May 28, 2008

Car keys gripped

Police have identified a Hampton man found dead in a parking lot on Saturday, but have no witnesses, no explanations, and no leads in the investigation of the murder.

Edilberto Rodriguez-Castro was shot once in the forehead, according to the police report, and died lying face-up in an empty parking space, with his car keys gripped in his right hand.

"A substantial amount of blood was exiting from a hole in his forehead," Officer T. Garret wrote in the report. "The victim was completely unresponsive."

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily:
Police identify murdered man, but have no leads

May 27, 2008

As if it were the tradition

Every Memorial Day, I have this angst again, as if it were the tradition. I find I buy flags I don't need, sing songs I don't remember, troll the TV and the Internet to read names I don't know, and always, sometime in the late afternoon, I think I should just jump in the car, drive to the border and find some fireworks to explode.

Read the column, We need a way to remember, @ at the Clayton News Daily

May 24, 2008

To make things right

In the middle of the memorial song, the woman stopped to cry.

She was singing about Jesus and about trusting Jesus to make things right, and then she choked up, turned to the woman next to her, hugged her tightly, and cried.

A few dozen friends of Edward Bernard Mills, a 17-year-old who was shot to death on a Sunday afternoon in October, gathered with candles at the scene of the murder, Thursday evening. As one woman wept, another took up the singing, and then began to pray.

"Father God," she said, "we know you know what happened. Father God, we ask you for justice."

Mills, known to those who mourn his death as "Boo-Man," has been dead and buried since last year. The Clayton County Police caught someone in connection with the killing, and have charged him. But 17-year-old Jeffrey Winslow, Jr., who allegedly murdered Mills in an argument over marijuana and money, has not been indicted by a grand jury in the required time, and may be tried as a juvenile, instead of as an adult.

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily:
Facing indictment delay, murdered boy's mother asks for justice
A little bit of everything

The return of the one-man band
The last interview with Hasil Adkins
Conservatives have trouble with narratives
Everyone has trouble with narratives
Palahnniuk's porn
40 years after priest led war protest
Playing with the perception of clouds
Looks like a duck...
Boxing: the correographed barbarism and the undisputed truth
What we lost when we blogged
Leave Hitler out of it
Is American conservatism dying?
Detainee 063
Please don't go to college!
Recreating child's drawings
Conscientious objecter sentenced in court martial
Elvis in Germany
Mikhail Bakhtin's carnivalesqe and grotesque
Bakhtin's 'feeling for religion'
German humor explained
Journalism: the most stifling literary form ever conceived outside of metric poetry

May 22, 2008

Inappropriately touching

Clayton County Police have detained a 15-year-old, saying he may have bitten a woman on the buttocks at Wal-Mart.

The juvenile was being interviewed by detectives on Wednesday afternoon, and may be connected to as many as 12 cases of inappropriately touching women.

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily

May 21, 2008

Hamilton Jordan, who was the architect of the Jimmy Carter presidency, fought cancer for a long time, and was a self-described "political animal" who later became disillusioned with the system of American democracy, died of cancer on Tuesday at the age of 63.

May he rest in peace.

May 20, 2008

Muddling and doubt

I think I have to grant that this world is a mess, and we're all trying to interpret our way out of darkness and just guess our way to God.

So in a world this confused, this full of muddling and doubt, where we compromise, take half-measures and make do, maybe trying is enough. Maybe at the end, all any of us will be able to say is we tried, we cared and we did the best we knew.

The Davises would reject this, I know, but I'm trying to hold myself to a standard of grace and hope. I just want to grab on to any of the "better angels" flying so low I can catch them.

Read the full column:
In defense of some 'fundamentalist freaks'
This current war

The younger soldier, a colonel in a camouflage uniform, stopped and bent down to listen to the old man.

A soldier of this current war, the "War on Terror," the man had just gotten off of a flight from Baghdad. The other man, the old man wearing big glasses, is a veteran of World War II, called the "Good War." He's a soldier who saw combat at the invasion of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge.

For a few minutes, passing each other at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the two soldiers stopped to talk.

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily:
170 WWII veterans travel to D.C. for war memorial

May 18, 2008


Tom Speer sat on the couch, slumping in his salmon-colored shirt, and staring at nothing.

He looked shell-shocked, like he couldn't quite take it in, couldn't quite process the tragedy and didn't know what to say.

He said, "I think the thieves take away, and we pay. The police dusted for fingerprints and they got a glove print. How can you prosecute a glove print?"

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily:
Guard dogs brutally attacked in catalytic converter heist

May 16, 2008

Oh, how we danced and we swallowed the night
For it was all ripe for dreaming
Oh, how we danced away all of the lights
We've always been out of our minds

The rum pours strong and thin
Beat out the dustman with the rain dogs
Aboard a shipwreck train
Give my umbrella to the rain dogs
For I am a rain dog too
                    -- Tom Waits

I have two tickets to see Tom Waits (again!) in Atlanta, at the end of the "Glitter and Doom Tour." Beth and I are going -- 7/5/08, the day after Independance Day.
To wit

The mother of a murdered man said, if she were the judge, she would sentence the woman accused of killing her son to therapy.

According to Wanda Holliday, her 23-year-old son, Rickey Nathaniel Holliday, "physically and psychologically abused" Shanica Lashunda Benson until she stabbed him.

Benson, now 26, was indicted by a grand jury on Wednesday on charges of murder and aggravated assault. According to the indictment, she stabbed him with the three-inch blade "of a certain kitchen knife during the course of a crime, to wit: murder."

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily:
Mother of murdered man pleads for accused killer

How James Frey saved himself
James Frey thinks he's so smart
n+1 and the big cheese
'All the sad young literary men'
n+1 and the lit mag battles
Journalism, literature and A.J. Liebling
When Walter Cronkite is the patron saint
The Weather Underground + McCarthyism + Swiftboating = 2008?
Black people scare the shit out of America
Obama = Curious George?
The Obama-Clinton decision tree
Obama = God?
Zizek on ethical adherence to the messianic moment
Zizek's act
Reward doubled for Nazi-hunters
Detroit's Neo Nazi have "economic answers"
How to remember what never happened
'KGB' to Orthodox: Don't remember what happened
Orthodox Church re-instated in Russia
The Little Billy letters
Keyes rejected by third party
Bob Barr to Nader McCain
First genetically modified embryo is flourescent green
Robert Redford & Wendell Berry
Is alternative agriculture possible?
What happens when you bat out of order?
Why does the "blogosphere' look like a galaxy?
Hendrix's sex tape
David Lynch's "fuck you flag"
The beauty myth and the "lad mag"
Hollywood is post-female
Behind 'Grandtheft Auto'
Famous bookstore is run by jerk
The library at night
Triumph of the thriller
30 years of spam
Lure of heresy
Hitchen's "undertow of violence"
Preparing for the last book
The decline of Smiths
Mexican virtual kidnappings
Karl has finished with his smoking
The neural Buddhists
Wrench in the system: Seeking to be unmarketable
Volunteers should stay home
Appreciating Jack Chick
Priest gets carried away by balloons

May 14, 2008

The old vet
The old vet

Bill Wichser, who served with the Navy in both theaters of World War II, waits for a plane to take him and 100 other vets to Washington D.C., to see the monument there. The monument was completed 59 years after the war ended. Wichser, who was widowed last year, said, "I didn't think I would ever get to see it, and I wouldn't if it weren't for this trip."
Police shootings 1 & 2

1. An unidentified man in his mid-20s was shot five times by a Riverdale police officer, while allegedly crashing a station wagon full of stolen shoes into the officer's car.

"The officer opened the door to get out of his vehicle," Police Chief Samuel F. Patterson said, "and the man revved up, or gunned the motor, and approached in a direct line of assault. If the door had not been halfway open and the door hadn't taken the hit, the vehicle would have hit the officer."

The policeman fell back into his Ford Crown Victoria and shot at the Ford Escort seven times. Five bullets hit the driver.

According to Patterson, the officer then put away his gun, pulled the wounded man from the car, and tried to "put pressure on the wounds to try to keep him from bleeding out," until an ambulance arrived.

2. Police said the officers shot Turman four times in the chest with .40-caliber bullets as the Jonesboro man attempted to flee the scene of a prostitution sting, running his tan Nissan pick-up truck into one officer's left leg.

After the fatal shooting, investigators found a clear plastic bag inside his truck, containing 31 bags of crack cocaine, seven bags of powdered cocaine, six bags of marijuana, one "cookie" of crack cocaine, and 16 ecstasy pills, all packaged to sell, according to a deputy chief....

"Nobody wants an abusive or unnecessarily violent police force," attorney Keith Martin said, "but nobody wants police officers who are timid, because they crawl into their police cruiser at the beginning of a shift worried they might face a situation that will make them have to face a murder indictment."

May 13, 2008

All the tribes

Salmon Boy asked, Didn't you know that Moses was a Navajo? He asked, Haven't you heard of the lost tribes?

Everybody is lost, said Seymour.

                  - Sherman Alexie, in 'South by Southwest'

May 11, 2008

As I thought it was
Some unwritten essays and partially formed thoughts while on a week's vacation

1. Reading Jimmy Breslin's view of politics as paperwork mounds and illusionary power and watching the 2008 candidate qualifying--where rumors are confirmed and conspiracies pop up their heads--I find I think politics is, actually, under-studied. Even when I was poli-sci in school, this was true. We, in our politics-saturated country, think politically, we think of everything in terms of political alignments, and we deify political theories and positions and ideologies, but we know next to nothing about how politics is done. It still shocks us. It still shocks me. It still lays under cover of ignorance, like we don't know what politics is and we don't care, but just care who is in power.

2. The seminary's children have been coming door-to-door, this week, giving each seminary townhouse flowers, picked from across the street, then candy, tootsie rolls and little chocolate eggs, and then rocks. The little kids had two bowls of rocks. One little boy told me the bigger ones were in the bottom bowl, if I wanted a bigger rock, and I said I thought a small one would be fine. The whole time he was jumping up and down in place, flapping his arms.

3. In the library, an article in a periodical examines the theological and biblical basis for snake handling. The article concludes that snake handling, an all-but non-existent sect-of-a-sect practice mostly kept alive as a memory of a spectacle, is not in fact authorized as an exercise or demonstration of faith by the bible. Even though I have never practiced snake handling, met anyone who practiced snake handling, or met anyone who believed in practicing snake handling, I find that depressing. There are three possible reasons I find it depressing: 1) I like freak shows and think they're valuable even though I can't participate. 2) There's absolutely no joy in rhetorically or theologically destroying something that has been thoroughly obliterated already, especially when you're not even going to pretend to consider it. 3) The world is as cynical, rational, devoid of faith and absent of God as I thought it was, and that's depressing.

4. Journalism is the best job in the world.

5. There is something different about the way violence and sexual violence come into the world. Both exist in the place where accepted, law-structured, civilized society had broken. With murders and assaults, though, I get this feeling that something snapped or broke loose, while with rape there's always the sense that all this has been imagined before. The idea is that the act of non-sexual violence is in some way a surprise, even if planned, while the act of sexual violence has already been committed countless times, over and over and over in fantasy, and has just, this time, bubbled up. I find this in the details: In murders, obvious but surreal things are said, things like, "You shot me," or a bloody knife from a domestic violence murder will be placed with dirty dishes as if the normal routines of domesticity have the capacity to restore the order disrupted by the violence. In rape, though, there are pre-planned statements and speeches, (e.g. "You know you want it"), all weirdly making the same argument that this act of violence is normal and acceptable.

6. I still, after everything, have faith in stories.

May 6, 2008

I remember being a child in the back seat of a big car, watching a blue balloon float away from a used car lot.

I think I asked where the balloon would go, and my dad said maybe the ocean, or maybe Mexico.

"Why?" I said. And he said, "because it's drifting away."

I didn't know if that was good or bad, but I decided I thought it would be OK.

Read the full column @ the Clayton News Daily:
When the revelations fade
Not to tell

As Kelvin White, Jr., sped away from the scene of a shooting, police say, he called his ex-girlfriend and told her not to tell the police who he was.

She did anyway.

Shiana Harris, 26, told Clayton County police detectives White, the father of her child, was the man who shot her brothers on Wednesday afternoon, and she identified him in a police picture.

By Friday morning, the man's photo was prominently displayed on Atlanta's Crime Stoppers web site, wanted posters were being sent to news outlets and the man's family was working with detectives and the United States Marshals Service to find the 24-year-old White and bring him into the Clayton County police station.

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily:
Stockbridge man wanted in shooting of 2 brothers

May 2, 2008

This is what

A 27-year-old Atlanta Police officer, who lives in Rex, has been arrested on charges he raped his neighbor.

Edward L. Rabb allegedly admitted to Clayton County Police "the woman said 'no' when he put his hand under her shirt," but he continued his sexual advances, anyway, because she was "shy," and had "low self-esteem," according to court documents.

When the woman told him to stop and told him it hurt, Rabb said "that this is what she needed, and what she liked, and that he did not want to hear her whining, because that is what he hears all day from the people at work," according to the police report.

Rabb is a member of the Atlanta Police Department's "Red Dog Unit," an elite, street-level interdiction team focusing on drugs and drug-related violence. He is currently suspended.

The woman, who is not being named because of the nature of the alleged crime, told Clayton County Police officers her boyfriend had told her if she ever needed anything, she could trust the neighbor, "because he's a cop."

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily:
Cop charged with raping neighbor