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Rob Kailey is a working schmuck with no ties or affiliations to any governmental or political organizations, save those of sympathy.

Encouraging the crazies

by: Jay Stevens

Sat Apr 04, 2009 at 19:48:08 PM MST

So. A 23-year-old kid opens fire on Pittsburg police and kills three. He donned a bulletproof vest and ambushed the officers with an "assault rifle." But the big news on the 'tubes is that the shooter -- Richard Poplawski -- had a thing for far-right conspiracy theories, and recently expressed a fear that Obama was going to take his guns. And the shooting took place three days after a screed on gun shows appeared in the Pittsburg Tribune.

Dave Niewert is all over this story, writing, "We've been reporting for a while on the surge in gun sales, and how the paranoia around guns is making the more unstable elements of the right particularly edgy. Inevitably, that edginess is going to break out into actual violence -- as it appears to have done today."

Of course, it's not ju st extremist rhetoric on firearms -- it's all over the place lately, even extending to calls to arms over sparkly dishes and embodied by the weird rantings that Glenn Beck has engaged in since getting his Fox News gig. But Poplawski obviously had mental issues. Kicked out of the Marine Corps. Arguing with neighbors. Shooting cops in the head. Is it fair to blame talking heads for this incident?

John Cole, in a post entitled "Glenn Beck's America":

...when you point out that certain individuals with all their talk about "revolution" and "armed insurrection" are inciting this kind of behavior in unstable people, you will get howls of protest about the 1st Amendment and what not. Sure, crazy people do crazy things. But that doesn't make it responsible to encourage them, which is what a lot of really foolish people are doing right now for purely political reasons.

And that's a legitimate point, I think. This kind of insane chatter used to be reserved for late-night AM shows and obscure online forums, but mainstream media has abetted, even encouraged this kind of rabble-rousing. Just think of Dan McGee's recent rant over abortion:

McGee said Republicans attempted to work with Democrats on these issues but it did not seem to take. He also compared abortion with slavery and predicted an upheaval comparable to the Civil War. "You bet there will be," McGee said.

Certainly (I hope) this was overheated rhetoric -- start a war over abortion? -- but if a Montanan lays waste to a health-care clinic that provides abortions to women who want them, how responsible is McGee? Wouldn't the senator deserve some censure?

And yet...there is no reprimand for McGee from anyone, neither his fellow legislators, nor the newspapers that are supposedly serving our communities. Shouldn't someone -- besides a partisan hack blogger, I mean -- step forward and let McGee know that a violent solution to a political problem won't be tolerated and demand that he recant his statement? Shouldn't we let these people know that extremism won't be tolerated in a democratic society?

Jay Stevens :: Encouraging the crazies
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It ain't just McGeek! (0.00 / 0)
Before McGeek, there was Natelson who encouraged another attack like the raid on Harper's Ferry, and ALL the catholic bishops and priests who create, encourage, and foster the climate of hate surrounding abortion.  Look, you want friggin' CRAZY?  Well, how bout all them religeeous cathoholics who think that it's a giant sized sin to allow Obama to speak at Notre Dame, yet they allowed even the nazi Bushes?  I hope they're all happy.  I hope that this serves as Natelson's Harpers Ferry.  I hope that maybe the priesty boys reconsidered their hate speech.  I hope the catholick Bushops stop inciting their sheep.  And I hope that others on the left find their cojones and get in some faces.  For you see, as I mentioned before, the hatemongers invest nothing except their bullshit.  They MUST be held accountable, one way or another.

Pittsburgh Cop-Killer Was Conspiracy Nut and Member of Stormfront (0.00 / 0)
Richard Andrew Poplawski was a young man convinced the nation was secretly controlled by a cabal that would eradicate freedom of speech, take away his guns and use the military to enslave the citizenry.


Mr. Poplawski's view of guns and personal freedom took a turn toward the fringes of American politics. With Mr. Perkovic, he appeared to share a belief that the government was controlled from unseen forces, that troops were being shipped home from the Mideast to police the citizenry here, and that Jews secretly ran the country.

"We recently discovered that 30 states had declared sovereignty," said Mr. Perkovic, who lives in Lawrenceville. "One of his concerns was why were these major events in America not being reported to the public."

Believing most media were covering up important events, Mr. Poplawski turned to a far-right conspiracy Web site run by Alex Jones, a self-described documentarian with roots going back to the extremist militia movement of the early 1990s.

Around the same time, he joined Florida-based Stormfront, which has long been a clearinghouse Web site for far-right groups. He posted photographs of his tattoo, an eagle spread across his chest.

"I was considering gettin' life runes on the outside of my calfs," he wrote. Life runes are a common symbol among white supremacists, notably followers of The National Alliance, a neo-Nazi group linked to an array of violent organizations.


The irony here (0.00 / 0)
is absolutely delicious.

What is ironic here? (0.00 / 0)
Gonna need some clarification on that one, TMM.

[ Parent ]
Just this: (0.00 / 0)

Shouldn't we let these people know that extremism won't be tolerated in a democratic society?

But this site tolerates Jed just fine.  If he makes that 'Karma' comment on my property, he doesn't just get troll rated, he gets banned, just like any other twisted bigot rightly should. Unless, that is, one is into enabling the crazies.

[ Parent ]
commenters, trolls, etc. (0.00 / 0)
Hm. I'm not sure that's a fair comparison. Jed's an online troll who gets slapped down by the community and LiTW bloggers when he crosses a line. And he's in no way paid to comment here, or of (as far as I know) held in much respect by people here. He's neither a multi-million-dollar pundit with a large following, or an elected official. He's kind of nutty.

Now, LiTW doesn't ban folks for being trolls. That's a decision Matt made (?) ages ago. There are questions of legality, ownership, liability involved, and we're not sure having and using the power to ban is the best way to go about our business. Instead, we implemented a troll-rating system where the community can essentially ban trolls by rating comments poorly. In short the comments belong to you, the readers.

In Jed's case, for comments made in poor taste recently, a couple of conservative bloggers purposefully rated his comments high to ensure they remain on the site, and then exploited the comments for a couple of posts.

To make a long story short, if you think Jed's comments are extremist, in poor taste, and crossing a line, say so, and rate him down.

[ Parent ]
I did rank that comment a 0 (0.00 / 0)
The question is how you let people know that extremism isn't tolerated on this blog.  You're asking for McGee's comments to have consequences, what are Jed's?  A "slapdown"?  A troll rating?  Yeah, just like the response from our newspapers and legislators, that will stop it from happening again.

[ Parent ]
It's not a great comment policy, I admit... (0.00 / 0)
Maybe we do need to do some more heavy-handed policing of the site.

Still, I'm not sure what you're getting at. You don't want him to comment at all? We've definitely let him -- and the readership -- know we think he crossed the line. And essentially that's what I'm asking newspapers to do. I didn't demand McGee's resignation, just someone to step forward and say, hey, that's pretty crazy. That shouldn't be the rhetoric in Helena.

And Jed's not a pundit here, we don't pay him to write, and he's not a feature of the blog. I didn't judge Fox News for what comments viewers leave on Bill O'Reilly's website, why should I be held to a different standard than the one I asked for?  

[ Parent ]
Time for a little DEEEFlection here. (0.00 / 0)
Look, Jay, McGeek and Natelson, both firmly in the conservative camp, are friggin' nuts!  And poor little tmm just can't ACCEPT that.  Hence, tmm picks on poor old Jed, the most inoffensive poster around, in an attempt to deflect the issue at hand.  Hell, I mean would YOU want these two morons, McGeek and Natalson, on your side?  I wouldn't.  Tmm DESERVES McGeek and Natelson!  Conservatives are wackos, pure and simple.  And I guess  it's a hard truth to accept when they open their mouths let fly.  You see, I would ask tmm, Natelson, and McGeek just HOW their "civil war" would look!  I mean, really,  who really GIVES a sh*t  about abortion other than the wackjobs!  So, when the shootin' starts, who ya gonna shoot?  Will people have to wear  an armband with an "A" for anti, a "P" for pro, and a "D" for don't give a sh*t?  I'm confused. For the LIFE of me I can't envision a civil war over a bunch of cells!  I think that it's incumbent on the wacks to explain the RULES for this civil war they want so badly.  It's crazy AND it's goofy.  The ONLY  thing that they can do is snipe at abortion providers.  Not much of a war I'd say.

But when the wacks get on national television and start talking about the military overthrowing Obama, THEN I take real offense.  If that ever happens, that's when I pull out my assault rifle and start shooting.  For you see, that's called treason.  And treason is punishable  by death.

[ Parent ]
I suppose, Jay, that our view of just consequences might be at odds. (0.00 / 0)
What form of censure should McGee face?  A resolution condemning his words? An editorial calling him out? Or should the people who elected the idiot kick his ass down the road?  The last would be my preference, and I assumed we agreed on that.  If I assumed incorrectly, then we may have different ideas relating to the consequences of one's actions. If my assumption is correct, however, then we should also be able to agree that lines can and should be drawn wherein certain bad behavior has a steeper price than a reprimand.  

[ Parent ]
The Crazy leading the crazy (0.00 / 0)
It's fine and appropriate to point out that Pawplowski was a conspiracy nut, but such things hardly happen in a vacuum.It takes more than one nutter to foment action.  And some of the nutcases are paid by Fox News.  Take it away, Glenn Beck.

Fess up (0.00 / 0)
I dearly want to read your rant about why this matters at all in the current discussion, such as it is.

[ Parent ]
I'm not going to your site o' plagiarism. (0.00 / 0)
You got an argument to make here, make it here.

[ Parent ]

You either get it or you don't.

This fella did... http://tommychristopher.wordpr...

Before I start, let me say that I'm pretty sensitive to this kind of thing.  I always hate the way the media covers these unbesttragedies.  It's always all about the scumbag who killed people, and the dead are just "the victims."  What was he thinking?  Why did he do it?  Where's his Facebook page?

Having said that, and having written about the way blogs on both sides play politics with cooling corpses, I have to say that DailyKos frontpager Dana Houle and Kos himself have earned my "Unbest Individuals Upon the Earth" award (patent pending).  So badly have they made me sick to my stomach that I am resigning as a DailyKos diarist and reader. Here's why:

Click for visual proof: http://tommychristopher.files....

Dana Houle is a Daily Kos frontpager, not some tinfoil diarist, and Markos is the public face of the liberal blogosphere.  Granted, his influence isn't what it used to be, but he is still the most recognizable, the most closely-associated liberal blogger out there.

When I saw his re-Tweet, I was stunned, and I hadn't even heard about the Pittsburgh shooting yet.  I thought he was talking about the shooting in Binghamton.  When I looked back at Houle's Tweet, and I found the story of the three policemen who were killed yesterday, I could not believe my eyes.  As you can see, I tried to get Markos to explain his re-Tweet, unable to believe that these two would be joking about this at all, let alone hours after the tragedy.

As you've stated yourself regarding your buddy jed, not everything need be politicized.

[ Parent ]
Rusty Fail (0.00 / 0)
You still haven't shown why Kos's opinion matters to this discussion here, cupcake.  Some blogger is pissed at Markos, and you think anyone here should care.

Nice try, kitten.

[ Parent ]
I don't expect anyone here to care (0.00 / 1)

[ Parent ]
Oh. Okay. (0.00 / 0)
You're just trolling.  Why not say so and have done with it?  Could it be ...

Cowardice?  Sure as the hell looks like it.

[ Parent ]
You have your perceptions and ideology (0.00 / 0)
and I have mine.

You either blame the shooting on the likes of Glenn Beck and Conservatism as a whole or you blame the shooting on the sick ****er that pulled the trigger.  

What say you, kitten?

[ Parent ]

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