Real? Or Not Real?

Frequently when walking our youngest dog Willie we have to play a game I call “Real? Or not real?”

Willie is the most skittish pup I’ve ever met (especially since he’s a ginormous, scary-looking pit bull/Lab mix). He’s a real marshmallow inside though, and is terrified of new things that appear in his space. Once it was a shopping cart that had somehow landed at the end of our street; he wouldn’t get within 15 feet of it for a week. Another time it was a beat-up VW Bug parked on the street that had never been there before. Balloons in front of an open house are extremely suspect, as are the Halloween decorations my neighbors have put up in their yards: those ghosts and witches hanging from trees that catch the breeze are too real for Willie. He’s sure they’re monsters come to life.

So, on our walks I often have to spend 5 or 10 minutes playing “real, or not real?” We get as close to the offending inanimate object as possible, I touch it, let him sniff my hand, we eventually get closer, repeat the touch and sniff, until finally he feels safe enough to sniff it on his own. Once he realizes it’s not real and not dangerous, he’s okay. Sometimes it takes more than one round of “real or not real” for him to walk past the object without fear. He’s still not convinced those Halloween decorations aren’t real. I understand why he thinks that; some of them look pretty real to me, too.

I bring all of this up because we have our own little version of “real, or not real” playing out on social media, influencing our national discourse and possibly our elections. I’ve noticed it with Donald Trump’s campaign, or at least people supporting his campaign, and if you spend any time on social media, you’ve probably seen it too: hundreds, maybe thousands, of fake Twitter accounts, many of which look and behave impossibly real, spreading the Trump message du jour, ginning up outrage where none probably exists, and driving the news narrative for the next 48 hours, days, or weeks.

How can you tell who is real and who is fake? It’s not easy. I’ve learned to spot a few clues: people with either absurdly few followers (and who aren’t following anyone), or non-famous people with tens of thousands of followers are big giveaways. Bio photos of young women with “Hollywood” looks are another clue: the hair and makeup are professionally done, the pose is staged, the outfit is professionally styled, etc. This tells me the bio photo was skimmed from a stock house or long-defunct ad campaign. Many of them have the word “Deplorable” in their handles now, a way of reinforcing the false outrage that Hillary calling them Deplorable was just the most offensive, terrible thing ever.

I don’t know where these fake people have come from; frankly, I’ve come to suspect a lot are tied to White Nationalists groups, as these folks seem to have figured out how to use social media as a manipulation tool. I find the whole thing absurd, and fascinating, and frightening.

Here’s an example: Meet Melissa, (now called Deplorable Melissa)


Something seemed fishy to me about this lovely young woman; maybe it was the Pinned Tweet (they all have Pinned Tweets). Maybe it was that her Twitter feed consists almost entirely of re-Tweets. Maybe it was the professionally done hair and makeup, the “head-shot” pose. This looked like a photo skimmed from an old Revlon ad. So I did a reverse image search. I didn’t get any hits from ads, but I did get several links to suspended Twitter accounts. And one of the earliest suspended accounts had this photo as its bio image:


Notice the background, the type of backdrop typically found at an entertainment industry red carpet event. The logo appears to be for something called “Sassy Sweet,” a name so generic it returned dozens of hits, from a line of hair care products to a franchise for little girl’s parties.

So, is Deplorable Melissa a real person? I don’t know, but I’m going to guess not. Over time her bio pic has been cropped and recropped, lost a background, her account has been suspended, she doesn’t Tweet anything original. I’m going to guess this photo was skimmed from Facebook or an old magazine. I could be wrong. There are people far smarter than me, with far better tools, who could figure this out in 5 minutes.

What I do know is, fakery on social media is being used by political campaigns to dupe the media and general public into thinking a message or idea has more support than it actually does.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: “So, Beale, basically you’re telling us that stuff on the internet is fake? What next, water is wet?”

Yes, I get that. My point is that in this case, the “not real” is becoming “real,” simply by virtue of its existence. Get enough of these fake Twitter accounts Tweeting and re-Tweeting whatever the VRWC wants people to get hot and bothered about, and it quickly filters from the “not real” to the “real.” Case in point: the “rigged election” meme. It started with Donald Trump repeating “it’s rigged! Rigged, I tell you!” at every campaign event. It was then repeated by hundreds of fake bots and Twitter accounts, ended up on some timelines of real people, and before you know it, they start re-Tweeting it too. Suddenly the idea that election is rigged appears to have substantial support among actual voters.

Did any significant number of people out there seriously believe the election is rigged until the idea was planted in their heads? Doubtful.

And now the news media, which uses socials media as its assignment editor, is reporting on Trump supporters talking about a rigged election. This is the idea which has now been inserted into the national narrative: the process has been tainted, the election now has a pall of illegitimacy surrounding it, you can’t trust the institution. All of these ideas simply weren’t there in any significant way until very recently (hell, I remember the idea of electronic voting machines being hackable was considered a lefty fringe thing a few years ago). Now we have real people like this guy in Cincinnati saying Hillary Clinton “needs to be taken out if she gets in the government” and, “if I have to be a patriot, I will.” Secretaries of State around the country, including Tennessee’s own Trey Hargett — a Republican! — must deny the “rigged” claims.

We now have the news cycle driven by the “rigged election” meme. This is allowed to happen because our political news coverage is almost entirely driven by process stories, with very little time or effort devoted to substance. So the political press can report on the “rigged” story and whose campaign it’s most likely to hurt and what the longterm impacts of such a claim might be, etc. etc. But has anyone bothered to ask if any actual vote rigging has occurred? I read on Twitter that all across the country, “illegal immigrants” are voting and dead people are voting. It’s happening everywhere, you guys! I know ‘cuz I saw it on Facebook!

Except it’s not happening. It’s not even real. Absent any evidence of actual “rigging,” all of this seems to have been cooked up in Donald Trump’s tiny little brain. It’s “not real,” but now Secretaries of State all around the country must prove a negative. And it’s not the first time Trump’s done this, either. Carey Wedler at wrote about Trump’s Twitter fakery during the primary. It’s a fascinating read, all the more interesting because the person who figured it out is an anti-Trump conservative activist. As Wedler wrote then:

Compared to planting pundits and making threats, using fake Twitter followers may seem benign, but the intention remains the same as more extreme forms of media manipulation: to force narratives on the public in the hopes of amassing power and influence.

So, next time a meme picks up steam in the public discourse, it may help to play our little game of “real, or not real?” Where did it originate — before Jake Tapper and Chris Cilizza and Lou Dobbs started talking about it? Was it cooked up in a campaign kitchen and delivered to the public by a bunch of fake bots? If so then it’s not real, you guys.



Filed under 2016 Presidential Election, Donald Trump, media, Social Media

OMG I Knew It

If Trump TV becomes reality I am literally giving up on humanity and moving into a yurt in the desert somewhere:

The Republican presidential nominee’s interest in harnessing his political gains and populist appeal for a slice of the cable TV market has long been rumored. His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has been in contact with Aryeh Bourkoff, founder of investment bank LionTree, about starting a TV network if he’s defeated in the presidential election in November, the FT reported.

Three days ago I wrote that I didn’t want to see anyone associated with the Trump campaign “falling upwards” after this disgusting campaign. That includes giving anyone associated with it their own TV show or, God forbid, an entire cable TV network. Fuck you, Aryeh Bourkoff and LionTree. I’ve never heard of you but anyone even considering doing business with the Trump organization at this point deserves what’s coming their way. Don’t you know everything Donald Trump touches turns to shit? That he has the original touch of merde?

And what fool thinks there’s a market for a hate channel? TLC didn’t exactly win big with Sarah Palin, did it? We already have WhitePrideTV on the internet, do we really need it on cable? Please.

I’m starting to think this was the grift all along.

Meanwhile, let the parodies begin:


Filed under 2016 Presidential Election, Donald Trump, media, Media

Right Under Our Noses

Miss Washington 2013 spoke out way back in June about Donald Trump’s behavior. Why was she ignored?

“Miss USA Class of 2013: Do y’all remember that one time we had to do our on stage introductions, but this one guy treated us like cattle and made us do it again because we didn’t look him in the eyes? Do you also remember when he then proceeded to have us lined up so he could get a closer look at his property? Oh I forgot to mention that guy will be in the running to become the next President of the United States. I love the idea of having a misogynist as the President. … #HeWillProbablySueMe #iHaveWorseStoriesSoComeAtMeBro #Drumpf”

From a Yahoo News item in June about Searles’ post:

Other contestants sounded off on their experiences with the real estate mogul. Paromita Mitra, Miss Mississippi USA 2013, admitted, “I literally have nightmares about that process,” while Shannon McAnally called Searles’s account “so extremely true and scary.” Anna Horne noted, “Scares me so much.”


But perhaps the most inflammatory accusation hurled at Trump is one from Searles, in which she insinuates he sexually assaulted her. “He probably doesn’t want me telling the story about that time he continually grabbed my ass and invited me to his hotel room,” she wrote in the comments section.

This was June 2016, weeks before Trump officially claimed the Republican Party’s prize. So, these accusations aren’t “decades old,” and people aren’t “just now coming forward,” 26 days before the election. Women have been shouting from the rooftops, and nobody in the political press was listening, until the Access Hollywood tape surfaced.

By the way, if you haven’t watched Michelle Obama’s amazing speech from New Hampshire, please do so now. What she said is spot-on: forget the idea of Donald Trump winning; if Donald Trump doesn’t lose this election in an epic landslide, it will send the message that there are no consequences for being a racist, bigoted, sexist pig.

There have to be consequences for being a shitty human being. There have to be consequences for working to elect a shitty human being (Kellyanne Conway, I’m looking at you.) Nobody involved in the Trump campaign should be allowed to fall upwards after this disgraceful campaign. It needs to be that bad. Otherwise, we have normalized despicable behavior. We have empowered it. We’ve said, “Sure, you can defend sexually assaulting women and degrading an entire nation of people as rapists because here’s a lucrative TV contract, we think people want to hear more from you.”

And Mike Pence? Don’t even think about 2020. Anyone who is “proud to stand next to Donald Trump” should be relegated to the dung heap of politics.


Filed under 2016 Presidential Election

There’s No Downside To Doing The Right Thing

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing”


Drip drip drip ….

One team managed Emily West, a budding musician who later appeared on “America’s Got Talent.” The other managed Luke Bryan, a country singer and songwriter who has gone on to notable success.

During the boardroom session that decided which team did the better job transforming its artist, Trump turned the conversation sharply ― and at times, uncomfortably ― to West’s physical appearance, specifically her skin.

“I assume you’re gonna leave this off, don’t put this shit on the show, you know. But her skin, her skin sucks, okay?” he says, according to the transcript. “I mean her skin, she needs some serious fuckin’ dermatology.”

Mild, compared to “pussy-grabbing,” but I assume this is just the start …


That Donald Trump is a repulsive, sexist bigot has been the worst-kept secret in media and entertainment circles for years. Everyone who has ever worked with him or been around him has known this. I’ve heard stories from my industry friends of things Trump has said to female entertainers at awards shows, charity events and the like. Things that reveal who he is: a man who sees women as objects, not human beings.

It’s long past time for these people to come forward. Because it’s one thing when you’re talking about a skeevy TV star (paging Bill Cosby!). It’s quite another when that person is seeking elected office — and not just any elected office, but the highest office in the land. He wants to be President of the United States, you guys. This shit’s important. It actually matters.

And to be fair, women have come forward, actually. But they aren’t “names,” they haven’t received traction in the media. We’re now starting to see a trickle of reports make it onto the airwaves, but I just have to wonder why this hasn’t happened already?

A big reason, of course, is how women are treated when they come forward with stories of sexual assault. We’re called liars, sluts, gold-diggers, accused of looking for a payoff. But now that we have Trump bragging about how fame allows him to assault women, maybe more will come forward.

There’s plenty of evidence out there on video, too. The story is that there are “Apprentice” outtakes in which Trump uses the “n” word, and worse. Because TV producer Mark Burnett owns “The Apprentice,” leaking this video could result in costly litigation. Now that a Clinton supporter has perhaps offered to pay those fees, we might actually see that video. We need a whistleblower to put the final nail in Donald Trump’s sad, delusional, despicable campaign.

Because the sad truth is, America doesn’t believe anything unless they actually see it on TV. Someone can tell you Donald Trump pulled you into a bedroom and tried to rape you, but in modern America where we have to “check the kerning” on everything, we are a nation of skeptics.

Women describing sexual assault in particular are viewed with doubt, anyway. So I get why it’s hard. I get why there’s reluctance. But now is not the time to be squeamish. Now is the time to be brave. The fate of the republic is literally at stake.

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Filed under 2016 Election, 2016 Presidential Election, Donald Trump, media

I Don’t Feel Sorry For The Crazy Party

This election just reached Defcon Crazy. I don’t even know what to think, except that I don’t see how Donald Trump can stay in the race at this point. But on the other hand, he’s such a stubborn narcissist, and his supporters are so crazy themselves, I don’t see how he can drop out.

Republicans are in a fine pickle, my friends. Trump is bleeding “elites” — Hugh Hewitt, Mike Crapo, John Thune, Kelly Ayotte, John McCain, etc. etc. have all withdrawn support. The RNC has reportedly halted its Victory Project activities. Paul Ryan disinvited Trump from a rally today.

But Trump is standing firm, in interviews and on Twitter:


And his ardent supporters are standing behind him. Paul Ryan was booed and heckled by Trump supporters at his rally today — the one he’d disinvited the candidate from:

Defiant Trump supporters voiced their frustration at Ryan and other Republicans who spoke at the county fairgrounds in front of two large American flags, rows of pumpkins and stacks of straw. Ryan — who said Friday he was “sickened” by Trump’s words — was heckled with shouts of “Shame on you!” and “You turned your backs on us!”

(By the way, has anyone checked on Ted Cruz? Seems like just yesterday he was endorsing Trump. He’s gotta be kicking himself now.)

Trump has people who love him precisely because he’s a boor and a pig and a bigot, not despite. These are the people who are cheering the candidate on now (note the 57k “likes” on that Tweet as of 2:40 pm today, a number which had grown to 62k as of 7:40 pm). That chorus of fans is all his ego needs to convince him to stay in the race. And will the RNC make that impossible by withdrawing financial support, GOTV assistance, etc? I don’t see how, especially as they have down-ticket races they are desperate to win. Replacing Trump on the ticket seems increasingly impossible, and by the way: how hypocritical is it that just yesterday Republicans told us they couldn’t extend voter registration a day because of a hurricane, but now some want to scrap the entire ticket (or at least half of it)? Puh-leeze!

Sorry, Republicans, but you own this one. No, actually, not sorry. Not sorry at all. You had ample evidence that Donald Trump was unfit for office, a sleaze and a bigot and someone who would definitely cause problems for you as the nominee. To your party’s credit, some of you actually realized this early on. Kudos to the #NeverTrump crowd who showed some spine.

Too many conservatives didn’t (and still don’t). I especially love those phony Christians like Tony Perkins, who would rather support a man who brags about how he can grab a woman’s crotch because he’s famous, than the Democrat, because,

[…] Christians “are left with a choice of voting for the one who will do the least damage to our freedoms.”

Yeah, nothing screams “freedom” like having your privates mauled by a famous guy. Let’s empower this perv by making him president! But I digress.

We’ve known Trump is repulsive for months. We’ve seen the evidence. We heard him say despicable things about Mexicans, Latinos, people of color, Muslims, atheists, you name it. We’ve seen the lawsuits. The New York Times wrote about his refusal to rent to African Americans. The Los Angeles Times wrote about how he wanted to fire unattractive women. We heard what he said about Miss Universe. None of this is new, guys. Somehow seeing it on video is more powerful, I get it. And so maybe this is the last straw. But I don’t see an out here for anyone on the right. Just take your lumps, lose the election, and for God’s sake, try to figure out how you fucked up and gave the big prize away to a despicable turd like Donald Trump.


Filed under 2016 Election, 2016 Presidential Election, Donald Trump

Truthers, Hurricane Matthew Edition

The right-wing is losing its shit over Hurricane Matthew because, I dunno, hurricanes hardly happen or something? That seems to be the gist of it, and I don’t get it.

Let’s hear from the Least Trusted Names In News, shall we?

First we have Matt Drudge claiming that hurricane reports have been overplayed “to make an exaggerated point on climate,” and doubting reports from the US National Hurricane Center because, I guess, government bad, arrgle barrgle.

This special brand of stupid has been shared by Rush Limbaugh, who is also doubting the National Hurricane Center, simply because it’s a government agency:

‘It’s in the interest of the left to have destructive hurricanes because then they can blame it on climate change, which they can desperately continue trying to sell,’ he said on his show.

This is what happens when your disdain for government and science collide.

Inside the conspiracy kitchen at Infowars they’re cooking up rumors about Black Lives Matter planning to loot white neighborhoods:

A quick Twitter search reveals dozens of messages posted by Americans living in or near the affected areas that brazenly talk about the opportunity for looting that the hurricane will provide.

“God Please let this hurricane hit us so I can do some looting,” tweeted one user.

“So we looting after the hurricane? I do need a new TV & iPhone and some clothes,” added another.

“Ready for hurricane Matthew to hit so I can start looting,” remarked another.

When asked if they would be looting, one Twitter user responded, “yep, but in white neighborhoods.”

Anonymous Tweets are totally verifiable and legit, you guys! I’m sure the folks trying to delegitimize BLM had nothing to do with such social media posts at all! What idiot buys this obviously ginned-up nonsense? This idiot in charge of the Tennessee Republican Party‘s official Twitter account, for one (apparently not the official TNGOP account, on closer inspection):


When challenged on this obviously racist BS, they upped the ante:


Black kids are just gonna loot, amiright? Just can’t help themselves. /sarcasm. Of course, when white kids do it, they’re just “letting off steam.”

But by all means my absolute favorite Hurricane Matthew conspiracy theory is this one courtesy of The Millennium Report, a cesspool of hoaxes and conspiracy theories that makes Infowars look like the New York Times:

If you’re trying to throw a wrench into the Florida State Government, there’s no more effective way than to geoengineer a hurricane and send it northward into the sun-drenched peninsula. Many chemtrail watchers in the state have already noticed a dramatic uptick in the chemical geoengineering operations statewide. Such a development never bodes well for the region’s highly unpredictable weather.


At this point anything can happen. Many of the storms that barrel up the Eastern Seaboard seem to have a mind of their own and often surprise with a punch as they head north to highly populated metro areas of the NE. Given the 2016 election cycle, the politicos at the federal level would love to sow seeds of chaos anyway they can in order to create cover for an election theft. For many reasons the Obama Administration really needs a Clinton victory in order to preserve their legacy of utter destruction. Obama, himself, requires such a Democratic win to simply stay out of prison.

Let’s just leave it there, folks.

You know, it’s all fun and games until someone drowns because they either refused to believe the threat was real or they thought it was more important to stay home and protect their stuff from imaginary looters.

I cannot imagine what goes through the minds of a large chunk of Americans.


Everything old is new again:




Filed under conservatives, conspiracies, conspiracy, conspiracy theory, weather

Congratulations, Adam Tingle! You’re Our 2nd Amendment Hero Du Jour

Armed Bardstown, Kentucky responsible citizen fires his AR-15 at a creepy clown terrorizing his neighborhood, turns out it was just a lady walking her dog. Slow clap for the well-regulated militia in action:

A man used his AR-15 gun to scare a woman wearing a white afghan Monday after mistaking her for clown, according to a citation from the Bardstown Police Department.

According to the citation, a woman was walking her dog down Burlington Court wearing a white afghan when a man yelled at her and then fired an AR-15.

The man, Adam Tingle, said his wife was outside when she thought she saw a clown, so Tingle came out and yelled at the individual, according to the citation. The woman did not move after being yelled at, so Tingle fired one shot from his AR-15 rifle in an attempt to scare her. Tingle’s wife then called 911 to report the incident.

According to the citation, Tingle said he was scared for his family because of recent criminal activities involving clowns.

I doubt the Founding Fathers anticipated this many morons would populate our great nation when they wrote the Second Amendment.


Filed under gun control, gun violence, Guns

Donald Trump’s 47% Moment

I never would have guessed that Donald Trump’s 47% moment would be the revelation that he appears to be an actual member of Mitt Romney’s 47%:

Donald J. Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns, a tax deduction so substantial it could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years, records obtained by The New York Times show.

The 1995 tax records, never before disclosed, reveal the extraordinary tax benefits that Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, derived from the financial wreckage he left behind in the early 1990s through mismanagement of three Atlantic City casinos, his ill-fated foray into the airline business and his ill-timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.

Tax experts hired by The Times to analyze Mr. Trump’s 1995 records said that tax rules especially advantageous to wealthy filers would have allowed Mr. Trump to use his $916 million loss to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income over an 18-year period.

Of course, we don’t know what taxes Trump actually paid during this time, because he won’t release his tax returns. And now I think we know why. Donald Trump is a notorious skinflint, who famously stiffed his vendors and employees. I’d say it’s a good bet he took advantage of every tax loophole available. As he said at the last debate, “it makes me smart.”

Let me interject here: if you lose $916 million in one year, you should lose the right to call yourself a smart businessman. Just sayin’.

The bigger story here is the utter hypocrisy of right-wing conservatives on this issue. We’ve been hearing for years how the poor are moochers and freeloaders, lining up for “free stuff” on everyone else’s dime. This is a deeply cherished belief that cuts at the heart of blue-collar conservatism: people who could be working are getting free stuff on my dime! (Indeed, I heard this same argument from my right-wing dental hygienist on Friday). It cuts at the core of the “people voting against their economic interests” phenomenon: no, actually, they aren’t voting against their economic interests. The poor aren’t voting, period. The people up a rung or two (or three) on the economic ladder are the ones voting a conservative ticket that promises to slash the safety net because, as the New York Times noted last fall, they believe many of those dependent on benefits are unworthy. Or to put it another way,

[…] their growing allegiance to the Republicans is, in part, a reaction against what they perceive, among those below them on the economic ladder, as a growing dependency on the safety net, the most visible manifestation of downward mobility in their declining towns.

It’s resentment, pure and simple. It’s hating on the poor because they are a visible reminder of how the American dream is a lie. It’s always been a lie, it’s just that now it’s happening to people they know, whereas before it was happening to “those” people living in “that neighborhood” (i.e., the blackety black black blacks).

But now it appears the real freeloader is a multi-millionaire. But that’s okay? That person is “smart,” but the person who needs unemployment or food stamps or Medicaid is the “moocher”? Get out of town!

Look, we dirty hippies on the left have been saying for years that the real freeloaders are the wealthy and corporations that don’t pay taxes yet reap tremendous benefits. Donald Trump may not be on food stamps or collect unemployment, but he has prospered from our huge military protecting his vast overseas interests, for example. So yes, the system is rigged, and I don’t think the person to fix it is the guy who has been taking advantage of it for in all likelihood two decades.

And it’s not just Donald Trump:

The documents show, for example, that while Mr. Trump reported $7.4 million in interest income in 1995, he made only $6,108 in wages, salaries and tips. They also suggest Mr. Trump took full advantage of generous tax loopholes specifically available to commercial real estate developers to claim a $15.8 million loss in 1995 on his real estate holdings and partnerships.

But the most important revelation from the 1995 tax documents is just how much Mr. Trump may have benefited from a tax provision that is particularly prized by America’s dynastic families, which, like the Trumps, hold their wealth inside byzantine networks of partnerships, limited liability companies and S corporations.

The provision, known as net operating loss, or N.O.L., allows a dizzying array of deductions, business expenses, real estate depreciation, losses from the sale of business assets and even operating losses to flow from the balance sheets of those partnerships, limited liability companies and S corporations onto the personal tax returns of men like Mr. Trump. In turn, those losses can be used to cancel out an equivalent amount of taxable income from, say, book royalties or branding deals.

America’s “dynastic families” do not want to upset the apple cart. The idea that Trump exploited our system and is thus the only one who can fix it is just ludicrous. He’s been whining and complaining about how unfair the tax system is for years. For example:





If he was so “smart” to take advantage of the system to make himself wealthier, why would he fix it? Wouldn’t that make him dumb?

I don’t see an “out” here for him, I really don’t. Trump is not the populist savior people want to believe he is. He’s just another rich asshole, a penny-pincher and skinflint who rips others off for his own personal gain. So you can all shut up about “America first.” The person who doesn’t pay taxes is not thinking about America. He’s thinking about himself.


Filed under 2016 Presidential Election

Congratulations, Claud “Tex” McIver! You’re Our 2nd Amendment Hero Du Jour


Dear gun loons: please stop telling me McIver is an “anti-gun activist,” simply because he served on the American Bar Assn.’s  Standing Committee on Gun Violence. He’s donated thousands of dollars to the Republican Party and Republican candidates, all of whom were endorsed by the NRA.



A prominent Atlanta, Ga., businesswoman was accidentally shot dead by her husband trying to protect the couple from suspected carjackers:

Atlanta lawyer Claud “Tex” McIver accidentally shot his wife in the back when their car hit a bump near Piedmont Park late Sunday night, a family spokesman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Diane McIver was taken to Emory University Hospital on Clifton Road and died in surgery several hours later.

The incident unfolded after the McIvers vehicle was approached by several individuals near the intersection of Peachtree and Pine streets in Midtown, spokesman Bill Crane, a McIver family friend, said.

The McIvers retrieved their gun from the center console of the 2013 Ford Expedition, alarmed about recent unrest surrounding several Black Lives Matter protests in the area and fearing a carjacking, Crane told The AJC.

The couple, who were being driven by an unidentified individual, left the area unharmed. But several blocks later on Piedmont Ave. near the park, the SUV hit a bump and Tex McIver accidentally fired the gun, Crane said. It was still wrapped in a plastic Publix bag in which it had been stored, Crane said.

That gun sure kept everyone safe, though!


Filed under gun control, gun violence, Guns

Tennessee Gun Report

While the state tries to figure out if it has the worst or best accidental gun fatality rate in the land, Greene County grapples with its own dubious distinction, leading the state in gunfail. It’s something I’ve long suspected.

Sheriff Hankins said after we showed him the high number of gun incidents in his county, he plans to work with area gun shops and ranges to set up more classes and raise awareness about safety.

Probably a good idea, bro. Because ….. read on.

• September 25, 2016:

A 12-year-old in Nasville was shot in the leg by another child this morning. Update:

Metro Capt. Jason Reinbold said the shooting took place when a group of children […] ran out to the driveway to meet a visitor who had just arrived. The visitor, a woman who has not been identified, had a gun in her car, Reinbold said.

The 2-year-old child found the gun and accidentally fired, hitting the 12-year-old in the leg, Reinbold said.

Dear god, let’s charge that idiot woman with negligence.

• September 24, 2016:

There appears to have been an accidental shooting in Memphis, with the victim in critical condition. No other information at this time, however.

• September 23, 2016:

1- One of our safest, most responsible citizens EVAH took his gun to work, as the law allows, and promptly shot the place up, killing two supervisors before turning the gun on  himself. Slow clap, Tennessee. Getting harder to tell the good guys with guns from the bad  guys.

2- A Madison Co. corrections officer has been suspended after his gun discharged at the jail.

• September 22, 2016:

Another incident involving a CCW holder, this one out of Columbia. Guy was drunk and brandishing a gun at a car containing children in a case of rage, because safest, most responsible, etc.

• September 21, 2016:

A 15-year-old student brought a gun to Siegel High School in Rutherford County.

• September 16, 2016:

1- Congratulations, Greeneville! The state capital of gunfail notches an entry in this week’s run-down: a man accidentally shot a relative in the eye attempting to shoot a dog. For some reason I get the feeling that a trailer park might have been involved. Just a hunch.

2- A Murfreesboro man has been charged with plotting to assassinate two Democratic members of Congress, neither of whom are from Tennessee, and threatening to shoot up a courthouse:

Kaehiokahouna Stewart, 36, was arrested Friday morning at his home, officials said. Court documents and officials say Stewart went so far as to buy a plane ticket to Hawaii to carry out his murder plot.

A complaint filed by the government says Stewart sent threatening emails and posted threatening videos on social media, specifically targeting U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

On Aug. 19, Stewart sent an email saying he would fly from Nashville to Honolulu on Nov. 1 “with the intent to shoot people at the Princess Jonah Federal Building,” a news release from U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee David Rivera’s office says.

The complaint says Stewart has sent grievances to various government officials, including Hirono, Gabbard and President Barack Obama, since November 2013.

“Stewart falsely believed that his (Social Security number) had been duplicated and issued to a fellow soldier he met while stationed at Camp Stanley in Korea in 2002,” the news release says.

He wrote to the Social Security Administration and Department of Defense saying they ruined his life.

“Stewart demanded he receive 100% Veterans Administration disability and $50 billion or he would purchase a gun and a silencer and would not be responsible for any crimes he committed,” the complaint says. It also says Stewart’s Social Security number was determined to be one digit different from the other U.S. Army soldier.

So many crazy people out there and every damn one of them can buy a gun, no questions asked.

• September 14, 2016:
1- A Roan Mountain hunter was accidentally shot when his hunting partner tripped.

2- Members of the Tennessee Firearms Assn. tried to test the Tennessee Valley Fair’s ban on firearms in order to gain standing for a legal challenge of the ban.

Nobody actually entered the fairgrounds or was arrested. However, they recorded a police officer telling them they’d be “subject” to arrest if they entered the fair armed.

Okie dokie.

• September 13, 2016:

Multiple weapons stolen from a home in Memphis.

• September 10, 2016:

1- Two are injured in separate accidental shooting incidents in Clarksville:

CLARKSVILLE — One man was injured Friday night after accidentally shooting himself while cleaning a gun, and another was hit by stray gunfire during an altercation on Ryder Avenue early Saturday morning, according to Clarksville Police.

Are we safer yet?

2- A gun-toting UT football fan didn’t show much sense when voicing her support for the Vols at the Battle of Bristol:


• September 9, 2016:

1- Two Nashville teenagers tried to rob a pizza delivery man but it all went awry when one of the robbers accidentally shot himself in the arm.

2- This responsible Chattanooga-area gun owner launched a standoff with law enforcement and fired as many as 30 shots at 6 sheriff’s deputies.

We haven’t really talked about this but Google “standoff with police” and be amazed at the huge number of angry white males armed for battle who are terrorizing their neighborhoods these days. It’s really quite shocking.

• September 8, 2016:

In Louisville (Tennessee, not Kentucky) a woman isn’t charged after shooting a nine-year-old in the head. Because, accidents:

The sheriff’s office said the boy’s mother was handling the gun while the boy was playing and it went off by accident.

They said the round traveled through the floor and sub-floor to to the first floor and struck the boy on the forehead.

• September 5, 2016:

A dispute between neighbors in Drummonds starts with one firing gunshots into the woods and ends with the other bulldozing a house in the middle of the night.

• September 2, 2016:

A Goodlettsville man was arrested for trying to enter Canada with a gun.


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