I’ve been trying to follow recent developments in the deliciously-named* Whitefish, Montana. Of course, I am concerned for the health and well-being of my co-religionists and other wonderful people who have been targeted there. But also — given that the town is less than a nine-hour drive from Seattle — it has occurred to me that the same skinheads bussing themselves in from as far away as the Bay Area** could probably also find their way here. Which is why I find it so frustrating when the esteemed journalists of the New York Times are derelict in their duty to, you know, journalize.
On Tuesday night, Stephen Colbert hit Mel Gibson hard: “Hey, Mel-Mels? When you look back on your life, do you think you’ll have any regrets?” (Mel-Mels’ reply: “No. Not one.”) And had Gibson asked Colbert the same question in return, I’m sure Stephen could have come up with at least one regret of his own: going soft on erstwhile interviewee Donald Trump.
Concerning news out of Cleveland for those invested in the future of American democracy: city police have begun to stockpile riot gear in advance of hosting the Republican National Convention in July. The news bodes ill not only for those interested in maintaining a civil discourse both within, and between, political parties, but also for those distressed by the increasing militarization of municipal police forces across the country.
It appears that the nearly month-long standoff at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge may soon reach its inevitable denouement, which means that if I want to say anything about the situation, I’d better do so quickly. This introductory paragraph obviously isn’t helping.
There’s a common misconception out there that Burns — the town closest to the NWR — is in the middle of nowhere. See, e.g.:
You know the name Captain Chesley Burnett “Sully” Sullenberger, III, because of a bird. You might think it’s because he piloted his plane to a successful crash-landing on the Hudson River just over five years ago, but all that never would have happened had US Airways Flight 1549 not first struck a flock of Canada geese. Of course, 155 passengers and crew are alive today because of Sully’s skills and quick thinking, but those geese could have hit anybody, and I like to tell myself other pilots could pull off the same feat.
I hope to never learn to the contrary.
COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL notified former New England Patriots tight end AARON HERNANDEZ today that he will be referred to the league’s Substance Abuse Program for violation of the league’s Substance Abuse Policy following his 2013 arrest.
Over the past week, demonstrations have been held across the United States in reaction to a spate of tragic police killings. Here’s the BBC’s roundup:
In New York City on Friday, protesters briefly laid down in Macy’s flagship store, at Grand Central Terminal and at an Apple store.
Hundreds streamed along Fifth Avenue and other parts of Manhattan, with banners and chants of “Black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe” – a reference to the words of Eric Garner as he was being restrained by a white police officer.
In other protests on Friday:
- Activists marched through central Miami, Florida, and blocked a major causeway connecting Miami to Miami Beach
- Hundreds of people in Providence, Rhode Island, blocked streets and police had to stop some from walking on to Interstate 95
- Crowds of protesters in New Haven, Connecticut, marched to the courthouse
- Dozens of students from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, brought rush-hour traffic to a crawl and forced the city to postpone a tree lighting ceremony scheduled at Monument Square
- In Minneapolis, some protesters blocked traffic by marching or lying in the middle of a highway
Meanwhile, in Boston (and possibly elsewhere; I haven’t done the research):
A little over two months ago last night, John Oliver* — in a segment on the phenomenon of police militarization, prompted by then-recent events in Ferguson — poked fun at the Keene Police Department for having cited the tiny town’s annual pumpkin festival as justification for its purchase of a Bearcat** (which looks like this):
So when this year’s festival erupted in riotous disarray, a whole mess of people gleefully and predictably gloated that those events somehow served to vindicate the Keene PD. Here’s a brief sample:
I’ve known for a while now that Donna Meagle is somewhat familiar with the Pacific Ocean — after all, she told us back in Season 5 that she owns a condo in Seattle (because she likes “the rain and the fish markets”). But I had no idea the Pawnee Parks and Recreation Department employee knows it well enough to predict its future.
This past Monday, the International Court of Justice ruled that Japan must end it “scientific” whaling program:
Or, if you prefer a more measured take:
I always joke I want to hire an intern. Like everyone else, I’m behind on life, and an extra set of hands to do all the things I’d like to but don’t have time for would go a long way towards fixing that problem — and until I can clone myself, an intern is the only viable option.
But as I said, that’s a pipe dream; though it has twice featured guest bloggers, this blog has always been wholly owned and operated by a single individual. It has never hired an employee to do its work, dirty or otherwise.
With one exception.
Back in 2011, when Paper Treiger was the subject of virulent protest less than one short week after its inauguration, it hired UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike to disperse the dirty occupiers: