If the Shoe Fits…

September 20, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: Alt-Right Racists, Harvey Hell

We’ve been getting some interesting responses to our post earlier this week about flood ravaged Little Cambodia and how two “citizen organizations” took over, and announced that FEMA was not welcome.  Yes, you, Rick and Cowboy (officers of the motorcycle club Confederate Riders of America), you said it.  ON TELEVISION.  YOU determined YOU were in charge and the YOU were having a meeting with FEMA because, “They came in here blind.”  So, guys parading around in black leather vests covered in white supremacist imagery declared themselves in charge.  Teamed up with Portland Oregon militia group American Freedom Keepers, fresh off their mission of “protecting” racists and white supremacists in Charlottesville Virginia, with CRA just up and decided who was going to get help and when, and when the federal government could come in.  I’ve been wondering who died and put them in charge?

We’ve been getting some pretty lively feedback on our post from some of these folks and their supporters, acting shocked and saying things like, “…there’s not a racist bone in my body…” and other such declarations, exactly as we said they would in the original post.  Essentially, it’s “How can we be racists?  We’re helping Asian people.”  Of course.  And we’re supposed to ignore your statements and actions immediately prior to this disaster.

There are several issues here –

  • First, and let’s be clear…these people desperately need help, and these organizations are helping.  Houses are getting cleaned up, some supplies are making it in.  However,
  • They have clearly delayed federal response by at least a week, maybe longer.  They’ve delayed residents getting federal aid. They’ve taken up time with law enforcement.  FEMA representatives felt threatened, and I’m betting they weren’t scared by the muddy streets.
  • Third, who the hell put these guys in charge?  That’s the weird thing about these goofy citizen and militia groups.  They somehow believe that they can show up with rifles slung, declare themselves in charge, and just take over.  Like one of our readers said, it’s like watching one of those old westerns where the evil rancher shows up with a bunch of his ranch hands and just takes over the town.  These goofballs do this all the time…they think they can put on some camo and body armor, whip out their AR-15s, wrap a shemagh around their necks, put in an earpiece, and all of a sudden they’re “peacekeepers”.  Yes, peacekeepers who get in the way of actual police trying to keep the peace.
  • And last, but not least, when you dress in racist symbols or paramilitary gear, openly carry weapons, support white supremacist demonstrations, do YouTube videos about “protecting our southern heritage”, so and and so forth, you can’t then be shocked when normal people make the observation that maybe, just maybe, you actually are a racist.  Feigning shock at that glaring fact is not convincing.

Yeah, yeah, and I’m not going to listen to your  bullshit about how being the “Confederate” Riders is not racist.  The entire confederacy was about the belief in the superiority of the “white race” over the “lesser race” and the “permanence” of this superiority.  It’s especially odd that some groups, like the CRA, wear BOTH the American flag and the Confederate battle flags.  You do know that the Confederacy rebelled against the US government, right?  You know they committed treason, right?  Oh, and they also lost.  How inconvenient.  So, you can’t honestly say you’re for your “Confederate heritage” AND support the Constitution.  Those two things are mutually exclusive.  Oh, and before you blather on about the Confederacy being about states rights and your “heritage” let me just interrupt you with a direct quote from declaration of secession made by the State of Texas, February 2, 1861:

“She [Texas] was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery–the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits–a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy.” (emphasis mine)

So, I’m not going to allow you to blather unchallenged about you not being racists.  Oh, and one last thing.  Let’s look at some pictures and we’ll let people judge for themselves whether you “fine folks” are racist or not:

Confederate Riders Patch

Nazi Cross

Skinhead Cross

White Supremacist Black Saltire

KKK Cross

Confederate Battle Flag

Remember the white supremacists chanting “Blood and Soil!” during their march in Charlottesville?  The chant is part of the German Nazi tradition of , “Blut und Boden”, based on blood descent and inherited land.  In other words, the right of the white race to dominance in their homeland. In Nazi and White Supremacist symbolism, the red represents the Blood, and the black represents the Soil.  The similarities between these symbols and the CRA patches are striking and certainly don’t look simply circumstantial.  If they are, you can certainly understand the confusion of normal people when we see them.  So, if the shoe fits…

You guys want to really help?  Take your guns and put them in the truck.  Pack up your camo and black leather.  Act like normal people wanting to help and cooperate with local and federal officials.  We’re not Somalia where it’s every man for himself.  We’re also not a military dictatorship. We’re a civilized society.  I suggest you join it and put all that self-righteous “peacekeeper” and “southern heritage” BS aside so these people can get back on their feet (and you can then go home and leave us alone).

 

In a Hurricane, Everyone’s a Socialist

September 08, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: flooding, Government

I’m sitting here watching the FEMA morning briefing on Hurricane Irma with Grinning Tom Price and director Brock Long while they are speaking of 8,000 FEMA employees advance deployed and commodities (food, water, medicine) staged from Florida to North Carolina.  They’re speaking of evacuating electricity dependent medical patients, evacuation routes, and other issues that professionals discuss preparing for landfall of major hurricane.

Over the last several weeks, elected officials in Texas and Florida have actually conducted themselves as adults, taking responsibility and using their authority (and government coffers) to serve their constituents.  The weakest person I’ve seen is Greg Abbott who has played a very small role compared to Houston mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris Country judge Ed Emmett, staying pretty much in the background, showing up only to suck up to Cheeto Jesus while he grandstanded during his two brief and embarrassing appearances here in Texas.

Speaking of embarrassing, Donald Trump. His performance during his cringe-inducing visits (accompanied by his wife impersonating Michael Jackson in those silly caps and shades) were nothing short of embarrassing.  Thank God he left to go play golf immediately after instructing shelter victims to “have a great time”.

I digress – what’s really struck me during these events is how Trump administration appointments and elected officials are bringing the force of government to bear to serve its residents.  Trump has already proposed, and the Congress is virtually certain to approve, an initial $8 billion relief appropriation.  Local, state, and federal officials are working together to save lives and shelter victims of the recent storms.  FEMA has been on the ground in Houston since initial rains started and is processing over 300,000 funding applications already filed.

The difference between these responses and the disaster during Katrina 12 years ago is striking; today government is being proactive rather than passive as it was during that crisis where local, state, and federal governments were simply incompetent and totally unprepared.  The current response is strikingly different – in general, politics have been set aside by elected officials to get help to Americans.  There’s none of the nonsense about “compassionate conservatism” which created the shameful Katrina response.  It looks to me that government is pretty much working as it should – for the good of society.

The collective power of people working together using the resources available to soften the blow of catastrophes like Harvey and Irma is how advanced societies are supposed to function.  Government money and resources help; individual citizens volunteering is key; law enforcement and firefighting agencies must galvanize to serve.  In short, this is how it’s supposed to work.  Libertarian ideology goes out the window because it simply doesn’t work.  Radical right wing ideology goes with it because no person is an island.  In short, during crisis, everyone is a socialist working for the collective good.  That’s how society is supposed to work.

Unprecedented

August 29, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: Harvey Hell

Words fail to describe the disaster unfolding before us so I’ll try a picture from the Texas Department of Transportation.

The dark blue symbols with the slash through it are road closures; the light blue circles are flooding.  To give non-Texans a sense of scale, the east-west distance of this map is over 300 miles.  So far, thousands of homes have been inundated.  Tens of thousands of people are out of their homes.  The ENTIRE Texas National Guard has been activated with over 12,000 personnel mobilized.  The US Coast Guard has brought HALF of its US helicopter fleet to the Houston metro area.  The shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center is now near capacity with 5,000 people who’ve lost their homes, and shelters all over the area are running full.  Gasoline shortages are just right around the corner since most of the refineries here are shut down; both of the metro areas major airports are still shut down.

The only word that begins to capture this disaster is unprecedented. Unfortunately, one word that can’t be used is unexpected.  This is what happens when you pave over hundreds of square miles of land that was once prairie.  This is what happens when you build homes on top of watershed and up against major rivers and bayous.  This is the expected result of unbridled development without appropriate oversight for infrastructure.  We’re finally reaping the result of what we have sown for years, and if we’re honest, there is major work to be done beyond simply repair these thousands of homes and buildings.

We’ll see if our elected officials will follow through after the television lights turn off.

Trump Tweets Book Recommendation – During Disaster in Houston

August 28, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: Dammit!

Yesterday morning, as the slow motion disaster in Houston was unfolding, Donald Trump demonstrated for the 1,348th time since January his absolute tone deafness and poor self control by pushing Post on this tweet:

That’s correct, folks…while the sun was rising on the biggest disaster in the history of Houston, Trump was plugging a book written by his buddy, David Clarke, sheriff in Milwaukee Wisconsin, who is well known for his cruel treatment of prisoners, encouraging the guns everywhere culture and for festooning his uniform with meaningless lapel pins to make himself look highly decorated.  Trump nominated Clarke to the Department of Homeland Security, a job he declined after the ensuing uproar.

So, Trump is plugging his friend’s book on Twitter on the day that Houston was going underwater, people were dying, and thousands of homes were being abandoned.  Thanks, Donnie J, for keeping your priorities straight.

 

Welp, the Drought is Over

August 27, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: Dammit!

9 TRILLION TONS OF WATER DUMPED BY HARVEY.

 

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Catastrophic Life Threatening

August 27, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: Dammit!

First time ever here, the NWS has issued a “Flash Flood Emergency for Catastrophic Life Threatening Flooding.” The freeways are mostly underwater. Thousands of homes are underwater. The fire department and volunteers are actually running out of fuel performing water rescues.  The Coast Guard has announced it’s already performed 300 rescues.  The KHOU television station has flooded.

The center of Harvey is just sitting on top of Victoria, which puts Houston right in the path of giant rain bands flowing continuously out of the Gulf dumping tons of rain on the city.  The NWS is forecasting this continuous rain for at least the next two days.  Water is rising everywhere, all bayous are out of their banks, the Brazos and San Bernard are at flood stage.

The situation in Houston is, in a word, grim.  Here comes another rain band. Gotta go for now.