America’s gun religion

This starts partway through the article. The author takes us from childhood target shooting to military life…to this!

How did we get from a little NRA indoor firing range with .22 target rifles to an entire convention hall filled with weapons of war and nostalgia for America’s enemies from the Civil War and World War II? How did we get from guns as tools to guns as lifestyle? How did we get from guns manufactured specifically for target shooting and hunting to guns manufactured for killing people and styled as “military” and “tactical” and “assault”? How did we get from magazines like Field and Stream, featuring stories about hunting, to Guns and Ammo, featuring stories about the Hecker and Koch HK416A5 with its “slimline telescopic butt stock” and “Non-stop NATO Stanag 4694 top rail” and magazine capability holding up to 100 rounds of military-grade 5.56 X 45mm NATO ammunition?

Three letters: NRA. Beginning in the 1970s, the National Rifle Association transformed itself from a shooting sports organization into a political lobbying arm of the Republican Party. It formed a PAC, the Political Victory Fund, in time for the 1976 elections and started endorsing and funding conservative, mostly Republican, candidates. The NRA invited Ronald Reagan to address its 1983 convention, in advance of his campaign for reelection in 1984, when they endorsed him for a second time…

…Guns went from tools to politics to identity. A gun went from something you use for a sporting purpose, like target shooting or hunting rabbits, to a thing that makes a statement about you. Hollywood went right along with them, from a .44 magnum revolver in “Dirty Harry” that said I’m a tough guy, to fully automatic AR-15 assault rifles with grenade launchers in “Scarface” that said I’m a killing machine and I’ll kill everyone I can see.

Truly worthwhile read. I can sympathize. I grew up in Connecticut when the state was still proud to call itself the arsenal of America. My family lived through the transition Lucian Truscott describes. One time or another, everyone in my father’s generation – in his extended family – worked for a gun manufacturer. One of my uncles spent his life’s work as a lead prototype gunsmith for a gun company. Another was a factory manager.

I was fortunate enough to pre-date the NRA conversion. I was rebel enough to have a gut reaction of disgust and revulsion to the “new” NRA and Reagan politics. I watched Truscott’s worst nightmare as it formed.

RTFA. I hope our benighted land is someday capable of turning this particular aspect of fascist ideology around. And goes on to work on the rest, as well.

Nutballs merge their conspiracy theories

If you are trying to download a cat video on your face mask, you may be waiting for a long time. After all, it’s a face mask, not a smartphone.

Yet, messages circulating on social media now are trying to somehow connect face masks with 5G. That’s 5G, as in the “fifth generation” technology standard for cellular networks, and not 5G as in $5000. As I’ve covered before for Forbes, conspiracy theories have already alleged that the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic is really the effects of 5G rather than a virus. Now, there are videos…claiming that the metal piece in a surgical mask is a 5G antenna…

American idjits continue to demonstrate that there are no boundaries to their ignorance and gullibility.

“Religious” Trump follows the global authoritarian playbook


He even got it right side up!

It was a striking moment: Donald Trump, Bible in hand, posing for photos in an apparent moment of political theater made possible by the dispersal of protesters through the use of tear gas.

The president’s visit to St. John’s Episcopal Church, known as “the Church of the Presidents,” came immediately after giving a Rose Garden speech framing himself as “your president of law and order” and threatening to send federal troops to “restore security and safety in America.” The next day, Trump made another high-profile visit to a place of worship, this time Washington’s St. John Paul II National Shrine…

When enough people perceive – or can be convinced – that traditional elements of the social fabric are at risk, religious signaling through the use of symbols and images can help would-be authoritarians cement their power. They present themselves as protectors of the faith and foes of any outsider who threatens tradition.

Useful, educational, thoughtful reflection on what is probably one of the oldest political hustles in the book.

Preacher gets lighter sentence for rape because he’s a “man of god”

❝ A pastor facing life in prison for raping his 14-year-old daughter was shown mercy by a judge who was impressed by his alleged religious faith.

David Richards, 41, was sentenced to 12 years in jail on Thursday in Knox County Tennessee for raping his adoptive daughter – 60 years less than the maximum term sought by prosecutors. As he handed down the lenient sentence, Judge Steve Sword cited Richard’s work as a pastor and the Bible study he began in jail as mitigating factors…

Richards was found guilty of rape, incest, and sexual battery by an authority figure for abusing his daughter, Amber Richards, for two years beginning when she was 14…

Throw away the key!

So-called church offers miracle cure. Feel like drinking bleach?!


Industrial Bleach for $20 – what a bargain!

❝ A group calling itself Genesis II Church of Health and Healing plans to convene at a hotel resort in Washington state [last] Saturday to promote a “miracle cure” that claims to cure 95% of all diseases in the world by making adults and children, including infants, drink industrial bleach.

The group is inviting members of the public through Facebook to attend what they call their “effective alternative healing” at the Icicle Village Resort in Leavenworth on Saturday morning. The organizer of the event, Tom Merry, has publicized the event on his personal Facebook page by telling people that learning how to consume the bleach “could save your life, or the life of a loved one sent home to die”.

❝ The “church” is asking attendants of the meeting to “donate” $450 each, or $800 per couple, in exchange for receiving membership to the organization as well as packages of the bleach, which they call “sacraments”. The chemical is referred to as MMS, or “miracle mineral solution or supplement”, and participants are promised they will acquire “the knowledge to help heal many people of this world’s terrible diseases”.

There was a time early on in my life when I spent a significant amount of time in the company of juvenile delinquents. During that period I met a number of “adult” crooks and hustlers. Not as adept as, say, pimps for our fake president; but, still – they loved religious hustles. For the same reasons religious hustlers always do. Built-in cover as some kind of True Believer. Ready and willing to accept every penny they could grab from the gullible.