Your Tuesday Random-Ass Roundup: Worst People in the World?

With all due respect to Keith Olbermann and his staff, Pat Buchanan, Glenn Beck and Rep. Allen West are making things awfully easy for tonight’s “Countdown” producers.

Regarding West in particular, it’s hard to take someone seriously if they’re older than 23, gainfully employed and still wearing a box. Even my uncle who retired from the military gave that up about five years ago.

But would *you* be the one to tell him that he needs to let it go?

On to more serious matters:

1. Self-confessed Oslo terror suspect Anders Behring Breivik wrote about the “Islamization of Western Europe” and multiculturalism, echoing the extremist chatter of many European populist parties across the continent. Breivik’s manifesto — which refers to Muslims as “wild animals” — “shows that he was also influenced by a vocal group of American bloggers and writers who have warned of a growing Muslim threat to Western culture.” (Blackink)

2. NPR is doing a weeklong series on the long-term consequences of the nation’s dropout crisis. “Almost half a million black teenagers drop out of school each year. Most will end up unemployed by their mid-30s. Six out of 10 black male dropouts will spend time in prison.” (G.D.)

3. On the heels of some great reporting from News21, The Washington Post says that farmers market chicken has tested positive for campylobacter and salmonella.  The article names and shames the farms and farmers that are the source of the meat, and mentions in passing that supermarket samples were contaminated as well.  The supermarkets get to remain nameless, however. From the article: “Altogether, five out of seven markets and grocery stores tested positive for campylobacter, and two of the five also tested positive for salmonella. It demonstrates how easy it is to find pathogens — no matter which market or grocery store a consumer patronizes.”  For what it’s worth, 1) I’ll take my chances at the farmers market- at least I know who to complain to if I get sick and 2) rolling your peaches around in raw chicken juice is never a good plan, no matter where the meat comes from. (Nicole)

4. Conflicting details from the day Mother Jones reporter Mac McClelland spent with a young rape victim in Port-au-Prince – and the resulting fallout – has “divided much of Haiti’s once tight-knit community of Western journalists and aid workers.” (Blackink)

5. Just after midnight Sunday, Niagara Falls hosted what’s believed to be the first same-sex marriage in New York. The falls went rainbow to mark the occasion. (Blackink)

6. Speaking of marriage (sorta), the trial of polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs started Monday in San Angelo, Texas. He is charged with sexual assault of a child and aggravated sexual assault of a child stemming from his “celestial marriages” to two underage girls. If convicted, Jeffs could face life in prison. (Blackink)

7. The latest estimates from the famine in East Africa show nearly 11 million people in danger (3 million in Somalia alone need immediate assistance), and the possibility of 2,500 deaths a day in Somalia by August.  Twenty. Five. Hundred. A. DAY.  Al-Shabab, the militia that controls the area where the famine is centered, has refused to allow humanitarian organizations to distribute aid (in fact, I have and the Somalis that can leave are streaming into refugee camps).  Charles Kenny, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, argues that famine is a crime, and The Economist says that old rivalries between Ethiopia and Eritrea are making matters worse. (Nicole)

8. The National Geographic Society has released some images of Machu Picchu from the expeditions of former academic, explorer and U.S. Senator Hiram Bingham in 1911-1915. They are definitely worth the click. (Blackink)

9. Maryland is home to the House Minority Whip (Rep. Steny Hoyer) and ranking members on the House Budget, Intelligence and Oversight committees.  As the state prepares to redistrict, African Americans in the state government are split on whether to protect the powerful incumbents or remake the map so that it better reflects Maryland’s actual population- only a quarter of state reps are black, as opposed to half of Maryland’s population.  By all accounts, Rep. Hoyer and Gov. Martin O’Malley will have a big part in the redistricting process, further complicating matters. (Nicole)

10. Once a small independent bookstore in Ann Arbor, nearly 400 Borders outlets are set to close forever. Fourteen writers pay their respects at Salon; Dave Weigel reminisces; and Andrew Sullivan rounds up more reaction. (Blackink)

11. Mark Bittman throws his support behind a soda tax. (Nicole)

12. Nicki Minaj? Maya Rudolph? Erykah Badu? Solange? Eddie and Ralph sort through the contenders for title of the black Zooey Deschanel. (Blackink)

13. Dave Chappelle tells one joke and then proceeds to stare down an audience member for an hour. (G.D.)

14. Sasha Frere-Jones eulogizes Amy Winehouse. And Big Boi and MIA have each released their own tributes. (Blackink)

15. In honor of football’s glorious return, another reason to hate the Eagles. (Nicole)

16. And finally, nine ways women make the cover of Sports Illustrated. (Blackink)

Read. Comment. Enjoy.


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.
  • -k-

    I don’t know if this is way off, but I wonder if the McClelland story would have blown up in the way it did if the topic of the more recent essay had been different. Or if the mechanism by which she worked through her pain were, say, boozing to the point of blackout. There could still be legitimate complaints about the way she initially reported the story of the woman who was raped and continued to be write about it after she’d been asked to cease and desist, but I’m trying this as a thought experiment and I’m not sure what I think- whether the vitriol is about sex, perceptions of sensationalism, or both.

  • belmontmedina

    Russell Brand had a great tribute to Amy as well.

  • “rolling your peaches around in raw chicken juice is never a good plan, no matter where the meat comes from.”

    DAMN IT. *Now* you tell me this? That’s the only way Jub WON’T eat them.

  • lsn

    it’s hard to take someone seriously if they’re older than 23, gainfully employed and still wearing a box.

    OK, I have to ask – what does “wearing a box” in this context mean? Because in the cricket-playing part of the world I come from a “box” is a groin protector worn by batsmen. I admit I’m getting amusing mental images of suited male politicians carefully inserting their groin protectors, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what was meant. Even if it would help cut down on some of the more bizarre recent sex scandals.