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    60 Minutes On Loughner

    60 Minutes On Loughner

    I just watched a 60 Minutes segment on Jared Loughner, which included interviews with some of his friends.

    The segment confirmed that Loughner’s grudge against Gabrielle Giffords dates back at least to the time he met her in 2007, when he posed a question to her at an event she did not answer.  The question was bizarre, having to do with the meaning of words.  A form letter from Giffords thanking Loughner for his attendance was saved by Loughner, who wrote on the envelope “die bitch.”

    Loughner’s slow slide into a bizarre nihilist word of dreams was known to his friends, and appears to have worsened until he cut off most contact in March 2010.  Enrolled in school at the time, Loughner immediately started disrupting classes in a menacing manner.

    The segment also included interviews with the authors of a Secret Service study which showed that political assassins, at least in the U.S., almost never are motivated by politics.  Loughner appears to fit the prototype of the mentally disturbed assassin focused on personal fame and a need to address fictional problems created by their diseased minds.

    The segment left me with several emotions.  First, I was impressed with the professionalism of the Secret Service, which tracks people deemed potential threats to the President or Presidents for years.

    Second, I wonderered whether our educational and medical privacy laws, and fear of lawsuits, may have contributed to the failure to alert appropriate authorities as to Loughner’s menacing behavior.

    But most of all, I was left with a disgust at how the left-wing blogosphere, the mainstream media, and Sheriff Dupnik tried to spin, and still try to spin, Loughner’s crime as the fault of right-wing political rhetoric. 

    Not only are such accusations against Sarah Palin, the Tea Parties and conservatives devoid of factual basis, such accusations also fly in the face of the history of political assassinations as documented by the Secret Service. 

    A moment or two of reflection and research after the shooting would have revealed much of what we now know, but some people did not want to let facts and research get in the way of a political narrative.

    Update:  Thanks to Trochilus (in the comments) for the video link of the program.  Like the child forced to write “I will not talk in class” one hundred times on the blackboard for bad behavior, Paul Krugman should be forced to watch this segment 100 times:


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    @jds09201 and @Timothy

    While you strain and wheeze to pin scurrilous charges against groups and people that you disagree (and would like to squelch), one thing remains clear. The fish rots from the head down.

    Cue all the Obama quotes of violent rhetoric.

    Bring a gun to a knife fight. Terrorists (republicans, not muslim extremists). Whose ass to kick. Get in your neighbor's face. I don't want to quell anger, I'm angry. Get out of the way. Gearing up for a fight. Hit back twice as hard. Punish our enemies. Shake them (Michelle, referring to those who aren't 'on board' with the 'O' train). Itching for a fight. Hand-to-hand combat.

    These are all things uttered by your 'messiah', and leader of your party. At least the ones we know about! Deal with it.

    Again, none of this applies to Loughner–though his comments on worthless "currency" and "violating the Constitution" are somewhat suspect, and I wonder if they weren't somehow indirectly provoked by the Tea Party–but the point is, politics should not be a war. Healthy debate is fine, but when one party resorts to eliminationist rhetoric (as Krugman puts it), that party has clearly crossed the line, period.

    JDS, when have you Dems ever opted for "healthy debate"? As for violent rhetoric, you lefties are the champs. Compare any Tea Party rally to any liberal rally; the latter will have signs and posters calling for assassination and death to Republicans; or you have pundits calling for Sarah Palin to be murdered or raped. Then there was the GOP National Convention where leftists rioted in the streets and broke windows in shops and set cars on fire.

    The only revolution the Tea Parties have supported are those at the ballot box; but it is the left's advocacy of violence, constant voicing of hatred and slander that create the atmosphere for something more.

    Timothy, Reagan did no such thing. This false meme has been propagated by the left for years. Changes in California's mental health policies and procedures was changed due to your liberal ACLU's lawsuits and pressure to cease the involuntary commitment of the mentally ill. The Lanterman-Petris-Short act replaced the large state hospitals with county operated mental health care systems and provided a legal basis for institutionalizing patients.

    As for your claims of violent rhetoric by Hannity, Beck, O'Reilly and others, please provide at least one specific example, or we will simply write you off as ranting crank of no crebibility whatsoever. I'm betting that you can't.

    Stogie: the left doesn't have to provide any examples of the violent rhetoric they claim comes from Beck, Rush, Palin, etc. They don't have to because, once pressed into the corner, they realized they can't. There isn't any proof.

    A lack of proof hasn't stopped the left, though. Now it's "stochastic dog whistles" whipping us all into a frenzy. A few months ago it was "code language" which proved we were all racists hiding in plain sight.

    BTW, Beck has released a non-violence pledge, which he's asked all lawmakers and other leaders to sign. Gee… if the left is truly concerned about violent rhetoric leading to violent actions, you'd think they'd jump at the chance to denounce violence, wouldn't you? And yet… for some strange reason, they're utterly unwilling to support Beck's non-violence pledge.

    Huh… if one didn't know better, it might almost appear as if the left is just using this talk about how scary violent rhetoric is as some kind of smokescreen or something…

    Um… I posted links illustrating actual cases of nuts who followed the cast from Fox "news" and various members of the right-wing hate talk machine. If you want to "refudiate" them — go right ahead.

    The ACLU fought for patient rights Reagan fought to cut funding for patient care. There is a big difference.

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