Showing posts with label victims. Show all posts
Showing posts with label victims. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Everybody has his reasons

"Everybody that used to know me I'm sry but Omaha changed me and (expletive) me up. and the school I attend is even worse ur gonna here about the evil (expletive) I did but that (expletive) school drove me to this. I wont u guys to remember me for who I was b4 this ik. I greatly affected the lives of the families ruined but I'm sorry. goodbye."

-- Robert Butler Jr.,
high-school gunman

Oh. Well, that explains it, then.

I'm sure Vicki Kaspar, the Millard South assistant principal gunned down by Butler this afternoon died tonight knowing it was for a damned good reason. Right?

Yes, again

Not again.

Yes, again.

Tell me it wasn't Westroads.

No, it was Millard South High School.

How many dead?

An assistant principal and the shooter, by his own hand. A Glock ain't an assault rifle, and Omaha got a little lucky this time. Just a little.

"This time." That's a hell of a couple of words -- this time. They mean it's happened here before -- which it has. They mean it probably will happen again -- which I wouldn't doubt.

"This time." A hell of a thing, "this time." A hell of a thing that means I can just recycle what I wrote about last time, which is, in itself, a hell of a thing. This matter of history -- and youthful domestic terrorism -- repeating itself in my city. In Omaha.

Mayor Jim Suttle said this thing "descended on our city." No, things like this don't descend on a city, except in the sense that evil descends upon a place to wreak its havoc. Things like what 17-year-old Robert Butler Jr., unleashed don't descend so much as they're carefully constructed in the human heart.

Fitfully hatched in a demented mind.

Cynically incubated in a full-blown culture of death. That would be us, the world's new barbarians.

HERE'S WHAT I wrote three years ago, when youthful mayhem "descended" on Omaha in 2007 during the Von Maur massacre. Not a damned thing has changed except the name, the place and the extent of the carnage.

Just replace "Robert A. Hawkins" with "Robert Butler Jr.," "Christmas shoppers and salespeople" with "students and faculty." Call it good.

Or very, very bad.

Robert A. Hawkins was a terrorist just as much as is Osama bin Laden. Osama's a big leaguer; Robbie Hawkins was a rookie-league screwball pitcher. How do you like your newfound fame, kid?

I can appreciate that Hawkins was a sad, tormented and pathological young adult. I can. So were Hank Williams and Janis Joplin, but they still managed to leave behind much beauty in this world and killed no one but, ultimately, themselves.

And let's not forget Vincent van Gogh.

Robbie Hawkins' legacy is death, panic, mayhem, gore and heartbreak. Thousands of years of human tradition and theology tell us mayhem and death are the province of the Evil One, and modern psychology can offer no treatment -- no effective prophylactic -- for the demonic.

Robert A. Hawkins, age 20, was a sick young man. A sick young man who listened to the devil inside. A sick young man for whom self-murder just wasn't good enough.

No, he had to take eight others with him on his way out.

I grieve for the hell Robbie Hawkins' life became, just as I weep over the hell on earth he brought to innocent Christmas shoppers and salespeople. I will not, however, make excuses for what he did -- what he did to eight fellow humans, what he did to their families and friends, what he did to this city.

This city . . . Omaha. My home.

With great difficulty, I pray that God has more mercy on Robbie Hawkins' tormented soul than Robbie Hawkins had on a bunch of innocent people he knew not from Adam. But that doesn't change what Hawkins decided to become Wednesday afternoon -- a terrorist. Albeit one without a clue.

WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY that has fetishized sex, violence, death and materialism. None of the above can fill the void that haunts our being. None of the above can give adequate meaning to young lives like the one Robert A. Hawkins threw away in that Omaha shopping mall.

Americans are quick to mock those young, Islamic terrorists who embrace suicide, murder and carnage for the greater glory of Allah -- and the chance to screw themselves silly in Paradise with 72 hot virgins.

But at least they kill -- and die -- for something, no matter how warped.

For what did Robbie Hawkins -- and all his youthful predecessors like Harris,
Klebold and Cho -- kill . . . and die?

For what?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

BP's unwitting allies

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Ignorance kills.

When you're ignorant, you don't have options. You're an easy mark, because you lack power and, oftentimes, because you're too ignorant to know you're being played.

Or if you are savvy enough to know you're being played, what are you going to do about it?

Say you're a fisherman in Louisiana. You may or may not have much education -- and being that it's Louisiana we're talking about, chances are, not. All you've done is fish. All your daddy has done is fish. All your family has done for a hundred years or more is fish.

You have no options, because other options --
at least in many cases -- never have occurred to you. School, in all likelihood, wasn't a priority for you, just like it wasn't a priority for your daddy, or your daddy's daddy, or for the whole dying culture down there, for Pete's sake.

Same deal for all the other workers whose best option in life right now is to work cleanup for BP, sopping up or skimming up a toxic soup of crude oil and chemical dispersant that has a nasty habit of exploding the cells of mammals and fish.

PEOPLE on the Gulf Coast = mammals. For some reason, I felt the need to make that clear.

From the Facing South online magazine:
Today, 27,000 workers in the BP-run Gulf cleanup effort may still be in danger. Some are falling sick, and the long-term effects of chemical exposure for workers and residents are yet unknown.

Workers lack power on the job to demand better safety enforcement. They fear company retaliation if they speak out and are wary of government regulators who have kept BP in the driver's seat.

BP carries a history of putting profit before worker safety. A 2005 refinery explosion in Texas City, Texas, killed 15 and injured another 108 workers. The Chemical Safety Board investigation resulted in a 341-page report stating that BP knew of "significant safety problems at the Texas City refinery and at 34 other BP business units around the world" months before the explosion.

One internal BP memo made a cost-benefit analysis of types of housing construction on site in terms of the children's story "The Three Little Pigs." "Brick" houses -- blast-resistant ones -- might save a few "piggies," but was it worth the initial investment?

BP decided not, costing several workers' lives. Federal officials found more than 700 safety violations at Texas City and fined BP more than $87 million in 2009, but the corporation has refused to pay.


Now workers in the cleanup effort face similar challenges to those Jason Anderson and his 10 slain co-workers woke up to each morning. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) policy analyst Hugh Kaufman says workers are being exposed to a "toxic soup," and face dangers like those in the Exxon Valdez, Love Canal, and 9/11 cleanups.

The 1989 Exxon Valdez experience should have taught us about the health fallouts of working with oil and chemical cleaners, but tests to determine long-term effects on those workers were never done, by either the company or OSHA. It appears they have faced health problems far beyond any warnings given by company or government officials while the work was going on.

Veterans of that cleanup, such as supervisor Merle Savage, reported coming down with the same flu-like symptoms during their work that Gulf cleanup workers are now experiencing. Savage, along with an estimated 3,000 cleanup workers, has lived 20 years with chronic respiratory illness and neurological damage.

A 2002 study from a Spanish oil spill showed that cleanup workers and community members have increased risk of cancer and that workers with long-term exposure to crude oil can face permanent DNA damage.

So far, Louisiana has records of 128 cleanup workers becoming sick with flu-like symptoms, including dizziness, nausea, and headaches, after exposure to chemicals on the job. BP recorded 21 short hospitalizations. When seven workers from different boats were hospitalized with chemical exposure symptoms, BP executives dismissed the illnesses as food poisoning.

BP bosses have told workers to report to BP clinics only and not to visit public hospitals, where their numbers can be recorded by the state.

Surgeon General Regina Benjamin has said that without the benefit of studies, or even knowing the chemical makeup of the Corexit 9500 dispersant (which its manufacturer calls a "trade secret"), scientific opinion is divided on long-term health impacts to the region.

Workers in the Gulf are not receiving proper training or equipment, says Mark Catlin, an occupational hygienist who was sent to the Exxon Valdez site by the Laborers union.

BP has said it will provide workers with respirators and proper training if necessary, but the company has yet to deem the situation a health risk for workers. The Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) provided respirators to some workers directly, but BP forbade them to use them.
THE TENDENCY of anybody looking for a good story, one that engages the heart as well as the mind in such situations, is to spend much time romanticizing the poor and the vulnerable. The majority of the media coverage of the BPocalypse follows this well-trod path into the morass of sentimentality and, ultimately, cognitive dissonance when the cold, hard (and complicated) facts of life break through the spin and screw up the narrative.

The facts of the matter is that many of the people we're supposed to be feeling sorry are victims of not only BP, but also of accidents of birth, the deficiencies of a culture that too often hasn't valued all the things that immunize a people against victimhood, and a crapload of poor choices accumulating throughout one's lifetime.

If you're in Grand Isle, La., faced with a royal screwing by a multinational oil company -- and, for that matter, one's own government -- it's all too easy to just take it out on the "animals," which is postmodern Southern-speak for "n***ers." Who happen to be cleaning up the multinational oil company's hazardous waste off your beach and out of your marshes.

And if you're one of those cleanup workers -- poorly paid, without respirators and working under ATV-riding "overseers" in a setup that looks so much like a fast-forward of what slavery might look like had the South won the Civil War -- you further screw up a good narrative by getting shitfaced in a titty bar and treating a bunch of strippers like the pieces of meat you know yourself to be. At least in the eyes of your "betters."

Who, you can be assured, will collect their piece of the pie
(and yours, too) no matter how much they screw up the lives of others by hook . . . and by crook. Why? Because they can, that's why.

THE POOR . . . the "victims," who resist all attempts at romanticizing their plight much more successfully than they fend off humiliation and depredation by them that's got, will not fare well here. Neither will a state like Louisiana, home to so many of the poor, and likewise so much more adept at resisting all attempts to romanticize its desperate plight than it is at fending off humiliation, depredation and marginalization at the hands of Corporate America and the government it has bought and paid for.

Knowledge is power.

Culture is destiny.

The Gret Stet is screwed.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Dear New Orleans: Up your Prozac dosage

The Katrina-shocked combox warriors of New Orleans are convinced America hates their city.

To tell you the truth, if their enraged, paranoid, lunatic rantings are what Americans get to see of the Crescent City, they might be right. And America certainly would have its reasons.

HERE'S THE latest rant -- referencing this post -- your Mighty Favog has gotten from one of the Noo Orluns Wrecking Crew (a title infused with multiple layers of meaning). It's from a Big Easy (HA!) blogger by the name of Schroeder:
Schroeder said...

Let's see what New Orleans has had to defend itself from. Let's see who's disgracely exploited the victims of one tragedy in the Midwest to vilify victims of another tragedy in New Orleans.

Here's Rush Limbaugh:

"I look at Iowa, I look at Illinois—I want to see the murders. I want to see the looting. I want to see all the stuff that happened in New Orleans. I see devastation in Iowa and Illinois that dwarfs what happened in New Orleans. I see people working together. I see people trying to save their property…I don’t see a bunch of people running around waving guns at helicopters, I don’t see a bunch of people running shooting cops. I don’t see a bunch of people raping people on the street. I don’t see a bunch of people doing everything they can…whining and moaning—where’s FEMA, where’s BUSH. I see the heartland of America. When I look at Iowa and when I look at Illinois, I see the backbone of America."

So, Rush Limbaugh "wants" to see murders and looting in the Midwest? Really? Wow, there's a real standup conservative. Not to mention, his accounting of the comparative damages would be laughable, if it weren't so despicable. Good Americans don't count the casualties and use them as tools of a partisan political campaign of defamation.

What's more, people in the Midwest are "whining" and there has been looting, and there has been the need to use troops to deter criminals. The reports of murders in New Orleans were exaggerated by the carpetbagging press which chose to sensationalize rather than fact check.

The scale of tragedy in New Orleans is on a par which no one should wish upon anyone. To vilify the proud American citizens of New Orleans and Louisiana, who's sons and daughters bled for this nation's freedoms as much as any from the Midwest or anywehre else, is a complete abomination, and the sign of a weak mind.

New Orleanians didn't help themselves? How else did they survive for days before your commander in chief proclaimed, "you're doing a heckuva job Brownie." They got into their boats and rescued babies and elderly. They distributed their own food supplies and water. They gutted each other's homes despite a complete lack of support from your commander in chief after he proclaimed that he would "do what it takes" to help this great city rebuild.

No one is more critical of Ray Nagin and Governor Blanco for their role in bungling the relief and recovery than are New Orleanians. But far more blame may be assigned to that two-faced liar occupying the White House. Bottom line: If George W. Bush kept his word, we wouldn't be having this discussion in the first place.

Last word: If you aren't here in New Orleans trying to understand and helping to rebuild after the greatest manmade disaster in this nation's history, then keep your uncharitable attitudes to yourself. May God strike you down for being such a wicked SOB.

HERE IS my response, though I must admit I barely knew where to start:

The Mighty Favog said...

Schroeder ,

You are a #&%@ing whack job.

With that kind of attitude, you're wondering why a lot of America would just as soon see Noo Orluns sink into the sea and leave them the hell alone?

Listen, I am your (well, at least New Orleans') friend. I was born and raised in Baton Rouge. My family has been in Louisiana since before "les Americains" were.

I now live in Omaha and, thus, have gained a hell of a lot of perspective about how others perceive N.O. and Louisiana.

I was TRYING to tell you perpetually enraged Defenders of New Orleans that you are harming your cause with your insane rants and uncharitable attitude toward suffering in the Midwest -- suffering you ought to empathize with.

But no.

Rush Limbaugh is a piss ant. He is unimportant.

Do unto others, Cap. Do unto others.

BTW, if you want to take up the "may God strike you down" banner . . . it would seem that God got to y'all first. If that's how you think the Almighty rolls.

Damn lunatic. Good grief.

Here's a little advice for you from Robert Burns:

To a Louse

Ha! whaur ye gaun, ye crowlin ferlie?
Your impudence protects you sairly;
I canna say but ye strunt rarely,
Owre gauze and lace;
Tho', faith! I fear ye dine but sparely
On sic a place.

Ye ugly, creepin, blastit wonner,
Detested, shunn'd by saunt an' sinner,
How daur ye set your fit upon her-
Sae fine a lady?
Gae somewhere else and seek your dinner
On some poor body.

Swith! in some beggar's haffet squattle;
There ye may creep, and sprawl, and sprattle,
Wi' ither kindred, jumping cattle,
In shoals and nations;
Whaur horn nor bane ne'er daur unsettle
Your thick plantations.

Now haud you there, ye're out o' sight,
Below the fatt'rels, snug and tight;
Na, faith ye yet! ye'll no be right,
Till ye've got on it-
The verra tapmost, tow'rin height
O' Miss' bonnet.

My sooth! right bauld ye set your nose out,
As plump an' grey as ony groset:
O for some rank, mercurial rozet,
Or fell, red smeddum,
I'd gie you sic a hearty dose o't,
Wad dress your droddum.

I wad na been surpris'd to spy
You on an auld wife's flainen toy;
Or aiblins some bit dubbie boy,
On's wyliecoat;
But Miss' fine Lunardi! fye!
How daur ye do't?

O Jeany, dinna toss your head,
An' set your beauties a' abread!
Ye little ken what cursed speed
The blastie's makin:
Thae winks an' finger-ends, I dread,
Are notice takin.

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion:
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
An' ev'n devotion!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

How New Orleans defends its 'honor'

Here's how some in the Big Easy "defend their honor" as New Orleanians:

Take handgun. Insert into mouth. Squeeze trigger.

I'M SORRY, but for New Orleans' "honor defenders" to look at the immense suffering in the American Midwest and perceive nothing more than a grand opportunity to say "Hey, look! They suck, too!" is -- How shall I put this? -- whiny, trashy and pathetic.

It will gain them so many friends.

Here's one example of what surely will be a winning public-relations strategy:

Then, there’s the fact that eighty percent of New Orleans evacuated with just 48 hours notice after Katrina turned north instead of going to Pensacola. This was the most successful private evacuation in American history, implemented without any federal contingency plans for disasters, despite four years between 9/11 and 8/29 for George W. Bush — the “war president” — to prepare for another attack on an American city.

How many people evacuated from the Midwest? Oh, they were busy stacking sandbags to protect their homes and crops. Did they deserve their tragedy for staying behind?

Then we could talk about the high percentage of New Orleans homeowners who had flood insurance compared to the national average.

Or maybe those Midwesterners wouldn’t have been subjected to God’s wrath if they didn’t allow homosexuals in their midsts.

It’s at about this point that I might conjure the memory of those poor Boy Scouts, but that wouldn’t be decent. By now it should be apparent to any self-proclaimed conservative out there that blaming the victim is pretty nasty business if turnabout is fair play — this is really repulsive territory. We shouldn’t even have to go there, but we will defend our honor as New Orleanians if the rest of the nation doesn’t smack down Rush Limbaugh and all of the other intolerant
[expletive deleted] around the country who are repeating the same bull [expletive deleted].
YOU STAY CLASSY, New Orleans. Mighty big talk for a city that's just a Category 2 hurricane away from real oblivion . . . as opposed to the "Well, maybe we'll rebuild it . . . we'll see" slow-motion oblivion you're dealing with now.

And you know what? Some of us would consider that a catastrophic loss for the country.

Slingin' bile at Iowa while New Orleans sinks

Dear combox warriors of New Orleans:

Shut the
[expletive deleted] up!

Once you've done that, perhaps you'll have the time and energy to find a work-around for your disastrously failed attempts at self-government before and after Hurricane Katrina. Therein lies your real problem -- not some bunch of prideful Iowegians who survey their swamped state and publicly thank the Almighty that they're respectable, self-reliant Midwestern flood victims. As opposed to You Know Who.

Yes, southeast Louisiana got screwed by the U.S. government. Yes, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers just as well had built your hurricane-protection levees and floodwalls out of toilet paper for all the good they did. Come to think of it, those levees may well have been TP.

And several Midwestern states are learning that for themselves as I write.

UNCLE SAM, however, did not kill your city. Y'all did that yourselves -- all the feds did was mutilate the corpse, and they're still at it.

Yes, the Bush Administration and Congress have been stingy with the relief and infrastructure money, given their culpability in your recent misfortune. Unfortunately for you, your own elected officials -- particularly C. Ray (Not lately!) Nagin and his Apple Dumpling Gang of administrators -- have been even slower in getting off the pot.

See, it's not federal black helicopters or Delta Force units that have swarmed over your city to gun down your young black men.

And black women.

And white men.

And white women.

That, you've done your own damn selves.

LIKEWISE, it wasn't Rush Limbaugh devotees -- apart, possibly, from the ones in D.C. -- who left a quarter of New Orleans' population inside the city when Katrina hit. You largely have your mayor to thank for that.

And, in fact, you did thank him for that. You re-elected Mayor Whack Job. Because we all know what a bang-up job he did . . . and is doing still.

For decades before John Hagee's God decided to smite your Sin City -- or not -- it was a dead municipality walking. Your government was corrupt and ineffective. Your schools were fetid hellholes. Your parish prison was (and is) where killers stay for a few months before your courts turn them loose again.

Your infrastructure was crumbling and your people were leaving. Your municipal calling card was a "KICK ME!" sign taped to your ass. And we Americans have obliged . . . particularly since The Thing.

Perhaps if y'all had been as worried then about having become a Third World enclave as you are now about what Iowans write about that sad fact in letters to the Des Moines Register. . . .

IT DOESN'T MATTER that Katrina was worse or bigger than, or different from, the Midwest floods. And it can't be disputed that what happened as "the bowl" filled was not the people of New Orleans' finest hour.

There are any number of reasons for that. Primarily, though, the Crescent City's underclass did what members of the underclass do pretty much everywhere on Earth. For what too many cops did, there is no excuse.

The true scandal is that Louisianians -- and Americans -- were OK with that massive underclass being there. That few cared to start working on the problem or helping those poor people.

It was all good in The City That Care Forgot. At least until the fit hit the shan.

You know, if I were in New Orleans, I'd be worrying about stuff like that to the exclusion of all else. Hell, I'm an expatriate Louisianian living in Omaha, and I worry about it more than is good for my digestion.

BUT NOOOOOOOOO . . . it's much easier to savage people with whom you ought to be empathizing. I guess the slow-motion death of your own city "absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part."

And you're just the guys to do it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Because the Packers lost. . . .

This is so messed up, I don't know where to start.

But an Omaha television station is reporting, citing multiple sources, that a 21-year-old college student died . . . was murdered . . . because the Green Bay Packers lost to the New York Giants.

YOU READ correctly: KMTV, citing its sources and police reports, says 19-year-old Kyle Bormann had been watching the ball game, getting liquored up and getting madder by the minute. And then, say the station's sources, he decided that because the Packers sucked, someone in Omaha was going to die:

Why would anyone gun down a random women in a drive-thru? Until now, few knew. Multiple sources shed light on the shocking evidence. Evidence, that the Green Bay Packers losing playoff performance, could be one of many things that motivated Kyle Bormann to allegedly kill Brittany Williams.

Picking up dinner for her father, Brittany Williams dies in a drive-thru. Eight-thirty on January 20th, a bullet rips through her car, killing her instantly. Police say Kyle Bormann pulled the trigger on a high-powered rifle one hundred yards up 30th Street from the Florence fast-food restaurant.

According to police booking sheets, Bormann had been drinking before the murder. Multiple sources tell Action 3 News the drinking coincided with watching the Green Bay Packers, New York Giants football game. At some point during the game, Action 3 News sources confirm Bormann became enraged with the Packers' poor play. His anger mixed with alcohol, they say, led him to leave home, go to the Florence neighborhood and randomly kill Brittany Williams.
GREEN BAY, we have a problem.

I can understand getting mad and killing the TV. Stupid . . . but understandable. But drunkenly deciding that a young woman, an honor student, must die because the Packers lost?

I have no words for that.

If all this is true, here's to a 19-year-old loser's new favorite football team . . . the Mean Machine.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Explains a lot

And all it takes is a poorly socialized moron to sling around outraged F-bombs because a blogger was insufficiently sympathetic toward what procsecutors say is a confessed cold-blooded murderer.

Wednesday's Omaha World-Herald:

Kyle Bormann has admitted firing the shot that killed 21-year-old Brittany
Williams, a prosecutor said Wednesday in Douglas County Court.

The 19-year-old Omaha man was denied bail by Judge Jeffrey Marcuzzo. Marcuzzo cited the seriousness of the crime in his decision.

Bormann, who lived with his father in the Ponca Hills area, was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder and use of a weapon to commit a felony. He is accused of firing a rifle at Williams on Sunday evening as she sat in her car in the drive-through lane at the Kentucky Fried Chicken/Long John Silver's restaurant at 7601 N. 30th St. Police said he was about 100 yards away.

The restaurant is a little over two miles down 30th Street from the Bormann house.


During an interview at the police station, Smith said, Bormann admitted firing his rifle at Williams' car while she waited in the drive-through lane.

Authorities have said Bormann shot Williams with a Winchester .243-caliber bolt-action rifle that had a Bushnell scope.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said Wednesday afternoon that Bormann was wearing camouflage and that he had been drinking alcohol prior to the shooting.

About a dozen of Williams' friends and relatives attended Wednesday's hearing.

After the hearing, Jerard Christian, a cousin of Williams who serves in the U.S. Army, said, "This is ridiculous. Something needs to be done about all this gun violence in Omaha. I am trained in the military, and to take somebody's life because he's upset about something, he has no idea how many lives he's hurt by this."

SORRY, ANONYMOUS, all my sympathy has been used up on the poor girl your pal with the high-powered blew away at the KFC. Allegedly.

But your artful missive has explained a lot. I think it's explained that my generation has raised a bunch of foul-mouthed, unsocialized, violent butt-wipes who we may well have reason to fear.

Or at least disarm.

Thanks for sharing.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Death is a 19-year-old, dope-smoking
child of divorce with a gun . . .

All it takes is a loser with a gun to shoot out our brightest lights.

Leaving us with the loser.
And his gun.

OMAHA POLICE SAY it was 19-year-old Kyle Bormann who, dressed in camouflage and carrying a hunting rifle with a telescopic sight, went hunting Sunday night on North 30th Street. This is who he allegedly bagged -- his prey -- the young woman shot in the head as she waited in the drive-through line at Kentucky Fried Chicken:
Brittany Williams was going somewhere in life. She knew it. And she wanted other people to know it, too.

"She knew she wanted to go places and do things," said Mel Clancy, who knew her well through the Project Achieve program he directs at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. "She was always meticulously dressed. She projected the part of a polished college student. And she worked her tail off."

The future Williams was building for herself was ripped away from her Sunday night. Williams, 21, was killed about 8:40 p.m. Sunday as she sat in her car outside the Kentucky Fried Chicken/Long John Silver's restaurant at 7601 N. 30th St. Omaha police say Kyle J. Bormann, 19, used a high-powered rifle to shoot Williams from about 100 yards away.

Williams, a junior at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, died at the scene.

Bormann was charged today in Douglas County Court with first-degree murder and use of a weapon to commit a felony in connection with the shooting.

"It appears to be a premeditated event, and the evidence reflects that," said Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine, who filed the charges. "But it appears to be random in nature, even though it was an intentional killing. We don't know the motive or motivation behind it."


Williams made the dean's list several times while studying pre-nursing at UNO, Clancy said. She volunteered for several community projects, including UNO's seven days of service during spring break. Herself a participant in Project Achieve, a program for first-generation, low-income students, she was giving back by advising younger students in the program.

"This young lady had success written all over her," Clancy said.

Whatever she decided to do, Williams would have done it with style and a smile, a sorority sister said.

"She was a great person, a sweet person who would do anything for you," said Tia Robinson, a fellow member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. "Bubbly. Energetic. She was always smiling. Anytime you saw her, she'd give you a hug."

Monday afternoon, Robinson and four fellow sorority sisters held hands, prayed, cried and hugged each other on the snowy southeast corner of 30th and Craig Streets. They stood a few yards from where Williams' life had been coldly and apparently randomly stolen Sunday night in the drive-through lane of a fast-food restaurant.

The women toiled to push a wooden stake into a frozen flowerbed. On the stake was a placard signed by sorority sisters in squiggly letters with bright-colored markers. On the placard was an enlarged photo of a long-haired young woman in a white dress with a bright smile: Brittany.

Williams, who graduated from North High School after attending Northwest High through 11th grade, was a Goodrich Program scholar at UNO.

Mike Carroll, an associate professor with the Goodrich Program, said he remembered her well.

"She was a talented student and a good writer," he said. "I had her in English composition, where she wrote some autobiographical essays that showed a broad understanding of the local community. . . . She talked about nursing and wanting to make a difference."
MEANWHILE, as we find out more and more about the Kyle Bormann, we also find more commonality between the alleged gunman and Westroads Mall shooter Robert Hawkins.

Now it's not only that both were children of divorce. It seems that Bormann had a few convictions in South Dakota for both drugs and minor in possession of alcohol. KETV television in Omaha reports:
Kleine said the possibility that this was a hate crime is still being considered by investigators.

"We'll see where that leads, as far as motivation -- what motive he had," the prosecutor said.

Police said Bormann was 100 to 200 yards away from Williams' car northwest of the restaurant on 30th Street when he fired the gun.

Kleine said Bormann used something like a Winchester model 670a with a .243 cartridge. Considered a pure sportsman's rifle by some, it is a bolt-operated rifle that takes some time to reload.

Kleine said the gun had a scope, and that the weapon belongs to Bormann.

"Apparently he had some history of hunting -- lived in South Dakota. That's where he was from, and was a hunter," Kleine said.

When he was arrested on Sunday night, police said they found Bormann dressed as a hunter.

"He was dressed in camouflage gear, camouflage jacket, camouflage pants," Kleine said.

Kleine said he will ask a judge on Wednesday to assign no bond for Bormann.

South Dakota criminal records show that Bormann has been charged with crimes in at least three counties. The charges range from traffic violations to drug possession -- a charge that was later reduced.

Bormann was sentenced in Brookings County in July after he pleaded guilty to ingesting intoxicants. Brookings police said an officer saw Bormann acting suspiciously near a motel, and when the officer tried to find out what he was doing, Bormann took off running.

"The officer was able to locate him again and through his investigation, there was the smell of alcohol, as well as marijuana," Lt. Jeff Miller of the Brookings Police Department told television station KSFY.

Police said an ingesting charge is most common when a suspect is under the influence, but the officer doesn't find the person carrying a substance.

One of the conditions of Bormann's sentencing was that he had to stay out of trouble with the law until next July, records show.
OMAHA'S WOWT television says Bormann had "two minor drug arrests," two MIPs and a speeding charge on his South Dakota rap sheet.

Now all we need is to find out race hatred was the motivation. The prosecutor isn't saying -- yet -- but another Omaha TV station, KMTV, reported Tuesday that one of Bormann's friends was afraid that it was.

Lord, have mercy.

Another day, another atrocity

White kid from small-town South Dakota moves to the big city, comes across African-American college student -- a young woman, a 21-year-old sorority sister and scholarship recipient, the daughter of an Omaha public-works employee.

Their fateful encounter came in the drive-through lane of a KFC in the Florence section of north Omaha.

CHECK THAT. Brittany Williams was sitting in her car in the KFC drive-through. Kyle Bormann, say police, was in his car 100 yards away -- with a high-powered rifle. And officers say he aimed that rifle at Brittany Williams' head and pulled the trigger.

Brittany Williams died where she sat.

In her car.

At the KFC.

The Omaha World-Herald picks up the story:

Kyle Bormann was an above-average high school student growing up in South Dakota, earning mostly A's and B's. He excelled in chemistry and precalculus. He had no discipline problems in school. He held a part-time job at the small-town grocery store.

As of Sunday evening, however, the portrait had changed.

That's when Bormann, 19, is accused of fatally shooting a 21-year-old Omaha woman who had stopped in a fast-food restaurant's drive-through lane.

Police say the shooting was random, and the shot was fired from about 100 yards away.

Omaha police say Bormann used a high-powered rifle to shoot Brittany Williams about 8:40 p.m. as she sat in her car outside the Kentucky Fried Chicken/Long John Silver's restaurant at 7601 N. 30th St.

Williams, who had attained junior status at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, died at the scene.

Bormann's alleged role in the shooting has floored Bormann's friends, school officials and relatives in his native South Dakota.

"I can't believe that he would do something like that. It sounds kind of crazy," said 21-year-old Jim Jensen, one of Bormann's close friends from Wessington Springs, S.D.

Bormann graduated from Wessington Springs High School in 2006, a year after Jensen. He attended Dell Rapids High School in South Dakota for the first three years of high school before changing schools his senior year.

Bormann's parents are divorced. His father, Greg, lives in the Ponca Hills neighborhood in Omaha. His mother still lives in South Dakota.

Bormann's family declined to comment. A handwritten sign posted Monday outside his house on Canyon Road read, "No media. No trespassing." A woman who answered the phone at the house declined to comment.

At Dell Rapids, a high school 15 miles from Sioux Falls, Bormann earned mostly A's and B's, said his former high school guidance counselor, George Henry.

"He never got any bad grades," Henry said. "I never recalled any discipline, no anger from him, no fighting. Just a nice kid. A little on the quiet side."

Wessington Springs Principal/ Superintendent Darold Rounds said Bormann adjusted well despite transferring into the tiny school for his senior year. One of Bormann's older sisters now teaches at Wessington Springs and serves as an assistant athletic coach, Rounds said.

"Kyle was popular among students, just an ideal student, and new people don't usually fit right in," said Rounds, who recalled attending Bormann's summer graduation party in 2006 and meeting several of Bormann's relatives.

Friends and school officials say they have a hard time understanding that Bormann is accused of shooting a woman he didn't know.

"This floors me. I am really shocked," said Rounds. "It's hard to comprehend."

About 20 minutes after the shooting, Omaha police said, a man later identified as Bormann drove a white 1996 Chrysler Sebring through the crime-scene tape that officers had put up around the restaurant. He ignored police officers' commands to stop and drove off.

Police chased the car, and it stopped at 29th and Bondesson Streets, where the driver jumped out and ran away. Police said the man threw a high-powered rifle to the ground.

After a short foot chase, officers arrested Bormann on suspicion of criminal homicide and use of a weapon to commit a felony.

Omaha police allege that Bormann was inside his vehicle when he fired the rifle. Police said there were no indications that Williams and Bormann knew each other.

"It's not a whole lot different than the Von Maur situation in that it's just completely random," Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said. "You're just shopping at a store or waiting in a drive-through and this happens? It's unimaginable."
THAT MAKES TWO random acts of horror pinned on 19-year-old white males in Omaha in a month and a half. Apart from that, the only thing anyone can find in common is that the young men were children of divorce. And that the shootings were utterly random.

Are we raising up a generation of monsters, or is this a pure fluke? Along with Virginia Tech and Columbine and Von Maur and all the other horrors committed by young men in the past decade.

Can't really say.

Can say for a fact, though, that this is what we've lost:

Beautiful, bubbly Brittany Williams was a young collegian preparing for a future in nursing.

Or maybe the fashion business.

But whatever she decided to do, Williams would have done it with style and a smile, a sorority sister said Monday.

"She was a great person, a sweet person who would do anything for you," said Tia Robinson, a fellow member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. "Bubbly. Energetic. She was always smiling. Anytime you saw her, she'd give you a hug."

Monday afternoon, Robinson and four fellow sorority sisters held hands, prayed, cried and hugged each other on the snowy southeast corner of 30th and Craig Streets. They stood a few yards from where Williams' life had been coldly and apparently randomly stolen Sunday night in the drive-through lane of a fast-food restaurant.

The women toiled to push a wooden stake into a frozen flowerbed. On the stake was a placard signed by sorority sisters in squiggly letters with bright-colored markers. On the placard was an enlarged photo of a long-haired young woman in a white dress with a bright smile: Brittany.

Williams, 21, was a junior at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. A Goodrich Program scholar from Omaha, she was in pre-nursing studies.

Mike Carroll, an associate professor with the Goodrich Program, said he remembered her well.

"She was a talented student and a good writer," he said. "I had her in English composition, where she wrote some autobiographical essays that showed a broad understanding of the local community. . . . She talked about nursing and wanting to make a difference."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

What the hell did you think he meant?

These people didn't have to die.

But they did, because this story in the Omaha World-Herald today proves we've learned absolutely, positively nothing in the wake of Virginia Tech.

AND THAT staggering stupidity -- at least on the part of one Bellevue, Neb., houseful of nimrods -- meant there would be . . . had to be an Omaha massacre. Godamighty, I hope there's something the cops can charge these fools with.

Read the following by Lynn Safranek and Paul Hammel and weep:
Robert Hawkins spoke about shooting people in large places before he did just that, killing eight people and wounding three more at Von Maur, according to police documents filed Friday in Douglas County District Court.

The family that took in Hawkins was concerned about the threat and discussed kicking Hawkins out of their home, the documents state.

Those details were released Friday in a search warrant affidavit. Two other search warrants were made public Thursday.

Omaha police executed the most recently released search warrant on Hawkins' 1995 Jeep on Dec. 5 — the same day as the Von Maur shootings.

The affidavit, written Dec. 5 by Omaha Police Officer William Fell, shows for the first time that Hawkins may have expressed homicidal thoughts involving strangers before the rampage.

According to the affidavit, Kraig Kovac, 17, told officers of Hawkins' statements. Kovac is the son of Debora Maruca, who had let Hawkins, 19, live in a bedroom in their home for the past year.

A man who answered the phone Friday at Maruca's home in the Quail Creek neighborhood west of Bellevue said that what police wrote in the affidavit was not true.

"This allegation — I don't know where it's coming from," he said. The man declined to comment further and did not give his name.

Omaha police presented the affidavit — a written report explaining the grounds for a search warrant — to Douglas County District Judge Gregory Schatz, who then authorized investigators' search of Hawkins' vehicle.

Lt. Alex Hayes, the Omaha police detective directing the Westroads investigation day to day, said that in the days before Hawkins went to the mall, the teen talked about having "a standoff." Hayes said Hawkins had talked often about suicide and about shooting people in large places.

"At this point in the investigation, we can't say anyone specifically knew something they could have acted on," Hayes said.

According to the search warrant affidavit:

While Omaha police were investigating the shooting on Dec. 5, Kovac approached officers at Westroads Mall and said he had information about what had happened.

Kovac told Omaha Detective Doug Herout that Hawkins lived at his home with his mother, Debora Maruca, and older brother.

Kovac said he had seen some of Hawkins' writings that described committing suicide "in a place with a large number of people."

In the last couple of days, Hawkins also had been "acting strange" and spoke of "going out and shooting people in large places."

Scared, Kovac told his mother what he had seen and heard. The family began considering kicking Hawkins out of the home.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Blow up your TV

From the Omaha World-Herald:

Mark Dotson said his ex-wife was staying at his southwest Bellevue house with their two daughters when she invited Hawkins, her son, over for dinner. It was the night before the Westroads shootings.

Dotson, who was in Thailand on a vacation with a girlfriend, said Hawkins took his rifle from a closet when his ex-wife left with the girls to buy a birthday present at Wal-Mart. They were gone an hour, he said.

When Dotson's ex-wife, Maribel "Molly" Rodriguez, returned, Hawkins abruptly ended a session on the Internet, said goodbye and "plenty of I-love-yous" and left.

After the fact, she thought she could have read something into that," said Dotson of the mother. "She feels horrible."

Phone messages left with Rodriguez were not returned. A day after attending the private burial of her son, Rodriguez was in New York, her ex-husband said.

Part of an interview with Rodriguez by
ABC News
aired Wednesday might. Her account of the evening spent with her son matched Dotson's. She said she's "thinking now my life is over."

"I'm so sorry, so sorry," she said. "Please forgive me and my little Robert."

THE MOTHER OF the Murderer Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken is in New York, giving an exclusive interview to ABC News. She'll be on Good Morning America this AM.

Of course, ABC News and Diane Sawyer and Good Morning America are long gone from Omaha, having "moved on." Meanwhile, the eight victims of the Terrorist Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken -- at least not be spoken unless really necessary, like in the World-Herald story -- were buried in yesterday's-news anonymity and their families have been left to grieve far from the network spotlight.

The dead and buried, and the people who loved them, no longer are sexy, happening or now. We're all about the "now" now. If only the tales of many victims' heroism -- heroism that meant certain death -- had surfaced a couple of news cycles earlier. . . .

Oops, too late! Irrelevant to the national conversation, unlike the Oprah 'n' Obama Show.

BUT IF YOU HAVE an exclusive interview with the mama of the homicidal whack job . . . well, that's something! Diane can elicit gut-wrenching tales of a troubled, misunderstood youth who made some bad choices. Like committing mass murder in a crowded department store.

Tears! Mama will shed tears! Motherly tears from a heartbroken mom from a broken family with a broken kid who went berserk and broke a city's heart.

Now that's drama!

Not Drama (not to mention Not Worthy of National TV) would be the mundane story of husbands, wives, children, siblings and friends back there in the middle of Flyover Country, stuck in an overgrown cow town, wondering how to go on living after being gobsmacked by death.

After their loved ones' unfortunate encounter with the Maniac Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken.

Blow up your TV.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Rambo Right sucks

The last post on the heroism displayed by so many of last week's Westroads massacre victims reminded me of how many movement (as in bowel) conservatives so covered themselves in ignominy after the April horror at Virginia Tech.

Everybody should be armed like the Israeli Army. Kids today are infantilized. Those being shot up in Norris Hall ought to have gone after Sueng-Hui Cho like Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade.

Half a league, half a league, half a league onward!

Well, here in Omaha, out on the edge of the forbidding plains, non-infantilized grown-ups stood up to the madman. They all died. They had to have known that they were going to.

They did whatever they could, knowing they'd die, in the name of trying to buy more time for others to get away. They tried to distract the madman, Robbie Hawkins. They tried to talk down the madman, Robbie Hawkins. They stood their ground, trying to guide the authorities to the madman, Robbie Hawkins.

None of them stood a chance. All of them became martyrs.

I'M SURE John Derbyshire, Mark Steyn and all their ilk would be so proud. I'm sure their breasts are swelling as I type, all those Rambo Right-Wingers who think they have the right to demand the martyrdom of strangers in far away places.

All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred:
'Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns' he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismay'd ?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

REMEMBER IN YOUR PRAYERS all those who died last week in my city. Remember especially those who so embodied Christ's Paschal sacrifice -- just in time for Christmas. Theirs was a sacrifice that only can be freely made, not offered up upon some ideologue's command.

No greater love

This is what, according to an article in the Omaha World-Herald, several of those gunned down at Omaha's Westroads Mall were doing at the moment they went to be with their God:
Firing away, the killer entered customer service, where he would end the carnage.

Hiding 15 feet from him was a 65-year-old grandfather and retired natural gas company manager, who suddenly emerged from the spot that concealed him and his wife and came into plain sight of the killer.

According to a family member's account given Sunday, John McDonald stood and confronted the 19-year-old gunman. It was a spontaneous act of courage that soon cost the Council Bluffs man his life, although it's possible that he helped spare more than a dozen people who were hiding nearby.

It appears that McDonald was one of the last of eight people killed by Robert Hawkins Wednesday at the Von Maur department store in the Westroads Mall.

Police are still investigating Omaha's worst single day of violence and have not determined the order in which Hawkins' victims fell.

McDonald was found in customer service, where Hawkins killed himself. An undisclosed number of rounds remained in his AK-47-style semiautomatic rifle.

Police released no new details of the rampage, but accounts Sunday from the families of McDonald and two other victims paint three portraits of courage in the face of chaos and terror.

The second involved Dianne Clavin Trent, the 53-year-old customer service worker who stayed on the phone with 911, describing the gunman until he took her life.

The third was customer Gary Scharf, 48, of Lincoln, who was on the first floor when he heard gunfire, ran up the escalator toward the carnage and shouted at Hawkins a floor above, "I called 911!"

All three were killed.

Omaha police declined Sunday to comment on the relatives' accounts. A spokesman for Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey said the scope of the crime, the number of detectives involved and the forensic evidence were too great at the moment to piece together exactly what happened and when.

Dr. Joe Shehan of Omaha, married to the only daughter of John and Kathy McDonald, said he bases his account on a detail that his mother-in-law shared in the car on their way home from the mall that day. It was a detail he forgot in the fog of grief and shock, and it is one Kathy McDonald left out of subsequent accounts until an Omaha police detective told the family what a hero they had in John McDonald:

That he left the hiding spot that concealed Kathy. That he left whatever protection that waiting room chair could offer as more than a dozen Von Maur employees huddled in fear in a back room that had no locking door and no other way out, should the gunman enter.

The police detective told McDonald's family that he stood and faced Hawkins. The gunman hadn't seen the McDonalds hiding when he entered, firing into customer service.

Hawkins struck four workers there and killed two, including Trent. She was telling a 911 dispatcher that "a young boy with glasses" was coming toward the counter.

"Oh my God!" she cried.

Her call ended with shots ringing in the background.

"Why she didn't drop that phone and run, we'll never know," said her sister, Kellie Schlecht.
AND WHAT was Robert A. Hawkins, 19 -- you know, the guy who wanted to "go out in style" -- doing right before he went to meet his Maker? He was gunning down unarmed, innocent people with a high-powered rifle in the Von Maur store at Westroads.

"Go out in style," indeed.

Cat's in the cradle . . . cat's in the cradle.

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He'd grown up just like me
My boy was just like me
Or us and our sick little culture . . . as the case may be.

Requiescat in pace

From an
article in this afternoon's Omaha World Herald:

Sunshine peeked through winter's gray sky today, as mourners braved a bitter cold.

At churches in Omaha and Curtis, Neb., friends and family gathered to grieve the tragic loss of lives in Wednesday's Westroads Mall shooting.

Mothers cried for lost sons and daughters, children wept for parents and grandparents, and strangers came to pay their respects.

Omahans Janet D. Jorgensen, Dianne Clavin Trent and Gary Joy were laid to rest today, as were John V. McDonald of Council Bluffs and Gary Scharf of Lincoln.

"To lose a loved one is always hard," said the Rev. Harry Buse at the funeral for Trent this morning. "But to lose a loved one in such a violent and senseless way is particularly painful.

"This time, literally the whole world held you in their hearts. There were millions of hearts beating as one, sharing this huge loss."
DIANNE TRENT was a fellow parishioner at St. Leo's, and I stopped by her wake service there last night. The place was was as full as it usually is for a well-attended Mass.

Men and women wiped away tears as Dianne's eldest niece eulogized her murdered aunt, as the entire corps of nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews gathered behind the ambo in solidarity. By the time the eulogy was done, I was profoundly sad that I had never gotten to know Dianne, who I'm sure I had seen from time to time in the congregation at Mass.

Death. Sorrow. Regret.

Broken hearts and no second chances.

A GAPING HOLE in the fabric of life, a gash where a loved one ought to be. Where a loved one was just a few days ago.

All of this is what is left behind when a mentally ill, 19-year-old punk decides to "go out in style" amid a culture in love with violence and death -- a culture that turns out so much of what it loves most.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

This Grinch from Hell will not steal Christmas

Christmas is not the most wonderful time of the year in Hell.

Among the deadly hosts, yuletide is a mocking reminder of that awful day when their archenemy came as a little child to save mankind from their worldly maw. It's the yearly reminder of the terrible day they saw the handwriting on the sulfurous wall.

Christmas is almost as bad as Easter, that annual commemoration of the day Satan and all his demons got the official and final word that the jig was up.

The Evil One hates Christmas. And even though he knows he can't beat it, the devil still dedicates the franchise to bloodying it any way he can.

THIS YEAR IN OMAHA, our annual commemoration of the Lord's birth is looking rather like a fight scene from Raging Bull.

Bloodied. Battered.

But not beaten.

Evil came to my city this week, and it used a broken, disturbed and violent 19-year-old to murder the innocent, shatter their loved ones, terrorize hundreds and batter the hearts, hopes and dreams of us all. Evil came to Westroads Mall, announcing its arrival with the report of an assault rifle -- a pow pow pow that cut through the Christmas music on a department store's public-address system.

What black irony that lay in the heart of darkness.
However, says Isaiah . . .
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.

For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
THIS PRESENT DARKNESS will not prevail. The light will shine, even if through our tears. In Omaha this year, the devil and his tortured lackey will not steal Christmas. They can break our hearts, but they can't take away our joy.

Not this Christmas, and not next Christmas. And not the next, or the next after that.

Christmas, and the One Whose birth it celebrates, are bigger than evil, and their joy negates the despair of a lunatic kid who sought to kill the world.

Robert A. Hawkins cannot have Christmas. Neither can the devil. To hell with them. And to Hell with at least one of the two.

THE HORRIBLE NEWS came this week just as I was getting ready to put together the music for this week's edition of
the Revolution 21 podcast. To say the least, it put a crimp in things, which is why the show is a day late -- I didn't know what I was going to do with the podcast.

I could do a tribute show much like ones I've done in the past but, then again, going to the well over and over with that format can get old fast. And horrible things worthy of commemoration just keep happening. I couldn't -- can't -- ignore the horror in my own back yard, but. . . .

What sheer awfulness and irony that such a massacre would happen amid a season of great joy and good cheer. Really and truly, it has been almost too much to bear this week. And finally, this one thought hit me. Hard.

They cannot have Christmas.

They will not take the joy of Christmas from us. Not now. Not in Omaha.


THUS, Revolution 21 -- right now -- is repeating last year's Christmas program, replete with the joy of a Christmas I experienced long ago and far away. Where I once again am a child, and where loved ones long gone are alive again.

My prayer is that my yuletide reminiscence will bring on a few happy ones of your own. Sometimes, we find that our joy can become hidden amid the detritus of life in this vail of tears. But it's there; it just takes a little digging to get to it.

Christ is born in Bethlehem . . . no man, no principality, no power can undo that. Alleluia! There will be Christmas in Omaha, and we will rejoice in it.

And the devil -- he who prowls about the world seeking the ruin of souls -- can just go to Hell.

Merry Christmas, y'all.