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Virginia Tech Update

Now they’re saying that the suspect “apparently killed himself” (does that mean he was the guy in the parking lot?) and wasn’t a student at the university.

Time Magazine’s current piece spends more time on the slain policeman than on giving us any update on the shooter. Even to the point of writing this:

A woman who answered the door at the Crouse home at the end of a three-unit townhouse building Thursday night said it wasn’t a good time to talk, and they were trying to get the children to bed. A group of people were sitting around a table inside.

Really, Time Magazine? This seemed like a useful and relevant detail to include?

They do, however, provide a short breakdown of events:

Police said Crouse called in the traffic stop at 12:15 p.m. After a few minutes passed without hearing from the officer, dispatch tried to get in touch with him, but didn’t get a response. About 15 minutes later, police received the first call from a witness who said an officer had been shot at the Cassell Coliseum parking lot and the gunman had fled on foot.

Authorities refused to say whether Crouse was able to defend himself or fire back at his assailant.

Local, state and federal officials responded immediately. At 1 p.m., an officer saw a suspicious man in a parking lot. He had a gunshot wound and a gun nearby.

Then they jump into praising the university’s reaction and closing with the inevitable bystander reaction.

The Philadelphia Inquirer also reports that the shooter is dead, and killed by the same gun. They also suggest that second shooting victim in the parking lot was the gunman, without saying it. A lot of it is the same information.

 

The New Virginia Tech Shooting is Not a Virginia Tech Shooting. UPDATE below

It’s a Traffic-stop shooting, that just happened to occur at Virginia Tech. At least, such are the early indications:

Virginia Tech spokesman Mark Owczarski said a campus police officer stopped a vehicle shortly after noon today in the school’s Coliseum parking lot, near McComas Hall.

“During the traffic stop, the officer was shot and killed. There were witnesses to this shooting,” Owczarski said in the statement.

“Witnesses reported to police the shooter fled on foot heading toward the Cage, a parking lot near Duck Pond Drive. At that parking lot, a second person was found. That person is also deceased,” he said.

And at present, this person has not yet been caught. New facts may yet come in, but right now this seems to bear minimal resemblance to the 2007 shooting, except as regards the following bitter irony:

Virginia Tech’s top security officials were off-campus today and in Washington D.C. to appeal a $55,000 fine connected to the 2007 shooting. Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum, Director of Emergency Management Michael Mulhare and executive vice president and chief operating officer James Hyatt were in Washington at the time of today’s shooting.

The Education Department claims that the school violated the law in 2007 by waiting over two hours before notifying students via email that students had been shot. The school argues that it acted appropriately and is being held to high standards that did not exist at the time of the massacre.

I’m trying to put myself in the mind of a person who saw the Virginia Tech Massacre and decided that the biggest problem was the lack of immediate, panicked emails that students had been shot. Awesome.

UPDATE: Lockdown lifted. But the guy still hasn’t been caught. Weird.

Christmas Music: Songs of Hate

The Byronic Man has a post typical of this kind of year: Christmas Songs You’d Like To Punch In Their Stupid Faces. Something about the inevitable schmaltz of the holiday season brings out the rage in people.

But Christmas is a time of charity and love. So I have reduced my hatred of Christmas music to only four songs, in descending order of hatred:

  1. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, by Whoever. I don’t know if I hate this song or am just sick of it. On its own merits, I suppose it’s not that offensive. But I’ve heard it at least a thousand times, and that will do, pig. That will do.
  2. Happy Christmas (War is Over), by John Lennon. I will offend many, no doubt. But I cannot dissociate this song from the UNICEF ads featuring poor emaciated Africans that it used to provide the background for. I get the sense that the song tries to be “Hey Jude” at the end, but doesn’t quite pull it off. No tune this miserable should involve the word “Happy.”
  3. Wonderful Christmas Time, by Paul McCartney. Yes, I am fair, and will not denounce Lennon’s bad song without pouring out a generous dollop of hate upon this excreable dreck (however, if Ringo has written a worse Christmas song, I will not attack it, because c’mon: it’s Ringo). This song exemplifies everything people hate about holiday music: the dull exhortion to have a good time just because it’s the time of year that we’re all supposed to, the plodding saccharine synth line that sounds like it was written by a Furby, the bland vocals. In fact, I would put it at the top bottom of the list, were it not for…
  4. Last Christmas, by Wham! Leaving aside the notion that Wham! was basically Culture Club with better hair, this song commits several of the same crimes as “Wonderful Christmas Time” while adding a final felony: it’s not about Christmas. At all. It’s about getting your heart broken, and hoping to do better this time around. That’s it. That these events happened to occur during the holiday season does not make it about the holidays. If I wrote a song about how I finished my Christmas shopping while observing Hanukkah, that doesn’t make it a Hanukkah song if there’s nothing in it about menorahs or dreidels or oil or eight days of presents or anything. This song is dreadful, and it’s not about Christmas, but for some reason I can’t escape the season without it inducing several boredom headaches in public places.

What songs weary you? That’s what the comment section is for.

When You Have Eliminated the Not-Mitts, Whatever Remains, However Mitt, Must Be the Candidate…

Randall Parker, without even bothering to take a look at Rick Santorum, the new favored candidate of RS McCain, throws up his hands to hold his nose for the standard Establishment line:

So really, Romney’s the best bet for the Republicans. He’s got very high analytical skills, understands finance, understands business management, and knows how to be a CEO. His Mormonism is not important. That he governed a liberal state from a moderate position was really the only choice he had as governor of Massachusetts. He’s not a nut case or a dummy like some of the other Republican candidates. He harkens back to an earlier (and better) Republican party when executive competence mattered and ideological zeal was suspect.

This is blunt Frum-ism. This kind of Republican was acceptable in the 1990’s. Hell, he would have been acceptable in the 2000’s. But not now. Times have changed. Promising to put a stronger bridle on Leviathan is no longer sufficient. We want the damn thing killed, or at the least, caged.

Which is why it’s so odd to see Glenn Reynolds quote Parker approvingly, following with:

I can understand why people think he’s a squish. But (1) he was a lot of conservatives’ favorite against McCain; and (2) if you’re really worried, focus on the Congressional elections. Which isn’t a bad idea regardless.

True, but again, 2008 was 2008. We’re in a whole new world now.