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Officer Friendly & Upright Citizen Johnson

28/11/2014

Let us stipulate that based on known evidence, Michael Brown was a petty thief who had engaged in shoplifting and had a physical altercation that involved pushing and shoving with a store clerk.

Let us further stipulate that based on known evidence, Darren Wilson is a racist who had belonged to a police department so corrupted by white supremacy that it had to be disbanded entirely and replaced with a brand new department with brand new officers.

Let us stipulate further still that the two most complete testimonies of what happened, Wilson and Dorian Johnson, Brown’s companion in the store and on the street, are both self-serving to the point of being comical had they not involved the needless death of a human being.

Wilson presents himself as meek, mild Officer Friendly, single handedly standing up to the existentialist threat of demonic[1] black males; Johnson presents himself as an upright law abiding citizen who was shocked — shocked, I say! — when Brown shoplifted and was nothing but polite when told to get off the street.

Wilson and Johnson’s narratives twist around each other, entwining like a DNA double helix, touching here, diverging there. Either by itself makes precious little sense, but together they enable us to see a far more plausible narrative.

Officer Friendly tells us he saw Brown and Johnson walking down the middle of a street and told them to get onto the sidewalk; Upright Citizen Johnson confirms this and says they responded in a way that indicates compliance.

Officer Friendly then says he received a radio call involving an altercation at a convenience store (an altercation where neither the clerk nor the owner wanted to press charges) and having seen cigarillos (the reported stolen items) in Brown’s right hand then backed up to question Brown and Johnson; Upright Citizen Johnson says Wilson took umbrage at something Brown said or maybe something he thought Brown said as well as the fact they were not moving fast enough to suit him and threw his vehicle into reverse with a screech of tires and nearly clipped both Brown and Johnson.

Officer Friendly says as he attempted to leave his vehicle, Brown shoved the door shut, assaulted Wilson through the window, and then leaned in to grab Wilson with his left hand while passing his cigarillos to Johnson before assaulting Wilson with both hands and attempting to grab his gun because, hey, if your intent is to assault an armed man and steal his weapon who wouldn’t do it using only one hand while holding a fist full of fragile tobacco products in the other? Upright Citizen John’s version is that after nearly clipping Brown and himself, Wilson flung open his door and nearly struck Johnson at which point Brown slammed the door closed in anger.

Officer Friendly then indicated that as he was debating with himself whether to use his baton or his flashlight to fend off Brown, Brown attempted to lean into his vehicle and steal his gun, daring Wilson to shoot him.

Hold on / pause / full stop.

Really, Officer Friendly? You want to go with that story? Here’s an illustration by the Independent News of UK showing the confrontation. You were in an SUV, not a low-riding Adam-12 style squad car. In order to lean into your vehicle Brown would have had to lift the bulk of his body up and over the window frame.

Brown ferguson5

White supremacist, please…

Now, I suppose a person with a cooler head in a situation like this would have just shifted into gear, accelerated forward about 20 feet, slammed on the brakes, and then let Mother Nature and Father Physics take their course, sending the person clinging to the side of the car hurling forward into the street. But let us not judge; there is ample evidence in Officer Friendly’s testimony to indicate he does not have the psychological fortitude to be an effective police officer, and in his apparently hysterical panic this quick and efficient non-lethal means of solving the problem did not present itself to him even after — by his own testimony — he had done an inventory check of the weapons he had at his disposal.

Upright Citizen Johnson saw it this way:
Wilson grabbed Brown’s shirt through the window and was attempting to hold onto him, Brown never tried to lean into the vehicle, Brown handed his cigarillos to Johnson, then Brown tried to break free from Wilson’s grasp.

Okay, so far in Johnson’s testimony we have resisting arrest and simple assault, both legitimate offenses. No matter how unjustified Wilson’s behavior, Brown should have complied with his instructions. You fight the police in a courtroom, not on the street.

Officer Friendly then claims Brown leaned into his vehicle and attempted to take Wilson’s gun.

If we are to believe Wilson’s version, Brown would have had to raise his center of gravity over chest level in the process, if Wilson is a right hand draw or else stay outside the vehicle and stick his arm down between the door and Wilson’s body if Wilson was a left hand drawer. I’ve looked for photos of Wilson in uniform which show his holster clearly but have found none that indicate if he is left handed or right handed.

Upright Citizen Johnson does not confirm Brown leaning into the vehicle but rather staying outside the entire time.

Let’s pause again:  
If Wilson’s version of events are true, Johnson has every motive in the world to support them. It would gain him immediate favor with the local authorities, it would defuse a tense situation. If Johnson says he was shocked at Brown’s shoplifting, then it would not be implausible or at odds with previous testimony for him to say that for some reason Brown was just out of control that day.

At some point in the proceedings the gun is drawn and the two men grapple for it.

Officer Friendly indicates he drew the weapon to keep Brown from taking it and (presumably) shooting him with it, that Brown had his hands on the weapon, and that the weapon fired twice.

Okay, full stop again:
Let’s follow the logic of Wilson’s story. Brown initiates the struggle for the gun by reaching in to steal the weapon, Wilson maintains enough control of the weapon to fire once, and Brown does not break off the attack and immediately attempt to flee but rather continues to struggle for the weapon to presumably turn it on Wilson.

We have gone from jaywalking shoplifter
to unprovoked cop killer in about 60 seconds.

Upright Citizen Johnson saw a struggle for the gun but doesn’t know who touched the weapon first.

Full stop again.

Ask yourself this question:
Let’s say you were a white person stopped by an African-American who grabs you through the window of their car then draws a gun and threatens to shoot you with it and you grapple with them to prevent from being shot; would you stop resisting after the first shot was fired if you thought you life was in still danger or would you continue to try to force the barrel of the gun away from you?

Two shots are fired from inside the car, both Officer Friendly and Upright Citizen Johnson confirm this. One shot hits the interior of the SUV. After the second shot Brown attempts to flee the scene, again both Officer Friendly and Upright Citizen Johnson confirm this.

Officer Friendly and Upright Citizen Johnson agree Wilson exits his vehicle and shoots at Brown, who is running away from his as fast as he can.

Full stop yet again.

There are rules of engagement for police officers, and they take into account public safety. The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that police may not simply shoot a fleeing suspect with impunity; they must believe that the suspect is a continuing immediate threat to the safety of others and/or to the officer himself, or else that the suspect is fleeing the scene of a serious crime such as murder, rape, arson, or armed robbery.

In plain English, this means there is no legal justification for shooting at an unarmed person attempting to flee the scene of a minor crime such as resisting arrest and simple assault.

Officer Friendly and Upright Citizen Johnson both agree that at this point Brown stops and turns to face Wilson. In Wilson’s version of events Brown then turns into a demon (again, his words), grunts like an animal, and charges like a bull towards him.

Full stop:
If your intent is to kill an armed police officer with your bare hands, why would you break off your attack, run away, then turn and charge the officer when he is pointing a loaded weapon at you?

Johnson reports that Brown spreads his arms out, possibly in a gesture of surrender, possibly as if to ask “why did you do that?”

Wilson then fires several rounds at Brown, hitting him, pauses to judge the efficacy of his first volley, then empties the rest of his clip into Brown.[2]  Brown sustains at least two fatal wounds, the second of which strikes the crown of his head and travels down into his brain.

Full stop:
The head shot is the last shot because it is instantly fatal and Brown pitches face first to the street. According to Wilson, Brown was charging him with his head bent down like a bull. Wilson claims Brown was about 36 feet away when he started his charge. Having played football and having tackled numerous people, I assure you bending your head down and running straight at someone is a short yardage tactic; try that from ten yards away and you’ll wonder where your intended target went because they will have seen you coming and easily stepped away.

Brown w-AUTOPSY606

However, with the exception of a hand wound during the struggle at the SUV, the other wounds indicate Brown was upright and facing Wilson when first hit, not bent over at an angle. Had he been bent over and running, there would have been no straight forward wounds to the arm. Only if he had been standing upright, then began to flinch at the pain of the second wound and bent forward to protect himself from further shots can we account for the pattern of entry wounds: First a pair of shots straight in to the arm; then at a flurry of shots at a slight angle on the chest, neck, jaw, and eye (the angle on the jaw and eye wounds, which were not fatal in and of themselves, indicate Brown was flinching away from the direction of the gunshots); and finally a fatal shot straight down to the crown of his head.   The crown shot could only have occurred if Brown was bent over in pain or already toppling forward from his previous fatal injury.

So there we have it. If you believe Officer Friendly’s story, Brown was a dangerous crazed killer who had to be brought down and his death was nothing more than “suicide by cop.” If you believe Upright Citizen Johnson’s story, Brown foolishly resisted arrest and was killed for it.

With what is known about the two men,
let’s meld the narratives and see what we get.

A young man engages in foolish petty criminal behavior the way young men far too often do.[3]

A racist police officer sees two young black men acting like scofflaws by jay walking and orders them to get off the road.

The two young black men do not obey quickly enough to satisfy the officer. Perhaps one of them says something in defiance, perhaps the racist police officer just thinks he said something. In either case, he sees them as defying his “authoritay” as Cartman would say and returns to confront them on this.

One of the young black men foolishly resists the racist officer.[4]

The racist police officer draws his gun to intimidate the defiant young black man. The young black man panics and reaches for the gun, trying to keep from being shot. The gun goes off.

The racist police officer panics, perhaps from anger, perhaps from fear — not of the young black man but fear of being punished by his department. Any discharge of a weapon is going to involve a lot of reports, and damaging your own vehicle with your own gun isn’t going to look good unless you can justify it with an arrest.

The struggle continues; a second shot is fired. The young black man realizes how precarious his position is (he has sustained a minor gunshot injury to his hand at this point) and tries to flee.

A third shot is fired. The young black man stops and turns, ready to give up.

Now, I’m not saying it was the racist police officer’s intent to kill the young black man — perhaps he was just psychologically unfit to be a police officer and/or his training was inadequate — but it was certainly to the racist police officer’s personal benefit to justify the self-inflicted damage to his own vehicle with a narrative that involved a demonic (again, his words) young black man charging him like a bull from a distance several yards away.

All of this is tragic and unjustifiable but understandable in the realm of simple stupid human behavior.

Where we cross over into the realm of perverse evil
is when we look at the establishment’s behavior after the fact.

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[1]  Wilson’s own words.

[2]  There was one bullet still in the chamber of his pistol after the shooting stopped.

[3]  If you think rich white kids don’t shoplift or smoke marijuana, you are sadly misinformed.

[4]  If you think rich white kids don’t defy / taunt / resist / assault the police, you need to go to Ft. Lauderdale on spring break.

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WTF MO?

27/11/2014

Consider this:
Missouri, while lumped among the Midwestern states, is actually part of the Old South. It didn’t join the Confederacy but it clearly had slave holding partisans who both fought for the South on the battlefield and waged guerilla war against Union authorities in their home state.

Consider this:
Despite the lies and phony narratives and romantic myths spread after the Civil War, the Confederacy existed for one reason and one reason only: The enslavement of African-Americans. It is the reason they cited explicitly in their various declarations of secession. The only state rights they were interested in were the right to enslave people.

Consider this:
In order for slavery to function as a system, the slave owners have to be able to murder slaves with impunity. This is as fundamental a denial of another person’s humanity as one could hope for. There is no difference between slavery and genocide; the former is just a slow motion form of the latter.

In order to steal their labor, slave owners need the ultimate threat over the enslaved: The ability to kill with them impunity, any time, for any reason, and in any manner.

Further, they had complete and total domination / ownership / possession of the enslaved’s physical bodies: They could rape / sodomize / castrate / mutilate / maim / whip / flog / demand wet nursing at will. They need not respect any basic human rights, they could and frequently did split up families and tear spouses apart.

This sin was not confined to the South. True, the South consisted of slave owning states, but several Northern states held slaves as well. However, more than the actual physical ownership of the slaves, the North profited off of the stolen labor of the slaves, and as noted, that labor was only available because refusal meant death.

Southern slavery made tobacco and cotton and corn huge cash crops, driving up profits by reducing labor costs to just the purchase price of a slave[1] and what meager rations / medication was needed to sustain life. They dressed in rags, they lived in shacks thrown together with whatever they could scavenge, they were worked mercilessly to profit a few, and if they ever raised an eyebrow in defiance they were brutally punished.

The South profited off this directly, but the North used their products to manufacture goods for sale at home and abroad. They took the profits from those goods and re-invested them in their own businesses, paying themselves hefty dividends and salaries. Their banks and stock exchanges willingly took Southern cash to invest and grow, all the while millions of African-Americans died and suffered and were denied their basic humanity.

The wealth of this country comes in no small part from the stolen labor of many generations of African-Americans. Other ethnic groups who came to this country were allowed to own property and build businesses and lives; African-Americans were systematically denied this not only through the official era of slavery but for nearly a century afterwards.[2]  And even after the most onerous brutality against African-Americans was officially repudiated, they have been denied rights and benefits and short changed on programs they are fully entitled to.

The Southern oligarchs who exploited African-Americans worried about two things: Slave rebellions and poor white Southerners waking up to the fact they were being used and exploited by the very wealthy to make themselves ever wealthier.

To keeps slave rebellions from occurring they encouraged gun ownership and state militias; the second amendment exists to maintain local strike forces that could crush any unarmed African-American uprising.

To keep poor whites from wising up, they encouraged and stressed the idea that no matter how bad off they were, at least they weren’t black.[3]  The poor white Southerners, having only that precarious social status to cling to, eagerly carried the oligarchs water and helped suppress African-Americans.

Eventually Northerners began having second thoughts
about the morality of slave trade money.

Do not delude yourself that they suddenly saw African-Americans as equal to whites, but they did understand there was a terrible basic injustice that tainted the entirety of the American body politic. The North’s desire was to shift from the immorality of outright slavery into the slightly more palatable form of a permanent underclass, the equivalent of South American peons or European peasants. Not a good solution, certainly not a just one, but definitely a marked improvement over the dehumanizing brutality of slavery.

The South took exception to this; the oligarchs because it trimmed back their profits a smidge, the poor whites because it deprived them of the one consolation they had in life.

They had guns, they had greed, they had pride. They plunged the country into war. With the assassination of Lincoln, a governing hand that would have regulated the North’s occupation was removed; Northern radicals overreached during Reconstruction and when their political fortunes failed, the Southern oligarchs and poor whites reinstated de facto slavery in the form of Jim Crow.

There is among Southern whites and political conservatives around the country a strain of incipient racism that has polluted and perverted the ideals tis country claims to be based on.[4]  It has created an environment of white privilege that makes it possible for many whites — who in their heart of hearts are not racist or bigots — to still nonetheless turn a blind eye when confronted with the injustice others suffer on a daily basis.[5]

And while the entire country suffers from this endemic situation, in the conservative Christian American South — and boy, howdy! does that ever describe Missouri to a T — there is an ugly, evil, virulent strain of racism that threatens to mestasize into a second civil war.

Missouri…Governor Jay Nixon in particular…what the bloody hell are you trying to do?

I would think as the chief executive of a state that I would be interested in calming down any potential civil unrest: It just helps things run more smoothly, more efficiently, more profitably.

If I were in the driver’s seat and an incident like the Michael Brown killing occurred, I would take steps to quell the unrest ASAP.

At first Nixon did this: He sent an African-American police officer to calm the situation. And by all accounts, that officer succeeded; he promised the protestors at Ferguson that their concerns would be addressed, he marched in a protest to show his empathy to their feelings.

Nixon immediately yanked him from the scene and replaced him with white officers who were more confrontational.

Back to what I would do: Sometimes for the greater good, a scapegoat must be singled out. If that scapegoat is responsible for a bad situation due to his own racism / incompetence, so much the better.

If I had been the governor of Missouri, I would have made sure the following happened: That Darren Wilson admit culpability and immediately resign from the Ferguson police department and that he be charged with manslaughter. To insure Wilson’s compliance, he’d be offer a plea bargain that would result in probation but no jail time, then I’d dump whatever resources I had available into Ferguson to indicate official empathy with the people there and to quiet down the unrest.

Yes, yes, it is a great tragedy. No, young black men should not be unjustly singled out. Yes, we need to see out police are better screened and better trained.

That’s what common fnckin’ sense would dictate to me.

Instead, what Nixon and the rest of the predominantly white power structure in Missouri has done is this: They have deliberately set out to create a situation that doesn’t relieve the tension but acerbates it.

Hoo dahfuq would want to do something like that?
Why would you want to do something like that?

The answer, which will come as no surprise to anybody who’s even half awake, is that to the entrenched white supremacists of Missouri and the rest of the American South and much of the conservative political spectrum the idea of a society where they are not superior to African-Americans and other minorities is abhorrent and unthinkable.

In their minds it is easier by far to demonize and denigrate and oppress African-Americans than to simply ask themselves, “Would I want this happening to me?”

The wheel turns. Their own churches teach that.[6]  As they have done to others, so they fear happening to them.

The oligarchs know this (indeed, many expressly share that fear) and exploit it to continue lining their own pockets.

Poor whites and poor blacks have far more in common than they have separating them, but it’s to the oligarchs’ advantage to play both sides off the other.

We see a slashing of social programs, because why should white people pay for lazy blacks to fnck and do drugs and crank out babies?

We see a reckless concentration of capital in the hands of a very few and to those who lack capital, a reckless concentration of firearms with the explicit thought in mind that if this government of the people / by the people / for the people ever does something an individual doesn’t like, they can just shoot the bastards.

We see a nation where a big black kid who does something foolish is literally demonized, while a proven racist is protected and exonerated.

People, this is not the way a civilized nation exists.

There is among the oligarchs and their political stooges a certain sense of après mois, le deluge.

They have stashed their capital off shore, they have homes and estates in foreign lands, they have gated communities and fortified manors here in the US.

They want more more more more and do not care who else suffers.

For all their religious piety, they reject Christ and embrace Mammon.

They have deliberately cultivated an ignorant, fearful lumpenproletariat and allowed them to arm themselves to the teeth in preparation for a coming race / class war against Godless minorities and libtards.

They are spending trillions of taxpayer dollars on weapons systems (built by companies they own) to defend their overseas business interests while letting pressing infrastructure, social, economic, and educational needs wither and die.

They want a government small enough to drown in a bathtub, which is just another way of saying if they can’t run the whole thing, they’ll take their ball of money and go.

They’re fully prepared to abandon this country, leaving it an empty empire, a broken and ungovernable ruin.

We can’t go on like this,
not if we want to survive.

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[1]  And that was non-existent if the slave had been born to another slave in the owner’s possession.

[2]  And, with for profit private prisons, forced labor has been reintroduced.

[3]  I’m being as gentle with my language as possible, but you know what I mean here.

[4]  Yes, I’m fully aware of the irony of many of our founding fathers being slave owners, and those that weren’t beneficiaries however indirectly of slavery, just as I am aware the Southern Baptists and many other evangelical Christian denominations were founded with the deliberate intent of religiously justifying slavery and the subsequent segregationist policies.

[5]  The late David Foster Wallace likened them to fish who are unaware water even exists, much less that they are soaking wet because of it.

[6]  Though typically in the fiction that they are the ones currently being oppressed and someday soon they will arise to dominate all the hated minorities.

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The Words Of The Prophets, Ferguson edition

25/11/2014

with apologies to Nina SimoneFerguson

Alabama’s gotten me so upset

Tennessee made me lose my rest

And everybody knows about Mississippi Missouri Goddam

 

Alabama’s gotten me so upset

Tennessee made me lose my rest

And everybody knows about Mississippi Missouri Goddam

 

Can’t you see it

Can’t you feel it

It’s all in the air

I can’t stand the pressure much longer

Somebody say a prayer

 

Alabama’s gotten me so upset

Tennessee made me lose my rest

And everybody knows about Mississippi Missouri Goddam

 

This is a show tune

But the show hasn’t been written for it, yet

 

Hound dogs on my trail

School children sitting in jail

Black cat cross my path

I think every day’s gonna be my last

 

Lord have mercy on this land of mine

We all gonna get it in due time

I don’t belong here

I don’t belong there

I’ve even stopped believing in prayer

 

Don’t tell me

I tell you

Me and my people just about due

I’ve been there so I know

They keep on saying “Go slow!”

 

But that’s just the trouble

“do it slow”

Washing the windows

“do it slow”

Picking the cotton

“do it slow”

You’re just plain rotten

“do it slow”

You’re too damn lazy

“do it slow”

The thinking’s crazy

“do it slow”

Where am I going

What am I doing

I don’t know

I don’t know

 

Just try to do your very best

Stand up be counted with all the rest

For everybody knows about Mississippi Missouri Goddam

 

I made you thought I was kiddin’

 

Picket lines

School boy cots

They try to say it’s a communist plot

All I want is equality

for my sister my brother my people and me

 

Yes you lied to me all these years

You told me to wash and clean my ears

And talk real fine just like a lady

And you’d stop calling me Sister Sadie

 

Oh but this whole country is full of lies

You’re all gonna die and die like flies

I don’t trust you any more

You keep on saying “Go slow!”

“Go slow!”

 

But that’s just the trouble

“do it slow”

Desegregation

“do it slow”

Mass participation

“do it slow”

Reunification

“do it slow”

Do things gradually

“do it slow”

But bring more tragedy

“do it slow”

Why don’t you see it

Why don’t you feel it

I don’t know

I don’t know

 

You don’t have to live next to me

Just give me my equality

Everybody knows about Mississippi Missouri

Everybody knows about Alabama

Everybody knows about Mississippi Missouri Goddam

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it happens

24/11/2014

it happens enough and if
it happens at all then
it happens too often

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Yet Again I Blather On

20/11/2014

Andrew Rowland has a new podcast and the extreme misfortune to have me as his first guest.

Part One

Part Two

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“Tommy” by Rudyard Kipling

10/11/2014

I went into a public-’ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
The publican ‘e up an’ sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”
The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:

O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, go away”;
But it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins”, when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-’alls,
But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, wait outside”;
But it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide,
The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
O it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide.

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;
An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.

Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul?”
But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.

We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;

While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, fall be’ind”,
But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind,
There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind.

You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;
An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!

 …..

bernie saunders quote re vets

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Bent-Con 2014 Spiritual Themes Panel Online

10/11/2014

B. Dave Walters has posted a link to a recording of last Saturday’s Spiritual Themes in Comics and Associated Media at Bent-Con with panelists Cyn Duby, David Berger, and yrs trly.

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Capitalism Explained

7/11/2014

American capitalism

the original
and more
found here

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Hatred: Illogical / Incoherent / Incontinent

17/10/2014

The colossal hissy fit being pitched in Houston has to do with HERO, or the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance.  The point that is causing some people to defecate cinderblocks is a provision that basically allows people to use restrooms based on their gender self-identity, not the one arbitrarily issued at birth.[1]

animated horrified old lady

Now, one would think this would not be a problem.  People typically do not walk about unclothed in public restrooms, we tend to do our business behind closed doors or shielded by stalls.

Unless someone was acting out in a threatening or offensive matter, most people would just mind their own business when tending to their business, if you know what  mean and I think you do.

However, there are people who
cannot live and let live,
poop and let poop with others.

The main challenge to HERO has been the perceived threat than transgender people[2] pose to innocent public convenience users, in particular the dread fear that a pre-op transgender female would suddenly be overcome by heterosexual lust and use their still attached penis to commit rape on a physiological female.

Heterosexual, please…

First off, let’s not make light of the issue of rape: 
While certainly opportunistic rapes occur where the victim does not know the rapist, they are not likely to occur in well trafficked areas such as public restrooms.

This is certainly not to say restroom assaults never ever occur, but when they do they are committed by rapists who are just too psychopathic to recognize the danger they are putting themselves in, or else are excited by that added level of danger.

And while I have never heard of a heterosexual disguising themselves as a member of the opposite sex in order to get close enough to a victim to physically assault them, that’s not to say it has never happened.

But look at those parameters: 
It’s not the genuine transgender person who is feared of committing such a crime, but a heterosexual in disguise.

True transgender persons are no more / no less likely to be good or bad citizens than any one else, no more / no less likely to be criminals.[3]

If there is no pattern of same-sex rape in public restrooms among heterosexuals, why should one fear rape by a transgender person?[4]

A rapist determine to carry out a rape will do so, and if their modus operandi consists of donning a disguise in order to get close enough to their victim, they will don a disguise:  Their gender / orientation has nothing to do with it, and they will ignore any and all laws to commit their crime.

They will not stop just because they’re afraid of breaking a public ordinance against people of one physical sex wearing the clothes of the opposite physical sex in a public restroom.

No, this hysterical reaction is based on no real public threat,
it’s based entirely on the ick-factor in many Christians.

The exact same kind of ick-factor that repulsed
white Christians when African-Americans
wanted to use the same restroom.

Look, I understand being raised with one set of preconceptions and then later in life realizing those preconceptions were woefully ill-informed, and yet still not be able to completely shake the emotions and values associated with the now disproved preconceptions.

Nobody’s perfect, and it’s not unreasonable for a person who has been raised to believe “men are men / women are women” to be somewhat ill at ease in certain situations when encountering a transgender person.

But being ill at ease is not an excuse to torment or deny civil rights or common decency and courtesy to a person.[5]

I will give the benefit of a doubt to many of the people who are opposed to HERO and grant that they truly believe they are acting in the best interests of society as a whole instead of their own personal prejudices.[6]

But if they claim to be Christian, they better learn to give up their cherished ick-factor and start treating other people the way they want to be treated.

And if they don’t want other folks deciding
for them which bathroom they can use…

.

.

.

[1]  I choose my terms carefully.  Typically all of us are assigned a gender identity on our birth certificates based on what appears to be our physiological sex.  Most of the time the hospital / nurses / midwives / taxi cab drivers guess correctly, but has been pointed out elsewhere, that ain’t necessarily so.  Even if only a small percentage of the human race has an issue with their assigned birth gender it is nonetheless an issue with millions of people, and all of them deserve courtesy and compassion in their attempts to come to terms with their physical form.

[2]  I use the term transgender as shorthand to cover a wide range of issues and concerns for a large number of people, not all of whom have similar, much less overlapping objectives and goals.  Insofar as the Golden Rule would seem to indicate we should not intrude on the private lives of others unless invited to do so, any commentary on a transgender person’s personal issues is unwarranted. 

[3]  Though typically transgender persons do tend to be singled out for persecution and bullying by heterosexuals.

[4]  Indeed, when such assaults occur it is typically nothing to do with sex but everything to do with dominance; typically a gang will humiliate a victim of the same sex in order to demonstrate their control and authority.

[5]  Not even on Facebook.

[6]  But not to their leaders, who are lying sacs of human excrement.

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Lying Sacs Of Human Excrement

17/10/2014

If no chain is stronger than the weakest link, no bridge stronger than the weakest girder, then the Christian church is royally fucked.

animated the general trestle collapse

We have bullying liars who, when called on their bullying and their lying, proclaim themselves to be victims, and the very people they have been actively seeking to harm are portrayed as villains.

Let us discuss the recent brouhaha regarding the subpoena issued by pro bono lawyers for Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

Ms Parker and the Houston City Council recently passed a measure called HERO (for Houston Equal Rights Ordinance) as is their right as duly elected officials of that city.

So far, so good.

A group of people opposed to that law circulated a petition for a referendum to repeal it.

Again, so far, so good.

Ms Parker et al rejected the petitions citing discrepancies that invalidated most of the signatures gathered.

Hmm, could be problematic;
hope they have the facts to back this up.

The group opposed to them filed a lawsuit — as is their right — claiming the petitions had been arbitrarily and unjustly dismissed.

A serious charge, if they can prove it’s true.

Up to this point, a few things that make one go “hmmm” but nothing illegal, unjust, or unconstitutional. Elected officials make a ruling, challengers go to court to challenge it, happens all the time, all legal and above board.

The next step is the one where
the lying sacs of human excrement
present themselves front and center.

See, under the laws of this great land — hell, under any standard of common human courtesy & decency; including most specifically the Bible’s own Golden Rule — what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

If you file suit against someone, you are asking a court to compel them to hand over evidence they may possess that will strengthen your case, establishing and proving facts that will help your claim.

But guess what?
They get to do
the exact same thing
right back atcha!

Pro bono lawyers, responding to the lawsuit on behalf of the LGBT community, fired back with a volley of discovery subpoenas of their own — which is their right!

They requested internal communications from the group bringing the lawsuit, as well as with people outside that group who had been working with them on the petition issue.

Now, you want to make the argument
that was not the brightest political
move to make, go right ahead;
I’ll agree with you on that point.

But there was nothing illegal, unconstitutional, threatening, or stifling about it.

Rather it was just a logical step any competent (albeit in this case politically tone deaf) lawyer would have done.

The subpoenas issued, while legal and basically justifiable, have been criticized as too broad and ambiguous, in particular when asking for copies of sermons written / delivered by various pastors who were associated with but not part of the group suing the mayor and city council.

The mayor, when she learned of them, had those particular subpoenas recalled; she and her legal team will obtain the information they need through other means.

But here’s what the lying sacs of human excrement have done:
Instead of saying merely that the opposing legal team’s subpoena request re discovery in a lawsuit that they and/or their allies had initiated was too broad, they quite deliberately and unambiguously presented the perfectly legal discovery subpoenas as an unwarranted, unprovoked, and unilateral action aimed at Christian churches purely with the intent of stifling opposition to laws passed by the government, in particular laws that reaffirm equal rights and protection under the law for all citizens and legal residents, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, nationality, gender, or previous condition of servitude.

And that, in a nutshell, is why people
are leaving organized Christianity
in greater and greater numbers.

If you’re going to act like a bully and deny other citizens their God given and constitutionally guaranteed rights, if you are going to file suit against people who protect those rights and demand discovery from them, then you are a hypocrite of the lowest, rankest order if you then turn around and deny you started the ball rolling, deny you initiated the process, deny your opposition is merely enjoying the exact same rights as you do in the exact same set of circumstances.

You are hypocrites.

And you are the reason more and more people are saying “shuck this fit” and walking away from our churches, never to return in our lifetime.

You lying sacs of human excrement are poisoning the well. You are convincing millions and millions of others that everything Christ taught, everything the church traditionally stood for re mercy and compassion and justice for all is nothing but a sham and a lie.

Nobody will side with that.

The time is coming when perhaps the kindest thing true Christians can do to the rotting shell of their organization is just to walk away from it, let it collapse, and start planting seeds for a truly organic Christian faith to grow.

It may be time to start thinking about walking away from Omelas.

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