Your Virtual Front Page, Thursday, February 27, 2014

Here’s what we have going at this hour:

  1. West warns Russia amid Crimea threat (BBC) — Ukraine isn’t sorted out; not by a long shot.
  2. No bond for teen facing murder charge in Dutch Fork student’s death ( — As mentioned previously, attorney Todd Rutherford said his client will seek to invoke South Carolina’s “Stand Your Ground” law.
  3. Chairman of Richland’s election board gives up seat ( — In that he won’t seek re-election to the post. Not normally front-page fodder, but with the way things are going with this group… Meanwhile, lawmakers are seeking candidates for two open seats. Hey! Where’d everybody go…?
  4. British Spies Reaped Millions of Webcam Images, Some of Sex (NYT) — Apparently, James Bond’s sex life has now been reduced to watching other people on webcams.
  5. After shutdown, lawmakers donated more than $465K (WashPost) — I thought you could use a sorta, kinda feelgood story about members of Congress. Of course, they CAUSED the mess to begin with, so this could sort of go under the heading of purchasing indulgences…
  6. First lady unveils food label reforms (The Guardian) — The thing I like about this is that serving sizes will be adjusted upward, to reflect how much we actually eat (really, who eats only half a cup of ice cream?). So we’ll see how many calories we’re really getting.

27 thoughts on “Your Virtual Front Page, Thursday, February 27, 2014

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    I certainly never eat a mere half cup of ice cream, except when I am in Germany and a small Kugel is only a Euro. I probably ate a lot more ice cream in three weeks than I do the rest of the year, but in tiny portions. If we could figure out how to make our world walkable, and have gelato places on every corner, we’d all be slimmer….

  2. bud

    Here are a few that seem extremely important:

    1. Governor Brewer Vetoes outrageous discrimination bill
    2. Governor Haley says union jobs not welcome is SC
    3. National budget deficit falls to pre-crisis levels
    4. New Years celebration cost yet again will cost midlands taxpayers
    5. Military levels to drop to lowest total since before ww2.

    1. Brad Warthen

      Bud, you’re taking items from previous news cycles. I could put together an awesome front page if I did that:

      1. JFK killed in Dallas
      2. Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor
      3. SC fires on US base
      4. Armstrong Walks on Moon
      5. Caesar crosses Rubicon
      6. Crucified rabbi said to rise from dead

      … But that wouldn’t be following the rules…

          1. Rose

            Ah, yes, Preston Brooks. The caning would have been no surprise to the trustees of South Carolina College. After multiple disciplinary incidents as a student, he was set to graduate, but his attempt to break his brother out of jail was the last straw for the trustees and they expelled him. I think McKissick Museum has one of the commemorative rings that were made from the infamous cane. But when you consider that the only fatal duel between two SCC students was over who had first dibs on a plate of fish, well, Preston clearly wasn’t an unusual case.

          2. Scout

            Actually I know of another fatal duel between SCC students. It may be just family legend but seems to be corroborated by family letters. The brother of my great great great great grandfather was killed in a duel by another SCC student who later went on to become governor – W. H. Gist. It was over a girl. The duel took place on an island in the middle of the Savannah river near Beech Island that neither GA or SC claimed. It apparently was a common place for duels in attempts to avoid prosecution. One day I will get round to donating this family letter to the South Caroliniana library. I have showed it to them and they feel it has merit and is plausible because of the detail given.

      1. Bryan Caskey

        Do we all get to play?

        1. Shots fired between colonists and British Redcoats at Lexington and Concord. (Film at 11:00)
        2. European Archduke Assassinated; Alliances Begin Saber-Rattling
        3. Giant asteroid hits earth, wipes out most dominant animal life forms.
        4. Local Italian Defies Church, Says Earth Revolves Around Sun
        5. British monarch breaks with Church in Rome.

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      OK, to address Bud’s point directly:
      1. Probably wouldn’t have made my page even when it happened. What happens in Arizona is Arizona’s business (before the era of 24/7 TV “news,” which sharply lowered the bar for what rises to the level of a national story, we understood that).
      2. Dog bites man. Nothing to see here.
      3. Possible front-page candidate; I’d need to read more to be sure.
      4. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this was never supposed to pay for itself, was it? It was supposed to be a free-to-attend party paid for by the city — right?
      5. Definite front-pager. Although to me it’s a bad-news story; I suspect you see it differently.

  3. bud

    Ok, everyone’s had their fun at my expense. But my point was simply that these current stories have been largely ignored on the Brad Blog.

    Speaking of the Archduke incident that Doug cited the 100th anniversary is fast approaching. I would rate that as my number story of the 20th century.

    1. Bryan Caskey

      Interesting thing to me about 1914 was that all I learned in school was that a guy was shot, and that led to WWI. it was a simplistic version of history where we get the little buzzwords about interlocking alliances and assassinations.

      Upon further self-education and reading of history from multiple sources, it’s clear that what actually happened was that the incompetents running Europe didn’t know how to stop war and didn’t remember how bad war was.

      Now we have Russia invading Ukraine because it can. Putin knows that the West doesn’t have the will to stop him. Now, the Crimean has always been the Bear’s territory, but it sets a precedent. Russia is reasserting claims to a region based on historical ties and the West looks on passively.

      How do you think Beijing is viewing this? My guess is that the maps of Taiwan are out on the war room table.

      Oh, and the US is now cutting it’s military to pre-WWII levels. I guess we’re the scrappy underdog, again.

      “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” -Mark Twain

  4. bud

    Bryan, your words drip with irony. You are correct that the world had long forgotten the horrors of war by June 1914. The leaders never really wanted to avoid war and no one thought the resulting cataclysm would ever rise to the level that it did.

    Fast forward 100 years. A world war today would be vastly more deadly now with the available killing technology that was unimaginable a century ago. Is the Crimea worth that? That’s what we would risk if we go too far in our demands. I would suggest that the Ukraine would be far more of a headache to Putin than an asset. So we grumble a bit about how this is intolerable then do the right thing and tolerate it. At the end of the day the Russian people will suffer from the international backlash and thousands of Americans will enjoy peace and prosperity. Have we learned nothing from Iraq, Vietnam and countless incursions by other nations, including the Russian fiasco in Afghanistan? Hopefully Obama is smarter than that.

          1. Silence

            I kept having to cut weight compete on the chess club. Starving myself, chewing tobacco, wearing a trash bag over my sweatclothes and jogging around the track. Once I moved up to the 108 lb class I was just not as competitive anymore. If I could have stayed at 103 I’d have made state.

      1. bud

        Bryan those are all nice sounding words but what specific action do we take? The devil is in the details. The Crimean people are Russian speaking. What business is it of ours whether the people have allegiance to Moscow or Kiev? It was the people of Crimea who raised the Russian flag over the airport not the Russian army. Would dividing Ukraine along the lines of where the people want to associate with such a bad thing? What do we gain by acting tough? Haven’t we lost enough soldiers over wars that don’t affect us? Until you can point to something concrete that the American people will lose if the Crimea is occupied by the Russian army then I will maintain that it is none of our business. Given that we have a military larger than the next 10 nations combined I don’t see this as a threat to our security. Conversely I see the Russians as the ultimate losers. So let them have at it.

        1. Bart

          Wonders will never cease. I am in complete agreement with bud on this one – for the most part. However, in my humble estimation, Putin may not be the cowboy he tries to portray but a clever operative which was a necessity as the former head of the KGB. As a commenter on The Daily Beast noted, Putin did not make his move without a lot of consideration and planning for an end game and what the end game may be. This is from the comment made by the poster who claims to have experience dealing with Russians and after thinking about it, it does make sense and reflects the duplicitous nature of Putin.

          “When you deal with a Russian whether in business or governmentally (and I have dealt with both), you really do have to think like you are a chess or backgammon player. There is always an angle with them and to quote the Fred Thompson character in Hunt for Red October “Russians don’t take a s#!t without a plan” I know it’s cliche’ but sometimes cliche’s are true. I would take a look at what Putin really wants because he’s about money and power along with screwing with the rest of Europe. Crimea is not what he really wants and Eastern Ukraine is a distraction(he already has it for all intents and purposes). Think a little further west. Why does he want to secure the Crimea? Why did he make sure that the naval bases were secured first? Also where is the closest terminus of natural gas pipelines and refining/storage facilities for LNG? He wants Odessa. Odessa is a straight run from Sevastopol on the Black Sea and it is open to the sea and only 200 nautical miles away. A Russian amphibious force could leave at sundown and be there before the sun comes up. Putin wants to use the Crimea as a distraction get the Ukrainians worried about bottling up the Russians in the Northern Crimea which is a bottleneck meanwhile he throws 5-7K men on amphibious assault ships and unleashes a few frigates. He can dictate terms and there is not a thing the West can do.”

          And, if the commenter’s analysis is anywhere close to being accurate, then the US should just lodge a few protests and move on to the next “crisis”.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *