The Second Amendment is Killing Black Men

About a year ago, I wrote the following on the back of a still unpaid bill.

“The Second Amendment is killing black men.
All black men could have guns, so we have to shoot them.”

It was about #BlackLivesMatter. I HATE the way our criminal justice system targets minorities.

It was also about all the loose guns out on the streets. Guns that must have started their pure and beautiful lives as legally acquired firearms, but somehow, mysteriously, these guns were now on the BLACK market (You know, where the dark skin people buy them, we imagine).

We must always think about black market guns FIRST!! All decisions must be made with imaginary black market guns dancing in the front of your mind. At all times. Because they are out there. They are imaginary. And they are guns…

It’s funny with all these free guns being bought and sold that so many seem to slop out of the soup (gun show loopholes and all…remember “A.B.G.” always be thinking about guns). You’d think with this modern database technology we could keep better track of them, but then they wouldn’t be so free. FREE GUNS, what a sick thought that is.

“Oh, where did I put that pesky gun? It’s worse than my car keys. Ya know, if my head wasn’t sewn to my neck, I’d lose that, too. You know, a .44 could blow my head clean off. It’s true…Now where’s my gun?”

But we have to have a lot of guns around, and a lot of factories stamping them out. And bullets, too. Can’t forget the bullets. You need several thousand rounds near you at all times just to feel even.

But GOD DAMN IT, isn’t it a pain that the bleaks have them, too. Or, more accurately, the imaginary bleaks ALL hypothetically have BLACK market ones…in the dark, at night, when they’re harder to see, unless you are watching them through your trusty night vision scope, which really humanizes the people you see through it.

I wear night vision goggles when I make love, just for that very reason.

Getting back on point, I’m saying that imaginary guns are getting black men killed with real police guns and it is fucked up. There has to be a better way, this can not be the best answer.

The footage I watched tonight of the execution of Stephon Clark was appalling. Looking at the scenario, it is clear there were many options for the outcome that wouldn’t have included unloading two firearms into an unarmed man crouching and hiding in the darkness. Then laying down on his stomach and prostrating himself, in surrender, as the bullets continued to hit his body over and over again, taking his life. And for what? Petty theft? Because our militarized police can hunt our citizens like troops hunting terrorists.

Less real guns in circulation – would mean less imaginary guns in circulation – would mean less reason for police to imagine imaginary guns on the persons of black people – would mean lives saved – would mean police arresting people instead of executing them.

I think that’s a better world. A civilian world without guns. It’s my world. Maybe it could be your world, too. Join us. Melt the guns, now.

#blacklivesmatter is #neveragain.

Totalitarian Creep

I was watching Peter Lassally’s interview on CBS Sunday Morning. He was an Executive Producer on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, but he is also a Nazi Holocaust concentration camp survivor. In the interview, he confessed that, in the last year, he has lost his appetite for fiction and light entertainment. He said he sleeps about 4 hours a night and spends his entire day watching and ingesting news.

So, with his tragic background, Peter Lassally might have some deeper understanding of the stakes we are playing with in pacifying #PresidentShithead. Maybe Lassally has firsthand insight on how a strident minority population can create enough momentum to turn a divided country into despotic, criminal war machine. A criminal war machine that turns on, and scapegoats, its own population with violent and murderous oppression in order to consolidate and maintain power. You think it can’t happen here? Peter Lassally KNOWS BETTER THAN YOU WHAT CAN HAPPEN. He’s watching VERY, VERY closely because of just what he knows. Think on that.

Like Lassally, I have also lost interest in many of the things I used to mindlessly, or by routine, enjoy. For example, I used to listen to Howard Stern in the morning…not anymore! It’s “Morning Joe” for me now. Where I watch recovering Neocons ponder how things went so wrong (oh the innocence of youth…and the “enhanced interrogation techniques”…and the war profiteering…but I’m sure they’ll figure it out someday).

I have appropriated a term to define what has us all so “off our milk”…I call it “Totalitarian Creep”. No, this is not a new nickname for #PresidentShithead, although, yes, by any conceivable measure, the man is a certified “creep”. I am referring to “Totalitarian Creep” – a condition more akin to the global warming of our country’s character. Charmingly, if you search the term “Totalitarian Creep” on Google, you will find the highest ranked results come from posts from the last decade criticizing the Obama administration (isn’t that cute?). Set that aside. Look at this culture. You are living in the midst of Totalitarian Creep.

So how did we get here?

We have a minority political party (the Republican Party, in case you were wondering) that tries to maintain a narrative that we (read as “the conscientious”) are overreacting to #PresidentShithead’s never-ending trolling and mercurial positional inconsistency. They say, when asked about this shitshow of an administration, that we must keep our attention “on the policy, not the man”. So we look at the policy; Robber Baron sponsored deregulation under the banner of Neo-libritarianism (which is really Social Darwinism), Unilateralism based on the unhinged and uninformed whims and moods of #PresidentShithead, a deficit spiking corporate welfare tax reform bill written by the Robber Barons, the purging of non-political Federal employees so they can be replaced with “loyalists”, the dismantling of our nascent National Health Service, an inability to face down our number one foreign threat actor (cowardice most likely inspired by some fucked up blackmail scenario). I could go on-and-on. So we look at the policy (you know, because we were asked to) and it turns out the policies are just as shit as the man himself.

So, to these blind-ass Republicans I say, “You need to wake the fuck up. Look in the mirror. See if there is a wisp of a soul floating around somewhere in the back of one of your glazed-over, nonentity eyeballs. It might be somewhere near the retina. Got a lock on it? Good! Try to commune with that thing (it must be a shriveled little thing). Okay. You have your listening hat on now? I’m just gonna say this right close into your ear, if that’s alright. YOUR PRESIDENT IS TOTALLY FUCKED UP AND IT ISN’T OKAY!!! CLEAN HOUSE, MOTHERFUCKERS!!! BUY A PAIR OF BALLS AND STOP THIS SHIT NOW!!! BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!! YOUR POLITICAL FUTURE IS FUCKED ANYWAY!!! SO BE A HERO FOR ONCE IN YOUR SHITTY, SELF-CENTERED-AYN-RAND-WANKING LIVES!!!”

But wait there’s more!

So, this Republican Party, they could have played things differently last year. After all, eight years before that, they viewed and treated Obama as a threat and an aberration, obstructing him for his two full terms. They also race-baited with birtherism, which the Koch’s (i.e, Robber Barons) were only more than glad to parlay into the racism-fueled Tea-Party movement. A movement that loaded the congress with a new class of bought-and-paid-for, moronic, racist, sexist, tax-hating, Social Darwinists. So, yeah, that happened. My point, they have notable experience in obstructionism on their resume.

However, last year, this same Republican leadership, when faced with the ACTUAL threat and aberration that is #PresidentShithead, well, they went a different way this time (surprise, surprise). They checked the weather report, realized where their racist/sexist wedge-base and their corporate overlords were at, and rolled over like the little, bought-and-paid-for bitches they are…midterms to think about, after all.

NEVERMIND Trump has a hard-on for dictators and fancies himself one.
NEVERMIND Trump is steadily rebuilding Federal Law enforcement into a self protection scheme.
NEVERMIND Trump is an unhinged id monster that feeds on his own media.
NEVERMIND Trump is a terrible role model for, literally, anyone.
NEVERMIND Trump is a criminal and a traitor…allegedly.

How fucking stupid are these Republicans? Can’t they see that America needs to heal? We need to get away from this fuck? (This is like the worst abusive marriage of all time. I want a divorce.) Can’t they see that a Chief Executive Twitter troll has to be cut-out, dealt-with? Can’t they see that America is the bastion against dictators? That its anti-dictatorial history is, in fact, the only thing that makes America exceptional? Can’t they give Peter Lassally a fucking break? (Let him get back to his stories…the guy lived through the fucking Holocaust after all.)

Can’t they recognize Totalitarian Creep when it’s at the gate?

Oh yeah, that’s right, they thought Obama was the Totalitarian. UFFA!

We’re fucked.

Married to the Mob

I’m not an expert on organized crime, but I watch a lot of TV and movies. So, I’m not a D.A. or a police detective or an ex-con or a current-con. But I’ve watched the Godfather Trilogy, Goodfellas, Casino, Scarface, The Untouchables, The Sopranos, just to name a few. I also have a general interest in true crime journalism, in print and on TV. I know much of what we see in fiction is, just that, fiction, but there are some universal truths related to how organized crime works, and three specific tenets that I think are significant today.

  1. Illegal money has to be laundered.
  2. Once you become complicit with an organized crime syndicate (for example, conspiring in a money laundering scheme), the syndicate will use this connection as leverage against you (for control, blackmail, extortion, racketeering, etc).
  3. You don’t play along; you can get whacked.

It’s pretty sick stuff, but it works for the bad guys. Fortunately, we have a Federal Bureau of Investigations here in the United States to protect us from organized crime syndicates. Is the FBI perfect? No. Do they make mistakes? Yes. But they are our only and best Army to defend against the ever present threat of organized crime corrupting in our lawful Democracy.

Bottom line, if you are greedy (and morally bereft) then dirty money is hard to turn down. But this initial “handshake” is just your initiation in to being groomed as an asset by the syndicate. Once you put your hands on that dirty money, you are now a co-conspirator and the syndicate owns you…or you go to jail…or you get whacked.

If you are greedy, morally bereft and stupid, you may not understand that this is the deal, you might even think you are clever enough to escape it, but you’re not and it IS the deal, and your stupidity will not save you.

So What?

So why am I going on about this? Because it ties in with my perception of what I am witnessing playing out in our very highest seat of power, in the highest chair of the executive branch of the United States Federal Government.

If I’m perceiving things correctly, #PresidentShithead is being leveraged by an international organized crime syndicate (one that also just happens to be a nation state). This leverage is sticking because he, his company, his campaign, and/or his family is/are somehow complicit, or were complicit, with this syndicate’s very real money laundering activities.

Being leveraged (i.e., owned), our chief executive does not speak out or act in opposition to this syndicate in any way, or at any time, no matter what the syndicate does.

In fact, to go one further, this executive, and his minions, are in the process of a waging a disinformation campaign slandering our FBI. The FBI, like I said, being our only and best protection from organized crime syndicates.

Weird, huh?

And so…

The Mueller probe is going to spill the beans, eventually. And here’s what I’m thinking…

Here’s my prediction. And I’m just waiting for it to come out (if it’s allowed to come out). We are going to learn that it’s no great coincidence that Paul Manafort’s alleged money laundering conspiracy with the syndicate was falling apart in 2015, just prior to his attachment to the Trump campaign. I see this series of events as Manafort being compelled by the syndicate (via leverage) to do a job for them.

ALSO

We are going to get a whole bunch of information about the Trump organization’s financials, showing a longstanding, deep and solvency-sustaining transactional history with the syndicate (i.e., dirty money was touched).

What then…

Oh, it’s going to really suck for this country when it all comes out. A lot of good people (i.e., Republicans and Trumpees) are going to have to take a long, deep look in the mirror and accept they were duped (or, I guess, continue to live in denial).

There will be a constitutional crisis, because Trump will not resign. Say what you will about Nixon, he was not a great man, but he found the decency, humility, dignity and love-for-county to resign when the truth came out. I don’t think Trump will resign, because Trump’s alleged crimes are tied to conspiracies with other nation states, and those are very high crimes, and he is not going to cop to them under any circumstances. He will burn this country down around him before he comes clean.

And look, that’s to be expected. In your experience, do wiseguys sing like canneries at the first sign of trouble? Or instead, do they tend to claim totally innocence? I think the latter. I think it would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see an immoral, guilty person stand up and proclaim, “I did it all, and this is how I did it. Let me start with blah blah blah…” NO, it doesn’t go like that. You have to collect all the evidence and throw the book at them.

On one hand, I’m elated… on the other (the much the more significant hand, that is really weighing on my mind), I’m terrified. Truly terrified.

But anything has to be better than being married to the mob.

Musicrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four)

 

In 1984, I was watching MTV and saw the “World Premiere” of the music video for the Eurythmic’s Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four), the single from the soundtrack album they produced for the movie adaptation of George Orwell’s seminal novel.

I can remember watching it in deep confusion. Being a child, I had no context to understand the intercut movie footage, its monochrome tone themed after Soviet Russia. I was, however, familiar with the Eurythmics, as their initial hit single/video Sweet Dreams was in heavy rotation. That video had abstract imagery and Annie Lennox’s androgynous persona, which I also didn’t get…but I didn’t get a lot of what I saw on MTV. I ingested it. I accepted it. Did I get it? I don’t think so. At the time, I didn’t even understand that the Village People were, ya know, “open minded”.

So, when I saw this 1984 video back in the day, I just thought, “Wow, the Eurythmics are weird.” It was disposable, washed over me, next.

Years later, in high school, I read the novel, saw the movie on glorious SD VHS…and that’s an essay in itself, because those experiences blew my mind and changed my life, my world view…but this essay is purely about the Eurythmics, that song, and that video. WOOF!

I want to be clear, I think the Eurythmics are a great band, with an excellent catalog of creative, innovative and catchy songs, and Annie Lennox is one of the great female vocalists, period…But this song and video, in the last year, has caused me sooo much pain. Sooo much pain. To put it in MST3K speak, “Deep Hurting”.

Just watch the video…IF YOU DARE! I did, about a year ago, out of curiosity when I was re-reading the novel, and I haven’t been the same since. It infected me, like the tape from The Ring. I think the most hurtful part, for me personally, is the chorus (?). From the doot-doot-doot-boop-boops right through to the monotone vocoder effected “1984”, it’s catchy…like the Black Plague. If you get infected by this earworm, you may very likely begin to wish for “the long-hoped-for bullet” to enter your brain…just to stop the doot-doot-doots…which will not stop…will never stop. And it doesn’t help that the novel’s themes are in the zeitgeist. I see something in the news, I have a thought about Newspeak, or the like, and the doot-doot-doots start again (Why wont they STOP?!).

AND the video itself is just so painful and ill-conceived. It’s like a parody of a parody of the MTV 80s. Just the idea of Orwell’s novel being cross promoted with pop-music is insane! Fucking INSANE! And now, in 2018, we have to live with the ramifications…doot-doot-doot (KILL ME!).

Who’s the Snake?

Since #PresidentShithead decided to dust off one of his Greatest Shits, “The Snake”, at CPAC, I thought it only appropriate to ask, “Who is the Snake, again?”

I immediately thought, “This sound bite needs to be set to animation with Trump as the Snake and Lady Liberty as the…ya know, Lady.” I checked the internet and saw political cartoonist Bill Day beat me to the punch. And in getting ahead of me, he created a beautiful style guide. And look, the cartoon is great, but I think the #NEVERAGAIN kids need to see this baby fully animated to really get the point across.

I would do it myself, but, as I’ve previously stated, drawing is hard. So I nominate others to do the hard work I refuse to do myself, like any dedicated Liberal should.

Shit! Let’s make this a competition!

I want to call out the following people to each create individual cartoons based on the idea I had (that Bill Day just happened to have before me… so it is not, technically, stealing):

  • @psychicpebbles
  • @colbertlateshow
  • @geraldscarfe
  • @MikeJudge
  • @SouthPark
  • @JohnKricfalusi
  • @schoolhouserock

We’ll do a Twitter poll to determine the winner. We want to be fair and let the Russian Twitter Bots have a say, too.

Deadline for submissions is before the world ends.