Dispatches from Wolf Country — The Beat Goes On

In Virginia trying to figure out some way to straighten out the angles in his life; couldn't find a job, got a couple of guns legally since there's no longer a law against people convicted of domestic violence buying guns...

One man’s road is another man’s rut, one man’s if is another man’s but
One man’s treasure is another man’s trash, one man’s landin’ is another man’s crash
One man’s word is another man’s lie, one man’s dirt is another man’s sky
One man’s skin is another man’s color, one man’s killer is another man’s brother  Guy Clark,  Hank Williams Said It Best

A typical Heartland-Rust Belt success story, except for Sanders angle, and not being that great a shot

Give the Anarchist a Cigarette!

Field of Skulls, Painting, Unknown Artist

Steve Scalise is probably nice to his mother, his dog and his donors. He’s also a Louisiana Klan coddling creep who announced in his first election to Congress that he was like “David Duke but without the baggage.” So, the irony in this tragedy is palpable. After years of Tea Party and Alt Right weasels and wannabes lugging weapons around in open carry to protect Walmart from Black Americans looking at BB guns; Senate candidates running the Republicans off the right wing lemming cliff by babbling about exercising Second Amendment Rights to roll back Obama care; and cops claiming that they were afraid for their lives after emptying a magazine into a fleeing black man’s back, the Congress and establishment Washington celebrates a feel good moment rooting for Scalise to not die.

I was getting an allergy shot since I am allergic to California shortly after the shooting hit the news. My allergist is an interesting guy, a Swamp Cajun who took a wrong turn heading toward Baton Rouge and ended up in the high California desert, and who shudders at what’s happening with Health Care in this country. He also likes to try to tweak me about politics and such, which is a problem since my attitude toward that from people I like is fairly simple — To quote Dylan in Pennebaker’s Don’t Look Back, “Give the Anarchist a Cigarette.”

The office was busy because of the pestilential nature of this place — the desert hides a lot of stuff, but remember, this was a Jurassic Ocean, and there’s stuff in the sand that killed dinosaurs. But, he had some wisdom to share so he followed me out onto the complex’s veranda and said, “I don’t know about you, but if this was a bunch of Republican congressmen playing Baseball, they should have been at work…understand that the shooter was a Bernie Sanders fan.”

Now, it’s interesting that we knew that as quickly as we did, by the way, isn’t it? Anyway, I looked at him and said, “He had a high powered rifle, was up against three folks with pistols and a bunch of people with baseball bats on a flat field, and he only got a few. Yeah, typical liberal — lousy shot.”

Skip the YMCA and go stalk some Republicans playing ball…


Political assassination attempts whether through a drop of plutonium in the clam chowder or a 7.62mm round to the hip are tragedy in the United States. As they should be, and as all gun violence by mentally and emotionally disturbed citizens are. What do we know about this guy?

Loaded with resentments great and small, everybody thought he was “normal” whatever the hell that is

Well, he was a small-business man with a home inspection business that had gone under. He

Dead refugee child, Reuters Photo

had a record of domestic violence including both his wife and his kids. He was loaded with resentments great and small, everybody thought he was “normal” whatever the hell that is, and he had been a Sanders volunteer. He could have been a Trump volunteer or a Rubio volunteer — in this case, he’s a nut with some left wing tendencies. He was in Virginia trying to figure out some way to straighten out the angles in his life; couldn’t find a job, got a couple of guns legally since there’s no longer a law against people convicted of domestic violence buying guns; called his wife since to say he was homesick and missed her and his dog; and decided one morning to skip the YMCA and go across the street and stalk some Republicans taking batting practice.

Typical heartland-Rust Belt success story, except for the Sanders angle, and not being that great a shot.  But, it’s sad in a way that Gaby Giffords has been so easily forgotten — she was quoted as saying that “I prayed that it would never happen again” after she understood what had happened to her. It will, of course, until we address the root causes of gun violence, mental and emotional health, and the problems of inequality.


I’m struggling with these underlying problems as are most of us who try to understand the world and do what we can to make it a bit better. We aren’t alone, by the way, in screwing the world up through ideology, ignorance and greed. For example, if the United States is, has been or will be again the Shining City on the Hill that John Winthrop preached about, the Mother of Parliaments is certainly sending up a cautionary tale on how not to run a country, or a party or an election campaign.

There are a lot of marvelous female political figures and leaders; however, Hillary Clinton and Teresa May both represent technocrats who have the charisma and charm of undertakers and auditors. Hillary’s difficulties are still being diagnosed, although a lot of them still go back to her taste in men; in this case, her husband who remains an unchecked force of ego and will to power wrapped in grits and gravy, and her VP. May is another kettle of fish though; Britain is no longer supposed to just have elections because the party in power thinks it’s a good idea, but there’s some wiggle room…which she wiggled through.

Summer Marching Season, Northern Ireland, Tourist Ad

So, she calls one because she has a 20 point lead in the polls, and loses her majority. In order to stay in power, she’s been trying to cobble one together with a Northern Irish Unionist Party that is somewhere to the right of…well, Steve Scalise. Anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT, and dedicated to the proposition that the Orange Lodges should be able to march through the Catholic districts of Ulster playing flutes and banging drums and vandalizing cars and screaming “Paddies Out!” (NOTE: As of noon GMT on June 20, the Unionists are re-thinking their agreement with the Tories, saying that they “will not be taken for granted.” So, the Tories face a parliamentary future that risks a vote of confidence every time the speaker calls the roll or whatever they do before they start insulting each other…)

So that wasn’t going well. The Tories are really no fonder of these Yahoos than there are of Sinn Fein, but they need their 10 votes so…it’s still not a done deal, which makes things even more complex. Of course, since the world and history is not linear when you’re living it, a few other debacles have popped up. The London Bridge attacks attacks have added a layer of pain to the society; however, figuring that nothing will cause peace to break out so much as mindless retaliation, there has been a “van as weapon of mass destruction” copycat by someone named Darren Osborne of Cardiff, Wales who drove into a crowd outside an Islamic center not far from the local mosque in Finsbury Park,North London following evening prayers around midnight, Monday June 19. One person was injured, eight taken to hospital, and 2 treated at the scene.

For every father’s daughter
For every mother’s son
The only think the same
Is that is ain’t for everyone
Hank Williams said it best
He said it a long time ago
“Unless you have made no mistakes in your life
Be careful of stones that you throw”

In another bit of irony, which the world is churning out in volume these days, Osborne was detained by members of the community and then some of the people began to kick and hit him. At that point, the local Iman, Mohammed Mahmoud and several other members of the congregation got between the mob and Osborne, and restrained him while protecting him from attack.

Speaking to reporters on Monday afternoon, Mahmoud said he had not been the only one urging restraint. “It wasn’t me alone, there were a group of brothers. They were calm and collected and managed to calm people down and to extinguish any flames of anger or mob rule that would have taken charge had this group of mature brothers not stepped in…This community of ours is a calm community, not known for their violence. Our mosques are incredibly peaceful. I can assure you we will do our utmost to calm down ill intentions.”


I mean, it’s Virginia! Not…err…Virginia is for lovers, remember? It’s Northern Virginia which is relatively civilized compared to Southern Virginia…It’s not a hateful place. Honest…we’re shocked, shocked that people assume that a guy attacking a crowd of kids on their way to a mosque, during Ramadan, dressed like Muslims and laughing and talking and doing what teenagers do might have done it as a hate crime. It was road rage! Honest…
Yeah, and the Klan and White Citizens Councils were really horticulture enthusiasts and interested in civic improvement. But, hate crimes happen not just in the south. The belligerence and projection of blame that brought us to this point have deep roots that stretch all over the US and for that matter, the world. And in this case, the accused killer is a 22 year old Salvadorian immigrant…so who knows?
But, the seeds are planted, and the roots are deep and wide. The young woman’s father thinks he knows.
He killed her because she’s a Muslim — this is what I tell the detective,” Hassanen said. “Why was he running behind the kids wearing Islamic clothes with a baseball stick? Why, when my daughter fell down, why did he hit her? For what? We don’t know this guy. He doesn’t know us. We don’t hate anybody because of religion or color. I teach my kids to love everybody…
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