Hard News by Russell Brown

The other family violence

I'm trying to find a way of describing the mother in the Timaru riding crop case - as she is revealed in a HoS profile - that isn't insulting or defamatory. Perhaps I'll just settle for saying that she doesn't seem to be of entirely sound mind and has trouble confronting the implications of her own conduct.

For all that she has been championed by some in the local winger blogs (curiously, some of same people who decry the violence in Maori families), the story depicts a family with a fractured and violent history. It also notes that the attempted assault by her 12-year-old son, for which the crop was drawn in retaliation, was preceded by one of her regular thrashings of the same child with a cane. Can anybody really still claim that her divinely-ordained assaults on her children were appropriate or effective?

Now she's up on assault charges. But Dave Crampton insists that she was in fact the victim of an assault by another of her sons, who he dismisses as a "brat". He describes it as "sad" that CYFS has now stopped unsupervised access with her younger son (the one involved in the riding crop incident) because of the new assault charge. I'd describe it as prudent.

Some catching up: Australian Senator Bob Brown has been threatened with "eternal damnation" by the Exclusive Brethren if he continues to push for an inquiry into issues raised by this amazing story about the Brethren's covert electoral activities in Australia and New Zealand.

Jordan Carter correctly wonders whether Tony Blair's government has gone mad as he surveys the latest work from the excellent Henry Porter. Porter also has a summary of his battles with Blair over the erosion of rights and liberties that have taken centuries to accrue in this month's Vanity Fair. And a KiwiBlog thread discussing the lawsuit against Helen Clark over election spending notes that Act also used tax dollars on a number of publications (including one a week out from the election) that really did look a bit like election advertising.

Meanwhile, America's leading conservative media voices demonstrate yet again that they are completely batshit crazy. The New York Times publishes a soft travel story about a town in Maryland where the wealthy folks with holiday homes include Rumsfeld and Cheney. The story includes a picture of Rumsfeld's driveway. Michele Malkin, Powerline, NewsMax and various others seize on this and several claim the Times has run the story with the specific intention of alerting terrorists to the location of the leaders' houses, as a form of retaliation against the government. Turns out that NewsMax itself is among a number of publications to run very similar stories in the past. But that, um, wasn't helping the terrorists.

Amid it all, some bedwetter publishes this nasty little rallying cry:

So, in the school of what's good for the goose is good for the gander, we are providing this link so YOU may help the blogosphere in locating the homes (perhaps with photos?) of the editors and reporters of the New York Times.

Let's start with the following New York Times reporters and editors: Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger Jr. , Bill Keller, Eric Lichtblau, and James Risen. Do you have an idea where they live?

Go hunt them down and do America a favor. Get their photo, street address, where their kids go to school, anything you can dig up, and send it to the link above. This is your chance to be famous - grab for the golden ring.

Yup. Hunt down the children. Kos has the short version and Glenn Greenwald has the fully nutty drama.

The hilarious (well, it would be if it wasn't also sort of sad and disturbing) part is that it turns out, as Greenwald notes in a follow-up, that the Times had specifically requested and received permission from Rumsfeld to photograph the damn driveway in the first place. Billmon reports on a bizarre exchange with one of the howling accusers, David Horowitz.

Meanwhile in Iraq, the justice minister demands "swift intervention" by the UN Security Council over the rape and murder of a 15 year-old Iraqi girl and the murder of her family by US troops. Curiously, this major story goes completely missing from Little Green Footballs.

And some more Great Blending: Emo Matt (by his own description a "twenty something hipster with a useless Communications degree who looks and acts like a teenage myspace scenewhore") writes it up in his MySpace journal (catch: you need MySpace registration to read it). But he's happy: danah interviewed him before she flew out, and he picked up several commissions to build corporate MySpace profiles on the night.

Morgan had some thoughts and some criticisms, Robyn summed up and Jessie provoked some discussion.

And, of course, you have Matt Buchanan's photos from Auckland in the gallery for this post. And, finally, a Slashdot thread about an interview with one of the founders of MySpace …