Daily Archives: May 7, 2012

Unfortunate news from Cornell University:

I only noticed this because my daughter is a Cornell graduate and I’ve always thought it to be a reasonable and progressive school.

Then this came out in The Cornell Daily Sun:

Allegedly taunting them with references to Trayvon Martin, a group of people on the roof of the Sigma Pi fraternity house reportedly threw bottles and other objects at black students who were walking by the house early Sunday morning, according to several accounts.

Sigma Pi House

Sigma Pi President Zach Smith ’13 said in an email Sunday afternoon that the fraternity has “figured out who the perpetrator was, and will turn his name over to police.” The individual identified was not a brother of the fraternity, he said.

Cornell Chief of Police Kathy Zoner confirmed that people were “reportedly making racial references” and throwing bottles from the roof of Sigma Pi. She added that she could not disclose more information because the investigation, which is being led by Ithaca Police, is ongoing.

Beverly Fonkwo ’14 said she was walking home with a friend when, unprovoked, the group on the fraternity roof began throwing objects that landed near a group walking behind them.

When the people walking behind Fonkwo asked them to stop, the people on top of the fraternity continued to throw objects — including a Jack Daniels that landed near the group behind and an unopened beer can that landed near Fonkwo and her friend — she said.

When they asked them to stop again, the group responded, “‘Come up here, Trayvon,’ and started making all these other racial comments,” Fonkwo said. A black teenager from Florida, Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in February — a death that was widely perceived as unprovoked and galvanized African American activists across the country.

There’s more in the article, but mostly about Sigma Pi making excuses.

That such a disappointing thing would happen in 2012… that it would use the calling out of Trayvon Martin’s name in a derisive manner… shows me how little we have gained in the last 50 years or so, and how little we have endowed our younger generation with.

Advertisements

Looks like the CIA foiled a potential Al Qaeda plane bomber in Yemen…

From the LA Times:

WASHINGTON — The CIA thwarted an ambitious plot by Al Qaeda‘s affiliate in Yemen to destroy a U.S.-bound airliner using a bomb with a sophisticated new design around the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, U.S. officials said.

The plot involved an upgrade of the underwear bomb that failed to detonate aboard a jetliner over Detroit on Dec., 25, 2009. This new bomb was also designed to be used in a passenger’s underwear, but this time Al Qaeda developed a more refined detonation system, U.S. officials said.

The FBI is examining the latest bomb to see whether it could have passed through airport security and brought down an airplane, officials said. They said the device did not contain metal, meaning it probably could have passed through an airport metal detector. But it was not clear whether new body scanners used in many airports would have detected it.

The would-be suicide bomber, based in Yemen, had not yet picked a target or bought his plane tickets when the CIA stepped in and seized the bomb, officials said. It is not immediately clear what happened to the alleged bomber.

The operation unfolded even as the White House and Department of Homeland Security assured the American public that they knew of no Al Qaeda plots against the U.S. around the anniversary of Bin Laden’s death. The AP learned about the thwarted plot last week but agreed to White House and CIA requests not to publish it immediately because the sensitive intelligence operation was still under way. Once those concerns were allayed, the AP decided to disclose the plot Monday despite requests from the Obama administration to wait for an official announcement Tuesday.

U.S. officials, who were briefed on the operation, insisted on anonymity to discuss the case.

It is thought that senior Al Qaeda leader in Yemen, Fahd al-Quso, was behind the potential bombing… he had been involved in the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen’s Aden harbor. However, al-Quso was hit by a missile as he stepped out of his vehicle along with another operative in the southern Shabwa province of Yemen.

 

A statement on the increased problem with guns…

Educator John Merrow in the HuffPo commented on the causes of increased gun deaths in schools as they relate to the availability of weapons to children:

The NRA‘s mantra, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people,” is nonsense. People with access to guns kill people. The autobiography of charismatic educator Geoffrey Canada describes in vivid detail how things have changed. In fact, his brilliant title says it all: Fist Stick Knife Gun.

When I was a kid, we wrestled and maybe threw some punches when we were out of control mad. Today, we shoot someone.

The NRA does NOT represent a majority of gun owners, yet they have intimidated politicians to stand in television focus supporting this right-wing radical group (look at Romney and other Republicans.)

It’s not certain if we will ever do something about the situation unless citizens speak up with their complaints and their votes.