Late Evening Open Thread: And Now for an Opposing Viewpoint!

 



Sort of Maybe a Bit Like Friday Recipe Exchange on Monday: Do NOT Try This at Home Edition!!!!!

Alton Brown has been tinkering again. He’s invented a way to make ice cream in under 10 seconds. The video is below. Whatever you do, do not try this at home!

Bon appetit! And open thread.



So Near And Yet Shofar

Because I could(n’t resist):

 

SHARE UPDATE BURNS OREGON! CHRISTIANS THE BATTLE TRUMPET HAS BEEN SOUNDED TIME TO RISE! CALL TO ACTION SEND IN THE TROOPS TO STAND WITH US IN BURNS OREGON!

Posted by Blaine Cooper on Sunday, January 17, 2016

Just to ram the point home: if I were those guys I’d think long and hard about the story of Nadab and Abihu. False prophets do not usually achieve happy endings. A sheepish withdrawal is by far their best outcome…which would let them get back (continue) to fleece their flock.

But I’ll say this: those big horns are not that easy to blow. Kudos for that at least.



Y’all Qaeda Pissing You Off? Fire A Phone Call, Not A Glock

I’m enraged by the news in Zander’s post below.  Happy to let any of seditionists out of the Malheur HQ — but only into the welcoming arms of federal custody.

That’s a legitimate political view — and you know what sane and patriotic people do with such views?  They call their representatives in Washington to let them know how they feel.

'Telephone_Operator'_by_Gerrit_A._Beneker (1)

I just left a message at Senator Warren’s office and spoke to a nice young (I’m guessing) staffer in Rep. Joe Kennedy’s.  Markey is next on my list.  I told them how disgusted I was at the action of the Malheur thugs — stealing our property, yours, mine, and the whole damn American people’s while, many of them, stealing from the public till for years and years.

The key though is that I also made a request:  I want my Congressional representatives to put the question to federal law enforcement as to why they are not enforcing the law, either by denying the radical right wing intimidators their freedom of movement as long as they remain on the people’s property, or by arresting them when they do choose to wander.

It’s not much, but it’s not nothing either.  These folks only succeed because their supporters are vocal and active, while the hundreds of millions whom they rip off, disrespect and aim to intimidate and coerce just want to go about their business.  A little volume on our side of the playground is actually significant.

So call your official peeps!  Takes a minute or two, and it’s worth the effort.  This is also one where the partisan identification of your representatives matters a little less than on some of the calls to action this blog has made.  Armed take-overs of public buildings strikes a little close to home for a lot of Congressfolk.

So call! Be polite; know the message you want to send; thank the kids on the other end of the line for their help; and lets start making the country marginally more sane, one firmly worded dispatch at a time.

The phone numbers:

House and Senate switchboard: 202-224-3121.  Individual senator phone numbers.  Individual representative phone numbers. (Both lists by state.  You can sort by last name as well.)

Have at it, friends.

ETA:  In case you want to call the Executive Branch directly (as some in the comment thread would seem to do), here’s the White House comment line: 202-456-1111.  Feel like give Justice a ring? 202-353-1555.

Image: Gerrit A. Beneker, Telephone Operator (A Weaver of Public Thought) 1921.



He’s Got the Disease and There Ain’t No Cure

Trump lost it last night in Iowa (via):

But Trump appeared to unravel on stage Thursday evening before a crowd of roughly 1,500 in Fort Dodge, a small industrial town 100 miles northwest of Des Moines. Many in the crowd were community college students who have never voted in a presidential election, along with teachers, local politicians and a number of farmers from the area. Rather than sticking to his usual, tidy 60 minutes, Trump kept going and going. Campaign staffers with microphones had planned to solicit questions from the audience, but instead stood waiting in the aisles, then sat for a while, then stood again at attention. Those standing on risers behind Trump — providing a backdrop of Iowan faces — eventually gave up and sat down in a falling cascade.
[…]
Carson wrote in his autobiography that as a young man he had a “pathological temper” that caused him to violently attack others — going after his mother with a hammer and trying to stab a friend, only to have the blade stopped and broken by the friend’s belt buckle. In recent days, those accounts have come under scrutiny, and Carson has had to clarify or correct some of the details.

Trump said Carson has a “pathological disease” with no cure, comparing it to the incurable mental conditions of child molesters.

“A child molester, there’s no cure for that,” Trump said. “If you’re a child molester, there’s no cure. They can’t stop you. Pathological? There’s no cure.”

With his voice growing louder and louder, Trump questioned what sort of person would attack his mother. He questioned how a belt buckle could stop a blade, stepping away from the podium to demonstration how such an attack might happen and how his own belt buckle wouldn’t stay in place long enough to stop a knife.

“Anybody have a knife?” Trump asked the audience, which was screened by Secret Service agents who began protecting him this week. “You want to try it on me?”

Trump was flabbergast: “How stupid are the people of Iowa? How stupid are the people of the country to believe this crap?”

I’ll bet a 90 minute tirade is nothing for Trump–he probably spends about that time bitching about a cold breakfast or a flat Coke every other day.

Video at the link.








Floriduh Man… Shonda for the Goyim Edition*

Today in the Annals of Floriduh Man: The FBI has arrested a major online ISIS/jihad promotion presence/player. He’s a 20 year old Jewish American man from Florida…  Joshua Ryne Goldberg, aka Australi Witness, was impersonating an ISIS inspired Lebanese refugee, who did NOT actually exist, living in Perth, Australia. Mr. Goldberg was arrested for providing planning to a Federal informant on how to make a pressure cooker bomb**.

The intended target seems to have been the Kansas City 9-11 Memorial and the intention was for the attack to take place yesterday. Mr. Goldberg is claiming that he wanted the actual would be bomber to blow himself up while preparing the bomb. And if that failed he intended to tip off the cops before the actual attack – so positive character points for potential civic engagement and responsibility. Mr. Goldberg has also claimed, through his online persona, that he was responsible for motivating the two Arizona men who attacked The Draw the Prophet Muhammed event in Garland, TX back in May. While Mr. Goldberg gets the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, I expect that the Feds will throw the book at him. Texas might also decide to go after him for the Garland, TX attack too. Some times the truth really is stranger than fiction.

* For the non Yiddish speakers at Balloon Juice a shonda for the goyim (literally a tragedy or embarrassment in front of the gentiles) is the label traditionally placed on someone who is Jewish who does something really, really, really stupidly embarrassing in public.

** This provides a whole new use for the “crock pot craziness” category…



What Could Possibly Go Wrong

When self selected vigilantes assaulting armed strangers in public spaces?

Consider this incident:

According to the Hillsborough  Sheriff’s Office, [African-American] 62-year-old Clarence Daniels was entering Walmart with his legally concealed firearm to buy coffee creamer on Tuesday when he was spotted by 43-year-old vigilante Michael Foster.

Foster, who is white, had observed Daniels conceal the weapon under his coat before he came into the store. When Daniels crossed the threshold, Foster tackled him and placed him in a chokehold…

Florida, Jake…but at least the worst outcomes were avoided:

He’s got a gun!” Foster reportedly exclaimed.

“I have a permit!” Daniels repeatedly shouted back.

After a struggle, the men were separated. Deputies later arrived and Foster was charged with battery.

V0017125 Head of a man, composed of nude figures. Oil painting.

So:  no one died.  Good.

A couple of thoughts, though:  (a) what kind of asshole do you have to be to decide that you want to walk around looking for folks to bash based on whether they look hinky to you?  B)  if it’s really all about guns, then what’s going to keep you from going all George Zimmerman at any point in the drama?  That this ended with neither the victim nor the self-appointed asshole on a gurney is just a signal that FSM was dangling its noodly appendage down Hillsborough way that day, nothing more.

The most obvious take away is, of course, that this couldn’t possibly be about race because (nods to Charlie Pierce) it’s never about race.  Except…

Again, I see it as a near miracle that the legal gun owner who happened to be black is still alive right now.  The white vigilante is lucky too, certainly — jumping a guy with a gun is not a long-term health strategy — but we’ve seen too much lately of what even the merest hint that an African American man or kid! might be armed does to their odds.

But I want to point out the essential current here, the unifying thread that runs through all of these incidents, the tragedies and the bathetic ones alike.  That’s fear, brought on by the worship of the gun.  How on earth is vigilante-ism even a thing in 2015 America?  It’s because the toxic combination of racial and class politics and unlimited arsenals produce terror and rage in equal and toxic admixture.

Worst of all is then how normal this all seems to those in the midst of it.  Consider this advice:

“The Sheriff’s Office recommends that vigilante-inclined citizens refrain from taking matters into their own hands, especially when an incident is gun-related,” the Tampa Bay Times reported.

McKinnon said that vigilantes should “make sure there’s a good reason” before tackling gun owners.

Ya think?

In the end the fact that actual bad guys do not in fact carry neon signs to identify them  (no Poor Impulse Control tattoos yet) means that, well, it’s a target rich environment.

“Unfortunately he tackled a guy that was a law-abiding citizen,” McKinnon noted. “We understand it’s alarming for people to see other people with guns, but Florida has a large population of concealed weapons permit holders.”

In other words:  be careful out there.  Someone, soon, is going to get killed in one of these stunts.  And once again the tree of liberty will be watered with the blood of someone just going about their business, or a kid who happens to be in the next aisle when the stray shot comes home or…

Not to mention, except I will, again:  the racial element here.  White guys chasing black guys they fear is an old trope in American life.  It’s with us still.  Video at eleven.

PS:  I’m totally with Bryant Gumbel here.

Image: F. Balbi, The head of a man composed of writhing nude figuresposs. 1868.