Saturday, March 24, 2012

Guns, Trayvon Martin, and Testosterone

The death of Trayvon Martin sounds very much like a murder.  If Zimmeran followed Martin and confronted him in any way, then Zimmerman provoked a confrontation and he can't hide behind a "stand your ground" law.  A hoodie and being african american isn't probable cause for anything.  It will be murder and quite possibly a hate crime.

The case now has the proper attention it deserves.  It will get the investigation it deserves.  If it turns out that the details we have heard turn out to be true, then some real house cleaning needs to take place, not just in Sandford but needs a discussion about the neglect of justice on a broader scale.  The belief in equality and fairness has been in retreat for some time, and the Martin case may well be a brick in that wall.

We all probably know people that have concealed gun permits (well at least I do, and I live in NC).  Other people I know have a gun ready at their house. Most of these people live in the country where, if you were to call the authorities, they would not arrive for a long time.  I fully understand that and, if I lived there, I would do the same thing.  Those people don't advertise it.  

If you live in the area I do, the dangerous areas are pretty clear and most people are very secure. Extreme crimes do occurr (Google Eve Carson), but not in public areas we circulate in.  Still, I know a guy that carries a gun.  This guy makes a point of telling people about it and makes a point of regularly broadcasting how no one better mess with him.  I avoid this guy for a couple of reasons:  blow-hards are really boring and annoying, and he represents an unnecessary danger.  A constant sabre rattling of what he is going to do if anyone gives him trouble is the kind of thing males typically do in High School.  It is testosterone fueled teenage bravado - which can be dangerous in High School - but give that same arrested personality a handgun and they immediately become a potentially source of an immediate and painful death.   Yes, the risk is remote, but so are many other risks that I don't engage because I have no reason to engage in.  Yes, some of the guys attracted to guns and probably the last people you'd like to have carrry a gun.

Guns have their place for personal defense, but guns are extremely potent weapons that can kill by-standers (I've never gotten a stray punch from a fist-fight except when I stepped in to break on up).  For that reason, crimes involving guns need to be tried aggressively and "stand your ground" defenses need to be treated with a critical light. 

The biggest issue is going to be the role of race in the Trayvon Martin case, but a gun likely moved the crime from an assaul to murder.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

American Idol

[Wrote this on 3/21/12 - just forgot to post it]

The Home Front

I took my 86 year old Dad to Outback this evening.  The steaks were overdone, but given the volume for the cost, it is hard to complain too much about it (though my Father did fairly extensively and the manager offered to bring him a new one).
Now I am watching American Idol.  Last year's crop of singers was better on average by far and there are may be 2 contenders.  It is particularly light.

My middle child tried out for and made one of the NC teams that will be playing in the US Lacrosse National Tournament.  It may be too little too late for a DI school outside of being a walk-on, but I am proud of her effort none the less.  Of course, that means more travel.


Mitt "Etch-a-Sketch" Romney needs only to spend another $100 million on commercials demolishing Sanctorum and he's in like flint.  His soul-less campaign for the Presidency will move on to Obama and we'll soon see $500 million of negative advertising.  Sanctorum is the last of the living dead, while Ron Paul and Newt are simply dead and forgotten.  Sanctorum is still running around like a rooster, but doesn't realize Mitt had chopped his head off some time ago. 

We're all Seamus to Mitt, as if you hadn't already figured this out yourself.  We're going to be strapped to the top of Cadillac as he races off to where ever it is he feels like going. 

Mitt is going to do whatever he wants once he gets elected and it is mostly going to be about taking care of this himself.

Obama's Pipeline is the Way

Watch the Obama administration move the Keystone pipeline through pretty soon.

MSNBC has Become too Foxy

On Hardball yesterday Chris Matthews simply couldn't admit that more domestic energy production would like to even marginally cheaper energy/gas prices in the US.  While I don't think something like the Keystone pipeline is going to make a meaningful difference in the prices we pay at the pump, but it is likely to have some psychological effect on speculators and reduce the cost of transporting fuels. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Mundane (warm) week

The warm winter continues.  NASA continues to document the "hockey stick" of temperature increases for the world.  They are actually pretty nicely linear over the 70s (link from  A strong trend over the last 40 years documenting a dramatic departure in the world temperatures.  Here is one of many links of the increased acidity of the world's oceans from the liberal watch dog (a joke).  I won't spend more time on this right now, except to say I am sure the Fab Four (apologies to the Beatles) will eventually get around to blaming the data on (your pick) A. What data, there is no warming, B. Obama, C. Educational Brainwashing, D. Taxes, or E. Obamacare.

Work slowed down dramatically, meaning no more relentless evening work.

That gave me time to see two Middle School soccer games.  My youngest daughter scored two goals in two games, but they team lost 2-1 and then 3-2.  She could perhaps have scored a couple more, but she was very happy with the efforts.

My oldest daughter turned 17, so I reminded her that meant she could see R rated movies without being questioned.  She's been the object of some bullying in a classic "mean girls" fashion by a gang of girls.  The circle is closing on them with the help of her true friends, us, and now a teacher.  There are multiple ways to deal with bullies, but it always involves calling them on it and making it clear that they'll pay for it if they continue.  One thing that never works is expecting bullies to care about the damage to do and expect them to change.

This immediately reminds me of the most important political news of the week:

While the GOP dramatically demonstrated that Rush Limbaugh is bigger than the GOP itself by failing to stand up for Sandra Fluke and women in general, some 40+ advertisers and many many Americans stood up to him and the mean girls ditto heads.  If you don't think we're dealing with a bunch of bullies, read this post by Sally Quinn on the Limbaugh fiasco.  Ignoring and pretending these guys are not both wrong and dangerous just encourages them to continue.

Of course, there was some good news on the economy. 

Obama needs to get on with approving the Keystone pipeline.  He should have done it right at the beginning of the year rather than just hand it to GOP as an election year issue.  The Obama adminstration already agreed to fund some related pipeline work, so the Keystone pipeline is going to happen.   The delay is clearly political, but I am not sure what their angle is.  (Of course, I am not a professional politician, so what do I know).  No, I don't think it will really help gas and energy prices in the US, but better our easy access than someone elses.  Plus, it is governmen spending that will generate jobs in the US - something the GOP also believes and which no one has yet to point of as a bit GOP hypocrisy (they usually say ANY government spending is a drag on the economy - even infrastructure).

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Marriage limits and more driving

(Edited for various weird errors on 3/5)

Driven to tears (of boredom)

I drove up to Silver Springs today, but not until after stopping to see my son at GW.  He's off to see the Ann Coulter and Laurence O'Donnell fundraiser debate tonight.  I am envious.

Of course, my bad planning meant I didn't keep track of my schedule well enough, so I had to drive back into the city to eat at the America Eats Tavern.  I wasn't paying which would have negatively affected my take on the meal.  My salad and dessert were OK, but the main dish I had was Clam Chowder with Poached Cod and it was excellent.  

After which I drove 30 minutes back to the hotel.  In short, I drove over an hour extra because of lack of vision.

Shallow Meanderings

In my many hours of driving, I pondered for a while the fact that I found polygamy highly objectionable.  The Sister Wives show I endured a few times re-inforced my existing feelings on the topic heavily.  On the last episode I watched, the excessive self-important rooster, Cody, counseled a couple that couldn't bring themselves to bring another woman in their marriage.  It was all one could do to not scream at the TV for them to run as far away from Cody and his hens.  It was like sitting in a horror movie and yelling at the screen for the actors to watch out because Jason was about to make an appearance.  There was a fair amount of whining from them all about not being judged.  Not judged enough in my book - hopefully their kids will make better choices.

My main thought was that I fully understand that other people see gay marriages just as I view the polygamy.

It is no more likely they will be convinced that gay marriage is OK than it is I'll be convinced that polygamy is OK.  Having watched a few episodes of the show made me sad for the wives.

Super Tuesday Loons (oops Looms)

I wish we had another week before Super Tuesday so that Rick Sanctorum could blow another gasket about something.  As it is if he's been sufficiently quiet to not do himself any more damage.  He probably could have won Michigan before going on the contraception attack.

At least the week brought a massive dose of trouble for the GOP when Rush went off like an exploding asteroid further delivering a blow to GOP Presidency aspirations.  I still think Romney has a chance - but I have to stick by my earlier prediction.


Everyone have a fine week.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Its not a Fluke, BCPs used for a lot more than BC

Apparently nuance is lost on the a lot of paid professionals who write opinion columns (ignoring alone Rush).

What Ms Fluke was going to testify about was that a woman that had a medical condition that without treatment with birth control pills resulted in a cyst on her ovaries.  This required a surgical procedure to remove.  Ms Fluke was not advocating that we pay directly for her birth control so she could have sex. 

I have known of multiple woman that have used BCPs to help regulate the cycles in order avoid excessive bleeding and pain, help with acne, etc.  The use of hormone therapy had NOTHING to do with having sex. 

In other words, BCPs have medical uses far beyond birth control.  The Catholic Church should be sophisticated enough to recognize this. 

The focus on sex is purely an election year ploy or, worse, some odd GOP obsession with sex.

The opposition to Obama and Obamacare remains incoherent, because, like GOP tax cut fantasy's it is devoid of realistic options.  The status quo position ignores the 10s of millions without insurance.  Something simple things like making it possible for parents to keeping paying for insurance for their kids a few more years put millions of people back on insurance.  This is good for all of us.

If it were not abundantly clear before, it should be abundantly clear after the last couple of weeks that the GOP has regressed in the last four years. If you have any questions about this - just check how much worse their proposed budget plans are for the deficit compared to Obama's.  Let alone obsessing about women's sexuality.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Punch a Democrat in the Face Day (or Keep a Woman Down)

Rush Limbaugh wagged the GOP today.  If you are a Repubican and you have a wife or daughter and a shred of dignity, you will turn off Rush and walk away from the misogyny of Rush, the Blunt Amendment, and forced vaginal ultrasounds. 

None of this surprises me, because I saw way too often that GOPers would have liked nothing better than to have a Punch a Democrat in the Face Day. 

It goes way back.  During the Bush/Gore Florida ballot count, I was sickened to watch a GOPer used a megaphone to shout at a women from about a foot away.  That is an act of aggression the same way it is to hit someone.  They police should have arrested the titanic asshole on the spot.  These guys were GOP "heros" for using thuggery to defend Bush.

Too bad no one did then, too bad everyone GOP let Rush and his followers take over their party, too bad all the GOP has left is obstructionism, an irrational hatred and endless disrepect for the Presidency of the United States.

The lunacy will continue until someone has balls big enough to put Rush in his place, someone with balls big enough to tell the Tea Party that tax cuts will only make the debt worse, someone with balls big enough to show respect for ALL AMERICANS, even your President (that's right - the one that got Osama Bin Laden).

Rush Limbaugh said that a women that uses birth control is a sluts and not one GOP candidate for the Presidency of the United States has the guts to call him out on it.  If you've got a wife or daughter that has or may use birth control at some point in their life - Rush thinks they are sluts who should be performing porno on the web for his entertainment.

If you don't walk away from that, you are a sorry excuse for a man, because you would put Rush's giant ego ahead of respect for your own.  I bet you had a laugh at the title of this post:  Punch a Democrat in the Face Day.  Get a life.