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.

Amazon’s inhumanity

Is it really worth it to order from Amazon? Read this exposé of Amazon’s labor practices — they are ruthless, demeaning, and evil.

At the Allentown warehouse, Stephen Dallal, also a “picker,” found that his output targets increased the longer he worked at the warehouse, doubling after six months. “It started with 75 pieces an hour, then 100 pieces an hour. Then 150 pieces an hour. They just got faster and faster.” He too was written up for not meeting his targets and was fired.27 At the Seattle warehouse where the writer Vanessa Veselka worked as an underground union organizer, an American Stakhnovism pervaded the depot. When she was on the line as a packer and her output slipped, the “lead” was on to her with “I need more from you today. We’re trying to hit 14,000 over these next few hours.”

Beyond this poisonous mixture of Taylorism and Stakhnovism, laced with twenty-first-century IT, there is, in Amazon’s treatment of its employees, a pervasive culture of meanness and mistrust that sits ill with its moralizing about care and trust—for customers, but not for the employees. So, for example, the company forces its employees to go through scanning checkpoints when both entering and leaving the depots, to guard against theft, and sets up checkpoints within the depot, which employees must stand in line to clear before entering the cafeteria, leading to what Amazon’s German employees call Pausenklau (break theft), shrinking the employee’s lunch break from thirty to twenty minutes, when they barely have time to eat their meal.

That’s just a small sample. If you work for Amazon, you’re a modern serf, relentlessly monitored and given increasingly unreachable goals.

Jeff Bezos has a net worth of 27 billion dollars. Do you think he works even a tenth as hard as the wage slaves he’s got working in his “fulfillment centers”?

One thing this story makes clear, at least, that a key element in the process of achieving some kind of equality is a vital labor movement.

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.)

This is a real thing?

I am blown away by this ad from the American Life League, a fanatically Catholic organization dedicated to opposing contraception, abortion, and euthanasia.

Suffering is a grace-filled opportunity to participate in the passion of Jesus Christ. Euthanasia selfishly steals that opportunity.

Suffering is a grace-filled opportunity to participate in the passion of Jesus Christ. Euthanasia selfishly steals that opportunity.

They do realize that “passion of Jesus Christ” is a euphemism for prolonged torture, right? “Hey, grandma, we love you so much, we’ve decided to hire a couple of thugs to whip you within an inch of your life, and then to strangle you slowly.”

Maybe this would be a good excuse if you had a couple of Catholic relatives who you really, really hated. I don’t know anyone I’d want to “grace” with that kind of opportunity.

Where a rational conversation about guns ought to start

The newspaper of record reflected the disease last night. They had an article about the man killed over texting during the previews at a movie that included this ridiculous paragraph.

The killing underscored the increased debate about when to use smartphones in public. In October, the singer Madonna was spotted texting during the Lincoln Center premiere of “12 Years a Slave.” That led Tim League, chief executive of Alama Drafthouse, a Texas-based chain of boutique cinemas, to post on Twitter that she was banned from watching movies at his theater.

No, it did not underscore that debate. It underscored the debate over whether we should continue to allow armed assholes to wander the streets freely. You know, that real issue that no one in America, including the New York Times, wants to deal with, because the proponents of armed assholery like to kill you if you disagree with them.

(By the way, if you go read that article now, you’ll discover that it has been cleansed of that astonishingly stupid paragraph.)

It’s about time the US had a rational discussion about gun control, though. It’s way past due, and the weird aversion to changing the way we manage guns has to be overcome. So here are my suggestions for a start.

  • Repeal the second amendment. All right, we don’t actually have a mechanism to strip that sucker out of there, but we can override it with a new amendment. Face it, the second amendment stinks: it’s an 18th century relic, it’s ambiguously worded (it’s about militias, people), and somehow stupid Americans have it fixed in their brains that the Constitution is sacred magic — all they have to do is shout, “Second amendment!” and we’re supposed to dissolve into accommodating bits of gelatin before them. We can criticize and revise the Constitution, you know; if you revere the Founding Fathers, you should at least still recognize that they thought an informed citizenry was important. You’re supposed to think, not just follow rules.

  • Regulate gun ownership. Regulate the heck out of it. I live in a state where all liquor sales, even of wine and beer, have to be made through state-licensed stores — but I can order a freaking AR-15 through reddit. This is absurd. End all the loopholes, including the gun show provisions. All gun sales must be made through strictly licensed dealers, with extensive background checks, and all gun sales must be made in person with photo ID and a permanent record made. Make gun ownership public: anyone and everyone can look up who owns guns and where the guns are.

    If you are a responsible gun owner who needs the tool for hunting deer, this should be no burden at all on you. I’m very suspicious of people who insist that their possession of a deadly weapon must be secret and untraceable, and that they must be allowed to buy it from the skeevy guy operating out of a trailer.

  • You have no right to carry a gun in any public place. No more concealed carry permits. No more “stand your ground” laws. Only authorized agents of the law should be carrying weapons in public, and even there, not all of them should be armed, and those who are, should be clearly and obviously armed. You’re packing heat in a movie theater? Fuck, WHY??.

  • End the “gun collector” excuse. I don’t believe the pretense that you’re merely building a historical archive, that you’re simply gathering Americana of note. Collect bottles or hubcaps, instead. If you must insist that you’re creating a museum, OK…then you won’t object if every weapon in your collection is thoroughly and irreversibly modified to be non-functional: firing pins removed, solid plugs placed in the barrel, mechanisms locked in place with a nice glop of super-glue. If you have religious reasaons that they must be functional, go collect old hand grenades and undetonated bombs. You’ll expunge yourself from the population soon enough.

    We have no problem recognizing that if you have a bale of marijuana in your garage you’re in the business of dealing, not just recreationally consuming, drugs. If you’re accumulating an arsenal of deadly weapons, this isn’t for your personal enjoyment any more, you’re up to nefarious purposes.

  • No more “self defense” excuse. The only people we need to defend ourselves from are the jerks who carry guns. And guns are a lousy instrument for self-defense — they’re indiscriminate and irreversible, they tend to punch holes in objects and people that we didn’t intend to punch holes in, and there are no take-backs after you punch a hole in someone by mistake.

    You want to defend yourself? Take a martial arts course. Too unathletic to do that, like me? Support your local police and have a phone by your bedside.

  • Change the culture. You may think you’re a macho stud when you swagger down the street with a pistol at your hip, but the rest of us think you’re a pathetic asshole who is not just stupid, but a real danger to others. The rest of us have to get that message across to the NRA membership.

    There are very few legitimate uses for guns by general citizens — hunting, target shooting — and none of those require assault rifles, secrecy, or huge stockpiles of guns and ammo. If you actually have a practical use for the gun as a tool, I can respect that and have no problem with it, just like people who have a use for a tractor. But you know, it’s a tool with a specific purpose, and the nitwits who want to extend that purpose to being a constant presence in our lives are overcompensating losers.

Now, cue the stupid people declaring their love of guns in the comments, and accusing me of being a commie. I’ll prime your anger by telling you right off the bat that if you love guns, you are a sick, pathetic, twisted dingbat, and I won’t care about your arguments.

‘Corrective rape’ aimed at ‘curing’ lesbians

All right, I have to stop reading world news first thing in the morning. What did I encounter today? A crisis in South Africa — there is an epidemic of really stupid men who believe the way to ‘cure’ lesbians is gang rape.

"If we want to finish lesbians and gays they must be forcefully raped," says one, grinning at the camera. "A man must go back to his manhood. Women must be women. She must be ready and willing to have sex."

"They must be raped so that their gay and lesbian behaviour can come out," adds another.

The third raises his voice, points two fingers at his temple and concludes: "This gay and lesbian thing must end. I say bang bang bang!"

If I were a woman, those men would turn me into a lesbian, I think. Also, no illusions here: this isn’t about converting women to heterosexuality. It’s about intimidation and power. Some of the events in the story are about women being executed after the rape.

Dick Cheney is simply an awful human being

Incurious, unempathetic, soulless dead-eyed bug. That’s our former vice president, who had a heart transplant and doesn’t really care much about who the donor was.

When I came out from under the anesthetic after the transplant, I was euphoric.  I’d had–I’d been given the gift of additional lives, additional years of life.  For the family of the donor, they’d just been [through] some terrible tragedy, they’d lost a family member.  Can’t tell why, obviously, when you don’t know the details, but the way I think of it from a psychological standpoint is that it’s my new heart, not someone else’s old heart. And I always thank the donor, generically thank donors for the gift that I’ve been given, but I don’t spend time wondering who had it, what they’d done, what kind of person.

Generic thank yous, generic bombing, generic military-industrial complex spending. He’s just an empty generic human being, I guess.

I’m just wondering if the family of the donor can ask for it back. It’s obvious he’s not using it.

Who deserves honor?

Today is the day when nations around the world pause to celebrate their most colossal failures, the events that killed the greatest numbers of their citizens, that broke and crippled their men after they’d been intentionally trained to dehumanize other human beings. We love to take our young people, especially our young men and boys, and grind them up in bloody battles, and then once a year we remind ourselves of what we do, and we congratulate people for it. Dulce et decorum est pro fucking patria mori and all that.

Meanwhile, our veterans hospitals are crumbling (and desperately needed) and we talk about more wars with Iran or whoever crossed us most recently, and doesn’t have nuclear weapons with which to smack us back. But we’ll go to all the effort of saying “Thanks, gramps” to people who suffered in terror and terrified other sufferers right back. All so a few people can get richer, and so politicians can thump their chests and claim to be braver than other politicians.

I think the only way to honor veterans of war is to make sure there are no more veterans. They are not heroes, but victims. There is nothing brave or heroic about picking up a gun and threatening to kill someone for a matter of principle, or even worse, because someone else is ordering you to do so — and the repercussions of celebrating violence tear our society apart.

For example, four women in Dallas met for their state chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America — a quiet lunch in a local restaurant. Texas gun advocates got word of the meeting, and gathered in the parking lot outside.

violentmen

Brave heroes, all. In what world could such a gathering, intending to intimidate unarmed mothers, occur without the men involved withering in shame and guilt? Our world, obviously, where righteous terror with weapons in hand is celebrated. Perhaps these men will meet again in years to come, to remember the honor of being among the heroes who drew their weapons in the parking lot of the Blue Mesa Grill in 2013.

Just like right now, we honor those who carried arms against the young men of other countries, where right now, citizens honor those who carried arms to resist our young men. When are we going to wake up and realize that this is all madness, that it’s not a point of pride to be trained to kill, that we gain nothing and lose all when we settle disagreements with threats of lethal force.

How can we stop? Perhaps it would help to celebrate the right heroes.

I was horrified by this story of the Nazi scientific enterprise. The Nazi regime killed millions, members of despised ethnic groups, gays, and political dissidents, and some of their bodies were appropriated by the science establishment for medical studies. As the article reveals, sometimes scientists would go out to the prisons and mark certain individuals as desirable for their research; one, for instance, wanted to study the effects of stress on the menstrual cycle, so young women in a state of terror for their lives were particularly desirable (these are the studies our Republicans now cite when they want to claim that raped women don’t get pregnant!). It’s a terrible tale of scientists closing their eyes to the consequences of their work, and worse, actively participating in murder.

It tells of a young couple, Harro and Libertas Schulze-Boysen, who worked for the resistance against the Nazis, were caught and executed, he by hanging, she by the guillotine, and their bodies ended up on the anatomy table. Charlotte Pommer, a medical school graduate working as an assistant in the Institute of Anatomy, walked in to the lab to work and recognized the bodies waiting for her.

“I was paralyzed,” Pommer later wrote of the sight of the bodies. “I could hardly perform my task as an assistant to Professor Stieve, who did his scientific study as always with the greatest diligence. I could barely follow.”

Pommer was 28. Libertas Schulze-Boysen was 29 when she died. In her last letter to her mother, she said she’d asked for her body to go to her family. “Don’t fret about things that possibly could have been done, this or the other,” she wrote. “If you can, bury me in a beautiful place amid sunny nature.”

Pommer stopped working for Stieve—and left the field of anatomy—because of what she saw that day in his laboratory. She went on to help resist the Nazis herself, by hiding the child of a man who participated in the “July Plot” to assassinate Hitler in 1944. In the spring of 1945, just before the war’s end, Pommer was herself sent to prison.

So on this Veterans Day, I choose to honor the conscientious objectors and the Charlotte Pommers of the world, rather than the participants in war. They are the real heroes, the ones who made the greatest sacrifices to better humanity.


Meanwhile, look at what the media find important today: the poppy on Google UK’s search page isn’t big enough. But Bing puts a big photo of a poppy on their search page. Jesus fuck, millions dead in wasteful war and the big issue today is whether a photo of a flower is big enough to honor them properly.

I’ll tell you the answer: no, it isn’t.

What happened to “never again”?

In a horrific excerpt from a book about the life of conflict in Israel, Max Blumenthal talks about the attitude of young soldiers in the Israeli army. They are taking trophy photos of dead Palestinians. They are gloating about how they like to beat “Palestinian wetbacks”. They are murdering people. And they are arrogant and sanctimonious in their absolute certainty that they are in the right and that they must dehumanize the enemy.

What really brought me up short, though, was this one ex-army woman who is extremely jingoistic, and who has been busily uploading trophy photos and captioning them.

“DDDEATHHH to ARABSSSSSS.”

Beside the next photo, Abergil wrote: “Fuck you, stinking Arabs!!!”

And then: “C’MON LET’S MAKE AN ARAB SHOAH NOWWWWW!!!!!!!!”

She wants to make an Arab … Shoah? She wants to commit genocide? I always have taken the lesson of the Holocaust as that we should never again allow a nation to commit mass murder in the name of race superiority or ethnic cleansing — that the act was a horror and a crime against humanity, no matter who the targets are. It is a moral abomination, and it doesn’t become acceptable if the victims are Jews, Romany, gay, Serbs, Croats, Hutu, Tutsi, American Indian, or Palestinian.

What are they teaching in Israel?