Science Fiction fan, computer geek, economist, engineer, soccer player.
103 stories
·
0 followers

Nothin’ Falls as Hard as a Prisoner’s Tears

1 Comment

Christopher Cantwell, aka the Crying Nazi, has turned himself in and is in jail:

Christopher Cantwell, a white-supremacist who gained notoriety for making violent statements about counterprotesters in a Vice documentary on Charlottesville, has surrendered to Lynchburg, Virginia, police. University of Virginia police said Tuesday that warrants had been obtained for Cantwell’s arrest on two counts of the illegal use of tear gas or other gases and one count of malicious bodily injury with a “caustic substance,” explosive, or fire. The charges stem from a rally held on the University of Virginia campus the night before the Aug. 12 Charlottesville protest, where a woman was killed and several others injured. Police say Cantwell used pepper spray against a counterprotester, a charge Cantwell has admitted to but claims he did in self-defense.

If you haven’t heard of Cantwell before, he’s a fascist prick with very serious mental health and substance abuse issues who was the “star” of the Vice documentary that made the rounds last week:

He later, upon hearing he would be charged criminally for his brutish and violent behavior, posted this teary video:

The man is mentally unwell, and I hope he is incarcerated and given a chance to seek help. The crying is a byproduct of those issues and his substance abuse- he’s pretty clearly another weepy drunk like John Boehner and so many others.

Read the whole story
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
Zaphod717
113 days ago
reply
Stormtrooper Snowflake goes to jail
The Belly of the Beast

His Life is Over!

2 Comments

This story about a Nazi who lives in a bedroom suburb of Rochester, Honeoye Falls, is tragicomedy:

“No Nazis in our neighborhood,” read the words emblazoned in large, bold type across the tops of the fliers, which also show a picture of a group of demonstrators carrying tiki torches on the campus of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville the night of Aug. 11. One man carrying a torch near the bottom right corner of the image is circled.
The fliers identify the circled man as Jerrod Kuhn and claim that he is a “leading figure with the Daily Stormer, an avowedly neo-Nazi website around which local groups have been organizing to promote anti-Semitism, white supremacy and violence against LGBTQ communities.”
Speaking early Wednesday afternoon outside his Honeoye Falls residence, Kuhn staunchly denied being a neo-Nazi, calling the assertion “a crazy accusation.”
“I’m not a neo-Nazi. I don’t belong to a German workers’ party from 1933,” he said. “… I’m a moderate Republican.”

I guess that settles it. The swastika was just a decoration. The whining continues:

Kuhn said the fliers have ruined his life and that, after they were posted around the village, he and members of his family have received death threats. Law enforcement has been made aware of the threats, said Kuhn, but he thinks he’ll probably have to move out of the area.
“I can’t live in this community anymore. I’m in the process of figuring out what I’m going to do,” he said. “I’m 21 years old and now my life is over in this area.”

I don’t condone death threats, but I do want to point out that his life is not over in the same way that Heather Heyer’s is.

Read the whole story
Share this story
Delete
2 public comments
Zaphod717
118 days ago
reply
Yet another Stormtrooper Snowflake in need of a safe space.
The Belly of the Beast
jefron
118 days ago
reply
Reminds me of the story of the goat fucker
Chicago

Open Thread: Worst. Reboot. EVER!

1 Comment

Because nothing can be original any more, Ollie North emerges from his cushy right-wing cave and tries to promote a false equivalence between Donald Trump and… Thomas Jefferson. FDR. Even Ronald Reagan would reject the comparison! — he may have been a cynical mouthpiece for a bunch of greedy oligarchs, and sinking into organic dementia, but at least he was a professional. His meanest critics would admit that Reagan never shirked the less pleasant aspects of his White House job, always hit his camera marks, and mouthed the lines he was given with sincerity.

Ours is a coarser era, and Russia a rather more potent enemy; I suspect that even some portion of the Fox-News-addled “base” will be quick to turn on Trump as soon as it’s obvious he’s not going to “win” against a grand jury. Heel to hero back to heel — professional “reality” infotainment at its finest!

…. Oh, look, another needy has-been from the RWNJ swamps!…

Read the whole story
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
Zaphod717
132 days ago
reply
Surely this is the final nail in irony's coffin?
The Belly of the Beast

The power of propaganda

1 Share

We may be in Mexico, but sometimes you get pulled back into discussing home.

Donald Trump just gave two very disturbing speeches. In one, he portrayed Long Island as an embattled paradise turned hellscape by violent Latino immigrants. In the other, he called for more police brutality. It is a continuation of a theme he started during the campaign.

What’s crazy is that Long Island is safer than it’s ever been. If you look at juvenile homicide arrests, you get basically nothing save for three in 2014, another one in 2016 and six this year. It is true that MS-13 recently carried out some horrific crimes in Suffolk. But that is not a crime wave.

So how does Trump get any traction? Sadly, I know the answer. I have family on Long Island and in South Florida.

On Long Island with Uncle Ray

These places are similar, heavily populated by the descendants of white Ellis Island immigrants, the generation of people who shaped America’s liberal version of itself. Jews, Italians, and Irish all turned into Americans by the melting pot. Yet current segregation, presidential propaganda, and the folk memory of the genuine crime explosion of the 1960s and 1970s, combines to make them all ready to believe things that just ain’t so.

Consider two anecdotes. I was in Broward County with my daughter at an outdoor zoo, where save for the bear and panthers the kiddos can walk around and interact with the animals. At one point, my daughter sprints out of the bathroom after we wash her hands. I’m not worried, not least because I’m there with family: her cousin, uncle and great-uncle are all outside. But this older white guy next to me, he says, “You ought to get one of those child leashes.” I say nah, why? 

“Crime. It’s crazy out there. Worse than ever.”

Me: no, not really, I grew up in New York in the 1970s and it was far more dangerous.

“I’m from New York too! Really, you think it’s safer now?”

Me: I know it. Look at how the city has changed, look at how Miami has changed. And then I show him some graphs (available at the Marshall Project). And he gets sort of quiet, as if he never expected a middle-aged white guy to take issue with what seemed to him to be an anodyne comment about an obvious truth.

Miami violent crime  1975-2015

Then the same conversation happens with my (very liberal) brother two days later.

With my brother, I showed him news stories from the 1980s when he lived in Miami that drove the point home. He was a little abashed: despite his own experience regularly travelling to neighborhoods that would have given him pause 20 years ago, despite his own daughter living in a formerly n0-go part of Plantation, and despite his knowledge of overall crime trends the incessant propaganda of the past two years had convinced him of something that just was not true.

The name of the town is the only thing scary about Plantation  Poppa

Maybe the internet really has made the creation of alternate facts easier than in the past, but the alternative fact of “American carnage” has been created by just a presidential soapbox combined with the predilections of white people to believe the worst about their non-white neighbors. 

In short, as long as that predilection exists, demogogues will be able to make hay by making stuff up. The internet has affected American politics for the worse. But this is not one of the ways.

Read the whole story
Share this story
Delete

David Brooks Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

1 Comment

One sentence from today’s column that captures the pure, distilled essence of the alt-hack that is our BoBo:

And yet it has to be confessed that, at least so far, the Whitewater scandal was far more substantive than the Russia-collusion scandal now gripping Washington.

It’s all there.

The disembodied passive voice to give pulled-from-the-ass opinion the aura of ex-cathedra authority:  “it has to be confessed…” Oh yeah? Says who?

The careful weasel phrase, a scurrying for plausible deniability when this infallible dictum falls prey to fact:  “at least so far…”

The statement, presented as general consensus, that is, in fact, false:  “Whitewater…was far more substantial than…’ anything at all is simply false, and Brooks himself was both a driver of that falsehood and was and is perfectly positioned to know better than what he writes here.

The Whitewater “scandal,” as just about every non-interested party now knows, was a steaming heap of bullshit, ginned up by Republican operatives (Ted Olson!) in an attempt to damage the Clintons and the Democratic Party.

Brooks reminds his reader that he was the op-ed editor of The Wall Street Journal at the time his page was running piece after piece about the scandal that he claims was substantive — and yet, in (again) classic BoBo self-protective weasel writing, now writes “I confess I couldn’t follow all the actual allegations made in those essays…”

In other words, don’t blame him if his paper and his page retailed great steaming heaps of bullshit that as he now writes, “in retrospect Whitewater seems overblown….” (Note again the tactical use of the grammar that evades responsibility, that subjunctive “seems.”  Translation: my paper on my watch spread bullshit for partisan ends, and but all that can be said (see what I did there) is that the outcome of our work “seems” … not so great.  Nice obfuscation if you can get (away with) it.) (Yes. I like parentheses. Sue me.)

Where was I?  Oh yeah:  don’t contemn Brooks for that overblown false scandal, but take his word for it that that steaming heap of bullshit was nonetheless more real than the Russian allegations.

Oh?

No.

I don’t think I have to go into detail for this crowd about the depth and range of the Trump-Russia nexus. It may be that Brooks is trying to be clever here, and define the scandal purely as a question of whether Trump himself (and or his campaign) directly conspired with agents of Putin’s government to affect the election.

That would make that sentence yet more carefully parsed to give him cover as things like money laundering and influence peddling details accumulate.  In that, we may be seeing a preview of the approach Republican opinion-framers will attempt later on: Trump’s corrupt, but not a traitor.  But even allowing for such fine dissection of the growing scandal, there’s plenty of confirmed evidence of interaction between Trump’s campaign and significant Russian folks (see, e.g., Sessions and Kislyak).  In other words: Whitewater ended as it began with no evidence of Clinton wrongdoing.  Trump-Russia already has on public record significant and troubling revelations.

There’s a pattern here. The New York Times has given prime opinion acreage to now two partisan hack/WSJ refugees in Brooks and Bret Stephens. Both employ a more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger voice to construct in the language of rueful reason narratives that directly bolster Republican positions and personalities. Both use that seeming reasonableness, the above-the-fray tone of impartial and unchallenged judgment, to say things that are clearly not true.  Those lies directly undercut reporting happening within the Grey Lady’s newsroom put out.  Op-ed editor Bennett, executive editor Baquet and publisher Sulzberger are all OK with that, it seems.

David Brooks tells plausible falsehoods in defense of some of the worst people in the history of American politics. The Times lets him; more, it has done so for decades promoting a career hack/flack to a position of influence far beyond anything his lack of rigor and intellectual dishonesty should ever have earned.

This is a big problem.

Update: I just trashed a comment on how Brook’ wife  should interact with his wife. Using the term the comment did for a woman one may dislike or disapprove of is unacceptable, for all the obvious reasons.  No banhammer yet, but a repeat will earn a time out.

Update 2: Charles Pierce, on much the same passage, with much the same reaction, only more so.

Image: Frits van den Berghe, The Idiot By The Pond1926

Read the whole story
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
Zaphod717
177 days ago
reply
Peak Bobo?
The Belly of the Beast

Thursday Evening Open Thread: Bravo, Trevor Noah

1 Comment

The Daily Show doesn’t usually top the chart for political commentary, but this one is brilliant — even Noah’s vocal mimicry of the various players!

What’s on the agenda for the rest of the evening?
.

Read the whole story
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
Zaphod717
210 days ago
reply
We should start to call Fox News the Gaslight Channel. Thanks Tucker!
The Belly of the Beast
Next Page of Stories