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Where Are the Anti-Police State Cliven Bundy Supporters on Behalf of Michael Brown?

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, August 18, 2014

Last April, Federal agents from the Bureau of Land Management (BLS) arrived at the home of Cliven Bundy, a cattle rancher that has been grazing his cattle on public land for the last 20 years without reimbursing the government for upkeep of that land, to evict his cattle from said public land and demand he pay the $1 million dollars in back-owed grazing fees. This sparked a face-off between redneck anti-government armed militia “Freedom Riders” and federal law enforcement. Bundy supporters decried the “jack-booted” thuggary of Federal law enforcement and declared that THIS was “exactly why we have a Second Amendment!” (no, it’s not.) Four months later, an over-militarized police force in up-armored land-mine resistant vehicles with machine-gun turrets on top, launched teargas grenades and fired rubber bullets into crowds of protestors in Ferguson, Missouri, and the same people who vilified the authorities for attempting to force Bundy to comply with the law, are stunningly silent when it comes to defending the mostly black protesters being confronted by a paramilitary police force as they attempt to express their First Amendment right to publicly protest.

One can’t help but wonder what Bundy supporters’ reaction would be if hoards of armed black protestors were training their weapons on Federal law enforcement officers. Where are the militia teanuts rushing to the defense of black protesters in opposition to the heavy-handed police tactics being employed in Ferguson, Missouri? How is the almost-hyperbolic militaristic response to a public protest not a “call to arms” for every anti-government militia group in the country?

Rancher Bundy acknowledged that he was in defiance of the law and thumbing his nose at Federal Law enforcement, stating clearly that he simply “did not recognize the authority” of the Federal Government over him. He went to court numerous times to defend his right to use public land without paying for its upkeep, and lost every time. And when the BLS came knocking on his door, demanding he pay nearly a million dollars in 20 years worth of back-owed grazing fees, armed militia groups from neighboring states rushed to his defense, railing against the “Police-State” federal government’s “jack-booted thugs” persecuting a poor innocent cattle rancher. Yes, poor, innocent, admitted criminal, government welfare moocher Cliven Bundy. When those same supporters showed up with guns and trained them on police officers, the BLS wisely just backed off and said, “You’re not worth it.” Fox “news” gave the “Bundy Standoff” wall-to-wall coverage, sending camera crews to cast protestors in the most sympathetic light (until Bundy started talking about “the Neg’ras”.)
 

Protesters in Ferguson, MO defying police
Black protestors in Ferguson, MO

 

Protesters at Bundy Ranch in Nevada defying police
Bundy supporter Eric Parker from central Idaho
Militiaman in support of Cliven Bundy Militiaman blows war horn in Call to Arms Bundy supporters in defiance of Authorities

 

Let’s be clear about one thing: Those of us who defended the government against Bundy are NOT “hypocrites” for now criticizing the governments response to protesters regarding the shooting-death of an unarmed black teen (who was in the process of surrendering to authorities after already being shot twice, then shot three to six more times til he was dead) last week. Bundy was already in defiance of the law and there was no question of his guilt when federal authorities arrived to fine… not arrest… Mr. Bundy.

Despite a video released after-the-fact that appears to show Brown committing petty theft (taking a handful of cigars from a local convenience store), the officer who shot the unarmed Brown twice when he grabbed Brown through the window of his police car, then fired 3-6 more shots killing him as Brown attempted to surrender, did not know about the robbery when he confronted Brown. And regardless, YOU DON’T SHOOT AN UNARMED MAN EVEN ONCE (let alone EIGHT TIMES) while they are in the process of surrendering.

The always excellent Media Matters also noticed the hypocrisy of Fox radio host and frequent Fox “news” contributor Laura Ingraham, who chastised the Media for inflaming the situation in Ferguson, saying that their presence there was only making the situation worse as protesters were “playing to the cameras”, likening them to “a lynch mob”. But four months ago, Ingraham struck a very different tune as she appeared repeatedly on Fox to describe the pro-Bundy armed militia protesters as “engaging in an act of civil disobedience”, chastising the federal government for its “ridiculously disproportionate response.”

Quite honestly, when I started work on this op/ed and Googled “Cliven Bundy” “Michael Brown”, I expected to see… at the very least… a half dozen other sites questioning the stunningly different reactions towards the use of military-style police force against protesters… one white, armed to the teeth, defending a man in flagrant violation of the law threatening the use of violence against a very menacing-looking police force… the other black, unarmed (alleged reports of “Molotov-cocktails” being thrown at police have never been substantiated), teargassed and shot with rubber bullets by local police in military vehicles wearing camouflage (in the city?) in full riot gear. I didn’t. Not one single news story remarking on the disconnect, and not even a handful of stories on the web (perhaps three) commenting on the obvious hypocrisy. But I expect that number to grow quickly.

I also expect to see the NRA out there any day now defending the black protestors’ right to take up arms against local authorities.

NOT.

UPDATE: Almost on cue: Fox defends Ferguson police response as “What needed to happen”.

So predictable.

 



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Filed in Crime, Guns & Violence, Politics, Racism, Right-Wing Hypocrisy August 18th, 2014 by Admin Mugsy | • 15 comments | Add/View

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Mugsy’s Annual Predictions for 2014: No more predictions for Syria (kinda)

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, December 30, 2013

I never put any stock in “13” being an “unlucky number”, but after the year I just had, one can’t help but wonder.

My predictions for 2013 were a bit rushed. I cranked them out at the last minute as I spent my days preoccupied trying to save the life of my beloved cat “Lefty”. One year later, my days are now preoccupied trying to save the life of my mother. And in both instances, gross medical negligence is to blame. The frustration I feel is profound as I watch helplessly as another loved-one fights for life following the harm done to them by incompetent doctors, with no legal recourse because of the state I live in (Texas). So please bear that in mind if my predictions for 2014 seem a bit bleak.

We begin by looking back at how well the “Professionals” did at making predictions for 2013. I may not get 100% of my predictions right… or even 75%…, but compared to some of the so-called “experts”, I should be sitting on a mountain top somewhere, an oracle allowing but a brave few to ask “Just one question”.

First off, can I just say that if you publish your “Predictions” AFTER December 31st, you’re not “predicting”, you’re reporting the news.

With that said, here is what some famous “psychics” predicted we’d see in 2013:

Sylvia Browne

Maybe it’s a bit unfair, but I love picking on self-proclaimed “psychics” because their accuracy is always dismal. But they make so many predictions, that when one or two pan out, the media responds as if that person has “second sight” and deserving of being taken very seriously.

Famed “psychic” Sylvia Browne passed away in November. It almost seems crewel to “fact check” Miss Browne posthumously, but when you’re as big a name in the “predicting” biz as she was, maybe keeping her on the list is a sign of respect for her particular brand of hucksterism. In 2012, Ms. Browne predicted President Obama would NOT be reelected; in a 2006 appearance on “The Montel Williams Show”, she told the mother of one of the three girls that had been held captive by that nut in Ohio for over a decade only to escape earlier this year, that her daughter was dead and would be waiting for her on the other side (the mother died the next year), and on that same show, Browne told a widow whose husbands’ body “was never found” that he was “in water”, presumably lost at sea. It turns out the woman was the widow of a 9/11 fireman.

As I noted, Ms. Browne passed away in November. Apparently, she never saw it coming because she booked no less than 14 public appearances from December of 2013 to April of 2014. If you want to read her final list of predictions for 2013, you must purchase an ANNUAL membership to her “inner circle” for a minimum buy in of $49.95 or an EIGHTEEN MONTH membership for $79.95 (which, if you do the math, is slightly more expensive than just buying 1-year memberships.) Seeing as how Ms. Browne is no longer with us, anyone who purchases a 12 or 18 month membership at this point to find out what she has to say next deserves to have their money taken from them. They’re still taking Reservations if you wish to meet her.

Psychic-to-the-Stars: “Nikki”

It’s funny how many people bestow upon themselves the title “Psychic to the Stars”. I suppose if two “stars” just happen to meet the same psychic backstage at a taping of “A Sucker’s Born Every Minute”, they can call themselves a “Psychic to the Stars”. But type the phrase into Google, and top of the list is “Nikki”… whom apparently shall remain last-nameless. Among Nikki’s predictions for 2013:

“Nikki’s” list of predictions for 2013 reads like a script for the next Hollywood blockbuster disaster movie. Of the 115 World Events she predicts, EIGHTY (by my count) fall into the “death & destruction” category.

Of course, when you make well over 100 predictions, random chance almost ensures a few hits (“even a blind squirrel finds a nut now & then”):

  1. More cyber attacks. – There were four notable instances of computer crime this year: Britain’s NatWest Bank was the victim of a distributed denial of service (“DDoS”) attack that inconvenienced thousands of customers for a few days, the Bank of China was hacked by (reportedly) some frustrated “BitCoin” users, North Korea is believed to be behind a cyber attack on South Korean TV stations and two banks, and, of course, more significantly, the recent hack of some 40 million “Target” store customer’s credit cards here in the U.S.. Personally, I suspect that if asked for more detail, Ms. Nikki was expecting an attack more along the lines of a “terrorist” nature, not kids hacking credit cards.
  2. A major automobile company will go bankrupt. – You know what, I’m feeling generous and will give “Detroit Declares Bankruptcy” to Ms. Nikki. The auto-companies themselves might have declared “record PROFITS” this past year (their best since 2007), but the city synonymous with the auto-industry did in fact (thanks to a Republican appointed viceroy who dismantled the local government, disenfranchised nearly a million people and is now liquidating the city’s treasures) “declare bankruptcy”. Probably not what she was predicting, but there you are.
  3. Great floods in the US and in Europe – Yes, massive floods did indeed hit Colorado and Central Europe this year.

3-for-115 (she actually made many more predictions than that if you count “celebrity” predictions), for an accuracy rate of 2.6%… and that was after being a bit generous. It’s up to you to decide whether “Ms. Nikki” is psychic or just guessing.

The Psychic Twins

A sister duo dubbed “The Psychic Twins” are laying claim to a number of accurate predictions in 2013, including the “Lone Wolf” shootings in DC’s “Navy Yard” a knife attack by a mentally disturbed student at a Houston Community College (that I just happened to attend some 20 years ago) that ran around stabbing other students with a craft-knife, and an armed gunmen at North Carolina’s A&T University that was subdued before a single shot was fired.

They also predicted strict new gun laws passed in Connecticut just days after the Sandy Hook massacre. They MUST be psychic!

“The Psychic Twins” appear to only make their predictions on video, and I have neither the time nor the inclination to spend hours verifying their accuracy, though I have little doubt it would be another case of “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks”. This short second-hand list of their predictions for 2013 as documented by a fan is predictably (pun intended) hit & miss. Hits with further “Lone Wolf” attacks following Sandy Hook, misses on Economics (but also predicted “cyber attacks”) and vaguely all-too-general predictions of weather/natural disasters.

Last year I singled out another “celebrity psychic, Blair Robertson” for his poor performance in predicting what 2012 held in store for everyone. Mr. Robertson did a little better this year, (arguably) over his one correct prediction for 2012, correctly predicting this year that “a boxer would die in the ring” but falling short everywhere else. Robertson improved his score this year by a half-point for “predicting” Rhianna and Chris Brown would “tie the knot”. The couple played the Media like a fiddle, with photos of “a ring” and even rumors of a “secret wedding”, but no, the most famous dysfunctional couple in Hip-Hop did not in fact get married in 2013 (correct me if I’m wrong.)

Political Prognosticators

It’s a bit more difficult this year to find Republicans opining about 2013 after they all had just finished predicting a Mitt Romney landslide, “easily” winning the election as Americans were “fed up” with President Obama, “Obamacare”, “taxes” and “Benghazi”. That bubble they built up had some might thick glass.

So naturally, when Republicans carried out their threats of being even more obstructionist in 2013, the Right crowed… crowed I tell ya… how “Mitt Romney was right!” when he “predicted” a government Shutdown in 2013. It’s a bit like predicting your “homies” are going to “trash this place” if they don’t get their way, and then being lauded for your insight when they carry out your threats.

Mitt Romney also “predicted” (according to them) Detroit going bankrupt when he in fact only argued for it as being preferable to a bailout. As noted above, the only reason Detroit declared bankruptcy is because a Viceroy appointed by the state’s Republican governor made it so.

In 2010, Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn predicted that because of “Obamacare”: “There will be no insurance industry left in three years”. I have little doubt that Senator Coburn wishes millions of people had lost their insurance and the industry imploded, but darned the luck, they still exists and are expected to reap record profits next year.

Bloomberg Right-Wing News Columnist and “AEI Fellow” Ramesh Ponnuru made a number of negative predictions about President Obama and his policies. He actually didn’t do too bad until you consider how many Republican “predictions” were actually self-fulfilling prophecies. Ponnuru “predicted” the Healthcare Exchanges “would not open for business on October 1st” when Secretary Sebelius “admits the federal government won’t be ready by then.” The government was ready, the private contractors that built the glitchy website were not. They did indeed open on October 1st, but weren’t ready and had to be closed soon after for about a week. As a result, Ponnuru predicted support for Obamacare would continue to decline. If you do a Google News search for “poll support for Obamacare”, you’ll see lots of links to sites all claiming this to be true… ALL of them… each and every one… a Right Wing blog or media outlet (from the NRO to Glenn Beck). Interesting, because all the major networks are reporting how the number of people signing up for insurance through the Exchange “surged to over 1.1 Million” in December in a trend that is expected to continue.

Ponnuru also predicted the courts would continue to rebuke the Obama Administration on the rights of Catholic owned businesses to deny their employees contraception if they view it morally objectionable. The most notable of these cases, the “Hobby Lobby” case, is still waiting in the Supreme Court (see my own prediction on that below.) He also predicted The Supreme Court would find a way to weasel out of ruling on Same Sex Marriage. They didn’t, with repercussions that have led to legalization into deep Red Utah.

He predicted “a new monetary regime” between the U.S. and the U.K. that insulates both nations from the problems of Europe. No idea what he means by “a new monetary regime” even after reading his piece on the subject. Whatever it is, it never happened and Europe’s economy is starting to show signs of recovery.

More wishful thinking? “Paul Ryan,” feeling he can’t work within the GOP, “will resign” in order to “focus on running for president”? No date cited and hardly makes sense as a 2013 prediction, but maybe Ponnuru is looking to late 2014?

How I Did.

Now is the time I look back at my own predictions last year to see how I did. All year long, I thought about the predictions I made for 2013, and as I do every year, I am certain I did “incredibly poorly” that year only to look back at years end and find I didn’t do quite as bad as I thought.

  1. Correct: My first prediction regarding the “fiscal cliff”, and whether the GOP was irrational enough to go over it, had to be split into three scenarios: a) the GOP agrees to President Obama’s demand that taxes go up on people making over $250K per year, but only because they intend to hold the Debt Ceiling hostage again, b) a deal is reached only after Democrats concede to raise the starting point at which taxes go up to $500K, or c) the Bush Tax Cuts expire because no deal can be reached allowing Democrats to pass the “Obama tax cut”. It all depended upon how the GOP reacted. Knowing Scenario “c)” would be the worst possible outcome for them, the GOP agreed to a hybrid of “scenario A” and “scenario B” (pre-planning to hold the Debt Ceiling hostage while agreeing to a deal where the tax increase begins at $450K instead of $250K.)
  2. A Push: #2 was conditional on the GOP being suicidal enough to go over the cliff and refuse to raise the Debt Ceiling, forcing President Obama to invoke the 14th Amendment. They didn’t, so he didn’t have to. No way to know if he would have (though he said he wouldn’t.) I’m certain when faced with certain global economic catastrophe, he would have. And I think the GOP knew it too, the consequences of which would have been to render them irrelevant the next time a Debt Ceiling fight rolled around. So they had no choice but to cave.
  3. Wrong: Harry Reid would make good on his threat to “reform the filibuster” at the start of the session. While a “Psychic to the Stars” might take credit for the eventual decision of Reid to “go nuclear” last November, I’m no hypocrite. I was hamstrung when I made my prediction late on December 31st by the fact it might be proved false in less than 24 hours. Considering the record-setting obstructionist year we had just had, and Reid’s own admission that he was “wrong” for not reforming the filibuster the way Democrats pleaded with him to do at the start of the 2011 session. it was almost unimaginable that he would make the same mistake twice. And while he dragged his feet and messaged Senate rules to extend his time to make a decision till the end of the month, Reid did eventually cave to Republican threats, agreeing only to minor, essentially irrelevant changes… something he quickly came to regret as the GOP shutdown the government months later. The reform he finally agreed to last November likewise was only a narrow rules change affecting only the President’s judicial & Cabinet appointments.
  4. Correct: Despite promises of “Election Reform” following the mass disenfranchisement of Poor & Middle Class voters seen during Early Voting and on Election Day 2012, not a damn thing was done about it. On to 2014!
  5. Correct: The Unemployment rate, which I predicted would be “very close to 6.9% by the end of the year (give or take 3/10ths of a point).” After November, the BLS reported the Unemployment Rate had fallen to 7.0%, a 5-year low and more than a full point below where it was the year before.
  6. Wrong: Sadly, concern over spending did not spark public pressure to exit Afghanistan by years end.
  7. Wrong (and happy about it): While they did remain fairly stable, my prediction that gas prices would still be close to $3.50/gal a year later turned out to be too high, with the national average presently at just under $3.30/gal. I can’t in good faith count that as “correct”. Maybe a difference of ten cents a gallon, but not twenty. And I didn’t foresee things like “nuclear talks with Iran” to bring down oil prices to a three year low.
  8. Correct: – No U.S. or Israeli strike on Iran. Funny to think how long this nonsense has been going on. And the fact no provocative moves have been made by Iran in all that time only goes to show how reality rarely lives up to the most wild militarist fantasies of Neoconservatives. Much to their chagrin, not only did Iran not do anything threatening, they even reluctantly have opened discussions of disarmament. Astounding.
  9. Wrong: Ah, Syria! It’s depressing to think that Civil War is now in it’s THIRD year. I was stung after my first prediction of the fall of Assad in 2011. A bit more cautious last year, I predicted Assad to fall into irrelevancy as the rest of the world just stopped recognizing him as the legitimate leader of Syria. They didn’t; he didn’t; so for 2014 , I won’t.
  10. Wrong (another “and happy about it”): I predicted the DOW would be around 14,500 points by years end, predicting an impressive rise of more than 1500 points in just one year. Instead, we saw an astonishing rise of nearly 3,500 points in just one year to a new record of just under 16,500 points. If President Obama is a  “Socialist”, he’s a piss-poor one.
  11. Correct: As America’s economy recovers, so does Europe’s and the rest of the worlds.
  12. Correct (sadly): My exact words were: “Immigration reform? Don’t bet your Aunt Fanny on it.” Republicans said they wanted it. President Obama said he wanted it. So it was inevitable that nothing would get done.
  13. Wrong (sadly): Just days after Sandy Hook and the massacre of twenty 6/7-yearolds and six teachers, I couldn’t imagine even Republicans turning this into a partisan fight, caving to their gun-nut base and doing absolutely nothing to keep weapons of war out of the hands of children, the mentally unstable and known criminals. Lesson learned: Never under-estimate the depths of GOP cowardice or the ignorance of their base.

Final score: 6 out of 12 (#2 was inconclusive) for 50-percent. Not too shabby for a list I was certain all year long would be one big goose egg. Take that you “Psychics to the Stars” with your “2.6%” accuracy rating!

So now my Predictions for 2014:

  1. Failing to extend Unemployment benefits at the end of 2013 will mean great hardship that extends beyond Party Lines. Just as Republicans mistakenly believed that voters would side with them for “taking a principled stand” on the Government Shutdown even after it started to affect them personally, they undoubtedly believe the same is true here. As far as the GOP is concerned, only poor Minimum Wage slackers are home waiting for their Unemployment Checks to roll in while they sit on their lazy duffs. But their refusal to continue the extension of those benefits past the end of 2013 will come back to bite them in the butt, not realizing just how many “Poor & Middle-Class” workers make up their Redneck base. As a result, expect the GOP to agree to a “compromise extension” of Unemployment benefits. There will be an insistence that it be “paid for”, but then there will be a huge fight on just what to cut. There will be an extension, just not the “90+ week” maximum some are seeing now. Probably something closer to “52 weeks”, double the standard length, with some “creative accounting” paying for it.
  2.  

  3. Where will the DOW be by the end of 2014? I sure as heck didn’t foresee the meteoric rise of 3,500 points in 2013. Another rise like that would have us knocking on the amazing “20,000 point” mark, and that’s going to make a lot of investors nervous about “over exuberant” investors buying stocks just to set a record. I expect the DOW to close just over the “19,200” mark come years end… which is an incredible thought. Bill Clinton took the DOW from around 3700 points to over 11,700 points seven years later… an increase of OVER 300 percent. The DOW bottomed out barely a month after President Obama took office at just over 6600 points. A close of “19,200” would be another rise of nearly 300% in just SIX years. George Bush cut the taxes of the Rich & Powerful, but cut their portfolio’s in half as the economy crashed. With numbers like that, it’s easy to see why Wall Street hates Democrats, and loves Republicans (yes, that’s snark.)
  4.  

  5. Marriage Equality – No surprise that more states will officially declare Same-Sex Marriage as legal, but with it suddenly legal in nearly half the states in the Union and no solid legal argument for why any group of people should be discriminated against, expect a positive ruling from the Supreme Court… probably 5/4 but possibly even 6/3… telling states where SSM is outlawed that they must recognize marriages performed in another state. As people flood to neighboring states to get married, laws banning SSM will become moot and fall like dominoes.
  6.  

  7. The Mid-term elections – AKA: “The Battle for the Senate”. Not surprisingly, with the House and the Senate so narrowly split, both sides will be pulling out all the stops seeking control of Congress. The big question? What will be the mood of the public come Election Time? Will problems with the health care law sour voters on the Obama Administration? Will unemployment continue to fall making them optimistic? And what role will record low approval ratings for Congress have on turnout? In the end, it’s pretty much a wash. The people that hate “Obamacare” will continue to whine about “Obamacare”. The people that like the law will continue to do so. I ran into a lot of Conservatives this past year that believe “Obamacare” is an insurance program that you must (MUST) buy into, and they can implode the entire system if they simply refuse to sign up. Little do most of them realize, “Obamacare” does not even apply to them because they already get insurance through their employer. They couldn’t “sign up” even if they wanted to. So the entire system doesn’t implode, and for most people, nothing changes for them. It will be hard to be “outraged” over health care reform come November. Good economic news will continue, so there will be little economic motive to head to the polls. And despite near single digit approval ratings for Congress, don’t expect control of either House to change hands, though, thanks to Gerrymandering, I think Democrats have a better chance of picking up seats in the Senate than the House.
  8.  

  9. Which of course takes us to the start of the 2016 campaign (hard to believe it’s already a topic.) Though she will try to wait until January 2015, Hillary WILL announce her intention to run for President, as will Chris Christie, whom even this far off, already look to be the front-runners. But anything can happen between now & then.
  10.  

  11. Paul Ryan & Patty Murray coming to a two-year budget deal here at the end of 2013 insures no “Fiscal Cliff, Debt Ceiling, Shutdown” economic brinksmanship before the election. No GOP manufactured crisis means we can expect a reasonably smooth, growing economy in 2014. Expect GDP growth in the 4.0+ range next year.
  12.  

  13. What will become of NSA Leaker Edward Snowden? I expect a move to South America sometime next year. The last shoe has yet to drop in that story because Snowden took FAR more material than he could possibly have read when he absconded from the NSA with all that Top Secret information. But time is not on his side as much of the information he took grows out of date. As he continues to pour through the files he stole, I expect few additional revelations, perhaps saving his biggest bombshell in time for the election.
  14.  

  15. Will Congress raise the Minimum Wage? If this weren’t an election year, I’d say yes, but since it is, the state of the economy will play a large part in whether it gets raised or not. A number of states won’t wait and raise it on their own, but nationally, if the economy continues to improve, forget it. With no Budget Battles for the GOP to hold hostage, they must dig their heels in somewhere, and The Minimum Wage is it.
  16.  

  17. The Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia is going to be a mess. Technical and scheduling issues as civil unrest disrupts the games. As I type this, we’ve already seen acts of terrorism very close to Sochi, and Putin won’t have a clue how to handle Gay Rights protests in a country where just holding a sign can land you in jail. International condemnation of Russia’s anti-gay laws will overshadow many events.
  18.  

  19. And while we’re on the subject of Sochi, in a separate prediction, I believe the reason President Obama chose former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to lead a delegation of openly gay athletes is because she herself intends to come out as gay upon her arrival in Sochi, almost daring the Russian government to arrest her.
  20.  

  21. So what will the Unemployment Rate look like by the end of 2014? If current trends continue, I don’t think an unemployment rate of 6.1% (give or take 3/10th of a point) is out of the realm of possibility. If it weren’t an election year, I’d might go lower than that, but it’s in the GOP’s interest to encourage a worsening economy going into the Mid-term elections. With no budget battles to destabilize the economy in an election year, it’ll be difficult. I’m interested in seeing how they pull it off.
  22.  

  23. What about Iran? I think a nuclear disarmament deal WILL be struck that allows Iran to continue to develop nuclear energy using Uranium bred outside the country (probably Russia.) IAEA inspectors will be allowed into the country to check for nuclear weapons development. In exchange, the U.S. will once again allow Iranian oil to be traded on the U.S. Market, causing a decline in the price of oil (maybe $80/barrel give or take $5?), lowering gas prices in the U.S., serving as a substantial boost to the American economy. 2014 will be a very good year for the U.S. economy.
  24.  

  25. Ted Cruz announces his intention to run for President. Outside of the (dwindling) Tea Party, support for his candidacy will not exceed that of Michele Bachmann in 2012, and his campaign will fizzle out early in 2015.
  26.  

  27. Hobby Lobby’s “my religious beliefs supersede yours because I’m your boss” Supreme Court case will return a verdict in favor of the Christian-owned craft store. Any other sane Supreme Court would realize that if a “Christian” owned company can decide what health care you can get, so could an Amish, Muslim or even Satanic boss dictate your health care choices. But an “Amish, Muslim or Satanic” corporation didn’t file this case. A “Christian” one did. And therefore, this Conservative Court will tie the Constitution into knots to accommodate them. Republicans will tout it as “a victory for Americans over the scourge of Obamacare.”
  28.  

  29. Following up on last year, no “Election Reform” bill will be taken up in an election year. Republican governors will step up their efforts to disenfranchise tens of thousands of Democratically leaning voter blocks… most of whom will be minorities.
  30.  

  31. As an homage to my “psychic” friends out there, a really big hurricane will hit someplace somewhere.
  32.  

  33. And another “Lone-wolf” gun nut will go on a shooting spree, killing over a dozen people. And what will come of it in terms of gun control? Nothing.
  34.  

  35. And finally, Syria. In 2011, I predicted Assad would be overthrown just like all the other “Arab Spring” nations did to their leaders. But Assad was willing to be far more brutal and had the army on his side. In 2012, I predicted him to become irrelevant as the rest of the world simply stopped recognizing his authority, but that didn’t happen either. So now, in year three, all I’m willing to wager is that the Syrian conflict will still be raging a year from now. That’s a prediction I’d be happy to get wrong.

Eighteen predictions. I can live with that. How do you think I did? Post your own predictions for 2014 in the Comments.
 


 


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Filed in Economy, Election, General, Guns & Violence, Healthcare, Jobs, Middle East, Partisanship, Politics, Predictions, Religion, Seems Obvious to Me, Taxes, voting, War December 30th, 2013 by Admin Mugsy | • 2 comments | Add/View

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Ted Cruz, The Debt Ceiling, Guns and Mental Health

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, September 23, 2013

(Note: Theme has been changed temporarily upon finding a bug in the theme we normally use. My apologies for any inconvenience. – Mugsy)
 

“There’s something WRONG with these people.” I’ve said it. I know YOU’VE said it. Our country is being held hostage by people with a tenuous grip on reality. Paranoid delusionals that believe government conspiracies are real. They get their “news” from Conspiracy Nuts like “Glenn Beck”, “Infowars” and “World Nut News Daily”. They believe everything Fox “news” tells them without question because it simply reaffirms what they already know in their heart-of-hearts to be true, and with that “confirmation”, they reject all other evidence to the contrary. It’s a world where… when a ruthless Middle-Eastern dictator gasses hundreds of his own citizens… they see an Obama-orchestrated conspiracy designed to distract Congress from investigating “Benghazi”. It’s a world in which… when Tea Party darling and “Joe McCarthy-wannabee” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is publicly ridiculed for repeating his insane beliefs in public… they decide he MUST be a secret Liberal infiltrator out to discredit the movement from within (despite the fact that what he says is EXACTLY what they too believe… never making the connection that that means the public has declared their own views to be “nuts”.) You know, because that’s what evil Liberals do: they run as Republicans (and win because Republicans are apparently incredibly easy to fool), vote with Republicans on every issue, and then go out and push for something The Tea Party WANTS, knowing it will draw ridicule, discrediting the movement. This is not the thinking of a sane group of people.

The Federal Government runs out of money one week from today on September 30th. If Congress does not agree to raise the Debt ceiling… something they did FIVE TIMES under President Bush (four of them under GOP control of BOTH houses of Congress)… and shuts down the U.S. government, it will do something it has NEVER done in its 237 year history: default on its debts… the result of which would be catastrophic for the U.S. economy.

Sen. Cruz is leading the charge in the threat to shutdown the government if “ObamaCare” is not repealed on the grounds that “ObamaCare will be devastating to American businesses… unlike defaulting on our National Debt. Shorter Ted Cruz: “I’ll destroy the economy if we don’t stop ObamaCare from destroying the economy!” Makes perfect sense (in Wingnutistan.)

Sorry to tell you folks, but Cruz isn’t pretending. The Tea Party really is that nuts. Check the Comments beneath any news story of Cruz’s latest insane remark (from claiming there were more declared Communists in Harvard Law School than Republicans, his recent praise for the late racist Senator Jessie Helms… who incidentally would have been no friend to a guy named “Cruz”… or his latest promise to hold the Debt Ceiling hostage if we don’t defund “ObamaCare”) and you’ll find no shortage of Wingnuts supporting him.

So, how do you run a Federal Government when 1/4 of Congress is certifiably insane? I’ve written about “Right-Wing Insanity” so often I had to give it its own Tag. In 2011… the last time we had this fight… Republicans were threatening to default on The Debt if we didn’t cut the Deficit, complaining that the government “spends too much” (the deficit will have been cut in half by the end of this year under Obama). Had we of defaulted on our debt FOR EVEN ONE DAY, we would of had to raise interest rates to convince people to lend us money knowing they might not get paid back. Do you (read: “they”) have any idea what “raising interest rates” would have done to our Debt and our economy? Just the dance up to the precipice prompted the Standard & Poors credit rating agency to downgrade our nations credit rating from “AAA” to “AA+”. And just how much money does stopping the paychecks of nearly 2 million Federal employees suck out of the economy?

And here we are again, with a whole new crop of Tea Bagger Republicans that weren’t in Congress the last time the Teanuts tried this two years ago. If it were just “the full faith & credit of the United States” that these ideologues were endangering, that would be bad enough. But it’s not:

Liberal Democrats see a guy walk into a schoolhouse and murder 20 First Graders and 6 teachers with a semi-automatic assault rifle, and feel the need to pass laws to prevent it from ever happening again.

Tea Party Republicans see a guy walk into a schoolhouse and murder 20 First Graders and 6 teachers with a semi-automatic assault rifle, and see a (“false flag”) government conspiracy orchestrated by President Obama to give him an excuse to confiscate their guns, and once disarmed, round them up and put them in Concentration Camps run by FEMA.

This is not the thinking of sane people. This is the thinking of paranoid delusionals.

On occasion, I’ve also mentioned the insane rantings of Right Wing nuts commenting on my YouTube video archive. This past week, one gadfly, an oldie but a goodie I’ve affectionately dubbed “Gasbag”… a corruption of his username… made a surprise reappearance and started ranting about “Socialized Medicine” following a report by a retired British doctor that once ran the NHS (the UK hospital system) reporting a 45% higher mortality rate among British NHS patients than in US hospitals as proof positive that the American System is superior to “Socialized Medicine”. When I started pointing out serious flaws in the report (like the fact that the NHS treats EVERYONE including the Poor, drug users, etc, where our poor may never go to the hospital due to their inability to pay, or end up in the ER to receive beyond-ordinary care), naturally he became outraged that I couldn’t see what was patently obvious to him, cursing, changing what I actually said (never could understand people who claim that you said something other than what’s clearly typed just a few paragraphs above) and attacking me for refusing to “accept facts”. Naturally, his comments quickly drifted off into rants about “lazy people on Welfare” and this absurd claim from (where else?) Fox “news” that a whopping EIGHTY PERCENT of our Federal Budget is spent on Welfare (for the record, it’s actually about 10%)… which would be 50% more than the annual cost of the Iraq War. Pointing our just how ridiculous a figure that number was, was pointless. Fox said it, and “the numbers come from the GAO”, ergo it’s indisputably true. Well, no. In fact (not surprisingly), Fox included “Entitlements” like “Social Security”, “Medicare” and “Unemployment Benefits” as “Welfare”.

I eventually received the inevitable post ending with a dismissive “Goodbye!”… which as you may have guessed… wasn’t actually his last post. He’s still at it, now desperate to convince me that “Social Security” is Welfare because some people draw out more than they put in (demonstrating not only that he doesn’t understand how Social Security funding works, but by that standard, ALL insurance programs could be labeled “welfare”.)

This is not the thinking of sane people.

For some inexplicable reason, another mental deficient, a white supremacist with delusions of grandeur (supposedly running for state office in Louisiana) seized upon a recent post of mine as the appropriate place to start ranting about “gun violence among ‘coons’ in Chicago.” I have no doubt he believes his eventual electoral victory is certain.

This is not the thinking of sane people.

We saw yet another mass shooting last week in which a man with a documented history of mental illness was able to purchase a shotgun the week before and murder 12 people in the museum-section of the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington DC. And just as they did following the Sandy Hook massacre of 20 school children, NBC’s “Meet the Press” invited NRA president Wayne LaPierre to advocate for MORE guns. When it was pointed out to him that two “good guys with guns”… the station guards… were “gunned down and killed” by the armed intruder, LaPierre defended his claim by pointing out that it was “good guys with guns” that (30 minutes later) took down the insane gunman (AFTER he had murdered 12 people in cold blood.) He argued that stricter gun laws preventing those who have been ADJUDICATED mentally-ill from obtaining firearms are necessary (yet would not have prevented this particular mass-murder… nor the Aurora or Sandy Hook mass murders). Problem is, the gun-nuts I’ve spoken to actually believe that perfectly sane people might be labeled “insane” by a government appointed psychiatrist or activist judge for no more reason than the fact they love guns… all as part of a secret plot to disarm them, and would therefore never support a law such as the one LaPierre just proposed.

This is not the thinking of sane people.

Fortunately for us, the recent rash of mass shootings by mentally ill gunmen is likely to prompt new gun laws targeting the mentally ill.

The GOP has been trying desperately for years to kill “ObamaCare”… which includes provisions for Mental Health Care. Coincidence? Crazy people don’t want Mental Health Care any more than bacteria want antibiotics (sorry, I wracked my brain for a better metaphor to no avail. I am not calling Republicans “bacteria”.) Almost as if to make the point crystal-clear, the arguments against “ObamaCare” read like a crazy-ass hit parade: paranoia over “Death Panels” where “government bureaucrats make health care decisions” instead of your insurance agent doctor, and transforming our multi-trillion dollar private health care industry into evil “socialized medicine” overnight, with “long lines” similar to “the post office” or “The DMV” as you wait for hours to see a “civil servant” doctor.

This is not the thinking of sane people.

- Mugsy
 


Postscript: According to the National Weather Service, Tropical Storm Humberto reached hurricane status on September 10th, just shy of setting the record for the longest it has ever taken to reach the first full-fledged hurricane of the season. I bring this up because FOUR YEARS AGO I told you that Global Warming would mean FEWER hurricanes, not “more”. It’s worth re-reading.

Note: If you haven’t already, be sure to join our Facebook & Twitter feeds for the latest commentary on current events.

 



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Filed in Crime, Economy, Guns & Violence, Partisanship, Politics, Right-Wing Insanity September 23rd, 2013 by Admin Mugsy | • 8 comments | Add/View

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Florida Codifies that Your Stalker Can Legally Murder You If Threatened

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, July 15, 2013

Last Saturday night, the Florida jury in the George Zimmerman murder trial declared that if you defend yourself against an armed stalker to the point where your stalker fears bodily injury, he can kill you “in self defense”. It doesn’t even matter if that fear is justified or not. All they have to do is claim they feared for their life, and anything they do after that is justified. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more asinine ruling in my life. Think about it. If Trayvon Martin had been an attractive white girl that was being followed by a man with a gun, and she took it upon herself to kick his ass, at which point he shoots & kills her in the name of “self defense”, is there any question Zimmerman would be sitting in a concrete room with striped sunlight right about now? What is even more troublesome is that the Florida ruling has just provided criminals with an added incentive to kill their victims to ensure that only one side of the story (theirs) is ever heard. The most mind-boggling thing in all this is just how many people see this completely differently; that Zimmerman’s claim of “self defense” was justified and that he never should of even been arrested in the first place.

Living in a deep read state like Texas, I’ve had my share of encounters with Zimmerman Defenders. One thing I’ve noticed among ALL of them (without exception) is that, to them, the Zimmerman Case has nothing to do with Zimmerman or the crime itself, it’s all about the Second Amendment and their own right to shoot and kill anyone they feel threatened by… which is a dangerous thing when you consider that they’re all paranoid gun-nuts that think blacks, immigrants, alQaeda and Uncle Sam (in no particular order) are all out to get them. It should come as no surprise that the SAME people defending Zimmerman’s right to shoot & kill an unarmed young black kid that he took upon himself to pursue, are the SAME people that believe THEY could of taken out the Colorado movie theater shooter if only THEY had been there with their gun (in a fire fight with a man dressed in full body armor, firing a semi automatic rifle in a darkened theater filled with teargas and people running around fleeing for their lives.) To say these people don’t live in the Reality-Based Community is an understatement.

In order to conclude Zimmerman “did nothing wrong”, you must totally disregard how the two men came in contact with one another in the first place (another shocker from the same people that think the Second Amendment begins with “dot dot dot”). Because if Zimmerman had not been looking out his window that night (or had just stayed home and not taken it upon himself to pursue Martin), Trayvon simply would have walked home uneventfully with his purchases from the convenience store and lived to see another day. Zimmerman put himself “in harms way” by following someone he had profiled as “up to no good”. So concerned was he that the person he was pursuing might be dangerous that he brought along a loaded weapon. Upon confronting Martin, he didn’t identify himself as from “the neighborhood watch”. Likewise, Trayvon was living in that neighborhood, so in fact, Zimmerman’s job was to protect Trayvon. He didn’t ask him, “Where are you going?” or “Let me walk you home so you’ll be safe out here at night”… something I’d betcha $1000 he would have done if Trayvon has been an attractive white girl. No, George only saw a “suspicious” black male supposedly “looking in windows” (the defense never produced a single witness to substantiate that claim) that he was determined to “detain” until the cops arrived.

“They always get away.”

One of my first thoughts upon learning of the verdict yesterday was the Rodney King Trial and how the assault of King was actually caught ON TAPE and yet the jury STILL acquitted the people that assaulted him. There too, the prosecution played the “dangerous black man” card, suggesting the FIVE armed police officers surrounding King (only four were tried IIRC) were justified in feeling threatened by the severely injured, unarmed black man they had just beaten to a bloody pulp. No one ever claimed King, with a lengthy arrest record, was a choir boy, but there was NO justification for beating the crap out of him rather than simply handcuffing King and throwing him in the back of a squad car.

The Defense’s case looked like it had been ripped from the pages of a “lynching” trial in the 1930’s, showing carefully selected B&W photos of a frightening looking black man to the all female, mostly white, jury, suggesting that the victim was someone white women needed protecting from and the world is now a safer place without Trayvon in it.

I learned yesterday that I hate ABC’s “Dan Abrams”, who was brought on to both “ThisWeek” and the World News Tonight as an “expert”, declaring that “the only thing that mattered was whether or not Zimmerman reasonably feared for his life as the moment he pulled the trigger”. Bullshit. PURSUERS CAN NOT CLAIM SELF DEFENSE. Period. End of story. As I noted two weeks ago, the two men should never have come in contact with one another in the first place. Zimmerman had NO justification for leaving the safety of his home that night to pursue Martin. He’s not a cop and it wasn’t his job to “detain” people he deemed suspicious. Hell, the “neighborhood watch” didn’t even permit watchers to carry firearms. This was a wannabee cop that called 911 so many times (sometimes 2-3 times a night) that he was on a first name basis with the operator (note the number of times Zimmerman called to report a “suspicious black male”). His job was to report “suspicious” activity to the police and let them handle it, NOT take matters into his own hands and try to detain a suspect at gunpoint.

“They always get away.”

So ANY discussion of what happened after he left the safety of his home is irrelevant. At that point, he had knowingly placed himself (and Trayvon) in harms way.

The act of pursuing makes you the instigator. The Florida verdict sets a very bad precedent. It declares that ANYONE… including Stalkers, Rapists, thugs of any kind… can now pursue someone, and should that person try to defend themselves, their attacker can kill them and claim they “feared for their life”. I nearly said, “as long as they don’t attack first…”, but that doesn’t matter either, because now the Stalker has an incentive to kill their victim to ensure they can’t challenge their side of the story in a court of law. “I didn’t touch her! She just walked up and attacked ME for no reason! And fearing for my life, I shot & killed her. Those cuts & bruises on her are from when SHE attacked ME, not because I attacked her.” Sounds absurd, doesn’t it? Yet that is EXACTLY the defense George Zimmerman used to justify killing Trayvon Martin.

I find it interesting that the all-female six-member jury is in hiding tonight and have refused to speak to the Press. Do you think maybe they’re afraid some nut with a gun might walk up to them in the middle of the night and shoot them? I can’t imagine why.
 



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Filed in Crime, General, Guns & Violence, Racism, Rants, Right-Wing Insanity July 15th, 2013 by Admin Mugsy | • 8 comments | Add/View

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BREAKING NEWS: Zimmerman found Not Guilty. Nation Mourns.

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Sunday, July 14, 2013

“Insane” is the only word that comes to mind. Last night the 6-member jury in the George Zimmerman trial, all women, one black (correction: Hispanic), three five of them mothers themselves, actually decided that George Zimmerman, a man with a gun, could legally stalk an unarmed kid, pursue that kid even after being told not to, instigate a confrontation, shoot and kill the person he was stalking, and then be found Not Guilty.

Only in America. Add your comments below. More details later.
 



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Filed in Crime, General, Guns & Violence, Racism, Right-Wing Insanity July 14th, 2013 by Admin Mugsy | • 17 comments | Add/View

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A Market Plunge/Rally, Trayvon, DOMA, Voting Rights and Paula Deen. The Heat is On.

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, July 1, 2013

So much has happened these past couple of weeks, I could have spent hours discussing each one: We saw a series of triple-digit plunges in the DOW in just a few days caused by what? GOOD news on the economy. (WTF?) The “Zimmerman Trial” finally got underway… with a Knock-Knock Joke. The Supreme Court declared Same-Sex Marriage legal in states where it is already legal, but left the door open for state-bans where it isn’t… essentially GUARANTEEING an inevitable return to the Supreme Court when a married couple from one state moves to a state where their marriage is not recognized. And while the Supreme Court was extending marriage rights to gay couples, it was taking Voting Rights away from millions of minorities, essentially declaring that racism in the South was dead the same week people excused famed Southern TV Chef Paula Deen for using “The N-Word” because… “she’s from The South and that’s just how they are.” (I wish I could say I was surprised Justice Thomas would vote against the Voting Rights Act, but he’s always been an OREO… and yes, that is meant to be as offensive as it sounds.) And to cap it all off, the nation closed out the first week of Summer with a record-breaking heatwave, with my hometown of Houston hitting a stifling 107′ at 5:00 in the freaking evening (most years the temperature here peaks around 101′ the first week of August.)

Let’s take them one at a time:

First, the Stock Market: I used to write about The DJIA (“DOW Jones Industrial Average”) frequently  during  the  Bush  Presidency. Plunges of 250 points or more became commonplace, culminating with a total collapse of Wall Street and the financial industry Bush’s final year in office. There were no extraordinary one-day gains to balance out the declines, and just about every plunge could be tied to a stupid decision made by The GOP and/or The Bush Administration (the skyrocketing price of oil as a result of invading Iraq; deregulating the financial ratings industry that led to Trillions in bad investments being labeled: “AAA”; and cutting deregulated mortgage interest rates to zero resulting in a wildly over-valued market bubble balanced on the point of a pin).

But during the Obama Administration, I’ve written very little regarding the Stock Market. Primarily, because fluctuations in the DOW of less than 200 points have very little to do with the health of the general economy, and because every series of declines over the past four years have been brief, followed soon after by upswings that more than made up for the losses.

The DOW, at its lowest point following the Bush Presidency and the Financial Collapse, barely a month after Obama took office, bottomed out at 6,443.27 on March 6, 2009. Last month, the DOW closed at a record high of just over 15,400… that’s an increase of almost 240 percent in just four years. If President Obama is a “Socialist”, he’s a piss-poor one.

So what caused last week’s momentary 800-point drop in the DJIA over 3 days a few weeks ago? Believe it or not, “good” news from the Federal Reserve that the economy is recovering so well that it may be able to halt “quantitative easing” (IE: “Stimulus”)… pumping $85 Billion dollars a month into the economy. On that news, the price of Gold and Treasury Bonds plunged because Gold & Bonds are where you put your money when the economy is bad. Fears that the Fed would stop pumping money into the economy brought about fears that they might also raise interest rates to keep the economy from growing too fast. But quickly, cooler heads prevailed as news of a healthy economy might actually be a good thing, and the DOW is already back up near the 15K mark.

Oh, and the S&P 500 saw its best six months since the heights of the Clinton Bull Rally in 1998.

Next is the “Zimmerman” trial over the murder of Travon Martin. As you already know, Zimmerman’s lawyer opened with a Knock-Knock joke, but that’s probably not the most damaging thing he did to his clients’ case last week. He is NOT using the “Stand Your Ground” law as the basis of his client’s defense, and with good reason. As Zimmerman’s lawyer himself pointed out, “Travon Martin was not unarmed that night”, pointing out that Martin “didn’t have a gun or a knife that night”; his weapon was “the concrete sidewalk”. So basically, he just admitted Trayvon was “standing his ground using the sidewalk as his only weapon”. Had he of used a gun, he might have shot & killed his stalker… who was armed with a gun himself and confronted Martin with it in the middle of the night… at which point Martin would have been arrested and thrown in jail for murdering Zimmerman. Trial not included.

The moment Zimmerman… who is not a police officer… left his mother’s basement with a gun to play “rent-a-cop” in the middle of the night the moment he saw a black kid walk past his window, he himself was responsible for anything that happened. And we know WHY he left his home to pursue Martin: Because “they always get away”, he is heard saying on the 911 tape after the operator asked him if he was following Martin and told him “We don’t need you to do that.” But a young black guy… for whom there was NO reason to suspect had done anything other than walk through the neighborhood at night… was “about to get away”. After doing what? There were no alarms going off. No one shouting, “I’ve just been robbed!” I find it hard to believe even Zimmerman could mistake a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles for handfuls of stolen property. So why exactly was Zimmerman following him? Why did he think it necessary to “call the police” and detain Martin himself until they arrived?

Think about it? Why was Zimmerman following Martin?

Zimmerman… armed with a gun and was stalking Martin in the dead of night, then confronted Martin. Probably even pulled his gun on him and ordered him to stop. At some point, they came in close enough contact to grab one another and fight. Unarmed, Martin used the only weapon within reach: the concrete… as Zimmerman’s own lawyer pointed out. Now in a struggle he himself provoked without regard for the consequences (what if Martin HAD been an armed robber? Was it wise for Zimmerman to put himself in harms way?), he pulled out his gun and killed the man he himslf provoked a confrontation with.

The fact that anyone in this insane country even thinks Zimmerman has a leg to stand on here, justifying the need for a trial, highlights just how screwed up our gun-crazy culture has become in this country.

Next, we saw the Supreme Court rule of Marriage Equality. While the High Court’s narrow 5/4 ruling is seen as a victory for the Gay Rights movement, the ruling basically threw the decision back to the states.

Now here is where it gets clear as mud: The Supreme Court basically ruled that a state law establishing Marriage Equality is just as valid as a state law BANNING Marriage Equality. So basically, the highest court in the land that rules on the National efficacy of a law, has declared that something can be both legal AND illegal at the same time depending upon where you live. Why do I get the feeling this isn’t over?

The Supreme Court also decided to strike down key parts of the 1965 “Voting Rights Act”, calling it “outdated” because “times have changed”. No word on their updated ruling on The Second Amendment.

And finally, a record heatwave was parked over most of the Southern United States last week, tying & breaking records across the U.S.. But don’t worry, Global Warming is still a hoax and we’ll be seeing snow in July any minute now.

Any minute now.

I said, “any minute now.”

Hello? Snow? Where are you? Hey, I’d settle for a cool breeze right about now.

(Oh, and an update on Mom. If you read last weeks post, things are not going well and my mother had had a bit of a setback, unconscious in the ICU, I’ve been visiting her hospital bed every day now and hoping for things to improve. As such, I haven’t been as on top of the news as much as I might otherwise have been, and posting may become a bit erratic in the common weeks. Hopefully, Mom’s recovery will be swift and full. – Mugsy)
 



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Filed in Crime, Economy, Global Warming, Guns & Violence, Healthcare, Politics, Racism, Rants, Unconstitutional July 1st, 2013 by Admin Mugsy | • 7 comments | Add/View

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Five Year Old Boy Shoots, Kills Toddler Sister. So which one was the “bad guy with a gun”?

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, May 6, 2013

Caroline Sparks: death by idiot parentsLast December, with the echos of gunfire from “Sandy Hook” still ringing in our ears, NRA Spokesman Wayne LaPierre proudly declared, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun!” Last Friday in Jerkwater, Tennessee (not its real name), the parents of two young children (Caroline, aged 2 & her brother, turning 5 that same day) decided to celebrate by giving this FIVE YEAR OLD CHILD a loaded firearm… this firearm (see photo below)… for his birthday. According to witnesses, the loaded weapon “accidentally” discharged, striking and killing his young sister almost instantly. The weapon in question? A Crickett .22 “Synthetic Youth Rifle” made just for “children”, purchased at Wal*Mart (“Crickett”, what a darling name):

 

A Birthday present for a five year old?
Crickett .22 'Youth Rifle'
(click to enlarge)

 

Note the circled areas: “Must be 18 years old” and “Don’t forget your hunting license.” This young boy had not attained either, yet the parents still placed a loaded deadly firearm in the hands of a pre-schooler with disastrous results.

Well who could have seen THAT coming?

Caroline’s uncle called it “a tragedy that no one could have seen coming.” [ibid] Guess that answers THAT question.

Caroline died at her home before help could arrive. Her family says she is in “a better place” now. Hard to disagree with that.

Two lives were destroyed that day. Not just the fatally wounded toddler, but her young brother as well, who will now live the rest of his life with what could very-well be his earliest memory… him accidentally shooting & killing his young sister. The very idea that this weapon is marketed to children is disturbing enough (and while the Wal*Mart ad specifies “18 or older”, a Google image search shows dozens of children barely out of diapers wielding these firearms), but consider the culture & mindset of any group of people that thinks this is an appropriate gift for a five year old child? The argument goes that “if you expose children to firearms at a young age, teaching them responsibility and care, you remove the ‘mystery’ that attracts mischief that so often results in tragedy.” Yet, here we are.

So I find myself wondering:

  1. The Newtown shooter’s mother also “exposed her child to guns at a young age” and look how THAT turned out. Lanza’s mother took her son to the rifle range and taught him to shoot her Bushmaster 223 believing it would maker son (quote) “more sociable”. THAT sure worked like a charm! He shot her in the head with her own assault rifle while she slept before taking off for the local Elementary School to mow down another 20 first Graders and six Teachers.
  2. Doesn’t the same logic apply to “Sex Ed” and “Drugs”? The same people arguing that “early exposure takes away the lure of mystery” and teaches children to be more “responsible”, are the same people arguing “abstinence only education” when it comes to sex and “just say No” when it comes to drugs… two issues than can be every bit as life-ruining (even deadly) as guns.
  3. If “more guns” are the solution, might this tragedy have been prevented if only we had armed the 2-year old? Was the five year old the “bad guy with a gun” we were told to look out for? Did he need that rifle to fend off burglars ala “Home Alone 37″? Should we have armed the toddler so she could have defended herself? Who was the “bad guy” in this debacle that could have been prevented if only he had been shot first? (I’ll give you a second on that one.)

Undoubtedly, some Right-Winger will go after me for “making light of such a tragedy”, but rest assured, I am NOT. (As my redneck step-father used to say, “I’m as serious as a fart in church.”) I am highlighting “absurdity” with “absurdity”. This was not an unforeseeable tragedy that no one could have prevented. Those parents need to go to jail and their surviving son taken away for his own safety.

The NRA’s 142nd Annual Convention wrapped up here in Houston Sunday with a final speech by celebrity gun-nut (and all-around douchebag) “Ted Nugent” imploring:

…an enthusiastic crowd to increase NRA membership 20-fold as the “culture war” over guns continues.

“I want to show them how much we will fight for freedom.

 
Remember that this is a “man” that defecated in his jeans for two weeks to avoid “fighting for our freedom” in Vietnam. And if you dare express your First Amendment right to protest gun proliferation, you take your very life into your hands as these “lovers of freedom” turn their aggression towards you… quite possibly at the point of a gun… as they try to shut you down.

So tell me how “more guns” in this situation might have prevented this tragedy? Because I can sure as hell tell you how LESS guns would have prevented it.

(Maybe this will make the decision easier: The “Crickett”? Also available in pink.)
 



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Filed in Crime, Guns & Violence, Right-Wing Insanity May 6th, 2013 by Admin Mugsy | • 4 comments | Add/View

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Defenders of 2nd Amendment Quick To Throw 1st to the Wolves

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, April 22, 2013

Free Speech only when I sayWho could have seen last week coming? Certainly not my Sunday Night post, which was quickly upstaged by a deadly bombing in Boston and a fertilizer manufacturing plant explosion here in my home state. Also last week, even the pathetic watered-down gun-control bill with over 90-percent support couldn’t get past a Wingnut minority in the U.S. Senate… well, correction, technically it DID pass, winning “54 to 46″… which in any NORMAL government would have been enough to become law. But not in our now-dysfunctional government where it now takes a SUPER MAJORITY to pass ANYTHING the minority objects to. Bill Maher had it right last Friday when he said, “Senate Republicans sent a clear message to the terrorists last week. If you want to kill a lot of Americans, use a gun.” Gun advocates call the defeat “a victory for the 2nd Amendment!” But then ask them what we should do instead and the answer is invariably: “Censor/ban violent videogames and movies! Block dangerous websites! Don’t allow Muz’lims to build that Mosque!” Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s declare (our particular brand of) Christianity the official religion. “Free Speech”? There’s a zone for that! Isn’t that interesting?

You’ve probably heard this “battlecry” before:
 

The Gun Nut Battlecry

 

“The second amendment is there to protect the first!” Yeah, but who’s going to protect it from YOU, the gun-wielding nuts that seem ready, willing and able to sellout the first amendment if it means they get to keep their toys? President Bush violated The Bill of Rights left & right for seven years all in the name of “security”… which reminds us of another once-popular Right-Wing battlecry: “Those who would give up essential liberty in the name of security deserve neither!” Yet, that’s EXACTLY what they did under George Bush because he let them keep their guns (well, actually, he didn’t, but IOKIYAR.)

Jon Stewart also rightly pointed out last week that when it comes to “terrorism”… a FAR less frequent crime… Republicans are prepared to move heaven & earth, trample every constitutional right from “Habeus Corpus” or “Miranda”, to “indefinite detention of American citizens without trial”, all to prevent the next attack. But when it comes to far more prevalent (and lethal) acts of gun crime, we can’t even agree to make it harder for convicted felons (or even an alQaeda terrorist) from going to a gun show and buying a semi-automatic assault rifle no-questions-asked.

Last week I Tweeted (are you following M.R.S. yet?):


If there’s one person to blame for the inability of our government to pass even the most rudimentary and publicly popular piece of gun control legislation just four months after the slaughter of twenty 7 year olds and six teachers, look no further than Senate Majority Leader (for now) Harry Reid (D-NV) for refusing once again to reform the grossly abused filibuster. Senator Reid said recently that he “didn’t even have 40 votes” for an earlier form of the gun control bill to justify bringing it to a vote. Reid does not seem to understand that the “60 vote threshold” enables more people to vote “No”. If a Senator knows a bill is likely to fail because it won’t meet the olympian “60 vote threshold”, it’s a lot easier to vote No on a bill no one expected to pass anyway. Visa vie, few people want to be on the losing side having to explain why they didn’t vote for a popular bill. So arguing that you “didn’t have enough votes to reach SIXTY” is a canard because the ability to win over the 5 or so extra votes needed to pass is a LOT easier when they know you only need FIFTY (plus the VP) for something to pass.

But now, following their inability to pass even this “toothless” attempt at gun control, we hear Democrats adopting the rhetoric of the minority that obstructed them, saying “Yeah! Maybe we DO need to look at violent movies and videogames“… despite the fact these same violent movies and videogames are available in nearly every other country on Earth without the same bloody carnage seen in America day after day.

Republicans are now asking: “What is it about our culture that breeds such violence?” It couldn’t POSSIBLY be our balls-to-the-wall mega-macho gun culture where every idiot with a gun thinks he’s Wyatt Earp. Lord no! It must be those darned movies and videogames!
 

Postscript: Another popular battlecry during the gun-debate:

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” – Thomas Jefferson.

 

is a fraud. He never said it. The closest he came was:

“No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms [within his own lands or tenements]“

 

…making NO mention of “government tyranny”. Just thought you’d like to know.

 



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Filed in Crime, Guns & Violence, Partisanship, Politics, Right-wing Facism, Right-Wing Insanity April 22nd, 2013 by Admin Mugsy | • 1 comment | Add/View

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Attention GOP: You can’t dismantle gun reform then go around calling the bill “ineffective”

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, April 15, 2013

The REAL problemThis Thursday will be the 20th Anniversary of the end of the raid on the “Branch Davidian” compound in Waco, Texas where religious gun nuts holed up with a messianic cult-leader decided that a BATF raid (following the murder of a BATF Agent that tried to investigate them for illegally transporting and selling guns across state lines) was a fulfillment of End-Times prophecy of the government coming to take their guns away. April 20th, Friday, will be the 14th anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School in 1999, where 12 students and one teacher were murdered and another 21 students were injured. April is a big month for “Deadly Rampage” anniversaries by nuts with guns. Today, following the worst school shooting in history, Republicans are making the rounds telling everyone that currently proposed legislation “would have done nothing to prevent the last four massacres“… those being Newtown, the Aurora/Batman theater shooting, the shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, and a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, WI. What kind of legislation might then have actually mitigated those incidents? Two immediately spring to mind: a ban on assault weapons and a ban on high-capacity ammo clips… which WERE a part of the original bill. Who got those provisions removed? The same guys now calling the bill toothless.

The weapons used in the 1999 Columbine High School Massacre
The Columbine Weapons

 

Last week, Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe… the eye of every “GOP Crazy-Storm”… decided that enough time had passed since the Newtown Massacre that it was now okay to attack the parents of those murdered children, suggesting they are ignorant dupes, too stupid to realize President Obama is using them to push through gun legislation that would have “done nothing to save their children.”

Utah Senator Mike Lee said on “Meet the Press” yesterday that: “This bill, I believe, would do more to limit the rights of the law-abiding than it would to actually prevent violent crime.

I’m sorry, but if your first reaction to the murder of 20 first-graders and six teachers is to think “Obama/Liberals are going to take our guns away”, your priorities SUCK.

Inhofe, Lee, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Joe McCarthy’s paramour Ted Cruz (R-TX) all vowed to filibuster the gun reform bill if it included an “Assault Weapons” ban… something that WOULD have likely had a direct impact on the number of children murdered that day. But do you think any of them are insisting we put that ban back into the bill so it would actually make the ban more effective at actually addressing those concerns? Of course not! Rubio even went so far as to suggest we need to weaken, not strengthen our gun laws. Because more guns means a safer society (it’s nonsense of course.) Thinking “more guns” is the solution to gun violence is like thinking the to solution to drunk driving is “more alcohol”.

Also on the Sunday talk shows yesterday, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) said “only better mental health laws will ensure that the Newtown mass shooting victims did not die in vain … that’s why I’m focused like a laser on the mental health component.” The “Affordable Care Act” (aka: ObamaCare) provides funding to expand coverage of… you guessed it… mental health care. Cornyn’s position on The ACA: “Why ObamaCare Must Go”, by Sen. John Cornyn. The Senator also voted against including assault weapons in the current gun legislation and has no stated position on limiting high capacity clips/magazines… the two things that would most directly would have impacted the deadliness of recent mass shootings.

Why is it that owning a gun is a right but being able to see a doctor when you’re sick is a privilege? Gun nuts say the REAL threat is “the mentally ill”, but when you try to increase funding for mental health care they scream “Marxist!”

Former Congressman turned NRA Spokesman Asa Hutchinson last week called “driving 30 miles into town” to obtain a background check “too burdensome” for rural residents. More children must die because some #@!$% doesn’t want to be “inconvenienced” by having to drive a few miles into town? If your priorities listed in order are: “1) Avoiding two hours of inconvenience; 2) Dead Children… you seriously need to rethink your priorities. Why is it that so many “Pro-LIFE Republican gun nuts seem more concerned with their own “inconvenience” than saving the life of a child?
 

2 seconds before Reagan was shot.

 
Gun regulations “infringe on people’s rights & liberty”, but regulating gay marriage and mandating vaginal ultrasounds are perfectly acceptable limits on our freedom. In America, Birth-Control and Marriage Licenses are harder to get than bullets. They actually say that “kicking God out of our schools” is more to blame for school shootings than the guns. If that’s so, then what’s the excuse for priests molesting children in our churches?
 

GOP priorities

 

Last week, Texas voted to drug-test every welfare applicant because 2.6% of them are drug users, yet these same legislators oppose background-checks before buying a gun despite the fact that at least 2.6% of them are probably on drugs.

Last Wednesday, Rachel Maddow pointed out that the NRA came to the defense of a former convicted felon that was arrested after being caught with a handgun and AK-47 with 30-round extended capacity clip in his possession. The man argued that the law prohibiting him from owning a gun was unconstitutional. They won. Was that REALLY a law that needed overturning to protect YOUR rights? The NRA says, “We don’t need MORE laws, we just need to enforce the ones already on the books!” And then they spend the rest of their time getting those laws overturned, even rushing to the defense of convicted felons. Attention NRA Members: If you think the NRA exists to protect YOU and not The Gun Industry, think again. They just fought for and won the right of convicted felons in Louisiana to own assault rifles, making you less safe thus ensuring you’ll need to buy more guns to protect yourself.

As The Daily Show’s John Oliver recently pointed out:
 

“One failed attempt at a shoe-bomb and now we all take our shoes off at the airport. 31 school shootings since Columbine and no change in the regulation of guns.”

 

These Congresssmen say banning high-capacity magazines only inconveniences “responsible gun owners”. If you need 30+ bullets to hit your target, you probably have no business firing a gun. They say, “Criminals don’t obey gun laws”. So by that logic, why do we have ANY laws at all? We have laws against stealing. People still steal. We have laws against speeding. People still speed. They say the REAL problem is “mental health care”, but then actively oppose allowing the government to do anything about it. They say, “Guns don’t kill people! PEOPLE kill people!” So why then do they need a gun? They say “a gun is no more dangerous than a knife, a hammer, or a car!” Well then, if you have a knife, a hammer, or a car, why do you need a gun? We have Congressmen actively crippling sensible legislation that WOULD of had a DIRECT impact on some of the most tragic mass murders of our time, and then once they’ve kicked the legs out from under those bills, they go around and talk about how toothless the proposed legislation is.

GOP hypocrisy is nothing new, but sadly, the Media’s failure to call them out on it this time around means MANY more people are going to die.
 



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Filed in Crime, Guns & Violence, Money, Partisanship, Politics, Right-Wing Insanity, Unconstitutional April 15th, 2013 by Admin Mugsy | • No comments | Add/View

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The Right’s Irrational Arguments Against Gun Control

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, March 25, 2013

Patriot: Yesterday vs TodayLast week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that he would be dropping the “assault weapons ban” from the Senate’s bill to ban Assault Weapons. If that’s not insane enough, how about his reasoning for doing so: Because it would fall “well short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.” AND WHOSE [bleeping] FAULT IS THAT, YOU PIECE OF [bleep]?” (Reid argued he has only around 40 votes. But I GUARANTEE you that if he only needed TEN more Senators instead of twenty, you’d find a LOT of people wouldn’t want to be on the losing side of that vote. Translation: It’s easier to oppose a bill you know has no prayer of passing.) So where does that leave Gun Reform? The argument against Gun Control goes something like this: Criminals don’t obey laws, ergo, we shouldn’t pass any laws prohibiting weapons of war from our streets because the only people affected by these laws are good law-abiding citizens… you know, the way murderers obey laws against murder. And we can’t keep a national registry of “what gun belongs to whom” so we can trace a weapon used in a crime back to its owner, because when you start keeping a list of who owns what gun(s), it just makes it that much easier for Obama’s Stormtroopers to target your suburban 3-bed 2-1/2 bath split-level with garden-gnome  for a drone strike, or descend from the sky in black helicopters to bust down your front door and take your guns away!

Yes, these seem like perfectly sane & rational arguments to The Right.

As you well know, Democrats have been pushing for filibuster reform ever since the GOP wildly abused the power during the first two years of President Obama’s first term. When Senator Reid had the opportunity to do something about it in 2010, many of us were appalled when he said “No”. Upon retaking control of the House in 2010, Republican Senators had backed off a bit, knowing that they could let a few bills they opposed slip through, confident in the knowledge that their colleagues in the House would kill it for them (without incurring the bad PR of being obstructionist asshats). But the problem didn’t go away entirely (not by a longshot), and 17 months later, Reid took to the floor of the Senate for mea culpa, stating that his critics were “right” and he was “wrong” not to have reformed the filibuster when he had a chance.

So color everyone shocked when Reid balked at the opportunity YET AGAIN to reform the filibuster last January. His reasoning for doing so was basically a promise from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that Republicans would be on their best behavior. Honest & true! We double-pinky swear! So of course, Reid caves, and the GOP goes right back to their miserable obstructionist ways (what is it with Democrats who keep looking for a glimmer of conscience in Republicans?) Personally, I wonder if some Conservative Power-Broker didn’t threaten the lives of Reid’s family if he didn’t back off filibuster reform. I certainly wouldn’t put it past them.

Anyway, back to Gun Control:

If you listen to The Far Right on ANY issue, fear & paranoia reign supreme. But what kills me is that this is only true when DEMOCRATS control the White House. Which is nuts because the biggest violators of the Constitution, personal privacy and civil rights were The Bush Administration with Republican control of both houses of Congress. I keep an ACLU flier from the 2006 election pinned to my corkboard entitled, “It’s Been a Tough Six Years for the Bill of Rights”, marking just a few of the ways one-party rule under Bush violated and outright eschewed the Constitution at every opportunity, hand-picking lawyers that would tell them that what they wanted to do was legal, and firing those that did not. Yet it’s the Democrats that keep them in constant fear of “Big Brother” coming to take their hunting rifle away and have an “illegal alien” gay-marry them to a donkey… oh, and tax them to pay for it.
 

Bush supported more Gun Control than Obama

As I noted on here a few weeks ago, when you ask a Right Winger for their position on a buzz-word that the Right has demonized… like “gun control” or “ObamaCare“… they flat out oppose it… not just mildly… but violently & irrationally, and base their reasoning on a plethora of misinformation they heard listening to Glenn Beck or Fox “news”. But then ask them how they feel about individual items IN those bills, and they’re all for it! Opponents of “gun reform” attend huge rallies across the nation, yet 87% of them support “background checks”, 82% support “temporarily” suspending the license of a dealer that can’t account for the whereabouts of 20 or more guns, and 81% disagree with the NRA that juveniles convicted of a serious crime needn’t wait ten years before being allowed to buy a gun (yes, the NRA opposes preventing gang-bangers from buying guns.) The NRA is in total misstep with its own members quite simply because the NRA doesn’t exist to represent the will of its members. It exists solely to represent the interests of gun manufacturers.

Listening to NRA President Wayne “Guns don’t kill people, violent video games do” Pierre blather on yesterday about how “gun laws” are used to oppress legitimate gun owners… and yet we should be “enforcing the laws already on the books” (because law enforcement has become too lax?) makes my head hurt. These aren’t rational people. There’s a reason the Republican leadership pushes “home schooling” and “faith-based education” (where you accept everything you are told on faith.)

And Democrats like Reid need to stop listening to them.
 



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Filed in Crime, Guns & Violence, Partisanship, Politics, Right-Wing Insanity, Seems Obvious to Me, Unconstitutional March 25th, 2013 by Admin Mugsy | • 4 comments | Add/View

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Gun Nuts Across Houston Protest Laws No One Has Proposed (yet support ones that were)

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, February 25, 2013

Mental Health Test for Gun OwnershipMy local news here in Houston Saturday night opened with an eye-rolling report on “hundreds” of “pro-Second Amendment Rights” protesters showing up for “Day of Resistance” rallies to protest “anti-gun control rallies” in opposition to “new gun legislation” they believed was forth-coming from the White House in violation of their second Amendment rights. I don’t normally report on “local” news stories, but these protests are anything but “local” now, springing up across the South. In Houston, gun nuts whining about the government is about as rare as gun-racks in pickup trucks, and as much fun to watch as a child wandering into traffic. But the most remarkable thing… and I know I’m not telling you anything new here… is the ocean of difference between the “perceived” threat that has them up in arms (no pun intended) and “reality“. But yesterday’s newscast was special in that the protesters actually appeared to KNOW what the reality is, yet showed up anyway. (Unfortunately, I can find no way to copy nor embed the video, so please visit the site to view it. It’s worth it.)


Crowd gathers for pro-gun rally in Houston

Why are Right-wing protesters always whiter than the driven snow?

Hosted by the “League City Tea Party” (natch), protestors came out to defend “their right to bear arms”… a right that NO ONE is threatening to take away. Mom & Dad never explained to these mental-midgets that just because they got a Ten-Speed for Christmas instead of a Harley doesn’t mean they are “the worst parents on the face of the Earth”. Likewise, just because you can’t have a military-grade AR15 with 100-Round drum doesn’t mean the government is “denying your right to bear arms”.
 

Protesters explain why they are there: It’s because of what they THINK Washington is going to do
and whether it worked before… two things EASILY verifiable with a simple Google search.
Protester says he THINKS crime didn't go down the last time they tried this

First protester: “I think the last time they tried this, gun crime did not go down.”

Second protester: “I really think that he’s trying to take our weapons away.”

 
You “think” the last time the government passed an assault weapons ban, crime didn’t go down? Well how about if you actually checked to see if that’s the case before you get yourself worked up into a lather to attend a protest to argue against something you admit you don’t know the answer to? Does he not own an “Internet Machine”? A two-second Google search is all it takes to find out that in fact crime involving Assault Weapons declined by “between 17% and 72%” (depending on the state, according to a 2004 University of Pennsylvania study – PDF). The study rightly points out that very little “crime” actually involves Assault Weapons (you don’t use an AW to rob a liquor store), so it’s not surprising over-all crime declined very little, but AW’s do in fact account for the lions-share of “innocent bystanders” outside of the intended target and mass-murder victims. And that is the point. The Assault Weapons ban isn’t intended to curb “robberies” or reduce the number of “car-jackings”, it’s to reduce the number of “innocents” being killed by homicidal maniacs that do things like “spray-fire” inside movie theaters and 1st grade classrooms.

But the remarkable thing is THEY ACTUALLY KNOW THIS: After asking the nutters what they (cough) “think” Washington is going to do, the reporter then gets specific to ask about ACTUAL proposed legislation:
 

Reporter: “League City residents say more gun laws are okay so long as they don’t infringe on the Second Amendment.

Third protester: “It’s got it’s pros and cons. Everything will have it’s ups and downs,” said Josh Weed. “I agree with the stricter regulations and everything, psych screenings and everything like that. That’s great.

Fourth protester: “I think it will help to a certain extent as far as doing mental checks and stuff like that, I think that would be good,” said Kathleen Weed.

 
So in general they are SO outraged that they show up by the “hundreds” to protest laws no one has proposed, but when you get specific and ask them about actual proposed legislation, they’re all for it. And these are Deep-South Texas Teabaggers from a town where earlier this week:
 

[The] League City [City Council]… approved a resolution [7-to-1] not to comply with any new gun laws from the federal government.

 
Now I have to ask these Luddites on the City Council just what Federal laws they’re going to ignore? No one is threatening “confiscation” of their personal property. The most likely gun legislation is “universal background checks” and banning the sale & manufacture of various assault weapons and high capacity magazines/clips. So what will they do differently? Do they plan on NOT performing background checks to prevent convicted felons and the mentally ill from buying guns in their town? Or perhaps they plan on allowing gun manufacturers to come to their town to make/sell assault weapons and high-capacity magazines for sale ONLY inside the “League City” city limits? I’m really really curious just which federal laws they’ve just agreed to ignore. Remember, these are the same people they lay claim to “The Party of Lincoln”… a president that fought the Civil War on the grounds that the rights of the Federal government supersedes the rights of state & local governments.

Look! A black guy! Clear the stage!
Why are there always more black guys on stage at Right-Wing rallies than in the audience?

 



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Filed in Crime, fake scandals, Guns & Violence, myth busting, Partisanship, Right-Wing Insanity February 25th, 2013 by Admin Mugsy | • 2 comments | Add/View

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“Gun-free Zones” are NOT “magnets for crime”

By Admin Mugsy - Last updated: Monday, January 21, 2013

Hunters don't need Assault WeaponsOn the January 13th edition of Fox “news” Sunday, they invited Larry Pratt, Executive Director of “Gun Owners of America”… a man that makes the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre sound reasonable… to discuss gun control. Briefly, the GOA is a group that believes there should be absolutely NO gun laws, period, and that placing ANY restrictions on gun ownership is “unconstitutional” (never-mind that whole “well regulated” bit). Pratt’s insane rantings were too numerous to go into here, but his opening remark condemning “gun-free zones” was not original. Pratt pointed out that Texas Congressman Steve Stockman from “just outside of Houston” was going to propose a bill to:

 

“remove the gun-free zones that have been so much like a magnet to invite mass murderers into zones where they know nobody else will be able to shoot back.”

The Rachel Maddow Show covered the return of gun-nut Stockman to Washington on last Tuesday’s show. I had already heard Pratt’s same idiotic claim about “gun-free zones” from several Republicans by then, and several times more since. On yesterday’s Fox “news” Sunday, regular panelist Bill Kristol repeated Pratt’s ridiculous claim:

“I know everyone ridiculed the NRA for saying this, but maybe actually having armed guards at schools and not having gun-free zones where mass murderers know they can go in and kill people and no one will shoot them…”

News Flash: Psychotic mass murderers that target a school full of six year old children don’t weigh the pros & cons first as to whether that’s really a “safe” place for them to commit mass murder. If they were worried about people “shooting back”, why do so many of them end up committing suicide in the end?

The idea that “criminals are attracted to gun-free zones” has become a popular Right-Wing talking point over the past few weeks. And (of course), like most every other “fact” Republicans cite to support their case, it’s usually pure fantasy. Another “fact” pulled directly from their hind-quarters. Someone makes up some claim because it “sounds like it’s probably true”, and then never bothers to fact check to see if it actually IS true before spreading it as “fact” (why bother? Something that sounds plausable MUST be true, no?). So I checked the Houston Police Database and… gee, wouldn’t ya know it… gosh darn it, Pratt/Stockman’s claim is total bullshit (bet’cha didn’t see that one coming.)

Full disclosure, the HPD database does not break down “shooting” crime specifically, so I relied on a crime mapping website, “SpotCrime.com” to map out all shootings in the cities of Houston, Miami and Los Angeles for all of 2012:

Houston
Houston 2012 shootings
Click to enlarge

Miami
Houston 2012 shootings
Click to enlarge

Los Angeles
Houston 2012 shootings
Click to enlarge

These are maps of just “shootings” (between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012) in which at least one person was actually wounded. They do NOT include “armed robbery” or other crimes where a gun was used but never fired. With that in mind, note that there were 84 separate incidents in gun-crazy Houston and 50 in Miami vs just 19 incidents in Los Angeles (including one shooting at USC last April in which two Vietnamese graduate students were shot & killed). Does this mean more of Los Angeles’ murders were “mass shootings”? No. A look at each incident shows that on average only one person was actually shot in most instances, with the largest being a family of three.

As you can see from the above maps, there are no “clusters” of shootings anywhere… let alone in “gun-free zones”. And if these maps suggest anything, gosh darn if it doesn’t look like you’re FAR safer in a city/state with strict gun laws (one incident for every 25,000 people in Houston vs one incident for every TWO-HUNDRED AND FIVE THOUSAND people in LA). “Gun-free zones” don’t see Murders any more often than any other area. In fact, reading through the results, the most common crimes in which someone was wounded with a gun are robberies, hold-ups at Convenience Stores and the like… where there is a VERY high probability the person behind the counter is armed by-the-way. And another news flash for “Bloody Bill”, both Columbine and Virginia Tech had armed guards on the premises. Hell, VT had its own freakin’ campus police force on the premises!

And now these Troglodytes are out there claiming “gun-free zones are a magnet for mass murder” (as if psychopaths worry about things like that.) It’s total nonsense of course… which I’m certain comes as no surprise to you, dear Reader.
Postscript: Something else interesting pointed out to me yesterday:
Can you spot the gun-free zone?
Homepage of Albuquerque’s News 4 in New Mexico yesterday/Sunday.

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Filed in Crime, Guns & Violence, myth busting, Politics January 21st, 2013 by Admin Mugsy | • No comments | Add/View