Just another American with guns

A terrible mass murder in Las Vegas: at least 20 people are dead when a man opened fire on a country western concert. The murderer was a local man named Stephen Paddock, who has since been killed by the police. Reports indicate that he was using some kind of automatic rifle, which you’d guess from the fact he killed a score and wounded at least a hundred, and that a search of his hotel room found even more weapons that he’d left behind. Also, the media is naturally calling him a “lone wolf”, since he’s white and so can’t possibly be a terrorist fed conspiracy theories.

So will this be the final straw that convinces the US to implement some kind of rational gun control?

No.


The New York Times is reporting that the death toll has reached 50.

I’ll never be able to read Matt Taibbi again

I’ve enjoyed his scathing, ferocious approach to political reporting, but I just learned today that he takes the same ferocious, scathing approach to women. He and Mark Ames were columnists writing for an expat paper in Moscow years ago, and they apparently had a grand time being outrageous. When I first read a few quotes, I thought for a moment that they had to be faked — that these were ginned-up accounts written up by political enemies, of which they have more than a few.

But no. These were their own words. They wrote them up in a book-length account of their adventures in Russia. They were bragging about these attitudes.

It’s not ironic–Ames and Taibbi explicitly scorn the bourgeois safety net of irony–and it’s not just a rhetorical stance. “You’re always trying to force Masha and Sveta under the table to give you blow jobs,” complains their first business manager, an American woman, in chapter six, “The White God Factor.” “It’s not funny. They don’t think it’s funny.” “But…it is funny,” replies Taibbi. They take particular glee in trashing several former female staff members in print, taking multiple potshots at the aforementioned business manager’s “gorilla ass.” They’re equally nasty to her replacement, who quit in disgust after they went on a four-month “brain-sucking speed binge.”

It’s OK if you want to stop there. It gets worse. Much worse.

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Bianca Roberson and the tragedy of the NRA

I hated driving in Philadelphia — the drivers there are the worst in my experience. It wasn’t just the vigorous honking and the aggressive tailgating, either, I personally witnessed a driver pull out a pistol and pop off a series of shots at a truck that passed him. Every day that I made that awful commute from King of Prussia to North Philly I was convinced that I was going to die (we got smart and moved to Jenkintown, finally, where I could take mass transit to work, in part because I was pretty sure I was going to have a nervous breakdown).

The story of Bianca Roberson brings back ugly memories. Any place along the highway were you were forced to merge two lanes together was going to provoke some people to fury, needlessly. All I had to worry about generally were the obnoxious drivers who’d flip you off and pound on their horn and drive recklessly to insist that they get to merge ahead of you. Bianca Roberson met a fellow driver who pulled out a gun and shot her in the head.

This is rank madness. You do not need a gun to drive on a highway, no, not even the Schuylkill Expressway. A gun does not help in any way. It makes everything worse, to no good purpose. You do not need to be armed at all times. You do not need a gun at a movie theater. You do not need a gun at school. You do not need a gun on your daily commute.

You need a gun when you go deer hunting, or if you’re going to a range to practice marksmanship. If you happen to have one with you on the way to the gun range or the hunting grounds, it should be unloaded and safely stowed someplace safe, like in the trunk. This is why we need more gun control and a culture of healthy respect for dangerous tools, not strident fanaticism and recklessness like we get from that criminal organization of evil assholes, the NRA. Actually, guns don’t deserve respect, people do…something the NRA and gun-fondlers everywhere do not understand.

The USA is a dangerous place to live or visit. Although, I can at least say I got out of a danger zone and moved to rural Minnesota, where people still have guns, but when you’re on the road you mainly have to worry about the constant expectation that you will wave to everyone.

At least she’s safe from second-hand smoke

Suddenly, all these videos of the Philando Castile shooting are being released after the murder cop got acquitted. This latest one is heartbreaking: it’s video of Castile’s fiancé, handcuffed (WHY? What did she do wrong, besides sit next to an innocent man getting violently slaughtered by a cop?), while her daughter tries to deal with the situation.

Mom, please stop cussing and screaming ’cause I don’t want you to get shooted.

In the earlier video, I noticed how both adults in the car reflexively used “sir” in just about every sentence to the asshole cop — I don’t think they wanted to get shooted either. Our police departments are relying on fear to cow the population, and it shows.

FIRE THAT COP.

Jesus fucking christ. Police dashcam video of the Philando Castile murder has been released, and I made the mistake of watching it. The car is pulled over, the cop explains that he was pulled over for a broken break light, he asks for license and registration, the driver calmly tells him that he carries a gun, and then the cop freaks out and starts yelling and unloads his handgun into the car. Seven shots! It’s horrific.

Later, the murderer is telling his fellow gunmen that Castile had been acting “hinky” and was looking directly into his eyes (truly a criminal act). The only one “hinky” here is the cop, who panics at a traffic stop and slaughters a citizen.

Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted, unbelievably. I hope he’s not working in any position that requires that he be armed anymore — he is a coward unsuited to any stressful situation — and I look forward to the civil suit that should strip him of everything he owns.


Read the statement given by the murder-cop after he killed that man. Would you believe that he was afraid for the little girl in the car, and that he had reason to think Castile might be a stone-cold killer because he was exposing that poor girl to second-hand smoke?

He got off because of that callous kind of lie.

Can we classify capitalist exploiters as terrorists now?

There has been a terrible fire in London — flames raced up a residence tower, killing 6 and putting about 70 in the hospital. Normally, that would just be local news, but this fire has a horrifying twist: the management company has been receiving warnings from residents about poor fire safety for at least 4 years now. Residents were advised that if there were a fire, they should just sit quietly in their apartments and wait for the fire department to take care of it. Yeah, just sit quietly during this:

It’s the literal personification of the “This is fine” dog.

Really, the management company has been fully aware, and they’ve received incessant complaints, and their response has been to tell everyone to shut up. You can never trust a landlord — this is why we’re supposed to have laws that constrain capitalist excess.

Another demonstration of the destructiveness of dogma

This is where 4chan, Reddit, and YouTube comment sections have gotten us: the murderer who was arraigned in a Portland court shouted stupid memes at the press.

FREE SPEECH OR DIE, the asshole shouted. Ah, yes, the self-righteous cry of every jerk who gets blocked on twitter or on a blog. He believes he has a right to harass others, and that this is an American right enshrined in the Constitution. Free speech is absolute, and trumps every other privilege, including the right to live. He also doesn’t mean that he’ll die if you abridge his right to say any dumbass thing to anyone, anywhere, any time — he means that he’ll kill you if you don’t respect his right to compel you to listen to him.

YOU CALL IT TERRORISM, I CALL IT PATRIOTISM, he claimed in response to nothing at all. You know, every terrorist kills out of a sense of loyalty to a faith, a country, an ethnic group. You can be a patriot without punching people in the neck with a knife.

He hoped his victims all died, and THAT’S WHAT LIBERALISM GETS YOU. Incorrect. That’s what decades of demonization of liberal thought gets all of us, it breeds mindless haters who recite cant to justify their crimes, who kill people in righteous indignation at being argued with, who go to prison convinced that they are in the right after committing horrible uncivilized acts.

If you’re wondering where he got radicalized, it wasn’t in a mosque.

Guess the crime!

Bruno Fernandes de Souza is a soccer player, and he is confident that he is not a bad guy. What crime do you think he committed to warrant a few years in prison?

In his first major interview since being released from prison, 32-year-old Bruno Fernandes de Souza said: “What happened, happened. I made a mistake, a serious one, but mistakes happens in life – I’m not a bad guy.”

Brazilian goalkeeper who ordered woman’s murder returns to football
“People tried to bury my dream because of one mistake, but I asked God for forgiveness, so I’m carrying on with my career, dude,” he said, according to the Guardian.

God forgave him, and he’s already landed a contract with a team. How bad can it be?

Answer below the fold.

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Jeez, I know where that happened

Yet another hate crime, something becoming increasingly common it seems, but it’s strange to see a racist shooting near where I grew up.

Kent police are searching for a gunman they say opened fire in the East Hill neighborhood.
Officers say the victim, a Sikh man, was in his driveway working on his car Friday around 8 p.m. when another man approached him and began yelling, “Go back to your own country.”

They give the address, which gave me a start — it was a familiar neighborhood. It was actually near where my girlfriend lived, up past the top of James Hill (I made so many rubber-legged treks up that monstrous hill). I can’t even imagine this sort of crime happening 30 years ago.

University of Minnesota football coach fired

Good news, for a change. After Coach Tracy Claeys proudly supported his gang-banging football team, he got his just reward: he has been fired. That’s the right thing to do.

Unfortunately, the article ends on the really important tragedy: what about the football team?

Minnesota now faces an uphill battle as National Signing Day for high school senior recruits is less than two months away. The football program is in danger of losing several recruits and having to rebuild both the performance side and the reputation destroyed as a result of the alleged incident. But in the bigger picture, administration has delivered the message that whatever happened in the alleged September incident will not be tolerated now or ever again.

With Claeys, the Gophers won nine games in 2016 for the first time since 2003, when they finished 10-3. They also won a bowl game for the second straight year.

Rebuild your reputation by suspending all football games for at least a year. That also solves the problem of rebuilding the performance of the team — maybe they can focus on their studies for a while.