Let's begin with a passage in the Wikipedia entry for Malcolm X's wife, Betty Shabazz...
Following the arrest of her daughter Qubilah for allegedly conspiring to murder Louis Farrakhan, Shabazz took in her young grandson Malcolm. He set a fire in her apartment that caused severe burns to Shabazz. Shabazz died three weeks later as a result of her injuries.
Something bad happened to her grandson today...
Thursday morning, May 9, 2013 [Malcolm Shabazz died] from injuries sustained after he was thrown off a building or shot as he was being robbed in Tijuana.
As there is a Kennedy curse, there appears to be an X curse...
The special effects pioneer has died. He was 92. Digital effects in mainstream movies are a couple decades old now, and I've yet to see a digital monster that impresses me the way a good Harryhausen creature impresses me.
Pulled over by Middlefield, Ohio police for running a stop sign on March 10, James Gilkerson emerged from his car with an AK-47 blazing, firing 37 rounds at the cruiser before being shot dead by the officers. The two officers amazingly escaped with only minor injuries.
The recently released dash-cam video is nothing short of shocking, so be forewarned: DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO SEE VIDEO OF A MAN BEING SHOT TO DEATH! Also, do not watch this if you do not want to see video of a man unloading 37 rounds directly at the camera.
Honestly. I don't want to hear anybody yelling at me about posting this video. I've warned you. I've even put it after the jump. You don't have to watch. SO DON'T WATCH THIS!
Well, I suppose that's one way to rein in the costs of Social Security and Medicare:
Suicide rates among middle-age Americans have risen sharply in the past decade, prompting concern that a generation of baby boomers who have faced years of economic worry and easy access to prescription pain killers may be particularly vulnerable to self-inflicted harm.
Really, NY Times? That's the message you're taking away from these stats: That a surge in baby boomer suicides may be linked to easy access to prescription pain killers? That's the one possible contributing factor you choose to highlight in your lede?
In fact, year after year, about half of all suicides are committed using firearms, by far the most popular suicide method—especially among middle-age men, the group with the highest suicide rate by a long shot. True, the CDC data found that poisoning by all sources (including prescription painkillers) was up 18.5 percent for middle-age men since 1999, but the growth in firearm suicides didn't lag far behind, up 14.9 percent. Meanwhile the big winner in the suicide method sweepstakes was suffocation, up 75 percent for middle-age men since 1999, and a whopping 115 percent for middle-age women. Hanging yourself is the new eating your gun! Who knew?
Tragically, 21,754 Americans age 35-64 committed suicide in 2010 (more than died in car accidents), 10,393 by shooting themselves with a gun. Poisoning by all means—not just prescription painkillers—came in a distant second at 4,722 middle-age suicides, suffocation third at 4,117 but gaining fast. And yet it's "easy access" to palliative care, not guns (or ropes) that our nation's paper of record chooses to warn us about.
(And by the way, if there's a statistic that really jumps out from this report, it's that the suicide rate for middle-age white men jumped 39.6 percent compared to only 4.7 percent for Asian men, 1.9 percent for Hispanic men, and 1.0 percent for black men. A middle-age white man is now three times more likely to commit suicide than a middle-age black, Asian, or Hispanic man. Go figure.)
A 747 cargo plane crashed yesterday at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan, shortly after takeoff, killing seven crew members. Warning: Don't watch this video unless you want to watch video of a 747 falling out of the sky and exploding on impact.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility, but there's no sign of a missile or anything. Instead, this has more of a look of a catastrophic failure due to cargo shifting on takeoff.
Her experience is not so different from that of many young American women now, caught in a post-post-feminist narrative in which it is proposed that sexual emancipation may be achieved through emotional disengagement. Whatever light “Waiting to Be Heard” does or does not shed on the awful death of Meredith Kercher, it offers a dispiriting account of prevailing mores. It is not new for students to “give casual sex a chance.” (Today’s twenty-year-olds may be surprised to learn that even their parents might have tried it.) It is new for girls to strive to adopt the sexual behavior of the most opportunistic guy on campus. “I wanted sex to be about empowerment and pleasure, not about Does this person like me? Will he still like me tomorrow?” Knox writes. But if empowerment, that much abused and much diminished term, means anything it means being able to say no as well as yes, without censure or shame.
Mead's point is subtle and finely argued, but there's a faint whiff of disgust in it, isn't there? The comparison Mead makes to Portrait of a Lady does something to honor Knox's own desires and agency as she set out for Italy, but then the knife turns, and it turns on the question of Knox's attitude about sex. I mean, if an adult woman wants to "adopt the sexual behavior of the most opportunistic guy on campus," shouldn't she be allowed to? Isn't that her prerogative? Granted, The Stranger hasn't gotten our copy yet, so I'm just spouting off here. But isn't there something a little dispiriting in what Mead's saying, too?
...A tweet ID’ing Tripathi as a suspect rocketed around the Internet last week after the FBI released images of the suspects. The Atlantic chronicled the spread of misinformation, beginning with a tweet by a user named Greg Hughes.
Reporters from media outlets including Politico, BuzzFeed and Newsweek retweeted Tripathi’s name, Alexis Madrigal reported...
Reddit played a role in spreading the misinformation too. And so did Slog.
And now this Brown University student has been found dead, floating in Providence's waters.
Nothing like a press release from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) to cheer up your day:
The time for spring cleaning is here, and with it, the risk of exposure to serious animal-carried diseases like hantavirus and rabies. The Department of Health recommends taking precautions when cleaning areas where wild animals may have been. Visible droppings, nests, dead rodents or bats are signs of animals that can carry these dangerous diseases.
“Although these illnesses are rare, they can be deadly,” says State Health Officer Dr. Maxine Hayes.
Unfortunately, that's a lie. The obituary was not withdrawn as soon as it was posted—at the moment, you can still access the obituary. Just in case Reuters ever does get around to withdrawing it, I've posted it below.
George Soros, enigmatic financier, liberal philanthropist dies at XX
(Reuters) - George Soros, who died XXX at age XXX, was a predatory and hugely successful financier and investor, who argued paradoxically for years against the same sort of free-wheeling capitalism that made him billions.
FRIDAY, APRIL 12 In worse news, the week continues in Seattle, where today KING 5 News obtained surveillance video capturing the final moments of Mauriceo Bell, the 42-year-old Seattle man who died last Sunday morning in the downtown Metro bus tunnel, where he'd fallen on a moving escalator and was strangled by his clothes. "Surveillance shows him staggering, leaning on the rail for support, and towards the bottom, falling backwards," reports KING 5. "Bell died at the bottom of the escalator, strangled by his own clothing." Important fact #1: "KING 5 has found that particular escalator was not up-to-date on repairs and maintenance... Checking inspection reports on the state Labor & Industries website, it appears Metro owns and operates 78 escalators and elevators. In almost every case, the reports show required repairs not completed and boxes that would signify the work has been done not checked off. Some are weeks overdue, some months overdue. Some go back to 2011. KING 5 found only four out of 78 appeared to be up to date." Important fact #2: "Bell was a father of four and 'a good standup father,' his younger brother says, despite having a long record of run-ins with the law, mostly drug related," reports KING 5, acknowledging that police found a half-empty brandy bottle in Bell's back pocket. "But [Bell's brother] has a message to anybody jumping to conclusions about Bell's character or the circumstances of his death. 'No matter what you say about him, he paid taxes, too. He should have been able to trust his transit system,' he said. 'And isn't that what we're supposed to do if we're inebriated? Take the bus home? Take transit?'"
Condolences to the family of Mauriceo Bell, who will likely end up very sad gazillionaires.
A memorial service for longtime Democratic political consultant Blair Butterworth will be held Sunday, April 21, 10:30 a.m., at Town Hall, Seattle. Butterworth died March 29 at age 74, after a long battle with cancer.
I really liked Butterworth. I get along just fine with nearly all the consultants (secretly, even some of the Republican ones!), but by the time I met Butterworth he had settled into a wise old uncle role that I found both welcoming and instructive. Butterworth had a knack for being brutally blunt without ever coming off as either unfriendly or dismissive. And he was almost always good for a quotable quip:
Butterworth is admirably succinct when asked what he thinks of Vance's contention that the Republicans have a new message and less abrasive tone that will put them back in the game. "It's bullshit. Vance is in denial," he says. Butterworth contends that since 1988, when Pat Robertson's Christian soldiers hijacked the Republican Party caucuses, the state's Republican base has been dominated by anti-government wackos: "It's awfully hard to recruit a great athlete to play on your team if you hate the game."
Politics is a nasty, adversarial game, and it's got to be played that way if you're playing to win. Beyond his skills as a political operative, Butterworth's gift was that he excelled at this profession without ever losing his humanity or his sense of humor. He will be missed.
The Westboro Baptist Church gleefully announced via Twitter that it will "picket [the] funerals of those dead by Boston Bombs" after two explosions rocked the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three, and injuring at least 150. Naturally, the WBC welcomed this development, as it regards any and all disasters as punishment from god for America's supposed moral decline, particularly gay marriage.
For those of you saying that everyone should just agree to ignore the Westboro Baptist Church: It's relatively easy to ignore a troll online, but when they're picketing a funeral of a loved one, it becomes impossible to ignore.
A Canadian teenager, who was allegedly gang-raped and bullied, has died, her family said.
Rehtaeh Parsons, 17, was hospitalized after she tried to hang herself Thursday. The high school student from Halifax, Nova Scotia, was taken off life support Sunday.
The teen was bullied for more than a year after the alleged sexual assault in November 2011 when she was 15, her family said.
In addition to the sexual assault, a photo taken during the incident was circulated to friends via text and online, and she developed suicidal thoughts as a result, according to her family.
We all know oh so well that bullyingteenagerscankillthem (finding all five of those links took about 30 seconds). Here's hoping that one more story, and a story as horrifying as "teenage girl raped and then slutshamed to death for it," serves as a spur in the side of this complex network of interconnected humans, of which we are all a part, to be slightly less shitty. And as a warning sign to parents, schools, and law enforcement to take this stuff as seriously as possible.
I needed to take a brain-bath after I spent a little too much time reading about this. So if you need that, too, here you go: a bunch of pictures of a baby covered in puppies.
In keeping with the great lady's legacy, Margaret Thatcher's state funeral should be funded and managed by the private sector to offer the best value and choice for end users and other stakeholders.
The undersigned believe that the legacy of the former PM deserves nothing less and that offering this unique opportunity is an ideal way to cut government expense and further prove the merits of liberalised economics Baroness Thatcher spearheaded.
I know Roger Ebert like most of you. I know him from his many film review shows, from his numerous and well-written movie reviews syndicated in hundreds of newspapers, and his many appearances on late-night talk shows. It was through Twitter, however, where I felt most close to him.
Now that Ebert has died, should I unfollow him? Should you? Is there a protocol for this?
This is the question you should bring up the next time someone says there are no stupid questions, just to prove them wrong. Some things should not be blogged. Some ideas that you idly consider while taking a shit should just remain inside your brain until they starve to death from lack of stimulation.
The great comic book artist, who helped drag superhero comic books out of the stodgy Golden Age and into a more modern era, has died. He was 87. Infantino drew some of the greatest comic book covers of all time, including this one, this one, and this one. If you're looking for more of his artwork, I suggest checking the Infantino tag on Tumblr.
Cheryl Chow, one of the most respected Asian-American leaders in Western Washington, died Friday after a long battle with brain cancer, her family members have confirmed. She was 66...
In August 2012, Chow revealed on KING 5 that she was gay—a secret she kept her whole life. At the time, she and her partner Sarah Morningstar had been together more than 10 years.
Before she came out publicly, chow shared her news with her beloved drill team. “I wanted them to have a role model that wasn't afraid to say anymore 'I'm gay and that's okay,’” she said... "But if I can save one child from feeling bad or even committing suicide because they were gay, then I would have succeeded in my last crusade,” Chow said.
Blair Butterworth served, over a 36-year period, as a political consultant and strategist for Washington governors, helped topple a governor whose campaign he had managed, and worked for mayoral candidates and such causes as Washington’s “Death with Dignity” Initiative 1000 in 2008.
Butterworth has died of cancer after a lengthy illness. His death was disclosed Friday afternoon on the Facebook page of U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, who described his longtime friend as “a class act to the end.” Butterworth was a tall, imposing, deep-voiced presence, a person who managed to act a bit self-important while poking fun at himself for acting a bit self-important.
Richard Griffiths, the British actor best known here in the States for playing Harry Potter's awful uncle, has died at 65. Fun fact: As a stage actor, Griffiths was renowned for chastising audience members in both London and New York whose cell phones disrupted performances.
In Show Me the Way to Go Home, Lisa Koch makes her audience fall in love with her father and then she lets them watch him die.
Through a combination of storytelling, songs, and emails, Koch pulls up an extra chair at the family dinner table and introduces us to the man who raised her—a man who spent 30 years as a sixth grade teacher and collected bad jokes with ardor.
"How do you compliment a woman from Arkansas?" "Nice tooth."
A slideshow of family photos plays on a screen behind her as she recounts the email she got from her mother, breaking her father's diagnosis of stomach cancer, aka "The Bastard." She walks us through hospital visits, treatment schedules, conversations with Dr. God, her father's born-again physician, with the grace of a woman raised to process all news—both good and bad—with humor.
Koch talks about her father's decision to use Death with Dignity, the Oregon and Washington law that allows terminal patients to access drugs to end their lives at their own pace—although accessing the drugs is nearly impossible when your attending physician is nicknamed "Dr. God." (Death with Dignity requires the cooperation of at least two doctors and a pharmacist.)
She recounts standing in the family kitchen, breaking open 100 capsules of Seconal—the drug that will allow her father to slip into a coma and peacefully die—and mixing it with applesauce. She gives her audience permission to laugh, even as they cry: "Whatever you do, don't lick the spoon," Koch recounts joking with her brother.
Show Me the Way to Go Home is a fitting eulogy for a great father and teacher. It will resonate with anyone who's checked a loved one into hospice care, but more than that, it's the kind of graceful, loving tribute we would all give to our dearly departed, if we had but the talent for storytelling.
You can catch it tonight and tomorrow at the Theater Off-Jackson, in the International District.
The former governor—who brought us our death with dignity law—is dead at 76.
UPDATE: Every politician on earth has issued a statement, and Gardner's family has sent an obit explaining that, although Gardner pioneered death with dignity in Washington State, he didn't qualify "because Parkinson’s itself is not fatal." I've posted them all after the jump.
Von Kleist had been chosen as the officer to model a new uniform for Hitler, and Von Stauffenberg proposed that he wear a suicide vest underneath, and detonate it when he stood next to the dictator.
Years later, Von Kleist remembered explaining the suicide plot to his father, who paused only briefly before telling his 22-year-old son: "Yes, you have to do this."
"Fathers love their sons and mine certainly did, and I had been quite sure he would say no," Von Kleist recalled. "But, as always, I had underestimated him."
That plot didn't work out. Neither did the more famous plot Von Kleist was involved in, but somehow survived.
But when news spread that Hitler had survived, the plot crumbled and Von Stauffenberg, Von Kleist's father and scores of others were arrested and executed in an orgy of revenge killings. Some were hanged by the neck with piano wire. Von Stauffenberg was shot by firing squad.
Von Kleist himself was arrested and questioned at length by the Gestapo, and sent to a concentration camp, but then inexplicably let go and returned to combat duty.
He survived that, too. Von Kleist died at home instead.