Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy


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Quick Hit: Mike Littwin on Rampages

Related to my quick post about the Alabama shooter who killed 20 people, I read this from Mike Littwin, a very good writer for the Denver newspaper market.  He asks some tough questions:

By now, we know too much and too little. Do video games make killers? Not likely. Do would-be killers find a home there? Of course. Do we know enough about guns and disturbed young men and tragedy? Sure. Did we decide, in the ongoing culture wars, not to fight about guns anymore? You know the answer.

Darn right we know the answer.  Our society generates too many mentally ill people.  There is little to no support for them.  The rest of us are too worried about keeping our money in our own pockets, throwing spittle at “charity cases”.  Meanwhile, dozens of innocent people die more than once a year in events like Alabama and Virginia Tech and Columbine.


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Quick Hits: Chuck Norris, Unemployment & Alabama Shooter

Chuck Norris is a secessionist and quite possibly a terrorist. Why do right-wing extremists hate America so much?

I haven’t posted anything about the most recent unemployment numbers, but was reminded this morning why I need to.  The most cited figure from February was 8.1% – a 25-year high.  That sounds impressive and all, but as I’ve written about in the past, it doesn’t reflect the reality workers are facing.  The number was just tossed out on a CNN morning show where the speaker said, “At least 92% of us do have jobs – that’s good news!”  No, no it’s not.  That quote gets at the heart of why the oft-cited number should be different.  The real unemployment number went all the way up to 14.8% last month.  That means only ~85% of Americans that want a job actually have one.  The 8.1% number only counts people who are available for work and actively looked for a job in the prior four weeks.  If they still don’t have a job after four weeks, they’re still unemployed.  It’s disingenuous, at best, that the corporate media pushes the lower number down our collective throats every month.  It’s not a stretch to say they do it quite purposefully for this reason: outraged workers demand real changes; irriated workers don’t rock the boat.  When 1 out of 5 Americans are unemployed, will more of us figure that out?

The first question I had when I heard about the Alabama massacre this morning was what ethnicity was the man?  Recent mass killings have been perpetrated mainly by middle-aged white men, but I haven’t heard about that side of things from the corporate media.  I’ve only done a quick search on this situation and haven’t found an explicit answer.  That works out to be pretty definitive to me: if the shooter was non-white, you know that information would be found in the opening sentence, if not the headline.  I’ll keep watch and update or correct this hypothesis as more information (like a picture) becomes available.  [Update]: It’s as I suspected.  He wasn’t a minority.  What are we going to do about these psychopathic, mass-mudering white people with assault rifles?  Talk about a menace to society…

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