21 July 2012

Gun Free in Colorado; Thought Free in America

Thank heavens for the Internet. In all the confusion over the Colorado theater shooting, all I need to do is come here and the truth shall be revealed to me.  That One Correct and Moral Answer to violence in society will be laid before my wondering eyes.
I wonder why the answers are all so different.

And so, the curtain rises for that grand Kabuki theater we have every time a criminal nut goes on a shooting spree and makes page 1 of USA Today.

We can round up the usual suspects expressing horror. Hizzoner the Mayor of New York is venting his pious anger and “I told you so’s.”. The NRA stays on message but others who identify themselves with the NRA are wandering all over the communications map.

The funeral homes are busy. Trauma doctors have a few extra patients. Bomb experts are moving very slowly and deliberately, which is a wise thing to do. The paramedics probably have their rigs cleaned up by now.

All is not right with the world.

When has it ever been?

I favor the responsible carrying and use of firearms by civilians willing to do so.  Always have. I have no reason to believe that I’ll change my mind.  That’s not to say that I’ll quit listening to competing opinions - only a moron does that.

Everybody has an opinion.

The first people we really need to hear from about firearms and violence are those who’ve experienced combat in some form.  What do the medics who have both seen combat and treated immediate firearms wounds have to say about Colorado?  I really want to know.

I’m fairly far down on the whole totem pole in terms of experience here. Oh, I’ve seen several gunshot wounds and provided field-level treatment, but there are a whole lot of people with a much wider experience base. I really would like to know what they’re thinking.

A couple of things do strike me.

A “gun free zone”? You have to be shitting me. 

Fundamentally law-abiding citizens will respect a gun free zone. That will have some effect on crimes of passion, although those usually are in private settings. The armed guy who sees his wife’s boyfriend in a gun free zone may have left his pistol back home or in the car.  He'll beat him black and blue but won't shoot him.

For those law-abiding citizens who are also incredibly stupid, a gun free zone could have some effect on reducing firearm accidents. There was a news item a few months ago about a gentleman who took a pistol to church.  He pulled it out to show it to someone.  An accidental discharge killed a bystander.  That was a criminally negligent departure from the great responsibility of handling a firearm.
So to say that gun free zones will have no beneficial effect whatsoever just is not so.

One incident does not prove much at all, by the way.  It is a data point.  Ignoring it is also a bad idea.

Gun free zones are still a dumb idea.  An occasional topic in state legislatures is whether the state will have the ability for people to carry concealed firearms. That is really a stupid discussion.

There are concealed firearms everywhere. Criminals have been carrying firearms since the first pistol was invented. It’s the honest citizen who obeys the law.

The theater in Colorado was in a gun free zone. The “Joker” had weapons.  The patrons didn’t.  Had this occurred where I live, of the perhaps 50 people who would’ve had line of sight to the shooter, two or three of them would have been armed. This does not guarantee a good result. Most civilians do not practice or train sufficiently to maintain a really good skill level. Shooting among a crowd is really, really dangerous.  Add a dark room and confusion?  Wow.  It may be justified to take down the rare random killer, but it’s still dangerous and the thought should scare the living hell out of any responsible armed person.  The few people I know who have fired a weapon at another person lawfully all say that it was necessary but was still a memorably bad experience.

Some people in the blogosphere remind us that taking on criminals and running around armed is the job of law enforcement. Part of our Kabuki dance is to say once again, accurately, that a bullet travels a helluva lot faster than a police car.

At the end of the dance, we still have several dead people and injured people.  And lots of self-righteous loudmouths are weighing in with their “it’s so simple” solutions. 

It’s not so simple.  Because [fill in the blank], the willingness of some in our society to do unprovoked violence is increasing steadily.  Because [fill in the blank - I think the general “wussification” of America, but you fill it in as you please], our willingness or ability or effectiveness as a society to deal with violent offenses is slipping. 

I do wish that a responsible armed person had taken a shot at the Joker.

Oh - carrying a firearm openly is still a bad idea.  It’s impolite and it tells the criminal, “Hey, I’m dangerous, so shoot me first!”

If you want simple answers, go somewhere else.  Try FairyLand.

15 July 2012

Burn the Olympic Uniforms! And Maybe Kick a Few Hypocritical Asses While We’re At It; A Tale of Corrupt, Lying Dirtbags

For all I know, there is an official supplier of Olympic toilet paper.  It’s the usual merchandising tie-in silly season.

Certainly, there is an official supplier of the Olympic dress uniforms, the ones that the athletes wear in the ceremonies.

I will refrain from commenting upon the effete continental styling. No one in their right mind would take fashion advice from me.  They do look terribly French, though.

But, oh, the sin which has been committed by the official uniform supplier, Ralph Lauren!  He/they/whatever the company really is had the uniforms tailored in China! And, boy oh boy, are we in a tizzy.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid held a serious and indignant news conference. His features were dark, his brow furrowed. His voice was a little squeaky, but he can’t help that. Behind him were other equally serious solons, looking somber, serious and like they had swallowed a mosquito at this shocking insult to American labor and American honor. Burn the uniforms, says Harry! Americans cannot sit back and accept this grave insult.

In addition to Senator Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Steve Israel, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, among others, are joining in the snit.

Vishnu on a rotisserie, what a load of horseshit. 

Not that I am in favor of Chinese anything except for the Chinese people. Let their sewing machines go crazy and put three Mao jackets in every closet, that’s prosperity.

I just hope we are not stupid enough to think that these senators and representatives and the rest of their hooker colleagues who sold America to the Chinese in the first place are worthy of belief or respect.

Government policy assisted manufacturing jobs in fleeing the United States. Many of them went to Mexico. Then, not only did China screw the remaining manufacturing workers in the United States, they went ahead and screwed the Mexicans, too.  With the money we have been sending the China via “loyal” American companies who turfed out their manufacturing, the government of China has been buying up the American government.

Here I’m not talking about political contributions, those are washed through the loyal American companies who sucked up to China.  No, we are talking a direct sale:  Our of our $14.3 trillion debt, $4.5 trillion is held by foreign government. The government of China holds one fourth of that foreign debt. Japan holds another  20%. You’ll be happy to know that the oil exporting countries  hold more than 5%.

Let’s see, that’s 50% of our country owned by people who despise us.  Real, real, bright, aye? 

What do we get in return? No jobs and shitty plastic toys covered with lead paint.

Oh, we also get the benefit of 1 GW (that’s ONE BILLION WATTS) of coal-fired generating capacity put online in China each and every week at the same time the EPA just crippled the American coal industry.

And these people want to talk about Olympic uniforms?

On the other hand, they have to. They cannot afford to piss off the Chinese investors, lest their legal and immoral campaign largess from the financial and other industries vanishes. 

Just take a look at the great liberal, Sen. Reid. In the 2012 campaign cycle alone, he has accepted campaign contributions from Credit Suisse Securities, Goldman Sachs (returning bailout money?) and directors of investment giant KKR.  He is not alone. Virtually every politician has his and her nose in the trough.

These are the hypocritical bastards who ARE the problem.  I’m doubting that they have a tip nor clue about a solution, nor the desire to look for one.

I've been asleep.  Didn't we used to have two NATIONAL political parties?  Where did they both go?

05 July 2012

How the President Saved the Coal Miners; or, A Child's Garden of Versed

I Am SOOOOO Embarassed

Then-candidate Obama said in November 2008:

“If somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can.  It’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

And in 2012, the EPA followed through with regulations (that never touched Congress) which made it impossible to build any more coal-fired power plants.

And here I thought that was going to be bad news for the coal industry and bad news for West Virginia miners. Thank goodness someone smarter than I has set me straight.

The West Virginia Center for Budget and Policy is spreading around vigorously its study showing that under Pres. Obama, mining jobs in West Virginia increased  nearly 8%! Mind you, this is The Center for Budget and Policy.   And this growth in the coal industry occurred during the Obama administration.  This whole idea of banning new installations for the primary use of coal in America must be good for coal and good for employment in West Virginia.

I have applied the same strict standards of research and logic to other good things which have happened in West Virginia in the last four years.  I find so much else for which we need to be pathetically grateful to the national administration.

And, by the way, shame on you Sen. Manchin and Gov. Tomblin for not backing the Pres. Obama coal ban!  Can’t you see that banning coal power plants is GOOD for coal miners?

The population of Canadian geese in Marion County has increased by 47% between 2009 and 2012.   I’ve counted them personally on the golf course. I love Canadian geese. Under Pres. Obama, we have 47% more of them.  Only conservative zealots and ecological pirates dislike the little “presents” they leave on the putting greens.  Evil cretins.

Since 2009, the food tax West Virginia has plunged from 3% to 1%. Here again, Pres. Obama has been at the helm.  Oh, right, you think that Gov. Manchin, Gov. Tomblin and the entire Legislature did it?  They would not have DARED without the go ahead from the top.

Since 2009, no terrorists have hijacked a commercial aircraft flying over West Virginia. None. Zero. That’s a 100% success rate. Who was in charge?  You know who.  Results don’t lie.

Since 2009, the Boy Scouts have established a huge national base in Fayette County.  Oh, wait, the President doesn’t like the Boy Scouts.  Well, it was mighty nice of him to put that aside and bless us anyway.

The rivers continue to flow. The leaves turn their lush reds and yellows in the autumn.  We’ve had a leap year.  Lady Gaga hit the charts.  Chicago is still windy.  The common thread - Obama has been our pilot.

You want more proof?   When the President took a vacation, what happened?  A huge storm, a “derecho,”  took out the power grid all over the State.  Coincidence?  I think not!

My new think tank, the West Virginia Center for Really Wise Stuff shortly will publish a full color report with all of this scientific proof and more.  By Jiminy, it’s a GREAT time to be alive in a progressive and optimistic West Virginia!