Tuesday, October 10, 2017

What Happens In Vegas Should Never Have Happened (Part III)

In absence of "clear motive" conspiracy theories abound:

The mystery of why Stephen Paddock smuggled an arsenal into a Las Vegas hotel room before firing into a crowd of concertgoers, killing dozens and injuring hundreds, has only deepened in the days since the massacre. His motives remain elusive, his beliefs unclear.
Sidebar: I explained his motive and intent in this previous post, but let's not let a few facts get in the way.
That absence of information has provided an opening for right-wing media personalities like Alex Jones of InfoWars to proffer their own theories. Their ideas, often based on scant evidence, fall in line with common right-wing tropes about liberal conspiracies, and millions of Americans are listening.
Mr. Jones — who has propagated conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012 and the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks — has portrayed Mr. Paddock by turns as an agent of the Islamic State, a leftist activist, an anti-Trump radical and a possible stooge for a broader conspiracy intent on disrupting democracy.
“Could Stephen Paddock, the lone Vegas shooter, have been a patsy to kick off the left’s war with the right in the streets of America?” Mr. Jones wrote on his Facebook page last week. The post accompanied a video titled “Video Shows Second Shooter During Vegas Massacre,” which by Monday had been viewed about 1.1 million times.
You know, it would be easy to jump on clowns like Jones and other conspiracy theorists and focus our outrage at just them, but they aren't really the problem. The problem is that so many stupid, idiotic people in this country would actually believe these "theories" and further, share information that is, as admitted, nothing more than performance art. 
In Sunday’s video, Mr. Jones acknowledged the help. “Thanks to DrudgeReport.com magnifying those articles, having the courage to run our articles, a lot of people are now able to get more information to the police, and more information to the media,” he said.
This is not the first time InfoWars has spread unfounded theories about national tragedies. Mr. Jones repeated false rumors about a child abuse ring at a Washington pizzeria; a North Carolina man later fired a gun inside the restaurant. (Mr. Jones later apologized.)
After the gun massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Mr. Jones repeatedly asserted that the episode was “completely fake,” prompting some listeners to harass grieving parents of victims. He has also called the 9/11 attacks a hoax and an “inside job.”
Mr. Jones’s website reached more than 1.4 million unique visitors in June, according to the web tracking firm comScore. (Its numbers fell off in August, to 689,000 visitors; last November, nearly four million people visited.)
Whether Mr. Jones’s behavior is merely an act has come under debate: During a custody battle in April, a lawyer for Mr. Jones, Randall Wilhite, said his client was only playing a character. “He’s a performance artist,” Mr. Wilhite added.
Ah, so you don't really believe the bullshit you're pedaling, it's simply "performance art." Got it.

Again, I'm a pro-1A guy, so I believe people are completely free to say and write and publish whatever wackadoodle conspiracy theories they want, whenever they want. And you, in your stupidity, have the right to read them and even agree or share them. And he has some big fans, according to the article, like WAY up there in government (snicker).

But there aren't "two sides" to every issue, and there certainly aren't two sides to the truth. There's the truth, and then there's "I don't agree with the truth." And that's fine, you don't have to (like these dopes who say they "don't agree" with climate science, or yell "fake news" all the time, e.g.). Frankly, science and the truth don't really care what you think, because the truth doesn't stop being the truth.

In other Vegas news, questions abound regarding what to do with the site of the killing.
The scene of carnage this time was a flat 15-acre parcel of land without any permanent structures. It is a rectangle of blacktop surrounded by busy streets, including the famous Las Vegas Strip. Marketed as “Las Vegas Village” the past couple of years, it has the feel of a small county fairground. There are a few white corporate-style tents on its edges, and a large concert stage at the south end. It has been used to hold small music festivals and rodeos.
On the night of Oct. 1, crowded with about 22,000 people attending a country music concert, it became a kill zone. And one of the many questions left in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history is what to do with the place.
From Columbine to Sandy Hook, Mother Emanuel to the Pulse nightclub, those left behind have had to grapple with the murder scene, and the difficult balance between looking back and moving on. Some decided to tear down the buildings where the killing was done; others remodeled and reopened them, or just moved right back in.
Las Vegas poses some unique issues, though: There is nothing permanent about the concert venue, and the killer was not in the same place as the victims. The gunman, Stephen Paddock, fired from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, about 500 yards away across South Las Vegas Boulevard.
The two sites on opposite ends of the massacre are both owned by MGM Resorts International, which will have to decide what to do with them.
I remember when that site across from Mandalay/Luxor was still dotted with run down, fleabag motels offering cheap flops for the night after gambling over at the bigger casinos. Slowly but surely, however, MGM and other casino behemoths bought up these properties, ostensibly to kill the competition, but also to create new areas to eventually develop. I don't think anyone really thinks the "LV Village" as they're calling it (it appeared to be nothing more than a glorified parking lot from my window at the Luxor this summer) is going to remain undeveloped forever.

Frankly, I wonder what Mandalay will do with the room.
Trickier, he said, will be the gunman’s perch in the hotel — a spacious suite with wraparound views and an adjoining standard room, where Mr. Paddock shot through an entry door at a security officer and was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot.
“The hotel rooms, it’s hard to think of anything socially positive from the space,” Mr. Hawdon said. “That space was purely evil, the actions in that space. To me, you somehow try to make it unrecognizable. You want to try to make it devoid of meaning related to the tragedy.”
It also notes some rooms on the 32nd floor are already back in use. Vegas being Vegas, I suspect either A. nothing will happen and they'll redesign the room to be unrecognizable compared to what we've seen. Or B. turn it into some macabre "museum" where people can pay admission and tour the space.

You think I'm kidding? Have you ever toured the Las Vegas Mob Museum? Or the Book Depository in Dallas?

Hopefully the site of the carnage will be memorialized in taste, and the victims will be honored properly. MGM is a pretty big corporation that knows how to take care of its customers. The idea that a victim memorial will be non-existent or Vegas tacky is hard to fathom.

As to Paddock and the room, who cares. They should cement over it and never allow worshipers, conspiracy theorists, or other losers access to it. He should be scrubbed permanently from the site and from history, frankly, because no one cares.

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