Equivalencies

Two stories on the front page of NYPost.com today show a bit of false equivalency.

AOC rips McConnell over pic of young men in ‘Team Mitch’ shirts ‘groping & choking’ cutout of her:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday night after a photo surfaced on social media, showing a group of young men “groping and choking” a cardboard cutout of the freshman congresswoman — while wearing shirts that read “Team Mitch.”

“Hey @senatemajldr – these young men look like they work for you,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

“Just wanted to clarify: are you paying for young men to practice groping & choking members of Congress w/ your payroll,” she asked, “or is this just the standard culture of #TeamMitch?”

Protesters shout death threats outside Mitch McConnell’s home:

Gun control supporters stood outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home in Kentucky on Sunday night — protesting and hurling death threats at him — while broadcasting on Facebook Live.

“Murder Turtle!” the demonstrators can be heard shouting on video, in reference to McConnell’s infamous nickname.

“Come out, come out, wherever you are,” a person says at one point, while the others continue to yell.

“The bitch home — we keep seeing the lights go on and off,” another says. “This hoe really thought he was going to get ready to be at home after he hurt his little punk ass shoulder. Bitch, don’t nobody give a f–k! F–k your thoughts and prayers, Mitch. F–k you, f–k your wife, f–k everything you stand for.”

One is shenanigans, and one is an attempt to threaten and intimidate.

Some people would like for us to think they’re the same, but they are not.

Also, the distinguished gentlewoman is probably to young to remember this:

Jon Favreau, the 27-year-old speechwriter to Barack Obama, was photographed with his hand on the, er, lower shoulder of a cardboard cutout of Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton.

Or maybe she is hoping that her audience is. And she might be right.

Marcinko Comes Out Of Retirement To Lead SEAL Team Seven

That’s what one might infer from this story: Navy SEALs platoon sent home for drinking during deployment:

A platoon of Navy SEALs deployed in Iraq were sent home for boozing on the job, the latest incident to mar the esteemed special operations force, according to a report.

The group from SEAL Team 7 was forced by a Navy commander to return to their San Diego base for violating General Order No. 1, which prohibits alcohol use, according to the Washington Post.

Richard Marcinko, whose fictional Rogue Warrior series and other books I’ve enjoyed, would approve of that sort of behavior.

Snakes Learning New Camouflage Techniques

“Don’t worry, honey, that’s not a venomous snake; it doesn’t look like a copperhead.”

A Bolivar woman who knows her snakes encountered a really weird one while riding her bike on the Frisco Highline Trail.

Near one of the first bridges on the southbound route she rode past the snake, then turned around for a closer look.

“It never moved,” said Christy Dablemont, 47. “I never got closer than two or three feet to take pictures. It didn’t move when I rode past it or when I came back.”

The snake was a venomous copperhead, but with unusual markings down its back. Instead of “Hershey’s Kisses” markings along its side, the snake’s back was mostly a pattern of bronze-colored lines.

Well, if we keep decapitating copperheads that look like copperheads with a hoe, only the ones that look different will remain to pass on their genes.

Which is why I recommend decapitating all snakes just to be sure.

Two Different Facts In One News Story?

Via Gail Heriot on Instapundit, we have this story: San Diegan featured in program about notorious D.B. Cooper skyjacking case dies in Banker’s Hill home.

Which has two different facts that seem to contradict each other in the same story.

First:

Rackstraw completed a 15-month tour in Vietnam in 1970 with 50 decorations, including dozens of air medals. He was drummed out of the military the following year after one too many incidents of misconduct.

That sounds like insubordination or disrespecting an officer or something.

Then:

In 1991, he earned an economics degree from the University of San Francisco — two decades after getting kicked out of the Army for faking college transcripts.

Which sounds like an administrative thing.

Maybe the last incident of misconduct was faking transcripts? Perhaps. But to the layman, it looks like two different things. Or maybe just the lazyman who needs a morning blog post.

It’s Only Been A Month Since New Stores Were Bad

May 23, 2019, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Dollar General’s aggressive expansion into small Wisconsin towns has hurt locally owned grocery stores.

June 30, 2019, Wausau Journal, reposted by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: ‘It’s tough to shop locally’: Wisconsin shoppers turn to travel, online as stores and malls close.

You know, I think the papers just need to have something to whine about.

Kind of like me on this blog.

(I mentioned the first story in May.)

First, They Came For Walmart

A year or so ago, the nation’s news media really glomped onto stories about Walmart as a crime attractor. For years before that, Walmart was wrecking the local economy.

I don’t know why that particular worm has turned to dollar stores.

I saw this story at Neo’s place: The war on the dollar stores:

This article is a few months old, but it just recently came to my attention and I read it because I love dollar stores, although the article is a typical anti-capitalist attack on them as somehow harming minorities in poor communities who don’t have easy access to other grocery stores.

Then I saw a story on the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel‘s Web site:

No link because it’s subscriber-only, and I’m not a subscriber.

So did the media beat Walmart? Or did Walmart up its advertising budget enough that it’s not a target?

Gem Buried In The Article

The article itself is not funny: ‘Terrifying:’ Man shot and killed at MetroLink station after dispute on train.

But this bit is quite telling:

Metro President and CEO Taulby Roach, six months into the job, said on Wednesday afternoon that he was driving out to the shooting himself.

Note that he is not taking the Metrolink to the Metrolink train station. Ever wonder why he is not eating his own dog food and using his own product?

Maybe because it’s inconvenient or prone to crime?

Light rail is not having a good week. Earlier this week, some wilding youths attacked people at a light rail station in Minnesota.

Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture From Marvel Studios

Environmentalist superhero Captain Planet visits kids at Discovery Center:

With so many shows and games for kids to play it can be hard to get them excited about things like the outdoors. But today, the Discovery Center brought a superhero in to help bring shows and excitement about the environment together.

Captain Planet from the well-known show made a visit to the Discovery Center today to interact with kids and teach a little about the environment.

From the well-known show?

Which one is that? The one that ran for two years in the early 90s, or the one that ran for three years in the middle 1990s?

Hey, I’m not knocking it. Keep promoting it as “popular” and maybe even “collectible.” I’ve got a copy of the Marvel Captain Planet and the Planeteers #1 that I need to increase in value if I’m going to retire someday.

Broken News

Clearly, two different city papers have read two different Mueller reports.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel found evidence of collusion:

It’s also running a red banner throughout the site saying that the report shows links between Trump aides and Russia, but ultimately found no crime.

The response in Springfield is more muted:

Join me in speculating why the Gannett properties are so different. The editors know their audiences? They want to tip the balance in Wisconsin, but know editorial spin wouldn’t make a difference in Milwaukee?

Milwaukee Tries Harder

News from DC: D.C. housed the homeless in upscale apartments. It hasn’t gone as planned.:

The SWAT team, the overdose, the complaints of pot smoke in the air and feces in the stairwell — it would be hard to pinpoint a moment when things took a turn for the worse at Sedgwick Gardens, a stately apartment building in Northwest Washington.

But the Art Deco complex, which overlooks Rock Creek Park and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is today the troubled locus of a debate on housing policy in a city struggling with the twin crises of homelessness and gentrification.

Located in affluent Cleveland Park and designed by Mihran Mesrobian — the prewar architect behind such Washington landmarks as the Hay-Adams Hotel — Sedgwick Gardens was once out of reach for low-income District residents.

That changed two years ago, when D.C. housing officials dramatically increased the value of rental subsidies. The goal was to give tenants who had previously clustered in impoverished, high-crime areas east of the Anacostia River a shot at living in more desirable neighborhoods.

Milwaukee is going to try the same thing, only harder: Downtown apartment tower would include affordable units — and the city Housing Authority as developer:

A new $150 million downtown Milwaukee apartment high-rise would have an unusual feature: a large number of units with affordable, below-market rents.

Perhaps even more unusual is the developer — the city Housing Authority.

The proposal, which would redefine Milwaukee’s public housing scene, was unveiled Wednesday.

“It will allow us to change the narrative,” said M. Joseph Donald, a Housing Authority board member.

The 32-story building would have around 315 to 350 apartments, as well as 43,000 square feet of office space. Its conceptual plans call for a swimming pool, fitness center and other amenities typically found in upscale high-rises.

Anyone want to bet that it’s a different outcome? I wonder if the people behind this program would even take the bet.

Carbondale, Illinois, Police Send Emergency Response Team To Florida

A rare emu-like bird attacks and kills Florida man, officials say:

A cassowary, a giant bird with long claws on each foot, killed its owner after he fell in the backyard of his Gainesville, Florida, home, officials told CNN.

A cassowary? A causetoworry, if you know what I mean.

Forget Florida Man; we need to really worry about Immigrant Floridian Bird.

(Oh, you short term readers–I have to explain the Carbondale Police Emu thing from 2006, look here.)

The 21st Century, Where All Weather Is Above Average

Powerful ‘bomb cyclone’ could trigger 50 mph winds in Ozarks:

A powerful “bomb cyclone” storm that’s expected to bring blizzard conditions to the high plains states has prompted a high wind advisory today for Springfield and southwest Missouri.

The National Weather Service in Springfield said wind gusts of up to 50 mph are likely in our area through 10 p.m. Wind gusts up to 40 mph are expected through Thursday.

The high wind and relatively dry air is increasing the risk of wildfires in the Ozarks.

Spoiler alert: It is neither a bomb nor a cyclone, both of which mean different things, and cyclone is another meteorological phenomenon that serves as a poor metaphor for the rotation of a low pressure system. Also, bomb is a sudden explosion metaphor, and a low pressure system is not a sudden or fast thing.

Why not call it a regional coldnado? Or should I not give the headline writers at Weather.com ideas?

You know what we call wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour at Nogglestead? Normal for spring.

I am starting to get the sense that all the meterologists are millenials whose life experience consists of reading contemporary reports of how nothing has ever been like this before.

Quick Comments on the News

I don’t comment on the news a lot these days because it’s boring and everyone does it. Maybe I should, though, because in the heydey of this blog, I was doing a lot of snark on the news. But most of the heydey of the blog came before Twitter.

At any rate, a couple recent stories caught my eye.

Look at this headline:

Dems and divided GOP approve birth control bill makes it sound like a bill sponsored by Democrats peeled off a couple RINOs. However:

Over the objection of a handful of conservative holdouts, a bipartisan majority came together in the Missouri House on Monday to pass a bill making it easier to refill birth control.

The St. Joseph Republican told colleagues that current requirements can leave women with gaps in coverage that make it more likely they will have unplanned pregnancies and either abortions or babies they’re not prepared to support.

This was a Republican bill with bipartisan support. Why do the Democrats get the top billing in the headline? Speculate the usual way among yourselves.

Also, there’s this story: Springfield woman sentenced for statutory rape involving 14-year-old boy:

On Monday, Conway, 42, went before a Greene County judge to be sentenced for two statutory rape convictions.

Conway was convicted at a trial in November, more than two years after the victim came forward about the abuse, which prosecutors say began in about 2012 in Springfield.

Assistant Greene County Prosecutor Dane Rennier said Monday that Conway’s case was one of the first child sex abuse cases he was assigned, and he vowed to treat it the same as he would if the gender roles were reversed. The majority of cases prosecutors handle involve male defendants.

At Monday’s sentencing hearing, Rennier asked for 15 years in prison, which he said is slightly more than the average sentence for someone with Conway’s convictions.

Sounds like the prosecutor reads Instapundit, who often highlights how women get sentenced more lightly than men in these sorts of cases (like this one today).

(I struggled with how to work Holly Getsentencedlightly into this snark, but I could not.)

Like the Cobra Scare of 1953

Cyclists, hikers find alligator along Ozark Greenways Trail in Springfield:

Cyclists and hikers spotted an unexpected reptile along a trail in Springfield over the weekend.

Jason Stratton said he was riding his bicycle Saturday afternoon when he received text messages from his son, AJ, who was cycling just ahead of him on the South Creek Trail. The trail runs from National Avenue to Battlefield Road.

“He sends me a couple text messages saying ‘Hey, you need to come down here,'” Jason Stratton said. “And then he gives me a call, ‘No, you really need to come down here and check this out. You won’t regret it.’”

About five minutes later, Jason Stratton arrived to find his son and a couple other folks staring at what looks to be a stick in the middle of the trail.

“I’m thinking ‘Why is this of any interest at all?'” Jason Stratton said. “As soon as I got up close to it, I could tell what it was we were looking at, of course.”

It was an alligator.

Not only do we have to sometimes worry about cobra around here, but now alligators.

Although I have to say it was a pretty active alligator for winter.

And before you ask, yes, that trail does run right by my boys’ school; they run on it during cross country season all the time.

UPDATE:Here is some security camera footage of the Greenway Trail the night before last:


via GIPHY

The Boys Are Learning What It Was Like To Go To School At Carleton (Not Really)

In Springfield, a second shooting in the last three months occurred within blocks of my children’s school: Springfield police shoots, kills armed suspect at apartment building.

The previous one was in December and involved drugs, of course: Springfield man charged in connection with shooting at Essex Place apartments

We were headed to school for a Christmas program when we encountered the police cordoning off the neighborhood as they sought the fleeing suspects. It wasn’t clear at the time whether the gunman was the one on the loose (he wasn’t), but we ended up having dinner at a restaurant whose slow service pushed us past the program’s start time. So we missed the program, and it turns out the gunman wasn’t on the loose.

Well, children didn’t get walked home by Bea, the seemingly elderly (which probably meant 40) crossing guard after the estranged father of our friends two doors down shot his wife in the alley behind our apartment building and then shot himself in the bedroom two doors down. And their friends in fourth grade had not already been arrested for possession. So it’s not exactly the same.

But one of the reasons we moved to the Springfield area was for the safety of a smaller city. Headlines like these make it seem like the area is getting more dangerous, but most likely no worse than anywhere else.

And my kids just ride through the neighborhood for the most part.

So it’s not like it at all.