Jared Loughner: Examining Lucid Dreaming and Mental Illness Instead of Politics

I haven't written a word about political discourse and Jared Loughner because I don't think political discourse, or even politics, has anything to do with his motive for the Arizona shootings. Nightline attempted to explore some possible motivations last night, and had an interesting discussion on Loughner's obsession with lucid dreaming. (It starts about 3 minutes, 10 seconds into the clip above.)

Lucid dreaming is when a person becomes aware they are dreaming during the dream. Lucid dreamers believe they can manipulate and control the dream -- even change the plot and outcome of the dream. [More...]

Think of the movie "Inception." Some Lucid dreamers believe they have superhuman powers and can defy the laws of gravity and society without consequences. An expert on the show seemed to imply that it's possible Loughner thought he was dreaming when he committed the shootings.

Given the alleged pre-meditation, his acts don't appear to have been spontaneous -- as in sleep-walking. Could he have planned to test his ability to direct himself to engage in the shootings during an induced lucid dream? Did he believe he was only real when he was having an induced dream? Did he believe he could wake himself up after the shootings and they would turn out to be just a dream? It will be interesting to learn what the doctors who evaluate him have to say about this.

Loughner was considered pretty normal by those who knew him until 2006 when he dropped out of high school after his junior year. That's when he started to change. That's when he became obsessed with lucid dreaming. As Loughner's interest in dream life grew, his interest in reality decreased.

According to a female friend who was interviewed on the show, it was during this time, in 2007, that he met Rep. Giffords, and asked her the question. "What is Government if words have no meaning." When Rep. Giffords didn't give him a satisfactory answer, he decided she was a fake, and his grudge against her began.

Nightline then showed Mark Chapman being interviewed in prison in 1992 by Barbara Walters. In discussing why he killed John Lennon, he tells her he had decided John Lennon was a phony.

Another expert on the show (who was not particularly impressive to me as he dogmatically lumped all lone shooters together to say they were all motivated by a desire for fame, and in every case their actions were an attempt to steal it from someone the public found deserving of it) said that in his opinion, political discourse in this country had nothing to do with Loughner's actions and that John Lennon probably had more to do it than Sarah Palin. I agree with his conclusion, but not his reasoning. I don't see anything to suggest Loughner wanted to be famous. It makes more sense that lucid dreaming and his perceived fakeness of Rep. Giffords played the predominant role.

While Loughner incoherently ranted against the Government, his friends say he was most interested in things like Mayan prophecies that the world was going to end in 2007. He was a registered independent and didn't vote in 2010. No one can agree on whether he has an ideology, what it is, or whether he identified with the right or the left. At most, he seems to be a conspiracy theorist. He may have descended too far into the recesses of his pretend world to care about traditional politics at all by the time of the shootings.

The point is, the key to understanding Loughner's actions, if possible at all, is going to be found in understanding the nature of his mental illness. All the self-serving political discourse talk being engaged in by both sides of the political spectrum is both boring and a waste of time.

That said, I'm not finding lucid dreaming all that exciting a topic. But then, I also had a hard time following the movie "Inception." I'm not sure why, because I found the subject of "Dreamtime" fascinating -- at least as it was portrayed in Peter Weir's 1977 movie "The Last Wave", which explored the Aboriginal belief that there are two worlds and two forms of time. The movie was about a white corporate lawyer assigned to represent four Aboriginal defendants in a murder case.

Plagued by recurring bizarre dreams, the lawyer begins to sense an "otherworldly" connection to one of the accused. He also feels connected to the increasingly strange weather phenomena besetting the city. His dreams intensify along with his obsession with the murder case (which he comes to believe is an Aboriginal tribal killing by curse, in which the victim believed). Learning more about Aboriginal practices and the concept of Dreamtime as a parallel world of existence, the lawyer comes to believe the strange weather bodes of a coming apocalypse.

From the movie:

"Aboriginals believe in two forms of time; two parallel streams of activity. One is the daily objective activity, the other is an infinite spiritual cycle called the 'dreamtime', more real than reality itself. Whatever happens in the dreamtime establishes the values, symbols, and laws of Aboriginal society. It was believed that some people of unusual spiritual powers had contact with the dreamtime."

Maybe it's that Lucid Dreaming seems overly egotistical, compared to Dreamtime. Or maybe I'll just have to watch "Inception" again. At least it will be more interesting (and relevant) than the endless speculating about the tone of political discourse in the country.

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    Thank you Jeralyn (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 03:17:01 AM EST
    So true.  And politicizing this event does nothing to prevent a future similar occurrence.

    This has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with a very ill man (maybe schizophrenic?) who fell through the cracks.  He gave so many signs and they were all ignored.  Thus, on this one rare occasion, we all get to suffer the repercussions of our society's flawed behavior toward the mentally ill. People die every day because we as a society ignore the needs ot the mentally ill.  Usually, it's the patients who die.  This time, it's his victims.

    And the political opportunism that is taking hold is just going to help solidify the fact that nothing will change.  It's disgusting.

    Hogwash (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by Politalkix on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 05:20:49 AM EST
    In countries like China and India that have 3 to 4 times the population of the United States (and therefore more people with mental illnesses), instances of mass murders like that in Tucson are more rare. There may be a few cases of deranged people killing schoolchildren with knives, however the occurences are less common. The difference is that people in China and India do not have access to guns in the way people in Arizona and the United States do, they also have less access to mental illness care than people in our country. Yes, guns kill!

    Dreams and reality (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by nycstray on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 04:07:02 AM EST
    How can we determine if his dreams/illness was or was not influenced by real life at this point? I don't see evidence (aside from the meeting and a few other pieces) of him being overly obsessed with her in general. She may have been his closest political connection to his insanity/thoughts, but isn't it possible, that the political climate played a part in this when he finally went over the edge? To me, it stands to reason, that the political crap that's been thrown around on the extreme end could actually feed (support his thinking) into whatever this guy was believing in his state of mind. It certainly wasn't subtle . . .

    Yes, he may have gone there anyway after the college thing/life/etc, but could the atmosphere have boosted that/how he decided to act?

    Maybe I'm too sensitive, but I've been pretty uncomfortable with some of the 'free speech' out there these days . . .

    Data compiled from digby (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:08:48 AM EST
    that supports your viewpoint here.

    It's quite sobering to read it all compiled together -- and that's only over the last two years.

    Not to say that I think violent political rhetoric caused these things to happen, but there is obviously some relationship between the two.


    Interesting Digby article (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:19:40 AM EST
    Kind of lays to rest the false equivalency/"both sides are guilty" argument.

    Yes, she's typically good with logical analysis. (none / 0) (#31)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:20:49 AM EST
    David Neiwert compiled ... (none / 0) (#46)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:44:18 AM EST
    the list, not Digby.  She credits him in her post.

    Yes, you're right, thanks for the correction. (none / 0) (#47)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:48:39 AM EST
    It isn't so much that incendiary (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:42:29 AM EST
    and inflammatory rhetoric - all by itself - causes these things to happen, as much as it creates an atmosphere where it seems permissible - if not noble in service to one's country, if we are to take some of this rhetoric literally - to let go of the constraints that tend to keep this kind of thing more in check.

    But where you or I are able to maintain those constraints, the X factor has to be mental health, and try as I might, I haven't been able to figure out a way to guarantee that ANY kind of speech won't eventually set off someone - even speech that may seem completely innocuous and benign.  Doesn't mean there shouldn't be an effort to be more responsible in one's speech and writings, but it's still no guarantee.

    Putting guns in the hands of people who aren't stable has to stop; if it were up to me, you wouldn't be able to get a gun unless and until you had passed the kind of background check that those applying for sensitive government and private-sector jobs have to go through - the kind where they look at your life from top to bottom, talk to your family, friends, employers, teachers, neighbors dating back to the day your were born.  Seem extreme?  Not when you realize that such a check would have kept a gun out of Loughner's hands - a legal gun, that is.  

    Of course, then the retort is, well, there are so many illegal weapons on the streets that anyone who really wants a gun can get one.  I don't dispute the truth of that, so what then?  

    I don't know.

    All I do know is that we need to be doing a better job of addressing society's ills - how can we expect people to maintain their mental stability when the circumstances of their lives are completely unstable?  I don't think we can, and what worries and saddens me is that I think we have a whole lot more of this on the horizon, as a direct result of the policy and legislation coming out of Washington - from both political parties.


    Creating an atmosphere where it is (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:50:01 AM EST
    permissable or possibly desired and/or admirable behavior....exactly.  

    And when both parties are insisting (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:53:28 AM EST
    on screwing the people while supporting and giving aid and comfort to nonliving, nonbreathing, nonbleeding, nonfeeling entities while living beings suffer and suffer....they are both putting fuel on fires in that respect.

    Agree, Dr. Molly (none / 0) (#112)
    by christinep on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:48:38 PM EST
    I'm reminded of what I tried to forget--e.s., the hate talk about the government and the supposedly worthless people like myself who worked for the government, the bombastic anti-government talk led by then Speaker Gingrinch in the 1993-94 era.
    A friend of mine, also a lontime federal employee, refreshed that memory when we talked two days ago. We talked about the gripping, claustrophobic fear--irrational maybe, but very real--that gripped us all during the evacuation drills in federal buildings and in buildings with federal employees that occurred in later April, 1995. Another good friend of mine accompanied the 10th Circuit team to Oklahoma City to consider the Murrah Building. Yep, I know thats old stuff. "Lone gunman" type stuff.

    Certainly, there is--nor has there ever been--any direct or legal line from vitriol/poison talk/urging armed revolt or violent redress to an individual with varying degrees of mental health issues acting individually. And, I realize that it would be inappropriate (if not wrong) for me to yell about others yelling now. Ultimately, in these situations, we focus (as we should and must) on the individual and that individual's responsibility. To me, that is more than a micro view; it is a necessary component of what our society is.

    But, to understand the difference between an individual and individual responsibility (or not) and the broader macro view, the background against which all plays out, is not an impossible task. (The walking and chewing gum thing.) And, looking at a matter from a sociological perspective does not displace looking at a matter from a legal perspective. We ought to be able to hold two thought patterns about the individual "whys."

    So, I think about that time long ago in Dallas when President Kennedy rode in the city after forewarnings in the newspapers of certain hate-filled threats being made in that locale.... We'll probably never know the answers to a lot of questions raised on that day, nor will answers come easily with regard to other crimes supposedly in the "hate based" genre. I wonder, tho, what the long term societal effect would be in an atmosphere where tension is decreased and community incentives are seen to reward mediation/conciliation rather than bombast?


    Note: Excuse the too-many typos above, please (none / 0) (#116)
    by christinep on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:54:23 PM EST
    My posting finger acted too quickly because the subject recalls so much emotion for me. Most especially, please read in the second paragraph, first line: "Certainly, there is NOT--nor has there ever been--any...."

    Yes, we seem so willing (5.00 / 2) (#126)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 02:42:05 PM EST
    to resolve these political assassinations to our satisfaction by quickly identifying the alleged assassin as a loner, in a lonesome society acting alone.   If they have three names, we try to use all of them, all the more otherworldly, perhaps.

    The reactions from those a part of the institutionalized hate movement have been swift. Much is at stake, and even the questioning of correlations needs to be undermined---from no proof to everyone does it, to violent language is not really violent language.

    On the other hand, we can speak with certainty that Jared Lee Loughner is mad, drug addled, and has been known, as a teenager, to "touch" himself in the shower.  Drugs, sex and odd, what else do we need for certification?  Just wring your hands, a tragedy of a demented gunman and move on. After all our jails serve as mental health facilities.

     Oh, and shaving the head (maybe at the behest of the defense) helps with photo imagery.  No need to deal with the uncomfortable realities of the political climate with threats to government workers and elected officials--- a feasible sequela.


    Uh... (none / 0) (#143)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 11:42:19 AM EST
    Media prefers to use middle names for a very specific and clear reason, to avoid inadvertently causing trouble (and therefore perhaps being sued) for people with the same name as the perp.  Using the middle name, if there is one, makes this less likely.  Media also frequently uses middle names when they're talking about victims.

    Where do you get these ideas?

    And the idea that shaving the head was the defense attorney's idea is also nonsense.  It's a MUG SHOT.  It was taken when he was booked, before he had an attorney.  Where was he going to have his head shaved anyway, in his holding cell with a razor?  Or do you imagine the police do head shaving by request of defense attorneys for the pix?


    Violence is the essence of being rightwing (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by pluege2 on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 05:54:43 AM EST
    When you boil it all down, the very essence of the rightwing is violence. Be it:

    • forcing a woman to birth an unwanted pregnancy
    • denying dignity to people in old age
    • denying health care to the poor
    • denying benefits to the unemployed
    • provoking illegal, unnecessary wars
    • torturing prisoners
    • indefinite detention without trial
    • religious intolerance
    • the obscene hoarding of wealth by the rich
    • the public display of guns to threaten us all
    • attempted assassinations and wanton killing
    • capital punishment
    • racism and bigotry
    • denying homosexuals equal rights and protection

    these are ALL acts of violence; psychological, financial, and physical. They are perpetuated by the right against others, oppressing, denigrating, attacking. Violence is the very definition of what it means to be rightwing.

    Right wing, yes... and (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 06:50:36 AM EST
    also center-right, moderate, Clinton/Obama liberal.

    Look how many of the items you list are ongoing under the Obama administration with little or no opposition from people in leadership positions.

    This is an American problem.

    Categorizing it as right or left, republican or democrat, keeps us fighting amongst ourselves instead of coalescing and demanding reform.


    Very well said lentinel... (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 08:39:28 AM EST
    violent authoritarianism comes in two flavors, left and right.  It is an American problem.

    If any good can come out of this heinous violent act, it is that everybody, regardless of politics, can find and remember our humanity and bring back the love.  2010 had the summer of hate, lets make spring 2011 the dawning of a new summer of love.  Everybody chill out, take a deep breath, look in the god damn mirror and reflect.  Unite and make tomorrow better, instead of the usual divide and get mines and hurt each other.


    Kdog is bringing the love! (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 08:48:35 AM EST
    Nice to see.

    But, frankly, this summer felt more like the summer of being broke, rather than the summer of hate.

    But, I guess, love could go a long way to solving our financial problems as well as any problems we have with political discourse.


    And (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 08:58:58 AM EST
    being broke brings on the hate.

    Politicians like to keep us broke - but not totally broke.
    Just enough to keep us nervous and dependent.

    Totally broke provokes revolution. That's a no-no.

    On the brink of totally broke - that's what politicians count on.
    They can make us turn on each other in the twinkling of an eye - fighting for the scraps.


    Well said again... (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:07:31 AM EST
    "broke brings the hate"...too true, and often directed at the wrong people.

    Though last I checked the sticker price on love and hate were the same...free.  You can curse your bills, your fellow man, and the world when you're broke, or you can find somebody/something to love for the same price.


    You know, (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 02:16:37 PM EST
    I really think that humans (and all living things) are born to love.
    It is really effortless.
    Hate takes energy and goes nowhere.
    Love can move mountains and the universe.

    which is why (none / 0) (#124)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 02:19:35 PM EST
    if we were visited by powerful aliens they would put dogs in charge.

    I love my dog, too (none / 0) (#128)
    by sj on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 03:02:20 PM EST
    She's perfect.

    Can (none / 0) (#138)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 05:57:11 PM EST
    you imagine the amusing chaos if cats were put in charge?

    Free sardines for everyone! (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 11:48:23 AM EST
    Two mousies in every pot!  Universal hairball care!

    Mine too....A++++ beautiful perfect! (none / 0) (#141)
    by christinep on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 08:55:34 PM EST
    Somebody pointed out after 9/11 (none / 0) (#145)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 11:50:24 AM EST
    that putting that plan into operation took months and months of effort and planning, but literally innumerable acts of heroism and extroardinary love took place within seconds of the planes hitting.

    There are shades (none / 0) (#83)
    by pluege2 on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 11:58:10 AM EST
    I agree that there are plenty of so-called left - at least center and center-left that embrace elements of violence. I just didn't want to overly complicate the post because violence is the complete and only fundamental element of the rightwing. Everyone else are partial shades of gray.

    A small correction. (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 06:54:23 AM EST
    "Pogo" was created by Walt Kelly.

    Al Capp created "Lil Abner".

    Walt Capp is an amalgam.

    Violence (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 07:04:45 AM EST
    I do believe that in discussion the effect of violence in our country we are missing the elephant in the room: the ongoing wars.

    Somewhere in every one of our consciousness minds, or semi-conscious minds, there is the awareness that we are killing innocent women, children and men every single day. For people in Afghanistan and Iraq and Pakistan, every day is Arizona.

    How can Obama speak so glibly about his grief "as a father", and seem so clueless about the daily deaths of children caused by drones which he has deployed?

    Our very own government is creating a climate of violence, and simultaneously teaching us ways to numb ourselves to it. It encourages us to watch mostly all male sports and creates the illusion that it is patriotic to do so. It creates phrases like "collateral damage" to dehumanize the victims of its weaponry.

    Until our government behaves in a manner that eschews violence, watching political figureheads selectively calling upon us to engage in a moment of silence is sickening to me.

    Aside from the fact that Obama is (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:52:38 PM EST
    compartmentalizing - as all presidents have done - it is the cumulative effect of a decade of war and violence, continued erosion of civil rights and liberties and our worsening treatment of people we deem "dangerous," that is contributing to the decline in our treatment of each other.

    This, from Glenn today, should shock no one.  In short, lawyers for Julian Assange are preparing to argue before a British court that if he is extradited to Sweden, he is in danger of being turned over to the US, where he would be in danger of being subjected to the death penalty or detained at Guantanamo Bay.

    That you may not read about it anywhere in the American press probably shouldn't shock anyone either.  But consider what it means that not only are non-US citizens becoming afraid of what this country can and will do, but US citizens are becoming afraid, as well.

    Here's a snip from Glenn's post:

    It's quite notable that the mere threat of ending up in American custody is considered (at least by Assange's lawyers) to be a viable basis for contesting extradition on human rights grounds. Indeed, this argument is not unusual.  Numerous countries often demand, as a condition for extradition to the U.S., assurances from the U.S. Government that the death penalty will not be applied.  Similarly, there are currently cases pending in EU courts contesting the extradition of War on Terror detainees to the U.S. on the ground that they will be treated inhumanely by virtue of the type of prolonged, intensive solitary confinement to which Bradley Manning -- and thousands of other actual convicts -- are subjected.  

    And now we have the spectacle of Julian Assange's lawyers citing the Obama administration's policies of rendition and indefinite detention at Guantanamo as a reason why human rights treaties bar his extradition to any country (such as Sweden) which might transfer him to American custody.  Indeed, almost every person I've spoken who has or had anything to do with WikiLeaks expresses one fear above all others:  the possibility that they will end up in American custody and subjected to its lawless War on Terror "justice system."  Americans still like to think of themselves as "leaders of the free world," but in the eyes of many, it's exactly the "free world" to which American policies are so antithetical and threatening.

    So, Obama may be able to rationalize and compartmentalize so as to portray himself as ever-so-deeply-affected by the shootings in Arizona, but the culture of fear, the double-standard, the growing inability to retain and adhere to bedrock principles of American democracy the more we abandon it in our dealings with the rest of the world, the more jarring these incidents will be.

    And the farther away we will get from reducing them.


    Great (none / 0) (#125)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 02:20:40 PM EST
    post, Anne.

    Oh, geez (none / 0) (#146)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 11:53:25 AM EST
    "where he would be in danger of being subjected to the death penalty or detained at Guantanamo Bay"

    I'm sorry, but that's just silly.  And they'll be lucky if the British courts don't laugh them out of the room.


    Lawnessness (none / 0) (#152)
    by Andreas on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 01:40:17 PM EST
    You probably do not want to accept that a significant part of the population in Europe is aware that the United States is a reign of lawnessness. Guantanamo Bay and torture are terms which come to mind when the USA is mentioned.

    Question for Anne (none / 0) (#170)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 07:17:38 PM EST
    Please do tell us why you say that it is the cumulative effect of only last decades war and violence.
    Show me a decade where America was not involved in a war or military or police action. Red scare, Korea, Vietnam, 1st Gulf war, Kosovo, CIA led toppling of governments in countries like Iran, Chile, etc, support of dictatorships in large parts of Central and Latin America, Asia, even Spain in Europe, wars in Africa, support of the most regressive Islamic radicals in Afghanistan in the 70s and 80s, imposement of UN sanctions in Iraq in the 90s, etc were all military and violent actions that caused upheavals, internments and loss of millions of lives in large parts of the globe. However, many of you (I am not saying "all of you in TL") did not feel that America had "abandoned its bedrock principles of democracy in those decades in dealing with the rest of the world" in those decades.
    Why is that?
    America has continuously exported capitalism and been involved in military interventions for over 100 years (for good or bad). In previous decades, those interventions helped America achieve a higher standard of living for most of its people.
    (Eg: Just look at the price of fuel around the world and see whether the cost of it at home can be sustained without a military interventionist policy). The results of those interventions have provided diminished material benefits to the average citizen in the last decade; that is the only difference I can see from previous decades.

    Mexico... is that a street near (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by observed on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 07:48:36 AM EST

    Not quite (5.00 / 6) (#18)
    by matthewwithanm on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 08:01:24 AM EST
    While it may certainly be true that the killer's motivation wasn't political, it's not true at all that there aren't political ramifications in today's everything-is-political climate. While I doubt it's your intention to discourage discussion of current gun laws, that's exactly what the "let's not politicize this" framing does. It's all well and good to argue that we shouldn't ascribe political motives to Loughner, but it is not okay to brush the political ramifications of the shootings under the rug.

    interesting post (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 08:06:44 AM EST
    but I think that even if this event had nothing to do with the poisoned political discourse in this country the fact that if might provoke a discussion about it is a good thing.

    heck, if it can get Roger Ailes to release a statement saying he was telling his minions to stfu and tone it down Im for it.

    it will be interesting to see if his minions do.


    Yep. If they want to call that (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:41:16 AM EST
    the left taking political advantage of the situation, so be it. I call it a word to the wise. Maybe it was not this guy's motivation, but he is not the only disturbed individual out there.

    Because there is a shared social (5.00 / 7) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:01:53 AM EST
    reality and because human beings are social creatures and we affect each other on a group consciousness level, I am not so easily persuaded that the existing political climate and veiled calling for violence has nothing to do with this.  This young man was obviously having a very hard time defining and owning his own reality and boundaries, and I know what was easily socially available for him to latch onto in Arizona.

    Another of his supposedly good friends who did not answer his phone call the night before has also said that in his opinion Jared does seek fame from this and he seeks to create chaos.

    Or in his words (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by smott on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:18:54 AM EST
    "He seeks to f-ck sh-t up"

    I guess that includes 9 year old girls.


    see the reaction of her father? (none / 0) (#30)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:20:16 AM EST
    Slain girl's father says attack the price of "a free society"

    now thats dedication to an agenda right there.


    A tragically sick man (none / 0) (#32)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:24:03 AM EST
    I'm sorry, this kind of tragedy hits you, and THAT'S that value you place on your daughter's life? I question his sanity right now. Which, obviously, might well be affected. That answer, however, makes me ill.

    This is precisely the price we pay for NOT caring about the RESPONSIBILITY of living in a free country.


    People initially respond to such deep (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:37:12 AM EST
    tragedy in a wide variety of ways.  I don't have this ability to become chillingly composed when say facing some of the medical stresses we do with our son, but I have seen my husband immediately dress up in this kind of composure......and I've seen him meltdown too.  No man is a rock, no man is an island, and in order to be able to feel anything we must be able to feel something.  Some people melt sooner and some people melt later, but you don't lose a child or face the possibility of losing a child without eventually having to look under every rock within your psyche all over again.

    Aside to baseball fans: (none / 0) (#62)
    by the capstan on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:40:59 AM EST
    The little girl was the grand-daughter of Dallas Green, who managed the Philadelphia Phillies to their World Series championship in 1980.  He took over the New York Mets during the 1993 season and managed them through most of 1996.  Her father works in the scouting department for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    But she was still just 'collateral damage'--like the little girls in Birmingham.  (At least an ordinary handgun often has only one victim.)


    I took his comment (none / 0) (#38)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:34:21 AM EST
    More as a statement about the fact that while JL was able to get close enough to a member of Congress to shoot her, in the same vein, his 9 year old daughter was also able to get close enough to a member of Congress so she could discuss being student council president with her.

    I don't think (and I don't know) that it had anything to do with his personal politics - I think it was more of him trying to rationalize something that must be impossible to rationalize at this point.


    It sounds pretty detached ... (none / 0) (#50)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:55:21 AM EST
    ... by itself, but when you see the interview and see the entire quote, it's not the same (see the video here - very hard to watch).  The father was fighting back tears and crying during much of the interview, as any father would be.  Speaking about Jared Loughner at @9:35 into the interview: " ... but in a free society we're going to be subject to people like this ... I prefer this to the alternative".  Depending on what he meant, I would agree with him.  Even so, I can't imagine being able to think that (let alone speak it), if I was in his place.

    I agree with your interpretation (none / 0) (#76)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 11:41:04 AM EST
    I admire his bravery to remember what we all should know - unless we want to live in a police state, we all need to be willing to feel the same grief he is feeling, or to lose our lives.  We are not supposed to be abdicating those risks to the members of the armed forces.

    That's how I read it too... (none / 0) (#101)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:22:14 PM EST
    I was impressed the poor father is able to keep his head and isn't limited to blind rage at the man who killed his daughter at this point...that's f*ckin' rare, and really f*ckin' beautiful.

    I agree with you MT (5.00 / 5) (#33)
    by lilburro on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:27:09 AM EST
    I respect Jeralyn's opinion but I think when historians look back on this era they will see a connection between the rise in aggressive right wing extremism and rhetoric and instances like this (and the murder of Dr. Tiller, and the guy who shot up the Holocaust Museum, etc.).  I'm not interested in blaming it on Sarah Palin in particular but for me there's a sociological element to this.  You know, why did he lock onto a politician?  Why was it important than Giffords not be a phony, as opposed to anyone else (and certainly someone with more power/fame).  There's an anti-government aspect to that and the right wing stokes anti-government forces.

    Thank you. (none / 0) (#40)
    by Towanda on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:39:37 AM EST
    This guy is not lucid, and he is a nightmare.

    Another term could be collective consciousness (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by Natal on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 02:55:22 PM EST
    Every thought, word and action of every individual has an effect on the national atmosphere. When there's an abundance of negativity it's expressed by the weakest in society.

    Possible Jared thought he was doing some form (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:16:54 AM EST
    of 'lucid dreaming' but it seems unlikely that his mental illness allowed for any kind of disciplined mental exercise of that sort. I think it is more likely true, as others have said, that his mind latched on to that for its own reasons. Also, delusions of grandeur are common to many types of psychosis. This leads one to seek out the recognition one feels one deserves - possibly at the expense of a "faker".

    I agree with the sentiments expressed by an Ohio congressman that was dismayed at the effects some comments of Boehner's were having on his constituents. I saw them reported at Digby yesterday but my browser won't work now. He said that pols need to be mindful of the effect of their words on the least rational of the public. I would add that when your whole public outreach is aimed at the least rational part of everyone, you should be doubly careful.

    To suggest politics had nothing to do with this (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:29:21 AM EST
    ...is to suggest politics does not insidiously affect every aspect of our lives, which it does.
    It is to suggest that politics doesn't have an immediate impact on people's lives and psyches. Frankly, J, you are copping out here because you do not wan to face that this is what we are creating in this country -- through processes which include our corrupt and violence-creating political system.

    This was a kid with a lot of problems, one of them being he lived in a state batsh*t crazy fetishistic with guns and violent rhetoric, and you're going to claim that had NOTHING to do with this?

    Absurd and, IMO, dishonest. Yes, the kid had/has serious mental problems, but they seem clearly the product of the sick society he was reared in. And a huge part of our sick society is the wretched political system that promotes violence all the time, abroad, at home, in our minds and hearts.  Our politics treat mass murder as ACCEPTABLE, because we do it on a national level to other people far away EVERY DAY.

    A nation that engages in mass murder for poltical purposes, and you want to claim that this has NOTHING to do with all the mass murders we have.

    EVERYTHING seemed to play into this kid's demise.

    The motivation for the actions (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:41:33 AM EST
    of Jared Loughner are surely to be a complicated and complex mix that will never be known with certainty.  However, this mass crime requires investigation of feasible possibilities.  To dismiss or diminish the importance of political discussion or discourse in the attempted assassination of a politician seems to me to be a form itself of politicalization.  The 'let's change the subject' conveniently assists those who are anxious to dodge or deny responsibility for institutional hate that may be coming home to roost.

    Lucid dreaming is interesting speculation, but, to me, less persuasive than speculation that fragments of anti-authority, anti-government and hate as political core values are fertile grounds for a severely troubled soul. Mr. Loughner's record of not following rules (at an animal shelter), his graffiti on street signs with letters which, for him, symbolized Christian, and his following, if not stalking, a Congresswomen who he identified as a fake, and even requiring change from the taxi driver who dropped him off at the Safeway mall, are seem less dreaming and more reality.

    I agree with Jeralyn and Jane Hamsher (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Buckeye on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:02:04 AM EST
    This atrocity was not due to Palin or anyone on the right's political rhetoric.  Most of the time, when people are trying to tie things like this together, it is to push their own political agenda.

    Hamsher wrote this:

    I automatically recoil at the suggestion that people should be held responsible for the actions of others, especially when it comes down to the influence they supposedly have on those they've never met.  It's the kind of Lieberman-esque thinking that brought us the culture wars, the scapegoating of video games and a decade's worth of Ice-T demonization.  As someone who did not emerge unscathed from that ignoble period in our history, I instinctively feel that the people who trade in those kinds of  arguments are demagogues and hustlers

    I remember being told I could not play dungeons and dragons or TAG (the assassination game) in high school because teachers and parents were so worried because some nut with mental health issues actually killed some people playing these games.

    I remember David ... (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:22:29 AM EST
    ... Adkisson, a fan of Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Bill O'Reilly and Bernie Goldberg - who shot six people at a children's church performance at a Unitarian church - based on his hatred of and desire to kill liberals and Democrats.

    Conversely..... (5.00 / 3) (#57)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:24:25 AM EST
    Most of the time, when people are trying to tie things like this together, it is to push their own political agenda.

    In addition:

    "Most of the time, when people are trying to untie things like this, it is to push their own political agenda." (i.e., deny that gun control can solve a portion of this problem, deny that violent right-wing rhetoric plays any role at all in the culture that contributes to this, etc etc).

    My own opinion is that these things are not either/or. Positions that I personally find equally facile:

    Guns don't kill people. Guns cause the entirety of the problem.

    Mental illness is the only cause of this tragedy. Mental illness had nothing to do with it.

    Gun control solves nothing. Gun control solves everything.

    Violent political rhetoric caused this. Violent political rhetoric can not have played any role in this.



    exactly (5.00 / 4) (#61)
    by CST on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:39:41 AM EST
    just because it's one thing doesn't mean that's the only thing.

    Usually when cold-blooded murder happens (as opposed to "crimes of passion" which I think is very different), all the chips have to fall into place.

    Someone has to have a reason to kill, be able to kill, and be the type of person who is willing to kill.

    Krugman says it well:

    "Last spring Politico.com reported on a surge in threats against members of Congress, which were already up by 300 percent. A number of the people making those threats had a history of mental illness -- but something about the current state of America has been causing far more disturbed people than before to act out their illness by threatening, or actually engaging in, political violence."

    It's not like people with mental illness weren't around before this.


    Krugman's point makes me realize (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Anne on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 11:18:59 AM EST
    that the more prevalent and accepted an atmosphere of inflammatory rhetoric is, the more "normal" certain behaviors that flourish in that atmosphere can seem to be.

    There's a comsequence to everything we say and do; how we choose to deal with the consequences can tell a larger tale, I think.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#64)
    by lilburro on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:54:22 AM EST
    it's not like people are pulling these stats about violence and extremism out of a hat.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#130)
    by Rojas on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 03:26:06 PM EST
    and it's not unpredictable that when the safety net is removed those with a hardly a tenuous grip are the first to crash.

    We can't forget that ... (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 11:28:25 AM EST
    for almost half of this young man's life, our government was engaged in sanctioned violence on a massive scale through two undeclared wars.  These lead to the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people.

    Not to mentioning the torturing, endless detentions, etc..

    If any of these other things were contributing factors, than this must be as well.


    I am not trying to untie anything, I am saying (none / 0) (#96)
    by Buckeye on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:43:58 PM EST
    they were never connected (you are basing your point on a false premise).  I also have no agenda (I am not a republican and cannot stand the people being falsely accused of being complicite in murder).  

    I am not a big gun control activist but I think some regulations are in order.  


    I do not believe either of these things. (none / 0) (#102)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:26:06 PM EST
    they were never connected

    I also have no agenda

    My only agenda is defending innocent people (none / 0) (#104)
    by Buckeye on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:30:31 PM EST
    being falsely accused of murder on Talkleft.

    Tell me, what is your agenda exactly?


    Funny! (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:46:13 PM EST
    Who's being falsely accused of murder ... (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 04:52:41 PM EST
    ... on TL?  How'd I miss that?!?

    You must have read only one post on this site. (none / 0) (#150)
    by Buckeye on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 12:40:47 PM EST
    Charges of the right wing's political rhetoric is being mentioned as being complicit in the murders.  I had one poster go so far as to tell me she/he thought Loughner is largly irrelevant and a pawn in their scheme.

    Really? You must have read ... (none / 0) (#151)
    by Yman on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 01:23:58 PM EST
    ... an imaginary post on this site, because no one has been falsely accused of murder.  Several people have suggested that the wingers and their hate speech contributed to this tragedy by creating a climate of hatred that fed Loughner's anti-government, conspiracy-filled fantasies.  There are some who have suggested that the wingers bear some responsibility for their actions, but no one has been "falsely accused of murder" here on TL.  Are you seriously suggesting that "bearing some responsibility" is the same as an accusation of murder?  Do you seriously believe Jeralyn would permit false accusations of murder to be posted (and remain) on her site?

    Too ridiculous for words.  


    First, it is not "several people" it is (none / 0) (#154)
    by Buckeye on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 03:51:39 PM EST
    nearly all.  And no, what has been writted on this site by most posters (not Jeralyn or BTD) is accusing people of complicity in murder.

    I have not read imaginary posts, but you should read through the various threads.  I have debated with posters such as one person who said Loughner is essentially irrelevant and a pawn in the right's political game (apparently that must be killing Democratic congresspeople).  Another compared the right's political rhetoric to the Nazi propoganda (apparently, saying someone you want to elect out of office as being in your "crosshairs" is the same as saying that just before Passover Jews need the blood of a Christian child to mix in with their Matzah).    Another poster said the GOP deliberately created a powder keg and then threw the match knowing it would get people killed.  These are only a few examples, I could list many many more.


    Please do (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by Yman on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 08:29:07 PM EST
    I appreciate you proving my point, which is that no one has been falsely accused of murder on TL.  Each and every one of the "examples" you've cited is doing no such thing, and (even putting aside issues of liability) Jeralyn is the last person who would permit her site to be used to falsely accuse anyone of murder.

    BTW - Next time, you may want to post actual quotes.  When people start using qualifiers such as "essentially" and "apparently" when they're trying to explain what others are saying, it just makes the BS detectors go crazy.  But that shouldn't be very hard now, should it?  I mean, after all, ...

    ... "nearly all" the posters on TL are falsely accusing the wingers of murder.



    Do your own homework. (none / 0) (#162)
    by Buckeye on Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 09:35:41 AM EST
    I told you where the sources of my examples are.  They are in this post!  And if you want to argue the Talmudic point that saying someone is complicit/accessory to murder is not the same thing as accusing someone of actually pulling the trigger (especially given the examples I provided) that is fine, but you know what I meant.

    I know precisely what you meant, ... (none / 0) (#163)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 10:11:30 AM EST
    ... and saying someone "bears some responsibility" is not remotely the same thing as accusing them of being complicit in or an accessory to murder.  No one here (except you) has used the terms "complicit" or "accessory", words which (particularly in the context of a crime) have a very specific meaning.  There's a heee-yOOOOOOOOge difference between "bearing some responsibility" and being accused of murder, but I understand why you would want to pretend it's just a "Talmudic" difference in semantics.

    BTW - Funny, though ... still no actual quotes.  I wonder why that is ....


    Okay, here is one quote, (none / 0) (#164)
    by Buckeye on Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 11:33:23 AM EST
    Poster inclusive heart wrote on post #123

    And as for this crazy kid who allegedly perpetrated this attack, he's almost irrelevant.  He's a pawn in a political game.

    This is one example of people blaming the right sooooo much that the shooter is essentially irrelevant.


    Congratulations (none / 0) (#165)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 01:32:31 PM EST
    ... on finding a single post, although I already saw the original post and the next several times you referenced it.

    Now point me to the part where an innocent person is being accused of murder.


    We discussed that already. (none / 0) (#166)
    by Buckeye on Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 02:29:22 PM EST
    In my opinion, when you say someone is so responsible for an act the actual shooter is irrelevant, that is the same thing as saying they are responsible for the shooting (not prosecutable in court but that is not what I am talking about).

    And there's the crux of the problem (none / 0) (#167)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 02:57:53 PM EST
    It's going beyond the plain meaning of their words to give your opinion of what you think someone is saying based on your interpretation of their words.

    Suggesting someone else (besides Loughner) bears some responsibility for this is not the same thing as accusing them of murder (or of being an accomplice or complicit), no matter how much you pretend otherwise.  But you should let Jeralyn know that "almost everyone" is making false accusations of murder on her site.  Since it's so obvious, I'm sure the (dozens?/hundreds?) of unspecified, defamatory comments will be deleted.  Unless, of course ...

    ... it's all in your imagination.


    Yman, if it will make you feel better, (none / 0) (#168)
    by Buckeye on Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 03:04:54 PM EST
    from now on I will only say that on Talkleft I am defending innocent people from being falsely accused of "bearing some responsibility" for murder.  I think your argument is silly because you are still accusing innocent people of bearing responsibility for the murder of 6 people including a 9 year old child as well as hospitalizing many more - notably as congresswomen that got shot in the head.  These accusations of course are not supported by any evidence at all, but oh well you are free to make them.  

    Feel better?  I hope because this is the last time I am responding to you.


    It's not a question of ... (none / 0) (#169)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 05:50:43 PM EST
    ... "making me feel better", but nice try at pretending there's no difference.  It's a question of accuracy, exaggeration, hyperbole and putting words in the mouths of others.

    I think your argument is silly because you are still accusing innocent people of bearing responsibility for the murder of 6 people including a 9 year old child as well as hospitalizing many more


    You want to point to exactly where I did that?!?  The fact of the matter is that I think it's quite possible that anti-government hate speech fed this guy's psychotic fantasies, unless, of course, he came up with these anti-government theories all on his own.  The reality, however, is that I never accused anyone of murder or even (besides Loughner) of "bearing some responsibility" for these killings.  We just don't know yet.  Yet you claim

    you are still accusing innocent people of bearing responsibility for the murder of 6 people including a 9 year old child as well as hospitalizing many more.

    It's almost like you can't help yourself.


    Because conservatives (none / 0) (#153)
    by Warren Terrer on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 03:12:25 PM EST
    just hate false accusations of murder, don't they?

    And that was deplorable. You want (none / 0) (#155)
    by Buckeye on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 03:52:04 PM EST
    to add to it?

    If the shoe fits n/t (none / 0) (#157)
    by Warren Terrer on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:47:27 PM EST
    Not sure what you mean by that. (none / 0) (#158)
    by Buckeye on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:58:19 PM EST
    I mean that all (none / 0) (#159)
    by Warren Terrer on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 05:03:45 PM EST
    Palin is being accused of using violent, gun toting rhetoric that may well have played a role in instigating this crime. That's the shoe, and it fits her to a tee.

    But when it comes to the Clintons, there is an entire right wing cottage industry devoted to the idea that Hillary, Bill or both personally hired someone to kill Vince Foster. This is a nutty conspiracy theory with not a shred of evidence or logic to support it. See the difference? Where are all the conservatives calling out their fellow travellers for such lunacy?

    And I don't believe for one second that you have ever spoken out against it until now. Crocodile tears.


    You do not know me at all. (none / 0) (#161)
    by Buckeye on Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 05:45:39 AM EST
    All your post above has done is demonstrate your own ignorance and lack of empathy towards those who disagree with you.  

    I voted for Clinton twice and wished I could have a third time.


    what she said-- (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by the capstan on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 11:02:52 AM EST
    'I automatically recoil at the suggestion that people should be held responsible for the actions of others, especially when it comes down to the influence they supposedly have on those they've never met.'

    Well, after WWII, the Nazis spent time claiming, "I was only following orders."  But while that may have applied to some in uniform, most survivors have little doubt that the climate that allowed Kristalnacht and Dachau was built on Hitler's rantings.  


    People in marketing (5.00 / 6) (#119)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 02:00:44 PM EST
    and advertising have been betting billions for years on the suggestability and stupidity of people.

    One of you folks needs to get the word out to them that words and images have no significant influence on people's behavior.


    betting billions (none / 0) (#121)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 02:07:04 PM EST
    and winning

    Bravo (none / 0) (#148)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 12:04:17 PM EST
    Very well said.  Exactly right.

    Here come the Nazi references. Geez. (none / 0) (#97)
    by Buckeye on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:46:07 PM EST
    Before long, we will not even remember Loughner's name.

    Wow ... (none / 0) (#103)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:26:20 PM EST
    Godwin's Law rarely shows its face in here.

    Was not talking about him at all. (none / 0) (#105)
    by the capstan on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:30:33 PM EST
    Or even left/right rhetoric.  Was responding to the comment by Jane Whomever.  It seemed a little naive, given our fondness for soundbites and rousing speeches.

    Not exactly an impersonal observation: (none / 0) (#129)
    by the capstan on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 03:07:02 PM EST
    Spouse's first boss (NASA lab) was a former Hitler Youth.  Why do you suppose a young German joined that and rather sheepishly endorsed their rhetoric in 1961?

    the forms mental illness take is influenced by (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by esmense on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 11:09:32 AM EST
    culture. Madness is expressed in different ways in different cultures. We can't discount all the many ways our culture's political, media, religious culture often encourages paranoia, disdain and distrust of others,disrespect for authority, damns  mere competitors as evil, uses of eliminist and violent rhetoric, calls to action in heroic and violent terms. These influence  the obsessions, imagery, acting out and violence of the mentally ill. Although everyone seems to want to deny that they do so,

    Events like this follow a pattern -- and that pattern is influenced , fed,and shaped by aspects of our culture.

    Today the paranoia of the paranoid is very well feed in powerful media (which is very well compensated for doing so), as  well as in the barrage of hysterical, cracked, communications on the net. Eliminist talk dominates the right wing web and has increasingly crept into mainstream discourse. No one, struggling with mental confusion, paranoia and fear has to be politically right or left to be influenced by this atmosphere

    In reading around (none / 0) (#80)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 11:51:52 AM EST
    I do understand why some are reluctant to incorporate our shared cultural reality into what was going on with Mr. Loughner.  I have already seen calls for "civil" discussions now, and now we will deal with individuals accusing those speaking truths that make the unwashed angry as inciting violence.  There are many unwashed angry out there who have been ripped off and continue to be ripped off by both parties at this time, how can we fight this fight when everytime someone speaks the truth they will be accused of inciting violence?  

    I think there is a big difference between (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 11:56:56 AM EST
    talking about situations and truths that make people angry, and demonizing your opponents. A rightie can engage in perfectly legitimate disagreement with a lib on the issues without labeling him a 'traitor'. I think it is the incendiary personal insults that should stop.

    Oh, and the lies. But that is probably way too much to ask.


    The conspiratist world proposed by Glenn Beck, (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by esmense on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:50:48 PM EST
    various RW survivalist, militiamen, etc. is a terrifying one. As is the more "mainstream" commentary of those like Limbaugh and O'Reilly; their angry accusations that political opponents support terrorism, that they desire to destroy and persecute others who pray or believe differently than they do, their constant insistence that liberals/progressives' rightful participation in and support for their interests in our democracy are "really" no more than a cover for evil and violent intentions ("destroying" (you)r way of life).

    Mentally vulnerable people do not have to be politically sophisticated or even concerned with or capable of embracing a "right" or "left" ideology to be hurt by the ugly words, doomsday scenarios, accusations of evil and duplicity put forward by these powerful voices. This cynical background noise, this constant, dishonest drumbeat of fear and anger, feeds the most vulnerable's confused, terrified, cracked and distorted mental state.

    The son of one of my dearest friends, a young man I've known since he was minutes old, with a very successful career, active social life, etc., had a mental crisis three years ago that led to a very serious suicide attempt. It was discovered that for months he had been losing himself in the worst, most paranoid rantings of the government hating, gold hoarding, survivalist conspiricacy theorists on the internet. This stuff was poison for a mind that was under intense stress. Was the existence of such fear and anger inducing "information" the first cause of his break down? No. It his deteriotating mental state, his increasing fear, confusion and feelings of isolation, that led him to these sources, in a desperate attempt to find some reasons, some explaination of, some rationale for, his growing terror, anger and confusion. They did not create his mental illness, but they fed his fear, anger and vulnerability  -- in devastating, destructive ways.

    This young man's recovery has required him to resist the lure of this kind of fear-mongering talk and lies. To focus on real connection and the positive aspects of life. In his case, music, organic farming, spiritual practice, less work and isolation and more connection to family and friends.

    For those of you who think such talk, whether its indulged in by cynical media stars earning millions of dollars or squeezed out of the tainted minds by sincere (sincerely paranoid, sincerely angry, sincerely hatful) minds of online bigots, bullys and fools, has no impact on mental illness, and the desperate acts the mentally confused and vulnerable too often inflict on themselves and others, I ask this; if your son had been pushed to the worst kind of fear and despair, would you really want to see him spending time in the world of Glenn Beck and his many paranoid and militant supporters on the web?


    It seems like wingers have a difficult (none / 0) (#84)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:00:00 PM EST
    time seeing the difference.  And some have brought up the Talibaning of Dan, even though what the man believes is socially appropriate and "okay" is very much in line with what the Taliban believes is socially appropriate and okay :)

    They sure do. I would call them (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:06:21 PM EST
    childish in that way, but that would be insulting.... to children.  

    I thought about the 'Taliban Dan' thing too. The big difference there is that Grayson did not get a whole lot of support for that among local FL Dems. They thought he went too far.  Rightie ads linking lefties to Osama bin Laden are effective to their base.


    Just saw an excerpt of what Jon Stewart (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:13:29 PM EST
    had to day last night over on HuffPo. I like this:


    I do think it's important to watch our rhetoric. I think it's a worthwhile goal not to conflate our political opponents with enemies if for no other reason than to draw a better distinction between the manifestos of paranoid madmen and what passes for acceptable political and pundit speak. It would be really nice if the ramblings of crazy people didn't in any way resemble how we actually talk to each other on teevee.

    Many serious forms of mental illness (5.00 / 5) (#74)
    by byteb on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 11:36:51 AM EST
    including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder seem to 'kick-in' during the late teens and early twenties. JL is 22 and he seems to fit that profile.

    I think as his mental illness progressed he became more detached from reality. The interest in lucid dreaming wasn't the precipitating event that began his downward spiral but rather a symptom of it.

    I do think it's interesting that he picked a politician as his target and not the algebra teacher in the community college he attended (and who was responsible for his expulsion from school) nor the military recruitment station where he tried to enlist. In his disturbed state, his mind somehow processed all the information he received into a stew of anti-government hate. Since GIffords was in the  news a great deal because of her close run for re-election, her stance on the health-care act which resulted in her office being attacked, it's not too far a reach to attribute the politics of the Tuscon area impacting the disturbed mind of this young man.

    So many amateur mental (5.00 / 3) (#92)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:27:23 PM EST
    mental health experts.

    Sure, but (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by Zorba on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 04:16:49 PM EST
    it's endlessly fascinating to speculate- that's part of what makes us human.  We're curious.  I have degrees in psychology and special education, and have worked with the severely emotionally disturbed, so I have my own ideas about him, mainly based on my own past experiences.  I'm not a psychiatrist, but then, psychiatry is an inexact science, and you can bet that both the prosecution and the defense will be calling their own "expert psychiatric witnesses," and you can bet that their interpretations will differ.  The mentally ill are both more responsible and less responsible for their actions than most people think.  Their thinking is disordered (no surprise here), but they can also do long-term planning, even if that planning seems warped to the average person.  They may even well realize "the difference between right and wrong," but that does not mean that they can overcome their compulsions and skewed reasoning to effect their plans.  I'm fairly sure that his defense will involve "not guilty by reason of insanity," but that also does not mean, if that is the finding, that he'll be walking the streets the next day.

    or perhaps not so amateur (none / 0) (#131)
    by byteb on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 03:59:56 PM EST
    unless one can read minds..

    not a good sign (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:09:37 PM EST
    Heh! (none / 0) (#106)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:31:28 PM EST
    One thing I kinda... (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:34:57 PM EST
    worry about is a call to make being weird, anti-social, a loner, or odd in general some kind of probable cause to hassle people or worse, make it easier to involuntarily commit people to mental institutions.  That would be a bad scene, imo.

    Yes, some people this whacko came in contact with "saw the signs", and nobody did anything.  I'm not sure what we expect people to do...it is not a crime to be weird, anti-social, or a loner...and the vast majority of weird anti-social loners never harm anybody.  The oddballs have the same inalienable individual rights as the well-adjusted, and I hope that doesn't change just because of this sicko.  I've heard rumblings about involuntary committing people from some of the talking heads...scary.

    Kdog, while I fully understand your (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by observed on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:38:01 PM EST
    viewpoint, I think you are out of touch with history in this regard. The situation you described  used to be quite common, 50 years ago (and less, in some areas). Parents had children committed and atrocitized for being gay, or whatever.
    Since then, the pendulum has swung quite far in the other direction.
    It's not THAT hard to get someone committed, but it is quite difficult to get someone committed for any length of time.

    Somewhat aware... (none / 0) (#114)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:52:36 PM EST
    of the history of involuntary committing people...and I believe we should err on the side of individual liberty, same as in any other area of law and policy.

    It should be extremely difficult to have someone who has not yet caused harm involuntarily committed.  I realize this puts the general in slightly more danger of being harmed by a lunatic, but thats one of them costs of freedom in my book. Pre-emptive caging, even in a hospital if not a prison, is a very scary thing.


    I disagree there. We have a system (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by observed on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:55:14 PM EST
    of 72 hour holds to evaluate people who look like they might be  a danger to themselves or others.
    I think there are definitely people who "obviously" need some attention from MHP's, even if they've never been in the system.

    No doubt... (none / 0) (#118)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 02:00:19 PM EST
    some mentally ill people are dangerous and probably should be in custody to protect themselves and others...but not as dangerous to life and liberty as a state with the power to imprison people based solely on the opinion of a MHP, no matter how qualified, and a judge.  That is serious power begging to be abused.  Again, imko...reasonable people can disagee where to draw the line.

    I have some of the same (none / 0) (#133)
    by Zorba on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 04:26:14 PM EST
    concerns that you do, Dog.  Yes, some of the mentally ill are dangerous and should probably be in custody, as you said, but it's an awesome power to give the state.  What is considered "dangerous" today might well, in some cases, turn out to be more politically or socially motivated than practically motivated.  It has certainly happened in the past, and in other cultures.  It seems very clear that this young man was disturbed, and should have had help very early on.  But locking someone up (even for a 72-hour evaluation) should not be taken lightly.

    I don;t think it's a step (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by observed on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 05:10:25 PM EST
    lightly taken,from my observations.

    Media whitewashes ultra-right in Arizona massacre (none / 0) (#1)
    by Andreas on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 02:11:24 AM EST
    The WSWS today published this article (which also applies to Talkleft):

    Media whitewashes ultra-right in Arizona massacre
    By Patrick Martin, 11 January 2011

    No, you're just another (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 02:19:57 AM EST
    political group trying to use the shootings to promote a particular agenda.

    Thank you Jeralyn (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 07:58:16 AM EST

    You are a voice of reason.  Trying to make political hay on the actions of a lunatic is an embarrassment that you thankfully have no part in.

    Only illustrating what the WSWS wrote (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by Andreas on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 02:18:43 AM EST
    The reaction of Jeralyn only illustrates what is written in the linked WSWS-article.

    We now have a situation in which the fascistic filth within and arround the Republican Party is defended by Democrats against accusations that their hate propaganda could have anything to do with the terrorist attack in Tucson.


    Jeez, Rojas... (none / 0) (#13)
    by lentinel on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 07:08:29 AM EST
    WTF are you talking about?

    What a nasty and unresponsive reply to a thoughtful and serious post.

    his comment was deleted (none / 0) (#21)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 08:13:44 AM EST
    as a personal attack

    So the Left is as responsible (none / 0) (#100)
    by jondee on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:13:06 PM EST
    for the gutting of services for the mentally ill as the Right is?

    Another take from a similar prospective (none / 0) (#14)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 07:17:33 AM EST
    WTF? (none / 0) (#15)
    by Yman on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 07:27:27 AM EST

    I'm a lucid dreamer (none / 0) (#35)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:30:32 AM EST
    I don't think it's egotistical.  I don't control it - that's just how I sometimes dream, maybe 2 oe 3 times a week. It's never anything exciting - mostly I am aware that I am dreaming and I am trying to analyze my dream as I am having it.  Sometimes, it's like a "Choose your own adventure" book  - I replay the same scenario a couple of times and choose different options to see what happens.  Those are the dreams I tend to remember, and I may ponder about them during the day, but they aren't anything exciting.

    But while Loghner has shown signs of mental illness, has he actually been diagnosed yet with a mental illness? And does that have anything to do with his supposed lucid dreaming? Or is the conclusion that those have mental illness are more likely to be lucid dreamers? (And should I check my health insurance to see if I'm covered?)

    also if politics is irrelevant here... (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:31:22 AM EST
    ...why the hell did he want to murder a POLITICIAN??

    oops, sorry, tacked this on here (none / 0) (#37)
    by Dadler on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:31:54 AM EST
    by mistake, supposed to be attached to my own comment above.

    Going with your comment (none / 0) (#44)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:41:48 AM EST
    I think it's not even so much the politics, as it is the 24 hour news media.  While some good has come of it, in other repsects, the constant access to news has led to a much more polarized country.  We only watch the networks whose political positions we agree with, where talking heads shout at each other with more and more outrageous comments.  We only read newspapers and blogs that agree with our opinion.  All that does is instead of leading to more openness and discussion, it leads to more and more narrow mindedness on all points in the political spectrum.  It's come to the point that if Rush Limbaugh said "the sky is blue," the lefty blogs would argue that he's a racist and incites hate and if Obama said "today is Tuesday," the righty blogs would scream that it's a socialist / Muslim plot to take over America and impose Sharia law.  It's gotten ridiculous.

    Seemingly because she didn't validate his (none / 0) (#41)
    by tigercourse on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:41:04 AM EST
    delusion with a correct answer to his obscure question.

    I am a lucid dreamer also (none / 0) (#53)
    by magster on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:14:02 AM EST
    It is euphoric to dream about flying, or swimming without fatigue, or dodging bad guys knowing you can manipulate the outcome of your dreams.  I've heard of lucid dreaming before, but never beyond people who wake up saying "that was cool."

    The only euphoric dreaming (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:32:22 AM EST
    I've ever had was flying, but I wasn't lucid.  If I could be lucid while dreaming I'd do it again because it was great fun.  I couldn't control my flying though, I was totally out of control...but it didn't hurt when I ran into everything at high speed :)

    I usually wake up (none / 0) (#56)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:23:31 AM EST
    more puzzled.  I never seem to have cool dreams - just ones that leave me scratching my head and thinking, "What the heck was that??"

    Don't know whether he's been (none / 0) (#147)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 12:00:06 PM EST
    officially diagnosed, but what we know about him is about as classic for paranoid schizophrenia as you can get.

    Another part of the story (none / 0) (#54)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:22:25 AM EST
    That will have to be examined is the role of possible drug use.  Loughner was disqualified from joining the Army apparently because he admitted to very frequent marijuana use, although at the time of his entrance exams, he passed a drug test. He also had a record of possessing drug paraphenalia.

    Since drugs are known to chemically alter the state of the brain, it will be interesting to see if this had a direct causal link to his functioning, if he actually had a mental illness and drug use was part of a self-medicating regime, or if there were any drugs in his system when he allegedly committed the act on Saturday.

    It's funny that no one is talking about this aspect though. Gun control advocates are pushing for stronger background checks for drug abusers.

    Been waiting on... (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:51:01 AM EST
    the drug warriors to take that ball and run with it...I cringed when I heard he likes his reefer, and what it means for the cause near and dear to the millions of peace-loving stoners of America.  I expect the usual suspects to be along shortly to blame weed in the blame game.

    Anything done to excess, including MJ (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by magster on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:57:11 AM EST
    screws people up.  I wouldn't expect it to hurt the marijuana legalization trend.

    And (none / 0) (#77)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 11:42:00 AM EST
    Whether the users like to admit it or not, drugs DO change your brain (yes, yes, alcohol does too - because it's a DRUG).  However, if it was a contributing factor, and I don't know if it was or not, it would change the (incorrect) discussion about how marijuana use has no bad effects.  

    What I think is interesting is that it really HASN'T been included in the discussion.


    yes (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by CST on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:08:25 PM EST
    but not all drugs change your brain the same way.

    It could also be a factor that he stopped taking it.  Perhaps the self-medication was working.  Marijuana use has bad effects for sure, inciting violence/agression isn't typically one of them, because that's not how the "chemical altering" works.  If you want to talk about bad effects, it's usefull to know what they are.


    Exactly. (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:11:43 PM EST
    I would think MJ would be the LEAST likely to induce violent behavior (ahem, based on some experience long ago....).

    Sure (none / 0) (#90)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:22:04 PM EST
    But we still don't know all the effects - combined with any mental illness or any other drugs he may have taken, or alcohol, or even the way his brain chemistry works.  Which is why it's always dangerous to say something about a drug like, "It doesn't have any long-term or negative effects."  We just don't know.

    And I don't know it's a factor in this case, but since everyone has jumped on the  "it's politics"  and "it's mental illness" bandwagons, I just think we need to look at the total package of his background.  Apparently he was bullied in school too.  Now, while I believe there are very few excuses for people who commit violent crimes, I think it's interesting the story has been one to jump to conclusions based on very narrow paramters.


    I disagree (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by CST on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:36:28 PM EST
    with the statement that we just don't know.  There have actually been a lot of studies on it, it's been around for a really long time, and for the most part, we do know fairly well what it does.  Not in every single case, but frankly anything else is just rank speculation.  He might have also missed his morning coffee and that set him off.

    That's not to say that "It doesn't have any long-term or negative effects."  That's not what I'm (or anyone here really) is saying at all.  It's just that they aren't the effects that you are implying they are.

    He shot a politician point blank in the head at a political event.  I don't think connecting it to politics is much of a conclusion "jump".


    True... (none / 0) (#78)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 11:44:12 AM EST
    everything in excess can be harmful...but mj doesn't lead to multiple murder unless you had major mental problems before you started partaking.  The usual negatives to excessive mj use is sleeping too much...not a violent rampage, the alcohol is more likey to contribute to that....but again, you gotta be a sick puppy to start.

    He "liked" reefer (none / 0) (#67)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 11:06:09 AM EST
    According to one of his friends he was off the reefer and the alcohol, maybe even going to the gym too.  His friend said that he had dropped excess weight too in the process.  Also says that when he quit getting a little high and a little tipsy that he became even more incoherent yet extremist.

    you are messin (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 11:11:02 AM EST
    with the meme

    ps (none / 0) (#73)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 11:34:06 AM EST
    sounds to me like he needed more drugs.

    Seriously... (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 11:47:37 AM EST
    if it is true that he stopped smoking...the violent rage the reefer was mellowing could have risen to the surface.



    Seems that way (none / 0) (#81)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 11:53:32 AM EST
    Sounds like he may have been (none / 0) (#75)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 11:38:18 AM EST
    medicating...not that we all don't :)  We just don't all have the same ailments.

    The drug issue creates a good (none / 0) (#89)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:18:15 PM EST
    diversion and one that the media and politicians can rally around.  No politicalization here, just those devil drugs.  The institutionalization of hate by political movements can then be treated to America's favorite--the ostrich response.

    Of course (2.00 / 1) (#91)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:23:20 PM EST
    ignorning that such a contributing factor wouldn't be hiding in the sand, now would it?  I know that isn't popular around here because, as we all know, drugs aren't dangerous at all. <snark>.

    It's called "looking at the total picture."


    No, my point is not that (none / 0) (#95)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:41:38 PM EST
    the role of Loughner's alleged drug use should be ignored. Indeed, it may be among factors.  But, it seems to be becoming a convenient if not 'bipartisan' way of side-stepping what is an uncomfortable  part of the investigation (and possible learning experience) of an attempted assassination of a politician and the murder and maiming of many others.   The drug issue will not be ignored, you can bet the farm on that;  political movements with hate as a core value will be--after all there is no correlation, at all.  Just a drug addled mad man, and nothing can be done about that.  Case closed. Next?  

    Anecdotal: S/W served on the (none / 0) (#137)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 05:32:22 PM EST
    house in which a 20-yr. old male lived w/his mother.  He was a good student in h.s.--until he started smoking mj.  Maybe unrelated--who knows.  Anyhow, he dropped out of continuation school--no G.E.D.  When law enforcement knocked and noticed, mom let them in.  Her son had his handgun in the ready position when law enforcement pushed opened his bedroom door.  He fired first and was killed by return fire.  (Search warrant was based on CI telling law enforcement the male resident had seller-type mj in the residence. Why did this young man have a gun at the ready position, loaded?  His personality seems to have changed somewhat, but no prior violence.  

    Save that one... (none / 0) (#139)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 07:15:50 PM EST
    for post-show Guiness in February.

    Ha. I've got a 7:30 play! Maybe a (none / 0) (#140)
    by oculus on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 07:20:29 PM EST
    Guinness for lunch.

    Another strong suggestion (none / 0) (#149)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 12:12:04 PM EST
    of paranoid-schizophrenia.  Schizophrenics not infrequently turn to drug use early on in an attempt to turn off the voices they so often hear, or at least develop an ex post facto explanation for them.

    Schizophrenia typically begins to manifest in the teens or early 20s in people who've been entirely normal up until then.

    MJ simply does not make people violent.  Gently paranoid yes, but violent, no.  There was something else entirely going on with this kid, and he likely turned to MJ in hopes of feeling better.


    Did he not also (none / 0) (#58)
    by smott on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:25:03 AM EST
    Have some episode of alcohol poisoning?  Believe I read that somewhere....

    Could be (none / 0) (#60)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 10:35:33 AM EST
    I hadn't read that, but I think there's a total package there, and the media seems to be focused on a very narrow portion - one which has not been actually proven yet.

    Yes. (none / 0) (#93)
    by prittfumes on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 12:29:21 PM EST
    I do not have enough info to agree with Jeralyn (none / 0) (#70)
    by Saul on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 11:18:19 AM EST
    yet IMO.   I would need to know the full line of questioning being done by the FBI to fully agree.  We do not know all the questions he has answered.  

    Did the FBI ask where did you get your ideas from?  Were any of the political talk shows or radio talk shows an influence on your actions?  No telling what he as told the FBI

    I just need more information before I could rule out that the current heated political rhetoric had absolutely  nothing to do with his actions.

    When metaphors are used like gun sights on political sticker against an opponent are used some non stable people take them literally.   You saw the tea party gatherings where some had guns exposed.   Even Obama used metaphors that were questionable when he said "if they bring knives we will bring a gun"  All these sounds innocent to the more sophisticated thinker but to many it means just that. Just my 2 cents

    Everyone has always used militaristic/weaponary (none / 0) (#98)
    by Buckeye on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:01:28 PM EST
    metaphors in political rhetoric.  How many times do we hear things like something being a "bombshell" or the "air wars/ground attack" or someone "running out of ammo" or a particular person "has a bullseye on them" or "we are targeting so and so" or "a target rich environment" or something being a "nuclear option" etc. etc. etc.

    For Palin to say someone is in her "crosshairs" with a rifle scope over a district to describe electing them out of office or saying people should "reload" when making their case to the American people is hardly unusual and certainly not responsible for a massive homicide committed by a lunatic.  There is also no proof any lunatic has taken them seriously.

    I agree with your point though that we should wait before rushing to judgment (including me).


    Sure, and some people (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:47:18 PM EST
    shop at "Target".  It is all the same.

    Wrong, wrong wrong. (none / 0) (#108)
    by observed on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 01:35:22 PM EST
    Palin made these remarks at a time of worry over threats to Congressmen over the health care bill.
    People were already worried about violence (and there had been attacks and vandalism already).
    When Palin said it was time to "reload", there was only one conclusion to be drawn: Palin's role models are more like Hitler than Gandhi.

    To: Donald from Hawaii (none / 0) (#120)
    by christinep on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 02:02:27 PM EST
    Outstanding commentary. Now that I am crying happy from the relief and power of your words, I'm going for a walk in our wonderful cold air.

    Give somebody... (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by kdog on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 02:14:53 PM EST
    a hug when you're out with that walk christine...or if that's too freaky, a few simple kind words and wishes.

    If the profiteer dividers on the right and left won't get down, we can give it a go ourselves....loving our neighbors no matter how much they or their politics may piss us off.


    It (none / 0) (#156)
    by chrisvee on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:04:27 PM EST
    Aren't those suffering from mental illness more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violent crime?