Your Monday* Random-Ass Roundup: Enough.

I don’t know what, if anything, can be learned from the fatal beating of 16-year-old Chicago honor student Derrion Albert. I don’t know if there are enough words to appropriately convey the tragedy. And I don’t know if watching the gruesome video footage will help much.

But I do know that this is no referendum on “the black community.” Derrion’s death is no more a reflection on me, my kin, my friends or my neighbors than, say, Thomas Junta was for hockey dads:

Chicago Beating Death Vigil

But most importantly, RIP Derrion. You deserved far better. And so do we:

1. The St. Pete (Fla.) Times is running a three-story series about what happens to people whose health care benefits run out or don’t completely cover their bills. Links here, here and here. (Blackink)

2. Nearly half of the U.S. private-sector workforce does not have paid sick leave, setting the stage for a “worse-than-usual” flu season as the country braces for another major sweep of the H1N1 swine flu virus. Apparently, sick leave is for socialists. (Blackink)

3. Justice Ginsburg was hospitalized on Friday night for lightheadedness, but was released and returned to work (Monday) morning. (G.D.)

4. Gov. David Paterson of New York went on “Meet the Press” and vowed to resist the people calling for him to opt out of his re-election bid, while denying that the president asked him not to run. (G.D.)

5. Everyone should read John Cassidy’s fantastic explanation on why markets do crazy things in this week’s New Yorker.  (Quadmoniker)

6. During the debate over President Clinton’s plan for health care reform in the early 1990s, large corporate interests paid for and staged “grassroots revolts” at Congressional town hall meetings. Sound familiar? Rolling Stone has the scoop. (Blackink)

7. From the Dept. of Things I Wish Weren’t True: a Facebook poll asks “should Obama be killed?” (Blackink)

8. Sarah Palin’s recent visit to Hong Kong reminds us that IOKIYAR. (Blackink)

9. Gruesome details about the death of Census worker Bill Sparkman can be found here. And appropriate mocking of irresponsible speculation by Dan Riehl can be found here.

10. In a time of flat wages and greater debt burden, the LA Times highlights the increasing numbers of Americans who are using their homes as a “second job.” Said former Labor Secretary Robert Reich: “We can no longer assume that housing will be as good an investment for the future as it has been.” (Blackink)

11. A look at how criminals communicate. (G.D.)

12. Some homeless sex offenders in Georgia have set up camp in the woods because they are forbidden by law to live virtually anywhere else. (G.D.)

13. Speaking of sex offenders, here’s a roundup of posts at Feministing about Roman Polanski. (Blackink)

14. Discouraged journalists can take heart in the story of Jerry Mitchell, who’s been featured on “On the Media” before and now gets to call himself a genius. (Quadmoniker)

15. Sociological Images put together an interesting interactive graphic showing political contributions by U.S. companies. (Blackink)

16. Fidel loves the kids: a new book about the longtime Cuban dictator claims that he has fathered 10 children by six women, and possibly 11 by seven. Shawn Kemp would be impressed. (Blackink)

17. Simon Johnson asks if the G20 is legitimate. (Blackink)

18. NPR profiles Chris Howard, the new 40-year-old president of Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. Why mention this? Howard is black; his school is 93 percent white. (Blackink)

19. The always excellent James Fallows has a series of posts about obesity here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. It all started with this comment: “Not as many very fat large Americans as I was expecting. Am I looking in the wrong places?” (Blackink)

20. Tufts University has banned any sex act in a dorm room “while one’s roommate is present.” If only this rule had existed my freshman year of college. (Blackink)

21. Ten sexual controversies that changed TV. Guess we’ll have to take their word for it.  (Blackink)

22. This must have been an interesting afternoon at City Hall: Detroit dancers, DJs and club owners recently asked city council members to leave strip clubs aloooooooooone! I wonder what Kwame Kilpatrick has to say about this. (Blackink)

23. A map shows that somewhere in South Dakota is the McFarthest Spot. (Blackink)

24. America’s largest dry city got officially “wet” last week. h/t Off the Kuff. (Blackink)

25. Hoping to capitalize on his unparalleled campaigning talents, Chicago is turning to President Obama in its bid to land the 2016 Olympics. Matt Yglesias wants to know why anyone would want to host the Games. Katie Connolly looks at the pros and cons. (Blackink)

26. After exhaustive research, Eamonn Brennan answers the question we’ve all been dying to know: yes, President Obama sometimes wears shorts when playing basketball. (Blackink)

27. Fifteen years after the Rams and Raiders left, Los Angeles seems to be moving closer to bringing the NFL back to town. NBC LA speculates the San Diego Chargers are the franchise most likely to make the move. (Blackink)

As always, feel free to drop links, chat amongst yourselves, offer effusive praise or hurl anonymous insults. Just don’t throw tomatoes.

*It was Monday when I started putting this post together.


Joel Anderson —blackink —  writes about sports, politics, crime, courts, and other issues far beyond his competence at BuzzFeed. He has worked at media outlets in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Atlanta and contributed to a number of publications, including The Root and The American Prospect, among many others.
  • But I do know that this is no referendum on “the black community.” Derrion’s death is no more a reflection on me, my kin, my friends or my neighbors than, say, Thomas Junta was for hockey dads.

    Thank you for this, man. I was just saying this same thing to someone last night. The reactions to tragedies like this are always so predictable: “what is happening to our community?”; “where did we go wrong?”

    i really don’t get casting this as a moral issue. Or, i should say, I get it, but I don’t know why people cling to the speechifying and moral indignation as if it ever works.

  • ladyfresh

    i made it to #6 before my eyes did backflips go rolling stone!

    The lead is a tragedy that’s been on my periphery and wasn’t fully aware of (i’ve been traveling and bombarded with work so i’ve been tuning out for the most part) thanks for the update

  • -k-

    You all don’t want me to get any work done, ever, do you?

    (I love these posts.)