From CNN. Muffti hates commenting on trial verdicts since he didn’t sit through the trial. Nonetheless, this leaves a very sour taste.

A judge declared a mistrial Wednesday in the case of a man who stormed into a Jewish center two years ago and shot six women, killing one, as he ranted against Israel and the Iraq war.

Jurors had indicated in questions posed to the judge that they were hopelessly deadlocked and struggling to determine whether Naveed Haq, 32, was not guilty by reason of insanity, as he claimed.

King County Superior Court Judge Paris Kallas ended the jury’s deliberations in their eighth day.

The jurors reached a partial verdict on only one of the 15 counts against Haq, finding him not guilty of attempted first-degree murder of one of the women. But they couldn’t agree on the lesser charge of attempted second-degree murder or any of the other 14 charges, which included murder. Video Watch a report on the mistrial »

Haq held a teenage girl at gunpoint to force his way into the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle on July 28, 2006. Once in the second-floor office, he began railing against U.S. policies and opened fire when someone tried to call 911. He shot some people in their cubicles, some in the hall and one, Pamela Waechter, fatally as she fled down a stairwell.

An emergency operator eventually persuaded him to surrender.

Prosecutors quickly announced that they hope to retry Haq this year, and representatives of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle expressed their disappointment at the mistrial.

“There is no argument Haq killed Pam. There is no argument he viciously shot five others. There is no argument that he made anti-Israel and anti-Semitic statements. Somehow, all this was not enough,” Jewish Federation President Richard Fruchter said.

During the six-week trial, prosecutors did not dispute that Haq had mental problems and had struggled to make friends and hold down jobs. But he knew right from wrong, could tell what he was doing and wanted to get his message out, they said.

They noted that Haq planned the shooting for days, drove from his eastern Washington home to Seattle the morning of the shooting and hid in the building’s foyer to avoid detection.

Haq’s lawyers, however, argued that he had a long history of mental illness that had been worsened by a change in his medication. A defense expert diagnosed bipolar disorder with psychotic tendencies.

In written questions to the judge, the jurors asked for further clarification of the legal definition of insanity. Kallas declined to help them, saying she could not answer beyond what was provided in their instructions.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said none of the survivors of the shooting was looking forward to testifying again but would if necessary.

“They have to think about their wounds, their physical and emotional wounds, every day,” he said. “The experience of testifying made this a real emotional roller coaster for them.”
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Waechter, 58, was the director of the Jewish charity’s annual fundraising campaign. One of the survivors, a pregnant Dayna Klein, took a bullet in her arm as she protected her fetus.

If found guilty, Haq would have been sent to prison for life without the possibility of release. While presenting his insanity defense, Haq’s attorneys said he posed a risk to society and should instead be locked in a state mental hospital for the rest of his life.

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grandmuffti

79 Comments

  • Haq ca, and (looks like) will be re-tried on the remaining counts. Kudos to his defense atty. and expert– the insanity defense is very tough to make out.

  • Haq is of Pakistani descent. Jews should endorse closing mass-immigration to the U.S. from nations with populations hostile to liberal democracy and western culture. Otherwise, these things might very well happen more often, and there are other problems as well.

  • Holy cow, DK. Out of character, much?

    I mean, I agree with you, but since according to you I’m a fascist, that shouldn’t surprise you.

    But you spouting this kind of culturalist rhetoric? I never figured you for a nativist.

    Only in America could a Muslim invade a Jewish building, gun down Jews while shouting “Death to the Jews” and somehow the jury can’t decide if he’s guilty.

    We should do what the Russians do: shoot the fucker. It would save us all time, money, and embarrassment.

  • I’m quite serious. The best thing would have been for the cops to kill him while he still had the smoking gun in his hand. He certainly doesn’t deserve any better treatment than that.

    You’re the one who said it left a sour taste. You have any better suggestions? Other than letting a murderer of Jews get off, I mean?

    He may very well be crazy. But Islam gives him the “right” to kill infidels. If he was acting according to what he thought was the correct understanding of the requirements of his religion, who are we to question that? And if he was acting according to his understanding of his religion, should he not be held responsible?

    And no reductio ad Goldstein arguments, please.

    Also, I agree with DK in this case. Allowing large numbers of immigrants into the US who are diametrically opposed to how we order our society is a recipe for disaster. Look at Europe. The best thing to do would be to limit, if not completely halt, immigration from Muslim countries and stop making allowances for “cultural sensitivity” towards people who hold such retrograde views. I see no reason to make allowances for a way of life that is so obviously at odds with our own.

  • Wow. I think Ephraim is giving me a “thrill up my leg”. I fully support vigilantism. I can’t understand how a man running for president can have friends whom are homegrown anarchist terrorists and an association with the NOI, but for a Jew to say, I support the JDL or something similar is such a risky topic. I recently watched videos of Kahane and his peeps threatening neo-nazis in Chicago and I felt pride watching what presumably docile people do when they’ve had enough. Granted, Kahane said a lot of things I disagree with strongly and don’t support. But there has to be some middle ground for Jews who don’t have faith in the goverment’s duty to protect them. My sister works for a Jewish org and I am frequently at the JCC. That’s the last place we need to be worried about haters and murderers running rampant. I am a firm believer that all Jews should know hoe to use and own a few weapons. Just in case.

  • “I mean, I agree with you, but since according to you I’m a fascist,”

    When did I ever call you a fascist? I don’t call people that, mostly because I get called that a lot by shrill social-Leftists, because of certain perspective on select social issues that are substantially more right-wing than my fiscal and cultural positions.

    Now…I have accused you of being prone to Kahanist tendencies, Ephraim, but that’s because strident displays of Jewish power offend my shtetl-sensibilities.

  • Kings County , N.Y? As in Brooklyn, the very same Brooklyn where all the Judges are on the take from the Orthodox Jewish community…I don’t believe it! Were the victims Orthodox? I doubt it. No one messes with the Orthos and the Judges they keep in their pockets in Brooklyn. I smell pay-offs to the Prosecutors by the the Haq’s people…and it smells like hopooe feces.

  • Sorry to burst your bubble, Alex, but I most definitely do NOT support vigilantism. What I said was the cops should have shot the guy. And it would have been better if the Jewish center had armed guards on duty or the people working in the center were armed.

    Also, self-defense is not the same as vigilantism, which is just a fancy name for a lynch mob.

    Sory if I misunerstood you, DK. We normally don’t see eye-to-eye, and since I am a bit to your right on certain issues I assumed you figured I was a fascist (or some other sort of epithet).

  • Any of you, if you’re first in the mail with that retainer check (good funds, please) we’ll get cracking on that insanity defense.

  • It’s OK Ephraim, we can’t all be perfect! 🙂 Don’t worry, I’m not running for office nor will I endorse you if you. You’re safe.

  • Yeah, Alex, it’s better if cops break the law than if normal people do when they make arrests. Muffti would have to live in a vigilante state, but a nice police state sound sweet and cozy.

    Thanks xisnotx…that’s cool that down is playing out there, though listening to down always reminds me that they aren’t pantera. Poor Dimebag. Muffti would like to see black rebel motorcylce club though.

    And for some reason he can’t get that song ‘last caress’ by the misfits out of his head.

  • How would the cops saving lives by shooting a murderer who was in the act of committing murder be “the cops breaking the law”, Muffti?

    And don’t you think it would have been better if the people at the center had guns and knew how to use them so their only choices wouldn’t have to be 1) hiding, 2) running for their lives, or 3) or 3) begging the muderer not to kill them? Since when is self-defense vigilantism?

    This was a pogrom, plain and simple. You don’t arrest pogromists, you shoot them if you can.

  • Ephraim, that was actually the point I was making. Call it self-defense then. I’m not talking about lynch mobs and posses, I’m talking about shooting someone before they shoot you.

    And Muffti, the example that comes to mind is the team that hunted down Black September actually. Call it justice or call it vigilantism, I call it appropriate.

  • Muffti isn’t really sure what you mean, E. If the cops see that they cannot prevent someone from murdering another except by use of deadly force then muffti thinks it’s reasonable (and most police manuals he has looked at agree) to use deadly force. Is that what you had in mind? Muffti had in mind police running in and seeing a guy who had just shot a bunch of people and firing on him point blank. Which pretty clearly breaks arrest procedures in which deadly force is generally consider last possible resort. The lst sentence regarding pogroms make muffti think you had the ‘shoot the guy come what may’ idea in mind.

    And Muffti agrees – at least in this instance it would have been better if people could have defended themselves.

  • Well, in such a situation, I would hope that the cops would come in, see the guy with the gun in his hand standing over the pregnant woman he had just shot to death, yell “Police! Freeze!”, and then blow him away when his gun hand jerks or something.

    All bases covered.

    I used to be a gun-control advocate. But when Jews can be murdered in cold blood like this, I’m more in support of concealed carry rights. Jews (or anybody else, for that matter) shouldn’t be at the mercy of armed thugs, crazy or not.

    I hate guns, but “banning” them doesn’t seem to work.

  • Folks, please make sure your comments here re: vigilante activity etc. are fully compatible with the future assertion of an insanity defense. Something along the lines of, ‘I feel an overwhelming impulse to shoot the bastards and cannot tell right from wrong and eat lots of Twinkies’, that sort of thing. Thanks.

  • How about in the case of the two bank robbers in LA, where the cops “supposedly” prevented paramedics from arriving and let the guy who just shot and killed both cops and innocents lay there and bleed to death? Are you worried that we as a society lose some of our moral high ground or madam justice suffers when something like that happens?

    It’s funny how sometimes convicts in prison understand justice better than our judicial branch. At least we know that when we send child molesters to prison that real justice is waiting for them there…

  • When guns are illegal – only criminals have guns.

    Check out the UK, where people calling the police because of an intruder are told to hide in the bathroom until the criminal leaves.

  • Alex, you ever been in jail? Muffti’s dad was for a while and he will tell you categorically that inmate’s understanding of justice is rather limited, even if it co-incides with how you think child molesters should be treated.

    There is a half-way house between guns being illegal and fully open concealed carrying laws. Canada’s rules, for example, allow people to get guns with severe controls on when and how they can be stored and used. And gun crime is extremely low in Canada.

  • Now froylein, Canada is an independent country. Though I hope the US never abandons its territorial claims on it. Hopefully in my lifetime our lost northern provinces will find their way into the fold.

  • And America refers to the entity of the Northern and Southern American continent. 🙂

    When I was living in Britain, we occasionally had customers that, when asked whether they were from the U.S.A., would reply to our sheer amusement, “I’m not American. I’m Canadian.”

  • GM: “All due respect, from a Canadian, America is armed and not all that polite…”

    With all due respect, don’t visit. My European friends are pompous enough, we don’t need additional wanna-be Eurotrash here. Trust me, you sound like my relatives in Canada; it’s like you guys are taught to dislike the country you mimic. I’d love to see what Canada would look like today if it wasn’t always benefiting from the safety it has been provided by the US in the last century.

    Froylein: “An armed society is a scared society.”

    Say the two people who don’t live in one. Do you guys have a class in Elementary school that teaches you people these silly concepts and cliches? Perhaps I’m too boorish an American to understand the idea that I should be less afraid when the criminals and government have all of the weapons and I have nothing to stop them from breaking in and killing my family. Right, that’s not a scary place at all. Please, how can I possibly be less in control of my own safety and destiny? I’d like to know.

    I must thank you though as this conversation reminded me that my wife and I had set some money and time aside to go get our CCWs. And with Obama’s chance at the White House, we better grab them up fast before he tries to take them away. F***ing socialist.

  • Alex, don’t you find it odd that people want to buy guns in case others have guns? This makes for a downward spiral rather than for effective executive work. If you’re not happy with the American executive, nobody’s stopping you from going into politics or emigrating. I find it weird that particularly those JBloggers that advocate free gun access seem to be wimps of sorts, trying to make up with their gun where they lack for in manlihood. If guns were illegal and the executive could work properly, it would be easier to send criminals off to prison. And guys could return to showing off their manliness by scratching their scrotum in public.

    I acknowledge the benefits of sports shooting, which I did myself when I was younger, (hunting should be a thing of the past; killing animals for sports is as backwards as it gets) as in concentration practice and responsibilty, but no sports shooter I know is a poster boy for gun-carrying rights.

  • Froylein,

    1. Criminals already have guns, it’s not in case of anything. I assume you give people the benefit of the doubt. I don’t. I believe the world (including the first world) is far less civilized than we think and would rather be safe than sorry. Let’s just remember that the first thing the Nazis took away were their victim’s weapons.

    2. I don’t know if you were insinuating I’m some sort of wimp because I need a gun for what I can’t do with my fists, but a person who attempts to confront a knife wielding or gun wielding thug with fists is usually a dead idiot. Either way, I find your stereotype pretty baseless and something I hear from ineffectual beta males as a way to justify their own cowardice, similar to how broke guys make fun of rich guys supposedly small members because they drive expensive sports cars. They drive because they can, and should. Everyone should know how to defend themselves with their fists. Guns are for those times that we hope never ever happen. But bad things happen to good people all of the time. And I advocate being ready for any situation.

    3. I love how the majority of your argument is based on how the law or society SHOULD work. It sounds similar to people’s theories on how socialism SHOULD work, because no one has a good example of how it does work. I also find it funny that people who believe in the right to protect themselves primarily because they don’t have faith that the government can (nor could) get treated like social pariahs while criminals are just expected to behave outside the law and simultaneously treated fairly when caught and confined. We see many cases in places like the UK where people protecting themselves are seen as violent sociopaths while the criminals trying to kill them are looked at as the victims. After Katrina, I think people should understand that the government is incapable of taking care of every single need you have, especially in a crisis situation. Next time we have chaos, no power (like all day yesterday), no cops on the streets, I want to make sure that if some looter thinks he can step onto my property to take advantage of those conditions, he will get a hole through the head, and probably dragged through the front door just in case.

    4. My cousin in Alaska just got back from Kodiak Island with a full adult brown bear skin. Beautiful photos and beautiful skin. Too bad bear meat tastes bad or I’d of had them ship it. I’m not a hunter, but I’ve killed my share of fish and eaten my share of every meat you can think of. I prefer others to kill and prepare my food and clothes for me, but I do not see anything wrong with letting people do what any predator does around the world every day. I’m all for stopping hunting, let’s start by stopping animals hunt other animals just to be fair.

  • Froylein – I have a news flash for you: criminals don’t follow laws, they break them.

    Including gun control laws.

    Which means that “gun control” only limits the ability of the innocent to defend themselves – not the number of criminals using guns.

    Studies in the “benighted” United States have shown that violent crime rates plunge in states with concealed carry laws – because criminals can’t be sure of a disarmed, passive victim.

    In contrast, states and cities with gun control laws have comparatively higher rates of violent crime involving guns.

    So – passing wishful laws does not change reality.

    And as long as we are trading cultural cliches – I would much rather live in “gun happy” America than in a place like Sweden – where an armed attacker chased a female member of Parliament through *a shopping mall*, and finally murdered her, without anyone in the crowd lifting a finger to stop it.

    That story – and the horror stories coming out of the UK recently – speak volumes to me about how gun control and the welfare state gut personal liberty and inculcate passivity and weakness.

  • This is what I wrote before:

    Froylein,

    1. Criminals already have guns, it’s not in case of anything. I assume you give people the benefit of the doubt. I don’t. I believe the world (including the first world) is far less civilized than we think and would rather be safe than sorry. Let’s just remember that the first thing the Nazis took away were their victim’s weapons.

    2. I don’t know if you were insinuating I’m some sort of wimp because I need a gun for what I can’t do with my fists, but a person who attempts to confront a knife wielding or gun wielding thug with fists is usually a dead idiot. Either way, I find your stereotype pretty baseless and something I hear from ineffectual beta males as a way to justify their own cowardice, similar to how broke guys make fun of rich guys supposedly small members because they drive expensive sports cars. They drive because they can, and should. Everyone should know how to defend themselves with their fists. Guns are for those times that we hope never ever happen. But bad things happen to good people all of the time. And I advocate being ready for any situation.

    3. I love how the majority of your argument is based on how the law or society SHOULD work. It sounds similar to people’s theories on how socialism SHOULD work, because no one has a good example of how it does work. I also find it funny that people who believe in the right to protect themselves primarily because they don’t have faith that the government can (nor could) get treated like social pariahs while criminals are just expected to behave outside the law and simultaneously treated fairly when caught and confined. We see many cases in places like the UK where people protecting themselves are seen as violent sociopaths while the criminals trying to kill them are looked at as the victims. After Katrina, I think people should understand that the government is incapable of taking care of every single need you have, especially in a crisis situation. Next time we have chaos, no power (like all day yesterday), no cops on the streets, I want to make sure that if some looter thinks he can step onto my property to take advantage of those conditions, he will get a hole through the head, and probably dragged through the front door just in case.

    4. My cousin in Alaska just got back from Kodiak Island with a full adult brown bear skin. Beautiful photos and beautiful skin. Too bad bear meat tastes bad or I’d of had them ship it. I’m not a hunter, but I’ve killed my share of fish and eaten my share of every meat you can think of. I prefer others to kill and prepare my food and clothes for me, but I do not see anything wrong with letting people do what any predator does around the world every day. I’m all for stopping hunting, let’s start by stopping animals hunt other animals just to be fair.

  • BD, I read more horror stories about people running amok and people getting fatally injured by privately owned guns from the US than from Europe though. British police doesn’t carry guns on regular duty; way fewer policemen get shot there than anywhere else plus fewer criminals there are equipped with guns. All stats aside, gun control won’t be crime control. If a certain demography makes for most criminals, I expect politicians to lay political correctness aside and address the issue.

  • So say Lott and Mustard, B-D. Regretably, econometric models are cheap enough to show just about whatever you want them too (as the freakonomics guy discovered). Muffti is no expert on the topic but a little bit of reading suggests that Florida is the real statistical outlier, and including it skews things massively in the original study. You can check here for what seems like a decent overview of gun control studies in the US (though muffti is no expert on this at all).

  • No matter what I try, my comments keep hitting the spam filter. Tried three times now.

    But here’s something new. I see that liberals have less faith in humans than I originally thought. It goes to the belief that weapons are fundamentally evil, when in fact, it’s people that kill people, with guns, knives, cars, or even their fists. Here I am, a good person, who has committed no crimes, but liberals believe that that state is more responsible than me and that I’m too irresponsible to keep and maintain a weapon; that I pose some risk to you by owning a weapon. So you want to outlaw my fundamental and constitutional right while knowing that the criminals won’t abide by any of your laws. And even when guns are completely removed from the world, you will have to outlaw knives, bats, fists, sticks, cars, grills, ovens, lighters, etc. Because as we know, bats are inherently evil since its so easy to use one to kill someone.

    This is exactly why I’m not a liberal. Liberals and gun control advocates, like socialists, would rather lower the bar for all people because some people aren’t responsible. Well, I have a bunch of welfare recipients whom are bad parents near my neighborhood, who keep pumping out kids that cause negative incidents in my neighborhood, hurting and robbing people. Why not extend your philosophy and regulate their right to bear children? Why not continue lowering the bar and your expectations of humans? My expectations are already lowered, and THATs why I need guns. Eventually, you’ll all go full circle and get to that point. We’re just one terrorist attack, one hurricane, one earthquake away from your beloved “executive” nanny state being unable to protect you. And when the gang comes to your house to rape your family and take your belongings (even if by bat-point alone), I hope your faith in humanity and the law keeps you safe. I’ll be on my roof like a Korean shop owner, whether my weapon was registered or not.

  • Thanks. But I meant the one from yesterday or the day before which is in response to your stereotypes of “gun nuts”…

  • Sorry to hear Alex — Muffti himself actually has similar trouble every so often (posting and then there being no record of it!)

    The argument you give, Alex, is a classic example of a ‘slippery slope’ argument and those cut both ways — why should we stop with guns. Why shouldn’t shoulder held missiles be available to all — if this gang comes in an armored vehicle that is bullet proof, you are going to want a way to protect yourself, aintcha? Why shouldn’t we allow you to buy artillery? Isn’t this just lowing the bar? Why should the state step in on the right to ownership of material that will help protect yourself in just the scenarios you mention…

    Anyhow, even in a heavily gun regulated like canada, people who meet the description you provide of yourself can get guns. There is a waiting period where they do a background check. They give you a permit just like a driver’s license. Most sensible gun control people advocate things like closing the gun show loop, where literally anyone can buy a gun (though admittedly it account for only a small part of gun crime in america, its still a source of constant amazement and frustration).

  • Muffti, but there are already limits to gun ownership in America, which include background checks, waiting periods, and a limit on the types of weapons that can be bought, such as automatic rifles and RPGs. Yes, I agree, you don’t need a Howitzer to kill an animal nor a criminal, and I support those limits. Furthermore, I support additional laws for checking on people’s mental health records as this could have possibly prevented the Virginia Tech massacre (but then again, so could have armed teachers and students). There’s no need to allow people to stock up on automatic rifles and build some sort of wacko styles militia compound. My issue nor recommendation is that we remove all regulations (I don’t even support that for capitalism), but that, similar to abortion, we don’t need Change every time a new president comes to office. I like our gun laws as they are now and they should not be threatened every time some gun grabbing socialist runs for power like Obama. Simultaneously, we don’t need to re-examine and change our abortion laws every time a right winger comes to power. I’m tired of both subjects quite frankly and don’t think a presidential election has to deal with these. Maybe I’m not as much the federalist as I thought I was, but these are both individual rights issues AFAIAC.

  • I recently received an Atheists for Obama flier, in which it’s argued that white, working Americans will finally abandon guns and religion if he’s elected.

  • Obama supporters are such tools. Yes, even my friends whom I respect have gone ape-shit over this chump. That’s why I call him The Pied Piper!

    Any luck on finding my last post?

  • Say what you like about Obama: at least he doesn’t want to build bases in Czechslovakia and veto beer!

    Muffti kids. As far as Howitzers go, of course people don’t need those to kill animals. You also don’t need fully automatic rifles to protect yourself. The point is that there is no deep, natural ‘line in the sand’ about where gun limitations should be drawn — though muffti does think the gun show loophole is rather ridiculous — and he agrees that the mentally unstable shouldn’t be issued gun permits.

    In any case, truth is, the gun issue is moving down from the fed level to the state and city level as far as politics. And as far as the abortion issue goes, that has everything to do with nominating judges and little to do with who is president — which has become an important issue for everyone since the courts started ruling on things like how to count votes… Anyhow, the truth is, we violate individual rights all the time. Muffti would love to sit around dropping LSD all day but the government manifestly forbids it. Clear instance of the violation of an individual right that is in place because the powers that be and their electorate think its ok to try to shape society into a drugless image. If you have the right do that, you also have the right to argue for the various benefits and harms of gun control and watch the NRA demonize you. And if people care enough about it, politicians respond.

    So get used to these laws being challenged routinely. President by president. at least until people find something else to get their panties in a bunch about, like whether or not 2 people fo the same sex can acquire a paper that says ‘marriage license’ and other very important issues liek that….

  • “Now froylein, Canada is an independent country. Though I hope the US never abandons its territorial claims on it. Hopefully in my lifetime our lost northern provinces will find their way into the fold.”

    I hope you realize that when the (inevitable) border battles begin, I’ll be on the front lines. And (thankfully, due to our much superior Constitution) will be much better armed. And our Dunkin’ Donuts will crush their Tim Hortons.

    It would’ve happened if Bush wasn’t able to con us into Iraq. Just like in:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109370/

    Weird question. If a crazed islamaphobe walked into a Islamic school in Cedar Rapids, IA (not sure if there is an Islamic school in Cedar Rapid, IA but I’m guessing there are islamaphobes) and shot the place up, would everyone commenting here have a problem if the courts decided his or her’s craziness (insanity) legally trumped his or her’s racism.

    In one sense, this case should force the legal community to redefine the insanity defense once and for – vis a vis racism. Case in point: Sirhan Sirhan.

  • Any Canadians who aren’t interested in US citizenship should be resettled on Prince Edward Island. We can take over the rest.

    One of the ironies of the Seattle case is that the insanity defense doesn’t work as often as it should– the legal sanity threshold is a lot lower than the clinical one, and juries often feel bound to return convictions.

  • Saying Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia would have been a little bit better after all. It was the proper name he would have learned as a youth!

    Just kiddin’. Muffti likes McCain and has deep respect for nearly his entire political career. Much more than for Obama’s. This shift to the right, however, and coddling up to the religious right is intolerable to Muffti however.

    As for your territorial rights to Canada, by the time you get around to thinking take-over, you’ll be buying oil from the tarsands just in order to move your massive, oil wasting army northwards. Which will make us so rich, that with your weak and waning american dollar, will simply buy the United States. The Brits will be ever so pleased to get their colonies returned to them. Not to mention that the creation of useable lakes will give us the only water you guys can afford to transport that. 10$ a glass, Morrissey, and it better be in Canuck funds.

    bwahahahahahahahahahah!

  • The McCain thing really is embarassing, especially considering Barack’s grandad liberated Auschwitz.

    Here’s my plan for the great Canada takeover. Fortunately, there are very few Canadians. Learning from the success of the surge, we sponsor a ‘Canadian Wakening’ movement, paying off massive numbers of Canadians not to shoot us and to patrol their neighborhoods. We’ll give Quebec Kurdish-style autonomy as the ‘Autonomous Region of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Mariana Islands, and Quebec.’ Smart to lump all the non-anglophones into one lot, eh? Just to make our new subjects, er, fellow citizens more comfy, we’ll transmit certain government operations north– moving the IRS to Ottawa, for example.

    Shouldn’t take more than a couple of weeks to do.

  • Most people would assume that somebody who walks in to, well, anywhere, and starts shooting people seemingly at random is, by definition, as mad as a hatter. The reason is simple: we think only crazy people do such things.

    However, it is entirely possible that self-styled jihadis are being perfectly rational, at least in a clinical sense. Islam gives Muslims the “right” to treat “infidels” in any way they wish, and that includes killing them if they want to. If this is what such people believe, how can we call them crazy if they decide to shoot someone? Does not their religion tell them it is OK to do so? Who are we to question their sanity?

    I can understand the desire to consider such people crazy: it makes it possible to ignore the teachings of Islam and pass off such actions as those of a lone “crazed” individual. That is why the FBI and the cops can say, with a straight face, that the Egyptian who shot up the El Al counter in LA a few years back wasn’t a terrorist, he was just “crazy”; or he “snapped” because his business wasn’t going well, or (one of) his wives left him, or whatever self-serving reason they came up with.

    People will do anything to avoid facing the truth: that Islam inculcates in its adherents a hatred of the “infidel” that is liable to express itself in dangerous ways, just like racism caused those guys to murder Emmet Till because he whistled at a white woman.

    If the Seattle shooter could tell the difference between right and wrong according to our laws, not his and decided to shoot those people anyway, he’s guilty and should be executed.

  • True enough Ephraim, though to be fair, you weren’t at the trial and you don’t know if dude was clinically nuts or just coldly rational with very unfortunate religious beliefs.

    These lines are notoriously hard to draw and have frustrated legal philosophers and jurisprudence experts for years. Say that Muffti reads a book that convinces him that you are Satan and then goes and kills you to avoid the end of the world. You are hard pressed not to find him crazy even clinically so, despite the fact that he had what seemed like a perfectly rational, in teh clinical sense, argument:

    Ephraim is the devil.
    The Devil must be stopped at all costs.
    Stopping the devil requires murdering him
    THerefore, Ephraim must be murdered.

    Now Muffti’s worried someone will read this and get the wrong idea. And tehy would probably be considered crazy if they did. Now vary the story slightly by making that book the Koran and a bunch of preachers and change the devil to infidel…

  • Bernhard Goetz said it best:

    “I would, without any hesitation, shoot a violent criminal again.”

    and:

    “You don’t look too bad; here’s another.”

    If you are not familiar with the man, Bernhard Goetz shot four thugs in self-defense on the 2 Express back in 1986.

    Read more here:

    http://www.saf.org/LawReviews/Cohen1.html

  • GM, you are mixing up two different things. You are confusing the holding of intense, highly charged, idiosyncratic, passionate opinions with craziness. No matter how nutty, opinions are still opinions.

    “Crazy”, for compassion purposes, so you don’t convict, can only mean “doesn’t know what’s real”.

    The Seattle Murderer knew how to: plan, find a target on the internet, drive a long way without getting stopped for erratic driving, hide himself when prudent, load and aim, take a hostage for tactical reasons, and then state his views and reasons intelligibly, in reality-based terms.

    He did not say he was Napoleon. He did not say he was going to shoot all the Martians.

    He did not say the ladies in the Jewish Center were Satan. He said he was upset about Israel and they were Jews. Well, he is upset about Israel. And they are Jews. Nothing crazy there. Just illegal.

    It can be a hard call at times, but not this was not one of those times.

    His background of mental problems doesn’t mean much here, because his medication must have been working pretty well, for him to function so effectively. If he had been having a bad time, mentally, he would have done something much more impulsive, less planned, and closer to home, perhaps to the people around him, not two hundred miles away. That would have been authentically crazy.

  • Yes, I wasn’t at the trial. But I imagine that the jury couldn’t make up its mind whether he was crazy or a completely sane anti-Semitic murderer precisely because they wanted so badly to believe the defense who said he was crazy. After all, like I said, who but a crazy person would do something like that?

    If a rational person can do such things, the implications are profound, and one has to start considering things one doesn’t weant to consider, like whether an entire religion or ideology needs to be put on trial.

    Consider: Nazis and Communists murdered millions of people for ideological reasons. For the dedicated Nazi or Communist, the Jews and the Ukranian kulaks had to go because they were getting in the way of the “revolution”. Were the people who did the killing crazy or not?

  • I wonder if Bernard Goetz would have received more sympathy if he spent more of an effort shopping for eyeglass frames.

    Or maybe that’s why we had so much sympathy for him.

  • But it’s nice to see how Mr. Goetz has used his vigilante fame to promote the Vegan cause (scroll down):

    The first-ever Veggie Pride parade marched through Greenwich Village, drawing about 600 people. Bernard Goetz, the former subway vigilante, was among those in attendance.

  • Well, Ephraim, lucky for the guy that you weren’t the jury. The man did have a history of diagnosed clinical mental problems. You can ignore that if you like in the interest of projecting your favourite rational reconstruction of the decision theoretic processes running through the jurors head, but Muffti wants to see some evidence.

    Nonetheless, he is sure that yo are right in one sense. It is rather scary when one realizes that the demands of rationality are fairly low and require basically not much more than a practical syllogism to back them up. Deep down its what makes Muffti think you theists are kind of crazy. How we deal with evidence is subject ot rational control; but mostly it is subject to the rational control that we approach it with. Liberalism, which most of us like to cling to as doctrine, requires that we can make sense of eachother and our actions and thus in part equates insanity with ‘that which we can’t understand’ and its hard to see how we can understand a person who will shoot others on the basis of some book or religion that suggests such repulsive behaviour.

    Then again, muffti doesn’t want to call y’all insance but he has a lot of trouble understanding why you take some 3000 year old book as a good source of knowledge and ethics…

  • Yes, it is quite possible he actually was crazy, Muffti. I have sat on a jury, so I am quite aware that things are not what they seem to people who are not intimately familiar with the case.

    But why did his craziness express itself in this particular fashion? That is really the question.

    For example, it is a well-known fact that the suicide rate in Japan is quite high, especially among young people who are under severe pressure to do well in school exams. I think most people would agree that someone who kills himself is pretty much crazy.

    But why should a person who feels under this kind of pressure take it out on himself rather than on those who are subjecting him to this unfair stress? In the US, when stress gets to be too much to bear, people often take it out on others in things the news like to call “shooting sprees”. In Japan, on the other hand, people tend to kill themselves instead. There is a lot more outwardly-directed violent crime in Japan now than there used to be, but suicide is a very common response to stress.

    The reason, I believe, is that Japanese are brought up to do all in their power not to impose on others. This is a very strong cultural trait. The last thing a well-brought up Japanese would do is to inconvenience others. So they kill themselves instead of others.

    So let us accept that the Seattle shooter was crazy and under a lot of stress. How was he culturally programmed to handle this sort of stress? He blamed Jews, as Muslims tend to do, so he decided to shoot them.

    As far as theists being crazy are concerned, I’m not sure any of the man-made systems of ethics you secular philosophers have come up witrh work much better than the 3,000 year-old book. Of clurse, anything can be made to look good on paper. The trick is getting people to follow it.

    In any case, since you don’t believe in G-d, the 3,000 year-old book itself must, by definition, just be man-made anyway, so I’m not sure what your point is. In any case, I am sure that I could point to plenty of crazy people who don’t believe in G-d just as you could point to plenty of crazy theists.

  • Muffti certainly doesn’t think that craziness is exclusively the domain of the theists. He was just saying that beyond mere means to ends rationality, evaluating rationality is a very difficult matter.

  • Yes, evaluating rationality is a difficult matter. As far as the sanity or lack thereof of the Seattle shooter is concerned, if he knew what he was doing was wrong by the legal standards of the country in which he lived at the time when he shot those people, but he decided to do it anyway, he is sane for the purposes of his trial. The fact that he may have had some mental trouble previously is irrelelevant. What was his mental condition at the time the crime was committed?

    If he was rational and decided to put the demands of Islam above the demands of American law, then he should be executed fortwith.

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