Next up, I'd like to brief you on the status of our precious bodily fluids

Since the horrific shootings at Umpqua Community College last Thursday, the Internet has discovered oodles of fun stuff about Sheriff John Hanlin, whose office is investigating the murders. For one thing, the month following the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre, Hanlin posted a link to a Sandy Hook "Truther" video on his Facebook page; while that post has since been removed, it was widely screencapped:

'The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it' -- Terry Pratchett

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This is not to say that Hanlin necessarily agreed with everything in the video, which explains that the federal government faked the Sandy Hook shootings -- and 9/11, too, to cover all the conspiracy bases -- so that it could impose tyranny and take our guns, as of course it has. He might merely be a skeptical person who wonders who we can trust in these confusing times: law enforcement agencies and their so-called "forensic investigations," or perhaps random wackaloons on the YouTubes. On Friday, Hanlin told CNN, "I know what you're referring to, but that's not a conspiracy theory that I have." He didn't elaborate. Maybe now that he's actually in the middle of an investigation -- which the Loonosphere decided within the first hour or two was a "false flag operation" -- he's rethinking the advisability of sharing bullshit hoax theories.

Then, two days after posting that important question to Facebook, Hanlin sent a letter to Vice President Joe Biden, who was in charge of formulating the Obama administration's response to Sandy Hook (which Hanlin may or may not have thought the administration faked in the first place). The letter explains what sheriffs do and urges Biden to "NOT tamper with or attempt to amend the 2nd Amendment," because "[gun] control is NOT the answer to preventing heinous crimes like school shootings."

P.S.: I am NOT a crank!

As George Zornick points out at The Nation, the last couple paragraphs of that letter are shot through with rhetoric common to far-right anti-government groups like the Oath Keepers and Bundy Ranch provocateur Richard "put the women in front" Mack's "Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Organization" (CSPOA). No word on whether Hanlin thinks John McCain needs to be executed for treason.

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Note in particular that final paragraph, where Hanlin pledges, "it is my position as Sheriff of Douglas County, Oregon that I will refuse to participate in, nor tolerate enforcement actions against citizens that are deemed unconstitutional." Deemed unconstitutional by whom? Apparently not the federal government or even the judiciary; the implication is that Hanlin, as sheriff, gets to decide what's constitutional, and darned if he's going to allow federal law enforcement to enforce federal law in Douglas County, Oregon. So, yes, this guy actually promised in 2012 to arrest or at least interfere with federal actions that he decided were unconstitutional infringements on the Holy Second Amendment. Can't see why anyone would think that's unusual; it's perfectly in line with Richard Mack's fantasy, which actually predates Sandy Hook, that one great day some brave county sheriff would become the "first one to fire the next shot around the world and arrest a couple of IRS agents.” Or ATF or FBI, whatevs.

CNN asked Hanlin about his letter to Biden Friday, but only about the part where he opposed gun control. He acknowledged that:

[G]un control has "certainly got to be part of the discussion" but insisted it was inappropriate for him to air his opinions the day after the shooting.

But under continued questioning, Hanlin finally said, "My position on it has not changed."

So far, we haven't seen anyone asking Sheriff Hanlin to elaborate on the last two paragraphs of the letter, and what exactly he thinks his "Constitutional Oath" requires or authorizes him to do to prevent federal officers from treading on the Second Amendment. You'd think that's the kind of question some hotshot national reporter would want to press Hanlin on, maybe. We know our pals at MSNBC read Yr Wonkette; maybe they could ask Sheriff Hanlin to explain his intriguing views a bit further.

[Mother Jones / Think Progress / NYT / CNN / The Nation / SPLC]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Ever since Ruth Bader Ginsburg successfully underwent surgery for lung cancer, conservative sites and message boards have been trafficking in a ridiculous theory that she is actually dead and that there is some kind of Weekend at Bernie's-esque conspiracy to pretend she is still alive.

Now, one would think that her recent public appearance at a concert held in her honor would have put this to rest. Alas, it did not. Rather, the "researchers" (as they hilariously call themselves) determined that the concert was actually her funeral.

No. Really. That was a thing.

I admit that I gave this a lot more thought than I should have. Like, how did they think this would go? How long did they imagine this would go on for? Why would they risk having a full on funeral concert, open to the press? Wouldn't they just have not bothered to have a funeral at all? And what did these people think was going to happen when it was announced that she died for real? Or did they think that we were going to pretend that she is immortal and thus never announce her death? It's so confusing!

Being very up to date on the "RBG is secretly dead!" nonsense, I was very curious about which way the "anons" would go with this when they announced her return to work on Friday. They did not disappoint!

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Yesterday afternoon, 45-year-old Gary Martin of Aurora, Illinois was let go from his job at the Henry Pratt Company, a factory that manufactures water valves. In response, he took out a pistol with a laser scope and began shooting at random. He killed five people and injured six others who were just trying to make it through the day at the water valve factory, and then the police killed him.

His mother said he was "stressed out." He "seemed fine" according to the clerk at the Circle K where he bought his cigars that morning. His neighbor thought he was a nice guy. Some people were surprised, others were not.

This kind of thing used to be shocking, but it's a story we're used to now. It gets repeated at least once a month. It's just what happens now, and we can't do anything about it because we can't do anything about gun control. This is, the Right has decided, just the price we all have to pay so they can stockpile guns for funsies, and take sexy pictures of guns shoved in their pants. This is the blood that waters their special tree of liberty.

It's fucking exhausting. And stupid. We shouldn't have to live this way. No one should have to live this way. But we do. Why? Because some day some yahoos might want to overthrow the government, which is (of course) a completely legal thing to do, and their "right" to do that must be protected. So it's literally just never, ever going to stop.

Gary Martin, like most other mass shooters, also had a history of violence against women. In 1994, in Mississippi, he was convicted for stabbing one. He should not have been able to get a gun after that. I would like to know how and why he was able to get that pistol with the laser scope that he killed five people with yesterday afternoon. Maybe someone gave it to him. Maybe he bought it somehow. Maybe someone forgot to do a background check. Maybe he bought it from someone who didn't have to do a background check.

I am so goddamned tired of writing this article. I am out of things to say.


Martin apparently bought the gun after successfully applying for an Illinois state Firearms ID. That license was revoked after he applied for a concealed carry license and was rejected due to his prior felony conviction in Mississippi, but no one bothered to see if he still had a gun.

Via USA Today:

"During the fingerprinting and background process it was discovered that he had a felony conviction for aggravated assault out of Mississippi," [Police Chief Kristen] Ziman said. "It should be noted that this conviction would not have shown up on a criminal background check conducted for an FOID card."

That seems like it might be a problem, no?

It has also since been revealed that Martin had a domestic battery arrest in 2008 in Aurora.


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