Saturday, April 30, 2011

This Is My Boom Stick

12-year-old describes 'woosh' of bullets that came from target shooters into Rockford area subdivision

Here, the pressing matter isn't that people are blindly firing semi-automatic weapons in the woods behind a subdivision. The problem is their poor choice of firearm.

Sage prefers guns made in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

We Prefer to Prevent Suicide Attempts with Homicide Attempts

Woman threatening to jump from train trestle into Grand River, water rescue units responding

Apparently the cops were able to talk her down and get her to a hospital. This, however, is not good enough for raven76114. Bitch needs to be taught a lesson!

I'm sure that what everyone at the point of attempting suicide really, secretly wants is a person standing around taunting them. Mental illness is not like the hiccups. It doesn't vanish after a good scare or a talking-to, and it disturbs me how many people still believe this. Also, dwartfarquart does my work for me by concurring that pushing someone off a railroad trestle into a fast-moving river, then jumping in after her, amounts at attempted murder followed with death by misadventure. Note: "Death by misadventure" is legal terminology for "you did something fucking retarded."

Racist Non Sequiturs For the Win!

Medical marijuana coming to a greenhouse near you? Fenton planning commission recommends growing in city's industrial park, talks about greenhouse use too

SageofthePage is on the case. Don't make him break out the caps lock key. He means business.

Every marijauna-related article is guaranteed at least one comment by Sage invoking "mind poison." christina counters by pointing out that the nation has more pressing concerns than micromanaging others' psychophamacology choices.

I guess even potheads can be birthers. You learn something new every day. Oh, by the way, christina? I'm just saying. It was in the news and all. Thought you might be interested. You know, take a look when you get a chance. No hurry.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dept. of False Equivalences

Detroit teen pleads guilty to kidnap and rape of 26-year-old woman

This commenter probably missed the passage noting that the teenager was prosecuted as an adult.

If one must define this particular rape by stranger at knifepoint as some kind of skirmish in some kind of war, I would tend towards categorizing it as a War on Women, seeing as a woman suffered the greatest immediate harm. But this is the same commenter who previously announced his intention to tell the ladies whether or not they had been raped. We get it, okay? You're angry with your ex-girlfriend, or the woman in the next cubicle who, inexplicably, is not slavering to suck your dick, or the woman next door who you think is laughing at you behind your back. We understand that your life is very frustrating and full of women who have no interest in fucking you. Could you refrain from using news about crimes against women as an excuse to disparage women?  Lord knows you don't need any excuses, but could you at least move your comments over to threads with fewer sexual assault victims in them?

No, Your Comments Are a Waste of Space

Woman who gave man heroin hours before he died sentenced to 18 months to 40 years in prison

To clarify, she isn't charged with delivery of heroin causing death. The man definitely overdosed, but had so many different drugs in his system no one can tell which ones directly caused his death. Oh well, too bad!

Everyone knows that rehab is only for famous people (and previously).

Death to All Cocktail Waitresses!

Bar employees healthier in year since Michigan banned smoking in bars and restaurants, study finds

It's nice to see eugenicists branching out. Not content to eliminate The Coloreds, drug addicts, the poor, etc., they've moved on to the service industry. korea6913 frames the service industry as comparable to coalmining or working at a meatpacking plant. When that woman  decided to bartend her way through grad school, you know, she must have known about the giant meathooks on ceiling conveyor belts, or that she'd be working with volatile compounds underground. You gotta take responsibility, man. I'm sure she had nothing to offer the world anyway.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I Already Told You I Took a Course Once. Now Give Me That Arc Welder!

GM workers in Lansing victimized by out-of-state credit-card fraud

No hate here, unless you count the inevitable potshots at GM workers. Sorry? Instead, we find a cranky old man playing Boy Detective, analyzing a hastily-written article with the same attention he'd devote to an Encyclopedia Brown story.

"I took a course once" works wonderfully as a blanket justification for any questionable action. Tracheostomy? I took a first aid course once! Roof repair? I took an interior decorating course! Arc welding? I took Intro to Physics in high school!

No, red herons are birds that live in Southeast Texas. You're welcome.

I Declare a Moratorium on the Phrase "Shuck and Jive."

Comments: Obama's birth certificate silences birther 'silliness'

Oh, no, it doesn't.

Please note that Obama is 6' 1''. The average height for American men is 5' 9''. Perhaps he appears shorter when jumping Jim Crow, as the song goes.

Just Swing That Wrecking Ball Around the Other Way

Photos: Demolition of 137-year-old St. Andrew's Elementary School begins

If we all agree that the president is a foreigner, climate change is a hoax, and Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, can't we just let that Pope thing slide? Even the Klan accepts Catholics these days.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Link-Free Interlude

I often wonder how many of the commenters advocating forced sterilization of parents on welfare, mothers of criminals, women of a criminal bent, etc. are anti-abortion in private life. I've actually scanned pages and pages of certain commenters' posting history for incidence of the words "abort" or "abortion." Do they regard abortion as a valid, ethically neutral choice, or do they consider it a tool of social control to be wielded against those deemed undesirable?

I haven't yet found a clear instance of a single commenter declaring that welfare mothers should be sterilized, then turning around and condemning abortion. I'm not looking for hypocrisy, exactly. Hypocrisy requires a coherent political and ethical worldview, which few enough commenters display. I'm looking for confirmation that they truly hold eugenicist views.

Likewise, I wonder how many commenters who demand license to micromanage and impose intrusive regulations on people receiving public assistance are small-government conservatives in private life. I've quoted Anne Lamott before, and her aphorism has become my watchword: "You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out God hates all the same people you do."

In this world, there are the fit and the unfit, composition of such groups to be determined by any idiot with a screen name. The fit may be allowed to reproduce, seek happiness and prosperity, etc., under circumstances dictated by an elite composed, naturally, of MLive commenters. The unfit aren't even granted a guarantee of bodily autonomy. Permission to reproduce may be doled out, if they are well-behaved, at the sufferance of the elite. And this constitutes the totalitarian nanny state the very same commenters profess to abhor.

Here's the rhetorical question: is this doublethink? Do they skate over the cognitive dissonance? Or do they recognize the dissonance yet believe that they will somehow, through great moral and financial rectitude, retain their privileged position?

The Poor Do Not Feel as Others Do. Or At All.

Kids receiving welfare should get clothes from second-hand stores? Hillsdale state Senator offends some with suggestion

The average commenter can't leave well enough alone.

I apologize for my lack of commentary lately. Nolite te bastardes carborundorum and all that.

We Grudgingly Permit Your Religious Expression. What More Do You Want?

SMART files appeal in fight against 'Leaving Islam?' ad for Metro Detroit buses

Interfaith dialogue has truly reached a nadir when refraining from baseless allegations that Islam is a violent religion that launches fatwas as readily as dollar bills at a strip club qualifies as "kissing their behinds."

Monday, April 25, 2011

Heh, Heh...You Said "Drugs." Like, You Know, Drugs.

Flushing Police Department is encouraging people to drop off unused prescription drugs during Drug Take Back Day

Dialect is hilarious. So is the blithe assumption that all black men are drug dealers.

Welcome to the Underclass!

Students to speak about benefits of alternative schools during Governor's Education Summit

You thought this would be an innocent feel-good story about some kids working their way through setbacks. You were mistaken.

In his world, there are no adverse circumstances. There are no learning disabilities. There are only Bad Kids who fail to live up to his standards and deserve to remain poor and uneducated.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Breaking: Poor People Sometimes Eat Meat!

West Michigan Links: Hillsdale State Senator says second-hand clothes good enough for foster children

There is a difference, which Sen. Caswell doesn't seem to appreciate, between having most of one's clothes consist of hand-me-downs from family members and having all of one's clothes consist of strangers' castoffs. Notwithstanding:

Reality check! Per the DHS website, the standard rate of reimbursement (PDF) for a foster child without special needs is $99.68 per week. When the child turns 13 this increases to $123.13 per week. The residential care rate of reimbursement ranges from $130 to $400 per day. A portion of the difference reflects the cost of addressing special needs, but another portion reflects the high cost of maintaining and staffing a group home. 

Furthermore, forcing foster parents out of Bridge cards and into commodity food programs transforms the entire family, adults and children, into wards of the state. Funding, staffing, and administering this array of federal agencies is considerably more expensive than just giving poor people money to buy food. Our current system does not, however, allow saynotoallmillages to use the government to punish people he doesn't like, clearly an issue near and dear to his heart.

No, Not that Guy. Not that One Either.

Mayor's son charged in sexual assault on woman

The commenters saw the word "mayor" and name "Kwame" and thought they smelled blood, but it turned out to be Tabasco sauce. This would be Kwame Hampton, of Inkster. Regardless:

I will refer southbeagle to a brief list of individuals of note bearing this name, in particular Kwame Nkrumah, freedom fighter and later President of Ghana. Which, incidentally, is nowhere near Zimbabwe.

That's "Armpit of America" to You, Buddy

Man shot twice while trying to urinate outside of Flint liquor store

Eliminationist rhetoric at its finest! This type of comment is extremely common on Flint crime and public-safety stories.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Take Away the Soymilk! It's Against Our Religion!

Caledonia man puts low-cal spin on snacks with Fresh Healthy Vending franchise

B'wana is quick to chime in with a "Yuk." Incidentally, the products visible in the accompanying photo include juice boxes and chocolate chip cookies. We're not talking about carrot sticks; we're talking about Veggie Medley Straws and mini peanut butter crackers.

Yes, hotbeds of environmentalism like Griff's Ice House and Rivertown Sports. I, for one, can't imagine a roller derby bout or hockey game without locally-sourced organic trail mix. And I heard Walker Ice & Fitness Center is going to start composting!

I'm not surprised that people like junk food. I like junk food. Food manufacturers go to a great deal of trouble to make junk food that many people will like. I am surprised that loudly declaring one's disgust with healthy food or exercise has become, among reactionaries, a point of pride.

Correction: Science is Now Boring

Earth Day photos: See NASA's top 5, including Groundhog Day snowstorm

I know it's been a stressful week--how about we gather round and look at NASA photos together?

Consider the feats of engineering and programming, the labor and expertise required to produce these images, process them, and transmit them around the world. Now consider B'wana's response. If photographs of the earth from space do not evoke in you the tiniest sense of awe or wonder, if you do not find terrible beauty or at least scientific utility, could you at least refrain from insulting those who do?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Raising Welfare Babies for Fun and Profit

West Michigan Links: 'I don't want her and I don't need her' said mother who dropped 16-month-old at fire station

The woman in question is 23, poor, and has had three children in two years. Per WOOD TV, in 2009 she was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and depression. She stated at the time that she intended to commit suicide; she already had one documented suicide attempt. It's impossible to tell whether she's actually suffering from mental illness, or whether she's suffering from her life being completely out of control. Clearly, she needs is a good talking-to by grsteve50.

Attention, Bridge Card users! If you wish to reproduce, or are in the process of doing so, be prepared to submit a household budget and five-year action plan to grsteve50. He also reserves veto power over your choice of baby names.

But I Thought Women Liked Being Seduced...

Bay County hairstylist faces sexual assault charges for second time

These commenters know that the severity of a sexual assault is measured by the level of violence surrounding the act. No violence? No harm, no foul. 

Crimes against women, apparently, should be referred to grand juries. Dozens of subpoenas and closed-door hearings later, a group of upstanding citizens like raymondpistachio will tell the woman whether she has in fact been assaulted, and whether they will consent to bring charges against her attacker. Actually, you know, trusting women is tantamount to attacking men.

Ain't Nobody Here But Me

I started this blog at the beginning of March thinking I'd post once a day, or even once every other day, to avoid burnout. Somehow I became rather passionate about the project. It occupies a moderate amount of my time, and time has value. If you read the blog regularly and find it valuable, consider tossing me some change.

That's a Lot of Television Sets

Burglars steal frozen pizzas, wine from Flint home

I will gesture towards, without fully exploring, the irony of FlintRobber's screen name.

This comment packs a staggering number of stereotypes into a single sentence. It's like the Twitter version of a racist comedy sketch. Viz.: All black people are all on welfare, because unlike FlintRobber, they are too stupid to provide for themselves. Black people steal, but because they are stupid (see above) they do not steal items of value for future resale. Instead, they steal items for immediate consumption to satisfy their animal urges.

Interested parties may wish to refer to the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State in Big Rapids, where they can explore the depths of FlintRobber's psyche at their leisure.

The Perils of Crowdsourced Art Criticism

Blasphemous or misunderstood? Headless Jesus statue at Meijer Gardens sparks boycott effort

I began to argue that this thread demonstrated the need for arts education, but then realized it demonstrated the need for jes' plain ol' education.

Meijer Gardens, incidentally, is privately funded by grants, foundations, and individual and corporate gifts. It's not clear if Barking Bear doesn't consider Jim Dine's work to be art, or doesn't consider contemporary art to be true art, or if he actually denies the existence of "art" as a viable concept.

Other commenters made lame cracks about headless statues of Muhammad, but greco7 went the extra mile. Not many people these days are willing to go on record with anti-Catholic bile. I particularly like his use of scare quotes.

In related news, Gary Wohlscheid's website is like a Wayback Machine to 1998. Garish colors, liberal use of animated gifs, garbled display in browsers that are not Netscape 4. I'm particularly taken by Aborted Fetal Cells for Food Flavor Enhancement. Perhaps Wohlscheid should have checked the dateline before reprinting the story.

[Updated to allow Barking Bear to double down. 

I'm taken by the blithe assumption that there is no private market for art. Also, where is all of this government money, and how do I get some? I'm an artist too, dammit.]

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Unlike Tomatoes, Nativist Rhetoric is Always in Season

Grand Rapids market smashed by early morning hit-and-run-driver

From this we can conclude: smashing up a storefront is no big deal if it's a Latino-owned storefront. Also, it might not be illegal for Latinos to own businesses, but it sure ought to be.

It's a Solution Seeking a Problem

Editorial: What we should do to win the war against methamphetamine

This seems to presuppose that undocumented immigrants are already being rounded up and shipped to work camps.

It's Like Shooting Fish in a Barrel. With a Kalashnikov.

Panelists: Get to know your Muslim neighbors, learn about Islam

The word "Muslim" is like a bat-signal; within moments the racists are on the scene, locked and loaded.

“There are two sides to the issue. On the one, Muslims are not as open after 9/11,” said Ali Metwalli, founding board member of the Islamic Mosque and Religious Institute in Grand Rapids. “On the other side, there’s no attempt to know more about Islam, to really understand. The biggest barrier is the closed mind.”

Preemptively shutting down the possibility of interfaith dialogue is the only natural response to a panel discussion that encourages cultural engagement and mutual respect.

It's nice to see closetheborders branching out. He's hating all kinds of brown people now!

"Girls Gone Wild" Loves Saginaw and Other Unexpected Revelations

'Girls Gone Wild' crew rides to Saginaw Township's Red Horse Bar

It's not clear if all women are filth, or only the dirty sluts who board the "Girls Gone Wild" bus. Either way, a paradigm that encourages women to sexually objectify themselves and then condemns them for doing so is hardly a model of healthy sexuality.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Seriously, We Understand You Are a Christian. Now Put Away the Baby Jesus.

Judge: Creche ban on busy Warren road is a safety issue (Macomb Daily)

The creche, incidentally, is nine feet tall and eight feet wide by eight deep. It's currently on a median, which is public property. The plaintiff hasn't got a leg to stand on.

From this we can conclude: a) Arabic names are dirty words; b) the president knows all and sees all; c) DrDevil hates Muslims; d) all of the above.

stosh prefers to kick it old-school and blame the international Jewish conspiracy against ugly outdoor statuary.

I Have No Idea What You Think that Means

Five companies get MEGA tax credits to create 1,376 jobs in Michigan

So that would exploits, other, wait...

It's almost a koan. If I contemplate these sentences while sitting zazen, I will free myself of the desire to smack Sage upside the head.

It's Extremely Difficult to Prove a Negative

Photo gallery: Dearborn is not a Sharia state

MLive's Jeff Wattrick takes us on a photo tour of Dearborn in an effort to demonstrate that it is not, in fact, a foreign country. The response is much as might be predicted.

I believe Christopher Logan's first comment refers to this incident, in which an evangelical Christian group claimed that sidewalk harassment of people attending a street fair was an integral component of their religious expression. His second comment is a syntactical disaster. I can't determine the antecedent to "it," in the second sentence. Is democracy the failure, or would that be Islam? Furthermore he appears to be using "democracy" as an intransitive verb. I am confused.

Today, Dearborn. Tomorrow... Livonia! Truly, paranoia strikes deep

Meanwhile, others have more pressing concerns.

Maybe ateam78 is a Muslim. Maybe he just wants to know which mosque Wattrick attends, and who he thinks is the best halal butcher. Maybe, maybe not.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Silly Women, Having Opinions, Part II

U.S. Uncut protests U.S. corporate tax policies, Bank of America

Insulting a woman's appearance and sexual desirability is way more fun than constructively engaging her views.

If she's a dude, does that mean we have to listen to her? Can you check with hatintaxes and get back to me?

Monday, April 18, 2011

I Will Defeat Your Bullet Points with Other Bullet Points

State's welfare clothing stipend dries up

MLive stalwart SageofthePage's other bete noire is Demon Weed. He speaks of it in florid terms straight out of Reefer Madness. I would prefer he stick to ranting about how marijuana causes spontaneous psychotic breaks, rather than attempting to muster truth-y sounding "facts" and "statistics."

First: semantically, it's not clear whether Sage is referring to pregnant black women or their presumed-but-not-necessarily-black female fetuses. His capitalization of the word "Abortion" makes me wonder if he isn't referring to a fearsome Abortion Monster that haunts predominantly black communities, looking for tasty victims. For actual abortion statistics that were not pulled out of someone's ass, try the Guttmacher Institute.

Second: since when is diabetes treatment a bad thing? Naturally it would be better to prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes, or address it with lifestyle change instead of drugs or insulin, but Type 1 diabetes is not preventable. If liberals hate black people, why do liberal municipal governments fund life-saving medical care? And how can Sage be sure that every single diabetic in New York City who receives subsidized medical care is black?

Third: in the United States, the first minimum wage law was the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. I need not remind Sage that prior to the 1930s social conditions vis-a-vis the black community were rather different than they are today. It's as if he's pining for the early 20th-century heyday of sharecropping, which amounted to debt peonage enforced by occasional terrorist attacks.

This proves that...okay, I have no idea. You win, Sage. I can't tell who is supposed to be hating whom anymore. Also note the substance of the actual article, which describes how state welfare benefits will no longer include a clothing allowance of a princely $79 per child, per year. Ultimately Sage is ranting about the possibility of poor kids wearing new socks and sweaters, instead of other kids' castoffs or items from a clothing drive. How can you be against new socks?

I Am at a Loss For Words [Updated]

Prosecutor dismisses new science, defends rape conviction of Detroit man imprisoned for 25 years

It's rare and terrifying to find racism this open and indiscriminating. Usually commenters use coded language or frame their bigotry as a rational charge against a particular subgroup. This one doesn't feel it's necessary to do so. It's hard to tell if he expects others to chime in and agree with him. The ellipses lend his comment a wistful note, as if he's imploring others to join him but fears they don't share the strength of his conviction.

[Updated to add: The above comment was flagged and removed within two hours, but the commenter returned an hour later to double down, this time gaming the use-mention distinction.]

You Just Don't Know When to Quit, Do You

Quran-burning crank Terry Jones still planning Dearborn protest this week

At first I couldn't tell if paned65 was making a misguided attempt at satire, but his recent work indicates that he means business.

Not all white men are terrorists, but there sure are enough of them to promote the stereotype. Not all youth pastors are sexually abusive, but there sure are enough of them to promote the stereotype. Not all MLive commenters are bigots, but there sure are enough of them to promote the stereotype.

Note that the event's original organizers bowed out after he announced his plans. Terry Jones has so much hate he makes other haters nervous. This is a perverse kind of achievement, but when you're internationally despised I suppose you have to take what you can get.

Missing the Gunpoint

[Updated to note that this comment appears to have been removed.]

Sheriff: Girl, 12, unlikely to be charged as adult after allegedly stealing gun, holding up store

Group W Bench helpfully obscured a Word You Can't Say on the Airwaves, but that's not the obscene part of the sentence.

I initially misread this comment and assumed he hoped the cops had roughed up the girl. Actually he's referring to the store employees. Slightly less horrible, still not good. First, beating the shit out of a child in the name of vigilante justice won't teach her ethics or respect for the rule of law. It will teach her that laws are enforced by the powerful for their own convenience, with violence if necessary. Second, does he want the girl punished for lawbreaking? Charging a 12-year-old as an adult is a perversion of the justice system. For stupidity? Last I checked, "doing something retarded" did not, in and of itself, merit a beating.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Hippocratic Oath is Only for People We Like

Portage police looking for woman after meth lab explosion in house with child inside

Would matt also deny medical care to death row or life-sentence inmates, on the grounds that they're going to die in prison anyway? If he withholds pain medication, would he at least deign to treat these people's burns?

On a related note, you should read this contemporary version of the Hippocratic Oath. So should matt, though I doubt he'd approve of it.

Education: There's Something for Everyone to Hate!

Grand Rapids school and union leaders say high poverty, high needs students lose under the governor's proposed budget

The aptly named noclue has a suggestion on what to jettison. Unfortunately, the science is against him.

I have never seen a purer example of the concern troll on MLive. J.J. Forte can only express approval if it's wrapped around veiled racial slurs. He seems to imply that he, too, is an educator, which makes his comment even more insidious.