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Name: William Rivers Pitt
Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 57,237

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So so so so so so stupid, but I need a cheap laugh today.

"WTF Bombs?": Taking Back the Boston Marathon

Remembering the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings in Copley Square of Boston, Massachusetts.
(Photo: Ingfbruno / Wikimedia Commons)

"WTF Bombs?": Taking Back the Boston Marathon
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Tuesday 15 April 2014

One year from now, when the new spring sunlight shines down upon Boston's best day, we will be in the streets to cheer the runners and remember the lost. We will never forget, but we will not cower or crouch. We will be there with family and friends to celebrate the place and the time and the event that is uniquely and completely ours. It will not be taken from us by anyone, ever. This is Boston.

- "Climbing Heartbreak Hill," William Rivers Pitt, 17 April 2013

The first hint that something had gone terribly wrong came via a text message on my phone. My friend David, an endurance runner with several marathons under his belt was running his first Boston Marathon, and it was a very big deal, because he is a Boston boy born and bred, and had come home to do this incredible thing we had grown up watching and cheering together.

I was in my apartment in Brighton, in the process of missing the marathon for the first time in my life, because my daughter was only two weeks old and I wasn't going to be more than ten feet from her side. David's wife Michelle was down on Boylston Street waiting for him with their two young sons. She and I had been texting back and forth on his progress. I couldn't be there, but I wanted to know the minute he crossed the line, so I could share in his achievement in some small way.

At 2:45 p.m., Michelle texted me that he had just crossed the finish line.

Four minutes later, at 2:49 p.m., I received another text from her. It read, "wtf bombs?"

I turned on NECN, the New England version of CNN, more out of curiosity than concern, because Boston is a very old city with very old utilities, and stuff goes "Boom" all the time. A transformer could have shorted out, a water main could have burst, or a couple of cars could have collided - very common events, all, that Michelle may have mistaken for explosions. In the space of five minutes, NECN's coverage transformed from happy, lighthearted reporting on the doings of the day to confusion, and then to darkness.

Because she was not mistaken. She was, in fact, right in between the two bomb sites when the first went off, and then the second, and she was caught in the tidal surge of panic with her two children as some ran away from, and others toward, the sound and the smoke and the screaming. Michelle and her boys took shelter in a storefront, and spent the rest of the day trying to find David, which they eventually did, unharmed.


"wtf bombs?"

I still have that text on my phone. I can't bring myself to delete it. Even in its 21st-century garbled American online-ese, it sums up perfectly the astonishment of the day. The Boston Marathon is the singular event of the city, a party from pillar to post heralding spring and athletic achievement and the deepest sense of community, and one year ago today, two people chose to tear it up. Beyond the death and agony those two caused is the sorrow-freighted fact that such a wonderful, unique event will never, ever be the same.

Martin Richard, Lu Lingzi, Sean Collier and Krystle Campbell have no stories to tell. They are the story, they and those who survived and now live lives permanently changed. I have tried over this last year to honor them with my words, to remember them, and I have shed tears for them more times than I can count. Even now, a year later, my hands shake when I try to explain all this.

I can think of only one way to honor them properly. On Sunday, I will climb into my car and navigate the springtime-muddy dirt road that leads to Route 101. I will turn east, cross the border from New Hampshire to Massachusetts, and find Route 2. As I pass the Belmont exit, where the road rises, I will see the skyline of Boston laid out before me. I will slip through Cambridge, pass through Watertown, park my car at Murph's house in Brighton, and on Monday morning, I will go to the marathon.

That day will not belong to the bombers. It will belong to us. I will honor the lost and the scarred and the city entire as best I can by reclaiming that day with my simple presence.

If you're looking for me on Monday, you'll find me on Boylston Street.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/23099-william-rivers-pitt-wtf-bombs-taking-back-the-boston-marathon

Full Moon in New Hampshire Night

My back yard:

A favor to ask.

I endured Scott Brown's successful campaign against Martha Coakley in 2010, and his existence as a Senator from Massachusetts.

I endured Scott Brown's unsuccessful campaign against Elizabeth Warren in 2012, and believed I was shut of him.

I moved my family from Boston to to New Hampshire in August of 2013.

Scott Brown did, too.

So, listen, I know you're busy. We're all busy; it is a Monday, after all.

But I have a favor to ask.

If it isn't too much trouble, I was wondering if you could pop on over real quick and kill me.

Just fucking kill me.

I can't tell you how much I'll appreciate it.

Scott Brown's Campaign Mocks His Opponent As A 'Senator From Massachusetts'

Eager to shed his identity as a former senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown's campaign is now apparently deriding his opponent as the "third senator from Massachusetts."

As he kicked off his Senate campaign in New Hampshire last week, Brown received assistance from the state's former Republican governor, John H. Sununu.

Sununu didn't steer clear of Brown's biggest impediment as a candidate in the Granite State. Instead, the former White House chief of staff who served as one of Mitt Romney's most confrontational surrogates in 2012 projected that weakness right onto Brown's Democratic opponent, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

“(Shaheen) votes with Elizabeth Warren. She votes with Markey. She is the third senator from Massachusetts,” Sunnunu said at Brown's Portsmouth, N.H. rally, according to Yahoo's Chris Moody. “Scott’s happiest days as a young man were in New Hampshire. … So it’s going to be great to have a senator that was born virtually in the state of New Hampshire. Jean Shaheen, by the way, was born in Missouri!”

The rest: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/scott-brown-jeanne-shaheen-senator-from-massachusetts-john-sununu

...every time I think I'm out, they pull me back in.

Chag Sameach

"The alleged gunman reportedly yelled 'Heil Hitler' as he was detained near Kansas City."

Three Dead After Shootings at Kansas City-Area Jewish Sites

To my brothers and sisters of the Jewish faith: Chag Sameach. Know you well on this Passover eve that there are far, far more of us than them. Blessings upon your home, and pardon me for being blunt, but fuck these people and their guns.

I am floored. Flattened. Utterly astonished. I have never seen anything like this in my life.

Watch this. Trust me.

Alive Inside: Behold the POWER of Music

Social worker Dan Cohen creates personalized iPod playlists for the residents of a nursing home in an attempt to bring some joy to them. The reaction of an elderly resident, Henry, was filmed as a part of the documentary, Alive Inside.

Bound to a wheelchair, Henry is unresponsive and depressed. But something magical happens when he listens to music from his era (Cab Calloway!). His eyes glisten with joy and he gently rocks his frail body as he enjoys the music. People at the nursing home were amazed at the changes in him. After just a few minutes of listening to his favorite songs, Henry is restored in some ways to the fun-loving man he once was.

Just watch.

Holy hot damn.

100+ Scientists and Economists Urge President Obama and Secretary Kerry to Reject Keystone XL

100+ Scientists and Economists Urge President Obama and Secretary Kerry to Reject Keystone XL
By The National Resources Defense Council

More than 100 leading scientists and economists are calling on the Obama Administration to deny the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline because it will trigger massive development of the world’s dirtiest oil, and escalate climate change. They include Nobel Prize winners in physics and economics, and lead authors of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports.

“We urge you to reject the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline as a project that will contribute to climate change at a time when we should be doing all we can to put clean energy alternatives in place,” the scientists and economists write in a letter sent today to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. “The Keystone XL pipeline will drive expansion of the energy-intensive strip-mining and drilling of tar sands from under Canada’s Boreal forest, increasing global carbon emissions. Keystone XL is a step in the wrong direction.”

The letter’s timing is critical. In January, the U.S. State Department released a final Environmental Impact Statement on Keystone XL. Now the administration is formally considering whether the pipeline, aiming to pump tar sands oil from Canada mainly for export through the Gulf of Mexico, is in America’s national interest. A decision could be made in the next couple of months.

In their letter, the scientists and economists commend President Obama and Secretary Kerry for making strong commitments to fighting climate change. They call on them to turn down the proposed Keystone XL project because the incremental emissions alone could boost annual carbon pollution emissions by more than the output of seven coal-fired power plants. That would worsen climate change, making the project clearly not in the national interest, they write. The total emissions are far greater, and, as they write, are “emissions that can and should be avoided with a transition to clean energy.”

The rest: http://ecowatch.com/2014/04/07/100-scientists-urge-obama-kerry-reject-keystone-xl/

Explain to me why the Keystone XL pipeline is a good thing. I'll wait.

The Endless Chronicles of Stupid, Childbirth Edition

New York Mets Daniel Murphy attends the Aces, Inc.
All Star party at Marquee on July 14, 2013 in New York City.
(Image: via Shutterstock)

The Endless Chronicles of Stupid, Childbirth Edition
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Friday 04 April 2014


Daniel Murphy, the second baseman for the New York Mets, took some leave time to be with his wife for the birth of their first child just as this year's MLB season was beginning. Because this is America, where everything that really sucks gets all the air-time it wants, Murphy's decision to be with his family at the beginning of the season elicited an avalanche of scorn and derision.

WFAN radio host Mike Francesa led the way with profundities like, "What are you going to do, sit there and look at your wife in the hospital bed for three days? You're a major-league baseball player. You can hire a nurse."

Sit and look at your wife for three days? Hire a nurse?

The really nifty part of this highly elevated discourse, however, was what former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason, who never won anything worthy of note but played just well enough to become a sportscasting talking head, said regarding Daniel Murphy's decision to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. Murphy, according to Boomer, should have required his wife "to have a C-section before the season starts." So, yeah, Murphy's wife's abdomen should be sliced open down to the womb for no medical reason so he could be there to field any hot liners batted his way, because that's sane.

As it happens, my daughter turned one year old just this past April 1st, making me, again, the greatest April Fool of all time. She was born on Opening Day last year, after 19 hours of labor and a barrage of indescribably tense moments before the deal went down. Her heart rate and blood pressure were being monitored by the devices attached to my wife's belly, and at one point all of a sudden they plummeted, and the room was immediately filled with doctors and nurses, and they put an oxygen mask on my wife, and the lead doctor told everyone, "Get ready to do a C-section!"

My daughter, prankster that she is, recovered from her deep-dip measurements and was born in blood and screaming pain...and when it was over, when she was out and in the world, howling at the indignity of it all, when I cleaned the blood off of myself and cut the cord, when the doctor handed her to my wife and I saw the single most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life, which was my two favorite people on the skin of this Earth meeting each other for the first time and falling in love immediately, I realized something.

I had sweated through my clothes. All of my clothes, from my shirt to my jeans to my socks to my sneakers. I looked like I'd just jumped into a lake. I was literally dripping on the floor. Not one whit of my experience compares to what my wife endured, but it wrung me out like an old, dirty sponge all the same.

Because birth is dangerous. My wife gave birth to our daughter in maybe the best hospital in the city of Boston, which means she gave birth in maybe the best hospital in the world...with the best-trained staff, and all the best equipment...and, in the end, all of that counts for nothing when the deal goes down. It mitigates the danger, to be sure, but it does not end it. Birth is dangerous, for the baby and the mother, and all the training and technology there is to be had cannot do anything about anything when the baby is stuck in the birth canal, and pushing isn't getting it done.

It was awesomely scary, especially when it seemed like it was going wrong. My wife was frightened when they put the oxygen mask on her face, and I had to hold her hands and ignore the frantic beeping of the machines and tell her everything was going to be fine, even though I was so terrified that I was soaking my clothes. Birth is dangerous, friends and neighbors, and it's something that technology and education can't mitigate. Birth, the moment of birth, is where the rubber meets the road, and it works out or it doesn't. The doctor is Johnny Bench at the moment of truth, just hoping to play catch.

I have a job, just like Daniel Murphy. I am expected to perform, just like Daniel Murphy. My wife gave birth to our daughter in peril, and all I wanted in the world was to be with the both of them when it was happening. Once it was over, I did not "sit and look at my wife for three days." I comforted my wife, and cradled my daughter, on the first day. On the second day, I snatched a wheelchair and took my wife outside for some fresh air, because the hospital windows didn't open on the maternity floor and she was going stir-crazy. Half a dozen times, I ran out to get her food, whatever my wife wanted, because she had just broken herself in half to give us a daughter after spending nine months carrying the girl to term. On the third day, I took them home, and cared for them, and did everything that needed doing, because one was just a baby and the other just had a baby, and it was the greatest privilege of my life to be at their beck and call.

The idea that this experience is scorned and demeaned, even in the glory of this 21st century, is disgraceful. Yeah, sure, Boomer Esiason and his radio friends are throwbacks, but gods be good, maybe it's time to throw them back. Maybe it's time to throw the whole idea of diminishing what a woman endures when bearing a child, the idea that says the man is separated from that experience, out the damned window.

The birth of my daughter, and the first week of her existence, were the most extraordinary and satisfying and terrifying times of my life. It was not "woman's work," as these radio cretins would oh-so-subtly have us believe. It was a man's work, too. It was our work, my wife and I. I am so glad Daniel Murphy chose to experience and enjoy that work, chose to be there for his wife when the dangerous and frightening work of childbirth was done, and it drives me crazy to know, even in this day and age, that there are still people out there who disdain the idea of active, engaged fatherhood in favor of some idealized macho-man baloney that leaves the woman holding the bag.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/22890-william-rivers-pitt-the-endless-chronicles-of-stupid-childbirth-edition

The Rude Pundit: And God Trusts in You, Sweet, Dumb Mississippi

Filling in for meegbear. - wrp

Look at that motherfucker. That's an eagle with a stars-and-stripes shield and an olive branch and arrows in its claws. It's so goddamned American that you could picture Uncle Sam jacking off to it. That's the Great Seal of the State of Mississippi, which you can read in all caps around the bird. But the governor and the legislature in Mississippi took a gander at that seal and thought, "Well, fuck us. It don't mention 'God.' How's God gonna know we believe everything comes from him if we don't say it?"

So they voted for it, and yesterday Governor Phil Bryant signed a bill that reads, in part, "it shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to procure the seal of this state, the inscription of which shall be, 'THE GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI,' around the margin, and in the center an eagle, with the olive branch and quiver of arrows in his claws and below the eagle in the margin shall be the phrase 'IN GOD WE TRUST'." Yeah, "In God We Trust," in all capital letters, crammed in there in under the balls of the eagle.

This way, if God is sitting on the toilet, taking a dump and wondering, "Huh. Does the state of Mississippi trust in me?" an angel secretary can hand him a copy of the state seal. God can look at it and say, "Welp, there it is in capital letters. Guess they do" before wiping his ass with it.

By the way, the bill also was the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act," which allows people to ignore pesky things like state laws if they interfere with their religious beliefs. So no cake for gays, you can assume. The sponsor of the bill, Baptist minister and Senator Phillip Gandy of the toothless yahoo shithole of Waynesboro, said that he hasn't heard of any cases of anyone being forced to violate their religious beliefs by baking gay wedding cakes, but, you know, just in case.

The nutzoid right is thrilled that Bryant didn't punk out and veto it, like that traitor Jan Brewer in Arizona. The signing ceremony was attended by Baptist church lobbyists and Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council (motto: "You're free to believe what we believe and that's about it"). Interestingly, it wasn't attended by anyone who works on issues related to free speech. Or any Muslims, Buddhists, or Jews because why would they. This law wasn't meant for them. In a crowing blog post, Perkins wrote, "There is absolutely no aspect of our lives that should be beyond the guiding light of Scripture."

Although "How should I burn this Bible?" might be.

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