Saturday, July 12, 2014

More on Celebratory Gunfire and gun responsibilities

This blog ran something asking gun owners to not engage in the practise of shooting their guns in the air "in celebration", but it seems that many "pro-gun" blogs didn't bother with making the same request.
I have often heard the mantra from those who feel emotional about their gun rights that the majority of gun owners are safe, responsible and law abiding, and that if this country were only to endorse how to properly use a firearm, and firearm safety, that gun violence would great diminish.
Well, you had your chance.
The past holiday weekend, gun owners and groups had the opportunity to urge fellow gun owners not to engage in celebratory gunfire. Shooting a deadly weapon randomly in the air, as common sense will dictate, is a dangerous practice. What goes up, must come down. This practice shows a blatant disregard for the public safety of Americans, the shooters' neighbors. Not only that, it is illegal. It is a blatant exercise in irresponsibility and lawlessness.
On July 4th, reports of celebratory gunfire came in from across the country. In Illinois, it cost an innocent man his life. In North Carolina and Florida, innocent Americans were wounded as a result of celebratory gunfire. In Richmond, Virginia, at the one year anniversary of the loss of seven year old Brendon Mackey to celebratory gunfire, gunfire was reported as early as 8 PM on Independence Day, less than one mile from the Mackey home.
Urging gun owners not to engage in celebratory gunfire is not an infringement of rights. It is a promotion of firearm safety. Yet, in my thorough perusal of gun groups on social media, I did not see one message. Not one. Pages like the NRA, Gun Owners of America, Cold Dead Hands, Guns Save Lives, The Right To Bear Arms, etc, did not practice what they preach. They failed to promote firearm safety, on a day that would logically appear to be an opportune time to do so. A number of these pages did have sweepstakes to give away a free deadly weapon.
Gun owners and groups alike need to pay more than just lip service to the common sense notion that with rights, comes responsibility. Not just for oneself, but to the gun owning community at large. Gun owners are more than willing to wash their hands of the daily American blood shed by gun violence. Omitting to promote responsibility along with rights is in and of itself irresponsible, and they only have themselves to blame.
Come on, rights happen to come with responsibilities and you are far more likely to lose your "right" if you act irresponsibly.

Latest gun violence numbers

Still think more guns make the US a safer place?

Listening to the BBC is (sort of) an act of resistance.

As someone who with a knowledge European WWII resistance, I know that one of their activities was Covert listening to BBC broadcasts for news bulletins and coded messages.

The BBC opened its studio to the first members of the resistance who fled France's occupation by Germany in 1940. This was when the service called "Radio Londres" began and would become the daily appointment of the French people for four years. It opened its transmission with : "Ici Londres ! Les Français parlent aux Français..." ("This is London! The French speaking to the French..."), now a very famous quote in France. It was the voice of Free French Forces under Charles de Gaulle, who on 18 June 1940 made his famous Appeal of 18 June, inviting his compatriots to resist and rise against the occupation.

There was a similar service for the Belgians Radio België or Radio Belgique. Radio Belgique was listened to by a majority of Belgians despite its being banned, far more than officially approved stations (like Radio Bruxelles) which broadcast German propaganda.

The BBC would regularly transmit hundreds of personal messages, of which only a few were really significant. A few days before D-Day, the commanding officers of the Resistance heard the first line of Verlaine's poem, "Chanson d'automne", "Les sanglots longs des violons de l'automne" (Long sobs of autumn violins) which meant that the "day" was imminent. When the second line "Blessent mon cœur d'une langueur monotone" (wound my heart with a monotonous langour) was heard, the Resistance knew that the invasion would take place within the next 48 hours. They then knew it was time to go about their respective pre-assigned missions.

Even after the war, the East German propaganda machine was foiled by people who could access western media, particularly in Saxony.

Where I am going with this is that when one is faced with a media which is clearly biased, listening to other sources of information is an act of defiance.  But it isn't just listening to any source of information, but one which is reliable and trustworthy.

In some ways, the BBC World Service is beginning to follow the US media, but it hasn't gotten as corrupt as its US bretheren.   Still, it is another voice and another source.  It also has a history of being a trusted new source.

North Carolina Mom Finally Charged in the April Death of her 9-Year-old

Amy Pittman
Amy Pittman

Local news reports

The mother of a 9-year-old who was killed in an accidental shooting in April was arrested by police Wednesday.

Officers arrested Amy Pittman Wednesday morning on Rock Street.

Officers were dispatched to the 400 block of Macon Street April 28 around 9:40 p.m. in reference to a shooting. When they arrived, officers found 9-year-old Christian Pittman, who had died from an apparent gunshot wound.

Durham police said three children were home alone at the time of the shooting.

On Tuesday, Pittman was indicted on one count of voluntary manslaughter, three counts of felony child abuse – gross negligence, three counts of misdemeanor child abuse, three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and one count of failure to store firearms to protect minors, authorities said.

An investigation into the shooting revealed it was an accident.

Kentucky Gun Laws - No One Responsible for Child's Death

Friday, July 11, 2014

Yeah, it might be like beating a dead horse, or shouting "Benghazi", BUT...

It is an accurate assessment, no matter how much the right wing want to deny it:

And they only show their dishonesty when they do try to deny it.

More on the Chris Christie Veto - The Why

An Easy Jeopardy Question

Profile of a Dangerous but Lawful Gun Owner - Ron Lee Haskell

ABC News video

A week before Ron Haskell allegedly killed four children and two adults in a Texas rampage he taped his mother to a chair, choked her and threatened to kill her for speaking to his ex-wife, according to police records obtained by ABC News.
The wife had also filed domestic abuse complaint against her husband in 2008 after he dragged her by the hair and repeatedly punched her in the head and five years later sought a restraining order against him, court documents state.
Haskell, 33, was charged with capital murder today for allegedly shooting seven people in Spring, Texas. Six died and one is in the hospital with a head wound. He shot his victims after kicking open their door, tying them up face down on the floor and demanding to know where his wife was, according to testimony in a preliminary hearing today. He then shot them execution style.

Ronald Lee Haskell - Unfit and Dangerous Gun Owner

Ronald Lee Haskell


A man accused of fatally shooting four children ages 4 to 14 and their parents after entering their suburban Houston home disguised as a FedEx delivery man while looking for his former wife was charged with capital murder on Thursday.
Ronald Lee Haskell, 33, went to the home searching for his former wife, who is related to the victims, and held the children at gunpoint until their parents returned, authorities said. He then brought all seven family members into a room and shot them, killing all except a teenage girl, authorities said.
Police in Logan, Utah, said in a statement that Haskell and his then-wife lived in the city from 2006 to 2013. They said they had once arrested him for domestic assault and violence but the charges were dropped after he accepted a plea deal. 
Haskell is alleged to have killed two boys ages 4 and 14, two girls ages 7 and 9, and their parents Stephen Stay, 39, and Katie, 33. Five of them were found dead and one of the children died after being flown to a hospital for treatment. A 15-year-old daughter survived the attack, the sheriff's office said.
Local media reported that the family was bound and each member shot execution style, but police would not confirm the reports.
The suspect's former wife did not live at the house and was not harmed in the incident.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Scary Reports about ISIS - Comical Segue about Imminent Gun Confiscations in the US

Near Houston - Mass Domestic Shooting - 6 Dead 1 Wounded - Shooter Arrested

A man involved in a domestic dispute opened fire at a suburban home near Houston, Texas Wednesday evening, killing six people, four of them children, and wounding one woman, authorities said.
The suspected gunman later surrendered to police after a three hour standoff in a nearby cul-de-sac.
The Harris County Sheriff's Office said in a written statement that precinct deputy constables were called to the house in Spring, a suburban area about 40 kilometres north of Houston, around 6 p.m. Wednesday and found two adults and three children dead. Another child later died after being airlifted to hospital.
The woman who survived identified the shooter and directed deputies to him.
Deputies were able to intercept, chase and corner the suspect in his vehicle in a cul-de-sac about 5 kilometres from the shooting scene, authorities said. Deputies were using armoured vehicles to block the suspect's car and negotiations with him continued for several hours.
Sheriff's Sgt. Thomas Gilliland described the man as in his 30s with a beard "and cool as a cucumber." He said that when he and other officers approached, the man was "just sitting in his car looking out at us."

Run the Honest Politician for U.S. Senate

And if you think that politicians really give a shit about your "gun rights", "are pro-life", or "truly Christian"...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Quote of the day (or "Hey, Holly, betcha didn't know you had so much in common with a Mooselim")

I became Republican because I felt that my Islamic values – pro-life, pro-traditional family, pro-business, pro-trade – aligned best with the Republican party platform. I identified as a Democrat for several years when I was younger, but found it hard to defend liberal values as they were so often in conflict with my deeply-held beliefs.--Saba Ahmed

Of course, we know the right wing people who denied that there was more similarities than differences in this picture will have "their heads explode" at the above quote:
Sorry, you can hem and haw all you want about Holly somehow being different, but the only difference is that she isn't modestly dressed (1 Timothy 2:9–10).

Holly, the only thing about you which makes my head explode is that you are so ignorant and proud of that fact.

You have so much in common with the people you claim to hate.

Although, One could claim that there has been a huge misunderstanding here. One of these is a picture depicts a good woman and the other, by contrast, must be a picture of a bad woman, right?

Surely, you see that one of these pictures shows a patriotic and faithful citizen, a woman whom many see as representing goodness, possessing characteristics which a sympathetic audience would interpret as truly wholesome. She’s simply holding the common and natural token of her faith in one hand. This is a book, I don’t need to tell anyone here, that we all know of and which many of us have read. And her faith, incidentally, is something which she sees as foundational to the existence of her country and to the very idea of morality; her other hand is locked to the hand grip of the symbol and substance (as she and many like her see it) of freedom and power. I’m sure she regards this as an unquestionable right! With a gun, she seems to say with her smile, “You may think I’m a soft woman, but go ahead and mess with me”. Behind her, the banner of not just her nation or people, but of her own identity.

Of course, the other picture is of an American. I can understand why her followers would be upset.

More on modest dress and Christianity.

Colorado Man Not Charged in Accidental Shooting Death of Girlfriend

Prosecutors have decided not to file charges against a man in the shooting death of his girlfriend in Glenwood Springs.
James "McCabe" Mallin

Local news reports

Prosecutors have decided not to file charges against a man in the shooting death of his girlfriend in Glenwood Springs.

The Post Independent reports, the District Attorney's Office has determined that James "McCabe" Mallin's actions were reasonable despite the consequences.

The DA's office says Audrey Lowndes was intoxicated and "exhibiting unstable behavior" when she grabbed and loaded Mallin's gun on April 15.

The rifle discharged when Mallin tried to get it away from Lowndes, who was shot in the head.

Mallin, who called 911 and attempted to administer first aid, told the Post Independent he was relieved with the DA's decision and "all along I knew that I'd done nothing wrong."

Nebraska 12-Year-old Shot Unintentionally - Bumbling Idiot Who Dropped his Gun Get's a Slap on the Wrist

12-year-old shooting victim, Paige Meyer

Local news reports

Ronald Marsh, 42, 2201 S. 37th St., was at the house with 10 to 12 other people when his .380-caliber handgun fell out of his shorts pocket, Lincoln Police Capt. Jim Davidsaver said.
The gun hit the ground, fired and a bullet hit Paige in the middle of her back before going out her right shoulder, Davidsaver said.
Her dad, Brian Meyer, stood less than 10 feet away when the bullet tore into his daughter’s back, went through her lung and out her right shoulder. He said he thought it was a firecracker at first, but realized what happened within three to four seconds.
When he did, Meyer ripped off his shirt to put on Paige’s shoulder and yelled for people to call 911 as his daughter struggled to breathe, lost consciousness for about five seconds, but mostly stayed awake while rescue crews rushed to the house.
Police cited and released Marsh for unlawful discharge of a firearm.
Brian Meyer said he’s been friends with Marsh for a long time. After the shooting, Marsh called him three or four times and sent as many text messages apologizing over and over and over.
After Paige gave him permission, Marsh spent 3½ hours with her Saturday and brought beef jerky and headbands as gifts, Meyer said.
“He felt like dirt,” Meyer added. “He said there’s no way on God’s green earth he can make it up to her.”
And he hasn’t, yet, at least not to Paige and her dad, Meyer said, adding that he knows it was an accident, and that everyone needs to move on, but that full forgiveness will take awhile.
“There's no way in hell I’m forgiving you,” Meyer said. “That’s going to be a long, long, long way down the road.”
"Cited and released?" 

What can raise compassion in heartless people?

Some people believe that you can garner compassion if you put a face to the numbers.

Hobby Lobby Horror

There is a problem with people who use their political leanings rather than legal doctrine and procedure being judges, that is they come up with piss poor legal decisions.

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, 573 U.S. ___ (2014) will turn out to be yet another of the US Supreme Court's recent blunders because it used political leanings rather than legal method.

The concept that a corporation is a distinct entity with its own rights and obligations separate from those of its shareholders is the foundational principle of corporate law.

This concept means that people can invest in a company without risking personal assets beyond their investment (i.e., shares in the corporation). For example, the victim can only sue the corporation, not the individual shareholders if a corporation fails to observe proper safety precautions in manufacturing a product. This benefit is especially important for closely held corporations, like Hobby Lobby, because any liability would otherwise be shared by a small number of family members or other controlling shareholders. In exchange for this protection, individual owners are not supposed to treat a corporation as a mere extension of themselves.

Under the new decision, religious owners of closely-held, for-profit companies try to have it both ways. They get to assert their personal religious identity to exclude legally mandated birth-control benefits from their company’s health insurance plan. Yet they hope they also will still enjoy the insulation against personal economic liability that comes from doing business as a corporation.

The problem with this is that is that one cannot really have things both ways: one must either function as a corporate entity which is separate from the personal interests of the shareholder or accept full liability for the corporation.  In other words, this decision will “pierce of the corporate veil”, which is where the the rights or duties of a corporation switch to the rights or liabilities of its shareholders.  In other words, Plaintiffs may seek to have owners personally cover a corporate debt when a business goes bust, for example, or to hold a corporation responsible when an owner doesn’t have the money to pay their personal bills.

While I understand that the chickens have begun to come home to roost with this decision, this aspect has yet to rear its ugly face.  I have a feeling that when it does, the reality challenged right wing will find yet another aspect of its ideology influenced policy making will prove to be another golem for them to have to address.

The Art of Dumbfuckery

Commenter TS in comments:
 If Kellermann's data pool were a 50/50 split of urban and rural households, he would never get the results he intended because so many of those households would own guns without anyone being murder.


This is why epidemiologists, pollsters, quality controllers and statisticians exist.  Nothing is fifty-fifty.  And you can't poll everyone and you can't test each and every part and you can't ensure every side is evenly distributed.

The fact is Kellermann controlled for owning v renting, rural v urban, poor v affluent and a ton of other variables.  TS still refuses to read the study which indicates he either cannot read or doesn't understand what he does read.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Quote of the Day

"Guard against the postures of pretended patriotism."
 —George Washington, Farewell Address, September 17, 1796.

Even better from the same source:

These considerations speak a persuasive language to every reflecting and virtuous mind, and exhibit the continuance of the Union as a primary object of patriotic desire. Is there a doubt whether a common government can embrace so large a sphere? Let experience solve it. To listen to mere speculation in such a case were criminal. We are authorized to hope that a proper organization of the whole with the auxiliary agency of governments for the respective subdivisions, will afford a happy issue to the experiment. It is well worth a fair and full experiment. With such powerful and obvious motives to union, affecting all parts of our country, while experience shall not have demonstrated its impracticability, there will always be reason to distrust the patriotism of those who in any quarter may endeavor to weaken its bands.

Ah, poor Holly Hobby Lobby-loving Fisher - welcome to your theocratic corporatocracy

A follow up to Laci's post about gun porn queen wannabee posing with her gun, her Bible, and her flag, in the exact same pose as a Muslim woman doing the same thing.

While not as on-topic for gun issues, it does display the poor thinking and factual ignorance of the conservatives generally, particularly the faux-patriot religious right, and why they should have little or no influence on our politics or government.

These are dumb, narrow-minded, violent bigots.  The only appropriate response to these bimbos and bozos is to point and laugh, and laugh and laugh.

Her insurance company demands a waiver to not have to follow the ACA guidelines and raise their rates but it's Obama's fault. Right.

H/t to AATP on facebook for this! (LOVE ATTP!!!  - give them a look!)
courtesy of Americans Against the Tea Party web site:
Busted: Holly ‘Hobby Lobby’ Fisher’s Anti-Obamacare Sob Story Exposed as Typical GOP Hypocrisy and LIES

Intrigued by the ridiculousness that is Holly Fisher I wandered over to the blog she set up and decided to do some investigation.
In late May, we were notified that because of tripling premiums, my husband’s employer was dropping Cigna for a new insurance. This comes one year after they dropped United Healthcare because premiums were increasing drastically.  United and Cigna are very similar and adequate insurances, however we did lose coverage, options, and our deductible went from one thousand per family member to two thousand per family member.  Out of pocket for our family went from eight thousand.
Wait, so the same ignorant woman that stood in front of Hobby Lobby with a Chick-Fil-A cup just to piss off liberals – while at the same time supporting Hobby Lobby for controlling the healthcare decisions of the women in their employ – is upset that her husband’s employer CHOSE THEIR INSURANCE FOR THEM! How dare they!
Except wait…let’s just blame Obamacare! Thanks Obama!
But wait! One dumb turn deserves another.

So despite the fact the law was designed to stop premiums from going up – by requiring 80% of healthcare premiums to pay for *gasp* healthcare, as well as restricting companies from placing a cap on healthcare benefits – this law failed to do so. Why? Because certain states and companies (West Virginia and Cigna specifically) applied for waivers that made them exempt from following the letter of the law.
Basically, these companies and states DIDN’T follow Obamacare by the letter….Holly’s health insurance premiums rose, and her company – in their infinite wisdom – chose to get another policy, because that is their right as determined by the Supreme Court, after all.
So I guess it’s okay for Hobby Lobby to determine the health insurance they can provide for their employees but not for Holly’s company to do the same. Holly is upset and whines about it because it affects her life. It puts her child in danger. She wants everyone to feel sorry for her. And in fact I do! I don’t think that she should be forced to accept sub-par coverage for her child’s condition because her employees chose the health plan for them.
Am I sensing another conservative playing the Teapublican tune that “I care when it affects me, but not when it affects others.”
Let me break it down for Holly ‘Hobby Lobby’ Fisher. We liberals want you and EVERYONE to have access to affordable healthcare where the rate isn’t determined by some corporate fat-cat who thinks he knows better than what you and your family need. We also don’t think employers should be involved in making those decisions. We think YOU and YOUR FAMILY should. The solution for that? Single payer. The sore back-up plan? Obamacare.
Your plan? The corporatocracy controlling a market designed to give them profit without concern for any of the citizens of the Republic…
Sounds legit.
How’s that glass house feel?

Who's to Blame for Chicago's Bloody 4th of July Weekend?

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy

Huffington Post

After a violent holiday weekend during which 11 people were killed and more than 60 others were wounded in shootings -- two of the deaths and five of the woundings at the hands of police officers -- Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Monday that the city's gun sentencing laws aren't strict enough to help police stem city violence.
"It all comes down to these guns: there's too many guns coming in and too little punishment going out," McCarthy said in a Monday press conference.
In a news release, McCarthy noted police have seized over 3,300 illegal firearms so far this year, but said many gun offenders quickly return to the street because sentences for those caught carrying illegally are too lax.
"Our efforts will continue unabated until all Chicagoans gain the same sense of security, but better laws are needed to reduce the proliferation of illegal guns in our communities," Chicago's top cop continued.
It's simple.  As McCarthy said, the problem is the "proliferation of illegal guns" which all come from lawful gun owners who fail to secure them properly in the home or allow them to flow into the criminal world in other ways.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Independence Day Weekend American History Quiz!

It is intentionally difficult -- and pay close attention to the section on nullification; I put that in for those who think that works for ignoring federal gun legislation.

Quiz answers will be published sometime Wednesday!

1. How many states in the U.S.?
a. 50
b. 51.
c. 46

(yes - it IS a trick question! so are some of the others)

2. The first U.S. President was:
a. George Washington
b. Peyton Randolph
c. John Hancock

3. How many U.S. Presidents were there between  September 1774 and November 1788?
a.   3
b.   9
c. 14

4. The UK has commonwealths, like the nations of Canada and Australia. 
Does the U.S. have any commonwealths?  If so, how many and what are their names?

5.The War of 1812 started in 1812; what year did it end?
a. 1815
b. 1814
c. 1812

6. Who declared war on whom in that war?
a. France declared war on the British (and we joined in, on the side of the French by treaty, but did not actually declare war)
b. the U.S. declared war on the British
c. Spain declared war on the British over Florida, and we tried to take it from both of them while they were fighting each other

 7. What is the "Chowder and marching club" group in Congress, and when was it started?

 8.  Yankee Doodle Dandy was another patriotic American song, also written by the British along with dancing, to mock the colonists.  It subsequently became a battle tune for Washington and his troops, to mock the Brits.  And then in 1904, George M. Cohan wrote a Broadway musical, "Little Johnny Jones" in which he updated the tune and music as "Yankee Doodle Boy".  True or false, the tune was actually a British drinking song 'stolen' by the American revolutionaries?

9. Yankee Doodle was also a northern/ Union Civil War song, with changes to the earlier lyrics, True or False?

10.  The Pennamite - Yankee War was an actual "shooting war" that ended in 1799, although the Continental Congress tried to end it in 1782.  Who was that war between?
a. New York and Pennsylvania
b. Pennsylvania and the Pennamite Indians
c. Connecticut, Vermont, and Pennsylvania

 11.  Yankee appears to have been a word used originally as an insult by Dutch colonists for the English colonists as far back as the latter 1600's and then by the English towards the Dutch, and then by the English towards Americans, during the American Revolution and the War of 1812 onwards.
Americans first applied the term "Damned Yankees" as a disparaging term towards their fellow Americans :
 a. Civil War southerners towards northerners
 b. disgruntled Texans after joining the United States as the 28th state in 1845
 c. disgruntled sports fans towards the New York baseball team in the mid- 20th century, following the book, Broadway musical and movie

12.  In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase, buying land which subsequently became  all or part of  16 states comprising the central United States sometimes referred to as 'Tornado Alley".  One point for every one of the 15 states correctly named.

13.  Florida became the 27th state of the Union in 1845, but the area of that state became U.S. territory because of a treaty related to the Louisiana purchase, through the Adams - Onis treaty of 1819.  The treaty not only settled through diplomacy and treaty who got Florida, but also settled and ceded large parts of the U.S. from the western boundaries of the Louisiana purchase all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

Which Adams of the early political dynastic Adams family negotiated the treaty, and with what country? (hint - he also negotiated the end of the war of 1812)

a. John Adams with France
b. John Quincy Adams with Spain
c. Charles Francis Adams (son of John Quincy, grandson of John Adams) with Mexico

14. - 20. Pretty much everyone knows about the Civil War in the mid-19th century.  The deep southern states from Virginia to Texas, attempted to nullify their membership in the United States through armed rebellion, and to thereby secede (as distinct from the legitimate process of secession under the Constitution).  Virginia and Kentucky had promoted the idea of nullification, in 1798-99 but not attacked the United States. South Carolina initiated that first treasonous act of armed rebellion by firing on Fort Sumter, but had previously attempted the failed effort at nullification creating the Nullification Crisis of 1832, over tariffs, which laid the ground work for the actions of the south in the Civil War and the conservative issue of states rights, which continues into the 21st century.
Secession, states rights, and the sovereign citizens movement continue from those issues and incidents through our modern era.

14. States rights advocates are or have been colloquially referred to as:
a. quids
b. 98s
c. tenthers
d. secessionists
e. sovereign citizens
f. all of the above

15. The resolutions of 1798 and 1799 were secretly written by then Vice President Thomas Jefferson for Kentucky, and James Madison for Virginia.  Nullification is refuted by what part of the Constitution?
a. Supremacy Clause
b. Enumerated Powers
c. Preamble
d. all of the above

16. The resolutions and the subsequent Nullification Act of South Carolina relied on the compact theory and the theory of state interposition.  Compact theory presumes the Constitution is a 'compact' between the states, which the states can break or end, and 'interposition', that the states hold a position between the federal government and the people.  One of the opposing arguments is that, under the U.S. Constitution, the nation was formed by the will of the people, not individual states as was the case with the earlier Articles of Confederation. 

This refutation is based on what parts of the Constitution:
a. Preamble and Article III
b. Supremacy Clause
c. 14th Amendment and the Incorporation Doctrine
d. all of the above

17. We tend to think of the U.S. as having a two-party system.  John Quincy Adams negotiated the resolution to the Nullification Crisis of 1832 through legislation; which of the following political parties did he belong to during his presidency?
a. Federalist party
b. Democratic-Republican party
c. National Republican party
d. Anti-Masonic party
e.Whig party
f. all of the above
g. none of the above

18. There were key differences between the Articles of Confederation established by the Continental Congress, notably that the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union defined the United States as a confederation of states.  The Articles of Confederation also defined the chief executive as the President, but the office was more similar to that the current speaker of the House of Representatives.   Who was the first President under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, and how many were there before the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union were replaced?
a. Peyton Randolph of Virginia, first of 14 Presidents
b. John Hancock, first of 20 Presidents
c. Cyrus Griffin, first of 6 Presidents

19.George Washington was elected unanimously as the President of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 to repair and replace the failures of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.  In what two years was he first elected President of the United States?
a. 1781 and 1785
b.& 1792 and 1796
c. 1788 and 1792

20. Although not an official party member, President George Washington was associated with the Federalist party.  True or false, the Jeffersonian party delayed the beginning of the Washington monument, even though Congress had authorized it after Washington died in 1799, because they had distrusted Washington, much like the modern Republicans and Tea partiers distrust President Obama?

Bonus question:
What was George Washington's middle name?
a. Henry
b. Thomas
c. Fairfax
d. none of the above - he had no middle name

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Change it to Muslim and see what their reaction is...

Funny, but if you changed the word "Christian" to "Muslim" in some right wing screeds, that you would see people going apoplectic.  Strange, but they just don't quite get what that means.

Anywaly, I'd prefer to live in Europe where this shit isn't tolerated than in someplace that fancies itself as Iran or Afghanistan or some other Islamic terror land only rebranded "Christian".

Sorry, but the only difference is that the one on the left isn't as modestly dressed.
We’re curious what, if any, difference there is between these two pictures? Both women worship the same god. Both of them are holding a book that heavily mentions Jesus, and both are unnecessarily heavily armed–and then there’s the intolerance demonstrated by extremists of either of these very similar religions.

Thank you, Holly, for proving me correct:

Sinclair Lewis on Fascism updated, or my Ambrose Bierce moment

This is a reference to Ambrose Bierce’s entry on Patriotism in the Devil’s Dictionary where he says:
In Dr. Johnson’s famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first.
Likewise, Sinclair Lewis’s rather famous quote on fascism that:
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”
With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior writer I beg to submit that when fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag, carrying a cross and a gun, while claiming it is all being done in the name of the Constitution.

Texas TopCat Repeats a Few Old Myths

Texas TopCat in comments:

Look at Mexico, guns are controlled so that the average person can not own a gun. Now, do you think Mexico is more safe that the US?

Umm..prostitution, drugs, and public corruption are also similarly "controlled."  Yet, it's not too hard to find any of these in Mexico.  As in many developing nations, actual enforcement of the laws is lacking.  Not the laws themselves.

Look at Chicago, do you think Chicago is more safe than Kennesaw, Georgia?

Apples and oranges.  Kennesaw, GA is a suburb of Atlanta.  Why not compare it with one of Chicago's suburbs--Morton Grove, IL?  Morton Grove which at one time banned all firearms has a better crime rate than Kennesaw.

Even if we compare apples to apples, Chicago's crime numbers as a multiple of the national average are better than Atlanta's.

In 1982, Kennesaw, Georgia passed a law requiring heads of households to keep at least one firearm in the house. The residential burglary rate subsequently dropped 89% in Kennesaw, compared to just 10.4% drop in Georgia as a whole.Today, the violent crime rate in Kennesaw is still 85% lower than Georgia's or the national average.

First off, how was this law enforced?  IOW, how did city officials know everyone was complying with the law to own a firearm?  Did they go door to door?  No.  They didn't check.  So stating crime dropped dramatically because of an action no one is sure actually occurred is absurd.

Second, did residential burglaries drop 89%?  Nope.

Kennesaw Burglaries 1976-1986
76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 48 85 86
41 21 22 35 35 54 35 35 29 32 70

In graphical terms:

Jordan S. Zoot, Gun Rights Activist, Arrested

Jordan S. Zoot

Local news reports

Gun rights activist Jordan S. Zoot is facing felony firearms charges after Evanston police raided his apartment.
A police spokesman says officers from the department's Neighborhood Enforcement Team accompanied by officers from the Cook County Sheriff's Gun Unit and agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives executed a search warrant for guns at the apartment and found three handguns and two rifles along with about 1,800 rounds of ammunition and other firearm-related items and equipment.
Police say Zoot, 53, had once had a firearms owner identification card, but that it had been revoked.
Zoot was taken into custody and charged aggravated possession of firearms and possession of ammunition without a valid FOID card.
Zoot spoke against a proposed assault weapons ban before the Evanston City Council last year and has been a frequent blogger on Evanston Patch using the title "An Armed Society is a Polite Society."
That's not his only slogan.  He also believes in "bad laws be damned."

California 9-Year-old Shot by his 14-Year-old Brother - No Charges for Negligent Dad

Local news reports

A 9-year-old boy suffered a gunshot wound to the face Wednesday night in Livingston, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department reported.
Deputies described the shooting as “accidental.” Capt. B.J. Jones told the Sun-Star a round of bird shot struck the child on the right side of his face, close to his eye. Investigators do not believe the child suffered a “direct hit,” but stopped short of calling the it a grazing wound. He called the wound “serious.”
Jones said the victim’s 14-year-old brother was holding a break action .410, only capable of holding a single round.
“He had his finger on the trigger when the gun went off and the victim happened to be standing across from him,” Jones said in the news release.
“He then went and told his father as he knew the injury was serious,” Jones said. “The child was alert and talking while being treated by (emergency) personnel.”
Jones said family members are cooperating with investigators. He said deputies are still trying to determine the exact circumstances surrounding the incident.
Yeah, we need a lengthy investigation to determine that the responsible adult allowed his underage sons access to a deadly weapon, one which even the older boy was not adequately trained to handle safely. 
Dad should already be in jail.

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