The Value Of Fresh Air

Sometimes, there’s an odd, sad poetry to what I see on Twitter. Here’s an example from today:

Hamsher and Chait on fresh air

A screenshot of my Twitter feed, April 24, 2014

Yes, they really did end up right next to each other.

One Twitter message concerns the children of an American hero who blew the whistle on the torture being done by the Bush Administration. He was sent to prison while the torturers and the people who approved that torture were not. The other message concerns a rancher who thinks he doesn’t have to pay for using public land to graze his cattle, and who needs to learn more and talk less. There’s so much of what’s wrong with America these days in these two messages about the value of fresh air.

Earth Day, 2014

As part of its Earth Day activities this year, NASA is asking poeple to submit “selfies” of themselves wherever they happen to be today. You know, this sort of thing:

Le BPA Trail et mois

Me on the BPA trail last year on Earth Day.

That’s me at one of my favorite places in my neck of the woods, the BPA Trail. Sadly, this photo doesn’t qualify for NASA’s campaign, since I took it last year. Unfortunately, my photos often require, ahem, post-processing before I can publish them. But if your self-portrait photo skills are more timely than mine, feel free to submit something at the link.

Meanwhile, happy Earth Day.

Belated LOLz

Finally, I found a graphic that works for this thought:

Easter Bunny in conference

Image credit: Found it here

Happy belated birthday to someone important in my life. Everyone else, disregard…

Fort Hood On My Mind – Again

A view of the 1st Cav Museum, Ft. Hood, Texas

A HWWMV (left) and US armored personnel carrier at the 1st Cav Museum, Ft. Hood, Texas. Image credit: Adam Bartlett/Wikimedia

It was a few years ago that I last wrote about Fort Hood, Texas. That, too was because an armed person went on a rampage there. I spent considerable time during the 1980s and 1990s in that area, and have visited several times since. That makes it extra hard to read something like this:

CBS News identified the shooter as Ivan Lopez, 34.

He was reportedly in uniform at the time of the shooting.

Fort Hood has confirmed the shooting, but has issued little other information.

“Fort Hood’s Directorate of Emergency Services has an initial report that a shooter is dead but this is unconfirmed,” the post said in an updated statement at around 6:30 p.m.

The Associated Press earlier quoted a U.S. law enforcement official as saying the suspected gunman is believed to be dead.

Some of the wounded were taken to Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center on post and others to Scott & White Hospital in Temple.

Four Dead And 14 Injured In Fort Hood Shooting


It’s still early, so there are conflicting reports about what happened. At the moment, I don’t even take that death toll seriously. When the news agencies and officials have a chance to double check things, then we can believe what we’re told. On Twitter today, someone posted this handy checklist of how to treat early reports of an incident like this, where people are frightened and they and the news are taken by surprise:
Image credit: On The Media (PDF)

Image credit: On The Media (PDF)

This is why I won’t write anything more than to extend my condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

UPDATE/Afterword: Apparently, another person with a gun is loose at Kent State University, Ohio. All that seems to be known at this point is that at least one shot was fired, and the campus is locked down.

Hopefully, this will be all the damage from that incident.