I know the scenery in the prairies can get monotonous but...
"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Shock first and ask questions later
Imagine you're a small town cop in the heartland of America. You're responding to a report about a teen walking on the expressway overpass - a driver was worried the kid might get hit by a car or something. You arrive to find the 16-year-old lying on the shoulder of the highway 30 feet below the overpass. Do you:
1. Call an ambulance
2. Render first aid
3. Order him to get up and taser him 19 times when he fails to comply because its hard to stand up with a broken spine.
Seriously, what kind of IQ/psychiatric screening process does one have to fail to be issued a taser as a cop these days? I'm sure the big strong cops with their nightsticks, pepper spray, heavy flashlights, pistols and body armor (and likely a trunk full of rifles and shotguns) were scared that the teenager might have been on drugs or something since he was raving incoherently- as you might if you fell off a bridge and broke your back - but surely it would have occurred to most people after the second or third jolt that something was amiss with the young miscreant
Click the link on the sidebar for a list of taser-related atrocities. And remember not to lose your temper in an airport, or question the authority of a campus cop, or fail to spring to attention when ordered to do so by someone in uniform, or be a loud drunk, or the wrong color.....
Hat tips to the General and Corrente and Pam's House Blend
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
A town called malice
Why is it that the Excited States is viewed by many reasonsable people in other civilized countries as a sort of open-air barrier-free lunatic asylum? Reason #472: Kennesaw, Georgia
Kennesaw is the sort of picturesque Old Southern town that doubtless considers itself the very embodiment of Traditional American Values. So much so that back in 1982, when those Yankee pinkos and sissies in Morton Grove, Illinois, decided to ban handguns from their town in an effort to cut down on violent crime, Kennesaw's city council took umbrage. Such umbrage that they decided to make it mandatory for each home to have a gun and ammunition.
Not to worry though, those weapons are in good hands:
Dent "Wildman" Myers, 76, styles himself as a keeper of the flame when it comes to Kennesaw's gun ordinance. His downtown shop contains a cornucopia of artifacts, including old uniforms and dozens of flags of the Confederacy that fought the Union in part in defense of slavery in the Civil War. At the back is a Ku Klux Klan outfit with a noose and a hood.
There also are posters praising defenders of the white race, White Power CDs and a sign that reads: "No Dogs Allowed, No Negroes, No Mexicans." Someone had crossed out the first part of the sign and added "Dogs Allowed."
Myers said he wanted to protect the values that made the town and the South distinct from other parts of the United States.
"They destroyed anything historic and replaced it with the PC (politically correct) stuff. It's become a cookie cutter town," Myers said, his hands resting lightly on two .45-caliber guns at his hips. He said he considered his guns to be tools, much like a rake or a shovel.
Hell, yes! Those shooting irons absolutely are tools, just like a rake or a shovel. All tools have a purpose. You use a shovel to dig holes, a rake to break up and smooth soil or gather fallen leaves and you use guns to kill people. They are just tools, just like Mr. Myers. And thanks to the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Washington D.C. handgun ban, even places like Morton Grove are going to have more tool than they want.
And speaking of tools, the Ole Perfessor has also muddied the waters, fortunately Paul Helmke at the Brady Project unmuddies them.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Civil Cold War turning hot?
The recent shooting in a Tennessee Unitarian-Universalist Church is a tragic event and as distasteful as it is to use a tragedy to make a political point, there is no escaping the facts in this case:
Knoxville Police Department Officer Steve Still requested the search warrant after interviewing Adkisson. who was subdued by several church members after firing three rounds from a 12-gauge shotgun into the congregation.
Adkisson targeted the church, Still wrote in the document obtained by WBIR-TV, Channel 10, "because of its liberal teachings and his belief that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country, and that he felt that the Democrats had tied his country's hands in the war on terror and they had ruined every institution in America with the aid of media outlets."
Adkisson told Still that "he could not get to the leaders of the liberal movement that he would then target those that had voted them in to office."...Inside the house, officers found "Liberalism is a Mental Health Disorder" by radio talk show host Michael Savage, "Let Freedom Ring" by talk show host Sean Hannity, and "The
O'Reilly Factor," by television talk show host Bill O'Reilly.
It was a politically driven murder, in that the man who committed the crime specifically targeted the church and its congregation because of their politics. I wonder why.
"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."
-Ann Coulter, August 26, 2002
"I'd hang every lawyer that went down to Guantanamo"
-Michael Savage, June 19, 2008
"In this recurring nightmare of a presidency, we have a national debate about whether he "did it," even though all sentient people know he did. Otherwise there would be debates only about whether to impeach or assassinate. "
-Ann Coulter, High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton, 1998
The definitive list is here (Special thanks to David Neiwert, who has been shining a light on this kind of rhetoric for years)
I'm not saying that everyone who reads a book by Sean Hannity is a potential mass murderer or that watching Bill O'Reilly leads ignorant alcoholics to try to gun down liberals any more than video games cause school shootings. What I am saying is that the constant eliminationist rhetoric of the right does push some people in that direction. I'm not advocating censorship, I'm advocating responsible speech. I love passionate invective as much as the next guy, but when you start seriously advocating killing people on a radio broadcast or a television show, you've crossed a very serious threshold and ought to be held responsible in a court of law.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Throw the bum out
Williams Lake B.C. Mayor Scott Nelson has decided that enough is enough. He has convinced the local RCMP detachment to arrest a local panhandler and wants the man banned from town for five years. I suppose with oil prices what they are, it was too expensive for the Mayor to heat up the tar to go with the feathers himself. In the linked story, the panhandler Robert Inglis is described as aggressive, and as having "problems" - a little reading between the lines in the various news stories and looking at Inglis' history (he's already been banned from nearby Prince George for two years in the hope that he would return to Williams Lake) leads one to believe that his guy, like many homeless panhandlers, needs some psychological/psychiatric help. This looks like a mental health problem, not a criminal justice problem. I'm sure he's very scary and verbally abusive and I don't doubt for a second that he is a blight on beautiful downtown Williams Lake, but this isn't the 13th century and you can't just form a mob and chase the hunchback out of the village. Inglis likely need to be committed and treated. Chasing him out of town just makes him someone else's problem.
A quick read of the Mayor's bio and some council minutes just furthers my impression that Mayor Nelson is the kind of civic-booster-chamber-of-commerce-small-businessman-big-fish-in a-small-pond that plagues local government everywhere, until their wish comes true and they get a seat in the provincial legislature or parliament where they are a plague on the province or nation. He doesn't like having bums in town and after 14 years on the council figures he's just the kind of guy to run this undesirable out of town, so he can get back to privatizing the local water system, sucking up to timber companies and "creating a positive investment climate to enhance and expand our business community. "
He certainly looks the type:
Frankly, I'd say 14 years is long enough and the people of Williams Lake out to follow the mayor's advice and throw the authoritarian, babbling bourgeois Babbittish bum out