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The uncertainty principle in violence blame mechanics

Sometimes one is privileged to witness the discovery of a law of science.

Δl Δm > M

Six years ago I wrote a post called “Two contrasting articles by Michael Tomasky on spree killers”. In that post I compared an article Mr Tomasky wrote in January 2011 after the attempted murder of (Democratic) Representative Gabrielle Giffords in the course of a spree killing carried out by Jared Loughner (“In the US, where hate rules at the ballot box, this tragedy has been coming for a long time”), to another article written by him in November 2009, just after the mass killing at Fort Hood by Major Nidal Hasan (“American, for better or worse”).

Regarding Hasan, Mr Tomasky was of the opinion that “We have much more to learn about Hasan before we can jump to any conclusions” and “We should assume until it’s proven otherwise that Hasan was an American and a loyal one, who just snapped”.

Regarding Loughner, Tomasky felt much more able to draw immediate conclusions. He wrote, “You don’t have to believe that alleged shooter, Jared Loughner, is a card-carrying Tea Party member (he evidently is not) to see some kind of connection between that violent rhetoric and what happened in Arizona on Saturday” and “So what particular type of nut is Loughner? We don’t have a full picture yet. But we have enough of one. His coherent ravings included the conviction that the constitution assured him that “you don’t have to accept the federalist laws”. He called a female classmate who had an abortion a ‘terrorist'”.

Forgive the lengthy prologue. I was prompted to write this post by the fact that Mr Tomasky has now added a third article to the series, concerning the attempted murder of Congressman Steve Scalise and other Republicans by James Hodgkinson: “One Left-Wing Gunman Doesn’t Make a Movement”. He is back to a state of unknowing.

We may never know about James Hodgkinson’s mental state in the days and hours leading up to his horrifying attack Wednesday morning, since he’s dead. We know that he was left wing, a comparative rarity for a political assassin in the United States these days.

And

But it’s my hunch that Hodgkinson was not part of any broader movement.

In quantum mechanics, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle says that “the more precisely the position of some particle is determined, the less precisely its momentum can be known, and vice versa.”

A similar principle may be discerned in the field of “violence blame mechanics”, an emerging field of political science. The complementary variables in this case are Δl, the uncertainty of left-protectnedness, and Δm, the uncertainty of motivation for violence. “Left-protectedness” can be manifested as actually holding left wing beliefs or as belonging to a group regarded as oppressed by the left, such as Muslims or dark skinned people.

In layman’s language, the more certainty there is that a perpetrator of violence held a left wing position or belonged to a left wing protected class, the less certain it is possible to be about his motives. Thus the very act of seeing that the Facebook page of James T. Hodgkinson included a Bernie Sanders banner and the words “Democratic Socialism explained in 3 words” makes it impossible to know his motives.

“Uncertainty of motive” can also be reformulated as “time before it is proper to speculate on motive” by a simple mathematical transformation, with tm tending to zero in the case of Loughner and infinity in the cases of Hasan and Hodgkinson. This explains the apparent contradiction of how it was improper to guess at Nidal Hasan’s motives before trial despite the widely reported fact that survivors heard him shouting “Allahu Akbar” as he fired, but that when it came to Jared Loughner Mr Tomasky felt that we had enough of a picture the day after the attack.

In tribute to the clarity with which his writings have demonstrated the concept, I had thought of calling this law “Tomasky’s uncertainty principle” but, as so often in the history of science, the same discovery has been made by several different researchers. It is a crowded field. To establish priority, readers are invited to submit examples where a particular author has demonstrated his or her understanding of the principle by citing multiple articles showing it in operation for different values of Δl and Δm.

Meanwhile, may I suggest that we should name the equivalent of Planck’s constant in a way that does justice to the collective nature of the development of this principle. Let us call it M, the Media constant. Thus the law can be stated in mathematical form as Δl Δm > M. I have added this equation to the top of the post.

Edit: I must draw your attention to the very cogent objections raised by Moore, L. (2017):

If “the complementary variables in this case are Δl, the uncertainty of left-protectnedness, and Δm, the uncertainty of motivation for violence” then the first variable isn’t really the degree of certainty that a perpetrator of violence held a left wing position or belonged to a left wing protected class, but the degree of certainty as to whether a perpetrator of violence held a left wing position or belonged to a left wing protected class.

And then of course the whole Tomasky uncertainty principle collapses in a heap, because if we know for sure that a perpetrator of violence is a right winger we have zero uncertainty about whether the perpetrator of violence held a left wing position or belonged to a left wing protected class. This should mean the uncertainty of motive is infinitely large. But it isn’t. It’s zero. If we know for sure that if the perp was a rightie, we know for sure the motive was rightiness.

I suspect what we have here is Tomasky’s exclusion principle, derived not from Heisenberg, but from Pauli. Left wing motives and violence turn out to be identical Graunions, which cannot occupy the same quantum state at the same time. They simply cannot co-exist in one event. The one excludes the other.

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39 comments to The uncertainty principle in violence blame mechanics

  • the other rob

    A magnificent treatise, Natalie! I bet that you could prove that 1=0 without having to hide the C.

  • bobby b

    ““We should assume until it’s proven otherwise that Hasan was an American and a loyal one, who just snapped”.”

    He may have snapped, but he snapped very slowly, over months and months during which numerous warnings were sent to his CO and people above about his fast-growing scary Islamist beliefs.

    But no one wanted to offend him . . .

    “You don’t have to believe that alleged shooter, Jared Loughner, is a card-carrying Tea Party member (he evidently is not).”

    No, he was a confirmed Marxist as anyone reading his facebook page would know within minutes, and so this was hidden away for days.

    – – –

    You’ve heard of Schrodinger’s Cat? This is more like Obama’s Cat.

  • NickM

    This is exactly why I despair. You nailed it Natalie.

  • bobby b

    “This is exactly why I despair.”

    Despair is accurate, but not enough.

    Due to inattention, we’ve let these librul scrotes take over all of the “reporter” jobs available. Half of the future battle will consist of replacing them with real, honest-to-gosh reporters who aren’t simply Dems with Attitude.

  • Laird

    I’m not going to jump into the “math” here (although Natalie’s formulation certainly seems accurate), but I will comment on one of Tomasky’s statements which she quoted: “We know that he was left wing, a comparative rarity for a political assassin in the United States these days.”

    First of all, political assassination is extremely rare* in this country, so to use the words “these days” in connection with the Scalise shooting is dishonest in the extreme. But of greater significance is the fact that politically-motivated violence in this country (not limited to the tiny sample size of actual assassination attempts), which isn’t all that rare and clearly is becoming even less so, is almost exclusively the province of the left. Right-wing nuts do sometimes use violent language, and there are some militia-style groups, but they are almost all talk and no action. The last truly right-wing attack I can think of was the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. (The plane that was crashed into the IRS building in Texas 7 years ago seems to have been motivated more by anger at the IRS than against the government writ large.) By contrast, left-wingers routinely go on destructive rampages; witness Berkeley just a few weeks ago. They might not be committing murders, but they exhibit extreme violence, seriously injuring people and inflicting substantial property damage. Moreover, that has historically been the case: domestic terrorists like the Weathermen and Black Panthers have always been hard-left. You can count the number of right-wing terrorists on one hand, with fingers left over.

    In the US, violence in support of political positions is almost exclusively a leftist phenomenon. But the media will never tell you that.

    * By which I mean assassination of political leaders. Assassination by (or at the behest of) political leaders might be more prevalent, but we cannot know for certain. We can and do know, however, that there have been a suspiciously large number of deaths within the ambit of the Clintons. And of course who knows what the NSA and CIA are doing? I would not be in the least surprised to learn that they occasionally indulge in domestic assassination.

  • This original post reminds me of “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity”. Sadly not in a good way.

    Best regards

  • Greg

    In Tomasky’s “One Left-Wing Gunman Doesn’t Make a Movement” piece, Tomasky claims that “You don’t find so many left-wing gun enthusiasts in this country.” I suppose it depends on what he means by “so many”. I would not be surprised if most people reading that think, “probably true, probably 99% of guns are owned by right wingers”.

    Does anyone have the statistics on that? I’d wager that the numbers are surprising, like 60-40, or 70-30.

    But that the Lefties who own 30% or 40% of guns keep very quiet about it.

    The first google result I found is from Pew, an article dated July 2014, citing survey results: Rep to Dem/Ind gun owners 49:59 (I know, you’d think Pew could do math).

    Another result from the same survey, with better math: Conservative vs Moderate/Liberal 49:51 (I lumped the Moderate and Liberal numbers because we all know that both are liberal and not in the good way).

    Like that newspaperman in DC many years ago who wrote in his paper against guns…and then shot a guy breaking into his house (I may have the particulars wrong, but I think the gist is right)!

    Any way you slice it, I would not say these numbers mean there aren’t “so many”. In fact, they’re roughly the same. The good news is the conservative or Republican gun owners likely have more ammo and can shoot straight.

  • Bruce

    Laird: In the words of Gilbert and Sullivan, as sung by Ko Ko, here is a “Little List”.

    In 1865 a Democrat shot and killed Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States.

    In 1881 a left wing radical Democrat shot James Garfield, President of the United States, who later died from the wound.

    In 1963 a radical left wing socialist shot and killed John F. Kennedy, President of the United States.

    In 1975 a left wing radical Democrat fired shots at Gerald Ford, President of the United States.

    In 1983 a registered Democrat shot and wounded Ronald Reagan, President of the United States.

    In 1984 James Hubert, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 22 people in a McDonalds restaurant.

    In 1986 Patrick Sherrill, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 15 people in an Oklahoma post office.

    In 1990 James Pough, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 10 people at a GMAC office.

    In 1991 George Hennard, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 23 people in a Luby’s cafeteria in Killeen, TX.

    In 1995 James Daniel Simpson, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 5 coworkers in a Texas laboratory.

    In 1999 Larry Asbrook, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 8 people at a church service.

    In 2001 a left wing radical Democrat fired shots at the White House in a failed attempt to kill George W. Bush, President of the US.

    In 2003 Douglas Williams, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 7 people at a Lockheed Martin plant.

    In 2007 a registered Democrat named Seung Hui Cho, shot and killed 32 people in Virginia Tech.

    In 2010 a mentally ill registered Democrat named Jared Lee Loughner, shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed 6 others.

    In 2011 a registered Democrat named James Holmes, went into a movie theater and shot and killed 12 people.

    In 2012 Andrew Engeldinger, a disgruntled Democrat, shot and killed 7 people in Minneapolis.

    In 2013 a registered Democrat named Adam Lanza, shot and killed 26 people in a school in Newtown, CT.

    As recently as Sept 2013, an angry Democrat shot 12 at a Navy ship yard.

    And so it rolls on…….

  • staghounds

    A bad person from another tribe represents and embodies his entire tribe.

    A bad person from your tribe neither represents nor means anything about your tribe.

    In fact, he was led and compelled to leave a life of goodness by the other tribe. Therefore, not only does he represent and embody the other tribe, he really became a member of the other tribe before he did the bad thing.

    So, only members of other tribes do bad things.

  • Lee Moore

    Much as I enjoyed the joke, I’m not sure Tomasky’s uncertainty principle quite works :

    “the more certainty there is that a perpetrator of violence held a left wing position or belonged to a left wing protected class, the less certain it is possible to be about his motives”

    If “the complementary variables in this case are Δl, the uncertainty of left-protectnedness, and Δm, the uncertainty of motivation for violence” then the first variable isn’t really the degree of certainty that a perpetrator of violence held a left wing position or belonged to a left wing protected class, but the degree of certainty as to whether a perpetrator of violence held a left wing position or belonged to a left wing protected class.

    And then of course the whole Tomasky uncertainty principle collapses in a heap, because if we know for sure that a perpetrator of violence is a right winger we have zero uncertainty about whether the perpetrator of violence held a left wing position or belonged to a left wing protected class. This should mean the uncertainty of motive is infinitely large. But it isn’t. It’s zero. If we know for sure that if the perp was a rightie, we know for sure the motive was rightiness.

    I suspect what we have here is Tomasky’s exclusion principle, derived not from Heisenberg, but from Pauli. Left wing motives and violence turn out to be identical Graunions, which cannot occupy the same quantum state at the same time. They simply cannot co-exist in one event. The one excludes the other.

  • Fred the Fourth

    Lee: Thanks. You’ve nailed down my worries about Natalie’s postulate.
    Note also the Pauli exclusion principle is responsible for, among other things, the electronic structure of atoms, leading to most of their interesting properties.
    I think an analysis of political structures along these lines could prove fruitful.

  • CaptDMO

    “… different values of Δl and Δm.”
    Oh, that’s EASY!
    Just check the weather vane for which way the wind is blowing that day hour.

  • Fred the Fourth

    “Spin” being the relevant quantum number, perhaps this theory applies mostly to media folk?
    Do “journalists” have half-integer spin? Doesn’t seem like enough, somehow.

  • Fred the Fourth

    but this idea does explain how media entities can transition from Opinion A to Opinion B without ever occupying any intermediate Opinion.

  • rfichoke

    Well done. You did miss one though. In 1901, President William McKinley was shot by anarchist (the Marxist kind, not the Hans-Hermann Hoppe kind), Leon Czolgosz.

  • Thailover

    Mr Tomasky is in a long list of what I call Warlocks. Magick is to use and manipulate invisible forces as to conform to your will. The original meaning of warlock is “oathbreaker”, “devil”, and “liar”. Mr Tomasky is in short a propagandist, attempting to shape the general social perception of reality to suit his political agenda. I also have another name for such people. Maggot.

  • Thailover

    “A bad person from another tribe represents and embodies his entire tribe. A bad person from your tribe neither represents nor means anything about your tribe.”

    It’s stranger than that. A leftist hears that a christian calls Sally’s abortion “murder”, then it’s a moratorium on christianity, not to mention the “bigot” that said it, but let that commenter be a muslim, all of sudden it doesn’t represent anything, neither Islam nor the person who said it.

  • Thailover

    Laird said,

    “In the US, violence in support of political positions is almost exclusively a leftist phenomenon. But the media will never tell you that.”

    But, but, but, a right winger bombed an abortion clinic in the mid ’80’s!

    In all seriousness, it’s fun to watch the cult-like psychological gymastics people like Ben Affleck have to do when member of their protected class, namely Islamists, are 100 times worse than these people’s sworn enemies, i.e. conservatives, and especially the religious right.

  • Paul Marks

    Sorry Natalie, but one can assume that people know things – one has to tell them.

    For example I am sure you know that Jared Loughner was PRO not anti abortion – the lies of the media (led by the New York Times) that he was somehow conservative fit into a general pattern of Marxist (let us call them what they are – they are Marxists NOT “liberals”) media and education system (school and university) lies. Even a Communist who flew an aircraft into a tax building in Texas was presented as a conservative.

    As for James Hodgkinson – of course he was part of a wider movement, the Social Justice movement, the people who believe that violence should be used to “redistribute” income and wealth, and who believe that violence should be used to suppress political opinions with which they disagree.

    The “mainstream” (read Marxist) media and the universities support the “Critical Theory” (Frankfurt School of Marxism) of the brainwashed Social Justice Warrior students – they do not support Freedom of Speech for conservatives they want conservatives dead. The only difference between James Hodgkinson and the New York Times editorial board is that James Hodgkinson was prepared to die for his Social Justice beliefs – the “mainstream” media and education system (the university professors – and the school teachers) also want conservatives dead, but they do not want to risk their own lives “getting the job done” i.e. creating the totalitarian society that the American left has craved since at least Edward Bellamy’s “Looking Backward” (1887). In such works as “Looking Backward” by Mr Bellamy and “Philip Dru Administrator” by Woodrow Wilson’s “other self” Colonel House, one can find the true face of the left – and they have not changed, and they are NOT liberals.

    And the Republicans?

    They are busy throwing more tax money at education – for example in South Dakota where the Sales Tax has been increased to increase the pay of the teachers (i.e. the people who try and teach children to fanatically hate Republicans – and to support ever more “Social Justice” and crushing of “hate speech” i.e. speech with which the Frankfurt School would disagree), Texas will soon be teaching children under five years old (“Pre K” – which will be about “fairness” and “Social Justice”) the same doctrines – at the expense of the taxpayers.

    By supporting the “education system” Republicans are paying (and forcing other people to pay) for the training of their own future executioners.

    How blunt do the left have to be? Do they have to march through the streets like “Black Lives Matter” chanting “Pigs in a blanket – fry them like bacon!” and “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!”.

    Remember both the “mainstream” (i.e. Marxist) media and the education system (the schools for young children – not just the universities) supported “Black Lives Matter” – they could not make their position, their intentions any more clear.

    And it is not just “cops” – it is any defenders of “capitalist oppression” and private property rights. And many billionaires support this desire to exterminate Western Civilisation (sorry I mean exterminate “capitalists”). The true threat is not in the backstreets – it is at elite social events where the “educated” elite work, both in the education system, the “mainstream” media, and many in the business world, work to destroy the civilisation that has given them the luxuries they enjoy.

    And that attitude of the “educated” elite (their fanatical desire to destroy the society that has given them so much) is at least as insane as anything one can find in Jared Loughner and James Hodgkinson.

  • Paul Marks

    “But Paul neither “Looking Backward” or “Philip Dru: Administrator” were written by Marxists – there are many factions of collectivist going back to Rousseau and even Plato”.

    Yes I know – but the most popular language (in the schools and universities) is Frankfurt School Marxism and even those on the left who do not formally accept the doctrines of Karl Marx (1818 to 1883) end up supporting the Marxists in practice – see the New York Times (the “paper of record” and heart of the American “mainstream media”) which covered up the murder of tens of millions by the Marxists in the Soviet Union in the 1930s and carries on in this way to this day.

    The point about the left, not just in the United States but in all Western countries, is that they want “reactionaries” exterminated and Western Civilisation destroyed – this is why they (for the most part) so pro Islam, not because they believe in Islamic doctrines (of course they do not believe in these doctrines – they are atheists), but they can see in Islam an ally in their struggle (the struggle of the left – the education system and so on) to exterminate Western Civilisation.

  • Solent’s Uncertainty Principle, not Tomasky’s, please! Tomasky was not the discoverer of this principle but merely a datum demonstrating it. I applaud your modesty but feel we at samizadata should rather applaud your insight.

    Of course, as Lee Moore (June 17, 2017 at 1:32 am) speculates, maybe it should rather be the Solent-Moore Exclusion Principle. Research continues in this demanding field. 🙂

  • bobby b (June 16, 2017 at 11:05 pm: “Due to inattention, we’ve let these librul scrotes take over all of the “reporter” jobs available.”

    I think something more vigorous than mere exploiting of inattention was behind some of this. I don’t think university boards trend hard-left merely because less extreme academics were inattentive to their opportunities of applying and being selected, and I doubt that media bias is sustained by mere inattention of less bigoted journalists to opportunities to work at the beeb, etc.

    Bruce wrote that “In 1963 a radical left wing socialist shot and killed John F. Kennedy” – I think we can call this one an actual communist, not just a radical socialist, with the same certainty as we can be more precise than to call an ‘Allah Akbar’ shouter merely a radical adherent of ‘some religion or other’. Oswald was a very unmistakable enthusiast for communism. It is reported that on the night of the killing, a Russian bomber carried Oswald’s file to Moscow where nervous Kremlin staffers turned its pages dreading to see that some KGB agent, eager to meet quote, had disregard his handler’s psych evaluation not to recruit him as an official paid communist spy.

  • Patrick Crozier

    “Thus the very act of seeing that the Facebook page of James T. Hodgkinson included a Bernie Sanders banner and the words “Democratic Socialism explained in 3 words” makes it impossible to know his motives.” Genius.

    Philip Dru: Administrator. I must admit I hadn’t heard of that one but I had heard of Colonel House. The “Colonel” was not a military title but one conferred on him, IIRC, by the State of Texas. He was, in effect, Wilson’s ambassador to Europe in 1917-18 and I had had him down as one of the good guys. Now, I am not so sure.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Bruce, thanks for the list: I’ve saved it and will put it to good use.

  • Slartibartfarst

    @Natalie Solent (Essex): Thanks. Interesting OP (Opening Post).

    I guess @pete subtly and tersely put it correctly:(June 16, 2017 at 10:23 pm:

    Racist.

    And that would probably go for the majority of like-minded comments/commenters that follow, especially @Bruce (June 17, 2017 at 12:20 am) where he writes:

    Laird: In the words of Gilbert and Sullivan, as sung by Ko Ko, here is a “Little List”. … (followed by the list).

    Nobody but a racist would go to such lengths as to lie and distort the truth of such historical events as @Bruce does.

    Congratulations for at least potentially earning that badge of honour from the Liberal-Marxists, or whatever they might be calling themselves.

    This discussion is redolent of that sketch in (from memory) Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life”, where Death knocks on the door of a cosy remote cottage, whose occupants are enjoying a convivial dinner and chitchat and they welcome him in and start having a discussion with him. At one point, Death becomes exasperated with the dinner-party members. “All you do is talk”, he tells them.
    Then they are told by “Mr. Death” (as they call him, not realising that he is Death) that they are all dead – food poisoning from eating the salmon mousse (I think it was), though one of the party says amusingly “But I didn’t eat the mousse”. Nevertheless, they are indeed all dead, and they collapse as so many corpses, onto the dinner-table and their ghosts rise and walk out of the house, following Death, who leads them into the unknown.
    It’s a very droll sketch.

    The word “kill” is used on its own or in compound form approx. 21 times in this discussion thread, so far, and “dead” is used 4 times, twice in the context of:

    “(they) want conservatives dead”.

    Despite this, no-one seems to have put their finger explicitly on the possibility (heaven forfend) that:

    They might want US dead.

    Is this an avoidance of a forbidden or intrinsically unpleasant line of thought?

    One wonders whether you Samizdats and other potentially useful thinkers could still be chattering cleverly and amusingly about “the uncertainty principle in violence blame mechanics”, or other such esoterica – when THEY come to get YOU, because your lot could probably be amongst the first up against the wall come the revolution, Komrade – sorry about that, oh dear, what a pity, never mind and have a nice day.
    At that time, just maybe, the click of a loading revolver behind one’s ear will sharpen one’s attention briefly on the thought of one’s existential prospects, but that thought might quickly be displaced by another thought – “Was that a Smith & Wesson, or a Colt 45? – they might sound much the same to me.”

    If there is some intentionally implicit stochastic correlation in @Bruce’s list (and if it is true, then it speaks for itself, so I suspect there is – otherwise why provide it?), then it wouldn’t necessarily take a statistician to predict some potential implications from that. Now there’s a thought.

    But of course, this is probably all supposition. I’m sure nobody would actually want you dead, regardless of what they might say or do, or what their religio-political ideology might tell them to do – even if you were (say) killed in an unfortunate “workplace accident”, or something.

    Allahu Akbar.
    (((:~{>

    (Mohammed smiley.)
    From “Be there or be dhimmi” – started 20 May, 2010. Annual “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” (20th May).
    ____________________________________

  • Laird

    Patrick, Col. House was most definitely not “one of the good guys”. He was a key advisor and counsellor to Woodrow Wilson, one of the worst presidents this country has ever had. In truth he was a very bad person. You should read “Philip Dru, Administrator“, a great favorite of Wilson (you can find it here). It will open your eyes.

    Lee, thank you for that correction/extrapolation. That is precisely why I declined to jump into Natalie’s math!

    Bruce, that was an impressive list. You put far more work into this than I was willing to do. Still, I am sure there have been at least some killings perpetrated by right-wing extremists in addition to McVeigh and Nichols (of Murrah Building bombing infamy). Adding them to your list would make it appear more even-handed, and a better tool for refuting Tomasky’s assertion and the prevailing narrative perpetrated by the media and the left generally.

    I do note that there has been a tiny bit of recognition that violence is (at least partially) a leftist phenomenon. See this (from the Kansas City Star).

  • NickM

    A few years ago I was in Newcastle City Centre. There was a small and good natured leftie protest at the foot of Grey’s monument. I got chatting to a lass waving a Venezuelan flag. She had it upside-down which tickled me somewhat being an international maritime distress signal. She said she’d preferred the upside down arch because, “It looked like a smiley” but thanked me for the correction. She was very nice but totally wrong-headed. She asked, “What has capitalism ever done for us?” I said, “Look around you!” If you walk down to the tyne from there you go down Grey Street which John Betjeman once called, “The most imposing facade in Western Europe”. Go another way and it is the brick monstrance that is Eldon Square which was oddly enough done by T Dan Smith and Poulson – Labour leader of the council before she (or I) were born. They almost succeeded in ripping the entire Georgian heart out of the City. T Dan Smith had been a card-carrying Communist – before joining Labour. In any case the lass I was talking with was a student at Newcastle University which was to a large extent founded by Lord Armstrong the great Victorian industrialist. But for her belief trumped all reality.

    She even defended Castro. Even I brought up the fact I’d been to Key West and seen the collection of ramshackle “vessels” Cubans had used to make it to the Dry Tortugas. Even when my wife brought up the issue of homosexuals being persecuted by the Cuban government in a way they are not in the USA. Very smart move from my wife there because the protestor at least looked on slightly shaky ground for a bit – because on another given Sunday she’d be waving a Rainbow flag and calling for the (secular) beatification of Alan Turing or something. Obviously that without knowing or giving a flying one about the Entscheidungsproblem. She rallied though, “Cuba is getting better on gay rights, America is getting worse”. The level of double think wasn’t just palpable. You could safely drive HGVs over it. So, yes, it is tribal. It is the only explanation I can think of.

  • Slartibartfarst

    @Laird: Thanks for the link to that Kansas City Star article.
    Very interesting.
    How the heck did that get past the PC gatekeepers? I thought that pretty much all US media outlets had been muzzled by now. Only the officially “fact-checked” Truthiness™ is allowed now.

    Maybe the person quoted – Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University-San Bernardino – is awaiting replacement due to his comments, which could be perceived to be clearly out of line?

    With a name like “Levin” – which might sound suspiciously Jewish to some – one has to wonder what the Selection and Appointments Diversity Board for California State University-San Bernardino were thinking at the time when they appointed him.

    Some people (not me, you understand) might say that, given the context and subject of the role – the Study of Hate and Extremism – it needs to be someone more qualified, (say) a Palestinian with a name like Fatima, Achmed, or Mohammed, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

    It’s all very confuzzling.

  • Snorri Godhi

    What Laird said:

    Bruce, that was an impressive list. You put far more work into this than I was willing to do. Still, I am sure there have been at least some killings perpetrated by right-wing extremists in addition to McVeigh and Nichols (of Murrah Building bombing infamy). Adding them to your list would make it appear more even-handed, and a better tool for refuting Tomasky’s assertion and the prevailing narrative perpetrated by the media and the left generally.

    I was going to say something like that myself, but i have nothing to add.

    About the use of the term “Marxist” in this thread, by Paul Marks et al: i have nothing against it as long as we agree that this is a special kind of Marxism: advancing the interests of public-sector white-collar workers, not blue-collar workers, as orthodox Marxism and Marxism-Leninism do — or rather, pretend to do.
    In this respect, “liberalism” is closer to fascism; but there are obvious differences wrt orthodox fascism, as well.

    About the Solent uncertainty principle, i can only repeat what Niall said:

    Research continues in this demanding field.

  • Snorri Godhi

    NickM: didn’t you tell the leftie in Newcastle that Charles Grey
    (a) abolished slavery and
    (b) extended the franchise?

    Not to mention the tea!

  • NickM

    Snorri,
    No time and basically what was the point? It would have been like trying to/ chip Mt Everest away with a spoon.

  • Lee Moore

    The Kansas City Star article still seems to be in the conventional frame. Leftist violence is admitted to exist, but it is portrayed as catching up with right wing violence, not scampering waaaaaay ahead.

  • Rich Rostrom

    Bruce @ June 17, 2017 at 12:20 am:

    In 1881 a left wing radical Democrat shot James Garfield, President of the United States, who later died from the wound.

    This is a clinker. Charles Guiteau was a devout Republican: “A Stalwart of the Stalwarts”, in his own words. (The “Stalwarts” were the pro-Grant, pro-patronage-hiring faction of the party.) Guiteau campaigned for the Republicans in 1880 (or thought he did), and believed his efforts entitled him to a juicy Federal appointment. When he was spurned, he blamed Garfield, who belonged to the reformist Mugwump faction. He shot Garfield so that noted Stalwart Chester A. Arthur would become President. (Arthur surprised Guiteau by not pardoning and rewarding him, and everyone else by supporting civil service reform.)

    Bruce has also omitted some other notable incidents:

    1886 – An anarchist bomb killed nine policemen at Haymarket Square in Chicago.

    1920 – An anarchist bomb killed thirty people at 23 Wall Street.

    1933 – An anarchist shot at President-elect Roosevelt, fatally wounding Chicago Mayor Cermak.

    1970 – Left-wing “anti-war” radicals bombed Sterling Hall at the University of Wisconsin, killing a physics post-doc.

    1970-1973 – “Black Liberation Army” terrorists led by Joanne Chesimard murdered thirteen police officers. (Chesimard has been sheltered by Castro since 1981.)

    1973-1975 – The radical-Left “Symbionese Liberation Army” committed bank robberies, a kidnapping, and two murders.

    1975 – The Marxist-Leninist FALN bombed Fraunces Tavern in New York, killing four people. (13 FALN terrorists were pardoned by Clinton in 1999. Another was pardoned by Obama in 2017.)

    1981 – Radical-Left “Weather Underground” terrorists robbed a Brinks armored car and killed two police officers. (When sent to prison, two of the terrorists sent their child to be raised by close friends of Obama.)

  • It would have been like trying to/ chip Mt Everest away with a spoon.

    Yes but in many cases* it’s like the end of Force 10 from Navarone. The mines go off, no serious damage seems to be done, but actually there’s a crack or two created within the dam, and after a while the pressure of water extends the cracks, and the water destroys the dam. But later. All the mines did was to create the initial cracks.

    Many youngsters will grow out of these youthful fantasies, but you won’t notice it. All you will have done by talking to these folk in friendly cheerful tones will have been to create a tiny crack, a seed of doubt, not even apparent to the young chavista’s conscious mind. It might take ten years for the weight of reality to extend the cracks and burst the dam and you will be long gone, lamenting the powerlessness of your spoon. But you and your spoon will have helped reality do its work.

    * but not all. See Corbyn J, Benn A, Sanders B etc

  • Laird

    Bruce and Rich, you have inspired me to start compiling a master list of political assassinations (or attempts) in the US. I am using your work as the starting point. Thanks!

  • NickM

    Good point Lee. It is just easy to despair when such untruths seem to be taken by many as Gospel Truth. For example the idea that our current government (and Cameron before that) are ineffably right-wing or even “conservative” whatever means anymore. We have become Tlon.

  • But you and your spoon will have helped reality do its work.

    Amen to that. It is why this blog-shaped spoon exists & has been scrapping away since November 2001 😉

  • Bruce

    Rich: Thanks for the update.

    Here in Oz, political “assassinations” are largely restricted to “character assassination”.

    This has the “advantage” of letting the victim suffer for a long time.

    Things may change as time passes and various folk become either more emboldened of more frightened.