Category Archives: terrorism

Weak Without Guns: Open Carry Texas

Carrying guns openly in public doesn’t help basic logic skills

It was just an ordinary day on twitter, when I suddenly noticed Open Carry Texas was acting all smug because Moms Demand Action for Gunsense in America wouldn’t meet with them. OCT has a long history of attempting to intimidate Moms Demand of course, and I decided maybe I should call them on that.

Open Carry Texas

Yes, their members have a history of murder. Here’s the link I tweeted to them. They tried to blow that off as a one-time thing, after trying to deny it first. Hey, no big deal one of their own suddenly snapped and killed her family, it was just the one time! They’d also prefer we ignore some of the criminal records their various followers possess.

Not to mention the intimidating way they introduced themselves to Moms Demand by displaying their guns to them while they met for lunch; using female mannequins to stand in for the Moms to be shot up; along with their constant swarming of Moms Demand members on twitter and Facebook, along with whomever else supports responsible firearms legislation, this writer included.

At this point, I informed them how often I get death threats from gun lobby supporters and suggested that might be contributing to their image problems. I showed them this screenshot as an example:

Open Carry Texas

I wasn’t expecting sympathy from Open Carry Texas on this, but I did want to illustrate why Moms Demand didn’t want to talk to them. Besides OCT’s constant smear campaigns against them, that is. It took them a day to answer, and their response was that both sides were equally complicit in death threats against children, a laughable premise, and tried to dismiss it entirely:

Open Carry Texas

My answer was to say that threatening the life of a child was unjustifiable. They simply insulted me in response, and said I was the one threatening them:

Open Carry Texas

Open Carry Texas

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Open Carry Texas thinks they are the ones getting bullied. They were the ones crying “victim” in the first place, that’s what got me to engage them. Those mean Moms won’t talk to them! Why can’t anyone see that they’re nice, reasonable people!

Also, I was apparently the one threatening them, even though I’d done nothing of the sort. Unless pointing out their history and the flaws in their arguments were what Open Carry Texas considered “threats.” If so, this should bring up grave concerns as to what they see as a threat while they’re walking around with firearms.

It was during this exchange a fellow by the name of Gavan Boucher challenged OCT over how they must feel weak without their guns. Open Carry Texas didn’t seem to grasp his point, and went ahead and confirmed it:

Open Carry Texas

Whether it was because they realized they’d argued themselves into a corner; felt outnumbered by three dudes on the Internet; or because (more likely) they’d just given up; OCT didn’t try again until the next day. Which was curious, because they just picked right back up with the insults, even though it had gotten them nowhere:Open Carry Texas

So, as they were sticking with the whole “death threats against your kid don’t mean shit because people threaten us sometimes” angle, I stayed on them with how that’s not ethically sound. I pointed out how they could barely handle pushback against their own arguments, so probably shouldn’t try to justify death threats. The next day, Open Carry Texas made another attempt to do just that:

Open Carry Texas

Open Carry Texas had taken three days to issue these responses. Perhaps the organizational account was being handled by several people who weren’t bothering to check how the conversation had gone previously, and decided to just miss the points previously made and insult me as their predecessors had done. Perhaps it was just one person, with no idea how to present or defend an argument.

But it was clear that OCT wasn’t very good at debating. They’d been run in a circle, had utterly failed to prove they weren’t comprised of dangerous people, and certainly weren’t very pleasant to deal with. They couldn’t even condemn death threats against a child, instead trying to justify them with “Well we get threats sometimes too!”  Yet they claimed it was Moms Demand who were bullying OCT?

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Then OCT tried to “Rand Paul” their tweets, saying they didn’t say what they’d just said. I simply sat back and let them continue destroying their own arguments. Like what happened next, when they disavowed Kory Watkins, after I reminded them of his recent antics:

Open Carry Texas

Mmm. Open Carry Texas had nothing to do with how Kory Watkins got so big. Even though his picture is present on the OCT website several times and he used their platform to raise himself to greater prominence, they can’t be held responsible.

Oh really, Open Carry Texas? If you can’t take even partial responsibility for Kory Watkins implying lawmakers who oppose Open Carry’s goals deserve death; Hell, if you can’t even take responsibility for your own words, then how can you be trusted to take responsibility for a firearm?

This isn’t blaming guns, as Open Carry Texas likes to say, it’s blaming people. One simple twitter conversation easily exposed OCT’s inability to hold together a solid argument or even admit to their own words on screenshot. They are unable to condemn those who threaten the life of a child. They admitted they feel weak without guns. All they had to offer was hatefulness and insults. And they can’t even be honest about it.

Open Carry Texas

And that was pretty much it. They blocked me after that, just like John Lott did when he couldn’t out-debate me, and the blatantly racist NRA Cheerleader “Raging” Rob Kinnison did as well.

The surprising thing about the conversation was how little interference I got from OCT’s followers. No doubt they were trying to pile on, but I’d been speaking out against gun lobbies for a year now, and the worst and most awful of the gun troll accounts were previously blocked. Accounts, it needs to be said, with a history of threatening and insulting those who don’t go along with their Molon Labe viewpoints. Accounts repeatedly retweeted by… Drum Roll… Open Carry Texas!

The takeaway here is that the most vocal pro-gun people count on insults and intimidation to get their way. I’ve proven this before, here and here. They are certain to continue along these lines. For proof, just look to the comments underneath pieces like these. They are invariably jammed with gun lobby supporters trying to virtually shout me down.

Many of the commenters, it needs to be said, have had to be blocked from my personal profiles for vile attacks on my family as well as myself. That’s just how they roll. But there aren’t as many of them as they’d like you to believe. And most of them are in Texas.

Stand up to Open Carry Texas, and all those like them. Don’t let them have their way. OCT are not good guys, but bullies. They are dishonest about their motivations. They can’t even defend their own arguments. And if all they have are threats and insults, then just block them. The rest won’t be able to handle you, and they will block you.

But where you block them for threats and scorn, they will block you for the truth. You can’t get a clearer distinction of right and wrong than that.

“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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Scare America Stupid: Republican Fear Mongering

The GOP wants you terrified, because you’ll be easier to manipulate

republican fear mongeringRepublicans are trying to scare you. ISIS/ISIL is coming to get you! Obamacare is going to set up Death Panels! Ebola! Immigrants! The Gays! God hates Democrats! The GOP hasn’t cranked the fear machine up this high since the days of Joe McCarthy and the “Red Scare.”

But this is a just a political tactic. Remember how the Ebola hysteria went away the next day after the mid-terms? It was probably just a co-incidence.

No, Republicans are just trying to scare Americans into thinking that the nation is safer when they’re in charge. And that’s bullshit. Sorry, that’s the nicest word for it.

“Satan is attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity, and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition.” ~ Rick Santorum (R-Pa), 2008

New York during the President Clinton years wasn’t a scary place. Even after the first attack on the WTC, nobody was frightened all the time. Concerned sometimes, yes, but nobody was carrying on like Lindsey Graham or Bill O’Reilly does these days. New Yorkers don’t scare easy regardless.

We were on top of things, people were well informed, and the media wasn’t nearly as fragmented as it is now. Fox News was but a gleam in Rupert Murdoch’s eye. Yes, newspapers leaned right and left, and always will, but cable news networks weren’t as blatantly partisan as they are now.

All New Yorkers knew who Osama Bin Laden was for years. He was in the papers all the time, and there were stories on him on the news shows. Everybody knew he was dangerous, and we also knew the government was trying to get him. Most Americans did.

Ignore right wingers who would forward that whole “Clinton didn’t do anything about Osama” theory. It’s bullshit. There is no nicer word for it.

When W. rose up, things started to fall apart quickly. Do you remember the turmoil the entire country was in during his inauguration? Bush couldn’t even get out of his car for all the protesters.

When 9/11 happened, all New Yorker’s worth their salt immediately knew it was Bin Laden. They’d been waiting for something like this. There was no way Bush wasn’t informed about OBL, he just didn’t do enough about it. Insert conspiracy theory here as to why, but most believe W simply didn’t think anything would come of it.

Enter the post 9/11 era, the country becomes more deeply divided, and cops and soldiers with sub-machine guns are hanging out everywhere in NYC. Guess what? Seeing soldiers and SWAT teams everywhere absolutely does NOT make you feel safe. Quite the opposite.

And that’s how things were for a long time. The Bush years were nothing but that administration trying to scare everyone into not noticing what a monumental mess they were making of the world. Period.

republican fear mongering“I can’t help but believe, just based on the way we’ve got all these nebulous excuses why not to have a travel ban, this president, I guarantee you, we’re going to find out, he has cut a deal with African leaders. They’re going to bring people in.” ~ Louie Gohmert (R-Tx), theorizing President Obama is going to import Ebola

Any of that scream-y scary propaganda that’s still around is continuing be forwarded by right wingers. They haven’t changed their tune at all, because that’s what they think works for them. It’s why they desperately tried to turn Benghazi into something that it wasn’t.

I have no idea why those on the right-wing that would help terrorists spread fear and division throughout this country for nearly two years were not strung up by their balls. Americans should be raking them over the coals for that bullshit. There’s no nicer word for it.

Instead, Fox News pundits like Bill O’Reilly are given a free pass to carry merrily along their fear mongering deceitful path. And Republicans are more than happy to follow that lead.

“Our strategy will fail yet again. This president needs to rise to the occasion before we all get killed back here at home.” ~ Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

As I write this, I’m sitting here in Brooklyn, where they busted a potential terror plot in my neighborhood before it happened. They got it. They were all over it. I never saw any of that under Bush, it was just that administration ringing the alarm whenever they wanted to remind us why we shouldn’t question them. Say what you will about Obama, but he isn’t predisposed to cowardly histrionics like Graham or John McCain.

ISIL is trying to get the USA over there to fight them. That’s what they’re all about. And Bill O’Reilly and the rest of the Christian zealots are screaming “Holy War and yeah,that’s scary. And reports were just released saying there’s an equal to greater chance of right-winger domestic terrorism than an ISIL attack, and that’s scary.

And isn’t it funny how when the DHS identifies right-wing terrorism as a legitimate threat, Republicans almost don’t fund the DHS? It’s probably just a co-incidence.

What isn’t scary is now America at least seems to have a President that isn’t prone to pounding a religious tome as the reason to invade the wrong country to create ISIL in the first place. And as long as ISIL is begging us to come fight them, it means they don’t have a realistic chance of coming to get us. Not to do the kind of damage that would induce the pants-shitting cowardice we’re seeing from the Republicans anyway. And the grown up in charge of the nation seems to realize that.

1425224081_dakota-johnson-snl-isis_1ISIL should be treated as a punch line. You have a greater chance of getting hit by lightning than getting beheaded by ISIS terrorists. Those of us looking to counteract the message of hate, terror, and fear should follow Saturday Night Live’s lead. Don’t cower from ISIS. Mock them!

So, yeah, we’re a lot safer now from terrorist attacks than we were under Republicans. Yeah, it’s relative, but if you really think America’s going to be invaded by legions of bloodthirsty terrorists, you’re a cowardly and spoiled whiny brat.

The biggest thing we have to worry about in the USA are crazy white men with guns, whether or not they’re cops. Isn’t it funny how Republicans don’t want to talk about that? It’s probably just a co-incidence.

America is supposed to be a world leader, and leaders don’t repeat mistakes, especially when they get countless people killed. It is poor military strategy to allow an enemy to goad you into a battle on a field of their choosing. If people are trying to scare or shame you into a fight, they do not have your best interests at heart.

Fear can be a tool used to control the stupid and the weak-minded. Americans should be smart enough and courageous enough to see past and dismiss such immature playground tactics. If we can’t, then we don’t truly live in the Home of the Brave.

“There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” ~ President George W. Bus

ISIS is Destroying History (Literally!)

Posted by on Sunday, March 1, 2015 · 1 Comment

In an attempt to provoke a western response, ISIS has declared war on ancient history

ISIS is destroying historyISIS has proven itself to be, perhaps, the most comic-book ideal of a terrorist group I have seen to date. They spare no expense in time or money to make themselves appear barbaric and stylish in their campaign of destruction. Recently this includes an incident in which ISIS militants were smashing priceless ancient artifacts in the city of Mosul.

In ISIS’s attempt to re-create their “Caliphate”, they have set out on a campaign to eliminate all things “non-Islamic” across the parts of Syria and Iraq they control. Part of this program has been a systematic destruction of priceless artifacts from ancient Mesopotamia, which was recently taped and distributed by ISIS on social media.

The video takes place in a museum in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, and for me it was hard to watch. These artifacts are irreplaceable, some well over 3,000 years old. To put it in context, some of the items destroyed by ISIS are older than the oldest books of the Bible (and much older than the Koran). Mesopotamia is also the famed “Cradle of Civilization,” so studying from those artifacts has revealed much about many key developments of civilization.

As a student of history, watching the senseless destruction of those priceless artifacts made me sick. The history that has been destroyed by ISIS goons is heartbreaking, let alone the myriad of other atrocities and violations of human decency they have committed. Any and all culture and history that does not fit their radical narrative is to be destroyed. If ISIS ever took over Egypt, I bet they would destroy the Sphinx and the Pyramids too.

The madness perpetrated by ISIS is not new. This act is reminiscent of terror tactics, such as book burnings, done by dictatorships in the past. The book burnings of the Fascists in Europe perhaps come to mind. The object is to destroy everything that does not conform to the narrative. While committing these acts of vain destruction, though, ISIS merely forces us to take them less seriously.

Clearly these acts, while an affront to all decency, are there mainly as provocations. The object of the destruction of the artifacts in Mosul and elsewhere is both to erase non-conformed history and to provoke the West and wider region to attack them. Nothing gets ISIS more recruits like more war.

There is a method to the madness. While many acts of ISIS seem unnecessarily cruel and without purpose, there is a line of reasoning. ISIS is fueled by war, especially war against the “infidels.” One of the main reasons for being so outwardly brutal is to draw in Western and regional powers to fight them, to give ISIS the “Holy War” it so desperately wants.

While I deplore what ISIS has done to priceless pieces of history in Iraq, I also understand that this is only a strategy to provoke more violent reactions. While ISIS may have a method to its madness, giving in to that method only proves its effectiveness. We shouldn’t combat ISIS on their terms, but on ours.

The Terrorists Are Winning by Remote Control

By Jerry Bierens, February 18, 2015

Think the president or anyone in congress or any budding candidates for office in the future know what to do with this terrorism? They have missed the point that the extremists are using to affect nearly all that we try to do to stop/contain them. Here’s my insight as to what is really happening:

I believe that these Islamic extremists know exactly what they are doing to America. They are as cunning as a master criminal, in that they are using their false religion and insane terrible acts to inflame the religious right in the U.S…

They know full well that it will enhance the chances for more and more laws getting passed and imposed on the American people that are of the (Christian Sharia type) religious nature. As a secular nation, this is the greatest threat to our democracy and freedoms. They have been eroding now for a decade and a half.

We have to go through extreme measures to fly on an airplane, we have surveillance by our own government, on our own citizens, we have had a deep wedge driven between the two major political parties that is leading to even more and more dysfunction and more laws proposed that are of this nature.

To them it must be great fun to watch us flail around and not have a clue as to what their intentions are and to not have a clue that this is their ultimate goal.

Be aware my friends, we are certainly under an internal attack as well.

The right wing crazies are just what the terrorists want to get into control of our government. We can see it in the voter restriction laws being passed, the fact that corporations (speciffically the Koch Brothers) can pump billions into getting their bible thumping, puppet candidates elected, a SCOTUS that might as well be working directly for them, attacks on women’s rights, the LGBT community and on freedom and equality in general.

It must be understood that if we are do not to stop this tide of extreme right wing nut job proposed laws and candidates and elect those that will stand up for our freedoms and total equality, we will soon cease to be anything close to a democracy.

We must get this corporate money out of our elections, be informed about candidates true intentions (sometimes they’re not so evident) and desires to turn this country into a form of a theocracy (it doesn’t work there now or ever and never will). These terrorists can only be defeated when and if we ignore their extreme acts and not let them remotely dictate to us how to act and how we react to their nonsense.

Think about it.

Jerry Bierens