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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


DeeLuzon: "Passing Certainty"


Thanks to DeeLuzon for this post

i've always had the problem, when arguing with staunch conservatives or when watching/listening to them spout off, of thinking it's an unfair fight. Liberals are always willing to concede that they might be wrong, that things could change, that they are sometimes uncertain. Conservatives are NEVER uncertain. Dick Cheney's rule was what, "5%" or something? if there were just that much of a possibility that the evildoers were going to nuke us or mail anthrax to us or rig the futures market on duct tape, then it was worth going to war. me, i'm relatively sure that i wouldn't start a war unless there were at least a passing (60 or 65%, depending on the school) certainty of massive death and destruction. but what do i know? i'll get back to this point but, first...

ok. i've had it with the fucking hypocrisy and idiocy of the analysts covering the VTech tragedy. Most specifically (right now) some guy named Jack Thompson, an attorney, presumably, who "represented Paducah shooting victim's families" who is explaining that Cho and several other murderous young men (here and abroad... GERMANY!) regularly played a violent, shoot-em-up video game called "Counter Strike". and it made them do it. it taught them how and made it possible for them to be expert rampagers on their very first tries.

Meanwhile, Olbermann's worse, worser and worsest people last night were all right-wingers who bemoaned the wussiness of all those young men (no disparagement of the self-centered young women, i noticed) who scrambled to save themselves. What do these authoritarian assholes want from us?! Do they want everyone packing concealed heat? If so, then it seems to me that this brilliant teaching tool, "Counter Strike," should be required viewing in every high school (first period, English; second period, survivalism; third period, creationism; fourth period, math; fifth period,lunch; sixth period, abstinence). Or, do we NOT want our kids playing violent video games so much that we're willing to BAN THEM? in which case won't we be upping the wuss demographic? make up your minds.

Not to mention, aren't the skills mastered by playing "Counter Strike" just the ones which our under-trained military need to adopt? In fact, doesn't the Army offer very realistic video games for free as a come-on for recruitment?!

just shut the fuck up and, instead of trying to explain EVERYTHING to EVERYBODY in the simplest possible terms, why not discuss how many things there are that we can't control, no matter how much we may want to control everything all the time. If people (let alone pundits) could understand that nothing will ever enable sane people to make sense of what happened - no matter how much they try to assign blame, even THEY won't be able to make a simple and convincing case out of this tragedy - then maybe that's the first baby step toward accepting that we can no better control much of anything else.

the vast majority of people sign on to some social compact, but there are those, like Cho, apparently, who don't. who, quite simply, don't play by ANY of the same rules. It's hard to believe since these rules are the most fundamental building blocks of social existence, so it's not difficult to understand how so many people just figured he was "very shy" or something. But, if those who are babbling on and on would just acknowledge the "mysterious ways" of reality (this is a concept that is utterly ecumenical, after all), perhaps a shudder of doubt might make its way through masses of heretofore arrogantly positive folks.

and doubt is really all i ask of anyone. doubt is healthy. doubt makes people think. i've come to understand that there's no way on earth to make anyone think what i want him/her to think (my divorce taught me that much!), but maybe there IS a chance to make folks, at the very least, think SOMETHING. anything. And, if they think about things, I'm fairly sure that many will become less certain about the things they believe. And then, we can have a fair fight.

- posted by DeeLuzon