Monday, January 28, 2013

Depraved gun nuts heckle grieving parent at Connecticut hearing

The right wing loves to hate Fred Phelps and the parishioners from his fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka Kansas for travelling around the country to heckle and protest at funerals of American soldiers who were killed in combat.  In Fred's twisted point of view, God is extracting revenge on the military and American soldiers because the military has officially ended the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy that made being gay in the military a taboo. The specter of haters protesting at a funeral in front of grieving family members and friends is sickening and revolting to anyone with a sense of decency and a functional conscience.

So when I read this story earlier today it made me realize how close the mainstream gun nuts really are to the Fred Phelps extremism.  These disgusting jerks actually heckled a parent of child who was murdered in the Sandy Hook massacre during a hearing in the Connecticut legislature while he calmly pleaded for some common sense reforms to prevent more incidents like this one.

Connecticut Post: Father of Newtown victim heckled at hearing

Neil Heslin, of Shelton, holds a portrait of himself and his son, Jesse Lewis, one of the children killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting, during testimony before the Gun Violence Prevention Working Group at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on Monday, January 28, 2012.Photo: Brian A. Pounds | Buy This Photo

"The Second Amendment!" was shouted a couple of times by as many as a dozen gun enthusiasts in the meeting room as Neil Heslin, holding a photo of his slain 6-year-old son, Jesse Lewis, asked why Bushmaster assault-style weapons are allowed to be sold in the state.
"There are a lot of things that should be changed to prevent what happened," said Heslin, who said he grew up using guns and was undisturbed by the interruption of his testimony.
"That wasn't just a killing, it was a massacre," said Heslin, who recalled dropping off his son at Sandy Hook Elementary school shortly before Lanza opened fire. "I just hope some good can come out of this."
The Gun Nuts are just like Fred Phelps.  The only difference is the flavor of the extremism. Actually, the gun nuts who heckled a grieving parent are even more despicable than Fred Phelps and his band of haters.  Adults who voluntarily enlisted in the military knew beforehand all of the risks involved.   On the other hand, parents who dropped off their 7 year old children at Sandy Hook Elementary school could have never imagined the horror waiting for their children and their families thanks to the tireless efforts by the NRA to increase gun sales and gun manufacturers' profits at any cost.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Reince Priebus thinks the GOP has a marketing problem.

After watching Mitt Romney get beat like a rented mule in the last Presidential Election, GOP Party leader Reince Priebus has determined that the GOP has a marketing problem and that they need to do a better job of getting their message across to voters. 

Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus on Friday will lay out his plan for a “Republican renewal,” telling members of the party that the GOP must abandon the concept of battleground states and look to compete in “every state and every region” in the country, POLITICO’s Playbook has learned...

Priebus will outline a number of steps the GOP should take to expand the base and get competitive in a broader swath of states. Among his suggestions: train “candidates, volunteers and operatives” on basic subjects like fundraising and campaign strategy — but through a variety of high-tech methods, including Skype sessions and Google hangouts; give the “next generation of organizers access to the brightest experts,” take the initiative on leading in the “digital space” and focus on being “welcoming” and “inclusive” without forgetting GOP “principles.”
Old wisdom says that the first step on the road to recovery is admitting that you have a problem.  With this statement, Reince is doing the exact opposite of admitting the GOP has a problem with it's message of anti-science nuttery, climate denial, anti-woman misogyny, religious extremism, and economic policy ignorance.  Quite the opposite in fact, Reince is saying the biggest challenge facing the GOP is doing a better ob of conveying their policies and message to the masses.

My prediction is that if and when the GOP does manage to somehow get their message out to all the voters across the country and educate them all on the policies and principals that the GOP espouses, then the Republican party will fall even further into oblivion. If anything, the GOP's problem is not enough marketing, its all the free marketing that their political enemies are more than willing to do for them.      

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Happy Gun Appreciation Day 2013!

Some videos and a touching story to commemorate what is being referred to as Gun Appreciation Day 2013. A day to celebrate the many wonder of owning firearms!

First, one of my favorite Beatles songs, Happiness is a Warm Gun.  Hells yes it is!  And if John Lennon hadn't been shot dead by a crazy motherfucker named Mark David Chapman back in 1980 near his home in New York City, he might still be belting out this one, maybe on the yearly Beg-Athon on PBS. 

Oh and this one is pretty good too.  It shows a lot of different people all having loads of fun with their guns and then BLAMMO!  One dude inspecting the barrel of his rifle like Elmer Fudd shoots a big hole in the bill of his trucker cap just inches from his skull.  The only thing missing is the America's Funniest Videos theme music, although you will enjoy the song in the background straight from the jukebox at the Waffle House. 

This is somewhat ironic.. To demonstrate how patriotic they are, a lot of people around the country celebrated their 2nd Amendment rights today by attending gun rallies and gun shows.  Well, some people started out at the gun show but ended up in the hospital when a careless law enforcement officer accidentally shot them.  OOPS!!  Memo to gun show staff:  Please make sure the weapons are unloaded before you pull the tie-wrap around the trigger.

The Dixie Gun and Knife Show was shut down after a shooting Saturday.
The Dixie Gun and Knife Show was shut down after a shooting Saturday. (WTVD Photo / Angelica Alvarez)
RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Law enforcement officials have confirmed a shooting at the Dixie Gun and Knife Show at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds Saturday afternoon.
There was no immediate confirmation of the exact number of injuries.
An eyewitness told ABC11 that a person brought a loaded semi-automatic pistol to a security check-in area around 1 p.m. Saturday. The gun owner reportedly removed the gun's slide out magazine, but there was still a round in the gun's chamber. When a law enforcement officer went to secure the weapon with a zip tie through the trigger area and around the grip, the gun went off as the zip tie was pulled tight.
Two or three people were injured. Varying accounts said a person was shot in the hand, another in the arm and possibly a third.

Oh and why not one more..  Earlier today a really stupid guy in Bulgaria who apparently wanted to get his ass kicked six ways to Sunday staged a fake point blank assassination of a politician he clearly doesn't like using an air pistol.   No one got the joke.

I am glad that Gun Appreciation Day 2013 such a huge success.  I recommend next year that they have a moment of silence for each of the victims of gun violence and gun accidents before the gun loving crowd commences to partying with their best friends, the guns.  But of course that would mean Gun Appreciation Day would have to become Gun Appreciation Week for the thousands of moments of silence, interrupted only by drunkass Billy Bobs and Gangsta Wannabe's firing their weapons into the air and through the ceiling in mom's living room.


If you go to the link I posted above about the accidental shooting at the North Carolina gun show, the story has completely changed without an explanation from the source.  So either the original eyewitness account was a total fabrication or the new explanation is a sanitized version.  they both can't right.

The Dixie Gun and Knife Show will continue as planned but there will be no private gun sales allowed, and personal guns will not be allowed on property. Gun sales will be allowed only by licensed dealers within the confines of the Jim Graham Building
 Agency spokesman Brian Long says a 12-gauge shotgun discharged while its owner, 36-year-old Gary Lynn Wilson, of Wilmington, unzipped its case for a law enforcement officer to check it at a security entrance.
Three people were injured when the gun went off, officials said, including a retired Wake County Sherriff's deputy working the show.
Oh and there were 2 other accidental shootings at gun shows on Gun Appreciation Day 2013.  wonderful.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Greatest Generation would be disgusted in today's right wing extremism

Wow I have to really hand it to fellow internet traveler Vicious Babushka who Tweets under that name and posts at the political weblog Little Green Footballs.  Vicious Babushka  actually took the time to wade through the Twitter swamp and collect dozens of Tweets that demonstrated Goodwin's Law in a variety of disgusting and ridiculous comparisons between Adolph Hitler and Barrack Obama that all fall hopelessly short of reality.

For those of you who are not familiar with Goodwin's Law, here is a snip from Wikipedia..
 Godwin's law (also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies or Godwin's Law of Nazi Analogies) is an argument made by Mike Godwin in 1990 that has become an Internet adage. It states: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1." In other words, Godwin observed that, given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably makes a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis.
Here is the thread at Little Green Footballs where you can see the many examples of the steaming turd Tweets from people who are profoundly ignorant of the history of World War II and proud of it.

LGF:  Godwins of the Day: Jan, 17, 2013 -- It’s a Hitlerfest!

You should click the link and visit LGF to see firsthand the deranged hyperbola from dozens of unhinged extremist freaks.  These people are so far out of touch with reality that they can't see a difference between the evil monster who was responsible for the deaths of over 50 million people during World War II and the President who is attempting to make the USA a bit safer for children, policemen, and all of us by enacting a variety of very modest gun control regulations.

The Greatest Generation of Americans, who were sent off to fight and die in the most brutal and destructive war the world has ever seen along with those who stayed home and rationed, scrimped and worked tirelessly to aid the war effort to defeat Adolph Hitler and the Third Reich would be absolutely disgusted with these asinine comparisons offered up by blowhards tweeting under the cover of anonymous nicknames from their comfortable lazy boy recliners.

Barrack Obama is Hitler because he wants to take away some of their beloved toy guns.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Tale of Two Gun Toting Moms..

Does keeping guns around the house make you safer?  That depends on which anecdote you base your opinion.  

Yay Guns!
LOGANVILLE, GA.A Georgia mother who shot an intruder at her home has become a small part of the roaring gun control debate, with some firearms enthusiasts touting her as a textbook example of responsible gun ownership.
 Melinda Herman grabbed a handgun and hid in a crawl space with her two children when a man broke in last week and approached the family at their home northeast of Atlanta, police said. Herman called her husband on the phone, and with him reminding her of the lessons she recently learned at a shooting range, Herman opened fire, seriously wounding the burglary suspect.
The National Rifle Association tweeted a link to a news story about the shooting, and support poured in from others online, hailing Herman as a hero. The local sheriff said he was proud of the way she handled the situation.

Boo Guns! 
MSNBC: Gun-toting soccer mom found shot dead

LEBANON, Pa. — A mother of three who became a voice of the gun-rights movement when she openly carried a loaded pistol to her daughter's soccer game was fatally shot along with her husband, a parole officer and former prison guard, in an apparent murder-suicide at their home.
Autopsies were planned Friday for Meleanie Hain, 31, and Scott Hain, 33, who were pronounced dead shortly after 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at their brick home in this small city about 80 miles west of Philadelphia.
The couple's 10-year-old son and daughters ages 2 and 6 were home at the time, police said. The two older children ran outside and told neighbors that their father had shot their mother, neighbors said. The children are being cared for by neighbors and relatives.
Toys lay scattered across the corner lot Thursday in the tree-lined neighborhood where the family lived and where Meleanie ran a day care center. A car parked in the driveway bore a badge-shaped sticker that read "NRA law enforcement."
Jim Zengerle  /  AP file
Meleanie Hain made headlines after she attended a children's soccer game on Sept. 11, 2008, with a handgun in plain view holstered on her hip.

Monday, January 7, 2013

In 2013 economic growth will be fueled by lower oil prices.

There are many factors that affect economic growth and among them is the price of oil.  Like it or not oil and gasoline are still the lifeblood of our economy.  The price of oil and gasoline are baked into the price of every consumer product on the shelves. Further, the more disposable income that consumers spend on gasoline, the less they will have to spend on other things.   Cheaper gasoline will help promote economic recovery in the USA.  Cheap gasoline is a free market induced stimulus package for everyone. 

Here are a few different articles that help paint the picture of where the prices of oil and gasoline are heading in the USA.

 ABC News: BC: US Oil Production: Record Rise in 2012
Total U.S. crude oil production is on target to reach 6.4 million barrels per day in 2012, the highest for any year since 1997.
In today’s report the EIA has also revised its predictions for crude oil production in 2013, now forecasting that U.S. will produce more than 7 million barrels per day for the first time since 1992.
The news comes just a week after the EIA released a report saying that the U.S. will become increasingly energy independent in the next three decades as it boosts its production of oil, natural gas and renewable power such as solar and wind.
Oil industry analysts expect that an increase in U.S. crude oil production should help push gas prices lower
WaPo Blog:  Graph of the day: Americans buying more fuel- efficient cars, polluting less.
New cars bought in the fall of 2012 are using about 15 percent less fuel per mile than cars purchased in 2007. But they’re also logging slightly fewer miles overall — a sign that Americans aren’t just negating the fuel savings by driving more. Add it all up, and there’s been a 20 percent drop in greenhouse-gas emissions from new vehicles in the past five years....
This trend is likely to continue. The Obama administration has already set strict new fuel-economy standards for cars and light trucks, which are expected to average around 35.4 miles per gallon by 2025. Indeed, this is one big reason why U.S. oil imports have been shrinking — along with increased domestic oil production — and it’s why imports are projected to keep shriveling in the decades ahead.

Value Walk:  Cushing Oil Inventory Increases 66 Percent In 2012
The problem here is that U.S. and Canadian oil production is increasing faster and producing more oil than Cushing can build extra storage or increase pipeline capacity, and or bring new pipeline projects online from Cushing to Houston. Oil stored at Cushing basically jumped from 30 million barrels to 50 million barrels in 2012, an increase of 20 million barrels (66 percent increase) which is just an incredible feat, just imagine if there were no pipelines pumping oil to Houston in 2012. In fact, full capacity including shell capacity would have been completely filled to the gills, and Cushing would have to stop accepting oil into its facilities...
The speculators are pushing oil up again over the past two weeks during thinly traded holiday market on low volume with the diehards trying to make their yearly numbers look better, but the fundamentals for WTI and Brent don`t bode well for 2013 with the North American production output putting downward pressure on WTI prices, and the expected increase in Oil production from Iraq, Kazakhstan, Sudan and others putting downward pressure on Brent prices.
It is important to note that we are not just producing more oil here in the USA, we are also using less of it as well.  A glut in the market is not out of the question and if and when that happens we will see a substantial drop in oil prices.  The fools who warned the world that oil was headed for $200 per barrel failed to acknowledge that before the price could climb that high, the world economy would collapse and Exxon would find it difficult to give oil away.  Those pesky self-correction factors..

Also, notice that we have reversed the direction of a major pipeline that used to deliver crude oil from the Gulf of Mexico to Cushing, Oklahoma where the storage tanks are located.  Now that same pipeline delivers oil from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf where it can be refined.  Make no mistake though.  The intent of switching the direction of the pipeline was not just to get oil to refineries in Texas.  It is so that American and Canadian oil can be exported to take advantage of the higher market price for oil in other markets outside of the US. Oil used to be considered a global commodity where it was priced essentially the same everywhere.  That isn't the case anymore.  Understanding the WTI-Brent Spread 

This is good news for Americans, except for the ones whose political extremism has made them pine for an economic meltdown in the USA just so they can find something to blame on the President.  These people hate Barrack Obama more than they love the USA.  

Thursday, January 3, 2013

What may have Pb to the drop in violent crime?

This is a very compelling story in Mother Jones by Kevin Drum about how the leaded gasoline that was used in automobiles from the late 1930's until the early 1970's may very well have contributed to a large amount of violent crime over decades here in the USA and around the world.  The data is striking.  It appears that Freakonomics was wrong on the subject of why there was such a widespread drop in violent crimes starting around 1990.  read the whole thing..

    Mother Jones:  America's Real Criminal Element: Lead

"... But as Nevin was working on that assignment, his client suggested they might be missing something. A recent study had suggested a link between childhood lead exposure and juvenile delinquency later on. Maybe reducing lead exposure had an effect on violent crime too?
That tip took Nevin in a different direction. The biggest source of lead in the postwar era, it turns out, wasn't paint. It was leaded gasoline. And if you chart the rise and fall of atmospheric lead caused by the rise and fall of leaded gasoline consumption, you get a pretty simple upside-down U: Lead emissions from tailpipes rose steadily from the early '40s through the early '70s, nearly quadrupling over that period. Then, as unleaded gasoline began to replace leaded gasoline, emissions plummeted.
U pattern. The only thing different was the time period: Crime rates rose dramatically in the '60s through the '80s, and then began dropping steadily starting in the early '90s. The two curves looked eerily identical, but were offset by about 20 years.


After making the connection between lead exposure and violent crime, Drum questions why is it that no one who studies or works in the business of fighting crime seems to be interested.
Nevin calls it "exasperating" that crime researchers haven't seriously engaged with lead, and Reyes told me that although the public health community was interested in her paper, criminologists have largely been AWOL. When I asked Sammy Zahran about the reaction to his paper with Howard Mielke on correlations between lead and crime at the city level, he just sighed. "I don't think criminologists have even read it," he said. ..
Why not? Mark Kleiman, a public policy professor at the University of California-Los Angeles who has studied promising methods of controlling crime, suggests that because criminologists are basically sociologists, they look for sociological explanations, not medical ones. My own sense is that interest groups probably play a crucial role: Political conservatives want to blame the social upheaval of the '60s for the rise in crime that followed. Police unions have reasons for crediting its decline to an increase in the number of cops. Prison guards like the idea that increased incarceration is the answer. Drug warriors want the story to be about drug policy. If the actual answer turns out to be lead poisoning, they all lose a big pillar of support for their pet issue. And while lead abatement could be big business for contractors and builders, for some reason their trade groups have never taken it seriously.
He goes on to point out that for roughly $20 billion per year for 20 years we could all but eliminate much of the lead that remains in windows in old houses and soil in mostly urban areas and how getting the lead out  would generate ten times that much in savings from the lower crime levels and higher IQ levels that would result.

That is how you invest in the future of a nation. Not by producing, selling and squirreling away firearms and precious metals.  Invest in the children by getting rid of the lead left from the past that shackles them for life.