Archive for the ‘violence’ Category

A little over sixty years ago, nine teenagers, fifteen years of age, were looking forward to attending high school. It was going to be scary, they knew, being in a big new school with lots of kids they’d never seen before. But they weren’t thinking much beyond that. One of the kids dreamed of all the things she’d do at this fine new school she was about to start, about the classroom discussions she’d have with interesting new people, about attending the prom. They were kids, after all. They were innocent.

They did not stay innocent. They lost their innocence hard.

And it was all in vain. Today’s schools are as segregated as they were in 1957. Even in cases where they’re supposedly desegregated, the white kids attend white classes, and the black kids attend black classes, and never the twain shall meet. At the elementary school I taught at in inner city Houston, supposedly 1/3rd of the students were white. I never saw them. They had their own wing of the building. They ate lunch at a different time from the black kids. They had recess at a different time than my kids. I could walk out my classroom door into the hallway and look out at the playground and see them playing, but that’s the closest I ever got to any of the white kids. My kids, of course, were all brown. Us Teach for America interns were the ones thrown into the classrooms with brown kids, because the school board figured that their parents didn’t have the political pull to complain about untrained novice teachers in the classrooms. They were right.

Segregation and violence. Those are America’s heritage. Says Minnijean Brown Trickey bitterly from her home in Canada, where she has lived for most of the past thirty years after the election of Ronald Reagan convinced her that America would never change: “What kind of country doesn’t see education for all children to be the primary value? I think the US has two values: segregation, which they do so well, and violence.”

I can’t say she’s wrong.

– Badtux the Somber Penguin


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I’m pretty sure that everybody here is okay with the fact that these people killed Nazis, lotsa Nazis:

U.S. and Soviet soldiers meet up in the middle of Germany on 26 April 1945 as they clean out Nazi holdouts

So hey, let’s quit that bullshit about “it’s not okay to kill Nazis!”. Because clearly, under some circumstances, it is okay to kill Nazis. (And if you disagree that the folks up above were right to kill Nazis, please don’t post it here… I’m not interested in a debate about the virtues of Nazis, they lost any moral high ground they might have ever occupied when they exterminated millions of Jews, gays, Roma, and others).

So the question is, when did it start becoming okay to kill Nazis? Was it in 1939, when Britain and France declared war against Nazi Germany? Was it just the British and French who were justified in killing Nazis at that time? There were American volunteers who flowed into Canada and formed military units that fought Nazis before the U.S. entered the war, were they justified in killing Nazis? What about Jews, if they killed Nazis after the Nazis started killing Jews, would it have been morally defensible? What if they had killed Nazis before the Nazis started killing them, but after Kristallnacht? Would they have been justified in killing Nazis then based on the theory that the Nazis were a direct threat to their physical safety? What about even earlier, after Hitler had stated in his book Mein Kampf that the Jew must be exterminated? Would they have been justified in killing Nazis based on the theory of preemptive self defense?

When did it become okay to kill Nazis? And do those conditions still apply today?

I know there’s a lot of knee-jerking about “violence is never right!” and all that. That’s bullshit. It took violence to get rid of that murderous bastard Adolph Hitler, a lot of violence, a level of violence unprecedented in human history, a level of violence that has never been matched or surpassed before or since. No amount of pacifism would have stopped Hitler from killing those millions of people that his regime murdered in cold blood. So let’s dismiss the notion of “violence is never right!” — because as Hitler shows, sometimes it’s not only right, but the only moral thing to do — and answer the question: when is violence against Nazis right? Note that I say right, as in, morally right, not legal. Law and morality are two different fields. Law is what’s written in law books. Morality is what kind of person you are, what kind of society you live in, and whether you’re doing things that are morally right or morally wrong. It is legal to be a Nazi here in the United States, and illegal to punch a Nazi here in the United States. That’s not the question. The question is whether it is morally justified to use violence to prevent Nazis from doing the morally reprehensible things that they claim they want to do.

– Badtux the Morality Penguin

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I’ve been baking the past few days because we *finally* got summer here in the SF Bay area — and boy howdy, we got it with a vengeance. Broke records all around the Bay area on Sunday, and Saturday wasn’t much cooler.

So anyhow, in the aftermath of a lesbian black woman saving the life of an anti-gay David Duke supporting bigot who was attacked by what appears to have been a lone wolf white Bernie Bro, the tighty righties have their panties in a bunch about how those mean lefties are coarsening the public discourse. Like this leftie threatening violence:

Err, yeah.

Or this liberal threatening violence:

Err, ah. Okay. Well, I’m sure this guy has to be a liberal:

No? Okay, so how about this guy who shot someone outside a Milo Yiannopoulos speech? He was clearly a liberal, right.

Uhm, no. He was wearing a Trump hat and had told his wife he was carrying his gun with him to the event so he could kill some liberals.

Okay, so let’s get this straight. You have some liberals saying that we should impeach Trump, one of whom, out of all the millions saying that, decided to start taking potshots at Republicans. Then you got right wingers saying that killing liberals is a great idea, *lots* of right wingers saying that, you can’t throw a rock at Stormfront or Brietbart or the Fox News comment section without hitting one of the right wingers saying that, and that means that liberals are the ones advocating violence.

Yeah, global warming is real, and it’s apparently baked the fucking brains out of half of America. Just sayin’.

– Badtux the Too-warm Penguin

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Attack the ambush.

That’s what our soldiers are trained to do. And, increasingly, our cops too. It’s what two Capitol Police officers did today. Two black Capitol Police officers. Who were there as the security detail for a white Congressman who has made his career running his mouth about how lazy stupid etc. black people are. They were ambushed at a baseball field, and the two black police officers immediately attacked the ambush and killed the ambusher. Because that’s what they do. That’s what they signed up to do. Even if it means defending the life of a bigot.

Capitol Police officers Crystal Griner and David Bailey did their job. It’s a dirty job, but it’s a necessary one. Regardless of what various right-wing assholes (and a few lefties too) say about Second Amendment remedies, it’s a damn nasty idea. Because once we start down that route, we’re talking about rule of gun — and rule of gun always favors the most evil, the most venal, the most willing to murder in cold blood.

And nations ruled by cold blooded murderers are not good places to be.

Just sayin’.

– Badtux the Rule of Law Penguin

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So how’s about this, Twitter Troll in Chief: If the terrorists who struck at the London Bridge / Borough Market had been carrying guns, a lot more people would have died. If they’d had guns, it would have looked a lot like the Bataclan Theater attack in Paris, where 89 people died. But because they only had knives and a truck, only 7 people died.

In short, yeah, this was a victory for UK gun control. A total of 130 people died in the Paris attack, where the attackers were heavily armed with semiautomatic weapons and a lot of rounds of ammunition. A total of 7 people died in the London attack where the attackers were armed with knives and a van. That’s a helluva lot less people than 130.

Of course, His Fraudulency Donald the Trump isn’t the only person trolling. Both of the candidates for Prime Minister in the UK are trolling, hard. Corbyn claims that this shows that the UK interventions in the Middle East are having blowback that endangers British lives for no gain for Britain. May claims that Corbyn is playing politics with the lives of innocent British citizens, while at the same time claiming that the solution to terrorism in the UK is to censor the Internet. Which is, uhm, playing politics with the lives of innocent British citizens — this is something she’s wanted to do for a long time as the “Queen of Mean”.

Meanwhile, here in the United States our copycat terrorists are right wing terrorists, like that nutjob in Portland who killed two men who interfered with his harassment of two Muslim girls and then yelled in court, “You call it terrorism, I call it patriotism. You hear me? Die.” And what does the Twitter Troll In Chief have to say about that?


But he *does* have this to say:

Which travel ban would have stopped the Portland terrorist, uhm, how? And the “rights” he’s talking about appear to be the right to, uhm, say nasty things to Muslims. Exactly the same right that the Portland terrorist exercised to the point of killing two men who were interfering with his right to terrorize two young Muslim girls.

What a fucking asshole.

That’s all.

– Badtux the Asshole-despising Penguin

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… but not a bomb.

A bomb is what went off at her concert in Manchester, UK, as crowds of young teenagers left the concert. A bomb is what an asshole Islamist suicide bomber set off in the middle of that crowd, killing at least 22 people and injuring at least 59 others.

And the bombing suspect was already known to have ties to Al Qaeda. Had even been ratted on by his family who told authorities that he was dangerous. Was even on a watch list after he got back from a stint in a terrorist training camp in Libya.

What is needed to stop terrorism isn’t Big Brother listening in on every phone call, observing every street corner with video cameras, or other things of that sort. What is needed to stop terrorism is simple human intelligence — following up when a family calls you and says their kid is a violent Islamist extremist, for example. No amount of listening in on phone calls was necessary in order to identify this asshole as a threat to public safety. All that was necessary was for the authorities to listen to his family, who was saying loud and clear that their kid was a time bomb waiting to go off.

And they didn’t, so people are dead.

I expect there to be plenty of folks who now are going to want to impose all sorts of draconian bullshit to “stop terrorism”. All that’s going to do is add more noise to hide the signal. What’s needed is to listen to the human beings who are already telling us who the dangerous people are, not bullshit like spying on everybody’s phone calls or keeping people from taking their laptop computers onto airliners.

But I suppose that’s common sense, and common sense is no good when there’s power to seize and money to be made pushing snake oil…

– Badtux the Exasperated Penguin

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My final thought on United endorsing knocking out the teeth and bloodying the face of 69 year old men who dared raise his voice: What’s interesting is that there’s anybody, anywhere, who think it is appropriate to knock out the teeth and bloody the face of a 69 year old man under any circumstance short of the man brandishing a gun or knife.

The fact that the airline and police actually have defenders just reminds me of how brutal we have become as a nation, where brutalizing both our own citizens and people overseas is seen as normal and acceptable behavior. We have the majority in Congress saying that the solution to hungry people is to take away their food stamps, for example, because we must brutalize those poor people into being less poor — the beatings shall not stop until morale improves! In this case, the man had been sold a fraudulent ticket, one that purported to offer him airline travel but in fact apparently only offered him the chance to sit in a terminal since United wasn’t going to give him the airline travel he’d paid for, and the man was complaining about that. Going from there to knocking his teeth out and bloodying his face is like going 150mph on a public highway crowded with rush hour traffic — no sane person could ever think that was a good idea.

But then, I’m not sure that we as a nation are sane anymore.

– Badtux the “Am I sane?” Penguin

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