Monday, March 8, 2010

J Patrick Bedell, More Blowback?

A thirty six year old man decided to commit suicide on March 4th, 2010. His name was John Patrick Bedell. Perhaps he didn't make that decision consciously, no one can be certain what he was thinking as he acted out the last moments of his life, but regardless his death was the inevitable outcome of the actions he decided to take that day. From what I've heard, he had a history of mental illness. His actions certainly bore that out. It doesn't take an Einstein to realize this man was disturbed. Still, exactly why he decided to take the actions he did, exactly why he decided to embark on a suicide mission in which he takes on the much more powerful forces of the US military complex will likely remain a mystery.

There seems to be something troubling happening in this country. People are angry. They are so angry that people who would otherwise live out their lives out as productive members of society are behaving in surprising ways. Stress does that to people. Stress will cause unpredictable behavior. Stress will act upon the mentally ill in an even more unpredictable way. Yet many in the mainstream media don't seem to want to address that. They seem to believe that other factors are causing such despair in people that they see no other option than to carry out some strange suicide attack in the hope they will make some arcane statement. Media personalities ask the wrong questions and explore the wrong avenues as they proffer their ideas as to why these things happen. Perhaps they should ask what caused these people such stress in their lives. It's almost as if they are purposely avoiding an honest look at the situation.

The first thing the media focused on was that this man smoked pot. Oh? You mean like so many tens of millions of others in this country? The insinuation was that smoking pot makes one a crazy, lunatic murderer. At least, that was the gist I got. So, let's think about this. Tell me, how many of you smoke pot on a regular basis? Even if you don't smoke on a regular basis, how many of you have tried it? Did it turn you into a crazed lunatic? How many of you know someone who smokes on a regular basis? Or even just once in a while? How many of them are crazed killers? We've seen this propaganda before. In the thirties movie “Reefer Madness” marijuana smoking is portrayed as something that causes people to play the piano fast and commit murders. It was cartoonish in its absurdity and I wonder how many people even back then could see through the propaganda. I think I can safely say that if marijuana smoking alone caused people to commit murder the population of the US, indeed of the world, would be significantly reduced.

Linking this man's marijuana smoking with murder is disingenuous unless one takes into account that perhaps he was angry that the federal government enforcement agencies continue to raid state legal medical marijuana clinics despite a promise to the contrary. Linking marijuana smoking in general to such behavior labels the vast majority of the population as crazed violent radicals. Polls show that a huge majority of people in the US favor seeing medical marijuana legalized and yet the political power elite struggle to loosen its grip on even that much power. Not very democratic of them now, is it? These people need a way to reverse the public sentiment and so – in their desperation – they use the desperate act of a desperate man to demonize marijuana to try to maintain the status quo.

As time passed, they changed their story a little, perhaps because they realized how ridiculous they sounded to most people, and claimed that Mr. Bedell was trying to medicate his bipolar disorder with marijuana. This might be true, but was this man taking other medications? They say he refused his medication, but had he taken it in the past? Is it possible that the psych meds themselves had something to do with his final act? After all, it has been shown that most people who end up engaging in a mass shootings are on some kind of anti-depressant. Do the anti-depressants themselves have something to do with this behavior? Perhaps they stop working after a time. Or perhaps it just makes sense that someone with a mental illness might end up shooting up the place no matter how he medicates himself. Perhaps the fact that he suffered from such a disorder in and of itself is all that we need to know about him and why he did what he did.

Yet the mass media insists on linking him with pot smoking and other movements. They link him with the 9/11 truth movement. They link him with anti-government groups. They link him with anti-Bush groups. They link him with being a Democrat. They link him with whichever group they want to demonize. This guy was a lone wolf with big problems. He was evidently under a lot of stress and he decided to deal with it in a crazy manner. Was it in fact the restrictions and regulations imposed by the government that caused him such stress? Was it their policies he was striking against? There's no doubt that government, with its taxes, fees, fines and laws defining victimless crimes creates a great deal of stress. Just ask any small business man how intrusive, abusive and obtrusive government is with all its regulations and restrictions. Since he's dead, we may never know for certain exactly what was going through his head. In any case, punishing a group or a group of groups for the actions of a single person is just plain wrong. It was wrong when we were in school and it's wrong now.

I don't advocate violence. In fact, I believe that in order to achieve peace we must be peaceful. How can you achieve a peaceful society through violence? It makes no sense. In the case of government, it is questionable as to how effective even the act of self defense is. Their propaganda arm will quickly turn anyone who resists violence with violence into a terrorist or some other form of evil person. I believe that the vast majority of the common folk would agree with me. If the common folk remain peaceful and continue to protest in a peaceful manner, then the government will be forced to expose their own violent tendencies for all the world to see, as happened in Pittsburgh at the g20 summit last year.

Those at the top, however, the corporate power elite, make a profit through violence. The military/industrial complex, the prison/industrial complex and the security/industrial complex all make billions if not trillions through violence. They advocate for wars. They advocate for laws creating victimless crimes. They advocate for laws allowing for the violation of human rights. It is in part their greed and intrusiveness into the lives of ordinary people that cause such stress in our society. It is inevitable that their unjustifiable policies and actions will cause blowback and they know it, yet they continue to act surprised when it happens and they use their compliant media and the actions of crazy individuals to demonize ordinary people and continue the policies which bring them profits.

It's disturbing to me that these events happen at this particular time. It's disturbing that they happen just as certain movements are gaining in popularity. It's disturbing that such events happen as more people are waking up and discovering the principles of freedom and liberty. I don't like to sound paranoid, but it sure is coincidental that these events occur just when certain interests need some event to provide an excuse for introducing and extending policies which increase and assert their already over bearing controls. These control freaks are introducing a bill which will give the power elite the opportunity to shut down the Internet whenever they feel there is a threat. They are introducing legislation which would allow the US military to arrest political dissenters, just like they used to do in the USSR, label them belligerents and try them in a military court of law rather than a common law court. Fortunately, they still seem to need, or at least want, public support to pass these bills and it appears as if they are using the bizarre suicide attacks of the last couple of weeks to garner such support.

Sometimes paranoia is good. It's not crazy to be paranoid if someone is really after you. But violence is not going to help against government force. Even if they are after the common folk and they initiate the violence, it is likely not a good idea to even retaliate. It is, however, important that we speak out against such violence. It is important that we shine a light on the reality of the nature of our government. It appears to me that what the power elite is afraid of is the truth. It appears as if they are truly trying to subtly turn this nation into a communist regime. Let's hope they don't get more overt about it. They wish to crush free speech, silence all who would disagree with them and control all information reaching the general public just like the world's other current communist regimes. It is important that we let the power elite know that this is unacceptable. It is important to let them know in no uncertain terms that we demand they adhere to their oaths, respect our God given rights and stop creating laws designed to violate said rights. It is more imperative than ever that we as a society engage in civil disobedience, simply refuse to go along with such schemes, or do whatever can be done to ensure our liberties, otherwise the American dream and the principles upon which it was built will fade into the ethers of time.

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