Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times: Loughner’s Ideology Rooted in Far Right

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 11:54 pm

I’m really tired of this. But if you don’t refute this nonsense, the bastards win. So:

Tomorrow’s L.A. Times will drag out the nonsense pathetically trying to link Jared Loughner to right-wingers. The banner headline:

Loughner’s ramblings appear rooted in far right

In smaller print appears this deck headline: “Experts say the suspect in the Arizona shooting rampage is fixated on issues cited by other extremists. But he also appears to have been influenced by the far left.”

See? Balance! The piece opens as follows:

The ramblings of accused Arizona killer Jared Lee Loughner are difficult to tie to a coherent political philosophy, yet in them can be discerned a number of themes drawn from the right-wing patriot and militia movements, experts said.

Making my job easier is the fact that the piece is nothing more than a rehash of a much derided New York Times piece from two days ago — a piece that has been systematically taken apart by others including Matt Welch of Reason and Daniel Foster of National Review.

Like the New York Times piece, the L.A. Times piece is based almost completely on the opinions of some clown from the Southern Poverty Law Center — an organization that, in Jesse Walker’s colorful words, “would paint a box of Wheaties as an extremist threat if it thought that would help it raise funds.” I happen to like Brent Bozell, but I will nevertheless quote Matt Welch’s colorful description of the SPLC because it is so entertaining:

Quoting the SPLC as an impartial arbiter on right-wing extremism is about as credible as quoting Brent Bozell as a fair-minded assessor of media content. This is not one of those, oh-the-ACLU-is-evil knee-jerk kind of observations; seriously, read up on the subject before either quoting from the organization or taking its findings as Gospel.

As Daniel Foster noted the other day in the National Review, the SPLC is

an organization that just labeled immigration restrictionist groups “hate groups” and issued an “alert” to law enforcement officials nationwide to fear for their lives when pulling over vehicles with right-wing bumper stickers.

Yet this SPLC hack is the main “expert” — and he finds great significance in Loughner’s bizarre statements about “currency”:

“What you can see across the board in his writings is the idea that you can’t trust the government — that the government engages in mind control against its citizens,” said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has long monitored the radical right.

Loughner’s assertion that he would not “pay debt with a currency that’s not backed by gold and silver” is a running theme among right-wing opponents of the Federal Reserve system.

“The people who talk about the manipulation of currency follow it backward from the IRS to the Federal Reserve … that it’s run by either secret, powerful elites or secret, powerful Jewish elites,” said Chip Berlet, senior analyst at Political Research Associates, a nonprofit group that also monitors right-wing extremism.

As the National Review’s Foster said of the NYT piece:

Potok has a much sharper analytical mind than I, and has done some mighty quick and conclusive psychological profiling of Loughner. He cuts through the morass of utter nonsense in Loughner’s statements — most of which treat the concept of “currency” as a talismanic, metaphysical, and even supernatural catch-all — and seizes on a barely coherent remark about the gold and silver standards as evidence that Loughner was moved to action by monetary policy.

Even if you want to paint Loughner as concerned about the gold standard, you are left with the syllogism I wrote the other day, in a post titled Rantings of a Madman:

Some right-wingers favor the gold standard.
Jared Lee Loughner favors the gold standard.
Therefore, Jared Lee Loughner is a right-winger.

If that makes sense to you, I have a video that will make even more sense:

This bizarre video, packed with syllogisms every bit as logically compelling as the one I just quoted you above, has a bunch of nonsense about people being the “treasurer of their own currency.”

The full context of the line about not paying debts with currency not backed with gold and silver is this, from near the end of the video:

Ah, a lack of trust in God: the true hallmark of the typical right-winger!!!

Once again, I will cite Matt Welch’s comments on the NYT article, for they are apt here. Loughner’s comments are not indicative of a right-winger ranting about the gold standard; they are indicative of, as Welch puts it, “a crazy dude just stone rambling about shit.” Indeed.

The article does get around to pretending at balance — in the 14th paragraph of a 19-paragraph article — by allowing that, sure, there may have been some leftist influences for our young Mr. Loughner:

On the other hand, some analysts say Loughner had an equal number of leftist inspirations.

“The Communist Manifesto” is one of the books he favored, and a former high school friend reported on Twitter that Loughner was a “pot head” whose tastes ran to Jimi Hendrix, the Doors and Anti-Flag a radical leftist punk band whose music focuses on themes of corporate greed, U.S. foreign policy and opposition to war.

Well. That friend reported a few other things that the L.A. Times doesn’t bother to tell you about:

At that time, she said, he was very philosophical and leaned to the ‘left.’ She said, “For the Bush/Kerry election we all wore “1 term president” buttons. That election was HUGE to us.”

Their group was “liberal in wanting to change the way the world was run, we both wanted to. He took it to an extreme I never would’ve.” She said he was a “political radical” long before the teaparty, Glenn Beck, or Sarah Palin came on the scene.

Dave Weigel quotes one of the friend’s Twitter messages: “As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy.”

Is there a reason that we are not told about this? Is there a reason that this friend is quoted in L.A. Times but talks about his drug-taking and music habits? Is there a reason that even these unilluminating facts are disclosed until the 14th paragraph?

Is there a reason that the headline blares a connection between this guy and the far right, based on some attenuated crap from a discredited hack organization– but readers are never told that the guy’s own friend said he was “left wing” and “quite liberal”???

Why, of course there is. I don’t think I have to insult your intelligence by pointing it out, do I?

What I can do, however, is engage in some inflamed rhetoric.

Die, L.A. Times. Die already. Pull the plug. The time has come.

UPDATE: Thanks to Hot Air for the link. As always, please bookmark the site and come back!

You know who really does a number on this inane article? Matt Welch. Go and read.

57 Responses to “L.A. Times: Loughner’s Ideology Rooted in Far Right”

  1. Ah yes. One of those atheist, pot-smoking, Communist Manifesto reading right-wingers. Gad! This guy is brilliant! He’s the ultimate stealth conservative.

    Icy Texan (aff374)

  2. Dude, if you’re going to engage in inflamed rhetoric, do it right


    L.A. Times, you are the Antichrist and the spawn of Satan!! Die screaming in agony, and then burn in hellfire for the rest of eternity!!!

    Dave Surls (a9551c)

  3. If there was a Nobel Prize for sophistry, conservative pundits would win it each year.

    So please repeat what I say:

    Loughner hated liberals, shot liberals, but he was a liberal. (Laughs)

    Loughner ranted about currency and against federal government like most tea-baggers do, but he was a liberal. (Laughs)

    Pity you. Sincerely.

    Oplontis (0692b1)

  4. If there were only some other explanation for such paranoia in a young man, other than conservative talk radio…

    Vatar (3899d0)

  5. Vatar —

    There is none. We’re only beginning to witness the effects of the hatred and bigotry spred by the likes of Limboob, Levin or Savage. It has to be stopped, NOW, before it ends into a bloodshed. First Amendment was written 200 years ago in a wholly different context, maybe it’s time to reconsider it.

    Oplontis (0692b1)

  6. That’s it Patterico!

    You are trying to control my mind through grammar! You have been doing it alot.

    (inside joke, ya’all)

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  7. oh dear… some one left the pet door open and we have new toys…

    it’s the children’s hour.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  8. hey Aaron, can we keep them?

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  9. America is a land of amazing grace
    Which conservatives endlessly deface
    They desecrate the whole human race
    May they vanish without a trace

    Oplontis (0692b1)

  10. hey Opie: just for 5hits and giggles, assuming you could somehow rewrite or restrict the First Amendment, and get the courts to buy off on it, what then?

    do you have a plan when the average American citizen tells you to FO? what then, are you going to try and arrest them?

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  11. Red:

    I’ll ban hate speech under all its forms with powers to the courts and the FCC to enforce it. The average American, I think, will welcome the state taking steps to make sure hate-spewers no longer poison our political life.

    Oplontis (0692b1)

  12. the powers of the courts and the FEE (which uses the courts to enforce its rules) eh….

    and why is it the courts and the FCC are able to enforce laws?

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  13. come on Opie… i wanna get to bed.

    (i hate it when a java game lags like this %-)

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  14. Oplontis, you just called for all people who are conservative (which by 2010’s count, seems to be a majority today) to “vanish”. so here’s this eliminationist rhetoric the NYT keeps talking about.

    And you are also whining for ‘hate’ speech to be banned. And I guess by hate speech you mean Tea Party election goals, Beck criticizing a czar or the President, Rush talking about the deficit, etc.

    You’re a lovely little specimen. I’m sure you would ban all the speech you could. Why, I bet you even think the world would be a better place if you could just get rid of all the politicians you hate.

    Please don’t tell me you own a Glock with a couple of extended magazines. You’re not a typical democrat. You’re a disturbed crank. Hopefully screaming into your computer keeps you from acting on your hatred, but that’s not how your athiest truther Iraq war hating eliminationist contemporary Jared felt.

    Obviously you want to really get us riled up with your comments. I hope you sober up and realize just how evil your views are.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  15. Actually, let’s at the very least honor Oplontis’s wishes and ban hate speech in this thread, starting with his.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  16. i think the little biatch has already run off…

    talks a lot of schisse but has no spine to stiffen it all up.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  17. naw… we haven’t had a new toy in quite some time…..

    i say we toy with it awhile, and then, when it’s reduced to shivering in a corner, totally confused and not sure weather to 5hit or go blind, we can rip it to shreds and leave the carcass on Patterico’s mouse pad as a trophy. %-)

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  18. “here woosie wossie woosie… come out and play!”

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  19. on the off hand chance that little Opie pus nuts comes back, i’m leaving this thought to overload his brain cell:

    i know that when you speak of coming to suppress my freedom of speech, you are really mean you are coming for all my freedoms and if you come for my neighbor’s freedoms first instead of mine, i recognize that you are still coming for me too.

    my freedoms. my rights that i was born with: inalienable rights that are not granted by the Constitution, but merely enumerated there.

    not “the freedoms graciously granted to you by the government and the First Amendment which we now find inconvenient, and are thus changing”.

    you have no authority over my freedoms, no claim to them and no way to take them from me, unless i choose to surrender them out of fear or you use the force of government or the mob.

    take heed now, while all you are doing is talking smack on the Internet: i will not give them to you. i will not surrender. i will not be silent, nor will i be silenced. i will not stand idly by or wait quietly for my turn.

    i will stay true to my oath.

    so, Opie, if you want my freedom, Molon Labe.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  20. Opie

    thanks for a little genocide fantasy to prove the point that violent rhetoric is purely the province of the right.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  21. It’s rare when you have folks who will admit to attitudes like what we see down south;

    narciso (6075d0)

  22. Loughner was a devotee of David Wynn Miller, who, according to David Corn, is popular in conservative circles.

    He is popular in conservative circles, isn’t he? I know I’ve always been influenced by the brilliance of his grammar-centric ravings. I think the fact that he’s never been even mentioned by any conservative blog or figure is good evidence that we’re just selfishly keeping his brilliance to ourselves.

    JohnW (2305fa)

  23. Sheriff Dipstick must be related to one of their editors.

    daleyrocks (e7bc4f)

  24. Oplontis — what liberal did Loughner shoot?

    I don’t remember seeing one mentioned?

    shipwreckedcrew (436eab)

  25. “Die, L.A. Times. Die already.”

    That’s the spirit!

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  26. Jared Laughner was radical and a leftist. He was a registered Democrat in 2006 & 2008. From what I’ve heard he voted for Obama. He is now an Independent, but he was still fixated on the Democratic side and Giffords. It will be interesting to see what kind of people his parents were. Were they Liberals or Conservatives? If I had to bet I would put money on them being Democrats. His only so called connection to the right would be false reporting by Newspapers and the Democrat Sheriff Dupe-nik. Who by the way Obama called to congratulate? Spreading disinformation that’s why.

    Don (c9182a)

  27. Oplontis aint a new one. You have to give it credit for being honest. It outright advocated for vanishint almost half the country, deeming conservative talk as hate speech and banning it, and not knowing that its hero Jared Killed a conservative judge and injured a blue dog Dem. Its hatred and anger and idiocy should remain for all to see.

    JD (6e25b4)

  28. People ask why would Laughner shoot Giffords; because she wasn’t Liberal enough. She was a conservative blue dog Democrat who is for border security, so she wouldn’t have been a target of the right. He killed a Federal Judge also who was appointed by Bush, a Republican. A blue dog Conservative Democrat and a Republican appointed Judge, they would not be targets of anything on the right. Sounds more like a Liberal crazy. Just sayin

    Don (c9182a)

  29. Thank you for this, Patterico. This is pure gold. I mostly don’t read your blog, being mad at you for your totally wrong ideas about jury nullification, but you connected the sweet spot on the bat with the ball, and hit it out of the park on this occasion.

    Justthisguy (73fa70)

  30. “Die, L.A. Times. Die already. Pull the plug. The time has come.”

    Tut, tut, Sir. Don’t contribute to the climate of hate. There’s no telling the likely incalculable harm that will be done because you published that sentiment. Shame, I say! Carry on.

    Wilson (6d0d9b)

  31. If it’s a white male, it’s right wing. That’s their “logic.” Sad to say, a good 20% of the population agree with them, because they either don’t have the time or the brains to distrust the media. After all, they’re the free press, our most important institution!

    I simply will not talk to any liberal about politics after this shooting. I’m sick of them blowing up at lunches or jabbing me with the latest “truth” about Bush from the NYT. I’m done.

    Patricia (3aa1fd)

  32. Patterico, your inflamed rhetoric — wishing death upon the LA Times — is moot. Neither mere death nor even the bankruptcy court can control it. It’s already a zombie.

    Beldar (ff4f38)

  33. I look at him as just another run-of-the-mill atheist gleefully destroying the human life he has no reason to value.

    Amphipolis (e01538)

  34. If it’s a white male, it’s right wing. That’s their “logic.”

    Actually, yeah. That’s probably basically what happened in their heads. It’s probably similar to my thinking if a shooter happened to be middle eastern (I’m middle eastern myself, even).

    It’s purely irrational. These shooters are not normal examples of ‘white men’ or democrats or republicans or what not. We keep hearing that Islamists are not typical Muslims (which i agree with), even though their philosophies are at least somewhat related.

    Loughner’s view of the world just isn’t a relative of the GOP or DNC platforms.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  35. My last comment was tongue-in-cheek, using reason that would apply perfectly if the guy was not a lunatic – that is, if he was more like Stalin or Mao.

    Amphipolis (e01538)

  36. According to Loughner’s friend, Jared is apolitical ‘No Label’ type ideologue. Soooo….. Are the “NO LABEL’ guys responsible for the hate and violence by this mentally deranged shooter?

    rowley (3141e6)

  37. Patrick–

    As always with your posts (and especially your LA Times posts), great stuff. But I don’t accept your thesis that the LAT’s serial inaccuracies and loony-left chest-thumping demands refutation. It demands to be completely, totally, and regally IGNORED, by all of us. I don’t buy the paper, don’t visit the website, don’t advertise in it (God bless Craigslist), and as a New Year’s resolution I now resist the always powerful temptation to ridicule my friends who work there (most of whom are killing entire forests with the tonage of resumes they are sending out). In other words, the LATimes is dead to me (are we still allowed to say such hateful and inflammatory stuff, in the era of Sheriff Dupnik?). I urge that path on you. If we all simply turn our backs on this parody of a newspaper, our lives will be richer (and the LAT’s life will be shorter). Try it, you’ll like it.

    Kevin Stafford (abdb87)

  38. Kevin –

    I sympathize with your argument, but yet I know that, even with declining circulation, the LAT and its ilk influence millions of people and drive their opinions.

    The problem is that blogs such as these mostly preach to the choir.

    The question becomes – how to break through to that group of people? Fox and talk radio have, to a certain extent. The best of their fare is lifted from conservative editorials and blogs like this one.

    So, there you have it.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  39. After 35 years of continuous service, I canceled the Times today. This was the last straw.

    Kevin M (298030)

  40. Amphipolis–

    Here’s where we disagree: I think the LAT has very little clout. For years it tried to play in the bigs, distributing the paper same-day on the East Coast, maintaining a huge D.C. news bureau, and correspondents across the globe, etc. That’s all over with now, partly for budgetary reasons, but also because the LAT was never taken seriously in NY/DC media circles, and so it has finally ceded the nat’l field to the NYT and the WSJournal. That leaves the LAT with its local audience….which is rapidly shrinking (readership WAY down, especially on Sundays). And while the paper largely retains its ideological base on the Westside and elsewhere, those readers (by my anecdotal evidence at least) no longer pay as much attention to it, preferring to get their succor and marching orders from Huffington Post, MSNBC, etc. Those are people we’ll ever be able to sway. But by paying attention to the LAT, and railing against it, I fear we elevate the paper in the eyes of its loony-left readers, to the Times’ benefit. Let’s not.

    Kevin Stafford (abdb87)

  41. i just spoke with kim murphy (it’s amazing how easy it is to get cell phone numbers) and, in her defense, she did not select the headline and claims they are trying to have it changed online. she also says she was assigned the story, and doesn’t believe loughner is right or left, only crazy (because she couldn’t make heads or tails of his writings). i then asked her why it was appropriate to have the far-left SPLC interpret his writings. she said that was a fair criticism. i thanked her for being honest and ended the call, but i don’t know what it says about the la times journalistic standards…

    razor419 (0fecf4)

  42. Thanks for that, Razor. It really is blatantly awful that it’s headlined like that.

    I want the name of the person who did that. I think Murphy is justified in wanting them to take responsibility for that.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  43. Kevin M–

    Way to go! I cancelled my LAT subscription years ago–and it saved me $$, made my mornings happier, my driveway a damn sight prettier. I urge everyone else to cancel….tell ’em it’s because of lefty bias. (And then let us know how those calls go.)

    Kevin Stafford (abdb87)

  44. Is Elena Kagan responsible for Pvt. William Long, murdered at an Arkansas recruiting station?

    Vatar (a3c869)

  45. The LAT….
    All of us should get together, and go down there, and stone them to death….

    Oh, wait, that was Alec Baldwin talking about Henry Hyde….

    My Bad!

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  46. _______________________________________________

    Loughner hated liberals, shot liberals, but he was a liberal. (Laughs)

    Uh-huh. Just like Lee Harvey Oswald. Although I guess he should be labeled an ultra-liberal. But you get the idea.

    You may be of the left too, but somehow you’re catching on!

    Mark (411533)

  47. Our least favorite blogroach loves to cite to SPLC but since I’ve seen friends lied about by SPLC and Dees, I have despised them for decades.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  48. “Loughner hated liberals, shot liberals, but he was a liberal. (Laughs)

    Loughner ranted about currency and against federal government like most tea-baggers do, but he was a liberal. (Laughs)

    Pity you. Sincerely.”

    Epic Troll trolls epically.

    I see that “comment moderation is enabled.”

    I think I understand. (I’m new here.)

    TuxinTX (6b2b2d)

  49. It’s quite apparent to me that Loughner’s odd notions about and ixations with currency had everthing to do with his self-immersion in the gaming forums that were so important to him, his main diversions and social outlet.

    Part of the Earth Empires game he was most interested in relates to currency and monetary systems for your um, empires.

    His ruminations began with this. They probably end with it -except for probable attempts to dechiper info on the web about currency and monetary systems to aid himself in the game.

    SarahW (af7312)

  50. And mind you, its not the game that is to blame. Its the brain disease – which hooks onto ideas picked up in daily living that register importance in the sick person’s brain

    SarahW (af7312)

  51. I see that “comment moderation is enabled.”

    I think I understand. (I’m new here.)

    Comment by TuxinTX

    I actually think it has something to do with the systems that keep the blog from crashing when linked by major outlets like Hot Air.

    It’s hard to get moderated here. But you’re right, it would be understandable if that troll was moderated, IMO.

    At any rate, Giffords is a moderate democrat. Don’t take her name in vain for your own purposes. Her politics are not mine, but it’s hard for me to understand why any mainstream Republican or Democrat would find her infuriating. Perhaps the hard left sees her as our Lindsey Graham, but that’s only for the really, really far left.

    She was for fiscal conservatism, and supported reading the Constitution. I don’t think calling her a liberal is fair.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  52. The arguments by the left in this debate are like their arguments for global warming: no matter what the reality, they will argue that it proves their point. Coldest English winter in a century? Proof of global warming. His favorite movies were “Loose Change” and “Zeitgeist?” Proof he is a Tea Partyer.

    Horseface (b98c91)

  53. Here is my interpretation of Jared’s “currency” and gold standard remarks.

    The currency, as Jared sees it, is language, or grammar as he often refers to it. He despises illiteracy (even though his own writings off display bad grammar). He feels that the gov’t is controlling the people by manipulating grammar, which for him is the same as currency.

    For Jared, being able to communicate the truth through grammar is the ultimate goal. It is the currency. It is the only thing that matters. It is the key to everything for him. It is the only thing he believes he has. While other might exchange goods and services, he wants to exchange ideas…again, currency.

    His remark about the gold standard stems from his belief that grammar has lost its meaning due to the gov’t manipulating it. Thus, the currency is no good as it is not backed by gold. This is his metaphor. He believes that everything is represented by grammar. As it is now fake (no gold standard) everything is meaningless. Hence, his disgust with Mrs. Gifford when she could not answer his question about “What happens to gov’t when words don’t mean anything.” In Jared’s schizophrenic state, murdering innocent people means nothing because there is nothing to back the currency.

    Does this make sense to anyone besides me? I promise I’m not crazy. I was just a liberal arts major in a former life…

    Woodshedder (c23fb8)

  54. It’s Bill Maher’s fault.

    Video of an ABC interview with Loughner’s friend Zach Osler indicates he was driven by a movie titled “Zeitgeist”. Osler says it “had a profound impact upon Jared Loughner’s mindset, and how he views the world that he lives in”.

    Zeitgeist can be viewed at, at least until they take it down.

    At 11 minutes the movie excerpts George Carlin’s famous rant against religion, and Wikipedia states the movie advocates the “Christ as myth” theory. Loughner’s Youtube video states “No! I won’t trust in God!” This is completely consistent with Maher’s view of religion.

    Osler also says Loughner used salvia. A Johns Hopkins study found that “the subjects described leaving this reality completely and going to other worlds or dimensions and interacting with entities…These are very powerful, very intense experiences….Many people take it once, and it produces such profound dysphoria that they don’t want to do it again”. Wikipedia defines dysphoria as opposite of euphoria, including sadness, anxiety, irritability or restlessness. Maher is also an advocate of recreational drug use, and characterizes it as a victimless crime.

    Victimless indeed.

    So is Maher really to blame? Of course not. But his philosophy is more consistent with Loughner’s than Palin’s is. So Maher and his atheist, drug advocating friends had better be very careful about the stones they throw.

    me (1fe6c5)

  55. wood shedder- His fixation began with his Earth Empires hobby.

    Sarahw (af7312)

  56. Aww, I just got here! Where did the new troll, Oplontis, run off to?

    Icy Texan (aff374)

  57. Woodshedder – A site one of our 9/11 Truther trolls referred people to yesterday which was basically a full service hate and conspiracy site for the left – anti-capitalism, anti-globalisation, radical environmentalism, etc., had sections devoted to mind control and currency. Not a site sane people want to visit.

    daleyrocks (e7bc4f)

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