Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Short Takes

The Taliban slaughter students in school in Pakistan.

Hostage situation in Sydney, Australia, ends with two of them and the gunman dead.

Newtown families plan to sue maker of the gun used in the massacre two years ago.

Supreme Court turns down Arizona abortion law case.

Senate finally approves Surgeon General nominee.

Greenland melting models may be wrong… and bad for Florida.

Frozen director apologizes for “Let It Go.”  (Too late.)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Friday, October 31, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Disturbing On Every Level

My interest in professional football is now limited to occasionally watching a game on Sunday, less so since the stories about concussions came forward in the last few years.  Until the story broke last winter about Baltimore Raven Ray Rice being suspended for assaulting his fiance, I’d never heard of him.

The story originated with a grainy video showing Mr. Rice dragging the body of his unconscious fiance, Janay Palmer, out of an elevator after he allegedly struck her and knocked her out.  He was suspended for two games and given a stern talking-to by the NFL.

Now we’re all hearing more about the story.  Yesterday a video came out that showed the actual act.  It’s brutal, and while I’m not a lawyer or a police officer, they’d probably call it assault and battery, which is a felony.

But what’s more disturbing is the reaction by all quarters on this: the NFL, the sports community, and the fans have all been outraged, which of course they should be, but it seems like the only reason they are is because we now have the video that shows the actual act instead of the original video that showed the aftermath.  So the two-game suspension was based on the theory that it’s not nice to drag an unconscious person face-down out of an elevator, but how she got in that condition… well, that’s not relevant.

It’s also disturbing that the whole discussion seems to be about Mr. Rice and his actions, but Ms. Palmer, now his wife, is being ignored and in some quarters being vilified as the cause of all of this.  I don’t even want to get into that dark corner, but yes, there are those who are saying that she bears some responsibility for his actions.

And finally the whole idea of domestic violence somehow being a private matter between the parties and it’s none of our business; let them work it out.  No, hell no.  There are too many people who are damaged and destroyed by domestic violence to let it be something behind closed doors.  It goes far beyond a “women issue” and “men’s rights.”  It is a scourge and symptom of indifference in a society that should be looking out for the abused and the deprived.

The only good thing that comes out of this is that it’s out in the open.  The sad news is that like school shootings and police brutality, it will soon be wiped off the front pages by some other distraction until it happens yet again.  The cycle will repeat, the victims will still be suffering, and we’re basically back to where we started.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Monday, June 9, 2014

Start The Counter-Revolution

Another mass shooting in America, this time with some ugly overtones.

Two Las Vegas police officers were killed Sunday in what appears to be a politically motivated ambush in a pizza restaurant that spilled over to a nearby Wal-Mart, where the two shooters committed suicide after killing a woman in the store.

Details are sketchy, but Metropolitan Police Department sources close to the investigation say the shooters shouted that “this is the start of a revolution” before opening fire on the officers, and draped their bodies with cloth showing a Revolutionary War-era flag. Investigators have also found paraphernalia associated with white supremacists.


Witnesses told police one of the shooters yelled “This is the start of a revolution” before shooting the officers. Gillespie later said he could not confirm that.The shooters then stripped the officers of their weapons and ammunition and badges, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation. They then covered the officers with something that featured the Gadsden flag, a yellow banner with a coiled snake above the words, “Don’t tread on Me.”

The flag is named for Christopher Gadsden a Revolutionary War general who designed it. It has recently come back in vogue as an adopted symbol of the American tea party movement.

It comes two days after another “sovereign citizen” launched a one-man assault on a courthouse in Georgia.  Even though there’s no connection between the two incidents, these things don’t happen in a vacuum.  This kind of anti-government mentality is being pushed by people who know better but love the attention they get when they claim the president isn’t one of us and they want their country back, presumably back into the hands of the white men whom God decreed should be running the place.

Yes, of course there is the First Amendment and the guarantee of freedom of speech and press from government control, but there is also responsible speech, which means if you provoke people to do really horrible things, you might lose your gig on a reality TV show.  So Sarah Palin, shut the fuck up.

And then there’s the N.R.A. which has gotten our elected representatives so afraid of them that nothing gets done to end the carnage except a lot of hand-wringing and jowl-shaking until the next shiny object — oh look prisoner swap — comes along.  One deranged idiot tries to blow up an airliner with his shoe and we’re kicking off our Thom McAns at the TSA screening for the next ten years.  One deranged kid shoots up an elementary school and kills twenty-six kids and nothing gets done.  Meanwhile the body count continues.

So these losers want a revolution?  It’s time we had a revolution against the revolution.

HT to TPM.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Fox Fire

Rachel Maddow looked into the hoopla being ginned up by the right-wing noise machine — mainly Fox News — over the standoff in Nevada between Cliven Bundy, a deadbeat rancher, and the Bureau of Land Management.

The folks at Fox are harking back to Waco and Ruby Ridge as if the people who started the fights were the poor put-upon victims of the jackbooted thugs of the government when in reality they were criminals and worse.

Here’s the story from The Rachel Maddow Show — note, the video auto-starts.

These cowards in Nevada — they threatened to use women as human shields — are little more than disgruntled whiners who, as has been noted, are ripping off the taxpayers because they don’t want to pay their rent.  So they’ve come up with this cockamamie crap about “sovereign citizenship” based on the same perverted reading of the Constitution that also gives us the interpretation that we’re a Christian nation founded on biblical law and only white Christians and county sheriffs should run the country.  (Mr. Bundy would do well to re-read the U.S. Constitution as well as the constitution of his own state.)

They’re not a whole lot different than the Taliban, and Fox News is enabling them because there’s a black guy in the White House.  If you don’t think racial animus plays a part in this, imagine if Mr. Bundy was black, Hispanic, or Muslim and taking the same stand.  Fox News would be all over the ATF to get those tax-dodging moochers out of there and complaining that the Obama administration is backing down because the president supports their cause.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014