ROSEBURG, OR-In the hours following a violent rampage in southwestern Oregon in which a lone attacker killed 10 individuals and seriously injured seven others, citizens living in the only country where this kind of mass killing routinely occurs reportedly concluded Thursday that there was no way to prevent the massacre from taking place.
“This was a terrible tragedy, but sometimes these things just happen and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them,” said Ohio resident Lindsay Bennett, echoing sentiments expressed by tens of millions of individuals who reside in a nation where over half of the world’s deadliest mass shootings have occurred in the past 50 years and whose citizens are 20 times more likely to die of gun violence than those of other developed nations. “It’s a shame, but what can we do? There really wasn’t anything that was going to keep this guy from snapping and killing a lot of people if that’s what he really wanted.”
At press time, residents of the only economically advanced nation in the world where roughly two mass shootings have occurred every month for the past six years were referring to themselves and their situation as “helpless.”
Oct 02 2015
Jul 01 2014
Most sports analysts are still scratching their heads that USA made it out of the elimination rounds of the 2014 World Cup. The team is almost the worst offensively and to get past Belgium today, they need to be more aggressive.
The pregame drama revolved around the health of two star players, with Belgium’s Vincent Kompany questionable with an injury and Jozy Altidore possibly making a return from his hamstring injury for the United States. The Americans could use some help with their attack, which generated precious few chances in their final group game against Germany. Belgium has fallen into the habit of scoring late, and only when it really needs to, often after substitutes come in to add energy. It will need to break out of that pattern as the competition improves if it hopes to advance.
Here are the results so far in the knockout rounds of sixteen:
After tying with Chile 1 – 1 and two mandatory overtime rounds, Brazil beat them 5 – 2 in penalty kicks.
Columbia 2 – Uruguay 0
Netherlands 2 – Mexico 1
Costa Rica beat Greece 5 – 3 in penalty kick after regulation and overtime play.
France 2 – Nigeria 0
Germany 2 – Algeria 1
Argentina 1 – Switzerland 0
The Quarter Finals start Friday July 4:
Noon EDT France vs Germany
4 PM EDT Brazil v Columbia
Saturday July 5
Noon EDT Agentina v The winner of USA – Belgium
4 PM EDT Netherlands v Costa Rica
Oct 22 2010
As long as we don’t take it too seriously ranting may be all we have left as a productive political activity. Sure, organizing and all that is a good thing–but on what basis? On the left, where most of us here live, there is no solid intellectual framework for us to rest. In America Marxism never took hold though it provides us with an excellent frame of analysis of our current system but it isn’t the only one. I prefer our native pragmatism which can step outside of systems and allow the “data” to guide us to see patterns. Marxism is useful to orient us but I don’t think it offers, as a general intellectual framework, a system that works for the current environment. Still, I consider Marxists the most valuable contributors to the project of the left. Certainly the time for liberalism is over because reform, in all foreseeable political arrangements is now impossible.
On this the day of the full-moon I urge that we howl at the Moon and rant. Ranting is a way to find out what we really think un-censored from the super-ego which in this country is fraying anyway and won’t last too much longer. We need to touch the truth and to touch it we need to find an authentic place in each of us. We need a new dispensation and that will only be made clear by a process of de-programming ourselves from the current discourse.
Let me be provocative here. I think the time to say “it isn’t fair” is over. It’s time to stop with careful analysis of the political situation when we lack a strong framework. The criticism from the American left always comes down to some moral complaint–that the rulers are, in some way, immoral. Really? I think that’s a pointless and bootless complaint. The problem is in the system that has emerged, not in the people that run it. The system has been constructed to meet a need on the part of the oligarchs to bring stability to their power-positions (not only them personally but their families as well) on the one hand–and on the other hand the need of the vast majority of the American people to take away their responsibilities as citizens because to try and understand the world around them without a solid framework of certainties is simply too painful–thus they want to be assured that they are indeed brave and virtuous when really they are, increasingly (by historical standards) quite the opposite because their focus in life is to have their job and their cable-TV where they can live in fantasies. Most people want to live in fantasies because reality is, to most of us (myself included), almost incomprehensible. This is enforced by a system of laws, cultural practices, structures like “security” (which reflect a profound collective cowardice) which gradually are eliminating any semblance of freedom as envisaged by the Founders. In short, to put it bluntly, we have to face the fact that the majority of the American people (in my view) consciously or unconsciously want to be in chains–it is the only conclusion that I can reached based on the data in front of me.
The only answer I have is to rant.
Oct 02 2009
Crossposted at Daily Kos
In a startling article at huffingtonpost.com by Andy Worthington, author of “The Guantanamo Files”, puts together an absolute must read in my opinion.
False confessions obtained through torture
The judge also noted the significance of the evidence in the record indicating that al-Rabiah “subsequently confided in interrogators [redacted] that he was being pressured to falsely confess to the allegations discussed above,” and also the significance of the fact that, although “al-Rabiah’s interrogators ultimately extracted confessions from him,” they “never believed his confessions based on the comments they included in their interrogation reports.”
After noting — again with a palpable sense of incredulity — that “These are the confessions that the Government now asks the Court to accept as evidence in this case,” Judge Kollar-Kotelly proceeded to demolish them all . . .
Bold added by diarist
More below the fold
Apr 04 2008