Minnesota: Number of days without a mass shooting … 0

Well, looks like a 67 year old man who lives not far off the route between UM-Morris and UM-Minneapolis (though closer to the latter) has decided to kill a few people because he was unsatisfied with his health care.

No one is dead yet, at least according to reports datelined 30 minutes ago, but he shot bullets into the bodies of a minimum of 5 people, more than one of whom (the number is as yet unclear) had to be evacuated from their location in a health care facility to a “level 1 trauma centers”. I have no idea what that means (my job here is to translate legal & feminist jargon, not the medical whodiddle), but it sounds kinda bad.

Meanwhile, in addition to attempting to deal with a “horrible looking scene” (quoted words spoken by the local sheriff), our evil mastermind decided to build a whole bunch of bombs and scatter them around. The Minneapolis’ police bomb squad had to be called in to deal with the terrorist’s devices. I expect that will take a while, both because the scene is fairly far from Minneapolis (36-41 miles, depending on the route) but also because there were “suspicious devices” (read: improvised explosive devices) at his hotel, as well. If he’s using a car, they’ll have to check that for bombs, too.

The name of the suspect is “Gregory Ulrich” and CNN is reporting that he has a long history of harassing the health care clinic that he shot up (though they use nicer language than “harassing”) and is “familiar” to law enforcement.

Can we have red flag laws everywhere, please? Or is trying to save lives too politicizing of tragedies even when Republicans are out of power?

While you’re thinking about that question, don’t distract yourself with questions of the shooter/bomber’s race and whether the face of US terrorism is at all racialized, because they’re not even reporting on the shooter’s race, so there, and you’re not allowed to guess! If his race was relevant, they would definitely have reported that he was Black.

 

 

 

 

More quick thoughts on 1/6/2021 (Updated 9pm PST)

Please don’t miss today’s earlier posts on race & policing, the risks of leaving Trump in office, and some Q&A about the 25th Amendment, including whether the votes of “acting” Cabinet secretaries count.

On to the NEW THOUGHTS!

Thought 1: (12:40 PST, 1/7/2021) 

The House Sergeant at Arms Paul D. Irving has been fire-quitted. (The opposite of quit-fired: they were told to resign or they would be fired. Irving chose to quit.)

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Absolutely Nothing Nazi-Adjacent Here, Move Along

Or, you know, the opposite of that. The Proud Boys of North Carolina turned out to support a #StopTheSteal rally organized around the Governor’s mansion in Raleigh. Someone named Joshua Flores, who is clearly delusional about the presidential election result, organized the event and invited the Proud Boys as his “private security”. But when the event started they seemed less auxiliaries there to ensure the peace and more like people who want the other thing:

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It isn’t up to us to win

I first became politically active when the Oregon Citizens’ Alliance put a citizen’s initiative on the ballot to declare in law that “homosexuality” was “abnormal, wrong, unnatural, and perverse”. Measure 9 was itself an abomination, one that treated anti-discrimination laws as if they were discrimination against bigots, which was somehow supposed to be an unconscionable thing, what with how unfair that would be to the bigots.

Measure 9 lost. The OCA (which then featured Scott Lively as its highly visible 2nd in command) lost. But that doesn’t mean that queers “won”. We spent money and energy and made ourselves visible, made ourselves targets, so we could be attacked intensely for an election season in the hopes that sacrifice would make us safer after the election season. That isn’t victory. Honestly, it was a lot like being in abusive relationship, something I knew a lot about, and provoking abuse as the “walking on eggshells” phase of the relationship grated horribly on one’s nerves. Sometimes one’s fears of what abuse comes next are worse than the actual abuse when it occurs. I had to reasonably fear being killed by my abusive partner, but as it turns out, I was never murdered.

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What a “fiduciary duty” looks like when the police believe in white supremacy

It is long settled in Canadian law that the federal government owes a fiduciary duty to the indigenous peoples of lands now governed by Canada. The meaning of fiduciary duty changes with the specific nature of the relationship between the person owing the duty and the beneficiaries of that duty, but in the context of Canada’s federal government and the indigenous peoples of Canadian land, whether it’s permitting the exercise of treaty rights or engaging in so-called “meaningful consultation” or other duties, Canada’s actions have been far more in breach of those duties than they have been consistent with them.

Nonetheless, one specialist finds the particular lack of care with respect to M’kmaw fishing rights and physical safety to be noteworthy even among all those other violations we might list. The analysis of Adam Bond:

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Terrorism with fire

A Prelude: The Peace & Friendship Treaty of 1752.

It is agreed that the said Tribe of Indians shall not be hindered from, but have free liberty of Hunting & Fishing as usual: and that if they shall think a Truckhouse needful at the River Chibenaccadie or any other place of their resort, they shall have the same built and proper Merchandize lodged therein, to be Exchanged for what the Indians shall have to dispose of, and that in the mean time the said Indians shall have free liberty to bring for Sale to Halifax or any other Settlement within this Province, Skins, feathers, fowl, fish or any other thing they shall have to sell, where they shall have liberty to dispose thereof to the best Advantage.

Just over 20 years ago I was in Canada for a human rights conference and the two main stories surrounding the conference were the abuse of political dissidents by China and then-current attacks on M’kmaw/Mi’kmaq peoples attempting to make a living by hunting, fishing and harvesting according to the rights set out by treaty with the Canadian government. Those rights included the right to a modest living (I believe the court’s language was “moderate”, but I’ll have to check on that) from harvesting lobsters.

Immediately white commercial lobstererers took issue. The white lobster harvesters had dramatically overfished the local waters, and with highly restricted seasons and catch, they saw respecting treaty rights as a threat to their ability to survive.

…And, yes, it was. It still is.

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Racists are inscrutable

Okay, so there’s this guy. He’s an asshole, but he’s just some guy, y’know?

No, his name is not Zaphod Beeblebrox.

His name is Michael John Frederick, Jr. Despite being just a guy – excuse me, just a white guy – he’s managed to make it into the news cycle for some of  his recent accomplishments. What accomplishments, you wonder? Oh just this and that:

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Tuffy the Snowflake (Content Warning)

Was a hateful, hurtful soul.

No, seriously folks, I don’t get a lot of hate mail, but I do get some occasionally and I just got the most delightfully horrifying piece of violent thuggery that I’ve ever had sent to my FreethoughtBlogs comment queue.

It was sent to me by someone calling themselves “Tuffy”, and if you choose to read it, be forewarned: there’s the racism and some more racism and violent fantasies before mixing it up with some anti-semitism, more violence, the racism again, and oh, the direct threats. But what makes it worth posting is that this snowflake is responding to my post about how BLM in Portland won some valuable if modest concessions. And boy, did the idea that BLM has made some progress towards creating a society in which Black lives matter really upset the poor, widdle Tuffy. (I kid you not, that’s the actual screen name they chose.) There’s really no other way to say it but that this Tuffy is the most precious, delicate snowflake in the whole intertubes. He is just foot-stompin’ mad:

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The chaos of tear gas

Okay, folks.

This is 2:42 seconds of a critical time in last night’s protests, taken around 11:30pm Pacific time on the night of July 21st in front of the Hatfield courthouse. My BFF and I are in the front rank, the only people in front of us are a couple of press people who walk briefly in front of us. You won’t see it, but about halfway through someone with a shield comes up and kneels in front of me to protect me (though I didn’t want it or ask for it). I didn’t tell the shield carrier to buzz off and find someone who actually wanted protection, but if this is ever you, please ask permission before you actually touch someone’s body. My shield carrier actually grabbed my arthritic knees in what they thought was a reassuring gesture just before the tear gas was fired. Don’t be that person, okay? Okay.

Now the video:

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