Ground Zero — Ferguson

Ferguson Ground Zero
Click photo for the original articleBuzzfeed/Joel Anderson

In the wake of the news that Ferguson, Missouri, police Darren Wilson will not be indicted for killing Michael Brown, you’ve probably seen lots of reports of destruction and anger, and far fewer about the despair of black men as they contemplate the message the grand jury’s decision sends about the value of their lives.

Here’s a great corrective. BuzzFeed’s Joel Anderson captured this image, and Twitter user @HeyMyNameIsWill contrasted it with the images of the protests offered by cable TV.

Rest assured white Republican America. If you live in a state where it’s perfectly legal for coppers to shoot an unarmed suspect fleeing the scene of a crime [or suspected of fleeing a crime – or suspected of anything] – you already know you or your kids aren’t likely to be the victims of murder-by-cop. if you’re Black or Brown or some other non-white tint of human being, that’s different. But, you also know that doesn’t matter.

The city of Albuquerque, down the road from here, has a police force that is just coming out from under a Department of Justice investigation, new rules, new oversight – because of the number of civilians killed by coppers. Watching the local news on any day, we call it “watching the local murders”. And like most Americans, we don’t mind a whole lot if it’s one drug gang killing members of another drug gang – or cops killing crooks with a lifetime record of violence and theft.

Albuquerque got in trouble because their cops killed too many white guys, too many veterans.

Ferguson, St. Louis, Middle America ain’t going to change anything if cops stick to killing Black men or Hispanics. The despair in this photo is only a reflection of that fact. And the politicians charged with aiding oversight, peace and prosperity couldn’t care less. Which is a much better reason to throw them out of office than Keynesian fiscal policy or not strictly adhering to orders received directly from your God and your bible.

Army’s largest base suffers four suicides in one weekend


Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

Four soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas died over the week. In all four cases, it appears the soldiers, all decorated veterans from the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, took their own lives…

If confirmed as suicides, it would be on top of 14 other suicides on the base this year. Base officials called a news conference for Wednesday afternoon to discuss the problem of suicides at the huge base in central Texas.

Every one of these is tragic,” said Maj. Gen. William Grimsley, the post commander. “It’s personally and professionally frustrating as a leader.”

Grimsley did not announce any major action or response during the news conference. “I don’t think there is a simple answer,” he said.

The recent spate of incidents, began Friday Sept. 24 when the body of Pvt. Antonio E. Heath, 24, of Warren, New York, was found in Temple, Texas, the victim of a gunshot wound. Heath was deployed to Iraq for most of 2009 and earned a number of medals including the Army Commendation Medal.

The next day, Master Sgt. Baldemar Gonzales, 39, of Victoria, Texas was found dead in his residence on Fort Hood. During his service he had fought in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. During that time he earned a Bronze Star, a Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, an Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters as well as numerous other decorations.

That same day the body of Sgt. Timothy Ryan Rinella, 29, of Chester, Virginia, was found in his home in Copperas Cove, just outside of Fort Hood. He had an “apparent gunshot wound,” according to information released by Fort Hood. Rinella served three tours of duty in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan.

And then on Sunday, Sgt. Michael F. Franklin and his wife, Jessie, were found dead of apparent gunshot wounds in their home on the post. The case is being investigated as a murder-suicide. They were the parents of a 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son. Franklin served two tours of duty in Iraq in just the past four years, earning an Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters and several other decorations…

What is there to say? Speculation is easy. I think the sum of our government’s reliance on the military to achieve questionable political goals for decades makes incidents like these – absolutely unsurprising. The rest is details.

It’s an ill wind that etc…

A Boston psychologist says his profession has seen an upswing in business as the nation’s economic woes have worsened.

Psychologist Jim Grubman said while financial advisers and other wealthy citizens are struggling to make money during the ongoing economic crisis, psychologists are getting requests from more clients than they can handle…

Grubman told the Boston Globe many of his new patients are individuals in the financial sector who are so used to success they cannot cope with sudden economic problems.

“Many are perfectionists and many are feeling very bad because they’re doubting themselves and their skills,” Grubman said. “It’s terrifying … I’ve seen them lose tens of millions of dollars over the course of the last nine months.”

Sudden Loss Syndrome, eh? Consider that most of the money these parasites have been losing belonged to people who actually earned it working for a living.

India struggling to rescue flood victims

Indian troops and aid workers are struggling to reach hundreds of thousands of stranded people across flood-devastated northern India. Nearly half of the 1.2 million people displaced by the rising flood waters after the Kosi River burst in Nepal two weeks ago have been rescued said Prataya Amrit, a disaster official in the Indian state of Bihar.

The massive relief effort was the first to deploy all three branches of India’s military: the army, the navy and the air force, said Amrit.

Despite having more than 5,000 troops deployed across the state to rescue marooned communities and provide food and medical supplies, the rising flood waters left even more villagers stranded…

The relief was disjointed, and many areas saw displaced people camped out on whatever high ground they could find – embankments, railway tracks, bridges.

Aid workers from Unicef and the European Union tried to work out how best to provide help and distribute aid.

“We are going from place to place trying to assess the needs of the people, see what gaps there are and how we can fill them,” Malini Morzaria, from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department, said.

At the end of the Cold War, the world discussed joint peaceful uses for our military. Neocon politics has taken all of that off the table. My homeland has assumed the imperial mantle still reeking of the British stain – that the sun was never supposed to escape.

I have no doubt that NGO’s from the United States and Canada are delivering aid as quickly as possible. Bush and Cheney – and McCain – are focused on getting a billion dollar$ to Georgia to buy more tanks.