Sunday Reads: Other Things


Good Morning

Just some links to get us started this morning, I am sure that there will be more information about the mass murders in Newtown, Connecticut. Check the comment section below for updates.

I have to share these two links with you however, first is this one…from Susie Madrak…thank you for posting this link Susie! We need to talk about mental illness. 

‘I am Adam Lanza’s mother’ | Suburban Guerrilla

This is also very sad. And infuriating. Hey, let’s cut some more mental health funding!

Friday’s horrific national tragedy—the murder of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in New Town, Connecticut—has ignited a new discussion on violence in America. In kitchens and coffee shops across the country, we tearfully debate the many faces of violence in America: gun culture, media violence, lack of mental health services, overt and covert wars abroad, religion, politics and the way we raise our children. Liza Long, a writer based in Boise, says it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.


I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.

Please read that post and share it!

Then there is this shit: Westboro Baptist Church Members Say They Will Protest In Sandy Hook

It is 3:33am, and I lay in bed…unable to breathe. I thought if I added these two stories to my post I could somehow fall asleep. I am sick with all this, it is horrifying…. Please…make it stop.

Now for some stories that caught my eye this past week.

Glenn Greenwald looks at HSBC, too big to jail, is the new poster child for US two-tiered justice system

The US is the world’s largest prison state, imprisoning more of its citizens than any nation on earth, both in absolute numbers and proportionally. It imprisons people for longer periods of time, more mercilessly, and for more trivial transgressions than any nation in the west. This sprawling penal state has been constructed over decades, by both political parties, and it punishes the poor and racial minorities at overwhelmingly disproportionate rates.

Lanny Breuer, HSBC

Assistant attorney general Lanny Breuer said taking away HSBC’s US banking licence could have cost thousands of jobs. Photograph: Richard Drew/AP

But not everyone is subjected to that system of penal harshness. It all changes radically when the nation’s most powerful actors are caught breaking the law. With few exceptions, they are gifted not merely with leniency, but full-scale immunity from criminal punishment. Thus have the most egregious crimes of the last decade been fully shielded from prosecution when committed by those with the greatest political and economic power: the construction of a worldwide torture regime, spying on Americans’ communications without the warrants required by criminal law by government agencies and the telecom industry, an aggressive war launched on false pretenses, and massive, systemic financial fraud in the banking and credit industry that triggered the 2008 financial crisis.

This is ridiculous, more at the link, in fact Greenwald has updated the post since it originally was published on 12/12/12.

From ProPublica, a report on the US water supply.  Poisoning the Well: How the Feds Let Industry Pollute the Nation’s Underground Water Supply

Federal officials have given energy and mining companies permission to pollute aquifers in more than 1,500 places across the country, releasing toxic material into underground reservoirs that help supply more than half of the nation’s drinking water.

In many cases, the Environmental Protection Agency has granted these so-called aquifer exemptions in Western states now stricken by drought and increasingly desperate for water.

EPA records show that portions of at least 100 drinking water aquifers have been written off because exemptions have allowed them to be used as dumping grounds.

“You are sacrificing these aquifers,” said Mark Williams, a hydrologist at the University of Colorado and a member of a National Science Foundation team studying the effects of energy development on the environment. “By definition, you are putting pollution into them. … If you are looking 50 to 100 years down the road, this is not a good way to go.”

As part of an investigation into the threat to water supplies from underground injection of waste, ProPublica set out to identify which aquifers have been polluted.

That is just the beginning, go read the rest when you have time.

Okay, we’ve had links to outrages regarding the Fed and DoJ, and the EPA. Now on to the latest news about Obamacare…and Walmart.  Walmart Workers At Risk In States Rejecting Obamacare Medicaid Expansion

If state governors follow through on plans to oppose the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, one substantial group of low-wage workers appears vulnerable to going without medical coverage: people who work at Walmart.

The world’s largest retailer recently outlined a new policy that will exclude from health coverage newly hired employees who work fewer than 30 hours per week, as The Huffington Post reported this month. Experts described that move as an attempt by Walmart to shift the burden of providing health coverage to the government — specifically, to Medicaid, the insurance program for the poor.

Isn’t it wonderful? /snark.

I’ve got another article to share with you, this time it is on various Federal District Courts: Help Wanted On The Federal Bench – The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan – The Daily Beast

Robert Kuttner points out that there “are now more than 100 vacancies on the federal bench, out of some 856 federal district and appellate judges, far more than on the day Obama took office”

Y’all know what this means. Why are there so many vacancies left open by the Obama Administration?

The rest of today’s links are listed below…

Tattoos Illustrate Art of Saving Lives- Voice of America

Prince is still king, say Hot Chip | Music | The Guardian

Democratic Congressman Delivers Lengthy Apology For Using The Word ‘Midget’ On House Floor | Mediaite ( I include this link for obvious reasons.)

Finally, later in the week, TCM will be showing one of the best movies of film noir, Double Indemnity staring Babara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray, and directed by Billy Wilder. So in connection to this film, check out the two videos below. From the Carol Burnette Show:

Double Calamity

See you all in the comments later on today.

Breaking News: Sandy Hook Shooting Victim’s Names Released

ap conn memorial dog kb 121215 wblog Connecticut School Shooting: Complete List of Victims Names

Here are the name and ages of the murdered children and adults in Newtown, CT.**

Connecticut School Shooting: Complete List of Victims’ Names – ABC News

Charlotte Bacon, 6

Daniel Barden, 7

Rachel Davino, 29

Olivia Engel, 6

Josephine Gay, 7

Ana Marquez-Greene, 6

Dylan Hockley, 6

Dawn Hocksprung, 47

Madeline Hsu, 6

Catherine Hubbard, 6

Chase Kowalski, 7

Jesse Lewis, 6

James Mattioli, 6

Grace McDonnell, 7

Anne Marie Murphy, 52

Emilie Parker, 6

Jack Pinto, 6

Noah Pozner, 6

Caroline Previdi, 6

Jessica Rekos, 6

Avielle Richman, 6

Lauren Russeau, 30

Mary Sherlach, 56

Victoria Soto, 27

Benjamin Wheeler, 6

Allison Wyatt, 6

Photos: School Shooting in Conn.

Click image to see photos related to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary

There is also news that Adam Lanza used a rifle to kill these kids: Newtown victims all shot multiple times with rifle, chief medical officer says – U.S. News NBC News

Dr. Wayne Carver said autopsies on the 20 slain children had been completed and post-mortems on the six murdered staff members would be done by day’s end. The names of the victims were handed to reporters live at the news conference.

“Everybody’s death was caused by gunshot wounds and obviously the manner of death on all these cases have been classified as homicide,” Carver said.

He said the primary weapon was a rifle.

He said that he personally performed seven autopsies and those children had between three and 11 wounds each. Two of them were shot at close range, the others at a distance.

“This is a very devastating set of injuries,” Carver said. “I believe everyone was hit more than once.”

Asked whether the victims suffered, he replied, “Not for very long.”

LIVE UPDATES: Newtown, Conn., School Shooting – ABC News

Additional updates here: Live Updates On School Shooting –

**This post has been updated to include the following:  A glimpse of victims of the Conn. school shooting – Watertown Daily Times Online : National

Most died at the very start of their young lives, tiny victims taken in a way not fit no matter one’s age. Others found their life’s work in sheltering these little ones, teaching them, caring for them, treating them as their own. After the gunfire ended Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the trail of loss was more than many could bear: 20 children and six adults at the school, the gunman’s mother at home, and the gunman himself.

A glimpse of some of those who died…

See this link to read a few personal stories about the victims.

Gallery: Newtown school shooting victims – Photo Gallery | Global News

Sandy Hook Shooting, Newtown, Connecticut…and Unimaginable Observations


Washington, D.C., circa 1915. “Grief monument, Rock Creek cemetery.” The timeless memorial by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. National Photo.

Working through….post.  Writing thoughts….down.

My family lived in Newtown.

My kids would have gone to Sandy Hook Elementary.

Its been 24 hours, and my fingers are still numb, my heart is broken, and my mind is just being able to wrap itself around the horrible and senseless mass killing that took place in the town I called home.

We lived at 167 Sugar Street…in a white house with black shutters that was built in 1900.

Had it not been for another violent tragedy, that occurred on September 11th, 2001…we would still be living in that white house with black shutters. This house where I spent so many gut wrenching hours that warm September day, waiting and wondering if my husband was alive or dead.  Sadness and madness…despair and disbelief. Please, please…I want this to be a dream. I want to open my eyes and find it all was just a nightmare clouded in mist…and fog.

Now, twenty children are gone. Seven adults are dead. Hundreds of people are in shock. And a town will never be the same.

Outside of Newtown, it is the same. We are living in a country where mass shootings and violent gun-toting, mentally disturbed people are common place. Yet another shooting…just more victims added to the casualty list of gun violence. We hear the same calls for gun control, and the same questions are asked…why? Why? Recognizable statements make headlines…gunman was quiet, loner, mentally unstable, and angry. Gunman had access to guns, bullets and body armor…all purchased legally. The killer had mental problems and warning signs were ignored, denied or unbelievably missed.

Some say this is the time we need to talk about gun control. I want to say yes…I agree, but I know it will not change.

Yes, there is outrage, and it is all to familiar. People are calling for action and as usual…nothing will be done.

My father says this is the turning point. That this latest killing is the final straw. I say no ,it is not. It will be like all the other mass killings in this country. Time will pass, and eventually another horrible story of violence and death at the hand of a lone gunman will be in news headlines again. The same exact questions will be asked. The same emotions felt. The same jerks making the same asshole remarks.

Media outlets will update already published statistics….and reporters will just tack on the latest victims names to a list that grows year after year, as echos of the words: “We never thought it would happen here…” are heard from people being interviewed by the press. The same outcome realized.

Yesterday, when my mother told me there had been a shooting in Newtown, CT….my response seem cold and desensitized. I thought…oh, another case of domestic violence spilling out in a public place.  When I heard it was a shooting at a school…my thoughts were typical…and generalized, a student…mad and disturbed. Then I heard it was an adult, who went into kindergarten classrooms and executed young children…and it hit me. My first reactions are the result of so many instances of violence and death. I have become one of those people, who say…it could never happen here., who express the need for gun control and mental healthcare reforms, and then carry on with my life…as I wait knowingly for another senseless act of violence to hit the cable news channels.

Look,  I’ve grown up with guns. I have used them for my protection and my family’s safety. Yes, there should be more gun control, weapons like assault rifles and automatic handguns should not be made available to the public, but I do believe in responsible gun ownership, more regulation and education. I agree with those who mention banning semi-automatic guns and rifles…and refer to Australia as a model we can look towards…but more importantly, I think there should be changes in the mental health services and support systems that seem to always fail us when we analyze what went wrong and why these gunman murder like they do.

After the jump, you will find many articles and opinion pieces and editorial cartoons that I have found over the last day in link dump fashion. Take them for what they are…statements, ramblings, demands, half-hearted condolences, professional advice, wing-nut advice, icing on the cake, last straw, ideological, rational, irrational,  grasping, far-reaching,  fringe thoughts, majority convictions, illusions, legalities, blame games, statistical proof, uncertainties, questions, assholes, assholery, political commentary, confusions, mental illness, financial, budget cutting, pleading, contrary, hypocrisy, religious, Jesus and God-fearing, excuses, explanations and unimaginable observations.

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