OUR RHETORIC, OURSELVES: We watched the news today, oh boy!


Our rhetoric post-Uvalde: This morning, as we watched Morning Joe, we were treated to examples of our blue tribe's current rhetoric.

The angry host engaged in his various trademark rants. As he did, he excoriated the "barbarians," "liars" and "freaks" who oppose him and his point of view.

(Other names were called during these rants. We're just citing three.)

We aren't sure that rhetoric of that type is likely to be helpful. Of course, we thought our journalistic systems had pretty much come undone as long as several decades ago. That's pretty much the reason why we started this site.

On this post-Uvalde morning, we do compliment the Washington Post for this early bit of reporting:

Gunman was bullied as a child, grew increasingly violent, friends say

Why would someone who's 18 years old end his own life—along with the lives of so many others—in this crazy, violent way? 

Post reporters have already spoken to an array of former neighbors and friends. They had described a disastrous home life, mixed with years of ridicule at school.

(We would assume that a psychological / medical / psychiatric component is part of this puzzle too.)

Buffalo had a racial component; a little more than one week later, Uvalde doesn't. That said, each incident involved an 18-year-old man / boy / teen behaving in a deeply destructive and self-destructive way.

Why would these young people behave in this way? We'd still like to hear from (carefully selected) medical and psychological specialists regarding that question. 


Regarding the rhetoric our own blue tribe brings to these discussions / debates, we still want to review the rhetoric which emerged in the first few days after Buffalo.

We'll return to that rhetoric tomorrow. In our view, that rhetoric was almost surely well-intentioned, but it was also profoundly unhelpful—uninsightful, unintelligent, unwise. 

In the next two days, we'll take a quick look at that rhetoric. We'll ask you what it says about our own blue tribe if this is still the best we can do after all these long, fruitless years.

Next week, we expect to return to a major question. We plan to return to that major question as our nation's attempt at a "diverse democracy" continues to die on the vine:

It involves the way we think about "race." It involves our very belief in the concept. 

We'll be starting with Professor Gates—with "the greatest question ever asked." We praised his question not long ago:

"What difference does it make?" Professor Gates wisely asked.

Tomorrow: Blue tribe rhetoric on The 11th Hour


  1. Is Somerby seriously trying to pin these two recent shootings on blue tribe rhetoric and not on gun sales?

    1. No. Nothing in what he wrote suggests that.

    2. Well, he keeps talking about rhetoric and ignoring the guns.

  2. “We plan to return to that major question as our nation's attempt at a "diverse democracy" continues to die on the vine:
    It involves the way we think about "race." It involves our very belief in the concept.”

    It may be that a belief in the concept of race is harmful to a diverse democracy.

    And yet, it must be confronted:

    “Over the past 20 years, the number of hate groups in the United States increased by over 100%. “

    “Sixty-two percent of hate crimes were about race/ethnicity, nearly 25% were about sexual orientation/gender identity, and 13% were about religion.”

    Liberals try to confront all aspects of the problem, the racial hatred, the availability of guns, mental health.

    And get accused of politicizing it in so doing.

    The GOP must do its own soul-searching on this issue and make the right decisions. It is more than disgusting to insinuate that liberal rhetoric is causing their intransigence.


  3. "In our view, that rhetoric was almost surely well-intentioned, but it was also profoundly unhelpful—uninsightful, unintelligent, unwise. "

    Meh. Don't be coy, dear Bob. Your tribe's rhetoric is standard, garden variety rhetoric of barbarians, liars, and freaks.

    And that's all there is to it.

    1. My heart aches for David in Cal, who doesn't get to experience the pride of knowing his grandkids were slaughtered in the classroom for our freedoms.
      Better luck next time (and there will be a next time), David.

  4. Why are Republican politicians called "barbarians"? Supposedly, because they vote against laws that would prevent this tragedy.

    However....the Democratic bill requiring additional checks on new gun owners would not have prevented this shooting. Note that the great majority of mass shootings have taken place in "gun-free" zones.

    That suggests different approach: Allowing school teachers and administrators to be armed might have prevented this shooting and probably would have reduced the number of people killed. In this, an armed man nearby shot the killer and probably prevented many more deaths.

    So, are Democratic politicians "barbarians" for supporting gun-free zones? No. Both parties simply have different ideas about what sorts of law are likely to reduce this sort of tragedy.

  5. A gun free zone strikes me as the opposite of barbaric. It strikes me as heavenly, idyllic even.

    On the other hand, it strikes me as barbaric that Republicans look at the problem of gun deaths and mass murders by gun and say hey let’s have more guns in circulation let’s have absolutely no restrictions on the ownership of guns. As soon as these troubled loners, mostly men, turn 18 why let them buy as many high powered weapons as they want as much ammo body armor you name it no licensing no permits can carry them wherever they want to. Let the gun manufacturing companies market to these troubled teenagers making the gun sexy and saying that they obtain their manhood again by buying these giant military style weapons.

    And guns don’t kill people, people do, you say, Republicans? It’s mental health you say, Republicans? OK let’s come together and put massive public funding into mental health programs both at the state and the federal level. Republican response: hell no I’m not raising my damn taxes you commie libs.

    Oh, and by the way if liberals suggest doing something about the guns in circulation and mental health, what do Republicans say? “You’re just politicizing it.”

    That’s barbarism.

    No other civilized country on earth comes close to the number of deaths by gun that this country has.

  6. Teaching CRT from behind the barrel of a gun, FTW!

  7. I'll stop teaching about the United States' history of white supremacy, when you pry my gun from my cold dead hand.

  8. "OK let’s come together and put massive public funding into mental health programs both at the state and the federal level."

    But what's a "mental health program", dear mh? Sounds like the usual liberal claptrap.

    Organize a committee, pontificate, create an agency, hire a thousand useless pencil-pushers. And when it happens again, hire a thousand more and pontificate some more. Is this your plan, in a nutshell?

    1. Hey pigboy, you are never going to grasp what a mental health program might produce as you are a weirdo and head case yourself. Just like your grampa in the Klan.

    2. Suicide and other mental health problems are at crisis levels among teenagers during covid. They do not have the structure of school, nor the support of friends, teachers and counselors. They have stress and no one to help them deal with it, especially if their parents have covid or are struggling financially and not available due to work demands.

      The first person shot by this Texas shooter was the kid's grandmother. Mental health programs support the parents and other relatives who are trying to help these teens during difficult circumstances. No parent is trained to deal with serious mental health issues in a child. They need support from qualified professionals -- that is what should be funded in our communities. Because that is how you prevent shootings. You don't wait until the school finds a gun in a kid's backpack -- or even worse, doesn't find it in time to save lives.

    3. "No parent is trained to deal with serious mental health issues in a child."

      No parent is trained to perform an appendectomy either, dear dembot. And yet appendectomies are performed somehow. Without any special "programs".

    4. Where would we get the money for mental health programs? We need to save our billions to hand over to other countries so they can fight wars that don't affect us. Like the 40 billion dollars that every single Democrat voted to give Ukraine.

    5. Democrats are the party of war. They love war far more than they love the pitiful rank and file that support them and any mental issues they may have. Why concern yourself with mental health programs when you can control the ultimate game: war. Think of all the illegal wars and killing of children that Obama undertook. Think how great he must have felt, annihilation after annihilation, wiping out families and children. This is not a school room of 20 kids. This is thousands and thousands of children all dead during Obama's bloody, illegal wars. Think of the thrill he must have had, to have the power to oversee the world's oldest and most everlasting and cherished game: war. He rose to the top of the Democratic party and therefore won the noble honor of seeing through the most important thing to Democrats and the Democratic Party: a world of total war and death and the slaughter of innocent children that goes with it.

      I'm sure now the Democratic leadership is just waiting for this hubbub about the latest school shooting to die down. And it will. Just like Parkland. Just like Sandy Hook the fuss will die down and the Democrats will be able to get back to their primary trade, their primary love: war.

    6. Please welcome Vlad Putin to our little group. Take a bow, 7:19.

    7. Here's a Jimmy Dore's video on the $40 billion for MIC and nuclear brinkmanship shit:



    8. jimmy Dore!
      Jimmy Fucking Dore!
      Mao thinks we should listen to this Right-wing ratfucker, so we know what's REALLY going on.
      What's David Duke say about it, Mao?

    9. 7:19,
      I was born at night, but it wasn't last night.
      There are exactly zero Republicans in Congress willing to slash the defense budget.

    10. Mao, which one of dore's multimillion $ mansions did jimmy dore record that video in?

    11. Hit a nerve, dear psycho-soros-dembot? Good.
      We have more, for your viewing pleasure:



    12. 9:33 I agree with you about "both sides" .

    13. If you take away the Right-wing fascism, they are quite similar.

    14. "both sides"= The cops AND the shooter.

    15. "both sides" Republicans and Democrats in Congress are not willing to slash the defense budget.

      Or go after big pharma.

      Or fight for universal healthcare.

      Or limit how much the govt spies on us.

      Or limit Wall Street.

      On and on. They are the same party basically.

    16. 12:52,
      Especially, if you ignore the Republican Party's fascism.

    17. Both sides on the fascism too. Democrats want to limit any criticism, aggressively support censorship, big corporations etc.

      Fascism - both sides. Clearly. That's not debatable.

    18. Support censorship?
      I’m all ears 2:14.

    19. My understanding is the January 6th Committee wants less censorship, and more speech in front of Congress.
      Where did you clearly get confused, 2:14?

    20. Nice job, 2:14.
      Next time you’re in Texas, look me up. I got your first half-dozen abortions.

    21. I live in fort Worth. Yes, support censorship. Disinformation board?

    22. I get that you don't get it though.

    23. Ironically, you don't get it because of the censorship but, I get that you don't get it.

  9. The NRA is having their convention in Houston this weekend. It will be a gun free zone when Donald J Chickenshit makes his speech there.

  10. mh - I'm in favor or truly gun-free places -- i.e., places that are enforced to be free of guns. E.g., airplanes are free of guns, because the TSA enforces it. Schools are not necessarily free of guns, as we again learned to our sorrow in Texas. Trite but true that, When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

  11. mh - just ran across this
    Flashback 30 Years: Guns Were in Schools... and Nothing Happened

  12. This is the purveyor of @5:46's propaganda: https://salemmedia.com/

    It can never be overstated: the next good-faith argument he makes will be his first.

  13. @6:49 Did you read the article? It says that 30 years ago some schools were not "gun-free zones" and had rifle teams. Are you questioning those two assertions?

  14. First you have to remember the young people who
    survived Parkland did not use such "rhetoric", yet Bob
    berated, insulted and jeered at them when they tried
    to form an effective movement for common sense gun
    So, Bob Somerby is NOT a good, decent person, and
    on this subject he has really proved it. Beyond that, this
    doesn't make much sense. He seems to be using the
    "mental health" argument on these catastrophes, but
    when gun control advocates suggest we try to restrict
    access to guns by people who have obvious mental
    health issues, the right has no interest. So they kill
    again, and pious Bob laments the shooter but doesn't
    have a word for the victims.
    Then he points out this slaughter doesn't have the
    obvious racial component of the Buffalo murders so.....
    let's talk about race (and by that he means the weaker
    aspects of the LEFT's take on race).
    What a sad, awful person.

  15. "We'd still like to hear from (carefully selected) medical and psychological specialists regarding that question. "

    What does Somerby mean by "carefully selected" medical and psychological specialists? First, that is not the right term for someone who evaluates the mental health of a patient. They are psychiatrists or clinical psychologists. Second, they are not "carefully selected." Their expertise is validated by board certification and licensing.

    In the case of both recent shooters, there had been mental health issues. But that isn't the point. Being mentally ill doesn't necessarily lead to shooting people unless there is also access to guns and a culture that inspires such acts.

    The way Somerby phrases this, it sounds like he wants to carefully select who discusses mental illness so that the story will be told the way he wants to hear it.

  16. "Regarding the rhetoric our own blue tribe brings to these discussions / debates, we still want to review the rhetoric which emerged in the first few days after Buffalo."

    Somerby is still conflating the mainstream media with "our own blue tribe." The media doesn't speak for liberals. Many of them are not particularly liberal themselves. They weren't elected to speak for liberals or Democrats. They are just people with jobs in journalism.

    And, again, Somerby is not himself liberal and when he tries to claim that he is part of the blue tribe, he is not being truthful.

  17. We have the internet now, where disturbed youths find role models for mass killing and are egged on by other disturbed people. The Buffalo shooter was in contact with a group of like-minded internet associates who reviewed his plans. No one turned him in. Rittenhouse is a hero online. So are others who shot up schools and colleges.

    Why have a waiting period to buy a gun? When a psychotic youth is decompensating, he isn't going to wait around until his gun check is done. He will engage in acts that bring him to the attention of mental health professionals and wind up in a psych ward in the hospital before he can get his hands on a gun, if there are delays in place. Same thing with those angry or jealous husbands or the distraught postal workers or fired employees. A cooling off period can prevent the crime and/or enable relatives to get help for the person who is melting down. That saves lives.

    But I see no reason why any 18 year old needs to own any of the kinds of weapons used in these mass shootings. Or older men either. This situation makes no sense.

  18. Why would the Democrats do anything about gun control besides pay it lip service? The entire party is controlled by the military industrial complex and pharmaceutical industriy. Look at their actions, not their words.

  19. No, David. I think Occam's razor says your party of barbaric do-nothing ghouls is bought and paid for by the NRA. They are perfectly fine with the occasional random massacre of children in public schools. You have blood on your hands also.

  20. David in Cal,
    Why can't you pass a background check?

  21. We can't ban guns, because having a legal gun has been part of our system for a long time.
    It's the same reason we can't ban abortions.

  22. 2:30,
    I did that with Republicans and found out they're all bigots.