The end of the year hasn't been particularly festive for many people. In fact it looks just as dreadful in some quarters as it has been in many others over the past 11 months.
On Tuesday morning Veronica J. Rutledge took her two year old son and three nieces shopping at the Hayden, Idaho Wal-Mart. They were there so they could cash in some gift cards they received on Christmas day.
Hayden is located in Kootenai County which has a population of 140,000 people. The AP reports 16,000 of those souls have permits to carry concealed weapons. Veronica Rutledge was one of them.
She was by all accounts highly intelligent. She graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in chemistry and was working as a nuclear scientist at the Idaho National Laboratory. Her father-in-law, Terry Rutledge described her as, "Not the least bit irresponsible."
Right now his description of her is rather difficult to accept. The AP says Ms. Rutledge stepped away from her shopping cart that morning, leaving two things in it. One was her son and the other was her purse. Inside the purse was a small caliber hand gun. It didn't take long for the inevitable to happen. The boy got into the purse, pulled out the weapon, and it went off. The bullet struck his mother in the head and she died shortly afterward.
Two things are now certain. First the child will grow up without his mother. Second, he will have to live his entire life with the knowledge he killed her. Was it an accident? Of course it was. Was it preventable? Absolutely. But now a baby is going to spend decades visiting some psychiatrist because of people who think they can't leave home without a loaded weapon.
Tell me again how free we are because we can carry guns.
The next nightmare comes from Vox.com. It reports that on Sunday, 17 year old Leelah Alcorn was run over by a tractor trailer rig on some stretch of highway in Ohio. It wasn't an accident. Alcorn, who was transgender and had previously said she felt like a girl trapped in a boy's body since the age of four, committed suicide.
In a note left on Tumblr she wrote her parents insisted she be, "the perfect little straight Christian boy."
So much for all those conservative, born again, yahoos who believe gays and transgendered people choose to be the way they are. You don't choose a lifestyle which is not only repugnant to your parents, but leaves you feeling so utterly alone that killing yourself becomes your only option.
Finally, in the Java Sea the terrible process of recovering bodies has begun. Pieces of the wreckage of Air Asia flight QZ8501 have been located and Reuters is reporting at least seven bodies have been pulled out of the water.
There is no word on the cause of the crash, although, as always, there is speculation and reports which may, or may not be confirmed. According to one official the plane had requested to climb from 32,000 feet to 38,000. Air traffic controllers waited a few minutes, then finally gave the flight permission to go to an altitude of 34,000 feet. Right now the official says no response was received and there was no distress signal.
The same unnamed person said radar indicated the Airbus A320-200 had gone into a climb which was described as, "...very high, too high." There were also reports that not only was the rate of climb outside the capabilities of the aircraft, its air speed was too slow. All of that indicates an aerodynamic stall--the God awful moment when the plane's engines and design are no longer viable. Then, after a breathless pause, rather like the apex of a divers launch off the high board into a pool, the aircraft begins to plunge toward the water--trapped by the unforgiving law of gravity
By now we all should know there will be nothing more than educated guesses until the plane's black box is recovered, which may take weeks. Until then the conspiracy theorists will rail on about some proto-type tractor beam on the international space station which malfunctioned during a test. Think not? At least one of them currently claims the tragedy of QZ8501 was a "red flag" ops meant to distract every ones attention from the disappearance Malaysia Airlines flight MH370--which was either a black flag, false flag, or some other type of fucking flag operation.
Warhol said everyone will be famous for 15 minutes. The world wide web allows everyone, including myself, to be a journalist for about the same amount of time.
It is the nature of the 21st century.
2014 will be gone in a few hours and the new year is about to begin. Despite some fantasies of optimism my advice always remains the same. Stay low, keep moving, and for God's sake, don't bunch up. Hey, we don't want the bastards to get us all with one burst.
sic vita est