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On Reading David Harvey on the Tarmic with the help of Jesus


ON READING DAVID HARVEY ON THE TARMAC IN TORONTO, LISTENING TO JESUS’ VISION

” The term “city” has an iconic and symbolic history that is deeply embedded in the pursuit of political meanings.  The city of God, the city on a hill, the city as an object of utopian desire, …  give it a political meaning that mobilizes a crucial political imaginary.  [Lefebvre] saw … [urbanization] was “going global” and that under such conditions the question of the right to the city (construed as a distinctive thing or definable object) had to give way to some vaguer question of the right to urban life which later morphed in his thinking into the more general question of the right to The Production of Space (published in 1974).” – David Harvey, 2011.

 

Sitting on the tarmac at Toronto airport, reading David Harvey’s HENRI LEFEBVRE’S VISION OF THE RIGHT TO THE CITY, waiting for congestion at LaGuardia Airport to clear so we could take off. I had gotten the last seat on our flight, and was seated next to an elderly gentleman of dark skin and distinguished demeanor, with whom I had exchanged pleasantries waiting on line to get on. We were stuck, the pilot told us, for perhaps two hours, till the congestion at LaGuardia cleared enough for us to land there.  I opened my laptop to read Harvey’s piece on the vision of the city.

My companion glanced over at what I was reading, and after a discreet silence asked, “Do you believe in Jesus?” Taken aback, I thought, better end this quickly, and simply said, but with a smile, not wanting to be rude: “No.” But he continued: “What do you believe in?”  That took a bit longer to deal with, but, quick-wittedly, I said: “reason,” and hoped that would end the conversation and I could get back uninterrupted to Harvey’s tract, more in my atheist’s zone  of comfort. It was not to be.

My seat mate pursued the issue., ”I asked because I saw you were reading about a Vision of the City on a Hill. I believe in Jesus because I had a vision when I was young…” That struck me as a conversation-stopper, and I ignored it, but then thought, well, why not, how often do I get to talk to a Jesus freak in a leisurely manner and on a friendly basis So I said, “no, it’s not that kind of vision he’s writing about. The city on a hill is meant symbolically, not in a religious sense, although I know the phrase comes from St. Augustine.” “”No, it doesn’t,” he said; “it comes from Matthew in the Bible, and Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount,” which Jesus gave on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem..” “Oh,” I said, thinking this might actually get interesting. “And what did Jesus mean by it? Cities aren’t usually built on hills, they’re usually built in valleys.” “He,” my companion answered, capitalizing ‘He’ in tone, of course) “meant it symbolically, as a vision of the good, the desirable, perhaps the paradise of the future.” “Oh, all right, but why ‘city” in particular? [thinking to myself, what would Lefebvre say?] The mount of olives,” I continued, “is hardly in the more city part of Jerusalem [hardly an urban setting, , Lefebvre would have said.] ‘”No,” my companion said, “Jesus didn’t mean it that way. The Bible always speaks of “the city” this way, not of any particular city, not a city like Sodom and Gomorrah, for sure; the Bible says King David built the City of Zion on the top of Mount Zion.” “He did,?” I said, incredulously; that’s an odd place to build a city. “But he did,” he responded, “the Bible tells us so.  The Bible means the city on the hill as the vision that men must pursue in this life, if they want to go to heaven in the next life.”

“Oh,” I said, “I’ll have to look that up.” “Do that, he said. “Jerusalem is the  city of Zion, on a hill for all to see.” Then the conversation drifted into the after-life, the role of gospel churches, whether God had deliberately arranged the boarding of the plane so that I sat next to him, and arranged the congestion at LaGuardia so there would be plenty of time, and he could tell me about Jesus, and about other miracles he had seen. He did not believe in coincidences. I told him I didn’t believe in miracles.

Epilogue.

When got up to deplane, I bent over to look for my reading glasses, which I thought I had dropped under seat when I first sat down. “Did you find them,” he asked? “No.” I said, I reached across, got my jacket out of the overhead compartment, and put it on. “Here they are,” he said, reaching over and taking them out of my jacket breast pocket and handing them to me. When he saw the surprised look on my face, he put on the biggest grin I had seen all day on his face.

And the congestion at LaGuardia was over.

 

My housing publications


Housing titles July 14, 2011

 

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1981. “The Determinants of Housing Policy,” New York, Columbia University, Division of Urban Planning, Papers in Planning No. 21a.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1976. “Mass Transit for the Few,” Society, Vol. 13, No. 6, September‑October.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1971. “Social Indicators and Housing Policy,” Urban Affairs Quarterly, December.

 

Marcuse, Peter.  1971.  Tenant Participation ‑‑ for What?, Washington D.C., The Urban Institute, Working Paper  No. 112‑20, July 30, 1970.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1971. “The Rise of Tenant Organizations,” The Nation, July; printed in Housing in America, Daniel Mandelker and Roger Montgomery (eds.), Indianapolis: The Bobbs‑Merrill Co., Inc., pp. 492‑9, 1973 and 1979; also reprinted in Housing Urban America, John Pynoos, Robert Schaffer, and Chester M. Hartman, eds., Chicago: Aldine Publishing Co., pp. 49‑54, 1973 and 1981.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1972. “Homeownership for Low Income Families: Financial Implications” Land Economics, Volume 48, Number 2, May, 1972, pp. 134-143

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1972. “Indicators for Housing Policy,” Environmental Design: Research and Practice, Proceedings of the Third Annual Conference, Environmental Design Research Association, Los Angeles, January.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1972. “How to Have Your Cake and Eat it Too ‑‑ a New Tax Proposal that Helps the Cities, Yet Costs the Local Taxpayer Virtually Nothing,” Architectural Forum, March.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1972. “The Legal Attributes of Home Ownership.” Washington, D. C., The Urban Institute, April 13, Working Paper #209‑1‑1.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1972. “Home Ownership for Low Income Families: Legal and Financial Implications” Ph.D. dissertation, University of California at Berkeley.

 

Marcuse, Peter. with Richard Clark, “Tenure and the Housing System: The Relationship and the Potential for Change,” Working Paper 209‑8‑4, Urban Institute, 1973.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1975. “Residential Alienation, Home Ownership and the Limits of Shelter Policy,” Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare,  Vol. III,. 2, November. pp. 181‑203.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1978. “Housing Policy and the Myth of the Benevolent State,” Social Policy, Jan. Feb. Reprinted in Housing in America: Problems and Perspectives, Roger Montgomery and Daniel Mandelker, 2nd edition, Indianapolis: Bobbs‑Merrill, 1979, and in Critical Perspectives on Housing, Rachel Bratt, Chester Hartman, and Ann Meyerson, eds., Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1986.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1979. “The Deceptive Consensus on Redlining,” in Journal of the American Planning Association, 45, 4, October.

 

Marcuse, Peter. “The Ideologies of Ownership and Property Rights,” in Richard Plunz, ed. Housing Form and Public Policy in the United States, Columbia Monographs on Architecture, Preservation and Planning, New York: Praeger Publishers,

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1981. “The Strategic Potential of Rent Control,” in Rent Control: A Source Book, John I. Gilderbloom (ed.), San Francisco, Foundation for National Progress.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1982. “Building Housing Theory: Notes on some Recent Work,” in International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 115‑121.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1982.”The Determinants of State Housing Policies: West Germany and the United States,”in Norman and Susan Fainstein, eds., Urban Policy under Capitalism, Beverly Hills: Sage Publications.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1982. Housing Abandonment: Does Rent Control Make a Difference, Washington, D. C., Conference on Alternative State and Local Policies.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1983. “On the Ambiguities of Self‑help in Housing,” New York, Columbia University Division of Urban Planning, Papers in Planning, October.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1983. “A Luxury Housing Tax,” in City Limits, December.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1983. “Towards the Decommodification of Housing: A Political Analysis and a Progressive Program,” with Emily Achtenberg, in Chester Hartman (ed.), America’s Housing Crisis: What is to be done?, Institute for Policy Studies, Routledge & Kegan Paul, Boston; reprinted in Critical Perspectives on Housing, Rachel Bratt, Chester Hartman, and Ann Meyerson, eds., Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1986.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1984. Report on Study of Displacement in New York City, with Conclusions and Recommendations, New York, Community Service Society.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1985. “Gentrification, Abandonment, and Displacement:  Connections, Causes, and Policy Responses in New York City,” Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law, Volume 28, St. Louis, Washington University, pp. 195‑240. Reprinted in revised form in Smith, Neil, and Peter Williams, eds. 1986. Gentrification and the City, London, Allen and Unwin.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1985. “The Housing Policy of Social Democracy: Determinants and Consequences,”in Anson Rabinbach., ed., The Austrian Socialist Experiment, Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1984‑5. “To Control Gentrification: Anti‑Displacement Zoning and Planning for Stable Residential Districts,” New York University  Review of Law and Social Change, Vol. XIII, No. 4, pp. 931‑952, reprinted in Yearbook of Construction Articles, Washington, D.C.: Federal Publications, 1985.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1986. “The Beginnings of Public Housing in New York,” in Journal of Urban History, Vol. 12, No. 4:353‑390 August.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1986. “A Useful Installment of Socialist Work: Housing in Red Vienna in the 1920s,” in Critical Perspectives on Housing, Rachel Bratt, Chester Hartman, and Ann Meyerson, eds., Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1986. Review of Bullock, N. and Read, J.  The Movement for Housing Reform in Germany and France, 1840 ‑ 1914, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985. In the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, spring, 1986.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1986. The Uses and Limits of Rent Control: A Report with Recommendations, State of New York, Division of Housing and Community Renewal, December.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1987. “Why Are They Homeless,” The Nation, April 4, vol. 244, No. 13. Reprinted in Eitzen, D. Stanley, ed., Social Problems, Allyn & Bacon, and in Kennedy, Williams, ed., Writing in the Disciplines, Prentice Hall.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1987. “The Other Side of Housing: Oppression and Liberation,” in Bengt Turner et al, eds. Between State and Market: Housing in the Post‑Industrial Era, Göteborg, Sweden, pp. 232‑270.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1987. “Housing as Discipline: Beyond Decommodification,” New York, Columbia University Division of Urban Planning, Papers in Planning.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1988. “Neutralizing Homelessness.” Socialist Review, 88:1, pp. 69‑97. Reprinted in part in Lisa Orr. 1990. The Homeless: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego, Greenhaven Press.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1988. “Divide and Siphon: New York City Builds on Division,”  City Limits, Vol. XIII, No. 3, March, pp. 8‑11.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1988. “Criticism or Cooptation: Can Architects Reveal the Sources of Homelessness?” Crit 20. Spring, p. 30.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1988. “Perspectives on Homelessness.” [Book review] Urban Affairs Quarterly, vol. 23, No. 4, June, pp. 647‑656.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1989. “Towards Clarity in East/West Housing Studies: Some Conceptual Issues of ‘Market’ and ‘State'”, Conference Paper, Noszvaj, Hungary, June.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1989. “Gentrification, Homelessness, and the Work Process: Housing Markets and Labour Markets in the Quartered City,” Housing Studies, vol. 4, No. 3, p. 211‑220. Reprinted as “Housing MarketsandLabourMarkets in theQuarteredCity,” inJohnAllenandChrisHamnett.1991, Housing and Labour Markets: Building the Connections, London: Unwin Hyman, pp. 118‑135.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1989. “Homelessness and Housing Policy” in Carol Caton, ed., Homeless in America, Oxford University Press, 1989, pp. 138‑159.

 

“Off Site Displacement: How the Changing Economic Tide of a Neighborhood Can Drown Out the Poor,” with Raun Rasmussen and Russel Engler, Clearinghouse Review of National Clearinghouse for Legal Services, vol. 22, No. 11, April 1989, pp. 1352‑70.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1990. Review of Irving Welfeld, Where We Live.       American Political Science Review,  vol 84.

 

“Comprehensive Planning‑‑Not!” [The New York City C.H.A.S.] City Limits, June/July, 1992, p. 22.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1992. “Housing in the Colors of the G.D.R.” in Bengt Turner,  Jozsef Hegedüs, and Ivan Tosics, eds. The Reform of Housing in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. London and New York, Routledge, pp. 74‑144.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1992. “Why Conventional Self-Help Projects Won’t Work.” in Kosta Mathéy, ed. Beyond Self‑Help Housing, London and New York: Mansell,  (Munich, Profil Verlag) pp. 15‑22.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1992. “Gentrification und die wirtschaftliche Umstrukturierung New Yorks.” in Hans G. Helms, hrsg., Die Stadt als Gabentisch: Beobachtungen der Aktuellen Städtebauentwicklung. Reclam, Leipzig

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1994. “Privatization, Tenure, and Property Rights: Towards Clarity in Concepts.” in Berth Danermark and Ingemar Elander, eds. Social Rented Housing in Europe ‑ Policy, Tenure and Design,  The Netherlands, Delft University Press.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1993. “Degentrification and advanced homelessness: New patterns, old processes.” Netherlands Journal of Housing and the Built Environment. vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 177‑192.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1994. “Is Anything Positive to be Learned from the GDR? Cities and Housing in Real Existing Socialism.” in Margy Gerber and Roger Woods, ed., Studies in GDR Culture and Society 13: Understanding the Past, Managing the Future. University Press of America, Lanham, Md., pp. 75‑86.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1994. “Mainstreaming Public Housing: For a Comprehensive Approach to Housing Policy.” Preiser, Wolfgang F. E., David Varady, and Francis Russell, eds. Future Visions of Urban Public Housing. Cincinnati, University of Cincinnati, College of Design, pp. 45-58.

 

Marcuse, Peter, David Burney, and Eftihia Tsitiridis. 1994.“New York City: Historical Perspectives, Current Policy, and Future Planning.” Preiser, Wolfgang F. E., David Varady, and Francis Russell, eds. Future Visions of Urban Public Housing. Cincinnati, University of Cincinnati, College of Design, pp. 59-70..

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1995. “Interpreting ‘Public Housing’ History” Journal of Architectural and Planning Research. Vol. 12, No. 3, Autumn, pp. 240-258.

 

Marcuse, Peter, and Tom Angotti. 1996. “An Isolated US Opposes Housing as a Human Right.” The Planners Network Newsletter, March.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1998. “Mainstreaming Public Housing: Proposal for a Comprehensive Approach to Housing Policy.” in Varady, David P., Wolfgang F.E. Preiser, and Francis P. Russell, New Directions in Urban Public Housing. New Brunswick, N.J.: Center for Urban Policy Research.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1996. “Housing Movements in the United States.” in: Uchida, Katsuichi, and Yosuke Hirayama. 1996. Housing Rights Movements in Comparative Perspective. Vol 5 of Human Settlement and the Right to Housing in Japan. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, pp. 91-126. (in Japanese)

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1998 “Drugs in Public Housing”. In Willem Van Vliet, ed. The Encyclopedia of Housing. Thousand Oaks, CA.: Sage Publications.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1999. “Housing Movements in the USA” in Housing, Theory and Society, vol 16, pp. 67-86.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 1999. “Comment: Islands of Decay in Seas of Renewal: Housing Policy and the Resurgence of Gentrification.” Housing Policy Debate. vol. 10, # 2, pp. 789-798.

 

“The Liberal-Conservative Divide in the History of Housing Policy in the United States” Housing Studies,  Vol. 16, No. 6, pp. 717-736. 2001.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 2004. “Are Social Forums the Future of Urban Social Movements?”  International Journal of Urban and Regional Research  2005 vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 417-424, with Rejoinder at pp. 444-446. An earlier version at http://www.urbancentre.utoronto.ca/elibrary.html#community

 

Marcuse, Peter. 2004, “Housing on the Defensive.” Practicing Planner, American Institute of Certified Planners, vol. 2, no. 4, 

 

“In Defense of Housing: For the Broader Engagement of Housing Research with Today’s Global Urban Context” Rejkjavik, Iceland, June 2005 http://borg.hi.is/enhr2005iceland/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=14&Itemid=37

 

Marcuse, Peter, with Dennis Keating. 2006 “The Permanent Housing Crisis: The Failures of Conservatism and the Limitations of Liberalism”  In: A Right to Housing: Foundation for a New Social Agenda edited by Rachel G. Bratt, Michael E. Stone and Chester Hartman. Philadelphia: Temple University Press

 

 

Marcuse, Peter. 2005.“The Role of Government in the Housing Sector,” Commissioned paper for Task Force VIII, The Millennium Project, United Nations, New York City..

 

“O Caso Contra os Direitos de Propriedade,” [The Case Against Property Rights] in Marcio Moraes Valenca, ed.,2008, Cidade (i)legal, Rio de Janeiro: Maquad X, pp. 9-20.

 

Marcuse, Peter. “The Housing Change We Need.” Shelterforce, Winter 2008, #156, pp. 26-29.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 2009. “A Critical Approach to the Subprime Mortgage Crisis in the United States: Rethinking the Public Sector in Housing.” City & Community, vol. 8, No. 3,September, pp. 351-357.

Also in

Marcuse, Peter. “The Three Pillars of the Mortgage Foreclosure Crisis – Analysis and Remedies..”  in Christopher Niedt and Marc Silver, eds. Forging a New Housing Policy: Opportunity in the Wake of Crisis. Hofstra University, National Center for Suburban Studies, n.d., pp. 12-16.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 2010. “On Gentrification: A Note from Peter Marcuse” [re: Slater Hamnett exchange]  CITY: Analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action.” Vol. 14, No. 1 & 2, pp. 187-188, February.

 

Marcuse, Peter. 2011.     “The Heresies in HUD’s Public Housing Policy.” Progressive Planning, Winter 2011, NO 186, pp. 2,26-27.

 

 

 

 

Untouched issues in DSK case


Three awkward questions in the DSK case:

  1. If any woman who has ever given false information on any matter in the past (immigration status, for example, or maybe even lesser matters) is too unreliable to bring a charge of rape against a sexual molester, is every  such woman fair game to be raped by anyone wishing to do so without any protection at law? In the DSK case, is the complainant fair game for attack by anyone so inclined for forever?
  2. Rape is often a case of her word against his word.  If credibility is to be judged by previous actions, is it only the woman’s credibility that informs the decision as to whether to prosecute, and not the man’s?  In the DSK case, are the many falsities that must have accompanied  Strauss-Kahn’s checkered sexual career  as relevant as the complainant’s?
  3. In the U.S. system of justice, when, where, and by whom is the credibility of a witness to be judged? Where two parties in a criminal proceeding contradict each other, absent compelling evidence as to the facts themselves, is judging credibility not a classic function of a jury in an open trial in a court-room? In the DSK case, is the prosecution pre-empting the jury’s role?

Citizens United and fair elections


To the Editor

The Nation;

In the interesting debate about the First Amendment and the Citizens United decision, one point fails to emerge clearly – and it’s the point the Nation itself has been hammering at on the subject. The issue is one of the spending of money in elections, i.e. campaign finance, not one of what speech is or is not allowable. Both Floyd Abrams and Burt Neuborne seem to see the impact on fair elections as relevant; they argue over whether corporate money influenced the outcome. Abrams cite Democrats reviving $206.4 million and losing, while Republicans garnered only $171.7million and won. Neubirth points out the in 53 of 72 election districts in which corporations backed Republicans, Republicans won.

But that’s not the point. A little story: Joe Lieberman is considering whether to run for Senate again, and if so with which party or as an independent. How will he decide “If I decide to run, I’ve really got to start the work of raising money?” So money will decide what he does. The desperate and on-going search for money influences both parties as well as prospective challengers, and it moves them all to similar positions on basic issues of concern to money, particularly to big contributors. Whether it comes from General Electric or the Koch brothers, the role of money ought to be limited if we are to have fair democratic elections. Neuborne makes the point when he decries the impact of “the sense of obligation—or fear—generated by huge independent political expenditures.”

That’s the problem, not free speech, or whether corporations are people. Let’s focus on that.

Peter Marcuse

Government Workers Appreciation Day


To the editor,
Isn’t it time for a Government Workers Appreciation Day?
We often are dismayed by what’s wrong with government: inefficiency, high costs, big deficits, pressure on our taxes. But we sometimes phrase that as “them against us,” government taking money out of our pockets for their multifarious purposes. But government is, in the end, us, not someone else. We use government to do for us what we cannot individually do for ourselves: plow the snow off the roads, police the city so there are no break-ins, rescue those hurt in accidents, put out fires, bring children hurt sledding to hospitals and care for them, monitor safety of what we eat, try criminals and punish them if they’re guilty, release them if innocent, and on and on. If any of these things were to be done privately, of course we’d expect to pay for them; how can we expect government to provide them if we don’t pay for them? So we pay taxes, and we should pay taxes, for all the services we get.

And government employees are not all lazy, greedy animals feeding off the public trough. They’re overwhelmingly our neighbors, working hard, often in the cold and through the night, doing difficult and often dangerous work often giving up the possibility of much higher paying jobs in the interests of serving the public, us. They deserve our thanks, not our opprobrium. They shouldn’t be made the scapegoats for the public deficits we face because we understandably resist the necessity of raising taxes. Compared to the bankers who draw down millions of dollars in salaries and bonuses for taking our money on deposit and lending it to others at good interests rates and speculating with what they have, keeping all the profit for their own personal enrichment. Compared to them – those a the top, not the typical bank teller – public employees are saints.

Wouldn’t it be appropriate, after the major effort dedicated to the recent snow emergency, to say thank you to the workers that helped us overcome it and the government for which they worked, our government – and shouldn’t we expect to pay, fairly (more by those that can afford it, less by those who can’t), for what is done by them and it on our behalf?
Peter Marcuse
P.S. Maybe both the populist tea party supporters and the old-fashioned liberals could agree on such a day?

Who IS Responsible for Loughlin Shooting Gifford?


 

Analyzing the shooting of Gabby Gifford and its relationship to political rhetoric, it is useful to divide the issues into three

  1. Did political rhetoric bring Jared Loughlin to attempt to kill Gabby Gifford?

Answer: No. Jared Loughlin was mentally unbalanced, and had a potential to commit violent acts as such, whose targets might have ranged from personal acquaintances, sexual partners, parents, or anyone seen as worthy of attack or any one of a broad palette of reasons.

  1. Did political rhetoric play a role in bringing Jared Louglin to attempt to kill Gabby Gifford?

Answer: Yes. Loughlin was potentially rife to kill someone. Who? Personal relationships might have produced a target; but social, including political, relationships were also on the palette of reasons for him to act. These might have included any one of a large number of “causes” in which extreme hostility to members of specific groups played a role, from religious fanatics to the extreme among social value defenders (e.g. anti-abortionists, anti-gays) to liberals seen as unAmericans to communists. The rhetoric of extreme tea party leaders was on the palette of causes from which Loughlin was exposed that might justify his inchoate propensity to kill.

  1. Did political rhetoric and use of violence as a political tool play a role in directly exposing Gabby Gifford to attempts on her life?

Answer: Yes. Not as to Laughlin’s particular attack, but certainly as to a set of attacks on her in Tucson, of which Loughlin’s was probably an accidental if not coincidental outcome. There are those that in fact advocate and practice violence as a political strategy, very conspicuously in many other countries, occasionally here. Her office had been shot at, her opponent had called for guns to be brought to and celebrated at is rallies; the language of violence used by some was easily transmuted into an advocacy of violence by others, even if outside the speakers’ direct intention.

Thus Jared Loughlin’s attack on Gabby Gifford was not “caused” by political rhetoric. But such rhetoric was on the pallets of many possible outlets for is psychic propensity to kill, one to which Gabby Gifford was particularly exposed. And the attack on her was a pat, at an extreme end, of those that in fact advocated violence against their political opponents of spoke in ways that could easily be interpreted as such advocacy.