You Can’t Free My Slaves!

Steve Prattor, Sheriff of Caddo Parish in Louisiana, addresses reporters (Screen cap).

Apparently, Sheriff Steve Prattor is not the least abashed in hollering out his displeasure over non-violent convicts being released early.

Steve Prattor, the Sheriff of Caddo Parish in Louisiana, is not a fan of his state’s new criminal justice reforms that will free many prisoners convicted of nonviolent offenses earlier than they had been scheduled to be released.

In a press conference held this week, Prattor said that keeping some of the “good” prisoners in jail was necessary for the prisons to keep functioning because they could provide needed labor that you couldn’t get out of more violent and dangerous prisoners.

“The [prisoners] that you can work, the ones that can pick up trash, the work release programs — but guess what? Those are the ones that they’re releasing!” Prattor fumed in his attack against criminal justice reforms. “In addition to the bad ones… they’re releasing some good ones that we use every day to wash cars, to change the oil in our cars, to cook in the kitchen… well, they’re going to let them out!”

My, my, you’re going to lose your slaves, what a pity. Perhaps you should learn to wash your own cars, how to change the oil in them, and strap an apron on, Sheriff, and get your arse to work.

Via Raw Story.

All Lives Splatter.

A Chelan County emergency services worker posted a disturbing joke to the county’s Facebook account, kidding about protesters being rammed three weeks after a Virginia protester was killed by a driver who did so.

The worker managing the county’s emergency services Facebook account posted a crude cartoon with an illustration captioned, “All lives splatter … nobody cares about your protest / Keep your ass out of the Road”

The as-yet unidentified poster included the note: “I don’t wish harm on anyone … but protesters don’t belong in the road!”

Mmm, you don’t wish harm on anyone, but you show a depiction of people being harmed because, “hey, it’s funny, and those libtards deserve it, lol!” I imagine if such was directed at you, emergency services worker, you wouldn’t find it so gosh darn amusing. I sure as fuck don’t. Handing J. Q. Public license to murder is not funny. It’s not funny that open murder is being written into law, because of course, dissent is evil, so you better do all your dissenting someplace legal, like your closet, where you can’t help to effect any change at all.

Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett apologized for the post on Monday, saying the non-commissioned employee intended to share it only on a personal account.

“Staff at Chelan County Emergency Management feel terrible that this inappropriate and hurtful post made it onto the Facebook page,” Burnett wrote in the news release. “Changes have already been made in procedure to assure nothing like this will ever occur in the future.”

Oh, and that makes it okay, does it, to change things so this sort of evil shit can’t make it to the official page? Naturally, having employees posting this vile poison on their personal accounts, that’s just dandy! Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think I’d want Chelan County emergency services anywhere near me. Your asshole employees would be just as prone to killing me as helping me, right, Sheriff Burnett?

In recent months, law enforcement workers around the country have been called out for posting the meme and similar statements.

A Slate examination of the trend in August – “Run Them Down”: Driving into crowds of protesters was a right-wing fantasy long before the violence in Charlottesville – highlighted three police officers and one firefighter who were caught urging vehicle attacks on protesters. One Oregon cop was fired for suggesting that drivers “push the right” pedal when facing Black Lives Matter protesters.

Pigs will be pigs, won’t they? This is what happens when cops shops refuse to hire intelligent people. This is what happens when cops shops happily hire white supremacists and assorted dumbshit bigots. Then gives them a license to be homicidal prickshits.

Via Seattle PI.

A New White Excuse: “I Was At Standing Rock!”

Courtesy Wind Over Fire Healing Arts Center/Facebook
A New Age “ghost dance” held in southwestern Minnesota has many indigenous people wondering just when the cultural appropriation will end.

White “aggrieved entitlement” people. They never seem to run out of excuses for their bloated sense of entitlement, of helping themselves to the least little thing; of exploiting marginalized peoples. It’s damn near a way of life for many white people. When it comes to “new age” rites, seems to me there’s a wealth of pagan history to mine, gosh, you might even find some you’re related to in some way.

Towards the later days at the No DAPL camp, I wasn’t quiet about all the entitlement-minded white people there, who had no use for the rules laid down by the people running things. Because of course, rules, they are never for white people are they? I wasn’t quiet about all the white protest/event tourists, either. People who were there to honestly provide support and help, no problem. As usual though, they weren’t the ones making a fuss or making it all about them, because they knew it wasn’t about them. They knew that in the end, they would go home, and not have to deal with it all.

In Minnesota, there’s a group who recently held their 2nd annual “Ghost Dance”. When called on this, they denied it was a ghost dance. They said it was a “Ten Moons” dance. Then they decided to go with “Ghost Dance isn’t exclusive to Indigenous people! Lots of cultures had ancestor dances! China! Africa! So it isn’t indigenous in nature.” Oddly enough, their not indigenous at all dance is decidedly indigenous in appearance, and specifically so. The history of the Ghost Dance is a dark one, once the colonials got terrified and started up more wholesale slaughter, and brutally oppressed indigenous peoples all the more out of fear. It’s not a toy for white people to play pagan. It’s not yours. It’s not your culture, it’s not your history. If non-indigenous people ever wonder why various rites and dances have been closed to outsiders, look no further.

“It would be great if everyone just joined together,” said Laven, discontented by the scrutiny of their ceremony and the charges of cultural appropriation. “We have enough crap. I was at Standing Rock, and I hear the Native Americans, and I had heard them.”

Oh my. What a fine example of white entitlement. There’s really nothing else like it. Golly, white people have had enough crap! It’s just like everything indigenous people have gone through! And now, Standing Rock is the latest excuse. Fuck you, Ms. Laven. A universe of fuck yous. You have not heard one godsdamn thing. You don’t give one little shit about indigenous people or their struggles. All you care about is exploiting them to make money. I hope you are bad-mouthed from here to the end of the galaxy, because that’s the very least of what you deserve.

Full story at ICTMN.

Need Another Reason to Denounce Nazis?

Here you go:

SCOOP: “Weev”, the system administrator for The Daily Stormer is planning on sending Nazis to #HeatherHeyer funeral. #Charlottesville.

“Yo, I need some research done,” Weev wrote. “What’s the location of this fat skank’s funeral.”

“Get on it, e-sleuths,” he added. “I want to get people on the ground there.”

This is appalling and shocking behaviour. Have we all become so damned weary and jaded that this too, is normalised? We cannot let this be. We cannot dare to enter the silence of complicity. We must keep standing up, we must fight, we must yell back. This cannot become acceptable. This cannot become tolerable, in any way.

Via Raw Story.

“It’s just like God…”

Jehovah’s Golden Boy.

All the religious reich has gotten together and are defending Kushner, why he could not possible have colluded in anything, no sir! Some of the um, reasoning is seriously ridiculous.

I can’t help but admire Jared and Ivanka. The two of them have put their lives entirely on hold in order to pursue the good of their nation, and I have found them to be particularly interested in our concerns as evangelical Christians. It’s just like God to use a young Jewish couple to help Christians in the United States defend their rights, and secure their religious freedom for now, and for subsequent generations. – David Jeremiah.

Oh, so that’s just like Jehovah, is it? Yet another idiot who doesn’t seemed to have read the bible much. There’s more dangerous idiocy to behold over at Right Wing Watch, and if you feel like being scared silly by what’s happening in wingnut land, aka America, take a look at their front page.

Terrorism Tourism.

A group of tourists take part in a two hour “boot camp” experience, at “Caliber 3 Israeli Counter Terror and Security Academy ” in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc south of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank. It is part of a counter-terrorism “boot camp” organised by Caliber 3, a company set up by a colonel in the Israeli army reserves.
REUTERS/Nir Elias.

A tourist takes part in a two hour “boot camp” experience, at “Caliber 3 Israeli Counter Terror and Security Academy” in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc. Entrance to the gated compound in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc – built on land the Palestinians want for their own state – costs $115 for adults and $85 for children.
REUTERS/Nir Elias.

A tourist carries a poster as he takes part in a two hour “boot camp”. The aim of the mock scenario is to teach foreign visitors how to deal with an attack on a market.
REUTERS/Nir Elias.

An Israeli instructor speaks to children from overseas holding wooden cut-out rifles. Yasser Sobih, mayor of the nearby Palestinian town of al-Khader, condemned the Israeli venture. “The participation of tourists in training in these camps built on occupied Palestinian land means that they support the occupation and we ask them to stop it,” he told Reuters.
REUTERS/Nir Elias.

Here’s one stupid fucking idea. Unsurprisingly, the majority of tourists having themselves all kinds of fun at terrorist boot camp are Americans. Reuters has an extensive slideshow, and article about this particular bit of idiocy, catering to morons with superhero fantasies run amok in their heads.

Story.

The Tiny Tyrant’s Campaign Scam.

The Trump International Hotel at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, is seen in Washington on Dec. 21, 2016. CREDIT: AP Photo/Alex Brandon.

It should be more than obvious by now that Trump never wanted to actually be president. He sucks at the job, to say the very least. He’s a fucking idiot who doesn’t have the slightest idea of what he’s doing, he’s incapable of learning, and doesn’t have the sense to surround himself with sane, responsible, knowledgeable people. He did get one thing right: campaigning. He could go out, be himself, an empty void of narcissism and hate, and discovered people in fear of losing their white privilege would cheer. He also discovered that campaigning was a great scam. So, he’s doing what he’s capable of doing, going back to the scamming. Ignoring that whole pesky president business, he’ll be hosting a re-election fundraiser tonight. If there’s a better argument for stripping obscenely people of their wealth, I don’t what it is. This might all be fun and power games for them, but it’s a different story for all of us out here on the ground.

If there’s anything President Donald Trump loves more than his business empire, it’s being a candidate on the campaign trial. Wednesday night, he’ll combine both roles as he hosts his first reelection fundraiser, the earliest of any sitting president.

The fundraiser, which people have paid anywhere from $35,000 to upwards of $110,000 to attend, will be held at Trump’s second residence along Pennsylvania Avenue — the Trump International Hotel.

Trump International has become one Trump’s most glaring conflicts of interest, visible from the White House lawn. When he signed a 60-year lease with the General Services Administration in 2013, he signed a contract that contains a clause that reads:

No member or delegate to Congress, or elected official of the Government of the United States or the Government of the District of Columbia, shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease or to any benefit that may arise therefrom.

In March the GSA released a letter saying the Trump Organization is in “full compliance” with the lease, largely because he moved his business interests from the hotel into a trust. However as ProPublica reported in April, the trust is handled by Trump’s children and he is the sole beneficiary, able to remove funds from the trust without disclosing it to the public.

Being in a continuous campaign mode is profitable. In 2000, Trump speculated that he could “be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it,” and there is evidence to support the claim that he has profited off of both the campaign and the presidency. When Trump initially set up his campaign headquarters at Trump Tower, he prided himself on being self-funded with a low-cost operation. He later quadrupled the rent to $169,758 after he began receiving funds from donors even though he employed less staff than in the months prior.

The pattern of profiteering off his initial run is continuing into his reelection campaign. According to FEC filings, the Trump campaign has sent $274,000 in rent to his offices in Trump Tower, even though his reelection campaign only employs 20 people. That works out to about $91,000 a month, which is more than half of what he paid at the height of his campaign when 168 employees were on payroll.

So donors who are paying upwards of $110,000 to attend Wednesday night’s even for Trump’s reelection campaign, are also funneling funds back to Trump twice. First, through the Trump hotel for the space, food and drinks. Second, the money that’s left over will go to Trump’s campaign expenses, which includes rent at Trump Tower. Because he still retains ownership, any event hosted at a Trump Organization Property by Trump the president, also benefits Trump the businessman.

Trump has also found ways to leverage the presidency to advance his business interests outside of his campaign.

Think Progress has the full run down on the scam.

No More Reading On Planes?

Hrag Vartanian.

Oh, the TSA has come up with yet another of their unbelievably stupid ideas, and naturally, are quite enthused about it. All books and all paper of any kind will be pulled for extra scrutiny. Given the collective brain power of the TSA, this most likely means that a very high number of potential passengers will not be making their flight, but be locked up in a back room somewhere, while the crafty TSA agents attempt to figure out the reading material.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is testing new requirements that would oblige travelers to remove books and other paper goods from their carry-on baggage when going through airport security. The new proposal hasn’t gone into effect, though the TSA, which is an agency of the US Department of Homeland Security, has tested it at airports, including in early May, when screeners at a Kansas City airport “forced passengers to remove all paper from bags, down to notepads,” according to Wall Street Journal; The Sacramento Bee reported that the TSA also tested this policy in Sacramento.

[…]

TSA agents already have the authority to search what they want, and anyone who has been subject to extra screenings will know that notebooks and other books are often flipped through by agents, who sometimes even read their pages. That was the experience of artist Kameelah Janan Rashid, who was removed from a plane on her way to Istanbul in 2015. Yet this new policy, as outlined by Stanley, “would lead to more routine and systematic exposure and, inevitably, greater scrutiny of passengers’ reading materials in the course of the screening process.”

Henry Reichman, professor emeritus of history at California State University at East Bay and chair of the American Association of University Professors’ Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure, told Inside Higher Ed that the screening change was troubling:

Academics are unsurprisingly big readers, and since we don’t simply read for pleasure, we often read materials with which we disagree or which may be seen by others as offensive. […] For instance, a scholar studying terrorism and its roots may well be reading — and potentially carrying on a plane — books that others might see as endorsing terrorism. In addition, because scholarship is international, I suspect academics are more likely than others to be reading and carrying material in foreign languages, which might arouse some suspicion. … Finally, academics (as well as editors and journalists) may well be carrying pre-publication materials — drafts for peer review or comment, etc. — and these could raise special concerns.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in an interview with Fox News Sunday last month that the department “might and likely will” expand the new carry-on policy.

The Full Story is at Hyperallergic.

The Death of Medicaid.

Al Franken at The BookExpo2017 in New York City, 6/1/17. CREDIT: Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx.

Getting back to the Fuck You Care Plan, which gets worse at every small reveal. The denials over medicaid come in fast and furious, from evasive denials to outright lies, but the bottom line is quite simple: money will go into select filthy rich pockets; medicaid will be dead in few short years.

The bill would in fact massively cut Medicaid, threatening to completely phase out the program as we currently know it. The legislation would roll back Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, starting in four short years. It would also make deeper cuts to Medicaid by placing “per capita caps” on the program such that states will receive only a set amount of money for each recipient, no matter how much their care actually costs.

Andy Slavitt, who ran Medicaid in the Obama administration, said on Twitter that “the main event in the Senate bill is the destruction of Medicaid,” characterizing it as “far, far worse than even the House bill.” And the House bill, as scored by the Congressional Budget Office, would leave 23 million more people without coverage.

But Trump administration officials presented alternative facts on Sunday.

Full story here.

Monday morning on MSNBC, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) countered Roy’s argument. He noted that the tax cuts that Trumpcare would deliver to the richest 400 taxpayers would pay for 750,000 people to be on Medicaid. Franken didn’t rely on a single study but cited the more comprehensive analysis of recent research on Medicaid published in NEJM. These researchers found that for every 750,000 people who lose Medicaid coverage, 1,000 to 2,000 people would die.

Franken actually understates the case. The NEJM cited a recent study estimating that Medicaid expansion has saved one life for every 239 to 319 people covered. That means enrolling 750,000 people in Medicaid could actually save 2,300 to 3,100 lives.

Full story here.

For Shame!

Have you no shame?

Shame on you for suggesting that!

Take the walk of shame down the hall of shame.

I can’t, I am beyond shame.

What a shame — you’re naked;

cover your shame!

But, I have no shame.

Well, it is a bit small, but nothing to be ashamed of.

Adam and Eve left the garden, ashamed.

Ain’t that a shame?

A low-down dirty shame!

Odgraphix has an excellent post up about shame and embarrassment, very powerful tools. I had a solid eight years of that, courtesy of catholic school, and we probably don’t think about the mechanics of shame and embarrassment often enough, or their effects on our lives. Go have a read, highly recommended.

Nurturing Hate.

Christian Picciolini, founder of the group Life After Hate, is pictured. | AP Photo.

If there is one thing the Regime is good at, it’s nurturing hate, encouraging bigotry, and fomenting unreasonable fear. Life After Hate is a small organization dedicated to de-radicalizing those in violent, extremist groups. They have lost their funding, because the Tiny Tyrant & Co. don’t believe in domestic terrorism.

The Trump administration has dropped federal support of an organization dedicated to countering white nationalist and neo-Nazi extremism, a Politico report revealed on Friday.

The organization, Life After Hate, was founded in 2009 and is run by a small staff of men and women who were once part of racist activist and extremist movements, and who now work to de-radicalize others involved in violent extremist groups.

In its final days, the Obama administration awarded the group a $400,000 grant as part of its Counter Violent Extremism (CVE) program. Life After Hate was the only group dedicated to fighting white nationalist extremism to receive a grant under the program.

It’s also in increasing demand: Picciolini told Politico that since President Trump’s election, Life After Hate has seen a 20-fold increase in requests for help, coming “from people looking to disengage or bystanders/family members looking for help from someone they know.”

But Life After Hate Founder Christian Picciolini told ThinkProgress in February the group never received its check from the federal government. And now, the organization has been dropped altogether from the list of grants associated with the CVE program, which the Department of Homeland Security announced on Friday.

[…]

“It sends a message that white extremism does not exist, or is not a priority in our country, when in fact it is a statistically larger and more present terror threat than any by foreign or other domestic actors,” Picciolini said at the time.

[…]

“We can simply look at recent history, from Dylann Roof to Wade Michael Page to countless others who killed innocent victims in the name of white supremacist ideologies,” Picciolini added. “We have hundreds of thousands of homegrown sovereign citizens and militia members with ties to white nationalism training in paramilitary camps across the U.S. and standing armed in front of mosques to intimidate marginalized Americans. The terror threat is already within our borders, yet we refuse to even call it terrorism when it happens.”

Picciolini told ThinkProgress that the Trump administration’s decision to shift away from efforts to combat far-right hate could actually make future terrorist attacks more likely. And, the shift comes at the very moment that reports indicate far-right hate is on the rise.

Think Progress has the full story. Life After Hate.

America: Draconian, Backwards, Doomed.

Shutterstock.

America, the experiment, is one that will fail. And no, this isn’t yet another report about the disastrous regime, which is simply yet another symptom of the failure in progress. It doesn’t matter that there a few states sprinkled here and there that you could consider progressive and social minded. The majority of states are not those things. A whole hell of a lot of people aren’t those things. Christianity is the biggest obstacle to social progress, morality, and humaneness. And no, I don’t give a shit if you’re a progressive, social minded christian. Until I see all of you busy, active, protesting, and lobbying against all the asshole christians, I don’t care what you say in private. Whatever you’re doing, it isn’t enough.

The insistence on puritanism rooted in misogyny is one big reason this lost country will continue to slide inexorably downwards. Too many Americans seem to think of the country as a church, and they should have the right to oppress and stomp all over certain people. Missouri is providing a fine example of this in action:

Missouri’s Senate is considering legislation that would allow employers and landlords to discriminate against women who use birth control or have had abortions. The bill, which has the support of the state’s governor, Eric Greitens, was approved by the Missouri House Tuesday.

Known as SB 5, the bill was first passed by the Senate on June 14 following a special session called by Greitens. His aim was to overturn an ordinance that prevents employers and housing providers from punishing women for their reproductive health choices, according to a report by Feministing, a feminist website.

The ordinance was passed by the city of St. Louis, and Greitens had said it made the area into “an abortion sanctuary city.” The Senate seemed to agree with him, as did the House, which on Tuesday passed an expanded version of SB 5 that included more anti-abortion restrictions. Given the Senate’s vote on June 14, it it seen as likely to approve the updated version of SB 5. This would mean that landlords could refuse to offer housing to women based on their reproductive health choices, while employers could fire female staff members who were using birth control, or refuse to hire them. And while of course this isn’t information most landlords or employers have access to, under SB 5 they could ask women what forms of reproductive health care they are using.

Yes, of course women could lie; that’s not the point though, is it? The mere fact that anyone could be given the authority to question you on your contraception use* or specific bits of your medical history ought to scare the living hell out of everyone, it should not be something enshrined in law, to say the least. Can you imagine anything of this kind of thing being applied and passed in regard to men?

* Not that most women will be able to afford contraception in the near future.

Full story here.

Standing With Russia, Against …

The Obscene Kiss, an illustration of witches kissing the Devil’s anus from Francesco Maria Guazzo’s Compendium Maleficarum (1608).

Satanists! Who else? Rick Wiles is on a tear over it all:

“I believe the deep state, at it’s core, is satanic,” Wiles said. “It is Luciferian. They, that synagogue of Satan dark state, in 1917, overthrew the Russian government … The Russian people were trapped in communism, atheistic God-hating communism for 70 plus years; the Russians finally cast it off and came out from under this communist oppression. I believe the deep state is furious with them that they dared to overthrow their God-hating atheism, their Satanism.”

Sigh. I get very tired of repeating this, but atheism and satanism, not the same thing. Atheists don’t believe in any gods. Satanists are Christians as far as their mythology goes, Lucifer/Satan/Devil/Whatever is part and parcel of the christian mythos. Jehovah and Jesus and the rest of the cast don’t matter much without the foil of Lucifer. As for the deep state stuff, some evidence please.

“The people in control of America today are Satanists,” he continued. “What do they defend? Baby killing. Selling baby parts. Homosexuality. Pedophilia. They celebrate it.”

An embryo is not a baby. No one is selling baby parts. Or adult parts. Nothing at all wrong with homosexuality. And then, the big ol’ chestnut of christian fanatics – pedophilia! I’d like to know why, as much as they love to bring it up, they never address the mass amounts of rape and sexual assault committed against children by christians. Work on that one, Mr. Wiles.

Wiles went on to praise and defend Russia’s strict anti-LGBTQ laws, declaring that “as a Christian, I stand with the Russian people in their defense of morality and I condemn the dark state that is in control of the United States and Europe and Canada and Australia and New Zealand; it is a Luciferian, demonic Satanic empire that is against God, hates God.”

As it would seem the Luciferian Demonic Satanic Empire is firmly on the social justice side, it doesn’t appear to be terribly powerful, looking at what’s happening in the world at the current time. Interesting how Wiles carefully picks out all those places dominated by white people as being under attack, which is not at all subtle in its appeal to bigotry.

After asserting that he feels “more threatened and afraid of the CIA” than of the Russians, Wiles again insisted that “Luciferian, devil worshiping” forces within the “deep state” are working to foment a war in order to punish Russia “for breaking free of that communist tyranny that that satanic group had put on Russia.”

Some days, I just can’t get over how very much some things have changed. I can’t imagine anyone having the spine to say this sort of thing in the 1960s or  1970s.

Wiles was also outraged that some Christians are “condemning Russia for being an anti-Christian nation that persecuted Christians” simply because it had banned the Jehovah’s Witnesses and seized the group’s churches.

“You know what the Russians did?” Wiles asked. “They banned the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Kicked them out of the country. Well, congratulations! I’m glad you did it. I wish we could do it. I wish we could get rid of all the cults in this country. We’d be better off for it.”

Yes, I have no doubt many christians would just love that sort of power, and it would be damned scary if they had it, to say the least. They are working towards that, and Trump is working at giving them what they want. As for cults, it would be really nice to stick a muzzle on christianity.

Via RWW, one and two.

On the other side of the aisle, Sam Rohrer is all about the antichrist:

“Lawlessness is what the devil, Satan, is attempting to create,” Rohrer said, explaining that the “enemies of Christ”—by which he meant globalists, Islam, and the cultural “establishment”—are “all working together” because “they hate God, they hate the Constitution, they despise Jesus Christ, they want to destroy Israel and the United States and they are using chaos and division as their way of creating the circumstances … out of which will come the Antichrist.”

“These things that we’re seeing are preparatory for the emerging of the Antichrist,” he said. “We have to understand that what we are seeing has been foretold, it is exactly what the Bible is talking about will happen, is happening and we need to, as God’s people, be taking advantage of this time and pointing people to Jesus Christ, understanding the Battle of the Ages is unfolding before our very eyes.”

Hate crimes have spiked under Trump, and they keep escalating. Crimes committed by people who describe themselves as god lovin’, constitution lovin’, Jesus lovin’ christian patriots. I think Rohrer and company have this whole antichrist thing backwards, to say the least.

Via RWW.