Crooks and Liars posted new details about the right-wing psychopath who gunned down three police officers in Pittsburgh:

Thanks to some sleuth work on the Internet, we’re starting to learn more about Richard Poplawski, the 23-year-old who killed three police officers yesterday in Pittsburgh, evidently out of fear that his guns were going to be taken away.

thumb_mediumPoplawski2_a899a.JPGIt appears that what police may be looking at is a budding white supremacist who frequented one of the most popular neo-Nazi websites and harbored an apocalyptic dread of the federal government…

[T]he Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has some corroboration from other sources that indicates he fits this profile:

Richard Andrew “Pop” Poplawski’s ex-girlfriend said he dragged her by the hair and threatened to shoot her.

He slept with a gun under his pillow in a basement room filled with firearms and ammunition, convinced that Jews controlled the media and President Obama was scheming to take away his arsenal, friends and relatives said Saturday.

“He was a violent, abusive man. He dragged me by the hair, pulling me across the floor. I saw him choke his own mother. He was controlling,” said Melissa Gladish, 23, of Verona, his former girlfriend who received a protection from abuse order against him in 2005. She said she had no doubt he would kill someone.

I can’t begin to tell you how frightened this makes me. The radical right wingers that were so prevalent during the Clinton administration went dormant during the Bush years. Now that Obama is in office, and irresponsible sociopaths like Michelle Malkin, Glenn Beck and Rep. Michele Bachmann are recklessly stoking the fires of paranoid rightwing victimization, I fear we will face countless tragedies like what just went on in Pittsburgh.

When liberal radicals get upset, they engage in protests and damage property, like the nonsense you saw outside the G-20 summit.

When right wing radicals get upset, they either shoot lots of people and or blow up a building with lots of people in it (see, e.g., the FBI building in Oklahoma City).

As Tim F. at Balloon Juice opines:

How is that “orderly revolution” going, Michelle? How about that laundry soap rebellion, Erick? This is what Glenn Beck’s citizen army looks like. People like Michelle Malkin fantasize about citizens rising up against the (Democratic) state. They stoke their followers’ paranoia with bullshit that, mostly, they know is bullshit, for ratings and a shot at political traction. Did they expect the American revolution?

In response to John’s famous Peak Wingnut post I pointed out that political irrelevance will hardly stifle rightwing victimology but feed it like CO2, manure and sunlight. I tend to call the relevant phenomenon ‘toxic victim syndrome’, or TVS. The feeling that one is a powerless victim has a corrosive psychological effect. It exempts self-appointed victims from normal moral standards. It justifies (in one’s own mind) an endless list of behaviors that an ordinary person would never consider.

How many people have to die before the right-wing media acknowledges their complicity in these kinds of attacks and voluntarily dials back their inflammatory rhetoric and incitements to violence?

Sadly, I think it’s going to take a long time for that to happen — and a lot more innocent people are going to die in the interim. I guess this is what “America First” means for the radical right under an Obama presidency.

For the final word, here’s John Cole:

And, of course, when you point out that certain individuals with all their talk about “revolution” and “armed insurrection” are inciting this kind of behavior in unstable people, you will get howls of protest about the 1st Amendment and what not. Sure, crazy people do crazy things. But that doesn’t make it responsible to encourage them, which is what a lot of really foolish people are doing right now for purely political reasons.

Update: One more final word from Andrew Sullivan:

Many of us have worried that the heated, apocalyptic rhetoric of the anti-Obama forces might spill over at some point into violence in the hands of individuals prone to lashing out. We now have what seems to be a clear instance of that and three dead police officers. One wonders whether Fox News or the Second Amendment fanatics will chill it out a little. And then one realizes who we’re talking about.

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  1. vjack says:

    More domestic terrorism I see. America seemed to forget all about the Tim McVeighs right here at home when 9/11 happened. Again we see that right-wing hate has consequences.

    • Metavirus says:

      yep. i've talked to a few people about this today and none of them had heard about his rightwing paranoia about Obama taking his guns. i hope people actually take this threat seriously. i hope it won't take another Oklahoma City before people sit up and realize what's going on.

  2. Kevin says:

    we gotta keep an eye out for jerome corsi's friends…its even more saddening that lou dobbs will probably find a way to make this story about "protecting gun rights", like more bullets in the air will be a good thing…the right wing non sense just goes in circles

    • Metavirus says:

      its really quite sad but we will probably never see another push to responsibly regulate gun ownership (e.g. assault weapons ban) because (a) the GOP has made the issue so reflexively toxic and (b) the lunatic right now has the country hostage with threats of another ruby ridge if the government does anything that scares them. whatever happened to a "well-regulated" militia?

  3. Captain America says:

    Misinformation is everywhere, left sites, right sites, progressive and regressive sites. This might sound weird, but like all of the other lies and obfuscation that surround just about everything involving Oklahoma City, (not EVEN gonna start with 9/11, okay?), I actually happen to remember what the news media told us that day, (MULTIPLE BOMBS INSIDE THE BUILDING FBI OFFICIAL SPOKESMAN TELLS PRESS THAT SEVERAL DID NOT GO OFF AND HAD TO BE DISARMED AND REMOVED BEFORE RESCUE OPS COULD BEGIN—NONE OF THE 17 EMPLOYEES OR AGENTS IN THE ATF OFFICE SHOWED UP FOR WORK ON THE DAY OF THE BLAST-A CONSERVATIVE JUDGE RECEIVED A WARNING NOT TO GO TO WORK THAT DAY 5 DAYS PRIOR TO THE BLAST),

  4. Captain America says:

    (part deux), this, to me at least, is really less important than actually placing McVeigh's actions in the correct context. I thought that he was pissed about what went down at Waco and Ruby Ridge. You know, how the FBI kind of ended up murdering all of those people, (a bunch of kids 26 I think), then they lied about what they, (Janet Reno), did and how they did it. Randy Wheeler and David Koresh are pretty far apart as far as Koresh was a real sicko and Wheeler a right wing nut job. Little is really known about McVeigh but Gore Vidal's essay where he includes a little back and forth with McVeigh is fascinating. That and the fact that only days after McVeigh was executed, it was discovered that the FBI witheld 15,000 pages of evidence regarding McVeigh's case.

  5. Henk says:

    Captain America: It is refreshing to see comments like yours when the discussion is about conspiracy theories. One must distinguish "real" conspiracy theories from the run of the mill conspiracy theories that a lot of amateurs are spouting these days. You sir are a TRUE conspiracy theorist!

  6. Charles says:

    I hate to be so simplistic, but it all boils down to money.

    Neocons are manipulated by fear to stock up on guns and ammo. These attacks are simply a by-product of that process. It always amazes me that the group that calls their opponents "cowards" so often, live their lives in such terror.

  7. Pat W. says:

    This is where the NRA's argument for NO gun control breaks down. They usually try to make it not about the perpretrator HAVING a gun, but about everyone else not being armed, which, they always claim, could have prevented the incident. Here, the police WERE armed. So, what do you think? Maybe just a tad of gun control to keep guns out of the hands of fanatics, radicals, and those who are basically unstable? HMMMM?

    • Schu says:

      My problem with gun control laws, are the fact that they are not enfoced enough. When someone uses a gun, usually an illegal weapon, to comite a crime, often as not, the gun charged is droped, or plea bargened. Usually a gun charge is only used as a harasment charge, and droped later. We do not really need more laws, just enforcement of the current laws.

    • @iquanyin says:

      yay! great point. (can't actually give you a point till i figure out how to log in, lol).

  8. Dr Sardonicus says:

    And I thought George Bush had destroyed the theory of the supremacy of the white race once and for all.

  9. Bumpa says:

    The ubber-right actually freighten me much more than al Qaeda ever has. And that the likes of Beck, Bachman, Malken et al seem to see nothing wrong in egging on violent expression of their warped agendas make them a greater threat to America than bin Laden. The right speak out in all self-righteousness against "terrorism" and use the same tactics. What difference is there in blowing away 3 policemen in Iraq with a car-bomb or 3 policemen here with a handgun? Surely the motive is the same -- to react against a percieved threat. One word that isn't in the right's lexicon: ACCOUNTABILITY. A word I would like to see Beck, Bachman, and all the other rabble-rousers burn into their conscience.

    • bogi666 says:

      Of course they will never believe in accountability. What ever happened to yelling "fire" in a crowded theater is not considered free speech. This lack of accountability and responsibility is fostered by pretend Christianity which institutionalizes the "I'm not responsible,the bogeyman God told me to do it or the bogeyman devil made me do it and I'm not responsible". Throughout history mankind has always conjured up ways to deny responsibility for his conduct and pretend Christianity provides the venue for the"I'm not responsible" doctrine. This doctrine is further institutionalized by the government, businesses and individual using it. Institutionalization gives the doctrine legitimacy.

  10. Clemsy says:

    One possible silver lining that P.M. Carpenter wrote about at Buzzflash, is that this kind of insanity will continue to diminish the validity of the Republican Party to the point where it will just pop like a soap bubble. The rational repubs are moving in with the Reagan Democrats, moving that party further to the right. A sort of binary fission may occur, birthing a REAL progressive party.

    Could happen.

  11. z22124 says:

    I don't see this as left wing / right wing, I see this as building anger by an America that rightfully perceives that it has been screwed royally by both a media that refuses to cover certain issues, and a cabal of financial elite on Wall Street and in our government that use the public's nest egg to take care of their own. That is the crux of the problem.

    People migrating to hate sites and arming themselves is merely the problem manifesting itself. Changing our Bill of Rights to accommodate a problem that should not exist in the first place will only make it worse. What needs done is to strip away the power of the elite and special interest groups. To require only and full public funding of elections would be a very good start. Our country has been hijacked and people are pissed.

    • Metavirus says:

      i totally agree with you on public financing of elections. that would eliminate so many problems. for example, it would take a ton of special interest money out of the campaign coffers. it would also lessen the power of incumbency. it would also lessen the cost of national elections. etc. etc.

    • Clemsy says:

      On the other hand, I was listening to an interview with a gun dealer on NPR yesterday who said some pretty chilling stuff.

      The motive for the interview is the apparent shortage of ammunition in the U.S. at the moment, inpired by the Obama election. This guy is doing 15 to 25 percent more business now than a year ago. Guns are flying out of the store and people are stocking up lifetimes supplies of ammo.


      To protect them from the Obama socialist state.

      There is rational anger here over at the financial elite and Wall Street. But don't confuse that with right wing insanity which, right now, is very well armed indeed.

    • Doug Roberts says:

      I agree that public funding of elections would be a good start. But if there is a problem with corporate control of the media, what's wrong with a publicly funded media? Not government funded- publicly funded. It would have to be a privately operated, publicly funded organization of television, radio, print and interet sites that operates under it's own board with no direct influence from government. Impossible? Not really.

      The Canadian Broadcasting Corpoation operates in just that way. It's not perfect but it's a lot better than what I've seen on ABNBCBSFOX.

      • Metavirus says:

        I believe that we definitely need a strong publicly funded media voice in this country. PBS is ok but nowhere near as powerful as ABCBSNBCFOX

        • z22124 says:

          I agree that publicly funded and publicly run media should be expanded. My own view is that the media was always intended as a fourth rail as a check and balance to all branches of government. Consolidation weakened that mission as it consolidated power into special interests and corporate agendas. It also diluted the competition between print and other media for hard news reporting. Punditry and political agendas replaced the we report you decide.

          There is a developing underlying discontent in the USA, some driven by 24/7 punditry, some by a corrupt political and media system that benefits only a few but fools no one. The answer is fixing the root problem (the system) not the manifestation.

          • Metavirus says:

            "My own view is that the media was always intended as a fourth rail as a check and balance to all branches of government."

            It's too bad that 90% of the media has now simply become a loyal lapdog of the political class in exchange for unprecedented "access" and big paydays.

    • Schu says:

      Very true, too many people have dropped out, claiming that their vote will not make a difference. Some how, we must energize the drooped out into the voting populace. This of course will be a major battle with the conservative segments of the populace, as they fear nothing more than energized voters.

    • @iquanyin says:

      i think that as well. i mean, look at them: poor, often jobless, poorly educated, sometimes even hungry or homeless. and why? for some years now, i've kept having a sense of a sort of french revolution brewing, and for the same reasons. i even reread tale of two cities just because the sense of similarity kept coming to mind (and i like dickens).

  12. Anonymous says:

    Bob Altemeyer's -- The Authoritarians

    Learn the sociopathy associated with the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Cheney, Bush and the rightwingnuts of our society.

    Bob Altemeyer wanted this informative book to be available free to those who want it. Download the eBook here
    the PDF BOOK

  13. Emilio says:

    The people who are benefiting most from this paranoia are the arms makers and dealers. They do not care about the consequences wrought by their industry of death. As long as the bleeding and dying is being done to "those people", there is total indifference to the suffering. As for the right-wing nuts with their large megaphone and enormous echo-chamber; just remember the ultimate fate of your hero, Adolf Hitler. Just keep stoking the fires of hatred, it will ultimately consume you too. There are no free lunches. Evil to they who evil thinks (Honi sois qui malypense.)

  14. Mike Brown says:

    When extreme and thoughtless right-wing elected officials and personalities on radio and TV spout their spurious invective in emotional and provocative rants, it may never occur to them that in their audiences there is apt to be a large, receptive element of unstable, hate-filled human creatures who actually have the capacity to carry out monstrous, even suicidal acts. Some of these people are already at a tipping point and require just a bit more incitement to take the next horrendous step. Whether they be skinheads, neoconfederates, neoNazis, social misfits, or simply mentally ill, the easy availability to them of assault rifles and other automatic weapons presents a huge threat to political figures. Freedom of speech does not extend to yelling "fire" in a public place or inciting to riot. It should not extend to inciting unstable citizens in a TV or radio audience to commit dangerous acts or actively revolt against the government. Beck and his ilk are now crossing that line.

  15. Bill Mac Bean says:

    Everybody knows that half-wits and guns are an often fatal combination, either because of accidents or in the latest incident,a hate-filled rampage by a delusional moron. There will always be weak minded ninnies with us, no matter how much our education systems improve, so relief from the dreadful parade of murder and mahem must come in the form of restricting access to weapons to those who are SOUND OF MINDand RESPONSIBLE. Any type of gun has but one purpose, and that is to KILL something or somebody, and there is far too much of that, already.

  16. Reality says:

    Alex Jones bashed Bush for 8 years…

  17. bogi666 says:

    I live in north Georgia along with the KKK. I was in a small town recently, Tiger Georgia, when I ran across a house with a full size NAZI flag flying on the outside.

    • Metavirus says:

      very sad but not shocking

    • Doug Roberts says:

      It is very sad. Most members of groups like tht are just looking for some way to show that they have a little power over something or someone. As individuals, with little education and not many prospects for a bright future, they feel threatened. I'm not trying to say that their actions are justified. I'm just trying to understand.

      • Metavirus says:

        fear, xenophobia, and paranoia are always "understandable". the fact that the flames are being fanned by mainstream voices in the media right now is also, to a certain extent "understandable" but still highly wrong and inflammatory

        • Schu says:

          Rush and company are only in it for the buck. If you ever studied his marketing system you would understand how he has spread his organization as far as he has. The more extreme his claim, the more people stop and listen to what he has to say. This is yellow journalism at the extreme.

  18. bogi666 says:

    The right wing Fascist militia's,NRA and their chest pounding self proclaiming bravado which only exists in their own puny feeble minds accompanied by large ego's. IT WAS TWO WOMAN FROM CODE PINK that waiting for Rumsfeld and got in Rummy's face calling him a war criminal repeatedly chasing the retreating Rummy around the room until he was rescued by mae security from these two women, Medea Benjamin and her associate. No guns, no bravado, no threats and Rummy was scared shit less. I mean she was right in Rummy's face calling him a war criminal, it was beautiful. No phony threats which is all the right wing nut cases does from afar, just two unarmed women. So much for the empty rhetoric. Of course, this was not played out on the MSM, just Democracy Now.

  19. Schu says:

    Dr. Tilliers assassination simply confirms that rights attitude that we are always right, you are always wrong, and we can kill you to get our way. For we are armed, and willing to kill.

  20. @iquanyin says:

    here's my idea: all jobs pay the same. seriously. president, horse trainer, surgeon, whathave you. don't worry, stuff would get done. people did things before they invented a symbolic system (money) and will continue afterwards. advantages: people will do jobs they are actually drawn to (because they're suited for them), and not be hampered nor corrupted (as much) as they are now. that would include actors, broadcasters, etc. for more sweeping and really sound solutions, i highly recommend reading the tax ideas of henry george (he's a crappy writer, but the ideas…ah). who was he? isadora duncan's father and almost the mayor of new york in that era. he was a keen thinker and observer. had he won for mayor and his ideas been enacted, our world would look quite different today.

  21. […] deliberate fear mongering has had a measurable effect. There has been a chilling rise in right wing hate around the country. President Obama receives an average of 30 death threats per day, a 400% […]

  22. […] […]

  23. […] let’s definitely let all these crazy fuckers keep their gun […]

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