An Obama has joined the birther movement.
Malik Obama, Barack Obama’s half-brother, tweeted image of what appears to be Barack’s birth certificate.
Except it’s not from Hawaii, but rather Kenya.
I truly hope not!
A dear friend (and regular reader of this humble blog) recently attended a talk presented by the President of the Arizona Republic (newspaper).
The president outlined her personal history, then presented what was countenanced as ‘the toxic culture that is America today’.
Summarized by my friend, as follows:
She was part of the historic decision of the paper to endorse Hillary Clinton for President, the first Democrat ever endorsed for President in the paper’s 126 year history. She was only part of that decision. The board, heavily conservative, many of them Goldwater Republicans, considered their decision very carefully. They discussed the options, giving no endorsement at all, endorsing a third-party candidate, or Clinton (which they eventually did).For them, it was never a partisan choice, they had endorsed John Kasich in the primaries. For them, it was on their consideration of fitness for office. They knew it was weighty decision. They knew it would cost them business. They knew that it would be an unpopular choice for many in a Republican dominated state. But an endorsement of Trump was never in the cards for them. Something I didn’t know, but was interesting to learn.What they were unprepared for, was the volcano of ugliness that followed. Death threats came in by the hundreds. Targeted personally toward individuals on the board. Things like: We know where you live. We know where your children go to school. We know the license plate on your car. We know where you park. We are going to do to you what was done to Don Bolles. You will die. We will kill your family. Hundreds of these. Every day.Threats came by phone, by mail, in person, via email (of course). People attempting to sell subscriptions were spat upon, had guns brandished in their faces. It got so bad that the Republic ceased trying to make in-person subscription sales.One extreme right-wing Catholic group spammed her email 5000 times a day.
I was horrified. This is America? This is what we do to people who disagree with us politically? I’ve had my share of political arguments. I’ve vented anger, but I never imagined anything like this.Thankfully, nobody was actually killed, although there were several assaults.All over an ENDORSEMENT. A simple statement of opinion.It is ongoing. She said that she now “only” gets 2-3 death threats a day. Although, every time Trump calls the press “enemies of the people” or complains about the press, there is another spike.One man calls every day, just to say, “I hate you and think you should die.”This is what we’ve come to.Well, I’m not going to be a part of it any more. I will state my opinions, exercise my freedom of speech, but I will never again engage in behavior that dehumanizes or could be perceived as threatening to people who disagree with me.Civil discourse begins with me. I hope it doesn’t end there.
I’m thoroughly convinced. Hollywood has officially run out of ideas.
We were watching commercial TV last night. The big promo was the announcement of the premiere of the new TV show Prison Break! (Hmmm? Wasn’t there a show with a similar title a few years back? Hey look! – they have the same cast!)
Television has a plethora of repeats or re-writes. Time After Time, based on the 70’s film with the same name, is now a series. (BTW – there are at least another THREE time-travel-themed TV shows. Stop looking at each other’s papers!)
I realize there are only so many formats, and popular themes make money. And, to be honest, I enjoy some of the retreads.
But, how many?
Sherlock Holmes, Elementary, Star Trek Generation ∞, C.H.I.P.s, Going in Style, ….
When did sequels and re-writes champion original ideas and thoughts? (not to mention some re-makes are abysmal! The Man From UNCLE?)
Get some original ideas, people!
An Obama has joined the birther movement.
Malik Obama, Barack Obama’s half-brother, tweeted image of what appears to be Barack’s birth certificate.
Except it’s not from Hawaii, but rather Kenya.
From the Day Late Dollar Short, or the What Took You So Long Department!
Seriously – How many birth certificates ARE THERE? And how did he get a Connecticut Social Security number? And why are his school records sealed?
And, why would one’s half brother do such a thing? Now?
Inquiring minds want to know!
(Just because sometimes, I like adding fuel to the fire! – Guffaw)
(from The Firearm Blog, in part)
REBUTTAL: Washington Post On Suppressors
Robert J. Spitzer, author of Guns Across America, penned an opinion piece about silencers in the Washington Post this week. Like much of what we are accustomed to reading about firearms in today’s media, Spitzer is disingenuous in his arguments against the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) – a bill that proposes suppressors be removed from the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934. He begins:
Gunfire — loud, sharp, rude, abrupt — is an important safety feature of any firearm. From potential victims who seek to escape a mass shooting to a hiker being alerted to the presence of a hunter in the woods, the sound warns bystanders of potentially lethal danger. Yet gun advocates insist there is a greater danger: hearing loss by gun owners.
I am sure Spitzer is not the first gun control advocate to suggest that the report of a firearm is actually an “important safety feature”, however it is the first time I’ve heard it used in this context. A common misconception about silencers that has been repeated numerous times, is that a suppressed weapon can be used as a “silent killer”. Just two weeks prior, the author’s same publication addressed the Hollywood perception of silencers, confirming they are anything but silent.
Proponents of the deregulation of silencers, such as myself, will repeat this one fact over and over: legally referred to as silencers, these devices do not silence a firearm. In the majority of cases, additional hearing protection, such as ear plugs, must be worn even when a suppressor is used while shooting. So the author’s argument that silencers remove a “safety feature” (loud noises) from a discharged firearm is already crumbling. Honestly, for a professor, I’d expect at least some research followed by fact-based arguments.
But don’t take my word for it, Knox Williams, President of the American Suppressor Association (ASA) introduced me to Dr. Micheal Stewart, Director of Audiology at the Department of Communication Disorders at Central Michigan University. I asked Dr. Stewart “Is it possible to damage a persons hearing when using muffs or plugs alone?” He writes:
Yes, it is possible, especially if individuals are shooting numerous rounds of large caliber firearms with hearing protection devices (HPDs) that are not properly applied. For instance, the famous yellow plug has a high noise reduction rating (NRR), but it must be inserted properly. Also, it is not well suited for small, curvy ear canals so there is not a good acoustic seal and thus individual do not achieve the tabled attenuation values. In fact, NIOSH has de-rated formable plugs 50%, muffs 25%, and most other plugs 70%. The real world attenuation values may be significantly lower than the attenuation values obtained in the laboratory. Additionally, our research at CMU has consistently found that most hunters do not wear HPDs during hunting activities and many target shooters do not wear HPDs on a consistent basis.
As hearing conservationist, we are interested in the science regarding suppressors, not the politics. There is no doubt that suppressors (often incorrectly referred to as silencers) are effective in reducing auditory risk, however, HPDs should be used in conjunction with suppressors to further reduce risk. Depending on the type of firearm, caliber of firearm, and the acoustic environment, recreational firearm users may be able to wear HPDs with lower NRR values that still allow them to hear while protecting their hearing when shooting firearms equipped with suppressors.
‘Hearing Conservation, Not Politics’. Sounds familiar…
But there is a deeper concern with Spitzer’s Washington Post editorial, Spitzer makes claims regarding the HPA that need to be addressed. He writes:
The NRA is renewing with gusto its misbegotten push, begun in the last Congress, to make gun silencers easier to acquire by swiping a page from the public health community’s long-standing efforts to warn of the dangers of firearms. The Hearing Protection Act, which would remove federal registration and identification requirements for those seeking gun silencers…
First off, suppressors will only be “easier to acquire” because of the disappearance of abnormally long wait times to possess silencers which are fueled by bureaucracy and not due to a lack of background checks. The HPA proposes that the purchase of silencers be treated the same as long arms, which means that prospective buyers will still need to undergo a background check and follow all state and federal firearms laws. Let’s not forget that sound suppressors are nothing more than hollow tubes – they can’t fire any ammunition on their own.
Which leads me to another point: basic firearm silencers can be constructed from materials found in two isles of a hardware store for less than $20. If would-be criminals were so inclined, in a few hours time they could fashion a firearm suppressor that performs on par with commercially manufactured suppressors. Of course, in the process they would be violating several federal laws, punishable with a minimum of ten years in prison. But everyone knows that criminals check to see which laws not to break, on their way to break several other laws.
Since silencers don’t actually silence firearms and add up to a foot of length to any weapon, an overwhelming majority of criminals give no thought to attaching a muffler to their instruments of criminality. We are talking about statistically insignificant percentages of suppressors being used to commit crimes.
Go on, Professor, you were saying:
Absent some kind of cataclysmic hearing-loss crisis by America’s tens of millions of gun owners, this political push should be recognized for what it is: an effort to provide an extremely small benefit to gun owners that willfully ignores what can happen to others once a bullet leaves a gun barrel. The lifesaving safety benefits of gun noise should weigh far more in the silencer debate. Just ask anyone caught in the vicinity of a shooting.
Since when do shooters “willfully ignore” what happens when a bullet leaves a barrel? And yes, most suffer from some form of hearing loss; no it’s not an “extremely small benefit”. In a recent post by the ASA, they reference a 2011 report completed by the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) after a noise and lead analysis at a range in California. On page five the authors conclude:
The only potentially effective noise control method to reduce students’ or instructors’ noise exposure from gunfire is through the use of noise suppressors that can be attached to the end of the gun barrel. However, some states do not permit civilians to use suppressors on firearms.
It’s journalism like this column in the Post, masked as news analysis, that makes much of America wary of what they read in papers today. The Washington Post touted your opinion piece as being written by an expert, and yet you willfully ignore facts, data and evidence to push an agenda.
For shame, Professor. A man with your educational background should understand that fact-based arguments outweigh emotional rhetoric. Almost every aspect of your opinion piece is invalid and rooted in common misconceptions.
The HPA removes unnecessary barriers to lawful suppressor ownership through deregulation. Sure, they will no longer be listed on the NFA registry (a glorified national list of tubes), but each buyer must still pass the same background check used for every other gun purchased in the United States. And remember, silencers cannot fire a single bullet on their own.
This is the part of the article where I am supposed to offer you the chance to come over and shoot a few suppressed firearms in an attempt to “win you over”. No thanks; after reading your borderline slanderous opinion piece, I’m certain there is no empirical evidence that will help you come to an informed decision.
Ironic that we are talking about silencers since it is pretty clear that you are stuck in your own echo chamber.
Forget about modularity and the other Army requirements for the newly announced M17 sidearm for a moment. Do you mean to tell me that the DOD just spent $580M on a pistol that has barely been on the market for three years? A gun that will be carried by US soldiers for at least a decade, more likely two or three, that has only been issued to a handful of law enforcement agencies in the United States? (Love ya Hooksett, NH Police!)
The iconic GLOCK pistols have served with distinction for 35 years, in LEO agencies, Militaries, contractors and civilian hands around the globe. The new M17 should have had Gaston’s name on the slide and everyone knows it.
Fanboy? Sure, call me names, throw rotten food at your devices, raise your torches and pitchforks. Listen to some Nickleback for crying out loud. But even if you pray to a different god, be it Sig, S&W, FN or some pot metal creation you got at a show a few years back – Deep down, you know the US Army should be carrying GLOCKs as their new handgun.
Save me your ‘hand grenade’ and grip angle jabs – that’s a smoke screen and you know it. The G17 and/or G19 has served with distinction and has proven itself worthy time and time again. And unlike previous side arm choices, GLOCK pistols aren’t nearing an ‘end of life’ situation or being surpassed by new technologies. Gaston has focused on steady, calculated weapon evolution rather than spurts of revolution interspersed with setbacks. Frustrating for individual gun owners? You bet. But he knows that any misstep in reliability would leave a black mark on the Austrian handgun’s legacy.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the Sig P320 is a fantastic pistol – reliable, accurate and well made. However, I will argue that it does nothing that the GLOCK already does with a lot more long-term supporting data from a variety of hostile environments.
Yes. I get it. Modularity.
I carried a Sig every day for eight years. I’ve carried a GLOCK every day for eight more. And now, as I ready myself to be issued a new P320, I do so with reluctance but also with acceptance. Knowing (and hoping) that somewhere far above my head, someone knows better than I do. At least I don’t have to deal with that $&@?ing manual safety.
The M9 is dead. Long live the M17.
Note the flavor of slight sarcasm, ladies and gentlemen. Life is good.
Their previous post regarding the SIG was pretty positive.
What do YOU GUYS think?
(Let the games begin!)
Or rather a series of protests across the country (and the World), following the Presidential inauguration. Reportedly in significant numbers.
What exactly was being protested, and by whom?
It appeared to be largely women. Protesting Donald Trump’s history of misogyny. Because of a locker-room style comment he made eleven years ago. Some protesters showed class, by dressing like this:
To be fair, not everyone was dressed this way.
I did notice most of the ‘notables’ involved in the protests were ‘left of center’, demanding continued funding for Planned Parenthood (as an example), and more government funding for all their concerns (like free health care for all), and consisted of folks like (from this AP report):
(…) Pop diva Madonna made an unannounced appearance Saturday in Washington, joining hundreds of thousands of protesters who rallied for women’s rights in defiance of Trump.
Other celebrities at the massive demonstration included actresses Scarlett Johansson, Ashley Judd and America Ferrera, filmmaker Michael Moore and the feminist icon Gloria Steinem.
I did notice conservative women were absent – perhaps discouraged from appearing?
A friend’s protest sign:
Part of the protest was regarding protection of the environment. Here is one photo following a protest:
I’m certain more government money/labor will be needed to clean up after the protesters.
But, going to the government teat seems to be their fallback. Wait! Can I say that? Great – I’ll probably have women dressed as boobies outside my door, now…
Naw, I’m not as important at The President. 🙂
(You all know I support legal protest – it’s a fine American tradition. I didn’t see any reports of violence or criminal damage. Good for you, ladies – and Michael Moore.)
Via comment by JWMJR on Syrian Conflict Explained: Highly restricted brief…
Yesterday’s most ignored headline was that our horse faced, horses ass of a Secretary of State had given Russia what amounted to an ultimatum demanding that all offensive operations against anti Assad forces i.e. ISIS, in Aleppo be halted immediately or all cooperation between the US and Russia would stop.
Never mind the arrogance of such a statement, I would like for these bungling fools to tell us just one thing in Aleppo or all of Syria for that matter, that is worth creating a direct military confrontation between the US and Russia. A confrontation that could well drag us and Europe into another world war.
And no I won’t accept any BS answers about how brutal the Assad regime is or how the assault constitutes s humanitarian crisis. In both cases I would respond, so what? The Assads have ruled Syria with an iron fist for half a century. And if we’re so worried about a body count in Aleppo why aren’t we worried about the body counts in Chicago or Baltimore or our own nations capital? Seems to me this is the same Bashier Assad that old horse face and the Democrats were declaring to be a “great reformer” just a few short years ago when they thought such declarations could be used as a political bludgeon against both the Bush administration and Israel.
More @ Joe Martin’s Ghost
(From Brock Townsend)
The Middle East has been mired in conflicts since Jesus was an apprentice carpenter. And THIS Secretary of State seems to be as ineffectual and waffley as the last…
(As they both expose progressivism, there is no surprise here)
(Yeah, I know I said I wouldn’t make fun of political figures – but this is too obvious! – Guffaw)
This makes two times!
Bill Maher said Donald Trump is right that the U.S. should have a profiling service that uses techniques employed by security guards in Israeli airports. The HBO host also said people already profile and that “all police work is profiling,” we just do it “stupidly.
BILL MAHER: He is for profiling, that’s what he said. But he said we should do it the way Israel does. And, like, every once in while Donald Trump says something right. Because we profile already, we just do it stupidly. All police work is profiling. Discrimination does not mean prejudice; discrimination means telling un-like things apart…
More with video @ Real Clear Politics
(from Free North Carolina)
I lived in my parent’s house after high school, and into college. The University was about a mile-and-a-half North, and an easy walk. Things became ‘complicated’ when I dropped-out after a year, and was on academic probation. (long-time readers will remember Joe Cool?). My parents then required rent and employment (I had been working the entire time), and two years later (age 20) I moved out simultaneously with starting at a community college.
I thought I was a failure.
Ultimately, I completed community college (3.615 GPA,with high distinction, don’t ya know!), got my Associates Degree (Administration of Justice), and entered life. It’s amazing how the realities of financial obligation and low paying jobs motivate! During the recession (1975). No decent jobs.
BUT, somehow I survived. I paid my own way through college (no loans, no parent money), worked then entire time (mostly in private security) and paid rent – sometimes even on time! 😛
The idea of moving back into my parent’s home was anathema to me. My father’s passing in 1977 further reinforced the concept (I didn’t have a good relationship with my stepmother).
For the first time in modern history the most common living arrangement for young adults is living in their parents’ homes. (18 to 34)
I wonder how this happened? Poor employment opportunities? Low pay? Bad economy? I suspect the liberals will blame it on the debt based on Bush’s wars. And the banks.
And the conservatives will blame the race-baiting, anti-colonialist communist administration currently in residence in the White House.
But I blame government. ALL of it. Between inflation, costly inefficient government programs and the cost of education requiring student loans. And Fabian socialists forging dishistory and uneducated youth since the early 1900’s. They work glacially.
It’s who I am.
h/t Theo Spark