Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Looting Tourism

Photo: loavesofbread


Setting aside the guilt or innocence of either Michael Brown or Darren Wilson, a rational fact-based opinion not being possible to formulate from the inflammatory splash of infotainment in this country. 

I could certainly grind my axe on the stone wheel readily provided by President Obama in his statement:

Calling for a sharp separation between the nation's armed forces and local police, President Barack Obama on Monday urged a re-examination of programs that have equipped civilian law enforcement departments with military gear from the Pentagon. 

By snidely asking, really?  This only came to your attention now, and not once in the past six years, but better late than never I always say.

That leaves us with the response.  Large numbers protest, and perhaps rightly so, against a shooting and what is undoubtedly an ineptly handled amateurish police public relations campaign.  'He robbed a convenience store', 'the officer didn't know he robbed a convenience store', 'he noticed the cigars from the convenience store robbery',  really? Is that the best the Ferguson PD can do?  

But lets talk about the response, not that of the peaceful protestors during the day, but of the rioting and looting that seems to commence under the veil of darkness each night.  The Washington Post made an interesting observation:

Some of the men are from the area — Ferguson or surrounding towns also defined in part by the gulf separating the mostly white law enforcement agencies from a mistrusting African American public. Many others — it is hard to quantify the percentage — have arrived by bus and by car from Chicago, Detroit, Brooklyn and elsewhere.

Ferguson police officials would not quantify how many looters have been arrested since the Brown shooting but presented a Washington Post reporter with a stack of roughly 50 arrest reports. While some of those arrested for stealing are from Ferguson, a large number have addresses listed in Illinois or in Texas.  

The people of Ferguson are entitled to protest, entitled to be angry and upset at the treatment of this case.  The people coming from Texas, or Brooklyn, or Chicago who come to riot or to loot are another story, and should be dealt with under the full breadth and scope of the law.

If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. 18 USC 2384

Like the 27 year old who traveled from Chicago said:

“This is not the time for no peace,” 

And he probably doesn't even realize how wise his words are. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Abuse of Power or Effective Government?

Photo:Gage Skidmore
Rosemary Lehmberg. Lehmberg, whose office runs the corruption unit, was arrested on a drunk-driving charge in April, 2013, after being caught by Austin police with an open bottle of vodka in the front seat of her car. She was caught in a church parking lot in Austin. Jailhouse video and images show that her behavior was anything but Godly; Lehmberg is not a happy drunk. Story

A Grand Jury indited Governor Perry on two felony charges: abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant. Mr. Perry is accused of improperly vetoing $7.5 million for the Travis County Public Integrity Unit, which handles Texas political-corruption cases, after a Democratic prosecutor refused to resign following a drunken-driving arrest. Story
“I very clearly, I very publicly, said that as long as that individual is going to be running that agency, I had lost confidence in her, the public had lost confidence in her and I did what every governor has done for decades, which is make a decision on whether or not it was the proper use of state money to go to that agency.  I stood up for the rule of law in the state of Texas, and if I had to do it again, I would make exactly the same decision,”

Was he right?


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Modern Science meets the Middle Ages


Liberia

Mob destroys Ebola treatment center in Monrovia

‘The president says you have Ebola, but you don’t have Ebola, you have malaria. Get up and go out!’

A mob descended on the center at around 5:30 p.m., chanting, “No Ebola in West Point! No Ebola in West Point!” They stormed the front gate and pushed into the holding center. They stole the few gloves someone had donated this morning, and the chlorine sprayers used to disinfect the bodies of those who die here, all the while hollering that Ebola is a hoax.  ~Buzzfeed

Then the mob left with all of the patients.

“Everybody left with their own thing,” she said. “What are they carrying to their homes? They are carrying their deaths.”

What good is modern science when your patients are living in the dark ages?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Saturday Sessions: Haywire Mac

Harry Kirby McClintock 1882-1957, known as Haywire Mac ran away from home as a boy to join the circus, became a hobo in the truest sense, a migratory railroad worker.  He worked as a mule train driver for the US Army in the Philippines, a cowboy, union organizer, author, poet, and musician.  He is most famous for the song Big Rock Candy Mountain.





Friday, August 15, 2014

Lectured by the French

Laurent Fabius Photo: Mattho69

Wow, Obama sure can piss everybody off...

I know it's the holiday period in our western countries, but when people are dying, you must come back from vacation.

~ French Foreign Minister and Socialist Laurent Fabius

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Foreign Entanglements

Photo: José Cruz/ABr

Integrate them into your own damn country

Carlos Slim, Mexico's richest man and second richest billionaire in the world announces plan to integrate criminal aliens into the American workforce.

“This is a population of great potential, and our goal is to reduce the access barriers for them to reach this potential, we want to incorporate them to the formal workforce"
 ~Robert Tapia-Conyer CEO, Carlos Slim Foundation

If they're a population of such great potential, why don't you integrate them into Mexico instead?

Carlos Slim, worth $73 billion according to Forbes, amassed in a country whose per capita income was $12,800 (and you thought the wealth gap in the US was bad), and in which Mexico's own government declared in 2013 42% were living below the national poverty line.  Those of a certain political bent are fond of tossing around the term "robber baron", you need look no further than the photograph above to see one.

Decorum precludes sharing my opinion of Carlos Slim and his plan, what do you think?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Don't Do Stupid Stuff


"Great nations need organizing principles, and 'Don't do stupid stuff' is not an organizing principle."
 Hillary Clinton has taken her furthest, most public step away yet from President Barack Obama, rejecting the core of his self-described foreign policy doctrine and describing his decision against backing Syrian rebels early on as a “failure.” Politico

“The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad—there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle—the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled,” Clinton said. The Atlantic 

Well you knew it was going to happen

 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rest In Peace Robin Williams


I chose this Good Morning Vietnam clip because it seemed to me to most accurately reflect how he was in person.  I had the privilege of seeing him perform live once, his brain seemed to run much faster than the rest of us, his performance was a staccato presentation at a mile a minute, and god forbid, take my word for it... you would never want to heckle him.