Good Question, Indeed
How can I not click on something called "buttrocket?"
Quote of the Day - FIRST RUNNER UP:
There's a reason they're not called bottom rockets.
(link via Nate at Wasted Electrons)
How can I not click on something called "buttrocket?"
There's a reason they're not called bottom rockets.
School Superintendent Thomas W. Payzant rejected a request to close Boston schools tomorrow, when black leaders and antiwar activists plan a rally honoring the anniversary of Rosa Parks's refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus 50 years ago.
Councilor Chuck Turner of Roxbury blasted the decision and said the move will leave the school system open to accusations of racism.
"To keep the schools open and penalize those who chose to commemorate such an historic occasion is going to expose the City and School Department to unnecessary ridicule and create a level of anger, confusion, and sadness that will cast a shadow over a celebration that should be a high point of the year," Turner wrote in the e-mail. "Unfortunately, your decision will also be characterized as racist, based on the definition of institutional racism -- disparate treatment of people of color."
"I believe that Rosa Parks was passionate about the importance of education and equal access to opportunity and that she would want children to be in school and not miss a day of learning to celebrate what she did," Payzant said in a letter to Turner.
WEST LEBANON, N.H. -- In the manic environment of the first shopping weekend after Thanksgiving, the competition was fierce. We hesitated and lost out on a lovely, slightly used grenade launcher, bargain priced in tax-free New Hampshire at $190.
Not to worry. The dozens of dealers at the Fireside Inn gun show came well armed.
Andrew Heggie, a Randolph police officer, spotted a Bushmaster, similar to the rifle he carried in two tours of duty in Afghanistan.
And he found an AK-47, the same gun the enemy carried.
There were military sniper rifles...
...and an M-16-type "machine pistol"...
...capable of firing off 100 rounds before reloading...
...the kind of gun only an angry high school student could love.
Saturday night specials were cheap and plentiful.
In the end, we settled on a .38-caliber revolver, a trashy little thing popular with thugs in cities like Boston.
Made by Connecticut's Charter 2000 Inc. in New England's "Gun Valley," the revolver retails for $349, but my fellow New Hampshire shopper, Walter Belair, picked it up, cash and carry, for just $240. It took Belair, a former prison guard, less than 20 minutes to fill out the federal forms and get approved over the phone. It took me longer to buy a refrigerator at Sears a few weeks ago.
Boston reached a grim benchmark yesterday, recording its 65th and 66th homicides this year, surpassing the total for all of last year and equaling a 10-year high.
By last night, police had made no arrests in either case, also typical for this year's homicides. According to a preliminary department count, police have arrested or identified suspects in only 20 of the 66 cases.
"There's so many guns out there," Menino said in an interview. "It is so frustrating."
Menino angrily vowed to find the shooters...
"This isn't the Wild West; this is the city of Boston," the mayor told reporters in front of the school.
"Somebody who knows there's a gun out there; they have to help us," [Menino] said. "I understand their fear, but...you can't be a bystander. You have to be part of the solution."
Gunfire erupted outside a Dorchester elementary school yesterday afternoon, as more than a dozen fifth-graders were starting recess in their playground, outraged school officials and parents said yesterday.
It is unclear what prompted the shooting in front of the John Winthrop School, which is located on the Dorchester-Roxbury line, but Boston police were seeking two men in minivans who fired at each other, spraying the area with gunfire.
A brazen afternoon gun battle between two speeding minivans scattered terrified elementary school students from a playground and left a Roxbury neighborhood pitted with bullet holes.
A concentrated crackdown on crime in Roxbury resulted in 43 arrests over the holiday weekend.
Dubbed "Operation Home Safe," the crackdown by police and the Mayor's Office focused on the Grove Hall neighborhood. The crackdown targeted prostitution, drugs, gangs, and after-hours parties.
According to Boston Police, officers saturated the neighborhoods on foot, in patrol cars, on bikes and horses.
In addition to the 43 arrests, police seized one gun, 125 grams of cocaine, issued 100 parking violations and 365 moving violations.
Now the mayor's office will focus on other public safety issues in the Roxbury neighborhood, like repairing street lights and street cleaning.
At least nine high-level positions in the administration of Mayor Thomas M. Menino are vacant or filled by temporary "acting" chiefs. As the mayor, newly elected to a fourth term, prepares to ask for resignation letters from his department heads this week, government observers and watchdogs say he should be filling long-empty jobs.
Menino declined to discuss his plans for open or temporarily filled jobs, saying only that he was sending e-mails to department heads asking for resignation letters last week.
"I'm going to tell them I value the work they've done for the city all these years and ask them to hand in a resignation," said Menino. "We can't stand still. We want new faces, new ideas, and new programs. We'll look at programs that don't work and they'll have to go. Change is good. Nobody likes to hurt people's feelings, but in the long run it might be good for the individuals and for the city."
Guns are being brought into Boston from Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine at a stepped-up pace, according to city officials, who are grappling with a significant rise in shootings and firearms arrests this year.
"Massachusetts has excellent gun laws," said Larry Mayes, the city's chief of human services.
The problem goes beyond Boston. In the past year, Hartford police have noticed that more guns from the streets were obtained in New Hampshire, said Matt Hennessy, chief of staff for Mayor Eddie A. Perez. The uptick followed a tightening of regulations that now require handgun buyers to obtain certification from Connecticut's Department of Public Safety.
A Boston man is accused of pretending to be a police officer and patting down a 13-year-old boy.
39-year-old Kenneth Hyland was arrested Tuesday night, a short time after police say he grabbed a boy in East Boston, told him he was a police officer and then patted him down because he was looking for a weapon.
The boy ran into his home and told his father. Police say Hyland got into his truck, but before he could leave, the father approached him.
Paul Costa Sr. told the Boston Herald, "I knew he wasn't a cop. Cops don't have mullets like that."
According to American Online's fourth annual Online Shopping Cities survey, Boston has been dubbed one of the nation's top online shopping cities.
According to the survey, Boston shoppers will spend over $610 on shopping this year - half of which will be spent online. Over 80 percent of Boston plans to do their shopping on the information superhighway because it is easier to compare prices and find the best bargains. Virtual shoppers also have access to stores 24 hours a day, according to Boston shoppers in the survey.
Attorney General Tom Reilly has told Wal-Mart officials they must close their Massachusetts stores on Thanksgiving.
A suspected drunken driver fumbling his ABCs turned to police asking if he could substitute with a math problem.
Police said sorry and he flunked the field sobriety test.
West Roxbury police said Matthew John Wyman of West Roxbury admitted he "has not said the alphabet in years."
Michaels was on his bus in Chicopee, Massachusetts, where he was performing a solo show. According to the publicist, witnesses said someone in another vehicle fired at the bus while Michaels was still on it. Michaels was struck in the face by broken glass but was not seriously hurt.
Bay State taxpayers are funding a hushed-up $250,000 payment to two female Plymouth Juvenile Court employees and their attorneys to settle claims the women were sexually harassed last year by Judge Robert F. Murray.
If Quier had wanted to hear more of my flat acccent, I would have told him that I do not like guns, or, more specifically, the culture that uses guns for pleasure and personal protection. I would have said that I came to his shooting range to understand Enid, yes, but also to face something, or someone, I do not agree with.
Quier handed me the Ruger semiautomatic. He told me to draw a deep breath, exhale a bit, then stop. He told me to aim the holographic crosshairs in the scope at the center of the silhouette of a person on the target.
I squeezed the trigger hesitantly. After 10 shots, Quier took the gun, removed the clip and reloaded it.
I liked Quier, and I wanted him to like me. I wanted him to think I was a good shooter.
I fired the next rounds more quickly.
I could feel the world as Quier does, as a place to be protected and fought over.
I removed the clip. The next time, I loaded the clip. The next, I dropped the chamber into place and, in rapid succession while holding a single breath, fired 10 rounds.
Soon, I would walk from the concrete bunker into soft twilight and the prairie that runs, seemingly, without end. I would hear the cicadas sounding in the sweet air and remember that while a black-and-white view may make sense, may even be necessary when dug inside the bunker, it does not work, for me, in the green, gray world beyond.
But standing next to Quier in that echoing firing range, I wanted him to think I was capable, and worthy, of survival in his world.
He took the gun and placed a smooth succession of shots through the center of the silhouetted head. Then it was my turn again. I quickly emptied one clip into the target. I loaded a final clip and fired again.
Quier retrieved the target. My shots had blown a large hole in the right side of the silhouetted head. A bit off the mark, but consistent. I turned to Quier and smiled.
"Well," I said, "he's blind in one eye, anyway."
Quier smiled, as though talking to a friend:
"There you go."
An attempt by the Whole Foods supermarket chain to defy the state's centuries-old "blue laws" and open on Thanksgiving has been shut down by the state attorney general, who told the upscale chain to stay closed for the holiday or risk criminal charges.
Despite being 83 years old and reliant on oxygen tubes for a lung ailment, Harry Carpenter wouldn't let his wife of 57 years be robbed by knife-wielding intruders in his own home.
Two would-be robbers forced their way into the home of Carpenter and his wife, Jackie, Wednesday evening while the two were having dinner, according to a police report.
One of them made Harry Carpenter sit down in the sun room, while the other went with Jackie Carpenter, 80, to get money from her bedroom.
Carpenter tried to come to his wife's rescue but was threatened with the knife.
Then he got his break -- his wife pretended to faint and the intruder who was holding him went into the other room to see what was happening.
Carpenter shuffled to the laundry room, where he kept an old, unloaded rifle that he used to shoot squirrels, he said.
When one of the intruders came back, he found Carpenter aiming the rifle at him and yelled at his companion to flee. Police were unable to locate the two suspects, who didn't get any money.
A police raid targeting the sale of bongs, scales and pipes from a Pembroke smoke shop may be the first in a countywide crackdown on paraphernalia that authorities say is clearly used for doing illegal drugs.
...the state's drug paraphernalia laws were strengthened in 1997 in large part because of the efforts of Hanover Police Chief Paul Hayes, who went to the Legislature with examples of paraphernalia found in his town.
His demonstrations resulted in a law that prohibited the sale of anything "primarily intended" for drug use. The key, Hayes said, is that "primarily intended" is defined as the "likely use which may be ascribed to an item by a reasonable person."
Hayes said this standard makes it easier to prosecute owners because a jury will readily identify a water pipe as drug paraphernalia despite its other possible uses.
"(Owners) can't tell us in these stores that they don't know what they're being used for," Hayes said. "We've already been through that with the Legislature."
Hayes said the law is clear: Sell something you know will be used for drugs, and face prosecution.
NEW BRITAIN -- Last year, after a burglar put a knife to his throat and made off with $100 from his home, Angel Benitez bought a gun for protection. On Wednesday night, he used it.
Benitez, 71, said he shot an intruder who was pointing a gun at his girlfriend and rummaging through a cabinet in the kitchen.
The fiery, emotional debate climaxed when Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, who is the lowest in seniority, recounted a message a Marine colonel wanted to send to Murtha. She said he told her, "Cowards cut and run, Marines never do."
Democrats booed and shouted her down, bringing the House to a standstill. Schmidt was eventually forced to withdraw her statement.
The Saudi prince who was sentenced to a posh Martha's Vineyard prison yesterday for mowing down a Cambridge father while driving an SUV had ducked serious motor vehicle charges twice prior to the accident.
His lawyers asked for, and received, a tour of the Dukes County Jail and House of Correction. The jail is a handsome clapboard house built in 1873 and ringed by a white picket fence.
The wind carries a sweet sea breeze to the prison yard, which boasts a full weight set that Al-Saud, 23, can use to bulk up his frame.
Inmates can take in the brilliant sunsets from their windows Â which are framed with wooden shutters and decorated with understated iron bars. Cons wear their own clothes and can order their food from an in-house chef, said former inmate Alan Thistle, 53.
Cells are outfitted with 13-inch, remote-controlled cable TVs that inmates can hook up Nintendo game systems to, Thistle said.
"I got better treatment in there than I do at some hotels. I'm telling you, it was picturesque," said Thistle, who served an 18-month sentence on drug charges.
"It was better than a B&B," Thistle said. "My friends asked me why I wanted to leave."
The headline on his Web site reads, "Kennedy urges House to not weaken D.C. gun safety law."
In the statement that follows, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy asserts, "The House amendment would repeal the D.C. government's long-standing ban on firearms and would be a disastrous blow to gun safety in the district. For almost three decades, D.C.'s ban on handguns and assault weapons has helped reduce the risk of deadly handgun violence."
Could Sen. Kennedy actually believe that Washington's ban on firearms has been effective? Perhaps he could prove his sincerity by giving his bodyguards and servants the night off and taking a stroll alone around a few of Washington's low-income neighborhoods one night.
Crime is on the rise in downtown Boston.
Boston police records show 292 reports of aggravated assault, 211 robberies and two killings so far this year in Police District "A" -- which includes the Theater District, North End, Bay Village and Downtown Crossing. The area also reported 21 sex crimes.
Shooing incidents are included in aggravated assaults.
Police conclude that tourists to Boston are luring criminals into the downtown areas.
To the casual eye, it is an inconspicuous ground-level window, streaked with soot perhaps, but nothing that detracts from the 19th-century charm of the red-brick Victorian rowhouse in Boston's South End.
But to city officials, the double-hung vinyl window on the side of the stairs to Gary Multer's historic apartment building is an affront to the neighborhood's lovingly preserved architectural character, one worth a fine of up to $1.4 million.
Yesterday, in the latest twist in an eight-year legal brawl between Multer and the South End Landmark District Commission, the city asked a judge to let it file a suit against Multer seeking fines of $146,000 to $1.46 million if he is found to have violated regulations that prohibit vinyl windows and changes to brickwork.
~ Suffolk Superior Court Judge Thomas P. Billings
fuck u asshole. im gonna kill u
(F)uck (you)(,) asshole. (I)(')m (going to) kill (you)(.)
listen i am alex girlfriend the mother of his chilldren he was the perfict father and man he made a simple misake and his life was lost i am mourning of him and my 2 children are to u need to get a new topic to speak about if not i will find out who u are and take care of u because u didnt no them personally so there 4 u shouldnt judge them and the rest of u need grow up u act like u never did the same shit but i dont wanna c this no more if i have to i will have ur sight shut down our families have gone through enough in the last few months we dont need this shit
(L)isten(,) (I) am (A)lex('s) girlfriend (and) the mother of his (children)(.) (H)e was the perf(e)ct father and man(.) (H)e made a simple mis(t)ake and his life was lost(.) (I) am mourning (of) him(,) and my (two) children are(,) (too)(.) (You) need to get a new topic to speak about(.) (I)f not(,) (I) will find out who (you) are and take care of (you)(,) because (you) didn(')t (know) them personally(.) (S)o(,) there(fore)(,) (you) shouldn(')t judge them(,) and the rest of (you) need (to) grow up(.) (You) act like you never did the same shit(.)
but(I) don(')t (want to) (see) this (any)more(.) (I)f (I) have to(,) (I) will have (your) (site) shut down(.) (O)ur families have gone through enough in the last few months(.) (W)e don(')t need this shit(.)
Braley, 21, was arraigned yesterday on four charges, including armed robbery, attempting to pass a forged check, the forgery itself and accepting stolen property.
Another neighbor, who didn't want to be named, agreed the Braleys were good people but sometimes it isn't enough. "Even good kids are into heroin now," she said. "It's cheap and easy to get."
Like many other young people, Braley probably drank his share of beer...
BOSTON - Gov. Mitt Romney and Attorney General Tom Reilly sparred over auto insurance on Tuesday, with Reilly saying the governor's reform plan would create chaos for drivers...
...and Romney accusing Reilly of failing as a leader because he had no plan of his own.
"If that bill which has been proposed by the governor goes into effect, all hell will break loose in this state," Reilly said at a morning news conference.
Under the state's unique regulatory framework, the state Division of Insurance sets a baseline rate for all companies. Good drivers get credit for clean records, but they also subsidize bad drivers, resulting in rates that are higher than the national average.
The system has steadily driven auto insurers out of the state, leaving just 18 today.
In his capacity as a regulator and the state's chief law enforcement officer, Reilly plays a role in the rate-setting process. He is currently seeking 18 percent lower premiums for next year, while insurers are seeking a 0.1 percent cut. That amounts to a $200 difference on the average premium, which is now $1,099.
2 more shot dead as Menino works on anti-gun plan
WCVB-TV Channel 5 will broadcast a "When Disaster Strikes: Are We Ready?" -- Town Meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. Natalie Jacobson will host the live, one-hour special.
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will be among the panelists discussing topics including chain of command, communication and logistics. Joining Romney on the panel are Public Safety Secretary Ed Flynn, Health and Human Services Secretary Tim Murphy, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority General Manager Daniel Grabauskas and FEMA Acting Regional Director Ken Horak.
Audience participants include town administrators, representatives of the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, first responders such as EMTs, doctors and nurses, and interested citizens.
Viewers will learn how to take personal responsibility for their safety. Experts will share what items people need to have in their homes and at work in the event of an emergency and what kind of plan to set up with their own families.
One "regular" guy in the crowd actually asked "who in the goverment will tell me what to do in case of a major disaster".
A young woman says she kicked a man in the head several times, moments after he tried to rob her at a Westboro ATM Monday evening.
[Matthew "Too Stupid To Live"] Braley allegedly went after her and grabbed her purse. The woman says she fought back.
"I just kicked him repeatedly in face. And then it just looked like a boxing match... his head just kept going back and forth. And he ran off."
[Police] say they were able to identify Braley because he left his driver’s license inside the bank.
TEMPLETON, Mass. -- Police are looking for two suspects considered "armed and dangerous" after a home invasion in Templeton.
Police Chief David Whitaker says a 25-year-old woman who lived in the Depot Road home was tied up with bedsheets. After the men left, the woman said she managed to wiggle out of the sheets and call 911.
Among the items stolen from the home were four guns.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Rev. Jesse Jackson called the Philadelphia Eagles' punishment of Terrell Owens "much too severe."
Jackson said in a statement released Friday that Owens could have been more professional when he publicly complained about his contract, his team and the Eagles' organization.
But Jackson said Owens' suspension without pay for four games and deactivation for the rest of the season is "much too severe for the charge" and hurts the athlete's NFL career at its height.
The civil rights activist said the level of punishment could have been warranted if Owens had been caught shaving points, selling drugs, carrying a gun or fighting fans without sufficient restraint.
"We have to stop this new wave of suicidal and destructive behavior that is wiping out a generation," the Rev. Bruce Wall said yesterday in a speech at the Greater Framingham Community Church in Framingham.
Wall said he planned to ask Mayor Thomas M. Menino to pay for the conference, which is being called "Why Are Illegal Guns Being Sent to Boston's Black Community?" The conference would probably cost about $5,000 for food, photocopies, and the printing of a document detailing the proposed solutions, Wall said.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The atheist who's spent years trying to ban recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools said he'll file a new lawsuit this week.
Michael Newdow plans to ask a federal court to order removal of the national motto "In God We Trust" from U.S. coins and currency. He said it violates the religious rights of atheists who belong to his "First Amendment Church of True Science."
The church's "three suggestions" are "question, be honest and do what's right." Newdow said it wouldn't be right to take up a collection when the money says "In God We Trust."
The riots in France that started in the Parisian suburbs are ringing alarm bells throughout Europe. These incidents of civil disobedience should serve as lessons to neighboring countries on how not to treat a minority population.
I was under the impression that civil disobedience carried the notion of peaceful resistance to an unjust law--not burning cars, buildings, and beating people to death. But I guess I just have to get with the modern definition of "civil disobedience." I suppose next that we will discover that 9/11 was "aggressive civil disobedience."
Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley has hired the son of state Senator Dianne Wilkerson as a civilian investigator in his office's homicide unit despite the young man's long history of arrests, court records show.
Pointing to the rising number of shootings in Boston, Mayor Thomas M. Menino is calling for a "handgun summit" in New England and raised the possibility of random police searches of cars crossing into the state to intercept illegal weapons.
Menino, speaking a day after his landslide re-election over Maura Hennigan, said guns are no longer just coming to Boston from the South. Weapons are filtering in from New Hampshire and other abutting states, he said.
He raised the potentially explosive issue of random searches as a remedy.
"Massachusetts has the strongest gun laws in the country, and I'll oppose any measure that waters them down and puts our people at risk. Too many futures have been lost already."
The goal is simple: no Massachusetts resident...
...should ever live in fear for their families - in their homes or on their streets.
I have led the fight to ... ban the sale of military-style assault weapons to criminals.
I believe in common sense gun safety laws that protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners...
In 2004, I wrote and won a permanent extension of the state's ban on military-style assault weapons. These dangerous weapons have no place on our streets.
This year, I am partnering with the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police, Suffolk County D.A. Dan Conley, and Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral to ban the sale of cop-killer handguns (that can pierces police body armor)...
...and military sniper rifles (that can shoot targets, like airplanes, from 2000 yards away).
You got a fast car
But is it fast enough so we can fly away
We gotta make a decision
We leave tonight or live and die this way
Explosions hit three hotels in the Jordanian capital Wednesday night, and at least 18 people were killed.
The first blast occurred at about 8:50 p.m. at the luxury Grand Hyatt hotel, popular with tourists and diplomats. An Associated Press reporter at the hotel counted seven bodies being taken away. Police said there were many others injured.
A few minutes later, police reported an explosion at the Radisson SAS Hotel a short distance away. Police said five people were killed and at least 20 wounded.
Another explosion was reported at the Days Inn Hotel, and police said there were casualties.
Police had no word on what caused the explosions, although an American businessman at the Grand Hyatt said a bomb went off in the lobby. Witnesses saw smoke rising from the building.
Hard to say because it's been 11 days since two African-American teenagers were killed, electrocuted during a police chase, which prompted all of this.
SAN FRANCISCO - Voters approved ballot measures to ban handguns in San Francisco and urge the city's public high schools and college campuses to keep out military recruiters.
With 100 percent of San Francisco precincts reporting on Wednesday, 58 percent of voters backed the proposed gun ban while 42 percent opposed it.
Measure H prohibits the manufacture and sale of all firearms and ammunition in the city, and make it illegal for residents to keep handguns in their homes or businesses.
Only two other major U.S. cities - Washington and Chicago - have implemented such sweeping handgun bans.
Supervisor Chris Daly, who proposed the measure, said the victory showed that "San Francisco voters support sensible gun control."