Tuesday, June 23, 2009

After a long, long pause...

Sorry I haven't added anything for a while.

I've been excessively busy both at work and home, as well as socially, and simply haven't had much time to write. I'll try to get some regular posting done in the future. For now, though... Back to work!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Are All Presidential Assassins "Liberals"?

Ann Coulter, in her latest attempt to cash in on her hate mongering inanity, claims that most presidential assassins are liberals or communists. In a recent interview with CBS's Harry Smith, Coulter said:

...every presidential assassin -- or attempted presidential assassin in the history of the nation has either been a liberal, a communist, an anarchist, someone on the left, or there were two who had no politics whatsoever unless you count John Hinckley, who is certifiably insane.

Really now? Why do I have the feeling that Ann has pulled this factoid out of her anorexic, boney ass? On the surface, it sounds like she may have a point, after all, the most famous presidential assassin in recent memory was a communist (Lee Harvey Oswald), and anarchist Leon Czolgosz was President McKinley's assassin (how many people even know that guy's name?). But is Ann right when she says that every last assassin and attempted assassin was "a liberal, a communist, an anarchist", excluding John Hinckley, who gets off because he was insane?

Let's do a little fact-checking here...

The first and most famous presidential assassin effectively makes Coulter wrong. John Wilkes Booth (Lincoln's assassin) was a Pro-confederate, very conservative Episcopal, who was a member of the "Know-nothing party", which was an extremist religious conservative group whose platform would be familiar with many conservatives and republicans today. Here is a brief sample of what the party stood for:

  • Severe limits on immigration, especially from Catholic countries
  • Restricting political office to native-born Americans
  • Mandating a wait of 21 years before an immigrant could gain citizenship
  • Restricting public school teachers to Protestants
  • Mandating daily Bible readings in public schools
  • Restricting the sale of liquor

To call Booth a liberal is not just absurd, there is no way anyone can support such a notion, given the man's history. This one assassin, clearly the most famous in U.S. history, is plenty to demolish Coulter's notion. But I'm never satisfied with such a quick disposal of a conservative's idiotic ramblings, so if you will, let me rub it in a few times to make it even more dramatic a disposal.

Charles J. Guiteau (James Garfield's assassin) described himself as a Theocrat and was member of a strange Christian cult called "The Oneida Community". He Supported the Republican party, and President Grant's election, so technically, that makes him a conservative. He was arguably insane, and Believed that God ordered him to assassinate Garfield for being ungrateful for his work in helping him get elected.

Leon Czolgosz (William McKinley's assassin) was definitely an Anarchist. Well, here's one point for Coulter!

Lee Harvey Oswald (John F. Kennedy's assassin) was definitely a Communist. No Doubt about it. He actually defected to the former Soviet Union, lived there for a while, and then came back to live in the USA, where he became well known as a fierce supporter of Cuba.

There are a string of assassins and failed assassins whose names are largely unfamiliar to us, and likely to Coulter (mostly because she is a lazy researcher), because they either tried to assassinate presidents who are not well known to modern Americans, or who were not as popular or notable as Lincoln or Kenendy. Their names are all recorded in history, and you can easily find out about them. Ann Coulter apparently didn't even do the 5 minutes of research it takes to find them all, which is the most common problem for pundits like Coulter.

Richard Lawrence (attempted assassin of Andrew Jackson) was a British immigrant who believed that he was the King of England. He blamed Andrew Jackson for allegedly witholding money from him that was owed, which would allow him to realize his place as the rightful heir to the throne of England. He was certifiably insane.

Giuseppe Zangara (Attempted assassin of Franklyn Roosevelt) was an Italian immigrant who suffered from a variety of painful illnesses. He believed that Roosevelt was responsible for his medical pain. So he goes in the "Insane" category.

Griselio Torresola & Oscar Collazo (attempted assassins of Harry Truman) were Puerto Rican Nationalists. As political movements go, The Puerto Rican Nationalists were anti-communist, and their flag had a variation of a cross on it, so they don't fit into any of the molds that Coulter suggests (anarchists, communists, liberals). Reality gains another point against Coutler.

Arthur Bremer (attempted assassin of Richard Nixon)This guy was definitely Insane, and said that his attempted assassination of Nixon was supposed to impress a girl who dumped him.

Samuel Joseph Byck (attempted assassin of Richard Nixon) was insane.

Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme (attempted assassin of Gerald Ford) was Insane, a member of the bizarre Charles Manson's "family", a religious cult, which preached an apocalyptic message. I don't know if that makes them automatically conservative, so we'll just put this in the "insane" category. Anyone who has seen Charles Manson being interviewed knows that he's insane.

Sara Jane Moore (attempted assassin of Gerald Ford) was a Communist, or at least a leftist, as she stated that her reason for trying to assassinate Ford was mainly because of Nixon and his "war against the left". So I guess Coulter gets another point.

John Hinckley, Jr. (attempted assassin of Ronald Reagan) poses a serious problem. Though he was very much insane, and Coulter said we could leave him out because of it. Hinckley was actually well known to the Bush family! He Supported George H. Bush's run for president against Reagan, and his brother Scott Hinckley is a close personal friend of Neal Bush!. He may have been insane, but the ties, the political background, and more, all point to him being conservative. No wonder Coulter wanted to excuse him! He demolishes her idea, just like John Wilkes Booth does.

Another insane assassin was Frank Eugene Corder (attempted assassin of Bill Clinton), who smashed a stolen Cessna aircraft on the white house lawn in an attempt to kill Bill Clinton. He was a Former Viet Nam vet, honorably discharged from the military, but was insane and suicidal. His assassination attempt on Clinton happened, ironically, on September 11th, 1994.

Francisco Martin Duran (attempted assassin of Bill Clinton) was the Gun nut who was pissed off at the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, so he took an SKS semi-automatic weapon to the white house, and started rattling off shots from outside the fence. He was an avid listener of the conservative Talk Show Host Chuck Baker. Reality scores again against Coulter.

So there you go, Ann Coulter not just busted, but owned. Coulter claims that all presidential assassins are liberals, communists, or anarchists, but with about 5 minutes of work (trust me, it took less than a minute to find all of the presidential assasins in a list), it's easily proven to be just another dumb, unfounded assertion. This is because Coulter is not a journalist, but a propagandist. She likes to call herself a polemicist, but as the word is defined, she clearly fits more into the "contraversialist" or "sensationalist" definition, because all she really does is make the most deliberately contravercial opinion she can, because she just wants your attention.

Friday, January 2, 2009

"Gay Panic" is a strange defense

Imagine that you are a 21-year-old man, approached by a 62-year-old man you know. You agree to go over his house, and while there, he takes off all of his clothes, and makes a homosexual advance at you. By your own admission, the advance is not a demand for sex or a threat of violence. He simply put his hand on your crotch. You are so taken by surprise, that you find a baseball bat (he doesn't own one, it came from somewhere else), and you beat his brains in until his head resembles several pounds of ground beef with hair imbedded into it.

So frightening was this experience for you, that you then you take his body (he's still alive, by the way), and you stuff it into the trunk of his car, and leave the car on the side of the road, where he dies. Later, you return to the car, and grab his wallet, and you go on a $1500 spending spree with his credit cards, buying video games, a TV, and an airplane ticket to Texas.

Clearly, you were the victim of a homosexual, and shouldn't be called a murderer, because you were under the effects fo "Gay Panic".

Now suppose you are a high school kid, and you and your friend are offered a ride home by your Music teacher, whom everyone reguards as "a fruit". You agree to go to his house, first, where you play video games. Later on, he asks you to come up to his bedroom, where he asks if you want to have sex. You refuse, and he understands, so he offers to drive you and your friend home, and he does.

After stopping in front of your house to drop you off, you choke him, and your friend helps you, and it takes about 10 minutes for him to die. You then drive back to his house, put his body on the couch, and load up the car with all of his valuables, which you take home with you.

Obviously, you're just another victim of Gay panic!

Many may recall the Matthew Shepard case, where Shepard was beaten with a baseball bat until near death, by 2 men who picked him up at a bar, then left to die on a barbed-wire fence. They used the Gay panic defense, too. Apparently, they later admitted that it was just a robbery gone bad, but their initial plea was Gay panic.

I wonder if the definition of Gay panic that a psychiatric dictionary would have includes something like "Symptoms include violence followed by desire to commit robbery." Of course, the victims of Gay panic are never just innocent little school-boys. In all of the above cases, the people using the Gay panic defense all had previous police records, or were known as trouble-makers to local cops. These poor victims are just misunderstood. I mean, they only wanted to rob the victims, but somehow finding out that they were gay created such painful trauma for their young minds that they couldn't just commit their robberies like they would if the victim was not gay.

Of course, this argument -- that we should excuse murderers because of Gay panic, sort of reminds me the Emmett Till murder, in 1955, where a group of white adults were so offended by a 14-year-old black boy wolf-whistling at a white woman, that they simply had to beat him to death and throw his body off of a bridge. Back then, they only pleaded "not guilty", but I'm sure that if the phrase "Black Panic" was in use back then, that's what they would have pleaded.

I'm waiting for "dumbass panic", where I get to get off of murder and robbery charges, because I was extremely offended by what a dumbass the victim was.