Saturday, October 03, 2015

Stuff Happens? REALLY, JEB (!)???

 Yesterday, all Jeb (!)'s problems seemed so far away....
It's not quite official but it's as sure as the sun setting in a smog-filled sky: Jeb (!) Bush's quest for the White House came to a pathetic, inglorious end yesterday. Campaigning in Greenville, South Carolina, Jeb (!) incredibly - stupidly - responded to a question about the mass murder at a college in Oregon on Thursday (and the desperate need for sane gun control laws) by saying, "Stuff happens". Just to dissuade anyone from accusing me of quoting the contemptible little knucklehead out of context, here it is verbatim:
"But I resist the notion - and I had the challenge as governor - because we had - look, stuff happens, there's always a crisis. And the impulse is always to do something and it's not necessarily the right thing to do."
Words that should be etched in silly putty.
This is a bittersweet morn for me. To say that I'm feeling ambivalent is somewhat of an understatement. The fact is, I was looking forward to Jeb (!) as the eventual GOP nominee. Let's face it: Those Bushes are always good for a million unintentional laughs. I was even bracing myself for the third Bush administration in a generation! As gut-wrenching  and horrifying a prospect as something like that would have been for this nation (and the planet earth) a Jeb (!) Bush administration would have been a satirist's dream-come-true. Just take his half-witted older brother as an example: Dubya never inspired writer's block, that's for damned sure. As horrifically corrupt and incompetent as the hideous little freak was, at least he was always great copy! Please, we must give credit where credit is due.
But, alas, any hope that Jeb (!) had of becoming the 45th president of these United States were blasted into eternity yesterday by his own complete and utter insensitivity to the families of the nine human beings murdered in cold-blood on the campus of Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Gun control is not the answer, insisted Prince Jeb (!), stuff happens. Indeed it does. Cluelessness has been a staple of the Bush family for generations. Quite obviously poor old Jeb (!) has inherited the knack.
As of this morning, his polling numbers among registered Republicans stand at a dismal and embarrassing four percent. They will probably decline still further before the sun sets this evening. The reason his percentages are in the toilet has nothing to do with his callous remarks regarding the carnage in Oregon; instead, it has everything to do with the fact that your average Republican primary voter sees him as "too liberal" (if you can believe that). Whatever the reason, he's reached the point of no return. Not even Daddy's connections can help him now - as they helped his brother in 2000. They're all dead or, at best, residing in assisted-living facilities, being spoon-fed oatmeal. Unlike Poppy and Dubya, Jeb (!) is the first offspring of Prescott Bush being forced to stand on his own two feet. His candidacy is drowning in the quagmire born of his total unsuitability for the job of chief-executive - exactly as his brother's candidacy should have  drowned in 2000; or as his father's candidacy should have drowned in 1988. There's no one left to prop him up. If this weren't so knee-slappingly funny it would be kind of sad. But it is funny - very, very funny.

But wait! It gets funnier! Of the two brothers, Jeb (!) was supposed to be the smart one. So help me, Ayn Rand, you couldn't make this stuff up in fiction!

His political implosion is all for the best you may be sure. A third Bush White House would have made international laughingstocks out of the American voters. At least it will  be said of us that we weren't stupid enough to travel down that road again. Jeb (!) has stated too many times to count that Dubya is his most valued advisor with respect to foreign affairs in general and Middle Eastern policy in particular. Can you even imagine?

No, we seriously don't want to go down that road again. It is a non-debatable, historical truth that whenever any member of that disgusting family gets within reach of the Oval Office, a lot of people (in uniform and out) start to die in appalling numbers. Jeb (!) is part of the cabal that put together and promoted the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) You don't hear much about it anymore because its vision proved so disastrous with respect to Iraq and Afghanistan (among other places). Their ultimate (and unabashedly stated) goal was worldwide American domination of the globe which was damned-near Hitlerian in its scope. In addition to the Bushes, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld - the usual suspects - were part of this gang. We'll deserve everything that happens to us if we ever again put these murderous assholes in power.

Late last night I received a telephone call from the son of an old friend of mine. He turned eighteen on August 4th and enlisted in the Marines shortly thereafter. On October 19 he'll be on his way to California for three months of basic training and, after that, four years of active duty. We had a really nice conversation that must have gone on for at least an hour. When the call ended, I said a silent prayer of thanksgiving that his commander-in-chief will not be named "Bush". I am now certain of this. Be well, Danny. We'll meet one day, pal!

The era that future historians will no-doubt call "The Age of the Bushes" has come to a decided and merciful end. Jeb (!)'s inglorious quest for the presidency is deader than Grandpa Prescott and Ronald Reagan combined. There will be no Third Act in this American nightmare. The curtain has closed; the people have all gone home; the chairs have been folded; the auditorium is empty.

Stuff happens, you know?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Nothing to Fear:
FDR's Inner Circle and the Hundred Days that Created Modern America
by Adam Cohen
This excellent book is really not so much about Franklin Roosevelt, as it is about the extraordinary men (Rexford Tugwell, Harry Hopkins, Raymond Moley) and one woman (Frances Perkins) who were the engineers of the New Deal. I read this one in less than two days and can't recommend it enough. Eighty years ago, these detested liberals saved this country. We're not one tenth as grateful to them as we should be.

Tomorrow Never Knows
by The Beatles

Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream....

This is the mono mix of that recording - a tad different from the stereo, with some unique sounds if you listen really closely. This is not dying....This is not dying....


At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Think about it. Jeb! is the smart one.

At 11:42 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

"...there's always a crisis. And the impulse is always to do something and it's not necessarily the right thing to so."

Except when the economy crashes we can blame Obama as soon as he takes office from the Shrub.

Except if we lie about Saddam being in cahoots with al-Qaeda and invade Iraq after no Iraqis attacked us on 9-11.

Yes, MORE Republican leadership is just what this country needs.

And MORE human sacrifice will surely follow. "Bomb, bomb, Iran"!

At 3:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Or, y’know, if terrorists kill 3000 Americans, the impulse is to attack a country that had nothing to do with it. Well, it may not change the problem. Stuff happens.”

At 7:09 PM, Anonymous John said...

Tom, Forgive Jeb's faux pas. I came to realize that his brother's attitude could be described by paraphrasing a character from an episode of Hawaii Five-0...

If they ain't rich, they ain't human - and if they ain't human, it ain't murder.

At 7:29 PM, Blogger Beverly Margolis-Kurtin said...

Dang it, Tom, a woman's name is spelled Frances, not Francis. How do I really know? My middle name is Frances.

As far as I know there is only ONE man who can save us from the fascism that most other candidates for POTUS are preaching. Senator Sanders is that ONE man who will bring us back to the time when Congress LISTENED to the people and not the corporations that pay them.

He's been in Congress long enough to know how the congress critters play the game and he knows how to turn them around.

Next time remember that FrancEs is a girl.

At 4:22 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Of course, you're right, Beverly. It is now 4:21 in the morning, but I am going to jump out of bed right this moment and make the correction. It needs to be made.

At 5:39 AM, Blogger Lydia said...

This is stunningly brilliant, Tom. Now I'm going to go enjoy the song.....

At 6:06 PM, Blogger T. Paine said...

Jeb Bush is a fool. Luckily, it is highly unlikely at this point that he will get the Republican nomination, despite his flush war chest. His latest insensitive statement probably will not make much of a difference though to anyone except the anti-gun crowd.

I suspect that nearly all Democrats and Republicans, Progressives and Conservatives, Socialists and Capitalists, truly want to curb such heinous murders from ever occurring. The difference is in how these disparate groups suggest doing so.

I think most all of us can probably agree that a focus on helping those with mental health issues, particularly when a person has suicidal or homicidal tendencies, would be a good first place to start.

Where the two sides part ways is when we discuss what to do with guns.

Those advocating for more gun control or flat out confiscation are frankly well-intended but seriously misguided. Nearly all of these murderous rampages that have occurred over the course of the last decade or more have happened in violation of myriads of already existing gun control laws. It has become cliché, but the truth remains, if you disarm the law-abiding citizens, only the criminals will have guns. How many deaths might have been prevented if a citizen had a concealed carry weapon in these “gun free zones” of schools, movie theaters, or churches and had been able to respond to the threat against other innocent people?

The fact of the matter is that we seldom prosecute those guilty of lesser gun crimes to the fullest extent of existing law right now. If someone obtains a gun illegally, they are not prosecuted on that crime alone but usually on some other crime that was the primary offense. If our criminal justice system prosecuted felons, those with domestic abuse charges, etc. for possession of weapons EVERY single time, then we would go a long way to helping our cause.
Chicago has one of the highest gun murder rates in the world. It also has a set of one of the strictest gun control laws on the books. The fact is that they don’t police and prosecute those in violation of those laws very often.

The bottom line though, really, is that this is not a gun problem at all. It is a problem of the heart and the soul. Cain killed Abel with a rock, and it wasn’t because Adam and Eve didn’t have good rock-control laws on the books. Cain had evil intent in his heart.

Until we restore God to the public square and teach our children that there are things more important than our own selfish wants and desires, and that we are NOT our own final authority on life, these acts will continue. As our society grows ever more secular and turns away from God and doing to each other as we would have done to us, we will continue to see these horrible murders occur. And that will happen even in the impossible case of us eliminating ALL guns in this country.

At 8:11 PM, Anonymous John said...

TP > How many deaths might have been prevented if a citizen had a concealed carry weapon in these “gun free zones” of schools, movie theaters, or churches and had been able to respond to the threat against other innocent people?

My guess would be none - there are more 'good guys' walking around with weapons than ever before. Even as this trend grows - so too the frequency of atrocities.

I think your point on 'focus on helping those with mental health issues' is more accurate. That said, we live in a society that celebrates violence, be it movies, games, militarism or a civilian president conducting drone warfare (now there's a role model for you). At the same time, the environment that people live in has been evolving rapidly. I am not sure anything will be done to reverse this. Maybe if everybody reached out to interact with an extra person one in a while it could make a difference?

Another thought to chew on is that this violence stimulates the business sector that sells surveillance gear, militarizes local police forces and further erodes our civil liberties... This too has happened while the problem continues to grow - so apparently that is not the answer either. Fear sells - but FDR was right, 'The only thing to fear, is...'

Fear is the enemy of freedom.

At 9:41 PM, Anonymous John said...

One more thing,

We live in a world where profits are more important than people. Take 'Roundup Ready' grains - none of the advertized benefits have been realized - no increase in yield, no reduction of pesticides, no increased nutrition. The end result has been a monopolistic take over of seed production, environmental consequences from placing various species at risk to corruption of natural populations of plants with alien DNA and greatly increased exposure to industrial chemicals for the entire population. During this time frame there has been increases if a host of health maladies.

Despite industries efforts to suppress negative reports, evidence of adverse health consequences is mounting regarding exposure to roundup. Further, it has recently emerged that Monsanto itself had conducted studies decades ago that support this position and buried the results.

Rich people can afford to eat organic in order to reduce their exposure to these chemicals as a result the less affluent bear the brunt of the consequences. Echoing my previous comment, 'if they ain't rich, they ain't people' - or at least important enough to live.

It is not just the seed industry. Much of the military industrial activities, fossil fuel and nuclear have parallel consequences. I guess many of the people who profit from these businesses feel this is a perfectly fine way to make money. How healthy of an emotional environment will you find in a world that rewards this?

It appears that fossil fuel consumption and industrial agriculture have already committed the world to some tough times. A hard rain is gonna fall - it might have started yesterday in South Carolina...

At 11:33 PM, Anonymous James Hansen said...

Excellent comments John. I believe the U.S. is the most corrupt country in the world in almost every category I can think of. We lead in every thing bad and are last in every thing good. Soon we will have a federal law banning GMO labeling throughout the country and the TPP will be part of the fabric of life here.

There is an overwhelming possibility of having a Neo-Liberal or Neo-Conservative president in 2016 to further our trip down the rabbit hole. Politics is definitely a doom and gloom subject for the last 15 years now but I rather be informed than ignorant.

At 10:50 AM, Blogger T. Paine said...

John, I respectfully disagree with you on your first point. Several years ago, an evil man walked into the “gun free” Trolley Square Mall in Salt Lake City and began shooting people. He killed several, but an off-duty police man that was dining with his family was able to pull his own weapon and pin the killer down until more police arrived. He undoubtedly saved many more lives. The same thing occurred in the Clackamas Town Center in Oregon a few years ago when a shooter was forced to take cover by a civilian with a concealed firearm. Gun free zones are simply open target areas for these would-be monsters, sir.

I find myself more sympathetic and in agreement with you on your other points you made though. I definitely applaud your idea for everyone to reach out and interact with another person. That is the right idea, I believe.

I also find myself in agreement and greatly concerned regarding Monsanto and its schemes.

As for nuclear energy, I think it should be encouraged. It is exceptionally clean and protecting of the environment. Granted, we need to build reactors only in safe areas away from fault lines and flood plains, but if we are serious about reducing our reliance on coal and other fossil fuels for power generation, then this is a definite viable alternative. It is our fears that make it otherwise.

I am heartened that some people are beginning to wake up politically though regarding our nation’s ills. While I don’t support Sanders or Trump, the fact that these anti-government-establishment candidates have done so well over the establishment candidates is a testament to the fact that many people are sick and tired of our government telling us what to do instead of the other way around.

At 11:47 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...


many people are sick and tired of our government telling us what to do instead of the other way around

There's no doubt this is true to varying degrees. However, the nature and purpose of our constitutional government is to make laws, levy taxes, and provide for the common good. This is impossible without government "telling people" to pay taxes and obey those laws.

Like it or not, we need such a social contract "where moral and/or political obligations are dependent upon a contract or agreement among them to form the society in which they live".

And yes, we all know of stupid laws that need to be repealed. However in our corrupt system, private money talks louder than the voices advocating for the public interest. We see crony capitalism displayed by the de-regulatory foxes in the henhouse, sweetheart deals, no-bid contracts, tax breaks for the richest among us, and corporate subsidies that have risen over the past several decades.

As you indicated, Monsanto a classic example of this.

In the case of Sanders' supporters, they are sick and tired of the elite military/industrial/private/corporate/banking/energy/pharmaceutical, etc. interests telling OUR government what to do.

If we want government to be responsive to the people, then we need MORE, not less, democracy and citizen involvement. We don't need more, "Corporations are people" and "Money is free speech" and other cases of the "Golden Rule" where those with the most gold rule.

While Trump trumps up fear, hate and resentments, Sanders has been the lone voice in identifying our real problems of militarism, neoliberalism and corporatocracy.

This is why he will never be president.

I've said numerous times, only a "company man" is allowed in the White House. Obama and the Republicans are now hard at work cementing into law yet another so-called "free trade" treaty written by corporate interests.

More Golden Rulers doing their best to scoop up that "trickle up" wealth.

At 11:56 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Meanwhile, on Bullshit Mountain: Why is Donald Trump So Popular With the Right Wing? Mike Flannigan answers that.

At 2:25 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...


While there is some perception of safety with the "Good guy with a gun" being all we need to counter mass shootings, evidence still does not support this argument.

If we remove the off-duty cop from the scenario, we have no evidence supporting this perception.

I respectfully submit this version of the Clackamas Town Center shooting.

News accounts and official reports show that brothers Jake and Josh Ryker and classmate Tony Case tackled Kinkel while he was trying to reload and held him until police arrived.

To fact-check Meli’s (Good Guy with a gun) role in the Town Square shootings, we called the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, which took the lead in investigating the incident.

"It’s inconclusive on our end," said Lt. Robert Wurpes, office spokesman. "We can’t say either way whether he did or did not make a difference. It would only be speculation."

At 3:38 PM, Blogger T. Paine said...

Dave, all I know for certain is that if I am in a mall, movie theater, church, or wherever with my loved ones and someone else comes in and starts firing at random people, I sure would want to have my own sidearm with me to protect those I love.

At 6:26 PM, Anonymous John said...

TP, Regarding nuclear power, your point about locating plants where they are not subject to floods and other hazards is correct - however that is not the nuclear fleet that exists - many of these facilities are poorly located in flood zones, seismic zones, near cities...

There is probably no way to resolve these issues without making plants even more expensive than past generations of reactors. If you study the economics of nuclear power, you'll find that this is the most expensive technology currently generating electricity. Since the inception of the industry, it has been HEAVILY subsidized in several ways. One example, if Entergy was made to pay for liability insurance on the open market, the reactors at Indian Point would shut down instantly.

Going back to plant locations, one of the limitations is that power generation with nuclear requires huge amounts of cooling - which usually means a heating huge amount of water. Moving plants away from water translates to moving the water to the plant which escalates cost. This is why Fukushima's site was cut down to such a low amount over sea level. It was a gamble that the construction engineers thought they could take - but they were wrong - and perhaps the plant would not have been viable in the first place had they not excavated the extra 50' of bluff to locate the plant. The engineers who built these plants 50 years ago already knew the economics of these kind of trade offs. As a result, the most cost effective sites have already been exploited. So in answer to your point, there is probably no locations that fit that safety requirement more cost effectively than what we have already.

Large scale wind electricity is already competitive with fossil fuel - being cheaper than coal generation and approaching that of natural gas (and how long is this going remain low cost). Solar prices have been on a steady decline - it's power cost is well below nuclear, and if the current trend continues, it will fall below fossil fuel generated electricity cost. It is not out of the possibility that technological breakthroughs may make nuclear safe and inexpensive - but for the last 50 years that, has been hype and not reality.

To address the probability of climate change, renewable sources are far cheaper and can be deployed much more rapidly than nuclear. This also avoids the thorny issues of waste disposal, proliferation and the occasional meltdown.

At 10:56 PM, Blogger Yellowstone said...

Back to the Bushies . . . .

In South Carolina, Jeb! was asked how he’d win over African-American voters.

Jeb! said, “Our message is one of hope and aspiration. It isn’t one of division and get in line and we’ll take care of you with free stuff. Our message is one that is uplifting — that says you can achieve earned success.”

FREE STUFF??!! Jeeze . . .

Who are the 1%s who receives million dollar political donations, tax exemptions, and corporate welfare? Dollars indirectly from working class people who work at below minimum wage jobs. Dollars amounting to more that all subsidies provided to the working class poor and displaced via the so called Job Creators.

Free stuff! This is another Romney . . . a wolf in sheep's wool!


At 11:48 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

T. Paine, and would you want 50 other people in there shooting blindly in the dark with you, and in all the confusion NO ONE knows who the actual criminal is?

At 11:51 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Oh and T. Paine, I used to live in Salt Lake City and that Mall is no more a "gun free zone" than anyplace else. If they were "gun free" how did the cop and civillian get guns in there? BTW, a cop is TRAINED in the use of a firearm in a croweded situatin. Most "open carry" people have never been shot AT and would wet their pants at a real situation.

At 1:27 PM, Blogger T. Paine said...

John, I respectfully disagree that there are no viable places where reactor plants can be safely built in this country. A huge part of the problem is fear. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission frankly has not done nearly as good of a job administrating as it was done when all nuclear functions were place under Admiral Rickover in the United States Navy. (Disclaimer: I was a navy trained nuclear reactor operator in the service.)

We absolutely need safety to be our top concern, but some of the regulatory excess is just that: excess. It makes nuclear power more costly, for sure.

Liability insurance would be far less if we were smart about where we placed our plants, especially in relation to population centers.

I think if we got rid of unnecessary regulation and educated the public so that their irrational fears of nuclear energy were assuaged, the costs of using it and making it even more efficient and safe would prove out accordingly.

I am not familiar enough with wind energy, but it doesn’t seem to be very viable in the places I have seen thus far without co-opting incredibly large swaths of land.

Solar should be championed for sure too though. New residential and commercial construction should be built with solar incorporated into the design to at least subsidize the usage off of the commercial power grid, if not supply individual houses and offices outright with no need for pulling off of the commercial power grid.

At 1:53 PM, Blogger T. Paine said...

Mozart, you do make a valid point, sir. We don’t want 50 random untrained people all shooting in such an incident. That said, every concealed carry person I know is a very responsible gun owner. They are intimately familiar with their firearms, and are responsible in carrying them. They typically train regularly with their weapons and know precisely what they are shooting and what is behind the target at which they are shooting. Most people that go to the trouble of getting a concealed carry permit are very responsible accordingly.

And further, it has been a couple of years since I have been there, but even after the Trolley Square shooting, I went there and they still had their “no weapons” signs on all of their entrances. You are right that it isn’t a gun free zone…. but that is only so for those that are breaking the law. It is funny but with only two exceptions, every gun mass murder that has occurred in the past twenty years has been done so in “gun free” zones. What does that tell you? Do you really think it is better to make sure no good guys have a firearm so that only those with evil intent are the ones that are armed? I sure don’t!

At 3:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not familiar enough with wind energy, but it doesn’t seem to be very viable in the places I have seen thus far without co-opting incredibly large swaths of land.

Offshore wind turbines.

Stronger wind speeds are available offshore compared to on land, so offshore wind power’s contribution in terms of electricity supplied is higher. And "Not In My Backyard" opposition is much weaker. (it's offshore!)

At the end of 2012, 1,662 turbines at 55 offshore wind farms across 10 European countries were generating electricity enough to power almost five million households.

At 10:25 AM, Blogger T. Paine said...

That is interesting to hear. That said, that is a lot of turbines to power a relatively small number of people. How many turbines would be needed to power Los Angeles, Houston, or New York?

I also can foresee some other issues too. Salt water is exceptionally corrosive and must wreak havoc on the turbines and the power transmission cables back to the shore. I would think up-keep and down time would be fairly high for these wind turbines.

I think wind can play a part, but overall, solar and nuclear power is where we need to concentrate our efforts to improve technology, safety, and efficiency, in my opinion.

At 12:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salt water is exceptionally corrosive and must wreak havoc on the turbines and the power transmission cables back to the shore. I would think up-keep and down time would be fairly high for these wind turbines.

Are you aware that transatlantic cables have been around since the 1860s?

Nowadays there are transatlantic fiber optic cables (linking London to the USA, for example).

At 1:55 PM, Blogger T. Paine said...

lol. Yes, I am aware of this. I work in the telecommunications industry.

At 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is salt water a big problem in your job?

Are telecommunications constantly being interrupted because of corrosion?

At 3:27 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Get ready for more "spontaneous vigilantism" in Wild West Exceptionalism of America.

Shoplifting punishable by death from “Good guys with guns”?

Police confirmed on Wednesday that a concealed pistol license (CPL) holder was not being threatened by a fleeing shoplifter when she decided to fire multiple shots at him in a Home Depot parking lot.

And experts interviewed Wednesday doubted the shooting could have been justified.

“It’s my worst nightmare as a CPL instructor,” said Doreen Hankins, owner of Detroit Arms, which holds CPL classes. “You have to know the entire situation before you pull that handgun out. And I don’t see that a shoplifter at Home Depot fills any of those criteria.”

At 4:08 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

T Paine, a "responsible" gun owner would not start shooting in a public place,(shown by the ex military guy in Oregon who chose NOT to add crossfire)If your house is on fire do you throw molotov coctails in to put it out? No.When gun violence is the problem, "more guns" is NOT the answer! As for wind power, Iowa is currently 30% wind power and growing. Solar is a growing industry as well. The more we use these technologies the better they will get. (see cell phones and CD players) Maybe we take the money we hand to oil companies in subsidies and help out the CLEAN energy industry? I think the 40 BILLION net profit EXXON/Mobile enjoys every year will have to do for them

At 5:01 PM, Blogger T. Paine said...

Anonymous, have you ever lived near the ocean or been around boats? They require constant upkeep due to the weather and salt water. This will surely be the case too with turbines sitting in the ocean, don't you think? Have you seen what happens to metal that is exposed to the sea for any length of time?

Dave, shooting at someone because they were shoplifting is indeed foolish and illegal. Unless there is a lot more to that story, deadly force was certainly not legally authorized and the lady should be held accountable accordingly. Such cases though are definitely more the exception than the rule. The alternative should NOT be to disarm all of the good guys though.

Mozart, sometimes if the bad guy simply sees that you have a gun and the means to do harm back to him, he will hide or flee, like the guy in the mall in Oregon. If you don't want to have and carry a gun, then you absolutely should not do so; however, I have a God given right to protect myself and my loved ones and will carry a weapon in order to do so if I so choose, sir.

More guns IS indeed the answer. If more law-abiding citizens trained themselves and carried firearms, the incidents of these evil bastards coming into schools, malls, theaters, churches etc. knowing that they are no longer "gun free zones" with more citizens likely to shoot back at them, they will probably not be as likely to attack these areas. Again, in the past several decades, all of the mass-murder gun attacks, with only two exceptions, have occurred in gun free zones where the criminals knew that their victims would be unarmed and unlikely to defend themselves. Trying to reason with satanic bastards like this evil fool in Oregon or when Islamist extremists start shooting up public places is not going to work, and you are a damned fool if you think otherwise.

Next, I am all for providing tax breaks and incentives to private industry to improve solar and other viable power sources. I also agree that government subsidies to oil companies and, for that matter, nearly any other private company needs to be phased out starting today. See! We can agree on some things Mozart! :)

At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a presentation from M.I.T. on offshore wind turbines:

Since you're a scientist in the telecommunications industry, TP, maybe you'll find it interesting.

At 6:08 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...


I was simply noting we will see more, not less, vigilantism as we flood our country with weapons of human destruction. The more guns out there, the more misuse of guns will occur. This is the glaring flaw to the “more guns” solution. It’s simple math. “Good guys” can go bad overnight.

We have accepted a gun culture and the human sacrifice that goes with it. Other countries have proven that more restrictions reduce the violence. Americans have chosen the path of less restriction, more guns, and more violence. Mix this with a violence glorifying, militarist and paranoid culture and we reap more death. That is the reality.

More guns IS indeed the answer.

Not if more guns go to the wrong people. Not if there isn’t more regulation for education, secure storage, safety and training to go with it. These are not toys, although too many stupid people treat them as such.

I oppose disarming responsible gun owners too. But I would expand background checks and mandate training, and lessons on safety and appropriate use of weapons for all new firearm purchases. Maybe the right to deadly weapons should be as restricted as much as some want to impose on the right to abortions. How about a waiting period and mandatory visit to an ER showing them the damage that can be inflicted? Perhaps education that tells them the odds of a family member being killed by the weapon are greater than the odds of saving a family member with it.

If we can mandate driver’s ed and road tests, we can do that too. I would support a ban on future semi-auto rifles and larger magazines. Nobody has ever needed a thirty round magazine for self defense. This free for all system is madness. SOME control and regulation is demanded by sanity. If you disagree then go live where people have RPGs and see how that works out.

knowing that they are no longer "gun free zones" with more citizens likely to shoot back at them, they will probably not be as likely to attack these areas.

If they were reasonable people, yes, But reasonable people don’t go on shooting sprees. In fact, they often end up shooting themselves. I can’t see anything that will deter them apart from disarming them. I wish I had a simple plan to do that. They are crazed, angry, desperate, and sociopathic. This is the great flaw in the human condition and neither religion nor reason will reach them.

At 7:50 PM, Anonymous John said...

TP I am not an expert in navel nuclear history, but my understanding is that Rickover enforced a very strict safety culture throughout the program (despite the saltwater environment). As a centerpiece of coldwar deployment, they also had an unlimited budget. Most nuclear power plants are privately owned it is inevitable that in order to maximize profit (as corporations do) you try to lower expenses. In addition to essentially free liability insurance, the government provides the nuclear industry with subsidies in fuel production, per kilowatt production, security, waste disposal (if it ever actually happens), plant decommissioning and government mandated rate hikes. Even with all of these handouts, some plants have closed in recent years due to low profit. The handful of new constructions have additional giveaways of low or no interest construction loans and 'early cost recovery' (and if you were a ratepayer in one of these ECR regions you'd say not in my backyard - look it up, you'll want to puke!). No, this industry (as it is - not as it could be) in many ways is just as bad as the fossil fuel industry. They're about keeping the profits flowing regardless of the rising probability that the toxins they pump into the atmosphere will cost humanity dearly. Privatize the assets - socialize the liabilities. I guess we can share 'live for the day'.

I understand that Rickover was quite a character. I don't know how long his career spanned or how old you are - but I'll throw out the question - did you ever come into contact with him?

At 8:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judd Legum Verified account

Media/Republicans criticized Obama for not being able to “work” with House Republicans.

Even House Republicans can’t work with House Republicans

At 12:15 PM, Blogger T. Paine said...

Anonymous, thanks for the link. I will check it out.

Dave, I agree that gun owners need to be educated on their usage, storage, and gun safety. I disagree with most of the rest of what you said.

You rightfully decry the NSA and government spying and intrusions of our rights, and yet you think that the government should mandate training, safety, and enhanced interrogation background checks for those wishing to have firearms. You don’t see the inconsistencies and potential dangers there, sir?

Further, your “scary 30-round magazine” rhetoric I have already addressed in the past. I sure as hell would have not been very happy with my six shot revolver instead of my 30-round AR-15 when looters and rioters came by my house in south central L.A. during those times of upheaval there. Or if I had lived in New Orleans in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, I sure wouldn’t want to have to protect my loved ones with my 2-shot derringer instead of my extended magazine AK-47. I live right smack dab near the Wasatch Mountain range, which is a potential fault line for earthquakes. Someday, a big quake might happen. If city facilities are shut down and food runs low, I don’t want to have to look at civil unrest coming towards my home and family from the end of a 5-round hand gun instead of a 30-round rifle.

I am all for disarming the mentally unstable and the criminals. Disarming the rest of us law abiding citizens so we effectively become targets for them is NOT the right answer, Dave.

At 12:38 PM, Blogger T. Paine said...

John, you have given me much to think about when it comes to commercial nuclear power. The picture you paint is indeed a bleak one regarding it economically. You have inspired me to do some more research accordingly. If such is indeed the case, then I must agree with your assessment regarding it. (See Dave, if I am presented with strong arguments or verifiable evidence, I am indeed open-minded and big enough to change my mind on things. If only most of my progressive friends did likewise! :) )

As for Admiral Rickover, I never met him or served under him. He passed away in 1986 as I entered into my training. Many of the officers and senior enlisted that were my instructors and mentors did serve for him though. And yes, many of the stories they told about him suggest that he was indeed a character. He definitely ruled the nuclear navy with absolute and complete power and authority. The safety record under his watch was impeccable though.

Evidently he was always testing his officers, chiefs, and senior enlisted to see how they thought on the fly. My thermodynamics instructor was requested to report to him at his office once. Before entering, his yeoman gave my instructor specific instructions on how the Admiral’s office was laid out with furnishings and what path he was supposed to take around those various obstacles as he reported to the Admiral in front of his desk. After memorizing the layout, he entered the office only to find that the layout was nothing like what he was told. Everything was a test with Hyman Rickover.

At 1:15 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

I'm delighted you read John's post.

I'm not so sure you have read mine.

Disarming the rest of us law abiding citizens so we effectively become targets for them is NOT the right answer, Dave.

Your false beliefs and fear based reaction have fed your misinterpretations (Dave supports terrorists, Dave wants Obama to take our guns, etc.) and are distorting your reading comprehension.

enhanced interrogation background checks Cheney-flavored Freudian slip there, old buddy?

No, I don't advocate water-boarding, concrete floor shackling, stress positions, beatings, and confinement in small cages for firearm purchasers.

So you're opposed to mandated firearm safety training and equate that with NSA spying?

Really??? I'll let you think about that for a minute.

Your fears of the hypothetical notwithstanding, there has never been a need for a 30 round magazine for self defense. Not even in New Orleans. This reality has been ignored because your fear-filled dark fantasy world holds more sway than facts.

Would you like an RPG with that 30 round mag, just to feel safe? How about a few grenades? Maybe a .50 caliber with armor piercing rounds will help you feel safer too.

Or maybe no amount of firepower can reduce your fear.

Obviously you are arguing from emotional response rather than fact based reason. I think your reading comprehension suffers the same impairment.

Emotional reactions combined with firearms have a tragic history. Are you sure people like the woman shooting at shoplifters in a parking lot don't need education and training?

At 6:31 PM, Blogger T. Paine said...

Dave, I always read your posts. I often wonder if you do the courtesy of REALLY reading mine, or simply choose to skim over them.

My beliefs may very well prove to be false, my friend, but so far they sure as hell seem to be accurate. As for what you believe, I have to take you at your word, Dave, but it does become confusing when sometimes your words and what you profess don’t always align.

As for enhanced interrogation background checks, I will admit that I was being snarky and it had the expected response.

Do you know that many firearm training and safety classes are conducted by the NRA, Dave? I have even taken several myself.

If we have the federal government mandate such things, they will also have a registry of everyone that owns a firearm. (I am being naïve and foolish and assuming they are obeying the law and not keeping such records currently.) Such registries sure make it easier when the federal government thinks that enough is enough and does an Australian-style across-the-board handgun ban. They will know right where to go to get those guns from all of the law abiding citizens. I guess the criminals will still get to keep theirs though, by definition. That should make us all feel safer, right?

As for my hypothetical 30-round magazines, I would advocate for those based on watching the human condition in America and throughout the world. It isn’t a matter of fear, but a matter of being prepared in the unlikely event that such a tool is ever needed. Better than needing it, and not having it, huh…? Weren't you ever a Boy Scout, Dave? Their motto is "Be Prepared".

As for the woman shooting at the shoplifters, she should be prosecuted for using unwarranted deadly force. Assuming she is found guilty, that would make her a felon and preclude her from owning a firearm. Her foolishness and lack of proper training and common sense should get her some jail time.

Training, safety instruction, and weapons ethics and civil codes knowledge should be sought out by every responsible gun owner. The government doesn’t need to be involved in such services that are already offered everywhere by more efficient and better qualified sources – like the NRA. As usual, my leftist friends always look to the damned government to take care of what they can do by themselves.

At 8:10 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Are you sure you don't need artillery and armored fighting vehicle support? Maybe a tank is just what your fears require for self defense, especially in your fantasy war with the federal government.

And as we all know, "when flamethrowers are outlawed, only outlaws will have flamethrowers".

"Being prepared" for civilian combat requiring 30 round mags, or more, is clearly paranoid. If ten rounds can't make you feel safe, nothing will, my friend. Seriously.

Training, safety instruction, and weapons ethics and civil codes knowledge should be sought out by every responsible gun owner.

Good. I agree. Then why not test for it?

"Should", but hey, no need to require it, right? I can argue those who do not do so, are automatically NOT "good guys with guns" and contribute to the problem.

But "freedom", right? Freedom from responsibility. Because otherwise "tyranny", right?

Is it "freedom", or chaos and insanity, to have untrained users of deadly force at large everywhere and anywhere? Do you believe any non-felon or anyone not mentally ill can and should be armed regardless of safety training?

Perhaps we should forget about requiring a license to drive as well? Let's also let anyone fly a plane, practice law and medicine, and run day care centers while we're on our "freedom" kick. Damn gubmint anyway. How is public safety any of their business?

If a hypothetical, and an almost certainly unlikely, confiscation, along with a similarly unlikely hypothetical war against the federal government, are your reasons to allow untrained fools running loose with weapons, then your argument against a sane proposal is truly cloaked behind paranoia.

You accuse me of being afraid of a “scary 30-round magazine”. I'm not, of course. But if so, I would at least be afraid of a potential threat that is physically real, not just dark and fearful fantasies.

You seem to be afraid of every hypothetical threat. Should we add "Liberals, commies, and gubmint! Oh, my!" to "Lions, tigers, and bears"?

I'm sorry you are so frightened that a ten round semi auto rifle and a ten round pistol won't allow you to feel safe.

There is no cure for this willful self-induced paranoia.

Unfortunately the madness is fueled by those on the Right with a political agenda. Their agenda also includes war as the first option, lower taxes for the rich, fewer rules for Wall Street and polluters, no public health care, and less help for the unemployed and poor.

Or in their words, "freedom".

At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Southern Redneck said...

Hey Sh*t for brains Deegan, Stuff does happen.

Stuff like murder has happened for thousands of years and stuff like murder will happen in the future.

Do you more people are killed with hammers than guns? That more people are killed by knives than guns?

What about all the negroes living on the Liberal Plantation shooting themselves every weekend. How come you never rant about that?

You and I know Bernie the commie can never win the general election.

And what about Hillary's poll numbers? Hers are heading for the toilet too. I would like to see that lying dumb bitch who sold favors in an orange jumpsuit in prison.

At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Yankee Sharpshooter said...

I love it when they slither out from under their rock pile. Southern Redneck is clearly a racist idiot.

Do you more people are killed with hammers than guns? That more people are killed by knives than guns?

The only people who "know" this either have siblings for parents or have been sucking lead paint chips in the hot southern sun.

There is no "liberal plantation", only the failure of American capitalism to provide jobs.

So he yearns for the old plantation days when Blacks knew their place.

To our national disgrace, his racist hatred and ignorance are shared by many con-servative Americans.

Will one of them condemn this person's hate and ignorance? I doubt it. That also says something about the entire con-servative ideology.

At 2:49 PM, Anonymous John said...

Global Warming science is not unsettled, the scientists are. The science is fairly straight forward, but it pays virtually nothing to be right and 29 billion to be wrong. So they join the Global Warming Scientology and squawk "The sky is falling, the sky is falling bwaaack buck buck". Just follow the money. Scientists are no less whores than are government employees when they are de facto government employees.

At 3:10 PM, Anonymous Southern Redneck said...

Yankee Sharpshooter,

I was wrong.

More people are killed with hammers than rifles.

More people are killed by knives than rifles.

For where the murders mostly occur with handguns, check the stats for all the Liberal Plantation shitholes like Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, Newark, ... with the toughest gun laws. These cities are the results of "leaning forward" progressive policies. The War On Poverty is one of AmeriKa's biggest failures. You won't read that fact in any of Noam Chomsky's or Howard Zinn's books.

At 3:18 PM, Anonymous wayne said...

The cult Of Global Warming and even more their extreme left wing political allies continue to lie to us rather than focus on science. They prefer to scare and intimidate to get their greedy hands on trillions of our dollars and dictatorial power. Obama is the biggest hypocrite of all. He never hesitates to jump on Airforce One to go play golf spewing out more Greenhouse gases in one trip than 10000 families in there lifetimes.

At 3:28 PM, Anonymous James Hansen said...

We're all familiar with President Eisenhower's oft-quoted "military-industrial complex" portion of his farewell address, but few ever actually read it or refer to the other important admonition he made:

"Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite."

Ike certainly nailed it on the head with the current hijacking of public policy by the Climate-Hysteria Industry, didn't he? Just follow the money.

At 5:08 PM, Anonymous Yankee Sharpshooter said...

Southern Redneck admits he was wrong. Good. So what does he do about it? He makes even more claims not backed by evidence.

Poverty is a direct result of the failure of capitalism, just as the first Republican Great Depression and the Great Bush Recession were. You won't see those facts on FOX.

The war on poverty seeks to ameliorate the harm done by capitalism's failures.

It puts food on the tables of the unemployed. Not a failure by any measure. Racists will gladly take their food stamps and unemployment money as they bitch about the "others" who also need it.

That's how they roll.

The Oil Can Cult hates science, hates government, hates journalism, hates education, hates well, everybody not stupid enough to be like them.

Exxon knew about global warming but decided to do what Big Tobacco did and deny any harm from their product.

Exxon: The Road Not Taken

Exxon's Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels' Role in Global Warming Decades Ago

And still the brainwashed Oil Can Cult sucks up corporate PR as the "truth".

Of course they do. Ignorance is bliss, and hate is their creed.

At 6:08 PM, Anonymous Southern Redneck said...

Eat Shit Yankee Sharpshooter.

The liberals own the problems of the policies of the "Great Society". It and the "War On Poverty" did not cure poverty. It bred poverty.



Who is left for the DemocRats?

Joe Biden?

Pocahantus Warren and her high cheekbones?

At 6:25 PM, Anonymous Yankee Sharpshooter said...

Southern Redneck is getting very angry.

Southern Redneck is getting so angry he missed this:

guns or
type not

Southern Redneck will get more angry now. Maybe he wants to shoot him some libruls.

At 6:42 PM, Anonymous John said...

The other John said...
>> Global Warming science is not unsettled, the scientists are.

True science is always subject to question - but as the evidence mounts supporting a theory, you do gain confidence that it is correct....

>> The science is fairly straight forward, but it pays virtually nothing to be right and 29 billion to be wrong.

Nice point - when you have so much money, you can buy your own truth...

>> So they join the Global Warming Scientology and squawk "The sky is falling, the sky is falling bwaaack buck buck". Just follow the money. Scientists are no less whores than are government employees when they are de facto government employees.

I'm not sure what you are getting at, but I'll go with it... I don't remember who I'm paraphrasing, but it is something to the affect, "no one can forget the truth as well as someone who's job depends on it". This is the principle Monsanto is utilizing when they fund programs at nearly all of the agricultural colleges, their own employees and government agencies like the FDA & USDA who's management has rotated in from Monsanto. If you control all of the voices, you control the message. It happens in every business sector that has questionable morality, it doesn't matter if the consequence of an activity is environmental, economic or social. If there is profit to be made, someone will be there to put a sugar coating on the bad news.

The first 'John' - no more posts from me on this thread.


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