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View Diary: When a Lone Wolf Assassin is Not Nuts or Alone (117 comments)

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  •  We're strongly discouraged from thinking in these (31+ / 0-)

    … terms, even in the case of world-shaking murders like that of JFK, RFK, and Martin Luther King.

    So why would that kind of broader inquiry start garnering the support of the "serious" folks in the case of Dr. Tiller?

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Sat May 29, 2010 at 08:52:40 AM PDT

    •  Because of a well-established factual basis (67+ / 1-)

      Conspiracy theories on assassination of leaders are different; the evidence is at best equivocal and more likely a collection of unwarranted assumptions.

      The situation here is far different. Extreme right-wing organizations make only the most half-hearted denials of the fact that they provide aid and comfort murderers.

      •  It's not even extreme R-W orgs. (44+ / 0-)

        This is in the mainstream of Catholic social teaching.

        It is reinforced by Evangelical Christians.

        It's in the Republican Party platform.

        If you believe life begins at conception, then any abortion for any reason (including rape, incest, life of mother) is murder.  No one can speak for the unborn baby, making it the most vulnerable human and worthy of protection to the point of "any means necessary".  And if you really believe this stuff, then it's totally within the mainstream for people to think that you should take up arms against those who provide abortions.

        This is mainstream Republican thinking.  Nothing extreme about it within the right wing.

        And that's part of Clarkson's point in this diary.

        Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

        by Benintn on Sat May 29, 2010 at 09:29:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  When did abortion become "mainstream Catholic" (13+ / 0-)

          social teaching?

          In the 1970's?

          That's a selective application of some 12th century dusty edict that was conveniently dug out for use to take the heat off the emerging pedophile conflict.

          <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

          by bronte17 on Sat May 29, 2010 at 09:53:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good question. (23+ / 0-)

            I can't say that I know the history.

            What I will say is this - Evangelical Christians + GOP (largely in the Reagan era, as a distraction from his history of being divorced) used abortion as a wedge issue and you had a lot of really wealthy people spending a lot of money to make this a big political issue.

            That it's mainstream Catholic teaching today goes without saying.  That's just true.  I think it's evident that Pope John Paul II weighed in heavily during his time as Pope, and that got picked up by Pope Benedict.

            I'm reading right now about Keith Fournier, a convert to Catholicism who has been a huge advocate for the anti-abortion movement.  He's a lawyer and has done a lot of work to bring together the Pat Robertson/Jerry Falwell/James Dobson crowd with Catholics.  It seems to me that most of this was politically motivated - because by bringing Catholics away from being a Democratic stronghold (largely a result of the Kennedy presidency) and into being a sharply divided constituency.

            By turning Catholics against feminists after Roe v. Wade, the GOP was able to use a divide-and-conquer strategy that hasn't been counteracted until around the time Kos and Jerome Armstrong wrote "Crashing the Gate".

            Has anyone else noticed that we now have something like 6 Catholic SCOTUS judges?  No protestants?  When the general population is 23% Catholic and 60% non-Catholic Christian?

            This isn't by accident - it's an effort of the GOP to validate their election by "delivering the goods" on a vendetta by Catholics against the Roe v. Wade decision.

            And there is a ton of money behind that.

            Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

            by Benintn on Sat May 29, 2010 at 10:03:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's a little more complicated than that (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tardcat, Munchkn, CuriousBoston

              Self-identifying Catholics poll in way that is identical with the populace at large on practically everything political.  Despite the Pope's declaration against abortion in 'Humanae Vitae' in iirc 1968.

              American popular support for the individual woman's right to choose, the central finding of Roe, is currently about 67% in national pollings.  It's going up about 1% per year.  That's different from the various questions that amount to "do you accept/like the fact that abortions happen?" which poll roughly even.

              There is a trend of some people leaving the mainline Protestant churches because these churches' teachings and congregations strike them as increasingly and objectionably liberal; these people go and convert to Catholic and Orthodox.  It's even a bit of fad in right wing political circles, e.g. Newt Gingrich and Tony Blair have publicly done it.  It's a demonstrative act that underlines their becoming more committedly conservative or reactionary.

              The preference for conservative Catholics on the Supreme Court by Republicans comes from their sense that these are the most ideologically reliable people, the people most locked into a rigid and intellectually tightly constructed system of thought from which departure is the most difficult.  Democrats feel roughly the same way about Jewish liberals.

              I think it's sort of inevitable rather than conspiracy.  Traditionalist Christian groups emphasize and often lock onto an adolescent period of spiritual development where fighting back perceived evil is considered vital and harsh, magical, and often selfhating, i.e. relatively conservative, attitudes prevail.  Much of Judaism and liberal Christian groups emphasize middle aged spiritual development- where patient parenting, participation in community, and personal insights lead into the more liberal and progressive attitude that follows from a succession of positive insights.

              Of course the fun is Sonia Sotomajor, who is Catholic but takes the latter tack.  She's living proof that the old ethnoreligious political categories no longer hold so well and in the future will not hold much at all.

              So the Court is a Rohrschach of our times in a certain way.

              Oh, and Roe.  It's about 8-10 more years until the reactionaries crack and the anti-choice organizations start to break down, that's true.  Until then they'll be dangerous in that wild and violently flailing fashion that dying movements on the wrong side of justice are.  When they're out of the picture actual solutions to the social problems that result in abortion will become realizable.  The Supreme Court itself isn't keen on the issue after the debacle of Gonzalez v. Carhart and while they pretend not to read polls, they do know that for practical political purposes the matter is decided in favor of the liberals.

          •  Not quite (18+ / 0-)

            The rampant publication of the whole sex abuse thing came after, not before, the militant anti-abortion activities of some Catholics.

            However, in my experience, most Catholics who engage in anti-abortion work limit their activities to writing and calling members of Congress and picketing clinics in a non-violent manner, often praying the rosary as they march about with signs.

            Fact is, however, most Catholics in the pew think abortion is something to be discouraged, but not something to murder a doctor over.

            More progressive Catholics recognize abortion as a sometimes necessary thing-- as the nun who was excommunicated determined in the particular case that got her canned.

            Right wing reactionary religionists of all stripes are the ones you have to watch out for.

            Please do not conflate the sex abuse situation with the anti-abortion movement. It is inappropriate because it is simply incorrect.

            I must be dreaming...

            by murphy on Sat May 29, 2010 at 10:06:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  John Paul II gave it a push. (7+ / 0-)

              His encyclical on "life" made it clear that abortion was going to be a front-burner issue for the church. And I remember Cardinal O'Connor in NYC endorsing Operation Rescue back in the '80s.  The church seemed to grow closer to the militants during that time, but that was before the most recent sexual abuse scandals.

              •  Between 1950 and 2002 (8+ / 0-)

                were the dates of a study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. And that was commissioned by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. So, that's the fox examining the goings-on in the chicken house.

                The Catholic Church knew the magnitude of the problem long before the public ever got a whiff of it. Pedophilia erupted on the scene in the 60's and 70's when the baby boomers weren't the quiet type to sit down and take it. By the 80's, it was becoming full blown... but the stirrings had been there and known internally by the Catholic hierarchy for decades.

                And there is a big difference between personal internal non-approval of freedom of action by others and actively working to negate that freedom of action through legislation and planned coercion through systemic capture.

                <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                by bronte17 on Sat May 29, 2010 at 10:43:59 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Come on... how do you think those Choir Boys (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mjd in florida, Friendlystranger

              of the Vienna Roman Catholic Boys' Choir maintained their angelic voices? And it is renown of their abuse.

              Or any number of other incidents of pedophilia.

              It did not just erupt overnight in the 80's or 90's as some fluke.

              I have not researched the hardcore studies on this issue, but the militancy of the Catholic hierarchy in pursuing abortion as a deadly sin to be eradicated above all else was not prevalent in Catholic life in the 60's or even the early 70's. It just wasn't there at that period of time.

              Something altered the dynamics of the political needs of the hierarchy.

              <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

              by bronte17 on Sat May 29, 2010 at 10:51:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  60's and 70's (14+ / 0-)

                Abortion wasn't an issue then because it wasn't widely available (or legal in many places). Roe v Wade was 1973.

                Legalism: strict conformity to the letter of the law rather than its spirit

                by Catte Nappe on Sat May 29, 2010 at 11:22:08 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Roe v Wade made abortion *safe* (7+ / 0-)

                  and provided women with the alternatives to very long drives to a handful of women's healthcare clinics in the US or leaving the country to obtain healthcare or a death sentence for unlucky women in remote areas.

                  There were no epiphanies nor any reactionary revelations in Roe v Wade. It simply gave women a small life raft in a sea of storms.

                  Abortions have been the norm for thousands of years by various means and the Church didn't go on the rampage over it.

                  It was only when women could actually attend sterile clean clinics which helped to insure they didn't die that the Church suddenly found its voice of disdain for the procedure.

                  Therefore, since the ancient procedure was nothing new... there was some other variable tugging at the male hierarchy to start their serious bitching about abortion.

                  <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                  by bronte17 on Sat May 29, 2010 at 01:29:14 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The new variable - those safe sterile clinics (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bronte17, Munchkn

                    Places where abortion was a medical procedure, and not a shameful back alley undertaking. If it must be done, it must be done in shame and secrecy. And that's not exactly snark. Yes, they all knew abortions happened, and it was awful, but generally illegal and/or unpleasant. As soon as it was more widely out in the open it went from awful to horrifying to insupportable for them; that as a society we had gone from saying "this is a very bad thing" to "this is OK".

                    Legalism: strict conformity to the letter of the law rather than its spirit

                    by Catte Nappe on Sat May 29, 2010 at 03:19:30 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  However, (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bronte17, splashy, Catte Nappe, Munchkn

                    you should not give the impression that Roe merely gave a federal imprimatur to something that was already long-settled law in most states, the way Loving v. Virginia did.

                    The first state to legalize abortion, CO, only did so a mere 6 years before Roe, and then only in cases of rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother. The far more expansive NY abortion law was passed only three years before Roe, and I can vividly remember how glad I was, before it passed, that my then-boyfriend's sister was a militantly pro-abortion ob/gyn. I knew I'd be able to get a safe abortion if I ever needed one. Most women of my generation weren't that lucky, even in "liberal" states. At the time Roe was decided, only 16 states had laws permitting abortion, some more restrictive than others.

                    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

                    by sidnora on Sat May 29, 2010 at 03:26:58 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  May we never confuse passionate differences (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Oh Mary Oh

              with criminal conspiricies:

              Right wing reactionary religionists of all stripes are the ones you have to watch out for.

              If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom. -Eisenhower

              by geomoo on Sat May 29, 2010 at 10:52:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  PedoBear hearts the Catholic Church (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              alizard, CuriousBoston

              No, if the Catholic church thinks it can oppose abortion & cover-up child-abuse by priests, I say it should be emphasized.
              "Pedophiles have no say on abortion.  Period."

        •  Support for murder (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Oh Mary Oh

          in order to "protect human life" of fetuses is certainly not mainstream in Catholicism. Nor is that in the Republican Party platform. It is quite a leap to say that this is mainstream Republican thinking.

          What you've done is to make a series of arguably logical leaps that got you to a counter-factual, extreme conclusion. It reminds me somewhat of how Meir Kahane would argue. His arguments ALMOST (not quite) sounded reasonable, until you remembered what his conclusion was. Of course, the difference between Kahane and you is that Kahane actually ADVOCATED and PRACTICED violent extremism, whereas your purpose may be to try to denigrate your opponents by placing violent anti-abortion extremism in their mainstream.

          And my point would be that there's enough evidence of indirect enabling of this kind of violence by more mainstream organizations that trumpet the idea that "abortion is murder" to criticize them on that basis, rather than the ridiculous claim that murder to combat abortion is actually mainstream Catholic or Republican teaching or thinking.

      •  That may very well be, but the mental habit of (14+ / 0-)

        … dismissing everything that even faintly acquires the gestalt "conspiracy" is easily formed and hard to unlearn, among a busy and stressed populace.

        The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

        by lotlizard on Sat May 29, 2010 at 09:53:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have wondered about this a lot, (14+ / 0-)

          I was first stunned by this phenomenon as a young man, watching a group of grown-up Congressmen officially declare that JFK was killed in a physically impossible way.  The next shock was seeing most of the country sneer at people "crazy" enough to reject an explanation inconsistent with known facts.  Since then, I have seen this phenomenon a few times.

          My guess is that the notion of a conspiracy resonates with a primal fear--that of being rejected by one's tribe.  Combine this resistance to acknowledging the existence of frightening shadowy forces with a cooperative media, and you get what we have today:  a strong presumption against conspiracy explanations in the face of the obvious fact that humans are by nature a conspiratorial species.

          This presumption helps to cover a lot of sins.  A recent example, perhaps trivial in this context, is the rejection of the solid science of exit polling to avoid accepting as real the many signs of election fraud.  In the case of rightwing terrorists, there are additional forces in play which make convincing the public of conspiracy a tough hill to climb.  Kudos to The Nation, Ms, and this diarist for your work.

          If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom. -Eisenhower

          by geomoo on Sat May 29, 2010 at 10:44:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  of course it does (0+ / 0-)

          An amazing number of things can be swept under the CT rug to stop people from asking awkward and embarrassing public questions about them if one has enough control over the legacy media to arrange for "experts" to appear on enough talking heads shows to put that Party Line across.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Sat May 29, 2010 at 04:01:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  What's up with the HR, Pozzo? (7+ / 0-)

        Preposterous.

        Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights do make a left.

        by Simian on Sat May 29, 2010 at 12:22:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Right... but "strongly discouraged" by whom? (19+ / 0-)

      Right wing media?  Right wing groups with powerful connections?

      I agree with the dKos rules re CT discussions here, but the ongoing increase and volume of published noise on the right should be the subject of scrutiny somewhere... people don't seem to be cognizant of the fact that much of the voiced language coming from right wing sources today would flat not have been tolerated by the general populace prior to 1980.  There would have been a national outcry... and the authors and voicers of today's outlandish language critical of the left, while much smaller in number, knew it back then, and mostly kept quiet.  The John Birch Society was looked upon as a bunch of kooks by most of America.  The KKK was vilified by most anyone with a brain.  Today, groups that have even harsher and more extreme attitudes are given press and defended in many circles.  

      Stated otherwise: insanity has become palatable for millions of Americans.

      Kick apart the structures.

      by ceebee7 on Sat May 29, 2010 at 09:48:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The circles of intolerance never disappear (11+ / 0-)

        They simply fade into the woodwork for a period of time until the conditions are ripe for their re-emergence.

        Diligence will always be required to check them.

        <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

        by bronte17 on Sat May 29, 2010 at 09:58:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  just thinking about the concept of conspiracies (4+ / 0-)

        causes enough pain in people's heads, that it's just like evangelicals thinking about evolution. To even accept the notion that it might be possible, that maybe evidence is out there to be looked at, that critical thinking and statistical probabilities should maybe bear on the range of possible outcomes, is just too frightening for many people.

        In physics and science, it's well known that the most interesting times in an experiment, where you have a hypothesis to test, is the point where someone says "hmm - here's something we didn't expect..." - meaning the suppositions inherent in constructing the hypothesis might themselves be wrong and the experiment takes on a whole new direction.

        Without geometry, life is pointless. And blues harmonica players suck.

        by blindcynic on Sat May 29, 2010 at 11:44:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Daily Kos rules do not prohibit (5+ / 0-)

        the discussion of clearly documented, true conspiracies. Even speculations over certain alleged conspiracies are tolerated. Only a few conspiracy theories that are considered disruptive - particularly some in regard to the events on 9/11/01 - are banned from discussion. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's clear I'm not, because if I were, people would have been expelled for discussing the alleged conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy.

        •  Good point. nt (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          Kick apart the structures.

          by ceebee7 on Sat May 29, 2010 at 01:40:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Um... (0+ / 0-)

          they weren't expelled? [Don't know, but all CTs are banned here. Including real, documented ones].

          Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

          by Joieau on Sat May 29, 2010 at 03:20:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not properly documented ones (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".

            http://www.dkosopedia.com/...

            Legalism: strict conformity to the letter of the law rather than its spirit

            by Catte Nappe on Sat May 29, 2010 at 03:34:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Huh. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              I was hired once many years ago under provision of 10CFR21 to investigate an industrial 'accident' that now forms the 'ultimate' ct backdrop for what's happening in the Gulf under BP. Filed reports to Fed regulators and the US Congress. Wasn't "documented" enough, I guess, since talk of such things earned me summary removal, had to start over again here. Go figure.

              Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

              by Joieau on Sat May 29, 2010 at 04:05:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Where people get into trouble (0+ / 0-)

                Usually seems to be not so much the basic "facts", but the interpretative spin. For example, we know a bit about what seems to have happen to Deepwater Horizon. That includes several people testifying to a disagreement between BP execs and others as to how quickly to wrap up the operation and whether to short cut some procedures. I have seen some comments where people take that information and dramatically streeeetch it to the conclusion BP wanted to "kill the gulf" so they would never have to deal with environmental impact again.

                Legalism: strict conformity to the letter of the law rather than its spirit

                by Catte Nappe on Sun May 30, 2010 at 12:43:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  No (0+ / 0-)

            I myself have speculated on who was involved in a conspiracy to kill Kennedy and then Oswald. Perhaps I shouldn't call attention to that [grin], but I am aware of other folks here who have made the point that they believe it was a conspiracy, and they are still here.

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