sights & sounds

June 7, 2010

“Where is her mother?!”: on overblown reactions to Baby Gaga

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 4:26 pm
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So, this video of a toddler reenacting Lady Gaga’s ‘Telephone’ is making its rounds on the internet, generating some interesting buzz on youtube and in the blogosphere. While some commentators are simply shrugging it off as something innocuous (though a bit silly), most of the commentary has been rather alarmist and…well, silly. A few common objections I see people making to the video, along with my critique of them: (more…)

May 18, 2010

police accountability

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 9:40 pm
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7-year-old Aiyana Stanley Jones

From Associated Press; emphasis mine:

DETROIT — State police will take over the investigation of the fatal shooting of a 7-year-old girl by a Detroit police officer during a weekend raid at the girl’s home, a prosecutor said Monday.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said bringing in the state police to investigate the killing of Aiyana Jones would avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest.

“I agree that it is most appropriate that this be done independently,” Worthy said.

Aiyana was asleep on the living room sofa in her family’s apartment when Detroit police, searching for a homicide suspect, burst in and an officer’s gun went off, fatally striking the girl in the neck, family members said.

Her father, 25-year-old Charles Jones, told The Detroit News he had just gone to bed early Sunday after covering his daughter with her favorite blanket when he heard a flash grenade followed by a gunshot. When he rushed into the living room, he said, police forced him to lie on the ground, with his face in his daughter’s blood.

“I’ll never be the same. That’s my only daughter,” Jones told WXYZ-TV.

Assistant Chief Ralph Godbee said officers set off the flash grenade as they entered the apartment with their guns drawn about 12:40 a.m. Sunday with a warrant to look for a suspect in the Friday slaying of a 17-year-old boy. The lead officer’s gun went off after he encountered a 46-year-old woman inside the front room of the home and “some level of physical contact” ensued. Police do not believe the gun was fired intentionally. (more…)

Nun excommunicated for saving patient’s life.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 9:11 pm
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Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted

From AZCentral:

A Catholic nun and longtime administrator of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix was reassigned in the wake of a decision to allow a pregnancy to be ended in order to save the life of a critically ill patient.

The decision also drew a sharp rebuke from Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, head of the Phoenix Diocese, who indicated the woman was “automatically excommunicated” because of the action. (more…)

May 7, 2010

‘child endangerment’

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 4:40 pm
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From Columbia Tribune; emphases mine:

A man arrested on suspicion of drug charges and child endangerment said he is concerned with the actions of police who shot two dogs they described as “aggressive” while serving a drug-related search warrant at his home earlier this month in southwest Columbia.

Police arrested Jonathan E. Whitworth, 25, of 1501 Kinloch Court on Feb. 11 on suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and second-degree child endangerment.

A police SWAT team entered Whitworth’s residence around 8:30 p.m. suspecting a large amount of marijuana at the location, police spokeswoman Officer Jessie Haden said. SWAT members encountered a pit bull upon entry, held back and then fatally shot the dog, which officers said was acting in an uncontrollably aggressive manner.

Whitworth was arrested, and his wife and 7-year-old son were present during the SWAT raid, Haden said. A second dog, which Whitworth’s attorney Jeff Hilbrenner described as a corgi, also was shot but was not killed.

“The family is concerned with what happened,” Hilbrenner said. “We don’t feel like what happened in the home was appropriate. The priority right now for us is the misdemeanor charges.”

(some upsetting video footage of the incident below the cut)
(more…)

April 15, 2010

The Rape Axe ‘solution’

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 8:18 pm
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From GlobalPost.:

“Rape-aXe is a flexible polyurethane condom-like tube that fits into the woman’s body. Rows of jagged plastic hooks line the inside of the tube — bent backward like teeth in a shark’s mouth — and lodge in a perpetrator’s penis upon entry. The perpetrator can withdraw from the woman, but the Rape-aXe remains clamped on. Trying to pull it off will cause discomfort.

Though the device causes great distress, it does not draw blood, Ehlers says, which is crucial in areas where HIV/AIDS rates are high. A man must seek medical attention to have the Rape-aXe removed. Until then, he cannot urinate, essentially tagging him until he gets to a hospital, she explains. Ehlers says she consulted an engineer, gynecologist and psychologist on the design.”

Though the intentions are good, there are a number of enormous problems with this device. (more…)

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