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Off The Grid

There are many ways to transcribe political philosophies into graphical form. I am rather fond of the dual-axis model, as illustrated and explained here. On the other hand, there's a large delegation of the left thinks that second axis is kind of redundant; there's a simple left-right continuum, with "left" being synonymous with 'liberal" and "good," and "right" meaning "conservative" and "evil."

And then there's a third model. This is the one demonstrated by the Tucson shooter and his political beliefs. It's another one-axis model, with one end of the line tagged "tangerine" and the other "gleemfarb." The axis of crazy intersects with the conventional models entirely randomly -- if ever.

I recently got into a bit of a row with this particular liberal twit at another site who went through the Tucson shooter's political positions, and played Procrustes with them -- slicing and dicing them to fit into his left/right models. And, as expected, it took a healthy dose of dishonesty.

The site's moderators removed the twit's portions of the discussion, so I'm having to reconstruct it from my quoting him and memory. Here's what the guy said about the shooter's politics, and how he was such a "right-winger."

Gun nut. Anti-government. Anti-immigrant. Pro gold standard. Targeted and shot a Democrat. 9/11 Truther. Anti-abortion.

All BS.

"Gun nut?" He owned, apparently, a single gun. He didn't collect them, talk about them, brag about them.

"Anti-government." Conservatives are anti-big government. Another term for "anti-government" is "anarchist," and they tend to be on the left.

"Anti-immigrant?" He was concerned about "stupid" and "ignorant" people, and worried that immigrants would add to that pool.

"Pro gold standard?" He thought that changing our financial base would fix things. He was also heavily in favor of a marijuana standard. Which, I guess, would have saved him a lot of time, as he is a major pothead. If he could get a job where he was paid in pot, he wouldn't have to track down a dealer and trade his money for drugs.

"Targeted and shot a Democrat." A Democrat he used to admire, then found a reason to despise her and hate her over three years, until he finally shot her.

"9/11 Truther." Like Michael Moore, he believed that the Bush administration (which, I feel I need to remind folks, was Republican) either engineered the attacks or, at least, knew about them in advance and let them go on.

"Anti-abortion." At first, I thought that it was just an exaggeration -- he'd gone for shock value in a discussion that touched on abortion, and you shouldn't extract a conclusion from a single data point. But then ABC did a bit more digging, and -- as Ann Coulter noted -- the shooter's comment was hardly the sort of thing you'd expect a true anti-abortion opponent:

In the most bald-faced lie I have ever read in The New York Times -- which is saying something -- that paper implied Loughner is a pro-life zealot. This is the precise opposite of the truth.

Only because numerous other news outlets, including ABC News and The Associated Press, reported the exact same shocking incident in much greater detail -- and with direct quotes -- do we know that the Times' rendition was complete bunk.

ABC News reported: "One Pima Community College student, who had a poetry class with Loughner later in his college career, said he would often act 'wildly inappropriate.'

"'One day (Loughner) started making comments about terrorism and laughing about killing the baby,' classmate Don Coorough told ABC News, referring to a discussion about abortions. 'The rest of us were looking at him in shock ... I thought this young man was troubled.'

"Another classmate, Lydian Ali, recalled the incident as well.

"'A girl had written a poem about an abortion. It was very emotional and she was teary eyed and he said something about strapping a bomb to the fetus and making a baby bomber,' Ali said."

Here's the Times' version: "After another student read a poem about getting an abortion, Mr. Loughner compared the young woman to a 'terrorist for killing the baby.'"

So that's how the Times transformed Loughner from a sicko laughing about a dead fetus to a deadly earnest pro-life fanatic. (Never believe a news story written by Eric Lipton, Charlie Savage or Scott Shane of The New York Times -- or for simplicity, anything in the Times.)

If you're wondering what that sort of thing might look like, and a glimpse into another form of sick insanity, check here.

So, just where did the Tucson's shooter's politics fit on the axis? I'd put him on the "gleemfarb" end of the spectrum, but with a lot of elements of the "tangerine" mixed in. And his involvement with "left" or "right" was entirely random and coincidental.

Which makes those like my adversary at the other site nothing more than a crass political opportunist of a rather ghoulish bent. And a loathsome human being.

The Tucson shooter is not a crazed right-winger. He is not a crazed left-winger. He is crazy. The only reason to try to shove him over to one side or the other is to exploit this atrocity for pure political gain.

And we can never forget just who did that, and to what lengths they went to in that quest.

My first nomination: take very careful note of which Democrats attend the next Yearly Kos/Netroots Nation event. In the past, it's drawn many big Democrats, including seven of the eight leading candidates for president at the 2007 event. It's still very closely tied to Daily Kos, whose founder and leader tweeted "Sarah Palin -- Mission Accomplished!" immediately after the shooting, and has refused to back away from that since.

Their words are anchors. And we should never help them take those chains from around their necks. Not until they retract and apologize for them.

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Comments (28)

"Their words are anchors. A... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"Their words are anchors. And we should never help them take those chains from around their necks. Not until they retract and apologize for them."

Ain't gonna happen. After Barry's 'can't we all get along' - the NYT's (one of the chief offenders) said in so many words 'Hey! WE pointed out all those EVIL people on our editoral page.'

Not ONE word of - 'oh, we're guilty as well'.

It's business as usual. Take their hypocrisy and smack them up side the head with it.

One of the local Progressives submitted a letter to the editor. All about how Boehner was a CATHOLIC and would be taking orders from the Pope. Today it was pointed out to this "Progressive" that Pelosi was a CATHOLIC. As are the Kennedy's. Can hardly wait for her response.

The left doesn't hear anyon... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

The left doesn't hear anyone. We could bring it up but they will say we all do it or some simple ass stuff like that. What is important is the independents, who Obama needs, the senate lost due to Durbin, second in charge, exploiting this tragedy. Thanks Durbin. We take it one at a time. Obama will have a hard time getting away from this. ww

Of course there wi... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:


Of course there will be no retractions. That would be an abandonment of this segment of the Narrative. Discarding it can only occur when the purpose is served, or when it's effectively discredited.

Simplest solution is exposing them and their bankrupt philosophies, then voting them into oblivion.

The left doesn't h... (Below threshold)
Stan:
The left doesn't hear anyone. We could bring it up but they will say we all do it or some simple ass stuff like that

The left never did listen. They are the ones that have fomented all of the hate and discontent, that is prevalent in today's society and in the last 100+ years. The hate and discontent has been always with the left. A good example of that is the vitriol the Southern Democrats spewed in the years before the Civil War. They were the ones that promoted secession and the more hotheaded ones advocated open warfare. These same Southern Democrats, are the one that fought any Civil Rights bills tooth and nail in the United States Congress. Now that Civil Rights is a done deal, they now claim it for their own.

Stan, if you see someone ra... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Stan, if you see someone raising the Battle Flag of the Confederacy, please don't go into your tirade about you are nothing but a bunch of pinko left-wingers, you are liable to get yourself into some serious trouble.

Steve, I think sta... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Steve,

I think stan's point was that for a hundred years after the end of the civil war the democratic party stood for suppression and segregation. You can deny that if you want but it remains true none the less.

Today the left expresses its racism in different fashion, claiming that minorities need special consideration because they are not capable of making it on their own even when there is not evidence of current discrimination. The left also expresses its racism by keeping minorities locked into failing social institutions like welfare and our public schools. In the case of the public schools the notion that a minority family should be intelligent enough to determine what is best for their children is anathema to the dems.

"In the case of the public ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"In the case of the public schools the notion that a minority family should be intelligent enough to determine what is best for their children is anathema to the dems."

Prime example: Democratic killing of the voucher program in D.C. schools. Can't have "those people" sending their kids to private schools. Who the hell do they think they are, Barry Obama?

I guess it's time to check ... (Below threshold)
Neo:

I guess it's time to check all the Tea Party photos for anybody in a bright red g-string

TUCSON — Law enforcement officials said Friday they have multiple photos of Jared L. Loughner posing with a Glock 9mm pistol next to his naked buttocks and dressed in a bright red g-string.

jim m. Yes I understand, bu... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

jim m. Yes I understand, but the country was so entirely different then. The Dems came from the Democractic-Republican pary and Ab Lincoln was a Whig in 1848 and so on, and so forth.

Gun nut?". He owned, apparently, a single gun. He didn't collect them, talk about them, brag about them.

That seems shot down. I said he would have a fascination for guns, it looks more like a fetish. It is always practically the same profile, so depressing, almost predictable, which is even more depressing.


As stupid as Moulitsas' com... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

As stupid as Moulitsas' comment was (and is), Jay Tea, he wasn't calling the guy a right-winger. He was accusing a right-wing politician of fomenting a culture of violence through irresponsibly over-heated rhetoric.

Obviously Palin never intended for this to happen: not only would that make her totally evil, but it would be bad for her career, and she isn't evil and cares deeply about her future employment prospects.

Nevertheless, Markos' stupid comment is neither verifiable nor falsifiable, unless someone succeeded in mapping the entire network of rhetorical causality and determining empirically that one particular group of sentences or another literally caused him to shoot twenty people.

This a little off-topic but... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

This a little off-topic but it seems that we have some twenty posts consecutively, on the same subject. Here is one where both Dems and Republicans are and were united.

Palin, naturally going for the jugular,as her wont, called for immediate drone type attacks on Assange, the terrorist just a few weeks ago for releasing documents that among other things, revealed the corruption of the world and the kleptocracys?

Now it seems, WikiLeaks has already become a vehicle for positive democratic change in that part of the world that Bush and Obama could never have dreamed for. The WilLeaks first revoution as

The protesters, led at first by unemployed college graduates like Mr. Bouazizi and later joined by workers and young professionals, found grist for the complaints in leaked cables from the United States Embassy in Tunisia, released by WikiLeaks, that detailed the self-dealing and excess of the president’s family. And the protesters relied heavily on social media Web sites like Facebook and Twitter to circulate videos of each demonstration and issue calls for the next one.

The United States had counted Tunisia under Mr. Ben Ali as an important ally in battling terrorism. But on Friday, President Obama said in a statement that he applauded “the courage and dignity of the Tunisian people.”


Other autocratic rulers in that part of the world must be getting a little nervous as Hiallry continues her 'apology tour for wiKiLeaks' and the Pentagon must be fearful this Austrailian will cost us future expenditures as ordinary citizens are discovering self- democracy by the internet, is so much cheaper and liberating than trillion dollar American invasions and wars. Assange can't be extradited soon enough!

Palin, naturally going f... (Below threshold)

Palin, naturally going for the jugular,as her wont, called for immediate drone type attacks on Assange, the terrorist just a few weeks ago for releasing documents that among other things, revealed the corruption of the world and the kleptocracys?

Actually, Steve, I've found Palin is usually quite genteel. You got a link for her saying that, or is that what you got after running her actual words through your super-secret conservative-to-moonbat decoder?

J.

Sure Jay, I have <a href="h... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Sure Jay, I have a link. Palin was just a little more candid and graphic than I gave her credit for.

He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands. His past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?

No one no public official has traced, not one person who has been killed with these documents and the previous WiliLeaks Pentagon ones. Or maybe he has 'blood on his hands', but with no injuries or casualties. What would this be called? I don't even want to go there.

I figured as much -- her st... (Below threshold)

I figured as much -- her strongest call to action is "pursue." That means "chase." You're translating that into "blown up by drones." So that's a rewrite of her words.

Then you say that no public official has confirmed that the Taliban has killed any of our informants whose identities have been divulged. Considering how they've done that plenty of times on the past based purely on suspicion, and how over near Israel both the Palestinian Authority/Fatah and Hamas execute "collaborators," it would be astonishing if it hadn't happened yet. Are you arguing that it would never happen?

But you're right, it hasn't been confirmed, by name and date, yet, so she probably overreached on that one. But her overreach was nowhere near as extreme as your own one above with "pursued."

That's an amazing thing about Palin. She gets her opponents to blow themselves up, without any assistance whatsoever. You had to whip up some sinister connotations of "pursued," and some other guy (I've already forgotten his name) who got his knickers in a twist of her "blood libel" has been caught using the phrase himself outside of the "approved" context-- including on John McCain for accusing some judges of being "activist judges."

At this point, I'd love to see her get the nomination purely so I could watch so many of her critics utterly destroy themselves.

J.

u dont have to own a gun to... (Below threshold)
donnie :

u dont have to own a gun to be a gun nut

Why was he not pursued w... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?

As far i know we are only pursing Al Qaeda and (Taliban) leaders but one way?

Obama: Just days after 9/11, Congress authorized the use of force against al Qaeda and those who harbored them — an authorization that continues to this day...Since then, we have made progress on some important objectives. High-ranking al Qaeda and Taliban leaders have been killed.

"We are relentlessly pursuing our mission to disrupt, dismantle, and ultimately defeat that terrorist organization," Obama said of al-Qaeda

It is pretty clear what pursuing with the same urugency al queda leaders means.

Greenwald:

Palin is advocating that Assange be pursued like an al-Qaida operative.(with blood on his hands) In the current context, it's not unreasonable to interpret that to mean he should be assassinated.

I would love to see her get... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I would love to see her get the nomination too.

OK, Steve. I got it. When y... (Below threshold)

OK, Steve. I got it. When you want to understand what Palin is saying, you turn to GLENN GREENWALD because you can't grasp that that "moron" is saying? GREENWALD? Good lord, man.

As far as "why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders," I have one word for you:

Guantanamo.

But you're having some serious difficulty with understanding basic, simple, clear English, so let me spell it out for you: we got a whole bunch of Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, locked up there. And we pursued them with considerable urgency. Note that they are decidedly un-blown-up.

Why don't you and Gleen get together and tell each other how brilliant and insightful you are? Hell, Gleen can bring all his little sock puppets, too, and maybe you can put on a show.

God knows it'd be more productive than the rewriting of Sarah Palin's words that you're doing now...

J.

Jay sorry I was canfused, s... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Jay sorry I was canfused, so many political figures have called for his 'execution for treason' or that he be 'hunted down like an Al-queda operative, when the forces are authorized even encouraged to shoot on sight, Al queda leaders, I think it is prety impliciit. She wants Assange hunted down, dead or alive. What other meaning couid there be?
The British police strategy is perhaps the most effective, instead of hunting him down like Ai queda operative-just call him up and ask him politely to present himself at the police station for questioning at his conveniece, in this case about this Swedish caper- lack of consensual condoms I believe- but no charge have been filed. He never went into hiding. The British police knew where he was all the time, because he always kept them aprised of his whereabouts. He is living with a journalist now in Beccles Suffolk, where my Crickmore ancestors happened to come from. Assange still hasn't been charged with even a parking ticket by any government.

We have the first Middle ea... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

We have the first Middle east revolution this week, since 1979, when the Shah fell and Ayatollah Khomeini took power, but barely a word of commentary from the American media.

"In some ways, the Tunisian Revolution is potentially more consequential for the Middle East than had been the Iranian one.

Actually, Steve, I've been ... (Below threshold)

Actually, Steve, I've been meaning to write about what's going on in Lebanon this past week -- I think it's far more disturbing.

And Steve, you gotta remember The First Rule Of Holes.

She wants Assange hunted down, dead or alive. What other meaning couid there be?

I wrote a piece over a year ago that explains how to understand Palin: simply listen to what she says.

Turn off your normal Political BS filter, Steve, and re-read Palin's statements. She, for the most part, talks in plain, simple English and says what she means clearly and without weasel words or code phrases of hidden meanings or any of the standard BS. Simply take what she says at face value, without trying to spin it or interpret it or figure out what she "really means," and you'll be likely to be right.

The key words she used were "pursued" and "urgency." Try re-reading her statement without trying to find the hidden meanings. It's a perfectly reasonable and clear statement.

J.

I'll grant you Sarah Palin... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I'll grant you Sarah Palin is simple direct and uncomplicated, and probably doesn't understand all the resonances of the words she chooses. That is why she is so delightful, but not for someone who wants to be influential and shape American opinion particulary about world affairs- You can speak what you think are simple home truths, but the world is very complex and unless you have shown the interest in the past at some point to study and examine it, you are going to be at sea.

Assange was appearing in many open anounced forums in 2010. So now that it is established where he is- it is never been a secret--"pursued and hunted down like a Al Queda leader"- so that example was never apt-one minute with google and a two minute call to the British Home secretry would establish his whereabouts. He is not Osama bin laden.
What Sarah doesn't understand, despite her degree in journalism, is that publishing these documents is no crime- wikileaks like wizbang like the New York Times is a publisher. Wizbang and Wikileaks may not have the same cachet as the Times but the same priniciples are at work- freedom of the press-If Assange may have conspired with Bradley to decrypt, that may be different but they haven't proved that, or shown evidence that he has. WikiLeaks is principally a whistle blower site

Sarah hyperventilates about elites controlling power, information and so forth- and the lamestream media-If she would just step out of her box, that wikileaks is doing what the lamestream media hasn't; it has been too cowed or bias or lazy-none of this is top secret- three milliion Americans already had clearance to read it.

Christ, Steve, you're STILL... (Below threshold)

Christ, Steve, you're STILL doing it.

Palin: "Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?"

Steve's rewriting: "pursued and hunted down like a Al Queda leader"

I've outlined the case for treating Assange as stateless foreign intelligence agent, much like terrorists are stateless paramilitary forces. I said, explicitly, that Assange has taken on the role of an intelligence agency while trying to hide behind the shield of being "just a civilian."

And you insist on saying that Palin's clear-speaking is because she's too stupid to be deceptive. Here's a counter-theory: she's simply not interested in being duplicitous. There are people who are honest AND intelligent and not liberal.

I can understand how, with your extensive experience on the left, you're probably used to "intelligence" and "dishonesty" being closely tied, but they don't have to be -- and it's often better when they aren't.

You're pushing her into the same mold you put Bush into -- some great idiot who still somehow manages to engineer these tremendous conspiracies and schemes, and constantly takes in and snookers the fine, noble, honest, intelligent, and pure Left. Kinda hard to have it both ways.

J.

Defintely my bad on this ca... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Defintely my bad on this case, an apology..It took a more time to find out in quotations what Palin had said pursued that what the precise/short hand of Assange and others had said. hunted down. Another 'urban legend'-pursued is definitely less forceful than hunted down and invites the question why so many accepted the shorthand- more colourful-I suppose. Assange described it as being hunted down but he could be forgiven perhaps, for being sensitive.


Oh sure people can be honest, intelligent and conservative.. and very religious. I used to cadddy on the paga tour with one of the Christian religious golfers, most were from the South- they all hung out-all together and they were terrfic, far and far away the nicest, most well spoken polite, athletes I had ever met, and probably they were all Republican too.

These conspiracy theories- it depends importantly which one- but it takes a great leap of faith and Loughner type mind to believe that people could so malevolent- 9/11 or clever with the birthers-has anyone else ever done that?- whisked way someone to born outside of the US, for what advantage.
Bush had a sense of justice and was decent, always a non-racist from his youth, not very complicated or bright either; he just got captive of the wrong sort..like Cheney.

However, I disagree that any politician, including Obama, ranks very high on the honest scale. I wish Moynihan was still alive, that would be a good question to ask him.

were still alive.... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

were still alive.

Steve, just one piece of ad... (Below threshold)

Steve, just one piece of advice from getting your ass handed to you again: the next time you get sand in your knickers over something you hear about Palin saying, go and find out her precise words before you shoot your mouth off. Then take those words at absolute face value, assuming -- just for a moment -- that she meant exactly what she said, no more, no less.

If what she said was still so outrageous, THEN feel free to go apeshit again. But if you have to talk about "what she really means" or "what she intended was" or outsource your own thinking to confirmed Palin-haters to give you the proper spin... then you got the problem, not her.

J.

One last facing saving mea... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

One last facing saving measure (for me). It is always wise to eschew, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it..thinking, but time is short and we don't get paid for our comments, and as you say one spends enough time on the internet.


Now Palin did say it was "a treasonous act"- her First twitter comment which you would admit is wrong, since Assange is not American--"blood on his hands"- another over reach- so we are left with "use all necessary means" and her linking to Kristol's post, without comment on her twitter page, as single entry, which is rare. I suppose you might say it is possible she was unsympathetic to Kristol' post but I would say the reader is left with the unmistakable contrary position on the post which is in this vein..

Why can't we act forcefully against WikiLeaks? Why can't we use our various assets to harass, snatch or neutralize (a weasel word) Julian Assange and his collaborators, wherever they are? Why can't we disrupt and destroy WikiLeaks in both cyberspace and physical space, to the extent possible?

No wonder perhaps, she didn't comment, even briefy.


wrong link, here is Kristol... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

wrong link, here is Kristol's Whack WikiLeaks
And there's a role for Congress.

So what is Congress going to do declare an Iraqi like all means necesary ,including military authorization, in a closed sesion?




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