Category Archives: Modern life-as-we-know-it

Walmart’s march to the sea

Watch how Walmart takes over the country, right here.

Come see The Naked Truth at Charter Oak Cultural Center

Hartford 2020 is proud to cosponsor The Naked Truth, a panel discussion on strip searches, airport Xrays, and the search for safety after 9/11/01.

I hope you can come.

What is wrong with us?

A New York shooting has left 10 wounded and two dead — including, say some news reports, the assailant.

Will this be our opportunity to talk about gun violence? Or will we squander this opportunity, too?

How sad and weird and internet-y

At the risk of sharing proprietary information, this blog draws anywhere from 600 to 1,000 hits during the week, and significantly less than that on the weekend, when I don’t update it.

As I’m not selling ads, the numbers are more like a “How ’bout that,” but this weekend, I logged on to check for comments, and found that the day before, a Saturday, the blog had attracted four shy of 5,000 hits, and on Sunday, it did even better, with 5,895, and on Monday? Just a few less than that.

Things are pretty much back to normal, but do you know what drove those hits? This photo:

And this not terribly-well-written post (let’s be honest).

See, I forgot, in my mania to only write about stuff I care about, how very quickly the Interwebs will beat a path to your door if you show women-wearing-not-much. In my earlier incarnation, during the ’08 presidential race, all you had to do was mention “Sarah Palin,” and you could count on her supporters and her detractors commenting in equal numbers. (So that fake photo of the former Republican vice presidential candidate posed in a bathing suit and holding a rifle? Myst have cleaned up on blogs that ran it. I can’t remember that I did. If I did, I apologize. Did I mention it was fake?)

Anyway. As fabulous is the attention (not really), I’m glad we’re back to as normal as we’re going to get here at DJ Central. Phew!

I’m going to live forever

And you can, too.

Not really. Every year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention releases death data. You can read more here: nvsr60_04

Your take away? Eat more almonds.

And thanks, DickG., for the link.

Here’s a new twist on the gun debate:

Disarm cops, too.

How to keep your local troll under the bridge

We here at Dating Jesus have had our share of trolls — disruptive, rude, and often shockingly ignorant people who serve no purpose other than to disrupt the conversation.

A troll is not necessarily someone who disagrees with you. I like a healthy argument/discussion. A troll is someone who picks fights for no reason other than they have nothing else to do.

And thanks, Leftover, for this primer.

And with that, I bid you a fond farewell for the weekend. Hope it’s a good one, and see you on Monday.

The homicide rate dropped, mass killings continue, and other Dark Knight news

This Washington Post article explores the strange juxtaposition of a homicide rate that has dropped in the last 20 years, while the number of mass killings (like the one last week in that Aurora, Colo., movie theater) have pretty much stayed steady. From the article:

The United States experienced 645 mass-murder events — killings with at least four victims — between 1976 and 2010, according to Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox. When graphed, these incidents show no obvious trend. The numbers go up and down and up again. The total body count: 2,949.

Beyond the raw data, there is the psychic toll. Mass murder, when amplified in the news media, turns a big country very quickly into a small one and turns faceless body counts into real people enduring real pain and real tragedy.

Interestingly (and perhaps understandably), gun groups have remained mostly silent about Aurora, a town that — like Columbine, like — yes — Joplin — will now be remembered for its worst day ever.

Meanwhile, as a side note, the actor Christian Bale, who plays Batman in the movie that was showing in that Aurora theater, took it upon himself to visit some of the shooting victims in Colorado hospitals yesterday. Do click on the Batman link. It has a message from the movie’s director, Christopher Nolan, that says, in part:

I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families.

Fewer Americans own guns, yet there are more guns out there

Paul Waldman, of The American Prospect, writes (linked at ThinkProgress:)

There is no question that Americans own more guns, and use them more often to kill each other, than citizens of any other advanced Western democracy. As of 2007, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms reported that there were approximately 294 million guns in the United States, nearly one for every man, woman, and child in the country: 106 million handguns, 105 million rifles, and 83 million shotguns (these figures are discussed here). Though crime rates in general have been on a steady decline since the mid-1990s, according to the CDC more than 10,000 Americans are still murdered every year with firearms; add in suicides and accidental deaths, and the number exceeds 30,000.

Nevertheless, these statistics obscure a trend that has gone largely unnoticed: fewer and fewer Americans own guns. Data from the General Social Survey show that rates of gun ownership have been decreasing steadily for three decades. In 1977, 54 percent of American adults lived in a household that contained a gun. By 2010, that figure had declined a full 22 percentage points to 32 percent.

You can read more here.

And thanks, Cynical, for the link.

Newest U.S. counter-terrorism method?

Trolling.

On a slightly related topic: Ever wondered about people who frequently comment on websites, who aren’t saying much? Do you think they’re getting paid?

And thanks, Rabia, for the link.