Autopsy of a Viral Tweet

On December 4, 2015, my Social Media world got tossed as I innocently, but rightly, Tweeted the astonishing fact that MSNBC had doxed someone — revealing identifying information about a living person — on live television during an impromptu terror tour of a suspect’s home. The person in question was Rafia Farook — mother of San Bernardino terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook. Rafia lived in the same townhouse as her son, his terrorist wife, Tashfeen Malik, and the couple’s six-month-old baby girl. Here’s an image of the Tweet I sent after my photographic capture of the MSNBC live feed:

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Don’t Drone Me, Dude!

Don’t Tase Me, Bro!” will soon be out-hollered by us all in a new plea against the machine: “Don’t Drone Me, Dude!” — completely performed in the outcry of public theatricality that now passes for national security. Where once our shoes had more dangerous derring-do than the hovering skies above us — today, we are forced to realize our ordinary, everyday, overlord drones are blackening our city skies and that they are inherently more dangerous than all the guns in heaven.

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Jersey City Salutes Police Officer Melvin Santiago

Rookie Jersey City Police Office Melvin Santiago was assassinated on Sunday responding to a call at a local Walgreens.  Yesterday, over a 1,000 people lined up outside a funeral home to salute an officer who gave his life in service to a city in the hard, urban core.  Officer Santiago was 23 and — during his wake — was promoted to the rank of Detective and given the Medal of Honor in death by the Mayor of Jersey City.

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The Eggshell Generation: No Freedom for Danger Children

Life has changed for modern children.  When I was growing up in the Midwest, you sought freedom — and if it wasn’t granted with a bicycle, then you found other, more nefarious ways, to run away and play far away from your doorstep.

It isn’t that way any longer.  Today, kids are protected and driven and supervised in organized sports and cultural events.  There’s no spontaneity now because there’s fear of the unknown and danger in the creative.  No sandlot baseball.  No football games with self-set boundaries and special scoring.  Everything is regulation.  There can be no divergence from the norm.

We’re creating a society of young people who are risk-averse and too frightened to set their own agendas and follow their own, unblazed, pathway. Fun is the new mysterious stranger. “Do what you want” is the new monster under the bed.

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A Death in the Village

On Janna’s way to work this morning, she snapped this image with her iPhone and emailed it to me.  She’s done that in the past with a copper moon, and a Steve Jobs memorial, but these flowers, and this mourning this morning was different.

This shrine was filled with hurt and rage and you can find it all right now at the Barnes & Noble bookstore on the corner of West 8th Street and the Avenue of the Americas; for this is the spot where Mark Carson, a 32-year-old Gay man, was gunned down a few days ago — shot in the face by an impromptu stalker just for being who he was — and so the latest Greenwich Village New York City hate crime is now on the police blotter, written in blood on a public sidewalk.

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Too Close for Comfort with Guarda Nacional Republicana Guns

I spent Monday morning sitting outside our local council tribunal in Odemira waiting for a civil case to be heard.

I came face to face with one of the few things in this life that makes me physically and mentally uncomfortable.  Unusually for a tribunal on the civil circuit as opposed to the criminal circuit — the local GNR (Guarda Nacional Republicana, the Polícia de Portugal) were “tooled up” — yep I was in the same room as a gun — in fact not just one gun — but four.

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The Dead and the Scared: How Sandy Hook Stood Up to a Gunman

I’m not sure if there’s much more left to to say in the wake of the Sandy Hook killings in Connecticut that hasn’t already been shot to death before — except that it was excellent how, together, teachers and students faced down death that day — while our politicians will never be similarly brave because they are more terrified of the long and ugly shadow of the NRA than they are of dead children.

Continue reading → The Dead and the Scared: How Sandy Hook Stood Up to a Gunman