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June 15, 2016

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I would consider it an act of terrorism regardless of any tenuous connection to ISIS. ISTM that hate crimes have in common with terrorism some larger goal beyond the immediate act, with specific targets for specific effects.

In some sense, not speaking in strict legal definitional terms, all hate crimes can be said to acts of terror. I think the scale of the Orlando shooting puts it very clearly in the category of terrorism. The radical-religionist aspect isn't necessary to come to that conclusion, though the anti-gay sentiment may be inseparable from the religious motivation. But It's hard to say at this point what was going on with this guy, given the details that are still emerging.

(The other blue-red divide is whether or not this is a gun-control issue.)

Which Dems of note don't want to talk about this as a terrorist attack? I see both Obama and Clinton stating this is terrorism. Who is refusing to talk about it as such? The most I've seen is people saying that perhaps we should wait until the facts come in, who is denying at looking like a fool? And, as HSH notes, it seems things might be a little more complicated than at first glance so perhaps waiting a little before having a definitive take is warranted?

You're right about Team Red though. Bunch of MBFs.

"For all his bullshit, he seems to strike a lot of people as being unafraid to talk about certain obvious things that we on the liberal consensus have been papering over for decades."

Please identify these certain obvious things.

Team Blue doesn't want to talk about it as a terrorist attack for a number of reasons.

it was a terrorist attack. USA PATRIOT 802c.

the trick is that is the shooter was a white guy, absolutely nobody on "team red" would be calling it terrorism. because "terrorism" is something that brown people do to us, no exceptions.

In some sense, not speaking in strict legal definitional terms, all hate crimes can be said to acts of terror.

Legal definitions tend to get unreasonably hung up on methods, although that's kinda understandable since methods are far easier to prove than motives. Had Orlando been a bombing of any sort, the law would agree it's terrorism. Despite that, as I noted in the recent open thread, globally most terrorism is carried out with "mere" firearms - and for that matter is aimed at targets w/in the perpetrators' native country. Our collective fixation on terrorism as blowing stuff up (and being international) is part of our collective conviction that terrorism is something that various theys do, not us.

cleek, that definition is certainly clear and applicable, but there are no criminal sanctions applied to it. Look at 18 U.S.C, §2332 - so long as the perpetrator doesn't use a "weapon of mass destruction" (per §2332b), that definition is only tied to criminal charges if the incident occurs outside the US or, per §2332c, if their conduct can be shown to "transcen[d] national boundaries".

I know you are searching for a way to label the sides, but Team Blue, Team Red doesn't really do it for me. Making this into a ball game doesn't really help. I'd say that I am willing to choose which side of the political divide I stand on, but the reasons I choose the side I stand on go well beyond this and to suggest that I'm picking a team to root for leaves me cold, And just because folks on my side of the political divide may (and I'm not convinced they are, but I'll grant the possibility) be missing some of the analysis, it's not like I need to deliver some Lou Gehrig like remarks about the Giants.

Like HSH, I don't have any problems labelling this as terrorism, as the aim is to make a certain group of people feel terror, but I remain unconvinced that ISIS is anything more than a final flourish. But I'll got further out on the branch than him and note a few things.

This article in the Atlantic identifies the challenges that the children of immigrants have in acknowledging that they are different from their parents, and the shooter was also the children of immigrants and various reports said that he had his own problems with his sexuality. And his father's initial statements about being enraged about seeing a same sex couple kissing seem more like a parent's attempt to come to grips with what his son had done rather than something you could hang anything on. And the toxic legacy of homophobia still has people feeling they have to prove they aren't in any way gay.

To go to the end of the limb, it seems to me a lot more likely that this was the the underlying cause and any ISIS talk is rationalization. I'm certainly prepared to hear evidence that he was a fundamentalist rather than a self hating gay (cause if one argues that the first cause is fundamentalism, it really eliminates the second) but signs point to a conclusion that he was a self hating gay who turned to fundamentalism to provide a justification for his actions.

Kevin Drum this morning:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum

Whose team is this guy on?

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/indiana-man-chemicals-rigged-magazines

Looks like we've armed all of the teams in the U.S. about as completely as we've armed all of the teams in the Mideast.

lj: "...but Team Blue, Team Red doesn't really do it for me."

The Blue-Green rivalry often erupted into gang warfare, and street violence had been on the rise in the reign of Justin I (r. 518–527), who took measures to restore order, when the gangs murdered a citizen in the Hagia Sophia.[84] Riots culminated in the Nika riots of 532 AD during the reign of Justinian, which began when the two main factions united and attempted unsuccessfully to overthrow the emperor.[85]

History doesn't repeat, but it does rhyme a lot.

signs point to a conclusion that he was a self hating gay who turned to fundamentalism to provide a justification for his actions

i'd been assuming it was something like : guy who was raised as a fundamentalist has a hard time reconciling his sexuality with what his religion tells him about gays; and instead of being able to admit that his religion might be wrong, he blames the culture for turning him gay.

but, i don't know him.

either way, a frustrated gay man without an AR-15 probably doesn't shoot 100+ people.

I'd say that I am willing to choose which side of the political divide I stand on, but the reasons I choose the side I stand on go well beyond this and to suggest that I'm picking a team to root for leaves me cold,

LJ, you may not be moved by tribalism. But that doesn't mean that a significant portion of the population is not.

For example, how else do you account for the evangelicals who are endorsing Trump? Even though he is clearly, at best, a "weddings, funerals, and maybe Christmas" sort of Christian. And his position (I'm talking lifetime, not "in the last year just for political purposes" positions) on everything from abortion to gay marriage is antithetical to theirs. Let's face it, for them it apparently comes down to tribe (party) more than anything else.

Is there some kind of fundamental problem with being on a team?

Just askin'

when people you disagree with form a team they become harder to stop.

I won't claim to fully understand the Trump phenomenon. But I will suggest that a large part of his appeal is in speaking aloud truths that we have been neglecting.

Judging by his latest polls, he doesn't actually have a lot of appeal. He's 40 points underwater.

And, to date, I'm not sure I've heard Trump utter a single truth. But maybe I missed it, the man's phrasing is pretty hard to parse in transcripts. (Video is so slow....)

when people you disagree with form a team they become harder to stop.

Yes, they do.

To go to the end of the limb, it seems to me a lot more likely that this was the the underlying cause and any ISIS talk is rationalization.

I think Team Red and Team Blue are acceptable generalizations. Obama leads Team Blue. He has yet, as far as I know, identified a single domestic terror attack as being the product of radical Islamism. I've noticed a tendency here to play down the Islamic meme and finger point in other directions, e.g. the NRA. I wonder, if the shooter had been a Christian nut job, would folks here and elsewhere on or affiliated with Team Blue, be as circumspect.

Both sides do it, except when they don't. As far as I can see from my various news sources, Team Red has done as expected while Team Blue and its top spokespersons have actually called this an act of terrorism in no uncertain terms. That worries me, because it seems premature. From what we know so far, this vicious act had nothing to do with any foreign terrorist organization. The shooter did what he did for whatever convoluted reasons he had and associated himself unilaterally with ISIS after his self-radicalization. Whether this was political terrorism -- and terrorism usually has a political point or it's just murder -- homophobia, or the self-hatred of a man who might have been gay and unable to deal with it are all in play right now and we don't have any solid insight into which potential ingredients in this witches' brew contributed what to this tragedy. Why do we have to pretend we know what we don't? Why can't we condemn despicable acts as despicable and then wait for the facts to emerge?

From here:

Word play: Leading up to President Obama’s Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, which continues at the White House today, critics of this president have tried to read between the lines of his speeches to say he really doesn’t get the threat posed by the Islamic State militant group. They point out the pains Mr. Obama goes through not to mention the phrase “Radical Islam.” The president took that head-on Wednesday, arguing that he does not want to grant IS, which he calls ISIL, “legitimacy” by ascribing “Islam” to them. “Leading up to this summit, there’s been a fair amount of debate in the press and among pundits about the words we use to describe and frame this challenge,” Obama said. “So I want to be very clear about how I see it. Al Qaeda and ISIL and groups like it are desperate for legitimacy. They try to portray themselves as religious leaders — holy warriors in defense of Islam. That’s why ISIL presumes to declare itself the ‘Islamic State.’”

The message problem and the irony: The problem for this White House can be that President Obama sometimes seems to be reacting to critics and winds up coming across as defensive, passive or even politically correct, irking even some Democrats. His lack of definitiveness can leave room for others to more succinctly capture a message that’s more easily translated. The irony, by the way, in President Obama’s attempt not to inflame Muslims in the United States is that many in Muslim communities are upset with the administration’s initiatives to more closely monitor and work with leaders in those communities to identify potential extremism in this country. “People believe that even talking about foreign policy puts you on some kind of watch list,” Jaylani Hussein of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on Muslim-American Relations, or CAIR, told Politico’s Michael Crowley.

Not much different from Bush on Islam? Bloomberg notes that George W. Bush also avoided the term “Radical Islam,” saying it’s a “longstanding U.S. policy.” Why? As Elliot Abrams, who served as deputy National Security Adviser to George W. Bush told Eli Lake, “We were invading two Muslim countries, and we were being accused of being at war with Islam. So the administration wanted to make it very clear that we are not at war with Islam and every Muslim in the world.”

He has yet, as far as I know, identified a single domestic terror attack as being the product of radical Islamism.

Well, fair is fair. Should we term abortion provider assassins "products" of radical Christianism, and adopt public policies based on this framing? Can we reasonably condemn the evangelical community in toto for not "outing" the extremists in their midst? Perhaps we should make them register, harass them on the street, or deny them entry visas?

As an aside, I don't see Team Blue adopting this framing.

Maybe we should, eh?

the trick is that is the shooter was a white guy

Or he's a person of dusky skin tones, in other contexts. Depending on whose ox you're looking to gore. It's convenient, no? I mean, when we're bombing Afghans, they are people of dusky hue. When they're killing people in night clubs, they are white people.

That aside. Because it's really a _petty_ annoyance.

Back to Sebastian's post: I am not really all that big on hate crimes. Crimes are crimes. Why impose a larger penalty on someone who commits murder for one set of reasons over another? Murder is murder.

And this particular guy, were he still alive, would likely be convicted of nearly 50 of those. In a just world, there would be no way that hate-crime laws could make him pay more than he'd pay otherwise.

Because to some people, those people weren't just faggots. And to some people, those people weren't even fellow faggots. To some people, those people were friends, co-workers, or family. There's no amount of additional suffering that the killer could possibly be subjected to that would make up for the loss of those people.

I truly feel that way. There just isn't anything that hate crime laws could do in this situation to make anything better for anyone. They're, in this situation, utterly beside the point.

Yes, this guy chose gays to attack. Yes, you should feel that gays are under attack. And, absolutely yes, I think that the people who say that gay people brought this attack on themselves should be made famous, and then shunned. Marginalized. Made irrelevant. If we were a more arbitrary & capricious form of government, I'd want them put in the stocks and pelted with rotten vegetables.

Trump has nothing to do with this. Obama has nothing to do with this. Neither one of them is going to do anything that I consider to be good.

End of rant.

Please identify these certain obvious things.

I had the same question...it was like waving a red flag goading me to engage in politically correct identity politics.

But I held my tongue. I could be wrong.

the trick is that is the shooter was a white guy

that second 'is' is an 'if' with a weak spine.

that second 'is' is an 'if' with a weak spine

Ah.

I retract, then, with apologies.

I am feeling unusually prickly for some reason.

Why impose a larger penalty on someone who commits murder for one set of reasons over another? Murder is murder.

If I beat the daylights out a neighbour over a parking dispute, that's one thing. If I beat the daylights out out of a neighbour while screaming about how much I hate gay men like him and how all the other gay men in the neighbourhood better watch out, that's different. In the first case, I've got one victim. In the second, I'm sending a message to the community that some people aren't welcome and I'm making an implicit threat against them.

That means I've got one victim of physical violence and one much larger group of people who live under threat of violence. You don't have to beat up or murder that many people before everyone else gets the message: this isn't a good place for our kind to be.

The reason hate crime laws exist is to give some measure of justice to those other victims.

Granted they may have some place. My point here is that in this particular instance, whether it's a hate crime of not is _irrelevant_.

And that it is a crime of hate should not be in doubt. It just doesn't make a difference in this case.

In my neck of the woods, we had this fairly recent occurrence of a Philly cop being ambushed and shot in his squad car. The shooter was a man with a criminal record and a history of mental illness.

He claimed to have done it in the name of ISIS. There was a big debate about what this meant, especially after the mayor said it had nothing to do with Islam:

"It is abhorrent," he said. "It does not represent the religion in any shape or form or any of the teachings. This is a criminal with a stolen gun who tried to kill one of our officers, and it has nothing to do with being a Muslim or following the Islamic faith."

The mayor's statement, as you might guess, had a number of people of a particular political stripe smacking their heads at his obvious stupidity.

It really is a remarkable form of symbiosis that ISIS has created. If you're a nut intent on doing something crazy in an effort to get as much attention as possible, all you have to do is declare your allegiance to ISIS. This, in turn, raises the popularly perceived level of power, influence and danger ISIS represents. They're everywhere, and can strike at any moment!

So the nut who claims ISIS as his raison d'être inflates himself and ISIS, which inflates itself and anyone who claims allegiance it by claiming to fight a global holy war in the name of Islam.

I have a great idea - let's play right into that!

Is there some kind of fundamental problem with being on a team?

There's nothing wrong with being on a team. Except when you make being on the team more important that what you believe (assuming that you believe in anything other than the team for its own sake). At that point, I would say that your priorities are a bit . . . off.

I was never any good at team sports, really.

Because I question their judgment, if they'd have me.

I retract, then, with apologies.

no problem.

i need to proofread better. but i've been spoiled by being able to edit comments in all the other blogs i frequent.

Except when you make being on the team more important that what you believe (assuming that you believe in anything other than the team for its own sake).

Well, unless being on a team is the end in and of itself....but you could provide and example or two.

I thought I provided an example up-thread, but apparently not.

Consider the evangelical Christians who have come out in support of Trump. A man whose positions (to the extent that he has positions) on issues that they say they care about are nothing like theirs. A man who, to the extent that he is a Christian at all in their terms is a "weddings, funerals, and maybe Christmas" kind.

So why are they supporting him? As far as I can see, his only real virtue is that he is the nominee of the party that they consider "their team."

wj,

I guess I see it a bit differently. They support him because he is the nominal head of the political coalition of which they are a part. They see a win for their coalition (team) as advancing their interests. Trump is the titular leader of the coalition, not its dictator.

At least for now.

"My point here is that in this particular instance, whether it's a hate crime of not is _irrelevant_."

Why? Because the murderer died?

I thought this was a really thoughtful piece. It's really nice to have you back on the front page, Sebastian.

IMO the things that Trump says that are kind of true all boil down to telling working people that they're living on thin ice. His analysis of the causes and solutions strike me as not so great, but people hear and respond to the basic observation that they're not doing as well as they thought they would.

I'm not on Team Red, so I can't really speak for folks who are, but my impression is that they'd like things like Orlando to be about anything but permissive access to guns. Because they don't want it to be a rationale for gun regulation.

I am, for lack of a more nuanced characterization, on Team Blue, and I can speak for why folks like me are reluctant, at least in this case, to emphasize Mateen's identification with radical political Islam as the motivating cause.

First, it's not particularly clear what his motivations were. The dude appears to have had issues, of various kinds, including anger management, hostility toward gays, and what appears to be an inclination to assert imaginary connections to organized Islamic terror organizations.

It looks like some kind of fundamentalist understanding of Islam was clearly part of the mix, but it also looks like it was a pretty rich mix.

More broadly than just Orlando, I resist what I see as the inclination of many people to assume that all Muslims are, by virtue of being Muslim, worthy of suspicion. Americans are no strangers to prejudice of that type, and it never ends well.

I recognize that there are lots of Muslims in the world who would be delighted to kill me. I also recognize that there are a billion and a half Muslims in the world, and most of them have little or no interest in doing me, or anyone, any harm whatsoever.

I'm not really interested in having Obama or whoever utter the magical "radical Islam" incantation. He has made it more than sufficiently clear that he understands the danger of violent Islamic extremism, just like he understands the danger of violent [fill in whatever you like here] extremism.

The issue is violent extremism. The issue is people who want to kill other people.

Some of those people are Muslims, some are white supremacists. They come in all flavors.

That's my Team Blue point of view.

I thought machetes should have been banned and confiscated before the Hutu and Tutsi carried out their team sports.

Frankly, I find it inadvisable that in the U.S. the red team is also arming the blue team.

Not well-thought-out.

On a per capita basis, I'm sure it is statistically correct but politically incorrect to say that a larger percentage of total Trump supporters want to kill any sort of Muslim than radical jihadists as a percentage of the worldwide Muslim population want to kill Americans.

Then we have this:
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2016/06/15/pat-robertson-liberals-love-gays-and-islamists-conservatives-should-let-them-kill-themselves/

How has Robertson's poisonous hatred been mainlined into the American political psyche these many decades without an armed intervention by his targets? Because his red team owns most of the weapons.

I sing this to the haters:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7CBcc2rwkM


In America, Muslims Are More Likely to Support Gay Marriage Than Evangelical Christians: Don’t succumb to the fear that U.S. followers of Islam are time bombs waiting to explode.

Because the shooter died?

Exactly. There's no further penalty that can be inflicted on him.

Now, if there were accomplices, possibly hate crime might be relevant. But accomplices to 50 murders would be already subject to some fairly dire punishment.

Now I'm speculating, damnit.

I thought I posted a short reply, but it doesn't seem to have gotten up. The reason I object to the 'Team' metaphor is that, as Snarki suggests, the team metaphor is a way of reducing the level of discord, of difference, by making the two sides play by some set of rules that allow them to, when the game is over, to slap each other on the back over beers. Shelby Foote, when he appeared on Ken Burns Civil War, brought that notion when he read this passage from his book

Many years after the Civil War, Sergeant Berry Benson, a South Carolina veteran from McGowan's brigade, Army of Northern Virginia, who had enlisted at age 18, three months before Fort Sumter was fired upon, and served through Appomattox, made an interesting statement. He said that when he got around to composing his reminiscences, he found that reliving the war in words made him wish he could relive it in fact, and he came to believe that he and his fellow soldiers, gray and blue, might one day be able to to do just that; if not here on earth, then afterwards in Valhalla. "Who knows, " he asked, "but it may be given to us, after this life, to meet again in the old quarters, to play chess and draughts, to get up soon to answer the morning roll call, to fall in at the tap of the drum for drill and dress parade, and again to hastily don our war gear while the monotonous patter of the long roll summons to battle? Who knows but again the old flags, ragged and torn, snapping in the wind, may face each other and flutter, pursuing and pursued, while the cries of victory fill a summer day? And after the battle, then the slain and wounded will arise, and all will be talking and laughter and cheers, and all will say: Did it not seem real? Was it not as in the old days?" (from The Civil War: a Narrative: Volume III. Red River to Appomattox by Shelby Foote. New York: Vintage Books, 1986. p. 1048).

However, that tribalism comes as a way of converting that conflict to something manageable, livable, survivable. Yet the tribalism that is occurring now isn't some way of reducing tensions, it is more as a way of actively maintaining that split.

There are two ways to get rid of tribalism. The first is to come together and acknowledge that the differences are not that great and we are all in this together. That only works if you believe that the differences are not so big and we can all work towards the same goal. Given the obstructionism, the sheer doggedness that "Team Red" has worked to prevent any meaningful changes in almost anything that you can mention, that's not happening.

The other way to eliminate tribalism is to eliminate the other tribe. Whenever you start talking about eliminating, there are definitely some bad resonances, but when you have Kevin Drum explicitly saying that the candidate of 'Team Red' is a Nazi, I don't think that I'm so out there. You've got a 'Team Red' candidate who has stoked every primal fear possible, who seeks to have Muslims banned from traveling to the US, a candidate of party that cynically tried to use bathrooms to undermine support of gay rights and has tried virtually everything to stop gay marriage. You've got a 'Team' that is in the thrall of the NRA, such that we are now seeing this and this. (as has been noted, it is not surprising that the representative from Sandy Hook is leading this)

Proponents of High Broderism are compelled to say that the Democrats are somehow complicit in the rise of Trump, and I'm sure that someone will point to Jon Stewart making the same point. Over here in Japan, when I am called on to explain what is going on in the US. I certainly don't suggest that Trump is some sort of anomaly, a strange unexplainable happening that really has nothing to do with what America is and does and if I did, I'd be lying. Trump represents something monstrous deep in the DNA of the US and of any system where populism can gain traction. But the energy that some on 'Team Red' have been suggesting that it's all the Dems fault tells you that this isn't 'Team Blue' against 'Team Red'. You didn't have Rex Ryan saying he had to play Mark Sanchez because darn it, the Bills and the Pats forced him to.

People might point to this speech by Lt. Gov Spencer Cox as evidence that hearts and minds can be changed. But if you have all of 'Team Red' talk like that, I'm not seeing how you will even have a 'Team Red'.

Slarti,

You're right that "hate crime" laws become irrelevant -- as far as penalties go, anyway -- at the high end. Their real relevance is really at the low end. For instance, would you penalize
* random graffiti on a park bench
* a swastika on a park bench
* a swastika on a synagogue door
all equally, as petty vandalism?

--TP

I would offer a couple of points.

First, you don't really need to totally eliminate one side. It is sufficient if you can reduce its numbers to the point where it is generally irrelevant. That is a very long way from zero remaining.

See, for example, the Republican Party in California - this primary election, one Senate candidate got (very roughly) 45% of the votes, the 2nd place finisher got about 15% . . . and the top Republican got about half that (8%). Not gone by any means, but no longer really relevant either.

Second, reducing one side in numbers isn't necessarily as dramatic and traumatic as the word "eliminate" suggests. It can, and in the US political context does, mostly involve individuals just up and leaving. Admittedly it is technically one side doing themselves down But the results are the same.

As a final note, what we seem to be seeing overall in the US is a combination of things. One side is becoming increasingly noxious to big, and growing, chunks of the electorate. At the same time, they are losing ground among younger voters - which leaves them subject to "dying out" simply of natural causes. Plus, of course, they appear to be losing members who don't fit either of those categories, but aren't willing to go along with the rising extremism either.

My sense is that both sides recognize this reality. But the side in decline can't bring itself to accept the need to change.** Which may well account for the level of hysteria that they currently exhibit.

** I suppose it is hard to believe that you must adapt or die (out) when you don't believe in evolution either. :-)

I favor the "mentally ill" theory. The guy was Muslim. He had a serious violence problem. He was grasping for an ideology, and landed on ISIS and Hezbollah (ummm, what?). He was clearly targeting gay people, because perhaps he was uncomfortable with his own sexuality.

But who cares? Hate crime? Terrorism? Mental illness? He had himself a gun that could fire on lots of people without his even having had to rest for a few minutes to reload. Could we start by getting rid of that opportunity?

Support the Senate filibuster. It's a start. (Says me, the incrementalist.)

I favor the "mentally ill" theory.

FWIW, that's pretty much where I am.

Says me, the incrementalist.

Incrementalists get things done, and the things they get done, stay done.

"But who cares? Hate crime? Terrorism? Mental illness? He had himself a gun that could fire on lots of people without his even having had to rest for a few minutes to reload. Could we start by getting rid of that opportunity?"

This is right.

The guy was ISIS about as much as I play center field for the Yankees, though I've 911end that fact.

Do you know why they don't fans into Fenway Park with weapons, and vice versa?

They are on the wrong team.

And the Red Team, to paraphrase Seinfeld, knows how to handle the military grade weapons equipment.

The guy who shot up the Christians at the church in South Carolina pledged allegiance to the Confederacy, which he thinks is the United States of America.

I beginning to think gun sellers, white and straight as they are, look into the eyes of the mentally ill and identify with them.

I think they see Obama dead in their customers' eyes, so they up-sell the big clips.

wj: But the side in decline can't bring itself to accept the need to change

"If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change."
from Il Gattopardo (The Leopard), Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa.

I just like that quote. And that it's a guy from Lampedusa that wrote it.

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/06/there-actual-argument-against-banning-high-capacity-magazines

David French is Bill Kristol's alternative anti-Trump wet dream of a Republican Presidential candidate.

The only person French would shoot entering the White House, unless it was a family member padding through the library at night looking for Andrew Jackson's autobiography, "I, Asshole", or maybe his gay Muslim lover who forgot the garage door opener code, would be the black, well, only partly black, Barack Obama jaunting in to show him to show him the nuclear pass codes.

You're right that "hate crime" laws become irrelevant -- as far as penalties go, anyway -- at the high end. Their real relevance is really at the low end. For instance, would you penalize * random graffiti on a park bench * a swastika on a park bench * a swastika on a synagogue door all equally, as petty vandalism?

Good question. The are all, basically, the same crime. But they have gradation of potential for escalation behind them.

I'd say make the swastika-on-synagogue-door guy famous. Publish his picture in the paper. Not for his shame, in particular, but so that people know him for what he is. Social pressure is probably not going to be universally effective, here.

If varying degrees of vandalism are warranted, make it an extra degree. I don't think you can justify making it a felony, really. So what DO you do? I honestly do not know what the current approach is.

If we were living in a book, I would propose tattooing "white supremacist" on the foreheads of people being caught doing this. "Poor impulse control" being my guide, here. Snow Crash. Probably wouldn't fly in our legal system, though. Probably too costly for the legal system to remove after the period of punishment has elapsed, too.

In the really old days, they used to brand people for various offenses. Again: not for personal shame so much as so that people would know them for what they were.

In any case, my purpose wasn't so much to dismiss hate-crime laws in general as to point out their lack of effectiveness or relevance in this situation.

I have been avoiding that whole debate. TO me, this is an issue of gun safety, and the most important point is this: the Republicans in Congress voted down a measure taht would have made it harder for the Orlando shooter to equip himself for mas slaughter. Instead they opted for easy access.

So that makes them a big part of the problem.

After all, the motivation for the killing isn't important to the dead person. And, as Sebastian points out, there is prejudice aplenty across religions. ON difference is that American Muslims have not ben promoting prejudice for partisan political reasons as the Republicans ahve been for years and years, of course.

IN fact one very small consolation for these horrible murders is that it is going to be harder for Republicans to make anti-LGBT dog whistles this election cycle.

BTW I don;t think Trump's appeal comes from speaking the truth that others don;t speak. I think his appeal comes from speaking bluntly and rudely, which some people confuse with speaking boldly and bravely. I think his bullying style has appeal to the Republican base. I thin it is a consistent pattern with the Republican base that with the exception of abortion, they have no idea what the policies actually are of the politicians they vote for. They vote for eht dog whistles, the demagoguery, the slogans, the scapegoating, the jinosiim. Trump just does that louder and more overtly than most national level Republican politicans.

That's my take anyway. Thank you for the thoughtful essay.

First, you don't really need to totally eliminate one side. It is sufficient if you can reduce its numbers to the point where it is generally irrelevant. That is a very long way from zero remaining.

wj, before, maybe as little as a week ago, I might have agreed with you. But after the weekend, from which you can trace a line to both a refusal to stand up to the NRA and the toxic homophobic environment that has been whipped up in the past few years, I'm not really so sanguine about waiting till they croak, especially given that Cruz is 42, Jindal is 41, Walker is 48 and Rubio is 45. Why should those guys get another 20 years to keep f**king up the body politic?

"Team Blue takes the anti-gay hate crime side of the argument while Team Red takes the Islamic terrorist attack side. What is so frustrating is that it clearly was both."

So we still haven't talked about how the fundamental premise of the original post is incorrect.

Just in: a female Labour MP has been shot and stabbed in Birstall, a part of the North Country very close to where I live. Reports currently conflict as to whether she has died, or is critically injured. She is white, and the area she represents is heavily Muslim, but at the moment it is unclear who her assailant is (he has been captured) or what the motive was.

This is very major news in the UK, because as you know gun murders here are very infrequent, albeit they were up 9% last year (see here). Luckily, there is consensus across all political shades that our gun laws are sensible, but apart from that we also have our racist right-wingers, currently having a field day in the Brexit debate, largely on the strength of anti-immigration rhetoric, and I desperately hope whatever is the outcome here does not give them ammunition.

BTW I don;t think Trump's appeal comes from speaking the truth that others don;t speak. I think his appeal comes from speaking bluntly and rudely, which some people confuse with speaking boldly and bravely.

There is a demographic that is deeply offended by the idea that the tone and content of what they say is subject to criticism. They tend to respond by complaining about how thin-skinned and easily offended our society has become - at the top of their lungs and the top of their register - on the thinnest pretenses imaginable. "Standing up to PC pussies" (chest-beating and misogyny aren't strictly necessary for this lot, but they're by no means unwelcome) becomes an end in itself, and causing offense is an affirmation of personal virtue. Well, causing offense to "those people", anyway; you're still obviously a would-be tyrant bent on crushing all freedom if you have the effrontery to call out churlish behavior.

Obviously, from such a point of view, Trump is a saint. He's not speaking the truth others won't; truth is beside the point. He's telling off those thin-skinned PC whiners, and that's all we need to know to know he's Our Kind of People.

They tend to respond by complaining about how thin-skinned and easily offended our society has become - at the top of their lungs and the top of their register - on the thinnest pretenses imaginable.

While being thin-skinned and easily offended, themselves, with no apparent self-awareness or ability to detect the irony inherent in their meta-complaining.

I have immediate family who regularly rail against their oppression under the PC Thought Police.

...we also have our racist right-wingers, currently having a field day in the Brexit debate, largely on the strength of anti-immigration rhetoric, and I desperately hope whatever is the outcome here does not give them ammunition.

I saw a post on fb just last night that I initially thought was a parody. It read something very close to, "Share if you agree that any Muslim refugee caught molesting women or children should be deported immediately - along with their whole family." There was a close-up photo of a blue-eyed, white woman struggling with a brown hand clasped over her mouth.

I checked the source it was shared from (Lily's Infidels, I think) to find it was littered with disgusting anti-Muslim posts. But, among them, was at least one post advocating for the Brexit.

I guess these things are knotted up pretty well.

Clarification: I should have said "she is white, and the electorate she represents is heavily tilted towards Muslims of Pakistani extraction". Still unclear whether she is alive or not, but an eyewitness has claimed that the assailant shouted "Britain First" during the attack, and if this is correct, given that she is a pro-Remain MP, it looks as if this might be an unhinged, Brexit-related murder attempt.

I agree of course that much of Trump's appeal is to white nationalists and people resentful of the fact that racism has gone out of style. But he did tell some truth about Republican and Democratic warmongering. Of course, being Trump, he usually mixes his critiques of American imperialism with calls for committing war crimes. I've read somewhere that this combination of seeming pacifism with the resolution to react like Attila the Hun if someone attacks us has deep roots in American culture. Strip out the calls for war crimes and he seems like a lefty, but the war crimes are a part of the message he wants to convey.

"Rubio is 45."

Carl Hiasson, the Florida satirist (who lost his job as the State satirist the other day for not keeping up) was interviewed on Colorado Public Radio yesterday about the triple Orlando tragedies (the club, the alligator, and the gunned-down singer) and he pointed out that Marco Rubio, that cheap smarmy sh*theel opportunist, FLEW back to Washington D.C. this year, one of the few times he's shown up at his desk to earn his government healthcare insurance, to vote down a bill that would have disallowed those on the no-fly list from purchasing weaponry.

Obviously, if HE flew to do that, the no-fly list is insufficiently restrictive.

In fact, let's turn things around. Rather than telling folks on the no-fly list that they can't purchase weaponry, let's tell everyone in America who owns weaponry that they can't fly.

At the very least, we might regain some legroom on the airplane.

In the same report, it was noted that authorities at the Disney Resort where the alligator killed the child ... awful, awful ... captured and cut open at least four perfectly innocent, law-abiding alligators as they searched for the guilty alligator, which seems to violate the politically correct rule we follow that innocent gun owners shouldn't be eviscerated because a guilty one makes them look bad.

If only that child and his Dad had been carrying an automatic or semi-automatic weapon.

The human death toll could have been upped.

Incidentally, about 75 days ago, I stood exactly on the spot along that lagoon where the tragedy occurred.

Nice place. The restaurant food was terrible, however, pretty much across the board. I don't recommend.

Here are some kids from Beirut who are between a rock and a Trump place:

http://www.npr.org/sections/allsongs/2016/06/15/482180446/a-band-from-beirut-speaks-to-tragedy-in-orlando

What the AR-15 and other military weaponry were invented to do:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/eugene-stoner-family-ar-15-orlando

Trump is an incoherent idiot.

he doesn't appear to have the mental capability of sustaining an actual ideology. he's more like a bundle of instincts geared towards preserving and elevating the Donald Trump™ of his own fantasies.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-dnc-faked-hack

No, here's what happened, according to the supermarket tabloids I peruse, cold-blooded murderer and Trump supporter Vlad Putin ordered the hack so that he can give all of the dirt to the cold-blooded, murderous Trump campaign staff and their candidate, so they know what's coming.

"Share if you agree that any Muslim refugee caught molesting women or children should be deported immediately - along with their whole family."

The word "Share" is touching. Politically correct, even. Also, apparently, the writer doesn't "share" a dim view of molesting other men.

Here's my answer to the vermin if I could have a face to face:

"Share this grenade with your family", and then I'd hold up the pin.

We'll see who wins the contest of political correctness.

Gingrich's new Committee on UnRepublican Activities is going to have it's hands full with Putin's hack of the DNC on behalf of Trump:

I'm sure Paul Manafort has the files already:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/bensmith/manafort-russia

an eyewitness has claimed that the assailant shouted "Britain First" during the attack, and if this is correct, given that she is a pro-Remain MP, it looks as if this might be an unhinged, Brexit-related murder attempt.

GftNC, if that is confirmed, it seems like this might cause a shift away from the Brexit folks, rather than towards them. Probably not what the attacker wanted, in that case.

Jo Cox has now died. It looks like she was an exceptional person, and MP. The racist party Britain First has disowned this, and preliminary research (maybe unreliable) suggests the assailant has a history of mental illness. But I still keep thinking of Trump's frequent tweets "America First". He may not be mentally ill, but crazies seize on this kind of language. But yes, wj, I'm guessing it won't help the Brexit camp. Not sure how much effect it will have on the campaign though, if the mental illness stuff turns out to be true.

Trump seems to be bi-tribal from year to another:

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2016/06/guns-are-selling-like-hotcakes.html

He's going to need his own private public bathroom if this keeps up.

His not-so-long-ago pledges of allegiance to gun control and higher taxes on hedge fund folks is sure to pull the "traditional" Republican Party even farther away from him.

His murder, violence, and exclusionary and eliminationist threats, not so much.

This is a good one.

and, John McCain is a grade A asshole.

http://ok-cleek.com/blogs/?p=24194

Girl from the North Country, I've been following this today - how tragic.

Alex Massie from the Spectator via LGM

So, no, Nigel Farage isn’t responsible for Jo Cox’s murder. And nor is the Leave campaign. But they are responsible for the manner in which they have pressed their argument. They weren’t to know something like this was going to happen, of course, and they will be just as shocked and horrified by it as anyone else.

But, still. Look. When you encourage rage you cannot then feign surprise when people become enraged. You cannot turn around and say, ‘Mate, you weren’t supposed to take it so seriously. It’s just a game, just a ploy, a strategy for winning votes.’

When you shout BREAKING POINT over and over again, you don’t get to be surprised when someone breaks. When you present politics as a matter of life and death, as a question of national survival, don’t be surprised if someone takes you at your word. You didn’t make them do it, no, but you didn’t do much to stop it either.

Sometimes rhetoric has consequences. If you spend days, weeks, months, years telling people they are under threat, that their country has been stolen from them, that they have been betrayed and sold down the river, that their birthright has been pilfered, that their problem is they’re too slow to realise any of this is happening, that their problem is they’re not sufficiently mad as hell, then at some point, in some place, something or someone is going to snap. And then something terrible is going to happen.

We can’t control the weather but, in politics, we can control the climate in which the weather happens. That’s on us, all of us, whatever side of any given argument we happen to be. Today, it feels like we’ve done something terrible to that climate.

Sad doesn’t begin to cover it. This is worse, much worse, than just sad. This is a day of infamy, a day in which we should all feel angry and ashamed. Because if you don’t feel a little ashamed – if you don’t feel sick, right now, wherever you are reading this – then something’s gone wrong with you somewhere.

Go Team whatever.

When McCain picked (one can't really say "selected") Palin, it was clear he was no longer the man he had been in 2000. But this is definitely a new low.

Either he has totally lost it. Or he has gotten so freaked out about the risk of losing his seat this election that he has started grasping at straws. Because appealing to the birthers and conspiracy theorists is a tactic of desperation.

Either way, combined with the new poll showing Trump and Clinton tied in Utah, the level of panic among any and all Republicans up for reelection has to be skyrocketing. I figured Trump would lose, and take some Republican Congressmen down with him. But if states like Utah and Georgia are in play, we could be looking at a serious wave election.

Slarti skrev:

I am feeling unusually prickly for some reason.

You have my sympathies.
This has got to be an absolutely horrifying year for rational conservatives.

My R friends back home in the MidWest are simply beside themselves with frustration and loathing; we, the Ds in their circle of acquaintances, are simply not talking about politics at all if the subject can possibly be avoided.

Good luck to us all: it appears we're going to need it.

The problem with tribalism is that it overcomes rational discussion on specific issues.

Although I am "Team Blue" with regard to the people I will vote for, it's even difficult to talk to my Team Blue friends about the nuances of policy, both domestic and foreign. When we dig into the weeds, there are sometimes hard feelings.

I often get really angry because I feel that people aren't really engaging in "the weeds". It destroys my argument, for sure. On the other hand, let's take McCain for an example. When does the McCain, maverick, decent person, become McCain, awful problematic person for democracy. Sometimes polite mentions don't seem like enough. Sometimes screaming seems more appropriate. I would never escalate further than that because I don't allow myself to think about violence or "guns". But people here can testify that I can make people angry.

Where do we say that we won't be polite anymore? (Not going to the violence level because that's not for me, but at some point I would support it - thinking of Nazis, not the current situation.) Where are the lines?

McCain is of an age where the beginnings of dementia should not be discounted. He really should have retired after 2008.

I don't really have any grand pronouncements right now. But this is what I see my LGBT friends seeing online this week...

A vocal minority of right-wingers actively delights in the mass death of queer people, and regrets only that more of them didn't die.

A bunch of public officials at all levels of the Republican Party want to deny that queer people were actually targeted, that it was a gay club, and so on. (Several seem to think there are no queer Latinos.)

And all over the right wing, the most urgent issue seems to be making sure that nothing is done that could conceivably make such acts of slaughter any harder to commit, while revving up to go destroy other people's lives and stuff far away.

I have a lot of deeply hurting, depressed friends this week.

the most urgent issue seems to be making sure that nothing is done that could conceivably make such acts of slaughter any harder to commit

if a liberal wants it, there will be a conservative to oppose it.

You're right that it was both (terrorist act, hate crime), but it's also something else: yet one more epic fail of our gun control regime (or lack thereof). That's the one about which something can be done. I'm watching. I'm a gun control voter.

Someone above asked, "where do we draw the lines?" The answer is, at Donald Trump. No epithet is too severe for his candidacy, and those who rabidly believe whatever he says deserve invective, ass well.

I'm starting to think Trump's apparent lack of filter, self-awareness, empathy, sympathy, decency, etc. is at least in part because he doesn't really want to be president all that much. He doesn't care about the fall-out from what he says so long as the people at his rallies are cheering for him, regardless of how it affects his chances of being elected by a far larger segment of the population than just those motivated to show up at his speeches to see him in person.

I think he just likes campaigning for its own sake. He likes the media attention. He likes the crowds. He likes his crowd.

He cares as much about what everyone else thinks as Buddy Hackett cared about what nuns thought of his blue stand-up routines. (Or, if he does care, he hopes it offends them.)

I read an analysis somewhere (Talking Points Memo?) the jist of which was that Trump hadn't expected to get the nomination and therefore had no plan for how to finance a campaign. According to this Theory of Trump, he felt free to say whatever he wanted to say, because he didn't really want to win. He could literally have been saying things just to see how far he had to go before the Republican base would no longer support him.

That was my Theory of Trump, too. I thought he was a fake, running as a form of theater. I thought he deliberately said horrible things as kind of a joke on Republican primary participants, a way of trolling them to if there was a limit to how much horribleness they would accept.

My current Theory of Trump isn't really about him. It's about the other Republican politicians who are so appalled by him. I don;t think they would mind him a bit if they thought he was going to win. The things he says aren't that bad compared to the things Republicans in the House say all the time. He isn't any worse than Sarah Palin. He isn't any worse than Cruz. Or Huckabee. And what makes someone like Rubio or Ryan better than Trump? When it comes to policies, they are extremists. They are just as confused and ignorant about foreign affairs, just as inclined to focus more on exploiting fear for advantage in domestic politics, while ignoring strategy or policy for engagement in foreign affairs. When it comes to domestic economic policy, they are probably worse than Trump, although it is hard to make a comparison since he is inconsistent in his positions and has no positions on many specific issues. But Rubio and Ryan are cut-taxes-for-the-wealthy-and -screw-everyone-else and blame poor people Republicans. They are climate change deniers. They are dismantlers of the middle class. They are awful people, really. They just present their sociopathy in a more restrained manner. Seems to me that the main difference between Trump and the Republican politicians and operatives who dislike him is style. Trump's hatefulness and meanspiritedness is much more overt. Kind of like lace curtain Irish versus Shanty Irish.

M

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/trump-isn-t-doing-poorly-he-s-not-even-running

Excellent Spectator piece, LJ, and applicable to both our countries. I stopped reading the Spectator years ago because of its often snide rightwingery, but had forgotten how good they could be - I'm glad to be reminded.

Re Wonkie's point, I thought for ages Trump was in it for brand-enhancement reasons, and I still sometimes wonder whether, if the going gets too tough and it's not fun anymore, he'll just announce he's out. It's clear that a lot of his attention is still on self-protection, or Trumpbusiness-protection, hence his own-goal of the Curiel criticism. Everything with him is personal; Putin says something flattering about him and he flatters right back, David Cameron criticises his Muslim-barring policy and he says they won't have a good relationship when he's President. I'm not surprised by the Republicans on this blog refusing to support him, but I'm astounded by the non-feral Rs out there who can't see what he's doing to their party, or what they're doing by supporting him. I really think Snarki may have a point about McCain's incipient dementia.

I remember when Steve Forbes was running for president and there was an article that claimed that he loved running cause it allowed him to pontificate to his heart's delight. I imagine something similar for Trump. He can say virtually anything and someone is going to say 'yeah, great point!' (cf Chris Christie) Given his failure to separate or even acknowledge any personal dimension, this is just a way to figure out who is on Team Trump.

Trump hasn't needed a lot of the traditional campaign stuff so far. so why would he think he needs it now? he won the primary without spending much money and without needing to raise much money - why would he think he needs to do anything differently?

and i think talk of him dropping out is just wishful thinking. dropping out now would make him the most hated and ridiculed man in America. no way he'd deliberately do that.

I don't think he's going to drop out. I just think he's not going to try all that hard to win. He's probably dumb enough to take office if he does happen to win, but I don't think he cares enough to knuckle down and do the things he needs to. And you may be right, cleek, that he doesn't even think he needs to do them (if he has any knowledge of those things at all).

wonkie's link is pretty much in line with all of that.

"I don't think he cares enough to knuckle down and do the things he needs to."

At least the US wouldn't have any more problems with debt limits or stuff like that, because Trump would totally mint that "Platinum $1T coin". CLASSY!

with his picture on the front and his wife's ass on the back.

I think Sebastian is right about the primary reflexes falling equally in two/both camps.
The first reaction on the red side was imo 'blame Obama' and 'blame guns' on the blue even before it became known who actually shot whom. The only nedded info was 'mass shooting, high yield'. What almost immediately followed was likely 'more guns needed' on the first and 'more control needed' on the latter. But after that imo the camp model falls apart at least in this case. And for a change the red team was far more split than the blue due to conflicting Pawlovian reflexes. On the left those did not necessarily contradict each other. I have seen about any possible reaction from the Right on this, partially from the usual suspects (Alex Jones of course claims that Obama did it in a false flag operation in furtherance of his nefarious goals) but also some true contortions deviating from expectations (Cruz suddenly painting the LGBT community as innocent victim of the evil Islamists).
On the left it is mainly about threading the needle between on the one hand condemning the act of an (assumed) Islamic extremist and on the other hand not condemning Islam itself (and emphasizing that WE are not at was with Islam although Obama bombs the §$%& out of Muslim countries and thus is not 'doing nothing').
On the gun side the left discusson is more about what exactly could/should be done not about whether.
The Right is in chaos flailing madly because it is impossible to paint a coherent picture that does not violate some basic tenets of their ideology.
The Shoebats are in their perverse way probably the most coherent in praising the fact that so many 'bundles of sticks' died but decrying that it happened through (foreign) vigilantism while it would have been the duty of the state to execute them.
So a law-breaking Muslim did G#d's work that law-abiding Christians could not do, although they would have loved to do it (because it is HIS command), and all of this because the godless state (= the n-word in the WH) derelicts its duty (to enforce HIS command).
Others try to get rid of basic facts in order to not commit a heresy (perpetrator Muslim/no Muslim, gay/not gay, Democrat/no Democrat, citizen/immigrant/foreigner etc.; victims gay/not gay, Latino/not Latino, citizens/illegals etc.) and all with reasonings that no one sane could have come up with.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/brexit-campaigning-still-halted-uk-mourns-slain-lawmaker-082941962.html

International trade in home-grown racist confederate hatred is a U.S. export brand.

As are the tools and instructional manuals.

I don't think we should be disrupting local markets in other countries with these exports, which I am sure can flourish on their own.

Donald Trump and his 40% of the American population are carriers and transmitters of this fatal virus.

Borders around the world need to be closed to prevent any further movement.

I hope Britain is going to screen and quarantine anyone who has been traveling in the infected areas in the United States.

I believe the virus is a brain prion.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/republicans-muslims-lgbt-orlando-attack

One symptom, or tell, that you are in the presence of a carrier, is that they sh8t explosively through their mouths while maintaining the rictus of a straight face.

The progression of this deadly, horrific disease does not seem to be in any way affected by the outcome of political elections.

Winning AND losing elections equally seem to make the symptoms in the zombie carriers worse.

The CDC is quietly warning authorities that carriers are gathering and plotting a mass attack in a major metropolitan U.S. city this summer, somewhere in a North Central Midwest state, they expect, to spread the deadly virus, with an eye to infecting the entire area around Washington D.C in the Fall.

The noxious killing virus seems to trace a pattern over time, with infections and deaths rising precariously every four years and a somewhat smaller cycle every two years.

The coincidence this year with the 13- and 17-year cicada cycle is just that, a coincidence, so if you are killing cicadas in your area, you are killing the wrong rat in the American ratatouille.

We're going to need magic bullets in big f&cking clips to fight this thing.

One odd development in this killer Republican virus, which has been noted by others here, is that secondary symptoms of stupidity tend to reveal themselves in well-meaning, innocent bystanders, who are desperate to help, all other avenues of treatment having been shut down by lobbyists for the infected.

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/06/democrats-finally-agree-worst-gun-bill-ever

Count, someone should alert the CDC about the growing pandemic of "adult-onset Zika". It seems to have jumped from mosquitoes to foxes as a vector, which is completely unprecedented and new, yet the public is unaware of the threat embodied by this fox news.

Another vector:

http://time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish/

Lifted from Hullabaloo.

Snarkilicious: Republicans in the House this morning defunded all efforts by the CDC to get a handle on this raging disease.

And now, ladies and gentleman, my eight seconds is up.

http://juanitajean.com/friday-toons-184/

We could just get down with the sickness:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o39etJFlW7k

That's the white tablecloth version.

Here's Cleveland where the zombies are going to dine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXm8i-R1tOM

Ear buds are advised.

The RNC could use a theme song. This one is already taken by ISIS, but it would fit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLAbAp5tbU0

Chachi in charge ! of counter terrorism !

http://crooksandliars.com/2016/06/scott-baio-suggests-obama-muslim-who-wants

80’s sitcom star Scott Baio – and Fox Business’ latest terrorism “expert” - took Donald Trump’s “Obama's a secret Muslim” dog whistle one step further by announcing outright that President Obama is either a Muslim or "a Muslim sympathizer." On top of that, Baio "just asked" if Obama's end game is to "totally eliminate the United States as it was created and founded and the way it is now."

On top of that, Baio "just asked" if Obama's end game is to "totally eliminate the United States as it was created and founded and the way it is now."

Sounds like Trump FINALLY found the addendum on Obama's long-form birth certificate; the one that makes him heir to the Hawaiian Empire.

I, for one, look forward to the coronation of "Barack, first of his name, Emperor of Hawai'i and Conqueror of the Haoles"



...and YOU will celebrate it too, if you ever want to get leied.

I didn't realize that ducks (yet more lucky duckies) are safer than human beings in the United States because of gun and ammo restrictions.

http://washingtonmonthly.com/2016/06/16/how-to-make-it-stop/

Of course, the reason is that smart hunters want a few ducks to live until next weekend so they can shoot three more for the Sunday duck dinner.

Without the restrictions, every duck (yummy) in the country would be pate by tomorrow, given these pigf*ckers' predelictions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0i-9D92bzu8

This raises the question of how to transfer this sensible restriction to automatic and semi-automatic weapons designed to kill humans.

Since we always have to appeal to the politically correct human nature that responds to incentives and disincentives (instead of saying "F*ck you, you don't get to own any more than a single shot weapon from this day forward"), I would suggest a campaign to make human cannibalism acceptable in the United States so that the meat larder could be filled on an as-needed basis in the American diet.

This would incentivize and encourage American mass killers (nearly one-a-day this year so far) and those who arm them to conserve ammo and kill only the human meat they require to feed their families, rather than spraying their bullets around all at once and wasting all of that good meat.

We could also have a short designated human hunting season each year, maybe during deer or wild boar hunting season to take some of the pressure off of those lesser creatures.

Killing humans would be designated illegal poaching the rest of the year. Dick Cheney could legally go bird hunting a bag a human buddy as long as it was in-season.

"What'd you get this year, Sam, a buck?"

"Naw, but I had a human license and came across a purty large dumbassed but meaty rodent version of the species in the bush, the common Tedass Nugentess, and shot him right through the gizzard from about forty years out. You need to marinate for a week because his type's flesh is kind of stringy and tough, but he'll do for Thanksgiving supper. I'd 'a harvested the other fellas in his pack too, but one needs to be mindful that others need to put food on the table too."

There's always next year.

Waste not, want not.

Quack!

Snarki, I'm still flummoxed by your piece on the appalling fox news. I understand that it started with a mutation at the other end of the world, in Australia, and what doesn't help in finding any kind of solution is that scientists and experts with proper qualifications and credentials seem strangely hard to come by.

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