Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Yellow Peril Comes to Knapp's Corner Meijer

Suspects in in alleged credit-card scheme at Meijer held without bond because of flight risk

Yes, all Chinese are automatons! Does the Party communicate with its pawns via implanted microchips, or will a phone call suffice? SageofthePage gets some pushback on this, and doubles down:

It's the Underpants Gnome theory of industrial espionage:
1. Get American visa.
2. Steal Meijer gift cards.
3. ...

This comment could be appended to any crime story with multiple perpetrators. As far as I'm concerned, deweyjohn flunks the Turing Test.

Other People Are Browsing Websites of Which We Disapprove

ACLU to Rochester High: Stop filtering lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender resource sites

They shouldn't be looking at naughty websites at school anyway. I particularly like the assumption that the "It Gets Better" campaign is a mere hop, skip, and a jump from International Mr. Leather.

It's not clear what kids without home internet access are supposed to do.
You may not have noticed this, but every day is Heterosexuality Awareness Day. The Knot, for example, or, exist to promote compulsory heterosexuality and rigid gender roles.

 It's hostage-exchange time. We'll take GLSEN for the Family Research CouncilWin the Ultimate Prom and Bros Like This Site for the Human Rights Campaign and the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Satisfied? No?

Maybe my tax dollars don't want to pay for your blood pressure medication, buddy. Maybe my tax dollars don't want to pay for another long-range bomber. Here's the catch: I don't get to earmark my tax returns, and neither do you.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How We Came to Be

[Edited below for accuracy: per inside sources, the story in question simply rotated out of the main feed. It wasn't pulled, as I assumed at the time.]

I've been rather busy the past few days, in ways that have hindered me from getting online. In lieu of a standard post, I will explain Why I Blog. Fear not: hideous MLive trolls play a crucial role, though one documented only with difficulty.

A few weeks ago, in early March, I read a series of MLive posts regarding a particularly awful domestic abuse case. I don't remember the woman's name. The website broke a single lengthy article into four posts, each examining a different facet of the situation. The woman met, had a child with, and married the man before he turned on her. He isolated and physically abused her, told her if she left he'd kill their children, locked her in the house when he went to work. As I remember, they lived in a trailer in a rural area. She had no money, no transportation, and no support beyond what he intermittently doled out. The bitter irony was that she had once worked as a counselor for women dealing with abusive partners or domestic violence. She knew the signs, but she was no less vulnerable. As it turned out, he had been the prime and only suspect in a previous rape case. Case dropped not for lack of evidence, but for inability to establish reliable contact with the victim.

I likely read the MLive posts out of order, so it's difficult for me to reconstruct the original article. I can no longer cite via hyperlink. Her situation worsened progressively, until one day she thought he wanted to kill her, would kill her, and she fled their trailer and dragged herself down the road until she managed to attract enough attention for a rescue. MLive posted a hospital bed photo. She was unrecognizable.

The comments on each post progressed along the lines one might expect. Why didn't she just leave, why did she marry him, why did she have that kid in the first place, etc., etc. I will venture that every person mystified as to why she didn't just leave was a) male and b) hadn't bothered to read the part about her being locked in a trailer in the middle of nowhere.

Midway down a page, I found the most despicable comment I had seen to that point. It stated, though not in so many words, and in a more rambling manner, that
a) women like bad boys
b) women like feeling as though they're being martyred by their men
c) the woman in question likely met the previous criteria
d) she just wanted to be able to tell her story on Oprah.

I imagine that when I find myself pinned to the floor of a trailer in rural Michigan with my husband cinching a telephone cord around my neck, the first thought in my mind will be "Oh, wow! When I survive and sell my story, I bet this will play really well on Lifetime: Telvision for Women!"

So I flagged the comment. I laboriously explained to the automated system that these statements viciously slandered the woman concerned and by extension denigrated all women. The next day I checked whether the comment had in fact been removed. Everything relating to the story was gone. I can only conclude that every single post attracted such a shitstorm of hateful comments that MLive's online-content managers felt obligated to pull the story. All that afternoon and evening, I retold this story as The Most Despicable Thing I Had Ever Seen On MLive. The next day I bitterly regretted not having preserved and documented it when I had the chance.

And there it is. I didn't remember the woman's name, I didn't remember where she lived. Though the admins pulled every post from the Grand Rapids main feed It's all still there, if you search for it. The next day I knew what I ought to do.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

If You're So Poor, Why Don't You Just Leave?

Sen. Debbie Stabenow urges Gov. Rick Snyder to veto unemployment package

Needless to say, commenters also attacked Stabenow as old, fat, ugly, and having an unsavory ex-husband. If the little lady wants to speak her mind, she better be prepared to take whatever viciousness anonymous strangers want to dish out.

Technology and social media have allowed the state to personalize welfare. The new system works the same as sponsoring a child in Uganda. You send money every month, and the welfare recipient sends you pictures of herself smiling and holding a bling-encrusted crack pipe, ass hanging out of her expensive jeans.

I think I'm beginning to understand. Since food, shelter, and drugs are all free, I should put all my ill-gotten gains towards scurrying out of the state before rmrmsix notices that I draw on the social safety net.

It's not clear why mo money has posted 471 comments to MLive if, as stated, (s)he was smart enough to leave the state for lands magically unaffected by economic downturns.

Friday, March 25, 2011

First Past the Post, Most Irrelevant

Census 2010: Many West Michigan townships grow at double-digit percentage rates

The suburbs are growing, therefore cities are dying; if cities are dying, it's because nice taxpayers like southbeagle wouldn't be caught dead there. I can't tell if "cities" is code for "Detroit," or if Grand Rapids, too, is on the cusp of becoming a wicked swamp full of grasping ne'er-do-wells.

You Probably Weren't Any Good at Your Job Anyway

Is extending unemployment benefits a smart move for the state's jobless?

Articles about unemployment bring out the average commenter's killer instinct.

Apparently trophytaker maintains a list of approved MBA programs and minimum GPA requirements. Also, Randy_James may not be familiar with the many surveys demonstrating that the single most pressing concern for business owners is poor sales and lack of demand for services. Many people are hesitating before starting businesses, not just 64-year-olds with no previous experience as self-funded entrepreneurs.

Well, if you were a better person, more financially responsible, and a more productive worker, you would have found a new job right away. Concerned_Citizen maintains that the very fact of one's misfortune proves that the misfortune is deserved.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

You Have Problems. They Have Solutions.

Mayor Dave Bing says Detroit must challenge Census count, confront reality

Same article, different knuckleheads. Here we have a vigorous point-counterpoint playing out over multiple posts. The common theme is "Detroit: What Is To Be Done?"

But wait! What if they won't?

The Spirit of 760,000: What we can expect Detroit's Census numbers will tell us about ourselves

bast_lives is as confused as I am.

And a final riposte to 2010 Census data shows Michigan shifting rural:

More Census Fallout

Mayor Dave Bing says Detroit must challenge Census count, confront reality

No Detroit-related thread is complete without minstrel-show dialect.

But wait, there's more:

I Don't Think that Word Means What You Think It Means

Republicans take up task of redistricting Michigan
Democrats, who are in the minority and thus will have little say in how the lines are drawn, are calling for a transparent, open process with plenty of public input on proposed changes. But the type of overhaul that Sen. Steve Bieda, D-Warren, introduced Tuesday, putting redistricting in the hands of an independent commission, is unlikely. “Our current system ... allows district maps to be drawn up behind closed doors and voted on before voters ever get a chance to look at them,” Bieda said. He said redistricting should be “fair to all voters.”

The key word here is "Democrats." Invoking it is like declaring Opposite Day, where all meanings are inverted.

Easy for you to say, buddy. In 2010, Transparency International ranked your country the 4th least corrupt in the Americas. In global transparency rankings, the United States is tied with Belgium for 22nd least corrupt.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Help, Help! I'm Being Oppressed!

State Supreme Court upholds rights of citizens to film cops while performing duties

Two commenters uphold free speech, and bemoan their lack of same:

B'wana? Haven't we met before? Wasn't it just last week you were bashing Islam? Not to mention his fine work in response to yesterday's Gov. Snyder pushes for regional cooperation in Michigan; Is Great Lakes Bay Region ahead of curve?

william48433 seems annoyed that MLive administrators will not allow him to spew context-free invective. The following post was removed from its original thread, but still appears on his profile page:

Note that the editorial in question discusses the need for civility at Flushing Township board meetings, which have in recent months degenerated into name-calling and accusations. Oh, dear.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Are There No Workhouses?

Should the state privatize Standish Prison?

Let me see if I follow this. Politicians are millionaires, and they became such by taking money from ordinary people. Maintaining a prison to house prisoners costs the taxpayers money. However, if the prison detains homeless people who have not been convicted of any crime, its maintenance will cost taxpayers nothing! We will round up homeless people and imprison them in labor camps, where they will do all the work and we will take all the profit. Then we can prosper via someone else's misery, just like politicians do!

He's Back!

Remember NOBOMA, from our long-ago first post? Nothing will stop his one-man crusade against the Civil Rights Act.

Count on it: Detroit census count won't be pretty

I never knew integration caused cancer. And it turns out that proximity to people of other races can induce drowning! You learn something new every day.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Adventures in Troll Self-Monitoring

Outsourcing custodial work could save Linden schools nearly $239,000

Oh, those wacky thieving Mexicans! Even reliable trolls recognize that anitamoore has Gone Too Far. (hatintaxes and snarkyone prefer to bash unions, Democrats, and poor people.) I notice, however, that neither of them flagged her comment for removal, so they must not dislike it too terribly much.

Science Is Amazing

If ridusofgovt has special powers, why was he the second-most prolific MLive commenter last week? Surely helping to rebuild cities, broker peace deals, and contain radiation would be more  appropriate activities for someone who can see radio waves.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Census Double Header

Michigan census: Which places will lose population? Here are state demographer's expectations

Apparently Mexicans are just like quagga mussels,  except easier to remove from the hull of your boat.

Michigan's census numbers appear ugly, but look again

Why eliminate poverty when you can eliminate poor people? Also, per landingteam2, you waived your right to vote and be represented the day you applied for a Bridge card.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Blaming the Victim Never Goes Out of Style

[Edited to add more and better screenshots; Corey Ruffin and Erin Wilson answered my pleas.]

'Hate crimes still happen': Detroit victim shares story on YouTube as FBI investigates

What's a little queerbashing between friends?

I don't have the capability to make decent screenshots right now (this one comes to you via MS Paint). Later in the thread, beetlebomb LOLs at NOBOMA, FairVoice slanders Matthew Shepherd -- "activists claimed Matthew Shepherd was killed as a hate crime (when the reality was he was killed in a drug deal gone bad that had nothing to do with his sexual orientation)" -- and letSPARTYroll claims the real problem is that black people stand too close to him in line.

As promised:

Apparently "hate crime" was invented in 1998, along with Google and Viagra.

Give him air, people. He needs space. I'm sure the assailant described in the article was thinking exactly the same thing. I especially like the assertion that many people share his discomfort with close proximity to The Coloreds, but fear speaking up. He is the lone, brave truth-teller, and the truth is that The Coloreds are violent, lawless, and probably steal.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Furriners Eat Furrin Things

Man who inherited nearly 100 cats asks for help, Humane Society responds

I believe this individual thinks he is making a funny. Personally I think eating cat makes more intuitive sense than eating runny nacho cheese. Still, at this very moment, thousands of people are waiting in line at Taco Bell drive-thrus.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mo' Non Sequiturs, Mo' Questions

Fourth-grader brings knife to school

What does this have to do with the Kentwood Public Schools' weapons policy? Did he find out that Karen Friberg voted for Virg Bernero? Does he want to cut Democrats with his pocketknife, or just give them all detention?

Bonus misogyny!

Yes, but what is he supposed to to two days later, when the hole closes up? I don't think Mr. Wonkythumb is going to like the answer.

His Name Says It All

Second worker pleads guilty in food-stamp fraud at Grand Rapids store

Perennial commenter "closetheborders" chimes in with his principal concern: the local presence and possible American citizenship of people with funny names.

It goes without saying that neither Mexicans nor Muslims appear in the article, and the workers' ethnic background is not explicitly stated.

Monday, March 14, 2011

It Continues to Amaze

Sunlight and grim international news have worked their magic. I dutifully scanned comments and statewide news, but found nothing more objectionable than garden-variety spite. Nothing to report today.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I Bet I Can Hate Mexicans Worse Than You

No delving necessary this time. Other commenters, not excerpted here, believe that it is actually illegal not to speak English.

Census: Hispanics poised to become 'majority minority'

How many rapes is jefftalk willing to trade for cheap blueberries? If considered as a negative externality, where does he locate the break-even point for increase in crime rate vs. decrease in tomato cost?

Either FlintGone2 thinks Mexico is run on the "European model" or he thinks Mexicans should move to Europe, I can't tell which. Maybe he thinks Mexico is secretly part of Europe. Those sneaky brown people, they're all over the world!

More Latinos translates directly into more workers to exploit and more women to harass. It's a win-win situation.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Comment on Comments About a Comment

We're going meta here, so bear with me. MLive trawled its comments for reheatable content, and came up with the perennial hobbyhorse of drug-addicted welfare queens. One reader commented that "[u]nlike three lefts, three wrongs to not make a right. Why punish the kids because their parents smoke pot, the only detectable drug is most testing. Sorry kids, you have to starve because daddy smoked down at a rock show two weeks ago."

Should welfare recipients be drug free? Readers weigh in on proposed tests

Not content merely to take away daddy's weed, two commenters double down:

Two issues. First, poor people are entitled to nothing beyond what is absolutely necessary to keep body and soul together. After a day of grueling overtime at their minimum-wage jobs, they are to retire to their hovels and contemplate their children's dim future while munching stale bread and commodity baked beans.

Second, trophytaker seems perversely proud of never going to concerts. At best, "I never go out" is a neutral statement. At worst, it's a depressing indictment of someone with no interest in culture or entertainment beyond cable TV. If trophytaker won't spend hard-earned cash on concerts, why should a poor person be allowed to do so? Maybe if the poor person would get a job trophytaker approves of, instead of dealing drugs, s/he would be permitted an occasional night out to enjoy wholesome local music. Like Carol Johnson.

Friday, March 11, 2011

We Just Can't Have Nice Things, Can We

I thought this article would be an innocent piece of civic boosterism. I was dreadfully mistaken.

Should Grand Rapids have an Al Green statue?

It's as if he objects to erecting statues the average person would actually recognize. Rosa Parks and Al Green are famous, deservedly so. Downtown also has statues of Lucius Lyon and Arthur Vandenberg, but few people in Grand Rapids could tell you what they did to merit attention. I still can't.

Also, being from Arkansas does not make you "african."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

All of Those Comments Came Out of Your Butt

McCarthyistic? Detroit native speaks out against controversial hearings on Islamic radicalism

Low-hanging fruit here, in the form of a piece covering Reps. Keith Ellison and John Dingell's responses to Rep. Peter King's Prove to Me You Are Not All Terrorists Homeland Security Committee hearing. The very first comment:

I think I saw this on a bumper sticker in Walker.

Farther down the page, we find these twin gems:

Well, if you're not traitorous criminals you needn't fear prosecution, so surely you won't mind if we treated you like traitorous criminals, just for a little while? It's a defense offered in bad faith. I actually find it worse than inchoate rage about "mooslems." 

How Serendipitous

Editorial: Why the nation needs gun background checks with teeth

Even the reliably reactionary Grand Rapids Press agrees the government should place moderate restrictions on the right of clinically deranged individuals to purchase high-caliber weapons. For this commenter, the article lacks a crucial element: racism!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Compassion Is Hard, You Guys

ACLU, local pastors and others denounce Agema's immigration bill

This bill, currently in committee, would require police to check immigration status of people they pull over. "Local pastors" actually means "official representative of the Christian Reformed Church," which prompted several commenters to spice up their immigrant-bashing with a little church-bashing. Another commenter elsewhere on the page claims that the church "is basically run by liberal bureaucrats at the upper level," a development I am sure would surprise the CRC hierarchy. Note that bigkaw, below, left the church because it required him to practice compassion, which makes his head hurt. Jesus never said it wouldn't be tough, buddy.

Another commenter cries "Why? Why?" into the desperate night. Susan N. Herman, only you can save his children from the scourge of Spanish homework!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Everything New Is Old Again

Editorial: Why educational standards needed to be changed in Michigan

Five paragraphs and a lot of tortured syntax boil down to "Black people are stupid and don't deserve education anyway." I had to read the last two paragraphs closely to realize he's actually arguing against the Civil Rights Act. The real problem with schools today? "Both black and white students [have been] finally forced by law to exist in the same space." Other commentors are skeptical, but this comment is so poorly written it's probably legit.

I think if "NOBOMA" were a liberal troll, he would have spelled the president's name correctly.