Wal-Mart Employee Trampled to Death on Black Friday

From the NY Times:

The throng of Wal-Mart shoppers had been building all night, filling sidewalks and stretching across a vast parking lot at the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, N.Y. At 3:30 a.m., the Nassau County police had to be called in for crowd control, and an officer with a bullhorn pleaded for order.

Tension grew as the 5 a.m. opening neared. Someone taped up a crude poster: “Blitz Line Starts Here.”

By 4:55, with no police officers in sight, the crowd of more than 2,000 had become a rabble, and could be held back no longer. Fists banged and shoulders pressed on the sliding-glass double doors, which bowed in with the weight of the assault. Six to 10 workers inside tried to push back, but it was hopeless.

Suddenly, witnesses and the police said, the doors shattered, and the shrieking mob surged through in a blind rush for holiday bargains. One worker, Jdimytai Damour, 34, was thrown back onto the black linoleum tiles and trampled in the stampede that streamed over and around him. Others who had stood alongside Mr. Damour trying to hold the doors were also hurled back and run over, witnesses said.

Some workers who saw what was happening fought their way through the surge to get to Mr. Damour, but he had been fatally injured, the police said. Emergency workers tried to revive Mr. Damour, a temporary worker hired for the holiday season, at the scene, but he was pronounced dead an hour later at Franklin Hospital Medical Center in Valley Stream.

How Mumbai attacks unfolded

From the BBC News:

2120 local time (1550 GMT): Gunfire starts at the Chhatrapati Shivaji railway station when at least two gunmen storm the crowded terminal, firing indiscriminately. Many of the deaths and injuries occurred in this attack.

2120-2200: Gunmen raid the Cama and Albless Hospital, shooting indiscriminately. Two attackers later killed and two captured.

2120-2200: Gunmen seize control of the Nariman House business and residential complex. Police surround the complex, which houses the Jewish Chabad Lubavitch outreach centre.

2120-2200: Gunmen storm the Cafe Leopold and open fire on diners, causing numerous causalities.

They were in no hurry. Cool and composed, they killed and killed

From The Guardian:

The gunmen, most of them apparently in their twenties, wearing T-shirts, black shirts and jeans, came ashore in black and yellow inflatable rubber dinghies. Armed with automatic weapons, and carrying rucksacks packed with hand grenades and explosives, they abandoned their landing-craft on the beach, from where they would have been able to make out the outlines of their targets, some of Mumbai’s most famous buildings.

It would appear that they had landed earlier, around 8pm, in a larger vessel at Sasoon dock and then used the dinghies to get closer to their targets in the heart of the city.

“Six young men with large bags came ashore, after which the two who remained in the boat started the outboard motor again and sped off,” said one witness. “They were fair, chikna [well-off] and looked around 20, 22, 25 years old. They said they were students. When we tried to find out what they were doing, they spoke very aggressively, and I got scared.”

Within two hours, the young gunmen were causing mayhem in the city that has always prided itself as being the hospitable gateway to India.

A Humanist Thanksgiving Proclamation

Have a good Thanksgiving everybody. I’m closing up shop for a few days but I leave you with some words from the Great Infidel:

A Humanist Thanksgiving Proclamation

by Robert Green Ingersoll

When I became convinced that the universe is natural–that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood, the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom.

The walls of my prison crumbled and fell, the dungeon was flooded with light and all the bolts and bars and manacles became dust. I was no longer a servant, a serf or a slave. There was for me no master in all the world–not even infinite space.

I was free–free to think, to express my thoughts–free to live my own ideal–free to live for myself and those I loved–free to use all my faculties, all my senses, free to spread imagination’s wings–free to investigate, to guess and dream and hope–free to judge and determine for myself–free to reject all ignorant and cruel creeds, all the “inspired” books that savages have produced, and all the barbarous legends of the past–free from popes and priests, free from all the “called” and “set apart”–free from sanctified mistakes and “holy” lies–free from the winged monsters of the night–free from devils, ghosts and gods.

For the first time I was free. There were no prohibited places in all the realms of thought–no air, no space, where fancy could not spread her painted wings–no claims for my limbs–no lashes for my back–no fires for my flesh–no following another’s steps–no need to bow, or cringe, or crawl, or utter lying words. I was free. I stood erect and fearlessly, joyously, faced all worlds.

And then my heart was filled with gratitude, with thankfulness, and went out in love to all the heroes, the thinkers, who gave their lives for the liberty of hand and brain–for the freedom of labor and thought–to those who fell on the fierce fields of war, to those who died in dungeons bound with chains–to those who proudly mounted scaffold’s stairs–to those by fire consumed–to all the wise, the good, the brave of every land, whose thoughts and deeds have given freedom to the sons and daughters of men and women. And then I vowed to grasp the torch that they have held, and hold it high, that light may conquer darkness still.

7 Worst Movies Since 2000

M. Night Shyamalan has two movies in this list so you know it’s accurate.

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday that nears, it seemed only fitting that our minds turned to those films for which we are most unexpectedly grateful, those flops and duds, those bombs and turkeys rife with unintentional humor and renewed entertainment values. Now, we’ve pretty much stuck with the past decade or so with our picks; anything before that has either been done right by MST3K or is probably titled Showgirls.

With that said, please enjoy this Cinematical Seven responsibly, and do feel free to contribute your own personal favorite howlers of late in the comments below…

Daily Dose of Ingersoll

As Christians have changed their God, so they have accordingly
changed their Bible. The impossible and absurd, the cruel and the
infamous, have been mostly thrown aside, and thousands are now
engaged in trying to save the inspired word. Of course, the
orthodox still cling to every word, and still insist that every
line is true. They are literalists. To them the Bible means exactly
what it says. They want no explanation. They care nothing for
commentators. Contradictions cannot disturb the faith. They deny
that any contradictions exist. They loyally stand by the sacred
text, and they give it the narrowest possible interpretation.

Robert Green Ingersoll – “Superstition” (1898)