Some of the worst people in America

Gun fondlers are contemptible. Smug sexist men are despicable. But the intersection of gun fanatics and misogynists is the worst.

Ever since the Sandy Hook massacre, a small but vocal faction of the gun rights movement has been targeting women who speak up on the issue—whether to propose tighter regulations, educate about the dangers to children, or simply to sell guns with innovative security features. The vicious and often sexually degrading attacks have evolved far beyond online trolling, culminating in severe bullying, harassment, invasion of privacy, and physical aggression. Though vitriol flows from both sides in the gun debate, these menacing tactics have begun to alarm even some entrenched pro-gun conservatives.

The article in Mother Jones is a depressing litany of all that is awful about our second amendment lunatics. Just one example: Jennifer Longdon is an advocate for responsible gun ownership — she wants more background checks, registration, and gun safety. She’s also a victim of gun violence herself, paralyzed in an attack. This is how the gun fondlers react to such people:

After a fundraiser one night during the program [a gun buy-back program], Longdon returned home around 10 p.m., parked her ramp-equipped van and began unloading herself. As she wheeled up to her house, a man stepped out of the shadows. He was dressed in black and had a rifle, "like something out of a commando movie," Longdon told me. He took aim at her and pulled the trigger. Longdon was hit with a stream of water. "Don’t you wish you had a gun now, bitch?" he scoffed before taking off.

"It was like a mock execution," Longdon says, recalling the intense surge of adrenaline and how the incident triggered her PTSD from the 2004 attack that nearly killed her and her fiancé. She called the police, but they were unable to track down the perpetrator. By the following Saturday, Longdon was back at her post helping run the buyback.

Jebus. Those people are sick and fucked-up.

Charles Pierce is a bit angry

And he should be. So am I. The state of Oklahoma tortured a man to death, in the name of justice. Clayton Lockett was a bad man who committed a deeply evil act: he shot a young woman who caught him in a robbery and then buried her alive. I have no sympathy for the guy at all. But the state of Oklahoma convicted him and then sentenced him to death by lethal injection…and botched it. It took him half an hour to die, choking and seizing.

Isn’t torturing someone to death what Lockett was convicted of?

This is the problem: the death penalty ends up turning all of us into murderers, and I’d rather not promote the same brutality that Clayton Lockett committed. It dehumanizes us. All you have to do is look at the first five comments on the news story in the Miami Herald.

Why over complicate it, use a long drop gallows, or a bullet to the head.

Who cares how he died! Maybe he should of thought of this before he beat a women to death in her own home while he was trying to break and enter

how sad gee I wonder if he had the same feeling about his victim, before he killed piece of sht
if it where me I would had made it long and slow

Did the victim die humanely?

did u hear what this scum bag did to his victim he isn’t human anyway got just what he deserved

We’re just fostering barbarism when we don’t reject these kinds of sentiments…and it makes it hard to reject them when states support them.

Also, another thing that strikes me about these many stories of botched executions, is why is this so difficult? We have countries and a few states with legal euthanasia, practically every veterinarian has put pets to sleep without this ghastly botch, and I’ve personally euthanized many large lab animals — killing gently is easy. There are many drugs that are dangerous because they can kill you quietly, painlessly, almost without you noticing; people buy them, often illegally, for the pleasant effects at low doses.

So why does our bloated, over-funded penal system have such difficulties with this whole process? It’s almost as if the commenters up above are running the whole show, and are maliciously screwing up the procedure to cause maximum agony.

The murderers of Stormfront

The SPLC has done an analysis of Stormfront’s contribution to murder. It’s a bit unsettling: it has story after story of proud racists posting unashamedly on Stormfront, and then going off to gun someone down. And so many of them fit this profile!

A typical murderer drawn to the racist forum Stormfront.org is a frustrated, unemployed, white adult male living with his mother or an estranged spouse or girlfriend. She is the sole provider in the household. Forensic psychologists call him a “wound collector.” Instead of building his resume, seeking employment or further education, he projects his grievances on society and searches the Internet for an excuse or an explanation unrelated to his behavior or the choices he has made in life.

His escalation follows a predictable trajectory. From right-wing antigovernment websites and conspiracy hatcheries, he migrates to militant hate sites that blame society’s ills on ethnicity and shifting demographics. He soon learns his race is endangered — a target of “white genocide.” After reading and lurking for a while, he needs to talk to someone about it, signing up as a registered user on a racist forum where he commiserates in an echo chamber of angry fellow failures where Jews, gays, minorities and multiculturalism are blamed for everything.

Assured of the supremacy of his race and frustrated by the inferiority of his achievements, he binges online for hours every day, self-medicating, slowly sipping a cocktail of rage. He gradually gains acceptance in this online birthing den of self-described “lone wolves,” but he gets no relief, no practical remedies, no suggestions to improve his circumstances. He just gets angrier. 

And then he gets a gun.

Also chilling: Anders Breivik was a fan. Such a fan that he took care to protect Stormfront by lying about his involvement.

Hours before he began his terror campaign, Breivik E-mailed a copy of his racist manifesto to two other influential Stormfront members, Billy Joe Roper (see related story, p. XX) and Timothy Gallaher Murdock, who runs the racist WhiteRabbitRadio.net. In his manifesto, Breivik claimed he was banned from Stormfront, though a search shows no suspension. Breivik later admitted he was not removed as a registered member.

“I was never kicked out of Stormfront,” he said last September. “Instead, I attacked them in the compendium in order to protect them … [as] an army of leftist journalists otherwise would strike hard.”

Read it and learn how horrible human beings can be…and how participation in Stormfront can be a useful marker for evil.

That doesn’t fit my definition of ‘decent’

A few years ago, a Canadian teenager, Amanda Todd, killed herself after being harassed and extorted online. A man used flattery to get her to flash her breasts…and then used the photo he took to demand more, backed up by incessant threats online, revealing the photo to Todd’s friends, and promising to make her life hell forever. In at least one bit of justice, though, the Dutch police have now tracked down and charged the 35 year old man who preyed on teenagers worldwide through the internet. Do watch the video; the anger rush you’ll feel when you hear the jerk’s lawyer say that his client is “a decent man and a nice man” will make it worth it.

I pointed out back then that some members of the atheist community have a vile lack of empathy. I will mention it again. Miri rages against the online idiots who insist that internet activity can’t really do psychological harm — they diagnose freely over the internet, and claim that you can’t possibly develop stress disorders from the bullying tactics of the usual slymey suspects — Miri tears that argument up with basic scientific facts from the field of psychology (remember the days when skeptics at least paid lip service to science?)

I’m just going to point to Amanda Todd. Her death wasn’t virtual.

I’m also baffled by the reasoning: if it’s not ‘real’, if the only activities that can have a direct effect on someone’s sense of well-being are face-to-face, a punch in the nose, a bomb going off…then what the hell are you doing harassing people on the internet in the first place? Smart people who find themselves doing things over and over that they sincerely believe don’t work will stop doing them. I am compelled to believe that either they’re very stupid, or they are lying when they claim that their activities can’t possibly have an effect. Or both.

Connect the dots

Start here. Andrew Breibart attended a white nationalist conference in 2006, with panels by Jared Taylor and John Derbyshire.

He was attending with his protege, James O’Keefe.

O’Keefe has acquired some notoriety for dishonest stunts in the name of far right wingnuttiness. Among them was the Landrieu break-in.

According to reports, on January 25, 2010, O’Keefe and his friends Joseph Basel and Robert Flanagan visited the New Orleans office of Senator Mary Landrieu. Basel and Flanagan disguised themselves as repairmen, and attempted to access the office’s telephone system by saying there was something wrong with the phone lines. O’Keefe was in the office and videotaped the some of the events with his cell phone camera. Office workers smelled a rat and called the authorities. The three of them were arrested, along with a fourth man Stan Dai, and charged with entering federal property under false pretenses with the intent of committing a felony.

okeefeandcrew

Notice the guy on the right? That’s Joe Basel. It’s a bit embarrassing, but he attended UMM a few years ago — we did not get along. I do find it amusing that one of his complaints was that the university ought to remove all reference to me from its website, because I offended him. So if O’Keefe was Breitbart’s protege, Basel was O’Keefe’s — I guess he’s kind of a third rate Breibart imitator, which is not something to be proud of.

Basel previously was the editor (or some such role) at the Counterweight, the conservative alternative newspaper here at Morris a few years ago. He is now the CEO of something called the American Phoenix Foundation, which is yet another wingnut ‘thinktank’ with a mission.

The mission of the American Phoenix Foundation is to protect the American Republic through ethical, innovative, and technologically driven journalism.

A descendant of Breitbart/O’Keefe/Basel is protecting ethical journalism? OK. I’m laughing, but OK.

Thankfully, Basel is now gone from UMM, and the Counterweight is defunct. Unfortunately, its successor is that rather nasty racist rag, The North Star. It’s editor, John Geiger, was named a Phoenix Fellow by the foundation last year.

Breitbart → O’Keefe → Basel → Geiger, all with a nice infusion of racism throughout. It’s all kind of ugly and incestuous, isn’t it?

College football, entitled athletes, and rape

A young woman is raped after a night drinking at a bar, tearfully reports it to the police the next day, and then this happens.

The police did not follow the obvious leads that would have quickly identified the suspect as well as witnesses, one of whom videotaped part of the sexual encounter. After the accuser identified Mr. Winston as her assailant, the police did not even attempt to interview him for nearly two weeks and never obtained his DNA.

The detective handling the case waited two months to write his first report and then prematurely suspended his inquiry without informing the accuser. By the time the prosecutor got the case, important evidence had disappeared, including the video of the sexual act.

Jameis Winston was the star quarterback at Florida State. That makes him a very important person.

It would be difficult to overstate the importance of football to Florida State and its hometown. In Tallahassee, rooting for the Seminoles is a matter of identity and economy. The 2013 championship season generated millions of dollars for the athletic department and city businesses, and favorable publicity beyond measure.

Patricia A. Carroll, a lawyer for Mr. Winston’s accuser, said the police investigator who handled the case, Scott Angulo, told her that because Tallahassee was a big football town, her client would be “raked over the coals” if she pursued the case.

Apparently, part of the recruiting package at Florida State is rape privileges.

Isn’t it about time we ended the corrupting influence of high end college sports?

Harvard wins!

Here’s something they’re really good at: they’re champions at ignoring victims of sexual assault. You can guess from my description that that article might be a bit triggering: a woman describes her assault by a fellow dorm resident, and then her nine month struggle to get Harvard’s administration to even admit to the problem (they actively discouraged her from getting redress), and how they allowed her assailant to continue to live in the same dorm.

They poisoned his dog?

A researcher was studying the effects of rat poison on wildlife in California — it turns out that all the illegal marijuana crops raised there, without any regulatory oversight, are being treated for pests by crooked farmers who just fling bags of persistent poisons around, killing wildlife. These farmers did not like that Mourad Gabriel was pointing out the harm they were doing to the environment, so they self-righteously accused him of collaborating with the hated feds, threatened him, and his family, and poisoned his pet dog.

There is a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

I want to hurt these awful people even more, and I have a suggestion for revenge. Legalize marijuana. It’ll kill much of their profits and put them under the thumb of agricultural regulatory agencies.


In other drug news, an anti-drug organization called recovery.org has launched a self-defeating campaign to show the awful effects of drugs. Their tactic? Take 100 mug shot photos from police files (which already don’t exactly show people at their best), and then…average the faces together to produce a composite of what the typical pot-smoker, alcohol-drinker, or meth abuser looks like.

I think you can immediately see the flaw in this proposal. Average faces look beautiful.

averagedmugs

OMG, they all look prettier than I do! And meth looks like it must be a great weight loss drug! You can’t even tell that everyone in the top row must be a puppy-murderer.

I’m going on my marijuana-meth-&-vodka diet tonight, as soon as I get home.

One law for white men, another law for black women

Florida, you suck. I can’t put it any other way: your state is run by evil thugs. George Zimmerman murdered a black teenager and walked off free; Michael Dunn murdered a black kid for playing his music too loud; and both of those cases were prosecuted by the incompetent Angela Corey, who now wants revenge, so she’s going to take it out on a black woman who didn’t kill anybody. Marissa Alexander was convicted for firing warning shots to dissuade her abusive from attacking her, and sentenced to 20 years in prison. That injustice got temporarily overthrown, and now Angela Corey is retrying the case, announcing that she’s going for three times the penalty.

Marissa Alexander could face a 60-year prison sentence instead of her original 20-year sentence when her aggravated assault case is retried in July.

The Florida Times-Union reports that the Office of State Attorney Angela Corey will try to put Alexander behind bars for 60 years if it is able to convict her for a second time.

Alexander, 33, was convicted in 2012 of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced to 20 years in prison by Circuit Judge James Daniel under Florida’s 10-20-life law. Daniel imposed three separate 20-year sentences but ordered that they be served concurrently, which meant Alexander would get out in 20 years.

What the hell is wrong with you, Florida? Have you no shame at all?

Roller coaster time!

Wait, wait, that last post was just too cheerful and optimistic. We can’t have that! So now that you’re feeling all happy about a peaceful response to oppression, let me bring you down to earth with this site, My Duty to Speak, in which military personnel recount their personal tales of getting raped while serving their country. That description is enough that I don’t have to say, “trigger warning”, right?

(via Bateman on rape in the military. Also pretty intense. OK, just don’t read any of this article or anything it links to. Go back to the dance video. Although…dancing won’t fix this problem.)