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      The two most important consequences of this decision come from the fact that Biden is old and almost certainly senile. This means that Harris stands a good chance of becoming President if Biden dies or his incapacity becomes un-concealeable even with the best drug cocktails. If that doesn’t happen, Kamala is odds on to be […]
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The Breivik Connection: is this a copy cat killing?

Update: There are new facts about the shooter that make it sound like he could be following Breivik’s example.  These details are chilling.  At around midnight, his neighbors heard some very loud techno music coming from his apartment.  One of the downstairs neighbors went up to ask him to turn it down.  Here’s what happened:

Kaitlyn Fonzi, a 20-year-old biology student at University of Colorado Denver, lives in an apartment below Holmes.

Around midnight, Fonzi said she heard techno music blasting from Holmes apartment. She went upstairs and knocked on the door. When no one answered, she put her hand on the door knob and realized the door was unlocked.

Fonzi decided not to go inside the apartment.

The music turned off at almost exactly 1 a.m., Fonzi said.

Kaitlyn had a narrow escape last night because if she had entered that apartment, she would have been blown up.  The apartment is booby trapped.  The booby trap is so complicated that the police haven’t figured out how to disarm it yet.

In Breivik’s case, he preceded his shooting spree on the island by blowing up some government buildings in Oslo first.  Then, while the police were dealing with that, he went on to part two of his massacre at the teen retreat on Utoya.

James Holmes had a similar plan,  Play really loud music, lure the neighbor up to the apartment, leave the door ajar so the neighbor could trip the mechanism and blow up the building.  I have no idea what he used as explosives but science labs are full of all kinds of stuff and if you’re motivated enough, you can make your own.

While the police were supposed to be distracted by the explosion, he goes on a rampage in a crowded movie theater that people couldn’t get out of easily.  It sounds like it was stadium seating which would had made it like one of those carnival shooting games with the tiers of ducks.  Someone correct me if I’m wrong about this theater.

One other thing of interest: He started graduate school in June 2011 and it sounds like he was going through some kind of personality problem in his early 20s.  He was an honors student, Phi Beta Kappa, had a masters in neuroscience and couldn’t find a job. Holmes is by all accounts very intelligent but he was failing his comprehensive exams in the last year.

It may all be coincidence but the way both Breivik and Holmes carried out their massacres seem eerily similar and the timing is too convenient being only 2 days before the one year anniversary of Breivik’s massacre.

*******************************

The similarities are striking. Guy dressed in a uniform, in this case camo, calmly walks into a closed area that is difficult to escape and opens fire on innocent young adults and children. The death toll might be low at this point but the number of injured, 59, is unreal.

The shooter has multiple weapons. He’s well prepared to take out as many people as he can. He’s cool and methodical. Afterwards, he waits for police and does not resist arrest.

And it all takes place two days short of the one year anniversary when Andrew Brevik did the same thing at a teen retreat on a tiny island in Norway.

I’m not typically the kind of person who freaks out about how we’re all going to die, but if one troubled person in a land full of guns gets the notion that this action will somehow prove something to the world, maybe it would be a good idea for theaters, summer camps and amusement parks to be extra vigilant this week end.

I’d love to be proven wrong, silly and crazy for even suggesting this, but you know, we live in interesting times.

Colorado

Update: guys? Has anyone else noticed that the Norway shootings happened almost exactly a year ago? This shooting was two days short of that anniversary. As in Norway, the targets were young people and children. Could this be a copy cat killing?

I blame myself for not being on top of the Colorado theater shooting. I was blissed out on photos of a vacation. But commenter Rangoon composed a comment about violence that I thought was worth posting. I hope he/she doesn’t mind.

As a geezer It’s hard for me to process the violence that is all all around us, some is called entertainment, some is called the war on terror, while this new lead story of violence brings our leaders together to call for America to “come together as a family”

From a 2008 review of the previous Batman film:

“But the greatest surprise of all – even for me, after eight years spent working as a film critic – has been the sustained level of intensely sadistic brutality throughout the film.”

Dark Knight 2008
the film begins with a heist carried out by men in sinister clown masks. As each clown completes a task, another shoots him point-blank in the head. The scene ends with a clown – The Joker – stuffing a bomb into a wounded bank employee’s mouth. After the murderous clown heist, things slip downhill. A man’s face is filleted by a knife, and another’s is burned half off. A man’s eye is slammed into a pencil. A bomb can be seen crudely stitched inside another man’s stomach, which subsequently explodes. A trussed-up man is bound to a chair and set alight atop a pile of banknotes. A plainly terrorised child is threatened at gunpoint by a man with a melted face. It is all intensely realistic.

“I [make a] distinction between violence which is clearly fantastical in origin, such as that in Harry Potter, and that which is realistic and sadistic in tone, such as that in The Dark Knight.
The former might well bother younger children afterwards, and even give them horrifying nightmares – scarcely desirable in itself – but the latter is more likely to taint their fundamental vision of the world and adult norms of behavior…”

“As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family.
-Barack Obama

And speaking of “intensely sadistic brutality”-
“There has been a great increase in US strikes,” said Muhammad Nawaz, a tribal elder in North Waziristan. “The people feel terrorised because we hear the drones in the sky most of the time.
Few children attend school because they fear for their lives walking to and from their homes.
The tribal elders are afraid to gather together in jirgas, as had been our custom for more than a century. The mothers and wives plead with the men not to congregate together. They do not want to lose any more of their husbands, sons, brothers, and nephews. People in the same family now sleep apart because they do not want their togetherness to be viewed suspiciously through the eye of the drone. They do not want to become the next target… ”come together as a family?
“I saw my father about three hours before the drone strike killed him. News of the strike didn’t reach me until later, and I arrived at the location in the evening. When I got off the bus near the bazaar, I immediately saw flames in and around the station. The fires burned for two days straight. I went to where the jirga had been held. There were still people lying around injured. The tribal elders who had been killed could not be identified because there were body parts strewn about. The smell was awful. I just collected the pieces of flesh that I believed belonged to my father and placed them in a small coffin.”

———————
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/2461820/Our-attitude-to-violence-is-beyond-a-joke-as-new-Batman-film-The-Dark-Knight-shows.html

From: The Trembling Voices of Those Terrorized by America’s Drone Campaign
http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2012/05/31/silent-trembling-voices/

“As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9414987/Denver-shooting-Obama-calls-for-unity.html

We are so lucky to have been born here and not some place where blowing people up is a commonplace occurance, and so stupid to fritter all of our hard work away by failing to keep guns out of the hands of troubled people.
Dear Colorado, we are keeping you in our thoughts.

Photo to art: Pick one

The perfect shot for a Royal Carribean ad but not for over the fireplace

Since I moved a painting to a better place in another room, I have a big gaping space above my fireplace that needs a piece of art, preferably in tones of blue or green.  I found this great idea at littlegreennotebook on how you can turn photos into art by having them blown up and then mounted on a piece of plywood.  Even I can do this.

So I went looking through my photos and found some that were taken when Brook and I took a Royal Carribean cruise a few years ago.  But I can’t decide which one to choose.  I can make changes with iPhoto and Snapseed if necessary, cropping, straightening, etc.  Take a look at the following pictures and vote for one in the poll below.

Pic1:

Pic2:

Pic3:

The background color of my wall is Simply White by Benjamin Moore and the fireplace is white painted brick with a white wood mantle. Everything else in the room is either white, pear green or dark wood with some blue pillows for something different.  I’m not going for a traditional look in my living room.  I want it to be clean lined, fresh and a bit modern.

Here are the cropped versions:

Pic1:

Pic1 (inverse crop):

Pic2:

Pic2 (inverse crop):

Pic3:

Pic3 (inverse crop):