Firing-range instructor hands 9-year-old an Uzi. Now he’s dead.

9-year-old kills gun instructorRussian aggression in UkraineThird world elections: the loser cries foulA bullied child hails his rescuerIraq War Vet Was Warned Waffle House Wasn’t ‘Safe For Whites,’ Gets Beaten, Needs Brain Surgery

———— ♦ ————

Firing-range instructor hands 9-year-old an Uzi. Now he’s dead.

———— ♦ ————

Afghan presidential recount stalls as Abdullah boycotts process

I can’t count how many times we’ve seen it, that in a third world country the candidate destined to lose accuses the winner of fraud. This most often occurs before the election takes place. I don’t know how anyone can assign any credibility to such people. I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s somehow a strong connection Al Sharpton’s handling of the Tawanna Brawley hoax.

———— ♦ ————

Thursday 2014-08-28

Carolyn Hax: Speaking up against cruelty can make a memorable impact

From Carolyn Hax’s column for August 27:

I was bullied viciously through most of my childhood. My parents assumed it was my fault and punished me rather than helping. The neighbors and most teachers saw it as just the way kids are.

That was just how life was until eighth grade, when the assistant principal, a big man who inspired both respect and fear in the students, happened to see me attacked, and reacted with rage toward my attackers, and at the same time, great gentleness and kindness toward me. 

He was, of course, in a position to put an end to my troubles, at least while I was at school, and he did make it his business to see that I was safe and treated with compassion and understanding while I worked to heal deep wounds and learn to fit in, and that was wonderful.

More importantly to me, however, was that he was the first person in my life who showed me that I had value, that I did not deserve this, that I was not somehow innately bad. I am sure he forgot all about me by the end of summer break, and never realized the gift he gave me, but in standing up for me that day, he changed my life forever, and I will always be so very grateful. I would like to ask everyone, please, to recognize they have the power to make that kind of difference in another person’s life by choosing to stand up for what is right and by showing a little kindness.


Her column for today presents a different perspective:

So often we hear about “helicopter” parents who, in the words of the old hymn, try with all their might to keep their little “special” darlings “safe and secure from all alarms.” Cannot be done and even should not be done. If one is not taught how to fight back or does not learn early on about the slings and arrows of misfortune (no, life is not fair), then he/she limps into adulthood and soon realizes that his/her parents did no great favors in their protection, not to mention for their friendship. (How smarmy that sounds: My parents were “the folks,” not my buddies.)

I was bullied in grammar school by two older boys who made my life hell. One day, I was walking down the street and saw them coming toward me from the opposite direction on their bikes. “Oh, [poop],” I thought. When they got close, I looked them in the eye and said, “Why don’t you just kiss my a–!” They stood there for a bit, shocked, and then began to laugh. As they rode off on their bikes, one of them said, “You know, W, you’re all right!” A lesson was learned that afternoon: Although I was no good at defending myself physically, making your bully laugh sometimes works just as well.

When I think of such stories, I am always grateful for having grown up when I did, with whom I did, and where I did. And for having parents and family who did not even try to shield us from reality. So many kids today enter life at a disadvantage.


I have mixed feelings about this.  To make your bullies laugh is one of the strategies of Izzy Kalman’s Bullies2Buddies program.  That may be one way to “stand up to” one’s bullies, but I ultimately have misgivings about Kalman’s approach as it seems to me to put all responsibility on the victim and none on the victimizer.  Offhand I’d rather see the sort of intervention described in the previous letter.  Obviously, however, too often in the real world, no such intervention ever comes.

———— ♦ ————

Iraq War Vet Was Warned Waffle House Wasn’t ‘Safe For Whites,’ Gets Beaten, Needs Brain Surgery

One question is what went wrong in the verbal confrontation; though with the Michael Brown scandal current, it’s not hard to guess. Another question is how it came to be that the restaurant was “unsafe for whites.” A third issue is that The Daily Caller is unquestionably biased.

———— ♦ ————

Headlines concerning Russian aggression in Ukraine

Wednesday 2014-08-27
Video Proof Of Russian Military In Ukraine Emerges
Exclusive: In Ukraine, an armored column appears out of nowhere

Thursday 2014-08-28
NATO Releases Satellite Evidence That Russia Is Lying About Invading Ukraine
Russian armored columns said to capture key Ukrainian town
Russians troops fighting in Ukraine? Naw. They’re just on ‘vacation.’

The last article, by Terrence McCoy, poses two problems from the perspective of Free Speech Handbook. Contrary to Guideline #6, it employs sarcasm, and contrary to Guideline #5, it employs at least one pejorative term, “charade.”

Friday 2014-08-29
Putin Addressed Rebels For The First Time, And Used A Frightening Word To Name Them
BREMMER: Putin Has Now Cornered Ukraine And Its President

These two articles are related.  The first reports that Putin refers to the territories the separatists claim, as “New Russia,” harking back to a situation centuries ago when Ukraine as we know it today did not exist, and implicitly ignoring the territorial integrity of the contemporary state.

I don’t like the second article, because it portrays the Kiev government pessimistically, as weak and troubled.  I’ve never heard of this guy Bremmer before.

Let’s look at the maps.

First, the territory the separatists actually hold is surprisingly small.

Second, the latter article provides a map of the locations of industries in Ukraine upon which the Russian military relies.  These all fall within the boundaries of what was formerly known as “New Russia.”  So that may account in part for Putin’s ambitions.

Monday 2014-09-01
Putin talks about ‘statehood’ for eastern Ukraine
Ukraine troops abandon airport ‘in face of Russian assault’

The latter article implies absolute certainty that Russian, not separatist, forces overran the airport.

Tuesday  2014-09-02
Moscow will review military strategy in face of NATO plan for rapid-reaction force

The remarks of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov deserve a close examination.  He consistently terms Russia “the party of peace” and Kiev “the party of war.”  There’s something Orwellian about this, and one gets the sense that, increasingly, Russian statements are believed only at risk of delusion.

Lavrov “told a news conference in Moscow that Ukraine’s moves to join NATO were undermining efforts to end the war there.”

Undermining how?  And what difference would it make, if Russia weren’t directly involved in the rebellion?

We still have no real, hard evidence of a Russian invasion; to my chagrin.

Wednesday 2014-09-03
Ukraine announces progress in achieving a cease-fire deal

“The Russian president specified no conditions regarding the political status of the territories seized by rebels. But the proposal — which Putin said he had sketched out Wednesday during a plane trip to a state visit in Mongolia — would apparently leave rebels in control of the key cities they have seized while a final settlement was discussed, thus freezing the conflict in a manner similar to what has happened in other disputed territories, such as South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia and Transnistria in Moldova. Those contested regions are administered by pro-Russia groups but have little international recognition.”

Friday 2014-09-05
Ukraine signs cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels
Russian forces near Ukraine ‘more lethal’ than ever: US

Sunday 2014-09-07
Ukraine’s fragile cease-fire is in trouble, as shelling occurs near Mariupol

“Arsen Avakov, Ukraine’s interior minister, said on his Facebook page late Saturday that there had been ‘violations of the cease-fire from Russia,’ with Grad rockets fired 16 times at Ukrainian positions ‘from Russian territory.'”

“Witnesses in Mariupol said that the easternmost government-held checkpoint on the outskirts of the city of 500,000 came under fire around 10:30 p.m. Saturday. Ambulances raced to the fighting, and Ukrainian military vehicles sped through the city.

“‘I was at a café by the seaside with a friend when I heard the shelling start,’ said Vladimir, a 29-year-old Mariupol factory worker who asked that his last name not be published because he feared for his safety. ‘We heard the sounds of the waves and then explosions.’

“After 35 minutes of bombardment apparently directed at government positions, he said, he heard what sounded like the Ukrainian military firing back, although it was difficult to determine the exact situation at the late hour.”

Saturday 2014-09-13
Another Russian Convoy Enters Ukraine Amid Renewed Fighting

More than 200 white trucks, purportedly carrying relief supplies for besieged civilians, entered Ukraine from Russia without authorization from Kiev or involvement of the Red Cross.  There was also, however, this time, no outcry from Kiev.

The article mentions Grad rocket launchers being seen moving through rebel-held territory, and rebel use of artillery.

Tuesday 2014-09-16

Ukrainian president offers rebels major concessions to end uprising

Wednesday 2014-09-17

Ukraine ratifies association with E.U., grants concessions to rebels

(Originally posted 2014-09-15.)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.