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Gatlinburg, Tennessee: An ugly, putrid cesspool

We have just returned from a visit to Gatlinburg, TN -- our first visit there in 9 years.  Never again.  We arrived on Sunday afternoon, planning to stay until the following Saturday -- we stayed Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights, left on Wednesday morning NEVER to return.  We were there to visit family whom we had not seen for several years.  They have lived in Gatlinburg for 25 years and are leaving in a couple of months -- they will not look back.

I will admit I am a bit jaundiced.  In 1951 my father's business moved us to Knoxville, TN -- 45 minutes from Gatlinburg.  I grew up in an active Boy Scout troop that spent a lot of time hiking and camping in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Gatlinburg is the main entrance to the Park.  In the early 1960's, I worked at LeConte Lodge, a rustic lodge on top of Mount LeConte, second highest peak in the Park.  The Great Smokies are a national treasure second to none.  What a shame the Smokies are attached to the cancer that is Gatlinburg.

When I first encountered The 'Burg, there were a few establishments -- Ogle's Store in the Y; grand old hotels -- Gatlinburg Inn, Riverside Hotel, Greystone Hotel; Trentham's Store; and the Pi Beta Phi Settlement School and its associated Arrowmont Craft Center.  The Wood Whittlers, located on Roaring Fork Road along old Highway 73, was a family operation that made high-quality furniture from local hardwoods using traditional tools and techniques.  Approaching Gatlinburg we drove through Pigeon Forge, home to Pigeon Forge Pottery that used local clay to make simple pots, vases, and the like decorated with their logo, a dogwood blossom.

Every single bit of that is gone . . . long gone.  Today Gatlinburg is home to T-shirt shops, arcades, henna tattoo shops, and tiny shop after tiny shop selling cheap junk made in China.  NOWHERE do you find traditional mountain crafts or music.  Nowhere.  The streets of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are PACKED with people dressed as sloppily as possibly, sucking down cotton candy, fast food, and pizza, all the while buying cheap Chinese trinkets and T-shirts with obscene logos.

We ate in four "high-end," highly-recommended restaurants.  Every one of them was dirty; food was microwaved crap from Sysco; service was slap-dash and surly

I cannot describe how disgusted I am with Gatlinburg.  The place is a putrid, stinking, maggot-filled cesspool.

Fortunately I have a few photographs and genuine handicrafts -- including several pieces of Pigeon Forge Pottery -- to remind me of the time when Gatlinburg was a place apart.

Now that I reflect on my recent experience in Gatlinburg -- and I don't want to make too much of this -- maybe I should not be surprised.  Our nation has become more and more coarse every day.  I'm 71 years old.  Gentility, manners are all but gone -- swept away in a tsunami of "social media."  After all, what else should I expect when one of our major political parties nominates as President a coarse, foul-mouthed, chest-thumping half-wit while, at the same time, trashing a decent, mild-mannered middle-of-the-road President all because he's a black man.

Gatlinburg just may be America.

Well, at least they are honest

The just-concluded Republican National Freak Show was refreshing in its honesty.

Now, after four days of bile, venom, hate, and lies, we see the REAL Republican Party.

We should thank them for finally ripping off their masks of respectability and showing the world their real face . . . vile hate and lies.

For a brief, fleeting moment, the Republican Party tried to grow up . . . then they went batshit crazy and full-on hate-filled

In 2013, following the second consecutive failure of Republicans to capture the White House and growing evidence that demographic trends would make it harder and harder for Republicans to win in the future, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus commissioned an ”autopsy” of the party's failure in 2012 and a road map to future victory.
In the wake of two presidential defeats, the Republican National Committee chairman on Monday issued a scathing review of the party's performance in 2012 and called for a top-to-bottom retooling of the party.
Priebus’s solution called for matching the much-envied technical skill of the Obama campaign and creating a serious outreach to minority communities. It also encouraged changes to the GOP platform including broad acceptance of gay rights, a more positive approach in Washington, and a comprehensive immigration policy.

The autopsy also advocated for a streamlined Republican primary system that would make it easier for a candidate to capture the nomination early, make it harder to have a prolonged primary fight, and allow the convention to be moved up to July.

But even as Priebus’s autopsy report was being issued, Ted Cruz was reassuring the base that they only had to hold out a little longer for hard-right purity to burn away the last moderate stains, and the House Freedom Caucus was working daily to crash the party directly against ideas the report wanted them to embrace. Rather than taking a more flexible view of social issues, the GOP spent the next three years fighting over bathrooms, florists, fake documentaries, and imaginary organ-harvesting rings. Rather than expand the outreach to minorities, the party latched onto xenophobia of Hispanic invaders and worked to push Civil Rights back into fights of the 1960s. 

As the next presidential cycle rolled around, those few candidates who tried to implement any portion of Priebus’s plan found themselves cut off from a party lurching from the far-right to the simply fascist. Instead, winning Republican candidates were vying to run against the Priebus Plan in terms that would soon become clear: rapists, murders, wall.

But the revised primary system? That got implemented. To disastrous results.

As the ranks of the Republican presidential candidates became clear, Priebus made another critical decision.
In early September, when Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus began asking presidential candidates to sign a loyalty pledge, groans could be heard throughout Jeb Bush’s headquarters. His senior staff in Miami saw it as a gimmicky, ultimately hollow ploy by Priebus to prevent the 17th candidate in the field, Donald Trump, from mounting an independent run.
But rather than help the mainstream clip Trump out, signing onto Priebus’s pledge became a sign that Trump was officially in. It gave a degree of legitimacy to Trump’s mouthing-off that put it on par with campaigns that had been laying groundwork for years.
“We were absolutely furious,” one former Bush staffer recalled. “[Trump] is openly chiding us for communicating a conservative message in Spanish and they get on a train and go up to New York to give him a press conference and a pat on the back for joining the party. It was a total affront to us—because [the RNC] was no longer calling balls and strikes, they were actually helping him.”
The party was now locked into accepting a candidate who wasn’t just undermining the autopsy at every point, he was taking positions that threatened even the traditional base. But Priebus continued to be so frightened of the idea of Trump as spoiler that he bent over backwards to include the real estate speculator in his plans. The specter of third-party Trump was so worrisome, that Priebus barely seemed to notice that Trump’s nationalist, militaristic, anti-immigrant, misogynistic message was simply flanking all the candidates. 

Reince Priebus had been peddling reasonable, but the beneficiary of his actions was anything but. And by the time it became clear that coddling Trump in the early stages had made him well-nigh invulnerable on the greased-rail primary system, there was little left that Priebus could do but sign on.
Priebus chose to stay to aid and coach a candidate who may undermine the very things he has dedicated his tenure to improving. He has staked his reputation on Trump. To some extent, the tenuous unity visible at the Republican National Convention this week may be due to Priebus’ peacemaking efforts. And Trump’s near total dependence on much of what Priebus has built has made the RNC itself more vital than ever to Republican success in November. But in bending over backward to appease Trump in an effort to make sure the GOP didn’t crack up, the man who worked to strengthen the party has become a symbol of its weakness.
Reince Priebus told Republicans to go left to find a future. Instead, Republicans went crazy. And all the tools that Priebus built, can only be used to tear what’s left of the party down to its meanest, glowering roots. With Priebus at the controls.

Odds are, no one will need to pay for that autopsy.

These two photos tell you all you need to know about the difference between Democrats and Republicans

House Speaker Paul Ryan with a group of Republican Congressional interns

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson (D, Texas) posted this photo 
of a group 
of Democratic House interns.

Which photo looks more like America?

For once I agree with George W. Bush

Members of the George W. Bush administration met in Dallas this April for a reunion party.
[F]ew were as dark about the Republican Party’s future as former President Bush himself. In a more intimate moment during the reunion, surrounded by a smaller clutch of former aides and advisers, Bush weighed in with an assessment so foreboding that some who relayed it could not discern if it was gallows humor or blunt realpolitik. “I’m worried,” Bush told them, “that I will be the last Republican president.”

Well, George, I'm not worried about that . . . in fact, I'M HOPING YOU ARE THE LAST REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT.

Reverse mortgages: The final blow to kill the middle class -- devised by Republicans and administered by banksters

From Daily Kos: Reverse mortgages: The final blow killing middle class wealth. You've seen those commercials with Fred Thompson extolling the advantages of a 'reverse mortgage' to finance your retirement. Were you as skeptical as I am?

Many fellow Americans that have worked their entire lives, weathered several recessions and depressions, put their children through school, helped many in need, and faithfully paid their mortgages for decades are now being taken advantage of once again. Most have followed all the rules necessary to be considered fiscally responsible, yet because of "legal fraud" by the financial sector and policies effected by purchased politicians, their years in retirement will be compromised.

The Plutocracy, the one percent has walked away with a large percentage of their 401Ks, their SEPs, and to some extent their financial security. Because of stagnant or falling real wages, much of the working middle class have maxed out on their credit in the attempt to maintain their standard of living. For a Plutocracy that feeds on perpetual growth, from where will it feed now? An old and well-crafted financial instrument known as the reverse mortgage is being marketed on steroids to a baby boomer population.


Most Americans amass most of their wealth within their homes. Each generation in a responsible family is better off when the previous generation wills their assets forward. Reverse mortgages are yet another financial instrument that stunts the growth of the middle class by encouraging home owners to extract the capital out of their homes and use it as a supplement to their retirement or to simply splurge. Inasmuch as most reverse mortgages are federally regulated, their upfront costs are very high. These costs amount to free cash for the bank and mortgage insurance companies, your money transferred to them for a marginal service.

The big dirty secret is that reverse mortgages, like student loans pre-Obama, are nothing but a no-risk gift to the bankers, a wealth transfer engine from the masses to a select few. When the "owner" of the home dies, the government pays the bank any difference between the amount owed (interest plus principal) less the sale price of the home. If the heirs want to keep the home, they must pay the loan off in full. If the amount owed is more than the value of the home, the heirs must pay 95 percent of what is owed to the bank with the government paying the rest. What is the reason for the bank being in the transaction? It is there simply to extract from the government and the homeowner. They have absolutely nothing at risk for the profits they make.

Reverse mortgages mask a systemic problem that affects the American worker, a backward and inhumane retirement system. Every American worker makes a vibrant economy possible by providing 40, 50 or more years of work, taxes, and spending. It is appalling that a worker is incapable of having Social Security capable of providing a decent living. No one should have to deplete all of their assets to survive.

Rob Wittman: Gutless

Here in Virginia's First Congressional District, we all know our "representative" Rob Wittman to be a "nice man" who is just a bit dim.  Wittman wins because this district is reliably Republican.

Now we learn that Wittman is gutless, in addition to being not too bright.

Don’t look for Tom Davis in Cleveland. The former Republican congressman from Virginia, who attended the past six GOP conventions, will be rooting for the home team at Nationals Park this week, not cheering on Donald Trump at Quicken Loans Arena.

“The Dodgers are here for a three-game series. I’m going to the Nats games,” said Davis, who was Virginia chairman of Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s failed presidential bid. “I just don’t feel it this year.”
As a crucial swing state, Virginia was well represented at the Republican National Convention four years ago. Most of the commonwealth’s GOP stars made their way to Tampa to witness Mitt Romney’s nomination, albeit with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

It will be a different story this time, as Trump becomes the GOP’s standard bearer.

Former governor George Allen, who backed Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida in this spring’s primary, will be camping out West. Only one of Virginia’s eight Republican members of the U.S. House will attend for sure: Rep. Rob Wittman, who as a 2017 candidate for Virginia governor needs to hobnob with state activists and out-of-state donors. He got behind Trump only when the billionaire’s last rival dropped out, releasing a statement that managed not to use the name “Trump.”
 Rob Wittman has just sold his soul to the Trump devil.

Pity poor Jeb Bush . . . he whines that "conservatism is dead" . . . No shit, Jeb. And you and your family helped kill it. STFD and STFU.

For those of you who thought “Please clap” was rock bottom for the depths of sadness plumbed by Jeb Bush this election cycle, I present to you his interview this week with Nicole Wallace.

Poor Jeb. There he was, looking natty in a collared shirt and sport coat, relaxing in a wicker chair on the lawn of the family compound in Kennebunkport with a wide-angle view of the Atlantic, a fantastically wealthy man taking a breather at his oceanside vacation home in Maine.Yet his soul was troubled.
I can’t vote for Donald Trump, and I can’t vote for Hillary Clinton. It breaks my heart. This is my first time in my adult life I’m confronted with this dilemma.
Jeb Bush can find no reason to vote for either of the two major party presidential candidates. A former governor of a large state, a man whose father and brother both served as president, whose grandfather was a senator from Connecticut, whose family has been involved in America’s politics at the highest levels for decades, is having a crisis of the soul because his party nominated a callow xenophobe and the other party nominated Hillary Clinton, and they are basically the same in terms of fitness to hold office.

Gosh darn it, if a man who loves his country so much can’t bring himself to fulfill his civic responsibility and vote, then what has even become of America?

When people talk about “white privilege,” you have to think Bush’s actions are a prime example. In an election when poor people around the country, a disproportionate number of whom are minorities, are being denied the right to vote thanks to voter ID and other laws pushed by Republican governors and legislatures in an effort to suppress mostly Democratic voters, here is a member of perhaps the most visible wealthy Republican family in America saying he will not vote in the election because his choices make him too sad.

But the big takeaway from this interview was this admission.
Conservatism is temporarily dead. I mean, if you look at it, we have two candidates. Donald Trump is barely a Republican. He’s certainly not a conservative.
No, Trump may not be a conservative in the sense that Bush thinks of the term. But he is a conservative as the word describes  the way the Republican Party has evolved over the last couple of decades, and particularly during the Obama administration. The GOP has become a white reactionary party, paranoid and delusional, jumping at the shadows of Muslim terrorists, gay activists, and angry black people it sees around every corner. Trump is the culmination of years of the party tolerating and even encouraging these sorts of fears.

But conservatism as a political and governing philosophy as understood by the New England moderate, WASP-ish nature of the Bush family? That is most certainly dead, and its death is likely not temporary. For that, conservatives can blame the bungled stewardship of people like Jeb Bush.

Under the leadership of Bush and his generation, conservatism continued its long devolution from a set of principles invoking smaller government into a Madoff-like scheme of shoveling money from one set of accounts into another through legislative maneuvers like tax cuts. Meanwhile, on social issues, conservatives abandoned any principle of limiting government interference in people’s lives by attacking, among other issues, the rights of gay people to participate fully in civic life by enjoying the benefits our society gives to married couples, and by attacking the rights of women to choose what to do with their own bodies.

There is a tension between demanding less government interference in business through onerous regulation while at the same time using government to intervene in private lives. And Jeb Bush was as complicit in ignoring this tension as any conservative politician of the last fifteen years, through his interference in the Terri Schiavo case while he was the governor of Florida.

Now here is Jeb Bush, relaxed and so very, very sad that the con he has helped run on Republicans for decades has collapsed on itself. So sad that he won’t attend the GOP convention in Cleveland next week. So sad that he won’t exercise the right to vote that his party would deny other, poorer, less privileged people if their voting means conservatives – who, we remind you, are pushing a dead political philosophy anyway – lose a few seats in Congress or the electoral votes of battleground states.

The irony is that no matter which candidate wins in November, Jeb Bush will be fine. He’ll still be fantastically wealthy. He’ll still have the power and connections available to any member of the Bush family. He’ll still be able to retreat to the giant house next to the ocean in Maine anytime he wants.

The Trump-Pence campaign logo

This logo was released on Friday July 16 by the Trump-Pence campaign.

Didn't take long for the real logo to appear on the Internet.

 First there was the TP version

Then came the animated version


 Maybe the Trump-Pence campaign needs a logo that accurately describes them.


After a day of ridicule for a poorly designed Trump/Pence campaign logo that launched a thousand jokes, the Trump campaign deleted the design from their official website overnight.

Also, the awkwardly designed Trump/Pence logo is nowhere to be found on the Republican National Committee’s website.

Police officer deaths dramatically down under President Obama

Following the shooting of police officers in Dallas this week, conservatives raced to Twitter to blame President Barack Obama, but the data doesn’t support their complaints.

Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) tweeted, “Obama’s words & [Black Lives Matter]’s deeds have gotten cops killed.” Rep. Steve King (R-IA) claimed the shooting had “roots” in the “anti-white/cop events illuminated by Obama.”

But according to an analysis by the Chicago Tribune, blaming Obama or Black Live Matter activists, who began protesting shootings by police following the death of Michael Brown, isn’t supported by any of the data available. In fact, their claims are outright false.

The Officers Down Memorial Page paints a different picture than conservatives would have the public believe. The site tracks law enforcement officers murdered in the line of duty in real time and shows an average of 101 police officers deliberately killed each year under the Reagan administration. Under George H.W. Bush that number fell to 90, to 81 under Clinton and 72 deaths per year under George W. Bush.

As for the Obama administration, that number has continued to drop. The average number of police murdered during his presidency has fallen to an average 62 deaths each year through 2015. Looking at projections for 2016, that number stays the same.

There are so few officers being killed intentionally that just the Dallas shootings skew the data showing a 44 percent increase. Without the murders this week, the year-over-year rise would only have been 17 percent.

This isn’t about better medical care and quicker response time either. Under Obama’s administration, assaults on police officers have dropped as well. The FBI reports that in 1988, the final year of the Reagan administration, police had 15.9 assaults per every 100 law enforcement officers. However, at the end of the Clinton administration in 2000, that number dropped to 12.7 assaults for every 100 officers. Under the Bush administration, it fell again 11.3. The trend has continued under Obama’s administration. The most recent data from the FBI shows that in 2014 it decreased to 9.0.

This may be the dumbest goddam thing I have read in a l-o-o-o-n-g time

Read the article at this link.  It tells us the good news that the Dallas killer who shot down 12 people, killing five cops, did not use an AR-15 rifle.  Instead, he used an old SKS.

Isn't that special?

How about we wake up the dead cops and give them to good news that they were not shot by an AR-15 so they can get up now.

There are some stupid people in this world.  There are some VERY stupid people in this world.  Then there are gunnuts.


NRA releases their statement on Dallas atrocity . . . what's important is what the NRA does not say

It didn’t take long this morning for the NRA to issue a statement concerning events in Dallas. And it’s a model of brevity.
“On behalf of the more than five million members of the National Rifle Association, and especially on behalf of our members from the law enforcement community, I want to express the deep anguish all of us feel for the heroic Dallas law enforcement officers who were killed and wounded, as well as those who bravely ran toward danger to defend the people and city of Dallas. 
With heavy hearts, NRA members honor their heroism and offer our deepest condolences to all of their families.”
If this seems briefer than NRA statements concerning other recent tragedies, it might be because it’s lacking any claim that “if only” the victims had been armed, this could have been avoided. They were armed.

It’s missing any of the complaints about the horrible effects of gun-free zones around schools or other facilities. Not only was this not a gun-free zone, a number of people were openly carrying weapons.

It’s missing any statement about the need for concealed carry, open carry, or reduced barriers to carry. Texas, and Dallas, “enjoy” all those civilizing rights.

It’s missing any statement of about how “only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun,” because as it turns out, even a whole lot of good guys with guns could not stop this bad guy, not without risking even more lives. Instead, it took a robot. With a bomb.

It’s missing even a mention that the weapon here was a gun, one that allowed the shooter to command a large area, to precisely target law enforcement, and to shoot a large number of people very quickly. But then, that omission is typical.

Also oddly still missing from the NRA’s statement is any mention of the shooting of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, even though Castile was a licensed gun owner and a practitioner of concealed carry. Where was the anguish and the condolences for his family?

It’s almost as if the NRA is trying to create a very selective narrative, for a very select group.

Here we go again

Why don't cops kill white people who are brandishing weapons??

When a white guy is seen wandering around in public waving a gun, the police usually try to talk him down; he’s probably just having a bad day. Even if the white guy happens to be pointing his gun directly at an officer, his interaction with the police is unlikely to end in the exchange of gunfire. This is called white privilege.

Recent history suggests there’s a certain methodology for how police handle nearly identical gun-related incidents: white guys get arrested, while black guys get shot. Outraged? If not, you need to pay attention.

1. Armed White Guy Has Standoff With Police, Then Gets His Gun Back

Last May, an armed Michigan man had a standoff with the police as he stood in front of a Dairy Queen waving a loaded rifle around and angrily shouting. When cops arrived, the man, Joseph Houseman, refused to identify himself, grabbed his crotch, flipped the bird, and cursed them out.

Houseman was intoxicated and didn’t have an ID. For 40 minutes, the police tried to get the belligerent man to put his weapon down. All the while, he was screaming, “The revolution is coming,” and accusing the cops of being a “gang.” He told the police he had a legal right to “threaten” police officers and their families.
Excerpt from their encounter:
JOSEPH HOUSEMAN: That’s my First Amendment right.
POLICE: No it’s not. You can’t swear.
HOUSEMAN: That’s bullshit. I can threaten you if I want to.
POLICE: That’s incorrect.
HOUSEMAN: I can threaten you. I can threaten your family. I didn’t threaten your family; I said I could.
POLICE: You said a war was coming.
HOUSEMAN: I didn’t say a war was coming.
POLICE: You said a revolution is coming.
HOUSEMAN: Think about it. You know it is.
When Houseman refused a Breathalyzer test, officers decided not to give him his gun back. Instead, he was told to come to the police station and claim it the next day. He did, and his gun was safely returned.

2. White Guy Points Gun at Police Officers and Children During Hour-Long Standoff

In August, a San Diego man got out of his parked car with a loaded 9mm pistol and proceeded to point it at police officers and small children who were playing in a local park. The police proceeded to spend the next hour trying to talk the man, Lance Tamayo, into putting down his weapon.
Can you guess the man’s race? That’s right, he’s a white guy!

As terrified children were forced to hide in the bathroom, Tamayo rushed toward the officers with his weapon pointed at them and at a police helicopter flying overhead.

Eventually, an officer shot Tamayo once in the stomach to put him down. He fell to the ground, but his gun remained within reach. The police then called Tamayo on his cell phone and spoke with him for 15 minutes before he agreed to surrender. He was arrested and charged with exhibiting a firearm in the presence of peace officers.

3. White Man Arrested Twice For Road Rage With a Gun

In October, a Tennessee man was arrested for waving a loaded gun during a road rage incident involving another man and his son. E.J. Watson confronted the pair when they came to a stop, exited his vehicle with his pistol tucked in the front of his pants and was very belligerent, cursing and making derogatory remarks.

The victims called 911, and police pulled Watson over a few miles from the weapon-wielding episode. His car was littered with empty beer cans as well as a loaded Smith & Wesson revolver. Watson refused to exit his vehicle and had to be physically removed. Only three months earlier, he was arrested for a separate drunken road rage incident.

Good thing for Watson he was white—otherwise he might not be alive today.

4. White Guy Arrested for Firing BB Gun at Officers

A 22-year-old from New Hampshire faces one count of reckless conduct afterfiring a BB gun at Concord police in September. The two police officers were making a routine traffic stop at an intersection when the man opened fire from a nearby apartment building. They arrested the culprit, Jesse Deflorio, who was on already on probation for a similar incident. The judge residing over the case commented that he was worried about the white guy’s safety following the most recent BB gun-firing episode. Poor white guy.

Tamir Rice, 12, was walking around a Cleveland park, holding a toy gun that uses nonlethal plastic pellets. A police cruiser pulled up and within two seconds Rice was shot and killed by rookie officer Timothy Loehmann.

5. Two White Men Shoot Up Walmart With BB Gun and Live to Tell the Tale

Two Idaho men were taken into custody after shooting up a Walmart with a BB gun. Both were intoxicated. They walked into the Post Falls Walmart and proceeded to remove BB guns from boxes, before loading one and firing it four times while in the store. Walmart security contacted police, saying the two men “started shooting the gun in the store and made comments that they were going to shoot the store up.” According to one Walmart employee, the drunken men approached him and asked if he wanted to join them in their shooting spree.

The two white guys were taken into custody without incident, instead of being shot and killed on the spot.

However, on August 5, John Crawford III was shopping at a Walmart in Dayton, Ohio when he picked a BB rifle off the shelf from the sporting goods section. As he walked around the store fiddling with the gun and talking on his cell phone, another shopper called police to report a black man carrying an AR-15 assault rifle. The shopper told police that Crawford, “looked like he was going to go violently.” Crawford was shot and killed by police while in the store.

On the 911 call, the dispatcher can be heard saying “Walmart, a black male, six foot, wearing a blue shirt, blue pants, in the …section, holding a gun, pointing…”

There you have it: in two incidents involving men carrying BB guns in the same chain store: the white men were arrested and the black man was killed.

6. White Guy Arrested After Pointing Gun at Pennsylvania Police Officers

Just this month,Pennsylvania State Police arrested a man after he reportedlypulled a gun on officers. Jed Frazier had driven his car off the road into a ditch. When police approached the vehicle, the man pulled a handgun from his coat pocket and pointed it at police.

Officers took shelter and tried to talk the man into dropping his loaded weapon. Finally, the police broke the windows of his car, extricated the man and arrested him, all without firing a shot.
Want to guess the man’s race?

7. White Woman Dressed In Body Armor Arrested After Shooting Into Cars and Pointing Gun at Police

It’s not just white guys who get all the privilege—sometimes white women do as well.

Just before the new year, a Tennessee woman was arrested after driving around shooting at passersby, leading police on a chase and pointing her gun at an officer. Two people were at a stop sign when Julia Shields pulled up in a sedan and fired shots into their vehicle, hitting and disabling the radiator. A rash of 911 calls reported Shields pointing her firearm at people as she passed, and firing at another vehicle in the same area. Once cops arrived, she led them on a short chase.

Fortunately for Shields, she is white and was arrested without incident or injury.

8. White Man Arrested After Pointing Gun at Phoenix Firefighters During Hour-Long Standoff
A mentally disturbed white man was arrested in Phoenix after pointing a gun at firefighters during an hour-long standoff. Steven Whitlock opened his apartment door with a gun in his hand when firefighters stopped by to conduct a welfare check. The firefighters dropped their equipment and ran for cover. Whitlock then grabbed their equipment and barricaded himself in his apartment.
Police engaged in an hour-long standoff with Whitlock, before forcing themselves into his apartment and taking him into custody.

Compare that with what happened to Kajieme Powell, who was shot and killed by St. Louis police after walking toward them with a knife while screaming, “Shoot me, kill me now.”

Police ordered the mentally disturbed black man to drop the knife, and when he didn’t they shot him. So much for trying to talk him down; as long as the perpetrator is black, officers can shoot first, and ask questions later.

UPDATE:  July 7, 2016:  Make that NINE white people who threaten cops with guns and are not killed.  If this guy had been black, he'd have been dead in a heartbeat.

A white North Carolina man was arrested alive despite pointing a shotgun at passing cars and then firing a handgun at a sheriff’s deputy who tried to arrest him.
The arrest comes the same week two black men were shot and killed by police while legally carrying — but not holding — firearms.
Investigators said 62-year-old William Bruce Ray was standing near a road Tuesday in Wake County when a passing deputy spotted him pointing the shotgun at passing motorists, reported WRAL-TV.
Deputy D.R. Farmer stopped to question Ray, who became belligerent and pointed the shotgun at him.
Farmer grabbed the barrel and pushed back Ray, who then said, “I got something for you,” and reached into his pocket for a .22-caliber pistol — which the deputy knocked away.
The handgun fired as Farmer pushed it away, but the bullet did not strike anyone.
“As a deputy, you don’t ever know what to expect when you’re approaching something like that, so your training kicks in,” said Sheriff Donnie Henderson. “When the gun came up, it was automatic to (Farmer) to get that gun away from (Ray), and he did exactly what he was supposed to.”
The deputy then arrested Ray, who deputies said appeared to have been heavily intoxicated.
“Luckily, nobody got hurt, that’s the good thing,” Henderson said. “God was looking out for us. (Ray) was very fortunate that he didn’t get shot, very fortunate that anybody didn’t get shot.”
Ray was charged with assaulting a law enforcement officer with a firearm and damage to personal property, and authorities said he would likely be charged with attempted murder.
It’s not clear whether he legally owned or carried the weapons used in the incident.
Authorities said they’re trying to determine why Ray was so angry, but his attorney — who also lives next door — said the man suffers from mental illness, including bipolar disorder and depression.
He remains jailed on $150,000 bond.

Sister Hillary preaches one helluva sermon!!! Can I get an "AMEN!!! ??"

Hillary Clinton employed a now familiar rhetorical device while campaigning in Atlantic City Wednesday to remind American voters that Donald Trump is a serial swindler: She used his own words to weave the narrative. Here's the call and response version of her speech, matching Trump's assertions with Clinton's answer.

Trump: “I'm going to do for the country what I did for my business” (June 2016)
Clinton: Here's what he did. He intentionally ran up huge amounts of debt on his companies, hundreds of millions of dollars. He borrowed at high interest rates, even after promising regulators that he wouldn't. What came next? He defaulted on those loans, didn't pay them back, and in the end, he bankrupted his companies, not once, not twice, but four times.
Trump on Trump Plaza Casino: "It will be the biggest hit yet" (circa 1983)
Clinton: Now it's abandoned, you can just make out the word Trump, where it used to be written in flashy lights. He had the letters taken down a few years ago. But his presence remains. And not far from here is the old Trump marina hotel casino, a few years ago it was sold at a huge loss. 
Trump on the Trump Taj Mahal: "The eighth wonder of the world" (circa 1990)
Clinton: It filed for bankruptcy in 2009, things got so bad the new management cancelled workers’ health insurance and pensions, and now the those workers are on strike and we should all support them in getting a fair deal. 
Trump on one of his bankruptcies: "I figured he said it was the bank's problem, not mine, what the hell did I care?" (circa 2007)
Clinton: I'm guessing many of you have had debt at some point, student loans, mortgages, credit cards, you couldn't just tell the bank that you didn't feel like paying, could you? And here's an important thing about how Donald Trump operates, he doesn't default and go bankrupt as a last resort, he does it over and over again on purpose. Even though he knows he will leave others empty-handed while he keeps the plane, the helicopter, the penthouse.
Trump on Atlantic City: "The money I took out of there was incredible" (May 2016)
Clinton: Think about it, the money he took out of here. That says everything you need to know about Donald Trump. It's not about what he can build, it's about how much he can take. 
Finally, Clinton summarized Trump's biggest swindle of all—the notion that he's somehow loyal to American workers, noting that Trump furniture is made in Turkey, Trump suits were made in Mexico, and Trump lamps are made in China.

"If he wants to make America great again," she said, "maybe he should start by actually making things in America again."

The REAL email scandal

Now that the FBI has determined that Hillary Clinton was careless but not criminal, maybe it's time we turned our attention to a REAL email scandal.  You know -- the fact that the GWBush White House used email servers run by the Republican National Committee to conduct official business.  And the fact that MILLIONS of these emails were deleted at the end of the Bush presidency, by order of Karl Rove.

The Bush White House Email Controversy

Rove erases 22 million emails on White House servers

Bush White House admits millions of emails "may be missing"

THIS is why I left the Baptist church 50 years ago and have never, ever looked back. Hypocrites and self-important liars, every goddam one of them.

A Kansas church is asking a court to help punish two girls who sued over sexual abuse by a former vacation Bible school volunteer.

Kessler Lichtenegger, a former volunteer at Westside Family Church, pleaded guilty last year to attempted rape and attempted electronic solicitation involving two girls who attended the church.
The girls, who were both younger than 14 years old, and their families filed a lawsuit June 9 that alleges church officials knew about Lichtenegger’s extensive past sexual conduct and crimes involving children.

Officials at the Southern Baptist church denied knowledge of those previous juvenile convictions, but admittedly knew they should pay close attention to Lichtenegger, who was 17 years old when he volunteered for the summer Bible school in 2014 and assaulted one of the girls in the parking lot.
However, the lawsuit accuses church officials of ignoring their own protocols and allowing Lichtenegger to be around children outside of his father’s supervision.

The lawsuit, and its timing, apparently angered church officials — who have taken the unprecedented step of asking a judge to publicly identify the underage victims of sex abuse.

The church filed a petition June 15 asking the court to require the two teenage sisters and their parents to identify themselves publicly before their lawsuit may proceed.

Church officials accused the family of launching “a Pearl Harbor-styled barrage of negative publicity” timed to coincide with the start of this year’s vacation Bible school.

The petition grumbles that the girls and their parents had leaked their complaint to the media before serving notice of the lawsuit to the congregation.

“While the Defendant admits the sensitivity of the allegations, Plaintiffs tactically decided to ‘draw first blood’ on the issue publicly,” the church’s petition says. “In time, that may ultimately be seen in hindsight to be a bad decision. However, they should not be able to hide behind pseudonyms after systematically and intentionally initiating a campaign specifically designed to damage Defendant’s reputation.”

The petition is highly unusual, said a veteran survivors advocate.

“This has happened in a relatively small number of cases involving adults, but I’ve never seen a defendant try to ‘out’ kids who are still kids in a child sex case,” said David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Clohessy, who has worked for 28 years as a victims advocate, and his organization showed up at the church June 8 with protest signs to answer questions from the media, which the group often does.
He told Baptist Global News that the church’s legal attack against the child survivors would deter other child victims from coming forward and allow more predators to harm children.

“It will also rub more salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of this suffering family,” Clohessy said. “It is a shameful move by officials who profess to be ‘Christians.’”

Lichtenegger is serving a 17-year sentence for the Westside vacation Bible school sex crimes, but the lawsuit says he also pleaded guilty in 2012 to a sexual assault the year before of a 15-year-old girl with developmental problems and to another previous sexual felony.