Tuesday, April 22, 2014


A woman was shot to death outside of Atlanta's Cumberland Mall yesterday afternoon, and her suspected shooter was later found dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.  Saturday, a security guard was shot to death at nearby Town Center Mall and his alleged shooter also later died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Monday’s shooting was not the first for Cumberland Mall.  In November 2011, a man was shot and killed in the parking lot the day after Thanksgiving, and in December 2009, a jewelry store manager was shot multiple times as he got into his parked vehicle at the mall.

“Shootings are going in the schools, they’re going on in churches, and they’re going on in shopping centers,” a witness to yesterday's shooting told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  “It’s crazy. It’s not even safe to hardly get out and do anything anymore.”

Meanwhile, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said he still plans to sign legislation on Wednesday that would vastly expand where Georgians could carry guns, including schools, bars, churches and government buildings. The law would let convicted felons (who legally aren't supposed to even have guns) use the state’s “stand your ground” rules to claim self-defense if they feel threatened.

The "guns everywhere" law, passed in the wake of the recent Zimmerman verdict, reinforces the lesson that one is now legally empowered to kill at will, as long as you kill them all, leave no living witnesses, and claim you were "standing your ground."

All of this just reinforces my theorem that conservatism is a neurological defect, an inability of the mind to construct new mental maps and models, even when faced with overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Atlanta Then & Now


"In their headlong search for modernity through mobility, American urbanites made a decision to destroy the living environments of nineteenth-century neighborhoods by converting their gathering places into traffic jams, their playgrounds into motorways, and their shopping places into elongated parking lots. These paving decisions effectively made obsolete many of urban America’s older neighborhoods." (citymaus)

Impermanence is swift; life-and-death is the great matter.  Mountains teach this, oceans teach this, even our urban neighborhoods teach this.  But a joyful embrace of the here and now, and a healthy respect for our natural and anthropogenic environments, can create a more sustainable and vibrant community in which to live.  

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Sad, sad story - In the single deadliest day on the mountain, 13 Sherpas died in an avalanche while fixing ropes and preparing the ascent path for rich western clients on guided tours to the summit of Everest.

Impermanence is swift, and life-and-death is the vital matter.  Mountains teach this, oceans teach this, our own bodies can teach this.

My deepest condolences to the families of the victims.