Cops and Robbers

Little is publicly known about the 28-year-old from Virginia who attended Seminole State College and aspired to become a law-enforcement officer.

What more needs to be known?  I caught a bit of Anderson Cooper last night, and he had some guy on who was defending Zimmerman, saying that if the kid had just answered the questions none of this would have happened.  Sounds like Zimmerman thought he already was a cop.  I suspect poor George is gonna find out that you have to get the badge before you can use such a lame excuse for murder.

(Via b-psycho, who points out that anyone who calls to report “suspicious activity” 50 times in a single year, in a gated community no less, is probably suffering from an overactive imagination.)

Accused killer rescued kittens, helped old ladies across the street, neighbors say

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say the media has been working overtime to make excuses and drum up sympathy for our fallen hero, who must have been driven to this aberrant act by something other than just a total disregard for the lives of the people he murdered.  The good guys just don’t do this type of thing, not without a good reason anyway.

Just check out this list of headlines from over the weekend:

Afghan shooting spree: soldier’s revenge for wounded colleague?

Soldier accused in Afghanistan shooting recalled in Ohio city as genial, smart football star

Soldier accused in Afghanistan massacre is family man, reports say

Army sergeant accused of Afghan killings struggled to pay bills, passed over for promotion

My favorite has got to be the last one.  Willy Loman with an M-16.  There were a couple of mentions, almost in passing, of an assault on a girlfriend and an arrest for fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run.  Something tells me that if he had shot up his own base or climbed a bell tower at a university back in Washington State and started picking off co-eds, we’d be hearing a lot more about these warning signs of anti-social behavior and a lot less about how he was just a family man struggling to make ends meet.

Burn It

It’s hard to disagree with the guy who noted the obvious Maoesqueness of superimposing Obomba’s face on the U.S. flag, but I have to admit, I can’t really muster a whole lot of outrage.  Well, okay, none, actually.  Let’s see: Idolizing a sitting president is bad, but worshipping a tri-colored piece of fabric makes perfect sense.  I know we’re supposed to unquestioningly respect the brave souls who’ve fought to protect our freedoms—one of which is not, apparently, the freedom to burn said piece of tri-colored fabric—but, seriously, when are these people going to wake up and realize that the flag doesn’t represent what they think it represents?  You didn’t go all the way to Korea in 1951 to protect your neighbors in Lake County, Florida from the red menace, for shit’s sake; you went there to kill and die and be maimed and to develop PTSD in order to further the interests of a handful of wealthy men in expensive suits who hold you in about the same regard as a head of cattle.

A Surefire Cure for Any Disease

Lately I’ve noticed “suicidal thoughts or feelings” listed as one of the several dozen side-effects in ads for two different drugs being peddled on TV.  That one of these ads is for an anti-depressant suggests that its creator has a sharp sense of irony.  Then again, maybe they’re onto something.  Suicide will surely put an end to whatever pesky ailment you happen to be suffering from.

A Very Rare Occurrence

So far, authorities have no possible motive for the killings, Bowman says, but he emphasizes that the intentional killing of civilians by U.S. soldiers has been very rare in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We’ve seen some instances over the years of crimes being committed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq with maybe a handful of civilians dead, but nothing of this magnitude,” Bowman says.

“Bowman” is Pentagon spokesman Tom Bowman.  Sorry, make that NPR’s Pentagon correspondent.

Interesting how when a lone soldier, or group of soldiers, takes it upon himself to massacre half a village, it’s described as “intentional killing of civilians” and a “crime,” whereas when a remote control airplane fires a missile into a civilian area and kills a bunch of, ah, civilians, it’s an accident.  How unfair.  Maybe the guy heard there were “insurgents” operating in the village and took a little initiative, you know, instead of waiting around for the drones to do it for him.

With peaceniks like these who needs warmongers?

I love the shameless stroking of Obama’s “national security cred”—based upon his willingness to continue to prosecute and expand upon Bush’s wars—in an article ostensibly denouncing “the warmongers” who want to attack Iran.  Obama’s “made his bones on national security” by killing children with remote control airplanes.  He might as well have said, “Hey, Mitt, how many kids have you killed with Predator drones?  Yeah, that’s what I thought.  Now sit down and shut up.”

But we’re supposed to view Obama as the only option for peace because—so far—he hasn’t launched an attack on Iran.  So what?  There were plenty of people yammering about the threat from Iran back during the Bush regime, and he didn’t attack them either.  I guess somebody should go on down to the ranch in Midland and present the man with a Nobel.

This is a variation on the pathetic argument that if Gore had been elected instead of Bush we would never have invaded Iraq, except instead of a hypothetical past reality we’re dealing with a hypothetical future reality—i.e., if Romney gets elected the tanks’ll be rolling into Tehran by Valentine’s Day.  It’s also a pretty good illustration of the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of lesser-evilist Dimbot apologists.

Problem? What Problem?

Almost without fail, whenever there’s an article or blog post that attacks the “public” school system, you get some goo-goo type who chimes in with “but when all the schools are privatized, how are the poor going to get an education?”  Now, to be fair, I realize that in most cases this isn’t meant as some kind of blanket endorsement of the school system in its current configuration; it’s based more on an assumption that the likely alternative to shitty schools is no schools, and, given these two choices, shitty schools win by default.  For my part, I’m inclined to believe that herding a bunch of kids into dysfunctional day prisons is worse than pretty much any alternative, but I’m an incurable romantic and an incurable cynic, and therefore somebody who definitely does not have to be taken seriously on the subject.

Anyhow, here’s a pretty standard-issue analysis of “the problem with the schools,” which I heard on my local NPR affiliate on my way in to work this morning.  The gist is that “we” pay teachers at posh suburban schools too much money, and “we” don’t pay teachers at tough inner-city schools enough money; now all we have to do is pay the city teachers more money and, voila!, a happier and more productive—not to mention civic-minded!—citizenry.  It’s endlessly fascinating to me how this kind of tripe passes the laugh test, while the suggestion that maybe the system itself is the problem is merely the feckless jabbering of arrested adolescence.

There is no “we,” asswipe.  I’m sure there are plenty of good liberals in these affluent suburban school districts, people who take it for granted that “society” should pay for the education of the underprivileged, but watch how quickly they circle the Volvos at the slightest hint of any policy that might threaten little Reilly or Shane’s ability to get a leg up in the college admissions sweepstakes.  There’s no problem with the school system.  It’s working just fine for them.

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