Kyle Maxwell

Just me.

Archive for the category “News”


Let’s see… revolutions against dictators all across the Near and Middle East. The Wisconsin capitol is full of protestors. The Space Shuttle program is winding down. No doubt your locality, like mine, has lots of important things happening that you need to know about.

And some of the biggest stories in the news (including on NPR) revolve around a drunken actor and a fashion designer doing dumb things in public.

Well, I’m glad the public knows how to focus on what’s important.


NPR Jihad

Look, when other Fox anchors tell you to get a thicker skin and you’re being unfair (to NPR), that should tell you something. Via Political Junkie, a NPR blog. FWIW, as a longtime member of my local public radio station, I’d rather they get no tax dollars and let us kick in the balance, primarily to remove politics from the equation. Or at least minimize it, anyway.

EDIT: Also, is being annoying and not letting me embed the code to the video. See it at the NPR link above.

Roleplayers clearly hate former POWs

Can somebody tell me what role-playing games have to do with the US presidential election? Apparently some Obama supporters have raised an issue about an event McCain claims occurred during his time in a Vietnamese prisoner camp, and the campaign responded:

It may be typical of the pro-Obama Dungeons & Dragons crowd to disparage a fellow countryman’s memory of war from the comfort of mom’s basement, but most Americans have the humility and gratitude to respect and learn from the memories of men who suffered on behalf of others.

I don’t get it. The Boing Boing post on this has lots of great comments; my favorite:

Apparently an apology has been issued:

“If my comments caused any harm or hurt to the hard working Americans who play Dungeons & Dragons, I apologize. This campaign is committed to increasing the strength, constitution, dexterity, intelligence, wisdom, and charisma scores of every American. ”
–Michael Goldfarb

I assume it’s authentic, though it seems a little to [sic] amusing to actually be from the McCain campaign.

Now, I don’t play D&D. My RPG choices are solidly science fiction and I avoid anything related to the fantasy genre. Regardless, this seems like an odd way to respond, criticizing a group that has nothing to do with anything remotely relevant to the issues at hand nor, really, anyone else. It’s like if the Obama campaign complained about all the ‘pro-McCain model railroaders’.

Electrocuting a boy with a broken back

Imagine calling the authorities because your child is missing, only to find out that not only did he fall off a highway overpass, the police applied a Taser to him nearly 20 times instead of rendering aid.

The Ozark cops used a Taser 19 times on a boy with a broken back who’d fallen off an overpass.

19 times.

Broken back.

“He refused to comply with the officers and so the officers had to deploy their Tasers in order to subdue him… It’s a big concern for the officers to keep this guy out of traffic, to keep him from getting hurt.”

I know that overpass. I’ve driven it countless times, visiting family who live there.

Something smells bad here. I wonder what it could be… maybe stunning a kid who’d just fallen (or jumped) 30 feet? Think about the usual height signs for truckers on the overpasses where you live; 30 feet is really high. So they electrocuted this kid 19 times so that he wouldn’t hurt himself because he was incoherent and not moving when they told him to do so. The injuries from his fall would have prevented anyone from doing that.

If the Missouri AG isn’t looking into the police conduct here, maybe the US DoJ will. This isn’t political and it’s not partisan. But it sure isn’t protecting and serving.

It’s a crime.


“Why are you filming?”

When I was a kid during the last decade or so of the Cold War, I remember that one of the reasons we were told that the Evil Empire was, well, evil was their total lack of civil rights. The popular phrase used to describe this was “papers please” and suspicion of anyone taking pictures of landmarks for being a Western spy. (Because clearly, covert reconnaissance would be done by somebody in broad daylight with a big camera acting in an obvious and open manner.)

But then the West won the Cold War in a victory for the strength of open societies.


(For the record, public photography is not generally illegal in the US, either, though you might need a real lawyer’s help sometimes. I’m not one.)

Via BoingBoing

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