Thursday Open Thread

R.I.P. Jean Nidetch, the founder of WeightWatchers. She died this week at age 91. I spent a week at a health spa with her in the early 80's. She was very smart and funny and fun to be around. Here's a picture I took of her that week, and one another guest took of her and me. Should I mention again it was 30 years ago? R.I.P. Jean.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    David Simon ("The Wire") weighs in (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 12:54:35 PM EST
    with maybe the best account of what's happening here in Baltimore.

    I would highly recommend that you read it; if nothing else, I think it provides context and perspective that has gotten lost in the media frenzy.

    Seriously great article. (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 02:58:51 PM EST
    The first thing (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 04:20:13 PM EST
    i noticed about his "rap sheet" was it was practically all for controlled substances.  No doubt it would be so with many rap sheets.

    I Grew Up in Small Town USA... (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 01, 2015 at 10:25:07 AM EST
    ...where I imagine underage drinking is to small towns as possession is to the intercity.  Everyone's got at least one, and most have two.  And if it didn't end at 21, most would have a rap sheets worth.

    I like, like Mr. Gray was arrested one time for the offense of running from the police and had earlier consumed, literally, a couple beers.  The difference of course is the police in small town USA don't tune-up white teenagers on the way to the station, they just write them a ticket and call their parents.


    He certainly (none / 0) (#18)
    by CST on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 02:09:54 PM EST
    Has a way with words.

    If every Democrat reads it... (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 02:48:29 PM EST
    O'Malley may as well close up shop right now.  
    And I hope the Democratic nominee reads it too and crosses him off the list for VP or a cabinet position.

    As far as I'm concerned, by all rights he should be up on charges for massive & systemic civil rights violations.  


    The minute (none / 0) (#27)
    by NYShooter on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 03:29:14 PM EST
    he said being called a mother fu**er was o,k, but, if someone said, a$$hole, he went to jail, he crossed the inviolate line. No Legislature, no law granted sush extra-legal authority to a LEO. That a cop granted himself such power guaranteed that fear would replace respect, and anger would replace cooperation.

    The super care and ultra sense of responsibility for safety I feel whenever I'm handling a firearm is the same feeling a cop should feel whenever he places that badge on his chest.


    Not sure from you comment (none / 0) (#30)
    by CST on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 03:39:39 PM EST
    But to be clear - David Simon is a writer talking about what life in Baltimore is like.  He's not a cop/former cop.  He was a reporter for a Baltimore newspaper for many years, and went on to create the TV show The Wire, among others.

    I just couldn't tell from your comment if you thought "he" was David Simon (the writer) and that "he" granted himself such power, etc...  He's just writing about the code that existed at one time, not that it was his code, or that he followed it.


    No, no, I was addressing my comment (none / 0) (#38)
    by NYShooter on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 04:58:57 PM EST
    to whomever held, and, acted upon that view: That this person crowned himself with the authority to let a man keep his freedom if he used certain curse words, but if that man used other curse words, by the power he granted himself, he felt empowered to take his freedom away for X # of days.

    The message is what got me, not who implemented it.


    One of Simon's points is... (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by kdog on Fri May 01, 2015 at 10:32:34 AM EST
    is as inhumane and horrible as that unwritten policy was Shooter, at least there was a code that was understood by both the police and the neighborhood.  One knew where they stood and what they were dealing with, and could act accordingly.

    Today, it's even worse...there is no discernible unwritten code of the street that police live by.  They are lawless, codeless...it's a free for all where any citizen in certain neighborhoods can be harassed, arrested, abused, beaten, or killed for no reason at all.

    My old man used to tell me stories related to the unwritten code between the NYPD and the neighborhood back in his day.  He once broke the code against fighting back and spent a night at the precint handcuffed to a chair getting the snot beat out of him.  Strangely, he was kinda ok with it because he knew the code, knew what the punishment would be, and he also got many breaks because of the code that today would mean an arrest and prosecution.  

    Where as my far lesser run-ins in the modern era of stat obsessed Broken Windows policing stung so much harder, and made me so much angrier and bitter, because there is no more code of the street that police abide by.  In the old days I would not have been hassled or abused because my "crime" was not a "crime" worth pursuing according to the code. I mean I still got plenty of clean-cut whiteboy breaks and all, but I never knew where I stood and what to expect when encountering a cop.  That's petrifying, I can't even imagine the terror of powerlessness and uncertainty a minority must face in a rough neighborhood where encounters with cops without a code are constant.    


    That Was Probably... (none / 0) (#23)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 03:05:46 PM EST
    ...the most interesting thing I have read this month.

    40 years ago today, ... (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 07:02:13 PM EST
    ... South Vietnamese Gen. Duong Van Minh surrendered his government unconditionally to NVA forces, who entered Saigon only one day after the last U.S. diplomatic and military personnel were evacuated by air from that city. And just like that, nearly four decades of bloody conflict in the former French Indochina came to a shockingly abrupt but merciful end.

    As we observe a somber anniversary, let's also recognize the leadership shown by the late President Gerald Ford on this particular occasion. Once Congress had rightly declined to act earlier on his proposed military aid package to the tottering and dysfunctional Saigon regime, he wisely bowed to the inevitable and stoutly resisted the vigorous calls of his own party's hawkish right -- led by an increasingly bellicose Ronald Reagan -- to re-intervene militarily in Vietnam.

    In a generally underappreciated speech to students at Tulane University on April 23, 1975, only one week before the fall of Saigon, Ford not only fired a warning shot directly across his future rival's bow, but also clearly articulated the effective limits of U.S. military and political intervention in other places around the world, which is something our leaders today really ought to revisit and reconsider:

    "Today, America can regain the sense of pride that existed before Vietnam. But it cannot be achieved by refighting a war that is finished, as far as America is concerned. [...] We, of course, are saddened indeed by the events in Indochina. But these events, tragic as they are, portend neither the end of the world nor of America's leadership in the world.

    "Let me put it this way, if I might. Some tend to feel that if we do not succeed in everything everywhere, then we have succeeded in nothing anywhere. I reject categorically such polarized thinking. We can and we should help others to help themselves. But the fate of responsible men and women everywhere, in the final decision, rests in their own hands, not in ours."

    Amen to that.

    Watching Gray news conference (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 01, 2015 at 09:50:32 AM EST
    I withdraw my skepticism about the state attorney handling the case.  I like her.  She is laying it out.  And it's pretty much what we all thought.

    Tune in.  The questions should be interesting.

    This is really amazing (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 01, 2015 at 09:53:37 AM EST
    charges are flying.

    All 6 officers (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by CST on Fri May 01, 2015 at 10:06:05 AM EST
    are facing charges, including manslaughter.



    That was truly stunning (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 01, 2015 at 10:08:02 AM EST
    no reason to arrest, on switchblade.  This young woman has a future.

    Marilyn Mosby is no shrinking violet. (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by Anne on Fri May 01, 2015 at 10:13:09 AM EST
    I have to say that watching her as she ran for the office, and as she has handled several high-profile cases, I had a lot of confidence that this was not going to be another case of someone's death being ruled an accident, as so many police-involved deaths have been ruled.

    The charge that is really noteworthy is false imprisonment.  The knife Gray had in his pocket was not an illegal switchblade, so he should never have been arrested.  Since this kind of police action is rampant in some areas of the city, and this charge may put police on notice that this kind of thing is just not going to be tolerated.


    Just heard on the report I'm watching (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by nycstray on Fri May 01, 2015 at 10:21:35 AM EST
    'he ran without provocation' related to his arrest? (I'm on my first coffee)

    There's so much wrong with this.


    Yeah (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 01, 2015 at 10:22:50 AM EST
    the fact that he is dead makes running seem like not the worst decision

    Kinda hard to decide what to do these days (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by nycstray on Fri May 01, 2015 at 11:00:07 AM EST
    as they shoot you in the back,  choke you to death,  rough ride you, beat you . . .  and ask questions later.

    It's a stunning development (none / 0) (#86)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 01, 2015 at 11:04:27 AM EST
    i keep saying that I guess but is it not?  Clearly the cops involved thought they were going to get away with the same old sh!t.  He was trying to injure himself.  He had a switchblade.  He "ran".

    Some boys in blue must be sitting, head in hands, muttering "what a world. what a world."


    Here's a rundown of the charges: (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by Anne on Fri May 01, 2015 at 11:13:45 AM EST
    - Lt. Brian Rice, 41, has been a member of the Baltimore Police Department since 1997, the supervisor on April 12: Charged with involuntary manslaughter, two  second-degree assault charges, two misconduct in office charges and false imprisonment. If convicted, he could face a sentence of as much as 30 years in prison.

    • Sgt. Alicia White, 30, has been a member of the Baltimore Police Department since 2010: Charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office. If convicted, he could face a sentence of as much as 20 years in prison.

    • Police Officer William Porter, 25, has been a member of the Baltimore Police Department since 2012: Charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office. If convicted, he could face a sentence of as much as 20 years in prison.

    • Police Officer Garrett Miller, 26, has been a member of the Baltimore Police Department since 2012: Charged with second-degree assault intentional, second-degree assault negligent, two misconduct in office charges and false imprisonment. If convicted, he could face a sentence of as much as 20 years in prison.

    • Police Officer Edward Nero, 29, has been a member of the Baltimore Police Department since 2012: Charged with false imprisonment and second-degree assault intentional, second-degree assault negligent, two misconduct in office charges and false imprisonment. If convicted, he could face a sentence of as much as 20 years in prison.

    • Police Officer Caesar Goodson, 45, has been a member of the Baltimore Police Department since 1999, the driver of the prisoner transport van: Charged with second-degree depraved-heart murder; involuntary manslaughter; second-degree negligent assault; manslaughter by vehicle by means of gross negligence; manslaughter by vehicle by means of criminal negligence; misconduct in office for failure to secure a prisoner, failure to render aid. If convicted, he could face a sentence of as much as 63 years in prison.

    The definition of depraved-heart murder per Black's Law Dictionary is "unintentional murder (18c) 1. A killing for which malice is implied because the person acted with intent to cause serious physical injury or knew that the conduct was substantially certain to cause death or serious physical injury. In some jurisdictions, this term is applied generally to several grades of killings without express intent. Also termed unintended murder."



    I was kinda surprised (none / 0) (#89)
    by nycstray on Fri May 01, 2015 at 11:17:56 AM EST
    but I did cheer the news when it broke in. Odd thing to cheer, but, ye of little faith here.

    I guess we need van and car cameras along with body cams. Sheesh.


    Several of the state level ACLU's (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Zorba on Fri May 01, 2015 at 12:59:52 PM EST
    have made available a smart phone app:

    The ACLU of California on Thursday unveiled a free smartphone app that allows users to send video of questionable police activity directly to the organization, protecting the recordings even if officers confiscate or try to tamper with the phones.


    The California ACLU is one of several state ACLU's that have offered this app.


    shrinking violet (2.00 / 2) (#79)
    by Uncle Chip on Fri May 01, 2015 at 10:31:01 AM EST
    So did she present the information to a Grand Jury, as Bob McCulloch atleast did???

    O did she by-pass the Grand Jury entirely???

    She may not be a shrinking violet but she is a violet out on a long limb here.


    Look, Chip, you know and I know that (5.00 / 3) (#87)
    by Anne on Fri May 01, 2015 at 11:10:05 AM EST
    McCulloch took the Darren Wilson case to the Grand Jury because he didn't have the balls to make a decision to bring or not bring charges on his own, so quit making it sound like Mosby has breached some inviolate procedure that required her to put this before a Grand Jury.  She didn't.

    She isn't out on any limb; she's doing her job, which included an independent investigation by the her office.

    Why don't you take a break from being a jerk, get off your own a$$, do your own research and answer some of your own questions for a change.  


    Thanks (none / 0) (#91)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri May 01, 2015 at 11:38:27 AM EST
    Anne for keeping all of us up to date and apprised of the actual FACTS in the incident.

    I've tried...it's not - as you can see - (none / 0) (#94)
    by Anne on Fri May 01, 2015 at 12:38:12 PM EST
    been easy!

    My understanding is that when charges have been brought, as they have in this case, via a charging document and not via grand jury indictment, the next step would be to set a preliminary hearing to determine if the evidence is sufficient and probable cause has been established.

    What I heard one of the local investigative reporters say, though, is that what's likely to happen - what often happens - is that the preliminary hearing will be waived in favor of putting it all in the hands of a grand jury for indictments.  At least, I think that's what she said - I was trying to do something else at the time, so I may not have caught it all correctly.


    She was impressive (none / 0) (#76)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 01, 2015 at 10:21:43 AM EST
    I hope you are right.  Of course the police union has already stepped with unconditional defense of all officers involved.

    Ben E. King, of The Drifters has died. (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by caseyOR on Fri May 01, 2015 at 11:03:33 AM EST
    Love  songs like "Stand by Me" or "Spanish Harlem" or "There Goes My Baby"? Those are some of King's hit songs.

    King was 76 years old.

    News Flash (none / 0) (#1)
    by FlJoe on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 08:43:27 AM EST
    Today is national honesty day.

    In other news: Huge epidemic of Laryngitis hits D.C., blackouts hit cable news networks.  

    Freddie Gray (none / 0) (#2)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 09:30:31 AM EST
    Washinton Post:
    A prisoner sharing a police transport van with Freddie Gray told investigators that he could hear Gray "banging against the walls" of the vehicle and believed that he "was intentionally trying to injure himself," according to a police document obtained by The Washington Post.

    The Atlantic:

    Jayne Miller, a reporter for WBAL-TV, disputed the prisoner's claims on Twitter. She argues that Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts told her the second prisoner in the police van said Gray had been "mostly quiet" during the ride and there had been "no evidence" of Gray banging his head against the van.

    Let the Character Assassination (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 09:38:54 AM EST

    Read this sentence from one of (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by NYShooter on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 11:30:39 AM EST
    the early responders, and tell me again it could have been self-inflicted.

    "...he suffered severe trauma to his vertebrae, his spine was 80% severed, and his larynx was crushed"

    Apparently, some police departments have figured out how to "mellow" a suspect down on his way to the precinct:

    "For some, such injuries have been inflicted by what is known as a "rough ride" -- an "unsanctioned technique" in which police vans are driven to cause "injury or pain" to unbuckled, handcuffed detainees

    For example:

    "Christine Abbott, a 27-year-old assistant librarian at the Johns Hopkins University, is suing city officers in federal court, alleging that she got such a ride in 2012. According to the suit, officers cuffed Abbott's hands behind her back, threw her into a police van, left her unbuckled and "maniacally drove" her to the Northern District police station, "tossing [her] around the interior of the police van. They were braking really short so that I would slam against the wall, and they were taking really wide, fast turns," Abbott said in an interview that mirrored allegations in her lawsuit. "I couldn't brace myself. I was terrified."

    As if these weren't bad enough, this last one brought tears:

    "The most sensational case in Baltimore involved Johnson, a 43-year-old plumber who was arrested for public urination. He was handcuffed and placed in a transport van in good health. He emerged a quadriplegic."

    "A few bad apples".......right.


    Wasn't the driver of the van (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by NycNate on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 12:59:07 PM EST
    a minority?  And isn't the driver accused of not being forthcoming about all his stops along the way?  If Mr. gray was alive and talking when he was placed in van and dead due to a "nickel ride", doesn't that point at the driver?  

    Wouldn't that be some turn of events if a minority officer is responsible for his death?


    No, not really. (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 01:24:12 PM EST
    Do you imagine that only white police officers use excessive force against black people?

    You should read the interview this came from:

    How does race figure into this? It's a city with a black majority and now a black mayor and black police chief, a substantially black police force.

    What did Tom Wolfe write about cops? They all become Irish? That's a line in "Bonfire of the Vanities." When Ed and I reported "The Corner," it became clear that the most brutal cops in our sector of the Western District were black. The guys who would really kick your ass without thinking twice were black officers. If I had to guess and put a name on it, I'd say that at some point, the drug war was as much a function of class and social control as it was of racism. I think the two agendas are inextricably linked, and where one picks up and the other ends is hard to say. But when you have African-American officers beating the dog-piss out of people they're supposed to be policing, and there isn't a white guy in the equation on a street level, it's pretty remarkable. But in some ways they were empowered. Back then, even before the advent of cell phones and digital cameras -- which have been transforming in terms of documenting police violence -- back then, you were much more vulnerable if you were white and you wanted to wail on somebody. You take out your nightstick and you're white and you start hitting somebody, it has a completely different dynamic than if you were a black officer. It was simply safer to be brutal if you were black, and I didn't know quite what to do with that fact other than report it. It was as disturbing a dynamic as I could imagine. Something had been removed from the equation that gave white officers -- however brutal they wanted to be, or however brutal they thought the moment required -- it gave them pause before pulling out a nightstick and going at it. Some African American officers seemed to feel no such pause.

    I was just gonna refer him to your link... (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 01:42:08 PM EST
    Thanks Anne...when Simon speaks, I listen.

    I would add, in my personal experience, minority and female officers can be the absolute worst. My theory is maybe they feel like they have something to prove to their colleagues, less they appear to be taking it easy on the "enemy", aka the citizens and residents of the United States.


    You know, we're always looking (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by NYShooter on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 02:43:39 PM EST
    for an easy answer, a simple equation. I've been outspoken for many years about how this quest for simplicity in solving our big social problems ends up only exacerbating it. "Rob a  deli?" "Lock'm up for 10 years, and no country club, either." Real simple, and, since simplicity has proven to be an easy sell to the American public it led us straight to the largest number, by far, of incarcerated young men in the world

    In other words, the problems in Baltimore are not as simple as our media, and their inept/immoral promoters, would like to have us believe. Sometimes it is as simple as, "white, racist cop beats/shoots unarmed black suspect." But, it could as easily have been, "power addicted, sadist with a badge, beats/shoots unarmed anyone." Different specifics, same pathology: A group with officially granted authority unfairly abusing another group they were sworn to protect.


    The assumption that brutality and (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 03:08:05 PM EST
    abuse of power only happen between people of different races is one that I would like people to stop making.  Sure, I get it - we see a lot of white-on-black abuses, but it's 17 kinds of not-too-smart to think that whites don't beat up on whites and blacks don't beat up on blacks.

    I've been trying to open people's eyes a bit to what's been happening in my city, but I don't appear to have made much headway - not when folks from Texas can lecture about how it's no big deal that the CVS burned down - people can just go to another one! - when I know that that community and city leaders had to turn themselves inside out to convince CVS to put a store there.  There is no other CVS.

    The lack of a CVS seems like a minor thing to those of us leading what are clearly privileged lives.  I don't know if there's even a real grocery store anywhere close by.  If I had to depend on a corner store for all my food, my family wouldn't be eating well - and it wouldn't be cheap.  But it's a big deal to these people - and now, who knows if CVS will give the city another chance.


    Yeah Anne... (1.00 / 1) (#31)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 03:44:25 PM EST
    ...the world is coming to an end because the CVS is gone.  Not sure what that has to do with anything in regards to race other than blowing off steam, but if you must make a swipe at me at least have the courtesy to use my name and not attach an entire state to my comments.

    But good to see you and Jim team-up over the value of one CVS.


    Not nice, Scott (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Zorba on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 04:46:20 PM EST
    Anne is not "teaming up" with Jim in any way.
    The loss of the CVS in that neighborhood is no small thing.  There are many elderly, disabled, and very poor people there who depended upon that CVS to get their medications (as well as other items carried by the CVS). They don't have cars, and in many cases, the CVS is where they must get their meds in order to have them covered by their insurance.
    An elderly or disabled person who needs their meds at an affordable price for them, now must find a way to travel a good distance to acquire them.
    This may not seem like the end of the world to you, but it will be an extreme hardship for them.  It's not like they can afford to hop a cab and travel.  (Assuming they can even find a cab in that neighborhood.)

    No one said the world is coming to an (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 04:55:15 PM EST
    end because the CVS is gone, Scott; I tried to explain the importance of the store to the community to you, as did sj, and you still seem wedded to your what's-the-big-deal attitude.

    And have apparently decided that my perspective, living in the area, has less value than your own, which is largely media-based; I can tell you from what I have seen in the national media that they don't get it, either.

    I am not jim just because I attached importance to the CVS; I daresay that to be compared to jim is orders of magnitude more offensive than my failing to call you out by name in my earlier comment.

    You know what my point was, Scott.  That someone who doesn't live here and has never lived here really has no idea what this area is all about. And rather than snipe at me because I do, might have the maturity to admit that perhaps applying the mindset from your world to this one might have been off the mark.

    Do I physically live in West Baltimore?  No, thank God.  Are those areas I have to travel through or work in?  No.  But I read the newspaper, I watch the local news, keep up with what's happening in the city council and the state legislature, and the faces and names are not new to me.

    I would never try to tell you what matters to the people who live in neighborhoods near where you live, so maybe you could do me the courtesy of not trying to tell me what matters in areas near me.

    And that goes for your friend jim, who likes to run his mouth about things he doesn't know anything about, too.


    ALright... (none / 0) (#81)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 01, 2015 at 10:34:15 AM EST
    ...you comment about CVS above had nothing to do with the comment, and I took it as a swipe at me and so I unfortunately did the same.

    Peace, I like you and your comments too much to argue.  I am apologize for denigrating your comments/views Anne.


    Scott (none / 0) (#40)
    by sj on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 05:01:14 PM EST
    you really need to stop talking now.

    I'm not sure who you're addressing (none / 0) (#36)
    by NYShooter on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 04:48:17 PM EST
    with your criticism. The sole point of my post was, precisely, the fact that what ignites a violent reaction is one group having official power, and abusing it to the detriment of another group. That could be Black on black, black on white, or vice versa, or, needn't be black or white at all. It's Simply the disrespect the one with power imposes upon the other.

    Where's the disconnect?


    There isn't (none / 0) (#39)
    by sj on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 04:59:45 PM EST
    I don't know if there's even a real grocery store anywhere close by.  
    Bolton Hill has a Save-A-Lot. For a real grocery store I shopped in Hampden or Mount Vernon at the stores formerly known as SuperFresh.

    It feels weird that I can supply those details when my time in Baltimore now seems like another life.


    Yes, exactly. (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Zorba on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 03:08:39 PM EST
    It's not just about racist cops.  It's about the power granted to them, no matter what their race or gender.  And it's also about the society that has granted them this power, while too long having refused to hold them responsible for abuse of that power.

    So what if the driver was a minority! (none / 0) (#34)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 04:31:59 PM EST
    Why are you so obsessed with race that you feel compelled to bait others constantly about it? With each successive post, you're sounding more and more like a white supremacist.

    What, you just now (none / 0) (#48)
    by Zorba on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 07:30:45 PM EST
    figured this out about him, Donald?   ;-)

    I've given him several opportunities ... (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 10:08:10 PM EST
    ... over the last few days to back off the race-baiting at least somewhat gracefully. But since he's also been put on notice by Jeralyn about it, and given his continued obstinacy in pursuing that particular line of attack, his presence here may well be but a distant memory before too long.



    There are no minority officers. (none / 0) (#45)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 06:21:01 PM EST
    They are all blue. Maybe dark blue and light blue, but cops are cops and they all lie the same.

    You are misrepresenting that quote (none / 0) (#43)
    by Redbrow on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 05:43:34 PM EST
    as coming from a first responder.

    It came from Murphy, the familiy's lawyer, not any medical personnel or official report.


    NYT on "Rough Rides" (none / 0) (#60)
    by Mr Natural on Fri May 01, 2015 at 07:00:01 AM EST
    head injury he sustained (none / 0) (#26)
    by Redbrow on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 03:22:12 PM EST
    matches a bolt in the back of the van.

    Which means nothing. He was (none / 0) (#29)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 03:32:59 PM EST
    unbelted, handcuffed and leg-shackled; what do you imagine could happen if the driver stopped short or whipped around a couple of corners?

    The second I heard that story (none / 0) (#44)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 06:19:00 PM EST
    I cried BS! I believe wholeheartedly someone (most likely in blue) leaned on him and suggested that be the story he go with. I'm sure that prisoner has banked some goodwill points for a future arrest.

    "a prisoner" (none / 0) (#102)
    by jondee on Fri May 01, 2015 at 02:45:14 PM EST
    well it's must be true if a police report says so. Because the Baltimore police have such an untarnished record of credibility..

    Nice responsible investigative journalism, Post.

    While you're at it, have any WMD reports you'd like to share with the nation?



    Nice pictures, Jeralyn (none / 0) (#4)
    by Zorba on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 10:01:38 AM EST
    My, you were quite grown-up looking for a ten-year-old!
    You were ten, thirty years ago, right?   ;-)

    Jeralyn, sometimes your typos just (none / 0) (#5)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 10:05:59 AM EST
    crack me up...

    R.I.P. Jean Nidetch, the founder of


    thanks Anne (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 10:19:50 AM EST
    I fixed it.

    Oh sure, (none / 0) (#8)
    by NYShooter on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 11:37:47 AM EST
     she says, "thanks," but, she really means THIS: LINK

    Baltimore Mayor's press release: (none / 0) (#9)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 11:46:34 AM EST
    Thursday, April 30, 2015   

    Mayor Rawlings-Blake Announces Baltimore Police Department Has Delivered the Results of its Investigation into the Death of Mr. Freddie Gray to Baltimore City State's Attorney

    BALTIMORE, Md. (April 30, 2015)--Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced that the Baltimore Police Department has delivered the results of its initial investigation into the death of Mr. Freddie Gray to the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office:

    "This morning, the Baltimore Police Department delivered the results of its investigation into the death of Mr. Freddie Gray to the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office.

    The criminal investigation into Mr. Gray's death is now in the hands of the Office of the State's Attorney, which is also conducting its own independent investigation. The State's Attorney will determine whether to file criminal charges.

    Once the criminal investigation is complete, an internal disciplinary Police Department process can begin.

    Even as the Baltimore City State's Attorney conducts her investigation, it is important to remember that another outside, independent investigation is also taking place by the U.S. Department of Justice.

    The family of Mr. Gray wants answers. I want answers. Our entire city deserves answers into Mr. Gray's death.

    I ask that everyone remain patient and vigilant on this path to justice."

    Marilyn Mosby - Balitmore's State Attorney (none / 0) (#10)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 12:33:52 PM EST
    Baltimore's state's attorney probably did not expect to be thrust into the national spotlight during her fourth month on the job. And yet Marilyn Mosby -- the youngest top prosecutor of any major city in America -- now finds herself playing a key role in a local drama that has gripped the country.

    The 35-year-old is tasked with determining whether charges are warranted in the controversial death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died after suffering a spinal cord injury in police custody. Gray's death has inspired protests in Baltimore and nationwide.


    The state attorney (none / 0) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 12:35:51 PM EST
    who must maintain a working relationship seems a poor choice for this.

    She's married to a very outspoken (none / 0) (#15)
    by NycNate on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 01:00:42 PM EST
    Councilman on this issue.

    "Working relationship with police" (none / 0) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 12:38:37 PM EST
    I meant to say.

    I heard this morning they were using another prisoner to testify he heard Gray pounding on the inside of the van as if "he was trying to injure himself".


    Just saw that man (none / 0) (#41)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 05:05:27 PM EST
    deny saying that.  

    Me too... (none / 0) (#82)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 01, 2015 at 10:35:42 AM EST
    ...he basically said he didn't even know there was someone else in the vehicle until they got the station.

    "Sources said" (none / 0) (#22)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 03:04:48 PM EST
    Sources said the medical examiner found Gray's catastrophic injury was caused when he slammed into the back of the police transport van, apparently breaking his neck; a head injury he sustained matches a bolt in the back of the van.

    Details surrounding exactly what caused Gray to slam into the back of the van was unclear. The officer driving the van has yet to give a statement to authorities. It's also unclear whether Gray's head injury was voluntary or was a result of some other action.

    What I find interesting is that, of the (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 03:30:52 PM EST
    six officers involved in the whole thing, only one has not spoken to authorities, and that would now seem to be - if the story is accurate - the driver.

    I also have to say that I find the zeal to get leaked info out to the public is, in this situation, about as irresponsible as it is possible to be, given the tenuous calm that could explode at any moment.


    I agree. (none / 0) (#32)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 04:18:15 PM EST
    More sources leaking (none / 0) (#42)
    by Uncle Chip on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 05:26:02 PM EST

    Sources said the medical examiner found Gray's catastrophic injury was caused when he slammed into the back of the police transport van, apparently breaking his neck; a head injury he sustained matches a bolt in the back of the van.

    Details surrounding exactly what caused Gray to slam into the back of the van was unclear.

    It's also unclear whether Gray's head injury was voluntary or was a result of some other action.

    The officer driving the van has yet to give a statement to authorities.


    The driver should have been the first one to give a statement.

    Proud of our 25-year-old daughter (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Peter G on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 09:49:25 PM EST
    and her (mostly white) friends who were out in the streets for hours this evening and tonight at "Philly Is Baltimore" to show their support for the victims of police brutality and harassment. Apparently it stayed mostly peaceful, with most police showing admirable restraint in the face of taunting and verbal abuse, while demonstrators likewise remained largely nonviolent even if sometimes rowdy. (Apparently there were exceptions.) Can't get too upset that someone spray-painted  "FTP" on the statute, outside the Municipal Services Building, of the late, former mayor (and notoriously brutal police commissioner and cop before that), Frank Rizzo.

    Ah, yes, Frank Rizzo. (none / 0) (#56)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 10:48:09 PM EST
    "Just wait after November, you'll have a front row seat, because when I'm finished with them, I'm going to make Attila the Hun look like a f@ggot."

    The man had such a lovely way with words, didn't he?


    I still lived in Pennsylvania when Rizzo's (none / 0) (#59)
    by Mr Natural on Fri May 01, 2015 at 06:51:39 AM EST
    famous $400 doorknob made its appearance.

    I watched the local news tonight, (none / 0) (#49)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 07:38:53 PM EST
    expecting, after I saw this WJLA story, that this would be the lead.  It was not.  In fact, Jayne Miller, the lead investigative reporter for WBAL, reported on and interviewed the second man in the van, and also commented on the autopsy report, as follows:  [emphasis is mine]

    Allen described what he heard: "When I got in the van, I didn't hear nothing. It was a smooth ride. We went straight to the police station. All I heard was a little banging for about four seconds. I just heard little banging, just little banging."

    Asked whether he told police whether he heard Gray banging his head against the van, Allen said, "I told homicide that. I don't work for the police. I did not tell the police nothing."

    According to the autopsy on Gray, there is no evidence that Gray hit his head against anything on his own. His fatal neck and spinal injury was a kin to the type suffered in a car accident; it needed that amount of force and energy.

    Sources have told the 11 News I-Team that by the time Allen was loaded into the van, Gray was unresponsive. Citiwatch camera video shows officers looking into the Gray's side of the van with the doors fully open.

    Medical experts said as Gray's condition deteriorated after the injury occurred, he may have suffered seizures.

    Allen told the 11 News I-Team what he heard when the van arrived at the Western District Police Station: "When we got to the police station, they said he didn't have no pulse or nothing. They called his name, 'Mr. Gray, Mr. Gray.' And he wasn't responsive."

    There is video at the link.


    Jeb and the bell curve (none / 0) (#47)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 07:23:46 PM EST
    Lowry asked Bush, "... is there any policy or anything public officials can do to help turn back what has been a rising tide of family breakdown crossing decades now?"

    "Absolutely, there is," Bush, a likely 2016 Republican presidential candidate, said. "It's not exactly the core. My views on this were shaped a lot on this by Charles Murray's book, except I was reading the book and I was waiting for the last chapter with the really cool solutions -- didn't quite get there."

    Later in the interview, Lowry asked Bush what he likes to read. Again, he cited Murray.

    "I like Charles Murray books to be honest with you, which means I'm a total nerd I guess," Bush said.

    Or, it's (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by NYShooter on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 09:00:17 PM EST
    the only book he's read.

    I'm kidding, I'm kidding, it's s joke fer pete's sake.


    Wow. Talk about your dog whistles. (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 10:39:11 PM EST
    Jeb Bush: "I was reading [Charles Murray's] book and I was waiting for the last chapter with the really cool solutions -- didn't quite get there."

    And what "really cool solutions" might those be -- mandatory sterilization and selective breeding? Or maybe just the total abolition of the welfare state, affirmative action policies and the U.S. Department of Education, as Charles Murray advocates? From his 1994 interview on PBS:

    "You want to have a job training program for welfare mothers? You think that's going to cure the welfare problem? Well, when you construct that job training program and try to decide what jobs they might qualify for, you had better keep in mind that the mean IQ of welfare mothers is somewhere in the 80s, which means that you have certain limitations in what you're going to accomplish."
    - Charles Murray, "Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg," PBS (1994)

    (Sigh!) And to think that between the two eldest Bush siblings, Jeb is supposed to be the smarter of the two. And speaking of flawed gene pools, I'm now starting to wonder whether Poppy and Babs are perhaps first cousins.

    That family is simply amazing.


    I suspect he's sending a message, (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Mr Natural on Sat May 02, 2015 at 08:30:07 AM EST
    similar to the one St. Ronald Reagan sent to his base when he kicked off his campaign in Philadelphia, Missississippi.

    Murray is as whack as crack (none / 0) (#57)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Fri May 01, 2015 at 05:13:09 AM EST
    When it comes to social-economic analysis.

    In his defense (none / 0) (#64)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri May 01, 2015 at 09:24:46 AM EST
      I think Bush was saying, the book offered no solutions, not that he didn't finish the book.

       And, while the Bell curve is a very flawed work on many levels its flaws don't undermine the reality that government policies should very much account for the fact that all people are not equally capable.

      As for solutions, one, broadly speaking, would be policies which make it less  difficult for those less capable of performing work requiring average or greater levels of education and intelligence to find employment that pays a decent wage and provides some degree of financial security.

       The notion that we should not complain about basic manufacturing jobs being eliminated or "shipped" overseas to lower wage economies because the displaced (or never placed) workers here can just find another job with a little retraining making them suitable for the "high tech" economy is in fact premised on a combination of wishful thinking by some and deliberate promotion of the interests of the wealthy capitalists controlling multinational corporations.



    Or... (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 01, 2015 at 10:51:38 AM EST
    ...you can read his words and not suggest he was trying to say something else because what he said was really dumb, followed up with a confirmation.

    FYI, Charles Murray is a eugenicist. (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 01, 2015 at 04:51:34 PM EST
    You DO understand what eugenics is in actual practice, don't you? It centers upon the painfully flawed notion that some ethnicities / races are inherently superior to others by virtue of their own genetics.

    A close friend of mine from college days is a fifth generation descendant and namesake of Dr. Joseph DeJarnette, who's considered the founding father of eugenics.

    While he was growing up, his great-great grandfather still enjoyed a pretty good reputation in prominent circles. But now that the science behind eugenics has since been debunked in toto, my friend is so mortified by his recent ancestor that he now introduces himself using his middle name, rather than his first.

    Some truly barbarous acts have been committed against people in this country as a result of this pseudo-science. Please don't try to defend the indefensible.



    He also says this (none / 0) (#65)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 01, 2015 at 09:32:35 AM EST
    "I like Charles Murray books to be honest with you, which means I'm a total nerd I guess," Bush said.

    In a second hat tip to Murray


    I can certainly see the appeal (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by CST on Fri May 01, 2015 at 09:41:00 AM EST
    For someone who was born into that level of privilege and power to read something that tells you it's because you're genetically better than others.

    If reading & liking (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Palli on Fri May 01, 2015 at 11:26:13 AM EST
    Murray's tripe makes a person a "nerd",  the word nerd has a new meaning. Nerds everywhere should demand a retraction with apology. Jeb may not be the smart one-but that would mean there are none.

    The notion of so-called "capability" (none / 0) (#93)
    by christinep on Fri May 01, 2015 at 12:12:10 PM EST
    Grounding a philosophy--much less a working plan--on the generalized notion of capability is foolhardy, at best.  The problem stems from the formulation of a definition.  While defining "capable" (or the related "merit") on the margins might be relatively easy, there are many variations and meandering lines in between.

    In devising a societally agreeable definition of such a loaded "word," we need to recognize that certain societal words cannot escape being charged with emotion as defined, and then being reacted to with equal emotion.  Why?  Because that type of rather broad-brush classification and sectioning has the likelihood of constraining individuals to presumptive boxes.  At its worst, think of Brave New World's As, Bs, and other letter groups.

    Certainly, the old knowledge-skills-ability (KSAs) prerequisite for different level jobs starts with some rhyme & reason.  As we mature, tho, I suspect that we realize that the system that aims to be so precise--so methodical--cannot be because human beings are not yet robots nor mathematical objects.  The obvious example is learned from human tendencies observed preferences...study after sociological/psychological/political study shows that we tend to prefer others and their traits and their abilities when those others are more like ourselves.  

    While I'm tempted to sermonize here, I don't want to insult you. What is so important when authors wax on about what others are capable of is to be cautious about rushing toward premature classifications/stratifications about who is capable of what.  Studies are interesting; they can also confirm our bias. In that sense, each of us undoubtedly has seen close up the under-performer and the over-performer, the early and late-bloomers, and those with tested high IQs who don't live up to advance billing.  Testing of "capabilities" can be/is an indicator of potential in a number of situations; but, it is societally foolish for those theorists who proclaim that standardized tests can be the be-all and end-all ... or that such a bureaucratic approach is the most productive way to deal with jobs on either the micro or macro level.


    Recognizing that traits (none / 0) (#95)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri May 01, 2015 at 12:48:18 PM EST
     cannot be precisely measured and compared or that we cannot with precision identify traits which contribute to or decrease the likelihood of success does not make grounding policy decisions in the reality that some people are less capable foolhardy.

      Ignoring that reality even if not measurable is what would be foolhardy.

      Part of the reason empirical methods in the social sciences are of limited utility is precisely the fact that empiricism requires being able to quantify and compare, which tends to focus research on issues that lend themselves to measurement and then devolve into academic back and forth arguments about the standards of measurement employed.

      Common sense is permissible in devising policy.


    I like the last sentence (none / 0) (#97)
    by christinep on Fri May 01, 2015 at 01:00:52 PM EST
    The real issue about the application of an empirical approach to value-laden terms--such as "capable" and "merit"--is that we kid ourselves if we assume that qualitative terms can be wholly quantifiable.  But then, I'm one of those human beings that appreciates when a person can surpass a short-sighted societal box.  

    I'm not sure i get your point (none / 0) (#99)
    by Reconstructionist on Fri May 01, 2015 at 01:29:39 PM EST
     Vastly different levels of capability  exist among different individuals. Different people are also more or less capable at different things. Some people are very capable across a broad spectrum. Some have more limited areas of  capability but are very capable to do certain specific things. Some are not highly capable at anything but adequately capable at something that can be employed in productive labor. The fact we can't precisely quantify the differences doesn't really have much to with devising good policy.

       I  share the concern with misusing statistics in an attempt to suggest that classes (racial or otherwise) of people capable precisely because they are in that class. I also fear policies that consign people to not having their capabilities identified and developed due to class membership.

      None of that means policy should not  account for existence of people whose ability to contribute to the economy through work is such that we should endeavor to create and retain jobs in the domestic which they can perform and which pay a true living wage. Even if some assert that "artificially" overvalues the contribution they make to the economy, so what? People opposed to that often don't seem to see the same "artificiality" of the extremely high compensation paid to those at the top or insist upon any demonstration the high compensation actually accurately reflects the value of their contribution to the economy.


    The emphasis (none / 0) (#116)
    by christinep on Sat May 02, 2015 at 09:41:00 AM EST
    My comments as to possible policy in this area concern, mostly, the implementation of said policy and--possibly as well--the assumptions as to what defines "capable" and related value-laden terms.  As we all learn, a policy without key implementation could render the policy ineffective at the gate.  It is also wise to consider that effective implementation becomes more likely to the extent that guidelines for implementation contain a degree of flexibility to adjust to the on-the-ground (as opposed to theoretical projections) workforce.

    Did Murphy write... (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri May 01, 2015 at 08:13:47 AM EST
    My Pet Goat?

    Hard to say what's scarier (none / 0) (#63)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 01, 2015 at 09:08:52 AM EST
    that he's a fan of Murray or that he's ok with saying it in public.
    He's not stupid.  Does he think this will help him.  

    Actually it might.


    It is a dog whistle in the purest form (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by ruffian on Fri May 01, 2015 at 09:46:55 AM EST
    Few really know what Murray said but they know what side he is on. therefore all Bush has to do is speak the name, not go into any detail.

    I think that's it (none / 0) (#69)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 01, 2015 at 09:53:06 AM EST
    xactly.  So, he is W with enough of a brain to make him dangerous.

    It runs in the family. (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by KeysDan on Sat May 02, 2015 at 12:08:02 PM EST
    Jeb is the smartest--but we need to remember, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.   Smartest, too, is comparative--Daddy Bush, of more recent memory, W., and now Jeb.  While not in public office, Brother Neil, should not be forgotten, what with his foraging in family connections, resulting in such schemes as Silverado Savings and Loan, Chinese investments,  Rev Moon's planned tunnels under the Bering Straits, and Florida educational programs.  

    I thought that Jeb,,, (none / 0) (#108)
    by desertswine on Fri May 01, 2015 at 09:54:15 PM EST
    was supposed to be the smart one.

    Oh (none / 0) (#50)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 08:57:39 PM EST
    good grief. What a doofus.

    Good thing that Texas Gov. Abbott (none / 0) (#54)
    by Peter G on Thu Apr 30, 2015 at 10:11:27 PM EST
    is on the alert to prevent a U.S. military takeover of the south central states.

    Abbott needn't worry (none / 0) (#58)
    by Zorba on Fri May 01, 2015 at 06:35:04 AM EST
    At least, until he sees the black helicopters from the UN overhead, giving the US military troops the signal to take over Texas.    /snark

    I saw this. Unbelievable (none / 0) (#62)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 01, 2015 at 09:05:48 AM EST
    they say TX is going blue.  One has to wonder what Abbott and the people who elected him will do when and if that happens.

    Texas Has 3 Blue Dots... (none / 0) (#92)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 01, 2015 at 11:53:44 AM EST
    ...Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.

    They are growing faster, so yes were are going blue, but you will never get rid of the red, because it's absolutely nuts.  And insane gerrymandering will leave us with red representation for many years.

    And I think the phrase would be going back to blue as this is definitely a dixiecrat state.  But with gerrymandering done, even if a D is governor most representation in Washington will still be R.


    Our late mayor's (none / 0) (#74)
    by CST on Fri May 01, 2015 at 10:15:47 AM EST
    FBI file has been released to the public.

    "Menino's FBI file numbered 28 pages and included one perfunctory corruption investigation that was ultimately declared unfounded. The alleged offense? Menino was captured on camera supposedly trying to shake down the telecommunications giant Sprint -- to donate $25,000 to buy T-shirts for a youth basketball league."

    In other words, not your average politician.

    Run for the Roses... (none / 0) (#98)
    by kdog on Fri May 01, 2015 at 01:21:25 PM EST
    tomorrow kids...haven't been following the ponies closely this year, so I'll go the homer route with my pick, the NYC circuit Wood Memorial winner Frosted # 15 with Joel Rosario in the saddle.  And throw in the #10 Firing Line with old man Gary Stevens up & the Irish bred # 7 Mubtaahij shipping in from the UAE in my exotics.

    Place your bets!

    Where's Your Coin Going to the... (none / 0) (#100)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 01, 2015 at 02:02:18 PM EST
    ...'Fight of the Century'.  That makes what, 3 fights of the century so far and we are only 15 years in.

    I don't bet but since my good friend is filipino I am always cheering for Pacquiao.

    Now I just need to talk someone into paying the $100 to see it.

    A bit Creepy.


    Well now... (none / 0) (#101)
    by kdog on Fri May 01, 2015 at 02:17:38 PM EST
    I'm more inclined to pick Mayweather after watching that! Even without sound.;)

    I'm definitely not dropping a hundo to watch, it'll be on HBO for free soon enough.

    Word on the street is Mayweather takes a dive in this one to come back for one more monster payday in a rematch and win that.

    It's a shame they never battled when they were in their primes...that woulda been a great fight.


    So You Are Calling for the... (none / 0) (#103)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 01, 2015 at 03:26:16 PM EST
    ...forth 'Fight of the Century'.

    And FYI, that song is dedicated to his dad, which is where the creepy aspect came from.

    Sometimes when we touch...

    I'm proud to say that cheesy song ... (none / 0) (#106)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 01, 2015 at 05:08:52 PM EST
    ... has never lasted more than two seconds on my car radio, before I immediately curse it and change the station.

    From our "Ignorance is Bliss" file: (none / 0) (#107)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 01, 2015 at 07:00:26 PM EST
    Unable to challenge NASA climatologists on the merits of their findings, the GOP-controlled Congress has apparently chosen to reduce their funding.

    Yeah, that'll show 'em.

    BB King... (none / 0) (#109)
    by desertswine on Fri May 01, 2015 at 10:11:58 PM EST
    Blues legend B.B. King was in hospice care Friday at his home in Las Vegas, according to a longtime business associate with legal control over his affairs.

    The 89-year-old musician posted thanks on his official website for fans' well-wishes and prayers after he returned home from a brief hospitalization, said Laverne Toney, King's longtime business manager and current power-of-attorney.

    "Mr. King is where he wishes to be," Toney said. "He's always told me he doesn't want to be in a hospital. He wants to be at home."

    He's got my prayers; a national treasure, and then some.

    The Thrill is Gone (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by Mr Natural on Sat May 02, 2015 at 08:41:30 AM EST
    ... chased off the team's best coach in a decade last January, I suppose that this epic black uniform fail was probably inevitable. While QB Colin Kaepernick insists that the new look is "something that the fans are going to be excited about," readers' comments on SFGate.com have suggested the exact opposite:
    • "NOOOO!!!"
    • "BOOOoooo...!!"
    • "Brings back painful memories of that idiotic logo change proposal from 25 years ago."
    • "Build it in San Jose and they will come. Dress them in black and they will become tough. Yeah, right."
    • "Those uniforms look like an ugly Halloween costume that kids will refuse to wear."
    • "Just downright ridiculous and disgusting!"
    • "Someone has to be smokin' something to think these are uniforms."
    • "Great! Now when they play the Seahawks, they'll actually look like the speedbumps they are!"

    (I didn't provide a link, because SFGate.com now runs so many scripts on its pages that browsers on older computers tend to freeze or crash, and I didn't want anyone to curse me out because of it.)

    There's already a Bay Area team that has long worn black, and they're called the Oakland Raiders. And after yesterday's announcement, they decided to have a little fun at the 49ers' expense.


    The 49ers recent decisions and overall direction (none / 0) (#111)
    by McBain on Sat May 02, 2015 at 02:15:29 AM EST
    looks bleak but they'll have to go a long ways to be as bad as the Raiders have been over the past 12 years. I say this as a Raider fan.  

    The Raiders had a great coach (Gruden) but didn't keep him.  Their first round picks have often been disappointing..... Jamarcus Russell an epic bust.

    Perhaps the biggest losers in all this will be the 49er fans who paid a ridiculous amount of money for season tickets, thinking their team was going to be good for several years.  


    ... with wide receiver Amari Cooper and defensive end Mario Edwards, Jr.

    Now, if owner Mark Davis can finally convince Oakland and Alameda County officials to finally get behind his plan to privately finance and build a new 55,000-seat stadium on the site of the present (and increasingly obsolescent) Coliseum, they can turn things around.

    Despite all the recent noise from SoCal about the Raiders relocating back to Los Angeles in tandem with the San Diego Chargers, Davis is actually rather passionate about keeping his team in the Bay Area.



    Man, them's were the days! (none / 0) (#113)
    by NYShooter on Sat May 02, 2015 at 06:29:04 AM EST
    Back in the late 60's and into the 70's & 80's when the East and West Coast teams were shooting it out against each other; Time to tighten up your seat belts when teams like the Chargers, Raiders, and Jets lit up the old score board. With quarterbacks like John Hadl/Dan Fouts (Chargers,) Daryle Lamonica/Ken Stabler (Raiders,) and, of course, Broadway Joe Namath (Jets,) final scores of 48 to 52 were common place.

    I was doing a little gambling in those days, (yes, I bet on the Jets to beat the Colts in that Super Bowl, I think the spread was around 18)and, you could miss the first 56 minutes of a game and not sweat it; four minutes left to play, when Namath and Lamonica were dueling it out, was a lifetime. Scoring five touchdowns in the last four minutes was commonplace.

    The only thing that mattered.........who had the ball last.


    The Snake (none / 0) (#117)
    by nycstray on Sat May 02, 2015 at 10:07:51 AM EST
    yup, last 2 minutes :)

    I would have worked if they had (none / 0) (#118)
    by nycstray on Sat May 02, 2015 at 10:11:44 AM EST
    included more (any!) gold. Could have been nice. I should do a version and send it to them . . .  :D