caught up in the moment

You know that guy playing ninja during Comrade Trump’s RiotFest? The one in the photo, hanging from the balcony of the Senate Chamber, that guy? His name is Josiah Colt (and by the way, that’s a great name for a fictional character, isn’t it?). He’s 34 years old, from Boise, Idaho (also by the way, the ‘s’ in Boise is pronounced like…well, an ‘s’ not a ‘z’; you call it Boyzee folks will know you’re from out of town — just so you know).

Our boy Josiah left Idaho and went all the way to DC, nearly 2400 miles, to support Comrade Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election. He wants you to know he’s sorry. In an interview with CBS news, he said,

“I love America, I love the people, I didn’t hurt anyone and I didn’t cause any damage in the Chamber. I got caught up in the moment.”

I get that. I really do. I’ve experienced that. I’ve been caught up in the moment and done stuff that I regret, stuff I knew was wrong, stuff I’d never do ordinarily. I suspect many of us have had similar moments. We found ourselves caught up in the moment, and afterwards wondered, “What the HELL was I thinking?” We got caught up in the moment at an auction and bid too much money on something we didn’t really want. Or we got caught up in the moment and got a tattoo. On our ass. That says ‘Mom’. Or we got caught up in the moment and agreed to volunteer to knock on doors for a cause. Or we had sex with somebody wildly inappropriate. Or we came home from the market with a tin of sardines in mustard sauce.

Being in the moment is a good thing. Getting caught up in the moment is a risk; it can be good or it can be an utter fucking disaster. Hell, sometimes getting caught up in the moment is absolutely glorious even as it’s turning into an utter fucking disaster. I’m pretty sure our boy Josiah was having a great time being ‘Josiah Colt, American Ninja’ starring in the action movie Capitol Building Takedown. I’d be willing to bet my modest income that a LOT of the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol Building were like Josiah, folks who just got caught up in the moment.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m also confident that many of the insurrectionists knew exactly what they were doing, knew exactly how criminal it was, and were genuinely trying to destroy the government. Those people were just using the Josiah Colts as unthinking camouflage and cannon fodder. Which, let’s face it, is what they were.

Josiah also said this:

“I sincerely apologize to the American people. I recognize my actions that have brought shame upon myself, my family, my friends, and my beautiful country. In the moment I thought I was doing the right thing. I realize now that my actions were inappropriate and I beg for forgiveness from America and my home state of Idaho.”

I believe him. Well, I believe he actively regrets what he did. I appreciate his apology, though I question its sincerity. Maybe at some point in the future, I’d be willing to forgive him and his fellow ‘in the moment’ insurrectionists. But not now. It’s too soon. It’s not too soon for me to forgive him; it’s too soon for him to apologize sincerely. He hasn’t had enough time to truly consider what he and his fellow insurrectionists have done.

The problem with — wait. This is going to seem like a tangent (yes I’ve a history of wandering off on tangents, so I don’t blame you for being suspicious), but it’s not. Okay, I want you to think for a moment about the Japanese tea ceremony, cha no yu. You’ve probably seen it in movies and there’s a fairly good chance you thought it was lovely but relatively ridiculous. I mean, it’s a lot of time and effort just to sip a cup of tea. But here’s the thing: all that effort, all the meticulous preparation, the cleaning of the path to the tea room, the washing of the implements and the teapot, the arrangement of the flowers, the slow process of making the tea, the ritual of how to handle the cup — all of those things are done for a very simple reason: to create a quiet, meditative state of mind which allows the host and the visitor to be in the moment — that one particular moment — when the tea is sipped. There is a singular, beautiful purity in that moment.

Josiah and his fellow insurrectionists went through a somewhat similar process, although it’s the polar opposite. There were a LOT of steps involved in getting them to DC, all of which contributed to creating the proper frame of mind to try to overturn the election. Every step along the way fed their purpose — the constant barrage of presidential tweets, the echoing claims of fraud, the commitment involved in traveling to DC, the speeches given that morning, the chanting at the rally, the excitement of the crowd, the thrill of feeling powerful, the violence. All of those steps helped create and nourish the frame of mind needed to experience that one particular moment when the mob breached the Capitol. There’s a singular, awful purity in that moment.

Of course people got caught up in it. It took time and a lot of emotional spade-work to achieve that moment. It’ll take an equal amount of time and spade-work for Josiah Colt to truly comprehend what he did in that moment, the gravity of his offense. Unless he’s able to do that, his apology won’t truly be sincere. Until his apology is actually sincere, there won’t be any forgiveness. Not from me.

The same goes for everybody involved in the insurrection, from the most insignificant and lowly flag-waver to the elected representatives in Congress. They all willingly took that path. They have to willingly retrace their steps if they expect any sort of absolution.

1/6/21 – fick herum, finde es heraus

January 6th. For me, it’s the birthday of Sherlock Holmes (and Joan of Arc, if you prefer religious martyrs). For you maybe it’s the Feast of the Epiphany, which is something of a big deal if you believe in that sort of thing. If you live in Dublin, you might think of the 6th as the anniversary of the Night of the Big Wind in which a storm in 1839 damaged or destroyed about a fifth of all the houses in the city. Speaking of disasters (or martyrs of a different sort), it’s also the wedding anniversary of Henry VIII’s short marriage to Anne of Cleves.

Lots of stuff taking place on the 6th. It’s also the day when both houses of Congress will meet to officially record the electoral college vote, which was taken on Dec. 14 to confirm the results of the 2020 election on November 3rd (SPOILER: Uncle Joe Biden won 306 votes to Comrade Trump’s 232 votes). Normally — as if ‘normal’ still had any meaning — that vote would be just a formality.

But we live in a post-normal grotesque Trump-shaped world. This January 6th, Josh Hawley (the spider-brained junior Senator from Hobby Lobby Missouri) has announced he’ll challenge the certification of electoral votes. That will force every member of Congress to publicly support either the actual election results OR the theory that Satan-worshiping, cannibalistic sex perverts among Democrats and Hollywood elites conspired with Republicans in Name Only, in cooperation with traitors in the Supreme Court and the Department of Justice, to insert an algorithm developed for the dead Venezuelan president Cesar Chavez into voting machines manufactured by a Canadian-based corporation that switched votes from Comrade President Trump to Uncle Joe Biden so that China will…fuck, I forgot what China is supposed to get out of this. Cheap soybeans, maybe?

Comrade Trump and GOP wanker Josh Hawley sing ‘I gotta be me’ at Attention-Seeking WhoreCon.

Anyway, while that freakish shitshow is taking place inside Congress, outside on the streets of DC, there’s going to be a pro-Trump rally. It’s hosted by Women for America First. You may be asking, “Greg, old sock, who are these Women for America First?”

I’m glad you asked. First, stop calling me ‘old sock’. Second, on their website, WfAF describe themselves (and again, I’m not making this up) as a “21st century suffrage movement” which gives “women the tools and a safe place to speak out – even when the haters come after us and try to shut us up just because we are women.” It’s clever of them to assume and anticipate that they’ll be hated, then to preemptively deflect that hate by claiming it’s because they’re women, not because of their fascist totalitarian views. They probably see themselves as modern Joans of Arc; their website is suffused with the self-pitying scent of burning martyr.

The coming God, Guns & Bullshit rally.

I don’t know what’s going to happen in DC on the 6th, but I’m pretty confident it won’t bear any resemblance to a woman’s suffrage rally. Comrade Trump is hot for this rally. He’s tweeted (of course he did) that it’s a ‘protest’ rally, and that it’ll be big. “Be there, will be wild.”

That seems a safe prediction; the previous two pro-Trump rallies (on 11/14 and 12/12) were pretty wild. Proud Boys and other right-wing extremists roamed around the streets, attacking anybody they suspected of being Antifa or BLM supporters or lizard people. There’s every reason to believe that will happen again on the 6th. The Proud Boys are especially upset right now because the Hotel Harrington — their preferred hotel — has decided to close its door to guests from Jan. 3 through the 6th. Why? Out of “concern and desire for everyone’s health and safety.” Basically, it’s because the staff hate the Proud Boys and because the hotel’s management doesn’t want the Harrington to be known as a magnet for racist hooligan fuckwits.

Trump, being Trump, seems to be tacitly encouraging the Proud Boys and the loopiest elements of Qanon — and that’s spooking the hell out of DC’s many law enforcement agencies. The DC metro police, the uniformed Secret Service, the federal Park police, the Capitol police, the Federal Protective Service — everybody is on edge, everybody is worried. Not just because of the potential for violence, but because nobody knows how Comrade Trump will respond to it. WaPo has reported, “Government officials fear that if violence spreads, Trump could invoke the Insurrection Act to mobilize the military” in an attempt to ratfuck the results of the election.

Proud Boys slogan — FAFO, fuck around, find out. It’s more impressive in German.

This is basically what Michael Flynn (former US Army general, former Trump National Security Adviser, Qanon dickhead, self-confessed liar, and felon) has advocated. He suggested right out loud that Trump “could take military capabilities and he could place them in those states [won by Biden] and basically rerun an election.”

That sounds like the plot of a bad Bruce Willis movie. Until you remember that in recent weeks Trump has replaced a LOT of career Pentagon officials with a job lot of inexperienced, fever-brained Trump supporters. It sounds ridiculous until you remember that his pet Attorney General recently resigned, and that Trump has threatened to fire both the current directors of the FBI and the CIA. It sounds ridiculous until you remember the vast majority of Republicans in Congress have stood around playing with their dicks while Trump has casually, deliberately violated almost every presidential norm and tradition (not to mention a number of laws). Congressional Republicans might voice ‘concern’ if Trump does try to invoke the Insurrection Act, but there’s absolutely no reason to believe they’d try to stop him.

And if that’s not enough to make you wet your pants, remember this: just a few days ago Trump threatened to attack Iran after Iranian-supported militias in Iraq launched some missiles at the US embassy in Baghdad. Trump tweeted (of course he did), “If one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible. Think it over.”

Think this over: what would Comrade President Trump consider doing if he thought it would help him stay in power? Destroy the Republican Party? Spark a riot in DC? Start a little war in the Middle East? Burn a third of a million American Joans of Arc in the nation’s Covid wards?

I hate to say this — I truly hate to say it — but things may be owl-shit crazy right now, but I’m afraid things could get even owl-shit crazier starting on January 6th, 2021.

it’s unclear

I used to wade in the icky waters of FreeRepublic on a fairly regular basis. I did that because I thought it was important to have some notion of what radical right-wing gun owners were thinking. That last bit — the gun owning bit — was the motivating force for me. I may disagree with right-wing extremists, but so long as all they do is shout hateful stuff, I’m okay with it. People shouting hateful stuff who are also armed, well that’s an entirely different kettle of fish. [Tangent Alert — if you’re wondering about the expression ‘kettle of fish’ see below.]

A couple of years into the Trump administration, I lost my willingness to visit FreeRepublic. I did it on occasion, but it was just too fucking ugly and stupid and discouraging to visit regularly. However, after Uncle Joe became POTUS-elect, I’ve started peeking in through the FreeRepublic window again, to see how they’re reacting.

Not well, is how they’re reacting. Poorly. Angrily. Fearfully, is how they’re reacting. Delusional, is how they’re reacting. A large chunk of them continue to believe Covid is a hoax. One of dozens of overlapping, continuous hoaxes — including the hoax that Uncle Joe beat Comrade Trump in the election. They act like they’re completely convinced Trump won, that there was a massive conspiracy to deny him the election, and that Trump will still somehow overturn the result of the election and emerge victorious (to the sound of trumpets, hymns of great praise, an orchestra of angels, a flight of bluebirds, and the continental United States will smell like cinnamon rolls in the morning). Maybe they honestly believe that. It’s not clear.

“Call out the military and hold a new election free of FRAUD and the CCP! CCP interfering was an act of WAR!” — by doc maverick

CCP — that’s the Chinese Communist Party. Yeah, that’s right, they’re involved. NOT the Russians, the Chinese. They’re working with other Globalists (always capitalized) and the Deep State in the US to undermine Trump and destroy the government. The Deep State wants the government to collapse in order for them to…to do something that will give them the power to become…the Deeper State? It’s unclear. But obviously, Trump won the election.

“Stolen. As have been many elections in AmeriKa. O’Bunghole was installed as potus similarly. He has no right living in this country, much less, holding public office. He was potus because of voter fraud, just like creepy joe and crazy ho. We’re so hosed.” — by LouAvul

The FBI tentacle of the Deep State is conspiring with the Fake News Media to impose socialism on the US. This will allow them to…to…I think it’s to take away the guns of honest Americans? Probably. Take their existing guns and make it harder to buy still more guns, which is why there’s been an increase in gun sales these last few months before the Deep State can act. The problem, see, is that there are Republicans IN NAME ONLY who cooperate with…wait, maybe it’s the ATF? I mean, since they’re the ones who deal with firearms. I don’t know, it’s unclear. Anyway, there are Republicans who are part of the fraud they’re helping to steal the election from Trump.

“It’s sickening that most of these states that are in question with a plethora of fraud that is killing the country had majorities of REPUBLICANS at various levels within the states.” — by shanover

These same RINOs are also part of the Great Covid Hoax being perpetrated by the Deep State and the Democrats and China (obviously China). They want America weak and scared (which, by the way, is another reason to buy more guns) and distracted so they can steal the election while Decent Law-abiding Americans are too busy wearing masks and buying toilet paper (and guns) to notice that Hunter Biden’s pals in China inserted code into the voting machines which turned votes for Trump into votes for Biden. The illegal code was illegally inserted through illegal means, specifically by…by means of…well, it’s unclear. But the so-called pandemic was part of the plan, because of…of the economy, I think. Again, it’s unclear. But c’mon, seriously Trump won, it’s obvious and he should stay in office by any means necessary.

“The lockdowns must end ! By force if necessary ! TYrranical out of control demoncraps need controls ! Fire them !” by Truthoverpower

Seriously, how could Biden possibly have won the election (which, of course, was stolen from Trump) given that, at the order of the Deep State and Hunter’s friends in the CCP, he stayed in his basement? For months! Who ever heard of a candidate winning an election from his own basement? Or anybody’s basement? Or any subterranean facility? It’s impossible. UNLESS there’s fraud involved, perpetrated by the FBI and George Soros and other cannibalistic communist sex perverts! There are rooms full of affidavits and videos of Democrats cheating at the polls and bringing in fake Biden ballots disguised as pepperoni pizzas and takeout Chinese (China AGAIN!), and did you know Mitch McConnell’s wife was Chinese? Do you need any more proof that…that something unwholesome and fraudulent is taking place? I don’t think so. McConnell is in on…that thing everybody is in on. It’s not entirely clear what they hope to…well, you know, the cheating and all. Because it was a rigged election.

Trump was holding 3 to 4 rallies PER DAY for weeks on end with hardly a day off. Spontaneous “Trump Train” car rallies and boat rallies were all over the place with thousands and tens of thousands of people turning out, even without a star being there to draw people in. Biden, his execrable “doctor” wife, and Harris couldn’t draw flies. The number of times Biden spoke gibberish and slurred his speech was immense. He never once talked about his policies and vision for America. The press lobbed him softball questions about his favorite ice cream.

A liberty-loving, true-blue American patriot who gave up his retirement to save the USA versus a communist life-long political hack who is one of the meanest people in American politics. And the people voted for the communist? This whole thing is just preposterous beyond belief. — by ProtectOurFreedom

Anyway, there it is. Trump had ALL the boats and trucks, because he’s a friend of the working man. Once Sidney Powell gets a chance (as a special prosecutor) to finally present her unbiased evidence in a REAL court of REAL law, it’s all over for Biden and then Nancy Pelosi will get what she deserves in GITMO. And Michelle Obama too. And all the loud-mouthed girls, they’ll all get what they deserve, which is…well, it’s unclear. Well, it’s clear, but it doesn’t do to say so out loud. But when Trump is inaugurated for his second term, they’ll be able to take care of troublemakers and burn the Deep State and disband the FBI unless the FBI comes around and Democrats will have to eat bugs in prison. That much is clear.

“Once Powell has the information, Biden is screwed.” — by rdcbn1

Anyway, that’s life in FreeRepublic. Trump won. Biden cheated. Covid’s a hoax. China is bad. Russia is our friend. Democrats should be imprisoned, if not shot. (Disclaimer: I made up that bit about the bugs. I never actually saw anybody who wrote that Democrats should be forced to eat bugs. Sorry.)

Tangent: Okay, you’re probably thinking ‘Greg, old sock, what is this whole kettle of fish business? Doesn’t seem to make any sense, don’t you know.’ This is why I get paid the big bucks (or would, if I got paid at all). There’s an explanation. Two explanations, actually. The most common explanation is that years ago in the UK a poaching pan was called a ‘kettle’, and it was apparently a common practice to feed large gatherings by bringing a kettle to boil and then — and I’m not making this up — they’d toss live salmon into the kettle and I don’t like to think about it after that.

A different kiddle of fish.

The explanation I prefer, though, is that the kettle in question is actually a kiddle, which is another term for a fishing weir. And now you’re thinking, ‘Greg, old sock, what is this weir of which you speak?’ A weir (which is also known in some places as a ‘fishgarth’ if that helps, but I suspect it won’t) is a sort of trap placed in rivers or streams which fish can easily swim into but can’t easily swim out of. At the end of the day, a weir/kiddle may have a lot of different sorts of fish swimming around in a muddle. So the expression ‘a different kiddle/kettle of fish’ refers to a separate and distinct muddled mess.

Aren’t you glad you asked?

very good people

Really, when you think about, who is really at fault here? I mean, back at the end of April the President of These United States suggested his followers should ‘Liberate Michigan’. It would have been unpatriotic not to take the president at his word. So a couple of weeks later, a group of ‘patriots’ arrived at the state capitol building to discuss issues involving the tyranny of mask-wearing with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other lawmakers.

Okay, so yes, they may have arrived for those friendly discussions armed with semi-auto rifles and handguns, but this is America…or used to be before Obama tried to turn the nation into a gay socialist guitar-strumming pedophile ring. Anyway, they just wanted to talk to Gov. Whitmer, that’s all. And President Trump realized that. He said:

These very good people were just angry, that’s all. They just wanted their lives back, which is understandable since Gov. Whitmer STOLE THEIR LIVES by asking them to wear masks and avoid gathering in large virus-sharing groups. Trump felt Gov. Whitmer should try to be reasonable, listen to the angry armed men threatening her and other Michigan lawmakers, give them a chance to screamsplain rationally why she was wrong.

But no, she wouldn’t do that, the bitch. Now look what she made them do.

Explaining the charges against Gov. Whitmer

Really, whose fault is it that these thirteen very good people felt forced to concoct a plan to kidnap her and put her on trial for…okay, it’s not clear exactly what she’d be put on trial for. Being a bitch, probably. Being a ball-cutting bitch by undermining their authority — undermining their very manhood — by trying to make them look like mask-wearing pussies. But the important point — the point everybody seems to be overlooking — is that they always intended to give her a trial. Did she give them a trial before ordering them to wear gay masks?

No. No, she did not.

Prosecutor’s opening statement.

They were going to give her a trial, that’s how reasonable they were. A fair trial. Okay, maybe the judge would be somebody involved in the kidnapping. And yeah, the jury pool would probably have to be drawn from folks involved in the kidnapping. But hey, still a trial, right? She’d have had a chance to defend herself and explain why she was being such a bitch, right? You’d think she’d thank them for giving her that chance, wouldn’t you.

But no. She’s showed no gratitude at all. Hell, she didn’t even thank Comrade Trump after his own personal Federal Bureau of Investigation disrupted the plot to murder kidnap … wait, was it really even a kidnapping? Was it? When you really look at it closely, wasn’t it really more like a citizen’s arrest? Followed by a fair trial. I don’t see what all the fuss is about.

Whitmer trial jury pool.

You invite a woman at gunpoint to accompany you of her own free will, you give her a chance to explain her ridiculous behavior, you agree not to punish her until after she’s had her say, and is she even the least bit grateful? See, that’s the problem with putting a woman in charge of anything other than the kitchen. They’re just too emotional.

And now the lives of these thirteen very good people are going to be tarnished. It’ll be hard for them to get a decent job. They may even lose their guns. Is that fair?

fuckwits struggle with tyranny

Garrett Soldano, the founder of Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine, one of the groups participating in Wednesday’s Fuckwits on Parade, had this to say about that punk-ass stunt:

“Keeping healthy people at home is tyranny.”

Tyranny. What is it? Where does it come from? How do you spell it? Conservatives know they don’t like it, but they’re having some difficulty, the poor dears, trying to figure out what actually constitutes tyranny. Happily, I am here to help! Here are some useful examples.

Saying ‘Happy holidays’? Not tyranny. Being kidnapped by the authorities for dissent? Tyranny. Giving folks access to affordable health care? Not tyranny. Routine torture to obtain confessions from political/religious dissidents? Tyranny. Having a limit on the number of firearms you can purchase in a month? Not tyranny. Having your home bulldozed to make way for a settlement of ‘approved’ citizens? Tyranny. Requiring pharmacies to fill prescriptions for birth control for unmarried women? Not tyranny. Being shot by agents of your own government for voicing anti-government opinions? Tyranny. Telling folks to isolate themselves at home to mitigate the death toll of a pandemic? Not tyranny.

See how easy it is? You don’t have to have a brain like Stephen Hawking to tell the difference between 1) laws/rules/regulations you disagree with, or you think are stupid, or you find overly restrictive and 2) tyranny. 

Another useful tool in determining tyranny: compare and contrast. Ask yourself ‘What would happen if I showed up armed and dressed in camo on the capital steps in Lansing, Michigan to protest against the government?’ And then ask the same question, this time using Riyadh, Saudi Arabia? (HINT: the correct answer is ‘In Lansing, after a while I’d go home and grill burgers’ and ‘In Riyadh, I’d be arrested and have electrodes attached to my genitals.’) Ask yourself ‘In Lansing, what would happen if I protested by blocking traffic in front of the emergency entrance to a hospital?’ And then ask the same question, only using Pyongyang, North Korea. (HINT: the correct answer is ‘In Lansing, people would be upset because I was acting like a horse’s ass’ and ‘In Pyongyang, they’d put a bullet in the back of my head and feed my body to the pigs.’) Ask yourself ‘What if I carried a protest sign and chanted for the governor to be locked up without a trial?’ and ask the same question about Harare, Zimbabwe. (HINT: the correct answer is ‘In Lansing, the police would protect my right to protest’ and ‘In Harare, I’d disappear and never be heard from again…and so would my family.’)

Tyranny.

See? It’s simple. If you can publicly call your government officials tyrants without fear of being arrested, assaulted, or killed by the authorities, you’re NOT living under tyranny.

But just to be sure, I took a look at Governor Whitmer’s ‘stay at home’ order. I wanted to get a sense of exactly how tyrannical it was. She explains the reasoning behind the order. “To suppress the spread of COVID-19, to prevent the state’s health care system from being overwhelmed, to allow time for the production of critical test kits, ventilators, and personal protective equipment, and to avoid needless deaths.” Not very tyrannical.

Not tyranny.

But then comes the meat of the order. The real test of tyranny. The order prohibits “businesses and operations from requiring workers to leave their homes, unless those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations.” That’s not just disappointingly non-tyrannical, it’s also a reasonable step to reduce the body count during a pandemic.

What about personal restrictions? I mean, that offers some opportunities for serious tyranny. Her order expressly tells folks it’s okay to “leave the house to get groceries or needed supplies” and to “engage in outdoor activities like walking, hiking, running, cycling, kayaking, canoeing, or any other recreational activity” so long as it was consistent with remaining at least six feet apart. That’s not tyranny. That’s good government.

Tyranny.

You know what would be tyrannical? A government that required its workers to labor in conditions known to increase the probability of dying simply to maintain a certain economic standard for the nation’s elite.

As I write this, the butcher’s bill in the United States is 37,175 confirmed Covid-19 deaths and 609,587 confirmed active cases (13,509 of which are considered to be in serious or critical condition). Those are confirmed cases. Because of inadequate testing, we don’t know how many actual active cases exist or how many people have actually died from Covin-19. The confirmed cases undoubtedly underestimate the actual cases.

Not tyranny. Heroism. Stay home. Wear masks. Wear gloves. Wash your damned hands.

Let me just repeat that. We have 37,889 confirmed Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. There are 157,451 confirmed deaths worldwide. That means the United States, which has about 4.25% of the world’s population, accounts for around 24% of the world’s confirmed Covid-19 deaths.

That’s not tyranny. But it’s really, really, really bad government.

in regard to punching nazis

Two things: 1) If you’re a Nazi, a neo-Nazi, or any flavor of white nationalist shouting white nationalist bullshit, be prepared to suffer the consequences; 2) if you punch a Nazi, be prepared to suffer the consequences.

Seriously, that’s a very basic Boolean social algebraic equation. Being a visible Nazi plus shouting racist bullshit equals a high probability of getting punched. Punching a Nazi plus the presence of law enforcement equals getting arrested.

Here’s an example being played out in the court system right now. Back in June of 2016 (that’s right — 2016) the Traditionalist Worker Party (a white nationalist group) and the Golden State Skinheads held a rally in Sacramento. Counter-protesters, including members of the anti-fascist group By Any Means Necessary, also showed up in opposition. The police, in the form of the California Highway Patrol, also showed up.

Before the rally was scheduled to begin, TWP member Nigel Walker, waving a white nationalist flag on a long wooden pole, approached some of the counter-protesters taunting them and encouraging them to come at him. There it is: visible Nazi plus shouting racist bullshit, which equals…? Right. Getting punched. There was a scuffle, during which the flag was ripped from the flagpole, which Walker then used as a weapon. Following that scuffle, Walker moved to an area with a law enforcement presence.

Walker was then approached by BAMN member Yvette Felarca, who deliberately bumped into him, and punched him at least twice in the stomach. There it is again: punching a Nazi plus the presence of the police equals…? Right. Getting arrested. CHP intervened and Felarca was arrested.

Felarca punching Walker.

This is math, people. If you’re a public Nazi, don’t be surprised if you get punched. If you punch a Nazi in public, don’t be surprised if you get arrested. If you’re not willing to get punched, don’t be a public Nazi. If you’re not willing to get arrested, don’t punch a Nazi in public. This is really fucking simple.

Right now Felarca is facing charges for punching Walker. She’s claiming “standing up to fascism is not a crime.” And she’s right — there’s nothing criminal about standing up to fascism. Punching somebody, however, is generally criminal.

Let me be clear. I DO NOT endorse punching Nazis, either in public or in private. On the other hand, I don’t condemn punching Nazis either. Nazis are totally punch-worthy. I’m of the opinion that if there’s a Nazi present and you’re willing to be arrested, then go ahead and punch him. Just don’t complain about getting arrested if you do it. And if you’re a Nazi, don’t complain about getting punched.

EDITORIAL NOTE: The criminal case against Felarca seems awfully weak. She’s charged with felony assault, which is probably just the State overcharging her to encourage her to plea to a lesser offence — a common prosecutorial tactic. She has an affirmative provocation defense, and there’s evidence of prosecutorial misconduct and bias against the anti-fascists. But the merits of the case itself are separate from the inescapable social algebra of Nazi-punching.

glory days

A gun-nut friend (yes, I remain friends with folks who are gun nuts) sent me a couple of links to opinion pieces he felt I should read. So hey, I read them. Why not? One was in The Federalist (which likes to present itself as being thoughtfully conservative) and the other was in USA Today (which is to newspapers what white bread is to bread).

I read the Federalist opinion piece. I actually agreed with some of the author’s thoughts (like ‘the loudest voices are often the most ignorant’), but disagreed with the author’s conclusions (liberals who don’t understand weaponry should shut the fuck up). Then I read the USA Today editorial, which was a lot less interesting. It was basically just another bland re-hashing of the usual tired arguments in favor of arming teachers. It was entirely wrong-headed, but fairly innocuous. In other words, about what you’d expect from USA Today.

Then I saw the name of the author of the editorial. Jerome R. Corsi. The author attribution described him in this way:

Investigative journalist Jerome R. Corsi is author of Killing the Deep State: The Fight to Save President Trump. He heads the Washington bureau of Alex Jones’ InfoWars.

Calling Jerome Corsi an investigative journalist is like calling your drunk uncle an alcohol researcher. Corsi’s not any sort of journalist, let alone an investigative one. Jerome Corsi is an extreme right-wing nut job. And InfoWars? That’s absolutely one of the worst of the lunatic right-wing conspiracy theory websites.

Jerome R. Corsi

Why would any news organization willingly turn over even a few inches of publishing space to a right-wing nut job who works for a conspiracy theory website? I mean, even if what’s written is just a bland re-hashing of the usual tired arguments, why in the hell would USA Today want to offer any legitimacy to somebody like Corsi?

I first learned about Corsi during the 2004 presidential election campaign. He wrote a book about the Democratic candidate called Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry, It was essentially a right-wing attack on Kerry’s combat service in Vietnam. It disparaged Kerry’s wounds (he received three Purple Hearts) and criticized his awards for valor (Kerry was awarded both a Bronze Star and a Silver Star). For the most part, the book relied on interviews with veterans who didn’t serve on Kerry’s boat. Corsi’s book is the origin of the term ‘swiftboating’ which is defined as an unfair or untrue political attack.

That was the first of Corsi’s many right-wing conspiracy theories. He also wrote a book about then candidate Barack Obama, claiming Obama was a secret Muslim, born in Africa. Here are a few other things Corsi has claimed. 1) there’s a secret plot to replace the US dollar with some sort of international currency, 2) an Islamic terrorist group supported Sen. John McCain, 3) the US (well, President Obama and Sec. of State John Kerry) sold or gave nuclear weaponry to Iran, 4) there’s a plot to create a North American Union comprised of the US, Canada, and Mexico — and that a new currency and new driver licenses have already been created, 5) the 9/11 attacks included bombs placed inside various World Trade Center buildings, and my personal favorite, 6) Adolf Hitler escaped Germany in the final days of WWII by taking a helicopter to Austria, where he boarded a plane which took him to Spain, where he was smuggled aboard a Nazi submarine (U-530) which took him to Argentina, where he (and possibly Eva Braun) were secretly landed ashore.

Corsi, (allegedly one pastrami sandwich away from a heart attack).

Possibly the only person less trustworthy and more paranoid that Jerome Corsi is Alex Jones, the demented fuckwit who created InfoWars — the lunatic right’s preferred source for the latest conspiracies on chemtrails, weather control, false flag attacks on school kids, and subterranean Satanic pedophile sex rings run out of DC area pizza parlors by Hillary Clinton and her Muslim lesbian lovers.

And this is the guy USA Today chose to write an editorial supporting arming teachers in schools in order to protect school kids from “psychologically disturbed adolescents who may be contemplating copy-cat school shootings.” Who’s going to protect USA Today’s readers from psychologically disturbed editorial writers? USA Today defended their decision to turn this loopy bastard loose on their editorial page by releasing the following statement:

USA Today’s Opposing View shows readers more than one point of view on an issue. Our signature debate format reinforces our reputation for fairness, which is one of our core values.

The problem, of course, is NOT that USA Today ran an editorial supporting the arming of teachers. The problem is giving a known conspiracy theorist a mainstream voice. The problem isn’t one of fairness, as USA Today suggests; it’s one of judgment. Not Corsi’s judgment, which is demonstrably lacking, but the judgment of the editorial staff of USA Today.

USA Today used to be news and entertainment pablum. Turns out, those were their glory days.

i had no idea, mostly

Because waiting for online customer support wasn’t quite painful and annoying enough, I decided to see what I could learn this morning from the patriots at FreeRepublic. It was, as always, enlightening. Or maybe endarkening.

Here are a few of the things I learned.

— I’ve learned Planned Parenthood runs “a national dead-baby-body-parts chop shop” and apparently is staffed and supported by “millions of homely man haters.” I had no idea.

— I’ve learned our borders (they refer to borders — plural — but only appear concerned with the Southern border) are totally open in order “to allow the free flow of drugs. Our rulers must be making piles of cash from the drug cartels.” I honestly had no idea.

— I’ve learned that “Billionaire tycoon and maverick Donald Trump doesn’t need anyone’s help” to get elected as President of These United States. This makes “Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton and Jon Corzine, to name just a few” nervous. Therefore, you shouldn’t “be surprised if Trump has an accident.” Except, it won’t be an accident. “They will kill him before they let him be president.” I had NO idea; you can’t pin this one on me.

— I’ve learned that it’s curious how the “USA has elected an enemy agent twice in a row…. its as if our country has suddenly decided to commit suicide? don’t people even care about (if they have any?) their children anymore?” This guy isn’t sure why this is so, but suggests “maybe its something in the water (or fast food burgers, or?)” I had no idea. None at all.

It's the hamburgers maybe?

It’s the hamburgers maybe?

— I’ve learned Al Gore’s daughter, Karenna, (who was recently arrested for protesting the construction of Spectra Energy’s West Roxbury Lateral pipeline) isn’t considered to be attractive by conservatives. They believe she “looks like an oGre under a bridge.” This is possibly because she “doesn’t have electricity anymore and can’t put on makeup.” However, they kindly offer suggestions on how to approve her appearance for future arrests: “Plastic surgery, face lifts, fillers and botox are your friends, girl… Or a paper bag.” I had no idea (that you should capitalize the G in oGre).

Karenna Gore arrested for protesting without makeup.

Karenna Gore arrested for protesting without makeup.

— I’ve learned a great deal about Hillary Clinton. For example, she “associates with the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks” and has transferred “to Russia a large portion of our uranium reserves – after receiving $140,000,000.” I’ve learned “she is a Treasonist.” Yet the compassionate patriots of FreeRepublic are concerned about her health. It seems her “disappearance from the debate stage” wasn’t because she had to walk farther to the rest room, but according to “a law-enforcement source with inside connections” she actually “was missing from the stage due to health issues stemming from a previous brain injury.” I’ve also learned “Hillary is not your neighborhood girl.” In fact, it turns out she’s a serial killer who has “over 100 dead bodies in her path to the White House.” But the patriot who revealed this ugly truth isn’t terribly worried about becoming her next victim; he has warned “any Clinton spooks out there intending to silence me as you have done to over 100 others, make sure you are more heavily armed than I am.” I had no idea about any of this, although I was pretty sure Hillary wasn’t from my neighborhood.

Wait...Waco too? What?

Wait…Waco too? What?

— And finally, I learned there are “several thousand to approximately eight million Islamic fighters inside the United States” and each and every one of them is “being welcomed by Obama,” who is the not-so-secret “active Head of the Moslem Brotherhood in America.” Not only that, it seems “Obama gave 5 MILLION federal hires top security clearance. Guess who?” (Did you guess Muslims?) Again, I had no idea (especially considering there are only three million Muslims in the U.S. — which means the other five million are totally in disguise).

I do, though, have one idea. I have an idea these folks might be supporting Donald J. Trump? Just a guess.