Jul 222016
 

So a few days ago somebody went a little silly on a train near Wurzburg, Germany… took an axe and  knife and went after the passengers, injuring five before getting shot. Today in Munich someone (potentially up to three someones) opened fire in a shopping mall in Munich, Germany, killing at least 8. The motive for the latest attack has not yet been determined. It is far, far to early to begin even guessing what might have caused this.  Disgruntled Tea Partiers? Self-hating closeted homosexuals? Trump voters? We may never know:

A witness who will only be identified as Lauretta told CNN her son was in a bathroom with a shooter at the McDonald’s. “That’s where he loaded his weapon,” she said. “I hear like an alarm and boom, boom, boom… And he’s still killing the children. The children were sitting to eat. They can’t run.” Lauretta said she heard the gunman say, “Allahu Akbar,” or God is great. “I know this because I’m Muslim. I hear this and I only cry.”

Nope. Got nuthin’. Maybe it was some kid who was driven to kill because he played too much Call Of Duty or Grand Theft Auto or Pong or some such vile murder simulator. Perhaps he was a fan of heavy metal and backwards-masked exhortations by Satan to shoot up a McD’s twisted his fragile little mind. We may never know.

So yet again another terrorist attack in the west, with many, many people making expressions of sadness and horror. But in even the darkest times, there are those who find such things to be the cause of levity:

 Posted by at 4:39 pm
Jul 152016
 

So, Ken Ham’s Biblical theme park “Ark Encounter,” which has cost many millions of dollars to complete (much of it footed by Kentucky taxpayers), recently opened to the public. How’s it going?

Here’s the entryway at 1PM on opening day:

Sometimes things actually give me hope.

Scenes from Ark Encounter’s Opening Day (Inside the Ark)

Some videos at the link. The place seems… I dunno. It’s a big structure, but it seems like a bit of a wasted effort. The “Ark” is supposedly the size of the Ark from Biblical tales; it is full of cages and boxes for all the millions of different species that the ark was supposed to carry, but they all seem to be populated with *statues* of animals rather than the real thing. Machines making animal noises rather than animals making animal noises. Now, if less than a dozen people could take care of the total animal population of the ark, you’d think the army of employees the Ark Encounter surely has would be able to *easily* keep a boat full of critters fed, watered clean.

Overall it seems like a rather barren form of entertainment for a $40 entrance fee. I wonder how long it’ll be before it goes bust, and what it’ll end up as next. I can see Trump buying it and turning it into a casino. It’s big enough, and there are certainly some wide open spaces in it *now* that could be filled with slot machines.

 Posted by at 8:40 pm
Jul 142016
 

I think this piece from the Daily Mail (yes, yes, about as reliable as the National Enquirer, or the Bernie Sanders Economic Outlook Quarterly) came out before the attack in Nice today. 2016 may continue to be Damned Interesting from a political viewpoint.

France is ‘on the verge of a civil war’ which could be sparked by a mass sexual assault on women by migrants, intelligence chief warns

Patrick Calvar, head of the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI) seems to think that things are reaching a boiling point between Muslims and French “right wingers,” and that one or two more good attacks could set off an outright civil war.

There was also this nugget:

Earlier this week a leaked report revealed a staggering 1,200 women were sexually abused in German cities during the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Yikes. And this:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was also told by security experts last October that middle class citizens in Germany were becoming ‘radicalised’ because of her open borders migrant policy.

Riling up the Germans? That rarely ends well.

 Posted by at 9:39 pm
Jul 142016
 

News out of France:

Nice, France, truck attack kills 80, Hollande says

In short: someone driving a military-grade high-capacity high-powered assault truck drove through about a *mile* (report also says two kilometers) of a Bastille Day parade in the French city of Nice, killing around 80 and injuring Odin knows how many. The driver is reported to have also fired out of the window, making this less likely that this was just some schmuck who got likkered up and drove like an idiot. The police have apparently shot and killed the driver and have found explosives in the truck.

No motive given yet, but somehow I think I have a sneaking suspicion it just might be one of those Surt worshippers.

 Posted by at 7:54 pm
Jul 102016
 

From the point of view of weirdo bizarre politics, 2016 is the year that keeps on giving. Behold:

The Religious Cult Secretly Running Japan

I’d suggest that “Secretly” is not terribly accurate, since they seem to be pretty open about it. Specifically, Nippon Kaigi, a Shinto group that wants to restore Japan militarily and culturally to what it was prior to getting spanked in WWII, is a group that includes such government types as the current Prime Minister and many in his cabinet. Military adventurism, elimination of women’s rights, expulsion of foreigners, Emperor worship, all that rubbish.

This is *kinda* amusing. First part of the last century the Japanese were able to storm around east Asia because the US had, perhaps unwisely, kinda *forced* the Japanese to modernize in the late 19th century. They were burdened with a medieval culture but graced with advanced technology… while their neighbors were largely still medieval everything. But now… well, if the Japanese try that Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity schtick again, they’ll find that the Koreans and the Chinese and the Vietnamese are a little closer to them technologically.

I wonder, though, what it is about certain ideologies that continue to persist well after they got their asses well and soundly *beat.* Knuckleheads who want to worship the Emperor, or people who think the Nazis were neato-keen, or people who think Communism is the future, or people who think the South will rise again more than 150 years after the profoundly failed War of Southern Aggression… all these schmoes are worshipping at the altar of failure. They are waving loser’s flags. And yet, here we are.

 Posted by at 5:07 pm
Jul 042016
 

Today in “here’s what you *don’t* do” news…

Police: Drunk man praises Allah at Caldwell restaurant, customers panic

One “Ralmanzow Bell” decided it would be a rollicking good time to get likkered up and stand on the counter of a bar and praise the current favorite supernatural entity of the exploding-class while wearing a backpack. End result: tackled by staff, arrested for disorderly conduct. Given that this occurred in Idaho, he’s lucky he didn’t get shot.

 Posted by at 9:40 am
Jun 202016
 

The FBI has changed their mind and released an unredacted version of the brief transcript. The relevant bit is this:

Orlando Police Dispatcher (OD)
Omar Mateen (OM)

OD: Emergency 911, this is being recorded.
OM: In the name of God the Merciful, the beneficent [Arabic]
OD: What?
OM: Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God [Arabic]. I wanna let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.
OD: What’s your name?
OM: My name is I pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State.
OD: Ok, What’s your name?
OM: I pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may God protect him [Arabic], on behalf of the Islamic State.
OD: Alright, where are you at?
OM: In Orlando.
OD: Where in Orlando?
[End of call.]

Now, was that so hard? What, is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi friggen’ Candyman or Voldemort? Say his name and he’ll getcha? No.

It’s interesting that we live in a time where those in power are afraid to say the name of our enemies. Was Reagan afraid to say “Communists?” Was FDR afraid to say “Nazis?” I think there is a disturbing amount of magical thinking on *both* sides of the issue… the right demanding that Obama and such say “radical Islamic terrorism” rather than more generic “terrorism,” and at the same time Obama and such virtually refusing to say it. Both sides seem to think that the word “Islam” has some sort of inherent power. But there is a definite difference between one side wanting to speak the truth twice as much as needed, and the other side not wanting to speak the truth at all.


 

Original post, earlier in the day:

The FBI has released edited transcripts of Omar Mateens calls to 9-11, made during his terrorist attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. It has some unusual redactions.

——

ORLANDO—In order to provide an update on the progress of the investigation into the Pulse nightclub shooting, the FBI is releasing an excerpt from the timeline of events inside the Pulse nightclub during the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, 2016. Out of respect for the victims of this horrific tragedy, law enforcement will not be releasing audio of the shooter’s 911 calls at this time, nor will law enforcement be releasing audio or transcripts of the calls made by victims at the Pulse nightclub during the incident. Furthermore, the name of the shooter and that of the person/group to whom he pledged allegiance are omitted.

The following is based on Orlando Police Department (OPD) radio communication (times are approximate):

  • 2:02 a.m.: OPD call transmitted multiple shots fired at Pulse nightclub.
  • 2:04 a.m.: Additional OPD officers arrived on scene.
  • 2:08 a.m.: Officers from various law enforcement agencies made entrance to Pulse and engaged the shooter.
  • 2:18 a.m.: OPD S.W.A.T. (Special Weapons & Tactics) initiated a full call-out.
  • 2:35 a.m.: Shooter contacted a 911 operator from inside Pulse. The call lasted approximately 50 seconds, the details of which are set out below:

Orlando Police Dispatcher (OD)
Shooter (OM)

OD: Emergency 911, this is being recorded.
OM: In the name of God the Merciful, the beneficial [in Arabic]
OD: What?
OM: Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God [in Arabic]. I let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.
OD: What’s your name?
OM: My name is I pledge of allegiance to [omitted].
OD: Ok, What’s your name?
OM: I pledge allegiance to [omitted] may God protect him [in Arabic], on behalf of [omitted].
OD: Alright, where are you at?
OM: In Orlando.
OD: Where in Orlando?
[End of call.]

(Shortly thereafter, the shooter engaged in three conversations with OPD’s Crisis Negotiation Team.)

  • 2:48 a.m.: First crisis negotiation call occurred lasting approximately nine minutes.
  • 3:03 a.m.: Second crisis negotiation call occurred lasting approximately 16 minutes.
  • 3:24 a.m.: Third crisis negotiation call occurred lasting approximately three minutes.

In these calls, the shooter, who identified himself as an Islamic soldier, told the crisis negotiator that he was the person who pledged his allegiance to [omitted], and told the negotiator to tell America to stop bombing Syria and Iraq and that is why he was “out here right now.” When the crisis negotiator asked the shooter what he had done, the shooter stated, “No, you already know what I did.” The shooter continued, stating, “There is some vehicle outside that has some bombs, just to let you know. You people are gonna get it, and I’m gonna ignite it if they try to do anything stupid.” Later in the call with the crisis negotiator, the shooter stated that he had a vest, and further described it as the kind they “used in France.” The shooter later stated, “In the next few days, you’re going to see more of this type of action going on.” The shooter hung up and multiple attempts to get in touch with him were unsuccessful.

  • 4:21 a.m.: OPD pulled an air conditioning unit out of a Pulse dressing room window for victims to evacuate.

(While the FBI will not be releasing transcripts of OPD communication with victims, significant information obtained from those victims allowed OPD to gain knowledge of the situation inside Pulse.)

  • 4:29 a.m.: As victims were being rescued, they told OPD the shooter said he was going to put four vests with bombs on victims within 15 minutes.

(An immediate search of the shooter’s vehicle on scene and inside Pulse ultimately revealed no vest or improvised explosive device.)

  • 5:02 a.m.: OPD SWAT and OCSO Hazardous Device Team began to breach wall with explosive charge and armored vehicle to make entry.
  • 5:14 a.m.: OPD radio communication stated that shots were fired.
  • 5:15 a.m.: OPD radio communication stated that OPD engaged the suspect and the suspect was reported down.

Based on OPD radio communications, there were no reports of shots being fired inside Pulse between the initial exchange of gunfire between responding officers and shooter, and the time of the final breach. During this time, the shooter communicated with an OPD 911 operator and an OPD crisis negotiator, and OPD radio communications reported that victims were being rescued.

The FBI urges the public to provide information about the shooter and any contact they may have had with him. Since the release of the FBI’s Seeking Information poster, the FBI has received thousands of tips. The FBI will investigate every tip.

To provide a tip, please call 1-800-CALL-FBI or visit tips.fbi.gov.

 

————

And there it is. Note the multiple incidents of “[omitted],” reportedly “Islamic State” or some variation. Why delete that? Before the transcripts were released, a lot of right-wing commentators and bloggers and such were claiming that the FBI was deleting all references to Islam from the transcripts for the usual politically correct reasons, but the transcript explicitly points out that Mateen called himself an “Islamic soldier.” Note that only the first call to 9-11 is transcribed in more-or-less full; the other conversations with the authorities are summarized.

The name of the shooter and that of the person/group to whom he pledged allegiance are omitted.” This just strikes me as odd. I can’t really come up with a good reason why the FBI would do that. Magical thinking? If you invoke the name of ISIS, they’ll come flooding through the mirror like a bad horror movie demon?

 Posted by at 9:09 am
Jun 162016
 

So I saw a variant of this commercial a short while ago. It’s been around for a year and a half or so, and during that whole time it has BUGGED THE CRAP OUT OF ME. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like the song. But the song is entirely wrong for the message. On the surface “come with me now” sounds like a perfectly fine tune for a commercial for a vacation destination. But if you listen to the whole song it’s about some guy trying to sell his soul to the Devil and apparently being drawn down into – or at least tempted into – Hell. Doesn’t seem to me to be the best PR message: “Satan invites you to Orlando.” Of course, with the recent attacks of gay Jihadi Democratic alligators in Orlando, maybe they were spot on.

 

I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s just me, though. While I am not even close to conventionally religious, it wasn’t for lack of exposure back in my podling days; got my butt kicked out of Bible School for arguing with the teacher about “how the hell do you pack all those carnivores on that little boat for all those months.” And for as long as I can remember there have been two phrases that just creep me right the hell out, for reasons I can’t adequately explain: “Come with me now” and “Come and see.” That last one comes from the book of Revelation from the Bible, spoken by some sort of beast as the world gets bitchslapped by God. I have always associated it with some sort of evil force saying it; the phrase was used thusly in the first season of the “Sleepy Hollow” TV series, uttered by a demon, and in “X-Men:Apocalypse,” uttered by what is essentially an evil mutant demigod.

“Come with me now” and “come and see” both seem like the sort of thing that would be the last phrase heard by a sane mind confronted with Nyarlathotep or some such Lovecraftian horror from beyond. Whatever it is that person sees would either drive ’em mad or outright destroy ’em. Whether Lovecraftian or Biblical, the message is kinda the same: knowledge leads to destruction (remember that tree in that one garden?). And that annoys the bejeebers out of me, and is probably why the phrase gets on my nerves: the idea that there is an invitation to learn, to gain knowledge, but the experience will be used to squash you like a bug. The idea that the safe way is the ignorant way… just doesn’t sit right.

So if you ever read one of my stories and you see someone say “come and see,” you know something really unfortunate is afoot. Best response to it would be:

“Come With Me Now” was performed by the Kongos, a South African band performing in a South African style. Durned if I didn’t think it was a group from Louisiana or some such, though, making music like Cajuns.

 

 Posted by at 9:40 pm
Jun 142016
 

Another interesting tidbit has come out about Omar Mateen: he was a registered Democrat. Snopes has confirmed that in 2006 he so registered… but of course, Snopes then goes on to hem and haw: “His U.S. political affiliation (if any) at the time of the shooting is unknown.”

Now, it’s true: it has been ten years since Omar registered as a Dem, and that’s a good long time. But imagine the media firestorm if he had registered as a Republican or a Libertarian. Yeesh.

So, what have we got?

Gay. Muslim. Person of color. Child of immigrants. Democrat. And has made great strides in the holy quest of getting the Evil AR-15 banned. Omar Mateen is a political correctness wet dream.

 Posted by at 1:41 pm