Enough Is Enough: Ferguson, Authority, and America’s Never-Healing Race Wound

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I know this is going to devastate a bunch of whiny privileged white people and politicians who would just love to say that we’re “post-racial” because we have a mixed-race president, but here we go:

America has a serious problem with police. And, it’s not a problem with police and everyone else. It’s a problem specifically between police (or people who fetishize authority) and people of color.

On August 9th, 2014, the 18-year-old Michael Brown was stopped by authorities in Ferguson, Missouri. Whatever happened during that stop is unclear. What is clear, however, is that Brown, a young African American man with seemingly no weapon on his person, was shot to death by police.

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Did Philly’s Former Police Commissioner Develop Ferguson’s Crackdown Techniques?

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TimoneyPhoto1One bit of irony regarding the massive police crackdown on protesters (and journalists) in Ferguson, Mo. this week: Democracy advocates in the Middle East began tweeting advice to their American compatriots on how to deal with tear gas attacks and similar police techniques. Make of that what you will.

The New York Times reports, though, that some observers see perhaps a stronger connection between the two regions: The heavy-handed techniques used by Ferguson’s police, they say, bear a striking resemblance to those developed by former Philly Police Commissioner John Timoney. 

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3 Great Moments in PC Hysteria

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It’s been a busy week here in the P.C. States of America, with everybody defending everybody else’s right to be offended, with the usual head-spinning results. Let’s start at Ohio State University, which just fired the director of its world-renowned marching band for allowing hazing and sexual harassment to go on amidst its ranks. (You may have seen the band’s halftime tribute to Michael Jackson on YouTube last year.) One practice decried in a university report was the assignment of nicknames to new band members — nicknames that the university deemed degrading, such as “Jizzy” and “Twinkle Dick,” according to the august Chronicle of Higher Ed. Among the objectionable monikers the report cited was “Jwoobs,” given to a female Jewish student with large breasts. Read more »

It Happened: A Good Guy With a Gun Stopped a Bad Guy With a Gun

A hospital worker embraces a woman near the scene of a shooting at the Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pa. on Thursday, July 24, 2014. A prosecutor said a gunman opened fire inside the psychiatric unit leaving one hospital employee dead and a second injured before being critically wounded himself. (AP Photo)

A hospital worker embraces a woman near the scene of a shooting at the Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pa. on Thursday, July 24, 2014. A prosecutor said a gunman opened fire inside the psychiatric unit leaving one hospital employee dead and a second injured before being critically wounded himself. (AP Photo)

Everytime a gun massacre occurs, gun enthusiasts have suggested that what the world needs is … more guns. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” they say. The problem? Good guys with guns so rarely seem to make the scene — and bad guys with guns end up doing quite a bit of damage.

Until Thursday at least. A “gun-toting doctor” at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby shot and injured his assailant, effectively ending the attack — and there’s a good chance as a result this story is going to get some front-and-center attention in the national gun debate. 

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PHOTOS: Gaza Protests at LOVE Park

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As the conflict in Gaza intensifies, on Wednesday afternoon around 1,500 protesters gathered at LOVE Park to show support for their side.

On one side of the block pro-Israel protesters chanted and demonstrated, while on the other side of the street pro-Palestine activists gathered to counter-protest. The demonstrations were mostly civil, though at one point there was a fight in which a pro-Palestine activist was briefly detained, but not charged.

More photos from the protests after the jump »

The 10 Stupid Internet News Stories I Keep Reading

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Shutterstock.com

The news of the world as brought to me via the Internet tends to be a roundup of humans doing seriously stupid things. And you know what? As I read through the stories that such forums as Gawker, Jezebel, Philly.com and the Huffington Post see fit to dish up to me, I’m beginning to feel an inescapable sense of been there, read that.

Didn’t I just see this same story a few days ago, in some other publication? Isn’t this the third time this month I read that same damn thing? I mean, how many times are you people going to drop shit off subway platforms and then jump down onto the tracks to get them? When another one of you does that, it isn’t news. It’s just déjà vu all over again.

And for this, I’m paying $460 a month to keep every member of my nuclear family tied to the Internet at every waking moment? Think of all the fun stuff I could do with $460 a month if I weren’t giving it to Comcast and Verizon.

Which gave me an idea.

The following is a brief list of Stupid Stuff You People Keep On Doing. If you stop doing these stupid things, there won’t be any news, and the Internet will close down, and I can use my $460 a month to go to Tahiti. So hey, what do you say?

1. Stop punishing women for breastfeeding in public. Oh, no, you didn’t actually do this again, did you? At a country music concert? Oh yes you did. Read more »

Bucks County Coroner: Corpse Fell Onto Street Because Truck Was Old

A photo started circling around social media late Friday afternoon showing a dead body sitting on a gurney in the middle of Street Road (warning: link contains giant photo) in Feasterville, Bucks County, about a mile from the Philadelphia border. Well, the story was not a hoax, and now the Bucks coroner is explaining why the body fell out.

At fault, Coroner Dr. Joseph Campbell says, was an old transport truck with 80,000 miles on it. The 2002 Chevrolet was actually scheduled to be taken out of service later this month. Campbell explained in detail how this happened: The locking mechanism securing the gurney came loose, thanks to years of wear. The gurney then stuck a hatchback handle which was supposed to be disabled. But, over time, the screws locking the hatchback handle in place became worn and when the gurney hit it on Friday, the back door popped open.

“It was a horrible thing,” Campbell said. “I can’t tell you how upset I was. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t make this up.” The body was of a young woman who is suspected to have died of a drug overdose.

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