Another one.

Yep, I watched the shooting videos. Both of them. Multiple angles – an editor could cut between them. You can see them both here if you’re so inclined, and I would expect most of you aren’t. I watched them, and then I checked in on the reaction from time to time throughout the day. The shootings made me mad, and the reactions made me madder.

Spare me, please, the journalists who take time to talk about how they’ve reported from so many dangerous places, and how this could have been them. Part of the outrage of this story is, the reporter wasn’t IN a dangerous place. She was doing a live standup for a story on (from what I could tell) local economic development in some backwater in southern Virginia. A crazy ex-colleague killed her. It was a workplace shooting.

I’m not turning away anymore. It kills me that this country produces violent entertainment by the truckload, but believes watching an actual killing requires trigger warnings and a discreet averting of the eyes. Both videos are way less graphic than I expected. The sound is the worst, but I’ve heard women scream louder over spiders. It turns out, in fact, that you can kill two people wearing a body camera, and an average episode of “CSI” is more graphic.

Which may be a big part of our problem, right there.

Anyway, it all put me in a mood, so let’s go to some shooting-related bloggage and get out of here.

Neil Steinberg:

Because if one thing is clear, even though most Americans don’t have guns and most Americans would like specific improvements in gun policy, most Americans also do not change their beliefs on the subject just because there is another shooting. We look up at the crack of gunfire, note the identities of today’s victims, sigh, then go about our business unmoved. It is a peasant fatalism, a resignation beneath the spirit of a great country.

Yup. Farad Manjoo:

There was uncertainty in the sharing. Users expressed reservations as they passed on the gunman’s profile and his tweets. People were calling on Twitter and Facebook to act quickly to pull down his accounts. There were questions about the journalistic ethics of posting WDBJ’s live shot and the killer’s own document of the shooting, given that it was exactly what he had been expecting.

But these questions didn’t really slow anything down, a testament to the power of these networks to tap into each of our subconscious, automatic desires to witness and to share. The videos got out widely, forging a new path for nihilists to gain a moment in the media spotlight: an example that, given its success at garnering wide publicity, will most likely be followed by others.


Posted at 8:30 am in Current events |

72 responses to “Another one.”

  1. Suzanne said on August 27, 2015 at 9:21 am

    I don’t even know what to say about the shooting. Like most of the other recent ones, the shooter got his gun legally, showing again the very fine line between the good guy with the gun & the bad guy. Like the heroin epidemic in my neck of the woods is, in part, attributed to plentiful, easy to obtain heroin, some of this has got yo be a horrible outcome of the easy availability of firearms. Yes, years ago, you could buy a rifle easily at K-Mart, but there were no gun & ammo stores that I recall, no gun & knife shows every other month, and nobody talking about how we all needed to be armed to protect ourselves every second of every day.

    And I think it’s worth noting that the guys who stopped the terrorist on the train inEuroped did so without the aid of weapons.

    787 chars

  2. Randy said on August 27, 2015 at 9:34 am

    In the shooter’s video, he’s right *there*, waving a gun, and the victims are so focused on what they are doing, it’s like he’s not even there. Those few seconds before he shoots are scarier than any horror movie.

    213 chars

  3. nancy said on August 27, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Yes, and one of the things that pissed me off was a posting by a lunatic gun nut, dinging her for “not being aware of her surroundings.” FUCK THESE PEOPLE.

    155 chars

  4. Danny said on August 27, 2015 at 9:38 am

    I know we have some responsible gun owners and hunting enthusiasts amongst the commentariate here, but I just think we ought to repeal the 2nd Ammendment. Sorry if this pisses anyone off. I just have no use for guns and I am convinced that modern society does not either.

    271 chars

  5. Jolene said on August 27, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Guns need to become much harder to get–not only by instituting universal, strictly enforced background checks, but also waiting periods and training requirements. Anything that would put obstacles in the way of people who might not have the psychological wherewithal to behave rationally.

    Heard some interesting statistics last night from a HuffPo reporter on MSNBC. They had reviewed mass shootings over the past five years and found that, despite the high visibility of “public shootings”, many more deaths result from domestic violence. Horrible as this is, it’s actually good news, because these incidents are more predictable and preventable than events such as Tucson, Aurora, Newtown, and Charleston.

    If we cared, the combination of restrictions on gun ownership and a public health focus on domestic violence could make a huge difference.

    1004 chars

  6. Icarus said on August 27, 2015 at 9:51 am

    @Danny that ship has sailed. For one thing, the Supremes ruled that the 2nd amendment does include the right to own a gun, not just the ambiguous part about arming bears (sorry need some levity). Second, this country is so evenly split on the issue that you’d never get the necessary referendum.

    297 chars

  7. Jolene said on August 27, 2015 at 9:56 am

    As with people who say idiotic things about situational awareness, we also need to shout down people who say that one or another gun safety measure wouldn’t have made a difference in a particular situation. We need to be clear that we are about reducing the number of gun deaths, not figuring out the best thing to do to prevent, say, shootings in schools or movie theaters.

    We don’t assume that any other laws (against speeding or burglary, for instance) will either be 100% effective or affect the behavior of particular categories of people. We just expect them to keep irresponsible or criminal acts to a minimum. The same should be true for gun laws.

    659 chars

  8. Danny said on August 27, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Three shootings over the last few years have a relation to my proximity. The Auroura shooter grew up a mile away from where I live and some of the student lifeguards at the pool where I lap swim went to high school with him. Another local kid within a mile, whose family went to my church, killed his mother and sister and himself about five years ago. Schizophrenia again. Finally, a guy two blocks away from me killed his wife, his seven-year-old son and himself last spring.

    And I live in a bedroom community with a highly rated school system, the Poway Unified School District.

    585 chars

  9. Danny said on August 27, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Oh, and not that this is either here nor there in importance, but due to the Sandy Hook shootings, the local school districts have (rightly, IMO) changed the policy of visitors on campus during school hours. None of the community lap swimmers are allowed to swim during school hours. Even a police officer who works night shift cannot get permission to swim at lunch time at the local school. And that is the only time that works for him. The policy is correct, but it is a shame.

    File that under the heading of “why we can’t have nice things”

    547 chars

  10. brian stouder said on August 27, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Imagine the train-wreck if the know-nothing faction actually gains traction on the (formerly?) unthinkable catastrophe that would be a Constitutional Convention.

    Apparently there’s a lot of folks who simply want to blot out the 14th Amendment; and there would be a riot if anyone touched even the punctuation of the 2nd Amendment.

    With the (somewhat amazing) currently ongoing Trump Ascendency, it looks like any damned thing is possible.

    444 chars

  11. Danny said on August 27, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Brian, I get your point, but I wouldn’t conflate the two issues because the 2nd Amendment one is much more serious. And the main issue people have with the 14th is the current interpretation of citizenship clause which is abused regularly these days. So it would probably only be a revisiting of the interpretation of that particular clause or slight modification that would get the USA more aligned with other constitutional democracies worldwide. Not a total repeal.

    470 chars

  12. brian stouder said on August 27, 2015 at 11:44 am

    How else can one interpret what this says?

    Section 1 of the 14th Amendment:

    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    This was a post-Civil War/Reconstruction amendment, because all those freed human beings were going to want to vote and not be lynched and have rights and everything, yes?

    How would we want to change that?

    What if I was a 21st century human trafficker (ie – slaver) 15 years ago; and amongst the people I have trafficked, babies were born? Because of my crime, numbers of absolutely innocent young people who were born here and grew up here and work here are suddenly going to be rounded up and dumped in some country that is foreign to them?

    Mind you, getting rid of all the black people in America was seriously on the table for main-stream American politicians like Henry Clay, and including President Lincoln.

    I think this stuff is a direct descendant of that line of thinking

    1352 chars

  13. Danny said on August 27, 2015 at 11:59 am

    This was a post-Civil War/Reconstruction amendment

    Well, that is kind of the point. The citizenship clause had a useful purpose and now it is anachronistic that gets abused by those who wish to flout immigration law. I’ve heard that most if not all other Western Democracies don’t have such provisions in their constitutions.

    337 chars

  14. CathyC said on August 27, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    Jolene, illustrating your point

    117 chars

  15. brian stouder said on August 27, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Danny – let me say, I like you; I am not swerving out of my way to throw tomatoes or anything.

    But seriously, truly, and sincerely –

    if the constitutional test is whether a principle is to be deemed “anachronistic”, then Katy-bar-the-door, baby!!

    The Second Amendment IMMEDIATELY smashes into that one (all that talk about well trained militias, and the rest)…

    by way of saying – I think an “original intent” argument might be interesting, but not definitive.

    The same human issues exist, right now

    515 chars

  16. Icarus said on August 27, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    @CathyC thank you, I’ve been looking for that Jim Wright post

    @Danny, we like our anachronistic-ism in this country. Otherwise we’d get rid of the must be born in the US requirement for presidency.

    204 chars

  17. coozledad said on August 27, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Brian: First the bait, then the switch.

    Saw birthright citizenship repeal skulking behind that first post. That’s the thing about Republicans- someone has got to be the nigger of the hour. Otherwise there’s nothing left to float Reagan’s corpse back up the Potomac. Free-market religion? Perpetual war?

    Plus, they can’t win elections without fucking with the process. People do not like Republicans. They’re insuffrageable. They want to restrict the franchise to white property holders.

    492 chars

  18. Danny said on August 27, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    Brian, I totally agree that the 2nd Amendment is anachronistic

    62 chars

  19. Jeff Borden said on August 27, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    I want to chime in on the immigration debate for a moment with a European viewpoint, since my other part-time job these days is rewriting copy for international edition of Handelsblatt, Germany’s leading financial daily.

    There has long been a tradition in Western Europe of letting workers from other nations come in to do the hard labor, but not be actual citizens, ie., Turks in Germany, Algerians/Moroccans in France, etc. The result has been a softer form of apartheid, where these non-citizens play critical roles in the economy, but remain voiceless in all things political. It worked all right so long as Europeans were replacing their own national populations, but these days they are not. Germany, with a stagnant population of 80 million, now needs 400,000 to 450,000 new workers every year to replace retirees. A new approach to immigration is the only way the country will continue to move forward because they absolutely need these new bodies.

    Meanwhile, the tide of refugees from the battlefields of Syria and Iraq threatens to overwhelm the poorest European nations, which often are on the front lines. Greece and Macedonia are desperately broke, but they are getting the lion’s share of the immigrants. The whole issue is going to be a huge problem for the European Union, where some nations already are balking at being asked to take on tens of thousands of needy refugees.

    The genius of the U.S. was its embrace of immigrants, even if the newcomers were treated like shit for a generation or two. Each wave brought problems, sure, but also millions of aspiring Americans wiling to work their asses off for a new start. Where would we be as a nation without all those immigrants? Surely, a nation that was founded by immigrants seeking a new start away from kings and bishops can find its way forward again, can’t we? If not, we lose one of our essential national characteristics, do we not?

    My understanding is that the U.S. population would be declining if not for immigration. We’ve seen and heard and read right-wing caucasians urging people to have more babies or be outnumbered by “them.” Are we really going to cut off our nose to spite our face? Can’t we learn from the mistakes of Europe and not repeat them?

    The growing power of Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant arguments makes me queasy.

    2327 chars

  20. Scout said on August 27, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Every gun owner who first passes a background check and gets trained and licensed to carry, should then be required to obtain an insurance policy for every gun they own. Honestly, if we’re stuck with these effing things, why can’t we treat gun ownership like car ownership?

    273 chars

  21. coozledad said on August 27, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Actually, the Republicans in North Carolina and Virginia are test states trying to do an end run against the possibility of their dog-trash going for Trump as an independent. The plan was to have Jeb Bush all along, and trump is fucking it all up for them. So they’re instituting a loyalty test.

    This is consistent with their gerrymandering, poll taxing, photo ID methods of disenfranchisement. It also signals the alignment of the broader Republican party with the racist right in Europe, which the US will likely wind up having to go to war against. it’s funny that Republicans have embraced white Eurocentrism just as the world is recognizing what a historically nasty cancer Europe has been.

    876 chars

  22. Danny said on August 27, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Jeff Borden, thanks for that. It always helps to get a little perspective from someone in the know. The 14th isn’t a big deal for me.

    However, gun control is becoming a wedge issue for me. I don’t think I can bring myself to vote for any candidate who does not support rigorous gun control.

    295 chars

  23. Sue said on August 27, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Jeff Borden, wasn’t there talk of ‘guest workers’ during the last presidential election? That made me nervous because of the apartheid aspect you mentioned. Good way to radicalize the children of the people who come in as guest workers, make sure they have no stake in their future and no home that they are familiar with to go back to.

    338 chars

  24. ROGirl said on August 27, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    My recurring thought is that if Jon Stewart still had his show he would do a searing, hilarious, razor-sharp takedown of Donald Trump that would be the beginning of the deflation of his balloon, and that it would also take on the media’s inability to stop covering him as a serious candidate.

    292 chars

  25. brian stouder said on August 27, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Jon Stewart is almost completely lost on me, but that’s OK; I’ve got Rachel!

    76 chars

  26. Icarus said on August 27, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    may I share my thinky thoughts on gun reform?

    161 chars

  27. brian stouder said on August 27, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    Icarus – those are quite interesting and engaging thinky thoughts, indeed; thanks for the link

    94 chars

  28. Icarus said on August 27, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    @brian stouder thank you.

    27 chars

  29. Danny said on August 27, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Icarus, read your blog post and while a don’t disagree that a coarsening of the debate is counterproductive, the solution is not really affected by whether or not people play nice with one another in public discourse.

    Governmental leadership and truly sane bipartisan political will is the only way I see this improving in any meaningful way. More extensive background checks (and maybe periodic refreshing of those checks through your life), longer waiting periods, bans on broader types of guns, etc., all have to come from legislation that stands up to legal challenges.

    577 chars

  30. Basset said on August 27, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    jolene@5, you could make that argument but how would you deal with the millions of guns which are already out there?

    116 chars

  31. Jolene said on August 27, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    Good question, basset. I can’t say that I have an answer, especially not one that’s remotely politically feasible. Some combination of safe storage requirements, background checks for private sales, and, as Scout suggests, insurance could make a difference over time. Gun buybacks could also be part of the solution.

    I emphasize that these changes would require a level of rationality that is nowhere apparent, but one has to think in terms of water wearing away stone.

    473 chars

  32. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 27, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    This is not my favorite thing to say, but I’m curious as to how the laws actually are written on private gun ownership in France, which has a very strong tradition around hunting, at least once you get twenty miles south of Paris or west of Calais. They’ve crafted something that allows shotguns and hunting rifles pretty widely, but keeps handguns to a bare minimum, but I’m ignorant as to all but the most general comments from French-born friends here in the village. It sounds, if I’m hearing right, as if they have lots of family guns, plenty of firearm education, but the whole high-capacity rapid-fire part of the spectrum is left to the gendarmes (sp?) & federal police.

    682 chars

  33. Jolene said on August 27, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Here you go, Jeff. An overview of gun laws for countries in many parts of the world.

    176 chars

  34. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 28, 2015 at 12:02 am

    Nice. Thank you! Shooting clubs would seem to be a decent stand in for “a well regulated militia.”

    98 chars

  35. David C. said on August 28, 2015 at 6:37 am

    I can’t say I live in fear because of all the guns and gun nuts out there, it’s more a feeling of fatalistic resignation. That cat is out of the bag and I don’t see it being stuffed back in without something probably worse happening. I had the chance to emigrate to New Zealand 30 years ago and didn’t take it. Now I’m stuck in this dysfunctional place and I don’t see anything getting better in my lifetime. In a weird way, I’m grateful we weren’t able to have children. The extent of my worry only has to extend to the end of our lives.

    I can’t imagine watching a video of someone being shot, unless it was Wayne LaPierre or Ted Nugent. Then I’d have it on a loop. Seeing someone’s petard hoisted is a hobby of mine.

    721 chars

  36. alex said on August 28, 2015 at 8:08 am

    I’m not so pessimistic. Consider the pervasiveness of smoking not so long ago and the power of the tobacco lobby. Airplanes, workplaces and public facilities were all choking with dense smoke and people were resigned to it as a fact of life.

    The playbook was not much different than the one the NRA is using. For a long time the industry had the public convinced that individual liberties were being threatened and that any factual information challenging its official line was nothing but a bunch of lies.

    There was finally a tipping point where popular sentiment against smoking outweighed all of the blather from the industry and its citizen dupes.

    We haven’t reached that point yet, but when people begin to feel comfortable asserting that their right to a gun-free public environment outweighs others’ right to impose guns on them, things will start to shift the other way. It may be slow, but it’s likely that thirty years from now people will look back with near disbelief at what is being allowed today and guns will be stigmatized as a threat to public safety just as are cigarettes. Then it will be possible to regulate access to them.

    1157 chars

  37. Suzanne said on August 28, 2015 at 8:16 am

    I know quite a few gun owners, most of them very responsible, but almost to a person, if you ask them about Sandy Hook, or Aurora, or Charleston, or now Roanoke, they all firmly believe if they had been there with their weapon, they would have stopped the carnage. They have no doubts that in a darkened, smoke filled theater with people running around and no one fully aware of what is happening, they would have coolly been able to pull out their concealed weapon, aim, fire, and bring the guy down. Perhaps because the modern, ever changing world is scary, this gives them a false sense of security? It gives me pause every time I got to the doctor and there is a sign on the door that says to please do not bring in firearms or knives.

    I’m about to tell my kids to start looking for jobs in Canada.

    806 chars

  38. mm said on August 28, 2015 at 8:24 am

    Wasn’t the second amendment in the Constitution designed to allow the well regulated militias of the southern states to be armed so that they would be able to capture escaped slaves and otherwise intimidate their slave population?

    And before the Civil War, many northern states would not allow an escaped slave who managed to get away to be returned to their “owner” even though federal law said that they should be. The southern states were against these “states rights.”

    475 chars

  39. alex said on August 28, 2015 at 8:38 am

    The federal Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 — the first truly sweeping federal law ever to supersede state, local and judicial authority in the north — was enacted at the behest of the slaveholding states and belies their state sovereignty bullshit.

    246 chars

  40. brian stouder said on August 28, 2015 at 9:08 am

    …and the Dred Scott decision by the Supremes (and Roger Taney, who makes Scalia look intellectually advanced) went even further – ultimately disallowing a state to declare slavery illegal within its borders.

    ‘States Rats’ is a genuine Big Lie

    247 chars

  41. Jeff Borden said on August 28, 2015 at 10:13 am

    When I read David McCullough’s “1776,” I finally understood the reason behind the Second Amendment. Poor Washington was fighting the British Army with men who signed contracts for just a year or so. . .The Founders were so terrified of building a standing army, which they saw as the primary weapon of tyrants to keep the populace under control, they didn’t want one. References to a well-regulated militia underscore their hope that the citizenry would rise and fight when needed, negating any need for an army.

    Boy, did we stray from THAT path.

    549 chars

  42. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 28, 2015 at 10:13 am

    Ditto what Alex said. When I was in high school drunk driving was a badge of honor; in college three administrators were arrested for DUI and had almost no impact other than a mild tut-tut. If you’d told me in 1985 we’d have general social disapproval of drunk or even buzzed driving by 2015, I would have said “I don’t know about that.”

    We can get there with guns, too.

    373 chars

  43. nancy said on August 28, 2015 at 10:20 am

    We might get there, but it’ll be highly regionalized. I’ve mentioned a former colleague of mine whose brother lives in Texas, and claims to “feel naked” without his sidearm, which he carries everywhere. I don’t think he’s alone. Recently I learned he’s also a prepper. Mental illness runs in the family. I think both men would be well sub-clinical, but as we all know, mental illness has a wide penumbra where lots of people can comfortably live.

    446 chars

  44. nancy said on August 28, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Oh, and sorry no update today. I sat down in front of the laptop last night, looked at the blinking cursor for a minute or two, said, “Nope, empty” and shut it down. Have a great weekend, all.

    192 chars

  45. brian stouder said on August 28, 2015 at 10:37 am

    And same back atcha!

    20 chars

  46. Danny said on August 28, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Jeff B. On the heels of your insightful comment yesterday:

    71 bodies found in truck in Austria

    161 chars

  47. beb said on August 28, 2015 at 11:48 am

    I always thought Jimmy Carter was a better president than he’s given credit for. Here’s an essay by historian Rick Pearlstein on Carter and Republican obstructionism that proves ,y point.

    Nancy#3: when I was robbed one of the responding police wondered (sotto voce) why I wasn’t more aware of my space. That criticism pissed me off as much as the robbery.

    Danny @4: Mike the Mad Biologist has a significant piece on the second amendment on his blog,
    the tl;dr version is the 2nd amendment was to legalize militas to suppress slave revolts, which was a big issue in slave states like Virginia. Hunting and self-defense was never a subject of that amendment.

    Saying that guns nuts are too deeply embedded in this country for any meaningful gun reform is like saying anti-homosexuality is so deeply embedded that same sex marriage will never happen. Well, that did happen, so I’m hopeful we’ll see change in the future.

    And I seem to have come to this conversation. Well, off to my Dad, in Indiana, to meet a cousin I haven’t seen 40-45 years…

    1213 chars

  48. Icarus said on August 28, 2015 at 11:57 am

    Didn’t the federal government “force” all states to make 21 the legal drinking age in exchange for not withholding federal funds?

    I liked that link to gun laws in other countries. At least on paper it sounds as if they understand what they are dealing with. I think that one of the first steps is to get everyone to think of guns as deadly tools with only one purpose instead of extensions of one’s manhood.

    It might help if Hollywood would portray guns in a more realistic manner.

    492 chars

  49. Jeff Borden said on August 28, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Danny, I saw that story and its awful. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. There are plenty of “tea party” style groups in Europe and there was recently something of a riot in a small town near Dresden, where anti-immigrant lugs were protesting the use of a community center for refugees. Every nation I’m aware of has some version of a nativist, right-wing party trumpeting the same kind of bullshit Donald J. Trump pukes up daily. Will the better angels prevail, especially in deeply poor nations such as Greece? Or will the enormity of the tide overwhelm and panic Europeans?

    The Euros know they had a chance to prevent the horrors of the Holocaust –hell, so does the U.S., for that matter– and their inaction in the late 1930s continues to haunt them. I’m betting they will eventually do the right thing and begin settling and integrating these hundreds of thousands of sad souls, but there certainly is no guarantee. And an economic explosion that has everyone grabbing their wallets would truly bollix everything up. Generosity seems to ebb and flow with the economy.

    1096 chars

  50. brian stouder said on August 28, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    So Pam and I went to lunch today at McAllister’s Deli – a nice-enough place on the out-lot at Jefferson Pointe/Apple Glenn (Pam picked the place; I’d have gone for Noodles, across the road). It was an interesting crowd – mostly young women – but there were a pair of young fellows at the next table from us, and the one guy caught Pam’s attention. He was handsome enough, and tall and beefy; but what Pam giggled about was the guy had on a loose-fitting, sleeveless tank-top sort of thing, and his nipples were happily out. She was speculating whether or not that was the look he was going for (presumably it was, or else why wear that top?), and she concluded that it took him from moderately hot eye-candy to mildy bizarre give-him-some-space status. Anyway, it was a pleasant lunch, and I don’t think we spent $3 more than we would have at a McD or a Taco Hell

    (I was voting for Panera, but got over-ridden by the Queen)

    941 chars

  51. Jolene said on August 28, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Currently, something like 10 million Syrians have been driven from their homes. They are either internally displaced–that is, living in another place in Syria–living as refugees in Jordan, Turkey, or Lebanon, or they have fled to Europe.

    This morning, I heard a foreign policy expert say that we can expect another 20-30 years of war in the Middle East while the Sunnis and Shi’ites try to figure out how to share power. If that’s true, we can expect to see much more displacement of populations.

    Add to that the coming pressure on coastal populations caused by rising sea levels and you have quite a recipe for various forms of unrest.

    644 chars

  52. brian stouder said on August 28, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Speaking of recipes for unrest, the leading candidate for the Republigoon presidential nomination produced this headline last week, which I missed:

    Trump calls O’Malley a ‘disgusting, little, weak, pathetic baby’

    Trump: O’Malley a ‘disgusting, little, weak, pathetic baby’

    So aside from Trump’s (attractive?) infelicity with public pronouncements, he also shows a troubling tendency to “punch down”, which is Political Mistake A1A.

    Presidential timber? Tin eared, chromed curb-feelered, low-riding presumptious timber, maybe…

    642 chars

  53. Danny said on August 28, 2015 at 5:48 pm


    When his campaign falls, then we can yell “Timber!”

    62 chars

  54. David C. said on August 28, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Suzanne @ 37. The company I work for just won a pretty big DoD contract. The gun nuts started in with “That’s going to make us a terrorist target and they make up keep our guns locked in our cars”. They all talk about their training. I asked once what that was. It was shooting at a gun range and paintball. They’re heroes in their own minds.

    342 chars

  55. nancy said on August 28, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Why “Don’t be stupid” is our advice-on-a-loop to our soon-to-depart freshman.

    196 chars

  56. Deborah said on August 28, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    Don’t be stupid for sure.

    This is interesting Sick of reading about Trump?

    144 chars

  57. Sherri said on August 29, 2015 at 1:39 am

    Our family motto is “Have a good time, don’t get hurt!”

    We just dropped the kiddo off at college. It was really hazy driving across Washington with all the fires. There were signs up along the Interstate reminding people to use their ashtrays because of the fire danger.

    The good news is we’ve got a storm on the way, bringing some much-needed rain. The bad news is, it’s also going to bring some heavy winds, more like a November storm, and that’s dangerous around wildfires.

    483 chars

  58. Dexter said on August 29, 2015 at 3:24 am

    I admired the writings of the late George Cantor of The Detroit News. The Cantors lost their U of M daughter 17 years ago. The Nickles tragedy instantly reminded me of the Cantors’ horrible loss. Don’t swan dive into dry riverbeds and shallow lakes, do not walk on ancient glass ceilings, never drive a vehicle after even just one drink, and do not ever sit on window ledges.

    423 chars

  59. coozledad said on August 29, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Big-haired Murdoch bonking crook gets back under the desk.

    Never any repercussions for this kind of trash.

    198 chars

  60. coozledad said on August 29, 2015 at 11:01 am

    What happened to conservative principles?

    Actually, nothing — because those alleged principles were never real. Conservative religiosity, conservative faith in markets, were never about living a godly life or letting the invisible hand promote entrepreneurship. Instead, it was all as Corey Robin describes it: Conservatism is

    a reactionary movement, a defense of power and privilege against democratic challenges from below, particularly in the private spheres of the family and the workplace.

    So when they talk about revisiting the Constitution to wipe away those “anachronisms”, remember, to a Reagan fellating Republican, the bill of rights is an anachronism.

    893 chars

  61. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 29, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    Titus 1:12–13

    15 chars

  62. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on August 29, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    But to tell the truth, I think many here will greatly enjoy this essay cum travelogue with photos, and high praise for Oak Street Beach.

    204 chars

  63. Sherri said on August 29, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    I think the Constitution, for all they claim to worship it, is an anachronism to them. The preamble to the Declaration seems to be the bedrock conservative principle they want to keep, with “men” defined in the originalist sense. Preferably limited to free white male property owners, but white males if pushed.

    Just read the other day that Alabama, having enacted a strict Voter ID law to combat that raging voter fraud (not), is now contemplating closing all but four DMV offices* rather than raise taxes to close a budget deficit. That’s one way of making it more difficult for poor people to vote.

    *They’re also proposing a massive Medicaid cut (in a state that of course, turned down the ACA Medicaid money), cutting education, closing state parks, and basically cutting anything else a government might do. Maybe all those poor people will self-deport to Mississippi!

    879 chars

  64. Deborah said on August 30, 2015 at 2:15 am

    Jeff (tmmo), I enjoyed the Lake Michigan link. From our bedroom we look down (and to the right) onto Oak Street Beach. I read somewhere that it’s the 11th coolest beach in the world, while that article says it’s the best urban beach in the world. Right now it’s so foggy you can’t see it, but if you could, there’s a volleyball tournament going on (well, not right this very minute because it’s the wee hours of the insomniac’s morning). They’ve junked it up with bleachers and a bunch of trucks. They do this every year, blocking everyone else’s access to the beach.

    567 chars

  65. coozledad said on August 30, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Incubating the new Confederacy, one class of war criminals at a time.
    To these people, the Constitution is whatever they pull out of their ass.

    248 chars

  66. Bob (not Greene) said on August 30, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Wow, Cooze, the guy actually uses the words “total war”? They gonna build a Sportpalast so Herr Bradford can make that speech?

    126 chars

  67. susan said on August 30, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Cooz, at least Bradford has a sense of humour. CLOACA. His acronym name for his academic opponents (“critical law of armed conflict academy”). Ha ha ha.

    156 chars

  68. coozledad said on August 30, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Bradford was one of the “intellectuals” that Bush used to justify his concept of preemptive war. He’s also one the Republicans go to when they want to talk about striking Iran.

    He’ll be at Fox News soon, if he’s not on Jeb’s campaign team.

    242 chars

  69. Jolene said on August 30, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Scott Walker said on MTP this AM that the idea of building a fence on our Northern border is “a legitimate issue to consider.” Does he know how long that border is?

    More important, when did we all become so afraid? Americans are supposed to be bold. Seems all these political candidates have to offer is ways to spend billions on security, meanwhile overlooking such actual threats as gun violence and climate change.

    427 chars

  70. David C. said on August 30, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Great, our highways and bridges are falling down around our ears and they can’t seem to find the money to fix them. But they think there’s money to build 5000, if you include Alaska, miles of wall to keep all the Canadians out.

    227 chars

  71. coozledad said on August 30, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    43 chars

  72. Deborah said on August 30, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    RIP Oliver Sacks, knew it was coming, still sad.

    48 chars