Saturday, November 13, 2021

What on earth have we come to? (apologies to Josh Marshall, what he says is so damning and important.)


Thinking about Rittenhouse and Right Wing Murder Safaris

But the Rittenhouse case shows how that is not really true. Permissive self-defense laws allow a Rittenhouse to have his aggression double as self-defense. You intentionally go into a chaotic situation. You travel across state lines, highly and visibly armed, allegedly to ‘protect’ people who haven’t asked for your protection. Then you feel threatened, which seems likely to happen in a chaotic place when you show up, chest puffed out with a military style weapon. Your perception of danger entitles you to murderous violence, which you arrived locked and loaded to pursue in the first place. In Rittenhouse’s case part of his perception of threat came when people freaked out after he’d shot and killed the first person. And of course only other people get hurt or killed because you’ve got the over-the-top firepower and they don’t.

If you operate within the chain of reasoning here you see the perverse connections. Self-defense laws exist because we as a society believe you are entitled to defend yourself with what would ordinarily be criminal violence if you face imminent, grave bodily harm or death. If someone breaks into your home and is threatening to kill you you have the right to kill them first. But if you created the dangerous or deadly situation the calculus changes. Or at least it should. Rittenhouse likely broke some laws being there with the gun in the first place. He was under 18 for instance. But the basic argument here is that Rittenhouse wasn’t doing anything wrong by just carrying around an AR-15. Wisconsin’s an open carry state. The inherent aggression and menace of carrying around high caliber weapons, which we’re told is only a problem for squeamish libs, becomes a path for the person carrying the fire arm to themselves feel threatened and decide they need to use the gun.

The aggression carries the seeds of justification within it. You show up looking for trouble on yet another of these right wing murder safaris like Rittenhouse, with his mother chaperoning, was taking part in. You’re looking for trouble and when you find it that’s your justification for taking the next step. That’s not how self-defense is supposed to work. But we can see in this case how the interplay of open carry and permissive self-defense statutes do just that.

Saturday, November 06, 2021

Youngkin, CRT, and Voter Fraud


Voter Fraud!

And in 2022 and 2024 and in 20......


Apparently it's in human nature to desire simplistic answers to complex problems, which is why we will always have authoritarian tendencies. They will continually pop up in our political discourse and need to be exposed, beaten down, and disproved again and again. It was not okay then and it is not okay now.