A Brief History
On March 31, 2018, we look back on a month replete with jerks, people that make life for the rest of us harder or less enjoyable. We list the specific reasons why we include jerks on this list, and you are welcome to agree or disagree, detailing your own specific information that confirms or denies our position. (You will note we do not exempt either end of the political spectrum, neither conservative nor liberal from inclusion on the Jerks of the Month list.)
1. Stephon Clark.
A son, brother, father and a convicted criminal. Although Clark’s family has waxed eloquent about what a great guy Clark was, and that he was “turning his life around,” the facts about the African American unarmed man shot and killed by Sacramento Police on March 18, 2018 do not paint such a rosy picture. A criminal since his teen years, the 22 year old had a juvenile record of grand theft, robbery and receiving stolen property. As an adult, Clark pled guilty to felony armed robbery, assault, and child endangering in one case, and “pimping” a prostitute in another case for which he pled no contest. In a third adult case, Clark was arrested for domestic violence for punching a woman in the face, and in yet another case from this year, Clark was again arrested for domestic violence. Why do people make a hero out of someone who has assaulted women? Before being shot he was allegedly breaking car windows and when spotted by a police helicopter the cops witnessed him breaking the sliding glass doors to a house. Police on the ground were directed to Clark’s location, and chased him on foot to the back yard of his grandmother’s house where he failed to drop something in his hand (it turned out to be a cellphone) and was shot to death. While it is true that a person should not receive a death penalty for breaking car windows, breaking a glass door to a house, and running from police, the fact is that if Clark was not breaking the law in these ways and had stopped when the police first told him to, he would not have been shot. Being a career criminal and committing crimes other than murder or attempted murder is not a good reason to die, but Clark had a huge role in the outcome of this sad and undeniably tragic incident.
For a list of actual civil rights martyrs, please see “10 Martyrs to Civil Rights.” For a list of great black American men, please see “History: July 16, 1862: Eight Great Black American Men.”
NOTE: On March 2, 2019, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schub announced that the police officers that shot Stephon Clark would not be charged criminally and that the shooting, while tragic, was justified.
2. Morons that make Stephon Clark out to be a hero and the Cops to be criminals.
As detailed above, Stephon Clark was a career criminal and an abuser of women. Where are the “Me Too” crowd on this guy? Shouldn’t Clark be demonized in the media as an abuser? Young people will never learn the critical lessons of respecting the law and when confronted by police to do exactly as told or things may go wrong! The police responded to a call, spotted the offender, and gave chase when the offender did not stop. In the dark of night, the offender had a cell phone in his hand and appeared to raise toward the police. The police followed their training and shot Mr. Clark, unfortunately killing him. Police critics say the cops failed to provide medical care for 6 minutes before performing CPR. Newsflash: the police are not paramedics and are not equipped to provide any sort of meaningful medical assistance to any person that is shot. Even the CPR performed by the police when they realized Clark was not breathing is more or less a waste of time, as it could not possibly have revived him. Racist cops killing an unarmed Black man? One of the two cops that shot Clark is Black. Probably not a racist. (Dishonorable Mention: Sacramento Kings and NBA players that aired a protest about the shooting, even though they did not have all the facts and details of the incident before making the reflexive protest that inflames hatred of the police in a misleading and unnecessary way.)
3. Rick Santorum.
This guy used to be a US Senator, and he looks and sounds normal until you realize what he is saying. In response to the massive movement for gun control by high school students led by the survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shooting in February 2018, Santorum recommended these students “learn CPR” instead of advocating for political pressure to enact gun control measures. While we agree that the kids are not well versed on the issues of the Second Amendment to the Constitution and on guns and “gun control,” we do believe they are honestly doing what they think is best, though a bit on the naïve side. (Dishonorable mention: To the internet trolls that are planting false stories about these teens and idiotic conspiracy theories. Another Dishonorable mention: To the gun grabbers that are misleading these teens into thinking their efforts will somehow reduce the incidence of violence toward school children and misrepresenting the issues pertaining to guns.)
Late in the month word leaked out that YouTube would be cutting out various videos related to guns and shooting on April 1, 2018, in response to the Parkland, Florida school shooting of February 14, 2018 and the student protests regarding school shootings (walk-out on March 14, 2018 and marches against “gun violence” all over the country on March 24, 2018). Once again, a company is falling prey to the issue du jour, an emotional response without regard or concern for the people the decision severely hurts. Not only are millions of Americans law abiding gun owners, enthusiasts, collectors, hunters, or those just interested in learning about guns and shooting, but the people that make the videos rely on the revenue created from the amount of views each video receives. This evil form of censorship is a blow in the suppression of free speech. The trend in the United States toward political correctness and suppression of any thoughts, words or ideas other than those preferred by the “snowflakes” is out of control! Does this measure mean all anti-gun and pro-gun control videos should also be banned? Only if life was fair. We implore people to stay away from the slippery slope of infringing on our right to free speech. We have previously pointed out that there are far greater dangers to the lives and well being of school children than guns, including the opioid epidemic, traffic crashes, and deadly medical errors. Shootings at schools are a terrible and intolerable evil act and should be addressed, but in a rational and effective way, not an emotional and ineffective way. (Dishonorable mention: To the morons at Blue Mountain School District in Pennsylvania that are equipping schools with pails full of rocks to throw at the shooter in the event of a school shooting. Anything less than a firearm is pretty stupid as a weapon against firearms, although passive measures such as reinforced doors and cameras have also been decided on by Blue Mountain Schools, a step in the right direction.)
5. President Trump.
A day or two after having his spokesman (Sarah Sanders) tell the nation that the President is not going to fire his National Security Adviser, the NSA was indeed fired and replaced by a reactionary John Bolton, a warmonger that avidly supported the disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003 and advocates for war with Iran and North Korea, even though in his own words he joined the Army Reserve in order to avoid service in Viet Nam. Trump also made a jerk of himself by blatantly not following the strong suggestion from his entire foreign affairs apparatus and congratulated Vladimir Putin on his “election victory,” a sham election marred by widely recorded video of ballot box stuffing. Putin and his thugs have meddled with our own democratic process, invaded and took over the Crimea, have hacked our national electric power grid, have planted divisive posts on social media to cause rifts between Americans, attempted to kill a former Russian spy and his daughter in England, murdered a former Russian spy in England and are continuing to do all these things without any concern for international law or consequences, and President Trump does not say a single word of condemnation about Putin! Wow, this development is unbelievable. Meanwhile, Trump’s lawyers are either jumping ship or refusing to join his legal team to defend the President against the corruption/Russia meddling probe and the various sexual related cases against him in civil court because Trump A. Does not follow their advice, and B. He is so likely to go down that the lawyers do not want to have their careers ruined by being part of the losing effort. And Trump also fired his Secretary of Veterans Affairs and nominated the White House doctor to take his place, an iffy nomination to say the least. Meanwhile, The Donald reached a new low in the Russia probe by finally smearing Robert Mueller by name on his infamous tweets instead of just complaining about the FBI, the DOJ and the probe in general. Meanwhile, the Russia probe continues to uncover more and more shady Russia connections between Trump’s campaign team and Russians. Trump continues to moan about Congress failing to come up with a DACA replacement while totally forgetting it was Trump himself that un-did the DACA program in the first place!
6. Russia and Vladimir Putin.
Putin orchestrated an “election” in which he was the only real candidate and won by 76% of the “vote.” Video of people stuffing ballot boxes and the fact that Putin has done away with term limits for himself ensure he is actually a dictator in charge of the second largest nuclear armory in the world. Murdering former Russian spies and their families in foreign countries and endangering citizens of England by using nerve agent as a murder weapon is not tolerable in today’s world. Revelations of continued Russian trolling of American social media and other internet sites is disturbing and is manipulating Americans into racial and political divides, while the hacking of our electrical power grid and infrastructure is an ominous portent of things to come if we are not cowed by Russian threats and thuggery. Virtually the entire Western World retaliated against Russia’s thuggery by expelling between 1 and dozens of Russian “diplomats” (intelligence operatives) from each country, drawing more threats of retaliation from Putin. Russian troll regularly exploit American tragedies such as school shootings and cops killing an apparently unarmed person in order to widen the racial divide and polarize Americans. One way they accomplish this sowing of division in the US is to pretend to be outraged Black people on line to generate fear and loathing of American police and authorities among minority citizens, and also sowing fear and loathing among White people and conservatives that support the police. Meanwhile, the Russian trolls also pose as White supremacists online to gather support for radical right wing theories and positions while also creating fear and contempt among liberals against the right wing. And our people fall for this phony pot stirring! Today’s Russia is a bigger threat to the US and Western World than the Soviet Union was! (Or at least, maybe.)
7. Turkey and Recep Erdogan.
Following an alarming trend (Russia and China notably), Recep Erdogan has pretty much established himself as dictator of Turkey and has commenced a war on Kurds in his own country and in Syria and Iraq. The Kurds are a people without their own country, and Erdogan and the Turks see them as a “terrorist” group that is trying to secede from Turkey. The Kurds have proven to be a valuable ally in the fight against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and our supposed ally, Turkey, is attacking and killing the same Kurds the US is arming and cooperating with. The US missed a huge opportunity to establish a Kurdish homeland after occupying Iraq in 2003, and now Kurds in Iraq, Syria and Turkey are being slaughtered.
New revelations about how Facebook allowed the vast ocean of information about its users to be mined for political and commercial purposes have continued to be revealed in March of 2018, including how Facebook users were manipulated by shady Russian or Trump associated Cambridge Analytics, a company we do not yet know the depths of. Facebook users were duped into supplying lots of private information via surveys and combined with the network of Facebook friends tens of millions of people have had their personal information mined for purposes other than the good of the Facebook user. Further information has come out about Facebook’s manipulation during the 2016 Presidential election casts a further pall on the social media giant. If you had any concerns about the lack of privacy in today’s world, the recent news about Facebook should confirm those fears.
9. Devin Nunes and the House Intelligence Committee.
Nunes, a US Representative from California and his Republican cohorts have voted to end their investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential election with the conclusion that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Nunes has behaved dishonorably throughout the process, and after stating he would recuse himself from the investigation because of blatantly partisan actions, he continued to manipulate the phony investigation into a hasty, incomplete, and thoroughly unsubstantiated verdict of “no collusion.” Throughout the investigation Nunes has brought disgrace on himself (and Congress by association) by purposely sabotaging any effort at an honest investigation. Shame on his Republican colleagues on the Committee that voted with him to end the investigation without interrogating all the appropriate witnesses and refusing to subpoena certain witness to compel testimony. Nunes quite obviously wanted a pre-conceived conclusion from the sham of an investigation and he got it.
10. The US Government regarding Puerto Rico.
An amazing 6 months after the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, much of Puerto Rico remains without electric power (at least 86,000 residents) and the people there, American citizens, are living in piles of rubble. Possibly complicating the recovery efforts are allegations of corruption against the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority levied by members of the US Congress (House Natural Resources Committee). The failure of the American government agencies, both at the national level and local Puerto Rican authorities, to competently clean the place up and rebuild the power grid and housing for the people is a third rate effort not worthy of the most powerful country in the world.
Question for students (and subscribers): As we are limiting ourselves to only 10 “Jerks” please feel free to nominate your own candidates in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Goronja, Ariel. “Stephon Clark: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know.” Heavy. https://heavy.com/news/2018/03/stephon-clark-sacramento-stephan-stephen-police-shooting/ (retrieved 28 March 2018).