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Palast writes: "When we were at Francis Polytechnic High in Sun Valley, Steve Paddock and I were required to take electrical shop class. At Poly and our junior high, we were required to take metal shop so we could work the drill presses at the GM plant. We took drafting. Drafting like in 'blueprint drawing.'"

Mobile home on tracks, Sun Valley, California, birthplace of the Vegas shooter. (photo: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy)
Mobile home on tracks, Sun Valley, California, birthplace of the Vegas shooter. (photo: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy)

I Went to School With the Vegas Shooter

By Greg Palast, Greg Palast's Website

14 October 17


hen we were at Francis Polytechnic High in Sun Valley, Steve Paddock and I were required to take electrical shop class. At Poly and our junior high, we were required to take metal shop so we could work the drill presses at the GM plant. We took drafting. Drafting like in "blueprint drawing."

Paddock. Palast. We sat next to each other at those drafting tables with our triangular rulers and #2 pencils so we could get jobs at Lockheed as draftsman drawing blueprints of fighter jets. Or do tool-and-dye cutting to make refrigerator handles at GM where they assembled Frigidaire refrigerators and Chevys.

But we weren’t going to fly the fighter jets. Somewhere at Phillips Andover Academy, a dumbbell with an oil well for a daddy was going to go to Yale and then fly our fighter jets over Texas. We weren’t going to go to Yale. We were going to go to Vietnam. Then, when we came back, if we still had two hands, we went to GM or Lockheed.

(It’s no coincidence that much of the student population at our school was Hispanic.)

But if you went to "Bevvie" - Beverly Hills High - or Hollywood High, you didn’t take metal shop. You took Advanced Placement French. You took Advanced Placement Calculus. We didn’t have Advanced Placement French. We didn’t have French anything. We weren’t Placed, and we didn’t Advance.

Steve was a math wizard. He should have gone to UCLA, to Stanford. But our classes didn’t qualify him for anything other than LA Valley College and Cal State Northridge. Any dumbbell could get in. And it was nearly free. That’s where Steve was expected to go, and he went with his big math-whiz brain. And then Steve went to Lockheed, like we were supposed to. Until Lockheed shut down plants in 1988. Steve left, took the buy-out.

And after NAFTA, GM closed too.

Land of Opportunity? Well, tell me: who gets those opportunities?

Some of you can and some of you can’t imagine a life where you just weren’t give a fair chance. Where the smarter you are, the more painful it gets, because you have your face pressed against the window, watching THEM. THEY got the connections to Stanford. THEY get the gold mine. WE get the shaft.

This is where Paddock and Palast were bred: Sun Valley, the anus of Los Angeles. Literally. It’s where the sewerage plant is. It’s in a trench below the Hollywood Hills, where the smog settles into a kind of puke yellow soup. Here’s where LA dumps its urine and the losers they only remember when they need cheap labor and cheap soldiers when the gusanos don’t supply enough from Mexico.

I’ll take you to Sun Valley. It’s in my film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. In the movie, a kind of dream scene, the actress Shailene Woodley takes me back to my family’s old busted home in the weeds and then down San Fernando Road, near Steve's place. Take a look, America. Along the tracks that once led in to the GM plant, you see a bunch of campers that the union men bought for vacations. Now they live in them.

No, Steve’s brain was too big to end up on the tracks. He lived in empty apartments in crappy buildings he bought, then in a barren tract house outside Reno. I laugh when they say he was "rich." He wanted to be THEM, to have their stuff. He got close.

It’s reported that Steve was a "professional gambler." That’s another laugh. He was addicted to numbing his big brain by sitting 14 hours a day in the dark in front of video poker machines. He was a loser. Have you ever met a gambler who said they were a Professional Loser?

It’s fair to ask me: Why didn’t I end up in a hotel room with a bump-stock AR-15 and 5,000 rounds of high velocity bullets?

Because I have a job, a career, an OBSESSION: to hunt down THEM, the daddy-pampered pricks who did this to us, the grinning billionaire jackals that make a profit off the slow decomposition of the lives I grew up with.

But I’m telling you, that I know it’s a very fine line, and lots of crazy luck, that divided my path from Paddock’s.

Dear Reader: The publication that pulled this story at the last moment was plain scared–that they’d be accused of approving murder.

Paddock slaughtered good people, coldly, with intense cruelty, destroying lives and hundreds of families forever. If you think I’m making up some excuse for him, then I give up.

But also this: The editor of the Beverly Hills-based publication, a Stanford grad, could not understand that, just like veterans of the Vietnam war who suffer from PTSD even today, so too, losers of the class war can be driven mad by a PTSD that lingers, that gnaws away, their whole lives.

What happens to a dream deferred? Does it ...fester like a sore? Does it stink like rotten meat? a heavy load?

Or does it explode?

Steve, you created more horrors than your cornered life could ever justify.

But, I just have to tell you, Steve: I get it. your social media marketing partner


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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

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Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+2 # bread and butter 2017-10-14 12:01

So much good writing crammed in with so much bullshit, all in one article.

Nuance is great. Nuance is a necessary part of understanding life as an adult. Another nuance would involve devoting more time (not just precursory) to the fact that the machine gun the genius used, showed no nuance, as it splattered (not a nuanced word, but factual) human blood and guts all over the faces of other humans who were forced to witness the splattering of people they happened to love.

There's a time and a place for nuance. That time and place is EVERYWHERE - ALL THE TIME.

But, the nuance, should include the graphic horror inflicted by one person on untold thousands of others (dead + injured + families + witnesses + friends + collective conscience of a nation = untold thousands).

I have some very serious hard-luck stories of my own, probably ALMOST as bad as what "Steve" went through. Still, my dumb-fucked, non-genius, brain, cannot fathom using "math wiz skills" to calculate bullet trajectories, to maximize the number of innocent strangers I could splatter for personal pleasure.

More than hard-luck stories separate us. There are also a few other matters:

-whether or not an individual is an evil asshole, whose math wizardry cannot accommodate the calculus of imagining the horror others face to please his own risk-taking need for personal gratification.

-whether or not an individual lives in a country that makes the possession of a personal arsenal a "right".
+22 # librarian1984 2017-10-15 10:55
I agree with you but think Palast is making another important point. One of the tragedies of the American reality is that we squander the talents and potential of millions of Americans. I think about this almost every day.

The poor kid who might have cured cancer but won't get to college. The woman who might have figured out how to slow climate change working three jobs and living in a hovel. 'Throwaway' people are passed over while the idiot children of the rich grow up having everything. W is a prime example. He should have been a ball player or something. Instead he became president.

Palast was in a unique position by virtue of his knowing Paddock as a young man. He knows the guy wasn't 'born that way'. He was made.

He was engineered by TPTB who decided it would be more profitable NOT to let the hoi polloi advance, who decided dumbing down our schools would make us more docile.

Most of us would never do such a horrific thing, could not do it. It is monstrous ... but we can understand Paddock's anger and frustration. How many men are doing horrible things just not as sensational? How many beat their wives or get into fistfights because this economy makes them feel emasculated? How many women are mean to their kids because they're exhausted and unappreciated? The policies enacted by parasitic oligarchs harm everyone -- Paddock is just the most extreme example.

I read Palast's powerful writing not as an excuse but a warning.
+6 # Caliban 2017-10-16 13:47
Excellent comment on a fine article.
+3 # ainsleyjo1952 2017-10-16 19:24

You definitely have a clue!

Many years ago when I was in college, one of the stories we read in one of my classes was Dry September by William Faulkner where it showed a group of angry men who were not only ripe for forming a lynch mob against an alleged Black rapist but, also, for taking out their frustrations in the form of spousal-abuse.

This is the kind of anger that Steve Paddock had boiling inside of him -- and Greg Palast has done an excellent job of explaining why this was so.

And you've done an excellent job of further elaborating on this.

This is something that happens to be one of my own pet peeves, because people should be celebrated instead of thrown away.
+32 # Farafalla 2017-10-14 14:00
Full disclosure: I live in the san fernando valley, work at LA Valley College, taught at Francis Tech, lectured at CSUN, worked in Pacoima and Sun Valley. Yes, this is one of the most neglected areas in LA. The old GM plant and other old economy employers have left leaving a series of contaminated aquifers and soil. The camper homeless population keeps growing. Gentrification is in full swing. But there are some very hard working people here who are trying to make this a better place. I love reading Mr. Pallast's investigative pieces, but this one made me sad for the place I live and work in. I don't think he intended that, maybe thinking that nobody in the 818 reads RSN.
+47 # Wise woman 2017-10-14 14:20
So do I. And I think most women and non whites get it as well on some level. We're not advocating murder by any stretch of the imagination, but we do do know how it feels to be denied equal pay or signing a mortgage without a cosigner simply because of our gender or the color of our skin. When one isn't taken seriously for these reasons, it can begin to rankle the soul.
+37 # draak 2017-10-14 14:25
Everybody should read this.
+31 # vt143 2017-10-14 14:38
-26 # moreover 2017-10-14 14:54
Maybe you get, but I can't say the same for myself.

And for the record, this guy was rich, so why downplay it?

And neither is it any kind of insight to observe that life isn't fair and that you're born into circumstances that may hamper your possibilities.

I think the other publication turned Palast's piece down because there's nothing to learn in it.
+41 # Bourbaki 2017-10-14 15:56
I haven't walked in either of their shoes but it does strike me that it is clearly possible, hell it just happened.

Thanks for publishing this RSN.
-79 # John S. Browne 2017-10-14 15:58

Oh, come on Palast and others! This guy was a patsy. There is PLENTY of evidence pointing to the fact that he was aided by the government in perpetrating the act that he allegedly perpetrated, if he was indeed the one who did so, and not a government agent, or series of government agents, informant(s), etc. The government needs these kinds of acts to "justify" gun control, to take all of the guns away from the populace, so that the increasing "standing army" on U.S. soil is almost the only ones who have all the weapons of war to use against more and more Americans, both "guilty" and innocent (and they increasingly have a ton of weaponry and ammunition, and are stockpiling more and more, providing them to every federal and local government agency---agenci es that you would never think would need ANY firepower, let alone the level of firepower that they're being "gifted").

When governments take away all of the guns from the citizenry in general, and make the populace completely defenseless, that is when those governments become totalitarian police states, criminalize all human and civil rights, lockdown the public, surveil everyone, terrorize and repress the citizenry, lock up increasing numbers of innocent people because they stand for human rights and civil liberty(ies), torture those innocent people, experiment on them, mass-murder them, and essentially disappear them, etc. This is what is rising fast in "Amerika", and these incidents serve to bring it about!

-9 # John S. Browne 2017-10-14 23:01

(Continued from above)


"Get up, stand up! Stand up for your rights!" (Bob Marley, et al.) Stop this "totaliterroriz ing" and "totalitarianiz ation" of the U.S., the West and world! And stop falling for the increasing "false-flag" events and/or attacks that are being used to get us to accept the expanding controls, surveillance, eradication of true freedom(s), liberty(ies), privacy and other rights, subjugation, repression and mass-imprisonme nt in the vast open-air concentration camp that the U.S., the West and the world are increasingly becoming!

We're being "false-flagged to death", to elimination of all true freedom(s), liberty(ies), privacy and other rights, including freedom of belief, expression and thought, to being acclimated and conditioned to accept this mass-imprisonme nt, and to bow down to it willingly! Again, stop falling for it! Stop accepting and bowing down to it! Stop believing, ENTIRELY, in what the false-flag incidents appear to be on the surface! See through the official government conspiracy theories, and ONLY believe in the conspiracy FACTS! And stand up against it... ALL! Stand up for, AND *ONLY* ACCEPT, your TRUE freedom(s), liberty(ies), privacy and other rights! No longer, and/or don't, accept being the control-freaks' completely-subj ugated slaves! Stop increasingly bowing down to their official narrative(s), and their using it and/or them to corral us! BE NOTHING BUT *TRULY* FREE, ENTIRELY!

+5 # mozartssister 2017-10-16 17:20
Guns do not equal freedom. Being able to go to a country music concert--a movie, the mall, whatever--witho ut constant danger of being mowed down at any moment DOES.
-3 # John S. Browne 2017-10-16 18:09

(Continued from above)

Yep, here we are, just as Dr. Whitehead says in the article linked to below. Are we so far gone that it is too late for most Americans, and others of the increasingly-en slaved West and world, to wake up and stop this national and international tyranny in the false guise of "saving us from terrorists and terrorism", when it is the "saviors" who are the actual tyrants and terrorists? Have we let things get beyond the point of no return, such that we can no longer turn things around and bring about a TRULY FREE country and world? It seems more people are lulled deeper and deeper asleep to the level of danger we are under, while all of our True Freedom(s), Liberty(ies), Privacy and other rights are outwardly being eradicated right under our noses, with nary a bleat of discontent from the increasingly-br ainwashed and "washed-of(-tru e)-brains" masses.


+2 # Carol R 2017-10-15 14:00
Here is what happens when government takes away all of the guns from the citizenry in general..the mass killings stop.
In Japan, citizens are banned from possessing, carrying, selling or buying handguns or rifles. Importing gun parts is also prohibited under the Firearm and Sword Control Law.

Only licensed hunters are allowed to own shotguns, andthe screening process is very strict.

Applicants are required to obtain a license from a local government and undergo background checks by police as well as mental and drug tests at hospitals.

The gun license must be renewed every three years, and applicants are required to again undergo the various tests.

Shotgun owners are also required to store their weapons in a specified locker at their home and report its location to police. Ammunition must be kept in a separate locked safe.

While gun-related incidents are rare in Japan, the country is no stranger to mass murder cases.

In December 2007, a man with a shotgun killed two people at a fitness club and injured six others before committing suicide in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture...
-4 # John S. Browne 2017-10-16 16:44

Your point is?


1.) Japan doesn't have a bill of rights like the U.S. has, or one that is at least supposed to be as robust and inviolable as the U.S.'s is.

2.) Japan's government is a virtual U.S. puppet state, and therefore a police state, or increasingly so, as the U.S. (and the other Western "dem(on)ocracie s") are increasingly getting to be (if not already become, with only a patina of "liberty" and "freedom").

Even if there was complete gun control in the U.S., the false-flag attacks likely wouldn't stop, because they are too good for business as usual, for bringing about the elimination of true freedom, liberty, privacy and other rights, and for erecting the global(ist) police state. Gun control helps speed it and totalitarianism into reality.

Was the American colony revolution wrong? (Remember, if not for it, you probably wouldn't be here today.) As much as I truly and sincerely abhor violence, sometimes violent revolution to end or prevent tyranny is necessary, as it was 241 years ago. But if the populace is all completely or mostly disarmed, and most can't get a hold of weaponry to defend themselves against an increasingly tyrannical and totalitarian government, what hope do they have of stopping the tyranny?

I'm NOT a "conservative", but you "liberals" never learn correctly from the history of this matter. Thus, you aid the tyranny in bringing about absolute subjugation, which is completely un- and anti- American.

Wake up!

+2 # randrjwr 2017-10-17 10:07
Mr. Brown,

Quoting you, in part: "But if the populace is all completely or mostly disarmed, and most can't get a hold of weaponry to defend themselves against an increasingly tyrannical and totalitarian government, what hope do they have of stopping the tyranny?"

So, do you know a place, on-line or elsewhere, where a concerned citizen can buy a tank, an F-16, a C-130 gun-ship, an Surface-to-Air shoulder-fired Anti-aircraft missile system, a cruise missile, an M-60 machine gun, etc., all with operating manuals and munitions, of course? It will take much more than assault rifles to overcome a determined government, thanks to 241 years of R&D devoted to killing.

So what hope do we have, even if there are no gun control laws?
-1 # John S. Browne 2017-10-17 14:36

I tend to agree with that, but it doesn't rationalize or justify gun control. What, according to your apparent "rationale", we might as well allow gun control because we're screwed anyway? I hope that's not the impression that you meant to give. You're right, we may be fracked anyway, but supporting anti-liberty-an d-freedom, and anti-constituti onal, gun control isn't the answer. I don't see how we have temporal hope of overcoming such a massively-armed -and-mass-murde rous colossus as the U.S. and global government have become. Heck, all of us who nothing but non-violently stand up (like myself) against this huge, and growing, all-pervasive monster, are considered "enemies of the state", "unprivileged (supposedly having no rights) 'enemy' belligerents", and "guilty" of "perceived threatening conduct" in violation of the "U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act", and will likely soon all be rounded up and indefinitely imprisoned without any true due process of law for being nothing but truly patriotic and constitutional Americans. I don't have all the answers; but, with God, ALL THINGS are possible. We overcame the monstrous monolithic despotic tyranny known as the British monarchy and dictatorship, when and where the odds were completely against us; and, somehow (I believe it was by the grace and miracles of God), we overcame and were victorious against that tyranny. So, there IS hope today against this huge monstrosity that is the U.S. and global government, God willing.

+1 # randrjwr 2017-10-18 12:00
Mr. Brown,

My main point is that the argument that we need guns in order to stand up against the government is a specious argument. In particular, I see this as a stated chief rationale for insisting on having guns that have no place in civil society, namely assault rifles and 30-round magazines. Any hunter that claims to need these to kill a deer or an elk should be ashamed of himself.

My real fear is that the real reason many, if not all, these gun enthusiasts want these military-type weapons is so that, if/when civil society goes to hell and descends into anarchy, they will have the weapons they feel they need to defend themselves against other anarchists and to attack us who choose not to have guns and take whatever we might still have.

Let me be clear--I am not against sport hunting. I used to do it myself and enjoyed target shooting and antique guns and was even on a Rifle team in college. That said, I don't see the problem with restricting gun holdings in respects that make mass killings more difficult, restriction to smaller magazines (5 or 10?--who needs more than 5 to kill a deer?) and assault rifles, in particular. I also favor educating parents to keep their guns out of the hands of children too young to understand what they can do and how easy they can do it.
-1 # John S. Browne 2017-10-18 17:49

It's very simple, because "a little bit" of gun control will, first, lead to more gun control, and second, will then lead to the public not being allowed any gun ownership whatsoever (except perhaps for hunting ONLY, but that wouldn't last either). It opens the door to that, and that's why the NRA and others fight so hard against ANY gun control.

Would the American colonies have stood any chance whatsoever against the despotic, tyrannical monarchy of England if they had had no weapons? Therefore, "the argument that we need guns in order to stand up against the government" is NOT a specious argument. Do you get it yet?

No doubt you'll now come back with some other rationalization (s); but, please, don't waste your time; because, just as I will never be convinced to be pro-abortion, I will also never be convinced to be pro any kind(s) of gun control. Call me "close-minded" if you "must"; but I'm actually very open-minded to NOTHING BUT TRUTH, just not so open-minded that my brains fall out in the process of being open-minded.

Yes, I agree that those who violently defend themselves against the government will likely not stand a chance, and will be wiped out or "disappeared" into indefinite imprisonment without any True Justice; but that's not the point. The point is that they have a right to violently defend themselves when the tyrannical government ATTACKS THEM without TRUE just cause. If their conscience(s) lead(s) them to believe it's okay, it's their right.

+2 # randrjwr 2017-10-18 22:00
Well, JSB, I'll reply anyway, then I'll quit.

So it's the "slippery slope" argument--too bad it didn't work for nukes. In spite of the treaties, everybody still has them. Given the current strength of the NRA, do you really think that would be allowed to happen?

I also still have my doubts that the intention is to fight the government. I don't believe they are that crazy; they will just want to survive when things fall apart. Yes, the colonists would have been helpless, as you say, but at least they could manufacture their own cannons and guns (I doubt they bought many from the British), in contrast to the situation today.

By the way, I also am appalled by the (so-called) Patriot Act and what it has enabled. I do not like being spied on or being treated like a criminal at an airport. And I was also appalled at W's decision to invade Iraq for no good reason.
0 # John S. Browne 2017-10-19 15:02

Well, this is one of your comments that I "voted up" in spite of itself, because it's mostly correct. But conflating the gun and weapons issue(s) with the far larger, much more threatening to all life on earth, issue of nuclear weapons, is a very poor example; and, again, does not in the least justify or excuse gun control.

We are presently under far greater threat(s) than guns and other weapons in the hands of the citizenry, and it is being used as one of the many distractions from it. The level to which government(s), particularly the U.S. and its other Western and allied governments, all increasingly bound together under expanding global government and its very much "'1984'-like enslavement" (the opposite of True Freedom and Liberty, and the increasing eradication of them and their associated rights), is and/or are presently getting completely out of control and fast becoming a despotic tyranny of totalitarian corporate-fasci sm, aka "neo-Nazism", under a "Fourth Reich", of colossal and monstrous proportions never before seen in the world, is our most dire and grave threat.

All True Freedom, Liberty, Privacy and other rights are in the crosshairs; and, if "We the People" of the world don't stop it, we are all fracked. So, that is what we should be concentrating on, along with waking people up to this fact and necessity, and not allow ourselves to be distracted from it BY ANYTHING. The U.S. and the West are already unrecognizable as ostensibly "free" nations.

+40 # sbessho 2017-10-14 16:03
Those who try do distance themselves from people like Paddock and other seemingly senseless mass shooters, and like the white supremacists who marched at Charlottesville are in denial about the truth of our society and the psychological effect of the extreme inequality fomented by our worship of profit and lack of concern for the common good. I applaud Greg Palast for honestly confronting and exposing how he--and by extension millions of others--really can relate to the anger and sense of justice that so many must feel. The fine line between how he responded--by going into investigative journalism--and how Paddock did--by withdrawing and feeding his anger with no safe outlet until it boiled over--is what exposes the lie of the gun lobby and those who think the only danger we face is from "criminals," as though they are a separate and distinct class of people. The truth is that the law-abiding folks who think they need firearms to protect themselves can become criminals in the wink of an eye, in the moment their desire to protect themselves turns pre-emptive, and the threat to their future is generalized to include anyone who doesn't recognize their pain.
+9 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-10-14 20:25
ssbe -- good points. I think you are right. The truth is that our society produces many who are extremely psychologically damaged. Psychotropic drug use is really very high. People medicate themselves, but some just snap.
+1 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-10-15 08:39
Did you see this article in the Wapo. Are these the kind of people you are referring to?
+22 # Depressionborn 2017-10-14 16:09
Sad. Kids deserve equal opportunity.
+40 # DrD 2017-10-14 16:15
Powerful stuff. Thanks Greg for your viewpoint and thanks RSN for not being afraid to publish it.

(I'm going to add a small donation in addition to my monthly. We've got to keep this project funded)
+26 # Carol R 2017-10-14 16:41
"... losers of the class war can be driven mad by a PTSD that lingers, that gnaws away, their whole lives."
Paddock was a sick individual who cared nothing about himself and felt he was justified in killing to get revenge for failing his inner self. He needed help and didn't get any. He self-destructed and took others with him.

He was sick and society allowed him to get guns that kill. Society has a responsibility to take that power away from future killers who feel sorry for themselves.
+53 # vicnada 2017-10-14 17:12
Wow! That gut me good. I just saw my life pass before my eyes - a life ending in a custody battle half as old as our last child. Our marriage hit the rocks after the 2008 crash. Now, relentlessly dogged by collection agents from CitiBank and Chase, there's no hope to repay credit cards that I loaded up with giant legal bills needed to salvage half time with our kids. Should I counter-sue for damages? I mean, why should there be TARP bailouts for the criminal banksters while they shamelessly force those whose lives they wrecked into bankruptcy? And need anyone look further for the cause of 'deaths of despair' surging among US white working class? Banksters: the stinking suers of humanity.
-42 # 2017-10-14 18:46
This doesn't make much sense. The shooter was by all accounts an extremely successful multi-millionai re.... Maybe Palast is disillusioned and has lost his dreams but there is no indication that the shooter shared Palast's despondence.

Lee Nason
+2 # randrjwr 2017-10-15 22:54
This doesn't make much sense. The shooter was by all accounts an extremely successful multi-millionaire.... Maybe Palast is disillusioned and has lost his dreams but there is no indication that the shooter shared Palast's despondence.

Lee Nason

Sounds like a pretty empty success to me. Money isn't everything.
-1 # moreover 2017-10-16 07:24
I share your assessment. Someone with those kinds of assets is very well off and to claim he's a 'loser' is not reasonable.
It does not speak well of RSN's audience that they're incapable of making such simple distinctions and voting down measured voices such as yours and mine.
+20 # vt143 2017-10-14 19:10
I like the piece. Now, thinking about this a bit more, if Paddock had a beef with being part of the underclass, why target a bunch of everyday people enjoying a concept?? Why not target a GOP meeting a the Greenbrier or some other meeting of the ruling party??
+19 # Dudu101 2017-10-14 19:11
Thanks, Greg. Makes more sense than what I have heard up to now. I suspect he failed to maintain a good relationship with any woman. He did not feel significant to his significant other.
+1 # JayaVII 2017-10-15 10:08
I love Mr. Palast's stuff for the most part, but this story doesn't ring true. Most of us don't get into selective colleges. Few of us become mass murderers. By most standards, the killer was successful and lived more than comfortably. In his mid-60s, was he still obsessed with not getting into Stanford? This is projection, pure and simple. Paddock was an enigma, and will remain so.
-1 # krazykwiltkatt 2017-10-15 14:57
Post WWII the USA experienced a huge widening of opportunity for the majority of the population, with the exception of Blacks, Native Americans, certain citizens of states like W. VA and KY,Latinos, etc.Reagan & the post-Reagan years showed steep declines in good paying manufacturing jobs and widening income inequality. Now with increasing automation, we are becoming, in that great war criminal, Henry Kissinger's words,useless eaters. And will be treated as such .
+1 # Buddha 2017-10-16 08:40
And if the shooter had been a Muslim, that same Beverly Hills editor wouldn't have had any problem running a story of the de rigueur narrative that indicts Islam itself, and loss of job prospects or economic advancement or vocational purpose or even mental illness of that Muslim shooter wouldn't even be explored, would it? But when the shooter is white, we have problems processing the "why" in any honest way in this country.

But it is also the wrong question.

The question is why we allow the enrichment of arms manufacturers by misreading the 2nd Amendment that allows the mentally ill or terrorists such easy access to such weaponry? The mental illness is SOCIETAL, we have a completely gun-nut violent culture in this country, mass shooting incidents are sort of baked into our collective fruit-cake.
+1 # revhen 2017-10-16 09:41
Yeah, I, too, went to a second-rate high school. We had no AP classes either. Because I was class valedictorian I got to go to a major technical college. I was thrown into a class of near-geniuses (one got the Nobel Prize for physics, another a pioneer in artificial intelligence). Many had AP calculus and I'd never even hear the word. Well, I ended college with a solid B average and was selected the Senior Chemistry Student Showing the Most Professional Promise. The poorest kid in my high school class became a US senator (still is). Another a professor of public health who shared information with the senator which culminated in the Children's Health Initiative. Another classmate became a professor of college math. Yet another pioneered the detection of a single molecule which is used for DNA sequencing and three men using his technique won the Noble Chemistry Prize this year. Despite our poor high school none of us became mass murderers. I wonder why.

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