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Name: William Rivers Pitt
Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 58,167

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An American Reckoning

Jeff Bauman, who lost his lower legs in the Boston
Marathon bombings, holds a prosthetic leg similar to
the ones he will receive at United Prosthetics in
Dorchester, Massachusetts., May 21, 2013.
(Josh Haner / The New York Times)

An American Reckoning
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Friday 26 July 2013

On Wednesday, one hundred days after the bombs at the Boston Marathon took his leg, broke his spine, ruptured his eardrums and buried shrapnel in his body, the last hospitalized victim to be discharged left the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital for home after 49 separate surgeries. His fiancee and 5-year old son were with him when he left.

For those of us who live in Boston, word of his discharge came as tremendously happy news...happy news most desperately needed. The bombs went off in April, and it is now the end of July, and we're not over it yet. I mean, at all. That much was made abundantly clear when Dzhohkar Tsarnaev's fluffy little face appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone, and all Hell broke loose.

I don't know how spirited the debate was where you live, but here in town, it was a one-sided avalanche of rage. A state trooper put his entire career on the line by releasing photographs of Tsarnaev's bloody capture, all because he was offended by the idea that this as-yet-unconvicted little punk got a glory shot on the cover of a music magazine.

This is not the behavior of a people who have come to grips with what happened to them. This is the angry roar of a maddened mob still smarting from the blow absorbed 100 days hence. No, we're not over it, even those of us who thought the Stone cover was no big deal. We think about it every day. It colors everything now. When the Pops played at the Esplanade by the river for our annual Fourth of July celebration, there wasn't a one of us who didn't breathe a sigh of relief when the last note of music was carried off into the air unaccompanied by screams, sirens and the smell of blood.

We may not be over it, but the fact remains that tens and tens and tens of thousands of people went down to the river for that Esplanade concert on the Fourth, because, frankly, fuck you and your fucking bombs. Next year's marathon is going to field the largest group of runners in the history of the race, and the crowds along Commonwealth Avenue and Boylston Street will be thirty-deep from the curb, because fuck you, that's why.


In the trembling aftershock of such a thing, there are only two possible avenues of response: revenge, or a reckoning. Revenge is easy, especially for America. After 9/11, we sought revenge against Iraq and extracted a terrible, bloody price for what happened in New York City. The aftermath of that revenge has left Iraq ravaged; 3,000 people have been killed as a result of sectarian attacks there since April, when the bombs went off in Boston. Hundreds and hundreds of thousands more died before April, including thousands of Americans who were sent there as the avatars of our vengeance.

More deaths are sure to follow as that shattered nation descends into civil war, even as it had nothing whatsoever to do with the event that brought down our wrath...and our wrath will beget their wrath, and the wheel of violence will continue to turn. That is the bitter fruit of revenge.

The rest: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/17800-an-american-reckoning

Pigpile on Daddy, Part D'oh...

Charles P. Pierce on Obama's Trayvon remarks today...hoo boy.


...in making those remarks, and in sounding for one of the very few times like what once was called a Race Man, the president broke what a lot of people assumed was a covenant he'd made with them when they permitted him to be president. That covenant was fashioned for him during his speech to the Democratic convention in Boston, wherein he told a divided country everything it really wanted to hear about itself. He was going to be the living demonstration of the progress the nation had made. His job, in addition to being president, was going to be as a redemptive figure. That was the deal by which the country would allow him to be its president.

I always thought that speech was overrated. I thought it was dreamy utopian nonsense that did not take into account the well-financed virulence that would be brought to bear on him, and on his policies, and on his entire public career. (I think the fact that he bought it has a lot to do with how stuck in the mud his administration has been, and is, on several important issues.) Remember, in his big speech on race during the campaign, he made it a point to mention how his grandmother would tense up when she saw black men on the street. That was the Barack Obama of the 2004 speech. That was the Barack Obama of the redemptive covenant. That was how the country would allow him to speak on race, if he wanted to be its president.

Today, there was none of that. He didn't even obliquely try to justify sidewalk profiling of the kind that set off the chain of circumstances by which Trayvon Martin was made dead. He spoke plain truth, and the reason you know it is so many smart people already are saying how politically unwise it was that he spoke at all. He broke the covenant, once and for all, which ought not to matter, because it was counterfeit all along.

Read it: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/president-obama-trayvon-martin-speech-071913

We interrupt your regularly-scheduled GD discussion to bring you this important announcement:

The SyFy Network will be re-broadcasting "Sharknado" at 7pm EST tonight.


On the Cover of the Rolling Stone

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.
(Photo: Handout via The New York Times)

On the Cover of the Rolling Stone
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Thursday 18 July 2013

Wanna see our pictures on the cover
Wanna buy five copies for our mothers
Wanna see my smilin' face
On the cover of the Rolling Stone

- Dr. Hook

I awoke on Wednesday morning to the outrage du jour: Dzhohkar Tsarnaev on the cover of the newest Rolling Stone looking like Jim Morrison's little brother after a fight with a Flowbee. As someone from Boston who was personally affected by the Marathon bombing, I am apparently supposed to be all up in arms about this. It glorifies a murderer as if he were a celebrity or a rock star, they should have run a cover with the victims instead, and so forth.

Three things:

1. The outrage over Tsarnaev's face on the cover has everything to do with the fact that there is a puppy-dog cuteness about him which is jarring in the context of his alleged crimes. If Tsarnaev's face looked like the back of an old man's balls, no one would give much of a damn about this. I'm not going to get all worked up about the attractiveness double-standard involved here; this issue of Stone has a huge feature story on the dumb bastard, and so having him on the cover makes perfect sense.

2. The fact that Rolling Stone has excellent journalists like Matt Taibbi working for them means putting newsmakers on the cover is not out of line. Hell, they had Charlie Manson on the cover once upon a time, as well as George W. Bush in 2009. It's not like this is some crazy new thing. Hitler made the cover of Time twice, and I'm pretty sure that had nothing to do with how the middle of the last century shook out.

3. From everything I have read and heard - which is quite a lot given my location in the 617 area code - the victims of the Marathon bombing have no interest whatsoever in gracing the cover of Rolling Stone or any other periodical. They just want to be left alone to heal and recover. As for glorifying Tsarnaev or potentially upsetting the bombing victims, his face has been on the front page of every newspaper in the Western hemisphere more than once, so that horse left the stable so long ago that the oats have germinated and the hay has become straw...and speaking of horses that left the stable, the idea that being on the cover of Rolling Stone is some epic honor belongs to another era when Dr. Hook songs were actually relevant.

(Sorry, Stone, but in the immortal words of Robbie Robertson, it ain't like it used to be)

But perhaps more important than all of that, speaking personally, is the simple fact that I just don't care. There are far larger and more dangerous fish to fry right now than getting all worked up over who is on a magazine cover.

The rest: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/17641-on-the-cover-of-the-rolling-stone

Pigpile on Daddy...

On edit, pic from the first week in April for size comparison:

Regarding Dzhohkar Tsarnaev on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine

If you haven't heard already, Dzhohkar Tsarnaev is on the cover of the newest Rolling Stone looking like Jim Morrison's little brother after a fight with a Flowbee. Apparently, lots and lots and lots of people are all WHAAARGARBLE over this, because the cover of Stone is for celebrities and rock stars and the like.

For the record, and in my own humble opinion:

1. I don't care. Got bigger things to worry about;

2. If Tsarnaev's face looked like the back of an old man's balls and they put him on the cover, no one would be complaining;

3. The fact that Matt Taibbi writes for Stone means newsmakers (like Manson once upon a time, and G.W. Bush in 2009) are allowed on the cover; and,

4. I DON'T CARE. Got bigger things to worry about.

Definitely buying a copy, though. It'll fit perfectly over my dartboard.

Are Militant Atheists Using Chemtrails to Poison the Angels in Heaven?

Are Militant Atheists Using Chemtrails to Poison the Angels in Heaven?

Also featured:

Revealed! Obama’s IRS Using Nazi UFO Technology to Bully the Tea Party

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...and more.

Yeah, I think I've found my new favorite thing in the world.

"So I guess Todd Akin was right..."

"Texas state Senator Wendy Davis singlehandedly stopped a draconian abortion bill from getting passed in the Texas state legislature, stood up there filibustering for 12 hours. So I guess Todd Akin was right – women can shut that whole thing down."

- Bill Maher

If you read anything today, please read this.

A NYT feature on Jeff Bauman, the man who lost both legs in the Boston Marathon bombing, who was captured in the iconic photo of Carlos Arredondo and an EMT rushing him to the aid tent in a wheelchair with his legs gone at the knee.

Beyond the Finish Line

BOSTON — Jeff Bauman stared straight ahead, his eyes wary and unconvinced, as his doctor told him the next procedure would be easy and painless. He sat in his wheelchair at Boston Medical Center, and Dr. Jeffrey Kalish, his primary surgeon, explained how a resident would remove the sutures from his legs.

Most of Bauman’s legs were gone. He had been waiting for his girlfriend near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15 when the first of two bombs detonated and blew them off. An iconic sporting event had turned into a scene of chilling devastation, and a photograph of Bauman in the aftermath, his legs gruesomely lost, later became a searing symbol of the attacks.

The day of the bombings, Bauman had had an emergency, through-knee amputation that lasted about two hours. A surgeon had sifted through layers of skin, tissue and muscle, preserving what was healthy, cutting what was dirty and sick. He had removed what was left of Bauman’s lower legs at the knee joints.

Two days later, Kalish had performed a formal amputation at about four inches above the knee. He had measured the legs and cut each layer — skin, tissue, muscle and bone — farther up in the thigh, like a staircase. Then he washed out the legs for 10 minutes, tucked the muscle, and stitched the tissue.

The rest: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/08/sports/beyond-the-finish-line.html?hp&_r=0

...and P.S., if you were one of the jackasses running around claiming that Bauman was actually a Blackwater operative who planted the bombs as part of a "false flag" operation, I hope you feel sick reading this, and are capable of locating at least a small measure of shame.
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