Lunatic fringe I know you’re out there You’re in hiding And you hold your meetings I can hear you coming I know what you’re after We’re wise to you this time (wise to you this time) We won’t let you kill the laughter
Lunatic fringe In the twilight’s last gleaming But this is open season But you won’t get too far ‘Cause you’ve got to blame someone For your own confusion We’re on guard this time (on guard this time) Against your final solution
We can hear you coming (we can hear you coming) No, you’re not going to win this time (not gonna win) We can hear the footsteps (we can hear the footsteps) Hey, out along the walkway (out along the walkway)
This occurred less than two miles from home. Earlier this morning the following article was read in the New York Times concerning an incident in Atlanta.
A Heavily Armed Man Caused Panic at a Supermarket. But Did He Break the Law?
In states with permissive gun laws, police and prosecutors have limited tools at their disposal when a heavily armed individual sows fear or panic in public.
By Richard Fausset Jan. 2, 2023, 5:00 a.m. ET
ATLANTA — Two days after a gunman killed 10 people at a Colorado grocery store, leaving many Americans on high alert, Rico Marley was arrested as he emerged from the bathroom at a Publix supermarket in Atlanta. He was wearing body armor and carrying six loaded weapons — four handguns in his jacket pockets, and in a guitar bag, a semiautomatic rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun.
Moments earlier, an Instacart delivery driver had alerted a store employee after seeing Mr. Marley in the bathroom, along with the AR-15-style rifle, which was propped against a wall. A grand jury indictment later described what had come next: “panic, terror and the evacuation of the Publix.”
Mr. Marley, then 22, was arrested without incident that day in March 2021. His lawyer, Charles Brant, noted that he had not made any threats or fired any shots, and had legally purchased his guns. Mr. Marley did not violate Georgia law, Mr. Brant said; he was “just being a person, doing what he had the right to do.”
Indeed, Mr. Marley’s arrest kicked off a long and as yet unresolved legal odyssey in which the criminal justice system waffled over what it could charge him with and whether to set him free. Clearly, visiting the grocery store with a trove of guns had frightened people. But was it illegal?
The episode, and others like it, speaks to a uniquely American quandary: In states with permissive gun laws, the police and prosecutors have limited tools at their disposal when a heavily armed individual’s mere presence in a public space sows fear or even panic.
The question of how to handle such situations has been raised most often in recent years in the context of political protests, where the open display of weapons has led to concerns about intimidation, the squelching of free speech or worse. But it may become a more frequent subject of debate in the wake of a landmark Supreme Court decision in June, which expanded Americans’ right to arm themselves in public while limiting states’ ability to set their own regulations.
The ruling also affirmed the principle of allowing states and local governments to ban guns in “sensitive places”; as examples, it cited legislative assemblies, polling places and courthouses. But the high court left much open for interpretation. “A wave of litigation is going to confront the courts with questions about what, for example, makes a restriction on guns in schools and government buildings different than in museums or on public transit,” Jacob D. Charles, a professor and gun law expert at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law, wrote in a recent blog post.
Events like the one involving Mr. Marley, while difficult to quantify, are extreme examples of a problem already bedeviling the police and prosecutors, sometimes from the moment an armed person is spotted in public. All but three states allow for the open carry of handguns, long guns or both, and in many there is little the police can do.
Chuck Wexler, the executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a bipartisan law enforcement policy group, said police officers sometimes had mere seconds to determine whether a person with a gun “either legally has the right or he’s a madman” — or both.
“For the average cop walking the street in America, it’s a huge dilemma, knowing there have been countless active shooter situations,” Mr. Wexler said.
Prosecutors initially went all in on Mr. Marley’s case, charging him with 11 felonies: five counts of criminal attempt to commit a felony and six counts of possession of a weapon “during commission of or attempt to commit certain felonies.” An arresting officer said in an affidavit that when Mr. Marley had put on his antiballistic armor in the Publix bathroom and placed the handguns, with rounds in the chambers, into his pockets, he had taken a “substantial step of the crime of aggravated assault,” a felony.
In July 2021, Judge Debbie-Ann Rickman of Fulton County Magistrate Court denied Mr. Marley bond, determining that he posed a “significant danger to the community.”
But court records show that the charges were dismissed in February. Mr. Marley was released from jail after 10 months, only to be rebooked in May, this time after being indicted by a grand jury on 10 lesser counts of reckless conduct, a misdemeanor. The indictment says that Mr. Marley was “loading and displaying” his AR-15 in the restroom and that he left it unattended.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges in August and remains in custody. (Mr. Brant, his lawyer, said he had not filed a new bond motion on his client’s behalf because Mr. Marley was homeless and did not have family or friends to stay with.)
John R. Monroe, a defense lawyer and the vice president of a gun-rights group called Georgia Second Amendment, is not involved in Mr. Marley’s case. But from the outside, he said, it seems baseless.
“I mean, all the guy did was be in the store with guns,” he said. “I go into Kroger with a gun, and I don’t expect to be arrested for reckless conduct when I do that. Based on the information from the case, he didn’t do anything that would even remotely constitute reckless conduct. And shame on the state for even prosecuting him for that.”
Taking out the rifle in the men’s room would have most likely violated the law in Illinois, Florida and California, where open carry is banned, Mr. Charles said. But states with more lenient gun laws have struggled with scenarios similar to the one involving Mr. Marley.
In February, a man named Guido Herrera was discovered at the Galleria mall in Houston, a few yards from a youth dance competition, wearing a spiked leather mask and carrying a Bible and an AR-15-style rifle. An off-duty police officer working as a security guard was alerted to his presence and tackled him. Mr. Herrera was found to have more than 120 rounds of ammunition with him, as well as a semiautomatic handgun holstered in his waistband.
He was charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor that under Texas law includes knowingly displaying a firearm in public “in a manner calculated to alarm.” A jury found him guilty, and he was given a six-month jail sentence.
Prosecutors were openly frustrated. “His circumstance kind of fell in the gaps,” Barbara Mousset, a lawyer with the Harris County District Attorney’s office, said at Mr. Herrera’s sentencing, according to The Houston Chronicle. “He took advantage of some technicalities in the law — he had the right to have that firearm and, ultimately, this was the only charge that we could get him on.”
In an interview, Armen Merjanian, a lawyer for Mr. Herrera, called his client “a proud owner of firearms living in Texas,” adding that Mr. Herrera brought the rifle into the mall because he was worried about it being stolen from his car.
Nathan Beedle, the misdemeanor trial bureau chief in the Harris County prosecutor’s office, pointed to the practical challenges of applying the legal standard. “How long does it take to go from ‘in a manner calculated to alarm’ to deadly conduct?” said Mr. Beedle, who helped handle the Herrera case. “A millisecond, right?”
Not all such cases have ended peacefully. In 2015, a woman in Colorado Springs called 911 after seeing a man in her neighborhood with a gun. The dispatcher reportedly explained to her that Colorado was an open-carry state. Within minutes, the man went on a shooting spree, killing three people.
Mr. Brant, the lawyer for Mr. Marley, said his client might suffer from mental illness and was awaiting a formal diagnosis. He said Mr. Marley had attempted suicide during his first, 10-month jail stint.
Mr. Brant also offered an explanation for Mr. Marley’s conduct that day: He had acquired the guns and the body armor, Mr. Brant said, because he had felt threatened by someone in his neighborhood. On the day of his arrest, he had hoped to take his guns to a nearby shooting range but first had to run some errands, which included a stop at the grocery store. (Mr. Marley did not have a car, Mr. Brant said, which is why he was carrying the guns around with him.) While in the Publix men’s room, Mr. Brant said, Mr. Marley had taken out some of the weapons, including the rifle, to clean them after discovering that some guacamole he had bought had caused a mess inside the bag.
Charles Russell, the Instacart driver who came upon Mr. Marley in the men’s room, told police that, at one point, he had heard clicking sounds from a stall that “sounded to him like someone was loading firearms,” according to a police report.
In a recent interview, Mr. Russell, 27, said he had the Colorado massacre on his mind at the time. He recalled thinking, “If I don’t do anything, then I’m afraid of what will happen.”
In a statement to The New York Times, Fani T. Willis, the district attorney in Fulton County, which covers most of Atlanta, said her office had taken a hard look at the case but had not found “provable felonies under Georgia law.”
“Georgia’s General Assembly must examine our statutes governing this type of behavior,” added Ms. Willis, a Democrat, referring to the state’s Republican-controlled legislature. “Respecting the right to bear arms should not require that we tolerate people entering public places with assault rifles and body armor.”
Mr. Brant said he did not believe anything Mr. Marley had done that day amounted to reckless conduct in a state that has been vigorously pushing the boundaries of the freedom to carry weapons in public. He alluded to a law signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, more than a year after Mr. Marley’s arrest that allows people to carry concealed handguns without a license.
“What is the definition of reckless conduct?” Mr. Brant said. “Carrying weapons? In a state that requires no permit? And no license? I mean, help me understand, what’s the reckless conduct?”
Richard Fausset is a correspondent based in Atlanta. He mainly writes about the American South, focusing on politics, culture, race, poverty and criminal justice. He previously worked at The Los Angeles Times, including as a foreign correspondent in Mexico City. @RichardFausset
“When Nancy Pelosi first took up the speaker’s gavel in January 2007, it was amid soaring talk of making history and breaking barriers. “For our daughters and granddaughters, today we have broken the marble ceiling,” she proclaimed at her swearing-in. “Now the sky is the limit. Anything is possible.”
“Sixteen years, four presidents, two impeachments, one pandemic and a failed insurrection later, Ms. Pelosi will soon hand over that gavel for good and step down from House leadership amid a darker, more divided political landscape than she likely imagined in those first heady days. The George W. Bush
years weren’t a high point for bipartisan comity and public trust in government, but they were a far cry from the violence-obsessed, conspiracymongering nihilism of Trumpism.”
“But Ms. Pelosi has never been one to let the haters get her down, and some of her most important acts of leadership have come at some of the nation’s lowest moments.
History, being reductive, will remember Ms. Pelosi as the first woman to rise to the exalted post of speaker, just two steps away from the presidency. Those who have watched her work in the House for so many years will remember her as something arguably just as notable: a total badass.”
The article culminates with this paragraph:
“Ms. Pelosi is an original, and we are unlikely to see another leader of her ilk any time soon. She elbowed her way to the tippy top of the congressional boys’ club, then set about distinguishing herself as the most formidable, most effective House leader since the middle of the last century. Love her or hate her, you have to acknowledge the fundamental badassery.” (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/17/opinion/pelosi-speaker.html)
Nancy Pelosi wears it well. Given half a chance I believe she may have taken a Baseball bat to the Trumpster.
My Mother, who was a Republican, bless her heart, would still have admired and respected the hell out of Madam Speaker. Much will be written about Nancy in the years to come, and she will be studied in political classrooms all over the country. Every woman, Republican or Democrat, entering politics will know the story of Madam Speaker and her badass ways and methods.
Marjorie Taylor Greene is running for re-election for the state’s 14th Congressional district of the Great State of Georgia and she is expected to win., which should tell you much about the 14th Congressional district she represents. To many Georgians, including this one, she is an embarrassment. Her usual countenance is that of someone who is mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore.
This writer has only just now finished reading the article being presented in its entirety. The writer of the article is “Maureen Dowd, winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary and author of three New York Times best sellers, became an Op-Ed columnist in 1995.
WASHINGTON — Are we ready for our new Republican overlords?
Are we ready for an empowered Marjorie Taylor Greene?
Are we ready for a pumped-up, pistol-packing Lauren Boebert?
“How many AR-15s do you think Jesus would have had?” Boebert asked a crowd at a Christian campaign event in June. I’m going with none, honestly, but her answer was, “Well, he didn’t have enough to keep his government from killing him.”
The Denver Post pleaded: “We beg voters in western and southern Colorado not to give Rep. Lauren Boebert their vote.”
The freshman representative has recently been predicting happily that we’re in the end times, “the last of the last days.” If Lauren Boebert is in charge, we may want to be in the end times. I’m feeling not so Rapturous about the prospect.
And then there’s the future first female president, Kari Lake, who lulls you into believing, with her mellifluous voice, statements that seem to emanate from Lucifer. She’s dangerous because, like Donald Trump, she has real skills from her years in TV. And she really believes this stuff, unlike Trump and Kevin McCarthy, who are faking it.
As Cecily Strong said on “Saturday Night Live” last weekend, embodying Lake, “If the people of Arizona elect me, I’ll make sure they never have to vote ever again.”
Speaking of “Paradise Lost,” how about Ron DeSantis? The governor of Florida, who’s running for a second term, is airing an ad that suggests that he was literally anointed by God to fight Democrats. God almighty, that’s some high-level endorsement.
Republicans seem to be surging heading into November, with Democrats struggling to break through, as voters turn their focus from abortion to crime and inflation. Even if the polls are as off, as pollsters fear, all signs seem to be pointing toward a strong showing for the G.O.P.
For months now, Times Opinion has been covering how we got here. Chloe Maxmin and Canyon Woodward argued that Democrats abandoned rural America. Alec MacGillis traced how the party ignored the economic decline of the Midwest. And Michelle Cottle described the innovative Republican ground game in South Texas.
Opinion has also been identifying the candidates who could define the future of their party. Sam Adler-Bell captured the bleak nationalism of Blake Masters, the Arizona Republican challenging Senator Mark Kelly. Christopher Caldwell described the transformation of J.D. Vance, the venture capitalist from Ohio who went from Trump critic to proud member of the MAGA faithful. Michelle Goldberg traveled to Washington state to profile Joe Kent, a burgeoning star on the right.
And throughout this election cycle, Opinion has held discussions with groups of experts – hosted by Frank Bruni, Ross Douthat and others – that have followed the season’s twists and turns, from reviewing the primary landscape to a Democratic backlash against the Dobbs decision which gave way to a Republican surge in the fall. And we paused to consider the mysteries of polls and the politically homeless along the way.
Much to our national shame, it looks like these over-the-top and way, way, way out-of-the mainstream Republicans — and the formerly normie and now creepy Republicans who have bent the knee to the wackos out of political expediency — are going to be running the House, maybe the Senate and certainly some states, perhaps even some that Joe Biden won two years ago.
And it looks as if Kevin McCarthy will finally realize his goal of becoming speaker, but when he speaks, it will be Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan and Lauren Boebert doing the spewing. It will be like the devil growling through Linda Blair in “The Exorcist” — except it will be our heads spinning.
Welcome to a rogue’s gallery of crazy: Clay Higgins, who’s spouting conspiracy theories about Paul Pelosi, wants to run the House Homeland Security Committee; Paul Gosar, whose own family has begged Arizonans to eject him from Congress, will be persona grata in the new majority.
In North Carolina, Bo Hines, a Republican candidate for the House, wants community panels to decide whether rape victims are able to get abortions or not. He’s building on Dr. Oz’s dictum that local politicians should help make that call. Even Oprah turned on her creation, Dr. Odd.
J.D. Vance, the Yale-educated, former Silicon Valley venture capitalist and author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” who called Trump “America’s Hitler” in 2016, before saluting him to gain public office, could join the Senate in January. Talk about American Elegy.
Even though he wrote in his best seller that Yale Law School was his “dream school,” he now trashes the very system that birthed him. Last year, he gave a speech titled “The Universities Are the Enemy”: His mother-in-law is a provost at the University of California San Diego.
It’s disturbing to think of Vance side by side with Herschel Walker.
Walker was backed by Mitch McConnell, who countenanced an obviously troubled and flawed individual even if it meant degrading the once illustrious Senate chamber.
Overall, there are nearly 300 election deniers on the ballot, but they will be all too happy to accept the results if they win.
People voting for these crazies think they’re punishing Biden, Barack Obama and the Democrats. They’re really punishing themselves.
These extreme Republicans don’t have a plan. Their only idea is to get in, make trouble for President Biden, drag Hunter into the dock, start a bunch of stupid investigations, shut down the government, abandon Ukraine and hold the debt limit hostage.
Democrats are partly to blame. They haven’t explained how they plan to get a grip on the things people are worried about: crime and inflation. Voters weren’t hearing what they needed to hear from Biden, who felt morally obligated to talk about the threat to democracy, even though that’s not what people are voting on.
As it turns out, a woman’s right to control her body has been overshadowed by uneasiness over safety and economic security.
To top it off, Trump is promising a return. We’ll see if DeSantis really is the chosen one. In Iowa on Thursday night, Trump urged the crowd to “crush the communists” at the ballot box and said that he was “very, very, very” close to deciding to “do it again.”
Trump, the modern Pandora, released the evil spirits swirling around us — racism, antisemitism, violence, hatred, conspiracy theories, and Trump mini-mes who should be nowhere near the levers of power.
Back in the day this writer spent his second decade playing some kind of ball at a Boys Club. Many of my fondest memories are of attending Baseball games at Ponce de Leon Ballpark, home of the Atlanta Crackers, which featured a giant magnolia tree in center field,
and the Rose Bowl field,
home of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Baseball team.
Then there was Alexander Memorial Coliseum,
home of the Georgia Tech basketball team. The football team played their home games at Grant Field, which is currently called the Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field.
I lived to play ball. Baseball was king until the fans became enthralled with football, which I now think of as “maimball,” for obvious reasons. Like most, if not all who played maimball I have a bad disc in my back to show for the time spent on the field of battle. I went up to catch a ball and was speared in the lower back by the helmet on the head of a defensive player. The blow flipped me over and I landed helmet first, but held onto the ball.
One of the greatest ball players who ever played died recently. His name was Charley Trippi. The headline at the New York Times says it all:
Charley Trippi, Versatile Football Hall of Famer, Dies at 100
Many have said Jim Thorpe was not only the best football player they had ever seen, but the best ball player, period.
I mention this because another former football player, Herschel Walker, is running for a seat in the United States Senate. Hershel (pronounced “Huschel” down South) Walker was one of the greatest college football running backs in the history of the sport of maimball. Huschel did not graduate from the UGA, even though he said he did graduate. Politicians, and those who play at politics, say many things, some of which turn out to be true, believe it or not. Huschel was chosen by former President of the United States of America, Donald John Trump, aka, the Trumpster, to run for the office of Senator. The election has been a media circus here in the Great State of Georgia. Frankly, Hushel has as much business being a Senator as I have of being in the operating room with a scalpel in my hands. Hushel gradurated from the UGA with a degree in MAIMBALL. As a Georgian it has been embarrassing watching, and listening, to the man make a fool of himself and the state of Georgia. Huschel has become a laughing stock all over the country. Seeing Huschel leading in the polls makes me want to cry, and/or puke. I do not like it when fellow citizens in other states laugh at my state, but who can blame them?
Huschel is running against Senator Raphael Warnock.
I recently had a problem with the government and needed help, so contacted Senator Warnock’s office, and assistance was offered. Another problem again caused me to contact Senator Warnock’s office, and the problem is being addressed by one of Senator’s staffers. I mention this because after contacting a Republican Congressman all I received was a solicitation for money. Senator Warnock’s office has asked me for nothing, and they do not know I am writing this post, but you can be sure they will be notified.
Almost everyone in Georgia is talking about the election. Huschel Walker has led a charmed life and people will tell you all about their part in it, given the chance. An example would be the Senior gentleman with whom I talked while waiting for the bus taking me home after attending the recent Decatur Book Festival. The gentleman was wearing a Viet Nam type Army baseball hat and all it took was my mentioning my father was a radioman in the Navy during World War II. The conversation moved to Huschel almost immediately. The gentleman told me a story of the time Huschel was given an automobile by a dealership, “because he was bringing MILLIONS OF DOLLARS into the University of Georgia.” The owner of the dealership had graduated from UGA. A Georgia State Trooper stopped Huschel almost immediately on Interstate 20 because he was doing over one hundred miles per hour. Pressure was put on the Georgia State Trooper to APOLOGIZE TO HUSCHEL! I kid you not. The speeding ticket vanished. The gentleman had more stories and informed me he intended on spending twenty thousand dollars to be filmed telling some of the stories so Huschel would not be elected Senator. “It cannot be good for the state to have someone like him as Senator,” he said. If the bus had not arrived I may have listened to the man for an hour, when the bus came again to the station, but living here has brought more stories than I can possibly recall.
Although many talk about how it cannot be good for the country for so many politicians to be lawyers, and I agree, at least they were educated politicians. The jury is out on whether those from football should become Senators and Congressmen, as did former football coach Tommy Tuberville. Unfortunately, Tommy, like most politicians who were not born with a silver spoon in their mouth, like the Trumpster, immediately set about correcting his lack of money, as can be found all over the internet with a search. What follows was the first thing that popped up after a quick search:
Tuberville was weeks or months late in disclosing nearly 130 separate stock trades from January to May. The man has traded stocks like a maniac while enriching himself at the expense of We The People.
One of the reasons Huschel has been leading in the polls is that politics has devolved into voting for the party, not the man, or woman, especially where the Republicans are concerned. If it were not so serious it would be laughable. What is it, maybe 45% vote for one party or the other, and the other 10% decide who will be elected. If this does not change it will be
The pair had stuffed walleye fish with lead balls at an Ohio fishing tournament last month in an attempt to win nearly $30,000, prosecutors said.
By Christine Chung Oct. 12, 2022
A month after a two-person fishing team at an Ohio contest scandalized the competitive fishing world when organizers said they engorged walleyes with lead balls to increase their weight, a grand jury indicted both men on Wednesday on felony charges of cheating and attempted grand theft.
Fishing Contest Rocked by Cheating Charges After Weights Found in Winning Catches
Two competitors stuffed walleye with lead balls in a scheme that was caught after the tournament director and attendees grew suspicious.
By Vimal Patel Oct. 2, 2022
Jason Fischer became suspicious when the five fish he estimated to be about four pounds each — or 20 pounds total — weighed in at nearly 34 pounds. Attendees at a fishing tournament in Cleveland on Friday also had doubts. “No way,” one man said.
Mr. Fischer, the director of the tournament, known as the Lake Erie Walleye Trail, inspected one of the walleye and felt a hard object in its stomach that seemed unnatural. “It’s not like they’re eating rocks,” he said.
He grabbed a knife and sliced open the fish as Jacob Runyan, one member of the two-person team that presented it for weighing, looked on. The next moments rocked the competitive fishing world.
Caught hook, line and sinker! Moment LEAD WEIGHTS are found in professional fishing duo’s catch and they are stripped of tournament title and $5,000 prize – as furious crowd berates them
Chase Cominsky and Jake Runyon were stripped of their winning title after a tournament official discovered lead weights inside the fish they caught The anglers had been competing in the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Championship Suspicions were raised at the weigh-in when their fish weighed almost double their closest competitor In the world of competitive fishing, by adding the weights to the fish, Cominsky and Runyon’s total poundage increased and put them on top of the leaderboard When the weights were discovered, the duo was disqualified from the event The waiting crowd were furious once the officials announced they had cheated Prior to the scandal, Cominsky and Runyon were leading the season standings for the professional fishing team of the year Cominsky and Runyon have been embroiled in controversy in the past At last year’s Fall Brawl fishing tournament, the duo was disqualified following their win after one of them failed a polygraph test