Wednesday, December 28, 2016

And the NRA Applauded

There wasn't much Christmas cheer in Chicago this year. Local media there reported that from last Friday through Sunday 61 people were shot. 11 of them were killed outright and another dozen are in critical condition.

It really shouldn't come as a surprise. So far this year 4,000 Chicagoans have been plugged and 700 have died. All of which means it is a hell of a lot safer for a U.S. service man, or woman to tool around Afghanistan than it is for him, or her to hang out on the south side of the Windy City.

It also means NRA types are running about claiming it is true that stricter gun laws don't stop people from using them. They love to point out that until a few months ago it was illegal to sell hand guns in Chicago. What they don't mention is all you needed to do in order to legally buy a pistol was simply step outside the Chicago city limits--which obviously--scads of people have done.

But, hey. It isn't all Chicago's fault. Politifact looked into the stats nationally. What it found is in the last 10 years 71 Americans have been killed because of acts of terrorism on U.S. soil. During the same time frame, 301,797 have been killed by gun violence. For those of you not up on your long division that is a little over 30,000 American citizens per year.

Of course we are so divided philosophically sometimes we can't even agree on what constitutes an act of terrorism as opposed to a good ol' all American mass shooting. A case in point is the late Omar Mateen.

He is the monster who entered a Florida nightclub last June armed with a Sig Sauer and a Glock. He had bought them two weeks prior to the massacre from a nearby sporting goods store. In the immediate aftermath all those xenophobes who voted for Don Trump ran around waving their arms screaming about unscreened terrorists waltzing across open borders with murder on their minds and in their hearts. Trump's call for a total ban on Muslim immigrants sounded like a perfect idea. Not to mention making the ones here register with the government and wear some sort of tracking chip.

The rest of us wondered how Mateen, who was born in the U.S. of A,  but had been on and off the terrorist watch list could legally get his hands on two guns and a bucketful of ammunition. Much to our surprise it turns out the very same right wing slugs who howl for a ban on Muslim immigrants and the registration of the ones already here are all for allowing people on the watch list to buy as many fucking guns as they want.

As Barack Obama pointed out, "We can stop them from getting on a plane, but not from buying a gun."

So was Omar Mateen a crazy terrorist, or just a nut, ala Adam Lanza? Both. He was a terrorist--at least in his own twisted mind. And at the same time he was simply another in a long line of American lunatics who was able to procure the weapons he used as easily as he could a bunch of bananas.

Given the circumstances, it doesn't take much to figure out the pro gun organizations want to keep firearms readily available to everyone one, not for constitutional reasons, but because they actually like gun violence.

If you don't believe it consider this. In an attempt to slow the carnage, Chicago had passed a ban on the sale of handguns within its city limits. Recently a federal judge ruled the law, "unconstitutional." The NRA immediately issued a statement, "applauding," the ruling.

Yes, that's right, in a town with 700 homicides and counting, it just became easier to get your mitts on a weapon which has no other purpose than to kill, or wound another human being.

And the NRA applauded.

sic vita est


Monday, December 19, 2016

Protecting the Rights of BB Gun Owners

Yesterday the Washington Post ran an online piece which once again proves Americans are fatally in love with guns. Not only the real ones, but replicas as well. In fact, as the Post points out, just like with the genuine article, some of us are getting killed because of faux weapons.

The news outlet's research found that nationwide, in the last two years, police have killed 86 people because they mistook BB guns and other weapon look alikes for the real thing.

Of those 86, 50 were white men and five were women. 38 of the victims had histories of mental illness. 46 of the shootings occurred at night and police claim 60 of the people who were killed pointed their fake guns at them.

53 of the weapons were either BB, or pellet guns. 16 were what is known as Airsoft guns which use compressed air cartridges to shoot plastic BB's. 13 were classified as non working replicas, two were toys, one was a race starter's gun, and the last was a lighter.

So all this mayhem has been caused by a bunch of trigger happy cops, right? Well maybe in some instances, however the whole nightmare is enabled by manufacturers who insist on making their BB guns and toys look exactly like the real thing.

The Post reported an outfit called Umarex USA--which bills itself as, "the king of replicas"--makes air guns which are the mirror images of everything from the Colt 1870 Peacemaker, to a modern Smith and Wesson Military and Police issue semiautomatic. The latter sells for $50 at your local Wal-Mart and in 38 states it's perfectly legal for your kid, no matter what his, or her age is, to buy it.

Well, Jeez, why don't we just get rid of them, or at the least, make sure they're all painted bright orange in order to stop this shit? After all, they don't shoot real bullets, so it shouldn't worry any of the gun nuts should it? Actually those demented fucks oppose even imitation gun control.

The Post says manufacturers such as Sig Sauer, who brags on their web site they make air guns which are perfect replicas of nearly all their deadly weapons and others are busy lobbying against such laws. In addition a bunch known as Gun Owners of America and--you guessed it--the NRA are opposed to any legislation which would force changes in the appearance of these toys which would help police know they aren't looking down the barrel of the real McCoy.

The piece quotes a spokesperson for Gun Owners of America. He condemns such legislative attempts for change because, in his words, "It all arises out of the general animus and media fed fear of anything that has to do with guns."

That's right, it's all the media's fault and besides, who cares about that cop who is responding to a call of a person with a weapon around sundown in a sketchy part of town? Not to mention the kid he, or she sees carrying what looks just like a 9mm Sig Sauer--the one which was used to shoot BB's at tin cans in a vacant lot all afternoon. Given those circumstances it takes only a single second of making either a wrong move, or misinterpretation of intent for tragedy to strike.

Honestly, this is madness beyond belief. People in this country are dying because of a well financed minority and an industry which has as about much credibility as the hucksters who used to tell us there is no evidence cigarettes cause heart disease and cancer. Both groups intimidate law makers by threatening to donate huge amounts of cash to an opposition candidate in the next election, or they simply pay them off.

Indeed, that's what democracy has sunk to in America these days. Our representatives won't do what is obviously right because they are either coerced by brute thugs, or they accept outright bribes. And, given that awful truth, now we now know the real reason we are no longer great, or truly free.

sic vita est


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Newtown Revisited: The Truth is Adam Lanza Did It

Four years ago today a skinny little guy named Adam Lanza went off his nut in the most deadly fashion imaginable. For reasons no one can truly fathom the first thing he did that morning was shoot his mother, Nancy in the head as she slept. The shot, or shots disfigured her so badly that when police initially discovered her body they weren't even sure it was her.

After he blew the face off his mom the 20 year old Lanza jumped into the family vehicle. He was armed with a Glock, a Sig Sauer, and a Bushmaster 223. He drove over to Sandy Hook Elementary School where, years before, he attended grade school and his mother volunteered for a while. Before he saved everybody a lot of time and trouble by blowing his own diseased brains out he pulled off  500 rounds and murdered 20 children--barely above the age of babies--and six staff members.

Within days, if not hours, messages and YouTube videos were going up on the internet claiming the entire horror was faked. The people who posted that insanity--and still are--now prefer to call themselves the alt-media, rather than conspiracy theorists, or as many of us like to describe them, cruel, and demented idiots.

Think they aren't?

After the murder of Noah Pozner in his first grade class room his father Lenny moved to Florida. Once there he found out about a tenured professor of communications at Florida Atlantic University using a photo of his son online. The professor, James F. Tracy taught a class in conspiracy theories. Mr. Pozner sent Tracy a letter asking him to stop using images of Noah. The response from the educator was a certified letter demanding Lenny Pozner prove his son ever existed.

Pozner wrote an op-ed article for a Florida newspaper talking about the viciousness of such people. Shortly afterward Tracy was canned from his position and promptly blamed his firing on the father of a child who was shot to death for no reason at all. That would be a son who Tracy, at the very least, implied had never been born.

Pozner's action wasn't out of character. He has spent a lot of time in the last four years confronting the yahoos who claim his kid's short life was a work of fiction. In doing so he has pissed off some seriously disturbed people.

One of them is a 57 year old Tampa woman named Lucy Richards. In January of this year she sent Pozner a series of messages. One of them read, "You gonna die, death is coming to you real soon." Another said, "Look behind you, it is death. There is nothing you can do about it."

Apparently she was wrong about that last part. A week ago Lucy Richards was indicted by a grand jury on four felony counts of transmitting threats. She is looking at five years for each charge.

It's about time someone started standing up to these cranks.

A few hours ago, J.B. Nicholas, at the time a photographer for The Daily News, posted a piece on line about this sadistic nonsense. In the article he describes how he snuck through the nearby woods the night of the 14th, after the murders, in order to take photographs of the scene in the school parking lot. He also wrote about Gene Rosen, who lived next door to the school and gave shelter to six terrified children and a bus driver who escaped the carnage that deadly morning.

Nicholas found Rosen in a Newtown diner's restroom three days after the killings and described him as, "broken and sobbing." Later, after a television interview, Rosen began receiving anonymous phone calls from people who accused him of being a, "crisis actor," and a liar.

As for Nicholas, his photographs have been branded as fake by the run amok false flag crowd and he, like Lenny Pozner is fed up with those who claim it was all a sham. As he pointed out none of the Sandy Hook, "truthers," were there, but he was and he knows what happened was real. In his words, "Fuck anyone who says otherwise."

The main excuse for this monstrous behavior has been the government faked the mayhem in Newtown in order to justify a weapons ban and possibly a mass confiscation of citizen's firearms. Well if that was the case we know it didn't work don't we.

Americans are still buying military style weapons at a record clip and no one has been able to ban a single one of them. Hell, congress won't even pass a bill which will enable stricter background checks on the rubes who are just as dependent on them as a crack head is on his, or her glass pipe.

Which brings us back to the murdered mom, Nancy Lanza. Her Christmas gift to her son four years ago was a check. She meant for Adam to buy a new gun with the money. Tragically for her and everyone else, he was too busy to cash it.


Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Precedent For Pizzagate

Now we know who inspired the grotesque fantasy known as, "pizzagate." Or--in the worst case scenario--planted the foul story in the first place.

For those of you not up to speed on the savage and utterly psychotic world of alt-right journalism, " pizzagate," is a thoroughly disproven accusation floating around the internet. It maintains Hillary Rodham Clinton, her former campaign manager, John Podesta, and other high ranking democrats have been running a child sex slave operation out of a Washington D.C. pizza joint in their spare time. It showed up on the world wide web in October just before the election.

The charges were so sordid and insistent it moved a clown from North Carolina named Edgar Welch to march into Comet Ping Pong Pizza last Sunday armed with a hand gun and AR-15. After he shot up the place he surrendered to police because, according to him, he found nothing was going on there except people making and eating pizzas. The alt-right immediately claimed Welch was an actor who was paid by either the mainstream media, or a democratic cabal in order to distract attention from the terrible truth of run amok pedophilia and, or, to discredit their version of the truth.

So what kind of sick fuck would come up with a line of such utter bullshit in the first place?

Well, it turns out, there is precedent for it. Two years ago Russian dissident, Vladimir Bukovsky was arrested in London and charged with possessing and making child pornography. Friday the New York Times reported independent computer forensic experts have concluded the odious images on Bukovsky's PC were planted there by, "unknown," hackers.

There is no doubt in Bukovsky's mind who those hackers were. He was quick to claim it was a Russian cyber operation serving up a dish of what is known as "kompromat," on his computer. Kompromat is the practice of planting compromising and illegal material in order to discredit an enemy of Don Trump's bromance guy, Vladimir Putin. Whoa, that suddenly sounds sort of familiar doesn't it?

And hey, it isn't like Bukovsky is a stranger to what the powers in Russia are willing to do when it comes to silencing dissent. He spent 12 years in a Russian prison because of his criticism of Moscow's severely warped concept of democracy.

Meanwhile Politicus U.S.A. reports all 17 American intelligence agencies are convinced the Russians attempted to rig the presidential election by hacking the democratic party's computers then releasing false and edited emails routed through WikiLeaks.

In fact, the only person who doesn't believe it is president elect, Donald J. Trump. His people issued a caustic statement condemning the CIA, which has come to that very conclusion. It said, "These are the same people who said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction."

Trump's disdain for the American intelligence community is, no doubt, rooted in his fascination and reliance on the conspiracy theory crowd led by Alex Jones who runs what is called, Info Wars. Well, that and it would be unseemly, even for El Don, to admit he gladly accepted the help of Vlad Putin during the campaign. After all, you can't make America great again while publicly sucking a neo Tsar's uncircumcised cock.

Former NSA and CIA director Michael V. Hayden addressed Trump's attitude this way, "To have a president elect of the United States simply reject the fact based narrative that the intelligence community puts together because it conflicts with his prior assumptions--wow."

Wow indeed.

Yes, welcome to the world of paranoid degenerates, the guy they voted for in droves, and his pal, Vladimir Putin.

Ladies and gentlemen, as you can well guess,  the bar is most definitely open.

sic vita est


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Ed Welch Decides to Get Some Answers

Sunday, Edgar M. Welch of Salisbury, North Carolina decided he was going to get some by God answers for himself. So he grabbed a hand gun and his trusty AR-15, jumped into his vehicle, then headed balls to the wall for Washington D.C.

What spurred the trip is an internet storm of insane bullshit which began just prior to the presidential election and has lasted until this very moment. Ultra right wing conspiracy junkies have dubbed it, "pizzagate."

The word on social media outlets was and is the owner of a place known as Comet Ping Pong Pizza and Clinton campaign manager, John Podesta had been emailing each other mysterious coded messages. The news items making the rounds on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit claimed when the code was cracked it showed shop owner, James Alefantis, Podesta and Hillary Rodham Clinton were running a child sex slave/trafficking operation in the back room of the joint.

According to Alefantis  after the initial report it didn't take long for all manner of raving loons to start calling his D.C. place of business, threatening him, his family, and employees. In addition people began to write scathing reviews of his store online while leaving demented accusations about what was going on there.

In short order, organizations like the New York Times, Washington Post, and online fact checker, Snopes debunked the nonsense. Of course when they did it simply convinced the conspiracy nuts they were aiding and abetting the diseased goings on.

To reinforce that notion a news release appeared on social media written by Congressman Steven Smith who represents Georgia's 15th district. The Congressman claimed the actual lies were being told by the mainstream media and the depravity of the of the democratic party's leadership was not only genuine, but ongoing.

Apparently a lot of people, including brother Welch, believed the gentleman from Georgia. The only problem is there isn't a member of the House of Representatives named Steven Smith and the 15th Georgia congressional district doesn't even exist.

Later a right wing troll in Florida said he wrote the post as a joke, which was intended to amuse and spur the Times and others to really investigate the pizzagate affair rather than sweeping it under the rug.

During all this madness a dude named Michael Flynn Jr. tweeted, "Until #pizzagate proven false it'll remain a story." He added, "The left seems to forget #PodestaEmails and the many 'coincedences' tied to it."

So why should we care what some fascist crank writes? Well, maybe because Michael Flynn Jr's old man is Lt General Michael Flynn Sr who is Don Trump's nominee to become the national security advisor to the president of the United States.

But, back to our man, Ed Welch. He charged into Comet Ping Pong Pizza and headed straight for the alleged evils taking place in the backroom. Before he did, he pulled off a round just to make sure everyone knew he was serious. Men, women, and their children were sent running out the front door in terror. What Big Eddie found was--you guessed it--nothing. Not even a naughty photograph, or a piece of lewd graffiti.

Later, after he was taken into custody, Welch said he surrendered only because he hadn't found any evidence of wrong doing.

Whoa, isn't that great news for Comet Ping Pong Pizza and nearby establishments which have also been savaged by the witch hunt hysteria?

Not really. The latest news reports from the vile and murky, ultra conservative, Twilight Zone is Welch is nothing more than an actor paid by the mainstream media in order to take attention away from the crimes being committed by the Clintons, Podesta, Alefantis, and many others--liberals all.

Yes, as Mike Flynn knows full well, in the oxygen deprived minds of those who voted for Trump, pizzagate will never be proven false. It can't be, because no matter how logically you walk those sick fucks through the actual evidence, you will have done nothing, but convince them you're part of the conspiracy too. Hey, that's their world. Welcome to it.



Sunday, December 4, 2016

A Rotten November

November was a rotten month. It was filled with disaster, disease, and tragedy on a scale not personally dealt with in a long time.

My wife's brother in law and a friend of mine, Kenny Quenzer celebrated his youngest daughter's wedding in early August. Virginia and I attended the ceremony and reception afterward. That night we drank far too much wine while watching he and his wife, VA's sister, Janet dance the evening away during the celebration.

In early September Kenny suddenly began having severe short term memory problems. By October he was diagnosed with a virulent form of brain cancer. On November 3rd we attended his funeral. He was 58 years old.

A few days later I found myself coming down with a monster sinus infection which quickly morphed into a case of strep throat so severe and persistent it caused not one, but two trips to a couple of different physicians. The truth is, after decades of smoking, when you get a searing sore throat that refuses to go away and it feels as if you have a knot the size of a raisin lodged firmly in the middle of it--which can't be hacked up, or swallowed--things tend to get a little edgy. Especially after you've just witnessed the swift demise of a guy who, only three months before, was gliding smoothly across a dance floor.

The terrible tragedy, personal grief, and angst of November was, of course, set against the back drop of the election. You know, the one where a narcissistic, lying, thug was chosen to be president of these United States of America.

And it didn't take long for El Donald to make sure we knew he is everything we thought him to be.

First, he managed to enrage his most ardent followers by deciding not to pursue the prosecution of Hillary Rodham Clinton. It seems all those promises and chants of, "Lock her up," were for naught. Yeah, the rubes bought the spiel, now screw 'em.

Then, proving he is a true populist, Trump chose, Steven Mnuchin to be his nominee for Secretary of the Treasury. A few years ago Mnuchin bought a failed home lender institution, IndyMac, from the FDIC. IndyMac was known for its predatory loan practices. Mnuchin renamed the outfit OneWest and turned it into what has been described as a foreclosure machine.

Under, Brother Mnuchin, OneWest became so ruthless they foreclosed on a 90 year old Lakeland, FL woman, Ossie Lofton because she owed them 27 cents. In addition the FDIC ended up paying the company $1.2 billion for properties OneWest's management deemed too worthless to try to unload.

Right--so much for small government and fewer regulations.

Now word comes that Trump is considering disgraced general David Petraeus for a cabinet position, possibly Secretary of State. Petraeus was briefly head of the CIA. His time on the job in Langley was limited because it was found he was fucking his biographer, Paula Broadwell. Both Broadwell and Petraeus were married to, let's say, other people, at the time of their affair.

The FBI discovered the sordid goings on after Broadwell sent a series of threatening emails to Florida socialite Jill Kelley, under a pseudonym, warning her to stay away from Petraeus.

While this is happening the big orange guy is getting on the phone with a wide variety of people, such as Rodrigo Duterte, the leader of the Philippines. Well, why not? It might be a good idea to schmooze with a dude who believes the answer to his country's drug problems are para military death squads and back street executions. After all, it's never too early to get a few good tips on how to pull off shit like that in say, Chicago and get away with it.

Yes, it was a rotten November and the prospects for a better 2017 are slim to none. No one around here is getting younger and Trump looks to have about as much negotiating talent as Hart Bochner's character, Harry Ellis in the movie, "Die Hard." In brief, it appears he is a cheap jack real estate salesman unaware he is chatting up prospective tenants who would--given the opportunity--burn down the property just because that is what they do.


sic vita est