Wednesday, October 26, 2005

"I'm Here To Tell You Your Brothers Were Killed In Combat. They're Dead." "Which One, Sir?" "All Of Them."

Vigils tonight across the country in memory of the 2,000 American servicepeople who've been killed in Iraq. Find out more here, here, here, or here.

Note: There have been some on the Right, including that insane scarecrow Michelle Malkin, who are actually trying to characterize these vigils as celebrations. Like so many other things that are lied about constantly by the Right Wing Noise Machine, it apparently has to be said out loud, again and again: We on the Left mourn our dead and honor the sacrifice our soldiers have made. Our problem is not with the soldiers, but with the monstrous, cowardly, imperial-minded psychopaths who sent them to a war we should never have started.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Don't You Have The Whole World To Save?

An era has passed, in the person of a brave woman. Rosa Parks, one of the foremost icons of the civil rights movement, has passed away at the age of 92. Farewell and good rest to you, gentle lady. May the simple, eloquent blow you struck for freedom never be forgotten.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Well, Why Don't They Call It "The Big Chill"? Or "The Nippy Era"? I'm Just Sayin', How Do We Know It's An "Ice Age"?

It's dropped below 40° every night for the past few days around my neck of the woods, and gas prices, while dropping noticably, are still much, much higher than they were only a year ago. So it's time, indeed past time, to start thinking about ways to lower the fuel bill. Because God knows our Dear Leaders don't give a shit.

There are many, many good sites out there, but let's focus on a few of the best and best-known. First, the government's Energy Hog program, which is cute in a Nickelodeon-wannabe sorta way, and which is intended particularly to make kids more aware of things like leaving doors open and the lights on.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's
Home Energy Saver site is more useful, because it doesn't work with generalities -- it helps you audit your home for energy use (and waste). has loads of info about environmentally friendly driving and the cleanest (and dirtiest) vehicles.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy is policy oriented, but also has an excellent online consumer guide to home energy savings.

Same with the Alliance to Save Energy, which broadens the scope to worldwide.

Prompted by an editorial in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Okay, So If I'm Just Normally Mentally Defective But Not Criminal....

Here's an interesting one that's gotten almost no play (interestingly enough, Google News doesn't list nearly as many major news sources as plain ol' Google):

The F.B.I. is now investigating after an explosion near Oklahoma Memorial Stadium Saturday night during the Kansas State, O.U. football game.

One person was killed in the blast and police there are calling it a suicide. Now we know more about that person.

The F.B.I. has identified him as 21-year-old Joel Henry Hinrichs, III. He was a junior at Oklahoma University majoring in engineering. He was also a member of the Triangle Fraternity. Phone books list him as being from Colorado Springs, CO.

Authorities say that the stadium is searched before each game and nothing was found during that search, and no threats had been made. They also say at no time were any fans in the stadium in any danger. The explosion happened outside a Microbiology building on campus, which is on the west side of the stadium.

What's interesting to me (and my friend Leslie, who told me about this) is that this guy... was a suicide bomber.

An American suicide bomber, unless you think there are at least three Middle Eastern fellows named Joel Henry Hinrichs.

Except for freakin' ESPN, however, the news reports don't call him a "suicide bomber". They make much of how he was depressed.

Guys? Corporate media?

I don't give a fuck why someone's bombing public areas.

I mean, I do, because that's the first and best way to stop them, motive motive motive and all that. But the emphasis in coverage has been how depressed this guy was. Not that he thought that the best way out was to potentially take a bunch of people with him.

Someone who is so angry or troubled or sick at heart that they are willing to kill themselves with explosives in a public place? That's a suicide bomber. That's not name-calling or hair-splitting. That's the definition.

Are you trying to avoid panicking a jittery populace? Are you worried about "providing aid and comfort to terrorists" or somesuch nonsense? Because I think your responsibility is crystal damn clear:

You should be pointing out, loudly and frequently, that it's so easy to get explosives in this country, and so easy to get them into public areas, that a 21-year-old kid who was ready to die got them within 100 yards of a stadium full of people.

Even if you use the excuse that he didn't really want to hurt anyone else -- and if that's the case, why didn't he pick any of the many other possible methods of killing one's self that don't involve danger to bystanders? -- what you should be doing, Corporate Media, is highlighting that someone who really wanted to do some damage apparently wouldn't have all that much trouble. And that maybe somebody should do something about that.

As they said on MST3K, "You'd think, after an eternity of this, they'd be better at it."

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