Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Donald Sez GOPers "Copying" Him (Including Wanker & The Huckster)

We need a great president ~ The Donald Trump (dob 6/14/1946) an American business magnate, television personality, con man and infamous racist who is widely viewed by the American people as a complete joke.

Note: This commentary is my response to the video at the bottom of this post, which is an excerpt from a Donald Trump "70-minute speech before an audience of 1,500 in Sarasota, Florida on Thursday night". A video that came to my attention after viewing it on the blog of rAtional nAtion.

Wealthy real estate/reality TV buffoon Donald Trumps sez "Politicians are all talk and no action" but this doofus has said he's "considering" running for the White House on multiple occasions... and never has. The Donald is all talk and no action. Although when he said this it was only to get attention for his "Apprentice" TV program. Is that show still on? I really have no idea. Although I did watch it once or twice many years ago. There was someone named "Omarosa", if I recall.

In any case the Donald does NOT have any intention of running for POTUS. He did not before and he does not now. Yet he has lead people to believe he might run... and he keeps speaking as if he might... so him saying anything about talking without action really makes him appear as even more of a dumbass (if that is possible).

Also, if the Donald is to be believed, "make America great again" is a phrase he originated, or that it's his "theme". Although when Ronald Reagan said it, he wasn't referring to a Black Socialist illegitimate president going on an "apology tour" and messing up America (and how he would fix that). Which is what Trump is talking about when he uses that phrase. So maybe GOPer Prez hopefuls are copying him when they use that phrase and are also referring to Birther conspiracy theories.

Still, I don't think Trump came up with that "theme" (WND/Joseph Farah and Orly Taitz being the primary ones I remember). So, while Scott Walker may have jumped on the Birther train in the past, I don't know why he'd continue to ride it now that all the GOPer hopefuls are anticipating Hillary Clinton being the Democratic nominee. Does Walker agree with Trump on Ted Cruz (that being born in Canada could be a problem for him)? It's possible some of the GOPer hopefuls who aren't Ted Cruz might want to copy that theme, but I am not aware that any currently are.

Mike Huckabee, a candidate who the Donald mentions next in the video clip (saying he likes him), won't cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid... and this is also copying the Donald. The problem, however, is that the Huckster doesn't know how to "bring the money in" because "that's what he [Trump] does" and he's "really done a good job". So the Republican president would (presumably) have no choice but to cut these programs, not being Trump and having Trumpish abilites to "bring in the money" (despite filing for bankruptcy 4 times).

But is the Huckster really "copying" the Donald, or is he avoiding saying something that would be political suicide, given how popular these programs are with the electorate? The Huckster is obviously aware of the public associating the GOP with cutting these programs, which is why he makes a point of saying he would not do that.

One of the factors explaining why Mittens did not win the last election, perhaps? I'm referring to him selecting as his VP Paul Ryan, the dude who authored the budget that proposed cutting these programs (that the Congressional Republicans all voted for).

In any case, I doubt the Donald is thinking he would "bring in money" by increasing taxes on the wealthy, instituting a Wall Street transaction tax, or bringing our jobs back by raising tariffs (thus reviving the economy by getting people working again with decent paying jobs). What he's referring to is a mystery to me. Perhaps he would star in the first POTUS reality program?

For the record, it's not that, with the exception of raising taxes on the wealthy, the Dems are talking about doing anything to "make America great again". America's greatness is behind us, so long as we continue down the Neoliberal path. Which, unfortunately, President Obama, with his pushing of the TPP, is foolishly doing. Would Hillary Clinton chose a different path? I doubt it.

So, how do we make America great again? The ONLY way is to bring back our jobs by returning to a sane trade policy. Pull out of the WTO and kick the TPP to the curb along with NAFTA. Which is what a president Bernie Sanders would push for (along with raising tariffs). What we REALLY need is a revolution at the ballot box. The "revolution" being the election of Bernie Sanders along with enough Progressive Democrats so that Bernie can get things accomplished when he gets to the White House.

Hillary Clinton would, no doubt, be a MUCH better choice than whoever the Republicans run, but neither the Democrat nor the Republican will be willing to do what is necessary to make America great again. Unless that Democrat is Bernie.

That said, I doubt anyone seriously thinks there is a snowball's chance in hell that the Donald will actually run. And, I'd be surprised if the Republican nominee sought the advice of the Trumpster. He's a joke that no serious contender for the White House would dare be seen speaking with, let alone copying.

Although I have heard that Scott Walker is the Koch brother's choice. Does that mean that Walker, being one who "copied" the Donald, isn't serious? I don't know. It depends on how close to the Donald he gets, I'd say. If he is serious I think he needs to keep his distance. But I also don't think people should take Walker seriously given his union busting in Wisconsin and clearly being the Koch's lapdog. I mean, how funny was it when he fell for that prank Koch phone call?

Yet the voters in Wisconsin chose to keep Wanker instead of recall him (as they should have), so I guess they don't view him as a total joke like Donald Trump.

Video1: Real estate mogul & professional doofus Donald Trump, who is strongly considering a preznit-dential run in 2016, says politicians are "copying" him (1:38). Published on May 23, 2015.

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Video2: Thom Hartmann talks about how David and Charles Koch are turning on the cash spigots to fund Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's potential bid (6:32). Published on Feb 19, 2015.

Video3: The BEAST's Ian Murphy calls Walker, posing as archconservative moneybags David Koch, and they casually discuss crushing all public unions by ("David Koch" suggests) physically intimidating his Democratic opposition with a baseball bat, dressing hobos in suits to whip up a good counter-protest, and planting troublemakers to discredit the pro-union demonstrators... to which Walker responds "We thought about that" (9:59). Uploaded on Feb 22, 2011.

SWTD #283

Saturday, May 23, 2015

An Example Of An Individual Taken In By The Lie That The bush Administration Received Faulty Intel & Made A Mistake In Invading Iraq?

the [bush] Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent ~ The conclusion of Phase two of the Senate Report on Pre-war Intelligence on Iraq.

As a result of John Ellis Bush (AKA Jeb Bush) being asked whether or not he would have done the same as his war criminal brother and invaded Iraq, the question of whether Iraq was a "mistake" or not has come up again. (Although Jeb lied, pretending to mishear the question as whether or not he'd invade at the time NOT knowing what we know now, when the question actually was would he have invaded knowing what we know now. He said he would have... and Hillary would have too. When Hillary would not have).

Les Carpenter (AKA "rAtional nAtion", RN, or "Lester Nation") of the blog rAtional nAtion uSA, falling for the lie, answered the actual question in a recent blog post. Les said "Yes, Iraq was a mistake".

Problem is, that question is bullshit because it plays up the false narrative that the bush administration received faulty intelligence. The fact is that the bushies never received any intelligence that said what they so desperately wished to be true, which is that Saddam had WMD he might use. Perhaps on the US. With the proof being a mushroom cloud.

While there were some tidbits of info suggesting the bush version of the intel might be true (which turned out to be misleading bullplop propagaged by liars like Ahmed Chalabi, passed on with the goal of tricking the bush administration into toppling Saddam), the actual intelligence was clear that Iraq having WMD was doubtful.

And the IAEA produced a report saying so (the IAEA is the UN agency that sent a team of inspectors into Iraq to look for WMD and did not find any). They told the UN this, which is why the UN voted not to authorize the war.

So, despite the fact that we know now (and we knew then) that Iraq did not have WMD, the narrative now is that Iraq was a mistake (and we didn't know then). Although, for quite some time following Jeb's doofus brother leaving office, the narrative was that it was the right thing to do despite no WMD being found. bush said a number of times that he'd make the same decision again. Now the narrative is that it was a "mistake". Which is as far as they want to go, I believe.

Perhaps some day we'll get to the point where the American public largely accepts that gwb lied, same as they accept that LBJ lied us into Vietnam? Who knows. Obviously the bushies want to stop that truth from becoming widely accepted. Right now because it would not be good for Jeb to have to run with the electorate believing his brother lied (as opposed to having been a victim of bad intel).

Today [2/9/2015], The Wall Street Journal op-ed page has Republican judge Laurence Silberman fiercely insisting that the Bush administration did not lie, and that the claim it lied is itself a calumny. Silberman's argument is a simplistic one aimed at confusing those who have already forgotten the basic sequence of events. Silberman argues that a bipartisan commission, which he co-chaired, investigated the matter, and found that the Bush administration was victimized by faulty intelligence. (Republicans Still Denying Bush Lied About Iraq by Jonathan Chait. Daily Intelligencer).

Les Carpenter (AKA "rAtional nAtion") is one of those who, despite being a Libertarian and not a Republican, believes the false narrative currently being spun.

rAtional nAtion: Whether GWB knowingly lied or the intelligence was wrong I am not in a position to know; with certainty. Neither aRe you Dervish. Irrespective of this it was unwise to invade a foreign country that posed no threat to the USA. 5/14/2015 AT 06:55:00 PM EDT)

Actually, Les, I am in a position to know that bush lied. All one really needs to do is be aware of the facts, as the Daily Intelligencer points out in it's article (continued from above).

Silberman does not mention that the commission he chaired did not even investigate whether the Bush administration manipulated intelligence. Senate Republicans refused to allow the commission to investigate this matter, fearing it would harm Bush's reelection prospects. Indeed, Silberman himself wrote in the report at the time, "Our executive order did not direct us to deal with the use of intelligence by policymakers, and all of us were agreed that that was not part of our inquiry".

This was a favorite line of pro-Bush spin. It is true that passing on faulty intelligence by mistake is not the same thing as misrepresenting intelligence. Bush's defenders habitually rebutted accusations of the latter by insisting that the former was true. In reality, both things happened - the administration suffered from honest intelligence failures, and it misled the public about the facts as it understood them.

The question of whether, in addition to being victimized by faulty intelligence, also misrepresented the intelligence it did have, was left to a second Senate report, called the "Phase II" report, which came out a few years later. That report, which was endorsed by two of the committee's seven Republicans and all its Democrats, concluded, "the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent". (Republicans Still Denying Bush Lied About Iraq by Jonathan Chait. Daily Intelligencer).

It is a "demonstrable fact that the Bush administration deliberately misled the public". Iraq was not a mistake, but a deliberate decision by the bush administration to lie to get the war it wanted. Case closed.

The only question that remains is... why does Les Carpenter of the Libertarian/Objectivist blog "rAtional nAtion uSA" say he doesn't know "Whether GWB knowingly lied". I suppose he might be telling the truth when he says he isn't in a "position" to know, which he wouldn't be only if he is deliberately avoiding reading anything that gives the accurate facts concerning this matter. Which he might be doing because he doesn't want to know the truth. Or he might be onboard with the false narrative. Perhaps because he's a fan of Jeb and doesn't want his chances of winning the White House harmed.

Of course this is all conjecture, as Les, when I presented him with some of the facts, declined to respond again. Personally I think the reason for Les going along with this lie is because he wishes to protect the GOP. He does not care for Jeb as such (or any of the other potential candidates who are expected to declare), but he does dislike Hillary intensely and does not want to see her win. In his mind a Republican might be better than Hillary.

Although this does not jibe with Les' recent claim that he is "moving away from the right", but it's the best explanation I can come up with. Pure conjecture, in other words. Which Les and his yes man Dennis Marks have indicated they loath.

Awhile ago an Anononymous commenter on this blog said "ever notice how RN never really says what he thinks? He likes to bait people, without stating his position". I agreed that I had noticed this. In fact, I continue to notice that he does this. He also loves to cry about "old bones" if inconsistencies are pointed out between past and current statements (by him or his toady Dennis).

For example, he frequently says he's an adherant of Ayn Rand's Objectivism (which views selfishness as a virtue), even though this does not jibe with his claim of supporting what he calls "Thomas Paine style benevolent capitalism" (which is not really a thing. What Les actually refers to is a mixed economy wherein capitalism and Socialism both exist and compliment each other. Which *I* am an adherant of). But Rand opposed Socialism, being something that encourages the "parasites and leeches" and is THEFT under this worldview.

But apparently "self interest" means whatever Les decides it means. And he's a fan of Rand even though Rand would consider him a collectivist pawn. So, what's my conjecture in regards to this? It's that Les does not explain himself because he can't (because he realizes he's a very bad Objectivist). That, or he's still having fun playing games with my delusional ass (actual quote: I've had fun playing games with your delusional ass).

More likely it's a combination of the two, and he's playing games with his readers concerning his perpetrating the good for Jeb (or at least not as bad for him) false "Iraq war mistake" narrative. Or maybe it's his ass that is delusional. I surely cannot say with any certainty. His clinging to Objectivism and Rand points to his being delusional, that's for certain. Especially in light of his support for the socialistic parasite-encouraging "benevolent capitalism" thievery.

As well as LOL-able claims of me "misquoting" him when I cut, paste and link to prior comments of his. Les said "Medicare as a model for universal healthcare, with some modifications (improvements to insure long term fiscal viability) may not be such a terribly bad idea" on another blog. I linked to this comment on his blog and that's when he (feigned) anger and the "misquoting" allegation occurred.

No doubt I'm misrepresenting him with this commentary. In his delusional mind, at least (Note: It is my opinion/conjecture that Les Carpenter is "deluded").

See also: George W. Bush didn't just lie about the Iraq War. What he did was much worse by Paul Waldman. The Week, 5/20/2015. [What was "much worse"? That what the Bush admin launched in 2002... may have been the most comprehensive, sophisticated, and misleading campaign of government propaganda in American history... the theory on which the WH operated was that whether or not you could fool all of the people some of the time, you could certainly scare them out of their wits. That's what was truly diabolical about their campaign].

SWTD #282

Monday, May 18, 2015

Race-baiting Libertarian Blogger Joins The Filthy Scum Of White Society

Thus we've reached the inevitable conservative endpoint of any race conversation in the United States. Racism, violence, the horror of an entire community - these are mere emotional reactions cynically drummed up by "race hustlers", marshaled against a demonized white society ~ Mobutu Sese Seko as quoted in his 4/5/2012 Gawker article The Dog Whistle Has Sounded: How the Right Talks About 'Thugs' Like Trayvon Martin.

Libertarian blogger Willis Hart (AKA "Will Take No Prisoners Hart" or WTNPH) jumps the shark with his latest race-baiting commentary. Not very long ago, if you had asked me if Willis was a racist, I'd have said no. Although I'd have added that his racial biases were clearly stronger than most. On a scale of 0 to 10; with 1-3 being where most people would register (given that ALL of us hold some racial biases) I'd have said Willis was in the 4-6 range.

But lately virtually all of Mr. Hart's commentaries have contained tinges of racial bias. Mostly these race-baiting commentaries deal with excusing police officers who murder African American men, or condemning BLACK rioters for their criminal destruction of property (which is understandable, given the Libertarian belief that property rights are far more important than the rights of people to to LIVE. Although where he crosses the line is when he makes a POINT of the criminal rioters being African American).

Willis is clearly suffering some cognitive dissonance in regards to all this racist crap he is has been posting, however. I say this is the case due to his mixing in of commentaries in which he attempts to blame Progressives and members of the Labor movement as "racist". Commentaries like "Waging Wages"... in which the dumbass claims that the minimum wage is racist.

Why? Because, and I shit you not, Black labor is worth less than White labor and not allowing business to pay lower wages to Blacks will result in higher Black unemployment. Because White business owners will (when there is a minimum wage) favor the hiring of Whites. Obviously, if they're forced to pay more, they'll go with the workers who are worth the higher wage (White workers).

Yes, this is how the racist Hartster's mind really works! Anyway, as I already said, his trajectory away from the normal amount of biases into more racist territory has been on a radical upswing as of late. Now I'd say he has moved up a few notches from the prior 4-6 range, into a range of 6 or 7. Perhaps even an 8 (9 being a confirmed racist and 10 being a KKK member).

But back to Willis' jumping of the shark, which I believe he assuredly does with this commentary.

Willis Hart: On MSNBC's Pathetic Nightly Minstrel Show... If a white person in black face went on TV and acted like this horse's ass, the outrage would be harsh, unrelenting, and deservedly so. But because this fellow is black there is almost total silence from the left. I mean, I know that the white liberals won't touch it out of political correctness and the black community is no doubt hesitant to throw him under the bus (out of solidarity perhaps) but this guy is such an embarrassment (the fact that he's stupid, a rank opportunist, a hypocrite, etc.) that something really needs to happen here. (5/15/2015 AT 7:32pm).

Clearly Willis knows what a minstrel show is, as he writes "if a white person in black face went on TV". But the Reverend Al Sharpton is NOT a White guy donning blackface, so his program can't be called a minstrel show!! Now, I won't deny that the reverend has some eccentricities (which SNL exeggerates when parodying him on their program), but that hardly makes him stupid or an embarrassment (I've read some speculation that he may be dsylexic, but could find no confirmation of this).

But notice that this absurd commentary also carries with it an accusation against MSNBC - that their goal in airing a show starring Sharpton is to "lampoon black people as dim-witted, lazy, buffoonish, superstitious, happy-go-lucky, and musical". Well, not "musical" and perhaps not "lazy", but the other adjectives do describe how the bigoted Willis views Sharpton. And, IMO, Willis is projecting his racism onto MSNBC.

Because WTNPH isn't a racist! He's absolutely correct to note that Sharpton is *all the bad adjectives to describe Black people as per the definition of minstrel show*. MSNBC has GOT to know this (the Hartster is convinced)! But the truth is MSNBC does NOT know Sharpton is dim-witted, buffoonish or an embarrassment. Because HE IS NOT!

...Sharpton [is] the "go-to" guy for many blacks for reasons that say as much about him as about the ongoing struggle for equity and justice in America. The long parade of Sharpton bashers still delight in ridiculing and pounding him as an ego-driven, media hogging, race baiting agitator and opportunist who will jump on any cause to get some TV time. But the personal hits on him are nothing more than the ritual anti-Sharpton name calling. Turn the attacks on their head, and it becomes apparent why he's popular. He's the subject of the relentless attacks in part because of who many perceive him to be and the influence he has with many blacks, Latinos, the poor and community activists. This is a constituency that no liberal or moderate Democrat, and that certainly includes Obama, can afford to ignore or alienate (Black America doesn’t lack leaders: Poll shows 24 percent say Sharpton speaks for them by Earl Ofari Hutchinson. The Grio, 3/28/2013).

This is why the Left is NOT "silent". No, the Left calls out those on the Right who traffic in the blatant racist slandering of a respected Black leader. Neither "political correctness" nor the "black community being hesitant to throw him under the bus out of solidarity" has anything to do with either of these groups not sharing Willis' racist take on Mr. Sharpton.

Those of us on the Left "[praise] his ability and willingness to defy the power structure that is seen as the cause of their
suffering [and consider him] a man who is willing to tell it like it is". And we know that is why the Conservative and Libertarian Right slanders him with racist accusations. "Race hustler" being the primary pejorative WTNPH has utilized in the past.

Referring to a program hosted by a genuine African American (not a White guy in blackface) as a minstrel show is a new one. And particularly nasty and racist, given how the Left and the many in the Black community REALLY view Mr. Sharpton (as a respected leader). For this reason I say Frederick Douglass' description of blackface performers as "...the filthy scum of white society" absolutely applies to Mr. Hart.

I mean, if he wanted to criticize Mr. Sharpton for his political views that would be one thing, but to call the television program of a BLACK MAN a minstrel show is beyond the pale. The RACIST buffoon Willis Hart should be embarrassed. But as with most stupid racists, he views himself as not being racist. He's just telling it like it is.

I'd say that something really needs to happen here, but it won't. The racism on the WTNPH blog will continue, and (if this trend continues) likely get even worse.

Image Description: How Conservatives and Libertarians use the term "race baiting".

SWTD #281. See also OST #44.

Friday, May 08, 2015

The Liberty To Wage Slavery & Slavery's Free Trade Connection

Spanish-American merchants wanted "more liberty", and they defined liberty as their right to buy and sell humans as they would. In the United States, Kentucky's 1850 "bill of rights" stated that the "right of an owner of a slave to such a slave, and its increase, is the same, and as inviolable as the right of the owner of any property whatever" ~ Greg Grandin (dob 1962) an American historian, and professor of history at New York University.

The roots of "free trade" can be traced back to slavery. One of its first applications being the worldwide slave trade, which kicked off the Atlantic world's capitalist market revolution. Yeah, that's right, folks. One of the main reasons that the slave trade flourished was racist Libertarian schmucks and their desire for a "free trade in Blacks".

Critiques Of Libertarianism/Slavery: Slavery is a free-market, capitalist phenomenon. Slavery has almost always been abolished by acts of government that regulate the market, making it illegal. 19th century slave owners defended their property rights in slaves in "economic freedom"-like terms that are unmistakably libertarian... The only way to eliminate... slavery is for government to regulate against it. (Critiques Of Libertarianism by Mike Huben).

Then, as today, the rich don't get their wealth from hard work - they get it from the exploitation of workers (stealing their labor and property). Heck, if you happen not to believe me, get a load of this little gem from the mother of Libertarianism, Ayn Rand, who said "any white person who brought the element of civilization had the right to take over this continent".

Rand was speaking of the White European's "right" to steal the property of the Native Americans who already resided here. Because they were primitive savages who did not believe in the concept of owning the earth. Nice. Surely it is no leap to go from justifying the theft of Native American land to justifying the theft of the labor of Black Africans. Both groups consisted of "primitives" and both groups had their rights usurped by "civilized" Whites.

Rand exhibited a racist attitude in regards to the Native American way of life. Today Libertarians argue that the labor of African Americans (specifically Black teens) is not worth as much as the labor of Whites. The only way they can compete is to to work for less. If you force employers to pay a "white man's wage", they'll only hire white men (The minimum wage's less-than-racist origins).

Sure, Libertarians will SAY that they oppose slavery, as every individual has the right to his or her own labor, but the fact remains that Libertarianism creates slavery. Although today owning another human is mostly illegal, there is a way around this. And it is actually much cheaper. If your wage slave dies from malnutrition or disease you aren't out what you originally paid for the slave. All you need to do is hire another! They are actually quite cheap.

Neoliberal policies such as free trade result in the offshoring of good paying jobs to third world countries were wage slaves toil for low pay in unsafe conditions. Back here in the US, Libertarians argue against a minimum wage so they might be able to force down wages to the minimum to sustain life.

With only so much wealth to go around and with rich people wanting it all; well, slavery is an absolute necessity. BTW, this kind of ties in neatly with that other big Libertarian idea of the early 20th Century known as Social Darwinism. I mean, think about it. If a poor can't get a job, they cannot eat, and if they cannot eat, they die. This type of coercion is a win for the wealthy Libertarian, in that it will allow them to force down the wages of their workers to as low an amount as possible. And also a win in that it will eliminate the inferior low skilled worker.

Herbert Spencer was a popular author during the nineteenth century who supported strict limits on the government and even opposed many forms of charity towards the poor. ...he also believed that neither government nor private charity should interfere with this process of natural selection. Though Spencer was not a eugenicist — he actually argued that the poor should be treated much more harshly than nineteenth and twentieth century eugenicists did — he was both a social acquaintance of Sir Francis Galton, the father of the eugenics movement, and a significant influence on Galton's thinking.

Reading Spencer's many works today is an uncomfortable experience - the man devotes hundreds of pages to establishing a philosophical justification for a kind of neglect that most Americans would now view as a moral atrocity. Yet Spencer is also one of the foundational thinkers in the development of the economically libertarian philosophy that drives politicians such as Senator Randal Paul... (Major Libertarian Thinker On Human "Failures": "It Is Best They Should Die" by Ian Millhiser. Think Progress, 4/15/2015).

Libertarianism is naught but an excuse for the wealthy to enslave the workers of the world to further enrich themselves. The quote from Rand as well as the Social Darwinism of Spencer aught to convince you of that. We must not kid ourselves when it comes to this despicable and morally reprehensible ideology. Libertarians are are only concerned about their OWN liberty. Which would be the liberty to coerce others into a neo feudal wage slavery.

SWTD #280

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Libertarian Gun Nut Hazardous Advice Re Home Invasion Shootout & Dishonesty Re Gun Show Loophole

People who keep guns in the home are more likely to be victims of homicide than those who don't ~ Arthur Kellerman, founder of Emory University's Department of Emergency Medicine.

The gun nuttery of the Libertarian Right can be quite alarming. Take, for instance, the following examples of extreme gun nuttery from Libertarian blogger Willis Hart. The first having to do with a homeowner engaging an intruder in a gunfight, the second having to do with perfidy in regards to the gun show background check loophole.

Home Invasion Shootout

Willis Hart: On the Idea Proposed by Some Leftist Morons that the Best Solution to a Home-Invasion is Running or Hiding from the Perpetrator... Probably stems from the fact that a) they see the criminals as victims, too, and feel that we should take a much more compassionate approach with them, b) they don't respect private property and so why in the hell should anybody be shot over it, and c) they viscerally despise guns and gun owners... If I were to hazard a guess. (4/25/2015 AT 1:34pm).

The "Leftist moron" Willis refers to is me. What he's talking about is advice I gave in response to a question from a gun nut who calls himself the Constitutional Insurgent. The Insurgent spoke of the standard gun nut wet dream, which is that the intruder gets blow away during a home invasion.

In response I suggested that, instead of confronting an armed intruder and possibly getting yourself killed, it might be prudent to hide or run away. Because just because you have a gun doesn't mean you're going to be the one who shoots first and kills the intruder. Or intruders. You might just get yourself and your family murdered. Which is why I would advise someone in this situation to hide and/or run away. And then call the police. Because the chance of getting yourself killed would be much less than confronting the intruders and getting involved in a shootout.

Shooting an intruder (or "oxygen thief", as the The Insurgent referred to the intruder in his fantasy) should be a LAST resort. Not that I believe people should own guns for self defense, which I do not. Because statistics show that a gun owner (or family member) is much more likely to be injured or killed than the gun owner is to defend himself against an intruder.

But, if someone does chose to buy a gun to protect against a home invasion, I still think it should be used only as a last resort. Because you could get yourself or a family member killed. And yes, the intruder could also be killed, which would be something the gun owner would have to live with the rest of his or her life. Yeah, that might cause the gun nut to feel pride, but what if the killing took place in right in front of one of their family member? Such a thing could really mess a person up. Especially a small child.

But, yes, I'm also opposed to any loss of life that is avoidable. Even the life of the criminal. Yeah, I know that the gun nuts fantasize about blowing away an intruder in a home invasion, but most of us would prefer nobody get killed in such a situation. Instead he offers REALLY bad guesses and REALLY bad advice that has a victim of a home invasion risking their life by getting involved in a shootout. Because he's so caught up in a fantasy that it never occurs to him how dangerous such a course of action might be.

For the record I do respect property rights and do not "viscerally despise guns and gun owners". These Willis guesses are pure idiocy and are based on his hatred for "Leftist morons". I do believe, however, that often perpetrators of crime are victims of poverty who've made bad decisions. Laws do need to be enforced and criminals punished, but (theoretically) our criminal justice system is supposed to exist to rehabilitate offenders. As opposed to existing for purposes of being purely vindictive.

I am aware that most Conservatives and Libertarians do not share this view, but given the fact that most people who serve time in prison are eventually released, surely rehabilitation is the wiser course of action. As opposed to the system we currently have, which takes first time offenders and turns them into hardened criminals more likely to re-offend.

Gun Show Loophole Dishonesty

This relates to a comment made by the Hartster in which he presents "evidence" that he THINKS supports the ridiculous assertion that the gun show loophole doesn't exist. Willis posts a link and http://libertasandlatte.blogspot.com/2015/04/gun-rights-and-compromise.html?showComment=1429662030835#c6504622451801168132">writes "yet one more leftist anti-gun talking-point bites the dust".

Problem is, the "fact sheet" that Willis links to is pure propaganda from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (a national trade association for the firearms industry) that attempts to deceive gullible people like Willis with a mixture of facts, half truths and outright lies.

Claim: The law allows unlicensed dealers to sell guns at gun shows. Fact: Unlicensed dealers are criminals. It is true that a background check and other regulations do not apply if you are an individual that wishes to occasionally sell a firearm from your personal collection in a private transaction. [skip] ...all vendors leasing space at a show, including private parties, must agree to run background checks, regardless of whether they hold federal licenses or not. The vast majority of guns sold at gun shows go through federal background checks. (The Myth of the "Gun Show Loophole" by the National Shooting Sports Foundation).

Yes, licensed gun dealers who possess a Federal Firearms License (FFL) must perform background checks when selling a weapon. The gun show loophole isn't a reference to these sales (as the propaganda from the NSSF tries to make readers think). The gun show loophole refers to private sales. The section highlighted in red (above) is false. This is the loophole: the "individual that wishes to occasionally sell a firearm from your personal collection in a private transaction".

Private sellers are not required to run a background check, record the sale, or even ask for ID. And these legal sales do contribute to gun crime.

According to a 1999 report by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) commissioned by President Bill Clinton, these legal transactions contribute to illegal activities, such as arms trafficking, purchases of firearms by prohibited buyers, and straw purchases. (Wikipedia/Gun Show Loophole).

It is also important to note that licensed dealers may sell firearms without doing a background check under the following condition.

...it [is] legal for FFL holders to make private sales, provided the firearm was transferred to the licensee's personal collection at least one year prior to the sale. Hence, when a personal firearm is sold by an FFL holder, no background check or Form 4473 is required by federal law. (Wikipedia/Gun Show Loophole).

Obviously the loophole isn't a "myth", nor did Willis' linking to this NSSF "fact sheet" cause any "leftist anti-gun talking-point" to "bite the dust". According to the first video below, 1/4 to 1/2 of all gun show sellers are private sellers who do not have to conduct a background check. So we're talking about a lot of guns here. Many of which *do* end up in the hands of criminals according to the ATF.

Shame on Willis for not (1) not advising caution when confronting an armed intruder. As well as lying about why someone would say people in such situations should run/hide if they are able, and (2) propagating gun manufacturer propaganda in regards to the very REAL gun show loophole.

Yeah, he says he's "guessing" with his hazardous conjecture concerning WHY someone might advise running or hiding during a home invasion, but don't buy it. Unless he's a total moron. Because saving lives (anyone could get killed in a confrontation involving guns) is the MOST OBVIOUS reason, and he overlooks it completely. Just as he overlooks the very real gun show loophole.

Video Description: Hidden camera video from gun show. Making it easy for criminals to buy guns (3:30).

Video Description: Undercover sting shows 19 out of 30 sellers broke the law. Under the law private sellers can sell firearms without a background check, but only if they have no reason to believe the buyer would not pass a background check. In this video the buyers specifically say they "probably couldn't pass a background check" (1:59).

SWTD #279

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Kicked Off Blog Of Mentally Ill Gun Nut (Re Assault Weapon "Intellectual Dishonesty")

The first thing to remember about the Gun Nuts'/Ammosexuals' intellectual dishonesty is a logical fallacy known as "special pleading", which can also be called "stacking the deck" or "ignoring the counterevidence". The GNs/Ammosexuals do this by completely ignoring or editing out the first 13 words. Those first 13 words, in law and grammar, are known as a "qualifier": "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state..."

Then, the GNs strictly interpret the rest of it, "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed". This allows the GNs to use the "all or nothing" logical fallacy, whereby there are only two choices... a total gun ban or nothing, leave no third option or any middle ground ~ Andrew Rei Facebook posting excerpt.

This commentary has to do with me getting the boot on another blog. This time I expected from the beginning that I *might* end up being asked to leave, but when it actually happened it was rather abrupt and arbitrary. The blog proprietor, an obviously mentally ill gun nut who calls himself Constitutional Insurgent, decided he had had enough when he asked me a question and I politely answered it.

According to The Insurgent, the term "assault weapon" has been expanded by the "anti gun lobby" to include features that are purely "cosmetic" or "ergonomic". I disagreed, based on the fact that assault weapons have been previously banned. The Federal Assault Weapons Ban was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on 9/13/1994 and expired on 9/13/2004 (due to a sunset provision). The law was upheld in spite of numerous court challenges.

The important point is that the legislation banned certain "assault weapons" as well as "large capacity" magazines. So what is an "assault weapon" and what is "large capacity"? Obviously the word "large" does not refer to a SPECIFIC number. The legislation defined what "large capacity" meant, same as it defined what it was talking about with the term "assault weapon".

So, there you have it. "Assault weapon" has already been defined in legislation that was in place for 10 years. Legislation that was challenged in court and found to be Constitutional. I did not feel that I needed to say any more on the subject than that.

The Insurgent, however, pressed me for an answer. So I did some Googling and found a response to the "cosmetic" question that sounded reasonable (Note that I needed to search for this answer because I am not an expert when it comes to the "assault weapon" debate).

Nothing on a gun is cosmetic except the color. Every part has a purpose. The features of an assault weapon that look different from a sporting gun were carefully designed to maximize lethality on the battlefield. Assault weapons look different because they are different. (About Military-Style Assault Weapons: Gun Messaging. Excerpted from the Progressive Majority website).

The Insurgent used the terms "cosmetic" as well as "ergonomic"; words that have different definitions. The pro-gun lobby uses the term "cosmetic" because they're implying that the feature only affects the way the weapon LOOKS. An ergonomic feature, on the other hand, is a feature designed to enable easier use of the weapon by the user.

A weapon that is easier to use can be fired more rapidly. This is the reason weapons that borrow features from fully automatic military weapons were added to the 1994 assault weapons ban. They enabled the user to fire the weapon more rapidly. However, when discussing how rapidly a weapon can be fired, the gun nuts focus exclusively on the firing mechanism of the gun (is it semi-automatic or fully automatic) and ignore features that allow the user to fire more rapidly.

"Is the weapon fully automatic?" the gun nut will ask. "No? Then it isn't an assault weapon". End of discussion. This is why the Insurgent declared I was "done" on his blog. Because I "read from the script" with my definition (a definition previously codified in US law) that included weapons with ergonomic features which allow the user to fire more rapidly. For this transgression the Insurgent labeled me "intellectually dishonest".

We should also keep in mind here that the firearms with features borrowed from military weapons that The Insurgent believes are not "assault weapons" - were originally labeled by the gun industry itself as "assault weapons".

...before the gun industry trade association attempted to rebrand assault weapons as "modern sporting rifles" in 2009 - a change in terminology also adopted by the NRA - the gun industry and firearm publications routinely used the term assault weapon to describe the very military-style semi-automatic rifles that would be covered by Sen. Dianne Feinstein's assault weapons ban. (What Right-Wing Media Won't Tell You About Assault Weapons by Timothy Johnson. Media Matters, 2/6/2013).

So it was the gun industry, the NRA and firearm publications that adopted the term "assault weapon" in reference to military-style semi-automatic rifles. They used this word to refer to weapons that incorporated ergonomic features from military weapons into a weapon manufactured for civilian use. Now that the term they used to sell the weapon is being used in a manner they don't like? They're attempting a rebrand. And pretending someone else originated the term (or "fabricated" it).

Who might that someone else be? Why, it was "anti-gun" Democrats, of course! As well as clueless and "intellectually dishonest" Leftists. Right. Now that the term went from being a marketing ploy used to entice gun nuts to buy their product - to one that those who might want to ban them are using? Now the term is a "myth".

The Insurgent is one of the gun nuts who uses the gun industry/NRA script that attributes the origination of "assault weapons" to the wrong party. As well as the script that incorporating ergonomic features from military weapons into weapons manufactured for civilian use results in a product that has "cosmetic" differences only.

And *I'm* being "intellectually dishonest"?! By the way, the "intellectually dishonest" accusation has been levied at me before by another Libertarian (Willis Hart) who banned me from his blog. Because I am the "the most intellectually dishonest person that [Willis] ever had to deal with" (SWTD #160). Willis also said I was "done".

This made me wonder. Two Libertarians both using this term? They could not simply say they disagreed, but had to accuse me of being a liar? Why? I'm convinced the reason is arrogance. As well as mental illness.

The term "intellectual honesty" refers to "an applied method of problem solving, characterized by an unbiased, honest attitude". These Libertarians view their positions as being reached in this manner (through the use of "intellectual honesty"). Therefore there is absolutely no way they can be wrong. It is *so* obvious that they are right too. That being the case, anyone who disagrees is clearly a dirty rotten liar.

"Vermin" is a word The Insurgent used in the commentary he wrote after banning me (Children on the Internet). Because (in his mind) I lied and I knew I was lying. Except that I did not lie. I reviewed the information and decided the term "assault weapon" (as originated by the gun industry/publications/NRA and adopted by those seeking reasonable gun control measures) is being appropriately utilized.

Anyway, I think that explains why I've been banned on three Libertarian blogs thus far. I'm a liar (in the minds of the blog hosts) and they (again, in their minds) are only interested in honest debate. Although I don't know how you can debate honestly if you have a habit of accusing your debate opponent of lying simply for disagreeing. In my case answering a question The Insurgent specifically asked me!

But they obviously let some "lies" slide. Other commenters who disagree (in my experience) are allowed to do so, as long as the blog host gets the last word. That way the debate can be concluded with the host "correcting" the "false" information presented by whoever offered a differing opinion. My downfall in these situations is that I frequently will not let a subject drop. Thereby annoying the host with my continued "intellectual dishonesty".

In regards to this I say "oh well". And I don't give a fu*k either. This is likely why Willis Hart says this is "a classic example of why nobody likes you" ("Nobody" being the Libertarians Willis Hart, Dennis Marks, Lester Nation, The Insurgent as well as the Conservative Rusty Schmuckelford). Willis was sorry, however. So he might have been worried that his "honest" observation would cause me to cry my eyes out. You know, given that "nobody" likes me.

For the record, although I will say that I agree with how the term "assault weapon" is currently being utilized (by Democrats like Dianne Feinstein), I will also acknowledge that whether or not the original assault weapons ban (authored by Dianne Feinstein and signed by President Clinton) was effective is debatable.

Duke University public policy experts Philip Cook says "There is no compelling evidence that [the ban] saved lives" although this "should not be interpreted to mean that in general bans don't work" because "Feinstein's updated version of the ban, which she proposed in 2013 and is more restrictive [and] might be more effective". Cook also noted that "An American assault weapons ban might also have an impact on drug and gang-related violence in Mexico" (Fact-Checking Feinstein on the Assault Weapons Ban by Lois Beckett. Pro Publica, 9/24/2014).

10 years isn't a lot of time, given that the original bill only banned the manufacture and sale of new assault weapons. All the existing assault weapons were not confiscated. They were still out there and able to be used for whatever purpose the owner desired (legal or illegal). In any case, I never argued in favor of bringing back the ban on The Insurgent's blog. I did note that a 2004 report from The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence determined that the ban resulted in a decline of 45% in regards to assault weapons traced to crime - as per crime gun traces the ATF conducted nationwide.

And another report (under the same heading on the same Wikipedia page as the report above) says the ban WAS effective.

[Research published in 2013] in the American Political Science Review suggests that lifting the U.S. Assault Weapons Ban increased homicides in Mexico. The 2004 expiration of the Assault Weapons Ban appeared to exert a spillover on gun availability in Mexican municipalities near Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, but not near California, which retained a state-level ban. The authors state "We find substantial increases in homicides as well as homicides tied specifically to guns. Homicides rose by 60% more in municipios at the non-California entry ports, as compared to municipios 100 miles away, suggesting that the policy change induced at least 238 additional deaths annually in the area located within 100 miles of the border ports" (link).

I'm inclined to believe the ban worked. And I support the Feinstein bill that would reinstate the ban. Not that I believe it has any chance of passing, however. And I did not argue for reinstating the ban on The Insurgent's blog.

My "intellectual dishonesty" appears to come down to me agreeing with the definition of "assault weapon" as originally laid out by the gun industry, NRA, firearm publications, the 1994 ban signed by Clinton and the current Feinstein legislation that won't go anywhere (Note: the 1994 ban was also authored by Feinstein). Additionally, The Insurgent did not seem to like that I called Wayne LaPierre a terrorist (an assertion I stand by).

The Insurgent closes by stating "I have no time for prolific posting of absurdities", but I dispute this, given the fact that gun nut absurdities are the primary focus of his blog. That, and he had the time to reply to every one of my comments.

OK, so that is ANOTHER blog I'm banned from, although fellow gun nut dmarks lies when he says "this is like the 5th or 6th blog [Dervish Sanders] has stalked me to... and most of the time he gets banned from the blogs". dmarks (otherwise known as "Dennis Marks") likes to imagine I'm "stalking" him, but this is nothing but pure delusion. I've encountered him on a few blogs, both Libertarian and Progressive.

And I do get annoyed when he drops his blatant falsehoods into conversations and other commenters allow them to slide. So I respond. I will admit to that. But that is not "stalking". I have no idea what 5 or 6 blogs he's referring to. I did, as a result of commenting on the blog of Willis Hart look into 2 other blogs ("rAtional" nAtion uSA and Libertas and Latte). Willis' blog is where I first encountered Dennis, so you could say I "followed" him from there to these two other blogs (where both proprietors banned me). And I "followed" Dennis to his own (now shuttered) blog as well. So that's 3 that I can think of.

Finally, as far as a "constitutional insurgent" is concerned... I'm sure he does not mean it literally, but the name does suggest he'd be into overthrowing our government in order to "restore" the 2nd amendment to a state that would be more to his liking. Which would be NO restrictions what-so-ever. No ban on fully automatic weapons (I'm guessing) and not even any background checks (no need to guess, as The Insurgent explicitly expressed support for this).

Which basically means the dude whose Blogger ID suggests he'd join an armed revolution to overthrow our government is in favor of granting easy firearm access to violent criminals. Something that (A) is NEVER going to happen, and (B) qualifies as EXTREME gun nuttery!

Note: In regards to me quoting Wikipedia in my article above... Wikipedia is "my speed", according to The Insurgent.

SWTD #278

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Magnum PI & Dennis Marks Investigate Human Rights Abuses

Why didn't you pull your gun? ~ Thomas Magnum... from the episode "Legacy from a Friend" (#3.18, 1983)

Dennis Marks stepped into the dark alleyway behind the local burger joint. A man wearing a trench coat lit a cigarette, drawing Dennis' attention. Was this the man who had phoned him earlier, telling him his package was ready? Awhile ago Dennis had decided it made sense to get a good one if you don't have one. A firearm, that is.

He determined then that he would acquire one at a gun show or from a private person to legally avoid the roadblocks put in place to hassle innocent people. Then the authorities couldn't come for his weapon and steal it. Because they wouldn't know he had one.

Dennis ultimately decided to go the cautious route and purchase a gun from a private source. Someone might see him at a gun show and report his purchase to the Obama gun grabbing gestapo. "You the guy I spoke with earlier about a private sale?" Dennis inquired, approaching the man. "You got my cash?" the man replied. "It's right here" Dennis answered, drawing a wad of bills out of his jacket pocket. "Here is your item" the man whispered, producing a shiny gun from inside his coat.

Dennis turned the firearm over and over in his hands, mesmerized by how it sparkled in the moonlight. "It's gorgeous" Dennis exclaimed, close to breaking down and weeping with joy. "The serial number has been filed off, making it untraceable" the stranger revealed, shoving a box of ammo into Dennis' quivering hands. "These are hollow points. They're designed to rip through the standard bullet proof vest. Useful if some jackbooted agent of the State tries to steal your weapon".

"In violation of my due process and 2nd amendment rights, which I love" Dennis concurred. "Well, I've got to be going" the man said, dropping his cancer stick and extinguishing it with the heel of his cowboy boot. "Thank you God" Dennis remarked as the man turned and left. "I will treasure this beauty for the rest of my life". Finally Dennis felt fully empowered to defend himself, which is a basic human right. Now Dennis could stop worrying about the violent thugs who were coming to get him.

Frankly Dennis couldn't believe he had lasted so long without a gun, what with all the worthless poor people who wanted something for nothing. And would shoot him dead to get it. Mostly young Black thugs. They frightened Dennis immensely. They were worse than wild animals. Dennis knew this because he'd seen it on Fox News. A young Black thug stole cigarillos in a strong-arm robbery. The cop who confronted the violent felon was forced to gun him down when he charged, intending to (continue) violently assaulting him. It was obvious to Dennis that this thug was likely berserking, high on marijuana.

Because of this Dennis spent many nights pacing the floor, sick with worry. And checking and rechecking his locks. The incidents of Black thug violence were clearly on the rise. It was only a matter of time before they came for him. He knew then the time was right to acquire a firearm for his own protection. He was also afraid Vincent Vanderschmidt might try to kill him, but that was another matter.

In any case, now that Dennis had his gun he could defend himself against anyone who came for him. That night he placed the weapon under his pillow. After polishing and cleaning it until the nickel plating shown brilliantly. "You are a beauty" Dennis exclaimed, holding up the gun so he could admire it properly.

"Thank you" came a reply. Huh? "Who said that?!", Dennis screamed, looking about frantically. Was there an intruder in his domicile? Quickly Dennis reached for his box of ammo, his hands shaking in anticipation. Would tonight be the night he gunned down his first violent thug? "Don't worry" the same voice said in a soothing tone. "It's me, your gun" Dennis' gun told him.

"A talking gun? I must have gone nuts", Dennis lamented. "No way, you're one of the sanest people on the planet", Dennis' gun assured him. "Trust me concerning who the nut is according to guns". "OK, I will" Dennis acquiesced. Then he went to bed, exhausted after a long week of very little sleep. "I'm going to place you under my pillow for safekeeping" Dennis told Magnum PI, which is what Dennis' weapon said it's name was.

Hours passed as Dennis slumbered. "Wake up, Dennis" Magnum shouted, rousting Dennis from his sleep. Withdrawing his weapon from under his pillow Dennis drowsily asked, "what's the problem, Magnum?". "I heard something. Possibly an intruder" Magnum explained. Dennis looked around but saw nothing. The sun was up, however, so Dennis decided to rise from his bed and check his windows and locks for signs of intrusion. Then Dennis heard a knocking at the door, which meant someone was on his porch!

Dennis had many no trespassing signs posted, including several facing the road. Therefore anyone approaching his property had fair warning. Dennis flipped off the safety on Magnum and approached his front door. "It's the mailman, I need your signature on a package" a voice on the other side of the door said.

An agent of one of the socialist agencies of the Federal Government (just one of the many socialist agencies/programs that should be abolished)? Dennis didn't buy it. Probably a ruse so that the jackbooted governmental enforcers could steal his newly acquired weapon. Perhaps the NSA had been listening in during his phone call? Not that it mattered. Dennis had the right to fire given the fact that his no trespassing signs gave intruders warning. This individual was violating that warning - and on Dennis' property against his will.

"Shoot!" Magnum urged him. "Obama's agents are here to steal me!". Dennis raised his gun and fired through the door. Then he blew across the barrel, as he had seen actors in action movies do. How cool. Hearing a body thud, Dennis remarked "smoked him". Smiling, Dennis proudly strode toward the door, eager to see the results of the first exercise of his basic human right. Opening the door Dennis noted a man dressed in a mailman's uniform lying on the ground, a large hole in his chest. The man, however, was not dead. Blood trickled out of his mouth as he gurgled and struggled to speak.

"Didn't you see the signs?" Dennis screamed. "You are on my property unlawfully and I am therefore within my rights to shoot" Dennis added, pointing Magnum at the man's head and firing a second time. "Good job!" Magnum congratulated him. "Indeed" Dennis agreed. "I defended my basic human rights good. Now to dispose of the body. Not because, as a law abiding gun owner I did anything wrong, but because I wish to avoid harassment and hassle placed there by out of line legislators".

SWTD #277, PIF #24.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Martin Luther King On The Dignity of Work Versus "The Oinkers"

How can we most effectively fulfill the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King? I think the first step is to stop electing Republicans~ Thom Hartmann on the MLK day edition of his Progressive radio program (1/19/2009).

Martin Luther King Jr. believed that all work has dignity. Naturally he was a strong proponent of Labor and of a Minimum Wage (MW) that was also a living wage.

MLK: So often we overlook the work and the significance of those who are not in professional jobs, of those who are not in the so-called big jobs. But let me say to you tonight that whenever you are engaged in work that serves humanity and is for the building of humanity, it has dignity and it has worth. (AFSCME Memphis Sanitation Strike, April 3, 1968).

This is in stark contrast to Conservatives who view "menial" labor workers as the lowest of the low. These are jobs that should either be outsourced to low wage countries (if they can be); or the workers should be paid as low a wage as possible (by doing away with the MW).

An 8/28/2013 Slate article reminds us that "one of the demands at the March on Washington was for a $2 minimum wage, which would be $15.27 an hour adjusted for inflation today".

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom or "The Great March on Washington"... was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history and called for civil and economic rights for African Americans. It took place in Washington DC. Thousands of Americans headed to Washington on Tuesday August 27, 1963. On Wednesday, August 28, 1963. Martin Luther King, Jr., standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech in which he called for an end to racism (Wikipedia: March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom).

Meanwhile, on the other side we have Conservative/Libertarian memes that say the minimum wage is "racist" (OST #23) and that people in "menial" labor jobs who are protesting for higher wages are "oinking" for them.

Libertarian Blog Commenter: It's like the McDonald's workers doing work worth about $8 an hour and oinking for a handout of $15 an hour without doing a single thing to earn this amount. Other than oink for more money. (1/6/2015 AT 3:58pm).

Gee, I wonder where this commenter got the idea that this type of labor is worth $8 an hour? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the MW is around that amount ($7.25, currently)? A MW that today would be in the $15 an hour neighborhood if that $2 an hour MW - the one that those who participated in MLK's "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom" believed should be paid - actually was (although the MW "peaked at about $10 in 1968, measured in 2014 dollars).

So the "oinking" is only for a MW that is comparable to what was being paid in 1968. But I don't think these people believe in the dignity of work. Their only concern is that wages be forced down to as low a level as possible so as high a percentage of profits as possible can be diverted to the plutocrats. The people who are doing the REAL oinking, in my opinion.

I say that anyone who opposes a MW below what it was in 1968 is on the side of the oinkers. And they stand in opposition to those who believe in the dignity of work, as Martin Luther King did. But what would you expect from someone who referred to (what he views as) menial labor as a "chimpanzee jobs" - and believes that these kind of jobs should be outsourced to 3rd world countries where laborers are wage slaves forced to work under unsafe conditions and for wages so meager that they often commit suicide (SWTD #165)?

Obviously these people believe there is some work that does NOT have dignity (and should be done by "chimpanzees" in low wage countries). Huh... maybe OPPOSING a minimum wage is racist? Surely it is classist. Yes, it is absolutely not a bad thing to strive to improve your "human capital", but it is also not a bad thing to believe there is dignity in ALL work and that ALL workers deserve a wage they can live on.

As opposed to denigrating people who work at "lowly" jobs by referring to them as losers. And using derogatives such as "paper hat job" or "chimpanzee job" to refer to the work these people do. But drilling into the heads of people the meme that these "losers" don't deserve a living wage makes it that much easier to drive wages down... and transfer this wealth into the pockets of the plutocrats.

And it most certainly is the Republican Party (and Libertarians) that represents those who are desirous of believing they're better than these losers. Classists, racists and others whose self-perception is dependant on maintaining their egoism (the "rational self interest" Ayn Rand types that view many of their fellow humans as Looters, Moochers and Parasites/Lice). Which is why I agree that one of the first steps to fulfilling the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King is to stop electing Republicans (and Libertarians).

SWTD #276

Sunday, January 04, 2015

On The Michael Brown And Eric Garner Grand Jury Decisions

Most middle-class whites have no idea what it feels like to be subjected to police who are routinely suspicious, rude, belligerent, and brutal ~ Benjamin Spock (5/2/1903 to 3/15/1998) an American pediatrician whose book Baby and Child Care, published in 1946, is one of the best-sellers of all time.

My view is that these decisions are bullshit. In regards to the Michael Brown case, I heard that "witness 40" - the individual who said Michael Brown charged his killer "like a football player, head down" - wasn't there and is a known racist liar. This concocted "testimony" has been cited many times on Fox Nooz (by Sean Hannity specifically) as "proof" that Darren Wilson's version of events were accurate and therefore the shooting was justified (Witness 40: Exposing A Fraud In Ferguson).

Frankly I didn't buy this "charging" baloney from the beginning. No sane person would charge someone shooting at them. It's utterly ridiculous. But now that we know Sandra McElroy (AKA "Witness 40") lied - coupled that with the fact that Brown was over 100 feet away when Wilson started firing - I'm thinking this is looking more and more like murder. As for WHY Wilson decided to murder Brown, I can't say. Either incompetence (he panicked) indicating the guy should never have been a cop to begin with, or racism. Or a combination of the two.

I do know, however, that there ABSOLUTELY should have been a trial AND that the prosecutor, Bob McCulloch, did not get an indictment because he didn't want one. According to the Washington Post, McCulloch's "father, a police officer, was killed by a black suspect... [and, during his career as a prosecutor] four times he presented evidence to a grand jury in [a police shooting] case and didn't get an indictment; now he can add a fifth". (Bob McCulloch's pathetic prosecution of Darren Wilson).

Not only that, but Bob McCulloch knew Sandra McElroy was lying BEFORE he allowed her to testify before the grand jury! McCulloch said "there were people who came in and, yes, absolutely lied under oath [but] I thought it was much more important to present the entire picture" (St. Louis prosecutor McCulloch says he knew Witness 40 lied to Ferguson grand jury).

Right. As for the Hannity-quoted Witness 40, McCulloch admitted, "this lady clearly wasn't present when this occurred". Then why the hell did he allow her to testify? A 12/17/2014 FireDogLake article asserts that McCulloch "should be investigated for conspiracy to suborn perjury"... and I agree. McCulloch is more to blame for this fabricated testimony being presented to the jury (and influencing their decision) than Witness 40 (who may suffer from some "serious mental health issues").

Hopefully this unethical misconduct by McCulloch is followed up on. And then there is the fact that Darren Wilson appears to have lied under oath.

Officer Darren Wilson testified that he knew about the theft of a box of cigarillos from the Ferguson Market, before encountering Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson. However, Officer Wilson's supervisor testified that he spoke to Wilson after the shooting, and that Wilson "did not know anything about the stealing call". In an apparent effort to turn unreasonable actions into a reasonable excuse to pull the gun out, Wilson connected the stop to the call about the in-store theft. (FDL article, "Over Easy: Transcripts show #DarrenWilson Lied to the Grand Jury" by Masoninblue, 11/26/2014).

So Wilson was not thinking Michael Brown might be the suspect who supposedly stole a box of cigs, Michael Brown didn't punch officer Wilson causing a "broken eye socket", and Michael Brown did not "charge" Wilson. Brown also wasn't 35 feet away from Darren Wilson's SUV. It was actually 148 feet (Police Lied: Michael Brown Was Killed 148 Feet Away From Darren Wilson's SUV).

So, tell me... how the hell could Darren Wilson fear for his life from someone who was SO far away AND not "charging" him? Shooting so many damn times (10 shots according to this article) suggests to me that maybe Wilson didn't want Michael Brown to survive to tell his side of the story.

As for the killing of Eric Garner by officer Daniel Pantaleo - that homicide was ON TAPE - and still no indictment. I believe the Black community has good reason to be angry - and I support them in their protests demanding change. And I also view any cop - or head of any cop organization - that speaks out against any protestor (such as the St. Louis Rams players who ran onto the field and did the "hands up, don't shoot" pose) to be a part of the problem.

In regards to the mentally ill individual who killed two NY City cops in "retaliation"... he was NOT "incited" to violence by the protestors! I've heard this meme and view anyone propagating it to also be a part of the problem. The protestors are opposed to needless killings, and the murder of these cops - officers that weren't White and had nothing to do with any unjust killings of unarmed Black males. People have a right to protest and I think those who are trying to pin this on the peaceful protesters in an effort to slime them is reprehensible (a-holes such as Rudy Giuliani and this guy).

Only a few idiots chanted about wanting dead cops (idiots who later said they didn't mean it). Those idiots are a minority and not representative of the protestors at large. In fact, Eric Garner's widow said (in regards to the officer shootings) "I know what they're going through to lose a loved one right before the holidays, and everything is so sad, and I would ask that everyone that is protesting with us, please protest in a nonviolent way. My husband was not a violent man so we don't want any violence connected to his name".

Another example a person who are a part of the problem would be Patrick Lynch, the police union president, who said Mayor Bill de Blasio has "blood on [his] hands". There will always be bad actors (on any side of an argument) - so painting all the protestors as somehow responsible for "inciting" violence - in regards to the to NY police officers who were assassinated in this case, Pat Lynch has (along with the officers who turned their backs on de Blasio when he visited the Woodhull Hospital for a press conference) is bullpuckey.

The shooter (Ismaaiyl Brinsley) who executed officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu should have been tried and sent to prison (if he hadn't killed himself) - same as Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo. The "tried" part, in any case.

Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo are bad cops who should have been charged (with at least Manslaughter). Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were (by all accounts) good cops and the victims... quite similar to how Michael Brown and Eric Garner were victims. Although their killers got off scot-free.

Pantaleo "has been sued three times for allegedly violating the constitutional rights of other blacks he and fellow cops arrested" (USA Today 12/4/2014). As for Wilson, although it has been asserted that he was a good cop with a clean record, a blogger on the Daily Kos notes that prior to 2010 "use of force complaints were not kept in an officer's personnel file".

So we don't know if Wilson has ever been accused of using excessive force. We do know, however, that he was previously fired from the Jennings MO police force because there was "so much tension between white officers and black residents, that the city council finally decided to disband it" (Washington Post). This is hardly an indictment against Wilson, but it does mean he cut his teeth as an officer in a job where there was a "disconnect between the community and the police department".

Perhaps this explains why Wilson thought it was OK to swear at Brown and Johnson for (supposedly) jaywalking, nearly sideswipe them when backing up his vehicle, and then hit them with his door (according to witnesses). Obviously this kind of behavior is uncalled for when dealing with a minor offense such as jaywalking. Perhaps he just felt like giving two young Black men a hard time? I surely don't know. I do know, however, that his story does not add up. The Brown family lawyer described Wilson's narrative as "absurd from beginning to end" and I agree.

I think that Pantaleo, on the other hand, did not mean to kill Eric Garner. He simply didn't care he might be endangering the man's life by putting him in a chokehold and forcing him to the ground. This is evidenced by the fact that nobody listened to him when he said he couldn't breath. Apparently they didn't believe him.

In my opinion the cops involved just didn't give a shit. It was reckless endangerment and depraved indifference... and, given the past excessive force complaints against Pantaleo, it was only a matter of time before he seriously hurt or killed someone. This isn't the kind of person who should be a cop, IMO.

As for what should be done going forward, I think that special prosecutors should handle cases where cops shoot and kill civilians. When prosecutors who work WITH cops to prosecute the bad guys are called on to prosecute a cop - that creates a conflict of interest. The prosecutor doesn't want to alienate the officers they rely on to make their cases. I say AVOID the conflict of interest and have a special prosecutor handle these kind of cases.

When you work with cops every day you definitely gain more respect for their difficult work. And you need them to help you make your cases (every prosecutor has experienced having a police officer catch an attitude, sometimes in the middle of a trial, and purposely ruin your case because they don't like you).

And finally policing is like most other employment - a few people do most of the work. So prosecutors see the same cops over and over, and they bond with them. It's not so much that they excuse egregious misconduct as that they cast a blind eye. Nothing irks a cop more than an elitist prosecutor treating him or her like "some suspect".

So the problem stems from the culture of the prosecutor's office, compounded by the fact that, like most lawyers, prosecutors are competitive and ambitious and the way you move ahead is to win your cases, and the way you win cases is get your star witnesses - the cops - to go the extra mile. All that makes it really tough to try to send one of them to prison (The System Must Counteract Prosecutors' Natural Sympathies for Cops by Paul Butler. NYT Opinion Pages, 12/4/2014).

Why not let a 100 percent neutral party decide if there should or shouldn't be a trial when the suspect is a cop? Even if you disagree with EVERYTHING else I've written here, I don't see how anyone could argue that this would be a bad idea. Although, if you're the type of person who believes cops are never wrong, they always do right and there are absolutely no bad ones... not even one... then you might be strongly in favor of staying with the current system, a system that isn't as impartial as it could be.

Since the 15th century, Lady Justice has often been depicted wearing a blindfold. The blindfold represents objectivity, in that justice is or should be meted out objectively, without fear or favor, regardless of identity, personal wealth, power, or weakness; blind justice and impartiality... Excerpt from the Wikipedia page: Lady Justice/Blindfold.

SWTD #275

Monday, December 29, 2014

On Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele Guest Hosting Hardball On 12/29/2014

Would you rather have Rick Scott in Florida overseeing the voting mechanism or Charlie Crist? Would you rather have Scott Walker in Wisconsin overseeing the voter mechanism, or would you rather have Mary Burke? ~ Chris Christie, potential 2016 GOP presidential, on how control of the "voting mechanism" by a Republican governor can help a GOP candidate.

My immediate response was "what the hell"? I mean, I know he's a paid "MSNBC political analyst" and I am OK with that. Actually, my opinion of the dude rose after hearing him speak on MSNBC. But having him guest host? Instead of simply contributing? No, I'm not OK with that.

And this instinct proved correct when one of the first things Steele said was "the idea of the Southern Strategy is over. I announced that when I was chairman. We're not doing that anymore".

Baloney! Steele might have said "we" (the Republican Party) would not be doing that anymore, but I don't think the rest of his Party got the message. In fact this might be one of the reasons he got the boot as GOP chairman - and ended up on MSNBC. The GOP saw their opponents win with a Black candidate and they said, "hey we can do that". Or those who did the voting thought that (IMO).

Then they realized they could do much better by appealing to the racists that populate their base without a Black man leading the party. And so he had to go. That's my take, anyway. Mr. Steele himself points out the following...

...if [I] was such a terrible party chairman, how did Republicans manage to gain six governor's mansions, pick up six seats in the Senate - including the one in Massachusetts held for 48 years by the late Ted Kennedy - and sweep the 2010 House midterms by a stunning 63 seats, knocking the shell-shocked Democrats from power? (Michael Steele Blasts GOP Enemies by Lloyd Grove. The Daily Beast, 10/14/2011).

So he only lasted one two year term, after which they got another White guy in there ASAP. Reince Priebus, who is now in his second term as GOP chair.

In any case, this is complete BS from Steele that the GOP "isn't doing that anymore". They doubled down on it with Barack Obama. First they obstructed Obama at every turn, deliberately sabotaging the economy to look Obama look bad. Obama may have been elected to a second term, but that is because voter turnout is always higher when the nation is electing a president. The GOP strategy paid off during the midterms, when turnout is low... and when those who do turn out to vote are generally richer, Whiter and older.

Part two of the Republican strategy was to use their governorship gains to control who votes... and disenfranchise as much as possible - a strategy otherwise known as cheating. According to investigative journalist Greg Palast, this massive election fraud campaign took the form of a disenfranchisement scheme know as "the Interstate Crosscheck program".

Election officials in 27 states, most of them Republicans, have launched... a massive purge of voters from the rolls. Millions, especially black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters... have been removed [from the voter rolls]... by matching names from roughly 110 million voter records from participating states (Jim Crow Returns by Greg Palast for Al Jazeera America, 10/29/2014).

If a match is discovered, the voter could be determined to be a double voter and their name purged from the rolls. Because, as we all know, every single American's name is unique. Two people with the same name (or similar name) MUST actually be the same person voting (fraudulently) in two different states.

Or, it could be that we're dealing with blatant election fraud perpetrated by Republican operatives who strongly believe in "winning" by any method available. Methods like deliberately tanking the economy, playing to the racists in their ranks, and outright cheating. The kind of cheating Chris Christie is hopeful might help him win the presidency in 2016.

So why the hell did MSNBC allow Steele guest host, and have as his first guest Republican Strategist John Feehery, with who Steele discussed potential GOP presidential candidates who "appeal to a broader base of voters". Candidate like Randal Paul, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are all responsible candidates who are "ready to have that conversation". These names represent a "deep bench of good candidates" said Feehery.

"What, is this, Republican propaganda hour?" I wondered. Although the other guest, Jonathan Capehart did point out that the "Republican autopsy" and then ignored the report's findings, instead taking a route that further alienated African Americans, the Gay community and Latinos.

Steele thought this was the Party taking one step forward and then one step back. Right. Lying about no longer using the Southern Strategy isn't a "step forward", Steele. Maybe he believes his own BS, but I find that hard to swallow, given the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. A person would really have to have the wool pulled over their eyes to buy that nonsense.

Nonsense that MSNBC should not be allowing to be propagated on their airwaves. Although "Morning Joe" might also be guilty of this. I would not know because I've never watched it. I do, occasionally, tune into MSNBC prior to Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes and Lawrence O'Donnell, and will once in awhile watch Chris Matthews and Ed Schultz. Matthews is to Middle of the road for me, which may explain why he was OK with Steele filling in for him.

Me, while Steele did an OK job otherwise, I didn't care for his mixing in of Republican untruths and talking up of potential GOP presidential candidates who might tell some fibs to win minority votes - when the Party has done absolutely nothing to indicate they have any intention of making any kind of effort of actually doing anything for these constituents. Aside from paying them some lip service in an effort to fool them into voting Republican.

SWTD #274