Thursday Reads


Good Morning!!

I really don’t want to write about the horrors in the news today, but what else can I do? I’m staying with my nephews (yesterday till late tonight). This morning the phone rang at 6AM. The kids’ school was calling to say that they had received a threat of gun violence last night. There was also a bomb threat on Tuesday, so “in an abundance of caution” they locked down the schools last night, the police searched them early this morning, and there will be police and security people stationed in the school all day. People can only enter the school through one entrance that is guarded.

I really didn’t want the boys to go to school, and my sister-in-law said to keep them home. So there’s a lot going on here right now, and this post is probably going to be brief.

I’m sure you’ve probably heard that the mass murder in San Bernardino yesterday was the 355th one this year–there has been more than one mass shooting per day in the U.S. in 2015. Furthermore, the San Berdardino shooting was the second mass shooting yesterday.

The Washington Post reports:

The San Bernardino shooting is the 355th mass shooting this year, according to a mass shooting tracker maintained by the Guns Are Cool subreddit. The Reddit tracker defines mass shootings as incidents in which four or more people, including the gunman, are killed or injured by gunfire….

It would be also be the second mass shooting just today — in the early morning hours, one person was killed and three were injured in an incident in Savannah, Georgia….

The number of mass shootings so far this year has already surpassed the total number of mass shootings in 2014, according to the Reddit tracker. And the pace is well above 2013’s pace, when a total of 363 mass shootings occurred.

Just having to read about these shootings and watch the reports on TV is makes me feel drained of energy. Why do we put up with it? I think the feds should list the NRA as a terrorist group.

Here’s the latest on the shooting in California.

CNN: San Bernardino shooters die battling police; motive unknown.

It started as a holiday party — where, police said, something prompted Syed Rizwan Farook to storm off angrily.

It ended as a bloodbath with 14 people dead and 17 more wounded — the deadliest mass shooting in the United States sinceSandy Hook.

At its center were a married couple, Farook and Tashfeen Malik.

Dressed in black, carrying semi-automatic rifles, authorities say that theyunleashed a massacre Wednesday at the party hosted by the San Bernardino County, California, health department.

That was their first brazen act. Then they led police on a chase. Farook fired while Malik drove.

They died in a hail of bullets when confronted by 21 officers.

Now comes the challenging part: What was their motive? The city’s police chief said there was a dispute at the event “under circumstances that were described as angry.” Could it just have been anger? The level of preparation, the amount of firepower suggest meticulous planning.

Authorities don’t yet know.

Nor do they know of any interaction Farook and Malik had in the past with police. Neither of them were known to the FBI or on a list of potentially radicalized people, law enforcement officials told CNN.

There’s a lot of good information in the article–you can read the rest at CNN.

More from The Washington Post:

Investigators grappled Thursday on two main fronts after the deadliest U.S. mass shooting since the Sandy Hook Elementary School bloodshed: Seeking clues on the motives and apparent commando-style planning by a couple who turned an office holiday party into a killing field with at least 14 dead.

“I don’t think they grabbed the guns and tactical gear on a spur-of-the-moment thing,” said San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan hours after Wednesday’s rampage and a police shootout that left both alleged shooters dead several miles from the attack….

Bit by bit, profiles emerged of the suspects: Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, a former county health worker who was born in the United States, and a woman described as his Pakistani-born wife, Tashfeen Malik, 27.

Also being pieced together were the hour-by-hour events before police say the suspects stormed a conference center wearing black masks and armed with assault rifles and handguns.

Earlier in the day, the suspects dropped off their 6-month-old daughter with Farook’s mother, saying they had a doctor’s appointment, said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council for American-Islamic Relations in Los Angeles.

Again, much more info at the link.

I’m afraid that since the shooters were of Middle Eastern descent, we’re going to have to deal with an intensification of the Islamophobia from the GOP presidential candidates and their supporters. I don’t think I can stand to watch the next Republican debate. Then there’s this: the LA Times reports that not long ago, Farook traveled to Saudi Arabia to connect with a woman he had met online. She became his wife and died with him yesterday.

Co-workers told The Times they were shocked to hear Farook’s name linked to the shooting. Two who were in the restroom when the bullets began to fly said he was quiet and polite, with no obvious grudges….

Baccari and Christian Nwadike said Farook, who worked with them for several years, rarely started a conversation. But the tall, thin young man with a full beard was well liked and spent much of his time out in the field and worrying about his beard, he would always make sure to hear beard trimmer recommendations from everyone.

They and other colleagues said Farook was a devout Muslim, but rarely discussed religion at work.

“He never struck me as a fanatic, he never struck me as suspicious,” said Griselda Reisinger, who worked with Farook before leaving the agency in May.

Reisinger said she heard that the office recently threw a baby shower for Farook and that he had taken paternity leave.

More links on the San Bernardino shooting:

CNN: Who were Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik?

NYT: Couple Kept Tight Lid on Plans for San Bernardino Shooting.

NY Daily News: GOP presidential candidates offer prayers — not solutions on gun control — after San Bernardino massacre.

The Atlantic: Prayer Shaming After a Mass Shooting in San Bernardino.

More stories of interest:

The Hill: White House: GOP is threatening government shutdown.

Brent Budowsky at The Hill: A coming GOP bloodbath.

Jay Rosen at Press Think: So I will try to explain why the Trump candidacy has been so confounding to our political press.

HuffPo: Why Hillary Clinton Is Right on the TPP.

What stories are you following today?





39 Comments on “Thursday Reads”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    Someone needs to offer a rationale regarding the “need” to own and sell military weapons.

    I have no idea why keeping this sort of weaponry out of the hands of the general public at large is going against the Second Amendment.


    • bostonboomer says:

      I’m so sick and tired of it, Pat. Republicans make me sick.

      I don’t even have the energy to put images in this post with all these kids running around (a friend of the 10-year-old came over).

      • Fannie says:

        OMG, I can see why you feel that way. This is not the country I’ve come to know throughout all my years. The current phase from the republican conservatives is so screwed up, and it’s about our children, and grandchildren, and how they must learn to be afraid, and train for attacks in the schools.

        How sad.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    President Obama Says FBI Taking Over San Bernardino Shooting Investigation

  3. dakinikat says:

    This country has so many issues that I can’t even believe anyone would want to immigrate here. The Bush years just sucked all the resources to the richest folks. Our public infrastructure and institutions are in disarray. There’s no safety net and they’re finally destroying the US higher Ed system like they did to the public school system. I’d leave the country if I was young.

    • Boo Radly says:

      Exactly Dak. One could see the deteriation this last decade and we all noted the kabuki Congress. I maintained some hope from having this blog to read, those intelligent posts and hopeful posts. I mourn for what my children, grands and every other citizen’s loved ones have to deal with. America is number one in one category – mass murders. Hard to be hopeful viewing the horrid GOPper presidential candidates campaigning with who can hate the most, lie the most…….. America is crumbling

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    Apparently you are not an “American” if you don’t protect the 2nd Amendment in that you are “free” to purchase any weapon of mass destruction available.

    Apparently you are not “American” if you don’t pursue a military policy of bombing and evading any country you deem undesirable.

    Apparently you are not an “American” if you disagree with a woman’s right to choose her own destiny.

    Apparently you are not an “American” if you do not believe in “god”.

    Apparently you are not “American” if you do not hate gays and their fight for equality.

    Apparently you are not an “American” if you believe in one many, one vote.

    Apparently you are not an “American” if you believe in an affordable health plan that can save the lives of your fellow citizens.

    Apparently you are not an “American” if you believe in taxing the rich a little bit more in order to rebuild the infrastructure of the country which is falling apart.

    Apparently you are not “American” if you believe in science and education but decry “Creationism” that believes the universe was created in 6 days regardless of the proof that the earth itself is billions of years old.

    Apparently you are not “American” if you do not believe the bible should be the law of the land.

    This is what you hear if you are listening to the GOP candidates who resist progress on most issues because of their catering to the “religious base” of the party.

    How does this make us any different than the Islamic viewpoint that essentially upholds the same principles?

    It doesn’t.

  5. janicen says:

    It’s horrible that your nephew’s kids’ school had to be canceled because of a threat of gun violence. It shows how far reaching the problem has become. We cannot shield ourselves or our families from what is going on. We have to demand that things change.

    This gun craze is the result of unfettered capitalism. The gun industry is the one industry that is completely and totally unregulated because the people who run it and lobby for it hide behind their warped interpretation of the Constitution. Well if the Constitution is what’s holding things up, maybe we need to start repeating over and over again in comments, blogs, and bumper stickers, “REPEAL THE SECOND AMENDMENT”. Let’s begin the negotiations there and see if our bought and paid for government officials can come up with some controls.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      They won’t even bring the argument to the floor of congress. That is how corrupt that body of law has become.

      Listen to the GOP candidates rationalizing these almost daily events.

      If Sandy Hook could not make a dent in this way of thinking than I doubt anything will. Twenty babies murdered in classrooms because these weapons are so available to anyone.

      • janicen says:

        Yes, but. You have to start somewhere. Nobody every thought the tobacco industry could be stopped but some 20 years later we have smoking restrictions all over the place and our country is a lot better for it.

        The more I think about it, the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is antiquated and rendered moot in this day and age of technologically advanced weapons a government could use against us if it wanted. Despite the Red Dawn fantasies of some of the fetishists, a warehouse full of guns can’t protect any one of us if the government decides to take us out. The 2nd Amendment is only used as a protection for the gun industrial complex allowing them unfettered access to a captive market. I say repeal it. Watch how quickly the fetishists start pissing their pants. I expect the trolls to swoop into this blog at any moment to start explaining why it would be a bad thing.

        • bostonboomer says:

          Maybe the victims of gun violence should bring a class action suit against the manufacturers and the NRA.

          • janicen says:

            Can’t sue them thanks to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (which Hillary said she would repeal). It prevents manufacturers and dealers from being sued for acts committed with the guns they sell. They have this country sewn up tight as a drum. All that’s left is the shooting.

          • NW Luna says:

            And that Act which prevents suing manufacturers and dealers was strongly supported by Bernie Sanders. Feel the Bern!

        • Fannie says:

          Here is a good example of someone being held accountable Donald Blankenship. I don’t you if you remember the 29 miners that died back in 2010 in W. Va. Finally, the CEO is going to Federal Prison! This guy was a friggin terrorist if one ever walked the earth. He would go into mines convincing the workers not to join unions, and when the river was contaminated and the water was bad he had safe water brought in for him and his family, but didn’t help his neighbhors. Oh, and his mother was a McCoy.

    • janicen says:

      He makes a lot of good points but I’m tired of the “…now I’m not against the 2nd Amendment…” stuff. Why not? It’s useless other than to protect the interests of gun sellers and manufacturers. Repealing it doesn’t mean you can’t own guns, but it would free up legislators to strictly regulate gun sales and ownership and isn’t that what we’re all advocating? I think we need to stop equating the 2nd Amendment with gun ownership. If it goes away, people can still own guns. They just might actually be required to pass a test to get a license to own a limited number of guns and there might be laws to impose penalties and liability on people who violate gun laws. I’m serious. If you really think about it, why do we need the 2nd Amendment?

  6. janicen says:

    I was on FB debating with someone from Canada who thinks the solution to America’s gun problem lies in the fact that we have too many people. Okay, we know that’s wrong but it prompted me to look up Canada’s gun laws. Canada requires a 60 day waiting period. As well, in order to get a license to own a gun, one must pass a written and practical exam. The license expires after 5 years. Restricted guns such as hand guns and assault weapons must be registered with the RCMP.

    Why is it that we can’t do the same thing?

  7. roofingbird says:

    One of the issues with guns that I don’t see discussed is this, they have become like jewelry in that they are easily marketable and tradable for those of us who don’t have a lot of other funds. they increase in value, don’t take up much room or daily feeding, and represent untaxed emergency cash. A prepper’s loss of a gun stash isn’t just about a loss of physical security. It is a financial loss in a time when income and future are uncertain. There must be a trade off for jobs, and income; a sense that things are possible again. This kind of fear is conflated with the physical.

  8. Sara says:

    I called my rep, and senators to take initiative over Republicans to immediately stop assault weapons, institute very tough restrictions for gun ownership and bullets purchased. I also mention that I know 700-1,000 persons through friendships, workers, & organizations who feel the same way and some may not call.
    This was a first step…now we, as citizens, need to really push this issue.

  9. dakinikat says:

    There were a lot of Jewish caricature references made by Trump and Kacich today and the Lady Lindsey did the mic drop

  10. Fannie says:

    I can’t believe that the landlord of the apartment of the terrorist, allowed MSNBC to go into the apartment and look over pictures, look into the bedroom of the baby, and they are like fleas all over the scene. And then MSNBC, is allowing republicans to respond to what they are seeing in that apartment. If this isn’t bullshit, what is. How much was the landlord paid, and who is stealing stuff out of that apartment?


      The last thing on this link says the landlord did not allow them in, the reporters rushed in….

      • Fannie says:

        I try to stay away from conspiracy shit, but when I saw this, it crossed my mind. Andrea Mitchell did a horrible job, just friggin’ horrible, I hope somebody bust them down a notch. It was really a creepy scene.

        Later I did see an unmarked care whisk away the landlord. Something was down and dirty, and the republicans were allowed to speak to what they were seeing there. I am not so sure, but everyone of them should be held accountable, they were laughing, and smiling, and I have no doubt that somebody picked up a little memento.

        How he the friggin media thought it was okay, because they had completed their investigation, is the biggest fucking lie ever. They probably planted something to make it worst than it is.

        Thanks JJ………I needed that back up!

    • Sweet Sue says:

      What’s to prevent a co-conspirator from walking in to the apartment and removing evidence?
      It’s unbelievable.

  11. Fannie says:

    Over 100 reporters and photographers. Says Victor Blackwell of CNN.