Name: William Rivers Pitt
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 57,961
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 57,961
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I guess the best way to put it is I'm at loose ends today. Part of me would love five minutes alone in a locked room with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and a nice length of lead pipe for what he did, and almost did, to my friends and my town and our favorite day. Part of me is horrified at that part of me. Most of me wishes they had sentenced him to life instead of death. The rest of me is just exhausted.
And at the end of it all...it's just so sad. Just so terribly, unfathomably sad. I hope the verdict brought a measure of closure to the victims and their families...but Jesus, "closure," what a contrived word. When you get your legs blown off, or see your kid dead on the sidewalk with his guts in his lap, what is "closure"? It's a catchphrase, not a reality. It's a word the lawyers use at press conferences.
What an utter God damned waste. What an asshole. What a mess.
Anyway, I'm going to go hug my kid and try for a day to not think about the casual savagery humans visit upon other humans for vengeance or "God" or profit. We really are going to die of stupid if we're not careful. It's a lethal disease, and it's spreading like wildfire.
Posted by WilliamPitt | Sat May 16, 2015, 03:36 PM (13 replies)
-- One (recently former) Boston resident's opinion
I pleaded for this little shit's life some weeks ago.
Mercy Is Ours to Give, if We Choose It
"There is no sense in killing someone to prove that killing someone is wrong. More than that, and at bottom, showing him the mercy he did not himself summon says, for all time and in all directions, that we are better than him, and better than that."
Posted by WilliamPitt | Sat May 16, 2015, 07:26 AM (92 replies)
...some people here would defend it and champion it. "Overpopulation, you know."
Posted by WilliamPitt | Thu May 14, 2015, 08:12 AM (119 replies)
They Call It "Labor" for a Reason
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed
Sunday, Mother's Day, 10 May 2015
We were rolling down Route 2 in the summer of 2012, eastbound toward Boston after a whirlwind tour of visiting family and friends, when my wife got this sudden startled look on her face, turned to me, and said, "You know, I think I'm late." To my credit, the car swerved only slightly, almost imperceptibly, and never left the lane. We had been trying for a baby for a while, but had only days ago agreed that it might not be in the cards.
We got home, walked to CVS, purchased a pregnancy test, and brought it back to the house: positive. We walked back to CVS, purchased the most expensive pregnancy test in the history of humankind with buttons and blinking lights - the thing could probably have done our taxes if we asked it to - and brought it home: so totally positive, and we were off to the races.
What they don't tell you about pregnancy, the dirty little secret everyone keeps to themselves, is how physically and emotionally grueling the last month of the process is. Everything is crazy, and you're just huge, and totally off-balance to boot. Try to imagine having a large bag of rocks strapped to your belly, rocks that kick you in the bladder, and then try to do your thing. Try to sleep, try to pee, try to simply stand up ... oh, and rack in those calories because you're eating for two, but don't have a drink, even though after nine long months that's all you want to do.
We walked, and walked, and walked in those final days at the close of March between towering snowbanks, snowbanks and slick sidewalk ice because that winter was an ass-kicker, because of course it was. I was like Johnny Bench, just waiting to make the catch if she slipped during her ponderous plod. And then one day she had some hot & sour soup, we watched the season finale of The Walking Dead, and boom, twenty hours later my wife held this screaming, swaddled little bean in her exhausted arms, and the look on her face was a vivid Technicolor broadcast announcing the whole thing was worth the ride.
Oh, the look on her face. Our daughter gave us a few good scares during the delivery process, perhaps because she knew it was April Fools' Day and wanted to mess with our heads. There is nothing quite so nerve-wracking as when the baby-monitoring machine strapped to your belly starts beeping wildly, and one deliberately casual doctor in the delivery room suddenly FOOP becomes eight not-so-casual doctors in the room hovering over you like you're Tippi Hedron in a Hitchcock movie.
Motherhood begins in blood and pain, drenched in sweat with a white-knuckle grip on the closest thing available ... but when the beeping subsided and my wife heard the sound of her daughter's first living cry, the perfection of joy that was her face beggared the word "sublime." She held her daughter, and nursed her, and rocked her, and sang to her, and so it was that the journey of a lifetime began.
Thank you, Mom. Thank you, moms.
Happy Mother's Day.
The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/30698-they-call-it-labor-for-a-reason
Posted by WilliamPitt | Sun May 10, 2015, 10:31 AM (4 replies)
So I haven't been on the planet as long as some - more than 40 years but less than 50, according to the calendar - but I've made up for that chronological deficit by paying deep and savage attention to the doings of the passing days, and then writing about it when I can stomach the task.
Thus, I've seen and endured some truly stupid shit. Genuinely mind-bending dumbfuckery the likes of which could hyperactivate a statue. I've seen stupid that could drown a fish, outfly a falcon, freeze molten lava and kill a man deader than Caesar's dog at a thousand paces in the dark of a moonless night.
...but it is entirely possible that, in my grinding tour through the vast peaks and valleys of the ceaseless tide of local, national, global and galactic stupid that has afflicted my existence lo these many years, I really do believe I have never encountered anything quite so sublimely and pristinely stupid as Jeb Bush, when asked who his top foreign policy adviser is, replying "George W. Bush."
Jesus Jumped-Up Great Googly-Moogly Sarsaparilla CHRIST, you may as well announce you're going to nominate Zippy The Pinhead for Defense Secretary...and Zippy would still be a better resume reference than Fucking George.
Where do these goddam people come from, and is there a large enough rubber band to load them into, stretch it long, let it loose, and fling them back into the bleak, dumb, hopeless, useless, hapless, mindless nightmare from whence they came?
I just can't even. What the categorical fuck? "Yes, my brain trust is run by Gargothrog, The Thorn-Clawed Demon Who Rules The Depths Of Vargor. Hail Satan! Derp Derp Durr Hurr Derp!"
Same fucking statement, politically speaking.
Well, at least things like this let me know I still have the capacity to be shocked. Thanks, Jeb, you astonishing assclown. Good luck with your top adviser. When he counsels you that it is imperative the US attack Neptune immediately, maybe seek a second opinion from someone who didn't melt his septum with blow...and for the love of God on high, someone not named Cheney.
Posted by WilliamPitt | Fri May 8, 2015, 04:08 PM (135 replies)
Anyone shilling this Deflategate nonsense is either a mouth-breathing moron or is trying to sell you something.
1. I am happy to concede that Tom Brady made sure his game footballs were very slightly deflated. Why am I happy to concede that? Because every single quarterback for the last 80 years has done the same thing. It is and has always been part of the culture of the game. Are you a fan of a team? Guess what: your quarterback does the same thing - for Christ's sake, Aaron Rodgers admitted it on the goddam radio. Your quarterback is quite possibly making sure his footballs are manipulated at this very moment to get ready for OTA's.
2. You think this is about "deflated footballs"? This is about Roger Goodell and the league coming out from under Ray Rice etc. and the worst PR year the league has ever endured, and this parade of bullshit is about him and the league trying to show how they're "protecting the integrity of the game." What a blizzard of dogshit. They're trying to polish their shattered integrity with the rag Bill Belichick uses to polish his Lombardi trophies, and it is both cynical and hilariously transparent. If you buy what they're selling for their own benefit, you should hire an assistant to help you cross the street to avoid dying in very slow traffic.
3. The media scrum: Ah, yes, we listen to the press when they say what we want to hear. THE PATRIOTS ARE CHEATERS is music to the ears of millions who are just simply sick of dealing with this dominant team, and that is perfectly understandable. The Pats are the Yankees, the Cowboys, the Most Hated Team of the era. This shit happens when you break a lot of hearts over and over again. And as for the sports press...pssst...pro hint: they're carrying the league's water so they can still get into the locker room next season and be able to do their "jobs." It's not reporting; it's self preservation. None of them are going to say "This is stupid, they all do it, it's part of the game and always has been" for fear of getting frozen out. Think "Meet The Press": No one ever asked Cheney about torture. Why? To make sure he came back on the show for the ratings boost. It's not news. It's business. T'was ever thus.
4. Have you ever, like, actually watched a full football game? The idea that a team that wins four Super Bowls, a zillion playoff games and a large clutch of AFC championships over a 14-year span did so because 0.5 psi might have been removed from some game balls is literally absurd on its face. Willie McGinest didn't stuff Edgerrin James at the goal line for the win in 2003 because the football was slightly less puffy. Etc., and Etc., and Etc. If you buy into this line of baloney, you know fuck-all about the game, and your opinion on the matter should be discounted out of hand.
Here endeth the lesson. If you still don't get it, or won't get it, go back to bed. You clearly need some sleep.
Posted by WilliamPitt | Fri May 8, 2015, 08:14 AM (40 replies)
(Photo: Oil Spill via Shutterstock)
Trading Paradise for a Pipeline
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed
Monday 04 May 2015
I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.
-- Dr. Seuss
For a while now, I've been banging awake around five o'clock in the morning, but I languish for a time in that warm you're-comfy-and-you-know-it zone of semi-sleep, until I eventually grab myself by the face and drag myself out of bed. Before I leave the room, I make sure to crack both of my ankles; the small hallway connecting us to my daughter's bedroom has the acoustic qualities of a finely-crafted orchestra hall, and when those joints decide to thud out there in the pre-dawn gloom, it sounds like a damn car accident. My poor, stupid, oft-broken and oft-sprained ankles have woken my daughter up more times than I can count when they decide to pop on a pivot, so I always try and remember to kick out the jams before I use the door.
Snap crackle pop, then through the door on cat's feet down to the den. It's nice: I used to be a very solitary animal, an only child who lived alone for years, and despite the absolute joy and astonishing privilege of all my baby/wife/etc. responsibilities, a part of me will always be the sibling-less kid building universes in his imagination alone in his room, who still worships the stillness of solitude. I get some of that in my mornings; it is the only time I have to myself before the wife and the girl emerge and the day gets itself well and truly underway.
We live in very rural New Hampshire, and do not have access to town water. My well is almost 400 feet deep and taps an aquifer that roars in the dark beneath a stout granite shelf. We had the water tested to make sure there was nothing harmful to my daughter, and the testers told us they had never, ever come across water as pure and perfect as what comes out of our ground. Before I go to bed each night, I pour a glass and place it on a kitchen windowsill next to a barely-cracked window ... and then, in my mornings, with the first hues of sunrise tickling the mountain, I drink deep of the blood of the Earth cooled to perfection by the breath of the wind and spiced with the ever-growing chorus of the peepers in the woods.
I do most of my writing during those soft, quiet hours - in my head, because I can't actually write at that hour, because I beat on keyboards like a rented mule and would wake the entire house with the hammering. I have watched the sun rise earlier and earlier each morning, I have watched the snow from this utterly brutal winter melt away to reveal dun ground that awaits the greening of the grass. I will watch, very soon now, the flowers grow, and then wither in time, and then disappear under a new season's blanket of white. I sit in the darkling silence, and listen to the hum of nothing in my ears, drink my water, and breathe.
A few days ago, I woke, rose, padded quietly to the kitchen, reached for my glass, and paused. There were five huge wild turkeys in the back yard: four females and one male, and oh by God and sonny Jesus, was the male putting on a show. Puffed up like a dirigible, fantail fanning behind, strutting strutting strutting, big as life and twice as turkey, The Man, because it's finally mating season, don'tcha know ... and the four females could not have disdained him more thoroughly. The poor dude was flat out of luck, but persisted nonetheless, so I raised my precious water glass to him in salute, drank deeply, and thought to myself, "Yeah, I hated the dating scene, too, brother."
That's life here on the dirt road among the piney woods, the oaks, the maples, and the bright birches. With the snow gone and the ground loosening, the sound of woodpeckers and birdsong is a riot outside my windows. We have hawks the size of fighter planes, owls, white-tail deer, massive moose, and the very occasional nerve-wracking bear. In June, once the sunlight fades, the back yard will glitter with the light of a thousand lightning bugs dancing to the song of the moon. This place is, in its own hard, often-frozen way, the very name of paradise.
A company called Kinder Morgan - basically the dregs of Enron - seeks to despoil all that with a massive natural gas pipeline which would run the product of Pennsylvania fracking across all of southern New Hampshire to a depot near the Massachusetts coastline, from which it will be shipped to the world for a fee. Their original plan for this pipeline had it running across northern Massachusetts to the sea, but the residents of that state rose up righteous and sent Kinder Morgan on their way bag and baggage. Now, Kinder Morgan wants to do it here, their "secondary plan" which is now their primary plan, and the residents of the affected towns are girding for war.
The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/30564-trading-paradise-for-a-pipeline
Posted by WilliamPitt | Mon May 4, 2015, 12:15 PM (1 replies)
How to Talk to Your Kids About Bernie Sanders
Sometimes it can be scary and confusing for kids when they’re faced with an unknown, like a politician who actually represents the regular people who voted for him. As you tuck them into bed don’t be surprised if you hear questions like, “But what about the billionaires? Who’s going to speak for them?” or “Why is he so angry all the time?” or “Mom, why did you hit him?” We’ll get to that last one in a minute.
I find that the best way to address kids’ valid concerns about politicians is to ease them into it. The last time we tried to explain a government shutdown to my 10-year-old he said, “Wow, sounds like they don’t know how to do their jobs. They should all be fired.” There’s no telling what sort of blood lust this whole Bernie situation could unleash in our household and I’m betting your family is struggling with the same sense of unease. I’ve put together some answers to use when fielding common questions from your kids. You’ve probably been asking yourself some of these questions too, so don’t feel shy about talking to yourself about Bernie Sanders. We all do. It’s completely natural.
What does it mean when a politician “doesn’t lie”?
Well, this means that he or she is telling “the truth”. This is the type of behavior that one might expect from, say, your teacher or a librarian. I understand it can be confusing, trust me, it’s definitely confusing to most adults. What we’re used to is a sort of non-truth-jargon-bite and we nod and think “Thank you politician for the nonsense that just came out of your face hole” and we get right back to eating our burrito(s) because that’s life, man. I think you know by now that adults don’t really expect the truth otherwise why would we ask you if you’ve brushed your teeth and then accept your answer without making you breathe directly into our faces “just to be sure”? We’re used to being lied to. We like it. It’s soothing. So this situation is uncomfortable for us too. Just know this: you are not alone. We will get through Truthmageddon-Honestypocalypse-2016 together.
But why is he even bothering when he can’t win?
I’m gonna lay this out real plain and simple to you kids: None of us have a chance in H-E-double-hockey-sticks of achieving our biggest, boldest, bravest dreams unless we do one thing: Try. Without underdogs there would be no upsets and no legends. It’s exhilarating to see people try to win against all odds because most of us identify with that feeling. We’re so small, we’re just one person in an ocean of people. And all those other people? Taller, richer, smarter, more talented, better connected, nicer teeth, snazzier suits. How could we ever be the one who makes the shot, writes the book, gets the job or the girl or the life we’ve always wanted? Why us? But why NOT us?
Posted by WilliamPitt | Mon May 4, 2015, 08:54 AM (84 replies)