Politics

Stochastic Terrorism

  • Posted on: 11 January 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

There's a term for the type of "rhetorical" behavior we've seen increasingly used to stir the pot -- the same type of verbiage and same concept behind the "who will rid me of this meddlesome priest" talk that put an end to St. Thomas Becket.

It's a term describing the actions of domestic enemies, domestic terrorists, zealots and radicals -- you know, Republicans and Tea Baggers. It makes its home among the hallowed halls of inappropriate political discourse, and calls forth the lunatics from the fringe whenever enough critical mass can be built up to trigger bloodshed, violence, chaos and destruction.

It's called stochastic terrorism, and it's a doozy:

__________

Stochastic terrorism is the use of mass communications to stir up random lone wolves to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.

This is what occurs when Bin Laden releases a video that stirs random extremists halfway around the globe to commit a bombing or shooting.

This is also the term for what Beck, O'Reilly, Hannity, and others do.

[...snip...]

The person who actually plants the bomb or assassinates the public official is not the stochastic terrorist, they are the "missile" set in motion by the stochastic terrorist. The stochastic terrorist is the person who uses mass media as their means of setting those "missiles" in motion.

Here's the mechanism spelled out concisely:

The stochastic terrorist is the person who uses mass media to broadcast memes that incite unstable people to commit violent acts.

One or more unstable people responds to the incitement by becoming a lone wolf and committing a violent act. While their action may have been statistically predictable (e.g. "given the provocation, someone will probably do such-and-such"), the specific person and the specific act are not predictable (yet).

The stochastic terrorist then has plausible deniability: "Oh, it was just a lone nut, nobody could have predicted he would do that, and I'm not responsible for what people in my audience do."

The lone wolf who was the "missile" gets captured and sentenced to life in prison, while the stochastic terrorist keeps his prime time slot and goes on to incite more lone wolves.

Further, the stochastic terrorist may be acting either negligently or deliberately, or may be in complete denial of their impact, just like a drunk driver who runs over a pedestrian without even realizing it.

Finally, there is no conspiracy here: merely the twisted acts of individuals who are promoting extremism, who get access to national media in which to do it, and the rest follows naturally just as an increase in violent storms follows from an increase in average global temperature.

__________

So, to answer the unasked question, "do you believe the constant, relentless use of violent imagery and rhetoric by Conservatives, Tea Partiers and their ilk is terrorism?" is "Yes. It's terrorism. A most insidious form of terrorism, with a long and bloody history."

OK? Good. Glad that's settled.

Sections: 

Incitement to Violence: Murder, Mayhem and the Republican Way

  • Posted on: 8 January 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

Sarah Palin had the following "target list" on her website:


Image posted by Matt Yglesias via Twitter (@mattyglesias)

It was deleted from her website following the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Nice going, Sarah. Are you happy now?

How are those "second amendment remedies" looking now?

 

Just another fine example of inappropriate political discourse in use and its all-too-predictable effects. Brought to you, with gusto, by the Teabaggers and Republicans of the United States of America. Or -- perhaps more appropriately from their warped perspective -- that should be "the Untied States" of America.

Image courtesy of Matt Yglesias. Used w/o permission.

 

Sections: 

It Still Adds Up To Murder: Republican "Fiscal Responsibility" Is Killing Us All

  • Posted on: 7 January 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

Also worth reading: from 2008, Economic Triage: Euthanizing Hope and Promise in the U.S. on ePluribus Media and Murder by Numbers - The NeoConservative Agenda from 2007 (on DailyKos), both by the same author.

You might want to play this in the background:

According to ThinkProgress, Another Patient Dies From Arizona’s Medicaid Cuts As Gov. Brewer Ignores Possible Solutions. From their piece:

__________

As ThinkProgress previously reported, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) advocated for and passed budget cuts last year that cut off urgent transplant funding that was previously promised to 98 Arizonans. In late November, Mark Price, an Arizona father who had been battling leukemia for a year, died due to complications related to chemotherapy treatment he was receiving. Price was awaiting an organ transplant that could’ve saved his life, but he was unable to receive one in time due to Brewer’s budget cuts.

Now, the University of Arizona Medical Center has told the press that another patient passed away in late December because they were unable to get their organ transplant funded.

__________

Just how much is this killer budget savings doing for Arizona?

__________

As the Arizona Republic notes, the savings Arizona is supposed to have by not funding the transplants amount to $1.36 million. As Arizona98.com notes, "The fact our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters (hard-working citizens and good people) have been deemed expendable at a price of $13,877.56 per human life still does not make sense."

__________

It makes plenty of sense...if you're a Republican.

Note, too, that in the GOP's overall zest and zeal to nullify any achievements of the Obama Administration, their desire to repeal the Healthcare bill might hit a couple of snags that go directly against the grain of their "fiscal responsibility" mantra: According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a repeal of HCR would increase the deficit by $230B. That's "Billion" with a capital B.

Of course, this kind of reasoning and hypocrisy shouldn't be anything new or shocking to anyone -- this is effectively the same GOP that drove the nation over the cliff and then into a deep ditch at the bottom after they'd had majority control of our government for 10+ years.

What else did you expect when you turned around and put 'em back into power? ...actual responsibility?

Sections: 

Tea Party: Can Their Anger be Redirected?

  • Posted on: 3 January 2011
  • By: RJFoot

Last summer was the summer of the Tea Party. Like most of you I found myself watching them on cable news networks almost 24/7. We saw tirade after tirade of these middle class, white, uninformed political neophytes. It made me sick. I broke them into groups; right wing racists worried about their 2nd amendment rights, hiding their AK 47’s under the floorboards of their double wides, common variety right wing nut jobs and finally the group I’m now speaking of, angry taxpayers. It is those people we should think about.

Sections: 

Has Senator Sessions Forgotten His Oath of Office?

  • Posted on: 24 December 2010
  • By: non-embedded jo...

Promoted. -- GH

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) railed against President Barack Obama's nominees to the federal bench on Tuesday afternoon, complaining that Obama was only nominating individuals with "ACLU DNA" and rattling off a list of potential judges who are now or have ever been a member of the American Civil Liberties Union.

"I'm sure that less than one percent of the lawyers in America are members of the ACLU," Sessions said. "It seems if you have the ACLU DNA, you get a pretty good leg up to being nominated by this president."

The ACLU -- which has over 500,000 members and supporters -- did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

http://tinyurl.com/256sshh

The American Civil Liberties Union is an organization that has gone to court repeatedly over the past nine decades to protect and defend the civil liberties guaranteed in the United States Constitution.

What does Jeff Sessions have against the United States Constitution?

As a United States Senator, Jeff Sessions swore this oath when he first came to office:

"I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God. "

Okay, so he swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, so why is Sessions threatening to block judges that have "ACLU DNA"?

Has Sessions forgotten his oath of office?

Or was he lying when he swore he would support and defend the Constitution of the United States?

Either way his opposition to American civil liberties is troubling.
--
[ed. note - made link clickable, luaptifer]

Sections: 

It's official! You're on your own

  • Posted on: 15 December 2010
  • By: MichaelCollins

Michael Collins


Some of us have known this for a long time.  Some of us just found out and some will find out very soon.  There are few, if any,  elected officials who really care about our interests unless we're one of the few thousand ultra rich who control  Congress and the White House.

Sections: 

Senator Sanders: not just bad policy, bad politics

  • Posted on: 7 December 2010
  • By: luaptifer

I know it's difficult to negotiate with contract extortionists and kneecap breakers, but President Obama has set bad precedent too many times. 

 
Bipartisanship is bad precedent when you get it in name only, and Obama's too comfortable playing 'the abused spouse' role in the 'bipartisan' dance.

 

Sections: 

President Gimmick Has No Principles - But I Do

  • Posted on: 7 December 2010
  • By: Connecticut Man1

 In case you missed this delinquent pomposity:

 

tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.comIn the final question of today's press conference, President Obama was asked by Jonathan Weisman of the Wall Street Journal how he would respond to Democrats who think he's compromised too much in agreeing on a two-year extension of all the Bush-era tax cuts -- even for the wealthiest Americans --

At least this time, instead of sending out his childish DLCer, Rham Emmanuelle, to call the left "fucking retards" and pretend it has nothing to do with him... He was honest enough to say it himslef. Probably the first time he has said something honest to the left given his crazy conservative policies that only a fringe right wing nut could love.

We hear you loud and clear, President Gimmick.

What a lede:

WASHINGTON -- President Obama plans to announce a two-year pay freeze for civilian federal workers later Monday morning in his latest move intended to demonstrate concern over sky-high deficit spending.

So...instead of actually doing something real about "sky-high deficit spending" (like pulling out of Afghanistan and Iraq ahead of schedule), we get a symbolic gesture that will reduce federal spending by less than 0.05 percent.

And with that symbolic gesture we witness President Obama's unfortunate alter-ego, President Gimmick. President Gimmick isn't serious about solving any of our problems, he's only serious about demonstrating his desire to solve our problems.

President Gimmick doesn't offer up plans designed to do anything, he only offers up plans designed to give him zingers for his 2012 debates.

If President Gimmick actually cared about governance, we'd have a comprehensive fiscal plan. Instead, we're getting cheap applauses lines. You think announcing a federal pay freeze represents toughness? Ha!

And now he has his zingers. Duck if you expected any progress in moving the nation forward.

Just trying to remember what the current Deficit Peacock and right wing concern troll, President Gimmick, would think about the kind of change Americans voted for compared to what he just called a great deal and pissed and moaned and whined at the left for not liking:

Sections: 

Fact: Former GOP House Leader Is Now The Criminal Tom DeLay

  • Posted on: 24 November 2010
  • By: Connecticut Man1

So sayeth a jury of his peers:

Tom DeLay, Ex-House Majority Leader, Found Guilty in Money-Laundering Trial

A Texas jury Wednesday found Tom DeLay, the former House majority leader and Texas political powerhouse, guilty in a money-laundering trial involving contributions to political campaigns. The verdict was the latest chapter in a long legal battle that forced Mr. DeLay to step down. The trial also opened a window on the world of campaign financing in Washington, as jurors heard testimony about large contributions flowing to Mr. DeLay from corporations seeking to influence him and junkets to posh resorts where the congressman would rub shoulders with lobbyists in return for donations.

DeLay could face life in prison for the money laundering charges.

This part is of particular interest, IMHO, because it implies that the Republican National Committee is a central part of the laundering scheme:

Sections: 

Pondering 2012

  • Posted on: 23 November 2010
  • By: Connecticut Man1

After watching President Obama and the Democratic party water down healthcare reform with the help of AHIP and seeing them get insurance corporations some serious corporate welfare, water down FineReg with the help of the Bankers that destroyed the world economy by propping them up with trillions of dollars worth of free money so they could keep on rolling in their bonus money and profits, I am finding it hard to see how this can possibly lead to anything good in any way, shape or form:

President Barack Obama is preparing new overtures to business that may start with a walk into the headquarters of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a retreat with corporate chief executive officers, according to people familiar with his plans.

The Obama administration has been at odds with the Chamber, which fought Obama’s health-care and financial regulatory overhauls and committed $75 million to political ads in the midterm congressional elections, mainly directed against Democrats. The CEO summit would be a way to address complaints from some executives the Democratic administration is anti- business.

Markos at Daily Kos hits the nail on the head with this one:

Sections: 

Wherein the majority of left Blogistan holds up a middle finger on one hand

  • Posted on: 17 November 2010
  • By: Connecticut Man1

... And waves a note in the face of the incompetent Blue Dogs with the other:

Daily Kos: A message from Nancy Pelosi

Thank you, Speaker Pelosi, for everything you have done. And thank you, to the Daily Kos community for helping to make this happen.

Enough said...

Sections: 

Force the GOP to walk the tax cut walk

  • Posted on: 16 November 2010
  • By: Connecticut Man1

And make them put their tax cut money where their mouth is:

Labor big: White House, Dem leaders seriously mulling middle class tax cut vote

This is encouraging: One of the most powerful labor leaders in the country just said that he's in direct talks with the White House and Dem leaders about throwing down the gauntlet and holding a vote just on extending the middle class tax cuts -- and that all parties involved are seriously considering it.

AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka told reporters moments ago on a conference call that he's been aggressively lobbying the White House and Dem Congressional leaders to hold such a vote. Liberals are pushing for this course of action -- rather than a fake "compromise" on extending all the Bush tax cuts temporarily -- because it would represent a genuinely confrontational approach, forcing Republicans to choose between supporting Obama's tax cut plan and opposing a tax cut for the middle class.

Asked if he had been discussing this vote with the White House and Dem leaders and whether he'd received indications it's a real possibility, Trumka said "Yes" to both.

"We've made our intensions clear," Trumka said. "We've talked to them. No one that I'm aware of has said it's not good strategy."

I don't really care about strategy as a means to an end... But if enough of them really do believe in their tax cut talk they will walk the walk. Otherwise they are just a bunch of craven politicians that will say and do anything to get elected.

Ok... So I know they are a bunch of politicians that will say and do anything to get elected already:

Sections: 

Reality Show: The Alaskan Free Lunch Conservative Bunch

  • Posted on: 15 November 2010
  • By: Connecticut Man1

From the NY Daily News we get a glimpse into the making of th reality show featuring the GOP Queen of Welfare, both wingnut welfare and federal handouts wise, Sarah Palin:

Make sure to check out the premiere of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" Sunday night.

After all, we helped bankroll it.

I don't mean the new reality show.

I mean the state.

Alaska gets $1.84 in federal spending for every dollar it pays in federal taxes.

We in New York get just 79 cents on the dollar.

Which means we subsidize Alaska even as it enjoys a $2 billion-plus budget surplus.

I know that this topic comes up often where I live.... Because Connecticut is one of those many blue states that pays the welfare out to the many red states that would be bankrupt without the Federal handouts.

Alaska epitomizes the reality snow job show that is Red State Welfare.

The only reason there even "appears" to be a Nanny state that the conservatives rail about is because there is a crapload of childish red staters that have proven they are unable to get by without the rest of the USA taking care of you:

Sections: 

Obama to Switch Party

  • Posted on: 14 November 2010
  • By: MichaelCollins

Michael Collins
(Satire)

(Washington) President Barack Obama has confided his plans to become a registered Republican some time before the end of the lame-duck session of the 111th Congress. Speaking to his inner circle, he lamented failing to bring the two major parties together. One of his confidants reported Obama saying, "It's really just one party anyway and clearly the Republicans have the confidence of the people. I can finish my original mission much easier within the GOP." Sources wouldn't elaborate on what that mission is. (Image: juvetson)

Obama clearly signaled his intentions through two recent tactical moves. He relented on ending the Bush-era tax breaks for the top 1% of income earners. The 3% reduction in the top rate accounts for over $1.0 trillion in lost revenues. Prior to the 2010 midterm elections, Obama hinted that he opposed a renewal of the tax breaks. It looked like the president might win this one with speculation that the tax breaks would likely die due to the post midterm atmosphere.

Sections: 

Attention, DHS & US Secret Service -- Joyce Kaufman: Insurrectionist, Seditionist, un-American Traitor

  • Posted on: 13 November 2010
  • By: GreyHawk

Hat-tip Lordrag of DelphiForums for the tip.

People who claim that the Tea Party is a party "of the people, by the people and for the people" are ignoring just what kind of "people" these folks are "for" -- it's not United States citizens, it's citizens who are "like them." They ignore the diverse mix of cultures, races and ethnicities that combine to form our nation's people.

"Tea Baggers" more aptly describe the hateful, fearful, angry insanity that grips them.

So does the term "lunatic fringe."

With any luck, the FBI -- along with DHS and the Secret Service -- are keeping track of these dangerous, unstable individuals. And with a bit of due diligence, perhaps they've assembled enough evidence to start pressing charges against them in a way that helps ensure a trial that will expose their insanity and bring out the facts that they appear to be so ignorant, and yet so angered & fearful, of.

The YouTube video posted above contains some violent, inciteful rhetoric. Here's a couple of choice tidbits (any errors in transcription are mine):

__________

06:00 - 06:25 minutes in:

"I don't care how this gets painted by the mainstream media. I don't care if this shows up on YouTube, because I am convinced that the most important thing that the founding fathers did to ensure me my first amendment rights was they gave me a second amendment. And if ballots don't work, bullets will."

07:47 minutes in:

"When I say I'll put my microphone down on November 2nd if we haven't achieved substantial victory, I mean it. Because at that point, I'm gonna go up into the hills of Kentucky, I'm gonna go out into the midwest, I'm gonna go up in the, ah, Vermont and New Hampshire, ah, outreaches, and I'm gonna gather together men and women who understand that some things are worth fighting for, and some things are worth dying for."

__________

Where the hell was the outrage during the Bush/Cheney administration? Why are these folks so ignorant of the party mostly responsible for not only dropping this nation off an economic cliff while gutting our social and national security safety nets? Why don't these idiots look at the record of the party that was in power, and see how that party has been steadfastly working to prevent the current Administration from addressing and resolving the issues caused by the previous two?

That's the key: they're only angered about losing an election. Since they only favor democracy when it works in their favor, they show their true colors when reality catches up to them...and those colors most certainly aren't red, white and blue.

Their calls to insurrection and for assassination certainly aren't very Christian, either.

It's time that the FBI, Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security begin taking action and bring some charges against some of these imbeciles, before more poor unbalanced fools takes up arms and start shooting indiscriminately.

Otherwise, calls for sedition and treason, as well as shout-outs for the assassination of duly elected government officials, may well spark a violent conflagration between the steadily-increasing numbers of unbalanced, desperate people and the rest of our citizenry.

C'mon, folks -- do your jobs, if you've got enough direct evidence to enable you to move to counteract the rising tides of fear, loathing, anger and resentment before it turns into something even more ugly.

Sections: