August 27, 2015

"The fact that he kept his job was because he was an African-American gay man. That’s pretty hard to say no to."

Said former news producer Greg Sextro, quoted in The Daily Beast's "Vester Flanagan Threatened Colleagues, Played the Race Card for Years/The cold-blooded Roanoke killer kept getting fired, kept threatening co-workers, and kept claiming he was the real victim."

Sextro called Flanagan "the biggest dork I’d ever met in my entire life... a really nice guy. A horrible reporter, but really nice... just a goofy guy." And: "I cannot see him doing this ever. He had to have been pushed to the limit to do something like that."

Also in that article, this quote from Flanagan to the judge in his 2013 discrimination lawsuit: "I am hereby requesting a trial which will be heard by a jury of my peers.... I would like my jury to be comprised of African-American women." Not African-American gay men. African-American women.

206 comments:

1 – 200 of 206   Newer›   Newest»
Scott said...

Bring on more confirmation bias and inane speculation.

traditionalguy said...

So another Affirmative Action free loader wanted to freeload on the Charleston church shooters fame to go out as a celebrity. Life is hard for freeloaders that can't get no respect.



PB said...

He was a whack-a-doodle. A true modern democrat.

Abdul Abulbul Amir said...

Well Scott, as a member of two privileged classes, what you call inane speculation may be called reasonable conclusion by others. When that conclusion comes from someone with first hand ovservation, it's a bit harder to second guess regardless of how good it feels to do so.

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Boyd said...

I am hereby requesting a trial which will be heard by a jury of.... my mother

Scott said...

What two privileged classes are you referring to? Homosexuals and cruciform vegetables?

(Damn, I make a hundred grand a year writing and I still can't spell fer shit.)

Ann Althouse said...

This man began with a weak mind and then was told 1. that he could do something and then 2. that he could not. If race admittedly motivated #1, should we be surprised that this person believed race motivated #2. He was incompetent all along, and yet he was hired and lured into investing his time and emotional energy in this work. When things went badly for him, his incompetent mind processed the information incompetently.

That doesn't justify murder, but it's a better explanation than saying he was evil (which I've seen).

Bob Ellison said...

If that's your conjecture, could you back it up a bit?

MadisonMan said...

This article makes it seem like he never learned a good way to deal with criticism.

I wonder if that's true, or just the way the article is framed.

Widmerpool said...

Absolutely agree Ann. Failure is hard for anyone to take, and there are some (thankfully a small number) who it unravels completely.

mtrobertslaw said...

Well, if "his incompetent mind processed the information incompetently", how can he be blamed for having an incompetent mind?

Brando said...

"This man began with a weak mind and then was told 1. that he could do something and then 2. that he could not. If race admittedly motivated #1, should we be surprised that this person believed race motivated #2. He was incompetent all along, and yet he was hired and lured into investing his time and emotional energy in this work."

One of the many problems with race-preferences. Essentially you're telling a person that they are really capable of more than they are (say, telling a mediocre student he should be able to do well at MIT), and that only their race was holding them back. Then when they inevitably struggle--far more than their peers at say MIT--how else can we expect them to feel but frustrated and believing their race is again holding them down? Particularly shameful when such people may have done just fine in a position for which they were qualified, and therefore seen that their race was not such an obstacle.

But we cant' expect guilt-ridden whites and the grievance-industry nonwhites to ever acknowledge this. So generations of "beneficiaries" of affirmative action will suffer, unprivileged whites and Asians will suffer, and society itself suffers. We're now three generations into this.

Brando said...

I don't know how we're defining "evil" vs. "sick" but it takes one or both of those qualities to carry out what this guy did.

Scott said...

Back in the day, an employer would hire somebody to see if they would work out. If they didn't, they would fire them.

Now, employers are afraid to hire anyone casually because once they're on board, they are faced with a lot of disincentives for firing them. It's expensive and risky and nobody wants to be the bad guy.

Robert Cook said...

"What two privileged classes are you referring to?"

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I believe he is referring to your being a member of two privileged classes: 1)Male, and 2)(presumably) White

Virgil Hilts said...

The sad fact is that given our current eeoc and legal climate, an employer faced with two applicants with equal resumes is actually better off picking the non-minority since the anticipated average cost of the termination is much lower (emotionally and monetarily) if the employee does not work out. This is a pure economical/rational calculus that most employers understand but never talk about, and stories like this one (and Ann's theory) are going to reaffirm it.

Virgil Hilts said...

I posted before seeing Scott's post. Sorry to be redundant.

Laslo Spatula said...

I once worked for a company with rules against having sex with subordinates.

As such, as a manager, I could not bang the Hot Chick in my department.

So I had to fire her to fuck her.

I didn't make the rules.


I am Laslo.

Sebastian said...

"He was incompetent all along, and yet he was hired"

It's quite mystery how that happens.

Jim Gust said...

"That doesn't justify murder, but it's a better explanation than saying he was evil"

This guy planned the execution of innocent coworkers, deliberately murdered them while they were on live air so the world would see it, took a video of the murder from his perspective, and then uploaded the video for the world to see.

That's not evil? Really? Fundamentally the same twisted mentality as ISIS--you don't want to call them evil either?

How much awfulness is required to pass the Althouse "evil" threshold? Your rationalizations for how affirmative action may have helped to unhinge this man do not alter the fact that he turned evil at the end of his life.

MayBee said...

The sad fact is that given our current eeoc and legal climate, an employer faced with two applicants with equal resumes is actually better off picking the non-minority since the anticipated average cost of the termination is much lower (emotionally and monetarily) if the employee does not work out.

This is why I don't like the worker protection "rights" laws. As many LGBT groups are pushing for now. Not that I want LGBT people to be fired for who they are, but because once hired, firing someone is a lawsuit waiting to happen. You really create protected groups. You also create accusations against good people when you do try to fire protected people. Anyone who knows anyone who does hiring and firing knows this. Like what happened with this guy.

Poor Allison was killed, it's not clear whether she even ever met this guy, yet he's managed to tar her as a racist.

Scott said...

I know that's what he meant, Cookie, but I was hoping that Abdul Abulbul Amir, who is presumably an Arab male, would try to defend his inane statement.

mishu said...

This man began with a weak mind and then was told 1. that he could do something and then 2. that he could not. If race admittedly motivated #1, should we be surprised that this person believed race motivated #2. He was incompetent all along, and yet he was hired and lured into investing his time and emotional energy in this work. When things went badly for him, his incompetent mind processed the information incompetently

So this is an indictment against affirmative action.

MayBee said...

And look at what the discussion is! That kid in Charleston kills black people because of white racism. We have to get rid of the Confederate flag.
Then this guy kills two people because of that murder. Again this is due to.....white racism.

Brando said...

"Now, employers are afraid to hire anyone casually because once they're on board, they are faced with a lot of disincentives for firing them. It's expensive and risky and nobody wants to be the bad guy."

It's one thing the policymakers seem to overlook--the harder you make it to fire someone, the less likely someone is going to be hired.

France, for example, has much stricter rules about firing people (they find the concept of "at will" employment appalling) so any employer in that country has to consider very carefully taking someone on board.

Bob Boyd said...

Affirmative Action can sometimes work to set people up to fail.
Bitterness and blaming others is often a part of the difficult process of facing up to personal failures and accepting one's limitations.
Crossing the line into hurting or killing others is evil.
He didn't start out evil, but he became evil. He succumbed to evil.

Brando said...

"And look at what the discussion is! That kid in Charleston kills black people because of white racism. We have to get rid of the Confederate flag.
Then this guy kills two people because of that murder. Again this is due to.....white racism. "

The Left has been consistent about something in both of those cases, though--both cases mean we need more gun control.

My threshhold question though is what gun control measure do we not have in place that the Left would like us to have in place that would have stopped either of those killings. If they can't come up with something, conversation's over.

chickelit said...

Althouse wrote: That doesn't justify murder, but it's a better explanation than saying he was evil (which I've seen).

And yet, it is blame shifting. I just wanted to point out that it was predictable of you.

Robert Cook said...

"I know that's what he meant, Cookie, but I was hoping that Abdul Abulbul Amir, who is presumably an Arab male, would try to defend his inane statement."

What is inane about it?

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Another option would have been for him to blame himself.

Robert Cook said...

BTW, I think it more likely that "Abdul Abdul Amir" is a pseudonym than an indicator of his actual identity.

Scott said...

OT: Cookie, you need an avatar. It helps regular readers pick out your comments from the hoi polloi. I will find you a few and post them somewhere for you to pick from, if you like. Looking for a pic of a chocolate chip cookie with the chips arranged in a hammer and sickle now... ;-)

Michael K said...

" it's a better explanation than saying he was evil (which I've seen)."

I think two things are true of this guy. Affirmative action set him up for failure as it does for the majority of its "beneficiaries."

Second, doing the murders the way he did is evil. He wanted fame. The fax to ABC shows that. I am not religious but there is evil in the world and this was it.

Dylan Roof is crazy as best I can tell from a distance but this guy was evil.

France is a good example of what happens when employers can't fire anyone. 25% unemployment and 50% with young people.

Peter said...

Ann Althouse said... "This man began with a weak mind and then was told 1. that he could do something and then 2. that he could not."

Shelby Steele wrote (in his book, "The Content of Our Character") on how affirmative action can handicap its supposed beneficiaries by not preparing them for what happens "when the affirmative action runs out."

Steele's theory presumes that (in business at least) that an affirmative action beneficiary often will be promoted only so far before reaching a level where the job is too important to select on the basis of anything other than merit. He compares this to an athlete who's done well in hurdles racing, not realizing (or at least not admitting) that the hurdles have always been affirmatively lowered, but who then reaches a level of competition in which the hurdles are not lowered.

Not surprisingly, an athlete in such a situation is almost sure to stumble. As Steele saw it the athlete, like the affirmative action beneficiary, has been set up for failure.

Presumably those who find themselves in such a situation (if they are aware of what's happened) choose how to react to it...

Laslo Spatula said...

As a Manager, I once hired a black man. Very competent, professional.

The only problem was, in the Department, he kept sleeping with all the white women.

One by one he banged them all, and when he moved on to White Woman Two after banging White Woman One, what would happen? White Woman One would be depressed and brittle and angry.

Soon the office was filled with Angry White Women as he moved on, relentless.

He never made any overtures to the Black Woman in the Department, which made her depressed, brittle and angry. Now she was angry at all the white women. Racism festered in that way women fester.

After sleeping with all the white women he went to work for another company, leaving a Department of depressed, brittle and angry women in his wake.

So would I hire another Black Man?

If he was qualified, of course I would.

It is the women you have to think twice about.


I am Laslo.


Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Althouse said ...and yet he was hired and lured into investing his time and emotional energy in this work.

Yup. well said, AA. Next up, bursting the 'Higher Education Bubble."

Matthew Sablan said...

"That doesn't justify murder, but it's a better explanation than saying he was evil (which I've seen)."

-- Embrace the power of "and." I have no reason to believe this man did not understand what he was doing was evil; he claimed that if someone wanted a race war, well Golly Gee, he'd give him one. He knows what he did was evil. He's just unhinged and evil enough to say, "Well, Race War? Yeah, sure. Let's have one! I'll start by shooting my coworkers" instead of what sane, good people say, which is, "That's stupid! I'm not shooting my coworkers!"

Martha said...

The killer's father was a stand-out football player drafter by the NFL. Maybe Vester had unresolved daddy issues too.
From TMZ:

Vester Flanagan -- the man who ambushed and murdered 2 reporters on live TV -- is the son of a former NFL player who was drafted by the legendary Vince Lombardi ... TMZ Sports has learned.
Vester's father is Vester Flanagan Sr. -- a former lineman who was a college football standout at Humboldt State University from 1957 to 1960. In fact, Vester was inducted into the HSU Hall of Fame in 1975.
Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2015/08/26/vester-flanagan-father-is-ex-nfl-player-was-drafted-by-gb-packers/#ixzz3k1aWTSi8

Scott said...

It's inane because my original post merely called out that this thread would be filled with confirmation bias and inane speculation, without reference to any specific source of bias. He suggested that for a non white male, such biases produced "reasonable conclusions." The inane part is asserting that a person's race or gender had anything to do with whether confirmation bias and inane speculation exists. The former is a neutral phenomenon; the latter is a low standard for any thread chatter to meet. Calling out what he assumed to be my gender and race was gratuitous and stupid; and also racist if you believe that non white males are capable of racism (which many people for reasons of epistomological conformity do not).

CJinPA said...

Jayson Blair, the NY Times fabulist, was able to get away with indiscretions that would have sunk others because he was an Affirmative Action hire.


CNN: In Katrina commemoration, Obama to cite inequities 'brewing for decades'

The bodies aren't even in the grave, and he's going to pitch the same racial grievances to an unhinged, receptive audience. Inspiring.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

The guy seemed to move around alot. Wonder under what circumstances he left previous employments. Early on after the shooting the station manager said something like "We had to separate him a couple of years ago; I understand he's still in the area."

At age 41, in this Obama economy, what job prospects for him?

Curious George said...

"This man began with a weak mind and then was told 1. that he could do something and then 2. that he could not. If race admittedly motivated #1, should we be surprised that this person believed race motivated #2. He was incompetent all along, and yet he was hired and lured into investing his time and emotional energy in this work. When things went badly for him, his incompetent mind processed the information incompetently.

That doesn't justify murder, but it's a better explanation than saying he was evil (which I've seen)."

If you want to know what "pablum" is, look no further.

David said...

"A horrible reporter, but really nice." Or manipulative? He certainly was in other ways, including murder. Murder is manipulative in the extreme.



Titus said...

I understand why he doesn't want gay men on the jury. The Gay Men will judge him by his looks and he knows it. He will be rejected by the gay men because he isn't attractive and he knows it. He was invisible in the gay world. I feel bad for the invisible gay man; such a devastating existence.

I wish these people would just shoot themselves first though so they wouldn't inflict such pain on others....sad.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Robert Cook said...

BTW, I think it more likely that "Abdul Abdul Amir" is a pseudonym than an indicator of his actual identity.

It's Abdul Abulbul Amir, which I remember for Boys Scout camp sing-alongs. So yes, I assume it is a pseudonym.

Scott said...

"Jayson Blair, the NY Times fabulist, was able to get away with indiscretions that would have sunk others because he was an Affirmative Action hire."

Economist Walter E. Williams, who is black, has said that he was grateful for getting his PhD from UCLA in 1972, before Affirmative Action had become entrenched as an institutional value in academia.

Scott said...

"So yes, I assume it is a pseudonym."

Oh, taking shots at my gender and race without disclosing his or hers. How bold and progressive.

Titus said...

I added an avatar-rare clumber, at daycare, with three balls in mouth-like father like son.

tits.

Chuck said...

NPR has barely covered the story. NPR has a pretty wonderful, searchable website. If you search the combined terms "Charleston" and "hate crime" you can see the wall-to-wall introspection that NPR did on that story. (Which is actually a tremendous understatement of what public radio did with the Charleston story, since other locally-produces and syndicated shows did much more in addition.)

The New York Times makes zero mention of the fact that the shooter was a self-identified black gay man, and that he alleged sexual harassment as a basis for his rage.

My own local newspaper, the liberal Detroit Free Press, consigned the story to the second page this morning. Instead, the Freep favored stories concerning credit card fraud, Midwestern heroin trafficking, and a new initiative at the University of Michigan about alcohol use among freshmen. Freep columnist Rochelle Riley, who nearly went ballistic herself following the Charleston shooting, declared that the Virginia tv shooting "is not a part of the national conversation finally happening about race, racism and black lives mattering as much as white lives."

The media shutdown about this shooting is really remarkable.

MayBee said...

My threshhold question though is what gun control measure do we not have in place that the Left would like us to have in place that would have stopped either of those killings. If they can't come up with something, conversation's over.

Brand- exactly.

I'm hearing a lot of "We need to force lawmakers to deal with this" and "We need to toughen up gun control and get those hindered by special interests to get out of their box and talk about it"
But of course, those calling for doing something don't have any answers either.

What specific course of action do they propose? What specific thing would have stopped the last few gun massacres?
(Oh, yes. With a few of them, the FBI fell through on the background checks)

Tank said...

Chuck said...

NPR has barely covered the story ...


Now that it is clear that this is a black/gay on white hate crime, it will quickly disappear down the memory hole.

MayBee said...

CNN is all over it, but gun control is a big focus.

Ace's post about the fear of backlash was really good. Basically, we are always told of the fear of backlash violence against muslims when a terrorist act occurs. But there is no such fear of backlash in cases like Dylan Roof's. But look what happened.

Michael K said...

"Now that it is clear that this is a black/gay on white hate crime, it will quickly disappear down the memory hole."

Yes and the lefties will deny that such a thing occurs.

CJinPA said...

The media shutdown about this shooting is really remarkable.

Worse than a shutdown. They quickly followed the lead of the White House and shifted the focus away from an angle that makes the left uncomfortable - black on white race-based violence - to one that serves its needs - gun control.

They do it because they can.

Brando said...

"I'm hearing a lot of "We need to force lawmakers to deal with this" and "We need to toughen up gun control and get those hindered by special interests to get out of their box and talk about it"
But of course, those calling for doing something don't have any answers either.

What specific course of action do they propose? What specific thing would have stopped the last few gun massacres?
(Oh, yes. With a few of them, the FBI fell through on the background checks)"

I chalk it up to the "we have to do something! This is something! So we have to do this!" approach. For a while, it was all "close the gun show loopholes!" or "make it illegal for people with misdemeanor records to buy guns!" or "ban guns with large clips!" While each of those can be debated on the merits, NONE of them would stop the vast majority of gun homicides in this country (mostly done with handguns, bought by people with no violent criminal records, or bought on the black market). The "reasonable" gun control they speak of would have no effect for this reason.

Now, I'm sympathetic to those who say "we just have too many guns in this country" because it's true that if guns were very hard to come by, it'd be much harder for criminals to get them (though never impossible--just like with drugs). But getting rid of so many guns is impossible to implement, even if we trashed not just the 2nd Amendment but the 4th as well (since we'd need to go house to house, etc.). It'd also trample the rights of legit owners who are responsible and should have a right to defend themselves. So even most mainstream lefties (Obama, Kerry, Gore) don't go that far--they just want the low-hanging fruit of gun show loopholes and "assault weapon" bans which won't do a damn thing.

Sometimes we have to accept that some awful things will happen that we cannot realistically prevent. A crazy/evil person wants to shoot some innocents, they will likely be able to do so. Depressing, but unavoidable.

Brando said...

"But there is no such fear of backlash in cases like Dylan Roof's. But look what happened."

Perhaps in tit-for-tat fashion, this calls for banning any Black Power flags. Isn't some meaningless symbolism the right way to respond to tragedy?

furious_a said...

It's awkward for everyone when an Affirmative Action hire/admit doesn't work out.

AJ Lynch said...

Heh -as I quickly read the Title of this post, I saw "incompetent African-American" and thought it was about Obama.

Bryan C said...

"He was incompetent all along, and yet he was hired and lured into investing his time and emotional energy in this work. "

That's really well put, Ann.

Most individuals can sense when their impulse to help a struggling co-worker becomes counterproductive. Laws demanding we ignore those warning signs can lead to nothing good. That's not helping anyone, it's just enabling self-destructive behavior. We're being turned into a nation of mandatory enablers.

Laslo Spatula said...

"Sextro called Flanagan "the biggest dork I’d ever met in my entire life.."

If this sentence read:

"Sextro said Flanagan "had the biggest dork I’d ever seen in my entire life.."

Then things might have been different.

If 'dork' meant penis in that context.


I am Laslo.

curmudgeoninchief said...

The take away here is "Black Lives Matter". And nothing else does.

Paco Wové said...

"I think it more likely that "Abdul Abdul Amir" is a pseudonym"

Gosh, ya think? A pseudonym! On the Internet! Will wonders never cease!

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Black Lies Matter.

Char Char Binks said...

That's how Don Lemon got his job.

Robert Cook said...

"They quickly followed the lead of the White House and shifted the focus away from an angle that makes the left uncomfortable - black on white race-based violence -"

This was not about "black on white race-based violence." This was "emotionally unstable disgruntled fired employee killing two former colleagues violence," or, more succinctly: workplace violence. Between 1992 and 2012 there were about 700 such killings per year in America.

rhhardin said...

We need more angry gay black police officers.

rhhardin said...

"I think it more likely that "Abdul Abdul Amir" is a pseudonym"

Gosh, ya think? A pseudonym! On the Internet! Will wonders never cease!


Le nom de plume de ma tante est sur la table.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Robert Cook said...

This was not about "black on white race-based violence.

It's a shame the shooter didn't know that. He seemed to believe that this was part of a race war. ( Note: I don't necessarily believe what he wrote, but it is silly at this point to say it was not a factor, when the killer said it was, and his actions were consistent with that statement. )

Brando said...

"This was not about "black on white race-based violence." This was "emotionally unstable disgruntled fired employee killing two former colleagues violence," or, more succinctly: workplace violence. Between 1992 and 2012 there were about 700 such killings per year in America."

Considering the killer explicitly accused one of his victims of racism, how can you say this is not race-based violence? Was Dylan Roof simply a "disaffected unstable kid"?

Race-based killers often have other motives and mental issues going on that affect their actions, but papering over the racial motive in their actions is willful ignorance.

CJinPA said...

This was not about "black on white race-based violence." This was "emotionally unstable disgruntled fired employee killing two former colleagues violence," or, more succinctly: workplace violence. Between 1992 and 2012 there were about 700 such killings per year in America.

You can't possibly expect people to ignore this guy's perpetual racial grievances. His obsession with the Charleston shootings (which were....church-place violence"...?)

It's absurd to argue that "emotionally unstable" and "racially motivated" are mutually exclusive. Even a teeny tad insulting.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ok, fine, great, but why is no one asking the important question--are there any pictures of this asshole with a flag? How do I know what to symbols to ban if the Media won't tell me!

Brando said...

"Ok, fine, great, but why is no one asking the important question--are there any pictures of this asshole with a flag? How do I know what to symbols to ban if the Media won't tell me!"

If it turns out this guy was a Republican, I'm sure the media will decide that's irrelevant, right?

Skeptical Voter said...

I'm out of the country and so a bit out of the loop. How does Ms. Althouse know he was incompetent all along? Sounds like he couldn't get along with people, but simply bring a jerk doesn't mean you are incompetent. Yes I have seen affirmative action hires in the corporate world who were train wrecks waiting to happen. And the inevitable wrecks are not pretty. Damned expensive though.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Robert Cook said...This was "emotionally unstable disgruntled fired employee killing two former colleagues violence," or, more succinctly: workplace violence. Between 1992 and 2012 there were about 700 such killings per year in America.

I guess Maj. Hasan's victims are among those 700/year, right? Just workplace violence.
Look, either "root causes" matter or they don't. If you want to portray all murderers as loners and take no interest in their motivations (expressed and otherwise), fine, but you've got to be consistent with that and apply that to all murderers. What we deal with is a Media that's very interested in murderers' motivations when those can be portrayed in a way that fits with the Media's (generally Leftist) worldview w/r/t bad guys vs good guys, but that's wholly uninterested in motivations when they don't fit. White racist killer = we need a conversation on race, and oh yeah we get to portray ideological opponents as racist. Black gay killer = motivations don't matter, just routine workplace violence, and oh yeah we need more gun control.
You'd think at the very least the Media would examine the role they play in inspiring acts of this sort through their intense coverage of killers.

Real American said...

“Vester was an unhappy man,” Marks said, adding, “when he was hired here, he quickly gathered a reputation as someone who was difficult to work with. He was sort of looking out for people to say things that he could take offense to.”

That sounds like the half the damn country right now.

Michael K said...

"This was not about "black on white race-based violence."

Cookie is in rare form today.

BN said...

Many people are incompetent. Most people are frustrated. Very few commit murder. What made him do it?
Your rationalization aside, he most certainly was not incompetent at doing evil.

Robert Cook said...

"It's a shame the shooter didn't know that."

His racial resentments were part of his particular personal grievances against the world; every workplace shooter has his own. They are all manifestations of emotionally disturbed people, failures in life who displace their own sense of failure by blaming others around them, others against whom they seek revenge.

To call something "racial-based violence" is to characterize it as merely a rational expression of race hatred, simple bigotry. This wasn't that, however much it may suit your biases to see it that way. This was, again, an unstable personality, plagued by failure in his career, (and possibly in his personal life), who blamed his failure on "racism" (and homophobia) directed against him by others. His crime was motivated by sublimated self-hatred and the desire for self-immolation, to kill the objects of his resentment and himself, as is the case with so many of these types of killers.

Robert Cook said...

"I guess Maj. Hasan's victims are among those 700/year, right? Just workplace violence."

I would say so, yes.

Rick said...

mishu said...
So this is an indictment against affirmative action.


Maybe the right people haven't been in charge yet. Amazing how often that's the case.

Michael K said...

"This wasn't that, however much it may suit your biases to see it that way. "

So the shooter was lying ?

I suited his "biases?"

You are hilarious.

Robert Cook said...

"Cookie is in rare form today."

Thanks, Michael K.! I feel I often illuminate and educate when I post here. I appreciate your recognition of that.

Roppert said...

"This man began with a weak mind and then was told 1. that he could do something...". Are you talking about president Obama?

Coupe said...

I hope they feed his body to wild pigs in Texas. I love me some plump wild pig. Mmmph.. Mmmph...

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...He was incompetent all along, and yet he was hired and lured into investing his time and emotional energy in this work. When things went badly for him, his incompetent mind processed the information incompetently. That doesn't justify murder, but it's a better explanation than saying he was evil (which I've seen).

Is this based on more than the linked article, or are you just giving an example of a Just So story someone could tell (if they wanted to for some reason) based on broad speculation? Is this kind of explanatory story-telling usually done for murders? I don't remember hearing one about, say, the Charleston church group murder (Roof?). He's widely referred to as an evil racist and/or white supremacist, and that's about it. Did anyone concoct a story as to why that one became a racist, or why he held his dumbass beliefs? If no (and I sure don't remember seeing any) then why would this killer get one?

More succinctly: what criteria do you use to determine when "that guy was evil" is a sufficient explanation and when it is not?

JAORE said...

"This was not about "black on white race-based violence."

Sweet baby geebuzz, Cookie. Does your mind automatically redact information not in accordance with your world view? How do you reconcile the multiple charges of racism to blame for any and all failures, the blame it on a white murderer and the bring on the race war information?

JAORE said...

Oh yeah, Ms. Althouse. Do you think the position you took on affirmative action in this case may have broader application?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Robert Cook said...This was, again, an unstable personality, plagued by failure in his career, (and possibly in his personal life), who blamed his failure on "racism" (and homophobia) directed against him by others. His crime was motivated by sublimated self-hatred and the desire for self-immolation, to kill the objects of his resentment and himself, as is the case with so many of these types of killers.

Ok, what part of that doesn't apply to the Charleston church shooter? He blamed people of another race (and not racism itself), but otherwise that sounds like it'd apply 100%. But the Media made a pretty big deal about racism and white supremacy in that case--are you saying they were wrong to do that, then?

Robert Cook said...

"Many people are incompetent. Most people are frustrated. Very few commit murder. What made him do it?"

There are also many people with racial biases; very few commit murder.

He was emotionally disturbed.

campy said...

"Thanks, Michael K.! I feel I often illuminate and educate when I post here. I appreciate your recognition of that."

It's sad that this might not be sarcasm.

BN said...

"what criteria do you use to determine when "that guy was evil"...

Following Lenin, it's all "who whom".

CJinPA said...

To call something "racial-based violence" is to characterize it as merely a rational expression of race hatred, simple bigotry.

So, what would a "rational" act of racial violence look like?

Again, you can be emotionally unstable and a flaming racist. To argue they are mutually exclusive is folly.

There is no debate over whether this guy's racial grievances were stoked by the grievance culture. The only questions is, to what degree.

Robert Cook said...

"But the Media made a pretty big deal about racism and white supremacy in that case--are you saying they were wrong to do that, then?"

Very possibly. The media like to play up such issues. The media certainly say all sorts of shit which is wrong.

Rick said...

Robert Cook said...
This was, again, an unstable personality, plagued by failure in his career, (and possibly in his personal life), who blamed his failure on "racism" (and homophobia) directed against him by others. His crime was motivated by sublimated self-hatred and the desire for self-immolation, to kill the objects of his resentment and himself, as is the case with so many of these types of killers.


If you drop the homophobia this describes Dylan Roof perfectly. No doubt Cooke's on record denying that was a race-based murder as well. In truth both are racial attacks even though there were other causes. But to me the most interesting point is not that other causes exist but rather how hard people keep looking for non-race root causes depending on whether the currently accepted story suits their political and social preferences.

Birches said...

One of the many problems with race-preferences. Essentially you're telling a person that they are really capable of more than they are (say, telling a mediocre student he should be able to do well at MIT), and that only their race was holding them back. Then when they inevitably struggle--far more than their peers at say MIT--how else can we expect them to feel but frustrated and believing their race is again holding them down? Particularly shameful when such people may have done just fine in a position for which they were qualified, and therefore seen that their race was not such an obstacle.

This comment reminded me of an article I read on LA Times a few years ago. This kid was set up for failure because of well meaning affirmative action policies. It's sad.

Robert Cook said...

"So, what would a 'rational' act of racial violence look like?"

Lynching, burning down black churches, different racial groups fighting each other, blacks in the Rodney King riots beating up the white trucker, etc.

BN said...

"emotionally disturbed" is perfect, whatever it means. What is different from others who are also "emotionally disturbed"? He chose to murder. That is evil.

Segesta said...

And as we learned from South Park, our culture cannot blame a black person for anything. I thought that was outrageous until I thought about it for a minute.

Robert Cook said...

"It's sad that this might not be sarcasm."

It's not sarcasm; it's irony.

I do try to educate and illuminate, but too many here are unprepared to be educated.

MayBee said...

Here's Sally Kohn, a national political commentator, saying she has no reason to believe his grievances weren't justified:

was mentally unstable AND appears to acted out of sense of victimization i have no reason to believe not justified Sally Kohn added,

Heimish Conservative @HeimishCon
@sallykohn Do you deny that this shooter acted because he felt victimized (unjustifiably so)?


Imagine if someone had said Dylan Root's grievances were justified!

CJinPA said...

So Maj. Hasan and Vester Flanagan both shoot co-workers in an act both declare is based on motivations from outside the workplace - religion and race, respectively - but you're going to argue they were both "workplace violence."

Now you're not even trying.

I understand these incidents raise uncomfortable issues that challenge your worldview, so naturally you want to deny the obvious. And you have powerful allies in that effort, from the president on down. But the facts don't change. Reality still says you're wrong.

Robert Cook said...

"I suited his 'biases?'"

Do you have a problem with reading comprehension? You didn't suit his biases; your insistence that his killing was simply another case of racial violence--another black thug harming white people--suits your biases.

CJinPA said...

Lynching, burning down black churches, different racial groups fighting each other, blacks in the Rodney King riots beating up the white trucker, etc.

Interesting. And these are rational...why?

Just Mike said...

not evil, just really really dumb. Which make it even more of a tragedy IMO

Christopher B said...

TL;DR version of Cookie - he was black so he can't be racist.

Roughcoat said...

Evil is as evil does.

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck ...

DanTheMan said...

Crazy people do crazy things for crazy reasons.

Trying to derive some deeper understaning from his actions is... crazy.

furious_a said...

Robert Cook said...
"I guess Maj. Hasan's victims are among those 700/year, right? Just workplace violence."

I would say so, yes.


Q: What goes..."ALLAHU AKHBAR!" /BANG!/......"ALLAHU AKHBAR!" /BANG!/..."ALLAHU AKHBAR!" /BANG!/ ?
A: "Workplace Violence."

furious_a said...

If Cookie's special blend of willfully-blind politically-correct stupidity were quarantined only to himself, it would only be an annoyance on message boards; unfortunately when it infests the Army chain-of-command we get fourteen dead troopers at Fort Hood.

BN said...

"not evil, just... dumb"

What lengths will we go to to deny that evil exists? I am dumbfounded.

Brando said...

"was mentally unstable AND appears to acted out of sense of victimization i have no reason to believe not justified Sally Kohn added,"

Please tell me Ms. Kohn simply misspoke. It's one thing to say "who knows what was behind his sense of victimization" but it's quite another to presume that his feeling of victimization was justified.

This was a paranoid man consumed with hate. Where he should have been getting mental help he instead was coddled through the EEOC process and bounced around from job to job by employers who in fear of liability (as well as fear of appearing racist) kept him on far too long. Every one of his claims was dismissed and there is absolutely no reason an outside observer (like Ms. Kohn) should presume he was actually victimized.

But hey, in today's racialist atmosphere, let's find another way to blame white victims for their own murders. Clearly these journalists were asking for it!

damikesc said...

Well Scott, as a member of two privileged classes, what you call inane speculation may be called reasonable conclusion by others.

Nah. The killer was a whackjob.

I'm on the board with just calling him "some asshole". Call ALL of these killers "some asshole". Kills the hope for glory if all reports are just "some asshole killed x people today).

This is why I don't like the worker protection "rights" laws. As many LGBT groups are pushing for now. Not that I want LGBT people to be fired for who they are, but because once hired, firing someone is a lawsuit waiting to happen. You really create protected groups. You also create accusations against good people when you do try to fire protected people. Anyone who knows anyone who does hiring and firing knows this. Like what happened with this guy.

They are also criminally unjust as it seems odd that only one group seems to be fair game -- white males.

It's one thing the policymakers seem to overlook--the harder you make it to fire someone, the less likely someone is going to be hired.

Also why employers abuse the internship program. Well, "because they can" is one reason...but that firing an intern is far easier than an employee.

CNN: In Katrina commemoration, Obama to cite inequities 'brewing for decades'

Showing that Obama's 2004 speech was edited.

"There isn't a red America or a blue America...fucking honkies"

OT: Cook, your blog is entertaining. Your artwork looks rather fun.

Brando said...

"This comment reminded me of an article I read on LA Times a few years ago. This kid was set up for failure because of well meaning affirmative action policies. It's sad."

It explains the higher dropout rates among black students at colleges--and I sympathize with them. Imagine being told your whole life that racism was holding you back, and you could blame racism for anything bad happening to you (a missing parent, getting into trouble with the police, lack of money or opportunities) but that the "good guys" were going to make sure you got a "fair shake" at going to Harvard even though your SATs are much lower than the Harvard average (because SATs of course are racially biased, too). You get scholarships but have to take out loans, and don't worry, the government will help guarantee them but you still have to pay them back--and you get to school and find you're competing with hard charging Asians and whites (many from wealthy families who came from competitive high schools and read far more than you did). You work hard but find yourself in over your head, and as you sink to the bottom of the class you are torn between feeling stupid (even though at say Florida State you'd be among the top students) and believing the racialists who keep telling you that the school's curriculum is racist.

If you don't drop out, you may still graduate, but find with poor grades and few connections you scramble for a job, and perhaps you find one--one that expects Harvard level education and is perhaps thrilled to hire a black grad so they don't look so racist--and the same pattern happens, but is worse because you're even further behind the competitive hires at this job than you were at your first year in Harvard.

As it goes on, more are set up for failure, and the failure simply becomes more "evidence" for the racialists to complain that systemic racism is holding back minorities. They're partly right--but the "systemic racism" is the regime the racialists implemented themselves.

Michael K said...

"too many here are unprepared to be educated."

Too many here are to well educated to be impressed with your lunatic rantings.

You would be right at home Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party.

MayBee said...

Drew Griffin on CNN is reporting the "racial" comment by *an* Allison at the station was her asking "where are you going to swing by for lunch".

This is a guy looking to be a victim. But this is what we seem to celebrate these days, right? The smallest grievances must be addressed.

Robert Cook said...

"Interesting. And these are rational...why?"

Because they are not the products of people with disturbed minds. They are the products of ignorance and hatred, to be sure, but one can be ignorant and hateful while being fully rational. Most ignorant and hateful people, in fact, are rational.

William said...

Confederate flags and Civil War monuments don't cause anyone to go to a black church and murder the congregants there. Can we all agree on that. Affirmative action doesn't cause a disgruntled employee to hunt down and murder his fellow employees. Can we all agree on that?......This man and Dylan Roof had more in common with each other than with their respective aggrieved groups. They wanted to be famous, to be the star of the show. You're granting them their wish. They are fucked up losers and should be treated as such. The less said about them the better.

Robert Cook said...

"OT: Cook, your blog is entertaining. Your artwork looks rather fun."

Thank you, Damikesc.

Scott said...

"I do try to educate and illuminate, but too many here are unprepared to be educated."

When leftists abandon their positions, they characterize their inconsistencies and hypocrisies as "irony."

"Irony" is supposed to be an inside joke among the self-styled educated and illuminated, but to the rest of the world it's just smug idiocy.

Scott said...

Assuming that the mocus statistic "700 people a year in the United States die from workplace violence" is sort of truthy, that's 0.00022 percent of 318 million people. In other words, less than statistical background noise.

Robert Cook said...

"Assuming that the mocus statistic "700 people a year in the United States die from workplace violence" is sort of truthy, that's 0.00022 percent of 318 million people. In other words, less than statistical background noise."

And...your point?

Robert Cook said...

"When leftists abandon their positions, they characterize their inconsistencies and hypocrisies as 'irony.'"

What inconsistencies and hypocries? The irony lies in my remark that I try to educate and illuminate...when I am addressing a commentariat that is (largely) self-apparently impervious to education or illumination.

Matthew Sablan said...

"I do try to educate and illuminate, but too many here are unprepared to be educated."

-- Protip: Try to not sound like a creepy, gaslighting cult leader when trying to encourage people to listen to you.

CJinPA said...

Because they are not the products of people with disturbed minds. They are the products of ignorance and hatred, to be sure, but one can be ignorant and hateful while being fully rational. Most ignorant and hateful people, in fact, are rational.

And one can be ignorant and hateful while being irrational. For the third time, these are not mutually exclusive traits.

To put it succinctly: the people driving the culture that fed this guy's mind with thoughts of justified violence don't escape judgment by claiming, "Gee, we didn't know it would lead to irrational violence, just the rational kind."

Scott said...

Oh, snap! That's 700 killings over ten years! That makes it something like 0.000022 percent of 318 million people. Compare that with the possibility of drowning in a bath tub. That happens roughly every day. And it causes the senseless deaths of 0.00011477 percent of the United States population, like clockwork, every single year.

Be safe. Take a shower instead.

Laura said...

"He was emotionally disturbed."

He was also male, and not yet past the age of retirement for military service. Young men have typically been recruited for schemes that involve violence, and then trained to apply violence with more discrimination and effectiveness.

Killing the king to become the king and bed the queen still gets played out, and she was a lovely trophy blonde to boot.

But gun control. More asylums, er long-term mental health institutions. More classification of people by genitals and skin color. That's the ticket.

Now that that's done, pass me the popcorn. You want to watch Scarface or Taxi Driver? Well, I really was hoping for Point of No Return, but as long as it isn't one of the Saw movies, I'm okay with it.

Scott said...

"The irony lies in my remark that I try to educate and illuminate...when I am addressing a commentariat that is (largely) self-apparently impervious to education or illumination."

Any man who can write this with a straight face has no idea what irony is.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Skeptical Voter: How does Ms. Althouse know he was incompetent all along? Sounds like he couldn't get along with people, but simply bring a jerk doesn't mean you are incompetent.

He was, it seems, several times advised that his attitude and work products were below desired level of acceptability, ultimately such as to place his retention in jeopardy. He was unwilling to accept the criticism, and/or unable to improve his performance. He was unfitted for the position.

Nice to see the employer had good written documentation to debunk his wrongful termination claim. (In Texas, at least) no unemployment tax hit to the employer.

campy said...

"... I am addressing a commentariat that is (largely) self-apparently impervious to education or illumination."

Perhaps you're just too dim a bulb.

Laura said...

"Imagine if someone had said Dylan Root's grievances were justified!"

Imagine if Dylan Root had just stumbled onto another romantic relationship, instead of just fermenting his rage.

Perhaps a national masturbation initiative? See http://national.deseretnews.com/article/3163/how-chinas-one-child-policy-has-ruined-the-marriage-prospects-of-its-young-men.html.

Seems such a waste to develop them only for cannon fodder or target practice.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Robert Cook said...
"But the Media made a pretty big deal about racism and white supremacy in that case--are you saying they were wrong to do that, then?"

Very possibly. The media like to play up such issues. The media certainly say all sorts of shit which is wrong.


And that's Robert Cook being consistent, so good for him. What many commenters here are pointing out/complaining about, though, is the fact that Media is not consistent, and is not consistent in a way that comports with their personal, political, and ideological biases.

Cook says the underlying motivations or reasons expressed by the killers do not matter, we should chalk them all up as murders. Consistently applied that's a fine standard. Prof. Althouse spins an explanation for this killer but didn't spin one for other killers (as far as I know), which could imply that sometimes motivations matter and sometimes they don't (I don't know how it's decided). The Media went hardcore into motivations/causes in one case (Roof) and used that case to push an agenda, but in other cases (like this one) where the killer's expressed motivation does not line up with the Media's narrative they avoid using the specific case to make larger points, start national conversations, etc. Robert Cook is more consistent than the Media, and I'm sure the next time they step out of line (as they "very possibly" did in the Roof case) he'll call them on it. Resolved.

Robert Cook said...

"Oh, snap! That's 700 killings over ten years! That makes it something like 0.000022 percent of 318 million people. Compare that with the possibility of drowning in a bath tub. That happens roughly every day. And it causes the senseless deaths of 0.00011477 percent of the United States population, like clockwork, every single year."

And...your point?

Robert Cook said...

"Any man who can write this with a straight face has no idea what irony is."

How do you know I have a straight face? I can mean what I say while being highly amused at the same time.

Fernandinande said...

http://www.bls.gov/iif/workplace_homicides_20130917.htm
"According to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 375 workers were killed in shootings while on the job in 2012. Robbers were the assailants in 33 percent of the workplace homicides involving shootings in 2012, while coworkers accounted for 13 percent.* There were two incidents in 2012 where at least 5 people were killed in workplace shootings; a total of 12 workers died in these two incidents. From 1992 to 2012, 140 government workers were shot and killed by a coworker while on the job."

(their link -> "A preliminary total of 4,383 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2012" mostly car and other accidents - construction, mining, etc)

*So about 50 people are shot & killed by coworkers per year.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Robert Cook said...
"Any man who can write this with a straight face has no idea what irony is."

How do you know I have a straight face?


The preferred term is "cis-visaged."

Scott said...

"And...your point?"

You're serious?

If there are three other readers on here who want me to explain it, I will.

AReasonableMan said...

Curious place for Althouse to take this, a potential affirmative action hire who may lack the ability to be a first rate worker, is difficult to get along with and is fixated on gay issues.

Quaestor said...

I read those Greg Sextro quotes last night, and found them so outrageous that I considering commenting about them in the "Goldenrod" thread, however those café threads tend to be too defuse to sustain a good conversation, so I didn't write anything until now.

I think it's pretty evident that Sextro (Fake!) hadn't even a glimmer of insight into Vester Flanagan. The Daily Beast would have served us better by blue penciling the entire Greg Sextro interview, except for that "African-American gay man" part. The implication is that white, male, and straight means "on probation" in the TV journalism business. Class-action lawsuit, anyone?

The demand for a jury of his peers says a lot about Vester Flanagan. With that kind of attitude he was bound to murder somebody. One can simply not carry a chip on one's shoulder bigger than one's brain without deadly violence ensuing sooner or later. The questions should now turn to Flanagan's family and educators. Was he always a racist, or did someone indoctrinate him?

Robert Cook said...

"*So about 50 people are shot & killed by coworkers per year."

And...your point?

Robert Cook said...

"If there are three other readers on here who want me to explain it, I will."

As I thought...you have no pertinent point.

Quaestor said...

TV news personalities tend to a gypsy-like existence - working at this station, then at that station, crisscrossing the continent, always on the lookout for the Big Break, the network job. Flanagan's career wasn't exceptional in that respect. What was exceptional was his resumé. Station managers expect to see a lot of "job mobility" on a resumé, and they expect their on-air people to be constantly on the hunt for the better deal in the bigger market.

What's alarming is the fact that Flanagan already had a nasty work history before he came to WDBJ. Why was he hired? Is television news so corrupt that a more-deserving person went without to provide this asshole with a cushy job? (The answer is yes. Ask any straight white male journalism major who graduated into the job market in the last 15 years.)

There will be some (probably here, one or more of the usual trolls) who will suggest that Roanoke/Lynchburg was an unwelcoming environment for a gay black racist. However, allow me to preempt by pointing out that Flanagan lost his job at KPIX.

Quaestor said...

Vester Flanagan spent the better part of his adult life pulling the race card on white people as a act of aggression and intimidation. Unfortunately for Alison Parker and Adam Ward there is still a sizable minority of Justice Department attorneys and federal judges who are not corrupt and/or brain dead (Patience, patience... Obama is still at work.) As a consequence Flanagan's weaponized EEOC complaints got him nowhere.

Nothing empowers the savage Id more than the rage which follows the kind of frustration Flanagan must have felt when his EEOC lawsuit, the pinnacle of his existence was dismissed. It was just a matter of time and circumstance before Flanagan destroyed someone and himself. Basically he gave up pulling the race card like a gun from a holster, and started pulling the real thing.

D. B. Light said...

Here's the problem with branding things as "evil". Sometimes the good guys do really bad things. My favorite example is in the Bible -- Numbers 31. The Israelites had just defeated the forces of Midian in battle and had executed all the adult men and had taken the women and children prisoner. Moses was "wroth". He said that this angered God and commanded the Israelites to kill all the male children and all women who were not virgins. The virgins were to be kept by the soldiers for their own use, presumably as sex slaves. These actions are pretty much indistinguishable from those of ISIS or Boko Harum or other terrorist groups that we consider to be "evil", and would be considered by any civilized people to be atrocities. But these orders came from Moses, one of our cultural icons, and originated with God, whom we consider to be a representation of perfect good. They are contained in the "Good Book". This raises a number of questions: Was the good and great man Moses "evil" to have commanded such atrocities? Was God capable of "evil" since Moses claimed he was acting on God's command? Did Moses lie about God's commands? The simplistic dichotomy of "good" and "evil" cannot accommodate these sorts of discrepancies. To achieve some level of understanding we have to apply a more flexible, one might say "relativistic", vocabulary. Defining things as simply "good" or "evil" renders much of human [and divine] activity completely incomprehensible.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MayBee said...

What's alarming is the fact that Flanagan already had a nasty work history before he came to WDBJ.

It is almost impossible for former employers to give negative information about former employees when a prospective employer calls about employment history. You can basically say, "yes, they used to work here".
Negative information is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

khesanh0802 said...

The guy was a whacko, but it was the gun's fault.

damikesc said...

It is almost impossible for former employers to give negative information about former employees when a prospective employer calls about employment history. You can basically say, "yes, they used to work here".
Negative information is a lawsuit waiting to happen.


I wonder if a former employer could provide positive info on the most meaningless and mundane nonsense as a subtle hint that the guy really wasn't terribly useful.

"Yeah, our anchorman always had the best pressed shirts out there. And, man, his hair was on POINT! He could eat without making lots of noise, which is always appreciated...."

Paco Wové said...

"Here's the problem with branding things as "evil"."

Do you have a similar problem with branding things as "good"?

Paco Wové said...

"positive info on the most meaningless and mundane nonsense as a subtle hint"

I had an HR person explain to me once that precisely because lack of a positive response could be construed as a negative response, the company policy was to never provide any positive or negative information. Just "they worked here".

Paco Wové said...

"That thing you did -- well, I don't want to say it was 'good', because that simplistic word renders your actions incomprehensible."

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Robert Cook said...
"*So about 50 people are shot & killed by coworkers per year."

And...your point?


Seems like at least part of the point is to refine your hypothetical/estimate, Robert.
You guessed/stated 700/year, but he's saying it's actually only 50/year.

2/700 = 0.286%. 2/50 = 4% It's a pretty big difference, and if one was so inclined one might argue that the difference is enough to possibly justify the amount of coverage this particular situation has received (apart from the made-for-TV quality of the act itself--being doubly filmed, etc).

Robert Cook said...

"You guessed/stated 700/year, but he's saying it's actually only 50/year."

I didn't guess it...it was a statistic I found.

"Between 1992 and 2012, there were 14,770 workplace homicide victims, or roughly 700 a year on average, according to federal government statistics."

RecChief said...

say, what's a monthly prescription for an antidepressant run?

Seems like that would have been a cheap way to save 3 lives.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Robert Cook said...I didn't guess it...it was a statistic I found.

Right, ok, but the point in distinguishing between "700/yr homicides of people at work" and "13% of 375 workplace homicide victims in 2010 were killed by a coworker" is pretty clear, right? In that the situation we're talking about here is more like the latter (a former co-worker as the murderer) and not the former (which includes everyone who is murdered while on the job), right? The 700 presumably includes everyone from a police officer killed by someone they were chasing to a liquor store clerk killed by an irate customer. The .13 * 375 ~ 50 are just those killed by coworkers, which is considerably more rare--thus that statistic refines the point that this is a rare (and possibly thus newsworthy) occurrence.

Rick Lockridge said...

I think the news director who DIDN'T fire this asshole is complicit (in a nontrivial way) in these murders and here's why: When I was a TV news reporter (did it for 15 years), I would have been fired Sofa King fast if I had worn a candidate's campaign sticker on my lapel DURING AN ELECTION LIVE SHOT. Anyone would be. It is incomprehensible to me that this dude wasn't fired. You can't plead "I forgot to take it off." If you are on duty as a reporter covering an election you can never ever do that shit. It isn't even debatable.

So let's say they fired his ass after that. That firing would have withstood any kind of scrutiny. So why didn't they do it? Why issue a reprimand instead? What were they afraid of? That Obama supporters would picket? If they HAD fired him for THE MOST OBVIOUSLY TERMINABLE OFFENSE YOU CAN IMAGINE, even Flanagan wouldn't have been able to persuade himself that whitey was out to get him, he would have known it was his own damn fault. And the TV news business would have flushed him out like the fucking turd he was. And maybe, just maybe, he doesn't get a gun and shoot the two young people.

Yeah, I know, a lot of maybes. But I'm angry that the cowardly ND at that shop (whoever it was) didn't fire Flanagan's gay black grievance-hustling ass. Don't ask your reporters to be courageous and then hide under a skirt.

D. B. Light said...

Paco, I do have a problem with the idea of absolute good. In our linguistic culture "good" usually has a relativistic value -- good, better, best -- that is not attached to the word "evil". Unless modified evil is usually understood to be an absolute.

William said...

There's this problem. The more attention you pay to sorry assed losers like Flanagan and Roof, the more likely you are to encourage the next madman. Guns, psychos, and mass media exist in our society. We should do our level best to minimize the occurrence of this self replicating nexus......There's this to be said in favor of America. Our killings mostly happen on a retail basis. With the exception of the Civil War we've never indulged in mass slaughter. In other societies it goes on forever.......I've read that in Serbia that that piece of shit who initiated WWI by assassinating Archduke Feridinand is celebrated as a national hero. Those suicide bombers who blow up children waiting at an ice cream truck in Iraq are also considered heroes by those aligned with their cause......No sane person has anything good to say about Flanagan and Roof, but we should exercise caution in the way we condemn their pathology. Their crimes don't have anything to do with the Confederacy or affirmative action. They are madmen with guns. And if they didn't have guns, they would use cars or axes or chainsaws to wreak their havoc. We should condemn these madmen but for their madness and not in the name of some larger cause. And the condemnation should be fleeting and low keyed and not give these losers the notoriety that they crave.

Coupe said...

1. Sane people can have guns in the USA.
2. Insane people can have guns in the USA
3. Innocent people are assassinated by insane people with guns in the USA.

Solution 1: Prohibition on civilian gun ownership, build more prisons.
Solution 2: Exterminate all the insane people.

I'm for option 2. It would be cheap, and burning the bodies could generate a lot of electricity.

Birches said...

@ Brando

That's why so many of those kids end up majoring in AA studies, sociology or some other subject where they will be similarly coddled. Then their education further fuels their anger at the system. Rinse. Repeat. The kid in the LA Times story was failing all his classes but still pulling out decent grades in AA studies. Why?

Birches said...

I had an HR person explain to me once that precisely because lack of a positive response could be construed as a negative response, the company policy was to never provide any positive or negative information. Just "they worked here".

Back in my former life, I was in HR for a small credit union. We always tried to use our tone to get the message across in the really, really bad cases. "Would this person be eligible for rehire?" Me: "Noooooooo....."

Robert Cook said...

@HoodlumDoodlum:

My point had nothing to do with the number of workplace murders in a year or span of years...it had to do with Bryce Williams being simply one of these disturbed, angry, failed people who projects his failure outward, who must blame others and project violence on those he sees as at fault for his ignominious state. His crime was one of workplace violence, not a racial crime. Regardless of the actual number in any given year, it is a consistent category of crime, and those who commit these crimes tend to have a personality type. That was my point, and I assumed that someone questioning the statistic must have thought a conflicting statistic somehow undermined my point. It doesn't, of course.

n.n said...

So, Williams was both a racist and a member of the "Pride" movement. The murderer raised the flag of selective exclusion, the Rainbow Flag, in his residence. This wouldn't be noteworthy other than for the noticeable lack of condemnation from the Obama "pro-choice/selective principles" administration, the usual suspects, and the so-called mainstream "civil rights" organizations. This mass murder meets all of the criteria popular in their circles to establish that two hate crimes were committed.

Laslo Spatula said...

Can't a gay black man kill some people and eat his waffles in peace?

I'm writing this before Iowahawk steals it from me.


I am Laslo.

Charles said...

In my opinion, as a psychiatrist, there is insufficient information presently available to make a diagnosis of Flanagan, though the snippets of information as have been revealed suggest a paranoid personality influenced by racial antagonisms.

Achilles said...

Coupe said...

"Solution 1: Prohibition on civilian gun ownership, build more prisons.
Solution 2: Exterminate all the insane people.

I'm for option 2. It would be cheap, and burning the bodies could generate a lot of electricity."

Or at least lock them up on conditional release(take your meds before walking out the door).

Paco Wové said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paco Wové said...

"...evil is usually understood to be an absolute. "

I have to admit that in many circles, you are probably right, thus rendering the word ("evil") useless. Which is too bad, because you then eliminate part of the vocabulary for talking about heinous acts.

Terry said...

Charles wrote:
"In my opinion, as a psychiatrist, there is insufficient information presently available to make a diagnosis of Flanagan, though the snippets of information as have been revealed suggest a paranoid personality influenced by racial antagonisms."

But wouldn't a paranoid personality see racial antagonisms where none exist? Like Dylann Roof?

Michael K said...

" His crime was one of workplace violence, not a racial crime."

So, the fact that he shot two white people who had never done him harm, and declared he was responding to racism and was an absolute asshole to anyone around him for years, especially if they were white, is all coincidence ? He took a video of the shooting and posted it on Facebook and sent a rambling letter alleging racism by everyone around him. Another coincidence ?

What a dope !

Michael K said...

"But wouldn't a paranoid personality see racial antagonisms where none exist? Like Dylann Roof?"

Roof sounded psychotic to me. This guy was much more rational, if deluded. If being deluded that all your troubles are caused by white racism is psychosis, there are a couple million cases.

Robert Cook said...

Michael K., it suits your biases to see Bryce Williams as another black thug harming white people, but it just so happened he was black and it just so happened his victims were white...these factors were incidental to the fact that he was a disturbed individual who, had he been white, with all other factors the same, would have likely acted out in the same violent way.

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EMD said...

"these factors were incidental to the fact that he was a disturbed individual who, had he been white, with all other factors the same, would have likely acted out in the same violent way."

Cook, I respect you, but you're wrong here. Flanagan specifically gave a purpose to his actions in his 23 page 'manifesto' He used the terms race war, and sought to retaliate for Dylann Roof. He's the yin to Roof's yang. While it may be true he would act out the same way if he were white and feeling some sort of ongoing injustice, that does not negate nor diminish the fact that he himself used racism to justify his actions.


Scott said...

"As I thought...you have no pertinent point."

People other than you apparently got the point, because nobody else asked me to explain it. In fact, it's an obvious point. You feigned not getting it because it demolishes your assertions on the social impact of gun violence in the workplace.

So of course you don't acknowledge it, Cookie. You embrace the progressive tendency to intellectual laziness that goes all the way back to Fredreich Engels, who pioneered the methodology of starting with the conclusions and distorting the cherry-picked "facts" to fit them.

Char Char Binks said...

Michael K said... "Roof sounded psychotic to me. This guy was much more rational, if deluded." Utter nonsense. Roof had real grievances, and was actually right about some things. Blacks DO commit more crime than whites, especially violent crime such as rape, and they DO target whites far more than whites target blacks (Source: DOJ, FBI), and black society DOES condone it, or at least turn a blind eye to it, as it has for years, but especially now with all this BLM hysteria. Roof was completely wrong to shoot innocent people, of course, but that doesn't make his complaints wrong. Vester Flanagan was completely deluded and racist (yes, both). He invented racial slights against himself that even he may not have believed, to blame other for his own failures. He was belligerent, and played the gay card like it was trump, and the race card like it was the right bower, because they were all he had going for himself. He equated having watermelon in the break room with calling him a nigger! He accused Alison Parker of making racist comments as if that justified her murder, apparently without even having enough imagination to make up something she supposedly said.

chickelit said...

Robert Cook as much as said: Michael K., it suits your biases to see Nidal Malik Hasan as another Muslim terrorist harming Americans, but it just so happened he was Muslim and it just so happened his victims were American soldiers...these factors were incidental to the fact that he was a disturbed individual who, had he been Christian, with all other factors the same, would have likely acted out in the same violent way.

Cook's logic is identical. There is something pathologically wrong with the left who look and hear but refuse to see and to listen.

n.n said...

The concern people should have is the use of simple correlations and statistical inference to establish cause, and especially their abuse in order to paint and exploit individuals and class of people.

chickelit said...

A problem that Cook seems to have -- Althouse as well -- is admitting that a Venn diagram comprising "evil" could overlap at all with one comprising "gay" or "black." In their minds (I base this purely on reading comprehension), no gay person nor any black person can be evil a priori. To admit so would be to undermine some sort of theory he/she has constructed.

On the other hand, Cook could just be playing that silly game that Althouse bragged about playing with her sons at the breakfast table while they were growing up. It was along the lines of "defend this" -- even the most heinous crime. It seems like fine training for a legal mind, especially for criminal lawyers, but it's downright rude in a public forum like this precisely because there is no judge nor any decorum, unlike a family breakfast table or a court of law And before anyone chimes in and says that Althouse is the judge here, what makes her an expert in criminal law?

chickelit said...

I for one wish people would stop calling these killers by name. It's better to refer to them as that loser who shot up the church or the wacko who shot people on live TV and live tweeted it.

Static Ping said...

What Flanagan did was evil. If it is not evil, then the word has no meaning.

Was Flanagan evil? We generally do not associate insane people as evil these days, but that is a mistake. If people who go around doing evil acts are not evil, then who is evil? The supply of obvious "muhahaha" type villains is low in the real world. If someone like Flanagan was in a position of power, I doubt we would have the reservations of naming him what he is because he would probably have a lot higher body count than two. He's evil.

The fact that you can understand the logic of why he is evil does not mitigate anything. I can understand why Roof shot up the church. I can understand why child molesters abuse children. I can understand why Hitler wanted a "final solution." I can understand the logic of some horrible things. Damn evil, all of them. Reclassifying them as "crazy" or "insane" because one does not want to confront the fact that human beings can be evil is not a useful activity. At best, it is a delusion to hide from the truth. At worst it wanders into "too dumb to live" territory.

Of course, this does not mean one cannot turn from evil. Redemption is always available, assuming one has not already checked out.

Jim S. said...

That doesn't justify murder, but it's a better explanation than saying he was evil (which I've seen).

Why is saying he was evil a bad explanation? It seems to have a lot of explanatory power to me. Perhaps we should make the classic distinction between objective and subjective evil. We may want to say that a child molester who just can't stop himself cannot be held responsible for his actions insofar as he really can't stop himself. His actions may not be subjectively evil. But that says absolutely nothing against the claim that child molestation is objectively evil. This distinction is the basis behind the Christian commandment to not judge other people. Note that the commandment is not that we should not judge their actions: we should judge child abuse to be evil because it is evil, and refusing to acknowledge that is just willful blindness. But since we do not know how difficult it is for a particular individual to refrain from doing some evil, we are not in a position to judge the subjective evil of the act. For all we know a murderer is exhibiting more self-restraint than we ever will. (Having said that, of course many people who commit evil acts have chosen to align themselves with evil, and so have chosen to be evil people.)

So if you're suggesting that calling the shooter evil is a bad explanation, then I could maybe agree with you, as long as we make it very clear that his action, at least, was horrifically evil.

chickelit said...

Was Flanagan evil? We generally do not associate insane people as evil these days, but that is a mistake. If people who go around doing evil acts are not evil, then who is evil? The supply of obvious "muhahaha" type villains is low in the real world. If someone like Flanagan was in a position of power, I doubt we would have the reservations of naming him what he is because he would probably have a lot higher body count than two. He's evil.

To the left, Trump and the Kochs are evil; for those on the right, it's George Soros. I think this symmetry is based on the Biblical saying about the money being the root of all evil.

But for average Americans like me, Flanagan was evil. How was that not apparent from the screen grab of his face staring down the cameraman? Or the screen grab of him pointing the gun at the woman?

chickelit said...

Well put at 10:03, Jim S.

Laura said...

"Solution 2: Exterminate all the insane people."

Someone hasn't read the DSM, or isn't aware of how easily its diagnoses can be expanded and applied. But yes, the assassinations of innocent people caught up in turf wars could easily be defined as insane. Many murderers would no doubt welcome the opportunity to revisit their sentences with expanded use of the insanity defense.

Motivated and depraved, whether "sane" or "insane," will trump any gun (knife, poison, ice pick, and the like) control law any day. And in a media and entertainment culture obsessed and saturated by the anti-hero, attention-seeking young men have been trained to find gratification at the end of a gun, rather than long term achievement and excellence like Ben Carson or Tony D. Hansberry. I'd rather that journalists relinquish their weapons at the door, but reform in their field isn't likely, and so the bleeding lede continues.

P.S. There are no medications approved by the FDA for personality disorders.

P.P.S. Thank God for neurologists and some effort toward evidence-based medicine.

Michael K said...

" it suits your biases to see Bryce Williams as another black thug harming white people,"

No, it suits your biases to deny facts that, if they were snakes, would bite you in the ass. I have testified for a black patient of mine who was the victim of an accidental shooting by the LAPD. His life was ruined and they were found not guilt in a civil (not criminal) trial. That was about 6 years before the LAPD saved Rodney King's life.

I am so tired of delusional lefties who can't see the rain if it is flooding their house. You are an ally of De Blasio who will wreck New York City and will wonder why. You live in a bubble of leftist delusion that is safe as long as you never come face to face with the reality you deny.

I have spent years dealing with people who get themselves into trouble and who lack the common sense to understand why. I would suggest you read some of Theodore Dalrymple's booms but you won't.

You will infest a blog comments section bloviating about how you try to "educate" people but you are talking to yourself.

Grow Up.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"...it's a better explanation than saying he was evil (which I've seen)."

Better for you I agree, but not society.

Society can understand evil.

Michael K said...

Dalrymple's books, of course.

Guildofcannonballs said...

If the goal be describing for clicks killings with better information regarding potential thought process' the killer had, an argument can be made to talk a lot about the killer's mind.

If the goal is to prevent future evil, evil should be a part of the conversation to the extent it is a concept understandable to society at large.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"When things went badly for him, his incompetent mind processed the information incompetently."

You presume he was born in a situation other's couldn't describe as "bad" and didn't live every second of every day feeling that way.

This presumptuous nature of your questioning opens your arguments up to questions that might not reveal anything other than dark spots of the mind's reflections.

Also, every child but, perhaps, this evil killer has had things go bad, been incompetent intellectually (and emotionally) and not killed.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"...processed the information incompetently."

Are we all aware of the information, were it to be processed competently, that would lead to much the same scenario we saw today?

There are people that want to kill you now, because American or Christian or Rich or Evil, I don't care about the distinctions frankly.

What did Louie Farrakhan mean?

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/louis-farrkhan-kill-white/2015/08/15/id/670304/

He meant to pull a "Trump" and joke around with you guys, serious!!!



chickelit said...

Robert Cook as much as said: Michael K., it suits your biases to see Louis Farrakhan as another Muslim terrorist threatening harm to white Americans, but it just so happens he is Muslim and it just so happens his intended victims are white Americans...these factors are incidental to the fact that he is a disturbed individual who, were he a Christian preacher, with all other factors the same, would speak out in the same violent way.

Guildofcannonballs said...

lure
lo͝or/Submit
verb
past tense: lured; past participle: lured
tempt (a person or an animal) to do something or to go somewhere, especially by offering some form of reward.
"the child was lured into a car but managed to escape"
synonyms: tempt, entice, attract, induce, coax, persuade, inveigle, allure, seduce, win over, cajole, beguile, bewitch, ensnare
"consumers are frequently lured into debt"


The +United States Government+ or his employers lured this man, according to a Law Professor, so shouldn't his family sue every employer he had?

(you still can't sue the government can ya?)

What have I lured?

What have you?

Hollowpoint1938 said...

Evil is as Evil does.

chickelit said...

(you still can't sue the government can ya?)

You can!

I advised a legal team that sued NIH (and we won!)

Terry said...

Laura wrote:
"Motivated and depraved, whether "sane" or "insane," will trump any gun (knife, poison, ice pick, and the like) control law any day."
It would be great if a there was a real legal definition of "depraved" to replace "insane" for some criminals. The word sounds like it describes a person who was crazy, but still knew right from wrong.

Coupe said...

Laura said......expanded use of the insanity defense.

No, no, you don't understand. I mean gas them, and burn their bodies to make steam for electricity.

Court declares you insane - off you go to the power plant.

Course there may be a need for specialized scrubbers to clean the air and remain within the EPA mandates.

Coupe said...

Well, it's all over now. The insane murderer now has a Wikipedia page and is infamous (well, in a wiki way).

I'm sure some poor public school kid will have to write a book report on this in the 7th grade.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

NO to angry bitter fat gay black racists! Shit, that wasn't hard at all...

Robert Cook said...

"You feigned not getting it because it demolishes your assertions on the social impact of gun violence in the workplace."

Scott, I have never made any assertions on the "social impact of gun violence in the workplace." You are unable to understand the obvious because you are blinkered by your own political and/or racial biases. My remarks here had only to do the the killer's own personality/psychology. My reference to the number of workplace killings each year had to do with placing Bryce Williams in context: he was not "another black thug killing whites," as some here would seem to have it, but one of those psychologically/emotionally disturbed persons who fail in life or work and who harbor desires for revenge against those they imagine are at fault for their own failures.

I feigned nothing; I really couldn't understand the point you were making--(and I still don't really get it, other than that you found a difference statistical source than I did as to the number of workplace killings a year)--as I thought you were trying to undermine or refute my point...but the truth is, you don't even understand my point because you're unable to see that life doesn't conform to your biases.

Certainly, nothing you have said "demolishes" (or even touches) anything I have asserted here.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 206   Newer› Newest»