Category Archives: General

Gone But Not Forgotten – The Lakewood Four, Five Years After

Update: Six years after, there is no snow, but there’s freezing fog. The four coffee cups reappeared on schedule. The coffee shop again fills up with police and fire uniforms and civilians showing their respect, and many will return tonight for the Concert For Remembrance.

This morning as the sun was rising, snow was falling on the memorial commemorating where four Lakewood police officers were killed. The community still remembers that day that drew the community together, five years ago today.

Heart in the Snow

Heart in the snow at the Lakewood Police Officers Memorial outside Blue Steele coffee in Parkland, WAAn early snow is on the ground, and the wind-chill is in the mid-twenties, but business is unusually brisk at Blue Steele Coffee. People make a point of coming here to pay their respects on November 29, remembering that morning in 2009 when four officers paid the ultimate price.

Permanent memorials were dedicated one year later, here and at the Lakewood Police Department’s headquarters. The one outside the coffee shop was built on the corner where the original, makeshift memorial had grown.

Four Coffee Cups

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If it Bleeds, It Leads: The Marketing of Trauma

Years ago I recognized that TV news had become primarily entertainment.

For decades, editors have said that “If it Bleeds, It Leads,” meaning that the most traumatic story would lead the newscast (even if it wasn’t the most relevant to viewers). That is all the more true in this age of round-the-clock reporting on TV, online, and social media.

After seeing all of the media attention toward multiple-victim shootings, I was reminded that the media essentially rewards violence, perhaps to the point of encouraging impressionable people to “just do it”:

Those who don’t believe in an afterlife now have a way to be immortalized in this life.

Continuous News Coverage

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National Grandparents Day – Please Gift Responsibly

Happy Grandparents Day ScribblesIn 1978 the US Congress passed legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day  as National Grandparents Day. For 2015 that falls on September 13th, begging the question of how – or whether – you plan to observe it.

Some would say it’s just another Hallmark holiday, suggesting that it’s a “made up” holiday concocted primarily so that Hallmark and other companies can profit from it. Certainly money is made relative to Grandparents Day, but the same can be said for birthdays, Easter, Christmas, and a variety of other holidays.

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Happy Birthday America!

American FlagsOn July 4, America celebrates Independence Day. Contrary to popular belief, it marked the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and not the Constitution, which was ratified  over a decade later.

That was then…

Like many holidays, the sentiment behind Independence Day sometimes seems overtaken by commercialization and marketing. We see “4th of July” sales, and even references to “the holiday.” Then there are the picnics, ball games, fireworks… things which actually start to sound familiar:

I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations [fireworks] from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

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Under Construction – Again!

Diversion Sign
Sometimes the "Under Construction" sign is actually a Diversion

I’ll bet you remember not so many years ago when someone would grab a domain, put up an image of a shovel or some workers with the catchy title like “Under Construction,” and maybe get back to it eventually. A lot of the time that was just a diversion: It was a parked domain and nobody was really working on the site at all. Have you ever done that?  😉

Well, I really am working on the site, but I’m new to WordPress. This may be ugly for a while, but I’m going to leave it visible rather than putting up a hokey sign.

Maybe I will add a picture too. Michael E. Casey was good enough to post the above photo on Flickr and flag it Free Use. Thanks Michael!