Monday, March 25, 2013

I apologize to the people of Newtown, Connecticut.

We live in a country where freedom of speech is suppose to be respected above all other means of participation in our society. Rather unfortunately, that means robocalls from offensive parties. 

Posted: 03/25/2013 
Last Updated: 13 hours ago
NEWTOWN, Conn. - NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — Some residents (click here) in Newtown, Conn., say they're outraged at receiving robocalls from the National Rifle Association only three months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings....
It can be argued the calls should be limited to members only in areas of the country most effected by gun violence. People have a right to recover from violence without such insults. To limit robocalls to members is to realize there is a percentage of the American populous interested in what the NRA states.
The NRA is incapable of conscience. They are unable to apologize for the unlawful use and sales of guns. The leadership would have realized the silenced voices due to gun violence are more powerful than any telephone call that seeks to make gun owners victims. Gun owners are not victims of any government actions. Quite the contrary, we can all benefit from sincere responsible gun ownership.
I don't know if the families of the victims in Newtown realize standing together and bringing their stories to powerful companies actually works when it comes to guns. In 2009, two of the victims of Columbine had a profound impact on the executives of K-Mart when they asked for the sales of ammo to stop. K-mart did stop selling it. I have made purchases at K-Mart and even had prescriptions filled there, but, I won't go to Walmart.
Walmart is the store where the gunman in Arizona purchased his ammunition. It is sadly ironic to realize Walmart finds the highest profits of Wall Street.
AP/ April 29, 2009, 9:59 PM
At Kmart stores across the country, (click here) shoppers cruising the aisles for diapers, garden hoses and microwave popcorn can also find ammunition for everything from pellet guns to handguns.

But some of those shelves soon will be empty as Kmart phases out the sale of handgun ammunition over the next three months.

Company officials made the announcement Thursday following meetings that included company executives, a prominent gun-control advocate and victims of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting.

Kmart stores have not carried handguns since the 1970s, but still sell hunting rifles and other long guns. For some time, the Troy, Mich.-based company has been under pressure from gun-control advocates to stop selling firearms....
The point is families and victims are powerful in the USA. Their reality can't be denied. I applaud them and apologize for what they are going through because they have inherited the power of being victims of gun violence in the USA.

I recently moved to Monroe County I have a K-Mart and a Wallmart right across the street from each other. As far as a can tell they sell a lot of the same stuff... at about the same price. I have only been into Kmart once... and that was to see what they had. I saw what they did not have...Ammo.

It seems that K-mart took all the ammo out of their stores. As a result I only go to Wallmart to shop. The way it usually works is that I either go to Wallmart to buy things for the house, and buy six boxes of ammo while there.... or I go to Wallmart to buy Ammo, and end up buying other things for the house. Given that I just had a new house built, you can imagine the amount of money I have spent at Wallmart since in the last 6 months. Hint... over $3,000. This is all money the K-Mart did not get because they do not carry ammo. I hope this message gets around to K-Mart.

There is one other issue that does not involve robocalls. It is the donations made to the people of Newtown. I thought the article in the NYTimes was noteworthy. So while the families and victims are at the forefront of improving the quality of life of a nation through advocacy, they also have another responsibility. This responsibility might be more immediately rewarding. They have monies to direct from the people that sincerely do care.

...Now, with almost all the money still unspent, (click here) sharply differing views are emerging over what exactly should be done with it.
The bulk of the money, $10.2 million, was donated to the United Way of Western Connecticut, and has been transferred to a local foundation that will decide who should receive it and when, and how much should be set aside for community needs like counseling and long-term issues.
But this weekend, 50 parents and family members directly affected by mass tragedies, including those that occurred at Aurora, Columbine, the World Trade Center and Virginia Tech, issued a statement saying that in the past, charities had failed to distribute aid to those most in need, and that, unless donated for specific purposes, funds raised for Newtown should be sent directly to victims and victims’ families. A separate statement, signed by those family members and 14 more from Newtown, said that this should become the national model for future tragedies....
...Cristina Hassinger, the daughter of the Sandy Hook principal, Dawn Hochsprung, who was one of the 6 educators killed along with 20 children at the school on Dec. 14, said that the donated money was meant for victims and their families and should go directly to them....
I agree with Cristina. This is an opportunity for state legislators and governors to seek to make these donated monies achieve their intended goals. These monies were not a result of a fund raising effort. These monies were given out of grief and in hopes it would ease the suffering of those involved. I hope the state governments protect the interest of the victims and their families as was intended by other citizens of this country wanting to help, but, lacking for another expression.
In no way should such a tragedy benefit budgets and treasuries of organizations. The organizations were entrusted with the monies by others in expectations it would reach it's intended purpose.
I wish the families and victims of these American tragedies peace in their lives.

Don't let the Republicans run out the clock.

video

Talk is cheap. But, to allow needed legislation extend into next year for the sake of a political issue in 2014 is simply wrong. This announcement by President Obama was on June 15, 2012. Two years from that date places The Dreamers outside the impact of this Executive Order long before the November elections. 

The Immigration Reform legislation has to go forward now. I would encourage the USA Senate to write the Immigration Reform Bill and vote to pass it as soon as possible. If President Obama was able to act last year, the Congress should be ready to act as well. 

The elections of November 2014 is too late. It will then only be a carrot and stick measure to entice the minority voter without real resolve.

It is the coveting of 'the gun' itself. The coveting is the problem. Militarized values of a society.

These are the weapons used at Sandy Hook Elementary School. 

How did they get there?

Yes, the media finds violence a very interesting venue, but, there is also a personal coveting that takes place when one owns a gun. The advertisements of these weapons happen nearly on a continuous basis in news reporting across the USA. The news reporting in the USA based on violence and guns far out weighs the reporting on any other topic. And forget it, any environmental issue is never put first or in the headlines. Our heroes are not Climate Scientists, they are Rambo. 

How does that happen?

News reporting is not weighted to it's social value? Why not? Why is there disproportionate reporting of violence across the USA?

It is no different than when a person purchases a new computer or a new car or a used car, there is a personal coveting that occurs. 

The same thing with guns. In order to purchase a gun there has to be a reason to do that. A need of some kind. Isn't it the job of advertisers to create a need where one does not exist for such offensive items?

That said, try a thought experiment. Put a picture of a military style weapon on the refrigerator. See what family says and then realize you have just introduced an image that will result in discussions about the purpose of that image.

Then think about purchasing one and putting in the house. Then realize the more invested a person is in the outcome to the monies they spent the more there will be a presence of that item in the life of that person(s).

A computer isn't purchased because it collects dust. It is purchased and used. A car is not purchased to put in the driveway so the neighbors will drool, it is used in the lives of those that own it. Realize that a coveting takes place first to purchase these weapons and then after they are purchased. There is no sense in having one if it is not used to build a competency in handling it. Seriously. The gun becomes an issue in the house if there is no competency in using it.

So, the entire mess of having these weapons among the people begins LONG before they are purchased. I think that is a valid point of view. We don't allow cigarette commercials on television, either. There is a reason for that.

These guns need to be made obsolete in the USA. The numbers of them in our society is far too high. They are bought by straw purchasers with impunity. They cause insults to the USA national security and to national security of other nations, namely Mexico as an example.

Enough of this mess. We need to stop it.

Talking about 'getting it.' Iraq can't value life the same as the rest of the Arab nations?

Secretary of State John Kerry (right) with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad. "I made it very clear . . . anything that supports [Syria's] President Assad is problematic," Kerry said.


POSTED: Monday, March 25, 2013, 3:01 AM

BAGHDAD - Just days (click here) after the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry confronted Baghdad for continuing to grant Iran access to its airspace and said Iraq's behavior was raising questions about its reliability as a partner.

Speaking to reporters during a previously unannounced trip to Baghdad, Kerry said that he and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had engaged in "a very spirited discussion" on the Iranian flights, which U.S. officials believe are ferrying weapons and fighters intended for the embattled Syrian government.

Kerry said the plane shipments - along with material being trucked across Iraqi territory from Iran to Syria - were helping President Bashar al-Assad's regime cling to power by increasing their ability to strike at Syrian rebels and opposition figures demanding Assad's ouster....

It takes a former Presidential candidate.

Thank you, Secretary Kerry. Job well done.

I have a request of the Secretary. This isn't really about foreign policy. Next time he has a moment, could he ask his spouse to consider producing Catsup in addition to Ketchup. Heinz is a wonderful company with high quality products, but, they need to offer an alternative to sugar in the condiment.

Thanks. Keep up the good work.


video

This video shows rescuers removing a child, (click here) said to be alive, from the rubble of a collapsed building in the al-Sukkari neighborhood of Aleppo on Wednesday. Dozens of people standing atop the rubble searching for survivors celebrated the rescue. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in Britain, said airstrikes in al-Sukkari and in another part of Aleppo killed 13 civilians, including seven children, on Wednesday. At least four apartment buildings were destroyed by the airstrikes.

Baghdad can claim responsibility for this in an international criminal court.

30 round clips were used at Columbine High School. When is this insanity going to end?

The articles below are from Forbes Magazine. The section of the magazine where these articles appear is called "SECURITY." I think they 'get it.' It is time the Congress does.

1/14/2013 @ 3:43PM
Five months ago, (click here) the group of homemade gun enthusiasts known as Defense Distributed set out to create a lethal firearm that could be downloaded and 3D-printed entirely from scratch, circumventing all gun control laws. But as new gun bills have been proposed in the wake of recent shootings, creating a bootleg weapon with digital pieces may soon be far easier: As simple as printing a spring-loaded plastic box.
Over the past weekend, Defense Distributed successfully 3D-printed and tested an ammunition magazine for an AR semi-automatic rifle, loading and firing 86 rounds from the 30-round clip....
The Downloads are going to happen anyway. National Security can easily be introduced into the priority to end the potential of dead police nationwide. We need our first arrest of criminals. I doubt any city in the country needs the drug cartels to have this capacity. The law needs to be passed now.

1/16/2013 @ 4:34PM
...To head off those proposed regulations, (click here) Defense Distributed began offering downloadable and printable blueprints for a 30-round magazine on its website, Defcad.org, over the weekend on its website. The group’s founder Cody Wilson told me earlier in the week that files for the three pieces of the group’s printable magazine have been downloaded from its website more than 2,200 times already.
Wilson says Congressman Israel’s call to ban the devices will only increase that steady flow of downloads. “I love it. It’s so reactionary,” he said when I reached him by phone. “I hope he gets tons of attention for this push, and that people download hundreds of thousands of magazines.”
The details of Israel’s suggested ban aren’t entirely clear. Plastic and polymer high-capacity magazines are already common, and aren’t currently covered by the current Undetectable Firearms law. So it would seem Israel would need to distinguish between those plastic magazines and 3D-printable ones, or ban possession of all non-metal high-capacity magazines outright....

"Morning Papers" - It's Origins (click here - thank you)

The Rooster

"Okeydoke"


VOA News

"Good Night, Moon"

Waxing Gibbous

94% Full

March 21, 2013
By Ben Rankin

Asteroids: NASA say best way to handle moon rock heading to Earth is to Pray. (click here)


The head of NASA revealed that the best way to handle a large asteroid heading for Earth... is to PRAY.
Charles Bolden told Congress that prayer was all the experts or anyone else could currently do about asteroids that may be on a collision course with the planet.
Over 1,500 people were injured when a meteor exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, last month - generating shock waves that shattered windows and damaged buildings.
On the same day, an asteroid discovered last year passed 17,200 miles from Earth, closer than television satellites that ring the planet.
When asked what Nasa's plans were if an asteroid was heading for New York, Bolden said: "The answer to you is 'pray'."
Democrat Eddie Johnson added: "We were lucky recent events were a coincidence, not a disaster."
A Moon Rock heading to Earth?
Huh?
What makes anyone think there is going to be pieces of the Moon coming to Earth? That satellite hasn't moved or spewed volcanic fragments since the Earth found an atmosphere. 
Moon Rock heading to Earth.
Right.
NASA said this? 
Really?