Skip to main content


How did I know, without looking, that the woman in question was black?

And that the police officer in question would say he feared for his safety?

The sad, sad story.

Even sadder is the comments section. Even knowing how Yahoo is the septic tank of sociopathic typings, looking at some of them just made me wnt to beat my head in. Immediately blaming the father for putting her in a dangerous situation and calling him a lowlife, and other such nonsense. I did read the article rather quickly, but I cannot recall seeing anything that hinted at a criminal record or such. Surprise surprise, people pulling assumptions out of their asses and blaming the victims. One of those moments that make me question whether or not humans truly have higher intelligence.

Spread the word. Add this to the long list of documented instances of out-of-control police in the St. Louis area. Keep the pressure on, any way we can.

Discuss

Oh, how I had actually looked forward to this year's midterm. Democrats holding the line in the Senate, ditching a bunch of teabag governors like Rick Scott, and other gains. Of course, those high hopes were mercilessly crushed last week. And given how I live in the outer fringes of the Bible Belt, I can't be too vocal at work and such...

But yesterday, as I did some running around in my city's outdoor mall this weekend, to get my mind off this blistering setback. Had lunch at Chipotle (one of the few restaurants I'll still eat at, due to their source of chicken), was walking back from Barnes & Noble after buying the next Wheel of Time book I need to read (anything to help an Amazon competitor), heading back over to the Best Buy to finally get the Blu-ray pack for Man of Steel (which rocks all over 1978 Superman, by the way, and I needed something positive).

And as I was heading back, what did I see? Pulling up to a Cheesecake Factory was...a black Tesla model S. I was right by the curb, and this was the closest I ever got to one. No surprise he was going for valet parking. So out steps a guy in his later years, and I just go ahead and ask, "Are those cars as good as everyone says they are?" He replies that he loves it. I say something quick about just getting a Ford Fiesta soon, being only a year into my first post-college job, and using that while hoping that electric vehicles will be more commonplace in ten years. He responds that he believes they will be, and we both go our separate ways.

Maybe it's me fishing for ANY hopeful signs after the self-inflicted wounds of a botched midterm election. But seeing an obviously well-off, older white dude hopeful about such a needed change, and acknowledging that things are indeed moving in that direction, stuck out that day. That the Kochs and the like can't use their money to will away coming changes in transportation and renewable energy, that forces will conspire against them anyway, like the free market values they claim to love (how ironic!).

Whatever keeps you going. Whatever gears you up for 2016 (keep the White House blue, even if it means using Hillary to do it) and 2018 (flip some governorships and state legislatures in time for 2020).

Discuss

Yeah OK, I bought the Blu-ray pack since there's a guy at the local flea market every weekend who sells stuff at excellent prices. Hey, it's how I finally caved to all the hoopla about Frozen. And why bother giving my money to Wal-Mart, when I can help this guy make an honest buck and still spend LESS!?

Of course, some stuff about the movie didn't look kosher even before the movie was released in theatres. I mean, you blackify one of the main Spider-Man villains and put him in a HOODIE. Yeah, no unfortunate implications there.

But after the Ferguson fiasco, some of the scenes now look even wronger. The first Electro scene has him confused and afraid, and Spider-Man is trying to talk him down. But oh, look at that, a sniper is now perched on a billboard platform, ready to take a shot. This now strikes a chord after thinking about it because Spidey has NO TRAINING in talking down distraught people capable of doing harm, unlike police officers who are (supposedly) trained for that sort of thing. But here, though Spidey is clearly winging it, he was doing quite well...until said sniper gets antsy and fires, and FUCKS everything up for the rest of the movie!

Oh yeah, and there's the fact that it seems the NYPD had a sniper rifle conveniently lying around in one of the squad cars. Best thing I can say about this scene is that it's a black cop who first accosts Electro, and though he freaks out and draws his weapon, he holds his fire.

And though you don't exactly see militarized police in the movie, even when it's time to take on the Rhino, you see beefed-up private security in Ravencroft, storming in to take out Harry Osborn. You also see private security decked out in military gear in Oscorp in deleted scenes, right after he becomes the Green Goblin and busts out. Militarized police is bad enough, but seeing private security so quickly and readily dressed for war is also disconcerting.

Discuss

OK, relatively short diary because I need to get to work fulfilling some New Year's resolutions, y'know, on NEW YEAR'S DAY and stuff. Been dragging my feet a bit because it's been raining off and on where I live. Oh well, might as well enjoy it now before climate change screws up weather patterns worldwide.

And that's kinda where I wanted to go. While everyone here seems to be jubilant about six million or so having greater access to health insurance starting today, and indeed we should all take some comfort after what it took to get THAT far, my mind is on more long-term things at the moment. Prevent ecocide, stuff like that.

But alas, look at all the rumblings regarding renewable energy in 2013. The price of solar power continuing to drop like a rock, speculation that wind power can excel without renewal of government support, nearly all of new power generating capacity in America toward the ass-end of 2013 being renewables, and grid parity close to being reached in many places, if it hasn't already.

And that's just the, ahem, supply-side of things. What about things to do with this abundant, cheaper, minimally-polluting source of power down the line? Plug-in electric vehicles are finally, FINALLY working their way into the market, even here in the somewhat-red, upper right end of Florida. I've seen a Tesla parked at the big outdoor mall in my area. And yesterday I had to use the family car to get new tags and drop off recyclables, (I usually use a bus) and saw a Chevy Volt for the first time. Ford has a plug-in hybrid and an all-electric now, and as I understand it, BMW plans to get in the game, if they haven't already. And don't forget all the Priuses already on the road, proving many people are cool with stuff that's not straight-up gas-powered. Slowly but surely, it's happening. And the technology for batteries with longer life and range will only get better, the price will get cheaper, and demand for this spiffy new futursiticy mode of transportation will rise.

Too slow, you say? We always knew the transition would take time, and wouldn't be painless. Cue ALEC and the Kochs' attempts to label solar users as 'freeriders' or some shit like that, and have ridiculous taxes levied on them. Do NOT let this frighten you. Instead, see it for what it is: proof of fear and desperation on their part.

But will this allow humanity to cut emissions enough to allow the planet to stay under that 2°C rise? Maybe. I mean, if NEW YORK CITY can cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 19% in eight years, anything is possible. And another rumbling in 2013 has me optimistic about long-term sustainability: notions that nuclear fusion is back on track. And what to do with this new source of power? Easy. This new gizmo unveiled by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory back in May of 2013. Basically, it removes CO2 from the air, generates hydrogen fuel, and produces alkalinity to counteract ocean acidification. All for the proposed price tag of $50.00 per ton of CO2 removed, the lowest price yet attached to any proposed geoengineering tactic! I know I know, it's controversial topic in these parts. Believe me, dumbass ideas like huge space umbrellas and screwing with aerosols to let people keep driving their gas-guzzling sports cars reek of assiness. But a technique with the aim of simply cleaning up the collective mess humanity has made, while our collective behavior slowly but surely changes for the better, is a winner in my book.

So though we have a long, torturous road ahead of us if we wish to drag our teabagger neighbors kicking and screaming into a better, sustainable future, quiet progress was made this year. So don't get discouraged as we gear up to make sure it still doesn't all come crashing down anyway. Happy Fucking New Year.

EDIT: Wow, Community Spotlight? Whatever I'm doing right, I suppose I'd better keep doing it.

Discuss

The more I learn about how humans have screwed with this planet, the more I realize I know diddily-dick.

The first I ever heard about unsustainable palm oil harvesting in Indonesia and Malaysia, which involves slash 'n burn clearing of rain forests and pushing orangutans toward extinction, was a CNN article right before Halloween THIS YEAR. Turns out just about every form of milk chocolate candy outside a good ol'-fashioned Hershey's bar contains palm oil. Yeah yeah, learning about an environmental travesty for the first time from CNN, some liberal I am.

So I resolved to simply nix chocolate bars from my diet and leave it at that. That'll stave off adult-onset diabetes for a few more years, I figured. But wait! Turns out palm oil is used in a lot of other foods I typically bought. Palm oil is in the Pop-Tart I sometimes have on my 10-minute morning break? Well, screw that from now on. Wait a minute, Cheez-Its have this stuff too? I love the white cheddar variety, but I guess I can live without it. Oh, it's in most butter spreads too!? Oh fine, I'll buy organic stick butter. A few less butter tubs in a landfill anyway.

But yesterday, I learned palm oil is even used in most soaps and shampoos! And companies are pretty damn sneaky about it too, listing it as 'sodium laureth sulfate' on the back label, which can be derived from palm oil. A quick look through the personal care products aisle while I was shopping today revealed how it's in just about EVERY brand, not just the stuff I typically pick up from Dollar General. Given that sacrificing presentability while at a job I've only been at for a few months ain't an option, I better find replacements for those, too.

It's a bitch, trying to be a responsible consumer and set an example with your purchasing decisions, resisting the path of least resistance. But hey, it's worth it, especially when I recall all the taunts from right-wingers insisting we don't practice what we preach. Always braying about accountability, yet on that CNN article, it was the comments from right-leaning folks who complained about those concerned for the environment were 'trying to make people feel guilty' or some shit like that. Because insisting that people should know about the consequences of their behavior must be avoided, unless it's something you'd hear from a fake crisis pregnancy center. Then it's OK.

Anyway, I'm going off on a tangent. For those who want to save cute orangutan babies, here's a helpful link for spotting the stuff on product labels, along with other information.

Discuss

The Litany of Fear. Even those who've never picked up a single Dune  book have probably heard these words: Fear is the mind-killer. And those of us around here routinely get our jollies by pointing out how irrational fear is killing minds over on the Freeper side of the spectrum. Freaking out over gay marriage. Seeing scary commies around every corner. The list goes on and on. But lately, I can't help but keep shaking my head at how fellow liberals, who've already been through so much, seem ready to throw in the towel when it comes to the Affordable Care Act's clumsy implementation.

And it's making me sick.

Continue Reading

Anyone see Pacific Rim yet? No? Shame on you, since overwhelmingly positive word-of-mouth should've made it clear this is one of those rare, original films in which the main goal is to make things 'fun'.

So naturally, I was waiting to see uber-conservatives bash the film as 'libturd propaganda' or some crap like that. But I have yet to see any such criticism. I guess they were tuckered out from decrying how White House Down pointed out the obvious about the military-industrial complex, and were just waiting for Elysium before dishing out that sort of criticism en masse again.

But I guess the real reason was because the little bits of libby-goodness in Pacific Rim were perhaps TOO subtle for the average Tea Partier to pick up on.

Journey below the orange kaiju turd to find out why. SPOILERS AHEAD

EDIT: Wow. BOTH of my first two diaries hit the community spotlight? Just from some rambling? Well, time to find a better topic for the next one. Here in Florida, that shouldn't be hard....

Continue Reading

Just a quick reflection on all sorts of topics, from global warming to the job market to American consumerism to whatever I feel like putting into my first diary here. Let's do this.

I'm writing this the day before I rent a car and spend a few days driving across the state, visiting family during the week before I report to my new job. My first post-college job...snagged only months after graduation, with decent starting pay and benefits. Thanks to the wonders of sites like DailyKos and ThinkProgress, I am fully aware of how this is the exception these days and not the rule.

Your typical Tea Partier would probably tell me I achieved this through willingness to work hard, pulling myself up by my bootstraps (whatever that means). Of course, something tells me any such admiration would vanish upon learning I received Pell Grants and took advantage of subsidized loans, and didn't exactly work through college, instead doing unpaid healthcare work as a live-in caretaker for permanently disabled family members. Oh yeah, and this is a job with my state's government. So cue the calls of taking handouts and being a lazy loafer wanting a cushy government job.

Naturally, I'd dismiss such vapid insults with a wave of my hand. But should I feel any pride at all? Again, I was lucky to find out about this particular occupation, which has considerable job security and plenty of opportunities for advancement. Countless other grads with bachelor's degrees, however, will be left out in the cold, even those with degrees similar to mine. Would it be right to feel any sense of accomplishment, knowing luck factored into my good fortune along with skill and perseverance? Knowing that thousands and thousands of other fresh grads don't even have the spark of hope I have now? I'm not sure what to feel.

More rambling under that ornate orangey thing.

Continue Reading
You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.

RSS

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site