Month: August 2014

This Little Guy’s Name is Hollis and He Wants to be a Policeman

Hollis2Tonight, I joined with hundreds of my fellow Washington, DC activists, in attending the National Moment of Silence (for Michael Brown).  I made my way through the crowd annoying everyone with my “excuse me” and “pardon” as I photographed every sign and as many determined activists as I could.

Toward the end, I walked by a family and overheard a tiny voice ask “Mommy am I going to get shot by the police?”

Everyone this is Hollis (who I photographed with Mom’s permission).  Hollis is in the first grade.  When he grows up he wants to be a policeman, but he doesn’t want to fight in the war because his grandpa fought in the war. And he doesn’t want to be a fireman because he doesn’t want to get burned.

How Hollis’s mom didn’t cry at his innocent question I’ll never know, because, truthfully, I almost did.

I have tried to stay level headed during the last several days and come to these rallies with an objective perspective only seeing the scene to capture and report it. But these moments bring down my wall of emotionless detachment. Sometimes there are no words, just sweet, innocent, smiling faces, and moms who live in fear. In that moment I saw both, and my heart wept.


Hacktavist Group Anonymous Releases Dispatch Tapes After Michael Brown Shooting

There’s something to be said for transparency and with the hacktavist group Anonymous that is exactly what we get. After the Ferguson, Missouri shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, people took the streets in protest and the local police responded with violence and threats. Activist hacker group Anonymous appeared right beside them threatening to make a whole lot of information public if the police didn’t back down, and they are making good on their threat.

Released now are the police dispatch tapes discussing Michael Brown’s shooting, there’s no audio for the first minute, discussion of the shooting begins after 11 minutes. The tech site Mashable has confirmed with the St. Louis Police:

“Reached over email, St. Louis Police spokesperson Brian Schellman tells Mashable, “We are aware of this and are currently investigating it.”

Details for the recording present MANY questions:

9:35: “Ferguson has a… uh… is asking for assistance with cloud… crowd control [intelligible] officer involved, can I send one? … They just told me they needed assistance with crowd control in Canfield Green”

10:53: “1190…. He said there’s just a large group.. the original call was a [intelligible] just occurred and now they have a large group gathering there and she doesn’t have anything further…”

(writer’s note: Why is the crowd control called in before the shooting was?)

11:16: “Hey we just got another call stating it was uhhh… and officer-involved in a shooting there at Canfield Green in [intelligible] I don’t know who called it was called into my desk…”

11:27: “Ok… 2190… be advised, this uh… information came from the news.. so… I don’t know…[mumble]”
“Absolutely can I have another car go to Canfield…”

11:54: “We’re just getting information from the news and we just called Ferguson back again and they don’t know anything about it… so…”

(um… seriously?)

Around the 19 minute mark there seems to be a lot of clarification about information coming out of Canfield “down there in Ferguson.”

21:53: “2190 – I’m getting a request here in from my desk that they are requesting more cars. Do you want me to send more of YOUR cars?”

22:18: “2190 can you advice uh.. you know um.. they are asking the other radios now… so…”

23:42: “I don’t know if they need you, stand by and let me double check Jennings supervisor is the one requesting more cars and they’re getting cars coming at the other precincts now.”
“2190 if you’re with the Jenning’s supervisor now can you advise him they’re sending tag cars now.. do you want to disregard any other cars on our precinct?”
“2190 that’s clear. And don’t start adding the tag cars [intelligible]”

25:00: “Ok 2190 in reference to the K-9 now, we’re getting information now that Ferguson is supposed to have their K-9 and he’s supposed to be on scene do you still want to request one of ours?”

26:19: “2190 be advised that TAG is not responding YES they will call back and advise if and when they are responding.”

(Writer Note: I’m continuing to listen and find these but I have to change location folks are leaving the office but MoJo’s piece quotes this part in between where I stopped and when they switched over to the riot channel (but their time stamps are off):
43:55: “Attention all cars, be advised that in reference to the call 2947 Canfield Drive, we are switching over to the riot channel at this time . . .”



What Robin Williams Said He Hopes Heaven is Like Will Make You Cry

At the end of Robin Williams’s epic performance on James Lipton’s Inside The Actor’s Studio, Lipton asks Bernard Pivot’s infamous questionnaire.  The final question is “If heaven exists, what do you want to hear God say when you arrive at the gates?”  Here’s what Robin said:

The rest of the show is 1.5 hours of your life that you’ll be grateful you spent watching this. When I’m having a bad day I watch this and Robin made everything better. I wish he had something like that for himself to make him feel better.



President Obama Responds to Passing of Robin Williams

A tragedy even President Obama wanted to speak out about:

“Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between.  But he was one of a kind.  He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit.  He made us laugh.  He made us cry.  He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets.  The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin’s family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams.”

via release by the White House

Watch Robin Williams break down the last 10 years of politics (NSFW Language):



John Oliver Gets Help from Sarah Silverman in Crusade is Against Predatory Lenders

Many have tried – few have succeeded – to take out the predatory loan industry. These are companies that convince people who are desperate for cash to get by for a few days with a few hundred bucks typically advanced on a coming paycheck or a car title, but with like a 400% interest rate. John Oliver gets a little help from comedian Sarah Silverman who gives you a few other options instead of going to a Pay Day Loan shark.



9 Photos of the Secret Service Looking Badass

White House Photographer Pete Souza and his team are known for capturing some of the most remarkable moments of our time. They watch as major events stand on the welcome mat of history and with skill and talent, they bring to us the art of one brief moment. I watch the WH Flickr feed with a kind of childlike wide-eyed awe each time they upload new sets. But here’s a collection you’ll find funny. I guess Souza is taking a little enjoyment capturing some of these Secret Service agents.  Here are some of the best:


Everything is more badass in black and white.

white house secret service


Look casual? I can do casual.



Never let ‘em see you sweat.



I’m gonna open the hell outa that door.



This guy has a serious “Game Face.”



This ain’t no kickline.


These guys have seen the Hitchcock movie North by Northwest.



Bad guys can hide anywhere



BONUS: This is the shooting range for the Secret Service… I don’t know about you but I can barely see the targets. That’s hard core.


h/t The White House Photostream



Which is More Old Fashioned: Mad Men or Congress? Christina Hendricks Knows

Earlier this year, during President Obama’s State of the Union Address made a Mad Men reference that got him a lot of attention:

“Today, women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment. A woman deserves equal pay for equal work. She deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job. A mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or sick parent without running into hardship – and you know what, a father does, too. It’s time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a “Mad Men” episode.”

Well, now Funny or Die has an awesome new video up with Christina Hendricks of Mad Men talking about today’s modern offices


Hey Scott Walker What Good Are Boner Pills If My Girlfriend Can Get Pregnant

Another video coming at you from our friends over at holding Governor Scott Walker accountable for hatin’ on the ladies. In this episode, one dude wants to know why Walker lets pharmacists refuse to give you birth control pills but they can’t deny dudes their boner pills?  Anyone have any ideas why this might be?


Hillary Clinton’s Surprise Appearance on The Colbert Report

Well that was unexpected… Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is moving into a new downtown NYC office, so when Colbert talked about ragercising to HRC’s New York Times Best Seller Hard Choices and remarked “how can she be everywhere at once?!” guess who happened to appear?


Unexpected Ally in Church/State Divide Fight: the Church

We discovered this recent video on YouTube this week.  An inspirational Christian “praise song” that advocates for the separation of church and state. There are some pretty awesome lefty religious institutions out there (I’m looking at some of my friends in San Francisco), but I’ll admit I was surprised to see something like this. Listen to the lyrics – it might be unexpected, but it’s absolutely something we can all stand behind. God bless the Internet – it’ll bring you all sorts of things!  Check it out: