Hot Air

Don’t Leave Me This Way

It’s almost hard for me to convey how much this story pleases me. Acc’d’g to a WBIW-TV report yesterday, Bedford police found a man tied to a tree behind a motel.

The man told the cops he’d lashed himself to the flora because he thought he’d been engaged in a sexual escapade with an unnamed partner. That person never showed up.

BTW: the man was not naked, nor were any appendages on display other than, I suppose, his arms and hands — if he was wearing short sleeves — and his legs if he was wearing shorts. Those are legally exposed appendages, as we all know. Certain others are not.

So, a guy’d been walking along the railroad tracks near where the poor fellow was tied to the tree. The guy — a hobo, perhaps? — called the cops. Bedford’s finest freed the man and, lo and behold, they released him without charge because, well, he’d violated no laws.

The Bedford police chief, Dennis Parsley, was the TV station’s source for the story.

There is so much to love in this report that I almost feel sad because it’ll be a long, long time before another news tidbit tickles me so much.

Labor

That’s it for today. It’s Labor Day weekend. Let’s all do nothing. A lot of people dared to oppose factory owners, hired thugs, the police, the state and federal governments, and even the US Army just so we could enjoy things like weekends. Let’s make sure their sacrifices weren’t in vain.

Unions. Of course.

Unions

 

Hot Air

Retro Atrocity

Here’s a snappy PJ top for you:

Pyjamas

Comfy Sleep Makes You Free

Israeli journalist, photographer, and blogger Dimi Reider Tweeted this. I suppose it can be argued that the designer unintentionally paid homage to the Final Solution. Sort of like someone saying, Hey, that picture of a grinning little black boy eating watermelon looks cute and being unaware of its Jim Crow implications. It’s possible some people might be that ill-informed about world history. OTOH, there is the matter of criminal ignorance.

Taken to its ridiculous extreme, criminal ignorance becomes criminal stupidity. Take Holocaust deniers. Just for the hell of it, I googled Holocaust denial. I found this forum on Stormfront.org, which trumpets the slogan, “White Pride, World Wide.” A poster initiated a thread entitled, “Top 10 reasons why the holocaust didn’t happen” [sic]. He — I assume it’s a he; would a female be this moronic? — only lists five reasons.

I find this fellow’s miscount both funny and reassuring.

Holy Food

Sometimes I think people just don’t understand what food is. Scads of people talk as though certain commonly ingested comestibles are as dangerous as a rifle shot through the skull. The same folks go on to tout the magical properties of other fruits and vegetables that can cure everything from a bad mood to leukemia.

Broccoli

Magic

Websites like the tinfoil hat-ish Natural News espouse loads of this silver bullet/holy grail thinking. Don’t get me wrong — living on a diet of french fries and Snickers bars likely will turn your bod into an ugly corpse, no matter how enticing that eating regimen might be. Similarly, if you fill your piehole with crunchy, multi-colored plants and do your best to stay away from fatty meats and Bugles®, you’ll prob. look and feel great well into your doddering years.

There is, in other words, a middle ground.

Still, peeps gush about things like superfoods.

Hidden away in a piece on how superfoods don’t prevent cancer (in cancerresearchuk.org via IFLS) is this little nugget:

The term ‘superfood’ is used to describe foods with apparently special health-related powers. These include blueberries, broccoli, garlic, raspberries, green tea and many more. Typically, such foods are hailed as having the power to prevent or even cure many diseases, including cancer.

But the term ‘superfood’ is really just a marketing tool, with little scientific basis to it.

Just thought you’d like to know.

Union, Yes!

The Loved One points out a spot-on speech given by Joe Stiglitz, fave son of Gary, Indiana, and a Nobel Prize laureate in economics to boot.

Stiglitz says this holy land and the world which follows it slavishly have rewarded bad guys of late (read: since the dawn of the Age of Reagan). If, Stiggy implies, you’re borderline or all-the-way sociopathic, today’s unregulated, Ayn Rand economy has a bushel-full of prizes for you.

Stiglitz

Stiglitz

He gave the speech last fall at the AFL-CIO convention in Los Angeles and Bill Moyers reprinted it (via AlterNet). Yet another reason to dig Stig: he actually speaks to unionists. Most pols and economists these days avoid them as  they would a plenary session for the North American Man-Boy Love Association. Count me in as a union guy. I’ve been a member of three unions in my life: Chicago’s municipal laborers union back in the ’70s and, later, the National Writers Union and the Newspaper Guild. W/o unions, most of us’d be walking around with only six or seven fingers and our collective lung linings would be a rich bituminous coal ebony.

Stiglitz said:

Two years ago, I wrote an article for Vanity Fair called, “Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%,” which really got to the gist of it. For too long, the hardworking and rule-abiding had seen their paychecks shrink or stay the same, while the rule-breakers raked in huge profits and wealth. It made our economy sick and our politics sick, too.

Later, he added:

We have become the advanced country with the highest level of inequality, with the greatest divide between the rich and the poor.

His conclusion? This:

One hundred and sixty five years ago, Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” We have become a house divided against itself – divided between the 99 percent and the 1 percent, between the workers and those who would exploit them. We have to reunite the house, but it won’t happen on its own.

It will only happen if workers come together. If they organize. If they unite to fight for what they know is right, in each and every workplace, in each and every community and in each and every state capital and in Washington. We have to restore not only democracy to Washington, but to the workplace.

It will only happen when workers realize that they own much of our country’s capital, through the pension funds, but that we have allowed this capital to be managed in ways that exploit workers and consumers alike.

I say You go, Joe!

Hot Air

Tomorrow, The World

Writing for this worldwide communications colossus really fetches me scads of ego strokes. I get messages from around the globe telling me things like this:

Hello, its fastidious piece of writing on the topic of media print, we all be familiar
with media is a impressive source of facts.

This accolade — all sic, natch — was posted to my comment queue at 6:50 EST this morning. So this Pencil fan is either pathologically hard-working or she lives on the other side of the planet. I have no idea where she comes from — Moldova, perhaps, or The Gambia — so I can’t really describe her as a Pencillista (we are awfully exclusive, darling). I know she’s a she because her email address indicates her name is Jewel. Maybe she’s the Jewel, you know, the briefly torrid singer-songwriter from the ’90s? Then again, I’d guess the Jewel would have a better command of the English language considering she comes from Alaska. (Then again, again, there is the matter of Sarah Palin, but anyway.)

Jewel

A Fan?

Well, welcome — sorta — to the club, Jewel. And I promise to continue to put out fastidious pieces of writing.

Dig Deep

Cleveland Dietz II, WFHB CinC, has announced the hiring of a development director for the community radio operation.

Dorothy Granger will now be tasked with digging up enough dough to pay the multi-million-dollar salaries of luminaries such as Music Director Jim Manion and News Director Alycin Bektesh. WFHB’s revenues have been flat the last couple of years. Volunteers and staffers have stood on their heads to keep the take from the last few annual fundraisers at a steady level.

Granger

Dorothy Granger

Granger, meanwhile has been raising cash for a variety of orgs. and assns. She also serves on the City Council, representing Bloomington’s District II. Here’s her official city bio:

Dorothy Granger has worn many hats over the years — researcher, educator, higher education administrator, director of non-profit agencies, fundraiser, quilter. She is the mother of a teenager and active in her attempts to encourage and support citizen participation. She was most recently the Director of Development for Planned Parenthood of Indiana and previous to that, the Executive Director of Girls Incorporated of Monroe County. While “new” to the Bloomington political scene, she was actively engaged in her younger days, rallying and fighting for the ERA.

Now, all she has to do is get some of our town’s big wheels to fork over some real green for community radio.

That Tears It

So, a former Muncie woman yesterday was convicted, essentially, of trying to tear her on-again, off-again boyfriend’s balls off.

Christina Reber was found guilty of battery resulting in serious bodily injury. She faces four years in the Indiana state joint now.

Reber has never denied trying to rip her 59-y-o consort’s jewels from their pouch. Acc’d’g to this morning’s Indy Star, Reber grabbed the man’s wrinkle purse and proceeded to pull hard enough to rip the skin and flesh so badly the man had to undergo reconstructive plastic surgery. The Star quoted the man — who was unnamed in the story — as saying, “It was excruciating. I was close to blacking out. I felt tearing.”

[At this point, all males reading this are gasping for breath and trying to get their body hair to lay flat again.]

Mugshot

Don’t Mess With Chris

This is all well and good but Reber has maintained all along she tried to give the love of her life a shorthair cut because he’d become violent himself during an argument. Apparently, he’d recently broken off with her and she marched over to his house to tell him precisely what she thought about his decision.

Not much, I guess.

[Take a good look at her mugshot, above. Tell me she doesn't look like someone who'd say, "You keep that up and I'll tear your balls right off. I mean it."]

Some kind of struggle ensued. He says Reber grabbed his trouser boys for no good reason at all. Reber says he was bullying her so she resorted to the attempted involuntary neutering.

Natch, he sez-she sez is a risky game to play. Most sane souls choose to keep clear of such contretemps. Judge Marianne Vorhees, OTOH, is required by law to pick sides and she went with the party with the ripped scrotum. He’s the one with the surgical scar, after all, while Reber sports no mementos of their tiff.

I suppose I can’t blame the judge but four years seems awfully harsh. I just wonder if, say, the man had busted Reber’s jaw he would get four years room and board. For that matter would any man who busts the jaw of his ever-loving’ best gal in the Hoosier state earn himself a four-spot?

I certainly hope so.

Hot Air

Hard Work Doesn’t Pay

Running a racist society takes a lot of work. Hard work. You’ve got to hand it to the folks who’ve marginalized and demonized people who are brown, black, or even slightly tanned after the company picnic last weekend.

Hell, not only do they have to crush the hopes and dreams of an entire segment of the population, they have to keep them docile while they do it. Then times change and next thing they know they have to pretend they’d never intended to keep those people down. In fact, they must holler to high heaven that no one is so near and dear to them as (pick one) the red man, the black man, the brown man, the yellow man, or — if they’re trying to appear particularly open-minded — the woman of any dusky hue.

In any good, progressive society wherein the appearance (if not the reality) of racism is frowned upon, leaders must work overtime to assuage their consciences and convince the general pop. that — horrors! — de facto disenfranchisement is the last thing they’d want. Even if it is an article of faith among many leaders that a lot of dark people don’t particularly care to work.

Sometimes all that hard work can lead to unforeseen problems.

Take, for instance, that ugly child molestation ring authorities in the United Kingdom announced they’d cracked yesterday.

Allegedly, a group of men conspired to abduct, rape, beat, and traffic upwards of 1400 kids, some as young as 11, acc’d’g to an inquiry commissioned by the Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council. The men had been engaged in this pastime at least since 1997.

Prof. Alexis Jay, author of the inquiry’s report, wrote, “It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered.”

Alexis Jay

Prof. Jay Searches For The Words

Now you may ask how this gang got away with it for so long. After all, 1400 youngster gone missing might tend to raise an eyebrow or two even if the mass snatching took place over more than a decade and a half. The Rotherham report actually acknowledges that upper-level police officials and many elected officials had heard about the scheme but declined to take action for a variety of reasons including disbelief, institutional inertia, and indifference. (The report did not mention anything about officials partaking of the services of the ring so neither will I.)

One significant reason why authorities looked the other way as the men threatened kids with guns, forced them to watch rapes to intimidate them, and snatched their innocence from them was the fear of being labeled “racist.”

Huh?

Yep. The men in the ring were described in the report as “Asian.” NPR reported yesterday they are Pakistanis. Here’s how the report explains things:

Several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought as racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so.

See, maintaining a veneer of kumbaya trumps a little child rape, you know. Families torn asunder, lives ruined, the standards of civilized society pissed upon with glee — none of these things were as pressing as the need to appear not racist.

No doubt the functionaries who turned a blind eye to this mess will be criticized, fired, perhaps even prosecuted. It’s a damned shame. Doesn’t anybody want to reward hard work anymore?

Please Police Me

It’s high time we realize we’ve got a bit of an unrecognized treasure here in Bloomington.

Doug Storm hosts a fab talk show called Interchange on WFHB radio. On it, he delves deeper into issues than any other ten gabfests put together. Take last night, for instance.

Storm corralled Monroe County Sheriff Jim Kennedy as well as University of Wisconsin-Whitewater sociology prof Greg Jeffers. The three (Storm incl.) hashed out what we want from the police , especially in light of the ongoing and decades-long militarization of local police forces. The Q., as Storm posed it, is Do we want officers of the law or of the peace?

Kennedy

Sheriff Kennedy

It’s not the first time Storm has tackled the eggshell issue of policing America. He has links to previous shows on his program webpage.

Go here to hear the program. And try to catch it live whenever you can.

Me, Yelling At Clouds

I’m going to pose a question here, one that I’ve been asking for a good decade or more. And still I haven’t gotten a satisfactory answer.

Who is everyone talking to on their cell phones?

This puzzlement first came to me when I’d be driving early in the morning back in Chi. around 2003 and 2004. I’d see scads of people yakking on their phones even though the sun had barely risen. I’d be behind a driver for a couple of miles on Pulaski Avenue, say, and all the while she’d be pressing her phone to her ear. Believe me, driving a couple of miles on Pulaski during morning rush hour can take anywhere from a day and a half to three weeks. Yet all that time, the driver ahead of me would be conversing.

With whom? About what?

And Why?

From "The Simpsons"

I loathe humanity in the morning. If I had my finger on the nuclear button a 7:45am, the Earth would be a burned-out cinder. Hell, if my mother’d called me that early in the morning to tell me she loved me and that I was the jewel among all her children, I’d have hung up on her.

Morning is for misanthropy and coffee, in that order.

Yet there people were, chit-chatting away.

And, then as now, they’d do it all day long.

Even after my coffee, my tolerance for my fellow humans only rises slightly.

There was a time when I imagined a lot of people with phones pressed to their ears while in their cars, walking down the street, waiting in line at the grocery, or while ordering lunch might be engaging in something wholesome and constructive — phone sex, perhaps. Husbands, wives, lovers of any sort, even those who hadn’t yet crossed the nudity threshold in their nascent affairs, all of them titillating each other via Verizon — that I could understand.

I’ve spent many an hour (back when I was a randy oats-sower) asking the person on the other end of the line what color nail polish she was wearing. The mind, mind you, is the most powerful sex organ any of us possesses.

Phone sex is so 1999, though. (Too bad, I might add.) The looks on people’s faces as they gab indicates nothing so scintillating as aural eroticism is going on.

Unless you’re talking a fellow neurosurgeon through a Novalis® Shaped Beam Surgery procedure on the brain of the President of the United States or you’re inducing tumescence of one sort or another in that special someone, what is so important that you must be on the phone all day long?

Beam Surgery

So, What Do I Do Next?

You should thank me for not asking about all those people texting.

 

Hot Air

Faster, Pussycat

You want further proof this holy land is becoming more deranged by the nanosecond? Okay, you’ve got it.

A report on NPR’s Morning Edition today reveals that sales of breakfast cereals have been off the last few years. In fact, trade in sugar-coated sugar cubes upon which aficionados sprinkle sugar before adding their milk have been dropping since cereal’s high-water mark in 1996. (Which, BTW, was the heyday of the sitcom, Seinfeld. In case you’ve forgotten, Jerry was noted for keeping an enviable stash of breakfast cereals in his kitchen cupboard. Coincidence? I think not.)

From "Seinfeld"

Seinfeld And His Cereals

Anyway, people apparently are shying away from breakfast cereals — either the aforementioned glucose bombs or the less hyperglycemic varieties — because…, swear to god, I can hardly believe what I’m typing…, it takes to long to make a goddamned bowl of cereal.

What are we all, firemen? Honest to the Big Daddy-o in the Sky, who in this crazy, mixed-up world is in too much of a hurry to pour out a bowl of Count Chocula? A crystal meth addict?

BTW: in researching Count Chocula for this entry, I learned that its sister cereal, Frankenberry, was responsible for a condition known as, well, Frankenberry Stool. That is, certain kids who slurped that slop were physically unable to break down the dye used in it, so their daily deuces (AKA feces) emerged a rich carmine. Chemistry, my friends, can brighten up your world.

Frankenberry

“Red Is The Ultimate Cure For Sadness.” — Bill Blass

Pluckin’ And A’picnickin’

Whaddya doing Sunday night? Huh? You don’t know?

Silly.

Everybody who’s anybody will be parked out in front of the Bryan Park bandshell to take in the annual outdoor performance of Krista Detor, backed up by her boy band including hubby David Weber, Steve Mascari, and Tim Moore. The yearly Detor outdoor gig is the best excuse on the planet to lay out a blanket and open up the pick-a-nick basket in the South Central Indiana e’en.

Detor

Krista Detor

The shindig is part of an action-packed end-of-summer month for this world class hamlet. The 6:30pm Detor show serves as the unofficial coda for the 4th Street Festival of the Arts & Crafts, which will have just wrapped up at that time some half a mile north of the bandshell. And just as soon as locals recover from those two bashes, the 2014 Lotus World Music & Arts Festival kicks off less than three weeks later.

Time for a shameless plug: Krista Detor’s book/CD, Flat Earth Diary, is on sale now at the Book Corner. Twenty two bucks, babies — as Alfred E. Neuman used to say, cheap.

Check, Mate

So, news has emerged that a large fellow who this year will earn more money than you or I will ever see in our lifetimes because of his ability to prevent other large fellows from catching a football received a $15 million bonus check on July 29th — and he hasn’t cashed it yet!

Patrick Peterson, defensive back for the Arizona Cardinals, got the check when he signed his five-year, $70million contract extension with the NFL team that day. And now it’s been nearly a month and it’s still sitting, presumably, on the passenger seat of his SUV.

Peterson

Payee Peterson

Sheesh. I think of the times I copped $25 checks for stories that’d taken me a week to write and cashing them so fast that I doubt if I left any fingerprints on them. Then again, I have no idea how to prevent a large fellow from catching a football.

Citizen Journos

Kudos to big boss Alycin Bektesh over at the WFHB News Department. She’s conjured a 21st Century solution to an age-old problem at the volunteer scoop shop. She calls it the Wordy 30 Club.

One of the biggest problems Bektesh faces is a dearth of vols to fully staff the Monday-through-Friday news writing shifts at the Firehouse Broadcasting outlet. She and her ass’t, Joe Crawford, have had to pen Daily Local News scripts too many times to count of late. This is especially so in summer when Indiana University journalism students are off for the summer, thereby whittling down the vol pool. Most days in June and July, Bektesh can practice firing off her cannon in the ‘FHB newsroom and not worry she’ll hit anybody.

WFHB

The Wordy 30 ought to remedy that. The way it works is Alycin and Joe will curate a list of news leads that will be available to any volunteer at, well, any place on Earth. All the vols need are their computers or other hand-held devices and they can pick and choose, say, three news leads, then proceed to write headlines or what we in the biz like to call “readers.” These are quick, concise news bits that don’t really deserve the full Woodward/Bernstein treatment but may well be of interest or use to listeners.

Each Wordy 30 shift will last — yep — 30 minutes. Perfect for our fast-paced, short-att’n-span world, nay?

I can see the Daily Local News becoming much more snappy and info-packed once this scheme is in full swing. Those, by the way, are two descriptors few employed in regard to the DLN in the past.

Oh, and don’t fret if your taste in news trends toward long-form, in-depth coverage. WFHB will still churn out those stories. A mix of penetrating journalism and bang-bang headlines ought to make the DLN the indispensable news source for Bloomingtonians.

Hot Air

Writing & Reading At The 4th St. Fest

The Writers Guild at Bloomington has finalized its lineup for the Spoken Word Stage at the 4th Street Festival of the Arts & Crafts. The fest — eek! where’d the summer go? — is set for Labor Day weekend, August 29th and 30th, on 4th Street from Indiana through Lincoln avenues.

Labor Day, BTW, is a week from Monday.

The Spoken Word Stage, as it has the last three years, will stand at the intersection of 4th and Dunn streets. Here are some ink-stained wretches actually pounding out Poems on Demand at last year’s fest:

Poems on Demand

WGB big boss Tony Brewer and his gang have put together an impressive group who’ll read their poetry, fiction, narration, storytelling, radio theatre pieces, and more throughout both days of the fest. Look for your favorite pen pusher or keyboard clacker here:

Saturday:

Rahn

Patsy Rahn At The Last Sunday Poetry Reading, March 2014

Kalamaras

George Kalamaras

Sunday:

Miller

Ciara Miller

If that all doesn’t fill your need for the spoken word, you’re insatiable. See you there.

 

 

Hot Air

Hive Mentality

Gawker yesterday ran a piece chiding this holy land’s worker-drones to — get this! — take their vacations.

Gawker 20140820

Egad, good heavens to Betsy, and my stars! Honestly? People have to be told to take their vacations?

The vast majority of my adult life has been given over to the avoidance of working in a corporate cubicle environment. No doubt I’d have made piles more dough had I invested in a few button-down shirts and highly shined shoes but I probably would have pulled a Robin Williams by the time I was 40. So, in exchange for a measure of financial security I gained at least a couple of decades more life. I win.

I’ve been a freelancer for some 31 years now. That means a lot of toil at home and in libraries and coffeehouses. That and a lot of pretending I’m not home when I hear a knock at the door and the rent is two weeks late. But, thank every imaginary god in the holy heavens, I’ve pretty much avoided staff meetings, team building exercises, write-ups (you know I’d get them by the fistful, don’t you?), ambitious rivals, cut-throat competition, and two-faced colleagues.

I’d take a six-year stint in debtors prison over that any day of the week.

One winter — IIRC, it was in 2001 — I was sort of blind-dated with a big time public relations firm in what was then called the IBM Building at Wabash Avenue and the river in Chicago by a mutual friend of the proprietor’s and me. Mind you, this wasn’t some River North hipster outfit that handled, say, the Pink tour or the Donnie Darko local flack campaigns. This was an operation fitting its home in the iconic, frigid, Mies Van der Rohe hyper-geometric prism of an office block. I even forget the name of the firm. In fact, I remember nothing about it save that the boss handed me a lengthy list of appearance commandments, I was told that I spoke too loudly, and my new shoes hurt.

IBM Building

Straight & Narrow

I lasted less than a week at that job. I’d sit in the building lobby before work and during my lunch hours, watching workers trundle by. None of them, it seemed, cared what they looked like other than to conform to their own companies’ appearance codes. They were pasty and doughy and their faces betrayed no emotions. They’d long ago stopped even hating their jobs mainly because, I’d guess, hating their jobs might one day cause them to quit. And god forbid they couldn’t buy that new Dodge Caravan they’d been looking at the last few months. It’d been the only thing they’d lusted after since college.

I concluded that week that people who “thrived” in that environment had an ability I lacked — to deny their very humanness. They were the sexless, soulless office hordes* and they scared the bejesus out of me.

Really, I don’t know why they should have scared me. I suppose I was worried I’d be seduced by their “security,” and their benefits — things as far from my possession at that time as, say, the Terra Cotta Warriors might be. But even then I knew know matter how much I might want “security” and the option to get a broken arm set without putting myself in years-long debt would not be motivation enough to join the ranks of the *SSOH.

I’d never be pasty and doughy enough.

These are the folks, we all know now, who eat their lunches at their desks and are too skittish about their places in their respective companies to take the vacations they’re owed. They come in early and leave late. They make no waves. They ask no questions. And when the boss says we’ve all got to pull together and work harder, they know it means they’ll be working Saturdays for the foreseeable future.

They’ve basically pissed away most of the advancements labor unions sacrificed for in the century before them.

And they’re the folks the Gawker writer was addressing yesterday, the ones he called idiots. He writes:

Even though Americans say they enjoy their vacations, they also say that they worry about whether their job will get done correctly in their absence, and they worry about being seen as lazy or easily replaceable at work, and they worry that their boss is sending subtle signals that it would be better not to take time off.

The writer tells us some 41 percent of Americans don’t take all their vacation days. Let me repeat: nearly half the citizens of this great nation don’t take all the time off work they have coming to them. Calling them idiots is being charitable toward them to a saintly degree.

He lectures:

That job don’t love you. That job is not your friend. That job is not looking out for you. That job is a machine in which you are a cog. That job has no human feelings. That job is interested only in sucking you for every last ounce of labor that you are physically capable of producing before you pass out.

But I think the *SSOH know that already. They’d quit in a heartbeat if that Dodge Caravan wasn’t so sexy.

Dodge Caravan

I Want You, Baby

Take The Ferguson Interchange

It figures Doug Storm would devote an entire hour of his Interchange program on WFHB to the goings-on in Ferguson, Missouri.

Storm hosts Jeannine Bell, a professor at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law, and Valerie Grim, professor and chair of IU’s African-American and African Diaspora Studies department. They’re a couple of heavyweights in the fields of law and the black experience in America. The beauty of Storm’s program is it doesn’t pander to any phony-baloney notion of “balance” — say, by inviting some white rep of the system that allows caucasian cops to gun down unarmed young black men while treating armed white loons with kid gloves.

Bell/Grim

IU’s Bell & Grim

Check the podcast of Storm’s show. It’s an eye-opener, as always.

Clickety-Clack

Allow me to be a nudge here for a minute.

Make sure to click on the link highlighting the words kid gloves in the above entry. Well, here: I’ll give you the link again.

It’s a list of “10 Armed White Men Who Did Not Die by the Police.”

In case you haven’t been paying attention to things these last 150 years or so, America’s cops have gently, patiently, and peaceably apprehended men and women who’ve brandished and fired off bombs, rockets, pistols, long guns and any other deadly weapon you can imagine time after time.

All the above are or were white.

Among them are people who’ve shot at citizens, police, buildings, and into the blue sky. Among them are people who actually shot people, citizens and cops alike. Among them are people who’ve stood up to the federal government and dared the authorities to apprehend them for crimes they’ve committed. Among them are people who have brought automatic weapons into crowded public places just because they could, regardless of the fear and panic they’ve caused.

The list’s author tells of a man who committed a home invasion, robbed the place, and shot the house up as he fled, shot at numerous innocent people he passed as he ran, was cornered by the cops and told to drop his weapon after taking aim at them, but replied, “No, you drop your fuckin’ gun!” The police eventually disarmed and arrested him.

The author writes:

Had he been black: Six feet under by the time he said, “No, yo-.” Burial and all.

And, of course, we know that when a black young man without a gun dares to wrestle with a cop, he can expect to get shot full of more holes than an uncut wheel of Swiss cheese.

Brown Autopsy

Coroner’s Sketch Of Michael Brown’s Wounds

A number of white people in the last few days have expressed support for the Ferguson police officer who did not gently, patiently, and peaceably apprehend Michael Brown. They say he is a hero.

They hope, apparently, he can return to his job so that he might, if called upon, capture a dangerous, armed white man who has fired at innocent people and threatened police. With god’s help, the officer might capture that man alive.

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