You have all heard non-apology apologies. They commonly contain phrases such as “I am sorry if anyone took offense,” when the speaker knows damned well he or she did offend someone. That’s why he or she is apologizing, for Pete’s sake.
Radley Balko takes on a cousin of the non-apology apology: the non-explanation explanation, specifically police departments’ explanations of police officers shooting innocents. A nugget, after a quotation from a news item about the shooting of a 10-year old boy in Georgia.
The most plausible scenario is that the deputy tried to shoot the dog and mistakenly shot the kid instead. It’s less plausible but possible that the deputy didn’t intend to fire at all, in which case he’s still negligent for mishandling his weapon.
What isn’t remotely plausible is that the deputy’s gun jumped out of its holster, walked up to the kid and shot the kid in the leg. . . . Yet the sheriff’s explanation, at least the way the WALB reporter relays it, leaves open just that possibility.
I agree with Leonard Pitts, Jr., that “Thank you for your service” uttered to a member of the armed forces is a callow and empty phrase. Indeed, I have had veterans of my personal acquaintance tell me that their reaction to hearing it ranges somewhere between apathy and loathing.
It’s as empty as “I’m sorry for your loss” said by the detective on the telly vision to another character just before starting the third degree.
Pitts points out that the empty thanks have been expressed for a long long time–indeed, for much longer than he cites. A nugget from Pitt’s column:
It would not look like Veterans Affairs facilities across the country requiring sick and injured veterans to wait months to see the doctor, then falsifying records to make it appear they were actually being seen much more quickly. This, of course, is the scandal that has roiled the White House and put Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki on the defensive.
But look past that. A love they could see would also not look like a backlog of disability claims that peaked last year at more than 900,000, forcing some veterans to wait a year or more for their benefits. Nor would it look like the 2007 Washington Post report about wounded men recovering in a military hospital with rotting walls, creeping mold and vermin sauntering about.
Point being, this new scandal is not new. Rather, it is but a variation on a sadly recurrent theme: the neglect of our veterans.
Steven M. predicts that the right-wing will pick Cliven Bundy up, dust him off, and make him their BFF once more when memories of his racist remarks recede. A nugget:
But will the right-wing media continue to keep its distance if there’s another attempt to bring him to justice? No. Let me tell you what the right-wing noise machine’s line will be in that case: Cliven Bundy was a martyr to political correctness. Yes, that’s right: Sean Hannity and others will ignore his decades of defying the law and say he was fined/arrested/deprived of his cattle because of what he said about black people. He’ll be a free-speech martyr.
Do read the rest.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Bundy affair. If not, TPM has a nice little summary.
The short version is that a rancher stole from the government–that is, you and me–for almost two decades by grazing his cattle on public property, while ignoring repeated requests, followed by court orders for payment. When the government started to confiscate his cattle that were illegally on public property, the rancher went all John Wayne and threated a range war. Wingnuts grabbed up their AK-47s and rushed to fill his army. At last report, the government has backed down from aggressive enforcement to avoid bloodshed, though I suspect it’s not over yet.
Bob Cesca cuts to the hypocrisy (emphasis added):
This wasn’t about freedom or government overreach. This was about a rancher who’s clearly leeching off the system, and then who subsequently got all pissy-pants when, after repeatedly ignoring numerous civil attempts at collection, gathered a posse of local hooples to fight the power: armed neo-Confederate cosplayers, Ron Paul cultists, weekend warriors and Alex Jones chemtrail-busters who literally formed a line of battle and foolishly advanced upon the government corral.
All we hear every day from the far-right is about how food stamp and welfare recipients are unfairly sucking from the government tit . . . . And yet there they were, lined up with horses, guns and cowboy drag, marching toward armed BLM rangers in the name of defending an actual freeloader who’s bilked American taxpayers out of millions.
“Cowboy drag.” That pretty much sums it up.
Frederick Fuller is fed up with Hobby Lobby and its dupes and fellow travelers (emphasis added):
The bottom line is that religion has no place in issues of this sort. Religion is, as it has been for time immemorial, an excuse to break the law, kill people, conquer people and land, and refuse to help people in need. For all its fundamental Christian ideals, Hobby Lobby and the others involved conveniently play the religion card but forget that their Messiah turned no one away for any reason. They’re not Christ-like; they are capitalist opportunists hiding behind religion for their own gain.
Religion of any flavor is menacing when used by people to harm others or to shield themselves from public censure.
Many years ago, an old black man said about my then State Senator, “He calls himself a lawyer . . . .”
It was an onion statement.
It had many layers, but underneath them all was a truth. The person in question was neither a good lawyer, nor a good State Senator.*
The statement can be equally true for someone who calls himself a pastor.
Sadly, in the universe of those who “call themselves” something or other they are not, there are many more who call themselves “pastors” than who call themselves “lawyers.”
Wrap yourself in God and get away with anything.
At least in this world.
*His wife was my boss on one of my summer jobs when I was a college student. She was a much better boss than he was either a State Senator or a lawyer.
I promised myself that I was not going to spend more than one post on Duck Dynasty, but this is too good (and too true) to pass up.
Warning: Language, every bit of which is deserved.
The Inky notes that the Stars and Bars seems to be gaining popularity in Yankeeland. A nugget:
“I’ve had truckers come to me and say, ‘I can’t buy these things anywhere,’ ” Hauber said. “Places just stopped selling them.”
Hauber said that he doesn’t support slavery, but that the Civil War was also about states’ rights.
This question was not asked (or, at least, not mentioned in the story):
States’ rights to do just what, exactly?
One more time, when someone says, “states rights,” ask that question.
Then please let me know what happens.
Drape the Stars and Bars over it and thereby hide the obvious.
My ancestors wore the grey, and even I can understand that it was all about theft of labor (play the video if you want to get it).
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, wrap up theft of labor in misty grey-colored memories, add grits, and it becomes “Southern culture.”
I’ll stop now, before the profanity.
Politeness in the “happiest place on earth.”
A grandmother handed a Cobra .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol about noon to a park attendant, who immediately contacted security and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
The gun nut in question was quoted as saying the gun fell out of his pocket.
If there were an intelligence test for gunutt–oh, never mind.
Gina Barreca has some suggestions for candidates who walk the Appalachian Trail or twit on Twitter or both.
No. 1. If the first things springing up in a word association game at the mention of your name are “disgraced,” “dishonored” and “lies like a rug” only to be swiftly followed by “Forgiven by his wildly humiliated spouse who once seemed smart but now looks like she’s auditioning for ‘Sister Wives,’” you should lower your sense of self-esteem the way people lower the blinds.
The women at Swarthmore are fed up.
Hope Brinn says administrators were dismissive after a male student showed up in her room when she was unclothed and refused to leave, and Mia Ferguson says she was an assault victim. The two 19-year-old sophomores organized 20 other students and alums to complain to federal authorities that Swarthmore is violating the 1990 Clery Act that requires full reporting of campus crimes, including sexual assaults.
About the only thing everyone agrees on is that underreporting sexual assaults and harassment is a national problem, not just a Swarthmore problem. On the same day as the Swarthmore complaint, 37 students and alums from Occidental College – the Southern California campus President Obama once attended – also lodged a Clery Act complaint, following complaints at a half-dozen other schools, including University of North Carolina and Amherst College.
Colleges don’t want the embarrassment of being in the news, unless it’s a victory on the athletic field.
After all, it’s not a cover-up when it’s “protecting the reputation of the institution,” now, is it?
The Old Boys Club protects not only Old Boys, but also young boys.
After all, young boys grow up to be Old Boys.
Wild oats and all that (harrumph), eh what?
I wasn’t always cynical. Once I pinned a towel around my neck and pretended I was Superman.
Then I turned 11.
At the University of North Carolina, which seems to have relocated to Steubenville.
Attorney Clay Turner sent a letter Monday to Chancellor Holden Thorp, advising the school that his client, Landen Gambill, filed the complaint with the Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education. The letter also asks Thorp to dismiss charges filed in honor court against Gambill.
The decision to pursue the honor court violations against Gambill are in retaliation for her participation in a Title IX complaint filed against the university and for her public criticisms of the way the school treats sexual violence survivors, he wrote.
Although she has not publicly identified the man she alleges raped her, Gambill is accused of violating the honor code by creating an environment that’s intimidating for him. A university hearings board earlier cleared him of sexual assault charges but found him guilty of harassing her. He faces no criminal charges.
The Booman has more.
Let no sin go unrewarded.
Retired Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahoney is soon off to Rome to vote on a successor to St. Peter, even though Mahoney was recently stripped of public duties by his successor after documents revealed he helped cover up scores of clerical sex abuse cases in the 1980s.
Archbishop Jose Gomez, who did the stripping, nonetheless is asking the faithful to pray for Cardinal Mahoney. Gomez is confident that his predecessor’s experience will serve “well” as cardinals work “to discern the will of the Holy Spirit” and elect a new pope.
Ireland’s Cardinal Sean Brady will be joining Mahoney in Rome. Two years ago, it was revealed that Brady swore to secrecy in 1975 two boys who were repeatedly abused by a monk and serial pedophile.
More at the link.
There’s a certain Zuckerboardian schadenfreude here.
A picture that (Facebook’s Mark–ed.) Zuckerberg’s sister posted on her personal Facebook profile was seen by a marketing director, who then posted the picture to Twitter and her more than 40,000 followers Wednesday.
That didn’t sit well with Zuckerberg’s sister, Randi, who tweeted at Callie Schweitzer that the picture was meant for friends only and that posting the private picture on Twitter was “way uncool.” Schweitzer replied by saying the picture popped up on her Facebook news feed.
Later on in the story, she is quoted as saying that it is rude to repost other persons’ stuff without their permission
You know, the way Facebook did (maybe still does) with your pictures in their ads.
(Other users were quoted as saying that the problem is that Facebook’s privacy policies, well, just zuck.)