Nutballs burn cell towers in UK

A conspiracy theory that claims that 5G internet is behind the coronavirus outbreak has led to arson attacks on more than 70 cell phone towers in the UK.

The conspiracy theory began to gain traction in the UK in late March and early April, coinciding with the rising number of cases in the country and its nationwide lockdown. Conspiracies around phone signals have existed for years, however…

Mobile UK told Business Insider on Wednesday that the number has now risen to 77, and that the rate of attacks was thankfully slowing. “Daily attacks are very low now but have not stopped entirely”…

Idjits everywhere in the world are united by a common bond of stupid, often dangerous, acts of violence, mostly because their pea-brains comprehend no science…though the vacant space is often filled with superstition and fear.

Thanks, Nick

A Black church in Mississippi was burned in the name of Trump

❝ A black church in Greenville, Mississippi, was set on fire on Tuesday night. Fire fighters arrived to find Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church “heavily engulfed in flames,” Mayor Errick Simmons said in an interview; the fire took nearly an hour to contain. No one was in the church at the time, and no one was injured. On the side of the church, beneath the blackened windows and roof, the words “Vote Trump” have been spray painted.

❝ The fire is being investigated as a hate crime, Simmons said. Federal authorities, including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives, are helping local authorities with the investigation, which is part of the standard procedure for church fires….“I see this as an attack on the black church and the black community.”…

❝ Arson is notoriously difficult to prove…In this case, though, someone left a calling card about politics. It’s not yet clear who set the fire, if anyone set it; whether the person who set the fire is the same person who wrote the graffiti; or why, if the fire was intentional, Hopewell M.B. Church was the target. One thing is clear, though: At some point, someone decided to attach the name of Trump to a burned black church…

❝ Ain’t nothing new. Race hatred is as old as the American Confederacy and the slave economy that justified out-of-date and failed economics with racism. A practice that continued legally in the United States for decades.

Today, we have a Republican presidential candidate whose family was found guilty – twice – of conducting business as a racist enterprise. He has no problem with the dregs of American politics – still dedicated to bigotry, apartheid, as social norms.

Colorado coppers charge mom for burning a Confederate flag

toasty confederate flag

It was an hour before midnight on July 22 when a cop knocked on the door of local Black Lives Matter activist Patricia Cameron. She was asleep at home with her 8-year-old son. The officer called out her name and asked her to come outside. Cameron wasn’t dressed, so the cop told her to put on some clothes— he had something for her to sign…

“I was petrified,” she says when she found a uniformed cop at her door at 11:00 at night. The name of Sandra Bland, a young black woman who was found dead July 13, hanging from a trash bag noose in a Texas jail cell days after a traffic stop, flashed through her mind. In the hallway of Cameron’s apartment building, the officer told her he was there to serve her with something, and handed her what looked like a ticket. He asked her to sign it, saying it had to do with an incident on July 4. The document was an arrest summons accusing her of fourth degree arson.

Two weeks prior, the single mom, local political activist and EMT had organized an Independence Day public burning of a Confederate flag in a local park as a form of peaceful protest. Online, photos had been spreading of accused killer Dylan Roof posing with Confederate flags before police say he carried out his attack on nine black parishioners in a Charleston, SC church. In announcing her plans days before the event, Cameron told a local alt-weekly reporter the demonstration was “simply us getting together and reiterating the fact that black lives in fact matter.” She’d alerted the local police department about what she’d planned to do, tagging them in a post on Facebook, though a police spokesperson says the department never saw it. The police chief had also gotten an anonymous e-mail about the event…

Not many people showed up on the day Cameron and a handful of others held their flag burning under a park pavilion that doesn’t allow barbecuing. There, she squirted lighter fluid on a large Confederate flag, someone else lit it, and a third man held the pole as the flag burned on a charcoal grill. With an American flag bandana covering her nose and mouth, Cameron clapped as others waved signs reading “Black Lives Matter” and “Who is burning black churches?” The local paper dispatched a summer intern to the scene. A video went up on YouTube. Some local TV stations carried the news.

Now, nearly three weeks later, an officer was standing in Cameron’s hallway asking her to sign an arrest summons that accused her of arson. She was not formally arrested and taken to jail. “I was confused,” she says about how it all went down, especially so late at night— and so long after the very public incident…

As for why it took nearly 20 days for the cops to contact Cameron, Police spokeswoman Odette Saglimbeni said the police had conducted a “pretty extensive investigation” after seeing video of the flag burning…Trying to identify all the people involved also took time, she said…

Under state law, fourth degree arson in Colorado is when “a person who knowingly or recklessly starts or maintains a fire or causes an explosion, on his own property or that of another, and by so doing places another in danger of death or serious bodily injury or places any building or occupied structure of another in danger of damage.”

The charge can be a felony or a misdemeanor; Cameron was charged with the latter.

I haven’t had to visit the Colorado Springs area since I got off the road. Otherwise, I can’t think of any reason to go there other than for the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. Local politics are pretty much under the thumb of the US military, local Republicans and headquarters staff for various rightwing fundamentalist Christian groups. I don’t know which has the biggest militia, nowadays.

The arson charge is about as phony as they get; but – you already know that. All it reminded me of was the police chief back in the New England factory town where I grew up threatening to have me arrested for “contributing to littering” when I leafletted the church he attended – inviting parishioners to join the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.

I suggested he call the city attorney first. Looks like Manitou Springs coppers ain’t that bright.

Black churches targeted by racist arson across the South

racist arson
Click to enlargeTWC News
Briar Creek Road Baptist Church fire ruled arson, Charlotte, North Carolina

Since nine people were gunned down in the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina…by a 21-year-old white man tied to white supremacist groups, there have been a string of arson attacks on other black churches in the South.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, at least six predominantly black churches in four Southern states have been damaged or destroyed by fire in the past week. While some may have been accidental, at least three have been determined to be the result of arson.

The first arson fire was on Monday at the College Hills Seventh Day Adventist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Knoxville fire department has said that the arsonist set multiple fires on the church’s property and the church’s van was also burned. On Tuesday, a fire in the sanctuary of God’s Power Church of Christ in Macon, Georgia was also blamed on arson, although the investigation is ongoing. And on Wednesday, a fire at the Briar Creek Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina was determined to be caused by arson, destroying an education wing that was meant to house a summer program for children, impacting its sanctuary and gymnasium, and causing an estimated $250,000 in damage…

Black churches have frequently been targets of violence. Since 1956, there have been at least 91 incidents of shootings, bombings, arson, or vandalism against black churches, according to a tally by the Huffington Post. One particular incident stood out during the Civil Rights Movement, when four young girls were killed and 22 were injured at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

That’s likely a vast undercount, however, given that records from the 1970s and 1980s are scarce. There was a spike in violence in the 90s, with more than 30 black churches burned within 18 months in 1995 and 1996. That led to the passage of the Church Arson Prevention Act in 1996, which gave federal authorities more oversight of such crimes, increased sentencing, and reauthorized the Hate Crimes Statistics Act.

The assault continues in an unimpeded string of violence against anyone who stands up to racist policies. But, especially if you or your organization is predominantly comprised of Black folks – you are a critical target for racist American bigots.

So, see any coverage of this on your local network TV station? You probably saw the baseball catch of the day, a plane crash somewhere on the globe, maybe the 12th or 13th useless Republican announcing their candidacy for President of the United States – if not the new Confederacy. But, nothing about this spike in arson of Black churches made it onto the screens of my local TV guardians of the Free World.

Pic of the day

Black Spring
Click to enlargeReuters/Eric Thayer

Demonstrators march in Baltimore, Maryland May 2, 2015. Thousands of people took to the streets of Baltimore on Saturday as anger over the death of young black man Freddie Gray turned to hopes for change following swift criminal charges against six police officers.

All of which points out the contradiction of American politicians and newspaper flunkies celebrating uprisings during the Arab Spring – but, when the same violence is visited upon communities in the United States controlled by racist police departments – shock and amazement fill the newspace.

No one recommends crime and arson as an antidote to racism, political and social repression. It still takes a special hypocrite to act surprised when violence is part of the response to decades of violence imposed by government.

Fire destroys Missouri mosque – 2nd blaze at the same center in 5 weeks


Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

A mosque in southwest Missouri burned to the ground early Monday in the second fire to hit the Islamic center in little more than a month, and investigators spent the day combing through the wreckage searching for evidence of arson.

No injuries were reported, but the Islamic Society of Joplin’s building was a total loss after the blaze…the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office said. As of late Monday, nobody had been arrested in connection with the fire.

Either fire.

Investigators from the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the Jasper County Sheriff’s department were at the scene all day Monday, moving the rubble with a bulldozer and other equipment…

While investigators did their work, a small group of Muslims gathered for an evening prayer on the lawn of the destroyed building.

“This is what we stand for,” said Dr. Ahmed Asadullah, a member of the Islamic Society of Joplin. “Freedom of religion. Freedom of speech…”

Theoretically, that’s what all Americans stand for. Theoretically.

…A fire reported…July 4 has been determined to be arson, but no charges have been filed. The FBI has released a video of a suspect caught on surveillance video and offered a $15,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in that fire.

Michael Kaste, special agent in charge of the Kansas City office of the FBI…said it was too early to say if there was surveillance video available from the Monday fire. The Jasper County Sheriff’s office said earlier Monday the video equipment had been destroyed. The FBI was encouraging anyone with information about either fire to call authorities…

A local Christian church has offered the use of their church to the Muslim congregation while they sort out what it’s like to belong to a religion in America that’s obviously not acceptable to some local bigots.

Former Wall Street banker commits suicide in court after arson guilty verdict – burning down his mansion to collect insurance


 

Michael Marin, a former Wall Street trader convicted of setting his Phoenix mansion on fire in a desperate ploy to get out of his mortgage put his hands to his mouth — seemingly in shock — and collapsed after the verdict was read Thursday.

He later died, but authorities are wondering if the hand gesture was actually a final, preplanned act to poison himself, according to reports.

About five minutes after learning his fate, a video showed him covering his mouth with his hands and swallowing, according to Fox 10 News in Phoenix…Moments later…he appeared as if he was sobbing, but his body twisted into violent convulsions…Ten minutes later, Marin was put into an ambulance and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead…

…He had fallen into serious debt and could no longer afford the $17,250 monthly mortgage payments. In addition, he stood to gain a $650,000 insurance claim, according to reports…

Fire officials suspected that the early-morning inferno began in more than one place, and found flammable materials laid out around the house, the Arizona Republic reported. No one was hurt at the time, and it was discovered Marin had been living in another, smaller home at the time.

He was charged with arson, and his trial began five weeks ago.

The jury found him guilty. Obviously something Marin suspected was a strong possibility. Courtroom security was up to Arizona legal standards and he was able to bring whatever he used to take his own life — into the courtroom.

23 found guilty of murdering Muslims in India’s Gujarat state

Twenty three people have been found guilty of murdering Muslims, including women and children, in sectarian rioting that erupted in India’s western Gujarat state a decade ago.

An equal number of mostly Hindu defendants were acquitted for their involvement in burning 23 Muslims to death in the small Gujarati village of Ode after bolting the doors of the house where they had taken refuge from marauding mobs and then setting it alight.

Eighteen of the victims were women and children.

Rioting erupted in Gujarat in 2002 after a suspected Muslim mob burned a trainload of 58 Hindu activists at Gujarat’s Godhra station, 100 miles from the state capital Gandhinagar…

Hindus blamed Muslims for the train fire and, seeking revenge, went on a rampage through their neighbourhoods in towns and villages across Gujarat in three days of unrelenting violence following the incident. Sporadic rioting continued in the state for at least three months in what was considered one of India’s worst outbreaks of sectarian violence in recent years and one which activists referred to as ‘ethnic cleansing’ and an ‘anti-Muslim pogrom’.

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party…was held responsible for failing to stop the violence. Many activists, backed by media reports and human rights groups accused Modi of actively encouraging the rioting…

The Ode massacre was one of 10 key incidents being probed by a Supreme Court-appointed special investigation team set up in 2008 after Modi was blamed for interfering with riot cases registered in Gujarat by obstructing investigations.

What is there to say?

Nation-states that rely on theocracy for wisdom in governance inevitably fail every historic standard of decency and lawfulness.

Nutballs bomb women’s clinic before Republican primary

A Planned Parenthood clinic in Wisconsin remained closed Monday after a homemade bomb was placed outside the building, the state organization said.

The explosive device was found around 7:40 p.m. Sunday at the Appleton Health Center and had caused a small fire by the time Grand Chute fire officials arrived, Teri Huyck, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, said in a statement.

No patients or staff members were at the health care center at the time, Huyck said, and no injuries were reported. The clinic remained closed Monday as a precaution, but the organization says it will reopen Tuesday.

Rest assured, our doors will remain open for the thousands of women who rely on Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin each year for high quality health care,” the statement said…

According to the facility website, the Appleton Health Care Center is a privately owned nursing facility that offers rehabilitative and long-term care to its patients.

The holy crusade against women’s rights, against reproductive choice, comes down once again to the preferred weapon of cowards and reactionaries: violence and fear.

While the nastiest representatives of today’s Republican ideology pander to the backwards and ignorant – their volunteers take action. Following the model of hooded Klansmen, loyal goons do exactly what they are expected to do, fanatics out to extend the circle of fear demanded by demagogues like Limbaugh.

Trick Dog Romney yaps his little clown dog routine trying to impress the same narrow band of 19th Century papier mache patriots. We can all look forward to his “conversion” once he’s required by conventional strategy to reach out to the less violent, better-educated voters who have an interest in making a better life for all.

They didn’t kill anyone this time.