Friday, June 19, 2015

Mourning The Senseless Shootings In South Carolina

Today, most of the country mourns the senseless mass killing of nine churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina by a despicable human being. Nine people who were doing nothing wrong, nine people who were exercising their religious rights were needlessly killed by a complete stranger. No stretch of logic or reasoning is possible that would justify such hate.

So today, we are going to rerun one of our more popular posts, a post that called for more hate control before more gun control. This post was written in the aftermath of the Newtown school shootings in Connecticut. At that time, there was an outcry for more stringent gun control. 

However, rather than make the case for more gun control, this post made the case for more hate control. Hate killed those school kids a few years ago. Hate killed the nine churchgoers yesterday. A gun may have been an instrument of the hate, but hate was the root cause the violence and killings.

A hypothesis of that post is that in this country today, most hate starts from the political class. Our political process and the politicians that manipulate those processes, along with their allies in the media, have gotten to the point where getting elected is now both the ends and the means to power and personal wealth. Thus, it is okay to denigrate, name call, and reduce other citizens to hated stereotypes who do not deserve any respect or in some cases, right to life. 

Rather than go on, I will let the post below make our case that if we had better, more decent politicians in office, politicians that viewed dissent and diversity as healthy and not something to be purged in any way possible, we would not have as much crime and the underlying hate that goes with it.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How About More Hate Control Before More Gun Control, Part 1 - Maybe Hatred Is The Real Root Cause Of Mass Shootings 

Be forewarned: there is some bad language and implied bad language in the following so please pass if this might offend you. These are not my words but actually the words of our politicians and their supporters.

Today is the first of a four part series regarding the Newtown, Connecticut shooting where innocent kids and teachers were needlessly slaughtered be a deranged young man. Let me state a few facts up front:

  • I was tremendously saddened by this senseless act of violence. 
  • I do not know how a young man can become so separated from compassion and reality and have so little respect for life that he would kill innocent children and teachers. 
  • I am not a psychologist and have no understanding from a psychology/scientific perspective of the root causes which trigger a young man to execute this type of terror, and neither do 99.9% of the people with an opinion on this matter and 100% of those in the Washington political class. 
  • I am not a member of the NRA and have never fired a gun, never mind owning one. 
  • I am a fervent defender of the U.S. Constitution including the Second Amendment.
Today I want to consider a concept that I have not seen discussed in the media and certainly not by those in politics that want to strip law abiding, common sense citizens of their right to bear arms. The concept involves the idea that maybe we should do a little hate control BEFORE we recklessly and senselessly go off on a gun control tangent, a tangent that will likely increase crime and gun play, not reduce it (more on this latter concept tomorrow).

Let’s be honest, there is a lot of hate and venom circulating in the country today. Much of it is fomented by the political class as they foolishly try to incite their supporters and degrade their opponents in the most dehumanizing and disrespective ways possible. 

The more you dehumanize others, the easier it is to see them as less worthy of their opinion and their life. Maybe if we started respecting each other a little more, taking some of the hate and venom out of our politics, thought processes, and speech, incidents like the shootings in Newtown, in south Chicago, in the ghettos of Detroit, etc. might be become a little less frequent if we respected each other a little more.

This increase in respect and humanizing of other human beings should start with our so-called leaders, However, as we have pointed out many times in this blog, these so-called leaders are a big cause of the problem, not the solution. They have had a busy, and disgraceful past couple of years degrading and abusing the opinions, lives, rights, and very existence of the citizens they are supposed to be serving:

  • Democrat Speaker Of The House Nancy Pelosi called citizen opponents to Obama Care unpatriotic for simply having a difference of opinion with many politicians in Washington. 
  • Democrat Charles Rangel slandered millions of Americans who opposed Obama Care by calling them racists for simply having an honest difference of opinion with many politicians in Washington. 
  • Democrat Shelia Jordan Lee slandered millions of Americans who opposed Obama Care by associating them with the Ku Klux Klan. 
  • Union boss and Democratic supporter Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. stated that his union was at war with the Republicans and Tea Party citizens and that these people "need to be taken out." 
  • Democratic Congressmen Mike Doyle and Henry Waxman and Vice President Joe Biden slandered American citizens opposed to unfettered and destructive government spending and debt by calling them terrorists (those people that bomb and kill innocent civilians). 
  • When ordinary Americans objected to the building of a Islamic mosque near the World Trade Center property because of the sad memories of 9-11, Democrat Nancy Pelosi said THEY should be investigated for simply having a passionate opinion on the mosque. 
  • Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Walters said all Tea Party American citizens can go to hell simply for having a difference of opinion with her.
When you viciously and unfoundedly associate ordinary citizens with racism, call them terrorists, question their patriotism, when you wish they would go to hell, and then threaten to take them out/exterminate them, you have dehumanized them in the eyes of your political supporters, making it easy to imagine them actually going away permanently. 

Maybe this type of hate and venom and dehumanizing goes through the head of a young man when he decides to go off and actually follows the advice that those people “need to be taken out.”When your so-called leaders call for this type of behavior and language, it can’t be wrong, can it?

But our political class, and their direct supporters, also direct their hate and venomous words towards other politicians:

  • The campaign manager of Democrat’s Gerry Brown’s gubernatorial campaign called his Republican opponent, Meg Whitman, a whore. 
  • White House czar Van Jones publicly called all Republicans a**h****s. 
  • Democrat Alan Grayson called all Republicans knuckle dragging Neanderthals. 
  • TV host Montel Williams publicly hoped that Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachman would commit suicide by decapitating herself. 
  • Ed Schultz, an on air commentator for the Democratic leaning MSNBC news channel, called Laura Ingraham of Fox News a slut. 
  • HBO TV host Bill Maher, a major donor to Obama’s 2012 Presidential Super PAC (a $1 million donor), said on air that Republican Sarah Palin “would f*** Rick Perry if he was black.” 
  • Bill Maher called Republican Sarah Palin a disgusting and derogatory name that I will not repeat here. 
  • Playboy magazine’s online website offered a detailed analysis on why and how each of ten Republican women in politics should be hate raped. 
  • Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen likened Republican critics of Obamacare to the Nazis and their propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. 
  • A rap artist gave a Minnesota concert that was billed as the “F*** Michelle Bachman” concert (spelling out the entire f-word), a Republican Congresswoman from Minnesota. 
  • A Democratic operative insulted Ann Romney, and millions of other American women, by slandering and demeaning her as a stay at home mother. 
  • Martin Bashier of MSNBC News showed a video of Mitt Romney’s campaign bus that was interspersed with video clips of buses blowing up in balls of fire, explicitly wishing that the Romney bus also blow up and those inside die a fiery death.
When you label others as sluts and whores and suggest they should be raped or be killed, either by themselves or a fiery bus explosion, you set another stage for dehumanization. If you political opponents are just sluts and whores, no big deal if they go away, right? 

I maintain that this type of disgusting, hateful behavior is an influence in our society and not an influence for good. It infects the undertone of how we view others. It reduces the amount of respect we have for others, making it easier to abuse others, possibly violently.

It usually does not cause someone to go off and actually start killing others but it certainly cannot help. It also cuts short the ability to listen to each other and appreciate the diversity of opinion each brings to a potential solution of a problem.

If I have allowed the political class and their ardent supporters to frame you as a racist or a slut or a terrorist, I am unlikely to consider any good you can bring to my life or to a solution of a problem. If I think it is a good thing that you self decapitate or die in a bus explosion, you will probably not get my attention when it comes to working towards a better society.

As a result of this hateful divisiveness the political class has driven into our society, we despise others that have a different opinion from ours. Major issues, such a failing public schools, a lost war on drugs, skyrocketing national debt, high health care costs, illegal immigration, etc., never get resolved. The hate prevents us from listening to each other, from calibrating our view of the world with others’ views of the world. 

And possibly in the case of Newtown, we go beyond not listening and we start shooting. Not because guns are legal but because we have allowed the political class to desensitize us to each other as human beings.

But it is not only politicians that spew the hate and venom, hate and venom that others take to heart, hate and venom that their children take and internalize. Consider just some recent examples that have appeared in the news:

- Consider the hateful speech and intentions of Professor Richard Parncutt of the University of Graz regarding other human beings that are global warming deniers, those daring to have a different opinion than his: “In this article I am going to suggest that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for influential GW [global warming] deniers... They [global warming deniers] are already causing the deaths of hundreds of millions of future people. We could be speaking of billions, but I am making a conservative estimate… With high probability it will cause hundreds of millions of deaths. For this reason I propose that the death penalty is appropriate for influential GW deniers.”

Different opinion, therefore you should die. I wonder what he would do to people like me, given our opinions on global warming; should we die also or just suffer some horrible disease since we are not influential enough:

As an aside, in 2009, the CIA opened up a new division, The Center on Climate Change and National Security. The purpose of this group was to examine the impact of global warming from a national security perspective. A few months ago, with little fanfare, they disbanded the organization. Is the CIA also worthy of Professor Parncutt’s death penalty or was it just common sense that this global warming organization was not longer viable or needed?

- Pulitzer nominated newspaper columnist Donald Kaul recently wrote an article for the Des Moines Register where he called for the killing of gun owners and “dragging legislators who disagree with gun control behind pickup trucks until they get the message.” Don’t agree with my opinion? Thus, we should have more killing and more torture for those that dare to have a difference of opinion. How does this stop the cycle of hate that starts with the political class?

- Erik Loomis, PhD, assistant professor of history at the University of Rhode Island decided he needed to get into the hate and venom game also when he recently stated on Twitter that he wanted the death of National Rifle Association (NRA) CEO Wayne LaPierre, branding the gun rights group he heads as a terrorist organization:

"[I] want Wayne LaPierre's head on a stick." A little hateful, a little violent?

- Karen Lewis, head of the Chicago Teachers’ Union recently had some violent rhetoric of her own to share: “Do not think for a minute that the wealthy are ever going to allow you to legislate their riches away from them. Please understand that. However, we are in a moment where the wealth disparity in this country is very reminiscent of the robber baron ages. The labor leaders of that time, though, were ready to kill. They were. They were just – off with their heads. They were seriously talking about that.”

And this person is associated with educating young minds and kids. Don’t like someone or are jealous of their wealth, that in all probability was garnered via honest hard work and sweat, than just off with their heads. 

I maintain that you cannot have such hate and disrespect and venomous speech floating around and it not have a negative impact on how we treat each other, how it dehumanizes others. I am not saying the Newtown shooting was directly caused because of this poisonous environment but it certainly did not help. Was the shooter seated around his dinner table through the years when slurs and demeaning things were said about others, how others that were different from him were worthy of being “taken out.“

And it certainly does not allow us to sit down and go face-to-face with others to leverage everyone’s knowledge and skills to confront all of our problems from school shootings to high debt, high illiteracy levels, failing public education, a failing health care system etc. 

But if we solved all of our problems, on what issues would our politicians run on? And that, my friends, is the root cause of most of our problems, from school shootings to the lack of a national energy problem, our shameless politicians need the hate and venom to frame and finance their continual reelection effort.

So tonight, when you are sitting around the table with your family, how about a little more hate control and a lot more respect for others in front of our kids. Again, it couldn’t hurt.

And tomorrow if you should come across someone who thinks other human beings need to be taken out, killed, dragged behind a truck or hate raped simply for having a difference of opinion, may I suggest you walk away? Engaging in such a discussion with these types of people just spreads and intensifies the hate and gets yourself muddy, as the old saying goes: “Never mud wrestle with a pig because you both get dirty and the pig likes it.”Walk away, stay clean, and let the hate spewer stew in his own mud. Help break the cycle of hate.


Hate is the root cause of yesterday’s tragic shooting, not guns or gun control. And the political class is the main cause of the hate and are also not smart enough to keep guns out of the hands of people that hate, no matter how much they think they can.

Two last things to contemplate in the light of the latest shooting incident. According to NBC Los Angeles:

"President Barack Obama is scheduled to arrive at Los Angeles International Airport Thursday afternoon aboard Air Force One, then headline two Democratic National Committee fundraisers.

Obama’s first stop will be the Pacific Palisades home of television producer Chuck Lorre for a $16,700-per-person event benefiting the DNC’s 2016 White House Victory Fund, the entertainment trade publication Variety reported.

The invitation describes the event as an “intimate, living room style event” with only 30 people, but a chance to have “an open dialogue and discussion with the president,” according to Variety. The event will be closed to reporters.

Obama will then head to the Beverly Hills home of filmmaker Tyler Perry for the second fundraiser."

After giving a shallow, perfunctory statement on the shootings that, as always, had to include a political slant, the President decided that political fund raising was more important than leading the country in this time of tragedy, political fund raising was more important than discussing the need to reduce hate in our political rhetoric, political fund raising was more important than publicly reaching out to support the families of the deceased, political fund raising was more important than asking the country to pause, reflect, pray, and pull together.

But this type of leaderless behavior should not surprise us. When two dozen Americans were fighting for their lives in Benghazi, this President went to sleep because he had to leave early the next day for a trip to Las Vegas to….political fund raise. Today he leaves for another entertainment capital to raise political money from rich people while the rest of the country mourns.

Oh, and by the way, NBC Los Angeles also is reporting that Hillary Clinton will also be in LA to hobnob with rich people at a fundraiser in ritzy Newport Beach before heading to Los Angeles for three Hollywood fundraisers Friday. Another leadership void in the political class.

Perhaps Michelle Jesse, writing for the Allen West website, summed up many Americans; disgust and dismay with our political leadership with the following words: “While the nation prays for healing in the aftermath of yesterday’s tragedy, I must add a prayer for a true leader to enter the White House in 2016. One who puts national unity above politics and recognizes times when his or her power is best wielded in the name of bringing us together — rather than bringing in more cash to fund the next political battle.”

More hate control, more leadership, less fund raising is the path to a better country and life, three simple steps that continually eludes the politicians in America today, regardless of what senseless tragedy arises.

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