scharrison's blog

Republican NC Senate candidate hit with restraining order

Dude sounds like a real winner:

The couple married in June 2018 after knowing each other for three years. They met when she was in his gun store shopping for a firearm. Dennis Nielsen is 71. Karen Nielsen is 50, according to court records. “Some of these females like to find a gentleman and have more money,” Dennis Nielsen said. Karen Nielsen said that was a joke because her husband doesn’t have any real money.

Staying with friends, Dennis Nielsen said he hasn’t been home since being served with the court order. He also said he had to close his gun store because he’s not allowed to be in possession of firearms while the order is in effect.

FWIW, a "gentleman" doesn't push his wife down a flight of stairs. This is another advantage of being a Democrat, frankly. While we may have our fair share of lunatics, we only allow a limited range of crazy to survive in our ranks, and gun-toting wife-beaters fall (far) outside that zone. Here's more, but you may need a barf bag handy:

Predator in Blue: Fired detective still stalking rape victims

Quite possibly the ultimate betrayal:

A Fayetteville police detective fired last year over inappropriate messages sent to women who had been raped has been charged with later tapping into a police department database to obtain information about the women.

Paul George Matrafailo III, 34, of 2816 Ally Rayven Drive, was arrested Monday on a felony charge of unauthorized access of government computers.

Needless to say, it takes a special kind of @$$hole to stalk a rape victim, and that level of personal (disgusting) behavior could not go unnoticed by co-workers and supervisors. I'm not just speculating about that, he was actually reprimanded for similar behavior a year before he was fired:

Notes from the Kakistocracy: Foxes in the environmental hen house

It's much worse than you thought it was:

David Dunlap previously served as a policy chief at Koch Industries, focusing on water and chemical management. Earlier, he served as a vice president of the Chlorine Institute, which represents producers and distributors.

Mr. Dunlap is the top political deputy overseeing E.P.A.’s pollution and toxic chemical research at the Office of Research and Development. Mr. Dunlap helps to review chemicals to determine if they require new restrictions. He has recused himself from work on one particular chemical, formaldehyde, because Koch Industries is a major formaldehyde producer.

The Trump administration's absurd excuse for placing these former lobbyists and industry employees in such critical positions is that, "they know what regulations are harmful to the industry." Protecting the environment and the citizenry is not even on Trump's radar, much less a priority. Here's more of them, if you can stomach it:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The way forward:

This is a great group of young Dems, highly energetic and smart as a whip. Looking forward to seeing them in action.

It's not real: Australia burning image goes viral

I had my suspicions the first time I saw this:

As wildfires continue to burn millions of acres of land in Australia, some social media users are misusing a digital visualization to draw attention to the disaster. One image published on Facebook on Jan. 5 claims to show a satellite view of Australia provided by a NASA satellite.

"Pray for us please," the user wrote alongside the image, which shows bright orange spots where fires are purportedly burning across the continent.

No doubt the fires in Australia are devastating, and may even push some species into extinction. But the proliferation of inaccurate images and news stories may be even more dangerous, if it pushes us to the point we can't believe anything that is reported. Definitely related:

Marx and the Social Conflict conundrum

We are not nearly as evolved as we think we are:

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary re-constitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.

It is plainly evident that Marx was extremely accurate in his assessment of the natural social order that will emerge if left to its own development. We have numerous examples of this in the 21st Century, nearly all of them the result of failed states. Neo-feudalism is actually the best they can hope for, and that is something everybody needs to keep in mind when discussing "revolution" and the redesign of American society. Marx was right, but as scientists will tell you identifying a problem is worlds away from solving said problem. Conflict of this sort is ancient; it was (is) not the result of a particular form of government, or economic system, or ideological bent. It is primal, and cannot be eradicated through violence:

Soleimani's assassination was a tactical mistake as well as a moral one

But Trump doesn't have the mental capacity to understand that:

Iran’s government faced widespread protests in November over rising prices, with many apparently also outraged by Iran’s foreign spending on interventions in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and other countries while its own economy falters.

More than 300 people were killed in the anti-government protests, according to rights organization Amnesty International. During the violence and in the days that followed, Iranian authorities blocked access to the internet. Soleimani’s killing, however, helped rally the public around the leadership again.

That wasn't the first time Iranian citizens had engaged in widespread protests over economic issues in the last 15-20 years, but it was by far the deadliest. And it may have been the first time foreign interventions by (that's right) Soleimani's Quds Forces have been at the top of their list of complaints. While the government cracked down harshly on these protests, it is somewhere between possible and likely they would have curbed some of those foreign activities to avoid future domestic unrest. Something similar happened with their dockworkers' strike a few years ago. But setting that aside for the moment, it also appears Soleimani was engaged in diplomatic activities on this particular trip, in an effort to ease tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia:

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