28 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Gunnuttery

Miss Manners would be proud.

One:

I feel the same way about tailgaters, but trying to off them is probably not the best way to express it:

Haislip was tailgating Crickenberger, who then ran a stop sign, a sheriff’s news release said.

“Crickenberger became mad as to the way Haislip was driving,“ the release said.

When Haislip pulled off at the Harvey Williams Garage, Crickenberger followed him. Cursing between the men turned physical, the release said, and Crickenberger reportedly took a .380 handgun from his car and shot Haislip in the neck.

Two:

And squeezing off a couple of rounds withing city limits just for the heck of it is frowned upon by persons within range:

Officers were called about 9:15 p.m. to the golf course in the 600 block of Academy Street for a report of shots fired, according to Lt. Mike Green. There, he said, they found a “possible intoxicated subject” sitting in a wooded area with a .40-caliber pistol.

Three:

The Driving Lesson.

Campbell, 17, told officers “his uncle fired numerous shots at his vehicle, shattering the front and rear driver’s-side windows,” as he was driving.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeremy Boggs said in court Tuesday that Campbell fired six times at the vehicle Samual Campbell was driving north on Jack’s Hill Road. Boggs said four of the shots hit the vehicle and two missed.

“Campbell believes that his uncle did this because he accuses him of driving too fast on the roadway,” the search warrant stated.

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28 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: First Looks

Rex Stout, quoted by his daughter, Rebecca Stout Bradbury, in the introduction to The Bloodied Ivy:

An educated person is one who has the capacity to distinguish the important from the unimportant . . . .

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27 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: It Is To Laugh

Teenage girl steals puppy.

Parents find it was stolen and make her give it back.

It says something that this is considered news.

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27 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Titans of Industry

Buccaneer Petroleum’s approach to drilling: They thought they were playing with Tinker Toys and Erector Sets.

From the St. Petersburg Times:

Testimony of survivors and experts continues to paint a picture of corporate recklessness on the part of Transocean, the owner of the rig, and BP. Transocean, according to a September 2009 audit, had not completed 390 repairs to the rig, including many that were “high priority.” It also is accused of not properly maintaining the rig’s blowout preventer, the device that is supposed to shut down an unstable well and that catastrophically failed on Deepwater Horizon. Transocean’s upkeep of the rig sounds like an experiment in what it could get away with.

Meanwhile, there are a plethora of allegations that BP pushed workers to speed the completion of drilling using cost-cutting methods. The rig rental was costing about $1 million a day and work was 43 days behind schedule. On the day of the explosion, BP managers didn’t bother with a time-consuming “cement bond log” test that would have discovered problems in the cementing of the well. The company also did not use 21 “centralizers” to position the well before cementing — the recommended number — and instead used just six. And there are other examples where the company chose the less expensive and more risky option. It may not be that any one of these actions alone led to the blowout, but the combination was deadly.

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27 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

It’s a promo, but what a promo–viral marketing done right:

Some more information here.

Via GNC.

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27 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Republican Hypocrisy

The Nation analyzes the instant replay of the Sherrod play. To anyone who has studied the race-baiting demogues of the Jim Crow era, the Pitchfork Ben Tilghmans and the like, it’s a familiar strategy, much older than the excerpt below describes. Fake left with the race and go right with the economy:

But this story is older than the Tea Party, older than the current drove of right-wing demagogues. It’s the story that has been told to white middle- and working-class voters by the right since the Reagan administration in order to explain their dwindling paychecks and prospects: racism is over; it is minorities who now have too much power; they are stealing your jobs, your future. And with that insidious whisper (now a shout), the specter of reverse racism chases away the all-too-real and yet all-too-abstract forces of neoliberal economic policy. Who can focus on the workings of contemporary global capitalism when the Zimbabwe-fication of America is nigh! Obama, of course, crystalizes this narrative, giving it agency, power, motive, a face to deface. But it existed before him too; it litters, for example, civil rights case law since the ’70s, in Bakke v. Regents, in Gratz v. Bollinger and in Ricci v. DeStefano, the New Haven affirmative action case that got Sonia Sotomayor into so much hot water with the right.

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27 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Why more stimulus is needed:

U.S. local governments may cut almost 500,000 jobs through next year to cope with sliding property taxes, a decline in state and federal aid and added need for social services, according to a report released today.

The report, a result of a survey by the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National Association of Counties, showed local governments are moving to cut the equivalent of 8.6 percent of their workforces from 2009 to 2011. That suggests 481,000 employees will lose their jobs, according to the report, which said the tally may yet rise.

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27 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

Aside:

The slap at Iran may be good marketing, but it ignores that Iran imports more fuel than it exports; I believe I’ve read that it has the resources, but not the refining capacity.

Via the Richmonder.

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27 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Personal Musings

It’s not black folks who are afraid to confront racism in America. They confront it every day.

It’s we white folks.

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27 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: First Looks

Somerset Maugham:

People ask for criticism, but they only want praise.

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26 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: First Looks

Via Inverse Square.

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26 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Republican Lies

The failure of anyone, federal, state, or local, to attempt to stop lynching, not just in the South but elsewhere, for centuries, is one of the most shameful facets of American racial prejudice.

And now Republicans are trying to quibble over what constitutes a lynching. From TPM:

It turns out, says Jeffrey Lord, whose bio lists him as “former Reagan White House political director”, that for all our thought that Sherrod was a victim of a smear, she’s actually a terrible liar after all. Her story about a relative being lynched by a white sheriff almost 70 years ago, Lord reveals, is a terrible lie.

This one’s really one for the history books under the subheading of right-wing #outragefail, as the young folks might put it. Lord starts off vaguely sympathetic and works up into a crescendo of high-dudgeon because Sherrod says her relative was lynched when in fact he was arrested by a sheriff and then beaten to death on the courthouse steps while allegedly resisting arrest even though he remained handcuffed through the fatal beating.

“Lynching” referred to the killing, not to the weapon.

For a detailed take-down of Lord’s lie, see the Inverse Square.

Words cannot measure the depth of disgusting to which this falls.

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26 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

It was pretty clear things weren’t going well.

It was not clear that they were going this badly.

And, no, “potentially embarrassing” is not sufficient reason for hiding official actions from public view, at least not and maintain any level of democracy.

Yet that, natch, is why governments dislike leaks and, in particular, are gunning for Wiki-Leaks–it’s not the potential for the dangerous; it’s the potential for the embarrassing.

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26 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Balloon Juice. Scroll to the list of bullet items in the bottom 2/3rds of the post.

We err when we let ourselves be convinced that the only measures of economic success are stock prices, dividends, and bonus payments to executives.

Important, maybe, at least the first two; the last should be eliminated and replaced with salary increases (or decreases, as warranted); only, no.

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26 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Titans of Industry

Is in employees’ pockets. From MarketWatch:

Roughly once a week in July alone, some of the 150 million Americans covered by the more than 700,000 employer-sponsored retirement plans received notice that their hard-earned money ended up in the wrong pocket.

Read the whole thing, then tell me again why Social Security should be privatized.

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26 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: First Looks

Alexandre Dumas, pere, from the Quotemaster (subscribe here):

The difference between treason and patriotism is only a matter of dates.

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25 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Titans of Industry

Does Tony Hayward still want his life back?

Will he get it back, and will he like it when he does?

Tune in next time for the continuing story of
As the Well Wilds.

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25 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: It Is To Laugh

From the BBC:

Marks and Spencer has started to sell over-sized school uniforms for overweight children as young as four.

Its new Plus schoolwear range includes clothes for pre-school children with waistlines of up to 23ins, a size usually worn by eight-year-olds.

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25 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Republican Hypocrisy

Joan Vennochi notices the interplay between teabaggers and racists, as revealed by the Shirley Sherrod matter.

Short version: Teabaggers are okay with having racism and racists at their events, speaking from their platforms, and fellow-travelling with them (one might ask, who is fellow-traveling wit whom here), until the connection gets noticed. Then they change the subject.

Read the long version. Because, well, she nails it.

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25 July 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: Geek Stuff

Eva Wiseman in the Guardian:

Mob (a near-future science fiction story) by Tom Scott from hurryonhome on Vimeo.

If the embed doesn’t work, go here.

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