They’re appearing all over the place, worldwide.

For example, there sure have been a lot of killing sprees lately. While all the individual reasons may very, there isn’t much question in one man’s mind that a combination of external factors, including but not limited to economic hard times that this time include a lot of bipartisanly precious tax dollars, at least in terms of talk, being funneled up to people with means, mental illness (though I consider this one a bit overrated–who among us is immune to the proverbial edge?–and among the masses, all we’re doing is moving the bell curve of the “wad” towards the edges, SOP in times of change/turmoil), a bit of encouragement from some rather large-megaphoned, wealthy paranoiacs, the prospect of a significant change in the power structure status quo, they all play a role.

Hell, there are a lot of people in this country for whom the concept of gay marriage is a pants-wetter of epic and, usually for me, hilarious but somehow horribly sad proportions. I seriously believe these are kindred spirits of those who couldn’t stand the idea of black people voting or marrying white folk. Or women voting. Lost in the seas of change, and IMHO progress towards the ideal of “freedom for all,” and what used to be standard conservative concepts, individual rights and limited government. (I don’t get why government is in the marriage business at all, personally.)

The least worrisome and most entertaining stress fracture, though, is the one on the conservative/GOP side of the aisle. For a while there, the cannibalism was pretty isolated, as when Kathleen Parker, a pretty solid conservative by any measure, was more or less kicked out of the Club for having the audacity to suggest Sarah Palin was an empty (though pretty) suit, and unworthy of a heartbeat away from the power of the Presidency.

The horror unleashed on her from the right is now the stuff of internet lore. It didn’t, and doesn’t, matter that she happened to be correct as subsequent events and information have, to me, demonstrated. It never does with the boot-strappers. Fall in line or get kicked out of the Club. On the subject of Palin, Parker was not alone. Intellectually competent and consistent conservatives all over the place were vilified for pointing out that Palin was, uh, not exactly the brightest, most knowledgeable bulb in the Christmas tree.

But that was only the beginning. Now the breaks are coming front and center among the right blogosphere, as well as right wing talk radio, formerly an incredibly monolithic if small and intellectually hypocritical bunch.

Michael Savage (obliquely, for sure) attacking Glenn Beck? I wonder if Michael thinks he should have gotten Glenn’s job?

Nah, that couldn’t have had anything to do with it.

Blogger on blogger crime. Bonus! J. Goldberg writes (rights!) for the Los Angeles Times! The consistently hilarious and erudite Thers documents that one as only he can.

And then you have the Independence Day parade-like line of actual elected officials genuflecting to Rush Limbaugh, perhaps the King of the Wingnuts, and one rich dude who can get his hillbilly heroin no matter how bad things get, economically. (Theoretically. Rush is clean and sober. Funny how no one could tell he was stoned while he was struggling with his addiction, but that’s for a different post.)

Strange times.

Update: A good example of the gay marriage wingnut fracas, though I hesitate in a big way to characterize Andrew as a wingnut, as weird as I think it to be both Catholic and gay. I’m not much of a club member, and belonging to one that considers me a freak is very, very strange to me. But to each his/her own Hell! Freedom on the march!