I sure hope the afterlife has bubblegum

The Earth bids farewell to Rowdy Roddy Piper.

In Closing: I have a problem with the fact that a night in jail can be a death sentence; the TPP is still out there; the NSA is scaling back; Too Big To Fail; the other lion; who the hell are the parents who make it necessary to say this??; the same guys who say kids under 2 must never see a television running and grocery carts are evil want to be in a tizzy that doctors are not doing the nurse’s job; can’t kill the beast; soybean oil.

An interesting question

A couple of weeks ago, I happened to be working in a facility where, as a matter of patient safety, there were no liners or trash bags in the garbage cans. I think everybody knows that garbage bags can be used to suffocate someone. Granted, the ones I use at home are probably not strong enough to hang a person.

So, knowing that trash bags can be used as weapons either against one’s self or others, why was there a trash bag in a jail cell? MSNBC would like to know, too.

Yes, there’s a lot of questions about what happened to Sandra Bland. And no, I don’t think it’s appropriate for an officer to threaten to “light you up” under most circumstances. But seriously, trash bags?

In Closing: Renegade DQ; intellectual honesty; and why exactly is the car’s computer accessible remotely at all??; raid; common sense; protein; bananas; Mammoth Cave.

Voucher Detente

So, recently the State of Nevada passed a law allowing vouchers for parents to send their Special Snowflakes to private school on the public’s money. I have long been opposed to school vouchers for several reasons and if you’re curious, you can read about them here and here.

But it turns out that the Nevada law has a catch: to get the money, the child must be enrolled in a public or charter school for at least 100 days. Does anybody happen to remember how long a typical school year is? It averages 180 days.

So yeah, if you honestly give it an shot and the local public school isn’t working for your kid, the State of Nevada will help you out, but they’re not going to subsidize sending your Precious Darling to Las Vegas Day School or Bishop Gorman. You want the State’s money? You play by the State’s rules.

That is detente, Comrade.

In Closing: When a traffic citation can mean a death sentence, we all have a problem regardless of gender or color; Last Words; Waaah, Uber doesn’t like following rules!; hidden near Vegas; Votesmart; skewed; no surprise.

Incitement to violence? What is it?

It’s what the Ferguson Police did, and it’s very important right now. Of course my readers knew that before the riots even started. If you’re interested, the Washington Post is going to be keeping track of police shootings.

Some of you are wondering about the title of today’s post. Tomorrow is the 35 anniversary of the release of the now classic comedy film, Airplane! “Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.”

In closing: flag football and the freaking TPP.

Music Monday: Courthouse Edition

I spent the morning on jury duty. The first group to get called back was about 40 people. The next group was about 80, and I was in it. I was thinking to myself “Oh nuts, this has got to be a big trial!” Suddenly, we were all dismissed! When I got home, I watched the news to see if just maybe I could figure out what trial it might have been. Well, this case of a cop killer was dismissed this morning. I will never know if this was the actual court case, of course.

I am so sorry I have to say this, but killing a cop just because he happens to be hanging out in his garage — as the accused allegedly did — is extremely uncool.

 

Also: have some items about American cops. Here, have some bonus items on racism, terrorism, and harassment.

In Closing: The Alamo’s Cat.

A few random thoughts about Baltimore

So on one side we have a lot of people saying stuff that boils down to “those people are animals and that’s why they can’t have nice things.”

This attitude ignores the realities on the ground: no jobs, no economic development (because after all who would open a factory there?); a minimum wage that won’t get you above the poverty line and barely allows you to pay rent. Oh yeah, and there’s a teensy weensy double standard in play too.

And hey, why not punish “those people” for daring to want things like the right to get arrested without dying on the way to the station? “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” is for other people?

Sometimes, you need a comic writer or two to put things in perspective.

Of course, it turns out that the situation was at least in part caused by the police — no, not just because they killed somebody. When you show up in riot gear, force adolescents off school busses so they can’t go home, and then wait for trouble, you are the problem and will never be the solution. They came prepared for a problem caused by their own preparation.

And lest we forget that police-delivered death sentences occur in many places around our great country, Raw Story has these “tips”.

In Closing: don’t forget TPP; I bet we’d get “reform” real quick if cops shot up a banker or two; a couple feminism items; really #5 should be first, because you won’t get an interview without it; shipwrecks.

Every Afternoon

 

Translation: Every Afternoon in Grenada, Every Afternoon a Child Dies.

Here in Las Vegas, our Child Protective Services office is under fire. Here’s a dead baby found incidental to police serving another warrant. Here’s a boy beaten to death for lying about reading some Bible verses — sadly, school officials alerted CPS to a potential problem just hours before his death. Here’s a child sex abuse case. And the latest, a baby dead after having been removed with his 8 siblings from a home described as having “deplorable conditions.”

There’s a lot of finger pointing, a lot of shoulda-couldas. The fact remains that CPS — and the police — have limited resources to do a Herculean job: keeping every child safe.

But you know what? Every time some busy-body calls the cops or the CPS for a false abuse charge, or a kid or pre-teen left in a car for 5 minutes while mom runs a quick errand, or a kid merely being outside without direct adult supervision? The cops and CPS workers pushing that paperwork can’t spend that time investigating a real case of neglect or abuse. The end result is more kids hurt and more kids killed.

In Closing: walking is good for you; license to work; so much for “elected” officials; shoe’s on the other foot; I love Max.

Eat It

Today’s question:

Do you tend to order the same thing at restaurants? Or do you like to jump around the menu?

Answer: yes. It depends where I am. There are places where I just want the one or two things that I know are awesome. There are other places where I am busy trying new things. Remember, Vegas is a world class food city! Sorry, I don’t have much more to say about the issue than that.

In Closing: no regard for the Supreme Court; catching the cold; one Indiana lawmaker doesn’t think you should have a choice whether you raise a child with severe disabilities; cybersecurity; doing the same thing and expecting different results; finally somebody said it out loud.

Shorties Box

Congrats to Jon Keeyes and Nightmare Box on its multiple nominations in the Winter 2015 Macabre Faire Film Festival.

Serial: High school students may be more, er, connected than they thought. And not in a good way.

The ugly truth: The NYPD work stoppage is showing how little what they do impacts public safety.

Economic Noble Truths: Who knew that Buddhism and economics had anything in common?

Fly Like an Eagle: To Lake Mead.

I’ve only been saying this since 1991: Colleges have no business whatsoever prosecuting crimes.

Pattern of Misconduct: Ferguson isn’t the first time that prosecutor presented a misleading case against a cop.

Republicans and Social Security: interesting.

And Finally: The Big Fat Book of Offensive Religious Cartoons.

See everybody tomorrow!

Hard Habit to Break

Today I’m actually using the official prompt:

Have you ever tried to break a habit and failed? What made it so difficult to break?

Ok, this is a weird one. I’m still not quite over this habit: I have a hard time passing up things that are cheap or free.

I’ve got dozens of books on my Kindle that I don’t know when I’ll have time to read them, but they were free! I’ve got canned food in my pantry that I only have because it was on sale — and theoretically I’ll use it eventually. I’ve been known to buy clothes that fit but aren’t really my style because they were so inexpensive.

Why is this a hard habit to break? Well, because it’s easy to think I’m being thrifty. In the case of free ebooks, it doesn’t actually cost me anything. In the case of food, well, I guess I’m well prepared for an emergency. In short, one person’s bad habit is another’s good habit.

Oh hey, and just the other day I got this free ebook on how to break bad habits!

In Closing: the case of the blonde MIT student; Ha Ha Harvard; not entirely sure how one solves problems without strong reading and math skills; crime, security, and privacy; and the intellectual heirs of MacHack.