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Armed and Stupid: Fox News viewer threatens man over his beard
12:21 pm

Current Events


If you’ve got a beard, you’d best tread carefully around riled-up Fox News viewers.

In one of the single dumbest news stories I’ve read in a year that’s been chock full of ‘em, Benedetto DeFrancisco, a transgender Chicago teaching assistant, was harassed and threatened at gunpoint after he was mistaken for a member of ISIS, apparently solely on account of—drumroll please—his beard.

His beard!

Late last month, William Jackson began shouting at DeFrancisco as he was taking an early morning stroll around the school before work, as he told the Windy City Media Group’s Matt Simonette:

“I literally just walk around the school, so on my second lap, he was definitely shouting [again], and it felt like it was aimed at me. It was getting louder and more aggressive. A lot of swearing. I honestly thought he was drunk. I took out my headphones and looked at him, and heard what he was saying: ‘I know what you’re doing, motherfucker. You’re scaring my wife — get out of here.’”

At this point DeFrancisco saw Jackson’s .45 caliber Ruger semi-automatic pistol and calmly walked away, calling authorities after he was safely around the corner. Police arrived on the scene soon afterwards.

DeFrancisco told Windy City:

“They were getting scared, because the ISIS attack happened in France, and getting more scared that ISIS was in Chicago. It’s clear that they had been watching me since the previous Monday — this happened on a Wednesday. I’ve been taking these walks since I’ve been working there. On my walk, I notice the same people come around. My thing to do is say hello. Unfortunately, with this man and his wife, their fear got the best of them. They could have just asked, ‘Hey, what are you doing here?’”

Mr. Jackson is due in court on Wednesday on charges of aggravated assault. He’s lucky that flagrant stupidity isn’t a crime because the judge would be obliged to throw the book at him.

Coming as no surprise to anyone, according to detectives, Jackson and his wife are avid Fox News fans! DeFrancisco’s “look”—which includes a beard—was making Mrs. Jackson nervous and so her husband decided to grab his gun and verbally assault him while waving a gun around. Cute couple.

This is kind of abject idiocy you can’t reason with. Fox News + Islamophobia + Republicans + GUNS = Modern America going completely insane. With his own experience being a vivid example of how this sort of irrational “thinking” can hurt totally innocent people, DeFrancisco believes that the Fox News fear-mongering has negative repercussions:

“[Jackson] is not the only person watching Fox News — it’s a toxin and it’s spreading fear, and this fear leads to hatred. Instead of wanting to know something about a culture or religion, they just shut it down in the most horrible or scary way.”

I’ll say it again: His beard is what set them off!

It’s too sadly moronic to contemplate, isn’t it?

Admirably Benedetto DeFrancisco is taking this unfortunate incident in his stride and although he would like a letter of apology from Mr. Jackson he doesn’t hope for him to spend any time in jail, thinking that his assailant, who was allegedly quite contrite upon his arrest, has learned a valuable lesson.

Fuck that. Make an example of this idiot. At the very least fine him an awful lot of money, so much that it hurts, AND TAKE AWAY HIS FUCKING GUN FOR GOOD.

If Fox News tries to make a martyr out of poor dumb-dumb sap William Jackson—he’s the new Kim Davis, a brave American going after an Islamic terrorist with a gun OR AT LEAST THIS IS WHAT THE FUCK HE THOUGHT HE WAS DOING, this story will crawl up its own ass in ways I can’t even anticipate. Perhaps Mike Huckabee will show up at his arraignment with a guy in a Santa Claus suit and a camera crew and the theme from Rocky playing over the PA system.

God help us all.

Via Raw Story

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Rumblr: The Tinder-style brawling app that lets you set up fist-fight ‘dates’
07:29 am



OK, so this post is probably breaking the first two rules of something or other, but check this out:

A new app is currently in development that will allow users to find and set up fist-fight “dates” much in the same way users of Tinder or Grindr find other interested parties to set up potential fuck sessions.

“I’d hit it.”
The app, called Rumblr, includes a chat tool and a map function to locate nearby fights and fighters. Users can upload their stats to see how they measure up against competitors. Unlike a certain other “club,” users aren’t required to fight—they can use the app’s “explore” function to find nearby fights to attend as spectators.


The app has yet to have an official release (is it even legal? How much liability can be attributed to the app or its platform when someone ends up murdered?), but the developers have a waiting list going for potential users to be notified when and if it becomes available.

Let’s file this one under “Apex of Western Civilization” or “What could possibly go wrong?”

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Elvis Presley drug paraphernalia up for auction
08:52 am



Julien’s calls itself “The Auction House to the Stars,” and not without reason—an auction they’re holding this week, “Icons and Idols 2015: Rock n’ Roll,” features a metric shitload of guitars, amps, and even a couple of autoharps owned by Heart’s Nancy Wilson, Jim Morrisson’s Tallahassee mug shot, Michael Jackson memorabilia that includes his fang mold from the “Thriller” video, a Jimi Hendrix rehearsal cassette, and even handwritten song lyrics by Johnny Cash (about those last two THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING UP YOU GUYS I’M JUST SAYIN’).

But nothing in the auction, however badass, has anything like the lurid appeal of some of the Elvis Presley lots. There’s one of Elvis’ Cadillacs. There’s a gold-leaf piano. Bafflingly, there’s even a Chai necklace. Pretty sure The King wasn’t Jewish, but hey, I’m sure he’d be welcome in the tribe. There’s a lot of great Elvis stuff on the block at Julien’s for the discerning 1%er who has it all. but the real winners here are his drug paraphernalia.

Sadly, his notorious final prescription (reproduced on the back cover of Death of Samantha’s Laughing In The Face Of A Dead Man EP, I’m compelled to mention) is not among the lots offered for bidding here, but there IS a prescription written by Elvis’ infamous personal physician George “Dr. Nick” Nichopoulos, for the muscle relaxer Maolate.

Lot 127

There are two pill bottles here, too—empty, smartass—one for Valium, one for the antihistamine Naldecon. In 2007, an Elvis Naldecon bottle sold for $2,640. This one’s expected to go for $4,000—$6,000.

Lot 128

Lot 129

Finally, if you have the projected $1,000—$2,000, you can brandish Dr. Nick’s very own golden ID card identifying him as a member of Elvis’ entourage. That has to open SOME doors, no?

Lot 126
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
‘Welcome to Tennessee where we carve our Halloween pumpkins with assault weapons’
07:49 am

They hate us for our freedom


The AK-47, or Kalashnikov, is one of the most popular assault rifles in the world due to its low cost, ease of availability, reliability under harsh conditions, and accuracy when being used to carve crude faces into seasonal gourds.

Meet YouTube user Hickok45, a gun enthusiast with over 1.6 million subscribers, who will demonstrate turning a pumpkin into a proper jack-o-lantern using only an AK-47:

He has uploaded several videos displaying his incredible skills as the world’s foremost jack-o-lantern marksman.

His latest video, uploaded a few days ago, has him using a Henry Rifle to create a crude visage on a hapless pumpkin.

Hickok45 describes his videos as an “attempt to educate the masses about how to properly and safely carve a pumpkin,” adding, “word has it that people are still using dangerous, sharp knives to do this.”

You gotta love that NRA humor.

More pumpkin-carving with guns after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
When the Pentagon tried to make bombs that screamed like people to freak out our enemies
08:22 am



In an effort to weaponize the psychological effect of terrifying sounds to break the morale of our enemies, the Air Force began work, in 1964, on “Pyrotechnic Harassment Devices,” or PHDs.

It has been scientifically proven that human screams contain unique acoustic properties that are highly effective in triggering the brain’s fear center, and the Pentagon wanted some of that ju-ju.

Essentially the PHDs were bombs that would create the sound of horrific human screams in an effort to scare the hell out of our foes. The idea being that if you can break the mind of your enemy, you can break him in battle. One imagines the unnerving effect of hundreds of screams on the front-lines would be similar to that of the infamous Aztec Death Whistle.

Joseph Trevithick, writing at the fantastic military blog, War is Boring, details the the idea behind the weapon:

“This device is an air deliverable unit that generates noise over a six hour period to harass, by generally upsetting enemy troops and thus lowering their efficiency for fighting,” technicians at the Air Force Armament Laboratory explained in their final report. “By dropping a number of units around an enemy group under attack, the PHD may cause general confusion.”

The Air Force hired a company called Special Devices, Inc. to build the prototypes. At first, the flying branch hoped that the pods would boom, bellow and shriek out gunshots, human and animal screeching sounds and the clanging of industrial machinery. Engineers recorded a host of specific samples to analyze, such as people firing .30- and .45-caliber guns and male and female screams.

The recordings also included a “neutral scream” consisting of a mix of the male and female versions and the cries of elephants and panthers, according to the official report. But after experimenting with a variety of mechanisms, Special Devices could only build pods that spewed out shots, whistles, whines and other white noise.

Ultimately the devices were not deemed practical: “There appears to be no way to make a pyrotechnic scream simulator with satisfactory characteristics for the PHD unit,” lamented the engineers. The idea of a “scream bomb” was looking less and less plausible.

Unable to come up with a practical scream generator, speaker boxes were built that could broadcast any recorded sound. Cargo planes were to drop these “screeming meemies” into enemy territory as a sonic disruption.

The box-shaped Screaming Meemie consisted of five major components. The primary element was the siren, which generated what was described as a “warbling tone,” plus four loudspeakers—one for each side of the box.

The siren could be set to function continuously or intermittently. The battery could keep it running for 12 hours.

There was a self-destruct and booby-trap function. The 25-pound high-explosive charge would detonate if someone pushed the device over or tried to open it, or if the battery dropped below a certain level.


The guts of the Screeming Meemie. Visible is (1) the audio system, (2) the dummy high explosive charge, (3) the battery pack, and (4) aluminum cushion. Air Force photo
It seems the military had switched gears from scaring the enemy to death with blood-curdling screams, to annoying them to death with a “warbling tone.” Ultimately, these tests were also ineffective, and the Screaming Meemie project was abandoned in 1967 when the Air Force cancelled its requirement for a “noise-making weapon for psychological warfare.”

A Screaming Meemie in position to be dropped from a C-47. The black arrow points to where the static line connects to the aircraft. Air Force photo
Still, the idea of using noise to disrupt the enemy had not been totally abandoned. Military troops have famously used blasts of loud noise and music against Manuel Noriega and David Koresh. Recently the band Skinny Puppy made headlines with a lawsuit against the US Government for using its music as psychological warfare “torture music” against the detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

Perhaps there’s still room for research and development on a bomb that screams at the enemy…

or perhaps one that blasts dubstep…

Just wait for the drop.

Via: War Is Boring 

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Donald Trump Photoshopped into horror movie stills wins the Internet today
02:11 pm

Class War


Few horror movies have ever really scared me. Many have repeatedly startled me with cheap jump-scares, and plenty have mortified me with visceral gore, but not many movies have really, truly, haunt-my-dreams-for-years SCARED me. Reality scares the absolute living shit out of me every day,and I can’t go to the lobby for a drink or hit a pause button when the intensity gets ramped up. And few things in reality currently scare me into near-paralysis like the idea of President Donald Trump.

And that right there is the key to the humor in DesignCrowd’s recent contest, “Photoshop Donald Trump into famous horror movie scenes.” I’m always a sucker for a ‘shop contest, whether it’s for pros and advanced amateurs like on Worth 1000, or just for top shelf anonymous wise-asses like the users of Fark and Something Awful, but this one reaches some dizzying heights of prime Internet smartassery. We’ve selected some favorites to show you here, but DesignCrowd has several pages of contenders.







Via iHorror

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Noam Chomsky on Donald Trump: No different from the rest of the Republicans
03:57 pm

Class War
Current Events


After his talk at the New School in New York City on Saturday, Noam Chomsky took questions from the audience. This is one of those questions:

“What do you think about the antics of Donald Trump, in tangent to your earlier idea about American exceptionalism?”

Chomsky’s reply:

“Well, actually, I think we should recognize that the other candidates are not that different. I mean, if you take a look at—just take a look at their views. You know, they tell you their views, and they’re astonishing. So just to keep to Iran, a couple of weeks ago, the two front-runners—they’re not the front-runners any longer—were Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. And they differed on Iran. Walker said we have to bomb Iran; when he gets elected, they’re going to bomb Iran immediately, the day he’s elected. Bush was a little—you know, he’s more serious: He said he’s going to wait ‘til the first Cabinet meeting, and then they’ll bomb Iran. I mean, this is just off the spectrum of not only international opinion, but even relative sanity.

This is—I think Ornstein and Mann are correct: It’s a radical insurgency; it’s not a political party. You can tell that even by the votes. I mean, any issue of any complexity is going to have some diversity of opinion. But when you get a unanimous vote to kill the Iranian deal or the Affordable Care Act or whatever the next thing may be, you know you’re not dealing with a political party.

It’s an interesting question why that’s true. I think what’s actually happened is that during the whole so-called neoliberal period, last generation, both political parties have drifted to the right. Today’s Democrats are what used to be called moderate Republicans. The Republicans have just drifted off the spectrum. They’re so committed to extreme wealth and power that they cannot get votes, can’t get votes by presenting those positions. So what has happened is that they’ve mobilized sectors of the population that have been around for a long time. It is a pretty exceptional country in many ways. One is it’s extremely religious. It’s one of the most extreme fundamentalist countries in the world. And by now, I suspect the majority of the base of the Republican Party is evangelical Christians, extremists, not—they’re a mixture, but these are the extremist ones, nativists who are afraid that, you know, “they are taking our white Anglo-Saxon country away from us,” people who have to have guns when they go into Starbucks because, who knows, they might get killed by an Islamic terrorist and so on. I mean, all of that is part of the country, and it goes back to colonial days. There are real roots to it. But these have not been an organized political force in the past. They are now. That’s the base of the Republican Party. And you see it in the primaries. So, yeah, Trump is maybe comic relief, but it’s just a—it’s not that different from the mainstream, which I think is more important.”


Bingo. In fact, his racism and xenophobia aside—which I realize, of course, is a very big “but…”—Trump’s positions aren’t even all that conservative and are often in fact legitimately “populist” in a crude (and notably nonspecific) sense when he makes comments about excessive executive pay being out of control, the need for progressive taxation and how hedge fund managers are simply lucky paper pushers.

Below, video of the above remarks and more on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
4-year-old boy accused by teacher of being ‘evil’ and ‘sinister’ because he’s left-handed
12:38 pm

Current Events


Yep, this apparently happened in the year 2015 when an Oklahoma Pre-K teacher allegedly accused a 4-year-old little boy of being “evil,” “sinister,” and “unlucky” all because he’s left-handed. Little Zayde was actually sent home with a letter about how left-handedness “is often associated with evil and the devil.”

Picture of letter sent home with 4-year-old Zayde. Courtesy: Alisha

What the actual hell? The news report below sums up everything nicely. You’ll be shocked that this 15th century superstitious nonsense is still happening in 2015.


via Arbroath

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
’Super President’: This forgotten 1967 cartoon was gloriously stupid (and racist as hell)
09:41 am



As much as I relish the inherent entertainment value of a potential Trump vs Sanders showdown/battle-for-the-soul-of-a-nation next year, I feel like America™ really needs a president like James Norcross. Silver-haired, square-jawed, dapper, and resolute, his clear-sighted judiciousness could unite this fractured nation, while his ability to alter his body’s molecular structure could protect us from a perilous world full of appalling ethnic stereotype supervillains.

That’s pretty dumb, isn’t it? But it was the actual premise of a short-lived 1967 TV cartoon called Super President. Produced by DePatie-Freleng, the animation studio best known for the Pink Panther film credit sequences and the cartoon series that spun off from them, Super President’s premise was a stretch, even for a cheaply produced children’s superhero show. The viewer was asked to suspend disbelief that the President of the United States could possibly have time to maintain a secret crimefighter double life, that his batcave-ish lair underneath the White House (to which the series always refers as the “Presidential Mansion” for some reason) could possibly go unnoticed, and that the nom de heroics “Super President” wasn’t kind of a huge screaming giveaway that he was, you know, THE PRESIDENT. Yet only the requisite sidekick/advisor/character who needs rescuing a lot Jerry Sayles knew Norcross’ secret.

There was no way this was going to last. Even if the show wasn’t howlingly dumb (stupider shows have lived long and vigorous lives), I can’t imagine the portrayal of a dashing, indomitable, gracefully-aging POTUS so soon after the Kennedy assassination didn’t sting at least a little—maybe Norcross was intended as a wishful-thinking alternative to the disappointing Lyndon Johnson? It probably wan’t that deep. Watching it almost 50 years after its creation, it’s hard to shake off the values dissonance inherent in its depictions of its antagonists. Offensive portrayals of non-Euro characters were mighty common back then (Hanna-Barbera holds up especially poorly on that count; Jonny Quest for one seems embarrassingly colonialist by today’s standards, but few of their titles were free of non-white representations that don’t seem deeply embarrassing today) but some of the portrayals here are around the bend even for the ‘60s.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Who would Jesus pump fulla hot lead? A ‘Christian’ assault rifle is now available, because Florida

A Florida gun manufacturer called Spike’s Tactical is manufacturing “The Crusader,” an assault rifle engraved with a Templar shield, boasting the safety settings “Peace,” “War, and “God Wills It,” and emblazoned with the following Biblical verse, from Psalm 144:

A spokesman for Spike’s Tactical explained to Tampa Bay/Sarasota’s 10NEWS that the Christian iconography on the weapon is intended to make it repellent to Muslims:

Right now and as it has been for quite some time, one of the biggest threats in the world is and remains Islamic terrorism. We wanted to make sure we built a weapon that would never be able to be used by Muslim terrorists to kill innocent people or advance their radical agenda.

It sounds like they’re shooting for something resembling nobility or righteousness—albeit in a bigoted-dick kind of way—but ultimately that explanation rings hollow. If their motivation was truly to prevent Jihadists from using their wares against the good folk of By-God-AMERICA, why don’t ALL their guns have, say, John 3:16 on them, like an un-stealthy version of the Trijicon rifle sights provided to the U.S. Military a few years back? I was amused to find an assault rifle on their site called the “Pure Estrogen,” which sports the molecular diagram for that very important hormone etched right where the Crusader has the verse from Psalms. So it seems far likelier that the Crusader is just a fetish object, pandering to the tastes of right wing Christian machine-of-hot-lead-death enthusiasts. Besides, while it’s true that in many parts of the world Islamists ARE one of the gravest threats going—the Middle East and parts of North Africa leap readily to mind—Florida simply isn’t one of them. In fact, in the USA you’re vastly more likely to be the victim of a gun-obsessed white right-winger. I’m 100% sure I’ll get flamed for that, but research supporting the assertion is more than abundant, and the FBI has been warning of that eventuality as far back as February of 2002, just months after the 9/11 attacks.

But knowing that will stop no asshole from praising the Lord and passing the ammunition.


Via Boing Boing, with a big h/t to Austin Hall for the find.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
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