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While the media attempts to spin the murders of 22-year old Jared Lee Loughner as being the product of right-wing speech, many facts are being carefully hidden from view. Most of those facts lead one to believe that Loughner is a left-winger.
First, we have the fact that a former classmate called Loughner a "left-wing pothead".
Then we have the fact that Loughner listed The Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf as two of his favorite books.
Now we have more testimony from a former friend of Loughner's, one Caitie Parker:
Caitie Parker, a singer/songwriter from Oro Valley, AZ, says that she knows Jared Loughner, the gunman that shot 19 people in Tucson, Arizona, on Saturday, January 8th...Not only did she go to high school with him, but college as well and was in a band with him. “There were 5-6 of us that hung out” in high school. Unfortunately, it was.
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.”
He had actually met Gabrielle Giffords in ‘07, and after asking her a question, told Caitie later that Gifford was “stupid and unintelligent.” The question he asked Giffords, Caitie said, “was odd & didn’t make sense, I can’t remember what it was. Just know it was weird.” The last time she had seen him in person was in 2007, in a sign language class.
Their [Loughner and Parker's] 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.
Caitie also said he was a pot head and was into the music of Hendrix, The Doors, and Anti-Flag. “We listened to political punk in high school & agreed with their leftist opinions for the most part. Anti-Flag was our band.”
Caitie Parker hadn't seen Loughner since 2007, so it is possible his politics did an about face after that and he became a right-winger. Yes, it is possible, but it sure doesn't appear to be the case. From Volokh:
On July 7, 2010, Loughner posted his assertion that the war(s) in Iraq and Afghanistan “is a war crime from the Geneva Convention articles of 1949”:
There was help with cleaning the uranium from the Iran and Iraq war in the 1980’s?
Article 33 of the Geneva Convention is the prohibit of pillage.
All military invasions with armed forces into a foreign country are war crimes in the Geneva Convention articles of 1949.
The Iraq and Afghanistan war of 2010 is a military invasion with armed forces into a foreign country.
Therefore, Iraq and Afghanistan war of 2010 is a war crime from the Geneva Convention articles of 1949.
Ouch! For the thoughts of war.
Doesn't sound much like your typical right-wing fare, does it ?
Speaking of unemployment, Loughner talks about "rights" to money, food, housing, medical care, etc:
“the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity” and “the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care.”
Most right-wingers don't believe you have the "right" to anything you didn't earn.
Then we have Loughner's anti-god stuff:
Crap on God!
Crap on God!
Crap on God!
Talk to the toilet seat for a hour.
My purpose here is not to blame the left for Loughner's murders, nor is it to tell the left-wingers to stop engaging in political speech, as the left has attempted to do to the right. I could never be THAT big of a hypocrite. Engaging in political speech is what I do here, and it has never even once occurred to me to stop doing it because some unbalanced person might take what I say the wrong way. We don't stop engaging in political speech for that reason, any more than Jodi Foster stopped being an actress after Hinckley shot Reagan because of his weird obsession with Foster. Neither did the Beatles stop making music following Charles Manson's murders, which Manson said were inspired by the Beatles tune Helter Skelter. The blame for murders lies WITH THE MURDERER, not with politicians, actresses, or musicians. We don't cancel freedom because of a sick person. We didn't cancel technological advance because of the Unabomber.
We are witnessing a hysterical reaction to Loughner from certain left-wing circles. Some politicians are even attempting to cash in on the tragedy. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) is one of these jackals. Here's a fundraising letter he just sent out:
What should be understood is that the violence, and threats of violence against Democrats in Arizona, was not limited to Gabrielle Giffords. Raul Grijalva, an old friend of mine and one of the most progressive members in the House, was forced to close his district office this summer when someone shot a bullet through his office window. Another Democratic elected official in Arizona, recently defeated Congressman Harry Mitchell, suspended town meetings in his district because of the threatening phone calls that he received (Mitchell was also in the cross-hairs on the Palin map). And Judge John Roll, who was shot to death at the Giffords event, had received numerous threatening calls and death threats in 2009. In light of all of this violence – both actual and threatened – is Arizona a state in which people who are not Republicans are able to participate freely and fully in the democratic process? Have right-wing reactionaries, through threats and acts of violence, intimidated people with different points of view from expressing their political positions?
Shame on you, Senator. There is NO evidence that Loughner was inspired by right-wing speech. There is little evidence he was a right-winger at all. There is more evidence he was a left-winger than a right-winger, but the facts don't stop Sanders. If we are going to start banning any political speech, shouldn't it be FALSE political speech, the kind Sen. Sanders is engaging in here ????? Gosh, if I was mentally deranged and believed his letter, Sanders' words might drive me to.....go after some Republicans or Tea Partiers.
Update - Loughner was also a 9/11 Truther whose favorite movies included the Truther conspiracy theory films Loose Change and Zeitgeist. Some right-winger.
Update II - Another friend of Loughner's said Loughner didn't watch television, disliked the news, and didn't listen to political talk radio. This friend characterized Loughner as neither politically left nor right. The left's theory that the heated politicial rhetoric of the right is the reason Loughner murdered people now rates less-than-zero on the credibility scale.