Monday, May 26, 2014

Politicization

No, that cynical grin isn't permanently affixed to my face -- it comes and goes. John Hinderaker always knows how to coax it forth:
Making Hay While the Sun Shines: The Left Politicizes Elliot Rodger

You have to hand it to the liberals: they never miss an opportunity to convert tragedy into political gain.
This is hilarious. Remember all those conservative bloggers who published claims that Occupy Wall Street was somehow involved with the "Dark Knight" massacre? Those lies began on the day of the event.

Remember the right-wing conspiracy nuts who immediately flooded the internet with inane Sandy Hook theories? Most of these theories held that Obama had somehow engineered the event.

Remember how, in the wake of that tragedy, the right reflexively said: Now is not the time to discuss gun control. Yet nothing stopped them from talking about gun control directly after Sandy Hook.

Hindraker proves himself a hypocrite by the time he gets to his next paragraph:
Rodger, like most of the others, was a devoted liberal. He followed the Young Turks on YouTube, a far-left group led by a goof named Cenk Uygur who once was an MSNBC host.
Shorter Hinderaker: Politicization is all right when we do it.

I was surprised by that "Like most of the others" remark. What does Hinderaker mean by that? Does he intend to resurrect the rumor that James Holmes was part of OWS?

Let's look at the record. Let's see whether "most of the others" were the kind of people likely to care about the things that Cenk Uygar has to say.

Adam Lanza was raised by a mother who was a right-wing gun kook.

Richard Poplawski was a Glenn Beck aficionado who feared a coming "Obama gun ban."

Jake England and Alvin Watts were racists who killed five black men in Oklahoma.

James Wenneker von Brunn, the shooter at the Holocaust Museum, was a neo-Nazi.

Wade Michael Page, the guy who shot up that Sikh temple, was another neo-Nazi. Not the kind of guy who normally reads Salon or The Nation.

Ian Stawicki was utterly deranged and incoherent. He acted under the delusion that he was a member of a CIA death squad, which is not the kind of hallucination likely to be formed by someone who watches a lot of MSNBC.

Jared Loughner was crazy even by "crazed gunman" standards. Nevertheless, no-one can dispute that he was particularly drawn to Zeitgeist, a right-wing conspiracy movie. (I talked about that film at greater length here.) And no-one can dispute the fact that he fired at a liberal politician.

Doug Williams, who killed six people at a Lockheed Martin plant, was a right-winger and a racist.

Seung-Hui Cho, the Virgina Tech killer, seems to have had no coherent political beliefs. Like Loughner, he even nuttier than most of the other nutballs listed here. Nevertheless, his writings indicate some familiarity with the right-wing conspiracy theorist subculture.

Robert Stewart, who shot up a nursing home in Carthage, North Carolina, did not act from a political motive. Still, he was a hard-drinking hunting enthusiast from a southern state. That doesn't sound like the kind of lifestyle one traditionally associates with liberalism.

Nidal Malik Hasan was a convert to Salafist Islam, which no sane person could categorize as a liberal worldview.

Anders Brevik probably does not belong on this list, since we're concentrating on American mass killers and he was not American. Still, he was a Nazi (of a strange new breed which demonizes Muslims instead of Jews) and a regular reader of Pam Geller.

Eric Harris, one of the Columbine killers, was an utter psychopath. I'm sure that he was incapable of formulating anything like a cohesive ideology. Still, he did admire the Nazis -- and that fact alone arguably places him somewhere on the extreme right. Even if you can't buy that argument, this much is indisputable: Neither he nor Dylan Klebold ever said or did anything that would indicate a liberal peacenik influence.

Terry Michael Ratzmann was not motivated by ideology; he was your typical depressed and angry loner. Still, he was a devoted member of a conservative church -- not the kind of fellow likely to watch The Young Turks.

Need I say the obvious? Tim McVeigh, perpetrator of the Oklahoma City bombing, was inspired by the anti-Clinton conspiracy maniacs of his day.

Some readers will look at this list and say: "Many of these people weren't motivated by politics or ideology. They were simply nuts." Of course!

But if you will recall the beginning of this essay, motive was not the standard set by John Hinderaker. He simply stated that "most of the others" came from a background of "devoted" liberalism. He wants us to believe that any given mass killer is more likely than not to have a history of watching MSNBC.

That claim is obviously not true. If you had asked most of the aforementioned killers "What do you think of Cenk Uygar?", most of them would have responded: "Cenk who?" (By the way, I don't think Uygar is a "goof." As we've seen, that epithet belongs to Hinderaker himself.)

It'll be really cute if Hinderaker reads this and accuses me of politicizing the tragedy in California.
Comments:
It is indeed ironic that when anyone proclaims "the other side did it" when seeking to point the blame - inevitability it turns out that the 'innocent' party is responsible.
 
A significant number of these murderous incidents seem to result from a deadly mix of modern psychiatric drugs, and easy access of firearms.

While modern psychiatric drugs have the benefit of allowing patients with mental illness to function with greater success in normal society, these drugs do not make them normal. Modern psychiatric drugs have the unintended consequence of disguising the patient's mental illness from the public at large, and replacing many of the symptoms of mental illness with a frightening list of side effects such as; “homicidal ideation”, “hostility”, “aggression” and “delusions of grandeur”.

What if anyone was allowed to voluntarily put themselves on the Federal background checklist of persons prohibited from possessing firearms without giving a reason, or being forced into an unsavory category by the government, and doctors were prohibited from proscribing drugs with violent side effects to anyone who was not on the checklist? Perfectly sane gun-control advocates could voluntarily put their names on the list to demonstrate their opposition to firearms, and to help protect the privacy of others submitting their names in order to receive psychiatric drugs.

This type of scheme might help reduce the number of murderous sprees without infringing the the second amendment, but does anyone in the Republican or Democratic party have the courage to sponsor legislation that might be viewed as a threat to the pharmaceutical industry's bottom line?

 
You forgot Frazier Glenn Miller, who was involved with The Order (the White Supremacists who assasinated liberal talk radio icon Alan Berg) against whom he testified to avoid jail time who went on to murder 3 people under the assumption they were Jews.

 
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