February 2, 2019 in 771 words

Forget Trump’s border distraction – the real threat is inside the house

While the government was shut down over the president’s wall, native-born white men proved, once again, to be America’s biggest terrorist danger

Above: Investigators work the scene of a shooting in Livingston parish in Louisiana. Dakota Theriot was subsequently charged with five killings.

We already know that the border is a distraction and the dangers there are largely fictions. We know that undocumented immigrants commit crime at lower rates than US-born people; that most undocumented people in the US got here by overstaying their visas, not coming across the southern border illicitly and that undocumented people are a crucial part of the labor force. But we also know that if you can get people excited about imaginary threats, you can distract them from the real ones, and that often the greatest dangers are the people fomenting the excitement.

We already know that the serious threats are coming from inside the house.

Recently, Trump has been telling lurid and apparently baseless stories about women being victimized by traffickers on the border. If this sounds familiar, it’s because he campaigned on pumped-up stories about Mexico sending rapists to the US. But he had nothing to say about the border patrol agent who killed four women in September, one of them transgender, and was only caught because a fifth escaped from his pickup truck.

Last week, when the US government was partly shut down because of the president’s hostage-taking tantrum tactics to get his border wall, native-born white men – not immigrants, not Muslims – proved, once again, to be a major source of violence and hate in America.

Last week, four young white men were arrested on 19 January, in upstate New York for a plot to kill Muslims in nearby Islamberg; they had 23 guns and “makeshift bombs packed with nails and black powder”. One of them had invited Trump to his Eagle Scout ceremony in 2017.

The same day, Christopher Cleary, a 27-year-old white man from Colorado, was arrested in Provo, Utah, after making credible threats to indiscriminately kill women. According to one report, Cleary “had written a long Facebook diatribe about being a virgin and wanting to become ‘the next mass shooter’”. He was already on probation for stalking and making threats of domestic violence – the sort of history that is common among men who commit mass killings.

6 Priceless Objects Destroyed By Sheer Stupidity

Some folks can’t help but wreck everything they touch. Their phone screen is cracked, their car only runs in reverse, and their insurance agent has night terrors. Sometimes they can’t help it; it’s just dumb luck. Other times, they drop the “luck” part. This goes out to all the poor stumblebums out there, and the valuable things they’ve accidentally destroyed.

6. British Teenagers Pulverized Ice Age Rock Formations

Mother Nature had been working on the Brimham Rocks in Yorkshire, England for 100 million years before there were even dinosaurs …

Oh, your species has decided it likes rock balancing? Step aside, mortals.”

They might have survived the dinosaurs, but huge, oblivious, scaly beasts are nothing compared to the devastation wrought by your average teenager. Earlier this year, a group of unidentified youths were goofing around in the area, one thing led to another, and they wound up pushing one of the boulders off a crag. The rock was shattered in the fall. In a matter of seconds, they destroyed a minor miracle that had stood for 320 million years.

A team of geologists and other professionals has been sent in to study the damage more carefully and see if the formations could be healed in one way or another. It should only take about 300 million years.

Video Goodnesses
and not-so-goodnesses

Desi Lydic heads to Colorado to find out how an energy company could be allowed to drill just a quarter mile away from an elementary school.

THANKS to Comedy Central and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah for making this program available on YouTube.

In his editorial New Rule, Bill argues that the national emergency we should be addressing isn’t border security – it’s the threat posed by climate change.

THANKS to HBO and Real Time with Bill Maher for making this program available on YouTube.

The President’s rambling interview with the “failing New York Times” was so mind-numbing that Stephen felt compelled to release this rare miniature Late Show monologue.

THANKS to CBS and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert for making this program available on YouTube.

明日は節分!Tomorrow is traditional end of winter!

Ed. Maybe where you are. Here today is called Groundhog Day.

Happy Birthday Nancy!

Ed. More tomorrow? Probably. Possibly. Maybe. Not?