Archive for June 2009

“It Costs Too Much”

The House voted on the energy bill, better known as the our first attempt at managing climate change.  The key is a cap and trade program with ever decreasing allowable carbon emissions.  But the vote was close (219-214) with 44 Democrats voting against it.  Republicans called it a tax (and therefore an evildoer), and the 44  Democrats who voted against it were protecting coal states and their fear that producing energy by coal would be less competitive.  Well as one would say, no duh.  The idea that we can solve our energy problems without using the incentives of the market place that punishes hurtful and damaging processes is understood by everyone, but for the 44 Democrats, just not in my backyard.  Don’t you just love short term thinking?

What is the alternative boys and girls?  How are we going to cut our greenhouse emissions unless, oh dare I say it, we cut our greenhouse emissions?  But it will hurt businesses and raise prices to consumers lament Republicans and these Democrats.  No it really won’t.  What it will do is start to realign the economy toward other sources of energy.  Of course there will be winners and losers.  But what these vote no politicians are saying when they say it costs too much is that the status quo is okay.  We don’t need to change anything because change could be painful.  What a bunch of wimps.  But with wimpishness, there is also gross hypocrisy.  The guys that think the market place solves all problems don’t want to use the market place on this one because, well, change would hurt their contributors.  The country be damned.

It is the same with health care reform.  “We can’t afford it.  It will drive the deficit to new heights.  With a government system, your employer will drop or lower your coverage.”  Just where do you think health care is headed?  Well I will tell you , you midget brains:  Higher costs and more and more employers dropping their coverage.  So we should do nothing or just tinker at the edges?  I hear about the horror stories of all the other industrialized nations that have gone to a single payer system, but I keep wondering why their infant mortality rate is lower and their citizens live longer.  Must be the horrible medical care they get.  Maybe it is because we have easier access to guns so we die younger because we shoot each other.  I really like the conservatives idea that kids should be allowed to go to college packing heat.  It certainly will lower health care costs since they will die young and not be burdening our system in their old age.  Let’s face it, we can’t afford not to do it (universal health care).

I think what amazes me the most is that the nay sayers really don’t offer any alternatives.  As though down the road all these things will fix themselves.  Reminds me of that Bobby McFerrin song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.  Here is the thing I really don’t understand:  We have tried it the conservative way for the last 20 years and things are just getting worse.  Can’t we just try a new approach, and if it doesn’t work, the Demos will be swept out of office and we can go back to the old ways?  You conservatives have got us to where we are, so trying the progressive solutions for a couple of years won’t destroy the country.  What have we got lose?  Oh, I forgot.  You might become irrelevant.

I was having a discussion the other day with one of my conservative friends (that is all we have up here in self-serving thinking land).  The topic was the approaching California meltdown.  My opinion was fairly simple.  We have to decide what it is that is important, and then gut up and pay for it.  Their opinion was that the whole problem is waste in government.  Then I got an earful about how California State workers have too many benefits. I bet that would be a surprise to them as they are about to be forced to take another day of furlough while no one is being asked to raise taxes. So I asked them to give me an example.

I was told a story about one of their friends who worked for the State and when this person went on travel, used their mobile home and made a bundle because they got all this per diem while staying in her mobile home.   I pointed out that because it was more cost effective for most business and agencies to pay per diem instead of collecting receipts for meals and incidentals, the mobile home had nothing to do with it.  They then claimed, oh no, this person also got a per diem for her lodging.  When I pointed out that even the State, like the Feds, requires a receipt for lodging (and establishes maximum rates by locale), I was told I was wrong.  So based on this one fairly inaccurate description of someone gouging the system, the self-serving conclusion is that is where the problem is.  Once again it is those evildoers.

I wish it were that simple. One person’s waste in another person’s life line.  Sure there is inefficiency in government and I am all for rooting it out, but it is not the root cause of our problems.  But, and this is the moral of this story, the focus is on what they want to believe, not what the reality is.  They all think they pay enough and if it costs more for what they want, then it costs too much.  I think we can’t continue down this road and there is no free ride.  Sure there are smarter ways of doing things and we all know government can be improved, but failure of all of us to step up to the plate and realize that gutting education, infrastructure spending, help for the helpless, because it cost too much is a path to disaster for all of us.  Failure to make changes in the status quo because it costs too much is a quick trip to oblivion.

Blah, Blah, Blah

Enough about Michael Jackson!  I am having serious withdrawal from the regular news otherwise titled “Republicans Say the Stupidest Things and Nobody Ever Flinches”.  But since about mid-day yesterday, it has been non-stop.  Okay Michael Jackson was an interesting and troubled man.  Back in his prime, when he hadn’t altered his appearance to the truly bizarre, he was an amazing entertainer.  But he was not a world leader and his coming and going is going to have no impact on world events or our future except on People Magazine and Variety, or if you held some of his debt.  But let’s just say the coverage is warranted.  Have you listened to it?

I kept waiting for the pool cleaning guy to call in about his close and personal relationship with Michael.  I can’t believe the number of people who did have a close relationship and yet hadn’t seen him in years.  Maybe he waved at them over a crowd at a restaurant.  What kindness!  What a tender moment! Then there was the sameness to all the interviews and that sameness which I started counting is how many times the work “I” was used.  Maybe that just comes with the territory with show business people.  Everything in the end revolves around self.  Of course who could miss Al Sharpton.  I was wondering when Jessie Jackson would show up.  I am starting to believe that the voting rights act was a product of Michael’s career.

Then there was Keith Olbermann’s description of the massive crowds at UCLA medical center.  The problem with this one, at least based on the TV coverage, was that there were only several hundred readily visible.  Then Keith waxed on about how this man had impacted so many lives and thus the crowds.  I was wondering if it was just the same crowd that gathers at a crime scene, car wreck, or burning building.  Then, of course, was the coverage of the  coroner’s report which told you nothing and then the nothing was analyzed ad infinitum.  Then bring on some talking head expert to tell you what you just heard.  The reality is we will know nothing until the toxicology reports are completed in 6 weeks, so can we move on?  For my money he probably did die of a heart attack brought on by the stress of being in debt, trying to make a comeback, and over use of pain killers (because the rich can’t suffer pain like the rest of us, they are too important).  But we shall see.

But this blog is not to denigrate Michael who certainly was a pop icon, maybe one of the greatest.  This blog is denigrating the unbelievable amateurish and boorish coverage of his death, focusing on every minute detail, most of which they got wrong, and broadcasting interview after interview that was anything but insightful, much less truthful.  You really start to understand how they can be so easily manipulated by political hacks when you watch this kind of mush that masquerades as news.

But maybe I am showing my age.  Had this been Van Morrison I would have been glued to the TV.  I guess celebrity is in the eye of the beholder.

Vine/Wine Friday

Vine: Well, finally things are fairly well in hand.  The thinning is done, along with all of the pushing of the shoots up through the wires, and the spraying is complete so now it is just observe the set (pollination of the flowers) and see if I have robust clusters this year.  Right now things look very promising, but I will know more in another week when I see how the Mourvedre did.  The vines are very green and lush this year and as I sit on my front porch writing this, I see a turkey hen with chicks wandering down one of the rows.  The turkeys have never done any damage in my vineyard so until they do, it is live and let live.

This is the time of year that is really fun in the vineyard.  In the late afternoon or early evening when things start to really cool off, it is a great time to walk some of the rows and just do some minor tending.  You can even do it with a wine glass in you hand.  The other thing I am quite proud of this year are my roses.  They are all in beautiful bloom and it is just a beautiful site.  I have yet to add any water yet (except for the roses which are on a separate watering system).  It looks like my first irrigation will not be until about the second week in July.  For those of you who do not follow my blog on the vineyard, I practice deficit irrigation.

The idea is to let the vines almost reach a point of being distressed before saturating down to the four foot level and then repeating.  This usually adds up to three irrigations a year.  I manage soil moisture by using sensors that are strategically placed throughout my vineyard and they measure soil moisture at one foot intervals down to four feet.  When things start to get really dry at four feet, it is time for an irrigation cycle.  I use drip irrigation, 1-gallon emitters and I usually run them for about 96 hours to get saturation at the four foot level.  The idea behind this, back up by some research by U.C. Davis, is that water stressed vines tend to force more nutrients to the grapes (the kids), so that while the production is down, the quality is way up.  Each year I push them a little harder to see what the limits are and I am still learning.

Wine:  Not much to report on the cooking or wine scene since I was on one of those consulting trips where you work 16 hours a day and then collapse in your hotel room with a sandwich from Subway.  Actually there is a great market in Burlingame call Lunardi’s and I usually get some cooked meat (chicken, ribs, or some other dish), a salad, and a 24 ounce beer, and then collapse while watching Rachel Maddow summarize the day’s events.  But I did pick up a good pinot while I was in San Francisco.  I had visited David Bruce’s winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains a few years ago, happening upon it by accident, and was impressed with his very reasonable Pinots.  This particular one is a 2006 Santa Cruz Mountains and it has a complexity that just lasts and lasts for one of the best finishes in a Pinot I have ever had.  It runs about $32/bottle and for a pinot, this is one great bargain.  I also got a Siduri, which is also one of my favorites, but have not tried it yet.

While I was in San Francisco, we did go to a restaurant called Crustaceans which one of my fellow workers raved about.  It is up on Polk street near the Civic Center.  I found it just okay.  I ordered some tiger shrimp and they made the ultimate mistake of overcooking the shrimp.  I would not go back.  I did find a reasonably priced 2006 Tori Mor Oregon pinot on the menu that was quite nice and soothed my poor palate.  That is about it from Lightner Vineyards.  The temperature on the front porch has dropped to a comfortable 78°, the vineyard looks beautiful in the beginning sunset.  I am a very lucky man.  Carpe Diem.

Note:  The Damn system still won’t let me post photos.  Just once I would like to have an electronic thing that actually worked reliably.

Those Crazy Republicans

The no-boys never cease to amaze me.  They are against everything.  But in the Iran thing they are for more aggressive language.  It is like they have learned nothing from the last eight years of bellicose behavior.  But what made me laugh until my sides hurt was to hear them call for a U.N. resolution.  These are the boys who think the U.N. is a wimp institution and now they want the United States railing at Iran from the podium.  Thankfully we did not elect John McCain who would be playing right into the Supreme Leader’s hands with these ham handed tactics.  The focus would be on the United States interfering with Iran internal politics instead of on Iran’s government stealing power from the people.  But then why change our tremendously successful bellicose war strategy on display in Iraq removing Al-Qaeda.  Oh, I forgot.  They weren’t there to begin with and neither were the WMD.

Okay, okay, but they are going to protect us from big brother.  Did it ever occur to them that they are big brother?  Weren’t these the guys leading the charge on denying habeas corpus and warrantless wiretapping?  Oh, but I digress.  This time they are going to protect us from big government’s involvement in health care.  I guess they are against Medicare, the VA, and Medicaid too.  Oh did I mention that big brother actually pays for their health care?  But the free market will save us from these horrible catastrophes caused by government intervention and according to Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, ranking Republican member of the Finance Committee, there will be no public option.

Now unless I am confused, there is no public option now, and the market place has made a muddle of health care.  But with a few rules from Congress and the magic of the market place, SHAZAM, the market place will prevail.  Actually what he is proposing is government welfare for the insurance companies, but that is a post for another day.  These guys are so out of touch with most Americans, but they have close relationships with health industry lobbyists.  I actually thought President Obama made the most eloquent argument asking if government makes such a muddle of everything, why are they afraid to compete with it.  But logic is not having its day with these folks, and fear tactics are everywhere.  Be afraid of the cost.  Be afraid of deficits (brought to us by these very folks).  Be afraid of losing benefits.  If we follow their lead, just where do you think this train wreck is headed.  All of the above.

But I save the best for last and that is hapless Governor Sanford of South Carolina.  According to him, he wanted to be off and alone in Argentina.  It turns out he wanted to be off and “alone” for the same reason a 15-year old boy wants to be off and alone in the bathroom.  In this case he had a lover other than his hand.  Now the talking heads/spin machine are at it telling us what a good man he is to stand up and take his punishment.  If he were such a good man would he have cheated on his wife?  If he really found his life’s love, would there not be a more honorable way to deal with it?  The story is made large by the largeness of his hypocrisy, he the railing protector of the sanctity of marriage.  But now he wants forgiveness though he wasn’t willing to give Bill Clinton forgiveness.  And that is the central theme of all Republican thought.  They can’t imagine they would ever have been in such a situation so they have no empathy for others until it happens to them, and then they are a special case.

And here I want to make a point that is so important to understanding Republicans.  They really do think that the world is just and they are special.  Those that are poor, or ignorant, or disadvantaged are that way because they deserve it.  The market place is the final arbitrator and it rewards those that are just.  Except it didn’t in the last bubble burst and the playing field is clearly not level.  Okay, but what is their fear of government funded (note not run, but funded) health care?  It is the fear that all they believe is wrong.  Just as fundamentalist Christians want to believe the Bible is literal and ignore the thousands of conflicts, Republicans cling to the status quo with all their might.

I have conservative friends who are facing a health care crisis and see the problem, but that does not bleed over into so many of their other faulty held beliefs.  It only does when they have personal experience with the reality most of our citizens actually live.  Then and only then do they get it.  Governor Sanford wants compassion, but he was having none of it when the shoe was on the other foot. The Republican Party justifies very, very selfish behavior.  It does not empathize with less fortunate because to be less fortunate is to be unworthly.   We are going to have to live with conservatives for a long, long time, but isn’t it time Democrats started to ignore them instead of a bipartisan fool’s errands to accommodate false logic?  I would hope so.  They are very little people with no vision of the future, except on looking in the rear view mirror and protecting their own.

Idle Thoughts on a Friday

I am still on travel so there will be no report from the vineyard and I still can’t post pictures.  But in the meantime I do turn on the news in the morning and then wonder at what is happening in the world, so here are a couple of nuggets:

  • Healthcare Reform – I listened to a reporter on MSNBC report that House Democrats are looking for a way to pay for the package.  Then he said “single payer plan is dead”.  My thought here is then don’t bother.  I can’t figure out what it is that Congress can’t figure out that there is only one way forward.  And in all of this discussion have you heard one informed discussion about how other countries who have universal care have proceeded, the strengths and the weaknesses?  No, but you have heard some wild claims to scare you to hang on to our failing system.  On the money thing, WE ALREADY PAY FOR IT.  It is just hidden in our fees, cost of goods, and our ever increasing insurance costs as the uncovered end up in emergency rooms which is the least cost effective way to pay for their care.  Gut up, understand we all pay for it, and just make it part of the tax base.
  • DNA Testing – The Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling, decided that convicts do not have a right to DNA testing to try to exonerate themselves.  The majority view was that this is a State’s rights issue.  Chief Justice Roberts wrote, “To suddenly constitutionalize this area would short-circuit what looks to be a prompt and considered legislative response.”  So if you live in one of those States who denies you the ability to try to exonerate yourself, this should give you great comfort.  Here is where the statement of nominee Sonia Sototmayer is showing so much wisdom.  She said that her experiences as a Latina woman would give her some insight and understanding that the majority may not understand (I am paraphrasing).  I cannot understand how anyone could believe that allowing the State to deny convicts the right to examine the evidence against them is anything but a lack of life and liberty.  But these guys have never been persecuted by the State and don’t get it.  You might want to ask yourself why States would want to refuse convicts, at their cost, to examine DNA evidence.  Maybe they don’t want to be proved wrong.  Most prosecutors are political positions.  The Constitution was written to protect individual rights and the five that voted against this case think their responsibility is to uphold the legislative process trumps  due process and standing up for the rights of our citizens.
  • President’s Popularity – President Obama has taken some hits in popularity lately and it is deserved.  He is trying hard, but as I have written here before, he is taking the middle road and being timid and what we get is compromise to no where.  Where is his and the Democrat’s spine?  Whether it is gay rights, health care, torture, he is just becoming like the rest of them, deciding what is best for us and politically achievable.  Some day I want to be treated like a grown up.  Change is being compromised into more of the same.
  • Iran – This is probably one of the most interesting stories about what change is possible.  Watching the brave Persians stand up for having their voice heard has been inspiring.  I think we have handled this well because any perception of U.S. meddling in the Middle East would be counter-productive.  It is also a lesson to us on Iraq and Afghanistan.  Iran is not the monlithic monster invisioned and Muslims will only resolve their problems internally.  Our involvement simply muddies the waters and feeds the fear of an infidel invasion.  The “Supreme Leader” has shown his fallibility and has cast doubt about this regime throughout the world.  Once the seed of change is planted, there is no turning back, just minor setbacks.
  • Financial Reform – It is just barely a start.  Note that we are hearing all the usual arguments about government is bad, regulation hurts the economy.  But it wasn’t government that got us into this problem, but the lack of it.  There are tons of arcane details, but the only question you need to consider is whose economy will it hurt?  The bankers or the middle class.  The last eight years have been devastating to the middle class, but who cares, stock prices were up.  The reality is very simple.  In order to have less volatility, the swings in the market have to be smaller.  But we can’t have the wild profiteering that was going on in the financial industry.  So regulation hurts who?  The bankers.  We have nothing yet.

Missing in Action

No I haven’t fallen off the earth.  I am on a all consuming consulting job and my blog program won’t let me upload photos.  I should be back in action soon and can focus on solving my technical problems.

Vine/Wine Friday (Monday)

Vine: Sorry for the lateness of this, but there has been just too much to do.  I finish the first round of spraying and I do not recommend my approach.  I am spraying Sulfur DF, and Ralley® with an emulsifier to control powdery mildew.  I have never had any up here, but the conditions are ripe with the cool moist days this June so I usually do 2-rounds of spraying.  Now the reason I say I don’t recommend this approach is that I do it by hand.  See the picture on the left.  I have a 25 gallon spray rig that I pull behind my ATV.  I then walk through reach row and spray both sides of the plants by hand with a hand wand.  For my small vineyard this is a two-day process.  For a young man, he could do it in one day, but I find that if I don’t want to have leg cramps, I will break it up into two days.  Note the Tyvek suit, goggles, gloves, and mask.  I do look quite fetching don’t I?  It can get quite hot out there.  The normal way to do this, which would just take a couple of hours would be to use a tractor with a fogging spay unit.  But the financial investment is about $30 grand and so I make due with what I have.

The second task I finally got done with some help from Ron Mansfield’s crew is the pushing of all the shoots in the Syrah up through the wires, positioning them so they are not falling horizontal, and thinning some of the new growth since the last thinning.  This seems like a simple task, but it can become quite arduous and time consuming positioning the shoots and trying not to break any.  Remember that I told you that for the Syrah, you want about 5-6 spurs on each side of the cardon (either side of T shape of the plant.  The cardon is the horizontal piece of the T.  The vertical piece is the trunk).  From those 5-6 spurs you want two strong, fruit bearing shoots.  The problem is you will get many shoots from many locations that are not optimal.  So you have to go through each plant and thin it down to two well position shoots and then push them up through the wires so the stay fairly vertical and allow your grapes to be open to sunlight and not crowded out by other shoots.  In the process you will get some locations that are not ideal, but is your only choice.  In others locations you may get a shoot that is perfectly situated but does not have fruit.  So it is a balancing act where, unlike financial markets, you try to think long term.  The idea is not to maximize to production this year, but to shape a plant so that in a few years, it is perfectly pruned to produce healthy and well-positioned shoots for many years.  The two pictures I have included show the before and after of a second round of pushing the shoots up through the wires and additional thinning.

At this point, the big work in the vineyard is done.  I will still have to do another round of spraying either next weekend or the following week, but things are pretty much under control now and with most of the shoots now position in the wires (and the Mourvedre and Grenache thinned-same concept of two shoots per spur, but head trained plants (no wires)).  The only real tasks now since the plant can’t out grow my efforts are to thin as the plant grows (cover) and do some positioning on the wires as they grow more slowly.  In other words, the big push is over.  I still don’t know how the set went and will check in about another week to see what grapes were pollinated and growing (set).  I was down at Holly’s Hill which is about 500’ lower in elevation than my vineyard and the set was quite apparent.  I would say my vineyard is about two weeks behind them.

Wine: I had a delightful wine tasting experience this weekend.  All of you wine lovers enjoy wine tasting, but the real learning occurs when you are in the company of other trained palates who will give you their opinions, and especially if you can do flight tasting so you can compare wines side-by-side.  Holly’s Hill, which grows Rhone varietals and buys my Mourvedre, had their annual Holly’s Hill versus the Rhone Valley taste-off.  What they do is a blind tasting with eight wines in two 4-glass flights.  All you know is that you are going to get six southern Rhones and two Holly’s Hill Rhones (Patriache 2005 & 2006). Note Southern Rhones are blends usually of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre, but they can have other Southern Rhone reds blended in smaller quantities.   But you don’t who is who.  So they pour the first four glasses from bottles that are hidden in a paper bag and you are given about twenty minutes to swirl, sniff, and taste, record your findings and discuss with your tablemates.  Then you rank them one through four.  Then the whole gathering gives their comments and we vote for the 1-4 ratings.  Just as an aside, this is not easy because French wines are very complex and tend to really change in your glass so that a first impression is usually a throwaway.  Then we repeat the process for the second flight of four and then you rank all of them, one through eight, attempting to identify which are French and which are the Holly’s Hill.  Finally you find out what each wine is, its cost, and how it was rated by professionals (Robert Parker and others) to see how your rankings matched up.  Josh and Carrie (wine makers at Holly’s Hill) also give you their impressions and their rankings.

When Ron Mansfield and I arrived (Ron is my vineyard consultant and world renowned (no, I am not kidding) grower up here (we were running late because I was late out of the vineyard), the couple we sat with last year had noted we were coming and save us seats.  Now that in it self was a good omen because they have great palates, have traveled extensively in France, and they valued our tasting judgments.  I’ll just ignore that Ron’s palate is way better than mine and I also was a valued team member.  To make a long story short, my one and two picks were the groups two and one pick and my first choice was a 2006 Clos Des Papes ($110) rated 98 by Parker.  My second was the 2006 Patriarche which I would have bet my life was French.  This one has not been rated yet but rumor is Parker did rate it and we are waiting for the results.  So all in all, it was nice to know my palate is still working and the other lesson is that you usually get what you pay for when you buy wines.

I had 24 fresh pacific oysters on ice in my truck, so Ron and I drove over to our friends the Wards, who love oysters and have treated us to them many times, shucked and ate them with French bread and a nice Holly’s Hill Roussanne.  All in all, as Mike would say, it was a good day to be alive.  Carpe Diem.

Turning the Republican Ship Around

Mike Murphy, a Republican Strategist on MSNBC’s Hardball, explained that if the Republicans continue on their nostalgic revisiting of the Reagan years, they will be entering the ice age.  He talks of modernizing the conservative religion and de-emphazing the social-family values that so invigorate the base.  He points out that they appeal to an ever shrinking demographic of White Men.

Now my thought is that the devil is in the details.  True, the present crop of Republicans are marginalizing themselves by aligning themselves with the radical right, but I have yet to hear any Republican present any rational approach to our problems utilizing conservative small government, low taxes, and minimal regulations that is believable.  It would be interesting if any did because then we could have a real debate about our way forward.  But to date even Republicans agree that they have not presented realistic alternatives for our future.  I think that if they did they would sound like the conservative Democrats.  Are we heading for one party?  Or are we heading for three parties, the radical right, moderate Republicans including conservative Democrats, and Progressive Democrats?

Much Ado About Nothing or Miss Direction

The news is being dominated by the food fight between the Palins and David Letterman about his comments referring to their daughter (which one is still in question).  I will grant you his joke was in very poor taste, but the Palin’s, with the media’s help, are turning this into a globally important battle.  Please!  Between the two of them, bad taste and poor judgment abounds and who cares.  Iran is having a monumental election, North Korea may react belligerently to U.N. Sanctions, and we are focusing on an overblown food fight that is all about political posturing?  No wonder we can’t have rational discussions about important issues and our future.

I listened to Chris Mathews describe how Palin might be a force in the Republican Party in the future after conservative Kathleen Parker laid out why she is not leadership material.  As always, Chris confuses form over substance.  She can take a pretty picture and with a script she can rile up the radical right, but based on her stand on issues and the thought she demonstrates behind them, there is no brain power there.  There is no there there.  We are in real trouble if we get another George Bush in office.

Note Vine/Wine will be late, but sometime this weekend.

Were the Killings at the Holocaust Museum and the Kanas Clinic Related?

Yes they were, but it is not a conspiracy.  Both were right wing wing-nuts, and as Homeland Security warned us last spring, with the election of a black president and real change happening, there is a threat from the right wing.  So how are they related and should we be surprised?

Look at how the right wing of the Republican Party has ramped up the hate language.  When you say (Rush Limbaugh and others) that Barrack Obama is destroying the country, that his appointment to the supreme court is a racist, that the Doctor in Kansas is a murderer, and I could go on and on, you are ramping up hate language that activates these kinds of people.  Until the language is tamped back down and we all realize we care about this country and see our way forward in different ways, this stuff is going to get worse.  With a major party pandering to their radical right, who is surprised that these people are incited to violence?

One other thought:  When you can justify taking the law into your own hands, you believe in your own moral superiority.  This lends itself to racists and radical evangelicals.  Oh did I mention radical Muslims?  They are all in this group.