An assembly.

Last year the Grosse Pointe schools got a lot of bad local publicity, and a little bad national publicity, over the spectacular mishandling of a speech by Rick Santorum at one of the local high schools.

Long story short, the superintendent got played by the teenage Young Americans for Freedom chapter. They allegedly raised the money to pay Santorum’s $18,000 speaking fee — something I don’t believe for a minute — and came to the principal with the request he speak during school hours. Even though there was a perfectly fine policy right there in the rule book saying clubs have to hold these sorts of functions after hours, the principal said yes, then no. The YAF recognized the giant blinking neon sign over that one, and exploited it. There were a few days of yadda-yadda, much of it truly embarrassing, and finally, the sage of Pennsylvania was permitted to speak.

No one remembers what he said, although I’m sure it’s Googleable. Oh, here it is: He challenged them to lead.

Even the YAF must have figured it wouldn’t be able to fool the administration two years in a row, and this year’s speaker was a great deal less sexy: Steve Forbes. Yep, that guy. Parents were presented with an opt-out option, but the hell with that, I figured, let the young people behold this sage of the late-20th-century GOP and hear his lessons.

The Freep said he gave the young people “an economics lesson.” It was not “be born rich, fail to save the family business from the rocky shoal of the internet, then fall back on a still-considerable personal fortune,” but rather, the virtues of a flat tax. What a letdown, although I’m sure Forbes himself was absolutely thrilled that someone wanted to pay for this message, one he’s been delivering since much of his audience was in utero. Loved this detail from the story:

Asia Simmons, 15, of Harper Woods and Chloe Ribco, 14, of Grosse Pointe Woods described the talk as cool and interesting.

(Kate Derringer, 17, disagreed, calling Forbes’ address “really boring.”)

Reporters got a little more out of him, asking about the Detroit bankruptcy. Guess what he said?

Forbes predicted that Detroit could recover quickly after bankruptcy with the right approach, namely a lower tax burden.

Do these guys ever get tired of beating this drum? I guess not, when a trip to Michigan on a lovely spring day is dangled in front of them.

Kate said he also praised corporations for the good work they do. Funny. Kate’s been working almost a year for a corporate-owned ice-cream restaurant that shall remain nameless, and we’ve used it several times to illustrate the need for unions in this country. Once ice cream season slows down in the fall, hours get cut way back — totally understandable. But along with the cold weather came a new wrinkle: On-call hours. Workers are expected to make no other plans for their on-call shifts and stand ready to come in if summoned, but if not summoned? No pay.

“Now you know why labor needs a voice,” I told her many times last winter, sometimes humming “Solidarity Forever.” I’ve also counseled her to quit and find something better, but it appears, like her mother, Kate never found a rut she couldn’t love. (I think that line originates with Laura Lippman.)

So, then, as the opening weekend of summer yawns before us, some bloggage:

I recall when this art theft happened. My friend Adrianne said she’d written a paper on “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee” and had spent a lot of time in front of the canvas, absorbing its composition. She felt a real wound when it and 12 other works were plucked from the Gardner Museum walls and taken who-knows-where; it was an early lesson in the power of public art, one I’ve thought of many times as Detroit’s own art collection has been threatened.

Now it turns out they think they found at least some of the pieces — in the hands of organized-crime figures with Italian names. And here I thought those folks were all about Lladro.

Have a great holiday weekend, everyone. Let’s enjoy every last burger.

Posted at 12:30 am in Same ol' same ol' |

64 responses to “An assembly.”

  1. Dexter said on May 23, 2014 at 3:01 am

    Of course we know you were referring to Warren Zevon’s famous Letterman appearance post-diagnosis when he said “You put more value on every minute…You know I always kinda thought I did that. I really always enjoyed myself. But it’s more valuable now. You’re reminded to enjoy every sandwich and every minute.”

    In this case, this year, any burger I might be forced to eat better be burned black and hard as a chunk of bituminous coal. (Hey, at least I picked a soft coal!)
    Aren’t people put off enough by constant e-coli poisonings to just say “We’re mad as hell and we’re not eating this actual SHIT anymore!” ?

    So it’s Memorial Day. Time to drive back to Haslett, Michigan again to lay a flower on my army buddy’s grave, who I think of sometimes…very confusing thoughts, as he was obsessed with going to Vietnam to avenge his cousin’s battlefield death, and ended up getting shot down in a helicopter and dying at age 19. So even if you hate all wars, at least think about someone who died doing what he or she thought was best for humanity.

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  2. David C. said on May 23, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Next year will be a riveting speech on how to parlay shitty pizza into a presidential run, a book deal, and comfy wingnut welfare by Herman Cain.

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  3. ROGirl said on May 23, 2014 at 6:43 am

    I remember that episode of the Sopranos. In the same episode the son was visiting the home of a girl from school and they didn’t have any Lladro pieces, they had a Rothko painting (might have been another equally prestigious artis who brings in astronomical prices), which left the cheesy little Lladro statue in the dust.

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  4. alex said on May 23, 2014 at 6:54 am

    Fuck Lladro. People with real class collect this stuff. 😉


    The Grosse Pointe superintendent thought better of putting a toiletful of merde, menses and cum on display after googling Santorum to find out what the Young Republicans were so excited about.

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  5. beb said on May 23, 2014 at 8:07 am

    On-call hours? Does Kate work for Wal-Mart because I’ve heard they like that, too.

    I’m reminded of a speech the CEO of either Knight-Ridder or Gannet gave in which he saw a glorious future where everyone worked 2 or 3 part-time jobs and would have employers bidding for your services… I’ve always wondered how much crack he had stuffed up his nose when he came up with that idea? Then he turned around and worked to make sure that future happens by eliminating as much full-time employment as possible.

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  6. Deborah said on May 23, 2014 at 8:13 am

    I went to a lot of homes of Missouri Synod Lutherans when I was kid, a lot of them collected Hummel figurines

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  7. Dorothy said on May 23, 2014 at 8:35 am

    My oldest brother was in boot camp with Steve Forbes back in the late 60’s.

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  8. coozledad said on May 23, 2014 at 9:01 am

    after googling Santorum to find out what the Young Republicans were so excited about.

    So they booked Trey Gowdy’s “Put yer hands in this here shoebox and sniff yer fangers” tour.

    Hell, if Santorum isn’t bringing the hebephrenic with the doll, the ice queen, the son who can bite the heads off rats with telepathy, and the fetus in a Mason jar, you might as well try and get The Alice Cooper Group. They can’t be that expensive.

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  9. Peter said on May 23, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Dorothy: My God, war really is hell.

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  10. Jeff Borden said on May 23, 2014 at 10:11 am

    One thing about right-wing conservatives is they never, ever give up. Steve Forbes IV undoubtedly will be babbling to the class of 2100 about the values of the flat tax and unfettered capitalism, though he may be hard to understand because he’ll be in a hazmat suit to protect him from the vicissitudes of global warming.

    On issue after issue, the right’s default setting is back, back, back. No one can be surprised that when Republicans take total control of a state –whether it’s Texas or Wisconsin– voting rights will be imperiled, unions will be busted, corporations will be felted, poor and gay people will be treated like shit, women will marginalized, etc.

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  11. Bitter Scribe said on May 23, 2014 at 10:18 am

    In a weird way, I actually respect Santorum more than Steve Forbes. Santorum at least managed to get himself elected to high political office. Forbes has done nothing but inherit a lot of money and whine about all the taxes he has to pay on it.

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  12. Sue said on May 23, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Lladro, Hummel, Danbury, Hamilton, Precious Moments: they may be art or they may be tacky, but I classify all of them as Things That Need To Be Dusted. Brings the value of any and all of them way down in my book.

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  13. Connie said on May 23, 2014 at 10:47 am

    So true Sue. On the other hand I sure would like that Lladro Dutch girl my mother bought in Spain in 1972.

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  14. Charlotte said on May 23, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Oh Lladro. How I wish I’d saved all that ugly stuff so I could sell it on eBay. Temple Smith (of Tempel steel) used to send it to all the members of the Mill Creek Hunt Club at Christmas –that or what was the crystal engraved with animals? They were so hideous but turns out decades later, people will pay for them. Fond memories of that rich old bastard with the terrible taste — he used to also hire strippers from one of the clubs on Hwy 41 by Great Lakes for the annual Joint Meet brunch. He’d have them dress up like foxes — like Playboy bunnies but with fox ears and tails. One of those childhood memories you look back on with wonder and horror.

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  15. Dorothy said on May 23, 2014 at 11:20 am

    We sold a few Hummels on eBay for several hundred bucks. They were at Mike’s dad’s house when he passed away. On the other side of the family his mother’s mother collected Lladro, but we were on the outs with them after his mom (Virginia) died, so I don’t know what happened to them once the old Crone (Mame) passed away, too.

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  16. brian stouder said on May 23, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Forget Santorum in our schools – what about this?! (saw it at Fox News, and clicked it, and was promptly mystified)

    AVON, Connecticut – A Connecticut couple is suing their local school system and four staff members for allegedly indoctrinating their three daughters into a religious cult.

    The couple filed the lawsuit in federal court Monday against the Avon school district, three teachers and a guidance counselor at Avon High School and Wellesley College in Massachusetts. The parents are known only in court documents as Jane and John Doe.

    The couple says the teachers and counselor indoctrinated their daughters into a cult that promotes martyrdom and celebrates death. They say the indoctrination by the teachers continued when two of the girls went to Wellesley.

    The couple says their daughters have become secretive, have lost their humor and empathy and are speaking a bizarre language. Avon and Wellesley officials say they’re looking into the allegations.

    (My bet is – the kids did well in their Spanish class)

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  17. coozledad said on May 23, 2014 at 11:36 am

    and are speaking a bizarre language.
    They always come home from college speaking that goddamn English.

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  18. alex said on May 23, 2014 at 11:41 am

    The Cum Laude Society maybe?

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  19. adrianne said on May 23, 2014 at 11:44 am

    The Gardner Museum theft is just waiting to be made into a major motion picture. You cannot make this shit up. I still remember the bizarrely arranged art collection – stuff picked up in Europe by a rich Boston lady. Maybe the Sea of Galilee will be back in Boston someday.

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  20. brian stouder said on May 23, 2014 at 11:45 am

    The couple says the teachers and counselor indoctrinated their daughters into a cult that promotes martyrdom and celebrates death.

    …or it could have been the ROTC

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  21. Heather said on May 23, 2014 at 11:55 am

    One of my boyfriend’s exes says in the years right before that Gardner Museum theft, the security guards used to let her and a bunch of people in at night on a regular basis to party.

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  22. Bob (not Greene) said on May 23, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    … promotes martyrdom and celebrates death

    Sounds like Christianity

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  23. Connie said on May 23, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    You said it Bob (not Greene).

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  24. brian stouder said on May 23, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    I think BobnG just won the thread!

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  25. brian stouder said on May 23, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Benghazi-palooza, Part MCMXXX:

    Another head-scratcher, from CNN News

    Kerry was subpoenaed by Oversight panel Chairman Darrell Issa of California after new information surfaced that Republicans say supports their contention the Obama administration politicized its public response to the September 2012 assault.


    In all honesty, and to be perfectly frank, I have no idea what is meant by the phrase “the Obama administration politicized its public response”.

    If “politicized” means anything at all, then why did the writer modify “the Obama administration” response as “public”?

    It strikes me that if the “Obama administration” response was wholly – or mostly – political, that would be a story.

    On the other hand, what the hell good was the attack itself, except as a “politicized” act or response to…something. And, anything and everything that the publically elected national Commnader-in-Chief of the United States does in response is – by definition – a politicized response, no?

    This ain’t an algebra problem, where there is a strictly defined resolution that one either reaches, or else gets wrong….right?

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  26. Suzanne said on May 23, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Hmmm, Deborah. I have several Hummels the we inherited from my grandmother-in-law, LCMS all the way! Never thought of the connection.

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  27. Sherri said on May 23, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    I think this crew will enjoy these:

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  28. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 23, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Yep, that’s Christianity right down to the ground. Gosh, no doubt.

    Having spent most of today in cemeteries, doing two committal services, who am I to argue? We’re all about death in the Christian community. Or we’re who are still helping people deal with it. When really we should just deny it, and pretend it’s not part of the human condition.

    Which would explain why fewer and fewer people show up to make their farewells at the graveside for those foolish enough to live into their eighties and nineties. Live for today! And the dead? Fornicate ’em. What a downer.

    Here in Granville, we’ll be going to the village cemetery as we have at May’s end since 1868. Have a lovely Memorial Day, however you choose to observe it. We’ll have a few hundred of us giving thanks and praying for peace before the cookouts begin. The high school band, the color guard of veterans, some youthful recitations of “On Flanders Fields” (there’s a pro-war piece of propaganda) and the “Gettysburg Address” and old coots in ill-fitting uniforms, saluting and weeping as “Taps” is played. And a hapless local clergy goon offering prayers to his imaginary friend in the sky, asking for an end to war and sorrow. Pity us, please.

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  29. LAMary said on May 23, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Herend is ok. Check out Lotus Ware. The ex’s great grandfather was the JP mentioned in the article.

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  30. LAMary said on May 23, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    And then there is this:

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  31. Bob (not Greene) said on May 23, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Oh Christ, Jeff, quit being Ned fucking Flanders. It was a joke, preacher.

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  32. Basset said on May 23, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    Bob, I had to Google Ned Flanders to understand what you were talking about. If anyone who doesn’t get Simpsons references has a say here, and if Jeff TMMO will accept support from a heathen, I’ll say I’m with the preacher on this one.

    Meanwhile… finally made contact with the organizers of the National Banana Pudding Festival, looks like the boys might have a shot at playing there this October. We’ll see.

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  33. Sherri said on May 24, 2014 at 2:18 am

    Newly discovered WWI pictures:

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  34. coozledad said on May 24, 2014 at 7:44 am

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  35. coozledad said on May 24, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Bob(not Greene): It makes you wonder. If sentimentality is the superstructure built upon brutality, what’s squirming beneath that lubricious sentimentality?

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  36. beb said on May 24, 2014 at 11:48 am

    If no followers of per-Christian deities are allowed to offer invocations, what about post-Christian deities, like the Giant Flying Spaghetti Monster, or Bob Dob. And while Cthulhu is technically a Great Old One from beyond Time I think his worship qualifies as post-Christian.

    As I recall “God” once expressed exasperation with Ned Flander’s religiosity. Also, “God” has talked more to the sinner Homer Simpson than the saint Flanders… But anyone looking for life lessons from an aging animated TV show should really get their chakra’s checked.

    Actually, I have sympathy with Jeff here. It’s hard talking about death and dying and yet it happens all the time. I’m not sure going out to the cemetery to watch a body being buried under ground really brings closure but maybe it’s because we’re not as experienced with death as our parent’s generation was.

    Memorial Day ought to be dedicated to promoting the end to war. The President ought to be praised for not going to war in Syria, or with Iran, or Crimea or all the other places John McCain would like to see us bomb.

    A press release from the President (switching to Benghazi) that is not political? What do these people expect? More to the point, what exactly is their beef with the President’s respond to the bloody attack? Because he didn’t immediate blame al Qiada? Remember, these are the people who keep saying that al Qiada never attacked the US under Bush’s administration.

    And I’m starting to get too grumpy. Weather in the mid-west is clear, warm and sunny. I’ll be stuck in a car driving to see my father for most of the day. He’s 92. That’s worth celebrating.

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  37. Deborah said on May 24, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Another lovely day in Chicago, really perfect weather, sunny but cool so you can walk in the sun and not break a sweat. Went to the farmers market and got the usual for this time of year, asparagus and rhubarb. One more week for me in Chicago and then it’s back to New Mexico, where they’ve been getting a lot of much needed rain.

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  38. Dexter said on May 24, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Oh, man…crazy bastard out in Santa Barbara just ruined the holiday for a lot of folks. 🙁

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  39. Bob (not Greene) said on May 24, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Dex, because he couldn’t get laid. My god, what a fucked up place this country has become. A nation of armed lunatics.

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  40. Jolene said on May 24, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    The link below goes to a transcript of the video message left by the Santa Barbara shooter. Hard to imagine a sadder, more socially inadequate person. He had, apparently, been under psychiatric care, and his family had notified police that they were concerned about him. Sad, sad, sad.

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  41. Basset said on May 25, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Mrs. B likes that matte-finish blue Wedgwood, got some from my mother & she is expanding on that. Another reason we tend to spend our Saturday mornings at estate sales, must be getting old.

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  42. Deborah said on May 25, 2014 at 9:29 am

    This is Bike the Drive morning. It’s so cool to see all the bikers on Lake Shore Drive, and so quiet too.

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  43. Bob (not Greene) said on May 25, 2014 at 9:42 am

    So, according to the Santa Barbara shooter, who detailed it in his ‘manifesto,’ he posted his video to YouTube several days before the shooting — and someone called the cops, who showed up at his door and did nothing. THAT wouldn’t have sparked some sort of curiosity? No “Hey, you mind if we come in and have a look around?” Great job. This nation is bristling with firearms. When someone makes a public statement that they’re going on a killing spree, haven’t we had enough experience with these people that we take them seriously?

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  44. Bob (not Greene) said on May 25, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Ok on closer read it wasn’t the ‘final’ video, but he apparently posted several videos airing his grievances. And the response was pretty much nothing.

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  45. coozledad said on May 25, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Bob(Not Greene): Maybe if he’d answered the door in a hoodie. He was too white to take downtown.

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  46. Jolene said on May 25, 2014 at 10:18 am

    You may be right, cooz. One of the reports I read said that the write-up of the police visit referred to him as “polite and kind”. His apparent normality kept them from pursuing the case further.

    Meanwhile, he already had the guns stashed in his apartment. In his manifesto, there is a “sigh of relief” passage in which he remarks on how close he came to having his plot detected.

    Anyone know what authority police have in conducting welfare checks? Can they search? Ask questions about the presence of firearms?

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  47. susan said on May 25, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Here is a guy who was diagnosed “…as being a high-functioning patient with Asperger syndrome and had trouble making friends”; “was being treated by multiple therapists”; and yet:

    “Police said three guns were recovered from Rodger’s car. Police said he had more than 400 rounds of ammunition.

    ‘All were legally purchased from federally licensed dealers and all were registered to the suspect,’ the sheriff said.”

    What a great nation.

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  48. Jolene said on May 25, 2014 at 11:21 am

    To watch tonight (or later): the HBO production of The Normal Heart, originally a stage play about the early days of the AIDS crisis in New York.

    Hank Steuver’s review is linked below. He has some complaints about it, but also makes it sound emotionally rich and thought-provoking.

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  49. coozledad said on May 25, 2014 at 11:30 am


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  50. nancy said on May 25, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    I have an allergy to Ryan Murphy in all his work, so I’m taking a pass on “The Normal Heart.” I was unaware of the Santa Barbara incident until late yesterday, and spent some insomnia time catching up. The commentary on this is going to be particularly stupid; I’m bracing myself.

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  51. Jolene said on May 25, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Why do you say so, Nancy?

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  52. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 25, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    As for police and “welfare checks,” which is a subject I’m into up to my elbows most weeks: They have the right to knock on your door and ask “Are you okay?” They can try to talk their way in . . . “Would it be okay if we just looked around a bit? People are worried about you, you know” so they could see if there’s anything oddly amiss inside, but only if invited . . . or “invited” as a lawyer might say. But if the subject is oriented to time and place, and refusing transportation, they have no latitude in pretty much any US jurisdiction to do anything more unless the person has said to the officers at the door, or is credibly said by a neutral third party to have made a specific threat of violence. In other words, you get one free assault. Our current model is built on the assumption that you don’t start cold with a fusillade of gunfire, but will take a judicious poke at a family member or something before you start firing off rounds.

    On the other hand, we don’t want police to be able to no-knock search every apartment of a twenty-something male who is socially maladjusted and acting oddly, else they’d never get to anything else. As to whether he should be able to purchase weapons — I still say the magic word un-addressed in the Second Amendment (peace be upon it) is “militia.” The point, as in Switzerland, is that if you have been trained and certified, you can have weapons in your home. Private ownership is not the key concept, militia is; Switzerland and Israel have the occasional mental health implosion of otherwise unremarkable reservists, but much less per capita than we do in our consumerist interpretation of the “Keep and Bear Arms” clause.

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  53. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 25, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    As for the video, I fear the police probably didn’t watch it. The level of digital literacy among police and (looks around to see who’s listening) prosecutors is shockingly low. People come into my office and say “hey, what’s this I hear about a Juggalo beatdown video on some WorldStar thing? Can you show me how to find that?” It’s just not in the skill set they tend to develop. Over in the juvenile court, we look at lots of social media, but it generally only goes into a hearing as a stack of print outs that are riffled through by the various parties.

    If a cop had watched that video through, something more than a welfare check would have been mustered, but it might not have happened fast enough to stop him — my secondhand impression via NPR is that it was less than 24 hours. If I’d been shown that video of one of my files, I’d have been calling the prosecutor on his personal cell as it was playing . . . and even then, the warrant would be a tough one to craft. “Reasonable suspicion of violent tendencies” doesn’t cut it. If he’d just named one specific person he wanted to shoot, it would be simple and fast. But this is a tough one, clear though it is in retrospect.

    You don’t want to know how many Instagram and Twitter posts I see a year where the joking about “wanna just blow em all away, lol, wd be kewl to see there faces” sends chills down my spine, but our ability to force action is profoundly limited . . . and on a sunny day, I don’t know that I WANT to be able to force more people into lock up, or into unwilling therapy. I just don’t know. Fewer guns less easily purchased is obviously part of the necessary solution.

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  54. Sherri said on May 25, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    What Jeff(tmmo) said.

    There always have been and always will be socially maladjusted males who think that their problem is everybody else. Easy access to lots of guns amplifies the already existing problem.
    I don’t think that locking up every disaffected young man who posts a manifesto to social media is an answer to the problem. Maybe I’ve seen too many forced AA attendees to think that unwilling therapy is of much good.

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  55. Jolene said on May 25, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    As best as I can tell, Rodger’s last video was posted the night before the shooting, but it appears to have been found only after the fact. He doesn’t seem to have notified anyone about it.

    He did send his manifesto to his therapist and his mother (maybe father too, but that isn’t clear) by email, apparently just before he began his attack. The therapist called the mother when she received the email, and the mother called the father. They called police and raced to Isla Vista to try to find him and stop him, but, as they were driving, he was shooting. See article below.

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  56. brian stouder said on May 25, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    I don’t think that locking up every disaffected young man who posts a manifesto to social media is an answer to the problem.

    Sherri and Jeff – agreed.

    But we could and should take their %^@#$%@^$ guns away!! Yes?

    I mean, fer Heaven’s sake! If an idiot gets drives irresponsibly enough (leave aside alcohol; lets say he just gets lots of speeding tix and other moving violations) – we yank his damned driver’s license, yes?

    And indeed, driving is not in the US Constitution, but neither is a the right if irresponsible rabble to “keep and bear arms” (but instead a “well regulated militia” as Jeff points out)

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  57. susan said on May 25, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    I like this term for gun-nuts, and I’m going to use it: ammosexuals.

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  58. coozledad said on May 25, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    I don’t think that locking up every disaffected young man who posts a manifesto to social media is an answer to the problem.

    But I thought this was the whole premise of the enhanced security state ushered in under George Bush, and abetted by the finest minds Roger Ailes had to offer. I thought it was why we were buying police departments armored vehicles and turning them into paramilitary surveillance outfits- because there was going to be zero tolerance for crazy shit forever amen.

    If this guy had been black, or a Muslim, the Santa Barbara police department would be hiring a new chief yesterday.

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  59. Sherri said on May 25, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    On a cheerier note, it’s salmon season, and my daughter is home from college, so we started up our usual summer tradition of Salmon Sunday! I grilled Copper River sockeye salmon and some zucchini for dinner tonight, even though I had to do it in the rain. The wonder of living in the Pacific Northwest is amazing salmon; the downside is sometimes having to grill it in the rain!

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  60. Deborah said on May 26, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    End of Memorial Day observation: I took a long walk as usual up through Lincoln Park today and I saw more small children having meltdowns than I’ve seen in awhile. Don’t know if it’s because of the long weekend, so more stimulation, lack of sleep, too much sugar or what, but everywhere I walked there was a tyke having a temper tantrum. Way more than I ever remember. Weird.

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  61. Sherri said on May 26, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    A beautiful piece by Michael Berube about his Down’s Syndrome son:

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  62. Dexter said on May 26, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Here’s another weird one: The commission or grand poobahs-big kahunas of “Taste of Cincinnati” pleaded with the local radio and TV outlets to tell people to please leave their small dogs AND CATS ON LEASHES (!) home because it was so crowded at The Taste that the small dogs and the cats were getting trampled.
    A mini-version of The Who disaster it seems.
    This gave inspiration to the asshole radio host, Jerry Jeff Walker, to go on a fucking tirade about how people should leave their kids at a sitter’s because he didn’t like to be around baby carriages. Like I said..ASShole.

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  63. beb said on May 26, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    Following up on the community that wants to bar invocations from followers of “pre-christian dieties”, I wonder if they realized that Islam is a post-Christian. What they do ban is Judaism, Buddhism, American and African Native religions. It’s sad how uninformed so many Christians are of their religion.

    I want to second Coolzedad’s recommendation @49. TBogg puts away the comedy to write about the day his father stopped hunting. It’s an excellent essay.

    Jolene, I think Jeff’s two posts right below yours answers your question. The Santa Barbara shooter slipped through the cracks, just like the Newtown shooter because since they had never made credible threats against a specific person the police was limited in what they could do.

    And Jeff, again great posts from inside the judicial system. And like you, I’m torn between a wish that the police/courts/parents had been more proactive and prevented the shooting and the apprehension of the dangers of giving the police that much power.

    I don’t think there are any constellation of laws that could have stopped the Santa Barbara shooter. Some people just fly under the radar. But if there was a gun registry the police would have looked up whether that troubled kid had a gun and that might have lead to a closer scrutiny of the boy. Certainly knowing that he had bought guns might have spurred his parents into considering an involuntary confinement.

    The shooter was, apparently a member of the Men’s Rights Group, part of the pick-up world. It’s not mentioned as such but it’s a part of his mentality, that women exist to give sex to men. As long as that mentality exists women are going to be targeted by angry young killers.

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  64. MarkH said on May 27, 2014 at 4:37 am

    It’s California, beb. Registration of all firearms is required, so law enforcement could have checked. And they would have found Roger’s records earlier.

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