Subscribe via RSS Feed

The paranoid style and American politics

[ 142 ] January 8, 2011 |

GG

Gabrielle Giffords.

Update: Sarah Palin and gun fetishism.

We can only imagine what would happen if the shooter turned out to be a young Muslim. Since he appears to be a white guy it’ll be probably be considered in bad taste to use the t word.

Share with Sociable

Comments (142)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Bill Murray says:

    point blank in the head with at least 3 to possibly 12 others

  2. Joe says:

    this is horrible.

    There is a way, and this is able an earlier less horrible story that involved posting a picture, to shrink pictures when you post them. Using large photos like that (as with Tucker Carlson) is a bit glaring.

  3. Brenda Helverson says:

    A Member of the United States Congress was shot to death today. This picture of Congresswoman Giffords isn’t nearly big enough.

    Oh, yeah, and fuck Tucker Carlson. Sir Charles Barkley is right about Bowtie Boy.

    • John says:

      Er…she’s not dead. Per TPM, her doctor is optimistic about recovery.

      • DocAmazing says:

        “Recovery” is a relative term here: she’s probably got extensive brain injuries.

        • ctantiques says:

          Not necessarily. I worked in trauma for 20 years and if it went through, not hitting any vital part she could actually recover quite well, and with the kind of insurance congress gets, if she has it, she is in good stead.

          It’s the post-op swelling that will be the issue, and her condition in 48 to 72 hours will be the predictor of the outcome because swelling peaks in that time. They control the swelling with medications, sometimes sedation and rarely more surgery

        • Jon H says:

          You can remove sizable chunks, as in surgery to treat seizures, or even cut the corpus callosum that joins the two hemispheres, and still function quite well. Granted, those are controlled incisions, but it can withstand quite a bit of tissue, um, modification. The brain is weird that way.

          It’s probably a good thing that the bullet exited. That might suggest a cleaner path through, and not a bunch of debris inside the skull as there would be if the bullet stayed in. And that the bullet exited and she’s still alive may mean the exit was relatively small.

          Hoping for the best.

        • John says:

          Regardless, a member of congress was not shot dead today.

          • DocAmazing says:

            My congressional representative is Jackie Speier. She was shot repeatedly at the airstrip in Guyana near Jonestown by Jim Jones’s goons, and she pulled through and is now kicking ass in the House. Say what you will, but liberal Democrat women are made of some pretty tough materials.

  4. Jon H says:

    “This picture of Congresswoman Giffords isn’t nearly big enough.”

    Maybe not, but it displays off-center and cut off which is not a very effective memorial. It’s like a portrait on a casket standing askew in a busted frame.

    Scale the damned pictures down so that they fit in the layout of the blog.

  5. Bill Murray says:

    UA Hospital spokesperson is saying she is alive and in surgery

    • Simple Mind says:

      So was JFK. So was the crew of the Challenger.

      • Simple Mind says:

        Wow, shot through-and-through the brain a point blank with a whopping big Glock 9mm twice the size of your hand and pulled through surgery.

        • asdfsdf says:

          Glocks are large, but mainly because of the large magazine. 9mm bullets are relatively small for handgun bullets, although they are no .22. 9mm is so small that there is debate among gun buffs about whether it is really suitable for committing manslaughter defending your family from all those people who want to break into your house.

          • asdfsdf says:

            Also, worth noting that the the brain takes up only a fraction of the skull. Many people have been shot in the head and have it missed their brain, and some people have survived bullet wounds to their brains, as well, although there are almost always behavioral changes.

          • DocAmazing says:

            Ah, yes, “stopping power”. That’s why the FBI adopted first the 10mm, then the .40 S&W. Those rounds certainly have impressive penetration. However, for all of this one-shot-one-kill posturing, it should be recalled that the number one round for handgun homicides is the lowly .22. 9mm has the distinction of having killed numerous people worldwide; it may not thrill the Guns&Ammo crowd, it’s quite adequately lethal, as today’s events demonstrate.

      • joe from Lowell says:

        The crew of the Challenger?

        Uh, no.

  6. Mike Schilling says:

    Shot point blank in the head. Who says that the traditions of the old South are dying?

    • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

      Arizona isn’t the “old South,” fwiw.

      Let’s not blame one section for traditions of violence that are more widely spread in American society.

      Arizona isn’t the South, but it is the West, which has its own, rich traditions of political violence.

      • DrDick says:

        Like those “second amendment solutions” we keep hearing about.

      • Mike Schilling says:

        The Territory of Arizona, which included Tucson, was represented in the Confederate Congress. And the efforts of neo-Confederate William Rehnquist to disenfranchise black voters there are well-known.

        • BJN says:

          Oh, come on. The American South doesn’t have a monopoly on all bad things in the universe, and secession was not the original sin from which all violence in this country flows. There’s no reason to hide the awful things that happened and happen, but it’s irrelevant here and doesn’t help anyone to get all tribal about it.

      • rea says:

        Hey, Confederate Territory of Arizona (New Mexico and Colorado were emphatically on the other side). You could look it up . . . .

        • DrDick says:

          Culturally, Arizona is clearly Western and not Souther. That said, much of the West (especially Arizona) was largely settled by Southerners after the Civil War (lots of Texans moved up here to Montana for instance) and there are a lot of shared culture patterns. FWIW, I grew up in Oklahoma which, along with Texas, is a border zone combining elements of both traditions.

  7. Davis X. Machina says:

    Hey, you can’t very well have a second civil war without a second Senator Charles Sumner, now can you?

  8. joe from Lowell says:

    Point-blank means this guy was close enough to hear his victims’ voices, see the looks on their faces, the glint in their eyes as they spoke to each other.

    And then acting to destroy all of those things. Human beings have natural empathy, and it takes effort to overcome it, and see people as things that can and should be brought to an end.

    So the question is, what went on to dehumanize these victims in the eyes of this murderer?

    Let’s not speculate. Let’s just wait and see what comes up – while keeping in mind, as his background and proclivities emerge, that that is what we’re talking about: work done to dehumanize these victims in this young man’s eyes, so that his natural inhibitions would be eroded.

    • John Protevi says:

      For the most part, yes. But there are cold-blooded sociopaths (or more technically, “low affect”)

      • joe from Lowell says:

        Self-absorbed sociopaths don’t generally act in a manner guaranteed to get them caught and punished.

        But maybe. We’ll just have to see what comes out about this young man.

        • John Protevi says:

          I agree. There’s nothing here that would indicate a sociopath. What’s the gain? I was just pointing out that they exist. Human empathy exists and is really powerful. It’s just not universal.

          This looks more like a true believer.

          • Jon H says:

            Judging by the youtube videos he put up, it looks like a bit of teaparty goldbuggery seen darkly through a glass of untreated schizophrenia.

            A person on twitter says she knew the shooter in school but hasn’t seen him since 2007, at which point he was a liberal pothead type interested in the 2012 nonsense. Then he dropped out of sight / became reclusive.

            If he’s 21 now, that would put him at 18 in 2007, which is the typical age of onset for schizophrenia in males.

    • DrDick says:

      So the question is, what went on to dehumanize these victims in the eyes of this murderer?

      Glenn Beck? Sarah Palin? Michelle Bachmann? The Arizona Tea Party? Fox News and the GOP?

      • Barbara says:

        Well, for the federal judge who was killed, it seems it was hate radio, From judgepedia: Judge Roll in 2009 faced death threats after presiding over a $32 million civil-rights lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by illegal immigrants against an Arizona rancher. After Judge Roll ruled the case would be certified, threats came from talk-radio shows which fueled controversy and spurred audiences into making threats against the judge. The threats materialized after one show, Judge Roll’s name logged more than 200 phone calls as some callers threatened the judge and his family.

    • Malaclypse says:

      So the question is, what went on to dehumanize these victims in the eyes of this murderer?

      Well, for starters

  9. hv says:

    I thought Az was an open carry state? How come the vigilant citizens didn’t stop this shooter?

    I am starting to think that some conservative arguments about gun control, the 2nd amendment, and crime prevention may not hold water.

    • DrDick says:

      You think maybe?

    • wengler says:

      I saw a news report that said someone did shoot back. However, it appears the attempted assassin was uninjured, and it’ll be a day or two before the whole sequence of events gets sorted.

      • asdfsdf says:

        What? You mean your average gun owner really isn’t equivalent to a trained police officer or bodyguard? What, next thing you know you’ll be saying that most people who are killed by burglars are killed by their own weapons.

        Proving, once again, that buying a gun and waving it around does not make you into a well trained professional.

        • DrDick says:

          It does, however, dramatically increase the probability of you shooting yourself in the foot or elsewhere.

          • asdfsdf says:

            Any real hunter could tell you that resting the muzzle of a loaded and armed rifle against your body is unwise. Needless to say, most people who hunt aren’t very good hunters.

            It’s dear season! Grab the rifle and head for the dick measuring contest!

      • Jon H says:

        “I saw a news report that said someone did shoot back. ”

        Boy, wouldn’t it suck to be the gun-toting citizen who fired back, and to find out it was your bullet that killed the kid?

  10. Fritz says:

    While we’re all talking about overheated political rhetoric and who is responsible for what, I’m just going to leave this here.

    • DrDick says:

      Absolutely no difference at all between “targeting” someone and putting them in the crosshairs. Is English actually your native language? You seem remarkably unfamiliar with the idioms and nuances of the language.

      • Fritz says:

        Absolutely no difference at all between “targeting” someone and putting them in the crosshairs.

        We’re all talking about a probable deranged, paranoid schizophrenic, right?

        So, in terms of setting off a dangerous, paranoid schizophrenic, I would go out on a long, long limb and say no, no difference.

        In any case, if as innocuous as you say, why did Kos take down the offending post so suddenly following today’s tragedy? If they have nothing to hide, why hide it?

        I think the more interesting point is that this is a hideous and frankly disgusting use of a tragedy to make a small political point. I get it, you don’t like Sarah Palin. No surprise. We should ask ourselves, “Are either Kos or Palin really responsible for this tragedy?” Only if you believe that the evil eye can make your cows’ milk go sour.

        • DrDick says:

          The pervasive violent eliminationist rhetoric on the right, which is especially prevalent in Arizona, almost certainly influenced this young man who was clearly following rightwing media. It is not just Palin, but everyone on the right who indulges in this kind of hate speech who bears a responsibility. No one on the left has advocated revolution, “second amendment remedies”, or any other violent acts against others, while this is quite pervasive on the right. There is absolutely no comparison between the Daily Kos and Palin’s very clear allusions violence.

          • Fritz says:

            DrDick, you certainly have got the paranoid style down:

            The paranoid spokesman sees the fate of conspiracy in apocalyptic terms — he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values. He is always manning the barricades of civilization… he does not see social conflict as something to be mediated and compromised, in the manner of the working politician. Since what is at stake is always a conflict between absolute good and absolute evil, what is necessary is not compromise but the will to fight things out to a finish. Since the enemy is thought of as being totally evil and totally unappeasable, he must be totally eliminated — if not from the world, at least from the theatre of operations to which the paranoid directs his attention. This demand for total triumph leads to the formulation of hopelessly unrealistic goals, and since these goals are not even remotely attainable, failure constantly heightens the paranoid’s sense of frustration. Even partial success leaves him with the same feeling of powerlessness with which he began, and this in turn only strengthens his awareness of the vast and terrifying quality of the enemy he opposes.

            “Clearly following right wing media” and “very clear allusions violence [sic]“? You’re absurd and quite simply mad.

            • John Protevi says:

              Pathetic false equivalence, Fritz. Does Palin produce very clear allusions to violence against her opponents? Was one of her opponents targeted today? Yes, the killer was schizo. Do you think schizos operate in a vacuum? Whose voices fill the air with anti-government rhetoric that he soaked up?

              With regard to your cut-and-paste, you haven’t understood the point of the passage. You would only have an analogy if Dr Dick indulged in eliminationist rhetoric. But he doesn’t: he denounces it.

              • Fritz says:

                To connect the statements of Sarah Palin to the behavior of a deranged, paranoid schizophrenic is the equivalent of attributing sour milk to the grimace of an old woman. It’s pure, plain woo.

                To do so in order to make a political point is disgusting and low.

                I looked at the statements and videos of the purported shooter. I cannot for the life of me see how anyone can draw an honest connection between them and anything appearing in mainstream American political discourse. Not a shred.

                Your intellectual dishonesty can only come about because for you “the enemy is thought of as being totally evil and totally unappeasable, he must be totally eliminated — if not from the world, at least from the theatre of operations to which the paranoid directs his attention.” You’re not hoping to kill Palin, you’re hoping to banish her from political relevance. It’s certainly eliminationist within Hofstadter’s definition.

              • DrDick says:

                Fritz -

                What is “plain woo” is asserting that the pervasive violent eliminationist rhetoric indulged in by the right has no effect, especially on the impressionable and unstable. As John points out, he got these ideas from somewhere. It is not Sarah Palin alone, but pervades the rightwing media and many rightwing politicians. Palin is singled out in this case because she specifically targeted Giffords with her rhetoric.

                As to the connection between the shooters rants and “mainstream politicqal discourse”, I suggest that you suffer from selective perception. While they are not particularly coherent, the themes in these rants are the same as those espoused (only slightly more coherently) by Glen Beck, Rand Paul, the black helicopter crowd, and others on the right.

              • DocAmazing says:

                You’re making the mistake of engaging Fritz as though he were writing in good faith. He isn’t; he’s merely trolling. To make the assertions he makes requires tuning out huge amounts of mainstream media–all of Fox News, for one thing, and the entire radio phenomenon of Rush Limbaugh. Pretending that Fritz is anything but a blowhard with a keyboard is a waste of your time.

              • hv says:

                Plain woo? Only charlatans notice any connection between Palin’s rhetoric and violence.

              • John Protevi says:

                Or Arizona sheriffs:

                At Saturday’s press conference, Dupnik did not state a motive for the assassination attempt against the Democratic congresswoman. But he suggested that “vitriolic rhetoric” in political debates could have deadly consequences.

                “When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government, the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this county is getting to be outrageous. Unfortunately, Arizona, I think, has become sort of the capital,” he said. “We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”

              • Brad P. says:

                C’mon John, are you serious here?

                The shooter was a 21 yo making references to using grammar as currency and social control. He objects to “In God We Trust” being on our currency.

                Do you really think this guy was getting his ideals and clues from conservatives?

              • John Protevi says:

                Brad, don’t get me started here with your played-out game. It’s gotten old quickly and here it’s grotesque.

              • Brad P. says:

                Brad, don’t get me started here with your played-out game. It’s gotten old quickly and here it’s grotesque.

                I will take that as a yes.

                You seriously believe a shooter with a youtube video that talks about mind-controllers using grammar, currency slogans, and religion to have gotten his motivation from conservative blogger’s eliminationist rhetoric.

                This kid surely wouldn’t have been violent, disturbed, and paranoid of the government if Sarah Palin hadn’t been telling him to “reload”.

                And my game is grotesque? You are full of shit.

              • DocAmazing says:

                Look, Brad, I get that you want to come to the defense of the right wing against us unreasonable socialists and all that, but you’re just trolling, like Fritz. The guy liked the Teabaggers. He was a gold bug. He targeted a Democrat and managed to take out a judege who was—literally–on the right wing’s hit list.

                Don’t be as obvious a troll as Fritz, and give up on the defense of the Right. It doesn’t serve you.

              • Brad P. says:

                The guy liked the Teabaggers.

                I guess I know less about him than I thought. I knew he had mentioned gold, but I didn’t know he had mentioned an actual political movement.

                Can you link me?

              • hv says:

                Brad P, I suggest you post your denialism at the Secret Service and the Az sheriff’s webblogs, since those are the experts we are quoting.

                Even if you don’t agree with their claims, you certainly should agree with our claims that Fritz is a damn idiot when he claims this is “plain woo.”

            • DrDick says:

              I am not mad, but you are clearly illiterate and irrational as there is no comparison between my statements condemning eliminationist rhetoric and what your quote describes (which is what I am condemning). As to quite clearly following the rightwing media, his rants show clear parallels to those of Glenn Beck, as well as the black helicopter crowd so prevalent on rightwing radio. As to Palin’s clear allusions to violence, how about this:

              @SarahPalinUSA Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: “Don’t Retreat, Instead – Reload!”

          • John Protevi says:

            Brad, you’re getting sadder and sadder. Of course you can play your completely predictable game of setting up an impossible-to-meet standard of direct connection between one act and one source, or you could read what we’re saying about the relation between a cultural milieu and the political content of the shooter’s delirium.

            • Brad P. says:

              I don’t even know what the indirect connection is here.

              Where is there any evidence that this kid was more inclined towards political violence because of conservatives and their “eliminationist rhetoric”?

              Are you basing it on the gold reference?

              • John Protevi says:

                There you go again, Brad, with your impossible demands for evidence and proof. Read the thread. The guy was paranoid schizophrenic. A common symptom is hearing voices, thinking others are controlling your thoughts. What the right wing cultural milieu provided for him was a focus and a solution, not “motivation.”

                The basic problem here is that either you’re playing a borderline-troll game of demanding the impossible, or your understanding of social psychopathology is so extremely crude that you think I’m supposed to be able to provide a one-to-one cause-and-effect scenario (“billiard ball causality” as they say).

                Here’s a post from a friend’s Facebook thread. I think it’s not too bad:

                My partner, Elaine, is a seasoned therapist. We watched Loughner’s YouTube site last night. He’s insane. But Elaine had no doubt that politics *channeled* or *guided* the direction of his insanity.

                Imagine your head has gone wild with internal anxiety -even voices. You cast about for a direction, an outlet, some way to turn the mess into relief. Now comes a message that for some idiosyncratic reason speaks to you and allows you a modicum of rationality inside your paranoia. And it tells you that you feel so bad because the government and the system –anything that’s not your head- has warped reality & that you must tear it all down. And now there’s a target over this one public officer’s face. And others have shouted -others who say things like you- that she should be shot, or “taken out”. And now you think one day when your head is going nuts — this has been building for you for a while, you may even have been planning it as an apotheosis- this is the chance. Now I will do this. I have been planning to take out the government as the voices advise. I will do it. It follows from my logic, I will start to take down the system.

              • Brad P. says:

                You aren’t explaining anything, John. I understand. The shooter was dangerous, and given direction of focus, capable of incredibly heinous things. Similar to the guy who shot John Lennon.

                But this guy was so far away from the popular rhetoric of conservatives that the idea that their rhetoric was either necessary or sufficient to give him that focus is ludicrous.

                Here is a listing of his favorite books:

                I had favorite books: Animal Farm, Brave New World, The Wizard Of OZ, Aesop Fables, The Odyssey, Alice Adventures Into Wonderland, Fahrenheit 451, Peter Pan, To Kill A Mockingbird, We The Living, Phantom Toll Booth, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Pulp,Through The Looking Glass, The Communist Manifesto, Siddhartha, The Old Man And The Sea, Gulliver’s Travels, Mein Kampf, The Republic, and Meno.

                The kid is reading Hitler, Marx, Orwell, Huxley, and Vonnegut, and you want me to think Sarah Palin’s website sent him on a murderous rampage?

              • John Protevi says:

                you want me to think Sarah Palin’s website sent him on a murderous rampage?

                Billiard ball causality.

              • Brad P. says:

                If this kid would have lived in Germany, he would have been prone to political violence. If this kid lived anywhere, he would have been prone to political violence.

                He was plainly paranoid of authority, specifically government authority.

                There is far more Bresci than Breitbart to this kids influences, and you would have been far better served keeping the kid away from the Wachowski brothers than from Sarah Palin websites.

                This is pathetic. I can’t even argue with you on this one anymore.

              • Malaclypse says:

                Brad: If this kid would have lived in Germany, he would have been prone to political violence

                Are semiautomatic weapons readily available to the insane in Germany?

                In countries with functional safety nets, is there no chance this person would have perhaps gotten treatment?

                Protevi:or you could read what we’re saying about the relation between a cultural milieu and the political content of the shooter’s delirium.

                You think a libertarian will admit there is more to culture than property rights and the commerce clause?

              • Brad P. says:

                Are semiautomatic weapons readily available to the insane in Germany?

                In countries with functional safety nets, is there no chance this person would have perhaps gotten treatment?

                Oh lord, now Giffords death is about gun control and health care?

                You think a libertarian will admit there is more to culture than property rights and the commerce clause?

                How long do I have to post here before you stop treating topical discussions as the core of my political beliefs?

                And I admit there is more to culture than Sarah Palin and the Fucking Tea Parties.

                I’m going to reword what I said to Protevi: You have to be insane to think that Sarah Palin can have a profound effect on the “cultural milieu” of a paranoid schizophrenic anarchist.

              • Brad P. says:

                Don’t paranoid schizophrenics generally define their own “cultural milieu”

              • hv says:

                I can’t even argue with you on this one anymore.

                Anymore? No one is arguing with you in the first place.

                You need to learn the difference between being engaged with and being dismissed.

              • chris says:

                Oh lord, now Giffords death is about gun control and health care?

                You don’t think the subject of damage caused by a crazy person with a gun is related to how a society treats (a) crazy people, and (b) guns?

              • Brad P. says:

                You don’t think the subject of damage caused by a crazy person with a gun is related to how a society treats (a) crazy people, and (b) guns?

                I’m saying that we don’t know any of the circumstances yet. All we know is that it is a tragedy.

                If we find out that he was egregiously missed at some point, then we will have that discussion. If we find out that he felt like it was acceptable to shoot a congresswoman because of the political discourse in this country, then we will have that discussion.

                Until then, perhaps this should be treated as a tragedy.

              • DocAmazing says:

                I’m saying that we don’t know any of the circumstances yet. All we know is that it is a tragedy.

                Megan McArdle’s on the phone. She ssys she wants her equivocation back.

              • Brad P. says:

                Megan McArdle’s on the phone. She ssys she wants her equivocation back.

                DocAmazing, I’m sure you won’t find this surprising, but I don’t understand your point.

            • John Protevi says:

              This is pathetic. I can’t even argue with you on this one anymore.

              Truer words were never spoken.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

      Better trolls, please!

    • DocAmazing says:

      Because we all know that Kossacks frequently hold rallies at which they show up armed, or carry signs that say “We Cam Unarmed…This Time” or call for “Second Amendment solutions” to political problems. Yeah, same all around.

    • IM says:

      Faithfully repeating the the talking point of the day. You do act like the borg.

    • hv says:

      Fritz, if some liberals kill someone with bow and arrows, rest assured we will excoriate Daily Kos for putting an archery target bullseye in their vicinity. Or darts!

      Also, if someone photoshops names onto a launch target board and then they get killed with a nuclear weapon, we will be all over that, too.

      Until then, let’s just talk about those crosshairs, and how a bullet found them.

      • JJ says:

        I’m not seeing anything about the alleged shooter that necessarily links him to Palin or anything on the right for that matter. I’ll admit that the first thing I thought (like many) when I heard about this was “RWNJ”, but I don’t anymore. I tend to agree with this analysis by Andrew Sprung (I was linked there by Sullivan): “no party or clique”. It’s still too early to tell, but never too early to speculate in a comment section I guess… Basically, linking this to Palin, even indirectly, at this point is way jumping the gun. That doesn’t exonerate Palin’s choice of imagery, and in the long run we may find there is more of an influence, but for now this to me is simply a tragedy carried out by a disturbed individual who is probably mentally ill.

        • DrDick says:

          He repeats common rightwing memes about mind control, illegitimate government, false currency, and the like. I do not think anybody thinks he had any kind of coherent political philosophy, but only that it is the rhetoric of the right which has fed his delusions and inspired this act.

        • DocAmazing says:

          The gold-standard stuff alone is a link; his choice of targets is pretty remarkable , and demands far too much of coincidence. “Crazy” is fairly neutral; if he were just seeking notoriety, he would have probably sought a more mediagenic target.

        • hv says:

          “no party or clique”

          Funny how these disturbed individuals always seem to find the George Tillers and Gabrielle Giffords. Are you saying we can’t deduce ANYthing from the choice of target?

          • JJ says:

            Not necessarily, but at this point what I’ve read about his philosophy doesn’t put him solidly in either camp. I think more information is trickling out this morning that he may be linked to a right wing group, and that changes everything. But when you read his personal philosophy on YouTube, as well as his thoughts elsewhere, he seems legitimately radical, but hard to pin down (one of his favorite books is the Communist Manifesto, and an old friend has come out describing him as “left-leaning” at least as of four years ago).

            • Brad P. says:

              Exactly. He isn’t right or left, he is just paranoid.

              This kid may have watched V for Vendetta Thursday night, saw a banner to meet the local congresswoman Friday, and decided to make history Saturday.

              • DrDick says:

                Paranoid and empowered and inspired by rightwing rhetoric (the memes in his rants, if ratehr incoherent, are from the anti-government and libertarian wings). I guess that last part is your problem with identifying him as rightwing, isn’t it?

              • hv says:

                Liberals don’t romanticize solving problems with guns.

                Paranoid people get influenced by violent rhetoric, and that’s why we try to keep that to a minimum.

                It’s not like we are trying to pin this on Palin post facto. We called this in advance. This isn’t a rush to judgement, that’s YOUR spin. This is a rush to say “I told you so.” Violent rhetoric isn’t safe.

                In fact, let me emphasize that by making it a theorem:

                hv’s theorem: violent rhetoric isn’t safe.

                ===========

                If you agree with the theorem, then the next step is to look around for violent rhetoric, isn’t it?!

            • JJ says:

              The right wing group, American Renaissance, has issued a statement on its website strongly condemning the shooting and distancing itself from Jared.

            • hv says:

              JJ, if you believe we can deduce anything from the repeated choice of targets, let’s proceed to those deductions.

              If you don’t, we don’t really have anything to discuss. Perhaps you might gain enlightenment by showing a little math about how probable it is that “random” shooters keep ending up killing the Tillers or the ACLU or the holocaust museums.

              • JJ says:

                I’m not sure you can draw any clear connection between the shooting in Arizona and the shooting of an abortion doctor in Kansas. First of all, we know too little about the shooter yesterday, and it seems the more we know the more he doesn’t fit the typical mold of a Right Wing terrorist.

                Dr Dick mentions that he had a problem with abortion, fine, but he also had a problem with space travel (See here and here. Now, I’ll stress that it hasn’t been substantiated that these are his posts, but the writing style and thought processes are almost identical to what has been proven to be his, so I’m feeling pretty good that it is him.). If the space travel posts are his, then there is an interesting link I’d like to point out between that and his target’s personal connections to NASA (see here). Distrust of the government is generally attributed to the right in this country, but it is not exclusively right wing. Even if his distrust of the government is influenced by the right wing, he has plenty of other left wing tendencies and an old friend has come out and actually said he was left leaning when they knew him.

                I think the best label right now for this guy is “radical” and probably mentally ill.

                There is simply no evidence yet that he was influenced anymore by Sarah Palin than he was by Karl Marx. It’s not fair to say there is a link between him and other highly documented right wing terrorists based on what we know now. If that time comes let’s make the claim, but it’s not here yet.

              • hv says:

                Less hand-waving, more math.

                How probable is it again that “random” uninfluenced shooters keep targeting democrats, abortion doctors, and the ACLU?

                Just ballpark it a little, and you will be enlightened.

              • chris says:

                it seems the more we know the more he doesn’t fit the typical mold of a Right Wing terrorist.

                There is no “typical mold” of a violent fanatic, and if there were, none of them would fit it. Expecting them to be cookie-cutter duplicates of each other is either stupid (if you actually expect that) or dishonest (if you’re only holding up the expectation in order to point out how reality never conforms to it and therefore, through the magic of false dichotomy, disclaim any connection whatsoever).

                However, look back at the post title: the paranoid style. The details of any particular paranoid’s paranoia varies, but the underlying pattern is still similar.

                Encouraging fear, and encouraging people to react to their fear with violence, is dangerous, regardless of the content of any particular paranoid’s ravings. And we all know what political movement has been doing a lot of that ever since there was a substantial possibility of a black man in the White House.

            • hv says:

              I wonder if people looked into what was on Nidal Hasan’s bookshelf.

              Funny, that shooting was a time where the violent rhetoric of islam was a smoking gun of causality.

              Double funny, how differently conservatives act when their own rhetoric comes under scrutiny. They rediscover nuance.

              • JJ says:

                hv, I’m not going to get into a probability and statistics argument with you. I think the shooter yesterday was influenced more by his mental illness at this point.

              • hv says:

                The hypothesis is whether violent rhetoric influences choice of targets. No one thinks Palin went down and recruited that dude by hand.

                If the violent rhetoric does have an effect, that would show up in a non-random distribution of targets. And on the other hand, if shooters are mostly influenced by illness, that would show up in a random distribution of targets. (What else do you think would even qualify as evidence? Some Frist-ian armchair diagnosis? Meh.) So I am sorry to say, your claims themselves already have gotten you into a statistics thing. Don’t blame the messenger.

              • JJ says:

                The total number of attacks you’ve listed is statistically insignificant. Regardless, even if your hypothesis is correct, that the right wing’s violent rhetoric has influenced people to commit violent actions towards the left, it still does not mean that that is what happened here. You know how it works, correlation does not equal causation.

                Armchair or not, I’ve made my observations and I’m sticking to them until I see more information that leads me to think otherwise.

              • hv says:

                If only reasonable people could agree whether someone’s reading list or their choice of target to put a bullet in the head is more compelling evidence! Heck, maybe he hates 6 yr old girls and the judge and the congressperson were innocent bystanders, amirite!

              • Brad P. says:

                Reasonable people do agree that the choice of victim was not arbitrary. He certainly picked her for some insane reason, and we may find out in the near future that he was conversing with radical right-wing conspiracy theorists. Reasonable people like JJ are saying that.

                Unreasonable people are trying to link this to some months old tribalistic shit-slinging episode.

    • joe from Lowell says:

      That “screen capture” was doctored. There was no bullseye in the original. There was no target image used at all.

      There was, in the several hundred words of text, a reference to “putting a bullseye on THESE DISTRICTS.” Not persons. Districts.

      One can literally put another person in one’s crosshairs. Indeed, that’s exactly what Laughner did to Giffords. One cannot literally put a bullseye on a Congressional district.

      So, no, there is nothing remotely comparable about those two pages. That they had to doctor the Kos page to make it look worse should make that sufficiently clear to anyone attempting to look at this in an intellectually honest manner.

  11. octopus says:

    Let us not forget about the 9-year old child who died today. Her name is Christina Taylor Green, who had just been elected to the student council of her school. According to a Twiiter account, Christina was featured in a book, Faces of Hope: Babies Born on 9/11.

    Christina Taylor Green, 2001-2011. R.I.P.

  12. Bart says:

    So far the media mentions only a “polarized atmosphere” and “political discord”; no mention of hate radio which is everywhere. It is taboo to mention any names or stations.

    • DocAmazing says:

      Try again, Donalde. Read what Loughner wrote about abortion, immigration, and the gold standard. Even Barry Goldwater read Marx, and he was proud of it; you can’t effectively oppose what you know nothing about. You might take the hint there.

      • Brad P. says:

        I want to see this, if you would please link to it.

        • DocAmazing says:

          Which “this”? Is your Google broken?

          • Brad P. says:

            I’m sorry. I am looking for what the shooter said about abortion and immigration, and yes, I looked.

            • JJ says:

              Gosh, I wish I could find it, but he does make some statements about immigration… I read them yesterday, but he has postings all over the Internet and I can’t remember where I read them, but to sum it up, he spoke about “grammar” being important and how “where he lives” people have trouble with English, etc… it was pretty obvious what he meant. If I find it I’ll post it.

            • JJ says:

              I think it was a word salad but I tossed it enough to at least gather that he was probably referring to non-English speakers, and in Arizona that means people from south of the border.

            • DocAmazing says:

              Abortion: check CNN’s site. He had an outburst in a class comparing abortion to terrorism.

              Immigration: pretty much what JJ said; see his YouTube material. Note also his gold-standard enthusiasms. There were reports of his having links on his MySpace page to Tea Party resources, but those parts of his MySpace page haven’t been preserved.

              Again, five minutes with Google would show you all of this.

      • But that would mean that the Donalde couldn’t oppose anything at all!

    • Malaclypse says:

      I’ll be sure to take tips on rhetoric from someone who refers to those he disagrees with as “demonologists.”

    • DrDick says:

      You really need to stop listening to those voices in your head or you will end up exactly like Loughner. No responsible media outlet has reported any such thing. He simply read a number of anti-government books. the rhetoric and memes in his rants, however, all come from rightwing anti-government and libertarian sources.

    • JJ says:

      I don’t see “progressive” anywhere in his philosophy, and I’m not sure what “atheism” has to do with anything, since there are plenty of right wing atheists out there. Pretty much all you are right about is that he was a crazy conspiracy theorist and apparently read Marx.

  13. Simple mind says:

    Sheriff Dupnik has just said that Arizona is the “Tombstone of the United States of America” as the state legislature is about to permit students and teachers to pack heat in the classroom. Now such an action on the legislature is clearly and deliberate to incite the fragile minds of the populace to paranoia and, subsequently, rampage. That legislature must be dissolved forthwith and members sent packing. If I were Obama, I’d send in the troops and put Arizona back in Territory status.

    • DocAmazing says:

      Arizona gave us Barry Goldwater, the Minutemen (1960s version), the Minutemen (2000s version), threats to birthright citizenship, the Phelps Dodge strike of the 1980s, the Bisbee Deprtation of 1917, and a lot of water rights theft from Pima Indians.

      Boycott is the least we could do.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.