So, did anyone hear about a shooting at a Navy Yard? Open Thread

Is it me or does it seem like the killing of 12 at the Washington Navy Yard is getting less air time than previous shootings?  Anyway, it's been about a week since we've had an open thread so here it goes.

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Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is bizarre

mmghosh's picture

link.  I know it is the JPost etc, but it appears that he cannot even count.

In the case of Netanyahu the words “Iran” are forever on his lips. Netanyahu is keenly aware that six million Jews died in the Holocaust and that there are currently six million Jews living in Israel. The creation of the Jewish state was supposed to be a bulwark against another Holocaust. But the fulfillment of the ancient prophecy of “the ingathering of exiles” has also made it easier to annihilate the Jews as they now congregate in one small land.

The majority of the world's Jews live outside Israel.  Quite apart from the fact that Iran has no documented nuclear weapons while Israel does.  

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Um, So?

M Scott Eiland's picture

A majority of Jews lived outside of Europe in 1939. That doesn't change the fact that a few well placed fission devices could do in a split second what it took Schicklgruber* and his cadre of fanatics six years to accomplish. And until Israelis in power advocate the obliteration of Iran--rather than eliminating their ability to threaten Israel--your last sentence is truly a non sequitur.

*--Yes, I know. Myth. But an amusing one, much like that one testicle rumor.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

There Is No Plausible Scenario


There is no plausible scenario where Iran would nuke Israel out of the blue. Iran has no history of first strikes against anybody, while having a history of being first stricken. Iran lacks the motivation and is aware of the consequences.


In fact no nation state of any import would consider such a thing seriously, unless run by a complete madman, and this is not the case in Iran, which is in effect run by a committee.


Also, there is no material difference between the fundamentalists we've supported in Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria, and those whom Iran supports for its own purposes.


If there is a nuclear threat, it's from North Korea, a country which is likely to sell technology or even bombs to anybody with the cash to buy it.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Um, so?

mmghosh's picture

Of course a few well placed fission devices could do anything anywhere.  The point is (1) having them and (2) using them.  Iran has shown neither (1) or (2), so on this matter there is little point in making up existential threats.


The only countries involved in this conflict who, from the point of view of nuclear weapons (1) have them and (2) used them are the USA (and its ally Israel, who have them too).

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

You Brought Up The Population Distribution Of Jews

M Scott Eiland's picture

A few nukes could equal the Holocaust--negating your point.

And if *trying* to obtain nukes isn't relevant to the discussion, I'm not sure why we even tried to hide the existence of the Manhattan Project. Clearly, until we actually had the blessed things there was nothing to worry about--and if Nazi Germany had managed to avoid driving enough physicists off to actually make a real go of their own version, that would have been nothing to worry about until Paris was vaporized.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Making up existentialist threats is bizarre was my point.

mmghosh's picture

But there is a diary in this, or at least an Open Thread.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

I'd Be More Inclined To Agree With You. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .if the powers-that-be in Islamic states didn't have a disproportionate tendency for deranged obsessions with Jews (though, in fairness, they're not alone in that obsession. Not by a longshot. ). Since they do, Israel has every right to be concerned when a neighbor run by religious fanatics who routinely fund terrorists (including suicide bombers) starts musing about ending their existence.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).


mmghosh's picture

That's like saying Nicaragua is a neighbour.


As for ending their existence, you will have to find me a reference where Iran has specifically stated that it intends to end the existence of Israel (as opposed to the statement that the Zionist conception of an apartheid state will disappear at some point, as has the Soviet Union and the Shah's regime).

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

By That Standard, Neither Was Iraq

M Scott Eiland's picture

And yet. . .

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

What has Iraq got to do with Rabbi Boteach's vapouring?

mmghosh's picture


freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

You Objected To My Use Of "Neighbor" For Iran

M Scott Eiland's picture

I provided a rather graphic reminder that the region in question is well within the range of IRBMs to strike at Israel. Should I have posted a video? There are some nice ones on YouTube showing the cheering Palestinians as the missiles rain down.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Heh. So you are equating

mmghosh's picture

use of Scud missiles by Iraq on Israel as a proxy for the possibility of (presumably) nuclear-tipped missiles by Iran?  


i.e. Iraq in 1990=Iran in 2013?  Does USA=Mexico?  Or even Canada?


I cannot, of course, deny that one can make up fantasy scenarios to justify anything.  Has Iran used missiles on any country?  Does Iran even have nuclear weapons?


Incidentally, we all know that Iran and Israel have been conducting a covert war and assassinations for decades, directly and via proxies in places from Buenos Aires, to Teheran itself, to Delhi to Tbilisi.   But existential threats?  Come on.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

For anyone who lived through the '80s


Which is probably all of you but Catchy.... This is very well done:




Apparently a best man video prepared by 2 brothers for the 3rd. Anyway, All the Junkey household were stomping around the kitchen shouting it at each other last night. My kids are 4 and 2. I'm not sure what my excuse is.

Because of that video, after a few clicks, learned Falco is dead

brutusettu's picture

Post-Chavez asswipe is nationalizing asswipe

Bird Dog's picture

This is what a Chavez regime looks like when the charisma is gone. Same circus, new clown.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Reuters had a story yesterday on another unintended consequence


of Venezuela's currency controls


Flights are booked solid months in advance, not from a new interest in exotic destinations but because locals are profiting from a play on the nation's tightly controlled currency market...


Credit cards are used abroad to get a cash advance -- rather than buying merchandise. The dollars are then carried back into Venezuela and sold on the black market for some seven times the original exchange rate.


The large profit margin easily absorbs the cost of flights and accommodation for a trip.


I checked Caracas flights a few months back and was surprised that it was one of the most expensive cities to fly into in S America, whereas before it was one of the most affordable. I thought perhaps it was a new big tax on international flights, but I might've run up against the above phenomenon.



New Idiot Dictator, Same As The Last Idiot Dictator

M Scott Eiland's picture

Used cars now cost more than new ones in Venezuela due to the usual government ineptitude.

Not to worry, though--Fidel Jr. Jr. and his flunkies in the National Assembly have it all under control! :

But in a move to protect consumers, Venezuela's National Assembly has sought to throw the brakes on soaring car costs. Last month, a bill was passed that, if signed into a law by President Nicolás Maduro, would attempt to regulate both new and used car prices, levying hefty fines and even jail time on venders who don't comply with government-approved prices.

Awesome! (except, you know, not).

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Brewery-sponsored "national day". The last bastion falls.

mmghosh's picture

I like my Guinness as much as anyone, but the Irish are now officially nuts.  "Arthur's Day" indeed.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Well, one can expect the corporation to push


product.  But the flip side is sometimes a guy just needs to have a reason to drink.  And for those days I find it helpful to have one of these calendars below.  For the Muslim holidays I just tell muslim friends they can celebrate their way, I'll celebrate mine "Inshallah".  We're in what appears to be a spate of Jewish holidays so it doesn't matter what I'm drinking, I always call it Manischewitz.


In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Memo To All The Stat-phobic Dinosaurs Out There

M Scott Eiland's picture

Yes--Mike Trout is *really* that awesome--in a manner that is virtually without precedent.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

I'm really not a conservative, but maybe Walmart shouldn't ...


It's not the mouth it comes out of,


it's the mind it goes into.


Do we have to abandon use of the word "naughty" now for everything other than wink wink, nudge nudge etc etc?


My  only complaint about the outfit is I would imagine any child who was told they were going to dress as a leopard and was given this would be dissapointed. Leopards don't, as a rule, wear dresses.

Crap, I wore that last year.


The year before I was 'Naughty Tiger' but folks kept asking me if I was "Purple Zebra".  B*st*rdts have no sense of creativity.

I'm a bit gun shy on this subject.  Halloween 2011, a statement that was supposed to sound like "Do your parents know you're dressed like that?" Came out as "Who put the slutty looking 12 year old on my front lawn?"  The look on my wife's face told me exactly where the parents were, which was about 15 feet away.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

The Amazing Powers of OUR Mr. Catchy!


...Catchy says the word, and Walmart jumps, asking, "How high?"


MEMPHIS, TN--Retail giant Walmart has pulled a controversial Halloween costumes for toddlers off their shelves.

According to ABC News, the costume titled "Naughty Leopard" resembled a wild cat. The costume was a black, long sleeve dress that featured lace, and sparkles. The costume also came with a cat ears headpiece.

"We are in the process of pulling the product off our shelves and we apologize to any customers that may have been offended by the name," Walmart spokeswoman Danit Marquardt told Thursday.


Now that's power!


Best Wishes, Traveller

They're Obviously Trying To Reclaim The Word "Naughty"

M Scott Eiland's picture

Rather ineptly, though--leopards aren't purple.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Huh? Samantha Lewthwaite led the Nairobi militants?

mmghosh's picture

Stranger and stranger.


Edit:  Evidence! The Guardian shows her photo in her fake passport.


freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency



Assuming it's a decent quality fake ... RSA passports have English and French,  but no Afrikaans,  Zulu, or Xhosa.   Odd.


US passports have English, French, and Spanish.  Iranian passports have Farsi and English.

More social mobility in medieval England than today.

mmghosh's picture

Something I have always suspected.

"The huge social resources spent on publicly provided education and health have seemingly created no gains in the rate of social mobility," he said.


Clark's controversial research, which is to be presented at the Economic History Society's annual conference today, also suggests that widely-held perceptions about medieval England may have to be revised. Clark believes that the apparent social fluidity of the period contrasts starkly with that of industrial England.

"Over the last 150 years, the rate of social mobility revealed by surnames is slower than most social scientists have estimated – and is possibly slower than in the middle ages," Clark said.


"The modern meritocracy is no better at achieving social mobility than the medieval oligarchy." Clark notes that many surnames in the medieval period indicated the bearer's occupation such as mason, carpenter or baker. Those bearing the surname "Smith", for example, were chiefly descended from the simple village blacksmiths that emerged in the middle of the 14th century.

Strikingly, by 1450 the share of "Smiths" at Oxford University, the entry for those wishing to rise to the highest positions in the church and therefore a key indicator of social achievement, was equal to their proportion across the general population.


And by 1650 there were as many "Smiths" in the top 1% of wealth holders as in the general population, suggesting they had been completely assimilated into the elite.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

The last study I saw on this (a few years ago)


indicated that the later Middle Ages is the high point for when you see people of a peasant backgrounds in Oxbridge and that the Renaissance is the start of a long slide in social mobility. I'd like to have a closer look at this paper when I have time.

I Would Also Like to Note a Certain Fluidity....

(#308484) the sense that entire favored groups were turned out, sometimes banished, with the institution of a new King or Regent Barron...with a strong sword arm. There was, think Yorkish or Lancasters, a total circulation of elites and minor characters...could and did become Kings...see Henry Tudor out of the Welsh Maches to become Henry VII and the founder of the Tudor line.


See the radical switches between Elizabeth and Mary....the same was true in France and the German Kingdoms...again, intelligence, cunning and a ready weapon were paths to power.



I Suspect A Lot Of That. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .is due to the fact that being not in the top 1% (or even somewhere in the bottom 50%) is a heck of a lot more tolerable these days than it was fifty years ago--never mind five hundred years ago. Upward mobility requires a lot of work (whether honest or otherwise) and often risk of loss of existing status (say, if a business goes bankrupt and wipes out the business owner's savings in the process), meaning that a lot of people who would have worked their way into higher status in earlier times might well shrug and say, "I'm happy with what I have."

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Isn't that more to do with poor health?

mmghosh's picture

Infectious diseases, poor hygiene and so forth.  


That said, I visited the Leeds Armouries Museum some time ago.   Its very striking to see differences in the gear worn by the European men-at-arms who had to wear those gigantic suits of armour, carry wooden lances and the heavy 40/44 inch 2-handed broadswords, compared to the much more lightly armed Oriental soldiery (more mobile as a result?)  The men who wore those must have been in excellent health.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Actually. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .I had technology in general in mind, which has (among other things) assisted mightily in dealing with those problems. A typical welfare recipient in the United States has access to many things that the wealth of John D. Rockefeller would have been unable to procure, and he died less than eighty years ago. Obviously, a billionaire (or the equivalent) lived in luxury regardless of the era, but there are things that we take for granted even for lower income people that would have had Carnegie, Ford, and J.P. Morgan staring in envy.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).



Yeah, I'm sure a Rockefeller would totally trade places with any of us today, with our iPads and flat screens and coke zero.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw


M Scott Eiland's picture

Yikes--when was the last time the 49ers, Giants, Steelers, and Redskins all started 0-3? The Eli & RGIII haters are definitely going to have free reign until order is restored.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

RGIII came back too soon

Bird Dog's picture

Still, he's not playing that badly. It's not his fault that his defense sucks. The 49ers loss was a genuine surprise. After getting spanked by the Seahawks, I thought they would come out blazing yesterday. If there's a common thread, none of those four teams have much a running game, and the turnovers they made were costly.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

But Pete Caroll and (Belichick) are the Toast of the Town...&

(#308447) did the Dodgers get to be so good?


I don't follow Baseball as you do, (except as a business), and they were terrible last year....a new management group comes in, vastly  overpays for the franchise, and suddenly they are on a Championship road?


What gives, what happened?


I won't believe that Pros just didn't want to play hard for Frank.


Best Wishes, Traveller

They Spent The Money

M Scott Eiland's picture

The Grifter didn't--plus all of the turmoil was probably bad for getting players to want to come there. If the management group somehow went south financially, I suppose they'd have to have a fire sale like the Marlins have had a couple of times after championships.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Koompassia Excelsa....Just to Keep the Conversation Moving Along



Northwestern Thailand



Medicaid expansion in the US - wagsters prediction


Wags predicted after the 2012 SCOTUS ruling that over time eventually almost every state would expand medicaid b/c the federal government's offer was too generous to turn down. That's been slowly happening, and the steady progression makes wags look prescient:


Well, since LaPierre and his


Well, since LaPierre and his defenders think mental health is underfunded and underregulated, I'm sure they'll be all over Fed assistance.  Cause the private sector sure as hell isn't pouring money into free antipsychotics, treatment, and institutionalization. 

Too much credit


I was probably just aping what somebody else said.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

The Amazing Things One Learns on an Islamic Website!



Tunisia's women's ministry said Saturday it would come up with a plan to counter the growing number of women travelling to Syria to wage so-called "sex jihad" by comforting militants.

"The ministry intends to boost its cooperation with both government and non-government bodies on this issue to come up with appropriate ways to thwart the plans of those who encourage such practices," a ministry statement said.

"The ministry will work to introduce a plan of information, sensitivity and education targeting women and families everywhere to warn them of the seriousness of these practices," it said.

A crisis group has already been set up, it added.

Interior Minister Lotfi ben Jeddou told the National Constituent Assembly on Thursday that Tunisian women had gone to Syria where "they have sexual relations with 20, 30, 100" militants.

"After the sexual liaisons they have there in the name of 'jihad al-nikah' -- (sexual holy war, in Arabic) -- they come home pregnant," he told MPs.

Ben Jeddou did not elaborate on how many Tunisian women had returned to the country pregnant with the children of jihadist fighters.

On Saturday, the health ministry statement said it had noted "an increase in the number of young women leaving for so-called jihad al-nikah", although it did not give any figures.

Jihad al-nikah, permitting extramarital sexual relations with multiple partners, is considered by some hardline Sunni Muslim Salafists as a legitimate form of holy war.



Ah, girls just always need an excuse to have fun! (have sexual relations with 20, 30, 100 militants...(tis` blessed joy)).


Best Wishes, Traveller


Culture affects the expression of schizophrenia


When American schizophrenics hear voices, they tell them to murder people, drink their blood, etc. In India, by contrast, the voices in schizophrenics' heads tell them to make sure they're doing their chores.


Describing his own voices, an American matter-of-factly explained, “Usually it’s like torturing people to take their eyes out with a fork, or cut off someone’s head and drink the blood, that kind of stuff.” Other Americans spoke of “war,” as in, “They want to take me to war with them,” or their “suicide voice” asking, “Why don’t you end your life?”

In Chennai, the commanding voices often instructed people to do domestic chores — to cook, clean, eat, bathe, to “go to the kitchen, prepare food.” To be sure, some Chennai patients reported disgusting commands — in one case, a woman heard the god Hanuman insist that she drink out of a toilet bowl. But in Chennai, the horrible voices people reported seemed more focused on sex. Another woman said: “Male voice, very vulgar words, and raw. I would cry.”

I can't imagine that the homeland of Mahmoud of Ghazni, of Prince Shivaji (who once disemboweled a Mughal official with a concealed set of talons) really has that much less cultural valorization of violence. But still, even when it's antisocial stuff, it's gross, but not murderous. I'd be interested to see what the ideation of schizophrenia looks like in western Europe.


Mahmoud was a Turk. And the Afzal Khan/Shivaji encounter

mmghosh's picture

is hugely interesting and contested.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

How Interesting\Very!/ Thanks....nt



This is crazy

brutusettu's picture

all psychological and economic studies should be conducted on American college students, it's the only way to be sure to get a an accurate sample population.

America is Such a Free Country, Yeah Sur! Nazi NRA Strikes

(#308376) can say anything you want except tell the truth about the NRA....if you do, like Brown Shirt Nazi's, the NRA will come and tear your life apart. On this issue there is not hair breaths difference between pre-war Nazi Germany and the Great Amerika today.


By Matt Hamilton

September 21, 2013, 7:00 a.m.

A Kansas professor was put on administrative leave Friday after a tweet he sent earlier in the week that blamed the Navy Yard shooting on the National Rifle Assn.

Announcing her decision to put University of Kansas journalism professor David Guth on indefinite leave, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said in a statement that she sought “to prevent disruptions to the learning environment for students.”

The controversy over the longtime professor's tweet began Monday after news broke on the Navy Yard shooting in Washington, D.C., that left 13 dead, including the gunman, Aaron Alexis.

Guth, a native of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, wrote on Twitter that “the blood is on the hands of the #NRA.”

“Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you,” Guth wrote.

The president of the Kansas State Rifle Assn., Patricia Stoneking, called Guth’s tweet “outrageous” and called for the university to fire him.

Condemnations by university officials were no less forceful. Timothy C. Caboni, vice chancellor for public affairs, called Guth’s tweet “repugnant,” while the dean of the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Ann Brill, vowed that the school does not advocate violence against any group.

Guth, who has taught journalism at the university since 1991, took to his personal blog and remained unapologetic, declaring that "the time has passed for niceties and tact."

"There are two sides to this debate: The side of angels and the NRA," Guth wrote. "Where do you stand?"



A brave man, a cowardly school.


Maybe its good Catchy is out of the country.





Bird Dog's picture

There is nothing wrong with a professor openly wishing for kids to be shot to death, all because their parent don't agree with his politics. No way he should be held accountable for the tweets he tweeted. [/sarcasm]

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

The second part of your argument


Is the more problematic.


Should Professors be fired for saying objectionable things? Who decides what is objectionable? (Especially when the topic is political.) What exactly is the threshold for objectionable-ness? At what point do hurt feelings justify ruining someone's life?

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

This presumes that...

Bird Dog's picture

...the only recourse is a professor's firing. I'm sure the university has its policies for offensive speech that creates a hostile environment, and I assume the professor agreed to those policies as a condition of his employment. Absent any violations, the public ridicule seems quite sufficient to me.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Next time someone's kid dies of certain preventable disease

brutusettu's picture

I don't quite wish it's Jenny McCarthy's.



See now, I don't wish that her kids die, just that if kids do die of a disease that is effectively stamped out by commonly used vaccines (nearly mandatory type), it's just better that it would Jenny's kids if that were to happen.



Also note that the Kansas dude didn't wish for those kids to get shot to death if he had a major enough say or that he wishes kids do get shot death.  He jus said that "next time let it be" them.  Now the prof has astroturf fed outrage looking for his head on a pike.


The NRA does truly kinda wish for the day of LMG's on the back of every pick-up because that would boost the profit of their real donors, but I digress.  

Good parse

Bird Dog's picture

Actually, it wasn't very good at all.

Because it's simply bad form to "let" or wish the deaths of those children whose parents who have political views that you don't like. If Hitler had kids, would I earnestly hope that his spawn die in gas chambers? I regret that you do not agree with basic premise. 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

It wouldn't really be better if it was Jenny's


(innocent) children. Morality is not arithmetic.

Interesting question


Suppose you accept the completely made-up scenario that for some bizarre reason a kid has to die,  but we have to choose which one.  Make it even more unrealistic by assuming that some parent's actions led to the whole unfortunate situation arising in the first place.


Young kids are by definition all equally innocent,  and not responsible for their parent's actions, so if it's justice you're after,  what their parents did is irrelevant,  and we ought to choose by lot.   A pure utilitarian, though,  might argue that by choosing the child of the guilty parent,  you are deterring other parents from creating such situations in the future.


Nasty line of reasoning,  IMO,  but then that's exactly what people are proposing when they want to determine a US born child's citizenship based on whether his/her parent's entered the country legally.


Thus my assertion that morality is not arithmetic.





Nasty line of reasoning,  IMO,  but then that's exactly what people are proposing when they want to determine a US born child's citizenship based on whether his/her parent's entered the country legally.

or when the usual internet tough guys brush off the dead children in an israeli occupation zone by saying the usual "pick better leaders" BS.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

Sure. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .if one equates "not getting US citizenship" with "dying." I'd suggest a better parallel is if a parent or parents committed grand larceny and put the proceeds in a trust fund for their children. The children's standard of living would undoubtedly suffer if that money was reclaimed, but it hardly seems unjust to do so. Of course, it goes without saying that creating moral hypotheticals from the results of the arguably overbroad application of a constitutional amendment which was passed to deal with the consequences of millions of human beings being brought into the United States against their will in chains is more than occasionally problematic as applied to those who, well, weren't.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

The hypothetical


was that we had to choose some child to die.  I assume brutusettu,  and even the angry Prof. Guth,  don't want any child at all to die;  they're just commenting on who to pick if you had to pick.


So turning to the immigration question...if you had to pick some natural-born US citizen kids to deport,  we could discuss which ones and why.  But of course we don't have to deport any at all if we don't want to.


If one no longer thinks the birthright amendment is a good idea (I still like it),  there's always the 2/3 of Congress + 3/4 of the States route to get it changed.  Until then, it is what it is.

Rethinking the Great Trolley Problem

brutusettu's picture

Jenny and others might not change their ways even if their chickens come home to roost.  Too difficult to predict a least worst victim of a death Jenny or others (NRA) might help make more certain.

I'd suggest picking the ugly kids


but I suspect if it was made retroactive we'd wipe out half the Forvm.  Or if irony is your thing, we could deport native americans.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Actually. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .we *can't* deport those kids, because they are, as the 14th Amendment has been interpreted, citizens regardless of the circumstances of their mother's presence on US soil at the time of their birth. We can deport their parents if they are here illegally, and that might create some hard choices as to whether to leave them with relatives legally in the States or for the parents to take them with them and allow them to return either when they're 18 or when accomodations with legal residents or citizens can be arranged. We can also deport kids who were brought here while young and are not US citizens. By hesitating to do these things, we incentivize the behavior that creates these situations, since no one will ever believe "this is the last time" as far as amnesty goes based on past spineless behavior by the government.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

I doubt this has half so much to do with the NRA


as it does with having simple tact. Think a gun owner feels they can say they are a gun owner and do well in that fool's class? And seriously, brave? An academic spouting off at what's generally considered a right of center organization is brave? That's about as brave as me saying 'screw communism'.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Brave? He is Suspended for Speaking, You are not...



...draw what conclusions you might from this.



He wasn't suspended, Trav. He is on vacation


The conclusion I draw is that the school wants to ensure that they are employing a person who is sane.  You and I totally disagree on gun rights and as much as I think you are totally wrong on the subject, I'd never wish harm on you or yours or hope to see your soul damned.  When folks start talking like that a little alarm should be ringing that one might be dealing with a person not in full command of their faculties.  The school is only being prudent in ensuring their employee is fit to continue working in the capacity for which he is employed.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

There are free speech issues here


This professor wasn't advocating violence by a country mile.


Saying God should damn X for X's actions is just an insult. It's not an incitement to violence, it's not even a big deal.


Employers firing anyone but spokespeople for exercising their 1st amend. rights is not good.


A public institution doing so is even worse.


This could be an even more serious free speech issue, depending on this guy's function in the University's journalism department. If gun control issues are within his area of study and teaching, this would be an academic freedom issue.


This guy should be taken off "indefinite academic leave" b/c of concerns about students' "learning environment" as soon as possible. Your concerns about his mental fitness are ridiculous.

I don't have concerns about his mental fitness.


Then again, he isn't my employee.  Had I an employee who wished opponents of gun rights be be rounded up and shipped off to a gulag to be butt-raped for all eternity or some such nonsense I'd certainly question their ability to be impartial and open-minded in both an academic and professional environment. 

I have no issue at all on 1st amendment rights to disagree with the plain meaning of the second amendment.  It's an issue of tenor, so to speak.  There's a point where one is basically like 'Hey Hoss, are you ok?  Need a break or a drink of water?  Maybe you ought to find some shade and get out of the sun a bit."  Dude seems to fit that bill.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Your folksy, commonsense "dude and hoss" language


is masking a radical anti-1st amend. position.


I responded to the "we know he can't be objective if he has strong opinions!!" weak-a$$ argument above.

Well, I'm in no way radical anti-1st amendment


Again, and I don't know how to make this clearer, and frankly it's frightening that I should have to to an educator, I don't have an issue with is right to express his opinion regarding the 2d amendment.  But there is a point where one who signs the paycheck aka the responsible mofo, might consider the manner of speech rather then the content.

You see a chilling effect on speech.  Hell, I'd be a lot more outspoken and wouldn't use a handle if I could get paid vacations this easily.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

"paid vacation"


being put on leave w/out your consent is punishment. No need to minimize it. It's not being fired, but it's not nothing either, and it looks to be the result of intimidation.


But ... now the content isn't the problem, the tone is? Sometimes people choose to be confrontational and controversial to get their message out. Leaving that choice up to the speaker is part of believing in free speech. Support for the 1st amend. at a very basic level requires prioritizing that over some folksy "dude check-writer should take a look at who's eating crayons on his payroll" stuff.



The content isn't the problem in as much


as it's anti 2d amendment.  The content of wishing harm, which I do consider a matter of tone in this case, suggests an air of impartiality.  Fine, you don't think a guy is off his rocker a bit, we disagree.  Do you think this guy's publicly stated position might have a chilling effect on speech in his classroom?

I'd have a problem if he was fired or if he was suspended out of hand.  I don't have a problem with his employer identifying a 'flagging' issue to be reviewed.  If it turns out that the good professor has a history of chilling speech himself then I'm quite alright with him being canned.  If he has history of being provocative but fair to differing opinions then he should be returned to his duties as soon as possible.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

"chilling speech"


Again, if this guy's academic life has anything to do with gun rights, you couldn't do anything more chilling to free speech in American society than disciplining a public university professor for expressing opinions in an area in which he researches and instructs.


I'm not sensing much respect for the idea of academic freedom here. It's simply not the job of professors to keep their mouths shut in case students feel uncomfortable disagreeing with them.


But where you end up -- with this guy being quickly returned to his position absent any independent evidence of student intimidation isn't too far from where I am. I just don't think he should've been suspended in the first place for being controversial. 



I'm with you. But.


I looked at the guy's blog and some student comments online.  If that's all there is,  then the university is overreacting.  I have a friend who's an engineering professor in the habit of spewing anti-government opinions on the internet,  and I really, really don't want him fired or suspended.


"I'm not sensing much respect for the idea of academic freedom here. It's simply not the job of professors to keep their mouths shut in case students feel uncomfortable disagreeing with them."


I happen to think that DC,  BD, and MSE are little too concerned about delicate pro-NRA wallflowers feeling afraid of a strident anti-gun professor;  however, this idea of not expressing ideas that make students feel excluded is unfortunately not something they invented.  It's mainstream,  and at least as strong on the left as on the right.


You know that a prominent university president was forced to resign for expressing the opinion that there could be a genetic component to academic ability.  He wasn't advocating that this be used against anyone,  he merely proposed it as a possible explanation for some statistics.  The facts that he'd hired or approved the hiring of many, many female academics, that there was AFAIK no accusations that he'd discriminated against any actual person, and that his university is engaged in all kinds of programs and organizations trying to improve the statistics that were under discussion, did not get him off the hook.



Despite all that, Guth's mistake was writing anything that even remotely seemed to approvingly contemplate violence happening to anyone.   Especially as an anti-gun person,  he should've been aware how hyper-sensitive schools at all levels are about anything like this.  20 years ago, if a student asked what the penalty for late homework was, I might have joked about a firing squad or a flogging.  That's out now.



Eeyn, to me, that's not it.


Great example and argument on academic freedom issues.  A Firefly poster would have been more than enough, though. 

What I'm saying is that anyone who drags kids into an argument, even the kids of people they hate, I begin to question their mental state.  I'm not saying they are crazy but they've crossed the line of being beyond a doubt.  The school he works for did nothing more then tell him to wipe the white sh*t off the corner of his mouth...up to this point.  Where they go from here remains to be seen.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

You Left Out The Part. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .where he was rooting for the next set of victims to be the children of NRA members. Which might well include some of his students. I'd call that a reasonable concern, whether it be regarding his mental state or simply whether such students can respect a remotely fair shake from him in class.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Uhm, It's an entirely understandable statement


I didn't leave it out. I just didn't pretend that he's the first guy to argue that if you're going to advocate harmful policies, you deserve any harm that results. 


Anyone can understand this. Pretending that his tweet was uniquely offensive or pretending only a crazy person could have such a thought is just dumb. And probably an excuse to push around somebody whose speech you don't like.

And You Left Out That Part. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .where I pointed out that it also raised issues of whether he could be objective with the education of those he disagreed with, given that he seems to view young people as means, not ends. I have a feeling that if this was a teacher of religious philosophy saying that people who didn't believe in Jesus (or whatever) deserved to have their children die from natural disasters, I would be reading a very different reaction to said professor's (fully justified) suspension, paid or not.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Where is there any evidence about objectivity?


First, no one knows whether this guy assigns essays on anything having to do with gun control.


That would actually make matters worse for your position, since that means the controversy involves academic freedom, not merely 1st amend. rights.


Second, where is it written that people with strong opinions can't be objective? I read opinions all day every day that I strongly disagree with and think are socially harmful. But it's my job to filter that out and focus on the structure of thought and quality of argument and inference.


That's what the job is, and some emotional facebooking or tweeting isn't any evidence of an incapacity to do that one way or the other. It's extremely weak evidence that doesn't begin to meet any reasonable standards for firing a public university professor.

Sorry, That's Way Too Much Bootstrapping For Me

M Scott Eiland's picture

And academic freedom certainly doesn't include the right to slime your students because you don't like their viewpoints. I'd say that openly admitting that one would prefer their deaths due to their parents' politics creates a rebuttable (with difficulty) presumption that one can't be objective about them in general. I'm assuming you've never done any such thing, so I'm fine with assuming that you are capable of being objective enough in such cases. Much like a "communications director" who roots for the death of his enemies' children by disease, Professor Guth seems to be missing a rather crucial part of the toolkit for his chosen profession; namely, the ability to convince his students that he's not a vindictive loon.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Vindictive Loons..Is a Nice Turn of a Phrase for the NRA, Thanks



Dude, he wasn't fired.


Say it with me.  "He wasn't fired.  He wasn't suspended".  He's on paid administrative leave, what the rest of the world calls vacation.  For cryin' out loud, I'd wish to God I could say some of the sh*t to the tune this guy did and get told to take a long weekend.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

I hope Scott Realizes We Are Talking About Mr. Guth...(& Darth)



“I don’t apologize for it because I’m not saying in the tweet that I want anybody harmed, and I expanded on it in my blog,” he said. Guth said he was tweeting as a private citizen, not as a professor. “I defend the NRA’s rights first and second amendments and I hope they respect mine,” he said.

The Kansas State Rifle Association has called for Guth’s immediate dismissal.

“The KSRA will do everything possible to see to the removal of this man,” said Kansas State Rifle Association President Patricia Stoneking. “He should be fired immediately. His statements are outrageous!” She went on to say, “Is this who you want teaching your children? I certainly do not want him teaching mine.”

While Guth refuses to apologize for his tweet, he does defend it.

‘If you look at how I structured the statement, I didn’t really bring [the NRA’s) children into it,” he said. “I carefully structured the statement to make it conditional, but apparently it was too much of a nuance for some people.” Guth went on to say, “I don’t want anybody harmed. If somebody’s going to be harmed, maybe it ought to be the people who believe that guns are so precious that it’s worth spilling blood over.”



Mr. Guth's comments as a private citizen were actually quite mild...


"blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters."


It is clear however that the Kansas NRA wants College professors fired for voicing a private opinion.


Please argue your way around this, Darth.


Best Wishes, Traveller


Edit: Scott is seemingly talking about an entirely different individual and set of circumstances.



It Was A Meaningless Conditional

M Scott Eiland's picture

I'm not impressed, he damned well *did* drag the children into it, and he's doubling down so f**k him.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

It was a conditional, obviously so


I got it the very first time all by myself, and now he's clarified it for you. 


No one's impressed when you give someone's speech the worst possible interpretation and then try to use that undermine their 1st amend rights.

It wasn't a conditional

Bird Dog's picture

"Next time" means that he expects more mass shootings, and he expressly wished that those killed next time would be the sons and daughters of people whom he has political differences with. And since he's doubling down, MSE is right, f**k him. It also makes one wonder how he would grade a student who walks into class every day, exercising his right to free speech by wearing an NRA t-shirt.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

"If Gravity Keeps Working" Is Also A Conditional

M Scott Eiland's picture

It's equally meaningless to the one he described.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

It's not a law of nature


that mass shootings of children have to be carried out with the kinds of guns this guy was complaining about -- assault weapons with high-volume magazines or hollow-point bullets, purchased without significant background checks.


We get that you'd like for this guy to be advocating shooting NRA supporter's kids, but wishing doesn't make it so.

Neither Is The ACLU's Portfolio

M Scott Eiland's picture

And yet, if a Republican punctuated a claim that allowing suspected terrorists to be tortured with pliers and blowtorches would save lives with a comment that if the ACLU failed to come out for that it would serve them right if their own children fell victim to future terrorist acts, I suspect the excuses wouldn't be flowing as readily. Meaning your objections are content-based, not First Amendment based.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Interesting prediction


I wonder what it's based on.


From my PoV, many leftist ACLU supporters routinely put up with shocking rhetoric, including being labeled anti-American terrorist sympathizers from people a lot more high profile than some journalism professor in Wichita with 8 followers on Twitter.


So I doubt your little example would generally get ACLU supporters to abandon their 1st amend free speech principles. 

Then By All Means, Gun Grabbers And Other Democrats Should. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .keep bringing up their enemies' kids in their little temper tantrums and see how that works out for them. Think of it as political evolution in action.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Your prediction is just a funny misunderstanding of the left


Here's a liberal imagining the same exact thing you do, but thinking it's obvious it would go the other way:


Suppose after a terrorist attack, some right-wing professor blames the ACLU for defending the rights of potential terrorists and preventing the terrorist from being stopped, and then wishes that the children of ACLU leaders had died in the attack so that they might change their beliefs. I think such a professor might be criticized by many people, but I am certain that neither the ACLU nor Terry Bruce would demand that professor’s dismissal. The only hypocrisy I can see here is on the right.


No, I Understand The Left All Too Well

M Scott Eiland's picture

And given that they are the overwhelming source of speech codes that have targeted far more innocuous statements and writings by both students and faculty, I'm certainly not willing to buy them as the last, greatest guardians of free speech and academic freedom.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

"i understand the left all too well"





“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

I Don't Think So, I Believe Hypocrites Should be Given Full


...reign. See above.


I also don't accept your postulate...Republicans have said this for ages and ad nauseam now....I just go, "Hummm, there could be some validity to this...."


Like I say, the NRA types and their children can just keep on keeping killing themselves and each other....(is a parent a bad parent just for owning a weapon, considering the vastly higher statistical likelihood that that child will be killed by a gun? Hummm, custody orders are already being based on whether or not that parent smokes...hummmm, now this would be fun to litigate).


Nah, it is your guys who want to shut and discussion out of the public sphere...but I'm good with you all killing yourselves.


Have at it, we talkers will just talk on.



That's Your Call

M Scott Eiland's picture

You're not teaching children (or acting as a communications director). But don't kid yourself as the helpfulness of this rhetoric to the gun control cause--Allan Brauer being flushed for *this* particular piece of rhetoric after a long history of vile rhetoric (including reinforcing the unpleasant stereotype of gay men being the worst misogynists of all), and Professor Guth and his rhetoric fueled vacation indicates that even the lefty friendly confines of university campuses and the citadel of moonbattery that is the California Democratic Party aren't willing to put up with subsidizing this crap any more, and that anyone who wants to mouth off this way had better be up to supporting themselves without support from those who don't want to be associated with it.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

He's being put on indefinite administrative leave


in order for the University to complete a review to see if firing him is appropriate.


Since it's not remotely appropriate, he shouldn't be on indefinite administrative leave. 

Ahem, The School is Only Being Prudent in Katowing to the NRA...


...they're still in Kansas after all...!





The school is being prudent in that they appear to


have a professor who eats crayons.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

From my PoV, anyone who's saying he's *crazy*


is eating from the same box.

I wouldn't say he's crazy. Besides, I find crayons


delicious.  Have you tried Cadet Blue?  It's to die for. 

Anyway, I wouldn't say he is crazy but when somebody says stuff like this I'd want to double-check that they aren't crazy.  I recognize the free speech issue but I think anyone who signs a paycheck might want to reign in a little of the 'I hope your kids die' kind of chatter.

Again, while I think his interpretation of the 2d amendment is idiotic, I'd never want to see his freedom of speech on the subject trammeled but when a dude looks like he's come unglued to the point that he's wishing harm on folks' kids, well he just appears to need a break.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Go back and look at the tweet


It's compatible with wishing harm on no one's children. His outburst was that if harm does come b/c of the NRA's policies, it would be more fair if it fell on the NRA's supporters.


We're in "duh" territory here.


If everyone who had a strong reaction in the aftermath to mass shootings, whether pro or anti-gun, was put on leave from their jobs, the economy would tank.

Here was a pro-NRA facebook post from my feed


Navy Yard shooting reeks of conspiracy to me. The government is trying to make a pretty "strong" argument why they're our parents and, lacking supervision, we'll shoot our eyes out. Well f*ck them, and they can pry my guns from my cold dead fingers. The news is a f*cking joke.


Maybe this person should be taken off her job until her employers know they're not paying a crazy person.


Point being, people get worked up about mass shootings. It's human, natural, and shouldn't be used as a pretext for intimidating speakers whose speech you don't like. 

Depends on who this person is.


The guy who changes my oil?  No big deal.  A guy who deals with security or, heaven forbid, foster an open-minded environment, well that's another story.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Also, this is not consistent with being a friend to free speech


You're being internally consistent by applying the same standards to the pro and anti-NRA speakers, but neither is consistent with being friendly towards 1st amend rights in general.


It did not even occur to me that this person's livelihood should be implicated in any way simply b/c she spoke her mind on a political issue, even if I thought it sounded 'out there'.

"foster an open-minded environment"


We must shut down free speech in order to foster free thinking. 


Doesn't make a ton of sense to me.

Well that's truly a shame.


That you as an educator don't realize that your freedom of speech can have a chilling effect on your students' expression.  Do you honestly think that were you to offer up an opinion that was pretty volatile, say hoping your opponent on issue X kids die, that your students would feel that they could offer an opinion counter to yours and expect a fair grade.  You're fooling yourself if you do.  It doesn't matter if you feel you could grade fairly or not, you're in a position of authority over them and you'd have stated what you'd be happy to see kids die over, knocking a few points off should be easy peasy.


In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

I honestly wouldn't worry about it


It's all about how you treat people who disagree with you in the class room.


Do you get angry or do you praise people who make a strong objection? Do you work on stating their ideas together, which you don't necessarily agree with, in their most plausible and strongest form? Do you work hard when returning a rough draft of a paper so your comments help them fully and persuasively flesh out their own views, whatever they may be?


I don't think consistently preaching is an effective way to teach or anything, and I certainly don't do it, but I also don't feel bad about occasionally asserting a strident position if it wakes kids up and gets them talking.


"The NRA is pro murder" sounds like an entirely acceptable way to get a convo going.


Again, with respect to chilling free speech, the bigger concern is if this guy is researching on gun rights and the media or whatever, and people are pushing him around from expressing his views in public.


I'm concerned that you're leaving academic freedom entirely out of the equation. I'm starting to think you don't believe in it.

Yeah. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .because we want our "public" educators advocating the murder of the children of their political opponents. Between this and the "communications director" in California who self-defenestrated by wishing death on *his* political enemies' children, I suspect Democrats aren't really perceiving that this is not a very clever route as far as winning hearts and minds goes. Maybe a few political ads on the topic in the 2014 election cycle will bring the message home.

Oh well, I'm sure the taxpayer paid free vacation that the professor is getting will teach him that doing such things is wrong.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

I hate the NRA with a


I hate the NRA with a white-hot passion but I have to give them props -- they have engineered a great position.


Complain loudly about their tactics and lack of morality and they feign indignation while the media and institutions play along.

Resort to apathy and they can safely ignore you knowing they've won.

I hate the NRA and the ACLU too


I absolutely hate that they exist. But I hate the fact that they exist just a little bit less than I hate the fact that they have good reason to.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

I didn't mention anything


I didn't mention anything about not wanting them to exist.  It is a question of their methods and immorality.



For a perfect example, LaPierre sh@t out this little nugget:


"In a post-9/11 world, a naval base within miles from Congress and the White House" was left "completely unprotected," LaPierre said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press"", calling for "layers of security around our military bases" to ensure it doesn't happen again.


He also urged policymakers to consider allowing service members on bases to carry firearms to provide an added measure of security. "We need to look at letting the men and women who know firearms and are trained in them do what they do best, which is protect and survive," he said.


He suggested that if someone is "involuntarily committed," or if mental health professionals determine someone is dangerous, that person ought to be flagged as a potential threat and prevented from buying a gun.


When he was asked whether the government should require background checks for private firearm sales between individuals, LaPierre said, "No, I don't believe you ought to be under the thumb of the federal government."


We have moved on to the next stage of post-massacre thumb twiddling.  Now we get to listen to the NRA whine about the lack of good tough men with guns who could have prevented this tragedy.  On a Naval base, this time.  What a ghoul.  His other routine observation is that people with mental health issues shouldn't be able to buy guns, except if they buy them from a buddy or gun show.  Wonderful.  Finally, he predictably faints on the couch at the suggestion that the NRA is partly to blame for a criminal's or crazy person's unfettered access to untraceable firearms.


My take away is he is once again trolling Americans who dislike the NRA-approved death culture.  People get mad at his provocative droppings and the gun-fetishists point and say "see, they wanna take ur gunz!"  Sales go up, the gun industry profits, the NRA grows, and politicians get bags of cash.  That cash comes out of the pockets of red state folks who could be saving the money for retirement, health care, or spending it on useful goods that improve the economy.  Instead, they have gun lockers full of incredibly expensive guns and ammo to admire.  Who's getting played, here?  Again, the NRA is at base an immoral organization.


Edit 2 : The armed good-tough-man defense is doubly nefarious because it promotes a fiction that will always be true and promotes gun sales

1) every time a massacre occurs, by default the good-tough-man wasn't there

2) the number of concealed-carry owners ("potential" good-tough-men assuming they aren't crazies who bought their gun from a gun show/buddy) will never be large enough to prevent a significant number of massacres

3) it scares people into buying guns


Again, the NRA is at base immoral.

Annual White House traditions



It's great that our busy President can take time out to celebrate these sorts of things.

From the End of the Bar


Popsicle Sticks


Latest Tweet From Giant Deposit Of Whale Excrement

M Scott Eiland's picture

"I want to completely condemn and disassociate myself with the Tweets by Allan Brauer today--there are depths to which even *I* will not sink." #embarrassmenttoprotoplasm

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Kabuki GOP theater

Bird Dog's picture

This is why I'm a failed Republican.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

kabuki theatre


I agree that on procedural grounds and other political unrealities it's a silly play by the House GOP.


There's also the issue that what's mainly motivating GOP politicians is that some people are going to get health insurance who couldn't otherwise afford it in our system. 


These are also the guys who just voted to cut food stamps in a time of mass unemployment. Poor people getting access to health care and poor kids getting food makes these guys livid.


Rather than the poorly thought out political maneuvering, I'd say it's more important to focus on the fact that Republicans are evil.

BD (and anyone else), I have


BD (and anyone else), I have a question for you.  And it isn't a leading question designed to highlight the GOP's divisions.  I'd like your opinion because I can't seem to figure out the endgame here.


Question : Assuming the CR is sent back to the House without the ACA defunding provision, what happens next?


- Boehner shut's 'er down.  If that happens, I assume we'd be in for a protracted govt shutdown with one side eventually giving in.

- Boehner bucks the conservatives and passes a CR with ACA funding intact.

- Something else, probably some parliamentary trick designed to fund the ACA without making the conservatives vote for it.


2 or 3

Bird Dog's picture

That's my guess. I don't think Boehner is inclined to shut the government down, in part because I don't think are enough TP non-compromisers to sway him that way.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

1, Followed By 3

M Scott Eiland's picture

Unless Boehner's tired of being Speaker, in which case he might go with 2. Of course, if the Democrats cave (unlikely, though this whole thing might end up being a Brer Rabbit move by Obama where he compromises by putting off the personal mandate at least a year, which would be an insanely popular move), then it would stop at 1.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

I don't know anymore.  I was


I don't know anymore.  I was thinking 1 but now I think it'll be 2 but, as other have said, spending will be locked at sequester levels.  So, Boehner will take a huge hit but he'll try and play it as a victory by keeping the sequester funding levels, maybe even some extra cuts for good measure, and a promise to really get nasty with the debt limit fight.  


I say this because the House Dems are making signals like it's last call at the bar --

Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) said she doesn’t like keeping spending at sequester levels.

“I would rather have a continuing resolution that would address the sequester,” Chu said. “On the other hand, a clean resolution would be better than one that defunded Obamacare. I would still have to consider my options here.”

Stinks of desperation.  Frankly, despite the loud noises from the conservatives I don't think they are going anywhere.  Boehner's problem is with a primary but maybe he thinks if he pulls off a defunding stunt in the end he'll survive.  We'll see but no matter what he's playing with fire.


Bird Dog's picture

two Democrats just got bounced out of office for ramrodding a gun control bill through the Colorado legislature.

The U.S. Congress got the message (as if they didn't the last time they tried to push gun control through).

Only one-third believe more gun control would have prevented the shooting, and only 44% want stricter gun control laws.

Therefore, the impetus from the Left to Do Something is just not there.

The killer was a black guy, so Democrats can't scream "white privilege" or ruffle NAACP feathers.

He was a Buddhist, so there's no anti-Christian angle the Left can use.

He was politically unaffiliated, so no Tea Party or other political angle to latch onto.

Basically, he was just another crazy guy that, under our current system, was not denied access to firearms.

The killer bought a shotgun, legally, and didn't even try to purchase an AR-15, thus undercutting Piers Morgan's soapbox.

The victims were military, none younger than 46. No dead kids.

Alexis had serious mental health issues, but was inexplicably not declared unfit. If he were declared such, his security clearance would have been revoked.

Alexis had previous shooting episodes and charges of disorderly conduct on his record, yet was still honorably discharged and given security clearance.

Krauthammer does reporting along with his opining:

On Aug. 7, that same Alexis had called police from a Newport, R.I., Marriott. He was hearing voices. Three people were following him, he told the cops. They were sending microwaves through walls, making his skin vibrate and preventing him from sleeping. He had already twice changed hotels to escape the men, the radiation, the voices.

Delusions, paranoid ideation, auditory (and somatic) hallucinations: the classic symptoms of schizophrenia.

So here is this panic-stricken soul, psychotic and in terrible distress. And what does modern policing do for him? The cops tell him to “stay away from the individuals that are following him.” Then they leave.


Instead, what happened? The Newport police sent their report to the local naval station, where it promptly disappeared into the ether. Alexis subsequently twice visited VA hospital ERs, but without any florid symptoms of psychosis and complaining only of sleeplessness, the diagnosis was missed. (He was given a sleep medication.) He fell back through the cracks.

And Farhi will tell you that there are mass shootings that grab the public's attention and mass shootings that don't. Obviously, this one is the latter.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Compared to what?


Sandy hook?


i mean, it was *an elementary school* ferchrissakes.


can youhonestly say you heard about any of teh other mass shootings in 2013? i honestly haven't.


“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

I have, though not all of them


The Florida mass shooting is the only one I hadn't heard of that I would have expected to.  Even then, that one has half the deaths of the navy yard shooting.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Do you have a point


Or is this one if those "why does the media downplay this shooting" right wing grievances backed up by a vague hunch and no facts?

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

You're projecting. It's an open thread mentioning a


current event.  I haven't suggested a hunch, vague or otherwise and if there's a question regarding the fact that there was a shooting at a Navy Yard in DC I think I can scare up a cite or two.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

um, yeah


"is it me or does its seem like....." = "it seems to me that....."


as for facts the shooting itself is not in dispute, darth. you are absolutely right about that. the facts i would look for are comparisons on media attention, if it "seems" to you like this one has gotten less.


FWIW, i think eeyn is right on the money in his assessment.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

Nilsey, this isn't making any sense.


You appear to be taking issue with me noticing that this shooting hasn't gotten the same level of reporting that others of this magnitude have.  You don't contradict it, in fact in your own words you agree with eeyn's assessment which only makes the least bit of sense if you actually think that coverage has been less.  So while you're thinking that we disagree, your little typing fingers are actually saying we agree.  Attributing some sort of motive ala 'grievance', vague hunch and no facts?  Well, at least I'm not alone.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Darth, you're right.


It just trips my bs detector when people start conversations with "is it just me or XYZ?" Type statements. It's usually another way of saying "I'm not gonna bother with evidence, but (insert confirmation bias statement here)."



i should have viewed your question more charitably, and I'm glad we agree that the mass shootings we are experiencing in this country are being covered with appropriate regard to the shooters religion and the victims social station.


[sarcasm in above graph but not towards you, DC]

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

Nilsey, of course I'm right.


And before we go an further, I'm just going to say that it was immensely gratifying to type that :)  If I could only get my wife to buy in, then he world would be a better place.

I think this story is newsworthy for several reasons.  Body count is obvious.  The shooter was black, statistically this isn't uncommon but the common perception is that this is generally the realm of white dudes.  It happened on a site that is supposed to be secure.  It didn't involve the taboo firearms. 

There's just enough here that the press, given past reporting, should have latched on to this but they didn't and I'm curious as to why.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Some credit to the DC and Navy authorities


I think the main reason this story didn't take off is that the Navy and the DC law enforcement didn't blow it out of proportion.  They didn't put the city on lockdown, they didn't act like the whole nation was under attack.


The networks dropped it once it was clear the shooter was a disgruntled employee gone postal,  rather than a Muslim.



I think that's reasonable, Eeyn, but....


...Boston type lock downs really have been the exception.  I'd agree that the response from the authorities was a reason but find it hard to agree that it's the main reason.  Jay C and BD make reasonable arguments as well, but "If it bleeds it leads" is as true now as it ever was.  I can buy that it's a mushy mess of contributing factors with none being particularly dominant but I can't do that and comment anywhere on the internet.  Since I intend to continue to comment on the internets I must reject that possibility out of hand.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Boston WAS different

Jay C's picture

There you had a city-wide manhunt/car chase for a couple of armed terrorists running around (semi-)loose, which turned into a fairly "simple" manhunt in one neighborhood. The Navy Yard shooting (like Ft. Hood and Newtown) was more a case of "workplace violence" (and yes, I know the phraseology tends to somewhat diminish the seriousness of the events; it's just a descriptor, not a value judgment) : I can guarantee you if Aaron Alexis had jacked a car and gone riding off into DC, there might have been a little more of that "lockdown" action....

Whether or not the Boston reaction was appropriate is


a different issue.  It still remains an exception, even if fully justified.  I'd consider it fair to dismiss it as an outlier for any basis of comparison.  Though I'd point out that several days after the shooting the media kept trying to pump air into the story, focusing  attention to irrelevancies like the dead brother's funeral arrangements. 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Hate to say it


given your occupation but part of it might be that it was at a military installation.   Even though it was mainly civilian desk workers, there is still that vague idea that people on a military base are in a different category.   It reduces the "it could happen to me or my kids" factor that you have in a shopping center shooting or a school shooting.

Given my occupation? Dude, I'm a rodeo clown and part-time


weed whacker mechanic in Montana. No cantaloupes here. No siree, no cantaloupes here. And what's that you have there? A 3d printer? She looks all kind of newfangled but I don't see make cantaloupes with it.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

What if the shooter had been a Muslim?

mmghosh's picture

Would it have made the killings worse?  More angles? Soul-searching? Tit-for-tat?

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

If the shooter had been Muslim, then conservative


talking heads would have spent the past week screaming about how Obama was too soft on terrorism, and was projecting "an image of weakness" in the Muslim world. Meanwhile there is not one reasonable proposal on the table anywhere with an idea for keeping deadly weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill.  


Or, for that matter, offering better intervention and treatment for people suffering from psychotic dissociation the way this guy clearly was.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

The problem is that when someone starts losing his


sh*t and he's in a sensitive position, there's every reason for him not to tell, since, after all, if you work for DoD and you explain to your mental health provider that there are angry voices demanding that you start murdering people you're probably not going to be working for DoD for much longer. So the person doesn't get help, the voices get more and more insistent, and then we've got another mass shooting.


But then, we also dump schizophrenics on the streets, don't make them take their meds, and then cross the street to avoid the piss-soaked homeless people raving at the creatures that only they can see or hear (although when I was in grad school I discovered that Canada does this too).

I have to agree with Jordan here....


...though it pains me.  Just saying 'I agree with Jordan' makes me want a shower in battery acid and lime kool-aid. 

Anyway, I have recently dealt with a fellow employee who 'lost his sh*t'.  He was a subordinate who was able to put on his game face at work.  When his 'at work' conduct began to indicate something wasn't right I and my superior took certain steps to ensure this guy got the medical care needed.  At work, what appeared to be a sudden mental decline was actually a several month long decline but it was only apparent to folks who had an intimate, non-professional relationsip with the guy in question.

The point being that by the time I, a person in authority, realized something wasn't right, the guy in question had been showing signs of some sort of problem for months to folks not in a position of authority.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

That's true for anyone with a mental illness.


Most of us have jobs that we consider important, whether or not anyone else does, and so we're all highly inclined to keep mental aberrations to ourselves. Hell it's a big deal to tell your employer you've been diagnosed with depression, much less that you're hearing voices that want you to do bad things.  


Interesting detail about schizophrenia in particular though: schizophrenics tend to have unusually poor insight into their condition. They believe their delusions are real, and one hallmark of the disorder is a disruption of the mental faculties that help normal people distinguish between false beliefs and true ones. Also it's worth mentioning that the vast majority of schizophrenics are neither violent nor dangerous, although they are more likely to commit suicide or violence than the general population.  


The implication is that if someone is a) psychotic/schizophrenic and b) given to violent delusions, they are probably partially or completely unable to recognize that they have a mental disorder in the first place. Some kind of intervention is crucial.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Andrew, I.think it's somewhere in the posting rules


that you're one of the few for whom profanity is forbidden, even when asteriskacized (new word). As a mod, a fellow mod at that, I am in an odd position. I'm going assume that since I was properly elected, though tied for fourth, the people have spoken and want a little more Cuddly in their blogging experience. I henceforth and forthwith declare that you and only you may curse sans asterisk in any month that has a Friday the 13th. Assuming you agree, that's 2/3 rds of the mods therefore it is forvm law. You go you son of b****.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 


M Scott Eiland's picture

Particularly if the guy had been all but shouting "I'm sympathetic to jihadis" to people who had the power to remove him from sensitive positions, but declined to do so because it wouldn't be sensitive, you know. On the bright side, we won't have to spend the money and humiliate and further traumatize the surviving victims to try this one.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

If the shooter


had been a Muslim it would have got more coverage,  at least based on previous cases.  


From what I've read it appears he may have been part of the rising Buddhist menace. 

Response Has Been Muted This Time Around

M Scott Eiland's picture

Most Democrats don't want to give the NRA, etc., another chance to play hacky-sack with their political careers, and most Republicans will wait until some of the usual idiots give them nice, easy targets to attack regarding shameless opportunism. Naturally, everyone's favorite RINO douchebag couldn't wait to bang his little drum, but--given that Democrats following his advice would be like lemmings taking advice from Disney on cliff-diving techniques--he's actually being a *useful* idiot this time as far as providing service to his purported party of choice.

. . .and Don Mattingly must be fired (bye Ned--don't let the door hit you in the @$$ on the way out!).

Well, I guess I mean the media response


Usually by now we've heard from the woman who cuts the hair of a girl who has a cousin that had a locker in highschool next to the killer's prom date, in an effort to give us insight to the motivations of the madman.  There's not a lot of that with this one. 

I know some of the early reporting got some facts wrong but that's sort of typical.  It didn't strike me as being so wrong that they'd shy away from continued coverage. 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

For myself...

Jay C's picture

... I've noticed that the Washington Navy Yard shootings have gotten exactly the level of coverage I would have expected: an initial flurry of breathless coverage 24/7, with the usual tail-off once the bodies have been carted away, and the usual level of follow-up (i.e. little) once a new shiny object pops up to distract the Media's attention (today, that's "Popes up" as Pope Frank's latest pronouncement seems to have pushed a lot of stuff off the lede)..

I'd have expected the shooting to get roughly


the same coverage as the last time some nut shot a dozen people on a military base. 

Good to see Francis has that sort of pull.  I think his message is right and generally consistent with my experience in the HRCC.  It remains to be seen how much of a reformer he will be, but like politicians, talking the talk has to precede walking the walk.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

I Am Actually Astounded by the Pope's Statements....Just Crazy


....Good as opposed to crazy bad.


The purpose of the church is salvation (not condemning people on this social issue or that)...and to help the hurt and hurting.


Seriously, I could cry.



You Guys Keep Killing Yourselves...By the Bunches, There is a...



...certain Justice involved.


I'd like to know which of the 12 killed at the Navy Yard were sane gun control supporters....those we should morn, the others, if gun owners, NRA members, gun advocates...they get the bullets they so reverently were praying for.


So Justice.


On the cosmic scale.


As long as you keep killing each other and your children, or, as has been happening of late, your five year old is blowing your brains out or one of your other children's brains, I guess I am good with it.




Edit: These guys are no different than the Suicide bombers in Kabul, or, as drove into the Christian villiage of Maaloula to start off the destruction of that Holy Sanctuary. 


All these killers the NRA keeps arming are domestic suicide bombers...and we are giving them the means for their murderous fun....truth is, it is kind of funny! American's are plenty stupid.