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Democrat Congresswoman and others shot

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Steven.
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Jan 9 2011 15:05
Democrat Congresswoman and others shot

Not seen a thread on this yet.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/09/gabrielle-giffords-critical-condition-shooting-arizona

Looks like it was the work of a teabagger.

What are people in the US saying about this?

The Guardian article points out Sarah Palin and the and the woman's Republican tea party opponent ran adverts putting gun sights on her asking for help to remove her from office.

What line is the media taking on this in the US? And what are people saying about are generally?

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Jan 9 2011 18:39

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12147588

Quote:
* Aged 22; lives with parents in Tucson
* Described by former class-mates as "disruptive" drug-user and a loner
* Reportedly posted series of rambling messages on social networking websites
* Online messages show deep distrust of government and religion, calling US laws "treasonous" and calling for creation of a new currency
* Attempted to enlist in US Army but was rejected
Quote:
Various former classmates have described him as "obviously disturbed" and a loner who had posted a number of anti-government videos and messages on social networking websites.

Probably less of a teabagger and more a lone wolf crack pot.

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Jan 9 2011 21:38

Most people I've heard talk about it are blaming it on the Tea Party or the atmosphere that the right has created since it emerged. I live in a college town though. I don't know what people are saying other places.

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Jan 10 2011 03:40

Someone at work mentioned it today. Shootings are so common place in the US that most people are just apathetic to it.

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Jan 10 2011 03:55
devoration1 wrote:
Someone at work mentioned it today. Shootings are so common place in the US that most people are just apathetic to it.

Not really. The last time a US congress person was shot was 1978 when Leo Ryan was killed in Jonestown.

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Jan 10 2011 04:06

I mean gun violence in general. Plus all of the high profile shootings are very distinct in the US- they're a part of the national character (entertainment and news media is flooded with gun violence). Disgruntled lone gunmen shooting up their work, mass shootings in schools (not only notable ones like Columbine and Virginia Tech, but the hundreds of smaller ones that don't make much of a media splash), courts, murder/suicides, gun suicides, celebrity/politician shootings, Presidential shootings (Ford, Reagan, Kennedy in recent history), etc

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Jan 10 2011 04:40

differing perspectives

http://www.slate.com/id/2280616/

http://www.slate.com/id/2280605/

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Jan 10 2011 14:29
Quote:
According to a memo issued by the Department of Homeland Security in the aftermath of the shooting spree at a Tucson, Arizona strip mall Saturday, Internet activity by the gunman, Jared Lee Loughner, linked him to American Renaissance, which DHS described as an “anti-government, anti-immigration, anti-ZOG [Zionist Occupation Government], anti-Semitic.” The online publication of the organization advocates white supremacy and racial separation....

Loughner was charged in a federal indictment issued Sunday on first degree murder charges for the killing of Judge Roll and Gabe Zimmerman and the attempted murder of Congresswoman Giffords and two other of her aides. He is to appear in court today on the charges, which carry the federal death penalty. The gunman will face state charges in relation to the other victims who were not US government employees.

Judge Roll, who was the chief federal judge in Arizona, was himself the subject of hundreds of death threats in 2009 when he presided over a case brought on behalf of undocumented immigrants against an Arizona rancher. Vilified by right-wing talk show hosts in the state, Roll received hundreds of calls threatening to kill him and his family. “They said, ‘We should kill him. He should be dead,’” US Marshal David Gonzales told the Arizona Republic. Roll and his family were placed under 24-hour protection...

In a YouTube video posting consisting of scrolling text and music, Loughner railed against the “second constitution”, a term used by the political right to refer to the post-Civil War 13th Amendment banning slavery and the 14th Amendment guaranteeing citizenship to all those born in the US and equal protection under the law in every state.

On the eve of Loughner’s shooting spree, Republicans in the US Congress launched a vitriolic campaign seeking the scrapping of the 14th Amendment in order to deny the right to citizenship for children born to undocumented immigrants within the US. Arizona has been an epicenter of this reactionary anti-immigrant campaign. The incoming Republican leader of the Arizona State Senate, Russell Pearce, who authored the state law criminalizing immigrants without papers—since blocked by a federal court—is pushing this year for a state law denying citizenship to babies born to the undocumented and is leading a campaign nationally to promote similar legislation in other states.

Similarly, the YouTube video included the declaration, “No! I won’t pay debt with a currency that’s not backed by gold and silver.” This is a standard theme sounded by Fox News commentator Glenn Beck and others on the extreme right, who have joined to their reactionary ideology the promotion of gold sales as a lucrative side business.

http://wsws.org/articles/2011/jan2011/ariz-j10.shtml

Boris Badenov
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Jan 10 2011 14:58

I don't think this kid has much in common with someone like Andrew Joseph Stack (the IRS kamikaze), who has also been caricatured as a mindless idiot who took the loony right too seriously. Stack, as Chomsky correctly points out imo, is symptomatic of the increasingly desperate state of many (if not most) American workers, who in the absence of any coherent radical message from the left, have latched onto the anti-government diatribes of Beck & co. By contrast, this Loughner feller seems like a mentally disturbed kid who probably has more in common with the Colombine shooters (or James Brady) than with ideological rightists like McVeigh, or more recently, A.J. Stack.
That said, this massacre will undoubtedly be shamelessly used in the political circus as evidence either of "this is what happens when you take the people's country away from them" or of "the poisonous discourse of the extreme right" (as if the Democratic apologia of Obama's neo-Reaganism isn't equally nauseating).

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Jan 10 2011 15:37
mateofthebloke wrote:
By contrast, this Loughner feller seems like a mentally disturbed kid who probably has more in common with the Colombine shooters (or James Brady) than with ideological rightists like McVeigh, or more recently, A.J. Stack.

this

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Jan 10 2011 20:07

The right is fighting back at the heat they're getting from this
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/10/arizona-massacre-prompts-political-cheap-shots/

They pretty much have to respond this way because there just so much crazy shit that's come up with guns and "taking" Giffords out. Plus of course, a lot of the rhetoric that guy has used in his youtube vids are textbook Tea Party...

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Jan 10 2011 20:30
Juan Conatz wrote:
The right is fighting back at the heat they're getting from this

e.g., they're surveyor's marks, not gunsights

Quote:
"We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights. It was simply cross-hairs like you'd see on maps,"

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/palin-aide-crosshairs-on-target-list-not-actually-gun-sights.php?ref=fpb

Quote:
Late update: A reader points out that Palin herself referred to the crosshairs/gun sights as "bullseyes" after the election.
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Jan 10 2011 20:55

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Jan 10 2011 21:17
Quote:
By contrast, this Loughner feller seems like a mentally disturbed kid who probably has more in common with the Colombine shooters

I don't agree. I think of all the mass shootings in the US, Columbine stands apart in many ways. Theatrical violence and nihilism is far different from right-wing crackpottery. Most of the written statements and whats been released of the videos made by the Columbine killers mock the lone nut gunmen with his manifesto types, as well as people like this guy who aren't able to kill large enough numbers of people 'in style'- generally through making fun of the earlier, much smaller school shootings in the US in the years prior to Columbine over personal crap (like that young kid in Arkasnas or somewhere down South with a .22 rifle who shot a girl he liked after pulling the fire alarm).

Quote:
Stack, as Chomsky correctly points out imo, is symptomatic of the increasingly desperate state of many (if not most) American workers, who in the absence of any coherent radical message from the left, have latched onto the anti-government diatribes of Beck & co

I don't think thats the case. Not ten minutes ago I spotted several reactionary bumper stickers on the highway- a confederate flag with the words "LET IT FLY!", "pro-god, pro-gun, anti-obama", etc. Cracks about lazy blacks and worthless immigrants are epidemic- however, these same rural workers with bigoted ideas will stand with and defend the unions around here (associating the trades and mining unions with working class self-defense from big business) and their fellow workers in the community.It isn't so simple as 'the left is weak so the right gets all the attention'. Even in the days of the violent stand-offs and union battles from the 1870's-1930's, most of those workers had reactionary ideas (anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic, anti-black, etc) while at the same time engaging in solidarity actions, violent battles against the police, military and company goon squads, self-organization, etc. It'd be a mistake to associate a liberal mentality (anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-rightwing) with worker militancy or progress along that front. Even if the rural area where I'm at had a huge 'union reform'/'social unionism' movement and strong 'left' presence, I don't believe these thoughts and prejudices would change significantly, or that the minority of ideological right-wingers would go anywhere.

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Jan 10 2011 22:11

So from the little I've followed this, the right seems to be making a big fact that the shooter listed the Communist Manifesto as his favorite book... (Neglecting to mention that he also lists Mein fucking Kampf--of course the Nazis were socialists, weren't they?).

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Jan 10 2011 22:18

Seems like Beck is doing his whole show today trying to deflect that the right is responsible. Trying to say he just was a mentally ill person. Brings up how blaming the right is like blaming Islam for 9/11.

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Jan 10 2011 22:51
Juan Conatz wrote:
Seems like Beck is doing his whole show today trying to deflect that the right is responsible. Trying to say he just was a mentally ill person. Brings up how blaming the right is like blaming Islam for 9/11.

Would love to see clips if anyone has them. Would also like to see how Stewart interprets it. I'm always fascinated by how comedians deal with intensely serious subject matter. It's a high stakes high wire act, IMO.

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Jan 11 2011 13:54
Chilli Sauce wrote:
So from the little I've followed this, the right seems to be making a big fact that the shooter listed the Communist Manifesto as his favorite book... (Neglecting to mention that he also lists Mein fucking Kampf--of course the Nazis were socialists, weren't they?).

Actually the Tea-bagger on Newsnight said exactly that: "He was clearly a leftist, he listed books like Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto as favourites...". i.e., from a Tea Party perspective the Nazis were lefies and socialists. I shit you not. Check it on BBC iPlayer (unless it was on Channel 4 news?? not sure)

Also, check out this youtube of "semi-automatic" glock with extended 32 round mag that yer man used.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KE_cz56HSRM

"When you absolutely, positively have to shoot every motherf***er in the room"

Not a lot of use for hunting or target practice or... well anything other than mass murder, basically.

But underneath the guns and the partisan politics of point-scoring (NB the Democrats also issue a map of target states in the congressionals, their's had bullseyes rather than scope sights, but whatever...) is the question of health care - mental health care.

This guy was thrown out of college for being mentally disturbed such that both teachers and students said they were afraid that one day he would produce a gun and shoot them all. The NYT article directs attention to the kid's home life, specifically his Dad who was apparently jobless and isolated from the neighbours apart from his occassional violent and paranoid outbursts over trivial or imagined sleights over garbage collection or what have you.

Clearly the big question is, why on earth did the college discharge the kid without referring him to mental health - even when they said that he couldn't come back to school without going to see them.

Why? Because that would be pinko commie socialist state health care of course. Not to mention tynrannical state interference into the sancticty of the family and the god-given right of parents to beat or abuse their kids into psychosis.

But of course, absolutely no-one in the US is going to give a monkey's about that. The gun lobby is too strong for anyone to question the wisdom of selling assault weapons to the mentally deranged and the failure of care in the system is not as interesting (as in, would cost money to fix) as the opportunity to score points off the other side. Caligula would have blushed to preside over this level of cultural degeneration

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Jan 12 2011 03:28

interesting back and forth:

http://www.marxmail.org/msg86278.html

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Jan 12 2011 05:14

According to the NY Times, he is an "anarchist" of sorts.

"A friend of Mr. Loughner’s also said in an interview on Tuesday that Mr. Loughner, 22, was skilled with a gun — as early as high school — and had talked about a philosophy of fostering chaos...

The new details from Mr. Gutierrez about Mr. Loughner — including his philosophy of anarchy and his expertise with a handgun, suggest that the earliest signs of behavior that may have ultimately led to the attacks started several years ago...

He talked about reading Friedrich Nietzsche’s book “The Will To Power” and embraced ideas about the corrosive, destructive effects of nihilism — a belief in nothing."

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Jan 12 2011 05:25

Oh great.

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Jan 12 2011 07:24

FUCKING ANCAPS! S Keil you guys in CAP better start CAP'N some ANCAPS I TELL YA!

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Jan 12 2011 20:01

Fox News seems to be dedicating the majority of their programming to deflecting the heat the right wing/Tea Party is getting.

Also,

Quote:
Fearing tea party violence, four Arizona Republicans resign

District Republican chairman: 'I don't want to take a bullet for anyone'

Fearing violence from tea party activists, Arizona Legislative District 20 Republican Chairman Anthony Miller and several others tendered their resignation this week following mass shootings that left six dead and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) in critical condition.

Miller, a 43-year-old former campaign worker for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), said that verbal attacks and blog posts from members of the tea party had him fearing for the safety of his family, according to a report in The Arizona Republic.

"Today my wife of 20 yrs ask (sic) me do I think that my PCs (Precinct Committee members) will shoot at our home?" he wrote in an e-mail following the shootings. "So with this being said I am stepping down from LD20GOP Chairman...I will make a full statement on Monday."

Tea party members supporting J.D. Hayworth for senator in the midterm elections accused Miller, an African American, of being a "McCain's boy." One detractor had even made his hand into the shape of a gun and pointed it at Miller.

"I wasn't going to resign but decided to quit after what happened Saturday," Miller said. "I love the Republican Party but I don't want to take a bullet for anyone."

District 20 Republican Secretary Sophia Johnson, first vice chairman Roger Dickinson, former district spokesman Jeff Kolb also followed Miller's lead and quit.

"This singular focus on 'getting' Anthony (Miller) was one of the main reasons I chose to resign," Kolb reportedly wrote to another party activist.

Arizona state Sen. John McComish, who had supported Miller as chairman, told the paper that this battle for local party leadership is more extreme than others he'd seen.

"It's too bad," McComish said. "He didn't deserve to be hounded out of office."

Kolb explained that Miller had been elected chairman even after Sheriff Joe Arpaio made a personal appearance for tea party candidate Thomas Morrissey.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/01/fearing-tea-party-violence-arizona-republicans-resign/

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Jan 12 2011 20:20

Also, Sarah Palin doesn't know what a "blood libel" is.

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Jan 12 2011 21:57
Django wrote:
Also, Sarah Palin doesn't know what a "blood libel" is.

Ignorance on Sarah Palin's part? And getting in trouble with a natural Republican ally, the ADL? That's unpossible!

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Jan 12 2011 21:59

UGH. Her 'blood libel' comment was ridiculous. Why even bring something like that up? I've been following this whole episode out of morbid curiosity. It is interesting like a train wreck is interesting.

The way that the 'politics' of this incident have shaken out has been really typical and worthless. I put the word in scare quotes because, like much of what goes on in American politics, the discussion has been entirely self-contained and instrumental.

That is to say, each particular faction uses the fallout from a tragic event to attack the other and position themselves as the standard-bearer of decency and common sense. It's all very useless and banal, but very effective, I think, in channeling people's energy back into bourgeois politics, even when events occur that clearly exist outside of that realm.

I question even whether the liberal-left in the country are correct about this supposed increase in 'dangerous' and 'hateful' rhetoric coming from the far-right. (BTW, they would say the exact same about us if we were more powerful). Having lived through the 1990's in this country, I'm not entirely sure that actions and ideas of the right are historically more powerful or virulent than they were then.

As a libertarian communist, I'd like to say that the structural crisis of global capitalism has, like, uh, deepened the contradictions within the bourgeois state and led to greater antagonism between classes and a tendency for individuals to lash out because of today's human misery, etc etc. However, the 1990's were a supposed boom period and we got an Oklahoma City bombing and a Columbine massacre.

I guess what I'm saying is I don't think this incident matters except to the extent that it was a human tragedy. People died for no discernible reason besides one man's delusional madness. Sure, it was a Democratic politician who was targeted, but with this guy's paranoid background, it could have just as easily been Lady Gaga.

chebba
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Jan 12 2011 22:10

Now then, now then. I, too, have harboured thoughts of taking out certain MFs (cops, military) in a final rampage -- I can't face a lifetime of this shit. (I, too, am a loner.) But it's all fantasy stuff. If, on the other hand, I had a gun, and knew how to use it, I probably would. We don't (most of us) have guns; and all the while we await revolution, mother earth (labour is the “father”, the earth the “mother” of material wealth), we expect, will tolerate capitalism no longer. Indeed, given the poverty of both negative and positive power, another world war within my own lifetime seems a likely enough prospect. Does anyone care to enunciate a “moral” position on this evil plan? (The runaway death trolley thought experiment comes to mind.) Ah, fuck it. It would not conduce to anything good (i.e. scaring off potential recruits of police). Can someone just tell me what's the least painful way to top oneself? Pretty please.
Crackpot Cock

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Jan 12 2011 23:26
Schwarz wrote:
I question even whether the liberal-left in the country are correct about this supposed increase in 'dangerous' and 'hateful' rhetoric coming from the far-right. (BTW, they would say the exact same about us if we were more powerful).

I guess we don't even have to be powerful! Case and point:

Hillary Clinton wrote:
Based on what I know, this is a criminal defendant who was in some ways motivated by his own political views, who had a particular animus toward the congresswoman and I think when you cross the line from expressing opinions that are of conflicting differences in our political environment into taking action that's violent action, that's a hallmark of extremism, whether it comes from the right, the left, from al-Qaida, from anarchists, whoever it is. That is a form of extremism.
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Jan 13 2011 02:40
Schwarz wrote:
Having lived through the 1990's in this country, I'm not entirely sure that actions and ideas of the right are historically more powerful or virulent than they were then.

As a libertarian communist, I'd like to say that the structural crisis of global capitalism has, like, uh, deepened the contradictions within the bourgeois state and led to greater antagonism between classes and a tendency for individuals to lash out because of today's human misery, etc etc. However, the 1990's were a supposed boom period and we got an Oklahoma City bombing and a Columbine massacre.

Well, having lived through the 1980s as well, that was when this tendency for the Right (the neo-cons, 'moral majority', etc.) to go on the offensive against the left, against trade unions, against feminism, against 'affirmative action', against the welfare-state, etc. really took off, with the ascendancy of the 'Reagan revolution'. I think it has been getting worse over the past three decades, but especially within the past few years. I think that it is specifically as a result of the severity of the current economic crisis that there has been a significant increase in the antagonism between the dominant political factions of the American ruling class. Of course, it is the Right which is the principle purveyor of the most extreme vitriol, with the Left and even the Center primarily still in a defensive mode, as they have been for the past 30 years.

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Jan 13 2011 03:18
waslax wrote:
I think that it is specifically as a result of the severity of the current economic crisis that there has been a significant increase in the antagonism between the dominant political factions of the American ruling class.

I'm not sure that this is true. There seems to be a broad consensus among the ruling class on things like military spending, asset-price Keynesianism, international trade, etc. Where there are divides, on issues like health care and bailouts, they've actually done a pretty remarkable job of working together in the interests of capital.

The process you describe in the 1980's, the Reagan Revolution, was arguably a new alignment in ruling class interests, one that pulled all political stripes to the right and one that survives to this day. If the ruling class factions are so antagonistic today how were they able to so effectively 'resolve' the economic crisis against the interests of the working class? How were U.S. politicians and capitalists able to organize, along with the rest of the global ruling class, a bailout that pumped an estimated $20 trillion of liquidity into the world financial system?

And is the Right more dangerous or vitriolic today than it has been historically in the U.S.? I'm not sure about this either.

We can recount quite a few antecedents to the Tea Parties: the Redeemer Movement that introduced Jim Crow after Reconstruction; the quasi-fascist corporatist tendencies within the Right during the Great Depression; the John Birch Society in the 1950's and 60's; the right-wing militia movement of the 1990's.

In terms of grassroots radical conservatism, I'm not sure how we judge whether "it has been getting worse over the last three decades." Perhaps you can provide some metrics.

It appears to me that it is the working class is racked with antagonism and the capitalist class is doing a fine job of acting in their own interests.

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Jan 13 2011 06:33

Interesting critique, from an anarcho-type angle, of leftist need to portray this as a Tea Bag-inspired killing here:

Quote:
During those first few hours, the sense that the left hoped he was a Tea Partier was palpable. Self-righteous speeches were at the ready and fingers were warming up for enthusiastic wagging. Cathartic choruses of "I told you so" seemed about to break out at any moment. When now, as it seems more and more likely, it turns out he was just another madman in a country that seems to have made madness its chief commodity, just more wreckage from a collapsing society, you can feel the disappointment in the air.

is just one of its insights.