It wouldn’t be a State of the Union address if we didn’t have an absolutely shameless exploitation of a seriously injured veteran as a political prop in the President’s speech. Let’s not forget that this young man’s body would be intact if he wasn’t deployed to Afghanistan 10 times by suits in Washington. But pander away, Mr. President. It’s good politics.
This morning, the world learned of the passing of legendary folk singer Pete Seeger. Take a look at this letter from Seeger to President Kennedy in March of 1961. Seeger was facing trial for contempt of Congress after refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. As a fellow Harvard classmate, Seeger was appealing to the President for help.
(From the White House Central Name File, Box 2513, JFK Library)
OH WOW YES
it had to be said..
ACE: THE BAT-HOUND
One of my favorite Comic-book paintings is from Alex Ross depicting Batman swearing in a young Dick Grayson to join him in his war against crime. It can be seen here. As Ace: The Bat-hound was assigned to me, after brainstorming battle armors and exotic cross-breedings, I just kept on seeing a Big German Shepard who is both imposing and loyal as how the character was originally interpreted in its creation. So with my limited autographed collectors edition Giclee Alex Ross Print of this painting (I am a geek) I scanned it in, removed Dick Grayson and placed a German Shepard in his place. This was a challenge because I needed to make this work as an Alex Ross painting. Some brushes, some reworking of the painting itself, properly placed highlights and a few filters. A cheap solution to this assignment but a good one none the less. Alex Ross fans and Dog lovers should be happy.
Often we hear the echo of our security culture tell us policing is an inherently dangerous job, and that therefore we should give deference to these people’s judgment whenever potentially hostile situations arise. In such scenarios whereby the killing of a civilian occurs, we are perpetually told the use of lethal force was not only necessary, but simply part of an ‘incredibly dangerous’ profession — that these killings merely are a result of cops protecting themselves in life-threatening situations.
Well I call bullshit.
On October 22 last year, Andy Lopez, a Mexican-American 13 year old boy, was shot seven times by Santa Rosa officer Erick Gelhaus, a man with a history of using excessive force in his duties. Lopez was walking home from a friend’s house holding an airsoft toy-gun designed to resemble an assault rifle. Gelhaus has claimed he thought the child was holding an AK-47, a detail suggesting he could see the toy-gun with clarity. Gelhaus says he shouted to the 13 year old to drop the ‘gun’. Andy turned around, allegedly holding the toy up. Lopez died thereafter, taking multiple gunshots — one of which through his chest — when Gelhaus opened fire.
Gelhaus did not wait for backup. He did not investigate what he thought he saw. He was in absolutely no danger. His judgement smacked of shoot now, think later. In fact, Andy Lopez, like the rest of us, was more in need of protection from Gelhaus the moment the deputy saw him than Gelhaus needed to ‘protect’ himself from Lopez.
Cops Are More Likely To Shoot You Than You Are To Shoot Them
Last November the Activist Post ran a story about the propensity of police officers killing civilians. Stated was the following:
Since 9/11, and the subsequent militarization of the police by the Department of Homeland Security, about 5,000 Americans have been killed by US police officers. The civilian death rate is nearly equal to the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq. In fact, you are 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist.
That statistic is alarming enough considering if the 4,489 American soldiers killed in combat in Iraq constitute a condition of war, then the killing of 5,000 American civilians by United States police departments ought to be viewed as a war on we the People by our very own government.
Still, having watched the Lopez family struggle for justice thus far, I wanted to know better how more civilians have been killed by cops in the United States than soldiers have died in Iraq.
I decided to compare the number of American citizens’ deaths by police directly to the number of police officers’ deaths by citizens since the start of the Iraq war; after all, if an officers job is so dangerous, it is we the policed who make it dangerous.
Since 2003, as documented by the FBI, there have been approximately 587 deaths in the line of duty directly as result of civilians’ felonious actions, i.e., lethal assault, shooting, manslaughter etc. Below is the breakdown by year.
Officers Feloniously Killed Since the Start of Iraq War
- 2003 — 52
- 2004 — 57
- 2005 — 55
- 2006 — 48
- 2007 — 57
- 2008 — 41
- 2009 — 48
- 2010 — 56
- 2011 — 72
- 2012 — 48
- 2013 — 53 (data not yet available, substituted 10 year average)
- Total = 587
The Myth of the Most Dangerous Job
After a minute of simple math (5,000/587 = 8.52), what might seem obvious became much clearer: A cop is far more likely — 8.5 times — to kill you than you are to kill a cop. Not only is a cop 8 times more likely to kill you than a terrorists is, but ‘the law’ is 8.5 times more life-threatening to you than any threat you pose an officer whatsoever.
Stated another way, when an officer comes into contact with you, you are 8.5 times less of a threat to them than the perception our culture proliferates. The idea that police have an incredibly dangerous job is what we Southerners call a tall-tale, a stretch of the truth to bolster an ego unwilling to accept mediocrity. Not to take away from what many fair-minded officers do every day, but as those stubborn things called facts would have it, policing is less dangerous than farming, fishing, logging, and trash collecting, as well as six other professions.
Now is the time to burst the cop myth and to stop giving them the deference to murder our friends and family in the street.
Listen/purchase: YODO (You Only Die Once) by Anthony da Costa
John Star, scientist gone rogue creating an hourglass that controls the very properties of time. This character in my opinion sported the absolute worst costume I have ever seen. Please see. So for this challenge, I did take liberties. I picture this John Star, after possessing this weapon of extreme power, becoming a time hopping druid of sorts merging science and magic to manipulate outcomes that are needed to happen in the time stream. I see this character aiding Booster Gold and the Time Masters while at the same time, fighting them as his future or past self…. Grant Morrison needs to write this story cause my head already hurts.
If you’re wondering where Glenn Beck went, he’s created a booming website called “The Blaze.” The Blaze cribs headline writing and SEO techniques from places like Reddit and Buzzfeed, but retains the same journalistic integrity and loose grip on reality as a guy wearing a sandwich board outside the Super Bowl.
It is the 12th-most shared website on the Internet. The problem with the 12th-most shared website in the world being run by a guy like Glenn Beck is that no one will have the attention span to go back and look at all of the scary bullshit that the 12th-most shared website was wrong about yesterday.
The most shared story on that worst corner of the Internet this week is not “’Looks Like Weimar Germany’: The Viral Photo Out of Connecticut That’s Giving Some Gun Owners Chills" or "Hoodie-Wearing Thug Demands Cash from 90-Year-Old Laundromat Owner…and Gets a Great Big Surprise.” Those are in the top five, but they’re not at the top.
The top story on the 12th-most shared website on the Internet is a warning about people being duped by prank phone calls. The comments section is filled with people who have been tricked themselves and are able to corroborate it. In 2014.
Wally West. Just because. Happy Comic-Con!!
Two angels making snow angels.