Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Last Call For Electile Dysfunction

I have to say that with both Mitch McConnell and John Boehner voters served by the Cincinnati media market, we get some hysterical political ads like this one from J.D. Winteregg, the Tea Party challenger gunning for Orange Julius's seat in the Ohio primary on May 6.

Winteregg is an awful candidate of course, but the ad is actually very funny.

Winteregg’s policy agenda includes term limits to make people more comfortable about how they’re represented in Washington — an issue that could be highlighted nationally by an abrupt end to Boehner’s term — and a blend of fiscal conservatism and moral values. “I’m 100 percent pro-life,” he said, adding that he strongly supports the Second Amendment and opposes illegal aliens being “suddenly entitled to this welfare system.”

“When they talk about the debt ceiling they ask, ‘Will you raise it?’ I say look at how it got here. We need to cut spending. We can find waste fraud and abuse everywhere. That will resonate with people because we’re all doing that [in our own lives]. The government is the only thing that’s not,” Winteregg said. “The fastest-growing place in America right now is Washington D.C. These people work for us and they’ve become independently wealthy?”

As a teacher, Winteregg has special ire reserved for federal school reforms, including the 2001 Bush administration policy that Boehner co-sponsored.

“You can’t address individual students’ needs when it’s centrally planned. Boehner was a co-sponsor of No Child Left Behind which has opened the door to Common Core. It takes a toll on the kids, a toll on the teachers,” the challenger declared. “You have a bunch of politicians making decisions in education. We need teachers making decisions on education. You get that when you diminish the role of the federal government.”

The guy hits all the Aggrieved Ohio White Guy buttons here, including comparing Orange Julius to a union leader ("If you say anything bad about the party you’re a scab") and is running on the notion that Boehner spends too much time fundraising to vote, so the people in the tony suburbs north of Cincy towards Dayton don't actually have any representation, or something.

Whether he has a chance in hell, well who knows.  But Tea Party groups are throwing money at Winteregg to get this ad up, and Boehner actually is buying TV ads now.

Just in case.

Oh, and the Democrat running is Tom Poetter, who is light years ahead of either of these clowns.  Drop by his website or his ActBlue page and drop in a few bucks.

My Conversation With Frazier Glenn Miller

     I read about the shootings in Overland Park, Kansas and was shocked.  That is not normal for this part of the country, for a lot of reasons.  I happened to be on Facebook when news sources began running the updates, and people began to clog feeds sharing every update.  I went to bed, upset at the events but figuring I would get better information tomorrow after the news hawks had done their job, and nearly fell out of my chair when I saw the name of the alleged shooter.  I do not know Frazier Glenn Miller.  I have never met the man in person, and I would not have known him if he sat by me on the bus.  However, once upon a time I did speak with him.  And believe me, once was enough.  Our conversation was so memorable that years later I recognized his name immediately.  You never forget your first psycho.
     About six years ago, I joined an experimental group of writers who were brought together to represent different opinions and viewpoints for a local publication.  I was in the first group to go in, and through some crossed wires, my cell phone number was given out to a couple of people by mistake.  One of those people was Frazier Glenn Miller, who asked to speak with someone about a lack of news coverage.  That’s just the kind of thing we were created to cover.  I was surprised that I got an actual phone call, but grabbed a pen and notepad and began jotting notes.  Novice or not, I wasn’t stupid.  Someone was calling me with a story and I wanted to get it right.
     What I heard that night was an upsetting mix of conspiracy theories gone wrong, hate and stubborn stupidity.  Anything that did not meet his theory was rejected outright for being biased.  Meanwhile, he ignored anything inconvenient and considered himself an expert.  What in the world made him call a woman, I’ll never know.  I cannot tell you how many times I bristled and wondered what to do.  I don’t remember now how I set him off, only that he eventually turned belligerent and ultimately threatening.  I finally ended the call, and after I regained my composure I emailed our contact and let him know what had happened.  Immediately, our information was protected and there were no further incidents.  When the name of the caller was mentioned at our next meeting, there was a hush and a feeling something weird had happened.  I got a glossy explanation at the time, but even back then Miller was outspoken and of concern.  He was scary, loud and persistent and dangerous, he knew my name and my picture had just been published alongside my bio.  I was escorted to my car the remainder of our meetings.  When my term was up, I think they were a little relieved, right up until Frazier applied for membership.
     I thought about Miller several times over the years.  I still hear him, every time I read about how the [insert minority] has [insert ridiculous accusation].  When the Tea Party was at its peak, I told a friend from those days how much their stupidity sounded like it had been written my Miller.  That friend agreed, and he is a Republican.  Miller isn’t just a lone nut from a small town.  He’s everywhere.  He’s spreading lies, fear and hate because he’s angry and it’s all he knows.  He stirs terror and paranoia, a black hole who sucks goodness out of the world with purpose.  He is the opposite of everything I stand for and fights against everything I love.  But now I’ll always think of him, and every time I hear people marginalized by hate wrapped with lies I will hear the echo of his voice.  That snap.  That anger.  That need to see that hate in others to validate its existence.  That’s Frazier Glenn Miller in a nutshell, and it didn’t take a genius to figure him out.
     If we are to be afraid of men like Frazier Glenn Miller, let it be for the right reason.  Not because they are oddities or exceptions, but because they are everywhere.  For example, the mayor of Marionville, Missouri says he agrees with Miller's views, just not the killing.   I'm glad he clarified where his line of decency is.  I sure as hell had a hard time finding it without help.  While trying to speak for Miller's character, the mayor said he was very respectful of his elders, as long as they were the right color.
     This is what passes for upright character in the world, and don't you dare forget it.  If you're a woman, a minority, or a non-approved religion you can pay with your life if you slip for even a second in the presence of men like this.  Miller didn't get to this point all by himself.  He came with friends, liars and hatemongers who came before him and paved the way.  He will be followed by more of the same, and if unchecked and ignored we'll be here next week mourning different victims who died for the same ridiculous reason.  

Bobbing For Martyrs

Yes folks, the militia groups who showed up at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada to protest the Bureau of Land Management's decision to confiscate cattle (after rancher Cliven Bundy went 20 plus years without paying grazing fees mind you) wanted bloody corpses and world headlines.

It appears that the anti-government activists protesting the Bureau of Land Management's actions against a Nevada cattle rancher were considering using women as a human shield if a gun battle had erupted during the standoff.

The Blaze, the conservative news site affiliated with Glenn Beck, flagged the comments made Monday by Richard Mack, identified as a former Arizona sheriff who had joined more than 1,000 other protesters alongside Cliven Bundy, who has been feuding with BLM over his use of federal land to graze his cattle.

We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front,” Mack said in a Fox News clip pulled by The Blaze. “If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers.”

 Richard Mack is a real piece of work, by the way.

Sheriff Mack has been a celebrity amongst anti-federalist militia types and Second Amendmenters for years. In 1994, the NRA recruited him as a plaintiff in one of nine lawsuits against the Clinton administration over the 1993 Brady Law, which required federal background checks on firearms purchasers. "The case was based on the principle that the federal government is not our boss," Mack says. In 1997, the Supreme Court ruled in Mack's favor, finding that federal agents may not force local law enforcement to require those background checks. In appreciation, the NRA made Mack its Law Officer of the Year and inducted him into the NRA Hall of Fame.

Mack has done PR work for Gun Owners of America, a gun lobby that makes the NRA seem moderate, and is on the board of the Oath Keepers (read our profile here), which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) calls a "Patriot group" made up of vets, military folks, and cops who believe the government is turning on its citizens. They vow to disobey 10 specific (and sometimes fanciful) federal orders that they consider unconstitutional, such as declarations of martial law, the herding of people into concentration camps, and the taking of guns from law-abiding citizens.
So yes, rather than give these ghouls the martyrs they were looking for, the BLM walked away before anyone got hurt or killed.

Brave man, wanting to put women up front as human shields to be killed on purpose.


Also, Bon will be posting her recollection of her conversation with KC Jewish Center shooting suspect Frazier Glenn Miller this afternoon, so stay tuned.  It's a hell of a story.
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