The Golden State's Budget Surplus Open Thread

California first to turn the corner?

 

SACRAMENTO (Reuters) - California's budget deficit is gone after years of financial troubles, Governor Jerry Brown said on Thursday, proposing a plan that raises spending on education and healthcare, boosting total expenditures by 5 percent.

Brown vowed to push back at legislators eager to raise spending quickly, restoring the billions of dollars to social services and other state functions that were cut in lean years.

"I am determined to avoid the fiscal mess that the last few governors had to deal with," Brown told reporters as he introduced the budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year beginning in July.

The state expects $98.5 billion in revenues and transfers and plans spending $97.7 billion, according to the proposal published on the state Department of Finance website.

That leaves a surplus of $851 million for the year, in addition to a projected $785 million surplus for the current fiscal year, which ends in June, allowing the state to put $1 billion toward a rainy day fund.

Now I guess we'll learn whether and how the Governor will restrain the Democratic Supermajority in the state legislature.

 

[UPDATE] Lefty California politics blog Calitics offers its its version of How We Got Here (Howard Jarvis, Pete Wilson, and the Governator) as well as its opinion on how the surplus was achieved (a combo of tax hikes and austerity):

 

The underlying structural revenue shortfall  [ed: Prop 13; 1998 tax cut] never went away. When the housing bubble burst and the nation slid into recession in 2007 (California got there a few months earlier) the revenue shortfall problem was again revealed. And again, Republicans demanded and won not just more spending cuts, but also more tax cuts. Even as billions were being cut from schools, Republicans leveraged the 2/3 rule for passing budgets to win new corporate tax loopholes. California became a laughingstock, a national poster child for supposed liberal fiscal excess.

 

 

By 2009 Democrats finally agreed with what we progressives had been saying for years: that the only way to fix the state's financial woes was not to cut spending, but to take power away from Republicans. On New Year's Day 2013 I described how this was done. In 2010 Prop 25 passed, ending the 2/3 rule and eliminating Republican power over state budgets (though not yet over tax increases). That same year, Democrats swept all statewide offices, including retaking the governor's mansion. In 2012, Democrats went further, winning a 2/3 supermajority while also ending the structural revenue shortfall with Prop 30. They even managed to close the corporate tax loopholes created in 2008, with Prop 39 passing by a healthy margin.

 

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Good News And Bad News For A Little Mouse

(#299183)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Here we see a close-up from just before the sad ending:

Photobucket

Vaya con dios, little guy.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Armstrong confession

(#299165)

Lance Armstrong Admits To Using Performance-Enhancing Drugs To Show Remorse

 

http://www.theonion.com/articles/lance-armstrong-admits-to-using-perform...

Hey Now

(#299170)
M Scott Eiland's picture

I know the man is an easy target, but you have to admit--it takes a lot of ball to own up to his rap sheet.*

*--yeah, I went there: he's definitely in "fair game" category for the time being.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

He's a dirtbag.  Watch his

(#299177)

He's a dirtbag.  Watch his old interviews, he says horrible things about the people who were rightly accusing him of PED use.  He actively destroyed lives to hide his PED use and for what?  To maintain his foundation?  Pah.  His ego is the only thing that matters to him.

He's the All American Hero

(#299217)
HankP's picture

he got rich and famous, and all he had to do was lie. That's not a problem in our society.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

He had to do a little more than lie.

(#299227)

He had to train like a dog.

Every bicyclist in the Tour trains like a dog

(#299228)
HankP's picture

the lies are what took him to the rich and famous level.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

yes

(#299348)

and back then they all took drugs and lied about it too. Lance was just the better liar, better drug taker and no doubt one of the best cyclists there.

 

Not that I feel sorry for him. Seems like a real a$$. "Winners" often are.

Hate to break it to the both of you

(#299233)

but dogs don't really train very hard. Sure one of mine chases the occasional squirrel or rabbit but he always gives up after 20 or 30 yards.

LOL....Good One!...nt

(#299234)

Traveller

Dirtbag Gonna Get Sued A Lot (I Believe Ignoring Legal Advice)

(#299180)

My strong, strong advice would have been for him to stick it out with denials (however he was facing a US Postal Subpoena that he did not want to revive possible perjury charges...but he could have just produced and kept quiet)

 

Here is now a partial list of what awaits him, more is surely waiting in the wings:

 

Now, Armstrong stands to lose a large chunk of his personal wealth, reported at about $100 million.

His most pressing concern appears to be a federal whistle-blower lawsuit filed by former teammate Floyd Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title for doping. The suit accuses Armstrong of defrauding the U.S. Postal Service, which sponsored his racing team for a number of years.

Armstrong's attorneys have met with government officials to discuss, among other things, how much the Postal Service was actually damaged by his misconduct, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who is not authorized to speak publicly.

During those talks, settlement figures were discussed, the person said.

A lengthy federal investigation into Armstrong and his team was dropped early last year without charges being brought. It remains to be seen whether the criminal statute of limitations has elapsed, but the Department of Justice could join in the civil suit.

The False Claims Act, the basis of whistle-blower suits, carries heavy penalties, including triple damages and fines, said Mike Morse, a Philadelphia-based lawyer who specializes in such cases.

"Violations of the federal False Claims Act can expose him to some really significant monetary damages," Morse said. "There could also be a whole host of private lawsuits."

Reacting to early allegations of Armstrong's doping, a Dallas-based promotional company declined to pay him a $5-million bonus for winning the 2004 Tour de France. He sued and received a $7.5-million settlement.

Now SCA Promotions plans to sue Armstrong to get its money back. "We do expect to file soon," said Jeffrey Dorough, the company's in-house counsel. "We don't know what impact the interview will have until we see it."

The government of South Australia state has said it will seek to recoup several million dollars in appearance fees paid to Armstrong for competing in the Tour Down Under from 2009 through 2011.

 

I'm sure he is going to pay

(#299182)

I'm sure he is going to pay big time.  But, he's an old hand at brand management.  I think he wants to hurry up, cry on Oprah, pay his settlements, and rehabilitate his image.  In 5 years, he'll be back in the spotlight.

Poe's Law Moment Of The Day

(#299144)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Unholy melange of educational malpractice and gun grabber lunacy, or over the top satire of said idiots? Definitely hard to tell from reading it, though not wanting to weep for the future of the nation causes the sane to hope for the latter.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Will Jesus Forgive This Mother For Killing a Human Being?

(#299148)

 

As I wrote to a Police Captain that forwarded to me the original story:

 

Dear X:

 

These cases happen and I will concede they exist....but they are rarer than hen's teeth. Probably fewer than 100 a year across the entire United States. I will also concede that weapons are arguably more needed in rural settings than in urban.

But let us look at this closer, it certainly looks like this man will die from the ending of the article.* And so now her kids get to grow up thinking...Moma killed a man because he wanted to steal some of our stuff. And Dad, on the phone, (who really was the killer), shouting at his wife, "Shoot him! Shoot him! Shoot him again!"

Lovely.

And again, What would Jesus say about this woman valuing her belongings more than a burglar's life? We have to ask this now because she surely is on her way to Hell....and her kids probably know this too. The man's police records indicate that he is a low level offender with not violence in his background...but a thief he surely was.

 

The family now (rightfully) refuses to talk to the media about their...justifiable homicide. A pretty word for murder.

So, is a hundred of these kind of cases per year, if there are that many, worth the carnage your guns produce over all?

No.

I dream of a Better World.

It would be nice if you could...if you could free yourself of this...gun mania, for surely this is what it is, that has seized control of your conscience.

 

Best Wishes, Traveller

 

*it is not certain that the burglar shot 5 times has in fact died (yet)
 

You read where she was barricaded in her attic, right?

(#299163)

You're being awfully generous in considering the motive of the intruder at this point.  And awfully judgmental of a husband and father whose family was in harm's way while he was helpless to act.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Indeed

(#299168)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Unless the house in question is very odd, the "burglar" apparently bypassed the parts of the house where the valuables could reasonably be expected to be found to confront the woman in her attic. It would not be at all unreasonable for her to include that he had intentions in addition to stealing her possessions that further justified her attempt to make him extremely dead.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

It might also be worth noting the time it took for the

(#299173)

police to respond.  Y'know, the police that the lefties don't mind being armed with guns capable of holding high capacity magazine just in case they run into a guy like the intruder.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

I Note You Prefer to Deal With the Outlier Rather Than My Issues

(#299176)

1. What is  the cost of 12,000 living human beings killed by guns in the United States? To their families, to their friends? You know there are shootings of every description week end and week out...for what? So you can get aggressive with a gun once in a while? Studies show that this is what guns are most prominently used for.

 

So we get a few honest cases of gun self defense, is this, honestly, worth the slaughter only seen here in the United States?

 

2. What has this done overall to our Society and our sense of well being...and as I think about it, uncountable health expenses?

 

3. Morally, what does it mean to kill a person in...maybe self defense as even opposed to perfect self defense as opposed to...just running away.

 

Traveller

Two points and an anecdote

(#299152)

1. I'm not up on the details of the story,  but I doubt the woman (or her husband) would claim their belongings were worth more than the intruder's life.  It's not like she got the guy tied up and then executed him for theft.  What I imagine they would say is that someone who is willing to commit a major felony is likely also willing to do other nasty stuff including violence,  and therefore if one has to make a quick decision, one is not obligated to give an intruder the benefit of the doubt.

 

2. I would also point out that police officers fairly routinely shoot people they feel threatened by.  Confronting an officer while holding a crowbar, especially if you were caught in the middle of a felony, could very easily get you shot anywhere in US.  And yet there's not a huge outcry about such cases, certainly very few people writing letters that such officers are surely on their way to Hell.  

 

Combine that with prominent members of the left proposing to send troops into schools,  while simultaneously expressing shock at the idea of a teacher possessing a weapon,  and I begin to suspect that the real concern isn't people getting killed, it's  people getting killed by people without proper uniforms.  In other words,  worship of authority.

 

3. My wife and I were in Houston once, visiting a friend doing poorly at M.D.Anderson.  Afterwards we went to pick up something at a store.  It turned out that one row over in the parking lot there was a car almost identical to mine, in the corresponding slot and parked at the same angle.  I'm absent minded in general and especially after a bad hospital visit,  so coming out of the store, I went for the wrong car,  strode right up, and yanked the door open.  There was a woman sitting in the driver's seat.  Two fortunate things for me....I figured out my mistake and took off before she fully comprehended there was a carjacking in progress,  and she didn't have gun ready at hand.   But the fact is,  if she'd shot me,  I could not blame her.  You're not supposed to yank open other peoples' car doors in urban parking lots and she'd have every right to assume I was a carjacker, rapist, or both.  So I don't have much sympathy for actual burglars. 

Another Anecdote

(#299214)

Several years ago my wife and I were returning south from a trip to Humboldt County, CA. We had planned to drive all the way to 'Frisco for a nice dinner before catching the plane home the following day, but had gotten a late start out of Arcata and wound up stopping in Ukiah, instead.

 

We lucked into the second to last available smoking room (I've long since kicked the habit), and settled in with a bucket of KFC, a six pack of Red Nectar, and whatever was on the cable TV (so much for the fancy 'Frisco dinner).

 

About midway through the second drumstick there came a mighty jolt at the door, followed by several more, the door rattling in the jamb.

 

"Hey buddy!" I bellowed. "Ya got the wrong room," and the racket subsided and there were a few footfalls outside the window and then the door to the room next door creaked open and banged shut.

 

"Idiot."

 

It had been a long day and we were tired and we caved in before nine or so.

 

Several hours later -- just after midnight? -- I was woken by another loud jolt at the door and more rattles in the jamb and banging, same as earlier.

 

"Goddammit," I bellowed, "ya got the wrong room again."

 

But the racket at the door continued. And now my wife was up, too.

 

"What is it?"

 

"Idiot at the door again."

 

I rolled up out of the bed, still in just my skivvies, and moved to the other side of the door, yelling all the way over, "Wrong room buddy, move on. Ya got the wrong room!"

 

There was a pause, then the pulling at the door and the knob began again. My wife was in on the yelling, now, too. I stepped back from the door, found my blue jeans and pulled them on, did the same with my shoes and felt a whole lot better.

 

I looked around for a good place to stand near the door if it should open and reached for the lamp on the table next to the TV to have something in my hand to bash with. It was bolted or glued to the tabletop.

 

Whoever was on the other side of the door was still wrestling with it.

 

"Call the police."

 

"We're calling the police," I yelled.

 

I hustled into the bathroom looking for something I could grab and swing and found ... a toilet plunger, which I held upside down, the plunging end an oversized rubbery pommel against the meat of my grip.

 

Back in the room my wife had finally managed to figure out how to dial 911 (she kept getting directed to the motel front desk, which was unoccupied that late) and was explaining where we were and what was hapening.

 

The noise subsided. Whoever had finally figured it out. But I remained in my good spot on the other side of the door, at the ready with my plunger, listening. There was a footfall and a shuffle, and then a long "ZZZZZIIIPPPPPPP" like a nylon duffle bag zipper and I thought now he's getting out tools?

 

After all this screaming and yelling?

 

He's that determined? 

 

What kind of tools?

 

He's going to cut us up?

 

My wife was still on the phone, but she hadn't made the same connection to the zipper noise that I had and was telling the operator that things had quieted.

 

"Tell them they better goddamned hurry."

 

"What?"

 

"He's still out there."

 

The curtains were drawn closed, of course, and the window was open a smidge (I like the night air), and it occurred to me that whoever was outside had just noticed there was an easy way in.

 

I moved away from the door and put myself on the other side of the window. The sill was waist high, a little higher, so it would be a reach to get over. I estimated my best chance was when the guy had half a leg in and his balls exposed to the sill and the window frame, balanced on one leg. I have never felt so much fear and adrenaline. This was it. This had to work.

 

Something metal clattered to the concrete outside, the screen I guessed, then the window rattled in the track and I heard it slide and thud open against the far frame.

 

My wife was hysterical on the phone with the operator. "HE'S COMING INTO OUR ROOM!"

 

I was hysterical in the space between the bed and the window, plunger in hand. "STAY OUT OF OUR ROOM!"

 

Quiet again, then the curtain pushed into the room slightly, then settled back, then billowed further in, almost touching my left hand, he had to be partway over the sill now, I hoisted my plunger, twisted sideways, pulled the curtain aside I thought it would surprise whoever was there and there was an old, old man in a jean jacket and a floppy fishing cap, one knee wedged up into the window opening and it was a surprise, he looked up startled and began to fall back and away and I jumped in and I shoved him out of the opening he was already falling out of and he tumbled back onto the walkway outside. I leaned out of the window and glared at him laying on the concrete and he looked up at me quizzically. Drunkenly.

 

"What the hell is going on?" I yelled.

 

"You tell me!" he yelled back.

 

"The cops are on the way!"

 

"You tell them to hurry!"

 

He rolled up to his feet and wandered a few steps away and sat down on the sidewalk. He swayed and mumbled.

 

I pulled the rest of my clothes on and went outside to keep an eye on him until the police arrived. Eventually they did, all of Ukiah's finest, plus the local Highway Patrolman and all the lodgers curious and daring enough to come out and look what all the screaming was about.

 

The old man was staying in the room next to ours. The police got him where he belonged and had a chuckle about it. 

 

My wife and I returned to bed. The old man banged around in his room for a while then was quiet. Occasional Lookie Lous wandered over to review the evidence outside our window (a ripped and bent screen (the "zipper" noise I had heard)). 

 

"Why are you sleeping in your pants and shirt? Should I be worried?"

 

"No. But. I don't know. I just want to be ready." 

 

In the morning I stopped at the front desk to ask for a refund. The gal apologized and explained that the old man was a regular and that they had put us up in his usual room. 

 

Anyhow, the point of all this is* ... as frightened as I was, and as foolish and persistent as that drunk old man was, had I been traveling with a handgun, I am almost certain that I would not have risked pulling back the curtain to reveal my attacker. I would have trusted my instincts and my fear and fired at that shape coming at me through the curtain fabric.

 

------------------------

*The other point is: always travel with a hammer.

 

Good story

(#299218)

and you had your priorities straight:   pants first,  then weapon.  

 

If I end up dead,  at least the news story shouldn't read "corpse found without pants".

?????

(#299175)
HankP's picture

Accidentally opening the wrong car door is grounds for an immediate death sentence? Remind me to never visit Texas.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Houston.  Don't visit

(#299178)

Houston.  Don't visit Houston.  The NYT had a list of 45ish places to visit in 2013 and Houston was in the top 10.  My wife and I laughed for like 10 minutes.  Said it before and I'll say it again - it is the armit of America.  That said, yes he was in great danger of getting shot by doing that in Houston.

The weird thing is that this happened to me 2 days ago

(#299184)
HankP's picture

I was in the car with my wife, I stopped to make a deposit at the credit union and she stayed in the car. As I came out, this guy was going to open my car door. He did, and I could hear my wife say "Who the hell are you?" He said he was sorry, it looked just like his car. And indeed, in the next slot over his silver SUV was parked, looked a lot like our car. My wife and I agreed that he wasn't paying much attention. But neither one of us thought he should die for it.

 

Is that really what this country is coming to? A momentary lack of concentration leads to instant death? That's not the kind of place I want to live.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

True

(#299185)
M Scott Eiland's picture

After all, there are absolutely no instances of a momentary lack of concentration in proximity to a motor vehicle leading to instant death unless an icky gun is involved.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

I'm not talking about traffic

(#299186)
HankP's picture

I'm talking about someone shooting a person because of a simple mistake. But perhaps you prefer it that way, since I'm sure you never make any mistakes, ever.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Traffic Kills Far More People In That Manner

(#299187)
M Scott Eiland's picture

And yet, it's the icky guns that have to go, apparently.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Reading fail

(#299208)
HankP's picture

where did I say that people shouldn't be allowed to own guns? Nowhere. Your position, on the other hand, is that any slight mistake justifies shooting and killing someone. You tell me which seems reasonable and which seems crazy.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

No, The Sick Paranoid Gun Nut Mentality Has To Go

(#299205)

There are a few other countries with very high rates of gun ownership, like Switzerland, where it would not be considered reasonable to get shot for opening or trying to open the wrong car.

 

Gun nuts have become more paranoid with time even though we are not in a crime wave, but rather the opposite.

 

I have headed straight for the wrong car as well. I'd guess all of us have at one time or another. Guess I'll have to scratch Texas off my visiting list (except for the secure area of DFW, I suppose). Oh, I see it's already off my list. Nothing new here. Moving along...

I am not a pessimist. I am an incompetent optimist.

That's Surprising

(#299206)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Given the wave of carjacking incidents in Switzerland and all.

Also, the "not in a crime wave" rhetoric might be best directed at the gun grabbers who want to restrict the rights of law abiding citizens in reaction to extremely rare incidents such as mass shootings. Particularly the ones who simultaneously argue that putting armed guards in schools would be paranoid.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

JFTR

(#299237)

I don't think having armed guards is paranoid, given the circumstances.

 

I think it's costly and dumb. Costly for their salaries, benefits, insurance and so on. Dumb because rent-a-cops don't usually come from the most reliable sectors of our society. Thousands of poorly paid armed guys in schools full of insolent children? What could possibly go wrong?

 

"Extremely rare" isn't nearly good enough. Zero school mass shootings are acceptable, at least in K-12. Zero. I grew up with zero. I don't see why my children should accept anything other than zero. Certainly not for the sake of the arms makers, who are the real owners of the NRA.

I am not a pessimist. I am an incompetent optimist.

Nevermind that's a fallacy

(#299194)

You're not doing as much as you should about X, so you shouldn't do anything about Y either. 

 

That poor reasoning principle doesn't even hold in this case - there are a multitude of ways we already try to minimize icky traffic deaths due to minor mistakes and we already expend more resources on regulating traffic and motor vehicles than guns.

 

eeyn's acceptance of death by mistaking your car would've got me killed I don't know how many times. I'm mystified that he believes that would be an acceptable penalty for a simple mistake - the manufacturers purposely make these things to look alike for god's sake. 

 

The freedom to get shot for going to a near-identical make and model of your car shall not be infringed, apparently.

Penalty?

(#299197)

Maybe we have different definitions of the word.  Penalty implies something deliberately inflicted adverse action for specific known action. 

 

"Penalty" would mean I go to the wrong car,  the woman figures out and fully understands that I made a mistake,  calls the cops, they arrest me and put me on trial,  and then the judge sentences me to death for the crime of going to the wrong car.  No,  I would not think that is reasonable.

 

The woman has to make an instant decision on whether to accept the possibility of being abducted, violated in various ways, killed, and then left floating face down in a bayou;  versus possibly killing someone who just made a mistake.  

 

Traveller wants to make that decision for her.  Which isn't unthinkable,  lots of other countries' laws require women to accept the first alternative,  but I don't think it's an easy call.

Wrong

(#299209)
HankP's picture

I want people to face severe penalties for shooting others without sufficient cause - like opening the wrong car door. Apparently that makes me a gun grabber.

 

I do agree with Traveller on one thing, there is some sickness in gun nuts that sees the entire world as incredibly dangerous and any use of firearms as justified. The weird thing is that view is being justified here by two people who don't even own guns.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

To quote Barney Frank

(#299211)

"Do you think I've ever had an abortion?"

I don't know

(#299215)
HankP's picture

I don't make any assumptions about what your life has been like up to this point. You could be a post-op transsexual for all I know. Not that I'd care.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Owww! Effing Owww! Marketing FAIL!!!! (timing is everthing)

(#299232)

"Welcome to Kid's Exchange Home of the Nation's Largest Consignment Event"  Or so they say.  But read the URL carefully.

http://kidsexchange.net/

No Sh*t. Timing is everything.  Mrs Cuddly was doing some background research on consignments of kid's clothes tonight and after tooling around the page for a few minutes noticed the URL.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

I though I saw that somewhere before

(#299235)
HankP's picture

link

I blame it all on the Internet

I hadn't seen that. No bull...

(#299236)

...my story is true.  Mrs Cuddly pointed it out to me about 90 minutes ago. 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

That's not what I meant

(#299238)
HankP's picture

I'm sure you didn't make it up, you just stumbled across one of the more well known weird domain names. Same thing happened to me at expertsexchange before they changed it to experts-exchange.com. It's like the time cube guy, you wonder how such a thing can exist.

I blame it all on the Internet

????

(#299223)
HankP's picture

if eeyn was a woman before and is a man now, of course (s)he could have.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

I meant not after she became a man

(#299226)
mmghosh's picture

naturally.  

 

But also, all the TS's (F2M) I know (and I know a lot) tend specifically not to marry or get pregnant - quite surprisingly in our society, actually, where women are expected to marry as a societal norm.

 

(this is all all hypothetical eeyn)

Was bound to come out sooner or later

(#299229)

Just call me "the former Eeynia".

So it was female to male

(#299231)
HankP's picture

but my wife loved the music you used to make.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Non-Sequitur

(#299220)
M Scott Eiland's picture

The point behind the Barney Frank quote is that one can readily advocate a position that does not benefit (or impact at all) oneself. Liberals do this all the time, then react with faux confusion or disbelief if a non-liberal does so. The kindest way to describe this mode of argument is inane.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Anyway...

(#299219)

the point of my response to Trav wasn't that the woman should have shot the guy (it would have been better not to)  or even that she should have a gun around so she had the option (that's a reasonable debate to have).  The point was that given her reasonable fears and the gun in hand,  shooting was an understandable response and if there is some kind of forgiveness-oriented-Jesus-person up there, he's probably not sending her to Hell unless the standards are such that all of us are going.

Not much of a decision...

(#299207)

...if there were any common sense in her.

 

What were you armed with? A car key? What was your facial expression? What time of day was it?

 

Context.

 

The problem is that a group of people, gun nuts, have convinced themselves that they live in a world full of threats lurking behind every corner with no context or rhyme or reason. They have deliberately conditioned themselves to react as if they were in a war zone, instead of a community or a neighborhood.

 

I had an interesting conversation with a guy from Long Island about a year ago on just this. He trains weekly and is a gun instructor. The very first thing he said was that he owned guns because he refuses to be a victim.

 

Honestly, knowing Long Island, I could drive around it from end to end, spend time at the beach or shopping or whatever and the thought would simply not cross my mind that I needed to be armed in order to avoid being a victim, unless I was loitering in the back lot of a strip mall at 3 AM, or in the vicinity of a night club frequented by drug dealers, and in that case you'd wonder what the heck I was doing there in the first place. A little common sense and awareness of context goes a longer way towards safety than owning a gun.

 

It's not like he was living in the friggin' slums of Rio. Your ideology is playing tricks on you if it has led you to be on a hair trigger 24x7 for decades in the middle of suburbia.

I am not a pessimist. I am an incompetent optimist.

Curiously Rio doesn't figure

(#299224)
mmghosh's picture

high on the list of most violent cities in South America (Maceio is the crime capital).  I agree that context and culture both matter - otherwise its hard to see why the top 20 cities (by crime rate) should all be in South America.

 

Or why the murder rates are so low in Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, comparable to the USA, in fact, - all supposedly dangerous places.

No, no

(#299203)
brutusettu's picture

"penalty" implies we're playing soccer or hockey or something....

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."

 

Frank Zappa

I agree.  Shooting someone in

(#299167)

I agree.  Shooting someone in one's house isn't an ideal outcome.  The woman could have called out "I have a gun, get ready to eat lead!" or something to scare the person off.  Lots of things could have happened to prevent a (likely) avoidable death.  But, the bottom line is - if a person is actively robbing someone's house, they should assume they may get shot.  I'm confident this burglar thought it was a possibility.  Though it isn't necessary, the woman probably feared for the life and safety of herself and her kids, rightfully.  People have the right to defend their property and their family from these kinds of immediate threats.

Obviously She Has the Right...What Will God Say, More, What..

(#299171)

...will she say 20 years from now?

 

I think, on the one hand that these incidents take a far greater toll on the participants that people are willing to admit...but more importantly, are the 100 true cases of self-defense across America worth the 12,000 yearly gun deaths?

 

Even more, is this worth what it is doing to our expectations in our daily lives? See Panic in the Mall as people stampede, afraid that there is again, another, Mall Shooter...

 

 

Need we live like this?
No one else does!

Traveller

Counterpoint

(#299261)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Thanks, Journal-News!

More shooting burglars in the face, please.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

But aren't would-be criminals supposed to stay away from

(#299285)
mmghosh's picture

armed locations?  

 

I thought that that was one of the rationales for fortifying schools.  IIRC, there were maps showing how the recent shooting in Connecticut targeted the non-fortified school.

mmghosh, generally speaking they would except when they

(#299299)

intend to steal guns.  Now all they need to do is case a place until it's unoccupied and then break in.  You may have noticed practically zero condemnation from the lefties here for the publishing of these lists that have actually made it easier for criminals to put guns on the street.  Public safety or dreams of a better world my a$$.

 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Casing the joint "until no one is there"

(#299304)
brutusettu's picture

seems like fun and games until they run into Jimmie the recluse roommate that they didn't know was there.

 

How did the newspaper get the list if the info wasn't public?  Are the people that request the info kept track of?

So far, it's just that newspaper that released that one set of records, if there's a rash of these things, maybe that could be the big fish, right now, it's miniscule.

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."

 

Frank Zappa

Complain about what?

(#299300)
HankP's picture

Making public information, uh, public? I thought it was conservatives who keep telling me there's no such thing as a right to privacy.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Like I said

(#299302)

Public safety and dreams of a better world my a$$.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

I don't think it is an all or

(#299174)

I don't think it is an all or nothing decision.  Guns are a reality in America I can live with though I doubt I'll ever own one.  Getting rid of them is impossible.  Substantially limiting gun deaths without banning all guns is going to be easier to do than banning and confiscating all guns, plain and simple.

It Is Not Impossible...Abolishing Slavery Was Once Impossible

(#299179)

...honest and reasonable gun regulation is possible in the United States.

 

Rifles and shotguns and many handguns are fine; rigorous background checks; mandatory insurance coverage.

 

For starts....but it is a good start.

 

I dream of a better world.

 

Best Wishes, Traveller

I love the mandatory

(#299181)

I love the mandatory insurance proposal.  LOVE IT.  Get the insurance companies involved and incentivize safe gun ownership.  Hey, it's a market!  Libertarians love those things!

Understand, Make No Mistake, I Want to Take Your Ability to...

(#299157)

...make this decision away from you.

If you mean me specifically

(#299159)

have no fear,  I've never owned a gun,  have never fired one,  and given the mix of personalities in my house wouldn't let anyone leave one around.

 

The one time someone tried my front doorknob in the middle of the night,  I went for the 10" kitchen knife, but the guy gave up when he realized there was someone inside.

No, Not You eeyn...but I write on this alot...aplogizes...nt

(#299162)

Traveller

We know. I'm just trying to get your side to

(#299158)

openly admit that you aren't alone. 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

I Was Prevented From Posting...(Need Pics, & Will God Say Kudos)

(#299160)

...the facts are entirely (?) on the side of this family...sort of. They still have to clean up all the blood and the trauma their children will have to live with and, we are always positing metaphysical questions, What will Jesus say about you killing a common thief?

 

Will God pat you on the back?

 

I mean honestly, will no one even venture a guess? Why all the sudden squeamishness? Answer the question.

 

 

firearm-OECD-UN-data3 guns3 la-ol-violence-the-american-differentiator-201-001 Read em and weep. As well you should. As well you must. Traveller

Looking at your 1st and 3rd

(#299164)

graphs and subtracting,  it appears that even our non-gun violence dwarfs the other countries.  Which tells me that the problem is us, not our guns. 

 

Catchy already showed your 2nd graph.  My years of graph reading training tell me that the rate of gun deaths now is the same as it was back in 1979 and is essentially flat,  but cars are getting a whole lot safer.  Nothing to weep about,  much the opposite.

Gun Ownership Can Get a Whole Lot Safer Too...(pic)

(#299166)

...guns, especially semi-automatic assault rifles and large clipped Glocks, etc, make it insanely easy to kill many people or just a loved one you are having an argument with or for your children to kill themselves by accident.

 

Which is not to confront the issue of madness.

 

High score Traveller

I Agree With #3 Completely

(#299155)
M Scott Eiland's picture

I'm terribly absent-minded--always have been. Once of the reasons I started driving as late as I did in life (license at 24, started driving regularly at 27) was fear that my attention would drift at the wrong moment and someone would get hurt (thankfully, when I started driving I discovered that I was able to focus quite well--I've had a few speeding tickets in the last twenty years, but the only at-fault accident I've had was when on a rainy day my wet foot slipped when I tried to brake in time to avoid a car that came around a corner in a parking lot, causing my foot to hit the gas and smack the other car around [$4k damage to his car, a bent license plate holder for mine]). The point being--if I had an inattentive moment that scared someone into reasonably thinking that their life was in danger and they reacted with lethal force, I'd like to think that my surviving friends and family would look at the situation and say, "Yeah, I can see how that happened," and use the opportunity to make fun of me a bit at the memorial rather than react harshly to the poor soul who did the deed.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Stuff Happens....

(#299161)

lawn

Traveller

Beautiful Lawn

(#299192)

Well except for the burned patch in the middle.

Still From A Low-Budget Version Of "Ghost Rider"? ]:-) -nt-

(#299169)
M Scott Eiland's picture

.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

It Is Times Like This. . .

(#299150)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .when I am most glad to be an agnostic, and therefore to not give a rat's posterior what Jesus might have thought, even if I assumed that such arguments were an accurate representation of his positions. As for me, if someone forcibly and illegally breaks into another person's home, they are expressing a contempt for the safety and privacy of the occupants, and have whatever they receive in response coming to them. If a better world is coming, better let it be without scum like the subject of the woman's target practice.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Obama wants 1.5 trillion *more* in deficit reduction?

(#299129)

“The consensus is we need about $4 trillion to stabilize our debt and our deficit, which means we need about $1.5 trillion more.”

 

I see our economically illiterate president has been paying real close attention to Europe's experiences.  

 

Bernanke estimates that the deficit reduction already agreed to will shave off 1.5% of GDP in 2013. 

 

Is Obama actively seeking to drive the economy straight into recession right after his re-election?

 

If he's not all the way there, he's got to be damn close.

eagle tries to capture human child

(#299125)

I Presume You Know That This Was a School Project?...Video

(#299126)

 

 

 

 

Traveller

ahem. of course I knew that

(#299127)

I was just ... checking to see if you knew.

A reply to the "anti-science left" meme

(#299122)
mmghosh's picture

for a variety of reasons, the world manages to waste 50% of the food produced.

 

Now, I am not anti-GM.  But it seems to me somewhat ludicrous not to address the problem of food wastage first, before introducing GM food.

That's a misnomer

(#299123)
HankP's picture

very few people (except fundamentalists) are anti-science. What a lot of people are is anti-untested-technology, and with good reason. Corporations have shown that they're more than happy to increase sickness and fatality rates if it means bigger profits.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Vaccines Are About As Tested A Technology As There Is

(#299128)
M Scott Eiland's picture

It hasn't stopped the nuttiest Kennedy from pushing the "vaccines cause autism" hysteria. Not to mention the "fire can't melt steel!" 9/11 Truther Brigade.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Ho Hum.

(#299134)

I'm not so sure that it's quite so cut and dried at any angle to approach from. Here area few:

 

1. Thimersol is a mercury compound used to preserve vaccines from bacterial and fungal contamination. Most of the concern about vaccines centres around this chemical. In the west we mostly use single dose vaccines and thimersol has been phased out in these. I'm not sure I would be too critical of people being cautious about injecting mercury compounds into the bloodstreams of their infants. Granted it is true that a contaminated vaccine that gives you some sort of fatal blood infection is worse than a thimersoled one, and granted people concerned about thimersol who withold vaccines that do not contain it from their children are wrong and also granted that most of the diseases we vaccinate against are probably worse than a dose of thimersol or two in early infancy, but we are dealing with a complex system in the human body with subtle and complex interactions. We sure as heck don't understand everything there is to understand about it or the effects of chemicals on it and caution, measured caution, is warranted. I know I am glad that pressure from the anti thimersol crowd means that I do not have to worry at all when I vaccinate my own infants that it might have some sort of effect.

 

The Romans, for example, used various salts of lead to sweeten food. Just because they could not link ill effects from consuming lead to the sweetener does not mean there were no ill effects.

 

2. I'm not sure it's really a left/right thing. There are strands of anti establishment paranoia in both the left and right. In many countries the anti vaccination brigade are right wing religious conservatives. Left wing thought would typically be more likely to subsume the desires of the individual into the needs  of the community and insist on vaccination to protect everyone. 

 

3. The benefits of GM are not quite so cut and dried as those of vaccination. GM is a vast topic. Are we talking about increasing the quantity of nutrients generated by a food? Inducing a plant to produce toxins that make it poisonous to insects (a trait that might be passed to other plants) but (probably not very) poisonous to humans? Making a plant resistant to herbicides so that huge quantities of herbacides can be poured into our ecosystem (there is already a quickly growing problem of herbacide resistant weeds in the US)?

 

Perhaps anti-biotics are a better analogue to GM if we must find a medical one. Overuse, use for treating minor ailments, use on animals can all be bad without antibiotics being bad.

(on mercury)You and others have a lot of hydrogen in your system

(#299190)
brutusettu's picture

People should be concerned about having that much hydrogen in them? (that stuff can just blow up)

 

the mercury isn't stand alone mercury. 

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."

 

Frank Zappa

I'm Not The One Who Claimed "Anti-Science" Was One Side Only

(#299135)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Lefties certainly seem willing to dabble in it when it is ideologically convenient.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

I see someone saying that

(#299136)

fundamentalists are anti science. I would read that as any sort of fundamentalist. Left, right, up, down, strange and charm.

Not In The Context Of The Actual Comment

(#299139)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Using the word broadly--say, as someone might use "thug" to describe someone other than a member of an Indian religious cult from a couple of centuries ago--that would be reasonable. Given the source and context it's vanishingly unlikely that is how it was meant.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Except that we're talking about GM food

(#299131)
HankP's picture

which hasn't been, and will likely never be, tested for its full effect on the ecosystem.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

And You're Claiming That "Anti-Science Left" Is An Oxymoron

(#299132)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Which I refuted.

"Never has been tested for its full effect on the ecosystem" is a dodge. If technologies in general all had to jump through that hoop, we'd still be living in caves.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Oh BS

(#299133)
HankP's picture

you're nutpicking with regards to Kennedy, and all too willing to accept the lies that industry has told over the tears about "harmless" synthetic chemicals. Feel free to compare number of young earth creationists in the GOP with the number of anti-science liberals.

I blame it all on the Internet

And In Less Schadenfreudey News. . .

(#299100)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .everyone has NE in the AFC game, meaning that TXG1112 will end the weekend 1 pt behind Hank with three games to go, with Sulla 2 pts behind Hank and yours truly 3 pts behind Hank. Meaning that I'm all but eliminated from a chance to win and Sulla would need a lot of lucky breaks--though I have locked down at least fourth place ahead of Traveller.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Don't underestimate my ability to pick losers

(#299102)
HankP's picture

I'm 0 for 3 this weekend already.

I blame it all on the Internet

F(*k Pete Carroll

(#299094)
HankP's picture

if he hadn't iced the kicker the Seahawks would have won.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

ESPN said that 4% "more" kicks are missed after being "iced"

(#299115)
brutusettu's picture

That was overall, no breakdowns for long kicks, or kicks with or w/o a lot of wind, or if a kicker missed/made a similar FG earlier in the game.  That 4% seems well within the margin of error.     Bryant is a veteran and was perfect before Carroll gave Bryant a well needed mulligan. 

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."

 

Frank Zappa

I'd want to know the average

(#299117)

I'd want to know the average distance for the iced and non-iced kicks before I believe that 4% stat.

Maybe but pretending he

(#299095)

Maybe but pretending he didn't call a TO after the fact was pretty weak.

I Was Just Talking To My Dad

(#299097)
M Scott Eiland's picture

He suggested that PC wasn't actually claiming he hadn't called the timeout (which would have been profoundly stupid, as he was complaining to the ref he had told to call the time out), but instead complaining that the kicker took a "practice kick" well after the time out had been clearly called, which might be grounds for a penalty (Hank--I'm not familiar with the rules on that, could you elaborate?)

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Absent the videotape

(#299103)
HankP's picture

from my recollection there was nowhere near enough time for the kicker to be penalized. I don't remember that ever happening in an icing the kicker situation since the whole point is to get the kicker to actually kick the ball but not have it count.

 

Also that would be an excessively legalistic call, officials usually don't do that kind of stuff in payoff games. Heck, they didn't call Justin Tucker for a blatantly illegal practice kick yesterday.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

That makes more sense.

(#299101)

That makes more sense.  Wonder why well paid professional NFL commentators couldn't figure that out?

I know he's good at picking talent

(#299096)
HankP's picture

and he's obviously done a good job with the Seahawks. But he really seems like a d!ck as far as I can tell.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Does That Make Lane Kiffin A Mini-Pete? ]:-) -nt-

(#299098)
M Scott Eiland's picture

.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

I don't follow college footballl

(#299104)
HankP's picture

but from reading his wiki it's reinforced my belief that football is one areas where the "amateurs" seem to be far more corrupt than the pros.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

HA!

(#299093)
M Scott Eiland's picture

EAT S**T AND DIE, ICER SCUM!!!!!

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

My first thought was

(#299099)

MSCOTT couldn't have possibly been more vindicated 

Well that was a hell of a game

(#299085)
HankP's picture

Ravens over Broncos 38 - 35 in second overtime. Quite the upset.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

A Long Night for GB Though, But They are Playing Well....

(#299088)

...well enough to win most games, but Kapernick is something else. I love watching him throw the ball...or take off running....lol

 

Traveller

I Am Very Pleased to See Zero Dark Thirty Do So Well....

(#299075)

 

...especially after Feinstein et al tried to kill the movie and ensured that Ms. Bigelow did not get a Directorial Oscar nod, even though the Director's Guild did nominate her....of course it was nominated for Best Picture and Best Screenplay Oscars.....(best writing, take that, you know who).

 

There is a lot wrong with the movie, but since I am in defending mode, I'll leave it at this, but also note that, despite my reservations, it is certainly the best (as in Best, but also best Cinematically/Artistically shot) and most important movie of the year.

 

"Zero Dark Thirty" roared out of the gate in its nationwide expansion Friday, taking in $9 million. That puts Sony's controversial drama on pace to easily win the weekend box office race with $25 million. It was running safely ahead of the weekend's two debuting movies, Warner Bros.' star-studded "Gangster Squad" and the horror spoof "A Haunted House," the two R-rated films in a battle for No. 2.

 

I will also note that the film was, I believe, entirely financed by Larry Ellison's daughter...and I would like to see her have success.

 

Best Wishes, Traveller

Serendipity

(#299078)
HankP's picture

that would be the same Larry Ellison who's responsible for the security holes in Java you mentioned above.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Yes, I Know, That's What is Interesting...and The Game!!!!

(#299080)

...we finally get some good football and you are posting?!?

 

I'm cleaning the refrigerator...I am a bit piggish, but it looks shiny new now.

 

Traveller

Of course I'm watching the game

(#299082)
HankP's picture

I just post during commercials.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Tech Question!...Java is Bad, must be Disabled? Please Advise

(#299073)

...also maybe consider this a PSA

 

In a rare warning, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is urging computer users to disable the Java software, citing what it says is a vulnerability in the Oracle's programming platform.

Apple said it is heeding the advice and has remotely disabled Java for most Mac users.

"Java 7 Update 10 and earlier contain an unspecified vulnerability that can allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system," the Homeland Security's Computer Emergency Readiness Team said in a note posted Thursday. "We are currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem."

According to Reuters, the vulnerability makes it possible for hackers to install malware that enables them to commit identify-theft crimes or add infected computers to networks that can be used for cyber attacks.

 

Since I have all automatic updates turned off, (I do it at my choosing), I am still running Java 6 so I think I'm Okay and should be free of the vulnerability.

 

from PCMAG.COM

 

The most recent Java vulnerability affects all versions of Java 7, including the most current version. Unless you absolutely need it, you should disable Java now.

 

But you Gentlemen are smarter than I....so, What say you?

 

Best Wishes, Traveller

 

Firefox disables it automatically

(#299077)
HankP's picture

here are instructions for Chrome and other browsers: How to disable Java - Chrome

 

I'm old enough to remember when it was supposed to be impossible to do this in Java. Don't get me started on a rant about how hopelessly inadequate computer security is.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

OK, I've Disabled in FF and Chrome...In One Computer...

(#299074)

...moving on to others.

 

Best Wishes, Traveller

Coming In April

(#299061)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Looks worth watching--though it won't be as good as the first cinematic look at this life story: if for no other reason than who played the title role in the original.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Provoking the gun-nuts

(#299060)

There are plenty of epithets for "gun control".  A rather quaint one that still appears here on occasion is "gun grabbers".  He he he.  Anyways, there is a push to rename the goal of the movement to "gun safety".  Whatever floats your boat, semantics has never been a hobby of mine.

 

The funny thing is, though nobody is really going to "grab" any guns on the "safety" die of things, there really are people nuttier than a fruitcake on the gun-nut side.  Take for instance the man (concealed license, shooting instructor) who threatened to shoot people if Obama enacted more gun safety rules.  Here is a hilarious interview with him where he sort of apologizes for his crazy talk but then just turns it back up to 11.  

 

This activity brings up an interesting thought -- the people most attached to their guns are actually the worst advocates for their cause.  They look like complete idiots when allowed to talk about guns and their perception of potential gun laws, real or imagined.  They talk about Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Jews, Blacks, Jefferson, Washington, Bill of Rights, Constitution, slavery, etc...  Their fever dreams are packed with all manner of evil and heroism but ultimately they are paranoid rants from people who think limiting the number and types of guns crazy people can own is the same as oppression.  The belief that they alone stand between us and tyranny is a total joke.

 

This leads me to the NRA which encourages these nutcases by taking the hardest of hard lines.  The NRA and the gun nuts are going to be given plenty of rope to hang themselves in the next few months.  It will be hilarious!  I can't wait for more people exercising their right to scare the poop out of people by walking around with assault weapons in full view.  Good luck with that, nutbars!

There certainly are a lot of fantasists

(#299065)

in the movement. But there are plenty of people who own semi-automatic weapons who are legitimate hobbyists--not waiting for society to collapse or for the UN to invade or any other such nonsense, just people who find that an AR-15 is a really fun weapon to shoot. (I don't really get people who enjoy shooting the SKS and civilian versions of the AK-47--compared to the AR-15 they're just not very accurate.)

 

Unfortunately, the sane hobbyists aren't the ones who are out there in public ranting and raving about how they're going to turn terrorist when the gummit comes to take their guns away. It's the terrorists, loons, and neo-Nazis who jump into the spotlight and won't leave.

Andrew, they are part of "all of the above"

(#299087)

And denying them their rights is just as religiously sought after as keeping guns away from loons. Shorter Darth, it's part of the culture war, not public safety.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Sorry, no.  There is no

(#299092)

Sorry, no.  There is no reasonable "both sides do it" argument.  The gun safety crowd isn't nearly as well funded, organized, or motivated.  This doesn't even touch on the idea that new and properly enforced regulations will save lives, which I will grant is debatable though I seriously doubt it.  Finally, there are plenty of polls showing the majority of Americans support some new restrictions in the interest of safety.  

What are you talking about?

(#299105)

There was no 'both sides do it' argument. The point was that the gun grabbers he he he, see stepping on the rights of the law abiding as the goal. The very debatable and doubtful safety to follow is an afterthought. Can't have Skeeter getting uppity.
'

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Hate to say it but you made

(#299130)

Hate to say it but you made my point for me.

I must be pretty talented then

(#299137)

because I still don't see where you have a point at all.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

You claim that gun grabbing

(#299146)

You claim that gun grabbing or safety or whatever has a goal of disenfranchising people liberals don't like (ie it is political rather than rooted in a desire to keep kids from getting shot in schools).  I don't see any legitimate evidence for this.  The movement doesn't want to limit hunters, guns for personal safety, or sport shooters.  Quoting the few extremists who have little power but want to ban all guns and confiscate them doesn't count.  On the other hand, the gun fetishists and their elected officials use terms and language proclaiming the political nature of their fight.  "tyranny", "God given right", hatred of liberals, obsession over the "absolute" nature of the 2nd Amendment etc...  The Citadel folks is a physical manifestation of this extremism.  For them, it is all political with conservative gun owners the only people who count.  Eff the rest of America.

 

I want mass shootings to go down.  Good data is available that shows more guns means more gun violence.  At least get rid of weapons that have no use except to kill lots of people quickly.  Lets start there.  The people who claim to love guns and liberty are advocating a national database of mental illness as an alternative.  If that doesn't tell you something about where their allegiance lies, I don't know what to tell you.

The Point Is Apparently. . .

(#299141)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . ."gun grabbing is cool when 'enlightened' people are attempting it while engaging in conversational obfuscation to pretend it isn't happening and that those complaining about it are insane." Sort of like how it would have been if the "we're not trying to impose gay marriage through the courts--don't be paranoid" and "damned right we're trying to impose gay marriage through the courts" arguments had been conducted by the same people at the same time.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Conversational obfuscation?

(#299145)

Conversational obfuscation?  Hows this - people who think that the 2nd amendment is absolute and there can be no limits to gun ownership should be kept far away from guns because they are nuts.  It is pretty simple, no obfuscation required.

I'm not worried about sane

(#299069)

I'm not worried about sane hobbyists.  Plenty of activities have been restricted even though they are tons of fun.  Car enthusiasts have to suffer with innumerable laws preventing certain foreign cars from being imported.  Lots of performance modifications are illegal, depending on the state.  Race cars can't be driven on the street.  And so on.  Too bad they don't have a highly organized and funded national lobby group that claims these restrictions infringe on their rights as Americans.  Or a mythology that says unrestricted car ownership would prevent another Hitler from rising to power.  For some reason, guns provoke the most insane elements to make these claims.  Like I said, I hope they continue to flaunt their right to terrify the populace.  Great strategery.

Modlel Rockets

(#299081)

Another example of a highly restricted hobby is model rocketry. Guidance or remote control are forbidden, for example, though those would be very interesting to pursue.

I am not a pessimist. I am an incompetent optimist.

To be fair though,

(#299086)
aireachail's picture

those restrictions were enacted before everyone realized that the only way to stop a bad man with a model rocket is with a good man with a model rocket.

Rocket model

(#299083)
Jay C's picture

I just send them up

I don't care where they come down

That's not my department

says Wernher Von Braun....

What's the dude's point ffs?

(#299063)
brutusettu's picture

especially in the light that I can safely assume the representative from Georgia thinks day after pills are abortion pills w/o a second source.

 

 Gingrey thinks abortions wouldn't be needed when the "false rape calls siren out" because there is a chance of there maybe possibly already being a spontaneous abortion that just mighta happened already, maybe, and not all teh rapes result in pregnancy, so "smile be happy"??

 

 

Akin was blissfully ignorant.  There were no pregnancies from rape in Akin's view.

Gingrey knows there are pregnancy as a result of rape, prefers for those pregnancies to be carried to term, then when Akin was brought up, used that as a chance be blissfully ignorant Gingrey style and whitewash away how many there are because, "too few rape babies, don't care, women's bodies have a way to shut most of those down already, every sperm is sacred, every sperm is good."

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."

 

Frank Zappa

nteresting to watch Kocherlakota trend away

(#299037)

from inflation hawkery and tight money:

 

 

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota said the central bank may not be providing enough accommodation given his outlook for prices and the job market. ... Kocherlakota said in the text of remarks prepared for a speech today in Minneapolis: “If anything, monetary policy is currently too tight, not too easy.”

We Should Have Seen This Coming

(#299030)
M Scott Eiland's picture

ESPN asks the burning question: "How much do you blame Jay Cutler for RG III's injury?" Of course, they neglected to make a special answer category for people watching in Cleveland: "Not at all--it's obviously all LeBron's fault." :-P

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

I remember watching ESPN teens during it's other programming

(#299042)
brutusettu's picture

I normally watched the games or Sportscenter where actual sports are shown... when watching the other stuff for about the 1st time, it took me a few minutes to fully realize it was just people sitting around filling up air time by inanely talking.  At least they got Charissa Thompson.

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."

 

Frank Zappa

ESPN is almost unwatchable nowadays

(#299033)
HankP's picture

it kills me to say that because my sister is an exec there. But it's true.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Uh Huh

(#299029)
M Scott Eiland's picture

A moment away from the sound and scent of unicorn flatulence for a dash of reality:

The governor listed a number of factors that could undermine his budget plan, including uncertain action by Congress to raise the federal debt ceiling, potential increases in health care costs and whether courts or the federal government block some of his proposed spending cuts.

The Happy Fun Ball had less disclaimers*, before even getting to the problem of a Democratic supermajority which can now tell Ol' Moonbeam to go off and fornicate with a rolling donut should it choose to.

*Made you look!

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Good for Gov. Moonbeam

(#299021)
Bird Dog's picture

It would be nice if he could a take big chunk of that surplus and pay down the $28 billion "Wall of Debt" and the $100 billion in unfunded pension liabilities.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

California's "Wall of Debt"

(#299028)
Jay C's picture

Well, according to one report, this is being seen to:

 

Even without a shortfall, California still has significant debt from accounting gimmicks used over the past decade. Brown estimated that what he calls the "wall of debt" would shrink from its current $27.8 billion to $4.3 billion over the next four years under his plan.

Which is a little more realistic: even though the idea of paying down $5.875B a year - even with Brown's surplus projections -  sounds just a bit on the overly-hopeful side, it's still a worthwhile goal.  The Gov may be fudging just a bit on the upside, though:

according to the New York Times:

Mr. Brown’s balanced budget projection was more optimistic than one put out by an independent legislative watchdog in November, and he pointed to a series of factors, including severe cuts in federal assistance, that could push California back into difficulty.

 

Yet it was the latest indication that the state appeared to be turning around. Even the less upbeat report by the watchdog group, the Legislative Analyst’s Office, said the state was facing a deficit of just $1.9 billion, which seems almost pocket change after the $26 billion projected deficit the state once confronted.

Still a positive trend: California, if it were an independent country, would have the eighth-largest economy in the world (comparable with Italy, and larger than Brazil): it's nice to see said economy finally being managed to First-World standards.

 

Brown Tackling the Pension Problem, Too

(#299049)

This is amazing news re CA

(#299019)
Jay C's picture

if accurate: turning the state's fiscal picture around to erase $30B+ of deficits in just two years?

 

Though if there's any national Democrat better suited (given his long-time rep) for "penny-pinching", as the article said, it's Jerry Brown. Though I can't help thinking, given California's history, that those rosy financial predictions ought not to be relied on too heavily.  I also wonder about a few other points:

 

1. How much of the expected income flow is going to allocated to debt reduction. California always had - historically - a sterling credit rating, which ISTR got tarnished a bit in recent decades. Paying down outstanding bonds might do a lot to keep CA's rating up (and borrowing costs, in case of a non-rosy picture in the future, down).

 

2. I'm no expert on CA's budget process, but I'm guessing that the Governor has veto power over the Lege if it gets too glad-handed with the dough: Brown says he's going to keep an eye on things, and I think he will, Democratic supermajority or not.

 

3. I wonder if the near future is going to prove or disprove the standard dire scenario that CA Republicans have been squawking about for decades: i.e. that California's quasi-socialist tax hell is going to drive anyone with wealth or jobs clean out of the state, leaving the Golden State as a sort of third-world dystopia: Guatemala with 35 million people....

 

BTW, if 3) doesn't pan out, I'm thinking that the CA GOP is going to be facing a very long spell in the political wilderness, unless they get their act together and move past the toxic combination of prejudicial nativism, retrograde social attitudes and feudalistic economics which they have depended on for so long. It's taken them a while, but they might just have to realize that it ain't 1928 anymore.

Is California a leading indicator again?

(#299024)

This time in terms of Republican oblivion?

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

In Fact, the Nat'l GOP

(#299043)

does appear to be following the script.

Funny article, notyou

(#299047)
Jay C's picture

Even if a bit stale (from last June), it seems to have been proved prescient: even if the CA GOP's hopes seem to have been dashed on the rocks of FAIL:

 

Since the Democrats almost exclusively run the state, she says, Republicans plan to highlight their myriad failures in controlling the budget and getting the economy up and running again. In Latino-heavy areas such as the Central Valley, unemployment is catastrophic, and the Democrats have no one but themselves to blame. "People are starting to wake up to the fact that the Democrats’ policies are really starting to affect them," Kerns says. "They’re getting no relief from Sacramento, no relief from the Democrats, and no relief from [Democratic governor] Jerry Brown."

OK, next...??

 

 

 

What makes you think that statement is incorrect.

(#299068)
Bernard Guerrero's picture

Brown's reaping the combination of three independent factors:

 

A) He has been (and continues to) try and cut services and associated costs.  "Austerity", if you will.  Catch, any comments? :^)

 

B) Shockingly enough, we've been out of formal recession for years, and the housing overhang of the Bubble years has been slowly worked off, so revenues have stabilized.  Economies not being solid objects, what goes up too fast must come down, but short of the apocalypse what goes down usually doesn't go down forever.  Of note, most states are doing better than they were 2 years ago, budget-wise: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/us/texas-budget-surplus-proves-as-contentious-as-a-previous-shortfall.html?_r=0

 

C) The Feds have been quite accommodating with regards to support to the states since the start of the last recession, in effect taking on debt and transferring cash that the states (particularly the ones with crap ratings) could not have raised themselves. This may or may not last, given the nature of the current discussions in DC.

 

As noted, C may not last, and A is actually a bone of contention, as most of the articles talking about the CA surplus note.  And all this presupposes no further recessions in the near term.

Well, Bernard, the "incorrect" bit

(#299071)
Jay C's picture

..at least as I read it, was the CA GOP's spokesperson's rather fixed assertions that the State's economy was hopelessly in the toilet, that it was there thanks to Brown's and the Democrats' policies, and (perhaps implicitly rather than stated) that CA voters would buy into that frame, and thus blame them for their economic woes, and see fit to toss them all out at the next election. Hence the FAIL.

 

Your analyses, though, are reasonably correct: even if you do assign Gov. Brown a fairly passive role. I would note that re your point A), you (as a lot of other reporters/commenters have also) seem to define the notion of "austerity" as being predicated mainly (?solely?) on cuts to spending/services, and eliding the revenue- (i.e. tax-) raising aspects of deficit reduction plans. We will still to wait and see if the long-predicted "capital flight" out of California will materialize, and what, if any, effect it might have on their projected income stream. I'm guessing little, but YMMV....

 

As for point C), I think you, me, Jerry Brown and everyone else thinking about the issue have noted the various caveats attached to the California budget projections vis-a-vis Federal contributions to the State's economy and are keeping them in mind. Myself, I think the biggest downside on the Federal end of things are possible cuts in military spending; which in California, like in every other state in the Union, is a huge prop to the economy, and one whose size and all-pervasiveness is (like in every other state in the Union) the unmentionable elephant-in-the-room when it comes to fiscal discussions.