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Friday Open Thread

doctor's orders
While the nation mourns fallen soldiers… health care MUST be passed. Damn the soldiers and their families full speed ahead!

72 comments to Friday Open Thread

  • Veruckt

    I’m a simple man not prone to needless complication so when I look at the attack at Fort Hood yesterday I call it a terrorist attack based on the following key points:

    * We are fighting radical Islam, he was Islamic.
    * The FBI had him on a list because of comments he made about suicide bombing.
    * He frequently argued angrily about US involvement in Muslim countries.
    * And he reportedly shouted Allah Akbar as he did the shooting.

    In spite of this, in my opinion, overwhelming evidence what is the MSM saying his motivation was…he didn’t want to be deployed.

    • Floyd

      While I agree there are terroristic aspects of the attack under federal law it’s probably not terrorism unless he was acting to change federal policy. It sounds like — and this is admittedly still fresh — that he was against his own deployment to Iraq and while he didn’t agree with the war he wasn’t trying to get us out of Iraq, etc. hair-splitting — and while it fits a cultural definition of terrorism I wouldn’t judge the FBI too harshly for not calling it terrorism since they have to deal with legal definitions.

      And here’s the legal definition of domestic terrorism under 18 USC 2331 (5):

      (5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—
      (A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
      (B) appear to be intended—
      (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
      (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
      (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
      (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

      Obviously we can argue i, ii, or iii… but I bet they go with straight up murder charges. In any case — he will most likely get the death penalty under the UCMJ.

      • Rufus

        Sounds like he was an insane imbecile. We don’t need to split hairs about motive. Let’s not focus the nation’s energy giving attention to this murdering scumbag. Let’s focus our attention to the survivors, victims and their families. There are a lot of sharp people serving in our military. They are going to examine every aspect of this idiot’s life and his military career. If there are lessons that can be learned to make it easier to identify scum like him in the future, our military will learn those lessons and reduce the chances of this happening in the future.

        • Rufus

          Also, if Katie Couric did cite PTSD as a possible motive she should see to it that the member of her staff who wrote that for her teleprompter is fired. She should also question the editor of the CBS newsroom and maybe Katie’s boss should wonder why she’s not doing a better job of reviewing her text before going on-air.

        • Stephanie

          He was a terrorist. HE spouted terroristic type language everywhere. I think we need to look at his motive very carefully. I don’t think I want my husband to deploy with anyone named Nidal thats for sure. We have Jihadis in our military. This can be discussed along with helping the familys. Motice Rufus if very important. We need to honest because we have a problem with muslims in this country.
          How come the only prominient Muslim in this country to condemn 9-11 was Mohammed Ali? Think about it. This jerks motive needs to be examined under a microscope.

          • Stephanie

            we need an edit button.

          • Rufus

            Stephanie,

            I agree that the folks who do this for a living need to examine his motive under a microscope and I sincerely have tremendous confidence that the military will do this expertly and make any adjustments necessary.

            It just bugs me that when these things happen we always focus all our attention (we, the collective masses who are not involved) on the nutjob, asshat, attention seeking jerkwads who pull the trigger. 12 families have lost loved ones and over 30 innocent people are convalescing right now.

            You and your husband are involved. This is personal for you and I would expect you to react differently, but I’m not going to waste any brainpower on this waste of space. For me this isn’t about him. It’s about the innocent people whose lives were ended, or changed forever by his lunacy.

            • Stephanie

              Bottom line there isn’t anything to examine. The guys motives are clear. He is a terrorist and he committed treason. Therefore he should be court martialed and then executed.

              • Rufus

                I agree with the punishment, Stephanie, and I agree he is a terrorist.

                • Floyd

                  I think he’s just a whack job just like a loony pro-lifer who would blow up an abortion clinic. I will say however that Islamic fundamentalism justifies this more explicitly than its Christian counterparts. His personal interpretation of jihad has a more “reasonable interpretation” from the Koran than any Christian blowing up an abortion clinic.

                  Since I think he’s also probably insane I wouldn’t go with the terrorism because I don’t think he was making a political statement — he didn’t want to go to Iraq and he snapped.

                  To be clear — I’m fine either way so long as he swings at the end of a rope.

                  And he’ll be tried by military courts not Texas or federal courts.

                  • Rufus

                    Well said, Floyd. And if he’s more than just a loon or whack job the men and women in our military will figure that out and act accordingly.

                    • Stephanie

                      OK so we call him a loon and throw out all the garbage he spewed about admiring homicide bombers? Hate to tell you all but your writing his insanity defense right here and he would most likely get off. To me its a no brainer. The guy is a terrorist. His actions leading up to this attack were in line with being a jihadi. If we by interpretation said this about him, that he was merely insane then we could also say that about Osama bin Laden and therefore he isn’t responsible for his actions. It also denies the evil the man spoke and the evil actions he celebrated before his own evil actions.
                      Question: Is an Iraqi father who moves his family to the US insane for killing a daughter for being too westernized? Or merely committing an evil act? Remember simplicity is usually the correct answer.
                      As far as I am concerned, the shrieking like a dirty little harpy allah ackbar is the nail in the coffin that this guy was a Jihadi.

                    • Floyd

                      He probably won’t get a successful insanity defense… he would have to be proven to have a mental illness and then have it to such a degree that he couldn’t tell right from wrong. Very difficult to win and charging him with terrorism won’t help or hurt his chances for an insanity defense — that is applicable to any and all charges.

                      Bundy, Dahmer, Gacy, Richard Speck, Son of Sam, Manson — all cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs — all found guilty.

                    • Personally I think we also ought to look at his association with another fringe belief group–psychiatrists. Now there’s a bunch of whackos. (Just kidding. Kinda.)

                    • I’ve seen a number of them. You are correct.

                    • Rufus

                      Brother, you said a mouthful. Some of the nuttiest folks I have met are psychiatrists. I’ve met some great ones too, but boy does that field attract the nutcases.

                    • Stephanie

                      Bet you a thousand he cops an insanity defense and the ACLU swoops in to take care of the poor wounded soul. Thats what is gonna happen. He is a hapless victim and a minority to boot. You just watch. His religion will be front and center about it not being respected to. I can already see it happening. The guy is a terrorist. You can say you don’t care what he was yelling but if you are honest we just got a glimpse again of the Jihad in our backyard. Me I prefer honesty. And honestly any MUSLIM shrieking allah ackbar like a stuck pig while shooting innocent people is a terrorist. Not only is he a terrorist he committed treason.

      • I can completely understand why he might be charged with murder instead of a terrorist act. It seems that the law as written would give defense attorneys a lot of room to argue. They have a straightforward murder case that would carry the death penalty, so there’s no reason for them not to go that route.

        What I don’t want is to be told that this is yet another example of a mass murder by a Muslim that “has nothing to do with terrorism.” For such a small minority of the American population, Muslims have had quite a few of these incidents.

        The driver in North Carolina, the one in California (San Fransisco?) both intentionally running over random pedestrians. The Washington snipers. The shooter at the Jewish Center in Seattle. The shooter at the El Al counter at LAX. Now this.

        When you grow up seeing masses of Muslims on television shouting “Death to America,” and then you see what’s happening now it’s hard not to make a connection.

        Perhaps they are not interested in changing America’s foreign policy so much as they are interested in slaughtering Americans?

  • Katie Couric called it PTSD, even though he’s never been deployed. I agree with Veruckt. Because he isn’t a foriegner, it would be domestic terrorism.

  • This from a review I just read on the new “A Christmas Carol”:

    “Another aspect in which the movie stays surprisingly close to the source material is through the dialogue. Almost all of the speech (apart from when Scrooge cringe-worthily says “happy holidays!” at the end) is lifted from the original book. The effect of seeing characters speak in olde English is initially jarring, but you soon get used to it and the language helps ground the story in the period.”

    The lesson here is it is okay for them to say Christmas in the title but not in the film. Hollywood never ceases to absolutely befuddle me.

    • Rufus

      The technique the Director is in love with (is it Zemeckis?) is very off-putting to me. I don’t like it. It takes me out of the story. I don’t get it. “The Polar Express” is a nice, little Children’s story, very well illustrated. The film he made by attaching hundreds of thousands of nodes to Tom Hanks and the other characters’ faces does not capture the illustration style of the book, which was a great deal of its charm. I can’t imagine how this technique will lend itself to a Victorian story. In my mind, the best way to capture “A Christmas Carol” on film is to go very low-tech. The story has been filmed in olde English before, with much better actors then the ones he is using.

      It’s fine someone wants to give him money to do this, and it’s fine he’s in love with the idea of making images of people acting by connecting them to electrodes, and it’s fine if some folks want to give him $10 to see the results, but I can’t imagine I’ll be paying to see this. I also can’t imagine I won’t be diving for the remote if this ever comes across my TV screen in a few years.

      • Ted Baehr of Movieguide likes it, and I think Michael Medved likes it too. I think I’ll have to see it. I’m a sucker for A Christmas Carol.

        • Rufus

          To each his own, Lars. I was very interested in seeing Burton’s “Nightmare Before Christmas” because the subject seemed like a perfect match for his talents and his style of stop motion animation. I did not see his “Willy Wonka” because I did not think that story fit his talents. I also will not be seeing “Where the Wild Things Are.” Sendak’s book is so perfect a 90 minute movie can only lessen my enjoyment of the original.

          Film is an artform. Here, let’s take a person, any person. Let’s take Judy Garland. Here’s a photo I found in her wikipedia entry:

          Judy Garland

          First, no Rich, I’m not gay. Second, Garland is about 35 here. She would die 12 years later. At 35 she had already lived more life than most of us can pack into 70 – 80 years. This photograph says a lot. Now, let’s have an artist sit in her dressing room and capture this same scene in pencil. Let’s have an editorial do a charicature in crayon. Let’s have an oil painter do a portrait and let’s have another painter do an impressionist version. Each likeness can easily be great and each one can capture something about this scene, this moment, Frances Gumm, that the others may not. Each artist would be justified in their art, and I imagine I could appreciate each one. But, there are some things that can only be captured best in a photograph. Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother” would not be as effective in any other media. It is a perfect photograph. Any other medium would diminish what is said with that photograph. How many oil paintings would be lousy photographs? Almost all of them. How many statues would make great pencil drawings?

          I don’t like to see artistic renditions of things that I like when I know that medium will diminish the art. This may sound like a very silly example, but the Chuck Jones and Ted Geisel collaboration on Ted’s book, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is a great favorite of mine. That 20 minute animation is perfect. The book itself is great, but the animation actually improves on it slightly. I refuse, REFUSE, to see Ron Howard and Jim Carrey’s movie of the story. There is no possible way it adds anything. It can only take away.

          We all have our different likes and dis-likes, and this is all personal, but I am also a fan of “A Christmas Carol” and for me, filming it in electric facial node, PolarExpressOVision can only take away from Dickens’ wonderful prose. The artistic media Zemeckis (sp?) is using is inappropriate for the subject matter.

          • To clarify, I hate this animation technique too. I would have almost liked “Beowulf” if they’d just shot the durn film and not got all artsy with it. But none of the reviews I’ve read so far have mentioned any problem with the visuals. And I can see it working (if done better than it has been in the past) for a story like this. So I’m keeping an open mind.

            • Rufus

              Lars,

              Like all animation, it has to start somewhere. As much as I hate what I’ve seen of this technique thus far I’ve never doubted that it might not have a brilliant future. For that reason it’s good Zemeckis keeps pounding away at it. I just wish he’d pick more suitable stories.

              Let’s look at Pixar. When they began with a dream of a full-length, computer animated film they knew the technology couldn’t show detail good enough to convey human emotion on a level that a good story required, so they wrote an emotional story based on toys. Toys have very limited “expressions,” and the technology could convey those movements and shading. They learned a bunch from making that film and the technology made a huge leap because of it. With each film they get better and better, but they always employ the technique on a story that fits the limitations of the technology. Zemeckis should have picked better subjects for his early attempts. Animation should enhance the experience, not diminish. Disney’s “Snow White” is a wonder to behold. Those rich, elaborate drawings tell the story in a way no other medium can. They filmed actors and actresses performing a lot of scenes, to be sure they got the movement right, but they completely drew and colored over the real footage.

              • blackhawk12151

                I hate the CGI Human stuff and I’ll explain why:

                The Uncanny Valley

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley

                It is impossible to relate to characters when their very existence causes you to experience a reflexive revulsion. Think about it, you wouldn’t ever turn your back on one of those eerily life-like Japanese robots. There is just something not right about it. Same thing for this style of CGI animation. It is incredibly human, but it’s missing something. I can’t put aside my repulsion long enough to appreciate the animation, let alone actually enjoy the movie.

          • Rufus, your comments remind me of what your (sort of) opponents were saying in the church music thread.

            • Rufus

              Good point, Mike, but we can argue that anyone coming to religion is a good thing, so even if bad art brings someone in, that’s good. In this thread Lars and I are debating art for art’s sake. To relate it to the religion thread, do I think Mohawk Boy and the Jesus Spin Five should do “Ode to Joy?” No! That would be akin to blasphemy! Do I think the Berlin Philharmonic should perform, “You spin me right round, Jeebus, right round?” No. Some art does not transcend mediums, some does. But if art, any art, can bring a person closer to God, who am I to question their taste?

          • The College Widow

            Rufus, this comment is truly edifying. I’ve struggled many times trying to explain to people why I won’t see certain films and this explanation is perfect. Thanks for putting this into words.

            Ron Howard is overrated as a director. I know it’s a matter of taste and hey, he was Opie and all…but his work as a director is really hit and miss for me. I was underwhelmed by “Apollo 13″. Howard made a grand story seem like a TV movie of the week. I think his best work was “Grand Theft Auto”

  • Stephanie

    Yep said scumbag slave of Mohammed said Allah Ackbar before going on his rampage.

  • Raoul Ortega

    Allah says it’s okay to commit suicide as long as you send a few infidels ahead of you.

  • Off the subject, a bit – but in line with the photo, above – “stretch face” DOESN’T have the votes for this Saturday or Sunday or whatever! Woo hoo! (Let the dancing in the streets begin!)

    http://img.slate.com/media/1/123125/2067927/2134291/2137146/060323_DVD_BrazilEX.jpg

  • Stephanie

    Why does she persist so?

  • Her face is stretched so tight, her brain can’t breathe?

  • Stephanie

    LOL! Ever see her talk? She has to work around the fact her face is half paralyzed by poison. What a revolting woman.

  • Great stuff from The Ownership Society’s Dick McDonald:

    Only Super-Religious Muslims Kill Innocent People

    The NYT this morning did not draw attention to the fact that the Fort Hood mass murderer was a Muslim – obviously one who believes in killing “infidels.” No matter what trumped-up rationale the media uses to blind Americans of the threat Islam poses to the world, the fact remains the media rather than scolding and “spanking” the Muslim faith for not reforming their religious fanatics and texts has embolden them to believe that the West’s culture and resolve is weak and ripe for a takeover. As in everything important the media weakens America rather than strengthens it by using the art of omission. To wit, buried in the far reaches of their lead story the Paper of Record had this to say:

    The Muslim Public Affairs Council, speaking for many American Muslims, condemned the shootings as a “heinous incident” and said, “We share the sentiment of our president.”

    Excuse me! They “share the sentiments of our president” which leaves a big question in an American’s mind. America ’s current president was (or is) a Muslim. He has spent $1.4 million on lawyers closing every record of his past from grammar school through law school from review by the American public. We have no idea who Barack Obama really is other than the fact he wants to redistribute wealth and enjoy the good life power conveys on a super successful politician.

    The only religious text that sends the believer to heaven if he kills non-believing innocent men, women and children is Islam’s Koran. It is time for Muslims to reform it and join the human race. They need to discipline their own. The Fort Hood killer could only believe as radical Muslims do that an act of violence that kills husbands, brothers and children of non-believers was religiously justified.

    This mass murder was the result of Islam’s failure and the failure of our media to make the offenders of society accountable for their actions. Islam’s refusal to reform and its continuing offensive to return their “caliphate” to Earth is the fault of Americans who believe all religions are equal – they are not. There is one which believes that the end justifies the means and delivered the Fort Hood massacre – there are no other reasons – just trumped up excuses.

  • Stephanie

    Outstanding catch there EP! Rock on!

  • blackhawk12151

    Another shooting today in Orlando. Obviously much different circumstances but still…what the f is going on?

  • Stephanie

    Copy cat? Ought not to let it bug you Blackhawk. I am just working and watching History Channels show called the Clash of the gods. They are doing Tolkein…damn its good.

    • One of the guys interviewed in that Tolkien episode has a few-and-far-between podcast on Tolkien. He’s about halfway through the Hobbit and will go on to do the Lord of the Rings. At the rate he’s going—about 45 minutes per chapter, sometimes more, it’s going to take a loooong time. And that’s a good thing.

      I download them, and I’m on dial-up, which should tell you something about the quality.

      You can find him on i-Tunes if you search for “Tolkien Professor.” I can’t remember his name at the moment.

  • I’m sure everyone’s going to dogpile all over me about this (Yet again – honestly, a guy could get a complex over this!) but if we consider this a terror attack, then we need to consider every school shooting and every letter carrier who goes postal a terror attack as well. Clearly they’re not, and clearly this isn’t because (A) Major Nidal Malik Hasan is clearly crazy, and acting more-or-less alone. By “Alone” I mean he wasn’t an agent of Al Quaida or Hamas or the Taliban, or anybody we’re fighting at the moment. (B) No terrorist organization has claimed responsibility for it, and (C) He went after a military target, which, of course, Terrorists never do.

    But he’s alive, he’s in custody, and I hope they throw the book at him. I’m looking foward to a good, solid showtrial where he’ll swing in the breeze for a while, and then get the chair or the poison needle or however the hell it is you people kill folks in Texas. (And God bless ya’ for it!)

    Since no one else has mentioned it, I’ll point out that he was evidently uncomfortable about being sent overseas to fight people of his own faith. Well, boo hoo Hasan, that’s the way it normally goes. How many wars has the US fought against Buddhist nations? 3. How many have we fought against Muslims? 3. How many have we fought against Christian nations? All the rest. Civil War soldiers didn’t get to bitch and moan because they were gonna’ be fighting members of their own churches. Lutherans didn’t get to say “I don’t want to fight other Lutherans” in the World Wars. Why should Hasan get a free pass?

    I’d also like to point out that heads really should roll as a result of this: The guy got a bad eval at his previous posting, he said increasingly obviously dangerous stuff, he was persuing legal action to get out of the Army and saying pro-Terrorist crap on his website, and yet somehow the Army manages to not only miss all this, but promote the son of a bitch to Major?

    Sad. Heads had better roll as a result of this shameful breach in security.

    • Rufus

      See, this is why I am against this line of speculating. Free speech and all, and we all react to these things differently, but this is the U.S. Army. The Army has some great people in its ranks. Should heads roll? I have no idea. I have no idea if anyone in the Army did anything right or wrong involving this idiot. I have every confidence the talented folks in the Army will get to the bottom of this and if heads need to roll, they will.

      What good will a show trial do? He is insane. Giving him time in the spotlight will only make him feel better and it will likely cause duress for many of the victims and their families.

      You know, this is going to sound very trite, but sometimes I think the Boomtown Rats had it right, “And there can be no reasons, ’cause there are no reasons.” Was this guy motivated by his religious faith? Apparently so. Are billions of other Muslims not motivated by their faith to kill? I don’t know. Maybe they just don’t have the opportunity. I know that millions of them do have access to weapons and infidels yet do nothing. So surely this is not an issue with all Muslims. It is obviously an issue with insane Muslims.

      Insane people act unpredictably. Without greatly inhibiting all our freedoms (taking away all guns, retinal scans before we enter any public building, annual psychological examinations…) we will never stop 100% of these events. This is awful. An immense tragedy. But it was likely unpredictable. It’s easy to look at it after the fact, connect the dots and shout, “Ah-ha!” How many members of the Army do you suppose sought legal council in the past year and attempted to sue the Army? 100? 1,000? How many picked up some guns and started slaughtering innocent people? 1. Do we incarcerate the 99 or 999 because of this guy’s actions?

      Let’s give the folks who do this for a living the benefit of the doubt. If the Army is to blame the Army will address that.

    • How he got promoted should be a question one would ask the promotion board, not “The Army”. Officers go before promotion boards, where their records and official photo and other pertinent data is examined and the board votes on who gets promoted and who doesn’t.

      You and I don’t know what the promotion board did or didn’t see. It is entirely possible that the bad eval he received didn’t make it to the board. Also because he was a doctor he was in the Medical Service Corps which has an entirely separate promotion system than the rest of the Army.

      If you believe that the Army knows what every one of its members does or says you are living in a dream world. Ever since there has been an Army there have been traitors, criminals and all other assorted pieces of human refuse.

      As for a shameful breach of security, what kind of protocols should be in place that aren’t? Should the 40,000+ Soldiers who live and work at Fort Hood be required to go through a metal detector every day before going to work? Should we all go to the Arms Room and draw our M-4s and M-9, some magazines and 30 or 40 rounds and just walk around packing heat all day like I do over here in the sand box? What exactly do you propose to change?

      Before you run your suck about how screwed up the Army is to have let this happen why don’t we find out exactly what happened in the first place? Is that too much to ask? There’s plenty of time to make heads roll if you think that’s what is really going to fix things.

  • 31 people are hurt and 12 people are dead. I’m all for reserving judgement, but clearly somebody screwed the pooch somewhere along the line: this guy was broadcasting every warning sign in the book.

  • Stephanie

    R3 the guy was a terrorist. A JIHADI! He wrote things about admiring HOMICIDE BOMBERS! He said things to other officers that were in their judgement not good. He expressed outrage at being sent to Iraq to fight other MUSLIMS! THATS WHY HE DID WHAT HE DID! SOmetimes evil is the explanation. The guy is evil. Why should have to sit back and troll though some bizarre psychobabble..unless certain people are not comfortable with reality taht evil does exist and terrorist are evil and this guy expressed Jihadi sentiments and then did what he felt allah wanted him to? One of these days people are going to have to stop playing the BS pc game. ITs getting people KILLED!

  • You can’t use the idea of someone being a lone wolf or acting without a support structure as a disqualifier from terrorism. We would all agree Tim McVeigh was a terrorist and he was more or less a lone wolf I know he had that one bozo with him but rather his act was an act of terrorism has never been debated even before we knew his motivations. However whenever we are dealing with someone of the Muslim faith we all get castrated by political correctness and go into “let’s not jump into conclusions mode”. All evidence points to him acting out of his radical Islamic beliefs, was it insanity that radicalized his beliefs? Probably. No sane person could subscribe to that idiocy.

    To me this is one of two things. An act of terrorism, it meets the smell test from Floyd’s post above, or it was an act of war since we are fighting Jihadist and radical Islamist the only real wrinkle to it being an act of war is that he is in our own army. I’d be curious to know how the Sargeant from Fort Campbell was prosecuted after lobbing a grenade into his platoon’s tent while they were sleeping since this would be similar. Point is we have to stop being afraid to identify our enemy.

    • Floyd

      Don’t get me wrong V — I think his religious beliefs very directly fed into his act — either by giving him a rationalization or being a trigger while undergoing some very dark thoughts.

      But terrorism is an act of political or religious violence designed to bring about a change in policy or create fear in the general populace. I think this guy was trying to not go to Iraq either because he was too pussy to carry out his oath or he didn’t want to kill fellow Muslims. Just because he was a lone jihadi doesn’t make him a terrorist. An “honor killer” killing his daughter infidel boyfriend is a jihadist — but not a terrorist.

      In a massacre it’s pretty much semantics. Proving murder here is infinitely easier because we don’t have top get into motivations. With terrorism there might be proof problems vis a vis motivation. As a prosecutor the straightest to the death chamber for this scumbag is mass murder.

      • Rufus

        I am in lockstep agreement with Floyd here, and I really don’t care about the semantics. McVeigh was probably a terrorist. He wanted to bring about governmental change by his actions and he did collude with others. But, at the end of the day, even if we agree on that definition what does it do for the innocent people he killed?

        What is important is that the right people do the right things when these things happen. The Army needs to look at their procedures (they will) and they need to learn and improve, if possible. If those doing the investigation learn he is part of a cell, or he was funded by the Pakistan Parliament then we have to take action against the cell, or the foreign country involved. Right now it appears to be one, insane, Muslim psychologist.

        And I’m not using the word insane in the criminal sense. I agree with Floyd. I don’t think he’s win with that defense. I just mean there is no way a sane human would act as he did. That’s why I’m not losing sleep trying to get inside his head. His head is a dark place, full of cobwebs, self-righteousness, vitriol and hate. There are folks who know how to get into his head and if there is good to be learned from that they’ll inform us of the lesson. Folks like Floyd who study this stuff.

        I see my role in this as finding a way to donate to some of the families who have lost loved ones or donating resources to the injured. I trust the Army will do their job and the criminal justice, law enforcement, military police will do theirs. The perpetrator is in able hands.

        The easy story is the perpetrator, and so that’s where the media goes. Unfortunately, that leads many of us to lose focus on the victims, where we can truly do some good. As I wrote earlier, Stephanie and her husband are military families. They have a right to be asking questions and wanting to know what the military is doing to prevent military families from being killed in cold blood on military bases. But I am not in a military family. If I am truly outraged I need to ask what I can do. What’s my role in this? The folks who have the role of interrogator(s), prosecutor(s), defense attorney(s), jailer(s) and jury(ies) will perform their roles, and likely perform them expertly.

        This incident doesn’t need one more person (me) second guessing what happened. I mean no ill-will towards anyone who is venting. It is an immense tragedy and it is human to be irate, and to rage. And, as I wrote, military folk like Stephanie and her husband have good reason to be actively discussing this, but me?

        More and more I notice the media’s role in so much of our lives seems to be shifting our focus from where it can do good, to where it can do nothing. I don’t think it’s a conspiracy; I just think they’re lazy. I am no saint, but I need to learn where my focus should be and keep it there, and avoid distraction.

    • Rufus

      Look, we have to be smart, we have to learn and we have to improve. But taking your reasoning to its conclusion:

      Here’s a stat:

      According to the American Anthropological Association, more than 200 women kill their children in the United States each year. Three to five children a day are killed by their parents.

      200 kids in the U.S. each year, killed by Mom, about 1,300 killed by Mom or Dad. O.K. Interesting stat. What do we do about it?

      I absolutely agree that non-Infidel killing Muslims need to reconcile their faith. They need to grow a pair, and start calling out their lunatic brothers and sisters and they need to stand against Imams preaching this nonsense. And, those of us who are not Muslim need to be aware that some Muslims want to kill us simply because we are not Muslim. There’s nothing “PC” about that, but what can I do in relation to this one, nutjob military psychologist who gunned down innocent men and women? I know the Army will deal with this and it will protect its members in any way possible, but we all know there will never be anything that keeps us entirely safe from a lone, insane person, bent on killing innocents.

      If I get on a plane with my family and I see a group of men speaking in an Arabic sounding language and carrying cups of odd colored liquids will I pay very close attention to them? Yes. If one of them makes a sudden movement will I tackle him in the aisle? Probably. If I’m at Wal-Mart and I see a Mom in a rage trying to strangle her child will I stop her? Yes.

      There are 300 million of us in this country and some of us are damaged people. Some of us are insane. Some of us seem insane, but we’re harmless. Some of us seem sane but we’re homicidal. Sometimes a Mom is just a Mom and sometimes Mom is Andrea Yates.

      • Some of us seem insane, but we’re harmless.

        I’m so getting that on a t-shirt

      • Stephanie

        So calling someone evil isn’t smart?
        How do you rationalize Hitler then? Stalin? Mao? Castro? Bin Laden?

        Rufus what is the line that someone needs to cross for you guys to call him what he is? An evildoer?
        Lets talk about evil for a moment. I know most of us here agree it exists. History is full of people who were evil. We have the above mentioned Adolf Hitler who seduced a nation to murder 12 million people in industroalized death camps or work camps, 6 million were the usual scape goated Jews. Then we have Stalin who by the time he was dead murdered 20 million or even 40 million. The numbers are hard to grasp because they are staggering. And then the king of all evil doers, Chairman Mao, murderer of 60 million or maybe even 100 million of his fellow Chinese.
        Now lets bring the scope down, Adolph Eichman was probably responsible for 100,000 of deaths when he was the man who organized the roundup and deportation to Auschwitz, Sobibor and Belsen the Jews of Hungary. And what about the men who ran the Camps? Lets talk about Amon Goeth, the man who ran Pleszow. Remember him from Schindler’s List. Ralph Fiennes for all of his nuttieness did a fantastic job portraying evil as it is, empty, devoid of any light. Fiennes became a man who was enveloped in total darkness, teh hallowness of evil.
        Charles Manson, we agree he comes off as nuts, but, does anyone really buy that? I know I don’t. A really crazy man could not have convinced those kids to do what they did. A man embued and completely engulfed in evil could. Look at him once…the empty eyes, black, like a dolls eyes (thank you Captain Quint). There is nothing there. Evil is the complete opposite of good. It is unknown because most people don’t live like that and most people have never confronted true evil.
        Osama bin Laden: Ever watch him speak? No real humanity in him, just an empty shell that looks human but is completley overcome with a darkness that cannot be quantified.
        To call the man who murdered his fellow soldiers yesterday merely a lunatic is to ignore much of his actions leading up to the shootings. If you look at his photo he looks like a man who has been lost to humanity. His eyes have more in common with those of Mohammed Atta’s than a nutjobs. He knew exactly what he was doing. He took action and accepted the consequences. We cannot dimiss him being a nut job when we have evidence of evil here. The man is evil. Dahmer was evil. Yes people evil does exist and one its angels showed himself at Fort Hood yesterday.

  • I’m leaning toward not caring so much about him being a Muslim, mainly cause it bugs the crap outta me when people call nuts like the guy who killed the abortion dr an evangelical or fundamentalist. We’ve all got crazy cousins. The SOB killed some of our military in a non-combat area, in cold blood. I don’t much care what he was shouting, I just want him gone. I was truly upset when I heard he had survived.

    I’m not one of those that believes that Islam is really a religion of peace, but I don’t see where labeling him anything but as a murdering little turd is going to get us anywhere. In fact, if I understand the way they think, labeling him as a fundamentalist who was killing for his beliefs is actually honorable for him.

  • Can somebody tell me why soldiers on a military base are not allowed to be armed? I had no idea that was the case.

    • Stephanie

      Mike if we were at the base here, my firearms would have to be put into the armory. There is a rule about personal firearms on bases. They need to be registered blah blah. At Carlisle when we had my collection sent to me we had the guns in our house with no problem but at a base where guys deploy from they are under lock and key and accounted for.
      I am not sure about the Armys rule. Perhaps Outlaw or someone else can explain further. We also don’t have MPS patrolling anymore as those units have been dialed down. The reason why we have civilian Federal cops patrolling is that very reason. I think its made the situation very dangerous.

    • All the weapons are locked in the arms room at every unit, they are inventoried at least twice a day. Soldiers only draw weapons to go to a range and then without ammo. Ammo is issued at the range.

      Personally owned firearms must be registered with the post Provost Marshal to enable a Soldier/Dependent to either bring a weapon on post to use at a range or for hunting or if you live in government housing to be able to keep it in your house. Soldiers who live in the barracks and own weapons can store them in the unit arms room.

      Texas has a concealed carry law, but individuals are not allowed to bring their weapons on a federal facility (FORT HOOD). If this joker had tried this out in Killeen, someone would have shot him dead before he got too many rounds off, guaranteed.

      • Thanks to both of you for answering. I honestly would have thought that it would have been more dangerous to try this kind of thing at a military base than at a police station.

  • Stephanie, obviously you and I got off to a bad start, and I do think that we should chat and try to find some middleground where you and I can agree and get along like grownups. It shouldn’t be too hard to do, we’re both members of the same country, we speak the same language (English!), we’re members of the same political party, we worship the same God, and we both presumably exhibit physical bilateral symetry. Clearly, with all that overlap, we must have *something* in common. Email me here: three@republibot.com

  • I don’t think he can really cop a psych defence for two reasons: 1) He’s a psychiatrist himself, isn’t he? and 2) This is gonna’ be tried under Military law, not civil.

  • In the “Your tax dollars at work” category:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/11/06/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry5554104.shtml
    We’ve been paying for some of Obama’s push to get the worthless health bill passed?

  • Jumping in late, but I gotta weigh in on the “Hasan is nuts” issue. Of course Hasan is nuts. Sane people don’t pick up guns and start firing at people they’ve called their comrades for years. Just as sane people don’t blow themselves up, or blow up Federal office buildings with day care centers, or become serial killers. These actions are, by definition, the acts of people who are out of touch with reality.

    The question, from a legal point of view, is: are they capable of understanding what they did was wrong? If they are living in some pretend fantasy world, listening to voices in their head and truly believe that the man across the street is a werewolf and thus blew him away with a silver bullet, then we have identified a (possibly) curable psychological condition that resulted in murder.

    The McVeighs, homicide bombers and serial killers do not fit into this profile. In each case, they knowingly – and willingly – choose to subscribe to a radical minority view which they understand is abhorrent to the majority of humanity. We know they know because they go to great pains to conceal their actions and to flee from justice. (Well, except for the homicide bombers – not much left with which to flee). The insanity is THE CAUSE ITSELF, whether it be survivalists, Islamofacism or helter-skelter. The person who CHOOSES those courses must be held accountable.

    In Hasan’s case, if he is shown to have acted in support of a radical wing of Islam – one that we are told over and over again does NOT represent the majority view in Islam – than he must be held accountable, as a sane person making a choice to join an insane cause. If he claims to have been acting in support of Islam in general, that is, if he says he was acting on behalf of what the entire religion stands for, then the legal system (and the Administration, by the by) has a choice: 1) take him at his word, and rethink what Islam stands for, or 2) declare that he is wrong, that he in fact has given comfort and aid to the radicals and is therefore another enemy as well.

    In the event that he convinces the court that the Sta-Puf Marshmallow Man made him do it, I would be willing to go along with the insanity defense. Beyond that? Nope.

  • Rufus

    Regarding whether this is evil, of course it’s evil. I don’t think most of us would hesitate to say that. But I think we can get so caught up in analyzing that we fail to serve our roles.

    Mark Steyn wrote some very poignant stuff after the Virginia Tech murders. He didn’t focus on the killer, he focused on the men on campus who fled, or did nothing, and allowed the killer to keep shooting. I don’t even remember that whackjobs purported motive, and that’s part of my point, even if Mohammed never walked the Earth and Islam didn’t exist we’d still occassionally have someone shoot up a school, or a McDonalds or a post office. There are 300 million of us here. Even if less than 0.0000001 of us are homicidal maniacs that still means we currently live among 3 homicidal maniacs. Who are they? What will set them off? Where will they be when they snap?

    We can try to succesfully answer all those questions, and have cameras photographing us every day, like they do in London, and increase the number of questions we’re asked during job performance appraisals, and disrobe and allow our clothing to be chemically analyzed every time we enter a building, or we can be grown men and women, decide to not live our lives in fear, and agree that when we are faced with insanity/evil we will charge at it and do our best to minimize the effects to our fellow countrymen and women. I’m sure more people on Fort Hood were running towards this guy than away. I hope I would do the same.

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