Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How Many More Depressed, Speed-Driven Potential Assassins Are Out There, North Korea And The Middle East

Bob Herbert
Dana Milbank
Benjamin Kerstein
"We need to face up to the fact that this is an insanely violent society." - Bob Herbert
"While the accusations sometimes go too far - there's no evidence that either Palin or Beck inspired the Tucson suspect - the heat is well deserved. Both are finally being held to account for recklessly playing with violent images in a way that is bound to incite the unstable." - Dana Milbank
"For the most part, people appear to have reacted to Loughner’s illness in the worst possible ways: indifference, contempt, and punitive action. His peers, teachers, parents, indeed everyone in his life, appear to have regarded him as, at best, a somewhat frightening nuisance. Even those who recognized his mental illness seem to have used it as nothing more than an excuse for getting rid of him." - Benjamin Kerstein

All of the linked columnists above are worth reading, especially Benjamin Kerstein's piece in the pajamas press. It will turn out that the kid who tried to assassinate in Arizona was too much of a loner to join any tea party movement, didn't watch Glenn Beck, and took too much methamphetamines which helped amplify the hallucinations in his brain. Speed and mental illness don't mix... yet there are thousands of kids who use speed as their drug of choice, and thousands more who have had an unstable childhood. Throw in the insane emotional highs and lows of puberty, and we have potentially how many Jared Loughners walking around resisting the impulse to buy a gun and carry out their own rage-filled hellish fantasies? Even weirder, is Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh trying to say that Jared is linked to Hitler, is a Communist, or is a Democrat as a defense for accusations that they have been the major contributors to the noxious political climate lately. Seems they only know how to attack, so keep a chew toy handy next time you are near them...

I come from a weird family. My youngest brother was shot in the head for being in the wrong neighborhood at the wrong time of night. He survived, but later developed MS. I hope the Congresswoman can recover, cash in on a few miracles being sent her way through prayer... I also have a cousin who was addicted to meth, both her and her husband were able to use evangelical Christianity to wean themselves away from using the drugs. She told me that using meth felt like opening the doorway to the demonic realm. And it maybe true, because Jared Loughner doesn't look very human right now, he does look like a man possessed...

If we want to see the fruits of a society where the religious conservatives are in the majority, we only have to look at our new BFF, Pakistan. The aftermath of the assassination of a liberal politician by his religious fanatical bodyguard is quite fantastic: there is a generation raised and educated in conservative religious principles, who are now praising the assassin, a thousand lawyers have vowed to defend him and have thrown rose petals at his feet: "Cheering crowds have gathered in recent days to support the assassin who riddled the governor of Punjab with 26 bullets and to praise his attack — carried out in the name of the Prophet Muhammad — as an act of heroism. To the surprise of many, chief among them have been Pakistan’s young lawyers, once seen as a force for democracy... But the lawyers’ stance is perhaps just the most glaring expression of what has become a deep generational divide tearing at the fabric of Pakistani society, and of the broad influence of religious conservatism — and even militancy — that now exists among the educated middle class.

They are often described as the Zia generation: Pakistanis who have come of age since the 1980s, when the military dictator, Gen. Mohammad Zia ul-Haq, began to promote Islam in public education and to use it as a political tool to unify this young and insecure nation. Today, the forces he set loose have gained such strength that they threaten to overwhelm voices for tolerance in Pakistan’s feeble civilian government. They certainly present a nagging challenge for the United States."
“Over time, Pakistani society has drifted toward religious extremism. This religious sentiment has seeped deep into government circles and into the army and police at lower levels.”  - Hasan Askari
What is going on now in Pakistan illustrates the danger of what could happen here if our own conservative religious fanatics continue to infiltrate our government and military. Yes, we'll have to start purging ourselves of lawyers... And if our next mentally ill young man took up a gun and assassinated Barack Obama, how many would be dancing in the street versus how many would be shocked?
"I wouldn’t blame our political rhetoric any more than I would blame heavy metal music for Columbine. And that is coming from someone who truly hates our political environment." –Jon Stewart

"I do think that it's a worthwhile goal not to conflate our political opponents with our enemies, if for no other reason than to draw a better distinction between the manifestos of paranoid mad men and what passes for acceptable political and pundit speak. It would be really nice if the ramblings of crazy people didn’t in any way resemble how we actually talk to each other on TV. Let’s at least make troubled individuals easier to spot." –Jon Stewart

North Korea asked South Korea to open up economic talks again, and South Korea has refused. South Korea said that until the North is willing to sit down and explain what insanity was going on in their heads when they attacked the South recently, there wasn't any basis for negotiations. It would be a major loss of face to admit that they let the grandson be in charge for a little while, and he turned out to be more batshit than they realized, so sorry... Famine is hurting the North once again, and by almost begging the South for negotiations means that they are starving in a bad way.

The only way for North Korea to diversify their economy is by selling munitions and nuclear arms, and they have quietly become a major supplier in the Middle East. Using Iran as an introduction, North Korea also has sold to Syria, Egypt, and Hezbollah.

In Syria: "A report commissioned by the UN published last November accused North Korea of providing assistance in “the design and construction of a thermal reactor in Deir Al-Zour.” The report also noted that a Syria-bound North Korean shipment of containers filled with working protective garments that could be used for chemical protection was seized by the South Korean authorities in October 2009. There can be little doubt that the Kim Jong-il regime is helping Bashar Al-Assad’s government develop its nuclear programme, of which relatively little is known."

Egypt: "Pyongyang has been providing Cairo with missile production technology for some years now. The relationship between both countries dates back to the late 1970s, when Egypt supplied North Korea with Scud B missiles in return for Pyongyang’s support during the Yom Kippur war. Today it is North Korea transferring missiles to Egypt, which shows the sophistication of its weapons of mass destruction programmes."

And with Hezbollah: "Today, Hezbollah receives arms and training in guerrilla warfare from North Korea." As an aside here, Israel also exports the Mossad to train the elite guards of other countries, like Singapore, for instance.

South Korea is involved with the Middle East through trade and also by contracting to build nuclear reactors to those countries approved by the US, uranium is being mined in Lebanon, and massive natural gas deposits have been found off the coast of Israel.

From the Huffington Post and NASA comes the news of the strange green blob that is creating stars outside of a universe system: "Parts of the green blob are collapsing and the resulting pressure from that is creating the stars. The stellar nurseries are outside of a normal galaxy, which is usually where stars live. That makes these "very lonely newborn stars" that are "in the middle of nowhere," said Bill Keel, the University of Alabama astronomer who examined the blob.

The blob is the size of our own Milky Way galaxy and it is 650 million light years away. Each light year is about 6 trillion miles. The blob is mostly hydrogen gas swirling from a close encounter of two galaxies and it glows because it is illuminated by a quasar in one of the galaxies. A quasar is a bright object full of energy powered by a black hole." We've found about 18 more of these in the past couple of years. It's always healthy to have a reminder just how little our knowledge base really is...

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