Category Archives: murder

Crimes and Misdemeanors QUESTIONS

It’s the dog days of summer when “nothing” happens, except that, of course, it does. In addition to this month being the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, it is the 40th anniversary of the Tate-LaBianca murders by the Charles Manson “family” and the 35th anniversary of the resignation of Richard Nixon. So please answer one or more of these questions.

1. Susan Atkins is “gravely ill with a brain tumor”. Her release would save the cash-strapped state of California thousands of dollars per year. Should she be released? Should Leslie Van Houten be released? Filmmaker John Waters, who has befriended her, says yes: “Leslie has taken responsibility, and she has followed the rules — the rules that they have told her to follow to get parole. … She’s the poster girl for the California prison system.”
In Atkins’ case, I just don’t know enough to say. Is she penitent? But in Van Houten’s case, I agree with Waters: “I do believe in rehabilitation.”

2. When Richard Nixon resigned, it was with such mixed emotions. On one hand, I was glad he was gone. On the other hand, I wanted him to suffer more for his “high crimes and misdemeanors” as “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Watergate mess. I’m STILL not convinced that Gerald Ford should have pardoned him a month later, certainly not without some responsibility taken by Nixon; I suppose I was looking for some sort of contrition over what he put the country through.
But what say you?

3. There were 104 names on this list of baseball players who, in 2003, tested positive for some sort of controlled substance. The list was supposed to be confidential, as the official MLB ban on these products didn’t take hold until 2004. Yet the names drip out: Bonds. Sosa. A-Rod. Ramirez. Big Papi. All the players of that period, including the ones not guilty of anything, are tainted by suspicion. Should the list be released? Should the Players’ Association agree to such a thing? I think the constant drip…drip…drip of names is so harmful that I hope the association agrees to the release. Your thoughts?
Oh that’s a LIFE magazine pic of Paul and Paul. My father had some Les Paul/Mary Ford singles, as I recall.



You Would Be a Upstanding Superhero

You are alert and observant. You can see through people easily. You know who’s evil and who’s good.

You need a lot of freedom in your life. You like to do your own thing, and you don’t fit into any normal mold.

You understand people quite well and often know what others are thinking. Because of this, you can get people to do what you want.

You are a shapeshifter who fits in with almost any group. You can get along with anyone. You’re quite flexible.

You are a true philosopher. You are thirsty for wisdom. You are trying to figure out the meaning of life.

Steve McNair died. I must admit that, until there were more of them in the NFL, I used to keep track of all the black quarterbacks. There had been a prevailing feeling that they didn’t have the “necessities” available to lead a team. McNair was one of the best.

Do you know what I don’t get? Murder-suicide, which is a working theory in this case. If proven true in this case, it would be unusual in that the it would be the woman who killed McNair before killing herself.

The Times They Are A Changin'

You may have seen this cover of a fake New York Times that was being distributed last week. If you want a PDF of the whole thing, it’s here. We’re not at that point in the headlines, of course, but I’m pleased with the transition website. I like that openness. Naturally, he’s still being coy about his Cabinet. (Wanna guess and win a prize?) The speculation that Hillary Clinton might be named Secretary of State has this town all a-buzz, mostly concerning who might succeed her in the Senate.

Speaking of the New York Times, the REAL paper had a great article earlier this month about the imperial Presidency of George W. Bush. (Free login required.) The Dan Rather fights back piece intrigues me. There was also another article that caught my attention, “Can Obama Help Kill Baggy Pants Look?”
“P. Rubinstein, a sociology professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, agreed. ‘It’s very clear that what a president wears has an impact on the population,’ she said. Not everyone believes that words alone are enough. One doubter is Alan Flusser, a designer of men’s wear in Manhattan who has written several books on fashion. When it comes to Mr. Obama and the brotherhood of the sagging pants, ‘I don’t think his commenting on it one way or another is going to influence anybody,’ Mr. Flusser said.”

And I’ve finally discovered Rachel Maddow, who laid out in six minutes why the Dems should strip Joe Lieberman of his chair of the Homeland Security Committee. It’s not about 60 “Democratic” senators – would you trust this man to be the 60th person in a cloture vote? – or revenge over Joe supporting Johnny Mac, but about competence (or lack thereof) in the job he has had:
or here.

But there were a couple stories that made me remember that the country’s still a scary place. A member of a group linked to the Ku Klux Klan has been charged with murder following the death of an Oklahoma woman who was recruited via the internet to Louisiana, but subsequently tried to leave an initiation ceremony. The KKK. In 2008. Ain’t that ducky?

Much closer to home is this hate crime apparently part of a pattern of violence which was stirred up in part by the rhetoric of a local politician. After I wrote this, I discovered that Greg also touched on this topic, proving the “great minds” theorem; and Common Dreams likewise had a story.

So lest we get all warm and fuzzy about “change”, know that “change” is a process, not just a flick of a switch. Or even a voting lever.