Tuesday, April 13, 2021

"Taser! Taser! Taser!!!......BANG!!!!


     This latest shooting of an unarmed black man by a cop is another reminder that this will not stop until something drastic changes that will guarantee holding police officers accountable for their actions.  As long as they have this special immunity going for them....black men will keep dying.

  What is clearly astonishing about this latest murder, however is that the officer--a female 26 year veteran of the department--now is claiming that she thought she was using her Taser and not her pistol.

  Okay.  Here's why that beggars belief.   On a cop's duty belt the pistol is always carried on the so-called 'strong side', meaning a right-handed officer will have their Glock on that side, and if Taser-equipped,. the Taser's holster is on the 'weak-side', i.e. the side away from the officer's dominant hand.

  Furthermore:  A police Taser is mostly BRIGHT YELLOW molded plastic.  It has the overall general shape designed to fit the hand like a pistol does....but if you see them side by side, it is very difficult to confuse them. 

  In addition, in order to employ either weapon one must bring it up into your field of view.  You are almost never going to pull the trigger on a weapon that you are not at least attempting to control and aim.  What is the point, after all?  Your goal is to get the Taser darts into the subject in front of you....or, if you feel the situation is utterly dire and it warrants lethal force,  you are trying to stop the offender with bullets from your service pistol.  Either way, there is no point in releasing darts or bullets unless they have a good chance of hitting the subject.

  So, can anyone seriously think that this very experienced officer pulled her Taser from the 'weak side' of her duty belt, and brought it into play trying to render the subject helpless to resist further.....when what was really happening was that she drew her pistol from the 'strong side' and leveled it at Daunte Wright. 

  Here she was, obviously sky-high on adrenaline in a tense situation, but able to draw a weapon and shoot the 20 y.o. Wright, killing him.  The police body-cams clearly recorded her warning, "Taser! Taser! Taser!" and then the sound of a pistol discharging.  

  We have been down this path so often and with such anguish.  And, it just seems to keep happening on an almost daily basis. Every time it happens again, we are reminded that most police shootings...even of unarmed subjects....go unpunished because of the seemingly universal policy that is referred to as, "qualified immunity".   This is not supposed to give police a free-hand, but rather to recognize that it would become difficult to impossible to do their job if they got sued in civil actions, despite having been released from any criminal charges.  The lawyers would be queued-up waiting to get their clients into courts, and police departments would be unable to function at anything approaching normal levels.

  But, here's the thing:  if we continue giving police a break from some kind of real accountability we will continue down this tragic road.  

  Does it seem like this policewoman, Kim Potter, should be forgiven for not knowing what she was holding in her hands?  She was responsible for making a decision as to how to subdue Daunte Wright...and she blew it, massively.  On the one hand, she would have given him a dose of 50,000 volts and he would be still alive.  On the other hand, she put a bullet in him and he's dead at age 20...because she got so flustered that she didn't even know what she was holding in her hands....DESPITE THE  FACT THAT IT MADE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH, for Daunte Wright.

  There is also a huge question at the middle of all of this:  when is lethal force justified?  My understanding was that the cop had to see a weapon, or have some kind of visual proof that the subject presented a danger to life and limb.  This idea seems to have been minimized and relegated to obsolescence.  Now, all the officer has to do is claim that they were in fear for their own safety.  That is a pretty broad concept.  And, the result of wide acceptance of it has resulted in an unending list of names of black men...and a few women too, like Breona Taylor.....who did NOT HAVE A WEAPON getting killed.  And, in way too many cases this 'qualified immunity' policy has let the officers remain unaccountable for killing them.

  The George Floyd killing by Derek Chauvin seemed to be the 'final straw' for black America, and many people of all other demographics too.   It was so over-the-top blatant and brutal....and, Chauvin's demeanor as he squeezed the life out of Floyd can only be described as 'what true EVIL looks like in action'.  His cold, impassive stare, hand in pocket, full weight of his body on Floyd's neck, blithely ignoring the pleas and exhortations of the by-standers....was just too graphic and clear for people to not be outraged.  This country is going to explode from end to end if Chauvin is allowed to go free.


  Even as the trial has gone on now for 12 days, the drumbeat of police violence against unarmed black males has continued as if nothing has changed.  

  Okay.  It hasn't.  Not a goddamned thing.


  Americans--plenty of us--are at the end of our rope on this.  Trust me on that.

Friday, April 9, 2021

The mystery of Q......


     Ever since QAnon burst onto the scene, I have been puzzling over it.  Once I realized that it was all about high profile Democrats and liberals feasting on babies, after, of course, they had drained their blood in order to make some life-extending magic potions....I became somewhat fascinated by it.  I mean, how is it possible for any fully capacitated adult in this culture to accept that Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey, Adam Schiff and lots of others....all democrats, including Hilary Clinton, of course....that these people are not mere Satanists, but also cannibals, pedophiles and....well, you get the picture. It's the kind of thing that makes you wonder if there isn't something out there that is infecting people with a 'dumb bug'.  And, amazingly enough, I know intelligent, educated people who have swallowed this KoolAid.  Or did they somehow get dosed with LSD and are just on a bad trip?

   If I was dreaming up a conspiracy theory and had a contest with some friends to see who could come up with the LEAST believable and MOST RIDICULOUS conspiracy, well, QAnon would be a hard one to top.  It's not so much that it's simply off-the-scale gross.....it's just so infantile and idiotic. Take a minute, just for giggles, and see if you can imagine a conspiracy that is more unbelievable.  Face it, it's about as far out there as it gets. There's a joke in Maine about stupidity: "Some people ain't gotta clue, but, some others don't even suspect nothin'".  That's QAnon fans.  

  But, oddly enough, this kind of fully fermented stupidity feels perfectly in line with also believing that Donald J. Idiot is a decent soul, a good businessman, an astute politician, honest, has high moral standards, would never steal or scam his own followers, has great respect for women and people of color...blah, blah, blah.  

  If you believe any of the above....you need help.

   So, a kind reader sent a link to an article that she had come across, and on reading it, I found that it offers a very clear and well thought-out explanation for exactly how people come to believe that something so utterly unbelievable is real.  

   Here's the link:  https://www.mysticmag.com/psychic-reading/what-is-qanon/

  Give it a read and see what you think. 


Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Just Imagine that you're back is against the wall.....


    So, you've been a Republican for all of your adult life, grew-up in a GOP family, always felt that the Dems are inferior because they just want to tax the rich and spend it all on the poor.  Okay, that is a slight exaggeration, but it actually does reflect how many Americans feel at this point.

   But, here you are: your beloved Idiot managed to lose an election by being so clearly incompetent and dishonest, failing to deal with the pandemic and on and on.....  Trump is a bust.  What now?

  Well, unless something changes, it appears that the GOP could be in a situation where it has set itself up to lose elections for the foreseeable future.  Why?   For starters, Americans of color, and women, and immigrants....and, well, you name the category, have become a rising force to be reckoned with. It was a coalition of all these societal groupings that managed to overwhelm the Idiot's red-meat and other base.  He got over 70 million votes, but this amazing agglomeration of Americans ran him out of office with over EIGHTY MILLION votes.  

   Suffice it to say that only people who are fearful of the changes in the American demographic, i.e. white people, can now see a future in which they are not only no longer the dominant segment of the population, but in which they fade to relative impotence.  If what they call the 'brown wave' continues to swell and mound-up offshore...there will be no more 'white supremacy' in America.  We will complete the shift away from our four centuries of white racial dominance....toward a truly diverse culture in which skin-color, gender, gender preference, ethnicity, religious affiliation all take a back-seat to the recognition that equality, fairness, security should be a reality for ALL AMERICANS, including those who have just arrived.

  The GOP of today is nothing like the one my parents and their WWII generation mates cleaved to in large numbers.  It has become not merely racist, but a force for white supremacy. If you look at the line-up it is telling.  There is Stephen Miller....a bitter and ruthless racist beyond any doubt, and, Sebastian Gorka...a good candidate for Nazi of the year.  Then you have Ted Cruz, professional sleaze merchant and liar, Matt Gaetz, diving down the sewer of life, Lauren, the ding-dong, Bobert from Colorado, and her counterpart in truly 'dumb as a post' idiocy, Marjorie Taylor Greene, from Georgia, and on and on the list goes.  The worst offender of all is almost certainly Mitch McConnell.....a truly odious man who makes no bones about the fact that Republicans will do any damn thing at all to stay in control of the levers of power in America.  All of these people are so focused on keeping white people on top of our society, in control and advantaged, that they are willing, even eager, to toss aside the idea of Democracy...i.e. government of the people, by the people, and for the people.  

  If it means surrendering control of who gets the advantages and who gets stung...they are happy to do whatever it takes to prevent that.  This means that they will willingly lie, cheat and steal in order to accomplish the singular goal of stopping the 'brown wave'.   And, this facile slide into amorality is being aided along by the willingness to make sure no fair elections can be had, especially in states where the GOPs have had control for generations, and in the so-called 'swing states' that have an outsized impact on our national elections.  Seeing Georgia go 'blue' was a severe shock for these people.  It was a kind of wake-up call to GOPs across the nation that they really need to do absolutely everything possible to make it more difficult for people in heavily black, Hispanic and impoverished districts to vote. 

  The voter suppression law passed in Georgia, get this, even makes it a criminal offence to give bottled water or snacks to people who are waiting in line to vote.  Are you shitting me?  Could these assholes be any more obvious that what they are doing is intended to discourage people from voting?  There is an endless list of strategies that are being employed across the country....over 315 bills proposed or passed already.  Gerrymandering is still a part of the plan, has been for generations. 

  So, unless those of us who feel that American democracy is truly in danger of becoming extinct, get as involved and as vociferous about this as possible....we will find ourselves watching as the GOP racists, misogynists, and despicables in general...steal elections all across the land.  It will be THE END OF DEMOCRACY....replaced by the McConnell vision of a country where the good ol' white boys call all the shots and the 'little people' take it in the ear.