Friday, May 30, 2014

Re: Carl Hiaasen Novels

Carl Hiaasen novels are not funny. Carl Hiaasen novels are straight reporting of how the state of Florida actually works. Only the names have been changed to spare him from endless litigation.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Disagreement

At least in part.

Amongst all the talk and writing about the recent spree killings in Santa Barbara is the idea that we shouldn't give this "loser" publicity.

I do agree with this in part: We shouldn't make a "celebrity" out of such people. (Apparently there are some people "swooning" over the killer on Twitter. I'm not going to bother linking to stories about that, as I'm sure that of my three (potential) readers, all are capable of finding the stories for themselves.)

However, that doesn't mean the case shouldn't be discussed.

First off, I don't think calling this person a "loser" is either accurate (in the way conveyed) or helpful. I haven't gone out of my way to read about this story, but it is abundantly clear that this individual was deeply disturbed and could accurately be described as broken, and had been for a very long time. He himself identifies his problems as going back to when he was fourteen. His problems probably went back even farther.

He complained that he had been rejected by girls since that age, and thought that the problem. More likely that was merely a symptom. What girl in her right mind would want to be with someone so obviously and deeply disturbed as he apparently was?

No, most likely something was very wrong with him, possibly from birth, but at least from a long time back. Since I have the advantages of obscurity I can even speculate that whatever was wrong with him was probably as severe as schizophrenia, even if that wasn't his particular problem.

In light of that, showing what was wrong with him may help others in the future identify other such broken individuals, and may help prevent similar crimes from occurring. Someone recently prevented a possible massacre, though in that case it seems that it was mere observation of suspicious behavior rather than knowledge of the suspect individual. But perhaps greater awareness of such mentally disturbed individuals might prevent future massacres.

In fact, someone in the Santa Barbara killer's family appears to have called the authorities with concerns about the state of the killer at the end of April. Unfortunately the authorities weren't able to do anything at that time to hold the individual. But perhaps greater awareness can eventually lead to more effective preventative methods.

But covering this up won't accomplish anything. Besides, the internet provides everyone with the ability to publicize their own crimes, as the killer's "manifesto" and YouTube videos prove. These things can't really be covered up anyway.

Squirrel of the Week: 5/18/2014 to 5/24/2014

Didn't look like we would have A squirrel of the week this week, but we did.

The NRA.

I'm guessing they'll be next week's SotW, too.

Cynicism

I used to worry not that I was being too cynical, but that I wasn't being cynical enough.

Now I know that I'm definitely not being cynical enough, at least regards the world beyond the confines of my home. (I have just the right amount of cynicism for dealing with a four year-old.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

No SotW this week?

There aren't many squirrels running about this week. Or at least, none that have attracted a crowd. We've still got half a week to go, though....

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Squirrel of the Week: week ending May 17, 2014

There wasn't a clear favorite this week. Therefore I'm going with the Jill Abramson situation at the NYTs. This 'example' of unequal pay and the war on women and such really didn't distract that many Americans this week, but it seems to have provided a distraction to the elites. And since they're more important than the rest of us, their squirrels must be better than out squirrels.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Squirrel of the Week Nominations

Hillary Clinton's brain/Karl Rove's mouth
Boko Haram
#diplomacy
Michael Sam
Donald Sterling
Aaron Hernandez

None of these names are really quite doing it. This week needs some more sizzle.

Oh, and then there's

War on Women/Jill Abramson

More economic recovery news


Turns out the economy went bad in Q1 because winter unexpectedly struck in the middle of winter. Who coulda guessed?!
RETAIL ROUT: Wal-Mart Stores fell $1.64, or 2 percent, to $77.10. The company reported a 5 percent profit decline in its most recent quarter and warned that things don't look much better this quarter. The company, like many other retailers, blamed harsh winter weather.
Okay, so let's just say for the sake of argument that the bad winter weather did impact sales. Shouldn't the pent up demand lead to a stronger Q2?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Squirrel of the Week: May 4, 2014

It was easy to pick the squirrel for the preceding week, and I did so mid-week. This last week was a different story. After Harry Reid started shooting off his mouth again, I really thought Dan Snyder was going to get the title. But mid-week another strong contender had emerged, in the form of one Monica Lewinsky!

But by Saturday night, it was clear that last week's SotW was in fact Michael Sam, the First Openly Gay Player Drafted to the NFL (TM). He may end up being this week's squirrel too, but Donald Sterling is trying hard to regain his title.

So, here's to last week's Squirrel of the Week: Michael Sam, the First Openly Gay Player Drafted to the NFL (TM).

Thursday, May 01, 2014