Bark Bark Woof Woof https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com The Blog of Mustang Bobby Thu, 21 Feb 2019 23:30:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.9 90241377 A Little Night Music https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/2019/02/a-little-night-music-3030/ https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/2019/02/a-little-night-music-3030/#respond Thu, 21 Feb 2019 23:30:15 +0000 https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/?p=54116 R.I.P. Peter Tork.

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Respect This https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/2019/02/respect-this/ https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/2019/02/respect-this/#comments Thu, 21 Feb 2019 08:32:18 +0000 https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/?p=54114 Incidents like this just make me sad.

For four years, Bailey Brazzel says, she had employed the same tax preparer, Nancy Fivecoate of Carter Tax Service in Russiaville, Ind. Fivecoate prepared the taxes without issue each time — until this year, when Brazzel brought her new wife, Samantha.

Fivecoate declined to serve the couple, citing her religious beliefs.

This was the first year the Brazzels, who wed in July, were filing jointly as a married couple. According to Samantha, Fivecoate explained that she believed marriage was between a man and a woman and that she would therefore not be able to prepare their taxes.

[…]

In a statement to NBC affiliate WTHR, Fivecoate presented a similar version of events and said that she “declined to prepare the taxes because of my religious beliefs.”

“I am a Christian and I believe marriage is between one man and one woman,” she said in the statement. “I was very respectful to them. I told them where I thought she might be able to get her taxes prepared.”

She added: “The LGBT want respect for their beliefs, which I give them. I did not say anything about their lifestyle. That is their choice. It is not my choice. Where is their respect for my beliefs?”

The last time I checked, there’s no place anywhere on the basic 1040 form that has anything to do with religious beliefs, “lifestyle,” or the respecting thereof.  (I’m sure there are forms that you fill out if you’re a religious organization so you can skip out paying taxes, but that’s for another post.)

What makes me sad is twofold: first, that the Brazzels had to take their business elsewhere through no fault of their own and were told “we don’t serve your kind here.”  People shouldn’t have to be forced to choose based on an irrelevancy, and the state of Indiana should be doing more to protect the basic human rights of its citizens than leaving it up to the locals.

The second sad is because this tax preparer is not doing her fellow Christians any favors by being a sniveling bigot.  Far be it from me to lecture them on how to behave in public — Quakers are silent on the matter [rimshot] — but proclaiming far and wide that Christians can be assholes even when it comes to accountancy says more about Fivecoates’ lack of compassion and understanding that are supposed to be key elements in that faith.

Or, to put it succinctly, if you want respect from others, respect them first.  And then do your job.

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More Very Fine People https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/2019/02/more-very-fine-people/ https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/2019/02/more-very-fine-people/#respond Thu, 21 Feb 2019 08:08:01 +0000 https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/?p=54111 Via the Washington Post:

A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant and self-identified white nationalist was arrested after federal investigators uncovered a cache of weapons and ammunition in his Maryland home that authorities say he stockpiled to launch a widespread domestic terrorist attack targeting politicians and journalists.

Christopher Paul Hasson called for “focused violence” to “establish a white homeland” and said, “I am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth,” according to court records filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland. Though court documents do not detail a specific planned date for an attack, the government said he had been amassing supplies and weapons since at least 2017, developed a spreadsheet of targets that included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and searched the Internet using phrases such as “best place in dc to see congress people” and “are supreme court justices protected.”

“The defendant intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country,” the government said in court documents filed this week, arguing that Hasson should stay in jail awaiting trial.

Hasson, 49, of Silver Spring, is expected to appear before a judge for a detention hearing in federal court in Greenbelt at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Hasson was arrested Friday on ­charges of illegally possessing weapons and drugs, but the government said those charges are the “proverbial tip of the iceberg.” Officials with the U.S. attorney’s office in Maryland outlined Hasson’s alleged plans to spark chaos and destruction, describing in court documents a man obsessed with neo-fascist and neo-Nazi views.

“Please send me your violence that I may unleash it onto their heads,” Hasson wrote in a letter that prosecutors said was found in his email drafts. “Guide my hate to make a lasting impression on this world.”

He sounds like a very disturbed individual, and there are a lot of them out there who are like-minded.  They exist and fester no matter who’s in office.  They don’t care who the president is; they see everyone through the paranoid kaleidoscope of hate.  But it also doesn’t help matters if the current occupant of the West Wing is telling the world that the instruments of our democracy such as the press and law enforcement are the “ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!” or riddled with corruption.

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A Little Night Music https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/2019/02/a-little-night-music-3029/ https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/2019/02/a-little-night-music-3029/#respond Wed, 20 Feb 2019 23:35:04 +0000 https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/?p=54109

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Covering The Coverup https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/2019/02/covering-the-coverup/ https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/2019/02/covering-the-coverup/#respond Wed, 20 Feb 2019 08:37:33 +0000 https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/?p=54106 The New York Times is out with an analysis of how Trump and his minions have routinely tried to quash, silence, and intimidate anyone or any news organization trying to uncover the truth about whatever the hell is going in in his administration.

WASHINGTON — As federal prosecutors in Manhattan gathered evidence late last year about President Trump’s role in silencing women with hush payments during the 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump called Matthew G. Whitaker, his newly installed attorney general, with a question. He asked whether Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York and a Trump ally, could be put in charge of the widening investigation, according to several American officials with direct knowledge of the call.

Mr. Whitaker, who had privately told associates that part of his role at the Justice Department was to “jump on a grenade” for the president, knew he could not put Mr. Berman in charge because Mr. Berman had already recused himself from the investigation. The president soon soured on Mr. Whitaker, as he often does with his aides, and complained about his inability to pull levers at the Justice Department that could make the president’s many legal problems go away.

Trying to install a perceived loyalist atop a widening inquiry is a familiar tactic for Mr. Trump, who has been struggling to beat back the investigations that have consumed his presidency. His efforts have exposed him to accusations of obstruction of justice as Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, finishes his work investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Mr. Trump’s public war on the inquiry has gone on long enough that it is no longer shocking. Mr. Trump rages almost daily to his 58 million Twitter followers that Mr. Mueller is on a “witch hunt” and has adopted the language of Mafia bosses by calling those who cooperate with the special counsel “rats.” His lawyer talks openly about a strategy to smear and discredit the special counsel investigation. The president’s allies in Congress and the conservative news media warn of an insidious plot inside the Justice Department and the F.B.I. to subvert a democratically elected president.

An examination by The New York Times reveals the extent of an even more sustained, more secretive assault by Mr. Trump on the machinery of federal law enforcement. Interviews with dozens of current and former government officials and others close to Mr. Trump, as well as a review of confidential White House documents, reveal numerous unreported episodes in a two-year drama.

White House lawyers wrote a confidential memo expressing concern about the president’s staff peddling misleading information in public about the firing of Michael T. Flynn, the Trump administration’s first national security adviser. Mr. Trump had private conversations with Republican lawmakers about a campaign to attack the Mueller investigation. And there was the episode when he asked his attorney general about putting Mr. Berman in charge of the Manhattan investigation.

Mr. Whitaker, who this month told a congressional committee that Mr. Trump had never pressured him over the various investigations, is now under scrutiny by House Democrats for possible perjury.

On Tuesday, after The Times article published, Mr. Trump denied that he had asked Mr. Whitaker if Mr. Berman could be put in charge of the investigation. “No, I don’t know who gave you that, that’s more fake news,” Mr. Trump said. “There’s a lot of fake news out there. No, I didn’t.”

A Justice Department spokeswoman said Tuesday that the White House had not asked Mr. Whitaker to interfere in the investigations. “Under oath to the House Judiciary Committee, then-Acting Attorney General Whitaker stated that ‘at no time has the White House asked for nor have I provided any promises or commitments concerning the special counsel’s investigation or any other investigation,’” said the spokeswoman, Kerri Kupec. “Mr. Whitaker stands by his testimony.”

The story of Mr. Trump’s attempts to defang the investigations has been voluminously covered in the news media, to such a degree that many Americans have lost track of how unusual his behavior is. But fusing the strands reveals an extraordinary story of a president who has attacked the law enforcement apparatus of his own government like no other president in history, and who has turned the effort into an obsession. Mr. Trump has done it with the same tactics he once used in his business empire: demanding fierce loyalty from employees, applying pressure tactics to keep people in line and protecting the brand — himself — at all costs.

It should be noted that the Justice Department’s denial of Mr. Whitaker’s actions is irrelevant.  It’s that Trump tried to get an attorney that was on his side to run the investigation.  Whether or not Mr. Whitaker complied isn’t the issue; that Trump tried is.

What emerges from this story is that Trump is obsessed with putting an end to any news coverage of him that isn’t fawning.  Given his past and his personality, that’s not surprising, but where it has gotten him in trouble is that in order to win over the base and win the election, he and his minions engaged in illegal acts, and now they’re trying to cover them up and intimidate and demonize anyone who is trying to get to the truth.  Innocent people don’t act like that.  If they’ve done nothing wrong, they don’t need to.

The other element in this story is the acknowledgment that the public is basically immune to being outraged or surprised by Trump.  That’s to be expected in a time when a viral meme can come and go with the lifespan of a fruit fly — this week’s media obsession is next week’s question in bar trivia contests — but whether or not the public cares or is aware of high crimes and misdemeanors really has no bearing on whether or not he should be held accountable.  Nor should the attempts by his leather-lunged supporters to distract our attention with yet another attempt to bring up Hillary’s e-mails or Barack’s birth certificate.  Those of us who are old enough to remember Watergate know that the public was far more interested in what happened to Patty Hearst than what Richard Nixon was doing in the West Wing.  It wasn’t until the Senate hearings interrupted “The Price Is Right” and soap operas that the average voter was even aware that crimes had taken place, and their response was typical: “When will I get my stories back?”

Fortunately that doesn’t matter.   Justice and the application thereof is not based on how it trends on Twitter, and no amount of threats and cries of “Fake News!” will put an end to it.

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A Little Night Music https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/2019/02/a-little-night-music-3028/ https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/2019/02/a-little-night-music-3028/#respond Tue, 19 Feb 2019 23:30:58 +0000 https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/?p=54104

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Civics Lesson https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/2019/02/civics-lesson-2/ https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/2019/02/civics-lesson-2/#comments Tue, 19 Feb 2019 08:50:56 +0000 https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/?p=54100 Learning about the Constitution in practical ways.

A Florida student is facing misdemeanor charges after a confrontation with his teacher that began with his refusal to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and escalated into what officials described as disruptive behavior.

The student, a sixth-grader at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland, Fla., east of Tampa, refused to stand for the pledge in the Feb. 4 incident, telling the teacher that he thinks the flag and the national anthem are “racist” against black people, according to an affidavit. The teacher then had what appeared to be a contentious exchange with the boy.

If living in the United States is “so bad,” why not go to another place to live? substitute teacher Ana Alvarez asked the student, according to a handwritten statement from her.

“They brought me here,” the boy replied.

Alvarez responded by saying, “Well you can always go back, because I came here from Cuba, and the day I feel I’m not welcome here anymore, I would find another place to live.” She then called the school office, as she did not want to keep dealing with the student, according to the statement.

Officials said the situation escalated. The student yelled at the administrative dean and a school resource officer with the Lakeland Police Department after they came to the classroom, accusing them of being racist and repeatedly refusing to leave the room.

“Suspend me! I don’t care. This school is racist,” the student, who is black, told the dean as he walked out of the classroom with his backpack, according to the affidavit.

According to a statement from the Lakeland Police Department, the boy then “created another disturbance and made threats while he was escorted to the office.” He was later charged by police with disruption of a school facility and resisting an officer without violence.

I am sure there are plenty of people who think the teacher and the cops were right to bust this kid for being unpatriotic and refusing to give in to the demands that he salute the flag and recite the pledge.  Fortunately they are in flagrant disagreement with the United States Supreme Court that ruled in 1943 that no state official can compel anyone to be patriotic.

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.

This would also apply to those who think that football players showing their feelings in a non-disruptive and silent way should be fired.  The Constitution has your number, too.

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Sixteen States https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/2019/02/sixteen-states/ https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/2019/02/sixteen-states/#respond Tue, 19 Feb 2019 08:28:34 +0000 https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/?p=54098 See you in court.

A coalition of 16 states filed a federal lawsuit Monday to block President Trump’s plan to build a border wall without permission from Congress, arguing that the president’s decision to declare a national emergency is unconstitutional.

The lawsuit, brought by states with Democratic governors — except one, Maryland — seeks a preliminary injunction that would prevent the president from acting on his emergency declaration while the case plays out in the courts.

The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, a San Francisco-based court whose judges have ruled against an array of other Trump administration policies, including on immigration and the environment.

Accusing the president of “an unconstitutional and unlawful scheme,” the suit says the states are trying “to protect their residents, natural resources, and economic interests from President Donald J. Trump’s flagrant disregard of fundamental separation of powers principles engrained in the United States Constitution.”

The complaint, filed by the attorneys general of nearly a third of the states and representing millions of Americans, immediately became the heavyweight among a rapid outpouring of opposition to the president’s emergency declaration. In the White House Rose Garden on Friday, Trump announced that he was instituting a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border because Congress did not provide enough money for a wall, that has stood as one of the most enduring promises from his 2016 campaign.

By the time this case actually gets to its final resolution, Trump will either be voted out of office or the presiding judge at trial will already be occupied by presiding over his impeachment in the Senate.  And this is just the first of many, many suits that will be filed in state and federal court on everything from eminent domain challenges to states’ rights.

Basically it comes down to Trump doing this to keep a campaign promise mnemonic about immigration and to keep Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh from turning on him.  And now we’ll find out how much it costs to feed an ego.

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Old Times There Are Not Forgotten https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/2019/02/old-times-there-are-not-forgotten-2/ https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/2019/02/old-times-there-are-not-forgotten-2/#comments Tue, 19 Feb 2019 08:07:08 +0000 https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/?p=54096 An Alabama newspaper editor is calling for the Klan to rise again.

Goodloe Sutton — who is the publisher of the Democrat-Reporter newspaper in Linden, Alabama — confirmed to the Montgomery Advertiser on Monday that he authored the Feb. 14 editorial calling for the return of a white supremacist hate group.

“If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out D.C., we’d all been better off,” Sutton said.

By “clean up,” he means lynching.

He’s what Trump would call “very fine people.”

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A Little Night Music https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/2019/02/a-little-night-music-3027/ https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/2019/02/a-little-night-music-3027/#respond Mon, 18 Feb 2019 23:30:13 +0000 https://barkbarkwoofwoof.com/?p=54094

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