Que viene el Coco y te comerá

Cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman “escaped” from a Mexican prison this week. If you’re wondering who this “El Chapo” is and how this news affects your life in any measurable way, fret not. CNN is here to answer all of your questions.

As much as 80% of the illegal narcotics in America’s third-largest city come from Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel, said Art Bilek, a retired Chicago detective who spent 60 years in law enforcement.

“Guzman is the reason you’ve got kids fighting over just one corner, and shooting each other,” he said.

Much of the gun violence in the city can be traced to drugs that come from Sinaloa, the region of Mexico where “El Chapo” was born to a poor rural family and rose to lead a global network of smugglers, dealers, assassins, corrupt politicians and paid-off police.

“Guzman has hurt everyone — the users in the city and the suburbs, the innocent bystanders, the kids who get wrapped up in gangs,” said Bilek, who ran the nonprofit Chicago Crime Commission, one of nation’s oldest civic anti-crime organizations.

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New Horizons, Old Horizons

I woke up this morning and saw something no human being had ever seen before today. I saw the surface of the dwarf planet Pluto.

In 2006, NASA’s New Horizons probe left Earth. Just this morning, it finally got where it was going. After nine years drifting through the freezing vacuum, it still worked.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, fifteen would-be presidents — all of them from the same political party — whine and moan that government can’t do anything right.

Cycling Nonsense

Bicycling is in.

What was once the purview of children has now become the domain of adults, and what what was once a mere pastime has become the primary mode of transportation for many thousands of people, particularly those living in urban environs.

But the rest of the country has been slow to accommodate cycling as a means of transportation. Roads remain a dangerous place, whereupon cycling may pose significant risk to life and limb. Some of the danger could be mitigated by properly lighting and maintaining roads or widening them to include bike lanes, but we can’t discount that many bicycle-related injuries and fatalities are caused by negligent or malicious automobile drivers.

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If it hadn’t been recorded…

Another black man is dead, murdered at the hands of a white police officer. This time, however, the cop is not getting away. Michael Slager has been fired, arrested, and charged with murder. At the very least, he’ll never work as a police officer again. Hopefully, he’ll wind up behind bars where he belongs.

Though circumstantially similar, one can’t help but notice how the shooting death of Walter Scott has diverged so wildly from the shooting death of Michael Brown. In both cases, black men were stopped and confronted by police for petty offenses. In both cases, black men were shot multiple times some distance away from their attackers. In both cases, the attacking police officer claimed to have been in dire fear for his well-being at the time of the shooting.

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Tickling Rand Paul’s Balls

Rand Paul is expected to announce his intention to seek the Republican nomination for the presidency today… which isn’t really news so much as it is titillation. The promise of Paul the Younger, whose perceived intelligence diminishes exponentially the longer he is allowed to speak, engaging in a political debate gets me positively giddy.

Him and Ted Cruz battling each other to become King of Mount Stupid? Pass the fucking popcorn. Continue reading

The Strange Monochromatic Morality of David Brooks

The smug know-it-all in the wire-rimmed glasses is at it again. This time, he’s playing the part of National Security Adviser, laying out a clear plan for victory in the Middle East:

The Middle East is not a chessboard we have the power to manipulate. It is a generational drama in which we can only play our role. It is a drama over ideas, a contest between the forces of jihadism and the forces of pluralism. We can’t know how this drama will play out, and we can’t direct it. We can only promote pluralism — steadily, consistently, simply.

Sticking to our values means maintaining a simple posture of support for people who share them and a simple posture of opposition to those who oppose them. It means offering at least some reliable financial support to moderate fighters and activists even when their prospects look dim. It means avoiding cynical alliances, at least as much as possible. It means using bombing campaigns to try to prevent mass slaughter.

If we do that then we will fortify people we don’t know in ways we can’t imagine. Over the long term, we’ll make the Middle East slightly more fertile for moderation, which is the only influence we realistically have. Ideas drive history.

I know: it’s a far cry from the David Brooks we knew in 2003… you know, when he was cheer-leading for regime change in Iraq. But that’s neither here nor there, because David Brooks will never admit that he has said any of these things; he will continue to vomit vapidity into our intellectual water supply without conscience or remorse until the day he dies. Continue reading