Politeness proliferates.

Des Moines police say a 4-year-old girl died after an apparent accidental shooting in her family’s apartment.


Sgt. Jason Halifax said the investigation was continuing, but it appeared that “safe weapons handling practices were not followed.”

They seldom are, are they?


Via C&L.


It is good to be a Duke.

Dukes can can exercise droit du seigneur.

Duke Energy’s top North Carolina executive told state lawmakers Tuesday that digging up coal ash from disposal sites across the state and trucking the industrial waste to modern landfills, as critics are demanding, could cost as much as $10 billion.

A cheaper option, which leaves the coal ash in place at most sites, would cost at least $2 billion.

Duke officials are keeping a low profile about who will pay that cost, but a state regulator estimated the higher price tag cited Tuesday could cost North Carolina households more than $20 a month.

The story explains that Duke is claiming that the ponds were legal when they were built, so pffftttt!

Who cares that said ponds had a history of problems and poor maintenance?


Plessy v. Ferguson rises from the grave, a href=”http://crooksandliars.com/2014/04/justice-sonia-sotomayor-blasts-john”>reanimated by Republicans.

My disgust is boundless, but my surprise is nil.


It hasn’t gone away; it’s just relocated north from Floida to New Jersey.

Early this year, banking and real-estate analysts concluded that New Jersey had achieved a dubious distinction, passing Florida to become the state with the highest percentage of foreclosure among mortgaged homes, 6.2 percent as calculated by CoreLogic, a leader in real-estate analytics. (That percentage was actually an improvement from a year earlier.)


New Jersey courts closed 12,639 foreclosure cases by entering default judgments against the borrowers in 2013. But CoreLogic found only 5,888 homes actually went to sheriff’s sale in that time. The borrowers or tenants might still occupy some foreclosed properties, but many stand vacant, “zombie foreclosures.” Even after obtaining foreclosure judgments, banks do not have to maintain a property until taking possession at a sheriff’s sale.


Polite show-and-tell.

At approximately 11:55 p.m. on Sunday, the 24-year-old was visiting friends in the 900 block of Redfield Road when he asked to see his friend’s handgun, Eddie Hopkins of the sheriff’s office said.

As the man, who lives in the 400 block of Pollack Drive in Aberdeen, was looking at the gun and handing it back to his friend, he fired and shot himself in the abdomen, Hopkins said.


Margaret Atwood:

Stupidity is the same as evil if you judge by the results.


Ta-Nehisi Coates asks the question.

How would the Nevada standoff be different if the rancher were black? American history has already answered that question.

Follow the link for the answer.

(Hint: The answer is written in the blood of black folks.)


Continuous computer mouse

Via Sampler, an image site (some images NSFW).


Moved below the fold because it autoplays on some systems.

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Every day, persons who consider themselves–and are considered by others–to be decent folks, rationalize the acceptance and perpetuation of evil. Nowhere in our history has this been more common than in the creation and perpetuation of the South’s institution of chattel slavery. Southerners who considered slavery to be evil found all kinds of reasons to not only do nothing about it, but to profit from the theft of labor.

In the Roanoke Times, Halford Ryan explores the self-serving rationales of one slaveholder, the one who is most often, after Thomas Jefferson, held up as a paragon of honor. Just read it.

While we are on the subject, I also recommend listening to this scholarly exploration of the history of the concept of race in America.


We went to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens the other weekend. Spring was springing.

Crabapple Tree

A very big crabapple in bloom.

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Buccaneer Petroleum continues to duck and cover (up).

Four years after the largest offshore oil disaster in U.S. history, scientists are still trying to come to terms with the toll that the Deepwater Horizon tragedy wreaked on the birds, sea life, waters and habitats of the Gulf of Mexico. Multitudes of creatures and habitats were wiped out — and continue to suffer — but outrageously, environmental restoration has barely even begun.

And BP — having already pleaded guilty to criminal negligence — is hard at work delaying justice.


Rancher grazing cows in someone's front yard.  Homeowner says,

Via Bob Cesca’s Awesome Blog.


Elizabeth I of England:

One man with a head on his shoulders is worth a dozen without.

Sir Walter Raleigh would no doubt agree.


Take a quiz on your general (and I do mean general) religious knowledge.

Via Juanita Jean, who theorizes:

At the end, you’ll enjoy seeing how Fox News has had an influence on the answers.

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At Psychology Today Blogs, Laurie Essig comments on what she terms Machismo Man David Brooks’s “manhood problem.”

Some of the “manliest” of politicians have created wars without cause, made lives miserable for women, children, gays and any others who are not “man enough,” and generally created chaos in the world. Machismo is no substitute for foreign policy even if Brooks wants to fantasize about Obama swooping in on a white horse and sweeping him off into a future where strong men keep us safe from danger.

Do follow the link, if only to see the illustration.


Tom Plate of Loyola Marymount University argues against the United States’s media’s apocalyptic coverage of the events in Ukraine and the world in general. A nugget:

If Moscow can “get away” with seizing Crimea (and a slice of Ukraine), won’t this embolden Beijing to jump onto a disputed island in the East China Sea and do a “Putin”? Or might it not even justify a comparable putsch by Japan? Does not the current world (dis)order suggest the future belongs to the bold?

Implicit in this fearful assumption is the suggestion that if only the U.S. were more forceful against Russia, less “bad things” around the world would happen. This is fantasy.

He has a point. This is the “Shoot First” theory of international relations favored by the same Diminutive Phallus Brigade that believes in “Stand Your Ground.” Many of our media figures and politicians seems think that the U. S. is Gary Cooper, able to solve all problems in one High Noon moment, then relax as the credits roll and everyone lives happily ever after.

Outside of movies, the credits don’t roll and one High Noon moment leads to the next.


Driven to politeness:

A two-vehicle automobile accident quickly turned into an altercation and shooting Sunday evening northeast of Topeka, leaving one man in a local hospital with injuries not believed to be life threatening, Shawnee County Sheriff Herman Jones said.


In late-breaking news of the polite:

Police in South Houston are searching for a suspect who was accused of shooting a 3-year-old girl in what was thought to be a case of drunken road rage.