Saturday, February 18, 2012

Left Side of the Aisle #44 - Part 2

Outrage of the Week: gas attack

First, a footnote to last week’s outrage of the week, which referred to a report by the Bureau for Investigative Journalism that documented hundreds of civilian deaths due to US - more exactly, CIA - drone attacks in Pakistan, including cases of deliberate attacks on rescuers and funerals.

It turns out that the New York Times story I quoted may have been the only story in the US mainstream media on the report;according to media watchdog FAIR, only a story at and one on Democracy Now! come up in a news database search. So add to the outrage the fact that the story was ignored if not actively suppressed by our oh-so-self-righteously independent media.

This week we consider the story of Harold Wayne Hadley, Jr. He is 19 years old and a straight A student at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, Mississippi.

Recently, he was sitting in the men's room in the school library. He was doodling on some toilet paper, and he wrote "I passed a bomb in the library." Which, in a rational world, anyone would understand as meaning he passed gas.

But it's not a rational world. Someone found the note, gave it to a teracher who recognized his handwriting, and all hell broke loose. Eleven emergency agencies responded to the school, but there was - of course - no bomb.

In what I expect was an attempt to - you'll pardon the expression - cover their asses over this insane overreaction, officials had Hadley arrested and held on $20,000 bail under a charge of threatening to blow up the school. If convicted, he faces 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Our paranoia is so deep and so ingrained that Hadley is faced with a 10-year prison term for a fart joke. It sounds utterly nonsensical. And it is - which is why it is the Outrage of the Week.


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