The Deserving Dead

I’m sympathetic to arguments that grave-dancing is unseemly and that we lefties should leave ghoulish glee over the untimely demise of idiots to our more bloodthirsty brethren on the right. On the other hand, it’s hard not to at least perceive karmic justice when a loud-mouthed gun-humper takes a slug in the noggin after handing an Uzi to a nine-year-old girl.

But on the subject of the better angels of our nature and our ability to look past political differences to embrace our common humanity, Zack Beauchamp at Vox is a better person than I am. Writing about Douglas McCain (Twitter handle: Duale Khalid), an American who went to Syria to join ISIS and then got himself killed in a skirmish this week, Beauchamp says:

Regardless of how you think about these problems [the radicalization of Americans], reading the tweets reminds you that this is a real person we’re talking. McCain made terrible choices, and died fighting for an evil cause. But it’s hard not to be haunted by this:

Yeah, no. The only thing that haunts me is the prospect that some of the American idiots who traveled to the Middle East to fight for those evil ISIS motherfuckers will eventually return unencased in a body bag. Rather than heavenly mercy, I hope McCain’s “bros” get drone suppositories. Does that make me a bad person?

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274 replies
  1. 1

    Does that make me a bad person?

    No.

  2. 2
    RaflW says:

    Get out of the Florida sun, Betty.

    Aw, hell, get out of Florida.

  3. 3
    cleek says:

    Does that make me a bad person?

    only you can say.

  4. 4
    aimai says:

    There are people out there who are worthy of sentiment, empathy, sympathy, etc… And there are certainly radicals and fighters who are (premature antifascists come to mind). But not this guy. Can anyone point to any redeeming feature of his life before he converted to a particularly draconian, dogmatic, terrorist sect and went off to kill other people? This has nothing to do with Islam–he could have converted to Islam and even decided to be a very strict, conservative, muslim and still not chosen for his particular vehicle of identification to be killing other people.

  5. 5
    Peter says:

    Yes. But in a very common way.

  6. 6
    brantl says:

    I, too have problems with anyone that aligns with terrorists; that said, the only thing that kept the U.S. from being classified as terroristic through its support of bastards running a string of banana republics (all around the world for decades, close to a century), is that we are a state, acting on the world’s stage, and generally we don’t call them terrorists. Or, not to their faces, generally. We seem to think that we should be able to go anywhere and interfere in anything we want, and the majic words are: “national interest”.

  7. 7
    Trollhattan says:

    Have been recently hearing the meme advanced that going off to fight in Syria is the equivalent of going off to fight in Spain in the ’30s.

    Am. Not. Buying. Today.

    If it were simply “plucky Arab Springers vs. Assad” I could see the parallel, but as the administration figured out at least a year ago, it’s a giant stew of factions, a few “honorable” and many with sheer mayhem as their goal. How does one sift through them all to identify and help “the good guys?” At the very least, ISIS or IS or ISIL or whateverthefuck they’re called are Very Bad Not Good players and anybody joining them is a douche and whatever consequence they harvest for their choice is just that–their choice.

  8. 8
    goblue72 says:

    Things I have no sympathy for and might even dance in glee over –

    1. Crazy religious nuts of any stripe getting killed in a crazy war they started.
    2. Homophobic, NRA loving nutbars who get killed with their own guns.
    3. A pig who shoots unarmed black teens getting shanked in the joint or on the street.
    4. A CEO who kicks puppies repeatedly getting curb stomped on the sidewalk.

    There are 10s of thousands people killed by drunk drivers a year in the U.S. 10s of thousands of gun deaths a year by accidents or of innocents. Those are the people I feel sorry for.

    There’s a whole lot of death in this country of innocent people. I ain’t gonna shed a tear when justice occasionally gets served by the Universe. If anything, I’m likely to huzzah.

  9. 9
    Jazzman says:

    These two stories have more in common than you might think. Just watch the news clips of all those self-proclaimed Jihadis in Syria and elsewhere, standing in the middle of the street blasting away with machine guns, fully exposed without any protective gear and barely able to cope with the recoil. Any American DI would have ripped these idiots up one side and down the other during the first week of Basic Training.

  10. 10
    Richard Bottoms says:

    BOHICA MF.

  11. 11
    goblue72 says:

    @Trollhattan: You mean it involves idealistic writers drinking lots of red wine and writing about bullfighting? Cool.

  12. 12
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Duale Khalid’s sentiment is one of soldiers everywhere. The cause he was fighting for we may not approve of, but the sentiment expressed is universal.

    On the other hand, I will dance on the graves of every fucking ammosexual who dies due to their own lethal addiction.

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Trollhattan:

    How does one sift through them all to identify and help “the good guys?”

    Well, the ones John McCain spurns are probably “the good guys”, while the ones he hangs out with are probably the loonies.

  14. 14
    Betty Cracker says:

    @brantl: And I’m all for hauling the American perpetrators of those atrocities before the world criminal court, though clearly that’s not in the cards.

    But here’s the thing: How can anyone who is not an irredeemable sociopath look at the aims of ISIS and think, yeah, let me join that outfit so I can behead infidels, commit genocide, destroy cultural artifacts, stone adulterers and gay people and force women to wear a drop cloth?

    When I asked “Does that make me a bad person,” I was only half in jest. It bothers me to see things in black and white terms and to be indifferent to the death of another human being. I’m much more comfortable thinking in grey-scale.

  15. 15
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @brantl:

    I, too have problems with anyone that aligns with terrorists;

    Please do not forget that from the perspective of the British government circa 1776, they were fighting terrorists. These labels are very handy in discrediting those who are your adversaries, for whatever reason. One man’s terrorist is always another man’s freedom fighter.

  16. 16
    Bobby B. says:

    I’m still waiting for Brave Christians to join The Crusades and fight in the Holy Land. So what if I’m ghoulish, onward Christian Soldiers! (let’s you and him fight) (thanks Mr Krystol)

  17. 17
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    One way or another, I sure as shit don’t want them coming back here. We have enough woman-hating gun fetishists in this sorry-assed nation as it is.

    The disposition of their souls I leave up to “Allah” or whatever they call their local version of Bullshit Invisible Sky Daddy.

  18. 18
    max says:

    The only thing that haunts me is the prospect that some of the American idiots who traveled to the Middle East to fight for those evil ISIS motherfuckers will eventually return unencased in a body bag.

    It’s a guy. ISIS has some guys. Guys go back and forth all over the world, every day. No point in letting it haunt you.

    The problem with ISIS is that they’re the type of folks who like up 1700 people and execute them one bullet at a time. Everyone in the Punditland yells about Hitler and has for my entire lifetime, but these guys are actually like Hitler. Ultra-expansionist (they want to conquer the entirety of the Islamic world) and exterminationist (they want to kill all the people who are not exactly like their preferred flavor of Islam) – that’s pretty Hitleriffic. And that’s disturbing. I want them to go away and die.

    Does that make me a bad person?

    They wanted to join a war. Getting killed in a war is part and parcel of joining a fight in progress. So, no.

    it’s hard not to at least perceive karmic justice when a loud-mouthed gun-humper takes a slug in the noggin after handing an Uzi to a nine-year-old girl.

    I didn’t perceive karmic justice so much as I was almost slack-jawed at the sheer stupidity of a ostensibly qualified firearms instructor and ex-Marine. I mean, really? It’s akin to the guy who tried hold up the liquor store in Lubbock with an open can of beer.

    max
    [‘He did earn what happened by doing it in the first place.’]

  19. 19
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bobby B.: Oh, I quite agree. It’s about time for these people to walk the walk, enter the meat grinder, and be processed into sustenance for vultures, while at the same time improving the aggregate of humanity by their demise.

  20. 20
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    It’s akin to the guy who tried hold up the liquor store in Lubbock with an open can of beer.

    @max: I hadn’t heard of this. It has a kind of epic quality about it.

  21. 21
    Waynski says:

    No, Betty it does not make you a bad person. I celebrated the death of Bin Laden, as many did, and I have no qualms about it. What’s his name ceased being an American when he joined a foreign band of disgusting, blood-thirsty nihilists (they are not religious Muslims, they’re barbarians). I wish we could do more to dissuade such people from taking the path they do, but if you point guns at people for stupid reasons and kill them, or behead them, you should damn well expect that someone’s going to shoot back. That includes the U.S. government btw, although we don’t behead people. So there’s that.

  22. 22
    Trollhattan says:

    Speaking of….

    Islamic State (IS) militants have committed “mass atrocities” in Syria and have recruited children as fighters, the United Nations says.

    In a report, investigators say public executions are a “common spectacle” in areas run by IS, one of the groups fighting against Syria’s government. The report also accuses the Syrian authorities of using chemical agents in eight separate incidents this year. The conflict between government forces and several rebel groups began in 2011.

    Some 200,000 people have died since then.

    The UN report details abuses by the Syrian government and several of the armed groups fighting it. The report says the Syrian air force has used barrel bombs on civilian neighbourhoods. “In some instances, there is clear evidence that civilian gatherings were deliberately targeted” by government forces, the investigators said.

    “In government prisons, detainees were subjected to horrific torture and sexual assault.”

    The findings are the result of interviews and evidence collected between January and July this year as part of an inquiry into human rights violations in Syria. Among the other allegations of war crimes committed by the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad was the use of suspected chlorine gas, a chemical agent, in eight separate incidents in April and May of this year. The period covered in the report coincides with the growth of IS in Syria. The group seeks to create an independent Islamic State in an area that stretches across Syria and Iraq.

    It has attracted jihadists from across the region, as well as fighters from Western countries including the UK and the US.

    –BBC

  23. 23
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Have been recently hearing the meme advanced that going off to fight in Syria is the equivalent of going off to fight in Spain in the ’30s.

    If you were going off to Spain to fight in the Condor Legion, well, then yes, I think we have a pretty precise parallel here.

    Abraham Lincoln Brigade, not so much.

  24. 24
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: It would seem in this particular case that he did not ask someone to hold his beer and watch.

  25. 25
    Roger Moore says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Have been recently hearing the meme advanced that going off to fight in Syria is the equivalent of going off to fight in Spain in the ’30s.

    I can kind of see that. You just have to understand that what he did is the equivalent of running off to fight for Franco rather than the Republicans.

  26. 26
    Waldo says:

    First they came for the murderous religious zealots, and I did not speak out …

  27. 27
    Violet says:

    The only thing that haunts me is the prospect that some of the American idiots who traveled to the Middle East to fight for those evil ISIS motherfuckers will eventually return unencased in a body bag.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this is what the ISIS people want. That Americans or other westerners who have passports that allow them to return easily to their home country will bring the terror back to their native land.

  28. 28
    Another Holocene Human (now with new computer) says:

    @goblue72:

    3. A pig who shoots unarmed black teens getting shanked in the joint or on the street.

    My fantasies run more to horrific digestive disorders a la Mr. Creosote.

  29. 29
    MattF says:

    @Trollhattan: Well, read Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, and you’ll see examples of all that. Followers of Stalin, for example, had a, um, negative attitude towards Trotskyites like Orwell.

  30. 30
    Belafon says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    It bothers me to see things in black and white terms and to be indifferent to the death of another human being. I’m much more comfortable thinking in grey-scale.

    Occasionally, the correct shade of gray is black.

  31. 31
    shelley says:

    Speaking of grave-dancing, chuckling over the NewsMax headline on Romney.
    Apparently it hasn’t sunk in that his presidential chances are dead, dead, dead.

  32. 32
    Jamey says:

    Does that make me a bad person?

    No, just a Floridian.

  33. 33
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @MattF: Some of those ostensibly for the Republic were more interested in getting the splitters killed than the fascists.

  34. 34
    gene108 says:

    @Violet:

    That Americans or other westerners who have passports that allow them to return easily to their home country will bring the terror back to their native land.

    Muslim terrorist groups have been trying to hook in Westerners and at the least, Eastern Europeans / Central Asians, who can pass for white, to send on terrorist missions for more than 10 years now.

    Richard Reid, aka the Shoe Bomber, was born and raised in Britain. I believe his mother is natively British, while his father or grandparents immigrated from the West Indies. He tried to blow up a plane back in 2002.

    Before Reid, there’s John Walker Lind, who was the first American Taliban.

  35. 35
    Amir Khalid says:

    You need not fear for your soul. The kindest thing I can say about the cause Duale Khalid died for is that it is at best misguided. His bros in ISIS are Muslims making war on other Muslims, perpetuating the ancient feud with Shias, to establish a Sunni “caliphate” with a warlord as its crowned head. Violence is always wrong, even when necessary, but it would do the world the least harm if it were rid of these thugs.

  36. 36

    Americans have a long history of sticking their nose in other people’s wars. Teddy Roosevelts’ Rough Riders in Cuba, The Lafayette Escadrille in WWI France, The Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War, the AVG in WWII China (ok that was a very thinly disguised combat involvement by the US Army Air Corps), up to every American that has ever served in the IDF or the French Foreign Legion. There may come a day in a decade or two when we look back at these Americans fighting on behalf of groups that may come to be staunch American allies in charge of major European nations, and call them heroes. I admit that it seems pretty unlikely, but the act of fighting on behalf of non-American group doesn’t automatically mean they deserve a trial for treason. They did choose to get involved in a very messy struggle where “good guys” seem to be notably absent and where combatant groups routinely disregard the difference between civilian and military targets. I don’t know, can we just revoke their US citizenship, and tell them if they like fighting in the middle east so damn much they can just freaking stay there and call it enough? (If there is proof they engage in war crimes, send them to the Hague)
    I just think that conducting foreign policy with the pointy end of a drone-launched hellfire missile will bite us in the ass, and probably sooner rather than later. Also please let a refugee into the US for each malcontent we kick out.

  37. 37
    drkrick says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Please do not forget that from the perspective of the British government circa 1776, they were fighting terrorists.

    Leaving aside the fact that the concept of “terrorist” didn’t exist in 1776, still no. The British believed (correctly) that they were fighting rebels, but not SOBs who destroyed churchs and gravesites or executed people by the score for theological reasons. The treatment of so-called loyalists by the so-called patriot forces were often no shining examples of man’s humanity to man (at least not if you think humanity is a good thing), but it didn’t rise to anything like ISIS behavior.

  38. 38
    Roger Moore says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    But here’s the thing: How can anyone who is not an irredeemable sociopath look at the aims of ISIS and think, yeah, let me join that outfit so I can behead infidels, commit genocide, destroy cultural artifacts, stone adulterers and gay people and force women to wear a drop cloth?

    It’s the same way revolutionaries of all stripes justify the evil they do; the destruction is necessary to reach a more desirable society. In their case, it’s a worldwide Caliphate where everyone lives in harmony according to their understanding of Islamic law, but it might as easily be a Communist worker’s paradise, a Christian theocracy, or what have you. All the death and destruction along the way is just the eggs being broken for a delicious omelet.

  39. 39
    hoodie says:

    @Betty Cracker: Grey scale includes black and white.

  40. 40
    MattF says:

    @Betty Cracker: There’s winners and losers in every war– and saying you want ISIS to lose pretty much means you want them dead. Based on their statements and actions, I don’t think they’re amenable to negotiations, or heavy petting, or whatever.

  41. 41
    piratedan says:

    strangely enough.. while I completely disagree with the subject du jour’s political and religious worldview, he did back up his convictions and took part in what he believed in and as such, found an end that supposedly justified his means. That places him a notch above all of these armchair warriors that apparently want to bomb brown people or those of differing faiths from a safe distance. That being their comfortable chairs while safely ensconced in their homes while catching a 15 second blurb about it just before Wheel of Fortune comes on.

    Muslims killing each other over sectarian differences leaves me just as confused as the issues that beset Northern Ireland in that there are a segment of folks that simply cannot abide someone else being different, be it the color of their skin or the disposition of their sky buddy of choice. Wish there was a way to bestow my pragmatism (or even someone else’s) to keep people from killing each other simply because they’re different from yourself.

  42. 42
    Trollhattan says:

    The asshole who runs Bullets and Burgers deploys the just following the rules defense.

    Every (surviving) adult involved should be hauled into the dock for child endangerment. Will, of course, not happen.

  43. 43
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Helmut Monotreme:
    As I understand, an American may renounce his citizenship if he chooses, but the US Government cannot revoke it unless he gained naturalisation under false pretenses.

  44. 44
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @drkrick: Oh, I agree, but the point is that “terrorist” is simply a useful label for any adversary you want to discredit. Goebbels used it repeatedly. Reagan arguably supported the most “terroristic” faction in Central America in the 80’s.

    I’m not seeing any way to deal with ISIS/ISIL whatever we’re calling them this moment aside from annihilation. It’s pretty clear that they are a “my way or the highway” sort of group.

  45. 45
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @piratedan: Pragmatism involves thought.

    These people do not want to have to think. Makes their brains hurt.

    “Well, we’ll just have to take it out then!”

  46. 46
    Cacti says:

    In the death of the gun humper, my sympathy is for the 9-year old who will likely be traumatized for life by what happened.

    In a just world, her parents and the owners of the shooting range would be charged with reckless endangerment and negligent homicide.

  47. 47
    Trollhattan says:

    @piratedan:
    The wheelman for a bank robbery during which shooting and killing occurs is as culpable for murder as those who went inside and did the shooting. Anybody who joins ISIS is guilty of each and every crime they commit, regardless of their callow youthfulness.

    The 101st Chairborne are simultaneously bloodthirsty and cowardly, but that’s still legal so long as they remain in mom’s basement.

  48. 48
    Cacti says:

    As for American jihadist, I have zero remorse for those who die attempting to establish theocracy at the end of a gun barrel.

  49. 49
    El Caganer says:

    @Betty Cracker: “But here’s the thing: How can anyone who is not an irredeemable sociopath look at the aims of ISIS and think, yeah, let me join that outfit so I can behead infidels, commit genocide, destroy cultural artifacts, stone adulterers and gay people and force women to wear a drop cloth? ” You make it sound like those are bad things.

  50. 50
    Waldo says:

    @Trollhattan: Agreed. The only good thing to come out of this is a gun nut gave his life for the cause — instead of one of the children he was endangering.

  51. 51
    J R in WV says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Your point is exactly responsive to those who are tempted to throw a bone to that guy. He didn’t join a bunch of freedom fighters, he joined the most irredeemable monsters currently committing genocide, the worst would-be state heads since Pol Pot and his co-monsters were in charge of Cambodia.

    Killing people because their thoughts are different from the ones you want then to have? Crazed Evil!!! Killing people because of their thoughts?!?!?! Amazingly Evil!!!!

    That’s where ISIS or ISIL or whatever they’re begin called today is, killing people because of invisible (and probably meaningless!) thoughts. Son of Sam stuff in my book. Makes Charles Manson look calm and reasoned. Well, not quite, sometimes I get carried away.

    But I stand by the rest of my criticism – killing people because of their thoughts is tops in crazed evil to me. Drones for all of those bad guys.

    No fate is too bad, too violent for monsters – they have resigned from the human race.

  52. 52
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cacti: The owner of the establishment is distraught, saying that it’s like losing a family member, these are professionals, etc.

    Well, not very professional if the “instructor” actually thought a 9 year old had the body mass and muscle reflexes to control the recoil of an Uzi. Yikes!

  53. 53
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @J R in WV: In their own minds, in their own twisted way, they style themselves as on a mission from Allah.

    It’s difficult to deal with such types with rationality, because they’re far removed from the mindset that you and I have.

    As far as they’re concerned, they are very much “freedom fighters” for Allah…for the sort of “freedom” that their rigid theology dictates. If a “freedom fighter” is in the right, then that’s where they are…in the right, no matter what infidels, apostates, and unbelievers may think.

    Which in turn is why they give the rest of us little choice in how to deal with them.

  54. 54
    Citizen_X says:

    @max:

    Ultra-expansionist (they want to conquer the entirety of the Islamic world)

    Yeah, not really seeing that happening. They have heavily-armed adversaries on all sides: Assad to the NW, Israel (and, ok, Jordan) to the SW, the Kurds to the NE, and the Shiites to the SE. They may carve a brutal Sunni theocracy out of eastern Syria and western Iraq, but they’re boxed in from there.

  55. 55
    Emma says:

    But here’s the thing: How can anyone who is not an irredeemable sociopath look at the aims of ISIS and think, yeah, let me join that outfit so I can behead infidels, commit genocide, destroy cultural artifacts, stone adulterers and gay people and force women to wear a drop cloth?

    May I introduce you? the Albigensian Crusade. Good Catholics one and all.

    I find myself not caring. Not celebrating but not mourning. He earned his death. Peace be to him, if God is kind. Which as many of you conversant with Holy Writ already know, he seldom is.

  56. 56
    Cacti says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The owner of the establishment is distraught, saying that it’s like losing a family member, these are professionals, etc.

    I’m guessing they’re especially distraught about the gigantic negligence/wrongful death lawsuit that is heading their way.

  57. 57
    the Conster says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    As a Bostonian, I actually got a huge kick out of the memorials and plaques placed around the ports I visited in the Canadian maritimes – Charlottetown and Halifax in particular – which give shout outs to the loyalists who fled the revolution and helped the monarchy’s cause against the agreesion of its enemies – the French and the Americans. For all the good it did since the country is now America’s hat and has to be shared with the French.

  58. 58
    CaseyL says:

    I can’t fathom the mindset that sees going off to join ISIS as a good thing in any way, shape or form.

    I could understand people who ran off to Afghanistan to fight the US invasion – didn’t agree with it, but understood it.

    Joining ISIS? What kind of person looks at ISIS and says “Those are my people! I wanna be part of that”? Not someone who wants to make the world a better place.

    The more I think about it, the happier I am he ran off to join them and got killed. That’s one less nascent sadist-butcher alive in the US. Yippee.

  59. 59
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cacti: Another thought:

    In a just world, her parents and the owners of the shooting range would be charged with reckless endangerment and negligent homicide.

    What would have happened if not just the instructor, but another person firing on the range were hit by a stray round or five, due to the child’s inability to control an automatic weapon?

    Mind you, just watching this sort of thing is, to say the least, traumatic.

    When was going through ROTC advanced camp, between my junior and senior years of college, there was an accident on a grenade range, in which a trained instructor had his body blown to bits in front of an entire platoon of ROTC cadets. A grenade had been thrown…it did not explode, for some reason, and the instructor advanced on it and was intending to throw it farther away from everyone where it would presumably explode harmlessly. Unfortunately, the grenade went off while he was preparing to throw it, killing him instantly in a most gruesome fashion.

    The platoon that witnessed this was traumatized. You don’t expect this sort of thing to happen with trained, experienced personnel, but it did.

    One can only imagine the trauma that other patrons of this firing range establishment experienced. They’re going to be nearly as scarred for life as the 9 year old girl.

  60. 60
    Trollhattan says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    I think of them as half-a-degree separated from Harris and Klebold and thankfully, neither rich enough nor savvy enough to target the high school down the way, instead opting to work out their issues half-a-globe distant. In that I find no solace, as I feel the next big terror incident in the States will be modeled after Mumbai, and ISIS is just the group to organize it, now that we “have their attention.”

  61. 61
  62. 62
    Shakezula says:

    reading the tweets reminds you that this is a real person…

    As opposed to a robot or one of the many-angled ones!

    If the author is saying human beings aren’t 100% good or 100% bad, whatever. Thanks for the reminder dude.

  63. 63
    Eric U. says:

    very few things that I want people killed over. Yeah, if there is no other way to stop people from doing great harm to individuals or groups, go ahead. I feel sorry for the dead and their families. I don’t like the depersonalization of calling people “bad guys” unless someone chooses to do something that they also feel is bad. I have to admit that ISIS is very close to that in my book. However, I am sure in their minds that they are also out killing “bad guys,”

  64. 64
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Cacti:
    In an earlier thread, commenter Suzanne said the girl should be prosecuted for Mr Vacca’s death. Many here were astonished, since the girl is only nine and had the least agency of the parties involved, if she had any at all in the matter.

    Charles Vacca was as sincere in his ammosexuality as Duale Khalid was in his Muslim faith and thus his commitment to jihad as he understood it. Both died for sincerely held beliefs that I consider dangerous and wrongheaded. I find any sadness about their deaths tempered — perhaps to my discredit, perhaps not — by a sense of relief.

  65. 65
    Cacti says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    One can only imagine the trauma that other patrons of this firing range establishment experienced. They’re going to be nearly as scarred for life as the 9 year old girl.

    Pretty much anyone who saw it happen would have an actionable claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress.

  66. 66
    Roger Moore says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Yeah, not really seeing that happening

    This is just proof that you don’t have faith. Mohammed and his immediate successors managed to expand Islam enormously in the teeth of determined resistance. The kind of Muslim who wants to reestablish the Caliphate sees that as proof of divine assistance in spreading the faith and expects Allah to help them the same way. Just look at what ISIS has already accomplished, and you can see why they might think that way. Somebody inclined to see the miraculous could easily see the American shattering of Saddam’s power and the Syrian Civil War as Allah’s way of opening the door for them, and they probably expect to be able to roll through other countries that are suffering from internal division. There are plenty of governments in the area that could topple with a hard shove.

  67. 67
    Heliopause says:

    it’s hard not to at least perceive karmic justice when a loud-mouthed gun-humper takes a slug in the noggin after handing an Uzi to a nine-year-old girl.

    Am I the only one who keeps thinking that a nine year old girl will bear a lifelong emotional scar because of this, while we all laugh about it? If this is how Karma goes about its business, Karma can go fuck itself.

  68. 68
    Cacti says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    In an earlier thread, commenter Suzanne said the girl should be prosecuted for Mr Vacca’s death. Many here were astonished, since the girl is only nine and had the least agency of the parties involved, if she had any at all in the matter.

    Ridiculous.

    In negligence cases, the standard is the duty of care owed by a reasonably prudent person. What is the standard for a reasonably prudent 9-year old, entrusted with a submachine gun by her legal guardians, and a certified firing range instructor.

    Charges against the kid would get tossed in a millisecond.

  69. 69
    Belafon says:

    @Heliopause: You might read some of the above comments, and comments in the other threads on the subject. Most of the people are worried about what the girl is going through.

    ETA: It’s also not that hard to feel sorry for the girl, and laugh at the instructor.

  70. 70
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Cacti:
    Yeah, that’s exactly what everyone else said.

  71. 71
    Waynski says:

    @Cacti:

    In the death of the gun humper, my sympathy is for the 9-year old who will likely be traumatized for life by what happened.

    In a just world, her parents and the owners of the shooting range would be charged with reckless endangerment and negligent homicide.

    I agree. A nine-year old girl (or boy), is unlikely – unless they’re unusually large – to be able to handle the recoil on an Uzi. I’m sorry the guy got smoked, but it really wasn’t her fault. That gun never should have been in her hands.

  72. 72
    The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion says:

    Speaking of gun-humping douchebags FINALLY getting consequences, yet another ammosexual/responsible gun owner shows his true colors via a two-year incestuous rape-based relationship with his own daughter.

  73. 73
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    OT, but holy fucking shit!.

    After fatal shooting of panhandler in wheelchair, driver leads police on I-95 chase

  74. 74
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @raven: What makes it even dumber is the guy was EOD trained!

    No one could figure out what the fuck he was thinking….

  75. 75
    SatanicPanic says:

    Ya Allah when it’s my time to go have mercy on my soul have mercy on my bros

    Maybe you should have gone with a more mainstream fraternity dude, ISIS was a bad choice

  76. 76
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Heliopause: No. Plenty of people have expressed exactly that sentiment, over and over, in every thread related to the topic, including this one. I’m pretty sure no one thinks the girl had the trauma coming to her.

  77. 77
    gene108 says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Video said family is from NJ. Living in NJ, you just do not expect something that can kill him- or herself or someone else to be so casually handed out.

    I think there’s a certain amount of “hey, if the public facility is letting me do it, it must be relatively safe.”

    Somehow gun safety is now lumped in with gun grabbing.

  78. 78
    Trollhattan says:

    @SatanicPanic: They’re on Double-Secret Probation!

  79. 79
    Elizabelle says:

    The late Mr. McCain is interesting mainly for how and why he chose to jihad, and he may take that decision to his grave.

    WaPost has an interesting backgrounder on him. Midwestern kid; lived in New Hope, Minnesota. Chicago Bulls/Michael Jordan fan; played basketball himself badly, if enthusiastically. Drifted through his teens and early 20s; ended up in San Diego working for a Somali restaurant. Turned to Islam 10 years ago, although did not seem like an authentic Muslim to those who had known him a long time.

    Liked The Simpsons and Pizza Hut; gave rapping a try. Got into some early scrapes with the law, although not recently. 9 misdemeanor charges; petty theft and marijuana possession among them.

    Leaves behind at least one younger sister who loved and misses him.

    Though every Western foreign fighter leaves for Syria for different reasons, McCain’s early life carries themes found among other foreign militants. They often operate somewhere on the fringes of society and feel excluded, wrote expert Richard Barrett of the Soufan Group. “The French authorities categorize volunteers from France as disaffected, aimless and lacking a sense of identity or belonging,” Barrett wrote in his report. “This appears to be common across most nationalities and fits with the high number of converts, presumably people who are seeking a greater sense of purpose and meaning in their lives.”

    You could say the same about people who join gangs, or join the US military looking for a reboot. Or cults.

    McCain joined ISIS, he found his jihad, and it killed him before he could do too much more harm.

  80. 80
    SatanicPanic says:

    Bros ISISing bros

  81. 81
    Roger Moore says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):
    From the article:

    The homicide investigation caused hardship for morning rush-hour commuters using Northwest 95th Street.

    There are times when I think this should count as an aggravating factor when it comes time for sentencing. That’s more true for minor crimes that involve a big investigation than murder, where the defendant is already facing serious prison time, but it really ought to be a factor.

  82. 82
    Cacti says:

    @Waynski:

    I agree. A nine-year old girl (or boy), is unlikely – unless they’re unusually large – to be able to handle the recoil on an Uzi. I’m sorry the guy got smoked, but it really wasn’t her fault. That gun never should have been in her hands.

    Indeed.

    If the parents had tossed 9-year old daughter the keys to the family car and told her to take it for a spin around the block, who would be charged if she drove it into someone’s living room?

  83. 83
    Belafon says:

    @gene108: I don’t buy that argument because I would not let my nine-year-old, who is above average height for his age, even use a handgun. And I’m from gun-crazy Texas.

  84. 84
    GregB says:

    Yeah, if you do a Google search of ISIS or ISIL and just look at some of the photos it is apparent that this particular band of religious fascists is as odious as the worst of ideologies in world history from Hutu power, to the Khmer Rouge to the Nazis.

    Fanatic and intolerant monsters.

    I’d like to thank our dear friends in Saudi Arabia for giving them so much money and guidance.

  85. 85
    Elizabelle says:

    @Waynski:

    It is obscene to think of children firing submachine guns. Children. The Canadian news reporters in that clip someone put up could not wrap their minds around that.

    Because they’re sane, and not beholden to the mighty second amendment that trumps all others, south of their border.

    It is obscene to think of children dying, en masse, in classrooms, of automatic weapons fire. But that has happened here, most recently in Newtown, in Scotland, and elsewhere.

    Australia got a handle on gun violence, as have most European countries.

  86. 86
    Trollhattan says:

    @gene108:
    Am simply flabbergasted at his noting that since the parents okayed it and since the minimum age for machine-gunnin’ is eight, there’s no reason a nine-year-old shouldn’t be handed that Uzi.

    Am recalling the Washington woman killed by a 14YO bear hunter, who was supervised by a 16YO. All totally legal and my thought at the time was, “how is this remotely a good idea?” My age paradigm for adult decision-making is now truly out of whack if we’re expanding the cohort down to eight.

  87. 87
    J R in WV says:

    And now Mrs J points out a story at the GOS Kos, where they report that Ferguson police had their K9 piss on the folk memorial to Michael Brown, and then drove over it in a police cruiser.

    This memorial is / was in the middle of the street, where Brown’s body laid for so long in the sun. There is no way to excuse this horrible behavior. No one who is not evil to the core would allow a dog to piss on the memorial for a recently killed person. No one who is not a stone racist killer would drive a cruiser over such a memorial.

    These people should have already lost their jobs… the fact that they haven’t shows how deeply racism runs in the white people of that area. I am dumbstruck with this display of hatred for the victim. Amazing to me how uncivilized some Americans are, thnough it shouldn’t be. I have been called names for opposing integration back when protests against segregation were big on the news channels and in newspapers, and police riots against peaceful protesters were common. Mad dogs, firehoses, whips and clubs wrapped with barbed wire.

    I guess maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised by a young man of color leaving America to join a genocidal gang overseas, when we have genocidal gangs of cops right here at home in River City, MO. Monsters all of them.

  88. 88
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @GregB:

    I’d like to thank our dear “friends” in Saudi Arabia for giving them so much money and guidance.

    Rabbit ears added to FTFY.

  89. 89
    ShadeTail says:

    Dancing with glee over the deaths of bad people is an understandable impulse, and even though I don’t share it, I don’t judge it as bad. With beliefs and feelings, what you do with them is far more important than merely having them. I’m certainly not going to get pissy at people who start partying over the misfortunes of people like, say, Osama bin Laden or William “the bloody” Kristol. After all, while I don’t share the “dance with glee” impulse, I certainly agree that they deserve whatever bad karma goes their way.

  90. 90
    raven says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: There’s a command for that! Di Di mau.

  91. 91
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @J R in WV:

    I guess maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised by a young man of color leaving America to join a genocidal gang overseas, when we have genocidal gangs of cops right here at home in River City, MO. Monsters all of them.

    Sadly, I have to agree with you.

  92. 92
  93. 93
    Jamey says:

    @gene108: Speaking as a Jerseyan, I find your “logic” to be fatally flawed, at least in this instance.

  94. 94
    GregB says:

    @raven:

    I looooove wasabi!

  95. 95
    Roger Moore says:

    @Cacti:

    If the parents had tossed 9-year old daughter the keys to the family car and told her to take it for a spin around the block, who would be charged if she drove it into someone’s living room?

    The analogy is not exact. This is more like putting her in a car on a race track, only for her to get into a crash that kills the driving instructor in the seat next to her. Yeah, the parents should have realized that a 9 year old shouldn’t be driving a race car, but the primary fault lies with the track and the instructor. It’s the establishment’s job to make and enforce safety rules, even when they interfere with the patrons’ desire to have a good time.

  96. 96
    raven says:

    @GregB: peas!

  97. 97
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @raven: Wahhabism, like Christian Dominionism, needs to be eradicated.

  98. 98
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore:

    It’s the establishment’s job to make and enforce safety rules, even when they interfere with the patrons’ desire to have a good time.

    Safety rules get in the way of maximizing profit.

    Fuck safety rules.

  99. 99
    Botsplainer says:

    Rather than heavenly mercy, I hope McCain’s “bros” get drone suppositories. Does that make me a bad person?

    Why do you hate due process? Why are you willing to let history’s greatest monster, Barack Obama, refuse to protect American’s abroad?

    /Jane Hamsher

  100. 100
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Here’s more America. Guy is pushing a broken-down vehicle home, with his sons; he’s 50 yards away. Drunk driver runs into them, killing the two sons. Dad walks to his house, gets a gun, walks back and shoots the drunk driver in the head, killing him. Jury took three hours to acquit him.

  101. 101
    Cervantes says:

    @goblue72:

    You mean it involves idealistic writers drinking lots of red wine and writing about bullfighting?

    Wait — that’s what you think foreign fighters did in Spain in the ’30s?

  102. 102
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cervantes: Well, in between sieges of Madrid, sure!

  103. 103
    Elizabelle says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Both died for sincerely held beliefs that I consider dangerous and wrongheaded. I find any sadness about their deaths tempered — perhaps to my discredit, perhaps not — by a sense of relief.

    Well put. I feel the same way.

  104. 104
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Hmm… I don’t know where I fall on that one

  105. 105
    Trollhattan says:

    @GregB:
    For any of you DFHs on the fence about ISIS, they also hate the Mary Jane!

  106. 106
    Cervantes says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Plus there was some white wine in the summer, too, in addition to the red.

    And dancing girls. Lots of dancing girls.

    Kids these days, they just don’t appreciate history.

  107. 107
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cervantes: My other answer is they were there for the tapas.

  108. 108
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Trollhattan: Dude, that just blows my mind. I’ll bet they don’t approve of blow jobs, either.

    Fuck this shit. Time to get medieval on their asses.

  109. 109
    Anoniminous says:

    @Trollhattan:

    going off to fight in Syria is the equivalent of going off to fight in Spain in the ’30s.

    Baloney. The Spain volunteers were fighting on behalf of the legitimately elected government against a fascist coup-de-etat that went sour and turned into a civil war.

  110. 110
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Anoniminous: They’re fighting for the fascists. As noted up thread.

  111. 111
    Mike in NC says:

    Douglas McCain (Twitter handle: Duale Khalid), an American who went to Syria to join ISIS and then got himself killed

    So when is that other clown named McCain going to head off to Syria and get himself killed? He can take Lindsey along for the ride.

  112. 112
    Elizabelle says:

    The authorities in Arizona on Wednesday were investigating what went wrong after a 9-year-old girl firing an Uzi submachine gun at a shooting range accidentally killed the instructor who had been showing her how to use it.

    Whatevah could have gone wrong with that concept? What, what, what?

    “The authorities in Arizona” might be part of the problem.

  113. 113
    Trollhattan says:

    @Mike in NC:

    He can take Lindsey along for the ride.

    I see what you did there.

  114. 114
    JPL says:

    @Cacti: I just watched a today show clip and according to one person, it was just a terrible accident. In all of his forty years he’s never seen anything like that. Of course, the f..king asshole didn’t mention that uzi’s weren’t readily available to children forty years ago.

  115. 115
    Calouste says:

    @Betty Cracker at top:

    But here’s the thing: How can anyone who is not an irredeemable sociopath look at the aims of ISIS and think, yeah, let me join that outfit so I can behead infidels, commit genocide, destroy cultural artifacts, stone adulterers and gay people and force women to wear a drop cloth?

    Besides beheading infidels stoning gay people, which should obviously be replaced with machinegunning them as Jeebus intended, that’s pretty much the agenda of the more extremist American Christian-Dominionist and White Supremacy groups.

  116. 116
    Roger Moore says:

    @Elizabelle:

    “The authorities in Arizona” might be part of the problem.

    I guarantee that will not be one of the findings of their investigation.

  117. 117
    gene108 says:

    @Jamey:

    Speaking as a Jerseyan, I find your “logic” to be fatally flawed, at least in this instance.

    From reading the Trip Advisor reviews of this place, there seem to be a good number of newbies to guns, who fire off very big, very powerful guns, who have very little experience with guns.

    Part of their promotional material is you will be accompanied by an ex-military certified gun instructor.

    So part of their sales pitch, as I read it, and their clientele, are people who are being sold on the idea that since they have this ex-military certified gun instructor with them, firing off a big gun – with little or no previous experience – is safe.

  118. 118
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    @Gin & Tonic: The only problem I have with the jury’s verdict on that – and it is a big problem – is that he has never admitted to actually doing it.

    If he had, I would have simply said “I totally get it” and voted to acquit. Wouldn’t think twice about it. But that he’s never copped to it and played games with the weapon…well, that makes me a lot more inclined to not give the guy a pass.

    Whatever. It’s one murder I won’t lose any sleep over.

  119. 119
    Trollhattan says:

    @Elizabelle: Once I steeled myself and watched the vid, “what went wrong” is similicity itself. He has her fire a single shot, reaches over and switches the gun to automatic (it’s like having an “instant accident” button on your car) and she quickly fires, the gun instantly ripping out of her left hand and arcing left.

    “What went wrong” was that, and everything before all the way back to the parents deciding, “Hey, this will be a super family outing!” Or, if you will, the day someone decided to open Bullets and Burgers.

  120. 120
    Mandlay says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    After fatal shooting of panhandler in wheelchair, driver leads police on I-95 chase

    The final sentence in your link:

    “He was in a wheelchair,” she said. “Why would he shoot? He could have just hit the man, beat him up.”

    That’s how we roll in South Florida. It’s our version of compassion. No need to shoot a man in a wheelchair – just beat him up!

  121. 121
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @gene108: I’m not going to bother looking, but how much does such “entertainment” cost, anyway?

  122. 122
    🚸 Martin says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    But here’s the thing: How can anyone who is not an irredeemable sociopath look at the aims of ISIS and think, yeah, let me join that outfit so I can behead infidels, commit genocide, destroy cultural artifacts, stone adulterers and gay people and force women to wear a drop cloth?

    That’s all pretty recent news to ISIS – or at least only recently reported to the west. Consider that many of the westerners joining ISIS may have done so months ago when they were just the Syrian opposition that John McCain visited with and wanted to support and then later got sucked into ISIS.

  123. 123
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: So we’re cool here, with killing somebody else out of revenge? Good to know.

  124. 124
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Elizabelle:
    Remember this company, Crickett Firearms? Its website used to have a “Kids’ Corner”, a photo gallery that showed children firing/posing with kid-sized firearms from its My First Rifle product line. It took the gallery down after an accident involving its product, a five-year-old boy, and his baby sister.

  125. 125
    gene108 says:

    @Elizabelle:

    “The authorities in Arizona” might be part of the problem.

    The same “authorities” that put a law on the books allowing an 8 year old to fire Uzis at gun ranges? How could they be part of the problem?

    Guns will be guns, accidents will happen.

    Better a few injuries and deaths than attempting to restrict the goal of having everyone armed everywhere they go, since these restriction would be against the Founders original intent of having everyone armed, at all times, in home or in public.

  126. 126
    Josie says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’m not willing to think of myself in terms of a good or a bad person. Our two strongest motivations are self preservation and preservation of species (our children). Enjoying the demise of anyone who threatens those two motivations are pretty natural and nothing to feel ashamed of.

  127. 127
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I wouldn’t say I’m cool with it. But I sympathize

  128. 128
    raven says:

    @Trollhattan: It’s called a selector switch. We called it rock and roll.

  129. 129
    raven says:

    @Trollhattan: It’s even an album.

    with Di Di Mau as one of the tunes!

  130. 130
    Eric U. says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: when my daughter was small, an ammosexual in nearby SLC was “sighting in” his fetish object by aiming it at the head of a small child playing in the yard next door. Turns out that the sight was set properly, as evidenced by the fact that the small child’s head went missing. If that happened to one of my children, I would not have a rational response. So I couldn’t vote to convict the father in the drunk driving murders.

    Then again, if the jury pool was not asked if they could vote to convict in this case it seems to be malpractice by the prosecution. Maybe that was the idea, who knows?

  131. 131
    Belafon says:

    @Gin & Tonic: How would have have ruled in that trial? Would you have wanted to be on that jury (relative to how much we want to be on a jury)?

  132. 132
    KG says:

    Read this yesterday, different type of despicable human being, but I would think the basic points are universal. Particularly the point about starting off as a scared kid – the (post?) modern world is a big terrifying thing that is constantly in flux and it scares the everloving shit out of some people. When a group comes along and accepts them as a member, and then as a bonus allows them to instill fear in others, well that shouldn’t come as a shock.

  133. 133
    rea says:

    There’s a part of me that imagines Hitler as a small child, playing with his toys and laughing–and knowing what happens afterwards, I feel sorry for that child. I feel sorry for these damn fools too, even though they did evil things, and got themselves killed as a result. That’s not to say they deserved a better outcome, but the world shouldn’t be this way.

  134. 134
    KG says:

    @Belafon: i wonder if there was a justified homicide instruction given (or if Texas even allows for justified homicide as a defense). without knowing more than the basic facts, I can’t say how I’d vote.

  135. 135
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Eric U.: Jeeezus. What the hell.

  136. 136
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Belafon: If the drunk driver, instead of being executed at the scene were to have been arrested and convicted, should he have been subjected to the death penalty?

  137. 137
    Trollhattan says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    Oh yes, definitely remember them. Wondering what their marketing team meetings were like?

    Wonkette found a doozy of a quote on the Bullets and Burgers Facebook page:

    This is your lucky day!!! Philip shooting the one and only .50 cal Barrett Sniper Rifle!!!! You can skip the hardcore military training and come shoot the Barrett at Bullets & Burgers!!! No need for gun skills here…just fire at will and have a Blast!!!!

    http://wonkette.com/558429/nin.....z3BcnV23bB

    Trying to wrap my brain around the notion that gun skilz are not needed to shoot a 50-caliber rifle. The slug won’t merely pass through a house, it can pass through a neighborhood.

  138. 138
    raven says:

    @Trollhattan: You only need gun skills to hit what you want to.

  139. 139
    SteveinSC says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Please do not forget that from the perspective of the British government circa 1776, they were fighting terrorists.

    This is a particularly ignorant statement in so far as American history is concerned. Have you, well, actually read any U.S. history?

  140. 140
    rea says:

    @KG: “i wonder if there was a justified homicide instruction given”

    It’s a textbook example of a killing that’s involuntary manslaughter rather than murder. Not guilty due to temporary insanity in the old days (see Anatomy of a Murder), but they’ve pretty much gotten rid of that now.

  141. 141
    Trollhattan says:

    @raven: “S’cuse me, while I shoot the sky/this guy.”

  142. 142
    gene108 says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I think a few hundred to a few thousand, depending on how much ammo you want to use and what type of ammo you are using.

    I’m just pointing out the assumed safety argument – which is of course just speculation on my part right-now – because the place is about coming in, shooting some guns, eating a burger and fries, with a soda to wash it down and be on your merry way.

    The “shooting some guns” part does not come with any prequalifications, like whether or not you have had prior fire arms training, what guns you have fired before, etc. If you have the money to buy ammo you can fire anything you want, because there’s going to be an ex-military certified gun instructor with you at the range to help you out and show you what to do, i.e. make something very dangerous safe for anyone.

    There’s a lot wrong with what happened it is a lot deeper than what were the parents thinking, in my opinion, from the fact that requiring some level of proficiency be required before setting foot on a gun range to fire certain types of weapons now qualifies as gun grabbing to the push that guns become as ubiquitous as cell phones, I think at some point there’s going to be a backlash against gun owners and when it comes it will be worse than they can imagine.

    So to conclude, yeah I get the argument “what were the parents thinking”, but there’s more here than just bad parenting decisions, from the gun instructor allowing it to happen, to the fact Arizona allows 8 year olds to fire anything they want at a gun range, as long as the parents approve to the fact a gun range advertises itself as a tourist attraction.

    Seriously, there pitch is in part “we’ll pick you up from your hotel in Vegas, you can see the Hoover damn, and then we’ll fire some guns and you’ll eat a burger.”

    There’s just something wrong with society when stating guns are dangerous and if you do not think guns are dangerous you should not have one is controversial and/or forbidden.

  143. 143
    Trollhattan says:

    @SatanicPanic:
    My thought as well. Did the guy actually admit he was sighting in his rifle via a kid’s noggin? Was he sufficiently ammosexual to believe that constituted a reasonable explanation?

    “Coulda happened to anybody, maaaaan!”

  144. 144
    Downpuppy says:

    In 2011, they gave an 8 year old boy an Uzi at a gun show in Westfield, and he shot himself. So.

    It could have been worse &

    Look for another one in 2017.

  145. 145
    Tommy says:

    I am coming in here late to the game and not read most of the comments…. but I do kind of feel for Douglas McCain. Look I was raised in a loving, very loving family. Not touchy feely. Not sure I’ve ever heard my father say he loves me. Not sure I ever said I loved him. But loving in our own way. And at times “tough” love! But I always knew, even today at 44, that if I needed my parents they’d be there for my. Have my back 24/7.

    I don’t know what happened to Douglas McCain. From the profile I skimmed of him today seemed like a normal high school kid. Then something changed. I won’t and/or can’t play pop-Internet-psychologist here. But I wonder where his parents were. I really wonder.

    Look if I converted to Islam my parents wouldn’t freak. They would ask me pointed questions about why, but if I could answer in any intelligent manner they’d stand behind me.

    I just feel like there are gaps in the profile we have of him. Something IMHO happened.

  146. 146
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @SteveinSC: Well, they were fighting rebels, who would, by today’s standards, be called “terrorists”. Because we all know that the “bad guys” are “terrorists”, do we not? And the “bad guys” are those we are fighting, because we are always the “good guys”.

    The Brits would of course be perfectly justified in hanging the lot of them once the rebellion was suppressed. I do believe one of the ringleaders of the rebels, a Mr. Benj. Franklin (code name: Lightening Bolt), pointed out that they should all hang together in their effort or they’d all hang separately.

    If you can’t understand it in that context, I can’t help you.

    BTW I majored in history in college, so I’m quite familiar with the American Revolution..

  147. 147
    Trollhattan says:

    Also, too, just because your friends are “hunters” doesn’t mean you should go hunting with them. Who recalls De Niro calling out the fake soldier in “Ronin”?

    LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) – A southwest Washington woman says her husband was the 59-year-old American hunter who was shot and killed during a bear hunt in northern British Columbia.

    Shirley Cooper, of Toutle, told the Longview Daily News that her husband, Jeff Cooper, had been hunting a grizzly bear with guides. She says she was notified of his death by the Cowlitz County Chaplaincy on Tuesday after Canadian police contacted local authorities.

    Canadian police are investigating the incident, which happened Monday in a remote forest service area about 60 miles south of Houston, British Columbia.

    The man’s family told the newspaper he wounded a grizzly Sunday night and tracked the bear down the next morning with two guides. The bear charged the group, and all fired. A bullet struck and killed Jeff Cooper.

    http://www.komonews.com/news/l.....86701.html

    Whoops.

  148. 148
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Trollhattan: Seriously. What kind of a whackjob do you have to be to think that was cool/safe to admit to anyone? fuuuuuuuck

  149. 149
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Downpuppy:

    Look for another one in 2017.

    If not sooner. The ammosexual madness has not yet hit its peak, I fear.

  150. 150
    Mnemosyne says:

    Somewhat on-topic, but I ended up with this list over at Cracked (which is actually an interview with a former IRA terrorist):

    8 Terrifying Life Lessons from a Former Terrorist

  151. 151
    Tommy says:

    @Downpuppy: I come from a family of gun owners. Myself, fired a small gauge shotgun a few times and just not my cup of tea. But as a liberal I could care less if you enjoy owning and using guns (background checks, closing gun show loopholes would be nice). Heck most of my most liberal friends are HUGE hunters and therefore both gun and bow owners.

    My father started to shoot guns around 8-10. But a small 22 rifle. WTF, an Uzi ….. are you kidding me.

    That is just stupid at so many levels I don’t really even know what to say.

  152. 152
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Trollhattan: May well have been a ricochet, or, a badly aimed shot at the bear, from a guide who was behind Cooper.

    Hard to say with the information at hand what exactly happened, although the result is tragic.

    I think most of us can agree that firearms are inherently dangerous, yo.

  153. 153
    Emma says:

    I am going to say something that might cause some of you to jump on me like you did on Suzanne last night, but here goes. A number of you are assuming that girl will be traumatized and in need to therapy for years. BUT that girl is being raised by the kind of jackasses who would take a 9 year old to a shooting range and hand her an UZI and videotape the event. What if what she hears from her parents is “it was an accident, it can happen to anyone, don’t worry about it?” That seems to be the approach most gun rights proponents take. Hell, it seems to be the approach a lot of law enforcement people take. In this case she will learn nothing — or she will learn that she can get away with murder as long as authority figures consider it an accident.

    No consequences, no problem.

  154. 154
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I think most of us can agree that trying to track down a wounded grizzly bear is inherently dangerous.

  155. 155
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Gin & Tonic: The bear could be smarter than the average bear, and then, well, you’re screwed.

  156. 156
    Mandalay says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    So we’re cool here, with killing somebody else out of revenge? Good to know.

    Well you seem to be cool with assuming that the Dad was guilty. He pleaded not guilty, and no gun was ever found. Important parts of the story that you chose to omit.

  157. 157
    Joe F says:

    @Cacti: I must confess to having just watched the video, which surprisingly goes past the first few bullets, but does show the death. I feel bad saying that it reminded me a stunt on Jackass. Hopefully she eventually see what everybody else does: it was his fault for handing her the gun. And I don’t think he was shot just once, she let off a stream of bullets.

  158. 158
    Violet says:

    @Emma: They Have Suffered Enough Already.

  159. 159
    Trollhattan says:

    @Emma: Actually think that neurologically, her brain and capacity for reason, emotions, etc. are developing such that no amount of parental programming can control what will occur once she closes her eyes at night. Mine was 9 a mere three years ago and between her and observing her friends, I’ll assert this experience is going to drill very, very deep.

  160. 160
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Completely OT, but this is the most perfect exchange I’ve seen on Twitter in, maybe, ever. Here it is, punchline later

    Petr Shelomovskiy ‏@shelomovskiy 4h
    Perfctly geared guys looking just like Russian spetznaz stood by the APC with Novorossia flag on it. W/o saying a word they told us to leave

    Daniel McAdams ‏@DanielLMcAdams 35m
    @shelomovskiy Honestly, is it that hard to take a photograph? “Looking just like” does not cut it.

    Petr Shelomovskiy ‏@shelomovskiy 6m
    @DanielLMcAdams come here, take a photograph, stay alive. We’ll talk then

    Shelomovskiy is a freelance photographer who’s been in the Ukrainian combat zone for months. Daniel McAdams is, wait for it, “Executive Director, Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.”

  161. 161
    Joe F says:

    @Trollhattan: you have to watch the video at Huff Po or wherever to get full justice of his stupidity.

  162. 162
    Tommy says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Yes, yes it is. I am an avid hiker/camper. I love the Smokey Mountains, one of my favorite places. More then a few black bears. And once a decade “weekend” campers don’t seem to get, that even in fairly populated areas of the Park, leaving food out is a BAD IDEA! Been there at least two dozens times and never seen a black bear, but seen the next day the damage they have done to a camp site not that far away from me.

    With that said, I guess if you are a hunter (I am not) there must be some “thrill” in hunting something that can hunt you. I realize the guy got shot by somebody he was with, but I almost, and I am not really a on-feeling person, want to say “chalk one up for the bear.”

  163. 163
    Elizabelle says:

    I am thinking that 9-year old is in for a world of teasing when she starts school this year.

    And maybe some even more disturbing outright admiration, for already having fired an Uzi and having a kill under her belt.

  164. 164
    Chris says:

    @Trollhattan:

    Have been recently hearing the meme advanced that going off to fight in Syria is the equivalent of going off to fight in Spain in the ’30s.

    Am. Not. Buying. Today.

    Dont know what context you’ve been hearing that in, but comparisons between the International Brigades from the Spanish Civil War and the modern jihadi movement are nothing new. They go back at least as far as the Afghanistan war of the 1980s. I don’t read too much into it, the similarities are mainly in terms of how both movements were organized as international brotherhoods supplying the foreign volunteers and attention that turns a local civil war into an ideological conflict with worldwide implications.

    ETA: the causes are, of course, dissimilar as all hell.

  165. 165
    Elizabelle says:

    @Trollhattan:
    @Tommy:

    So did the grizzly bear perish or survive?

    The article is silent on that point. Maybe because all those hunters fired and only managed to take out a fellow hunter?

  166. 166
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Hmmm, who do I go with, the guy on the ground there or a sack of Paullista filth.

    Decisions, decisions. I wonder who BiP would go with?

    /this post needs heavy sarcasm tags.

    On edit: Good response to the jackass from Shelomovskiy, though.

  167. 167
    Eric U. says:

    @SatanicPanic: when I lived in Utah, hunting season was fraught with danger, but mostly down in the valley where there are no varmints and shooting isn’t allowed.

    I’m having a failure of imagination on how you even sight in a rifle scope without firing at a target, but apparently it made sense to the guy.

  168. 168
    Emma says:

    @Trollhattan: I hope so. Unfortunately I walk around with memories of a couple of mini-psychopaths, and at least one I can directly attribute to Mommy and Daddy.

  169. 169
    Trollhattan says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    My caution revolved around the canard that because hunters are, well, hunters they’re somehow past all that “not-handling themselves and their guns correctly” phase. ‘t-ain’t so, and compound that with stomping around the heavy B.C. forests (which I have) where you’re lucky to have a clear line of sight more than ten yards. My dad’s generation has a very different outlook on hunting, maybe because half had been hunted by Germans and Japanese.

    I’ll let TBogg take it from here.

  170. 170
    Trollhattan says:

    @Elizabelle: It was long enough ago the RCMP or somesuch has probably already investigated it, but I dunno anything further.

  171. 171
    Tommy says:

    @Elizabelle: I’ve not seen nor heard in the two articles I read.

    Look, I am a cat guy. Little girl right next to me (loves my new glass top desk — I assume it is cool/cold for her on a hot summer day). But next to some of the big cats in the wild I think my favorite land animal is a bear. I hate we hunt them. I mean hate it. They are pretty intelligent if not very intelligent mammals.

    Go kill a deer, quail, turkey. boar. More of those around me then you can shake a stick at. Heck I bet I can get in my car, hop on the Interstate and see a dead deer in 10 minutes. They are everywhere.

    But a bear, why hunt a bear?

  172. 172
    goblue72 says:

    @Cervantes: Of course not. Although the guy who wrote this – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F.....Bell_Tolls – did enjoy his red wine and bullfights.

    And yes, I know – Francisco Franco is still dead.

  173. 173
    Cervantes says:

    @Josie:

    I’m not willing to think of myself in terms of a good or a bad person.

    That’s … convenient, to say the least.

  174. 174
    Trollhattan says:

    @Emma:
    Agree, some kids are simply “off” and you know it from a very young age. The ones who spook me are the little six-year-olds who will lie to you with absolute calm and steady eye contact. “No, you may not have a playdate with Squeaky.”

  175. 175
    Emma says:

    @Trollhattan: Yeah. One of those memories I still get jumpy about. If that person (now in their thirties) surfaced anywhere closer than a five-mile radius, I would be at battle-ready from first sighting. Scary little boy. He was one of those calm and pseudo-friendly ones “little Jack’s such a good boy, he helps Mommy clean the knives every day”.

  176. 176
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Trollhattan: Naturally, the ammosexuals failed to get the message of Tbogg’s post, which is a superb one, which explains what the fuck has happened to this country.

    The NRA is about moving products for the merchants of death, and enabling the movement of those products now, regardless of consequence.

  177. 177
    Roger Moore says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Well, they were fighting rebels, who would, by today’s standards, be called “terrorists”

    If they limited themselves to attacks on military targets, they would probably be counted as rebels or separatists, especially if they were white. Consider what’s going on in Ukraine. The people in Eastern Ukraine are generally described as separatists rather than terrorists because they’re focusing on taking control and fighting the Ukrainian Army rather than killing random Ukrainian civilians. This is a good example because, as Hodor will assure you, the US is in the bag for the central government, but we still aren’t calling the people resisting it terrorists.

  178. 178
    Cervantes says:

    @goblue72: Hemingway was not a foreign fighter in Spain, he was a journalist. He reported on a number of battles but never took part.

  179. 179
    HR Progressive says:

    I am firmly of the belief that you can be a proper lefty and be predisposed to feeling that evil individuals deserve whatever they have coming to them. If that means them dying as a result of choices they consciously made, then so be it.

    You can oppose war, you can oppose killing, you can oppose all the nasty and brutish things that exist in this life. You can be for peace, and understanding, and coming together.

    But when it comes to dealing with members of the human race who decide that their life’s cause must be fought by giving other members of the human race whom they have deemed “enemies” the choices of A) Joining them or B) Dying, civilized and rational folk are not stooping to the level of those who commit terror by counter-offering with the choice of C) No, you can die instead.

  180. 180
    Roger Moore says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Seriously. What kind of a whackjob do you have to be to think that was cool/safe to admit to anyone?

    Maybe it was the truth and he didn’t think he was good enough at lying to keep any other story straight. I can even imagine somebody who felt genuine remorse admitting the truth and accepting whatever punishment the jury saw fit to mete out.

  181. 181
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Roger Moore: but we still aren’t calling the people resisting it terrorists

    Most pro-government Ukrainians are. Or were. Now they are just calling them what they are, Russians.

  182. 182
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Eric U.: It probably just didn’t feel the same to him

  183. 183
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Trollhattan:

    “No, you may not have a playdate with Squeaky.”

    Hahaha!

  184. 184
    Calouste says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    A friend of mine who has lived in Russia told me that the rumor was that the last stage of spetsnaz training consisted of being dropped off in Siberia with fairly minimal supplies and gear. The ones who made it to the outside world graduated. The ones who didn’t, well, Siberia is huge.

  185. 185
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    How can anyone who is not an irredeemable sociopath look at the aims of ISIS and think, yeah, let me join that outfit so I can behead infidels, commit genocide, destroy cultural artifacts, stone adulterers and gay people and force women to wear a drop cloth?

    He’s an American. Maybe he knows a bit about American history and what our ancestors deemed acceptable in a good cause? From Plymouth Plantation and Salem to the Great Plains to You-Name-It, they did all of the above — and he may have noticed that we still celebrate them on occasion.

    NB: To be clear, I have no idea what his education was like.

    And do I think your list above identifies “the aims of ISIS” and its motives? Not exactly. Do I think ISIS is justified in all its actions? Of course not.

  186. 186
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Roger Moore: I suppose that’s possible. But I prefer to think he was really just that dumb.

  187. 187
    El Tiburon says:

    evil ISIS motherfuckers

    Well well well. Can you name one evil act perpetuated by ISIS that has not been committed by Americans or Brits or whoever going back 200 years or so?

    I’m going to try and make the point here: only when we all trade places with the Native Americans, it could be argued we are all ‘evil motherfuckers’.

    As long as we can label them ‘evil motherfuckers’ then we really won’t mind the ‘collateral damage’ will we? When you call a group of people, even ISIS, ‘evil motherfuckers’ you are really no different than the cops calling black folk in Ferguson ‘animals’.

  188. 188
    Josie says:

    @Cervantes: Nope – just honest. Most of us are a mix of all kinds of impulses. We either think too well of ourselves or blame ourselves too much. Neither one is particularly productive. Honest self examination is better.

  189. 189
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore: Well, given the propensity for those aligned with the forces of the Rebellion in the Colonies to be, shall we say, uncharitable toward those who were vocally loyal to the Crown, the line between “rebel” and “terrorist” was crossed during the “troubles” in the Colonies.

    The Brits certainly didn’t hold back on using the term “terrorist” to characterize the IRA during the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland in the 70’s and 80’s. Not without reason, considering that the IRA felt that any target they cared to explode a bomb at was perfectly legitimate from their perspective, no matter how many British civilians happened to be collateral damage in the process.

    These terms are used liberally by those who seek to discredit their adversaries nowadays. Orwell observed the trends in his own time and took them to their logical extremes.

  190. 190
    SatanicPanic says:

    @El Tiburon: this logic is dubious

  191. 191
    Trollhattan says:

    @El Tiburon:
    Have you met Hodor!? He has similar thoughts about the brave eastern Ukranian Freedom Fighters and their brave Russian supporters.

  192. 192
    Cervantes says:

    @Josie: Sure, but I thought you were saying that “honest self-examination” precludes — does not require? — judging one’s own actions in moral terms (“good,” “bad”).

  193. 193
    Cervantes says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    this logic is dubious

    Because … ?

  194. 194
    Someguy says:

    The difference between ISIS and the Republican base is that one is a violent, mysogynistic, anti-gay, anti-semitic, religious supremacist theory-spouting whack job eliminationist cult, while the other is a middle eastern revolutionary group.

  195. 195
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Cervantes: I didn’t go join a terrorist organization

  196. 196
    Cervantes says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The Brits certainly didn’t hold back on using the term “terrorist” to characterize the IRA during the “Troubles”

    It goes back a lot further, as I am sure you know.

    For example, Messrs. Geo. Washington & Co. were said to be terrorizing loyal British subjects.

  197. 197
    Cervantes says:

    @SatanicPanic: That’s your argument?

  198. 198
  199. 199
    Yatsuno says:

    @gene108:

    So part of their sales pitch, as I read it, and their clientele, are people who are being sold on the idea that since they have this ex-military certified gun instructor with them, firing off a big gun – with little or no previous experience – is safe.

    How does a business like that get insurance???

  200. 200
    Dave says:

    @Cervantes: I would say while it’s dangerous and we should be very cautious using terms like evil motherfuckers that some groups do earn it. Even then yeah probably a fair portion of their rank and file wouldn’t be that terrible in most situations. Still I don’t have a problem with it.

  201. 201
    Josie says:

    @Cervantes: No, you can say that an action is morally good or bad (if you want to use those terms), but a person is not all good or all bad. He or she is made up of lots of different actions. My point to Betty was that you can’t think of yourself as a bad person just because you have some less than lovely, and possibly some justifiable, thoughts.
    ETA: But I am probably not explaining myself very well.

  202. 202
    Cervantes says:

    @Josie: Thanks for clarifying. Yes, I do see now what you meant.

  203. 203
    Roger Moore says:

    @Yatsuno:

    How does a business like that get insurance???

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

  204. 204
    Cervantes says:

    @SatanicPanic: Thanks for clarifying. You have saved me a good deal of time.

  205. 205
    El Tiburon says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    this logic is dubious

    Perhaps. But once again we are focusing on yet another group to label as “those evil motherfuckers”. And that always leads us into starting another fucking war in which we vow to never do again until another group of “evil motherfuckers” pops up and rinse and repeat.

  206. 206
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Cervantes: Sure. It is plainly obvious that a group created for the sole purpose of creating a theocracy can be called “evil” by people who were merely born into a country whose actions they may or may not entirely support. I don’t know why anyone would argue otherwise.

  207. 207
    Betty Cracker says:

    @El Tiburon:

    When you call a group of people, even ISIS, ‘evil motherfuckers’ you are really no different than the cops calling black folk in Ferguson ‘animals’.

    Jesus, what a stupid comment. It both fails to recognize the agency of the fundamentalist sociopaths who are committing and reveling in atrocities, and it insults the people of Ferguson by comparing them with a pack of deranged fucksticks. You’ve outdone yourself.

  208. 208
    SatanicPanic says:

    @El Tiburon: Possibly, but the fact that the USA has gotten into wars for bad reasons in the past doesn’t mean that there are no evil groups in the world. I understand where your hesitancy is coming from though.

  209. 209
    Yatsuno says:

    @Betty Cracker: Contrarian ratfuckers gotta contrarian ratfuck.

  210. 210
    Dog On Porch says:

    “Does that make me a bad person”?

    There’s no crime in wishing someone dead. If Law & Order has taught me one thing, that’s it.

  211. 211
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Yatsuno: Aye. It’s in the genes, or something.

  212. 212
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Someguy: Ayup. You’ve hit the proverbial nail on the head.

    ISIS is on the other side of the planet. The other group is right in the neighborhood.

    BTW, Pat Robertson has said that Robin Williams’ death was due to Williams’ worship of a “false god”. It’s really too bad there isn’t a Hell, because that’s where Robertson would be going if there was one.

  213. 213
    El Tiburon says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    and it insults the people of Ferguson by comparing them with a pack of deranged fucksticks. You’ve outdone yourself.
    Reading comprehension not your strong point, huh?

    I am in no way comparing the folks in Ferguson to anyone.

    I am talking about those people (like you) who call other people ‘evil motherfuckers”. Some cops called the black folks ‘animals’. You called ISIS “evil motherfuckers”. I am not excusing ISIS, but, how often do we have to go down this fucking rabbit hole. If I lived in that region and had grown up being bombed and everyone being blown to bits my entire life, I may want to join a group that promises some kind of retribution.

    I ask again: name one act ISIS has performed that we as a country have not performed a thousand time over.

  214. 214
    Elie says:

    @aimai:

    I agree. I am late to the thread but I have no sympathy for this guy. May he answer to God and the universe…

  215. 215
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    I ask again: name one act ISIS has performed that we as a country have not performed a thousand time over.

    As far as I know, neither the United States or its armed forces have adopted a policy of beheading people, nor have they ever had such a policy in the past. Please present your evidence that the United States — not Great Britain or France, but the United States — has had a policy of beheading people.

  216. 216
    Elie says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Well with that kind of relativism, there are no evil acts at all, including those committed by the US. Or is it that in your mind, the only evil acts are those committed by the US?

    There IS evil and violence. Please stop with the crazy logic that “well we are as bad as they are!”

  217. 217
    Elie says:

    Tiburon just needs attention.

    You be sad in your logic. Glad you are not deciding on justice for anyone. Pretty clear you don’t know right from wrong. Actually, the only wrong you know is the US – right?

  218. 218
    LT says:

    Jesus. How the fuck you and John and so many others can do this self-righteous anger thing –

    I give up. Torture? Sure. Rendition? Sure. Abu Ghraib and a campapign of terror against an entire country? Sure.

    OTHER PEOPLE ARE EVIL!!!! OTHER PEOPLE OTHER PEOPLE OTHER PEOPLE OTHER PEOPLE OTHER PEOPLE OTHER PEOPLE OTHER PEOPLE OTHER PEOPLE OTHER PEOPLE OTHER PEOPLE OTHER PEOPLE OTHER PEOPLE….

  219. 219
    LT says:

    ‘ I hope McCain’s “bros” get drone suppositories ‘

    And John hopes US army recruits can piss on their graves.

    Now both of you show us your cocks.

    ***

    Honeslty, I may have had it. I have felt like an alien on this planet since I was a kid, and I guess I shouldn’t be surrprised anymore when it happens even in new places.

  220. 220
    LT says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    As far as I know, neither the United States or its armed forces have adopted a policy of beheading people, nor have they ever had such a policy in the past. Please present your evidence that the United States — not Great Britain or France, but the United States — has had a policy of beheading people.

    This is unbelievable. We attacked Iraq, a country that did exactly nothing to us, for no reason, and caused the death of at least 500,000 people. We tortured thousands of prisoners. We tortured *innocent* prisoners. We tortured an unknown number of prisoners *to death*.

    And we get people – a lot of people, a lot of otherwise smart people – saying, Yeah, but at least we don’t behead people.

  221. 221
    Mandalay says:

    @LT: What you said. It is the air of self-righteousness that is odious. Death by beheading is “barbaric”, while dropping a bomb from eight miles high is a “surgical strike”.

    ETA I see you made a similar point in the post preceding this one.

  222. 222
    Cervantes says:

    @LT: Not exactly unbelievable, alas.

  223. 223
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LT:

    El Tib asked for an act done by ISIS that the US has not done. I named him one.

    It does always amuse me how many people seem to think that the US is the only bad actor in the world. You’ve got to watch that slippery slope, because it leads you to defending Pol Pot as not that bad.

    The US sucks. ISIS also sucks. These are not mutually exclusive.

  224. 224
    LT says:

    @Mandalay: The combination of self-righteousness combined with utter obtusity and/or denial of our own deeply ugly wrongs on very similar fronts, along with the rightwingish turned-on-by-violence imagery – fuck. Just so tired of all of it.

  225. 225
    LT says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It does always amuse me how many people seem to think that the US is the only bad actor in the world.

    Also tired to the bone of tired, false arguments. I made no such assertion nor did I imply it.

  226. 226
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    As far as I know, neither the United States or its armed forces have adopted a policy of beheading people, nor have they ever had such a policy in the past.

    You know, I’ve always enjoyed calculus but this is something new.

    Among my ancestors are some in the colonies — pillars of the community, mind you — who beheaded Native Americans, even friendly ones, and used their heads for sport and intimidation. You might say this behavior was not an official policy of the then-non-existent United States of America, but I might say that’s cheating. After all, ISIS’s Islamic State is still non-existent also.

    Besides, that’s merely one example. There are others, including instances in which Native American men, women, and children were beheaded and otherwise mutilated as well. Genitalia male and female, fetuses, all were displayed as trophies. Has ISIS done all this? I’m really not sure.

    And then there’s what our military has done abroad. To take merely one example out of an infinity: we blew out of the sky an Iranian airliner carrying hundreds of pilgrims bound for a holy site. Were we even at war with Iran at the time? You tell me. And was it an act arising out of official US policy? We said it was not, as you would, too, of course, but when captain and crew came home, we festooned them with decorations.

    So … again, ISIS may perpetrate acts of evil, no doubt, but let’s not say we haven’t any idea how they can be so heartless. It happens — we’ve been there, and we haven’t yet settled our own bills or cleaned up our act.

  227. 227
    LT says:

    @Cervantes: I have a friend who once on a long night told me about unofficial night raids he and his fellow Marines made in Vietnam. They would come back with ears. Anyone here can choose to not believe that story. I believed by friend.

  228. 228
    Mandalay says:

    @Cervantes:

    we blew out of the sky an Iranian airliner carrying hundreds of pilgrims bound for a holy site

    Good point. I would be amazed if that act alone, which was only 26 years ago, did not result in many Iranians being beheaded by the United States.

  229. 229
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cervantes:

    I answered the question put to me. If you wanted a different answer, a different question should have been posed.

    ISIS may perpetrate acts of evil, no doubt, but let’s not say we haven’t any idea how they can be so heartless.

    I never said that. Do not put words in my mouth. I answered the question that El Tiburon posed. Again, if you want me to answer a different question, then pose the question you want me to answer.

  230. 230
    Original Lee says:

    @CaseyL: It’s almost as if ISIS has a bucket list of things the UN says not to do.

  231. 231
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    El Tib asked for an act done by ISIS that the US has not done. I named him one.

    Outstanding. (Further comment would be superfluous.)

    It does always amuse me how many people seem to think that the US is the only bad actor in the world. You’ve got to watch that slippery slope, because it leads you to defending Pol Pot as not that bad.

    Do you have an actual count of “how many people seem to think” that?

    The US sucks. ISIS also sucks. These are not mutually exclusive.

    And who said they were? I think the point was more that, with our own history to bear, we should perhaps not express wonderment and awe at the Incomprehensibly Exotic Evil of ISIS.

  232. 232
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cervantes:

    Do you have an actual count of “how many people seem to think” that?

    So far, El Tiburon, LT, and Mandalay.

    I think the point was more that, with our own history to bear, we should perhaps not express wonderment and awe at the Incomprehensibly Exotic Evil of ISIS.

    Please name people here who have done that. Pundits and the MSM don’t count for this discussion. Betty’s point seems to be, Asshole got himself killed, good riddance, not that he was somehow Incomprehensibly Evil. Most people here seem to be able to hold two thoughts in their head at the same time: ISIS is bad, and the US (inadvertently) helped them come to power by doing really bad things.

    Not really sure why we aren’t allowed to denounce ISIS’s actions without first denouncing all US actions going back 200 years — perhaps you can explain that for me.

  233. 233
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne: You have not said that precisely yourself, you are quite right. I did not mean to suggest that you personally had. It’s a group discussion, and if you are personally disavowing that idea, I am glad to hear it.

    As for what you did say, I have responded.

  234. 234
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne: Some other time, maybe.

  235. 235
    Mandalay says:

    Only partially O/T, one of the marines who urinated on Taliban corpses died at his home recently. He said something worth hearing about the incident….

    “I’m really tired of explaining why we pissed on them. What led up to it — what really led up to it is, they desecrated one of our Marines,” he said, noting that militants had spread a dead Marine’s body parts around, even planting another IED near some of them to try to kill Marine investigators.

    He stressed that it was the wrong thing to do, but said a civilian could never understand.

    “When you’re under that much stress, and you’re in that environment, your whole mental being changes,” he said. “You’re no longer Joe the Family Man.”

    But wait! There’s more! Much more….

    Cpl. Robert Richards, 28, was found dead Wednesday by his wife at their Jacksonville home, Attorney Guy Womack said. Neither foul play nor suicide is suspected.

    The death was most likely from Richards changing medications he took because of injuries he suffered in a roadside bomb during one of his three tours in Afghanistan…

    Richards almost died when a roadside bomb exploded near him during his second tour, Womack said. Shrapnel went through his throat and an emergency tracheotomy on the battlefield saved his life, the attorney said. He also almost lost a foot and suffered back injuries. He was awarded a Purple Heart.

    Richards was supposed to get 18 months off from active duty, but he returned early when a platoon commander asked him to join a new sniper unit that had no combat veteran snipers.

    “He called it a personal obligation and said he would feel guilty if any of them were to die from their inexperience,” Womack said.

    Richards will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

    So there is far more to that marine’s story than pissing on a corpse for 30 seconds. Given his experiences, I doubt that the incident would make his personal top 100. But the poor guy was applauded/demonized by the blogosphere based solely on a single incident. FoxNews did the same thing with Michael Brown – they portrayed him as nothing more than a thug who hit a cop after he was caught shoplifting. And this thread is doing the same thing to Duale Khalid.

  236. 236
    El Tiburon says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Is scalping American fucking
    Indians close enough for you you fucking
    Pompous twat. We committed genocide – how does that sound to you? Mai Lai, Abu Grhaib, how far down the fucking historical rabbit hole u want me to go? Indiscriminate slaughter of black men. Mass incarceration of millions of Americans. Seriously?

  237. 237
    LT says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    [It does always amuse me how many people seem to think that the US is the only bad actor in the world.]

    Do you have an actual count of “how many people seem to think” that?

    So far, El Tiburon, LT, and Mandalay.

    This is the face of not only me never saying it nor implying it, but even pointing that out. Why is it too much to ask that you simply fight an honest fight?

  238. 238
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    We committed genocide – how does that sound to you? Mai Lai, Abu Grhaib, how far down the fucking historical rabbit hole u want me to go? Indiscriminate slaughter of black men. Mass incarceration of millions of Americans. Seriously?

    So therefore we can never, ever criticize anyone else’s actions?

  239. 239
    El Tiburon says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    It

    does always amuse me how many people seem to think that the US is the only bad actor in the world.

    U really are a mental midget – u and the Cracker. Never said US is only bad actor. We have all done the Bad Shit. Was Al Queda evil? Are we evil? What does that term even mean? Lump it with ‘terrorist’ as having no fucking meaning.

  240. 240
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LT:

    No?

    This is unbelievable. We attacked Iraq, a country that did exactly nothing to us, for no reason, and caused the death of at least 500,000 people. We tortured thousands of prisoners. We tortured *innocent* prisoners. We tortured an unknown number of prisoners *to death*.

    This is not you saying we can’t criticize ISIS because of our own bad actions?

    And we get people – a lot of people, a lot of otherwise smart people – saying, Yeah, but at least we don’t behead people.

    Interestingly, I did not say that, nor even imply that. I simply answer El Tib’s question about whether there was something that ISIS was doing that the US did not do. I did not imply or state in any way, shape, or form that those beheadings excused US actions of any kind or made ISIS worse than the US in any way. I merely answered the question that El Tib posed.

    And yet you, El Tib, and Mandalay immediately jumped to accusing me of making excuses for US actions simply for answering El Tib’s question. Why is that?

  241. 241
    LT says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I know this kind of internet complaint is old, but that this person Mnemosyne has been a big, major player, on Balloon Juice, regularly able to attract replies, tie up threads, for years – for a lot of years – largely via 100% false, and transparently false, and just empty and eye-rollingly dumb comments like this:

    So therefore we can never, ever criticize anyone else’s actions?

    …is tiring. Mind, hope, body, and sould tiring.

  242. 242
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    We have all done the Bad Shit. Was Al Queda evil? Are we evil? What does that term even mean?

    I see that you’ve finally managed to grasp the implications of what you’ve been saying. If every country is evil, then no one can criticize anyone or try to stop them from doing bad things. Of course, since no one can criticize anyone because every country has done bad things, then ISIS can just go along their merry way, killing everyone in their path, and no one can step in to stop them, because no one has the moral high ground.

  243. 243
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LT:

    100% false, and transparently false, and just empty and eye-rollingly dumb comments like this

    Uh-huh. Take another gander at what I quoted from you at #240. Please show me where I claimed in any way, shape, or form that the US is better than ISIS because we don’t behead people.

    I’ll wait here for you to find the quote, kettle.

  244. 244
    El Tiburon says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Jesus on a Popsicle. I am talking about the specific term ‘evil motherfuckers”. Did I say we can’t criticize? No. But this is how it starts: 1. No more stupid wars! 2. Well, unless someone really bad comes along. 2. Like Saddam and Iraq? 3. Exactly!!!!! 4. Winning!

    Stop doing ur rightwing bullshit and inserting language where none exists.

  245. 245
    El Tiburon says:

    @LT:thank you. What a ducking Moran this guy.

  246. 246
    LT says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    This is unbelievable. We attacked Iraq, a country that did exactly nothing to us, for no reason, and caused the death of at least 500,000 people. We tortured thousands of prisoners. We tortured *innocent* prisoners. We tortured an unknown number of prisoners *to death*.

    This is not you saying we can’t criticize ISIS because of our own bad actions?

    No. Not even close. It’s saying that in the face of our own very ugly, very broad crimes related to violence and war, that statements like this:

    Yeah, no. The only thing that haunts me is the prospect that some of the American idiots who traveled to the Middle East to fight for those evil ISIS motherfuckers will eventually return unencased in a body bag. Rather than heavenly mercy, I hope McCain’s “bros” get drone suppositories. Does that make me a bad person?

    and this:

    As far as I know, neither the United States or its armed forces have adopted a policy of beheading people, nor have they ever had such a policy in the past. Please present your evidence that the United States — not Great Britain or France, but the United States — has had a policy of beheading people.

    and this:

    So therefore we can never, ever criticize anyone else’s actions?

    …are empty, and deeply hypocritical, and as intellectually courageous and honest as basically everything Jonah Goldbeg has ever said.

  247. 247
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    But this is how it starts: 1. No more stupid wars! 2. Well, unless someone really bad comes along. 2. Like Saddam and Iraq? 3. Exactly!!!!! 4. Winning!

    So, just to be clear, ISIS going on a war of conquest across Iraq and Syria is exactly the same as Saddam sitting around in his palaces pretending to have WMDs?

    I realize that the problem from hell is difficult and messy and it seems easier to just ignore bad things that happen in faraway places and pretend they don’t affect us, but that’s a childish way to deal with the world. I think we all agree that the US shouldn’t deliberately fuck around with other countries, but I cannot go along with your apparent belief that the US should stand aside and do nothing when civil war and genocide are raging because we did bad things, too. Especially when those bad things are happening because we fucked them up in the first place.

  248. 248
    El Tiburon says:

    @Elie:

    There IS evil and violence. Please stop with the crazy logic that “well we are as bad as they are!”

    U r as dense as memsomyme or whatever. This is not about who is worse. Although answer me this: who has killed more innocent people in the last decade, ISIS or the US?

  249. 249
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    One other thing:

    I answered the question put to me.

    Incorrectly, if you accept my explanation.

  250. 250
    El Tiburon says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Ok I get it. You are some kind of performance artist. It’s been a while, but it’s coming back. You have the debate capacity and comprehension of a standard issue right winger.

    Let me predict your next statement: let’s hit em there before the come here!

  251. 251
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LT:

    So you still can’t admit that I never said that ISIS was worse than the US, and you made that up inside your own head?

    Again, since you seem to have missed it the first five times I said it: I never said that ISIS was worse than the US because they behead people. Not once. I merely answered El Tib’s question about what ISIS was doing that the US doesn’t do. And you decided to project onto me your beliefs onto me and argue with the strawman that you created.

    …are empty, and deeply hypocritical, and as intellectually courageous and honest as basically everything Jonah Goldbeg has ever said.

    /golf clap

    See, this is why I will never get pacifists. You can look at people who are starving, who are being murdered, and think, Meh, not my problem.

  252. 252
    LT says:

    @Mnemosyne: And to go back to this:

    As far as I know, neither the United States or its armed forces have adopted a policy of beheading people

    We can all see your dodge here. That that coment only exists in the vacuum of a response to a question about policy, US vs ISIS.

    We can all see the dodge.

  253. 253
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cervantes:

    I was thinking more of official executions, which is why I specifically excluded Great Britain and France, both of which used beheading as forms of official execution. YMMV.

  254. 254
    Mnemosyne says:

    @LT:

    That that coment only exists in the vacuum of a response to a question about policy, US vs ISIS.

    I answered a specific question with a specific answer. You then decided to read all kinds of assumptions about me into that answer. That is not my problem.

  255. 255
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne: What was “unofficial” about beheadings conducted by, say, our “Pilgrim Fathers”? Who made those decisions? Are you arguing the perpetrators were technically British and therefore not in our official history?

  256. 256
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cervantes:

    Did our Pilgrim Fathers hold a trial, sentence those people to death, and then chop off their heads? Or did they do it after a battle?

    AFAICT, the journalist who was killed by ISIS had a brief hearing where they declared him a spy and then they executed him. To me, that’s different than killing war prisoners — killing war prisoners is its own horrifying crime that’s not the same as executing someone after a hearing (even what may seem to be a farcical one).

  257. 257
    LT says:

    @Mnemosyne: Let’s allow you to be *completely* honest about that exchange. You responded to this:

    Well well well. Can you name one evil act perpetuated by ISIS that has not been committed by Americans or Brits or whoever going back 200 years or so?

    I’m going to try and make the point here: only when we all trade places with the Native Americans, it could be argued we are all ‘evil motherfuckers’.

    As long as we can label them ‘evil motherfuckers’ then we really won’t mind the ‘collateral damage’ will we? When you call a group of people, even ISIS, ‘evil motherfuckers’ you are really no different than the cops calling black folk in Ferguson ‘animals’.

    By saying this:

    As far as I know, neither the United States or its armed forces have adopted a policy of beheading people, nor have they ever had such a policy in the past. Please present your evidence that the United States — not Great Britain or France, but the United States — has had a policy of beheading people.

    When it was pointed out to you that that’s not just factually wrong, it’s also conceptually wrong, and also cowardly, you put a pinky to your lips and said, “Oh, but I was only responding to a specific question about “one evil act”!

    You are an embarrassment.

  258. 258
    Cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Or did they do it after a battle?

    If you look carefully, you’ll see that I said even members of friendly tribes — the Wampanoags, in particular, I am sorry to say lo these four hundred years later — were beheaded. In these cases there was no battle, and there was no trial.

    In any event, don’t you find splitting these particular hairs, as it were, somewhat embarrassing?

    After all, don’t you think ISIS is beheading people after battles? And after trials roughly as honorable as those to which we subjected Native Americans?

  259. 259
    LT says:

    @Cervantes: And that ugly hair-splitting aside:

    Rather than heavenly mercy, I hope McCain’s “bros” get drone suppositories.

    If evil acts like McCain’s deserve that – what do we Americans deserve for the Iraq War itself? And for torture, and rendition, etc.?

  260. 260
    Betty Cracker says:

    @El Tiburon: Here’s a list (by no means exhaustive) of additional people whom I consider evil motherfiuckers: the KKK, racist cops, Westboro Baptist Church, practitioners of FGM, tobacco company executives, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Roger Ailes, Rupurt Murdoch, the Koch brothers, pedophiles, puppy-kickers, cat torturers, kitten-drowners, child abusers.

    Sanctimonious, obtuse twits like yourself don’t make the cut; you’re just mildly annoying.

    @LT: You’re precious. Never change!

  261. 261
    LT says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Rather than heavenly mercy, I hope McCain’s “bros” get drone suppositories.

  262. 262
    LT says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    P.S.

    The only thing that haunts me is the prospect that some of the American idiots who traveled to the Middle East to … evil…

  263. 263
    Cervantes says:

    @LT:

    I have a friend who once on a long night told me about unofficial night raids he and his fellow Marines made in Vietnam. They would come back with ears. Anyone here can choose to not believe that story. I believed by friend.

    War crimes (defined per law) did not occur every day in Vietnam but neither were they exactly rare. Children and women were raped by US troops, unarmed civilians killed, corpses mutilated, even babies decapitated. Some of the perpetrators were disciplined, others were not.

    When disciplinary action was taken, records were kept, so these are not mere rumors that people can simply choose to disbelieve. When top brass said we were engaging in “a war of attrition,” what it really meant was that soldiers were rewarded for, among other things, killing as many Vietnamese as possible. Some soldiers, proud of their tallies, took to wearing necklaces made out of severed ears. Other parts were available, sure, but ears were lighter and easier to carry around. One soldier famously reported that some of his buddies had installed more than twenty severed ears on the antennae of their Jeeps.

  264. 264
    Betty Cracker says:

    @LT: It’s almost as if you’re trying to communicate through some crude form of mimicry. Are you sure you’re not a mynah bird? If you are, I compliment you on your lovely plumage, ma’am/sir.

  265. 265
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker: That’s not a bad list but your implicit defense of Pol Pot has been noted.

  266. 266
    LT says:

    @Betty Cracker: Oh, not so crude.

    Tell me, do you think Americans who orchestrated, took part in, torture, rendition, deserve “drone suppositories”?

    Does the idea of Jeffrey Dahmer demanding violence for child rapists cross your mind, when you, an American, get all *droney* about *evil*? (About **someone else’s** evil?)

  267. 267
    LT says:

    @Cervantes: yeah, I’ve heard the stories. This was a personal one. Had a bit more weight for me.

  268. 268
    LT says:

    A wish: that Americans were a lot more serious, and consistent, about American war crimes, and took them into account when commenting on similar crimes of others.

    Americans calling for violence on others because of their war crimes is denying our war crimes.

  269. 269
    El Tiburon says:

    @Betty Cracker: thank you. You have proved my point very nicely: ‘evil motherfuckers’ has no meaning and includes groups who cut off heads and have repugnant political views- but not Presidents who murder women and children using a robotic airplane.

    I’m glad I didn’t make the cut, but hey, it’s always nice to be in consideration.

    How in the fuck did you become a front pager? Mercy hire after ABL quit?

  270. 270
    Cervantes says:

    @LT: Glad your friend is able to talk about it. My comment was for anyone inclined to dismiss your friend’s story as a rumor.

  271. 271
    Cervantes says:

    @El Tiburon:

    ‘evil motherfuckers’ has no meaning and includes groups who cut off heads and have repugnant political views- but not Presidents who murder women and children using a robotic airplane

    Once might be carelessness, they say, but repeatedly?

  272. 272
    brantl says:

    @Betty Cracker: Agreed.

  273. 273
    someofparts says:

    Since you mentioned Karma, couldn’t resist sharing this –

    http://www.dogshaming.com/2013/01/karma/

  274. 274
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    I find it interesting that both of these stories have, at their root, a theme of people clinging to some kind of dream of the return of a long-lost and mostly imaginary past, in which things were some how simpler, better, more black and white.

    The Uzi tragedy is all about how gun nuts want to go back to the good ole’ days when we had our own homesteads, hunted and farmed our own land, lived clean and free. Back in the day, all the kids carried long guns, and learned early how to shoot so as to protect the family from the injun’s or bears if’n they attacked the cabin. Sheesh? Why couldn’t they just teach her how to make jam or something?

    The American ISIS traitor was looking for the simplicity of a religiously ruled world in which there were good and evil people and he could tell the difference. A simple time of Caliphat-astic order, right and wrong, a place where he could resolve the dissonance of being an American in the world today. He wanted to just be told what do do and be a part of a group that didn’t have any messy contradictions and shades of grey. Why he didn’t just join the Scientologists is a mystery to me.

    Part of me has empathy for these feelings, as much as I abhor how these two situations manifested those yearnings. I don’t know that the gun instructor was an “evil” person-as a matter of fact I know many who take that job very seriously and are decent and upstanding people who would sacrifice their lives to save another’s. And I really think Douglas McCane was a mentally unstable, misguided patsy for ISIS, preyed upon for his weakness.

    It’s why it’s really hard for me to feel any joy or smug confidence about Karma happening in either tragedy.

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