December rambling: the Rosa Parks of the Fourth Amendment

The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin. Plus the Atheist 10 Commandments.

This story claims: If The Supreme Court Reads This Study, It Could End Partisan Gerrymandering Forever. But probably not happening.

This being the second anniversary of the Newtown massacre this month, should Nancy and Adam Lanza be mourned? I’d say yes.

1944 murder conviction of 14-year-old vacated. His execution can’t be. I wrote about George Stinney HERE.

Pew Explains Why the Conservatives Live in Their Own “Reality”.

Reasons You Should Never Agree to a Police Search (Even If You Have Nothing to Hide). I agree, in theory, but I’m not sure, in practice.

Rethinking Immigration. We don’t understand “illegal”. We just think we do.

“Sustainable Keystone XL”.

Dollree Mapp, 1923-2014: ‘The Rosa Parks of the Fourth Amendment’.

The PR firm using “Strange Fruit” in its name. Oy.

Feds Indict Another Person For Teaching People How To Beat Polygraph Tests.

A friend of mine wrote: “Watch this video where a casino clamps down hard on a guy who is winning at blackjack by counting cards. I think there’s a very apt correlation between what happens here and what happens in real life any time you actually start to get ahead.”

When reporters value ‘justice’ over accuracy, journalism loses.

Ted Koppel: Fox News is Bad for America.

Why IS liberal Protestantism dying, anyway?

You’re Not What You Think You Are.

Evanier talks about an aspect of creative work (writing, drawing, etc.) that doesn’t get enough attention. It’s the part about making a living.

Why you’re so busy.

Major League Baseball umpire Dale Scott comes out as gay, which still matters as long as homophobia exists.

All of those end-of-the-year lists that come out well before the end of December:
What we searched for on Google. I swear I had NEVER heard of Flappy Bird.
TCM remembers movie actors who died in 2014
100 Notable Books of 2014.
74 Of The Most Amazing News Photos Of 2014, which ARE amazing
50 best albums of 2014; 60% of the artists I had not heard of, and only TWO of the albums, the ones by U2 and Leonard Cohen, I’ve actually heard, though the Springsteen is on the wish list
United State of Pop 2014 (Do What You Wanna Do). Arthur has linked to a bunch of these mashups.
*11 Hoaxes That Your Gullible Facebook Friends Fell For In 2014
And here’s a list of significant events each month of 2014, plus New Republic spotlights bad predictions that were made about the year now ending.

Facebook’s algorithmic cruelty.

The secret language of twins.

Spite thy neighbor, housing division. Also, The Long But Not the Short of It and The Immovable Ladder and Ye Olde Mispronunciation.

Robert Johnson, King of the Delta Blues at the wrong speed?

Fashion at the dawn of pop.

Mister Sister by Kate Pierson, formerly of the B-52s.

The James Bond Theme a cappella. And Ranking: James Bond Theme Songs From Worst to Best.

Inductions into the Grammy Hall of Fame. An eclectic bunch.

Christmas in her soul: Laura Nyro.

The Who’s Roger Daltrey: wedding singer.

Maya Angelou’s ‘Harlem Hopscotch’ Music Video.

The What colour is it? clock does a lovely job of showing the relationships between adjacent colors.

History of Franklin: 1st black Peanuts character” How a schoolteacher helped create the first black Peanuts comic strip character.

The Daughter liked this a LOT, and insisted I link to it: Who doesn’t love a good chain reaction?

Legendary Mad Magazine Illustrator Jack Davis Calls It Quits at 90: “I can still draw, but I just can’t draw like I used to.”

Here’s Everyone From the Epic ‘Colbert Report’ Finale. Never saw Andrew Young when I first viewed it.

If Dr. Seuss books were titled by their subtexts.

My failed attempt to draw the Nancy comic strip.

A Hanna-Barbera story, featuring Tex Avery.

Muppets: Thog (with whom I was unfamiliar), Uncle Deadly (who I DO remember), Vendaface (broad comedy), the very early Wilkins and Wontkins and Sam and Friends, the comedy stylings of Kermit and Cookie Monster, and Cookie Monster takes direction, and Auld Lang SwineSyne.

Mystery of creepy 1970s Sesame Street clip solved.

Artifacts Discovered Buried In Washington D.C. Suggest Humans Once Passed Laws There.

John Oliver speaks of the horror that is New Year’s Eve. Still, woman to ride Rose Bowl float 60 years after she was denied because her race.


Interesting that both Arthur and Dustbury responded to my post about compact discs.

Dustbury on an analysis of decade-specific words in song titles listed in Billboard.

It appears that Arthur will meet his post per day goal.

Arthur, by request: terrorism in New Zealand and white privilege and police violence and dentists and New Zealand holidays and loss, and memes and the places he’s been in the US and Canada.

Another day, another mass shooting

After President Reagan was nearly assassinated in March 1981, there was a “commonsense” limit on assault weapons, but that law lapsed nearly a decade ago.

When I first heard about the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, it wasn’t until about noon on Friday, December 14, a couple of hours after the horrific event. After lunch, I spent about three hours listening to the online reporting, first on NBC News, then ABC News. I figured if I kept following it, perhaps I’d discover they’d gotten it wrong. And they had – it wasn’t 18 dead children, it was 20. The wrong brother was initially named as the shooter. The basic framework, though, remained terribly the same.

Sometimes, when people don’t like a piece of entertainment, they’ll say, “I threw up a little in my mouth.” A crude reference, I think. But, following this story, I literally DID.

My sorrow over the particulars of the story was made worse by the inevitable statements that we need to have a national “conversation” about gun control and mental health. Except that, for some, it’s not the right time; apparently, it’s NEVER the right time, because we’re always reeling from the last event. Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York said, correctly, “If now is not the time to have a serious discussion about gun control and the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our society, I don’t know when is.”

After President Reagan was nearly assassinated in March 1981, there was a “commonsense” limit on assault weapons, but that law lapsed nearly a decade ago. Even before then, we’ve ALWAYS been having “conversations” about these things; we TALKED after the 1999 Columbine, high school shootings in Colorado, and the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings, and the Arizona shootings last year, and the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooters this past summer.

The “conversation” after this latest event thus far is more of the same. Why are mass shootings becoming more common? Some say we should have MORE people carrying guns. Yeah, right, against a guy in a movie theater wearing body armor packing heat, in a dark theater, with smoke bombs; heard THAT argument rehashed Friday night on CNN. At least I didn’t hear anyone suggesting five-year-olds should be packing heat.

More noise: Mike Huckabee uselessly telling us that school “carnage” caused by having “removed God” from schools. Ultimately, I think the Onion got it right.

Here’s my position: the Second Amendment right to bear arms is no more absolute than the First Amendment right to free speech. One cannot yell “fire” into a crowded building; one ought not be able to fire into a crowded building.

I’m done talking about it. If we don’t DO something, I don’t want to listen to more of the same rhetoric when this happens the next time. And there WILL be a next time, with the number of guns in this country.

The one thing I’m still mulling over: how to tell my elementary school-age daughter. She’ll surely find out from her friends. I don’t want her to be afraid to go to school. How do I make her feel safe, even though I can’t promise her it couldn’t happen again?
Newtown shooting: Names, profiles of the 27 people killed.

Happy memories of Newtown, from the town children’s librarian from 1994-1996.

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