Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Well Liked and Respected Employee in Stillwater

According to her father and a boyfriend, Adacia Chambers does not have a drug, or alcohol problem. The 25 year old woman is from Oologah, Oklahoma which is north of Tulsa, near a large man made lake of the same name. It is such a nondescript little village its most famous son, humorist and early day movie star, Will Rogers chose to tell people he was from nearby Claremore, which is not only larger, but easier to pronounce.

Ms. Chambers remained in Oologah, staying with her father, until six months ago. She finally left to move in with a boyfriend who lived in Stillwater, the home of Oklahoma State University. After hitting town she found a job at a fast food restaurant called, Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers. According to a story in today's The Oklahoman written by Matt Dinger, she was a, "well liked and respected employee."

Last Friday night, after working a full day, she and the boyfriend joined in an Oklahoma State Homecoming tradition known as the "walkabout." It is when returning alums, locals, and fans stroll down the streets near the university admiring the different decorations put up by students in honor of the celebration. Afterwards, she returned to the store and helped her fellow employees clean and close the place up for the night.

Saturday morning she reported for work, but something seemed off. Around 9:00am Adacia Chambers abruptly left the restaurant. The manager maintains she was not fired, or sent home for disciplinary reasons. One unidentified person claimed that as she walked away from the store she was crying. Unless some other, as yet unknown, witness comes forward at a later date, no one knows where she was for the next hour and a half. It is as if she temporarily disappeared into the twilight zone. The current evidence is she actually did, because during that time something went horribly wrong in her head.

She was next seen at 10:30am in her car barreling through a red light three blocks north of the Homecoming parade route. As people frantically waved for her to stop she blew past two traffic barricades, knocking one of them to the side. Finally, she smashed into a parked police motorcycle then into the crowd gathered at the intersection of Main Street and Hall of Fame Avenue. At least two people have been quoted as saying she never hit the brakes and, in fact, seemed to speed up.

By the time her car came to a stop over 50 people were injured, three were killed, and a fourth would die later at an Oklahoma City hospital. One of the dead was two years old, two were in their mid sixties and another was a University of Central Oklahoma grad student from India.

Yesterday's The Oklahoman cited a court affidavit as saying, while she was being booked into jail, Ms. Chambers told officers that she was suicidal at the time of the crash, but not any more. If she did go all kamikaze Saturday morning she wasn't very good at it. After leaving dozens of injured littered on the street and four dead, or dying, local police led her away in cuffs unharmed.

Her boyfriend, Jesse Gaylord was quoted as saying, "It would have to be something medical, or seizures, or mental. She would never do anything like that consciously." He also told reporters that nothing seemed unusual when she left for work that morning. Of course not, it never does.

Her attorney immediately began playing to potential jurors through both the local and national media. He told the press Ms. Chambers didn't seem drunk, but certainly didn't appear competent when he initially talked to her. The Oklahoman's Kyle Schwab, reports the lawyer, Tony Coleman said, "There was a very blank, almost lifeless look in her face." Mr. Coleman also noted she had been hospitalized twice in the last two years for undisclosed mental issues and hinted there had been suicide attempts in the past.

Adacia Chambers is currently sitting in the Payne County jail. Her bail was set at one million dollars and a psych evaluation has been ordered. The county DA has yet to file official charges against her, probably because her office has never been confronted with a nightmare of this scope. The word in the local media is they are going hit her with four counts of second degree murder and given the number of injured, God only knows what and how many other charges.

Years ago, the United Negro College Fund used to run some public service spots on TV which ended with the tag line, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste." True, but sometimes it's obvious a mind is simply a terrible thing.

Just ask them in Stillwater.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Jim Webb Quits the Race, Joe Biden Doesn't Start It, and Kevin Johnson Decides Not to Run Again

Sometimes things really do happen in threes. In the space of 24 hours a presidential candidate has quit the race, a possible candidate has decided not to run, and the incumbent mayor of Sacramento announced he won't seek re-election. The reasons for the decisions are as disparate as the men who made them.

First there is former Virginia Senator, Jim Webb. He announced he was dropping out of the democratic race for the presidential nomination. He might as well--no one was going to vote for him anyway. Any slim chance of that quickly dissolved during the Las Vegas debate when he spent much of his limited time allotment complaining about his limited time allotment. While others were trying to score points, he came across as nothing more than a bitchy Ben Carson on steroids.

That pares the field down to three, because no one in their right mind actually considers Lincoln Chafee either a democrat, or a real candidate. The two highlights of Chafee's performance in Vegas were getting bitch slapped by Hillary Clinton and a whiney defense of a vote he made in the Senate which had all the gravitas of a high school kid telling his teacher the dog ate his homework.

Then we come to Joe Biden, the current Vice President of these United States. For months people had been urging him to climb into the race as a serious alternative to Hillary Clinton. The cable media, in an effort to add to the drama of the campaign, kept reporting a Biden decision would come at any moment. Those reports droned on for weeks.

Today an announcement finally came. Mr. Biden won't run.

During an appearance with the president, among other things, he said the reason was, "Unfortunately I believe we're out of time." Well you have to say something don't you.

The more cold blooded among us can think of another reason, or two. First, Secretary Clinton kicked ass on the Las Vegas stage and by doing so re-energized her campaign. Second, just a couple of days ago, Biden seemed to say he had whole heartedly supported the raid which took out Osama bin Laden. The press jumped all over it because it is well known that, at the time, Biden had advised Obama to delay the attack.

A gross public gaffe at the beginning of a run, which was woefully late to start in the first place, certainly didn't bode well. Especially since Hillary Clinton was there in person when Biden expressed his lack of daring.

Ultimately, however, the real truth, when it comes to Biden's decision, may lay elsewhere. Joe Biden has had to endure two crushing tragedies in his life. He has lived to see a wife and baby daughter die in a terrible accident, then years later a son pass away to an incurable disease. He has admitted he still suffers through moments of intense grief. None of us who have been fortunate enough not to go through what he has can ever imagine the pain he feels.

To run for president of this country a serious candidate must possess an icy singleness of purpose, not to mention the disposition of a rogue, man eating, lion. To have any sort of pause is fatal. Indeed, there is precious little room for real human emotion until the brutal and expensive marathon is over. In short, if you can't be all in with every fiber of your being, it's best to stay out.

The odds are, Joe Biden simply no longer has the killer instinct, or the stomach needed for such a ride. Who can blame him?

Finally we get to Kevin Johnson, the two term incumbent Mayor of Sacramento, CA.

Johnson, a former NBA star, has been plagued for years by rumors of sexual misconduct involving underage girls. Early this month Deadspin writer, Dave McKenna got his hands on a video tape of a Phoenix police interview with Mandi Koba. The tape was shot in 1996 when she was 17 years old and Johnson was playing for the Phoenix Suns. During the course of the tape she alleges Johnson molested her over a two year period when she was 15 and 16.

Mr. Johnson was never charged. According to McKenna, Koba claims she was paid over $230,000 not to tell anyone about the deviant behavior, but now at age 36 she feels she isn't bound by the agreement between her and Johnson.

It isn't clear if Koba was offered the money before, or after the police interview. Nor is it clear why, as of last week, despite her willingness to speak with McKenna, she was refusing to return phone calls, or emails made to her by the Sacramento Bee newspaper.

After Deadspin ran with the story the head of the local democratic party immediately began calling for Johnson's resignation. That shouldn't be a surprise since he has been persona non grata with the local democratic leadership since 2003. That's when a foundation he controlled got a Sacramento public high school turned into a charter school which went out and hired non-union teachers. Mr. Johnson, who is a democrat, ran twice for his seat and won both times without any help from the democratic establishment.

Today Kevin Johnson announced he would not run for a third term. In the press release he did not bring up Mandi Koba, or the Deadspin story. Neither did he touch on allegations raised by republicans he attempted to pay off another young lady sometime between 2007 and 2009. No charges were filed in that case either.

At this point there is no telling if Mayor Johnson is being shook down, attacked solely for political reasons, or, in actuality, is a low rent Bill Cosby. All we know for sure is Kevin Johnson won't be running for political office again. Whether someone--anyone--pursues criminal charges, or civil action against him after he is out of office is a matter of speculation, although, to be honest, it seems doubtful. Once he is out of sight, he will quickly be out of everyone's mind.

Meanwhile, as you can guess--the bar is open.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Nehemiah Griego Cops a Plea

In January 2013, then 15 year old Nehemiah Griego went a little funny in the ol' noggin'. He reportedly told Albuquerque police he shot his mother to death as she slept because he had become frustrated with her. His younger brother woke up due to all the noise and according to Nehemiah, became upset their mother was dead. So, to keep the little guy quiet, he shot him too, because nothing shuts up a whiney little brother quicker than a .22 cal. slug to the head.

The authorities say, Griego told them that after those two murders, he, "lost his conscience," and proceeded to kill his two younger sisters and finally his father when he arrived home later.

Those early reports said the father, Greg Griego, was a former gangbanger who had found Jesus and become a pastor at a nearby mega church. In addition he was ministering to inmates in local lockups and serving as a volunteer chaplain for the Albuquerque Fire Department. He also owned the weapons his son used during the gruesome spree. A story in the Albuquerque Journal said the guns were kept unlocked so Nehemiah could get to them in case of an emergency.

After he finished off his family young Griego got it in his head that he would travel to a Wal-Mart that was close by. The plan was to open fire on the patrons just because he could, then go out in a blaze of glory during a gunfight with police. There have also been reports he sent his girl friend a photo of his dead mom and she didn't call the cops after getting it.

It isn't clear whether he actually got to the Wal-Mart or not, but he certainly didn't open fire in the parking lot there, or anywhere else for that matter. He did, however, go to the church he and his family attended regularly and meandered about the campus aimlessly. Most of the staff and Sunday School faculty were there attending a seminar. The subject was what to do in case an of active shooter incident on the grounds.

The church's coordinator of security, Vince Harrison told police Griego approached him with a story about his family being murdered. Harrison, a retired cop, called 911 then the two of them drove to the home were the real story quickly came tumbling out.

Last Friday, 33 months after the fact, Nehemiah Griego pleaded guilty on two counts of second degree murder and three counts of child abuse resulting in death.

The tabloid news sites have been howling that he could get off with nothing more than probation. Yeah, that could happen and it could also be he serves time in some juvenile facility until he is 21 if he is sentenced as a child. That would be three years, since he has either turned 18 already, or will by the time another hearing is held in January. If the judge rules he is an adult and hits him with the maximum Griego is looking at 120 years.

His relatives and the people who knew him say they never saw the outburst of savagery coming. They all contend he was nice, respectful kid, who not only attended church, but played guitar in it's band. Harrison added that at an earlier date Nehemiah expressed interest in a military career after high school. An uncle, Eric Griego, a former state senator, has previously complained about the way the investigation was conducted and how the media has portrayed his nephew.

Well, Senator, let's face it--it was tough to make him look good nearly three years ago and it remains that way today.

Right now we don't know how long Nehemiah Griego will remain in custody. What we do know is if he is released in January, or after three years, or even in twenty, no matter what his mental state, he'll be able to get his hands on more guns as soon as he walks out the door.

Hey, it's a free country.


Friday, October 16, 2015

The Week That Was: Lamar Out of Control, Democrats in Vegas, and the Wrong Drugs in Oklahoma

This week has been so weird it is hard to know where to begin. Indeed, the list of losers is a long one, while the number of winners can be counted on one hand.

To begin with there is the strange and tragic saga of former NBA star, Lamar Odom. Last weekend Odom reserved a four day stay at the Love Ranch in Nevada. The ranch is actually a legal brothel located 80 or so miles outside of Las Vegas. Just prior to his arrival he apparently began a bender so epic in nature not even a pro like the late Hunter Thompson would have attempted it during his prime.

According to reports, by the time he was found unconscious in his bed on Tuesday, he had tooted a few lines of cocaine, drank most of a bottle of brandy, downed around 10 tabs of, Reload-72 Hour Sexual Performance Enhancer, and run up a tab of $75,000. While it isn't completely clear what caused the medical emergency, it is known that, despite Reload's over the counter availability, the FDA has warned against using it in conjunction with alcohol and drugs.

Mr. Odom is now on life support in a Las Vegas hospital.

On the same day the medics were called to the Love Ranch, the democratic candidates for president were in Vegas for their first debate. The clear winner was Hillary Clinton who easily proved herself to be the class act of the field.

At the same time, Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb came across as a couple of two bit cranks while, Martin O'Malley nailed a too little, too late score with an eloquent closing statement.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders turned out to be a one note Johnnie. His, "Screw Wall Street," message came through loud and clear, but he seemed adrift on other issues, especially foreign policy. In addition his surprisingly soft stand on gun control was not only exposed to a national audience, but deftly exploited by former Secretary of State, Clinton. By the time the exchange wound down he was gesturing wildly and babbling about cultural differences between rural and urban states.

Meanwhile in Oklahoma, the people who run the Department of Corrections are fighting to keep from appearing in front of a multi-county grand jury.

The state's tea party Attorney General, Scott Pruitt wants to know who is to blame for the DOC screwing the pooch before the execution of Richard Glossip. The confusion was so bad the whole dreadful ceremony had to be postponed at the last minute by the governor.

The main reason for the fuck up looks to be no one at the Oklahoma Department of Corrections knows how to order the right drugs used in executions, or read the labels on bottles already in stock.

Glossip's execution was postponed because someone noticed--just before the injection was to take place--the state was getting ready to use Potassium Acetate, rather than Potassium Chloride. It wasn't the first time the mistake has been made, although, to Glossip's great relief, it was the first time anyone realized it before the hot shot was administered.

Back in January an autopsy proved Oklahoma mistakenly used Potassium Acetate in its three drug mix when it executed Charles Fredrick Warner. An AP reporter who witnessed Warner's death said that the convicted child rapist and murderer's last words, were, among other things, "It feels like acid. My body is on fire. No one should go through this."

Warner's initial date with the needle had been delayed in April of the previous year. That's when things went terribly awry during the execution of Clayton Lockett. It took Lockett 43 minutes to die after he began flopping around on the gurney like a boated tuna instead of going quietly into Forever Land. The scene was so grotesque prison officials blocked the assembled witnesses from watching the entire horrific affair.

The attorney for the DOC, former state Attorney General, Drew Edmondson, claims that since there has been no allegation of a crime, an appearance by his clients is beyond the jurisdiction of the grand jury. He also threw in some stuff about conflict of interest since the state's AG office also represents the Department of Corrections in other matters.

Edmondson's main problem is Pruitt doesn't give a shit about such legal nuances. He has eyes on the governor's mansion in 2018. He desperately wants to prove to the local right wing rubes he can crush all manner of incompetent liberal bureaucrats entrenched in state government. You can bet that is how he is going to play it in the press and to the voting public.

So there we have it--just another week riddled with crazed carnal self abuse, hookers, politicians, and people who simply can't read.

And yes, the bar is now open.


Monday, October 12, 2015

An NRA Weekend: We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us

It is painfully obvious that we in America not only have a huge number of guns, but an unlimited supply of ammunition. And for those of you not following the news, we aren't very smart, or original when it comes to using all that deadly hardware.

Yesterday in Phoenix, Arizona, police rounded up three yokels suspected in two shootings aimed at just about anyone driving along Interstate 10. The NBC report doesn't shed any light on the motive for the shootings, other than it was a Sunday and the people involved had a gun and thought it would be fun to use it. The network did say the Phoenix police classified the crimes as, "an isolated incident."

Yeah, well, that depends on your definition of, "isolated." In August and September there were 11 similar sniper attacks along the same Interstate in the Phoenix area. The local cops finally arrested Leslie Allen Merritt, aged 21, in connection with four of them. He has pleaded not guilty on all counts.When it comes to the other seven shootings, the authorities speculate they were perpetrated by, "copycats." In other words, unless the three goofs they picked up yesterday confess to all of them, the other shootings remain unsolved--not to mention the person, or persons who have been allegedly inspired by Merritt are still armed and out there.

It is probably safe to say these, "isolated incidents," will continue.

A little later in the day over in Arlington, Texas, posted something went a tad wrong during an after game tailgate party in the parking lot of AT&T stadium. A few hours after the New England Patriots beat the Dallas Cowboys in a NFL football game, a fight broke out between two men which degenerated into--you guessed it--gun fire.

The report goes on to say one man in his 40's was transported to a hospital with a gun shot wound to the neck. He is in critical condition. Another guy, the suspect, suffered some sort of leg injury and surrendered to police without a struggle.

It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that Texas currently allows its citizens to carry concealed hand guns. Of course, that being a little wimpy for real Texans, the gun crew passed another law which, in January, will let them, like, John Wesley Hardin once did, strap on the ol' hog leg right out in the open.

When it comes to Sunday night's shooting, according to the news outlet, "Arlington Police have not ruled out alcohol as a factor."

Oh you think?

Early this morning, in downtown Brooklyn, New York a hip hop music producer named Eric McKinney was in his car waiting at a red light. Before it turned green he was shot twice for unknown reasons. He tried to drive himself to a hospital, but wrecked his vehicle and died on the way. Police found eight shell casings at the intersection where he was attacked.

Mr. McKinney was the father of three children.

Finally, just west, in Manhattan, Walikque Grace Faussett and a friend walked out of a club early this morning. While attempting to hail a cab she was shot dead and her pal was wounded, as was another person. The suspect is an unidentified wild and crazy dude who was ejected from the club hours earlier. He promised the bouncers he would come back with a gun.

Apparently they didn't believe him. They should have. Ms. Faussett, the mother of a three year old, was celebrating her 24th birthday. Police say she had nothing to do with the argument which caused the suspected shooter to be kicked out of the joint.

In the end, she was, as so many Americans from top to bottom have been and continue to be, simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Honestly, when confronted by horrific shit such as this, it is hard to worry about some ruthless outfit like ISIS. Thanks to the NRA and the bizarre and deadly American gun fetish we will kill a lot more of ourselves this year than those evil bastards could ever dream of.

As the late cartoonist, Walt Kelly once said in another context, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

Given the current American culture, it tough to argue his point.


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Al Gerhart is Innocent at Last and That Noise You Hear is Abraham Lincoln on a Roll

Blackmail can involve any communication that threatens to expose information about someone which would in anyway subject that person to the ridicule and contempt of society. It is blackmail if the communication is meant to extort or gain anything of value from another or compel another to do an act against his or her will.
The Oklahoma Blackmail Statute

According to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals that's not entirely true. Especially if the person who you are threatening to expose to the ridicule and contempt of society is a state senator.

Yesterday the court, in a three to two vote, reversed the conviction of Sooner Tea Party founder Al Gerhart. He had been convicted of violating the Oklahoma computer crimes act and blackmail. The trial and conviction came after prosecutors and a jury decided Gerhart had stepped over the line after he emailed then state senator Cliff Branan a particularly nasty note because Branan had stalled a bill, Mr. Gerhart was hot to trot for in his committee..

The email read, "Branan get that bill heard, or I will make sure you regret not doing it. I will make you the laughing stock of the Senate if I don't hear this bill will be heard and passed. We will dig into your past, yoru (sic) family, your associates, and once we start on you there will be no end to it. This is a promise."

After the email became public Gerhart called a press conference and claimed the senate, "scuttlebutt," was that Branan had turned a hard copy of the email over to an Oklahoma Highway Patrol officer only because the senator had committed an, "infidelity." He went on to say Branan had an affair with an aide which ended badly after the aide told her boss she wouldn't marry him.

In addition, brother Gerhart told reporter, Nolan Clay, "We want to know what is going on down there. We want to know if his wife has a criminal history. We want to know everything about him. We want to know if this man is a responsible citizen, if he's even got his family under control, much less his office. I want people in his church to know what he's doing. That it's wrong."

Clay wrote in today's The Oklahoman, that Judge Gary Lumpkin, speaking for the majority of the court, said of Gerhart's evil tirade, "In reality is it not different from the corporate lobbyist who subtly infers the loss of campaign contributions and support if a bill is not heard, or passed?"

Actually, subtle isn't the first word which comes to mind while reading Gerhart's email, or subsequent attack on Branan. Not to mention that privately hinting at the loss of contributions and political support is a tad different from publicly airing what amounted to an unfounded rumor of sexual misconduct--then tacitly implying the senator's wife had a criminal record and his kids were running amok on the mean streets of Nichols Hills.

People who have dealt with Al Gerhart in the past have said things like, "He has slandered and libeled many...he has no conscience to speak of," and "I don't know what he hopes to accomplish aside from destruction." Like Branan, all of them are republicans.

In fact, Gerhart's idea of democracy is such that when he was the state coordinator of Ron Paul's last presidential campaign he let it be known that all prospective Paul delegates to republican county conventions had to be vetted by, "the national campaign." By the national campaign he meant--you guessed it--Al Gerhart. That's right, if you couldn't pass the Big Al purity test, no matter how happy you were to vote for Mr. Paul, you didn't get in.

Right now our man, Al Gerhart and his attorney are busy as beavers, telling everyone he is the bravest, not to mention greatest, champion of free speech since, Thomas--by God--Jefferson.

The bill which started this entire sordid affair, the one Branan called a, "a fringe issue and bad public policy," died a quick death in the Oklahoma Senate. The sponsor, Patrick Anderson, R-Ardmore pulled it from consideration after apologizing to Branan for Gerhart's, "...personal attacks and false accusations..." against him.

To this day, Gerhart has never provided any proof of the alleged affair between the former senator and his aide. In fact, the Uncle Fester look alike seems to have forgotten about it altogether.

Well, what do you expect? When it comes to the lunatic right wing these hot button issues have all the staying power of hula hoops and pet rocks. Indeed, nowadays, when someone asks Don Trump where he thinks Barack Obama was born the question is dismissed in an instant. Never mind all those years Trump claimed Obama was born in Kenya, or Indonesia, or just about any where, but here.

The truth is, Al Gerhart is a two bit political thug, a sort of new age, low rent, Joe McCarthy--in other words, simply another savage bully.

Such is the nature of the 21st century republican party.

And yes, that noise you hear is Abraham Lincoln rolling over in his grave. Hey, given the circumstances can you blame him?

I thought not


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Candi Kinney Expects a Rush, Sheriff John Hanlin and Crisis Actors, Then, Finally, Maykayla Dyer and a Puppy

Candi Kinney owns a store that sells guns and ammunition in Roseburg, Oregon. At the front of it is a large cut out of Barack Obama, his head draped with an Arab style headdress while a sign is pasted on his chest which says, "Gun Salesman of the Year."

Right after Thursday's mass shooting at Umpqua Community College, which is also located in Roseburg, she was asked what she thought the public's immediate response would be. Her answer was, "(There's) always a rush after a big shooting."

Well, no one has ever accused capitalists of being warm, fuzzy types. And, as we all know by now, no one will ever portray the gun fetish crowd of not being a herd of paranoid fools: one periodically stampeded into stores like, Kinney's by the fearful fantasy that Barack H. Obama is going to take away their precious, if deadly, toys.

Of course those of us with functioning brains know that won't ever happen. We've known it since late 2012. Let's face it, if the President of the United States of America couldn't get a single piece of gun control legislation passed after the nightmare in Newtown, Connecticut he never will.

Fortunately for Candi Kinney's bottom line you'll never be able to convince the gotta have a gun crowd of it. To a sizable number of them the government is a vast bureaucracy of incredibly adept conspirators willing and able to perpetrate any sort of nefarious secret operation in order to influence public opinion. In their minds there is no telling when the terrible hammer of gun control will come down.

All of which brings us to Douglas County, OR Sheriff, John Hanlin. He would be the official who is in charge of the investigation into the Umpqua campus murders. Not long after the shooting in Newtown he posted a letter addressed to Vice President, Joe Biden on his Facebook page. According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, it read in part, "Gun control is not the answer to preventing heinous crimes like school shootings." Hanlin also told Biden he didn't plan on enforcing any laws which he found unconstitutional and his deputies wouldn't either.

While promising to become his own version of the American Supreme Court, around the same time Hanlin also posted a video on his Facebook page with the caption, "This makes me wonder who we can trust any more. Watch, listen, and keep an open mind." The title of the You Tube entry was called, "The Sandy Hook Shooting--Fully Exposed." The person behind the video goes by the entirely credible screen name, xBlackxOpsxSecretsx.

The opening minutes of it uses a clip from an Alex Jones' InfoWars broadcast. The footage appears to admit a shooting took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School on that horrible December morning. However, it contends that besides Adam Lanza, there was at least one and possibly two additional shooters. This is known by my generation as the JFK scenario..

As you can imagine it goes downhill from there. After a brief side trip to the, How Many Guns Were Used and Where Were They Found Kiosk, the video dives straight into the dark, deep end of the, this shit never happened pool. It ends with suspicious notions about emergency management teams conducting drills on the same days of the London, UK subway bombing and the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington.

It is unclear at this time whether Sheriff Hanlin believes the friends and families of the victims in Roseburg are what is known in the conspiracy theory trade as crisis actors, or not. We do know he has deleted the Facebook post about the Newtown massacre. He's also told CNN, "...that's not a conspiracy I believe in." Which, of course, begs the questions, why did you post it in the first place and exactly which conspiracy theories do you believe in?

We also know he abruptly cut off an ATF agent during a press conference while she was trying to tell the media where all of Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer's guns came from. It would seem Sheriff Hanlin doesn't want to muddy up the waters of a mass murder by identifying the sources of the tools used to commit it.

Perhaps he should visit with one of his constituents, Candi Kinney. After all, she knows broadcasting such information is great for business. Not to mention she is a potential contributor to Hanlin's next election campaign, if she isn't already.

In the meantime, on Saturday, over in White Plains, Tennessee, eight year old Maykala Dyer was shot in the back with a 12 gauge shotgun. Her killer was an 11 year old boy. According to authorities he murdered her because she wouldn't show him her new puppy.

The weapon belonged to his father.

Ah yes, freedom.


Friday, October 2, 2015

Just Another Day in These United States and the Nature of Gun Lovers in 21st Century America

Gun murders in America fell by four percent last year to just over 8,100 and they are down by nearly one-fifth in the last 10 years. Yet nonexistent increases in gun violence are cited often to gin up support for new limits on the right to bear arms. Panic is used to justify solutions that limit freedom, but have never proven to work. Gun control advocacy presents the most obvious example of the panic culture...

From a Washington Examiner editorial which appeared on the op-ed page of yesterdays, The Oklahoman.

That editorial was going to be the subject of a post on this blog yesterday. However, while doing a little research on the Examiner--it was founded and is owned by Philip Anschutz, the same guy who owns, The Oklahoman--the news from Umpqua Community College in Oregon broke and the day took on that otherworldly, yet all too familiar stench. Suddenly, any sort of assault on the logic of an anonymous right wing hack seemed like it would come off shallow when compared to brutal reality.

Indeed, why argue against some deeply delusional conservative phantasm when it was terribly obvious it was just another day in the United States and yet another bat shit crazy guy armed to the teeth had gone horribly amok on a school campus? After all, it's almost as if this sort of thing is running on a revolving loop of tape that replays itself continuously.

Watching the first reports of these horror show episodes is always a surreal trip. The three major cable news outlets, in their rush to be the first to break some new detail, will repeat any sort of convoluted rumor coming from the scene without any regard to accuracy. It isn't any better on the internet.

The initial indications were 15 dead and 20 wounded. As the afternoon wore on the number of killed varied anywhere from 13 to 17. Then, the shooter was either down, or neutralized, but no one was sure what those terms meant. There was even a report he had been seen sitting calmly on a sidewalk in cuffs. The level of gibberish was so bad none of them could even get the distance between Roseburg, the site of the shooting, to Portland straight. Depending on who you were watching it ranged anywhere from 160 to 260 miles--the actual distance is 176 miles.

Today the count is 10 dead, including the perp and seven are wounded. His motive, while still not entirely clear, appeared to be religious in nature. According to at least one witness he would ask victims to stand and name their brand of faith. If they said Christian he would shoot for the head. Anything else caused him to aim at the their bodies, or limbs.

To the chagrin of Islamaphobes everywhere, the shooter, Chris Harper-Mercer, doesn't appear to be a Muslim either by birth, or conversion. In fact on one social media outlet he describes himself as, "shy, conservative, and not religious."

The rest of it we've heard before. Neighbors both in Oregon and California, where he had lived previously, describe a loner and socially awkward man who was utterly uncomfortable during conversations; one who was watched over closely by a clinging mother. So much so several neighbors only contact with her was when she would complain to them that their kids, or dogs were making too much noise and it was upsetting her boy. They say her son dressed almost exclusively in green military style pants tucked into black boots and white tee shirts.

Then there are the guns, because there are always the guns. A neighbor in California told a reporter he once asked Harper-Mercer if he owned a weapon. The answer he received was non-committal at best, but Harper-Mercer did say he enjoyed target shooting.

This morning an ATF agent, addressing the media in Roseburg, said they found six weapons belonging to Chris Harper-Mercer at the campus of Umpqua Community College along with a flak jacket. At his home they discovered another seven. All were bought legally.

Well of course they were.

On August 31st, a week after two television journalists were murdered by a former co-worker on live TV in Virginia, the web site of station WDBJ in Roanoke received this post, "On an interesting note, I have noticed that so many people like him (the shooter, Vester Flanagan) are alone and unknown, yet when they spill a little blood the whole world knows who they are." The entry went on to say, "A man who was known by no one, is now known by everyone, his face is splashed across every screen, his name across the lips of every person on the planet, all in the course of one day. Seems the more people you kill the more you are in the limelight."

The screen named used by the author of the post has allegedly been linked to Harper-Mercer.

Ah, fame.

There was a candlelight vigil held near the campus of UCC last night. Everyone sang, "Amazing Grace" and it was all quite beautiful and moving. We have that part of this gruesome theater of the absurd down pat. What we can't figure out is how to stop it from happening. Thanks to the savage beasts running the NRA and the rest of the lunatic fringe I doubt we ever will.

And--for those of you keeping track--at 6:15 pm Central Daylight Time last night, approximately five and one half hours after the news of the deadly shooting broke, some evil wanker using the screen name, "Bigger Than Race," went on You Tube claiming the entire massacre in Roseburg, OR was faked by the federal government. By the time I got there his demented screed already had 197 views and all the comments agreed with his twisted assessment of the nightmare. Trust me, more of that insane shit will be coming.

Such is the nature of gun lovers in 21st century America.

sic vita est