The final indignity

You know, Arizona, it’s bad enough your execution cocktail didn’t work too well and the guy you were trying to kill “repeatedly gasped for one hour and 40 minutes” before he finally died. But then you compounded it by sending a death announcement out to the media misidentifying the man who was killed.

News outlets, including TPM, received the announcement at 3:56 p.m. Arizona time, just seven minutes after Wood was pronounced dead. The first paragraph of the announcement was this:

PHOENIX, AZ (Wednesday, July 23, 2014) – After several days of legal maneuvering, Attorney General Tom Horne is announcing the execution of 55-year-old, Robert G. Jones, ADC #086279. The execution commenced at 1:52 p.m. at the Arizona State Prison Complex (ASPC)-Florence. He was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m.


A short time later, at 4:16 p.m. local time, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office sent out a corrected announcement with the name highlighted:

PHOENIX, AZ (Wednesday, July 23, 2014) – After several days of legal maneuvering, Attorney General Tom Horne is announcing the execution of 55-year-old, Joseph R.Wood III, ADC #086279. The execution commenced at 1:52 p.m. at the Arizona State Prison Complex (ASPC)-Florence. He was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m.

Mr. Jones was executed by the state in October of last year.

It’s nice to know Arizona takes its death penalty responsibilities so seriously, isn’t it?

Day-old news, but still pertinent

Texas likes to say it’s got the biggest and best of everything. Well, it’s certainly got one of the biggest political idiots in the country. Governor Rick Perry, who thankfully has decided not to run for a fourth term as Governor, has decided that he should send 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border to help do something about the women and children coming into the country from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.

If the refugees were invading with knives held in their teeth, bandoliers across their chests and rifles in their hands I could see sending soldiers to the region to repel them. As it is, they get across the river and peacefully surrender to Border Patrol agents. It seems to me Perry would do better sending 1,000 immigration judges and social workers down there; that’s what’s needed. After all, Perry’s predecessor as Governor of Texas is the guy who signed the law which requires that “most of the unaccompanied minors being caught by Border Patrol agents must be handed over to the Department of Health and Human Services, which coordinates care for them, finds them safe housing and helps advise them on their legal rights as their immigration cases are decided.”

It’s still the law, Governor. How you can mistake the National Guard for DHHS is beyond me. Those new glasses you’re sporting need their prescription checked.

New library!

The new Aiea Library, opened on Saturday, July 19, 2014 -- Photo credit: Kennard S Chong

The new Aiea Library, opened on Saturday, July 19, 2014 — Photo credit: Kennard S Chong

Look where I get to go to get books now! Control your envy, all you librarian friends! Here are two more pictures from the architects, and here’s a TV news story about the history and construction on the site.

I walked in there today, and it’s wonderful! It’s got Catalog computers, wifi Internet computers, books, books, books, DVDs, CDs, big spacious meeting rooms, about three times as many parking stalls as the old facility, and a wonderful view.

The neighborhood is happy!

Crash in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin is incapable of shame or embarrassment, I’m afraid. He’s certainly not going to admit any guilt for supporting the murderous vandals who managed to kill 298 people on Malaysia Air Flight 17 with a sophisticated anti-aircraft missile. Nor is he going to assist investigators by giving them a clear path to do their work, judging from the refusal on the part of pro-Russian separatists to allow them onto the crime scene.

Ukraine released a video which purportedly shows a missile launcher large enough to shoot down a plane at 33,000 feet leaving the country heading for Russia. There’s no way to verify that it was the one which was fired at MH17, though.

I think Vlad has a bunch of tigers by the tail in Eastern Ukraine who have now brought down the wrath of Europe, Asia and the United States upon him, and he doesn’t know how to get out from under. Therefore he blusters. He’s a champ at that.


The claim about the current influx of mothers and children to the US from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador which infuriates me the most is the one which says they’re bringing diseases into this country. Not true.

While some of the kids are indeed ill, they don’t have anything exotic or unexpected, said Dr. Mark Ward of Texas Children’s Hospital, who is president of the Texas Pediatric Society.

“As might be expected from children that had endured long journeys, they are tired,” Ward told NBC News. Some have common diarrheal and respiratory illnesses, he said.


World Bank statistics indicate that some of the countries that the kids are traveling from actually have higher vaccination rates than the United States. The U.S. has a 92 percent vaccination rate for measles. Mexico vaccinates 99 percent of its children; Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras all have a 93 percent vaccination rate.

Then there’s the lie that Representative Phil Gingrey, a Republican (of course) from Georgia is spreading: that these kids will bring Ebola to our shores. Now, Gingrey is a physician. He knows damned well that Ebola comes only from Africa and spreads via physical contact and only physical contact with someone who’s got it

Ebola then spreads in the community through human-to-human transmission, with infection resulting from direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people,

and he should be reprimanded by his local medical association for knowingly saying otherwise. As Charlie Pierce says,

The idea that an elected official even would consider ginning up that kind of thing by appealing to the nativist ignorance of his audience is nearly beyond belief. That said elected official is a physician is an almost comical disgrace. That anyone anywhere would do it while people are dying unremarked in an authentically terrifying medical catastrophe, simply because his primary audience is made up of people who simply hate the undifferentiated brown people with whom they have to share the planet, makes Phil Gingrey an object of justified contempt.

Lucky me

I went out to the driveway this afternoon, fear and trepidation in my heart. I was sure the car wouldn’t start, simply because it hadn’t been driven long enough after I got it jumped last night.

I was wrong. It started right up and purred along as though it had never run down. Phew.

How did I do that?

A neighbor came over with some apple bananas from her backyard tree and advised me that my car tail lights were on. I can’t understand how they got left on, but since she came over at 7:30pm and I got home and out of the car around 1:30pm, the battery was well and truly run down. I had to beg help from her to get the thing recharged.

That was fairly amusing. Her husband has a new car and he hasn’t had to open the hood yet, nor is he sure where the battery is in it. So we borrowed his wife’s car and then tried to figure out how to open the hood on my Mini. I finally found the lever under the bonnet (not hood, mind you; British car, remember?) and then had to remove the battery cover to get at the posts to attach the clips.

We got that done and it started. I let it run for about ten minutes and then drove up and down the hill. When I parked it I turned it off and restarted it without trouble; we’ll see if it works in the morning. Fortunately I have no major errands to run or doctors to visit tomorrow.

Fun, yeah? When I got back I got to clean up the kitchen from dinner, too, which I’d neglected while dealing with the car crisis. What an evening!


Israel equating Hamas’s rockets to the IDF’s air strikes is the purest form of sophistry: “a subtle, tricky, superficially plausible, but generally fallacious method of reasoning.”

There have been at least 145 Palestinian deaths since this all began on Tuesday. There have been zero Israeli deaths.

Who the hell are the Israelis trying to kid? Themselves?