Another demonstration of the destructiveness of dogma

This is where 4chan, Reddit, and YouTube comment sections have gotten us: the murderer who was arraigned in a Portland court shouted stupid memes at the press.

FREE SPEECH OR DIE, the asshole shouted. Ah, yes, the self-righteous cry of every jerk who gets blocked on twitter or on a blog. He believes he has a right to harass others, and that this is an American right enshrined in the Constitution. Free speech is absolute, and trumps every other privilege, including the right to live. He also doesn’t mean that he’ll die if you abridge his right to say any dumbass thing to anyone, anywhere, any time — he means that he’ll kill you if you don’t respect his right to compel you to listen to him.

YOU CALL IT TERRORISM, I CALL IT PATRIOTISM, he claimed in response to nothing at all. You know, every terrorist kills out of a sense of loyalty to a faith, a country, an ethnic group. You can be a patriot without punching people in the neck with a knife.

He hoped his victims all died, and THAT’S WHAT LIBERALISM GETS YOU. Incorrect. That’s what decades of demonization of liberal thought gets all of us, it breeds mindless haters who recite cant to justify their crimes, who kill people in righteous indignation at being argued with, who go to prison convinced that they are in the right after committing horrible uncivilized acts.

If you’re wondering where he got radicalized, it wasn’t in a mosque.


  1. rietpluim says


    I have yet to see the first assault by liberal radicalism.

  2. rietpluim says

    Yeah, silencing people forever is an excellent way to defend free speech.

    Sorry for being so cynical.
    It is my way of grief.

  3. says

    If you’re wondering where he got radicalized, it wasn’t in a mosque.

    But the outcry against his actions from “moderate 4channers” is going to be deafening.

  4. dhabecker says

    Any person pumped up on righteous indignation can lose control to some degree. Hopefully it’s only to the point of saying stupid or hurtful things. Add a bit of mental imbalance and things can get ugly. No excuses for this guy, but he sounded like he is missing a screw; much like his hero in the White House.

  5. Infophile says

    @1 rietplum:

    I have yet to see the first assault by liberal radicalism.

    The closest I’ve seen is from a few anti-GMO or anti-animal-research activists. Sabotaging experiments isn’t uncommon, and there are a number of cases of bombings. I’m not aware of any in-person assaults though.

  6. Siobhan says


    I can’t even laugh. That’s literally been the entire Trump nightmare in a nutshell. It’s too real to be funny T_T

  7. says

    No excuses for this guy, but he sounded like he is missing a screw

    Very likely. But I couldn’t help noting, as I read similar statements in several of the news reports of this incident, that no one ever questions the mental health or drug habits of suicide bombers. When someone shouts “Allah Akbar!” while killing people, its because Islam is an inherently hateful, violent religion. When someone shouts “that’s what liberalism gets you” while (or in this case, after) killing people, it’s because they were crazy/drunk/on meds/off their meds, never because the alt-right ideology is inherently hateful and violent.

  8. says


    Weird. Because he had some interest in Sanders/Stein, we’re being assured that we can ignore everything else he’s ever done or said and know that he’s a left-wing terrorist.

    Or at least that’s what I’m hearing from right-wing sources.

  9. microraptor says

    Tabby @10:

    Didn’t you know that according to right-wing sources, every violent criminal in America is a liberal?

    I seriously wish I was making this up.

  10. unclefrogy says

    that is something that bothers me as well.
    the ideology of the radicals on the all sides as well as those who perpetrate these kinds of acts do share the characteristic of often being delusional and cultivating a delusional view of reality. They all feed on fear, resentment and self-pity to see themselves as victims and lash out with hate and violence.
    Some of the more manipulative spend their energy fomenting others to fight and hate, content to lust after the power to control and rule the others. The seeming in ability to see the basic similarities between the “lone wolf” and the radical organization and their members is a weakness in analysis that hampers the development of effective strategies to deal with the problem.
    You can not find solutions to a problem until you understand what the problem actually is.
    uncle frogy

  11. mnb0 says

    Rietpluim (a compatriot of mine, so it seems) beats me.

    The killings are an extreme hence excellent demonstration of the double standard of rabid right – free speech for themselves, death for The Other.

  12. says

    The Galt-right are Rand fanatics, yet don’t (can’t?) even read the books they put so much stock in. Sorta like christians in that (dis)respect.

    I’ve quoted this before, but it’s worth repeating. From the foreward to the novel “Anthem”, written by the Galt-right’s hero, Ayn Rand:

    The greatest guilt today is that of people who accept collectivism by moral default; the people who seek protection from the necessity of taking a stand, by refusing to admit to themselves the nature of that which they are accepting; the people who support plans specifically designed to achieve serfdom, but hide behind the empty assertion that they are lovers of freedom, with no concrete meaning attached to the word; the people who believe that the content of ideas need not be examined, that principles need not be defined, and that facts can be eliminated by keeping one’s eyes shut. They expect, when they find themselves in a world of bloody ruins and concentration camps, to escape moral responsibility by wailing: “But I didn’t mean this!”

  13. psychomath says

    I’ll apologize in advance for my comment’s lack of clarity; I’m trying to tie together some thoughts.

    Years ago, I read about a hypothesis that society has mechanisms for maintaining order, and among them is validating attacks, even illegal and violent attacks on individuals or groups. One example was the increasingly frequent media portrayals of Reagan in literal and metaphorical crosshairs in the months leading up to the assassination attempt on him. One might add the attempt on Gabby Gifford. The idea wasn’t so much that society ordered the attacks, as that the representation of a person made them an acceptable target, and that people who found committing violent attacks acceptable — either because they were delusional (messages from god, etc.), or because they were habituated to violence because of their environment — would be set in motion.

    Another hypothesis I read about suggested that the victims of violent and property crimes not infrequently came to the attention of the criminal perpetrator because they “stood out” in some way. They dressed unusually, or their behavior was unusual, and on a certain level, the criminal was “policing” the street and attacked what was strange. The marginalized make attractive targets to those who enjoy inflicting harm.

    In a sense, the Internet has fragmented society. It is possible to find like-minded people to surround oneself with virtually, regardless of where one lives. The alt-right, it seems to me, is a real sub-cultural community for a disturbingly significant number of people, and it excels at designating targets. Those members of this community who are willing to be violent are getting all the moral support and distorted information they need to carry out attacks. Before, it was apparently only the online attacks that were coordinated, but now they are coordinating the formation of combat groups to attend demonstrations, and if not coordinating, certainly encouraging the violent “lone-wolf” attacks by their more volatile members.

    I think the murderer of John Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche was a violent person who was “operationalized” by the alt-right community. His ideology is incoherent, but it is clear that he was cobbling together a rationale for inflicting harm from the scattered hobby-horses of the alt-right.

    Another thing is how strange it is to me that this is all happening while the right is politically ascendant. Militia activity, for example, typically increases under Democratic presidents, and fades under Republican presidents. Something about the current situation is different. I suspect it is that the far right, and particularly the alt-right, is dissatisfied with the establishment Republicans, and that the more incompetently Trump behaves, the more unhinged they become. They felt a burst of power and possibility when Trump was elected, and they feel terrified that the chance to rule is slipping away because Trump is such a joke to the MSM. I think things will continue to get worse until Trump is deposed, when all remaining volatile supporters will basically explode.

    Sorry if this hasn’t been useful. I’m still trying to think this through, and would appreciate any thoughts.

  14. dhabecker says

    #16 I think things will continue to get worse until Trump is deposed, when all remaining volatile supporters will basically explode.

    A terrifying thought. Liberals would do well to arm themselves, said Clint Eastwood. Oh, no, that was a bartender in a movie, but it’s not a bad idea.

  15. DanDare says

    Psychomath that was interesting. It feeds into my concern about legotimating violence. This is exacerbated by a police force that has the appearance of being dangerous and unfriendly and not acting as an unbiased upholder of law.