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Tue, 21 Mar 2023
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Psychopaths and Mass Violence: The Ideological Component

While the author is almost certainly on the right track, it's important to bear in mind that psychopaths, while sharing some essential qualities (or the lack thereof), appear to come in all shapes and sizes and that most of them don't resort to outright violence to get what they want.

There's going to be a lot of finger-pointing and hand-wringing in the coming days as we begin to process the awful tragedy that unfolded early this morning in Aurora, Colorado. In particular, it seems that right-wingers are eager to point fingers and are being hypersensitive about any suggestion of right-wing politics being even remotely involved in this case.

Of course, one of the foremost facets of events like these is that premature speculation is almost always wrong. It's wisest to let the facts emerge first, at which time we can begin making a rational appraisal of the event and its underlying causes. (We will, of course, be keeping a close eye on just what is in those "items of interest" found in the home of the suspect, James Eagan Holmes, since that will tell us a great deal.)

Unlike a lot of the talking heads out there, though, it seems silly to run and hide from the political dimensions of these kinds of tragedies, especially when it comes some of the broader social ramifications, most notably the role of the mass proliferation of handguns in American society that's occurred in recent years. Just ask folks in Seattle if that conversation isn't already under way here.


Propaganda Alert! London 2012 is 'greenest Olympics ever' says report


City environments are highly toxic. One of the planet's largest cities, London is no exception.
Despite failing on its renewable targets, the London 2012 games are being hailed as the most ecologically sustainable modern Olympics ever held.

A report by WWF-UK and BioRegional, called Towards a One Planet Olympics Revisited, concludes that London 2012 has succeeded in being the most sustainable Games yet, but that failures have occurred in some significant areas.

For example, the use of carbon footprint as a strategic tool was good, but the failure to build a significant and visible renewable energy source was bad.

The report's authors conclude that: "London 2012 is the Olympics that sets a new sustainability standard for future Games; we just wish London 2012 had been able to push sustainability a little faster, a bit higher and with an even stronger focus on changes beyond the Olympic Park."

In 2005, BioRegional and WWF-UK, worked with London 2012, to write the original sustainability strategy, Towards a One Planet Olympics. The new report provides a snapshot of progress on the eve of the Games, examining the 76 promises made then and rating them according to whether they have been met.

Comment: 'Sustainability', as it is used by the CO2-obsessed green movement, is a highly politicised term referring to 'targets' that might be reached if computer models tell them exactly what they want to hear - garbage in, garbage out. There is nothing 'sustainable' about a city like London. The only sustainable thing about 'sustainability' is that it is a cash cow.


Booby-trapped apartment where alleged Aurora theater shooter lived vexes cops

apartment complex in which shooting suspect James Holmes lived is surrounded by fire engines
© Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post
The apartment complex in which shooting suspect James Holmes lived is surrounded by fire engines, police and other investigators near the intersections of Peoria and 17th ave in Aurora. Authorities were worried that his apartment had been bobby-trapped with explosives.
A tangle of wires, trip wires, jars full of liquid and things resembling mortar rounds will keep bomb technicians out of the alleged Aurora theater shooter's apartment until Saturday.

Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates Friday night called the potentially explosive mess "vexing" and said Saturday, bomb technicians from Colorado will get help from the federal government.

"Hopefully, we will be able to address and solve that problem tomorrow," he said.

Until then, the building at 1690 Paris St., where the gunman who allegedly killed 12 and injured 58 others during early morning showing of the newest Batman movie lived, remains evacuated.

Residents evacuated from four other buildings near it were being allowed to return briefly to retrieve necessities, such as medication, Oates said.

Rumors flew around the complex at Peoria and 17th Avenue, as residents mingle with medical students from the nearby University of Colorado Anshutz Medical Campus and others who came by to see what has become a macabre reminder of the mass shooting at the nearby Aurora 16 Movie Theater.


Colorado Theater Shooting: Witnesses React to Dark Knight Massacre

© Unknown
At least 12 people were killed early Friday morning when a gunman opened fire in a crowded Aurora, Colo. movie theater. The suspect, 24-year-old James Holmes, reportedly entered through an emergency exit heavily armed and carrying some sort of tear gas, and then began to randomly target attendees of The Dark Knight Rises premiere.

"He was dressed in black," James Wilburn told the Denver Post. "Wearing a flack jacket and a gas mask."

Naya Thompson, 21, and her Derrick Poage, 22, were on scene, but managed to escape unharmed. Thompson later told the Denver Post that gas of some sort was used and that the gunman may have dropped two canisters.

"It was like a tear gas," said. "I was coughing and choking and I couldn't breathe."


Jessica Ghawi Wrote About Surviving a Shooting Before Being Killed in Dark Knight Theater Massacre

Jessica Ghawi
© Unknown
Jessica Ghawi, a blogger who wrote for Busted Coverage and an assortment of other sites, was one of 12 people killed in the Aurora, Colo. theater shooting that took place early Friday morning. The young sports personality tweeted about attending the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises right up until her tragic final hours.

As thousands scanned over Ghawi's Twitter feed and available writings this morning, they noticed an unnerving blog entry she made last month. In that piece, Ghawi detailed her feelings and emotions in the aftermath of escaping the Toronto Mall shooting that had occurred three days earlier.


Another Death at Scientology's Flagship Narconon Drug Treatment Center in Oklahoma

I just got off the phone with Colin Henderson, who is frenetically monitoring breaking news in Oklahoma, where yet another patient at Scientology's flagship Narconon drug treatment center has been found dead.

Jeanne LeFlore of the McAlester News-Capital broke the news earlier today that Stacy Dawn Murphy, 20, had died at the facility, which is in the town of Canadian.

By the time that news hit, Henderson was already sending out messages to Oklahoma state officials, putting even more heat on them now that at least three deaths have occurred at the Narconon center since this past October.

"This young lady's death is on the hands of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health Substance Abuse Services for their inaction after two previous deaths," Henderson tells me.

Henderson himself was a patient at the center in July 2007. Since then, he's been trying to get the word out about Narconon's quack science, its reliance on low-paid non-medical staff, rampant drug abuse among patients, and dangerous conditions for patients in withdrawal.


Street Artist Threatened with Jail and Obstruction of Justice in Port Moody, Canada

© unknown
Canada, British Columbia - Vancouver based street Artist Wil D. Salmon was arrested and unlawfully detained by Port Moody Police yesterday just after completing a street art project in the City. The artist said that he was exercising his charter right and was using his creative skills to highlight the destruction of fish habitat on a public sidewalk.

The words "The Fish were here first" appear on the sidewalk next to a skate park at Rocky Point Park in Port Moody. After finishing the work and walking away the artist says he was later apprehended and surrounded by four police officers he was handcuffed, searched and threatened with jail.

"I was told that I was being arrested for mischief and obstruction of justice for failing to provide my name. I believe the arrest to be unlawful, intimidating and unnecessary. The police mentioned that they had brought a Fire Truck to remove the artwork and because they weren't able to remove it, they now had reason to confront and arrest me." stated the artist.


Batman US cinema shooting: Fourteen dead in Denver

At least 14 people have been killed in a shooting at a Batman film premiere in the US city of Denver, police say.

About 50 people have been injured in the incident at the cinema complex in the suburb of Aurora.

Witnesses say a gunman wearing a gas mask opened fire during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises.

A man was arrested in a car park nearby in possession of a rifle and hand-gun. He told police that explosives were stored at his home.

Police chief Dan Oates told reporters that an apartment block in the north of Aurora had been evacuated as a consequence of that information.

An eyewitness said the man was dressed all in black wearing a riot helmet, bullet proof vest and goggles


14 Dead, At Least 50 Injured in Colorado Theater Shooting

© SkyNews/MSNBC
Aerial view of the scene at the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado after Friday's shooting.
A gunman opened fire early Friday at a movie theater in a Denver suburb, killing 14 people and leaving at least 50 other injured, Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said.

The shooting occurred during a showing of the latest Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises, police said.

The violence erupted about 12:30 a.m. MDT as the gunman stood at the front of one of the Century 16 theaters at the Aurora Mall.

"Witnesses tell us he released some sort of canister. They heard a hissing sound and some gas emerged and the gunman opened fire," Oates said at a news conference.

One suspect is in custody and there's no evidence of any additional shooters, Oates said.


Activist Mother Launches National Movement to Boycott GMOs

Gmo diana reeves
© Unknown
Diana Reeves, organizer of GMO Free USA
Diana Reeves was furious when her state legislators caved into threats by Monsanto to sue the state of Connecticut if it passed a GMO labeling law. Lawmakers effectively told Connecticut's voters, who had clearly expressed overwhelming support for GMO labeling, "oh well."

Unlike her gutless state legislators who rolled over, Reeves is determined to keep the fight for transparency in GMO ingredients alive - and she's taking her fight national. She's started a group called GMO Free USA which plans to pressure food manufacturers into revealing which of their products contain GMOs. The ultimate goal is to organize national boycotts of those companies that refuse to switch to non-GMO ingredients.

GMO Free USA is Reeves' first foray into activism. The mother of three was on the fast track at a major accounting firm when her son was diagnosed with cancer. She walked away from her job to take care of him.

"I never looked back," she said. Her son died before he turned five.

"This is one of those things that act as a catalyst, that bring people together," Reeves said. "You learn to live with it, to try to make some good come of it, to find better ways to channel the grief."

Having lost one child to disease, and with two daughters who were also suffering from health problems, Reeves became increasingly interested in the relationship between food and health, About 4 or 5 years ago, she began reading about the potential hazards of GMO. "I started sending emails to my friends, telling them to 'say no to GMOs," she said. "I was probably driving them all crazy."

Then a few months ago, a friend introduced her to NonGMO Hartford, which eventually led to her involvement with the Connecticut Right to Know group which was pushing for a state labeling law. She began distributing information, and campaigning for HB 5117, which included a provision for mandatory GMO labeling.