Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Insanity Defense

obama, obama jokes, political, humor, cartoon, stilton jarlsberg, hope and change, hope n' change, nancy pelosi, elliot rodger, NRA, murder, mental health, reform
First things first: Elliot Rodger's murderous rampage is a human tragedy which shouldn't be used as a political football by either side. It was neither access to guns nor an oversexualized Hollywood culture which made this pathetic 22 year old manboy into a killer - it was his insanity.

Which is why today's Hope n' Change, including the "too soon, too sick" cartoon above, isn't about the specifics of the Elliot Rodger case, but rather about the need to try to do something realistic about the underlying insanity...and stopping murderous rampages before they happen.

Pennsylvania Republican Representative Tim Murphy, a psychologist, has spent over a year analyzing the failures of our mental health system and laws, and crafted a reform bill which might help find and treat those who are dangerously unstable. He has worked with Republicans and Democrats, and his bill enjoys broad bipartisan support.

Or we should say "enjoyed." Because Nancy Pelosi is doing all she can to kill it and telling Democrats to withdraw their support. (Note: please follow the link to the full Wall Street Journal story about this that appeared two weeks ago - well before Rodger's appalling crimes.)

But why would Pelosi want to scuttle the bill? Because in an election year, she doesn't want the Republicans to have even a single example of bipartisan success - even on something as serious and important as this.

Moreover, by putting an emphasis on mental health and psychiatric intervention, the bill is a reminder that the killings are actually done by a human being rather than an inanimate object like a gun (and in this case, Rodger used knives, guns, and a car to commit his heinous acts). Put simply, Pelosi would rather bolster her anti-gun arguments with more mass murders than allow members of her own party to help prevent those murders.

Despicable. Unspeakable. Unacceptable.

There are serious-minded people, Republicans and Democrats, who want to genuinely reform our mental health laws right now to save lives. They should be allowed to do so without the unnecessary obstacle of Nancy Pelosi's partisan politicking and, yes, insanity.


Bruce Bleu said...

Well, obviously, "unanimous" above doesn't want any virgins suffering from virginity. That website offers a variety of STD's to go along with the libertine morals.
Also, at LEAST I can take comfort that the perp ONLY died from smoke inhalation, (from the barrel of his gun).

Skeptical Voter said...

What can you say about Pelosi?

How about what a frickin' tool she is.

Sparky @ My Thoughts Exactly said...

Nazi Pelosi IS mentality ill. And so are all her constituents in the Land Of Fruits And Nuts, apparently.

Colby said...

I was going to say that San Fran Nan is a wart on the ass of society, but that doesn't really describe her. You can go to a doctor (well, for now anyway) and have a wart removed. I can only think of two ways we will ever be rid of this little commie. She dies of old age, or the voters in San Francisco wake up and smell the coffee and vote her skinny ass out. Soooo.... we are stuck with her for many many years no doubt. I am just thankful she doesn't hold the gavel anymore, and pray Prince Harry loses his next year.

I think you're half right. the people that vote Nan in over and over and over are nuts, but I think she is about a lucid as you can get and knows exactly what she's doing. Her political power is quite obviously more important to her than the lives of millions of Americans, and that my friend is sickening!

Frankie said...

@ Bruce Bleau, smoke inhalation or lead poisoning, take your pick.
Meahwhile, Rahm (Tiny Dancer) Emmanuel wants to video tape every gun purchase in Chicagostan.

Geoff King said...

Rodger killed 3 with a knife and 3 with a gun, not counting himself which was an inevitable outcome. That means half were killed with a knife. Also he, like almost every other mass shooter, was on psychotropic drugs. Naturally, the authoritarian left will ignore these facts and put the blame squarely on us gun owners.

Judi King said...

Since she's nuts, perhaps this is the only way SHE can get laid.

Chuck Ef said...

"It was neither access to guns nor an oversexualized Hollywood culture which made this pathetic 22 year old manboy into a killer - it was his insanity."

You are so correct, Doc. This is it exactly. I am a small "L" libertarian (or I like to think I am) and one of my favorite reads is Reason Magazine. But they still insist that, or at least my interpretation of what they have published in the past is that, we should not be proactive in the care of the mentally ill. Obviously, there is a danger there about what constitutes "mentally ill" and "proactive", particularly when we have a government administration like ours that is over-reaching their constitutional powers.

But with so many on the streets who are clearly in need of help, and others, who like this turd, seem to be rushing headlong into murderous insanity in front of everyone's eyes, something needs to be done. But it needs to be done in the mental health system, not the constitution (or perhaps I should say, "constitutionally"). The constitution is about people, not inanimate objects.

I think Jim Hlavac is a Big "L" libertarian - it would be interesting to hear his take on the mental health system and libertarianism.

I have mentioned in the past that culture is reflected in the government, not the other way around. And that culture is vital, it cannot be dismissed (nor legislated). This event, like others, continues to highlight our cultural decay. Just saying ... because I have no idea what to do about it. I do not believe it is government's role to do anything about culture.

But it is important to understand that it is the person, not the gun, or the knife (per @Geoff King) or the car (how many are killed in cars every year?) and so on and so forth. Sometimes it seems like America today is living out the Invasion Of The Body Snatchers.


I have been using San Fran Nan (ala @Colby) but I think I like Nazi Pelosi better. No offense Colby.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Bruce Bleu- Good catch on the "smoke inhalation." I only wish he'd inhaled it in the privacy of his own home.

@Skeptical Voter- Whatever her motivations, Pelosi's actions are indistinguishable from pure evil.

@Sparky- I really think the most liberal among us are suffering from mental disorders- monomania, paranoia, delusions of grandeur, and disassociation from reality. Or in Nancy's case, all of the above.

@Colby- Despite my list immediately above, I also think that Pelosi is lucid, smart, and conniving. That's what makes her dangerous instead of simply laughable.

@Frankie- I'm going to go way out on a limb and say that most murders in Chicago probably aren't committed with a gun purchased in a retail store, with or without video cameras.

@Judi King- I'll just agree, because even thinking about it makes me queasy.

@Chuck Ef- Great comment. Trust me, I'm not looking to authorize the government to start yanking people off the street if their psychological profiles deviate from the norm (I can see the agents in white coats coming for me on day one...).

But when you have cases in which friends and family members know that someone is a danger to others, there have to be some common sense, constitutional methods of intervening. And it sounds like Murphy's proposed legislation could help a lot with that.

And let me say "amen" to your remarks on culture. Our hypersexual, ultraviolent culture is bad for everyone - and downright dangerous for the mentally unstable.

Frankie said...

@ Stilton Jarlsberg

Imagine that. BTW, any bump in traffic?

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Frankie- There might be an uptick in traffic, but I'm not 100% sure. When I look at Blogger's stats, my eyes tend to glaze over with confusion.

In all candor, the numbers have never been astronomical - though it seems that those who do visit the site are exceedingly loyal. Not to mention intelligent and good looking.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Readers- Here's a very interesting take on the Elliot Rodger case.

Chuck Ef said...


I wasn't directly my concerns about "yanking people of the street" to your comments. I was agreeing with you that something needs to be done regarding mental healthcare. I was just trying to head off the usual (and justified to some degree) libertarian concerns about forced commitment of people.

I enjoyed your write-up as usual. Always.

And thank you for your comments about my beauty. Now I just need for you to convince women of it.

You were talking about MY beauty weren't you? Or do I need some help? Gorp!

Chuck Ef said...

"Directing" not "directly"

Damn spell checkers ....

Some projection there.

John the Econ said...

It may be because I haven't exposed myself to much mass media this week, but I've found it interesting that I haven't seen the usual immediate accusations and hysteria against the Tea Party, Rush Limbaugh, or even guns as being the cause of this latest insanity.

I have seen a bullet-point rundown of his manifesto, and I'm not as sure he was as insane as people would like to think he was, and perhaps that is why the usual suspects are being a bit more subdued than usual this time around. He grew up in a world of divorce, aimlessness, lack of meaningful pursuits, pornography, violent media and was treading water in a sea of narcissism. These are all things that today's culture considers normal and acceptable.

The central theme of his teen life and angst seems to be the fact that he couldn't "get laid" as if unfettered access to sex as a teenager is now considered an entitlement. And it's easy to understand how someone raised exclusively by today's pop culture could come to that conclusion. Considering the environment he grew up in, I'm not sure coming to that conclusion constitutes insanity. In fact, it almost seems logical.

And I have yet to see anyone question this. And where are the gender feminists questioning his puerile view of women as little more than objects that exist to satisfy is media-fed view that teenage girls are supposed to willingly satisfy his sexual urges just because he exists, no matter how weird he was? If this doesn't constitute objectification of women, what does?

Don't get me wrong; There's no question he was was mentally unbalanced. But he was mentally unbalanced in a world that is largely insane to begin with. The main difference between this boy any most other teenage boys at that age was that the mentally healthy have meaning in their lives beyond their immediate urges, and know the difference between what the media and libertines are shoving at them and reality. This kid never had a chance.

I think the media and the usual suspects (Nancy Pelosi included) are anxious to write this one off and don't want to use it as their latest "crisis not to waste" for legislative overreach. Digging too deep into what set this guy off will force them to look at places that politically they really do not want to, and can't afford to go.

Colby said...

A wild leap here, but I'd guess that the vast majority of gun sales in Chicagablad occur in shadowy back alleys and dark basements. So does ol' Deadfish Emmanuel plan on putting cameras in all those places? To quote Bugs Bunny, "What a maroon..."

@Chuck Ef,
I like the name "Nazi Pelosi" better too. Makes we wonder if she owns an underground bunker...

There has to be some sort of balance in how we treat mental illness in this country. Like something between the current plan of letting all the nutcases just run loose with no meds or supervision, and the old days of incarceration, straight jackets, frontal lobotomies and shock "therapy." I don't know what that may be, nor how to identify really disturbed people from the usual crowd of harmless nutcases. Back in the day, there WAS no usual crowd of harmless nutcases. Normal people were a lot more... "normal," and the nutcases were easy to spot.

Thanks for your "intellegent and good looking" remark! I'll rest easier tonight knowing that you absolutely do not have a camera planted at my PC.

Sparky @ My Thoughts Exactly said...

@Chuck Ef ~ Thanks so much for the compliment! I started calling her that when she helped push the O'Snare on America. She has all the traits of a Hitler Nazi.

@Stilton ~ Thank you for helping to keep all of us sane with your wonderful humour! I think I'd be in a padded cell by now if it wasn't for laughter and trusting in God's word.

And, quite frankly, I haven't kept up with what this young man did. It's all so very sad. I figured that The Leftist Slugs where all touching themselves and having a party that there was more gun violence so they could blame the NRA, Bush, TEA Party, etc. Thought I'd keep away from the hysteria this time.

Chuck Ef said...

@John The Econ

You missed the little children in SB walking around with their colorful signs yesterday? The "A woman's body is not a possession!" thing? Oh my, you missed a lovely demonstration of futility and self-righteous nihilism. This is the left - "touching themselves" as Sparky said.

@Doc -

I like that posting; "Hollywood culture and millennial fame addiction pushed by the media did."
Her's another take. Therapy culture.

CenTexTim said...

@John the Econ - trust me, the attacks on the 'gun culture' are out there. In fact, the father of one of the victims blamed the tragedy on "craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA."

Understandable, I suppose, that a parent suffering an unimaginable loss would let emotion trump logic. The sad/despicable thing is that gun control proponents are using this man's grief for political purposes.

To Stilton's point, the father went on to say "When will this insanity stop?" Sadly, it looks like there is little chance of doing anything meaningful about it as long as amoral creatures like pelosi are in charge.

Geoff King said...

K. This latest Hollywood psycho, from the driver's seat of his BMW, professed to the world that he was a 22 year old virgin. Then he proceeded to blame all women - but mainly blondes - that it was their fault that they rejected his sexual advances. Therefore, he decided that he was god and they all must die. Let's, drives a Beemer, is not terrible looking, is still a virgin at 22. Perhaps if the first words out of his mouth when meeting a new lady hadn't been " let's f**k" he may have had a chance of losing his virginity under those circumstances at a much earlier age.

Chuck Ef said...

@Geoff King

Ha! Nice summary. But the gun told him - it "spoke" to him. IT WAS THE GUN! And those pesky blonds. And a "magic johnson".

The sad thing (aside from the obvious tragedy), and I suppose I will get letters on this, is that no one else was armed around him. Someone with a CCW permit - pop goes the weasel.

John the Econ said...

I think I figured it out: The usual suspects are just being thankful that this screwed-up kid didn't discover fundamentalist Islam; an ideology that objectifies women as property for servitude to men, encourages the mass murder of those unwilling to submit to the proper social order, and promises dozens of willing virgins to the martyred faithful on the other end of the rainbow.

Better it go down this way so they can only blame the guns.

American Cowboy said...

"Not to mention intelligent and good looking."

:-) I never thought of myself as particularly "good looking" so I guess I will settle for intelligent.

Does that brand me as an undesirable in this "new" age?

American Cowboy said...

I read the story about this guy in the link provided. The last sentence was to the effect all of the ideals this boy pursued were promoted by MTV. Well I just don't know how anyone could say his actions were influenced by the things he was told, or saw...after all what a person sees or hears has no effect on their future behavior. That is why there is no such thing as an advertising industry...oh wait... there is. Well so much for the idea the left trots out that what one sees and hears has no effect on them.

Geoff King said...

Since this stabbing/shooting occured in a "gun free zone", otherwise known as a "victim disarmament zone", one can only speculate on what the outcome may have been if even one of his targets had a CCW. Would 7 have died?, 5?, or perhaps only the single perpetrator? I think it can safely be stated that, if those involved had been allowed to defend themselves, the death toll could not possibly been higher than it was.

sc said...

re: Pelosi & the bill - it's all about politics. Our "Representatives" (I use the term loosely) in DC, with very few exceptions, only care about their next election, their political career, their power & their money. I am completely fed-up with politicians and all the lies & hypocrisy.

Things continue to get worse, the debt keeps growing & it doesn't matter who gets elected repub or dem. No one will tackle the real issues, the hard, important stuff: the bloated, wasteful, fraudulent, abusive government, overspending, overpaid gov workers and their ridiculous, unaffordable retirement plans, welfare, food stamps, social security, education, energy needs, the fact that the gov should not be issuing grants, loans, subsidies, free cell phones, money to foreign countries, etc.

It's them (the elite, privileged, wealthy, powerful) against us (the hard-working, struggling, taxpayers that don't have a voice or even choice anymore).

Changing SC from Selfish Conservative to Surly Cynic

Chuck Ef said...

@Geoff King
Agreed! I am a neanderthal but I do not understand how a public that can defend itself is a "bad thing". It pains me to drag my knuckles so.

I like SC2 (selfish conservative/surly cynic - sc, the sequel). I stole "quesito" from Queso Grande, I might steal SC2 'cus that describes me to a tee. "Selfish" in the Ayn Rand sense.

JustaJeepGuy said...

I heard a bit about Rodgers on the radio and I just want to know why didn't anyone tell the nutcase about prostitutes if he was so whiny about being a virgin. How hard could it have been for someone to just say to him, "Hey Dude, just go to the bad part of town and wave a couple twenties around and get the job done." He surely could have even gotten a blonde that way. No, the reason he didn't go that route is because he really wanted to kill some people and he just spent 14 years (He had been "in therapy" since the age of 8. Who was he, Woody Allen??) looking for the cheapest excuse he could think up. In other words, HE WAS A NUTCASE!!!!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Chuck Ef- I didn't think you were directing concerns my way; you and I are in complete agreement here. Involuntary commitment is pretty heavy stuff and not to be done lightly. That being said, there are surely some rational guidelines for doing so.

@John the Econ- As is so often the case, you've knocked this one out of the park. Much of what made Rodger "crazy" is what passes for "normal" these days - which makes finding the dangerous ones all the harder.

And I agree that the media isn't really going to use Rodger as an anti-gun poster boy. His lifestyle and his use of multiple weapons (guns, knives, car) raise issues they're not going to want to talk about.

@Colby- I agree that there must be some sort of balance which can be found between ignoring the mentally ill or waiting for them to commit serious crimes. Apparently a lot of Republicans and Democrats agreed.

And on a side note, I'll mention that shock therapy is actually enjoying something of a comeback: turns out that it really can be very helpful. Lobotomies? Not so much.

@Sparky- I'll admit that I'm not following the story quite as closely as I might for the very reasons you cite. It's all so sad. But when I remembered the WSJ piece about Pelosi's obstructionism, it made me so angry that I had to raise the issue here today.

@Chuck Ef- The "Therapy Culture" story is an interesting one. Personally, I believe that therapy can be beneficial - but not as a lifestyle.

If anything, Elliot Rodger shows that no mental health system is going to catch all killers before they act. Especially since human beings are very complicated - and therapists run the gamut from great to terrible.

@CenTexTim- I hold nothing against a grieving father calling for stricter gun laws (and hey, here's a thought: maybe stricter gun laws for people who've been in psychotherapy for years?). But should we toughen restrictions on cutlery? On automobiles? Where does it end?

@Geoff King- Granted I've only seen excerpts from Rodger's diatribes, but it seems that he was obsessed with sex but uninterested in an actual relationship. Pure, sick narcissism.

@Chuck Ef- I always wish these mass killers would commit suicide before their sprees instead of afterwards. Rodger was a coward, and couldn't bear to leave life without believing that he would be famous - if only posthumously.

@John the Econ- You're right that there would be a whole different dialogue going on if these had been Islamic "honor killings." And in point of fact, that's probably a dialogue we should be having right now.

@American Cowboy- I assume that everyone on this site has inner beauty.

Regarding the impact of popular culture on people's behavior, it's interesting that TV execs will claim that a one-hour show packed with sex and violence doesn't affect behavior... and yet they charge a million bucks for a :30 Superbowl ad because they claim it will affect behavior.

@Geoff King- Certainly if someone with a CCW had been in the mix, things would have been no worse - and conceivably far better.

@sc- I agree with you, but Murphy's bill was one of those rare instances where both parties actually seemed ready to agree on something important. Who knows what might get done if those like Pelosi and Reid weren't in the mix?

@JustaJeepGuy- You make a good point. Rodger could have hauled his ass to Amsterdam, or Nevada, or Bangkok (assuming he didn't just want to troll for hookers downtown in his BMW).

I don't think he was really looking for sex (even if he thought he was) - he only wanted that to be one of the ways for women to worship him. And when a hooker tells you to hand over the cash, it's pretty hard to sustain the fantasy that she's overwhelmed by your magnificence.

Chuck Ef said...


Yeah I agree. While I am a strong believer in the rule of law, I know that life is grey and reasonable people should be able to address social problems. Unfortunately, that statement relies on "reasonable people". My point was, though I agree with the libertarian position that the state needs to be reined in on committing people, it is a shame that so many people needing help are not getting it. Something, as a "reasonable society", needs to be done but I have no idea what.

Here's another take, from a psychiatrist who states the obvious for the most part.
NYT …meh.

BTW, "inner beauty"?! WHA?! I thought you meant I was gorgeous?! Now I am going to lose it! I am crushed! Er, um, ... too much coffee this morning. Never mind.

John the Econ said...

I got around to reading the excellent link that @Stilton provided above, and it seems that my first impression was more right-on than I knew. This kid was indeed a product of Hollywood in every way, shape and form. He was completely divorced from reality. In fact he was living the life of what most people would consider of a "rich" person and never realized it. He didn't work. He drove a luxury car, and lived in a rent-paid apartment in one of the most affluent communities in the world. To 99.9% of the planet's population, he was living a dream. Little to nothing was expected from him, and yet he was not happy and highly depressed.

Get that liberals? He was a welfare recipient on steroids, and yet he was still depressed and nothing was enough for him. It was this insulation from reality that eventually destroyed him, and the lives of dozens of others.

All he could do was only dream of more. He wanted his mom to marry omni-millionaire so that he'd have even more without ever having to worry about how to acquire it. He fantasized about winning the lottery. But "Ordinary" work was beneath him. He had no discernible skills to trade, and yet expected the world to provide everything for him, just because he was him. He was his own god.

His entire life is an indictment of Hollywood culture and what the entitlement culture does to people. His idea of reality came straight out of MTV; an absurdly affluent lifestyle with no visible means of support, and hot women throwing themselves at him just because he was him.

I stick by my original assessment that this kid was less "insane" than he was bred into an environment of ultimate narcissism, and acted out logically the only way that he could.

The first (and only) anti-gun rant I witnessed was from the father. At first, I just wrote that off as the rantings of a grieving parent. But now I think quite differently. He's deflecting his own responsibility for how this sad tale eventually played out. For whatever reasons (guilt, laziness, indifference) his parents just kept buying off this kid instead of being parents. They demanded little to nothing of him. In a values-vacuum, they added nothing of substance to his life. Instead of making him find his own way in the world, they gave him everything and nothing. And that both his parents work in the entertainment industry just piles onto to the irony.

Yeah, I think the left and the media are going to let this one fade away as soon as possible. This isn't a tale about guns-gone-wild, but a tale of neglect, substituting affluence for values, and what happens when you throw kids into a pseudo-reality based upon Hollywood non-values with no rational barriers or guidelines.

It's also an indictment of what happens when you give people things, and demand nothing in return, aka "welfare". The only difference between this kid and millions of "poor" people who live off the state is that this kids ghetto was gold-plated.

@JustaJeepGuy: What you suggest wouldn't have worked because it wasn't just "sex" that this kid really wanted; It was a rather superficial notion of "love", or what he thought "love" was, based upon what he experienced with his non-parents, the media's typical expression of it and the insanely shallow world in which he lived. He wanted girls (or at least the "hot" girls the thought he deserved) to want him, just because he was him. He was clearly rational enough to know that the "love" he craved could not be bought from a prostitute.

This is why I think he was less "insane" than just a kid raised and living within in an insane world.

John the Econ said...

Oh, and a final thought:

Once during a conversation on "gun control", a liberal asked me "Why can't conservatives compromise on anything?"

I found this a rather amusing question, because if the track record for the last 40 years should be clear on anything, it's that with the exception of a brief period within the '80s, conservatives in government have been doing little other than compromising on conservative values; so much so that today, we are to the "left" of most of the European countries we used to consider "left".

But back to "gun control": I think conservatives today are in a good position to answer that question, and if done properly we should be able to shut down this absurd debate with this simple reply: "If we should be made to surrender the 2nd Amendment, then why should you not be made to surrender the 1st?" Seems fair, right?

After all, isn't the story in Santa Barbara is the sum of a 1st Amendment run amok. People getting rich producing cultural diarrhea, and fostering a generation of worthless narcissists that eventually explode. If we could only control our violent culture, then we wound't even need a 2nd Amendment, right? So why aren't liberals "willing to compromise"?

Now of course, I don't believe any of this. The 1st and 2nd Amendments were the 1st and 2nd Amendments for a very good reason. They are our most important rights, and without them, the rest quickly fall like dominoes and become worthless.

But it doesn't make my "compromise" argument any less valid.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Chuck Ef- I'll retreat to my earlier position: everyone on this site is good-looking and has inner beauty. Also, our farts don't stink.

@John the Econ- Yes, yes, yes. Great analysis.

Chuck Ef said...


Well, MY farts don't stink.

I love it when I talk all intellectual.

Pete (Detroit) said...

Doc, feed pizza to an agressive Belgian yeast (like say in Piraat, or any Chimay) and wait a few hours. Then talk to me about farts. They'd drive Penny from the room, I betchya.

John, my response to "why don't you want to compromise?" is often a little parable about wine. What is the difference b/n a barrel of sewage w/ a quart of wine in it, and a barrel of wine, w/ a quart of sewage in it?
Effectively, none.
Compromise - just how much sewage did you WANT in your wine?

JustaJeepGuy said...

We all know what "compromise" means to a leftist: give up some of your position and we'll come back later and you can give me more. We'll keep doing that until you have nothing left to give up. It's sad that so many times the leftist ends up with everything he wants because the other side wants so desperately to appear "fair".

I have since read the articles linked yesterday about the pathological narcissist Rodger, and I can see that he did want more than just to get laid: he wanted to get it on only with blonde supermodels, and felt it was his due to do so. All we can ask now are rhetorical questions like, "What if his parents had actually made him try to make his way in the world on his own? Would things have turned out differently?"

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Chuck Ef- Reminds me of the old joke "Why do farts stink?" Answer: So deaf people can enjoy them too.

@Pete(Detroit)- I like your wine and sewage example. "Compromise" was a perfectly good word and concept, but like "fairness," "equality," and "reform" it now raises alarms.

@JustaJeepGuy- Rodger believed that work was beneath him. Sadly, children who are never taught about the virtues of work will never know the satisfactions of genuine accomplishment. And what a hollow life they're going to have, even if in gilded surroundings.

I also think that the desire for fame has become a pernicious evil in our society. So-called "social media" is largely about making everyone into celebrities (at least in their own minds).

John the Econ said...

@JustaJeepGuy, what is even more sad is that conservatives continue to give in because they continually get fooled by some myth that if they do, then they'll finally get love and respect like the left does. Of course, they never will.

Either that, or "compromise" in order to "get stuff done", aka "business as usual", which makes them no better than the left.

As for our little sociopath, he certainly wound't have turned out any worse had his parents actually tried to make a man of him.

Conversely, I have to wonder how any other kid plucked from normalcy into this situation might have fared. I doubt too much better.

@Stilton, this is why I consider most of liberalism evil; it intentionally deprives people of this kind of solid satisfaction, formerly known as "self esteem" before the left watered the concept down to where it exists today; a world where everyone feels entitled to be a celebrity for merely existing.

Our current President is a sad example of this phenomenon.

MsArchangel said...

Columnist Jack Kerwick's reductio ad absurdum illustrates the absurdity of "gun violence"-speak:

Imagine if, while discussing the Holocaust, we spoke about 'gas chamber violence,' or while discussing Islamic State mass beheadings, we talked instead of 'machete violence.' Or suppose that discussions of the lynching of blacks were peppered with references to 'rope violence.' None of this would sit well with decent human beings, for it is clear, or at least it is thought that it should be clear, that such descriptions miss entirely that which is fundamental to the phenomena being described -- the perpetrators responsible for these wicked deeds.

Let us speak, then, of "goon violence." For to grasp the distinction between goons with moral agency, on the one hand, and inanimate guns with no such thing, on the other, is to come to grips with reality.