Murder is only killing without a license.

William Rivers Pitt referred to these present times as the age of the Wrath of Fools.

The gentleman's sure got a point.

Back in the days, whether a prospective target was to be strangled and left in the city dump as an example, punctured through the ear with an ice pick to mimic a natural cerebral hemorrhage, smashed in the face with a baseball bat for effect, shot and robbed at home to appear as "street crime" or gunned down at a public rally, hundreds of professionals with the expertise to carry it off smoothly were available.

But these were gentler times.

Assassination is best left to the professionals.

Or so say they:

Murder is only killing without a license.

So says Sun Tzu. And Machiavelli.

And Bush.

And Obama.

Birds of a feather?

How incongruous and what a strange idea.


  1. In his classic book, The Sane Society, published in 1955, psychologist Erich Fromm proposed that, not just individuals, but entire societies "may be lacking in sanity". Fromm argued that one of the most deceptive features of social life involves consensual validation:

    "It is naively assumed that the fact that the majority of people share certain ideas or feelings proves the validity of these ideas and feelings. Nothing is further from the truth... The fact that millions of people share the same vices does not make these vices virtues, the fact that they share so many errors does not make the errors to be truths, and the fact that millions of people share the same form of mental pathology does not make these people sane."

  2. How can anyone deny what Fromm says? Societies do collectively go insane, and frequently.

    Was the Cold War sanity? Some of you here on this site may not be old enough to remember the red scares and paranoia the likes of Joe McCarthy and others enflamed.

    What was the deep south during Jim Crow? Was segregation sanity? Was the violence southern whites resorted to to enshrine Jim Crow sanity?

    George Bush kicked us off on a whole new wave of collective insanity what with his wars and fundamentalist Christian padding of the federal government. And we're still living with all that.

    I think, however, Loughner was a loner who probably would have acted out his delusions in any environment. But we know now that he picked up some of the paranoid rhetoric of the far right. (As Pitt tells us.) Which in a way is irrelevant, since the atmosphere the far right has created is violent and sick on its own merits.

    Of course, those responsible for creating this environment (even if "sane people know that when Palin put crosshairs on a politician's forehead she really didn't mean it.") are behaving now like the little kid Pitt described who ran through the house and denies breaking the lamp. A nice analogy.

  3. "There is but an inch of difference between the cushioned chamber and the padded cell."
    - Gilbert Keith Chesterton

  4. There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza, there's a hole in the bucket.