“Holy Saturday” Open Thread: Conservatives Don’t Really Care for Easter

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All vernal equinox festivals tend to celebrate the new, the young, and the throwing off of outworn properties to make way for fresh growth — things bound to raise hives on conservative hides at the best of times. But to those rightwingers raised in the Christian tradition, where Easter is (believe it or not!) the most sacred Holy Day, it’s gotta be especially irksome. Scripture preaches that the literal embodiment of the One True Father God allowed himself to be captured, manhandled, and murdered by the government. Bad enough that the totally-within-their-rights civil authorities and their licensed security thugs should be cast as being on the wrong side… however can they reconcile this “Prince of Peace” pussified Jesus with the Flaming Sword Wrongness Punisher of their hearts’ desire?

(Of course, my own understanding here was strongly influenced by parochial school nuns who put a lot of stress on the deliberate pacifism of Easter Week, for reasons. In 1968/72, explaining to a bunch of sullen teenagers who considered their NORAID donor buttons the height of political correctness that St. Peter deserved to be rebuked for whipping out his sword at Gethsemane can’t have been easy.)

Modern pop culture isn’t easy for our ‘conservative’ opposites to enjoy, either — every time they think they’ve found a good violent shoot-em-up to applaud, mouthy Lie-brals start pointing out how ‘oppressed young special-needs minority types’ are shown more sympathetically than ‘the duly appointed legal authorities’. But ya gotta give them points for trying!



Breaking: Noor Salman, Widow of The Pulse Nightclub Mass Shooter/Mass Murderer, Found Not Guilty On All Counts

Justice, justice you shall pursue… — Deuteronomy 16:20

Jeltsen did an excellent piece of long form reporting on Salman that really gets into the details of why she was even charged.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Noor Salman looked up as the prosecutor directed the jury’s attention to a copy of her 2011 marriage certificate. There, on the screen, was her looping signature, right next to Omar Mateen’s. Proof she wed a killer.

The 31-year-old widow shivered and hiked a purple blanket up to her neck, glancing over at her team of defense attorneys for reassurance. They often soothed her in court with physical touch, squeezing her shoulder or patting her arm. Her fear was palpable.

Later, Salman watched herself on the same screen, testing perfumes at Victoria’s Secret. In the security camera footage shown to the jury, she sniffed a paper strip, then passed it to her husband for his thoughts. He must have agreed; they left with a shiny pink bag.

While her husband was committing mass murder, Salman was in her pajamas, asleep in their home in Fort Pierce, Florida. Seven months later, she was charged with aiding and abetting her husband and obstructing justice for allegedly lying to the FBI. Prosecutors claimed that Salman helped her husband scout potential locations for the attack, created a cover story for him and participated in unusual spending.

The seemingly ordinary excursion to a mall store was now center stage in a federal terrorism trial. In the days leading up to the shooting, Mateen spent thousands of dollars on Salman, buying her clothes and jewelry, including a diamond ring. Prosecutors suggested she got the gifts in exchange for agreeing to help him carry out his heinous plan.

There was zero evidence that Salman was radicalized herself, they admitted. Instead, they argued that she was content to trade her husband – the sole provider for her and her 3-year-old son – for baubles and designer wear.

Salman, who did not testify in the trial herself, pleaded not guilty, and maintained through her lawyers that she had no knowledge of Mateen’s plans. When he began showering her with presents in the weeks before the massacre, Salman was optimistic about their future, her lawyers said, and believed it was a sign her husband – a brutish, abusive man who only permitted her a $20 allowance each week – was changing.

For the 49 families of the victims, the trial was an opportunity for closure. And yet, they didn’t get to see the man that took their loved one’s lives. Instead, they got his wife.

Outside the federal courthouse, on a lunch break from the trial, Salman’s cousin was seething. Susan Adieh, didn’t recognize the one-dimensional cliched caricature the prosecution had described, and she didn’t understand why Salman was on trial. The wives of other terrorists and mass killers never faced charges. She wondered if her family’s religion played a role, even though Salman was not religious.

After all, they were Muslim.

Susan Clary, the family spokesperson, said that many other relatives wanted to come to support Salman, but they were afraid. As Muslim Americans, they worried about being associated with the terrorism case; their jobs could be at stake.

After all, they were Muslim… Pretty much sums it all up right there. Somewhere the shade of bin Laden is smiling. He got almost everything he wanted, as delineated in his manifesto, out of the 9-11 attack.

Click over and read the whole thing. And recognize that on this Good Friday, which is also the first night of Passover, justice has prevailed in a courtroom in Florida.

Stay frosty!

Open thread.



Roseanne Barr Dressed As Hitler Baking Burnt Jew Cookies – I Did NAZI That Coming: So Much For That Roseanne Reboot!

Well that should just about do it for the Roseanne reboot! I can’t imagine ABC’s parent company Disney is going to be too thrilled that these pictures have resurfaced.

Apparently these have been bouncing around since 2009! From Jewish Journal:

Not too many people are laughing at Roseanne Barr’s portrayal of Hitler on the cover of Heeb magazine this month. Yet there she is: a real-life Jewish grandmother dressed as a “Nazi domestic goddess.” She even figured in the trademark Hitler mustache and swastika armband, and bakes a batch of “burnt Jew cookies,” you know, for emphasis. Extra TV did a segment on the cover last week calling it “not funny” and shaming the controversial choice. But Heeb publisher Josh Neuman defended it, saying the cover was meant as “satire” and not done for “shock value.”

OK, you mean to tell me putting a Jewish woman on the cover of a Jewish magazine costumed as the man who burnt Jews in ovens (while she burns things in ovens) has no shock value? Since we’re being a wee bit insensitive to the remaining Holocaust survivors and their children, let’s at least call a spade a spade here, folks.

But if you’re mad, don’t blame Heeb. It was Roseanne who wanted to be photographed as Hitler. According to the magazine, she has a theory “that she may in fact be the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler,” and thus requested to create a kind of Jewish Halloween nightmare in order to make a personal statement. Writer Oliver Noble accompanied Roseanne at the photo shoot and wrote about the strange atmosphere on set:

Noble wisely decided to go with the flow. He writes that he greeted Roseanne with a “Sieg Heil,” in honor of the shoot.

As the “Domestic Goddess” dons the famous moustache, transforming into “Domestic Goddess Hitler,” I notice that she’s beginning to have fun. She nails the Fuehrer’s facial expressions with twisted glee, and as she takes the burnt gingerbread “Jew Cookies” out of the oven it occurs to me that Barr may be the last celebrity utterly incapable of giving a fuck.

I’ve got a very dark and morbid sense of humor. And I don’t get all wrapped around the axle about things being tasteful or tasteless –  to each their own. I’m all for ridiculing Hitler and the actual NAZIs, but that’s not what this is.Even with the context they’re still disgusting! I’ve got nothing…

Stay frosty!

Open thread.



If You See Something, Say Something: Insider Threat Indicators For Recruitment

I did my required, annual insider threat training today. One bit of information stood out far more this year than it is ever had before.

Insider threat indicators:

Recruitment

  • Reportable indicators of recruitment include, but are not limited to:
  • Unreported request for critical assets1 outside official channels
  • Unreported or frequent foreign travel
  • Suspicious foreign contacts
  • Contact with an individual who is known to be, or is suspected of being, associated with foreign intelligence, security, or terrorism
  • Unreported offer of financial assistance, gifts, or favors by a foreign national or stranger: Beware of those bearing gifts

1 “Critical assets” are assets essential to an organization’s mission or to national security that, if exploited, could result in serious harm. They include: classified information; proprietary information; intellectual property; trade secrets; personnel security.

I just can’t quite put my finger on why this stood out at me more this year…

So remember: if you see something, say something!

Stay frosty!

Open thread.



Whistleblower States that Cambridge Analytica, Subsidiary of British Defence Contractor to the Ministry of Defence and US DOD, Was a Bridging Node to the Russians

This was a joint appearance event, including Q&A, held today in London. A lot of important news was made:

Chris Wylie’s answer here, if it is borne out, clearly places Cambridge Analytica, a subsidiary of the defense and intelligence contractor SCL, doing work for Russian interests. This is noteworthy for two different, but equally important reasons. The first is that it provides some of the first direct evidence, by direct statement of one of the principles and founders of Cambridge Analytica as a subsidiary of SCL, that Cambridge Analytica had concrete, for profit ties to Russia. Making it a bridging node in the network of groups, people, and organizations involved in the US 2014 and 2016 elections and the Russians. The second is that a subsidiary of SCL, which is essentially a private, for contract intelligence company, was doing work for Russian interests at the same time that the parent company was doing work for the British Ministry of Defence and the US DOD.

I’ve been a defense contractor off and on for over a decade. This included doing what is essentially a niche form of  intelligence work for the US Army. I have also served on two different term appointments as a senior civil servant under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act. One of my biggest concerns as a national security professional has always been about the privatization of intelligence work. I’ve had the pleasure of working for an excellent, small defense contractor (who I’m currently still with) that appreciates professional ethics, providing quality work for the governmental client, and has my back. This was also the case for the not for profit sponsoring agent for my Intergovernmental Personnel Appointment. Unfortunately, I’ve also worked for a terrible business development unit (BDU) of a very large multinational defense and intelligence contractor that, through hard experience, I trust to do what is best for their bottom line to the exclusion of all else – including the right thing. So I can say I’ve experienced the best and worst of the contractor world. Having a subsidiary of a defense and intelligence contractor that is doing political intelligence work for Russian interests at the same time that the parent company is doing intelligence and/or intelligence related work for the MOD, the DOD, and NATO should be raising red flags in DC, London, and Brussels. Given what we know of how Nix and his partners conduct business, national security and counterintelligence professionals in the US, the UK, and at NATO HQ should be very, very, very concerned that whatever they were paying SCL to do has managed to make its way to Cambridge Analytica’s Russian clients.

Other important news was also made at this event about Steve Bannon, Robert Mercer, and their interest in the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and Brexit:

You’ll notice that Andrew Breitbart’s “politics is downstream of culture” concept was in play here.

Finally, some absolutely revolting news was also broken at this event pertaining to Shahmir Sanni. If there is any justice left in Her Majesty’s kingdom, it will be the end of Theresa May’s political career, as well as the two lowlifes on her staff responsible for outing Sanni and placing his family in Pakistan in jeopardy:

Read more



Late Evening/Early Morning Open Thread: Floriduh! Man Update

As it takes over into Sunday in the eastern time zone, let’s check in and see what Floriduh! Man has been up to this week.

Floriduh! Man should definitely stay away from the Internet!

From Florida Today:

Spectrum internet service for portions of Rockledge and Cocoa remained down for several hours on Wednesday after police said a 25-year-old man stole a repair truck routing fiber optic cable.

The resulting outage affected up to 5,000 customers, including businesses and residences, according to a spokesperson for Spectrum, the telecommunications company that contracted the repairs.

The $100,000 truck, hitched to a $50,000 trailer filled with tools and other equipment, was recovered around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday at a Denny’s restaurant parking lot on Merritt Island.

“Several police agencies were affected also,” said Yvonne Martinez, spokeswoman for the Cocoa Police Department. Officers had to use backup radios after the cables were snapped. Dispatch and 911 systems were not affected, Martinez said.

“The person came out of nowhere and stole the truck,” said Joe Durkin, spokesperson for Spectrum. One worker actually jumped from the truck as the suspected thief rolled off, violently snapping and damaging the cable.

“The worker felt the truck and trailer rocking and then start to move. He jumped out and saw the truck speed southbound on south Fiske Boulevard,” Martinez added.

You definitely don’t see this everyday!

News 6 Orlando:

DeLAND, Fla. – Two men are accused of breaking into the home of a man they both dated, stealing several items, then leaving spaghetti sauce boiling on the stove with a washcloth placed near the burner in an attempt to start a fire, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

The victim called 911 about 7 a.m. Tuesday because the security cameras in his home on Evergreen Terrace in DeLand detected motion and he believed someone was breaking in because a towel had been placed over one of the cameras, the report said.

Deputies went to the residence and saw a red Lincoln Navigator attempting to leave the area. A stop was conducted and the driver, 28-year-old John Silva, and passenger, Derrick Irving, told the deputy that they had just picked up some clothes from the victim’s home, according to the affidavit.

The victim told News 6 that Irving was wearing a bull costume.

The deputy said she could see a marijuana grinder in the center console and a vacuum, window A/C unit, flat-screen television and heater in the back seat. An empty jar of Ragu spaghetti sauce was also on the passenger’s seat, the report said.

The home reeked of smoke when deputies entered it, according to the report. A pot of spaghetti sauce was found burning on the stove with a white washcloth placed near the burner that had just begun to catch fire, according to the affidavit.

“He was trying to make it look like I left the stove on but who gets up 2 a.m. and fixes sketti,” the victim said.

Who indeed?

Floriduh! Man in Gainesville was, apparently, looking for a very good time…

Rance James Shannon blared his horn at cops and emergency vehicles and was found with multiple guns and drugs in his car.

A man was arrested Wednesday morning with an assortment of drugs and guns in his car after he called attention to himself with an impatient horn honk, according to Gainesville police.

Rance James Shannon, 27, stopped his car behind patrol and fire rescue vehicles who were working a traffic accident at 2:35 a.m. at 1700 W. University Ave., near University of Florida student housing. Shannon blared his horn.

An officer approached Shannon and could smell the strong scent of marijuana. Shannon appeared impaired and was yelling and slurrings. Law enforcement had Shannon exit the vehicle because he tried to drive away.

Officers found a loaded 9mm magazine, about $10,400 and a 4-inch knife on Shannon, in his waistband. A loaded pistol was in the passenger seat. A collapsible baton and pepper spray were in the driver’s side door panel.

In the floorboard, police found an AR-15, five quart-sized Mason jars full of 263.8 grams of marijuana, a jar of hash resin, 94.5 grams of cocaine, 11.6 grams of amphetamine powder, 16.5 Xanax pills and an Oxycodone pill.

A tote bag with 71.7 grams of marijuana, a fruity cannabis edible bar and cannabis gummy edibles was in the backseat.

Police found four handguns, an AK 47, ammunition, a stun gun, a baseball bat, bolt cutters and gloves in the trunk.

Shannon told police that if cannabis were in the car, it would weigh around 113 grams.

He also told police he was “a nice guy” because he could have used a weapon against police but didn’t, the report says. Police said he told them he thought he could have weapons as a convicted felon after three years.

He also told police he felt he had to honk his horn to get law enforcement’s attention.

Shannon was charged with carrying a concealed weapon while unlicensed, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and possession of synthetic narcotics and other drugs and cocaine trafficking. He was held in the Alachua County jail.

And now you know why they call it dope!

Stay frosty!

Open thread.



A Few Thoughts On The New National Security Advisor

John Bolton is basically Frank Burns from M*A*S*H* with more offensive facial hair. Bolton’s appointment to be the next Assistant to the President – National Security Advisor (APNSA or National Security Advisor for short) is the most recent dog to catch the car within this administration. He has now finally wormed himself into a key position very close to a US president, but like the dog with his teeth locked firmly onto the car’s bumper he has only two choices: he either has to let go or he has to sink his teeth in, hold on for dear life, and pray he doesn’t get dragged to death and/or run over. He’s an unguided, self directing weapon of mass destruction. He will cause so much chaos and confusion that he will actually wind up defeating himself. He will ultimately self destruct.

What pissed the President off about LTG McMaster is that he actually did the job the right way and took his duties and responsibilities seriously. Bolton couldn’t care less about the Interagency and Interagency process. If Secretary Mattis and Gen (ret) Kelly couldn’t get along with LTG McMaster, which, I think, was partially because they’re 4 stars and he’s only a 3 star, yet he was the national-security and foreign policy gatekeeper, they’re definitely not going to get along with Bolton. He will so degrade and destroy the process that the President won’t be able to achieve anything in terms of national security and foreign policy. Remember, the US economy is about to be overrun by the Chinese in the coming trade war. Do you really think Bolton has any idea how to manage the Interagency process to minimize the damage to the US economy? Not a chance.

Bolton is also a terrible supervisor and manager. The personnel on the National Security staff that are not detailed from the various agencies and departments within the government, as in the people that McMaster hired directly and work for the Executive Office of the President, will begin to leave quickly. Those actual detailed from the various agencies to the National Security Staff will ask for their assignments to be ended early and because of his reputation there won’t be volunteers to replace them. So the National Security Staff will atrophy, which will negatively impact the ability of the President’s national security and foreign policy initiatives. And despite a long history of being wrong on almost every national security and foreign policy issue, Bolton thinks everyone else is stupid and wrong. So he will ignore, if not actively piss off, Secretary Mattis, Gen Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as the Joint Chiefs themselves, the Secretary of State, Secretary of Energy, Director of National Intelligence, all of their deputies, etc. It is very difficult to conduct national security and foreign policy after you’ve alienated everyone involved in the national security and foreign policy process. Is is equally difficult to conduct national security and foreign policy without a functioning process, which is why the process we have now was created.

I’m not trying to minimize what is definitely a sub-optimal choice. Bolton’s appointment as AP-NSA will definitely make things more chaotic in the White House, while reinforcing the President’s worse instincts about negotiations as zero-sum exercises and cycling willy nilly from being bellicose and threatening to accommodating. But mark my words, it’s not sub-optimal just because Bolton is an always wrong, belligerent, double A type authoritarian (kiss up, kick down). Rather it is sub-optimal because Bolton is going to self destruct, because that’s who and what Bolton is. He can’t help himself.

Stay frosty!

Open thread.