Deborah Danner, 66-year-old, killed by New York police

This video from New York City in the USA says about itself:

NYPD Sergeant Shot And Killed A 66 Year Old Woman Ms Deborah Danner

19 October 2016

Protesters gathered Wednesday night after Deborah Danner was killed by a New York police sergeant on Tuesday in her Bronx apartment: here.

Four years before she was killed, Deborah Danner wrote an essay referencing the mortal dangers the mentally ill face when dealing with police: here.

In a searing, eloquent essay on living with schizophrenia, Deborah Danner agonized over the deaths of mentally ill people like her at the hands of police: here.

NYPD sergeant kills Deborah Danner, a black woman who neighbors say was mentally ill: here.

By Fred Mazelis in the USA:

Police killing of mentally ill 66-year-old Bronx, New York woman sparks outrage

21 October 2016

Protests and widespread outrage followed the police murder of Deborah Danner, an elderly woman afflicted with schizophrenia, on Tuesday, October 18 in the New York City borough of the Bronx.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, newly installed Police Commissioner James O’Neill and other officials, moving to appease public anger, quickly called the killing “unacceptable.” New York Police Department (NYPD) Sergeant Hugh Barry was stripped of his gun and badge and placed on modified duty pending an investigation. The case is being sent to the office of the Bronx District Attorney, Darcel Clark.

Barry and other cops arrived at the apartment building in which Ms. Danner lived at about 6 p.m. on October 18, in the Castle Hill section of the Bronx, after neighbors reported a problem. One neighbor told the local press that the police had been there many times before, without any difficulty in assisting Danner. This time she was holding a scissors, which she was reportedly convinced to put down, but then she picked up a baseball bat. Barry, 30 years old and an eight-year veteran of the NYPD, discharged two shots from his service revolver, killing the elderly woman. Barry was equipped with a Taser, but did not use it.

“It is hard to imagine why five police officers and a patrol sergeant would need to use deadly force to disarm an elderly woman with a baseball bat,” declared Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Ms. Danner’s neighbors, well aware of her medical problems, were angry over her death, and deeply skeptical that the promised investigation would result in anything more than the usual whitewash of epidemic police abuse and violence directed against the poorest and most vulnerable sections of the working class. Scores of people marched to the 43rd police precinct to protest on Tuesday night, blocking traffic on nearby streets.

The mayor said, “Deborah Danner should be alive right now, period.” He said the police had not followed protocol in dealing with emotionally disturbed people, a conclusion also voiced by Commissioner O’Neill. De Blasio and O’Neill said that Barry should have waited for a specially trained Emergency Service Unit of the NYPD to arrive.

Edward Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, representing Barry, denounced the statements of the mayor and police commissioner as “political expediency.” According to the report in the New York Times, Mullins said that Danner had swung the bat and that Barry was in fear for his life and those of others. He was also reported as saying, “Everyone agrees that this was a good shooting,” adding, “We could be sitting here talking about how a 66-year-old fractured his skull.”

A report in the New York Post revealed that Barry has been named in two lawsuits alleging brutal police beatings of African-American or Latino men. In one of them, 25-year-old Gregory Peters charged that Barry and other cops beat him with their fists, feet or batons in Times Square on August 22, 2010, and that the police displayed racial animus. The suit was settled for $25,000 in 2012.

The death of Ms. Danner was made all the more significant and disturbing by her own statements, in a six-page essay she wrote some four years ago, which she submitted to an attorney for the state’s Mental Hygiene Legal Service who was then representing her in a case involving legal guardianship. “We are all aware of the all too frequent news stories about the mentally ill who come up against law enforcement instead of mental health professionals and end up dead,” she wrote at that time, eloquently and also prophetically.

Official statistics put the number of calls for assistance in dealing with the emotionally disturbed in New York City at 128,000 so far in 2016. The huge and growing number is at least partly a reflection of social circumstances, both the hopelessness of the most impoverished and the abysmal shortage of adequate mental health treatment. New York City cops are supposed to receive training in dealing with the mentally ill, but officials acknowledged that only 4,400 out of the 36,000 officers on the New York force had received such instruction.

The killing of Deborah Danner recalled the death in almost identical circumstances of another elderly Bronx woman, Eleanor Bumpurs, 32 years ago. Police were called to the victim’s apartment in the west Bronx after she fell four months behind in her rent and reportedly resisted attempts to evict her. In that case also the cops claimed that they feared for their lives at the hands of a mentally ill woman in her late 60s. The fate of Eleanor Bumpurs provoked anger and protests not only in New York but elsewhere as well. The police officer who was eventually charged with manslaughter was acquitted in 1987.

The rich also have their share of the emotionally disturbed, but only very rarely are they reported as the victims of police shootings. It is not a matter of training, but of the role of the police force itself. It is the lives of the poorest sections of the working class, of all races, that are considered expendable by the capitalist state and its armed men.

United States fascism, from William Pelley to Donald Trump

This 2015 video from the USA shows some propaganda material by William Pelley; with the main emphasis on his religious fantasies, not on his anti-Semitic fascist politics.

By Pauline Murphy:

William Pelley: Rousing the US‘s fascist rabble

Wednesday 19th October 2016

Donald Trump is not the first US presidential candidate to inspire fascistic militia-like supporters, writes PAULINE MURPHY

EARLIER this year Donald Trump sent out a tweet to his legion of followers in which he used a quote from Benito Mussolini: “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.”

A month later a new account was created on Twitter called @lionsoftrump and its first tweet simply stated: “The Lion Guard is born.”

The Lion Guard describes itself as a “civilian group dedicated to the safety and security of Trump supporters.” These unofficial guardians of Trump supporters got their name from the Mussolini quote the Republican candidate had tweeted that cold morning in February.

As the race for the White House now gathers pace, the rallies of Donald Trump have become more intense. These gatherings have taken on a violent streak as clashes erupt between Trump supporters and those who do not support him.

The Lion Guard depend heavily on social media to smoke out potential troublemakers at Trump rallies. Many have dubbed this unofficial militia the “red caps” due to the $25 “Make America Great Again” baseball hats both they and their straw haired idol wear.

Trump isn’t the first presidential candidate to bear witness to violence at his rallies and neither is he the first to see some supporters turn into a menacing militia group.

During the 1936 US presidential election, the son of a Methodist minister from Massachusetts entered the race as a candidate for the Christian Party.

William Dudley Pelley was a foreign correspondent across Europe and Russia in the years after World War I and a Hollywood screen writer in the 1920s before becoming leader of the Silver Legion of America and the Christian Party in the 1930s.

Pelley embraced the wave of fascism that washed over society in the ’30s and openly declared: “The time has come for an American Hitler.” He printed his own mouth organ newspaper called Pelley’s Weekly which focused its written attacks on Roosevelt, left-wing politics, blacks, Jews and immigrant minorities.

On January 30 1933 Pelley founded the Silver Legion of America in Asheville, North Carolina. Membership was open only to white Christian males while the uniform consisted of a silver shirt, blue trousers and a red letter “L” emblazoned on the breast of the shirt.

The silver shirts, as they became known, turned out across many towns and cities across the United States putting on mass rallies where Pelley spoke about restoring America through extreme patriotism. The right-wing rabble rousing Pelley targeted African Americans, Jews and Irish immigrants through his speeches. To the delight of his followers, Pelley promised to disenfranchise such minorities if he ever rose to power in the land of the free.

Membership of the silver shirts numbered somewhere around 15,000 but this small group and its charismatic leader spewed a terrifying influence over ordinary Americans. Both working-class and middle-class whites saw Pelley and his silver shirts as the answer to America’s problems; this was a time in the country’s history when the great depression was sweeping the land.

At silver shirt rallies, Pelley’s speeches hung heavy with words of great threat. Pelley favoured building a mental wall of isolation around America. He favoured a ban on immigrants, most notably Jewish and Irish, from entering the United States. He favoured a more militaristic approach to creating a moral America.

Pelley received funds through connections in nazi Germany and set about building a world headquarters for the Silver Legion in a remote part of the Hollywood hills.

At Murphy Ranch outside Los Angeles the flag of the silver shirts — silver with a red L on the upper left — flew over an urban sprawl. From Murphy Ranch, Pelley established the Galahad College where Christian economics were the main staple of education for the future makers and breakers of America.

A year after forming the Christian Party of America (CPA), Pelley then used it as an engine to propel him to the White House, or so he thought.

The 1936 presidential election campaign in the United States was a particularly dirty one, with Roosevelt receiving most of the personal slander. During the campaign Pelley was largely ignored by the mainstream media who viewed him as a deluded outsider.

It was a chaotic election for Pelley who carried out an extensive country-wide campaign called The Silver Cavalcade, which saw mass rallies often marked by violence.

His running mate was the firebrand silver shirt leader from San Diego Willard Kemp, and even though Pelley had achieved in whipping up enough hysteria through his mass rallies, he did not achieve in winning over the political system.

Washington state was the only place where his name appeared on the ballot paper.

On election day, Pelley won just under 2,000 votes. He finished far behind both the socialist and communist candidates.

The violent tendencies of Pelley’s supporters continued after the 1936 presidential campaign. In 1938 three Chicago silver shirt meetings ended in riots. One of them saw Pelley’s right-hand man Roy Zachery fined 15 dollars for disorderly behaviour and a stint in hospital when he received severe head injuries.

In 1939, five silver shirt members from Chicago smashed the windows of the Goldblatt brothers’ department store. The streets became mini war zones for those attending silver shirt rallys but Pelley’s supporters were all too often met by counter demonstrators which usually resulted in the silver shirts turning on their heels.

After the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941 Pelley dissolved his silver shirts and Galahad College disintegrated. That same year, state police in California took over Murphy Ranch and Pelley’s dream of a morally upright, fascist and isolated America faded away.

Pelley would spend the rest of his years battling the federal government through court cases. Pelley was later sentenced to 15 years for sedition and after serving just under eight years, he was released. Pelley died at the age of 75 in 1965.

The … politics of the ’30s which propelled Pelley and his like were summed up by the writer Mary McCarthy. In 1936 she wrote about the atmosphere around Pelley’s presidential campaign in The Nation magazine as being “wild, comic, theatrical, dishonest, disorganised, hopeful and not revolutionary.” Eighty years later those words might hold some meaning again as we enter the end stages of what has been a wildly comical non-revolutionary presidential campaign.

Pelley propagated the paranormal, and was an influence on the I Am religious organisation, an influence on later ‘New Age’ movements like the ‘Church Universal and Triumphant‘.

Are white terrorists not terrorists?

This video from the USA says about itself:

Why Isn’t There Wall-to-Wall Coverage of The Kansas Crusaders?

17 October 2016

Thom compares the media coverage of the arrest of three men in Kansas who were plotting to harm immigrants with coverage of previous events perpetrated by Muslims. Is the difference in coverage a reflection of the media’s views on race?

By Chauncey DeVega of Salon in the USA:

The Right Wing

White Privilege Wages Jihad: Kansas ‘Militia Members’ Aren’t Considered ‘Terrorists’ Because They’re Not Muslim

The three white men planned to unleash a killing spree and to bomb a house of worship—what should we call them?

October 19, 2016

On Friday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced that it had arrested three white men, Curtis Allen, Gavin Wright and Patrick Stein, who as part of a militia group called the Crusaders planned to bomb a housing complex and mosque in Garden City, KansasAllen, Wright and Stein had stockpiled 2,000 pounds of ammunition and numerous homemade bombs to conduct the attack.

Their intended victims were Somali immigrants. In information gathered by the FBI, Stein, the apparent ringleader, told his followers, “If you’re a Muslim I’m going to enjoy shooting you in the head.” Stein also wanted his confederates to “if you start using your bow on them cockroaches, make sure you dip them in pig’s blood before you shoot them.”

The destruction and murder would have been total. Allen, Wright and Stein planned to spare no one from their hateful wrath; babies and children would be killed along with adults. Stein told his fellow militia members, “When we go on operations there’s no leaving anyone behind, even if it’s a 1-year-old. I’m serious. I guarantee if I go on a mission those little fuckers are going bye-bye.”

Their ultimate goal was to “send a wake up call” to (white) Americans about the “threat” posed by Muslims. Stein said “the only fucking way this country’s ever going to get turned around is it will be a bloodbath and it will be a nasty, messy motherfucker.”

In this political moment, the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s tendrils are everywhere: Stein is an avid supporter of Trump and was organizing a “security detail” to protect his hero and champion when he visited Pennsylvania and Ohio in late October.

The bomb plot by Allen, Wright and Stein is part of a larger pattern. As reported by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, 79 mosques were attacked last year. The Southern Poverty Law Center has documented how the number of hate crimes against Muslims has increased this year.

The murderous actions planned by Allen, Wright, and Stein are the very definition of terrorism: politically motivated violence against a vulnerable civilian population.

The headlines from major American news outlets, however, described Allen, Wright and Stein as “militia members” instead of “terrorists.”

White privilege takes many forms in America. Terrorists are nebulous brown “Arabs” and “Muslims.” White privilege deems that such a label not be applied by the mainstream news media and in the popular discourse to white Christians such as Allen, Wright and Stein.

On these matters, white privilege also imperils public safety. Since 2002 more Americans have been killed by white Christian right-wing terrorists than by Muslims or Arabs. As reported by Duke University’s Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security in 2015, “Law enforcement agencies in the United States consider anti-government violent extremists, not radicalized Muslims, to be the most severe threat of political violence that they face.” In its announcement about the arrest of Allen, Wright and Stein, the FBI also referred to the Crusaders as “domestic terrorists.”

But the right-wing media and the Republican Party has chosen to actively suppress that information — as was the case with West Point’s Combatting Terrorism Center’s findings about the threat posed by right-wing anti-government groups, which were met with protests, derision and threats to cut research funding. In all, the image of the Muslim-Arab bogeyman with a suicide vest hiding under the beds of white middle America does more political work for conservatives than a mature discussion of the significant dangers posed by white right-wing radicals and terrorists in the “sovereign citizens” and militia movements.

White privilege also deems that certain questions will not be asked about the Crusaders and its nefarious plans to kill Somali immigrants in Garden City, Kansas.

What are people like Allen, Wright and Stein learning in their churches and other places of worship? Are the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security monitoring those sites?

Who radicalized Allen, Wright and Stein?

What role does Fox News, the Republican Party and the right-wing media play in teaching white Christians like Allen, Wright and Stein to hate Muslims?

Where were Allen, Wright and Stein’s family members and neighbors? Are they aiding and abetting them? Why didn’t they call the police earlier?

Given that 2016 Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is openly hostile toward Muslims, should he be held responsible for encouraging violence and terrorism against that community?

It is no coincidence that the Crusaders’ terrorist attack was planned for Nov. 9 — the day after the election. The political movement of fascist Donald Trump has normalized political violence in contemporary American politics. Allen, Wright and Stein’s plan to kill Somali immigrants in Garden City is a reflection of that reality.

At his rallies, Trump extols the virtues of such behavior. Like a political thug in a banana republic, Trump threatens to put Hillary Clinton, his Democratic rival, in prison if he wins the presidency. Moreover, Trump’s supporters have even been recorded as threatening Clinton’s life. Trump’s foot soldiers have attacked Black Lives Matter and other protesters and sucker punched an elderly woman in the face at a rally in North Carolina. Armed Trump minions have also pointed guns at protesters.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the question is not “will there be blood on Election Day and thereafter?” but rather how much blood will be spilled by Trump and the basket of human deplorables — a rabble that includes terrorists — over which he wields control like a political Rasputin.

At least, in the Netherlands, when a gang of Islamophobes (also admirers of Adolf Hitler) firebombed a mosque in Enschede, the public prosecutor did call them terrorists.

American nazi band not playing in Scotland

This video from the USA says about itself:

Teenage Sisters Singing: Neo-Nazi Beliefs Have Changed as These Two Girls Grew Up

20 July 2011

Two girls who used to play in a neo-Nazi band explain what drove them to change. For more, click here.

By Zoe Streatfield in Britain:

People power forces neonazis to cancel gig

Tuesday 18th October 2016

ANTI-RACIST campaigners claimed victory yesterday after a neonazi concert due to be held in Scotland later this month was cancelled.

US white power band Bound for Glory were booked to perform in Falkirk this Saturday but cancelled the gig due to fears that anti-racist activists would target the event.

The cancellation was announced on Sunday by organiser Vicky Pearson, who said the concert had to be called off due to a combination of adverse media attention, the likelihood that the US band members would be refused entry into Britain and fears that the venue would pull out.

A spokesman for anti-racist and anti-fascist campaign group Hope not Hate said: “While obviously we will remain vigilant to ensure that she [Ms Pearson] is true to her word, we can celebrate a huge victory for people power.”

Labour MSP Neil Findlay, who also pushed for the gig’s cancellation said: “This is really good news — groups like this have no other purpose than to spread division and hate.

“We must always to be vigilant to ensure they don’t play in any of our communities.”

More than 1,700 people contacted their MPs and MSPs over the weekend expressing their disgust at the event.

However, more than 500 tickets had been sold for what was believed to be the biggest-ever white supremacist gig in Scotland.

Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Justice Michael Matheson had pledged to write to Westminister Home Secretary Amber Rudd recommending that she refuse the entry of the band to Britain.

Mr Matheson said: “There is no place for hatred of this kind in Scotland.”

New novel on 1981 British Handsworth riots

This reggae music video says about itself:

Steel PulseHandsworth Revolution

Steel Pulse – Live At The Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland 1979, “Montreux Casino

David Hinds – Vocals, Guitar
Basil Glendon Gabbidon – Guitar
Ronald, Ronnie “Stepper” McQueen – Bass Guitar
Selwyn D.”Bumbo” Brown – Keyboards, Vocals
Alphonso “Phonso” Martin – Percussion, Vocals
Steve Nisbett, Stevie “Grizzly” Nesbitt – Drums

By Farhana Shaikh in Britain:

‘I’m interested in exploring how the personal becomes political’

Saturday 15th October 2016

SHARON DUGGAL tells Farhana Shaikh what impelled her to write her first novel, set during the 1981 Handsworth riots

The Handsworth Times is your first novel. How did you go about writing it?

I’d like to say I have a routine and a set process for writing but it would be a big fib.

I am quite unorganised and a bit sporadic as a writer but I do always carry a notebook, jot down ideas as they arise and revisit them later. I have taught myself to write quickly through necessity and I can bang out a shoddy first draft at speed.

This is because I know my time is short due to other commitments, so I have to get whatever is in my head down on paper before it is too late. From there I revise and redraft a lot and I suppose that has organically become my process.

You’ve set your novel in Handsworth in Birmingham but your story has at its heart a Punjabi family. What personal experiences did you draw on?

I grew up in the 1970s and ’80s in a British-Asian family in Handsworth, surrounded by the joint values of traditional Indian culture, family loyalty and an emphasis on hard work as a way of progressing through life and becoming upwardly socially mobile.

However, I was also surrounded by people of diverse cultural backgrounds living in reduced circumstances, struggling to make ends meet, and it soon became apparent that actually, for the working-class communities that I was in the midst of, opportunities for social mobility and aspiration were severely restricted whatever we did.

Having said that, Handsworth was also an extremely lively and exciting place to grow up with the street, doubling as a playground, central to community life.

I come from a big family with lots of siblings and cousins so there was a rich pool of material to draw on for ideas and characters. Like most extended families, stories about legacy and family history get passed down and become fragmented over time but some things, even though you don’t quite know whether they actually happened or not, do stick in the mind and resurface when writing.

The novel’s set in 1981 and, while it’s fiction, it feels as though we’re very much grounded in reality.

How much research did you do about the period and were you surprised by what you uncovered?

The novel started as part of a research degree so I was well placed to do research as part of the process but, rather than heavy academic research, I found what I had to do was a lot of googling to check things like TV listings and pop charts from the time. I do remember certain things about the period but it was a long time ago so I did have to do my homework, especially on the cultural and news references.

What made you want to write about the riots of 1981?

Birmingham in general is under-represented in mainstream literary output. Not enough stories about the city get published and I don’t know why.

But it is hugely interesting, both for its industrial past and how that has shaped its present, including its demography. It must be among the most multicultural places in the world yet, for some reason, publishers are not choosing stories based there.

This, coupled with the political landscape of the 1980s, of which the riots were a consequence, continues to be of interest, not least because our politicians and governments don’t seem to have learnt anything from what happened then.

Unfortunately, as ordinary people get squeezed tighter with welfare cuts, archaic education policies and lack of investment in communities and as racism and xenophobia rise, stoked as political tools by certain politicians and by their media mouthpieces — or vice versa? — manifestations of social unrest like rioting have and could so easily happen again at any point.

We see the struggle within the household juxtaposed against the one happening in the community. What were you interested in exploring by setting the story firmly within the space of domesticity?

I suppose I was interested in exploring how the personal becomes political, especially for the younger female characters, and how the domestic world and the social external world are inextricably linked.

The world beyond the house very much influences how characters develop and this, in turn, begins to transform how they exist alongside each other in the domestic sphere. They each go on a journey of some kind that helps equip them for the challenges of the world beyond the domestic sphere or, in the case of the father Mukesh, a journey that actually contributes to his demise.

I also wanted to convey something of the claustrophobia of living in a large family in a small house and how this can mirror the claustrophobia of living a seemingly fish-bowl like existence in a community like Handsworth.

Plenty of writers have written about the immigration experience but British stories set outside of London still seem few and far between. What were your hopes for the story you wanted to tell?

Like most people, I get frustrated by the stereotypes that continue to get churned out in books, sitcoms, film etc. It seems that there is an acceptable face of multiculturalism that mainstream publishers and other cultural gatekeepers want to perpetuate for some reason — I suspect it is because it is what they perceive as marketable.

The novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie gave a great talk a few years ago where she warned against the danger of a single story as it leads to misunderstanding and stereotypes which are almost always untrue. I couldn’t agree with her more.

We have a long way to go to change the lack of diversity in literary output despite some really good recent interventions.

The saddest thing is that this is at the expense of some very talented writers that don’t fit the mould and at the expense of the reading public who, I am sure, are thirsty for different kinds of stories and voices.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about writing about the past?

Bring the past alive as part of the research by exploring personal accounts, diaries, social histories, film archives and oral testimony.

Luckily, with more recent history, we have a lot more access to this kind of primary source material online, including digital archives housed on library and community sites.

I found old photographs, music videos and news footage particularly helpful to informing some of the more descriptive passages of the book. Visual stimuli really are useful.

The Handsworth Times by Sharon Duggal is published by Bluemoose Books, price £8.99. A longer version of this interview was first published in The Asian Writer,

Comical clowns, ‘killer’ clowns, political clowns

This video says about itself:

10 October 2016


By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Beware of the real clowns in public office

Saturday 15th October 2016

The Paddy McGuffin column

Right, I’m back! What did I miss?

I jest of course because even in the lead-lined, sea bed-located bunker into which this column inters itself on such infrequent occasions the madness could not be prevented from seeping through.

Basically it’s all been about clowns, right?

As if that was in any way different to every other two-week period in the annual schedule.

But no, the media have whipped themselves and everyone else into a frenzy over the so-called prevalence of marauding killer clowns, apparently terrorising people both in the US and, as with so much else of their junk “culture,” copied in Britain.

At first I thought this was a serious news story.

Quite right, I thought.

The ridiculous hair, the ludicrous outfits, the nonsensical gibberish and the constant levels of outrageous and wildly inappropriate behaviour.

It’s about time they did something about the continued travesty that is Donald Trump and his mentally defective cheerleaders.

But it gradually dawned that this was not the angle the hysterical mainstream media was taking.

And then this column got angry. You see, since childhood it has inadvertently gone against the prevailing orthodoxy and really liked clowns.

Far from being coulrophobic it would class itself as firmly in the “philiac” camp.

Clowns teach us valuable life lessons such as: “Don’t go up to strangers, especially if they’re wearing grease paint and particularly if they are in possession of an abnormally large hooter.”

They also teach us, from an early age, about the pain and pathos that life inflicts, particularly if a Tory or Republican government gets in.

Clowns, in the main, are a noble breed who sacrifice themselves to help others if only to forget their troubles for an hour or two, and who hold up a sometimes painful reflection of our baser selves.

Who reading this can honestly say they have never wanted to smack someone in the mouth with a custard pie or round the back of the head with a plank of wood? Or much, much worse.

A classic case in point, when it comes to the artistry of the form, is that of Joseph Grimaldi, often described as the king of clownery.

Grimaldi’s life on the stage started at around the age of three and, despite the physical and mental agonies he suffered for his art, he remained on it almost until his tragically early death as a crippled wreck of the man he used to be, carried to and from performances because his brutally abused body would no longer allow him to walk.

Making people laugh is a serious business, as any decent comic will tell you, but by anyone’s standards Grimaldi was hardcore.

He suffered for the audience’s amusement.

In most settings that would be heroic.

The original role of the clown was, while in some ways similar to that of their latter-day equivalent, much more philosophical and dare I say it profound, at the same time as providing light relief and yes also spectacular acrobatic and mirth-inducing skill.

The fact that certain individuals appear to have been donning the guise for allegedly nefarious purposes (no-one at time of writing has actually been convicted of anything) is of course a cause of concern but if, as the press seems intent on suggesting, they are seeking to lure and therefore one supposes entrap or abuse children, there are far less terrifying yet insidious outfits they could have worn.

Jesus or the Easter Bunny for a start.

Meanwhile our hacks are so “concerned” about the potential of another John Wayne Gacy (no, I hadn’t forgotten about him) that they are letting the real fools — in Westminster and Washington — literally get away with murder.

Let us take as an example our current Home Secretary Amber Rudd who basically used her party conference speech to brand all immigrants as scum. And then furiously denied that she was in any way racist.

To employ a phrase I have used previously, much like Tory policy, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, stick an orange up its arse and whack it in the oven.

And then of course there’s Boris… I struggle to recall a time when Britain had a minister purportedly in charge of foreign affairs who had such little grasp of international politics.

But never mind the fact that his global knowledge stops somewhere around the end of the Peloponnesian war. This week he took hypocrisy to a whole new level by calling on the public to protest outside the Russian embassy in London over the country’s involvement in Syria.

This would be the same Johnson who, as mayor of London, spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of tax-payers’ money to try to evict peace campaigner Brian Haw from his perfectly legal position in Parliament Square over his sustained opposition to the war that started all of this.

The same Johnson who sneeringly ignored two million people opposing the illegal invasion of Iraq.

You can’t have it both ways just because it suits you now, you fatuous arriviste.

It is becoming increasingly apparent to all but the most slavish and dim-witted in our society that Johnson’s sole “qualification” for the role of foreign secretary appears to be that he played Risk when he was an over-privileged pre-pubescent.

Give him a couple of weeks and he’ll be announcing the invasion of Kamchatka.

Here, as with the ongoing game of mutually assured destruction being waged on the other side of the pond, when it comes to elections the gullible public gets what it deserves and most assuredly deserves what it gets.


We must resist Amber Rudd’s divisive immigration proposals if we are to build unity and solidarity between migrants and the wider working class, writes DON FLYNN: here.

Kansas, USA racists plotted massacre of Somali refugees

This video from the USA says about itself:

3 Kansas men plotted to kill innocent Somali refugees in Garden City, Kansas

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Kansas


Friday, October 14, 2016

Three Southwest Kansas Men Charged With Plotting to Bomb Somali Immigrants

WICHITA, KAN. -Three men from southwest Kansas were charged in federal court here today with conspiring to detonate a bomb at an apartment complex in Garden City where Muslim immigrants from Somalia live and worship, Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said.

A criminal complaint unsealed today alleged the men conducted surveillance to size up potential targets, stockpiled firearms, ammunition and explosive components, and prepared a manifesto to be published after the bombing. The attack, the defendants said, would “wake people up.”

“These charges are based on eight months of investigation by the FBI that is alleged to have taken the investigators deep into a hidden culture of hatred and violence,” Beall said. “Many Kansans may find it as startling as I do that such things could happen here.”

Charged with one count of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction were:

Curtis Allen, 49, Liberal, Kan.

Gavin Wright, 49, Liberal, Kan., owner of G & H Mobile Home Center at 1250 E. Tucker Road in Liberal.

Patrick Eugene Stein, 47, Wright, Kan.

The complaint alleges that since February 2016 the FBI has been investigating the defendants’ activities planning a violent attack against Muslims in southwestern Kansas. A confidential source [who] attended meetings of a militia group called the Kansas Security Force, providing the FBI with information about the groups’ activities.

The defendants were members of a small group they called the Crusaders. After considering possible targets including pro-Somali churches and public officials, the defendants decided to target an apartment complex in Garden City, Kan., where Somalis lived and maintain an apartment that served as a mosque. They discussed obtaining four vehicles, filling them with explosives and parking them at the four corners of the apartment complex to create a big explosion.

On Oct. 12, defendant Stein met with the confidential FBI source in rural Finney County to examine automatic weapons the source had brought from an FBI lab in Quantico, Va. After trying out two of the weapons, Stein took the source to see the apartment building the defendants were targeting in Garden City. Stein said he would provide ammonium nitrate for the bomb and contribute $200 to $300 for other materials.

Stein also talked with the source about defendant Allen’s arrest in a domestic violence case in Liberal the previous day, Oct. 11. Stein said he was concerned that Allen’s girlfriend would give Liberal police information about the defendants’ plans.

If convicted, the defendants face up to life in federal prison. Investigating agencies included the FBI, the Liberal Police Department, the Seward County Sheriff’s Office, the Ford County Sheriff’s Office, the Garden City Police Department, the Dodge City Police Department, the Finney County Sheriff’s Office, and Kansas Highway Patrol, and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Mattivi is prosecuting

In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The charges merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

FBI: major attack on immigrants foiled

Today, 09:13

In the United States of America, three men have been arrested who wanted to assassinate immigrants on the day after the presidential elections, the US Justice Department reports. It it is said to have been their intention to blow up an apartment in which about 120 Somalis live.

The suspects were members of a small militia calling itself the Crusaders. The far-right militia is directed against immigrants, Muslims and the government. Those arrested are two men of 49 years old and one of 47 years old.

The FBI has foiled the plan of these three men after investigating for eight months. According to the prosecutor, the investigators found themselves in a “hidden culture of hatred and violence.”

The suspects chose the apartment building in the US state of Kansas because many Somalis live there and there is a mosque in it. They wanted to detonate four vehicles full of explosives at the four corners of the building. After the attack they wanted to distribute a manifesto.

According to the indictment the men with their action wanted to wake up America. “The only way to get this country on the right path is a bloodbath,” a suspect is said to have said.