22 Years Later

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  1. Avatar David Ryan
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    says:

    Remembered.Report

  2. Avatar Tom Van Dyke
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    I’m uncertain how much meaning we should attempt to draw from madness.  If any.Report

    • Avatar Scott in reply to Tom Van Dyke
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      TVD:

      I’m sure if we put on our liberal thinking caps we can come up something like all men are misogynist pigs and guns need to be tightly controlled.  See wasn’t that easy? B/c we know there is always subtext if you want to find one.Report

        • Avatar Scott in reply to RTod
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          says:

          RTod:

          So are you saying that liberals really don’t think that way?  Why can’t it be just be as simple as the guy was crazy?  Just like with Rep Giffords, liberals tried to use that tragedy to push for guns laws and accuse Repubs of advocating violence.Report

          • Avatar RTod in reply to Scott
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            Scott- I’m saying this post is an incredibly inappropriate forum to try to pick this fight.Report

            • Avatar James Hanley in reply to RTod
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              Agreed with RTod.Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to James Hanley
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                says:

                But a call for gun control would be perfectly appropriate?  James, I rarely disagree with you, but if you’re going to deny that there’s an uneven playing field here, then this will be one of those times.

                Remember after Giffords got shot, and how eager liberals were to find conservative antecedents to his actions?

                Then it turned out that his real obsession wasn’t with politics, but with propositional logic.  Liberals got all ired up with no place to go, because they realized that they’d be in sort of a bad spot if they argued against modus ponens.  (Yes, it can be done, but that’s not really where you want to be as a political outfit.)Report

              • Avatar Jonathan in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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                says:

                This post wasn’t meant to be a call for gun control (I’m on record as being okay with the Conservative government’s plan to scrap the long-gun registry – which is the specific gun control policy that gets tied to Polytechnique), nor an indictment of either liberal or conservative opinion as it relates to the massacre. I wanted to address some social issues, but I also wanted to keep partisanship out of it.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Jason Kuznicki
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                says:

                Jason,

                Your response puzzles me.  Jonathan’s OP just noted that politics, including calls for gun control, will inevitably be inserted into the remembrance.  He didn’t make any such call himself, nor can I see that he could fairly be read as lauding that insertion.

                And then the issue isn’t brought up again until you mentioned it.  Certainly I never suggested that would be ok.

                But as much…no, more than the issue of bringing up politics is the tone in which it’s done.  I thought Scott’s tone was sadly smug and dismissive, in response to a post which I read as being about the horror of the event, and the on-going horror of violence against women in Canada, as well as about the country’s failure to adequately face up to that horror.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to James Hanley
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                says:

                P.S., I fully agree with you about the Giffords case.  We could also talk about how willing liberals were to, at least verbally, lynch the Duke Lacrosse players.Report

              • Avatar Sam in reply to James Hanley
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                Alternately, we could discuss none of these things, given that the author has been clear about what he was wanting to address and this partisan attempt to tarnish liberals wasn’t it. There are plenty of opportunities to argue about liberals and conservatives elsewhere. This seems more like an opportunity to remember a terrible moment in humanity’s long history of such things.Report

              • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to James Hanley
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                says:

                Hey, what is this the new ‘fair and balanced’ LoOG?

                When you carry a gun, you protect not only your life, but the life of any innocent person around you from such madness.Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to James Hanley
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                says:

                Okay, I think we don’t really disagree then.Report

            • Avatar Pierre Corneille in reply to RTod
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              says:

              I agree with Rtod, too.Report

    • Avatar James K in reply to Tom Van Dyke
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      In situations like this I turn to the wisdom of  a computer game called Arcanum:

      Why do madmen do anyhting? Because they’re bloody madmen, that’s why!

      Crazy don’t need no reason.Report

    • Avatar Jonathan in reply to Tom Van Dyke
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      says:

      You’re probably right, TVD, and perhaps I fell into such a trap writing this. Though I knew none of the victims, I find it a very emotional subject, and it’s difficult to step back and be completely rational.

      I still think that there is much significance to the event, and I think it’s useful as a springboard to think about certain issues and remind ourselves that there are specific failings in our society that we need to address, but I’m not the sort to suggest that this type of tragedy demands a specific policy or specific legislation.

      In Canada, there is still much that needs to be done about violence against women (and the response from our institutions to such violence). It seems appropriate that December 6 is a day that reminds us of this.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Jonathan
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        says:

        Tom may be right that we cannot find any meaning in madness.  But a tragic event like this can nonetheless open our eyes to the madness and help us confront it.Report

          • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Jonathan
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            says:

            Yeah, I thought this was a post about violence against women and how it’s quite often ignored or hushed up. In general, violence is like this whole other country if you don’t experience it. Misogyny too. My wife is outspoken and opinionated and loud and my best friend; I just adore that she’s all of the above, but since we’ve been married, I’ve heard her talk about encountering plenty of dudes who really do not like dealing with an outspoken and opinionated woman. She’s also not the sort to take any shit from anyone, so many of the stories end with her verbally eviscerating the schmucks. But I realized that there’s this whole other world of shit that I don’t have to deal with.

            Moreover, shes does a lot of therapeutic social work in our community and one thing that’s become obvious listening to her talk about her work in the evenings is that there are some dudes who really, really can’t stand women, and that a lot of them eventually act on those feelings. Finally, it seems clear that people around them don’t usually know how to respond because it seems so self-evidently pathological and we don’t generally like to acknowledge pathology in our midst. So being both a. Not a woman, and b. A man who really enjoys the company of women, I realized that I don’t get exposed to a lot of misogyny, and so it’s easy to imagine that those dudes are few and far between.

            So, I appreciate the point that we can’t read too much into madness, but there must be some difference in how we interpret a madman who kills strange men and women because he thinks the neighbor’s dog told him to and a madman who singles out and kills young women in a universtiy because he thinks feminism is ruining his life.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Rufus F.
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              says:

              One thing that Maribou points out is the whole “two people start talking at once” thing. If it’s two dudes, you can tell who is the alpha by who keeps talking.

              If it’s a man and a woman, the guy assumes alphatude.

              Once you start noticing it, it’s difficult to stop noticing it.

              It’s also difficult to not notice that a woman who assumes alphatude (and holds it) is considered a pejorative.Report

            • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Rufus F.
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              says:

              That’s valid in the abstract, Rufus, but how to translate into practice? Sensitivity training, no doubt run by feminists?  That should put a lid on it.

              The descent into madness isn’t in hating feminism, or leftism like that guy in Norway, but crossing the line where you start shooting people. 99.9+% of people who hate those things don’t start shooting.  The issue is only what the madness congeals around.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Don't_Like_Mondays

               Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Tom Van Dyke
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                says:

                Wait, what’s valid in theory but hard to put into practice? My point was just that I hear from my therapist wife that there are dudes out there who hate women and that plenty of them act on that by beating the women around them. Also that it’s not inconceivable to me that Marc Lepine also hated women, since he said as much before killing them. I get that he was a wacko who crossed the line into madness, but it seems to me that the psychopathic women haters are a different sort of crazy than a woman who shot a bunch of children because Mondays depressed her. I’m assuming  psychiatrists would be qualified to find those distinctions, or at least do better than the rest of us whose distinctions amount to crazy/not crazy. But what does that have to do with feminists running sensitivity training?Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Rufus F.
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                In practice, Rufus, you’d have to show how this rise in “awareness” prevented a recurrence.  I realize that’s an impossible task, but this is the only occurence I’m aware of in the Western World, aside from the Ted Bundy and Richard Speck types.

                Whom I don’t know what to do about prophylactically, and neither does anyone else.  Because they’re nuts.

                Once you get to shooting, you have a difference in kind, not degree, a line crossed.  These nuts often have “reasons,” but they do not fit the definition of “reason.”Report

              • Avatar Sam in reply to Tom Van Dyke
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                says:

                Respectfully Tom, they don’t fit your definition of reason, but you don’t have a monopoly on that. Nor does anyone.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Sam
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                Sam, shall we have Major Hassan Day, then, about the dangers of Islamism?  This is certainly a quantifiably more common phenomenon.

                McVeigh Day, on the dangers of Nietzsche?  Now, if there’s anybody who could set a man off, it’s brother Fred.

                That maniac Cho who shot up Virginia Tech in 2007 left notes complaining about “rich kids.”  Should we have #Occupy Day so we warn against resentments against the rich going too far?

                There are some rationales for terrorism that have a logic to them, and sometimes we too easily dismiss them as madness.  But shooting leftists in Norway or feminists in Canada do not fit that bill, and it’s necessary and proper to differentiate.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Sam
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                The difference is that violence against women is more pervasive than these other examples.  Turning a bright spotlight on it may be an important disinfectant.Report

              • Avatar Sam in reply to Sam
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                says:

                Tom,

                Again, respectfully, but you’re misunderstanding the threat by presuming your reason onto these individuals. These people are acting upon stimulus that they genuinely believe. To them, the only thing that makes sense when facing something hated is shooting it up. We can say, “Oh, well that’s not a reasonable conclusion,” but then, we’re not the people shooting things. They are.

                The problem is that their reasoning is reaching conclusions that none of us can imagine. That’s the threat. How do you talk a person out of something that seems eminently reasonable to them?Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Sam
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                says:

                Sorry, Sam, I think ’tis you missing my point: these incidents don’t even have their own internal logic.  I’m not judging by subjective standards of reasonableness atall.

                Neither is domestic violence comparable to shooting up a school looking for feminists [which has happened exactly once].  It’s not a difference in degree, but a difference in kind; the resemblance is only facial.Report

              • Avatar Sam in reply to Sam
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                says:

                Tom,

                Their violent acts made sense to them. It doesn’t really matter whether or not we can comprehend the logic that lead them to their conclusions.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Sam
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                says:

                Sam, you’re arguing that reasonableness is merely subjective.  This is madness, for all things would become “reasonable.”

                To agree with you, I’d have to accept the premise that domestic violence and shooting feminists are of the same fabric.  I do not.Report

              • Avatar Sam in reply to Sam
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                says:

                Tom,

                All things are reasonable to the person who finds them to be so. That’s how we end up with heroin addicts, long distance runners, libertarians, and all other things. It makes internal sense to them to do these things, whether or not third parties disagree.

                If you think that domestic violence and killing women have no relationship to one another, by all means believe so. But that doesn’t mean that you have made an objective statement; you’re simply telling us what you believe. Just as I’d tell you that I believe that domestic violence and killing women exist on a continuum, an expression of my own belief about it.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Sam
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                All things are reasonable to the person who finds them to be so. That’s how we end up with heroin addicts, long distance runners, libertarians, and all other things

                Don’t be ridiculous, libertarians are nothing like long distance runners.Report

              • Avatar Sam in reply to Sam
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                says:

                Oh, I think we could have fun generating comparisons between long distance runners (people who willingly endure harsh feedback for the promised pay off at the end to the incredulity of their friends and family) and libertarians (people who willingly endure harsh feedback for the promised pay off at the end to the incredulity of their friends and family). The point though isn’t comparison. It’s simply that human beings can believe and engage in all sorts of things which other human beings find to be unreasonable.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Sam
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                says:

                Sam,

                You’re a good guy, but you missed the joke.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Sam
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                Sam, you’re being unreasonable.  In my opinion, of course.

                Because your position makes sense to you, according to your argument, it cannot be unreasonable.

                Although, since my argument makes sense to me, according to your argument, you are being unreasonable.

                Thus, you’re being both reasonable and unreasonable at the same time.

                Clearly then, “reasonable” has no real or reasonable meaning. We have obliterated yet another word on our road to Babel.

                So many more to go, so little time.

                 Report

              • Avatar Sam in reply to Sam
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                says:

                Tom,

                You’ve caught me red-handed: I am taking the outrageous position that two different people can believe two different things. It is shocking, I realize.

                The point isn’t that what the shooter in Canada did was reasonable to me or to you. The point is that it was reasonable to him, which is why he did it. Interventions of the sort that you’re seemingly against (because they’re taught by feminists in this case) is an attempt by the same people who find his behavior unreasonable to change the reasoning mechanism of those they fear might be capable of such a violent act. To those people, the man who beats his wife may also be the man capable of killing her. Hence, intervention. You’re against that I realize, because you subdivide the intent to injure women apart from the intent to kill them. But other people don’t.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Sam
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                says:

                Sam, you have obliterated “reasonableness” as a useful concept, equated opinion with reasoned argument. Indeed, equated madness with reasonable argument.  This is the current crisis.

                Incumbent on you here would be to draw some sort of traceable line from domestic violence to shooting up a school.  Perhaps you can, but I doubt it.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Sam
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                says:

                Tom,

                It seems clear to me that Sam isn’t saying the ideas are reasonable by any objective standard, so he’s not stripping the word of any meaning.  He’s just saying that inside that person’s mind, that sequence of ideas seems reasonable to that person.  And that’s a problem, not an excuse.  It’s not a set of ideas that would meet the reasonable person standard in U.S. law, but understanding that to the individual they seem reasonable is the beginning point for understanding how to deal with them and to try to bring them to a more objectively reasonable position.  Certainly just telling them they’re unreasonable won’t have any effect.

                Sam,

                I think it’s really doubtful Tom’s against any intervention. He may not be fond of feminists, but I’m sure he’s not sanguine about nutcases shooting women down just because they’re women.  In fact that’s exactly the type of behavior he is insisting the term “reasonable” is unsuited for.

                Really, you both are just kind of talking past each other based on disagreement about how the word “reasonable” may be used.Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Sam
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                Incumbent on you here would be to draw some sort of traceable line from domestic violence to shooting up a school. Perhaps you can, but I doubt it.

                Okay, well I’m not Sam, but the guy who shot up the school, Marc Lepine, apparently had the snot regularly beaten out of him as a child by his father, who also regularly beat the shit out of his wife, and apparently also frequently expressed a deep-seated loathing for women as a gender, which the son grew up to agree with him about. I imagine you’ll decide that doesn’t qualify as drawing a direct line, but when you look at the sorts of young men who commit suicide by cop and take a lot of innocent bystanders with them, they quite often share the background detail of being beaten senseless as children.Report

              • Avatar Sam in reply to Sam
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                says:

                James,

                I certainly agree with your conclusion that I’m speaking about reason specific to the individual and Tom is speaking about reason as it might be agreed upon by a collective of people. I’m happy to let the matter drop. (I’ll also apologize for earlier not getting the inside-to-me joke about libertarians and long-distance runners.)Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Sam
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                says:

                Sam,

                It must have been bad delivery.  My intended joke was not objecting to be compared to heroin addicts.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Sam
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                says:

                Well, thx, Rufus.  That’s a line, an attempt at coherent argument, what I asked for.

                The bio

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_L%C3%A9pine

                is so convoluted and full of this fellow’s dysfunctions, it’s tough to put the finger on domestic violence. His father was also a [non-practicing] Muslim, a culture notorious for misogyny.  But to put the finger on that would be politically incorrect, although equally valid.

                [See also my remarks on a Major Hassan Day.  And at least according to the prevailing standards of Islamic terrorism, his murders had an internal logic, a “reasonableness.”]

                Still, at the base of my objection is that a broad-based, untargeted “cognitive therapy” of socio-political “raising awareness” about domestic violence would have had any effect on Lepine’s apparent psychosis, or on his father before that for that matter.

                Still, at least there’s an internal logic to this Day of Remembrance thing, and it fits my minimal definition of “reasonableness,” even if I think the chain of argument is stretched to breaking.

                 Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Sam
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                says:

                Sam, the problem is you’re arguing all opinions are reasonable. They are not.  In fact, we draw a necessary legal and moral line between reasonableness and madness.  Your argument obliterates it.Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Sam
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                says:

                His father was also a [non-practicing] Muslim, a culture notorious for misogyny.  But to put the finger on that would be politically incorrect, although equally valid.

                Politically incorrect with who? It’s not news to me anyway that Muslim cultures tend to have fairly oppressive patriarchal norms that are rooted in and give rise to misogyny. I’d imagine that, if we went out on the street and interviewed 100 North Americans, we’d find there’s pretty widespread “awareness” of that issue, and there has been yet no “broad-based, untargeted “cognitive therapy” of socio-political “raising awareness” about it that I know of. There has been a bit of an open discussion in the society about how Muslim men treat women, and, if the result of having that discussion is that other folks express their opinion that men who beat their wives, much less restrict them from driving or showing their faces in public or whatnot, are basically sniveling shits, I have no real problem with that, even if it’s somehow politically incorrect. It probably helps here that the sorts of things I was taught by my own father about women and how men should treat them were later called out as bullshit by my friends and girlfriends and I consider myself a lot better for the discussion.

                Still, at the base of my objection is that a broad-based, untargeted “cognitive therapy” of socio-political “raising awareness” about domestic violence would not have had any effect on Lepine’s apparent psychosis, or on his father before that for that matter.

                Yeah, I roughly agree with this argument, although I’m still wondering who exactly you imagine is calling for all these things you keep saying won’t work. My opinion is basically that, if one of the things that came out of the shooting was that Canadian society had a discussion about misogyny and domestic violence, I don’t see that as particularly negative. I think mine’s a pretty boring opinion, honestly.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Sam
                Ignored
                says:

                @TVD,

                His father was also a [non-practicing] Muslim, a culture notorious for misogyny.  But to put the finger on that would be politically incorrect, although equally valid.

                Not equally valid at all.  The physical abuse by the father means the father actually did it to the kid.  The Muslim argument is about culture, but with no evidence as to whether the culture affected the kid or not.  It may have, to be sure (although the “non-practicing” part diminishes that probability somewhat, all other things being equal), but we just don’t know that.  So as a matter of logic it’s not equally valid at all.Report

              • Avatar Sam in reply to Sam
                Ignored
                says:

                Tom,

                Yes, I am arguing that all opinions are reasonable when considered from the perspective of the individual, just as I’ll happily argue that all human beings are entirely rational. I’m recognizing the human condition for what it is. From that recognition, I can then happily pivot to agreeing that collectives of human beings make decisions about what is and isn’t reasonable, sometimes correctly (but only because those decisions agree with my own) and sometimes incorrectly (but only because those decisions don’t agree with my own). What boggles me is your disagreement, given that you’re simultaneously endorsing a collective’s ability to decide upon what constitutes a reasonable act and your horror at the possibility that the collective would implement “sensitivity training, no doubt run by feminists.”Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Sam
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, Sam, I understand yr argument: You’ve redefined “reasonable” into subjectivity.  Unfortunately, your redefinition is expanded to include logically flawed arguments: “Well, it makes sense to me!”

                Well, I’m sure it does.  Sort of.

                But this simply destroys “reasonableness” as a usable term—onward to Babel.

                “Rationale” probably fits what you’re saying better.  Rationalizations are not always reasonable, but we can convince ourselves of most anything, including illogic.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Tom Van Dyke
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                says:

                James, I was speaking of how Muslim culture affected the father, the root cause of the root cause.

                Wiki also said the nut blamed feminism for why his mother neglected him.  Hence, we could have Feminists, Don’t Neglect Your Chrildren Day, or They’ll Turn Out Nuts.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Tom Van Dyke
                Ignored
                says:

                I was speaking of how Muslim culture affected the father, the root cause of the root cause.

                You’ve still added a step, so it’s still not equally valid as a matter of logic. It automatically becomes more tentative. And because that’s a step removed from what effected the son, it’s an increased degree of tenuousness.

                I’m not saying it’s wrong–we don’t have enough information to say it’s wrong.  But identically, we don’t have enough information to say it’s right.  So, not invalid as speculation, but definitely not equally valid as speculation.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Tom Van Dyke
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                says:

                James, I was following the “raising awareness” logic to the father since it wouldn’t have helped the son.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Tom Van Dyke
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                says:

                Umm, ok?   I think this is one of those places where I simply don’t understand your thought processes and what seems logical to you.

                My use of “logical” here being subject to the same debate as Sam’s use of “reasonable.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Tom Van Dyke
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                says:

                Thank you, James.  Sometimes I do skip ahead, but I was helping the “raising awareness” argument by adding the “extra step,” since it’s unworkable if applied to the nutburger in question, who was already going nuts at a fairly early age.  I get no thrill from rebutting an argument in its worst form, only its best, so I’ll even help them along.  I’m a Thomist, remember, and that’s that way Thomas rolled.

                http://www.jcu.edu/philosophy/gensler/ms/aquina00.htm

                Aquinas followed a special pattern in his writing. He gives a question (“Is there a God?”), then objections to his own view (“It seems that there is no God, because…”), then an inspiring quotation (“On the contrary, the Bible says…”), then his answer (“I answer that, God’s existence can be proved in five ways…”), and finally his response to the initial objections.”

                Report

  3. Avatar North
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    says:

    I was 10… I don’t even remember hearing about it. Too young myself.Report

  4. Avatar greginak
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    says:

    RIP and let our memories treasure all our tragically lost ones.Report

  5. Avatar Sam
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    says:

    The world is awful sometimes.Report

  6. Avatar Kim
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    says:

    Don’t come to America. We hide our hidden tragedies here.

    Look at Pretty Bird Woman House.

    Because not all rapists are crazy, and some places think that our First Tribes are their own private playgrounds, where there are no laws.Report

  7. Avatar Some Guy
    Ignored
    says:

    I have a couple of corrections to the discussion listed above: first, the Norway shooter was a Freemason and the corporate media lied about him. His Facebook page was rearranged after the fact to make it look like he hates muslims (no doubt to generate maximum effect on the liberal, non-muslim-hating Norse folk), no doubt to divert the suspicion away from occultist movements pertinent to the money-changers, which no doubt would be in order (not only did they generate Freemasonry, feminism, and many other social ills, but they too caused violence against women by breaking up the family unit and destabilizing social relations, producing competition between men and women, eroding normal sexual identity formation, as well as a number of other things that are all proven solely by the breakup of the family unit itself). Secondly, millions of lives have been ruined by creating a bunch of women that act like men. It harms men and it harms women. Both men and women have suffered greatly under it, and it is a great evil.

    Besides, if any of you is insane enough to entertain notions of “feminism,” then just ask yourselves: if men are your problem, then why would you act like them? Why, indeed, would anyone replicate more of a problem in order to solve it? The very notion of it is at least as insane as the notion of pulling a trigger. Of course, as any rifleman can tell you, it is all about upon whom one pulls said trigger. That said, I would hope that men would have long ditched such emotive reasoning. It’s just a disgrace as a bunch of loudmouthed, pant-wearing women: an embarrassment to normal people.Report

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