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    • 2020 Fundraiser Update
      We’ve raised just under $6,000 so far, which means we’ve reached the first goal at $5,000 – five linked articles in a series about political concepts and how to actually use them. Most people learn political and economic concepts, but the knowledge really does them no good, since they no on explains when they work […]
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Colorado

Update: guys? Has anyone else noticed that the Norway shootings happened almost exactly a year ago? This shooting was two days short of that anniversary. As in Norway, the targets were young people and children. Could this be a copy cat killing?

I blame myself for not being on top of the Colorado theater shooting. I was blissed out on photos of a vacation. But commenter Rangoon composed a comment about violence that I thought was worth posting. I hope he/she doesn’t mind.

As a geezer It’s hard for me to process the violence that is all all around us, some is called entertainment, some is called the war on terror, while this new lead story of violence brings our leaders together to call for America to “come together as a family”

From a 2008 review of the previous Batman film:

“But the greatest surprise of all – even for me, after eight years spent working as a film critic – has been the sustained level of intensely sadistic brutality throughout the film.”

Dark Knight 2008
the film begins with a heist carried out by men in sinister clown masks. As each clown completes a task, another shoots him point-blank in the head. The scene ends with a clown – The Joker – stuffing a bomb into a wounded bank employee’s mouth. After the murderous clown heist, things slip downhill. A man’s face is filleted by a knife, and another’s is burned half off. A man’s eye is slammed into a pencil. A bomb can be seen crudely stitched inside another man’s stomach, which subsequently explodes. A trussed-up man is bound to a chair and set alight atop a pile of banknotes. A plainly terrorised child is threatened at gunpoint by a man with a melted face. It is all intensely realistic.

“I [make a] distinction between violence which is clearly fantastical in origin, such as that in Harry Potter, and that which is realistic and sadistic in tone, such as that in The Dark Knight.
The former might well bother younger children afterwards, and even give them horrifying nightmares – scarcely desirable in itself – but the latter is more likely to taint their fundamental vision of the world and adult norms of behavior…”

“As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family.
-Barack Obama

And speaking of “intensely sadistic brutality”-
“There has been a great increase in US strikes,” said Muhammad Nawaz, a tribal elder in North Waziristan. “The people feel terrorised because we hear the drones in the sky most of the time.
Few children attend school because they fear for their lives walking to and from their homes.
The tribal elders are afraid to gather together in jirgas, as had been our custom for more than a century. The mothers and wives plead with the men not to congregate together. They do not want to lose any more of their husbands, sons, brothers, and nephews. People in the same family now sleep apart because they do not want their togetherness to be viewed suspiciously through the eye of the drone. They do not want to become the next target… ”come together as a family?
“I saw my father about three hours before the drone strike killed him. News of the strike didn’t reach me until later, and I arrived at the location in the evening. When I got off the bus near the bazaar, I immediately saw flames in and around the station. The fires burned for two days straight. I went to where the jirga had been held. There were still people lying around injured. The tribal elders who had been killed could not be identified because there were body parts strewn about. The smell was awful. I just collected the pieces of flesh that I believed belonged to my father and placed them in a small coffin.”

———————
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/2461820/Our-attitude-to-violence-is-beyond-a-joke-as-new-Batman-film-The-Dark-Knight-shows.html

From: The Trembling Voices of Those Terrorized by America’s Drone Campaign
http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2012/05/31/silent-trembling-voices/

“As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9414987/Denver-shooting-Obama-calls-for-unity.html

We are so lucky to have been born here and not some place where blowing people up is a commonplace occurance, and so stupid to fritter all of our hard work away by failing to keep guns out of the hands of troubled people.
Dear Colorado, we are keeping you in our thoughts.

A History of Violence

Something is very wrong with Amy Bishop, and there has been something wrong with her for a very long time. But just what is her problem, and how did she manage to keep it at least somewhat under control for so long? As a psychologist, I have found this story so fascinating that I have barely been able to focus on anything else for the past few days.

Amy Bishop is a professor at the University of Alabama at Huntville who shot six of her colleagues at a Biology Department meeting on Friday, February 12. She had taken a 9-millimeter pistol with her to the meeting, loaded with 16 bullets. She did not have a permit for the weapon. She has been charged with one count of capital murder and three counts of attempted murder so far. From The New York Times:

Those killed were Gopi Podila, 52, the chairman of the biology department; Maria Ragland Davis, 50, a professor who studied plant pathogens; and Adriel Johnson, 52, a cell biologist who also taught Boy Scouts about science.

Two of the wounded were Joseph Leahy, 50, a microbiologist, and Stephanie Monticciolo, 62, a staff assistant, both of whom were in critical condition. The third was Luis Cruz-Vera, 40, a molecular biologist, who was released from the hospital on Saturday.

A neuroscientist with a PhD from Harvard University, Bishop was working on a start-up company to market a portable cell incubator that she had invented with her husband. The couple had won the $25,000 seed money in an Alabama business competition. Bishop and Anderson have four children, the oldest of whom is 18.

Bishop had been denied tenure twice by her department, and her appeal had been denied in April of 2009. At the end of the Spring semester she would have had to leave UAH. She felt she had been unfairly treated because of personality issues, and had apparently retained a lawyer to help her fight the decision. However, with her qualifications, Bishop should have been able to find another teaching job easily. On the other hand, why did she end up at UAH in the first place when she had such outstanding qualifications?

My excuse for writing about this at TC is that, according to the Boston Herald, quoting “a family source,” Bishop

was a far-left political extremist who was “obsessed” with President Obama to the point of being off-putting.

In addition, many right-wing blogs are trying to turn this tragic story into a political issue, claiming that Amy Bishop is a radical socialist, and supposedly that should explain her losing control and going on a shooting rampage.

At least one blog is suggesting the shootings were based on race, because most of the people Bishop shot were people of color. I also saw this suggestion made on Twitter several time yesterday.

…Bishop shot almost every non-white faculty member in the department. (She also shot and wounded two white victims, a professor and a staff member.) She killed both African-American professors in the department (one of whom was too junior to have had anything to do with Bishop’s tenure decision). She killed the department chair, who was ethnically South Asian. A Latino faculty member was wounded. There may only be two non-white faculty left in the department. Whether she intended it or not, Amy Bishop effected a racial purge of the Alabama Huntsville biology department.

The following is a summary of what I have learned about Amy Bishop so far. Continue reading

Will Obama Call the Murder of George Tiller What it is–Terrorism?

Dr. George Tiller

Dr. George Tiller

George Tiller, 67, a Witchita, KS doctor who performed abortions was shot dead inside his Lutheran church this morning during the service. His wife was in the choir at the time. This is terrorism, and it is evil. Dr. Tiller was targeted as part of a concerted effort to intimdate women who need and seek abortions and the doctors who help them. May he rest in peace.

Apparently Dr. Tiller had been a target of anti-abortion forces for years. He was previously shot in both arms and his clinic was bombed, yet he went on doing the work he believed in.

Dr. Tiller, who had performed abortions since the 1970s, had long been a lightning rod for controversy over the issue of abortion, particularly in Kansas, where abortion opponents regularly protested outside his clinic and sometimes his home and church. In 1993, he was shot in both arms by an abortion opponent but recovered.

Dr. Tiller had also been the subject of many efforts at prosecution, including a citizen-initiated grand jury investigation. In the latest such effort, in March, Dr. Tiller was acquitted of charges that he had performed late-term abortions that violated state law.

Many are celebrating Tiller’s death today.

Anti-abortion groups like Operation Rescue are hypocritically rushing to condemn the killer’s act, but they incited it over many years.

The “Tiller Watch” page is no longer available of Operation Rescue’s website. But this is a group that made it its business to learn the identities of Tiller’s family and employees. It publicized their home addresses and, yes, it publicized where Tiller went to church….Operation Rescue is by no means the only group….They made the fight personal and up close. They should not be surprised, or pretend to be appalled, upon learning the news that Sunday, in a house of worship, a murderer got too close.

Ann Coulter has been an enthusiastic voice calling for Tiller’s murder:

In fact, the hands are many in the death of George Tiller, some more directly than others. Take Ann Coulter, for example. I watched her describe, to a church full of right-wing activists, abortion-clinic doctors and health care personnel who were murdered as either having been shot, “…or, depending on your point of view, had a procedure performed on them with a rifle.” And she’s still out there today, spewing the same bile with violent force.

Interestingly, a worker at Tiller’s clinic was honored at the White House during a Memorial Day luncheon on May 26, yet so far we have heard no comment from President Obama on Tiller’s murder.

Will he speak out? I imagine he’ll eventually be dragged kicking and screaming to the teleprompter to say a few mealy-mouthed words. But will he denounce this crime as an act of terrorism? I’d have to say that is highly unlikely. I hope I’m proven wrong.

UPDATE 1: President Obama released a statement a short time ago:

I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence.

I was right. It was pretty mealy-mouthed. Abortion is a “difficult issue?” Why not take an opportunity to defend the courageous doctors who keep helping women at the risk of their own lives? Why not defend the rights of women to make decisions about their own bodies? Oh yeah, because he doesn’t believe those things. Never mind….

Update 2: The AP has a list of abortion-related violent events.

Update 3: Seriously mentioned this website, A Heartbreaking Choice, in a comment on the previous thread. They have stories of women who were helped by Dr. Tiller.


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