Lazy Saturday Reads: No News but Bad News


Good Morning!!

Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t find much new and or interesting to write about this morning. Sure, some things are happening out there; but I can’t seem to find anything to get excited about.

An Egyptian court has decided that former president Hosni Mubarak was wrongly convicted of murder back in 2011. You can read about it in the NPR summary of several reports on the case.

British prime minister David Cameron gave an anti-immigration speech and said that if he’s reelected, he’ll stop immigrants from getting any government benefits until they’ve been in the UK for four years. Read all about it at the NYT.

Ferguson protesters closed down a mall yesterday.

(Reuters) – Demonstrators shut down a shopping mall near Ferguson, Missouri, at the start of the holiday shopping season on Friday as protests over the killing of an unarmed black teen by a white police officer turned against some retailers around the country.

After a mostly quiet Thanksgiving Day, protesters were out in force again on Friday to decry Monday’s decision by a grand jury not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb.

At locations around the country, protesters said they were encouraging a boycott of Black Friday to highlight the purchasing power of black Americans and to draw links between economic inequality and racial inequality.

Read more at Reuters.


Two men in Austin and Chicago went nuts and shot buildings and people.

CultureMap Houston: Gunman rampaging through downtown Austin killed in hero horse cop confrontation after more than 100 shots

A suspected gunman is dead after a rampage through downtown Austin on Friday morning that left more than 100 rounds in the U.S. Federal Courthouse, the Consulate General of Mexico, a BB&T Bank and the Austin Police Department headquarters.

Though the investigation, which is led by FBI Special Agent Dan Powers and Austin Police Department, is still ongoing, APD Police Chief Art Acevedo gave a press conference to elaborate on the timeline of events. Beginning at 2:22 am, emergency dispatchers started receiving reports of a gunman in the vicinity of the Federal Courthouse near Fourth and Nueces streets. These were corroborated by patrol officers who also reported hearing gunfire in the area.

At 2:24 am, APD received more reports of gunfire from a possible automatic weapon. This was followed five minutes later at 2:29 am with a report of shots fired at the Mexican Consulate on Baylor Street near West Fifth Street. A later investigation found what Acevedo described as a “small, green cylinder” had been set on fire near the consulate. It was extinguished and did minimal damage to the building.

At 2:32 am, Austin Police Department headquarters came under fire. “An Austin police sergeant who was in process of loading horses from mounted patrol saw the gunman and heard gunfire,” said Acevedo. At 2:33 am, the sergeant, a 15-year veteran of the force, returned gunfire and the suspect was killed. Acevedo said it was unclear if the bullet that killed the suspect was from the officer’s gun or if it was self-inflicted.

The shooter has been identified as 49-year-old Larry Steven McQuilliams. Read more at WFAA Channel 8.


WGN TV Chicago: Nordstrom closed Saturday after fatal shooting on Mag Mile.

A Nordstrom employee is in critical condition after being shot in what Chicago police are calling a domestic related-shooting inside Nordstrom at 55 E. Grand Avenue.

The shooting happened at about 8:20 p.m. Friday night in the North Bridge Shops in the busy shopping area along the Mag Mile.

Police say the man was targeting his “girlfriend or ex-girlfriend,” who was a seasonal employee at the department store.

Oddly, the story says the man had tried to get a restraining order against the woman for stalking. The shooter, who killed himself, and the woman he shot don’t seem to have been identified yet.

There will probably be many more such shootings, because the FBI is reporting record-breaking Black Friday gun sales.

insane news1

Then there are the maddening stories that make me want to run out into the street screaming and pulling my hair out.

As has been long predicted, Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension for knocking out his then-girlfriend, now wife, Janay, has been overturned by a judge, and he is now free to sign with any NFL team. From The Boston Globe: Ray Rice didn’t mislead NFL, ruling states.

Barbara Jones, a former US District judge who was appointed as an independent arbitrator for the case, overturned Rice’s indefinite suspension from the NFL and reinstated him immediately, calling the punishment “an abuse of discretion” in her written ruling.

Rice was first suspended in July for punching his then-fiancee (now wife) in an Atlantic City elevator in a February incident, rendering her unconscious. When the celebrity news website TMZ obtained and released a video of the incident from inside the elevator on Sept. 8, the Ravens cut Rice, and Goodell suspended him indefinitely.

The NFL justified the harsher penalty by claiming Rice was “ambiguous” in his description of the episode when he met with Goodell and NFL officials on June 16, and that the TMZ video showed “a starkly different sequence of events.”

The judge found that Goodell lied (no surprise) and that he had known all along exactly what happened. He just didn’t care about what Rice had done until the public outrage began.

So now NFL teams will have to decide whether they want to sign Rice and deal with more public outrage. Or maybe there won’t be any public outrage, who knows? And the problem of “domestic violence” in the NFL will continue as before.


Rudy Giuliani has been “on a tear since Sunday.” From TPM: Rudy Giuliani Uses Ferguson To Take His Race Baiting To Whole New Level.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has been on a tear since Sunday, turning himself into a B storyline as he offers what you might call unvarnished takes on race and crime in America amid the tension in Ferguson, Mo. It started with a “Meet The Press” panel, when he told a black panelist that white police officers wouldn’t be in black communities if “you weren’t killing each other.”

And he hasn’t let up while a grand jury has decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in Michael Brown’s shooting and heated protests have followed….

First, Giuliani said Sunday that black-on-black crime was “the reason for the heavy police presence in the black community.

“White police officers won’t be there if you weren’t killing each other 70 percent of the time,” he said to a fellow “Meet the Press” guest, Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson, who is black.

He didn’t back down from that position either, rather diving even fuller into the ills of black-on-black crime the next day.

“The danger to a black child in America is not a white police officer. That’s going to happen less than one percent of the time,” Giuliani said Monday on Fox News. “The danger to a black child — if it was my child — the danger is another black.”

He then referenced the reduction in crime during his time as mayor.

“I used to look at our crime reduction, and the reason we reduced homicide by 65 percent is because we reduced it in the black community,” he said. “Because there is virtually no homicide in the white community.”

Then after the news of no indictment for Wilson and resulting protests that turned violent, Giuliani went on CNN on Tuesday to talk about “racial arsonists” and the need for the black community to be “trained.”

The whole story is a must-read. IMO, Giuliani should be locked in a rubber room for the good of polite society.

Then there are the usual pieces about right wing nuts doing crazy things, like this one from Raw Story: Science-hating homeschool mom sued for defamation in ongoing library porn flap. I’m feeling so stressed out that I’m having difficulty making sense of this one.

Megan Fox, a blogger for PJ Media and YouTube commentator, has aggressively campaigned for more than a year to change library policies in Orland Park after she and an associate claimed they saw men viewing porn at the public library.

She and Kevin DuJan — who promotes conspiracy theories about President Barack Obama’s birthplace, drug use, andsexual history — have filed hundreds of Freedom of Information Act requests on library policies and employees.

They have also filed at least 34 complaints with the Illinois attorney general alleging transparency law violations by library staffers.

Fox and DuJan have written numerous blog and social media posts and posted videos of themselves hounding library employees for information.


This harassment has cost the library an arm and a leg, and is driving library employees crazy, so they have gone to court.

Bridget Bittman….the library marketing and public relations coordinator, has sued Fox, DuJan, two other associates — Dan Kleinman and Adam Andrzejewski – and the activist organization For the Good of Illinois last month in U.S. District Court.

She claims the plaintiffs – none of whom live in Orland Park – have made numerous and intentionally defamatory statementsabout her as part of their efforts to limit access to pornography at the public library.

More at the link.

So . . . there are some things happening, but nothing that seems like real news to me. What about you? Are you following any stories, or are you just recovering from Thanksgiving? The good news is that the first of the three end-of-year holidays is over and there are only two more to go before we can return to ordinary life and welcome a Republican Senate in January.

Have a nice weekend, Sky Dancers! I think I’m going to spend it reading a good book.




17 Comments on “Lazy Saturday Reads: No News but Bad News”

  1. janicen says:

    We have gained so little ground when it comes to recognizing our own bigotry. The reactions to the Ferguson protests and other examples of bigotry just astonish me. I’ve read so many comments like, “Why do they have to riot, etc…?” as if someone who has not felt the sting of bigotry should get to dictate how the wronged person should react. Jacqueline Woodson, the author who was the target of a hilarious watermelon joke made by her very good friend as he was introducing her during a National Book Award reception has written an op-ed explaining why the remark was hurtful and I am just shocked at some of the reactions of commenters telling her why she should not be bothered by the remark. WTF? She fucking SAID it is hurtful so that makes it hurtful. Why is it so hard for people to acknowledge that they might be making a mistake, that they might actually be wrong?

    And then we have protesters in Seattle disrupting Black Friday rituals and tree lightings in reaction to the Ferguson verdict. Again, most people are complaining about the reactions rather that examining what happened to make people react in that fashion. I fear we have become so self centered and so insulated that so many just refuse to acknowledge the pain others feel. People are too wedded to their own experience and their own egos to take a step back and say, “Hey, maybe I need to change the way I think.”

    • NW Luna says:

      From a newspaper article about the local protests:

      A protest over the recent Ferguson grand-jury decision forced the early closure of a downtown Seattle mall, shut down transit stations and disrupted a tree-lighting ceremony on the busiest shopping day of the year. Five people were arrested during the demonstration, according to the Seattle Police Department. The “Black Lives Matter” demonstration started early Friday afternoon as hundreds of participants walked through downtown and on Capitol Hill. ….

      Shortly after a group of 150 to 200 demonstrators conducted a “die-in” by lying on the floors inside Westlake Center, dozens of disappointed shoppers were turned away by helmeted officers guarding the doors. Westlake Center then closed around 6 p.m., three hours before its scheduled closing time. ….

      [Shoppers] said they sympathized with Brown’s family, but didn’t think the demonstrators’ actions brought any positive momentum for change. “They’re just making everyone mad,” said Julia Cameron, 14. “It’s an important cause, but there are so many other better ways to get people’s attention.”

      A group of demonstrating students from Tahoma High School in Covington thought otherwise. One of them, Ross Pearson, 17, held a sign reading “No business as usual.” His friend Jacub Peterson, 16, agreed that everyone needs to be stopped in their tracks to think about what she sees as the overmilitarization of police departments. “This is unacceptable in 2014, and we’ve let this kind of thing pass by too many times before to not do something,” said Peterson. “If it means stopping people from shopping to realize how serious this is, then so be it.”

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks, Janicen. I’m finding it so depressing and dispiriting. I’m really tired at the moment anyway, because I haven’t really had time to rest yet after driving for two days straight. Between my exhaustion and the racism I’m seeing in the news, I’m feeling completely overwhelmed.

      • janicen says:

        Me too. I’m getting two dental implants on Friday and right now, one of the teeth to be replaced is infected. Ouch. I’m waiting for a call back from my oral surgeon (he’s also a neighbor) but since he had already prescribed some penicillin for me to start in advance of the surgery, I just started it a few days early. I figure he’ll okay it. In the meantime, I’m cranky. And I’m sick and tired of bigots and having to explain to them why they are bigots.

  2. NW Luna says:

    Interesting science news for the day:

    A riddle for the ages may be a small step closer to a solution: Who made the famed Antikythera MechanismAntikythera Mechanism, the astronomical calculator that was raised from an ancient shipwreck near Crete in 1901?

    The complex clocklike assembly of bronze gears and display dials predates other known examples of similar technology by more than 1,000 years. It accurately predicted lunar and solar eclipses, as well as solar, lunar and planetary positions.

    For good measure, the mechanism also tracked the dates of the Olympic Games. Although it was not programmable in the modern sense, some have called it the first analog computer.

  3. dakinikat says:

    At the very moment of its ultimate triumph, capitalism will experience the most exquisite of deaths.

    This is the belief of political adviser and author Jeremy Rifkin, who argues the current economic system has become so successful at lowering the costs of production that it has created the very conditions for the destruction of the traditional vertically integrated corporation.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Georgia police find boy missing for four years hidden in house behind false wall

  5. joanelle says:

    Speaking of good books, I really lucked out this last month by finally having enough down time to catch up on my reading and read Delicious, The Orphan Train, The Invention of Wings and Unbroken. All really good books!

  6. joejoy12 says:

    Thanks for the recommendations, joanelle!