December, 2015 archive
Daniel Ruth notes that Florida is kind of maybe sort of thinking about considering regulating venomous reptiles. The whole article is a gem and joy which also applies to topics other than snakes in locales other than Florida. Here’s a snippet:
Even Brian Yablonski, the FWC (which somewhat unaccountably seems to stand for “Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission”–ed.) chairman, admitted to the Panama City News Herald that he was at a loss to understand why anyone would want to own a venomous snake, adding: “With freedom comes responsibility, and somehow with the responsibility side, the wheels have fallen off a little bit.”
Isn’t that precious? It’s rather doubtful the Founding Fathers ever considered inserting the phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of cottonmouth moccasins” into the Declaration of Independence.
Although Bloomberg chose to go with a panicky headline because news is not new unless accompanied by panic (follow the link to clutch your pearls), still under 300k.
The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure than the weekly claims numbers, increased to 277,000 last week from 272,500.
The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits rose by 3,000 to 2.2 million in the week ended Dec. 19.
Chelsea Goupil of Rio Rancho was shot Dec. 23 with a small-caliber handgun, according to Lt. Matt Ross. The department has not released the name of Goupil’s brother because no charges have been filed against him.
He said in an interview that the weapon fired while it was being “shown to someone.”
And yet another gun that mysteriously goes off all on its ownsome.
And, in more news of the polite . . . .
Twitter does seem to rally the ranks of stupid, does it not?
In the Seattle Times, a science teacher marvels. A snippet; read the rest and weep:
In geography classes we teach that Antarctica is a continent with a vast ice cap. According to a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, it is a gargantuan floating ice cube. Therefore it will not affect rising sea levels as it melts. Besides, we have to keep an open mind on that, regardless of the evidence.
I reckon that, if your mind is open enough, stuff just falls right through it.
Recently, I heard a podcast in which an American ex-pat currently living in southeast Asia said, almost as an aside, for the podcast was decidedly apolitical, “America is a police state.”
His bland matter-of-fact tone was more chilling than would have been fervent emotion.
With that as an introduction, I commend Werner Herzog’s Bear to your attention.
Protect your family with politeness.
The woman then fired one round at the subject, who was later identified as the homeowner’s daughter.
The story (follow the link) refers to this as an “accidental shooting.” The woman picked up the gun, pointed it, and pulled the trigger. Nothing “accidental” in that.
Of course, had the daughter had a gun, this no doubt would not have happened. At least, that’s Gun Nut reasoning.
Thus passes another day in Gun Nut Paradise.
A local police force has started sending its recruits to the Virginia Holocaust Museum as part of their training. The intent is “to show them what can happen when power is untethered from duty and decency.” Here’s a bit of the story; follow the link for more.
(Norfolk, Va., Police Chief–ed.) Goldsmith is following in the footsteps of Charles Ramsey, Philadelphia’s police commissioner who previously served as Washington’s police chief. While there in 1998, he accepted an invitation to come to the National Holocaust Museum and got a tour from a survivor.
He learned that, almost from the beginning of the Nazi Party’s rise to power, local police were intimately involved in helping them and were soon nearly indistinguishable from military groups like the SS.
Ramsey wrote a paper 16 years later about the tour and how it forced him to ask fundamental questions about the role police play in a democracy. Lest police and the public dismiss the lessons as something that happened long ago in a far away place, he draws connection between police in Nazi Germany and officers who helped enforce Jim Crow laws in the American South. Or more recently, when police watched while inner-city neighborhoods deteriorated into ghettos during the 1980s crack epidemic without trying to fix the underlying problems fueling it.
One can be skeptical of the extent to which a one-day tour may have a lasting effect, but one can only applaud the intent and effort, especially as one considers that many of our own police forces are already “nearly indistinguishable from military groups.”