“We tend to idealize tolerance, then wonder why we find ourselves infested with losers and nut cases. — Patrick Nielsen Hayden “I have seen gross intolerance shown in support of tolerance.” — Coleridge
Cue the music.
The United Nations has proclaimed today, November 16, as the International Day of Tolerance. This came in the wake of the UN proclaimimg 1995 the International Year of Tolerance — whose successes Wikipedia documents in grueling detail. (Apparently, many did not get the memo.)
- February 13 – A United Nations tribunal on human rights violations in the Balkans charges 21 Bosnian Serb commanders with genocide and crimes against humanity.
- February 15 – Hacker Kevin Mitnick is arrested by the FBI and charged with breaking into some of the United States’ most “secure” computer systems.
- February 17 – Colin Ferguson is convicted of 6 counts of murder for the December 1993 Long Island Rail Road shootings and later receives a 200+ year sentence.
- February 21 – Ibrahim Ali, a 17-year-old Comorian living in France, is murdered by 3 far-right National Front activists.
- March 1 – In Moscow, Russian anti-corruption journalist Vladislav Listyev is killed by a gunman.
- March 3 – In Somalia, the United Nations peacekeeping mission ends.
- March 6 – On an episode of The Jenny Jones Show (“Same-Sex Crushes”), Scott Amedure reveals a crush on his heterosexual friend Jonathan Schmitz. Schmitz kills Amedure several days after the show.
- March 16 – Mississippi ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment, becoming the last state to approve the abolition of slavery. The amendment was nationally ratified in 1865.
- March 20 – Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway. Members of the Aum Shinrikyo religious cult release sarin gas on 5 subway trains in Tokyo, killing 12 and injuring 5,510.
- March 31 – Tejano superstar Selena is killed by the president of her own fanclub, Yolanda Saldívar.
- April 2 – An explosion in Gaza kills 8, including a Hamas leader.
- April 19 – Oklahoma City bombing: 168 people, including 8 Federal Marshals and 19 children, are killed at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Timothy McVeigh and one of his accomplices, Terry Nichols, set off the bomb.
- April 24 – A Unabomber bomb kills lobbyist Gilbert Murray in Sacramento, California.
- May 16 – Japanese police besiege the headquarters of Aum Shinrikyo near Mount Fuji and arrest cult leader Shoko Asahara.
- May 17 – Shawn Nelson, 35, goes on a tank rampage in San Diego.
- May 20 – U.S. President Bill Clinton indefinitely closes part of the street in front of the White House, Pennsylvania Avenue, to vehicular traffic in response to the Oklahoma City bombing.
- May 23 – Oklahoma City bombing: In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the remains of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building are imploded.
- June 2 – Waffen-SS Hauptsturmführer Erich Priebke is extradited from Argentina to Italy.
- June 22 – Japanese police rescue 365 hostages from a hijacked All Nippon Airways Flight 857 (Boeing 747-200) at Hakodate airport. The hijacker was armed with a knife and demanded the release of Shoko Asahara.
- June 29 – Iraq disarmament crisis: According to UNSCOM, the unity of the UN Security Council begins to fray, as a few countries, particularly France and Russia, become more interested in making financial deals with Iraq than in disarming the country.
- Iraq disarmament crisis: Iraq threatens to end all cooperation with UNSCOM and IAEA, if sanctions against the country are not lifted by August 31.
- July 1 – Iraq disarmament crisis: In response to UNSCOM’s evidence, Iraq admits for first time the existence of an offensive biological weapons program, but denies weaponization.
- July 5 – The U.S. Congress passes the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act, requiring that producers of pornography keep records of all models who are filmed or photographed, and that all models be at least 18 years of age.
- July 11 – Bosnian Serbs march into Srebrenica while UN Dutch peacekeepers leave. Large numbers of Bosniak men and boys are killed in the Srebrenica massacre.
- July 21–26 – Third Taiwan Strait Crisis: The People’s Liberation Army fires missiles into the waters north of Taiwan.
- Iraq disarmament crisis: Following the defection of his son-in-law, Hussein Kamel, Saddam Hussein makes new revelations about the full extent of Iraq’s biological and nuclear weapons programs. Iraq also withdraws its last UN declaration of prohibited biological weapons and turns over a large amount of new documents on its WMD programs.
- August 4 – Croatian forces launch Operation Storm against Serbian forces in Krajina, with the cooperation of the ARBiH, and force them to withdraw to central Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- August 5 – Croatian forces take Knin and continue to advance.
- August 7 – Operation Storm ends with a UN-brokered ceasefire; remaining Serbian forces start surrendering.
- August 24 – Microsoft releases Windows 95.
- August 28 – A Serbian mortar bomb near a Sarajevo market square kills 37 civilians.
- August 29 – Eduard Shevardnadze, the Georgian head of state, survives an assassination attempt in Tbilisi.
- August 30 – The NATO bombing campaign against Serb artillery positions begins in Bosnia and Herzegovina, continuing into October. At the same time, ARBiH forces begin an offensive against the Bosnian Serb Army around Sarajevo, central Bosnia, and Bosnian Krajina.
- September 6 – NATO air strikes continue, after repeated attempts at a solution with the Serbs fail.
- September 19 – The Washington Post and The New York Times publish the Unabomber’s manifesto.
- September 27–28 – Bob Denard‘s mercenaries capture President Said Mohammed Djohor of the Comoros; the local army does not resist.
- October 1 – Ten people are convicted of bombing the World Trade Center in 1993.
- October 4 – France launches a counter-coup in the Comoros with 600 soldiers. They arrest Bob Denard and his mercenaries and take Denard to France; Caabi el-Yachroutu becomes the interim president.
- October 16 – The Million Man March is held in Washington, D.C.. The event was conceived by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
- October 23 – In Houston, Texas, Yolanda Saldivar is convicted of first degree murder in the shooting death of Selena Quintanilla Perez and 3 days later is sentenced to life in prison.
- November 1 – Participants in the Yugoslav War begin negotiations at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.
- November 2 – The Supreme Court of Argentina orders the extradition of Erich Priebke, ex-S.S. captain.
- November 3 – At Arlington National Cemetery, U.S. President Bill Clinton dedicates a memorial to the victims of the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing.
- November 4 – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated at a peace rally in Tel Aviv.
- November 10 – Iraq disarmament crisis: With help from Israel and Jordan, UNSCOM inspector Scott Ritter intercepts 240 Russian gyroscopes and accelerometers on their way to Iraq from Russia.
- November 10 – In Nigeria, playwright and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, along with 8 others from the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, are hanged by government forces.
- November 16 – A United Nations tribunal charges Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladic with genocide during the Bosnian War.
- November 21 – The Dayton Agreement to end the Bosnian War is reached at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio (signed December 14).
- December 14 – The Dayton Agreement is signed in Paris.
- December 15 – The European Court of Justice rules that all EU football players have the right to a free transfer among member states at the end of their contracts.
Worldwide response to this abbreviated version has been dramatic.
Meanwhile, blogging continues . . .
Personal injury lawyer Erik Turkewitz has decided to stop tolerating spam in his comments section from law firms, but tolerantly limits his response to outing them. (Apparently, his bastinado is in the shop.)
Many writers are somewhat less than tolerant of Google’s habit of scraping the entire contents of their works for Google’s benefit. The Author’s Guild and the AAP sued — a post mortem on the now-defunct settlement proposal as a look toward a new proposal was performed by Matthew Sag at Concurring Opinions. (Full disclosure: I said no to the proposed settlement; the remix doesn’t look any better to me.)
Moving on . . . I don’t follow such things closely, but I understand that the transportation of an imperfect oblate spheroid consisting of a swine’s epidermis for short distances and/or interference with said transport can be a very profitable profession, and has inspired many bons mot. One such highly-paid inflated epidermis transporter engaged in such clever formulations as
was one Larry Johnson of the Kansas City “Chiefs”. Moved by the persuasiveness of the above and similar such clevernesses, his employers have, with minimal tolerance, invited him to seek other employment; Rob Radcliff furnishes the details.
Intolerance (as well as lack of humor) is utterly prevalent, of course, in airline travel, where the fearless screeners of the Federal Airline Transport And Security Service (known, strangely, by the acronym of “TSA”) strive mightily to prevent the smuggling of any of the traditional hijacker’s tools — guns, knives, boxcutters, the Medal of Honor, bottled water, nail clippers, meat thermometers and such — aboard airplanes, but have now decided that cash, even in multi-thousand-dollar quantities, does not represent an immediate danger. (This may be a relief to those who carry smaller amounts of cash — say, $20 worth of quarters — in a heavy sock in their carry-on.)
What does? Dean Vernon Wormer has explained that we’re all on Double Secret Probation. TSA Spokesperson Lauren Gaches has explained that the memo that would tell us all what we can’t carry is only available if it’s waterboarded out of her in response to a FOIA request.
Up until recently, a great deal of tolerance was displayed by the US Army with regard to one Major Nidal Hasan, whose presentation to senior Army MDs on the medical subject of I Am About to Engage in Sudden Jihad Syndrome If You Don’t Stop Me, The Koranic Worldview As It Relates to Muslims in the US Military was followed by his transfer from Walter Reed to Fort Hood. John Philips argues — persuasively to this intolerant amateur — that the apparent facts of the situation rendered the Army’s lack of discrimination unnecessary, and they could have, maybe, like, fired him.
The Fort Hood murders have inspired a lot of questions, as well as the usual posturing, which I’m going to skip. Eugene Volokh dispenses with what seems to me to be one of the easier ones — does the Second Amendment prevent the army from banning soldiers from carrying firearms on military bases? No.
Another easy one — too difficult, it seems for Wolf Blitzer at CNN — is how a lawyer who used to be a soldier could choose to represent a man accused, manifestly for good reason, of a horrible crime. Ken at Popehat shows limited tolerance for that stupid question.
One area where tolerance seems to run rampant society is for bad behavior by guys who have been issued badges.
The video shows Maricopa County Detention Officer Adam Stoddard snooping about and finding some interesting reading material in a defense counsel’s folder —
She subsequently, and a bit irritatedly, explains, “you don’t get to do that!” (That appears to not be the case, at least in Maricopa County.)
— and sharing it with an equally badged friend, who promptly spirits it out of court.
One particularly cogent comment came from Mark Bennett, who noted that “Also note that the defense lawyer’s first reaction is to want to know if she’s being accused of wrongdoing.” Occurred to me, too, that she might have been worried that narcotics had been planted there. Wouldn’t be the first time.
The sequel showed a lot of tolerance, by the way; when Stoddard, under oath, told self-contradictory stories about why he ended up going through the defense counsel’s briefs (the legal kind, silly), the judge simply set another hearing, for further tolerant dithering.
The video, also by the way, was the official court video; no amateurs involved.
In England, though, the problem of police officers concealing their identities, presumably when performing various naughtinesses, has come to the attention of the authorities, who have come up with a simple solution: a “request” that all videos and photography of said naughty badged boys be thrown down the memory hole, brought to us by Charon QC.
The authorities in Stoughton MA apparently, though, are not tolerant of former police officer David M. Cohen’s demand for overtime payments for his work on a criminal case, totalling “at least”
… $113,000, which includes 87 accrued vacation days, 125 unused sick days, 144 hours of compensation time accrued for not using sick time, 152 hours of supervisor comp time, 481 hours for court appearances related to his criminal case, 280 hours of overtime to prepare for his case, at least 61 percent education incentive pay for 2007, and 61 percent for accrued stipends and benefits.
For some reason — intolerance, perhaps — the demand has been rejected; Cohen was the defendant in the criminal case, and convicted on four charges.
Great tolerance has been demonstrated in the sad case of Tennessee State Trooper Brent Gobbell, who decided to send himself a remarkably racist email, but accidentally ended up sending it to 787 other state employees; he’s getting 15 days off and a stint of diversity training, presumably after which he’ll return to his prestigious job providing security at the Tennessee Supreme Court. (I don’t make this stuff up, you know.)
Turning away from the tolerance issue . . .
Tomorrow is the NRA’s birthday, and as good an excuse as I can find for a bit of gun stuff. Self-admitted occasional NRA supporter Todd Wilkinson gnashed his teeth at the HuffPo over his anguish that shortly, state laws about carrying guns will be applied to National Parks. He doesn’t, for some reason, show that this is a bad idea because of the flurry of shootings in state and local parks in those states, probably because there hasn’t been one. If I understand him correctly, his argument is “Do it for the bears.”
The bears, when pressed for comment, murmured something about “pickanick baskets.”
Media Matters rends its garments over how the Hasan shooting hasn’t, unlike previous shootings in victim disarmament zones, excited a flurry of gun control discussion and perhaps yet more legislation.
In Germany, a postscript to their mass shooting earlier this year: German regulations now permit the authorities to enter gun owners’ households without notice or warrant, just to be sure that the guns are stored with Teutonic correctness. In that case, the gun that the young murderer used hadn’t been locked up.
Over in the US, neither was Jacksie King’s:
“Jacksie King was an elderly grandmother who lived in a small Illinois house on dead-end Gaty Avenue since her youth. At 87, she mostly stayed at home and enjoyed frequent visits from her daughter. Her life changed one December night when an unidentified intruder cut her phone lines, pried the security bars off her window and invaded her home. After severely beating her, the man robbed her house and escaped. The case was never solved. Two months later, King awoke to the sound of an intruder breaking through her storm door at 2 a.m. As before, the bars were pried off her window to access an enclosed porch, and again the phone lines were cut. King reached for her only remaining lifeline–a .38-cal. Colt revolver her daughter had given her for protection. This time the would-be victim fired, striking 49-year-old Larry Tillman in the chest, immediately dropping him on the doorstep. Terrified, King stayed in her chair for four hours, clutching her revolver, until her daughter arrived. Police later learned Tillman was a career criminal with an extensive record, including residential robbery.”
(As I understand it, the authorities in Chicago found a little-known addition to “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed, unless, like, we want to, then it’s totally okay.”)
Expect oral arguments on January 11, another snappy 5-4 decision forthwith, or maybe fifthwith.
This weeks’ WTF gun law moment was provided by the UK, where a man who found a sawed-off shotgun dumped in his yard promptly brought it to the nearest police station, only to be arrested, prosecuted and convicted for doing so. Paul Clarke will spend at least five years in prison. I guess maybe the Brits need even stricter gun laws.
Meanwhile, the Hasan rampage has excited more commentary on gun control. The eminent legal scholar, Chicago’s second Mayor Daley, explains:
“Unfortunately, America loves Guns. We love guns to a point where that uh we see devastation on a daily basis. You don’t blame a group.”
Well, there’s always the murderers, but . . . Daley is mayor of the city with the strictest gun control laws of any major city in the US; it also has one of the highest violent crime rates; it would be intolerant to show the connection between the two, but John MacAdams obliges.
Perhaps more sober analysis of what to do — rather than “don’t blame a group” — in the unlikely event you find yourself around an active shooter is provided by Karl Rehn here, courtesy of Lawrence Person.
A few goodies just don’t fit in with either of the two themes of the day, but I couldn’t leave out Jamie Spencer’s entry, which combines a pointer to a tour of Oaksterdam University, “the first cannabis college” and a pointer to U.S. v. Villar, where a guilty verdict was immediately followed by an email from one of the convicting jurors to the defense attorney, where the juror explains that he and two other jurors really didn’t think that the convicted had been proven guilty, but was sure that there was no point in holding out, as the guy wouldn’t get any better a jury the next time around. (As I understand it, three of the jurors weren’t sure he’d been proven guilty, but were sure that he’d been proven to be Hispanic.)
I can’t quite close this with that bit of ugliness, so I’ll just point to the new scourge that is just ruining the reputation of Las Vegas: Strippers in a Box, and, courtesy of Grits for Breakfast, the only funny Taser video I’ve ever seen.
My own views on tolerance were shaped by General Charles Napier, who explained to a group of Indian gentlement that Her Majesty’s forces were utterly committed to tolerance. (The issue was the practice of “suttee” in India, where a widow, out of grief at the loss of her husband, would invariably throw herself upon his funeral pyre, often assisted by a bunch of men who were pretty sure that her own protestations and struggles to the contrary were purely pro forma.)
You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.
Then again, I’m not known for my tolerance.
Happy birthday, NRA.
(Thanks to the anonymous Ed. of Blawg Review for offering me this opportunity, and to both him and Colin Samuels for many great suggestions for links.)