Everyday Erinyes #66

 Posted by at 2:15 pm  Politics
Mar 182017

Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage.  These incidents which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them will, I hope, help with that.  Even though there are many more which I can't include.  As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

One of the detainees released from Guantánamo by President Obama before leaving office was Abdul Zahir.  It's not clear how long he was held after the government conceded that he was not the man they had intended to arrest, another Abdul (not Zahir) who shared a nickname ("Abdul Bari") with him.  This is as if white supremacist terrorists had bombed the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), not on account of public lands, but because they were under the impression that it was Black Lives Matter (BLM).

I don't want to go into everything that Zahir suffered while in Guantánamo, though it would make a column by itself – possibly two.  Rather, I want to emphasize, with the author of the linked column, that release after fourteen years of being unlawfully detained (and tortured) may be a step in the right direction – but it does not by any means constitute justice.

Moving on could be difficult for Zahir. Many former Guantánamo and CIA black site detainees continue to face mental health problems even after being released, such as depression and post-traumatic stress. That makes it difficult for them to readjust into normal society. This means true justice for Guantánamo detainees entails more than just releasing them to another country. It also must include redress for the torture inflicted upon them and the physical, mental and emotional problems resulting from that abuse.

However, true justice does not currently seem within reach for current and former Guantánamo detainees. There arecurrently 41 detainees in Guantánamo, including 26 held in indefinite detention — people whom the government does not have enough untainted evidence to prosecute but claims are too dangerous to release.

I think that the details of Abdul Zahir's suffering (though I didn't share them), as well as the sufferings of those still detained (though I don't have those details) make this a case for you, Tisiphone.  I should note also that the photo here shows protestors, NOT actual current or former detainees.

Next, I'd like to share a story from California (but which I'm sure has its counterparts all over the US and likely the world). 

In what is commonly called “pay-to-stay” or “private jail,” a constellation of small city jails — at least 26 of them in Los Angeles and Orange counties — open their doors to defendants who can afford the option. But what started out as an antidote to overcrowding has evolved into a two-tiered justice system that allows people convicted of serious crimes to buy their way into safer and more comfortable jail stays.

An analysis by the Marshall Project and the Los Angeles Times of the more than 3,500 people who served time in Southern California’s pay-to-stay programs from 2011 through 2015 found more than 160 participants who had been convicted of serious crimes including assault, robbery, domestic violence, battery, sexual assault, sexual abuse of children and possession of child pornography.

California law allows someone convicted of a misdemeanor to serve his/her time in the county jail of the county in which convicted, with judicial discretion.  But judges are allowing the privilege to felons, and extending it past county lines, neither of which is an option specified in the law.  Perhaps what shocked me most in this story, though, is that there are cities with jails which actually ADVERTISE their services on their websites"The Pay to Stay Program assists persons interested in serving their commitments over a series of weekends, who need a program that permits them to attend work daily or who are simply searching for a less intimidating environment.  Options such as these provide the opportunity to preserve career standing, maintain family support obligations and the ability to serve a commitment in safety and with dignity."

Some people are saying, like John Eum, a detective with the LAPD, that "The whole criminal justice system is becoming more and more about: How much money do you have? Can you afford better attorneys? Can you afford to pay for a nicer place to stay?”  Others, like be, believe that this has always been the system, but it is certainly coming more and more out into the open.  Alecto, is there anything you can do?

With 65 prior Erinyes columns under my belt, plus one special edition, you may wonder just what it would take to render me speechless.  Well, wonder no more.  It is not a huge atrocity with blood and guts and explosions.  It it just so darned petty that I can't find words for it.

A ban on crayons. That’s what it came to at the visitors’ center at the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas, one of three immigration detention centers that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) currently uses to house mothers and children who’ve been stopped seeking asylum in the United States. Six volunteer lawyers who work with detained families wrote a letter to ICE explaining why they liked to bring crayons when they met with clients: “Having children color and draw provides a distraction for children while their mothers relate incidents of trauma, violence and abuse. Other children sit outside the interview rooms and draw at the tables, so they are not forced to listen to their mothers’ harrowing narratives nor witness their mothers’ fragile emotional states during these interviews.” But ICE determined some of the children were doing “damage” to tables and walls in the visitors’ center while coloring. The crayon ban was just another blow to children already essentially being housed as prisoners by the federal government. The latest memos from the Department of Homeland Security outlining plans for enforcing the executive orders on immigration issued by President Donald Trump mean the numbers of children and mothers being detained this way (in America) will only swell.

A. ban. on. crayons.

My. God.

Megaera, could this possibly be the definition of "grudging"?

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4042940


Everyday Erinyes #57

 Posted by at 8:08 am  Politics
Dec 312016

Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage.  These incidents which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them will, I hope, help with that.  Even though there are many more which I can't include.  As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

You may be familiar with the classic definition of chutzpah (insolence, impudence, gall) penned by Leo Rosten: "that quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan."  I don't know whether that ever actually happened.  But I think we have a new definition, based on something which actually did happen: "that quality enshrined in a rapist who sues his victim, and the school which expelled him, for discrimination under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972."

Aaron Farrer, a 21-year-old from Lafayette, was accused of rape in September 2015 after a female student said Farrer took advantage of her drunken state. The woman showed police a text message she received from Farrer the next day apologizing for the incident. Farrer told police the woman consented to sex, and initiated the act.

So, he has just filed a Federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.  He says he was defamed.  He says he was a victim of intentional infliction of emotional distress.He says his constitutional rights were violated, and that he was not afforded due process.  He says the defendants "creat[ed] a gender biased, hostile environment against males."  Ah, me.  To the privileged, equality feels like persecution.

He says "the rape allegations against him were taken as truth from the outset."  Well, yes, when you admit and apologize to your victim in writing, and she is able to submit that as evidence, this is certainly a possibility.  It doesn't deprive you of due process.  Please explain that to him, Megaera, as only you can.

Question:  what would you do if you had adopted a dog or a cat and then decided you just didn't want it any more?  Trick question, right?  No on here would "just decide" they didn't want an animal any more after adopting it in the first place.  Or what if you just decided you didn't want your kid any more?  Really?  Would anyone do that?  Any human person?

In Halifax, PA, parents are facing multiple charges after police say three children were locked in a room, beaten and starved for three months because "they did not want them anymore."  I am not making this up.

Investigators found:

◦The six-year-old had a severe abrasion on his right eye; he said his father had thrown him across the floor as punishment, causing a severe facial injury
◦Victims told investigators that they would be locked in their bedroom at night and they could not leave the room
◦The four-year-old and five-year-old had visible signs of physical abuse; confessing to having been punched in the face
◦Victims said they would pound on the wall to get someone to take them to the bathroom, and they would urinate on themselves, on the bedroom floor, and no one would come
◦Victims said they didn't have a functioning heat source
◦Victims said the rooms were without furniture, and they would often peel paint off the walls
◦Victims said the last thing they could remember that they ate was an apple

"These were healthy kids, and while they were in their custody, these parents neglected them, starved them to such an extent they ended up the way they did," {Dauphin County District Attorney Ed] Marsico said. "We're prepared to prove they neglected these kids to such a point that they were near death."

There are things in the story which make me unsure to what extent the mother was a perp and to what extent she was a victim herself.  I cannot in conscience come down on one side or the other without more knowledge, so that's one thing I'm asking you to look into, Tisiphone.  Good luck.

So.  We've see two crimes of violence – sins of commission, as it were – and heaven knows there are more.  The guy in Las Vegas who was like, "How dare you object to me calling you a racial epithet, I'm going to beat you to death with this sign – oh, wait, my food's ready – OK, finished eating, I'll just beat you some more."  The woman who stabbed a black man in the New York subway because he offered her his seat – and he turned out to be transgender also – so she got a "twofer."  And, no, that isn't all.

But I want to turn to a sin of omission now.  WTF was this judge thinking?

TAYLOR COUNTY, Texas – An elderly Ranger man was sentenced to probation and community service after pleading guilty to multiple child sex crimes that happened at a church in Taylor County….  Wright was also ordered to pay a $1,500 fine and will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. 

Well, sex offender registration is at least something.  But community service?  Is there anything in there that keeps him away from children? Or is he just being sent to a new happy hunting ground?

Okay, maybe prison is not the right place, but dammit, kids need to be protected, and if the church won't do it – and apparently it won't – the state needs to do it.  As one person commenting said"I can't belive, that we don't put child molesters in jail, they harm children, but we put drug addicts in jail for harming themselves. Just don't make sense to me."  Me neither, honey.  Alecto, I hope you'll keep an eye on him.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4028948


Everyday Erinyes #55

 Posted by at 6:13 am  Politics
Dec 172016

From this week on you may assume that I have cut the stories down; that there are more which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them, but I can't feature all of them, even all of them which are underreported.  Because it's going to continue to be true for the foreseeable future.  As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

Last week I mentioned the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, and how it made homeless not only whoever may have survived it, but also a lot more people who have been trying to live and create in similar spaces (not only in Oakland, incidentally; other cities elsewhere in the country are cracking down on anyone who is using this kind of housing).  If you thought that was rock bottom, think again.  As of Monday, December 5, 36 had been confirmed dead but only 11 identified.  A chaotic situation for friends and relatives of residents.  On Facebook, a "Memorial Page for Oakland Fire" was set up, and survivors could post requests for information.

One survivor, Anna Mendiola, posted a photo of her sister in law, Jenifer (Mendiola), who also used the name Alana Kane, requesting any information.  Some friends also posted, and they tagged her Facebook page.  So, naturally, an uncounted number of trolls ran right over to Jennifer's page and started trolling like mad.

Mediaite will not post a link to the Facebook page out of respect.  But they posted a couple of examples.  Under a post urging friends to sign a petition that would encourage universities to cooperate less with ICE concerning undocumented students was posted  "sanctuary schools?  fuck no.  rip.  Trump 2029"

Under a call for Oakland residents to protest the election of Donald Trump, there are at least three comments:

"Worst post ever on FB.  You should be ashamed of yourself."
"All these anti-TRUMP anarchists are burning in HELL.  quite
literally I'd say!"

Or, as Mediaite sums it up:  "A woman is missing — and, judging by some of the comments on the page, presumed dead — and trolls have taken to her page to criticize her for not supporting Trump. Her friends and family can see these comments."

I don't think you are going to have any trouble finding them, Ladies.  Like the old saying:  "Fools' names and fools' faces/Are often found in public places."  Apparently FaceBook is one of those places.  You'll track them down.

Nazareth College, in Rochester New York, "despite what the biblical name might evoke, is not a religiously affiliated college; it dropped its Roman Catholic affiliation in the 1970s…. Instead, the college picked up a commitment to religious pluralism: Every undergraduate is required to take a religious studies course, and engage with faith traditions other than their own."

The most obvious way to so engage is to attend the religious services of another fairh, introducing themselves as students, and asking questions like: "What are your core values? How do you see them as the same or different from those of other religions?"  This is what a couple of  Muslim students did, picking the evangelical Browncroft Community Church.  Their first visit was so successful, they returned for a second visit, during which they also went to the coffee hour and talked to members.  They felt that the second visit went at least as well – a rich, positive learning experience.  Some of the church members hugged them as they left.

But, after they left, a "concerned congregant" called the Department of Homeland Security (who went to the state police, who went to campus security, who called the Religious Studies Department Head) because apparently their homework assignment had become a "cause for concern."

You will be happy to know there is going to be no protesting over this.  The college officials, the senior pastor of the church, and the students, as well as the Muslim Student Association, don't want protest, but they do all want dialogue.  The President had a good conversation with the senior pastor, as a result of which a metting was set up between the course teacher and another pastor, and all have hopes that good will come of it.

All, maybe except Concern Troll.  So, Ladies, I think you need to look up Concern Troll.  And – an expression I don't use lightly – put the fear of God into him or her.

But, speaking of the fear of God, maybe Pastor David Grisham in Texas is not the guy to emulate. 

He strolled into a Texas mall, found a bunch of kids and parents waiting in line to take a picture with Santa, and started to YELL.  (He would probably call it "preaching"; most people would call it a "rant"; I would think almost anyone would call it rude and uncalled for.)

Some of what he said: 

"… When you substitute the lie of Santa Claus in the heart of your child for the truth of Jesus Christ, you are bearing false witness against God. Don’t lie to your children and tell them there’s such a thing as Santa, when you know in reality that there are no flying reindeer, there is no workshop at the North Pole, there is no elves making toys, that you buy all the gifts and put ’em under the tree.

That’s all the truth. And there is no real Santa Claus. There is no Santa. It is not your place to lie to your children. Tell them the truth about Jesus Christ."

He then went home and posted a video of the rant to Facebook, claiming he had been "assaulted."  Yeah, right.  Someone coming up to you and asking you to stop yelling is not assault in my book.  (The video is at the link, so you can judge for yourself.)  His teeth looked like that BEFORE he started yelling.  They do look like Trump voters' teeth, though, don't they?  I think he needs to be schooled by you Ladies.  Draw straws or flip a coin for who goes where – these people are all so pathetic that it's hard for me to say.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4027075



Everyday Erinyes #53

 Posted by at 12:05 am  Politics
Dec 032016

This week I have cut the stories down; there are more which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them, but I can't feature all of them, even all of them which are underreported.  As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

I would like to send Tisiphone after a guy (the witnesses' description is of a guy) in Adams County, Colorado.  Unfortunately I don't know his name.  But I know he sloshed accelerant onto a homeless man, set him on fire, stabbed him several times (which accidentally put the fire out), but made up for that by dumping a burning trash can over him.  The victim sustained burns over 60% of his body.  You can help light a fire (pun intended) under local authorities to identify the suspect by signing this Force Change petition, where you can also read more details about what little is  known.  There is a description of the attacker and how to give information, in case you have any, in The Denver Post.

Then I need to throw in a quick follow-up before moving on to new stuff.  The veteran who had his free Veterans Day meal yanked away from him (it was in #51)?  He is now receiving death threats.  Apparently because Chili's fired the manager there, and some people didn't like that.  Another one for Tisiphone, who is mighty busy this week.

OK, on to new stuff.  By "new," of course, I mean not yet reported here.  This incident happened on Black Friday –  well, that's almost within the last week – in San Antonio, TX.zarate

Isidro Zarate dropped his wife off at WalMart to do some shopping.  While leaving the parking lot, he saw a man who had grabbed a woman by the hair (head hair, all you Trump-gutter minds).  He stopped the car within shouting distance and told the man to "get your hands off her."  Teles Mandan Juarez did do that – he needed his hands to pick up his handgun and shoot Zarate, and, incidentally, a bystander in the parking lot, outside any of the cars.  Zarate was hit in the neck, and died.  Another woman in his car was injured by flying debris ("shrapnel.")  Yet another case for Tisiphone.  You will need reinforcements, my dear.

At least Juarez has been arrested and charged, and the current charges are expected to increase.  Not that that is of any concrete assistance to Zarate's widow and four children (a gofundme page has been set up though.)

A couple of weeks earlier, on November 12, in El Sobrante, CA, a "census-designated place" in the east bay area across from San Francisco and near Richmond, a gifted 28-year-old musician named William simsSims went to a Pool Hall where he often hung out.  In the bar, he "encountered three men … who decided to rob, beat, and then shoot him to death, all because he was black."  They left his body lying in the street.

At least they have one of the three in custody and identitles, including photos, on the other two.  I won't be showing their photos, because, frankly, they are b**t-ugly.  Sims, who played guitar, saxophone, violin and piano, and also sang, was much better looking.  He was also quiet, unassuming, humorous, and always doing his best to befriend others.  And this incident could go to Tisiphone too, but Megaera, help her out.  She is overwhelmed.

And then there was the Mississippi woman who was knocked unconscious in a Kroger supermarket aisle by a male shopper whom she asked if he knew how to bake a pie.  Yes, you read that right.  First he walked away, screaming jonesexpletives, then he returned, shoved two other women there into the shelves, and punched Nia Jones, his questioner, three times in the face and once in the chest, leaving her unconscious.  No employee or other shopper came to her defense or assistance, which, while in some ways not unreasonable, is still sad.

You may be wondering, why, if this happened in Mississippi, it's the Memphis, TN TV station which has the video.  Well, Southaven, MS, is so close to the state line with Tennessee that it is considered a suburb of Memphis.  That has to be rough.  Megaera, please help the authorities identify the assailant from the surveillance video, preferably before he punches anyone else.

Finally – well, finally for this week, I trust no one thinks this stuff is going to stop – we go to North Carolina for the teacher who choked a five-year-old Muslim student.  Yes.  I said CHOKED.  I also said FIVE YEARS OLD.  Another teacher had to physically pull her off of the lad before she snapped his spine. 

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)  is, naturally, calling for an investigation here.  The allegations, announced to the public just before Thanksgiving:charlotte

“During the first two months of the school year, [the Muslim student] was subjected to relentless bullying and harassment not only by his classmates, but by [the teacher]. For example, she would routinely single out [the student] from his classmates and require him to carry a heavy backpack throughout the day. The backpack contained a large textbook and headphones, which caused [the student] to develop significant back pain. . .[The teacher] would also treat [the student] harshly and reportedly called him ‘bad Muslim boy’ on multiple occasions. . .

“On November 16, 2016, [the teacher] reportedly approached [the student]. . .grabbed him by the neck and began choking him. [Another teacher] then separated the two and began consoling [the student] who was crying and extremely shaken.”

Tisiphone, this is definitely yours.  Maybe Alecto can do some reconnaissance for you, maybe getting the teacher off her meds – or on to some.  All I can manage to do is shake my head and say, "Poor child!  Poor, poor child!"

And weep.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4024924


Everyday Erinyes #52

 Posted by at 12:05 am  Politics
Nov 262016

This week I have cut the stories down to three which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them.  As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

You know, it's not that long since Veterans' Day.  On the day after Veterans' Day, Army Sergeant John William Perry died of injuries received from an improvised explosive device in Bagram, Afghanistan.  He was 30.  He left behind a wife and two small children.  Also a mother, a father, and a grandmother with whom he had been living in California prior to deployment. perry

His father, Stewart Perry, accepted the responsibility to meet his remains from Dover, Delaware to northern California.  With his wife an daughter, he boarded an American Airlines flight to Philadelphia, with a quick transfer in Phoenix, before traveling from there to Dover.

Apparently the flight was 45 minutes late getting into Phoenix, and the crew feared the delay might cause them to miss their connecting flight.  So, when the plane landed, the Captain announced that all passengers should remain seated to let a "special military family" exit the aircraft first.

Several passengers in first class began to boo and complain, Perry said.

"Some people were saying 'This is just baloney,' and 'I paid for first-class for this?' “

Daily Kos user noweasels (and isn't that a great name?) had this to say about it:

Dear Entitled First Class Whiners: When you hear “special military family” on board, you sit or stand and say “thank you.”  It doesn’t matter what you “paid,” because what you paid has no meaning to any family of any member of the military who has paid the ultimate price. 

But I would like for them to hear it from you, Megaera.  I'll bet it would be memorable.

BTW, Daily Kos has a group called "I Got The News Today" where members post tributes to the memory of service members who give their lives. Here is the tribute page for Sergeant Perry and another soldier who also died that day.

Transgendered people have probably always existed, but the earliest reference to one (that I know of) is to Tiresias, who appears in several myths, one of which is the Odyssey.  The scholarly consensus now is that the events of the Iliad and the Odyssey, or some semblance of them, actually occurred, and that this happened between roughly 1220-1178 BCE, or up to three and a quarter thousand years ago.  That is one heck of a long time it has taken humanity to catch up with reality, and, alas, there are plenty who still need to catch up.

anmarieOne who hasn't caught up yet is Anmarie Calgaro, who has just filed a lawsuit against her emancipated (under Minnesota law) 17-year-old daughter (whom she calls her son) to prevent her from getting medical gender affirmation care.

The Minnespta Department of Education estimates, based on this year's Minnesota Student Survey, estimates that as many as 6600 students in grades 9 through 12 may be transgendered.  There is no data on what percentage of parents are likely to be affirming of their children and what percentage are likely to be oppressive.  But if Anmarie wins this suit, that's a lot of kids who may be cut off from their own identities. 

Additionally, the whole minor-and-medical-rights issue would also affect any minor needing to seek abortion.  Which is probably why the Catholic Thomas More Society is backing her.  Personally, I think More, who, by all accounts, was a kindly man, would turn over in his grave about their actions.

Alecto, I believe Minnesota is better than this.  Perhaps you can educate this mother and her legal team who are well over three thousand years behind the times and counting.  Alternatively, you may only need to educate the judge.  Whatever you can do.

Staying in Minnesota (and I am not trying to pick on Minnesota, these stories just happened to happen together, so to speak), we have this headline:

5th grader brings gun to school to kill Muslim 3rd grader.

Yes, you read that right.

Sheriff Bill Hutton said the incident was under investigation but that there had been no indication so far that a hate crime was committed. 


The gun in question was an airgun "replica handgun," which means it looked exactly like a "real" gun.  Not, however, that an air gun isn't a real gun.  Water pistols may shoot water, but air guns shoot pellets or BBs, and many have plenty of power to kill small animals.  In fiction, Sherlock Holmes's arch-enemy Moriarty had minions working on air gun research, and Moriarty's right hand man, Sebastian Moran, had one with which he killed numerous people.  The gun in the picture is a replica Ruger which fires 20 gram BBs with a 12 gram CO2 cartridge. It's probably not the one the fifth grader had, but it could have been, and there are many others it could have been also.   I would not be happy to have any of them pointed at me.

The fifth-grader had threatened to kill the third-grader three days prior to bringing the gun to school.  It was, thankfully, confiscated on the bus on the way in.  But it appears to me that the intention (premeditation) was there, so that this qualifies as "vengeful destruction."  And it doesn't appear he is likely to hear that from anyone  other than you, Tisiphone.  Yes, I'm sending you after kids now. 

Oh, as a postscript, some may remember that last year I wrote about a lavish and very, very expensive dinner offered by The Old Homestead Steakhouse.  At that time the cost was $45,000.00.  Well, it's back.  This year it's $50,000.00, with a different package of perks (no 2-carat diamond ring this year, but lots of other goodies.)

The Furies and I will be back.


Everyday Erinyes #50

 Posted by at 9:05 am  Politics
Nov 052016

It's another week when I have many items which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them. But, as it is so close to the election, I think I will confine myself to a few (representative, if not comprehensive) concerning supporters of Donald J. Trump. Not Trump himself. Because whatever happens, we will still have these supporters walking among us, and we will need all the help we can get dealing with them. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

This last Sunday evening, October 30, in Menomonie, WI, a young man named Hussain Saeed Alnahdi went out, presumably to do some socializing before classes resumed on Monday.  Around 2:00 a.m., witnesses said they saw a man attack him in front of Topper's Pizza.  Evidently they described the attacker as "a white male about six feet tall," since that is the description of the man for whom the police are looking.  The attacker fled, leaving Alnahdi unconscious and bleeding.  After police arrived, he briefly regained consciousness, and was transported to Mayo Clinic Health System in Menomonie, then transferred by helicopter to Mayo Clinic Eau Claire.alnahdi

The next day he died.

He had been enrolled in a program to study business administration at the University of Wisconsin Stout.  "Hussain selected UW Stout because Menomonie WI is a very safe place with a strong English program and classes to help him as a business major.  He was quickly becoming fluent in English and had many friends both among the Saudi students and Americans from around the country."

Since the killer has not yet been apprehended, you may say I can't really tie this to Trump.  I beg to differ.  I can and I do.

We need to wake up to the risk of a Trump presidency or even a close election that empowers his supporters to carry out the violence that is threatened toward immigrants and Muslims.  A family in Saudi Arabia has lost their beloved child and a community of learners has been shattered by this cruel act.  This may not turn out to be a hate crime, but that our thoughts immediately go this direction for a reason.  We can’t be this kind of nation.

A little earlier, Saturday the 29th to be precise, in Allen Park, MI, a Donald Trump supporter in Michigan pointed a gun at six kids he suspected of destroying a yard sign favoring the Republican presidential candidate.

It appears – the story is a little hazy – but it appears Michael Robert Kubek called police, or got his mother to call police, to report his sign had been damaged by "teenagers" who then ran off.  When the officer arrived he was not at his home, but at a corner up the block, holding a gun on six children aged 12 to 14 who were sitting in the grass.  Yelling.  Cursing, actually.

If he expected the officer to arrest the juveniles, he was disappointed. 

The officer asked Kubek if he witnessed any of the juveniles that were sitting on the grass destroy the sign. According to police, Kubek responded that he did not. He also responded to the officer that he does not have security cameras that could offer proof as to who may have destroyed his lawn sign.kubek

The officer told Kubek to go back to his house so he could talk to the kids about what happened.

One of the children was celebrating a birthday. They told an officer they were heading to a nearby park to “hang out.” The youngsters said when they got to the corner of Pennsylvania and Sterling, Kubek ran up to them and started cursing, calling them vulgar names.

The juveniles told police Kubek accused them of damaging his sign, then he pulled out a pistol and pointed it at them. He then told them to sit down on the grass.

The kids said they tried to tell Kubek they did not damage his sign, but it only resulted with Kubek telling them to shut up and continue cursing at them. They said Kubek held them at gunpoint while his mother called police. According to police, Kubek’s mother lives on the same block.

The officer said he talked with each kid individually and they all confirmed that Kubek pointed a gun at them. Each of them also gave written statements of their account of the incident.

Kubek told the officer he was upset because a week earlier his house was egged and his political signs damaged.

On the night of the incident, Kubek said he heard a group of kids outside his house. When he looked outside, his sign was on the ground and the kids were running away.

The officer asked him again if he could identify any of the kids as the one who damaged his sign, but Kubek repeated that he could not.

Kubek was arrested for felonious assault. His Concealed Pistol License was confiscated.  He was arraigned Tuesday and harged with six counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of felony firearm.  He was (alas) allowed to post bond.

Moving along, in Raleigh, NC, there is a community minister named John Pavlovitz, who may need you to put on your Eumenides hats and protect him from actual harm.  Because he has just told the truth about all those "Christian" men and their attitude toward women (Please Note:  Any resemblance between Christian Right men and actual Christian men is highly unlikely, but should it occur, purely coincidental.)pavlovitz

In a recent blog, Pavlovitz bluntly tells Christian women/all women that they don’t matter to these right-wing religious zealots who build up and defended Trump and the misogyny he brings to the table. Pavlovitz says Trump feels it’s okay to physically force himself on women and that seems to be natural and acceptable to “Men on the Christian Right” who believe “God is a dude and the woman brought sin.”

Pavlovitz says in their twisted patriarchal world, the men on the Christian Right think all men act like Trump, all men talk this way, all men think this way, but adds, “No, we don’t—but they do.”

And that the real reason they are acting as they do may be worse than you thought:

The real reason they’re doing it, is because to them you aren’t worth defending; not your intelligence or your gifts or your worth. As a result, your consent isn’t really a concern either; you may have noticed that. It’s why, in their minds sexual misconduct almost never occurs, and when it does, it’s because you were dressed too provocatively or sending mixed signals, or because their motives were misinterpreted.They don’t believe you have the right to say or no or to be offended. If anything, they believe you should be flattered. This is the hubris of men who think God made you as an accessory.”

The fact that men of intelligence and principle also exist doesn't, unfortunately mean, that the other kind – the kind Pavlovitz describes, won't also be around, and that for a long, long time.  Alecto, Megaera, Tisiphone, you may have noticed I didn't make any suggestions here about who should handle what, or how.  Because it is going to be a work in progress.  I trust you three to apportion it out and follow it up.  Thank you, all three, for being who you are.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4019481