New York Times: U.N.C. Charlotte Student Couldn’t Run, So He Tackled the Gunman

Saluting Mr. Riley Howell, who gave his life on Tuesday (Walpurgisnacht) to save his classmates during the UNC Charlotte campus shooting. No child should ever have to face death, but this young man did, and he did it bravely. May he always be remembered for the warrior he is, and may his loved ones and his community heal and be safe.

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CNN: In the Past 6 Weeks, Churches, Mosques and a Synagogue Have Been Attacked

Yet another servant of Apep has attacked a house of worship. This time it was the Chabad of Poway synagogue in San Diego, California. The shooter attacked and killed one woman, then wounded three other people while they were gathered to celebrate the end of Passover. This is right after a bunch of Sri Lankan churches were blown up on Easter Sunday; right after three black churches were burned to the ground in Louisiana; and right after the al-Noor Mosque was attacked in Christchurch, New Zealand. (There was also the burning of the Notre Dame cathedral, during which there were no reported fatalities, and which appears to have been an accident—though I have my suspicions.) My heart goes out to everyone whose life has been taken in a place of worship over the past six weeks, and to all the loved ones who have survived them. May you never be forgotten, and may your loved ones heal and be blessed.

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Responding to the Christchurch Shooter’s Remark About “Valhalla”

Here is an article from The Wild Hunt that clarifies the differences between Norse religious symbolism as it is used by actual Norse Pagans (also known as Heathens or Asatruar), and Norse religious symbolism as it has been appropriated and twisted by white supremacists like the Christchurch shooter in New Zealand. Mind you, the Christchurch shooter does not appear to have identified as a Heathen, Asatruar, or Norse Pagan in any meaningful sense of these terms. Rather, he simply made a passing reference to “Valhalla” (Odin’s heaven) in his manifesto. It is only natural that actual Heathen groups would want to speak out against this and set the record straight.

Remember, kids:

  • Praising Odin, Thor, or other Norse gods does not make you a Nazi.

  • Taking an interest in Norse ancestry and culture does not make you a Nazi.

  • Getting yourself tattooed with Mjollnir, Yggdrasil, or either of the runes in the Elder Futhark does not make you a Nazi.

  • Hoping to reach Valhalla when you die does not make you a Nazi.

And what DOES make you a Nazi?

  • Believing you are better than other people simply because you are “white,” male, cisgender, and/or you have no disabilities.

  • Thinking that “superior” people have every right to dominate (and even purge) so-called “inferior” people from society.

  • Abhorring democracy and all other forms of parliamentary government.

  • Opposing social welfare, or denying it to certain people on explicitly racial grounds.

  • Believing all Jewish people are somehow responsible for your economic woes.

And the list goes on. I’m no political scientist, so if you need some more pointers on how to identify actual Nazi ideas and behaviors, make a pilgrimage to your local temple to Thoth (i.e., library) and hit the books. The point here is, there is no causation here between the activities in List #1 and the activities in List #2. People who identify as Heathen can identify with any number of social or political ideologies, while Nazis recruit their members from just about any group they can infiltrate. Believe it or not, I’ve encountered Nazis who claimed to be Christians and Nazis who claimed to be Satanists, for fuck’s sake; it just doesn’t get any more self-contradictory than that. But Nazis don’t give a shit about religion, they only care about how it can be misused and perverted to achieve their goals. So let’s please all try to remember that the Heathen religion and subculture are not synonymous with hate.

And just to show all you Hitler-worshipin’ crotch goblins out there that I mean business, here’s a black Heimdall for you. May good ol’ Vindhlér keep all good people safe from the winds of hatred, and may he drop kick all your pimply white asses in the next world.

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For the Christchurch Muslim Community

My heart goes out to all the Muslim families in Christchurch, New Zealand who are now suffering in the wake of yesterday’s horrific tragedy. I can only imagine how it must feel to see armed police in front of every house of worship in your neighborhood that is dedicated to your faith. Know that there are people all over the world standing in solidarity with you, of all beliefs and no belief. This tragedy will not be forgotten.

CNN: Here Are the Tell-Tale Signs to Help You Detect a Suspicious Package

Here is a good read from CNN about what to look for in suspicious mail packages. Mail bombs are actually quite rare, as the article explains, and the recent wave of attempted mail bombings has been targeted at high-profile people, so it’s unlikely that anyone reading this post will ever need to deal with this issue. But I’m a big believer in being prepared for such things anyway, so here you go.

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CNN: Lou Dobbs Peddles Conspiracy Theory About Suspicious Packages

The banality of right-wing conspiracy theory peddling is truly limitless. I suppose many of you have heard about the explosive packages that someone has been sending to Democratic politicians across the country. Lou Dobbs of the Fox Business Network would like us all to think that this is really a “false flag” operation that is being carried out by Democrats “to make the Republicans look bad.” There are a few serious errors in Dobbs’ theory here:

  • The Republicans don’t need any help in looking bad. They have already permanently tarnished their party’s reputation by selling themselves out to Donald Trump. There is literally nothing the Democratic Party can do to make the opposition look any worse when it is already taking it up the ass from a self-proclaimed nationalist who behaves like a would-be dictator.

  • Common sense dictates that if you are receiving bombs in your mail, the person sending them really doesn’t like you. One does not normally send lethal devices to people one appreciates. While it is entirely possible that some whacko thinks he might be helping the Democrats by doing this, the chances of this actually being the case are infinitesimal. It’s much more likely that this person just wants to intimidate and kill high profile Democrats.

Yeah, I know it’s pointless. It’s not like Lou Dobbs gives a shit what I think. But for the record, I think he belongs in a padded cell with Alex Jones, who shares a similar interest in “false flag” fearmongering.

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