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Lynn Parramore: Did the Youth Unemployment Crisis Play a Role in the Colorado Shooting?

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Yves here. Anyone who is interested in understanding gun rampages must read Mark Ames’ Going Postal. One of the striking things about these incidents is that the perpetrators aren’t easily categorized, don’t come from troubled backgrounds, and seldom provided warning signs before their attacks.

By Lynn Parramore, a contributing editor at Alternet. Cross posted from Alternet

So far, there’s not a whole lot known about James Eagan Holmes, the 24-year old whom police say fatally shot 12 people and injured dozens more in a suburban Denver movie theater during the premiere of the new Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises.” As the nation grieves for the families of the victims, questions about the alleged perpetrator are swirling.

What we do know paints a picture of a young man who might have reasonably harbored high expectations of a successful life. He was raised in a well-tended middle class suburban neighborhood in San Diego. And he earned a scholarship to the University of California, Riverside where he distinguished himself, earning a B.S. neuroscience in the spring of 2010. Chancellor Timothy P. White told reporters Friday that “academically, he was at the top of the top” and demonstrated “obvious intellectual capacity.”

But after graduating, it seems that Holmes had difficulty finding a job. According to a neighbor, Tom Mai, he ended up working at McDonald’s.

“I felt bad for him because he studied so hard,” said Mai. “My brother said he looked kind of down; he seemed depressed.”

Holmes then went back to school to get another degree, enrolling as a doctoral student at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora. At the time of the shooting, he was in the process of withdrawing.

Reports of a syllabus suggest that Holmes may have studied substance abuse, schizophrenia, depression and other disorders. Apparently he was scheduled to present a paper on miRNA markers that contribute to neurological disorders in May. It is not yet known if Holmes had any history of mental illness himself.

Obviously, a person would have to be gravely disturbed to commit mass murder dressed in full ballistic gear and refer to himself as “The Joker,” the arch-enemy of Batman. Investigators will be searching Holmes’ history for clues as to what triggered a man with no prior record of violence to turn homicidal.

There may have been many factors that contributed to Holmes’ brutal rampage. And we may never know the full story. But the comments of the family neighbor raise a question: Did his experience in the job market contribute to Holmes’ state of mind? Certainly it is a fact that the economic crisis has taken a terrible toll on young people across America. The March 2012 unemployment rate for workers under age 25 was twice as high as the national average, standing at 16.4 percent. For young college graduates, the unemployment rate was 10.4 percent in 2010 and 9.4 percent over 2011, while the underemployment rate was 19.8 percent in 2010 and 19.1 percent in 2011.

Failure to find a first job or keep it for long can have damaging long-term consequences on the lives of our youth. Research shows that spells of unemployment for a young person often damage the person’s happiness and health for many years to come.

The California unemployment rate is among the highest in the nation. Of course, there were many young people other than Holmes who ended up working at McDonald’s after graduating with honors. And only one of them turned a movie theater into a slaughterhouse. But global reports of the connection between mental health and employment prospects are showing us that young people often suffer from feelings of self-loathing, failure, panic, and a whole range of mental health problems during times of high joblessness.

A recent study by the National Institutes of Health found that “youth unemployment is associated with an increased vulnerability to psychiatric disorder.” Unemployment, the study found, can also influence the course of pre-existing disorders. We don’t know yet if this bears on the Holmes case. But we can be sure that for young people facing a tough job market, the chances of tragedies increase: suicide rates spike, as does the incidence of violence. Budget cuts, shredded safety nets, and flawed health insurance make finding help more and more difficult for those who are suffering distress.

Shooting sprees are a rare event, but in the wake of such a tragedy, we’ll need to look at all the broader societal conditions that may have interacted with and possibly exacerbated the state of a disturbed mind, from the easy availability of guns to access to adequate mental health services. And we’ll need to think long and hard about the stress created in young people for whom the combination of high unemployment and mental strain can become the potential catalyst for disaster.

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158 comments

  1. YankeeFrank

    This short article, in one fell swoop, blows away the bloviating MSM and its general assumption of “stuff happens” with regard to this slaughter.

    Our nation is caught in an economic depression that is being called something much more mundane. In a big way that is even more cruel because at least in the last depression many were in it together and it was perhaps not as easy to blame oneself for “failure”. Schizophrenia (perhaps with a sudden onset) seems to be likely in this poor fellows’ case — though I wonder if he was leaving school for mental health or economic reasons.

    It seems apparent he didn’t have much of a support network, which in this day and age is not surprising given the weakness of social bonds (especially amongst the educated classes).

    And of course the guns had nothing to do with it.

    What is so disgusting is that none of this is discussed at all in what passes for our “national dialogue”, such as it is in its oligarchy-safe, filtered, sanitized version the MSM presents. The isolation and oppression these young people must feel be immense. We can expect more like this going forward I imagine.

  2. Benedict@Large

    No warning signs? Some grad student suddenly pops up with the money (most likely on credit cards) to gear up in a fashion that would make a special forces guy blush, and there were no warning signs. What the hell are we paying these anti-terroism folks for? Finding Occupiers armed with rocks?

    1. Mike S.

      you are conflating some ephemeral notion of ‘warning signs’ with ‘probable cause that a crime has been committed or that the commision thereof is imminent’

      if all the arms/armor purchases he made were legal, then law enforcement cannot preemptively arrest him or get a search warrant.
      none of the following circumstances serve to establish probable cause (and for good reason, most who do these things do not commit mass murder or other crime):
      i) dropping out of grad school
      ii) cutting off contact with family
      iii) being a loner

      read this, by law Prof J. Balkin, and be affraid – very affraid – of the the surveillance/security state
      http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1141524

      1. Joe

        Give me a break, Mike. I mean, you might legitimately want to have a couple of hundred cartridges at home, maximum. You need to kill a few stray cats, shoot some dying farm animal, whatever. It’s a legitimate question.

        Albeit a sad acknowledgement to the role of the security organisations that you people have in the States. You know, maybe, just maybe, a database with a record of arms sales and restrictions including no internet/ postal purchases might suffice? I mean, this guy had no legitimate need for 6000 rounds– there is no legitimate need for that many bullets!

        1. PGE

          Actually, when working seriously on my shooting form, I would go thru a “brick” (500 rounds) of .22 ammo in a matter of a week or less. So 6000 rounds would be a couple of months supply. And, because of manufacturing randomness, if one finds a lot of ammo that shoots particularly accurately in one’s gun, it’s not unheard of to return to the store and buy as much of that lot # as possible.

          So, though neither of these circumstances would apply to this guy, it’s not as far out of bounds as you think for a person to have reasonable, legitimate reasons to want 6000 rounds.

          1. Realist

            6000 is nothing.

            Nothing at all.

            For those that are measuring quantity you’re looking in the wrong place.

        2. Jeff Lovejoy

          Having a supply of ammunition is just one of the things a sane person wants if there is a chance of economic and systemic collapse. Ammunition is used for barter in some societies. Actually, for insurance purposes, Holmes supply was on the low side. But of course, for somebody with your knowledge and experience all my opinion means is that a “doomer” is talking. For someone like you guns are epidemic in our society. If this were true then was not one other person in a crowded movie theater packing?

    2. rps

      “No warning signs? Some grad student suddenly pops up with the money…”

      Just wondering, are you pointing to the student debt for a graduate degree, and not including perhaps the previous undergrad debt? Nah, that couldn’t be a trigger of the stifling debt students are forced to accumulate in the hopes of a job any job flipping burgers. Those couldn’t have been the stressors that had pushed him over the edge?

      Or perhaps the level of violence the USA instigates and participates in around the world and of course, in our own backyards. Along with the blaring of violence on television shows that inculcate a “normalcy” in murder, death, and destruction. Nah, that’s the norm in a forced unbalanced economic system that demands the majority of us to feel inadequate and humiliated for the underemployment and unemployment. It’s a personal inadequacy rather than a strategic economic corporate/government policy to upstream labors wealth and toss the table scraps to the rest of us.

      Couldn’t be those reasons, but a man who must have a mental illness that is separate and apart from the societal stressors and government complicity of perpetuating a constant state of fear, anxiety, and violence along with economic distress of debt and minimum wage. Nah, couldn’t be that at all.

      1. Blunt

        +10 Excellent, rps.

        Humans are social creatures, the rants of Ayn Randians and Kockians to the contrary.

        Mental illnesses among humans are of two etiologies: a) socially connected with types of alienation and lack of contact and b) biologically induced by some sort of reaction to chemicals or radiation either pre-natally or post-natally.

        1. Jeff Lovejoy

          Can we please leave the word “rant” alone. It insults what was a very good article. If you need rhetoric and propaganda then go back to the mainstream networks. Please.

  3. jake chase

    There is nothing more dangerous than an intelligent id*ot, and we can expect an avalanche of speculation from intelligent id*ots on the motivation of this lone mass murderer. Of course a commercial culture resolutely devoted to obscene extremes of violence in movies and games had no responsibility, nor did universal access to assault weapons. We know this because of the millions and millions of people who freely and passionately indulge on a daily basis in orgies of simulated violence, without turning to the real thing. We will never know why this cr*ep did what he did, but the State of Colorado will now be investing millions in his care and feeding and legal defense, perhaps for the next fifty years. I cannot wait to hear what his lawyers will be dreaming up, nor what an army of media shy sters will add to the drama, drip by drip, making the whole thing even more disgusting although it is difficult to imagine how this could be possible.

    1. Joe

      Absolutely agree with Jake about assault weapons. There was a good link on this site recently about this point. Citizens do not require assault weapons, these are for the military. Many activities are regulated to guarantee the safety of people, driving semi-trailers, selling food products, manufacturing drugs, etc. This is not an idea that should be too alien to people living in a developed economy!

      1. seenohearno

        Why allow the State to have a monopoly on force? I don’t intend to come off as an NRA-supporting moron. But that’s a question that people need to grapple with, Australian or American.

        1. Joe

          Well, if that’s really your question, than you need to maybe think about getting read of the military (aka. a ‘standing’ army) and going back to conscription. Getting rid of the police and going back to Sheriffs, etc.

          Either you have ‘Modern’ institutions or you have pre-modern institutions. The mix ain’t working. This so-called simple truth that seems to lead to one and only one solution is garbage (See above– if you’re serious about it, remove force from the state!)

          I have two practical considerations for you:

          1. When was the last time that a citizen has legitimately used his right to defend himself from the state?

          2. What use is an assault rifle going to be against armoured vehicles? There’s more chance that American’s in the armed forces aren’t going to fire on their countrymen and women, then citizens are going to defeat America’s military, plainly speaking.

          1. enouf

            I do commend you for not devolving this train of thought into hysteria and strawman forms … allow me to ask a semi-serious question; why shouldn’t each citizen be allowed to own their own tank? I’m completely serious about how to stop the “State” from having a monopoly on the use of force — especially the States’ *supposed* right to ‘Initiate Force’ for any damned reason it feels like it. (whether upon it’s own Peoples, or abroad on other sovereigns).

            Love

            p.s. Yeah, i thought about where to draw the line on the scale of a ‘Pencil ICBM’ as weaponage, and this (an M1-Abrams) seems like a nice middle ground, off-the-cuff.

            p.s.s. If returning to a conscripted army, sheriffs and peace officers, and allowing all citizens to conceal- open-carry scares the crap out of people, they ought to think about where we’re headed — IMHO, the course we’re on now (if unaltered) seems 100K times worse.

          2. enouf

            Correction (bad formatting);

            I was attempting to say;

            “on a scale from a pencil (as a weapon) to an ICBM (as a weapon)”, but i used some ”, which got eaten as formatting tags … and i suppose i could’ve used a “rock” instead of a pencil as the opposing ends of the scale.

            Love

          3. Peter T

            “When was the last time that a citizen has legitimately used his right to defend himself from the state?”

            The coal mine strikers of the 19. century come to mind – they fought against Pinkerton agents who acted with tacit approval of the state.

            Any other examples?

    2. YankeeFrank

      Oh aren’t you bold — calling it like a hatchet-headed American ignoramus. This guy is clearly mentally impaired – most likely undiagnosed (or diagnosed?) schizophrenia. Calling people silly names like “creep” only serves your own ego, to distance yourself from “those people”. Thank your lucky stars you weren’t born with a congenital predisposition to some dread mental illness. I suppose you are against universal healthcare as well.

      1. jake chase

        I love this one. Mentally impaired. One day he’s casually flipping hamburgers and studying neuroscience. The next day he’s murdering a theatre full of people. I suppose your recommendation is some kind of treatment and an ultimate release into society? Why is it that leftist politics so often correlates with an absolute absence of common sense? There are a great many questions the answers to which simply don’t matter. Instead of coddling and psychoanalyzing criminals for the past fifty years we ought to have been resolutely sweeping out the trash. Too late for that now. We’ve abandoned morality both at the top and at the bottom and all we have to show for it is chaos.

        1. Lambert Strether

          Last I checked, “the left” wasn’t at or anywhere near “the top,” and so their policies had very little chance of being operationalized, “commmon sense” or no. Unless you’re the kind of loon who thinks Obama is a socialist, of course.

          1. jake chase

            Obama is an opportunistic con artist, and before you make a knee jerk comment you ought to try to understand the point I was making. We have criminals in suits at the top, and criminals in hoodies (or whatever) at the bottom. Can’t you guys who majored in Marxism assign individual responsibility for anything?

          2. jake chase

            Incidentally, the one place in which the politics of the left has taken root is in the criminal justice system as applied to street crime. That happened in the Sixties, under the Warren court.

        2. TK421

          Do you really think committing someone to a mental hospital counts as “coddling”? Or are you just spouting meaningless buzzwords?

          1. enouf

            @jake chase;

            In keeping with an attempt to remain within my zero-aggression principles, i would offer this as an option as sentencing for heinous acts/crimes – Retribution and Justice should be decided by the families/people directly affected.

            …and note; from the Globalist WallSt Gangsters -to- Bush/Cheney/Rummy Crime Family -to- the daily thuggery of the militarized police forces throughout the nation (with their beating/harming/terrorizing of peaceful peoples) — Those whom are harmed should get to decide the punishment/restitution/recourse, IMHO

            Love

        3. They didn't leave me a choice

          Good job completely ignoring all evidence. Punishment based “justice” system is utterly incompetent at actually reducing crime meaningfully. You’re talking like crime had actually increased in the past few decades, when in fact it has gone down. But I suppose in the world of asspull facts and kneejerk reactions your lies make sense.

      2. Blunt

        Just for the record, Yankee Frank. Your undifferentiated schizophrenia is apparently from watching too many teebee shows.

        Schizophrenics, most especially paranoid schizophrenics are seldom violent. Think about “paranoid.” They tend to want to be isolated from others moreso than they wish to move in large herds. Killing is very unlikely for a schizophrenic as they are much too busy dealing with what’s on in their minds rather than what’s going on around them.

        Whatever was “wrong” with Mr. Holmes had nothing to do with schizophrenia.

        Get some learning about the mental illness before you attempt diagnosis without experience, license, or any idea of how to go about making said diagnosis.

        1. Warren Celli

          Blunt siad; “Get some learning about the mental illness before you attempt diagnosis without experience, license, or any idea of how to go about making said diagnosis.

          Great comment! Where do you get the license, from the aberrant loony sociopathic Xtrevilist gangsters that are running the asylum?

          Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

        2. YankeeFrank

          You are absolutely correct — schizophrenics are seldom violent. So what about seldom don’t you understand? It doesn’t mean never. And a person who commits such violence under the delusions this man clearly harbors, is clearly unhinged in some way. He may not be schizophrenic, and he may be: but thinking he is “The Joker” from the Batman comic books is clearly part of some sort of psychotic break. And I wasn’t trying to tarnish schizophrenics generally with my comments, but the fear and paranoia that often accompanies this terrible disease does, on rare occasion, lead to violent acts (more commonly to themselves of course).

          And regarding Jake Chase’s comments, what is there to say? The idea that we are soft on crime in this nation is delusional itself. We incarcerate more people than any other nation on earth, per capita, for longer sentences. And beheading? Really? Oh, and as for justice being blind yes, let’s let people be judged and sentenced by those harmed by them, because that will lead to the fairest justice ever, and the wrong person will surely never be imprisoned or executed with that system. And yeah, I advocated releasing him after treatment. Sure I did… I just can’t find it anywhere in my comments — Oh but I see what you’ve done — you’ve read my “liberal” mind and you know me better than I know myself. I would think you were a troll, what with all the stupid oozing from your comments, and I would be correct: you are NC’s own in-house troll.

          1. enouf

            Excuse me, but i think you referring to (and misconstruing) *my* comments when you said;


            .. Oh, and as for justice being blind yes, let’s let people be judged and sentenced by those harmed by them, because that will lead to the fairest justice ever, and the wrong person will surely never be imprisoned or executed with that system.

            To be fair, i *did* use the word “justice”, but by that i meant “just” and “fair” NOT to deny a ‘Jury By One’s Peers’, but the “sentencing” aspect only, IOW, on 9/11 we saw the commodification of those who died — if we can accept that, than what’s so terrible about accepting a monetary value (or applying a wicked tortuous slow painful) death to those, that the real *victims* deems necessary and apropos? Don’t you *entrust* your fellow Human Beings to make “the right” decision?

            Love

    3. Jeff Lovejoy

      “Obscene extremes . . .” well, geez, how about 13-million Americans permanently unemployed, or the more than 45-million Americans living on food stamps, or the tens of millions of American children on school lunch programs, or that one out of every two college graduates is either under-employed or unemployed and in hock up to their eyeballs. Obscene extremes is the new normal according to our government leaders and society.

  4. Glen

    To say how much this was a factor may take time to find out, but it’s fair to say that if the total economic cost of the financial collapse is difficult to calculate, then the complete human cost may never be known. It’s also fair to say that the MSM will downplay linking economic to social problems since reporting of this type doesn’t help push products or a political agenda of “normality”.

    It’ll be an endless stream of MSM overblown talking heads, mixed in with an NRA approval “no gun control of any sort” message. Just more yada, yada, yada by the MSM.

    1. enouf

      heh, ofcourse;

      Tele-prompter-reading-Bimbo says;

      “Tragedy in Aurora CO. today, 12 killed, 58 injured by crazed lone-gunman …”

      Stay tuned –
      Coming up next –

      “How to get the most out of your Dollar by Shopping at Walmart”

      Love

      1. hermanas

        Let’s name the countries where this is now an everyday experience,(Syria, Lybia, Iraq, Afghanistan).
        Will the 1% (MIC) be held to the same standard?

  5. Joe

    Well, this sounds like an extension to the quaint ol’ notion that not being able to get a job leads to thieving. That is, not being able to partake in society leads people to actively seek ways to harm society, either directly, if they consider society as an ‘enemy’, or indirectly, due to the criminal activities they are involved in, trying to secure their lives. That would be a fairly ‘Modern’ justification for ‘engineering’ a society which is inclusive and allows all of its members to contribute towards their own and their community’s future. I think we all know about this story… This is really how the US used to be, right?

    I mean, in other words, this is one of the main reasons why democratic and public institutions exist. So, if I may rephrase the question a bit, what can we expect to happen in a society, where the informal institutions– basically, how people think their society works– gets out of synch with its formal institutions– how it “officially”– works? So, without being too dramatic (and I hope not a surprise to anybody) this is a recipe for instability, as people are not getting a clear message about how to behave. (Should I study? Pay my taxes? Help at an accident?)

    You know, I’m reading a book about the role of drug cartel money in Mexico in the 90s and the way in which the drug lords controlled politics and basically the whole Mexican economy. Is the US’s relationship to finance etc. so different? It seems to me that this is a deadly symbiosis, which if it is not stopped could prove fatal to the US.

    One last point. I read with interest Yves recent postings on the comparison of countries in the OECD, and what really shocked me was the US’s relative standing with respect to families and family welfare. Families are the basis of communities and if families can no longer function, this doesn’t bode well for the future of any community. Now, I know that the US is vast and differentiated, but this is another area that simply _needs_ to be treated. This has to be top priority. It’s not to be seen as derivative on the job market, or– God help us– financial markets, or anything else.

  6. Maju

    I must say that this guy’s actions are NOT socio-political struggle of any sort but rather the opposite: SELFISH egocentrism. One just had to watch his cynic attitude at the hearing to understand that he is mocking everyone and he does not care about anything but whatever is in his head.

    And I for one do not care what is in his head. That guy misused all his resources, intellectual and military, to do what? Killing children at the movies just for show?!

    There’s no possible justification. If he had attacked a governor, bank or whatever… if he had a protest to make but that guy is all about himself and death penalty is surely too good for him.

    And if he had succeeded in life, he’d be a very dangerous individual. So maybe it’s better that he was just a fast food worker.

    That does not mean that unemployment is not a big problem for most other sufferers, but that it is not the problem at all in this particular case, where a psychopathic mind has clearly only selfish egocentric goals in mind.

  7. hondje

    I double majored in Math / Physics, and here I am working the midnight shift at a hotel for $8.70 an hour (and process serving). I had to work at McDs for a year, too. Out of my old study group, 2 are unemployed, 1 is a post-grad, and one is now a bee-keeper. Frankly, and being a bit of a homer here, I would imagine that people with a proven ability to quickly absorb complex concepts and apply logic would be in demand, but nope! Labor is being completely wasted, and if this depression turns out to be like the Long Depression … well, I don’t know. I really don’t. Just an anecdote from ol’ Southern Colorado.

  8. Austin F

    I think it’s largely down to the availability of high powered assault weapons. Every society in europe has innumerable people suffering from paranoia and other psychological pathologies. Fortunately for these individuals (and the rest of us) they can see a doctor without going bankrupt, and they can’t easily obtain firearms. It’s time for a ‘free medics’ approach to mental illness.

    1. Kyrie Eleison

      Free medics will do nothing without being free from the stigma that hangs around your neck like an albatross for the rest of your life.

      Hmm… keep my earning potential (and my rights) or get “well”? Sorry, no sale.

    2. Jeff Lovejoy

      This whole “assault weapon” thing really wears me out. In a fully automatic world, in America, you can only own a semi-automatic weapon. It is illegal to own a machine gun in the United States except by spending tens of thousands of dollars on special permits costing maybe a hundred dollars and then more tens of thousands of dollars for a weapon itself that needed only a couple of hundred dollars worth of hardware to reconfigure.

      Until there are no guns anywhere then I still want the privilege of owning a weapon if I want to. If you don’t fine, but if somebody is not forcing you to carry a weapon; then please, don’t try to take theirs away from them.

      The media wants you to believe that there is an epidemic of guns in America. This just isn’t the truth. If an epidemic existed then why wasn’t one other person, in a crowded movie theater packing. Would have made all the difference.

  9. Stephanie

    I live in the county (Arapahoe) where this happened and it wouldn´t surprise me at all that there would be a link between unemployment and the massacre

    My sister, who graduated last year with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, told my Mother that she had a job as a cocktail waitress at a local strip club. My Mother stopped by one evening to say hello and leave some tips for her. After a few minites she realized that my sister wasn´t really a cocktail waitress, but rather a full fledged “entertainer.”

    Needless to say, my sister was so ashamed that she avoided everyone. When I talked to her, she cried and told me she had applied everywhere and nobody was calling her back for an interview.

    It is just incredible that someone with such high hopes is now in such a situation.

    1. hondje

      ha I just realized how related our comments are if you scroll up a bit, I graduated double major in math/physics and I’m working graveyards at a hotel right now.

    2. Jeff Lovejoy

      Exactly. Imagine living in world without hopes, because right now, Americans live in a country where the facts do not match realities.

    3. Jeff Lovejoy

      Exactly. Imagine living in world without hopes, because right now, Americans live in a country where the facts do not match realities.

  10. Stephanie

    I lived in “Dog Patch” near CMHIP, so I know how tough it is to find gainful employment in Pueblo, CO. Keep your chin up!

  11. Max424

    I think we should all thank our lucky charms that John Eager Beaver Holmes underperformed in his one, brief shot at eternal something-or-other.

    I tell you this, if you gave an individual like the V. Tech killer, Seung-Hui Cho, a Glock, AND an AR-15, and then cut him loose in a crowded movie theater, you’re talking 100 dead, minimum, and possibly 200 plus.

    Seung-Hui was relentless, and he understood the value of the multiple head shot. Check it, his killed to wounded ratio in Norris Hall that day was out-fucking-standing. Cho’s major problem was he only had a pistol and a limited amount of potential victims.

    Eager Beaver Holmes, on the other hand, was clearly a first class fuck up with oak leaf clusters. My guess is, in his big moment, he choked and let his assault rifle fire him -his bucking weapon randomly spraying walls and seats and fleeing asses, that kind of shit. There is simply no other explanation to account for his piss poor killed to wounded ratio.

    When you factor in ammo expended, it’s arguably the worst performance in mass gunman history.

    Note: I’ve been saying for 20 years, One of these days, some clear thinking deranged lunatic is going to shoot and kill 1,000 plus, using just guns (no grenades, bombs, RPGs, etc…).

    Yes, it might turn out to be a multiple man gun team that turns the trick (think a smarter, more adult version of Klebold and Harris, say), but I believe one guy, applying a solid game plan to the right location (location, location!), using the proper weapons and ammo, and given enough time (and a little bit of luck), can methodically hunt down and slaughter 1,000 humans using bullets only, while leaving NO wounded behind.

    1. John

      The AR-15 jammed during the attack (and I´ll bet that the “Joker” probably actioned the charging handle, which causes a new round to seat itself underneath under the old round in the chamber, which in turn makes the weapon unless until someone breaks down the upper).

      But yeah, many people were saved due to the killer´s incompetence.

    2. OMF

      By far the bigger danger is homemade explosives and an Oklahoma City style attack. If the article is correct and there is an entire, well educated generation out there slowly going stir crazy due to unemplyment, then tat may well be something to worry about.

      The biggest scandal of the financial crisis is the amount of value, talent, and lives which are going to waste over some 1′s and 0′s in banks’ computer vaults. The old saying goes that the Devil make work for idle hands, and there are a huge amount of people idle right now who want to work but can’t. I can see that driving not a few of them crazy.

  12. Deffe

    This is a nice post. The MSM inevitable shitstorm of blame against guns and violent media and whatever else seems almost purposeful in its irrelevance. Alienation, victimization, and general misery are the ingredients for mass shootings.

    Mark Ames wrote a fantastic book called “Going Postal” about workplace and school shootings, and discovered that every shooter had been under extreme pressure and their problems were ignored and/or caused by people in positions of authority. Of course workplace shootings are different from mass murder, but it’s such an effective book that it deserves to be mentioned.

    1. Foppe

      Yeah, but I’ve read it, and in almost every case he describes there, there is a direct connection between the guy going postal, and his victims. There is none of that here, unless that toddler had offended him somehow…

    2. J.

      I wonder about this too.

      Bioscience grad school is a pressure cooker, followed by a series of 80-hour-per week temporary postdoctoral jobs and at least a 50% chance of being forced out of the field by a lack of permanent jobs.

      If he had some sort of terrible grad school experience and thought he had lost everything, that might have triggered the massacre… Alternately, I could see the long hours and pressure tipping an unstable person over the edge even without some sort of event to precipitate trouble.

  13. Gissing

    Hiram Maxim, the inventor of the first portable, automatic machine gun once famously said when asked what he would use it for: “…stopping the mad rush of savages…” Now, correct me if I’m wrong (ignoring the inherent racism of Maxim’s line), but US soil is hardly populated with tribes on the rampage. Why does a country which has produced such greats as Emerson, Thoreau, Douglass, MLK Jr, Arthur Miller, Richard Wright & Steinbeck still pander to the outdated and now pernicious doctrine in the 1791 Bill of Rights over the “right of the people to keep and bear arms”? I remember watching Michael Moore’s documentary and his visit to the home of Charlton Heston. Not quite realising how penetrating the questions would get re: his involvement with the pitiful NRA, Heston scurried away somewhat shamefully, unable to defend his association’s actions (typically visiting the town/site of a recent massacre with great fanfare and pomp as if somehow NOT indirectly responsible). As an Englishman, I abhor both UK & US involvement in the arms industry. (A cursory reading of Chomsky briefs you on the hypocrisy of both nations when it comes to lecturing ‘evil’ states.) But, I thank christ that the UK has not become a nutcase nation where guns are readily available. Is the US so weak as to make a gun the ultimate arbiter of disagreements / confrontation etc? Pacifism is the only way. Why, oh why, does such macho bullshit prevail?

    1. Mel

      Europe has been civilized for a thousand years and more. That’s all I can imagine. The weapon that Won Europe was probably the flint-headed spear, and carrying one of those around now would only make you look quaint.

      In America, firepower is an integral part of the Myth of the Frontier.. the idea that you can go with your weapons away by yourself where no-one else will stop you doing what you need to do. The idea that this is your birthright. (Yeah, there’s a historical problem there: it was never the case that you were by yourself. There were people and societies there already, but the myth removes them.) This myth is recent history in America, and it will be operative for a while.

    2. chat

      Nah, what really “civilized” Europe was 60 million dead right in your own back yard during WWII. Also take note, those tribal hatreds are simmering and quite possibly could come to a boil if nationalist tendencies take hold over the Euro crisis.

      I once read that civilization is really only nine meals deep. I am seeing how true that is more and more every day.

  14. Ted Braun

    Add to this a generation raised on the idea that “you can do anything you want”, you just have to be positive.

    Like you said, we will never know. But we can’t help our minds from wandering and wondering. As we participate in that human meandering of the mind it is good to read something that starts to look at the larger environment in which we live. Let’s try and rip the discussion away from psychoanalysts who will be perpetuating the myth of individual responsibility, as if that is the singular cause of such a tragedy.

    35+ years ago I graduated from college with no debt and millions of options. When I decided to go to grad school it wasn’t out of the desperation to find work. I never dreamt of working as a slave at any place such as McDonalds, because it didn’t fit my personality, and would drive me crazy, or GO Postal.

    We have given our children a terrible world to grow up in with the myth that they have greater advantages than we had.

    1. rob

      I wouldn’t be at all suprised if the long hunt for a job,sleepless nights wondering how he would pay off loans,losing out in a dating situation with someone who can afford to take a girl out for a nice dinner and all the ways economic disparity “eat”into a person;had something to do with his bad decision making.Desperate people do desperate things.Watching scumbags who trade oil futures or derivatives getting all sorts of money thrown at them. watching criminals on wall st. and washington get away with murder…. everyday…It is understandable that young people get the idea, there is nothing to live up to. we live in a corrupt society,in a corrupt world.His real problem was a lack of compassion for the people in that theatre who didn’t do anything.All that is speculation.I don’t know.

      He did it. No doubt. No one made him do it. The trial should take half an hour. And he should be put down.to be kind. He deserves life,so it might as well be a short life. 1 month tops.As a civics matter,this is one of those easy cases where the death penalty can be applied and should be applied without legal deviation,which costs money.When a dog goes rabid,you put it down. It is not a moral judgement,you just do it.It is a safety issue.

      And I don’t see anything wrong with guns.They are all around us,and aren’t going anywhere.Of the millions of guns out there, Most aren’t used wrong.Blame the person,not the gun. For all the things we need to do in this country,trying to close the barn door after all the horses got out isn’t one of them.If I wanted to have a 50 cal.machine gun for the hell of it.. so what?

      And obama or any washingtonian,to talk as if this guy is evil,is hypocrisy.Obama killed more innocent women and children this month than the shooter in colo. did. He just used a pen and the military.We cause horrific instances like this to happen all around the world,all the time… Our gov’t is an insane mass murderer… why can’t we put them down?Bush and the neocons started a war under false pretenses in iraq. THey murdered over 4000 american soldiers. they murdered how many tens of thousands of innocent iraqi’s? . Then we have drone strikes,assasinations,Bombing from the air,airstrikes,etc…Why is it worse when it happens at home.. I think it is just as horrible…But this kid was just “stupid”,as opposed to the calculated killing done with our tax dollars.,and in our name.

      1. Ted Braun

        “Obama killed more innocent women and children this month than the shooter in colo. did. He just used a pen and the military.” And, he does it with a smile, a wit and arrogance supported by our society. At least when I grew up Nixon was despised, there were protests in the streets, people dropped out of society and took drugs to escape.

        Today, Obama is treated as if he is normal and we are not prosecuting him. If I were a parent of one of the victims I would tell Obama to stop his insanity before he tried to bring me any comfort. A mass killer calling for prayers for the victims of another killer’s crime is insanity.

      2. Up the Ante

        “His real problem was a lack of compassion for the people in that theatre who didn’t do anything. ”

        He seems to have spent some considerable time, more, in preparing his booby-trapped apartment.

        ?

  15. Anarcissie

    Clearly, America’s Culture of Violence starts with the Iliad, the Book of Genesis, and the Mahabharata. So the solution to these mass-killing sprees is to ban Western literature. That will not only eliminate violence, it will greatly simplify education.

    As for banning weapons, I’m all for it, as long as it starts at the top. The guys with cruise missiles and drones are a lot more dangerous than some right-winger out in the country with an assault rifle. First things first.

    I don’t know what you all plan to do about the likes of George Metesky, Theodore Kaczynski, and Timothy McVeigh. Or Muhammad Atta. Along with Western literature and guns, maybe ban box-cutters and fertilizer?

    1. DVWilliams

      Home-made explosives are difficult and dangerous to make (Abu Hamza blew up his own hands trying to make explosives).

      Legal gun ownership puts not only weapons, but large quantities of ammunition into the hands of criminals. It also enables them to get training and practice in using them effectively. In prohibition, ammunition especially is difficult to acquire and makes practice much more expensive.

      Living in the UK, I cannot understand why anyone would want the gun laws that you have in the US. All of the arguments in favour seem to have obvious flaws. But, it’s your country, it’s not my decision.

      1. Realist

        Every word you wrote is BS.

        Explosives are NOT difficult to manufacture, and the majority that can be made from accessible materials are NOT dangerous unless one is careless. Cooking meth is more dangerous.

        So, next time I’m in an alley in London and someone points a gun at me is DVWillams going to jump in front of all bullets? If not then you can pry my gun from my cold dead fingers.

        1. Gissing

          A gun is a limp, surrogate bodyguard.

          Realist? Paranoid, I would venture.

          That’s the whole point, man. Lessen the availability and there wouldn’t be a gun pointing at you anyway.

          And as for this mythical London alleyway…

          I suggest you see the sights. There’s nothing down there!

        2. DVWilliams

          I am aware that there is a significant risk of accidents when inexperienced people attempt to make explosives. However, it is also clear that people do successfully make them. I’m prepared to cede that point.

          However, on the mythical gun in the alley, the point is that it is much less likely to happen in London compared to the US. Recently some friends witnessed an armed robbery in London. The robber had something gun shaped in his pocket and the cashier just handed over the money. He may not have had a gun or if he did it might not have been loaded. If someone threatened me with a gun, I’d just hand over my money.

          Your example may point to your desire to own a gun, but that mindset just doesn’t exist here. I wouldn’t want a gun in the situation because, in my view, it would only make the attacker more likely to use his weapon.

          I genuinely do not understand why you think your gun makes you safer.

      2. enouf

        … Legal gun ownership puts not only weapons, but large quantities of ammunition into the hands of criminals. ..”

        haha, what utter nonsense; you’ve managed to completely toss out any semblance of logic and reason in just one sentence alone.

        Criminals will ALWAYS get and have weapons, ..same with drugs … heck, they (the State) can’t even keep drugs out of Prisons! (you know, the place with a lot of small of Steel Cages and armed guards and barbed wire), and you’re telling us you reasonably believe the State can stop drugs from flourishing in an “open and free” society? (even though in reality, our *Hopium* society is now a militarized drone surveillance project)

        Prohibition of anything = FAIL on a massive scale.

        Love

        1. DVWilliams

          My point is that it’s a lot harder to access them. Also the vastly increased expense. The weapons may be less reliable as they have to be hidden, so less regularly cleaned or maintained.

          Criminals may get a gun, but they will be a lot less familiar with them and use them a lot less.

          I think that the comparison with drugs is a false one and misleading.

        2. DVWilliams

          Additionally, I don’t understand the logic of your argument.

          Some people will get get guns even if they are illegal. Therefore, allow everyone to get guns legally.

          How does this follow? If there was a chance I could obtain a howitzer illegally, should this also be legalised?

          Given that it has been pointed out that explosives are obtained or made by criminals, should these also be legalised to allow a level playing field?

          1. enouf

            Hi .. i’ll try to address each item, one at a time;

            DVWilliams says:
            July 24, 2012 at 10:36 am


            My point is that it’s a lot harder to access them. Also the vastly increased expense. …

            which perpetuates the cycle and feeds off itself and puts even more money (to be *laundered*) into the hands of the *criminals* (I really want to segway off into the fact that our Gov’t (and especially the FIRE sector) is the real mafiaso, the real cartel, but sigh .. ) — need I *really* remind you how “Prohibition” in this country worked out? Just in case;
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prohibition_in_the_United_States

            Your next two sentences seem totally devoid of reality and facts — that’s IMHO though. .. I disagree.


            I think that the comparison with drugs is a false one and misleading.

            Why?

            DVWilliams says:
            July 24, 2012 at 10:56 am


            Additionally, I don’t understand the logic of your argument.

            Some people will get get guns even if they are illegal. Therefore, allow everyone to get guns legally.

            How does this follow? If there was a chance I could obtain a howitzer illegally, should this also be legalised?

            You can; and it should not be illegal — why on earth would you allow (purposefully enable and even foster) *another* (anyone!) to Initiate Force/Aggression upon you? I mean, atleast between consenting adults, that is. Do you *really* entrust others for your and your family’s well-being? Sigh — i want to go off on a tangent about Fear- v. Love- Society … but it seems premature at the moment.


            Given that it has been pointed out that explosives are obtained or made by criminals, should these also be legalised to allow a level playing field?

            Ofcourse! If one is a caring, empathetic, compassionate, loving Human, then what’s the worry? I thought (maybe?) you want to entrust that care over to others?

            Love

            p.s. I hope i didn’t fail on trying to format this thing :0

          2. Walter Wit Man

            enough,

            You are living in a fantasy world. The odds of you successfully defending your family with force (a gun) are extremely thin. You have been sold a male fantasy. Hey, I like dramas like this too, cause I’m a male that has been conditioned in the most violent country on earth. It would be cool to grab a gun and shoot a bunch of bad guys invading my home to hurt my family. But you are more likely to pick up your gun in anger and kill your wife. Or your child to accidentally shoot himself. Or be used in a wrongful killing like the incident in Florida that if there was no gun it would have only been a fist fight or something

            Simply look at the number of gun deaths in America. On average, your gun will wrongfully or unjustly kill someone and WILL NOT be used for righteous protection (I know, I know, YOU are a stud and an exception to the rule so you will be super safe with your gun, or really brave, and kill the bad guys and the good guys will be okay).

          3. enouf

            Getting further into my last point;

            (Not to assemble a strawman, but honestly — negated innate genetics, and predispositions and environment — from pre-natal stage)

            Do you believe most humans are kind, peaceful, caring, compassionate, loving creatures (from their inception)?

            (or)

            Do you believe humankind’s heart has (some) fault, and is corrupt{ible}, and no matter what, there will always be atleast some facets of say (the se7en deadly sins) that will materialize in any society?

            Do you really believe Humans are “pure” in heart and spirit?

            Love

            p.s. I’m really trying *not* to devolve this discourse into deity/supernatural/spriritual discussions – I’m attempting to remain focused on logic and reason only — sorry if i *missed the mark*, sincerely

          4. enouf


            Walter Wit Man says:
            July 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm
            enough,

            You are living in a fantasy world. The odds of you successfully defending your family with force (a gun) are extremely thin. ….

            You realize you are reinforcing my point about the (innate) nature of Human Beings right? Why would i entrust *SOMEONE ELSE* to make those decisions for me? Because they wear a costume? a badge? .. a robe? Think about what you are saying please.

            It’s more a matter of a “deterrent” Walt Wit Man .. if a *criminal* (beit the *State*, or some lone thug) wants to harm me and my loved ones, then I have the *Right* (Life, Liberty, ..) to defend us. We (well, some dead people) wrote this shit down man!

            How likely is a *criminal* going to attempt to harm (or attack/threaten/steal from) armed civilians vs. an unarmed populous? Oh wait — we have a recent (truly sad!) incident of proof, don’t we?

            Love

          5. Walter Wit Man

            Then by your logic enouf, America should have one of the lowest crimes rates in the world. If we own all these guns there should be a huge deterrent effect and there should be almost no crime!

            But you are right you have the right to defend yourself. But I’m saying in practice 99.9% of people will never have this opportunity. Even if you are a victim of crime, a gun is not likely to help. I’m sorry.

            But yeah, if this dream scenario happens like it does in the movies, go right ahead and be a hero. Like I said, I’ve dreamt about it too–like every American male–because WE ARE CONDITIONED WITH HOLLYWOOD PROPAGANDA to fantasize about this.

            I guess I’ve been around them enough and thought enough about all the angles that I see the huge limitations to guns. Plus, like I said, the whole 2nd Amendment resurgence the last 20 years or so is designed by our masters to increase the violence in our society. Just like in Mexico. So while I agree with many right-wingers this Dark Knight thing is a psy op, I disagree strongly with them that it is designed to take away their guns. It’s designed to SCARE THEM into thinking their guns are being taken away while doing the exact opposite–further arming America.

          6. enouf


            Walter Wit Man says:
            July 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm
            Then by your logic enouf, America should have one of the lowest crimes rates in the world. If we own all these guns there should be a huge deterrent effect and there should be almost no crime!
            ….

            You are either conveniently leaving out, or intentionally ignoring the fact that the most densely populated areas (major cities) have extreme restrictions on gun ownership! Places that are more rural, especially, where open- conceal- carry laws are in effect have a MUCH lower (violent) crime rate, and you know it.

            Love

          7. enouf

            Oh yeah Walter Wit Man; In those major cities *criminals* have no problem obtaining guns — and neither do the police depts — where most Militarization of police forces is taking place… and used oppressively upon Peaceful Sovereigns.

            Love

          8. Walter Wit Man

            We need a collective approach to our problems. We face a very strong foe in the form of accumulated capital run amuck. Government has been usurped and may never have truly served the people anyway.

            So we need more direct democracy and more socialism. More community and less isolation. We need to open up rather than wall off into individual castles. We are a communal animal and are much stronger when we work together. We can all achieve a much better health care system, for instance, if we rid ourselves of our capitalist slave masters and the politicians that serve them. We need to be a sovereign people movement, not a sovereign person movement, but with individual rights and liberties.

        3. Walter Wit Man

          Uh, no. 20 years ago it was harder to get an assault rifle. We had many fewer incidents.

          Also, notice when most of these mass killing incidents have occurred. In the last 12-15 years ago or so. We’ve seen a number like this, mostly in America. Why? Who benefits?

          I bet many of these incidents are psychological operations done by bigger perps than lone wolfs.

          1. enouf


            Walter Wit Man says:
            July 24, 2012 at 11:54 am
            Uh, no. 20 years ago it was harder to get an assault rifle. We had many fewer incidents. ….

            Um.. and? 100 yrs ago it was considered immoral for women to vote, or show their knees … what’s the correlation? Think about it.

            Love

          2. Walter Wit Man

            I’m not talking about morality. Put that aside for a moment.

            Here I’m talking about the logistics of getting a gun. Like many NRA type arguments your initial logic sounds compelling, but then falls apart when scrutinized.

            It makes it harder to get assault rifles if they are outlawed. For instance, it is harder to get these rifles in countries they are outlawed in, therefore there will be fewer assault rifle deaths. Sure, some people will get these on the black market, but on the whole, there will be fewer people getting guns.

            Assault rifles are going to kill way more people than a bolt action rifle, for instance. And that bolt action rifle is going to kill more people than a knife. And a knife more than a box cutter.

    2. enouf

      As for banning weapons, I’m all for it, as long as it starts at the top. ..

      [emphasis mine]

      Ding Ding!
      (Quote of the Day, indeed)

      Love

    3. Walter Wit Man

      I’ve noticed a number of box cutter attacks in movies and television to help sell us on the fable that a few guys with box cutters were able to hijack a plane.

      I can’t remember what movie it was but it was farcical the amount of damage they had the box cutter doing.

      On the one hand they have us chasing phantom threats, like box cutters and nail clippers and 5 ounces of fluid in a water bottle, etc.

      But on the other hand they tell us assault weapons will save us from the government and protect our liberty. Uh, yeah.

      It’s all meant to control us. We getting squeezed by dual propaganda efforts.

  16. Cynthia

    It is high unemployment, but more importantly, it is the war economy that’s driving Americans to commit violent crimes. This is why many criminologists were a bit surprised that James Holmes didn’t serve in the military. They know full well that serving in the military predisposed you to commit violent crimes, not just on the battlefield, but on the home front as well.

    Which makes me wonder why Obama is encouraging police forces around the country to hire veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars to become law enforcement officers. Apparently he doesn’t understand that having a militarized police force full of trigger-happy loose cannons will lead to even more violence in America.

    So if we really want to reduce violence in America, we can start by cutting the military budget in half, which will force us to shut down most of our military bases around the world and put an end to most of our military operations, overt as well as covert, in the Middle East.

    1. James

      Which makes me wonder why Obama is encouraging police forces around the country to hire veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars to become law enforcement officers. Apparently he doesn’t understand that having a militarized police force full of trigger-happy loose cannons will lead to even more violence in America.

      Surely you can’t be that naive, can you Cynthia? A militarized trigger happy police force may well have been one of the primary goals all along. Damn sure violence in Amerika (and everywhere else) has been, at least since the MIC first became the alpha dog back in the 50s.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      Obama is a straight up fascist.

      He has expanded programs to heavily arm police forces with military gear: http://theintelhub.com/2011/12/06/the-pentagon%E2%80%99s-1033-program-giving-free-military-equipment-to-police-departments-around-the-u-s/

      Like tons of it. He’s literally giving local police forces attack tanks.

      Also, Obama has quietly made other moves to further militarize and coordinate police forces.

      Obama is evil folks. These batman movies are propaganda to make us accept our police state.

  17. Kyrie Eleison

    This may sound heartless, but after reading some of these comments I’ll throw it out there:

    At least Mr. Holmes created jobs.

    That’s all that really matters around here anyways, right??? So, I’ll be the first to see good in bad.

  18. James

    Since we’re throwing out pet theories here, if I may:

    How about the idea that, in addition to all the contributing factors of unemployment, disaffection, youthful angst, streak of insanity, etc., how about the idea that Holmes’ methods and targets here might have been an explicitly political statement? Rather than view him as simply a coward (and I think that’s a pretty simplistic explanation that totally underestimates the will of a lone individual to carry something like this out), how about the possibility that he purposely chose an innocent and defenseless crowd of “non-combatants” such as this to make a direct counter point to the US military’s exact same tactics (and arguably, using drones, cruise missiles, and high altitude bombing is perhaps the very definition of cowardly murder), which we all implicitly rubber stamp everyday. I don’t know if the guy put anywhere near that kind of thought into it, but he certainly seems smart enough to have done so, and it would certainly seem to be a valid point to make, whatever you think of the methods he chose to use.

    1. Up the Ante

      “I don’t know if the guy put anywhere near that kind of thought into it, ”

      Uh, yeah.

      http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/07/lynn-parramore-did-the-youth-unemployment-crisis-play-a-role-in-the-colorado-shooting.html#comment-766762

      Not only Mr. Holmes with forethought, but other guys, as well. We’ll start with their pointman, the police chief of Aurora quoted as yes, angry, with Holmes for boobytrapping the aptmt.

      Confusing his role with PR, with forethought.

      Crisis economy.

  19. Gareth

    Buying thousands of rounds of ammunition as well as body armor isn’t a warning sign? Who uses body armor for target practice? I have seen catalogs and web sites that sell body armor to law enforcement, but obviously some of these businesses are not bothering to verify the buyer actually is a cop. I think they can be sued out of business.

  20. Walter Wit Man

    What a joker you are.

    Yeah, the liberal revolution the Warren Court unleashed . . . leading to the biggest police state known to man.

    We imprison more of our fellow human beings than any country on earth–mostly young black men. Something near 50% of black men go to jail!!!! We allow police to electrocute people on the streets. Thousands are falsely arrested and many shot dead by the police right on the street. In fact, more people are summarily executed on the streets by police in this county than most countries have gun deaths in a year.

    Yeah, the socialists released all the prisoners from jail, just like Bayne, because Gotham is run by liberals.

    You represedn perfectly the pro-cop, pro-fascist propaganda the Batman movies promote.

    You’re a riot.

      1. jake chase

        All you lefty sentimentalists, who want a bigger and bigger and bigger government, who fall for the snow jobs of every Kennedy, every Clinton, every Obama, Carter even, who can’t wait to have all your problems solved by somebody else, and then you’re surprised when the big money gets control of your big government and your Democratic clown candidates and uses them like jujitsu to pull the noose tighter and tighter around your necks. Honest working people watch this fandango and they turn to the Nixons and the Reagans and the Bushes, God forbid even Romney, out of disgust rather than conviction. I have news Witless Man, the only sensible use of government is to protect people against violence and predation. Nobody owes you a job or a career or a position in life that satisfies your expectations. People have a chance to make themselves useful and productive. It isn’t easy. It takes foresight and work and sacrifice and grit. Far too many cannot do it. The entertainment culture has made them too soft, too impatient. They seize upon the existence of injustice as an excuse to justify giving up. They grab onto Marx, who should have gone into the shredder seventy years ago. They want politics to make everything better, but the real life politicians on both sides of the isle are totally and completely bogus and it has always been thus.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          I forgive you your ignorance because I can tell you got triggered by the latest psy operation. This operation was meant to stir up left and right and it evidently got to you because the ‘big government’ liberals are going to come for your guns.

          Also, I am not a Democrat. I find Obama to be even more dangerous than Bush.

          But thank you for showing us the demographic that is being targeted by the Dark Knight psy ops. It’s funny because I bet there is a lot I would agree with you about, but you have been tricked into this anti-government belief over decades of propaganda. The government is the best source to provide health care, education, transportation, and some policing/military defense (like 1/10th of what we currently allocate).

          And the Batman movies reinforce this anti-government message–just look how closely your message about what the government should do mimics the cartoon conception of Gotham: the orphans are only cared for if the millionaire Bruce Wayne gives charity. There is no discussion of the public taking care of the children–if Bruce doesn’t do it it doesn’t get done. The only public services in Gotham are the police (well, there’s that scene where the police have to wait for the Dept. of Public works or something before they go down to get the bad guys–showing that all government is inefficient except the police).

          1. jake chase

            If you think I watch Batman movies (or any movies) I have created a good cover. As for taking care of children I believe parents should do it, and as for government it should provide just laws and enforce them. Education? My God, have you experienced it in the past fifty years? My parents with a high school education were more knowledgable than today’s university graduate, today’s MBA. Transportation? The last government contribution was Eisenhower’s interstate highway system, which he built to move tanks and soldiers. Health care? Government has so fucked up health care it is damn near impossible to find a competent doctor, to obtain an appointment, to get the doctor you find to pay attention to your symptoms. Who can blame them? They spend two hours, order a half dozen tests and Medicare sends them $106.45. The insurance company you pay $145 every month adds $12.60. These are actual numbers- I have the invoices in front of me. I told my doctor, send me the bills and I will pay them. He tells me that’s illegal. Even a willingness to pay can’t get you decent medical care- the perfect socialist solution. Go into an emergency room and you might as well be in Minsk. Who do you think has ceded control of health care to the predatory insurance companies. Your giant predatory government. Defense? Do you think our military has anything to do with defense? Defense of corporate predation, maybe. Trillions and trillions blown up in support of a war without an identifiable enemy. A news headline tells us some drones in Afghanistan incinerated six ‘suspected terrorists’. Suspected? Were they dressed differently, wearing badges perhaps? Come on Witman, I’ve read your comments, you’re smarter than that. We may even be on the same side. But if people are going to survive what is coming they must take responsibility upon themselves, stop believing some politician will save them. It’s 1930 and worse is coming, maybe much worse.

          2. Walter Wit Man

            If we are all individual cowboys then no public health care system and it’s the local shaman for most–which is not a bad back up plan.

            But we need a collective approach to provide modern health care to 310 million Americans. Only large groups of humans can plan such an endeavor. The best approach is a non corrupt government providing direct health care services and/or pay for health care directly. There is almost no doubt that a French or even Cuban approach is a much more efficient way to provide superior health care to more people. It’s more fair and would benefit probably 95% of the population.

            But the private approach you rightly criticize is not socialist. Please, I can tell from your comments you’re smarter than that. It’s capitalism! Capitalism has taken over our government and created this monster of a private health care system (Obamacare) masquerading as a public good. No, it’s neoliberal fascist capitalism, something both parties support. Indeed, both dickheads running for president support the same fascist policy.

        2. Joel3000

          Yeah right @jake chase. The only partisans here on NC are either dupes or troll$. The parties both work for the same bosses. Blaming something on the Dems or reps is just deflection.

        3. Up the Ante

          The Jake Cheese Half-Melt Half-Cooked Berg’er ?

          You’re lighting the wrong candle in Blackmail Nation with implied freedom from responsibility.

          You’re essentially extolling conspiracy, subversion, and sabotage. Of yourself, even.

          Interesting.

  21. Walter Wit Man

    Guns can be a good survival TOOL, mostly to hunt for game. I suppose it may come in handy to defend one’s home or things, but I bet this would be a lot less common than we are led to believe by our culture (all the doomer movies, etc.).

    I personally prefer a simple under/over double barreled shotgun and the ability to make my own shells (and to “cut” my own slugs if needed). Maybe a .22 or something would be helpful too (or some other simple basic rifle that can kill a deer, etc.).

    But most gun fanatics today collect guns that kill other humans. These guns are not made for survival or hunting. They are made to kill.

    And lots of people are being sold a fantasy that they can stand up to roving well-armed gangs with their AR-15 or something. Uh, hell no. You will be going against American police and army forces. These are the bad guys you will face! But guess what? They are already here and well armed and that’s why the propaganda is warning of some movie invasion in the future–to distract from the fact that the invasion has already occured.

    No, this whole psy op was done to inflame our culture. To pit right vs. left. To pit the gun rights fetishists against those that want to limit guns. Meanwhile, like in Mexico, the authorities already flooded our culture with guns, ensuring massive violence in the future.

  22. briansays

    of course its the economy
    no hope
    no expectation of things getting better
    if not getting worse and worse
    accentuated by the superficial mythologies of American all wrapped in the flag and sold daily
    land of freedom and opportunity
    adding to the conclusion its the perps fault he is where he is at or projected onto the “other” as hatred/violence
    i would expect more of these disasters
    look at the impact of austerity in europe
    more likely mass murder/suicides
    beginning there then being picked up as copy cat activity here
    i have over the last decade or so tended to avoid large crowd scenes
    perhaps its just old age

  23. LeeAnne

    the shooter can never be identified by people on the scene.

    the number of people killed and wounded must be sensational enough to credibly overwhelm any other news of that day.

    the same official story is at the ready for simultaneous reporting by all media in spite of the inarticulateness of participants who cannot be ‘witnesses’ either because they’re dead or the authorities have gotten to them like those potential witnesses in the Oklahoma City false flag operation. Children are favorites for shock and grief.

    also, the same photo is carried in all mass media, the shooter depicted with a crazy look all the better to never stand for trial where witnesses can testify.

    there’s never a trial.

    My heart goes out to the young mother of this alleged killer who has corrected the false version of her words from ‘you have the right person’ referring to her son to the more common sense context of answering her caller’s request to speak to her, as in; ‘yes, you have the right person.’

    Following the usual pattern of authorities, those masters of propaganda, shock and awe, are ready with the story for public consumption while that public is in shock, the alleged killer’s mother’s version of what she said, the corrected version, is whispered after the ‘official’ version has been carefully embedded in the TV mentality of the masses already brain damaged with spoon fed corporatist/fascist propaganda from infancy.

    The public recovers from the shock; but never from the story.

    Interesting.

  24. LeeAnne

    … Investigators will be searching Holmes’ history for clues as to what triggered a man with no prior record of violence to turn homicidal. …

    Wake me up when ‘investigators’ investigate the story itself.

  25. Dan

    More stupid pontificating.

    The reason this happens in my opinion? The media lionizing these criminals. Want to end the phenomenon?

    Stop covering it!!!!!

  26. enouf

    Hi;


    Walter Wit Man says:
    July 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm
    Then by your logic enouf, America should have one of the lowest crimes rates in the world. If we own all these guns there should be a huge deterrent effect and there should be almost no crime!

    ….

    Why do you negate the fact that the highest violent crime rates occur in the most metropolitan/gun-free cities? (think Baltimore, Detroit, etc) .. the MAIN reason NYC isn’t like those, is the fact of the 4th largest military in the world (the NYPD) suppresses all dissidents (ever since Disney came to TimesSq and Bloomie wiped the floor of and jailed the “Squeegee’ers” — Ed Koch (I don’t think related to the evil Koch Bros,)); Peaceful or Violent; They are trained to respond VIOLENTLY!

    So, “would you like to protest?” (asks WOPR)
    Answer: “I guess not .. how about a nice game of chess, professor”?

    Love

    p.s. This is the world you want to leave your children to?

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Because these local gun laws are like putting a finger in a dam leak.

      Plus, now that the Court has found a personal right to bear arms lots of these laws are invalid.

      Also, I disagree with your premise about New York except the part about Disney, because the Gotham-like story of how Guliani stamped out crime with his jack boot is bullshit. More Batman propaganda.

      And I don’t want to bequeath Gotham to my children. But I don’t really have a say in it. Our masters are preparing us for this world and part of that involves fooling people like you into thinking you into thinking that if you have access to military assault rifles you will be free and able to “defend” against some threat.

      I don’t want to live in Gotham–it’s a false comic book world. Unfortunately, too many of my compatriots have been bamboozled with this fascist propaganda and fall for the pro-cop, pro-war, propaganda messaging in Batman.

      In the move Gotham has lived for 8 years under a fascist law (meant to be like the Patriot Act???). Batman supported this law and there are thousands of terrorists that have been caught by this law. Of course the bad guy empties the prison.

      According to Batman propaganda America should the safest country in the world because we imprison the most people in the world, right?

  27. Working Class Nero

    You guys should do a little research before trying to use this tragedy to push your agenda as admittedly so many others are doing. In fact Holmes was getting paid $26,000 a year to study for his PhD. That’s pretty much a job in my book; one that I wouldn’t mind having. The MMT guys are always talking about guaranteed government jobs. Holmes was clearly on one. So would critics of MMT be justified in using this case of an example of how government jobs are dangerous because they can be used to finance massacres?

    1. Walter Wit Man

      You’re right the facts are in flux. But they have also been selectively leaked so that there are cross currents of propaganda.

      Before the bodies were even cold huge players in the media (ABC and Laura Ingraham) alleged that he was both a Blac Block “Occupy” member (they conflated Black Bloc with Occupy) and also a Tea Party member. These “facts” were obviously planted and there is no innocent explanation for the false reporting of these facts.

      As to your points . . .

      Did he drop out of school recently or fail out? Doesn’t he have to give his stipend back if he does this?

      1. Working Class Nero

        Holmes initiated the drop out in June once he was well into the planning of his attack. He probably withdrew from the sohool (in other words quit his job) in order to insure that he did not wuss out from his attack!

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Okay, so does that mean my conjecture was correct and he was obligated to return the stipend? Or was this a work study that he got $26,000 as he performed the work? Or was the work study separate from his $26,000 stipend?

          1. Walter Wit Man

            Another interesting wrinkle . . .

            if Holmes dropped out of school and was therefore required to return his yearly stipend, would this debt be classified as education debt and would it not be dischargeable in bankruptcy?

            I have a feeling the answer is going to be yes although I’m not sure.

        2. Walter Wit Man

          Also, does one get UI benefits if he loses his work study job? I somehow doubt it but I’m not sure.

          Also, if he quits then he wouldn’t be entitled to UI benefits, unless they lied or something to help him get benefits.

          Unless the period he was on UI benefits was from before. And was he still getting UI benefits although he was also doing the work study? I’m guessing that’s not allowed but might happen at times.

        3. Walter Wit Man

          I like your name btw.

          Lastly, aren’t you doing what you’re accusing others of doing? You’re speculating about his intent to drop out of school (so there was no going back from his diabolical plan).

          Unless there is an alleged writing or something that I’m missing. And even then I would be suspicious of evidence they are using for his motive (like the mother’s statement that was in all the papers–totally mischaracterizing what she said).

          1. Working Class Nero

            Thanks WWM, I like the name as well. I think it fits my background.

            As for me doing what I am accusing others of, the difference is that I am not pushing an agenda. I’m not against reasonable speculation but when people start pounding their ideological square pegs into the evidence’s round holes then there’s a problem. As for my speculation as to why he quit his job, it is clear he was planning this attack for months due to his internet orders. From his postings on internet hook-up sites (will you be willing to meet me in prison?) he was not suicidal and knew he would probably end up in jail. So why would he even bother quitting his job? The most reasonable answer I can come up with was that he didn’t trust himself to go through with it and he quit his job in order to give himself no alternative.

            As to how the government gave him his $26,000 a year I am not sure. Three possibilities are that he got a lump sum each year; or he got a lump sum each quarter / semester; or he got cut a check each month. I don’t see the way he got paid making much of a difference here but you do seem to find it important. What is clear is that he was getting this $26,000 a year until he got his PhD, after which he would have been expected to score a six digit salary as a professor.

          2. Walter Wit Man

            Well, you started this whole sub-thread arguing that Holmes had a sweet government job, which therefore cut against the premise of Parramore’s post–that he had a tough time which may have made him despondent, etc.

            But I’m simply trying to nail down the facts, as you say you want to do, to figure out if that’s correct. Was this gov. job as sweet as you’re implying? Or did it lead to its own hell, as I’m speculating?

            If he drops out of school (for whatever reason) it will not be such a sweet government job if he has to pay back this debt and it’s nondischargeable! He would have been better of charging the $26K to a credit card.

            So a lot depends on this fact.

          3. Working Class Nero

            I was trying to refute the theory that Holmes went on his rampage due to unemployment by pointing out the fact that he was actually employed. He was getting paid $26,000 a year while he worked towards his PhD. While not exactly “sweet” it is a pretty good deal seeing the earning potential of a PhD in hard sciences.

            What I find now bizarre is your war gaming about him now having to pay back his $26,000. Home boy just shot up a cinema and killed 12 people including children! Homey is facing the death penalty. It’s clear Honey Badger just doesn’t give a f*ck. The very last of his worries is potentially having to pay back his $26,000 to the government and I’m sure he didn’t waste five seconds worrying about this as he designed the booby trap in his apartment (which was also there to make sure he didn’t wuss out at the last second). In fact the government is going to be financing his legal appeals for the next ten years to the tune of millions of dollars. If he is ever acquitted I would bet some rich female fan of his will gladly pay the $26,000 back. But I am quite sure that he will never be acquitted.

          4. Walter Wit Man

            I think you’re making too many assumptions. You had it right earlier–we don’t know shit. Again, you’re doing what you claim the left is doing, you’re filtering the facts to fit your political beliefs.

            I don’t accept at face value what the media and police and government are claiming. In fact, I assume they are lying. Especially about stories like this. So I try to pick through the details the best I can. I’m mostly just interested in nailing down his whole employment/stipend/work study/UI benefits thing to see what his [cover] story is.

            I’ve also seen a private eye claim Friday morning on Laura Ingraham’s show (now supported by other media references to anonymous sources) that he had zero credit history or car registration history. These are suspicious facts, if true, and suspicious if not true, because why would they plant this false fact right away?

            My assumption is this is a psychological operation. I don’t even know if it was real or faked. If real, I think it’s more likely “Holmes” is acting or under the influence of drugs and mind control. I actually think the least likely scenario is that he “snapped”, or even planned it, and did it as a lone wolf thing.

            And re the female fan paying his nondischargeable debt back . . . I know you meant it as a slur but you actually may be on to something. TPTB do these operations to divide citizens (left v. right, like guns v. don’t like guns). So I can see them mimicking the Florida shooting where the shooter raised millions of dollars in his defense fund by appealing to gun lovers, racists, etc. Look for Anonymous to do an fundraising effort to for Holmes’ defense fund! Ha.

          5. Working Class Nero

            You seem to be leaning towards an MK-Ultra type theory. Fair enough, but most people pushing this theory are from the right and are saying the goal is to take away our upstanding citizen’s right to bear arms. I have a hard time fitting an MK-Ultra theory into a left wing point of view.

          6. Walter Wit Man

            Psychological operations can be aimed at the right and the left. In this case I think it’s mostly intended to divide our culture and create fear and probably has some synergy with themes in the movie, e.g., promoting pro police policies.

            I don’t think it’s intended to take guns away. That’s as silly as the idea that Obama is socialist or that we have a socialist health care system.

            Really, under what scenario do you see guns being limited? The opposite is the reality . . . these military assault rifles are becoming more prevalent. The Democrats have walked back their rhetoric and their actions certainly are going in the opposite direction. No, there is no danger of gun rights being taken away, but it sure riles up a lot of gun *enthusiasts.* And that further horrifies the people that don’t like guns. It’s a nice family dynamic we have going here and our government is throwing fuel on the fire.

    2. F Libertarians!

      Hey Dummy! Maybe you should do some research of your own. I’ve actually been through grad school, completed a PhD, and have performed neuroscience research. A salary of $26,000 a year is really crappy pay for the amount of work a neuroscience student is forced to do under the constant threat and stress that your advisor is not going to allow you to graduate if he doesn’t like you. During my research, there were weeks during which I spent consecutive days in the lab running experiments that took 20 or more hours to complete (all while someone like you was probably hanging out getting drunk at the bar chasing ass). As a grad student in the sciences and engineering, you can literally kiss your social life, personal life, and love life goodbye but we still do it because we want to do what we do and we want to engage in PRODUCTIVE economic activities instead of speculating on derivatives and committing accounting and securities fraud all day. However, after all of that sacrifice, many Doctoral grads are stuck unemployed or underemployed because someone had the bright idea of shipping engineering and science jobs overseas (in order to chase even cheaper more exploitable labor) and of cutting government funding for soponsored research. I can totally see why Holmes went crazy. Some people, who are as bright and talented as him work their asses off and make tremendous personal sacrifices pursuing difficult coursework in the sciences and engineering only to emerge at the end working at McDonald’s or being forced into grad school which I doubt is where he wanted to be, CAN GO NUTS! Dumbass liberal arts or business or economics majors like you who probably only had to attend classes 3 out of 5 days per week in college are too dumb to understand that.

      1. dan

        Cry me a river. You have to hustle to get a job. A degree and the work you do towards it means nothing. Your diatribe reeks of entitlement and resentment.

  28. F Libertarians!

    Holmes was out of his mind as we can tell from the colored hair, his claim that he was “The Joker”, and his ovsession with Batman. I am not a psychologist (but after hearing some psychologists speculate about why Holmes did it, I am glad I am not a psychologist because I don’t think most of them know what they are talking about). I honestly agree with this article that the shooting would never have happened if Holmes was able to find a job after graduating from UCR. He would’ve been too busy earning money instead of making himself crazy by dwelling on why someone who is clearly as talented as he is could not find a job in this $h!++y economy.

    1. Working Class Nero

      You might have the cause and effect a bit backwards. Maybe instead of the cause being that he couldn’t get a job leading him to becoming crazy it was the opposite; he couldn’t get a job because interviewers sensed that there was something wrong with him; that he was crazy.

      It also seems as if he never had a girlfriend and from interviews a few women mentioned he was awkward and creepy. In fact one of the more amusing blog posts I recently read was someone blaming feminism for the rampage. In the old days women had to settle for slightly creepy Beta providers like Holmes. But with advent of feminism, women are free to all sleep with the same Alpha winners leaving Beta losers like Holmes to satisfy themselves with internet porn. The blog post basically said if only some woman had slept with Holmes none of this would have happened! Quite similar to this post if you substitute employer for woman.

      1. dan

        Agreed. Do any of the people that are posting this garbage actually belong to my generation? (Born 1980 – 1990?)

        Most of you people are just as bad as the mass media re this tragedy. You don’t know crap about what motivates these people. Don’t speculate or politicize as it is an insult to the victims, the public, all the law abiding youth that are keeping their heads down and trying to make the best of the horrific hand dealt to us by the most entitled and worthless generation in American History.

      2. Kyrie Eleison

        Explain it to the women who go home to regular beatings by the same “Alpha” types. No need to talk about that stuff, though. You are all winners.

        1. Working Class Nero

          It’s the women themselves who choose to be with these violent Alpha males instead of settling down with safe but boring Beta males. This is the whole point of the anti-Feminist crowd; they say that given the choice, many women will choose to hook up with sexy thugs instead of settling down with boring good guys. And with the government paying for the resulting thug children, society suffers.

          What is slightly ironic is now that James Holmes has gone on his violent rampage he has transformed himself from a boring Beta to a sexy Alpha. Many women will now feel “gina tingles” when they think about him, whereas before his massacre they only felt disgust for him. In a couple of months there will be news stories about women writing him letters offering to marry him. A few years ago the female attorney for a mass murderer left her husband and children to marry her death row psychopath. Maybe in the near future James Holmes will finally get lucky with one of his female attorneys?

          1. F. Beard

            One should not assign the “alpha” label to criminal behavior. Criminals are not heroes; they are losers; they are slaves to sin.

          2. Working Class Nero

            One should not assign any form of moral superiority to the Alpha label. In the end the definition of an Alpha is a male that women are strongly sexually attracted to. Nothing more and nothing less. And only a naive fool would think women are only attracted to morally superior men. In fact if anything, as a short cut, one would assume that being an Alpha is a sure sign of being morally inferior although I do know an example or two were this is not true.

          3. Kyrie Eleison

            You’ve touched on it, so check it out:

            http://www.cassiopaea.com/cassiopaea/psychopath.htm

            as it explains a bit on women, their attractions to, and their relationships with them.

            It’s not usually a pretty picture, as most of them end up getting abused and then abandoned once they are pregnant.

            Papa was a “rolling stone”?

            These “jokers” are not “alpha males” in any rational sense of the term. They may exhibit similar qualities in some way, shape, or form, but underneath they are deviant to the point of being monstrous.

            There is a big difference between showing confidence and being completely incapable of feeling fear. Women would do well to watch for this and act accordingly.

          4. Working Class Nero

            Great link! “The Mask of Sanity” is a must-read (and a free download). It clearly shows that more often than not Alpha = Psychopath and that women find these men irresistible.

          5. How True...

            Unfortunately, that’s very true. I had a big falling out a few weeks back with some girl I knew and one of the things I was told was that I “need to grow some balls”. I asked if she meant “balls” like her ex who abused her, her other ex who died at 20 of a drug overdose, or her fiance who had to go to the hospital for alcohol poisoning and got arrested for violently attacking the nurses who were treating him.

  29. Tim

    It takes a lot of time alone in personal thought to end up where this guy did mentally. Of course this wouldn’t have happened if he had gotten a career job working with other highly intellectual folks he could talk with to maintain his sanity.

    Excellent article.

  30. Larry

    As much as I enjoy Yves and her commentary, there seems to be a black hole in her psyche went it comes to the dismal job prospects for scientists and engineers.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/us-pushes-for-more-scientists-but-the-jobs-arent-there/2012/07/07/gJQAZJpQUW_story.html

    She doesn’t understand there is a vast, galactic difference between her Havard scientist alum and the unwashed masses of non-Ivy schools. Ivy league graduates are often hired in fields way outside their skill set for the ‘school name’ alone.

    Most large recognized programs are nothing more than time sinks for the young run by lecherous academics. The unregulated h1-b visa program has made certain there are no jobs for them.

    http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/never-ending-science-technology-job-lie

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Reading comprehension fail.

      1. This article is by Lynn Parramore

      2. She said nothing about Ivy League or that he was on track to a glamorous job. What she implied was that he had higher expectations than McDonalds and that his plan to escape from a life at McDonalds by getting a doctorate seemed to be flaming out. If you’ve done well academically, you assume you’ll get some sort of white collar job.

  31. steelhead23

    Lynne, While I don’t think you are way off base, the premise that poor job prospects caused this otherwise overachiever to go homicidal misses another important aspect of his life and our culture. News reports indicate that Mr. Holmes was addicted to online video games, to be precise, role playing video games. Indeed, once arrested Mr. Holmes proclaimed himself “The Joker”, the caped crusader’s archenemy. So, this fellow saw himself as an arch-villain, a bad-ass – and he sure showed the schlubs who’s who and what’s what.

    Yeah, if the dude had had a good job, perhaps he would not have succumbed to his schizophrenia, but I believe it was this role playing game addiction that really opened the door to the cellar, not underemployment.

    1. Kyrie Eleison

      Yes, of course. And Marilyn Manson compelled those teens to get crazy at Columbine. Are we having this discussion again?

      Our cultural influences may determine the “how” when people have their own “Falling Down” moment, but this article digs a little deeper to the “why”.

      Consider the Japanese culture:

      Whenever they decide to put someone out to pasture in the corporate world, due to being unwanted or inept, often they give him a “window office”. Sounds pretty sweet, right?

      Let me elaborate: They give the person a nice, cushy window office with a view. Top of the line equipment and supplies. Maybe even a small staff, too. Then (here it comes) they give him ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO.

      They just get to sit there, in full view of all their colleagues hustling and bustling around. So, out of shame, they leave quietly and maybe take a one-way trip to Mount Fuji.

      Of course, the obvious cultural differences here being that in Japan, they fade away quietly with a note while here in the USA we go nuckin’ futs and blow away our bosses, co-workers … a theater of shiny happy movie-goers perhaps?

      In both cases the “why” is pretty much the same, but the way the “how” plays out is much, much different.

  32. LeeAnne

    About the US police state, listen to President John F. Kennedy warning the American people against calls for increased security
    here
    encouraging debate, open government, and the help of journalists to keep people informed.

  33. Hugh

    40,000-50,000 uninsured Americans die each year from lack of access to the healthcare system. An unknown number of uninsured have deteriorating health conditions. An unknown number of insured also die or have worsening health due to poor but expensive insurance. Those death and diminished lives are just one part of the costs of kleptocracy. The responsibility for them rests with the 1% and the elites who enable the 1%. Yet you hear no outpourings of grieve and anger at the huge yearly toll that kleptocracy exacts from us all.

    Holmes comes out of the toxic brew of gun culture, declining middle class, rootlessness, and dashed hopes that is so much of the American 99% landscape. But I don’t see any grand message in what he did, no political purpose behind his violence. Not that I would necessarily condone such violence if it had one. If say Holmes had gone after a bankers convention, the violence would have been about something more than just Holmes. But there wasn’t. It was the ultimate vanity act in a vanity driven culture. Holmes killed a dozen people in Aurora, not for any cause or belief, but for his fifteen minutes of fame.

    For our elites, Holmes is a useful stooge, a convenient distraction, a talking point, nothing more. He in no way threatens them or their power. They can decry his crimes, without any cost to themselves, and indeed benefit from them since they distract from their own much greater ones.

    1. mac

      Seems like people can find a way to attach their favorite “talking point” to anything.
      Health Insurance has NO relation to this issue!!!

      1. Hugh

        Nice strawman. The subject is violence and how we are conditioned through our media to react to it. Our elites engineer the deaths of tens of thousands every year. That is violence. Yet this does not elicit the anger, grief, and introspection that the act of a single alienated elitist wannabe does. Your response is unfortunately typical. You have been conditioned to view violence only as the media and the elites define it for you. Violence perpetrated by a class, even though it may be thousands of times greater than any single act, is irrelevant to you and the “present” discussion.

        One of the things we all need to work at recognizing and unlearning is the Pavlovian responses that have been conditioned into us.

  34. mac

    So the “joker” had a degree in Neuroscience, I assume this was a BS. How many jobs are there for that qualification? I would assume that only a Doctorate has a chance.
    Part of getting a Degree is to choose one that has a chance of being wanted and used. Choosing an area of study you like is good if you are wealthy, if you want to work check the market first.
    At any rate I think this guy was mentally ill.

  35. Home for Wayward Trout

    I haven’t seen anyone else propose my favorite black helicopter theory.

    This case reminds me of the Ted Kaczynski unabomber case. Did the CIA psychological experiments/LSD contribute to Ted’s mental illness?

    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2000/7/14/murray-center-seals-kaczynski-data-plondon-buried/

    Since this shooter has been involved in neuroscience for years, in what kind of experiments did he participate? Maybe some DARPA funding is behind his PhD program? What kind of drugs/chemicals did he have to handle.

    In order to stay at the top of his class maybe he found it necessary to use some blackmarket ADHD medications to enhance his concentration? I’m sure he could figure out how to get access to these.

    A few years of sleepless nights will definitely change your sense of reality.

  36. Herman Sniffles

    “Did his experience in the job market contribute to Holmes’ state of mind?”

    Did a human being actually write that? Is she a psychopath too?

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