Category Archives: Violence

This Entire Fucking Country is Mentally Ill

school shooting Florida 2-2018

Image: usatoday.com

So there was yet another school shooting. The eighteenth this year, I believe, and the year is only 45 days old.

Again we hear the nightmare stories of children hearing and watching and feeling their friends get murdered in the next classroom, in front of them, on top of them…

Again we see the distraught parents of murdered children and wounded children and again we watch them crying, begging, screaming for change.

Again we hear the news anchors go over all the recent school shootings. Again we hear the statistics, the insane number of American mass shootings compared to the practically non-existent  mass shootings — and shootings in general — in other industrialized countries. Again the pundits ask what it’s going to take for politicians to do something.

Again all we we hear Republicans say is “…this tragic event blah blah blah … our hearts and minds are with blah blah blah…thoughts and prayers blah blah blah!

Again we hear them say that now’s not the time to talk about gun control, that talking about gun control is a knee-jerk reaction, that we don’t want to infringe on citizens’ second-amendment rights. Blah blah fucking blah!

And Trump, who was in such a hurry to undo everything Obama accomplished, including measures to prevent mentally ill people from purchasing guns, signed his executive order to that effect a year ago and then held it up for the world to see: Look Mommy, I signed my name! We now hear Trump say that the young man who murdered these kids was mentally ill, and that we need to do something about the mentally ill. And in that deranged dreamy voice he uses when he thinks he’s reading something real deep off the teleprompter, Trump, of all people, says that we must answer hate with love and that we must answer cruelty with kindness. Blah blah fucking, FUCKING blah!

We hear the family who hosted the shooter in the months before the massacre say that he was a polite young man, perfectly normal. But he had an AR 15! There was nothing to indicate that he would do such a thing. BUT HE HAD A FUCKING AR 15! No mentally stable civilian needs an AR 15! What the fuck is wrong with people?!?

Again, in the coming days we’ll hear gun nuts on social media say that AR 15s don’t kill people, people kill people. Blah blah blah! Anyone with a pulse will again point out that murdering a lot of children within minutes is a whole lot easier and a whole lot harder for someone else to stop if you have an AR 15 than if you have, say, a paring knife.

As the saying goes: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

If you continue to let the NRA dictate policy (literally) on Capitol Hill, every politician who accepts NRA campaign contributions will continue to claim that now is not the time to talk about gun control. If you continue to allow the sale of semi-automatic weapons, people will continue to carry out mass murder with semi-automatic weapons. If you continue to do nothing but have thoughts and prayers, nothing is going to change, because there is no bearded wizard in the sky who will fix this with a magic wand! The guns are real, the children murdered are real, the teachers murdered are real, the grieving families are real, and the country needs real solutions, real votes for politicians who support real gun control, not more of the same fucking prayers!

 

Zwarte Piet : Putting Him Into Perspective, Again!

zwarte piet again

Image: cnn.com

So let me get this straight:

Sinterklaas can still be Sinterklaas.
He and his Pieten can still arrive in Amsterdam on the steamboat.
They can still have all the processions through cities and towns.
People can still come out to welcome them.
Kids can still wave at Sinterklaas and give the Pieten their drawings.
The Pieten can still wear the same costumes.
They can still hand out candy.
Everyone can still eat pepernoten,
and taai-taai,
and marzipan,
and kruidnoten,
and suikerbeesten,
and amandelstaven,
and chocolate letters,
and speculaas poppen
and drink hot chocolate.
Everyone can still sing Sinterklaas songs.
You can still have Book Piet, Organizer Piet, Grumpy Piet and what have you Piet (a relatively new phenomenon).
Everyone can still buy Sinterklaas and Piet dolls at Xenos (also relatively new).
Kids and adults can still place their shoes at home on Sinterklaas Eve.
Kids and adults can even place their shoes at school, at work, on the street and in the bars (again, new).
People can still exchange gifts.
Children can still make surprises.
A good time can still be had by all.

The only thing that would change is the color of Piet’s face and hair.
And this is how you react?

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(Welcome in the Netherlands, where all cultures are permitted except our own.)

Have you all lost your mother-loving minds?

My original series on the whole Zwarte Piet issue starts here.

The Zwarte Piet Debacle From the Outside, Again

zwarte clownOkay, it’s the end of November and that means that Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) is arriving in the Netherlands, with his helpers, who have traditionally been all called Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). The Zwarte Pieten are traditionally white people with blackface. People of color in the Netherlands have gradually become vocal about not liking that and the Dutch reaction is incredibly embarrassing to me. Continue reading

The November 4 Demonstration

20171104_132226Well, there was supposed to be a November 4 demonstration calling to impeach Trump and Pence at Republic Square Park today from 1 – 5 pm, but I was there from 12:45 to about 2:30 and there was pretty much nobody. One guy with a sign, everyone else could have just been there because it was a park. Continue reading

Fascism in America 11: Conclusion

dutch police homeless

Image: funnz.nl

Most of you Americans on the left were gobsmacked when Trump won the election. You did not see it coming at all; you thought that common sense would prevail in the end, but it didn’t. You completely underestimated the allure of Trump. Continue reading

Fascism in America 9: From Toxic Masculinity to Annihilation?

trump masculinity

Image: nydailynews.com

Hitler made sure the German youth was indoctrinated at school and in the Hitler Youth. His idea of a perfect Germany with perfect Germans was a country populated by blond-haired, blue-eyed people–the men strong and handsome, doing manly-man things like intimidating and killing the Untermenschen, starting with the Jews, and the women buxom and beautiful, keeping house and having as many perfect German babies as possible. For the purpose of this article I’ll focus on the men. Continue reading

Fascism in America 8: Violence and Intimidation

militia charlottesville

Image: slate.com

Fascists don’t consider violence to be per definition bad, as long as they are the ones meting it out, through violent and intimidating government actions and policies, armed militias and/or war. In Germany the Nazi Party quickly became militarized and bullied and intimidated its way into power.

But first, let’s look at America’s history of violence and intimidation. Continue reading