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
Jun 142016

Qatar convicts Dutch woman held ‘after being raped’

She got roofied, knocked unconscious, raped and then reported it… and then got convicted of having sex outside of marriage and has been fined $824. The only good part of the story is that she’s also being deported, which, under the circumstances,  is a definite bonus.

The article also points out that further hijinks like this are afoot in 2022, when Qatar hosts the Fifa World Cup. That’s apparently some sort of Gathering of the Juggalos-type get-together for a bunch of drunk British hooligans to come and watch some teams play a paint-dryingly-boring childrens game and riot.

 Posted by at 8:22 am
Jun 142016

WFTV sources: Arrest of alleged accomplice in mass shooting expected

Basically no data beyond the headline, so let the speculating commence!

All kinds of possibilities here. Low-end “accomplices” would be some schmoe who just helped him carry stuff, or did straw purchases, that sort of thing… knew they were doing something illegal, but weren’t really “in” on what the plan was. Maybe it was the gun store owner, arrested as a political showpiece. Maybe it was the imam who might have helped radicalize him. Maybe it was his current wife (?) who may have known the plan. Speculation free-fire zone!

 Posted by at 8:05 am
Jun 132016

Orlando Shooter Was Reportedly a Regular at Pulse and Had a Profile on Gay Dating App

So, the attack was carried out by an ISIS-loving gay Muslim extremist. Expect that this added wrinkle will only make some people more certain that American right-wing Republicans (especially Christians) are to blame. In fact, you can see that in some of the comments there.

This goofball could turn out to also have been a card-carrying member of the Communist Party and some people would *still* blame the Republicans…

 Posted by at 7:10 pm
Jun 092016

New ISIS ‘Kill’ List Claims To Target Thousands Of Americans

In their latest effort to convince people that they are representatives of a peaceful and rational ideological system, an Islamic State “hacking group” issued a list of 8,318 people it wants to kill, 7,848 of whom are Americans. Apparently a whole lot of these people are just regular schmoes. But the list isn’t given, so you can’t look up your own name and decide whether to:

  1. Wet yourself in fear that you’re on it
  2. Feel offended that you’re not.
 Posted by at 12:37 am
Jun 042016

Who knew?

Spoon-bending workshop, widely ridiculed online, pulled by university


After a healthy dose of online ridicule, the University of Alberta has cancelled a workshop at which doctors were supposed to learn to bend spoons.

With their minds.


It’s good that the university eventually cancelled this rubbish, but it’s sad that the “class” got beyond the initial “laughing-at-and-roundfiling” stage.

 Posted by at 5:03 pm