Thursday, October 31, 2013

If you think big energy is on your side, think again.

As more people are hit in the pocketbook, they will turn to the Democrats.

Even the seniors are catching on...

The NSA is out of control

The NSA is out of control - almost as if they are their own secret government, We must keep up the pressure on Congress to get them under control.

Minnesota man sues NSA, DHS after they try to quash his parody merchandise (Click on this heading to read more)

A Minnesota man is suing for the right to continue selling merchandise online that parodies the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.
Dan McCall sells T-shirts, hats, bumper stickers and other items that are printed by online retailer and also sold on and his own website,
Among other items, McCall sells a mug with the NSA seal above the words, “Spying On You Since 1952,” and a parodied NSA seal that reads “Peeping While You’re Sleeping” above the words, “The NSA: The only part of government that actually listens.”
The Sauk Rapids man filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court targeting cease-and-desist letters sent to Zazzle in 2011 by both federal security agencies saying that the merchandise violated the National Security Agency Act of 1959.

Maddow on Paul Ryan's bona fides as a "small government man"

Paul Ryan: The Ultimate Hypocrite? (Click on this heading to read more)

Yes, the man who has built a career preaching small government went to public school, used Social Security benefits to pay for his college degree and has spent his entire adult life working for the government. The man who champions the greatness of the private sector, and beats his drum on the evils of government, has never really held a job in the private sector—but has made quite a life for himself as a government employee.

Now, I know what Republicans will say, “But President Obama has never worked for the private sector either!”, and that’s mostly true—but he also hasn’t made a career preaching about the evils of government like Ryan has.

Different brained?

Can ‘dramatically different cognitive styles’ explain tea partiers’ rage? (Click on this headline to read more)

A growing body of research suggests that we are a nation divided not only by partisanship or how we view various issues, but also by dramatically different cognitive styles. Sociologists and psychologists are getting a better understanding about the ways that deep seated emotional responses effect our ideological viewpoints.
Joshua Holland: Chris, let’s talk about morality. I’m personally offended by the tea partiers’ resistance to giving uninsured people health care. I find it a bit shocking that a political movement could be so filled with animosity toward the idea. But according to NYU social psychologist Jonathan Haidt — and other scholars — conservatives have a different moral compass entirely. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Chris Mooney: Absolutely. There are many people doing research in the psychology of politics. Jonathan Haidt is a pioneer in the psychology of morality and how that feeds into politics, and it really helps with something like this where you have strong emotional passions that are irreconcilable on the left and the right.
So what you’re describing is his moral foundation of “harm,” which liberals tend to feel more strongly about. These are emotions relating to empathy and compassion – measured by the question of how much someone is suffering and how much that suffering is a moral issue to you. How much is caring for the weak and vulnerable a moral issue to you?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Gun Fail

Six of 39 guns discovered by TSA agents at airports last week.
Six of 39 guns discovered by TSA agents at airports last week.
A rich collection of GunFAIL stories this week, including a few that escaped notice in the recent past, and one from April, about which the circumstances have just become known, involving a police officer who just this past week died of wounds sustained when he was shot by a fellow officer during an exchange of gunfire with an armed suspect. I don't mean to assign the kind of blame to this story that some GunFAIL stories can engender. But it's a good reminder that guns aren't magical, and their use even in legitimate self-defense and/or law enforcement doesn't by any means guarantee that there won't be innocent victims.
The bulk of the incidents in this week's report, though, fall into one or more of the now-familiar and recurring categories. Even so, there were some real standouts among the mounting statistics. Five law enforcement officers or armed guards were involved in GunFAIL incidents in this week's list, including the truly astounding story out of Chino, CA, where a loaded AR-15 mounted to a police motorcycle somehow ended up among the accessible displays at an elementary school "Red Ribbon Week" public safety event put on by the local police department. A student at the event fired the weapon, wounding three fellow students. If it wasn't for the Detroit and Chino incidents, we'd likely be paying somewhat more attention to the Rutherford County, NC, sheriff's deputy who accidentally shot a fellow officer at the practice range in Murfreesboro. Or perhaps the dismissal of the commanding officer of the Security Battalion at the Quantico, VA, Marine base, sacked for accidentally firing his weapon inside of his office.
I'm sure Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC) is also grateful for the packed GunFAIL news cycle, which helped deflect some of the attention generated by news that she'd had an AR-15 stolen from her home, after leaving it unsecured and leaning up against a gun safe in her garage (which surely could have secured the gun, with a little additional effort) following a target shooting outing.
Other distractions from this week's compilation the dual accidental shootings in Vidor, TX, (pop. 10.915) on 10/21. The first made national news, when a 5-year-old boy shot and killed himself with a .40 caliber handgun left out on a coffee table by his babysitter, who apparently had opted to get high and take a nap rather than put the gun away. That's rather spectacular, so you can well imagine how little interest there was when Orange County sheriff's deputies were called to the scene of another accidental shooting less than four hours later, even though it was a two-fer, involving a .22 caliber revolver going off while being cleaned, wounding a father (through the hand) and his 27-year-old son (in the thigh).
This week's count also includes four hunting accidents, plus one that happened while "preparing" to go squirrel hunting. Ordinarily, I'd just say that one doesn't count as a hunting accident just yet, and this one doesn't. But it always deserves special mention when you prepare to go squirrel hunting and accidentally get shot in the nuts. Four carriers accidentally discharged their guns while out shopping or otherwise milling about in public areas, this week in a Sam's Club, a McDonald's drive-through, a pet store, and a hotel lobby. Three people accidentally fired weapons that were still loaded while they were cleaning them. Two patriots freedomed their neighbors' houses, and one college student accidentally shot another when he dropped his gun during a pick-up basketball game.
Speaking of dropping guns, here's a story from an online gun owner's forum, which don't usually pass muster for inclusion in the official GunFAIL compilations. Still, it's worth noting things like this do happen, as well as noting that it can happen and not make the news at all. Note that when gun enthusiasts discuss the event among themselves, they're torn as to whether to classify it as truly accidental or merely negligent. Very interesting. All the actions leading up to the incident are justified. "I thought I had good reason to and thought it was 'safe,'" the writer tells us. "It was a freak one in a million accident." Readers of the GunFAIL series, however, know that it is not.
The child victims of GunFAIL this week were ages: 2, 5, 8, 14, 14, and 15, plus the three elementary school students wounded in Chino. In addition, a 4-year-old found his uncle's gun in the car, and accidentally shot his aunt with it. Lastly, this week (like most) also included several guns found in schools around the country. Only this time, one of them was actually used in a school shooting, as was the case in Sparks, NV. Guns were found elsewhere, thankfully unused, in North Highlands, CASt. Petersburg, FLVancouver, WA,Peterborough, NHCharleston, WVWilliamsburg, VA, and Tampa, FL.
  1. DETROIT, MI, 4/02/13: A funeral is scheduled next week for a Detroit police officer who died six months after another officer accidentally shot him in the head while exchanging fire with a paroled armed robber and slaying suspect. Police Chief James Craig revealed Monday that another officer fired the shot April 2 that hit Patrick Hill, who died Saturday. Hill's funeral is at 10 a.m. Oct. 28 at Greater Grace Temple. Visitation is from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday at James Cole funeral home.
  2. KALAMAZOO, MI, 9/22/13: Remember in September when a WMU Fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma was suspended after a party at their house on Fraternity Drive ended with one man shot in the leg and a woman suffering cuts from flying glass? Public Safety has now charged Emon Williams, the man who was shot, with carrying a concealed weapon and reckless use of a firearm. Apparently the 20-year-old accidentally shot himself in the leg during a confrontation in the driveway after a group of party-crashers were ejected from the event. The gun was not recovered.
  3. WEST CHICAGO, IL, 9/24/13: An armored car driver left behind more than he wanted to after answering the nature’s call at a McDonald’s restaurant restroom in West Chicago, according to police reports. According to police reports, a Garda armored driver went into a McDonald’s restaurant in the 300 block of South Neltnor Boulevard around 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 24. The man went into a stall and, while sitting down, placed his Smith and Wesson 9mm on top of a trash can. Once finished, he left and forgot to take his gun, according to police reports. When the driver pulled into Chase Bank on Winfield Road, he realized the gun was not in his holster. A frantic call to McDonald’s proved to be too late as the gun was not there, reports said. Police were then called and a search was conducted that involved going through several trash bins , watching surveillance video and searching a homeless man. The gun remains missing, police said.
  4. ARVADA, CO, 10/10/13: Arvada police were called to the 13000 block of West 64th Place on Oct. 10 for an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound. The victim was showing the .45-caliber handgun to a friend when it accidentally fired, hitting the victim in the leg. He was taken to the hospital and cited for discharging a firearm.
  5. MERRILLVILLE, IN, 10/11/13: For the Brady Bunch of television fame, the rule was don't play ball in the house. Times have changed, and moms might consider instituting a new rule — don't rap with a loaded gun. That advice could have helped two men who were giving rapping their best shot in their mother's apartment in the 1800 block of West 84th Drive. About 4 a.m. Friday, police were dispatched to the apartment about a 21-year-old who shot himself in the thigh, Merrillville Detective Cmdr. Jeff Rice said. He said the 21-year-old was holding a gun in various positions while rapping with his 24-year-old brother when the gun was accidentally discharged. The 21-year-old was transported to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries, Rice said. No other people were injured during the incident. Rice said police were called back to the apartment building about 9 a.m. Friday after a bullet hole was discovered in an adjoining unit.
  6. ALBANY, OR, 10/13/13: About 4 p.m. Sunday, a man in the 34000 block of Riverside Drive was loading a shotgun when it accidentally discharged. The gun’s safety was not on. The man went to a neighboring home to make sure no one was hurt. The shotgun had been pointed into the air at the time of the accidental discharge. There were no injuries.
  7. RALEIGH, NC, 10/15/13: U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers' husband reported an AR-15 rifle stolen from the family’s home in Dunn last week, according to a police report. The weapon had been left leaning against a gun locker in an unlocked garage on Kingsway Drive, the report said. The rifle, a gun case and a GPS, with a cumulative value of $1,100, were reported stolen, according to Chief J.D. Pope. Police think the theft happened on the night of Oct. 15. “According to the report, they had been out target shooting and brought the gun back and leaned it against the gun safe,” Pope said. “ … The garage door was left unsecured, according to the report.”
  8. KINGSPORT, TN, 10/17/13: On Thursday Kingsport police responded to the Holston Valley Medical Center Emergency Room. An incident report says patient Katie Collins, 20, of 1209 Robertson Street, apartment 33, claimed an armed man tried to rob her as she walked her dog. Collins sustained a gunshot wound to her left hip, according to a police report, with the bullet exiting her left buttocks. The bullet then passed through and exited her right buttocks. Detectives responded to the purported shooting location, an alley between Robertson and Dorothy Street, but located no shell casing or other evidence. On Monday police visited Collins' residence, this time with a warrant for the arrest of her live-in boyfriend, Dakota Lee Dorton, 19. Kingsport police say he was arrested on charges related to a burglary in Scott County, Va. While at the Kingsport Police Department, Dorton was questioned about Collins' gunshot wound. He reportedly said he had been "joking" with her on Thursday, pointing a gun her way after he had, "taken the rounds out of the weapon." "Dorton said he pulled the trigger and the gun clicked a couple of times," reads a police report. "It then suddenly went off and Collins was shot." Collins confirmed his story to police, saying Dorton was "playing" with the gun when it discharged. Police say they located the weapon inside an air vent of their apartment.
  9. BASTROP, LA, 10/18/13: An 8-year-old in the Beekman community was accidentally shot and killed Friday. Morehouse Parish Sheriff Mike Tubbs reports that just before 5 p.m. Friday, deputies were called to a home on Vaughn Road in Beekman. There, officers found an 8-year-old boy had been fatally shot, and his 14 year old brother was the only person at the scene. Sheriff Tubbs says the accident was caused by the mishandling of a shotgun.
  10. FORT WAYNE, IN, 10/18/13: A man accidentally shot himself in his right buttock while re-holstering his Glock 9mm outside a pet store, according to a Fort Wayne Police Department report. A police officer responded at around 2:45 p.m. Friday to Lutheran hospital on report of an accidental shooting victim, according to the officer's report. The man, who has a lifetime Indiana carry permit, was placing his gun back into the holster when he accidentally discharged it. The bullet went into his right buttock, at a straight angle down, exiting at the bottom of the buttock. The man said the round had put a hole in the pavement. The incident occurred in the handicap spot in front of Bill's Pet Store on West Jefferson Boulevard. The victim drove himself to a hospital emergency room.
  11. QUANTICO, VA, 10/18/13: The former commanding officer of Quantico’s Security Battalion was relieved after he accidentally discharged a handgun inside his office, sources with knowledge of the incident said. Col. Daren Margolin was removed from his post Friday by Maj. Gen. Juan Ayala, head of Marine Corps Installations Command, who cited a loss of confidence in Margolin’s ability to command. Officials said the relief was the result of an incident involving a personal weapon earlier this month. Margolin has also been charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice in relation to the incident, officials said, but those charges were not made public. Margolin accidentally shot his M9 handgun into the floor of his office, said a Marine source who knows the 24-year officer. Security Battalion oversees personal weapons registration and enforcement of the weapons order for Quantico, which prohibits personnel from carrying or storing personal weapons on base, with few exceptions.
  12. FAYETTEVILLE, NC, 10/19/13: A 2-year-old girl died Saturday after accidentally shooting herself at her home on Graham Road, Fayetteville police said. The child was killed after discovering a loaded handgun in the house, a Fayetteville police news release said. The gun discharged and struck the child. Police were called to the home on the 2600 block of Graham Road near Strickland Bridge Road about 12:40 p.m. according to the news release. The child, according to the news release, was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, where she died of her injuries. It's the fourth fatal shooting in the Cape Fear region of someone under age 18 in a week.
  13. CHARLESTON, WV, 10/19/13: A woman was injured in what appears to be an accidental shooting Saturday evening, police say. The incident happened around 6 p.m. at an apartment in the 1400 block of Quarrier Street, said Lt. H.P. Hickman of the Charleston Police Department. The woman was coming up the stairs in her apartment building when a man fired a handgun in another part of the building, Hickman said. The bullet went through a wall and into her shoulder, he said. UPDATE:  That suspect, John Tucker, voluntarily turned himself into police at the location of the shooting, 1317 Quarrier Street in Charleston. The Charleston Police Department tells WSAZ that Tucker is not in custody. According to Police, Tucker was showing off a gun to his friend when it misfired. The bullet went through a wall and struck a woman in the shoulder.
  14. COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, 10/19/13:  A man reportedly died after accidentally shooting himself in the leg. It happened about 4:45 p.m. Saturday at the Lincoln Springs Apartments on the 1100 block of S. Chelton Road in Colorado Springs. Police say they responded to a medical call, but when they arrived they discovered the victim had been shot in the thigh and was bleeding heavily. The victim's 19-year-old son reportedly says his father was in another room on the computer when the son heard the gunshot. The son called 911. The victim was taken to the hospital, but did not survive. The Violent Crimes Unit investigated the scene. They say it appears the victim was handling a gun he thought was unloaded when it went off.
  15. EROS, LA, 10/19/13: An Eros man currently on parole faces two charges after accidentally shooting himself in the foot. Bobby Lawrence Simpson, 31, of 859 Will Brown Road, was booked early Sunday for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and violation of a protective order. An arrest affidavit said Simpson met with a deputy from the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday at Glenwood Hospital in West Monroe. Simpson reportedly told police that he accidentally shot himself while loading a .22-caliber rifle with the bullet striking his right foot.
  16. SALIDA, CO, 10/19/13: Authorities say a 14-year-year-old boy was killed when he apparently shot himself accidentally during a family hunting trip in south-central Colorado's San Isabel National Forest. The Chaffee County Sheriff's Office says the Brighton teen, whose name has not been released, was hunting with his father, mother and grandfather Saturday afternoon. The father and grandfather called 911 shortly after 5 p.m. to report that the boy had separated from the group when they heard a shot and found him nearby, lying motionless with his rifle. The boy suffered a single gunshot wound to the chest. An autopsy planned for Monday will determine the cause and manner of death, but an initial investigation indicates the shooting was accidental.
  17. JONES CO., GA, 10/19/13: An Illinois man is dead, after deer hunting with a group friends. According to Jones County Sheriff's office, the fatal shooting happened Saturday, around 12:30 p.m., on Union Hill Church Road in Jones County, near the Jones and Putnam County line. Francisco Hernandez, 47, was shot in the head, according to Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Law Enforcement Division Capt. Bob Lynn. Lynn said as of Monday they are not sure of how Hernandez was shot. "Our part of the investigation is to make sure that the shot that was fired was the one that struck the hunter or if the hunter accidentally discharged his own firearm striking himself," said Lynn.
  18. MOSCOW, ID, 10/19/13: The Saturday shooting death of a Moscow man on Old Pullman Road was an accident, Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt said Wednesday. Mabbutt said Christopher DePrey, 22, died at Gritman Medical Center after he accidentally shot himself once in the chest with a .45 caliber pistol. An autopsy was conducted Tuesday.
  19. GETTY TOWNSHIP, MN, 10/20/13:  A 15-year-old Sauk Centre boy was shot while duck hunting Sunday around 3 p.m. According to the Stearn's County Sheriff's Office, the teen was accidentally shot by another 15-year-old Sauk Centre boy, who was in the same hunting party. The group was duck hunting on the Sauk River in Getty Township when the accident occurred. The teen was taken by family to CentraCare Hospital in Sauk Centre Minnesota. He was treated for non-life threatening injuries to his back.
  20. GLENDORA, CA, 10/20/13: Police arrested a husband and wife Sunday after a gun they had went off accidentally inside a Sam’s Club store, wounding the man in the forearm, officials said. Robert Duncan, 48, and Helen Duncan were booked on suspicion of negligently discharging a firearm, Glendora police Sgt. Michael Henderson said. There city of residence was not immediately available. The incident took place shortly before 1:30 p.m. just inside the entrance of the store, 1501 S. Lone Hill Ave., he said. The man and woman were passing a bag between them which contained the gun, Henderson said. They dropped the bag, causing the gun inside to fire. Henderson said Robert Duncan was struck in the forearm by the bullet. No one else was injured.
  21. BIRMINGHAM, AL, 10/20/13: A 2-year-old Birmingham boy is recovering after police say he accidentally shot himself Sunday afternoon. The boy, whose name hasn't been released, is at Children's Hospital. His injury is serious, but he is expected to survive, said Birmingham police spokesman Sgt. Johnny Williams Jr. The shooting happened about 2:45 p.m. on 66th Court Way South. Williams said the toddler found his mother's gun and shot himself in the side.
  22. OMAHA RESERVATION, NE, 10/20/13: A 48-year-old Omaha man was fatally wounded in a weekend hunting accident, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. The agency didn’t release the man’s name Monday. The incident happened Sunday on the Omaha Indian Reservation in northeast Nebraska, near Macy. The man was among five hunters taking part in an early deer hunting season when he was shot in the buttocks with a rifle, said Jerry Kane, a spokesman for Game and Parks. The victim was taken to the hospital in Winnebago, where he was pronounced dead.
  23. GARYSBURG, NC, 10/20/13: The death of a Garysburg man Sunday while trying to secure his gun appears to have been an accident, according to officials. Det. Sgt. Courtney Williams, of the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office, wrote in his report of the incident that he responded to at 110 Perry St. in Garysburg around 10:04 p.m. Sunday in response to a shooting. When Williams arrived a male witness let him into the house, where he found the home’s resident, Archie Kee, 51, lying on the kitchen floor suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. The witness told Williams he had been called by Kee moments earlier stating he had shot himself. When the witness arrived ahead of the police, Kee let him in, then stepped back and laid himself down on the kitchen floor. Kee told Williams, according to the report, he had been trying to put a trigger lock on his .380 pistol when it discharged and he was struck once in the chest. Williams found the firearm in the bedroom with a trigger guard in place.
  24. DENMARK, SC, 10/21/13: A student at Voorhees College was shot Monday afternoon according to a statement on Voorhees College Facebook page. According to the post, at approximately 3:07 pm on Monday, October 21, in the Dawson Health and Human resources center on campus an accidental shooting occurred. While playing basketball in the gym, a gun dropped out of a student's pocket and a bullet discharged. The bullet struck , 21-year-old student Jasmine Parker-Grant, a senior from Nashville, in the chest area.
  25. REDWATER, TX, 10/21/13: An area teen accidentally shot himself in the ankle Monday as he was checking a deer feeder a few miles south of Redwater, Texas. At 5 p.m., Bowie County, Texas, emergency personnel received a call about a possible gunshot victim on County Road 1208, near Wright Patman Lake.
  26. COLUMBIA, TN, 10/21/13: A Chapel Hill man accidentally shot himself in the leg Monday while waiting in the McDonald’s drive-through line for a McFlurry, police reported. Officers were called to interview the gunshot victim at Maury Regional Medical Center at about 1:50 a.m., according to a Columbia Police Department report. The victim, Stephen L. Kritz Jr., 29, was in the treatment room with a gunshot wound on his left thigh. Kritz originally told police he didn’t know what happened, that he was “simply sitting in his car at McDonald’s and was shot,” the report stated. He later said it was an accidental self-inflicted wound from a .38-caliber revolver he was carrying, according to the report.
  27. FARGO, ND, 10/21/13: Charges are pending against a Fargo motel guest who shot out a window Monday night. Employees at Motel 6, 3110 39th Street South called police after hearing a gunshot. Police found a shattered window and remnants of a slug from a small-caliber handgun in the lobby. Surveillance video pointed to a man staying at the motel. He was questioned and detained. Lt. Joel Vettel says somehow the intoxicated man's gun discharged while he was handling it. He says normally the lobby is busy but at the time the gun went off there wasn't anyone there.
  28. VIDOR, TX, 10/21/13: A 5-year-old boy was found killed by a single-shot wound to the head in Vidor at approximately 2:45 p.m. Monday. Accoding to Chief Deputy Clint Hodgkinson with the Orange County Sheriff's Office, they received a call to the at approximately 2:45 p.m. on a call of an unresponsive child on Scott Drive in North Vidor. Investigators say the shooting happened in the 1200 block of Roberts Road. The child was being watched by a babysitter at his parent's home when the shooting occurred. Without access to a phone, the babysitter carried the child through the woods to the grandparent's home on Scott street. Authorities say the shooting appears to be accidental.
  29. VIDOR, TX, 10/21/13: A Vidor man accidentally shot his son in the thigh Monday night as he was cleaning a gun. The Orange County Sheriff's Office responded to the 1800 block of Erin Drive in Vidor around 6:30 p.m. Monday. A 27-year-old man had been attempting to clean a .22 caliber revolver when the cylinder jammed, according to a news release. When he could not clear the jam, the man handed the gun to his father. The gun went off while in the father's hand, and a bullet struck his son, the news release stated.
  30. EDGAR SPRINGS, MO, 10/21/13: The death of a man suffering from a gunshot to the abdomen is under investigation, according to the Phelps County Sheriff's Department. In a statement, the sheriff's department says deputies were dispatched to the 31000 block of County Road 6210 in Edgar Springs for a report of shots fired. While en route to the location, deputies learned that Douglas L. Stewell, 52, of Oklahoma, had been shot in the abdomen and was being driven to the hospital by friends. An ambulance intercepted the vehicle and began treatment on Stewell while transporting him to the Phelps County Regional Medical Center. Stewell later died of his injuries.
  31. BARBERTON, OH, 10/21/13: Barberton Police are investigating what appears to be the accidental shooting of a 20-year-old man at his Stratford Street residence. According to police, three individuals were preparing to go squirrel hunting Monday afternoon when one person’s .22 cal. rifle went off, hitting the man in the groin.
  32. CAPITOLA, CA, 10/21/13: A 74-year-old Morgan Hill man was taken to a hospital Monday after he accidentally shot himself at a New Brighton State Beach campground. State Parks Public Safety Superintendent Mike McMenamy said the man shot himself with a gun once in the abdomen about 4:45 p.m. The campground is near McGregor Drive and Park Avenue near Capitola.
  33. HARRISON, PA, 10/21/13:  Police say a road rage incident on Monday afternoon involving a gun began on Route 28 and ended in New Kensington with nobody hurt. However, state police said charges are being filed against the man with the gun, Michael Waugaman, 42, of 1421 Taylor Ave., New Kensington. Police said the incident began at about 3:45 p.m. when, just south of the Freeport exit, Michael Lattanzio, 60, of Kittanning came up behind Waugaman's slower-moving vehicle in the passing lane of Route 28 southbound. “He didn't move over, so I tapped on the horn,” Lattanzio said. When the motorist would not move over, Lattanzio said he passed the car on the right. “He flipped me off, I flipped him off and I thought that was it,” Lattanzio said. But Lattanzio said the motorist followed him down Route 28 and pulled up next to his van, which was now traveling in the right lane. “He got right up beside me, he got a gun out and pointed it at me, which caused me to duck and which made him laugh,” Lattanzio said. Trooper Timothy Amy said that happened just south of the Burtner Road exit (Exit 15) in Harrison. “Once the gun came out, that's when (Lattanzio) called 911,” Amy said.
  34. MONTROSE, CO, 10/21/13: Montrose city councilor Kathy Ellis says she made a mistake when she took a gun to an airport. According to the Montrose Daily Press, Ellis was traveling with her husband to a convention in Las Vegas on Monday and forgot to take her gun out of her purse. Ellis has a concealed carry permit. Ellis was not arrested, but the Montrose County Sheriff's Office has referred the matter to the district attorney's office for possible prosecution.
  35. TAMPA, FL, 10/21/13: Detectives say a 4-year-old accidentally shot and injured their aunt – and the uncle is the one to blame. It happened inside an SUV in the parking lot at 9017 East Adamo Drive. The sheriff's office says the child's uncle, Randall Simmons, was showing the 4-year-old and 8-year-old his handgun. He then put the gun in the glove compartment, left the kids unattended, and a short time later, the child grabbed the gun. The child accidentally shot 30-year-old Shantell Wilson in the back.
  36. HENDERSON, NV, 10/22/13: Henderson police say a 23-year-old woman was shot and killed Tuesday by a man who claimed he was playing around with a handgun he didn't think was loaded. Police booked Colin Lowrey, 22, of Henderson, into the Henderson Detention Center on an open murder charge. He is currently being held without bail. Lowrey called 911 about 8:30 a.m., saying a handgun accidentally went off and a woman had been shot in the head inside a house on Taliput Palm Place, near Gibson and Sunset roads. The victim was taken to Sunrise Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Lowrey told police he and the victim shared the house with three other roommates. He said he was playing with the handgun when he put it near her head and pulled the trigger. The gun is registered to Lowrey. MORE: Lowrey claimed the victim asked him to point the handgun at her head. He said he grabbed the gun but forgot to check if it was loaded, instinctively racking the slide before placing it against the victim's temple. Lowrey pulled the trigger, shooting the victim in the head. Lowrey told police he believes the victim retrieved the gun's magazine and inserted it in the firearm while he was in the bathroom. Lowrey is an active Army reservist who told police he has been through many hours of firearm training.
  37. SENECA CO., OH, 10/22/13: A man was injured when he accidentally shot himself with a gun Tuesday. According to a Seneca County Sheriff's Office report, a person from Wyandot Memorial Hospital reported at 7:07 p.m. Tuesday an accidental gunshot wound due to cleaning a weapon. Seneca County Sheriff Bill Eckelberry said the man, whose injuries were not life-threatening, was shot in his right leg, above the knee. The weapon belonged to someone else, and the man did not realize there was a bullet in the chamber, he said.
  38. CHINO, CA, 10/23/13: Two students were hospitalized Wednesday after a weapon accidentally discharged during a safety presentation at Newman Elementary School, according to the Chino Police Department. The incident took place at 11:40 a.m. at the school, which is located at 4150 Walnut Ave. Three students were examined at the scene and one went home with a parent, while the other two were taken to a local hospital, according the Chino Fire Department. No other details were immediately released.
  39. SAN DIEGO, CA, 10/23/13: No one was injured after a gun accidentally fired onto a busy Ocean Beach street Wednesday afternoon. San Diego police told 10News a man was cleaning his gun when it accidentally discharged. The bullet broke through his window and struck a vehicle on West Point Loma Boulevard, police said. A witness said, "It was like disbelief. You almost didn't know what just happened. It was just a loud pop. Absolutely one more second and it could have been me."
  40. PRICEVILLE, AL, 10/23/13: Priceville's police chief said a man was shot Monday [sic] night when a gun accidentally went off at a bonfire party. Police Chief Billy Peebles said around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday a man was brought into a Decatur fire station with a gunshot wound in his right side. The victim, identified as Derrick Couch, 20, of Decatur, was taken to Huntsville Hospital for surgery. His current condition is unknown. Another person at the party told police he and his friends had been firing the weapon, and as he was emptying the gun it discharged. Couch was sitting to his left when the gun fired.
  41. ST. LOUIS, MO, 10/23/13: A man is accused of accidentally shooting his friend outside a Soulard bar late Wednesday night. According to police, three men went into Sonny’s in the 1000 block of Geyer around 12 a.m. and caused an altercation. Police say they were asked to leave and two of them left the bar. While outside, one of the men who was armed with a weapon fired a couple rounds and accidentally shot his friend. The shooter was later arrested.
  42. MURFREESBORO, TN, 10/23/13: A Rutherford County sheriff’s deputy who has been suspended at last twice during his 24-year career accidentally shot a fellow deputy at a gun range Wednesday, according to a news release. Deputy Rick Emslie shot Lt. Brad Harrison during a firearms training course at the Sheriff’s Office’s firing range, according to a Sheriff’s Office release. “The incident happened when Deputy Emslie removed the magazine from his weapon and prepared to disassemble it to oil it and the weapon discharged,” the report states. “A bullet fragment grazed Lt. Harrison’s calf.” Emslie suffered powder burns to his left hand, and Harrison received a laceration to his calf, according to the report. Both were transported to Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital and released after treatment.
  43. ORLANDO, FL, 10/24/13: The 36th gun of the year was seized Thursday at Orlando International Airport from an outbound passenger waiting to catch a morning flight. The .380-caliber pistol with six cartridges was spotted at 8:40 a.m. by a Transportation Security Administration officer during an x-ray inspection of carry-on luggage, according to Orlando police. Richard Barner Jr., 45, of Ocala, told officers he forgot he had the loaded weapon in his bag, a report states. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport leads Florida airports in the number of seized guns with 38, according to TSA. Barner was the fourth armed OIA passenger arrested since last Friday and charged with violating a state law prohibiting anyone except a law enforcement officer to carry a gun inside an airport terminal. Three of the four, including Barner, were state residents with valid carry concealed weapon permits who face less punishment than a non-permit holder if convicted of breaking the law, records show. But anyone with or without a concealed carry permit faces a federal fine of up to $11,000 for breaking the law.


Michael Eric Dyson On Why Poor Whites in 'Red-States' Vote Against Their Own Best Interest?

There's probably a lot of truth in what he says.

Chris Rock - Bullet Control

Reagan OMB Director: Republicans are 'Ideological Gangs' (Click on this headline to read more.

Chris Hayes: Now former Congressman David Stockman, Republican from Michigan. He was the director of the Office Of Management and Budget during the Reagan administration. He is the author of “The Great Deformation, The Corruption of Capitalism in America”. … You are someone who has kind of been in and out of the Conservative movement. You were a kind of a ‘purgee’ in certain ways. … How do you kind of understand this.

David Stockman: This isn’t surprising. The Republicans are no longer a political party. They are a gang, a coalition of ideological gangs. You have the neo cons, the tax cons, the social cons, and the just cons. … On the fundamental fiscal issues they don’t agree at all. It’s totally fractured. The neo cons want a bigger defense budget. We have a 650 billion dollar war machine. They did not get the memo that the cold war ended over 25 years ago. There are a few thousand terrorists left. You don’t need a war machine that big. By the way, when Clinton left the White House it was 400 billion dollars in today’s dollars. So they argue we can’t do sequester. We ought to be cutting much more. So that divides the party. Then you have the tax cons who still believe in the magic napkin. Just grow your way out of it. We’ve had 30 years to prove you can’t. … We have the social cons, the social issue people who don’t care. An then all the Republicans who have been talking about big spending who won’t stand up and take on social security means testing. Not cutting the people who need it. …

Congress doesn't work here any more.

Why everybody would like to be a member of Congress: Lots and lots of time off. Lots. (Click on this link to read more)

And now the GOP is thinking of cancelling more days again. During this session. Again. They're only working 19 more days this year, see, because, see, they can't figure out a way to "fill their agenda." No, I'm not kidding, watch the video.
They had time for a government shutdown, but no time to work on immigration reform. Make that, "no time to work," period. They are on track to be the most unproductive Congress in history

Sometimes the Democrats get it right.

High praise: Republican Senator calls Harry Reid an 'absolute asshole' [Click on this headline to read more]

For the 16 days of the Republican shutdown of our government, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stood strong, refusing to negotiate with GOP hostage takers ... and if you needed further proof that he did the right thing, look no further than this:
Sen. Tom Coburn was clear Monday about certain Democrats he doesn’t get along with, calling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid an “absoulte a—hole,” according to a report.
“There’s no comity with Harry Reid (D-Nev.). I think he’s an absolute a—hole,” he said.

He didn't know?

President Obama has disappointed me in the past - even more now so. His aides say he didn't know we were spying on friendly leaders through the NSA. His aides say he wasn't aware that the web site for the Affordable Care Act wasn't ready for prime time.

Well, what the hell is he doing in D.C. if he isn't monitoring some of the hottest issues in the nation these days?

The New York Times gives its take on the latest NSA controversy:
We are not reassured by the often-heard explanation that everyone spies on everyone else all the time. We are not advocating a return to 1929 when Secretary of State Henry Stimson banned the decryption of diplomatic cables because “gentlemen do not read each other’s mail.” But there has long been an understanding that international spying was done in pursuit of a concrete threat to national security.

That Chancellor Merkel’s cellphone conversations could fall under that umbrella is an outgrowth of the post-9/11 decision by President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney that everyone is the enemy, and that anyone’s rights may be degraded in the name of national security. That led to Abu Ghraib, torture at the secret C.I.A. prisons, warrantless wiretapping of American citizens, grave harm to international relations, and the dragnet approach to surveillance revealed by the Snowden leaks.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A little political humor.

  • If you think an Assault Weapons Ban “gives jackbooted Government thugs more power to take away our constitutional rights, break in our doors, seize our guns, destroy our property and even injure and kill us”…
  • If you try to control what other people do with their stinky parts…
  • If you display any Confederate flag in any way….
  • If you think there is a spy drone in the sky watching you in your backyard….
  • If you think the federal government feels constrained in any way by the fact that Skeeter in Southswamp, Georgia, owns an AR-15
  • If you think paying taxes is the same thing as slavery….
  • If you still think there is any doubt that the globe is heating up or that human activity is a driver….
  • If you resent it when government or business communicates with people in a language other than English….
  • If you think that the president is a socialist, fascist, communist or any twisted combination thereof….
  • If you question the president’s birthplace and citizenship….
  • If you think Obama is intending to create a “new” military, as strong as the U.S. military, answerable only to him….
  • If you think you, as en employer, have the “right” to impose your morals on your employees….
  • If you think the government is secretly plotting to take away all guns….
  • If you support giving full legal and constitutional rights to fertilized eggs….
  • If you think that people standing in a group and singing songs is a reason to tackle, handcuff, arrest, jail, and fine the singers….
  • If you think it’s a good day when children living in poverty cannot get government nutritional assistance….
  • If only 23% of Americans believe your party is “in touch with the concerns of most people in the United States today,” and 70% believe that it is “out of touch”….
  • If you’re calling for assassination, secession or insurrection….
  • If you have to gerrymander voting districts and disenfranchise millions of voters to win elections….
  • If you think it’s OK for an armed, full-grown man to pursue and kill an unarmed boy….
  • If you’re willing to shut down the government over women’s access to contraception….

In case you've forgotten just how heartless conservatives really are...

Nevada tea party Republican: ‘Yeah, I would’ vote to bring back slavery (Click on this heading to read more)

A Republican Nevada state assemblyman said that he would vote for legislation in favor of slavery if his constituents wanted him to. According to the Las Vegas Sun, Jim Wheeler of Gardnerville, NV was speaking to the Storey County Republican Party when he made the remarks last August, although they are only now coming to light.

“If that’s what they wanted, I’d have to hold my nose, I’d have to bite my tongue and they’d probably have to hold a gun to my head, but yeah, if that’s what the citizens of the, if that’s what the constituency wants that elected me, that’s what they elected me for,” he said. “That’s what a republic is about.”
Now, Wheeler said to the Sun, “liberal operatives” are spreading the video in an effort to smear him.

Yeah - maybe welfare DOES help.

Giving no-strings-attached money to the world's poorest produces remarkably good results (Click on this headline to read more)

The Economist details outcomes from Give Directly, an organization that analyzes satellite photos to identify the poorest places in the world and then hands over no-strings-attached cash grants to the people who live there. It's a contrast to other programs, where donations are funneled into school construction or funding planned-out businesses. Give Directly has produced remarkably good results: "In randomly selected poor households in 63 villages that have received the windfalls, they say, the number of children going without food for a day has fallen by over a third and livestock holdings have risen by half. A year after the scheme began, incomes have gone up by a quarter and recipients seem less stressed, according to tests of their cortisol levels."
Still, this is not the only cash giveaway. A trial in Vietnam in 2006 gave one-off handouts to 550 households; two years later, local poverty rates had fallen by 20 percentage points. The scheme was dubbed “cash for coffins” after elderly recipients spent the money on their funeral arrangements to save their children the expense.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Down and out

I had a major malfunction here - will take me a few days to get things restored.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Religious beliefs? They are really all about you.

Yeah - not too bright in the morality department.

Guns - because we are a lot safer if we have one at home. Oh - wait...

Unsecured AR-15 rifle stolen from Rep. Renee Ellmers' home (Click on this headline to read more)


Ellmers has had quite a month.


U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers' husband reported an AR-15 rifle stolen from the family's home in Dunn last week, according to a police report.

The weapon had been left leaning against a gun locker in an unlocked garage on Kingsway Drive, the report said.

The rifle, a gun case and a GPS, with a cumulative value of $1,100, were reported stolen, according to Chief J.D. Pope. Police think the theft happened on the night of Oct. 15.

"According to the report, they had been out target shooting and brought the gun back and leaned it against the gun safe," Pope said. " … The garage door was left unsecured, according to the report."

Shooting report.

Let's expand background checks to cover all gun sales. Please. Today. Before someone I love is shot and killed for no reason.

It's easy to prey on the stupid.

Fuck Texas 2

Really - Texas is a shit-hole of an excuse for human decency.

Texas Treats Pigs Better Than Prisoners (Click on this headline to read more)

The state of Texas has been the subject of multiple lawsuits over its insistence on killing state prisoners with heat stroke as they sit in jails without air conditioning. It turns out that Texas would not even subject actual swine to the same conditions.

A new lawsuit from the mother of a Texas prisoner who overheated and died says that 14 Texas prisoners have died that way since 2007 in the dozens of state prisons that lack air conditioning in the prisoner housing areas. Summer temperatures routinely climb over 100 degrees indoors. Now, even prison guards are complaining. With good reason. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Union officials said corrections officers have complained to Texas prison officials that the heat index inside facilities is often as high as 130 degrees Fahrenheit, but haven't been able to persuade them to make changes. They said they were driven to speak out after learning that the state spent $750,000 in June to buy six new barns with exhaust fans and misters to cool pigs raised for inmate consumption.

Fuck Texas

Seriously, to quote Lewis Black - Fuck Texas. Thses people are so low-life, that Texas is becoming the new Florida.

Texas judge forced to resign after caught texting instructions to assistant DA during trial (Click on this headline to read more)

By Techdirt
Thursday, October 24, 2013 9:09 EDT

Oh, the hilarity that is the phrase "criminal justice system." Talk to any defense attorney and they'll tell you how the deck is stacked against defendants and defense lawyers. The ideal of "innocent until proven guilty" has become little more than a disclaimer tacked onto cop-centered reality shows. Defendants are guilty until the jury is somehow tricked by the defense into handing down a "not guilty" verdict. A lot of effort goes towards dissuading defendants from even making it this far, as prosecutors will present worst-case scenarios comprised of every violation conceivable in order to get an agreement to plead guilty to a lesser charge.

The prevailing perception that the person charged is guilty, with the only answer yet to be determined is how guilty, makes defending arrestees an uphill battle. Judge (former judge) Elizabeth Coker took this uphill battle, increased the grade to 85 degrees, covered it with a sheet of ice and sprinkled it with a 50/50 blend of Teflon and motor oil.

Elizabeth E. Coker may forever be known as the "texting judge," but her notoriety will soon be all that is left of her days on the bench of the 258th District Court of Polk, Trinity, and San Jacinto Counties. Coker signed an "AGREEMENT TO RESIGN FROM JUDICIAL OFFICE IN LIEU OF DISCIPLINARY ACTION" with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct…