12.13.17

Half a decade since Sandy Hook

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, WhiteManistan at 5:41 pm by George Smith

One change despite general national stasis. Massacres under the Trump administration aren’t accompanied by surges in gun sales. There’s no fear of an imagined coup by liberals.

This graph from the NY Times today begs to be cited, but not for a good reason:

In the five years since the shooting, which transformed a fairly anonymous Connecticut town into a buzzword in the caustic national debate on gun violence, armed men have killed people at a nightclub, an outdoor music festival, a social services center, movie theaters, a church in South Carolina and a church in Texas.

Massacres are met with a collective shrug; they’re automatically political but with a new president who has no obvious interest in saying anything about them. The brutal killing of twenty very young children and six adults was the moment it became impossible to do anything about slaughters. When the country demonstrated that it would do nothing after a barabarity against children it conceded nothing could ever be done.

Currently. Sheryl Crow has shown some shocked humanity, releasing a a commemorative song on Bandcamp and wondering:

“You would think after Vegas we would see some leadership from our country community,” Crow told the Guardian. “But all I can say about that is if there’s money involved, and fear, these conversations come to a screeching halt.

“There’s no one that I know of in the popular country world that is willing to step out and really to take a stand on this, and that’s really unfortunate.

“I hope there will be people who find a way out of their fear, who stick up for humanity as opposed to sticking with their fanbase or the money that can come along with having those large crowds.”

Crow’s new song, The Dreaming Kind, released on Monday, is a tribute to the 20 young children and six adults who were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut five years ago.

The song was inspired, Crow has told the press, by her “real sense of helplessness” after the recent Las Vegas massacre and how to tell her two sons about America’s shootings.

Continued Crow:

Three days before her Sandy Hook tribute song was slated to debut on ABC’s Good Morning America, she told the Guardian, she still had not sat down with her children to explain what had happened at the elementary school in Newtown. Even contemplating that conversation left her shaken.

“I think they won’t understand,” she said. “I’m not even able to fathom that.”

Except for one or two outliers, country music’s big stars haven seen silent. Understandably, big portions of their audiences are so locked into 2nd Amendment mythologies, espousing change would be heard as an attack. Careers would certainly suffer.

Five years after NewTown a trip to YouTube to see the DickDestiny-penned “Gun Nut Folk Tube” makes it clear. There’s no grasp of satire but a very noticeable burning anger in the comments section. (Keep in mind this is a tune that’s only been played 680 some times on YouTube, yet it still attracted gunfire.)

“[My parents] imparted loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage,” wrote one man”. They also set me up with a better moral standard to know right from wrong. I now serve this great country and know what individual freedom and personal responsibility are about more than most. Maybe, you should impart those into this song. If not and you feel it is a wrong country then by all means let me know. I will pay you a one way ticket anywhere you want.”

What honor, integrity and so on have to do with documented gun slaughter is anyone’s guess. But it demostrates that point that argument, even without profanity, has been pointless. Invitations to leave the country drop like leaves in the fall.

And satire has been lost in America for decades. What does remain true is Tom Lehrer’s observation that if you’re doing it right someone’s going to get angry. Pain is part of it. It shows that some part of you is still human.

What remains true in “Gun Nut Folk Tune” is the observation: “In this country life is cheap/For it comes with all the creeps.”

There’s an ocean of mean in the national character and it’s ineradicable.


Dowloadable copy of “Gun Nut Folk Tune” from Soundcloud.

Trivia: The photo is from a “shoot a 50 caliber machine gun business” in Las Vegas.



12.07.17

The ricin pensioner: A sad and ugly tale

Posted in Bioterrorism, Culture of Lickspittle, Ricin Kooks at 2:23 pm by George Smith

Seventy year old Betty Miller, accused of making ricin powder to use on herself after testing — unsuccessfully, fortunately — on acquaintances at her retirement home had a dog. On a sign at her apartment:

“I wish I could be the person my dog thinks I am.”

Unspecified in court are citations of mental illness (depression?) and attempts at suicide and a story in which Miller researched basic information on plant poisons on the net, apparently settling on ricin because of castor plants readily available in the home’s garden.

Miller, upon feeling ill, drove herself to the hospital where she revealed she may have been exposed to ricin. Doing that in the context of a hospital triggers the entire anti-terror national network set up over the last decade and a half, summoning everyone from the FBI and Homeland Security to an array of local responding agencies including the state of Vermont, in this case.

Information on various tests has been doled out. The presence of ricinine comfirmed. Ricinine is not ricin, but an organic compound that is viewed as a marker in castor. It can be read about in a toxicological study of ricin poisoning here.

“Ricinine is an alkaloid present in the castor bean plant (Ricinus communis) that can be used as a biomarker for ricin poisoning,” reads another analytical paper in which ricin was used in a suicide.

Although not ill now, an unnamed tenant is said to have tested positive for ricin exposure at the home where Miller is alleged to have tester her powder on others.

Currently, the case is involved in securing Miller’s cellphone so that it may be examined for possible corroborating information.

12.01.17

Ricin pensioner: A first

Posted in Bioterrorism, Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, Ricin Kooks at 1:24 pm by George Smith

Oldest alleged ricin poisoner ever, in Shelburne, VT.

From WCAX and the FBI:

The FBI says Betty Miller, 70, of Shelburne, was arrested for manufacturing ricin in her apartment. In an affidavit Friday, officials said Miller told them she wanted to harm herself and was testing the toxic poison by sprinkling it on the food and drinks of other Wake Robin residents.

Miller told authorities she found instructions on the internet and over the summer harvested 30-40 castor beans on the Wake Robin campus. She made a total of 2-3 tablespoons of the highly toxic powder and then placed it in multiple servings of other residents’ food and beverages over a period of weeks.

The case developed when “Miller drove herself to the hospital to be checked out.” Regardless of “instructions on the Internet,” no one has been sickened the state health department became “aware of one person who probably became ill with ricin poisoning.”

The update to Arsenic and Old Lace is flabbergasting. Dementia also comes to mind.

UpdatedDementia: “Miller, 70, made her first appearance in federal court on Friday. Judge John Conroy noted that she had a ‘lengthy mental health history’ but did not elaborate.”

Miller’s collection — bottles of “apple seed,” “cherry seed,” and “yew seed” — in addition to her castor seed powder, seem to indicate an ongoing interest iin poisons. Apple and cherry seeds contain minor amounts of amygdalin, a cyanide-group-containing compound. Yew contains an alkaloid.


Roll “Ricin Mama.”