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Friday, January 14, 2011


Wikipedia reports that the word assassin was Arabic, which first referred to an Islamic sect of killers who targeted political and religious opponents. They also were reputed to do their evil deeds while under the influence of hashish.

This is interesting because modern American assassins seem to combine in varying mixtures the brew of political and / or religious zealotry with histories of troubled mental states which often involve self-medication by drugs.

Why is it that so many assassins are also poets?
Seung-Hui Cho, Va. Tech killer was an English major whose writing was central to his mental illness. Should any pretensions toward introspective creativity in our youth be a warning sign of a troubled mind?

The notion that possession of concealed weapons by more people make society safer is one that I would like to debate ... at ten paces.

How far is Tucson from Tombstone?

That is the town where the Earp brothers confronted the Clanton clan at the O.K. Corral back in 1880 or so. As I recall the legend, the Earps were town marshals who intended to arrest the gang members for violating the city ordinance that prohibited carrying of concealed weapons. So, maybe the pro gun people are right ... in an insane way.

Why haven’t those from The Right insisted that Jared Loughner be handled as they wish other “terrorists” to be: interrogated “forcefully” without reference to any Constitutional rights to root out the cause of his actions, whether he had help or is part of a greater conspiracy? Why do they not insist that he be transported to Guantanamo, tried in military court without access to other inmates or counsel?

How many will blame Loughner’s acts on “the government’s socialistic totalitarian policies” which naturally drive certain unbalanced and super sensitive souls to extreme acts?
This was the argument made by the extreme Right — including survivalists and white supremacists — about Tim McVeigh of Oklahoma City bombing infamy. He rationalized his “radicalization” on the events at Ruby Ridge and Waco.

This is not too far different from what was going on in the late 1960's / early 70's from The Left. Radicalized by Viet-Nam, freed from societal constraints by the prevailing anti-establishment rhetoric and counter culture, revolutionary cults like the SLA and Weather Underground (as well as parts of the extreme black liberation movement).

For those of us near the center, it is a bit hard to understand why the election of Barack Obama has stirred such hatred in extreme elements of his opposition. The anti rhetoric has seemed to be so absurdly hyperbolic that demogogic commentators who stirred up the rabble like Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh and others seemed to us to be comical characters that few could be expected to take seriously.

How naive we were.

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