GUEST POST: Briefly Uniting a Divided America in Somber Civility to Hollowly Eulogize and Mourn a Decrepit War Criminal – by Centrist Cathy

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Seriously, give it a rest. This isn’t the time for a nuanced and factual analysis of the man’s role in the illegal deaths of thousands of people.

America’s longest-living President, George Herbert-Walker Bush, passed away in Texas last night. It’s been a rough year for elder statesmen in this great nation, the American people are only just now finishing glossing over the casualized racism of John McCain’s bloodthirsty foreign policy and putting to the back of their minds his airborne strafing runs against innocent Vietnamese civilians as a volunteer Navy pilot fail-son. In these trying times, with all the mean tweets, blatant cronyism, and the backbiting, the passing of the senior Bush so soon after losing McCain feels like the passing of an American generation, one that more adequately and eloquently hid its profoundly disturbing contempt for humanity and heinous crimes in the Global South behind a veil of need-to-know National Security and a veneer of unquestionably patriotic civil service.

In H.W’s day, one wouldn’t brazenly castrate an institution like the glad-handing White House Correspondent’s Dinner by banning all comedians, no, you’d invite your SNL impersonator Dana Carvey to the White House yourself, effectively co-opting and neutralizing an effective critical satire. Politicians these days might blatantly sell their influence to the highest bidder no matter the ethical cost or concern for their reputation because the sedated American public is largely one paycheck away from starving, but Bush lived in a simpler time when one could rely more on a media monopoly more effective at masking a candidate’s blue-blooded Nazi war profiteering family ties or admission in nepotistic, shadowy secret Ivy League college fraternities of silver-spoon wealthy rape-pigs with no ideology other than power and profit. Back then, we weren’t talking about shady real estate deals with adversarial dictatorships, we just looked away as one family bought up the largest state in the country to plunder the natural resources of with little to no concern about later environmental impacts and we were happier that way. Wouldn’t it be nice to get back there? That was a time in an America this “radical centrist” knew, loved, and was comfortable enough during to have an unquestioning blanket support for the ruling class’s status quo.

Radical leftists might use this time of grieving to highlight how Bush was instrumental in the Republican’s bigoted “Southern Strategy”, peeling off members of the John Birch Society and integrating them into the right-wing as he campaigned against Civil Rights at the inception of his political career in the early 1960s. They might bring up how he was a steadfast defender of Richard Nixon and helped steer the RNC away from imploding, ever being held accountable for their erosion of democratic institutions and helped cement it as an inter-generational white-collar criminal enterprise that has defenestrated America out of the Overton Window; where it is presently hurdling at terminal velocity to an undignified, likely brutal and cannibalistic death in which its flag will be as globally reviled as the swastika within the next half-century. Continue reading →

John Allen Chau is a Stupid Asshole and I’m Glad He’s Dead

The internet, particularly in anti-religious corners, exploded with a level of smug schadenfreude likely unseen since a vegan lady died climbing Mt. Everest when American Christian missionary John Allen Chau was killed by Sentinelese tribespeople upon landing on their preserved and travel-prohibited island in an attempt to spread the good news sometime last week. Chau, who apparently spent three years planning the trip, believed he was answering a call from God to bring gifts and translate the Bible to the basically uncontacted island tribe, which has had an enforced 5-mile radius travel ban around their small island after the tribe killed two fishermen in 2006. After contracting fishermen to sail him to the island, he paddled in on a canoe, where he was ganked with arrows immediately, retreated and documented the experience, came back singing “worship songs”, had his canoe destroyed, swam back to the boat, returned AGAIN, and was at some point finished off and dragged away. Talk about not taking the hint. His body has not been recovered and several of the fishermen (who warned him not to go) have been detained in connection to the case.

Fuck this piece of shit.

Western media, particularly this article on CNN, have somewhat thoughtfully memorialized this Jesus freak idiot for his persistence, quoting faithful friends now calling him a “martyr” for the Christian faith and comparing him to fellow moron missionary Jim Elliot. Newsflash: you don’t get to be a martyr for your beliefs if those you’re attempting to impose them on can’t understand a fucking word you’re saying and are likely murdering you in complete self-defense after colonialism brought diseases they have no immunity for (for starters) and ingrained what’s obviously a healthy distrust of outsiders. This is an island rigorously protected for these exact reasons, you’ve sneaked in anyhow to recruit new book club members from, to put it mildly, an uninterested audience, and got murked after returning, WOUNDED, twice. I have no sympathy, take your Darwin Award you stupid, arrogant jackass. Continue reading →

GUEST POST: this is BULLSHIT, you can’t arrest me, somebody put something in that trash – by a raccoon

love too be SLANDERED and LIBELED as a rabid fucking animal by members of my own community that I have roamed around in for two-and-a-half years because someone APPARENTLY left out some fucking crabapples gone sour and me and Fred got caught stumbling around all disoriented. you call officers scarberry and withers instead of walk us back to the runoff drain on mason and let us sleep it off? what has happened in america. i haven’t felt this betrayed since reagan closed the state hospital for anorexic chicks.

what is the big deal anyway man. even if we did, and im not even saying we did, eat those prison wine apples on purpose, what fucking business is it of yours if fred and me wanna get a buzz going before the sun comes up after a long night’s work? oh yeah, work. you guys don’t even appreciate all the shit me and fred do and don’t act like this is the first time we’ve run into scarberry and withers. fuck those guys. but you pick up the phone every time you see some glowing eyes in the night and that’s bullshit. like rich people seeing black trick or treaters but year round. you’re all bitches. look at this shit we do for you.

  • keep your cats skinny by eating the food they didn’t even eat yet. do you want diabetes cats? fred and me tangled with a diabetic cat before. wrangle that grumpy motherfucker a couple times for his insulin shots and you’ll want your vet to be conrad murray. just doing you and mittens a favor.
  • sort your trash! how hard is it to put the plastics in a different bin? fred and me spend most nights just trying to reuse and recycle and maybe find a banana that you didn’t want to finish because it got bruised, and you scare us out of that side yard you let your dog take a shit in before we’re done. that’s why there’s trash all over the place in the morning. i was gonna put it back. in the bin where it was supposed to be. because you don’t know how to sort. fucking idiot.
  • literally form anti-coyote gangs to fight coyotes that want to eat your cats and dogs. do you know how many coyotes i have fought with my friends? you think we run away. straight up you don’t know shit about the night. never see you call scarberry and withers on coyotes OH WAIT because you never see them. because we fight them off or you’re too busy sleeping somehow lightly enough to hear me and fred going through your trash. man fuck you.
  • not even go through your dog door even though me and fred have poked our heads through and thought about it tbh. it’s a violation of neighborly trust, which is evidently not a two way fucking street.

the other thing that is lame as hell is how many of you are filming raccoons like me and fred a little tipsy and putting it online.

like it’s all fun and games and yeah, let’s have a laugh ha ha ha, he was scavenging for sustenance to survive another day on this hellish planet you’ve squandered the potential of and are rapidly running into the ground by killing of 60% of animal populations in like fifty years but whatever, yeah I’m the asshole. biodiversity who needs it. life is trash. you wonder why fred and me drink or eat prison wine fruits. that’s right. i know the smell. i eat those fruits anyway.

i will have the last laugh. scarberry and withers will boil alive, either in one of your nuclear holocausts or when the sun gets too hot and their brains bake after you can’t grow your trash food anymore. fred and me live in the sewers we will stay cool and venture out at night to eat your faces until equilibrium is restored across the biomes and then the raccoon gangs will form a real society. not like your trash society. where you hit me and fred with brooms because i’m in your garage trying to drink your WD-40.

the unabomber was right.

 

US Prisoners Strike Against 13th Amendment Sanctioned Slavery

“The degree of civilization in a society is revealed by entering its prisons.”

-Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Today, after months of preparation, many prisoners in the United States will go on an unprecedented work strike in protest of inhumane treatment and exploitation within the penal system. Starting today and ending on September 9th, the anniversary of the 1971 Attica uprising, it’s likely that many inmates will face absurd and unjust retaliation for their organizing work (some already have), supported primarily by the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, a branch of the IWW, which I was a member of for several years. It’s important that the public is aware of the gravity of this situation, the issues being raised, and that as “citizens” we turn as much focus as possible towards this struggle in an effort to protect some of the least visible human beings in society from further violence at the hands of the institutions that hold them. Their demands are not lofty:

  1. Immediate improvements to the conditions of prisons and prison policies that recognize the humanity of imprisoned men and women.
  2. An immediate end to prison slavery. All persons imprisoned in any place of detention under United States jurisdiction must be paid the prevailing wage in their state or territory for their labor.
  3. The Prison Litigation Reform Act must be rescinded, allowing imprisoned humans a proper channel to address grievances and violations of their rights.
  4. The Truth in Sentencing Act and the Sentencing Reform Act must be rescinded so that imprisoned humans have a possibility of rehabilitation and parole. No human
    shall be sentenced to Death by Incarceration or serve any sentence without the possibility of parole.
  5. An immediate end to the racial overcharging, over-sentencing, and parole denials of Black and brown humans. Black humans shall no longer be denied parole because the victim of the crime was white, which is a particular problem in southern states.
  6. An immediate end to racist gang enhancement laws targeting Black and brown humans.
  7. No imprisoned human shall be denied access to rehabilitation programs at their place of detention because of their label as a violent offender.
  8. State prisons must be funded specifically to offer more rehabilitation services.
  9. Pell grants must be reinstated in all US states and territories.
  10. The voting rights of all confined citizens serving prison sentences, pretrial detainees, and so-called “ex-felons” must be counted. Representation is demanded. All voices count.

In Colorado, several inmates at the Sterling Correction Facility reported to the Denver Anarchist Black Cross (disclosure: I was also a member of this organization, a prisoner support group, for a number of years) that they have begun a hunger strike in response to punitive policies that have placed several dozen prisoners in administrative segregation in a collective punishment practice. Inmates are citing a settled case that is supposed to place restrictions on solitary confinement in Colorado, as well as demanding crucial commissary restitution after prison-issued tablets were recalled and outstanding subscription money wasn’t refunded. The men in Sterling are also fighting for correspondence courses to strengthen ties with family on the outside.

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Eric King

I’d also like to use this space to bring attention to the case of Eric King, incarcerated for actions taken in support of the Ferguson Revolt and sentenced to ten years in federal penitentiary. Eric was moved to a Secure Housing Unit (solitary) last week and then transferred to the high-security SHU in Florence, Colorado. The reasons for this punishment is unclear, and it remains to be seen if this is connected to the larger prison strike struggle, as Eric is a vocal political prisoner, but has also been put in the SHU before after filing complaints about a guard who threatened Eric and his partner’s children during a visit, and the authorities blamed his correspondence with people on the outside. You can learn more about Eric King here, and he loves receiving mail! His updated address is posted here alongside guidelines for writing him. His partner was recently in a car accident and is fighting health issues. She is a friend of mine, and if you feel so inclined, please donate to help offset the costs of her medical treatments and automobile repairs.

On the outside, active solidarity to support prisoners is springing up across the United States and the world. It’s Going Down is constantly updating a page with news and ways to help, including call-in campaigns, rallies, and other actions to take to support the strike. The despicable “Silent Sam” statue was toppled last night at UNC-Chapel Hill in North Carolina and demonstrators held banners in support of the strike. Widespread graffiti murals have been reported and photographed as far away as Lisbon, Portugal and Indonesia.

I’ll be writing as much as I can about the strike as news breaks, likely trying to keep my focus on local facilities and solidarity actions here in Colorado in the next few weeks. Until all are free, strength to the prison rebels.

Murdering Death Row Inmates With the Drugs Murdering Everybody Else

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Carey “Mustache” Moore

In a macabre twist in the already insanely cruel, dehumanizing, and ultimately pointless process of executing convicted criminals in the US, officials in Lincoln, Nebraska opted to use the opiate Fentanyl to kill Carey Dean Moore this week. Moore was convicted of killing two Omaha cab drivers in the late ’70s and was regarded as one of the longest-serving death row prisoners in the United States. The drug, popular among traffickers as a cutting agent to increase potency in heroin, has been largely responsible for skyrocketing overdose rates during an opiate abuse epidemic that’s raged for more than a decade. Eric Stoltz was evidently prophetic as drug dealer Lance in Pulp Fiction that heroin was coming back in a big, big way.

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The United States has had a real hard time executing people lately. Many pharmaceutical chemists in Europe stopped most exports of sodium thiopental in 2010 either because they were fundamentally opposed to the death penalty or because they no longer wanted their products associated with executions. This has led to barbaric experimentation with various drug cocktails leaving condemned men the victims of botched executions, arguably violating statutes against cruel and inhumane punishment as well as strengthening the cases and increasing the numbers of death penalty opponents.

There’s something fundamentally childish and simultaneously dystopian in watching, on average, 200 people per day in 2017 overdose on drugs, looking at the problem of obtaining chemicals used for executions, and deciding that there’s a solution there. Just as the heroin and crack crises of the ’70s and ’80s were very much manufactured, controlled demolitions of targeted communities, it’s not a stretch to say that between deliberate corporate over-prescribing of opiate pharmaceuticals at the turn of the century and the subsequent “crackdown” there’s been a concentrated effort to criminalize wide swaths of the (primarily poor) population at the benefit of a for-profit prison and drug rehabilitation system. It goes without saying that there’s no greater form of social or population control than a populace completely strung out on opiates.

What irony, of course, that a drug wiping out everyone from the American underclass to suburban teenagers to celebrated artists is now being employed to execute the nation’s most neglected social caste: prisoners. Even sweeter, state agencies are likely using dubious, less-than-legal methods to obtain the drugs, topping off the contradictions of a drug war that has seen the rapid end of marijuana prohibition in almost half of the country (despite thousands remaining in cells over its trafficking and cultivation), the research and eventual prescription of MDMA, ketamine, and psilocybin to combat veterans and others suffering from PTSD, and the proliferation of microdosed LSD to programmers in Silicone Valley working on the nation’s next most useless (or eventually globally nefarious) tech export.

An Extralegal Execution in Aurora

Very early Monday morning in Aurora, Colorado, 73-year-old Richard “Gary” Black woke up to find a woman on his porch attempting to retrieve her 26-year-old son, who she said was on drugs and not likely in control of his actions. Black raced upstairs, where he found that a nude man, later identified as the 26-year-old Dajon Harper, had dragged his 11-year-old grandson from the living room into a bathroom, where he was strangling and attempting to drown the boy. Black, a Vietnam combat veteran, started to beat the man and reportedly tried to gouge out one of his eyes in an effort to free his grandson to no avail, went and retrieved a handgun, and shot Harper dead.

Black’s wife had been on the phone with 911 and police reported hearing gunshots as they approached the house. Black walked into his living room, where police shot him dead through a window from outside the house. Police reportedly didn’t identify themselves but claimed for “around thirteen seconds” they screamed at Black five times to drop his weapon. The whereabouts of Harper’s mother during the incident are presently unknown. Black reportedly suffered hearing damage from his time in Vietnam, as well as further degradation due to old age, and also likely had very little auditory function after firing a handgun inside of a bathroom. Aurora Chief of Police Nick Metz has blamed Mr. Black’s actions for his death, despite the as-of-yet unnamed police officer being involved in a fatal shooting in June and recently returned to duty.

The same police department that took in Aurora theater shooter James Holmes into custody alive murdered a man defending his family in his own home, from outside the house, who was an entirely different ethnicity and wearing specifically described clothing than the suspect detailed during the emergency phone call. That’s an indictment of incompetence and poor training that underscores the “fearful”, wanton bloodlust of police culture in America, where academies constantly drill a shoot-first-ask-question-later mentality with phrases like “better to be judged by twelve than carried out by six.” Anyone paying attention in the last thirty years knows that phrase is far accurately “better to get several weeks of ‘paid administrative leave’ and no charges.”

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The Highwaymen Are Now Boarding

high·way·man 

/ˈhīˌwāmən/

noun historical

noun: highwayman; plural noun: highwaymen
a man, typically on horseback, who held up travelers at gunpoint in order to rob them.

 

When you get back on a sub-par metropolitan public transit system, especially after a brief respite, there’s sometimes new nuances and customs to learn. I’ve detailed the bad taste in my mouth Colorado’s Regional Transportation District has left after thirteen years of residency and service before, but my most recent return to this town’s buses and trains during arguably the hottest summer this city has ever seen has left me shaking my head in a puzzled, Kafkaesque bewilderment. As the city pushes more and more poor and working class people out, forcing longer commutes, RTD is pushing another fare hike and aggressively pursuing so-called “fare dodgers” on the light rail lines. I don’t know why I even let myself be surprised anymore.

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I’ve prepared a graph.

Anecdotally speaking, the vast majority of people I’ve seen ticketed are either underage kids with expired transfers who would be riding on economically negligible fares anyhow, commuters who chanced it instead of missing a train because of slow ticket kiosks and validation processes, and regular, every day people who paid for the “wrong fare.” Armed men, sometimes uniformed security contractors and sometimes plainclothes city police, will board the trains from “random” stops and like hall monitors checking to make sure you’re allowed to be going to the bathroom, pace the aisles checking tickets. If you’re not squared away, they take your identification, take your picture, and put you in a database with a warning. If you’re already in there, you’ll get a ticket for more than $100.

Of course this happened to me.

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