The Gun Is Our Moloch

From Jon Gruber at Daring Fireball:

THE GUN IS OUR MOLOCH

Garry Wills, writing for The New York Review five years ago, after the Sandy Hook grade school massacre:

The gun is not a mere tool, a bit of technology, a political issue, a point of debate. It is an object of reverence. Devotion to it precludes interruption with the sacrifices it entails. Like most gods, it does what it will, and cannot be questioned. Its acolytes think it is capable only of good things. It guarantees life and safety and freedom. It even guarantees law. Law grows from it. Then how can law question it?

Its power to do good is matched by its incapacity to do anything wrong. It cannot kill. Thwarting the god is what kills. If it seems to kill, that is only because the god’s bottomless appetite for death has not been adequately fed. The answer to problems caused by guns is more guns, millions of guns, guns everywhere, carried openly, carried secretly, in bars, in churches, in offices, in government buildings. Only the lack of guns can be a curse, not their beneficent omnipresence.

Our gun laws are insane. We, collectively, have agreed that regular mass shootings, often at schools — schools! — are a reasonable price to pay as a nation for unfettered access to military-grade killing machines for anyone and everyone who wants one.

It’s sick. Everyone outside the U.S. knows this. A majority of Americans knows this and supports stricter gun control.

There are new gun laws being drafted. But you know what most of them are for? For making guns even easier to purchase legally, without background checks.

This idea of gun=god was actually explored in an episode of American Gods last year.

Let’s Face It…

If the death of twenty 6- and 7-year olds (plus six adult staff members entrusted with keeping those children safe) at Sandy Hook in 2012 did not bring about gun control legislation in this country, yesterday’s shooting in Florida—or the other 18 school shootings that have happened in 2018 already—won’t do a thing either. THIS is what our country has become. Your elected officials—whose lips are surgically attached to the anus of the NRA and Wayne GODDAMNFUCKING LaPierre—are just fine with the continued slaughter of American children in school as long as their pockets are lined with that almighty blood money.

THIS is who we are, America—and will remain so until every last one of those MOTHERFUCKERS are removed from office and the NRA is driven back under the rock it crawled out of.

Another Day Ending in Y

“Dear Donald Trump: you’re a disgrace to the United States for too many reasons to list. You’re a racist, a sexual predator, a lifelong financial criminal, and you committed treason by knowingly allowing Russia to rig the election in your favor. Every day you find a new way to embarrass decent Americans everywhere, while aligning yourself with the slimiest of gutter trash this country shamefully has to offer. This was no different.

You oppose all forms of gun control, Trump, because your slimy political base consists of the kinds of bloodthirsty lunatics who worship guns and violence. You’ve done your best to cut off access to mental health treatment, as you’ve siphoned off the funds in favor of your corrupt wealthy donors. So when a kid took an AR-15 into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School today and left at least seventeen people dead, this was entirely on your shoulders.

Would gun control and mental health treatment have stopped this shooting? Maybe. When you’re the (supposed, for now) President of the United States, and you’re the person who’s almost single handedly preventing those things from happening, you’re to blame for school shootings. Period. You should have been too ashamed to even show his face today. Instead you dared to posted this tone-deaf tweet, which based on the verbiage, you probably didn’t even write yourself: “My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.”

Hey Donald Trump, take your thoughts and prayers and condolences and shove them up your traitorous ass. You got those kids killed today with your evil policies. You know it too, because unlike your drooling gun-addicted base, you’re just a political opportunist who’s burning this country down in order to keep your shithole supporters happy. You’re literally a traitor who sold this country out to Russia. You’re also a murderer of children.” ~ Bill Palmer

It’s All Chaos From Here On In

From The Palmer Report:

The sitting President of the United States has been caught committing serious crimes to rig the election in his favor, and then committing more crimes while trying to cover it up. The prosecutors have him all but nailed for obstruction of justice. The president is only left with no-win options. His popular support is weak and his own party is still trying to prop him up, but wary that a few more blows and it’ll become impossible. Donald Trump is now living Richard Nixon’s endgame nightmare, but the outcome is less predictable, because even Nixon wasn’t this mentally unstable.

Welcome to 2018, or 1974 revisited if you like. Trump now has his back against the wall. There are days where he appears to understand that, and days where he’s lost in a delusional haze, but the bottom line is that he’s not getting past this. Maybe he’ll agree to testify for Robert Mueller. Maybe he’ll tell the truth, which would incriminate him. Maybe he’ll lie, which would also incriminate him. Maybe he’ll plead the Fifth, which would incinerate what’s left of his presidency. We have no idea what he’ll do, because even he keeps changing his mind out loud.

We do know, however, that we’re entering a period of chaos. We can see it just from how rapidly the endgame moves are surfacing. Everyone from Trump’s current Attorney General and current CIA Director, to his former FBI Director and his former Acting Attorney General, have all testified about him for the Special Counsel. People like Rick Gates, who didn’t want a deal, now suddenly want a deal, because they know it’s now or never.

All of the players in this scandal are trying to figure out how to play chess in a manner which keeps them from going to prison, and at the center of it all is a mentally deranged “President” who is intent on playing Hungry Hungry Hippos. Deals and confessions and accusations and incriminations will now be the norm. Revelations and bombshells will now land daily, as everyone jockeys for position. Donald Trump’s remaining allies will launch whatever feeble or not-so-feeble counterattack they’ve been saving for the very end. Then we’ll find out that Mueller has had an entire deck of aces up his sleeve all along.

We don’t know precisely what will come next, both because this guy is too unstable, and because when the last guy was in this situation, this was roughly the point at which he quit. Nixon had the sense to understand that he wouldn’t survive the obstruction charges. He knew it was about to finish him politically, so he bailed. What would have happened if Nixon had refused to resign, and he were five times crazier and ten times stupider? Welcome to 2018. Trump will go down in the end. But it’s all chaos from here on in until he does.

Sadly, No Alien Overlords

What was that in the western sky on Friday night that stopped traffic and sparked both alarm and curiosity?

As I suspected—since it came from the direction of Vandenburg AFB in southern California—it was just a rocket, unfortunately.

Sadly, no arrival of our more-than-welcome alien overlords.

Damn.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 5:27 p.m., was carrying 10 satellites to low-Earth orbit. The satellites will be part of a constellation operated by Iridium Communications. All 10 satellites successfully deployed.

Here’s a short video of the launch shot in Los Angeles. Pretty impressive:

No, It’s Not Real

Did that landing screen scare you? Good. It should.

Obviously it’s not real. At least not yet. But with yesterday’s decision by the FCC to rescind Net Neutrality rules, it could very well be at some point in the future. But don’t panic…the fight isn’t over yet. Already twenty states’ Attorneys General have filed (or are preparing to file) suit to have this horrific decision overturned and it was just announced that Democratic Senators will also be introducing legislation to roll back the repeal.

In the meantime, you can still contact your congresscritters and demand that the rules (or even BETTER ones) be put back in place. We are not helpless.

The simplest way I’ve found to contact your elected representatives if you don’t like talking on the phone, is to text RESIST to 504-09. It will walk you through identifying your reps and lets you contact them by fax or phone.

America, We Have a Problem

Reposted in full from Riding On:

So, I saw this article this morning and thought I’d talk about it a little.  America, we have a problem.  You see we have something called the First Amendment and there are a number of people out there who don’t like it.  They believe we should have a National Religion, which would happen to be theirs.  They call themselves Social Conservatives and they represent the ugly head of selfishness.  You see for them, their most favorite pronouns are “I,” followed by “my.”  For them “you” can be a really negative word because “you” is about someone else. These Social Conservatives have allowed their beliefs to evolve to a stage where “you” is not even secondary.  Since they don’t believe in evolution they would never understand this, but evolve they have.  And they like the Constitution, but only as long as it lets them be as selfish as possible.  They don’t like it when “you” means everybody.

These Social Conservatives want to change rules and create regulations that benefit themselves, alone.  They want to be able to say that “my beliefs say I can fire you from your job because my beliefs are more important than you as a human being.”  The truth is they don’t care about human beings at all, unless those human beings share the same beliefs.  These Social Conservatives want to be able to discriminate, not only against sexual orientation, but against race and nationality.  They don’t want to give immigrants the chance to possibly dilute, either socially or culturally, the purity of their own beliefs.  You see, it’s not just the jobs they claim immigrants will take, it’s the very blood coursing through their veins which these Social Conservatives need to keep out.

They will never understand how wrong they are, to even consider such an action would be to challenge the very soul of “I.”

Our Technology is Haunted By Cheating, Trans-Human Lifeforms

From Demon Haunted World (an excellent article that you should take the time to read in full):

From Dieselgate to Wannacry to HP’s sleazy printer ink chicanery, we are increasingly colonized by demon-haunted things controlled by nonhuman life-forms (corporations) that try to trick, coerce or scare us into acting against our own best interests. These devices go to great length to hide their workings from us, making them the ideal host organisms for opportunistic malware infections. Worst of all, the law puts its thumb on the scales in favor of demons, and against exorcists.

Alchemists—like all humans—are mediocre lab-technicians. Without peer reviewers around to point out the flaws in their experiments, alchemists compounded their human frailty with bad experi­mental design. As a result, an alchemist might find that the same experiment would produce a ‘‘differ­ent outcome’’ every time.

In reality, the experiments lacked sufficient con­trols. But again, in the absence of a peer reviewer, alchemists were doomed to think up their own explanations for this mysterious variability in the natural world, and doomed again to have the self-serving logic of hubris infect these explanations.

That’s how alchemists came to believe that the world was haunted, that God, or the Devil, didn’t want them to understand the world. That the world actually rearranged itself when they weren’t looking to hide its workings from them. Angels punished them for trying to fly to the Sun. Devils tricked them when they tried to know the glory of God—indeed, Marcelo Rinesi from The Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies called modern computer science ‘‘applied demonology.’’

In the 21st century, we have come full circle. Non-human life forms—limited liability corpo­rations—are infecting the underpinnings of our ‘‘smart’’ homes and cities with devices that obey a different physics depending on who is using them and what they believe to be true about their surroundings.

Because ‘murika!

A large portion of the population is about to have permanent eye damage.

If the last two years have taught me anything, it’s that a huge portion of the United States population is dumber than a box of rocks, and will do something contrary to what they’re told, especially if the person telling them is actually someone who knows what they’re talking about.

I Have No Words

I have no words for the events of the last 48 hours except What the FUCK is wrong with this country?! But plenty of people more eloquent than I do. Here is just a small sample. We will not be silent.


I Mourn For Our Country

Trump’s ridiculous statement on Charlottesville shows his unbelievable inability to communicate (we need “true affection” for each other?!) and underscores his unwillingness to specifically call out white supremacists.

Instead, he sticks with the idea that hatred and violence and bigotry are coming from “many sides.” Why is he so reticent? Because he has been a white supremacist his whole life, his entire career …

This monster is on a golf vacation while our country burns, but still found time to take a moment to bloviate:

That one doesn’t sound like his third-grade vocabulary. It was probably written by a member of his staff. But then followed it was followed up with this:

That sounds more like his vocabulary and diction. “Charlottesville sad!” SERIOUSLY?!? Fucking piece of moronic filth. The disgust I felt for George W. Bush doesn’t even come close to absolute unmitigated HATE I feel for that asshole.

Here is a picture of Trump’s America:

IMPEACH THE MOTHERFUCKER ALREADY AND REMOVE HIS WORTHLESS WASTE OF FLESH FROM THE WHITE HOUSE!