Tuesday, January 08, 2013

An Impassioned Lecture on Gun Rights

You cannot predict where the Nutty Ones will appear, it's like whack-a-mole. A few years ago it was anti-LGBT bigotry, last year they were justifying rape, and now that mass murder is all the rage across the country they are speaking out in favor of guns.

Talk show host Pierce Morgan made some pretty strong anti-gun statements after the Sandy Hook massacre. Some gun proponents put up a petition at the White House to have him deported, and he invited one of the leaders of that group onto his show.

Conservative spokesman Alex Jones has a syndicated talk show, broadcast nationally by Genesis Communications Network to more than 70 AM and FM radio stations in the United States. You need to watch this video of him being interviewed by Pierce Morgan. It's in two parts. Watch both of them, it just gets better and better.

Part One.

Part Two.

I think we have a little bit of a problem here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


January 09, 2013 8:25 AM  
Anonymous Fear of fungus said...

The Daily Mail reports that punchy conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was detained at the airport on the way to his appearance on Piers Morgan.

According to the Jones-led site InfoWars, Jones was passing through security at Austin-Bergstrom airport on Monday when the trouble began.

One of the site’s writers explained that as Jones approached the screening area, a TSA agent addressed him as ‘Mr Jones.’ After that, Jones was immediately requested to remove his shoes.

Jones was quick to point out that no one else in the area was being asked to do the same. At that point, a police officer approached Jones and said that he would arrest him if the radio host failed to remove his footwear.

InfoWars writes: ‘Not even giving Jones the option to leave the airport, the cop continued with threats to arrest Jones and prevent him from flying as the radio host threatened to file a lawsuit for civil rights violations.’

Why didn’t he want to take off his booties. Would they be drugged with SSRI’s? Bugged by the illuminati? According to InfoWars his reasoning was more mundane:

One of Jones’ primary concerns regarding the removal of shoes was the fact that he had caught athletes foot from that very process in another airport years previously, meaning that he now carries a spare pair of socks to change into when he boards the aircraft. Jones emphasized that he was not a “clean freak” but that he never encountered such issues before having to take his shoes off at TSA security.

January 09, 2013 8:38 AM  
Anonymous Americans for Responsible Solutions said...

Giffords, Kelly launch gun control lobbying effort

TUCSON, Ariz. -
Tuesday was not just a day for Tucson to remember the victims of the deadly shooting that severely injured then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. It was also a day when residents could see firsthand the nation's gun debate play out in a busy parking lot outside a city police station.

On one side was a councilman who supports gun control leading an effort to give $50 grocery store gift cards to anyone who turned in their firearms to police. On the other was an event organized by a state senator that turned into an open, unregulated and legal marketplace for firearms.

"We have a fundamental hole in the private sales of guns. You can walk up right in front of a cop and buy a gun, no background check, nothing," said Councilman Steve Kozachik. "How much more flawed can the system be?"

The people who bought guns from each other declined repeated requests for comments. The senator and gun rights advocate didn't stay at the event, but earlier said he was angered by the timing of Kozachik's event and that paying $50 for a gun was such little money that it amounted to theft.

The dueling gun buyback programs -- and the annual ringing of bells to remember the six dead and 13 injured, including Giffords, during the January 2011 attack -- came as the congresswoman and her husband announced that they were forming a political action committee aimed at preventing gun violence.

Giffords and husband Mark Kelly, a former astronaut, discussed the effort in an op-ed published in USA Today and in an interview on ABC News. The interview also provided a glimpse of Giffords' long recovery since being shot in the head two years ago.

She does speech and physical therapy and yoga. She has a service dog named Nelson who helps her keep balance and guides her. She recently gained more movement in her right foot and can walk faster. She still struggles with her vision, especially on her periphery. She said family is what makes her the happiest.

Giffords struggled to speak in complete sentences, but provided several one-word answers to anchor Diane Sawyer in describing her recovery and response to the shootings in Tucson and Connecticut. She used the word "enough" to react to the thought of children getting killed in a classroom. She said "daggers" to recount her tense, face-to-face encounter with shooter Jared Lee Loughner at his sentencing in November. She said "sad" to describe his mental illness. She is frustrated that her recovery has not progressed more quickly.

Kelly and Giffords wrote in the op-ed that their Americans for Responsible Solutions initiative would help raise money to support greater gun control efforts and take on the powerful gun lobby.

"Achieving reforms to reduce gun violence and prevent mass shootings will mean matching gun lobbyists in their reach and resources," the couple wrote. They said that it will "raise funds necessary to balance the influence of the gun lobby."

There was already some concern among gun control advocates that they were losing the momentum they hoped to have after the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead in December. Congress was already occupied with budget concerns.

Giffords' announcement brought back memories from the 1980s, when Jim and Sarah Brady formed the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Brady, then-President Ronald Reagan's press secretary, was wounded in the 1981 presidential assassination attempt by a mentally ill gunman.

Brady's organization has been among the most vocal champions of gun control since then, but it remains to be seen whether Giffords' group can better compete against the National Rifle Association and its huge fundraising and political clout.

January 09, 2013 8:57 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Thirty years ago, Bonnie Svarstad and Chester Bond of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison discovered an interesting pattern in the use of sedatives at nursing homes in the south of the state.

Patients entering church-affiliated nonprofit homes were prescribed drugs roughly as often as those entering profit-making “proprietary” institutions. But patients in proprietary homes received, on average, more than four times the dose of patients at nonprofits.

Writing about his colleagues’ research in his 1988 book “The Nonprofit Economy,” the economist Burton Weisbrod provided a straightforward explanation: “differences in the pursuit of profit.” Sedatives are cheap, Mr. Weisbrod noted. “Less expensive than, say, giving special attention to more active patients who need to be kept busy.”

This behavior was hardly surprising. Hospitals run for profit are also less likely than nonprofit and government-run institutions to offer services like home health care and psychiatric emergency care, which are not as profitable as open-heart surgery.

A shareholder might even applaud the creativity with which profit-seeking institutions go about seeking profit. But the consequences of this pursuit might not be so great for other stakeholders in the system — patients, for instance. One study found that patients’ mortality rates spiked when nonprofit hospitals switched to become profit-making, and their staff levels declined

Our faith in private solutions also draws on an ingrained belief that big government serves too many disparate objectives and must cater to too many conflicting interests to deliver services fairly and effectively.

Our trust appears undeserved, however. Our track record suggests that handing over responsibility for social goals to private enterprise is providing us with social goods of lower quality, distributed more inequitably and at a higher cost than if government delivered or paid for them directly.

From the high administrative costs incurred by health insurers to screen out sick patients to the array of expensive treatments prescribed by doctors who earn more money for every treatment they provide, our private health care industry provides perhaps the clearest illustration of how the profit motive can send incentives astray.

By many objective measures, the mostly private American system delivers worse value for money than every other in the developed world. We spend nearly 18 percent of the nation’s economic output on health care and still manage to leave tens of millions of Americans without adequate access to care.

Britain gets universal coverage for 10 percent of gross domestic product. Germany and France for 12 percent. What’s more, our free market for health services produces no better health than the public health care systems in other advanced nations. On some measures — infant mortality, for instance — it does much worse.

The relevant question is how best we can serve our social needs at the lowest possible cost. One answer is that we have a lot of room to do better. Improving the delivery of social services like health care and pensions may be possible without increasing the burden on American families, simply by removing the profit motive from the equation.

January 09, 2013 1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) slammed radio host Alex Jones on Tuesday night after Jones made headlines for confronting CNN anchor Piers Morgan over gun rights.

" Jim Himes ✔
Like many if his ilk, Alex Jones can't stop the barrage of name calling, nonsense and non sequitur or a fact or question might get through.
8 Jan 13"

The pro-gun Jones launched a White House petition to deport Morgan over his on-air gun-control advocacy, and loudly confronted the CNN host on his show Monday night in a segment that went viral. "1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms,” Jones told Morgan on the show.
Himes, in his tweet, grouped Jones with an "ilk" of no particular description. Jones is a Texan, pro-gun, and a syndicated radio host and filmmaker. He affiliates himself with the Sept. 11 "Truther" conspiracy movement that claims the U.S. government knowingly allowed the terrorist attacks, and although he is typically described as a conservative, he calls himself "an aggressive Constitutionalist" with no political party.

Glenn Beck, another syndicated radio host often similarly labeled, blasted Jones on his radio show Tuesday for making "a fool out of himself" on CNN and "giving the left the perfect poster boy for their attempts to paint every logical conservative as an extremist nut job."

Morgan seems to agree, tweeting on Wednesday that Jones should "keep ranting."

"[T]he more we hear from you, the better chance proper U.S. gun control legislation will be passed," he wrote.

The White House intends to respond to the deportation petition against Morgan because it has gained more than 100,000 signatures, well over the 25,000 threshold required to prompt an official response.

"It is worth remembering that the freedom of expression is a bedrock principle in our democracy," White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement about the petition on Tuesday.

January 09, 2013 4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not that facts matter to rabid gun nuts like Alex Jones or Wayne La Pierre, but here are some interesting facts. The nutcases, of course, fails to see that their insane performances before the media are probably at least partially responsible for this decline:

"According to Public Policy Polling’s latest national poll, the National Rifle Association has seen its public image decline significantly since its CEO Wayne LaPierre’s unhinged press conference in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

PPP finds that 45 percent of voters now have an unfavorable view of the NRA, with 42 percent viewing it favorably. That represents a 10 percent swing from PPP’s previous national poll — conducted two days before LaPierre’s press conference — in which 48 percent viewed the NRA favorably, and 41 percent unfavorably.

The decline in popularity has been bipartisan; among Democrats the NRA’s net favorability dropped 15 percent, and among Republicans it declined by 4 percent.

PPP concludes that the NRA’s “solution” to school shootings — putting more guns in classrooms — is driving the group’s image problem… 50 percent of voters oppose LaPierre’s proposal to put armed police officers in all schools, while 41 percent support it.

Furthermore, 64 percent disapprove of the idea of giving teachers guns, while only 27 percent support it. That proposal is opposed across the board; Democrats 77 to 19 percent, Republicans 50 to 35 percent, and independents 59 to 31 percent. Additionally, gun owners oppose arming teachers by a 52 to 37 percent margin.

Overall, 53 percent of voters say that they favor stricter gun laws in general, while 40 percent do not."

Here's another gem from that PPP report:

"Congress emerged from the fiscal cliff debate with a 7% approval rating, with 81% of voters disapproving of it. But the two parties aren't going in for equal blame. While the Democrats in Congress aren't popular (-12 at 38/50) their approval rating is a net 48 points better than their Republican counterparts (-60 at 15/75).The Republicans in Congress have only a 25/61 approval rating even with the GOP base, suggesting the potential for 2014 to bring a lot of primary challenges."

January 10, 2013 8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is putting a symbolic twist on a time-honored tradition, taking the oath of office for his second term with his hand placed not on a single Bible but on two – one owned by Martin Luther King Jr. and one by Abraham Lincoln.

The inclusion of King's Bible is particularly significant since the inauguration comes on Jan. 21, the federal holiday in honor of the civil rights leader, who delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech 50 years ago at the Lincoln Memorial. Obama will be facing the memorial as he takes the oath. King's Bible, which his children say he used early in his career as a preacher, has never been part of a presidential inauguration.

The selection of the pair of Bibles announced Thursday is richly symbolic of the struggle for equality in America, beginning with Lincoln's emancipation of slaves 150 years ago this month, through King's leadership of the civil rights movement, and ultimately to Obama becoming the nation's first black president.

Inaugural planners say Obama plans to place his left hand on the stacked Bibles held by first lady Michelle Obama as he raises his right hand to repeat the oath administered by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. It hasn't been determined which will be on top, with Obama's hand actually resting on it, but King's is larger, so it may need to be on the bottom.

Obama used the Lincoln Bible while taking the oath four years ago – the first time it had been used since the 16th president's inauguration in 1861. Obama's inaugural committee says that the president plans to use the first lady's family's Bible for a private swearing-in at the White House on Sunday, Jan. 20. Public presidential inaugurations traditionally aren't held on Sundays, even though the Constitution states that a president's new term begins automatically at noon on the 20th.

King's children describe their father's King James version as his "traveling Bible" that he took as part of a collection of books he carried with him while constantly on the road and used for inspiration and preparing sermons and speeches. His daughter Bernice King says her father marked the pages with several dates from May 1954, the same month he delivered his first sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala.

"We know our father would be deeply moved to see President Obama take the oath of office using his Bible," King's children said in a statement provided by the inaugural committee. "His traveling Bible inspired him as he fought for freedom, justice and equality, and we hope it can be a source of strength for the president as he begins his second term."

January 10, 2013 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Great news! said...

Maryland schools were ranked the best in the nation for the fifth year in a row, according to a study released by Education Week.

"Maryland public schools are so fortunate to have bipartisan support throughout the State," State Superintendent Lillian Lowery said in a statement. "Our schools have the benefit of strong support from the Governor, other elected officials, educators, parents, business leaders, and the public at large. This ranking could not be achieved without the support of every partner, and we won’t be able to continue our improvement without that broad coalition."

The state received an 87.5, B+ grade in the publication's analysis. Massachusetts trailed by 3.4 points to secure a second place ranking.

At the other end of the spectrum, the report lists South Dakota as the lowest performing state at 69.3, D+.

A majority of the states—38 to be exact—fell along the C range. The nationwide average was 76.9, C+, which is a half point up from the 2012 average of C.

Factors considered in the rankings include indicators of student achievement and teacher quality, disciplinary policies, how students' needs to cope with academic and personal pressures are being met and the role of parents and community groups.

"The conditions for success in schools include not just having high-quality teachers, but ensuring that they are working in schools designed for success. In schools designed for success, there's a growing interest in ensuring that school climate supports students," said Deborah Delisle, the U.S. Department of Education's assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, in a statement in the report.

January 11, 2013 8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

now THIS is a fabulous and brilliant articulation of the right's position on guns.


January 12, 2013 9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This guy at least doesn't totally come unglued, yay for the rightwingers! But his argument is idiotic, that Piers should support taking all handguns away, since he opposes assault weapons. You've got to start somewhere, and the fact is he does not favor taking pistols away from people, and the gun nuts should appreciate that.

January 13, 2013 1:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm not advocating for no guns. I like mine and am not about to give them up. But in this country, my uterus is more regulated than my guns. Birth control and reproductive health services are harder to get than bullets. What is that about? Guns don't kill people -- vaginas do?"

--Shannyn Moore, Alaska Talk radio host and gun owner

January 15, 2013 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that if Martin Luther King were still alive, he would be marching on the Mall in Washington DC on January 26 for Gun Control.

He might start his speech with the inspiring words from his 1963 speech in Washington:
"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

He would continue with something akin to this - I have a dream that all citizens of the United States will one day live equally in a country that is free from gun violence, that little children won't have to be afraid to go to school, or a supermarket, or play in their yards or streets. I have a dream that "drive by shooting"s will be an archaic term. I have a dream that homes, theaters, malls, churches, schools and restaurants - no, all of the land - will be free from the presence of assault weapons. No longer will wives be fearful of husbands with guns, or the elderly walk the streets in terror, nor gangs be armed with mightier fire power than the police. I have a dream that all politicians will keep their solemn oath to make their communities safer places, and that oath will drive their motivations.
I have a dream that our country will be as free of guns as other developed countries, so we may be proud to speak of what we were able to accomplish - by our shared dream.

I'll be marching for gun control on the DC Mall on January 26. I've invited Senators Warren and Kerry, and Representative Neal to join me. Let's show Congress that we know our country can be safer, and that we will no longer agree to live in fear. If you can't come to the mall on the 26th, write a letter to your representatives telling them that you demand gun control. Hope to see you there - marching in the contingency from Massachusetts.

Jeanne Marklin
Williamstown, MA

January 15, 2013 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"By... our readiness to allow arms to be purchased at will and fired at whim; by allowing our movie and television screens to teach our children that the hero is one who masters the art of shooting and the technique of killing; by allowing all of these developments, we have created an atmosphere in which violence and hatred have become popular pastimes."
--Martin Luther King, Jr., November 1963.

January 15, 2013 2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG...this man is seriously ill and dangerous! Unfortunately for others, he has a lot of influence on, should I say, the less educated of our citzenry. He is the type who is probably planning destructive actions against the government, including the assassination of the President and other members of the administration. I hope he has caught the attention of the FBI!

January 16, 2013 3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Facing its toughest fight over gun reform in decades, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has stumbled out of the gate.

The powerful gun-lobby group responded to last month's Newtown, Conn., massacre with a defiant press conference calling for more guns in schools, then doubled down this week with an in-your-face web ad that drew President Obama's young daughters into the fray.
To be sure, the NRA — which did not respond to a request to comment for this story — remains an enormous influence on Capitol Hill, and there’s no evidence its actions have increased the likelihood that Obama's ambitious gun-reform agenda can move this year, even through the Democratically controlled Senate.

Yet the public relations missteps have given Obama an opening in the difficult fight by making him look like the more reasonable party, even as it has made the NRA look out of touch with mainstream thinking.

The NRA's web ad in particular – which called President Obama an “elitist hypocrite” because he's pushing tougher gun laws while his daughters receive armed protection – led Republicans to lash out at the group.

“Are the president's kids more important than yours? Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school?" the ads asks.

“To talk about the president’s children, or any public officer’s children, who have –not by their own choice, but by requirement – to have protection, and to use that somehow to try to make a political point is reprehensible,” said New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who is seen as a 2016 White House contender.

“Get to the real issues. Don’t be dragging people’s children into this,” the Republican added in comments Thursday. “It’s wrong, and I think it demeans them [the NRA] and it makes them less of a valid, trusted source of information on the real issues.”

Television commentator Joe Scarborough, a former GOP member of the House, hammered the group's leaders for creating a “fringe organization.”

“Their children have targets on their backs and the NRA is putting something out like [this]? What's wrong with these people?” Scarborough said Wednesday on his “Morning Joe” program on MSNBC.

“They need new leadership is what they need. Their leadership has dragged them over the cliff, they are now a fringe organization,” added Scarborough, who routinely mentions he maintained an A-rating from the NRA through his tenure in the House. “What the NRA once was, it no longer is. This extremism is so frightening, and just over, over, over the line.”

Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), a father of six, blasted the web ad, saying it's "very important our children not be used to forward a political cause.” Rep. Jon Runyan (R-N.J.) piled on, saying the ad is “at the very least inappropriate and diverts the discussion away from the important issues.”

Some critics and supporters of the group say its no-holds-barred support for the Second Amendment — reflected in CEO Wayne LaPierre’s initial, combative speech one week after the Newtown killings — is a strength of the lobbying group.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” LaPierre said at the Washington event responding to Newtown. “I call on Congress today to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation – and to do it now.”

The speech led GOP pollster Frank Luntz to say, "I don’t think the NRA is listening."

Since the CEO’s fiery Dec. 21 speech, however, the public face of the NRA has shifted to become David Keene, the president of the group, whose remarks have tended to be more reserved than LaPierre's, at least in tone.

“LaPierre's press conference and the ads play into the narrative that they've become unhinged," Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, which advocates for tougher gun laws.

January 19, 2013 4:52 PM  
Anonymous Amen! said...

Vatican Sides With Obama on Gun Control

The Vatican praised President Barack Obama's proposals for curbing gun violence on Saturday, saying they are a "step in a right direction."

Vatican's chief spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi, in an editorial said that 47 religious leaders have appealed to members of the U.S. Congress "to limit firearms that are making society pay an unacceptable price in terms of massacres and senseless deaths."

"I am with them," Lombardi declared, lining up the Vatican's moral support in favor of firearm limits.

"The initiatives announced by the American administration for limiting and controlling the spread and use of weapons are certainly a step in the right direction," Lombardi said.

Obama is trying to rally support for reinstating a ban on assault weapons and requiring background checks on all gun sales. He faces stiff opposition in the U.S. Congress and from powerful gun lobbies.

Considering that Americans possess "about 300 million firearms," Lombardi said, "people cannot fool themselves that it is enough to limit the number and use (of guns) to impede in the future horrendous massacres like that of Newtown that shook the conscience of America and world, as well as that of children and adults. "

He was referring to the Newtown, Conn., elementary school where 20 children and six adults were killed by a sole attacker last month.

"But it would be worse to be satisfied with words" of condemnation alone, Lombardi said. And while massacres are "carried out by unbalanced or hate-driven persons, there is no doubt that they are carried out with firearms," the Vatican spokesman said.

Lombardi renewed Vatican appeals for disarmament and encouragement for measures to fight "the production, commerce and contraband of all types of arms," an industry fueled by "enormous economic and power interests."

January 20, 2013 8:26 AM  

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