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day permlink Saturday, 19 October 2002

permlink New (possible) sniper shooting

Another possible serial killing, much further away:
Man Shot Near Richmond; I-95 Blocked [Washington Post]
Man Shot In Ashland Near I-95 [Richmond Times-Dispatch]
Man Shot Near Richmond, Virginia [NBC4]

Some thoughts, based on the assumption that this is the same guy that did the other 11 recent shootings here:
  • He's moving further out, presumably assuming that it'll be easier to shoot someone in and escape from a community that's not on high alert. I know that in our area, people rarely stand still outside any more, and we look around a lot.
  • Given the expanding area of this schmuck's activity, I expect a similar shooting in Baltimore in the not too distant future. They may be wary, but they're probably not as alert as the main DC metro area, and reversing his southward march is probably just as likely as anything else.
  • More than one commentator has theorized that this could all be a cover for a specific, intentional murder of one of the victims. Seems an awful lot of trouble to go to, and pretty unlikely; they could just stop and be done, then, but they keep going. OTOH, similar ideas were published years ago in V for Vendetta and Preacher. So it's certainly not an unheard of idea.
  • On Fox News, some dittohead suggested that now Tom Ridge should be put in charge of the investigation. !!!. Clue for the clueless: he was a governor, not a detective or a cop. Probably some trained law enforcement people should be in charge of this particular investigation.

permlink Tom Friedman on democracy in Iran

Interesting thesis from Tom Friedman: Drilling for Freedom [NY Times]
The transition from autocracy to real democracy in Iran is dragged out much longer than in Europe for many reasons, but the most important is because the hard-line mullahs control Iran's oil wealth. ...they have a pool of money that they can use to monopolize all the instruments of coercion -- the army, police and intelligence services.

Think of it like this: There are two ways for a government to get rich in the Middle East. One is by drilling a sand dune... Only when a government has to drill its human resources will it organize itself in a way that enables it to extract those talents -- with modern education, open trade, and freedom of thought, of scientific enquiry and of the press.

Which was the first and only real Arab democracy? Lebanon. Which Arab country had no oil? Lebanon. Which is the first Arab oil state to turn itself into a constitutional monarchy? Bahrain. Which is the first Arab oil state to run out of oil? Bahrain.

permlink tales from random-murder-land

Tales from random-murder-land (at the bottom of the article): Shell in Van Too Big for Sniper's Gun [Washington Post]
Scott Kerman, president of Personal Attention, a Bethesda-based errand business, said that for the first time since the company opened 16 years ago, clients are asking his workers to take their cars to the gas station.

Since the latest sniper shooting Monday night, the errand service, which charges $25 an hour with a two-hour minimum, has filled vehicle gas tanks for 14 customers, Kerman said. He said requests for other simple tasks also have gone up.

"It feels like everybody is paralyzed," Kerman said. "People are so freaked out they don't want to do anything. They'll have a dry cleaner right across the street and have us go for them."
Interesting gig. Odd URL. permlink  

permlink funny Divinest Sense

See the very funny (and sadly necessary) Oct 19 entry at Divinest Sense about the crap that's currently all over prime time TV. An excerpt: It makes me so angry to see television commercials for cleaning products like the swiffer sweeper and dish soap and clorox wipes that proudly feature women obsessively-compulsively cleaning up after their husbands and hordes of male children, who are busy tearing their way through the house. Mom gives them an indulgent head-tilt and grin, that old familiar "boys-will-be-boys" look. What???? Gee, I sure am glad my husband brings home enough money for me to afford a swiffer sweeper! Now I can clean ALL THE TIME!... Heh. There's plenty more. Go JenB. permlink     1 comment(s)  
JenB rules.
      ...posted by Medley (aka Mrs. NowThis) on October 19, 2002 8:15 PM
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