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(Yes, I've been away from here for a while.  Whether I come back beyond this diary remains to be seen but isn't important.)

This diary is in response to recent diaries by Lilith Gardener and Hugh Jim Bissell about "stochastic terrorism," an idea I originated in 2011.  

Yes it does have a specific definition.

No it's not a generic slur.  Nor is it embodied in law, though I wish it was.  

Yes there is follow-up about one of the more egregious cases.

More about all of which below.

Definition:

I was very specific about this in the original article, as was quoted by others subsequently:

"Stochastic terrorism is the use of mass communications to stir up random lone wolves to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable."

Let's parse this out:

Stochastic:  A dictionary definition will do; the following is pulled from my desktop dictionary:  "randomly determined; having a random probability distribution or pattern that may be analyzed statistically but may not be predicted precisely."  

In essence, a phenomenon is "stochastic" when it can be predicted in only an approximate manner, for example the likelihood of tornados occurring during certain types of storm conditions.  Forecasters can be pretty sure a tornado will hit, but they don't know exactly where, until it begins to form.

Terrorism:  The FBI definition is the current standard for US law enforcement.  It boils down to "the use of criminal threats or acts of violence as the means to ideological ends."

Mass communications:  Media that are intended for broadcast to the general public or a definable large audience.

Lone wolf:  An individual who has no obvious connections to an organized group, and carries out an ideologically-motivated violent act against one or more victims.

The words "terrorism" and "terrorist" as I use them, are not intended as the kind of generic slur or insult that Hugh Jim Bissell finds objectionable.  I agree with Hugh that these words should not be used in that manner, because doing so muddies the waters, and also renders the words meaningless in the manner of swearwords that are over-used.  When I use these words, I'm using them per the law enforcement definition, to refer to specific types of unlawful acts.

There's one thing I'd add to the definition today: the words "deliberate or reckless."   Thus it would change to:

"Stochastic terrorism is the deliberate or reckless use of mass communications to stir up random lone wolves to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable."

When "not-terrorism" is terrorism.

Ordinarily an unlawful killing of one victim is a murder.  When the murder is motivated by animus toward an identifiable group (e.g. race, religion, etc.), it's a hate crime.  When there is a small number of victims, it's a multiple murder (multiple counts of murder are charged).  Ordinarily a terrorist act involves the potential for, or actuality of, a larger number of casualties, such as detonating a bomb in a place where people are likely to be present.  

Now let's see how this plays out in light of the definition.  The case described below is fictitious.

An Al Qaeda (AQ) spokesperson sends out email to everyone on a secret mailing list, encouraging them to go to a specific URL to watch a video.  The video encourages AQ followers to each go out and kill one person, and do their best to avoid getting caught.  What do we call that?

Over the course of a month there are 30 suspicious killings.  Each of the individual acts is a murder.  If a murder is accompanied by a communique from the killer that refers to the victim as a member of a group (e.g. race, religion, etc.), it's a hate crime.    

At the beginning all we have are 30 murders, and 30 local law enforcement agencies across the US each seeking a suspect.  At this point, law enforcement is still unaware of the AQ video.  

Since each murder has one victim, each of these is not yet considered a terrorist act.  So far it's not a conspiracy either, because there is no sign of coordination between the actors.  The elements of collaboration upon which the definition of conspiracy depends, are not present.

Next, NSA routinely intercepts the video during a sweep of AQ-associated sites and addresses.  They routinely back-track the IP addresses of the people who went to the AQ site and clicked on the video.  For example 300 people went to the particular URL and watched the video.  Further investigation finds that each of those people received an email telling them to go to that URL, and that the email was sent to a total of 1,000 recipients.

Meanwhile, fifteen suspects have been arrested over the course of the month, via normal police detective work such as tracing weapons to their owners, matching license plates seen on security camera videos, etc.  Each suspect is charged with one count of murder.  

In each case, local police routinely search their homes and come across evidence linking each suspect to Al Qaeda.  The moment any such evidence is found, the FBI is called in: this is standard procedure even before a pattern emerges to link the crimes.  

At this point each local agency is looking at one murder with a suspect who appears to have AQ sympathies.  The FBI is looking at fifteen murders with suspects who all appear to have Al Qaeda sympathies, but nothing linking them to each other.  Further investigation confirms that these fifteen suspects indeed had no communication with each other and did not know each other.  There are also still fifteen unsolved murders that are suspicious in a way that makes them appear to be connected to this pattern.

Pretty quickly the various threads of evidence get assembled, including the NSA data, and the complete picture emerges as to what has happened: the AQ spokesperson emailed 1,000 people, 300 of them went to the URL mentioned in the email and presumably watched all or part of the video, and each of the 15 people who are presently in custody is one of the 300 who went to the URL.  At this stage there are still 15 unidentified suspects on the loose.

By now, the President is probably being briefed, the FBI is coordinating with the local police departments, various intel agencies are involved, and all of this is being done in utmost secrecy.  Investigation of every person who received the email identifies the remaining 15 suspects, and additional evidence links them to the remaining 15 murders.  Warrants are issued and the remaining 15 suspects are arrested.

Now what do we have?  In all likelihood each of the 30 suspects is now going to be charged with a terrorist act due to their AQ links.  The AQ spokesperson is also going to be charged as well, though he's hiding out in another country, so good luck dragging him back here to face charges.  But in each case the defense attorneys are going to argue for dismissal of the terrorism charges, because each suspect is only charged with a single murder, and "merely watching a video" is arguably "an innocent activity in and of itself."

That's how stochastic terrorism works.

Now let's go back and change a few things.  Remove the elements of secret email and secret URL, and have AQ post their video on YouTube and 300,000 people watch it.  Nothing substantial has changed except that the investigation would have become two decimal places more difficult.  All 15 initial suspects watched the video, so now the rest of the 300,000 viewers have to be checked out to see if any of them might be one of the remaining 15 suspects.  In the end, the 15 remaining suspects are found among the 300,000 who watched the video.

Now let's change one more thing.  The AQ spokesperson has good legal advice, so the video does not say "each person watching this should go out and kill one infidel, and don't get caught."  Instead it says something like, "it's your duty to destroy the infidels, one at a time."  This gives AQ plausible deniability: they can claim that they are "merely" engaging in free speech, they did not intend "destroy" to mean "murder," and that they are "shocked and surprised" that "a few disturbed individuals" went out and committed murders.

Last, let's change one more thing.  Instead of an Al Qaeda spokesperson, it's a domestic demagogue with a program on major network radio or television.  And instead of thirty separate murders, it's more like a dozen including three dead cops, and an additional four wounded cops.

That is exactly how stochastic terrorism works, plausible deniability and "free speech" claims included.

Following up a case:

In 2010, Byron Williams shot and wounded two California Highway Patrol officers, after being stopped for erratic driving.  The evidence, including his own notebook, showed that he was on his way to shoot and kill as many people as he could at the Tides Foundation in San Francisco, and at the Bay Area ACLU office.  

Williams was a self-described disciple of Glenn Beck.  Beck had ranted about the Tides Foundation 29 times on his TV program, calling Tides the funding source behind much of "the liberal conspiracy." Beck ranted about Tides twice in the week immediately preceeding Williams' attempt at mass murder.  Williams told the arresting officers that Beck was his "schoolteacher," who gave him "every ounce of evidence that [he] could possibly need."

In April 2014, an Alameda County jury convicted Williams on all counts.  He was sentenced to 401 years and four months in prison.

Glenn Beck is still on the loose, and has an estimated net worth of more than $100 million.

This was not the first case with a connection to Beck.  In April 2009, another of his fans, Richard Poplawski, shot five Pittsburgh PA police officers, killing three, wounding two.  

You would think that a media personality, upon learning that one of his fans had shot five cops (no doubt the Pittsburgh PD would have asked Beck if he knew Poplawski), would be deeply troubled by it and might seek to avoid a repeat performance.  You would think so, but in the case of Glenn Beck you'd be mistaken.  He went right out and did it again, with the statistically predictable but individually unpredictable result named Byron Williams.

"Once is a tragedy, twice is enemy action."  

Here's to the day when "once" gets a warning, and "twice" gets prosecuted.  

Here's to the day when the next Glen Beck ends up in the next cellblock from the next Byron Williams.  

---

(Note: my original diary attracted a bit of media attention including a mention by Thom Hartmann.  If anyone from the media is still interested in this topic, feel free to get in touch via email or post your contact info in the comments.)

Originally posted to G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 08:42 AM PDT.

Also republished by Firearms Law and Policy and Shut Down the NRA.

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  •  Tip Jar (281+ / 0-)
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    ontheleftcoast, ivorybill, shaharazade, cotterperson, 2thanks, shopkeeper, James Wells, CwV, ApostleOfCarlin, GrumpyOldGeek, billmosby, nom de plume, Timaeus, Miggles, Dirtandiron, skohayes, poco, Youffraita, Just Bob, jfromga, Glen The Plumber, AnnieR, Sandino, eru, Thinking Fella, Matt Z, Lilith, fumie, wilderness voice, Moody Loner, SeaTurtle, T100R, libera nos, Brooke In Seattle, Mary Mike, TRPChicago, enhydra lutris, Hayate Yagami, whl, aimeehs, Catte Nappe, sfbob, Wee Mama, Sylv, Susipsych, trumpeter, Black Max, dougymi, McWaffle, Hillbilly Dem, buddabelly, The Marti, OleHippieChick, JeffW, leeleedee, zitherhamster, Joy of Fishes, Joe Bob, AnnetteK, Cat Servant, tegrat, RF, rubyclaire, FindingMyVoice, The Termite, serendipityisabitch, Horace Boothroyd III, MKinTN, marleycat, Statusquomustgo, owlbear1, howabout, ericlewis0, FarWestGirl, Shockwave, koNko, anodnhajo, carolanne, ypochris, Mike Kahlow, coquiero, tardis10, Brown Thrasher, chimpy, gramofsam1, GreyHawk, VTCC73, SoCalSal, side pocket, jacey, jan4insight, gizmo59, BYw, oceanview, onionjim, peptabysmal, blue armadillo, bsmechanic, Mostserene1, Pluto, hubcap, old wobbly, Actbriniel, Empower Ink, CJB, just another vet, zerelda, elkhunter, Simian, Smoh, theBreeze, jds1978, wader, linkage, CenPhx, Ginny in CO, Wednesday Bizzare, SouthernLiberalinMD, Frederick Clarkson, dotdash2u, kfunk937, peachcreek, kjoftherock, mikeconwell, susakinovember, grover, GeorgeXVIII, Ashaman, wonmug, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Airmid, Villabolo, flowerfarmer, bfitzinAR, ColoTim, wasatch, cybersaur, SCFrog, nosleep4u, BvueDem, No one gets out alive, northsylvania, claude, DavidMS, confitesprit, artmartin, FG, quill, texasmom, sb, AoT, moviemeister76, nota bene, NoMoJoe, LilithGardener, wrights, john07801, pvasileff, wu ming, triplepoint, jadt65, here4tehbeer, sngmama, DaNang65, spacecadet1, a2nite, raboof, Otteray Scribe, Joieau, rapala, Pandora, Laughing Vergil, Van Buren, rja, nuclear winter solstice, StrayCat, bob in ny, kbman, lordcopper, Persiflage, xynz, blueyedace2, Hastur, Bob Love, blueoasis, ItsaMathJoke, leonard145b, Josiah Bartlett, Paul Ferguson, Randtntx, underTheRadar, BlueInARedState, Moderation, ban nock, Calvino Partigiani, bill warnick, gnothis, CA Nana, WarrenS, Pescadero Bill, The Hindsight Times, tapestry, emmasnacker, stringer bell, sturunner, dle2GA, revsue, AaronInSanDiego, terabytes, MrJayTee, shesaid, indubitably, zozie, Steveningen, Bluehawk, aitchdee, devis1, ratcityreprobate, dskoe, joedemocrat, antirove, Skennet Boch, HCKAD, radical simplicity, Words In Action, MinistryOfTruth, liberte, dksbook, muddy boots, Black Mare, Darkchylde, TomP, pontechango, greengemini, bakeneko, WakeUpNeo, Cassandra Waites, stlsophos, Unitary Moonbat, Keninoakland, myboo, ivote2004, Chaddiwicker, flitedocnm, JJustin, doinaheckuvanutjob, reflectionsv37, ER Doc, SilverWillow, myrmecia gulosa, Brit, Meteor Blades, tombstone, yuriwho, Tinfoil Hat, kaliope, carpunder, cama2008, maggid, caryltoo, stellaluna, alasmoses, 43north, gzodik, koosah, Oldowan, Deward Hastings, Gary Norton, Shippo1776, Sychotic1, middleagedhousewife, Blue Intrigue, caul, certainot, Denise Oliver Velez, splashy, BobBlueMass, travelerxxx, ksuwildkat, marsanges, Creosote

    We got the future back.

    by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 08:42:54 AM PDT

  •  Welcome back, hope you stay (26+ / 0-)

    One difference between the fictional story and the Beck one is motive. Beck is spewing his hate not necessarily to shut down Tides, or even get conservative policies enacted but to drum up viewership to boost his ratings and net worth. It creates "lone wolf" incidents but that seems like a secondary effect, not the main purpose. In the end he's creating the same monsters though so maybe there really isn't that much difference after all.

    GOP 2014 strategy -- Hire clowns, elephants, and a ringmaster and say "a media circus" has emerged and blame Democrats for lack of progress. Have pundits agree that "both sides are to blame" and hope the public will stay home on election day.

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu May 22, 2014 at 08:56:30 AM PDT

    •  there comes a point where one has to say... (96+ / 0-)

      .... that the tree is known by its fruit, and if the fruit is poisonous, it's because the tree has the capacity to grow poisonous fruit.

      Scenario:  

      You're a media personality with a huge audience.  One day some guy murders three cops and sends two to the hospital.  The police search his house and find out he's a devoted fan of yours, including keeping your videos on his computer.  

      Logically the police are going to call you up to ask if you've ever heard of that guy.  Hell, they're going to come over to your place in person, and they're not going to let your secretary get in the way of talking to you.  They have every legitimate reason to ask if you've ever heard of the shooter.

      So you find out that one of your fans shot five cops.  Now what?  

      Any person with a microgram of conscience is going to be shocked, majorly upset, struck with grief or at least sadness.  Any person with a microgram of conscience is going to ask the same questions that someone who gets in an auto accident with fatalities asks:  What could I have done? and What could I have done differently?

      Any person with a microgram of conscience is going to seek to figure out what they could possibly do differently to make sure it doesn't happen again.

      But Beck didn't do that.  After Poplawski, he kept on doing his thing.  Whether for pure greed, pure ideology, pure narcissistic conviction that he is a man to make history, or some combination of those and other factors.  He kept on doing it.  

      And as a direct result of what he did, Byron Williams shot two cops and could have killed a dozen people that day.   (Have you ever seen the offices of a nonprofit organization?  I have a bunch of them as clients.  With very few exceptions they are relaxed places that are not on constant high alert, and with very few exceptions they include rooms with lots of people working at unprotected desks.  They are what a multiple-murderer would call "target-rich zones.")

      But even then, Beck hasn't stopped.  It would be utter stupidity except that he is not stupid.  Not exactly a genius, but not stupid either.

      At the very minimum, the degree of recklessness involved is just beyond belief.

      There comes a point where that kind of recklessness has got to be considered culpable.  Morally, if not yet legally.  There comes a point where it can't be considered recklessness any more.

      Once is a tragedy.  Twice is enemy action.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 09:15:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Deniability is much too overrated! (23+ / 0-)

        The law has a phrase for things like this:

        "The Defendant will not be heard to say ..."
        ... meaning the statement is so lacking that it does not deserve credence.

        Legally, the standards for pinning the results of actions on someone are - and they should be - high bars. After all, speech constitutes much of the underlying encouragement (incitement) to violent behavior. We revere free speech, almost no matter what the likely consequences, because it's an article of our democratic faith that "bad speech" will be countered by "good speech" and the marketplace of ideas will sort it out. But ...

        If broadcasters have a responsibility to filter out George Carlin's Seven Dirty Words, I think they also have a responsibility to mute overt calls to violent action. The rifle ranges where the targets bear a relationship to real people, for example, or the callously delivered rhetoric of arming to protect one amendment or another. (No, I can't formulate a general rule, but I can't define child pornography, either, and it's heinous and illegal.)

        This may take self-discipline on the part of broadcasters and cable companies, rather than statutory prescriptions. I'm OK with that as a test.

        2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Thu May 22, 2014 at 09:53:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm with you on this. (28+ / 0-)

          No amount of good speech will bring back the murder victims or erase the scars and injuries of the wounded.

          The word "eulogy" specifically means "good words."  The good words at the funeral do not bring back the departed.

          Child porn is legally defined as any depiction of a legal minor in a state of nudity or engaged in sexual behavior.  The rationale for banning it is that it necessarily involves harming children in order to make it, and that it incites child molesters to harm kids.

          Agreed, the same standards should be used for calls to violence as for the "seven dirty words."  The cultural double-standards between "sexual or excretory" on one hand, and "violent" on the other hand, add up to vile hypocrisy and actual harm.  

          In fact it's arguable (keyword search "Prescott + violence") that more consenting-adult sex in the media will produce less violence in the culture.

          Re. rifle ranges, there are  cases where human-silhouette targets are legitimate.  The most obvious is training of law enforcement personnel.  I would also agree that it's legit to use these targets when training for the use of firearms in self-defense.  However if someone is observed on a rifle range shouting "Die (racial epithet) die!" or whatever, or otherwise demonstrating behavior indicating that they are contemplating a violent crime, that person should at minimum be questioned in some depth.

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:13:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Right on! I don't mind human silhouettes ... (6+ / 0-)

            ... unless they resemble an identifiable figure by sign or image. That, I believe, is beyond the pale.

            Check my hypothetical down the stream. I almost posted it as a mini-diary - and may yet still - but your's made it current and appropriate.

            2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

            by TRPChicago on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:16:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Please do post it as a diary (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek

              It's an interesting question.

              "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

              by LilithGardener on Thu May 22, 2014 at 02:23:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  excellent point. (4+ / 0-)

              When a silhouette target resembles an identifiable figure, that's a sign that its purpose is to promote criminal intent.  

              I'm thinking we should be careful to not publicize this idea too widely, lest someone start selling silhouette targets made out to look like e.g. public officials, and then make a "free speech" claim on them.  (Alternately, what a great honey trap for spotting potentially dangerous people, kinda' like the "Stormfront" white supremacist discussion board;-)

              We got the future back. Uh-oh.

              by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 05:51:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I agree; I just don't know how to express that (5+ / 0-)

        legally which won't just give the government even more rope to hang innocent dissidents with, y'know?

        There's no fault in your logic; there's a fault in the historical conditions.

        There is no way for a citizen of a Republic to abdicate his responsibilities. ---Edward R. Murrow

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu May 22, 2014 at 12:14:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I came up with a process for this... (5+ / 0-)

          ... that would have plenty of safeguards to prevent prosecutorial abuse.  I can't remember all the details at the moment, and it would take searching a few gigabytes of stuff to find it right now.  

          But basically it would consist of a number of steps, each of which would entail a separate jury proceeding.  The goal would be to establish, as a finding of fact, whether a specific instance or series of instances of speech were causally linked to a specific violent crime.

          An affirmative finding would be used to put the person on notice that these specific instances of speech substantially contributed to the cause of this specific violent crime.

          In ordinary terms, this would be like a warning for a first offense.  But it would carry the weight that if a second offense occurred, and was also confirmed by the same type of proceeding, then the individual would be liable for charges of stochastic terrorism.  The prosecution on those charges would require a third proceeding.

          The goal here is to make it exceedingly difficult to prosecute speech unless there is a documented and legally demonstrated pattern.  The saying "once is a tragedy, twice is enemy action" applies here: the first time is considered an accident, but the second time is considered intentional.

          To put this terribly bluntly, this is a matter of trading off speech for corpses.  How many corpses justify prosecuting speech?  Or more specifically, how many repeated instances of corpses justify prosecuting one person's speech?

          This is far more tolerance than is exhibited toward any other activity that produces corpses.  If an aircraft mechanic damages an airliner in such a manner that it crashes and kills the passengers, do we let that person continue to work on airliners?  No, we remove them from that job after the first offense.  But if someone posts a video urging aircraft mechanics to sabotage airliners in some obscure way, and a few weeks later that event actually occurs, what then?  

          What then is, at present we allow them to continue publishing videos exhorting others to commit mass-casualty sabotage, because it's "free speech."  Under my system, they get away with the first rant that leads to the first crashed aircraft, but they get put on notice about it, and then if they do it a second time, they get prosecuted.  

          There are those who consider that no quantity of corpses is too large as to justify prosecuting speech.  I disagree: and weaponized speech also has the direct effect of intimidating or suppressing the speech of its intended victims, and of anyone who holds the same views as the intended victims.  

          Allowing weaponized speech effectively suppresses the speech of others.  The moral responsibility is on the aggressor rather than on the victim.  The right to swing one's fists ends at another's nose, and a blindfold is not an excuse.

          As for prosecuting dissidents, that isn't possible unless the "dissent" takes the form of repeatedly stirring up violent actors who themselves are convicted for their acts.

          Lastly, the most significant and effective form of suppression of speech is not criminal prosecution, it's the concentration of media ownership into fewer and fewer hands over time.

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 06:48:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So, juries get to punish speech they don't like (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            caul, i saw an old tree today

            And that's supposed to protect against suppression of minority opinion under the guise of public order.  Riiiiight.

            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

            by Loge on Thu May 22, 2014 at 07:31:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No. It isn't speech that juries don't like. It's (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              i saw an old tree today

              speech pre-defined in law.  And there is only "jury nullification" in systems which allow the unelected jury to repeal laws enacted by the elected representatives of we the people.

              This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

              by JJustin on Fri May 23, 2014 at 12:53:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The right to swing one's fists ends at another's (2+ / 0-)

            nose.

            Actually it ends before that: in law, the term "assault" is defined as "putting another in fear of bodily harm."  No physical contact is necessary.  And it need not be done in close proximity.

            This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

            by JJustin on Fri May 23, 2014 at 12:55:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I felt the same way (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kfunk937, caryltoo, caul, shaharazade

        when Bill O'Reiley (sp) went on and on and on about Dr. Tiller (the abortion doctor in Kansas), who was murdered at his church.

        If I remember correctly there was another guy in the south who listened to O'reilly and went out to kill a bunch of people in his area because he couldn't get to the real people who should be killed (yes, I am fuzzy on the details right now, but it is late, and I am really tired).

        If I believed in hell, I would hope that there is a special place there for the Glenn Becks and the Bill O'Rileys of the world.

        I think you have made a great contribution by naming Stochastic Terrorism.  And like others have said, I really hope that there are laws enacted so that people can be held accountable for their contribution / triggering of these horrendous events.

        •  Pretty sure the guy you are thinking of (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          koosah, SilverWillow, caul

          shot up a CHURCH.

          But, you know, one of those librul ones, UU.

          And all because he didn't have access to the 100 people ruining America. But he did have a shelf full of Beck, Hannity...

          IIRC.

          If you want something other than the obvious to happen; you've got to do something other than the obvious. Douglas Adams

          by trillian on Fri May 23, 2014 at 05:58:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think you are correct (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shaharazade, travelerxxx

            and now I finally notice the trend of killing 'liberals' at their place of worship.

            It always seems especially evil to kill someone in their church.  Especially when you are claiming to be killing them because they are doing something your version of christianity does not condone.

            I wonder what the percentage of the stochastic terrorism actions have been enacted at a church or some other institution that is specifically set up to help people (I would include those people who were caught on the way to the church or non-profit).

  •  Thanks. (35+ / 0-)

    I already understood it to mean exactly what you explain, it's good to have a clear definition with examples like this.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Thu May 22, 2014 at 08:57:31 AM PDT

    •  I have been talking up this concept ever since (5+ / 0-)

      you first wrote of it here.  It is an elegant description of what is slipping beneath the radar, and needs to be codified into law.

      BUT...if this happened, it is more than likely that the law will end up similarly over-broad like the Patriot Act, and lead to injustices.  You just can't win for losing. Sigh.

      Real plastic here; none of that new synthetic stuff made from chicken feathers. By the morning of 9/12/2001 the people of NYC had won the War on Terror.

      by triplepoint on Thu May 22, 2014 at 02:31:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is already codified in law, and describes (5+ / 0-)

        A criminal conspiracy like a wheel.  Tacit agreement to the crime is shown by the act of murder.

        Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

        by StrayCat on Thu May 22, 2014 at 04:10:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Could you expand on this? (0+ / 0-)

          What is already codified into law?

          Any citations or links your can provide?

          #3: ensure network neutrality; #2: ensure electoral integrity; #1: ensure ecosystemic sustainability.

          by ivote2004 on Fri May 23, 2014 at 12:59:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, I just saw this comment. Any first year (0+ / 0-)

            law text on criminal law will set out the definitions of criminal conspiracy, and outline the various ways in which agreement, both tacit and expressed can be proven.

            Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

            by StrayCat on Wed May 28, 2014 at 09:45:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  we don't have to accept the idea that... (7+ / 0-)

        ... our legal system is incapable of making fine distinctions, any more than we have to accept drunken bus drivers who are incapable of making turns without causing accidents.

        Watch the videos of the science conferences at which the discovery of the Higgs boson was announced.  Listen to the way those scientists presented their findings, discussed and debated, came to their consensus, and announced it to the world.  

        That shows you what humans are capable of, when they are of a mind to cooperate to achieve a shared goal.  

        For that matter watch the videos of the Apollo astronauts walking on the Moon.

        There is exactly no excuse for the persistence, in our nation's legislature, of people who lack the most basic types of intelligence and capacity.  The state of permanent stall on the climate catastrophe is proof of the point.  

        The very real bottom line is, terrorism is practically a non-issue compared to the climate crisis.  If we get a Congress that's intelligent enough to take the steps that are needed to solve that, they will also be intelligent enough to deal with the other issues of the day without botching them.

        This being an election year, we have a chance to make measurable progress on that front.

        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

        by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 07:00:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  i'll be back in a few hours... (28+ / 0-)

    ....to reply to comments, wipe any pie off my face, etc.  Sorry to post & scoot but the work day begins.

    We got the future back. Uh-oh.

    by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 08:59:11 AM PDT

  •  Good Day! Really good to see you! (12+ / 0-)

    Now off to actually read the diary.

  •  Terrorism Doesn't Relate to Number of Victims (36+ / 0-)

    or targets. The FBI's definition involves attempting to achieve social change that normal social and political, or formal military activity can't accomplish.

    One cross burning in one African-American front yard is terrorism because it's a signal to a population, even though only one family or maybe individual was the recipient of the individual act.

    And for my money, "government IS the problem" is tolerably close to fitting the same definition, in an era of climate change when we know that deaths a decimal place and more greater than the entire 20th century worth of mayhem are in the balance.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu May 22, 2014 at 09:02:33 AM PDT

  •  Thanks, G2g, (30+ / 0-)

    for the excellent explanation. It makes all the sense in the world, especially when one considers that most of the mass media are owned by corporations with interlocking boards of directors. They can easily get people riled up, acting on emotion without thinking.

    I suspect that also works to obscure things that profit the corporations they serve as PR agents and to keep people in the dark so we don't have the requisite information for decision-making (individually as well as politically).

    .02

    Good to have you here again!

    "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

    by cotterperson on Thu May 22, 2014 at 09:06:42 AM PDT

  •  I think the wingnuts are trying to encourage (31+ / 0-)

    actual terrorism. To keep us home on election day, and not write letters to the editor, and so on. We know the republican party tries to stop Democratic constituencies from voting, so we know that's one of their game plans.

    Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

    by Dirtandiron on Thu May 22, 2014 at 09:13:42 AM PDT

  •  in the AQ example, (13+ / 0-)

    but not the Glenn Beck example, you have the elements of legal conspiracy.  Fox News is not a secret mailing list.  Glenn Beck also did not explicitly tell anyone to kill anyone.  Yes, free speech has trouble with plausible deniability ("will nobody rid me of this meddlesome priest?"  "For they are honorable men" come to mind from literature), but the "bad tendency" of speech contributing to things we don't like through intervening choices by others, cannot be enough for criminal liability.   Definitions aside, "Stochastic terrorism" is indeed a concept that is slippery enough to punish dissenting speech without proving intent to cause harm and without addressing it through lesser means, like counter speech.  It conflates any degree of causation with legal notions of proximate cause, and it's unnecessary to public safety.

    You did have something like this with the Nuremberg Files website cases, but the proprietor was properly not charged with individual murders but rather civil liability for making "true threats," and it would still be a stretch from that precedent (which included not just implied calls to violence but information on home addresses) to something like O'Reilly talking about George Tiller, on the basis that it would chill speech and to very little end.  Effective terrorism would require much more than individual planning of facially unrelated murders.

    Welcome back, but the idea is a bad one.

    Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

    by Loge on Thu May 22, 2014 at 09:26:02 AM PDT

    •  in your opinion: (10+ / 0-)
      speech contributing to things we don't like through intervening choices by others, cannot be enough for criminal liability
      This is true under our system, but whether that ought to be the case is another question.  When people with a big microphone start encouraging terrorism and followers act on it, there ought to be culpability IMHO.
      •  well, that's why i addressed (7+ / 0-)

        that a different system risks chilling speech and would be overkill.  "Encouraging terrorism" is highly vague, even with these examples.   Encouraging terrorism among a select group people who have agreed to commit terrorism is not ok and already illegal, however. I'm not an absolutist, where, as the Nuremberg Files case shows that not all speech is kosher.  Criminal liability versus civil damages or even a prior restraint, is a very different matter -- it's a far bigger deterrent and collapses the degree of responsibility among the advocate and the shooter into one, whereas even in the extreme case with civil damages, fault would still be apportioned.  

        I think culpability is pointing out that Glenn Beck is an uniformed asshole.  Once different sides start bringing the government in, however, it'll end badly.  How do you want a right winger applying this against the left, or against Martin Scorsese for Taxi Driver and Hinkley.  Forget about the first amendment, there are due process concerns.  If someone says "X is anti-American, x is hurting your family, x needs  to be stopped," which i'm sure there are examples of on this very website (mostly against Obama), and some independent actor acts on it, as long as there is plausible deniability, there isn't proof beyond a reasonable doubt as to intent or explicitness from the speech alone.  That's why it's disingenuous to compare examples where there's arguably ugly but protected speech under the current system directed within an existing conspiracy from examples where there is not that degree of proximity.

        Anyway, while it's true under our system, we have a history of using the "bad tendency" test that the diarist thinks we should return to, and as Justice Holmes said, it wound up being used against 'puny anonymities' for causing trivial harms.  Pro-communist journalists advocated draft resistance; some people read that and resisted the draft in WWI; the U.S. was harmed in its war efforts so into the clink they went.  An ugly chapter in our history.

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Thu May 22, 2014 at 09:58:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well... (4+ / 0-)
          If someone says "X is anti-American, x is hurting your family, x needs  to be stopped," which i'm sure there are examples of on this very website (mostly against Obama),
          We DO have strong prohibitions against any calls to violence against ANYONE and the rules are clear that these are to be HR'd.

          I think mgmt is doing this mostly for moral reasons but also for legal ones.

          Now, if we can just get people stop reflexively stop reccing comments that are violent against people we despise, that would be great. There is nothing worse than coming upon a comment calling something heinous to happen to someone vile like Hannity and it already has 2-3 recs.

          Just an observation.  I generally agree with you. I think that criminalizing stochastic terrorism would harm POC in particular and those who attempt to speak against the system (not militia groups, but groups like Occupy,  Environmental groups, etc) generally far more than it would ever harm people who are on TV and yes, actually encouraging if not motivating people to effect real harm.

          The FCC doesn't even lift a finger about what they say (not that I'm saying it should). And we think the FBI should handle it? Ah, no thanks.  

          © grover


          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

          by grover on Thu May 22, 2014 at 12:37:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  i have no problem with private people (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Simian, caul

            saying certain rhetoric is outside of the bounds of civil discourse, but calling people terrorists suggests a forceful legal response is necessary.

            I also think objecting to possible calls to violence because they might or might not lead to violence on the basis of what violence might or might not occur misses that it's already toxic and poison by virtue of appealing to fear and worst impulses.  And that requires trying to elevate the discourse instead.  

            I do hope bad things happen to Sean Hannity, though.

            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

            by Loge on Thu May 22, 2014 at 12:46:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hmmm. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Loge, indubitably, G2geek, tytalus
              I do hope bad things happen to Sean Hannity, though.
              You mean that he gets a parking tickert, that his pizza is delivered cold and soggy or that the barrista writes his name as  "Juan" on his Venti whole milk extra whip macchiato just as he's going back to a big meeting for all the on-air racists staff at the office instead, right?

              Nothing harmful to him personally, of course.

              © grover


              So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

              by grover on Thu May 22, 2014 at 01:16:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  i was thinking along the lines (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                indubitably

                of herpes.

                Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                by Loge on Thu May 22, 2014 at 01:20:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  ooh, that would be nice. (5+ / 0-)

                Social justice for Sean Hannity: May all of his pizzas be cold and soggy, and may barristas and waitstaff everywhere refer to him by names from his most-hated minorities or better yet call him "Ms."  

                One more thing: may his toilets go randomly out of order at the worst possible moments, and may the refuse collectors randomly miss emptying his bins at least once every other month.  OK, that's two more things, sheesh;-)

                We got the future back. Uh-oh.

                by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 08:12:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I no longer have the comment you hid (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                serendipityisabitch

                But I don't understand the hide.

                I did not threaten Hannity or call for violence.  Another comment here did.  I hoped he would experience something due to natural causes.

                Are thoughts now disallowed?  Wishes for the universe to stop someone from doing harm to the majority of those that hear him or have family who do?

                I read the rules and have no idea what the problem was.  Unless there's another section that is separate from the threat/violence rule, I can't find what applies to my disappeared post.

                I think Israel (and/or AIPAC) has a large and problematic influence on our foreign policy and legislation as it relates to Iran and the Middle East. Since I've been hidden for saying this, I expect to be hidden every time I post with this sig.

                by Black Mare on Fri May 23, 2014 at 02:57:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Your comment is hidden to you and (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  grover, shesaid, Darmok

                  casual users, but available to Trusted Users, i.e., those with 3 or more bars of Mojo.

                  It was hidden because it was in violation of the rules of the site, as shown here. Specifically, this

                  It's not kosher to wish violence against each other, and it's not cool to wish it against our enemies.
                  In other words, you can think all you like. You can imagine all the violent ends you want for someone, and spend time gloating over just how they'd feel while it was happening. Just don't post it here.

                  At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                  by serendipityisabitch on Fri May 23, 2014 at 08:29:56 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thank you for answering (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    serendipityisabitch

                    The key word seems to be "violence."

                    I see how my desire for something bad to happen can be disliked.

                    The fact remains that I did not wish for violence.

                    Oh, well.

                    I think Israel (and/or AIPAC) has a large and problematic influence on our foreign policy and legislation as it relates to Iran and the Middle East. Since I've been hidden for saying this, I expect to be hidden every time I post with this sig.

                    by Black Mare on Fri May 23, 2014 at 11:51:17 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  All right, I'll change the word to "harm". (0+ / 0-)

                      Wishing harm to someone, whether inflicted by others, self, or the universe, whether violently or non-violently, is much better kept off the screen here.

                      At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                      by serendipityisabitch on Fri May 23, 2014 at 01:51:56 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  oh, natural causes. that makes it ok! (0+ / 0-)

                  this is what you said:

                  I hope he has a terrible car accident, or a heart attack while all alone.

                  If he doesn't die, I hope he's badly injured.

                  kharma's response to you was spot-on, and if you can't see it, i'll repeat it:
                  some thoughts are better left to the dark spaces of your decrepit mind.  It's not a good human trait to wish the death of another.  People like Hannity deserve ridicule and alienation from polite society, but death is a little too permanent and solves nothing but the immediate symptom while the illness still persists.
                  so, yes, voicing this type of  'thought' is disallowed here.

                  let me take you down, 'cause i'm going to strawberry fields. nothing is real, and nothing to get hung about.-jpgr

                  by shesaid on Fri May 23, 2014 at 11:56:13 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Your flippancy is noted (0+ / 0-)

                    I now realize this is a site for the emotionally pristine.  

                    I was not aware natural causes constituted "violence."

                    From the rules,

                    At Daily Kos, any gray area will be decided in favor of the commenter. So if you're not sure that something should be HR'd, then don't.
                    Those sentences along with my apparent misunderstanding of the term violence led me to ask why my comment was hidden.

                    I can see other comments (except my own, which was confusing until I read a previous response) including the one referencing use of guns, so I had read kharma's response.

                    I think Israel (and/or AIPAC) has a large and problematic influence on our foreign policy and legislation as it relates to Iran and the Middle East. Since I've been hidden for saying this, I expect to be hidden every time I post with this sig.

                    by Black Mare on Fri May 23, 2014 at 12:58:58 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  no one is emotionally pristine. (0+ / 0-)

                      we are all flawed in so many ways. we're human. but shouldn't we try to be better humans? otherwise, what's the point of being here on this earth?

                      wishing/hoping someone death, natural causes or no, is a violent thought, an inhumane one. i grew up hearing my mother, considered a 'good christian woman', wish people dead. you'd think i'd be used to it by now...the inhumanity of it stings, whether from her, you or anyone else.

                      i do apologize for my first line's snarkiness. however, the rest of my comment was quite serious. not flippant at all.

                      let me take you down, 'cause i'm going to strawberry fields. nothing is real, and nothing to get hung about.-jpgr

                      by shesaid on Fri May 23, 2014 at 04:42:30 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  but terrorism is what it is. (6+ / 0-)

              What would we have called it, had the CHP not pulled over Byron Williams that day, and instead he had made it to the Tides Foundation and slaughtered a dozen or more people there, and another dozen at the ACLU?

              What did we call Bin Laden, even though his most visible presence wasn't at the controls of a doomed airliner but rather in front of video cameras from his hidey-holes in caves and in Pakistan, urging others to keep doing the deeds?

              ---

              As for Hannity and Beck, what I wish would happen to both of them is:

              A deity makes a dramatic intervention while they're on live camera, shows them a vision of hell and makes it clear that's where they are going for eternity unless they immediately repent (list of items) out loud then and there, and then read all of the published works of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, et. al., and devote the rest of their lives to preaching peace, love, and equality.  

              They spend the rest of that night's program babbling their apologies for all their evil deeds, and come back the next night to start talking about what Martin Luther King said.

              However, as there's no empirical test for the existence of deities and hells, we can't count on any such intervention, so we have to find a way to get justice on Earth.

              Reinstating the Fairness Doctrine with a right of immediate rebuttal, would be a good start.

              We got the future back. Uh-oh.

              by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 08:06:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't think Byron Williams's (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                grover, caul

                criminality is much in dispute.  If Glenn Beck had directly given him money, i'd accept the OBL analogy.  

                Des Satan get equal time, or is that just the O'Reilly show?

                Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                by Loge on Thu May 22, 2014 at 08:22:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  clever item about satan, but if you're... (0+ / 0-)

                  ... over 40 years old or so, you know what the media was like while the Fairness Doctrine was in effect.

                  For the Millennials in the crowd, the media atmosphere was much more moderate.  The repeal of the Fairness Doctrine was an immediate and tangible boost for the extreme right wing, and it pushed the national discourse far, far, far to the right.

                  By today's standards, Reagan was a moderate and Nixon was a liberal.  Both of them were regarded as ferocious conservatives in their times.  Eisenhower was another conservative-in-his-times Republican who would give a lot of today's progressive Democrats some serious competition from the left.  

                  As a purely pragmatic matter, the Fairness Doctrine will rein in the extremists, and since the vast majority of extremists in the media today are on the extreme right, it will shift our political center of gravity substantially leftward.

                  The idea that the left is suddenly going to have its own vastly wealthy benefactors such as Coors, Scaife, deVos, the Koches, etc., with which to fund vast national media empires that would be impaired by the Fairness Doctrine, is somewhere between wishful thinking and "what did you smoke and where can I get some?"

                  We got the future back. Uh-oh.

                  by G2geek on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:25:15 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think that criminalizing as defined (4+ / 0-)

            here, somewhat in the abstract, is what is meant. This is too broad and would seem to apply to protests and dissent as you suggest. Not acceptable, for sure.

            I think the concept should apply more to those who have the very large microphones and those who are elected officials or otherwise have positions holding additional power through legal authority. Think of those subject to abuse of power laws.

            I'd like to say that this should apply only to broadcast media, but this isn't accurate any more. The FCC and Congress are decades behind reality and too distracted and ignorant to do much of anything right.

            The laws that govern incitement to riot, for example, are written in the context of the 1930's, it seems. It requires a physical gathering of individuals who are verbally and explicitly encouraged to inflict harm or damage by rioting at the time they are gathered in a "mob" and the rioting is "imminent or in progress" and the actions present "a clear and present danger" of physical harm.

            Yeah, that's a damn high bar for sure.

            Incite a riot via the Internet or through a TV broadcast, and the law doesn't apply unless additional words are clearly and repeatedly said. Glenn Beck never met that test. Even Bozo O'Reilly's repetition of Tiller the Killer didn't come close to meeting the test.

            One possible remedy is for citizens to respond to FCC broadcast license renewals with complaints about failing to serve the public interest. These laws were written when there weren't many syndicated programs, more local radio and TV stations existed, and local communities were the primary audiences.

            Fox News is exclusively on cable. The lobbyists successfully bribed/threatened the FCC and Congress to treat cable access as a non-public broadcast facility. Their scam is that you pay for this, so it's not a public service. And it's not being broadcast over the electromagnetic airwaves in the open, so it;s not owned by the public. It's NOT ours.

            There still are some rules about incitement that apply to cable broadcasters. but they are very weak and frankly, not enforced.

            Satellite broadcasting is similarly wide open.

            Internet broadcasting is too haaaaard for Congress to understand. So there's virtually no restrictions. It's impractical and technically illegal to monitor and enforce Internet traffic and content anyway. So Congress is impotent (not that this is anything new).

            But Glenn Beck is cited as the subject teacher that a murderer credits for everything he needed to know, including the victim's name, then we need a mechanism to somehow unplug Glenn Beck's big microphone or revoke the cable broadcast permit for every cable syndication and distribution business.

            Maybe it has to happen a second time. Maybe Congress needs to require that the FCC respond to a flood of complaints and get a court involved to determine whether actual or implied incitement to kill has occurred. Maybe cable needs to be reclassified in the same category as the public airwaves. Maybe include requirements for actually serving the public which, for the public airwaves, prohibits broadcasting deliberately false information. The FTC actually has some power to enforce false information broadcasts, but it has been historically focused on advertising. Complaints in the thousands, mostly about the right wing radio talkers, have been sent to the FCC and the FTC. They routinely decline to take action.

            There are lots of other ideas and suggestions, for sure. Getting Congress to do anything might not be impossible. We haven't even tried....

            "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

            by GrumpyOldGeek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 01:59:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              caul
              I don't think that criminalizing as defined (0+ / 0-)

              here, somewhat in the abstract, is what is meant

              From the diary:
              Here's to the day when "once" gets a warning, and "twice" gets prosecuted.  

              Here's to the day when the next Glen Beck ends up in the next cellblock from the next Byron Williams.  

              I think that's pretty much exactly what G2G means.

              As I say much farther downthread, I think changing the word "terrorism" (which is absolutely a crime) to another term  and then making this a tort subject to punitive damages in all 50 states (plus DC and territories) would be a better option. Victims can sue;  they can sue big and win huge amounts of money.

              We can't put corporations in jail anyhow. And employees doing this stuff in the course and scope of their employment are going to be difficult to prosecute. If people DO go to jail, it's not going to be the big money-making onscreen stars. It will be some low-level producer who is named as the fall guy. That's not fair. It doesn't fix anything. But that's almost always what happens in corporate America.

              So why not make the corporation who is actually responsible for content be actually responsible?

              Corporations always care most about the bottom line. Make this about the bottom line and they'll pay attention.

              But G2G is talking about criminalizing unless the meaning of "putting Glenn Beck in a cell block" means something other than what it seems to.

              © grover


              So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

              by grover on Thu May 22, 2014 at 03:38:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  civil liability a good start (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                G2geek, GrumpyOldGeek, kfunk937, Sychotic1

                Might be sufficient. Perhaps we here can agree on that much.

              •  I was only referencing the definitions (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mike Kahlow, grover, kfunk937, caryltoo

                he cited to show that stochastic terrorism has a specific and clear meaning. This was in response to the other diary that implied that the term wasn't well-defined. .  Alone, without additional information or clarification, "stochastic terrorism" is what I meant by "as defined".

                G2G provides a couple of scenarios that each fit the stochastic terrorism model. Both examples include elements of recruitment, incitement, fear/hate mongering, and eventual bad deeds. It's always a good vs. evil impending doomsday mission where the recruit is chosen to sacrifice all for the good.

                The first example is about terrorists and illustrates some of the ways that we deal with the threat. There's not much that gets in the way of identifying, tracking, preventing, and prosecuting individuals throughout a terrorist organization, top to bottom, large or small, foreign and domestic.

                The second example illustrates more about the roadblocks that prevent us from dealing with genuine threats that fit the structure of the stochastic terrorism model but don't fall within our legal definition of terrorism. The Glenn Beck fear-mongering is just one example. The various militia separatist groups (self-appointed patriots), White supremacists, neo-nazis, a few anti-abortion fanatics, and many others pose genuine threats.

                No, G2G didn't mean that this was meant to put Glenn Beck behind bars. Obviously, it's a much wider problem than that.

                I fully agree with your thoughts about defining a law that uses language other than "terrorism". That's the whole point, I think.

                Enacting tort laws could be useful, but you have to have a victim first and then fight a well-funded defendant. That's difficult to say the least. There's no way to sue dead terrorists, either. Regardless, tort law offers some interesting options.

                When I saw a news report some time ago where a Canadian political candidate got removed from the ballot because he lied about his opponent in a broadcasted campaign ad, I was blown away. That is a violation of Canadian law. Everywhere. All elected offices, all candidates. I don't ever remember seeing or listening to an issue ad in Canada. That day was when I understood that our blanket free speech tradition was overrated and probably much more generous than necessary.

                Why the hell does the US allow never-ending mass broadcasts of blatant lies and bullshit issue propaganda over the public airways (and cable) which, by law, are required to provide useful and correct information and services that enhance and improve public citizens. We have no way to express our grievances or stand in peaceful protest to affect this sort of nonsense. All complaints are ignored. All complaints.

                My wife's family owns property in Canada.... Now that's not an option I'm considering or even interested in... Unless..

                This crap has been a hot button for all of my life...

                Pardon my ranting and blathering.

                "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

                by GrumpyOldGeek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 07:25:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  most interesting about Canada. (0+ / 0-)

                  Yeah, I'd go for that here.  A candidate who lies about his/her opponent gets taken off the ballot.  But what do we do about PACs, "501" orgs, etc. that "don't speak for the candidate" but lie through their teeth?  

                  I'd also go for reversing the USSC decision whereby news editors & publishers can blatantly demand that their reporters lie overtly, and then get to call the end-product "news."  The claim that something is "news" should be treated as commercial speech subject to truth-in-labeling laws, and blatant lying should be prosecuted as commercial fraud.

                  If Faux Noize still wants to run stories claiming that there's no climate change or that vaccines cause autism or whatever, they're free to do so as long as they label it "editorial" or "entertainment," but not "news."

                  Another thing I'd like to see is, no more "proxy speech" to elected officials.  That means, if you want to communicate with your elected officials, you have to do it directly, not "representing" whatever interest group.  No more lobbyists: think of the difference that would make.  You don't get to pay someone to cast your ballot, so you shouldn't be able to pay someone to "represent" your opinion to your "representative" in Washington (or in the state capitols).  "(Paid) representatives to the (elected) representatives" represents a usurpation of the rights of those who can't afford that kind of "representation."

                  In general I agree with you that our treatment of "speech" has been far more generous than it should be.  But here's the flip side of that:  If we don't fix the excesses "one way", with moderate changes, the public will eventually be pissed-off enough to try to fix them "another way," such as with a Constitutional Convention or amendments, that will most certainly come from the extreme right.  And then we'll get to find out what happens.  It won't be good.

                  We got the future back. Uh-oh.

                  by G2geek on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:35:52 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  as with fraud, there's civil and there's criminal. (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                GrumpyOldGeek, grover, kfunk937, caryltoo

                Yes, I was talking about criminal sanctions.  However I'm certainly open to discussing civil sanctions instead.

                Fraud is one example of something that can be prosecuted criminally or sued in civil court or both.  The same word is used for both cases.

                So why not a civil terrorism tort?  

                It certainly would have been terrorism by any standard, had Williams not been pulled over that day, and instead had killed a dozen or two dozen people.

                Stripping Beck et.al. of their ill-gotten wealth would be a reasonable penalty.

                The problem is, mere loss of money is not a deterrent.  Credit Suisse was fined $2 billion for materially aiding tax evaders, and yet that was reported to be something less than 1% of a quarter's profits.  And, incredulously, their CEO & top management have kept their jobs.  How is that outcome supposed to deter future cases?  

                OTOH if those executives did "ten in the pen" and were stripped of all of their personal assets, that would be real deterrence.  (Note: anyone posting prison rape "jokes" gets HR'd.)  They can enjoy modern concrete & steel architecture, and raise a toast of lukewarm water in paper cups, over a sumptuous feast of bland meatloaf, and look forward to doing that for a decade.

                The way fines against corporations should work is as a percentage of the assets.  That would prevent entities such as Credit Suisse laughing off a fine as inconsequential.  A fine of 50% of earnings for two years would be "no laughing matter."

                We got the future back. Uh-oh.

                by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 08:33:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  excellent. that's the kind of brainstorming... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GrumpyOldGeek, kfunk937

              .... we need here.  

              When it comes to writing to FCC and other agencies, online petitions aren't anywhere near as effective as email, and email isn't anywhere near as effective as postal mail.

              In the time it takes to set up an online petition, one can find the postal mail address of the relevant officials' offices.

              I wonder when the last time was, when the postal worker came into one of those offices lugging a 50-pound mail sack and saying "this is for you today"...?  That would get attention.

              One way to deal with the cable TV situation is to reclassify cable services as "utilities" rather than "information services," and require them to provide equal access on a tariff rate basis.  When TV was in its infancy, AT&T had something like that in mind, that was referred to as "welcome to my telephone booth" (by analogy with pay phones) where anyone could pay a fixed rate to put content on the air.  

              We got the future back. Uh-oh.

              by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 08:20:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Legally "proving" stochastic terrorism (4+ / 0-)

          would require much more than just pigeon-holing a broadcast.

          There's several requirements:

          1. There must be a violent incident.
          2. The perpetrator must be linked to the alleged inciter's broadcasts.
          3. Said inciter must be notified of the perp's connection to him/her.
          4. Said inciter must refuse to back off on inciting.
          5. Another violent incident must be connected to the inciter.

          Only at step 5 is the inciter guilty of anything.

          Given the above requirements, "chilling" of speech is going to be exceedingly rare (if it occurs at all) ...

          assuming such laws were written and enforced properly.

          ... it's that last bit which a an effective solution in the legal system highly unlikely.

          "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

          by nosleep4u on Thu May 22, 2014 at 01:31:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well, points two and five (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slatsg, caul

            are so loose as to use the passive voice, and as for points three and four - why is "it's not my fault someone's crazy" not good enough?  what is the source of the obligation to back down if the link between speech and violence is based on possible misunderstanding of exaggeration or hyperbole?

            Under the current legal regime, you need actual intent to cause a violent incident, speech that explicitly promotes it, and imminent unlawful action.  The second two parts it seems to me are necessary to avoid abusing things.  The law has to be designed to protect against abuse, given the risk of chilling political speech which often takes the form of the incendiary without crossing the line into harmful advocacy.  

            If all that's worrisome is the bad tendency, why do you even need the first incident?  I mean, this is also speech that should be criticized and called out with concepts that don't turn them into victims even when no violence emerges, because it's still corrosive.  

            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

            by Loge on Thu May 22, 2014 at 02:24:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe reckless murder or manslaughter. (0+ / 0-)

              (Depraved indifference to human life).

              On the civil side, there's some model in mass tort cases, like asbestos, where the companies may be liable to anyone who stopped by the factory once.

              It seems to me that especially after one murder, Beck could be charged with foreseeing a second -- it's less attenuated than the chain of events in the famous Palsgraf case,  where the RR was not liable because it could not reasonably foresee the accident that happened.

              Steve Gilliard Lives.

              by Bethesda 1971 on Thu May 22, 2014 at 05:33:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  well, that presupposes (0+ / 0-)

                responsibility for the first one, and no, it's exactly that attenuated.  If there's intervening action and the opportunity for other messages to get thru, i'm uncomfortable assigning causation.  

                Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                by Loge on Thu May 22, 2014 at 05:50:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Well, you've devolved to ridiculousness. (0+ / 0-)

              I used the passive voice ... that's the best you've got, a grammar criticism? (And a bad one at that.)

              Your abject surrender is accepted.

              "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

              by nosleep4u on Thu May 22, 2014 at 06:15:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, the point is (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                caul

                "Be linked to" and "be connected to" can mean anything depending on who is doing the linking and connecting.  It's standard-less.  Even some verbs like "incite" or "provoke" may prove to be slippery, but at least there's an effort to limit and qualify what might or might not fall within the scope of the prohibition.  Your position, by contrast, is ridiculousness beyond which one cannot devolve.

                Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                by Loge on Thu May 22, 2014 at 07:27:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

                  No, you've got no point.

                  Insisting that DKos comments be phrased in legalese -- no, that's just a FAIL.

                  "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

                  by nosleep4u on Fri May 23, 2014 at 06:20:33 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  so-called legalese uses passive voice (0+ / 0-)

                    all too often - it's best to avoid legalese for that reason.  

                    The actual modifier was that the terms are bandied loosely, and the passive voice construction nicely illustrated it.  It wasn't the objection in itself.  in all your defensiveness, you haven't actually explained why the so-called causal links depend on anything other than subjectivity.   Your number list actually didn't explain anything I missed, just recycled the same flaws.

                    Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                    by Loge on Fri May 23, 2014 at 09:42:38 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  You could read the rest of the comment, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                caul

                also before prematurely declaring victory.  I was already aware of what you thought made sense, but all you've done is show that you can confirm your own biases.

                Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                by Loge on Thu May 22, 2014 at 07:35:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  "it's not my fault someone's crazy" is... (6+ / 0-)

              .... good enough once, but not twice.

              Yes there should be specific and attributable violent acts before prosecution is possible.

              The link between the speech and the act should be a matter of a jury finding, and sufficient empirical evidence.

              Etc.

              The present legal standard of "imminent" is just dumb: it's like a legal definition of "restaurant" as including the provision that it serves your food within five minutes of your order.  (I like McDonald's too, but sometimes I want to eat at a place that takes a half hour to bring out the food.)

              Terrorists very often work on long timelines.  

              The law makes no distinction between "kill him here" and "kill him over there," so the law should make no distinction between "kill him now" and "kill him in a year or two."

              We got the future back. Uh-oh.

              by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 08:59:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  To say its not good enough twice, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                caul

                Is the same as saying its not good enough once, just with delay.  Tat thing we agreed was just heated rhetoric?  Now that a second person misunderstood what you meant, we'll make you spend millions in legal fees.  

                Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                by Loge on Fri May 23, 2014 at 06:15:32 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  yes, that's what i had in mind. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BvueDem, kfunk937

            A multi-step process where in effect the first offense results in only a warning, and it takes a second offense before penalties kick in.

            Each offense would require multiple stages of proof and findings of facts by juries, before the next stage could occur.

            In essence make it damn hard to prosecute, so it will only be used against the most egregious cases e.g. Beck re. Tides, Operation Rescue's "targets" website, etc.

            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

            by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 08:36:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  i'll happily settle for pointing out that... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BvueDem, kfunk937, Sychotic1

          .... Glenn Beck is an arsehaul ("uninformed" is debatable; he is too smart to have that excuse), the day the Fairness Doctrine is resurrected and extended to cable TV, so our side gets equal time to do just that.

          Speaking of "the remedy for bad speech is good speech," the opportunity to deconstruct Beck's rants immediately following them, would be priceless.  And it would enable pointing out the stochastic terrorism connection, thereby bringing pressure to bear on him to cut it out.

          So let's put bringing back the Fairness Doctrine on the progressive Democratic agenda, and I'll stop advocating for legislation to hold these presently unchallenged hate-talkers criminally accountable on their second offense.

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 07:49:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think it's worse what he did (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            caul

            with regard to the perfectly peaceful defunding of ACORN than anything else.  While the connection to the so-called first offense is certainly debatable, he does much worse things with no violence at all.  Calling him a terrorist of any kind misses the point and let's him play victim.  Why take the opportunity to engage in this high theorizing instead of simply fighting lies with truth?  If Beck gets equal time back to challenge the stochastic terrorism meme, he'd justifiably call it a fraud, a bait and switch.  It uses a concept that appears scientific, but it invariably would be applied wholly subjectively.  It takes a difficult concept and basically wishes it away.  Causation is hard and so multifarious, so let's invent a reason to wish it away.  Sleight of hand.  And what about false positives?  Jared Loughner is so far gone, does he really know whatSarah Palin stands for?  Yet, I can't think "don't retreat, reload" wouldn't be the "first offense."  It promises alchemy - a means to punish speech we don't like without punishing that which we do.  It turns out we've tried it in the 1920s.  The Klan was fine, but a handful of Jewish radicals went to prison.

            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

            by Loge on Thu May 22, 2014 at 08:15:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  do you really believe... (0+ / 0-)

              .... that we have anything like the media megaphone needed to defeat Beck by chasing his lies with truths?  I sure don't.

              In any case I'm starting to be persuaded that the best way to go after this issue may be with civil law.  About which another diary when I have some time to write & post it.  (Writing it is the easy part, I can do that in an hour or two.  Keeping up with all the comments takes a full day or two, which I don't often have free for that purpose or any other.)

              We got the future back. Uh-oh.

              by G2geek on Sun May 25, 2014 at 01:51:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Sort of like a hate crime then? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul
      "Stochastic terrorism" is indeed a concept that is slippery enough to punish dissenting speech without proving intent to cause harm and without addressing it through lesser means, like counter speech.  It conflates any degree of causation with legal notions of proximate cause, and it's unnecessary to public safety.
      It's easy to argue that prosecuting someone under a hate crime doesn't address anything extra either.

      "Moon landing was real. Evolution exists. Tax cuts lose revenue. The research has shown this a thousand times. Enough already." - Austan Goolsbee

      by anonevent on Thu May 22, 2014 at 09:49:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  hate crime legislation does address something (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Loge, Darmok, LilithGardener

        specific - motivation and mind set.

        Both can and do make a change in the charging of quite a few crimes - involuntary to 1st degree murder depends nearly completely on motive and mindset, for example.

        Hate crime legislation simply recognizes an additional motive and adjusts the charge accordingly.

        ST is something completely different. It's about speech, not a modifier of an actual act.

      •  well, under a hate crime law, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Simian, LilithGardener, caul

        you already have a direct actor, and intent is already a factor in the crime with or without the law.  What makes something first degree murder versus negligent homicide?  State of mind.  hate crimes don't avoid the issue of proximate causation which is what i was flagging.   With a hate crime sentencing enhancement, the mind-reading train has already left the station.  Hate crime statutes should be, and are, properly used rarely and in extreme circumstances.

         I don't know their purpose is as much deterrence as it is for the issue of the added injury to the victim or his or her family from the animus that motivates a hate crime.   Focusing on deterrence, alone, is a bit of a red herring when these are debated.

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:03:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  When a hate crime is committed (8+ / 0-)

        there's a crime, and there's a perpetrator who committed the crime. Let's assume that the perpetrator can be proven guilty of the underlying crime. The core challenge in prosecuting the case as a "hate crime", then, would be to prove the perpetrator's intent. Intent can be hard to establish; nonetheless, it's not unusual for criminal law to examine it as a component of crime.

        I agree that some crimes are hate crimes, and should be prosecuted as such.

        I also agree with g2geek that "stochastic terrorism" is a real phenomenon. But when and how would it be prosecuted -- before an actual crime is committed? Afterwards? What criteria are needed to tie the original speech to the crime? Do we apply the law only to those who have a large enough audience, or could any of us be subject to this new law? Could I be guilty of stochastic terrorism if I quote hateful speech in order to refute it? Conversely, what if I add a disclaimer -- "I agree with this guy, but gee, I hope no one really commits any acts of violence..."

        That's just off the top of my head on a day when I haven't gotten enough sleep. I'm sure I could come up with more. When you come right down to it, there are more slippery slopes here than one could shake a stick at.

        IMHO: stochastic terrorism is well-enough defined to be an identifiable problem, but not well-enough defined to be addressed in criminal law under the US Constitution -- and may never be.

        Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

        by Nowhere Man on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:07:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  let's start there: by putting the meme... (7+ / 0-)

          ....on the public radar.

          The more it gets discussed in wider forums, the better.  That by itself might be enough to have an effect on the worst offenders.  Either by making them aware of the fact that the public knows what they're doing, and thereby causing them to tone it down.  Or by making them go ballistic in public and tempt fate ever more brazenly until the public get fed up and the hate-spewers' corporate owners put a stop to it before another Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma City bombing, about 200 fatalities) pops up.

          Imagine Glenn Beck going over the top and doing a frothing eulogy for McVeigh, for example, calling him a martyr or some such thing (McVeigh got the death penalty), and then the next day he's off the air.  I'd call that justice, even if it happened in a boardroom rather than a courtroom.

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 09:15:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  there was a time when I was also... (23+ / 0-)

      .... a free-speech fundamentalist.  No speech was so dangerous as to justify penalizing it.

      That changed when the Supreme Court ruled that going on TV and calling for the assassination of a sitting President, was "protected speech," because it was not an "imminent" threat.  

      Sorry folks, but that's a step too far, like ruling that corporations have religions, or more to the point, that money is speech.  

      Liberty is not license, and rights have responsibilities.

      The place where the line is crossed, is where someone gets injured or killed.

      Once is a tragedy.  Twice is enemy action.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 09:57:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's lovely, (7+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Darmok, jds1978, grover, Simian, tardis10, slatsg, caul

        except that i never said there aren't limits to what speech can be punished (though i question the application of primary criminal liability in most cases), and "where someone gets injured or killed" obscures more than it reveals.  What % responsibility is the speech versus the characteristics of the listener?  How do you deal with misunderstood song lyrics inspiring violence in crazy people?  You don't think a jury could be convinced that "Helter Skelter" does in fact advocate violence?  (Jurors are 12 people who couldn't get out of jury duty . . . )  

        Are you saying the speech was not an imminent threat or just that imminence shouldn't matter?  As far as actual imminent threats, I wouldn't necessarily defend them to the same degree,   but your Glenn Beck example isn't that.  It's more like Joe Lieberman blaming Columbine on first person shooter games.  Your change of opinion doesn't mean you weren't more right before.  It's 50/50, always.  

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:11:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i was even going to post a comment about... (5+ / 0-)

          .... "Helter Skelter."  (This was a song by a band called The Beatles who were hugely popular in the 1960s.  The song has a kind of acoustical rage to it, and typically 1960s lyrics that make no narrative sense.  A nutjob cult leader by the name of Charles Manson thought the song was written as a coded message to him, to start committing horrible murders in order to start a race war.  He and his followers committed some horrible murders and he is presently sitting in a California prison for the rest of his life.)

          The key to the kingdom IMHO is that the situation repeats itself more than once before legal action is triggered.  By analogy, if someone is present once in a crowd that turns into a lynch mob, they might have the excuse that they didn't know what was going to happen.  But the second time, they lose that excuse.  Same case here.  Once is an accident, twice is an on-purpose.  That's a degree of tolerance we don't extend to anything else, including drunk driving.

          For that matter, there might be a defense if the actual shooter is diagnosably schizophrenic, because schizophrenia includes the symptoms of ideas of reference and paranoia, that translate to wildly mis-interpreting and over-interpreting various stimuli.  For example Charles Manson was arguably in a schizophrenic state when he interpreted "Helter Skelter" as a coded message just for him.  Clearly nobody should be responsible for the actions of people who are suffering from schizophrenia.  

          But I'll bet anyone the downpayment on a house, that Poplawski and Williams were in no way diagnosable as schizophrenic.

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 09:25:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'm also bothered (6+ / 0-)

      by the lack of reflection of what acceptance of such a concept would mean for "our own side".  I'm thinking of that late-night host on Air America whose name I am for some reason blanking on, the guy who was of references to the "Bush Crime Family" and so on.  His rhetoric was roughly comparable to the likes of Glenn Back, IMO, albeit with perhaps more accurate aim.  But he was all into conspiracies if I remember right, and specific conservatives as destroyers of the country, the constitution, threats to the integrity of the nation, etc.  Really the same kind of stuff the Tides Foundation nut job responded to.

      If there were a few more broadcasters like him out there, if they had greater reach, and if the culture around liberals and leftists were a bit more receptive of violence these days, who's to say what might have happened.  Should he have been chucked in jail alongside someone who took a potshot at George Bush and named him as an inspiration for the act?

      I'm really uncomfortable with that kind of speech almost no matter where it comes from, and I'd just as soon not have any of it around.  But I'd really like the diarist to address this, too.  If something had happened "due to" the words of one of the less temperate Air America hosts, would they also deserve to see the inside of a jail cell as a result?

      •  The history of how the current legal doctrine (7+ / 0-)

        evolved, shows that these doctrines were invariably used by persons in positions of power to punish dissenting and unpopular opinion, and there was probably more political violence back then, with pitched battles between the wobblies and pinkertons, etc.  

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:15:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Every legal doctrine is used.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kfunk937

          .... by the powerful against the powerless.

          Every political and economic doctrine and social doctrine and religious doctrine as well.

          But the reverse is also true: we can use every legal, political, economic, and social doctrine as well, against the powerful.

          The powerful will use anything they can get, to extract surplus value from the powerless, and to punish any powerless person who attempts to resist.  Our job is to push back effectively.

          That's the nature of things, and that's one of the reasons we need a dose of socialism: to level the playing field far enough that there are no longer the mountains of concentrated power that presently exist.

          Heh, I said socialism.  I'll say it again. A dose of socialism.

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 09:39:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Mike Malloy (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wee Mama, G2geek, Black Mare, shaharazade

        And he called for impeachment and prosecutions, not violence, so the shoe doesn't quite fit.

        May you always find water and shade.

        by Whimsical Rapscallion on Thu May 22, 2014 at 04:23:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK, thanks (0+ / 0-)

          It's been a while.

          It's probably too late to respond now, but this was meant not so much as a direct analogy but more as a thought experiment for the diarist and others.  I hadn't seen any reflection, any consideration that not all such speech might come from people to whom we are ideologically opposed, and I think that is an issue that is very important to address if such an argument is to be intellectually honest.

          I wish now I hadn't been so tired and had phrased it better.

      •  I didn't like Mike Malloy either, but he... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BvueDem, kfunk937, shaharazade

        ... never advocated violence, and I don't recall hearing him use violent metaphors the way Beck did.  Though he was sufficiently unpleasant that I didn't listen to him.  Poor guy, IMHO he would benefit from regular meditation, for his own wellbeing.

        We can start worrying about a possible Mike Malloy unleashing a shooter or bomber, when we have the kind of audience reach that Faux Noize has for Beck and his ilk.  One thing's for sure: when we get to that kind of media power, we are not going to tolerate people going on the air and doing what Savage, Beck, et.al. do.  We will be the ones calling up the broadcasters and saying "get this guy off the air before someone gets killed!"  (Between now and then, we have the insta-ban policy here, and most progressive sites have something analogous even if not enforced the same way.)

        So yes, I agree with you, it's as bad if it comes from the left, as if it comes from the right.  And the same considerations should apply.   What's good for the goose is good for the gander, and all the goslings too.

        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

        by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 09:33:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks -- (0+ / 0-)

          See my reply to the poster above you if you're still interested.  I was not trying to condemn Mike Malloy as such; I was trying to get at a different point and I'm still not sure if I managed to express it clearly.

      •  I listened to Mike Malloy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shaharazade

        many, many times over many years.  He's still on Chicago I think, and podcasts, but I stream other stuff.

        Never, ever did I hear him call for anything that could be construed as violence.  How anyone can equate what he said with any right wing doofus is just beyond me.  In fact he frequently emphasized his desire for peace and justice in the form of a trial and jail terms for Cheney and the Bush Crime Family, and was just beside himself when he realized it wasn't ever going to happen under the Obama administration.  Though I wished for the same, I knew it would never happen, though I do like the fact that Rumsfeld wasn't always comfortable traveling to some nations.

        I don't recall any conspiracy theories.  I myself wonder just how bumbling the Bushies could have been to keep ignoring what the intelligence community told them 52 times.  I don't think that's an odd question to have to this day.  I'm not under any illusions that anyone will ever give up information that is more damning than what we already know.  We don't hold our presidents accountable for much.

        I think Israel (and/or AIPAC) has a large and problematic influence on our foreign policy and legislation as it relates to Iran and the Middle East. Since I've been hidden for saying this, I expect to be hidden every time I post with this sig.

        by Black Mare on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:50:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  oh, about that secret mailing list. (9+ / 0-)

      How many mailing lists have you signed up for?  Can you be certain what kinds of stuff they're going to send you?

      Merely being on a mailing list is not evidence of participation in a terrorist plot.  And note I said that merely clicking a URL wasn't either.

      The act I'm describing as stochastic terrorism, is the promulgation of the video that urges followers to each go out and kill someone.  From there I take my hypothetical along the lines of "meddlesome priest" in the form of "destroy the infidels one at a time."  

      I'm aware of the Nuremburg Files case.  That wasn't Horsely's last instance, he went on and did something after that, along similar lines but with different targets.  

      These people are like stalkers trying to claim freedom of association.  At some point one has to call BS on them and stop getting conned by them.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:36:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  don't fight your own hypothetical (9+ / 0-)

        anyway, it seems that the law has the capability to distinguish stalking from free association, under existing doctrine.  (not even a speech example.)  Further, the "meddlesome priest" involved people working for the King of England and thus a command structure like an AQ cell; and even the Mark Antony example involved direct incitement of a riot, which is one area where courts are understandably permissive of punishment (fire in a crowded theater).  

        i understand the appeal of a doctrine that protects speech you like but punishes speech do to not like, but playing semantic games with adjectives like "stochastic" doesn't quite get you there, not without major slippery slope problems.  It's the old bad tendency test in new clothes, as each explanation shows.

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Thu May 22, 2014 at 11:08:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  unless I'm mistaken, G2 isn't advocating for (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DavidMS, Loge, ER Doc, LilithGardener

          criminalizing speech....Just pointing it out for the moment and if a person develops a history of followers 'taking their advice' then maybe we look and see if they have crossed the line which is fairly bright as Ben Masel used to point out regularly.....
          Brandenburg

          The Court held that government cannot punish inflammatory speech unless that speech is directed to inciting, and is likely to incite, imminent lawless action.

          Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
          I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
          Emiliano Zapata

          by buddabelly on Thu May 22, 2014 at 07:38:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  To clarify the Brandenburg (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            caul

            test, "directed to inciting" means specifically intended to incite, and the three parts taken as a whole means intended to incite the specific imminent lawless action.

            I actually think this misses so much of what's wrong with guys like Beck.  He incited his followers to pester members of congress to cut off funding for ACORN, entirely thru the legislative, legal process.  Isn't that worse than whatever he did to inspire a mentally ill man to do no damage at all to the Tides Foundation?  I object to what he says in itself, not remote, speculative future consequences.

            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

            by Loge on Thu May 22, 2014 at 08:00:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  which gets us back to the Fairness Doctrine. (0+ / 0-)

              That would have prevented Beck accumulating the kind of following he has in the first place, and would have given us the means of pushback against his followers' pestering of Congress about ACORN.

              There should also have been prosecutions of the little sociopaths who he used to go in and make nonconsensual recordings at ACORN offices.  Probably in violation of both-party notification laws in their jurisdictions.  

              Though, if we want to go to the root of the problem, it's the repeal of progressive tax schedules, such that extreme right wingers have accumulated vast fortunes to the point where the money translates to power.  Bring back the Nixon tax schedule and that problem goes away.

              We got the future back. Uh-oh.

              by G2geek on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:02:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  the example was in the hypo... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kfunk937

          .... where I said in the diary, that the shooters' defense attorneys would attempt to get rid of the terr charges on the basis that watching videos and being on mailing lists isn't a crime.  

          Stalking was an entirely new area of law in the mid 1980s through mid 1990s, as I found out while helping put a stalker away (successful outcome).  In fact the issue of freedom of association & movement was discussed, and at the time the best that could be done for stalking per se was trespass which was a misdemeanor (until our stalker did an unlawful wiretap that got him two years, BTW his priors were stalkings with bombings).  It took until about the late 90s before stalking was recognized as such, where the pattern of activity was the key to the offense.  

          As with stalking, so with stochastic terrorism: the pattern of activity is the key to the offense.  Do it once, you get a warning.  Do it twice, you were warned, you did it again anyway, now you get prosecuted.

          This isn't about whether you or I or the Klansman down the block "like" or "don't like" this or that speech.  That sort of arguement reduces it to an exercise in postmodern subjectivist semantics.  It's about acts have consequences that can be proven before a jury.  Whether the act is committed with one's own hand, or with one's mouth and someone else's hand, is irrelevant.  

          Otherwise, a post-hypnotic suggestion to view some particular person as a direct and immediate threat to one's life is also free speech, regardless of the predictable consequence.  "When so-and-so reaches out to shake your hand, they're really trying to break your neck.  When someone tries to break your neck, your life is in immediate danger."  QED.  

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:39:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You are using the same (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            caul, jrooth

            definitions to bolster your argument.  Saying there's a pattern in one example but not the other entirely begs the question, and, despite your denials, is nothing more than literary criticism.  the difference between imminence under current law and under your bad tendency test is in one case the link is provable from the direct actions immediately caused, and in another its not.  The jury needs instructions and standards that they can't abuse, but the other problem here is you ignore the risks to suppressing incendiary speech.  It takes away the power to use similar language to inspire people to call their congressmen.

            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

            by Loge on Fri May 23, 2014 at 06:07:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  as it turns out... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BvueDem, kfunk937

      ... there are instances known where terrorist groups made use of bulk spam as a delivery mechanism for various forms of communication I needn't specify further.  Those for whom the communications are intended, receive them; everyone else trashes them as spam.

      Spam is also a common method for propagating computer viruses and malware.

      The rants of media hate-talkers are like that: most of us ignore them in the same manner as spam.  But for some, they deliver a coded message, and for a few, they deliver malware that makes them go off.

      Poisonous needles in very large haystack, hiding in plain sight.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 07:43:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you G2G (11+ / 0-)

    We really have missed your voice around here.

    not all those who wander are lost - J.R.R. Tolkien

    by Lilith on Thu May 22, 2014 at 09:33:12 AM PDT

  •  Is G2Geek guilty of "stochastic terrorism"? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    6412093, Loge, barleystraw

    Suppose someone now shoots Glenn Beck.

    Were that to happen, would G2Geek now by guilty of "stochastic terrorism"?

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu May 22, 2014 at 09:39:05 AM PDT

    •  clever what-if, except... (23+ / 0-)

      .... the entire context of this diary is condemnation of violence.  You could say the same thing about news coverage of testimony at a trial.

      And the video on Poplawski's computer was Beck promoting his CT that FEMA is about to haul thousands of Americans off to secret concentration camps.  

      Here are some specific quotes from various Beck rants:

      "The clock is ticking. . . . The war is just beginning. . . . Shoot me in the head if you try to change our government. . . . You have to be prepared to take rocks to the head. . . . The other side is attacking. . . . There is a coup going on. . . . Grab a torch! . . . Drive a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers. . . . They are taking you to a place to be slaughtered. . . . They are putting a gun to America's head. . . . Hold these people responsible."

       

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 09:50:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And "plausible deniability" proves your guilt (9+ / 0-)

        You used mass media; you set a "lone wolf" into action; and now you exercise "plausible denials".  This sounds very much like "stochastic terrorism".

        I am sure Beck also has many ways he justifies his broadcasts: not violent at all; only wanting what is best for America, no intention of inciting violence, etc.

        There are many proper criticism that can be leveled at Beck: he is frequently factually wrong, he is reckless and irresponsible, his "news" is politically biased.  If Beck is guilty of inciting violence, he should be criticized for inciting violence.  If Beck makes threats in his broadcast, he should be criticized for making threats, etc.

        I think if we start calling Beck a "terrorist" then soon Bill Maher and Racheal Maddow will also be called terrorists.

        We are so saturated with media, our modern discourse seems to automatically go to 11 to gain the attention of viewers.  No longer is it sufficient to say "I don't like that guy's politics and here's why": instead it's "he pals around with terrorists" or "he's a stochastic terrorist"

        "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

        by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:28:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Wolf, wolf!";-) (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ER Doc, 43north, LilithGardener

          Where's the lone wolf?   Methinks thou art crying Wolf.

          BTW, Bill Maher is an anti-vaccination conspiracy theory peddler, which IMHO also makes him a danger to others.  Look at the stats for measles and pertussis outbreaks since the 1980s, so you can see pre/post Wakefield's fraudulent "vaccines cause autism" paper, which was subsequently retracted by the journal, and he had his medical license pulled as well.  Wakefield got the bandwagon rolling and Maher jumped aboard with his megaphone.  

          Words have objective consequences.  And since we're such a media-saturated culture, those consequences multiply.

          Beck wouldn't even have been on my radar as anything more than a narcissistic wacko, but for the shooters he set loose.

          And per the diary, I agree with you that the word "terrorism" is used cavalierly in our culture.  I don't use it as a generic slur.  I use it per the LE definition, and in the present cases, it fits just as surely as a Bin Laden video that unleashes a wave of suicide bombers.

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 11:13:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  All uttered at a hypnoticly suggestive rate... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Garrett

        in order to open an aura and attune the unconscious subject to the subtle vibrations that enhance the perception of suggestive awareness...

        Shorter?
        Beck uses the occult in evil mode on folks that vibrate at the dark and low freq...

        OT:  Petty releases "Hypnotic Eye" in July 2014-  

        The occult in creative mode...

        This might sound strange, might seem dumb
        Depends on the side that you take it in from
        Depends on the time, depends on the day
        Depends on a lot of things, who can say

        Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

        by RF on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:29:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  then the anti-abortion people (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Darmok, tardis10, DavidMS, slatsg, caul

        could say the same thing -- their "entire context" is "protecting life," and yet i imagine they'd fit under your example.

        The problems of proof and understanding allusions, hyerbole, absurdity are exactly why speech doctrines should include extremely tight links of causation between speaker and third party action, exactly what the concept of "stochastic" dispenses with.  

        There's a big difference with not knowing who might commit the act of violence, what act of violence is committed, and not knowing whether it'd be committed.  Randomly determined is different from not determined at all.

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Thu May 22, 2014 at 11:18:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  shall we sell cigarettes in high schools? (0+ / 0-)

          "Smoking and health risks" is a stochastic relationship as well. In a room full of 100 cigarette smokers, you can reliably predict that X number of them are going to have Y health issues.  But you can't predict which ones are going to have which specific health issues.  In which case what's all the fuss about?

          Underlying issue: inability of humans to understand probability and statistics.

          As for abortion, a zygote without a brain can't have a mind, therefore "life begins at conception" is an overt falsehood, case closed.  Science that's as elementary as the need for a brain in order to have a mind, is not open to opinion.  There is no he-said/she-said and "teach the controversy" about that.

          In any case, it's precisely the anti-abortion nutjobs who got the stochastic terrorism ball rolling, with their website that had the pictures of doctors on it, and red Xs over their faces as they were assassinated.  The guy behind that later went on to do more & worse.  Last I checked, he was arrested for something similar with a different target.

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 11:23:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That shows (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            caul

            (A) you, like everyone, do see speech you do t agree with as having little value or need of protection, and (B) current law ain't such a suicide pact.

            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

            by Loge on Fri May 23, 2014 at 06:09:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  not quite: i'm just not motivated to spend time... (0+ / 0-)

              ... actively protecting speech that "I don't like."

              If I was e.g. a 1st A attorney or employee of an org such as ACLU, I'd have the time, and be paid to spend the time, to protect speech I don't like.  As it is, I have limited time & re$ource$, so I have to exercise triage.

              But in either case, there's a difference between "speech I don't like" (subjective metric) and "speech that is causally related to murder" (empirical metric).  They are not the same thing.  

              There's an enormous quantity of speech I find highly objectionable in various ways, and I've never called for legal action of any kind against it.  

              There's a small quantity of speech that appears to have an objective causal relationship to murder, and it's this, and only this, against which I'm calling for legal action.

              We got the future back. Uh-oh.

              by G2geek on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:25:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Well no I don't think so (17+ / 0-)

      G2geek is suggesting that Glenn Beck be prosecuted, by the appropriate designated legal authorities (hence the "cellblock" reference). He clearly isn't recommending any form of vigilante justice.

    •  You seem to be implying (12+ / 0-)

      (or maybe just inferring) that G2G has somehow called for Beck's destruction, and there is no evidence at all for that.

      So ... no.

      I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

      by trumpeter on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:01:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I see it trumpteer (2+ / 6-)
        Recommended by:
        Loge, jds1978
        Hidden by:
        grover, LilithGardener, Wee Mama, G2geek, buddabelly, tytalus

        Beck should be prosecuted

        Beck will not be prosecuted, even though he encouraged murder

        People that encourage murder should not escape justice

        Therefore frontier justice is appropriate for Beck

        ....As I clean my Browning and replace the 13-shot magazine,  this is how it speaks to me ...

        “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

        by 6412093 on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:08:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Uh. (6+ / 0-)
          Therefore frontier justice is appropriate for Beck
          ....As I clean my Browning and replace the 13-shot magazine,  this is how it speaks to me ...
          I know you're trying to be ironic here.

          But:

          Do not make threats or calls for violence. Threatening to beat up or kill someone, or suggesting that people should kill themselves, or saying that poison should be put in somebody's crème brûlée, or making similar remarks, even as a joke, is prohibited and can lead to banning.
          HR'd.

          © grover


          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

          by grover on Thu May 22, 2014 at 12:49:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  HR - Imagined call for violence (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek

          It's easy for me to imagine you meant this as satire or snark, but I think it's over the line, even as a joke.

          You are a good writer and can make your point without scripting it explicitly as role play.

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by LilithGardener on Thu May 22, 2014 at 03:07:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  sorry, can't let that pass. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          43north, tytalus, LilithGardener

          I support the 2nd A, but "keeping and bearing" (and hunting, going to the range, and deterrence of crime via preparedness) is not the same thing as "frontier justice."

          The only type of extrajudicial punishment appropriate for cases like this, is peaceful protest wherever they turn up for a speaking engagement, to bug their consciences or cause them to say something.  

          Like this:

          A bunch of people carrying signs showing large photos of Poplawski and Williams in prison jumpsuits (or at least their mug shots), with wording such as "Your loyal fans" and "Shot (however-many) people."

          Do it peacefully at the rear of the venue but with signs large enough for Beck to see them.

          Bring water in case it's a hot day, so you don't get dehydrated standing in the sun.

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 12:15:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  no, i think this just shows how much (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Darmok, tardis10, caul

        of the concept described in the diary is subjective, and how speech we don't like appears more scary from speech we might agree with, based less on the content or degree of hyperbole than on the ideology itself.  Beck attacks our friends and inspries our enemies, he's dangerous.  Corporations are bloodsuckers, etc., might sound like "the way it is."  It's a reductio ad absurdism, but the fact that one might miss the point is further evidence "bad tendency" concepts just aren't rigorous enough to impose legal liability for speech, alone.  

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Thu May 22, 2014 at 11:22:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not on what he's written here, HJB. (6+ / 0-)

      No threats, no targeting, no dark and lurid rhetoric.

      I agree that there's no clear line between what's acceptable speech and what's not. I doubt one can be drawn. But does anyone argue that a speaker has absolutely no responsibility whatever for what she or he says?

      A Hypothetical

      In the late 1960's, the National Socialist White People's Party of Arlington, VA, ran a recorded message on one of its answering machines. (I.e. You had to call in to get it. It was not a broadcast.) The gist was: Let's all go out and put a bullet through the heads of Senators Hatfield, McGovern and Fullbright ... or words to that effect, in a muddle of other crap.

      It got very little publicity but there were complaints. I heard reliably that the prosecutors in DC and Virginia were urged to get a restraining order to remove the threatening part of the message or, alternatively, to take the associated telephone service down. That did not happen, probably because it would have been an uphill battle against the liberality of free speech. Fighting it would give more publicity to the foul message.

      But that was more than thirty years ago, before there was an average of one gun per person in the US population.

      So here's a hypothetical: if this message were run today naming three liberal sitting Senators - (1) as a recorded answering machine message or, alternatively, (2) as a broadcast on TV or cable - should it be against the law?

      2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:10:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Two parts to my argument (6+ / 0-)

        My problem with calling TV personalities "stochastic terrorists" has two parts:
        1) It's sloppy and inaccurate
        2) Gun violence is the result of too many guns.

        With so many guns present, we all have good reasons to believe we could be the victim of gun violence.  It doesn't take an inflammatory TV personality to incite a shooting; shootings happen all the time.

        We should place the blame for shootings where it belongs: on the  easily availability of too many highly lethal firearms.

        "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

        by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:41:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  how can it be sloppy? (0+ / 0-)

          it uses a big word!  

          Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

          by Loge on Thu May 22, 2014 at 11:24:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh my, that's two things we disagree about. (5+ / 0-)

          1)  It's not sloppy: it uses the words per their proper definitions, and it establishes objective standards for being prosecutable.

          2)  Gun violence is the outcome of a culture that glorifies violence, glorifies crime and criminals, and is absolutely saturated in crime and violence of all kinds regardless of the implements used.

          A late friend of mine in Canada told me that rural Canada was absolutely bristling with guns.  Big guns, little guns, every kind of guns.  He himself used to carry a large shotgun he described as a "cannon," when he went into the woods (he was in forestry at one point), because that gave him the option to not shoot a bear on sight, and only shoot a bear that was charging him.  Fortunately he never had to shoot a bear.  But in any case the crime rate was low because the culture did not glorify crime and violence.  

          Another town in Canada he described as having its crime rate more than double in the year that cable TV came to town.  That's as tight a pre/post experiment as could be designed.  

          An entire country in Europe, it might be Iceland but I'm not certain, has a higher rate of gun ownership than the US, but lower crime & violence rates.

          If that's not enough, half of all murders, suicides, and auto fatalities in the US involve alcohol.  Shall we bring back Prohibition?

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 01:20:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We don't have as high of gun ownership (3+ / 0-)

            as the US here in Iceland, but we do have pretty high gun ownership. The typical murder rate is about 2 per year (compare to US cities with around 320k people - Iceland's population), with about 1 in 3 years having no murders at all. The highest ever in a single year was 5. Our "swat" team last year for the first time in Iceland's history killed someone in the line of duty (he was shooting at them); they actually apologized to the shooter's family.

            It's in part due to a very different attitude toward guns, and in another part due to much tougher gun laws. But the latter stems from the former, not the other way around. My favorite example of the difference in attitudes towards guns: imagine, if you will, what would happen in the US if someone with a gun got bored in their own home and shot their floor out of curiosity as to what would happen. Now I'll tell you what happened in Iceland when this very event occurred. Neighbors freaked out upon hearing gunshots and the police got multiple reports. They sent a whole squad in, making sure he was disarmed. After interrogating him as to what happened, he had his guns taken away, his right to own guns stripped, and was sent in for mandatory psychological analysis and counselling. Neither the news coverage nor the comments on it didn't find anything odd about this response - the concept here being that anyone who would treat a gun so flippantly must have something seriously wrong with them.

            It's not just the attitudes, though, that have an affect; the attitudes have an effect on the laws as well. So, for example, you have to go through a psychological evaluation to get a gun. Assault rifles are prohibited. Handguns are prohibited except in certain circumstances, such as at shooting galleries where they're kept under lock and key. The concept of concealed guns being allowed is laughable here - even mace is prohibited. Regular police have no weapons - only our "swat team" (Víkingasveitin, "The Viking Squad") is trained in the use of deadly force. All guns must be tracked in a national registry, even from personal sales. All guns must be stored unloaded, with guns and ammo in separate locked cabinets. And on and on - you get the picture. But these laws didn't come from a vaccuum, they come from a majority of the population seeing guns not as a "home defense" tool or tool to take on a theoretical oppressive government, but as a hunting tool.

            The day I'll consider justice blind is the day that a rape defendant's claim of "She consented to the sex" is treated by the same legal standards as a robbery defendant's claim of "He consented to give me the money": as an affirmative defense.

            by Rei on Fri May 23, 2014 at 07:35:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  most interesting. (0+ / 0-)

              I'd rec your comment but the time-out has expired for recs.

              What do you think the elements of Icelandic culture are, that make for the extremely low level of violent crime?

              We got the future back. Uh-oh.

              by G2geek on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:39:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Argument by Anecdote (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Garrett

            Your argument about gun violence is not based on the facts.

            According to the Small Arms Survey, (The Small Arms Survey is an independent research project located at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. It serves as the principal international source of public information on all aspects of small arms and armed violence and as a resource for governments, policy-makers, researchers, and activists. here: http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/), in 2007 the USA had 89 guns per 100 residents, while Canada had 30.8 guns per 100 residents.

            It makes sense to say that a cultural glorification of guns, violence, and crime causes gun violence.  As yet, that is a supposition that has not been empirically demonstrated.  However, there are numerous scientific studies that show more guns is associated with more gun violence.  This has been demonstrated repeatedly using a variety of methods.

            As yet, there is little evidence that people act out violently because of what they see on TV, hear on the radio, or see in computer games.

            If you actually want to see a reduction in gun violence, the proven way to make that happen is to work to reduce gun availability.  (And incidentally, Canada made this evident when they reformed their gun laws a number of years ago, and subsequently saw reductions in the amount of gun violence occurring in their country)  Calling TV personalities "stochastic terrorists" may make you feel good and satisfy some political itch you have, but it will not reduce gun violence in the USA.

            "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

            by Hugh Jim Bissell on Fri May 23, 2014 at 07:42:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Are punchings due to too many fists? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DavidMS

          When a rightwing radio celebrity calls incites his fans to take physical action against their enemies... and then one of those fans sees a lefty hippie and punches them using a fist--

          -- your argument "Gun violence is the result of too many guns" falls away in irrelevance.

          Bullying and hippie punching and assaults on activists are all too real and all too numerous

          ....and do not exist as a subproblem of the very real additional problem of there being way way too many guns.

          #3: ensure network neutrality; #2: ensure electoral integrity; #1: ensure ecosystemic sustainability.

          by ivote2004 on Fri May 23, 2014 at 01:50:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "too many fists": excellent point. (0+ / 0-)

            Clearly, bullying and hippie-punching and so on are not the result of a society that has on average almost 200 fists per 100 population.  The problems are embedded in the culture itself, including violent media.

            I'd rec your comment but the rec/hide buttons have timed-out.

            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

            by G2geek on Sun May 25, 2014 at 02:43:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Hell yeah and that one shouldn't even be... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sychotic1

        ... arguable.  Though, per a recent USSC decision, it would be protected speech.  

        The logic of which reduces to: words are sacred, but words have no effect on the real world.  The contradiction is mind-boggling.

        Interesting example though, I'll have to keep that one in mind for future debates on this subject.

        In fact if anything, my proposal is liberal.

        What I'd like to see, is for that message to be prima-facie illegal and prosecutable as a terrorist threat in and of itself.

        The compromise I'm proposing goes something like this:

        The message gets to stay until one Senator is assassinated.  Then if the assassin is shown to be demonstrably motivated by that message, the organization gets a warning.

        Then if the organization keeps the message up (or amends it along the lines of "one down, two more to go"), and another Senator gets assassinated by someone who was demonstrably motivated, then the org gets prosecuted.

        To put it terribly bluntly, I've set the bar high enough that it takes two dead Senators out of three before there's a prosecution.  But apparently that's not high enough for some people's taste.

        Again for emphasis, if it was up to me, that message would be prima-facie prosecutable as a terrorist threat, at the point where there are still zero dead Senators.

        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

        by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 01:06:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No, because he's not encouraging violence. (4+ / 0-)

      But if you're thinking about what a person of bad faith could do with this concept--you're right. That's exactly what they would do with it.

      The concept is correct; it's describing something real.

      The concept may not be socially usable at this time, because we have a bunch of bad-faith actors running our police and legal system, and especially the security state.

      There is no way for a citizen of a Republic to abdicate his responsibilities. ---Edward R. Murrow

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu May 22, 2014 at 12:15:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mr. Bissell, (5+ / 0-)

      No. In no way can G2Geek be considered guilty of "stochastic terrorism."

      He is stating facts. He is NOT using inflammatory language against Glenn Beck or anyone. He also has a reasonable expectation that his audience does not contain anyone who is likely to be triggered to an act of violence.

      Glenn Beck had a warning, which he ignored, and more people were killed.

      Please come up with better examples of inflammatory progressive speech.

      Patriotism is the FIRST refuge of the scoundrel.

      by Tony Seybert on Thu May 22, 2014 at 02:14:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  only if G2G calls for violence against beck (6+ / 0-)

      which, to my knowledge, i have never known him to do.

  •  Wondered where you'd gone (6+ / 0-)

    I can't shine the hot lights on the NAR alone. :)

    "Leave us alone!" -Mike Capuano

    by Christian Dem in NC on Thu May 22, 2014 at 09:49:25 AM PDT

  •  Sobering and clear. Your voice is missed. (11+ / 0-)



    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Thu May 22, 2014 at 09:52:09 AM PDT

  •  virtual tip and rec / nm (5+ / 0-)

    “Vote for the party closest to you, but work for the movement you love.” ~ Thom Hartmann 6/12/13

    by ozsea1 on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:05:26 AM PDT

  •  Welcome back- Trust exists in future returns... (4+ / 0-)

    when appropriately warranted...

    :♥)

    Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

    by RF on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:19:15 AM PDT

  •  Doesn't intent matter here? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loge, 6412093, LilithGardener, RageKage

    If there is no intent to cause terrorism, I find the term stochastic terrorism quite dangerous as it could be used against anyone. For example, I go out and make a youtube video speaking harshly against a politician, then some nutjob goes out and kills that politician. Am I a stochastic terrorist now?

    "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

    by Texas Lefty on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:31:29 AM PDT

    •  Nope (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming, LilithGardener, G2geek, ivote2004

      But if you're informed by legal authorities that your video potentially incited a murder,

      & then you go and post another inciting video, and someone gets murdered again ... then you should be in the shit.

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Thu May 22, 2014 at 01:39:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  what nosleep4u said. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ivote2004, SoCalSal, DavidMS

      The legal concept of negligence recognizes that an absence of criminal intent may still be culpable for the consequences.  For example criminally negligent homicide.

      For example you're driving along at night and don't realize you have one headlight out.  The cops pull you over and give you a fix-it ticket to put a new bulb in your headlight.  You ignore the ticket and a week later you run over a kid you can't see because the light is out on that side.  Big uh-oh and liability.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 01:31:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Stochastic Terrorism is the last refuge of the GOP (10+ / 0-)

    Very glad you came back to talk about it. Thanks, g2geek. :)

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Thu May 22, 2014 at 10:46:38 AM PDT

    •  thanks... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ivote2004

      .... though, the GOP have plenty of places to hide, such as under big piles of money, er uh speech.  

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 01:32:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  money is speech, as corporations are persons (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DavidMS, shaharazade

        When money can be told to STFU and stand at attention; when corporations are dressed in government-issued camouflage, conscripted against their will, and sent overseas to become a casualty of war at a Forward Operating Base?

        Then we'll have Corporate Personhood, and money-as-speech.
        Until that time, it's a fancy construct.  

        As-yet, I have not seen a Failure to Register for Selective Service Notice issued to my Corporation.

        So I'm calling bullshit.

        (great diary, though I remain pessimistic about the level of FBI/Inter-agency cooperation, and remain convinced that personal career interests, trump post-9-11 solutions to same)

  •  Inducing violence through fraudulent speech (4+ / 0-)

    Beck creates a state of panic by lying to individuals.

    If person "A" trusts me and I take advantage of that goodwill to convince him of a falsehood that his family's life is in imminent danger from a person "B", and person "A" acts on that information and kills person "B" to remove the threat, I bear significant moral responsibility for the murder.

    Whether I bear criminal responsibility has to do with laws about fraud- I certainly did perpetrate a fraud against this individual that resulted in the loss of life.

    Perhaps civil or criminal liability in this case lies in the nature of the trust relationship. If I was some random dude on the street, person A would have no reason to trust me.

    Someone like Beck is misusing the goodwill (trust) associated with his presence on the purchased cable subscription and sponsorship by prominent corporations through advertisersing. Defrauding stupid people who should have known not to trust you is still illegal. The fraud is inducing individuals to take actions that are determental (especially materially) to themselves or others by constructing a false premise.

    It sounds like Beck could be sued civilly for his contribution to the deaths if the injured parties can show that Beck knowingly mislead his audience into believing that they were in physical danger.

    I think that regulating the fraud may be a more reasonable place to go than regulating the speech.

    •  interesting idea... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DavidMS

      ... though I'm a little skeptical that it could work because it appears more complicated.  For example Beck's fans who are presently serving long sentences, will assert vociferously that they were not victims of Beck defrauding them, they were victims of "teh big bad government" or "teh Jewz" or "teh Kenyan in the White House" (though they probably don't use the word "Kenyan").

      Very often the victims of fraud cling to their belief in the fraudster.  This I know from seeing it first hand as some friends of mine got sucked into one of those advance-fee scams to the tune of large sums of money (it was a very cleverly constructed scam, and the scammer used the phone & knew his stuff).  Some of them still believe that the guy is going to come through for them, almost ten years later.  Really.

      They'd sooner cling to the belief that the fraudster is not a fraudster, than admit that they were screwed.  

      For someone who's facing life w/o parole ("LWOP"), clinging to the con man is at least an illusion of solace and solidarity while staring at the world through steel bars.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 01:41:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There was a case of stochastic terrorism... (7+ / 0-)

    ...in Texas after 9/11.  It's a case with an interesting twist;

    A Victim of 9/11 hate crime now fights for his attacker's life

    Terrorism is not exclusive to AQ.

    But I expect more stochastic terrorism as the racist and theocratic base of the Tea Party/GOP continues behaving like a cornered rat.

    The winds of hate are fanned by Faux and right wing radio.  We also have another data point with the Clive Bundy "militias".

    It all reinforces what I call the pyramid of hate which at the top it allows for stochastic terrorism.


     photo 085e4704-aca0-4683-89dc-aad72d5fe691_zps35b6f543.png

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Thu May 22, 2014 at 11:07:07 AM PDT

    •  interesting way of looking at this: (0+ / 0-)

      From the base of AM hate radio upward.  Though, lone wolves almost by definition are "off to the side" of the organized structure of the media hate complex.  They may not know anyone else who shares their hatreds, so they stew in their own juices until one day something causes them to explode.

      There are other types of haters and violent criminals who do have demonstrable connections to the media hate complex, and when they commit violent crimes they and those who agitated them to do the deeds should be held liable.  The religious right is an example of a social ecosystem of this type.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 01:51:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for posting this, G2. (8+ / 0-)

    Here's the original bit:

         Stochastic Terrorism: Triggering the Shooters

    For more:

      Maddow highlights Stochastic Terrorism used by
        GOP/RW media against #OWS

         by Ministry of Truth;

      Stochastic Terrorism by me,
          essentially long-quoting G2Geek's original article to help get it out there.

  •  There is no excuse (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, G2geek, shaharazade

    for Glen Beck being on the air. His show sucks . Its a propaganda machine, I bet it doesn't even make money, its financed by oligarchs.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Thu May 22, 2014 at 11:21:52 AM PDT

    •  if it was a matter of likes & dislikes... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SoCalSal, shaharazade

      .... I would rather see Beck off the air, and the rest of the hate-talkers and shock-talkers as well, and most of the violent media as well.  But I'm not arguing for that, only for legal accountability when traceable physical consequences occur.  

      Though, I would argue for bringing back the Fairness Doctrine and applying it to cable & satellite TV & radio as well as over-the-air TV and radio.  The opportunity to deconstruct any of those arsehauls right after their own shows, would be a tasty treat that's hard to ignore.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 02:05:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent and insightful (4+ / 0-)

    diary; thank you. I'm so glad to have you back posting. I have been (hopefully) checking for any comment by you at least once a month.

    Ceiling Cat rules....srsly.

    by side pocket on Thu May 22, 2014 at 11:23:33 AM PDT

  •  "Let's Change One Thing" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loge, G2geek, LilithGardener

    I get the concept and am obviously not a Glenn Beck fan, but was a bit taken aback by the multiple paragraphs that take you from the al Qaeda video to the American media guy.  The problem is, you can get from a cow to a Ford Thunderbird if you "let's change one thing" enough times.

    Each time you "change one thing" you have to evaluate whether the change makes one thing different from the other.  The more times you have to do that, the more likely that is to be the case.

    •  ten recs if I could, for... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener, Tod

      .... "you could get from a cow to a Ford Thunderbird..."

      That's just brilliant.  Instant viral meme, I'm going to use it.

      It also suggests another variant, "...get from a cow to a Corvette..." and possibly also "...get from a porker to a Porsche."  

      But one of the reasons "Ford Thunderbird" works so well in that context is precisely because it breaks up the rhythm and does not use alliteration, so the incongruity is magnified.  Nicely done.

      Yes, I'm familiar with the risks of "let's change one thing," which is why I spelled it out explicitly and stepwise.  

      The normal rhetorical method is to posit A and then say it's an analogy to B, without spelling out the steps.  Then what happens is, the implicit condition is to accept or reject the whole thing in its entirety.  If the analogy is well done, the result is likely to be more "accepts" than "rejects."

      By spelling out the steps, each step can be accepted or rejected explicitly, so readers have the opportunity to weigh their degree of agreement or disagreement and make a deliberate decision about it.  This, as we've seen, can stir up more arguement about specifics, but if the goal is to develop a meme that stands the test, or in the case of science to develop a hypothesis and ascertain whether it's supported or falsified by data, then spelling out the steps is useful.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 02:19:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the clarification and restatement. (4+ / 0-)

    The American for-profit hate talk industry has a lot to answer for.

    Nice to see you.

    •  thanks & good seeing you here too... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, shaharazade

      .... Yes, the "hate talk industry."  Good phrase, I would shorten it to "the hate industry" and then spread it as a meme.

      And the thing is, hate is by definition pathological.  It's a disease, a psychiatric affliction.  

      It's like "the diarrhea industry."  Who wants diarrhea?  Apparently a lot of people do, enough to support an industry.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 02:27:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think we're missing the key distinction. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darmok, Catte Nappe, Uncle Moji, RageKage

    If you want to use that term to characterize a phenomenon in society, in which words to the masses have the objective effect of driving the deranged few to violence, that's fine.  But it seems like very few people are able to say that without taking the flawed next step of finding legal fault or liability.  Ironically, the original diarist was disciplined about that, which I recognized when I first criticized her diary and then withdrew my criticism.  

    Personally, I think it would be a much more rational response for someone to read Thomas Piketty's book and shoot up Wall Street than for someone to listen to Glenn Beck and shoot up some police officers.  But that doesn't mean I would even slightly hold Picketty responsible, and I don't hold RW talk radio responsible for what the craziest of their listeners do.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Thu May 22, 2014 at 11:57:20 AM PDT

    •  FWIW "the original diarist was disciplined" (4+ / 0-)

      I think the credit for discipline belongs to G2geek.

      That original diary, Stochastic Terrorism - Triggering the Shooters, was written and published by G2geek back in 2011. I merely republished it between two current stories to anchor discussion of what the word "stochastic terrorism" means. Other authors wrote about the same issue that day or picked up the discussion reintroduced by the Firearms Law and Policy group.

      Perhaps their is a rebuttal  diary with your name on it, emphasizing exactly this point.



      Thursday May 15th

      9:46 AM PT: Happy Mother's Day Threat From Florida Gun Instructor Here's a video featuring a contemporary act of stochastic terrorism.

      11:13 AM PT: "It was like a mock execution" Profile of progressive activist Jennifer Longdon, victim of stochastic terrorism.

      3:38 PM PT: Published this afternoon: Triggering the Trigger by Karen Hedwig Backman

      7:33 PM PT: Published this evening "Thugs with Jugs" - Death Threats, Insults, Gun Rights Advocates Targeting Women by Rachel191



      Sat May 17, 2014 at 11:58 AM PT: Thanks everybody, for participating in our discussion of intimidation tactics and implied threats. Incitement to violence is an established legal principle but there seems to be no agreement on what the phrase "stochastic terrorism" even means. Using it may even confuse people we are trying to persuade. I suggest that intimidation and implied threats are more specific and adequate to the task.



      Thu May 22, 2014 at  1:56 PM PT:
      Two rebuttal diaries have been published by Hugh Jim Bissel and G2geek.
      Stochastic Terrorism - A Rebuttal and An Apology

      Stochastic Terrorism - G2geek Replies



      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Thu May 22, 2014 at 03:35:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Can you believe. RKBA reaches anywhere and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        i saw an old tree today

        everywhere to say that so many very real problems simply are not.

        At least if there's any kind of a firearm anywhere in the vicinity.

        There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

        by oldpotsmuggler on Thu May 22, 2014 at 07:14:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  this diary wasn't intended as a rebuttal... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener, ban nock, DavidMS

        ... just a clear restatement of the original meme, in light of the fact that it had started to go viral again.

        Part of my intent here is to be sure the definition remains sharp and clear rather than blurring out into other phenomena that aren't the same thing.  Another part is to keep the meme on the table, in light of the increase in the virulence of hate speech and the likelihood that it's going to trigger more horrible acts.  And I'll admit, I do get scared about horrible acts in the run-up to an election.  Such are the times we live in.

        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

        by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 02:59:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I should have used your word "replies." (0+ / 0-)

          In any case, I'm glad you're back.

          Even though I wasn't here when you were here before. I did check your history before we published and it looked like you were gone for good.

          Your idea was compelling and I'm glad you came back to clarify and build upon it. Like others, I hope to see more posts from you.

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by LilithGardener on Fri May 23, 2014 at 08:02:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  interesting; multiple points there. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sychotic1

      First, yes I agree, we should be using the phrase to characterize a phenomenon in society.  The right wing goes on and on about "Islamic terrorism" and uses the bigotry factor to make their point.  We should be going on the offense with "stochastic terrorism" and making clear that it also covers e.g. Bin Laden's videos, and numerous other groups' media output that encourages things such as suicide bombings, clinic bombings, etc.

      But where we don't agree is about legal liability.  To my mind, if there is a demonstrable link, provable in court, between one person's words and another's deeds, that should be actionable by way of a warning.  And, if that person does a repeat performance with the same consequences, it should be legally liable.  In effect I'm saying that every dog gets one bite, even if that bite provably results in someone carrying out a mass casualty attack such as another OKC bombing or another 9/11.  After that, they're on notice, and if they do it a second time, they get prosecuted.

      That's a lot of casualties for the sake of "speech" before the hammer comes down.  If it was personally up to me, I wouldn't give the mad dogs even one free bite.  But the "one free bite" makes it clear that someone has to demonstrate an extreme degree of depravity to go that far twice.

      Re. Piketty, nobody is going to read 700 pages of dense economics with math, and then have the energy to go shoot anybody;-)  Piketty is if anything the opposite of a stochastic terrorist for just that reason.  If he went on TV and advocated shooting up Wall Street, I'd be calling for him to face charges as well.

      What people should be doing though, is reading Piketty and organizing a general strike.  That would put the proverbial fear of God into the hearts & minds of the powers that be, all without firing a shot or even hinting at doing so.

      I wouldn't be holding Beck responsible except for the fact that he did it twice.  His behavior demonstrates a total lack of conscience about his impact.  And some of his cohort have also done it more than once.  Look up the shooting at that Unitarian church in Tennessee.  There are a few more such cases around.  That's why I keep repeating the saying, "once is a tragedy, twice is enemy action."

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 02:52:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good to see your post .... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek

    I'm still working on municipal broadband in Vallejo.  If you are at the same email I will send you an update.

    JON

    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Thu May 22, 2014 at 11:59:50 AM PDT

  •  You *originated* the term stochastic (6+ / 0-)

    terrorism???

    Wow. From an academic, let me say:  nice work.

    There is no way for a citizen of a Republic to abdicate his responsibilities. ---Edward R. Murrow

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu May 22, 2014 at 12:00:46 PM PDT

    •  It appears so. (7+ / 0-)

      I'm unable to find any occurrence of the term in the Google prior to the publishing of this diary.

      "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

      by jrooth on Thu May 22, 2014 at 12:43:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  yes, and thanks majorly. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SouthernLiberalinMD

      There's plenty more where this comes from.  There's another meme-set I'm planning to unleash later this year, though I'm still considering whether to link it to my identity here and/or in other specific places.

      What field are you in?  And what particularly impressed you about these ideas?

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 03:10:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm an English PhD (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jrooth

        fascinated by language.

        No job, though, so I can't really say I'm in the field.
        But I've got the skills.

        Also did some related (though different) work by doing messaging for political campaigns for some years.

        What impressed me about the idea is that you manage to hold accountable and make visible a very powerful set of actions that are being repeated in our culture, and which result in massive political damage (and just plain human damage). The normal American way is to act like these things don't exist, or have so little power that they are completely inconsequential, because we are plagued,plagued I tell you, by this notion of the impermeable Strong Inner Character Full of Virtue and Rightness and Self-Sufficient Bravery. Because we're all supposed to have one of those, we're supposed to be impermeable to the constant messaging around us. Therefore, the theory goes, only the stupid and weak among us get affected by a fucking message machine that blares practically 24/7.

        You drew the lines clearly and elegantly. The problem is, what to do with them now?

        There is no way for a citizen of a Republic to abdicate his responsibilities. ---Edward R. Murrow

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 23, 2014 at 09:22:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Glad to have you back..... (6+ / 0-)

    ....G2geek, but you were wrong about this years ago and are still making the same mistakes.

    Better to boycott Beck and his ilk until their corporate over-lords can no longer afford to protect them.  The idea of 'stochastic terrorism' WILL NOT be used against people who work for corporations......it will be used to destroy Move On/Occupy Wall St etc.  That's just how it rolls

    Until Beck (or Coulter/Hannity/Limbaugh et al) print or go on the air waves literally calling for blood his speech is protected under the 1st Am.

    This space for rent -- Cheap!

    by jds1978 on Thu May 22, 2014 at 12:02:20 PM PDT

    •  of course we should boycott them... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jds1978, LilithGardener

      ... and their advertisers.  If I'm not mistaken, that's how Beck lost one of his TV slots.  

      In the bigger picture, nothing will stop our corporate overlords until we attack them frontally with a ferocious progressive tax system.  To turn Reagan's meme around, "de-fund the right."  

      Between now and then, they will use every possible resource at their disposal to further their aims, which are to create an aristocratic oligarchy with themselves as masters and the rest of us as serfs who will gradually be starved out as we are replaced by machines.  Remember, the word "robot" was originally the Polish word for "worker."

      IMHO what killed Occupy was the situation here in Oakland with riots, vandalism, trashing & looting, and so on.  That so totally played into the hands of our enemies, it wasn't even funny.  I'd be tempted to think it was infested with provocateurs but that verges on conspiracy thinking.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 03:18:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, LilithGardener, shaharazade
    Next, NSA routinely intercepts the video during a sweep of AQ-associated sites and addresses.  They routinely back-track the IP addresses of the people who went to the AQ site and clicked on the video.  
    Assuming they're not too busy tracking down anti-fracking activists for their friends in the petrochemical industry, or keeping tabs on Quakers who don't like war, or eavesdropping on the phone calls of soldiers to their spouses, or committing industrial espionage, then, yeah, they might get around to that.

    There is no way for a citizen of a Republic to abdicate his responsibilities. ---Edward R. Murrow

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu May 22, 2014 at 12:04:33 PM PDT

    •  believe me (or don't), but NSA doesn't... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade

      ... waste time on Quakers or anti-frackers, or (etc.).

      The biggest threat to the privacy of our communications, and our ability to organize effectively, and freedom of speech in general, is none other than Google, with Facebook coming in a close second.  I've got it in mind to write an exposé of an aspect of Google that is not widely known, with some new information I have from first-hand source that has not been published yet.

      Google is an unregulated NSA wrapped up in a shiny consumer package, and unlike the real NSA, we don't get to vote for their boss every four years.

      Google is creating a "watch what you say" culture where "everything you say, can and will be used against you."  Compared to Google, NSA is small biz.  Mark my words.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 03:22:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, they do. (0+ / 0-)

        Or, at least, their program, PRISM, is being used thusly.

        And thusly.

        There is no way for a citizen of a Republic to abdicate his responsibilities. ---Edward R. Murrow

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 23, 2014 at 09:14:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There is ample evidence that the NSA and (0+ / 0-)

        other security agencies, and their private-sector counterparts at places like Booz and smaller places like Xe, are indeed targeting protesters. I know particularly about Occupy protesters and anti-fracking and anti-pipeline protesters. This is indeed happening. And while I appreciate your knowledge of how the private sector surveills us and messes with our privacy, I'd focus not on Google and FB--though obviously Zuckerberg is a jerk--but on the private security firms, which tend to be where military and big industry meet to satisfy all their spooking needs.

        There is no way for a citizen of a Republic to abdicate his responsibilities. ---Edward R. Murrow

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri May 23, 2014 at 09:17:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  While I completely agree about Google (0+ / 0-)

        and Facebook, we have no way to know the real extent of NSA (and especially NSA contractor) spying. We may learn some more this summer as Greenwald has hinted that a coming major story is about who is being spied on.

        But one of the big lessons of the whole Snowden affair is that the vaunted NSA data security is as much of a joke as data security generally is the world over. Snowden spent months scraping vast amounts of data and extracting some fraction of that without the NSA or the contractors he worked for having the slightest clue. And to this day, despite over a year of frantic analysis, they have no idea at all what he actually took, beyond the stuff that's been published. They think they know the upper bound of what he may have taken, but that's it.

        Given that, anybody who makes assertions about what kinds of abuses are definitely not happening is just whistling past the graveyard.

        "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

        by jrooth on Fri May 23, 2014 at 11:00:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If we're optimistic about inter-agency (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener

    communications and efficiency:

    Pretty quickly the various threads of evidence get assembled, including the NSA data, and the complete picture emerges as to what has happened:

    There is no way for a citizen of a Republic to abdicate his responsibilities. ---Edward R. Murrow

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu May 22, 2014 at 12:07:06 PM PDT

    •  it's better now than in 2001. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SouthernLiberalinMD

      Admittedly I took a bit of artistic license there, or perhaps wishful thinking is more like it, because domestic law enforcement and foreign intelligence are very much separate items.  None the less, the situation is better now than it was before 9/11, and better now than it was during the Bush Administration where there was a group of untrained people at the White House attempting to make sense of raw collection.  

      There'll be plenty of time to debate intelligence policy, I'm sure;-)

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 03:29:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm starting to understand why people (16+ / 0-)

    have a problem with this--even though I agree with you--it's because of the rampant, lawless way in which our government uses the term "terrorist" and is expanding widely the boundaries of what is considered either "criminal" or "terrorist;" for instance, the government has made some interesting decisions lately about what it considers to be espionage. And if you've read Carl Levin's indefinite detention amendment, you know how loosely this stuff is defined. So probably people are reacting against any idea that hitherto innocent activities should be reclassified as terrorist--simply because our government is not currently trustworthy when it comes to making and deploying those definitions.

    When the government is essentially using "terrorist" and "terrorism" to mean "any damned thing we don't like at the moment," I get why people are jumpy. I really do.

    But nonetheless, I think you've identified something real.

    There is no way for a citizen of a Republic to abdicate his responsibilities. ---Edward R. Murrow

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Thu May 22, 2014 at 12:12:32 PM PDT

    •  Top Comment nt (9+ / 0-)

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Thu May 22, 2014 at 03:37:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  agreed we should be really careful about... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade

      ... allocating more powers to government, until we're quite sure the safeguards are in place and working to prevent the current range of powers from being misused.

      But where has Obama "widely expanded" the boundaries of what's defined as terrorism?

      Since we both agree that I've identified something real, we can also agree on insisting that the T-word only be used when there is an explicit, empirically grounded rationale for it.  Then when a new category comes along that's legit, it can be dealt with, without risk of blurred definitions and over-expansion of powers.

      At present, we don't have legislation about stochastic terrorism.  Given the current Supreme Court's tendency toward expansionism such that money has become "speech" and corporations may soon have "religion," it's clear that any such law wouldn't survive long.

      However we can certainly put the meme on the table and use it to demand accountability on the part of media corporations that promote hate-talkers.  Hate is a pathological condition.  Why anyone would want to infect themselves with hate, makes no more sense to me than people wanting to infect themselves with chicken pox.  But that too is a real "thing."  Such are the times in which we live.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 03:49:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very clear, G2G. Hope you stay, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, LilithGardener, G2geek

    you have been missed.

  •  The truoble I have with this (7+ / 0-)

    is how on Earth does one draw a clear line demarcating the boundary between stochastic terrorism and legitimate political speech?

    Suppose some disturbed individual reads a diary here about how Citizens United has destroyed our democracy and the conservative members of the court are traitors and then goes out and assassinates one of the justices? Is that "stochastic terrorism?" Should the diarist be occupying a jail cell adjacent to the murderer? How explicit does it have to be to cross that line? If this concept becomes accepted in law, will it gradually expand in meaning, outlawing what we would now consider legitimate speech?

    This is one of the things which deeply disturbs me about the assassination of Anwar al Awlaki. As emptywheel has documented at the very least the first attempt on his life happened before the IC had concluded he was "operational." So in fact, we tried to kill him solely on the basis of his speech. While I think we can all agree the things he was saying were utterly reprehensible, that's nevertheless a damn dangerous line to cross.

    "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

    by jrooth on Thu May 22, 2014 at 12:33:22 PM PDT

    •  how can one be conscious, read here, and not be (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, 43north

      disturbed.

      Basically political speech is most often meant to disturb and provoke action.

      Separating oneself from the results of that action are what lawyers and undercover operations specialists are for.

      One would have to be drunk and drugged to not be aware of the deadly results of the oligarchs successes. Fighting them is what we're about, murder and violence are beyond our limits at this point in our political resistance to them.

      There are other points.

      It's hardly for me to remind them of that, they practically invented these 'other points'.

      It's a short and subtle leap from G2's stochastic terrorism' to a violent response to what we see around us, so it's always necessary to parse out the responses between defcon 1 and defcon 10.

      I'm glad G2 stopped back to work on this problem, it's a necessary problem for us all to work on.

       

      This machine kills Fascists.

      by KenBee on Thu May 22, 2014 at 04:20:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and we, of course, should not be... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        43north, KenBee

        ... engaging in the kinds of speech that can reasonably be foreseen as likely to set off lone wolf actors.  

        I tend to think that the most effective way to get the kind of voting power we need to overthrow the oligarchy, is to provide such a clear picture of the kind of world we're trying to build, that everyone can practically touch it and taste it, and decide they want it.

        Start with something like a 40-hour work week and universal home ownership.  Universal college and trade school without debt.  The return of meaningful leisure.  Etc.  Paint that picture so clearly that people demand it and recognize they've been robbed by the oligarchy, and the lines at the voting booths will be so long that some kid will IPO his lemonade stand on the sidewalk;-)

        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

        by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 04:08:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  first of all, we shouldn't be using the word... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      43north

      .... "traitor" against the Supreme Court for Citizens United.  A traitor is technically someone who gives aid and comfort to foreign enemies, particularly during time of conflict.  When we misuse language like that, we also weaken the case we're trying to make.  

      The way I demarcate the boundary is when someone deliberately or negligently incites violent acts, and is warned based on a court finding, and then goes out and does it again.  

      As for the expansion of power, let me ask you this:

      If I told you, in the 1980s, that by 2014 most people would be voluntarily submitting themselves to 24/7 audio and video surveillance and location tracking, by carrying the surveillance devices on their person, would you have believed me?  Do you have a "smart phone"?  See the point?

      I'll take seriously some of the critiques about expansion of the mechanisms of control, when those critics disconnect themselves from the very infrastructure that represents the largest unchecked expansion of control in our nation's history.

      As far as al-Awlaki is concerned, when someone swears allegiance to a hostile foreign power, they immediately forfeit their American citizenship.  And in times of conflict, they also become a legitimate military target.  A propagandist for a hostile foreign power is every bit as much a combatant as a soldier.  That's been the case since before WW2.  

      The only thing that's been added in the past 15 years is the definition of super-empowered (militarily capable) subnational groups as being equivalent to hostile foreign powers.  I know the guy who was largely responsible for that paradigm shift in defense policy (John Robb) and I agree with his analysis.  So about al-Awlaki, we'll have to agree to disagree.

      Alternately, by all means feel free to explain in detail exactly how we should have gone about capturing him to bring him back to the US to face charges.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 04:02:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Can't agree. (0+ / 0-)
        The way I demarcate the boundary is when someone deliberately or negligently incites violent acts, and is warned based on a court finding, and then goes out and does it again.
        In other words prior restraint on speech. You get the appearance of due process in your scheme, but given the way the government continually pushes the envelope and the courts bow to the other branches, it won't take this long to elide into severe chilling of legitimate dissent. I bet the great majority of the leaders of the civil rights movement and the anti-Vietnam movement would have landed in prison if this system had been in force back then.
        If I told you, in the 1980s, that by 2014 most people would be voluntarily submitting themselves to 24/7 audio and video surveillance and location tracking, by carrying the surveillance devices on their person, would you have believed me?  Do you have a "smart phone"?  See the point?
        I've been a sharp critic of corporate surveillance since the early days of the internet. That the populace has foolishly been lulled into acceding to a level of corporate surveillance they can hardly imagine is no justification.

        If I were to be involved in political activity that I thought might bring me to the negative attention of corporations or the government, I might just barely be able to evade that today. But I'm quite a bit more technically sofisticated than the average person. And that potential is swiftly vanishing - a frightening prospect for the next OWS or whatever.

        As far as al-Awlaki is concerned, when someone swears allegiance to a hostile foreign power, they immediately forfeit their American citizenship.  And in times of conflict, they also become a legitimate military target.  A propagandist for a hostile foreign power is every bit as much a combatant as a soldier.  That's been the case since before WW2.
        Awlaki never renounced his citizenship. You're treading on really dangerous ground if you propose that the executive have the unilateral capacity to strip someone of their citizenship based on alleged allegiance to some other nation or non-governmental organization.

        Furthermore, I think you're simply wrong as a matter of law. See Brandenburg v. Ohio. While the KKK is not a "hostile foreign power" I nonetheless content that case is on point.

        "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

        by jrooth on Fri May 23, 2014 at 05:34:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This geek was away for a while, too. (5+ / 0-)

    I'm pleased that we crossed paths today. And I'm glad you stepped in to clarify and correct distortions that crept into that other diary.

    A couple of things...

    No it's not a generic slur.
    I can only imagine what someone was thinking when they came up with this one. Did they feel that they were the ones promoting terrorism? Was this comment based on a noun, a verb, and 9/11? I suspect it was somehow insulting to those who promote gun rights - or something. Not even close.

     

    Nor is it embodied in law, though I wish it was.
    Well, that's the rub, isn't it. Even though a law would need to be much more specific than the specific definitions in the framework, that's not a barrier.

    The US Constitution is the show-stopper. Mostly, the First Amendment is in the way. IMO, the First is overrated and badly misinterpreted, even by the Supreme Court.

    At the Sarah Who™ level of ignorance, the First is a license to say whatever pops into your vacant head without any consequences whatsoever. This is what the Glenn Becks of the World would call freedom. I call it freedumb.

    Most legislators understand the part about "Congress shall make no laws" - except when greed, bigotry, hate, self-righteous morality, right wing religious doctrine, revenge, thuggery, bribery, or imaginary demons are involved... State legislators are the worst. These types can be expected to defer to 2nd Amendment remedies since rational thought is so haaaard.

    This is where the Supreme Court has stepped in and, in most cases, invalidated the unconstitutional laws. They haven't been very good at this work, especially in recent decisions. This seems to threaten democracy itself and drastically weakens the rule of law. It invites corruption, oligarchy, and opens the doors to theocracy.

    The Supreme Court has a long tradition of deferring to the 1st Amendment whenever their decision might conflict with other decisions or cause drastic changes in established law. This has resulted in justifying absurd crap such as the money=speech nonsense. The Supreme Court is the ONLY court that has the ability to override and alter legal precedents. They have failed to rid us of bad legal precedents, kept outdated and irrelevant precedents and reinterpreted some of them into gibberish, and they have failed to follow good precedent when they should.

    I think that lifetime appointments are potential disasters because this isolates justices from reality and does nothing to prevent thoughtless or biased decisions. This doesn't prevent the court from falling into complacency, grandiosity, or senility, imo. Justices routinely dismiss public opinion, compassionate arguments, and other important factors. Sp the Supreme Court isn't going to open the doors to laws that address stochastic terrorism or anything like that.

    A constitutional amendment is necessary to permit reasonable laws that would limit the damage that the Glenn Becks of the World can inflict on the ignorant and gullible.

    This is not going to happen. Ever. Even though the 1st has been badly misinterpreted and misused, there are far too many established laws in the way. The FCC is totally corrupt and intimidated by the free speech history and threats from interested parties (Glenn Beck and the wingers).

    Yeah, it ought to be a law. Inciting insurrection should get a direct federal response. See Shays' Rebellion. Open armed rebellion and violating federal law should get a similar response. See the Whiskey Rebellion. Glenn Beck's connection to incitement of multiple murders targeting the "gubmint" should get a direct federal response. But our legislators are partisan cowards these days. Complacent. Out of touch.

    This is what government is supposed to do. Protect the common welfare. Maybe the oath of office should be changed to protect, preserve, and defend the people of the USA, not just the Constitution. Hell, they can't seem to get that part right, either.

    My thirty cent rant.

    Good to see ya, G2G.

    "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

    by GrumpyOldGeek on Thu May 22, 2014 at 12:49:10 PM PDT

    •  ahoy!, and I'm with you there... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GrumpyOldGeek

      .... this expansionism of the 1st Amendment to the point where money is "speech" and "speech" is a legal person like a corporation, and corporations even have "religion," is absurd, obscene, and oppressive.  

      If we're not careful, it's eventually going to provoke a backlash against the 1st A to the point where it will be limited to "petition the government for redress" in the most literal sense, and "freedom of (a defined list of) religions" (not including freedom of atheism and agnosticism).

      In any case, yeah I agree the USSC would pretty quickly squash any attempt at stochastic terrorism laws.  None the less we can use the concept rhetorically to hold the hate-media complex to account.  

      This is a real thing even if it's not possible to enact it in the form of statute law.

      But one thing we could do is start building a case for the use of the concept in civil lawsuits.  For example:

      Once the meme gets widely enough into circulation, for example in the MSM for other applications such as Al Qaeda videos, we can start making use of it.   When some Faux Noize commentator for example, goes in rant mode in a manner that could foreseeably trigger a lone wolf, a group of lawyers sends Faux a sternly worded lawyer letter telling them that they (the lawyers) are watching them (Faux) and if that hate-ranter's words trigger a violent crime there will be hell to pay.

      Then if a violent crime is demonstrably triggered, the 2nd stern lawyer letter goes out essentially as a warning that if the individual in question keeps up the inciting rants and further violence is incited, there will be a lawsuit, at minimum on grounds of negligence.

      At the same time, the existence of these lawyer letters is publicized so the public know that Faux has been warned.  Then if violent act #2 is incited, the prior warnings are usable by the victim's family as evidence that Fox was warned but proceeded recklessly.

      By analogy, think of a safety warning about the brakes on a bus.  "If you keep using that bus on steep hills without safe brakes, it will crash.  This is a warning.  If you disregard it and the bus crashes, there will be a lawsuit."

      At some point, the corporate lawyers for less ideologically fanatical outfits than Faux, start insisting that their companies take heed and tone it down.  That leaves Fox as the only remaining one, and the pressure of being the only one wears them down.  Eventually, Faux too, begins to tone it down.  

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 04:31:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This I can agree with: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shaharazade, GrumpyOldGeek
        In any case, yeah I agree the USSC would pretty quickly squash any attempt at stochastic terrorism laws.  None the less we can use the concept rhetorically to hold the hate-media complex to account.  

        This is a real thing even if it's not possible to enact it in the form of statute law.

        But one thing we could do is start building a case for the use of the concept in civil lawsuits.

        "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

        by jrooth on Fri May 23, 2014 at 05:38:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hell toupée (0+ / 0-)

        Oh, wait. That's some term used in card games.
        Maybe I'm thinking of the word trump.

        That's a good idea about persistently sending stern letters. They should be explicit about incitement, recruitment, and the potential for violent acts. And the clear reminder about the use of documents as evidence.

        Threats and cease/desist letters to these self-centered assholes aren't effective.

        Perhaps an expansion of the Innocence Project in collaboration with the SPLC would make sense. The focus and energy that law school students put into such projects might be enough to overwhelm them.

        Just a thought.

        I've noticed that Faux Noise has, in their own way, toned down the call-to-violence rhetoric a little. They've ramped up the anti-government paranoia and drop hints about revolution as the only way to git yer freedumb back and such. Tyranny and anti-Christian messaging is hot, too.

        I am certain that Faux got some personal visits and a few notices that were probably a little more than sternly worded lawyer language. O'Reilly's Tiller the Killer shit was more than enough to have him looking over his shoulder.

        Bill-O hasn't talked about baby killers since a few days after the Tiller murder. I guess it takes a few days of the boss telling him to STFU before the message gets through. He still uses a little violent rhetoric on occasion. He doesn't seems to repeat this shit day after day

        And Beck isn't there any more. So the schoolteacher image that incited violence has a much smaller audience now.

        Beck decided to leave (he got dumped for sure) after the advertisers got pushback from the effort that began with Color of Change and spread through the Intertubes. DKos definitely had a big impact.

        That effort was more effective than I would have thought. I learned a lot from that. The old saw about changing minds through money applies, this time for good purposes.

        Apparently, advertisers and sponsors vanish when you turn on the lights, the roaches....

        It's entirely clear to me that sponsors, advertisers, donors, brands, reputations, etc. are the gateways to the nervous system that is highly leveraged for controlling the source of money. A few fingers pushing the money buttons can turn off a waterfall.

        Examples: Flush Rush. the Susan Koman scam, even Glenn Beck.

        Hannity is way high on my to-go list. The militia praise, the sovereign citizens recruitment, the anti-government shit, the tyranny crap, etc. Apparently, he's terrified of being exposed as the racist that he is. He's vulnerable.

        Still, draining the money is the most effective and fastest way to shut them down. It's just not a permanent answer.

        Thanks.... Good stuff.

        We are the change we need.

        "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

        by GrumpyOldGeek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 02:11:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped and reccd (7+ / 0-)

    I have very serious concerns with criminalizing this sort of speech.  But the conversation needs to be had.

    Ultimately, I think a slightly different term would be best then make this a tort subject to punitive damages in all state.

    The problem with this being a crime is that corporations don't ever go to prison anyhow. A Fox pundit would simply claim he was reading off the script; so criminally prosecute News Corp. What then?

    But if the law is set up that victims can sue News Corp as a class and get substantial damages with puni's stacked on top, THAT might actually make the powers that be think twice about the violent schlock they're spewing night after night.

    And there aren't the same 1st amendment concerns as locking up one of Shep Smith for reading stuff that his boss said he had to read.

    © grover


    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Thu May 22, 2014 at 01:03:41 PM PDT

    •  Please expand and explain (0+ / 0-)
      But if the law is set up that victims can sue News Corp as a class and get substantial damages with puni's stacked on top, THAT might actually make the powers that be think twice about the violent schlock they're spewing night after night.
      Could you please explain what would prevent a civil suit along those lines under current law?

      Does a victim have to sue as part of a class? or can they pursue it alone?

      #3: ensure network neutrality; #2: ensure electoral integrity; #1: ensure ecosystemic sustainability.

      by ivote2004 on Fri May 23, 2014 at 02:00:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  we're on the same page. this could work: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade, grover

      The approach I think is likely to work, is:

      A group of lawyers and social scientists is put together as a watchdog organization.

      The organization monitors and records all of the output of the various hate-spewers (nowadays we can build the storage capacity for this).  They also monitor the news for incidents of ideologically-motivated violence that appear to have been triggered directly by media hate spew.  

      When a violent act occurs, the social scientists analyze it and the surrounding circumstances rigorously to determine if a viable causal relationship exists.  Here they have to act strictly in the role of scientists rather than advocates, seeking the facts rather than seeking to support a position.  Their work has to stand up to serious scrutiny.  Perhaps in each instance they write a paper for submission to a peer-reviewed journal and get published.

      Next, upon finding a demonstrable incident, the attorneys take the output of the social scientists and use it to compose a sternly-worded lawyer letter to the management of the offending corporation.  The stern letter is sent to corporate counsel via certified mail, with return receipt.  It basically says "you've done it once, we have proof.  Now we're formally warning you, if you do it again we'll sue you so hard you'll wish you hadn't."

      These lawyers might also represent the victim's family, pro-bono, in a manner analogous to the way EFF sometimes gets involved in lawsuits on behalf of various plaintiffs.

      In any case, if the hate-spewer in question triggers another violent act, and the causal connection is rigorously established, the lawyers sue the corporation for negligence, in a manner analogous to suing a bus company over a fatal accident caused by bad brakes about which they were previously warned.

      See how that works?  Question is, can it work?

      The place where we differ is, I think we should continue to use the term stochastic terrorism, I think we should use it in the context of academic papers, public rhetoric, and so on, all of this usage sticking to the strict definition rather than turning it into a generic invective.  We should also use it in court proceedings, because doing so has the potential of getting it recognized as a "thing" in civil lawsuits, even if the lawsuit is technically for gross negligence or something along those lines.

      All it will take are a couple of successful lawsuits, and no "confidential settlement" crap, and suddenly the hate-media complex will start to tone it down.  All we're asking is that they tone it down enough that it doesn't lead to people getting harmed or killed.  That's not too much to ask.

      What do you think?

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 04:58:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped & rec'ed (6+ / 0-)

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Thu May 22, 2014 at 02:49:09 PM PDT

  •  I hadn't even realized that the term originated (6+ / 0-)

    here -- I assumed it had come from some think tank somewhere. It's a remarkable bit of synthesis, so congratulations on that.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Thu May 22, 2014 at 03:09:50 PM PDT

    •  g3Geek's diary is the top listing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, a2nite

      on a google search of the term.

      That's how I found his diary, originally published in 2011.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Thu May 22, 2014 at 03:44:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  in a way, it kinda' did... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener, shaharazade

      .... come out of something like a think tank.  A bunch of folks, many of whom are or were on DK, were studying domestic extremism back in those days, in an organized way.  This was one of the things that came from what I was learning.  The ideas are my original work.  

      Thanks for the pat on the back, I've been surprised to see that the meme has spread.  

      And I've got plenty more where this comes from, on a pretty wide range of subject matter.  Now if only I could get paid to do this;-)

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 05:06:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, it really caught my attention because it (0+ / 0-)

        was, to me, a new idea in the entire philosophical question of what constitutes causality and culpability. As it happens, at work I sometimes deal with problems of stochastic biology, so the concept resonates with me -- it's very intuitive.

        Though your formulation specifically applied to terrorism, the general concept applies broadly.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Fri May 23, 2014 at 08:55:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's a logical outgrowth of the idea that... (0+ / 0-)

          ... there's an interaction between sample size and effect size.

          Think of a hypothetical new medicine being tested.

          If the effect size on an illness is large, you'll see it with a small sample size of human subjects.

          If the effect size is small, it will take a much larger sample size to find it.

          Ordinarily we're trained (I'm in engineering BTW) to ignore small effect sizes, for example write them off as errors, or as statistical flukes that "shouldn't" rise to the level of significance if further tests are conducted.  This is very common and forms the basis of much debate and arguement.  Is the medication any good?  Does the new subatomic particle really exist?  Is a human or other animal behavior an artifact of the experiment?  Etc. etc.

          But a small effect across a large population can translate to an effect of size 1.0 on a small percentage of the population.  When the "effect" is the impact of a lone wolf's knife or bullet or bomb, it's worth paying attention to.

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:47:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, to extend it to a realm where it will (0+ / 0-)

            cause great discomfort to many of the same people who endorse the terrorism context (maybe including you), whenever someone says, "Hey, I played 50 hours of first-person shooter per week when I was in college, and I've never gone on a shooting spree," I think: Yeah, so what? If there is a causal link between violent video games and violent behavior, that link is going to be a stochastic one. At which point the policy problems become similar to those raised by stochastic terrorism: At what point does your right to sell/buy/play such games lose out to my right not to have to deal with the the social costs (including the associated security regimes) of having those stochastic shooting sprees?

            This was a problem I had been considering for a long time -- but I hadn't framed it in the context of "stochastic processes", I was just thinking in terms of gaussian distributions, and the most susceptible individuals who live out in the tails of such distributions.

            To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

            by UntimelyRippd on Sun May 25, 2014 at 11:10:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  btw i'd rec your comment except the button... (0+ / 0-)

          ... has disappeared.  About 15 - 20% of Rec/Hide buttons are missing from certain diaries, which may be because a) they timed-out, b) browser problems at my end, or, less likely, c) site problems.

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Sun May 25, 2014 at 12:49:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Glad to see you back, even if it is temporary. (8+ / 0-)

    I was thinking about you yesterday, wondering how you were doing.

    The diary by HJB had started me thinking, which lead me down a train of thought about the whole psychology of stochastic terrorism.  Now this update on your thoughts is timely. As W. C. Fields might say, "How fortuit."

    Rudeness is a weak imitation of strength. - Eric Hoffer

    by Otteray Scribe on Thu May 22, 2014 at 03:12:20 PM PDT

    •  holy cow look who's there;-) (4+ / 0-)

      Good to see you here, this is starting to feel like a class reunion or something;-)

      Given the response to this, I might just stick around, or at least pop in from time to time.  Also it's possible that these ideas might turn into a real strategy that can be implemented in an organized way, which would be a good thing.  Preventing murders is always a good thing.

       

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 05:10:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Really Excellent application of statistical ... (4+ / 0-)

    thinking.  Cause and Effect is mechanical and are directly connected.  Sort of "Newtonian" thinking.  But in a very large society, like ours, statistical effects are to be expected and this is an excellent argument for incorporating them in (an otherwise Newtonian) legal framework.

    Dirigiste vs Free Mkt -6.25/ Libertarian vs Authoritarian -4.72

    by bob in ny on Thu May 22, 2014 at 04:11:33 PM PDT

    •  thanks, even though... (0+ / 0-)

      ... I haven't asserted a statistical hypothesis as such.  Yes I appreciate Newtonian thinking, and also QM and its implications.  These ways of thinking have ranges of application beyond their immediate sphere.  

      The problem with turning this into a stat workup is that the actual events are few and far between, so the sample size is already very small.  Then one would have to operationalize the variables in a manner that can be reliably measured, and then one would have to collect enough examples that the measurements were meaningful.  By this time plenty of corpses would have piled up.  

      For which reason I'm inclined to go for an action-oriented approach such as I've described in other comments here: an organization of lawyers and social scientists who can put hate-spew media corporations on notice when relevant events occur, and get them to tone it down "or else" bigtime lawsuits will follow.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 05:22:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This has no discussion of the statistics at all (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nickrud, Wee Mama, Loge, G2geek

    Where, actually, in claims that people should be identified as terrorists via statistical methods, the statistics should be spelled out and discussed very carefully.

    •  that's because I was not asserting a... (0+ / 0-)

      .... specific statistical hypothesis, yet.

      See also my comment immediately above.

      If there's enough interest, I could start thinking about methodology for measuring the relevant variables.  

      One thing I have not asserted is that lone wolf events can be specifically predicted in such a manner as to intervene successfully before the events.  If I had any idea how to do that, I sure as hell wouldn't be spouting it on the pages of DK, I'd be putting it through channels to the TLAs, and it would probably be classified as soon as it was submitted.

      However I do have one hypothesis about specific and quantifiable ingredients needed to reliably provoke a random lone wolf, and I'm not discussing that publicly at this point.  In order to collect data relevant to testing that hypothesis, I'd need a couple of paid staff.  In contrast to certain other situations, this would be one where the collection process was tedious and time-consuming, and the analytic process was relatively fast & straightforward.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Fri May 23, 2014 at 05:29:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent. Thank you. (4+ / 0-)

    There is little doubt in my mind that Beck, Hannity, Nugent, Bortz, Limbaugh and some other nuts are ultimately responsible for inciting others to perform acts of violence.  
    I would also include, broadly, various religious leaders.

    I'm not a lawyer.  It seems to me tho there is a thin, but bright line between free speech and speech that harms others.  Sorta like yelling "fire" in a theatre.  

    When one does that kind of thing they ought to be held responsible.  The person yelling fire may have remained in his seat and not trampled anyone else, and could say it was just a joke and no harm was meant, but he's guilty of the deaths of anyone who died as a result of his speech.

    To me, These RW nuts are yelling "fire."

       

    The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis. - Dante Alighieri

    by Persiflage on Thu May 22, 2014 at 05:07:21 PM PDT

  •  I used to see writing this good all the time here. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DavidMS, ER Doc, 43north

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Thu May 22, 2014 at 05:33:57 PM PDT

  •  One of the smartest people on this site... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike Kahlow, ivote2004, Persiflage

    ...is G2Geek.  Glad to see you in these parts again.  Why doncha stick around this time?

    Let's find a time to talk sometime, brother.

    Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

    by WarrenS on Thu May 22, 2014 at 06:02:47 PM PDT

  •  On a related topic, I highly recommend... (5+ / 0-)

    ...this report released today from the Southern Poverty Law Center on the myriad connections between racist murderers of recent years and Stormfront, the online home for Neo-Nazis, klansmen, and assholes of a particular hue.

    Though on any given day, fewer than 1,800 registered members log on to Stormfront, and less than half of the site’s visitors even reside in the United States, a two-year study by the Intelligence Report shows that registered Stormfront users have been disproportionately responsible for some of the most lethal hate crimes and mass killings since the site was put up in 1995. In the past five years alone, Stormfront members have murdered close to 100 people. The Report’s research shows that Stormfront’s bias-related murder rate began to accelerate rapidly in early 2009, after Barack Obama became the nation’s first black president.  

    For domestic Islamic terrorists, the breeding ground for violence is often the Al Qaeda magazine Inspire and its affiliated websites. For the racist, it is Stormfront.

    "Speaking for myself only" - Armando "Pay Attention To Me diplomacy never works out very well for anyone but the defense contractors." -Hunter

    by JR on Thu May 22, 2014 at 06:43:39 PM PDT

  •  You have been missed my friend... n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike Kahlow, shaharazade

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abbey

    by SaraBeth on Thu May 22, 2014 at 07:27:19 PM PDT

  •  Brillant discription of reality. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener

    I thought the 1st diary was a brillant discription of the effect that hate talkers have had on the possibliity a violence toward the very organizations that are trying to make things better, social and political origanizations on the left who are focused on protecting the environment and lessening human ignorance, and suffering.

    Another  good example of stocastic terrorism was when the Unitarian Congeration in Knoxville Tennessee was attacked by a Limbaugh-loving out of work trucker.

    To Goldman Sachs in according to their desires, From us in accordance with the IRS.

    by Bluehawk on Thu May 22, 2014 at 07:44:04 PM PDT

  •  I've missed you, as well. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike Kahlow, LilithGardener

    I'm still silently debating some of your earlier posts.

    I haven't always agreed with you---in fact, on more than one occasion, I've seriously disagreed with you---but I have really missed your diaries and comments simply because I always, always learned. Very worthwhile work.

    This diary is no exception. I wish it weren't getting late and I hadn't already taken my evening allergy meds, but it is and I have. I hope you continue posting.

  •  Good to see you, G2. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener

    Don't be a stranger, OK? You add a lot to the site.

    Screw John Galt. Who's John Doe?

    by Mike Kahlow on Thu May 22, 2014 at 08:01:02 PM PDT

  •  Glad to see you again! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    43north

    I have always loved your writing.  By coincidence, the SPLC has an article that does not mention Stochastic Terrorism but talks about how various racially motivated murders pour toxic memes in their own ears, but many of them seem to have an external locus of control, are supported by a estranged girlfriend or wife and spend their time absorbing hate speech online before going on a murderous rampage.  

    http://www.splcenter.org/...

    and BernardPliers take on the personalities of people drawn to extremism:  http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Its a well though out take on the toxic personalities that are attracted to these movements.  The short answer is that something is broken between their ears and it comes out as being an an obnoxious attention whore (thank you Bernard Pliers for the expression).  

    I don't think its a complete answer but it certainly helps explain the phenomenon.  I don't have the patience or temperament to help, but people with this disorder probably just need love, a shifted locus of control, counseling and properly adjusted doses of professionally prescribed psychotropic medication where appropriate.  

    I'm a 4 Freedoms Democrat.

    by DavidMS on Thu May 22, 2014 at 08:06:43 PM PDT

  •  And in the cell between, or on one or the other (0+ / 0-)

    side, of these two:

    Here's to the day when "once" gets a warning, and "twice" gets prosecuted.  

    Here's to the day when the next Glen Beck ends up in the next cellblock from the next Byron Williams.

    Bill "Tiller the Killer" O'Reilly.  Which is a case at least as clear as the Beck cases.

    There are those who defend freedom of speech as having no allowable limits.  As being absolute.

    Yet is is illegal to yell "THEATER!" in a crowded fire.

    Yet it is the reality -- as that indicates -- that every right is inextricably entwined with responsibility.  Including the right of free speech.  A function of law is to enforce defined responsibility upon those who refuse to comply willingly.

    Excellent piece, BTW.  And excellent writing that is a delight to read.

    This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

    by JJustin on Fri May 23, 2014 at 12:34:15 AM PDT

  •  Excellent amendation -- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener
    There's one thing I'd add to the definition today: the words "deliberate or reckless."   Thus it would change to:

    "Stochastic terrorism is the deliberate or reckless use of mass communications to stir up random lone wolves to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable."

    This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

    by JJustin on Fri May 23, 2014 at 01:00:07 AM PDT

  •  Twice gets prosecuted: Knoxville Church Shooting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener, shaharazade, a2nite

    Add to the Byron Williams case, this clear example of stochastic terrorism:

    On July 27, 2008, a politically motivated fatal shooting took place at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, United States. Motivated by a desire to kill liberals and Democrats, gunman Jim David Adkisson fired a shotgun at members of the congregation during a youth performance of a musical, killing two people and wounding seven others.
    Full coverage here.

    Police found books by O'Reilly, Hannity, and Savage in Adkisson's house. I think this fits the definition of "stochastic terrorism" perfectly.

    Inside the house, officers found "Liberalism is a Mental Health Disorder" by radio talk show host Michael Savage, "Let Freedom Ring" by talk show host Sean Hannity, and "The O'Reilly Factor," by television talk show host Bill O'Reilly.
    Adkisson left this note  at the scene of the crime.
    To Whom it May Concern

    I Guess you're wondering why I did this. Well, let me explain in detail.

    Over the years I've had some good jobs, but I always got layed off. Now I'm 58 years old and I can't get a decent job. I'm told I'm "overqualified" which is a code word for "too damned old" Like I'm expected to age gracefully into poverty. No thanks! I'm done!

    I've always wondered why I was put on the earth. For years I thought I was put here to dies as cannon fodder in VietNam but somehow cheated the devil out of it. Lately I've been felling helpless in our war on Terrorizm, But I realized I could engage the terrorists allies here in America. The best allies they've got.

    The Democrates! The democrates have done everything they can do tie our hands in this War on Terror. They're all a bunch of traitors. They want America to loose this war for reasons I can not understand. It makes me sooo mad!

    In a parallel train of thought; it saddens me to think back on all the bad things that Liberalism has done to this Country. The worst problem America faces today is liberalism. They have dumbed down education, they have defined deviancy down. Liberals have attacked every major institution that made America great. From the Boy Scouts to the military; from education to religion. The major news outlets have become the propaganda arm of the Democrat party. Liberals are evil, they embrace the tenets of Kak Marx, they're Marxist, socialist, communists.

    The Unitarian Universalist Church

    Don't let the word Church mislead you. This isn't a church, it's a cult. They don't even believe in God. The worship the God of Secularizm. These sick people aren't Liberals, they're Ultra-Liberals. This is a collection of sicko's, wierdo's, and homo's. The UU Church is the fountainhead, the veritable wellspring of Anti-american organizations like Moveon.org, Code Pink, and other un-American groups.

    Those people are absolute hypocrits. They embrace every pervert that comes down the pike, but if they find out your a conservative, they absolutely hate you. I know, I experienced it.

    I can't for the life of me understand why these people would embrace Marxism like they do.

    I'd like someone to do an expose on this church, it's a den of un-American vipers. They call themselves "progressive" How is a white woman having an niger baby progress? How is a man sticking his dick up another man's ass progress? It's an abomination

    It takes a warped mind to hate America.

    It makes me so angry! I can't live with it any more! Then environmental nuts have to be stopped.

    Know This If Nothing Else

    I: This was a hate crime
    I hate the damn left-wing liberals. There is a vast left-wing conspiracy in this country and these liberals are working together to attack every decent and honorable institution in the nation, trying to turn this country into a communist state. Shame on them.

    II This was a Political Protest
    I'm protesting the liberal Supreme Court Justices for give the terrorists at GITMO constitutional rights. I'm protesting the major news outlets, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, PBS for being the propaganda wing of the Democrat Party. It's criminal what they're getting away with. They're traitors. They must be stopped. I'm protesting the DNC running such a radical leftist candidate. Osama Hussein OBama, yo mama. No experience, no brains, a joke. Dangerous to America. Hell, he looks like Curious George!

    III This was as Symbolic Killing:
    Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate, and house, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book. I'd like to kill everyone in the Mainstream Media. But I knew these people were inaccessible to me. I couldn't get to the generals and high ranking officers of the Marxist movement so I went after the foot soldiers, the chickenshit liberals that vote in these traitorous people. Some one had to get the ball rolling, I volunteered. I hope others do the same. It’s the only way we can rid America of this cancer, this pestilence!

    In Conclusion:

    No one gets out of this world alive so I've chosen to skip the bad years of poverty. I know my life is going downhill fast from here. The future looks bleak. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. I'm absolutely fed up.

    So I thought I'd do something good for this Country . Kill Democrats until the cops kill me. If decent patriotic Americans could vote 3 times in every election we couldn't stem this tide of liberalism that's destroying America.

    Liberals are a pest like termites. Millions of them. Each little bite contributes to the downfall of this great nation. The only way we can rid ourselves of this evil is kill them in the streets. Kill them where they gather.

    I'd like to encourage other like minded people to do what I've done. If life ain't worth living anymore, don't just kill yourself. Do something for your country before you go. Go kill Liberals!
     Tell the cop that killed me that I said "Thanks, I needed that!"

    I have no next of kin, no living relatives, If you would take my sorry carcass to the body farm, or donate it to science, or just throw me in the Tennessee River.

    Sincerely,
    Jim David Adkisson

    What about this is not stochastic terrorism?

    “Hardworking men and women who are busting their tails in full-time jobs shouldn't be left in poverty.” -- Elizabeth Warren

    by Positronicus on Fri May 23, 2014 at 07:46:38 AM PDT

    •  Given the facts of that case... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Garrett

      ...who are you suggesting be charged with "stochastic terrorism"?  The authors of all books found at his home?  

      •  I'm sure the lawyers are all over it (0+ / 0-)
        Brandenburg test

        Standard established in  Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 US 444 (1969), to determine when inflammatory speech intending to advocate illegal action can be restricted. The standard developed determined that speech advocating the use of force or crime could only be proscribed where two conditions were satisfied: (1) the advocacy is “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action,” and (2) the advocacy is also “likely to incite or produce such action.”

        Beck, O'Reily, Hannity, Savage, Limbaugh, and others have made billions of dollars skating over this thin ice.

        “Hardworking men and women who are busting their tails in full-time jobs shouldn't be left in poverty.” -- Elizabeth Warren

        by Positronicus on Fri May 23, 2014 at 10:26:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  here's a way to record and transcribe radio (0+ / 0-)

    talkers, described in my last diary:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    dem party and or major progressive orgs need to get it going- there are probably easier better way to do it and ways to automate it - it needs to be done..

    i just got a recording of a local blowhard suggesting on the loudest radio (tea party) station in NM just before limbaugh, that it might be funny if a hundred protestors showed up a a UNM prof's class because the prof took part in a disruptive city council meeting trying to fire the albuquerque sheriff for allowing too many police killings.

    ironically and the station is the official broadcaster for the UNM lobos.

    threats a lot worse than this are COMMON on talk radio and it's getting worse.

    the need to know they're being recorded, and when the threats and lies are pointed at democratic candidates they need to respond

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Fri May 23, 2014 at 08:21:09 AM PDT

  •  Good to read you (0+ / 0-)

    again. I'm glad your in fine fettle and still around. I hope you come back now and then. Most interesting diary and thread. My thoughts are that the corporate media should be regulated as far as hate speech and inciting violence goes. Giving legitimacy to the demagogues who preach hate and calls to arms, should not be considered free speech.  However the culture wars keep the pot stirred and Americans are addicted to fear. Violence is daily fare in entertainment and in the news. Shock and awe baby.

    Tricky to draw the line of what is censorship of free speech and what is stochastic terrorism. People who watch Fox and listen to hate radio are being feed a steady diet of fear ignorance and hate. Why are they given a platform and paid money by the corporate assholes who own our mainstream media?  Deregulation of public communication lines seems to work for the profit and to keep we the people in a perpetual state of fear. Be it of the government or 'terrist's who are gonna kill yer family' or even rogue nation states who are an eminent danger to our national interests.

    I keep coming back to who gains by spreading hate and violence n through our so called public airwaves. Money is speech and fear keeps us all from dealing with the real purveyors of violence the ones with real power. So it's hard to trust the very entities who run and own our government to define what is or isn't free speech or terrorism.  Free speech that is paid for by the likes of Comcast or Murdock any of the five or so corps who own the media is not free it's costing us dearly as we pay by giving these the haters and their insane lies equivalence and it becomes part of the national dialog. They have a right to speak but giving them a platform via the media isn't really freedom it's blasting propaganda and pumping fear and violence at people who should not be defining the narrative of our society.  Hate is not something that should be whipped up for profit or power.                    

  •  That's what's been happening when it comes (0+ / 0-)

    To clinics that provide abortions, for decades now.

    They really want poor girls/women to be forced to give birth, to hurt them, to force them to have to go to abusive men with money to survive and put up with all kinds of horrible things.



    Women create the entire labor force.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Fri May 23, 2014 at 12:25:29 PM PDT

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