¿Who You Gonna Call?


In recent days, two television adverts, one for an insurance company and another for home security services, have drawn my attention for alleged customer testimonial that skipped over first responders. No, really:

• Crime, therefore call insurance company before callng police.

• Fire, therefore call home security company, who in turn called fire department for you.

In truth, I have no idea how to feel about this. And, you know, there was also something else that flitted by in those spots, but, honestly, the implications of spinning narrative would be entirely on my own conscience, and it’s not a pleasing prospect; even worse would be noticing something we are expected to notice—you know, a feature, not a bug. Never mind. It is enough to simply wonder at skipping out on first responders.

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On Morality and Hitting Children With Cars


Honestly, after everything else, to see a photo of Pietro with his arm in cast and sling―

Transgender mother Bárbara Pastana, and her 2 year old son Pietro, were victims of a transphobic assault on Tuesday October 4th in Belém do Pará, Brazil. The attack occurred when she was taking her Pietro to the kindergarten by bike.tg-sign

“Every day I go out (in the Bengui neighborhood) and take my son to school by bicycle, in a front seat. Today, a car approached and followed me slowly. I kept pedaling but the driver sped up the car and hit on the bike, “she said.

Bárbara fell toward the sidewalk above her child and said that after the impact, her only concern was the health of the child. “I could not see anything, just saw my injured son. I do not know who did it, I can not imagine, “she said.

(Santos)

―is just too much. Today is one of those days.

Then again, today is one of those days insofar as I get to have such days. Brazil is a killing field for transgender, and I won’t tell anyone to feel thankful we Americans are merely fighting over restrooms, or anything like that. Still, though, I don’t know: Is there comfort that it’s not so bad up here, or are we just not there yet? And, you know, it never really helps to tell anyone to cheer up, at least they’re not running you down or … or … okay, at least they’re not doing all that stuff as much. Right. Never really helps.

I don’t know; this reminder that they would kill the children, too? Attacking children is hardly unique, but remember, these are the moralists.

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Santos, Eduarda Alice. “Transgender mother and son victims of hit and run”. Planet Transgender. 1 November 2016.

Ghosts in the Making


Summertime in Ferguson

When it was Trayvon Martin, I pitched a fit.

Michael Brown? Not so much.

It’s fair to ask why, and the answer is to simply look at what is going on in Ferguson, Missouri. The twenty-one thousand plus residents have seen their city torn to pieces, body and soul, as protesters and police battle over the murder of an unarmed black man by a city police officer whose record includes being fired as part of another small police department in Jennings, Missouri, that was disbanded by its city council for being so corrupt and generally awful. The town is in chaos; residents are intervening to slow the most vocal protesters, and are also reportedly attempting to prevent media from covering the events. Ferguson has become the latest incarnation of our nation’s sick heritage of deadly racism, emerged as a symbol of our dark slide toward militarized police, and found itself the butt of one of the worst jokes on the planet after a protester tweeted a comparison of the situation there to what is going on in Palestine, and instead of being indignant the Palestinians tweeted back with good-faith advice.

I first addressed the death of Trayvon Martin with friends on March 13, 2012, some weeks after the George Zimmerman stalked and pursued him for no good reason, shooting the seventeen year-old to death and then claiming self-defense. And when I first mentioned it, I did not expect what was coming. Certes, my gorge rose to learn the story, but like so many Americans the idea that an apparently murdered black man will die under the presumption that he needed to be shot just did not seem all that unusual. That is to say, like many I expected Trayvon Martin would become another forgotten lamb.

And, yes, I was wrong.

This time, the nation did not wait weeks. Before the name Michael Brown finished echoing after the first wave of press coverage the town was beseiged by chaos. Screaming and shouting from my evergreen corner of the country really doesn’t do me or anyone else any good.

And, yet, Justice still seems nearly destined for disappointing failure.

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Just … I Don’t Know, Say It’s Missouri, and Just Move On?


What part of this would be believable if Quentin Tarantino tried it in a movie?

A Naylor man faces domestic assault charges after allegedly shooting his wife during an argument Saturday morning.

At least he had a reason.  Or ... er ... thought he did.Bobby S. Leonard, 59, was charged Saturday with first-degree domestic assault and armed criminal action or first-degree domestic assault ….

…. Ripley County Cpl. Earl Wheetley was sent to a home on H.E. White Drive in Naylor about 8:25 a.m. Saturday in reference to a “female being shot by her husband.”

Wheetley found a woman, Carolyn Leonard, “laying on the front porch covered in blood,” according to his probable-cause affidavit. A man, Wheetley said, was holding a towel on the victim’s right shoulder.

When Wheetley asked what had happened, “she stated her and her husband was arguing, and he shot her,” said Wheetley, who was told Bobby Leonard was inside the trailer.

Wheetley said he was telling emergency medical services personnel what had happened when a man came out onto the porch. When the man identified himself as Bobby Leonard, Wheetley handcuffed him.

“I asked him if he had any weapons on him, and he stated, ‘No, the gun is in the house on the counter,'” Wheetley said.

After being told of his rights and acknowledging he understood those rights, Leonard asked whether his wife was dead, Wheetley said.

“I asked Bobby what happened, and he stated: ‘I got tired of her and shot her,'” Wheetley said.

(Friedrich)

So … right. It’s a reminder that cheap punch lines, while certainly worth a chuckle, are sometimes best kept to oneself. No, really. I mean, take your pick, right? Sanctity of marriage? Middle America? Family values? Oh. Well, damn. Right. Anyway, you see what I mean.

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Friedrich, Michele. “Man admits to shooting wife because ‘I got tired of her'”. Southeast Missourian. 9 July 2014.

Maybe It’s Best I Don’t Have a Dog


Rickey Wagoner

Okay, so my only question is whether all the people who forwarded the inspiring story of Rickey Wagoner around that internet book with faces, and the bird’s nest thing, and all that, are now obliged to go around to every person they annoyed with that excrement and apologize for being so stupid.

At any rate, the Associated Press reports:Rickey Wagoner headline via Mail Online

A white bus driver’s story that a religious book in his shirt pocket blocked bullets as he was attacked by three black men isn’t supported by evidence and testing, Dayton police said Wednesday as they closed the case, which had been investigated as a possible hate crime.

Rickey Wagoner, 49, told police he was outside his city bus Feb. 24 when men assaulted him. He said that two bullets hit the inch-thick book containing Bible verses and that one hit his leg and that he was stabbed in the arm, according to a police report. The report also said Wagoner told police he grabbed the gun and shot at the fleeing men.

Wagoner had told police that the assailants were black and that he thought the attack might have been a gang initiation.

But his account wasn’t found to be factual, Police Chief Richard Biehl said at a news conference.

“This assault, as reported, is not true, not accurate,” Biehl said. Police did not say Wagoner made up the story and didn’t explain why he would have made the report. Biehl did say it appeared Wagoner owed on back taxes.

Sigh.

Right.

Truth told, I rather prefer the Daily Mail take on the story: “Bus driver shot and stabbed HIMSELF before making up story that only his Bible had stopped fatal bullets fired at him in supposed hate attack”.

In related news, the nation’s foremost failure-cum-racist-cum-failure, the one and only Donald Trump, is apparently upset that black people have civil rights, too. In other words, no news, or, what killed the dog.

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Associated Press. “Bus Driver’s Bullet-blocking Book Tale Is ‘Not True’: Police”. The Huffington Post. June 18, 2014.

Associated Press and Daily Mail. “Bus driver shot and stabbed HIMSELF before making up story that only his Bible had stopped fatal bullets fired at him in supposed hate attack”. Mail Online. June 18, 2014.

Trump, Donald. “Donald Trump: Central Park Five settlement is a ‘disgrace'”. New York Daily News. June 21, 2014.

Wills, Nat M. “No News, or, What Killed the Dog?” Camden: Victor, 1908.

Whack-A-Muslim on the Country Club Tip


Oh, the country club set. Who else can bring such proud drama to the American heritage?

An Army reservist and Iraq veteran who works as a cabdriver says a passenger he picked up early Friday at a Northern Virginia country club accused him of being a terrorist because he is Muslim, then fractured his jaw in an attack being described by Islamic activists as a hate crime.

Mohamed A. Salim says the passenger compared him to the men accused of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing 11 days earlier and threatened to kill him.

The Washington Post report from Joe Stephens and Justin Jouvenal reports that Ed Dahlberg, of Clifton, Virginia, has through his attorney released a statement asserting his innocence:

Country Club TryptichEd Dahlberg of Clifton, who has been charged with misdemeanor assault, denied hitting Salim in a statement released by his attorney ….

…. Dahlberg’s attorney, Demetry Pikrallidas, said Dahlberg did not assault Salim. Even so, he said, Dahlberg wanted to apologize to anyone offended by his remarks. Dahlberg was profoundly affected by the Sept. 11 attacks, Pikrallidas said, and misunderstood Salim’s response to his questions.

Dahlberg “became rather emotional as the discussion turned to jihad and 9/11, and especially heated on the subject of jihadists who want to harm America,” Pikrallidas said in a statement.

Pikrallidas described Dahlberg as a “hardworking family man and a church-going person” who had been drinking but was not intoxicated. He stressed that Salim’s video shows the ride began with six minutes of friendly conversation.

Perhaps the first thing that stands out is the starkly different claims; Dahlberg did not, according to his attorney, strike Salim. The question therefore arises: When someone asks why you are punching him, if you’re not punching him, don’t tell them that you’re punching him because, “You’re a [expletive] Muslim.”

Just, you know. Simple advice that comes to mind.

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