Thursday, January 13, 2011

As I watch a flag being raised to comfort a family and a nation...

...I know that Nicholas Kristof is correct.  The gun industry has much to be desired.

...To protect the public, (click link to title - thank you) we regulate cars and toys, medicines and mutual funds. So, simply as a public health matter, shouldn’t we take steps to reduce the toll from our domestic arms industry?...

There is extremely poor quality control, especially in ammunition. 

I live in North Carolina most of the time.  It is my state of residence.  One might say I am no one to talk as I don't own a gun nor would I ever.  I don't shoot guns, nor would I ever.  However and much to my dismay I have friends and family that own and target shoot at local ranges.

There are different grades of ammunition that can be purchased to use in a weapon when arriving at the firing range.  The ammunition in nearly every trip to the range has disappointed someone in attendance.  There was one occassion whereby a nephew was with my son and his wife while practicing, so whatever it is they do.  The gun was lent to my nephew by a man at the range when they were having a conversation.  This was not an inexpensive weapon, but, one that anyone would want to own.  The ammunition was not cheap, but, after the second shot my nephew found he had smoke coming out of the side of the gun and his right cheek was splattered with a small amount of blood.  He was wearing protective googles and didn't have a splinter of any kind in his eye, but, he had a bruise and a cut that healed with some attendence of a bandage change and some ointment.

In another instance my daughter-in-law was firing her personal gun when she started to experience missed shots and found the bullets didn't fire correctly.  There was nothing wrong with the gun, but, with the ammunition purchased at the firing range.

There is no one I know that does not carry their own personal weapons to these firing ranges, so the guns are maintained and kept in good condtion.  Those blasted things are not cheap and neither is attending a firing range for an afternoon.

The point is the quality of the metal of bullet casings, the gun powder inside and the quality of the metal of the guns themselves REGARDLESS of their cost or their brand name is extremely CHEAP and dangerous and UNREGULATED.

In the case of the incident of my nephew, the owner was distressed more over the fact the gun literally blew up more so than the would my nephew sustained.  He was obsessed with taking pictures of the gun to file a complaint and a claim evidently.  The gun was relatively new and not an antique or otherwise. 

The gun industry is like the oil and gas industry, they are turned loose in the USA to do as they please with absolutely NO oversight and it is always the public that pays the price in one way or another.

The Southern Hemisphere caught in "Cliamte Crisis."

Cars sit in debris in Teresopolis, 65 kilometres north of Rio de Janeiro, on Wednesday. (Roberto Ferreira/Agencia O Dia/Associated Press)
Survivors of mudslides (click here) in mountain towns north of Rio de Janeiro recounted Thursday the horrors of watching homes swept away by walls of earth and water and of frantic efforts to dig with bare hands and reach trapped neighbours....

..."I don't even have the words to describe what I've seen," said Ramos, as she started on an eight-kilometre hike to the main part of her town, hoping to find food and water. "A lot of our friends are dead or missing. There are people we may never find."...

January 13, 2011
1219 GMT
Brazil Satellite

Janaury 13, 2011
1222 GMT
Western Hemisphere Satellite

And in Australia...

...They come seeking (click here) news of loved ones, appealing to their neighbours or friends for information, posting photos, and detailing their last known movements.
These are not official missing-person reports but two-line messages posted to sites such as Facebook and Twitter where the power of social networks is being harnessed to locate relatives and pets caught out by rising flood waters in Queensland....

The Australians and their government were worried about losing Brisbane completely.

Bligh urges caution after drain death

Queensland premier Anna Bligh warns residents of the dangers of floodwater after a 24-year-old man was swept to his death down a Brisbane drain....

I would not put a great deal of faith in the telecommuications network in the area.  The region maybe, but, the area where the floods exist should resort to 'tried and true' methods of emergency communications.  It isn't just software, it is hardware that is in need of repair.

Coastal and lowlands. 


A Telstra St George exchange sandbagged and wrapped in plastic

...Telecommunications networks (click here)  in Queensland are being hammered by the floods, with several exchanges offline and more outages expected as back-up batteries run out in power-affected areas.
Tens of thousands of people are without mobile, landline or internet access, despite telcos using helicopters, sandbags and plastic wrappings to protect their sites from water damage.
"We have a lot of damaged infrastructure but more importantly our biggest issue is access to power," a Telstra spokeswoman said....


Flood peaks in Brisbane

The flooded Brisbane River spills into residential areas close to the CBD. Photo: REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

..."Well over 100mm of rain  (click here) had already fallen around the lake since Friday, but yesterday an incredible further 249mm fell in just 24 hours. This wall of water is now being released by the dam and is heading towards Brisbane," says Mr Duncan.
A total of 370mm of rain has fallen in the area in just five days....

The average rainfall for Brisbane over a record from 1840 - 1994 is 159.6 mm.  (click here)

The mean for January is 159.6 mm and Brisbane received 370 mm in five days due to a deluge of water.  It stressed its infrastructure completely and challenged its dams.

China needs to pay attention.  The Three Gorges Dam has to be managed exceptionally well in this climate.

Brisbane not only had a ridiculously high amount of rainfall, it is completely unchararcteristic of the area in the last thirty years.  The mean in the last thirty years in Brisbane has been well below average.  Australia has been in drought conditions.

The Climate Crisis and fiscally challenged governments is not a good combination.

When meterologists glibbly state, "It is La Nina."  WITHOUT explaining the Climate Crisis dynamics along with it, they are dead wrong.

...But according to climate researcher David Karoly (click title to entry - thank you) from the University of Melbourne, the strong La Niña isn’t solely responsible for this year’s heavy Australian rainfall. The sea surface temperatures around Australia, rather than just its northeastern region, also contribute to the rains in Queensland, he says.
“What gives very heavy rainfall is high Indian Ocean temperatures and La Niña in the Pacific,” Karoly explains. “This year we have both of those, and both are at record highs.”...

There is nothing here, but, an angry young man loosening his associations while preparing an act of violence.

...He sang to himself in the library. (click title to entry - thank you) He spoke out of turn. And in an act the college finally decided merited his suspension, he made a bizarre posting on YouTube linking the college to genocide and the torture of students.
“This is my genocide school,” the narrator on the video said, describing the college as “one of the biggest scams in America.” “We are examining the torture of students,” the narrator said.
The documents offer vivid firsthand accounts of Mr. Loughner’s contacts with law enforcement officials in the months leading up to the shootings, and will inevitably be studied closely for answers to whether the college did everything it could have, and should have, with him....

Anti-social behavior, seemingly strange and unexplained behavior that is attention seeking and bold, confronting authorities, confronting police, etc.  The school is lucky he didn't cut loose in a classroom which is why there was a new committee set up.

He practiced with guns, he had at least one friend. 

Sorry.  He is not craxy.

...Many acquaintances and friends and fellow students at the college have talked about his outbursts and inappropriate behavior. The reports describe how Mr. Loughner behaved when confronted or questioned about his actions, and the images and perceptions that officers from the college’s Department of Public Safety recorded show a mixture of behaviors, by turns odd, belligerent or silent and removed, sometimes all in the same encounter....

He was a very disturbing individual.  Obviously.  If he could have been arrested I am confident the police would have done it.  He was smart, he knew how far to go.  He didn't want his plans messed up.  It sounds to me as though he was ready to die for his cause.   He was simply preparing to do so in the only way he knew how.  I couldn't be more sincere and I am not one that favors the death penalty either.

One other thing.  There is nothing at this point that says 'his will' was cast in iron.  He could have easily gone through a complete turn around and simply walked away with gross embarassment with his peers.  I am sure his friends were 'calling him' on his attitude and his behavior in hopes he would do exactly that. 


...At one point, Mr. Loughner said he had paid for his classes illegally, according to Mr. Conover, and when pressed he said, “I did not pay with gold and silver.” Mr. Conover said that throughout the meeting, “Jared held himself very rigidly and smiled overtly at inappropriate times.”...

That is an integrated part of the Right Wing value system.  DON'T TRUST THE COUNTRY'S CURRENCY.

...After an incident in February 2010 in which Mr. Loughner blurted out in a poetry class that dynamite ought to be attached to babies, a campus police officer wrote, “I suggested they keep an eye on him and call us if anything else developed that concerned them.”...

Ah, yes.  Where have I heard this before?

Poetry class.  Yep.