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One Nation, As Good As It Gets, A Barbaric Cop, More Gainesville Follies: The Live Wire, Jan. 13

| January 13, 2011

After the flood. (From Daily Art Cocktail)

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Today’s Live Wire: Quick Links

One Nation, As Good As It Gets

Joan Walsh in Salon: “The event billed as a memorial service for victims of the Tucson massacre turned into what critics called a “pep rally,” with cheering and hooting and hollering crowds. I don’t understand what bothered people, because it was clear to me from the start: The University of Arizona crowd was celebrating the heroism that was on display last Saturday, when ordinary people became heroes and saved lives. And they were cheering the very idea of America. There it was, folks, Saturday morning and again Wednesday night: our country, as good as it gets. Remember how great it looked and felt and sounded, when things inevitably get ugly again. Reagan-appointed Supreme Court Justice Sandra O’Connor, now retired, sat admiringly next to Daniel Hernandez Jr., the 20-year-old Gabrielle Giffords intern who helped save her life Saturday (who happens to be gay and Mexican American). Attorney General Eric Holder was side by side with Gov. Jan Brewer, whose racial profiling law he’s fighting. The service began with an Indian blessing from Dr. Carlos Gonzales, who described his mother as Mexican, his father as a Yaqui survivor of “genocide,” and his son as a soldier in Afghanistan, who praised “this great country, where a poor barrio kid from the south side of Tucson could get an education at a fine institution like the University of Arizona – and then, even better, come back and teach here.” Like it or not, that’s American history: we are imperfect, descended from people who took land from Indians and Mexicans and who held slaves, but also from people who fought for equal rights for everyone, and who, over time, managed to create laws and values and customs that (mostly) do that. […] The president’s speech was appropriately personal and moving, describing all of those who died, with vivid individual details, as well as the people who risked their lives saving the wounded. But he wrapped the speech around nine-year-old Christina-Taylor Green, and as the father of two young girls, Obama made that move feel more than rhetorical.” The full piece.

Watch the speech:

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Sarah Palin’s “Blood Libel”

Our reigning champion of stunning idiocy is at it again. From Howard Kurtz: ” Blood libel, for those who are not familiar, describes a false accusation that minorities–usually Jews–murder children to use their blood in religious rituals, and has been a historical theme in the persecution of the Jewish people. Had Palin scoured a thesaurus, she could not have come up with a more inflammatory phrase. As someone who has argued that linking her rhetoric to the hateful violence of Jared Loughner is unfair, I can imagine that the former governor was angry about how liberal detractors dragged her into this story. But after days of silence, she had a chance to speak to the country in a calmer, more inclusive way. She could have said that all of us, including her, needed to avoid excessively harsh or military-style language, without retreating one inch from her strongly held beliefs.” The full piece.

Watch Palin at it:

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Cops on Drugs (Or Something)

There aren’t many ways to see this. The cop shows up. Doesn’t investigate, Doesn’t ask questions. Doesn’t weigh the situation. And goes straight for barbaric brutality mode. This is insanity in uniform. From the Sarasota Herald-Tribune: “Mark Perrin, was fired Wednesday after an internal investigation spurred by a videotape that shows him snatching a 17-year-old girl from her seat and flinging her across an aisle while others on the bus looked on in shock. Perrin also used profanity during the episode, authorities said. The situation began when an aide on the bus called 911 to say that the student threw a plastic bottle, punched her in the stomach and kicked her wrist.[…] When Perrin shows up, he sees the teenager in her seat a few rows back. He asks, “What’s your problem, girl?” The teenager, who has not been named in reports, is told to stand up, but refuses. “I’ll snatch your ass out of that seat,” the deputy says. He then grabs the teenager by her sweatshirt and violently throws her across the aisle and face down into another seat. The deputy climbs on top of the teenager’s back and struggles to restrain her. “Put both hands behind your back before I Tase you,” he says. The girl can be heard screaming while others on the bus back away. She later told internal affairs investigators that she could hear her sweat shirt ripping and that she was surprised the deputy grabbed her out of the seat.” The full story.


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Gainesville’s “Christian” Bigot At It Again

From the Tampa Tribune: “The Rev. Terry Jones, who made an international name for himself last year when he announced he was going to burn the Quran at his Gainesville church, now is staging an “International Judge the Quran Day.” “Yes, we’re going to do it,” Jones said on a YouTube address announcing the event. “We have decided to do it on March 20 starting at 6 p.m. It’s your opportunity, all you so-called peaceful Muslims. On that day the Quran will be put on trial. “We are accusing the Quran of murder, rape, deception,” he said, “and being responsible for terrorist activities all over the world.” Basically, it’s a trial, he told a Tampa Bay audience on WFLA-AM 970 this morning. Judgment day will take place on the grounds of his church, the Dove World Outreach Center. “We are challenging the Muslim world to defend the Quran, he said on the radio show. “They say the Quran is a book of peace and a religion of peace,” he said. “We are asking them to present to us a defense person who will try to defend the Quran.” He called the book “evil.” He said a jury of about 30 people, made up of Christians and Muslims, will decide. “If found guilty,” he said, “there are four forms of punishment: burning, drowning, shredding or firing squad.” Jones’ website, Stand Up America, contains a survey on which visitors can pick a punishment. […] Jones is expected to hold a news conference on Thursday afternoon announcing details of the mock trial. Signs on the church property already announce the event, taking place at 6 p.m. on March 20.” The full story.

Watch the idiot add yet another black eye to Florida’s rich black-eyed, pea-brained gallery:

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80 Pets and a Girl Rescued from Deltona Home

Nowhere near that cuddly a situation.

From the Sentinel: “Volusia County deputies said they rescued more than 80 pets — and one teenage girl — on Wednesday from the home of a couple suspected of hoarding. Authorities turned their attention to a home on Cottondale Drive in Deltona after city code enforcement officers reported a “strong smell” coming from the home. Deputies executed a search warrant at the city’s request on Wednesday and described living conditions in the home as deplorable. According to a sheriff’s spokesman, deputies could smell animal waste “before they even reached the front door.” “When they got inside,” spokesman Gary Davidson said, “deputies encountered a house littered with animal urine and mounds of animal waste throughout every room, on the furniture and even on top of the stove.” Although a 16-year-old girl lived in the home, investigators said they were unable to find a sanitary area in the kitchen to prepare food. They described the stench in the house as “so powerful that it was difficult to breathe.” According to Davidson, Deltona code enforcement officers removed 71 cats and 12 dogs from the home. Davidson said three cats were left in the home because officers were unable to “round them up.” Deputies arrested 50-year-old Keith Harms and his wife, 46-year-old Robyn Harms. They were booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail on child-abuse charges. Attempts to reach family for comment were not successful.” The full story.

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The Real Declaration of Independence

An absolutely wonderful brief video, full of subtle funnies:

Movie Manipulation and You: A Brief History of Product Placement

Statistical Abstract Fanaticism

From Random Samplings: “Did you know that Raleigh, N.C., was the fastest-growing large metro area in the last decade?  (View table 21). That only about 5 percent of us take public transportation to work? (View table 1099). Well, thanks to the Statistical Abstract, now you know. Perennially the federal government’s best-selling publication, the Statistical Abstract has been published yearly since 1878. The 2011 edition, the 130th in the series, has more than 1,400 tables ─ including 65 new ones ─ from sources both government and private. Think of a key factor in your life and chances are you will find information on it in the Statistical Abstract: health, education, crime, agriculture ─ no matter. If you need a stat, this is the place to turn. The Abstract provides copious amounts of data on topics that have been in the news ─ mining fatalities, offshore oil drilling, and distracted drivers. It also examines the more offbeat: people injured in accidents involving televisions (table 197), cyberbullying (table 247) and honey bee colonies (table 860). And when you need data on pretty much any topic that ends up being in the news in the coming year, count on finding it in the Stat Abstract.

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A Few Good Links

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