Saturday, January 25, 2014

Test time!

Test yourself on these statements!

  1. Success is based on survival of the fittest; I am not concerned about the losers.   
  2. I find myself in the same kinds of trouble, time after time.                    
  3. For me, what's right is whatever I can get away with.                     
  4. I am often bored.                     
  5. In today's world, I feel justified in doing anything I can get away with to succeed.                     
  6. I find that I am able to pursue one goal for a long time.                     
  7. My main purpose in life is getting as many goodies as I can.                     
  8. I don't plan anything very far in advance.                     
  9. Making a lot of money is my most important goal.                     
  10. I quickly lose interest in tasks I start.                     
  11. I let others worry about higher values; my main concern is with the bottom line.                     
  12. Most of my problems are due to the fact that other people just don't understand me.                   
  13. People who are stupid enough to get ripped off usually deserve it.                     
  14. Before I do anything, I carefully consider the possible consequences.                     
  15. Looking out for myself is my top priority.                     
  16. I have been in a lot of shouting matches with other people.                     
  17. I tell other people what they want to hear so that they will do what I want them to do.               
  18. When I get frustrated, I often "let off steam" by blowing my top.                     
  19. I would be upset if my success came at someone else's expense.                     
  20. Love is overrated.                     
  21. I often admire a really clever scam.                     
  22. I make a point of trying not to hurt others in pursuit of my goals.                     
  23. I enjoy manipulating other people's feelings.                     
  24. I feel bad if my words or actions cause someone else to feel emotional pain.                     
  25. Even if I were trying very hard to sell something, I wouldn't lie about it.                     
  26. Cheating is not justified because it is unfair to others.                     

    Find out what this means here.

Jefferson was a commie

I wonder what he would say about a corporation going bankrupt after destroying the economy or poisoning a river?

Shooting at the Columbia Mall (Maryland)

I had to think if I really wanted to post that there was a mass shooting at the Columbia, Maryland shopping mall, but I thought about it and it makes loads of sense.

If you are unfamiliar with Columbia there was this link below the Baltimore Sun story when I first saw it:

Columbia: 10th most perfect suburb?

This is the start of the Wikipedia Article about Columbia:
Columbia is a planned community comprising 10 self-contained villages, located in Howard County, Maryland, United States. It began with the idea that a city could enhance its residents' quality of life. Creator and developer James W. Rouse saw the new community in terms of human values, rather than merely economics and engineering. Opened in 1967, Columbia was intended to not only eliminate the inconveniences of then-current subdivision design, but also eliminate racial, religious, and class segregation.
Columbia proper consists only of that territory governed by the Columbia Association, but larger areas are included under its name by the U.S. Postal Service and the census. These include several other communities which predate Columbia, including Simpsonville, Atholton, and in the case of the census, Clarksville. The census-designated place had a population of 99,615 in 2010,[4] making it the most populous community in Maryland after Baltimore.[5]
In other words, Columbia was supposed to be the perfect suburban space.  A place which is family friendly and relatively crime free.  It is a place where people move so they can raise families away from Urban problems.

In other words, this shit ain't supposed to happen in places like Columbia.

But, it does, it can happen anywhere.  That's what this shooting should hit home to you, but I know that you are a little too biased to believe the bullshit you spout without criticism.

Do guns really make people safer?  If that is the case, why are these incidents so common in the US, but not other developed nations?  Why not let the research speak for itself rather than silence it?

It's nice to say things, but not when objective facts contradict them.

Gun Control: ‘Liberal’ TV Anchors Alter Stance On Second Amendment

I am blatantly ripping off the title of this piece mostly because it it pure rubbish.  You might have a big alteration in the US Main Stream Media "position" on the Second Amendment if they came out and said that a right to arms outside the Militia Context was pure rubbish.  But, people still to the rest of the sentence want to talk about "personal gun rights".

On its face, the Second Amendment comes right out and says "A well regulated militia being necessary for the Security of the Free state".  Well if its fucking necessary, then it MUST have some relevance.  That's why US v. Milller (307 U.S. 174 [1939]) says:

With obvious purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of such forces, the declaration and guarantee of the Second Amendment were made. It must be interpreted and applied with that end in view.
I have emphasised the above passage to point out that this decision says that the Amendment must be read as a WHOLE as the First sentence gives the purpose of the right and the second part tells how it would be implemented.  It's a sunset clause for those educated enough to understand it (which Scalia did not) You have just said that the Second Amendment is no longer valid if you say that the first part is irrelevant.  Although, for all his sophistry about Second Amendment linguistics, Scalia failed to actually address the Miller decision saying that it wasn't helpful to his analysis.

No shit, Sherlock, the decision totally contradicts what you did.  Especially if one reads the cryptic  Aymette v. State, 21 Tenn. (2 Hump.) 154 (1840) reference at the end of this paragraph from Miller:

>In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a "shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length" at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense. Aymette v. State, 2 Humphreys (Tenn.) 154, 158.

Aymette  says:
To make this view of the case still more clear, we may remark, that the phrase, "bear arms," is used in the Kentucky constitution as well as in our own, and implies, as has already been suggested, their military use. The 28th section of our bill of rights provides, "that no citizen of this State shall be compelled to bear arms, provided he will pay in equivalent, to be ascertained by law." Here we know that the phrase has a military sense, and no other; and we must infer that it is used in the same sense in the 26th section, which secures to the citizen the right to bear arms. A man in the pursuit of deer, elk and buffaloes, might carry his rifle every day, for forty years, and, yet, it would never be said of him, that he had borne arms, much less could it be said, that a private citizen bears arms, because he has a dirk or pistol concealed under his clothes, or a spear in a cane. So that, with deference, we think the argument of the court in the case referred to, even upon the question it has debated, is defective and inconclusive.

Justice McReynolds taught law at Tennesse's Vanderbilt University, I am sure he was quite aware of this reference which has gotten lost in the mix. And what he is saying is that the Second Amendment's use of the phrase to keep and bear arms has a military sense, and no other.

Anyway, there is far more proof that the Second Amendment relates to an institution which is as relevant to modern US society as the direct appointment of Senators.   As such, it is no bar to gun control.

Or to once again quote Justice William O. Douglas’s dissent in Adams v. Williams, 407 U.S 143, 150 -51 (1972).  Reminder Justice Douglas was on the SCOTUS at the time of US v. Miller:
MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS, with whom MR. JUSTICE MARSHALL concurs, dissenting.
My views have been stated in substance by Judge Friendly, dissenting, in the Court of Appeals. 436 F.2d 30, 35. Connecticut allows its citizens to carry weapons, concealed or otherwise, at will, provided they have a permit. Conn. Gen. Stat. Rev. 29-35, 29-38. Connecticut law gives its police no authority to frisk a person for a permit. Yet the arrest was for illegal possession of a gun. The only basis for that arrest was the informer’s tip on the narcotics. Can it be said that a man in possession of narcotics will not have a permit for his gun? Is that why the arrest for possession of a gun in the free-and-easy State of Connecticut becomes constitutional?
The police problem is an acute one not because of the Fourth Amendment, but because of the ease with which anyone can acquire a pistol. A powerful lobby dins into the ears of our citizenry that these gun purchases are constitutional rights protected by the Second Amendment, which reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
There is under our decisions no reason why stiff state laws governing the purchase and possession of pistols may not be enacted. There is no reason why pistols may not be barred from anyone with a police record. There is no reason why a State may not require a purchaser of a pistol to pass a psychiatric test. There is no reason why all pistols should not be barred to everyone except the police.
The leading case is United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, upholding a federal law making criminal the shipment in interstate commerce of a sawed-off shotgun. The law was upheld, there being no evidence that a sawed-off shotgun had “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.” Id., at 178. The Second Amendment, it was held, “must be interpreted and applied” with the view of maintaining a “militia.”
“The Militia which the States were expected to maintain and train is set in contrast with Troops which they were forbidden to keep without the consent of Congress. The sentiment of the time strongly disfavored standing armies; the common view was that adequate defense of country and laws could be secured through the Militia – civilians primarily, soldiers on occasion.” Id., at 178-179.
Critics say that proposals like this water down the Second Amendment. Our decisions belie that argument, for the Second Amendment, as noted, was designed to keep alive the militia. But if watering-down is the mood of the day, I would prefer to water down the Second rather than the Fourth Amendment. I share with Judge Friendly a concern that the easy extension of Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, to “possessory offenses” is a serious intrusion on Fourth Amendment safeguards.
“If it is to be extended to the latter at all, this should be only where observation by the officer himself or well authenticated information shows `that criminal activity may be afoot.’” 436 F.2d, at 39, quoting Terry v. Ohio, supra, at 30.

Another type of welfare

According to an Urban Institute Study called The Hospital Costs of Firearms Assaults fount that about 80 percent of the cost of treating victims of gun violence in 2010 was borne in part by taxpayers.  That means taxpayers paid for victims' care either through government programs like Medicaid or through publicly-funded programs that subsidize hospital care for those who don't have insurance and can’t afford to pay.

“The victims are concentrated among young, poor males,” said the report's author, Embry Howell, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute. “This is the population we’re talking about and their costs are very high. It's one group that is heavily uninsured."

Hospitals in the U.S. spent $630 million in 2010 treating the victims of gun violence -- everything from minor gunshot wounds to injuries that required days-long stays -- and public funds provided most of that money. The Medicaid costs of gun violence alone that year amounted to approximately $327 million.

Notably, the report found that the average cost of a hospital visit for a gun violence victim is $14,000 more than that of the average hospital stay, due to the severity of the injuries often involved.

Although, the true economic cost of gun violence is much larger that what hospitals are spending on care. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that gun violence deaths cost the U.S. economy $37 billion and gun injuries $3.7 billion in 2005, the last year the public health agency conducted an analysis. In addition, taxpayers often end up footing the bill for social services for gun violence victims, as well as building the expensive hospital trauma units needed for their treatment.

One bit of good news:

Many of the victims of gun violence who are uninsured will see their hospital bills go down as President Obama’s health care reform law offers more low-income Americans access to Medicaid in many states.

The Bad News:

But because Medicaid is a government-subsidized program, Howell noted, the cost of gun violence to taxpayers will go up.

In other words, society bears the cost of gun violence, but that's another thing I've been sayiing all along.

Kessler update, Friday January 24, 2014


He should get NOTHING. He deserves nothing; he should be paying the town back for being such an unprofessional and dangerous jerk who embarrassed the place where he lived.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Maybe you need a picture

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Second Amendment in Art

A sort of cross post from my blog and repost again on this blog. But, I get annoyed when people keep talking about the Second Amendment and "supporting the Second Amendment", yet any discussion of it is totally out of context. That is why I am reposting this. These are paintings from two prominent collections of US art.  Instead of people carrying weapons outside the militia context, we have examples of the Muster Day, which is when the able bodied men were obligated to enroll and drill in their respective militia units.

This is Charles Henry Granger’s Muster Day which is in the National Gallery in Washington, DC.

There is another version of this at the located at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia called Militia Training by James G. Clonney (1812 – 1867).

While able-bodied citizen between the ages of eighteen and forty-five were considered members of the militia under the militia act of 1792, The annual muster day was how they accomplished the actual enrollment of the members into their units. The Militia Act stated:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia, by the Captain or Commanding Officer of the company, within whose bounds such citizen shall reside, and that within twelve months after the passing of this Act. And it shall at all time hereafter be the duty of every such Captain or Commanding Officer of a company, to enroll every such citizen as aforesaid, and also those who shall, from time to time, arrive at the age of 18 years, or being at the age of 18 years, and under the age of 45 years (except as before excepted) shall come to reside within his bounds; and shall without delay notify such citizen of the said enrollment,
There's that nasty word, enrollment, which is what one needed to do to actively be a member in a militia unit. And as any person with serious knowledge of the militia system will ell you that service was compulsory.

Local companies of militia would gather annually for parade and inspection at their regiment’s muster day which often involved a thousand or more men from half a dozen towns. Food and alcohol vendors, showmen, fiddlers, auctioneers, charlatans, gamblers, and several thousand spectators turned these gatherings into regional festivals in an era of few such diversions. Muster days were structured social events in a regimental towns in ways not duplicated since. By 1830, muster days were under attack from those who resented the required participation. They were joined by temperance advocates, who objected to the considerable public drunkenness attending each muster, and later by critics of the Mexican War, who claimed that the existence of a peace-time militia had in fact led to this conflict.
“Their general good conduct on the field was creditable to officers and soldiers – with the exception of a few, (such as never know how to leave off when they have done), who fired promiscuously about the plain a long time after they had been dismissed, a practice always disreputable to good soldiers and the officers to whom they belong. the occasion attracted an unusual assemblage of spectators, pedlers, rumsellers, rumdrinkers and gamblers; whose noise, ribaldry, intoxication, and violation of the laws in the face and eyes of the authorities, was disgraceful to the place, to the occasion, to those specially engaged in it, and to all who looked on and tolerated it. We leave it to the people to judge whether there be more good than evil derived from ‘making a muster.’” –Report of the Amherst Muster Day from The Farmers’ Cabinet, 1834
Exemptions to Militia service were:
Vice President, federal judicial and executive officers, congressmen and congressional officers, custom-house officers and clerks, post-officers and postal stage drivers, ferrymen on post roads, export inspectors, pilots, merchant mariners, and people exempted under the laws of their states”notwithstanding their being above the age of eighteen and under the age of forty-five years.”
Or as the quote goes: “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.”
— George Mason, in Debates in Virginia Convention on Ratification of the Constitution, Elliot, Vol. 3, June 16, 1788 (that should be quite a few public officials).

So, militia service was NOT universal. In fact, Men actively sought exemption from militia service. This was a reason for the carnival atmosphere at muster days. Again from Story:
And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burthens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights.
To be quite honest, people had jobs and other things to do than militia service and sought exemption from that duty. The muster day had a carneval feeling because it made the obligation less painful. Still there was an obligation to perform militia service. This was compulsory military duty which required time away from your work.

Now,people are demand the right without the obligation incumbent to that right.

Godless Pledge

Funny how if you go back to the good old days, you see certain concepts which purport to be conservative don't exist, e.g. a right to carry a concealed firearm or that god needs to be a part of what makes a "good American".

Mark Kessler 1 year anniversary - a year of epic failure for a loud, foul-mouthed gun-nut

Cross post from Penigma

This date, this month, marks the one year anniversary of the epic fail, crash and burn that is Mark Kessler.

Here is the latest of his failures.  Presumably he is only dragging this out because it might provide some form of benefits to himself and his family while the termination process continues.  It's not like anyone is beating a path to his door to employ him in any other capacity, or likely to again, ever.  Kessler has literally shot himself in the hand, and figuratively shot himself in the foot, while his foot was in his own mouth.

Kessler has conducted himself in a consistently unprofessional, unethical, inappropriate and uncivil manner that has resulted not only in his job loss, but in leaving his municipality open to law suits. How prophetic when he speaks here of taking off his uniform that he has been defrocked, as it were, as a member of law enforcement.

In the interim of this past year, Kessler has been at the center of a series of increasingly vocal, and subsequently embarrassing epic failures, each one larger than the preceding disaster he has orchestrated. He is left with nothing but his well-deserved notoriety for failure and foulness.

The conduct of Kessler is so excessively unprofessional, that it is being used as an example in law enforcement training on HOW NOT TO DO THE JOB OF LAW ENFORCEMENT.

Kessler is not alone among law enforcement in the incorrect interpretation of the rights and duties of law enforcement. ONLY our judicial system is permitted to rule on the legitimacy of a law or executive action. ONLY the legislative system is permitted to draft and pass legislation, which then requires the executive branch signatures to be valid, conditional on the decision of the judicial branches of government at all levels.

Anyone attempting to make their own individual determinations in law enforcement are over-reaching their authority and violating the foundational terms and conditions on which that authority is predicated. However at least the law enforcement figures below are conducting themselves in a more professional manner, although they should all still be removed from office in their respective jurisdictions for their failure to enforce the law, or executive orders, unless so directed by the judiciary.

Of course, whether it is Kessler or Arpaio, or any of the rest of these guys, the radical right need to be removed from office for their failure to conduct their respective offices in a professional and responsible manner. Here is another example of how foolish and ridiculous what these people believe:

Insurrectionism comparison meme

Yeah! Yeah! I don't like memes, but this one is an interesting juxtaposition of two quotes:

Why no revolution, or change, in the US?

Former Labour Secretary Robert Reich says:

People ask me all the time why we don't have a revolution in America, or at least a major wave of reform similar to that of the Progressive Era or the New Deal or the Great Society -- given that middle incomes are sinking, the ranks of the poor are swelling, and almost all the economic gains are going to the top. The answer is complex, but three reasons stand out: (1) The working class is paralyzed with fear it will lose the jobs and wages it already has, and its major vehicle for organizing itself -- labor unions -- have been decimated; (2) students (who have been in years past a force for social change) are laden with debt and face a lousy jobs market, and don't want to rock the boat; and (3) the American public has become so cynical about government (in large part due to Republican tactics) that many no longer believe reform is possible. Have I left anything out? Has the right been so clever as to target unions, ensure high employment, pile on student debt, and seed cynicism precisely to prevent such a movement for fundamental reform? How will this end?


And While we're at it:

Jesus still struggling to find publisher for Newer Testament

SO, you don't want the US to be like other civilised nations?

Here you go!

Most countries where people carry guns about are either in a state of war or third world nations.  But, you are contributing to your nation being an economic colony.

So, enjoy!

Quote of the Day from Malala Yousafzai

In case you don't know who Malala Yousafzai is, she is the young woman who was shot by the Taliban for protesting a ban on female education.  She lives in the Swat District of Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.  That is a place that has a similar attitude toward the "right to bear arms" that the gun loons profess.

She made this comment at Glamour Magazine's Women of the Year Awards.

Nothing like living under the gun.

If that's your idea of freedom--I'll take the alternative.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

More on Andrew Boldt

Andrew Boldt, the victim of the Perdue University shooting is profiled here.  The author points out:
I cannot imagine what his family is going through tonight. The shooter, identified as 23-year-old Cody Cousins, has been arrested, but his motives are not yet clear. Whatever the motives, this 21-year-old young man did not deserve to die today. He probably went in to work like you or I not suspecting a thing.
I know a lot of you feel that you could put an end to any active shooter incident, but do you really have the bottle to handle it in real life?

I should also add that most people in the US know at least one person who has been a victim of this plague. It shouldn't take too much longer before people start getting upset and actually doing something about this problem.

Dumbing down of the US.

The US has long had a strong anti-intellectual tendency, perhaps it is due to populism.  Lately, there has been a dislike of the "educated elite" and their "expertise", which somehow translates into unquestioning acceptance of things which are plain off bullshit.

In this case:  creationism.

Source: National Geographic

 The United States ranks 33rd in the world in acceptance in the scientific notion of evolution. Yes, 33rd! Just ahead of the Turks but behind Cyprus and Latvia. In a 2005 survey adults were asked to respond to the statement: “Human beings, as we know them, developed from earlier species of animals.” Only 40% of U.S. citizens responded, true.

In 2013 another survey asked, “Humans and other living things have evolved over time.” Only 43% of those who identified as Republicans agreed. This was down from 54% in 2009. An 11% decline in 4 years.

Among Democrats 67% answered true while 65% of Independents agreed. Pew’s researchers said party differences remained when other factors — such as the racial and ethnic composition of the political groups, and religious and educational background — were taken into account.

That's pretty bad, but it might explain why other silly beliefs have taken hold in US society.

See also:
Evolution Less Accepted in U.S. Than Other Western Countries, Study Finds

The Scramble for America by Gun Imperialists

Another video from Tom Diaz, who says this about it:
America has become the last great colony of the gun imperialists. Like the colonies of history, we suffer the loss while they reap the profits. And like all imperialists, the gun imperialists prefer to rule us indirectly, through a system of stooges, like the NRA. NSSF, and the US Congress.

Tom's comment is an interesting observation if we consider that the original Boston Tea Party was a protest against a monopoly (The British East India Company) receiving preferred treatment in the colonial system and the War for American Independence was a fight against colonialisation.  In this case, colonialisation doesn't need to be political, it can be economic as well.   After all, a colony is a place where its resources and wealth are stripped to enrich the colonial power.

So, instead of being a "patriot", you lot are far more supporters of the colonial system.  That may be unwitting supporters, but supporters nonetheless.  It also adds the irony that the AK-47 is no longer the gun of "freedom", but one which is serving to oppress your nation.

Like it or not, living under the gun usually does not mean "freedom" in most political lexicons.  Instead, it denotes repression.  But, the US debate around this issue is nonsensical as far as the gun rights movement is concerned.  The gun rights movement twists the facts and turns them into something out of a weird dystopian novel.

The gun rights movement is not offering freedom, it is placing US society under the gun.

Fact of the day

From the same group that one proposed gun control laws and had a president who said “I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons...I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.”

In 1975, the NRA published a Fact Book on Firearms Control that endorsed “reasonable regulation” such as a “waiting period between purchase and delivery,” recordkeeping requirements for “manufacturers, importers, dealers and pawnbrokers,” laws that “control all machine guns and destructive devices,” and the enforcement of “reasonable conditions” for those “wishing to carry a concealed firearm.”
See Also:

Right wing internet tactics.

This is from the film "(Astro)Turf Wars".  It shows a training session for how to sabotage the dialogue and "control the debate".

But one of the first lessons in anti-propaganda tactics is to learn how people practise it and be able to spot it.  Then, you can say "that is propaganda and not really worth paying attention to".  Additionally, you can use critical thinking skills to spot the flaws in their arguments.

In this case, the trick is called "stacking the deck" or "card staking" where one emphasises on argument while eliminating another.

But, the next time you see a book with polarised reviews, you can be aware that it has probably been hit by this tactic.

The film is worth watching.

Re: study showing increased theft of cars with NRA stickers?

While most of you might not believe it, I actually have a pretty good reputation for research and knowledge of this topic. In regard to that I received the following question from Baldr Odinson:
Some time ago, I remember seeing a study that showed that cars with NRA or gun stickers were more likely to be robbed.

Do you know about this study or where I can find it?
My Response:
Yeah, I did a couple of google searches and it seems there is a problem, but whether it has anything to do with proudly announcing
 gun ownership is another matter.

There is this statement:

As with anything the gun lobby says, I wouldn't buy it.  My guess is that there is a problem.

But, there is also a problem with "stolen" guns from what I was told when I asked ATF about that topic.  The BATFE agent I worked with at USAO-DC said that most traffickers will say the guns were stolen when asked.

The bottom line is that until there is some real accurate information out there, the debate will never really reflect the reality for either side.
In other words, at this point there is nothing more than anecdotal evidence there may be a problem with having your car broken into if you parade your "pro-gun" stance.  I would also toss in that most "crime guns" are allegedly stolen per the above conversation with BATFE.   Also, there was more proof that guns in the home were detrimental to family safety, which was why federal gun violence research funding was ended.

Personally,I do not believe a firearm is the best choice, or even a realistic option, for any form of defence.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Now, if you want to re-enact D-Day...

OK, I know it might scare the shit out of the locals, but this would be the perfect place to reenact D-Day. I mean if you want to keep your living history "real", then do it somewhere realistic instead of someplace on lake Erie.

I heard it on the Internet...

Yeah, yeah.  I don't really like memes, but this is pretty good for those who lack critical thinking skills.
Should I trust some bozo on the internet whose qualifications I don't know?
Or should I trust someone whose knowledge I trust

Better yet, why should I believe something that I have fact checked and found to be wrong?

That's not intellectually honest.

Why having a gun won't help in an active shooter incident

From Tom Diaz who says:

This video uses examples to illustrate why in most cases, "good guys with guns" are not going to save lives...they are going to take them. Yes, there are always a few contrary examples, but by and large, most ordinary people are going to freeze, react so badly they get shot themselves without affecting the outcome, or shoot the wrong person.

This video is not aimed at changing the mind of people who won't face facts. That's hopeless. It's intended to educate activists and to confirm the instincts of most ordinary Americans that more guns is a bad idea.

Texting during a mass shooting

You should be proud at the level of carnage in the US since that it how your "Second Amendment Right" is expressed (mine would be that you all get to do drill and spend time on a military base).  Anyway, someone said the number of school shootings is around 35, but that is only what gets reported in the news.

BTW, I know people text their families and friends during active shooter incidents, but that as this points out--that doesn't fit your idea of how these incidents go down.

Quote of the day.

"The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence."

- Charles Bukowski

The Perdue Victim

This is Andrew Boldt who was a senior in electrical engineering at Perdue University. Andrew was from West Bend, WI and graduated from Marquette High School.

Hardly a gang banger or other person that you lot deem worthy of death, yet he was one of the many thousands killed or wounded by firearms in the United States.

Remember that even "shefearsnothing" was killed by her husband using a gun.  Not to mention the judge who restored her concealed-weapon permit last year questioned her judgment and said she had "scared the devil" out of other parents at the soccer field.

The ultimate upshot is that the more people who die or are effected from senseless gun violence, the more it hurts your position.  It can happen to you whether you own a gun or not.  In fact, having a gun makes it far more likely it will happen to you.

Unless they are idiots like you, but the good news is that you are more likely to die from your own weapon than use it on someone else.

In other words, you are a dying breed.

I should also add that this is not "dancing on the graves of the victims"--it's putting a face to the numbers and statistics.  Another thing you lot don't like as it is easier to blow this off if you believe all the people who are victimised by this plague are "criminals or gang bangers" rather than a nice guy or one of your own.

It pisses you off when you realise that you are wrong and you have to lash out at everything else besides your bullshit, antisocial beliefs.

What you should know...

Not sure if I can actually call Julian Lennon "my homey"--especially after my "pony" comments to him (pony is British slang for £25) and his reaction to it. Then again, I admit that I am an honourary Northerner--not a real one.  And pony is cockney slang.  But that is a serious "anyway".

That sad, this comes via Julian:

Picture of the Day!

Not sure which is more priceless: the pic of Rumsfeld shaking Saddam's hand or this one of Ted Cruz hugging Fidel.  Not sure if it's for real, but it would be a scream if it is!

Some people need to keep their cold war biases.  Then again, the Koch's made a killing selling oil refining technology to Stalin.

Think about it.

I've been looking for a source for the "When we hang the capitalist, they will sell us the rope" quotation for a while.  Nothing like working from within with the help of willing sheep.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Why guns shouldn't be allowed in a coffee shop.

Just think of this happening in a Starbucks filled with armed gunloons.  Especially if they are the type of bozo who owns an assault weapon "for the Zombie Apocalypse".

Your mind on

Not that I have ever really seen Fox News, but...

This is the most idiotic thing I have ever heard

Well, next to US gun laws.

A pub has opened at a service area on the M40 motorway.

The company that opened this pub believe there will be no problems serving alcohol in a motorway service area.

Sorry, but the truth is anti-gun

It seems that yet another review of 15 credible studies on this matter of gun violence has decided it is correct that what most gunloons keep denying: that having a gun in the house is more dangerous for the people who own the gun than anyone else, such as a criminal.  In other words, Having guns in the home triples the risk of suicide and doubles the risk of homicide, researchers reported on Monday.

The bad news:
Andrew Anglemyer and colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco, trolled through studies that had already been done to see if they could clarify the association between gun ownership and violent death. They found 14 studies that found the odds of suicide went up by anywhere from 1.5 times to 10-fold if people had access to guns. Experts say this is partly because guns are far deadlier than other suicide methods, such as taking pills, which may not succeed.

Studies looking at homicide found that if people had access to guns, they were two to three times more likely to be killed themselves.

“Firearms cause an estimated 31,000 deaths annually in the United States,” they wrote in their report, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. “Data from the 16-state National Violent Death Reporting System indicate that 51.8 percent of deaths from suicide in 2009 were firearm-related; among homicide victims, 66.5 percent were firearm-related.”
Nevermind, the "pro-gun" forces will just have to make sure reliable studies are not funded.

After all, the truth is "anti-gun".

The best part of this article:

“Obtaining a firearm not only endangers those living in the home but also imposes substantial costs on the community.”

The report can be found here.

MLK quote (a wee bit late, but)

You can read the real story about MLK's guns here.

The time for dialogue?

"I'm sure this will be another teachable moment through which we will reassess our nation's insane attraction to its firearms and agree that there is some sensible middle ground between grabbing da gunz and having the freedom to get ventilated over the arugula. That will last 11 seconds, and then someone will auction off another rifle to honor Doctor King and we will all have liberty again." - Charlie Pierce

Man shoots self in road-rage incident

You may be your own worst enemy!  Story here.

In many cases, state law allows Florida motorists to carry a loaded handguns in their vehicles which can contribute to the deadliness of the confrontations.
Sounds like piss poor policy choices to arm people especially given the "weapons effect"

Although, it gives me great solace that the facts have such an "anti-gun" bias.

But, I still keep wondering when the term "conservative" gained a meaning of something along the lines of "insane", "idiot", or "irrational" in US English???

If you people are "conservatives" who find "liberal" (the antonym of "conservative") to be an insult--then I am very proud to be a "liberal".

Monday, January 20, 2014

Sunday, January 19, 2014

You need reminding

BTW, I CAN pass (and have passed) a security clearance.  In case you forgot, professional licenses reguire background checks.

Your Sunday Sermon

Maybe some of the people in the US who claim to be Christian need to reexamine these principles.

From the Anglican Parish of Gosford, New South Wales, Australia
Weekend Reflection.

No matter what you think about Christianity it’s hard to deny some basic facts about Jesus. Born sometime between 4BCE and 6CE into a peasant family. He grew up in the socio political context of an oppressive foreign occupation and corrupt local “government”. Sometime around the age of 30 he explicitly challenged the local authorities and therefore the might of Rome. He was arrested, tried, convicted of sedition and executed.

I do not believe it is possible to genuinely claim to be his follower unless you share his passion for the poor, the oppressed and the voiceless. Supporting the oppression of another human being for any reason requires a form of justification that is unacceptable to his spirit.

Standing for those in need is Christianity, any addition to that, as worthy as it may be is simply window dressing.

Fr Rod Bower.
By the way, if we are going to add the "thous shall not kill" and "sacredness of human life", we can add:

Thou shalt not kill. Here again is a moral precept included in all codes, and placed by all in a prominent position. Our first duty towards our neighbour is to respect his life. When Cain slew Abel, he could scarcely have known what he was doing; yet a terrible punishment was awarded him for his transgression (Genesis 4:11-14). After the flood, the solemn declaration was made, which thenceforward became a universal law among mankind - "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man" (Genesis 9:6).
Still, this doesn't stop people from claiming to be Christian while devaluing human life.   In the few places where there is an organised government, and a systematic administration of justice, the State acts on the principle and punishes the murderer. Elsewhere, among tribes and races which had not vet coalesced into states, the law of blood-revenge obtained, and the inquisition for blood became a private affair. The next of kin was the recognised" avenger "upon whom it devolved to hunt out the murderer and punish him.

Exceptions appear to the rule appear later on (Numbers 35:22-25; Deuteronomy 4:42; etc.); but the first thing is to establish the principle that human life is sacred. Man is not to shed the blood of his fellow-man unless it is absolutely necessary.  In other words, the Bible supports the traditional, common law version of the doctrine of self-defence where deadly force the the LAST option, not the first and only to be used if all other options have been exhausted.

Anyway, Australia also was fairly quick to enact strong gun laws.

(disclaimer--I prefer New Zealand)