Just down the road from the scene of the December school massacre in Newtown, Conn., police in Stamford have discovered a home filled with bomb-making materials, assorted firearms, and white supremacist and anti-police propaganda.
Stamford police and FBI agents today identified and interviewed a middle-aged man who apparently had been illegally living in the home, triggering an inspection Wednesday by health inspections. The home is less than 700 feet from a middle school. The suspect, whose name hasn’t been released, has not been charged while authorities discuss whether to proceed with state or federal charges.
Police discovered loaded weapons including rifles and shotguns near entry points to the home, white supremacist and anti-police propaganda, a monitoring system to watch the outside of the home, and a reinforced escape tunnel that ran underground through the backyard, the Stamford Patch reported. They also found bombs that were being prepared with PVC pipes loaded with nuts and bolts that were apparently meant to serve as anti-personnel shrapnel.
In addition to swastikas, a poster inside the home depicted a police funeral with a derogatory message scrawled across it, Stamford Police Chief Jon Fontneau told the newspaper. Loaded firearms were discovered near entry points to the home.
“I’ve been on hundreds, if not thousands, of search warrants,” the chief said, “and I’ve never seen anything like this.”
More: : Chadu
Okay, when I first heard the Grateful Dead (Uncle John’s Band) lyric:
“I live in a silver mine and I call it beggar’s tomb”
…I memory-flashed on the Lone Ranger.
Are there any Lizards who can give me more information on this connection? (I suspect it was a Big, Little book that did this to me, if that helps.)
Or maybe I’m just nuts.
I AM a New England liberal, born and bred. I have lived most of my life in the Northeast — Boston, New York and Philadelphia — and my politics are devoutly Democratic. In three decades, I have voted for a Republican exactly once, holding my nose, in a mayoral election in which the Democratic candidate seemed mentally unbalanced.
I am also a Texas resident and a gun owner.
I can relate to this op-ed quite well. Not all gun owners are conservative. Not all gun owners are nuts. Not all gun owners keep our guns in the closet. And so on.
Point out the nuts and laugh, but please use an appropriately sized brush when you paint them…
We are well and truly through the looking glass here.
CLEVELAND/SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - School teachers in Texas and Ohio are flocking to free firearms classes in the wake of the Connecticut elementary school massacre, some vowing to protect their students with guns even at the risk of losing their jobs.
In Ohio, more than 900 teachers, administrators and school employees asked to take part in the Buckeye Firearms Association’s newly created, three-day gun training program, the association said.
In Texas, an $85 Concealed Handgun License (CHL) course offered at no cost to teachers filled 400 spots immediately, forcing the school to offer another class, one instructor said.
“Any teacher who is licensed and chooses to be armed should be able to be armed,” said Gerald Valentino, co-founder of the Buckeye Firearms Association. “It should be every teacher’s choice.”
The December 14 tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, sparked a national debate about whether to arm teachers, prompting passionate arguments on both sides.
The deaths of 6- and 7-year-old school children led President Barack Obama to promise “meaningful action” to curtail gun violence, while the National Rifle Association has advocated arming teachers and placing trained guards in each of the country’s 100,000 schools.
Ohio and Texas are not the first to offer no-cost arms training to teachers. Just days after the Connecticut mass murder, some 200 teachers in Utah underwent free instruction from gun activists.
Critics ridicule arming teachers as a foolhardy idea promoted by overzealous gun enthusiasts, saying it would only add danger to the classroom while distracting teachers from their job of educating children.
Supporters say an armed teacher could have stopped the massacre at Sandy Hook, where a 20-year-old man armed with a military-style assault rifle killed 20 children and six adults before killing himself.
“What we know is that these spree killers are looking for the highest death toll possible. They look for no-gun zones like schools,” Valentino said. “It doesn’t make sense that we guard our gold with guns and we guard our kids with hope.”
At the risk of belaboring the obvious, we don’t much care if the gold is hit in the crossfire or by an accidental discharge.
The Buckeye Firearms Association, which successfully lobbied for 2004 legislation in Texas allowing people to carry concealed handguns, is offering all eligible state educators free admission to what it calls “an intensive three-day class where you will learn many of the same skills and tactics used by first responders.”
Of the more than 900 applicants so far, 73 percent were teachers and 10 percent were kindergarten teachers, Valentino said. Sixty percent were male and 51 percent worked in high schools, he said.
GUNS AND THE LAW
Ohio law does not expressly prohibit guns in schools and leaves it to each individual school board to set policy. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine referred to teachers as “first responders” after the Connecticut shootings and announced his office would expand safety training for Ohio school employees.
Texas state law allows teachers who have concealed handgun permits to carry weapons into public school classrooms as long as they have permission from the district superintendent.
Measures introduced in the Texas legislature since the Sandy Hook shooting would make it easier to carry firearms onto college campuses and into schools and other public places where weapons are now banned.
More at link.
Man pleads guilty in crop duster shooting
A West Texas man has pleaded guilty to shooting into a crop duster as the plane was spraying a neighbor’s fields.
Prosecutors say 68-year-old James R. Cate of Talpa pleaded guilty Tuesday to making a threat to an aircraft. Cate, who appeared in federal court in Lubbock, faces up to five years in prison. No sentencing date was immediately set.
Investigators say Cate on Feb. 29 shot three rounds near the chemical-hauling crop duster in an effort to keep the plane away from his fields.
The last round Cate fired hit the propeller, went through the engine cowling and into the chemical hopper. The bullet broke into pieces as it entered the cockpit, going through the leg of the pants the pilot was wearing. The pilot wasn’t hurt.
This is crazy. Gun sales went through the roof after the ‘08 election and stayed high throughout Obama’s first term. This new increase is on top of that. Note the highlighted section.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Gun sales are up in the wake of Barack Obama’s re-election on Tuesday, driven by fears of tighter regulations under a Democratic president, especially for firearms that might be classified as assault weapons.
“Sales are up,” said John Kielbasa, owner of Fernwood Firearms in Hankins, N.Y. “I had a guy waiting here first thing in the morning [after the election.] He came in, bought two AK-47s.”
Kielbasa said that he sells semiautomatic versions of the fully automatic Kalashnikov rifles, as is permitted by law. He said the demand for semiautomatic rifles is being stoked by memories of the assault weapon ban pioneered by another Democrat, former President Bill Clinton.
That ban, which expired in 2004, didn’t eliminate the weapons entirely, but restricted their features, limiting magazine capacity to 10 rounds and regulating pistol grips, bayonet attachments and flash suppressors.
Lawrence Keane, vice president of gun industry group National Shooting Sports Foundation, says that modern sporting rifles — a term that he prefers to assault weapons — are “the most popular type of rifles being bought today by Americans.” He says they’re used by hunters, target shooters, veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and citizens who want to protect their property from looters in the wake of recent storms.
Fears that a ban on the weapons might come back under Democratic leadership drove gun enthusiasts to buy firearms when Obama was first elected in 2008. The most reliable way to track the number of gun sales is via background checks, and they spiked after the last election.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted 97,848 firearms background checks on Nov. 28, 2008, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. That’s the third-highest number of background checks ever recorded in a single day. The FBI conducted 12.7 million background checks during all of 2008, compared to 11.2 million the year before. They’ve been climbing ever since.
“It’s going to be good for me for business,” said Kielbasa, who specializes in “tactical firearms,” according to his web site. “But eventually, if they’re going to ban all this stuff, what am I going to sell?”
Gun shop owners say that, though it’s too early to get an accurate count of sales for this week, they’ve definitely increased. Kielbasa says one of the distributors he works with had an unusually large order of 500 rifles this week. Other shop owners anticipate a bump in sales.
“We are expecting an increase with the amount of calls we’re getting [from customers],” said Tim Smith of Tim’s Guns and Range in Winter Haven, Fla. “A lot of dealers are stocking up with the expectation of a sales increase”
Bill Anderson, owner of the gun shop Call-To-Arms in Denton, Texas, said the big spike will probably hit full force this weekend. He said that gun enthusiasts are assuming that Obama will be more aggressive about gun regulations in his second term.
“Being as this is his second and last term, he might do it, because he’s not interested in getting re-elected,” said Anderson.
Obama had largely avoided the issue of gun control during his first term, despite some high-profile mass murders by mentally unstable gunmen in crowded, public places. In one of the most notorious mass shootings, suspect James Holmes allegedly shot at least 70 people, including 12 fatally, during a July screening of The Dark Night Rises in a Colorado movie theater. As part of his four-gun arsenal, the self-described “Joker” allegedly used a semiautomatic rifle with a 100-round drum, which can be legally purchased online. The Clinton-era assault weapon ban would not have permitted the sale of a magazine with such a large capacity.
Although recent mass shootings brought the gun debate back to the forefront, little has actually been done about it. But during the Oct. 16 presidential debate, the moderator, CNN’s Candy Crowley, asked Obama to clarify his past statements about keeping AK-47s “out of the hands of criminals.”
And the president answered with his most definitive gun control statement in years.
“I also share your belief that weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don’t belong on our streets,” replied Obama. “And so what I’m trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced.”
Tampa, Florida (CNN) – Two people were removed from the Republican National Convention Tuesday after they threw nuts at an African-American CNN camera operator and said, ‘This is how we feed animals.’
Judge Tom Head: His Poor Impulse Control Is a Painful Embarrassment for Lubbock (civil war if Obama reelected)
More at link. The very pretty and very smart lady who wrote this is “my friend Carol” that I have mentioned several times at LGF.
Lubbock, Texas made the news today in Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, New York, most major news outlets and was even mentioned by a blogger in Sweden. Unfortunately, it wasn’t something of which we could be proud.
Unless you’ve been residing in a cave, you’ve read Lubbock County Judge Tom Head’s unfortunate remarks made in a Fox News interview on August 21. In a justification for raising the tax rate, he wandered off into a diatribe of fantasy. Rather than misquote him or take his words out of context (as he claimed in his non mea culpa rebuttal to the media on Wednesday), I’ll quote directly from the article/video:
“Judge Head said he and the county must be prepared for many contingencies,one that he particularly fears, if President Obama is reelected.
From Judge Head: “He’s going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the UN, and what is going to happen when that happens? I’m thinking the worst. Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe. And we’re not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations, we’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy. Now what’s going to happen if we do that, if the public decides to do that? He’s going to send in U.N. troops. I don’t want ‘em in Lubbock County. OK. So I’m going to stand in front of their armored personnel carrier and say ‘you’re not coming in here’. And the Sheriff, I’ve already asked him, I said ‘you gonna back me’ he said, ‘yeah, I’ll back you’. Well, I don’t want a bunch of rookies back there. I want trained, equipped, seasoned veteran officers to back me.”
He paints an imaginary dystopian scenario of Lubbock, Texas as Tiananmen Square with himself, the Judge Hero, standing in front of the tanks. No, it’s not a satire from The Onion; he really said it and meant it. It gets worse. He used his “flights of fancy” as a justification for a county tax increase; a terrifying scenario sure to frighten even the most lucid thinker into supporting the tax increase. His rationalization was a retread of the tired and trite WMD argument used by the Bush administration in 2002; remember the smoking gun in shape of a mushroom cloud?
Judge Head can protest all he likes, but his words border on sedition, the incitement of discontent or rebellion against a government. In the interview, he spoke of creating a militia to fight against our government. Those were foolish words.
Judge Head seems to be a magnet for controversy. You might remember that in 2009, he was in political hot water about offensive pictures and emails he posted on a public bulletin board in the Lubbock County Courthouse. One of the posters showed nine arrest photos of people wearing Obama t-shirts, accompanied by the text:
“Did you ever see anyone arrested wearing a Bush T-shirt, or for you older folks, an Eisenhower? Gerald Ford? Ronald Reagan? even Nixon? or any political t-shirt? There MUST be a message here, but I can’t quite grasp it, or maybe I’m afraid to.”
Above the pictures, a fake narration of a person waking up, putting on an Obama t-shirt, holding up a convenience store, buying drugs, and beating his wife. There were other articles, pictures and emails, including one that disparaged Justice Sotomayor; the entire collection consumed nearly all the available space on the board and all of it posted by Judge Tom Head.
I met Judge Head many years ago when I was a counselor at Cavazos. He presided over the attendance cases and family problems of our students. He did an outstanding job; buying alarm clocks for students who couldn’t make it to school on time and helping entire families find solutions to employment, financial and legal problems. I respected him a great deal. The Judge Head whose words I read today is the not the same Judge Head I knew then.
The extreme Right Wing of the Republican Party; the Eagle Forum and John Birch Society members, are poisoning what used to be a group of solid citizens just a few years ago. It’s like a scene from an old movie, Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
Like a viral contagion, judges, a certain Lubbock City Councilman, journalists, and radio hosts have been infected by the steady diet of rumors, lies, hatred and imaginary political horror stories of this darker side of humanity. Whether you believe it or not, there are actually thousands of individuals among us, Extreme Tea Party Conservatives, who believe in conspiracy theories involving the United Nations and Executive Directive 51 (signed into law by George W. Bush in 2007) that will somehow dissolve our country into a nation of liberal secular humanists with a Socialist government that will plot on behalf of a New World Order. Most of these conspiracy nuts are the same ones who harp on the right to bear and keep arms as a means of thwarting Executive Directive 51.
Sounds pretty nutty, doesn’t it? Apparently, it doesn’t sound foolish to Tea Party Conservatives, since these same notions are built into the Texas GOP Party Platform and espoused by Ted Cruz, the Republican candidate for Senate. He believes that the U. N. is going to destroy all the golf courses in America, with George Soros’ help, of course. The next thing we’ll hear from the Texas Tea Party is that the U.N. had something to do with the firing of Coach Leach.
Ok, people, everyone here knows that I support President Obama 100%, but this desperately over-reaching article is beyond pathetic. Dredging up the Mountain Meadow Massacre of EIGHTEEN-FRIGGIN’-FIFTY-SEVEN and suggesting that ultra-conservative Arkansans might hold it against Romney? This is dirt-digging with a vengeance, Cloud-Cuckoo-Land political analysis. It may be an issue for a few throwbacks in the back of beyond but it is not even a state-wide concern, let alone something for a national campaign to fret over. Beyond that, the implication that the descendants would continue to blame an entire religion, rather than the long-dead perpetrators, is a condescending insult to the Ozark hill people (of whom I am one, btw).
CARROLLTON, Ark. — On the wildflower-studded slopes of the Ozarks, where memories run long and family ties run thick, a little-known and long-ago chapter of history still simmers.
On Sept. 11, 1857, a wagon train from this part of Arkansas met with a gruesome fate in Utah, where most of the travelers were slaughtered by a Mormon militia in an episode known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Hundreds of the victims’ descendants still populate these hills and commemorate the killings, which they have come to call “the first 9/11.”
Many of the locals grew up hearing denunciations of Mormonism from the pulpit on Sundays, and tales of the massacre from older relatives who considered Mormons “evil.”
“There have been Fancher family reunions for 150 years, and the massacre comes up at every one of them,” said Scott Fancher, 58, who traces his lineage back to 26 members of the wagon train, which was known as the Fancher-Baker party. “The more whiskey we drunk, the more resentful we got.”
There aren’t many places in America more likely to be suspicious of Mormonism — and potentially more problematic for Mitt Romney, who is seeking to become the country’s first Mormon president. Not only do many here retain a personal antipathy toward the religion and its followers, but they also tend to be Christian evangelicals, many of whom view Mormonism as a cult.
And yet, there is scant evidence that Romney’s religion is making much difference in how voters here are thinking about the presidential election and whether they are willing to back the former Massachusetts governor.
“I think the situation right now is more anti-Obama than any other situation,” said Dave Hoover, chairman of the Carroll County Republicans.It is impossible to know how Romney’s faith will play out in the November election. Polls point to a persistent skepticism about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and not just among evangelical Christians. Thirty-five percent of Americans in a Bloomberg News poll in March said they had an unfavorable view of the church, while 29 percent had a favorable view.
But it may not have a major impact on their vote: Eight out of 10 Republicans and Democrats said Romney’s faith was not a major reason to support or oppose him, according to an April Washington Post-ABC News poll. And a recent study by the Brookings Institution found that Romney’s religion may actually increase his support from conservative voters, including white evangelicals.
Indeed, many here say their political values will be more important to their vote than religion or history. A rural and deeply religious community, many cite the cultural issues of abortion and gun rights as foremost on their minds. The weak economy has deepened their dislike of President Obama, who received less than 40 percent of the vote in Arkansas in 2008.
Still, Romney’s candidacy has prompted some soul-searching in this area, where a historical group estimates that more than half the residents can trace their ancestry back to the wagon train.
Pat Robertson has a theory for why tornadoes ripped through the Midwest last week: People didn’t pray enough.
Right Wing Watch found a clip of the television evangelist making the claim during an episode of “The 700 Club.”
“If enough people were praying [God] would’ve intervened, you could pray, Jesus stilled the storm, you can still storms,’ Robertson said on the show.
Robertson also blamed people for living in tornado-prone areas.
“Why did you build houses where tornadoes were apt to happen?’ he asked.
As Right Wing Watch noted, Robertson had a different take on why the 2010 Haiti earthquake happened.
That natural disaster was caused, according to Robertson, because of a pact Haitians made with the devil.
“Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it,” he said on Christian Broadcasting Network’s “The 700 Club.” “They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it’s a deal.”