Diario de Ibiza reported an answer to the burning question, “Whatever happened to Paris Hilton?” I had to look up Ibiza. It’s an island in the Mediterranean chain called the Balearic Islands, which are ruled by Spain. That was handy for me because the local newspaper publishes in Spanish and I could read it.
The American Very Important Celebrity gave an interview where she announced that she would make a great target for ISIS and so she was “watching her back.” She has been working on Ibiza—where tourism is the principal occupation—as a DJ.
“Last we heard of her,” my cousin Ray Sixkiller snarked, “everybody was watching her back. Her backside, that is.”
For those with short memories for great talent, Hilton was famous for being famous in the sense that she was able to charge fees for attending parties, which would then attract the Beautiful People. She also had a short career in acting that included a reality TV show and a best selling video called One Night in Paris.
“Reality TV?” Cousin Ray was LOL. “Maybe she’s bucking to be the second female POTUS! If ISIS is after her, we better send the Secret Service to Ibiza.”
The source for the ISIS threat against Paris Hilton was…Paris Hilton.
The New York Post put a nude photo of Melania Trump on the front page. Wait a minute. Didn’t the Post endorse Trump?
The Post is doing its cheesy best to help Trump by giving those who have criticized Trump for sexism enough hypocrisy to bury themselves in it. The newspaper is trolling for people to criticize Melania for posing nude.
Trump is still dominating what we used to call “earned media,” meaning publicity the candidate does not have to purchase. The Donald is still wielding Twitter like a weapon.
The speech that got the most attention in the Democratic Convention was by Khizr Khan, whose son was killed in Iraq after he identified a suicide bomber, shouted for his troops to take cover and ran forward to confront the bomber. Khan attacked Trump for wanting to ban Muslims from the U.S.
It is not unusual for Gold Star Parents to use their status for political purposes but it’s an unspoken rule that they’ve earned the platform.
When Cindy Sheehan went after George W. Bush, his surrogates savaged her---but Bush himself did not. Glenn Beck coined the term “tragedy pimp” to describe Sheehan. Karl Rove went after her and most of the right wing punditocracy piled on—but not Bush.
When Patricia Smith went after Hillary Clinton—most recently at the Republican Convention---many of the TV talking heads were pointing out her claim that Clinton lied to her about Benghazi and therefore caused her son’s death made no sense. You can’t cause an event by lying about it afterwards. But Clinton, while disputing Smith’s facts, did not personally attack Smith.
Trump does not follow the usual rules.
Those wondering whether the new management at Fox would back off Fox’s role as the communications wing of the Republican Party had their answer when Fox did not carry Khan’s speech. While Khan spoke, The New York Times reported, “Fox News aired commercials and commentary that was critical of Mrs. Clinton.”
Trump kept the story alive long past its normal shelf life with his tweet salvo against the Khans. Trump’s attacks had the side effect of sucking political oxygen away from the fact that Clinton lied again about her private email server, earning herself four Pinocchios from The Washington Post.
The Washington Post also reported that Angela Wilcox of Jacksonville, Florida went off on an inexplicable profanity-laced tirade against liberals and Muslims and pretty much everybody but Donald Trump.
When another business owner expressed puzzlement about her meaning, Wilcox replied, “[T]hat’s because you are stupid. The number of people killed by Islamic Extremists. You didn’t understand, because you are a stupid regurgitating dummy of the Left.”
It was unclear exactly what set Wilcox off and whether she was sober, but the tirade went viral and resulted in the Florida Creamery being hammered on Facebook, Yelp, and Google. One reviewer claimed, “The ice cream is as bitter and cold as the owner.”
Foreign Policy reported that Swedish police officer Mikaela Kellner was sunbathing when a man tried to steal a phone from a woman nearby. Not thinking of her clothes or lack of same, Kellner gave chase. The arrest was captured on video.
A civilian video of a police encounter in this country often involves somebody getting shot. The Swedish video showed a man being subdued by a half-naked woman who turned out to be a cop.
“That’s Sweden,” Cousin Ray laughed. “There’s no guns in Sweden.”
Well, not exactly. The U.S. is number one in civilian gun ownership, but Sweden is a respectable ten. Of course, their guns are less than two percent handguns and the U.S. is about 30 percent. Swedes have so many guns from serving in a “well-regulated militia.” We just pretend to have one of those.
Hyperallergic.com reported that a street mural originally commissioned by Jersey City has been painted over without notice in spite of the artist’s efforts to deal with complaints that just kept coming.
Gary Wynans is the real name of the artist, who goes by Mr. AbiLLity, and his mural was on the street at a pedestrian plaza in the form of a giant Monopoly board. It was unclear which complaints were actually from the public and when ones from city bureaucrats anticipating what the public would think, but Mr. AbiLLity made many changes:
The city objected to “Gentrification Tax” and so it became a “Hipster Tax.”
A policeman depicted as a pig was changed to a “Simpsons-like character.”
Another piece of public art in the neighborhood was depicted with the label “cool statute,” but it was changed to its real name because it was a memorial dedicated to victims of the Katyn Massacre.
The jail square was claimed to aggravate racist stereotypes, a criticism that drew some chuckles because the dark-skinned man in jail was a self-portrait of the artist.
Apparently weary of the complaints in spite of the artist’s cooperation, the city painted the Monopoly board over with green paint without warning.
The next day, the green patch in the street acquired comments in white chalk, including “CENSORED.” The city power washed the chalk away the same day, censoring the censorship complaint.
SouthAfrica.info reported that the Thembalethu Clinic in Johannesburg is testing a pharmacy dispensing unit (PDU), which is something like an ATM. To use it, a patient registers and gets a card with a personal identification number (PIN) just like an ATM card. It does have a video link so the patient can speak to a pharmacist if there are questions.
The New York Times published an op-ed by Julia Angwin for ProPublica about the use of mathematical algorithms to make decisions that affect people’s lives, like whether they can get credit or whether they can get on a commercial airline.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court, Angwin reported, has struck a blow for human being oversight by requiring that judges be informed of the limitations of risk predicting algorithms and that those numbers could not, alone, determine the sentence.
ProPublica did a study showing that predictions the algorithms made of future crimes were wrong 40 percent of the time on the side of predicting crime that didn’t happen. More disturbing, the false positives were twice as high for blacks than for whites.
Cousin Ray wanted to know if that proves numbers have race?
I suppose they have as much of it as human beings do.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that UFOs appear to be lurking above the Gateway Arch. The moving lights appeared on both hand held videos and various surveillance videos with fixed views around St. Louis. Neither Scott Air Force Base nor the FAA could suggest any source for the lights to the Post-Dispatch.
“Easy,” Cousin Ray chortled, “E.T. mistook the Gateway Arch for very big golden arches and he was having a Big Mac attack.”
The Pryor Creek Daily Times reported that an investigation was opened into whether Brian Mossier, former police chief of Big Cabin, Oklahoma, was still using a city credit card to buy gasoline almost two years since leaving office. After surveillance video appeared to confirm the theft, a judge issued a search warrant for the ex-chief’s home.
Evidence was seized related to the credit card but the big catch was not one but two meth labs. The ex-chief and his wife were jailed for manufacturing methamphetamine, credit card fraud, and possession of marijuana. The two small children living with the meth labs were placed with relatives by Child Welfare.
Cousin Ray could not resist pointing out Big Cabin’s reputation some years ago as the best known speed trap in the Cherokee Nation. “As Big Cabin used to say in those days, ‘Speed kills!’”