Updates On the Charleston Shooting:

CHARLESTON, S.C. (CBS Atlanta/AP) — A white man opened fire during a prayer meeting inside a historic black church in downtown Charleston on Wednesday night, killing nine people, including the pastor, in an assault that authorities described as a hate crime.

The shooter remained at large Thursday morning and police released photographs from surveillance video of a suspect and a possible getaway vehicle.

CBS News reports worshippers were at the church at the time for Bible study.

This is a shocking, heinous act. To murder unarmed people in cold blood in a house of worship is the act of an evil man. It is actually hard to believe that this happened in 2015, but here it is. It made me even more upset when I found out that the scumbag Dylan Roof surrendered peacefully:

To my dismay, Dylan Roof decided to cooperate when approached by the police. I was hoping one of the responding officers would pull the old, “he was reaching for his waistband,” and plug him on the spot, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. So now, we face years and years of lawyers arguing in court over nonsense while the families have to wait for justice, just like the James Holmes trial. (STILL going on, by the way.) Hopefully, he’ll get the death penalty in short order.

Speaking of the death penalty, I wonder… will all of the newspaper editorial boards handwring over the imposition of the death penalty like they did with Dzhokokar Tsarnaev? 

Following the shooting itself, as is sadly typical with these things, all of the various camps rushed to make political hay out of the massacre. The punditry is obsessing over trivialities, with, “why aren’t they calling him a terrorist?!” and “Why are they saying he’s mentally ill?!” and “Why are they humanizing him?!”  filling up the twitter feed. Really? Does it matter what we call him? He’s a mass murderer. He’s a psychopath. He’s subhuman filth. He’s vermin. Does that make it better? It’s terror of a sort, I suppose. But it’s not the same. 

This is not like Islamic terrorism, which is a well-financed global ideology with thousands of fighters, millions of supporters, and sympathetic nation-states. Nor is it like American narco-gang violence, which is a well-financed, global money-making operation with thousands of members, and millions of supporters, and sympathetic nation-states. This is a demented, lone racist with no friends, no supporters, and no money killing his way into infamy. If it makes you feel better, though, by all means call him a terrorist. I certainly won’t mind. I think it’s foolish and trivial that this is a debate, but I don’t mind. 

And of course he’s mentally ill. All killers are, in one fashion or another. That doesn’t mean he didn’t know what he was doing. But is it not a form of mental illness that makes someone strap on a suicide vest, or murder someone over a few dollars, or shoot people in a church? These are all crazy people, who do crazy things. They have bad brain wiring. With all of the violence we see in the news every day, it’s easy to forget that very, very, VERY few people ever murder. So yes, I would say that this is a form of mental illness. Just like I think a jihadist or a drug cartel enforcer is mentally ill. Does it matter? Only to the lawyers when the trial comes. I don’t believe that a “mental illness” claim should save people from the death penalty at all; I don’t care how many voices they have in their heads.

There are many other topics in the war raging on social media. White privilege, South Africa, slavery, the civil war…  all are being brought into the conversation, thanks to one drug-addled racist little shit. Aren’t we constantly told after the latest Islamic terror attack or insanely violent Baltimore month not to judge the group by the actions of a few? Look at this mess:

Calm the fuck down, Salon Magazine. The sad truth is that, for whatever reason, people that murder usually victimize someone of the same race. So this is a rare event to begin with. And yes, that’s true in Charleston as well. So this rush to condemn “white America” (whatever that means) is a joke.

Salon would never dream of running, “Black America Must Answer for Baltimore Violence” or, “Islamic America Must Answer for Jihad Extremists” headlines. So why do they feel so comfortable running this article? My brother-in-law is black. He doesn’t have shit to do with black violence. I am white. I don’t have shit to do with Dylan Roof. It’s absurd, and they should be ashamed of themselves. But Salon knows that THIS WILL GET THE HITS.

Look, I get it. I understand the history of the church, that it’s in the south… I get it. But just because one white racist nutcase goes on a killing spree, it is ridiculous that the liberal media is screaming that it’s 1930s Mississippi all over again, where black people are in grave danger because, on every corner and behind every door, there’s a white inbred Klansmen just waiting to ambush them. But since the great white boogeyman is and always will be the media’s favorite villain,  I’m sure this won’t change anytime soon. 

But enough about that. I didn’t even want to engage with that idiocy; I just had to point it out. I’m more concerned with how he acquired the weapon.

DETAILS ARE STILL COMING OUT. So, this is all just speculation at this point. But according to law enforcement sources, Roof had gotten a .45 caliber handgun for a birthday present, if you can believe it. (other stories have said that he received money and bought the weapon himself.) The police have NOT said yet whether or not this was the murder weapon. But, since the surveillance photos show Roof going into the church without any kind of bag, I’m going to assume this was, in fact, the murder weapon.

As far as law goes, it is not illegal to purchase a weapon for someone who would otherwise qualify for that weapon. In other words, it is fine for me to buy a gun and give to my brother for a present, since he is a reputable citizen who would qualify to get a firearm himself. However, it would be illegal if I purchased a gun and then gave it to a friend who was a felon on probation, say.

But, apparently Roof did have a run in with the police and had some sort of criminal record; but we don’t know if the weapon was purchased before this time, or whether he would have been disqualified from getting the weapon because of the arrest. So if it does come out that he purchased the weapon himself, with felony charges pending against him, that would be against state law. So how did he pass the background check? Also, this wasn’t some sort of fancy hi-capacity modern black rifle, or handgun with hi-cap mags. Just a regular old .45 caliber. According to one survivor, he reloaded several times.

Either way, I can’t believe these parents. I don’t know about you, but the first thing I thought was, “My God, this is Adam Lanza all over again!” A clueless parent decides that the best thing she can get her socially withdrawn child who doesn’t work, doesn’t go to school, and who has already had run-ins with adult authorities is a high-powered weapon? (If, in fact, that is what happened.) I mean, LOOK at these two:

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The eyes are the window

And even if he bought the gun himself… What are mom and dad doing all day? Are they like Nancy Lanza, just staring into her phone playing Candy Crush waiting until the bar opens while their kid is mentally disintegrating right in front of their eyes? Did they talk to him? Did they see him on a regular basis? Did they know he was arrested for drug possession? Did he have a job? What was it like at home growing up?

Maybe they did. Maybe there was nothing wrong with Roof’s home life. Sometimes, we know that no matter how someone was raised, they just turn out bad.

Right after the Sandy Hook massacre, I wrote an article for sofrep about the shooting. I included this paragraph:

More gun-control laws would not have stopped this. So, the choices here are pretty simple. If one is sympathetic to the ideas of less guns, the only way to achieve that will be the outright banning of all weapons. Obviously, this means massive government confiscation, taking away all weapons from law-abiding citizens, including handguns, rifles, and shotguns. This would almost assuredly, put an end to these sort of massacres, at least when a gun is the instrument of choice.

Unfortunately, it would also mean an end to the American’s right to keep and bear arms.

Those are still the choices, and they still apply. Every once in a great while, some nut is going to snap and try to take some people out. And every once in a while, he will succeed. That’s the reality. When you have a culture like ours, based on the right to keep and bear arms, that’s the trade off. By all means, if you don’t believe in it, offer up a bill to change the law and let’s see what happens. I wouldn’t give up my liberty for that security, but that’s me.

I’m not sure what else to say about this crime. I’m sad for the families. I’m sad for the city of Charleston. And I’m really sad about what I’ve seen on social media the last 48 hours. You would think that a terrible event like this would bring people together. It’s doing the exact opposite. Everyone is at each other’s throats. And I think it’s only going to get worse. Every interracial killing now is going to be this screaming back and forth on the news and on social media, blaming each other’s tribes instead of the individuals. It’s depressing as hell.

However: we carry on because we must. So let’s carry on.

He Stole All The Valor:

Oxford, Michigan – On Memorial Day 2015, a day that is a solemn one for millions of people, Nicholas George showed up at a local Memorial Day ceremony clad in an Army uniform adorned with Valorous medals, including five Purple Hearts, Two Silver Stars a Green Beret and sitting in a wheelchair.

He told CJ he had been in every conflict since Panama, and that after Panama he went on to serve in Kosovo, Somalia, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. “I served 14 tours straight without coming home”

“I went through a class of 137 guys. Only three of us made it,” George said. “I’d tell anybody that wanted to do it right now, don’t. It’s brutal. Not just physically, but mentally.”

He also claims in the article to speak 13 languages and 76 Dialects.

How many times do I have to tell them? These guys keep violating the first law of the grifter: DON’T BE GREEDY. Sure, show up in a uniform; maybe nobody will notice. A small nod of appreciation here or there, no big deal. But now, you add a wheelchair? And then FIVE purple hearts? That is going to get you more attention than you want. I mean, the whole object of the grift is to slither around undetected. With that much hardware, you’re basically just putting a giant beacon on yourself. Strategy, man.

Dumbest Free Speech Case Ever:

WASHINGTON — States that sell specialty license plates promoting everything from “Choose Life” to “Conserve Water” can prohibit images like the Confederate flag, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The justices said in a 5-4 decision that Texas’ specialty license plate program is a type of government speech, and that the First Amendment does not prohibit the state from rejecting some designs.

Justice Steven Breyer, writing for the court’s majority, said that Texas’ program “does not violate the First Amendment” because “states have long used license plates in this country to convey government messages.” Just as the state cannot force drivers to espouse a particular message, he said, drivers cannot force a state to espouse theirs.

I agree completely. You don’t get to have the government provide you with a license plate message. Just be one of those assholes that covers your car with bumper stickers. Seriously, people who have political bumper stickers on their car are the worst. My idea of hell is sitting in traffic behind two people with competing political bumper stickers on their cars shouting at each other. FOREVER.

Here’s a wacky idea: How about the government gets out of the business of putting messages on ANY license plates, thus rendering all of this stupid controversy moot? How about plain white with black lettering? I don’t need to see that you’re a pet lover, or love agriculture, or whatever other nonsense they can come up with. Wouldn’t that save the state a lot of money as well?

Incompetence Reigns Supreme at OPM:

During testimony today in a grueling two-hour hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Katherine Archuleta claimed that she had recognized huge problems with the agency’s computer security when she assumed her post 18 months ago. But when pressed on why systems had not been protected with encryption prior to the recent discovery of an intrusion that gave attackers access to sensitive data on millions of government employees and government contractors, she said, “It is not feasible to implement on networks that are too old.”She added that the agency is now working to encrypt data within its networks.

I know, I know, your eyes are glazing over already. But this is a big deal, so let’s struggle through it. I already did yeoman’s work in trying not to eat buckshot going through this story. There are a few parts in it that are worth taking a look at.

Now, I’m no IT expert, but don’t those last two sentences above directly contradict one another? It isn’t feasible, but we’re working on it now? What the hell? It gets way worse, though:

But even if the systems had been encrypted, it likely wouldn’t have mattered. Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity Dr. Andy Ozment testified that encryption would “not have helped in this case” because the attackers had gained valid user credentials to the systems that they attacked—likely through social engineering.

You may have heard the term “social engineering” in the past as it refers to making policy based on desired social outcomes. In IT circles, apparently it has a different meaning. The short explanation is that it means when smart people take advantage of stupid people to extract something of value from them. Which, in this case, means that the “hacking” wasn’t really a hacking at all- the people who extracted the information were already approved by our government, because we apparently have people in charge whose brains have been surgically replaced by bowls of oatmeal.

When Chaffetz asked Archuleta directly about the number of people who had been affected by the breach of OPM’s systems and whether it included contractor information as well as that of federal employees, Archuleta replied repeatedly, “I would be glad to discuss that in a classified setting.” That was Archuleta’s response to nearly all of the committee members’ questions over the course of the hearing this morning.

She’s trying to not look like a bigger buffoon than she already is. Lady, I’d say the cat is pretty far out of the bag; you can tell us a ballpark figure. But just who is Katherine Archuleta anyway? I’m sure she’s eminently qualified, and can speak expertly about these highly-complex network security systems:

Director Archuleta began her career in public service as a teacher in the Denver public school system. She left teaching to work as an aide to Denver Mayor Federico Peña. When Mayor Peña became Secretary of Transportation during the Clinton Administration, Archuleta continued her public service as his Chief of Staff. Later, Peña was appointed to head the Department of Energy and Archuleta served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of the Secretary.

On November 4th, Archuleta was sworn in to begin her tenure as the 10th Director of OPM, and the first Latina to head this federal agency.

The answer is that she is a longtime political hack who got the job as a favor for her long history of groveling for the right people, and fitting into the desired ethnic category. She probably doesn’t know jack shit about network security. But, I’m POSITIVE  she at least knew to hire the right people with the right security clearances for this job that granted access to extremely sensitive information:

Some of the contractors that have helped OPM with managing internal data have had security issues of their own—including potentially giving foreign governments direct access to data long before the recent reported breaches. A consultant who did some work with a company contracted by OPM to manage personnel records for a number of agencies told Ars that he found the Unix systems administrator for the project “was in Argentina and his co-worker was physically located in the [People’s Republic of China]. Both had direct access to every row of data in every database: they were root. Another team that worked with these databases had at its head two team members with PRC passports.

So they outsourced a lot of the IT work to foreign contractors… WORKING IN CHINA. And one of the contractors being handed over this information were… CHINESE NATIONALS. What the hell?

Drunken Marine Throws Foam Party:

A drunken Marine allegedly worked his way into an hanger at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa and filled it with fire suppression foam.

2nd Lt. Eric Anthony of the Air Force’s 18th Air Wing confirmed that an arrest was made three weeks ago and that an investigation is ongoing, Marine Corps Times reported Tuesday. The incident occurred May 23 at 1:45 a.m.

Fire suppression systems like the one allegedly activated by the Marine can “fill a hangar to the ceiling with a soap-like substance in minutes,” the newspaper reported.

I love Marines. I have two brothers in the Marine Corps. Trust me, if you have a group of Marines around you that say, “Let’s go get sauced,” you are in for an enjoyable night. Just don’t try and match them drink for drink. You may die. Or drown in a hanger full of foam.

SHUTUP SHUTUP SHUTUP:

A newly uncovered Rachel Dolezal interview shows just how far the NAACP leader went in deceiving people into believing she was a black woman.

The interview, from earlier this year, has Dolezal sharing stories about her black family, including one in which she details her father’s ‘exodus’ from the Deep South after he assaulted a police officer.

She then went on to say her father became a cop, and shared a story about his time in the Marines.

‘He has 24 years in the Marines too, so of course had three attempts on his life by white subordinates in the military because he was a superior officer,’ she said.

This story could perhaps be true and be about Albert Wilkerson, the black man Dolezal has falsely claimed is her father on numerous occasions to both the press and her chapter of the NAACP.

I’m going to help the Daily Mail out here. No, the story isn’t true. If there had been three attempts on a black officer’s life while in the United States military by racist white underlings, we would have heard about it a long time ago. It is long past time for this chick to go away. Go figure out your mental disorder.

My New Favorite Twitter Account:

This is “Get in the Sea.” He points out things that he wants to get in the sea. Bravo.

Why Don’t You Go Ahead and Have a Seat:

DENVER (CBS4)– The Colorado Springs man who was caught viewing child pornography while on the Fort Carson Army Post has been sentenced to federal prison.

Francis Hector Calar was sentenced on Tuesday to seven years in federal prison followed by 10 years on supervised release. Calar, 54, was also ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution to each of the six victims that requested it.

Calar, a civilian military contract employee, was arrested in March 2014 after a military police officer caught him masturbating in his car outside a building with unsecured Wi-Fi on the Fort Carson Army Post.

There are fewer places that are worse places to masturbate than a military post, I would imagine. Can you believe this guy’s urges though? What, you couldn’t even wait until you got home?

Investigation revealed that he often parked outside that building to gain access to the unsecured Wi-Fi to view child pornography. Calar also visited specific chat rooms and searched for child pornography during breaks from work.

Court documents reveal that Calar became interested in child pornography about five or six years ago after his brother was arrested for sexual assault on a child.

I don’t believe that. I’m sure he’s had these urges his whole life. Maybe his brother was the catalyst in some way, like he figured, “hey, he’s doing it. So maybe I’m not crazy,” and started downloading stuff, but I’m willing to bet that he’s always been like this. In any event, it sounds absurd. Most people would be REPELLED it their family member was involved in child sex assault. But it turned him on?

Calar was active with children and coached youth volleyball for young girls and youth baseball for young boys. He was also active in his church and taught Sunday school for children there.

Authorities said Calar’s collection was organized by age and that he had more than 15,000 child pornography images and 764 child pornography videos on an external hard drive and other computer digital media.

This may sound super judgey of me, but here goes: I really don’t trust a man who takes that much interest in being around little kids. Think about it.  I know all dads love their kids, but they don’t want to BE AROUND them constantly. Like, I love my son, but when he was little, it was exhausting. I’d say, “ok, you can play with the neighbor kids. stay in the yard,” and then go crash out on the sofa.

And that’s with a guy’s OWN kid. Now he’s making all this effort to be around other people’s kids all the time? That’s sort of weird. And not just being around them at the house, but actively coaching 2 different sports AND teaching kids’ Sunday school?  Fathers should be slightly irritated being around young children at all times. A policy of benign neglect is really for the best.

Too harsh?

Cool: Navy Tests New Electro-Mag Catapult by Tossing Sled Into Ocean:

Good Luck With That: 

A group that helped sponsor commercials urging drone pilots not to fly missions has launched a new effort to persuade drone operators to disobey their orders.

KnowDrones.com has submitted a letter to media outlets that urges drone pilots and sensor operators to refuse to fly surveillance and kill missions.

When asked why a drone operator should refuse to fly a mission, Mottern replied: “One answer would be, ‘To save your soul.’ Another answer would be, ‘To not kill people who are being targeted without any due process.’ There are higher laws than military law.”

The group also claims that at least 6,000 people have been killed in drone strikes, but the letter does not cite a source for that figure.

Due process? These guys have been followed around for months, if not years in some cases. Intel has been gathered, movements tracked, and conversations recorded. Evidence abounds. All that aside… Guy, this isn’t a goddamn arrest for shoplifting, this is a war. DUE PROCESS HE SAID.

Honestly, it’s a good think these guys weren’t around during world war 2. Instead of going in and trying to kill Hitler, they’d want us to understand the root causes of Nazism and offer him aromatherapy.

American Politicians Are Nodding in Approval:

ALBUNAHIDH, Iraq — This country is engulfed in a war against Islamic State militants, and plagued by sectarian division. But one village says it has found a way to insulate itself from Iraq’s turmoil.

It has banned political debate.

Just shut up, they explained, and all of this will go away. I mean, you don’t want to make people NOT LIKE YOU, DO YOU?

“Everybody’s affected by what’s happening in the country,” said Kadim Hassoon, a 44-year-old engineer who lobbied for the rules. “We know the situation in Iraq, the war, the politics, what’s the benefit in talking about it? If you sit here and try and push your ideas, there’s tension.”

Damn, that old coot General Washington is always yammering about King George the 3rd, amirite? Why is he going ON and ON about it? Who wants to hear about “liberty,” and “independence” all day long? IT JUST CAUSES TENSION.

Although the rules came into force only a few months ago, smoking has long been frowned upon in this sleepy outpost, the legacy of Hassoon’s father, a village elder who strongly discouraged it for health reasons. When the younger Hassoon returned to the village two years ago after working in the Persian Gulf, he pressed for the rules, with other “healthy” additions.

I love this Hassoon guy. He sounds like he’d fit in perfectly in your local busybody town council or home owner’s association, making sure you didn’t paint your shutters the wrong color. Is there anything worse than some guy who isn’t related to you lecturing you constantly about how you live your life?

Hassoon said he also has begun to instill a culture of jogging and cycling – although it was “not an easy matter,” he said.

“It used to be that if people saw someone running on the street, it was considered something strange, abnormal,” he said. “Now we’ve broken the barrier.” Bicycles are lined up outside the village hall.

Hassoon said that there had been little resistance to the rules.

“There were very small voices against it, but we didn’t listen to such voices,” he said.

Of course you didn’t. Fascists seldom do. Find me on twitter @BKactual.