Howdy, pardners! This is a new and unfortunate feature that I'm sure will become regular. If anyone has nominations for inclusion, send 'em along. This is your country:
* A group of airport security dopes, after years of escalating attacks on our personal freedoms and dignity, finally went whole hog and killed a person in their custody. The victim? A 45 year old mother who was jerked around by airport security on her way to an alcohol treatment facility. It's claimed she strangled herself with her cell restraints. This is how people turned up dead in the Soviet Union and apartheid South Africa, by the way. People seem to have a nasty habit of fatal accidents in police custody... What's especially chilling to me is the way that this has been reported. When police state that that they had "no alternative" other than have 4-5 large male officers wrestle a 108 pound woman to the ground, this is reported straightforwardly with no questions asked. Burmese media is reporting the use of force in a similar fashion these days.
* Two Las Vegas airport cops administered a severe, baton-twirling beating (video) to a National Guardsman on leave from Iraq. His crime? Questioning their out of control behavior. At Reagan National Airport, another woman got what you'd expect from an institution so named - a rent-a-cop take down. Everyone feel safer?
* Despite an overwhelming public disapproval of the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US Senate voted 92-3 to continue fully funding it (to the tune of $150,000,000,000, borrowed of course), with 4 of the 5 abstentions from the vote being presidential candidates too chickenshit to take a position, and 3 of those 4 being Democrats. At the same time, a $7B/year SCHIP program that'd provide health coverage to 4 million American children for 5 years was voted down on the grounds that it was "too expensive," and even in this case the revenue plan was to extract the funds from working people via extra taxes on cigarettes.
* The Supreme Court of the United States refused to hear a case that sought to overturn Alabama's ban on dildo sales. I'm not making this up; sale of dildos is illegal in Alabama, and the federal courts are uninterested in overturning that. Incidentally, Alabama has almost no restrictions of any sort on gun sales. "WWJD?"