealed weapons doesn’t actually encourage impulsive use of those weapons; and further, maybe evidence will show up that proves conclusively that the kind of thinking regarding murder and armed robbery generally includes a paragraph on “geeze, what if there’s someone armed coming back at us.” Neither of these is plausible in my mind, though, so I kind of think we won’t find such a link…..
    *********
    In other news, the Obama speech last night was spot on.
    Personal, framed by the elderly and the young, with career devotion, public service devotion in the middle. Appealing to our universal need to make sense of the senseless. Appealing to our better side. Sadness in the past and present, dedication to work-to-be-done in the present and future.
    Spot on, beautifully written, and the man has young kids while he’s eulogizing a young kid.
    Perhaps it’ll all have some good effect on how we talk.
    *****
    And a couple of links….
    http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/01/12/kornacki_pareene_loughner/index.html
    Kornacki and Pareene in rational, disagreeing dialogue.
    And a fascinating read of Loughner and a movie and drugs and free will vs. determinism…
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/1/13/935986/-Oh-My.-The-Posts-Detailed-Profile-Of-Jared-Loughner*
    Kos also has up a compilation of responses to the speech, but I’m at my two link limit…..

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  13. drew says:

    Sorry: correction:
    “..An organism, finding its normal response
    to stimuli *frustrated or ineffective* …”

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  14. drew says:

    I think we should encourage elements of the media to blame
    Loughner on Palin.
    There is this thing in biology and behavioral psychology called
    an “extinction burst”. An organism, finding its normal response
    to stimuli, instead of adapting, accelerates and exaggerates its
    formerly successful response. An example of this we’ve all seen:
    someone frustrated by the non-arrival of an elevator, starts
    pounding the elevator button repeatedly as though that will
    speed up the elevator’s arrival. It’s called an extinction burst
    because, however, it’s usually the last thing an organism does
    before it expires.
    Simply, it’s amusing and absurd to say that Loughner acted in
    response to whatever Capt. Palin or other right-wingers said and
    did. Americans know that. If Andrew Sullivan wants to continue
    burrowing into the ground in his effort to make Palin illegal, or
    something, he should keep digging. I think a lot of these people
    who come up with these theories of right-wing manipulation of
    the unwashed great mass of America are expressing professional
    extinction burst behavior. When a Krugman blasts out his
    indictment of a majority of the country, as complicit in this
    random shooting, he’s making a fool of himself to a majority of
    the country. Fortunately, for him, it’s a free country and he, like
    Palin, can say whatever he wants and see where it gets him.

    Reply

  15. drew says:

    questions: 8:06:
    “it was posted July 1st 2010. Not a lot of lead time for completely
    debunking the statistical method by collecting new data….”
    The NAS report was issued in 2004, questions. I’m not going to
    argue about its contents if you haven’t read it, haven’t read
    analyses of it, and don’t even know when it was published.

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  16. nadine says:

    Stuff and nonsense, Paul. You make it sound like Sarah Palin has been calling for mass murder against Democrats. She has done nothing but use the most commonplace metaphors in her campaign literature – at the time, nobody noticed a thing amiss with the wording or graphics – and now she has been accused of fomenting a lunatic’s murderous rampage, based on no evidence whatsoever. That is indeed libellous.
    If you want an accurate summation, it would be “Monstrous acts stand on their own until certain journalists, pundits and politicians decide to use them to smear their opponents for crass political purposes.”
    A word on blood libel: I don’t think Sarah Palin knows the history of the term, and just used it to mean that she has been libeled as having blood on her hands. The term has a specific meaning. “Blood libel” is the charge that Jews kill gentile children to use their blood to make the Passover matzas. It was widespread in Europe in the Middle Ages, and it moved to the Arab world by the 19th century, where it is still current. These days we often see a modern twist, that Jews shoot Muslim children to steal their organs. “Days of the Wolves” on Turkish TV showed that.

    Reply

  17. Paul Norheim says:

    Let’s have a look at Sarah Palin’s infamous “blood libel”
    statement:

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  18. nadine says:

    “I think it is clear that we Jews owe Sarah Palin an apology. For
    centuries, we have had the temerity to compare our suffering to
    Hers.” (Andrew Sullivan)
    Heck yeah, she should be honored that she is being loudly blamed by major media outlets for causing a lunatic’s rampage in Arizona, despite not a single shred of evidence connecting her to the lunatic. Isn’t her culpability obvious? I mean, this is Sarah Palin we are talking about here!

    Reply

  19. questions says:

    drew,
    it was posted July 1st 2010. Not a lot of lead time for completely debunking the statistical method by collecting new data….
    Do you have links for the debunkers?
    I read enough Nate Silver to get the basics of stats w/o being able to generate any, so see if you can find some “kinder, gentler” debunkings of this debunking of a study.
    Basically, it sounds to me like the strongest correlation with conceal/carry is more assaults. Not so much less crime.
    And if you think about it, it kind of makes sense. If you’re gonna commit a murder (you used the phrase “gun violence” above) and you’re gonna carry a gun to do it, maybe you’re not thinking so much about the possibility that the dude you’re trying to shoot is carrying one. Maybe you’re just figuring you’re lucky and he’s out of bullets. (“Did you count 5 or 6? Ya feelin’ lucky today?”)
    What also makes sense is that if you happen to have a gun on you and yu get pissed, well, you’re pissed. Funny what people do when they’re pissed….
    So I would be surprised, in fact, if we really did see a decrease in gun crimes (murder and armed robbery and pistol whipping??) given how they’re likely planned, and I’d be surprised if we didn’t see an increase in assaults given how often they are unplanned.
    More guns, more unplanned pissiness. More guns don’t affect people who want to kill some dude, rob some store (geeze, 7-11 workers often have guns and they get robbed all the fuckin’ time), or, umm, kill some dude.
    But maybe you have the titles of a number of peer-reviewed academic studies to back up your claims? According to the piece I linked to, there should be a decade of debate out there. And a decade of debate would suggest that the data are unclear and that perhaps the NRA is helping the way the tobacco lobby helps the progress of science!

    Reply

  20. Paul Norheim says:

    Comment from a reader on Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish:
    “I think it is clear that we Jews owe Sarah Palin an apology. For
    centuries, we have had the temerity to compare our suffering to
    Hers.”

    Reply

  21. drew says:

    Questions, 3:11: that is a discredited, political study that you are
    quoting. There are so many errors of research, data and
    provenance in that study, that it would take a posting even longer
    than yours to begin to summarize its problems. I would stick to the
    peer-reviewed academic literature if you want to understand this
    issue. Quoting that study would be like a second amendment
    defender pointing you at the NRA for supporting data.

    Reply

  22. questions says:

    Ahhh, the whole sneaky, unknown police record, umm, RECORD….
    http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/01/12/20110112giffords-shooting-suspect-loughner-sheriff-incidents-brk12-ON.html
    Here’s the most recent set of contacts:
    “Sept. 09, 2007: Loughner was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia after deputies found a marijuana pipe, rolling papers and a roach clip in a car. Loughner was a passenger.
    March 22, 2008: Loughner’s father reported that someone threw rocks at the rear window of his car, breaking it.
    Oct. 02, 2008: Loughner called police to report that he believed his identity had been stolen based on a Google search of his own name.
    March 16, 2010: Loughner’s father complained about a semi illegally parked on his street. Deputies reported that Loughner’s father complained that he was upset at his neighbors because their yard is unkempt.
    Monday: Loughner’s parents reported that they were being harrassed by media
    Monday: Deputies responded to a call of suspicious activity involving a truck. Deputies found that it was employees of Good Morning America.”
    ***
    Now, maybe there’s more, but this doesn’t look bad….

    Reply

  23. questions says:

    A few facts….
    First, here’s the link to a TPM embed of the video interview with Loughner’s h.s. friend who says Loughner has no political leanings…
    http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/jared-loughners-friend-tells-gma-he-did-not-watch-tv-he-disliked-the-news.php?ref=fpb
    The friend notes they haven’t been in contact for 2 years. A lot can happen in TWO YEARS. MAybe nothing happened in 2 years. Who knows.
    The friend notes some video about currency issues that seems to have changed Loughner in some way. And a lot of, is it salvia? use. Legal, plant based hallucinogen, I guess.
    Somewhere on TPM also is a piece on a routine traffic stop the day of the shooting. Loughner has had mild contact with the police here and there. Something about identity theft, a missing license (his mother’s), and a drug possession charge dropped…. There’s nothing too awfully conspiratorial here. It actually sounds pretty standard for a teen guy without a lot to do.
    The “climate” argument is evolving at this point to something along the lines of: even if the nasty, paranoid, factless stuff being spewed by Redstate and the like (they’ll take my children away if I don’t vaccinate them and they are taking away my light bulbs that I cannot live without…) — even if this had nothing to do with the Tucson shootings, even if Loughner lived in a non-political vacuum of mental illness fog, the fact remains that the calls for violence against the government, the threats the right plays up for ratings, donations, and votes are very bad indeed.
    Think of it this way. Your neighbor has a kitchen fire. It occurs to you that storing kerosene, oily rags, matches, the flame thrower, aerosol cans, open gasoline, and a bunch of lighters next to your gas stove probably really is a bad idea. So you clean up your kitchen because your neighbor’s fire reminds you that your kitchen is pretty hazardous. It’s not that your neighbor’s kitchen caused yours to burn. And maybe your neighbor’s kitchen burned because of an electrical problem that had nothing to do with kerosene. But it does occur to you that kitchens can catch fire, so maybe it’s a good idea to clean up. (Maybe you finally take down the billowy curtains behind the cook top, too!)
    Maybe it wasn’t Loughner as the culmination, but the culmination is lurking out there and we really need to dial this stuff back.
    No one (or not many) are calling for First Amendment violations. People are asking for some basic thoughtfulness, a little more care on the part of speech writers and pundits.
    Sounds good to me.

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  24. questions says:

    rising to drew’s challenge…..
    “Abstract:
    For over a decade, there has been a spirited academic debate over the impact on crime of laws that grant citizens the presumptive right to carry concealed handguns in public

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  25. nadine says:

    Giffords’s immigration position was against Obama and with the Republicans, so if that’s supposed to be the red-hot issue, attacks from the left are more likely than from the right. Palin targeted Giffords purely for her pro-Obamacare vote and her right-leaning district. Giffords was one of the few Blue Dogs to win reelection last November.
    It’s all moot anyway, since the attack was apolitical.
    What is more interesting is why Pima County Sheriff’s office won’t release Loughner’s records to The Arizona Republic.

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  26. Dan Kervick says:

    “Since the victims were a Blue Dog Democrat and a Republican Judge, wouldn’t it have been more natural to assume the attacker was from the left?”
    No, that’s really not very plausible Nadine. The main controversy surrounding the judge was an immigration case. From the Washington Post:
    “In February 2009, Roll received hundreds of threats after he allowed a lawsuit filed by illegal immigrants against a rancher to go forward. “They cursed him out, threatened to kill his family, said they’d come and take care of him. They really wanted him dead,” a law enforcement official told The Washington Post in May 2009.”
    You would have to admit that most of those threats likely came from the right wing of the immigration debate.
    And while left-wing Democrats don’t like blue dogs, Democrats weren’t the ones working desperately and fervently to defeat Giffords. That was the Tea Party and Palin’s organization, who had made Giffords one of their main political targets.
    Generally, if someone shoots a Democrat for political reasons, the likeliest suspects are going to be non-Democrats.

    Reply

  27. nadine says:

    “And it was natural to assume initially that the shootings were a politically motivated assassination attempt, having something to do with the politically charged atmosphere in Arizona. After all, a Congresswoman and a Judge were shot, and both have been the subject of intense political opposition and threats, some connected to the red-hot immigration debate in Arizona. Usually when political people are shot or killed, politics has something to do with it.” (Dan Kervick)
    Since the victims were a Blue Dog Democrat and a Republican Judge, wouldn’t it have been more natural to assume the attacker was from the left? Yet nobody did.
    “I have noticed that a lot of media became quickly disinterested in the perpetrator, and quickly ran off into their own discussions. ”
    Loughner provided the framework. The media supplied the prefab narrative. As you point out, the narrative doesn’t fit the facts. Note that this didn’t stop the media – and still has not stopped them, even as more and more facts ermerge confirming the shooter to be a lone, apolitical madman.
    “On the politics, Palin seems to me to be taking a big political risk in doubling down on her right to engage in whatever kind of rhetoric she wants. She

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  28. Kathleen says:

    Powerful Lobbies
    Lawrence O’Donnell, Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann are all promoting the idea that the NRA is the most powerful lobby in the U.S. Yet when a massacre takes place in Tucson they are all over the slaughter. As they should be. They are all over the NRA and the lack of enforcement of existing gun laws etc. As well they should be.
    Yet when there is a slaughter in the Gaza, on the Mavi Marmara, killing of non violent Palestinian protesters by Israeli forces. Barely a peep out of them. Total silence out of them when the Goldstone Report came out. The NRA is not the most powerful lobby in this country. The Israel Lobby is. They have been able to completely block out even a whisper about the Goldstone Report or the UN Report on what took place on the Mavi Marmara on Rachel Maddow’s and the rest of the so called liberal media.
    The NRA is not powerful enough to keep the facts on the ground, the debate, well recognized reports off the air when there has been a slaughter of individuals. The I lobby can.

    Reply

  29. Kathleen says:

    Hate Speech double standards
    After the horrendous murders and injuries in Tucson we are hearing a critically important discussion and debate about gun laws, numbers of magazine (odd way to phrase bullet capacity) clips, the ability of an individual carrying a firearm to a Congressperson, the killers mental health falling through the cracks, whether hate language has an effect. All important issues to examine and have a national discussion about. There has also rightfully been a great deal of focus on the inflammatory and violent language by Sarah Palin and others.
    Today Sarah Palin came out and said

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  30. Dan Kervick says:

    I think I have to agree mostly with Nadine here on the Taibbi piece.
    Sure, it’s as good a time as any to have a national conversation about the nature of civility and the norms of discourse that should be promoted in a democratic society, and to ask whether political rage and hatreds are getting out of control. This is an issue people have been increasingly concerned about for almost a decade, and so if this incident sparks such a discussion on that issue, for whatever reason, fine.
    And it was natural to assume initially that the shootings were a politically motivated assassination attempt, having something to do with the politically charged atmosphere in Arizona. After all, a Congresswoman and a Judge were shot, and both have been the subject of intense political opposition and threats, some connected to the red-hot immigration debate in Arizona. Usually when political people are shot or killed, politics has something to do with it.
    But the preponderance of the evidence at this point doesn’t bear out any connection between the political atmosphere and the shooting. Once we see Loughner’s writings – he allegedly kept a journal – we might learn otherwise. Or if Loughner finally decides to talk, we might learn more as well. We might find out whether, to what degree his disordered thoughts were feeding on external political discourse. But so far, this looks more like a Manson case or a Berkowitz case than a politically motivated assassination attempt.
    I have noticed that a lot of media became quickly disinterested in the perpetrator, and quickly ran off into their own discussions. (Not everyone; you could follow this aspect of the story if you wanted to.) There was even a wave of press stories of the form, “We

    Reply

  31. drew says:

    Ed Shultz/MSNBC interview with Joe Zamudio:
    I found this interview — by Schultz and in his comments, and
    certainly in the comments by the interview subject — to be very
    moving. It takes the discussion out of the symbolic realm into the
    specific, and further, informs what I think the real issue is here:
    why was this very ill man unreachable and cut loose to kill.
    Zamudio’s quiet humility is bracketed by the heroism of running at
    “a full sprint” into a chaotic, violent scene.
    Go to about 2:13 for the good part.
    http://blog.eyeblast.tv/2011/01/ed-schultz-schooled-on-gun-
    ownership-by-tucson-hero-joe-zamudio/

    Reply

  32. drew says:

    “The only reason we’re talking about this today is that he killed
    six people rather than one person and that one of the people he
    shot is a congresswoman. These are not uncommon events.
    People like this man, with likely untreated schizophrenia, are
    responsible for about 10 percent of the homicides in the United
    States. That means about 1,600 homicides a year.”
    This is the more interesting observation I’ve read on this case,
    which sustains, I think, my discomfort at reading all of these
    grand social theories and calls for new laws on speech and
    weapons. I do think it’s repugnant to value the lives of
    celebrities more than the lives of the unknown, and therefore, it
    does seem important to ask if 1600 homicides by paranoid
    schizophrenics is an unavoidable cost of living in a free society (I
    think it probably is, but whatever).
    Currently, however, if one is responsible for a paranoid
    schizophrenic (forgive me for a personal anecdote, but there are
    two in my immediate family, and I am) I will say that one’s hands
    are tied by patients’ rights laws. I would not wish for anyone to
    try to save a sibling or parent by trying to communicate with her
    while she is delusional and convinced that the hospital is trying
    to kill her with medication and other treatment — and the
    medical staff, figuratively, is in the next room saying, Unless she
    signs her admit forms and agrees to a course of treatment, we
    need her bed NOW for someone who will. And understand, too,
    that a schizophrenic never gets “better.” What you see is what
    you get, forever.
    To me, the condition of this man and his footloose condition
    prior to the shootings, are the occasion for reflection, not
    anything having to do with Gail Collins’ opinion of Arizona gun
    laws, the appearance of a Glock 19, or whether or not Krugman
    thinks Palin should be placed in chains.

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  33. DonS says:

    If nadine, the 24/7 propagandist cites it, it must be so.
    Feh.

    Reply

  34. nadine says:

    “As I have stated before, and as any reasonable person acknowledges, there are multiple contributory factors that led to this tragedy” (DonS)
    “[Q] We’ve heard a lot of debate about how heated political rhetoric might have led to this. What do you think about that?
    [A] I think it’s a red herring. We have seen these kinds of things in periods with relative peace in the political environment, we’ve seen it in turbulent times. I think it’s unrelated, frankly.”
    (Dr. E. Fuller Torrey)

    Reply

  35. DonS says:

    “Blood Libel!!”
    Sarah still whining, dissembling, failing to engage responsibly, not to mention failing to acknowledge the culture of hate, threat, incitement — and appologizing for any possible contributing to it. (which I realistically don’t ever expect)
    Sarah, and the right wing in general, is afraid of engaging that part of the debate that cites inappropriate rhetoric and symbols. As I have stated before, and as any reasonable person acknowledges, there are multiple contributory factors that led to this tragedy. Seeking to home in on only one — or divert attention totally from the ‘culture of violence’ aspect — is sleazy and dishonest.
    However, the right wing of the political spectrum seems galvanized against accepting any responsibility for the culture of violence, and now with Palin doubling down on her initial sorry performance, it seems clear what the tactic is. And it’s understandable. Without promoting the culture of hate, fear, threat and violence that the right utilizes as it’s primary recruitment and campaigning tactic, they would be severely disarmed.
    Roger Ailes said that he told his blowhards to tone it down, and to engage intellectually. That’s probably just a smokescreen for public consumption, but at the very least it acknowledges a rhetoric that has gone out of bounds.
    In the trenches, the far right cannot afford to lose this battle; it is indeed THEIR life blood.
    Palin is a leading indicator of where the real fight, at least through her eyes, is going. The fight to bring some control and decency back to political debate. Her tack is apparently to foreclose that direction by playing the victim herself, going on the attack.
    All facets of the sickness that contribute to the environment of violence must be addressed: mental health; gun violence; rhetoric that incites, at the very least. Could we be so bold as to mention the destructive effect of money on the system as well?

    Reply

  36. nadine says:

    The entire lexicon of political campaigns is borrowed from war. The very word “to campaign” originally meant to ride out at the head of your army to conquer something.
    campaign
    campaign chest
    campaign headquarters
    victory
    defeat
    rout
    battle lines
    enemy lines
    field of battle
    allies
    battleground state
    strategy
    tactics
    wedge issue
    lieutenants
    aides
    general staff
    ground troops
    heavy guns
    vulnerable target
    terrain
    high ground
    These words are used to cover every political campaign, and all of them are martial metaphors.
    What is a political campaign, after all, but a peaceful way to decide how to share power, which sublimates the previous method, warfare?

    Reply

  37. Val R says:

    “Giffords was re-elected to her third term in November. Her office was among the politicians whose offices were targeted with vandalism and
    threats during the health care debate in 2009.
    Republican lawmakers who won a majority of seats in the House of Representatives have called for a repeal of the health care reform signed into law by President Obama last year.
    Giffords was also one of the lawmakers who was targeted on a map with simulated gun sights for supporting the health care bill on a
    website run by a political action committee supporting former Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin.”
    http://www.voanews.com/english/news/US-Lawmaker-Shot-in-Arizona-113135089.html

    Reply

  38. nadine says:

    From the Salon interview of psychiatrist Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, an expert on paranoid schizophrenia:
    [Q] Quite early in the news cycle, the media more or less diagnosed Jared Loughner as paranoid schizophrenic. Do you think that’s accurate?
    [A] He’s a textbook case. Most psychiatrists will tell you they need to examine a patient before diagnosing him, but this guy has all of the symptoms. He has the right age of onset. He has a deteriorating social course, as they say in the [DSM], social and occupational dysfunction. He has delusions, and they’re pretty strange. It’s common for schizophrenics to think people are trying to control their mind, but thinking the government is trying to control your grammar — I’ve never heard that before. The real tip-off is the markedly disorganized speech, which you see in the rambling videos. This is the kind of disorganized speech that you virtually never get in any other condition. It’s what we call pathognomonic of schizophrenia. That is, when you hear that symptom, it’s “schizophrenia until proven otherwise.” He’s also got the affective flattening of emotion, which you see in that mug shot.
    [Q] Let’s talk about that mug shot, because it’s pretty striking. This guy is getting booked on six murders. Why is he smiling?
    [A] That’s pretty bizarre, and that’s something a person with schizophrenia will do, because their emotions are disconnected from what’s going on. When you tell a schizophrenic your mother died, they might smile instead of cry….
    [Q] Whenever these horrible events occur, people often say: Oh, it was probably a paranoid schizophrenic. Why has this behavior become so strongly associated with tragedy?
    [A] If you have grandiose delusions [caused by other forms of schizophrenia or mental illness] — if you think you’re the king of Washington, for instance — you’re not likely to kill anyone. If, on the other hand, you have paranoid delusions [consistent with paranoid schizophrenia] and you become convinced that the woman who lives across the street is sending signals into your brain, then you may try to hurt her first.
    [Q] We’ve heard a lot of debate about how heated political rhetoric might have led to this. What do you think about that?
    [A] I think it’s a red herring. We have seen these kinds of things in periods with relative peace in the political environment, we’ve seen it in turbulent times. I think it’s unrelated, frankly.
    The only reason we’re talking about this today is that he killed six people rather than one person and that one of the people he shot is a congresswoman. These are not uncommon events. People like this man, with likely untreated schizophrenia, are responsible for about 10 percent of the homicides in the United States. That means about 1,600 homicides a year.

    Reply

  39. Neo Controll says:

    “What we are also seeing, by the way, is American mainstream journalism committing suicide.”
    Twisted concept of journalism: write story lines according to a poll that some neocon approves of.
    Add concern troll for mainstream journalism to her resume.

    Reply

  40. nadine says:

    questions, re Matt Taibbi: “the early evidence suggests that there’s a real media-culpability story here, that this person (and others who’ve made threats or committed politically-motivated acts of violence in recent years, especially this year) was driven in part by heated rhetoric.”
    Did Taibbi actually point to any evidence, early or otherwise? Because if so, I missed it.
    See, this Rush-Limbaugh-talks-so-mean-it-must-be-his-fault line of reasoning may sound convincing to to the Left, but other people have more sense – as polls are showing DESPITE a media firestorm aimed at convincing people otherwise. Thank God for the common sense of the American people.
    Of course, when the Left talks mean, they think it’s all sweet nothings. The utter lack of introspection is either adolescent, ideological or deeply cynical. Take your pick.
    What we are also seeing, by the way, is American mainstream journalism committing suicide. When 60% of the people react to your major, major storyline by saying, in effect, “how can you say that? you have no evidence and it makes no sense” your credibility is gone. You can preach to the choir but the audience in the pews is tuning you out.

    Reply

  41. DonS says:

    Sarah Palin goes on the attack.
    What I find most interesting is the revisionist history, to wit:
    “It is in the hour when our values are challenged that we must remain resolved to protect those values. Recall how the events of 9-11 challenged our values and we had to fight the tendency to trade our freedoms for perceived security. And so it is today.”
    The only “values” and “freedoms” that Palin wants to protect are those that come stamped “wingnut approved”
    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/sarah-palin-accuses-journalists-of-blood-libel-calls-loughner-apolitical-video.php?ref=fpa

    Reply

  42. Neo Controll says:

    Could have been written by the local “the left hates America” manure spreader.
    Rush! da man with the answers:
    http://www.americablog.com/2011/01/limbaugh-says-democrats-support.html

    Reply

  43. questions says:

    From Salon, on the Hasan/Loughner issue.
    http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/01/11/hasan_loughner/index.html
    Michael Lind has a piece up too, on American political taxonomy. It’s incomplete, overly generalized, as all taxonomies probably have to be, but the basic idea of overlapping but separate basic groupings in American society is a workable idea after a fashion.
    I think there are more things going on than just different worldviews. The trust issue is probably far greater in that one can cope with someone who sees the problem differently if one trusts that other to do something basically right. At this point, though, we have so little mutual trust that no one trusts people outside their identification groups. No trust of other people, no trust of other worldviews — this makes the incompatible worldviews become a major problem rather than mere background noise.

    Reply

  44. nadine says:

    POA, when it comes to Israel, you are nearly as paranoid and crazy as Jared Loughner. The Demon-state of your imagination would pushed out every single Arab in 1948 and 1967, when half the world expected them to do it and nobody but the Arabs would have objected very much. It would have been small potatoes compared to the population exchanges of Indian and Pakistan. Any Arab state would have done it just like they did do it to their own Jewish populations — there are no Jews to speak of left in the Arab states.
    Yet no mere fact like the million Arab citizens of Israel or rising population numbers on the West Bank can influence your crazed belief that the IDF enjoys killing civilians for target practice, that the IDF always lies but the PA and Hamas always tell the truth, that only the world’s gaze prevents Israel from committing genocide, etc.
    It’s all so far removed from the facts on the ground or either side’s track record that it’s as impervious to reality as Loughner’s belief that Giffords was a “fake” who deserved to die because she did not answer his nonsensical question in the “right” way back in 2007.

    Reply

  45. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Since then, the IDF got the hospital records, and concluded she died from the strong drug she was given”
    Liar.
    The IDF has tried one piece of propaganda after another in this case. You know it, and I know it. And anyone following events closely knows it. You only underscore how despicably dishonest you are by continuing to stay on script, when you KNOW you’re citing fiction.

    Reply

  46. nadine says:

    “That you take your assertion that Jawahar Abu Rahmah was killed by her own family, and you shove it straight up where the sun don’t shine.”
    Sure. Since then, the IDF got the hospital records, and concluded she died from the strong drug she was given. People don’t die just from teargas released half a kilometer away. Maybe there was a drug reaction, but we’ll never know. The Palestinians took no changes with an autopsy, but just declared she died of teargas and buried her fast. As usual, reporters demanded proof from Israelis but took the Palestinian statements at face value. As I mentioned before, this means that the Palestinians can always get their statements out first.

    Reply

  47. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “POA, I’ll trade you one baseless accusation that the gunman did it because of anti-Semitism, against the thousand equally baseless charges that he did it because of Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin”
    Ok, its a deal.
    On one condition….
    That you take your assertion that Jawahar Abu Rahmah was killed by her own family, and you shove it straight up where the sun don’t shine.
    You’re the queen of baseless accusation, you nasty hasbarist bigot. And your ugly hypocricy knows no bounds.
    Go infect someone else with your diseased opinions and putrid propagandizing.

    Reply

  48. nadine says:

    POA, I’ll trade you one baseless accusation that the gunman did it because of anti-Semitism, against the thousand equally baseless charges that he did it because of Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin.
    Jared Loughner is almost certainly a paranoid schizophrenic.

    Reply

  49. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Speaking about “super lying efforts”, I see Fox News still has its article up that insinuates anti-semitism was the motivation behind this wacko’s spree.
    Funny, though, when it became widely recognized that there IS NO reason to suspect anti-semitism, and there IS NO evidence that the shooter was connected to the organization that Fox claims he was connected to, Fox News shut down the comment section on the article, yet left the article up on its website.
    Its pure bullshit, its KNOWN to be pure bullshit, yet Fox News has no qualms about calling it “news”.

    Reply

  50. Neo Controll says:

    “The NYT’s implication that only the left receives threats is also a vicious lie.”
    Nadine, all neocons deserve a rest. You sure have done your part to spread the gospel of right wing. Could you, while you’re at it, OT though it is, reflect on Judy Miller’s lies; were they “vicious”, or just garden variety?
    Or maybe, care to further defend the right versus left degree of nastiness. Not that it’s relevant in these sad times. But you seem intent upon staying on message. Even if it requires a super lying effort.

    Reply

  51. nadine says:

    “By the way, nadine, here is a fuller paragraph from the NYT editorial, this excerpted from Brad DeLong:
    “The federal judge who was killed, John Roll, had received hundreds of menacing phone calls and death threats…” (questions)
    I must say, questions, that for someone who claims not to be interested in defending the NYT, you have spent a lot of words doing just that.
    You have just posted another example of the NYT editorial board’s despicable use of innuendo. Judge Roll was not a target. He was not scheduled to be there at all. He just dropped in to see his friend Rep. Giffords and was killed as the crazed gunman shot randomly into the crowd – another indication that this was not a politically motivated assassination.
    The NYT’s implication that only the left receives threats is also a vicious lie. The right in Arizona has been the target of a campaign of vilification by the pro-illegal immigrant camp, led by President Obama himself and taken up by Sheriff Dupnik, who covered his own malfeasance in the case by calling his own state “the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry”.
    James Taranto of the WSJ sums up the case well:
    “The Authoritarian Media: The New York Times has crossed a moral line.

    Reply

  52. DonS says:

    Via Atrios, pearls of wisdom from Erik Erickson, cited approvingly upthread by very serious persons:
    http://mediamatters.org/blog/201101110031
    Religionists, all of them, ought to just pipe down. Six others are dead.

    Reply

  53. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Worth remembering what happens when you have a gun on you”
    ROFLMAO!!!!
    Funny, I have “had a gun on me” thousands of times in my lifetime, and NEVER found myself in Zamudio’s situation.
    Do you bother to think before you post some of this horseshit, questions?
    Perhaps you’d like to link to a Super Lotto winner, and say something like…..
    “Here’s what happens when you buy a Super Lotto ticket.”

    Reply

  54. questions says:

    On Zamudio’s story:
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2011_01/027487.php
    Worth remembering what happens when you have a gun on you.
    DonS, thanks for the links above.
    And there’s this, on language, strategy, and what might happen to the right….
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2011_01/027484.php
    The WaMo site is good in general.

    Reply

  55. PissedOffAmerican says:

    As an aside, Don. The kind of outdoor experiences I was gifted to as a youth, are over, for the most part. Ownership of guns, and hunting in general, is a completely different thing now than it was in those days. I simply don’t hunt anymore, because here in California you are more apt to meet up with some asshole that shouldn’t be within five miles of a firearm than you are to run across someone practicing safe gun handling.
    So, of course, sane, sensible and reasonable gun control MUST be employed by our government. The catch is figuring out a way to do that without trampling on the rights of EVERYONE that owns a gun, or hunts. Up until the early nineties, in Idaho, I legally shot a cow elk annually. I love the meat, and lived in an area where regulated hunting was an important facet of managing the elk population. If I still lived in the northwest, I would still be meat hunting. I’ve never shot anyone, and my licensing and permit fees helped finance the protection and management of an important national asset, our wildlife. Further, outdoor activities, particularly hunting, were an important component to the local economy, both in retail and governmentally imposed licensing and permit fees.
    Will we take all of that away because some fuckin’ wackjob goes postal occassionally, or because we aren’t pushing safety programs and SENSIBLE gun control laws strongly enough? I bet Dan, or you, have never heard of the NRA’s “Eddie Eagle” program. Yet you would do far more to protect our youth from gun accidents by pushing for this kind of program to be instituted in our schools than you are by enabling our politicians to politically grandstand on an issue defined primarily by ignorance and fear.
    The coons are thick around here. As are bobcats.

    Reply

  56. DonS says:

    “I don’t recall advocating for widespread issuance of concealed weapons permits”.
    Not saying you did; sorry if my generalities got out of hand. Too many conversations going on, several of which I don’t even want to be part of.
    My next door neighbor — we were both in junior high — and another friend of his were handling guns in his house. They were both big gun/hunter/fisher types, and he and I fished, but not hunted together. Somehow . . . a gun discharged, I believe it was a shotgun (which was/is used in New York state for certain deer hunting I think), and my neighbor was minus 3 fingers, including the thumb of his right hand. He wore a skin colored glove thereafter. Actually, I lost track of him years ago, but he did open a sporting goods store upstate. No real point to the story. Just comes to mind from time to time. I maimed myself by careless bike riding as a kid. Life.
    On the skunk: a trap set at night is less likely to attract the critters you mention of course; more likely the skunk. But you might get a raccoon, if there around. I’ve inadvertently gotten a couple of those while trying to keep groundhogs/woodchuck out of the garden.

    Reply

  57. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I don’t recall advocating for widespread issuance of concealed weapons permits. I do advocate for the carefully regulated issuance of such permits, with extensive screening, however.
    I’m not crazy about the idea of a bunch of people being armed in my immediate vicinity either. In fact, as a hunter, I was extremely picky about who I’d go afield with, and just because you were my friend didn’t mean I’d go hunting with you. I had a friend narrowly miss my thigh once with a .300 Winchester Magnum that he was pushing into a saddle scabbard as I stood next to his mount. Usually, when hunting first time with someone, you know if they are safe to be around within the first five minutes of watching how they handle their weapon. Even at my dad’s operation in the Selway, the paying customers were required to stow their weapons in the gun case in the main lodge, away from the bunkhouses. There was a locked chain that ran through the trigger guards of the rifles, and a safe where the handguns were kept under lock and key.
    The idea of being in a bar with a crowd of people carrying concealed weapons is ridiculous, and not something I want to experience, or think I should have to risk experiencing in a public place.
    It may come as a suprise to you and Kervick, but not all gun ownership advocates are idiots or blood thirsty wackos.
    BTW, I knew that someone would suggest a hav-a-hart. But I know too many people that have gotten squirted by employing the occassionally successful rag ploy. You’re fortunate it worked for you. Hav-a-harts aren’t really an option here anyway, as the ground squirrels and cottontails are far more plentiful, and far less cautious, than the skunks. And a baited hav-a-hart would be tripped within minutes by a critter, or critters, that are more than welcome to share my space with me.

    Reply

  58. questions says:

    WONDERFUL post on “rhetoric” by a teacher of same, using Aristotle’s definition from The Rhetoric:
    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2011/01/what-is-violent-rhetoric
    Opening paragraph:
    “As someone who teaches rhetoric, I can only say that I

    Reply

  59. DonS says:

    POA, I don’t think anyone is proposing confiscation. But there are certain situations where concealed weapons seem ill advised; like why would I want to be in the same bar as untold numbers of other patrons who have guns? We know they are boy scouts, and wouldn’t be drinking, but none the less . . . And, as you point out, the Arizona shooting did not follow the concealed carry, “friendly” fire scenario. But, in the chaos that ensues after a shooting begins it is hard to imagine an ‘improved’ outcome with other guns drawn; the perp sure isn’t going to throw down his and surrender. It would be interesting to know how many seconds it took for the shooter to unload that gun, and how many [more] potential victims would be in lines of fire if other guns were drawn. I truly don’t want to get into a technical expose with ‘experts’ on the other side who know my thinking (and most law enforcement) is wrong.
    Nor do I have any statistcs — not that one can’t find any statitics to support a position if they cared to — regarding concealed carry law and crime rates, as drew asks. Another multi faceted futile exercise, I suggest, that defies the simple logic of reducing, not increasing, situations where innocent individuals are at risk. How naive of me, I know. But that’s just the way I am. I have my own impressions from the Viginia Tech massacre about the absence of a clamor for concealed carry among those close to the situation, but I’m not going to make any claims.
    By the way, POA, of course you are aware that should you have the good fortune (?) to trap that skunk, as I have, in a hav-a-heart, if you throw a cloth over the cage the little beasty will be calmed to the degree that it will not be tempted to retaliate, while you relocate him/her. If your seriously concerned about rabies, from the behavior, drowning might suggest itself. The skunk, of course.

    Reply

  60. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Meanwhile, I see Israel’s delegitimization efforts are ongoing and constant.
    Netanyahu just told Hillary to go fuck herself, claiming that the Shepard Hotel demolition is simply a private matter, and has nothing to do with the Israeli government’s official policies.
    Hey, let’s send him a few more billion, shall we?
    Dan, I’ll let the skunk know you whimped out. I’m sure Netanyahu has already figured out that Hillary will do the same.

    Reply

  61. Dan Kervick says:

    “… yet he had no comment on a proposed bit of legislation that needs to be on the books.”
    I’m at work. Hair slightly on fire. No time to write blog comments today.

    Reply

  62. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “It’s not rocket science: in a situation where there is gunfire, emanating from who knows where, and a bunch of folks with guns start shooting to “help”, it only adds to the potential carnage. A sensible person with a gun it such situation would probably hold fire. It’s that simple”
    Don….
    Quite a bit of ruminating about this kind of thing, while ignoring the fact that Arizona gun laws ARE quite lax, yet these “carry anywhere” Arizonians you refer to were obviously not at this rally, as the shooting war you describe did not occur, did it?
    Interesting that Kervick advanced “sensible laws” that are ALREADY ON THE BOOKS, yet he had no comment on a proposed bit of legislation that needs to be on the books, namely reinstituting, federally, the law that outlaws extended magazines. There is simply no reason for anyone to have the capacity to shoot 30 rounds without reloading. In fact, I think the proposed legislation does not go far enough, as the need for ten rounds even seems unreasonable to me.
    Although Kervick masqueraded himself as supporting “normal” laws, something tells me that no amount of legislation, short of convinscation, would satisfy his wishes for a gun safe society. And the truth is, convinscation would not stop gun crime. You know it, and I know it. It would, however, make criminals out of a HUGE segment of our society, because very few gun owners would willingly turn in their entire collection to the authorities.
    As far as the “well armed militia” opposing a tyranical government, I find it ridiculous. Even if a citizen, or a mob of citizens, armed themselves with an arsenal of ALREADY ILLEGAL automatic weaponry, they would find thimselves overmatched and woefully unable to counter a modern military force with all its technological wonders. And somehow I doubt I’m gonna come out on top in an encounter against an Apache gunship or a troop of United States Marines armed with a so called “assault weapon”, that is little more than a standard semi-auto hunting rifle with a handle and a matte black finish. Only in America would a degree of ignorance prevail that designates one weapon different than another because of its color and the manner in which it can be carried.
    But back here on the planet earth, where there are millions of gun owners just like me, non-violent, reasonably sane, and law abiding, I’d like to invite Dan over to do battle with my resident skunk. I threatened him yesterday with a crescent wrench, and he just laughed at me while sidling his way to under my front deck. Dan might be well advised to arm himself, as this varmint has already shown a willingness to freely use the weaponry he packs (legally, I might ad). Dan is more than welcome to rummage through the kitchen utensil drawers, or go through my woodshop to find a suitable implement. Uh, he might wanna bring a change of clothes, as well. And some rabies vaccine.

    Reply

  63. questions says:

    Drop in crime rates widespread, regardless of laws, I believe. Correlation and causation…. Ho hum. No one entirely knows why crime rates have dropped. Theories include: community policing, passing of a drug wave, drop in number of boy teens, increased incarceration breaking up cohorts, broken windows theories, state of economy….. Geeze, and don’t the freako dudes (not so righteous) tie it to abortion rates 18 years ago, or whatever….
    Tying this to conceal/carry laws, ho hum.

    Reply

  64. drew says:

    Don S., that’s extremely heart-warming. Here’s a challenge, of the
    evidence-based variety: name a single county in the USA where
    gun violence did not decline after the introduction of laws friendly
    to concealed carry. Just one? Just one anecdotal example?

    Reply

  65. questions says:

    By the way, nadine, here is a fuller paragraph from the NYT editorial, this excerpted from Brad DeLong:
    “The federal judge who was killed, John Roll, had received hundreds of menacing phone calls and death threats, especially after he allowed a case to proceed against a rancher accused of assaulting 16 Mexicans as they tried to cross his land. This rage, stirred by talk-radio hosts, required marshals to give the judge and his family 24-hour protection for a month. Around the nation, threats to federal judges have soared for a decade. It is facile and mistaken to attribute this particular madman

    Reply

  66. questions says:

    Gleaned from, umm, somewhere, is a link to a list of much of the violent political rhetoric of late:
    http://www.csgv.org/issues-and-campaigns/guns-democracy-and-freedom/insurrection-timeline
    (via Brad DeLong and a few more clicks….)
    It’s a worthwhile skim, or skim and click, or read and click every link and be amazed.
    Thanks, DonS for the perspective. There’s much to figure out here.

    Reply

  67. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Whether or not one is willing to admit the efforts of Beck and his ilk sow violence, one cannot fail to note that their efforts are aimed at division using rhetoric laced with animous.
    The resultant angry division that pits democrat neighbor against republican neighbor is far more damaging to our social fabric and way of life than the occassional violent act is. One need only listen to a segment or two of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh to draw the conclusion that their angry rhetoric and purposely incendiary and inciteful attacks are designed to instigate anger and division. Its irrelevent whether violence ensues or not when assessing whether these two pieces of shit are doing damage to the cohesion of our society. Its obvious they are, violence or not.
    Lunatics in society are an inevitable part of the human condition, a dynamic that we have no control over. Murders and massacres will occur no matter the political climate.
    But the condition of our Fourth Estate IS a manageable condition, and we have allowed it to become something other than what it should be in a democratic society that REQUIRES checks and balances that function OUTSIDE the influence of the governing body. Our way of life cannot continue when actual and factual information is replaced with marketing designed to advance political agenda. Tyranny is the inevitable destination of such a path. As a democratic society, we need to restore the Fourth Estate to its original role, or we are done for.

    Reply

  68. DonS says:

    And for all the “packing heat everywhere is the answer” fans,in Arizona and elsewhere, here is a story that highlights the bravery and, equally important, the functionality of individual courage of the unarmed.
    http://my.firedoglake.com/scarecrow/2011/01/11/tuscon-heroes-unarmed-prevented-the-armed-from-killing-even-more/
    It’s not rocket science: in a situation where there is gunfire, emanating from who knows where, and a bunch of folks with guns start shooting to “help”, it only adds to the potential carnage. A sensible person with a gun it such situation would probably hold fire. It’s that simple.

    Reply

  69. DonS says:

    “Arizona law lets anyone report instability and things happen at that point. Perhaps no one felt ok reporting. Education is important, destigmatizing is important, and gun laws are pretty important.” (Questions)
    It’s common that “no one felt ok reporting”. The Arizona law may, in fact, be little different from elsewhere, just different terminolgy. In Viginia, for example, anyone can report concern for an individual, and there is then some coordination between the mental health screeners and the police that can initiate a two step process: if the screener is concerned enough (e.g., via phone contact), the police can be requested to do a “wellness” check and — depending upon what is found — a petition can then be initiated for an ECO (emergency custody order), good for a 4 hour eval as I recall, after which a TDO can be sought for a more indepth assessment, but also quite time limited (48 hours I think) before being presented to a magistrate/”special justice” for a hearing to determine release or further observation. The good thing about the ECO process, if there is a good here, is that the petitioner can initially be the screener or someone not directly connected to the subject so a degree of anonymity is there. But how many people know that? To work well, good coordination and understanding is required between the police and the mental health personnel.
    The article you cite is a mixed picture, since it also reports that Arizona ranks near the bottom in mental health matters, a not uncommon situation in a budget strapped state.
    Perhaps this TPM story is a picture of what it’s like ‘on the ground’ in much of Arizona from the ‘reasonable’ gun control angle. Again, not so different from other states, maybe a matter of degree:
    too.http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/dems-and-gop-agree-gun-control-is-a-non-starter-in-az.php?ref=fpb
    And maybe why federal law is required for the most obvious reforms.
    The media wars are ensuing, with the finger pointing between those concerned with inflammatory rhetoric; the mental health/lone fruitcake asserters-deniers; the gun control asserters-deniers; and the RWingers who are just trying to blame everything on the “left”. Fact is, there is no need to come down on any one cause/angle; they are all implicated, and a reasonable approach to addressing all concerns makes sense. But reason seems to be in short supply these days.

    Reply

  70. questions says:

    This is not bad in terms of polarization:
    As Political Wire notes, a CBS poll finds that nearly six in ten respondents do not blame the nation’s political rhetoric for the Arizona shooting.
    According to CBS, “Overall, 57 percent of respondents said the harsh political tone had nothing to do with the shooting, compared to 32 percent who felt it did.” Just under half of Democratic respondents said there was no connection between the two, while nearly 70% of GOP respondents thought the two are unrelated.”
    From HuffPo.
    It’s nice that the memes are being balanced on both sides. People would seem to be thinking.
    In itself, this undermines nadine’s position, and the strong position on the other side, too.
    We’re not always tools of the system, but we’re not totally independent either.
    ****
    nadine, I’m not interested in defending the honor of the NYT. I don’t think “political correctness” is at all the force you think it is in the universe. I don’t think it’s at all the right term of analysis. Not political correctness, not multi-culti-ism, not any inability to judge or condemn. I don’t think the LEFT has much of this problem, nor do I think the world suffers from it. I don’t think that people fail to condemn Islamic terrorism in the ways it should be condemned.
    I also don’t think that terrorism is limited to Islam, is caused by Islam (read Pape already, please). I think there are co-factors, and all sorts of complicated issues that feed into the mess that terror is.
    You are quite willing to say that Loughner is a nut, but you hold to Hasan’s Islamism. If Loughner has some statement that Beck made him do it, you might very well say that his statement is the product of a fevered brow. Maybe not. Maybe you’d say, ok, the NYT is right. It’s Beck or it’s the “climate”….
    Causation is a multifarious thing, so drawing a bright line isn’t easy, isn’t really possible.
    To the extent that anyone says, “X CAUSED Loughner to go off the rails, then I would say, as I have, that it’s likely more complicated.”
    Now here’s what you have pasted above, repasted, from the NYT:
    “It is facile and mistaken to attribute this particular madman

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  71. nadine says:

    “”a religion which demanded he commit mass murder”
    and already I’m trying to figure this out.
    Does this line mean that the only good Muslim is a mass murdering one? Cuz, this doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Seriously.” (questions)
    questions, you get tripped up over the simplest points. See if you can follow me here. Does Osama bin Laden follow a religion? If so, which religion does he follow? Does his religion command him to commit what he would call jihad and what I would call mass murder?
    I said nothing about Islam being monolithic, or Hassan’s Islam being the only possible Islam. So your “only good Muslim” line doesn’t make sense to me — though Major Hassan would probably agree with it. But I do say that Major Hassan’s Islam is a form of Islam, and a standard form of Islam at that, with millions of followers. No, the followers don’t all commit mass murder/jihad. But they approve of those who do.
    “You seem to hold that the only ideological tendency that is at issue in this whole set up is the leftist multi culti thang. But first off, the NYT is critical of all sorts of things, including, say, conservative violent fringe rhetoric. If they were really lefty multi culti, they wouldn’t go after that, either.”
    Read what I wrote again. Conservative violent fringe rhetoric is white & American, i.e. it’s in our own cultural context. Lefty multi-culties are free to judge it as harshly as they like, and they do. Radical Islamism is Mideastern & non-American. It’s in a different cultural and religious context. Lefty multi-culties are not allowed to judge it, and they don’t. They will twist themselves into pretzels to avoid doing so, as the NYT editorial on Hassan’s mysterious motives demonstrated.
    “O’Reilly and Beck get it just right absolutely and completely, no private interests, no ideological screens, no biases? Just the world as it is?”
    The name of this line of argument is “You’re another!” It’s generally a sign that you are losing the debate. Let’s see if you can understand my argument about the NYT editorials before we change the subject, shall we?

    Reply

  72. questions says:

    Arizona law lets anyone report instability and things happen at that point. Perhaps no one felt ok reporting. Education is important, destigmatizing is important, and gun laws are pretty important too.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/10/AR2011011007049.html

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  73. questions says:

    And the staffers, all righteous dudes,
    “Staffers and others lined up single-file in the rotunda of the Cannon House Office Building to sign two books for the victims — a condolence book and a book of well-wishes. The books were placed on a simple fold-out table in the middle of the elegant rotunda, which was mostly silent as a steady stream of about a dozen people at a time waited in line to pay their respects.”
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2011/01/reports-arizona-rep-gabrielle.html#staffers
    ******
    They don’t get the glory, but they do the work. And one of them died. In the line of duty. What an odd phrase in this situation.
    We should have a day of thanks for the people who keep us functioning.

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  74. questions says:

    T-Paw, R-run for pres, righteous dude tip toeing through the tulips….
    “Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty (R) said Tuesday morning that he wouldn’t have used crosshairs on a map of targeted districts as former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s (R) political action committee did during the 2010 midterm campaign.
    Pawlenty, who embarks this week on a national book tour ahead of an anticipated 2012 presidential bid, was doubling down on remarks he made to the New York Times that the crosshairs were “not a device I would have chosen to do.” Palin’s aides have said that the images were never intended to be crosshairs or incite violence.
    “I think Gov. Palin is a remarkable leader; I think she brings a lot to the debate and the table, both nationally and within the Republican Party as well,” Pawlenty said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “As to the New York Times quote, you know, it wouldn’t have been my style to put the crosshairs on there. But again, there’s no evidence to suggest that that had anything to do with this mentally unstable person’s rage and senseless acts in Arizona.”
    Pawlenty also urged restraint in speculating about the political motivations of the alleged gunman, Jared Loughner.
    “There’s no reason to believe at this point that there’s any motivating factor tied to a particular politician or a particular show or a particular act,” Pawlenty said. “It appears to be the rage of a mentally unstable person, and sometimes they do irrational and senseless things.”
    He said that the incident “clearly” changes the political climate in the country, adding, “we could all benefit from a more civil and thoughtful discourse in this country.”
    Pawlenty is slated to appear on ABC’s “The View” later Tuesday. Thursday, he kicks off his book tour at the National Press Club in Washington.”
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2011/01/reports-arizona-rep-gabrielle.html#pawlenty
    ***
    Republican reactions will depend on which side of their bread is buttered.

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  75. questions says:

    Peter King, R-NY, righteous dude! Man holding tape measure wherever he goes. Or surveyors’ tools.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/11/peter-king-strict-gun-control_n_807323.html

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  76. questions says:

    nadine writes:
    “a religion which demanded he commit mass murder”
    and already I’m trying to figure this out.
    Does this line mean that the only good Muslim is a mass murdering one? Cuz, this doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Seriously.
    IDEOLOGY is probably a problematic term here as well. It’s been ages since I’ve read Eagleton on the topic, so I’m not working with a great definition here, just the kind of commonplace sense of the term.
    You seem to hold that the only ideological tendency that is at issue in this whole set up is the leftist multi culti thang. But first off, the NYT is critical of all sorts of things, including, say, conservative violent fringe rhetoric. If they were really lefty multi culti, they wouldn’t go after that, either.
    Further, you still haven’t addressed Judith Miller’s front page screamings for the Iraq War — that the NYT kept her and promoted her would suggest a little less of the multi-culti thing you seem to find.
    Further, it’s worth noting that many on the left find the NYT to be profoundly conservative, pro-business and not the least bit lefty. This perspective should be kept in the foreground.
    Now, here’s a really interesting thing about ideology — if we’re really going to accept the terms of there being a screen of ideas between us and our experiences, then presumably, the right also has an ideology that intervenes between its viwe of the world and the world itself.
    So if you want to charge the whole left with multi-culti foolishness and an inability ever to judge anything, ever to dismiss anything, ever to see anything as it really is, perhaps you need to figure out what you’re going to charge the right with.
    Or is it the case (odd though it may be) that those on the right have access to the world as it is, the noumenal realm or the Forms or things-in-themselves or whatever. Really?
    So the WSJ editorial page is unbiased, but the entire NYT organization is multi-culti festering mess?
    O’Reilly and Beck get it just right absolutely and completely, no private interests, no ideological screens, no biases? Just the world as it is?
    And meanwhile, Jon Stewart or Rachel Maddow or the NYT or anything on kos or anything I write is completely biased, multiculti, unable to distinguish, discern, value properly, condemn with nuance and understanding as opposed to with stupid self-satisfaction (a big difference here!)???
    I’m really curious about this. Does the right do no wrong, and the left only does wrong?
    Has the left never made a judgment? Is multi cultism the only thing there is to the left?
    Is it possible that Loughner is so singular, so out of the loop, so unaffected by his environment that the environment has no effect on him at all, and meanwhile, Hasan (I think that’s the spelling) is completely open to environmental pressure?
    It seems to me that what you might actually really want is to be able to legitimate a reflexive anti-Islam, ummm, ideology???????, by calling it a religion that demands mass murder and that this is the fundamental problem with your position.
    Rousseau notes that we cannot live in a state with people who think we are condemned to hell as non-believers, so all religion should be purged from the state except for a kind of civil religion that performs the more useful services of religion. So, if this is the case, then we need to be as anti-Christian and anti-orthodox as we can be. No mere anti-Islam will do.
    So think about the places where your concerns fall apart into inconsistency. Those might be your ideological moments. They aren’t multi culti for sure. You DO like condemning and judging! Just watch the list of things you condemn and judge and see if there are any patterns. Perhaps those patterns will mark off your ideological underpinnings.
    Meanwhile, I think that “apolitical” doesn’t really mean a lot in a description of Loughner. He might not have cared who was in office or not, but he certainly had a view of government, policy, language and currency. Those are “political” topics at some level, even if they aren’t partisan topics.
    Loughner might be unpartisan. But he is likely “political” or he wouldn’t be concerned about the structures of government power.

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  77. nadine says:

    Hi questions, let me see if I can unpack your comments.
    First, apologies for confusion generated by the way I posted the quotes. This is the problem with not being able to put fonts in TWN comments or correct posts once they are up. I realized after I posted that it isn’t at all clear what is NYT editorial, what is Hotair blog comments, and what are my words.
    The four paragraphs after “November 8, 2009” are directly quoted from the NYT editorial page and the first three paragraphs after “January 10, 2011” are also directly quoted from the NYT editorial page. The final two paragraphs are from Hotair blog.
    Read it again, and you will see that for Major Hassan, the NYT said it is “important to avoid drawing prejudicial conclusions…President Obama was right when he told Americans,

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  78. DonS says:

    Agree with Dan and questions on the absence of extended family and community and the absence of interdependence as a society. Can’t expect even a great mental health system, or education system (which we ain’t got either), to substitute for the breakdown, or radical alteration, of an entire society. We may be wired in, but were not in touch in ways that really matter.

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  79. questions says:

    Psychiatric and “risk analysis expert” readings on schizophrenia as likely, everyone saw this coming but no one knew what to do issues, and a downplaying of the political aspects.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/us/11mental.html?_r=1&hp
    Note that everyone who reads this situation comes to it from a perspective, and will find, Rorschach-like, precisely what they need to find.
    What the “truth” is here requires a class or ten in philosophy! Because, in fact, the “truth” is never going to be more than a perspective related to the experiences of the perceiver.
    I guess it’s kind of, ummm, complicate!

    Reply

  80. questions says:

    Salon has some nice stuff up….
    http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/01/10/lafantasie_political_violene/index.html
    This, by a historian, about violence in American culture, with a historian’s take. Every discipline will bring its own terms to the debate, and each discipline will have something to add. This one traces our violence to the effectiveness of the Revolution, notes that our gov’t is pretty damned violent and hypocritical in that it defends its use of violence on others and refuses violence used on itself. (Of course, having a monopoly on the use of violence is a definition of a state.)
    It also notes that we do this funny thing — we think, each of us, that we’re not at all implicated as individuals in the society as a whole. So anything any one person does has no systemic perspective to go with it. This is actually a really nice assessment. Something like, “Wha, me? I’M perfectly fine. It’s the nut job. The nut job is the OTHER. I am not the other. I don’t do shit.” This reaction misses out on network effects of individual behavior, and it is the place we should be looking.
    Violent outbursts are alarmingly common, as this piece reminds us. They aren’t the exception.
    *****
    And this one,
    http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/01/10/glenn_beck_letter/index.html
    is nice for reminding us about how the powerful people, the wealthy people, we pay attention to have a habit of becoming victims as needed.
    A democratic congresswoman, a judge, an aide, a kid, a couple of elderly constituents were gunned down and suddenly Glenn Beck is worried about his own safety and that of Palin. The fate of the nation rests on Palin’s future…. The narcissistic (if that’s the term???) self-centered, self-dramatizing fantasy here is, well, narcissistic.
    *********
    And nadine, thanks for finding something on the right that characterizes the “lefty” NYT….
    Try for a whole series of articles in context….
    And anyway, IF the NYT responds differently to Hasan and Loughner (and I suppose we could toss in Columbine and any other mass shooting spree) what is the upshot?
    I will grant your strongest argument. Let’s say that for Hasan, the NYT NEVER mentioned even the slightest possibility that context could matter because they are so biased against seeing Islamism as a cause of anything that they completely and delusionally deny reality as needed to avoid tying Islamism to any behavior ever. They deny ideology. They assume only that individuals control themselves and are never part of a system, never influenced by outside sources, never get “radicalized” by Islamism as there is no such thing….
    AND, let’s say they do a 180 because what the NYT really wants is a pinko-commie takeover of the US gov’t and a way to destroy the careers of the 2 most insightful god-inspired angels the deity has ever placed on the face of the earth — Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin and their acolytes, the Tea Party.
    So the moment that they have an opportunity to tie an individual’s crazed behavior to a movement of right wing gun loving and violent-rhetoric loving people, they tie it all together. Suddenly, there’s no individualism, no individual responsibility, nothing but collective guilt on the part of the right. The persecution is deeply contradictory on the part of the Times and on the part of the leftosphere and in fact, in this case, clearly, Loughner is an individual acting on his own with no gun culture, no political rhetoric, no right wing thinking affecting him.
    So, if I have this down correctly, you basically see the NYT as a tool of the left, in the pocket of the Islamophiles, denial reality when it suits its nefarious purposes, failing to see the light when it’s convenient and suddenly seeing the light when there isn’t any, loving those who HATE AMERICA, and hating those who LOVE AMERICA, failing to find group guilt and group affects when it screams out that that’s the problem (Islamophilia/Islamism, ideological radicalism and America-hating) and then seeing group guilt where there isn’t any at all (gun-philia, ideological conservatism, violent rhetoric….)
    I assume that this is a correct read of your read. If not, feel free to correct any points I have wrong…..
    Now, here’s one quick problem with this….
    If you want group guilt for Islamism, for the “radicalization” process, for people to listen to crazed “leaders” and then commit atrocities, you probably have to allow for the same process on the right. That is, if Hasan CAN be “radicalized” by anti-American, Islamist, radical crazy talk, then you probably have to let the same hold for Loughner.
    Remember, a LOT of people hear crazed Islamist rhetoric, and most of them don’t shoot up military bases. So there may be some parallel here that you’re denying.
    Further, note that what you seem to do is carry out the role of anti-NYT — that is, you do the mirror opposite of what you accuse the NYT of doing. They deny group pressure in the one case, and you deny it in the other…..
    Maybe Hasan was already crazy and THEN he sought out Awlawki and the message of hate.
    Maybe Loughner was already crazy and he sought out paranoid delusional rightwing hate.
    Maybe the hate language had an impact on both people.
    Maybe there are asymmetries you’re denying, maybe there are asymmetries the NYT is denying.
    If you want to show the asymmetries conclusively, you’ll need to write a book, not just make random posts with only a single rightwing link that “feels” right to you. Apply a little social science training and historian training and get some documents and write up a scholarly piece on the anti-reality bias in the NYT when it deals with Islamism.
    Then do one other thing — think to yourself what the costs are of handling the news differently — does the NYT cause problems if it runs screaming headlines about Islamism in this political climate?
    And did the NYT run screaming headlines about Loughner, or are there just a bunch of people trying to figure out how we got into this mess with political violence?
    Is there anything different about the two cases, in that one is an assassination attempt on a member of Congress?
    Have you seen a shift in the rhetoric over time such that maybe you need to alter your case from oh-the-NYT-is-evil-liberal-Islamophilic-and-anti-Beck-and-anti-Palin to oh-the-first-response-was-too-easy-and-now-people-are-thinking-more….
    And by the way, can you explain Judith Miller?
    Thanks, sorry about the length……

    Reply

  81. Tony Foresta says:

    Forgive the double post, but I mean’t to say:
    The biggoted, racist, supremists and {rank} fascists in the gop are responsible and accountable for the horrors in Waco, Oklahoma City, New York, DC, PA, Europe, Pakistan, and Tuscan,… et al..

    Reply

  82. Tony Foresta says:

    Enjoyed your questions on Monday, and the psychological impact of your staff on the video.
    Welcome to the Divided States of Amerika. Wingnut propagandists and disinformation warfare operatives in the socalled MSM spew a relentless, insipid litany of hatred and lies, and a cacaphonous bruting of bloodlust and distortion. This is the fundamental objective of wingnut media, all the strange and odd creatures born of their madness, and the oligarchs that control and own Amerika.
    A nation divided shall not stand. We are participants in our own destruction. One party is responsible for this madness. One party is the manifest producers of hate and division. One party is fascist.
    Investigate the word fascist and get back to me.
    The biggoted, racist, supremists and ran fascists in the gop are responsible and accountable for the horrors in Waco, Oklahoma City, New York, DC, PA, Europe, Pakistan, and Tuscan,… et al..
    The rest of the world will not tolerate
    Amerikan hegemony. Some of the world economies are stuck and disadvantaged in Amerikan debt products, and the PONZI scheme’s pimped by
    Amerikan finance oligarchs. Some of the world fears Amerika’s hypersuperior military capabilities. Humanity has not progessed one step beyond our Cro Magnon cousins. All our differences are still decided by beating each other over the head with sticks. Our sticks are excellent and highly sophisticated, but our intelligence and humanity are sorely lacking.
    Amerika is fading, China is ascending. The math is incontravertable!
    Until, and unless Americans muster the courage to take on and defeat the finance oligarchs, – we are a doomed nation, and certain the join the long litany of empires risen and fallen into dust and history.

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  83. nadine says:

    questions, here is a comparison of the New York Time’s editorial board’s reaction to the Ft Hood Shooting to the Arizona shooting:
    Philip Klein at the American Spectator…compares editorials from the New York Times then and now to expose the Gray Lady as a shrieking hysteric and a sickening example of media sources that act more like attack dogs than journalists:
    November 8, 2009:
    In the aftermath of this unforgivable attack, it will be important to avoid drawing prejudicial conclusions from the fact that Major Hasan is an American Muslim whose parents came from the Middle East.
    President Obama was right when he told Americans,

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  84. nadine says:

    Perhaps, Dan, but I think that living in our current individualistic society, it’s easy to romanticize the charms of the village community with its extended families, busybody aunts and village gossips. The pressure to conform was tremendous and the power of gossip to ruin innocent lives was tremendous also. One thing we do know for sure is that when people’s living standards rise enough so that they don’t have to live in extended families, as we see in China and India today, they generally choose not to.

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  85. nadine says:

    Perhaps, Dan, but I think that living in our current individualistic society, it’s easy to romanticize the charms of the village community with its extended families, busybody aunts and village gossips. The pressure to conform was tremendous and the power of gossip to ruin innocent lives was tremendous also. One thing we do know for sure is that when people’s living standards rise enough so that they don’t have to live in extended families, as we see in China and India today, they generally choose not to.

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  86. Dan Kervick says:

    I think once again, as it did following the Virginia Tech massacre, the discussion is turning too rapidly to issues surrounding the professionalized and clinical conception of mental health care, and is perhaps missing the larger and more common sense issue of how a society – any society – does or does not keep its people mentally healthy, and functioning within social boundaries. The detached and extremely individualistic nature of American society, with its fragmented families and communities, its pervasive pockets of loneliness and alienation, and its mobile, impermanent, rolling stone lifestyles, routinely allows troubled or dangerous individuals to drift into anonymity and social gaps, where there are no people responsible any more for watching over them, knowing them personally and keeping them on sane and healthy paths.
    What we’re missing isn’t so much doctors and clinicians,or systems for referral and classification, or funds for appointments with talk therapists of prescription meds. We’re missing a modern substitute for the social networks of busybody aunts and nosey, gossipy neighbors who most communities rely on to keep their eyes on everyone, and who make it their business to know everyone by name, and communicate worrisome behavior to appropriate elders.
    At a lot of colleges, a student has an academic “adviser”, and that’s pretty much it for mandated social and supervisory contact. There is nothing really requiring them to function in a community if they choose not to. They are on their own. So a student can go off by himself, write crazy, angry, homicidal stuff in journals, spend his time working out, taking drugs, cleaning his guns and taking target practice – and it might be that none of the people he lives among even know his name.
    We’ve come to think of that as a pretty normal situation that people can’t do much about. But it increasingly strikes me as an unusual way to organize a society.

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  87. nadine says:

    “It should put to rest the “can’t commit the guy” line and it should underline the community mental health and budget issues and cut backs in AZ.” (questions)
    Don’t see how, questions. The mental health prof confirms that the standard is ‘likely to commit harm to himself or others’ which is a pretty tough standard. You don’t rise to that standard with nonsensical outbursts alone. You pretty much have to hurt someone. There is no evidence that Loughner hurt anyone before last Saturday.
    As for the mental health budget, is there any evidence that Loughner or anyone close to him ever sought treatment for him? If not, what does the budget matter? His family sounds like they could have afforded to pay for treatment anyway. It’s not clear from the report that they even understood there was something wrong with their son.

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  88. questions says:

    Useful info from kos,
    front page interview with a lawyer who knows something about mental health law:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/1/10/935116/-Jared-Loughner,-Mental-Health-and-the-Law
    It should put to rest the “can’t commit the guy” line and it should underline the community mental health and budget issues and cut backs in AZ.
    And a diary,
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/1/10/935180/-Jared-Lee-Loughner-is-an-IndependentUpdated-%28Graphic-Image%29
    that notes that Loughner is a registered independent, not a dem, and it has that absolutely creepy mug shot of him and his eyes. Creepy eyes.

    Reply

  89. DonS says:

    re: Dan @ 4:00 . . . and LSD.
    Yeah, bad trips happen, especially when laced with impurities. Mostly speed. Sometimes there is no return.
    Tragic when it happens. Can’t rule it out but what seems to be emerging is a picture of longer term “decompensation”.
    As to floating through the cracks of the mental health/police systems, it’s more the rule than the exception, in my experience, that coordination is poor. For a lot of reasons. With the Virginia Tech shooter, “it appears”, there were early warning signs. Things have been tightened up since, but it’s a tough business.
    Sorry I didn’t follow up with you sooner.

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  90. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “They have to find some scapegoat to blame and they have selected Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck as the culprits”
    Oh, that poor innocent Glenn Beck…..
    http://www.truth-out.org/fox-news-the-no-1-name-murder-fantasies66707
    Fox News: The No. 1 Name in Murder Fantasies
    Monday 10 January 2011
    by: Steve Rendall
    This is a re-post of a November 10, 2010 piece from Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) which is particularly relevant to the conversation about the shooting spree in Arizona on Saturday.
    Bill O’Reilly’s recent “joke” about decapitating Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank was only the latest example of a demented Fox News culture that permits on-air personalities to fantasize about assassination and other forms of violence against those deemed enemies of the station, its personalities or their worldview.
    During the cable channel’s 2008 election coverage, in what she later called an attempt at humor, Fox News contributor Liz Trotta linked Osama bin Laden to Barack Obama as people who both should be assassinated:
    And now we have what some are reading as a suggestion that somebody knock off Osama, uh Obama. Well, both, if we could.
    A week before Trotta’s “joke,” Republican primary candidate Mike Huckabee was apologizing for his own Obama assassination quip. Addressing a gathering of the National Rifle Association, Huckabee joked that a loud thud heard backstage during his address was Barack Obama diving to the floor to avoid gun shots. Months later, Huckabee was given his own Fox News show.
    With its biggest new star, Glenn Beck, Fox News hired a host well-known for on-air death fantasies–for instance, chattering about killing filmmaker Michael Moore with his bare hands and hoping out loud that Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D.-Ohio) would burn to death. In a Fox News skit in September 2009, Beck portrayed himself poisoning Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
    It’s a culture that apparently filters down to Fox News viewers and supporters. Over the years Fox Nation, the Fox News “owned and operated” fan website, has regularly featured comments expressing the desire to see Barack Obama’s assassinated.
    Yesterday News Hounds (11/8/10) published a collection of such quotes, some of which can still be read at on the Fox site. Fox Nation purports to be self-policing, to depend on readers to report inappropriate and irresponsible remarks for removal. Apparently presidential assassination fantasies fall short of Fox Nation’s standards for inappropriate or irresponsible commentary.
    Recent examples of these assassination fantasies on Fox Nation include comments calling for President Obama to “get what Kennedy got,” for the CIA to “take this pres down” and a warning to the president that the Koran “ain’t thick enough to stop a .308 round.”
    There is some evidence that Fox’s murder fantasy culture has already helped to spark violent action. Reporting for Media Matters, journalist John Hamilton tells the story of Byron Williams, a Beck devotee who engaged in a shootout that injured two California Highway Patrol officers in July. After his apprehension, Williams told police he’d intended to travel Oakland California to kill people at the offices of the Tides Foundation and the ACLU.
    In a jailhouse interview in which he described the right-wing media sources that informed his views, Williams returned again and again to Glenn Beck:
    “I would have never started watching Fox News if it wasn’t for the fact that Beck was on there. And it was the things that he did, it was the things he exposed that blew my mind”
    Among the things Beck did, according to Hamilton, was attack the Tides Foundation in 29 separate Fox News shows in the 18 months leading up to Williams’ foiled mission to Oakland.
    Moreover, as the ADL reports, Pittsburgh’s Richard Poplawski was so inspired by Beck’s anti-government conspiracy theories, he reposted to a neo-Nazi website tape of Beck suggesting the government was building concentration camps for dissidents–before he was arrested after a shootout with police that left three officers dead.
    continues…..

    Reply

  91. nadine says:

    “But so far it sounds like he didn’t do it to accomplish any socially or politically revolutionary end.” (Dan Kervick)
    That is indeed what it sounds like. But that did not prevent the MSM and the Democratic establishment from declaring instantly & in unison that Loughner was a a veteran of Afghanistan, and a right-wing tea partier under the influence of Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and other “extremist rhetoric”.
    The narrative was all cued up and ready to roll.
    The meme that Obama’s opponents are dangerous extremists who ought to be silenced is one that the Democrats & MSM have tried out repeatedly in a failed attempt to shut down the tea party. The tea party having disobliged them by being resolutely non-violent, they are trying to achieve their goal by pinning this shooting on the tea party. Keith Olbermann went off on a long rant about it, during which, for good measure, he called Fox News worse than al Qaeda and compared Roger Ailes to the Ku Klux Klan. Score one for civil discourse, eh?

    Reply

  92. Dan Kervick says:

    To me, it now sounds like Loughner targeted Giffords in a largely random manner. Yes, he had a certain level of long-running animosity toward her, because she was “fake.” But the animosity doesn’t seem to have reached the level of intense hatred or murderous rage. Tierney thinks Loughner just wanted to make a big, public, disturbing noise – to shake people up. Giffords was his Sharon Tate.
    But so far it sounds like he didn’t do it to accomplish any socially or politically revolutionary end. Tierney also says Loughner was fond of disturbing people on purpose – which squares with some of the other reports about his classroom antics. It sounds like he was living in a private mental world of unfathomably deep narcissism and zero empathy, and had intentionally cut himself off from human society and social norms almost entirely.
    The other things that stands out is the importance of this lucid dreaming business to Loughner. Tierney says Loughner thought he had achieved something like a permanent waking dream state and that he claimed to occupy an alternate reality in which he was utterly free, even free to fly.
    Tierney says Loughner quit drinking and smoking pot sometime earlier. But he did fail his drug test, so he was using something.
    Unintentional understatement:
    “”We were sketched out,” Tierney says, “and we were like, ‘I don’t think Jared’s a good person to go shooting with.'”

    Reply

  93. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Wow, look at this, a bit of knlowledge based common sense in the gun debate. We are, after all, looking for sane reasonable laws, eh?
    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/lautenberg_wants_ban_on_high-capacity_gun_clip_used_in_giffords_shooting.php
    Lautenberg Wants Ban On High-Capacity Gun Clip Allegedly Used In Giffords Shooting
    In the wake of the mass shooting in Arizona this weekend, Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) plans to introduce legislation prohibiting the manufacture and sale of high-capacity ammunition feeding devices, his office said in a statement to TPM Monday.
    Arizona shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner allegedly used a high-capacity magazine in the shooting that killed a federal judge and five others and severally wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). Lautenberg is working with Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) on the legislation, his office said.
    “The only reason to have 33 bullets loaded in a handgun is to kill a lot of people very quickly,” Lautenberg said. “These high-capacity clips simply should not be on the market. Before 2004, these ammunition clips were banned, and they must be banned again. When the Senate returns to Washington, I will introduce legislation to prohibit this type of high-capacity clip.”
    continues…
    “I know these seem like the standards of a jackbooted fascist police state to you”
    You taking lessons from Nadine now, Dan, or did you always have the potential for using this kind of horseshit? On more than one occassion here I have advocated for REASONABLE gun laws.
    Registration, safety training, background checks, age requirements for registered ownership, these are all reasonable concepts, and are, in fact, laws in many states. In California, there is not one single item you mentioned that is not on the lawbooks here, with exception of the number of firearms one can possess.
    Stow the crap and strawmen, you’re better than that. I think.
    And talk to Don about defining “normal”. I think he’ll tell you that thats not as black and white a designation as you apparently would like to think it is.

    Reply

  94. Dan Kervick says:

    “Than define this “mechanism” you allude to, that, to your dismay, “wouldn’t be legally workable in this country”.”
    All I mean, POA, are normal gun control laws of the kinds that are in place in other normal democracies run by normal people, but which we are prohibited from enacting here because of the 2nd amendment, the history of its interpretation and the American religion of gun zealotry. I would prefer we required licenses to possess firearms; stringent restrictions on the numbers and kinds of firearms one can own; broad concealed weapon and carry restrictions; more stringent age and competency restrictions, etc.
    I know these seem like the standards of a jackbooted fascist police state to you. But to me they seem like the standards of a normal, healthy country, while American standards seem to me weird, perverse, eccentric and anarchic.

    Reply

  95. nadine says:

    Interesting Mother Jones interview with Bryce Tierney, a friend of Jared Loughner. Tierney explains that Loughner is a nihilist with no particular political leanings, but an obsession about Gabby Giffords, whom he called a “fake,” since 2007.
    “Since hearing of the rampage, Tierney has been trying to figure out why Loughner did what he allegedly did. “More chaos, maybe,” he says. “I think the reason he did it was mainly to just promote chaos. He wanted the media to freak out about this whole thing. He wanted exactly what’s happening. He wants all of that.” Tierney thinks that Loughner’s mindset was like the Joker in the most recent Batman movie: “He fucks things up to fuck shit up, there’s no rhyme or reason, he wants to watch the world burn. He probably wanted to take everyone out of their monotonous lives: ‘Another Saturday, going to go get groceries’

    Reply

  96. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “It’s nothing that wouldn’t be found acceptable in most other civilized democracies in the world”
    Than define this “mechanism” you allude to, that, to your dismay, “wouldn’t be legally workable in this country”.
    Be specific as to EXACTLY what kind of “mechanism” you were imagining. Try to be honest.
    “POA, maybe you are overreacting a bit with your accusation of emotional regulation”
    Nahhhh. I was just figuring if Dan wanted to leap into the absurd by painting all gun owners with his paranoid pallette of blacks and reds, I’d jump in with some absurdities of my own.
    But ya gotta admit his pining for more “civility”, and his desire to see it imposed, at least by Presidential fiat…
    “He could then say something about what will be REQUIRED in order to restore our degraded civic order”
    …is a bit spooky. Perhaps his fascination with the causitive role of drugs is more than just an interest. One would hope, if he’s experiencing the level of fear he attests to, that he’s under a doctor’s care. Zanex might be in order.

    Reply

  97. Cee says:

    JohnH,
    Thanks for the news on Posada. Every time I go to Barbados I stop past the monument to his victims.
    Another example of the pattern of the GOP lunatics to incite other lunatics from Talking Points Memo
    ‘m listening to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) on Hardball discussing the issues sounding violent political rhetoric. And she’s reminding Chris how last year her opponent in her reelection campaign had one of these shooting range campaign events where he fired a gun at a silhouette marked with the initials DWS.

    Reply

  98. DonS says:

    POA, maybe you are overreacting a bit with your accusation of emotional regulation. You don’t even know what Dan was referring to with “mechanism” since he didn’t flesh out his thought at all. The statistics relating to gun violence in the US practically scream out that we need to do a better job with access to guns.
    I understand the ‘concern’ for the camels nose getting in under the tent, and that some people actually feel that possessing a gun is a remedy of last resort, whether against an encroaching government, or a dangerous civilian fringe, left or right, take your choice. I don’t go that far nor, as opposed to drew, I don’t buy the atavistic notion that gun possession is a ‘natural right’. I also understand that we often do a pretty poor job of many sorts of regulations, for a modern society, but this seems too important an area to hang the argument opposing better regulation on that excuse.
    For the record, I own a couple of guns, one of which was given to me. I hardly ever shoot them.

    Reply

  99. nadine says:

    Jack Shafer gives a few reminders about freedom of speech:
    “For as long as I’ve been alive, crosshairs and bull’s-eyes have been an accepted part of the graphical lexicon when it comes to political debates. Such “inflammatory” words as targeting, attacking, destroying, blasting, crushing, burying, knee-capping, and others have similarly guided political thought and action. Not once have the use of these images or words tempted me or anybody else I know to kill. I’ve listened to, read

    Reply

  100. Dan Kervick says:

    “That kind of thought represents a far greater danger to our way of life than legal gun ownership does.”
    It’s nothing that wouldn’t be found acceptable in most other civilized democracies in the world. I don’t think this particular aspect of our way of life is among the ones most worth preserving.

    Reply

  101. sdemetri says:

    Nadine, taking events out of their proper historical context
    doesn’t prove a damn thing. In the 60’s far left radicals resorted
    to violence and threats of violence. It’s history. By no means
    justifiable, we understand it now in it’s historical context. History
    will do the same with the violence being perpetrated by right
    now a days.
    Trying to separate Palin’s, Beck’s, Savage’s, Coulter’s, O’Reilly’s,
    Limbaugh’s violent rhetoric from the acts and threats of violence
    that are occurring too regularly is naive in the extreme, if not
    entirely dishonest. The left’s civil discourse during a regime that
    institutionalized torture as official state policy, used renditions
    to facilitate institutionalized violence, perpetrated violence
    through illegal war-making was in answer to the violence of the
    regime.
    The violence perpetrated by the right these days is being
    directed against those with different policy views. It is more
    fascist than anything else. You are either with us or against us, to
    quote a putative war criminal. Even William Buckley saw the
    extremist Bircher’s for what they were, a dangerous tilt toward
    fascism. With Beck quoting Bircher authors and espousing
    Bircher philosophy and his divisive and violent rhetoric the
    context of today’s acts is fairly well set.

    Reply

  102. DonS says:

    ’emphasis’ , not ‘evidence’

    Reply

  103. DonS says:

    Here is a very good multi-dimensional statement, with primary evidence on the issues related to mental illness, early identification, and adequate resources. It touches, too, on the gun issue, and first amendment issues.
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/01/10/cornell.tucson.threat.assessment/index.html?hpt=C1

    Reply

  104. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Well, my mechanism wouldn’t be legally workable in this country. Alas.”
    But, in your mind, a desirable form of governance and policing, eh?
    I’m more scared of you, Dan, than you are of me. That kind of thought represents a far greater danger to our way of life than legal gun ownership does.
    But thank God, you are in a definite minority.
    Governmentally regulated civility. Its an interesting concept. Particularly, considering, the only way to pull it off would be by regulating emotions. I suppose thats OK with you too? Exactly what ingredient would you suggest they add to our water?

    Reply

  105. nadine says:

    Michele Malkin has compiled a primer of the civil discourse of the Left during the Bush years, for those at TWN who believe that extremist rhetoric comes only from the Right.
    The progressive

    Reply

  106. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I’ve managed to make it to 51 without being involved in any really dangerous or violent altercations, and my strategy has been to steer clear of very angry and violence-prone people”
    And I’ve made it to 57 without EVER having to resort to violence, use a gun against a human, be incarcerated, institutionalized, or committed. I did, once, in my early teens, have to kill a sow black bear that was attacking me, due to my stupidly putting myself in a dangerous situation in the Selway.
    To be honest, Dan, I have sold off most of my firearms, as they just don’t hold anymore interest to me than any other kind of tool does. If a tool is on my truck, its because I have a use, a need for it. I see firearms in the same light. I don’t hunt for meat anymore, but I do keep one scoped rifle, in case the NEED ever arises. I don’t shoot trap or skeet anymore, so my high dollar shotguns are gone, but I do keep a small one, a single shot .410, handy for yard maintainance. Jake got hit by a skunk just three or four days ago, and trust me, if I see the varmint hanging around the house, he’s had it. And I won’t get into what kind, but I do keep two weapons in the house for home protection. You might not know anyone that has ever needed and used a firearm for home protection, but I do know one such person, and her experience made a damned strong impression with me. Plus, I live rurally, less than five miles away from a maximum security prison.
    But other than that, I’ve sold off what used to be an extensive collection. My dad was a licensed firearms dealer, and was also partnered in a outfitting and guide outfit, as well as a hunting lodge, in Idaho. Funny, he never shot anyone either. He did manage to invent the trigger lock, and market it for some time before his death, however. Funny, that, that one of these big bad terrible fearsome gun owners actually used his hobby and calling to save some lives, eh?
    Interesting how you made the leap that I “have a handgun.” Yes, I do. But you had no evidence with which to make that assertion. You seem to make quite a few “assumptions” about people that own guns, Dan.
    I’m sorry you cower in fear of us. It must be quite uncomfortable. But don’t worry, when you are confronted with a REAL criminal intent on stealing your treasure, your life, or your wife, he will be one of those law abiding criminals you gun control nuts have so much faith in. Surely he will be unarmed, and saying please.

    Reply

  107. Paul Norheim says:

    “…the torture devices used by the Spanish inquisition.”
    Well, you should know, Dan, that just like a 9mm Glock,
    what you call a “torture device” may come in handy in the
    homes of people; some of them can be used as hammers,
    others as screwdrivers or saws in the garage, as well as
    being suitable for home protection, competitive torture etc.
    etc. Don’t blame the tools.

    Reply

  108. Dan Kervick says:

    The Canadians actually have very nonrestrictive gun laws, as I understand it. But they just don’t seem to be as angry and obstreperous, as every American visitor learns who takes a pleasant drive along a Canadian highway.

    Reply

  109. Paul Norheim says:

    As for murders per capita, the US (number 24) is right
    behind Bulgaria and Uruguay, and just ahead of Armenia
    and India. Colombia tops the list, while neighboring Canada
    is way down on number 44.
    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap-
    crime-murders-per-capita
    What happened to the freedom loving Canadians?
    Something must have gone wrong with their sacred
    individual rights when the murder rate is so low. Do they
    practice some tyrannic form of socialism over there, or did
    Big Government steal the semi-automatic weapons from the
    people?

    Reply

  110. Dan Kervick says:

    “What is your mechanism for denying firearms to someone with no priors and no documented history of mental illness?”
    Well, my mechanism wouldn’t be legally workable in this country. Alas.

    Reply

  111. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Paul, the question in your comment wasn’t “asinine”. However, the assertion it was premised on, was.

    Reply

  112. Dan Kervick says:

    “Gotta be the craziest most disingenuous thing I’ve ever seen Dan say. He can’t possibly be serious.”
    I’m serious. I’m scared of you, for example, since you make such a thing about being “pissed off”, and you have a handgun. If you lived near me, I definitely wouldn’t want to go play at your house. I’ve managed to make it to 51 without being involved in any really dangerous or violent altercations, and my strategy has been to steer clear of very angry and violence-prone people.
    I did have a friend and colleague once, though, who was a very liberal minister and chaplain, but had a collection of over 500 guns. I believe they were mostly hunting weapons that he collected as antiques. But I didn’t want to go to his house. I also don’t feel a high degree of trust around people who make a show of knowing and describing the names and features of many different kinds of guns. That tells me they like them too much. To me, they are like the folks have have a morbid encyclopedic knowledge of the torture devices used by the Spanish inquisition.

    Reply

  113. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “And it is utterly insane that any random wacko can walk into a store and get a gun…”
    Who gets to define “random wacko”, Dan?
    The same people that get to define “enemy combatant”?
    Or perhaps the ones that get to tell you whether you get a trial, get assasinated, or simply get sent to another country for torture treatment?
    Honestly, as you point out, we just don’t know what warning signals the authorities got about this guy. Perhaps his insanity was nurtured and used. We’ve seen that scenario before, have we not?
    I disagree with you that his parents were possibly unaware. Someone this deranged would most assuredly be sending out garbled signals to someone as close to him as his parents.
    But all this conjecture and pyscho-babble is certainly entertaining and tittilating, is it not?
    And wow, what a great opportunity to push ideology and political objectives!!!
    “Quick, lets gather up all the guns, theres wackos in our ranks!!!!” (But be careful taking them away, because ALL gun owners are murderous thugs intent on mayhem)
    “And we better get control of that there internet thingie before all the people in America turn into mini-me Bin Ladens!!!”

    Reply

  114. questions says:

    OT, DeLong’s blog has a piece up by someone else on google searches — the first couple of pages of many searches are full of trash results from spammers and the like? I hadn’t noticed, but maybe since I have a hard time with google searches according to nadine, that would be why.
    And this is a more related curiosity… via TPM
    http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_17057473

    Reply

  115. Paul Norheim says:

    “Wow, you just compared criminal, felonious assault and the
    murder of a 9 year-old girl, while possibly being
    incapacitated by mental illness, with being successful in
    business or something. You really did that?”
    Really did what? I asked whether you regard the former as
    “random” and the latter as “American”?
    Consider me Scandinavian (or “asinine”, as POA said) for
    asking that simple question.

    Reply

  116. questions says:

    A good piece from The Monkey Cage. There are several. Read the front page.
    http://www.themonkeycage.org/2011/01/political_vitriol_and_politica.html

    Reply

  117. drew says:

    DK: Either you are not reading or you don’t understand what you
    are reading.
    Loughner’s parents were virtually powerless to commit him without
    his approval. And who else would take him off the street? I’m not
    going there, but I have been through this, and good luck trying to
    get a recalcitrant person committed — and good luck, in the event
    you get that person committed, he or she doesn’t want to receive
    treatment (which is the quickest way to get released, by the way).
    What is your mechanism for denying firearms to someone with no
    priors and no documented history of mental illness?

    Reply

  118. Dan Kervick says:

    “Somebody goes off the deep-end each and every day in this country, and kills somebody.”
    I believe this happens far more often in our country, per capita, than in almost any other country. What do you think is wrong with us?

    Reply

  119. nadine says:

    “And it is utterly insane that any random wacko can walk into a store and get a gun, so long as he hasn’t committed a crime with one yet.”
    We don’t have “Precrime” in this country, Dan. Anybody with a clean track record can buy the gun.
    It is very difficult to certify that anybody is a wacko if he is an adult and does not cooperate. This is the downside of patient’s rights. You give the mentally deranged the right to stay mentally deranged, buy guns, be anti-social, homeless, whatever.

    Reply

  120. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “….but we’re all just scared of the people with guns, and are afraid they will start shooting at us if we make a legal move to pry their weapons away from them”
    Gotta be the craziest most disingenuous thing I’ve ever seen Dan say. He can’t possibly be serious.
    “Regarding his possible anti-semitism….”
    “Possible” why, because it has been floated out there without evidence or collaboration?
    Give me a break.

    Reply

  121. drew says:

    Wow, you just compared criminal, felonious assault and the murder
    of a 9 year-old girl, while possibly being incapacitated by mental
    illness, with being successful in business or something. You really
    did that?

    Reply

  122. Dan Kervick says:

    “But what is your proposed mechanism for
    restricting the movement of people who read Marx, Hitler and Plato, and get mixed up?”
    Well, since Loughner was brought repeatedly to the attention of school authorities for disturbed and disruptive behavior, and one professor thought his thoughts were scrambled, someone should have at least told his parents, “Your kid needs help. Get it.” On the other hand, maybe they did and we just don’t know yet.
    And it is utterly insane that any random wacko can walk into a store and get a gun, so long as he hasn’t committed a crime with one yet.

    Reply

  123. Paul Norheim says:

    “In this sense we are seeking meaning in the random
    collapse of one out of 308 million people…”
    So the collapse of one young guy is just “random”, while
    another young guy’s success is – what?
    American?
    Meaningful?
    I’m just trying to figure out how you guys are thinking.

    Reply

  124. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I too had a friend that went insane through the use of LSD. I also have more than a few friends whose lives have been negatively affected by the habitual use of pot. My own life was damaged for quite some time through drug and alcohol abuse.
    However, none of us ever shot a politician. Who knows what evil lurks, eh?
    This is the slippery slope we tread when we discuss legalization. For some, it would have no adverse effect, for others it would have severe consequences as “mind altering” substances become readily, legally, and easily obtainable. I can’t help but imagine that we, as a society, would pay a heavy price for legalization.
    But to take incidences of negative behaviours that are drug induced, or the result of mental illness, and use them to legislate away the rights of those not so afflicted, is a travesty. It is obvious to any thinking individual that this guy should not have possessed a firearm. But because of the few, we will punish the many?
    We will take away the guns from millions of people to keep them out of the hands of thousands? Is that democracy?

    Reply

  125. Dan Kervick says:

    “I guess this boils down to a certain concept of being “an American”, and that I would waste both your and my own time continuing this discussion.”
    Don’t feel bad, Paul. Drew doesn’t actually speak for all Americans. There are quite a lot of us who feel otherwise, but we’re all just scared of the people with guns, and are afraid they will start shooting at us if we make a legal move to pry their weapons away from them. And they made a big melodramatic point when Obama was elected about how they were going out to buy more guns – which sales figures show they did in dramatic numbers.
    I think that’s one reason the Tea Party got so much early traction, and faced ineffective political opposition for months. When you see a bunch of flushed-red, screw loose, screaming people, and you know a lot of them have guns, the tendency is to give them a wide berth.
    Gun control used to be a very popular issue in the United States, with very solid majorities battling against the NRA for stronger guns laws. But the NRA was one of the most organized and successful lobbies in history, and after they successfully defeated some of the otherwise popular politicians they had targeted, a lot of us gave up. Frankly, it also feels like we were just plain physically intimidated and went yellow.
    Our new Republican legislature here in New Hampshire just overturned a ban on carrying guns in the Statehouse. So if your kid goes on a class trip to see democracy in action at our 400-member House of Representatives, he should be aware that a lot of the grownups are carrying.

    Reply

  126. nadine says:

    “If the out-party treats the event as a national crisis over which we all stand behind the president and his actions, then a rally effect happens; if they immediately take to criticizing the president, as they normally do whenever he does things, then no rally.” (Jon Bernstein)
    questions, wouldn’t that rather depend on whether the event rises to the level of a national crisis or not?
    It’s not really a matter of free will on the part of the out-party. If the event really is perceived by the public as a national crisis, then the out-party would only make themselves look bad by criticizing the president. But if the public thinks the event is a publicity stunt blown way out of proportion, then the out-party would be committing political malpractice if it didn’t join the public in criticizing it.

    Reply

  127. JohnH says:

    On another heartening note, the US is finally getting around to trying a terrorist it coddled for 30 years…
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/10/us/10posada.html

    Reply

  128. nadine says:

    “In this sense we are seeking meaning in the random collapse of
    one out of 308 million people, because he chose a celebrity
    victim” (drew)
    Not even that, drew. Had this lunatic shot a Republican congressman, it would have been a brief report in the news for two days, no more. What the shooter did was unwittingly provide a framework that the Democrats and their water-carriers in the media were simply desperate to obtain at the beginning of the 112 Congress. It is the Democrats and the media who have festooned the ill-fitting framework with the anti-Sarah Palin, anti “extremist rhetoric” narrative of their choice.

    Reply

  129. Jim says:

    Regarding his possible anti-semitism, here is another perplexing angle on Loughner’s story:
    http://blogs.jta.org/politics/article/2011/01/10/2742483/is-loughners-mother-jewish

    Reply

  130. nadine says:

    “One thing I hope the President does, drew, is go beyond merely recommending that people “tone it down”, and rather lays out a vision of what civility and civilized customs mean in practice.” (Dan Kervick)
    He would be in a stronger position if his own language weren’t so intemperate. Obama has always been readier to call Republicans “enemies” and “hostage-takers” than, say, al Qaeda.
    “I got all the way through twelve years of public schooling, and then college and graduate school, without ever once being exposed to Robert’s Rules of Order”
    Then you’ll be pleased to hear that one of Speaker Boehner’s pledges is the return of regular order to the House. Under Pelosi, all major bills came out of the leadership office, with no amendments allowed. The minority was completely cut out of the process. To add insult to injury, the major bills were 2000 pages of impenetrable legalese with no time given to read or debate them, so as Pelosi herself said, “you’ll have to pass the bill to tell what is in it”.
    Now that there is a Republican congress, naturally the Democrats call for moderation, debate, civility, even as our fiscal house is heading for a cliff, thanks to the last two Congresses. Pelosi’s speakership saw 5 Trillion dollars of new Federal debt. The DNC had the anti-“extremist rhetoric” narrative all wound up and ready to go given the opportunity, which a lunatic in Arizona just provided.

    Reply

  131. drew says:

    Dan Kervick,
    Had he committed some crime, he could have been removed
    from circulation. But what is your proposed mechanism for
    restricting the movement of people who read Marx, Hitler and
    Plato, and get mixed up?
    Somebody goes off the deep-end each and every day in this
    country, and kills somebody. Nobody (well, almost nobody)
    suggests, when they do, that free speech be modified or that
    conservative talk radio is a virtual deadly weapon . This story
    values the victim more highly than the other victims, which is
    somewhat repugnant, if you ask me.
    This killer was no different than 20 other killers that will do their
    thing this month, except that he decided to focus his depravity
    on a public figure, and now is symbolic beyond his wildest
    dreams.
    In this sense we are seeking meaning in the random collapse of
    one out of 308 million people, because he chose a celebrity
    victim. I didn’t learn anything about American society that
    needed to be changed because of John Hinckley, unless it was
    the importance of turning off the television.

    Reply

  132. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, on a more festive and heartening note, a judge just sentenced Tom DeLay to three years in prison! For you Republicans out there, you might wanna see if the charitable donation of KY jelly is tax deductable.
    I see that Netanyahu was one of those that petitioned the court on DeLay’s behalf. Figures, eh?

    Reply

  133. questions says:

    “Before moving on to 2011, I want to say something about what I called, there, the “normal rules of politics.” One of my favorite pieces of political science is Richard Brody’s finding that rally effects on presidential approval depend not on the success or failure of the event, or anything the president does, but on what the out-party says. If the out-party treats the event as a national crisis over which we all stand behind the president and his actions, then a rally effect happens; if they immediately take to criticizing the president, as they normally do whenever he does things, then no rally. I’ve always wondered whether Republicans, at least, had read that article and taken it to heart — thus the immediate criticism of Barack Obama after the various foiled terrorism attempts during his presidency. What prevents the out-party from just always, automatically, attacking the president no matter what he does? Well, I would guess that sometimes, an event — such as the Oklahoma City bombings — elicits an immediate uncalculated reaction of national unity, even from the most cynical politician. Beyond that, however, politicians are normally afraid of being seen as overly partisan, overly negative, or even unpatriotic, and they may therefore feel that it’s safer, after some emotional event, to avoid appearing to act as partisans. When I say that Oklahoma City reassured Democrats that the normal rules of politics were restored, that’s what I mean; in April 1995, perhaps for the first time, a lot of Republican politicians and other opinion leaders suddenly treated Bill Clinton as if he was President of the United States of America, and not a draft-dodging hippy usurper with a suspicious number of ties to drug dealers and murders. ”
    http://plainblogaboutpolitics.blogspot.com/2011/01/oklahoma-city.html
    Jonathan Bernstein on one aspect of things.
    *******
    On guns…briefly…
    The US Constitution grants the “people” the “right to bear arms” and we’ve been fighting about what this means ever since — until that is, the Supreme Court decided that the “people” means every person, and “arms” means pretty much any gun you want.
    The literalist readers of the Constitution do not see the word “woman” so women have no rights (Scalia, a few days ago), but the word “arms” in is in there. Clearly the Founders knew about Glocks and semi-automatic guns with lots of bullets in sets that can fire rapidly and wipe out lots of people. That’s literally in the Constitution, apparently. Meanwhile, racial, gender and sexual rights are clearly not in the Constitution.
    Paul, that’s our world. Welcome to it.
    Guns in schools. Constitutional. Racial preference systems to allow African Americans to attend better schools — not Constitutional.
    It makes perfect sense, actually!
    ***
    Actually, much of this was a Dem pact with the devil. Give up gun restrictions, give up minority rights, win elections.

    Reply

  134. Paul Norheim says:

    “…but the saying that we are “allowed” to own guns is like
    saying we are “allowed” free speech or freedom of religion.
    Fundamental “element” is better described as “right”.”
    Kudos for trying to explain it, Drew (I’m not ironic).
    I guess this boils down to a certain concept of being “an
    American”, and that I would waste both your and my own
    time continuing this discussion.

    Reply

  135. drew says:

    Paul @3:48: I already have my M-1 Abrams so I don’t need
    another one. Or, if you associate battlefield equipment such as
    tanks with handguns, you’re subverting your points by being
    absurd.
    Automatic weapons are not in general distribution, and are
    heavily regulated and restricted, so you have a fact problem
    there.
    The patients’ rights laws protect the patient from subjectively
    applied or unwanted medical diagnosis and treatment, so your
    suggestion that they be identified subjectively as mentally
    unstable is a nonstarter. That’s just the way it is here. We often
    err on the side of individual rights. It doesn’t really matter to
    most people here that it is inconvenient when a schizophrenic
    family member refuses treatment and does great damage to
    herself and others. The individual’s rights are protected.
    The idea that 300mm weapons, in this argument, are a
    contingency that may be removed, instead of a given, is the
    utopian basis for gun control. It’s pretty hilarious, that 20% of
    the country will pass a law that 70 % loathe, followed by invasive,
    constitutionally unsound seizures of private property. (Sounds
    like the health care law, I know, only this would be an order of
    magnitude more emotional.) The 300mm are a given. They’re
    not going to disappear just because some solons think they
    should.

    Reply

  136. Dan Kervick says:

    “The point is that the mental health/substance angle, while a good possibility — and who is to say that someone is not in an ‘altered state’ regardless of what preceded, in the act of committing killing and mayhem — is almost background noise to the larger questions which this event raises about our society, media, politics.”
    I don’t know Don. That might be true of alcohol, perhaps mainly lowers inhibition to thoughts and impulses that are already there.
    But I had a friend in college who had a complete psychotic breakdown during our freshman year. There is no question in my mind that the chief cause was increasingly heavy LSD use. I don’t recall him showing any weird or disordered thinking before that.
    Then one day, after a month or so of nearly daily lysergic brain-frying, he showed up at my door telling me about his new book: “Thrae – Earth Spelled Backwards” (sic). This only came after he gaped blankly at me for about 30 seconds. He then proceeded to tell me about a young woman in one of his classes who was sending him secret telepathic messages during class. I later had to track him down and pull him out of this young woman’s room, as she was crouched on her bed against the wall in utter terror as he babbled incoherently about the contents of his fantastic visions. He was institutionalized, and I never saw him again.
    I do think that it is a little weird that this guy, who was scaring the piss out of people in his classes with very disturbing behavior, just floated into mass murder without any kind of intervention.

    Reply

  137. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “or for that sake, people like Drew or Steve or POA or Nadine or Marcus or myself should be able to walk into a Sportsman’s Warehouse in Tucson and legally buy a Glock 9mm, a semi-automatic weapon suited for massacres – just like that?”
    Oh please.
    ANY gun could be labeled “suited for massacres”.
    The Glock Model 19 is also “suited for home protection”, “suited for law enforcement”, “suited for target shooting”, “suited for competitive shooting”, etc..
    A well aimed car or truck is “suited for massacres” as well, Paul, and probably would have caused more casualties than this “suited for massacres” Glock did.
    Advocating for more stringent gun laws is one thing, but doing so in such an asinine manner is quite another thing altogether. I suggest you go back to the drawing board with that particular bit of argument.

    Reply

  138. DonS says:

    “Lax” gun control laws, Paul. Not everyone agrees with drew’s read, though those who do do so vehemently.
    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/01/10/gun-control-giffords-incident/

    Reply

  139. DonS says:

    The great smear, diversion, cover up. RW, all together: ‘look over here”. The emerging face of feckless refusal to be responsible.
    http://firedoglake.com/2011/01/10/glenn-reynolds-the-real-victims-of-the-arizona-mass-shooting-are-conservatives/

    Reply

  140. drew says:

    I really should rewrite this sentence:
    “We are allowed to buy guns because it is a fundamental element
    of our founding document.”
    One, the authority to own guns is not held by the government,
    and thus we are not “allowed” to own them. There’s a lot of
    arguing about this issue, of course, but the saying that we are
    “allowed” to own guns is like saying we are “allowed” free speech
    or freedom of religion. Fundamental “element” is better
    described as “right”.
    “We own guns because to do so is a fundamental natural right
    ratified by our founding document.”
    Anyway, I know that most people here do not take a strict
    constructionist view of the Constitution, so no need to rake me
    over the coals on that. But that is why a man with no priors
    could buy his pistol in a commonplace transaction — that much
    is indisputable.

    Reply

  141. Paul Norheim says:

    Drew, I accept, to a certain degree, the practicalities you
    mention in the “Any individual who has attempted to care
    for…” paragraph of your first reply. However, you also say:
    “Because there is no “Are you a certified fruitcake?” section
    in the application/background check process.”
    Well there should be, don’t you think?
    “Because that is how things work in this country.”
    Ok, so I am supposed to take that for an answer 🙂
    On the thread below, you said: “Thus unless more people
    are victimized as a result of defending themselves through
    gun ownership, restrictions on gun ownership make
    manifest the very condition one hopes to legislate out of
    existence.”
    The main problem is of course not the people victimized
    as a result of defending themselves, but those victimized
    due to the “300 million” (quote Drew) weapons in
    circulation, among them a considerable amount of semi-
    automatic and automatic weapons – also owned by many
    of the supposedly sane and good guys, like Drew and
    Congresswoman Giffords.
    Perhaps the roughly 200 million good guys and gals in
    America should demand the right to buy tanks and drones
    at Sportman’s Warehouse in Tucson to defend themselves
    against powerful criminals, uncertified fruitcakes, jealous
    spouses and Big Government?
    Or what do you think? I really don’t get it.

    Reply

  142. DonS says:

    Of course this event did not occur in isolation. It occurred in a societal context including, in this case, very possibly the highlighting of Rep. Gifford, either generally or specifically. Conveniently, the claim of lone fruitcake diverts attention from discussion of the unconscionable attack politics of the right.

    Reply

  143. Dan Kervick says:

    “Great story in the Post about how Obama can use this murder to his political advantage.”
    One thing I hope the President does, drew, is go beyond merely recommending that people “tone it down”, and rather lays out a vision of what civility and civilized customs mean in practice. He could then say something about what will be required in order to restore our degraded civic order. Civility is not merely a calm emotional temperament, although that is a component of it. It is a cultural achievement which is embedded in the institutions for social intercourse, and these institutions need to be supported, conserved and passed on from one generation to the next in order for civilization to survive.
    We haven’t done a good job of that recently. For example, I got all the way through twelve years of public schooling, and then college and graduate school, without ever once being exposed to Robert’s Rules of Order, let alone required to learn and master them (or something equivalent). I imagine many people could say the same thing. This now strikes me as somewhat scandalous for a democratic society in which deliberative bodies serve as the foundation of self-government.
    Civilized deliberative customs and institutional practices have been evolved over centuries by parliaments and councils so that groups of people can successfully achieve acts of public choice and self-government. And complementary social customs reinforce the emotional tone and style of social relationships that are needed to support rational social choice and responsible self-government. It is very hard to govern a society of human beings toward the common good, even in an autocracy or oligarchy. It is even harder for a democratic citizenry to govern themselves. People have to be willing to work at it, and the arts and skills of civilized governance don’t come easily. They have to be developed, taught, practiced and mastered over time.
    People also can’t successfully implement a system of self-government if they are resolutely fixed in thinking that “the government” is some alien foreign body, something other than the population consisting of themselves and their fellow citizens. The intensely anti-government and radically individualistic and narcissistic attitudes of our time, on both the left and the right, are a slavish and politically immature mentality characterizing pre-democratic peoples who think of themselves only as the subjects of their rulers, and who are therefore in a constant state of rebellion against rules and norms.
    Young Mr. Loughner is an example of that kind of insanity. Loughner couldn’t even accept grammar and monetary currency because they embody social conventions and norms that originate outside the individual consciousness. So that no one could “control” him, he absurdly wanted to create his own grammar and his own currency, a crazed impulse toward a kind of radical freedom that is incompatible with our innate social nature. No wonder he drove himself crazy. He might as well have tried to lobotomize his own brain.
    One contributing factor in the erosion of civilized self-government the excessive presence of commerce and commercial values in nearly every sphere of our lives. If all of social life is transformed into a congested cacophony of sales pitches, then there is a permanent social dynamic in place to debase human beings and reduce their emotional lives to the crudest and most bestial kinds of craving and impulse, a form of life that is easily manipulated by the purveyors of objects of desire. If people are all turned into addicts of one kind or another, then their suppliers have a very easy job.
    I would like to see the media begin to step up and take some responsibility for the kind of world they are creating. The vulgarity, stupidity and bestial emotionalism of our entertainment culture, as well as its depraved indifference to violence, are disgusting and demoralizing. They undermine conscience, dignity and civilized moral standards. As for the “news”, everybody knows the difference between a reasoned discussion and a bloviating monologue or emotional shouting match. And a constructive, informative dialogue isn’t simply a panel of talking heads sputtering at each other. People who operate any kind of forum have a responsibility to moderate that forum – not to suppress opinions, but to govern the manner in which opinions are expressed and debated.
    I think MS-NBC, FOX, CNN and others should give their talking heads the pink slip – or at least transition them into other formats. These kinds of entertainments passed off as journalism are poisoning the civic life of America and impairing our capacity to make rational social choices about our direction. Even the smartest of these pundits are wasting America’s time with their preference for opinion over information. We’re drowning in personal opinion, while thirsting for information.
    But the media respond to market signals. So people everywhere have to decide that actually informing themselves and deliberating rationally about difficult issues is more important to them than merely entertaining themselves with some transient and pleasurable emotions. People can obviously find rage and hatred liberating and pleasurable. Hate radio and angry cable talking heads are just tools of self-indulgent emotional gratification. People listen to Rush Limbaugh or Keith Olbermann because they want to masturbate with anger and outrage.
    Blogs are better than radio, because at least people are interacting with other people rather than just sitting in a studio, mouthing off by themselves for an audience of worshipful sycophants. But blog culture is also quite toxic, and the format is stultifying. Blog dialogue is often just a sequence of monologues. Bloggers need to find new ways of moderating debate and encouraging genuinely interactive dialogue.
    We all need to do our best to model civilized behavior and insist on it. Right now, much of America seems bent on doing its very best job to prove the charges leveled by history’s critics of democracy. Those critics have usually argued that the majority of people comprise a barely-governable animalistic mob, and that it is lunacy to create a society in which these beasts are allowed to govern themselves. And yet now so many of us behave like braying, undomesticated animals.

    Reply

  144. drew says:

    Paul at 3:19:
    We are allowed to buy guns because it is a fundamental element
    of our founding document. ( What do you care? You live in a
    different country with different values.) And because we like
    guns, value their utility, and keep voting to defend that
    fundamental right. That won’t change because some delusional
    asshole out of 308 million people went berserk. Actually, more,
    not fewer people are probably saying now, I need to get a carry
    permit.
    The business about a Glock 19 being a unique instrument “suited
    for massacres” just betrays either an anti-gun attitude, which I
    have no problem with your having; or ignorance about firearms;
    or both. The point of guns is to shoot people, animals and other
    objects. Some do it better than others. It was no more suited to
    “massacres” than is 1968 Chevrolet, in the hands of an asshole,
    at the Homecoming Parade.

    Reply

  145. drew says:

    Paul, you are mixing up two issues.
    Number one, he wasn’t a “certified” fruitcake: it’s simply not
    possible for a parent or sibling to call the police, have the guy
    “certified” a fruitcake, and committed or restricted. This is a
    function of patients’ rights legislation; this is a matter of U.S.
    law. Any individual who has attempted to care for a grown
    family member who requires mental health treatment, is
    irresponsible for herself-himself, and refuses appropriate
    medical treatment even while hospitalized, knows exactly what I
    am talking about here.
    Number two, he could walk into the gun shop and buy a pistol
    because that is U.S. law, he had no record, and he passed the
    background check. Because there is no “Are you a certified
    fruitcake?” section in the application/background check process.
    Because that is how things work in this country.
    On the Glock 19, I own one, it’s a good self-defense weapon,
    balancing size (relatively inconspicuous), ease of use, reliability,
    and lethality. For what he wanted to do, which is murder
    innocent people, it was a poor choice, imo, but there’s no reason
    to go there.

    Reply

  146. Paul Norheim says:

    I’m an ignorant Scandinavian. So please explain to me why
    Congresswoman Giffords, certified lunatic Jared Lee Loghner
    – or for that sake, people like Drew or Steve or POA or
    Nadine or Marcus or myself should be able to walk into a
    Sportsman’s Warehouse in Tucson and legally buy a Glock
    9mm, a semi-automatic weapon suited for massacres – just
    like that?
    Was that a stalinistic and un-American question, then sorry
    in advance for asking. But I simply don’t understand the
    rationality behind such laws, except for profit for the Glock
    manufacturers.

    Reply

  147. nadine says:

    “why on earth could he just
    walk into Sportsman’s Warehouse in Tucson and legally buy
    a semi-automatic 9mm Glock pistol on November 30th, a
    weapon obviously much less suited for deer hunting or self
    defense than for a massacre?” (Paul Norheim)
    Congresswoman Giffords also owns a Glock 9 mm. Is she also a massacre in waiting?

    Reply

  148. nadine says:

    “The event did not occur in isolation” (DonS)
    And the evidence for that is… the shooter had met the Congresswoman previously and called her a “fake”?
    These claims of “the event did not occur in isolation” are just like the lazy journalist’s resort to “comes at a time when”: they are rhetorical devices that allow you to drag in whatever you like, regardless of its irrelevance to the story.

    Reply

  149. Paul Norheim says:

    “It’s not possible to ‘intervene’ with people like this shooter.
    We’ve legislated that authority away.”
    So please explain to me, Drew, in plain American: If this
    shooter was a certified fruitcake, why on earth could he just
    walk into Sportsman’s Warehouse in Tucson and legally buy
    a semi-automatic 9mm Glock pistol on November 30th, a
    weapon obviously much less suited for deer hunting or self
    defense than for a massacre?
    Who precisely legislated that authority away?

    Reply

  150. DonS says:

    I guess we know that Lougher was not in counseling, or receiving psychotropic meds. But if he were, those records would be, at least initially, protected. On the other hand, a treating profession would have a ‘duty to warn’ if information presented.
    The mental health angle, both the serious mental illness possibility and the alcohol/drug involvement or addiction, interest me clinically. While a serious psychotic disorder or episode could be very significant, the substance involvement would only be important as it interacted or accelerated (or even caused in extreme cases) the emotional condition. Alcohol/drug interaction with serious mental illness is unpredictable: perhaps tranquilizing; perhaps triggering/potentiating. If someone were already on a psychotropic med, than what can be said is that added alcohol/drugs would potentiate the effect of both: 2 + 2 >4.
    A number of years ago I got called into the local rural jail where I worked sometimes, to do an evaluation on an individual who, the night before, was the shooter in a several county drinking/drug/murder spree, along with his brother and a friend. I wound up working for months with the accomplices. But the point I want to make is that, in that case, the extreme alcohol and probably drug use (I don’t remember the details or the toxicology report) was no doubt significant. But the underlying mental health diagnosis was probably anti-social personality disorder, preceded in adolescence by conduct disorder; maybe an impulse control disorder. I.e., what is generally referred to, though not officially a diagnosis, as the behavior of a sociopath. Not a so-called “serious mental illness”.
    The point is that the mental health/substance angle, while a good possibility — and who is to say that someone is not in an ‘altered state’ regardless of what preceded, in the act of committing killing and mayhem — is almost background noise to the larger questions which this event raises about our society, media, politics. The event did not occur in isolation, and the direction and focus the attack took can be seen as symptomatic of where the excesses of our cultural dialog and behavior leads. Just as drugs interact with mental conditions. excessive negative stimuli from other sources increase the stress that is a factor in aberrational behavior, and stress is a leading factor in emotional disorder or relapse.
    This discussion should be about our sick society, not about one individual. To make it otherwise, IMO, is a distraction from the huge issues in front of us.

    Reply

  151. Paul Norheim says:

    “Hey, Sarah Palin, hows that hatey, killy, reloady, crosshairsy
    thing working out for ya?”
    (Frank Conniff)

    Reply

  152. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “”Oh! Our chance to tar every Republican with the same brush!” and fling accusations at Sarah Palin and talk radio without any evidence whatsoever”
    Tell us again, Nadine, how the latest victim of IDF attrocities was a victim of an honor killing at the hands of her own family.
    You probably should just STFU. But you won’t.
    This REALLY underscores what Nadine is….
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2011/01/the_price_for_j/#comment-176302

    Reply

  153. drew says:

    It’s not possible to ‘intervene’ with people like this shooter. We’ve
    legislated that authority away. Family members cannot do it, much
    less any one else.
    Smart people on the left are aware of the rhetorical violence that
    exists on the left, which is far more extreme than crosshair images,
    and they are not trying to make political points on this killing.
    It will be a disaster for the left if they proceed now and, in essence,
    attempt to make the majority of the country complicit in this killing
    of a 9 year-old girl, and five other people. Because a majority of
    the country is smart enough to know what this case is.

    Reply

  154. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “When the violent acts of an individual aim to tear our society apart, they instead cause Americans to come together and unite stronger than ever”
    Well, we’ve had a day to examine the veracity of this dandy little bit of rhetorical fluff. How’s it panning out?

    Reply

  155. nadine says:

    “It’s somewhat sad and disturbing that what is emerging is a picture of a young man who was recognized by everyone around him as mentally scrambled, deranged, frightening, incoherent, declining and disturbing. And yet none of these observations added up to any kind of social intervention.” (Dan Kervick)
    Yes, that about sums up the shooter. I suppose it’s hard to prevent when a young person who is not well supervised gets schizophrenia and starts heading for a psychotic break. He ought to get the help before the break arrives, but it clearly didn’t happen in this case.
    What’s really scary is seeing the entire Democratic Party and MSM say “Oh! Our chance to tar every Republican with the same brush!” and fling accusations at Sarah Palin and talk radio without any evidence whatsoever. This guy wasn’t even a follower, but they are not letting that stop the narrative.
    The real point being, I suppose, to hamstring the Republicans and provide an excuse to call them extremists and wannabe murderers if they try to rollback any part of the Obama program. All in the name of “civil discourse”.
    I can only rely in the common sense of the American people.

    Reply

  156. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I wish I had some guns, so that I could then ask the government to take them away – sort of like Warren Buffet saying the country should tax him more”
    What are you saying Dan?
    Its alright to be disatisfied and alarmed by the direction our leaders are taking us, but its not allright, or at best foolhardy, to put that dissatisfaction and alarm to voice?
    It is obvious that Fox News is a politically motivated agency, operating in collusion with the RW segment of our governing body. The same can be said for the major mouthpieces, Limbaugh, Coulter, Hannity, Beck, etc. So isn’t it reasonable to consider that there is a very real “conspiracy” is afoot, launched by a large portion of our government, to “stir up the natives”? Well, one hopes the don’t over stir the stew. When they do, people get shot in the head.
    And if it becomes obvious they are PURPOSELY over-stirring it, and the inevitable violence insues? What then do you suppose their goal is? Who then becomes subject to the netherworld to which they have consigned those they deem to be “enemy combatants”?

    Reply

  157. drew says:

    Great story in the Post about how Obama can use this murder to his
    political advantage:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-
    dyn/content/article/2011/01/10/AR2011011001314.html?
    hpid=topnews

    Reply

  158. Dan Kervick says:

    I wish I had some guns, so that I could then ask the government to take them away – sort of like Warren Buffet saying the country should tax him more.

    Reply

  159. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Yeah, this is the distraction I expect will get big play. It’s an unassailable distraction, writ large or small”
    Well, one would hope as time passes, that evidence arises, and the truth will out. But unfortunately, all time seems to do to events such as this one, is provide the various factions with the needed time to spin the event to their political advantage. As law enforcement works hard to uncover the facts, you can rest assured that political operatives are working just as hard to spin those facts, as they are revealed, to their advantage.
    Its an opportune time to employ the anti-semitism angle, as Israel’s actions become increasingly egregious and newsworthy globally. I expect we will soon see the Fox News’ efforts spread to other media outlets, and become part of the political rhetoric we see coming from Washington. Already, Fox has managed to imprint the anti-semitism angle on a very large segment of the RW public, those whose SOLE source of information is the RW media machine. Evidence is not necessary, as mere insinuation and constant exposure to the concept is sufficient. It is the same kind of RW media insinuation that convinced a huge segment of our population of an Al Qaeda/Saddam/9-11 linkage.
    It is indeed disheartening to realize that “time passed” very seldom gives us the truth, but more often than not gives us the scripted version of an event, the version composed for public consumption, which may or may not have a foundation in the truth depending on which political agenda the event can best be used to advance.
    Our sanctions in Iran seem to be having the desired effect. Spare parts for their commercial airline fleet are not getting in. Is last night’s crash a result of this??? If so, we’ll never know, will we? But at least Hillary says the sanctions “are having the desired effect”.
    Is there a day we do not read about one politician or another being murdered in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, or Yemen? Do we see this kind of media attention devoted to these assasinations? What of the college proffessors and scientists in Iran that are mysteriously being assasinated in great numbers?
    Already, it is impossible to believe with conviction that what is unfolding on our flat screens is a true presentation of the facts regarding this event. We will be given, are being given, the carefully manicured version. It will be interesting to see who gets the award for the best script, the “gun control” nuts, the “Anti-semitism is everywhere” assholes, the “we better police the internet” fascists, or the “lets put a greater distance between us and our constituency” maggots, who are only bi-partisan when their own welfare is on the line.
    I wish no one ill, but our poiliticians are well advised to be worried. Times are hard outside the beltway, getting harder, and the natives are getting restless. Using the media to stir them up might not be the grand idea that many asshole politicians seem to think it is.
    On the other hand, looking at the legislation of the last ten years, and the illegal activities in regards to civil liberties and citizen rights that our “leaders” have engaged in, perhaps stirring up the natives IS the agenda. What good are fascist laws if one cannot employ them??? If laws enabling fascism are enacted, can’t we reasonably assume fascism is the objective?
    Wow. Dan knows about Castenada. Back in my early hippie days I was a fan. Liked peyote and mescaline as well.
    Funny, I don’t recall shooting any politicians in the head. But I knew some glue sniffers and seconal addicts that woulda if they coulda.
    But Dan is right about one thing, this wacko definitely resided in “a separate reality”. It will be intriguing to see whose reality Washington and the media decides to convince us wins the trifecta.

    Reply

  160. Paul Norheim says:

    Let me make a serious bet: Paul Auster, an American writer
    familiar with the language issues i referred to above, and
    also with Loughner’s list of “favorite books”, will write an
    essay about Loughner before this year ends, an essay that
    will be more illuminating than most of the statements from
    not only friends, family, and pundits, but also psychiatrists
    and other experts on his case.

    Reply

  161. Paul Norheim says:

    I’m not saying that our man was a genius in line with
    Wittgenstein or Hofmannstahl – just that similar
    experiences, even in a more confused, rudimentary, and
    not-so-articulated form, are not uncommon among young
    people reading lots of books in an attempt to find
    something that resonates with their own confusion and
    struggle to find something that helps them make sense of
    the world they live in.
    If you look at Lougher’s list of “favorite books”, it is
    neither strikingly rightwing, nor leftwing. However, most
    of the books on his list have one thing in common, from
    Plato’s “Republic” via Lewis Carroll to Huxley and Orwell:
    the world is not what it looks like, and some higher,
    invisible, earthly or divine power may have created the
    illusion we call the world for their own manipulative
    purposes. Language is an effective tool to create illusions.
    Ergo: do not trust language.

    Reply

  162. dirk says:

    nadine, Jan 10 2011, 7:56AM – Link
    “GFY Norheim”
    nadine . . . as ever, raising the level of discourse. Keep it classy.

    Reply

  163. questions says:

    Paul, I skimmed, will read in detail later. Sometimes I have actual rather than virtual tasks. Sad.
    Dan, self-medication is what you do when you feel crazy or shitty and you don’t have insurance, don’t have prescription meds, or wouldn’t dare seek counseling. Rich people get prozac, the uninsured self-medicate their moods and get arrested.
    If he was sliding down the psychotic ladder, he may have turned to drugs to cope with the slide. Early childhood friends describe him as a great friend, and are surprised at this. People who knew him recently are not surprised. Something happened, and if that something is schizophrenia or a cousin-illness, then self-medication would make sense. Or maybe psychoactive drugs caused the problems, as you seem to indicate.

    Reply

  164. Paul Norheim says:

    Pot or not pot, Dan and Questions,
    – allow me to remind you of a famous document from the
    celebrated Austrian early modernist poet Hugo von
    Hofmannstahl, a fictive letter, quoted frequently in the
    context of the (proto-modernist) existential experience of
    words not capable of referring to things as they are,
    expressing fundamental experiences or establishing a
    coherent meaning anymore. Here is an excerpt:
    “My case, in short, is this: I have lost completely the ability
    to think or to speak of anything coherently.
    At first I grew by degrees incapable of discussing a loftier
    or more general subject in terms of which everyone,
    fluently and without hesitation, is wont to avail himself. I
    experienced an inexplicable distaste for so much as
    uttering the words spirit, soul, or body. I found it
    impossible to express an opinion on the affairs at Court,
    the events in Parliament, or whatever you wish. This was
    not motivated by any form of personal deference (for you
    know that my candour borders on imprudence), but
    because the abstract terms of which the tongue must avail
    itself as a matter of course in order to voice a judgment-
    these terms crumbled in my mouth like mouldy fungi.
    Thus, one day, while reprimanding my four-year-old
    daughter, Katherina Pompilia, for a childish lie of which
    she had been guilty and demonstrating to her the
    necessity of always being truthful, the ideas streaming into
    my mind suddenly took on such iridescent colouring, so
    flowed over into one another, that I reeled off the sentence
    as best I could, as if suddenly overcome by illness.
    Actually, I did feel myself growing pale, and with a violent
    pressure on my forehead I left the child to herself,
    slammed the door behind me, and began to recover to
    some extent only after a brief gallop over the lonely
    pasture.
    Gradually, however, these attacks of anguish spread like a
    corroding rust. Even in familiar and humdrum conversation
    all the opinions which are generally expressed with ease
    and sleep-walking assurance became so doubtful that I
    had to cease altogether taking part in such talk. It filled
    me with an in explicable anger, which I could conceal only
    with effort, to hear such things as: This affair has turned
    out well or ill for this or that person; Sheriff N. is a bad,
    Parson T. a good man; Farmer M. is to be pitied, his sons
    are wasters; another is to be envied because his daughters
    are thrifty; one family is rising in the world, another is on
    the downward path.
    All this seemed as indemonstrable, as mendacious and
    hollow as could be. My mind compelled me to view all
    things occurring in such conversations from an uncanny
    closeness. As once, through a magnifying glass, I had seen
    a piece of skin on my little finger look like a field full of
    holes and furrows, so I now perceived human beings and
    their actions. I no longer succeeded in comprehending
    them with the simplifying eye of habit. For me everything
    disintegrated into parts, those parts again into parts; no
    longer would anything let itself be en compassed by one
    idea. Single words floated round me; they congealed into
    eyes which stared at me and into which I was forced to
    stare back – whirlpools which gave me vertigo and, reeling
    incessantly, led into the void.
    I tried to rescue myself from this plight by seeking refuge
    in the spiritual world of the Ancients. Plato I avoided, for I
    dreaded the perilousness of his imagination. Of them all, I
    in tended to concentrate on Seneca and Cicero. Through
    the harmony of their clearly defined and orderly ideas I
    hoped to regain my health. But I was unable to find my
    way to them. These ideas, I understood them well: I saw
    their wonderful interplay rise before me like magnificent
    fountains upon which played golden balls. I could hover
    around them and watch how they played, one with the
    other; but they were concerned only with each other, and
    the most profound, most personal quality of my thinking
    remained excluded from this magic circle. In their
    company I was overcome by a terrible sense of loneliness;
    I felt like someone locked in a garden sur rounded by
    eyeless statues. So once more I escaped into the open.
    Since that time I have been leading an existence which I
    fear you can hardly imagine, so lacking in spirit and
    thought is its flow: an existence which, it is true, differs
    little from that of my neighbours, my relations, and most
    of the land owning nobility of this kingdom, and which is
    not utterly bereft of gay and stimulating moments. It is
    not easy for me to indicate wherein these good moments
    subsist; once again words desert me. For it is, indeed,
    something entirely unnamed, even barely nameable which,
    at such moments, reveals itself to me, filling like a vessel
    any casual object of my daily surroundings with an
    overflowing flood of higher life.
    I cannot expect you to understand me without examples,
    and I must plead your indulgence for their absurdity. A
    pitcher, a harrow abandoned in a field, a dog in the sun, a
    neglected cemetery, a cripple, a peasant’s hut-all these
    can become the vessel of my revelation. Each of these
    objects and a thousand others similar, over which the eye
    usually glides with a natural indifference, can suddenly, at
    any moment (which I am utterly powerless to evoke),
    assume for me a character so exalted and moving that
    words seem too poor to describe it. Even the distinct
    image of an absent object, in fact, can acquire the
    mysterious function of being filled to the brim with this
    silent but suddenly rising flood of divine sensation.
    (…)
    In these moments an insignificant creature-a dog, a rat, a
    beetle, a crippled apple tree, a lane winding over the hill, a
    moss-covered stone, mean more to me than the most
    beautiful, abandoned mistress of the happiest night. These
    mute and, on occasion, inanimate creatures rise toward
    me with such an abundance, such a presence of love, that
    my enchanted eye can find nothing in sight void of life.
    Every thing that exists, everything I can remember,
    everything touched upon by my confused thoughts, has a
    meaning. Even my own heaviness, the general torpor of my
    brain, seems to acquire a meaning; I experience in and
    around me a blissful, never-ending interplay, and among
    the objects playing against one another there is not one
    into which I cannot flow. To me, then, it is as though my
    body consists of nought but ciphers which give me the key
    to everything; or as if we could enter into a new and
    hopeful relationship with the whole of exist ence if only
    we begin to think with the heart. As soon, how ever, as
    this strange enchantment falls from me, I find myself
    confused; wherein this harmony transcending me and the
    entire world consisted, and how it made itself known to
    me, I could present in sensible words as little as I could
    say any thing precise about the inner movements of my
    intestines or a congestion of my blood.
    (…)
    I have troubled you excessively, my dear friend, with this
    extended description of an inexplicable condition which is
    wont, as a rule, to remain locked up in me.
    You were kind enough to express your dissatisfaction that
    no book written by me reaches you any more, “to
    compensate for the loss of our relationship.” Reading that,
    I felt, with a certainty not entirely bereft of a feeling of
    sorrow, that neither in the coming year nor in the
    following nor in all the years of this my life shall I write a
    book, whether in English or in Latin: and this for an odd
    and embarrassing reason which I must leave to the
    boundless superiority of your mind to place in the realm
    of physical and spiritual values spread out har moniously
    before your unprejudiced eye: to wit, because the
    language in which I might be able not only to write but to
    think is neither Latin nor English, neither Italian nor
    Spanish, but a language none of whose words is known to
    me, a language in which inanimate things speak to me and
    wherein I may one day have to justify myself before an
    unknown judge.”
    The complete letter can be read here:
    http://depts.washington.edu/vienna/documents/Hofmann
    sthal/Hofmannsthal_Chandos.htm
    And here is a short excerpt from Wikipedia about the
    context:
    The Letter of Lord Chandos is a fictional letter written by
    Hugo Von Hofmannsthal in 1902 about a writer named
    Lord Philip Chandos who is experiencing a crisis of
    language. The letter is dated August 1603 and addressed
    to Francis Bacon, with the fictional Lord Chandos as the
    author.
    The Lord Chandos Letter is a stark contrast from the early
    works and poetry of Hoffmansthal. He was a poet who had
    a command over language in his early poetry centered on
    the

    Reply

  165. Dan Kervick says:

    “I think the drug use may well have been self-medication, but honestly, who knows.”
    Maybe, although I have to admit I don’t know what that means actually.
    But the first time I saw one of his videos, I immediately thought it had a kind of peyote-drenched, desert southwest, Carlos Castaneda vibe to it, of a kind that used to be fairly familiar back in the day.

    Reply

  166. Dan Kervick says:

    Loughner was also involved in conscious dreaming practice – which he mistakenly called “conscience dreaming” in one of his videos. This is some kind of mind alteration practice that seeks to stimulate lucid dreams while awake. It sometimes involves drug use.
    It’s somewhat sad and disturbing that what is emerging is a picture of a young man who was recognized by everyone around him as mentally scrambled, deranged, frightening, incoherent, declining and disturbing. And yet none of these observations added up to any kind of social intervention.

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  167. DonS says:

    “No matter what this wackjob’s motives were, surely anti-semitism played a part . . .”
    Yeah, this is the distraction I expect will get big play. It’s an unassailable distraction, writ large or small.

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  168. questions says:

    From TPM, a read of the grammar issue. Really, I just don’t even have an adjective.
    http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/jared-loughner-was-obsessed-with-grammar.php?ref=fpb
    Language is potent, there’s no doubt. But this…. Wow.
    Here’s more on the syllogism issue.
    http://www.slate.com/id/2280653/
    (I guess I scooped Slate since I posted on this theme yesterday.)
    I think the drug use may well have been self-medication, but honestly, who knows.

    Reply

  169. Dan Kervick says:

    When I was in graduate school, we had a sort of running joke about some undergraduate logic or introductory philosophy students who would sometimes latch on quickly on the broad patterns of valid inference – Loughner’s favorite was apparently modus ponens – but who stuffed the patterns with bizarre or incoherent gibberish. We would say, “Yeah, it was all tootie, fuitie, therefore a-rootie.”
    We definitely shouldn’t dismiss the theory that Loughner was a drug abuse casualty. While his thinking probably wouldn’t have gotten so severely scrambled just from smoking a lot of pot, hallucinogens and other more powerful drugs could certainly do the trick. His little You Tube videos definitely have a trippy feel. And some of his high school friends reported that his anti-social and increasingly bizarre behavior coincided with increasing drug use.

    Reply

  170. questions says:

    “Bryce Tierney, a friend of alleged shooter Jared Loughner tells Mother Jones magazine that Loughner had always had a grudge against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), and that it was a missed voice mail message Loughner left on his phone that led him to believe Loughner was involved in the mass shooting. In the message Loughner said, “Hey man, it’s Jared. Me and you had good times. Peace out. Later.”
    Tierney, described as “an old and close friend with whom he had gone to high school and college” in the Mother Jones report, said that Loughner had repeatedly called Giffords a “fake,” and that his hatred of Giffords intensified after he attended a campaign event where he posed a question to the congresswoman. According to Tierny, Loughner’s question was, “What is government if words have no meaning?”
    “He said, ‘Can you believe it, they wouldn’t answer my question,’ and I told him, ‘Dude, no one’s going to answer that,'” Tierney recalls. “Ever since that, he thought she was fake, he had something against her.”
    Tierney is not the first to weigh in on Loughner’s behavior. E-mails supplied to The Washington Post by Lynda Sorenson, a former classmate of Loughner, reveal her growing alarm at Loughner’s strange and disruptive behavior in early June.
    Kent Slinker, an adjunct philosophy professor at Pima Community College, taught Loughner in Introduction to Logic during the spring semester of 2010. In an interview with Slate, Slinker described Loughner as “someone whose brains were scrambled.”
    “His thoughts were unrelated to anything in our world,” said Slinker.
    Tierney also told Mother Jones that Loughner was obsessed with “lucid dreaming” — the idea that conscious dreams could be controlled by the dreamer. “I saw his dream journal once,” said Tierney “That’s the golden piece of evidence. You want to know what goes on in Jared Loughner’s mind, there’s a dream journal that will tell you everything.””
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2011/01/friend-of-loughner-i-felt-like.html
    So there’s the source of the syllogisms…..

    Reply

  171. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Paradoxically, at least so far, the right wing mouthpieces have not found a way to turn this event to their advantage or, more specifically, to go on the attack, as is their specialty, employing the usual innuendo or threat”
    Oh, I don’t know about that. I see Fox News, early this morning, was really pushing the anti-semitism angle. Had some rabbi on ruminating about the eternal victimhood of the Jews, and making sure, with every other sentence, that we all are firmly implanted with the knowledge that Giffords was Jewish. The underlying message being, “No matter what this wackjob’s motives were, surely anti-semitism played a part, because, doncha know, the whole world is out to get us poor misunderstood peace-lovin’ Jews. BTW, have you heard about the holocaust?”
    Meanwhile, while we lay people distract ourselves by dabbling in pyscho-babble, and ponder whether or not this guy was schizo, right wing, left wing, anti-semitic, anti-anti, pro-anti, Beckonized, Pelosibaited, Palinated, or just over-masturbated, I see the Israelis are taking advantage of our displaced concentration.
    Even Hillary is beginning to “get it”. Or, at least, pretend to. She is currently in Dubai, where she commented on this latest effort Israel is making to delegitimize itself. Perhaps after she gets out of Dubai, and switches audiences, she will change her rhetoric, and figure out a way to blame the Palestinians for forcing Netanyahu into this. After all, doesn’t Israel have a “right to defend itself”?.
    http://news.antiwar.com/2011/01/09/israel-demolishes-east-jerusalem-hotel-and-peace-process/
    Israel Demolishes East Jerusalem Hotel and Peace Process
    Clinton Slams ‘Disturbing’ Move
    by Jason Ditz, January 09, 2011
    The Israeli government today moved forward with the demolition of a large part of an historic hotel in occupied East Jerusalem, which will eventually be the site of some 20 new settlement units. The move sparked international criticism.
    The planned demolition of the Shepherd Hotel has been coming for quite some time. The Israeli government took it over in 1967 and it was sold to an American settlement enthusiast in 1985, who announced his intentions in 2007. International criticism had led Israeli officials to revise the plan from 133 to 20 units, and to insist that the hotel itself would remain untouched.
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the move as a

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  172. questions says:

    nadine, first I don’t know how to use google, especially to bolster someone else’s arguments. I have senior moments now and again.
    Second, since I do read kos diaries pretty regularly, I actually know a whole lot about the kos “Giffords is dead to me” diary, and “is dead to me” is not the same as “sic ’em Dan-o…..”
    “Is dead to me” is an expression of complete betrayal leading to complete alienation — I think I learned this from “Fiddler on the Roof” or something.
    Third, the diarist pulled his own diary after the comment and the shootings.
    Fourth, the diarist posted a painful, honest apology for the use of this rhetoric, especially in the wake of the shooting. It was heartfelt, humane, and a good thing to do.
    Thus far, all Palin’s team has done is to deny it was a gun sight, and to deny the seriousness of the rhetoric.
    The rhetoric is probably pretty serious. And on the off chance that it does incite violence, it should be toned down by those who make money from keeping up the pressure.
    ****
    And Paul, thanks for the half-praise/half-half-damning! I expect nothing else sometimes. (Of course, the brain that traces all sorts of complexities in wars and policy is the same as the one tracing complexities in this instance…. The bad goes hand in hand with the good…. (smile))

    Reply

  173. DonS says:

    Krugman calls a spade a spade:
    “Where

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  174. DonS says:

    Krugman calls a spade a spade:
    “Where

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  175. DonS says:

    “The right links images and behavior all the
    time”
    True and, wherever the specifics of the shooters politics lie in this case, the larger truth is clear; the rightists are the overwhelming purveyors of violent imagery. Pretty much invented the ‘hate radio’ genre.
    Paradoxically, at least so far, the right wing mouthpieces have not found a way to turn this event to their advantage or, more specifically, to go on the attack, as is their specialty, employing the usual innuendo or threat. Or, as that paragon of right wing virtue, George Allen, says “knock their soft teeth down their whiney throats”. I have no doubt it’s coming once the brain trust get’s together.

    Reply

  176. DonS says:

    This bit from Douthat’s MYT piece relates to what I was referring to upthread as part of an avalanche of unassailable platitudes: “Not so in America: From the Republican leadership to the Tea Party grass roots, all of Gabrielle Giffords

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  177. Paul Norheim says:

    Questions,
    thanks for the brief clarity (yes: neither fog nor unfocused
    and associative ramblings, but concise clarity!) and the
    many good points in your recent posts about an
    admittedly complex issue!
    I especially appreciate the following apt remark:
    “In fact, when the right wants to censor tv shows and
    movies, when NC-17 flicks can’t find theater chains, the
    right is happy. The right links images and behavior all the
    time. That’s what censorship is about, the link between
    images and behavior. Anti-porn? Rock-n-roll and rap and
    hip hop are the death of us all? Fuck tha Police will lead to
    actual, umm, fucking tha police? These are pretty
    conservative views.
    But the minute the liberal side says, wait, we just had this
    violent political assassination and we think it’s got some
    link to some seriously violent political rhetoric, kind of like
    Palin’s target ad that EXPLICITLY targets the central victim
    of this shooting — SOMEhow, we’re just supposed to
    ignore the images this time only.”
    You nailed it.

    Reply

  178. nadine says:

    What’s the matter, questions, are you unable to use Google? The Fort Hood shooting was a big story. Look up the coverage yourself.
    “The very links you deny between right wing violent rhetoric and Loughner you claim there to be between Islamic militant rhetoric and Hasan.”
    You are misusing the word ‘rhetoric’ here. Not even the koskids are accusing Sarah Palin of actually trying to hire hitmen to kill the Congressmen in the Congressional districts she named as targets. They just claim the rhetoric was overblown, even though such rhetoric is used in most campaigns.
    But al Awlaki was actually instructing Major Hassan to kill infidels. It wasn’t a matter of letting rhetoric get away from him. The theological instructions were: wage jihad by killing your fellow American soldiers. The FBI has the emails, which I’m sure you can find if you look.
    “nadine, really, Islamism is under attack in this country. Our whole foreign policy is a war on Islam at this point. We have spies in mosques across the country. Arab looking people come under endless scrutiny wherever they go.”
    Islamism and Islam are two different things. Since the object of Islamism is the replacement of the Constitution with Sharia law, we should keep it under attack. Islam that will observe the separation of mosque and state is a different matter.
    “Palin et al get blamed for one round of violence and you freak”
    I do because it’s contemptible. Hopefully it will be self-punishing as well, as the independent voters say, “what is wrong with these people?”
    The whole thing is ridiculous. It would make more sense to blame Nancy Pelosi for the shooting on the grounds that a left-winger had just shot a Congresswoman who refused to vote for Pelosi for Minority Leader. That wouldn’t be true either, but would sound a little more plausible. (There was one koskid who loudly proclaimed “Giffords is DEAD to me” after the vote against Pelosi. Should we blame him too?) The Palin connection is that absurd. Palin is being blamed because the Left really hates and fears her. No other reason.

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  179. Paul Norheim says:

    Hi Dan!
    You said: “One part of Douthat’s column that irks me is
    the business about “irreducible complexity”.”
    Yes – maybe evidence will show that Loughner belongs to
    the left. Or to the right. Or, as you suggest, his views and
    theories “might prove hard to classify as either “left” or
    “right”” – but still somehow be intelligible.
    But as you’ll have seen from my critical remarks, I think it
    is in the interest of all those who have demonized their
    opponents – and employed militant metaphors targeting
    specifically mentioned politicians – that Loughner remains
    an enigmatic figure, his views and motives conveniently
    reduced to an “irreducible complexity”.
    If he proves to be ideologically driven, or if his motives are
    somehow comprehensive in a political sense, that opens
    up the possibility that there are connections between the
    words of “well intended” politicians and the murky stuff
    bubbling up from the collective shadow realm. Charles
    Manson killed persons that were not mentioned in the
    White Album by the Beatles; and his interpretations of
    their songs were too idiosyncratic for us to establish a
    coherent connection between songs and actions. Jared Lee
    Loughner, on the other hand, targeted someone that were
    specifically mentioned in the political agitation. That
    brings him much closer to the agitators. Thus, the madder
    the madman in the mud, the better for the agitators in the
    political sphere..

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  180. questions says:

    nadine,
    post links from the NYT with all the mystification, and proof that Awlaki “radicalized” him….
    The very links you deny between right wing violent rhetoric and Loughner you claim there to be between Islamic militant rhetoric and Hasan.
    So show the asymmetry.
    Again, you seem to think that what’s really wrong is that the LEFTWING NY TIMES underplays violent Islamism as a casus belli, and overplays rightwing rhetoric as a cause of mass murder.
    As if the NYT were the only source of news and views. As if the nation were lacking in attacks on Islamism, and had a surfeit of attacks on the right.
    It’s kind of like the oppressed majority, war on Christmas thing. The right dominates the economy, held the presidency, holds the money and industry, and yet is oppressed mightily by the New York Times.
    nadine, really, Islamism is under attack in this country. Our whole foreign policy is a war on Islam at this point. We have spies in mosques across the country. Arab looking people come under endless scrutiny wherever they go.
    You want more? There isn’t enough? Come on. Really.
    Palin et al get blamed for one round of violence and you freak, meanwhile we’re fighting and killing all over the Muslim world and that’s insufficient proof of taking radical Islamic rhetoric seriously…..
    See if you can stop and think in proportion, without the talking points. Make a chart of actions and words against the right, and against radical Islam. Do Nexis/Lexis searches on phrases, or google searches. See what you find out there…. It might change your mind.

    Reply

  181. nadine says:

    “But the minute the liberal side says, wait, we just had this violent political assassination and we think it’s got some link to some seriously violent political rhetoric, kind of like Palin’s target ad that EXPLICITLY targets the central victim of this shooting — SOMEhow, we’re just supposed to ignore the images this time only.
    nadine, do you see how odd this stance is? How completely cognitively dissonant it is on the part of the right? How it just doesn’t fit at all?” (questions)
    “we think it’s got some link” – this is point where some evidence would be nice. Any evidence. They’ve got nothing. Sarah Palin’s year-old campaign literature is not evidence, it’s perfectly mundane – aside from the fact that there is no evidence this nutcase shooter even followed politics. To top it off, his acquaintances say he is left-wing, which makes the Sarah Palin connection even less likely.
    Do you see how odd it is to weave this story out of whole cloth with no evidence and expect people to take it seriously? The only thing they can point to is a general atmosphere of overheated rhetoric, blissfully unaware that they are just as guilty of it as the other side.
    I’ll tell you exactly what the link is based on: wishful thinking. If this shooter had been a Tea Partier who thought Glenn Beck was the new Messiah, they would be holding early Mardi Gras celebrations at the DNC and DailyKos.

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  182. questions says:

    As for “attack on Sarah Palin and the tea party” — well, I tell you what, Sarah Palin’s ad agency put together the target ad because it expressed a sensibility that Palin is attracted to, that people on the right are attracted to, that incites action, money flows, makes people feel involved and powerful.
    Then, oh dammit, the symbolism comes true. FUCK. That was supposed to be a metaphor. It’s not a TARGET. It’s not a gun sight. It’s a surveyor’s symbol. We’re just checkin’ out the territory. Cuz you gotta know the territory. (That’s from the Music Man, by the way.)
    Except that of course it was a target and a gun sight til the shooting and the connection were made.
    I have no idea if Loughner ever saw the ad, if he ever read a blog in which the ad was discussed. Likely the ad had nothing directly to do with the shooting.
    In fact, my current read is that the reason Giffords was targeted is that she responded in Spanish to something he said to her in 2007, under the Bush admin. That ties with the grammar quite neatly.
    What all of this misses though is that the violent rhetoric, the targeting of MCs, the nastiness might easily be picked up by someone else for real in the future. Loughner is a warning, a clarion call, a Cassandra for where we might well be headed.
    Far better to allow the serendipitous warning to take root than to keep going our current direction.
    What’s the next escalation going to be, anyway? Note that rhetoric has a short half life. People tire of things and want newer sexier stuff to get them motivated to part with their money and time and passion. Targets will fade, and then, umm, nuke em? Throats slit? Seriously, where do we go next to keep up the thrill?
    It’s a huge problem when the political system depends on sublimated sexual urges, sublimated violent urges, sublimated destruction. Ya gotta keep the thrill going, the danger going, or we just find something else to do.
    (Actually we’ve used nukes in ads…. Hmmmm.)
    I’d recommend that we really try, for public safety, to ratchet down the insanity. There is little that is as horrific as political rhetoric makes it seem. But the rhetoric may well have some impact that we aren’t going to like.
    So, no, there’s not likely a direct link between the very specific Palin ad and this very specific deed, but that doesn’t preclude any relationship ever between inflamed rhetoric and political violence.
    It’s a siren, a warning bell, a call. Maybe we could heed it?
    And probably we won’t.
    But please, try to chill on the Palin issue at this point, and try to see the larger issue of general social incitement of which Palin is indeed a part, an integral part, one of many parts.

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  183. DonS says:

    Because Sarah an other right wing rabble rousers and inciters planted seed two years ago, or two months ago does not mean they just sprout and die. They find a fertile field and continue to grow.
    The seeds never should have been sown in the first place.

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  184. nadine says:

    “As for Ft. Hood, I followed it less because it didn’t hit the same Congress chord in me. So send along some links and I’ll look them over.” (questions)
    Look up the Wiki articles on Major Nidal Hassan. Hassan became radicalized under the al Qaeda imam al Awlaki, and did everything but send up flares to warn of his intent to wage jihad, which the Army studiously ignored both before and after the massacre. This was a guy who had received blessing from his al Qaeda imam to wage jihad, who put S.O.A. (for Soldier of Allah) on his business cards, who wore Muslim dress to do it, and who shouted “Allahu Akhbar” before he started shooting. The New York Times professed itself completely mystified as to his motives.
    In the Ft. Hood shooting case, I can safely say that Islamic radicalization has been severely under-reported as a motive.

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  185. questions says:

    Hmmmm.
    Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander? That’s one way to read it.
    Can dish it out but can’t take it? That’s another way to read it.
    Competitive electoral system that works hard to demonize when opportunity hits? That’s another way to read it.
    The better analysts are all hedging bets because we don’t know a lot about the situation.
    There’s a neat, nice, clear narrative between violent rhetoric and violent acts. In fact, when the right wants to censor tv shows and movies, when NC-17 flicks can’t find theater chains, the right is happy. The right links images and behavior all the time. That’s what censorship is about, the link between images and behavior. Anti-porn? Rock-n-roll and rap and hip hop are the death of us all? Fuck tha Police will lead to actual, umm, fucking tha police? These are pretty conservative views.
    But the minute the liberal side says, wait, we just had this violent political assassination and we think it’s got some link to some seriously violent political rhetoric, kind of like Palin’s target ad that EXPLICITLY targets the central victim of this shooting — SOMEhow, we’re just supposed to ignore the images this time only.
    nadine, do you see how odd this stance is? How completely cognitively dissonant it is on the part of the right? How it just doesn’t fit at all?
    Do images cause problems or not? Let’s work on this and try not to conclude that the only images that might cause problems are those that conservatives don’t use. Or, without all the negatives, let’s try to conclude that images, regardless of their politics, are either problematic or not.
    Let’s make categories for expressive images, claims about the world, descriptions, opinions, paranoid viewpoints, and the like. And let’s try to figure out a way to be responsible in our expression and our claims and our political struggles.
    And try again with the specific instead of with “The Left” — it’s painfully obvious that you don’t have the specifics, you have the talking points. Different beast.

    Reply

  186. Paul Norheim says:

    THANKS, Nadine.
    GFY…! Finally three honest letters!
    Much appreciated, and Happy New Year to you too!

    Reply

  187. nadine says:

    “I say: go for it, liar and partisan! You have no self respect,
    credibility, or dignity to lose anyway.”
    GFY Norheim

    Reply

  188. nadine says:

    questions, the Left is wrong inasmuch as they are the ones rushing to pin blame for a lunatic’s attack on Sarah Palin and the tea party.
    This is an unjustifiable smear. There isn’t the slightest connection between Sarah Palin or anyone else on the right and this nutjob.
    It’s not that the Right is perfectly innocent of all fault, but in this case they were just sitting quietly minding their own business when the entire Left began to blame them for a shooting rampage. The claim that ‘even nuts are affected by the political climate’ is a s-t-r-e-t-ch which, even if you believe it, should implicate both sides.
    This is narrative-based reporting, as opposed to evidence-based reporting. You don’t look for facts, just a framework you can fill in with your prepared narrative. The Left got their framework and began screaming. The known facts don’t support the narrative but they don’t care. This is contemptible.

    Reply

  189. Paul Norheim says:

    Nadine,
    the facts so far are insufficient and point in too many
    directions for anyone to firmly determine whether he was
    motivated by leftist or rightwing ideology, or both —- or
    something much less familiar, like the cryptic far-right-
    paranoid linguistic theories of David Wynn Miller?
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/47329.html
    More evidence will be revealed in the coming weeks and
    months, but whether the coming mountain of data and
    documents and statements will clarify this issue or present
    an even more complex and foggy picture is an open
    question.
    The first day I commented at TWN (november 2007), I
    objected to some commenter here comparing Bush to
    Adolf Hitler. What you ignore, is that this level of
    demonization was not common practice among
    established leftist figures in politics and media during the
    W. years. Comparing Obama to Hitler and Stalin is
    unfortunately commonplace among the current rightwing
    establishment, and is hammered in on a daily basis –
    accompanied by militant and revolutionary metaphors.
    I think it’s foolish when some left wingers conclude that
    the killer was a right wing nut. Where is the evidence? And
    if this youngster made the vague impression on some
    fellow student of being a leftist three years ago, what does
    that prove about his motives last Saturday? The public
    doesn’t have sufficient facts yet to prove anything in any
    direction yet – and, as Douthat suggests: the evidence
    could point in all directions, amounting to an idiosyncratic
    amalgam of impulses and motives and influences that
    anyone may (and perhaps will) read like a rorschach test.
    My point is that the most convenient strategy for the right
    – the strategy they seem to have chosen – is to put the
    culprit safely outside the realm of politics, and claim that
    rightwing rhetorics in all factions is responsible, well
    meaning and metaphorical, and has nothing to do with
    what from time to time unexpectedly bubbles up from a
    strange parallel planet of madness and unpredictable
    violence. But this strategy is not credible.
    So yes, maybe the right should follow your example, and
    try to portray him as a socialist, a liberal, a Dem, a
    stalinist… a portrait made of whole cloth, but
    nevertheless… when you folks have the nerve to portray
    the current POTUS as a national socialist, a Muslim, and a
    secret enemy of America, why not portray a mostly
    unknown loony as a militant stalinist liberal? In the
    absence of evidence, it may be worth the try.
    I say: go for it, liar and partisan! You have no self respect,
    credibility, or dignity to lose anyway.

    Reply

  190. questions says:

    nadine,
    What I really see in your concerns is mildly overwrought attempts to find no wrong at all in the right wing and complete wrong in the left wing.
    Are there crazed kos diarists? Probably. I avoid a lot of diaries there. Is kos, the main page, crazed? Not particularly.
    Do I find much disturbing about clips I’ve seen of O’Reilly and Beck and other Fox voices? Yup. It seems far worse to me on Fox than it does on kos, and Fox has a much bigger audience than any kos diary ever will. Most diaries seem to disappear pretty quickly, with very few comments and very little time findable. Fox is on all the time. I know more people who watch Fox than I do people who read kos diaries. In fact, I don’t know another person who ever reads kos diaries. I know plenty who watch Fox.
    As for various shooters and motives and unclarity, find me the links to NYT articles that can’t understand anything at all about the Ft. Hood thing and I’ll read them.
    I get the feeling you’re trying to find a range of equivalences and non-equivalences in places that are convenient for your basic sense of the world, and maybe you should think harder.
    Both the Ft. Hood and the Az shootings were mass shootings. BUT, the AZ shooting was directed at an elected member of Congress and that just makes it a little different from other kinds of shootings.
    Also, the AZ shootings have come at a time of highly polarized political debate, in a stream of violent imagery that ties so neatly and narratively to the action that we story tellers tell the story that way whether or not it’s the most likely version of the story.
    AND, you’ll find all sorts of people on the left who are moderating or modifying or easing up on the sense of direct connection between the AZ shooting and any one instance of right wing crazed rhetoric.
    Indeed, most stuff I’ve read emphasizes the mental illness aspect, notes the political aspect, and tells the story this way.
    Until you put in more specifics and links and quotations, it’s just sort of pointless to freak about THE LEFT and what it does.
    As for Ft. Hood, I followed it less because it didn’t hit the same Congress chord in me. So send along some links and I’ll look them over.
    For now, what makes sense to me is that Loughner has “issues” and he latched on to some seriously odd stuff on the internet, and he latched on to some seriously violent imagery in the public discourse, and he latched on to a seriously nasty weapon, and he needed community mental health services he didn’t get enough of or any of at all.
    If there is some other story to be told, I’m sure it’ll come out eventually.
    And by the way, if you think panic about Islamism or radical Islam or Islamic violence or whatever is understated in the public discourse in the US, please say so clearly.
    I kind of think it’s overstated, personally. But please, do tell. (How much are we spending on wars, how many Fox spots, how much anxiety over every mosque, over the Cordoba Center, over airline security…. Honestly, do you really think it’s understated?)

    Reply

  191. Dan Kervick says:

    I agree with Nadine about Booth. I was going to use him as an example myself. I would just add that even the motives of people whose thinking is highly irrational and disordered, or strongly influenced by fantasy, are rarely so jumbled or alien that their motives remain unintelligible.
    But I think questions is right to point out that even when we find clear and intelligible causal connections and influences between the individual’s thinking and their social, political and emotional environment, the particular combination of views and theories characterizing a disturbed individual’s mind might prove hard to classify as either “left” or “right”.

    Reply

  192. Dan Kervick says:

    Hi Paul,
    One part of Douthat’s column that irks me is the business about “irreducible complexity”.
    People and their actions aren’t as complex and unintelligible as we sometimes like to believe. The motives of even people whose thinking is very unusual or disordered can usually be understood once we have a modicum of information. My guess is that we’ll have a fairly good idea, fairly quickly, about Loughner’s world view, obsessions and preoccupations – even if that worldview turns out to be a bizarre one – and that we will then know exactly what motivated him to kill the people he targeted.
    When we understand some human event or phenomenon, that puts us in an uncomfortable position of having to judge it and judge its causes, and then possibly respond to it in an appropriate way. Hence the desire to render everything so complex as to be unintelligible.

    Reply

  193. nadine says:

    “The left wing/right wing is a confused mess and shouldn’t be taken quite so literally on either side.” (questions)
    Why do I suspect that if the shooter were actually a tea partier, the left wing/right wing situation would be taken literally & be perfectly clear? This the meme from the Atlantic — ooh political motives of assassins are so confused.
    Rubbish. The political motives can be perfectly clear when the assassin is sane. Nobody doubts John Wilkes Booth’s motives – he explained them. They are only unclear when the shooter’s thinking is muddled and irrational.

    Reply

  194. nadine says:

    questions, apparently you missed the entire Bush administration and the violent language used against it by DailyKos and Democratic Underground and such sites – and actively promoted by Hollywood.
    Never before in history did anyone make a major movie about assassinating the CURRENT president. Can you even imagine how you would react if someone made a movie like that about President Obama?
    The Left has really taken the stance that whatever we do is entirely justified, but whatever you do is a moral outrage.
    What is most scary to me is that the Left’s reasoning is not far above the shooter’s. It’s all Sarah Palin’s fault, because George Bush is out of office. Otherwise it would be all his fault, because everything is. Even lunatics know that everything is his fault. That’s basically the reasoning being employed. If you can call it reasoning.
    Most of the Democrats pushing this line know they are lying for political advantage. They are merely contemptible. But those who actually believe this are irrational and really scary.
    Can you dispute my assertion that if the gunman had shouted “Allahu Akhbar” his motivation would have been completely impenetrable and mysterious to the New York Times and the Left?

    Reply

  195. questions says:

    nadine, he documents at home regarding his intention to assassinate. This wasn’t random.
    The left wing/right wing is a confused mess and shouldn’t be taken quite so literally on either side.
    The “pot head” remark is also off base. He was likely medicating himself as he slid downhill into whatever fog he landed in.
    If you look at the writings he posted, he’s not clearly “left wing” at all. He’s clearly taken up by government control conspiracies, voices in his head and so on.
    The point about our political rhetoric is that if either side frequently, constantly legitimates violence through the use of rhetoric, some crazy guy will feel like it’s a good idea to act on that violence. Impulses are like that, to some extent.
    Instead of feeling a deep need to defend every last bit of the language of “Second Amendment remedies” or watering trees with blood, or come shoot with me… try to see that rhetoric like this is not the very healthiest way to encourage someone to vote for you.
    Seriously, I don’t see how anyone can directly blame any one instance, and I don’t see how anyone can defend the use of these images either.
    Violent revolution is a nasty business. Destroying the government is a nasty business. Left or right, it doesn’t matter. We shouldn’t be providing the opportunities for adolescent transgressive fantasies to be enacted.

    Reply

  196. questions says:

    Paul, beautiful post. Thanks.
    Reminds me of an old episode of the tv show Mission Impossible. Some bad guy seems to act at random and his actions are hard to predict. They realize he takes his cues from the environment, so they create an entire streetscape that will feed his system and then they can predict his actions. Control the environment, and thus control the actions of someone who takes cues from the environment.
    Indeed we have a crazy environment. And indeed some people do take their cues from the environment. Not from any one moment in the environment, but from the totality.
    And this is where we run into the logical fallacy that the left and right are fighting over. One cannot blame any one moment, any one person, any singular anything in the environment for the shooting. The blame goes to the totality, but only part of the blame can go to the totality as there are other things going on.
    When you multiply a fraction by a fraction, the number gets smaller. So Palin’s target gets a fraction of a fraction of the blame, and the number diminishes as we find out more about Loughner’s mental state.
    The diminishing number makes the guilt burden lighten to the point that any one person on the right using inflammatory language basically carries no individual guilt/blame at all. So they can keep going at it. Free and clear. And they can turn their anger over to the left for daring to try to find a discrete value in a continuous, and continuously asympotically shrinking number.
    The moral thing to do, of course, is to accept that infinitesimal blame rather than to bank on its reduction to zero. But to do so would be to be forced to stop a good thing on a roll. Anyone whose career depends on inflammatory rhetoric has no individual incentive to stop it, great individual incentive to keep it going. It’s a game theory situation. Chicken? Free rider? Whatever. In there somewhere is the dilemma over cleaning up rhetoric when it’s against one’s individual interest even if it is in the social interest. These things don’t happen without coercion, and speech coercion isn’t acceptable with our Constitution.
    The only other way to ratchet down the insanity is through moral pressure. If the media keep up the story for a while, if shame takes over, if it becomes embarrassing to use all the gun imagery, then individuals will have a different calculation to make.
    Fox? Are you listening? Or are you waiting and enjoying the ratings game, the oligarchy, the violence?
    *****
    By the way, the NYT (maybe) had a piece up quoting one of the far right websites/organizations Loughner seems to have been moved by regarding grammar. He clearly had some issue with grammar, including have been answered in Spanish by Giffords after having asked a question in English. If anything like that has ever happened to you as you try to speak, you’d have been pretty upset, too, I guess.
    At any rate, apparently, the government controls the schools, and the schools control grammar, so the government controls the grammar. And nearly everyone is illiterate.
    Somewhere in this mess of thinking is a REAL loss of FREE SPEECH (think about how grammar both constrains speech and makes speech possible, by the way. Rules are like that.)
    The government connection is so baroque here. Grammarians write mostly descriptive but partially prescriptive text books that show the beautiful logic of language, the relations among words, the structure that has developed over time. School districts buy books based on teacher preference, price, clarity, accuracy (ha! sometimes!) and somehow this becomes “the government controls the language.” I would guess in AZ there’s extra freak out over this because of Spanish language issues. But I don’t know that the website is based in any bilingual place.
    So somehow, our very speech has been controlled by the government’s concern with, umm, subject-verb agreement? The formation of the past tense? The pluperfect? Dangling participles and misplaced modifiers?
    The money concerns/currency issues are thick with reality vs. fantasy, with a deep misunderstanding of what money is.
    The distrust is everywhere, thick, and a little scary.
    I do wonder if people on the not so far right really understand what their followers think when they think about the very commonplace things in the world.

    Reply

  197. nadine says:

    Paul, I hate to interfere by injecting facts into your analysis, but interviews with this nutjob’s classmates reveal that he is a left-wing pothead obsessed with 2012 prophecies. If he had political motives at all, he may have hated Giffords because she is a moderate ‘blue dog’ democrat. Or because is Jewish. Or more likely, he blamed her for something because he is a paranoid schizophrenic. He may not even have intended to hit her at all; reports say he shot randomly into the crowd.
    And as for poisonous political climates, the Left is conveniently forgetting that they heaped endless abuse on George Bush, hanging him in effigy, calling him Chimpy, fascist and Hitler, and made movies demeaning him (W) and fantasizing about his assassination (Death of a President).
    But none of this matters to the Democrats and the leftosphere, who rushed into action to blame Sarah Palin and ‘tea party rhetoric’ within literally 30 seconds of the shooting. They had the whole narrative pre-scripted. Indeed, they had reason to hurry, before contrary facts emerged to shut them down.
    The most amazing thing to contemplate is that one additional sentence in the first report of the shooting could have prevented all this speculation about the shooter’s motivation, leaving everyone totally baffled.
    What is the missing sentence? “Before opening fire, the gunman shouted ‘Allahu Akhbar’.”
    In that case, nobody would have the slightest clue as to the shooter’s motivation. It would be just like the mysterious Ft. Hood shooting, which has left everybody completely baffled, from the Army to the New York Times.

    Reply

  198. Paul Norheim says:

    New York Times op-ed columnist Ross Douthat made a heroic
    and fascinating effort to completely disconnect the violent act
    in Arizona from it’s political and rhetorical context in his
    Monday column.
    His article deserves attention, because it sums up the general
    effort from the right to create a counter-narrative to the
    accusations from the left linking the event to the poisonous
    political climate in American politics.
    The current counter-narrative from the right is clearly
    expressed in the following excerpts from Douthat’s column:
    “(…) chances are that Loughner

    Reply

  199. nadine says:

    from Instapundit:
    “MARK HALPERIN IN TIME: Maybe a horrendous act of violence will kill hundreds, even thousands, of Americans and thereby brighten Obama

    Reply

  200. nadine says:

    “Tonight one of the TV God merchants on TV …”
    Is this apropos of anything, Carroll, or did you just feel the urge to share another one of your hatreds with TWN?

    Reply

  201. Carroll says:

    The 9 year old little girl killed Saturday was name Christina Taylor Greene. She had brown eyes.
    Tonight one of the TV God merchants on TV was filling the air waves with calls to kill all the Muslims before they killed the Jews and urging their audience to ‘resist’ the government because it was going to implants us all with chips that has 666 inscribed on them.

    Reply

  202. nadine says:

    “Nor do so many people die or receive serious injuries from a person just wildly shooting; as was evidenced by that doctor at Fort Sam Houston venting his frustrations. ” (Warren Metzler)
    Jared Loughner killed 6 and wounded 14 in the Giffords shooting. Major Nidal Hassan killed 13 and wounded 30 in the Ft. Hood shooting. So the evidence of the numbers is, if anything, that Major Hassan was the pro, not Jared Loughner.
    Secondly, Major Hassan was not “venting his frustrations” or suffering from PRE-traumatic stress disorder or any of the other explanations the Left has tried to concoct; as he himself carefully explained, he was a Soldier of Allah (he put S.O.A. on his business cards) and was waging jihad as required by his religion. Unlike Loughner, who is pretty clearly psychotic, Major Hassan is quite sane; he consulted with his preacher, al Alawki, and changed into Muslim dress before he shouted “Allahu Akhbar!” and began shooting into a crowded room.

    Reply

  203. Dan Kervick says:

    Warren, do you think Seung-Hui Cho was a trained professional as well? Or did he just train himself? He killed 30 people.
    Yes, mentally healthy and morally normal people can have a very difficult time killing people unless they have been trained out of their aversion. But disturbed and lonely psychotics don’t always have that outlook – especially one like Loughner who, as several people have claimed, was quite insistent that our ordinary waking world is not real, and who attempted to achieve contact with something more real by practicing some form of lucid dreaming while awake.
    A substantial amount has come out from those who were acquainted with Loughner, and I have yet to read a single one that said, “he was actually a very nice guy when you got to know him.” Instead, the picture that is emerging is that he was quite batty, especially over the past year, displayed wildly inappropriate behavior on multiple occasions to the point that he was regarded as a danger and nuisance by school authorities, and also that he lacked compassion and an ability to connect emotionally with people.

    Reply

  204. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Like it it is reasonable to consider a president to have integrity, when it is obvious that only a man who possesses not a smidgen of integrity would fail to follow through on almost every single explicit campaign promise he made”
    If he had integrity, he’d have never managed to be that high on the ladder that he could make Presidential promises.

    Reply

  205. Warren Metzler says:

    I want to build on questions last entry, the gun description. There were about 20 people hit: 5 requiring surgery, 5 in serious condition, 6 or more dead. The idea that a person has a gun with a magazine of 30 rounds, who can achieve that degree of lethality, is not a trained professional is nonsense. Remember what was mentioned about that Florida incidence, shooting at about 8 feet and hitting no one.
    I don’t know how many of the readers here have ever had a weapon and the capacity to shoot humans, but I can tell you from personal experience (served in Vietnam) it is extremely difficult to shoot a weapon knowing you will kill people. And no one shoots a weapon and kills people without that being a deliberate choice. Nor do so many people die or receive serious injuries from a person just wildly shooting; as was evidenced by that doctor at Fort Sam Houston venting his frustrations.
    So either this kid is not the responsible one, or he was highly trained and trained to have no problem shooting people.
    Then the context thing. Please tell me the difference between going out and shooting 20 people, expecting to shot yourself in return (how could he know how many off duty law enforcement officers with guns would be present?), and a suicide bomber in Iraq or Afghanistan? I suggest none! Which means that the context of this country (what people in this country inwardly experience are acceptable actions to take) has descending to the madness of Iraq.
    We have entered the next phase of the immoral path we began years ago, which was the real source of the recent financial crisis. We in America have accepted a path into degeneracy that is progressively moving us to madness and mass chaos. This shooting is just the beginning of much other insanity. Which will only cease once most people in this country adopt an authentic moral approach to daily living; and give up the fantasy worlds in which so many people now live.
    We are in serious trouble, and almost every one is acting as if it is a small segment of our society (the Tea Party, the Republicans, the Left, Sarah Palin, etc. etc. etc.). When the truth is that it is a context held by most, each of which pursues a preferred fantasy, instead of discovering what is the reality of daily life, that is the root of this madness.
    It is crazy ideas like we need over 700 military bases outside the US. Like it is acceptable to tolerate apartheid and war crimes in Israel, but unacceptable if they happen in Sudan. That the government’s role is to be a sugar daddy for every person who develops a personal problem. That we can throw away capitalism when the big banks run into trouble, but offer little to nothing when individuals can’t meet their mortgage problems. That we can eviscerate our Constitution (habeas corpus, torture, preventive detention, spying on citizens without warrants, etc,), just to please the paranoia of the ruling class. That we think it is reasonable to attempt to run the world. That we think we need a huge intelligence service to catch people who like to set their underwear on fire, but don’t recognize that idea must be false if the Chinese can build missiles that can blow up our air craft carriers and stealth bombers and our incredible intelligence services don’t know about it. Like it it is reasonable to consider a president to have integrity, when it is obvious that only a man who possesses not a smidgen of integrity would fail to follow through on almost every single explicit campaign promise he made.
    Wake up my fellow citizens, unless you prefer to experience a modern times version of the collapse of the Roman empire.

    Reply

  206. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “This is the kind of US congressman that cee, and poa, think is a cancer that needs to exterminated”
    Why do you seem so intent on consistently making such an asshole of yourself?

    Reply

  207. DonS says:

    pull de plug.

    Reply

  208. nadine says:

    Bill Pearlman, there is no evidence that this lunatic shot Rep. Giffords for her religion or support of Israel or any other political motive.
    But I can predict one thing with certainty — if evidence does turn up that she was targeted for any reasons relating to Judaism or Israel, that will be the last we hear about political motives for the shooting. Dead silence, on to the next the story.
    Ditto if the shooter turns out to be a leftist.
    But if any connection to the right or the tea party surfaces, the MSM will milk the story for as long as possible.

    Reply

  209. questions says:

    On the gun end of things, from 538refugees.com the comments section:
    “But, I can assure you that a Glock with a 30 round mag is not a very concealable weapon in a warm sunny area. Around here this time of year one could conceal a howitzer under the bulky clothes we wear but by the looks there today it was warm sunny and shirt sleave weather.
    I

    Reply

  210. Neo Controll says:

    It’s time for her to go.
    Not just neocon, but concern troll for the democrats and the ‘sensible center’. Pull the plug.

    Reply

  211. nadine says:

    “We are seeing an increasingly toxic political culture evolve” (Steve Clemons)
    What we are seeing another Paul Wellstone funeral moment, Steve – Democrats gone wild with no sense of proportion or restraint, while the rest of the country asks, “Have they lost their minds?”
    It would be absurd and over-the-top even if there were evidence connecting this lunatic with Sarah Palin or the tea party – but there isn’t even that! There is no evidence that there was a political motive for this rampage. There is no evidence that Rep. Giffords was selected for anything besides her availability as a target. Even if some shred of evidence should appear later, it won’t excuse the unfounded conclusions of the Democrats and the MSM today.
    Howard Kurtz is cautioning you to pull back from this line of attack. You really should listen to him.
    The Democrats are inviting blowback, not from Sarah Palin et. al., but from the sensible center of the country, who will compare how eager the Democrats are to pin a lunatic’s violence on Republicans without a shred of evidence, to how UNeager they were to pin Major Nidal Hassan’s violence on radical Islam, despite a small mountain of evidence, neatly presented by himself beforehand. The sensible center will conclude there is something very wrong with this way of thinking.

    Reply

  212. JohnH says:

    Any surprise here that Nadine doesn’t condemn the killing? But she does condemn the coverage.
    It’s exactly how she treats killings by “religious” nationalists and the IDF–she never saw an Israeli atrocity she didn’t like. Now it appears that in her mind Democrats are the American equivalent of Palestinians.

    Reply

  213. DonS says:

    “But the whole patients-rights movement has made it very difficult to restrain a psychotic who declines treatment. So how would you patch things?”
    BS
    The typical standard for involuntary hospitalization, “a danger to oneself or others” has been in effect for decades”. I could go into chapter and verse post the Virginia Tech massacre, re proposed changes, but it would only be embarrassing to right wingers.

    Reply

  214. questions says:

    Re “patients’ rights movement” — to the best of my knowledge you’re missing an entire chapter in your book here.
    Yes, patients’ rights matter. The deinstitutionalization movement was deeply humane. Conditions in state mental health facilities were not humane.
    Deinstitutionalization was SUPPOSED to be accompanied by major investment in community mental health facilities.
    Oops.
    That costs money.
    Ain’t gonna pay for social services, county mental health, drop in centers, halfway houses, or the like. Anti-psychotic drugs were supposed to fix things. But they don’t entirely, and the side effects are sometimes intolerable.
    Were we to invest properly, to care properly, we could likely have a set up where psychiatric incarceration is, ummm, safe, legal and rare, where community services are widely available and properly delivered, where the drugs that do work are available and monitored properly, where desperate parents can get treatment for their kids outside the penal system….
    The properly done liberal version isn’t so bad, actually.
    But the community mental health institutions were done on the super cheap, or not done at all.

    Reply

  215. nadine says:

    “He seems to have thought this through, and people clearly knew there were issues.
    Systemic breakdowns need to be patched.” (questions)
    But the whole patients-rights movement has made it very difficult to restrain a psychotic who declines treatment. So how would you patch things?

    Reply

  216. nadine says:

    Ed Morrissey:

    Reply

  217. questions says:

    “From June 1, the first day of class:
    “One day down and nineteen to go. We do have one student in the class who was disruptive today, I’m not certain yet if he was on drugs (as one person surmised) or disturbed. He scares me a bit. The teacher tried to throw him out and he refused to go, so I talked to the teacher afterward. Hopefully he will be out of class very soon, and not come back with an automatic weapon.”
    From June 10:
    “As for me, Thursday means the end to week two of algebra class. It seems to be going by quickly, but then I do have three weeks to go so we’ll see how I feel by then. Class isn’t dull as we have a seriously disturbed student in the class, and they are trying to figure out how to get rid of him before he does something bad, but on the other hand, until he does something bad, you can’t do anything about him. Needless to say, I sit by
    the door.”
    From June 14:
    “We have a mentally unstable person in the class that scares the living crap out of me. He is one of those whose picture you see on the news, after he has come into class with an automatic weapon. Everyone interviewed would say, Yeah, he was in my math class and he was really weird. I sit by the door with my purse handy. If you see it on the news one night, know that I got out fast…”
    The class’s instructor, Ben McGahee, said in an interview Sunday that Loughner had been removed from class in its third or fourth week, because of repeated disruptions.”
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2011/01/jared-loughners-behavior-recor.html?hpid=topnews
    Community mental health, a way to report, gentle help, education in understanding what goes through people’s heads, and a tougher time buying guns.
    He seems to have thought this through, and people clearly knew there were issues.
    Systemic breakdowns need to be patched.

    Reply

  218. questions says:

    “An envelope in a safe inside Loughner’s home contained handwriting stating “I planned ahead,” “My assassination” and the name “Giffords” along with what appears to be Loughner’s signature, according to the federal charges filed in U.S. District Court in Phoenix.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/09/AR2011010901892.html?hpid=topnews

    Reply

  219. DonS says:

    “So it would seem that the rhetoric from the right CANNOT set off someone to shoot. BUT if the left insists on linking the right’s rhetoric to the shooter, well, then the LEFT’s rhetoric will incite violence.” (questions)
    This distillation is accurate, and illuminating. When Erickson says “did not” it is equivalent to “cannot”. How, after all, would he know?

    Reply

  220. PissedOffAmerican says:

    ROFLMAO!!!!
    Wanna see another example of how insanely Fox News contributes to this insanity???
    Just tune in, right now, and check out the graphics and sound effects within the “logo” they are using to market their presentation of this event. A bright red background, with action movie music, blinking emergency lights in the background, with the capitalized and oversized text, full screen, reading “TRAGEDY IN TUCSON”.
    Unfuckinbelievable.

    Reply

  221. Carroll says:

    How did the actions of one lone crazed shooter become a national discussion about the hate rhetoric in politics and the media?
    Could it be because the politicians are feeling threatened now that violence has hit one of their own?
    Did any comment on the cripple guy who got attacked by a right wing group at a rally?
    What about the young girl that got stomped on and attacked by others at political appearance because she carried an opposition sign?
    Did any of them comment on the American guy who is brain dead from being shot by the IDF?
    I don’t remember, did any politicians comment on those events?
    The division of the citizens and setting them against each other has been going on a long, long time. It started when the politicians and parties identified and went after the ‘niches” for votes and party loyalty and money and pandered to them and demonized those that didn’t agree with their ‘niche’ voters and donors. They wanted to capture those niches for their party and own political careers.
    Don’t like illegal immigration–well then, it must be because you are a white racist intent on shooing away the Hispanic votes the dems desire.
    Don’t like the income equality in the country?–well then, it must be because you are a socialist commie engaged in class warfare on the elite republican donors.
    Don’t like the Isr-USA scheme and Israeli agression?–well then you must be a anti semite and a Hitler who wants to destroy the Jews so they can’t give any money to the politicians to protect Israel.
    The “politicians” started what we see in the public today …and I seriously doubt this event is going to change them. It will become just another excuse to distance themselves from the citizens they spend their time so “selflessly serving.”
    It’s all so insanely hypocritical I can’t do it justice in words.

    Reply

  222. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Does anyone else find it surreal seeing this shameless hasbarist, Nadine, involved in this discussion? When has she ever shown us that she gives a shit about the truth????
    She should stick to defending racist slurs and invectives. Such honest bigotry is far more revealing about where she is actually coming from than her usual bullshit, such as we see her employing today on this issue.

    Reply

  223. Maw of America says:

    This entire discussion/debate about who says what in a nicer way brings to mind this quote from Sam Harris in his book, ‘The End of Faith’:
    “Religious moderates are, in large part, responsible for the religious conflict in our world, because their beliefs provide the context in which scriptural literalism and religious violence can never be adequately opposed.”
    To what extent do “moderates” like Viguerie provide cover for the extremist elements of the right?

    Reply

  224. nadine says:

    “So it would seem that the rhetoric from the right CANNOT set off someone to shoot. BUT if the left insists on linking the right’s rhetoric to the shooter, well, then the LEFT’s rhetoric will incite violence.” (questions)
    Erick Erickson did not say that rhetoric from the right CANNOT set off violence; he said that rhetoric from the right DID NOT set off this the Giffords shooting, which is different. He also said that accusing the Right of responsibility for the Giffords shooting is an unwarranted escalation of charges which might set off violence.

    Reply

  225. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I’m sorry Cee, I go with DHS here. You on the other hand, go with your fellow “zog” types. Fair enough. You know she was a conservative democrat, actually a former Republican. If she shot Pelosi you and poa might have a point.But she didn’t. She gunned down the Jewish Congresswoman. The one who got sworn in holding a copy of the torah”
    HUH????
    Try it again, Pearlman. This time try to be coherent, will ya?

    Reply

  226. questions says:

    Palin’s tv show is not being renewed. Probably a separate decision from anything to do with the shooting — contractual audience numbers are the thing.
    She will fade away to a Trivial Pursuit question and a Jeopardy question….
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/1/9/934756/-Sarah-Palins-Alaska-cancelled

    Reply

  227. questions says:

    Here’s a slate piece on mental illness and violence and the thinness of the connection:
    http://www.slate.com/id/2280619/?hpid=topnews

    Reply

  228. Dan Kervick says:

    Loughner sure sounds like the same person who has been posting on some conspiracy sites as “erad3”, apparently arguing that the space program has been faked, and weirdly obsessed with big numbers, dates and the BCE/CE distinction.
    http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread593100/pg1
    http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread591108/pg1

    Reply

  229. questions says:

    Here’s a fascinating sleight of “tongue” from Redstate’s editor:
    “Erick Erickson, a leading conservative blogger, argues on Redstate.com that the media and left wing commentators are putting conservatives in danger by accusing them of being complicit in the Arizona shootings.
    “By perpetuating the lie – by even treating it as a legitimate topic of consideration to revisit the accusations of violence and hate the media tried to run with prior to the November election – that the right and the tea party incited this evil act, the left and media may very well incite violence against the right,” Mr. Erickson writes.
    Mr. Erickson’s post is similar to others on conservative websites which have taken issue with the argument that the heated political rhetoric may have influenced the gunman in the incident.
    “The shooter is neither left-wing nor right-wing. He is crazy and evil – a word not used enough,” Mr. Erickson writes. “The guy is very clearly not of the tea party movement, not a Dittohead, not led by Sarah Palin, me, or anyone else on the right.””
    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/live-blog-latest-developments-on-arizona-shooting/?hp
    ***
    So it would seem that the rhetoric from the right CANNOT set off someone to shoot. BUT if the left insists on linking the right’s rhetoric to the shooter, well, then the LEFT’s rhetoric will incite violence.
    So it’s not that rhetoric doesn’t incite violence, it’s just that the only violence that can be incited from rhetoric would be violence in retaliation for the Loughner attack. Or, in other words, left=bad, right=good.
    It’s an interesting way to look at things, I guess.
    Note also that he preserves “evil” and “evil and crazy” as operative terms.
    What this rhetorical slant does is to make it safe to say anything at all UNLESS it’s to say that conservative rhetoric might lead to or encourage or provide an opportunity for violent action.
    If, then, a lefty-pinko-commie-nazi type (for example) were to go off at a conservative event, it wouldn’t be that such a person was evil or crazy, it would be that such a person was incited to violence by the rhetoric the left is using to characterize the Loughner incident.
    Further, “evil” and “crazy” mean that we don’t really need community mental health services and we don’t really need to worry about inciting people. We just need to guard our purity against the bad seeds.
    I hope the right comes up with some better thinking about this incident.
    “Crazy” and “evil” are really easy categories, labor-saving devices, declarations of diplomatic immunity, and not at all what we really need to be working on.

    Reply

  230. Michael Miles says:

    I believe there is far too much talk about political violence in our
    society. We seem to consider it an option, in the same way we
    talk about invading other countries. In reality, both are tactical
    failures that should never be encountered by rational, deliberate
    individuals or societies.
    But something else bothers me as well: the notion of comity in
    the Congress. When politicians attack each other as existential
    threats to the well-being of society, while claiming that they
    actually “like” their colleagues, it offers a very dissonant, and
    apparently disingenuous, view of political life. Even if there are
    no crosshairs on their campaign material, it facilitates the
    demonization of their opponents. They may treat such behavior
    as a game, but their followers don’t. And I have to say that, if one
    of my colleagues called me a communist and inferred that I
    wanted to destroy the greatness of America, or didn’t support
    those in uniform, I would have a difficult time maintaining
    comity.
    There is a lot of poison in the well. I’m not going to assert (in
    this space) where it comes from. However, it seems to me that
    the people who should grab the broom first are those who lead.
    They need to elevate the debate and demonstrate to all
    Americans that, even though we may travel different pathways,
    we are striving to achieve common goals.

    Reply

  231. erichwwk says:

    From a Matt Taibi interview published several days
    before the Giffords shooting , Jan 5, 2011 at the
    Rolling Stone Magazine:
    Another Ohio Democrat, Steve Driehaus, clashed
    repeatedly with Boehner before losing his seat in
    the midterm elections. After Boehner suggested
    that by voting for Obamacare, Driehaus “may be a
    dead man” and “can’t go home to the west side of
    Cincinnati” because “the Catholics will run him
    out of town,” Driehaus began receiving death
    threats, and a right-wing website published
    directions to his house. Driehaus says he
    approached Boehner on the floor and confronted
    him.
    “I didn’t think it was funny at all,” Driehaus
    says. “I’ve got three little kids and a wife. I
    said to him, ‘John, this is bullshit, and way out
    of bounds. For you to say something like that is
    wildly irresponsible.'”
    Driehaus is quick to point out that he doesn’t
    think Boehner meant to urge anyone to violence.
    “But it’s not about what he intended

    Reply

  232. Cee says:

    For Fox News lovers
    American Renaissance Denies DHS Charges, Any Affiliation With Shooter
    by Patrick Summers | January 09, 2011
    A law enforcement memo based on information provided by DHS and obtained by Fox News suggested strong suspicion linking Jared Loughner, the man accused in the Tucson shooting on Saturday, to what it called an “anti-ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government) and anti-semitic” group known as American Renaissance.
    In an effort to counter those charges, the head of the organization responded directly to Fox News’ James Rosen on Sunday.
    Jared Taylor called DHS’ views “scurrilous” and took especial issue with the reference to his group being “anti-ZOG.”
    “That is complete nonsense,” he said. “I have absolutely no idea what DHS is talking about. We have never used the term ‘ZOG.’ We have never thought in those terms. If this is the level of research we are getting from DHS, then Heaven help us.”
    Taylor, who earned a BA in philosophy from Yale in 1973 and a master’s degree in international economics from the prestigious Institut d’

    Reply

  233. The Pessimist says:

    Not intending to change the topic or misdirect but I want to share my views on this event and offer a different approach to analysis.
    Why are so many simplistically and reflexively blaming the Witless Wonder Sarah Palin for this and ignoring whom I feel is a more complicit enabler: John McCain? Isn’t he more ultimately responsible as his personal authorization is what elevated Palin to her present status on the American political stage?
    Palin is nobody without McCain. She plateaus as an anonymous governor of a sparsely populated state. Literally overnight she becomes legitimized as a potential president as a direct result of John McCain

    Reply

  234. JohnH says:

    This site’s premier hasbarista is now complaining about biased news coverage! Go figure!

    Reply

  235. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “This so-called “news coverage” takes its lead from the DNC memos”
    This bit of wisdom coming from a shameless hasbarist who just spent the last week posting the most despicably venomous and disingenuous IDF “memos” I have seen in sometime, (regarding the latest Palestinian killed at Bil’in).

    Reply

  236. nadine says:

    Picked up a good comment from another political blog, thought it was apropos of NBC news coverage. In my opinion, this is precisely on target:
    “Happened to have the TV tuned to NBC this morning, and they were updating with “the latest”:
    – Number of times Today used the words “Tea Party” and “Target” in the segment? =4
    – Number of times NBC used murderer’s name? = 0
    They closed the segment with a statement about how tough the Congresswoman is on illegals. Message: Why did the Tea Party shoot her, when she is anti-illegal? Obamacare.
    Get ready for a long week of pointless rebuttals to MSM and Democrat Party talking points. UNTIL it is learned that the murderer is either A) a lifelong democrat or B) an avowed Socialist. After this, his name and affiliation will NEVER be mentioned again.”
    This so-called “news coverage” takes its lead from the DNC memos. It would be grossly unfair even if the nutjob who shot Giffords were affiliated with the teaparty, which he is not.
    But as you see, they are not letting any pesky facts stand in the way of assigning blame. This is just like Mayor Bloomberg opining that the Times Square carbomber had to be a teapartier upset at health care reform – until he turned out to be a jihadi.
    Fox News coverage (as opposed to their talking head lineup) is more professional than this, a fact which is reflected in their much larger audience size.

    Reply

  237. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “POA — Maddow and Olberman don’t have executive producers and owners ordering them to frame an issue a certain way”
    And Steve, unless I’m mistaken, doesn’t the NAF have a Fox News commentator on the payroll?
    How’s he feel about being branded a propagandist by you? Not that I disagree with you, because I don’t. But wow man, that should make for some interesting vibes around the ‘ol proverbial water cooler.

    Reply

  238. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “POA — Maddow and Olberman don’t have executive producers and owners ordering them to frame an issue a certain way”
    And the reason that Olberman and Maddow won’t touch the Isr/Pal news in any substantive manner, and purposely advance the propagandized version of the “threat” that Iran poses?
    Maddow was all over the Iranian protests and Neda. You ever seen her mention the AMERICAN protesters gravely injured by the Israelis?
    Sorry Steve, but just because the spin is different than the Fox News spin doesn’t make it any less spun. Maddow and Olberman are just the flip side of Huckabee and Hannity. No less partisan, and just as agenda driven.
    The one concession I WILL make is that their rhetoric is less incendiary. But the does not make it less divisive, biased, partisan, or opinionated.

    Reply

  239. Cee says:

    POA,
    Olbermann apologized if he had ever contributed to this hostile climate.
    Lib,
    It isn’t just Palin. Btw, I am armed. I submit the following NOT to imply that I want to ban guns.
    http://www.csgv.org/issues-and-campaigns/guns-democracy-and-freedom/guns-at-political-events
    From the Huffington Post
    On August 6, a town hall meeting in St. Louis was marred by a physical confrontation which resulted in multiple arrests. Hours later, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) — whose members were involved in the altercation — received the following anonymous voicemail message: “I suggest you tell your people to calm down, act like American citizens, and stop trying to repress people’s First Amendment rights. That, or you all are gonna’ come up against the Second Amendment.”
    Then, on August 7, an anti-health care reform protester in New Mexico named Scott Oskay Tweeted to his hundreds of followers to bring their licensed concealed handguns to town hall meetings, adding, “If ACORN/SEIU attends these townhalls for disruption, stop being peaceful, and hurt them. Badly.” The following day, it was reported that several Tea Partiers brought handguns into a town hall organized by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) in Memphis, Tennessee. Additionally, an attendee at a meet and greet with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) in a supermarket dropped a handgun, leading her staff to call the police. Most recently, a man was filmed openly carrying a handgun outside of President Obama’s town hall meeting in New Hampshire. He held a sign that read, “IT IS TIME TO WATER THE TREE OF LIBERTY!” a reference to the following Thomas Jefferson quote: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

    Reply

  240. questions says:

    And then there’s Jon Kyl….
    “First, I didn’t really think that that had any part in a law enforcement briefing last night. It was speculation. I don’t think we should rush to speculate. I thought that the report that we just saw from Tucson seems to have it about right: We really don’t know what motivated this young person except to know he was very mentally unstable as was pointed out in the piece. It’s probably giving him too much credit to ascribe a coherent political philosophy to him. We just have to acknowledge that there are mentally unstable people in this country. Who knows what motivates them to do what they do? Then they commit terrible crimes like this. I would just note Gabrielle Giffords, a fine representative from Tucson, I think would be the first to say don’t rush to judgment here.”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/09/james-clyburn-political-vitriol_n_806348.html
    Hmmmm.

    Reply

  241. Steve Clemons says:

    POA — Maddow and Olberman don’t have executive producers and owners ordering them to frame an issue a certain way. They are progressive but engage other sides of a debate. Bill Sammon and Roger Ailes run Fox in the form of a political organization. best, steve

    Reply

  242. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, it is all unfolding exactly as I predicted in regards to the “left” and the “right’s” reaction to this crime…..
    (“The scum on the so-called “right” will try to disentangle their inflammatory rhetoric from being a factor, and the scum on the so-called “left” will make private ownership of firearms into the culprit”)
    Of course, my conjecture that Glen Beck had no small part in hooking jumper cables onto this guy’s short circuits will be a bit harder to buttress with cold facts, but we shall see, eh?
    Thats what the debate is lacking; the recognition of the TRUE culpits, whose rhetoric is resonating with the most unstable amongst us. The politicians just drop these little dingleballs of volatile insinuation, going right to the line, but never really crossing over. But these shameless instigaters and purveyors of hate in the media have custom taylored their words to incite and divide. Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, Levin, Coulter, Ingram, Maddow, Olberman….where is the criticism for THEIR part in heating up this remarkably volatile and dangerous political cauldron????
    Viguerie says “When the violent acts of an individual aim to tear our society apart, they instead cause Americans to come together and unite stronger than ever.”
    Thats bullshit. BOTH sides of the political aisle capitalize on such events, and work to use these events to push agendas, divide the parties, and garner votes. And there is no more powerful a way to do this than to reach out to the most ignorant, the most unstable, the most uninformed, the most close minded, and the most partisanly rabid amongst us. THAT is the function of this media army that works so hard at pouring gasoline on the people’s emotions.
    I have not seen one single “political expert” comment in the media, or any commenter on the blogs, put the bulk of the blame where it belongs, ON OUR MEDIA, and these traitorous pieces of shit masquerading as “journalists” and members of the “Fourth Estate” who are in reality political agents tasked to market political agendas.
    Yes, I see Steve has singled out Fox News. But does he expect us to accept the premise that Maddow or Olberman are any less partisan or agenda driven?
    Give Beck or Limbaugh a listen today. If you do, you cannot help but come away thinking “No wonder the nuts are coming out from under their rocks”. Unless, of course, you’re one of the nuts, in which case you probably heard Beck or Limbaugh say something like; “Go forth, young man, and shoot a politician in the head”.

    Reply

  243. Dan Kervick says:

    Here is some info – from their own web site – on the American Renaissance, the white superiority and nativist group that Loughner was apparently attracted to:
    http://www.amren.com/siteinfo/readers_guide.html

    Reply

  244. questions says:

    Tangential, but not totally off topic….
    Via Brad DeLong, a read of the complexity of causes in the financial crisis. It should make us wake up to the complexity of causes in any and every event. The narratives that we pull out will likely (structurally??) always be limited.
    http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2011/01/great_recession
    I can’t recommend this piece highly enough. And I hope that we will complexify all sorts of explanations (to the point of absurdity, even, even if then we have to back off the complexity thing a little to get back to the event itself.)

    Reply

  245. libhomo says:

    This is Sarah Palin’s fault. If not for her infamous gun target map, these shootings would not have happened.

    Reply

  246. DonS says:

    Steve, to be clear, which I wasn’t, my reference to platitudes was not directed at Vigurie but to the avalanche of platitudes we will no doubt hear in the next few days. His inclusion of political party and philosophy seems explicitly intended to exclude the radical fringe. At least in my mind.

    Reply

  247. Steve Clemons says:

    DonS — I prefer the tone and content of Vigurie’s remarks over those made by Palin. That is why I referenced her.
    We are seeing an increasingly toxic political culture evolve — and I think Viguerie implicitly acknowledges this. I applaud his comments as more than platitudes. Thanks, steve clemons

    Reply

  248. DonS says:

    “We are all Americans, and there’re no Democrats, Republicans, conservatives, or liberals at times like these. When the violent acts of an individual aim to tear our society apart, they instead cause Americans to come together and unite stronger than ever.”
    Viguerie’s words are welcome, neutral and appropriate of course. And condolence is the appropriate mode at the moment. But to portray this as solely a one person act misses the importance of the context. And to say that such an act brings Americans together and unites really begs the question of those who would divide and stoke fear and violence.
    Maybe this is a time for glossing over the profoundly disturbing trends in the country, violent in words if not deeds, mostly on the radical right. But maybe it’s a time to speak more honestly about the segmenting and stratifying of our society that leads to fear and hate, of which this event is perhaps a consequence of the lunatic variety. That’s not sufficient, as an outlier, to avoid recognizing the malignant trend.
    The uber rich and powerful will of course be sheltered from any possible connection to this horrible outcome. And their right wing minions will fight light hell to distract attention from their role in channeling blame for the underlying malaise to those who would seek basic dignity and fairness for all members of society.
    I’d like to hear some truth spoken in more than just unassailable platitudes.

    Reply

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