Marching into Fascist Madness

I’m not ready to discuss A.G. Barr’s “summary” of the Mueller Report, which came out as I was starting this. I didn’t bother watching most of the press coverage, I was too disappointed. Besides, I’d rather wait to see if Jerry “Nads” Nadler, Adam Schiff, etal, can come up with something to cheer me.

In the meantime, I had already run across this survey, which I decided on a whim (of a hat?) to take a look at. I’m glad I did, but when I started reading the questions, I was disturbed – to say the least.

We all know that trump would love to change the libel laws so that he (and his cohorts) can sue a reporter, a newspaper, a network, whoever, over any criticism of trump or his administration.  And of course we all know that trump has been in a verbal war with every news agency except Fox, aka “trumpTV”, although he has lately begun to call out certain Fox reporters who are not lobbing softball questions.

And lastly, we all also know that trump LOVES dictators, and is just dying to emulate them.  So far trump has mainly stuck to his well-documented verbal and Twitter war with journalism and journalists, despite the fact that trump’s stochastic terrorism has already spurred trumpists to violent actions and plots. However, the even stronger stench of fascism in this survey leads me to conclude that the next battle will be much scarier and, eventually, even more violent.  It also seems certain that trump will do whatever he can to try to subvert the First Amendment in order to jail journalists whose questions piss him off for any reason.  The survey also panders to single-issue voters, i.e., anti-choice/”religious-freedom” and/or 2-A voters.

If you don’t want to take the survey or go to the link, below is a description plus the questions.

The survey was titled (in a big red box):

“MAINSTREAM MEDIA ACCOUNTABILITY SURVEY”, above which it states

“Certified Website Of President Donald J. Trump”

The response choices to almost all of the following questions are YES, NO, or NO OPINION:

Do you believe that the mainstream media actually cares about working Americans?

Do you believe that the mainstream media has unfairly reported on our presidency?

Do you trust MSNBC to fairly report on our presidency?

Do you trust CNN to fairly report on our presidency?

Do you trust Fox News to fairly report on our presidency?

On which issues does the mainstream media do the worst job of representing Republicans? (Select as many that apply.)
-Immigration
-Economics
-Pro-life values
-Religion
-Individual liberty
-Conservatism
-Foreign policy
-Second Amendment rights

Which television source do you primarily get your news from?
-Fox News
-CNN
-MSNBC
-Local news

Do you use a source not listed above?  [I added BBC News, just for fun – although I was also tempted to add Al Jazeera]

Do you trust the mainstream media to tell the truth about the Republican Party’s positions and actions?

Do you believe that the mainstream media does not do their due diligence fact-checking before publishing stories on the Trump administration?

Do you believe that the media unfairly reported on Trump’s executive order temporarily restricting people entering our country from nations compromised by radical Islamic terrorism?

Were you aware that a poll was released revealing that a majority of Americans actually supported our temporary restriction executive order?

Do you believe that the media is engaging in a witch hunt to take down President Trump?

Do you believe that people of faith have been unfairly characterized by the media?

Do you believe that the media wrongly attributes gun violence to Second Amendment rights?

Do you believe that the media has been far too quick to spread false stories about our movement?

Do you believe that the media has turned a blind eye to Planned Parenthood’s worst actions?

Do you believe that the media uses slurs rather than facts to attack conservative stances on issues like border control, religious liberties, and ObamaCare?

Do you believe that the media purposely tries to pit Republicans against each other in order to help elect Democrats?

Do you believe that the mainstream media has been too eager to jump to conclusions about rumored stories?

Do you believe that if Republicans were obstructing Obama like Democrats are doing to Trump, the mainstream media would attack Republicans?

Do you agree with the President’s decision to break with tradition by giving lesser known reporters and bloggers the chance to ask the Press Secretary questions?

Do you agree with President Trump’s media strategy to cut through the media’s noise and deliver our message straight to the people?

Do you believe that our Party should spend more time and resources holding the mainstream media accountable?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Let me repeat that last one:

Do you believe that our Party should spend more time and resources holding the mainstream media accountable?

Um, in what way, trump?

This is more than just shouting “FAKE NEWS!”, or even “THE PRESS IS THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!” This is painting “the media” as the enemy of everything trump’s cult holds dear, the enemy of the trumpian “reality” that trumpists are so desperately trying to force on the rest of us, despite the evidence before everyone’s “lying” eyes. It is an attack on one of the most sacred foundations of our democracy and our freedom, and it must be stopped.

OPEN THREAD – Chime in!

Daily Gnuz

Here’s the Tuezday gnuz(ers)

HWSNBN faces political danger in visit to Puerto Rico
H/T Politico
No shiess, Sherlock. Hopefully he takes a quick helicopter ride and gets the hell out of there before opening his mouth and swallowing his entire leg.

And

HWSNBN : ‘What happened in Las Vegas is in many ways a miracle’
H/T The Hill
Yes, the miracle of semi-automatic assault rifles, where, in a rapid sequence, a small metal pin strikes a shell casing with a small charge of gunpowder, accelerating a lethal projectile out a grooved barrel, and injecting another round into the firing chamber with the resulting gas, … what a mucking firacle.

Finally,

Lawmakers can’t do anything about mass shootings without politicizing them. Here’s why it’s okay to politicize mass shootings.
H/T Vox
Excellent rebuttal to the spurious argument that we should not do anything except weep and gnash our teeth…

Open Thread, rip it up. The 2nd amendment that is…
RUCerious @ TPZoo

The Watering Hole; Thursday October 6 2016; Guns v. 2A

“My faith informs my life [. . .] it all for me begins with cherishing the
dignity, the worth, the value of every human life
(Mike Pence, Rep. VP Candidate)

“‘Every human life’ . . . except those stolen by #gunviolence . . .
like my mother’s. Then, you simply just don’t care”
(Erica L Smegielski; daughter of a Sandy Hook victim)

******

Guns v. The Second Amendment.

I recently ran across a fresh and novel (stupid) but still interesting “new” thesis, courtesy of Larry Pratt, executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of America. Last Saturday (Oct 1)  on his Gun Owners News Hour radio program, Pratt’s guest was Don Brockett, author of a book called “The Tyrannical Rule of the U.S. Supreme Court” in which Brockett poses the proposition that the Second Amendment was written so as to allow states to defend themselves against invasion, and was added to the Constitution because of Article I Section 10, the part which reads:

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, . . . engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Brockett asked,

“[H]ow can it defend itself if it’s being invaded if the people don’t have any Second Amendment right to arms? And I maintain in the book, even though some may think this is going too far, that you’re entitled to the same measure of weapons as the weapons that might be used against you. So does that mean everybody can have an RPG in their home? I don’t know. I think we need to discuss it, because how could you stop the invading army unless you have the equal weaponry? Or if you want to provide it by your national guard, which can be distributed to individual citizens when that need comes about.”

Pratt completely agreed with Brockett’s thesis, and pointed out that the Second Amendment essentially stands as proof that the Founders’ original intent was to constitutionally allow that every future man of military-age, in each and every State, be fully armed in order to confront and combat armed invaders of said State. Pratt added that in re today, the Founders would have allowed that “at a minimum,” every man should be carrying, at the least, an M-16 rifle. RPGs too, probably.

Pratt and Brockett are, of course, totally and completely wrong and off-the-wall. The Second Amendment had absolutely nothing at all to do with Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution. It was, instead, written by Virginia slave-owner and ‘Founder’ James Madison in response to Article I, Section 8, Clauses 15 and 16:

The Congress  shall have Power . . . [Clause 15] To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; [and Clause 16] To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress . . .

The 1787 Constitution assigned, in short, complete and total control of “the Militia” to Congress and not to the States, a fact which quickly became a matter of deep concern to, especially, the slave states. At the 1788 Constitution Ratifying Convention in Virginia, Patrick Henry expressed those concerns when he said:

Let me here call your attention to that part which gives the Congress power to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States. . . .

If the country be invaded, a state may go to war, but cannot suppress insurrections. If there should happen an insurrection of slaves, the country cannot be said to be invaded. They cannot, therefore, suppress it without the interposition of Congress. . . . Congress, and Congress only, can call forth the militia. . . .

In this state there are two hundred and thirty-six thousand blacks, and there are many in several other states. But there are few or none in the Northern States. . . . In this situation, I see a great deal of the property of the people of Virginia in jeopardy, and their peace and tranquility gone.

Insurrection of slaves” and “property” are the key words here, given that Article I Section 8 specifically says that only the Congress shall have power . . . To . . . suppress insurrections. NOT the State(s), i.o.w., and THAT was clearly the clause most worrisome to slave owners, to slave states, in the emerging USA, because it put their property in jeopardy.

Henry was also concerned about the attitudes of the abolitionists in the “northern” States, i.e those who wanted to completely do away with slavery. As he pointed out to James Madison,

 “[T]hey will search that paper [the Constitution], and see if they have power of manumission. And have they not, sir? Have they not power to provide for the general defence and welfare? May they not think that these call for the abolition of slavery? May they not pronounce all slaves free, and will they not be warranted by that power? This is no ambiguous implication or logical deduction. The paper speaks to the point: they have the power in clear, unequivocal terms, and will clearly and certainly exercise it. This is a local matter, and I can see no propriety in subjecting it to Congress.” 

In short, arguments such as Patrick Henry’s convinced instructed James Madison to write what we now know as the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Madison’s original draft read,

The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed, and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person.

In the final version of what was to become the Second Amendment, Madison succumbed to the suggestions of Patrick Henry, George Mason, and other Southern State voices that wanted slave patrol militias to remain free of Federal control mainly by changing a single word in his final version:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

“Country” now become “State” — Federal control of Militias now back in the hands of the STATE — not to ward off an invasion, but to deal with SLAVE INSURRECTIONS via a WELL REGULATED MILITIA (and whatever happened to the concept of a ‘well regulated militia’? Where is it today? Is the concept — and its regulatory manifestations — dead? Gone? Buried?).

If the answer is left to politicians and/or gun nuts, it’s likely that we’ll never know.

In any case, for a further and much deeper analysis of the Second Amendment’s origin and purpose, see Law Professor Carl Bogus’ Research Paper 80, The Hidden History of the Second Amendment which begins with this abstract:

. . . there is strong reason to believe that, in significant part, James Madison drafted the Second Amendment to assure his constituents in Virginia, and the South generally, that Congress could not use its newly-acquired powers to indirectly undermine the slave system by disarming the militia, on which the South relied for slave control. His argument is based on a multiplicity of the historical evidence, including debates between James Madison and George Mason and Patrick Henry at the Constitutional Ratifying Convention in Richmond, Virginia in June 1788; the record from the First Congress; and the antecedent of the American right to bear arms provision in the English Declaration of Rights of 1688.

“Strong reason” indeed.

Since James Madison’s Second Amendment was clearly written for the sole purpose of addressing the perceived Constitutional issue of Militia accessibility by the Several States, and since the sole purpose of the ‘well regulated Militia’ mentioned therein was to provide slave states with the means to put down and control slave ‘insurgencies’ and/or ‘insurrections,’ and also since the Thirteenth Amendment specifically states that Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude . . . shall exist within the United States — and since the Second Amendment was clearly written solely to protect the interests of Slave owners — the final question becomes clear and obvious:

WHY was the Second Amendment NOT automatically invalidated  at the very moment slavery was disallowed, at the very moment  the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified (Dec. 6, 1865)  by a majority of the Several States?

Why? Why the constant misinterpretation of the Second Amendment? Why the romance with any variation of that one contrivance — the GUN — the SOLE purpose of which is to KILL something – anything – that lives? Is the ability to KILL something the main driver of ‘our’ culture? Of the entire of Human society? One-hundred-and-fifty years ago, Emily Dickinson spoke in the voice of a gun when she wrote,

My Life had stood — a Loaded Gun —
In Corners — till a Day
The Owner passed — identified —
And carried Me away —

[. . .]

To foe of His — I’m deadly foe —
None stir the second time —
On whom I lay a Yellow Eye —
Or an emphatic Thumb —

Though I than He — may longer live
He longer must — than I —
For I have but the power to kill,
Without — the power to die –

The Gun — ALL Guns —  thereby Defined.

I, for one, will never understand the “magic” implicit in
a tool whose sole purpose is
TO KILL.

I know. I’m weird.

******

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole, Saturday, September 24th, 2016: 353 and Counting

So, another day, another mass shooting. This one took place last night at the Macy’s store in the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington. According to the info on Raw Story’s coverage of the shooting, four women were killed while shopping in the Macy’s cosmetics department. The shooter, described as a young Hispanic male, is still at large, and no motive or explanation has yet been reported.

But already, the “good guy with a gun”-lovers are out there shooting their mouths off – and I honestly wish that were literally true, so we sane people wouldn’t have to hear their idiocy. One example is from a guy named Michael Parker whom I’ve argued with before on various ThinkProgress threads:

“Michael Parker Had I been at this mall I would have engaged the shooter with my concealed carry weapon. Never mind…Washington State does not honor my Virginia concealed carry permit so I would have run for the hills like the rest of the sheep. Thank God Virginia recognizes Washington State concealed carry permits so if this happened in Virginia a visiting concealed carry Washington resident could have engaged the shooter. Last December, the Virginia Attorney General tried to limit Virginia’s concealed carry reciprocity to just 5 states. The NRA and the Virginia Legislators got involved…yada, yada, yada ….and now Virginia recognizes the concealed carry permits from all 50 states.”

Another commenter sarcastically said:

“Obviously we need more guns and fewer gun regulations. What could go wrong? Just suspend every one of the Bill of Rights except the 2nd Amendment and America will be great again.”

To which another gun-totin’ hero-wannabe replied:

“You are correct. That is PRECISELY what we need. Had there been a concealed carry weapon’s holder at the mall, like there was in Minnesota, the threat would have been neutralized. It’s stories like this PRECISELY why i carry a firearm.”

Apparently women shopping for cosmetics should only do so in states that allow the gun-carrying menfolk to protect the little ladies while they do so. Dog knows that going unarmed into Macy’s is just too fucking dangerous, so ladies, always expect the unexpected while you’re trying a new shade of lipstick–dontcha know, the real reason why there’s so many mirrors in cosmetics departments is so that we can scope out the folks behind us for possible shooters, not so that we can see how some silly makeup looks on us!

So, wait, how does this work with our big bad menfolk totin’ guns (concealed- OR open-carry) into a mall? As Bill Maher discussed last night – and Wayne and I have discussed before this – open-carry, at least, is quite honestly only safe for WHITE MEN to do. In an open-carry state, one probably won’t see too many men of color packing heat – or at least not for long, as SOMEONE will either shoot them ‘just because’, or report them to the police, who will come and shoot the ‘suspicious’ armed black man on sight.

As noted in the ThinkProgress thread, “There have been 353 mass shootings in the United States in 2016, according to the Mass Shootings Tracker.” C’mon, you crazy shooters, there’s still plenty of time left in 2016, let’s see how high you can make that number go before the new year! And you “good guy(s) with a gun”, Christmas shopping is just around the corner, and the malls will be packed, so get your gunz and ammo ready!

This is our daily Open Thread, so talk about gunz or whatever else you want.

The Watering Hole, Saturday, August 1st, 2015: WTF is Wrong With These Pictures?

mccrory1mccrory2

So what DOES it take for someone seen “toting an AR-15 assault rifle, a handgun and an ax” on more than one occasion, sometimes wearing a mask, to even be questioned by law enforcement? Apparently it wasn’t until said someone posted a threat on Facebook, which alert citizens reported to law enforcement, that the local LEOs sat up and really took notice.  From RawStory:

“While police could not respond to residents’ complaints about McCrory’s past activities, they took note of him on Wednesday for online posts regarding the murder trial of Kyler Carriker, who was charged in the 2013 death Ronald Betts during a drug deal. Carriker was found not guilty on Thursday.

“Is it out of line to storm the courthouse if he’s found guilty?” the suspect wrote. He later added, “If we get a get a decent number of people to charge through the front doors and security, the police there will attack us. Often times [sic], the only way to defend yourself from a cop is to kill the cop which means using a rifle to penetrate the body armor.”

Well, it looks like more than one thing is “out of line” – KAKE-TV reported that:

“…McCrory was ineligible to own a firearm at all, since he has a felony conviction.  He was charged with aggravated criminal threat and three counts of criminal possession of a firearm.”

According to KSCrime.com:
The following raw charge information was entered by law enforcement authorities during detainment of Samuel Mccrory on 2015-07-30. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty: [emphasis mine – I think they mean all WHITE suspects.]

21.5415.B AGG CRIMINAL THREAT
21.6304.A.3.A CRIMINAL POSS FIREARM
21.6304.A.3.A CRIMINAL POSS FIREARM
21.6304.A.3.A CRIMINAL POSS FIREARM

The KS Crime article also mentions: “At the time of the arrest, Mr. McCrory was described as a white man, 6′ 5″ tall, 280 lbs, and 22 years old.”
Samuel A. McCrory

BINGO! Strapping young white guys with guns are apparently off-limits.

 

This is our daily Open Thread–you know what to do.

The Watering Hole; Friday June 6 2014; Article II Illustration and Rewrite

Article II, the Second Amendment, reads as follows:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Thanks to the Great State of Texas we now know exactly and precisely what it was that James Madison had in mind when he penned those words way back in 1787. Illustrations follow:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State . . .

Article II a

. . . the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Article II b

I suspect that if Mr. Madison were around today, he would word the amendment a bit differently in order to capture more the essence of 21st century America. My guess is Madison’s rewrite would read (approximately, of course) as follows:

Well-regulated idiocy being necessary to the insecurity of normal people in every state, the right of Teh Stupid to keep and bear arms in restaurants and Home Depots everywhere shall not be infringed.

Quod Erat Demonstrandum

OPEN THREAD

The Watering Hole, Monday, February 25th, 2013: Who The Fuck is Ted Cruz?

I’ve been wondering just who the fuck this junior Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, thinks he is. I know, everyone’s been comparing him to the late Senator Joseph McCarthy, due to his disrespectful and appalling attempt to besmirch former Senator Chuck Hagel’s reputation.

The Wikipedia bio of Cruz immediately provides some clues:

Cruz served as a law clerk to William Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States, and J. Michael Luttig of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Cruz was the first Hispanic ever to clerk for a Chief Justice of the United States.

In the landmark case of District of Columbia v. Heller, Cruz assembled a coalition of thirty-one states in defense of the principle that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms. Cruz also presented oral argument for the amici states in the companion case to Heller before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

In addition to his victory in Heller, Cruz has successfully defended the Ten Commandments monument on the Texas State Capitol grounds, the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools and the 2003 Texas redistricting plan.

Cruz also successfully defended, in Medellin v. Texas, the State of Texas against an attempt by the International Court of Justice to re-open the criminal convictions of 51 murderers on death row throughout the United States.

Cruz was endorsed by David Barton, founder and president of WallBuilders; the Club for Growth, a conservative political action committee; Erick Erickson, editor of prominent conservative blog RedState; the FreedomWorks for America super PAC; Princeton University professor Robert P. George; nationally syndicated radio host Mark Levin; former Attorney General Edwin Meese; Tea Party Express; Young Conservatives of Texas; and U.S. Senators Jim DeMint, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Pat Toomey. He has also been endorsed by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, Michigan Congressman Justin Amash, and former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum.

Now there’s an all-star lineup of right-wing idealogues (shudder.)

Jane Mayer provides more information in her piece in the New Yorker:

Two and a half years ago, Cruz gave a stem-winder of a speech at a Fourth of July weekend political rally in Austin, Texas, in which he accused the Harvard Law School of harboring a dozen Communists on its faculty when he studied there…Cruz made the accusation while speaking to a rapt ballroom audience during a luncheon at a conference called “Defending the American Dream,” sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, a non-profit political organization founded and funded in part by the billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch. Cruz greeted the audience jovially, but soon launched an impassioned attack on President Obama, whom he described as “the most radical” President “ever to occupy the Oval Office.”…He then went on to assert that Obama, who attended Harvard Law School four years ahead of him, “would have made a perfect president of Harvard Law School.” The reason, said Cruz, was that, “There were fewer declared Republicans in the faculty when we were there than Communists! There was one Republican. But there were twelve who would say they were Marxists who believed in the Communists overthrowing the United States government.”

In a follow-up article, Jane Mayer discusses the response from Cruz’s spokeswoman (who actually responded in an interview with The Blaze-I provided the link if you want to hold your nose and dive in, the comments are psycho, too.)

And a couple of articles from Politicus.com provide some slightly more tongue-in-cheek descriptions Cruz’s recent spotlight-hogging performances.

Unfortunately, Senator Cruz has the backing of some people with deep pockets and too much power. Maybe that’s why he seems to feel that he can say anything, regardless of the truth, with little impunity. So far, the only good thing Cruz has done is to make John McCain and Lindsey Graham look almost honorable.

This is our Open thread, what’s on your minds?