Barbara Boxer

Stop Using the Mentally Ill to Advance Your Ideology

Fear of a small group of unpredictable people is used to attack political opponents.

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No, that's not a dress.

Robert Lewis Dear, the man who shot up a Planned Parenthood in facility in Colorado, killing three, is most certainly likely to be mentally ill in some capacity. He may or may not be legally ruled mentally ill by the courts. Nevertheless, even assuming Dear's violent actions are actually based on objections to either abortion or the use of fetal tissue in scientific research (or both), Dear's behavior is not based on a rational mind mulling over how he might stop  these activities he detests. Dear's attack will not likely result in fewer abortions, nor should it ever be the reason for a drop.

Socially, Americans and American media have developed a pattern in responding to these sudden incidences of mass violence. It starts with the initial hunger for any and all information, often absent of much concern about its accuracy. Give us all of it, and we'll sort it out as we go. But even from the very start, we're not just looking for information about the incident. We're looking for who is responsible for the violence. No, not the actual shooters. Who else is responsible? Speculation begins immediately about the shooter's political affiliation, as though this is any way relevant. Dear's voter registration has him listed as a female! Does this mean he's transgendered? Is this the transgendered movement's fault? No, it turned out to be a data entry error, and even if he did identify as transgendered, the answer would still obviously be no, the transgender movement was not responsible for his actions. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) got into some hot water for speculating about this odd little detail, though really he was trying to point out that it was awfully early to be speculating about Dear's motives.

The problem, though, is that Dear's motives may matter to the courts and to the law, but why is this a matter for presidential candidates, politicians, and society at large? Because, for some people, it can't just be Dear's fault. The culture war demands that everything bad that happens is due to the actions and attitudes of one's ideological opponents. Everything bad that happens is due to the failure of society to monolithically embrace one's view of how the world should be run. And when people operate under such collectivist attitudes (on either the left or the right) about society, obviously the behavior of a person who acts out in violence is (and must be) an indictment of whatever ideology or philosophy that person operates. Dear is an indictment of anti-abortion conservatives. ISIS attacks are an indictment of leftist support for diversity and the entire Islamic faith.

This attitude frequently leads to calls for censorship or restrictions on civil liberties. Why? Because there are mentally ill people out there who just can't handle our vocal and sometimes uncivil exchange of ideas and will act out violently because of them. We can't be too "extreme" in our speech lest we trigger violence in folks like Dear. Everybody's civil liberties should be curbed because of the mentally ill among us. If it just so happens that the loudly stated positions of one's ideological opponents are perceived as the trigger for such violent responses, that's either just a coincidence or actual proof that the opposition is wrong. Hey, if crazy people support your positions, that must mean there's something wrong with them!

Sometimes the calls for restrictions on civil liberties in these situations are literal and government-sponsored. Any number of politicians and cultural figure like to blame representations of violence in popular culture—video games, rap music, movies—for violence in real life, even though violent crime in the United States has been trending downward during this same time period. There are calls by politicians and even the National Rifle Association (which also likes to blame popular culture for gun violence) to use psychiatric diagnosis to determine who is or is not permitted to exercise his or her Second Amendment right to own guns, even though the medical field has been largely unsuccessful in predicting which people with mental illnesses might actually engage in mass violence. As a result, people who will never behave violently could lose one of their civil liberties.

Even when not calling for outright restrictions in civil liberties, there's still plenty of attempts at culture shaming one's ideological opponents for the manner by which they espouse their opinions, because it might inspire violence by the less mentally stable. Over at New York Magazine, after generously stating up front that it is not accurate or fair to blame pro-life conservatives for Dear's actions, self-described "veteran Democratic wonk" Ed Kilgore nevertheless demands that these people must soften their rhetoric because it "provide[s] a theoretical basis for violence against abortion providers specifically and enemies of  'traditional values' generally." Kilgore wants anti-abortion activists and politicians to stop comparing abortion to slavery and the Holocaust. And he wants conservatives to stop pointing out that the Second Amendment exists for the purposes of allowing a revolt against a tyrannical government. He writes:

It's not difficult to see how toxic these arguments become when combined. If legalized abortion (and its alleged extension into open infanticide via the "barbaric" practices of government-subsidized Planned Parenthood "baby-killers") represents government-sponsored mass extermination and/or a perversion of the Constitution comparable to slavery, and there is a fundamental right to violent resistance against this and other acts of tyranny, then it could definitely cross the minds of conscientious gun-owning anti-choicers to emulate John Brown or the conspirators against Hitler. After all, the two greatest wars in American history were undertaken to destroy the Slave Power and Nazism. Why not a small individual war against their contemporary equivalent? 

Because it won't accomplish anything? Rational people realize this. Some who are mentally ill unfortunately do not. Kilgore is demanding that his ideological opponents censor their own arguments. That the pro-choice activists and the Democratic Party could benefit from this scaling down of rhetoric is surely an acceptable societal cost for a potential reduction in violent responses from people with mental problems? Do you support Americans being randomly murdered?

In reality, what Kilgore is demanding is that pro-life arguments be less compelling. I will acknowledge being an extremely pro-choice libertarian. But I will also acknowledge that, despite my disagreement, opposition to abortion can be and often is an extremely rational position taken on the basis of when a person believes life begins and when the legal protection of an individual's right to exist should come into play. As such, if a person believes that abortion is murder, it is entirely rational and even apt to compare the number of abortions that have taken place to other incidences of mass violence like slavery and the Holocaust. Kilgore argues such an "extreme" argument is used by some fringe folks as an excuse for violence. It also, coincidentally, argues that pro-choice citizens and organizations like Planned Parenthood are immoral and wrong using some very vivid comparisons. It challenges those of us who support reproductive freedom to think about the reasons we hold our positions and defend them internally, if not outwardly.

Just as we need freedom of speech to defend controversial opinions, we need to defend compelling opinions, too. Opinions that aren't influential aren't the ones people try to censor (though some folks have a poor sense of what opinions are or aren't influential). To be clear, Kilgore doesn't argue that the government should intervene and censor the arguments of his political opponents. Rather, he's saying his opponents should stop trying to be so darn influential. "Won't somebody think of the crazy people?" has replaced The Simpsons' Helen Lovejoy's "Won't somebody think of the children?"

And then, with that attitude, ideological opponents can be attacked as being dangerous without ever having to engage with what they say or to counter the argument. When you can't win the debate (and nobody is going to "win" the abortion debate anytime soon), try to change the rules to make your opponent lose. Claim your opponents haven't adequately condemned the violence of these extremists, even though it should go without saying, and also you probably never actually even looked to see whether they had. This pops up on both the left and the right. Apparently every Republican candidate must repudiate these murders or else that means they support it. And every Muslim on earth must tweet their opposition to ISIS every time they engage in a terrorist act (against the Western world, mind you—nobody cares what they do to other Muslims) or else that means they're supporters.

They can advance their own ideology and politics by trying to shut down actual policy discussion in the government in response to violence. The ever-mercenary Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) responded to the killings by calling on the House (that is to say, the part of Congress in which she is not even a member) to end a special panel investigating Planned Parenthood. She obviously didn't support the panel even before this violence, and it's extremely unlikely that this panel is what finally triggered Dear. Even this Associated Press headline, "GOP leader defends House Planned Parenthood investigation," suggests that there's some sort of "crazy person's veto," that conservatives have to justify continuing pursuing their policies because of the behavior of one likely mentally ill person.

Since nobody's ideology can lay claim to all the world's mentally ill people, because that's not how serious mental illness works, we end up with absurd comparison stories like this clickbait from William Saletan at Slate, arguing that Christian extremists from the Carolinas have killed more Americans in the United States than Syrian refugees. His goal is ultimately to challenge the argument that the fleeing Syrians are a terror threat to the United States, but his poor logic begs to be thrown back in his face by pointing out how tiny even that number is (less than 100) compared to the total number of Americans murdered in just 2014 (14,249). And even the total number of Americans murdered annually pales in comparison to the number of Americans out there (nearly 320 million). Statistically speaking, if you're an American, you're unlikely to ever be murdered at all, be it by mentally ill ISIS death-cultists or Americans suffering some sort of psychotic break from reality.

But no media site ever got readers by telling them, "You're probably never going to be murdered," and no politician wins votes that way. If every crisis is an opportunity, then every person with signs of mental illness is a potential crisis, and therefore an opportunity.

Given this regularly occurring cycle of responses to mass violence by the disturbed, is it really any mystery how college campuses turned into one massive emotional freak-out session? Where did they get the idea that invoking vague mental health issues to demand "trigger warnings" and safe spaces and declaring speech that contradicts their opinions or offends them to be a form of "violence"? They learned it from us, of course. They're just extending it to its natural, absurd conclusion.

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  1. “Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) got into some hot water for speculating about this odd little detail, though really he was trying to point out that it was awfully early to be speculating about Dear’s motives.”

    While riding the crazy train.

  2. “Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) got into some hot water for speculating about this odd little detail, though really he was trying to point out that it was awfully early to be speculating about Dear’s motives.”

    Thank you for some sanity on this Scott. It’s greatly appreciated.

    1. Also now that I’ve read the rest of your article. Bravo, good points all around.

      1. Indeed.

        Almost makes up for the steaming pile that Nick posted on this very topic earlier today.

        1. Scott is consistently good and fair-minded, which is even more impressive given that he more than most of the writers has a reasonable basis for disliking the socons or being concerned with their influence.

    2. Someone should inform the boss.

  3. It’s obviously Rush Limbaugh’s fault! Prove it’s not!

  4. I blame people who still write checks at the grocery store.

    1. Well, that goes without saying.

      1. Indeed – I am almost driven to homicide by that.

    2. A couple of years ago I was in the express line in the grocery store. This stupid old bitch had 53 items (I peeked at the display, which shows the number of items.) She watched the cashier bag her stuff, loaded it in her cart and then proceeded to dig out her checkbook to pay. Some people just need killing.

  5. Every tragedy is an opportunity to attack your enemies if you care more about your partisan political bullshit than you do about anything else. It’s really that simple.

    1. Heck, any event is such an opportunity. Tragedies are just an excuse to yell louder.

  6. Don’t hate Kenny Rodgers

    1. Kramer’s hatred was justified.

  7. “Why did he shoot up an abortion clinic?”

    “Because he is mentally ill.”

    “How do we know he’s mentally ill?”

    “Because he shot up an abortion clinic.”

    1. Only time I heard a Cook County judge denying probable cause to a cop:

      “Why did you stop and search the suspect?”

      “I had seen him enter a known crackhouse”

      “How did you know it was a crackhouse?”

      “I saw the subject entering it”

      Judge looked up, gave a befuddled look and granted the motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence subject to it.

      1. Some of the cops I know would think that is sound reasoning.

        While having a discussion about the economy with one of them, I tried to explain what inflation is. He was convinced that having the presses crank out zillions of dollars would make us all rich. After my explanation about what money is and how inflation works he scratched his head and said:

        “Did you know they have giant washing machines that they wash the money with after they print it? Honest to god, giant washing machines.”

        For a minute I was taken aback. I had explained everything as if I were talking to a child and he still had no idea what I was talking about. I could see it was as pointless as talking to shreek, so I replied:

        “So, the Federal Government is engaged in money laundering?”

        1. that’s funny!

      2. Sorry, but i think that’s a flawed analogy, as your cop example is a tautology, whereas the mental illness example isn’t, as it isn’t being defined by itself, but instead is defined by irrational actions.

        So in your example the suspect is the suspect because he’s the suspect is circular logic and is a logical fallacy as you cannot define a thing by only itself.

        But in the abortion example one isn’t trying to define mentally ill by saying “of course he’s mentally ill and we know he’s mentally ill because he’s mentally ill” but instead stating the actions define the mental illness. IE – the irrational act is believing over acts of violence well help his cause of reducing abortions, demonstrate the act itself to be indicative of mental issues (such as misdirected anger or deletions of grandeur).

        Disclaimer: this is not intended to excuse any actions nor intended to be some specific diagnosis of this particular individual or anyone else, but as humans are mostly rational, even “crazy” ones, in that they will not seek out pain without believing in some end benefit. So direct actions which have obvious pain or costs and an obvious lack of benefits, even to the point of being counterproductive, are irrational and generally indicative of hidden motives/agendas/metal issues.

  8. “I will acknowledge being an extremely pro-choice libertarian. ”

    All abortions must be performed by a doctor wearing a wingsuit?

    1. They should add this level to Surgeon Simulator.

    2. Pro-Choice is measured on a scale?

      Sorta
      Moderate
      Extremely
      Totes

      Did I miss any?

  9. Good article.

  10. Clearly all references to Jodi Foster are problematic.

  11. Because it won’t accomplish anything? Rational people realize this. Some who are mentally ill unfortunately do not.

    Eyeroll. “People who believe in private justice are mentally ill.” Fuck off, slaver.

    1. Be fair HM.

      Taylor and Zimmerman are complete whack jobs themselves, so Lee seems like a reasonable guy to them.

  12. The culture war demands that everything bad that happens is due to the actions and attitudes of one’s ideological opponents. Everything bad that happens is due to the failure of society to monolithically embrace one’s view of how the world should be run.

    “Everyone thinks of changing the world, and no one thinks of changing himself.”

  13. The notion that anyone is responsible for an action other than the person voluntarily committing that action is, on its face, preposterous.

    1. BATES
      Ay, or more than we should seek after; for we know
      enough, if we know we are the kings subjects: if
      his cause be wrong, our obedience to the king wipes
      the crime of it out of us.
      WILLIAMS
      But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath
      a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and
      arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join
      together at the latter day and cry all ‘We died at
      such a place;’ some swearing, some crying for a
      surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind
      them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their
      children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die
      well that die in a battle; for how can they
      charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their
      argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it
      will be a black matter for the king that led them to
      it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of
      subjection.

      1. KING HENRY V
        So, if a son that is by his father sent about
        merchandise do sinfully miscarry upon the sea, the
        imputation of his wickedness by your rule, should be
        imposed upon his father that sent him: or if a
        servant, under his master’s command transporting a
        sum of money, be assailed by robbers and die in
        many irreconciled iniquities, you may call the
        business of the master the author of the servant’s
        damnation: but this is not so: the king is not
        bound to answer the particular endings of his
        soldiers, the father of his son, nor the master of
        his servant; for they purpose not their death, when
        they purpose their services. Besides, there is no
        king, be his cause never so spotless, if it come to
        the arbitrement of swords, can try it out with all
        unspotted soldiers: some peradventure have on them
        the guilt of premeditated and contrived murder;
        some, of beguiling virgins with the broken seals of
        perjury; some, making the wars their bulwark, that
        have before gored the gentle bosom of peace with
        pillage and robbery. Now, if these men have
        defeated the law and outrun native punishment,
        though they can outstrip men, they have no wings to
        fly from God:

        1. war is his beadle, war is vengeance;
          so that here men are punished for before-breach of
          the king’s laws in now the king’s quarrel: where
          they feared the death, they have borne life away;
          and where they would be safe, they perish: then if
          they die unprovided, no more is the king guilty of
          their damnation than he was before guilty of those
          impieties for the which they are now visited. Every
          subject’s duty is the king’s; but every subject’s
          soul is his own. Therefore should every soldier in
          the wars do as every sick man in his bed, wash every
          mote out of his conscience: and dying so, death
          is to him advantage; or not dying, the time was
          blessedly lost wherein such preparation was gained:
          and in him that escapes, it were not sin to think
          that, making God so free an offer, He let him
          outlive that day to see His greatness and to teach
          others how they should prepare.
          WILLIAMS
          ‘Tis certain, every man that dies ill, the ill upon
          his own head, the king is not to answer it.

        1. Exactly – even the Bard addressed this –

          “WILLIAMS
          ‘Tis certain, every man that dies ill, the ill upon
          his own head, the king is not to answer it.”

    2. But that means people have to take responsibility for their actions and taking responsibility is scary. It’s much easier to assume we’re all pliant sheep, easily manipulated by outside forces that we can then pretend to rail against to make ourselves feel better about our personal abdications.

  14. “If it just so happens that the loudly stated positions of one’s ideological opponents are perceived as the trigger for such violent responses, that’s either just a coincidence or actual proof that the opposition is wrong. Hey, if crazy people support your positions, that must mean there’s something wrong with them!”

    Did anyone say gay-marriage activists are wrong because of Floyd Lee Corkins? It seems like the flow generally just goes in one direction.

  15. Dear’s behavior is not based on a rational mind mulling over how he might stop these activities he detests. Dear’s attack will not likely result in fewer abortions, nor should it ever be the reason for a drop.

    There’s a shitload of Muslims that would disagree with the contention that killing anybody that offends you is irrational behavior unlikely to result in fewer people doing the things that offend you.

    1. uh oh are you saying “rational behavior” is in tne eye of the beholder or something?

    2. uh oh are you saying “rational behavior” is in tne eye of the beholder or something?

    3. It’s sort of a catch-22. If some cause has very little violent support, aside from the rare nutjob, and a fair bit of political clout, then people feel like they aren’t really at personal risk from offending the followers of that cause, and the followers feel like any personal act of violence would do more harm than good.

      However, if that cause reaches some critical mass of violent supporters, especially if they are organized, then it becomes more reasonable to fear that pissing them off will make you a target, and so people will modify their behavior accordingly. The more people who do so, the more likely it is that any particular person in the remaining group of offenders will be targeted, and so the effect will accelerate.

  16. I have to agree with this, it is sick and sad what the left and right ar doing with this shooting. This is why I’ve refused to blog about it.

    1. Phew! Your decision should have national impact, thanks.

  17. Stop Using the Mentally Ill to Advance Your Ideology

    Stop calling criminals that act on an Extreme Ideology as merely Mentally Ill.

    The Church Shooter is not mentally ill.
    This clown is not mentally Ill.

    They BOTH reacted to the extreme of their respective ideologies.

    1. And what is Dear’s ideology?

      How do you know?

      1. I don’t know R.C., the Planned Parenthood (again), rants of baby parts, etc. ?

        But let’s not you and me fight over this.

        Can we agree to agree that Mr. Dear is a Criminal regardless of his political views?

        1. Re: Alice Bowie,

          Can we agree to agree that Mr. Dear is a Criminal regardless of his political views?

          We can’t. The God of the Marxian Narrative will not allow it.

    2. Sure, their actions are perfectly rational from their point of view.

    3. *Warning, reductio ad absurdum*

      The Socialists in Germany/Italy/Russia were not mentally ill.

      The Progressives who banned alcohol in the US, leading to many deaths were not mentally ill.

      The Progressives who banned farmers from growing wheat on their own land were not mentally ill.

      The Progressives who banned the sale of milk were not mentally ill.

      They reacted to the extreme of their ideology.

      (I could go on, but really why bother?)

    4. That’s fair for storm roof, but what little information we have from people that knew this guy makes him sound generally crazypants.

  18. I haven’t RTFA yet, but is it about the gays? It’s “Shackelford” so I’m betting it’s about the gays.

    If it is, I thought we weren’t supposed to call it a mental illness anymore.

  19. But what if my ideology is mentally ill? Who else do I have.

    1. Hitler?

      is the answer Hitler?

      1. You know who else thought the answer was Hitler?

  20. Ok, now that I’ve read some of this article I have a question.

    Is this a response to the lunacy that the lovely Sally Kohn barfed out on CNN this morning?

    1. I thought it was in response to Gillespie’s lunacy posted earlier.

  21. I’m thinking of becoming a trans trans lesbian.

    A man who identifies as a woman who identifies as a man. What about the lesbianism you say? I like having sex with women.

    1. I’m considering identifying as a genderfluid unicorn named Princess Rainbow Sparkles.

  22. “Dear’s behavior is not based on a rational mind mulling over how he might stop these activities he detests. Dear’s attack will not likely result in fewer abortions, nor should it ever be the reason for a drop.”

    So the native Americans we’re mentally ill because they performed rain dances?

    1. Mentally ill because they performed rain dances or they performed rain dances because they were mentally ill?

      1. I guess if it was a dance to make it rain buffalo turds or live snakes….it might be a mentally ill dance.

        1. The Blackfoots needed the turds to burn to keep warm. The Seminoles needs the snakes to drive out the gators. Who’s crazy now?

      2. Good catch. I reckon that depends on one’s view of dream catchers.

  23. Eliminationisht Rhetorik

    “Words matter. When we dehumanize people ? when we call them demons, monsters, and murderers ? we make it easier for others to do them harm. Let’s not pretend that we don’t know that.

    How we talk about abortion matters. We know it, and anti-choice extremists and politicians know it. Anti-abortion activists are not making WANTED posters or revealing doctor’s addresses for fun. They’re doing it to harass and intimidate, and they’re doing it knowing the long history of violent fanatics using their rhetoric to justify crimes against providers and clinics.
    ….
    The attack in Colorado… was also the predictable result of a culture that demonizes abortion, uses fantastical and false rhetoric about Planned Parenthood and allows politicians and activists to make false representations about women’s reproductive health.

    Republican politicians will eventually take great pains to condemn the shooter’s attack, while ignoring all of the lies, language and culture of misogyny that contributes to this kind of violence.
    ….
    We can all tell the truth about this attack; we don’t need a police press conference to confirm the shooter’s motive. We know why this happened. Clinic workers who put their lives on the line every day know why this happened. Because of hate, because of lies, and because words matter. “

    1. Similar to Sally Kohn’s piece on cnn.com.

      1. They only have so many rhetorical-M.O.’s

      2. The obvious pro-lifer rhetorical touche =

        I agree entirely with Jessica Valenti and Sally Kohn = We Must Stop Calling Wanton Child-Murder “Abortion”

    2. Didn’t someone claim upthread that literally no one is blaming anti-abortionists for this shooting?

      1. You’re thinking of Hugh from the other thread

        which was responded to with a gaggle of these links showing the mass-rush to exactly that argument

      2. Which is an extraordinary claim because these are true-blue useful idiots. They are programmed to behave in only one way and they are proving that out in spades. We all knew they would do it before it happened because it is the only thing they can do.

  24. “You’re probably never going to be murdered”

    Well that’s it. I’m cancelling my subscription!

  25. ISIS attacks are an indictment of leftist support for diversity and the entire Islamic faith.

    They’re an indictment of leftist support for diversity, which is a euphemism for a de facto hate movement aimed at their own societies, yes.

    And it’s certainly an indictment of the Saudi Arabian strain of Islam, which is generally barbaric everywhere it takes root, both in internationally recognized theocratic states like Saudi Arabia itself, in non-state terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, and in something like ISIS which is somewhere in between.

    It might be worthwhile to engage in more nuanced discussions if the Western establishment didn’t insist on making deeply nuanced statements like “ISIS terrorism has nothing to do with Islam”. At any rate, there’s a big difference between looking into the ideological motivations of random wacko tinfoil hat loners, and organized groups of, at minimum, tens of thousands of like-minded individuals.

  26. I think the connections between individual acts of politically- or religiously-motivated violence and the larger political/religious groups are a matter of degree. Sometimes connections are valid.

    Christians (e.g.) may oppose abortion, but only a tiny % of them support anti-abortion violence, much less commit it.

    But if someone is a Nazi or Communist, they are associating themselves with groups that advocate and practice violence. They may be personally peaceful, but they are undeniably lending a level of support to the violence those ideologies advocate. (Though I suppose they could claim they aren’t that sort of Nazi/Communist, and don’t support violence, but I think that’s more of a delusion than an ideology.)

    Islam is a trickier case. There is no doubt that the Koran advocates plenty of violence. Everything ISIS does has Koranic justification. (The head of ISIS has a PhD in Islamic Theology.) And while lots of Muslims who don’t support ISIS, a large fraction does. So where’s the line? I think that once you get into the high single digits of [large group] support for violence, it’s legit to connect the two. And support for ISIS policies (Sharia law) is way higher than single digits among many Muslims around the world, as shown by scores of polls over decades.

    I had someone on Facebook scream at me that 89% of Muslims don’t support ISIS. I’m sure that if only 89% of Christians didn’t support violence against abortion clinics, he’d find that 11% upsetting.

    1. It’s probably more fruitful to talk of Wahhabism, since it’s the key problem for the West, and there is an even stronger correlation with shitheadedness.

      The Koran says nasty shit, but all holy books do. Religious texts are like DNA, where there are a whole host of genes, but not all of them are expressed in any particular cell or organism. There are strains of Islam that tend to express the bad memes, and strains that don’t, and in terms of feasibility, it makes sense to attack the memes themselves.

      The fact of the matter is that the West already has the means, legally and socially, to deal with theocratic assholes (typically employed to rein in Christian conservatives); if it simply held all religions to the same standards instead of embracing left-wing bigotry, the situtation could be sorted out.

      1. Iranians aren’t Wahhabis, and they do their share of terrorism.

        All holy books don’t have the same amount of nasty shit, and all religions don’t follow their holy books in the same ways or to the same degree. Islam is, on average, the worst on both counts.

        I am losing faith that it’s possible to “hold all religions to the same standards” when Islam is (to a great degree) inseparable from politics.

        1. “Iranians aren’t Wahhabis, and they do their share of terrorism.”

          They don’t aim it at the West quite so much, unless you’re counting Israel, and while there is a fair bit of cultural Westernism in Israel, there’s a decided lack of geographical Westernism.

    2. “Islam is a trickier case.”

      Well, the unviolent muslims go through some severe intellectual contortions and attain astonishing logical deformities in order to square their own ethical guys with the actual teachings of Muhammad and his underfucklings. Just looking at that, one can easily say, oh, it’s the unviolent muslims that’s the crasy ones; but then, if one looks at the more conservative orthodoxy of islam, one finds a system equally psychotogene and violent to the face of logic. So it’s hard to make a distinction between the two categories of muslim based on the relative quantities of madness in the two. Belief that islam is the religion of peace is about equally crasy as belief that raping one’s sister to death will assure him a place coram banco regis in Valhalla.

  27. Great article Scott. Nick could learn some sound libertarian concepts if he reads this.

  28. Great article. I love objective reports like these.

  29. I dont think Slap Pappy is going to like that.

    http://www.GoneAnon.tk

  30. Scott is careful to avoid an actual definition of insane or insanity but contrasts it with rational and rationality early and often. But there is the very heart of the matter he is whining about. Irrational and insane people prefer to do things by deadly coercion, certainly not by the persuasion of rational arguments and even less from his exercise in clumsy intimidation. Identity propositions are bidirectionally inferential so that if war IS the continuation of politics by other means, so politics involving coercive and deadly force IS indeed war. Altruism absolutely demands the initiation of force all the time, and that its pushers deny the fact is of no importance. One does not expect honesty from looters or their dupes. The democratic process offers us an excellent opportunity to jiujitsu looter greed and parlay it into repeal of coercive laws. To accomplish this we need only poach off enough dupes to spoil the outcomes of elections between agents of the two gangs. This worked for the communists and mystics to nearly destroy freedom up until 1971, and for the past 43 years has worked for we who seek to politically disarm these insane brutes that freedom might survive. Dear is a perfect example of exactly what we are up against.

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