News PM Punch

November 13, 2013

newsmanThick ground fog and a touch on the chilled side this Wednesday mid-afternoon on California’s north coast — fairly normal conditions for this area, though, normal being way-relative nowadays.

In that particular, special aptitude, the words, “new normal,” seemingly have evolved through experience into a way-lame catch-phrase, words now used so often, it’s “normal” to hear the words, “new normal” to describe some recent cultural shock to society’s system.

And the standard, usual, or expected in gun violence has out-risen what’s normal, and a quip this afternoon from a Pittsburgh high school cheerleader seems typical for the incident, and could fit any recent such occasion: “We all got into a little bit of a panic,” she said. “There were some people crying when they found out who was shot.”
Reports indicate three students were ambushed after school, receiving ‘non-life-threatening injuries‘ — one was grazed in the head, another hit in the leg and foot, the other shot in the neck and shoulder — and seemingly a retaliation/drug thingy.

And an off-shoot of the al-Qaeda-influenced ‘normal-normal‘ is the airport screening process as practiced by America’s Transportation Security Administration — now a near $1 billion-program fail.
Via Yahoo:

The Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program, installed by the TSA in 2007, trains screeners to recognize behavioral indicators — like fear or stress — that can be used to identify persons who might pose a risk to aviation security.
Those who exhibit those indicators are subjected to additional security screening.
But according to the GAO report released on Wednesday, there’s no evidence that the estimated 3,000 “behavior detection officers” at 176 U.S. airports are actually improving airport security.
“Available evidence does not support whether behavioral indicators can be used to identify persons who may pose a risk to aviation security,” the report said.
“The human ability to accurately identify deceptive behavior based on behavioral indicators is the same as or slightly better than chance.”

A billion gone, flying in the winds of fate.

And apparently outrageous shit has become so normal, Rob Ford is still mayor of Toronto — he’s proven the way-over-the-top asshole, admitted smoking crack, buying drugs, even being busted for DUI, but he’s wanting re-election, not rehab.
Now for some holiday cheer:

The co-chairman of the Santa Claus Parade is urging Mayor Rob Ford to “reconsider” his decision to march in the annual event.
“Our request is simple, we know the Mayor loves the Parade, but for this year let’s avoid this distraction and put the focus back on Santa and Mrs. Claus,” Ron Barbaro wrote in the letter to the mayor’s chief of staff, Earl Provost.
Barbaro told the Star the parade board is “concerned about the safety” of the children and other spectators in light of the “chaotic” attention the mayor has received — from media and protesters — since he admitted last week to smoking crack cocaine while in office.
“We were more afraid on the part of the children,” Barbaro said.
“He has to go through a scrum to get to his car. He can’t even go out of his office.”

Yes, that’s it! He’s still got an office.
And this bit from a CTV News poll: Since Ford’s admission, he has said he has nothing left to hide. Only 29 per cent of residents agree with the statement that Ford “has said there is nothing left to hide – he has admitted to everything and that the past is the past – and I believe him.” Seventy-one per cent disagree, the survey found.
He needs to be made to run and hide.

And one ugly-sad item getting to be way normal is the loathing of the US Congress. Even Jackboot John McCain is not immune.
From UPI:

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said approval for the U.S. Congress is so low even his 101-year-old mother has withdrawn her support.

“Well, I got a call from my mother who’s 101,” McCain said, adding the centenarian is upset at the legislative body’s recent work, so lawmakers have now “even lost my mother.”

Gallup poll yesterday: Americans’ approval of the way Congress is handling its job has dropped to 9 percent, the lowest in Gallup’s 39-year history of asking the question. The previous low point was 10 percent, registered twice in 2012.
Normal as a slap in the face with a wet rag.

And we’re into the early evening. And it’s fairly normal for me to eat supper and then fold up like an accordion for the night.

(Illustration above found here).

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