The Death of Personal Responsibility

From Columbine to Wall Street

Susan Klebold, mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the Columbine Shooters, has released an essay that is now widely publicized. It was originally published in O Magazine. In her article, Susan says, “For the rest of my life, I will be haunted by the horror and anguish Dylan caused. I cannot look at a child in a grocery store or on the street without thinking about how my son’s schoolmates spent the last moments of their lives. Dylan changed everything I believed about myself, about God, about family and about love.”

Blogs that responded to the essay contain some interesting comments. Many bloggers blame poor parenting for the shootings. Many others describe a deep sense of compassion for Susan and show a greater level of understanding of the human condition.

Life can be complicated. Dave Pelzer is author of A Child Called It. He has never demonstrated any anti-social behavior. It appears that as a child, he was the victim of extreme abuse.

On the other hand, it appears that Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, had a normal, loving childhood. His brother, David, is a highly respected member of the community. They grew up in the same home. The causes of criminal/ anti-social behavior are complex and not completely understood.

There can be no greater pain than the death of a child, except maybe having a son who kills others and then himself. Susan Klebold is now a member of a very exclusive club of parents and other family members who have suffered that extreme horror. The family of the Virginia Tech Shooter, the mother and brother of the Unabomber, and many others have a loved one who has murdered. They are too often held responsible for the crimes of their loved ones. How much responsibility do these family members have for the actions of the offender? None – they are not to blame. They, too, are innocent victims. Often they had no way of predicting the criminal act. Sometimes, even if the family had recognized warning signs, they still could not have prevented the horrific act. HIPA and other limits in our health care system act as roadblocks to mental health care. The Virginia Tech shooter had a history of counseling for mental health problems. Parents often are not given access to the student’s academic records, let alone health records.

We have morphed into a culture of blame-the-other-guy. I didn’t mean to do it. It was a mistake. The dog ate my homework. My wife doesn’t understand me. My husband doesn’t pay enough attention to me. Buyer beware. My mother didn’t love me enough. My father didn’t talk to me enough. It was just a campaign promise. The media lied to me. Everybody else is doing it. The bad economy made me enlist. I was just following orders.

Wall Street Bankers hoard a large portion of the national wealth and blame it on their compensation boards. Congress has written the legislation that allows such greed. The members of Congress blame the lobbyists. The lobbyists say they are just doing their job. The voters say that they have been misled by the media. The media says that they have to put ratings first. We are witnessing the death of personal responsibility.

Capitalism is a big contributor to the problem; but, voters do not have to vote for capitalists. On my ballot there were eight candidates for president, plus a write-in option. Voting has consequences. Uninformed voting has disastrous consequences. Voters say blame someone else. They say that they do not have time to research the issues. An uninformed voter is dangerous and should stay home on election day. It is better to not vote at all, than to cast an uninformed ballot and cancel the vote of someone who has studied the issues.

The lack of personal responsibility and compassion are blocking real health care reform. We need Reform School for the compassionless. The every-man-for-himself culture was especially evident during the health care town meetings. It was common to hear comments such as, “I am insured – the hell with everybody else”. Raise-the-drawbridge syndrome — I am safe and you don’t count.

A pervasive lack of personal responsibility exists in local and national governments – also as a business model in the corporate world. Decisions are often made by committee in order to distance one from any singular responsibility. Temporary Experts are often hired for the sole purpose of relieving others from the consequences of a decision. Passing the buck has become a national pastime. It’s enough to make one wish for the end of the government system as we know it — to be replaced by a Benevolent Monarchy. No more hiding behind Experts and committee group decisions.

The culture of the Internet is not helping. Bloggers usually prefer anonymity when dropping comments. Why the failure to accept responsibility for the comment left on the blog? The civility of the blogosphere would be greatly improved if everyone gave an honest identification.

The brain is an organ – in some ways like a pancreas or a liver. It is affected by genetics, age, drugs, the environment, electrical currents, illness, and an unknown number of other influences. Where should the line between evil and madness be drawn? And who should make that determination?

Psychiatrists will continue to debate the ability of a patient to make ethical judgments. Philosophers will continue to debate Free Will versus Determinism. Lawyers will continue to argue for the guilt or innocence of the accused; but, the simple fact is that a society which is organized on any principle that does not include personal responsibility will not work.

The bottom line is that everyone must be held responsible for their own actions, and no one should ever be held responsible for the acts of another. What a revolutionary concept.

News reports are filled with senseless acts of violence. Today’s report is about a group of teens who set a 15 year old boy on fire and then laughed as they watched him burn. We must do better. We must find a way to develop empathy and compassion. The teens who set the fire must be held accountable for their act. You and I, as members of society, must be held responsible for the culture of violence that disables the youthful conscience.

Susan Klebold should be held responsible, and maybe praised, for her parenting. She should never be held responsible for the acts of Dylan.

Rosemarie Jackowski is an advocacy journalist living in Vermont. Read other articles by Rosemarie.

33 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Michael Dawson said on October 19th, 2009 at 10:23am #

    Rosemarie likes to blame all of us for the behavior of the world’s most powerful overclass. She pays no attention to things like the impact of the commercial media and the maldistribution of information and education. How she imagines that haranguing people to vote responsibly without accounting for these things is radical, only god knows.

  2. tom ward said on October 19th, 2009 at 1:30pm #

    Perhaps one compassionate act, occurring on the other side of the world, could have cascaded, preventing that horror.

    It is not within the capability of any human mind to understand Columbine, let alone assign responsibility. I can’t help but think that my own opinion is worthless, save that I recognize: I too could have authored such a horror, or have been similarly victimized.

    Susan Klebold bears no responsibility. Neither Dylan. There may be resolution thereof – in a still mind.

  3. Connie said on October 19th, 2009 at 2:36pm #

    Many have come to wonder why this has not been better and/or more adequately addressed.

    Videos of Hate:Columbine killers harbored anti-Christian prejudice
    Columbine killers harbored anti-Christian prejudice.
    By Steve Rabey | posted 2/07/2000 12:00AM

    Related articles and links | 1 of 1

    A combination of simmering rage, resentment of fellow students, and a desire for celebrity spurred Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold to gun down a dozen students and one teacher at Columbine High School in Colorado last April.
    But, according to recently released videotapes the two killers made in the weeks before America’s most deadly high-school shooting, they also shared an intense hostility toward Christianity.

    Their anti-Christian comments did not appear in the controversial 20-page Time magazine cover story in December that reignited debate about the massacre.
    “What would Jesus do?” asks Klebold, yelling and making faces at the camera. “What would I do?” Then he points an imaginary shotgun at the camera, takes aim, and says, “Boosh!”
    “Yeah, ‘I love Jesus. I love Jesus.’ Shut the f—up,” Harris says on the same tape, made on March 15.
    “Go Romans,” Harris says later. “Thank God they crucified that a—hole.” Then the two teenagers both chant, “Go Romans! Go Romans! Yeah! Whoo!”
    Klebold, who reportedly had a crush on Christian student Rachel Scott, singles her out for particular disdain, calling her a “godly whore” and a “stuck-up little b—.”
    Darrell Scott, who says his daughter Rachel was the only victim singled out in the tapes, believes the killers felt a deep antipathy for the things of God: “There seemed to be an extra element of hatred and vengeance there.
    “Scott, a former pastor who has crisscrossed the country speaking to church groups about the spiritual dimensions of the Columbine tragedy, says he and other parents were blindsided by Time’s report on the tapes.

    Only after the article appeared did the sheriff’s office offer parents a chance to see the tapes for themselves. Scott says he could only bear to watch one of the five videos. “To sit there and listen to them use foul language for several hours was more than I could handle.”

    Rachel Scott was a devout Christian who wrote voluminous journals about her spiritual life, including mystical premonitions of her own death.

    “She attended class with Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, she witnessed to them, and she confronted them about the violent videos they were making at the school,” Scott says. “She wasn’t the kind who would wear Christian T-shirts, but she did try to walk her talk.”

    Scott, who says the city of Littleton plans to erect a Columbine memorial “with no religious symbols,” is making plans to create his own memorial to the 13 victims.

    Meanwhile, parents and relatives of some Columbine victims filed suit in October against the Jefferson County School District and its officers. The lawsuit claims that the school unconstitutionally prohibited relatives from using Christian imagery in memorial ceramic tiles that members of the Columbine community were invited to create, and which were to be installed at the school.
    “Only religious symbols and/or religious messages were excluded,” says the suit.
    Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the suit in November, claiming that “religious speech that may be acceptable in other settings is clearly unacceptable in the school setting.”

    The motion for dismissal adds: “had the school not imposed these limitations, the hallways might have been filled with hundreds of crosses and other indicia of religious faith, creating a setting so dominated by religious symbols that it took on the appearance of a parochial school.”

  4. lichen said on October 19th, 2009 at 2:46pm #

    No, it is virtually impossible for someone to commit violence when violence has not been acted out upon them–and generally when they were very young, by the adults in their lives. As someone growing up in the 1950′s, the unabomber obviously would have been beaten at home, beaten at school. Simple research also shows that he was physically bullied by the other children at school as a child, and and subjected to CIA psychological torture tests. He may have had a normal childhood; it is just that the childhood in those days was normally abusive.

    There is nuance to this; while violence does cause violence, child abuse causes anti-social behavior, sexual abuse leads to rape, it can be mitigated. It is not, however, mitigated by personal responsibility or good quality, but rather by whether or not the individual in question had someone in their early life who, unlike the abusers, was able to show them a little bit of genuine love and kindness, thus derailing them from the path of repeating what was done to them. There is also the fact that one can be a “member of the community” and still fucked up; still generally mean-spirited, and suffering in ways that simply doesn’t involve overtly hurting others.

    Bringing up Dave Peltzer is a total copout. He is a moralistic, preachy buffoon, talking the same way you do about personal responsibility and also preaching forgiveness. He is someone that many people use to point at and say “when I read about him, I realized my family was actually fine in beating my body, neglecting me, screaming at me, and presenting a superficial interest; I guess it was all my fault.” I’ve read hundreds of more down to earth stories about how people realized the systemic child abuse that exists in this country.

    Columbine is another ridiculous media spectacle. You might have used stories where we knew more information, as supposed to glossy tabloid ones. Anyone who has read my post thus far, I urge you to read this: the free internet version of Alice Miller’s For Your Own Good; Hidden Cruelty In Child-Rearing and the Roots Of Violence: http://www.nospank.net/fyog.htm . It examines several stories to find the roots of later violence, sexual abuse, drug addiction, and complicity with fascism in childhood. It is brilliant.

    Relying on personal responsibility is bullshit. It is the surest way towards NOT finding progress. We need to facilitate people doing good things with our laws and institutions. Extending full legal rights and protections to children via the UN Committee On The Rights Of The Child is a good step, as this will make all corporal punishment, and acts of violence, humiliation, and emotional abuse against children illegal. Further, we need to vastly reform our electoral system, including the media, to ensure that more people vote better, and that we actually have a chance of winning. An overall kinder, better society, that solves it’s problems through ways other than building prisons and excusing bankrupt parents and other institutions, is what we need.

  5. rosemarie jackowski said on October 19th, 2009 at 2:56pm #

    Michael Dawson…You miss the point. My argument is that each of us is responsible only for our own acts. From voting to murder – the individual person is accountable. I clearly state that the brain is influenced by many things, including the environment. Yes, poverty, bad schools, a corrupt media have big influences. They are part of the environment. School yard bullying is a cause of many school shootings.

    If you make the arguement that people are NOT accountable for their acts then you make the arguement to exonerate Hitler, Bush, and all of the war mongers in history. Do you really want to live in a society like that?

  6. Deadbeat said on October 19th, 2009 at 3:03pm #

    Ms. Jackowski makes some good points about the lack of compassion but generally I agree with Michael Dawson. Blaming the “voters” is not going to resolve the problem and in many ways the voters are acting rationally especially since the system limits their choices.

    Also Ms. Jackowski neglects how the Left fails to take responsibility for its own failed tactics and its own dubious rhetoric. For example the Left has failed to challenge not only Capitalism with real Marxist analysis but has also withdrawn from challenging racism and Zionism. The Left has structured itself around single issue politics and idenitity politics and has become totally ineffective thus leaving the field wide open to the right.

    Also Ms. Jackowski, as a Ralph Nader supporter, should know better because in 2004 it was the Left that failed to support Nader and crippled the anti-war movement and rallied around the “anybody but Bush” mantra. Because of that failure the Left was in a totally unprepared not only to run a viable campaign in 2008 but could never tackle someone like a “progressive-sounding” Obama.

    It is totally unfair then to blame voters for the current situation when the Left CANNOT be trusted and has crippled itself. The first place to start is with introspection of the Left and how to not only purge these phony balonies but to engage the masses in a meaningful way on the CLASS & RACE questions. Unless that happens there won’t be any solidary and unity.

  7. Deadbeat said on October 19th, 2009 at 3:07pm #

    Michael Dawson…You miss the point. My argument is that each of us is responsible only for our own acts. From voting to murder – the individual person is accountable. I clearly state that the brain is influenced by many things, including the environment. Yes, poverty, bad schools, a corrupt media have big influences. They are part of the environment. School yard bullying is a cause of many school shootings.

    Due to the high unemployment military recruitment is up. As you write … There can be no greater pain than the death of a child, except maybe having a son who kills others and then himself

    The current policy is doing NOTHING to curtail unemployment nor any DEBT RELIEF. Because wage slavery without debt relief is more slavery so young people are seeking out jobs with the military — poverty draft. This is where Obama is going to find is 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

    The fact is poverty limits choices and to blame people with limited choices is callous at best and compassionless at worst.

  8. Deadbeat said on October 19th, 2009 at 3:08pm #

    Also I appreciate lichen remark about child violence. Economic pressure on families increases the likelihood of child violence.

  9. Max Shields` said on October 19th, 2009 at 3:13pm #

    Deadbeat I agree with your last remarks. Just thought I’d note the occasion.

  10. rosemarie jackowski said on October 19th, 2009 at 3:15pm #

    lichen…I oppose all forms of violence, especially as directed toward children. I have always opposed ‘spanking’ and I don’t use that word. Instead I just say a bigger person hitting a smaller person. The word ‘spanking’ sanitizes an abusive act.

    Alice Miller and many others hold the view that all violence is related to childhood abuse. I do not agree. Some violence, yes, but not all. Some violence is the result of brain/neurological disorders. For example, the genetic Disease of Huntington’s often results in violence in a previously non-violent person.

    I agree that there is a lot of child abuse in our culture. There is also a lot of wife, husband, and elder abuse. In contrast there are a lot of parents who are completely dedicated to their children. One of my friends donated his kidney to his son. A mother I know works 80 hours a week to provide for her children. Things are not black and white. Demonizing any one group gets us no where.

  11. rosemarie jackowski said on October 19th, 2009 at 3:22pm #

    Deadbeat…You help make my arguement. I agree about the economy. Individuals, such as Congress, hedge fund managers, Bankers etc should be held accountable.

    It is even worse than you say. Something that is under the radar of the media is the fact that all across the US money is going to small companies and sub contractors to make weapons for the military. There is no dissent on a local level because jobs are created.

  12. lichen said on October 19th, 2009 at 3:35pm #

    It is true that economic conditions which leave most people impoverished do actively encourage the worst sorts of behavior in people, which might have been not acted out as much or at all without that institutional, societal trigger. I don’t think that the man in Les Miserables was personally responsible for stealing a loaf of bread, and thus deserved to spend 20 years in prison.

    Rosemarie, I’m glad that you are also against corporal punishment; it is a terrible form of violence acted upon children. I would also add infant genital mutilation, in this country only acted upon boys, as another form of violence against children, which surely has consequences. You say that Huntingtons disease brings out violence in people who were previously nonviolent–but are we to assume that these people were not subjected to corporal punishment in their childhoods, never beat up by older kids or adults, never subject to emotional abuse? I really don’t think so–those things are too normal, and I know I read some statistics once revealing that people who weren’t subjected to any violence in childhood didn’t get terminal diseases as they got older.

    You brought up Hitler and Bush above. I don’t advocate exonerating these people, but I think it is important to note that they were made that way–we know that Hitler was beaten every single night by his father while the latter was alive, and grew up in complete misery and hate. The generation of German’s around him was brought up in a similar way, thus they were primed to be his ‘good germans.’ Max Blumenthal has put together a similar timeline, showing the results of james dobson’s best-selling child-beaten manuals and its result of giving him republican minions : http://www.nospank.net/dobson1.htm .

    Anyway, my point isn’t that these people be exonerated, but that SOCIETY is also to blame, for letting these things happen, for leaving the causes of people’s crimes in place and blaming the individual, who often was simply not given a chance to do the ‘right thing.’ People need to be taken care of, have their rights assured, then they can be responsible; otherwise it seems more like wishful thinking.

  13. rosemarie jackowski said on October 19th, 2009 at 4:06pm #

    lichen…”…You and I, as members of society, must be held responsible for the culture of violence that disables the youthful conscience….”
    I agree with you about the influence of society/culture.

    About the man who stole a loaf of bread – yes, he is responsible for the act, BUT it was not an immoral act. Maybe he should be rewarded for an act that was intended to help in his survival.

    About those who commit massive evil acts against others – such as war – they must be held accountable. These guys are mass murders. It is of no consolation to know that they were mistreated as children. At some point, at some age – maybe 16, maybe 20, maybe 40 years of age a person should be able to make conscious moral decisions. If he/she is incapable of a moral judgement, what should society do to protect itself?

    Is it OK to let those who tortured prisoners off the hook because they were influenced by a culture of violence, or their childhoods were not perfect. What about some justice for the tortured prisoners.

    And what about some justice for children who are abused. That can’t happen as long as we trivilize personal responsibility of parents.

  14. starviego said on October 19th, 2009 at 4:25pm #

    The big secret about Columbine is that there were more involved than just Harris and Klebold. Don’t believe me? Just ask the eyewitnesses:

    http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/columbineeight.php

  15. lichen said on October 19th, 2009 at 4:28pm #

    Rosemarie, your last reply to me seemed all over the place. I can only reiterate my plea for altering societies laws and institutions so that the things we know–the mistreatment of children and ignorance of their rights–cause later crimes will exist as little as possible and therefore we will have less incidence of those crimes. This has has shown in Sweden–for the generations that have grown up there since children were granted full equal rights and corporal punishment was made illegal in 1975, there has been progress.

    Understanding the roots of violence gives us the surest formula for actually ending it, as opposed to just randomly prosecuting it under the explanations of a ‘christian’ evil. While I do support reform of the prison system towards rehabilitation, I also don’t support simply letting people off the hook, especially not at the top. There does have to be real measures to stop the lawless violence enacted against young people, which we saw reenacted upon innocent victims at abu grauib. Yet this, just like climate change, is a bigger issue involving purposeful reform, and not just a ‘spiritual matter’ for the individual.

    On another note, recently I had an argument with someone about this subject–he insisted I was shockingly negligent for allegedly ignoring the personal responsibility of the victims of subprime mortgages, while i noted he let off the banks scot-free (and he was a free market fundamentalist who wanted more deregulation to allow the banks to commit more crimes…) So PR can also be used as something really ridiculous.

  16. bozhidar balkas vancouver said on October 19th, 2009 at 6:02pm #

    In my thinking, if i wld wilfully or unwittingly leave out religion when talking ab. human behavior, i warn readers, i wld be a deceiver.
    To talk ab. human behavior and not study the behavior of priests of whatever stripes, is like plowing and plowing and never sowing.

    To me, shamans and priests are least sane people. Yet they tell people how to think and what to do. I am unable to come up with the actual degree of deletereous effect priests have on people’s behavior-thinking-feeling.

    Of course, a number of ‘teachers’, having been taught by other ‘teachers’, pols, and clergy also have a great negative influence on people and on children more so.

    The miseducation by priests, pols, journalists, psychiatrists, ‘educators’, broadcasters, orgs, doctors, movements, political parties, constitution, jugdges, think tanks, and other members of the ‘elite’ appears so vast and assiduous that only few are able to escape delusional-murderous thinking of ab. at least 99% of any pop and not just american. tnx

  17. suzy la rose said on October 19th, 2009 at 9:00pm #

    rosemarie jackowski states that “it appears that Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, had a normal childhood”.
    i suggest rosemarie that your research is a little lacking. were you not aware that he was hospitalized at the age of approx. 9 months for several days?
    he was hospitalized at the age of approximately nine months, for several days, as the result of an allergic reaction. information provided by wanda kaczynski, his mother, however, indicates her perception that his hospitalization was a significant and traumatic event for her son, in that he experienced a separation from his mother (due to routine hospital practices). she describes him as having changed after the hospitalization in that he was withdrawn, less responsive, and more fearful of separation from her after that point in time. she stated that she did not see her child at all during the hospitalization, on the advice of the doctor, but waited until they called to say that he was being discharged. she further stated that he had been normal happy baby up until then, he cuddled and cooed and enjoyed all contact with her. however, when she picked him up at the hospital, she noticed immediately that he had changed. he was withdrawn. he didn’t respond to physical contact. he was aloof and unresponsive. he didn’t smile or cuddle as he had done before. se was never the same. she believes that the hospitalization played a crucial role in his psychopathology.
    it is common knowledge that separation during the crucial early years can be so traumatic to totally ruin the balance and life of a child. to some, this might not happen, but if the child is predisposed to being very sensitive, the results can be catastrophic and so terribly sad for all involved.
    every child/man that hurts others, is himself irrevocably hurt by life. this is a fact, a dismal horrific fact. so many millions on our poor planet are hurting and hurting others.

  18. ajohnstone said on October 20th, 2009 at 1:45am #

    “Uninformed voting has disastrous consequences. Voters say blame someone else. They say that they do not have time to research the issues. An uninformed voter is dangerous and should stay home on election day. It is better to not vote at all, than to cast an uninformed ballot” she writes

    Indeed , and as far i am aware there is just one political party that every time it stands for election insists that no-one votes for it unless they understand and accept and want what they want , which is free access socialism .

    It is also a political party that does not have a leader being totally democratic , an organization of equals. Working class emancipation necessarily excludes the role of political leadership. The SPGB and its American companion party WSPUS has an absolute need of supporters with understanding and self-reliance. Even if we could conceive of a leader-ridden working class displacing the capitalist class from power such an immature class would be helpless to undertake the responsibilities of democratic socialist society.

    But these are not new positions although we have forgotten those tenets . Eugene Debs said :-
    ” I’d rather vote for something I want and not get it than vote for something I don’t want, and get it. ” – The case against the lesser of two evils argument when it comes to elections – and just how many remember when they have decided upon the lesser evil , that it was indeed an evil !

    He also said :-
    “I don’t want you to follow me or anyone else. If you are looking for a Moses to lead you out of the capitalist wilderness you will stay right where you are. I would not lead you into this promised land if I could, because if I could lead you in, someone else could lead you out.”

  19. dino said on October 20th, 2009 at 5:20am #

    But nevertheless the world is better and better .And that thanks to Shimon Peres who will kick off a new Presidents Conference.That is an event of immense importance because will take part ,between others,Blaire,the great,great,great philosopher bernard henry levy,the foreign minister lieberman and many of this stature.They will speak about the economic crisis,about to make the crisis an oportunity (like Goldman Sachs and the same)and about of course the Iranian threat.(the disscussion will be held at some not so long distance from Israeli’s nuclear and inoffensive weapon).How haaretz put it :””The conference, titled “Facing Tomorrow,” will focus on what actions should be taken to ensure a better future for Israel, the Jewish People, and the rest of the world”.Is not like a joke the priorities:Israel,Jewish people …and the rest of the world.A normal man would think that the prosperity of the world is enough but probably this is the order in which should be get prosperity.

  20. bozhidar balkas vancouver said on October 20th, 2009 at 8:59am #

    “jewish people”? Has anyone seen it? If u want to see such a ‘people’, i suggest u put together an ethyopean, moroccan, iranian, pole, german, rus’n, et al; each of which is a follower of ‘zionism’, talmud, or torah or connected to such people in some way, but in no way connected to hebrews save the cult, and tell me then what u see.
    I see only cultists from 100 or more ethnicities. And because they follow a cult, they represent a peril to whole world!! tnx

  21. Michael Dawson said on October 20th, 2009 at 9:35am #

    Rosemarie wants to have her cake and eat it, too. She claims she thinks people are “only responsible for their own acts,” but then wants to blame everybody for not voting like Rosemarie Jackowski, on the theory that holding the vote makes you co-equally responsible for what office-holders do.

    What people need is detailed information about how our overlords operate to violate the principles and priorities we want them to uphold. But Rosemarie doesn’t want to waste her time in this long struggle to find the truth and spread the word. She has had her own awakening, so she demands that others snap out of it now, despite the oppressive conditions in which they live. And she is quite ready to blame the little people for not doing it.

    Again, how she thinks this is radical, who knows?

  22. rosemarie jackowski said on October 20th, 2009 at 12:07pm #

    Michael…voting makes you responsible only for your own vote. Nothing more -nothing less. The office holder is responsible for his/her acts. Also, I AM trying to spread the word. In the past couple of years more than 100 articles of mine have been published. I’m working as fast as I can.

    Suzy…Yes, I read the same reports about the Unabomber. Many other children received the same kind of medical care and never killed anyone.

  23. rosemarie jackowski said on October 20th, 2009 at 12:19pm #

    lichen…I agree with you. I have dedicated much of my life to advocating for the rights of children. In the 1970s I formed one of the first organizations dedicated to the rights of children. The organization was named “JUSTICE FOR CHILDREN”. (Since then other organizations chose the same name. They are not associated with me.)

    About the sub-prime mortgages. Yes, they always blame the little guy. It would be so much better if they just followed the money. Col. David Hackworth said at the beginning of the war that in war some people die and some people get rich. The mortgage meltdown is a little like war. Some people got rich and some people became homeless.

  24. Jeremy said on October 20th, 2009 at 7:36pm #

    I’d be interested to know what the author considers “real health care reform.”

    I completely agree that our society lacks responsibility at the individual level. Health care reform (or any legislation, for that matter) that expands the welfare apparatus only works to diminish personal responsibility.

  25. Connie said on October 20th, 2009 at 9:16pm #

    I think there is a significant element of cover up to this story and tragically so do so many of those who have been affected by this murderous event.

    From the FBI agent in charge of the event and his son producing a video 2 years before, to the constant death threats towards those injured and those interested finding the truth so that they can find some sort of understanding/completion.

    The boys were called “Neo-Nazis” by the commercial media and yet they were both Jewish. It seems to contradict with their upbringing.

    There seem to be a lot of contradictions.

    One hopes for those traumatized by this event, there will be some answers that may help them find some sort of resolution.

  26. lichen said on October 20th, 2009 at 9:38pm #

    Rosemarie, that’s incredible that you started a a children’s rights organization back in the 1970′s. It always bothers me that even today most on the left refuse to go anywhere near the subject–it is one of a long list of overdue reforms that have never come near us in this horrible land, along with a human right to real housing.

    Actually, I realize now that though I meant what I said about needing election reform, I don’t necessarily excuse all voters–especially not the people who obviously do know better and yet vote for war, environmental destruction, and inequality anyway. I definitely do blame, further, the members of obama’s delegation who are still ‘with him’ and have already pledged themselves to him for 2012. And I have suggested a number of times that all those screaming idiots with their ‘change hope’ signs accompany him to the hague where in a just world he would have been prosecuted for war crimes by now.

  27. Annie Ladysmith said on October 20th, 2009 at 11:15pm #

    THE HUMAN HEART IS A BIG CONTRIBUTOR TO THE PROBLEM!
    Read Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness or Lord of the Flies by Golding, this IS NOT a new phenomenon! The philosophising has gone on and on.

    On the other hand, it’s hard to separate the wicked heart from the wicked mind- control handlers. The human brain is like a computer, it can be programed to do all kinds of things. If you watch a lot of tele you are practically mind controled, or at the very least, brain dead.

    This is the ultimate in irresponsibility. There is a reason that these sensational mind-controled shootings are broadcast in minute grisly detail by the American media, and why we are all still hearing about Columbine. The control the system gets from these events is much more terrifying than the events themselves. If you do not see how these things are used in the bigger picture you should go and live on the planet where Rosemary and Walt live.

  28. rosemarie jackowski said on October 21st, 2009 at 10:35am #

    Jeremy…I disagree with your view on health care reform. My view has been widely published. Here it is.
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/09/your-money-or-your-life/

  29. rosemarie jackowski said on October 21st, 2009 at 10:49am #

    lichen…thanks for saying that. I too have been disappointed in the way that the left has trivialized all things ‘family’. Children, motherhood, and fatherhood have all been devalued. Way back in the 60s during the Feminist Movement, my view differed from the popular one. I believed then, as I do now, that there is virtue in the traditional work that women have done over the years. Every time I say something like that it causes an uproar.
    Of course, I recognize that women have not been treated fairly in society in general and in the workplace. That is why I would have preferred a feminist strategy that valued ALL of the work that women do. Instead the ‘movement’ devalued motherhood. The corporations were the big winners. They got 2 workers for the price of one. Mothers, fathers, and children are still paying a high price for that one. (And yes, I was a working mother – sole support of my family.)

  30. Joseph Delaney said on October 23rd, 2009 at 9:51am #

    “The lack of personal responsibility and compassion are blocking real health care reform. We need Reform School for the compassionless. The every-man-for-himself culture was especially evident during the health care town meetings. It was common to hear comments such as, “I am insured – the hell with everybody else”. Raise-the-drawbridge syndrome — I am safe and you don’t count.”

    You talk about the death of personal responsibility but yet you advocate total government take over of health care? Where does personal responsibility come up in that equation?

  31. rosemarie jackowski said on October 24th, 2009 at 9:46am #

    Joseph…Please read my article on this site titled “Your Money of Your Life”.
    I do NOT advocate the government takeover of health care. I advocate the government takeover of the billing. Health care decisions should be made only by doctors and patients – not the government and not insurance companies.
    Implied in your statement is the belief that all citizens should have the money for their own health care or they must be irresponsible. Under our Capitalistic system there is an unfair distribution of wealth and an unfair burden on workers, so therefore many who ARE working hard still cannot afford health care.

  32. bozhidar balkas vancouver said on October 24th, 2009 at 1:27pm #

    rosemarie,
    Dividing, separating, sorting, judging people by people in power may have started even before Urnanshe, the king of sumer. However and whenever judgments started, there had to be a time when people have not judged people.

    People, whether short, tall, deaf, blind, dark[e]r, sick, smart, were looked on a people had not, in order to survive and by doing that gave us a life today, cldn’t have but valued one another for simply being people.

    But then came along the cunningest, most avaricious, most cruel [probably shamans and clergy] and utterly destroyed the idyllic structure of society.
    In modern times, judging people came to its apex.
    Judging, and thus discarding people, whom nature/god created, appears as the greatest crime ever perped against humanity.

    How cruel-stupid such oppressors can be, events in in palestine, afgh’n, iraq, somalia, and other lands testify.
    In fact, US is not governed by a gov’t but by gangsters, a cosa nostra org; behaving just like a biker, street, or mafia gang.
    The diffference is that US gang is much larger and powerful than the other ones.
    In US such lunacy is actually supported by 98% of pop. tnx

  33. rosemarie jackowski said on October 24th, 2009 at 1:34pm #

    bozhidar…Yes, 90% + voted for a dem/repub. I predict that the next presidential election will be won by a dem/repub. US voters will never learn. Kind of makes you wonder – how come the other nations seem to gotten it together and at least have health care for all.. What is wrong with the U$A?