many sides

The president — and man, I cannot tell you how it sickens me to refer to that colossal lying fuckwit as ‘the president’ — said this in response to the violence in Charlottesville yesterday:

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. On many sides.”

Fuck you. Fuck you from many sides. Only one side decided to gather at Charlottesville to champion hate and white supremacy. Only one side arrived carrying firearms and wearing military gear. Only one side carried flags made infamous by genocide, and flags made infamous by lynching and church-bombing and racial assassination. For that matter, only one side wore MAGA hats. The truth that only one side instigated the violence is so obvious that to dispute it is, in effect, to support and promote the violence. Which is exactly what the president did. So fuck you, Trump, fuck you and your lies about many sides.

There was only one side that Made America Ashamed Again. That side could be represented by Vanguard America, a group devoted to what they call ‘American fascism.’ Those polo-shirted fuckwits toting tiki torches and shouting “Blood and soil” on Friday night? They were chanting the motto of Vanguard America. This group advocates one side supremacy. Given the power, they wouldn’t allow many sides to even exist. The Vanguard America manifesto specifically calls for an:

America based on the immutable truths of Blood and Soil. A multicultural nation is no nation at all, but a collection of smaller ethnic nations ruled over by an overbearing tyrannical state. Our America is to be a nation exclusively for the White American peoples who out of the barren hills, empty plains, and vast mountains forged the most powerful nation to ever have existed.

The most powerful nation, there’s the clue. Not the greatest nation, not the most civilized, not the most free, not a nation of many sides, not the most open or the most welcoming nation. The most powerful. You know who wants the most powerful nation? People who are afraid. People who are afraid and want to dominate those they’re afraid of. People who hate. People who drive muscle cars (of course, it would be a muscle car) into a crowd of peaceful protesters.

James Alex Fields, the driver of that car, was associated with Vanguard America. They deny he was a member, of course, despite the fact he was photographed with the group yesterday, carrying a Vanguard shield and dressed in their usual Vanguard-emblazoned white polo shirt and khaki pants. Have you noticed how often groups that espouse the belief that only one side is legitimate tend to wear uniforms?

Blood and soil. Only one side at Charlottesville was eager to spill blood on the soil.

Me, I like a many-sided world. I love a many-sided world. I may not like or agree with some of those sides, but a many-sided world is a healthier, a more vital and a more interesting world. Yet the only time Trump and his hate group supporters refer to many sides is when they’re trying to diffuse responsibility, when they’re trying to spread the blame, when they’re trying to dodge their own culpability.

Trump is culpable. Not for the racism or white supremacy or hate itself, but for nurturing and encouraging racism and white supremacy and hate. He created a petri dish of racial resentment and gender hostility and class rage that spawned what happened over the last couple of days in Charlottesville. He didn’t drive that car into the crowd, but he helped create an environment that made it possible for James Alex Fields to do it.

 

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dead or not dead! it’s america’s game!

Okay, let’s play a game. I give you a scenario, you decide if the person in the scenario ends up dead or not dead. It’s fun!

Scenario 1: Police in Denton, Texas respond to a report of an angry man with a rifle. On arrival, they find a 22-year-old man carrying a loaded AR-15 semi-automatic rifle is confronting a 69-year-old protester carrying a sign. The armed man, described by witnesses as ‘unreasonable and agitated,’ is white. Is he Dead or Not Dead?

NOT DEAD! The police requested the armed man carry his rifle slung over his shoulder and allow him to leave without shooting him anywhere at all.

Scenario 2: Police in rural Georgia pull over a driver for an ‘unspecified traffic offense.’ According to the police, the 30-year-old man immediately “exhibited aggression toward the officers.” The driver identified himself as belonging to a radical group with a long history of violence against law enforcement officers. When ordered out of the vehicle, the driver reached for a gun. The police officers, fearing for their safety, responded by breaking the car window and forcibly removing the man — at which point the man reached for a second gun holstered in the small of his back. The driver is white. Is he Dead or Not Dead?

NOT DEAD! Although the police seized a 9mm handgun, a .45 caliber handgun, a .40 caliber handgun, a .44 magnum caliber short rifle, and a .223 caliber AR-15 format carbine (all of which were loaded and had rounds in the chamber), they managed to arrest the driver without shooting him even once.

Scenario 3: Cleveland police respond to a telephone report of a person with a gun in a local park. The caller stated the person “is probably a juvenile” and described the gun as “probably fake.” On arrival, the police confront a 12-year-old boy with an Airsoft gun. The boy is black. Is he Dead or Not Dead?

DEAD! The police shot the boy twice in the first two seconds after exiting their vehicle. They also failed to perform any first aid. He died the following day.

Your turn to play! Three of these contestants will be Not Dead! Which one will fail to make it to the next round? Dead or Not Dead!

Your turn to play! Three of these contestants will be Not Dead! Which one will fail to make it to the next round? Dead or Not Dead!

Scenario 4: Kalamazoo police respond to multiple reports of an intoxicated man on a busy street carrying a rifle and shouting obscenities and threats of revolution. They arrive to find a 63-year-old man who refuses their orders to drop his weapon. Michigan is an ‘open carry’ state, which allows citizens to openly carry firearms. The man is white. Is he Dead or Not Dead?

NOT DEAD! The police spent forty minutes discussing the 2nd Amendment with the drunk man, failing to shoot him at all. He eventually agreed to surrender his rifle — which was returned to him by the police on the following day.

Scenario 5: Police in Beavercreek, Ohio respond to a report of a man with a gun in a local Wal-Mart. On arrival, the officers observe a 22-year-old man carrying a firearm in a non-threatening way and talking on a cell phone. They order him to drop the weapon. According to the police, the man doesn’t immediately do so. Ohio is an ‘open carry’ state, which allows citizens to openly carry firearms. The man is black. Is he Dead or Not Dead?

DEAD! The gun was a BB gun the man had picked up in the Sporting Goods section of Wal-Mart. The man was shot twice within moments of being confronted by police.

Scenario 6: New Orleans police respond to a report of an armed man breaking into a home, threatening the occupants, stealing some of their possessions, and firing a shot through the window before escaping. As he’s running away, the gunman threatens a number of nearby construction workers. Officers give chase to the 19-year-old man, who soon accosts a man in a pickup. The man and his five year old son managed to avoid injury although the gunman fires five shots at them, striking the windshield, the rear window, and the truck’s fender. The police manage to catch the gunman, who points his handgun at them. They order him to drop his weapon. He refuses, telling the police, “No, you drop your fucking guns.” The gunman is white. Is he Dead or Not Dead?

NOT DEAD! The police managed to catch him and arrest him without shooting him even once.

Come on,. America! Join in on the fun! Dead or Not Dead. New contestants every day! Look for DoND in your hometown! It’s America’s hottest game!

 

case closed

When Rudy Giuliani announces that he’s about to say something horrible, you can count on it being really horrible. He knows what he’s talking about. He says horrible things pretty often. If you seriously want to be good at saying horrible things, you have to be willing to commit, to devote the hours of practice required. Rudy has put in the hours.

“I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that this President loves America. He doesn’t love you. He doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up.”

President Obama doesn’t love Rudy Giuliani. In his mind, that’s pretty much the same thing as not loving America. I mean, he’s Rudy Nine-Eleven, after all. He’s America’s Mayor. Rudy Giuliani, America — no difference. And that’s because Rudy G. was brought up in the right way

America-loving American Rudy Guiliani in America

America-loving American Rudy Giuliani in America

Barack Obama, on the other hand, was brought up in the wrong way. And because of that, Obama doesn’t love America. Here’s the problem, according to Rudy G (and really, I’m not making this up at all — he actually said this):

“The ideas that are troubling me and are leading to this come from communists with whom he associated when he was nine years old.”

That’s right, when Obama was nine years old he was associating with communists. Nine. Years. Old. When Obama was nine he was living in Indonesia — and you guys, Indonesia is not America. It’s just not. A year or so later, when Obama was living in Hawaii, he met a friend of his grandfather — a guy named Frank Marshall Davis, who just happened to be a poet. a labor organizer, and maybe even an actual member of the actual Communist Party.

Therefore, Obama doesn’t love America.

America-hating Maybe-Communist Frank M. Dave in Hawaii (not quite America)

America-hating Maybe-Communist Frank M. Davis in Hawaii (not quite America)

Rudy Giuliani, on the other hand, totally loves America. Did Rudy’s grandfather ever introduce him to a communist poet labor organizer? No sir, he did not. Rudy was raised by Americans. Decent law-abiding Americans living in America.

Well, okay, Rudy’s uncle Leo may not have been entirely decent or law-abiding. There was that unfortunate loan-sharking and gambling operation Leo D’Avanzo ran out of a bar in Brooklyn, but c’mon, it’s not like his grandfather had a friend who might have been a communist, right? And yeah, okay, maybe Rudy’s daddy Harold might have worked as muscle for Uncle Leo, collecting bad debts through the judicious use of a baseball bat. What’s more American than a baseball bat? And yeah, maybe Rudy G’s daddy also did eighteen months in Sing Sing for robbing a milkman with a gun, but hey at least Sing Sing is in America, and it was probably an American-made gun. And yeah, sure, okay, maybe Rudy’s cousin Lewis ran a car theft ring and was shot dead in 1977 when he tried to run over an FBI agent, but those were stolen American cars, made in Detroit. What could be more American than a Detroit-built car? And that FBI agent he tried to run over? He was as American as can be.

America-hating President of Communist America Barack Obama of Kenya

America-hating President of Communist America Barack Obama of Kenya

Rudy Giuliani’s whole entire family is all about America. And Barack Obama? His granddaddy knew a goddam commie. Do you really need to ask who loves America the most? I think not.

Case closed.

you’re looking in the wrong direction

You know what’s fucked up? Well, okay — a lot of things are fucked up. But one of the fucked uppedest things is network news reporting.

Yesterday evening I watched NBC Nightly News attempt to cover the recent report on law enforcement fatalities. The coverage resembled an actual news broadcast: great graphics, dramatic and energetic voices, engaging video, concerned frowns on the earnest faces of the reporters. But basically the report was a shit sandwich. The ‘reporting’ was accurate, but misleading. Here are some of the claims made:

“…an enormous jump from last year in the number of police killed in shooting incidents.”

“…a 56% increase in the number of police officers killed by gunfire in the last year.”

“…a growing anti-government sentiment may be triggering the attacks.”

Following that last comment, the report shifted to video of the recent protests over the number of police shooting incidents involving unarmed black men. The suggestion was pretty clear: anger at the police in the African-American community was responsible for the increase in police officer fatalities.

And right there, that’s the shit in the shit sandwich.

Combination image shows mourning bands placed over different police badges at the funeral of slain NYPD officer Rafael Ramos at Christ Tabernacle Church in the Queens borough of New York

126 law enforcement officers died while on duty in 2014

First, let me point out that the anti-police protests really aren’t anti-police protests; they’re anti-police-shooting-unarmed-black-folks protests. I think that needs to be stated pretty clearly. You can support the police and still be pissed off at them for killing folks who aren’t a threat.

Now, the meat of the story. Yesterday the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund released its preliminary annual report on officer fatalities. The data are reliable. One hundred twenty-six LEOs were killed while on duty this year. Fifty of them were killed by gunfire this year. That’s not in dispute.

But is that an ‘enormous jump’, as the news report claims? Well, yes and no. Last year 32 officers were killed by gunfire. So yeah — fifty is a big jump compared to thirty-two. But guess what. The average number of LEO deaths by gunfire over the last ten years is fifty-three. So no, it’s not really an enormous jump at all. It’s actually a wee bit below average. That got left out. So the news ‘report’ was accurate, but misleading.

The news ‘report’ also stressed that fifteen of the fifty LEOs who died by gunfire were killed in ‘ambush attacks.’ Although the term isn’t actually defined in the report, it appears they’re talking about incidents in which LEOs are murdered 1) simply because they’re law enforcement officers and 2) shot while they were unaware they were being targeted. And yeah, that’s pretty fucking alarming.

Ismaaiyl Brinsley - cop killer

Ismaaiyl Brinsley – fuckwit, cop killer

But here’s the problem: the ‘news’ account conflates ambush attacks with the protests against police violence. Why? On account of Ismaaiyl Brinsley. He’s the jackass who gut-shot his girlfriend in Baltimore, stole her cellphone, hopped on a bus to NYC, where he shot and killed two NYPD officers. Brinsley left messages on social media saying he was going to ‘put wings on pigs’ as some sort of idiotic revenge for the deaths of two unarmed black men killed by police officers in two different states. Yeah, maybe — but it seems more likely Brinsley just wanted to do something ‘big’ before he killed himself (he’d attempted suicide at least once before).

But based on that one ambush attack, the ‘news report’ hinted that anti-police anger is responsible for all fifteen officers who were killed in ambush attacks. That suggestion is absolute bullshit.

The reporters got one thing right, though. They cited the reports concern that “a growing anti-government sentiment may be triggering the attacks.” And that, folks, is a fact. Yes, it surely is.

Eric Frein - cop killer

Eric Frein – sovereign citizen, cop killer

But the ‘news report’ focused on black anti-government anger. The biggest threat to LEOs today doesn’t come from young black men who are pissed off because so many young black men are killed by police. The real threat to LEOs comes from white, well-armed, angry, right-wing, anti-government, sovereign citizen extremists who are pissed off because — well, they have a lot of irrational reasons for being pissed off. Something to do with the 14th Amendment, banking, taxes, and (I swear I’m not making this up) an amendment to the US Constitution proposed in 1810 dealing with (seriously, NOT making this up) titles of nobility.

I’m talking about people like Eric Frein, who set up an ambush outside a Pennsylvania State Police barracks, then murdered Cpl. Bryon Dickson as he walked out the door. He also seriously wounded another Trooper and fired on others as they tried to rescue Dickson. I’m talking about Curtis Holley, who set fire to the house he was renting, waited for the first responders to arrive, then opened fire. He killed Deputy Christopher L. Smith of the Leon County, Florida Sheriff’s Department. I’m talking about Jared and Amanda Miller. These two fuckwits actually strolled around the city of Las Vegas with a shopping cart full of weapons without drawing any police attention — at least not until they ambushed and killed two LVPD officers who were having lunch. Then they entered a nearby Wal-Mart and waited for more police to arrive.

Curtis Wade Holley - cop killer

Curtis Wade Holley – sovereign citizen, cop killer

And it’s not just ambush attacks. These sovereign citizens are also the biggest threat when it comes to traffic stops (eight of 2014’s line-of-duty fatalities occurred during traffic stops). Because they don’t believe they’re required to have license tags on their vehicles, sovereign citizens get stopped a lot. And because they also believe they have an absolute right to carry a firearm at all times, they’re generally well-armed — and know how to use their weapons. And because sovereign citizens are almost exclusively white, they’re less likely to be confronted for openly carrying weapons.

These guys are a serious threat. That’s not me talking; that’s the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. In their 2014 report they identified sovereign citizens as “law enforcement’s top concern.” Islamic extremists? Number two. In fact, four of the five top concerns were occupied by right-wing extremist groups. The FBI has labeled sovereign citizens as a domestic terror group.

Jared and Amanda Miller - cop killers

Jared and Amanda Miller – sovereign citizens, cop killers

So when you read or hear news reports about how anti-police protesters are a threat to the police, ignore that shit. When you read or hear news reports claiming anti-police protesters are stirring up anti-government sentiment, look at the people who are actively attacking the government. When you read or hear news reports how anti-police protesters have blood on their hands, look at who owns the guns and who’s doing the shooting.

The black kid playing with a toy gun in the park isn’t a threat. The black guy selling loose cigarettes on the street isn’t a threat. That white guy driving a pick-up without a proper license tag and a gun rack in the back? He’s the threat.

a fucking outrage

“It’s a fucking outrage, is what it is.”
       “It is. Fucking outrage.”
“Shot and killed for no reason.”
       “No reason at all, at all.”
“You can’t just go shooting and killing people because they belong to some group you don’t like.”
       “Can’t do that. Fucking outrage.”
“Flat out murder, is what it was.”
       “Can’t argue with that. Murder, flat out.
“What the fuck was he thinking?”
       “Got no idea. None. Not sure he was thinking. Just started shooting.”
“Opened fire, then went off and killed himself.”
       “He killed himself? I didn’t know that. Jeeze.”
“Yeah, well, that’s what he did. Killed himself.”
       “I guess he felt guilty.”
“My ass.”
       “You don’t think he felt guilty?”
“Not a bit.”
       “I dunno, man. Then why’d he kill himself?”
“How the fuck should I know. And now everybody’s making it a race thing.”
       “Maybe because it was a race thing.”
“You crazy? Race had nothing to do with it.”
       “Bullshit, race had everything to do with it.”
“Something to do with it, maybe. Shooter was black, but that’s…”
       “No he wasn’t. He was white.”
“He was black. That’s why killed those cops.”
       “Who killed cops? The fuck you talking about?”
“The fuck YOU talking about?”
       “About that kid in Ohio. Cops pulled up, shot the black kid dead in, like, two seconds. Kid was like twelve years old.”
“I’m talking about those two cops got shot and killed in New York City.”
       “They wouldn’t have shot that kid…”
“He wouldn’t have shot those cops…”
       “…if he was white.
“…if they were black.”
       “It’s a fucking outrage.”
“A fucking outrage, is what it is.”

Tamir Rice

Tamir Rice



Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu

Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu

threat assessment

Joseph Houseman, sixty-odd years old, staggeringly drunk, with a semi-automatic rifle over his shoulder, wandering around a busy commercial area, shouting obscenities, threatening revolution. Several frightened people called the police.

The police arrived, as they’re required to do when called by the public. They spent forty minutes talking Houseman down. Houseman eventually surrendered the weapon and was allowed to stagger home. The following day he reported to the police station, where his firearm was returned to him. No charges were filed. Michigan, after all, is an open carry state

Tamir Rice, twelve years old, playing with a pellet pistol in a nearly empty public park. One person reported “a guy with a pistol” at the park, telling the dispatcher twice that the gun was “probably a fake.”

The police arrived, as they’re required to do when called by the public. They shot Rice after approximately two seconds. They neglected to administer first aid. Rice died. Ohio, after all, is an open carry state.

What? You think race might have had something to do with the police response? Race? Are you crazy? How could it be about race? We have a black president. What, are you some sort of race-baiter? It’s about…you know…threat assessment.