This heart-wrenching video shows the brutal, unprovoked murder of Chicago teenager Derrion Albert. Albert was caught in a melee involving rival neighborhood gangs. By every account, Derrion was a good kid--a solid student, well-behaved, no gang affiliation and absolutely no problems with the law. At the time of his murder, Derrion was exactly where he was supposed be, doing exactly what he was supposed to be doing--walking straight home after school.
The story behind this tragic incident is familiar to anyone who knows much about what goes on in Chicago schools. Tensions between a core group of criminal students escalated for a week, eventuating in the savagery we see in the video. Teachers and school personnel are almost always aware when such tensions are rising. Sometimes they succeed in diffusing those tensions before violence erupts, but often they are helpless in the face of determined, havoc-wreaking thugs who hold their schools and neighborhoods hostage (see my previous comments on the subject).
Joe the Cop (a suburban Chicago detective) notes that after school brawls occur regularly on the south and west sides of Chicago. They represent a constant drain on police resources. As the Derrion Albert murder video has gone viral, plenty of outrage has been expressed, but Joe is not hopeful that Derrion's murder will lead to any meaningful improvements in this sorry state of affairs. I'm inclined to agree with him.
Joe does offer one suggestion I haven't heard before--supplying citizens with video cameras and offering rewards for turning videos of crimes over to the police. The Derrion Albert video did, in fact, lead to the quick arrest of four suspects. Three more teens are being sought by police.
A Day of Wrath, Onslaught and Sacrifice: an interesting article about the Yom Kippur war in JPost.
Perhaps one of my attorney readers will help me to understand this:
A bank accidentally sent confidential customer data to a random Gmail address.
The bank asked Google to deactivate the recipient's Gmail account. Google
said no. The bank went to federal court where Judge James Ware (Northern
District of California) ordered Google to deactivate the user's account.
The hell with the consequences to the Gmail customer who is accused of no wrongdoing whatsoever.
could understand the judge ordering Google to scrub every trace of the errant email
from Google servers, but what possible reason is there for severing the
customer's access to unrelated personal and business emails, documents and
contacts? Maybe I don't have all the relevant facts, but I'm left to wonder if the judge understands how damaging this decision could be to the innocent Gmail user.
Not that it has any direct bearing on the Gmail case, but perhaps you recall hearing about the judge in this case, James Ware:
In 1998, Judge Ware was reprimanded by the Judicial Council of the
Northern District Court of California for fabricating the story of
being the brother of Virgil Ware, a 13 year old black boy shot by teenage racists in Alabama in 1963 on the same day as the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing.
According to a story Judge Ware had told many audiences, he was riding
his bike with his brother Virgil on the handlebars when Virgil was shot
and killed by white racists.
The incident was a real one, however it happened to a different James
The Line Between Democratic Representation and Bribery
I heard a fascinating presentation
on lobbying yesterday. The most shocking figure was the $4 million
that Senator Baucus has taken from the health and insurance sectors in
his political career...Why should it be legal to make a political contribution to a candidate
who is not running for an office that represents you as a constituent?
I do not think it should be. Imagine how different this senator's
incentives would be if he could only raise money from the residents of
Montana as individuals and not from organized interests.
On The Lighter Side:
The Times ran an article about one of New York's last seltzer men. I fondly recall the seltzer man from my childhood in New York. Brooklyn had the best tap water I've ever tasted and the seltzer made from that water was even better. Well, the seltzer men have mostly gone the way of the once ubiquitous knife sharpeners and dilapidated carnival ride trucks that once cruised the streets of New York.
What the hell, it's almost Yom Kippur, so I can always atone for my
tone. But seriously: Michael Gerson needs to shut his fucking mouth
before he ever even thinks accusing a Jew of insufficient vigilance
against antisemitism. I don't know what lack of self-awareness
convinces right-wing evangelicals that they're the true guardians of
the Jews, but that condescending and parochial nonsense is its own form
of antisemitism. We Tribesmen do not need some wire-rimmed enabler of
one of the most destructive and inept presidents in American history to
protect us from the perfidies of the world. It's us and not him who
will pay the price for antisemitism, so if Gerson wants to actually act
like a righteous gentile, he can start by not accusing Jews of apathy
to their own people's wellbeing for the sin of not sharing his
So to conclude: Gerson downplays the worst excesses of right-wing
hatred, which displays itself through a more prominent and influential
platform than does online hatred of any political coloration; and then he hijacks someone else's religion
on a laughably flimsy pretext to defend his blind spots. Good to see,
at least, that a Bush administration veteran is at least
nondenominational in that approach.
Lest anyone doubt the communist leanings of President Barack Obama, look no further than to his decision to hoist the Red Chinese flag (for the first time in history) over the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, September 20.
According to China Daily, "Chinese associations in the United States had applied to hold a ceremony in front of the US President's residence to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of PRC [People's Republic of China] . . .
Trying to find words to describe the extreme offensiveness of flying the Communist Chinese flag over the White House challenges my vocabulary. Words such as UNBELIEVABLE, UNREAL, HORRIFIC, OBSCENE, even TRAITOROUS quickly come to mind. Maybe Obama really is the Manchurian Candidate.
Except the ceremony that provoked Baldwin's foaming tizzy didn't take place on the White House grounds. It was at a park adjacent to the White House grounds. But the communist Chinese flag has been hoisted at the White House:
April 2006, Chinese President Hu Jintao and George Bush, South Lawn ceremony.
Change blindness refers to the failure of an observer to notice large changes in a scene. For change blindness to occur, a brief visual disruption or a disruption of the scene is typically required.
Via the Situationist Staff, the video below depicts a change blindness experiment by Daniel Simons and Chris Chabris. If you aren't familiar with this research, you should definitely check out this clip.