Search This Blog

Loading...

Monday, April 27, 2015

8 % OF U.S. GUN DEALERS SELL ILLEGAL GUNS USED IN CRIME


When a criminal wants a gun he or she doesn't steal it like cops and the National Rifle Assn.tell us. They obtain it through a legal straw purchase, which means getting someone else with the right credentials to buy it for them. The next source is legally licensed but corrupt at-home and commercial gun dealers. And these same Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs), also report lost, missing or stolen firearms every year, a total of 23,775 since September of 1994. National Public Radio also reports that people arrested for a crime using a gun say, "it is easy to obtain guns illegally." What this tells us is that there are a lot of irresponsible gun owners out there buying guns for criminals. Plus almost 10,000 corrupt gun dealers willing to sell guns to anyone, including criminals. And the National Rifle Assn. insists we need even more guns on the street.  

CAN IOWA CAUCUS BE RELEVANT AFTER JONI ERNST?


For years the Iowa Caucuses were received as the first real test of a presidential candidate. Until Joni Ernst. Since she was elected to the Senate in that state, I am not sure how this will affect the normal opinions of those who follow this political event. But it is for sure that at least some of its credibility is shot to hell. If the same people who elected Ernst are the ones who vote in the caucuses--and that must be the case--the results of their ballots have to be considered as looney as their support for the latest Tea Party fruitcake. Iowans are usually level headed with a lot of
common sense and that is the reason presidential candidates seek their backing. But the whole process seems to have derailed when the Tea Party moved in and slipped this radical lunatic through the cracks. It is my guess that she won due to a low voter turnout when the triple-digit IQs stayed home. It goes without saying that too much of this is happening in this country and I just hope it is not too late when the American public realizes it.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

SCIENCE SAYS BIBLE AND FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIANITY ARE OUT OF DATE


Earlier this morning I posted on scientific studies that prove homosexuality is not a choice, rather, is more likely inherited through an interaction of our genes. And then a few days ago I posted what the Bible said about homosexuality, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination." So here we are this afternoon with science clearly rebutting the Bible. I go with science since it has the credibility of extensive research behind it. The Bible, well, it was written a few thousand years ago and has been handed down through the ages with several revisions and updates. The Bible is based on faith. Science is based on facts. There's nothing wrong with faith because it is the foundation of our beliefs, but then there is a point at which we must face the facts. Ted Cruz was in Iowa yesterday arguing that the Democratic Party is a home to 'liberal fascism' against Christians. It is this very kind of radical Republican rhetoric that makes Progressives wonder if the religious right has been completely relieved of its senses.

U.S. PAYS DEARLY FOR GUN NUTS' RIGHTS TO THEIR TOYS


You, the taxpayers, shell out some $12.8 million per day, "to cover the costs of gun-related deaths and injuries." And that's conservative, according to a recent report by Mother Jones on gun violence in this country. It all stems from the radical National Rifle Assn. gun nuts that insist on more guns on the street with absolutely no restrictions on who they are sold to. Wacky Wayne LaPierre, NRA head, is on an unconscionable drive to sell, sell, sell all the weaponry possible to keep the gun manufacturers happy. To hell with a moderate NRA membership that strongly favors universal background checks and a saner approach to responsible gun laws. The magazine says we'll never know the true cost due to the millions being spent by the NRA and other gun rights groups to keep the true facts from the public. This preventable gun violence increases your taxes for items like medical treatment, legal fees, long-tern prison costs, long-term medical disability, mental health care, emergency services, police investigations and security enhancements.

Wanna stop this crap? Contact Congress and tell your representatives you're not going to stand for this anymore.

House: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
Senate: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?OrderBy=state
White House: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments


STUDY PROVES HOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT A CHOICE

A fingerprint can determine who you are and so can your genes when it comes to being gay or lesbian. There was scientific verification in late 2014 from Michael Bailey, a psychologist at Northwestern University in Illinois, who said, "The study shows that there are genes involved in male sexual orientation." It all starts with an X chromosome called Xq28 and its impact on men's sexual behavior. There are other genes involved but the gist of it is through evolution men with genes linked to homosexuality pass this along to women, who then produce a gay or lesbian offspring. This link with the mother's side of the family led Dean Hamer, a scientist at the US National Cancer Institute, to study the X chromosome more closely and through 100 gay men found that homosexuality "tended to be inherited." Scientists in Bailey's report had tested the DNA of 400 gay men. Also discovered was the fact that, "levels of hormones a baby is exposed to in the womb" can play a factor in sexual orientation.

Michael Bailey's conclusion was, "Sexual orientation has nothing to do with choice."

Saturday, April 25, 2015

STARBUCKS COFFEE SHOPS...THE NEW SCHOOL HOUSE


Starbucks has become the place for young people to learn while they and their tutors enjoy their favorite beverage. That's right, these off-site teachers have taken over many of the tables at our local shops and apparently the chain encourages it. Equipped with lattes, or grandes, or chai tea, or one of a huge selection of drinks from the Starbucks menu, they enhance their regular school room activities with a person expert in the field where they need help. Of course it isn't free but apparently the parents of these kids are of that limited profile that is involved in their child's education. When you consider how school budgets across the country are being slashed, this may end up being the saving grace. As an example, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey proposed cutting the state's education budget while setting up more private prison spending. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback cut $45 million from that state's education budget and just about put the system in the tank. Republicans are more concerned with coming to the aid of big business than setting a higher stand of education in this country. What I worry about are those students who can't afford the tutoring.




























FREDERICK'S OF HOLLYWOOD GOES DOWN...BUT ONLY SO FAR



Okay, so this may not be the most political post of the year but what it has to say about modern sexuality is significant. You are looking at the store opened by Frederick Mellinger in 1947, that was later moved west down Hollywood Boulevard to larger quarters next to the corporate offices. I became associated with Frederick's in the early 1970s, while employed in Los Angeles with one of the largest general merchandise catalogs in the country. I made friends with Joe Nussbaum, their Marketing V.P. and this carried over into when I became a data broker later selling Frederick's names.

Joe was the classic example of the little Jewish, very family man that you'd never expect running a nudies catalog. In the early days when I first came on board, the girls were drawn with what attire they wore and there were no live models. I even had trouble getting an approval from some list owners that were hesitant about exposing the Frederick's catalog to their customers. Business was good and I was even invited to lunch one day with Joe Nussbaum and the man, Fred Mellinger. We talked about everything but naked girls at the restaurant of choice, the Musso and Frank Grill, just up the street from their offices on the boulevard. I considered it an honor but never saw Mellinger again as he quietly began retiring, leaving the running of the business to Joe.

The old catalog was cleverly drawn with emphasis in the right places. It worked but looking around the industry other catalogs were taking on the glossier look and most were using live models. The decision was made by Frederick's to switch and the planning began. Finally they were ready and I got a call one afternoon from Joe Nussbaum telling me that I should be in his office the next morning if possible. When I arrived Joe said nothing but, "Follow me," We went up to the next floor and entered this huge room where several models were running around in different stages of dress and undress. Some were completely nude in the process of changing undies.

My host had a grin on his face that said, "How about that?" However, the girls were completely unaffected by the would be voyeurs in the room. Joe said I was making history since this was Frederick's first live model shoot and I have never forgotten the honor. It was Fred Mellinger that started taking the clothes off beautiful women in the late 1940s, featuring the risque attire that would eventually introduce the mini skirt and hot pants in the 1970s. When you look at the women's fashion in 2015, you can see a little bit of Frederick's of Hollywood in many of them. But alas, everything must come to an end when Frederick's just announced it is closing all its retail stores. The only place you can buy their fashions in the future is from a catalog...with live models...and I was there first.

Friday, April 24, 2015

DICK CHENEY'S HALLIBURTON GETS RETRIBUTION, BUT...


Dick Cheney's Halliburton which mopped up in the Afghan and Iraq wars is suffering due to the low oil prices. That would normally be admirable based on their lousy reputation as a less than desirable company. However, the "BUT" is the fact that it has resulted in them laying off 9,000 from its payroll, innocent souls from a corporation with a long list of bad reps. I Googled "halliburton bad reputation" and came up with 34,200 hits. It dates back at least to 2005, after Cheney had left the company to become Geo. W. Bush's Vice President. In that year H exposed military and civilian personnel to contaminated water in Iraq. In another instance, they pled guilty to destruction of critical evidence after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010. The list goes on and on. Long before Bush bombed Iraq, H worked secretly with VP Dick Cheney for his alma mater to control the world's second largest oil reserves. In 2013 H made it into the top ten list of the worst companies alongside the worst of the worst, AIG.

So retribution is certainly due, although it is too bad it can't have more of a major impact on Dick Cheney.

ARIZONA SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO ACCUSED BY OWN DEPUTY SERGEANT


It is possible that the toughest sheriff in the country will be taken down a couple of notches. Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been exposed by one of his deputies, a sergeant no less. "Sgt. Brett Palmer testified that Arpaio had personally instructed him to continue enforcing federal immigration law after Judge G. Murray Snow had prohibited the practice," according to the Arizona Republic. The blustery Arpaio has repeatedly denied targeting Latinos in his county for meaningless charges simply to shake them down as illegal immigrants. Palmer also said, "the emphasis within the department was focused on public perception because 'it’s our duty to make the sheriff look good to the media and the public.'” Well he looks like crap right now and that undoubtedly will get worse when Judge Snow makes his final decision. Arpaio's reelections are a result of the hate in this state for illegal immigrants but this litigation could wake up some of the dufuses that have voted for him in the past. He runs for his 7th term next year.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

ROBERT BATES CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF VIP PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT


Robert Bates, an Oklahoma volunteer deputy who shot and killed an unarmed black man, saying he meant to use his taser, was rewarded with a trip to the Bahamas. Let's back up first and mention that Bates, a 73-year-old insurance co. executive, allegedly bought his way into the Sheriff's Dept. job with a large contribution to his reelection campaign plus other amenities. It also helped that Bates and the Sheriff were close friends. His training has been questioned but some has now been substantiated, except the fact that he was not cleared to use the gun he shot 44-year-old Eric Harris with on April 2. But the coup de grĂ¡ce was when Bates pleaded not guilty on Tuesday and asked the judge if he could go on a month's vacation to the Bahamas. Sure, the judge replied, as long as you're back for your next court appearance.

ECONOMY ON THE UPSWING-SO IS OBAMA


Working under almost insurmountable odds, Pres. Barack Obama has brought this country back from the brink with a significantly improved economy. A CNN/ORC poll found recently, "52% describe the U.S. economy as very or somewhat good, while 48% call it very or somewhat poor." These figures are a first for the Obama presidency but were a long time coming due to those odds. First, there has been a hateful Congress that opposed everything the President has done in the last almost seven years. A current example is the opposition of Loretta Lynch for Attorney General; it has taken 165 days and still counting. The other major odds he had to overcome is the massive damage done to the economy by Geo. W. Bush like the financial meltdown, two major wars, home market tanking, soaring oil prices, a shrinking dollar and more.

And what have Republicans accomplished during the Obama administration? Nothing, but confront and repel anything the President did. That's why the GOP Congress has an approval rating of 28%, disapproval of  67%.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

MICHELE BACHMANN: WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT


This quote here says it all from one of the looniest people ever to crash the political scene. But she actually topped it exclaiming in a recent MSNBC article that the end is near--the Rapture to fundamentalists--and it is all Barack Obama's fault. Now the President has been blamed for just about everything from ruining the U.S. economy, which was clearly the fault of Geo. W. Bush, to playing footsie with Iran on the nuclear deal. But not causing the end of the world until batty Bachmann claimed the end is near, thanks to President Obama. Here's another of this screwball's quotes, "If we took away the minimum wage -- if conceivably it was gone -- we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level." But my favorite is, "Our movement at its core is an intellectual movement," talking about the Tea Party. Now that's the laugh of the century.

IS IT ADAM AND EVE'S FAULT PEOPLE ARE GAY?


The Bible says: Lev. 18:22, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination." Also: Lev. 20:13, "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them." But Matthew Vines, the president and founder of The Reformation Project and the author of "God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships" says God created Adam and Eve and then they fell into sin. His claim is gay and lesbian sexual orientation is "a sign of the fall, a sign of human fallenness and brokenness." Further, "having a same-sex orientation is not in and of itself a sin, according to the traditional interpretation, acting upon it is, because the Bible is clear, both in what it negatively prohibits and in what it positively approves." A & E weren't supposed to fall from grace but they did and everything has been mixed up since.

More on this later.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

MITCH MCCONNELL THE WISHFUL OBAMA SLAYER


Time to resurrect this clown's comment. Mitch McConnell said in 2010: "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." Flash-forward to April of 2015, Obama won a second term and the fruitcake Senator is still on attack. You would think McConnell would learn he's been outsmarted but, then, Republicans don't have this capacity. So what can I do now that I am Senate head again,he asks? Oh, there's Loretta Lynch who wants to be the first female black Attorney General. But President Obama also wants her for AG so no freaking way that is going to happen. And so the dysfunction of the Congress of the greatest country on earth continues under the control of conservatives.

GOD HAS DECIDED POLITICS STINK


While Hillary Clinton is making hay in New Hampshire, Ohio Gov. John Kasich says he will wait and see what the Lord wants. Although Kasich's meaning reflects his decision to run for the presidency, let's examine his exact words. “I’m trying to determine if this is what the Lord wants,” quoted from an MSNBC article. While somewhat self-centered, there is a point here worth examining. I think God could care less whether or not Kasich runs, or Hillary Clinton runs, or any of the number of other Democrats or Republicans in the race. Now, for all you fundamentalists, I am talking about a universal God, so you can either read on or butt out. I think God wants the world to back up and say, we fucked up but we're very sorry, and we won't do it again. And then...not do it again.

Monday, April 20, 2015

MY DAILY LUNACY FROM TEA PARTY EMAILS


I can hardly wait to get to my computer in the morning to open the hair-brained emails from the Tea Party. It is downright comical how these people talk down down to their denizens of warped ideology who haven't the slightest idea they are being hornswoggled. They are constantly asking for money, which should tip off even the dimmest of wits. But it doesn't. Here are some of their hilarious headlines:

  • I’m about to reveal something shocking to you.
  • We are in the gravest of situations.
  • URGENT ALERT FOR TEA PARTY PATRIOTS...
  • IT HAS BEGUN. Tea Party Uprising Is Spreading!
  • Something serious has happened and I need your help. I really thought long and hard but I have to share it with you.
  • I feel as if a jagged knife just ripped through my body and pierced my heart. This was like a punch to the gut that knocked the wind right out of me.
That last one sounds like it came right out of an Abbott and Costello comedy routine. and then they come up with the admonishments of armageddon: 

  • Our military is crumbling.
  • Obama has your guns and ammo in his crosshairs.
  • They feature the clueless Donald Trump.
  • They feature Ted Cruz the insurrectionist.
I used to comment on their website and the reactions I got were the greatest collection of illiteracy I have ever experienced. But the highlight of Tea Party accomplishment recently is the election of Joni Ernst to the Senate in Iowa. You have to wonder if we are at the end.


INSURRECTIONIST TED CRUZ AT ODDS WITH FELLOW REPUBLICANS


Ted Cruz says "that the Second Amendment 'includes a right to revolt against government tyranny.'” This Tea Party crackpot is determined to bring this country to its knees with his radical idealism. Adam Winkler, Second Amendment expert and UCLA law professor, says that those passionate over gun rights might espouse this idea but usually not a presidential candidate. It's one of the many reasons Ted Cruz shouldn't be a presidential candidate. In rebuttal, Lindsey Graham says “I think an informed electorate is probably a better check than, you know, guns in the streets.” At the very least, these people are scary. At worst, old crazy Cruz could just drum up enough halfwits to march on the U.S. Capitol. It's time to send all these fruitcakes to the pasture or farther.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

THINK PROHIBITION WHEN YOU THINK MARIJUANA


Prohibition of booze didn't work and neither will the constraint of marijuana in the U.S. I don't know if weed has been around as long today as booze was in the '30s when Prohibition was rampant. I remember smoking a joint while still in high school--we called them reefers in those days--and that was over 65 years ago. Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN says "It's time for a medical marijuana revolution," but the American public--61% of it--wants it legalized for social use. There are studies that say pot will lead to the use of more dangerous drugs and there are those that declare this will happen only under special circumstances. It's easy to compare liquor with marijuana because the avenue to oblivion, found to be similar in both, tends to produce the same basic results. Nerve cells in the brain are affected and you end up with a high. I'm not going to get into the mechanics of how this works but you can do your own research here on alcohol and marijuana. The point is prohibitionists predicted that demon rum would ruin the country but, although it has taken a few casualties, we are still here and strong.

NRA MEMBERS WANT TRAINING FOR CONCEALED CARRY GUN OWNERS


Requiring firearms training for concealed carry gun owners would be a step in the right direct except the concealed carry law itself should be banned in the U.S. My point is based on one simple fact. In Arizona if you are not a felon and have a warm body you can buy a gun and take it almost anywhere. No training. Yes, these cowboys can walk into the gun shop, purchase a handgun, and then walk around the streets with it brandished in a holster or hidden in a pocket. They claim it is for their safety but what these gun nuts really want to do is play vigilante. There are studies saying concealed carry saves lives but they are years old and even with the decrease in gun violence over the years there are still over 11,000 firearms related gun deaths each year. The sheer number of guns in this country--300 million--makes the idea of letting someone roam the streets with a hidden weapon plain dumb. But as an example of the lack of training that is prevalent, at least in the state of Arizona, two CC greenhorns at the attack of former Rep. Gabby Giffords in Tucson in 2011 attempted to come to the rescue to stop Jared Lee Laughner and almost shot each other. Laughner was stopped by one of the bystanders.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

WARREN BUFFETT SAYS SEXUAL ORIENTATION SHOULD BE PROTECTED BY LAW


IMB has warned Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal that he had better back off with this religious freedom crap. But Jindal is running for President and he figures that will cinch the vote of the religious right. But the Guardian said in 2014 that there is "a trend that’s been quietly gathering momentum for years: America is becoming less Christian." And then there is the comment in the IBM article by Warren Buffett that "sexual orientation should be protected by law." There are several signals here being sent by people from all over the spectrum and it would seem that Jindal's is the most out of date. The LGBT community claims some 12.4 million people, which I am sure is outnumbered by the religious right. The question is, how long will it take the pendulum to swing in favor of the freedom of all rights?

SAFEWAY ASKS SHOPPERS TO LEAVE GUNS AT HOME


CONGRATULATIONS! Safeway has done what the Kroger stores have refused to do: ask customers not to bring firearms into their stores. But Everytown for Gun Safety says that Safeway is already under attack by gun extremists so the food chain needs your support more than ever. Shoppers at Kroger and Fry's, owned by the huge chain, should head over to Safeway now and enjoy the low prices and discounted gas. If Kroger loses enough customers they will be forced to enact a no-guns policy. However, the reason these gun nuts can brandish their weapons in public like this is because of weak state laws re. the ownership and concealed and open carry of guns. Like Arizona, where all you need to own a gun and take it anywhere is a warm body. Think about it. The next time you are selecting your produce, that AR-15 standing next to you could be owned by another Seung-Hui Cho, or an Adam Lanza, or an Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, or a James E. Holmes, or...

Friday, April 17, 2015

HACKERS CRASHING AN AIRPLANE SURE BEATS IDENTITY THEFT


Hackers have been around for some time now doing what they do best; breaking into your personal data then selling it on the Internet underground within a couple of hours. I started posting on this over eight years ago in another blog, The Dunning Letter, until I put it on hiatus for Nasty Jack. If you want to take the time I have collected several sites on the subject here. It was a problem then and still is.

But when these same hackers acquire the ability to use new technology to bring down airplanes, that even beats having your bank account emptied by one of these scumbags. It could happen according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. The aircraft you need to worry about are the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the Airbus A350 and A380. It seems these advanced cockpits share the same wi-fi system as the passengers, thus, someone sitting in row 28 with a laptop could hack right in up front and put your flight in a tailspin. This guy could: commandeer the aircraft, put a virus into flight control computers, jeopardize the safety of the flight by taking control of computers or take over the warning systems or even navigation systems.

This is all scary stuff but the study does say pilots have some alternatives, although the article doesn't confirm they are fool proof. I suggest you read the complete piece, here.  

TULSA "FAUX" DEPUTY EPITOME OF FLAWED FIREARMS TRAINING


This guy is probably more qualified to carry a gun than many who do. Robert Bates, the 73-year-old insurance executive turned volunteer cop, supposedly had several hours of weapons training, a claim which is apparently in question now. Bates says he mistakenly pulled his gun, shooting and killing Eric Harris on April 2, declaring that he meant to use his Taser. What is known is that he donated $2,500 to the Sheriff's re-election campaign, plus the loan of vehicles and video equipment. The Tulsa World reported, "Some supervisors at the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office were told to forge Robert Bates' training records, and three who refused were reassigned to less desirable duties." If this is true, how many reckless cowboys are running around out there with the authority to shoot to kill?

More later on weapons training, or lack of, for private gun ownership.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDER NEEDS LGBT COMMUNITY


Hillary Clinton says she supports marriage equality and always has. The LGBT community numbers some 12.4 million people and as a whole they identify with the Democrats. In return Pres. Obama has staunchly supported the group by repealing "Don't Ask Don't Tell;" Ending the Legal Defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA); Signing historic hate crimes legislation; Expanding LGBT access to health coverage; Ensuring equality in the government workplace and more you can see here. I know Elizabeth Warren is a strong supporter for LGBTs and definitely has been in the past. Which does the 12.4 million believe? Or do they believe both? One thing we do know is that these folks have seen recent progress that hasn't happened in years. The one thing they cannot afford is losing what they have gained and that means voting for a Democrat.

HEAD OF NRA SAYS WE DON'T NEED ANOTHER TOKEN MINORITY FOR PRESIDENT


Are we now to assume that wacky Wayne LaPierre, head of the National Rifle Assn., is both racist and a chauvinist? His recent comments at the NRA convention in Nashville would infer both. Calling President Obama "demographically symbolic," saying we don't need another of these in the form of Hillary Clinton, places WW right out there with the current crop of conservative crackpots. Of course the gun nuts in the audience cheered him on as we would expect, but I wonder about those NRA members who were there that are more moderate in their beliefs, like favoring background checks for gun purchases? The New York News says he is the "Craziest Man on Earth," and every time he opens his mouth he proves it. It's time that 75% of the NRA membership realizes what a freak the man is and send him packing.