Category Archives: Blogosphere

Open Thread for Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The most memorable image of the Reagan assassination attempt. In part, I recall it as the first time I ever saw an Uzi.

The most memorable image of the Reagan assassination attempt. In part, I recall it as the first time I ever saw an Uzi.

Let’s look at some headlines before the convention evening gets rolling:

  1. Trump urges Russia to interfere (again) in U.S. politics — Yet another thing that, taken all by itself, would sink the hopes of any candidate in any normal election year. But watch — it won’t slow down Trump? Why? Because anyone who would consider voting for him doesn’t understand how outrageous what he said is.
  2. Prison minister, family vouch for serial Columbia child molester’s freedom — Do you think a child molester should ever, EVER be free again? This is a crime that tests my opposition to the death penalty, that makes one almost doubt the wisdom of the Constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Seems like the very least we could do is make sure such people are never in a position to get near a child again…
  3. Man Who Tried to Kill Reagan in 1981 Will Be Released — I’d let this guy go before I’d let a child molester go. Which is moot, because I wouldn’t have let this guy go, either.
  4. All Charges Dropped Against Officers in Freddie Gray Case — Not sure what to say aside from the fact that this seems a logical outcome based on what I’ve heard about the evidence in the case. It’s ironic — there have been some truly horrific cases in which cops have wrongly shot black men. The case in North Charleston comes to mind. But the weird thing is, two of the cases that initially launched Black Lives Matter were based on protesters leaping to shaky conclusions.
  5. How Tim Kaine Went From City Council To Vice Presidential Candidate — Tonight will be our first good look at the guy who will be vice president unless the majority of voters really do go stark raving mad in November.

Open Thread for Monday, July 25, 2016

WAY better than watching political conventions...

WAY better than watching political conventions…

If you’re wondering “Where’s Brad?,” I’m on holiday, as our friends who recently exited Europe would say. And it’s kind of a hassle to find a table near an electrical plug and crank the laptop up. Hard enough even glancing over essential email, much less write.

But there are topics that need addressing:

  1. President Trump? — Nate Silver is trying to terrify us, and succeeding. A 57.5 percent chance that Donald Trump will become president of THESE United States, not the United States on the Bizarro World. I hereby delegate it to all of y’all to freak out (as I see some of you have been doing already) for me, as I am, as previously mentioned, on holiday.
  2. Wikileaks hates America even more than we thought — We knew Assange was all about damaging the United States any way he could, but this DNC thing, with this timing, apparently in League with Trump buddy and Snowden protector Vladimir Putin, is the most diabolical attempt to sabotage this country’s electoral processes ever. I cannot imagine anything more evil than trying to rig the American election so that Donald Trump wins. Oh, as for the substance of the leaks — well, I would certainly hope the Democratic National Committee was rooting for the only Democrat who was seeking the party’s nomination. Wouldn’t you?
  3. Sanders supporters need to grow the ____ up — Of course, the implied word there is “heck.” Seriously, booing every mention of Clinton on the first day of the convention? OK, so now the list of people who have swung to the Trump camp includes Wikileaks, Putin, Russian hackers… and Sanders supporter.
  4. The convention itself — I hear that the schedule for tonight features speeches by Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. So, there’s probably not going to be a lot that I want to hear. And did I mention that I’m on holiday? But my wife and son have already tuned one of the house’s TVs to the thing, and I don’t suppose I’ll manage to miss all of it. If that’s the case, then you’ll see comments from me on Twitter. But for the moment, I’m going to slip into another room and see what my grandchildren are doing. I never find anything they have to say offensive…

Open Thread for Friday, July 22, 2016

I like the Reuters image The Atlantic used with their report.

I like the Reuters image The Atlantic used with their report.

I realize that at this hour on a Friday I won’t have a lot of takers, but here goes:

  1. Shooting Kills 6 in Munich; City Shuts Transit to Hunt Gunmen — So not ALL mass shootings occur in this country. It’s interesting — it’s harder to get guns in Europe, yet otherwise it seems easier for terrorists to operate.
  2. “I Alone Can Fix It.” — Here’s a place for y’all to comment on the speech last night by the Great and Powerful Oz. Here’s what his team did for that speech: They took all the stuff he likes to say, and wrote it into complete sentences. Same crazy, but more coherent. Amazingly, he actually read it. For more observations from me, go to Twitter and scroll down to last night’s stuff.
  3. Clinton is getting ready to pick Kaine as her VP … we think — I hope that’s right. He seems the best of the lot in the short list.
  4. My name is Michael Caine … actor changes name due to Isis — I love this. His real name is Maurice Micklewhite, but airport security people refused to believe that, so he’s legally changing to his stage name.

Virtual Front Page for Thursday, July 21, 2016

Got that T-90 fueled up and ready to roll? http://vitalykuzmin.net

Got that T-90 fueled up and ready to roll? http://vitalykuzmin.net

The big stories at this hour:

  1. Trump says US may abandon automatic protections for NATO countries (BBC) — WOW. In other news, the United States of America is changing its name to Country That Ran Out On the Whole World. He’s got great timing, doesn’t he? He says this the week of the convention, on the eve of his acceptance speech? And you know what? His supporters will go, “What’s the big deal?” Yo, Putin! Your BFF’s planning to lower the gates for you; are the tanks fueled up? Go ahead and roll into the Baltics, unless you want to finish Ukraine first. Your call…
  2. 10 Brazilians Arrested, Accused Of Plotting Terrorist Attack On Rio Olympics (NPR) — I hope they got all of them.
  3. Cruz digs in on refusal to back Trump (WashPost) — Even though, also according to the Post, he’s paying a price for snubbing him. Big deal. This isn’t about 2016 for Cruz; it’s about 2020, 2024… You see, he may look like Grandpa Munster, but he’s ridiculously young. Someone on the radio today noted that in 2036, Cruz will still be younger than Hillary Clinton is now. There’s something to keep you up nights: Ti-i-i-ime, it’s on his side….
  4. Inmate killed at Lieber Correctional Institution (The State) — Here we go again. Remember the one the other day? The chickens are coming home to roost in our underfunded, neglected prison system.
  5. Ailes Resigns as Head of Fox News; Murdoch to Step In (WSJ) — Wait — hadn’t that horndoq quit before now?
  6. Game of Thrones: Republicans hate it, Democrats love it – supposedly (The Guardian) — Consequently, at a critical moment — Cersei seizing the Iron Throne; the Khaleesi on her way across the water, Winter really, really about to come — the burning issues of Westeros are being woefully neglected at that convention in Cleveland.
And the Republicans don't even CARE...

And the Republicans don’t even CARE…

Today, I’ll just cheat and post my Tweets from the RNC last night

Sorry, I just don’t have time to write a separate post.

Here are some Tweets from last night. You may find some worth responding to. Otherwise, treat this as an Open Thread…

While Ted Cruz was talking:

I think this is during Eric Trump’s speech:

This was Callista Gingrich:

Finally, Mike Pence:

A postscript from Bryan:

Open Thread for Monday, July 18, 2016

We may not be seeing one of THESE waving at the Olympics...

We may not be seeing one of THESE waving at the Olympics…

I’d make it a VFP, but I don’t see a good lede out there. And since I no longer have to publish a front page everyday regardless of whether there is real news, I won’t…

  1. Brief chaos as anti-Trump delegates are rebuffed — Or, as The Fix put it, The GOP just had a nightmare moment on the convention floor. Here’s the problem with that — the Post and other media keep documenting these things that would sink any other candidate in the history of the country, and it fazes Trump not one wit, because his supporters neither know nor care how things are supposed to go.
  2. McMaster to give nominating speech for Trump at RNC — Oh, Henry! Whatever did we do, for you to shame us so…
  3. Baton Rouge Officers Were ‘Definitely Ambushed’ — Do these outrages cease to be news at some point?
  4. ‘Many hurt by axeman’ on German train — But none killed because, you see, he didn’t have a gun. Hint, hint.
  5. Russia may be banned from Rio Olympics over state-sponsored doping — Seriously, Putin’s Russia just doesn’t care about rules. Maybe that’s what Trump admires about him.

 

Who cares who Trump’s running mate is?

I got a bit irked at a Tweet from Lindsey Graham last night:

I should have said, “as the senator well knows.” Lindsey Graham, more than any other Republican with the possible exception of Ben Sasse or Mitt Romney, has eloquently articulated the reasons why Trump is unthinkable.

So why this ridiculous reaching for straws to make him feel better about the ticket? The most wonderful running mate in the history of the world wouldn’t change the fact that if elected, he or she would hold an office worth no more than a bucket of warm spit, while He Who Should Not be Named would be President of the United States.

Such an effort to find good things to say about the ticket on the part of Republicans who know better is unseemly in the extreme.

The identity of the running mate is a distraction, a digression, and no one who knows what a threat Donald Trump is to the nation should indulge in it for an instant.Mike Pence

By the way, Trump confirmed a few moments ago that the individual in question is Mike Pence, governor of Indiana.

Like I care.

OK, I’ll say one thing about him: I have a low opinion of anyone who would abandon the people of Indiana to help Donald Trump get elected. That cancels pretty much anything positive he might conceivably bring with him…

Fire Department’s social media flap has gotten out of hand

19th century --- by Raffet --- Image by © Gianni Dagli Orti/CORBIS

19th century — by Raffet — Image by © Gianni Dagli Orti/CORBIS

This is getting to be like the French Revolution — heads are rolling everywhere, and the tumbrils keep rumbling up.

The Fire Department has now fired three people for inappropriate social media posts (while Richland County has fired a fourth).

And — and this seems more extreme than anything — it’s shutting down fire stations for fear of retaliation.

This has really gotten out of hand.

I wonder — if Chief Aubrey Jenkins and other city officials had known there would be these other cases coming down the pike, would they have fired the first guy? Now there’s this precedent, and they seem unable to stop themselves from firing one after another.

I sort of have the feeling they were thinking, “Fire this one guy, and that’s the end of the problem. Others so inclined will be forewarned.” Reckoning without the fact that others had already done likewise.

Anyway, this has gotten messy.

Meanwhile, Black Lives Matter is having a rally Saturday. Um, excuse me — didn’t they just have one? Isn’t that how all this started? Is this different groups of people calling themselves “Black Lives Matter,” or what?

It’s all a bit disorienting…

The firing of Capt. Jimmy Morris

One of the great things about the internet, or so I’m told, is that everybody can publish anything they want any time for the whole world to see, without any professional editors getting in the way.jimmy morris

One of the truly awful things about the internet, I know from experience, is that everybody can publish anything they want any time for the whole world to see, without any professional editors getting in the way.

Self-publishing amateurs sometimes wonder, is there a boundary? Is there something I might say on the Web that will get me in serious trouble? Where is that line?

As a professional editor, I can tell you that the answers are, yes, hell yes, and somewhere in Capt. Jimmy Morris’ rear-view mirror.

Morris, a 16-year Columbia Fire Department veteran, ran screaming over that boundary with this Facebook post referring to the Black Lives Matter protesters who were blocking I-126 Sunday night:

Idiots shutting down I-126. Better not be there when I get off work or there is gonna be some run over dumb asses.

Apparently having read that back over, and deeply concerned that maybe he hadn’t been quite inappropriate enough, he added this an hour later:

Public Service Announcement: If you attempt to shut down an interstate, highway, etc on my way home, you best hope I’m not one of the first vehicles in line because your ass WILL get run over! Period! That is all….

The next day, he was fired from his job with the fire department.

Let’s just leave race out of this for the moment (ex-Capt. Morris is white; the Black Lives Matter protesters, in case you just aren’t paying attention, are not — and the station where Morris worked is in a mostly black neighborhood). Pretend there’s no such thing as race: Who, unless he’s blind drunk or something, thinks that’s an appropriate message for a ranking public official to post about the general public?unnamed (1)

Another, tougher question: What would be the motive for that message in a world where race was not a factor? What’s the cause of all that bile?

Since we live in world that does have the problem of race, we’ve come to recognize certain types of communications that derive their flavor from that factor.

And those messages have a distinctly familiar flavor.

There’s a lot more I could say about someone in such a position who responds this way to protesters who already believe that the public-safety sector has it in for people like them.

But I’ll step back now and let y’all comment…

 

Open Thread for Monday, July 11, 2016

A few items worth discussing:

  1. Black Lives Matter protest causes road closures, police activity — I didn’t even realize it was going on until this morning. You? And what do you think? Think these things accomplish anything? I’m in one of my jaded-about-demonstrations moods. Probably a separate post.
  2. Theresa May Poised to Be Britain’s Next Prime Minister — And she doesn’t want the UK out of the EU any more than I do, or Cameron did. But it doesn’t look like we’re going to get what we want. My question is, will we ever get what we need?
  3. In bashing Trump, Ginsburg may have just crossed an important line — Wow. That was not cool, was it?
  4. Pope appoints ex-Fox News correspondent as Vatican spokesman — Whoa! This is so wrong! Nobody in the Vatican even told me there was an opening. If the fix is gonna be in, why not just hire Father Guido? That would actually be kind of cool…
Fr. Guido Sarducci

Fr. Guido Sarducci

Democratic chairman’s statement on shootings

I share this by way of starting an open thread for y’all to discuss this week’s deadly shootings — in case any of you are so inclined on a Friday:

SCDP STATEMENT ON RECENT SHOOTINGS
Columbia, SC – South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Jaime Harrison released the following statement today on the shootings that occurred this week in Baton Rouge, LA, Falcon Heights, MN, and Dallas, TX:
4b62d416-e70f-4d86-8a6b-d6d02efdbb92“My heart breaks for the families who have lost loved ones in these horrific tragedies, and I pray for a full recovery for those who sustained injuries.  We must honor them by coming together, as Lincoln said, ‘with malice toward none, with charity for all,’ to break down the barriers between us that all too often lead to needless violence.  We in South Carolina emerged from the tragic deaths of Walter Scott and the Emanuel 9 last year stronger and more united, but this week’s events remind us that we must continue to strive to make our state and our nation the beloved community that Dr. King dreamed of.  I think it is imperative that we come together not as Democrats or Republicans but as Americans.  In the coming days, I, along with several partners, will announce an event at which I hope we can continue the dialogue and share techniques to improve and strengthen the relationships between law enforcement and all communities, but specifically communities of color.”
###

Open Thread for Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Obama Afghan

The president talking about Afghanistan.

Here’s what we have at this hour:

  1. Obama alters Afghanistan exit plan, will leave 8,400 troops — I appreciate that the president is bowing to reality, rather than trying artificially to pull out before he leaves office. I don’t expect that he’ll catch too much flak for it, do you? You can watch his video announcement here.
  2. 7 Years In The Making, Report Finds British Rushed Into Iraq War — NPR — Interesting juxtaposition. It took this group seven years to conclude that the Brits “rushed” into war? And the highlights (sorry, I have no plans to read a 6,000 page, 2.6 million-word document, especially if the headlines are no more surprising than these) are things that Blair’s critics were already saying before this process started. OK, I’ve got it: Thirteen years after Tony had to make a decision, you’ve decided he was wrong…
  3. Corbyn apologises for war on behalf of Labour — The Guardian — Thanks, Jeremy, but didn’t pretty much the entire leadership of the Labour Party tell you last week that it’s time for you to go? So when, exactly, are you leaving? Meanwhile, The Guardian calls Tony Blair “unrepentant.”
  4. Outrage after video captures white Baton Rouge officer fatally shooting a black man — WashPost — This one’s a little hard to follow, but it looks pretty horrific.
  5. About Moe Baddourah’s CDV charge — The State — Yeah, I know this is old news, but we haven’t had a discussion about it yet, and I suppose we should. Also, we don’t have anything newer that’s local.
  6. Belgian Neanderthals ‘were eating each other 40,000 years ago’ — The Guardian — Presumably, English Neanderthals were not. Which is why the Brits just had to get out of the E.U. Or something.

ClintonUninditedAriailW

 

 

Open Thread for Thursday, June 30, 2016

Canadian PM Trudeau Tweeted out this selfie, which POTUS reTweeted...

Canadian PM Trudeau last night Tweeted out this selfie, which POTUS reTweeted. Anyone besides me think our modern leaders are lacking gravitas?

Well, we have one rather startling story to lead off with:

  1. Coastal Carolina wins College World Series — Wow. Not sure how this even happens. This seems to be one of those Milan, Indiana-type moments.
  2. Boris Johnson, ‘Brexit’ Leader, Won’t Run for Prime Minister — Another shocker. Makes me envy the Brits. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, right on the verge of getting his party’s nomination, Donald Trump said, “Never mind”?
  3. Who is Michael Gove? Britain’s real-life Frank Underwood — Actually, I think in the original British version, his name was Francis Urquhart.
  4. Connor Shaw released by Cleveland — How about that? Two sports stories in one day! Are y’all pumped or what?
  5. Pentagon lifts ban on transgender troops in military — Initial reports I saw on my phone said transgender folk will be allowed to serve “openly.” Made me wonder how they’d keep it a secret. Maybe they don’t have short-arm inspections in the Army any more…

Open Thread for Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Gowdy report

Some possible topics:

  1. Did you go vote? — I ask because I actually forgot this morning, and had to run back out to my part of town after lunch. Got ‘er done, though. How did it go? I think I was No. 134 to vote at about 1:30 p.m.
  2. Benghazi report finds no new evidence of wrongdoing by Clinton — This morning, I was stupid enough to click on an “EXCLUSIVE” from Fox News that said “Clinton’s admin pushed video explanation for Benghazi despite eyewitness accounts, House GOP report says.” Not noticing the “admin,” I thought it was saying they caught her doing something misleading. But it was the same old stuff — Susan Rice made a fool of herself on the Sunday shows. If you’d like to know where Gowdy’s report did fault Clinton, read this.
  3. NASA Awaits a 3-Second Beep From Jupiter — A cool space story… I like space stuff. But I miss the manned missions. Remember, we were supposed to have sent men to Jupiter 15 years ago
  4. Attack On Istanbul’s International Airport Kills At Least 10 People — Oh, wait: We don’t care in the West since it happened in a Muslim country, right?
  5. Labour MPs prepare for leadership contest after Corbyn loses confidence vote — After a huge loss in the confidence vote, he said he won’t quit. I guess this is his Bernie Sanders impersonation. But I expect they’ll sort him out soon enough.
  6. Brexit vote: Bitter exchanges in EU parliament debate — There were good bits, though, as when “A central figure in the Leave campaign, UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage, was booed, called a liar and accused of using ‘Nazi propaganda’.”

That’s it for now. I have to run go give platelets. Y’all should be going with me…

Open Thread for Monday, June 27, 2016

PM Cameron spoke out today against the huge upswing in xenophobic incidents since the Brexit vote.

PM Cameron spoke out today against the huge upswing in xenophobic incidents since the Brexit vote.

Kind of a slow news day, but let’s see what we can drum up:

  1. Don’t forget to vote tomorrow — If there are any primary runoffs in your precinct. I’ve got the solicitor runoff between Rick Hubbard and Candice Lively, and the contest between Micah Caskey and Tem Miles for Kenny Bingham’s House seat. If you want to see what’s on your local ballot, go here and enter your county, name and birth date.
  2. Inmate killed, another injured at Lee Correctional during incident — Sounds like more than an “incident” if an inmate was killed. I look forward to learning more. I’m also curious to know more about the dead man himself. His name was named Ae Kingratsaiphon. How did a guy with a name like that ending up doing a life sentence for murder in South Carolina?
  3. Justices throw out Texas abortion law — Kennedy joined the liberals to hand the “pro” side their biggest court win since 1992, in a 5-3 decision. NYT’s making a pretty huge deal about it.
  4. Graft Conviction Is Vacated for Former Virginia Governor — From what I’ve read in recent months, that sounds like it’s probably a good call.
  5. EU leaders reject informal talks with UK — I think this makes more sense than that petulant-sounding message we got the other day from E.U. leaders saying they wanted Britain to hurry up about it. This is a situation that benefits from a bit of a slowdown, I would think. But then, what do I know from European politics? Meanwhile, Britain’s credit rating has been downgraded. Nice going there, leavers.
  6. Labour MPs to hold no-confidence vote in Jeremy Corbyn — So there are some silver linings in this cloud. That’s encouraging, I think — if he’s replaced by someone a little less crazy. Yeah, it’s too much to hope for another Tony Blair, but a guy can dream, can’t he?

Open Thread for Thursday, June 23, 2016

BrexitArialW

As we wait for the votes to come in across the pond:

  1. EU referendum vote – long queues and bad weather — Apparently, we won’t learn what happened until sometime overnight. But you’ll be excited to know that I made up my mind that were I eligible to vote, I’d vote to remain. How did I decide? I Googled to see what my main man Tony Blair would do. So, that’s settled.
  2. Democrats end sit-in after chaotic 26 hours in House — Meanwhile the GOP got ticked off and went home. What was accomplished? Well, nothing, really, except for energizing the Democratic base, which eats up this sort of thing.
  3. Deadlocked justices block Obama on immigration — Notice how, while the Congress dithers and engages in symbolic actions, the judiciary actually goes out and does stuff? Not sure this is what the Framers had in mind, but this is how it works.
  4. Four more S.C. residents contract Zika virus — All were travel-related, but this is still just getting too close to home.
  5. Baltimore Officer Who Drove Freddie Gray Is Acquitted — As with Ferguson, we have another case in which what thousands of protesters just knew to be the case could not be demonstrated satisfactorily in the criminal justice system. Some dissidents will no doubt think this proves the system is rigged. To me, it demonstrates that people frequently take to the streets based on insufficient evidence.

General, you might want to spread your troops out a bit

ClevNgYWYAAMQks

Ran across this photo when the U.S. Army Tweeted it out in celebration of National Selfie Day — which apparently is a thing — earlier this week.

It shows Gen. Robert B. Abrams, commander of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, posing with some of his troops.

All I could think was that in a combat situation — and the way they’re decked out it certainly looks like a combat situation — a formation like this would be suicidal. One mortar round, and that’s it.

I’d just feel a lot better if they were spread out in a proper skirmish line.

Beyond that, it just looks ridiculous… it sort of cracked me up.

Open Thread for Monday, June 20, 2016

Let’s kick this week off, shall we?

  1. Trump to campaign manager: ‘You’re fired!’ — All those Trump fans are getting the reality TV show they voted for. There’s something backward about this, though: If the Trump campaign wanted to get rid of its greatest liability, The Donald himself would be the first to go. Meanwhile, the NYT has apparently read the WashPost‘s story about Roy Cohn’s influence on Trump, and done their own version of the story, with additional details.
  2. Cavaliers win NBA championship — For those of you who complain that we don’t have enough sports here. As Kent Babb, former sportswriter at The State (now with The Washington Post) Tweeted, “Royals … Cavs … Cubs? Ain’t nothing impossible anymore.” He neglected to mention this year’s greatest sports miracle: Leicester City winning the Premier League, with a bit of encouragement from Richard III.
  3. High Court Turns Away Challenge to Semiautomatic Gun Law — This counts as a victory for gun-control advocates, as at least this is one battle they didn’t lose. Meanwhile, Here Are The 4 Gun Proposals The Senate Is Voting On (Again).
  4. Coroner: 3-year-old dies a day after twin brother — I could hardly stand to look at this story. It’s one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen. Forgive me for sharing it, but it just cast a pall on my morning. Twins are such a blessing, as I’ve been privileged to learn. Such a loss staggers the soul. My thoughts and prayers go out to this family.
  5. The Guardian view on the EU referendum: keep connected and inclusive, not angry and isolated — Somehow, they fail to persuade. But this is fairly typical, for me, of their “leaders.” Still don’t know how I’d vote…

This just in! I’ve learned that Capt. Jack Aubrey, late of Her Majesty’s Navy, has come out for Brexit, and has given his jolly tars a pep talk urging them to vote the same:

Capt. Jack Aubrey: England is under threat of invasion [evidently a hyperbolic reference to increased immigration from EU countries], and though we be on the far side of the world, this ship is our home. This ship, is England. So it’s every hand to his rope or gun, quick’s the word and sharp’s the action. After all… Surprise is on our side.
Crew: Huzzah, huzzah!
Capt. Jack Aubrey: Do you want to see a guillotine in Piccadilly?
Crew: No!
Capt. Jack Aubrey: Want to call that raggedy-ass Napoleon your king?
Crew: No!
Capt. Jack Aubrey: You want your children to sing the “La Marseillaise?”
Crew: NO!

OK, so he’s distorting things a bit. But don’t stop him; he’s on a roll…

Watching the Brexit campaign closely, but still undecided...

Watching the Brexit campaign closely, but still undecided…

Open Thread for Friday, June 17, 2016

TrumpPressAriailW

This being Friday afternoon, practically no one will read this, but you who do can count yourselves as special:

South Carolinians observe anniversary of Emanuel AME killings — You’ve probably been hearing about it all day. Any thoughts?

  1. Russian Track and Field Team Barred From Rio Olympics — Both the NYT and WSJ are leading with this right now, so it’s a really slow news day. With the Russians, isn’t this kind of a dog-bites-man thing? Or am I thinking of the East Germans?
  2. Dozens of GOP delegates launch new push to halt Donald Trump — Very een-ter-resting. Also interesting is that the WashPost’s top three stories are about Trump, so getting barred from his campaign hasn’t cramped their style at all. The lede is about his business ties to Russia, which casts a new light on his cozying up to Putin. The third is about Trump’s long-standing relationship with the late Roy Cohn, who the story says “showed Trump how to exploit power and instill fear through a simple formula: attack, counterattack and never apologize.”
  3. Jo Cox

    Jo Cox

    Jo Cox killing: suspect’s far-right links a ‘priority line of inquiry’ — Everything, including politics, stands still when one person gets shot in Britain. Because unlike in certain countries we know and love, it seldom happens there. Guess why? Of course, she was an MP, so there’s that.

  4. Suspect who allegedly shot at car with five victims inside turns himself into police — So how did he do that? Was it magic — did he actually become a police, or did he merely put on a cop costume so that everyone thought he had turned himself into police? I like the Baltimore-style use of “police” to refer to an individual, like on “The Wire.” You know, like when McNulty or somebody said, “You’re a good police.”

A gram is better than a damn, ma’am

Soma ad

Sometimes Google Adsense makes, well, sense — such as the Ancestry.com ad I’m seeing in the rail at right — I’ve really been into building my family tree lately.

Sometimes I am mystified. That’s the case with the “Soma” ad you see above.

Doubly mystified. To me, “Soma” means:

  1. The therapeutic and recreational drug of choice in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, where “A gramme is better than a damn” is axiomatic. It is used to keep people in that creepy utopia from feeling disagreeable emotions. Life is tough? Take a soma holiday!
  2. The muscle relaxer I have used at times over the years — generic name “carisoprodol.”

I don’t associate it with ladies in swimsuits. But apparently, that’s a thing now.

I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s that their products are meant to fit women’s physical forms, since “soma” means “the body as distinct from the soul, mind, or psyche.” You know, as in “psychosomatic.”

But it caught my eye…

Soma