Yesterday, a grand jury decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed back teenager Michael Brown. The decision was made in the morning but not announced until 8pm, presumably to encourage would-be protestors toward sleep. That did not work. The National Guard protected the local police station, freeing police officers to disperse protests and then quell riots. From the White House, President Obama called for calm. “First and foremost, we are a nation built on the rule of law,” he said. “And so we need to accept that this decision was the grand jury’s to make.” Meanwhile, at Five Thirty-Eight, Nate Silver observed that of the 162,000 cases that went before federal grand juries in 2010, only 11 declined indictments.
The Republican-led House Intelligence Committee has concluded its investigation of the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi and found no evidence of wrongdoing. There was no “intelligence failure” before the attacks, and although the effort to assemble talking points for the president in the immediate aftermath were “flawed,” conspiracy theories like the stand-down order or denial of air support were found to be groundless. You can read the whole report here, if you have Asperger’s Syndrome. Or you can take the Washington Post’s word for it and consider the case closed. Or—and I’m just spitballing, here—you can call the report “garbage” and “full of crap,” as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–SC) did yesterday. But that is an advanced move.
I know I said there would be Friday links today, but I have to spend the next 24 hours getting better thanks to antibiotics, rather than gradually sickening to death over the next two winters. Modernity is good. Whatever colony of bacteria has been fighting a war of attrition against my lungs since Labor Day is bad. But you’re fucked now, bacteriums: I got a z-pak, and nothing can kill me. Also nothing can make me work. The irony is that I am trapped in my apartment with the internet, so I’m probably going to spend the hours between naps staring at a screen anyway—likely from this very imitation Le Corbusier chair. You’d think I could just move my fingers a little and type a blog while I did that, but nope—my self-pity is too strong. Only righteous anger and the aforementioned azithromycin can burn it out of me, which is why I revisited Men Taking Up Too Much Space On the Train. From there it’s a quick trip to Kinja and this screed by Albert Burneko, which both introduces you to the Holderness Family and makes you hate them. Also, have you started using Spotify yet? Like every piece of technology invented since incorporation of the major record labels, it’s threatening to unjustly bankrupt the major record labels. That’s why I hate it and democracy, and also why I used it to make my fall 2014 mix, which I include here because it’s freaking winter already. Listen to it and think of me: humidified, fleece-wrapped, on death’s door but creeping away hand-in-hand with a special kind of mold or something.
You probably can’t tell from where you are, but I am sick. The upper respiratory infection I’ve been fighting for the last three months has finally won, and I am about to go to the walk-in clinic downtown. The walk-in clinic 50 yards from my house does not accept my insurance, and my actual doctor isn’t taking appointments until the second week of December. America’s health care system is broken, but the Missoula Independent is working great. Whatever you do today, be sure to read this essay by Ben Fowlkes about what it was like to serve on the jury of a rape trial. It will make you angry in kind of a good way. Before you start researching whether chemical castration can be administered via tranquilizer dart from a moving car, cool off with a light-hearted column I like to call Montana GOP holds secret meeting, reports newspaper. Then you can slide right on into arts and entertainment with this meditation on the problems of the aging punk, which I also wrote. This reading plan assumes you do not have a job. I don’t. My job is to promote my own writing and, to a lesser extent, write it. Today, though, my job is to eat vitamin C tablets and try to get a z-pak. We’ll be back tomorrow with Friday links!
I’m sorry to inform you that Fox News did not add the word “never” to the screen cap above. They did select this particular frame for their story about Nicki Minaj apologizing for Nazi imagery in her “Only” video, but “never” is part of the surtitled lyrics that appear throughout. It’s pleasing that Fox News chose this particular frame, but it’s not as fun as if they had written “never!” across the image of a fascist society united behind a black woman with a big butt. Nicki Minaj will never apologize for her butt. She would like to say sorry, though, for making a video that is pretty cool but also hilariously ill-advised.