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Child Sacrifices At The Altar Of FREEDOM (yay FREEDOM!)

Followers of my Facebook page are familiar with my "child sacrifices at the altar of FREEDOM" posts. I intermittently post one shooting of a child per day. I do it intermittently because I can’t spend every day looking for a child shooting story. It’s emotionally exhausting. So when I don’t post them, it’s because my heart is tired, not because I can’t find them. I use a very narrow parameter of criteria to choose my child sacrifice stories. I post only stories in which a child shot themselves or someone else "accidentally" with a weapon that their "responsible" gun owning friends or family members didn’t secure. Occasionally, I post a story about a dumbass gun owner who intentionally put a gun in the hands of a child that has no business playing with guns at their age. You know, like the Bullets and Burgers shooting this week when a nine year old killed a firearms instructor because her idiot parents thought that putting an uzi in the hands of a nine year old seemed like a good idea. To be clear, I don’t mourn for the dead firearms instructor. He was as big a dumbass as the dumbass parents. He went along with this insane idea of arming a nine year old with a semi-automatic weapon. I just hope he died before he had a chance to procreate and further this idiot "gun culture" of ours. If he did procreate, and raised a dumbass, I hope that dumbass learned a lesson from daddy’s death. If that sounds harsh to you, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you don’t care more about the kids and our country. Anyone who is actively participating in the furthering of our idiotic gun culture gets no sympathy from me when they fall victim to their own idiocy. Better the death of the gun whackadoodle, than their unsuspecting neighbor or friend who wasn’t a dumbass. Darwinism makes me happy, and the death of a dumbass evokes no feelings of sympathy from me.

Anyway, the point of my posts is bring attention to the number of children who are victimized by the "freedom" loving idiots charged with caring for them, but also to highlight the fact that those idiots seldom face consequences for what they’ve done. My third criteria for my posts is that they’re all incidents where no charges are filed against the dumbass. Why are charges filed in so few cases? Cause the NRA wants it so. So to recap, if your kid gets a hold of your pot and gets a little high, you’re in a world of hurt but if they kill their sibling with your gun, no problemo. Huh. I wonder if this lack of accountability is shaping our culture?     

I capitalize the word FREEDOM every time to illustrate that as a society, we care more about this fetishized bullshit fantasy of freedom than we do about our kids. Without fail, and much to my delight, an ammosexual troll always shows up with an ammosexwellian comment. What’s an ammosexwellian comment? It’s a dystopic, Orwellian style comment constructed to distract you from the gun. It’s always a moronic comment like, "what about cars and swimming pools?". Yeah, cause pointing in another direction is a smart defense of your position. Fucking jackasses.

Until January of this year, I was unable to find out how many child shootings we have per year. Why? Cause the NRA doesn’t want us to count. They’ve done everything in their power to limit our ability to study the effects of guns and wide spread gun ownership. I promise you that if they believed that gun ownership was so fucking awesome, they would make sure that we study the shit out of them The American Academy Of Pediatrics published a study in January that tallied how many kids are shot every year in America. That study is behind a pay wall now, but I have it if you want to download it from me. They found that about 8,000 kids a year are shot in America. They had to compile the data by getting gun shot records from each hospital. Since being an irresponsible gun owner isn’t a crime, it’s not as simple as going through arrest records.

Well, someone else just used the same method to compile numbers for a ten year period between 2002 and 2012. Brace yourself for enough FREEDOM to make you vomit, cause I’m going to share what they found.

  • For every U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan during 11 years of war, at least 13 children were shot and killed in America. Yay FREEDOM!
  • More than 450 kids didn’t make it to kindergarten. Yay FREEDOM!
  • Another 2,700 or more were killed by a firearm before they could sit behind the wheel of a car. Yay FREEDOM!
  • Every day, on average, seven children were shot dead. Yay FREEDOM!
  • Between 2002 and 2012 at least 28,000 children and teens 19-years-old and younger were killed with guns. Yay FREEDOM!
  • Teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 made up over two-thirds of all youth gun deaths in America. Yay FREEDOM!
  • More than 1,100 children and teens were killed by a gun that accidentally discharged. Yay FREEDOM!

Go to the link to the story. It’s full of facts that I don’t want to lose focus by writing about. This post is about our fucked up culture and how it got so fucked up. It’s not the fucking video games, it’s not just a function of mental illness, it’s not any other ridiculous ammosexwellian excuse you want to make to absolve the volume of guns in this country by blaming goddamned everything else.

It’s the fucking guns. And every time an ammosexual points in another direction, they’re helping to insert another FREEDOM bullet into a child they were supposed to take care of. Oh well. Everyone knows that you have to crack a few kids to make a FREEDOM omelet.

Let the ammosexwellian comments begin!    

   

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Michael Brown’s Death May Have Been Recorded

UPDATE: The recording below has been authenticated by the company that makes the app used to record the call so we are looking at a first degree, premeditated murder situation. To be clear, the only way this company could possibly know that their app was used to make the recording, is because the FBI went to them for authentication.

 

We may have an audio recording of Michael Brown’s murder. Here’s the report and audio from CNN:

 

If this audio is authentic (we don’t definitively know that), it’s pretty significant since we know two things to be empirically true:

  • The fatal shot to Michael brown was the last one to enter his body.
  • Per the Ferguson police chief’s initial press conference, the shooter was 35 feet away from Michael when he fired.

You can hear six shots, a three to four second pause, and then either four or five more shots. So either the shooter got all six of the first wave of bullets into Michael and missed all of the last four or five shots OR he had time to let a couple of thoughts run through his mind before firing the fatal shot. We know that the incident began with physical contact between Brown and the shooter at the police car. Three different witnesses, including Michael Brown’s friend all confirm that. Since the Ferguson police spokesman told us that there was thirty-five feet between Michael and his shooter at the time of Michael’s death, we know that Michael ran away because that distance didn’t magically open up on its own.

Here’s the Ferguson police spokesman‘s first press conference:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUXqPDT8hr4]

 He plainly confirms that a distance opened up between Brown and the shooter. Let me digress for a moment to review some other notable comments the spokesman made. He said that he didn’t know how many times Brown had been shot. I find that incredibly hard to believe, given that the press conference was held the day after Brown was killed. He said that it would be up to six weeks before the toxicology report was going to be available and yet, they conveniently managed to get that out within hours of the details of Michael’s private autopsy being revealed. Curious. He also volunteered the following, "….the officer who was involved is, ah, been on the police department about six years. I’m unaware of any other issues that he’s been involved in during his employment as a police officer in the city of Ferguson". Let’s take a closer look at the parts of that sentence that stood out to me;

….the officer who was involved is, ah, been on the police department about six years. I’m unaware of any other issues that he’s been involved in during his employment as a police officer in the city of Ferguson.

That was a lot of equivocating. "I’m unaware" is a clear establishment of plausible deniability. "I’m unaware" is very different from, "He was not involved in any…". I found "he’s been" a curious (and possibly Freudian) way to phrase what he’s trying to say. There should be something between "he’s" and "been" like, "hasn’t" or "may have". It was just strange. That one could just be nothing, but it’s odd. When I heard the press conference initially, I thought the last part of the sentence, "in the city of Ferguson" was odd, but I didn’t know why. Now we know. The shooter came from a police force that were disbanded and all fired because their relationship with the black community in the area they were charged with "serving" and "protecting" was so toxic, that they had to go. That was three years ago, which would fall into the spokesman’s "six years" statement. I don’t know why he didn’t just limit his comments to the shooter’s tenure with the Ferguson police department, but he didn’t and that explains the last part of that sentence. He was lying, and he knew it. There’s no possible way that Ferguson was unaware of the circumstances of the shooter’s separation from his previous employer.

If the only information we had on this incident, was the information contained in that original press conference, this would be unacceptable to anyone who cared about their community and the country at large. There was a distance of thirty-five feet that opened up during the course of an unarmed person being gunned down. Thirty-five feet is not self defense, and no rational person can make that claim. And anyone who wants to defend this is a fool. We can’t sanction this kind of behavior from our police forces.

The identity of the victim is irrelevant. The color of the victim is irrelevant. The size of the victim is irrelevant. The drug use of the victim is irrelevant. The temperament of the victim is irrelevant. All of these things became irrelevant with every foot of increasing distance that opened up between him and his shooter. Period. I have to question the motive and intelligence of anyone who wants to make these things relevant. Motive, because this is a clear case of a cop overreacting with disproportionate force and I have to question where the motivation to see it differently comes from. Intelligence, because you really have to be a special kind of stupid not to be able to see where condoning this shooting by this cop will lead for all of the cops, contemplating any shooting.

Without this audio recording, this was a clear cut case of murder. If this recording is authenticated, we know that this was a premeditated execution. Remember, premeditation doesn’t mean pre-planning. It means that whatever that cop was thinking for those three to four seconds before firing off another barrage of bullets at an unarmed man, was meditation.

I imagine that there are a significant number of people that will press on with defending the shooter by making Michael Brown a "bad guy" but the fact of the matter is that it doesn’t matter what kind of guy he was. This was an execution, and no one should want a cop to get away with doing that to anyone in their community because the next victim may be someone they know. Giving a group of people license to shoot their weapons with impunity and no fear of repercussion is an incredibly bad idea. I can’t even fucking believe I have to say that. 

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Republicans Like It Rough

So I was listening to The Young Turks yesterday, and Cenk ended the first hour by telling a lovely story about a shop owner in Ferguson. The shop was one that was looted on the first night. Here’s Sonny Dayean (the store owner) telling his story in his own words (from the HuffPo article);

We got some advisements from people from the neighborhood that said that they heard something, that you know maybe I should board it tonight. But I just didn’t believe it. I’m here 17 years. … So I had faith in the community, and indeed it wasn’t the community — it was just a couple of, you know, bad guys, I don’t know what to call them. But they were drinking all over the store. They stir drinks, they come here, vodka was everywhere, soda was spilled everywhere. I mean you should have seen the store this morning. Man, a mess!

… There’s been four break-ins in here, so it’s not my first time, and it’s not a big deal. But most of the time it’s minor, a door here, a door there, they call Ferguson[police], they come here, they save the day. This time around, the alarm company called Ferguson and said there’s movement inside the store, the officers said we can’t do anything. There’s riots going on and there’s troopers out there.

I had to immediately come over here, and I tried to get into the area. I couldn’t get into the area because the whole area was blocked. And I was like, ‘People are robbing my store, can I just go and put some boards on it?’ They did try, but then in the middle they changed their mind and said no, it’s too risky or something, please wait. They took my information and told me they’re going to call me as soon as the area is clean. That was about 1:45, 3:45 a.m., I’m just waiting.

Nobody calls me, so I just decide to come over. So I get here around 5, 5:30 a.m. There are a few people outside, some reporters were outside too, but the whole store was open, people could come in and out and take what they want at their leisure.

So that’s on the sad part. The good part is the people who were out here were waiting outside, they wanted to help me. So as soon as I got here, they said ‘Can I help you? Can I do this, can I do that?’ I wanted to take my time and clean as part of my therapy, as part of dealing with the situation. But some of them would not leave unless they did something to help, unless they got a hug or something. So that was very overwhelming, I didn’t think I’d come in there to be so overwhelmed by the community. So that’s very sweet.

That’s a great story, right? When I heard Cenk telling it, it felt great to hear a positive story coming out of all hurt and pain in Ferguson. I started to look up the story, just to hear it again. The three minutes it took Cenk to tell it, wasn’t a sufficient amount of loveliness for me so I wanted to spend a little more time being charmed and feeling joy. The first hit I got was from the very conservative National Review. Here’s the headline;

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 8.04.36 AM

 

I read that and thought, WTF? This couldn’t possibly be about my charming store owner. So I read the story to make sure it was about the same person as the story I excerpted above. Here’s what the National Review story said;

Sonny Dayan, owner of St. Louis Cordless Communications, tells National Review Online police prevented him from returning to his business while it was being looted and the police did nothing to stop the crime.

Dayan says police would not let him walk down the street to his business, a cell-phone service and supply store, as they were letting looters run through the streets and into stores. “As far as I know my business is burning down, I’m getting calls from the alarm left and right, you got to get here, you got to get here,” he says. “They [the alarm company] called the police. The police said, ‘We cannot come help you because it’s not our job anymore. We got kicked out.’”

He says police told him they would call him when it was safe to return to his store, but never did. When he did make it back to his store a few hours later on Saturday morning, he found several Ferguson residents standing guard and waiting to help him clean up. He says police came into his store on Saturday to make sure he was okay, but offered no explanation as to why they would not protect his store. “My store or my business, it’s nothing that they worry about,” he says. “It’s the last thing they worry about.”

Huh. This doesn’t even seem like the same person. These stories were published in the same day and posted about seven hours apart, both by reporters who I confirmed are physically in Ferguson covering the events here. I’m a sunny optimist, so my assumption is that neither of these reporters made up any of the quotes attributed to Mr. Dayean (or Dayan, depending on who you read). I’ve observed human nature for long enough to know that both versions of this shop owner can very likely be real. People change depending on who they’re talking to and how questions are presented to them so my observations regarding these two accounts aren’t about the store owner.

Here’s what the HuffPo headline looked like;

HuffPo

 

They’re about the reporters. Specifically, they’re about the reporters skill in writing the type of story that appeals to their audience. This is an observation I’ve made many times before. I regularly (okay, daily) go to websites that range varying points on the political ideological spectrum. I’m not one that just gets my news from sources that will tell me what I like, and what supports the ideology I started with. My opinions don’t precede my information. I like to form opinions based on a diverse pool of information.

When reading articles on the same topic, I always (literally) find the precise difference that is illustrated in this piece; conservatives like it rough, dark, and mean. They like reading about how the world is a bad and scary place. That’s just a fact. Liberals don’t really have a preference as to how a situation is presented. In other words, liberals don’t have a proclivity for "happy" news all the time. They’re not the inverse opposite of conservatives. So called liberal outlets run the gamut of emotional tone and world views, depending on what the topic at hand is. And different liberal outlets will have very different interpretations, even among the liberal community. Conservatives don’t have that. Every conservative article will have precisely the same analysis, and it’s always created around the narrative that the world is full of bad things. We have physiological evidence for why conservatives like it rough. There have been a couple of studies that suggest that conservatives possess a bigger amygdala. That’s the fear center of your brain. The studies used entirely different methodologies and were conducted in different countries. I’m not going to get deeply into the studies because that’s a more analytical post for another day, but they absolutely suggest that we’re (to some degree) born either conservative or liberal.

The reporting on this store owner in Ferguson perfectly illustrates this. I’m positive that Ryan Lovelace’s (from the National Review) approach to the store owner absolutely elicited the responses he received just as Ryan Reilly’s (HuffPo) approach did the same to elicit an entirely different approach to the same situation. I believe that the store owner was more positive and warm in regard to what happened to his store when he was speaking with Reilly, than he was when he was speaking with Lovelace. Ryan Reilly was drawing out those positive emotions.

To be clear, I’m not accusing anyone of intentional bias. I believe that all of us find what we’re looking for when we go on a fact finding mission. I went to Ryan Lovelace’s twitter page to review his tweets from Ferguson. He isn’t attempting to create a narrative that demonizes one side or another. He’s not trying to paint police officials as demons, while lionizing the protestors or vice versa. He genuinely seems to be sharing what he sees so sometimes he tweets about a fucked up thing the cops have done, and sometimes it’s about a fucked up thing a protestor did.

I’ll be honest with you, I found Reilly’s story in HuffPo to be more authentic and credible. Not because I wanted to, but because Reilly used more of the store owner’s words. Many more of his own words. He let the store owner’s narrative dominate his story. Lovelace’s article felt less authentic.

Okay, maybe I want Reilly’s story to be the truth, just a little bit. I’ve been knee deep in the angst of the world for too many days in a row. I’m tired of getting it rough. I want some gentile cuddling for a minute. Is that so wrong?      

 

 

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Michael Brown’s Private Autopsy

We finally, nine days after an unarmed boy was gunned down in Ferguson Mo, have an autopsy. Do we have an official autopsy from the ME in Ferguson? No. Nine days later, do we have a statement from officials in Ferguson regarding the manner of Michael Brown’s death? No. What we’ve gotten from Ferguson officials in the past nine days is a video of a completely unrelated crime committed by the victim. But virtually nothing regarding the actual murder of Michael Brown. To recap; Ferguson officials have given the public no information regarding Michael Brown’s death, but have instead provided us with a video that depicts malfeasance on behalf of the victim. Curious, but I will get back to this later. Now about the autopsy.  

What we finally have, is a private autopsy conducted by a medical examiner from New York, that was done at the behest of the victim’s family. That’s right. In order for a family in America to know how their son/brother/cousin/nephew died in America, the family must now pay for their own medical examiner (this one did the work pro bono, but you get my point).

What did the autopsy show? Michael Brown was shot six times; four times in the arm, and twice in the head. Here’s the actual visual from the report (I highlighted the bullet wounds in red because they were hard to see).

Autopsy1

 

This lines up with witness accounts. We only have witness accounts because nine days later, we still haven’t heard the shooter’s version of events. Does anybody think that if they killed someone in Ferguson, that the police would give them a week and a half to get a story together? Or is it standard procedure to question a suspect immediately after a crime has been committed? Okay, that waiting to get a story out there thing isn’t unique to Ferguson, but it’s still bullshit every single time a police force does it. They shouldn’t get a different standard than any other suspect in a crime.

My point here is that everything the Ferguson police department has done so far looks like a cover up and a smear job. Their only comments about Michael Brown so far, have been in reference to the (let me say it again) completely unrelated crime that he committed prior to being killed. Not a peep about the killing itself. Not a peep about the manner of death. Not a peep about why the officer felt justified in firing several bullets at Michael. They have literally given us no reason to believe that this killing was justified.

And yet, despite that fact, there are a group of people rallying on behalf of the shooter. Let me repeat; the shooter himself, has said nothing to defend his actions and yet, there are people out there who are willing to defend him. It seems to me that defending someone who hasn’t defended themselves appears to be a choice that’s separated from the situation. When we hear another account, we will weigh that. But for now, we have several witnesses and (now) an autopsy that supports those witness accounts that this was a wholly unjustified murder. And that’s all we have. Creating a narrative on the other side is just that; a creation.

Huh. What could the motivations here be? Why would a person create a defense for someone who hasn’t come forward with one of their own?

I’ll let you decide.    

 

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