Re: Adam Lanza's Mother

1

Shameful confessions here? The school shooting didn't hit me that hard. It's sad, and terrible, but people are dying horribly all over the world, all the time, and I'm not viscerally disturbed by that either (I should be, to the extent that it's compatible with remaining functional at all, but I'm not. Any compassion I have for people in trouble far away I have to get to intellectually, because my gut doesn't do it for me). Whatever part of my mind it is that draws the distinction between "Far away and not my problem" and "People I know and care about", this incident got categorized as "not my problem."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:29 AM
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Lisa Tessman's _Burdened Virtues_ has an interesting discussion relevant to 1 in the chapter "Between Indifference and Anguish". Maybe only of interest to academic philosophers, though I hope not.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:33 AM
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There are so many weird things about that original piece and its author. I haven't read the debunkeration. I also failed to read a length response to the debunkerizing. I almost suggested on (somebody else's) FB just now that the correct response to climate change was for every American to start machine-gunning CO2 but then I thought "too soon!" so I put it on twitter.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:34 AM
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I compartmentalized it as "not my problem" at first, but pretty soon I clicked through on the links, and that was the end of that.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:35 AM
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for every American to start machine-gunning CO2

I don't understand this.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:36 AM
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A good friend of mine posted on her fb page today about her experiences growing up with a mentally ill father. She made a lot of good points, among them that when Reagan closed down most inpatient facilities it was advocates for the mentally ill who pushed hardest for it, believing that community based treatment centers would somehow spring up. They never did. There's also a tendency among advocates for the mentally ill to believe that because a person's actions are driven by their disease rather than malign intent they are harmless.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:36 AM
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I mean, I know it's a joke, I just don't get how the sentence works.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:37 AM
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How do you go on raising kids in light of what happened yesterday?

People actually ask strangers that? I'd be unable to resist saying, "Fuck you clown." Or, "It turns out that you have to feed them every day regardless of how sad the TV is."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:38 AM
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Guns solve problems.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:38 AM
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You know, not going on raising your kids after a tragedy isn't really much of an option.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:38 AM
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1: I have oddly internalized this as being very much in my personal sphere of concern, despite not having kids or any connection to the people directly involved. It's rattled me in a way that stuff closer to home has not.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:38 AM
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believing that community based treatment centers would somehow spring up.

There was an actual federal law saying that they would, and they did open. It's kind of a complicated issue.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:39 AM
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I suppose it's not really that complicated. Social welfare got shorted on dollars.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:40 AM
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Actually, wait, it was turning on the radio that broke my bubble. Stupid radio.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:42 AM
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I spend a lot of time at work doing things related to armed violence issues, and I have a kid who is the same age as so many of the victims. So this one hit me harder than I would have expected from my usual, calloused, self.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:43 AM
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10 occurred to me, too. I was mostly startled and confronted, and he's talking about guns while pointing at my kids, and I react to confrontation by crying in general. It's annoying and often out of sync with my internal state.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:44 AM
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1) My daughter called yesterday to see if not being overcome with anguish and displaying it at every opportunity meant anything significant given the competitive displays of emotionality on Facebook. Her reactions and mine parallel yours.



Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:48 AM
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I don't understand 3 either.

Also it is nice that the "Doing anything is impossible and probably counterproductive as we learn from Econ 101" crowd of mainstream liberal pundits have shifted from saying "Why are you talking about this now? Why not last week?" to saying "Supporting legislation targeted at the occasional gun massacre is a waste of time. What you would really do if you are smart like I am, although nobody is smart like I am so this will never happen, is to support legislation targeted at the gun violence that happens every day."


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:49 AM
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What Moby said at 8; also what Beyerstein said at the link.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:50 AM
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I suppose it's not really that complicated. Social welfare got shorted on dollars.

This is correct. And when the president promises, in front of grieving parents in Newtown and a national audience, to do everything in his power to make things better, I assume this is what he has in mind. Plus, maybe some not-particularly-effective gun regulations. Still, it was a good speech.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:53 AM
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How do you go on raising kids in light of what happened yesterday?

"I can't. I'm on my way to dump these two right now."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:54 AM
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To raise children after Auschwitz is barbaric.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:56 AM
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21: "You want 'em?"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:01 AM
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"I know. I've hired Ann Coulter as a governess."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:04 AM
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The school shooting didn't hit me that hard. It's sad, and terrible, but people are dying horribly all over the world, all the time, and I'm not viscerally disturbed by that either

Huh. For most people I would have thought this was more of an "out of sight, out of mind" issue, in that the people dying horribly all over the world would be more unsettling if live news coverage of their deaths was plastered all over every media outlet in the country, the way the tragedy in Newtown has been.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:05 AM
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I note that this hit me a lot less hard than Dunblane simply because my youngest is now 22, and when the Dunblane massacre happened she was in primary school and I heard of it while walking to collect her.

This isn't a thing to be either proud or ashamed of, it seems to me. I'm just surprised that the tremendously fierce protective and simultaneously vulnerable emotions that hit me when I became a parent do very slowly and perhaps partially wear off as your children don't need that stuff any more.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:05 AM
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I have a friend with a kid who became psychotic, violent, and sexually aggressive towards her when he hit puberty. It was scary for quite some time but they had the income to get good and continuing treatment. Near as I can tell, he's pretty functional now and I'm not getting fear vibes from his family.

Money and available resources make one hell of a difference.

The next time some fuckhead of a politician says they'll provide a new structure after some proposed demolition, demand to see the structures in place first.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:08 AM
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27.1: I'm confused, your friend had a kid before he hit puberty?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:12 AM
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The Anders Breivik case somehow hit me harder than this, seemed more terrifying. Perhaps because it was also a premeditated and coldly logical act of political terrorism, and just the way it was carried out and the scale of the carnage.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:12 AM
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||

I Am Adam's Friend

[Still sad, but also inspiring. He was an amazing person.]

||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:16 AM
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I dunno, I feel like the deliberate massacre of a kindergarten class makes virtually every other mass shooting seem like a virtuoso display of rational calculation. Could just be relatively recent parenthood kicking in.


Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:17 AM
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Dunblane is close enough to where I grew up that a lot of people I knew had some loose connections to the town, some of my school friends had weekend jobs there, and I had a couple of acquaintances or friends of friends who lost relatives.* So I suppose that's one of the few things of this type that had any impact.

Without being callous about it, gun massacres in the US are so common that I barely pay attention to them. They are tragic for those concerned, and you can't help but find other people's grief moving when exposed to it, but on the whole, they don't have any emotional impact on me.

* not super close friends; one of my then-girlfriend's friends lost a cousin, my Dad knew some people on a nodding basis through the folk and hiking scene, etc but Scotland is a small enough country that you are only ever one or two degrees of separation from that sort of thing.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:20 AM
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28: You perhaps would do better to leave those to Moby.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:21 AM
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27. I too have a friend in that position, and everything you say is right. I haven't seen her lately, so I don't know how this has hit her, but I need to check in with her.

I'm just surprised that the tremendously fierce protective and simultaneously vulnerable emotions that hit me when I became a parent do very slowly and perhaps partially wear off as your children don't need that stuff any more.

I'm not. Evolution is brutally economical and that stuff takes resources that could be spent on another kid or grandchildren.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:21 AM
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competitive displays of emotionality on Facebook

I find those puzzling as well (not just in response to this but generally), but I have teared up repeatedly and easily over the past four days. Maybe having kids of my own that were sitting in kindergarten and 2nd grade classes at the time is a contributing factor.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:25 AM
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35: Oh, yes. The closer the actual parallels the more the imaginative and emotional linkages. I used to have nightmares about mushroom clouds when my kids were small (though I did manage to resist the Satanic Ritual Sacrifice scare).

Similarly, I'm still getting choked up whenever I run into something I know the DE was really into and it's been two years since. It's the price one pays for intense attachment.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:37 AM
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It's awful (and oddly embarrassing, even?), but apparently I blew all my tears two days earlier rereading the paragraph, near the beginning of Survival in Auschwitz, where Levi gives a brief, devastating eulogy for a three-year-old girl murdered at Auschwitz. I was at the library and became a complete sniveling wreck for hours; the sole tissue in my pocket took the entire hit. It really seems to have left me numb; I wouldn't have predicted it. (Well, and also, my main feeling about the shooting is overwhelming anger about U.S. politics. Maybe it's actually inspired a weeping strike: I won't shed one tear until those fuckers pay for making this possible...)


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:44 AM
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33: No, I'm sincerely confused. You meant when SHE hit puberty? That made the most sense, but I was unclear if there was some other relationship there that I was not getting.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:48 AM
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38: ???. The kid, who is the person with the mental health problem, is a boy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:50 AM
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Oh, wait a minute, now, in the context of the article in the OP, I am figuring it out.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:51 AM
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38: Sorry, I thought you were trying for a one-liner. Yes, my friend is the mother, the psychotic kid is male. I keep re-reading my post and don't see a problem with it but I must be too close to see it.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:00 AM
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41.last: It was reasonably clear to me what you meant. Just one of those things.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:08 AM
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Shameful confessions here? The school shooting didn't hit me that hard.

I'm with you.

(I wonder how much of this is down to having avoided the news coverage. And then I wonder why anyone *doesn't* avoid the news coverage.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:13 AM
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I read the "debunking" piece from a link on Ta-Nehisi Coates' blog this morning, and found it absolutely despicable. The debunker picks and chooses from the original writer's years worth of archives to come up with evidence that Long is a bad mother, blames her son's problems on her parenting and doesn't even bother to figure out that she has two teenage sons. A post about one teen's good behavior is waved as evidence that the post about the second teen (of a different age) is all lies. And it's vicious, for what reason? Maybe just that the internet makes people vicious. I'm glad to see that the link you posted debunks the debunker because that woman truly came across as an evil crazy to me, and I'm usually pretty tolerant.


Posted by: Sarah Wynde | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:14 AM
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I only read the original piece, not any of the debunkings or the undebunkings, but I thought it was good and really struck a chord. I think partly because I have two boys whose personalities are polar opposites, one of whose emotional outbursts are genuinely frightening, not in that I'm worried about being physically harmed (he's too small yet), but moreso in that we're basically just hoping he'll sort of grow out of it and the question "what if he doesn't?" has no obvious answer.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:20 AM
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I read a lot of blogs by parents whose kids are violent and unstable and insufficiently supported by current mental health options. There are some where it sure looks like parenting is exacerbating the problems, but I also know how hard it can be to be an acceptable parent for even mildly difficult kids and I'm sure unhealthy and ineffective patterns are easy to pick up and hard to drop. I didn't think the writer seemed tuned into some of the things she could have been in crafting the piece, but also it means that she's not even as clued in as I am to the support resources she could be finding online.

I didn't comment in the other thread because I, too, wasn't hit as hard by this as others were. In part it's that 6-year-old Nia got Intro to Gun Violence well before I came into the picture and my job has been to help her not be scared of fireworks or thunder without devaluing the reality of the dangers of the world as she knows them. Her school has already been doing lockdown drills for years. This shooting was sad and upsetting, as. They all are, but I sort of felt that if some innocence was breached it was not the safety of elementary school but people's faith in that safety. I don't know.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:38 AM
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43: The repetitive news coverage has a cumulative effect. I discovered that one when I was working at home and had CNN on all the time during the L.A. riots. It's a good thing there wasn't an Olympic torch run scheduled through the neighborhood then.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:40 AM
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I've teared up reading the news accounts, which I probably should have avoided. Also I don't think I'd have responded quite the same before my sister's kids were born.

Otherwise my response has been more in line with the "what the fuck? fuck everything" Onion article.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:40 AM
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This hit me harder than really any other national tragedy I can think of, but my wife has been wrecked by it. I feel like a heartless bastard for being sad, but not weeping.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:42 AM
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My response was "Oh, another one." But there haven't been any 6-year-old children in my vaguely close family since my 25-year-old sister was a 6-year-old child, so the hormonal responses are at or below baseline.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:44 AM
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People kept using the word "unspeakable", but they were speaking about it. It was unavoidable on FB, but I pretty thoroughly avoided it otherwise. AB actually didn't know at all until Saturday evening, when the kids were out of the room and I finally told her. With some misgiving, we sent Iris to school this morning blissfully ignorant. To a great extent, that's because we trust her principal to handle it appropriately in morning assembly, but it's also because there's not much to say about it.

Unspeakable.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:46 AM
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10: One day my daddy said there was too much bad in this world. He took a bullet, put it in his gun and spun the chamber. Then he took it in turns. Clicking it at each of us... until he blew the back of his head off with the final click.


Posted by: John Herod | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:47 AM
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I was in a holiday performance for my kindergartener on Friday (actually I was late and missed most of it because I'm a terrible father the baby was uncooperative getting out the door) and my wife texted me and said "send me a picture of him now. NOW." I did but it didn't go through because reception in the room was bad and she texted again "SEND ONE NOW." So I'm guessing she was upset at that particular moment after hearing the news.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:12 PM
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I agree with 1. I have to admit, I'd say I'm not a very empathetic person in general. I guess I've been slightly more willing to engage people in arguments online than I usually am, but not all that much more, I'm not getting all that heated when I do.

Actually thinking some more detailed thoughts about it which I'll link to or summarize here when/if I put them into words, but I can't do it right now.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:18 PM
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41: Yeah, no problem, I've been going over it in my head for a couple of hours, and now that I see what you meant, i.e. who the subject of the sentence was, it is totally clear, but I looked at it for several minutes initially without decoding it. Weird.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 12:36 PM
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49: but my wife has been wrecked by it. I feel like a heartless bastard for being sad, but not weeping.

I was more in LB's category while my wife was also wrecked. This led to some muted hostility last night as me and the the two kids who were home were processing it in a different way than my wife who was irretrievably mired in "everything is fucked and getting fuckeder" land and becoming increasingly annoyed that we would not join her there.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 1:03 PM
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The fact that the National Shooting Sports Foundation (a significant gun lobbying organization, arguably the 2nd most influential in the US) is located in freaking Newtown CT is weirding me out a bit.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 1:28 PM
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It seems a little different this time, like maybe the arguments of the gun fetishists (including, apparently, the mother) are ringing a lot hollower than the last several times. So maybe there's a shot at some magazine and ammo limits. Will they stop all such crime? No more than burglary laws. But it's funny how I don't see the gun nuts arguing for the repeal of laws against breaking into their houses and stealing their shit.

I've been horrified but not wrecked. Not seeing a TV (other than hooked to Netflix) is a very good thing.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 1:37 PM
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We relate things to our own circumstances. A few years ago, I was fairly regularly teaching a Friday afternoon section on a satellite campus. The cafeteria closed after lunch, the bookstore closed at noon. There was one other class scheduled on the entire campus in the afternoon. I remember thinking after the VaTech shooting that if someone with a grudge against the university came to that campus with a gun, there was a 50-50 chance he'd hit my classroom.


Posted by: Jim | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 1:43 PM
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Michael Moore: "If only the first victim, Adam Lanza's mother, had been a gun owner, she could have stopped this before it started."


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 1:47 PM
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I've been sad and upset but not wrecked, but I cannot look at any photos or read about the kids individually.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 1:50 PM
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It seems a little different this time, like maybe the arguments of the gun fetishists (including, apparently, the mother) are ringing a lot hollower than the last several times.

It seems that several Republicans who you wouldn't expect to hear this sort of thing from have come out and said that "some" sort of restrictions may be necessary. It was vague, but much more than we've heard in the past.

In addition to the fact that this shooting was horrific even by the already horrific standards of shooting sprees, I think the fact that there have been some damn many of these incidents recently may be effecting people's thinking. We seem to be well on target for one major mass shooting per month.

It seems like people are balking at the idea that we just need to suck it up and accept that as the new normal.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 1:51 PM
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I am all for my son's expanding his vocabulary, but I was made very unhappy yesterday by having to answer "Dad, what does 'massacre' mean?''.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 1:52 PM
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All of this has happened before, and it will happen again.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 1:54 PM
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Someone on my FB just posted a thing that's a b&w photo, a woman with a ca. 1-year-old kid on her hip, shotgun or rifle held casually in her other hand, pointing down (out of the frame). Background is a scrubby field, post and wire fences. Caption in black caps on the photo says A WISE AMERICAN MOM and at the bottom SHARE IF YOU AGREE. I can't quite parse wtf that is supposed to mean. I have thankfully so far resisted the urge to comment about the wisdom of Lanza's mom and her guns.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 2:02 PM
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I ran across a link to a Roger Ebert interview done after some prior massacre. The reporter had been told to ask him about violent video games.

He replied that he thought news coverage was a big problem, that the event, victims, and perpetrators became celebrities. Sounds about right to me. A private funeral is not national news.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 2:03 PM
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It seems a little different this time, like maybe the arguments of the gun fetishists (including, apparently, the mother) are ringing a lot hollower than the last several times.

One of my first thoughts was that the main reason none of these incidents has changed anything (in the long term conversation, let alone the actual politics and laws) is that the NRA is effectively unopposed. The Brady Campaign has done what it can, but it has no emotional salience, and it's not really grassroots (nobody starts a local branch after a local incident). But this incident, above all, could lead to something like MADD, and something like that would be incredibly powerful politically (especially after the NRA was shown to have no clothes in the '12 election).

One thing about a hypothetical Mothers Against Gun Violence is that it would be effective both wrt these massacres and regarding the daily gun violence that's the real problem. Imagine every candlelit vigil across the country - there must be dozens a day - as a catalyst for the movement. And once they start pushing the message that the NRA is an industry lobby, not a voice for gun owners....

Also, the point raised in 60 is probably a big reason that the gun lobby has been so ineffective in its responses - their go-to response, "if only someone had had a gun" is obviated by the very first step the killer took, and so they're reduced to, literally, suggesting that kindergarten teachers should pack heat, which is self-evidently obscene to anyone who isn't a gun worshipper.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 2:07 PM
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I had been somewhat more bothered by this one than previous shootings, just because I have a kid the same age. But 64 makes me want to fucking cry.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 2:11 PM
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60: Michael Moore pwned by John Emerson.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 2:21 PM
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Another thing that might be making the response to this shooting different is the general sense that the old white male demographic is losing its political punch. The gun nut movement has been really restricted to that demographic, in part because of choices made by the movement's leaders. Rather than making inroads with other groups, they've played to the racism, xenophobia, and machismo of their base.

But now there's a sense that old white dudes don't have veto power over American policy anymore. That's going to apply especially strongly to social issues where their views are particularly insane.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 2:28 PM
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57: Yes and reading that NYT story about how the town just recently has been having a political battle over an apparent shift towards militarized-style gun use had me wondering "what the hell?" Somehow that's more troubling to me than if this was just out of the blue in a town where there wasn't anything going on w/r/t guns.

I'm a bit surprised how long it's taking for anyone to say anything about motive.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 2:39 PM
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57: probably this is an ill-timed thing to say, but Newtown generally sounds like a not-so-nice place to me. Still, I've cried a lot, certainly more than my usual not at all, in the past few days, including during the president's remarks at the memorial service.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 2:44 PM
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Actually, I only cried during the part of the president's remarks when he read the names of the children. But I have a kid in kindergarten, so it was hard not to imagine him the victim of gun violence.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 2:46 PM
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72: I keep getting The Slits song running through my head.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 2:47 PM
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I want to post 64 on FB, but the caption in 64 is the perfect capture and I don't want to steal it.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 2:52 PM
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I totally have been tearing up, probably for the parent-of-similar-age-of-kid reasons expressed by many here. I don't remember being remotely similarly affected by Virginia Tech, although of course that was horrific as well.

My recurring mental image is of small children put to death on the altar of a false God and bullshit machismo.* Which goes beyond a "policy" reaction and, I'm sorry to say, has made me intolerant of even the fairly reasonable gun liking types, even those around here.

*Or, what Gary Wills said in that article.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 2:56 PM
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(I didn't mean to imply that I haven't teared up now and again over this thing. The President reading the names was pretty tough.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:06 PM
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That's okay, Halford. As long as any discussion goes "A->B->Fuck you, you psycho prevert" the legislation that's likely to result is the mandatory placement of Hello Kitty decorations on firearms so kiddies aren't scared before the bullet hits.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:06 PM
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I'm contemplating whether I could drive over to Westwood and give Eugene Volokh a masculinity-threatening beatdown. I guess that would probably make him even more of an asshole and I could go to jail.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:12 PM
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80

It seems a little different this time, like maybe the arguments of the gun fetishists (including, apparently, the mother) are ringing a lot hollower than the last several times.

I want this to be true, but I'm still skeptical. I've not seen any prominent Republicans come out in favor of new gun laws. And until that happens, I expect that not much will change in the realm of national politics. Relatedly, I'm curious how many Republicans in the House represent majority urban districts. I think that because of aggressive gerrymandering in recent years, the answer is probably very, very few. And if that's correct, it's difficult to imagine a Republican rep. getting too far out in front of the party's caucus on this issue. In the Senate, I might have thought that Scott Brown would lead, but a) he's gone; and b) I think he received more money than any other senator from the gun lobby. Then, as I've said before, there's the issue that the Democrats see the Southwest and Mountain West as the site of future gains for the party.

I hope I'm being overly pessimistic, but I fear not.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:22 PM
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Newtown generally sounds like a not-so-nice place to me

Why? (Honestly, I know nothing of the place at all. I had a doctor's appointment in Danbury last summer and after that popped over the river to FDR's house, so that was cool.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:24 PM
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81: as soon as I posted that comment, I regretted it. Still, the answer is, because of what JP said upthread: that it's the headquarters for the NSSF. And then also because of the reports about how the town has, in recent years, had serious squabbles between old-school and new-school gun enthusiasts (single-shot rifles versus assault weapons).

That said, I've subsequently decided that I was doing something similar to what the woman who debunked the Adam Lanza's mother post was doing: cherry-picking a couple of quite possibly random and/or irrelevant facts to indict an entity about which I know very little.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:31 PM
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You'll never promoted from historian to journalist with that attitude.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:36 PM
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@80 I've not seen any prominent Republicans come out in favor of new gun laws.

Here

and

here

So maybe there's hope. The change really surprised me since, from the way these folks acted in the aftermath of previous horrible mass shootings, I'd concluded that they were basically incapable of shame.

This time though, after the initial bluster about arming kindergarten teachers, they actually seem somewhat chastened.

Too soon to know if it will last.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:37 PM
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84: Scarborough's a journalist and known, by conservatives at least, as something of an iconoclast. Manchin's a Democrat. He's conservative, sure, but he's still a Democrat.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:40 PM
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I grew up in northeastern CT, and my grandparents owned a dairy farm just across the Housatonic from Newtown. When we visit family in the area, my father points out places where he mowed hay, and cut corn, that are now full of the most alienating suburban housing. When you think of the stereotypical Connecticut town, you're thinking of towns like Newtown.


Posted by: Light Rail Tycoon | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:40 PM
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I don't really have any Connecticut stereotypes. Can I just blend my Maine and New Jersey ones?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:42 PM
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87: here, just watch this.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:44 PM
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To be clear, I'm talking exclusively about national politics, in which realm it seems to that there's little incentive, at least so far, for Republicans to break ranks with the NRA. At the same time, leading Democrats are unlikely to do all that much unless someone can show the party hacks how they'll gain more votes in the process. And so when I see senators from California and New York trying to revive the assault weapons ban or insisting that we must have gun control NOW, I'm not very surprised. The case of Manchin is somewhat different, but he has no power to do anything, so it's not different enough to matter.) I'll become more optimistic if the president outlines clear policy goals or if a group of senators, ideally a bipartisan group, writes legislation that seems like it has a chance in hell of being filibuster-proof.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:46 PM
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87: Think Stepford Wives


Posted by: Light Rail Tycoon | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:46 PM
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87: or The Ice Storm


Posted by: Light Rail Tycoon | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:49 PM
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Was Manchin the guy with the campaign commercial where he shot a climate bill?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:49 PM
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I think VW is probably right, but it does feel like there's more momentum here for some kind of gun restriction now than at any time I can remember since the early 90s.

At the very least it might halt the "Republicans push for ever more crazy gun rules/Democrats do absolutely nothing to resist and ignore the issue" dynamic that's been around since at least 2000.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:50 PM
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No more masturbating (using only one hand, please) to Daniel Inouye, an actual American hero.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:51 PM
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92: A cap and trade bill, yes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:52 PM
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92 - yes.

Further to 93, I should probably include myself in the list of Democrats who just decided to not care very much about the issue for a long while.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:52 PM
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it does feel like there's more momentum here for some kind of gun restriction now than at any time I can remember since the early 90s

Agreed. I just don't think that momentum's going to take us much of anywhere.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 3:52 PM
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94: Oh no.

(When Tip O'Neill died Inouye told the story about his first day in the House. He walked up to Tip and told him how honored he was to be there and to be a part of his caucus. Tip said, "Congressman Inouye! We're honored to have you!" And Inouye answered, "Gosh, Mr Speaker. I'm flattered you know my name!" Tip replied: "How many one-armed Japs do you think we have around here?")


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 4:00 PM
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94. That makes me sad. But 98 totally made me laugh.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 4:06 PM
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o hai, f'reals fascism


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 4:17 PM
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Maybe, just maybe there's room for a wedge between the AR15 people and the elk hunting people.

Our state's best known gun rights advocate ran for the state legislature this year. In my district. I'm not sure he got 40% of the vote.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:22 PM
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I'm still not sold on the idea that Democrats should push for gun control bills, partly for democratic reasons (a lot of people care deeply about their lethal toys), but mostly because I don't think anything we can get will do much for murder rates.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:36 PM
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Oh, Megan.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:37 PM
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Yes?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:39 PM
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Huh...how did I miss that Manchin is a Democrat?

I guess I assumed that anyone who shot a climate bill in a campaign commercial must be a Republican.

I suppose the fact that that assumption is wrong explains why we're doomed.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:41 PM
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Welcome to coal country.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:42 PM
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Presumably, when gang-rushing a shooter, you should be carrying at least one 2x4.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:45 PM
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103: Wow. How many kindergartners could you take in a fight, asymmetrical weaponry version.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:48 PM
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I assume that's a Walking Tall reference, but my parents wouldn't let me see it when I was still young enough to want to see it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:48 PM
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109 to 107.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:49 PM
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103: And when we have enough of them trained up we can use them to take the Holy Land back from the infidels.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:50 PM
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109: I've never seen Walking Tall.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:53 PM
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Serpentine like the wind, Charlie!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:54 PM
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107, 108: But then again, if we actually gave the kiddies guns they could protect themselves that much better.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 5:57 PM
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103: Jesus H. Christ.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 6:09 PM
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105: this gets at some of what makes me so pessimistic.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 6:09 PM
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I mostly hated the Adam's Mother piece. So much of it was bullshit.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 6:10 PM
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Wow. A moronic robot's spam post is still preferable to McArdle's 4000 word elaboration on "WOLVERINES!!"

Best reaction to McArdle's reaction.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 6:21 PM
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Jesus are your fingers even attached to your spinal cord anymore, much less cord to brain? Christ, McArdle.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 6:39 PM
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It's really all I can do not to wonder -- in all seriousness-- whether Suderman (her spouse) is embarrassed.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 6:41 PM
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McArdle's success astonishes me. She's been this relentlessly dimwitted and offensive from the get-go, and yet she keeps climbing the mainstream media ladder. Seven or eight years in, her career arc is kind of awful to behold.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 6:43 PM
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I suppose the Insta/wank/er has written something worse by now, but it has been years since last I glanced his way and it'll be a cold day in July before I do so again.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 6:45 PM
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Edroso has the most comprehensive collection of the idiocy in this Village Voice piece.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 6:54 PM
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If you see the pics from the Flophouse that I posted, you can see her evilness.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 6:54 PM
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112: I wasn't aware it was a meme.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 6:58 PM
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122: he quoted William Burroughs on the right to own guns, because there's no better on the importance of guns in a free nation than a guy who shot his wife in the head while drunk.


Posted by: Unimaginative | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 6:58 PM
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126: [Teeth grinding sound.]


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 6:59 PM
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Well, if you lose a wife, it's possible to get another. There's only one 2nd amendment.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 7:02 PM
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Oh wow. I was prepared to be amazed by 103, but it is more amazing still. Worst person on earth.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 7:03 PM
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McArdle's success astonishes me. She's been this relentlessly dimwitted and offensive from the get-go, and yet she keeps climbing the mainstream media ladder. Seven or eight years in, her career arc is kind of awful to behold.

Path dependence is an amazing thing. If you had been one of the first 50 or so people to start a blog, and wrote several things a week with a consistent viewpoint, you'd be a major celebrity too.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 7:05 PM
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I love this, from the article linked in 103:

Unless I am missing a very subtle parody of libertarianism, McArdle's plan to teach children to launch banzai charges against mass murderers is the single worst solution to any problem I have ever seen offered in a major publication.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 7:16 PM
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I'm watching a documentary on Fred Phelps & crew. So, how about we set up good mental care facilities most places and restrict types of allowable weapons, and then declare Kansas a free-weapon-choice and free-fire-zone?

That would take care of the liberal objections to ugly guns, provide a place for the fantasists to play, and allow old farts to die with their boots on instead of in a fucking ICU.

And take care of Fred in sort order.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 7:16 PM
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I think if people are going to quote Burroughs in response to this they should just announce "Language is a virus from outer space" or "They sniffed cocaine in Mayfair and they penetrated forbidden swamps with a faithful native boy and lived in the native quarter of Tangier smoking hashish and languidly stroking a pet gazelle."

I mean, if you are going to quote a crazy person, quote him being crazy.

Person A: "I hope this tragedy causes the nation to have a serious conversation about gun control."

Person B: Well, as William Burroughs said, "Did I ever tell you about the man who taught his asshole to talk?"


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 7:17 PM
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Prediction: McMegan will claim to have been misunderstood.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 7:17 PM
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Yeah, me. The iShit keeps losing the damned setting.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 7:18 PM
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130: I think you must be right. Or at least other explanations are even more depressing.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 7:18 PM
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Alternately, combat the new trend of crediting wise statements to Morgan Freeman by crediting those statements to William S. Burroughs.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 7:18 PM
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134: Yep.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 7:31 PM
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Shit, should have kept going with that blog I started in late 2001. I got links from Reynolds and Kaus and Cole!
At some point, doesn't constantly being misunderstood bring into question your qualifications as a writer?
But seriously, I think she continues to succeed because she generates "buzz"- everyone talks about the stupid shit she says, and eyeballs! We are all guilty of causing her abominations.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 7:42 PM
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133: "Should gun safety be treated as a public health issue?"

As William S. Burroughs once asked, "Which came first the intestine or the tapeworm?"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 7:42 PM
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Has any mainstream commentator talked about ending the Drug War as a way to curb gun violence in this country? Or would that be too sensible, prudent, feasible and beneficial?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 7:46 PM
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Honestly, I'm not sure how "let's train first-graders to attack madmen armed with assault rifles!" measures up against McMegan's greatest hits. If I had previously tried such lines of argument as "I wasn't calling for assaulting Iraq War protestors; I simply didn't know what a 2x4 was!" and "my broken calculator made me think that $75 billion divided by 300 million was $25", I think I'd actually prefer a response that made listeners think I was insane (or possibly from the desert planet of Arrakis) rather than someone who had to be gently led inside when it started to rain lest I drown. But I'm capable of feeling shame, so I don't know how McMegan thinks.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 8:03 PM
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Looking at your comment, I'm going to say that the calculator defense was just stupid (and shameless), while the 2x4 and rush-the-madman comments are both genuinely depraved (and shameless). I wonder if she's a sociopath or something. I suppose the obvious answer is that she's a libertarian, so yes.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 8:11 PM
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13

I suppose it's not really that complicated. Social welfare got shorted on dollars.

Doesn't matter how much you spend if most mentally ill people don't want to be treated and the law doesn't permit you to treat them anyway.

Not to mention there is no effective treatment in many cases.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 8:17 PM
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As for the linked piece I think she might achieve better results if she let some stuff go. I wouldn't try to enforce the school's dress code or get bent out of shape over every insult. Of course I don't have any actual experience raising children.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 8:21 PM
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29

The Anders Breivik case somehow hit me harder than this, seemed more terrifying. Perhaps because it was also a premeditated and coldly logical act of political terrorism, and just the way it was carried out and the scale of the carnage.

It wasn't "coldly logical" in that it was obviously counterproductive towards his stated goals.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 8:24 PM
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144: But most people with mental illness do want to be treated. There are obviously many cases where an effective treatment isn't found, but is hardly justification for doing something that works fairly often.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 8:32 PM
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146: He was wrong about the effects but there was nothing impulsive about the whole theatrical performance. "Coldly logical" is apt, IMO.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 8:35 PM
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It's a shame that a few bad apples ruin white supremacism for everybody else.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 8:37 PM
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My kid seemed a bit freaked out this evening. He asked to spend the night in our bed, which he doesn't usually do. He's trying not to say whats wrong, but this is how he acts when he's worried about Bad Guys. We had done a fairly good job of sheltering him from the Connecticut news all weekend, but I'd bet money he talked about it in school today with the some of the other first graders. I guess we need to have a conversation with him about it, although I'm not really sure what we're going to say.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:12 PM
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Sad to see that a Google search for "McMegan is a jackass" only gets Unfogged in the top four spots.

RIP Senator Inouye. He was a giant.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:19 PM
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147

But most people with mental illness do want to be treated. ...

Does this apply to the seriously ill or people with minor problems which they want addressed on someone else's dime?

The horror stories you hear are all about seriously ill people who refuse treatment. Like the account I linked in the other thread where the guy's family was unable to get him treated against his will.

Maybe they want to be treated in some sense but not with actually existing treatments.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:46 PM
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148

... "Coldly logical" is apt, IMO.

Coldly illogical perhaps.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:47 PM
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152: Most people with serious problems want treatment but the most seriously ill are more often reluctant than those with less serious issues.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 9:56 PM
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From an email sent by the principal at my son's school earlier today:

Our school has a crisis management plan in place. The students are familiar with lock down procedures and I might add our students are cooperative following directions given by their teachers in all instances.

The notion that these kids must be familiar with "lock down procedures" just makes me so mad I could spit. Not that I blame the school principal, mind you: she is dealing with upset children, hysterical parents, community policing liaisons, and all the rest of it, and she has to make some reassuring noises, after all, does she not?

Anyone who thinks the answer is to arm the teachers is a goddamn sociopath, is one who has abandoned all allegiance to the ideals of civil society and of responsible self-governance. Anyone who thinks lisping toddlers should (or even could) be taught to gang rush heavily armed lock-and-load shooters is an utter lunatic.

I have not yet shed a tear over the latest insanity/atrocity: I have been too angry. I want to start calling them out by name (the leaders of the NRA, say); I want slogans that say: "The NRA: Enablers of Child Murder," or: "Does Your Child's Life Matter? Not to the NRA!"

Yes, I am all about enabling and exploiting an ickily sentimentalized version of American children and all-American childhood. I want proponents of sensible gun laws to seize the moral high ground of the (yes, deeply problematic, I will admit it) "family values" agenda, and to start seriously shaming the wingnut gun nuts for their pro-murderous stance in relation to the angels and the innocents, and to just run with it for the purposes of swaying public opinion and garnering support for much-needed gun-control legislation.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:10 PM
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I'm not sure we've advanced all that far beyond the demonic possession model of mental illness, except that Haldol may be somewhat more effective than holy water.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 10:12 PM
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At some point, doesn't constantly being misunderstood bring into question your qualifications as a writer?

I quite enjoyed her post, which someone around her linked when she was still at the Atlantic, begging liberals please, please, please to stop reading her posts so poisonously negatively.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-17-12 11:31 PM
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150: I said something like, "In case you hear about this from someone else, far away from here there was a dangerous man who hurt some school children with a gun. I know you know that we have plans at home to keep you safe and your school has plans that keep you safe, and so if someone in your class is trying to scare you by talking about this I want you to remember that there are a lot of people trying to make sure you stay safe and healthy." I would have gone on about it a little more since as I said above this is part of an ongoing guns-and-security discussion, except that she was fake sobbing hysterically already because I'd been mean enough to take away half her iPod time after clearly explaining that would be the consequence of her behavior.

What I was thinking going into the talk was that I wanted to avoid talking about a "bad man" as I know a lot of my friends have, especially around Christmas with the narrative going on about how anyone can be bad. And with Nia, I wanted to aim for reassurance more than any sort of a reality check, because she's already nervous about Santa's breaking and entering and has a lot of questions about the likelihood of guns in various places we go, though that's decreasing the longer she's with us. I didn't want her to get a victim-blaming message and if she brings it up herself I'll get into that, but my core concern was to tie this into the larger message that there are people (us, the agents of the state, teachers and principals, ideally her parents too) who are committed to doing what we can to keep her safe and making sure she gets the care she needs.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 4:22 AM
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I have not yet shed a tear over the latest insanity/atrocity: I have been too angry.

The ethics textbook I teach from describes a survey of people who helped Jews during the Holocaust. (I'm don't recall the primary source and won't look it up this morning.) The survey found that people who helped Jews were just as likely to be motivated by anger at the Nazis as they were compassion for the people they were saving. This makes perfect sense to me. I know I'd be someone motivated by anger, not compassion.

All this to say, righteous indignation is an important moral emotion as well.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 5:49 AM
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Arm teachers, say unspeakable pieces of shit


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 7:01 AM
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The book mentioned in 2 also discusses righteous indignation. And now I'll shut up about it.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 7:05 AM
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On the plus side, if kids are brought up under the McArdle System they will swarm at and disarm the idiot vigilante swinging a 2x4 in defense of the state. After being trained to defy authority when it wields a semiautomatic rifle, they will have no hesitation.

Brainwashing children to overcome selfish instincts and practice self-abnegating collectivism: these libertarians come up with some good ideas sometimes.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 7:13 AM
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To tie together threads, Gilman has a similarly grim use of kids in The Half-Made World.

His mind filled with visions of Black Cap Valley--the wire, the muck, the poison flowers that thrived there, how he crawled through it, the riflemen of the Republic with their steady hands and clear merciless eyes picking off the boys on either side of him, one by one, like the children of the Line were worth less than ants.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 7:49 AM
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I am probably alone in this but every time I read the title of the post, what goes through my head is

First you're just another sloe-eyed vamp,
Then Adam Lanza's mother,
Then you're camp.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:02 AM
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160: Armed civilians: 100% effective at stopping mass murders.

(Did I get this link from Unfogged or the other place? I don't even remember. Sorry if it's in TFA.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 11:42 AM
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"For to organize pessimism means nothing other than to expel moral metaphor from politics and to discover
in political action a sphere reserved one hundred percent for images."

Walter Benjamin


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 1:48 PM
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166: Can you explain that to me, bob?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 1:53 PM
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167: "Titties, hooray."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 1:56 PM
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A terrific essay by Mark Ames about gun culture, gun control, and the Connecticutt massacre.

Besides introducing the useful term 'hick fascism' to the American political lexicon, he makes the important point (one I have not seen before) that gun control is important for cultural as well as utilitarian reasons. In other words, before getting lost in utilitarian questions about whether banning a certain magazine size will reduce mass shootings, think about guns as a symbolic cult object for a certain type of ideology and how gun control interacts with that.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 2:11 PM
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I thought that Megan Mcardle had won the prize for odious responses to the Newtown shooting.

But, as so often, Digby is prepared to venture into regions of the wingnutosphere where most of us fear to tread. And she came found this:

Support the creation of local organizations to act as "neighborhood watch" for schools. Had George Zimmerman been at the front door instead of some mechanical card reader those children would still be alive. Perhaps it's time we start asking for volunteers to protect our children. It will require security checks, but isn't that worth it? This dovetails with the union problem; the unions will fight this measure tooth-and-nail.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 2:31 PM
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"...and she found this:"

Not sure where "came" came from.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 2:32 PM
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This dovetails with the union problem; the unions will fight this measure tooth-and-nail.

Why should teachers object to having heavily armed gun nuts with a license to kill standing at hte front door of their workplace? I don't understand.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 2:41 PM
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I don't actually think that tops McMegan. Neither in odiousness nor in stupidity. McMegan wants to train children rush at shooters. She wants to train children to rush at shooters.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 2:47 PM
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Probably we shouldn't implement both plans at the same schools.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 2:48 PM
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No, no, she's been misunderstood. She wanted to train teenagers to rush at shooters.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 2:49 PM
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@173I don't actually think that tops McMegan. Neither in odiousness nor in stupidity. McMegan wants to train children rush at shooters.

For insanity and callous indifference to human life, I agree she's probably got the quote in 170 beat.

The reference to George Zimmerman does add a special degree of gratuitous assholery though.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:01 PM
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Thanks for the clarification. I did indeed misunderstand her proposal.

One interesting note:

[O]one or two people are unlikely to be a match for a rifle or a handgun. But it seems to me that 8-12 people could be. Not an automatic weapon, of course, but automatic weapons are not usually used in these attacks, because it's been illegal to manufacture or sell more of these guns for civilian use since 1986. A semi-automatic weapon takes time to aim and fire, and hitting a moving target with a fatal shot is harder than hitting someone who is hiding under a desk.

Wait, automatic weapons are not usually used in these attacks because they are illegal? So why would making semi-automatic weapons illegal be fruitless??


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:04 PM
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I would advise all students to not wear hoodies before implementing a Zimmerman plan.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:08 PM
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Also, if you've got a big enough group of teenagers in your elementary school to be able to mass rush a mass shooter, you've probably got an NCLB problem.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:09 PM
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At what age would teenagers begin their paramilitary training? 14? How long is the training program? Is this training government financed (perhaps part of the school curriculum), or is this the responsibility of each family? Is it required or can pacifists opt-out? If it's government financed, will we at least cut food stamps and medicaid in order to pay for this national training program, so that we don't increase the national debt burden?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:10 PM
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Don't be silly, urple. Once the rationality of the tactic is explained, intelligent teenagers of good character will of their own accord rush shooters, no training necessary. Massacres will therefore only happen in classrooms of stupid teenagers with bad character.

Or in classrooms with small children in them, in which case the tactic wouldn't work. Luckily, there are hardly ever mass shootings in elementary schools.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:22 PM
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I'm wondering if the nut in 170 favors raising property taxes as a means of paying George Zimmerman for his services.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:23 PM
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Apparently, soldiers at Fort Hood were doin it rong:

Army reserve Captain John Gaffaney attempted to stop Hasan by charging him, but was mortally wounded before he could reach him. Civilian physician assistant Michael Cahill also tried to charge Hasan with a chair, but was shot and killed. Army reserve Specialist Logan Burnett tried to stop Hasan by throwing a folding table at him, but he was shot in the left hip, fell down, and crawled to a nearby cubicle.

Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:24 PM
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Soldiers. What do they know about charging into gunfire, compared to a redblooded American teen? (Bonus -- this strategy will allow ample opportunity to check that your American teen is in fact redblooded.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:27 PM
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183. The problem there is that they were reservists and civilians. (The goalposts have feet!)


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:30 PM
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http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/12/18/us-utah-gun-school-newtown-fears.html

Jackbooted thugs.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:30 PM
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181.1: Right. Teenagers not rushing the shooter would be like finding a $20 bill on the ground. Inconceivable!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:32 PM
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No, pacifists can't opt out, you freeloader! The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few! It's libertarian public safety! Instead of controlling what people can do with their property, control what people can do with their minds and bodies!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:32 PM
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shot in the left hip, fell down, and crawled to a nearby cubicle.

Not that it needs to be said, but this gets at the extra stupidity of McCardle talking about how hard it is to get off a "fatal shot", as if non-fatal shots won't stop people. Maybe she thinks we're a nation of Inouyes (in which case, we need grenades too).


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:33 PM
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So there's not actually supposed to be any sort of formal training? We're literally just directing people to rush at shooters? Like, during the annual disaster drills, where they go over the procedures for fires, earthquakes, tornados, et al., the part on "armed intruders" will just be changed to say "If an armed intruder enters the classroom, rush at him or her with an intent to ground the intruder or dislodge the weapon. Do not take shelter; stationary targets are easier to hit." I assume there would at least have to be a few practice drills, like they do for fire drills. I don't think everyone would get the idea otherwise.

That's crazy.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:36 PM
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I was giving McMegan the benefit of the doubt that there would be some training. There would have to be some training. Otherwise it's just a suicide mission.

Did McMegan herself actually pledge to rush a shooter, should she be unfortunate enough to encounter one? I don't think she did.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:39 PM
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I was giving McMegan the benefit of the doubt

Urple. Urple, urple, urple. Have you learned nothing?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:40 PM
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I was giving McMegan the benefit of the doubt

There's no reason to treat her views as charitably as you would food of uncertain quality.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:42 PM
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It irritates me that people take this seriously. I've seen her article linked approvingly on FB by seemingly intelligent people.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:42 PM
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192: Careful. If you were typing at a mirror, urple would have appeared behind you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:43 PM
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My point wasn't that McMegan deserves to be given the benefit of the doubt; my point was that you can give her idea all the benefit of the doubt in the world and it's still a terrible idea.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:44 PM
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I assume there would at least have to be a few practice drills, like they do for fire drills.

I do love this idea. They'd have to be surprise drills, and the kids would have to learn to evaluate the situation instantly, and leap for the shooter without hesitation. Of course, until they got good at quickly evaluating who posed a threat, there would be occasional errors.

"George, can you bring the Spring Dance flyers down to Mrs. Jones's classroom?"

"Nuh-uh -- that's 11-2 in her class this period. Last time I walked into their class unannounced, they broke my collarbone."

Every high school, all day, would be like the "Kato? Kato? Not now, Kato..." bits of The Pink Panther.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:44 PM
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Is there a Cato Institute joke to be made here? Probably not.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:46 PM
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It just seems like she hasn't really even thought through the idea much at all. Despite having written a lot of words suggesting she's given it quite a bit of thought.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:47 PM
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192 to 199.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:49 PM
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This is why I never read her; it makes me too irritated. When she was a random blowhard on the internet it didn't bother me, but now that she's a professional writer of some prominence it's infuriating.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:51 PM
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199 is generally applicable to her spewings.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:51 PM
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Did she quit the Atlantic or was she fired?

George Will is a professional writer. Suzanne Somers is a professional thespian. It's a big world, no need to look at every piece.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:53 PM
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Every high school, all day, would be like the "Kato? Kato? Not now, Kato..." bits of The Pink Panther.

I don't know why Clouseau-and-Kato hasn't been the inspiration for some insane Crossfit-derived personal training method: under a trade name like "WE WILL HUNT YOUtm," former college runners and football players waving chainsaws and compound bows would chase paying customers for 45-90 total minutes a day, at irregular, unannounced intervals.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:56 PM
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You can pay someone to do something like that, I guess that you could call it training.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 3:58 PM
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Has any mainstream commentator talked about ending the Drug War as a way to curb gun violence in this country? Or would that be too sensible, prudent, feasible and beneficial?

Why, because it claims so many more victims than random crazy school shooters, while the motives of its perpetrators are so easy to understand that a highly effective solution presents itself almost unbidden?

However, there doesn't seem to be any good way to bring it up just now without seeming to diminish the tragedy of Newtown. If your argument is that all murdered children count, then it's pretty churlish to try to redirect attention away from some to others just because the Drug War happens to be your hobby horse. (I keep telling myself to keep myself away from posting a rant about it on Facebook).


Posted by: Sheila | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 4:00 PM
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We'd have to call it training if we wanted to charge a premium for our most antisocial employees' time.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 4:00 PM
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It just seems like she hasn't really even thought through the idea much at all. Despite having written a lot of words suggesting she's given it quite a bit of thought.

I think McMegan's posts are fairly well thought out and effective in their goal (which explains her success) but they are at some level not in good faith. She is expert at a particular tone of pseudo-reasonableness which she uses to 'debunk' liberal policy ideas. She sort of has this pose of the rational outsider, the rational contrarian who has thought about the issue carefully and must conclude, rather sorrowfully, that a reasonable impartial observer such as herself sees flaws in the approach favored by so many fashionable liberals. But she hasn't thought about the actual issue very much at all; she starts with her conclusion and just pulls a bunch of stuff out of her ass that she thinks will seem like convincing arguments. This is what gives her posts their unique combination of a patronizing I'm-the-voice-of-reason tone and vast ignorance of the topic she's writing about. But that tone is works well from a propaganda standpoint.

Did anyone notice she used the Iraq war as an analogy to gun control as a disastrously mistaken policy? Given her history, some amazing chutzpah there...


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 4:14 PM
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204: It dovetails nicely with the paleo catering service I suggested a while back, where you would be texted a set of geocaching coordinates, and after a run/climb/hike to find the location, there would be some berries, or a handful of greens, or a decaying carcass. Throw in rival hunters fighting for your kill, and there you are.

This would work especially well in urban areas with the necessary density of customers.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 4:16 PM
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209: "Quest for Calories."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 4:18 PM
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Occasionally, of course, the directions would just lead you to a hotdog stand, where the guy would hand you a hotdog with everything, NO BUN.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 4:21 PM
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You laugh, but I did do a "Bourne Legacy" themed workout with a reporter from Univision.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 4:22 PM
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I read the article more carefully and can confirm that Megan does not actually pledge to rush a shooter herself, should she be unfortunate enough ever to be confronted by one. So, when she talks about "collective action" stopping mass shooters*, maybe she just means other people.

* Some lefty political scientists might even call "passing legislation" a form of collective action, but McArdle rules that out as an impractical response.

(Btw, my favorite part of her original article is that the suggestion that we encourage people to gang rush shooters (by "drilling [this idea] into young people") comes just after she says (in the preceding paragraph): "But I would rather do nothing [as a society to solve this problem] than do something stupid because it makes us feel better." Good to know! I guess that means she's thought through this proposal enough to be pretty sure it isn't stupid.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 4:23 PM
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212: I'd ask you how it went, but I assume you don't remember.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 4:26 PM
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Am I misremembering or was McArdle a guest at the original unfogged D.C. mega-meetup?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 4:31 PM
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I met her at the second DCon. Charming in person.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 4:32 PM
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I hope you weren't polite.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 4:34 PM
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Wait, I think this conversation has been had too many times already. I'm stopping now.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 4:34 PM
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I was at a party she was attending but deliberately avoided her because after enough encountering her writing enough her very presence was irritating. I definitely didn't want to get into a discussion of anything policy/political and have to restrain the urge to scream 'you're a notorious glibertarian idiot'!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 4:35 PM
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Sorry about that, chief. It was a party, not a debate. Sifu was talking to both of us, and was at least a little rude, if that makes you happier.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 4:36 PM
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Charming in person.

Someone once told me that about Adolfo Calero.

(Oh look, he's dead now.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 4:38 PM
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In my only semi-similar encounter, I've been mildly rude to Mickey Kaus a few times and the last time I saw him totally stole the last meat skewer while he was going for it. Fuck you!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 4:39 PM
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was at least a little rude

And a whole lot drunk.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 4:40 PM
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222 But is your hate pure enough that you'd steal the last roll as he was going for it?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 4:43 PM
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As were all the best people at the party. Or, me at least.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 4:43 PM
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212: but s/b because.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 4:45 PM
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The standard to which I aspire was set by my friend Tru/tt, who called Yoo a war criminal to his face at a 2002 (or 03?) wedding reception.

I sent the McM piece to my son, who asked what kind of fucking idiot writes shit like that. A propagandist, that's what kind.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 4:47 PM
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After a very heated meeting last spring that ended with a bunch of compromises that made me feel queasy, I very publicly refused to shake the university chancellor's hand. I felt lousy about that for several weeks afterward. Then I forgot about it til just now. I feel lousy again.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 5:05 PM
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Shunning requires strength of conviction.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 5:08 PM
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I actually considered apologizing to my colleagues -- I didn't think I owed the chancellor an apology -- some of whom were upset by my behavior, but I never did. I often find it tough to determine when civility is called for and when bad people are just using civility as a beard.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 5:08 PM
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The pressure to make nice is extremely strong, but if shunning is the appropriate moral response, then you gotta hold firm.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 5:09 PM
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They're not quite to "Fast and Furious led to Newtown", but they're sneaking up on it (Limbaugh*):

"Let me be blunt. The objective of Fast and Furious was to create the very emotional pitch people experienced after what happened in Newtown on Friday. That is exactly what Fast and Furious was intended to do, was to create that kind of reaction all over the country."

*...sorry


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 5:14 PM
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You need to shake his hand and do the thing where you squeeze and move the joints in his hand around gratingly.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 5:26 PM
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231: I think I agree, but my colleagues didn't deserve to be shunned nor, perhaps, to feel uncomfortable about my decision. Anyway, what's done is done. I'm going to return to forgetting about it.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 5:27 PM
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232 sounds to me more like Holder set this up too to increase support for gun control, probably gave the mom all those guns knowing her kid had social problems. Which is an explicit argument I've seen on the webs.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 5:28 PM
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Wonkette:

Yr Wonkette would like to encourage Ms. McArdle to gang rush a six-lane freeway as soon as possible in order to stop the wretched traffic of the Beltway. Would it work? Would she do it? We have no idea; all we can say is that both these things would be more effective than banning Megan McArdle.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 5:32 PM
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As in many things asinine, John Derbyshire sort of got there first:

Where was the spirit of self-defense here? Setting aside the ludicrous campus [Va. tech] ban on licensed conceals, why didn't anyone rush the guy?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 5:38 PM
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Having unarmed masses rush armed attackers works fine for certain values of "worked" and "fine."


Posted by: Opinionated NKVD | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 5:40 PM
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For some reason, I'm having trouble letting the reactions to this one go. I think because it is similar to the Terri Schiavo thing in that the raving lunacy is exposed in all of its cynical, howling glory in a way that even people who aren't really paying attention can see.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 5:42 PM
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I think the keyboard commando thing, in all of its guises, is especially galling, JP, because it's a case of an advocate, sitting in the safety of her or his basement office, insisting that other people should put themselves in harm's way. And in this case, the other people are kids. It's beyond disgusting, really. McArdle really should be shunned. She would also, if we had anything like a sane political discourse, be out of work. Still, I'm glad she's gone, by whatever means, from The Atlantic.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 5:52 PM
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This still makes me chuckle.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 5:59 PM
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240 -- Yes. I usually shun her, thinking all the while, that soon enough whichever college it is will announce that the class of 2017 has never known an internet upon which MM was not a public embarrassment. But then the parental obligation kicked in, and I needed to send the thing to my son.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 6:08 PM
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I liked this article about gun control in Australia:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/crime/2012/12/16/gun_control_after_connecticut_shooting_could_australia_s_laws_provide_a.html



Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 6:19 PM
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I've sometimes wondered whether McMegan's move from The Atlantic to the Daily Beast is really an upward career move, really a promotion. The Atlantic has improved since she left, it seems to me; there's not as much of teh Stupid, even if one does not agree with Jeffrey Goldberg all the time. I've wondered whether McArdle was gently encouraged to feel free to move on.

This is to say that I don't find it bothersome that her career appears, on some level, to flourish; it's a sort of flourishing that looks pretty lame, and fits her talents. But I don't read The Daily Beast on any regular basis: it looks like a sensationalist rag to me. Maybe just their front page format. Sullivan moved there, and I assumed it was for the money.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 6:26 PM
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237: By all accounts a number of the adults there did rush the guy. No word on how many six-year-olds rushed the shooter.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 7:01 PM
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Fluff for 204.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 7:02 PM
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The link in 241 is amusing -- from 2007! Ezra Klein isn't a bad sort. I saw him guest hosting for Rachel Maddow recently, and while it took me a while (10 minutes) to figure out that that was Klein, he did well.

I'm descending into gossip: there's a rumor that MSNBC might offer Ezra a show of his own. I can't say that would be a bad thing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 7:08 PM
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This "rush the gunman" is nothing new.

Think about all of the bravado from the right wingers who didn't go to war about manliness and going to war.

People who haven't faced horrific situations or who are far from harm's way are always the first to talk about how brave they would be.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 7:21 PM
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pawned by von wafer.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 7:22 PM
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Go to the Unfogged flickr group for pictures of McArdle with devil horns on her head.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 7:24 PM
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Go to the Unfogged flickr group for pictures of McArdle with devil horns on her head.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 7:24 PM
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245: By all accounts a number of the adults there did rush the guy.

Clearly with insufficient sense of purpose. Rushing the gunman can never fail, it can only be failed.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 7:26 PM
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Regardless of the details, if you rush on 3rd and short, you've got to figure they're expecting it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 7:34 PM
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It says something that I was absolutely determined not to read any more CT coverage (not that I've read very much) and have been similarly determined for some years now to never click on a McArdle link...and yet I find myself ridiculously comforted and actually laughing at many of these last 75-80 comments.

There is something wonderful about being able to poke fun at the awfulness of the world.

(My plan -- should I be faced with the prospect of shaking hands with someone who has made dreadful contributions to the world -- is to put my hands behind my back and say gravely, "I acknowledge your humanity." It has the happy effect of being both true and difficult to contradict.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 7:34 PM
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252: I did not fail to rush the shooter; the shooter rushed away from me.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 7:40 PM
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245: A number of people did rush the guy. McMegan acknowledges individual rushings in the post linked in 175, and observes that these were not group rushings. It's group rushings you need. At least 8-12.

Sadly, McMegan also thinks that hiding is ineffective; and yet a teacher or two in Connecticut hid the children away in a closet (per their protocol, training, and instinct), and that did work for those children.

McMegan is stupid. I get what she's doing: the idea is that madmen with guns go after locations full of unarmed and helpless people. If only those people were not unarmed and helpless, they wouldn't be such targets. The usual routine is to suggest that people in such locales (schools, churches) should arm themselves. McMegan says she thinks that wouldn't work, though, but I got tired of reading her (link in 175) by then. ... okay, she says it wouldn't work because it's too risky to have guns in the vicinity of small children.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 7:43 PM
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Jackie Kennedy's hood crawl was her belatedly trying to rush the shooter.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 7:43 PM
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I don't know why I find all this so unfunny. Usually, when I'm not ignoring McArdle, I'm as happy as anyone to mock her, but something about this idea just infuriates me too much to find any of the mockery funny. "That's McArdle for you!" doesn't cut it; she needs a more serious rebuke. A more serious shaming.

I assume the difference is just that her stupidity in this case is being applied to a situation about which I have still unusually raw emotions. I dunno. But until yesterday I thought of her as just another clown, who deserved nothing more than to be ignored. Now, I actively detest her.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 7:44 PM
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That Witt is pretty darn wise.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 7:47 PM
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Welcome to the club, urple. I'm among those who actively avoided her at one of the UnfoggedDC things.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 7:52 PM
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Flickr tells me I don't have access to the Unfogged Flickr group. What's with that?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:08 PM
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Oh, never mind. I'm somehow logged into an older Flickr account that I didn't remember that I had. Weird.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:08 PM
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261: Email heebie. She has the keys.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:09 PM
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Well, so much for being helpful.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:09 PM
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Ugh, this is so confusing. My flickr ID is not a valid Yahoo account, and I need to use a Yahoo account to log in to flickr? Is this a new thing, or was I somehow just permanently logged in for ages and now I've forgotten how it works?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:11 PM
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Oh, my flickr ID is associated with a Google account even though flickr is asking me for a Yahoo password. Sometimes I hate the internet.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:13 PM
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essear really wants to see those pictures of McArdle with devil horns on her head.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:15 PM
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267: It's not a joking matter.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:16 PM
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264 to 231.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:16 PM
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267: I am amused by LB's expression in the photo where McArdle is hugging her.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:19 PM
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250: are there still pictures of me looking really unhappy to be in her company? I should have rushed her.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:19 PM
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Is there some other Flickr account of which I am unaware? I logged in but I don't see any of this.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:22 PM
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You have to back in the archive of the Flickr group. Like, way back.

271: I didn't notice those but I didn't search very thoroughly.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:23 PM
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+go


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:27 PM
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271: I only see one. You look drunk.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:28 PM
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I was that as well yes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:29 PM
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You have to go way back to 2007. It was around New Years of 2007/8, so not sure if it's properly 2007 or 2008. Try keywords, UnfoggeDCon.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:29 PM
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Was Yglesias also at that Unfogged con? I think I heard that, but I didn't notice him. Maybe he was hanging out with another crowd.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:32 PM
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There are still surprisingly many people I don't recognize in these old meetup photos. I figure by now I would have met or at least Facebook-met enough of you to know who people are.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:45 PM
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Like whoever it is that has a Christmas tree for a head. That's pretty weird.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:46 PM
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||
Anonymous is tracking Westboro Baptist's attempt to disrupt the funerals in CT. #WBCLeak on twitter is blowing up right now, awesome to watch.
||


Posted by: Cady | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:46 PM
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I'm still not on flickr so I can't check, but I believe somewhere is a picture of my shoes.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:51 PM
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My beard is out of control in those pictures. It is now much more under control.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 8:56 PM
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The comments to McArdle's post are beyond demoralizing.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 9:22 PM
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heebie's ass is also being grabbed.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 9:38 PM
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257: TOO SOON!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 9:39 PM
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For some reason looking through the flickr pool shows me none of the udc2 pix at all.

But I now see that Populuxe got a bassist I like to hold an interesting sigm!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 9:39 PM
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284: try to remember that 27% of the country is batshit insane if not outright evil, and that all of those people are avid followers of McArdle's. Reading the comments to one of her posts is just asking to take a crazy bath. Why would you do that to yourself?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 9:42 PM
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Oh my god do I ever hate these infinite pages.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 9:44 PM
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287.2: Heh, populuxe showed me that back before I ever read unfogged. It looked like some people were speaking in code somewhere, and it made them laugh.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 9:50 PM
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288: I was sucked in by a few reasonable comments at the top. But things got ugly quickly.

batshit insane if not outright evil

An alarming number of her followers seem to be right at the unholy intersection of those two.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 9:57 PM
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288

... and that all of those people are avid followers of McArdle's ...

Actually most of them have never heard of her. And she would probably be too liberal for many of them.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 10:01 PM
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Actually most of them have never heard of her.

James is probably right on that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 10:06 PM
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James is embedded with the 27 percent.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 10:06 PM
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udc2

Try searching for "ufdc2" in the pool. That's the tag I used. That should get you in range.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 10:10 PM
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And not in the good, buttsex way.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 10:10 PM
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Flickr has signed me out and wants my Yahoo sign-in, which I I gather is the same as my Flickr sign-in (I think), but I'm unclear on my password. It says I can sign in via a Facebook or Google account, but now -- does that mean I start afresh, without access to the photo streams of those I was allied with? I joined unto the unfogged flickr pool via ogged.

Well, this will wait for another day.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 10:29 PM
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WHOA. After 20 tries, I figured it out.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 10:41 PM
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Will's photos from it are tagged "Dcon". The guy from Providence's shots are tagged "Unfogged". Those might be harder to find.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 10:47 PM
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Despite the fact that Yahoo has done everything it could to kill Flickr, by trying to force Flickr users into the vast wasteland that is All of Yahoo other than Flickr, Flickr might get a little surge from Instagram's announcement that it will henceforth be selling user's images to 3rd parties, such as advertising agencies and magazines, without consent or reimbursement.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 10:59 PM
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I believe this works: you go to the unfogged pool, and you go to the view called Square Thumbnails, and if you go to approximately screen (these look like trays of slides) number 21, you're in the right place for late December 2007.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 10:59 PM
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300: Yeah. I was amused at some radio coverage of that topic today that was all like: Well, gosh, maybe people will have to figure out something else to do with their photos besides Instagram! We have no idea what that is.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 11:06 PM
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300: They also just released a new version of their iOS client, and at least among my friends there's been a definite uptick in the number of people using it on a regular basis.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-18-12 11:45 PM
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Whilst you're looking in the Flickr group, you might see that I think I have come up with a new Christmas decoration. At least, I can't find anything similar anywhere.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 12:17 AM
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304: You're supposed to string us along for a few days before the reveal.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 12:36 AM
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A long time ago, I met McArdle about a month after calling her an idiot. At the moment I felt bad for calling for an idiot. Since then, I've come to think less of myself for that reaction. A monster is a monster, even if they seem personable face-to-face.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 12:55 AM
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TBH I've never seen why you'd want to post photos via (instagram, facebook, yfrog, twitpic etc etc) while Flickr exists.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 4:10 AM
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297. Last time I wanted to look at the U/f pool I signed in via Google and it worked just fine.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 4:30 AM
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Also This from Jamie, in re McArdle, seems to get a handle on the problem:

... actually, I can think of an occasion when a bunch of people rushed a man threatening them with a gun. It was in Clynes wine bar in Hulme about twenty years ago. But the people concerned were a) middle aged, mainly b) local hard men c) drunk and d) preceeded by an artillery barrage in the form of glasses, ashtrays, bottles, chairs etc. Perhaps we could export lairy Mancunian drunks in bunches for overwatch duties in American primary schools.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 4:37 AM
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Yglesias was there, I sat next to him on the couch watching the Giants inflate the Patriots' hope for a perfect season. Spackerman was also there. I somehow missed McMegan, either I left before she was there or I serendipitously was never in the same room as her.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 5:00 AM
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re: 309

Yeah, I've seen hard mates/acquaintances handily dispossess nutters with knives, and carry out all manner of impressive feats of violence. Not exactly something to base public policy on.

'First, be a Mancunian/[insert gritty citty of choice] hardnut, or Scottish biker ...'


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 5:04 AM
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Flickr might get a little surge from Instagram's announcement that it will henceforth be selling user's images to 3rd parties, such as advertising agencies and magazines, without consent or reimbursement.

Especially seeing as how Instragram's announcement was timed perfectly to coincide with flickr's release of its very-long-past-due mobile app, which is superior to instagram's app in every respect.

stupid

I think what bothers me most is that I'm very certain this isn't true. It's not stupidity, it's mendacity.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 5:40 AM
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Actually, I dislike the new Flickr app, but maybe because I am set in my ways.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 5:42 AM
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306

... A monster is a monster, even if they seem personable face-to-face.

You seem to have a pretty low bar for monsterhood.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 6:16 AM
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I didn't think McArdle specialized in the 27%, although I'm sure plenty of those reside in the comments. Isn't her specialty transmitting corpoglibertarian talking points to would-be centrists and liberals?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 7:22 AM
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My policy is to be polite and friendly towards everyone, monster or not. I figure that if you can get inside the zone of trust you might be able mitigate the monsterhood a tiny bit, which is a good thing. Also I can't stand awkwardness, so maybe it's more a cowardice thing.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 7:24 AM
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My policy is to be polite and friendly toward everyone, monster or not, unless I'm driving.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 7:29 AM
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I figure that if you can get inside the zone of trust you might be able mitigate the monsterhood a tiny bit fuck them up good while their defenses are down.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 8:21 AM
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My smart, charming, but annoyingly centrist brother-in-law thinks McArdle is great. He's also a Tyler Cowen fan.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 8:29 AM
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My policy is to be polite and friendly towards everyone, monster or not. I figure that if you can get inside the zone of trust you might be able

...to pee on them.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 8:30 AM
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310: Apparently I was hanging out with an entirely different crowd.

316: I figure that if you can get inside the zone of trust you might be able mitigate the monsterhood a tiny bit

Sadly, I think that totally doesn't work with McMegan; there's a crowd of libertarians all around her, and in fact I've gotten the impression that she (they) have instilled libertarian thinking patterns in otherwise sensible people (Yglesias). The influence seems to be working the other way.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 10:40 AM
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Or what Minivet said in 315.last.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 10:42 AM
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I was polite to McMegan when I met her. I mean, what was I going to do, punch her? What good would that do?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 11:00 AM
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Also, she's pretty big.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 11:12 AM
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When someone's disseminating libertarian talking points in a crowd, you have to rush up and punch them right away.
321- Maybe the manly football TV room was the centrist room and the alcohol-laden dining room was the progressive room?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 11:15 AM
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325.2: Maybe. The latter was where I was talking to CCarp, Witt, PGD, helpy-chalk, McManly Pants and Rah, John Emerson, et al. We were planning the revolution; dunno what the rest of you were doing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 11:21 AM
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Ha, there's a cute one of LB and Megan. LB's facial expression says "oh hey great this is a fine time isn't it." I haven't found the one with Sifu yet. This was two years before I knew any of you mieskeits.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 11:24 AM
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Heh. If LB's net nanny is tuned like mine, she is locked out of her own post today. I'm not allowed to talk about weapons at work, I guess.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 11:38 AM
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Er, LB and MMcA, not Megan. Not Megan Megan.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 11:49 AM
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I've been disturbed by what Erik Loomis is going through at LGM -- so it's probably a precautionary measure for net nannies to block gun talk at work.

Interestingly, ZoneAlarm just told me that it detected a "malicious URL" in the clipboard in re: that LGM url. (Don't worry, it just goes to LGM.) Malicious url? Because of the word "violence" in conjunction with "guns"? That's interesting.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 11:57 AM
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what Erik Loomis is going through at LGM

Whoa. I had no idea. Jesus.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 12:07 PM
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330 Maybe because of all the advertising cruft on the blog.

I was bothered enough to write an email to the president of his university on his behalf on account of this: http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2012/12/intimidation/comment-page-1#comment-411896

(which should lead to this: http://www.uri.edu/news/memo/president/statement12182012.html )


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 12:12 PM
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I'm willing to bet that a good part of the outrage directed at Eric Loomis has nothing to do with real felt outrage and everything to do with simple harassment. IOW it's not about protecting one's own it's about hurting the enemy.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 12:14 PM
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Yeah, I don't know what to make of this at all. Right wingers think that left wingers have this kind of attack machine going at all times, so they're just defending themselves, responding in kind. They'll say that both sides engage in defamation and harassment.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 12:15 PM
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332: I can't get the second link to load.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 12:24 PM
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I can't get anything at URI to load at the moment.

...doo doo, doo doo....


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 12:27 PM
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Did you try clicking it?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 12:28 PM
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If anybody wonders how J. Otto is keeping himself, the link in 332 shows that he hasn't changed a bit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 12:32 PM
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332: Barry, thanks for the first link. I'm unable to get to the second one, the Univ. of RI's statement, maybe their servers are overloaded, but it looks like Erik might be in real trouble. Comments along the way from the first link indicate a true problem.

Somewhere in all of this was a wonder from the LGM folks why other liberal-progressive blogs and outlets weren't putting this up as an important issue. Apparently Atrios said something, but it wouldn't be be a bad idea if others did as well.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 12:34 PM
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We need an orange post calling for an armed flash mob to storm URI's admin. building.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 12:38 PM
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339 You're welcome. I suggest following the thread down from there for some examples of emails the LGM commentariat have written. I liked John Protevi's one in particular.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 12:39 PM
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From here is best I think: http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2012/12/intimidation/comment-page-1#comment-411927


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 12:40 PM
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...Univ. of RI's statement...

It was pretty innocuous (The link doesn't work for me now either, so I can't cut & paste it).

It still pissed me off when I heard about it though. You'd think people would realize that giving goons like this even a small pellet of validation will just encourage them.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 12:40 PM
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Thanks. This is really disturbing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 12:41 PM
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I could get behind a statement that made it clear what idiots the folks complaining are:

Professor Loomis' statements do not represent the views of this University. As educators, we do not endorse or condone the practice of placing people's severed heads on sticks.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 12:47 PM
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We would, however, find a Wayne LaPierre Pez dispenser pretty goddamned funny.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 12:55 PM
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I don't feel comfortable writing a statement to the university president without having read his (presumably) statement.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 12:56 PM
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345.2 -> 347


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 12:58 PM
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Well, close enough.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 12:59 PM
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In which Joshua Trevino brings the empathy (sort of).


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 1:00 PM
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350: all of American piled together in one giant Volkswagen Golf, heading for Idaho. They say there are potatoes there.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 1:07 PM
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Google's cache of the URI president's statement, cut and paste:

December 18, 2012

University Community:

The University of Rhode Island does not condone acts or threats of violence. These remarks do not reflect the views of the institution and Erik Loomis does not speak on behalf of the University. The University is committed to fostering a safe, inclusive and equitable culture that aspires to promote positive change.

Dr. David M. Dooley
President
University of Rhode Island


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 1:21 PM
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That seems very inconsequential, but maybe I don't get it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 1:23 PM
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That Josh Trevino piece is ... okay.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 1:24 PM
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353: The problem is that the statement grants that Erik made a threat of violence, which he did not. Nonetheless, it's clearly a boilerplate legal statement of non-liability; Erik is on his own.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 1:27 PM
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Is McArdle's worst of all possible policy ideas turning into a new right-wing talking point?

There was not a single adult male on the school premises when the shooting occurred.... There didn't even seem to be a male janitor to heave his bucket at Adam Lanza's knees. Women and small children are sitting ducks for mass-murderers. The principal, Dawn Hochsprung, seemed to have performed bravely. According to reports, she activated the school's public-address system and also lunged at Lanza, before he shot her to death. Some of the teachers managed to save all or some of their charges by rushing them into closets or bathrooms. But in general, a feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm. Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak -- but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel. Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza. People, even unarmed people, need to fight back against criminals -- because usually, no one else will. It took the police 20 minutes to arrive at Sandy Hook. By the time they got there, it was over. Cops and everybody else encourage civilians not to try to defend themselves when they are criminally assaulted. This is stupid advice.

Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 2:00 PM
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"We're in terrible trouble. Send in the fat kid."

"Huskie kid, sir."

"I don't care about your political correct mumbo-jumbo. I need results."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 2:03 PM
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But in general, a feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm.

I'll show him some helpless passivity. Fucker.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 2:06 PM
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I'll show him some helpless passivity.

Sexist.

(The article was written by a her, not a him.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 2:10 PM
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My bad.

I'll show her some helpless passivity. Fucker.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 2:14 PM
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350,354: And I thought I was discouraged by the love for Ezra Klein, and can't comprehend people who avoid the alternatives. I read him, but I hate Klein.

So now I know.

Yes, y'all do love the right, even frothing far right, than anything or anyone to your left.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 2:17 PM
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I shouldn't get cranky about it, but that's particularly a fucked-up thing to say in a paragraph that identifies the women who acted in response to the shooter in Newtown; the principal who was killed trying to stop him, the teachers who successful hid children from him. Fuck, if you can die making a suicidal rush at an armed man in a desperate hope to take him out before he kills innocent children, and still get called helplessly passive, you just can't win. Might as well wander on back to the hammock and eat bonbons.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 2:20 PM
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McMegan didn't invent that idea.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 2:20 PM
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Ye gods, this has certainly brought to light more than a few wingnut-blogger names I'd happily forgotten. Trevino! Vox Day! The Ace of Spades! And they're all just as fucking dimwitted, pompous and noxious as I remember them. Watching Trevino whinge about how "the left" politicizes everything and never takes the high ground is like watching a puppy posturing at its own reflection, except not nearly as cute.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 2:26 PM
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361: I won't be accused of reading Ezra Klein, bob.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 2:27 PM
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362: I think the idea that the hierarchy of effectiveness runs "male teachers who had played high-school football" > "husky 12-year-old boys" > "grown woman who actually did charge the guy" is more insulting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 2:29 PM
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Here's Hartman at USIH trying to generate a linklist on gun control. They are as right as I wish to go. I am not reading MM.

Trevino?

Loomis that fucker, with prejudice.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 2:32 PM
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364: The right wingers will say the same about the left. I don't know how to counter that. (insert sad face).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 2:37 PM
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Crooked Timber issues a statement.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 2:45 PM
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368: Really I decided a long time ago that people whose entire take on political dialogue is "I am rubber you are glue" are worth denouncing, but not debating. I cringe when I remember how much time I used to spend actually arguing with tools like that.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 2:47 PM
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370: It's more that I don't know how to talk to them at all, babe. Some of them purport to be trying, but I don't even know whether I believe that.

I'm glad that CT has made a statement.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 2:59 PM
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Anybody think Loomis is gonna get tenure now? I have forgotten the guy over at ObsWi who got screwed. Target of opportunity, they will get a scalp, and intimidate everybody else.

I can't believe Wafer linked to Trevino.

You don't interact or engage those rightwing fuckers. There is no discourse space or common ground. Your decision to attempt to create a place of public reason that includes you and Romney and LaPierre and Trevino and McCardle gives them this power over you. You give them this power. You want to be with them, talk with them, talk about them, refute them, mock them. They talk your language.

I want them gone.

Lenin did not write manifestos calling for the Czar's head. He discussed theory and praxis with allies. What happens when the happenings start happening, so to speak, can be assumed or imagined.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 3:24 PM
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And yeah, I pretty much agree with 372.2-4 actually.

Except if they're not going to be gone, they are at least of some use in demonstrating how crazy and venal and shameless any given current right-wing talking point is. If gun control gains some genuine momentum out of Newport, and it actually seems like it might do, it will be thanks in no small part to right-wing commentary that proved willing to sink to disrespect of slain children and their teachers.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 3:31 PM
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(On the "Adam Lanza's mother" piece, BTW: a good buddy of mine wrote this excellent response to it.)


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 3:41 PM
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"Crooked Timber issues a statement."
i understand that is a great irl move of solidarity, and i endorse it, surely informally over here
just, hopefully i can have 'my' freedom of speech on unfogged too


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 3:54 PM
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375 I said exactly the same things as your friend said and it brought like the fourth- fifth "punic" wars of deletion for me around here, selective freedom of speech is still freedom of speech or how is that


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 4:01 PM
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not 375, but 374


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 4:27 PM
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Oh woe is you, read. It doesn't matter what you're saying, it's that it's *you* saying it and nobody here enjoys your presence or gives a flying fuck what you think about anything. This isn't a public forum with free speech considerations. It's a collection of friends talking and you aren't a friend. You're just a social incompetent who keeps barging in to prove how big of an asshole you can be. Which you've already proven in spades.

You don't like us, we don't like you, why don't you go talk to somebody who actually *wants* you around? Or can you just not find any such beast in this horrible degenerate country?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 5:10 PM
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Is there any value in my writing to the President of the University of Rhode Island or signing the Crooked Timber letter when I'm neither an academic nor do I have any connection to the University of Rhode Island?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 5:51 PM
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Yes, BG, there is considerable value in the president hearing from as many people as possible.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 6:24 PM
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I stuck whatever credentials I have onto the end of my letters -- to each of the administrators at URI that CT lists. That's the first time I've done that, probably the only time I will.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 7:18 PM
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||

If I am sending a business letter with carbon copies to 3 people, should I sign the copies? Am I supposed to circle the name of the recipient?

|>

Thanks, VW


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 7:24 PM
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372, 373: Understood. I've never actually read Trevino before, but did you read the linked piece? It's peppered with, let's say, a lack of affection for Erik, but its message is that causing the man to lose his job is over the top. Not fair. Unjust.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 7:27 PM
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From 356: It took the police 20 minutes to arrive at Sandy Hook. By the time they got there, it was over.

Another thing to file under "this shouldn't need to be said": the news - unless it's changed since I stopped checking the story - has pretty much all reported that Lanza didn't stop until the cops arrived. People were hidden by then but he was still walking through the school.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 7:28 PM
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383: I know. But even when expressing a semi-sane sentiment he remains full of egregious lies -- that's what my 364 was complaining about -- so from my vantage point Josh gets no cookie for his tentative approach to baseline decency. Others may prefer to be more generous.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 7:36 PM
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The meme of referring to Trevino as "Biggus Dickus" was spot on. I also liked "the marble douchebag." What a pompous moron.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 7:43 PM
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I'd kinda forgotten what an incredible assortment of laughable morons populate the right blogosphere. I mean, making fun of how stupid and evil they are got old after a while, but there they are, still being jackasses! Good times.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 7:46 PM
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385: Josh gets no cookie

This made me laugh.

Was I recommending a cookie? I was, wasn't I. Hm. I'm taking bob's 372.3 ("Your decision to attempt to create a place of public reason that includes you and Romney and LaPierre and Trevino and McCardle gives them this power over you") pretty seriously.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 7:58 PM
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Meanwhile, this is weird.

A man was arrested at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Strasburg, Va., Wednesday, according to the Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office. The 33-year-old walked into the school with a 4-foot long two-by-four labeled "High Powered Rifle" about 11:40 a.m., the sheriff's office said. He was met by school staff, then detained by a sheriff's school resource officer. He was arrested and taken into custody without incident.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 8:07 PM
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I'm sure he had a good reason.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 8:22 PM
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330

So let get this straight:

McArdle using violent rhetoric involving two by fours = A big deal.

Loomis using violent rhetoric involving heads on a stick = Not a big deal.

Is that right?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 9:38 PM
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391: You tell me, James. Do you see a difference between someone arguing seriously for physically assaulting protesters and someone simply using a common figure of speech? Or do you believe McArdle did not do the former?


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 9:43 PM
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I'm kind of surprised that nobody is standing up for the idea of wishing actual violence on the head of the NRA. Maybe that's not how Loomis intended his idiomatic phrase to be read, but that doesn't make it wrong to read it literally.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 9:49 PM
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393: Do you really want the country to go there? The cops, military, and gun owners are not particularly well represented in the Unfoggetariat.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 10:13 PM
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Huh. www.URI.edu got hammered today. They were down for quite a while. Now it is up with a redirect to ww2.URI.edu.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12-19-12 10:28 PM
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Driving into work this morning, I saw two young women, with nice smiles and good gear, hitchhiking at the eastbound on ramp. (I was getting off the interstate.) They had large packs and two dogs, one of which seemed to be a St. Bernard puppy. It's 20F with a pretty stiff breeze. I don't know, of course, but I'd bet a days pay that they are not armed. Or, rather, armed with a rather charming optimism.

What kind of nut prefers to live in the world imagined by Nancy Lanza?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 9:25 AM
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393: Possibly because a literal reading is so wildly implausible? People in 21st century America do some violent things. They don't put their enemies' heads on sticks. To read what Loomis said as an incitement to real-world violence, you'd have to not take it literally, and assume that 'head on a stick' should be understood to refer to some plausible kind of actual violence.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 9:28 AM
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396: Can I live in a world that makes me less vulnerable to serial killers/freezing without going the into full-scale prepper arming?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 9:32 AM
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397: Agreed. It's clearly like saying "drawn and quartered," etc.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 9:38 AM
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392: Linkrot seems to have eaten the original source, but based on what Crookedtimber quoted here, "arguing seriously for physically assaulting protesters" is a stretch:

I can't be mad at these little dweebs. I'm too busy laughing. And I think some in New York are going to laugh even harder when they try to unleash some civil disobedience, Lenin style, and some New Yorker who understands the horrors of war all too well picks up a two-by-four and teaches them how very effective violence can be when it's applied in a firm, pre-emptive manner.

Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 9:40 AM
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Actually, I never thought the 2x4 comment was a big deal. I've always been more troubled by her abuse of logic and detachment from empirical reality.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 9:41 AM
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400: I don't think it was a terribly big deal either -- it was a flippant statement that she'd think it was funny if someone else got violent, rather than seriously advocating that someone should get violent. But the difference between what McArdle said and what Loomis said is that McArdle was literally talking about one person hitting another with a piece of wood -- if it really happened, she might not think it was funny, and she might reasonably say "I didn't seriously mean that this should happen," but she couldn't reasonably say "Actually hitting people with pieces of wood wasn't what I was talking about at all." Loomis, on the other hand, if he heard that someone had decapitated the head of the NRA and put his head on a stick, could say "That wasn't what I was talking about at all, I meant that he should be fired, and that people should publicly say bad things about what a terrible person he is," and no one could reasonably argue that Loomis's words were meant literally.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 9:48 AM
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402: That sounds right.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 9:51 AM
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402 -- well said.

I don't think the 2x4 comment was in and of itself that atrocious, but it (combined with the rest of her body of work) revealed an atrocious, smug, authoritarian personality.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 9:54 AM
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OT: That 2x4 comment is a really annoying specimen of the "our city can beat up your city because the poor financial management of the '60s and '70s toughened us up and also something about black-and-white movies" delusion about New York City. Does McArdle actually want to live next door to the Bowery Boys or the Hardhat Riots?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 10:02 AM
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I don't think it was a terribly big deal either -- it was a flippant statement

The F'ing Archives contain multiple instances of me saying this.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 10:02 AM
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I signed the CT statement, despite thinking it ridiculous to say 'stick' instead of 'pike.' None of the people complaining actually think Loomis' intemperate remarks were designed to encourage violence. They see an opportunity to take a pawn from the other side off the board, and they are taking it.

I didn't complain about the 2x4, but even if I had, I certainly wouldn't have tried to get her fired from her day job -- if she had had one -- over it.

The frozen caveman thing is, absent some sort of mental condition, bad faith all the way down.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 10:21 AM
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405: Particularly funny because NYC has consistently for at least the last several decades been on the less violent end of big dense cities in the US. We may be brusque, but we're less likely to do anyone physical harm than people in all sorts of other places.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 10:26 AM
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despite thinking it ridiculous to say 'stick' instead of 'pike.'

This, I agree with. Who puts anyone's head on a stick?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 10:27 AM
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despite thinking it ridiculous to say 'stick' instead of 'pike.'

I kept puzzling about that as well, as everyone went on about how "head on a stick" is a well-known and oft-employed metaphor. Stick? Isn't it pike? "Stick" kind of gives me the image of a lollipop: a stick isn't hefty enough to support a head!

But I figured it was not the time to kvetch about particulars.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 10:30 AM
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He obviously wanted to use his likeness on a miniature totem pole he was carving.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 10:32 AM
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Oh, pwned. You know, in a different world, we might interrogate Loomis about this; as it stands, it's probably too soon.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 10:32 AM
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Oddly enough, none of the overly-literal wingers seems to have arrived at the obvious solution of bringing Loomis the requested object and thereby determining once and for all whether he actually wants it.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 10:34 AM
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I might say "head on a stake", in some contexts (e.g. Gordon at Khartoum) and I'd read "stick" as a corruption of "stake" in the manner of "home/hone in on".


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 10:41 AM
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Huh. At least one of the more prominent rightwingers actually signed the statement at CT. (The guy who writes Le/gal Ins/surrection, a place I've heard of but never looked at before.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 10:44 AM
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407: absent some sort of mental condition

So the brain-dead get a free pass on this one?


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 10:44 AM
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413: There are ethical problems raised by that experiment.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 10:45 AM
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I signed the CT statement. Perhaps reading courses and passing grades on comprehension tests should be made mandatory to get a internet surfing licence.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 10:46 AM
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415: Not prominent other than in the political-blogs-I-was-reading-around-2006 sense, but I was happy to see Sebastian H. on the right side of this one as well.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 10:46 AM
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There wasn't a widespread, targeted campaign to get McCardle fired on the basis of the 2x4 comment.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 10:46 AM
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I thought the 2*4 comment was a big deal. It was expressing smirking pleasure in the possibility of actual violence, at a time when emotions were running high and such violence seemed pretty likely. It was quite a nasty comment. The Loomis comment was hyperbolic and dumb but so clearly metaphorical that it is different.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 10:47 AM
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Letter to URI president sent. davedooley@uri.edu


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 10:47 AM
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408: Exactly. Compare prosperous honky New Jerseyites' fantasies of always and ever being the economically downtrodden protagonists of Springsteen songs.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 10:49 AM
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I tend to agree with 421. Publicly taking pleasure at the thought of violence visited on someone is not far removed from expressing the desire that violence be done.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 10:53 AM
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417: Damn persnickety IRBs anyway.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 10:54 AM
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416 -- I'm open to considering a claim that you suffer from a mental illness, yes. Do you make such a claim?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 10:58 AM
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421 -- Emotions are running high now as well, and there's a subculture of people who are afraid of jackbooted thugs, and/or of vast hordes of inner city folk coming to take away all their stuff. MMcA demonstrated that she's an asshole, and, by the way her comment was received, that she's far from alone in that. That's a real risk of internet hyperbole. Actual violence is not a real risk of internet hyperbole, except in a fringe case involving so much mental illness as to be a supervening cause. (That is, I think Sarah Palin's target ad shows her to be an asshole, but that guy killing a federal judge and wounding a congresswoman is the murderer, not SP.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 11:03 AM
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419: Sebastian is/was around ObWi, was it?

My principal only method for noticing rightwing blogs is memeorandum, which I read as a news aggregator: they list blogs on which some topic or news item has been discussed (which I take it means linked), and half a dozen rightwing blogs come up again and again. I actually find it a useful service to know who's yacking about what; I've been meaning to look at how the site comes up with its list.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 11:09 AM
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||
Since this is the most politicky of the current threads, I am boggling at the WaPo opposing Hagel because his views "place him near the fringe of the Senate that would be asked to confirm him." Yes, that would be the fringe on the left.
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 11:12 AM
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They want a woman named Flournoy:

Flournoy, the highest-ranking woman at the Pentagon until she stepped down from the post in January, is the cofounder of the Center for a New American Security, a D.C. think tank that has produced a host of Obama administration appointees. During the Clinton administration, Flournoy served as principal deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Strategy and threat reduction and deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Strategy.

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 11:28 AM
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Not to keep (metaphorically!) committing violent acts against a horse that's already deceased but - probably because I didn't get into politics-related blogs until about 2005 - I've always taken later references to the 2x4 comment as shorthand for lots of things that are wrong with what McCardle writes, how she argues, what she advocates, etc.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 11:32 AM
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The Israel-first neocons are out in force pulling every string they can against Hagel. This quote is supposed to show that he is anti-semitic and disqualify him from SecDef:

I'm a United States senator. I support Israel. But my first interest is I take an oath of office to the Constitution of the United States. Not to a president. Not a party. Not to Israel. If I go run for Senate in Israel, I'll do that.

This was in an op-ed on whether the US should back Israel in attacking Iran. I guess maybe we should just appoint an Israeli Senator and have done with it.

Of course, he was also 'prematurely correct' about the Iraq war which caused lots of hatred as well.

Altogether a great choice for SecDef if you ask me.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 12:01 PM
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426: I'm not sure what mental illness has to do with this. I was just pointing out that all existent minds (perhaps excepting the mind of God if it exists) must be in some sort of condition, so that only those without minds at all can be said to lack a mental condition of any kind.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 12:03 PM
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Ehud Olmert doesn't seem to have much to do these days. Maybe he could be Secretary of Defense. Although his approval ratings in Israel are probably lower than Hagel's.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 12:06 PM
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Olmert is a noted antisemite. The only sensible option is Avigdor Liberman.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 12:08 PM
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433: I'm sure we'll all get right on learning to speak Loglan instead of natural languages so we don't confuse you with phrases like "mental condition".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 12:09 PM
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I should probably have written 435 in Hebrew, just to inoculate myself against claims that I'm not a real Zionist.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 12:10 PM
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In fact he's the obvious choice from the centrist point of view. He's a former Israeli Prime Minister, which means it will be hard to convict him of anti-semitism, although there's a long paper trail so who knows. And he was driven out of office amid cataclysmic unpopularity and mass demonstrations alleging military incompetence, so he will not only displease those who are prejudiced against his appointment due to his nationality, he will also displease the "Israel, right or wrong" caucus. If you make everyone unhappy, you must be right. And he's been convicted of corruption, which means he knows how to get deals made. It's hard to think of a better pick, except maybe G.K. Butterfield.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 12:12 PM
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I rather like the name Avigdor.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 12:19 PM
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432: Hrm, if the choice of Sec. of Defense comes down to whether we'll back Israel in attacking Iran, okay, Hagel it is. (But he's a Republican! So, um, don't we have Democrats who are okay? No? I mean, I suppose not all Republicans suck, but still.)

I don't know enough about this, in any case.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 12:19 PM
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438: Ned's argument is strong, but I think in these times of crisis a true visionary is needed, and that's why I'm supporting Newt Gingrich.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 12:30 PM
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436: Does loglan contain a clear "this is a joke" term that I should have used in 416?


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 12:31 PM
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Although it now appears that I worded 416 exactly wrong, so the misunderstanding is my fault after all. I should have said that everyone except the brain-dead gets a free pass.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 12:33 PM
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426: Sorry for assuming you misread 416, when in fact I miswrote it. I think my mental condition was "careless."


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 12:35 PM
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439- For what kind of pet?
Maybe the WaPo is reverse psychology to generate support for Hagel since a lot of Dems are sick of the idea that only a daddy Republican can run the DoD.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 12:39 PM
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This, I agree with. Who puts anyone's head on a stick?

Oh, I expect we're only a few years away from deep-fried head on a stick being the next big thing at state fairs across the country.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 12:41 PM
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Who puts anyone's head on a stick?

There's a fellatio joke buried somewhere in here, but I can't find it.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 1:01 PM
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Unh, he said 'fellatio" ... eh, heh, heh ...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 1:24 PM
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446: The heads of babies that Obama is going to bus from the tummies of nice white ladies to failing inner-city schools where antisemitic unionized teachers who don't care will let them get slaughtered by Iranian terrorists with Fast & Furious guns that no one will be able to stop because feminism, liberals, Hitler and the Democratic platform not referencing God.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 1:30 PM
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Is it Christmas yet? Is there a debate tonight?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 1:31 PM
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Maybe the WaPo is reverse psychology to generate support for Hagel since a lot of Dems are sick of the idea that only a daddy Republican can run the DoD.

It's worked for me. I was against him for being a Republican, but if the WaPo is against him, he's doing something right.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-20-12 8:14 PM
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I noticed this late, but 400: "arguing seriously for physically assaulting protesters" is a stretch

Okay, but "rubbing one out to a fantasy of physically assaulting protesters" isn't much better. And as others have noted is still distinct from a simple figure of speech.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 12-21-12 2:23 PM
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It looks like Israel is figuring there's a good chance Avigdor Lieberman becomes Secretary of State, as a Republican Party operative is going to be the new Israeli ambassador to the US. The precedent is set!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-28-12 11:35 AM
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