Calling Coyotes by Cross-Country Communication in all Counties

Monday, May 31, 2004

Holy Shit

231% of you daily value of cholesterol!

That stuff is nasty.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Al Gore Post-actively Fisks Himself

Details at JunkYardBlog.

I used to read JunkYardBlog a lot, but stopped after the blog seemed to become too partisanly anti-Democrat, and proposed ideas less than setup liberal straw men and knock them down. In short, the rhetoric became hostile to liberalism in general, and rejected that the Democrats were anything but bad for the nation. This sounds awfully similar to my experioence with Talking Points Memo, which I am considering dropping from my blogroll because Josh Marshall has become so unreasonably and reflexively anti-Bush.

However, exposing Al Gore's present dementia is something that deserves broad-based support.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Interesting Links, in no particular order

The verbose Den Beste on "egoless programming," "Teleology and Solipism" in which De Beste dissects post-modernism (heh), and a post on space warships.

Lee Smith, in Slate, on how we don't understand Syria or Bashar Assad, but should.

A very long essay on the fight against terrorism and winning the war, by Bill Whittle. I haven't finished reading it, but it is very good so far, and it is well worth reading the beginning of the essay. Everyone should read the first two dozen paragraphs.

Laurence Simon (at his new home, "this blog is full of crap") explains the Microsoft business strategy throught their plan to expand into the blogging biz.

An editorial in Arutz Sheva, "The UN is a Failed Organization."

Michele Catalono writes about her wierd dreams again. And something for those who need a laugh.

West Bank Press Syndrome, all over again. (And by the way, has anyone heard anything new about that attack near the mosque in Fallujah?)

And last but not least:

Take the Cicada Test!

"I want a War Simulation. A real one."

Totally cool!

^^`/ |2+$ |*W20R2 U2 L4M3 N0//-|231S+!( L4m3r |2+$!!!!!!!111oneoneone
I'm Back...

Got back from the Maine Democratic Convention today. I went there as a delegate from the Aroostook County caucus, and I did not cast a vote for Kerry. I have a ton of notes, a truckload of ideas that are driving me crazy, and a mouth full of...cotton candy...?
...Disregard te second half of that last sentence. I will have a post on the day by day events and observations sometime in the next week. Its going to be a long one, so stick with me. See you again soon.

Approximate count of the elected delegates to the national convention per candidate:

Kerry: 10
Dean: 5
Kucinich: 5

Monday, May 17, 2004

The End of an Era

Amish Tech Support has ended. I can't write anymore right now, go talk to Lair. Oh, I'm kerflumpt...Talk amongst yourselves.

"Voodoo economics" was neither voodoo nor economics. Discuss.
I am the Second Law
Didn't the ANSWER "activists" say that the security fence wouldn't stop terrorism?

Even a broken watch is right twice a day. ANSWERites could use that sort of accuracy.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Some Links

Michele on Nick Berg, posts 1, 2, 3, and 4.
"I am a Jew and my father is a Jew and my mother is a Jew." -The last words of Daniel Pearl
Nick Berg, Rest in Peace

I have seen the video of the murder of Nick Berg. No, I will not tell you where to find it. I encourage you to not see it. It is really horrible. There is only one useful thing I gained from watching the video. Zarqawi and his followers are sub-human.

No person with any empathy or compassion could do what they did and not be overcome with self-disgust. I'm not sure if that's worse than how they killed Nick Berg. They shouted glory to god as they were killing a man! I don't believe it is possible for anyone but a psychopath to have horribly murdered Nick Berg and then show his head to the camera as a boast.

It appears that Zarqawi ordered the bombings of the Shiite mosques and the Kurdish headquarters. He did this because the Sunnis believe the Shiites are heretics, and the Kurds are not Arabs, so Zarqawi demands they submit to the Sunni Arabs. In both cases the murders served to create chaos and disorder. Nick Berg was murdered because he was American and he was Jewish. I think that his Judaism was the reason for the filming of his murder, as the only other American ever beheaded on videotape was Daniel Pearl, who was also Jewish. From all of this I think it painfully clear that given enough power Zarqawi would commit genocide comparable to Hitler. If it is really possible to say that a person is not just an evil person, but evil personified, Zarqawi is that person.

When the coalition troops find Zarqawi, I hope they do not take him alive. If they find him cowering and begging for mercy in a dark closet, I hope they do not extend his life on this earth. He does not deserve to live, and he does not deserve any mercy. There is only one mercy that I think he should be given, and that is to die quickly from a bullet to his head rather than the slow agony he inflicted on his victims.

Nick Berg, there will be justice for your murder. Rest in peace.

Yeetgadal v' yeetkadash sh'mey rabbah
B'almah dee v'rah kheer'utey.
v' yamleekh malkhutei,b'chahyeykhohn, uv' yohmeykhohn,
uv'chahyei d'chohl beyt yisrael,
ba'agalah u'veez'man kareev, v'eemru: Amein.
Amein. Y'hey sh'met rabbah m'varach l'alam u'l'almey almahyah.
Y'hey sh'met rabbah m'varach l'alam u'l'almey almahyah.
Yeet'barakh, v' yeesh'tabach, v' yeetpa'ar, v' yeetrohmam, v' yeet'nasei,
v' yeet'hadar, v' yeet'aleh, v' yeet'halal sh'mey d'kudshah b'reekh hoo
L'eylah meen kohl beerkhatah v'sheeratah,
toosh'b'chatah v'nechematah, da'ameeran b'al'mah, v'eemru: Amein.
Y'hei shlamah rabbah meen sh'mahyah,v'chahyeem
aleynu v'al kohl yisrael, v'eemru: Amein.
Oseh shalom beem'roh'mahv, hoo ya'aseh shalom,
aleynu v'al kohl yisrael v'eemru: Amein.
Lieberman: "[I]t is neither sensible nor fair to force the resignation of the secretary of defense[...]"

Lieberman writes in the Wall Street Journal what really matters about Abu Ghraib.

First, we must aggressively and thoroughly investigate what was happening at Abu Ghraib prison and at every other American military prison. We must hold accountable anyone who was responsible for wrongdoing, which requires that we undertake the most independent and unfettered investigation possible. I have high hopes for the special investigative group composed of former defense secretaries James Schlesinger and Harold Brown, congresswoman Tillie Fowler, and general Charles Horner, which seems to have been given appropriately broad and independent authority, and the capacity to hire its own staff.

This investigation, and the justice it produces, should make clear to us and the world that we Americans will not tolerate such inhumanity, even in the treatment of those who are themselves wantonly inhumane to us. The beheading of Nick Berg just because he was an American made painfully clear how little our enemies value life. Prison abuse must not blur the enormous moral differences between us and those we fight in Iraq, and in the world-wide war on terrorism.


[...]Many argue that we can only rectify the wrongs done in the Iraqi prisons if Donald Rumsfeld resigns. I disagree. Unless there is clear evidence connecting him to the wrongdoing, it is neither sensible nor fair to force the resignation of the secretary of defense, who clearly retains the confidence of the commander in chief, in the midst of a war. I have yet to see such evidence. Secretary Rumsfeld's removal would delight foreign and domestic opponents of America's presence in Iraq.

Read the rest.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Blogtrack, The Times, New York

Kaus spots an editor note that the Times has been getting its "people on the street" quotes from members of liberal advocacy groups. The NY Times has problems. Full note:

Editors' Note: May 13, 2004, Thursday

An article yesterday about confusion surrounding new prescription drug discount cards that are being offered to Medicare recipients included comments in the first four paragraphs from Mildred Fruhling and later in the article from Dr. Sydney Bild.

Unknown to the writer, both had been interviewed for a video on a Web site operated by Families USA, a consumer advocacy group that has criticized current Medicare policy as inadequate. When approached by The Times during the preparation of the article, Families USA suggested Mrs. Fruhling and Dr. Bild as interviewees without disclosing that they had appeared in the video. Had that been known, The Times would have chosen others to comment for the article or would have made clear the two interviewees’ connection to the advocacy group.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

I talked about the Taguba Report in my "save Rumsfeld" post. Dale Franks has also discussed it, and he does a much better job. You should read it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

What the hell is wrong with these people!?!

From the Telegraph:

Ahmed Bustam, a 13-year-old schoolboy from Zeitoun, gleefully recalled how he had approached the destroyed vehicle and removed the head of an Israeli soldier.

"People were running after me and we were kicking the head," he said. "We were spitting on it. When we heard a helicopter we started running. I carried the head of the Jew and ran away from the area and I took it to the people in the resistance."
See My Twisted Addition to the Madness That is Amish Tech Support

Dinosaur Rights Groups Condemn Jurassic Park's "Apartheid Wall"

"Despite their status as the dinosaurs whose livelihood is most threatened by the fence, reporters were unable to interview any Tyrannosaurus Rex for their opinion on the issue."

Update: The average person won't have a clue what I'm talking about. The average Israel supporter will laugh. The average lefty activist collegian will be horribly offended. Screw them, if their opinion wasn't moronic, I wouldn't mock it.
Heroism in the Line of Fire

A column by Bob Lonsberry:

It was a year ago on the march into Baghdad. Brian Chontosh was a platoon leader rolling up Highway 1 in a humvee.

When all hell broke loose.

Ambush city.

The young Marines were being cut to ribbons. Mortars, machine guns, rocket propelled grenades. And the kid out of Churchville was in charge. It was do or die and it was up to him.

So he moved to the side of his column, looking for a way to lead his men to safety. As he tried to poke a hole through the Iraqi line his humvee came under direct enemy machine gun fire.

It was fish in a barrel and the Marines were the fish.

And Brian Chontosh gave the order to attack. He told his driver to floor the humvee directly at the machine gun emplacement that was firing at them. And he had the guy on top with the .50 cal unload on them.

Within moments there were Iraqis slumped across the machine gun and Chontosh was still advancing, ordering his driver now to take the humvee directly into the Iraqi trench that was attacking his Marines. Over into the battlement the humvee went and out the door Brian Chontosh bailed, carrying an M16 and a Beretta and 228 years of Marine Corps pride.

And he ran down the trench.

With its mortars and riflemen, machineguns and grenadiers.

And he killed them all.

He fought with the M16 until it was out of ammo. Then he fought with the Beretta until it was out of ammo. Then he picked up a dead man’s AK47 and fought with that until it was out of ammo. Then he picked up another dead man’s AK47 and fought with that until it was out of ammo.

It is courage and selflessness like this, that makes it all the more clear how gutless and repugnant it is for people like Micah Wright to invent a record of military service for personal gain.

(via Blackfive)

Monday, May 10, 2004

Save Rumsfeld

Rumsfeld is rapidly becoming victim to an anti-Bush political apparatus aimed at taking out the Bush administration however possible. Apparently, Rumsfeld's only crime was to not constantly inform Congress, and the media, of some cases of abuse in a prison that was being investigated and prosecuted. Oh, and not releasing the photos while the investigation was underway.

Really now, what should Rumsfeld have done? The investigation began almost as soon as the reports of abuse surfaced. The defense department alerted the press not once but twice, the second time on March 21 to announce the prosecutions of the soldiers. The press ignored it because they didn't have any sensational angle to play up. The press likely got the photos and pushed the story because they were sourcing the perpetrators.Even on the record sources in news stories tend to be those directly responsible for the abuse occuring. Brigadier Janis karpinski is telling every media outlet that it's all military intelligence's fault, despite the fact that the Taguba Report says that is just one of the lies she told the investigators to cover her own ass. The media is trying to make her out to be some sort of saint, when the truth is that if anyone in the leadership should be held accountable, it's her. Not Rumsfeld, not Bush, the officer whose job it was to oversee the management of the prison.

There is also the whole Watergate mole aspect with the leak of the confidential report, and the press loves to do nothing more than expose a scandal. At the same time John F'ing Kerry is using the dishonorable conduct of a few soldiers to begin taking down the Bush Administration. If you think that firing Rumsfeld will result in the Democratic campaign backing off, think again. They will treat the firing as tacit admission that all their accusations against Bush are right and that the Bush administration is evil. Also, General Meyers is one rung below Rumsfeld in authority in Iraq. How come all the people calling for Rumsfeld to resign aren't asking for his resignation? Oh yeah, he isn't part of the Bush Administration.

And finally, the key points of the Taguba Report's findings on command's role in the abuse cases. All emphasis added.

3. (U) There is abundant evidence in the statements of numerous witnesses that soldiers throughout the 800th MP Brigade were not proficient in their basic MOS skills, particularly regarding internment/resettlement operations. Moreover, there is no evidence that the command, although aware of these deficiencies, attempted to correct them in any systemic manner other than ad hoc training by individuals with civilian corrections experience. (Multiple Witness Statements and the Personal Observations of the Investigation Team)


14. (U) During the course of this investigation I conducted a lengthy interview with BG Karpinski that lasted over four hours, and is included verbatim in the investigation Annexes. BG Karpinski was extremely emotional during much of her testimony. What I found particularly disturbing in her testimony was her complete unwillingness to either understand or accept that many of the problems inherent in the 800th MP Brigade were caused or exacerbated by poor leadership and the refusal of her command to both establish and enforce basic standards and principles among its soldiers. (ANNEX 45 and the Personal Observations of the Interview Team)

15. (U) BG Karpinski alleged that she received no help from the Civil Affairs Command, specifically, no assistance from either BG John Kern or COL Tim Regan. She blames much of the abuse that occurred in Abu Ghraib (BCCF) on MI personnel and stated that MI personnel had given the MPs “ideas” that led to detainee abuse. In addition, she blamed the 372nd Company Platoon Sergeant, SFC Snider, the Company Commander, CPT Reese, and the First Sergeant, MSG Lipinski, for the abuse. She argued that problems in Abu Ghraib were the fault of COL Pappas and LTC Jordan because COL Pappas was in charge of FOB Abu Ghraib. (ANNEX 45)

16. (U) BG Karpinski also implied during her testimony that the criminal abuses that occurred at Abu Ghraib (BCCF) might have been caused by the ultimate disposition of the detainee abuse cases that originally occurred at Camp Bucca in May 2003. She stated that “about the same time those incidents were taking place out of Baghdad Central, the decisions were made to give the guilty people at Bucca plea bargains. So, the system communicated to the soldiers, the worst that’s gonna happen is, you’re gonna go home.” I think it important to point out that almost every witness testified that the serious criminal abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib (BCCF) occurred in late October and early November 2003. The photographs and statements clearly support that the abuses occurred during this time period. The Bucca cases were set for trial in January 2004 and were not finally disposed of until 29 December 2003. There is entirely no evidence that the decision of numerous MP personnel to intentionally abuse detainees at Abu Ghrabid (BCCF) was influenced in any respect by the Camp Bucca cases. (ANNEXES 25, 26, and 45)


19. (U) I find that individual Soldiers within the 800th MP Brigade and the 320th Battalion stationed throughout Iraq had very little contact during their tour of duty with either LTC (P) Phillabaum or BG Karpinski. BG Karpinski claimed, during her testimony, that she paid regular visits to the various detention facilities where her Soldiers were stationed. However, the detailed calendar provided by her Aide-de-Camp, 1LT Mabry, does not support her contention. Moreover, numerous witnesses stated that they rarely saw BG Karpinski or LTC (P) Phillabaum. (Multiple Witness Statements)


21. As I have documented in other parts of this investigation, I find that there was no clear emphasis by BG Karpinski to ensure that the 800th MP Brigade Staff, Commanders, and Soldiers were trained to standard in detainee operations and proficiency or that serious accountability lapses that occurred over a significant period of time, particularly at Abu Ghraib (BCCF), were corrected. AR 15-6 Investigations regarding detainee escapes were not acted upon, followed up with corrective action, or disseminated to subordinate commanders or Soldiers. Brigade and unit SOPs for dealing with detainees if they existed at all, were not read or understood by MP Soldiers assigned the difficult mission of detainee operations. Following the abuse of several detainees at Camp Bucca in May 2003, I could find no evidence that BG Karpinski ever directed corrective training for her soldiers or ensured that MP Soldiers throughout Iraq clearly understood the requirements of the Geneva Conventions relating to the treatment of detainees. (Multiple Witness Statements and the Personal Observations of the Investigation Team )



1. (U) That BG Janis L. Karpinski, Commander, 800th MP Brigade be Relieved from Command and given a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand for the following acts which have been previously referred to in the aforementioned findings:

--Failing to ensure that MP Soldiers at theater-level detention facilities throughout Iraq had appropriate SOPs for dealing with detainees and that Commanders and Soldiers had read, understood, and would adhere to these SOPs.
--Failing to ensure that MP Soldiers in the 800th MP Brigade knew, understood, and adhered to the protections afforded to detainees in the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.
--Making material misrepresentations to the Investigation Team as to the frequency of her visits to her subordinate commands.
--Failing to obey an order from the CFLCC Commander, LTG McKiernan, regarding the withholding of disciplinary authority for Officer and Senior Noncommissioned Officer misconduct.
--Failing to take appropriate action regarding the ineffectiveness of a subordinate Commander, LTC (P) Jerry Phillabaum.
--Failing to take appropriate action regarding the ineffectiveness of numerous members of her Brigade Staff including her XO, S-1, S-3, and S-4.
--Failing to properly ensure the results and recommendations of the AARs and numerous 15-6 Investigation reports on escapes and shootings (over a period of several months) were properly disseminated to, and understood by, subordinate commanders.
--Failing to ensure and enforce basic Soldier standards throughout her command.
--Failing to establish a Brigade METL.
--Failing to establish basic proficiency in assigned tasks for Soldiers throughout the 800th MP Brigade.
--Failing to ensure that numerous and reported accountability lapses at detention facilities throughout Iraq were corrected.

How is this Rumsfeld fault? Does anyone really think Rumsfeld personally directed the operations inside prisons in Iraq?

The calls for the resignation of Rumsfeld have nothing to do with accountability and averything to do with politics.

Update: There is an online petition supporting Rumsfeld from the Federalist.

The first person to tell me that this opinion is null because I like Rumsfeld will be told to, in true O'Reilly fashion, "SHUT UP!" If my opinion is null because I like Rumsfeld, your opinion must be null because you probably dislike Rumsfeld. Hmmmm...
More evidence of the stupidity of the Saudi misogynists. There's a reason Israel's better than the Arab world in practically everything. It's called moving away from mindless tribalism.

Can anybody comprehend how Saudi Arabia makes it illegal for women to drive, and the media is outraged when an American Muslim women has to have a picture taken of her without her veil on for her driving license? Saudi Arabia is easily the most backwards and primitive nation on the planet. Tribal government, check. Chauvinistic patriarchal society, check. Irrational xenophobia, check.
Reader Notice

Can the person who found this website on Yahoo searching for "henry chan" and "" please contact me? If you're investigating this too I'd like to do what I can to help and piece together the story. If you are actually planning to write an article on this that's even better, because I am not researching this for an article and would be eager to assist in exposing Henry Chan. I have good evidence pointing to a link between Henry Chan and, and some things I've found may lead to biographical information about Henry Chan. My e-mail address is at the bottom of this page, under "feedback?"

Personal note: This is the 150th post on this weblog.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

If you only read one other weblogger today, read Meryl Yourish. Both posts. Even if you will read more than one other weblogger today, you should read the posts. Word more true were never written.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Michele has Cliff Notes for Ted Rall on O'Reilly. Her conclusion: "Well, all in all, that was very LAME. "

Update: Seconded.

I'm wondering if I should add A Small Victory to my links. Supposedly, she gave up political blogging...
Ted Rall, Psychopath

Yesterday I wrote this:

The thing that really bothers me about [Eric] Harris is that he had no morality or compassion for others, wanted to glorify himself through murdering people, and no one saw through his deception.

Today I wrote this:

Ted Rall is a deluded, sick, hateful, talentless, amoral psychopath.

There's a reason for the use of the word psychopath. You may want to read the Slate article I linked to in yesterday's post first.

Back? Good. I want to, in particular, bring your attention to this:

It rages on for page after page and is repeated in his journal and in the videos he and Klebold made. But Fuselier recognized a far more revealing emotion bursting through, both fueling and overshadowing the hate. What the boy was really expressing was contempt.

He is disgusted with the morons around him. These are not the rantings of an angry young man, picked on by jocks until he's not going to take it anymore. These are the rantings of someone with a messianic-grade superiority complex, out to punish the entire human race for its appalling inferiority. It may look like hate, but "It's more about demeaning other people," says Hare.

A second confirmation of the diagnosis was Harris' perpetual deceitfulness. "I lie a lot," Eric wrote to his journal. "Almost constantly, and to everybody, just to keep my own ass out of the water. Let's see, what are some of the big lies I told? Yeah I stopped smoking. For doing it, not for getting caught. No I haven't been making more bombs. No I wouldn't do that. And countless other ones."

Harris claimed to lie to protect himself, but that appears to be something of a lie as well. He lied for pleasure, Fuselier says. "Duping delight"?psychologist Paul Ekman's term?represents a key characteristic of the psychopathic profile.

Harris married his deceitfulness with a total lack of remorse or empathy?another distinctive quality of the psychopath[...]

Think about that in comparison to Ted Rall. Compare it to this satire by Jeff Goldstein. Finally, read Rall's defense of his column.

My first thoughts is that he can't possibly believe that shit. I mean f-ck all, "death cult," "suicide bombers!" As it was said on South Park, "What the hell is wrong with you!?!"

This entire paragraph is a lie:

Second, Mr. Tillman served an evil president and an evil cause. Anyone with an open mind after 9/11 could easily have learned the truth, that the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq occured instead of a war on terror, not as part of one. A person who planned to risk his life in combat should reasonably be expected to dig a little deeper rather than to fall for Bush's transparent lies. We all judge each other, and while Tillman's decision to sacrifice millions of dollars for his beliefs is admirable, his belief that killing the citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan had something to do with defending America was not. At best, Tillman was foolish and misguided.

So I think, if he doesn't believe it, he must be lying. (Duh!) So why the heck does he lie? Goldstein knows:

Notice me. That's it, not much to ask, a week of Rene what's his name, the little Puerto Rican fuck with the thick lips and that awful awful hair....notice me, notice me. Micah Wright? Christ a tenth of my talent he has, the Photoshop hack, yet all the delicious vitriol spilled on him, wasted on him, spent spent spent on him, but -- notice. Me. Notice me. I rail and I roil and I boil and assail...notice me. Notice me. Notice me. You want controversy? I'll give you controversy, not like some UMass microbe dicksucker low on the food chain -- no. I'll do it with pictures, my peculiar blend of humor, love it or hate it but never ignore it because it's fucking brilliant, I'm fucking brilliant, my art -- my art is fucking brilliant.

Yes, the egotism sounds like Harris. Of course, I doubt that Jeff realizes this, but the post is based on his interpretation of Rall's personality based on his works and statements.

So messianic-complex, check. Deceitfulness, check. Lack of remorse and empathy? He called Pat Tillman a sap, an idiot, and implied he is a racist. The man is dead! He died trying to protect Rall's undeserving ass from another terrorist attack in his hometown of New York City! Again, "What the hell is wrong with you!?!"

Then you look at his cartoons/libels of New York City firefighters, widows of September 11th, Daniel Pearl's widow, and using the death of a friend to write about his past promiscuity. The man has no shame, because he has no empathy or remorse. He doesn't give a shit about another person on this planet. The reason he has got as far as he has is that his psychopathy is sliming any one who has any misfortune, decency, or honor, because he doesn't get sympathy and he sure as heck doesn't get honor and decency, which is the least we can say from the Pat Tillman cartoon.

So, yeah, I think he doesn't have a single bit of empathy or remorse.

The reason he's been able to go along without anyone finding out he is a psychopath is that he's smart, and he knows how to control himself. Most of the time.

But along comes Rene Gonzalez soaking up all the scorn doing his shtick, followed by Micah Wright being revealed as a liar trying to figuratively bash people over the head with his fictional military service, and Rall can't take the chumps getting all the notoriety. People are supposed to hate him. So he draws a dishonest column that insults a brave and decent man's death. Because Ted Rall thinks people are "idiots" and "saps," or "evil," unless they like him, and everything to Rall is about Rall, Rall, Rall, Rall, Rall, Rall, Rall, Rall.

A festering sore on the face of mankind, indeed.

Trackback to OTB Traffic Jam.
For those interested in a reasonable opinion of Pat Tillman, read this column by Andrew Sullivan.
A Festering Sore on the Face of Humanity

Micah Wright is a liar.

Ted Rall is a deluded, sick, hateful, talentless, amoral psychopath.

Why, oh why, does the left get all the f---ing assholes?

Monday, May 03, 2004

Cute Cat

Laurence Simon's Carnival of Cats.
Everything you know about the Columbine shooting is wrong

From Slate:

Harris and Klebold would have been dismayed that Columbine was dubbed the "worst school shooting in American history." They set their sights on eclipsing the world's greatest mass murderers, but the media never saw past the choice of venue. The school setting drove analysis in precisely the wrong direction.

Fuselier and Ochberg say that if you want to understand "the killers," quit asking what drove them. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were radically different individuals, with vastly different motives and opposite mental conditions. Klebold is easier to comprehend, a more familiar type. He was hotheaded, but depressive and suicidal. He blamed himself for his problems.

Harris is the challenge. He was sweet-faced and well-spoken. Adults, and even some other kids, described him as "nice." But Harris was cold, calculating, and homicidal. "Klebold was hurting inside while Harris wanted to hurt people," Fuselier says. Harris was not merely a troubled kid, the psychiatrists say, he was a psychopath.

In popular usage, almost any crazy killer is a "psychopath." But in psychiatry, it's a very specific mental condition that rarely involves killing, or even psychosis. "Psychopaths are not disoriented or out of touch with reality, nor do they experience the delusions, hallucinations, or intense subjective distress that characterize most other mental disorders," writes Dr. Robert Hare, in Without Conscience, the seminal book on the condition. (Hare is also one of the psychologists consulted by the FBI about Columbine and by Slate for this story.) "Unlike psychotic individuals, psychopaths are rational and aware of what they are doing and why. Their behavior is the result of choice, freely exercised." Diagnosing Harris as a psychopath represents neither a legal defense, nor a moral excuse. But it illuminates a great deal about the thought process that drove him to mass murder.


Harris' pattern of grandiosity, glibness, contempt, lack of empathy, and superiority read like the bullet points on Hare's Psychopathy Checklist and convinced Fuselier and the other leading psychiatrists close to the case that Harris was a psychopath.

It begins to explain Harris' unbelievably callous behavior: his ability to shoot his classmates, then stop to taunt them while they writhed in pain, then finish them off. Because psychopaths are guided by such a different thought process than non-psychopathic humans, we tend to find their behavior inexplicable. But they're actually much easier to predict than the rest of us once you understand them. Psychopaths follow much stricter behavior patterns than the rest of us because they are unfettered by conscience, living solely for their own aggrandizement. (The difference is so striking that Fuselier trains hostage negotiators to identify psychopaths during a standoff, and immediately reverse tactics if they think they're facing one. It's like flipping a switch between two alternate brain-mechanisms.)

None of his victims means anything to the psychopath. He recognizes other people only as means to obtain what he desires. Not only does he feel no guilt for destroying their lives, he doesn't grasp what they feel. The truly hard-core psychopath doesn't quite comprehend emotions like love or hate or fear, because he has never experienced them directly.

In 1998, my dad attended two weeks of lectures about psychopathy by Dr. Hare. He says the man knows his stuff.

The thing that really bothers me about Harris is that he had no morality or compassion for others, wanted to glorify himself through murdering people, and no one saw through his deception. It makes me think about some people I knew in high school, and I wonder whether they might have been like Harris if they had more motivation and intelligence.