Category Archives: Terrorism

9/11:  History in a Vacuum

I never watch any 9/11 anniversary television coverage. I was in DC on 9/11 and for all of the months after it. I watched the Pentagon burn from the roof of my office building, just a few blocks from the White House. It was a terrifying day and I’m not here to relive it.

But Americans love to relive it. And somehow the round number of 20 has ramped up coverage to take over this entire week. We should absolutely remember those who died and the bravery and selflessness of the first responders who risked and gave their lives so others could live. We should remember the family members left behind.

The 9/11 commemorations always happen in a vacuum. One moment the United States is minding their own business going about a Tuesday, and the next moment the nation is under attack. It’s treated as if the country were sucker punched on the street for no discernible reason.

When you remove 9/11 from its previous context it becomes a cheap way for people who never put their lives on the line, ever, to spend the run up to it and the day itself policing how people feel about it and making it into some kind of patriotic holiday. But it’s the removal of the post 9/11 context that does the most damage.

9/11 was the result of complete carelessness by the Bush administration which was tight with the Bin Laden family to the point of getting them out of the country to shield them from having to provide necessary information. It was the excuse for the Bush administration to launch a war in Afghanistan so they and their cronies could make billions, and then to launch another, even more pointless war in Iraq, to further enrich people like Eric Prince, where the United States committed war crimes.

And it was all sold to us as a triumphant exercise of democracy, and if you opposed it you were asked “what is wrong with you?” I just got asked this question yesterday when someone asked me about 9/11 and I told them the stuff I’ve written here.

Well fuck all that. 9/11 should be a day of introspection and apology to the first responders left without medical care. It should be a day of thanks and asking forgiveness of the men and women who went to Afghanistan and Iraq and came back with mental and physical injuries. It should be a day to apologize to the families who lost people, in the towers, the Pentagon, in PA, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and who were left to fend with cancer and other illnesses after their service and sacrifice. It should be a day to castigate those member of Congress who refused to fund healthcare for first responders.

And it should be a day to do some serious work on beating our swords into plowshares.

A Reader Writes In To Inquire

Democrats Vs. Republicans

After my last post a reader who stands in opposition to what I said asked me some questions that I thought would be better answered in todays post then a simple reply to just him. He raises some points that I often hear from those who stand in opposition to my point of view. We will begin with

Since (Biden) took office, Gas prices in suburban areas of (LOCATION REDACTED) have hit highs of $5 per gallon.

Yes they have. I wish Biden had the power to put a cap on how much oil producers can charge for a gallon of gas, but until the socialist dream is achieved he doesn’t. Nor has any president. EVER. If you are upset about five dollar a gallon gas then start getting mad at the real culprits, the oil companies. Personally I think it’s because they see we are coming to the end of the age of the internal combustion engine and are trying to get as much cashola as they can before no one wants and/or needs their product. But if you think five bucks is high, wait till they start using Hurricane Ida as an excuse to raise prices.

And you know they will.

Since he took office, ISIS which was rarely heard of the previous 4 years are claiming to be responsible for the afghan airport bombing which killed many US marines and citizens that have been left there before being evacuated before the US army was to let in the Taliban to take over.

First of all, it was not ISIS that was responsible for the Kabul airport bombing but rather ISIS-K which is an off shoot organization not controlled by ISIS. US citizens were killed in the attack but many more of the dead were Afghans. That’s not an excuse, just a statement of fact. Could it have been prevented? I don’t know, but I do know that a second attempt was prevented with a well placed drone strike. I’m sure you were applauding the bold and direct action that Biden took.

Before he took office it was thought that there might be control on the current situation at hand but reading articles on CNN which is pro Biden, it looks like this August is worse than last year August (although you’ll claim it’s all others faults).

What control are you talking about? Trump’s “peace talks” with the Taliban? Look, let me make it clear, we had no business being in Afghanistan and we certainly had no business being there for twenty years. Biden said enough is enough, we’re not wasting any more money or blood on a place with no strategic value to our country. And if you want to cry about terrorists being there please note my earlier comment about the drone strike as an example of how to take care of things.

The Taliban have no friends, only those who give them money to buzz around and annoy Western democracies. Let them run an unrunable country. When the time is right an opposition group will take to the hills, just as the Taliban did twenty years ago, and begin a guerilla war that will end with them marching into Kabul. But if you think that will bring about a peaceful, serene Afghanistan I’ll remind you that the Taliban will just take to the hills and begin another guerilla war.

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Who Hired The Hitman?

I usually hate Congressional hearings. The members talk too much. Most of them have no idea how to pose or frame a question. The first day of the House Dipshit Insurrection Select Committee hearings was different: solemn, dignified, and focused.

Speaker Pelosi should thank feckless House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy for boycotting the committee. There are no wingnuts determined to speak over others and put on a show for the cameras. The committee is small: only 9 members. The two Republicans are willing to face the scorn of their idiot leader who denounced them as Pelosi Republicans. Nobody cares what KMac thinks. He maneuvered himself into oblivion last week.

The four police officers who testified were great witnesses and deserve a shout-out: Aquillo Gonnell, Michael Fanone, Daniel Hodges, and Harry Dunn. They epitomize the sort of people who *should* be in law enforcement. During the Dipshit Insurrection, they protected and served. As Adam Kinzinger said, “You guys won. You guys held.”

They were all impressive, but Capitol copper Harry Dunn stood out: both literally and figuratively. Dunn is a big dude. He’s 6’7″ and built like an old school NBA power forward such as the late Wes Unseld who played his entire career for the Baltimore/Capitol/Washington Bullets.

Officer Dunn was denounced before the hearing by that entitled little shit Tucker Carlson as “an angry left-wing activist.”

Harry Dunn *is* angry and with good reason:

Dunn, a 13-year-veteran of the force, testified that as rioters were nearing the a room directly off the House floor, they shouted about having been invited by Trump to “stop the steal” — prevent the congressional affirmation of Joe Biden’s victory. He said those rioters said “nobody voted” for Biden.

“I’m a law enforcement officer, and I do my best to keep politics out of my job, but in this circumstance, I responded: ‘Well, I voted for Joe Biden. Does my vote not count? Am I nobody?'” said Dunn, who is Black. “That prompted a torrent of racial epithets. One woman in a pink MAGA shirt yelled: ‘Did you hear that, guys? This n—– voted for Joe Biden.’ Then the crowd, perhaps around 20 people, joined in screaming, ‘Booo, f—— n—–.’

“No one had ever, ever called me a n—– while wearing the uniform of a Capitol Police officer,” Dunn continued, adding that after the riot he heard from other Black officers who faced racial abuse from the mob. “One officer told me he had never, in his 40 years of life, had been called a n—– to his face, and that streak ended on January 6th. Yet another Black officer later told me he had been confronted by insurrectionists in the Capitol who told him to ‘put your gun down, and we’ll show you what kind of n—– you really are.'”

The Trump mob showed what kind of cowards they are. There’s safety in numbers. None of them would have dared to abuse Harry Dunn one-on-one.

The sub-text of the hearing was ingratitude. The ingratitude of Republican lawmakers whose lives were saved by the cops who risked their own lives to protect them. The Trumpers are lionizing Ashli Babbitt and calling her fellow rioters political prisoners. I know what to call them: Terrorists.

Congressional loons Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar, and Louis Gohmert Piles (hereinafter the Four Gs) showed what they were made of yesterday. They staged a “protest” outside the Justice Department. They demanded the release of insurrectionists who they claim are political prisoners. So the QAnon Shaman is the new Andrey Sakharov? Who knew?

It was a disgusting display of cosplay courage: they were run off by a guy with a whistle. I am not making this up. Here’s the proof:

One more note, make that Tweet, about the freak show surrounding yesterday’s hearing:

Holy Cosplay Tough Guy, Batman.

Back to the main event: the hearing.

The officers made it clear that they want those behind the insurrection held accountable. It was Harry Dunn who inspired the post title: “If a hitman is hired, and he kills somebody, the hitman goes to the jail. But not only does the hitman go to jail, but the person who hired him does.”

We all know who he’s talking about: former President* Pennywise. He’s incapable of planning anything but capable of inciting a riot. That’s what he did on Twelfth Night, 2021.

The last word is inspired by the Four Gs DOJ Mishigas and the guy who made them look ridiculous:

Yogi Terror?

I have a positive impression of people who do yoga. They’re normal people who live normal lives. Their namaste rarely turns nasty.

Then there’s this abnormal guy:

A retired California police chief-turned-yoga instructor and five others in his crew are the latest defendants charged with conspiring to disrupt the congressional certification of Joe Biden’s victory on Jan. 6.

The conspiracy charges in the indictment against the Alan Hostetter and five others, which was filed online Wednesday and unsealed Thursday, are more serious than the typical trespassing or disorderly conduct charges faced by most defendants in the Jan. 6 attack.

Conspiracy allegations are reserved for those who prosecutors believe planned their actions ahead of time and worked together. They’ve also been lodged by feds against members of the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. In this case, the indictment against the crew noted several indications of ties to the Three Percenter militia movement, which so far has been largely absent from Jan. 6 case dockets.

The indicted men allegedly participated in the riot at the Capitol with the intent of preventing the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral win.

Hostetter founded the group American Phoenix Project last year to protest COVID-19 public health orders, and his presence in D.C. on Jan. 6 was the subject of a late January Washington Post column on support for Trump among the “wellness community.” TPM has covered Hostetter and the American Phoenix Project’s intimidation tactics aimed at local officials.

Wellness is definitely NOT the Impeached Insult Comedian’s bag. These creeps should rebrand themselves as Fit Folks For The Fat Fuck.

Incitement is Pennywise’s art form. It’s depressing how many people have fallen for the BIG LIE and Trump’s entire shtick. To paraphrase a better Republican president from New York, the Kaiser of Chaos talks loudly and carries a small stick. He leaves that to others.

What is it with Trumpers and Teutonic symbolism? That eagle logo resembles avian imagery used by Prussian militarists and their Nazi successors. It’s ironic given that America helped defeat the Two Hs: the Hohenzollerns and Hitler. In fact, imagery is one of the few things the Nazis were good at: genocide and propaganda being the others.

Speaking of Teutonic symbolism, when I dubbed Trump the Kaiser of Chaos, I had no idea how perfect the nickname would be, especially in exile. I wish I could claim premonitive powers, but I cannot. I’m no Kreskin, I’m not even a Carnac:

It’s depressing but unsurprising how many members of law enforcement participated in the Dipshit Insurrection. The same goes for people from Orange County in Southern California. The yogi terrorist, Alan Hostetter is the former chief of the La Habra police department in the OC.

Orange County may be better known for reality teevee shows in 2021, but it has long been a hotbed of right-wing political activism. Orange County *has* changed and become a more diverse place but it remains hospitable to teabaggery and Trumpism. The OC’s airport is named for bigoted chicken hawk movie star, John Wayne, after all.  FYI, one of my favorite social media moments in recent years was when the kids “discovered” the Duke’s racist Playboy interview. They cried, I laughed,

This post is title driven. Yogi Terror came to me in a flash after reading Matt Shuhan’s marvelous TPM article. It should have come to me when Alabama lifted its bizarre ban on yoga in schools. Better late than never.

I should thank these guys for inspiring such a punny title:

One could even say that Alan Hostetter is dumber than the average bear.

Finally, now that the head Yogi terrorist is in the pokey, the American Phoenix Project should change the slogan on its logo from the melodramatic, “Let hope rise like the Phoenix from the ashes of a suffering nation” to “Fit Folks For The Fat Fuck.”

The last word goes to the Beatles with John Lennon’s scathing song about an earlier false prophet, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It applies equally to Alan Hostetter and his hero, Donald Trump:

Of Hatred, Spite & Envy

President Biden tours the Greenwood Cultural Center in Tulsa.

President Biden traveled to Tulsa and gave one of the best speeches of his life:

For much too long the history of what took place here was told in silence, cloaked in darkness. But just because history is silent, it doesn’t mean that it did not take place. And while darkness can hide much, it erases nothing, it erases nothing. Some injustices are so heinous, so horrific, so grievous they can’t be buried no matter how hard people try. And so it is here, and so it is here only, only with truth can come healing, and justice, and repair, only with truth, facing it. But that isn’t enough.

There was a decades long cover-up of the extent of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre. I was aware of it through my reading, but the extent of the carnage remains shocking. A mob attempted to erase a vibrant Black community, wipe out a culture out of hatred, spite, and envy. Hatred, spite, and envy are powerful emotions.

The context of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre feels ripped from the headlines. It took place after a pandemic when demagogues were stirring up hatred against minorities and immigrants. People were angry and looking for scapegoats.

Biden understands the parallels between now and then:

And finally, we must address what remains the stain on the soul of America. What happened in Greenwood was an act of hate and domestic terrorism with a through line that exists today still. Just close your eyes, remember what you saw in Charlottesville four years ago on television. Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, the KKK coming out of those fields at night with lighted torches, the veins bulging as they were screaming. Remember? Just close your eyes and picture what it was. Well, Mother Fletcher said, when she saw the insurrection at the capital on January 9th, it broke her heart. A mob of violent white extremists, thugs, said reminded her of what happened in Greenwood 100 years ago. Look around at the various hate crimes against Asian Americans and Jewish Americans. Hate that never goes away. Hate only hides.

Hate as personified by the Kaiser of Chaos is in hiding at Mar-a-Dorn. He’s about to emerge from his cocoon like an evil moth and resume spewing hate at MAGA rallies. Hatred, spite, and envy are his jam.

While former President* Pennywise has been dormant, his minions have been busy spreading disinformation:

The anti-democratic conspiracy theory [that Trump will be “reinstated” as president] has been bubbling up in fringe conservative media for several months. It has no basis under the Constitution or any legitimate legal framework. MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has been a prominent proponent of the theory. The former Trump attorney Sidney Powell also floated the idea at a QAnon conference over the weekend.

The anticipation of a Trump reinstatement on a certain date could spread further among the most dedicated Trump supporters. The calls to help overturn the 2020 election on January 6, for example, gained steam through a pro-Trump bus tour by a fringe group and led to the insurrection at the Capitol. Lindell has said August is when he would go to the Supreme Court to present evidence he’s acquired that would be so convincing that the justices would be forced to reject the 2020 election result.

The My Pillow Guy to the rescue? Oy just oy.

Disgraced General and 22-day National Security adviser Mike Flynn has been showing gratitude for his pardon by muttering about coups then claiming he said no such thing. It’s a classic reality show trope: lie then deny.

Trump and his trolls are driven by hatred, spite, and envy. They had their way with the federal government and left a mess behind. Once again, a Democratic president is cleaning a Republican’s mess. This is by far the worst: the defeated president* remains a threat to democracy itself.

It’s easy to laugh at the ridiculous counter-factual narrative being woven by the Trumpers. There is no such thing as “reinstatement.” It’s another lie spun by the Trump/QAnon wing of the GOP to depict Trump as a Christ-like figure who will be resurrected in August. We have no choice but to take this nonsense seriously. There are some seriously delusional people out there many of whom are dangerous, especially those driven by hatred, spite, and envy.

Hatred, spite, and envy are infecting our body politic much like COVID infected our bodies. Brain fog is a common symptom of COVID survivors. The Republican party is suffering from Trump induced brain fog driven by hatred, spite, and envy.

After a series of electoral defeats, Republicans have concluded that the only way they can retake Congress and the White House is by suppressing the votes of the “wrong people.” The whole “stop the steal” movement is a smokescreen to justify their actions, which are driven by-you guessed it-hatred, spite, and envy.

It won’t be easy for the Senate to pass the For The People voting rights act, but it is imperative. The only realistic path forward is filibuster reform. The vote on the Dipshit Insurrection Commission filibuster proved that there are at best only a handful of “good patriots” among senate GOPers. It’s time to bring majority rule to the senate.

I nearly used the title of a Neville Brothers song as the post title: “Fear, hate, envy, and jealousy is [sic] like a fire all over the world.”

So are hatred, spite, and envy.

The last word goes to my 13th Ward homeys:

 

Names In A List

Flowers at VTA Yard

I was going to write about something else till local events overrode that plan.

Once again the country faces yet again another (I can’t use enough synonyms for often) mass shooting. This one was a little closer to home which makes it no less sorrowful but much more impactful on those of us in NorCal.

This was the largest mass shooting in NorCal history, eclipsing the 101 California Massacre in 1993. I hate that we have names for these unimaginable events. I’m sick at heart for the families who lost a husband, son, brother, best friend in an act that was as horrible was it was preventable.

They were just heading into or finishing work, another day moving the citizens of San Jose around from place to place. The shooting was timed to catch the most people being there, shift change. Half of them not quite awake at 6AM, half of them dog tired at 6AM. Just working folk who never did harm to anyone, the kind of people politicians always say they are for. I’ll add in that the names of the men who didn’t get home yesterday are a perfect cross section of the cultural melting pot that San Jose is: White, Hispanic, Sikh, Arab.

It was an equal opportunity shooting.

Read anything you want about the shooter (and I will not name him, his name should be lost to the eddies of history) and you will not find a single person saying “Oh, he was such a quiet man” or “he was a nice guy”. Again and again he’s described in anti-social terms, from his ex-wife to his ex-girlfriend (who had a restraining order on him) to his neighbors. I half expected to hear someone saying “yeah, I pretty much expected something like this from him”.

An angry white male loner incapable of a sustained romantic relationship who views his co-workers as having somehow swindled him out of better jobs and who owned not one but two semi-automatic hand guns. Copy that description and hold on to it because it fits all 15 of the shooters behind this year’s mass shootings. And it will fit the next 15, and the 15 after that.

Don’t even give me your “thoughts and prayers” Repugnicants. Don’t give me your piety about the 2nd Amendment which once again I will take the opportunity to point out that unlike the 1st Amendment does NOT include the phrase “Congress shall make no law”.  This is exactly the time to enact tough restrictions on gun possession, purchase, and registration. You want to own a gun? Then you have to be willing to accept the following:

  1. A limit to the number of guns you can own
  2. Full background checks at the time of purchase (including mental health)
  3. A national database of gun ownership, location, and transfer
  4. No gun show sales, purchase only through authorized sellers
  5. An absolute ban on military style assault weapons
  6. Limitations on the amount and specifications of bullets
  7. Mandatory gun safety and training classes
  8. Bans on modifications to most weapons (can’t turn a semi into full automatic)
  9. All weapons to be confiscated upon the granting of restraining orders

I absolutely can not see how any of these interfere with any law abiding person’s 2nd Amendment rights. They aren’t perfect but they at least make it so that if you own a gun you are less likely to use it to randomly kill innocent people. Were they in place on Wednesday nine human beings would be at home with their families today instead of just being names on a list.

  • Paul Delacruz Megia, age 42
  • Taptejdeep Singh, age 36
  • Adrian Balleza, age 29
  • Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, age 35
  • Timothy Michael Romo, age 49
  • Michael Joseph Rudometkin, age 40
  • Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, age 63
  • Lars Kepler Lane, age 63
  • Alex Ward Fritch, age 49

We’ll end with a local band as would seem appropriate. This song is about how the most patriotic thing you can do is to lay down your arms.

Shapiro Out

Fractured Fairy Tales

Fractured Fairy Tales Logo

 

I was a cartoon kid. I grew up on them, devoting endless Saturday mornings to the careful study of the various nuances of Underdog, Top Cat, or Yogi Bear. But far and away my absolute favorites were anything that came out of the Jay Ward factory. Bullwinkle and Rocky, Tom Slick, Dudley Do-Right, Peabody and Sherman. I may not have understood every joke, in fact there were times I knew something was a joke but too “adult” for me, but I loved the way they just kept spitting them out.

One that I generally did get the jokes for was Fractured Fairy Tales. Take a story that even at the age of seven or eight I had heard a zillion times and put a funny modern twist on it. Add that great narration by Edward Everett Horton and I’d say I would be on the floor laughing but I was already on the floor and laughing.

I bring this up because whenever there is fighting between Israel and an Arab entity (be it country or terrorist group) as there has been the last two weeks inevitably there will be a wag out there opining that this is just two peoples fighting over which Middle Eastern desert sect wrote down the better/correct fairy tales.

Both sides fairy tales are fractured. As are so many of the fairy tales we tell.

Personally I’m an atheist. Where did the world come from? Don’t know, don’t care. I deal with what is, not what might be. I wish the rest of the people in the world saw things as I see them, I think we’d all be better off, but I’m willing to respect a person’s right to their own opinion. You want to believe in God, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, the Church of Bob, that’s your belief system and if it works for you then as the kids these days say, you do you.

Where I do have a problem is when you want to take your personal belief system and impose it on everyone else. I’m not in favor of universal excommunication of all religion, but if your religion says in effect “Only our fairytale is the correct way to live your life, follow or we will make your life worthless” then I’m going to have to say “With all due respect, bullshit”.

Throughout human history we have told these fractured fairy tales. Ancient civilizations were mostly structured by fairy tales. What is a king or royalty but a construct by which a fable is told that this person, by right of family or maybe because he pulled a sword from a stone, is to rule over the rest of the land. As humans have evolved many societies have done away with that particular fairy tale or at least turned it into a profitable center of entertainment.

Yeah, I’m looking at you QEII.

The fairy tales did serve a somewhat useful purpose back in the day. They taught children to not steal from their neighbors or to be careful of the wolf in the forest or to not judge a beast too quickly for he may be an enchanted prince (or at least a nice guy). They also gave hope in a time when many lives were frankly hopeless. Maybe your fairy godmother will get you to the ball or a handsome prince will wake you from a spell or that even an ugly ducking can turn into a beautiful swan.

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Murder Among The Mormons

A little known fact about me: I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. Also little known is that there’s a fairly large Greek community there. My papou landed in Salt Lake because he was recruited to work in a Kennecott Copper mine at the docks in New York.

The recruiter was a Greek guy who showed my namesake pictures of Utah and it looked like the Peloponnesian region from which he hailed. He signed up and raised his family there. I still have some kin there and my parents are buried there as well. That concludes this leisurely stroll down memory lane.

The featured image is an example of how popular true crime is. I cannot fathom wanting a throw pillow with the Mormon temple and blood on it but I guess someone will buy it from Red Bubble. There’s no accounting for taste.

Hell, I don’t want a film noir throw pillow, not even a Claire Trevor one. I don’t want to confuse the cat. I’ll leave that to Monty Python:

Let’s exit this long and winding road of an introduction and get down to business. The business of forgery, deception, and murder most foul.

The latest Netflix true crime series Murder Among The Mormons is set in Salt Lake City during the 1980’s. Three pipe bombs exploded in a short period of time. Two people died from the first two bombs and Mark Hofmann was seriously injured by the third. He set the bomb himself. The why of the third bomb is less clear.

Mark Hofmann was a dealer in documents with a specialty in Mormon stuff. Not surprising for a guy who was raised in the LDS church by sternly pious parents. Hofmann turned out to be something of an LDS rebel, which had dire consequences for his friends and family.

Hofmann caused a sensation by “uncovering” the so-called White Salamander letter, which seemed to refute the church’s belief that the Book of Mormon was given to Joseph Smith by the Angel Moroni. That’s the dude on top of most Mormon churches. Instead, Smith was led to the fateful cave by a white salamander. It’s hocus pocus either way as far as I’m concerned and that was true for Hofmann as well.

The White Salamander letter was a fake. Hofmann was on the verge of discovery when he planted the bombs. The investigation was extensive and eventually led to him. He is currently serving a life sentence. He ducked the firing squad by telling his story to the Utah Parole Board.

Murder Among The Mormons tells this story in three parts. It was, of course, a huge news story in Utah and was covered thoroughly by the Salt Lake media. We see a lot of their work and they did a helluva job as did the prosecution team.

We spend a great deal of time with some folks close to the master forger: his ex-wife Dorie Olds, and his former friends Shannon Flynn, and Brent Metcalfe. They’re swell talking heads who we get to know over the course of the series.

Here’s the trailer:

Mark Hofmann’s goal was to make a fortune off his fakery and to blow up the Mormon church in the process. Instead, he blew himself up and destroyed his life and the lives of some good people close to him.

I give Murder Among The Mormons 3 1/2 stars and an Adrastos Grade of B+. It’s true crime at its finest. I’ll skip the throw pillows.

Let’s close out this bloody, bomby, and pillowy post with some music. The last word goes to Johnny Mercer and Bob Weir.

 

Haven’t They Heard Of The 20th Amendment?

20th Amendment, Article One

The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

It’s probably unfair to ask the question posed in the post title. But since we’re dealing with the QAnon creeps, to hell with fairness. When were they ever fair to any of us Satan worshippers? The mere thought makes me feel like my countryman John Cassavetes in Rosemary’s Baby.

March 4th was inauguration day until 1936. It was established by custom, not law. It was the day George Washington was supposed to take the oath of office and it was thought to be good enough until it wasn’t. It was huge problem for Lincoln in 1860 with the country falling apart and James Buchanan doing what he did best: nothing, bupkis, nada, rien, zilch.

It was especially problematical in 1933 as the nation suffered through the Great Depression. Loser/President Herbert Hoover tried to trick FDR into supporting austerity measures that would have made matters worse. FDR had no intention of falling for Hoover’s tricks and sharing the blame for the Depression. Democrats were less earnest in those days hence the title of my favorite FDR biography:

One of FDR’s leading supporters, George Norris a liberal Republican from Nebraska decided there had to be a better way and became one of the main sponsors of the 20th Amendment.  Yes, Virginia, along with Santa Claus, there used to be liberal Republicans. One of them New York’s Jacob Javits was among the most liberal senators of his era. He’s better known to our younger readers as the Convention Center Guy.

I thought a bit of history was in order on a day that online domestic terrorist chatter indicates that there could be another assault on the Capitol. The QAnon creeps posit that the Kaiser of Chaos will be returned to power on the original inauguration day. Federal law enforcement is ready for them this time, so it hasn’t happened as of this writing. Empty promises and gestures are Q’s specialties, after all.

There’s a swell explainer piece in the WaPo about what is supposed to transpire on the original inauguration day:

According to QAnon lore, all presidents since Ulysses S. Grant have been illegitimate, so it follows that the day Trump returns to power to set things right would be the original Inauguration Day.

There are a couple of problems with this theory.

First, it’s unclear if the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, is still valid in the Q universe, since that also came after Grant.

Second, March 4 didn’t actually end up being the first Inauguration Day anyhow. That’s when it was scheduled for in 1789, but bad weather — an actual storm! — kept so many members of Congress from getting to the temporary capital of New York City that they failed to have the quorum needed for Washington to take the oath. The first inauguration didn’t take place until April 30, 1789.

Also, this is not the first day QAnon followers have predicted Trump will reveal himself as an American savior. Other dates include but are not limited to: Dec. 8, 2020; Dec. 14, 2020; Jan. 6, 2021 (attempt by followers to make this prophecy come true notwithstanding); Jan. 20, 2021.

So once Thursday passes without a Trump resurrection, what will the new, actual, real, final day be?

Who knows, but Easter — April 4 this year — is TAKEN.

Jeez, they can’t even get their fractured history right.

My favorite part is the bit about the 19th Amendment. One would think it’s valid since there are two Q congresswomen but expecting consistency or coherence from the Q creeps is asking too much. But what do I know? I’m a slave to Beelzebub as far as this lot is concerned.

Our old pal Gym Jordan has weighed in on the chatter:

“Maybe in a way it’s good, because in the next two weeks think about what the Democrats are going to do,” Jordan told Fox News on Wednesday night, ticking off a doomsday list of ways Democrats will “radically change” election and policing laws.

“Maybe it’s a good idea that we’re not here,” the Ohio Republican repeated.

Jordan also cast doubt on the seriousness of the threat.

“I don’t know that the threat is that critical,” he said, adding that he had not received a briefing on the matter.

“But my guess is this is probably not that serious,” Jordan asserted. “But I just don’t know for sure.”

The Jacketless One is at a loss for words? There’s a first time for everything.

If I’m wrong and there’s a second Dipshit Insurrection leading to a Trump resurrection, I yield the floor to Emily Litella:

All this blasphemous babble about resurrection has given me an earworm. The last word goes to Robbie Robertson:

 

 

 

Merrick Garland’s Time

We all hoped that Merrick Garland’s time was in 2016 when President Obama appointed him to the Supreme Court. It was not to be. I still hold a grudge over the way the Turtle killed his nomination. He snuck into the judicial nursery and smothered the nomination with a pillow, then claimed it was an act of principle. The hollowness of that claim was confirmed last fall with the Barrett nomination. It’s always about power with Mitch McConnell.

At the time of the nomination, people were fixated on the labels applied to Judge Garland. People on the left fretted because he was dubbed a moderate by the punditocracy. A reminder: Ruth Bader Ginsburg was called a moderate upon her nomination. Labels have a way of peeling off when a nominee becomes a Supreme. That’s neither here nor there in the case of Merrick Garland as we’ll never know if he would have morphed from a moderate to liberal Justice a la Bill Brennan. It’s why I hate labels. They’re almost as invidious as stereotypes.

Merrick Garland’s time is now. The job is different but it’s one for which he’s perfectly suited: Attorney General. Word of Biden’s choice came the day after the Georgia runoff handed control of the senate to Democrats. It was also the date of the Dipshit Insurrection.

After serving as a line prosecutor, Garland became a deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division during the Clinton administration. He found himself supervising two of DOJ’s most important criminal cases ever: the Oklahoma City bombing and the Unabomber. That’s right, Merrick Garland’s remit was the battle against domestic terrorism. That’s why his time is now.

There’s a must-read piece in the WaPo about the impact the McVeigh-Nichols OKC bombing case had on the next Attorney General:

The truck bomb leveled a section of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, killing 168 and injuring hundreds more in one of the deadliest domestic terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. But as Merrick Garland huddled with the lead prosecutor on the case, he urged caution in presenting the massive amount of evidence from the wreckage.

“Do not bury the crime in the clutter,” he said.

Garland, then a top Justice Department official, was encouraging prosecutors to speed the trial along and jettison superfluous findings in their case against Timothy McVeigh, who was convicted of carrying out the 1995 attack and executed in 2001, said Joe Hartzler, the team’s lead attorney. Hartzler said he found the advice so compelling that he wrote the words on a sheet of paper and hung it on an office wall as a rallying cry for his team.

More than two decades later, Garland, 68, is preparing to lead the Justice Department as attorney general and facing a domestic terrorism threat that has metastasized, with white supremacists and conspiracy-minded anti-government types emboldened by their acknowledgment from former president Donald Trump.

I commend the entire article to your attention, but I posted the first four paragraphs to not bury the article in clutter.

Judge Garland has pledged to make the fight against domestic terrorism his top priority. He’s a man of his word so I eagerly await the end of decades of ignoring right-wing extremists.

Judge Garland has another important task: rebuilding the morale of the Justice Department after four years of political hackery during the Trump regime. It wasn’t just Bill Barr, it was Jeff Bo Sessions and the acting AGs, which sounds like the name of a jug band.

Judge Garland has promised to be “the people’s lawyer, not the president’s lawyer” and I take him at his word. White House meddling was an endemic epidemic in the bad old Barr days. It ends now.

The Garland confirmation hearing was characterized by much bad faith tut-tutting by Republican senators. Tailgunner Ted and Senator Cornhole were particularly sanctimonious in discussing political influence at DOJ. It’s why I could only watch snippets of it. They’re afraid that Trump will be prosecuted by the incoming administration. That’s the politicization they fear. Charges against the Impeached Insult Comedian are a distinct possibility but that will be up to Merrick Garland, not Joe Biden. The president has quite rightly vowed to stay out of it.

There’s been much hand wringing about how hard it will be to restore the apolitical culture at DOJ. Rachel Maddow devoted an entire show to the issue. I love Rachel but she’s the quintessential liberal worry wort, especially on this issue.

Will it be easy? No, nothing worthwhile ever is.

Is it doable? Absolutely.

Why? It’s been done before in 1975 in the wake of Watergate and two Attorneys General going to the hoosegow.

The best appointments made by Gerald Ford during his brief presidency were these two bow-tied Chicagoans:

You probably recognize the guy on the left: Justice John Paul Stevens. The man on the right is the one who turned DOJ around and urged President Ford to appoint Stevens to SCOTUS. His name was Edward Levi.

Like Edward Levi and John Paul Stevens, Merrick Garland hails from the Chicago area.

Like Merrick Garland, Edward Levi was a modest unassuming man.

Like Merrick Garland, Edward Levi faced a difficult task. He did the job, then returned to the University of Chicago where he had previously served as dean of the law school and president of the university.

Like Merrick Garland, Edward Levi was Jewish. He was the first Jewish AG; Garland will be the third. Garland has always been reticent about his background, but Cory Booker worked his magic on the judge:

Senator Booker also elicited this strong statement on racial injustice from the next AG:

Back to Jerry Ford’s attorney general.

Edward Levi is one of the most underrated figures in American history. He not only had to clean up the DOJ, but he also had to reform the FBI, which J. Edgar Hoover had turned into his private police force. He accomplished both in two years. It can be done again.

1975 was Edward Levi’s time.

2021 is Merrick Garland’s time.

The last word goes to Bill Withers:

The Two Andys

Andy Taylor

Barney I told ya to stop messin’ with those Antifa fellas

Andy Sipowicz

Yeah, that ain’t gonna happen

The no longer failing New York Times has an article today about how police departments across the country are making attempts to weed out “political extremists” (the rest of us call them Fascists) from their ranks.

Imagine that, far right wingnuts patrolling our streets, armed and pretty much impervious to judicial oversight. Who could have imagined?

The article centers on an Oklahoma sheriff who was part of the mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6. He claims he was just there for the donuts…er…I mean the rally, but information obtained by other law enforcement officials and passed on to the FBI show that he was making celebratory phone calls from within the building.

We all know, or at least we should all know, that any police force is going to be riddled with those who tend to the conservative side of things. They see the world as good and evil, with themselves as the good and everyone else as at least potentially evil. The good cops know they are there to enforce the laws and protect the citizenry regardless of their own personal views. Unfortunately too many bad ones forget to check their views at the station door, patrolling the streets with the attitude of doing it to them before they do it to you.

But in the age of Trump those who send out George Floyd “You Take My Breath Away” Valentines Cards are outnumbering the ones who take seriously their admonishment to “Protect and Serve”. They publicly advocate their political positions even while on the job with little if any consequence. Only in the most extreme cases, and it’s rare this happens, are officers dismissed. Klan members, white supremacists, Nazis (neo and full bore), and other antigovernmental actors attend rallies, post on social media, and advocate with impunity and with imprimatur from their stations as law enforcement officials.

In most any company anywhere in this country if an employee openly advocated a political position, no matter if it was conservative or liberal, they would be told by their boss to knock it off or face dismissal. In police and sheriff departments there seems to have been a refusal to admonish even the most incendiary of political positions. Our boy in Oklahoma and as many as 30 other KNOWN police officials took part in a violent uprising with the intention of overthrowing the legally elected government of the United States. All they seem to be getting are the “well boys will be boys” treatment from their departments.

It goes even farther though.

Sometimes groups opposed to the government emerge within law enforcement itself. Hundreds have joined the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, for example, which claims that sheriffs have the last word on whether any U.S. or local law is constitutional and should be enforced or not.

Or in other words, we believe in America, we just don’t believe in anything it stands for.

In many cities and towns the police are looked upon as an occupying force, not the least bit because of all the military hardware they now deploy. Armored personal carriers, high tech mobile command centers, even tanks, are to be found on Main Street or Broadway as surely as they are to be found in Afghanistan. Even ordinary squad cars are filled with anti-personal weaponry. They will tell you all of that is needed to keep the streets safe. It’s not. It’s just making the problem worse, especially when the fingers on the triggers of all those lethal toys belong to people who believe the guy in the gunsight is a lesser human being then themselves.

The way to end this plague is with education and training. We need to institute national standards for law enforcement officers. These standards should include at a minimum mandatory college level courses in criminal justice, de-escalation training, some psychology training, full scale fire arms training, and an expansion of police academy training time which currently averages less than six months. It takes two years to become a CPA, it should take at least that long to be handed a weapon and pointed out onto the street.

By the way, if you think these standards are overly onerous, keep in mind they are the minimum standards of most western European countries.

But most of all it needs to be drilled into those in law enforcement that their personal beliefs have to be put aside not only when a badge is pinned on their chest but for as long as they continue to be employed by law enforcement. Yes, even off duty they can’t be spouting political rhetoric and it doesn’t matter whether that rhetoric is Stop The Steal or Black Lives Matter. If we as the citizens of a community give to them the enormous power that police officers have and the enormous protection that police officers receive in the furtherance of their duties, then police officers have the obligation to at ALL TIMES refrain from getting involved in political discourse. Nothing in the station house, nothing in the squad car, nothing in the locker room. No joining political groups or even signing petitions. Their position has to be one of extreme neutrality. In exchange they receive a guaranteed paycheck, a job for life that’s almost impossible to lose, and most importantly the respect and admiration of those they are mandated to protect. It will probably even make their job easier as tensions between the police and the policed will decrease.

In other words, more Andy Taylor and less Andy Sipowicz.

The last word, as it so often does, goes to The Clash

Shapiro Out

Quote Of The Day: Josh Hawley Edition

Josh Hawley has made a name for himself since the Dipshit Insurrection. It’s not the sort of reputation that a United States Senator should want to have, but Hawley is the worst kind of extremist: a whiny entitled one.

Hawley wrote a piece for the New York Post in which he claimed to be a victim of cancel culture whatever the hell that is. Poor baby is upset because his home state papers, a major donor, and his mentor, former Senator Jack Danforth are appalled by his antics as are the seven senators who asked for an investigation into his conduct.

I’m not, however, going to quote his Murdoch Post op-ed but a 1995 piece that was unearthed by the Kansas City Star in which Hawley defended Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh hence the featured image:

The Star reported that following the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, Hawley wrote a column for his hometown paper, The Lexington News, in which he warned against calling antigovernment militia members domestic terrorists.

Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the men who carried out the bombing that killed 168 people, had ties to the Michigan Militia, an antigovernment group dating back to the 1990s.

“Many of the people populating these movements are not radical, right-wing, pro-assault weapons freaks as they were originally stereotyped,” Hawley wrote of militia groups. “Dismissed by the media and treated with disdain by their elected leaders, these citizens come together and form groups that often draw more media fire as anti-government hate gatherings.”

He added: “Feeling alienated from their government and the rest of society, they often become disenchanted and slip into talks of ‘conspiracy theories’ about how the federal government is out to get them.”

Also in the column, Hawley said Mark Fuhrman, the Los Angeles police detective whose use of racial slurs became known during OJ Simpson’s trial, was being unfairly depicted as a racist.

“In this politically correct society, derogatory labels such as ‘racist’ are widely misused, and our ability to have open debate is eroding,” he wrote.

I’m tired of the Hawleys of the world defending the indefensible. Vague and generalized grievances against the government do not justify mass murder. That’s what Timothy McVeigh was: a mass murderer. The bomb was planted near the Murrah Federal Building’s daycare center. Of the 168 people murdered by McVeigh 19 were children.

The McVeigh case did not involve abstract intellectual notions as 16-year-old Hawley seemed to think. It involved slaughter, blood, and mayhem. It’s easy for some to excuse the writings of a callow high school kid. The problem is that he applies the same logic to the Dipshit Insurrection.

It’s not okay to incite a riot.

It’s not okay for a mob to attack the Capitol.

It’s not okay for Republicans to dismiss this violent insurrection as old news.

We should never let this go and never forget the events of January 6, 2021. It was the first time since the War of 1812 that our Capitol was breached. It was the first time the flag of slavery and treason was brought into the Capitol. None of that is okay.

I feel a meme coming on:

That, of course, stands for: IT’S OKAY IF YOU’RE A REPUBLICAN.

Perhaps a new acronym is in order for today’s Trumpified GOP: IOKIYAWS.

What’s that spell? IT’S OKAY IF YOU’RE A WHITE SUPREMACIST.

Not in my book.

Homeland Insecurity

The Department of Homeland Security is a bureaucratic monster spawned by 9/11. The blame usually goes to the Bush-Cheney administration but Slate’s Fred Kaplan has a better memory than most of us:

The DHS was a sham from the get-go. It was the brainchild of Democratic Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who proposed the new department in late 2001, just after the 9/11 attacks, as a way of showing that the Republicans in the White House weren’t the only ones trying to tackle terrorism. President George W. Bush opposed the idea, seeing it as burdening the government with another bureaucratic layer. But then, the 9/11 Commission hearings revealed that al-Qaida succeeded in toppling the World Trade Center in part because the FBI, CIA, and other agencies hadn’t shared intelligence about the hijackers’ movements prior to the attack. Coordination and consolidation were suddenly seen as nostrums to our problems.

So, under pressure, in late 2002, Bush signed Lieberman’s idea into law. DHS wound up subsuming 22 agencies from eight federal departments—with a combined budget of $40 billion and a payroll of 183,000 employees—into one hydra-headed behemoth.

The creation of this unwieldy behemoth was the result of partisan politics. This was before Lieberman became a renegade McCainiac. Back then. Holy Joe had his eyes on the 2004 Democratic nomination. He wanted the Dems to look as tough as Team Bush. We’re still paying for his folly in 2020. Fuck you, Joe.

The very name Homeland Security has creeped me out from the beginning. It sounds like something Goering and Goebbels might have cooked up. Americans *never* referred to our country as the homeland before 9/11. It’s one of the manifold ways those attacks adversely impacted our politics.

There’s been much talk of Nixon’s 1968 Law & Order campaign. I’ve done it myself. We should not, however, forget the GOP’s “the terrorists are coming to kill you” campaigns in 2002 and 2004. Anyone who opposed the Iraq War was derided as “soft on terrorism.” Those scare campaigns are also precursors to Trump’s 2020 scare tactics.

If anything, Homeland Security has made the country less secure. It has damaged the mission of the agencies involved including FEMA:

In fact, it made the government less efficient. For instance, before the consolidation, the head of FEMA had been a Cabinet-level official—a member of the National Security Council who attended interagency meetings and enjoyed direct access to the president. Now this official is an undersecretary of DHS. The secretary of DHS can closely follow only a few of the dozen or so issues the department covers. If emergency management is one of the top priorities, then that particularly undersecretary at least has indirect access to the top; if it isn’t, the mission goes largely ignored. This may have been one reason the Bush administration responded so sluggishly to the great natural disaster of 2005, Hurricane Katrina.

Right said, Fred.

It’s time to abolish the Department of Homeland Security and scatter it to the four winds. The advent of the Chaos Squads has made abolition imperative. There’s too much power concentrated in hands of the DHS Secretary and the current creep, Chad Wolf, is the acting secretary. He’s acting in a way that makes us insecure, not secure.

The last word goes to Otis Redding:

Still Numb

It’s been awhile since I wrote about an American mass shooting. The reason is genuinely horrible: they’ve become so commonplace that we’re *almost* getting used to them. That’s an appalling place to find ourselves in, but that’s how things stand in the summer of 2019.

The El Paso shooting is particularly horrific: the shooter went to that Walmart because so many people cross the border to shop there. It’s what happens when Mexicans are demonized by a sitting president* for his short-term political advantage. As always, the GOP is offering thoughts and prayers without informing the public what will happen when they stop thinking and praying. We all know the answer to that: nada, bupkis, nothing.

It’s not just the ascendancy of white nationalism that’s causing this. It enjoyed a comeback in after Bill Clinton’s election victory in 1992 as well: Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was a white nationalist. The difference is that 1994 saw the last piece of major gun control legislation passed: the assault weapons ban, which was allowed the expire during the Beavis-Duce administration,

We keep hoping that there will be an inflection point in the ongoing gun violence crisis. This could be the beginning of one: the NRA is imploding because of internal strife and drama. It’s unclear if they will have the resources to be a major player in the 2020 election cycle.

It’s time for another full-court press to restore the assault weapons ban. It won’t pass Moscow Mitch’s Senate but it could prove to be a powerful issue in 2020.

The right is fond of talking about American exceptionalism. Is this what they have in mind?

As long as there are military-style assault weapons in the hands of civilians, I’ll keep writing the Still Comfortably Numb series:

2015: Still Confortably Numb.

2016: Still Comfortably Numb Revisited.

2017: Still Comfortably Numb Revisited.

2019: Post Mayhem Rituals.

I’m not sure how I missed 2018. I must have been numb. I still am.

Update: I did write a mass shooting post in 2018. It was one of my better efforts: Kristallnacht In Broad Daylight.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – “Here today, gun tomorrow” edition

You know, ‘m just going to stop planning mini-vacations from First Draft. Every time I do….

At first – he’s psychotic!

Christchurch mosque shootings – Trump-supporting ‘Brit’ gunman wrote chilling manifesto
The [UK] Sun ^ | 03-15-2019 | Jenny Awford

Posted on 3/14/2019, 11:45:31 PM by Trump20162020

To: Trump20162020

“Trum supporting”?????

The guy describes himself as an “eco-facsist who despises capitalism.

4 posted on 3/14/2019, 11:50:55 PM by BenLurkin (The above is not a statement of fact. It is either satire or opinion. Or both.)

To: NorseViking

No, he’s insane. When someone is as psychotic as this guy is I never take what they say about politics and culture seriously. They could just as well claim to be helping the Martians invade.

Apparently he has three accomplices though so it will be interesting to see what kind of mental cases they are.

7 posted on 3/14/2019, 11:54:52 PM by TigersEye (This is the age of the death of reason.)

So – he’s insane. And his hatred had NOTHING to do with the coziness of The Darnold’s regime with white supremacists.
.
Nothing at all.
.
This is how I see it:

Crazy person: “Those (fill in the blank) are dangerous.”
Crazier person: “Yeah!”

Crazy person: “Those (fill in the blank) are all terrorists.”
Crazier person: “Yeah!”

Crazy person: “Those (fill in the blank) need to be wiped out in a holy war.”
Crazier person: “Yeah!

Crazy person: “Those (fill in the blank) are all animals.”
Crazier person: “YEAH!!”

Crazy person: “There’s a war coming against those (fill in the blank), and we have all the guns.”
Crazier person: “YEAH!!!!!!”

Crazier person shoots up a building full of (fill in the blank)

Crazy person: “Where in the hell did you get THAT idea? You’re just a crazy person.”

And so on….

.

Of course, only crazy people hate other people because they pray in a different language.

.

Right?

To: Kaslin

50 muslims won’t be blowing themselves up.

3 posted on 3/15/2019, 1:51:26 PM by Gasshog

I’m sorry – was that a Freeper, or the New Zealand nutcase live-streaming his mass murder?
It’s getting harder and harder to tell you apart.
To: Kaslin

Muslims should not be shocked that some fruitcake hit back. Their terrorist “martyrs” have been killing innocents for years and now when they get hit, the whole world’s left wing establishment screams its head off about innocents being killed. You live by the sword, someone is going to die by the sword.

4 posted on 3/15/2019, 1:53:17 PM by Midwesterner53

They were asking for it.  They’re ALL ASKING FOR IT!!!
To: Kaslin

GUN CONTROL KILLS

Even in New Zealand,
Even Muslims

18 posted on 3/15/2019, 2:20:27 PM by TheNext (Participation Award Winner = CoC5)

So – we should arm all the Muslims?
.
Interesting 180.
To: Trump20162020

Here we go with the false flag bullsh!t…

24 posted on 3/15/2019, 12:16:42 AM by Electric Graffiti (Cocked, locked and ready to ROCK!)

Beat me to it.
To: Mr. K

Own goal is known in military circles as a “false flag” operation, a term from naval history where ships raised their enemies’flag and attacked another partisan to start a war. This is what we have here.

37 posted on 3/15/2019, 2:46:39 PM by backwoods-engineer (Enjoy the decline of the American empire.)

FalseFlagOnThePlay
.
And now – the post of the thread!
To: HighSierra5

Any conservative minded person in their right mind would shudder at the idea of doing something like this. Do you really think that makes the first bit of difference?

I’ll give the guy this much: he certainly understands the American right, at least as far as FreeRepublic goes.

28 posted on 3/15/2019, 12:30:05 AM by papertyger
Can I have an amen?
.
More (if you can stomach it) at the link below.

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Today on Tommy Ts Obsession with the Freeperati – Foregone Conclusions edition

A quick one today, people – just finished a trip from Dallas to Houston,, then back to Dallas – and boy, are my dogs tired.

Let’s see – hmmm – Freeperville seems to have turned into the Jussie Smollet / fake noose show.

Every. Single. Post.  Geez, how boring is this?

Whups – some real news sneaked in.  Behold – no noose is good noose!

Coast Guard Officer Accused of Terrorist Plot Targeting Media, Lawmakers
Military,com ^ | February 20, 2019 | By Hope Hodge Seck

“military.com”?  Damn that liberal media!!

Posted on 2/20/2019, 5:11:56 PM by Hojczyk

A Coast Guard lieutenant assigned to the service’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., has been arrested on drug and gun possession charges, and is accused of plans to “murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country,” according to documents filed in Maryland District Court.

Lt. Christopher Paul Hasson, an acquisitions officer for the National Security Cutter Acquisition Program, was arrested Feb. 15 and charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition by an unlawful user or addict of controlled substances, and possession of Tramadol, a Schedule IV pain medication.

A motion for detention pending trial, filed by U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur, paints a much more menacing portrait of Hasson’s crimes and planned crimes.

“The current charges, however, are the proverbial tip of the iceberg,” Hur wrote. “The defendant is a domestic terrorist, bent on committing acts dangerous to human life that are intended to affect government conduct.”

Hur cited a draft email written by Hasson in June 2017 in which he said he was “dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth” using a “Spanish flu, botulism, anthrax” or some other mass toxin.

Another draft letter to a “known American neo-Nazi leader” identified Hasson as a white nationalist looking for an opportunity for “a little focused violence” to establish racial supremacy.

When Hasson was arrested in Silver Spring, Maryland, earlier this month, the document states, law enforcement agents found 15 firearms, including shotguns, rifles and handguns, and “conservatively, over 1,000 rounds of mixed ammunition.”

A list of potential targets allegedly compiled by Hasson in January included “prominent Democratic congressional leaders, activists, political organizations, and MSNBC and CNN media personalities” including TV host Chris Hayes; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California; Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York; and many others.

Posted on 2/20/2019, 5:11:56 PM by Hojczyk

Is this the Rubicon that Trump and his nutjob supporters have finally crossed?

Have they, at long last, no sense of decency?

To: Hojczyk

 

Why do these people always write down/publicize their stupid plots?

2 posted on 2/20/2019, 5:14:56 PM by moonhawk (Excuse me…Did you just presume the gender of the Earth Deity?)

I’m guessing that’s a “NO”.
To: Hojczyk

 

Funny how the Fed’s(sic) just happen to have these cases to announce whenever the dirty FBI is getting covered in the news.

3 posted on 2/20/2019, 5:16:10 PM by PghBaldy (12/14 – 930am -rampage begins… 12/15 – 1030am – Obama’s advance team scouts photo-op locations.)

Tricksy tricksy Feds – always causing Coast Guard Lieutenants to draw up death lists of political opponents. How do they get away with it?
To: PghBaldy

 

I will bet my house this is an FBI informant entrapment special.

14 posted on 2/20/2019, 5:31:15 PM by lodi90

YeahBaby

 

And a double-wide is not a “house”.

Just so ya know.

To: Hojczyk

 

Sounds like Antifa to me.

6 posted on 2/20/2019, 5:18:47 PM by Midwesterner53

…because they’re famous for drawing up hit lists of liberals to kill.  Yep.
To: Hojczyk

 

So the Juicy Smell-it meme has collapsed and it’s time to move on to this.

13 posted on 2/20/2019, 5:30:49 PM by Afterguard (Deplorable me!)

Because publicity scammers are SO much more dangerous than mass murderers.
Of course, to some Freepers, the REAL crime is that he didn’t go far enough :
To: Hojczyk 

Only 15 firearms?

Yep.  Only 15.   Piker.

How many can he shoot at once anyway?

Um – two?

And anything less than 10,000 rounds is not significant.

I’ll pass that info along to the residents of Thousand Oaks, the Pittsburgh Synagogue, Jacksonville Landing, Orlando, Fla., Scottsdale, Ca, Santa Fe, Tx., Stoneman Douglas High School, etc, etc, etc.

As far as his koko’s list goes who doesn’t have one of those?

Who indeed?  In related news, the FBI just got its probable cause warrant to search Free Republic’s server for this nitwit’s IP address.

The guy is a piker

I already said that.

and as usual the government is vastly overstating its position. “If the federal government was put in charge of the Sahara Desert tomorrow in five years we would have a sand shortage”. Milton Friedman.

17 posted on 2/20/2019, 5:34:59 PM by from occupied ga (Your government is your most dangerous enemy)

I can’t imagine what’s keeping the “false flag” contingent…..
To:moonhawk
Why do these people always write down/publicize their stupid plots?yeah, how convenient. Maybe because for a false flag to work, the “ evidence” needs to be indisputable?

22 posted on 2/20/2019, 5:39:04 PM by atc23
You can set your fucking clock by them.
More rationalization / bugfuck crazy / whataboutism at the friendly link.
.

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Kristallnacht In Broad Daylight

Writing for First Draft is one of my passions. It’s often my therapy. This has been one of those times. The MAGA Bomber’s failed attempt at mass assassination shook me to the core. Then, the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh left many of us questioning what it means to be an American in the Trump era.

I am proud to be an American, but I am ashamed of our current leadership’s inability to respond with an ounce of human decency or a scintilla of empathy. As far as the president* is concerned, it’s an inconvenient interruption of rally mania. As far as I’m concerned, Trump and his allies have blood on their hands, if not literally, then symbolically.

I’m not the only one questioning what it means to be an American in 2018. Veteran political journalist Howard Fineman grew up in Pittsburgh as a member of the Tree of Life community. His op-ed in Sunday’s New York Time was deeply moving:

I was taught in Squirrel Hill that we were in the one country that was an exception to the history of the human race in general and the Jews in particular. Founded on Enlightenment principles of individuality, freedom, tolerance and justice, the United States was the only place besides Israel where Jews could live at one with their nation, unburdened by fear or confusion about identity.

Now I must wonder: If Pittsburgh isn’t safe for Jews, if Squirrel Hill isn’t safe, if the Tree of Life isn’t safe, what place is? Without diminishing anyone else’s suffering and death, it’s a sad fact that the Jews often are the canaries in the coal mine of social and political collapse. So, what does the bloodshed in the Tree of Life mean?

It is a sign that hatred of The Other is poisoning our public life. It’s always been a vivid strain in America, stimulated by the stress of immigrant waves, but one we have overcome time and again. Although we often honor it in the breach, our founding idea remains: that each person here is precious and born with unalienable rights. Now, political enemies in America deny each other’s humanity.

It is a sign that communications can foster something less than understanding. Social media allows us to be connected but also caricatured as propaganda in campaigns of dehumanizing division.

It is a sign that President Trump’s remorselessly cynical, jungle-style vision of how to conduct business and politics is ripping apart a society already under the stress of generational, demographic, technological, economic and social change.

Once again, Donald Trump read a prepared statement in a flat, emotionless voice to signal the more mindless members of his personality cult that he didn’t really mean it. Then it was back to throwing raw meat at crowds of ravenous MAGA Maggots. He had the chutzpah to lecture the grief-stricken people at the Tree of Life Synagogue that armed guards could have prevented the slaughter. Wrong: Three police officers were wounded by the anti-Semitic gun man whose name I refuse to say. This recitation of the NRA line in the wake of a massacre sickened me.

I felt even sicker when the list of victims was published on Sunday morning:

  • Daniel Stein, 71
  • Joyce Fienberg, 75
  • Richard Gottfried, 65
  • Rose Mallinger, 97
  • Jerry Rabinowitz, 66
  • Cecil Rosenthal, 59
  • David Rosenthal, 54
  • Bernice Simon, 84
  • Sylvan Simon, 86
  • Melvin Wax, 88
  • Irving Younger, 69

Who kills octogenarians and a 97 year-old woman? Only a monster. A monster whose worst impulses were exacerbated by a national dialogue in which George Soros is the stand-in for Jewish demons conjured up in the fever dreams of the far-right. Donald Trump uses their vile rhetoric laced with anti-Semitic code words and names: Soros, globalists. Rinse, repeat, and wash.

Defenses that Trump cannot be anti-Semitic are out there already. His son-in-law is a Jew, his daughter a convert, and his grandchildren are Jewish. All true but there’s a difference between personal and political bigotry. His kinfolks are the good ones, a credit to their faith. Soros is a bad hombre who is flooding the country with brown Central Americans. Ergo Trump cannot be anti-Semitic according to his defenders. This is, of course, nonsense. Demagogues do not need to believe in their rhetoric to inflict damage. Is it better that Hitler believed in his rhetoric as opposed to Trump’s cynical exploitation of ancient hatreds? I think not.

What happened Saturday morning at Squirrel Hill was an American Kristallnacht in broad daylight. It inspired the students at a nearby high school-Howard Fineman’s alma mater-to hold a candlelight vigil at which the chant was for not for vengeance, but for people to vote.

These are terrible times for our country but it’s time to fight back in the way that Americans traditionally have: by voting the rascals out. There has never been a midterm election as important as this one. Vote like your life depends on it. The future of the Republic certainly does: 8 days until the midterms. Tick tock, motherfuckers.

The events of last week have not only broken the social contract, they have smashed it to smithereens. I never, ever thought I’d compare something that happened in the United States of America to Kristallnacht but it’s inescapable in 2018. Godwin’s law is dead, long live Godwin’s law.

These ugly times call for some beauty. That’s why the last word goes to Paul Simon. The final stanza of American Tune gets me every time:

We come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the age’s most uncertain hour
and sing an American tune
But it’s all right, it’s all right
You can’t be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow’s going to be another working day
And I’m trying to get some rest
That’s all I’m trying to get some rest

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – letting your freak false flag fly edition

Good morning, all.

Well, it doesn’t take Carnac The Magnificent to figure out what the topic of the day is in Freeperville, so let’s get cracking!

Suspicious package sent to Obama intercepted by Secret Service
The Hill ^ | October 24, 2018 | Avery Anapol

Posted on 10/24/2018, 9:09:53 AM by EdnaMode

The Secret Service has intercepted a suspicious package addressed to former President Obama in Washington, D.C.

The Secret Service said in a statement that the package, and another sent to the home of Bill and Hillary Clinton in New York, were identified as “potential explosive devices and appropriately handled as such.”

The statement said that the Obamas and Clintons did not receive the packages, and were not at risk of receiving them.

The package sent to the Clintons was reported earlier Wednesday and was intercepted late Tuesday night, according to the Secret Service.

“The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such,” the Secret Service said in a statement. “The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them.”

The Secret Service said it had initiated “a full scope criminal investigation that will leverage all available federal, state, and local resources to determine the source of the packages and identify those responsible.”

NBC New York reported that the package sent to the Clintons is similar to the explosive device found at the home of billionaire philanthropist George Soros on Monday.

Well, I wonder what the first comment is going to be….

********************************
Soros yesterday, The Clintons and Obama today. Right before midterms. Has to be a hoax.
1 posted on 10/24/2018, 9:09:53 AM by EdnaMode
Hey now – can’t you morons even wait until the first comment before going all Alex Jones on me?
To: EdnaMode

 

This hoax false flag is the Dems October Suprise.

7 posted on 10/24/2018, 9:12:34 AM by Democrats hate too much

This thread is gonna get repetitive REALLY fast.
.
Come on, guys – at least use your imaginations.
To: EdnaMode

 

Theres nothing suspicious about it…

its Obamas monthly Fentanyl shipment from Mexico…

10 posted on 10/24/2018, 9:14:24 AM by Tennessee Nana

OK – maybe a little too much imagination on that one.

To: EdnaMode

As I said on the Clinton thread, this is not the MO for conservatives.

FEDERAL BUILDING

We enact change at the ballot box or if necessary the cartridge box.

Diddums

 

It is typical for the left to try to send bombs through mail because they have no problems with scaring people into compliance or killing them if the person disagrees with them.

15 posted on 10/24/2018, 9:15:50 AM by refreshed (But we preach Christ crucified… 1 Corinthians 1:23)

Do tell.
At age 29, Rudolph was the perpetrator of the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta, which occurred on July 27, 1996, during the 1996 Summer Olympics. He called the police, warning about the bomb before it detonated. The blast killed spectator Alice Hawthorne and wounded 111 others. Melih Uzunyol, a Turkish cameraman, who ran to the scene following the blast, died of a heart attack. Rudolph’s motive for the bombings, according to his April 13, 2005 statement, was political (…)

Rudolph has made it clear in his written statement and elsewhere that the purpose of the bombings was to fight against abortion and the “homosexual agenda.” He considered abortion to be murder, the product of a “rotten feast of materialism and self-indulgence”; accordingly, he believed that its perpetrators deserved death, and that the United States government had lost its legitimacy by sanctioning it. He also considered it essential to resist by force “the concerted effort to legitimize the practice of homosexuality” in order to protect “the integrity of American society” and “the very existence of our culture”, whose foundation is the “family hearth.”

After Rudolph’s arrest for the bombings, The Washington Post reported that the FBI considered Rudolph to have “had a long association with the Christian Identity movement, which asserts that Northern European whites are the direct descendants of the lost tribes of Israel, God’s chosen people.” Christian Identity is a white nationalist religion which holds the view that those who are not white Christians can not be saved. In the same article, the Post reported that some FBI investigators believed Rudolph may have written letters that claimed responsibility for the nightclub and abortion clinic bombings on behalf of the Army of God, a group that sanctions the use of force to combat abortions and is associated with Christian Identity.

DAMN those lefties!!

To: EdnaMode

 

Comey and his pals are busy today, three false flags in 24 hours, might be a Record.

19 posted on 10/24/2018, 9:17:08 AM by eyeamok

And even if it was a “rightie”, whose fault is this?

To: EdnaMode

I don’t care who is doing this, they need to be found, found fast, before anyone hurt. This violence is what comes from, or rather, an escalation and response of what Democrats have done, directly and through proxies like Antifa.

Thanks for clearing that up for us.

All need to be shut down. Immediately and completely. Good to see White House is out front on this. Make it across the board, no violence by anyone will be tolerated.

24 posted on 10/24/2018, 9:19:18 AM by Reno89519 (No Amnesty! No Catch-and-Release! Just Say No to All Illegal Aliens! Arrest & Deport!y)

 

“White house is out front on this“??
.
President Pence put the official statement out, and a day later The Darnold spewed some ghost-written poop that he IMMEDIATELY (the same night, at one of his pep rallies) blew out of the water with some cunning BSDI.
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Maybe I can find something original in the rest of the thread.
Read on.
.

Continue reading

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Florida Man, MAGA Bomber

I try my best not to take the news personally. That’s been impossible this week after I realized that the most analogous event  in American history to pipe bomb mania was the Lincoln-Seward conspiracy. Then, the MAGA Bombers enemies list grew to 12 with the addition of Corey Booker and James Clapper this morning. It was all too much to take.

I started a post called New Dark Ages that was so gloomy that I trashed it.  Immediately thereafter, I learned that a suspected MAGA Bomber has been arrested in Florida. His name is Cesar Sayoc and he’s not only imbibed the Trumper Kool-Aid, he’s mainlined it. He seems to be a true believer, which means that he’s swallowed all of Trump’s lies whole. Talk about indigestible.

Here’s a picture of the suspected MAGA Bomber’s van:

If he gets in a fender bender or gets keyed, he obviously just sticks a bumper sticker on it.

Big thanks to law enforcement for breaking this case so quickly. Here’s hoping the MAGA Bomber is a lone nutter as opposed to part of a broader conspiracy. It’s also a relief that he was so inept. It’s proof positive that he’s a hardcore Trumper.

I gave myself an earworm when I joked about Sayoc mainlining the Trumper Kool-Aid. That’s why Eric Clapton gets the last word:

The MAGA Bomber’s Enemies List

As of this writing, here’s who the MAGA Bomber is telling to pipe down by mailing them a pipe bomb:

  • George Soros
  • The Clintons
  • The Obamas
  • Eric Holder
  • John Brennan 
  • Debbie Wasserman Schultz
  • Maxine Waters
  • Joe Biden
  • Robert DeNiro

Robert Fucking DeNiro? It’s a good thing that he’s not in his prime or he just might go Raging Bull or even Taxi Driver on someone’s ass.  I guess that makes him the Paul Newman of this dangerously crazy incident: the salad dressing mogul was on Nixon’s enemies list. Bobby D is in good company.

Trump made a statement yesterday at the White House. Here’s how some wise ass described it on the tweeter tube:

He was back in full tilt Insult Comedian mode at a rally in Wisconsin last night and tweeted this out this morning:

He seems to think his tiny hands are clean. They are not. I know incitement speech when I hear it. The MAGA Bomber has been paying attention to Trump’s stump rantings: the members of the enemies list have all been attacked by the president*. In a word, disgusting.

There’s evidence that the MAGA Bomber comes from the creepy world of Pepe the Frog:

The pipe bomb discovered Wednesday and addressed to former CIA director John Brennan via CNN features a parody of the ISIS flag with the words “get ‘er done,” a common right-wing meme, according to a Wednesday NBC report.

On the fake flag, the Arabic words are replaced by suggestive female silhouettes. The meme reportedly originated on a far-right parody site called World News Bureau.
So much for false flaggery. Pipe bomb trutherism is a pipe dream but Rush Limbaugh is still pushing it as were these MAGA Maggots yesterday in Florida:

We’ve had periods of political violence before in our history but the incitement never came from the White House. That’s what makes this moment in time so fraught with peril. Here’s how Charlie Pierce put it yesterday:
In the 1970s, there were no national politicians encouraging the Weathermen to involve themselves in the political process. Bernadine Dohrn didn’t get to visit the White House. Of course, in the 1950s and the 1960s, there were southern state politicians a’plenty who knew the people who were setting off the bombs, but the national government was pretty much on the other side; even though it was often dilatory in that regard, it got there eventually. (In 2002 and 2003, the last two culprits in the Birmingham church bombing were finally convicted by Doug Jones, now a senator from Alabama.)
The current president* of the United States trafficks in imaginary threats and encourages, by word and deed, feelings of dread and isolation and deep, familiar paranoia, the entire Hofstadter buffet. And there is an entire media infrastructure dedicated to reinforcing those feelings, 24-7, on all platforms of the modern communications industry. The Weathermen didn’t have their own TV network.
There’s only one palliative for the pernicious and mendacious fearmongering by the Party of Trump; VOTE on November 6th, and in every election thereafter. Democratic control of at least one House of Congress means oversight and investigations. A Republican victory means an emboldened president*, a cowed Congress, an expanded enemies list, and more right-wing domestic terrorism.