It is the peculiar doom of our time…

Published June 5, 2020

…to be ruled by clowns. So God sends clowns to answer them. John Oliver consistently does a bang-up job of helping you learn something while cracking you up:

24 Responses

  1. God has always sent fools to help kings. It seems fitting in a republic the court fools appear in our living rooms.

  2. You wanted a clown, Mark, so here you go.

    The Guardian reports:

    Trump is apparently using his press conference to declare both the coronavirus crisis and the George Floyd protests to be over.

    “Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying, ‘This is a great thing happening for our country,” Trump said of Floyd, who died in police custody last week. “A great day for him, a great day for everybody. This is great day for everybody.”

    However, protests against police brutality are continuing across the country, and Democrats have called for a number of policy changes, including a national ban on chokeholds, that have not been enacted.

    —————

    Back to me: imagine what you must lack in empathy, let alone basic humanity, to declare that a murder victim would be happy looking down from heaven and seeing how great Jabba the trump’s ratings are because legitimate protesters are being gassed and beaten, and American senators are calling for the military to be turned loose on the civilian population, because the victim was murdered.

  3. I sent this to our local major metropolitan newspaper the other day, but they chose not to print it. If I get too sarcastic, they tend to look askance. They seem to have a low tolerance for clowns, especially movie queens.

    But since they didn’t print it, here you go.

    In response to several days of riots, protests, and looting, Glorious Leader tweeted today his decision to declare that ANTIFA is a “terrorist organization“, despite three big problems. First, ANTIFA means anti-fascist, and describes Eisenhower, Churchill, and our fathers who fought against Nazis 80 years ago. Second, it is by no means obvious that the troubles are led by anyone, or comprised primarily of people either far left or far right. It’s not like those armed insurrectionists that invaded the Capitol grounds in Michigan a few weeks ago, whose far-right political posture was made quite clear.

    Thirdly, ANTIFA is a movement, not an organization. It has no recognizable leaders, no meeting place, no organizational structure, flag, finances, records, or membership lists. It also has no recognizable characteristic uniting it. It’s participants are not all young, or black, or even far left.

    I am a white, centrist, middle class man approaching 70. 50 years ago, I protested against the Vietnam war, not because I was far left, but because it was WRONG– wrong for our people, our country, Vietnam, and the world.

    So, am I a terrorist? Can you arrest us all? Because…

    I AM ANTIFA!

  4. “It’s not fair to judge all police officers based on the few bad apples we violently defend at all costs.”
    Headline in the Beaverton, Canada’s counterpart to the Onion.

    1. So, they know there are bad apples, but their concern is about what else the rot in the barrel could be about. The way I see it, if you have 10 bad and/or dirty cops, and 200 cops know all about it but don’t do a thing, you don’t have 10 bad and/or dirty cops, you have 210. I used to work in law-enforcement a long time ago. There were definitely some bad apples in the Police Department. The majority as far as I could tell we’re just concerned about doing the best job they could.

      1. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that those 200 who turn a blind eye are bad or dirty.
        This is a structural/institutional problem and if your options are either ignoring the bad apples and doing the best job you can to make up for the damage they cause or speaking up and not changing anything but costing you your job in the process, well, I wouldn’t be the first one to cast stones.

        I mean, sure, if all spoke up, it wouldn’t be possible to ignore. But there is a structure in place that protects the bad cops and unless there is a change in oversight, nothing will happen to make it better.

      2. @toughluck

        The Catholic Church has exactly the same problem, though it is certainly not limited to the Catholic Church. But this is a Catholic blog.

        Maybe only 5% of the priesthood is involved in the molestation scandals directly. I questioned that figure, but I’ll go with it. But I find it impossible to believe that whole dioceses are not involved. Father Ted Pretty much molested anything with two legs that couldn’t run fast. The former archbishop of West Virginia was taking money, making gifts, propositioning anything Male with legs, and treated himself on the whole pretty well – something other people must’ve known about, Especially the people receiving large cash gifts, or doing the books of the diocese. An Australian royal commission determined that Father Pell could not possibly have not known about the molestation being committed by his associate.

  5. I can’t imagine those cops intended to kill Floyd. I also don’t think it was demonstrably motivated by race: two of the cops were not “white”. Clearly they were worked up about a previous struggle, then they just let him slowly suffocate by crushing him while he was pleading for his life. At least that is what it looked like. Then again he was likely on drugs and might have been difficult for the cops to deal with. There is no chance the cops can get a fair trial. I feel bad for them too, at least the rookies. Would I behave any different in their situation?

    It is really awful to watch, I don’t get it at all, but there are other problems than just police brutality, plaguing our nation. Like wealth disparity, lack of work, broken families, drug addiction and environmental destruction, not to mention being locked up and out of work because of a global pandemic.

    1. Let’s see.

      The murderers didn’t try to kill him, so it’s not their fault they did, even though they killed him. Check
      The murder of a black guy by a white cop had nothing to do with race. Check.
      Look! Other cops were non-white, so the murder was somehow not murder. Check.
      The victim had it coming because the killers were worked up. Check.
      The victim “likely” was on drugs and therefore deserved death because murder victims are no angels. Check.
      I don’t *know* what happened, but probably the victim deserved to be killed. Check.
      Everything is so unfair for cops who get caught committing murder on film. Check.
      All have sinned, so punishing murder when cops do it is vindictive and judgmental. Check.
      Look at all this other stuff that is bad. So let’s maintain the status quo when cops murder black guys. Check.
      Also, having to show consideration to other people during Pandemic is, I think we can all agree, the real tragedy. Check.

      The complete Cop Violence Excuse Bingo Card!

      Winner!

      1. So you think the cops intentionally wanted to kill Floyd because he was black? I just don’t see it that way. He was resisting arrest and he was on drugs. I think it was police brutality or excessive use of force, not some systemic plot to murder people with dark pigmentation.

        Our country has nearly the highest rate of incarceration in the world. There are underlying deep seated problems in our nation, not just racism that lead to police brutality.

      2. I keep hearing people talk about whether or not the cops personally held animosity towards someone they mistreated, abused or killed, specifically because they were black. The truth is, that I really don’t care. Its also missing the point.

        What I do care about, is a system that lets cops think they can get away with such behavior if the victim happens to be black. And its that kind of system that produces the results we see today.

        “If a white man wants to lynch me, that’s his problem. If he’s got the power to lynch me, that’s my problem. Racism is not a question of attitude; it’s a question of power.”
        – Stokely Carmichael

      3. @ ElmWood.

        No, I don’t think the cops killed Floyd intentionally because he was black. I think they killed him with complete indifference to it because they didn’t think his life actually mattered, and certainly not to them.

        Let me tell you a story. This happened in Arizona about 40 years ago. I don’t remember the details exactly, but basically, a gang of middle-class white boys attacked a young gay man on the street, threw him off a bridge, and into a river, where he drowned. All the while they were doing this, he was yelling at them not to hurt him, not to throw him in the river because he couldn’t swim. They did it anyway. He drowned.

        Did they intentionally intend to kill him, as in thinking about it, and doing it? Probably not. But they did it, didn’t they?

        To My mind, as bad as these boys were, the judge at the trial was even worse. Noting that they were good, white boys – he didn’t say white boys, of course – who came from good Christian homes – I have to question the kind of Christianity that says it’s all right to kill a fellow human being, but no matter – he basically gave them a slap on the wrist and told them not to do it again. I have no idea whether they did. But what I do know is that the gay boy was dead, and these Self entitled Moral degenerates got away with it.

        As I have said repeatedly in other contexts, not all bigotry is hate. So much of it is the always present, always assumed, never questioned assumption of an other wise completely imaginary superiority As a white person, a Christian, a moral person, A heterosexual, a man, and a human being.

    2. The problems you mentioned are in no way separate from that of police violence. Racism is a root cause and promoter of all of it.

      It also arises from our society’s decision to use extreme force and mass incarceration as the primary means of addressing poverty, social inequalities and unresolved racism.

    3. Likely on drugs? LIKELY?

      Well, that certainly excludes any culpability for the failure of three officer to prevent a Fourth from malfeasance.

      Google Four Minneapolis cops, you get Two definitely white Guys, one most likely white guy, and And Asian. By pointing this out, you are lumping all brown and black people together. I know this will be a surprise, but even brown people can be racist. Even brown people can have no morals and no empathy when it comes to people they look down on.

      You should be embarrassed. Are you?

  6. Don’t be silly. You know no one thinks the police wanted to kill Floyd because he was black. You know perfectly well that there is no systemic plot to murder black people. But you do know that there is systemic prejudice against black people. And you also know that they were much likelier to be suspicious of him because he was black, and much likelier to be brutal towards him because he was black.

    As to resisting arrest, there’s no evidence of his resisting arrest, at least not from when they had him on the ground.

    1. Based on what evidence? The studies on police violence are ambiguous when it comes to racial bias. There are different opinions out there for sure. The problem is definitely related to police brutality, whether racism is also involved is more difficult to ascertain. So no, I don’t agree with your assumptions that there’s a problem with systemic racism in our country against black people. There is a lack of data on this subject.

      https://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2019/the-truth-behind-racial-disparities-in-fatal-police-shootings/

      1. @Elmwood Cool tactic – switch from “the police wanted to kill Floyd because he was black” and “there is a systemic plot to murder black people” to nice generalities and “there are different opinions out there.” Not particularly to the point, since what I said was that you know that it is false that the police wanted to kill Floyd because he was black – indeed, you know that no one has said that – and you know that no one has suggested a conspiracy to murder black people.

        Sheesh!

  7. Ah yes, the good old “let me find a black person to validate my views on race so I can dismiss the larger overall trend”. I remember when he did the same thing regarding the removal of confederate statues back when he was still blogging at Patheos.

    He certainly has the qualifications to be a Fox News commentator.

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