Sunday, February 27, 2011

Glenn Beck’s Deliberate Breeding of An Army of Psychotics

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The following article is a companion piece to "Freedom Threatened by Glenn Beck's McCarthyesque Malignant Narcissism" also written by Sarah Jones and also edited to exclude Governor Palin in the description. Sarah brings her wide-ranging background of personal and professional experience to PoliticusUSA, which she joined in February of 2009. Along with her life long interest in feminism and social justice, Sarah has a background in TV/Film (TV host, news anchor, producer & writer) and has written and produced award winning documentaries. Sarah is PoliticusUSA's resident Palin analyst and a contributing author of the upcoming book "Palin's America: God, Guns & Greed," available through Barnes and Noble this April, 2011. Sarah graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a double major in Psychology and Latin. This article was also originally published on PoliticusUSA. It was edited with permission of the author to focus on Glenn Beck, to exclude Sarah Palin and to add at the end a few comments by some of Beck's followers from Glenn Beck dot com and The Blaze dot com to reinforce the argument that, yes, ....

Glenn Beck is Deliberately Breeding of An Army of Psychotics

Listening to the media pushed along by the Right wing’s insistence that Jared Loughner was a “madman” so hence his massacre had nothing to do with politics or right wing violent rhetoric is mind-boggling. One of the biggest indicators of psychosis is the belief that the people on TV and radio have a personal message just for you. And that means that violent paranoia spewed by Glenn Beck ... reaches the ears of the psychotic and explodes into a personal message, sometimes taken as directions even.
gifted, convincing and manipulative propagandist
The person suffering from the mental illness need not be political in order to get the message so carefully wrapped in layers of paranoia and fear. Jared Loughner’s YouTube videos were classic indicators of psychosis with his obsessions over grammar, mind control, currency, paranoia about “them” (government in this case) God, and other bizarre obsessions. Does this exonerate [Glenn Beck]?
Explaining psychosis in layman’s terms:
Sometimes however, we can’t dismiss an idea or thought, we think about it all the time and find it distressing. When these beliefs are something beyond what people believe normally, such as the belief that our actions might be controlled by an implant, or the idea that people on the television or radio might be sending us personal messages, then we often call these psychotic beliefs or ‘delusions’.
In reality it’s difficult to work out what the cut off is between a ‘normal’ belief and a ‘delusional’ belief as there is no clear divide. Usually how much you believe something, how much it seems based on reality, the level of distress and how much you think about it are used to decide whether there’s a problem or not.
Examples of common psychotic beliefs or delusions:
• Thoughts are being interfered with, this may include having thoughts put into your head or taken away.
• That other people know what you’re thinking.
• That people are out to get you (paranoia).
• Personal messages are being sent via the television, radio or through newspapers or magazines.
• That you are the centre of a conspiracy.
• People are constantly watching you and might be recording what you do or say.
• That you have an implant in your head or body.
• That people are not who they say they are (such as your parents, who are actually imposters)
• That you are someone special e.g. Jesus, the Anti-Christ, a celebrity (or related to one), have unrecognised brilliance, special powers or gifts etc.
Interestingly, people who are psychotic are not inherently violent toward others, however substance abuse significantly raises the rate of violence in people with schizophrenia — but also in people who do not have any mental illness. So how does this play into the notion that these psychotic madmen go around shooting people but are not influenced by their culture? It doesn’t.
A specific form of psychosis is schizophrenia (though it should be noted that labels such as schizophrenia are utilized for diagnostic purposes and often over-used when they become the mental illness du jour; still the symptoms are real and hence the label of the illness is simply a way to distinguish the symptoms from other mental illnesses).
Positive Symptoms of Schizophrenia:
Delusions are firmly held erroneous beliefs due to distortions or exaggerations of reasoning and/or misinterpretations of perceptions or experiences. Delusions of being followed or watched are common, as are beliefs that comments, radio or TV programs, etc., are directing special messages directly to him/her.
And again, reiterated always with the reference to hearing things on TV or radio that are interpreted as special messages:
Delusions are false beliefs that are not part of the person’s culture and do not change. The person believes delusions even after other people prove that the beliefs are not true or logical. People with schizophrenia can have delusions that seem bizarre, such as believing … that people on television are directing special messages to them…
To suggest that delusions are things that are not a part of our culture suggests that the belief is at odds with reality – but sadly, in our case, Glenn Beck is allowed to preach delusions to his audience every day. He preaches demonstrably false delusions about progressives being violent and out to get the Right, about the government coming to take all of his audience’s freedoms away, about currency, about Obama being like Hitler, and more.  ...Beck ... regularly implement[s] rhetoric such as ‘socialism’ and ‘communism’ — dog whistle language for white supremacists about Jews and “others” taking over the country.
None of these things has a basis in reality and as such, is not opinion but delusion.
Allowing Glenn Beck to sell his delusions as reality every day on Fox News mainstreams these ideas until they are a seemingly legitimate belief system in a certain subset of the culture. 
Glenn Beck hardly exists in a vacuum. His words get repeated, his beliefs seep into the broader culture often unchallenged – and so what we have in effect is a subset of people who would have one of the largest symptoms of psychosis because they believe things that are themselves demonstrably false. At this point, his rhetoric has become dangerous.
Now, among this subset of people who believe Glenn Beck is telling them the truth, or who hear of his ideas as they permeate the culture at large and to whom they ring somewhat true or for whom the ideas feed an already existing paranoia and subsequent break with reality, we have waiting in the dark someone who is suffering from the number one symptom of psychosis – that is, he believes the people on TV and the radio are talking to him and have a secret message just for him, like Beck telling his audience to just “shoot them.”
Although sadly, Beck achieved his mission long before that direct statement – for he is constantly warning his audience about how progressives, liberals and Obama are coming for them. He is the match to the psychotic’s already existing paranoia and he ... is also then the special message.
If you pair that symptom up with the wide-spread pollution of paranoia carefully tended to by Beck ..., a dangerous marriage of psychosis with a carefully aimed persecution complex combine to form the special message for the already psychotic.
Glenn Beck has created a subset of people who are now broken from reality – these are people with whom their family can no longer discuss politics because they are not operating within the confines of this culture. They are in their own special group, a culture defined by paranoia and a belief that everyone else is lying to them. Within this group, or even on the fringes of this group, are people who are already not mentally fit. They are ripe pickings for the paranoia Beck sells. [Emphasis added]
So whether a person like the liberal church shooter read Beck (he did) and was a fan of Palin (he was), or the Tides shooter listened to Beck (he did),... or the Pittsburgh cop killer had just uploaded a Beck video (he had), or perhaps just heard Beck in their living room every night in the background or perhaps their father was a Beck fan and railed about Beck’s paranoid beliefs over the dinner table or perhaps he overheard others repeating Beck’s distortions of reality over the water cooler at work – he need not have a direct connection to Beck in order to be influenced by Beck’s deliberate breeding of psychosis as defined by a break with reality.
In all of these ways, claims that because the shooter was a “madman” exonerate Glenn Beck ... are exceptionally disingenuous. Beck ... speaks to the already at risk, stoking the paranoia and fear each and every day, deliberately and with malice. [He is] actually breeding armies of mentally disturbed people who are no longer in touch with reality. This is very dangerous. Then, with words about “taking them out”... and relentless messages of imminent danger at the hands of these enemies, Beck ... [has] lit the match under the already psychotic and in some cases, actually caused the break with reality that brought about the psychosis.
It’s completely dishonest to suggest that Beck ... exists in a vacuum wherein [his] words never reach the mentally ill....
Beck's ... words do matter, they have taken root in the culture, and as such, they have created a subset of people who are not dealing with reality. When you add their violent, irresponsible rhetoric to this mix, you will eventually get violence by their foot soldiers.
It is inevitable, it is predictable, and it is reprehensible.
When the next shooter goes off, having spewed the exact right wing, white supremacist, and anti-government paranoia as repeatedly sold by ... Glenn Beck..., must we be sure to immediately protect those who will be blamed? Is it more important that they not be held falsely accountable or get their feelings hurt than that we have a civil society that operates in reality? The fact that we, as reflected by the mainstream media, have chosen to value ... Glenn Beck’s feelings over reality and over a civilized society is distressing and alarming. No one is suggesting that they pulled the trigger. But their incendiary rhetoric is a contributing factor and this cannot be denied.
Just how many more lone gunman — “bad apples” — would you say they have left in their deliberately created culture of the delusional?
How "psychotic" are some of Beck's followers? From Glenn Beck dot com last week is this gem from "helennanney:" I mentioned the millitary may have to take over while we make the necessary change to another leader. WHY: because Obama has already signed on with the UN for them to police our streets, and he is in bed with the moslem brotherhood and the unions to stir up the mobs. We do not want a blood bath on our shores. The millitary we have are true Americans and can stop a blood bath, and protect our people along with the police, until a change is made. IKe was one of our best Presidents. He was a faithful American, and an ex general.
"iamroar76" posted thisWe have also become a nation of nothing but TALK, TALK, TALK and it is, past the time, that we ALL, find what we can DO, DO, DO (NOW), to save this country. Maybe we all have a little bit of G.W.s Liberty Spirit, sleeping in our souls, and if we keep waiting for someone else to fight our fight, than this country is surely lost.
NOBODY CAN STEP ON YOU... IF YOU STAND-UP... AND... 'NOBODY'... CAN TAKE "LIBERTY'S AMERICA" if "WE THE PEOPLE"... awaken our souls... AND STAND UP AND FIGHT!!!  1. Start: by using the internet--- to find out how to dismiss, impeach, arrest...whatever it takes, to get these crooks out of Washington and into jail, where they belong. American citizens are going to have to do this, because elected officials are all afraid to touch this.  2. Do SOMETHING today!

Townybill made this comment: "I think Trumka and Stern have been in the White House more times then Obama himself."

From Beck's "News" site, The Blaze dot com comes this comment on a story about Professor Francis Fox Piven by "kickillegalsout:" "The progressive scum doesn’t have many places to hide anymore now that we have put the light on them they are having to come out of the shadows and show who they are and once they do the American people can see how these people are nothing more than traitors to this country and a danger to society! Maybe soon she will be fired from her political science and sociology position at CUNY Graduate Center! We don’t need radical revolutionaries brainwashing our kids!"
Texascommonsense added on the same story about Piven: "I would be in favor of pouring 100 year-old Kentucky whiskey on her if it would get rid of this hag. It would truly be a waste of great distilled spirit, but it would certainly be worth the cost."
Also on the same article about Piven at is this from "HistoryGuy48" posted with no intended irony: "This marxist is a bitter woman. Her whole life she has worked to “give” the dumb American citizens a wonderful, golorious marxist system of government. After all the years of “educating” students to become idiots (marxists), all the speeches, etc, we dummies still aren’t buying their nonsense.
Shame on us! We should be burning down cities, blowing up whatever rioting, etc. because, by now, we cattle should believe in what they are selling. The problem is that while perhaps 25% are cattle (we all run into the idiots every day), 75% are not cattle. Of that total, some are “useful idiots” and the rest of us actually have some idea of history and realize that what they are selling is truely THE BIG LIE."
Before more people are rendered "psychotic" by Beck's manipulative propaganda, 
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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sometimes criticizing Beck is best left to the professionals

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Earlier this week the Administration announced that its Dept. of Justice was not going to defend legal challenges to section three of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court. Needless to say, Glenn Beck reacted to that with his ignorance and hypocrisy. The following is MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell's "rewrite" of Beck's and Newt Gingrich's criticism of Obama's decision and then research from Media Matters for America showing that the decision was legal, Constitutional and in accordance with a precedent dating back to President Jefferson.

Glenn Beck Dubiously Suggests Obama's DOMA Decision Is Unlawful

Beck: Obama "Thinks He Can Literally Do Anything He Wants Whether He Has A Legal Way To Accomplish It Or Not." From Glenn Beck's radio show:
BECK: Talk about fundamental transformation for a minute. The Obama administration will no longer enforce DOGMA [sic], the Defense of Marriage Act. A lot of people are making this about gay marriage, which it is not. This is about a president who is just willy-nilly picking the laws that he likes and doesn't like. It's an end run around the Senate, the House, and even the previous Democratic president. This guy thinks he can literally do anything he wants whether he has a legal way to accomplish it or not, and it is frightening. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program2/24/11]

President, DOJ Have Authority To Choose Not To Enforce Unconstitutional Statutes

1994 DOJ Memo Outlines "Circumstances In Which The President May Appropriately Decline To Enforce A Statute That He Views As Unconstitutional." From a 1994 Department of Justice memo, written by then-Assistant Attorney General Walter Dellinger, titled "Presidential Authority To Decline To Execute Unconstitutional Statutes":
I have reflected further on the difficult questions surrounding a President's decision to decline to execute statutory provisions that the President believes are unconstitutional, and I have a few thoughts to share with you. Let me start with a general proposition that I believe to be uncontroversial: there are circumstances in which the President may appropriately decline to enforce a statute that he views as unconstitutional.
First, there is significant judicial approval of this proposition. Most notable is the Court's decision inMyers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52 (1926). There the Court sustained the President's view that the statute at issue was unconstitutional without any member of the Court suggesting that the President had acted improperly in refusing to abide by the statute. More recently, in Freytag v. Commissioner, 501 U.S. 868 (1991), all four of the Justices who addressed the issue agreed that the President has "the power to veto encroaching laws . . . or even to disregard them when they are unconstitutional."Id. at 906 (Scalia, J., concurring); see also Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579, 635-38 (1952) (Jackson, J., concurring) (recognizing existence of President's authority to act contrary to a statutory command).
Second, consistent and substantial executive practice also confirms this general proposition. Opinions dating to at least 1860 assert the President's authority to decline to effectuate enactments that the President views as unconstitutional. See, e.g., Memorial of Captain Meigs, 9 Op. Att'y Gen. 462, 469-70 (1860) (asserting that the President need not enforce a statute purporting to appoint an officer); see also annotations of attached Attorney General and Office of Legal Counsel opinions. Moreover, as we discuss more fully below, numerous Presidents have provided advance notice of their intention not to enforce specific statutory requirements that they have viewed as unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court has implicitly endorsed this practice. See INS v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919, 942 n.13 (1983) (noting that Presidents often sign legislation containing constitutionally objectionable provisions and indicate that they will not comply with those provisions).
While the general proposition that in some situations the President may decline to enforce unconstitutional statutes is unassailable, it does not offer sufficient guidance as to the appropriate course in specific circumstances. [, 11/2/94]
Legal Scholar Prakash: "The President's Duty To Preserve, Protect, And Defend The Constitution Requires The President To Disregard Unconstitutional Statutes." From a paper by University of Virginia Law School professor Saikrishna Prakash, published in the Georgetown Law Journal:
Recent Presidents have claimed a power to disregard statutes that they deem unconstitutional, prompting critics to make an array of arguments against these assertions. As a matter of text, the Faithful Execution Clause supposedly bars such non-enforcement. As a matter of history, the English Parliament specifically prohibited a royal discretionary power to disregard statutes. Moreover, American Presidents did not exercise a power to disregard unconstitutional laws until almost a century after the Constitution's creation. Taken together, these arguments are said to refute the regal pretensions of modern Presidents. This Article serves as an antidote to such claims, while sharpening our understanding of the proper Executive Branch stance towards unconstitutional statutes. The critics are correct in supposing that the President lacks a discretionary power to disregard unconstitutional statutes; instead, the Constitution is best read as obliging the President to disregard statutes he regards as unconstitutional. First, the Constitution never empowers the President to enforce unconstitutional statutes. He no more has the power to enforce such statutes than he has power to enforce the statutes of Georgia or Germany. Second, the President's duty to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution requires the President to disregard unconstitutional statutes. When the President enforces a statute he regards as unconstitutional, he violates the Constitution no less than if he were to imprison citizens without hope of trial. Third, the Faithful Execution Clause requires the President to choose the Constitution over unconstitutional laws, in the same way that courts must choose the former over the latter. Consistent with these understandings, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson argued that executives could not enforce unconstitutional laws. Indeed, President Jefferson halted Sedition Act prosecutions on grounds that the Act was unconstitutional. According to Jefferson, his duty to defend the Constitution barred him from executing measures that violated it. [Georgetown Law Journal6/08]

Precedent Traces Back To Thomas Jefferson

Prakash: Thomas Jefferson Was The First President To Refuse Enforcement Of An Unconstitutional Statute. From Prakash's Georgetown Law Journal paper:
As a matter of history, Thomas Jefferson was the first President who felt compelled to cease enforcement of a statute he regarded as unconstitutional. Believing that the Sedition Act was unconstitutional, Jefferson ordered his prosecutors to cease all existing Sedition Act prosecutions. Jefferson felt constitutionally obliged to arrest the execution of unconstitutional laws. He also concluded that his Faithful Execution duty did not extend to unconstitutional laws because the latter were null and void. He was confident in his conclusions, believing there was "no weak part in any of these positions or inferences." [Georgetown Law Journal, 6/08
George H.W. Bush Administration Chose Not To Defend "Must-Carry" Measures. According to the Los Angeles Times:
In an unusual move, the U.S. Justice Department has decided not to defend the government against lawsuits seeking to strike down a provision of the recently passed cable re-regulation law that allows local broadcast stations to demand that their programs be carried on cable systems.
In a two-page letter sent to Vice President Dan Quayle on Wednesday, Assistant Atty. Gen. Stuart M. Gerson said similar "must-carry" measures have been struck down twice by the courts. In addition, he wrote that President Bush, who opposed the cable measure, is the "ultimate client" of the Justice Department and thus an "ethical conflict of interest would be created were the department now to defend these actions of the statute." [Los Angeles Times11/6/92]
Clinton Administration Refused To Defend Amendment Requiring Dismissal Of HIV-Positive Troops.According to a press briefing by then-White House counsel Jack Quinn:
QUINN: As Mike indicated, we anticipate that tomorrow the President will sign the Department of Defense Authorization bill. As you also know, the President's indicated previously that there's a provision in that bill that he finds completely abhorrent and offensive -- the Dornan Amendment, which would require the Armed Forces to toss out of the military everyone who is HIV positive, no matter what the cause of that affliction, and despite the fact that these people are physically and medically able to perform their military duties.
This provision of the bill, in the President's judgment, is mean-spirited and serves no purpose other than to punish people who deserve this government's help, not its hatred.
The President's response to this provision is three parts. First, we will vigorously support the Kennedy-Cohen legislation which we anticipate will soon be introduced to repeal the Dornan Amendment. The President calls upon Congress to act swiftly on this legislation and pass it.
The second, the President has determined that this provision is unconstitutional. He's, therefore, directed the Attorney General not to defend it in court. The President has been informed in this regard by the Department of Defense that in its judgment the Dornan Amendment serves no legitimate military purpose; that it is arbitrary, unwarranted, and unwise. [Clinton Presidential Center,2/9/96]
George W. Bush DOJ Opted Not To Defend Federal Statute That Prohibited Federal Money For Transit Systems That Accepted Ads Advocating Legalization Of Drugs. According to Congressional Quarterly:
The Justice Department will not defend a legislative provision that withholds federal money from transit systems that accept ads advocating the relaxation of drug laws.
The language, inserted into the fiscal 2004 appropriations omnibus (PL 108-199) by Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Okla., chairman of the Transportation-Treasury Appropriations Subcommittee, decreed that any local transit authority that ran ads advocating the legalization of drugs would forfeit any money extended through the omnibus.
Acting Solicitor General Paul Clement told the Senate legal counsel in December that the Justice Department would not appeal Friedman's decision, which had held "under well-established Supreme Court precedent [that] the funding condition amounted to viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment," and that "the government does not have a viable argument to advance in the statute's defense." [Congressional Quarterly, 1/26/05, via Nexis]
Under Acting Solicitor General John Roberts, DOJ Declined To Defend Federal Statute Encouraging Minority Ownership Of Broadcast Stations. According to a post written by former Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Georgetown University professor Marty Lederman:
The Washington Post reports today that John Roberts was the point person in the Office of the Solicitor General in 1990 when that office decided not to defend the constitutionality of federal statutes that required minority preferences in broadcast licensing. (In fact, Roberts was the Acting Solicitor General for purposes of the case, because SG Starr had a conflict.) The case in question was Metro Broadcasting v. FCC, and it raised very interesting questions about the circumstances under which the Department of Justice will refrain from defending the constitutionality of federal statutes.
The FCC Commissioners and General Counsel unanimously urged the Department to defend the statutes as well, emphasizing that the U.S. Court of Appeals had upheld the central policy and that "there is a solid foundation in the Supreme Court's precedents for the government to argue that the FCC's policies are constitutional." But, as the Post story today reports, a memo in the files of Associate White House Counsel Fred Nelson (see the back page of this) reveals that Roberts was "[r]eluctant to defend [the] commission's position." In the Supreme Court, the Department of Justice not only did not defend the federal statutes -- it urged the Court to declare them unconstitutional. Acting Solicitor General Roberts, appearing on behalf of the United States as amicus curiae, argued that insofar as the federal statutes required the FCC to continue its preference policies, they were unconstitutional. The Acting SG's amicus brief went further still: It urged the court to reject the deference to Congress suggested in Fullilove, and to apply strict scrutiny to federal affirmative action programs (a position that would, of course, restrict Congress's future legislative prerogatives -- i.e., that would substantially limit federal power). [Balkinization, 9/8/05] 
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