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  •  My great uncle Jack was a paratrooper pilot (13+ / 0-)

    in the European theatre in WW II. He was five foot six. He also escaped from Nazi POW camps twice, and went on to become an aerospace engineer who held hundreds of patents for the space shuttle program.

    Why murder WWII veterans? Why do that?

    I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

    by commonmass on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 08:18:20 AM PDT

    •  Not necessarily the case (63+ / 0-)

      that the murderers knew he was a WWII veteran.   So maybe the question should be: Why murder anyone?

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 08:23:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  because (12+ / 0-)

      age makes them easier targets, size may have influenced the choice of victim as well.

      Those teenagers probably had no idea he was a vet and they probably didn't care.

      Life is held pretty cheaply these days, it has always been so, but it is getting worse.  We have a media and culture that celebrates demonizing people, dehumanizing people, ostracizing groups on race and gender and sexual orientation, as you well know, making them less, and then we are suprised when no one has respect for life and people.    You can't concentrate on creating social conditions guaranteed to produce people who are excluded, estranged from the rest of society, degraded, deprived of hope and sustenance literally and emotionally  and be suprised that these people lack any feeling for others.

      •  what a bunch of bullshit (18+ / 0-)

        trying to shift responsibility from where it squarely belongs. It's always someone else's fault. Society, media, culture, etc. Unless it's someone like Zimmerman. Then, it's an evil racist.

        •  individuals (11+ / 0-)

          have choices, but reality is that not all individuals get good choices or learn what they need to learn from birth and as they get older, those lessons are harder to put in.   Brain science show a couple of windows for significant learning opportunities,  brain science shows that good judgment, self control centers develop late, and in males, not until the 20's.  

          And nurture of children matters.  You can claim it is the fault of the individual only, but it really isn't.   Culture and society imputs matter.  You can't follow a psychological and sociological playbook for creating deviant behavior and then pretend that society didn't help create that deviant behavior.

          Victims of abuse are more likely to become abusers.  I don't believe that operates only on a micro level with individuals.    The black baby doll experiments show that from a very young age, black children think they are 'bad', less worthy, etc.   You can't twist people against themselves from infancy and expect a good person to miraculously appear.  Racism leaves deep marks in the victims.   Not everyone has the kind of adult influence that helps them overcome the continual assault on their self view and self esteem and expectations to rise above the abuse.

          If you rose above those circumstances all on your own, that is a singular and amazing accomplishment and you are to be admired for it.   But maybe you need to realize how atypical you are, that you are the exception not the rule.

          •  well, we're not asking anyone to move moutains. (20+ / 0-)

            Just that they not fucking murder other people.

            Not murdering people really isn't a "singular and amazing accomplishment."

          •  These are teens (8+ / 0-)

            Poor impulse control from brains not fully developed would be another factor that is beyond their control. Which is why I hate the system trying kids as adults.

            It's easy to be a libertarian if your finances are secure, you have good healthcare and your future is bright.

            by Cecile on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 09:08:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  At the margins this is true, as with driving, (7+ / 0-)

              fighting, drugs and sex, but murder without a motive relating to the victim?  Way beyond brains being undeveloped.

              Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

              by StrayCat on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 09:59:04 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  why would a motive relating to the victim (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JVolvo, Onomastic, Tonedevil, Dianna, StrayCat

                make murder better,  he stole my drugs so he deserved to die?    

                No where has anyone said we should look the other way and pretend the murder didn't happen, that the accused should not  go to trial (though the issue of 'as adults' was raised if they are minors) or even be punished.

                I started this with an explanation about why teens would be motivated to murder a perfect stranger, and that positive attributes about the stranger's life wouldn't change their motivations, even if they knew about them, nor likely influence their choice of victim.

                One would think I said, "We should let those two teenagers off scott free."  But that wasn't what I said.  People should be able to discuss events and the factors that lead to them without that discussion being considered an endorsement or exculpation of the event.   What is there to really analyze that will mean anything to the feature by saying,  two bad teenagers killed a nice old man who was a veteran.  That doesn't answer the important questions, it quits before really reaching the why of the behavior.   And the why of a behavior won't change the past, but it might be a learning opportunity so we can change the future for someone else.  They're bad, they're bad, he was nice, doesn't resolve anything for society, for the larger issues of how do you stop this from happening.  Because putting black teenagers in jail way out of proportion to their numbers in the larger society, isn't working.  So maybe it is time to look at what is happening beyond the mere moral failing of individual actors.

                •  I do not understand the inferred wrongness your (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jfromga, Onomastic, Tonedevil, Dianna

                  detractors are tossing at you.  Strange.

                  Perhaps slopover of our collective frustration/animosity from Sux/Rox?  Dunno.

                  Thank you for the levelheaded comments re societal issue.

                  PS Stop hollering for the alleged perps to receive the Medal of Honor, duh!   :o)

                  The GOP says you have to have an ID to vote, but $ Millionaire donors should remain anonymous?

                  by JVolvo on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 12:39:02 PM PDT

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            •  what a poor excuse. Teens KNOW (5+ / 0-)

              that murder is wrong.
              Are these gangbangers?
              Was this an initiation?
              Or is something else going on here and the wrong muggers being blamed?

              None of that excuses the beating death.

              LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

              by BlackSheep1 on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 10:18:00 AM PDT

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              •  I think you're confusing explanation (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Darmok, jfromga, elginblt, JVolvo, Tonedevil

                with excuse.  

                Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                by corvo on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 10:41:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I"m hoping to find out what did happen (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  elginblt, a2nite

                  the accounts have holes in them you could drive the proverbial truck through.

                  Typical of reportage nowadays....

                  LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

                  by BlackSheep1 on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 11:02:53 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, God forbid you get the death penalty for (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Knucklehead

              beating an old man to death just because you have "impulse control" problems.  

              Puhleeze!

              Never mud wrestle with a pig. You only get dirty, and the pig enjoys it.

              by SpamNunn on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 10:55:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  and yet (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tonedevil

                in many ways, when the Supreme Court ruled the death penalty inappropriate for sufficiently mentally handicapped people, that is what they were saying.  Mental capacity is always an issue, not just for the guilt phase of a trial but in mitigating factors for sentencing.  And death penalty is a sentencing issue.  That is also why minors have generally been sentenced under different rules and may have their records sealed so that convictions as minors tried as juveniles don't follow them into adulthood.

        •  if you'd been paying attention around here, you'd (17+ / 0-)

          know that in these parts, it's recognized that zimmerman's evil nature wasn't the key problem: the key problem was that zimmerman operated in a social context that encouraged his worst tendencies. yeah, people were hating on zimmerman -- but they were usually doing so in the context of, "This is what SYG laws do: Enable guys like Zimmerman. This is what paranoid gun-loving culture produces. This is what happens when the media over and over portray young black men as fundamentally menacing, antisocial, criminals."

          Etc.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 09:24:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not that I noticed (0+ / 0-)

            I saw a lot more focus on Zimmerman and his evil nature than I did on the guns or the gun laws.

            We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

            by denise b on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 02:49:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I would say that discussion of Zimmerman's (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tonedevil

              character was the focus of threads in which certain individuals somehow tried to excuse him on the grounds of arguments like:

              A. Maybe Trayvon really did throw the first punch.
              B. Hey, the dispatcher didn't tell him not to get out of the car.
              C. etc. etc.

              In other words, people were trying to exculpate him by throwing various sorts of (in my opinion, dimwitted and/or disingenuous) doubt into the discussion.

              And other people were saying, uh, no: He was a bad person on a bad mission, with predictably bad results, and is therefore responsible for the outcome.

              And I would say exactly the same thing about at least one of the dudes involved in this Spokane murder, based on what we know of what went down.

              Nonetheless, in neither case would I suggest that their behavior was not connected to the society in which the men lived. If you don't want angry young black males killing people just for the hell of it, you're going to either have to incarcerate all of the young black males, or you're going to have to organize society in such a way that killing people just for the hell of it just doesn't seem like a reasonable thing for them to do. And if you don't want angry adult non-black males going out on the prowl for young black males to kill, you're going to have to organize society in such a way that taking it upon oneself to prowl one's neighborhood, armed with a gun, in order to protect everyone from those dangerous be-hoodied young black males just doesn't seem like a reasonable thing for them to do. The difference between the two circumstances is this: Zimmerman's behavior explicitly received mainstream social approval, both before and after he committed murder. The guys in Spokane were reacting against the social order. Zimmerman was going with the flow.

              To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

              by UntimelyRippd on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 03:14:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe (0+ / 0-)

          They were bored?

      •  violent crime is lower now than it's ever (7+ / 0-)

        been.  

        •  True but it is not going to stay that way... (14+ / 0-)

          Here is the problem, Maslow's Hierarchy of needs.

          As more and more people sink into the lowest "Survival" rung of the ladder, people have less and less empathy for others and more and more ruthless behavior to look out for themselves.  

          This does not have to be logical.  I am not saying that these kids killed this man for his money or to survive or anything.  I am saying that when people are in constant survival mode, worrying about food, shelter and protection, they become more animalistic and primal and they can be easily aggitated into violence if for no other reason then to vent frustration.

          Empathy and compassion tend to occur around the third rung.  As a civilization feels more confident in their own security, they tend to care more for the security of others.  Remember, this is about perception.  A millionaire can believe he is not secure because he does not have enough and therefore have no empathy where a homeless person can believe he or she is safe and secure in their meager possessions and be empathetic and generous with what they have.

          I am afraid that as the police become more militaristic and the schools stop teaching critical thought and push obedience above all else and people feel less and less secure, we are going to see more and more violence.  It is sad that all of this is preventable but we lack the political will to do anything about it.

          "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

          by Buckeye Nut Schell on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 09:07:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  and exactly (9+ / 0-)

          what do you mean to prove by saying that?

          Many speculate that the decrease is related to decreases in lead poisoning,  and most older building with lead paint still in them and in use are inner cities or very old rural properties, and almost always occupied by the poorest, and hence, more likely black or hispanic.  Another thing individuals don't control.

          Further,  drug abuse, alcohol abuse, lack of proper prenatal care, nutrition, all of those correlate with poverty and therefore to some extent with race, and all affect a child's ability to flourish and function, again, all things that an individual doesn't overcome.

          As for my general assertion that life doesn't matter,  it only matters for certain people in our society,  more and more, old people,  the poor and now even the middle class are told their ability to eat and have shelter isn't a concern for society, but their moral failings led them to this and they should be punished.    I am sorry that it disrupts the conservatives individual responsibility themes and it endangers white privilege, but life is rough all over.

          Murder isn't the only kind of violence, muggings with a gun isn't the only kind of violence in a society.   A lack of empathy, a lack of civility,  harsh lines of us and them,  they take a continual toll on the cohesiveness of a society.  Things are ugly, maybe it is easier to see in a semi-rural southern part of the country because the lines are so clear.   Keep pretending that everything is ok, but don't be shocked when the ugly keeps growing.

      •  only a lad, you really can't blame him (3+ / 0-)

        The lady down the block
        She had a radio that Johnny wanted oh so bad
        So he took it the first chance he had
        Then he shot her in the leg
        And this is what she said
        Only a lad
        You really can't blame him
        Only a lad
        Society made him
        Only a lad
        He's our responsibility
        Only a lad
        He really couldn't help it
        Only a lad
        He didn't want to do it
        Only a lad
        He's underprivileged and abused
        Perhaps a little bit confused

        Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

        by Keith930 on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 09:58:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  They've murdered a freakin valuable ancient guy. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1

      Real macho men.

      "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes

      Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

      by OleHippieChick on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 12:32:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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