Happy Thanksgiving From Our Militarized Police

Nashville police will use helicopters “to keep Black Friday safe”. From what? Your guess is as good as mine:

“We can support the ground units with an asset like aviation and that gives us a better view of what is going on,” Sgt. Kurt Knapp said. “We can prevent crime and car break-ins and monitor traffic, especially around Opry Mills and the Nashville West areas.”

Sgt. Knapp is one of four sworn officers who pilot the six helicopters in the Air One fleet. Two private pilots are also a part of the aviation unit.

“I think it’s a great deterrent,” Sgt. Knapp said. “Knowing and seeing that the helicopter is there may make a criminal think twice about doing what they are doing.”

[…]

Two of the helicopters are equipped with Flir, thermal imaging technology, and the pilots all fly with night vision goggles for nighttime operations.

Wow. Nothing says Thanksgiving like the thrum of police helicopters overhead. Maybe deploy some of those SWAT team battering rams while you’re at it, that sure screams holiday spirit, too. All to prevent a car break-in? Calling bullshit on that one.

Jesus Christmas. So this is the new normal? Is it really necessary? Or does our police department just want to play with its fun toys?

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Filed under Holidays, Nashville

Set-Up Like A Bowling Pin

It’s obvious Robert McCulloch’s delayed announcement of the grand jury decision was a strategic move designed to shift the national narrative away from the decision itself and toward the reaction to the decision.

Now the national narrative is, “violent black people are rioting in the streets.” When our TV screens are filled with pictures of fires and mobs overturning cars, the media is justifying police brutality. It’s reinforcing the “angry/dangerous/scary black people” stereotype that is to blame for shootings of black teens like Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and Renisha McBride in the first place. Protestors of all races hoping to start a national conversation about police misconduct, militarization of local police forces, the value of African American life, etc. were set up. And they walked right into it.

It’s a damn shame, too. Wouldn’t it have been lovely if instead of the fires and overturned cars and blocked interstates in places like Nashville we had positive, peaceful images of resistance? But that requires discipline, and that comes from leadership. Sadly, it’s something we don’t have — even President Obama’s message seemed lackluster and resigned.

I keep hearing the looters and violent protestors were not from Ferguson, and that may be true. But this wouldn’t be the first time outside agitators came in to discredit a legitimate protest movement. Those who want real change need to take a cue from protest leaders of past generations. None of this is new. We’ve seen it all before: how a media storyline is crafted and manipulated, how outside forces can disrupt, how a powerful television image is used to further an agenda.

Sad. Y’all were set up like bowling pins.

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Filed under racism

“A Dark Week For Republicans”

Conservative writer Chris Ladd’s 2014 mid-term post-mortem has just now crossed my radar and let me say, he basically echoes what I wrote the day after the midterms: this is good news for Democrats and Republicans actually got quite a spanking.

It’s a great piece so read the whole thing but what’s really interesting is what he has to say about “BENGHAZIIII!!!!!ELEVEN!

This is an age built for Republican solutions. The global economy is undergoing a massive, accelerating transformation that promises massive new wealth and staggering challenges. We need heads-up, intelligent adaptations to capitalize on those challenges. Republicans, with their traditional leadership on commercial issues should be at the leading edge of planning to capitalize on this emerging environment.

What are we getting from Republicans? Climate denial, theocracy, thinly veiled racism, paranoia, and Benghazi hearings. Lots and lots of hearings on Benghazi.

It is almost too late for Republicans to participate in shaping the next wave of our economic and political transformation. The opportunities we inherited coming out of the Reagan Era are blinking out of existence one by one while we chase so-called “issues” so stupid, so blindingly disconnected from our emerging needs that our grandchildren will look back on our performance in much the same way that we see the failures of the generation that fought desegregation.

Cue the Friday news dump and the shocking news that House Republicans decided Benghazi is not, in fact, Obama’s Katrina:

“An investigation by the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee has concluded that the CIA and U.S. military responded appropriately to the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012,” The Post reported, “dismissing allegations that the Obama administration blocked rescue attempts during the assault or sought to mislead the public afterward.” It also found that while the talking points Susan Rice delivered in the wake of the attack were inaccurate, it was because of conflicting information coming in and not a scheme to hoodwink the public. All the conspiracy theories about a “stand-down order” and whatever else they’ve been talking about on Fox News were emphatically rejected.

I guess the Republicans have decided they have raised all the money, ginned up all the outrage, and generated all of the mailing lists they can from this Fauxtroversy. Midterms are over, mission accomplished. I’d think the sane wing of the Republican Party had decided to dial back the crazy in preparation for 2016, but of course the party of crazy just can’t help themselves. Lindsay Graham is having a hissy, Ted Cruz is full on foamy-mouthed over immigration and will probably revive his demands for a Senate Benghazi witch-hunt … it’s just all too delicious to be believed, and just in time for GOP primaries. Awesome!

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Filed under 2016 Presidential Election, politics, Republican Party

Congratulations, Jon Holzwarth! You Are Our 2nd Amendment Hero Du Jour

[UPDATE]:

Jon Holzwarth, serial offender:

LAKE STEVENS, Wash. — The parents of a 3-year-old boy who was accidentally shot in the face by a 4-year-old neighbor had argued about access to guns at their home, court records show.

[….]

The boy’s mother had filed a protection order against the father in January 2013, saying he left a gun in a nightstand and in a car with children. In a divorce filing, he accused her of leaving a handgun in her purse. Both denied the accusations and said they were responsible gun owners, The Seattle Times reported Monday.

The protection order was dismissed a few weeks later due to insufficient evidence of domestic violence, the newspaper reported.

—————————————-

Responsible gun owner/prominent 2nd Amendment “gun rights” advocate Jon Holzwarth was babysitting his three-year-old son and his neighbor’s four-year-old grandson when a totally responsible thing happened: his son somehow was shot in the mouth. Imagine that:

According to Snohomish County deputies, the shooting happened in a bedroom that was locked.

Holzwarth told them he heard a loud boom and ran to the bedroom where his son, Michael, and his neighbor’s 4-year-old grandson were playing.

He forced the locked door open and initially thought his son had gotten hurt that way.

At Providence Everett Medical Center, doctors discovered the boy had been shot in the mouth.

He was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

No one answered at Holzwarth’s door where a sign reads: “We don’t dial 9-1-1″ with a metal cutout of a pistol dangling below.

There were also emblems about guns on his Jeep.

On Saturday, his son was struggling to survive from a gunshot wound — a tragic irony not lost on his neighbor.

Oh, yes. The irony. I’m sure Holzwarth’s guns protected his family dozens and dozens of times before this tragic incident, though.

Here’s Holzwarth in happier times, protesting a ban on guns in parks in Snohomish County:

“When seconds count and police are minutes away, you need people like me who are mentally stable and know how to handle a gun,” said John Holzwarth, of Lake Stevens. “We need to be out there, in your park, in your theater, in your stadium.”

Yeah, I’m thinking …. no. This is indeed a sad story, and I hope young Michael recovers and dad learns a lesson or two about “responsible gun ownership”: namely, that there is no such thing. Guns in the home are an accident waiting to happen:

According to a report filed by the Washington State Department of Social Health Services, a child or teen is killed once every seven and a half hours with a gun, either by accident or by suicide. In 72 percent of these cases, the firearm used was housed in the victim’s own residence. Many of these weapons were locked away in a secure place, yet 48 percent of those who own guns do not equip them with child safety and trigger locks.

I’d just love to know if Holzwarth believes in trigger locks and other modern technology designed to prevent what happened to his son?

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Filed under gun control

Tell Them Willie Boy Sent Ya

It’s been a crazy week with the new puppy, work, preparing for family to visit, etc. Willie has settled right in and is already twice the dog that Chaka and Riley are — as in, knows to sit, stay, go to bed, and DON’T TRIP MAMA WALKING ON THE LEASH. He doesn’t pull, he’s not aggressive, and will grow out of his chewing phase. Now if I can only get him past his feline curiosity he’ll be the perfect dog.

I’m really amazed at what a quick learner he is. It’s taken me years to train Riley to do stuff that Willie is doing after a week, and even then Riley is only somewhat obedient on account of that stubborn pit bull thing. I don’t mean to razz on Riley, he’s a great dog, but he’s quite the pain in the butt compared to a more trainable pup like Willie. And Chaka has been a nutball from day one.

Here are some pictures. Regular blogging to (hopefully) resume soon.

Willie and Riley playing tug-o-war:

IMG_1506

Tuckered out after a long, long walk:

willie 1

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Congratulations, Unidentified CA Man! You Are Our 2nd Amendment Hero Du Jour!

Hey kids, while you’re taking Pops’ car keys away, maybe take the firearms away, too:

In what can only be described as a freak accident, a 77-year-old Running Springs woman was shot in the back early Sunday morning when her 81-year-old husband’s handgun discharged as he was retrieving a flashlight from his nightstand drawer.

“In what can only be described as a freak accident”? Are you fucking serious with that shit? How about, “In what can only be described as a completely predictable incident that was just a matter of time…”

Dumbasses. Add #MediaFAIL to that hashtag, too.

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Filed under gun control, gun violence, Guns, Media

Don’t You Hate It When You Go To A Parade & Come Home With A Puppy?

Yesterday we went to a Christmas event and Metro Animal Control (aka, the pound, and no, I don’t even mean like the Humane Society, I mean the city jail for unwanted pets) had some pups out for adoption and this little fella just stole my heart:

WILLIW

His name is Willie, and yes, he’s in that “I experience the world by chewing on it” stage of puppyhood. Four months old, labrador/pit mix. Initially the other dogs extended a welcoming paw though Willie has decided that All Beds And Toys Are Belong To Me, so Riley is rethinking this whole “new puppy” thing:

R&W 1

And as for the cats, well, it’s obvious he thinks they’re self-propelling dog toys. The cats are giving him a wide, wide berth right now. And Riley is pretty sure I’m going to change my mind:

ALL 3

I’ll keep you posted!

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