Okay, Houston, we should talk, because you're not going to like what you see here. Deadspin, the sports news and gossip arm of the Gawker network, balances its coverage of breaking stories with stuff like "Tuesday Night Fights," where they snark on street-fight videos on YouTube. And last night's edition featured two drunk H-Town bros brawling in broad daylight at the Texas Crawfish Music Festival in Old Town Spring.
The video, if it's not clear from the fact that it's footage of two guys trying to punch each other out in the midst of a festival, is pretty NSFW . But perhaps even sadder than the footage is the commentary that Deadspin ran along with it, by Texan Tashina Richardson:
Senator John Cornyn has long been uncomfortable with people making money off of memorabilia tied to convicted murderers. He introduced his first "Stop the Sale of Murderabilia to Protect the Dignity of Crime Victims Act" in 2007, and when that bill died in committee, he revived it three years later, this time with cosponsor Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). The 2010 version of the "Murderabilia" bill met the same fate as its predecessor—but now, perhaps motivated by the recent sale of a handwritten letter written to a student by Nidal Hasan, Cornyn is trying again.
The Hasan letter fetched $2,000 for the website DarkVomit, a "True Crime Macabre and Outsider Art Gallery." In a Fox 7 Austin report, Cornyn is cited as believing that some of the money for such sales goes back to the criminal. It's not really clear how that would work (does the student or the proprietor of DarkVomit put a check in the mail?), but there's also certainly something uncomfortable about the notion of anyone making a few thousand dollars off of the fact that Nidal Hasan—or anyone else—murdered people.
Still, "uncomfortable" hasn't been enough to get Cornyn's bill out of committee the past two times. A 2007 story in Time about the first attempt to pass the bill explained that opposition came from civil-liberties groups:
In a post on the Guardian's Shortcuts Blog called "Masturbation laws around the world: the penal code" (yes, we see what you did there), the British publication claimed:
"[A] new measure which will come into force on 1 January 2014 will make many forms of male masturbation illegal. 'Exceptions include sperm donations, which now must only be performed at a designated hospital facility.'"
The source the Guardian cites for that tidbit—which, it should go without saying, is 100% untrue—is the website the Tribune Herald. Somewhat legit-sounding URL aside, that is a parody news website that runs on a basic Wordpress template, has 75 followers on Twitter, and includes stories with other headlines like, "Obama to meet and personally arm Syrian rebels with special 'first gun.'"
Police are well aware of the power of social media. There are plenty of examples of police departments around the country attempting to shut down citizens who photograph arrests and confrontations, concerned about what those photographs might capture.
When an ACLU spokesperson declared that "Texas is really the outlier" when it comes to legislation on domestic drone usage, she wasn't joking. That's what advocacy and policy strategist Allie Bohm told Fox News about the law that went into effect on September 1st, and compared to the most of the other states that have laws regarding the use of drones, Texas' legislation is really pretty radical.
Update, 4:25pm: Washington police have confirmed to the AP that the shooter was 34-year-old Fort Worth native Aaron Alexis. Alexis was arrested in Tarrant County in 2010 for allegedly firing a weapon in his apartment complex, but never charged or convicted of a crime. Alexis was killed by authorities. There's no update on reports that a second shooter was present at the moment.
There was a shooting with multiple fatalities at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. this morning. The Associated Press reports that several people were killed, and as many as 10 others—including law enforcement officials—have been wounded. According to early reports from the Washington Post, two shooters may have been involved.
There's not much information available yet about the injured and killed. At the moment, the shooter is being described as "contained," but not in custody, and a civilian employee who was inside the Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters at the time of the shooting told the AP that the shooter was on a fourth floor overlook, firing down at people in the first-floor cafeteria. Schools in the area went into lockdown and flights out of Reagan National Airport were grounded.
This, of course, isn't the first time in recent years that a shooter has struck at a domestic U.S. military location—that distinction is held by Fort Hood, where Major Nadal Hasan, who was convicted of murder and sentenced to death last month, killed 13 and left dozens injured. A bill sponsored by U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz that was introduced last week, seeking that Hasan's shooting "be categorized as an act of terrorism," which would allow for the families of the victims to receive additional benefits, looked to be gathering support in both its House and Senate forms.