Saturday, December 3, 2011

Rules of Engagement

The British Army had rules of engagement which we were expected to abide by in Northern Ireland which dictated when we could use our weapon. This is the famous "Yellow Card":

This card details when the baton round could be fired:

Even though we had a certain amount of latitude in using our weapons, we were not allowed to shoot wildly. Soldiers did find themselves up against boards of inquiry if a civilain was accidentally shot. The case that comes to mind for me was when the SAS trooper shot a farm kid who had found an IRA weapons cache and had come back to see if it was still there.

See this on self-defence by the military in English law

He's Done, He's Gone, He's Over - Herman Cain't!

Ya know......if Herman DIDN'T have an affair, I don't think he'd be quitting.  If Herman wasn't afraid of MORE allegations of sexual harassment, I don't think he'd be finished.

Herman has some stupid ideas about tax changes; his 9 9 9 plan is unmitigated shit.  It deserves no support, and is unlikely to get any.

I figured it would be yesterday, but instead the official announcement came this morning.

Herman can call it 'suspending', but it's done, it's over, it's kaput, finito, finis, dead, dead, dead.

I predict we will be seeing more PROOF of Cain's misconduct.  And I doubt that his hopes of making a bigger buck off of a failed Presidential campaign will be realized.

Bye bye Herman, Good Riddance, and don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out. You are exactly the kind of pervert that women have to worry about in the work place, you are just like every other philandering husband on the planet, you hypocrite family-values-baptist-minister guy.

Rumor has it that Herman has been negotiating with other candidates, apparently to get money out of them to pay off his campaign debts, which rumor has it are greater than the money he has been raising.

Don't go away mad, Herman. Just go away, and unless you have something more worthwhile to say than you've shown so far, shut it, you stupid hypocrite.

Teen goes on shooting rampage with legally owned AK-47

18-year-old David Penney of St. Cloud, Florida is an angry young man. According to police Penney left a six-page letter expressing rage at the world and himself, dressed in military fatigues, combat boots, a tactical vest for carrying multiple ammunition magazines, picked up two AK-47s, more than 100 rounds of ammunition and drove to a friend's home. He was upset over a car crash that had damaged his vehicle in September. Penney stood in the street and emptied several 30-round magazines into the home. Fortunately, no one was injured.

Police soon arrived on the scene and Penney started shooting at the officers. Both of the officers sustained injuries, one was shot in the foot, the other was hit in the face with flying glass when a round came through the windshield. But according to the St. Cloud police chief, the quick actions on the part of his officers forced Penney to retreat and ultimately, he shot himself.

Penney shot himself in the chin and was listed in critical condition at a local hospital but he is expected to survive.
Now we already knew about Florida and what kind of breeding ground it is down there, but here's the best part of the story.
According to police, Penney owned the guns legally and has no criminal record. It is legal under federal law and Florida state law for an 18-year-old to purchase an AK-47. There is no licensing requirement, no registration requirement, nor is there a waiting period.
What's your opinion? Is Florida about hopeless when it comes to guns, or what?

Please leave a comment.

What's Wrong with Nut Gingrich on Child Labor Laws

Newt Gingrich is an idiot; the things he passes off as his brilliant ideas don't hold up well under close scrutiny-- or even casual scrutiny.

I was brought up to believe that my 'job' as a child was to go to school to learn as much as I could. This was a priority that came ahead of every other activity, including when I was old enough at 12 to start babysitting neighbor kids, and when I was old enough to get a more formal regular part time job - which I did on my 15th birthday.

Nut Gingrich, who truly puts the Grinch into politics, wants to set an example for poor children (many of whom have working parents, parents who are the working poor) and give the union janitor's jobs to kids.

Apparently it has never dawned on Nut G. that janitors and other union workers for that matter, have children.  Firing them will create more kids with unemployed parents.

It is the job of adults to work, not children.

The other thing that children need time to do for normal development, besides homework and other studying, is to play, not work. This is undervalued by too many, but it IS important, as I wrote about here, linking the recommendation of our military regarding recess and early childhood education in order to have qualified citizens for the U.S. military in coming years.  I began that post, "The Connection between Recess... and Military Recruitment", with this quote:
"It is becoming increasingly clear through research on the brain as well as in other areas of study, that childhood needs play. Play acts as a forward feed mechanism into courageous, creative, rigorous thinking in adulthood.
--Tina Bruce, Professor, London Metropolitan University
And the GrinchNut isn't proposing equal pay for equal work.  He wants to pay kids on the cheap for doing the same work as the adult janitors, and of course, unlike adult full time workers he also wouldn't dream of providing those working children with benefits like health care.

Nut the Grinch further has no regard for the risks, which are far greater for children, to exposure to concentrated chemicals used in janitorial work, as well as to the very real and necessary skills that go with such a job, and of course the use of power tools and equipment.

Far better to strive for better levels of adult employment, with benefits and a living wage for the parents of poor kids.  Far better to improve the education that kids in school receive while they are there, and if anything to extend the hours of actual education, but also of recess.

What we don't need to do is to advance our economy by exploiting children, while giving a pass on any further contribution through greater revenues by taxing the upper percentage of wealth more fairly, in relation to the middle and disadvantaged classes, both the working and unemployed living below the poverty line.

And clearly, unlike the expressed policy positions of Perry and Bachmann, the last damn thing we need to do is to disband the Department of Education.  The state of Texas has deplorable educational results, barely ahead of Mississippi and some of the other undereducated southern states. Perry is a perfect example of that lack of education, with his recent failure to understand that the voting age is 18, not 21.  I can only wonder, likewise, how the education of Georgia stacks up to more progressive states.  Herman apparently failed to learn the civics class fundamentals, of how the Constitution is amended, as demonstrated by a recent statement; he appears to believe that it is signed by the President the same way that regular legislation is signed.

Nut Grinch is just one more scrooge Republican who would push us further down the ladder in comparison to education levels in other countries.  And in doing so we will all be at greater risk through a diminished military.  If asshats like Nut GettinRich GingGrinch really want to support our military, it's past time when he should be actually LISTENING to the recommendations of that military, instead of talking smack to pander to the right wing extremists ignorance on these issues.

And then we have Michele Bachmann, who has demonstrated such ignorance in her pronouncements on so many topics, that she is a true embarrassment to the educators of two states that are consistently among the highest performing in educational statistics - she shames BOTH Iowa and Minnesota.

Nut Gingrich, promoting yet more incredibly bad right wing extremist ideas.  We need more recess, we need more class time in our schools, not child labor. 

Question for gunloons

O.K., you lot like to tell us what "elitists" we are about self-defense?

Can you tell us how much it will cost you to defend yourself if you are:
a) charged with a firearms offence?
b) civilly sued for use of a firearm?
c) both?

Let's face it, you're walking around with a weapon. You're setting yourself up for criminal and civil penaties for the misuse of your firearm.

Let's face it, you are getting your share of misinformation from the internet by experts such as Greg--you're bound to screw up in some way.

Ignorantia legis neminem excusat!

Another idiotic Cockney.

He's not English, he's British.

BB Gun Shootings - Not Lethal!

We've had a couple of shooting incidents here in MN recently that involved BB guns; thankfully, they weren't fatal.  They do however illustrate the less lethal capacity of the BB gun compared to other firearms.

 From the Mankato Dept of Public Safety:
Mankato Department of Public Safety police officers responded to the report of a 19-year-old, Mankato male shot in the head by a bb gun around 6:45 p.m., November 18, as he walked back from his mailboxes in the Southhaven Mobile Home Park.
The victim looked up and saw three dark skinned males getting in a Chevy Impala (estimated to be a 2002-2006 model). The vehicle had an unknown license plate. The victim filed the report on November 21 and described one suspect wearing a red sweatshirt and blue jeans. The suspect was holding the handgun believed to be the bb gun used in this incident. The victim did not know who the suspects were.
The injury was not serious or life threatening and the bb was removed in the emergency room.
and from the Hopkins, MN Patch:

Prosecutors Charge Homeless Man in Walgreens Robberies

Vincent Mark Smith told police 'he was desperate to sell the drugs for money.'
Hennepin County prosecutors on Tuesday charged a homeless Minneapolis man in connection with the Nov. 20 robbery of a Blake Road Walgreens pharmacy and the robbery of two more Walgreens in Minneapolis, said Chuck Laszewski, a Hennepin County Attorney’s Office spokesman.
Vincent Mark Smith, 25, faces one count of first-degree aggravated robbery and one count of second-degree aggravated robbery related to the Hopkins incident. He also has been charged with:
  • Two counts of simple robbery,
  • One more count of first-degree aggravated robbery and
  • One more count of second-degree aggravated robbery.
In all, Smith is suspected of involvement in three robberies that took place Nov. 18, Nov. 20 and Nov. 23. Smith told police he robbed the first store “because he was desperate to sell the drugs for money,” according to charging documents.
Minneapolis Police arrested Smith on Saturday after a Walgreens clerk at the 5415 Lyndale Ave. S. location told officers someone matching the description of the person in the previous robberies had entered the store, Minneapolis Officer Frederick McDonald wrote in charging documents.
Officers arrived to find Smith wearing the same jacket and backpack as the suspect in the Nov. 23 robbery.
The spate of Walgreens robberies arrived in Hopkins on Nov. 20. An unidentified pharmacist at the Blake Road store told police a man approached the counter, displayed a charcoal-colored pistol and demanded Percocet and Xanax, Hopkins Officer Erik Husevold wrote in the charging documents. After the pharmacist gave the robber a bottle of Percocet and two bottles of Xanax, the suspect told her to relax, wished her a nice day and left the store.
Husevold interviewed Smith after the suspect’s arrest. The suspect told the officer he robbed the Blake Road Walgreens with a BB gun.
Three Walgreens employees who spoke to the suspect in the Nov. 18 robbery also identified Smith in a photo lineup.
First-degree aggravated robbery carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $35,000 fine. Second-degree aggravated robbery carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.
Smith is being held on $200,000 bail. He's scheduled to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 21.

Racism, UK Style; we have our own, here in the U.S.

This kind of blatant, overt racism is part and parcel of the bigotry and hatred that go along with the Islamophobia promoted by groups like the English Defense League. We have versions of the same thing here in the U.S.; sometimes it focuses on color, other times on religion, sometimes it focuses on telling lies about a group of people targeted as 'other' and not belonging. A case in point would be AZ Governor Jan Brewer claiming that illegal immigrants were responsible for decapitated corpses in the AZ desert that did not in fact exist.

But the core issue issue is usually trying to restrict citizenship and rights to people who are white European descendants who follow Christianity, preferably a Protestant version. No one else is considered genuinely equal, or genuinely as much a citizen. This IS the extreme right wing, in person, up close and loud.

Anyone want to bet the foul-mouthed woman in this video would be right at home among conservatives here in the U.S.? Anyone remember when it was conservatives telling American blacks to go back to Africa, regardless of how many generations their family members had been in the United States?

I couldn't help thinking that the soap that people like Nut Gingrich and Rump Limp-paw keep recommending to the Occupy protesters might better be used to wash out this woman's mouth.

I am appalled that anyone would respond with a death threat to this woman.

But I am equally appalled that there are protesters who agree with what she was saying. Shame on both groups, and most of all, shame on the woman herself for being a foul mouthed bigot, and for setting such a deplorable, disgusting example for her child. If this is what she does in public, I can only imagine what she does in private. That the child did not seem concerned suggests that this is routine behavior from his mom. If this woman is receiving a psych evaluation, she may be in protective custody for reasons other than ONLY the response to her racist rant.


UK woman draws death threats over racist train rant
Mother locked up 'for her own protection' after profanity-laced video goes viral
Image: Woman on train
Video of a U.K. woman's racist tirade on a train quickly went viral.
updated 12/2/2011 3:38:29 PM ET
LONDON — A 34-year-old mother has drawn death threats after a video of her profanity-laced racist rant against passengers aboard a crowded train was posted on the Internet.

Emma West, a former dental receptionist, was charged with racially aggravated harassment after a video shot by a train passenger was uploaded to YouTube on Sunday and quickly went viral.

West, of New Addington, London, was remanded into custody this week "for her own protection" after the court was told "there is a serious risk of her being injured in revenge attack by the public," reported.

West, who was also referred for psychiatric evaluation, is due to appear in court again on Tuesday.

West is accused of hurling a litany of abuse and racist insults at passengers while balancing her 4-year-old child on her lap on a tram from Croydon to Wimbledon. At one point the woman tells some passengers they should go back to their own country, saying they're not British because they are black.

The video, titled "My Tram Experience," was shot by Kelly Hollingsworth, a passenger who was sitting directly opposite of West. It had been viewed more than 9 million times as of Friday.

“Cannot believe some of these people that agree with the women on the tram, kinda scary,” Hollingsworth later tweeted.

Some far-right groups have come to West's defense.

Britain First, which bills itself as a "patriotic political movement," has launched a campaign to free what some have dubbed the "Racist Tram Lady."

"Locking this feisty English mother up in jail only reinforces the suspicion that if you are British then you are a second class citizen in your own country," Britain First says on its website.

The group on Friday held a small protest outside HMP Bronzefield, the women’s prison on the outskirts of Ashford in Surrey, where West is being held. Protesters held signs that read "Free Emma West" as well as Union flags and a Britain First banner, according to an article on citizen-journalism site

"What she said on that tram was harsh, coarse and very unladylike, no doubt about that, but what abuse had she been subjected to before the camera phone was switched on?" Andy McBride, national coordinator for Britain First, was quoted as saying.

Create Your Own Gun Free Zone

This is an old one but a good one.  We recently observed that liberals are funnier than conservatives, but when it comes to pro-gun guys, this is pretty good.

Over on TTAG the humor didn't last for long, I'm afraid.  The poster said this.

Most of them can’t explain just why exactly relegating guns to the back of the bus is not a civil rights issue, but we’ll let that pass for the now…
This inexorably led to comments which, one after another, proclaimed the terrible victimhood of the gun-rights crusader. Robert said, "The government should not be asking why we should be given certain freedoms, but why not."

What's your opinion? Do gun-free zones diminish the freedom of gun owners? I suppose, similar to the way my being prohibited from driving my car in the wrong direction on the freeway diminishes my freedom. It does make a certain sense. But it's the continual lamenting, the continual demanding that makes these guys hard to take. It's their total self-centeredness.

One thing we can no longer say, however, is that they have no sense of humor. As short-lived as it was, posting that video deserves proper humor recognition.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

The American Dream Act

What the hell are they so afraid of? I say give 'em all citizenship. What do you think?

Dan Gainor of The Media Research Center - Bronze Award for Worse

Jon Stewart on Mitt Romney

"Opposites attract"

No Announcement YET

I don't know what kind of marriage Herman Cain has...... but I can't imagine any wife who would be happy to find out through the media that a woman in the same city has been receiving money from her husband, and apparently being flown to other cities on trips together.

The only real questions remaining to be answered is why doesn't Herman Cain realize there is no way out of this that is going to work for him, this is a question now of how best to cut his losses; and when, not if, he will announce he's dropping out of this race. I agree with the newspaper quoted in the video; Cain didn't handle this at all well.

The smart PR move would have been to make the announcement he was quitting on a late Friday afternoon / early evening, and then go 'no further comment'.

And it's not like his wife will be the only person greeting him with some hard questions on his return home. I'm sure his baptist church where he is a minister will be wanting to ask him some very pointed questions as well about his conduct.

So, why does Herman Cain think we are stupid enough to believe his denials? They are not terribly plausible, and they are getting less so, not more so, by the minute.

Nut Gingrich won't fair much better as he becomes the temporary front runner flavor of the moment. He is less likable than Romney, and he has a really big closet full of skeletons, past and present, probably even more so than Cain.

From NBC News:

Friday, December 2, 2011


Here's the Greek Documentary that explains the causes of the debt crisis and proposes solutions, hidden by the government and the dominant media. Aris Hadjistefanou and Katerina Kitidi talk to economists, journalists and celebrities from around the world outlining the steps that led Greece to the debt trap, the chreokratia.

Debtocracy International Version by BitsnBytes

Another Texas Domestic Violence Mass Shooting and Suicide

I guess it is too late now to stop this guy from having guns; and yet those who are gun nuts would never find an instance where someone - like this - doesn't get to have legal guns.  This was a violent man, who used firearms to terrorize his family. 

Taking away his guns after is just too little, too late.


Texas father kills 4 kids, wounds wife in suicidal gun assault

Pat Sullivan/AP
Gloria Carranza adds balloons to a makeshift memorial Thursday outside a trailer in Bay City, Texas, where a man shot dead four children and wounded their mother on Wednesday before killing himself.
BAY CITY, Texas -- Laura Gonzalez was happy to be back at work after three weeks away that included a stay at a battered women's shelter. She saw it as the beginning of a new life. One without her husband and the father of her four children, she told co-workers. She wasn't going back to him this time, she said, and left for home.
Less than an hour later, her 24-year-old husband, Jose Avila, launched a brutal final assault. First he shot his wife three times. Then, he began shooting the children. Avila's final act was to kill himself.
Two of the children died at a hospital Thursday, a day after their two siblings were killed in the shooting that rattled the small southeast Texas town of Bay City. Their mother remains hospitalized.
As details trickled out, a picture emerged Thursday of a family long struggling with violence, including an assault reported by Gonzalez just before Thanksgiving. After that, she went to a battered women's shelter.
"I asked her how she was doing because I knew she was at the crisis center. She said she was trying to make something of her freedom and a better life for herself and her children," said Alejandro Gonzalez, a fellow waiter at La Casona, the Mexican restaurant where Gonzalez worked.
"She wanted to make a better life for his kids because they see all the violence," he added, recounting the conversation he had with Gonzalez hours before Avila turned on her.
Although Gonzalez left the trailer home she shared with her husband after reporting the assault, Bay City Lt. Andrew Lewis said she refused to press charges. He didn't know how long she stayed at the shelter.
Wednesday's violence unfolded on a quiet street in Bay City — a town about 65 miles southwest of Houston — just as two nearby schools were letting out. The couple started arguing inside the trailer, and Avila shot his wife twice, Lewis said. She ran out to the front yard, where Avila shot her a third time. Then, he turned on the children.
"We heard ... that he was walking around waving a gun," Lewis said, describing the violent scene that unfolded on a lawn now decorated with a makeshift memorial of teddy bears, candles and prayer books. At least one student witnessed the incident.
Two brothers, aged 3 and 5, died of their wounds at a Houston hospital on Wednesday. The other two children, ages 2 and 4, had been on life support but died Thursday. Gonzalez is also at a Houston hospital, but Lewis did not know her condition.
Police have not officially released the names of the victims, but co-workers and neighbors identified Avila's wife as Laura Gonzalez.
The family had moved into the trailer home near Bay City's Western-style downtown about a year ago, neighbors said. They appeared to live a quiet life. On occasion, next-door neighbor Isuro Perez heard them arguing, but it appeared to be nothing out-of-the-ordinary. Just a run-of-the-mill dispute between a married couple.
"He always plays soccer out here in this field out here, plays soccer with his kids," Perez said, pointing to a grassy area opposite the row of trailer homes. "They were nice people, nothing went wrong really. They were a happy family."
At work, though, Gonzalez portrayed a different picture. Alejandro Gonzalez said he once saw her with a black eye. And Ruby Gomez, a waitress at La Casona, said Laura Gonzalez had told her about problems she had with her husband.
"She had to leave to get the kids in the afternoon because he threatened her that if she left him he was going to kill the four kids and her," Gomez said.
Once, Gomez said, Gonzalez told her Avila had locked her in the house and gone to work. She escaped through a window and went to a shelter, Gomez recounted. That was the second time she left him, and vowed not to go back.
The first time "he convinced her that he was going to change and that he really loved his kids, and convinced her to return to live with him," Gomez said.
Still, the tragic outcome of the relationship came as a shock to Gonzalez's co-workers and to other residents of Bay City — a town of just over 17,000 people surrounded by large ranches and farmland. The shooting was the talk of the town Thursday, as residents drove slowly past the couple's home.
Some stopped to add something to the growing memorial. Others cried. Several prayed.
"It's going to be sad for the momma when she wakes up and finds out she lost her children," said Gloria Carranza, a 41-year-old Bay City native who added pink and blue balloons to the memorial.
"Things like this don't happen in a small town like Bay City," she said.

Florida Again.
Police, Again
But not what you'd expect.

Pluck your magic twanger, froggie? (low brow)
 or, (high brow)
Round about the caldron go;
    In the poison'd entrails throw.—
    Toad, that under cold stone,
    Days and nights has thirty-one;
    Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
    Boil thou first i' the charmed pot!
       ALL.  Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and cauldron bubble. or..........oh, never mind.  There are no words to introduce this.  It's just a little crazy,   Except maybe to mention, these people have guns.

By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes - yagottaloe the Scottish play.

Birdseed spell backfires on Florida police employees

For two Florida municipal employees, an alleged plan to cast a supernatural spell on their boss was anything but super.
Due to some supposedly mystical birdseed and a janitor who blew the whistle on the seedy hex, one employee has been fired from her post at the North Miami Police Department and a recommendation for termination is pending for the other.
Veteran police officer Elizabeth Torres and office manager Yvonne Rodriguez's curse was to take place in August amid budget cuts and planned layoffs, but they never got past the planning stages.
"We were looking at a reduction in staff of about 9.4 percent, so everybody was on edge," North Miami Police Department Public Information Officer Mark Perkins told "The two employees were conspiring to place birdseed in the city manager's office to get him to leave, the belief being that if you sprinkle birdseed around it, it will make the person - any person- want to leave."
But since they didn't have access to City Manager Lyndon Bonner's office, the two approached a janitor, hoping they could recruit her to sprinkle the seeds, which they later told investigators is a Santeria ritual.
Esther Villaneuva, the janitor, was working her night shift on Aug. 29 when Torres and Rodriguez approached her with a container full of seeds, according to the department's internal affairs report. It was the first time Villaneuva had ever had a conversation with the two women, Villaneuva said. Torres told her to "just take a little bit of the birdseed and spread it," according to the department's report. Villaneuva said no, expressing worry about the security cameras monitoring the office, and also whether something bad could actually happen to the city manager.
Torres allegedly told her, "No. Nothing's going to happen to him. He's just gonna leave. It's just going to make him leave. Don't worry, nothing bad is going to happen to him."
Torres even allegedly told her that she had used birdseed in her own house in the past, and it had resulted in her son and daughter going away for a couple of weeks.
When Villaneuva asked Torres why she didn't just spread the birdseed herself, Torres told her she didn't have an excuse for being in that part of the building at that time of night.
Villaneuva refused the request and told her boss, prompting an investigation that eventually led to Rodriguez, the office manager, getting fired last week.
"The police officer has union protection, the office manager does not, so technically, the police officer still has not been terminated, although recommendation for that is pending," Perkins said. Officer Torres will go to court for her appeal on Monday, he added.
Both maintained the plot was harmless, according to transcripts in the internal affairs report, which the North Miami Police Department released Wednesday.
'Nothing malicious ... a superstitious practice'
Torres, who has worked as a North Miami police officer since 1987, told investigators, "I want to clarify that it's nothing malicious and nothing intended to hurt that person. Just, just it can be viewed as either a superstitious practice or a religious practice in the Santeria religion ... This is something I was raised with as a child, all these superstitions and this quasi-religion."
Rodriguez initially denied involvement in the plot, department spokesman Perkins told, and was fired for "conduct unbecoming." She has worked for the department since 1996.
"The second time, she told the truth," he said. "If you work for a police department, that's not an option."
According to the report, Rodriguez said she didn't provide accurate information in the first interview because she "wasn't the initiator of this whole ordeal" and she feared getting in trouble.
Santeria is an Afro-Caribbean religion centered in Cuba that became more widely practiced in the U.S. and other nearby countries, particularly following the 1959 Cuban revolution, according to the BBC. The religion is revolves around relationships between humans and spirits, who followers believe will help them in their lives if appropriate rituals are carried out.
And despite what Torres said about birdseed, University of Miami Religious Studies Profess Michelle Maldonado told Miami's, "In Santeria, you can't just spread birdseed and make the supernatural do what you want it to do."

It's Not Pulling the Plug on Grandma........It's Plugging IN to Grandma

There are a lot of serious reasons why cremation is more earth-friendly than burial.  But even allowing for that, I have to admit that this item gave me a moment's pause.  I will apologize now for the macabre humor of my Death Panel /Pulling the Plug on Grandma right wing propaganda lies about health care reform.

Burning deceased humans will produce electricity

Turbines at crematorium will convert heat into as much as 150 kilowatt-hours per corpse

In Durham, England, corpses will soon be used to generate electricity.
A crematorium is installing turbines in its burners that will convert waste heat from the combustion of each corpse into as much as 150 kilowatt-hours of juice — enough to power 1,500 televisions for an hour. The facility plans to sell the electricity to local power companies.
Some might find this concept creepy. Others might be pleased to learn that the process "makes cremation much greener by utilizing its by-products," in the words of cremation engineer Steve Looker, owner and chief executive officer of the Florida-based company B&L Cremation Systems, which is unaffiliated with the Durham enterprise.
In Europe, tightening regulations on crematorium emissions, coupled with the high price of energy, will lead more and more facilities to go the way of Durham in the future, Looker said. Will crematories in the United States follow suit?
According to Looker, whose company is currently testing different methods of utilizing cremation waste heat, the expensive turbine systems being installed in Durham are not yet economically viable for crematories here. "In the U.S., most crematories don't have enough throughput," he told Life's Little Mysteries. "Cremation in some parts of Europe is over 90 percent, but it is not over 50 percent yet here." That is, less than half of Americans opt for cremation. Most are buried.
Consequently, while burners in Europe typically run 24 hours day, ones in America operate only eight hours each day, Looker said. "A typical turbine system would cost somewhere between $250,000 to $500,000. If it's running 24 hours a day, that's a five-year payback. If it's running eight hours a day, that's a 15- or 20-year payback, which isn't feasible," he said.
However, Looker is hopeful that the situation could change in the near future. "Over the next 10 years, with the baby boomers coming through, cremation is going to reach 75 to 80 percent. Then, this might be feasible."
Furthermore, a turbine designed by a company called Thermal Dynamic Engineering, which produces just 50 kilowatt-hours of energy but is much less expensive to install than the Durham system, will be available in the near future, Looker said.
Thus, it may indeed come to pass that deceased baby boomers will someday help power your household appliances.
Follow Natalie Wolchover on Twitter @ nattyover. Follow Life's Little Mysteries on Twitter @ llmysteries, then join us on Facebook.


"Them bullies won't fuck with me anymore!"
"Future school shooters"
"Guns amok"
"All I want for Christmas is to be an orphan!"

OK Everybody, Sing along!

Brenda Spencer opened fire with a rifle at the Grover Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California, killing two adults and injuring nine children. She later explained her actions with the statement, “I don’t like Mondays” back in 1979.

The Boomtown Rats were at a US radio station for an interview when the story of Brenda Spencer came over the news wire. As a loud mid ’70s rock band, the Boomtown Rats were (respectfully if not completely accurately) branded punks by the media. As the Sex Pistols and the Clash became the voice of young London punks, The Boomtown Rats carried the flag for the youth of Dublin. After their debut album saw respectable sales in 1978, they recorded “I Don’t Like Mondays,” their most successful and most enduring hit despite the fact that many US radio stations refused to play it.

I wonder why?

Since Brenda Spencer went “postal” there have been many shootings like this. School shootings like this happen all the time, but they are treated as local news, unless they are like Columbine or yesterday’s Virginia Tech shootings.

I mean 32 dead. Wow, that’s a new record.

I guess the next big school shooting is going to have to top that to become news.

There are other songs which pinpoint the real instrumentality which allows for this carnage: Guns. Cheryl Wheeler’s “If It Were Up To Me”, Wall of Voodoo’s “Shouldn’t have given him a gun for Christmas”, Captain Sensible’s “Yanks with Guns”, Robert Bobby “Guns across the USA”, The Beatles “Happiness is a Warm Gun”, Johnny Cash “Don’t Take Your Guns to Town”, Lynyrd Skynyrd “Saturday Night Special”, Harry Chapin “Sniper”, Indigo Girls “Don’t Give that Girl a Gun”, various versions of “The Devil’s Right Hand”, I Can Lick Any Son Of… “Dear Mr. Heston”, Ian Hunter “Gun Control”, Pearl Jam “Glorified G”, Robert Bobby “guns Across the USA”, any other suggestions out there?

Anyway, Cheryl Wheeler’s “If it were up to me” which ends with “If it were up to me, I’d take away the guns.” is also not played on the airwaves. The pro-gun crowd is too scared of it.

Why? let’s face it, more guns does not equal less crime. If it were the case, Philadelphia would be one of the safest places in the nation with the largest number of NRA life members and amount of concealed carry permits. Also, Virginia, they can just strap on a gun there, but this is the second time they have been victimised by maniacs with a gun on a large scale (anybody remember Lee Boyd Malvo and John Allen Muhammad?).

I mean those last two paralaysed the nation’s capital with only one gun. Shit, the East Coast!

Not bad.

It is the guns and I don’t hear many people talking about gun responsibilities!

Sorry, but 28 years is too long and too many bodies have piled up from guns. It’s costs this country too much to treat all the gunshot victims.

It’s time for guns to be put under strict regulation–after all Heller-McDonald says that’s Constitutionally OK.

The only thing stopping that happening is the gun lobby.

For a great piece on Brenda Spencer listen to ‘s piece from Day to Day, January 31, 2005:

Add on the following songs:
Stephen Sondheim: Gun Song, Bobby Bare Jr.: Gun Show, Railroad Jerk: Gun Problem, Kittens For Christian: Gun Country, D.R.I.: Gun Control , Guess Who: Guns, Guns, Guns, Junior Reid: Gun Court, Boy Wundah: Change (The Anti Gun Crime Song), 311: Guns (Are For Pussies), Gorillaz: Kids With Guns, Robert Bobby: Guns Across The U.S.A and Bigger Guns., UB40: Guns In The Ghetto, The Damned: Gun Fury, The Tannahill Weavers: At The End Of A Pointed Gun, Steely Dan: With A Gun, Buju Banton: Mr. Nine, Aerosmith: Janie’s Got A Gun, Indigo Girls: Don’t Give That Girl A Gun, and Julie Brown: Homecoming Queen’s got a gun



Nothing embarrasses the Gunloons more than being shown up for being the headcases they are.

Amnesty International Says "Arrest George W. Bush"

They're speaking to Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia, but the whole world hears it.
"All countries to which George W. Bush travels have an obligation to bring him to justice for his role in torture," said Matt Pollard, senior legal adviser.

Amnesty International recognizes the value of raising awareness about cervical and breast cancer in Africa, the stated aim of the visit, but this cannot lessen the damage to the fight against torture caused by allowing someone who has admitted to authorizing water-boarding to travel without facing the consequences prescribed by law.

"International law requires that there be no safe haven for those responsible for torture; Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia must seize this opportunity to fulfill their obligations and end the impunity George W. Bush has so far enjoyed," said Pollard.
What do you think? Is that Malaysia news beginning to have a ripple effect?

Please leave a comment.

Meet Alan Grayson

He is the liberal firebrand ex-congressman from Disney World, defeated in 2010 after one term, who is now running for a new House seat representing Orlando. It's nice to see a real progressive out there--as opposed to purported "Socialists".

You know what Washington’s like. Why do you want to go back?

I’d be down on the floor every day calling the [Republicans] out for the crazy stuff they do, that nobody ever finds out about, because they’re not witnesses to it.

What do you make of the so-called Supercommittee’s failure to do its job?

I’m not sure that they should do their job. I don’t like their job. Their job is to cut Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid. I’m sorry, it’s just a farce. The real two-party system in America is the Meanies and the Weenies. The Meanies want to take away your benefits, and the Weenies want to compromise with them.

Why isn’t the leadership of your party focusing on these problems?

You’d have to ask them. I’d love to see them solve some problems. Show me a problem that they’ve solved. But I’m really not interested in demoralizing my own supporters.

Are you heartened that President Obama has started to articulate that message?

I don’t know what to say to that. You’ve left me speechless.

Would Mitt Romney be worse than Barack Obama?

He’d be less bad than some of the other candidates who are running for the Republican nomination.

Any thoughts on the other Republican candidates?

I never in my wildest dreams imagined that Ron Paul would have a viable candidacy. Newt Gingrich is like Rudy Giuliani—the more you know him, the less you like him. I’d be concerned that if Gingrich were President, he’d find a way to cheat on the country.

What are the odds that Obama will be reelected?

I think he’ll probably be reelected.

How much money will be spent against you?

Last time the Koch brothers spent around $2 million, the health-insurance companies spent around $2 million, and the Republican Party spent around $1 million.

You obviously have high name recognition.

There are many people who live here [in Orlando] and know me and wish they didn’t. The only person who’s better known than me [in Orlando] is the President -- and Mickey Mouse. But I don’t think Mickey’s going to run.

Learn more about Alan here.

Officer Isnora Gets a Half-assed Slap on the Wrist for the Killing of Sean Bell

Already deemed not guilty of criminal offenses in a non-jury (cover-up) trial, Officer Gescard Isnora has been "deemed reckless" by a police commission  which has recommended his dismissal. Of course that doesn't mean it will happen.  It's only a recommendation, after all.

Isnora had been assigned to the Queens strip club where the three friends were partying before Bell's wedding. Isnora said he believed Guzman had a gun because he heard him say "Get my gun" outside the club. He said he thought the men were going to their car to get a weapon and commit a drive-by shooting to get even with another group of men with whom they had been arguing moments earlier outside.

No weapon was found in Bell's car.

How could he not be in jail? That's more than a mistake.

I'm sometimes accused of wanting to ban civilian ownership of guns and allowing only cops to have them. Nothing could be further from the truth. First of all I don't want to ban guns. Secondly, not only don't I favor the police in these matters, I would hold them to an even higher standard. Sadly, they don't even come close to that standard now. Example, Gescard Isnora, a dangerous criminal and unfit gun owner who happens to have a badge.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ka--BOOM 3 - another one for Greg


High explosive, highly explosive, or low brow explosive, these provide a bit of comic perspective to the topic. 'Blowed up real good' seems to make the same point as 'highly explosive' did in the original kaboom article...

More Now Disagree with Tea Party – Even in Tea Party Districts

OK, all you fans of the ironically named "Road to Serfdom" which really advocates the policies that led to the rise of dictatorships (ever notice all those Scandanavian Social Democratic Countries have the happiest citizens?): it has come out in a recent survey by the Pew Charitable Trust that the Tea Party has not only lost support nationwide, but also in the congressional districts represented by members of the House Tea Party Caucus. Not to mention, the image of the Republican Party has declined even more sharply in these GOP-controlled districts than across the country at large.

Hey, but what do you expect when they advocate policies that make no sense whatsoever?

Ka Boom2 - for Greg
Don't Do This At Home Kids!
Don't You Adults Try It Either!

I think, given this video, that KSTP made a reasonably accurate use of the words highly explosive in referencing black powder in a pipe bomb.  Because a picture is worth a thousand words, and these moving pictures are worth even more, I will let them refute Greg Camp's assessment, and support Democommie's explanation.

This is just a sampling of the videos available on youtube of black powder bomb explosions.  It appears to be a popular activity, and there can be absolutely no question whatsoever, after viewing these videos, that under the right conditions - and there appear to be many different versions of that - black powder is explosive; it does go Ka-Boom very convincingly.  (Be sure to scroll down to the end.)

Consider this a public service to educate the educator.

You just have to love youtube and the 'interwebs'.  Hope you all enjoyed the Mikeb blog video of stupid guys getting their rocks off doing stupid things - HIGHLY EXPLOSIVE things -  with black powder. 

I'll be looking forward to the explanations of why these videos do not show black powder EXPLOSIONS, by the usual definitions of the term.

For those of you not familiar with the usual definitions of the word explosion, in addition to the video definitions of the term, I am pleased to provide the definition from for clarification:


an act or instance of exploding;  a violent expansion or bursting with noise, as of gunpowder or a boiler ( opposed to implosion).
the noise itself: The loud explosion woke them.
a violent outburst, as of laughter or anger.
a sudden, rapid, or great increase: a population explosion.
the burning of the mixture of fuel and air in an internal-combustion engine.

and the word explode, also from


[ik-splohd]  verb, -plod·ed, -plod·ing.
verb (used without object)
to expand with force and noise because of rapid chemical change or decomposition, as gunpowder or nitroglycerine ( opposed to implode).
to burst, fly into pieces, or break up violently with a loud report, as a boiler from excessive pressure of steam.
 You're welcome.


I have to give democommie the credit for finding this story, but I'm the one who thought it deserved being published here.  If ever there was a story which speaks for itself, this is it.


The Sideshow

Man is accidentally shot by his own dog

By Eric Pfeiffer | The Sideshow – 18 hrs ago

Duck Hunt gone awry
Dogs are man's best friend. Except, you know, when they're shooting a gun at you. And strangely enough, that's what really happened to a hapless dog owner in Brigham City, Utah. The man in question--a 46-year-old hunting enthusiast who is not named in local news reports on the incident--got a behind-full of birdshot courtesy of his loyal canine companion when he was out duck hunting over the weekend. reports the man and his dog were traveling in a canoe-like boat when the man stepped out into a shallow marsh to set up some decoys. His left his 12-gauge shotgun resting across the bow of the boat, according to Box Elder County Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Potter.
That's when the dog "did something to make the gun discharge," Potter said. "I don't know if the safety device was on. It's not impossible the dog could have taken it off safety."
Apparently excited to join his owner in the marsh, the dog jumped up on the boat's bow and stepped on the gun. The gun was fired, hitting the man in the buttocks with 27 pellets of birdshot.
The man promptly called 9-1-1, and is now reportedly recovering. Potter said that thanks to a well-positioned pair of waders--the hip-length rubber boots he was wearing at the time--the dog owner was able to avoid a more serious gunshot wound.

Seriously, nothing ever seems to happen in Liverpool.

The BBC Website has this story about Rushworths Music Store in Liverpool. The store existed for 174 years until the store closed in 2002.

Of course, the fact that Rushworths was where the Beatles bought their guitars overrides the fact that this store was a symbol of Liverpool's prosperity during the Victorian Era.

The other interesting aspect was the firm's social conscience. Jonathan Rushworth said: "My grandfather believed you couldn't just sell musical instruments, you had to give back to society and be part of the musical life of the city."

Thus the firm set up and sponsored a music festival, which ran for 50 years, and the William Rushworth Memorial Trust still makes grants for the study of music.

But, it's the association with the Beatles that gives Rushworths its fame.

MikeB302000 Is Not an Extremist Anti-gunner

 From commenter Bob (not to be confused with Bob S.), over on The Truth About Guns:

+1 Although I generally disagree with MikeB302000, occasionally we can find small areas of agreement. Remember his posts about teaching his son about guns – That was a very intelligent and enlightening conversation.

By the way, MikeB302000 is not an extremist anti-gunner. He’s definitely not an irrational hoplophobe! I imagine there are a few things the Brady Commission has said that Mike would find a little extreme.

I’m glad Mike is around to provide a well-spoken ‘other side’s’ view occasionally.
Naturally I thanked him. The +1 indicates that the preceding comment also sang my praises, as did a number of others.

After a while, though, I got to thinking. Do I find certain things the Brady folks say "a little extreme." I couldn't think of any of the top of my head. Let's see.
From the Brady Campaign About page:

We should make it harder for convicted felons, the dangerously mentally ill, and others like them to get guns in the first place.

We can do this by passing laws such as requiring Brady criminal background checks on all gun sales; banning military-style assault weapons; and strengthening law enforcement’s efforts to stop the illegal gun market, like limiting the number of guns that can be bought at one time.

Please be a part of our efforts. There are quick and easy ways to sign up to be part of our e-action network, to become involved if you are a victim of gun violence, to become an activist, and to donate.

Thousands upon thousands of people will continue to die and be injured needlessly each year without stronger, sensible gun laws. The Brady Campaign fights for sensible gun laws to protect you, your family and your community.
Nope, nothing extreme there that I can see. What else?

The Mission Statement:
We are devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.

The Brady Campaign works to pass and enforce sensible federal and state gun laws, regulations, and public policies through grassroots activism, electing public officials who support common sense gun laws, and increasing public awareness of gun violence. Through our Million Mom March and Brady Chapters, we work locally to educate people about the dangers of guns, honor victims of gun violence, and pass sensible gun laws, believing that all Americans, especially children, have the right to live free from the threat of gun violence.

The Brady Center works to reform the gun industry by enacting and enforcing sensible regulations to reduce gun violence, including regulations governing the gun industry. In addition, we represent victims of gun violence in the courts. We educate the public about gun violence through litigation, grassroots mobilization, and outreach to affected communities.
No, certainly no problem with that. What else?
FAQ: What is the Brady Campaign and the Brady Center's goal?

Our goal is to protect you, your family and your community from gun deaths and injuries. In America, we make it too easy for dangerous people to get dangerous weapons. There are only a few federal gun control laws on the books, and even those have loopholes. This leads to senseless gun violence affecting tens of thousands.

We should make it harder for convicted felons, the dangerously mentally ill, and others like them to get guns in the first place. We can do this by passing laws such as requiring Brady criminal background checks on all gun sales; banning military-style assault weapons; and strengthening law enforcement's efforts to stop the illegal gun market, like limiting the number of guns that can be bought at one time.

We can also do this by exposing corrupt gun dealers who feed the illegal gun market. Our Brady Center legal staff works to hold those dealers accountable in court and to protect common sense gun laws when they are attacked in court. We work to strengthen law enforcement's efforts to stop the illegal gun market. We also educate the public about gun violence through grassroots mobilization and outreach to affected communities.

Thousands upon thousands of people will continue to die and be injured needlessly each year without stronger, sensible gun laws. The Brady Campaign fights for sensible gun laws to protect you, your family and your community.
Again, no problem, nothing extreme at all.

What could explain this odd ability of Bob's to see that I'm just a guy with a differeing opinion but to view the Brady Campaign as extremists? If I had to guess, I'd say Bob has been influenced by his more hysterical fellow gun owners. I honestly believe the Brady crowd are no more extremist than I am and if folks would just give them a good look, they'd see that too.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.